Sunday, September 29, 2013

Review of Summer Is For Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston

Title/Author: Summer Is For Lovers by Jennifer McQuiston
Publisher/Date published: Avon, September 24th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: His heart is unavailable.
Luckily, her interest lies in the rest of him...

Though she was just a girl when they first met, Caroline Tolbertson’s infatuation with David Cameron remains undimmed. Now fate has brought the handsome Scotsman back to Brighton for what promises to be an unforgettable summer. Soon, Caroline will have to choose a husband, but for now she is free to indulge her curiosity in things of a passionate nature.

That is, if David will agree to teach her.

Past mistakes have convinced David he’ll make a terrible husband, though he’ll gladly help the unconventional Caroline find a suitor. Unfortunately, she has something more scandalous in mind. As the contenders for her hand begin to line up, her future seems assured…provided David can do the honorable thing and let them have her.

When a spirited young woman is determined to break Society's rules, all a gentleman can do is lend a hand…or more.

Guys, it's been a while since I read a good historical romance and OMG, I totally loved this one!! I mean, I even wanted to stay awake to finish it while I was super tired!

Sometimes books like this make me very happy that I wasn't born back then, because UGH women aren't allowed to do ANYTHING! THe men are sexy and manly and everything, but still. There's only so much ogling you can do in one day.
I really liked that Caroline managed to skirt society's rules a bit by going swimming in secret and not submitting to the lameness of the sea bath machines that sound plain awful to me. I liked that she's actually better at swimming than most man are because she's been practising since she was a little girl. And I loved that David accepts this, because it's such an important part of her.

Caroline is a strong woman, who's been keeping her daily swimming a secret from both her sister and her mother because it's not exactly deemed proper for a young lady to do this. I loved how determined she was to help her mother and sister and was ready to sacrifice her own happiness to achieve this. She's so loyal to them and I admire that in a girl. And I liked that she told David exactly what was on her mind and when he's been behaving like an ass.

And David... Poor honorable, tortured David who has this worthless-complex and who doesn't believe he deserves love anymore and UGH! JUST LET ME LOVE YOU OK?? He's so determined not to be loved, he keeps pushing Caroline away and he's hurting her and OMG, it just brought ALL THE FEELINGS! Seriously, these two totally made me cry! They are so beautiful together and why can't he see it and just RIDE OFF INTO THE SUNSET TOGETHER ALREADY!

OMG, there were just so many beautiful moments! David and Caroline had wonderful chemistry and he's slowly realising she's amazing and there's jealous moments and hurt moments and rejected moments and SEXY MOMENTS and HEARTBREAKING MOMENTS and OMG I JUST LOVED IT!!!

I was so swept up in the moment that it didn't even take an effort to stay up and finish it, because it was so good I couldn't fathom going to sleep before I (uh... David and Caroline) had my (their) happily ever after! I'd never read anything by Jennifer McQuiston before, but picking up Summer Is For Lovers was definitely a good life choice and I'm excited to get my hands on her other books!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: salad with salmon

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Title/Author: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Publisher/Date published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, September 17th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Guys, I'm now officially a Leila Sales fan and she's going on my auto-read list! I absolutely loved This Song Will Save Your Life and it really deserves all the buzz it's gotten so far!

Oh man, I think so many people will relate to this book! Especially the bookworms among us who aren't natural social butterflies. Elise has a hard time fitting in at high school, or actually she's been having this problem all her life and the kids at school just don't recognize what an awesome person she is. Cause she is. I LOVE Elise! She's my kind of girl with her quirkiness and her love of music and her family! And I so felt for her! Kids can be mean and they don't always appreciate people who are different. And guys, I can absolutely relate to the feeling of not fitting in. I wasn't bullied or shut out for years like Elise, but I've had my moments. And it sucks. And I can't imagine going through that for years and still having Elise's spirit!

I adore Leila Sales' writing style! She deals with a pretty tough subject here and still manages to not make the book depressing even for a minute. I mean, I felt Elise's sadness, but it wasn't a dark book. I loved the voice she gave to Elise and she really knows how to tell a story!

And guys, can I just say how much I loved Vicky? Vicky is one of the girls Elise meets at the warehouse party and she is awesome. She genuinely wants to be Elise's friend and she's just a really good person. I love her and her claiming her own dance space, don't care if anyone thinks she looks crazy dancing!

