Friday, May 31, 2013

Review of The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Title/Author: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani
Publisher/Date published: HarperCollins, May 14th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: “The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.”

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed — Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

Guys, there's pretty much nothing I love better than magical boarding schools! Seriously, I will pretty much pick up anything if it mentions even a hint of this in the summary. And The School for Good and Evil was such a fun book!

We meet Sophie and Agatha in their village, everything Sophie does is geared towards getting picked to go to the School for Good and Evil and become a fairytale princess. This is probably even the reason why she's befriended Agatha, who appears to be a shoe-in for the Evil side of the school. I adored the interaction between these girls and how two opposites can be true friends!

And OMG, the SCHOOL!! Seriously! It was just wonderful! Nothing will ever beat Hogwarts, but this school does put up a good fight! I loved all the classes, such as Uglification and Animal Communication and how both Agatha and Sophie excell in them, especially how Sophie doesn't really WANT to be good at Evil, but manages to be anyway. There were some laugh out loud funny moments and I loved it!

Sophie is the pretty girl who is determined to get what she wants, and she's not above using dirty tricks and even people to get her way. Sometimes she even forgets that she's actually a nice person and a friend to Agatha in her drive to be on the Good side of the school. And at these moments, I really didn't like her. But she does redeem herself and I love that she changes her ugly clothes into dresses any fashionista would be proud to wear.

Agatha is the smart one. She works hard at both Sophie's and her own classes and while she's not exactly accepted by the other Good students, she remains true to herself. She's a loyal friend and I really liked seeing her grow as a person.

Of course there's a boy and things get a bit ugly and there's an evil that needs defeating. But what most shines about this book is the wonderful storytelling and the friendship between Sophie and Agatha. I really loved all the magical creatures and learning that there's more to the school than meets the eye. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel, because I'm sure Sophie and Agatha aren't done having adventures!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA: Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

So today we get to talk about two things: blogger development and genre fiction. I don't know how helpful I'll be at the first subject, but let's give this a go.

Blogger Development

Even though I've been doing this for almost 3 years now, I still feel like such a newbie! I'm not one of the big blogs out there and I'm ok with that. I do however think that over the years I've grown as a blogger, I've begun showing more of myself through my Daisy Updates and I've made friends through Twitter. I've let the though that I should be pushing myself to become the next big thing go, because I don't want to force myself to be someone other than myself on this blog.
I do have some tips though:

-Twitter is your friend: seriously, if you want to get yourself some blogging friends, Twitter is probably the easiest place to start. Everyone is very friendly and open and you can just jump in a conversation. I love that I can connect with people all over the world through this and it's a good way to market your blog.

-Requesting arcs is easy, make sure you have the time to read them: I am so guilty of this pitfall... There are so many shiny books up on Edelweiss and NetGalley and if you're lucky enough to be able to get your hands on physical arcs, it is SO tempting to just request EVERYTHING. Before you know it you'll be gleefully swimming in ARCs. Then comes the panic of knowing you can never ever read all of them before the release date...

-Be yourself: people will know if you're pretending to be someone you're not and hey, nobody likes that! People will like you for who you are, there's a book reading buddy for everyone :)

-Decide if you want to brand yourself: having a sort of 'genre blog' can be the way to attract a large following, but decide for yourself if that is what you want. There are pros and limitations that come with this. I'm an eclectic reader and my blog shows that, but there are blogs that focus mainly on YA or romance or urban fantasy or well, basically anything that comes to mind.

-Enjoy yourself: this is possibly the best advice anyone could give you in my opinion. Because if you're not doing it because you love it, why would you put all of this time and effort into it??

Genre Fiction

I do appreciate literary fiction, I do. But if you scroll through the posts on my blog, you will find out that I'm ALL OVER genre fiction. I love that possibilities that come with it! I'll list some of my favourite genres and favourites in said genre:

-Fantasy: this is quite possibly my biggest love. Dragons and knights and swordfighting! There's just something about a guy with a sword...
Some favourites that come to mind are A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson, Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Witchlanders by Lena Coakley, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

-Historical Romance: I love swooning over strong heroes and beautiful heroines and balls and gorgeous dresses and ALL OF THE EMOTIONS! Seriously, these books have some of the best romances out there. And kissing ;)
Some of my favourite authors: Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan (though I know her Firelight series is probably better known than her historical romance), Julia Quinn, Katharine Ashe.

-Paranormal Romance: particularly of the YA version. There are some bad eggs in this genre, some Twilight-wannabes, but there are also some of the most compelling stories I've ever read.
Favourites: Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead (I've only read the first 3, but they are AWESOME), Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Goddess Test series by Aimee Carter, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Die For Me by Amy Plum, The Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand.

Ok, somebody stop me before I just list ALL the books I love!

So any recommendations for me? Books we share a love for? Tips for becoming a better blogger? Let me know!

