Friday, 24 December 2010

Follow Friday #8 & Happy Holidays!

 
 Hosted by Parajunkee

Weekly Question:
What are your plans for this fabulous day?
Nothing special actually. It's a tradition that we go to my grandma every year, but since she is hospitalised with a broken shoulder, and we are snowed in, that is impossible this year. We'll probably just have a fancy dinner with our family at home, and tomorrow morning we'll exchange gifts.

This will probably be my last post for this year, I'm taking a week off from blogging. This has been a wonderful year, and I hope to see you back in 2011!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Busting the Newbie Blues


Busting the Newbie Blues is an event hosted by Small Review to connect fellow YA-bloggers, and help out starting bloggers.

How to join:
  • Select the questionnaire that best applies to you (there's no "wrong" choice, so just pick whichever one you feel most comfortable answering)
  • Create a post on your blog with the questions and your answers
  • Grab the banner above or the button below to include in your post or sidebar
  • Link back to Small Review's post
  • Sign the Mr. Linky below so we can all come and visit your post!
  • Spread the word! 
My Answers: 

When did you start your blog?
I created my blog in April, but I didn't really do anything with it then, it was just to see how this blogging thing works. I started to actively blog around October, when I discovered the wonderful world of weekly memes and other blog-fun.

Why did you start your blog? 
I started my blog because I joined the site Goodreads, and there I started reviewing books. I liked this so much and a lot of people over there wrote blogs themselves that I thought, I want that too! My blog has changed quite a bit since then, at first it was just a place for me to post my reviews on and be done with it. Now I like to post about other topics too, like what books I can't wait to put my hands on and discuss books with other book-lovers.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? 
The biggest challenge I'm still struggling with is trying to get frequent readers. Followers, if you like. I try to post every day, and try to have at least one extensive book review up every week, but it's very hard to compete with all those other book blogs out there. They seem to get all those ARC's and requests, while we newbies are always a step behind on all of the trends. 

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
The feeling you are talking to thin air. That there is no one out there that is remotely interested in what you have to say. I'm glad that I have reached the point now where everything seems to take off, that there actually are people that respond on what I post. But especially when you just start blogging, that is the most discouraging.

What do you find most encouraging? 
When you find out there are other struggling bloggers out there. Not every blogger has the time to read and review a book a day. It is strengthening to know that you aren't the only one. Every single comment made on one of my posts makes my day. Just because someone has taken the time to read something I have put a lot of thought in. That's what makes blogging totally worth it.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog? 
One thing that I really like about blogs is when they write more into their reviews than "oh, this book was AWESUM". I like to know more about the book, things that stood out, how the characters were portrayed, that kind of information. I try to reflect this in my own reviews too. I will always explain what I absolutely loved about the book, or absolutely hated, and why. That way, readers can make up their own minds on if they want to read that book or not.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this? 
One thing I cannot stand is a lack of interpunction, lack of use of capital letters, and obvious spelling errors in every single sentence. I think a person that reads so much and thinks about what he or she has read, should be able to write correct English. Of course, I don't mind minor errors at all. I make those all the time! But I at least try to write in a way that is enjoyable to read...

Any advice for other new bloggers? 
Don't be discouraged. When your blog finally starts off, it is so much fun to have a blog. Try to keep in mind that it takes some time. Join in on memes and events to give your blog some more exposure, and take every feedback or comment you get at heart. 

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience? 
So far, hosting Nyx Book Reviews has been so much fun. It has opened a whole new world for me. My to be read pile has never been this big!

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?
I review mostly young-adult books, epic fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Overall I tend to read about everything. I try to review every book I read, and my reviews are always honest reflections of my own opinion. It's to hard for my to keep up with all the trends, as most books aren't available here in the Netherlands, but I try to get my hands on new releases as soon as possible. I'm having great plans for the upcoming year. There will be more giveaways, some author interviews, more book reviews and other fun posts!

Talking about giveaways, check out my very first giveaway (international) if you haven't yet!