There's a little romantic plot with Char, but while I see how he was good for Elise in the sense that he introduced her to new things, I was never really that into him. I mean, sure, charming and a DJ, but I never felt myself swooning over him. And I was kinda hoping for something else! And in the end I got my wish, so yay!

But while there's a little romance, This Song Will Save Your Life is about Elise and how she discovers herself and what she wants to do. And that it's ok to be yourself. And that is beautiful.
I know there's been a lot of buzz about this book and that can scare people off, but seriously guys, this book deserves it! It's a compelling story that I didn't want to put down for a minute once I started it! I got completely sucked in and it was just SO GOOD! This story will stay with me for a long time!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: mushroom pasta

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Blog Tour! Review of My Ex From Hell by Tellulah Darling

Title/Author: My Ex From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #1) by Tellulah Darling
Publisher/Date published: Te Da Media, April 1st 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository Amazon B&N

Goodreads summary: Sixteen-year-old Sophie Bloom wishes she’d been taught the following:
a) Bad boy’s presence (TrOuBlE) + teen girl’s brain (DraMa) = TrAuMa (Highly unstable and very volatile.)
b) The Genus Greekulum Godissimus is notable for three traits: 1) awesome abilities, 2) grudges, and 3) hook-ups, break-ups, and in-fighting that puts cable to shame.

Prior to the Halloween dance, Sophie figures her worst problems involve adolescent theatrics, bitchy teen yoga girls, and being on probation at her boarding school for mouthy behaviour. Then she meets bad boy Kai and gets the kiss that rocks her world.
This breath stealing lip lock reawakens Sophie’s true identity: Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She’s key to saving humanity in the war between the Underworld and Olympus, target numero uno of Hades and Zeus, and totally screwed.
Plus there’s also the little issue that Sophie’s last memory as Persephone was just before someone tried to murder her.
Big picture: master her powers, get her memories back, defeat Persephone’s would be assassin, and save the world. Also, sneak into the Underworld to retrieve stolen property, battle the minions of Hades and Zeus, outwit psycho nymphs, slay a dragon, rescue a classmate, keep from getting her butt expelled from the one place designed to keep her safe...
...and stop kissing Kai, Prince of the Underworld.

Guys, you must know by know how much I love Greek Mythology. So whenever I see a spin on the classical tales pop up I immediately get excited and NEED TO READ IT. So of course I couldn't resist giving My Ex From Hell a try!

I'll be completely honest with you and say that while My Ex From Hell is not one of my favourite retellings, it did entertain me. I mean, it took some time to get used to Sophie and her friends and their way of talking. A lot of it was Sophie's way of talking and her inner monologue. She annoyed me a bit at first, mainly because she was giving mythological creatures she came across her own name and then sticking with it and sounding stupid in the process. I don't really have a high tolerance level for stupid, so that put me off a bit. But after a while she started taking everything a bit more seriously and I started liking her more.

And I did really like the friendship between Sophie and Hannah. Hannah is awesome. She's a scientist and watches the gory animal shows that I always make the boyfriend turn off because I can't look at animals devouring other animals (I know it's natural, I just don't want to watch it). She's often the voice of reason, but has her own quirky side and I liked her.

I also like the idea behind the story, of Sophie being the human version of Persephone. And Sophie gets some kickass powers! I just wished that we'd gotten to know a little more about what exactly had been going on BEFORE. Sophie can't access her Persephone memories and there are people who KNOW and who won't tell her what happened and it was majorly frustrating! I mean, I was frustrated and I didn't get why Sophie didn't just make them sit down and tell her already. I mean, seriously, it's her past. And also: I want to know.

My Ex From Hell is a pretty lighthearted view on Greek Mythology, filled with mean girls and a love interest that I'm not sure how to feel about, but I'm guessing that's exactly how Sophie feels as well. It took me some time to get into the story, but I did end up enjoying it in the end and warming up to Sophie! It ended on a cliffhanger and I'm interested to see what will happen in the sequel!

My rating: 3 stars

For the full tour schedule go here

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Review of The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Title/Author: The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy #1) by Sherry Thomas
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, September 17th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: It all began with a ruined elixir and an accidental bolt of lightning...

