August 30, 2014

Stacking the Shelves - The One Where I Cover... Oh, About Three Months...

So, actually, I haven't done one of these haul things for three months. I usually make a video for them - and I did film one, but... well, I filmed it before going on vacation abroad, and had no time to edit it, and eventually, I never did finish it -- plus the stuff I said in it became quite outdated. Then, I was just... two lazy to film one again. So, I'm going back to my roots with a normal, photographic haul!

You can just stare at the pretty pictures (of which I am SUPER proud) and like them on my Instagram if you like what you see - and you could read my reasoning for getting the books/tidbits about them bellow if you'd like :)
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger - This was a birthday present, from me to myself. I've been dying to dive back into the historical, steampunk fantasy world Carriger created with her newest series! Plus, the cover is soo pretty! 
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff - this is a birthday present from my best friend! This one looks awesome! It's a fantasy set in a feudal steampunk Japan. I repeat - fantasy. Steampunk. Feudal. JAPAN. *squees uncontrollably*
Poison Study/ Magic Study / Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder - This is a late one cause I've already managed to read all three books in the trilogy and completely fall in love and WHY haven't I read this sooner?! you guys, anyone who thinks about reading it should just go buy it and read it, cause it is amazingballs and Valek is major swoon and Yelena rocks ass.
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Mass - I haven't read Thorn of Glass yet, cause I knew I wanted to read the prequels before that so I could get the whole picture. Finally, I ordered them. Now, here was a struggle because I wanted a hardcover - but my copy of the first book is paperback. Eventually, I caved to my need to have a matching set. Alas, the world is cruel and is laughing at me because even though I checked this was from the same publishing group - IT STILL DOESN'T MATCH IN HEIGHT. Why?! *sobs*
Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover - I've read Hopeless a while back, and I enjoyed it, so I jumped on the chance to get a signed copy of the companion novel. I enjoyed this one, as well. It was fun seeing through Holder's eyes and understanding him better. Plus - guy on the cover is a hottie! LOL
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson - this is such a big (and purdyyyy) book! And I really enjoyed it! Perfect summer read :) 
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohen & David Levithan The authors of this book are two big names I've wanted to check out for a while - so one book written by the two of them sounded completely perfect and I jumped on the opportunity to get it! To be completely honest, I tried starting this one a while back. The first two chapters completely made me go WTF, with the voice of the MCs (both teenagers) sounding like they're eighty. I will have to give some distance between me and this book before trying to pick it up again :/
Half Bad by Sally Green - I bought this one because of the cover (I know, shallowwwwwww. But I'm not even sorry) and I opted for a paperback and not a hardcover because the paperback is super cool - back and front are mirror images, one in black and one in white and it feels sooo nice. Like, it's a pet-all-day-long type of book! 
More Than Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram - For those who know me, Kelly Oram is one of my absolute favorite authors, and Jamie Baker is one of my favorite series. I bought a signed copy from Kelly for my cousin's birthday (of course, I bought two copies cause - hello! I deserve to get her signature too, don't I?!) and she included in my copy a short letter and I was OVER THE MOON when I read it. This lady is just so nice, y'all! 
Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles - This one was a complete surprise from Megs! Around the time of my birthday, she mentioned she wanted to get me a present and asked for my address (and wishlist), but that was the last time we spoke of it and I honestly had no idea she's gotten me something until I opened the Book Depository package and gaped at a book I was pretty sure I hadn't ordered. I had had Rules of Attraction on my radar for a while now, as I think Perfect Chemistry was one of my first contemporaries that I enjoyed, but I really needed a push and this is it! Now I'll definitely read it ;)