    Tuesday, 21 December 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #9

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #9: Torment


    "Only one thing could warm him today, and she was out of reach. He missed the way the crown of her head made the perfect resting spot for his lips. He imagined filling the circle of his arms with her body, leaning down to kiss her neck. But it was a good thing Luce couldn't be here now. What she would see would horrify her."

    From the second page of Torment. I can't keep from staring at that fabulous cover! Hopefully the story is as good as the outside is (:

    BR: Rampant



    Rampant by Diana Peterfreund
    5 out of 5 stars

    This book has a premise that is as awesome as the story itself. This book is about KILLER UNICORNS. Yes, you have read that correctly. Unicorns are not the fluffy white harmless creatures everyone thinks them to be. They are something entirely different. I quote:
    "Unicorns are man-eating monsters.
    They don't have wings, they aren't lavender or sparkly, and you could never catch one to ride without its goring you through the sternum.
    And even if it somehow managed to miss you major arteries - and it never misses - you'd still die from the poison in it's horn.

    But don't worry. My great-great-great-great-great-aunt Clothilde killed the last one a hundred and fifty years ago."
    This is what sixteen years old Astrid has been told all her life by her unicorn-obsessed mother. She or course doesn't believe this nonsense, until her boyfriend is attacked by one. Luckily, he survives, but her chances of him taking her to prom are instantly eradicated. This confirms everything Astrid has been told all this time, and her mother sends her off to Rome to be educated in the reopened unicorn hunters headquarters.

    If you think killer unicorns are awesome, you will absolutely love this book. Not only is the idea utterly amazing, the presentation is really good. Rampant has a solid plot, with more than enough lore to support the story. At first, the extensive background may seem a little bit overwhelming, but these pieces of information are so often referred back to that you will remember them without effort.
    "This was the karkadann, the most dreaded and deadly of all unicorns. This was the creature of nightmares, the thing my family fought for so many generations."
    I cannot stress the fact enough how utterly brilliant this book is. Astrid has made it to my top 3 most kick-ass heroines. I love that there finally is a girl in a YA novel that doesn't hide behind her crush at every sight of danger. She is truly self sufficient, and actually has to protect her crush from being hurt. I adore that she isn't dependant. It annoys me that almost all female characters seem to be nothing without their male counterparts.

    This is at times a rather dark book. The unicorn hunting business is not at all without risk. Any of the girls could die in an ambush. More often than not there are at least a few broken bones after a fight. I think it's great that Ms. Peterfreund didn't gloss over the fact how horrible combat is. It isn't all honour and glory, it's frightening and a struggle for life and death. You can see that this takes a toll on the girls, as would be expected. But it must be done, and only the hunters can take unicorns down. They accept their duty with their heads held high and bows strung and axes raised.
    "The kirin turned in our direction and lowered its head to charge. It was smaller than the one I'd seen before, barely more than a yearling, yet every bit as deadly. I froze, forgetting all Lino's archery lessons as the monster stared me down with its glowing, golden eyes."
    It's not all about fighting and killing though. There is a clear message about growing up and learning how to make your own choices. The hunters must keep their virginity, otherwise they will lose their powers. This makes for a rather tough topic for the girls to cope with. They will have to make a choice between love or their obligations. 
    "I wasn't quite sure what kind of "unicorn crap" I could potentially pull off. You might lie about having lost your homework, but I wouldn't be able to pretend I'd killed a kirin if I hadn't."
    This is one of those books you come across that you think is so great you can't stop talking about it. As you might tell from the abundance of quotes from this book, I obviously can't get enough of it. While I'm reviewing, I'm skimming through the pages again, looking for great passages. It makes me want to reread the whole book. While I just finished! *sighs*

    Please read this. That way we can all squee together. There is also a sequel to Rampant, called Ascendant. I must have that book now!

