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Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
sincerely wanted to like this book, I really did, but it left me feeling underwhelmed. To sum it up, A Court of Thorns and Roses did not live up to its hype.

From Paper To Screen: Summer 2015

From Paper To Screen is a seasonal post about upcoming movies that are based on books. This post deals with noteworthy movies that will be released this summer. You might want to check out the books before visiting the theater!

Review: A Time To Reap (+ Giveaway)

Title: A Time To Reap
Author: Jonas Lee
Publisher: Createspace
Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Pemberton Academy is not just a school, it’s a gathering place for the children of the future that are afflicted with Temporal Displacement and Telepathy; in short, time travelers and mind readers who have been diagnosed with this “disease.” The Academy is not all as it seems after an explosion nearly takes one of its classmates, but not before Carter Gabel rescues her by using an unknown symptom related to his described illness. An unsanctioned group called the Program begins taking notice as the two classmates exhibit stronger abilities when they are together. Carter's sense of reality begins to unwind as he learns more about his estranged father's involvement with it all. 

Carter will have to overcome the past of his father leaving, the present of an unknown adversary hunting him down and a future that seems to change with each decision he makes. He will have to learn who to trust out of the people in his life if he wants to conquer the looming notion that the government may be hunting him down because of his developing abilities.
The author provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. A Time To Reap gives an interesting spin on the idea of time travel, and features a protagonist who is likable and really funny. 

Dreamcast: House Stark (AU)

Each Dreamcast features a selection of actors who I imagine look like the characters from a particular book. This dreamcast is for House Stark of A Song of Ice And Fire, and features them when they are older.

Review: Sharp Objects

Title: Sharp Objects
Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart 
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg 
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle 
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.
I've read Flynn's books in reversed order, starting with Gone Girl and ending with her debut novel, Sharp Objects. The interesting thing is that even though I consider this one distinctly different from the other two, it's still very dark and gruesome. I wouldn't have it any other way, truth be told!

Review: Jesse's Girl

Title: Jesse's Girl
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?
Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I'm not so secretly in love with country music, which is why I just HAD to read Jesse's Girl. Ir's about music and features a bold girl and a male country star. What's not to love?

Review: The Longest Ride

◆ The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
◆ Read April 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
The Longest Ride turned out to be a very dull read. I felt no connection whatsoever with the characters and if it wasn't for the ending, I might have even given it one star.

Fanmix Friday: Jesse's Girl

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally

Review: Throne of Glass

◆ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
◆ Read May 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king's champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.
This book has been recommended to me so many times that I was sure it would disappoint, would not live up to its hype. It was wonderful though, to the point where I was tempted to stay up the entire night to finish it.

Review: Dark Places

◆ Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
◆ Read May 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Libby Day was just seven years old when her evidence put her fifteen-year-old brother behind bars.

Since then, she has been drifting. But when she is contacted by a group who are convinced of Ben's innocence, Libby starts to ask questions she never dared to before. Was the voice she heard her brother's? Ben was a misfit in their small town, but was he capable of murder? Are there secrets to uncover at the family farm or is Libby deluding herself because she wants her brother back?

She begins to realise that everyone in her family had something to hide that day... especially Ben. Now, twenty-four years later, the truth is going to be even harder to find.

Who did massacre the Day family?
No author makes up story lines as twisted and dark as Gillian Flynn does. If it's possible, Dark Places might be even more gruesome, more nauseating than Gone Girl was. And I love it! 

Fanmix Friday: A Song of Ice and Fire (House Stark)

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Dreamcast: Graceling

Each Dreamcast features a selection of actors who I imagine look like the characters from a particular book. This dreamcast is for Graceling.

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
◆ Read April 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell. 

But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just… disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try… unless they could lead back to her best friend.

Apple Picking at Night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a Stranger? Um... 

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Wait ... what?
I got to enjoy this contemporary while I was in sunny Valencia. I wanted to bring a book with me that had a summery-vibe to it and Since You've Been Gone did not disappoint. In fact, it was far better than I expected, I practically finished it in one sitting!

The Doom of Bloggers Block

Up until two months ago, my main problem with blogging was that I could not find enough time to read books and write posts about them. I was blissfully ignorant, unaware that there was even such a thing as a writers block concerning blogging. But there is such a thing, which the internet has 'lovingly' dubbed the bloggers block. And guess what? I've caught the virus and have no idea how to get rid of the sodding thing!

Book vs. Movie: Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie

◆ Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern
◆ Directed by Christian Ditter
◆ Seen March 2015
◆ Purchase the book: The Book Depository
❝ Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
I'm slightly (really) late to the party, but I only got to watch the movie last week and I could not resist a book vs. movie comparison. While the movie was definitely swoon-worthy and enjoyable, it wasnn't as inspiring as the book. I liked it less because many aspects of the story were changed or omitted.