The Casual Vacancy by J.K Rowling - J.K is my QUEEN y'all. She is the literal queen of literature and I adore this woman to PIECES! So, naturally, I've been wanting to read The Casual Vacancy since, oh, the day it was announced. But, I'm also slightly afraid to read it - which is why I haven't bought it until now. My brain knows this is not (and will never be) Harry Potter. But I'm afraid my heart won't listen to my brain. I'm afraid I'll subconsciously compare the books, and as Harry Potter is my go-to book I'm afraid I'll find The Casual Vacancy lacking just because of that. Have you ever been afraid to read a book before?
Tatiana and Alexander / the Summer Garden by Paullina Simons -  So, I've read the Bronze Horseman. It actually should've been in this haul, but it's on loan to my aunt so... Anyways, I enjoyed the Bronze Horseman and am excited -- and terrified -- to continue Tatiana and Alexander's journey. Terrified why? Well, we have about 1000 pages more of this story. That means this couple, who has suffered greatly in the first book alone, is expecting a ton more of trouble. That's troubling, too me. Anyways, here's to reading these two books soon! 
Scarlet / Lade Thief by A.C Gaughen - So, Scarlet has been on my radar for a while. And I loved it, so I immediately ordered Lady Thief. I can't WAIT to see where the series go from here, with the final book Lion Heart being a while away *sobs*
Take me On by Katie McGarry - Well, it's no secret I LOVE the Pushing the Limits series. So, do I really have to explain this one?... 
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - Weeeeeeeeel, I kind had to check out all the hype, you know? And I was pleasantly surprised, too! Enough to be excited for the next book :) 
Deerskin by Robin McKinley - this was a birthday present from a good friend of mine, and I actually don't know anything about it. But just now I saw it has pretty good ratings on Goodreads, AND 13000 ratings - which is not bad. Not bad at all... 
The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - I caved, okay? I caved! I found this book under discount in my local bookstore (which made it cost the same as on TBD) and decided to get it on a whim. I've been meaning to try a Neil Gaiman book again and this just looks so... so... pretty.
Out for Blood by Alyxandra Harvey- This was under discount, and I HAVE been meaning to buy the whole series for a while now... so, yes. I don't have the second. But, hey, I will! 
Last Breath by Rachel Caine - so, this is the next one in the Morganville Vampires series. This is (I think) the only series I own mismatched. I've three books of this edition and four (I think) of the US editions. Thing is - I don't really like EITHER edition. Both are kind of Blah for me. This one would be nice if not for the awful font, actually... Anyways, it became so mismatched because of Amazon bargains (which allowed me to get three books in the series for practically nothing) and one of the UK signed editions being up for grabs in TBD. So, when I saw this one discounted in TBD I was like "whateve, I don't even care anymore, let's do this."
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder - Well, have you read my Poison Study review / looked what I wrote under the photo of it here? So, do I really need to explain this one?... 
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - my first Sarah Dessen book! Hooray! Can't say I was overly impressed, but it wasn't a bad book by far. Looking forward to trying her again sometime!
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer - this looked like such a cute contemporary I could NOT hold myself back. And it WAS a really cute contemporary. I absolutely loved the setting of it!
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell - I love Rainbow. I love awkward nerdy guys and I most definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it! 
On the Fence by Kasie West - I love Kasie West, even though I wasn't the BIGGEST fan of her other contemporary book; The Distance Between Us. I thoroughly enjoyed On the Fence, with a tomboy for a MC and a childhood friends kind of romance. Yum!
Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire - I've been so excited for this one since it was announced! I even opted for the prettier cover (though it does not match my edition of Beautiful/Walking Disaster) cause I couldn't resist myself. And in a sense, this book was a big disappointment, even though I enjoyed it. Does that make sense?
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller - another present from my BF for my birthday, and I confess I've been coveting this book ever since I saw how GORGEOUS it looks underneath the dust jacket. It was also quite gorgeous inside, and I recommend this one immensely!