Review of Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Title/Author: Black City (Black City #1) by Elizabeth Richards
Publisher/Date published: Putnam Sons BYR, November 13th 2012
How I got this book: bought it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable — they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed — but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Guys, I had some issues with this book. And I have to admit that it almost made me DNF it. I probably would have if it hadn't been for the shelving over of the money I did for the hardcover. I'm kinda glad I sticked with it though.

I kinda get this sour tast in my mouth whenever there's talk of a special kind of 'soul mate' for different species. Mainly because it's a convenient vehicle for insta-love, because well, why would you need an actual relationship when you can go BOOM! LOVE!
And this time it really annoyed me, because Ash and Natalie REALLY don't get along and then all of a sudden Ash discovers she's his special snowflake and BAM they're in love. Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? This happened pretty early on and I kinda almost just put it down for good.

But I continued on for reasons I explained above and while the lovestory REALLY didn't work for me, the rest of it was pretty interesting. The Darklings are really interesting, and the half-bloods very much more so. And this nasty thing infecting Darklings which causes them to go mad is horrifying! And seriously, the whole political intrigue was just so dark and scary! It's a harsh world that Elizabeth Richards has created and her writing really made this dark atmosphere come to life.

There's something about cults that is just so scary to me! And Puritan Rose's movement very much felt like a cult. Without seeing much of him, he is one scary villain! It was pretty awful to see how it could turn someone who claims to care about Natalie into a monster.

I think that if the romance had been better, I would have really loved this book. But it just felt off and too convenient and for all that Ash said he loved Natalie, he blew her off to hang out with another girl, which did have an explanation in the end, but seriously? You cannot do that.

The chapters leading up to the end were REALLY good though and I'm kinda leaning towards picking up Phoenix, but I'm gonna wait for the paperback this time.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013 Introductions!

So it's time for Armchair BEA for all of us sad little bloggers who don't get to go to this amazing event for whatever reason. I would love to be in New York right now, but as I live in Holland, that just costs a whole lot of money...
But let me introduce myself:

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Hi! My name is Daiy, I'm a 25-year-old doctor, girlfriend, food enthusiast and of course self-proclaimed book nerd. I've been blogging for almost 3 years now, I got into it through the College Students group over on Goodreads. Jamie asked who wanted to be part of a book blog and I jumped at the chance and the result is The Broke and the Bookish. Only blogging every now and then wasn't enough for me and I decided to start my own blog.

2. Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location. Feel free to share pictures.
I live in Holland, Nijmegen to be exact. Nijmegen is home to a huge four day walking event every year in July, people all over the country and even some international folks come to my city for this and there's a festival during the whole week surrounding this event.

3. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
I'm currently reading A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin, I love this series so much! My two favourite reads of 2013 are The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson (I was lucky enough to receive an e-arc and guys, it was SO GOOD) and Splintered by A.G. Howard.

4. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
HOGWARTS! Seriously, I would KILL for a Hogwarts acceptance letter and a chance to study magic there! Oh, and all the awesome balls in my beloved historical romance novels, because what can be more romantic than being swept across a ballroom by a handsome man? :)

5. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
I love that I've gotten to know so many amazing people over the years! I love that I can geek out with you guys over books and boys in books and just discuss all of my favourite things! I love that when I have a problem or I'm a bit down, I can just go on Twitter and someone will be around to cheer me up. Everyone is so friendly and accepting and I'm just really grateful that I get to share my love of reading and that it's NORMAL to read as much as I do! And the book recommendations! I probably wouldn't have read half of the book I did if it wasn't for all your aweseome recommendations!

So that's me in a nutshell! I hope everyone's enjoying Armchair BEA and isn't too jealous of all those people having fun at BEA without us... I will live vicariously through tweets and recaps and such, but for now I'm glad to join in on the fun right here!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review of Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith

Title/Author: Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith
Publisher/Date published: Touchstone, May 7th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: From the author of A Rose for the Crown and Daughter of York comes another engrossing historical novel of the York family in the Wars of the Roses, telling the fascinating story of the rise and fall of the final and favorite mistress of Edward IV.

Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore — but her heart belongs to another. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane Shore from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain and friend, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows his King will find her irresistible.

Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as that of Jane Shore and Will Hastings, hang in the balance.

This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for 500 years, and told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.

You may have heard of my anglophilic tendencies before, I LOVE historical fiction revolving around the English royals! There are some who fascinate me more than others, namely Anne Boleyn, but part of this story also deals with one of the greatest mysteries in my opinion: what happened to the two little princes in the Tower? Elizabeth Woodville and Edward's sons.

I'd already 'met' most of the players in The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory, but I'd never heard of Jane Shore before and I must admit that she's a fascinating historical figure! It's not every day that you come across a woman who not only held the interest of England's king for 8 years as his mistress, but also went on to be the mistress to two other influential men and finally marry another!