Review: The 100

◆ The 100 by Kass Morgan
◆ Read March 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.
So this was a disappointment. I realize now that I should not have started reading The 100 with the expectation that it would be nearly as good as the TV adaption. Because it is not, not even close. However, for reviewing purposes, I'll focus solely on the book.

Recommendations: Books with Strong Female Characters

In honor of International Women's Day, here are some recommendations for books with strong female characters!

Review: Cupcakes and Crushes

Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford
◆ Read February 2015
◆ English Edition
❝ Years ago, a broken heart sent Annie Cookie running from home, and she’s never looked back—until now. Her grandpa’s broken wrist means the family bakery is at risk of losing two big orders.

Reluctantly, Annie returns to Turtle Pine to help out, only to discover it’s not just seven hundred cupcakes she has to bake, but also a wedding cake for the half-sister who stole her high-school sweetheart. Annie left town to get away from her sister. No way is she getting mixed up with her again. Once the cupcakes are done, she’s outta there.

Back in high school, Cade Revlin hid his crush on his brother’s girl, but when his brother dumped Annie for another Cookie sister, Annie slipped through his fingers and out of town. Now that she’s back, he’s determined to give her a reason to stay.

He’s got one week to change her mind. Or she’ll be gone in a cloud of powdered sugar.
Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Everybody likes a little bit of romance now and then and Cupcakes and Crushes has a lot of that. This was a really sweet read with the occasional drama mixed in. 

February Book Haul

Here's my February book haul! I love that the novels by Gillian Flynn are in the same style :)

Review: Red Queen

◆ Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
◆ Read February 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
I really enjoyed Red Queen, however, I could not quite shake the feeling that it was a combination of various popular Young Adult books like The Hunger Games, The Selection and Divergent.  

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Problems

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  Beware, first world problems ahead!

Recommendations: Love Stories

These books are recommendations in honor of Valentine's Day! What better excuse is there to read a love story? ;)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I Haven't Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  In no particular order:

Review: Unwind

◆ Unwind by Neal Shusterman
◆ Read January 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.
Unwind is one seriously disturbing book. In a good way though! It paints a dystopian world where pro life and pro choice movements have come to a 'effective' solution to their problems: abortion is forbidden but children over the age of thirteen can be send to a harvest camp to be unwound. Their organs and body parts are given to other people, but somehow the soul remains.... How creepy is that?

Recommendations: If You Like The Hunger Games...

Many of you are a fan of Suzanne Collins' trilogy, but with the last film coming up, we're almost out of material. If you like The Hunger Games, you will surely like these recommendations!

Review: How To Fly with Broken Wings

◆ How To Fly with Broken Wings by Jane Elson
◆ Read January 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝  Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk - and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?

Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.

Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.

And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly ...

Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a charming tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places.
Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. The book cover and synopsis drew me in, but the story did not live up to it. I think it will be enjoyable for children, just not great

Fanmix Friday: Fangirl

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Top Eight Characters I'd Name My Children After

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  This week's Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, but I simply could not come up with anything. That's why I've decided to do an old one: Top Eight Characters I'd Name My Children After.

Around The World

You may have read in this post that I'm participating in the 2015 Reading Challenge from Popsugar. However, I've gotten it in my crazy head that one challenge isn't enough, so I'll also be participating in Around The World 2015.

Review: Once Upon an Ever After

◆ Once Upon an Ever After by Angela J. Blount
◆ Read December 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ When Angeli left Minnesota on a post-high school road trip, all she wanted was to see the East Coast and finally meet some of her online friends. She didn't expect to end up in a long-distance relationship with a computer-savvy Southern boy. Yet Vincent seems determined to defy the odds. To prove his intentions, he sets off on his own quest to visit Angeli and win her family's approval. But along the way he’ll have to contend with her offbeat friends, trigger-happy father, and a few questionable run-ins with Northern hospitality. 

South meets North this time around, and "normal" isn't anywhere on the map.

With a thousand miles and radically different upbringings between them, can Angeli and Vincent forge a forever-worthy bond? Or are the roadblocks they face too much for either of them to overcome?
The author provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. I did not read the first book because of a tight reviewing-schedule, hence the reason why I can't compare the two. 

Giveaway: Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

I'm giving away one paperback copy of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan. I ordered this book by mistake and since Steampunk isn't my cup of tea, I've decided to give it to one of my followers! 

Review: Cruel Beauty

◆ Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
◆ Read January 2015
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
❝ Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
I wanted my first read of 2015 to be a good one, which is why I chose Cruel Beauty. It seemed so promising and I was in a fairy tale-mood that day (if that even exists). I tried really hard to love it, heck, to like it even, but I did not succeed. While the book certainly had its good parts, it was also incredibly confusing and frustrating.

2015 Reading Challenge

I came across this 2015 reading challenge on Tumblr and it seems to be the perfect way to read different things and challenge myself! 

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