Phew, that was a LOT of catching up. Honestly, if it wasn't for the fact I filmed the video with these books (meaning I became invested in giving them their proper STS place) I would've just dropped the whole thing. But I'm glad I didn't cause I am just LOVING the pictures!

Also, for those of you who are reading this line... you are fabulous and amazing and I love you *smooches*


August 29, 2014

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy #5 
Source: Bought
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: May 18th, 2010
Age Genre: Young Adult
Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong...
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri's birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir's-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can't wait for their real lives beyond the Academy's iron gates to begin. But Rose's heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won't rest until Rose joins him... forever.

So, as I'm starting my Vampire Academy experience on The Book Babe's Reads at book five, I'll sum up some things for you: I have been reading the Vampire Academy series for about a year now. I have owned all the books in the series for a similar amount of time. Fact is, I enjoy these books... but they lack that certain something that makes me need to read them.

Which is why, I brought this book with me on my trip to Europe, with the intention to just, once and for all, read it. That didn't work quite as well as I hoped. I had so much trouble immersing myself in the story for the first 200 pages that I had to read other books between every 70 pages or so. This is the main source of my rating - this book just didn't grab me, and so, though I enjoyed it, I can't give it more than 3.5 stars.

I think, finally, after five books, I've come to understand why I have so much trouble with this series - it's the writing. Something about it just... doesn't click with me. Doesn't flow smoothly as I read it.
If this book (and series) was written slightly differently, I think I might've loved it. I think I might've finished it in a week (like I did Percy Jackson) instead of a year (and I'm not finished yet). But it's not, so I struggle.

I will say this - half way through the book, things finally started happening in a way that made me want to read the book nonstop. Which is funny, cause from that point on it was all basically Mead setting things up for the final book.

Now, let's go into some specifics, since I realize this "review" is mostly very vague and general so far. I love Rose. I love Dmitri. I love Adrain. I love Lissa and Christian (he is probably my favorite character in the series). But they all kind of annoyed me this book. Especially the thing with Adrian and Rose, because he deserves better. At the very least, someone who will truly love him, and not just use him (albeit, probably unconscionably,) to forget someone else.

Oh, and Lissa and Christian need to get over themselves and go make some beautiful babies with snarky humor and kind hearts (okay, maybe not right away, but you get my drift).

Okay, this review is kind of lacking... as all my Vampire Academy reviews seem to be. I feel like a failure, but I just really wanted to share my revelation with you guys! It's not everyday that you finally figure out what has been bothering you for 5 books...

August 28, 2014

Thursday Oldie: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

So as you guys know, I just moved here. And that means my old blog now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here, especially if my opinion differs than Megs. (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
Source: own paperback
Publisher: Puffing Books
Publication Date: January 5th 2012
Age Genre: Young Adult
Originally published: Sep 11, 2012
Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She's reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's sudden illness. But when her life become entwined with the handsome Prince Kai's she finds herself at the center of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen - and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth's future.

In contrast to last time's oldie, this time I'm going to talk to you guys about one of my absolute favorite books: Cinder. 

The most shocking thing about this book is that I almost didn't read it - maybe it was because it has cyborgs in it, and I haven't read many--if any--of those. Maybe it was because it was a first in a new series at the time, and I don't read those (I hate the wait). Maybe it was just because. 
But whatever the reason, thank god for Goodreads Group Reads. Without them, I may have never given this amazing book and world a chance.

You know a book is good when you're this close to crying - and the book has barely stared. You know a book is good when in just a few pages the author has managed to make you so in tune with the characters and their feelings that you cry for them. It's also interesting that we learn very early on with this book that this Cinderella story doesn't always have a Happily Ever After.

Cinder, the main character, was amazing. She's smart, courageous and strong. She's an MC you can love, fully support, and root on. Her love interest and another of the main characters is Prince Kai. He's very likable, sweet and charming. The title "Prince Charming" fits him well.

As for the romance... to be honest - I don't think there was any. Cinder and Kai are attracted to one another. They are in the process of falling in love with one another throughout the book. But they are both at the "liking" stage and feeling the waters. Just talking to one another, sending signals, withdrawing them... Their real romance has't started yet - but you can tell it will be epic once it does. Though it's going to have to overcome all those obstacles first. Judging by this book, "trust" will probably be one of them *sigh*.

All the supporting characters (IKO!!!) added to the story and were well done themselves.