Jane is very much a victim of her time period, because she is completely dependent on the men in her life to provide for her. I really felt for her when her first husband turned out to be impotent, because Jane was so ready to be a mother! I liked that she's bold enough to seek an annulment because of it. I liked that she never forgot where she came from and tried to help the people who used to be her neighbours when she could.
I'm kinda glad Edward is depicted as a loving scoundrel, because from everything I've learned of him, I can truly believe that's exactly what he was. He may not always have made the best decisions, particularly regarding his dealings with Eleanor Butler, but I believed he was a good man at heart and for some reason royalty always seems prone to infidelity, not that that makes it any better.

I'd seen most of the events through Anne Neville's eyes in The Kingmaker's Daughter, and seeing it through Jane's added that extra dimension to it. I love all the intrigue and was truly scared a couple of times for Jane's life. Losing your head was all too easy back then. There were a couple of surprises, but mostly I was just anxiously waiting on some stuff to happen and wondering what would happen to Jane because of said things.

Anne Easter Smith truly made me care for this remarkable woman and I loved the bits of poetry that Jane seems to sprout of the top of her head, they were very clever. I did think that some of the 'bad guys' were a bit one-dimensional, but most of the historical figures really came to life through her writing and I love that! These were real people and it's easy to forget that and just focus on the battles and murders instead of the men and women behind it.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Daisy Update (42) and Book Haul! (14)

Hi guys!

So basically, this week I spent a whole lot of time doing gloriously nothing :D

Sound exciting? No? It kinda was though :) I cooked, I read, I slept, I spent quality time with the boyfriend, watched more episodes of Pretty Little Liars, it was AWESOME!

On Thursday I had an information day for my residency starting in September and we had a sort of speeddate with the GPs we could be interning with for a whole year, so I was kinda nervous about that and afterwards I was just so TIRED. But the good kind of tired :)

Yesterday I went out for a high tea with some of my friends from high school and we ate yummy food and drank gallons of tea and generally had a good time. After that I visited my parents and got them to hand over one of their dogs for the week, so I now have a reading buddy :) This also forces me to leave the house a couple of times a day, which is a good thing, cause I get lazy.

And that's pretty much it. Do you know how much I love how uneventful this week has been? :D MORE OF THIS IN THE COMING WEEK!

Book Haul

It's been a while since I did a Book Haul here, if I'd want to recap everything since the last time, it'd take way too long, so I'm just gonna list what I got my hands on over the last two weeks:

Egalleys for review:
-Asylum by Madeleine Roux: it sounds SO CREEPY! :D
-The Angel Stone by Juliet Dark: I really enjoyed the first book in this series and am excited to get to the sequels.
-All Our Yesterday by Cristin Terrill: this just sounds SO GOOD! And something that the boyfriend could read as well :)
-Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: ALL THE EXCITEMENT! I loved Code Name Verity SO MUCH!
-The Rules of You and Me by Shana Norris: sounds like the perfect summer read to me :)
-Tumble & Fall by Alexandra Coutts: what would YOU do if you only had a couple of days left to live, together with the rest of the world?
-I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe: I love Katharine Ashe's historical romance and this one has a 'dashing sea captain' in it! Which is almost as good as a (gentleman) pirate! :D
-The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes: they meet at a MASQUED BALL! YES I WILL READ THIS!
-The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville: unexpected love and deceit and all of these good things :)
-Invisible by Marni Bates: I've heard many good things about Awkward and this just sounds really cute!
-Resist by Sarah Crossan: ok, so I haven't read Breathe yet, but I'm dying to! And then I can just continue with this! :D
-Confessions of Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey: this series is amazing and I'm probably gonna cry at this final book, cause we all know what happens to Marie Antoinette...

Not pictured: One Doctor by Brendan Reilly

-Inferno by Dan Brown: it was a total bargain and I couldn't resist the shiny cover!
-The Heiresses by Allison Rushby: about triplet in 1926 London. Need I really say more?
-Impossible by Nancy Werlin: a modern day fairytale about a family curse, COUNT ME IN.
-Beauty by Nancy Ohlin: set in a boarding school in a fantasy world. Seriously, why would I NOT read this?
-Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent: I own the whole series and have read none of the books, but I'm sure they will be awesome!
-Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins: yes, I do still need to read the first book... But the covers are so pretty!
-A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt: LOVE THIS SERIES! Can't wait to finally read this last book!
-If I Should Die by Amy Plum: very much loved Die For Me and I really need to get on with the series!
-The Summer I Became a Nerd by Leah Rae Miller: it looks ADORABLE!

Leave me a link and I'll be sure to check out your haul!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review of Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

Title/Author: Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor #1) by Jennifer McGowan
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster, May 7th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.

For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

Ok, so you may now how I'm a huge anglophile? And I'm slightly obsessed with anything to do with English royalty of the past. So this combined in a YA historical fiction made me all excited! And I'm happy to report I was thoroughly entertained by Maid of Secrets.

Though I did have to get over the fact that I was constantly thinking 'but WHY would the queen hire a group of young girls to do all these things for her???' It seemed slightly implausible to me and I kinda struggled with this a bit throughout the novel.