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation — or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family — even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life

This book, you guys, THIS BOOK!!! OMG! I already knew that Debby and Kelly loved this book, but still, I cannot believe how much I loved The Burning Sky!!

I don't even know where to begin! I read this over the space of 6 days and was excited EVERY TIME to get back to it! Know that it's not the book that made me take forever to read it, I've been SO BUSY lately that I hardly had time to breathe, let alone read. But let's get back to the part where I was EXCITED about this book! I've missed that feeling! I have read a couple of less than stellar books lately and it just felt so good to submerge myself in an amazing world again!

I totally adore both Iolanthe and Titus! They are both so incredibly strong and smart and charming and JUST LET ME HUG YOU OK?? I was rooting for them, even when Titus breaks Iolanthe's trust! They both want to do the right thing and OMG, I just, I cannot even be coherent about this! Iolanthe is awesome and powerful and brave and just generally my kind of girl! And TITUS! Did I ever tell you guys how much I love princes? Cause I do! And Titus is the right kind of prince, all swoonworthy and noble! He's created his whole life and the way he appears to the world around this task he's been given and I cannot help but admire his dedication.

AND YOU GUYS, THE ROMANCE!!! *SWOON* I wanted to shake them and just #@%& KISS ALREADY! These two definitely brought tears to my eyes and it was glorious! I loved that the romance wasn't the most important plot point, but it is there and it adds to the story and it made my heart happy!

I so love a good fantasy and Sherry Thomas really brought it with this debut novel! And there was so much for me to love! Two amazing main characters, solid worldbuilding, a romance that brought tears to my eyes and MAGIC! Be still my heart! And now the wait for the sequel will surely kill me... If you haven't picked it up already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GO READ IT!!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: French toast

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Daisy Update (50)


So it's been over a month since I last did one of these... I'm slowly getting back to writing blog posts, most of the reviews that have gone up were ones that I'd already written before. If you haven't seen it before, I talked about why I've been a bit quiet lately in this post, my parents are getting divorced and every time I opened up Blogger, my mind would just draw a blank on what to say. But I do want to thank all of you for being wonderful and understanding and for really just being there!

I'm still trying to figure out how we'll go from here as a family, but I am really ok with the divorce itself. I want my parents to be happy and if they can't be happy together, then this is ok too. There will be a lot of changes, but not all of them are bad, and we'll see what happens.

I'm not entirely sure how to put about a month and a half worth of happenings into one blogpost, but to sum it up, here's what happened since my last update:

-I went to Mallorca with the boyfriend, which was amazing and relaxing and we had such a good time! The island is beautiful! We didn't have WiFi at the hotel, so we were blisfully disconnected from the world for a whole week and it was wonderful!

-Then two days after we got back it was time to go to Amsterdam, where I met Kat and Vicky and was infinitely sad that Karin was sick and couldn't make it after all :( So Kat, Vicky and I explored Amsterdam by ourselves and of course went book shopping and had the most dreadful waiters ever at the restaurant we went to. Which was both horrifying and hilarious.
On Saturday we had a Book Blogger Picnic and I got to meet Debby, Judith, Celine and Lauren, who are all awesome Dutch book bloggers! We had so much fun and of course we went book shopping again :)

Picture courtesy of Vicky
From left to right: Lauren, Judith, Debby, Kat, Me, Celine

-Right after I left Kat and Vicky on Sunday, I headed over to our annual family barbecue, where I had a lot of fun going along with whatever game my 4-year-old nephew had thought up (he has the biggest imagination ever, it's awesome) and later that night hearing that my parents were getting divorced and basically just being a mess the rest of the week.

-On September 2nd I started my residency, YAY! I'm getting used to working full-time again and also having to study and do assignments and just feeling useful again! And I'm loving it! I'm learning so much and the people I work with are great! Once a week the other residents and I have a day at the university where we get some extra classes and watch recording of consults and I love the group I'm in! I'm also loving the advantages of working close to where you live, cause now I get to leave and come home at a reasonable time!

-I met up with Debby, Judith, Mel, Daphne and Iris at the Boekenfestijn in Utrecht, which is basically book sale heaven! We all came home with a nice pile of books and have decided to start a book club! We start next month, the first book we'll be reading is More Than This by Patrick Ness and I'm so excited!! The book doesn't sound particularly exciting, but I love hanging out with these ladies :) It's nice to finally meet some of the people I've been talking to on Twitter :)

-I had the parents' puppies stay with me for 2 weeks because my dad was in the US for his job and I'm really missing them! It was so nice to cuddle with them and just look at how cute they are:

So that about sums up all the major things that happened in my life over the last 6 weeks.

