Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Release Day: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Moving Day! Please Read.

Hi everyone!

The day has come that I'm saying goodbye to my Blogger blog and my .blogspot link. From now on I will not be posting again from this blog, and all of my reviews, guest posts and interviews will be moved to my new blog www.nyxbookreviews.com. Please come visit and say hi!

A note to all the GFC followers; GFC is disabled for all the non-Blogger blogs. Therefore, if you'd like to continue following me, make sure to either follow by RSS (the orange button at the top) or enter your email address at the "Follow by Email" form thingy in the sidebar. If you have any trouble following me on my new blog, please let me know.

It's still a work in progress, so please bear with me the upcoming few days (:

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Review Copy Cleanup: Goals & Pile

And we're off! Today is the first day of the month-long event my bookish friend Vicky and me are hosting: the Review Copy Cleanup! If you haven't heard of our awesome event, go here to read more about it. Sign ups are still open, so if you're interested make sure to join the fun (: You can also follow our progress on Twitter, using the #RCCleanup hashtag.

I got a scary pile this time guys. My goal will be to read at least eight books from my pile. Since on a typical month I read around nine books, this should be a reachable goal. Here are the books I have, first paperbacks and then my astounding collection of Netgalleys:

...Right. I guess I will go reading now! *runs off*

If you made a goals post, let me know in the comments so I can visit you back (:

Monday, 30 July 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Author: Ransom Riggs
Series: Miss Peregrine #1
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

349 pages
Published July 7th 2011 by Quirk

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

I was drawn to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children because of it's intriguing cover art, and the fact that it contains dozens of similar pictures throughout the story. It's a very beautiful book, and I was curious to see how the story itself compared.

It starts off very mysterious; rich kid Jacob's grandpa, a WW2 veteran, gets killed by savage beasts. Grandpa Portman has always told fantastical stories about a children's home off the coast of Wales, where kids lived that could levitate, were invisible, and had other unnatural skills. When Jacob finds a letter from Miss Peregrine, the headmistress, he goes to Wales to find out the truth of his grandpa's life.

The first half of Miss Peregrine's is very atmospheric. It has this dark mood, with the pictures enhancing the weirdness of the book. Who are these children? Did they ever exist? Is Jacob slowly turning insane? I loved this part of the book. The slight hint of mental illness, the creepy pictures... It all was very disturbing, and very awesome.

But once Jacob actually gets on the island, the entire tone of the story changes. It goes from dark and creepy to kind of idyllic bitter-sweet. I will try to keep from spoiling the story to you, but I will say this: it turns into some weird Harry Potter-esque story. And I didn't see that one coming AT ALL. And to be honest I didn't think it fit that well. The second half of the book didn't make that much sense with most of the pictures. It was a completely different atmosphere, that almost felt like it belonged to some other book.

I had quite a few issues with the part that followed, one of which the ease of which the main character thinks of abandoning his parents to do his own thing. This is a fifteen year old. Yet he thinks nothing of leaving his home for an indefinite time. He mentions that he'll probably miss them, but that's it. No regret, no nothing. And the worst thing for me is that the writer tries to justify Jacob's feelings by making his parents not-so-great parents. His mom is very concerned with outward appearances and very much enjoys being rich, and his dad can't finish a project and is kind of like a grown-up teenager. To be honest, if that's the only thing that's wrong with your parents, you should consider yourself lucky. They genuinely love him. They want what's best for him. They didn't neglect him, beat him, abuse him, or were drunk all the time. Yet Jacob just shrugs, "Ungh, parents, whatever", and that's it. It bothers me because, what kind of example is this for teens growing up? That if you feel that your dad said something you didn't quite agree with, you can just walk away? That it's okay to abandon everything when you're just fifteen? I might see too much into this, but it bothers me a lot.

Overall, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a nice book. It's unique, just the right amount of dark, and an adventure to read. It just happened to rub me the wrong way.


A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Sunday, 29 July 2012

This Week's New Books

If you're wondering why I'm not having an IMM - read this post.

There are so many new "Look at my new books!" memes that I'm having troubles choosing. I know a few of the hosts personally and I don't feel like picking teams on this one. So, I introduce my own conglomeration of all the memes out there! If you're hosting a similar meme or if one of your friends hosts one, let me know and I'll add their graphic (:

Since I finally got a job (although it's just for three weeks) I decided I could reward myself, just for a little bit! Me and the boyfriend went to Amsterdam and visited the Waterstone's there. They had an amazing collection, but I decided not to go overboard and only bought two.

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page.

For review:

Big thank you to Outskirts Press and the author for this one! I have no idea what to expect, but it does sound great.


I can't wait to read either of these! I've already started Miss Peregrine's, but I'm not sure what to think of it. It's very atmospheric, yet slightly weird and I feel a bit disconnected from the story. I'll let you all know in a review.

So what do you have in your mailbox, on your shelf or to showcase? Leave a comment with your link so I can visit you back!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Vlog: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

This is my first video review, which I made during my blogging break. Enjoy!

When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way…

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Top Five: Summer Reads

Don't you just like those nice comprehensive lists? I know I do. I love spying on other people's top lists, see if I know any of the books they read and enjoyed. It's the reason I have stalked around on Goodreads for almost three years now, and the reason I'm going to do a series of posts highlighting my Top Five somethings!

Obviously, there are several "Top Number" memes out there, and this has been inspired by those.

The sun is finally showing its wonderful head here in the Netherlands, and I thought I'd kick off this series of posts with my Top Five Summer Reads!

#5 The House of Silk by Anthony Horrowitz

Don't you just love letting other people do the hard detecting work while you are relaxing in your chair with a nice cold beverage? Especially when those other people are Sherlock and his trusty sidekick Watson.
The House of Silk is one of those books I thouroughly enjoyed, but never reviewed. Well, here it is. This book is awesome, especially if you have a little Sherlock Holmes crush. Not that I have one of those.

#4 Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

This is one of my worst guilty pleasures.

I don't even really know why I adore these books as much as I do. J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books are straight up paranormal romance books with kick ass tortured alpha males that swoop their eternal loves off their feet.

Maybe every girl needs some swooping once in a while.

#3 Angels by Marian Keyes

Angels was my first foray into chick-lit territory. You know, that scary world where there are no zombies, vampires or werewolves to keep you feeling safe and comfortable? That's the one.

And quite amazingly enough, I very much liked it. It's not something I would want to read all the time, but fast-paced, light but not fluff, full of hilarious friends Angels works very well to keep you company while getting a tan.

#2 The Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind

During summer is actually the only time in the whole year that I feel like I have the time to read a massive fantasy book, like the Sword of Truth series. There is nothing like being fully immersed into a world so different from ours, a world so fascinating and full of all these wonderful characters I would just love to know in real life.

This is definitely one of those series that has everything to keep you entertained during quite some summer weeks.

#1 Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I'm starting to get the feeling that at one point or another, Harry Potter always shows up in Top lists. Doesn't matter if it's summer reads, winter reads, awesome reads, favourite reads, best character lists, favourite worlds... I almost feel compelled making a list of the lists Harry Potter dominates. But I'll save that for another time.

There is no denying that Harry Potter has grown dear to me. To hell with Twilight, Harry Potter is what got me hooked on reading. I grew up with these books, and I will continue reading them in sickness and in health, until I die.