But I did very much like the girls in question, especially Meg and Jane. I must say that reading books like these made me thankful for my sheltered childhood and teens, because to already have learned everything these girls know by the time they're 17? Yeah, that's kinda harsh. They've really had to made a living for themselves and are frequently involved in live-and-death type plots. And then there's the threath of imprisonment when they don't obey the queen or her councillors, who may not always have the same agenda.

I loved seeing Meg navigate her way through all of this and I was genuinely rooting for her. I liked that she's smart and street-savvy and at least TRIES to do the right thing, even if it isn't always easy. And you guys, I loved the scenes with her and Rafe! Rafe is mysterious enough to intrigue me and seems to care enough to forgive him for the not-so-decent things he sometimes pulls on Meg. And I'd really like to see more of him in the next novel!

The murder mystery and the search through the castle with all the hidden passageways and danger lurking around every corner had me turning the pages, wanting to know out exactly WHO was behind all of it. I did figure out who it was before Meg did, which was mostly due to some seemingly random scene that had me thinking there had to be MORE to this person.

This was a strong debut for Jennifer McGowan and a good start to a series, which I expect to only become better with the next books! I still have lots of questions, most of them revolving around Meg's parents, but Maid of Secrets did wrap up the storyline nicely and I'm relieved it didn't end with a cliffhanger. Highly recommended to anglophiles like me!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review of The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Title/Author: The Goddess Inheritance (Goddess Test #3) by Aimee Carter
Publisher/Date published: Harlequin Teen, February 26 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley and bought a shiny finished copy

Goodreads summary: Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her - until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.


It is no secret that I love Greek mythology and this series is one of my favourites that involves this. Goddess Interrupted ended on such a cliffhanger that I was both REALLY anxious and REALLY scared to finally get to The Goddess Inheritance. Not to mention my fear of reading the last book in a series.

But I shouldn't have worried, because I can totally trust Aimee Carter to bring the awesome and give me some closure! The thing I love about series and that makes me love this one so much is that I could just slip right back into this world and catch up with the characters effortlessly, it's like reconnecting with old friends and I love that!

Kate has grown so much over the course of the series and I love that she's a strong woman who knows what she wants. I thought the whole thing with her getting pregnant at the end of Goddess Interrupted was pretty sudden and SO unexpected, but though Kate hadn't planned have a baby at her age, she definitely wants this baby. The protectiveness and love adds another layer to her relationship with Henry and I just loved it!

And Henry... I'm such a big fan of Henry. He may be infuriatingly stubborn at times, but he's just so swoonworthy and sexy in all his power that I can totally forgive him for this. Though I kinda didn't get how he could be so naive sometimes! Seriously! Kate is missing and people keep this from him with lame excuses? I mean, seriously?? If only he'd been more about taking action and people wouldn't have kept him in the dark, it would have solved SO MANY problems!!


This was one of those books that I just could not put down! It was so actionpacked and the stakes were so high, I was just on the edge of my seat the whole time! It was filled with sweet moments and heartbreaking moments and WHAT? NO!! moments and just all of those good feelings! Though I am fully satisfied with this ending to an amazing series, I cannot help but wish Aimee Carter will write more stories set in this world and maybe centering around Kate and Henry's kid? Because he seems pretty special. Though I'm also fine with just more Kate-books, because she rocks and I don't think she's done having adventures!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review of Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath

Title/Author: Lord of Wicked Intentions (The Lost Lords of Pembrook #3) by Lorraine Heath
Publisher/Date published: Avon, April 30th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Lord Rafe Easton may be of noble blood, but survival taught him to rely only on himself and to love no one. Yet when he sets his eyes on Miss Evelyn Chambers, and earl's illegitimate daughter, he is determined to have her, if only as his mistress.

After her father's death, Evelyn Chambers never imagined she would be sold to the highest bidder, yet circumstances give her little choice except to accept the lord's indecent proposal. Rafe is wealthy, as well as ruthless. Yet his coldness belies deep passion and deeper secrets. If she must be his, Evelyn intends to lay bare everything the Lord of Pembrook is hiding. But dark discoveries threaten to destroy them both until unexpected love guides the last lost lord home.

I really enjoyed Lord of Temptation and Deck the Halls With Love, earlier books in this series and I was really excited to start Lord of Wicked Intentions! And I wasn't disappointed!

Evelyn is the illegitimate child of an earl and though her father loved her very much, he didn't really think she was fit for polite society, or so she discovers after his death. Her brother, who is a hateful man, decides to try and buy off his debt through selling his half-sister as a mistress to vile men. Of course Rafe steps in and makes some death threaths and whisks Evelyn away to his own mansion.

Evelyn was pretty naive. I get that she's been sheltered and everything, but well, she's got that starry-eyed child sens around her and it kinda annoyed me at times. I did like that she doesn't hang her head, but accepts what life has thrown at her and makes the most of it.

Rafe is a pretty hard man. Circumstances have made him that way and I liked that although he thinks he's all mister tough guy, he secretly has this really big heart and does things for people without them realizing it and without expecting gratitude. I just wanted so bad for him to give his brothers another chance and to have him be a part of the family again! And for all his taking Evelyn away to become his mistress, I liked that he waited for her to be ok with intimacies and get to know him a bit.