    Monday, 20 December 2010

    2011 Reading Challenge: Wordsworth Classics



    One of my resolutions for next year is that I want to read more of all those literary classics out there, those books everyone should read at least once. And to help me with that I'm joining this Classics Reading Challenge hosted by The Deranged Book Lovers!

    The Rules:
    • You can read any classic novels which are included in list of Wordsworth Classics. You don't need to read wordsworth edition, you can pick any publisher releases as long as those releases are unabridged.
    • It’s okay to re-read. You can put the book you’ve read in the past in your list as long as you’re going to read it again in 2011. Set your target and list the book you want to read along with the challenge button in your blog and fill the form.
    • You don't have to review those books but if you want you can link them
    • This is a year-long challenge (Jan 1, 2011 - Dec 23, 2011) so you can still commit to it in the middle of year 2011. All you need to do is fill the form. 
    The Levels:
    • Peasant: 1-4 books
      Bourgeois: 5-8 books
      Knight: 9 – 12 books
      Noble: more than 12 books
    For 2011 I'm going for Knight. Let's see if I can reach my goal!

    Sunday, 19 December 2010

    In My Mailbox

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

    This week I received:
    Won this from Firstreads
    Ebooks:

    Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

    Giveaway!!!

    I finally got the opportunity to host my very first giveaway! Hurray!

    What's for grabs?

    A free paperback copy of the book Betrayal of Love and Freedom!

    Rules:

    - You must a Nyx Book Reviews follower
    - This is a INTERNATIONAL giveaway
    - Fill in the form below
    - This giveaway will run till January 19th

    The review for this book will be up soon, and also an interview with the author, Paul Huljich.

    Friday, 17 December 2010

    Follow Friday #7

     
     
     Hosted by Parajunkee
    This week's feature: Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    Weekly Question:

    What did you study in college, or are currently studying and did it lead to your current 9 to 5 or are you doing something totally different?

    I'm currently doing a course in psychology at an open university here in the Netherlands, but thinking about studying something like engineering or something else technical. Although English literature is also a great option. I'm feeling a bit indecisive, hehe.

    Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

    Thursday, 16 December 2010

    Jane Austen Day

    Today 335 years ago one of the most inspirational female writers was born. And of course, this must be celebrated!

    As Chick with Books kindly pointed out, a few sites have agreed to give away free ebook copies of novels that are inspired by Jane Austen's books. You can check out Barnes & Noble, and maybe by now some other sites have put them up for free too.

    The free titles:
    But be quick! They will only be free today, and maybe sometime tomorrow.

    Tuesday, 14 December 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #8

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #8: The Killing Dance


    "The most beautiful corpse I'd ever seen was sitting behind my desk."

    The great first sentence of the fifth book in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I'm quite curious what I think of it, the first few books in the series I really enjoyed, but the rest of the series is rather controversial. Lets see how it goes (:

    Sunday, 12 December 2010

    BR: The Awakening

    The Awakening by L.J. Smith
    3 out of 5 stars

    This will be a rather short review because there just isn't that much to tell about this book. It is written before the big vampire young-adult craze broke out, before there was any Twilight. Over the years this genre has grown, and has brought forth numerous great titles.

    And while reading this book I could really feel like this was one of the first books in this genre. After being so spoiled with so many lovely books this was a little bit disappointing. When you take away the oh-my-he-is-a-vampire surprise there is nothing much left of this story. Then it's just another high-school teenage book with all accessory clich├ęs.

    Main character Elena is indeed one of the most annoying narrators I have come across. I usually don't really mind if the main character if you can't relate to the main character, but this was a little bit too much. She is queen of the school, and sees this like some sort of chore. She keeps complaining on how hard it is to be so popular. I kept wishing I could hit her and then shake some sense into her. But even though she got on my nerves, I had a sadistic pleasure in seeing her ignored by her crush, the mysterious Stefan.

    The romance was quite predictable of course, but enjoyable nevertheless. We have seen the whole distant guy thing on various occasions before, but for some reason it never seems to get old. It was quite enjoyable to see Elena practically throwing herself at Stefan, and still be rejected. Of course, we all know that phase won't last.