How are you guys? Having a nice relaxing Sunday?
I'm pretty much lazing around the house this weekend and enjoying the last day of being 25... Tomorrow's my birthday and I feel so old already! I'm going out to dinner with the boyfriend, one of my best friends and her boyfriend, so that's nice :)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review of False Sight by Dan Krokos

Title/Author: False Sight (False Memory #2) by Dan Krokos
Publisher/Date published: Hyperion, August 13th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: All Miranda wants is a normal life. She's determined to move past the horrible truth of her origin as a clone so she can enjoy time with her boyfriend, Peter, and the rest of her friends at school. But Miranda quickly learns that there's no such thing as normal - not for a girl who was raised to be a weapon. When one of her teammates turns rogue, it begins a war that puts the world in jeopardy. Now Miranda must follow her instincts - not her heart - in order to save everything she's fought so hard to keep. with the image of a terrible future seared into her mind, what will she have to sacrifice to protect the people she loves?


I very much enjoyed False Memory, the first book in this series and after that ending I was dying to find out what would happen next for Miranda and the rest of the Roses! So I totally squealed when I get my hands on an e-arc of False Sight! And while I didn't like it as much as False Memory, I'm still very much into this series.

In False Memory we discovered that Miranda is actually a clone and that she's the replacement of another Miranda that died recently. She's part of a team of teens trained to fight and they also have some really creepy supernatural powers. False Sight pretty much picks up where False Memory left off and we see the four of them trying to have a little bit of a normal life, going to high school. Which turns out to be a BIG mistake. Oh man, there was no easing into the story, it was BAM IN YOUR FACE because shit just got real! Something that was really shocking to me and that made me REALLY sad happened early on and it set the tone for the rest of the book.

Miranda is still a really strong character. She knows what she wants, but she also knows that you can't always have everything you want. I liked that she's not really ready to sacrifice herself for the greater good, she wants to live and that's ok. It makes her more human, I'm always amazed at anybody plunging themselves into danger seemingly without a care for their lives, because hello, you (usually) only have the one! That said, Miranda does make some rash decisions and she pays for some of them dearly.

I loved seeing the bond between the Roses become even stronger and there's such a strain on Miranda's relationship with Peter because he's also the group leader and has to do what's best for the group, but they're in love and UGH! They didn't have enough sweet moments, but they did have one towards the end and that broke my heart for them!

I wasn't really feeling the part where it turns out there are different worlds and the traveling between them and the CREEPY BEINGS that EAT PEOPLE. I mean, OMG, I could SO have done without meeting them! They were awful and I really think that they'll be in my next nightmare, because let me see this again: THEY ARE SO CREEPY! And they EAT PEOPLE!

AND THAT ENDING!! OMG!! I'm so happy I found on Dan's website that there will be a third book because it cannot end like this!! Though I'm slightly creeped out by how they are probably going to try and fix it, but still. So yeah, while I wasn't feeling False Sight as much as I was False Memory, I'm still invested in this series and am looking forward to finding out how it will all end!

My rating: 3 stars

Made me crave: FRIES, lots of FRIES

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Review of How To Lose a Bride In One Night by Sophie Jordan

Title/Author: How To Lose a Bride In One Night (Forgotten Princess #3) by Sophie Jordan
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 30th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley and bought my own finished copy :)
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: He saved her life...

When Annalise Hadley is tossed over the side of her honeymoon barge, the newly-minted duchess knows she's been left for dead - for her husband's only interest is in her vast dowry, not her muddied lineage. However, she didn't count on a savior. Especially not an honorable, sinfully intriguing earl who will tempt her to risk everything — again.

Now he will seduce her heart and soul

A man with his own demons, Owen Crawford, the reclusive Earl of McDowell, is enchanted by the mysterious, courageous woman he rescued. He will help her heal, teach her to protect herself, and then send her away — so that she’ll never see he’s far from the hero she believes him to be.

But days and nights alone prove that some secrets are meant to be discovered... some desires are too powerful to resist…and some wounds can only be healed by love.