So I know that in romance novels in general if one half of the couple is a little 'broken', love (and sex, let's be honest) cures this all of a sudden. But really, I was just sort of not convinced here. I mean, he has had a problem with people touching him for YEARS. And suddenly he's completely ok with it. Yeah... I'm not buying this.

They did have really good chemistry and some things that happened towards the end made me cry and I love when books make me cry! There were a couple of things that made me roll my eyes, but overall this was a very enjoyable read!

My rating: 4 stars

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daisy Update (41) On a Monday!

So I usually do this on Sundays, but as I was kinda busy yesterday I thought, well, let's just do it on Monday instead :)

Last time I told you guys how I was SO EXCITED about getting accepted for the GP residency and the Monday after I got a call telling me I could start in September 2013 instead of March 2014!! This lead to more excitement of course, cause now I won't have to look for a job to tie me over and I can just START! YAY! I feel really lucky and happy and just HURRAY! :D

So that week I only had to work Monday till Wednesday and I actually had a pretty decent evening shift, with only 1 patient coming into the ER. Which is awesome, because really, it's been insanely busy the last couple of months and now I just had room to breathe. And eat, which is pretty unusual.

Friday it was the boyfriend's birthday and we had some friends over in the afternoon who stayed for dinner and his and my family came over after, it was really fun and kinda exhausting. I kinda yawned the guests away around 11.30PM and after a while they got the hint ;)

Saturday we went out for drinks with some friends, which was fun and Sunday it was Mother's Day and it was time to go hug my mom and have dinner with her, my dad and my brother. We don't really spend a lot of time together as a family and it was nice to just have it be the four of us.

Last week was just BUSY. All together I think I worked 75 hours, which is sorta crazy. I was working on one of the wards again and I just love that! I also love that there are now 2 residents on a ward and I have so much more time to get to know the patients instead of just 'managing' them! It's nice to be able to do a little extra for them and not run around like a crazy person trying to get everything done on time! And now I actually have time to get coffee and socialize a bit with the other residents and nurses :)

Have you guys heard anything about the Eurovision Song Contest? I watched the semi-final on Thursday and seriously, I just laughed SO HARD at some of the performances! If you're interested in seeing why, I'll leave the links to the youtube clips of Macedonia and Romania:

Where did they get all that red fabric???

Move over Edward, here's another glittering vampire!

Oh, and just because I've been singing this with one of my coworkers ALL DAY Friday:

Even after a couple of years, it's still hilarious!

So, enough of these musical shenanigans!

Saturday was my last 24-hour shift and it was kinda ok! I only had one patient in the ER ALL DAY! Seriously, I was so surprised! One patient is pretty much NOTHING. I did have some sick patients on our wards, but for a whole day it was pretty ok. Two had a lot of fluid in their chest and I totally rocked doing a punction and draining some of it. It's still a little scary to stick a pretty big needle in someone's chest, but it went really well and it helped the patients! I didn't get much sleep at night because of some questions over the phone and one patient died, which was expected, but still.

Yesterday I just conked out when I got home and in the afternoon it was time for the annual barbecue we have with the boyfriend's friends. They have a carnival this weekend every year and we always get together for the barbecue at someone's house, this year it was at the boyfriend's parents' and it was really fun! They pretty much all have girlfriends and I like hanging out with them. I didn't join them when they went on to the carnival, because I was ready to fall asleep standing up and decided it was a better idea to just go home.

Today I'm just gonna give into my hermit tendencies and relax and not look presentable, because hey, noone's home except for me. I have 3 whole weeks off and I plan on reading ALL THE BOOKS and watching Pretty Little Liars and Grey's Anatomy and cook yummy food and maybe go on a little vacation and just have lots of quality time with the boyfriend! :) Oh, and go shopping. Cause seriously, what's time off without a little retail therapy? :)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review of The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy

Title/Author: The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom (The League of Princes #1) by Christopher Healy
Publisher/Date published: Walden Pond Press, May 1st 2012
How I got this book: bought myself a pretty copy
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary:
Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav.

You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White and Rapunzel, but you probably know them all as 'Prince Charming'. Well, all that is about to change as the hapless princes stumble upon an evil plot and get a second chance to prove themselves true heroes.

Seriously, reading this book was one of my better decisions this month! It was SO MUCH FUN!

First off, you guys should know that I love fairytales. LOVE. And I love any book that deals with them or reads like one and this novel getting deeper into the different prince charmings out there is just SO MY THING!

I don't read many funny books, and I'm not sure why not, cause this was hilarious! I laughed out loud a couple of times, which earned me weird glances from the boyfriend at times. I loved getting to know the characters flaws and all and they've all earned a special place in my heart. But to be honest, I think my favourites are Liam and Duncan. Liam is what I'd want my prince charming to be like and Duncan is just so sweet! All four of them are great characters, but these two stole my heart.