Now, let's address a few points: Cinder presents itself as a retelling of Cinderella.
We have the evil stepmother (Adri). We have (one) evil stepsister (Pearl). We have the prince, and the ball, and we have the shoe... sort of.
But honestly, calling this book a retelling of Cinderella is underrating it. Cinderella is the theme, but it's not the story.

I don’t want to give up too many details, but the story of Cinderella? You know, the one in which a servant girl desperately wants to go to the ball and dance with a prince, and a fairy comes and—well, you’ve seen the Disney movie. Cinder has very little to do with that. She doesn’t even want to go to the ball!

Instead, the story is about slavery, and about how living, breathing people are owned. It's about death. It's about dictatorship. And it's about finding yourself, the small individual, among it all. At least, this is what this story was to me. 

And speaking of the theme, I've seen people saying the book could do without it - but I disagree. It fit the story, in creating some form of guidelines we could look for but also in making the real and serious topics of the story pop out against the sparkly premise of Cinderella. If anything, the theme makes the book appeal to all crowds, and shows us even childhood fairy-tales can be turned into bad-assed, suspenseful tales of great female strength and a great message.

Does it make the story predictable? Only in aspects we would've already predicted. Would Cinder and the prince fall in love? Naturally. Would I not know that if this book wasn't "based" on Cinderella? Err, I kind of would. Does it tell me she'll end up in the ball? Yes. Does it happen the way you assume it will? No. So, in the end, what does it matter?

The only real predictable aspect of the book has nothing to do with the theme, and I don't rally think Meyer intended for it to be a secret. I never felt like the "big revelation" was supposed to be a shocker. No, that was left to the entire scenario in front of us, the entire road that leads to it. The entire world and then entire makeover to the tale of Cinderella. The fact I didn't see that cliffhanger coming kind of proves that, to me.

Meyer takes the fairy-tale, makes something entirely different out of it and inside puts references to the story we all know in ways that makes you quirk a smile.

Speaking of Meyer... I may be, possibly, in love with her writing style. Because, to me, it was very unique and special. She made us sweat for informationThere isn't an "explanation" most of the time. No paragraphs of details and world building. Instead, the answers to the many questions we have present themselves throughout conversations, memories, actions, and the eyes of the characters. Never once does Meyer sits us down and says "listen up, now. A cyborg is..."
Oh no. She leaves it up to us to gather the clues, trusting our intelligence. And it works. What we haven't figured out yet, I trust Meyer to show us in the next books. She sure doesn't seem in a rush to expose her brilliant world to us.


August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #54

Of Scars and Stardust

Of Scars and Stardust by Andrea Hannah
Series: N/A
Publisher: Flux
Publication Date: October 8, 2014
After her little sister mysteriously vanishes, seventeen-year-old Claire Graham has a choice to make: stay snug in her little corner of Manhattan with her dropout boyfriend, or go back to Ohio to face the hometown tragedy she's been dying to leave behind.

But the memories of that night still haunt her in the city, and as hard as she tries to forget what her psychiatrist calls her "delusions," Claire can't seem to escape the wolf's eyes or the blood-speckled snow. Delusion or reality, Claire knows she has to hold true to the most important promise she's ever made: to keep Ella safe. She must return to her sleepy hometown in order to find Ella and keep her hallucinations at bay before they strike again. But time is quickly running out, and as Ella's trail grows fainter, the wolves are becoming startlingly real.

Now Claire must deal with her attraction to Grant, the soft-spoken boy from her past that may hold the secret to solving her sister's disappearance, while following the clues that Ella left for only her to find. Through a series of cryptic diary entries, Claire must unlock the keys to Ella's past—and her own—in order to stop another tragedy in the making, while realizing that not all things that are lost are meant to be found.
Doesn't this storyline just seem so intriguing? I love the idea that maybe Claire isn't really delusional. And I'd for sure like to know whether or not she is! I'm hoping this is as good as it looks!

August 26, 2014

We Need Your Help!

Ashley from Nose Graze and Creative Whim is trying to start a reading site that combines all the greatest things about the existing ones (such as Goodreads, Book Likes and the such) and more. Just reading what the site will have to offer makes me salivate (in a good way)

But for the site to happen, Ashley needs backing. Here is where you come in - you can donate, or just spread the word. But please, do it fast, because there are only 3 days left to get the needed founding, and this site NEEDS to happen, for the sake of all Book Lovers out there.