You guys, I so LOVED this book!! I mean, I already suspected I was going to because hello, it's Sophie Jordan and her historical romances are among the best in my humble opinion, but that I would stay up till 2AM to finish it? Yeah, I hadn't expected that.

I love Sophie Jordan, her writing is always spot on and engaging and just makes me BE there in the moment with the characters with my heart racing, breath hitching, stomach clenching and just all of that good stuff! And How To Lose A Bride In One Night really brings all of these elements and I just loved it! It is a bit darker than her other romances in that some horrible things have happened in both the hero's and the heroine's lives and they are slightly broken because of it. But it was still beautiful.

I really liked Annalise. She was so naive at the start and she loses that and gains some street savvy and just more confidence and a better sense of herself as a person throughout the novel. I loved that after she wakes up in a gypsy tent after being tossed overboard by her new husband, she decides she's not going to be a victim again. It takes a few tries to get there and to truly be strong and now cower in a corner, but she gets it and I respect that.

And guys, our hero Owen is just so beautifully broken! I mean, I know there are people who are attracted to this and want to fix things, I'm not really one of them, but I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would be alright. He has a good soul and it has seen some awful things, many of them from his own doing and he's decided love and marriage aren't for him because of it. He owns up to his brokenness and he was just so trying to do the right thing by Annalise and I really thought he was exceptionally patient, not pushing her for details on her life before he found her. I probably wouldn't have been that considerate.

These two butt heads beautifully! It was really sweet to see them grow more and more towards each other and falling in love and it takes WEEKS! YAYYYY! I mean, you can't tell me you love someone you've met yesterday, that is just bogus and these two take their time falling in love and it is AWESOME! I had tears in my eyes for so many of the scenes and not even just the obvious ones! Sometimes there would just be a line that would make my heart clench!

Oh, and can I just say that I am absolutely horrified by the original tale that inspired this book and that I'm much more satisfied with the way this one ended and that I can totally understand her having to explain to her daughter that no, that is not how it should be!

So I stayed up till 2AM to finish this because I could just not put it down! And the boyfriend was even sound asleep next to me (usually this triggers my sleep switch as well) and I STILL just kept on reading and it was GLORIOUS! There were real problems and just GAH GO READ IT! IT IS SO GOOD!

My rating: 5 stars

Made me crave: it was the middle of the night, I don't really eat then

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review of Dead Girls Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Title/Author: Dead Girls Don't Lie by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, September 17th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Rachel died at two a.m... Three hours after Skyler kissed me for the first time. Forty-five minutes after she sent me her last text.
Jaycee and Rachel were best friends. But that was before... before that terrible night at the old house. Before Rachel shut Jaycee out. Before Jaycee chose Skyler over Rachel. Then Rachel is found dead. The police blame a growing gang problem in their small town, but Jaycee is sure it has to do with that night at the old house. Rachel’s text is the first clue — starting Jaycee on a search that leads to a shocking secret. Rachel’s death was no random crime, and Jaycee must figure out who to trust before she can expose the truth.

I'd heard AMAZING things about Breaking Beautiful, Jennifer Shaw Wolf's debut novel, but I haven't actually read it (I did pre-order the paperback, so this should be remedied soonish), which meant that I went into Dead Girls Don't Lie without expectations that were insanely high. And guys, it totally worked for me!

Since I started my new residency, I have a LOT less free time to spend on reading and because of the bits and pieces I could snatch over the span of a couple of days, I struggled a bit at first. Because the book wasn't gripping me right from the start and there was all this information and rigidity and things I couldn't make sense of. But when I picked it up again on the weekend and just spent hours reading it: TOTALLY DIFFERENT STORY! I finally connected a bit to Jaycee and started getting into the story and the creepiness of it.

Jaycee was a bit too much of a goody-goody for me, but in the end I started to like her. Though what Eduardo called her sounded about right to me: boba (which according to the book translates to naive, stupid, silly), focusing mostly on naive for me. She was so ready to trust everyone! I mean, at one point I was just screaming at her to try and see what was right in front of her and GAH!!
But I sort of get that she didn't see it, I mean, it's always easier when you're on the outside, right? I did like that she genuinely cared about people. And I respected that she was determined to be worthy of Rachel's trust in figuring out what had happened. I mean, she didn't necessarily go about it in the best way, but she did commit to it and I liked that.