    There were a lot of parts in the plot that I personally found a little bit off or illogical. The characters don't really react like normal people would do, but hey, that's why we call this fiction. It was very easy and fast to read, and it was enjoyable in a kind of distant way. I didn't feel for any of the characters, but it was fun to see what stupid things they kept doing. I will probably finish the second part in this series, as I'm curious to see if any of the characters grows a pair of brains any time soon, but I won't rush into it.

    Blurb
    Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

    Stefan: Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

    Damon: Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

    The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them
    .

    Wednesday, 8 December 2010

    Christmas Wishlist

    Christmas is coming up again, there already snow everywhere (here in the Netherlands at least) and that means it's almost present-time! Relatives feel bad that they keep buying me books every single year, 'cause they think it must be a very boring gift. But, as I do not agree, here are some books that are on this year's wishlist!


     I really hope I will get these two, that will make my Sword of Truth series complete, finally!

    I know it's horrible, but I still haven't read this book. I'm so behind..

     I have read the first part in Abercrombie's series this summer, and I loved it. He writes this kind of dark fantasy with a sense of humour I adore. 

    Heard so many great things about this book, can't wait to see for myself


    Just a short selection of what I'm hoping to get.
    And you, what do you have on your wishlist?

    Tuesday, 7 December 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #7

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #7: Betrayal of Love and Freedom

    "There was something awkward about the stillness that pervaded the room, as if it were bracing for a predator's strike, the victim now sensing the awful futility of any resistance."

    First sentence of my review copy of this book by Paul Huljich. I will have a giveaway of this book in two weeks, so stay tuned!

    Monday, 6 December 2010

    Graham Parke's No Hope For Gomez After Party

    Because the birthday party was such a success, Graham has decided to also host an after party! Join in and have a shot at winning a Kindle. For more info, visit Graham's page, link is down below.





    “Instead of heading for the big mental breakdown,
         I decided to have a little one every Tuesday evening.”
    -- Gomez Porter

    You are cordially invited to Gomez' online after party. It starts right now and runs till December 10th. You'll receive:

    - ‘Activated Carbon’ exclusive short story collection
    - Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook

    A kindle will be raffled off. Extra prizes for those who bring friends.

    Simply purchase your copy of "No Hope for Gomez!" from Amazon and forward your receipt to nohopeforgomez@gmail.com. Find out the details HERE

    Sunday, 5 December 2010

    BR: Crescendo

    Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick
    4 out of 5 stars

    After reading the first book in this series, Hush, Hush, I couldn't wait to get back to my dark and unpredictable Patch. So yesterday I sat down with this book expecting an engaging YA read.

    And that's exactly what I got. I read this book just like it's predecessor in one sitting. In this instalment Patch and Nora go through a hard time. The archangels are interfering and making it almost impossible for them to be together. We also learn more about the mysterious death of Nora's father and the war between the fallen angels and Nephelim.

    This is a rather dark book for a young-adult novel. For the greatest part it focusses on Nora's relationship with Patch, and the problems between them. Nora can't seem to make up her mind if she wants to stay with him or if she wants him completely gone out of her life. Some people might find this struggle annoying, but I thought it was a spot-on display of trying to chose what's good for you while you know in your heart you want something else. At one point or another we all feel like Nora. Sometimes it is just impossible to make such a choice.

    Nora does a lot of things I wouldn't want my daughter to do. She is unsupervised the whole book, and this shows in her actions. She constantly gets herself in danger that could easily have been avoided. Luckily, she has one hell of an angel that has made it his goal to try to keep her safe. And he doesn't get a day's rest from his task.

    The character that made me smile throughout the book was Nora's best friend Vee. She's always there for her with a cheesy remark. I also liked the fact they always seem be talking about food. At one point Vee actually makes Nora carrying a hot dog on one of their reckless break and enter-missions. This was so absurd it made me laugh just picturing the situation.