(and read more about the site)

August 25, 2014

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season, #1
Source: Provided by the publisher for review
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.

But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.

Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

I had this really great intro planned, but unfortunately, I didn't write down when I thought of it; so it's just completely buried in the crevices of my mind - a truly scary thought. So that's been lost. But I have a new one... kind of.

I guess I'll start out by saying that I did enjoy The Bone Season - and the reason the rating is only because of how slow the reading went. Otherwise, it would have been a solid four stars. But as is, it's only 3.5. I guess it was just a little hard for me to process everything as I was reading it - I had to keep taking breaks. But other than that, I really didn't have any problems with it.

I liked the futuristic world building, which was rich and interesting. It's always a good thing when the author makes such an effort to make the world something special. The descriptions and experiences were weird and lucid and beautiful.

Also, the dystopian society was very interesting. I'd have never thought of such a complex world of seers and Rephaim; not to mention the tinfoil hat-ness that made my inner conspiracy theorist so happy!

On another note, the relationship between Paige and Warden really confused me. For most of the book, it felt like Paige really hated Warden, but it also felt like she just had to help him, no matter how much she despised him. Which was kind of amazing. We rarely see badass female characters that have a sense of compassion, and I loved that Samantha Shannon gave us that. She was softhearted, but she tried to hide it behind a tough exterior.

Warden, on the other hand, was much harder to get a read on. He was compassionate as well, but he just wasn't around near as much as Paige, so I didn't really form a big attachment to him. He was okay, but not that fabulous. I liked them together, and that kiss was fantabulous, but I'll have to read more about him before I truly make a decision on his character.

All in all, The Bone Season was an interesting read. I liked it, even if it was a little slow. And I really liked the fact that the ending was a huge surprise. I wasn't disappointed about it at all, but it was definitely a shock.

August 22, 2014

DNF: Ink by Amanda Sun

Ink by Amanda Sun
Series: Paper Gods #1
Source: Gifted to me by Megs <3
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: June 25th, 2013
Age Genre: Young Adult
On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.
Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.
Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.
I know Megs doesn't do DNF reviews, but I do, when I feel like I need (and can) explain why I didn't finish a book.
On the surface, Ink is the perfect book for me. It's in Japan, a place I love and dream to visit. It's anime-ish, and I love anime. And to top it all, it's fantasy. A fantasy, anime-ish story set in Japan? Sign me up! 

Or maybe not. Because I just couldn't finish this book. At page 97, after 97 pages of pure frustration, I decided to call it quits, which I don't normally do. But from page one, more or less, I was considering putting this book down. 

From the start, I saw I didn't like how Japan was portrayed in this book. It just... didn't feel authentic, you know? It felt like what someone like me, who loves Japan and anime but doesn't really understand it might write. It didn't feel real. It felt like it was trying too hard to grasp Japan.

The writing itself wasn't a favorite, either. I felt like there were over descriptions, like that delicate balance between too much and too little hasn't yet been mastered (but it is hard). Then there was the trying to intricate Japanese words into the story. It just wasn't well done. A Japanese person doesn't say Ketai Phone. It's like saying Cell Phone Phone. Ketai is, on itself, "cell phone". There were other examples where I felt the usage was wrong, even if slightly. 
(And I'd just like to point out I may be the one in the wrong, as my knowledge comes from watching and listening to anime, but it still ended up bothering me, the individual)

Now, I will backtrack a bit. This writing may be intentional. The main character is an outsider. She may make these mistakes, be slightly off. And if that was all that bothered me with this book, I would've overlooked it, but it wasn't.

First, there was Katie herself. Even 100 pages into the story, I couldn't pin her down. I didn't know her. And when you don't have the slightest idea about a character even 100 pages later, it means something.