Jaycee's dad REALLY annoyed me at times. I mean, ok, he wants to protect his daughter, but seriously dude, we live in the 21st century. The whole thing with her not having access to a computer at home and not being allowed to do pretty much ANYTHING a girl her age would want to do aside from school and taking away her cellphone and everything... That just bugged me. I'm a firm believer that you should just talk to your kid about the stuff you want to protect them from and not try to lock them up or something. I definitely felt that both her parents failed at parenting.

The small-town vibe that echoes throughout Dead Girls Don't Lie is something that I SO recognize! Everybody knows everybody's business, or at least they THINK they do. Don't get me wrong, small towns are cute, but they do have their disadvantages, especially when people living in it are scared of things and people that are different, or not from there. And Dead Girls Don't Lie showed this perfectly.

After the rocky start, I really got into the story and the pace went up and the stakes got higher and everything got creepier and I didn't trust anyone anymore and that was awesome! I'm not much of a mystery girl, but Jennifer Shaw Wolf definitely did it right with this one! I did figure out who had done it way before Jaycee did, mainly because I started to feel uncomfortable every time the killer was mentioned or in a scene.

I blew through the second half of the book and I'm really excited to get my hands on Breaking Beautiful as well soon!

My rating: 3,5 stars

Friday, September 13, 2013

Review of Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Title/Author: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Publisher/Date published: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers, August 13th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was — that I couldn't stick around — and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

So I've heard people compare this to 13 Reasons Why and I have to admit that I haven't read that, but guys, the message of this book will definitely stay with me for a long time!

I really liked Matthew Quick's writing style. It's to the point and it definitely FELT like I was in the head of this teenage boy who is about to end the life of one of his classmates and then his own. And I really liked all the little footnotes that explained some of Leonard's thinking and made his personality shine through!

I cannot believe how much I liked Leonard. I was hesitant at first, because I mean, he's about to do this awful thing and I didn't really want to like him, but I ended up really rooting for him and wanting to fix everything for him and just hoping everything would be ok! Leonard is one of those people who really thinks about everything he sees. He makes some unlikely friends and I really felt that he honestly wanted to give them a present before he left this earth and he wasn't trying to make them feel guilty about what he was about to do. He genuinely wanted them to have it and I liked that.

And I came to love some of these friends! I adored Walt, who is a substitute father/grandfather figure for Leonard and they watch Bogard movies together and quote the lines to each other and this relationship was just so special! I loved it!
I also loved one of his teachers, Herr Silverman. And I could easily see how I would have been very much annoyed by this teacher as well as a teenager. I probably wouldn't have appreciated his wanting to shake everyone's hand when they entered the classroom, but now I see how special it is.

Seeing the story unfold and finding out what it was that made Leonard come to this point in his life was heartbreaking and just, I just can't. I truly believe that if his mom had been paying closer attention this wouldn't have happened. If she just hadn't turned away from him and ignored it and had offered him help... There are just so many missed chances here and while I was so hoping that things would change in that regard, sometimes they just don't. And you have to make do with what you do have.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock had such a powerful impact on me! I'm still thinking about it and I feel that as a doctor, this is something that I should learn more about. I mean, of course I do know about the signs and such, but really, I want to help people before it gets this far. If The Silver Linings Playbook is anywhere near this good, I'm definitely reading it!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Made me crave: chocolate ice cream

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Very Personal Post about why I've been a bit quiet lately

So this is kinda hard for me to write. Let me start off by saying that I completely identified with one post that Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner wrote about two weeks ago, you can read it here. About blogging when you aren't feel like yourself or when you're not in a happy place. And I do this thing where when something happens in my life, I retreat and regroup. I avoid social media and other social activities and just hole up until I feel a bit like myself again.

Which is exactly what I did 2,5 weeks ago when my parents told me they were getting a divorce. The first week I spent on the phone who both my parents and my brother and crying and having intense conversations with my family that left me emotionally exhausted. It hasn't been an easy time. I am essentially ok with it and I understand that in the end it will be good for both of them, but it still makes me sad and it's a bit of an adjustment.