    I really liked this book. It was nicely paced, enough plot twists to keep you interested and some new characters to spice things up. The only thing that really annoyed me was the cliffhanger ending. Why, oh why do writers always do that to us! Now I have to wait another year until the next part, Tempest, comes out...

    Blurb
    Feisty teen Nora Grey somehow survived the crises of Hush, Hush!, but dangers just as frightening loom in this standalone sequel. Patch, her guardian angel and love interest, appears to have a dark side and a wandering eye. Worse yet, he seems intent on obstructing Nora as she hunts for the truth behind her father's mysterious death.

    Friday, 3 December 2010

    Follow Friday #6

     
     
     Hosted by Parajunkee
    This week's feature: Hafsah @ Icey books

    Weekly Question:

    What do you do besides reading / reviewing as a hobby?

    My other hobby that takes a lot of my time is music. I spent a great part of the day listening to songs, looking for new bands, and playing the piano.

    Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

    Book vs. Movie: Fingersmith


    VS

    When I read Fingersmith during the summer I had no idea there was a BBC mini series of this book. You can read my short review on the book here.

    Now I have both read the book and watched the TV-adaptation I can't help but compare.

    Because it was quite a while ago since I read the book I started the series unprejudiced. The general plot points I could still remember, but not so much details.

    The first thing that struck me is how close this series stays to the book. While watching I was recalling more and more scenes from the book. I also thought the general atmosphere was captured beautifully. The Victorian London looked exactly like I had pictured it in my mind. Although after a while it struck me that we kept seeing images of the same street over and over again from the same angle; they could have easily fixed that and varied the camera angle a bit, so it wouldn't be so obvious that was the extend of the set.

    The cast was pretty good. I thought Elaine Cassidy was an exceptionally good Maud Lily; she looks the beautiful lady with poor nerves, and she plays her character really well. Sally Hawkins as Sue Trinder was also quite good, but as I have a problem with Sue as character, I didn't really feel for her. Rupert Evans ("Gentleman" was exactly the arrogant bastard he should be. The only character I didn't particularly like were Mrs. Sucksby (Imelda Stauton). For some reason her acting felt a little bit off. It didn't correlate with the story as it should be. Her emotions seemed too played and fake.

    The way the story was presented was very clever. In the book we follow only one person at a time, so the thoughts of the other characters stay a secret, and then read the same scene only this time from another characters eyes.  In the series this is mimicked by presenting the same scenes again, only this time with extra shots that add the view of a different character. I thought this was done very smoothly, the repetitive scenes didn't feel awkward at all.

    Of course, the series wasn't as detailed as the 600+ pages book, but for a screen adaptation it came really close. It was very enjoyable to watch, also for people who have not read the book. There were some differences, but all of them minor. I loved to see the romance unfold on screen; it actually was better than it was in the book. In the book I kept feeling like I was missing something, some connection. The book left more of an impression in some places, like in the asylum, but then again, it is really hard to show the ultimate desperateness and madness an asylum brings in twenty minutes.

    Overall, it was a great mini series that stays true to the book.

    Conclusion: draw

    Wednesday, 1 December 2010

    2011 Reading Challenge: Horror and Urban Fantasy

    Book Chick City is hosting a new reading challenge combining her two favourite genres; and luckily, those are my favourite genres also! So I will take the challenge to read 24 urban fantasy or horror books in the year of 2011. I love she included horror books, now I have a great motivation to read some of my Stephen King's that have been sitting on my shelf for over a year.


     
    Challenge Details
    • Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
    • Rules: To read TWENTY FOUR (24) horror & urban fantasy novels in 2011 (24 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)
    • You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
    • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
    • At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to add your reviews.