I loved that we get to see them in their full glory and get a little more of a backstory on the princes, because, let's face it, it's mostly all about the princesses in fairytales. Most of them don't even have a name in the story and that's what's adressed in The Hero's Guide To Saving Your Kingdom.

I read this in no time at all and was highly entertained the whole time. The writing if witty, funny and engaging, I really fell for these characters and was rooting for them! It's a bit of a silly romp, but sometimes you need that in your life and it made for a great read-a-thon read! I already have The Hero's Guide To Storming The Castle staring at me, so I'll be reading that soon :)

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review of Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Title/Author: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead
Publisher/Date published: Razorbill, November 13th 2008
How I got this book: own it
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all... might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line - and choose between the two people she loves most.


So if I had read this back when I didn't worry about review piles who needed clearing, I probably would have DEVOURED these books in the space of a week. They are THAT addictive!

With every book I love Rose more. She is such a kickass character and she's what makes these books shine. I mean, sure, I am as likely to drool over Dimitri as the next girl, but Rose is who I ultimately read this series for. I love her loyalty and how she truly gives everything of herself. She's committed and I respect that.

And for those of you who have met Dimitri: do I really need to say anything other than THIS MAN!! *SWOON*

Rose and Dimitri together are just amazing and I was happy and happy and frolicking along, reading the book and then all of a sudden WHAM! BIG PLOT TWIST! And OMG, I can't believe I forgot for a minute which series I was reading and how Richelle Mead manages to pull at my heartstrings EVERY TIME! And like I said to Judith from Paper Riot THINGS NEED TO BE FIXED! I mean, seriously, I will never forgive Richelle Mead if things DON'T get fixed! Seriously!

I so need to read the next book...

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For My Mother

Today's Mother's Day, and while I feel that you should show your mother you love her EVERY day, today is still a special day.

I love my mom and I am so thankful we have a good relationship! She's always there for me and supports me no matter what and I love that I can share my love of reading with her! She's the one who read stories to me and took me to the library when I started reading books myself. Anytime I have news, either good or bad, I just call my mom. I love our spa days together and the days when we just sit together watching TV or reading.

So mom, even though you're probably not reading this, I just want to say that I love you and that I'm so happy that you're MY mom! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review of How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

Title/Author: How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer
Publisher/Date published: Balzer & Bray, April 23rd 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie - like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?

Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.

Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?

Guys, you have no idea how much I would have loved to work at an amusement park as a summer job when I was in my teens. Seriously, that would have been EPIC. Especially if you can share it with friends. So of course I jumped at the chance to read How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True!

And it was so much fun! This is why I read contemporaries every now and then! I love that they can have an extremely fun and cute storyline and mix it up with real issues. I loved that I could identify with Zoe and her love for her best friend, her cousin. I loved how she had all these memories connected to the place she was working at and how she gave everything even if she didn't really felt appreciated.

And seriously, I totally loved pretty much the whole cast of this novel! From the prince charming who is terribly afraid of horses to the Queen herself who can be put in a better mood by getting a piece of dark chocolate and having it NEVER MENTIONED that she gets this with her lunch from Zoe. LOVE.

I also really enjoyed the scenes with Zoe and the boy who turns out to be her very own prince charming after all and how she could be herself with him and even talk about her mother who passed away. Even though I did think a lot of the problems in this novel could have been sorted out easily if people just TALKED TO EACH OTHER, but yeah, that's usually the problem ;) I loved all the intrigue going on in Fairyland and the competitiveness because of the chance of winning a LOT of money. I don't want to spoil it, but I seriously laughed at the ending when all is revealed.

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True has everything I need to put a smile on my face and I read it in no time at all! I read it during the dark hours of Dewey's read-a-thon, but I think it would be perfect to dream away with on a sunny afternoon when you have nothing going on. I'm definitely going to be reading more by Sarah Strohmeyer!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review of The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway

Title/Author: The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway
Publisher/Date published: Dutton, April 23rd 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: “You are now a member of the Guild. There is no return.” Two hundred years after he was about to die on a Napoleonic battlefield, Nick Falcott, soldier and aristocrat, wakes up in a hospital bed in modern London. The Guild, an entity that controls time travel, showers him with life's advantages. But Nick yearns for home and for one brown-eyed girl, lost now down the centuries. Then the Guild asks him to break its own rule. It needs Nick to go back to 1815 to fight the Guild’s enemies and to find something called the Talisman.

In 1815, Julia Percy mourns the death of her beloved grandfather, an earl who could play with time. On his deathbed he whispers in her ear: “Pretend!” Pretend what? When Nick returns home as if from the dead, older than he should be and battle scarred, Julia begins to suspect that her very life depends upon the secrets Grandfather never told her. Soon enough Julia and Nick are caught up in an adventure that stretches up and down the river of time. As their knowledge of the Guild and their feelings for each other grow, the fate of the future itself is hanging in the balance.

I am a bit unsure of how I should review this book. There were some really good parts and some stuff that didn't make all that much sense to me. Let me try to explain.