But I'm incredibly lucky that I have a supportive, loving boyfriend and amazing friends who are there for me and who provide a shoulder to cry on and distraction, whichever I need at the moment. So I'm doing ok, though I foresee some tough moments. We're all slowly getting used to the idea and while I don't live with my parents, it's a weird idea that in a little while they won't live in the same house anymore or be together.

And I am very thankful that they are both healthy!

So while this blog is mostly my happy place in which I can blisfully discuss books with you guys, I couldn't not talk about this here. Know that I love all you guys and am trying to get back to writing posts and commenting more!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review of The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Title/Author: The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) by Courtney Milan
Publisher/Date published: Courtney Milan, July 15th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the author/publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing — and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances — and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist... even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

Guys, I have a confession to make: I hardly ever read self-published books. I know, I just have been burned a couple of times and now I just don't really read them anymore. I know there are probably some gems out there, so give me your best recommendations if you do read them!

BUT I really enjoyed some of Courtney Milan's traditionally published books, so when I heard she was going to self-publish this series, I decided I wanted in on the action! And guys, her writing is so good!!

I totally loved this plot in which an heiress is deliberately seeking to make herself unattractive to eligible men in order to stay unmarried and be able to look after her sister, who is diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. This wouldn't be so much of a problem if their uncle, who is their guardian, wasn't intent on limiting her sister to the house and trying all different kinds of treatment that may or may not always be good for the girl. And seriously, there was some REALLY messed up stuff going on! I mean, I get that people had no idea what they were doing in medicine generally back then and that in 300 years people will say that about today's medicine, but really, it is just so harsh! I mean, burning her to make her 'snap out of it'?? Seriously? That is just cruel. I totally cringed every time something like this was mentioned, because it's more like torture and has absolutely nothing to do with healing someone.

Ok, so medical rant done.

ANYWAY. I really, really liked Jane. She was so brave and she was not afraid to humiliate herself and was just so wonderfully funny when she was deliberately being unattractive! I loved how she told people exactly what she thought of them and insulted some of them very creatively! And I loved that she kept calling Oliver 'Mr. Churchill' when she of course knew that his last name was Marshall. And seriously, I wish I could have seen all the horrendous colors the was dressing herself in! The gowns sounded outrageous and I loved it!

I liked Oliver. He is truly a good guy, even though I lost him somewhere halfway through the novel, when he became a coward and toward the end when he said the completely WRONG thing and was just GAH! OMG, I wouldn't have faulted Jane for just turning her back on him and never wanting to see him again. I really wanted to slap him right then and there. UGH.

I did really enjoy the romance between these two. They were not looking for it in each other, but they just can't help themselves and it is beautiful for the first part of the novel. And then it sort of fizzles and Oliver is being an ass and well, I couldn't fully get into it after that. I really wish the awesomeness of the first half of the novel had continued through the end, because then this would have gotten the full five stars.
Oliver does redeem himself at the end and he does this really AWESOME thing that made me warm up to him again, and I really liked the epilogue.

So this was a succesful foray into the world of self-publishing! I really liked The Heiress Effect, but there was something missing in the last part of the book to make me truly love it. I also wanted to strangle Jane's uncle who is a horrible ignorant man.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Made me crave: water melon

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review of Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title/Author: Burn For Burn (Burn For Burn #1) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, September 18th 2012
How I got this book: bought it with one of my shiny paychecks
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person – her ex-best friend – and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Guys, I love novels like this one. I love the plot of three girls teaming up to get back at the people who have hurt them. LOVE. So I was really excited to start this and GUYS IT WAS SO GOOD!!

I really liked that we get introduced to all three girls before they start to plot their revenge, so I could get a feel of what motivates them before we start the actual nasty business. They come from different backgrounds and each of them had their own distinct voice and I liked that. I was never confused as to who was narrating the chapter because you could just tell by the writing style who it was. And it was AWESOME! I love Kat for being a badass and Lillia for her protectiveness of her sister, I'm still sorta warming up to Mary, but I'm guessing she'll play a much bigger role in the next book! I love how these three girls form an uneasy, sort of uncomfortable friendship and a pact to exact their revenge together.

And boy did they have it coming. Really, especially Kat and Mary's targets. I wasn't wholly convinced Lillia's should be taken down, but hey, it was fun to read about! They come up with some pretty harsh stuff and really targeted each person's weakness. It was seriously messed up and that's what I liked about it. I mean, if you're gonna take someone down, you better not do it half-assed you know? These girls aren't interested in playing nice, they got hurt and they want these people to be hurt as well.