Then there was the "romance". Pfft. More like "worst case of insta love eveeeer". She's thinking of Tomohiro, and how pretty he is, and "understanding" him, when she's had maybe one decent conversation with the guy, and the other encounters were mostly compiled of grunts and looks (which, by the way, I don't believe you can glean that much from a look when you don't know the person...) and him being mostly a jerk.

In fact, it was Katie thinking "The wildness of it drove fear into my heart, as if I didn't really know him at all--and maybe I didn't" that convinced me to drop this book. No shit, Sherlock? You might not know him? what DO you know about the guy? I could sum it in three sentences, and most of it ain't good. Did you think you know him? The guy you truly spoke with twice, who spends his time trying to intimidate you and--according to you--blowing up you pens?!

Give. Me. A Break.

I'm so done with insta love it ain't even funny, and I'm not suffering through yet another book with it for anything, especially one that hasn't impressed me in any other way either. Sign me out.


August 21, 2014

Who Wore it Better: Anna and the French Kiss

Who Wore it Better is an original meme I brought with me from Drugs Called Books. In it, instead of discussing fashion or cloths, we discuss book covers from different countries, and who has the best cover. The meme is co-hosted with the lovely Amanda from The Book Badger and will be featured on her blog every other week, so check her out as well!  
This Thursday, I'll be discussing different covers for Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, in celebration of Isla and the Happily Ever After finally releasing (I've been waiting for sooo long!!)
1. English - so this is the original and most well known cover for this book. It's also the reason it took me years to decide to read the book. I really don't like it. I don't like the colors, I don't like the composition, I don't like the models... It looks very childish (to me) and doesn't attract me at all. If it wasn't for winning a giveaway and this book being the prize, I probably would never have read the book, which is such a huge shame as I loved it. 

2. English 2 - Probably my favorite of the bunch. It's a lot more mature looking, with the gradient composition and the focal point being the title, but it also gives off the cutesy, adorable vibe of the story with the color choice, the little heart and the serene scene of Paris in the background. If this was the cover out to begin with, I never would've put off reading the book. 

3. French - I really like this cover. I like the colors, I like we don't really see Anna, but we do see the bag that shows she's not from around. I like that she's standing on the solid purple background and not on the French scenery, looking at it from afar, as a stranger to the city would. I think whoever designed this cover did a really good job!

4.German - If you asked me "yay" or "nay", then Nay, but kudos to the designers for coming up with something new, interesting and cutesy to say "Paris" and "Love" without showing the Eiffel Tower!

5. German 2 - This one pretty much tried to copy the idea of the original, and if not for the fact everything looks so photoshoped and her legs look cut off, it could be cute. But all those exist, so... nope. 

6. Indonesian- I really really like this one. It's simple and cute and there's not much else to say about it. 
After all this talking, I'll sum things up for you - the second English cover is my fave. Then come the French and Indonesian.


August 20, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #53

The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
Series: N/A
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: January 13, 2015
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Doesn't this just sound like the most amazing fairytale-slash-Holly Black book ever? It sounds so dark and twisted... I've got to get my hands on it when it comes out! And look at the pretty cover!

August 18, 2014

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Series: Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1
Source: Netgalley (Thanks, Fiewel & Friends!)
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?

Katie Finn hits all the right notes in this perfect beginning to a new summer series: A Broken Hearts & Revenge novel.

Let's just be honest here: doesn't this just look like the cutest summer revenge read? It does. But it really fell short of it's potential for me. For me it's sometimes just a little too hard to understand the motivation for revenge, and BHFaOTtM just didn't have a very plausible plot for me. Why spend most of your life plotting revenge for something that happened when you were a kid? You should just build a bridge and get over it!

Once I finished reading it, all I could think was "bleh, this is a series? Why?" Because it seemed like this all should have ended in the first book, since it was stupid to begin with. But I digress. BHFaOTtM was pretty cheesy on top of being dumb... which kind of upset me. It was easy to guess what would happen next, and I found myself predicting everything before it happened.