I thought the writing was really good, it was engrossing and Bee Ridgway really managed to make me excited about time travel again. The only problem was that she got me all wanting to know EVERYTHING and we barely got answers. Nd while the writing was good, I did still feel like barely anything happened. The plot was SO SLOW. I was still entertained, but looking back, there were huge stretches of the novel in which nothing actually happened to propell the story onward.

I liked Nick, he's a truly good guy. I liked that he adjusted to the 21st century and how he at first had trouble accepting that he couldn't go back and then that he could in fact go back! I mean, I can totally understand the doubts and hesitation that comes with something like this! Julia was a bit too passive for me to truly connect with her. I wasn't completely sold on the romance between her and Nick either. I mean, his sorta obsession with her is based on one moment. It felt a little too much like insta-love too me and while I do think they had a connection, it wasn't enough to fully convince me.

But oh my lord, I absolutely ADORED Arkady, Nick's Russian companion! He is the most quotable of the characters and says things like "Because it's beautiful and romantic to do so" and I LOVED it! He may not always be a good guy, but he's such an interesting, passionate character that I can forgive him for this.

I think what bothered me the most is that the plot was moving along at a turtle's pace and then all of a sudden it just ended. And I just have all these questions! It doesn't say anywhere if there'll be a sequel! And I'm... confused. I hate it when endings are like that! It makes me reconsider the whole book because it leaves me with a bad feeling.

So I'm a bit unsure about The River of No Return. While it was an entertaining story, the plot dragged a bit and then the ending just threw me completely off! The whole time travel concept Bee Ridgway introduces us to is fascinating, but I still have so many unanswered questions. I really hope there'll be a sequel!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review of The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Title/Author: The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter #1) by Megan Shepherd
Publisher/Date published: Balzer & Bray, January 29th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London — working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward — both of whom she is deeply drawn to — Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius — and madness — in her own blood.

So this book has been ALL OVER the blogosphere the last couple of months and people whose taste in books I trust completely have been RAVING about it. So yes, there were all these expectations. And I have to say that most of them were met!

I've never read The Island of Dr. Moreau and so as not to accidentally read about plotlines/spoilers, I didn't google it before reading The Madman's Daughter (ok, so I know it was there first, but I wanted to experience this story just as it is). And guys, The Madman's Daughter totally makes me want to read The Island of Dr. Moreau!! I love how these retellings make me excited to read the classics!

I really liked Juliet. She's a tough sixteen-year-old and I totally respect her for learning everything she knows about anatomy, because girls were definitely not allowed to know stuff like that back then. I love that she uses this knowledge to defend herself against someone who assaults her. LOVED it. I also loved that she was a little off.

Actually, I loved that there was pretty much something off with ALL of the characters! I never knew who to trust and it was all just SO CREEPY! Oh my gosh, Megan Shepher really brought the chills and shock and sometimes openmouthed horror. And I loved it! It's slightly scary that I can understand what the doctor did on a scientific level, yet it horrifies me at the same time.

The only thing that I didn't really feel was the love triangle. I was firmly fixed on one boy, who turned out to be the right pick after all (am so not telling you who it is though ;) ) and I LOVED the moments between Juliet and this boy.

I was so swept away by the storytelling! I was constantly at the edge of my seat wanting to find out what happens next! And seriously, the ending near broke my heart!! I cannot wait to find out what happens in the sequel, because OMG, how are they all ever going to recover from this??

My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Daisy Update (40)

Hi guys!!

It's the end of a beautiful sunny Sunday and I'm just now finding the will to sit behind my computer instead of on our balcony just reading the day away.

As I mentioned in my last Daisy Update, I had a whole glorious week off starting April 20th and it was in fact glorious! I did virtually nothing except be at home with the boyfriend, watch Pretty Little Liars, read and eat. And I loved every minute of it! We had originally planned to go abroad, but because of the boyfriend's job interview we stayed at home and honestly, it's probably brought me more relaxation than going on a city trip and running around trying to see everything before going home again. I love going on vacation, but I love spending time at home as well. It seems that I'm rarely home these days and it's nice to be able to just relax for a bit.

On Tuesday some of my friends came over for dinner, which is kinda perfect because I love cooking for other people when I have the time! We had a great time catching up, we're all doctors and it's rare for our schedules to line up enough that we can actually get together, so this was pretty great!

On Wednesday my brand new Sony ereader got delivered!! And oh my gosh, I love it so much! I'm still feeling guilty towards my old ereader and haven't been able to bring myself to move it from its regular spot on the back of the couch... But my new one is so much faster and it has a touch screen and is all kinds of shiny and yeah, I kinda just adore it.

Thursday the boyfriend and I went to the zoo and apparantly we'd chosen a day when a LOT of schools were planning a field trip there as well, so there were a lot of kids running around, screaming. I like kids, there were just a lot of them... We had fun looking at all the animals and a giraffe actually came close enough that I could have touched its head if I hadn't been such a chicken! We had a lovely day together :)

Friday we went shopping and I bought a dress that I'm not sure when I'll be able to wear it, as it is a bit on the fancy side, but I loved it so much that I just had to get it! Maybe I can wear it while applying for a job or something... Oh, and SHOES! I bought two pairs of shoes :) It was actually kinda funny because the sales lady was asking me if I'd decided which pair I wanted and looked really surprised when I said both.