And seriously, the whole setting? EPIC HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA AT ITS BEST! Books like Burn For Burn make me happy that in Holland we don't really have high school football/soccer and cheerleading. I mean, we had popular mean kids, but nothing like this.

I got sucked into this story and just breezed right through it because I could not put it down! It was amazing and I wanted to know more and GAH! I'm so happy I don't have to wait for the second book to come out for a year!! :D This is definitely a perk of hopping onto the bandwagon late!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Made me crave: couscous (with chicken, peaches, raisins, mint, pecan nuts, ALL OF THE GOOD STUFF)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Review of The Devil of Clan Sinclair by Karen Ranney

Title/Author: The Devil of Clan Sinclair (Clan Sinclair #1) by Karen Ranney
Publisher/Date published: Avon, July 30th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: For Virginia Traylor, Countess of Barrett, marriage was merely the vehicle to buy her father a title. Widowhood, however, brings a host of problems. For her husband deliberately spent the money intended for Virginia and her in-laws, leaving them penniless — unless she produces an heir. Desperate and confused, Virginia embarks on a fateful journey that brings her to the doorstep of the only man she's ever loved...

He's known as The Devil, but Macrath Sinclair doesn't care. He moved to a tiny Scottish village in hopes of continuing his work as an inventor and starting a family of his own. He bought the house; he chose the woman. Unfortunately, Virginia didn't choose him. Macrath knows he should turn her away now, but she needs him, and he wants her more than ever. Whatever game Virginia's playing, Macrath intends to win — one wickedly seductive deed at a time...

Ok, so I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical of this particular plot, but as Sophie Jordan made it work in Once Upon a Wedding Night, I was willing to give it a shot. There's something that has been drawing me to Scottish men lately. Might be the kilts...


Virginia is in a desperate situation, her husband died, and before the sneaky little bastard died, he spent all the money Virginia had brought with her into the marriage on lands and houses that would be entailed right along with everything else, leaving Virginia, his mother and sisters penniless. So Virginia's mother in law devices a plan that has Virginia sleeping with a man out of wedlock to try and produce and heir. Right now, cause otherwise the world might not believe it was her late husband's offspring. So what's a girl to do but get on with it, ride to Scotland and seduce the man she actually wanted to marry to begin with? YES EXACTLY.

I could see where Virginia was coming from. She's never really gotten any parental love and this new family has embraced her so wholly that she feels responsible for them. And she's pining for Macrath anyway, so why not go with it? I felt that she was a bit too naive, because really, how do you not see coming that this proud scottish man will have a problem with this when he finds out?? I mean SERIOUSLY? Let me say it again: SERIOUSLY??? She says she loves him and then she just USES him without telling him what she's doing and UGH! That is not love. I couldn't understand that after he's trying to get her to stay with him in Scotland, she doesn't admit to her problems and try to see what his feelings would be towards taking in her new family as well. I mean, he has a big enough house for it.

And Macrath. While I did like him and his big heart, I felt like yelling at him 'Dude, you can do better'. I mean, she's hurt him AGAIN, secretly born his son and is trying to pass him off as the heir of another man and is basically just being a huge pain in the ass. I'd say cut her loose and try your luck with someone else. I couldn't see how they could get past this. Especially without really communicating about it. It all just went POOF and they were happy together again. I mean, really, show some backbone. It's ok to not be ok with something like that.

So I feel like I'm sounding very negative about The Devil of Clan Sinclair. And it wasn't that bad really, but there were some things about the characters and the storyline that rubbed me the wrong way. I very much liked the flashbacks to the time Virginia and Macrath were courting the first time around, these moments were so sweet! I could actually see where the love had come from between them and their characters were pretty similar. I also liked the quiet moments with their son and how Virginia broke convention by caring for and nursing her son herself and not leaving it to a wet nurse.

I did enjoy myself while reading this book, but I also found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit and was at one point actually rooting for the relationship NOT to work out simply because it felt wrong and there was no communication whatsoever and that always annoys me. But I'm glad they did end up together, because they had sweet moments. I'm sad there weren't any kilts though.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Made me crave: rucola soup