And don't even get me started on the characters! BLEH. First, we have the boy that Gemma is hopelessly in love with - Teddy. Who is a crunchy hippy who keeps all of his ducks in a row, does everything right, and is the perfect person. Except he's boring as all get out, is one of those people who has to be involved in anything (even things that don't concern him), and has to have the perfect, sweet, innocent girlfriend. Ick.

I like him already, don't you folks? Besides the debatable love interest, we also have Gemma herself. I'll tell you straight up that she's a liar, and that she has to have everything her way... which I just couldn't stand. She whines too much, schemes a lot, and doesn't really appear to be very smart. Not only is she decidedly not-smart, she's also extremely dense.

Basically, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend was really not for me. I couldn't get into the plot or the characters, and the revenge angle of the story seemed very one-sided to me. But who knows, this just might be your cup of tea!

August 15, 2014

Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian

Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian  Series: Midnight Breed #2
Source: Library
Age Genre: Adult  
Original Pub Date: Jan 1st, 2007
He comes to her more dead than alive, a towering black-clad stranger riddled with bullets and rapidly losing blood. As she struggles to save him, veterinarian Tess Culver is unaware that the man calling himself Dante is no man at all, but one of the Breed, vampire warriors engaged in a desperate battle. In a single erotically charged moment Tess is plunged into his world--a shifting, shadowed place where bands of Rogue vampires stalk the night, cutting a swath of terror.
Haunted by visions of a dark future, Dante lives and fights like there is no tomorrow. Tess is a complication he does not need--but now, with his brethren under attack, he must shield Tess from a growing threat that includes Dante himself. For with one reckless, irresistible kiss, she has become an inextricable part of his underworld realm...and his touch awakens her to hidden gifts, desires, and hungers she never knew she possessed. Bonded by blood, Dante and Tess must work together to thwart deadly enemies, even as they discover a passion that transcends the boundaries of life itself....
The last few weeks I've been giving a few popular Fantasy/Romance series a final chance to impress me. There are a lot of series I try for the hype, that never live up to it. The first in the Midnight Breed was that for me, but as a series of standalones, I gave it another chance. 

Unfortunately, I can't say Kiss of Crimson impressed me. Actually, I can't say that one tiny bit. It was okay, for the most part. A fast, mindless read, that was just... well, readable.

And I'll give these books that - they are readable, if (for me) empty of anything else. 

My biggest issue with this book and its likes is the romance - the main crux of the story, so it's a pretty big issue. 
I never  understood their "love". It happened too quickly. The physical occurred way too fast from the time of their first meeting. The startling "you're my life" type of declarations sprang out of nowhere, when it felt like they don't even know the basic information of the other. What's her favorite color? What does she like to eat when she's depressed?  Is she the type to mule over her order before placing it, or knows immediately what she wants? Those are small things, but they matter. 

It feels like, if someone asked them to describe the other, they could fill up two sentences tops. And I don't believe you can be in love with someone if that's the case. Therefore, I never believed their love.

And, well, that means I didn't believe most of the story. And it's hard to enjoy a story like that.

I honestly don't know where I'm headed with this series. I usually give standalone series at least three books before finale judgment, but at the moment I can't see myself continuing with this series. Too many good series out there to waste my time on one that's failed to impress me twice already, you know?... 


August 14, 2014

Thursday Oldie: Switched by Amanda Hocking

So as you guys know, I just moved here. And that means my old blog now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here, especially if my opinion differs than Megs. (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Series: The Trylle Trilogy #1
Source: own paperback
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: January 3rd 2012
Age Genre: Young Adult
Originally published: Sep 16, 2012
When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes.
Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home.
Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

Sorry for the language in this review. This book makes me emotionally unstable. 
So, I'm actually going to start Tuesday Oldie with one of my my most hated books ever. Switched is a book I'd rather forget I've ever read, though it provides great rant material. It's widely loved, so yes - I'm a minority in my opinion. But I'm really not one to hold my tongue.

I'll admit to getting this book solely for the cover. I mean, look at it! It's absolutely stunning! And the summary sounded rather interesting, too, and my friends loved it... yeah, I had all the reasons in the world to get this book, and to love it. Except I didn't. Because it drove me mad.