    Reviews by Chronological Order

    2012 Reviews
    1. Alienation by Jon S. Lewis (4/5)
    2. Demon's Fall by Karalynn Lee (2/5) 
    3. Blood Beast by Darren Shan (3/5) 
    4. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder (4/5) 
    5. Me@you.com by KE Payne (3/5)
    6. Feed by Mira Grant (4/5) 
    7. Everneath by Brodi Ashton (4.5/5) 
    8. Blood Work by Kim Harrison (5/5) 
    9. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini (2/5) 
    10. Enormity by W.G. Marshall (4/5) 
    11. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund (5/5) 
    12. Divergent by Veronica Roth (5/5) 
    13. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen (4/5) 
    14. Passion by Lauren Kate (2/5)
    15. Legacy of Eden by Nelle Davy (4/5)
    16. The Last Hero by Terry Pratchett (5/5)
    17. The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice (3/5)
    18. Katana by Cole Gibsen (3.5/5)
    19. CurbChek by Zach Fortier (3/5)
    20. Deadline by Mira Grant (5/5)
    21. Heart of Perdition by Selah March (2/5)
    22. Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton (4/5)
    23. Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright (2/5)
    24. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff (4/5)
    25. Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill (3.5/5)
    26. Birth of a Killer by Darren Shan (4/5) 
    27. Ugly to Start With by John Michael Cummings (4/5)
    28. Generation by William Knight (4/5)
    29. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (4/5)
    30. Burnt Offerings by Laurell K Hamilton (4/5) 
    31. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (4/5)
    32. Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall (5/5)
    33. Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves (4/5)
    34. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (5/5)
    35. LoveLife by Rachel Spangler (3/5)
    36. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (5/5)
    37. Wither by Lauren DeStefano (3/5)
    38. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (4/5)
    39. Carrie by Stephen King (4/5) 
    40. Blue Moon by Laurell K Hamilton (4/5)
    41. Ashfall by Mike Mullin (4/5)
    42. Eve by Anna Carey (3/5)
    43. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry (4/5)
    44. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (4/5)
    45. First Frost by Jennifer Estep (2/5)
    46. Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (4/5)
    47. Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (4/5)
    48. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (3/5)
    49. Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle (2.5/5 Stars)
    50. Insurgent by Veronica Roth (5/5 Stars)
    51. Matched by Ally Condie (3/5 Stars)
    52. The Girl Is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines (3/5) 
    53. Doubtless by Cat Grant (4/5)
    54. Blackout by Mira Grant (5/5)
    55. A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton (4/5)

    2011 Reviews
    1. Insomnia by Stephen King (4/5)
    2. Torment by Lauren Kate (4/5) 
    3. The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton (4/5)
    4. A Treasure Worth Seeking by Sandra Brown (2.5/5)
    5. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (4.5/5)
    6. House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo (3/5)
    7. Slawter by Darren Shan (4/5)
    8. The Good, The Bad, and The Undead by Kim Harrison (4.5/5)
    9. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (4/5)
    10. The Struggle by L.J. Smith (2/5)
    11. Hard Day's Knight by John G. Hartness (4/5) 
    12. Space Celebrity by Alain Gomez (3/5) (Short Story) 
    13. The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (5/5)
    14. Haunted by Kelley Armstrong (4/5)
    15. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelley Keaton (4.5/5)
    16. Invasion by Jon S. Lewis (5/5)
    17. Stray by Rachel Vincent (2.5/5)
    18. Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce (4/5)
    19. The Trouble With Spells by Lacey Weatherford (4/5)
    20. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning (4.5/5)
    21. Quicksilver by Joy Spraycar (3/5) 
    22. Bec by Darren Shan (4/5) 
    23. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (5/5) 
    24. Every Which Way But Dead by Kim Harrison (4/5) 
    25. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (4/5)
    26. Shine by Lauren Myracle (4/5)
    27. Need by Carrie Jones (4/5) 
    28. Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee (4/5) 
    29. The Fury by L.J. Smith (4/5) 
    30. Foreplay by Jill Myles (4/5) 
    31. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward (5/5)
    32. The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford (4.5/5)
    33. The Apothecary by Samantha Jillian Bayarr (3/5)
    34. Photographs & Phantoms by Cindy Spencer Pape (3/5) 
    35. Marked by P.C. Cast (3.5/5)
    36. Storm Front by Jim Butcher (4/5)
    37. Bumped by Megan McCafferty (2/5)
    38. Errant by Diana Peterfreund (5/5)
    39. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (4/5)
    40. Thirst by Claire Farrell (3/5)
    41. Bliss by Lauren Myracle (3/5)
    42. Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens (2/5)
    43. Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly (4/5)
    44. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (4/5)
    45. The Debutante's Dilemma by Elyse Mady (3/5)
    46. The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross (4/5)
    47. Broken by Kelley Armstrong (4/5)
    48. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (3/5)
    49. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (3/5)
    50. Soulless by Gail Carriger (4.5/5)
    51. The Angelic Mysteries by James Sanderson (2/5)