Saturday I participated in Dewey's 24-hour Read-a-Thon and it was AWESOME! Sunday was pretty much just spent having a read-a-thon hangover and watching TV with the boyfriend.

Last week I was again working on one of the wards and I just loved it! I love getting to know the patients and working with one of my fellow residents and the nurses and just feeling part of a team. Tuesday was a national holiday here, Queen's Day, and I was the lucky one who got to work the day and evening shift. It was actually a pretty big deal this year as our queen has abdicated in favor of her eldest son, who is know our new king. I saw the most important parts of the events, work wasn't too bad, only one patient came into the ER, the patients already admitted needed some looking after though, so I was busy till it was dinner time.

And you've already heard about all my excitement over getting accepted for the residency as a GP! I'm so happy! I couldn't focus on anything on Thursday night after I got the letter and gah, I still can't believe it! I was so nervous and have been stressed for two weeks waiting for the letter and now it's here and I'm just YAY!! So I bought myself books. Naturally. I don't start till March 2014, so I'll probably need to look for another job to tie me over till then, but at least I know I'm going to get into the specialty I want and that's pretty much all that matters. The boyfriend and I went out to dinner to celebrate Friday night :) Thanks to all of your for the well-wishes, I love you guys!

Yesterday it was my cousin's first birthday party and I got her an adorable little dress and a legging with pink bows on it. I doubt they'll stay white for long, but at least it looks cute. Then last night we went out to have a drink with some of the boyfriend's friends and had a really good time. Today I've just been avoiding the house and have been hanging out on our balcony, reading, it was lovely!

I hope you all had a great week as well!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Review of The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

Title/Author: The Duke and I (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn
Publisher/Date published: Avon, January 5th 2000
How I got this book: bought it
Buy it at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Can there be any greater challenge to London's Ambitious Mamas than an unmarried duke?
— Lady Whistledown's Society Papers, April 1813

By all accounts, Simon Basset is on the verge of proposing to his best friend's sister, the lovely — and almost-on-the-shelf — Daphne Bridgerton. But the two of them know the truth — it's all an elaborate plan to keep Simon free from marriage-minded society mothers. And as for Daphne, surely she will attract some worthy suitors now that it seems a duke has declared her desirable.

But as Daphne waltzes across ballroom after ballroom with Simon, it's hard to remember that their courtship is a complete sham. Maybe it's his devilish smile, certainly it's the way his eyes seem to burn every time he looks at her... but somehow Daphne is falling for the dashing duke... for real! And now she must do the impossible and convince the handsome rogue that their clever little scheme deserves a slight alteration, and that nothing makes quite as much sense as falling in love...

Guys, you know how much I love my historical romance. And after MANY recommendations from one of my Broke and Bookish buddies Julia, I FINALLY got my butt in gear and started The Duke and I. And now I'm gonna officially call myself a Julia Quinn fan!

I really loved A Night Like This when I read it last year and have been meaning to read another one of Julia Quinn's books ever since. And The Duke and I did not disappoint! It's full of the witty writing that I came to love in A Night Like This. I love that Julia Quinn combines all the swoony parts with laugh out loud funny moments, it's not easy to do right!

Daphne was a decent heroine who knows what she wants and Simon is pretty damaged, but still a swoonworthy hero. And together they bring all the sparks! I lvoed their interactions and how Daphne isn't afraid to call him out on things she doesn't like or to laugh at him. I mean, sure, I would have liked for them to work things out with words most of the time rather than doing some of the (in my opinion) relationship-destructive things they did. But of course it all works out in the end, so I'm good with it.

And seriously, I LOVE Daphne's mama! You can see the love between her and her children, but I just adored that while her sons think they're 'escaping' their mother, they don't see how they're manipulated into doing an escape trick because their mother wants time to herself. I loved it!

It didn't make me cry and I would have liked some things to be done a bit differently, but nonetheless, The Duke and I was such an enjoyable read and I'm already loving my first glimps into the Bridgerton family! I've already ordered The Viscount Who Loved Me because I've heard it's even better!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I am basically this kitty right now, I'm SO HAPPY!!! :D

You may remember how I told you I was applying for a residency as a GP and I was just FULL OF NERVES? Well, today I got the letter saying I'm accepted for the residency and just EEEE!! ALL THE EXCITEMENT!!! I'll start in March 2014, which is a bit of a wait still, but right now I don't care because YAY!! I was so worried because I didn't know what to make of the interview, but now I'm just all kinds of happy and hyper!!

I was planning to post a review tonight, but I can't really get my thoughts in a row long enough to do anything other than squee and have this big dopey grin on my face...

Just wanted to share my news with you guys :)