The short version is - Insta love. Annoying heroine. A love interest with what appears to have multiply personality disorder and a "romance" that borders on obsessive. And those are just a few. If those sound like things that may turn you off... don't read this book. 

Now, I'll admit - this book is intriguing solely for its choice of supernatural beings. Trolls are not the everyday literature heroes. But of course, Hocking's trolls are the farthest thing away from the big, ugly boulders of rock we're accustomed to. In fact, they just look like supermodel humans! So, maybe not that different from everyday literary creatures... 

Now, moving to the Long Version (because, let's face it, what kind of rant would it be if I used the short version?!) - 

Wendy is our MC, and at first I liked her. She was a breathe of fresh air among all the pretty heroines who think they're ugly. But then she had to ruin it by thinking herself average compared to. And it was her only redeeming quality, too! Because when Wendy started obsessing over Finn, she completely lost me. If she didn't manage to make me laugh a few times, I might've burned her at the Worst MC stake.
Only time I really felt for her? When everyone were furious with her for doing something wrong, when she couldn't have known better because no one explained a single thing to her! 

Now, what can I say about Finn? It's not often that I outright dislike a main male character. But I didn't like this one - not even when he was playing nice. And most of the time he wasn't. Most of the time he was a jerk. Or he was distant. At the end, I never got what Wendy sees in him. 

But I'll be honest. I liked almost all the supporting characters. Too bad this trilogy isn't about them, cause I'd read Tove's story, or Rhys's (who was just such a cute one!) or Matt's (another cutie).

Now we're getting to the major rant. This is going to be huge. Be warned. Because the romance.... just... Oh. My. Fuckin'. Freakin'. Tripping. God. WHY?!
I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to kill Wendy. I just wanted it to end already! This was so Insta Love...
This was one of the worst case of Insta Love I've ever seen, and I couldn't find one good reason for them to fall in love! Just to clarify things for you... It takes her four days to decide she's fallen in love with him. In those four days, their contact is summed to: 
The Following contains spoilers about the first 100 pages of so. I hid it best I could behind [ ]. Just mark it to see the dreadfulness.
[On the first day, they barely talk, she accuses him of creepily staring at her and he promises he'll try not to bother her with it (not to stop, mind you, just not to bother her with it). 
On the second day, he insults her and acts like a total jerk. Oh, and he ends up Edward style on her windowsill and breaks the news she's a troll. Wendy's reaction? Learning he's only stalking her as part of his job makes her sad that he's not stalking her cause he wants to. WTF?! How desperate for attention (not to mention f*cked up) are you?! Then he tells her he needs to take her to an effing compound and somehow they reach the point where Wendy realized there's been others before her. Which makes her utter this lovely gem:
"Crazy I could deal with. Slutty, not so much".
What. Is. Wrong. With. You?! taking you to a compound is okay, but the idea you're not the first he'll take to the compound (and no, this is not a euphemism for something dirty), is not?! Dear lord. 
But wait, it gets worse, because she spends the third day wondering why isn't she leaving with him, because she really likes the idea of a life with him (whhhhy? And when did you ever get the impression the compound would lead to a life with him!?) and the only thing keeping her there is her family. After one last attempt to make her come with him, he leaves. 
And so, she spends the forth day depressed about his departure (Bella issues much? At least Bella knew Edward months more than you know Finn!). Luckily for her, he saves her from a kidnapping attempt! And, god almighty, save me. She was slapped around, kicked and beaten - but she wouldn't trade it for anything because it led to Finn touching and looking at her tenderly.]
The "love" in this story completely overshadowed and overpowered the plot, to the point where I felt there wasn't much of the latter. Thankfully, it all eased up after the first 100 pages, which was just so much better to the degree I could actually enjoy their first kiss.
And yes, you had to suffer through all that to get to this admission ;)

Also, I liked the ending. And I think that if this story took a slightly different turn (like erasing this god-awful romance and focusing around the troll story more), I might have liked it. But it didn't. 

P.S Someone, please answer me this - do people really say Foxy nowadays?!