    2010 Reviews
    1. Rampant by Diana Peterfreund (5/5)
    2. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick (4/5)
    3. Vampire Protector by Amy Corwin (4/5)
    4. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (4/5)
    5. The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray (5/5)
    6. Hell Rider by Belladonna Bordeaux (3/5)
    7. The Awakening by L.J. Smith (3/5)
    8. Absolute Perfection by Stephanie Burke (4/5)
    9. The Wanderer by Jan Irving (5/5)
    10. Demon Thief by Darren Shan (4/5)
    11. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (4/5)
    12. Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze (3/5)
    13. Once Dead Twice Shy by Kim Harrison (3/5)
    14. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (5/5)
    15. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (4/5)
    16. Dracula by Bram Stoker (4/5)
    17. Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong (4/5)
    18. Shadowfall by James Clemens (4/5)
    19. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (4/5)
    20. Veronika Decides To Die by Paulo Coelho (4/5)
    21. Lord Loss by Darren Shan (4/5)
    22. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (4/5)
    23. The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis (3/5)
    24. Early to Death, Early to Rise by Kim Harrison (4/5)
    25. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice (3/5)
    26. Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton (4/5)

    Tuesday, 30 November 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #6

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #6: Insomnia

    "No one - least of all Dr Lichfield - came right out and told Ralph Roberts that his wife was going to die, but there came a time when Ralph understood without needing to be told."

    "Those four months were like being dragged drunk through some malign carnival where the people on the rides were really screaming, the people lost in the mirror maze were really lost, and the denizens of Freak Alley looked at you with false smiles on their lips and terror in their eyes."


    Both teasers from the first page of the book (so no spoilers). I do hope this book isn't as scary as It (also by Stephen King) was, or I won't be able to sleep at night any more!

    Friday, 26 November 2010

    Follow Friday #5

     
     
     Hosted by Parajunkee

    Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

    Guest Post by Graham Parke: Giveaway

    "No Hope for Gomez!" Birthday Party. Win kindles, iPods, and get free books!




    “It's the age-old tale:
         Boy meets girl.
         Boy stalks girl.
         Girl already has a stalker.
         Boy becomes her stalker-stalker.”

    It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since I handed in the final proofs for my weird little book ‘No Hope for Gomez!’ To celebrate this, and the fact that it just became a finalist in 2010's Best Book Awards, I decided to throw an international party. As I’ve had a debilitating fear of throwing parties and no-one showing up since early childhood, I’d be more than delighted if you’d come!

    Of course, with every cool, international party comes a gift bag. Here's just some of the stuff attendants will get:

    • Exclusive short story collection
    • No Hope for Gomez: The Lost Chapters
    • Making of Gomez: behind the scenes eBook
    • Signed hi-res poster + bookplate

    (These are all exclusive items and will not be available again)

    Additionally, several lucky attendants will win a Kindle or an iPod!

    Oh yeah, you can bring as many friends as you like, just don't bring your crazy uncle who drinks too much and then tries to get me to go to the attic with him to see something wonderful. I've fallen for that before and I don't mind telling you, I came away very disappointed!

    Find out how to attend HERE.

    Wednesday, 24 November 2010

    BR: Vampire Protector

    Vampire Protector by Amy Corwin
    5 out of 5 stars
    Reviewed for The Romance Reviews, revised for blog

    I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected a lot of romance and a mediocre plot. But Vampire Protector stays clear from the cheesy girl-meets-vampire love story that we have seen so many times before, and turns it into a good urban fantasy with a heroine you will feel for.

    Gwen doesn't remember much about what happened to her parents. She does know they were killed by vampires. Ever since, she helps people to protect them against these creatures. Nevertheless, she decides to take her vampire neighbour with her for safety as she returned to her childhood home. This simple decision leads to a series of events that concern master vampires, old family heirlooms and life-threatening situations.

    The author created a lot of tension throughout the story by revealing Gwen's past step by step. We learn with her, and we only know what she knows. Therefore you feel more connected to the main character, and it keeps the plot going. Her remembering her childhood was very well done, by not only telling us about it, but also showing it to us through flashbacks.

    What I also liked is how well written this book is. After a lot of so-so writing reading other books, it feels good again to have a proper dialogue that flows and clear and with vivid descriptions. The prose was kept simple, yet not annoyingly so. Overall, it was very pleasant to read.

    The only thing that kind of lacked here was the romance. We get told about how their love for each other grows, but I just didn't really buy it. It didn't really feel genuine. There is some obvious lust, but this seems to stem more from our heroine's lack of intimate partners than true love. In the end, for me, they seemed more like best friends than true lovers. 

    I had the same problem with the relationship between Gwen and her best friend. I kept thinking the whole time that her friend actually was a traitor that would stab Gwen in the back the moment she least expected it. Maybe I have read too many stories where this happens and I’ve become a little bit paranoid, but again I just didn’t see the sincere connection. In the end there was nothing wrong with the friend, but I kept having this feeling she was more of a stranger that randomly came to Gwen’s rescue than someone that has known her for several years.

    The plot was well-rounded, no obvious holes there, and the overall story felt like the author put a lot of work into tying every loose end and making sure every little piece of mystery we come across is explained. It did feel slightly overworked at times, but not so much it disturbs the flow of the story.

    Vampire Protector is a very well written urban fantasy with plenty action and suspense to keep you hooked throughout the whole book.

    Blurb
    Exploring Gwen's deliciously spooky and long abandoned childhood home in the company of her handsome neighbor sounds like a brilliant way to break her dating dry spell and find a few missing memories. Unfortunately, she soon discovers her mistake. John, her date, is a vampire and her house is not exactly empty. Secrets—and the dead—don’t always stay buried, and John’s extraordinary strength and determination may be all that can withstand what awaits them.


    Gwen must unlock her memories and survive the devastating company of her Vampire Protector if she hopes to prevent the past from destroying her future.

    Tuesday, 23 November 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #5

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #5: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

    "Dear Diary,
    Something awful is going to happen today.
    I don't know why I wrote that. It's crazy. There's no reason for me to be upset and every reason for me to be happy but...

    But here I am at 5:30 in the morning, awake and scared. I keep telling myself it's just that I'm all messed up from the time difference between France and here. But that doesn't explain why I feel so scared. So lost."

    Monday, 22 November 2010

    BR: The Vampire Lestat

    The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
    5 out of 5 stars

    Even though it took me ages for me to finish this book (fifty-one days, Goodreads tells me), I loved it from beginning to end. I didn't really like Interview with the Vampire, the first part of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, but this was so, so much better. Interview lacked speed, a certain captivating quality, and the main reason for that was probably main character Louis. I thought Louis was way to whiny for a vampire. But in this book we have Lestat, the most vampiry-vampire I have seen in literature.

    There is just something about Lestat that is so intriguing. He’s thoughts and feelings are completely different from human ones. In a lot of fiction books vampires are a kind of enhanced human beings, and I think it was very clever of Anne Rice to stay clear of that. She created a whole new race, that is foreign to us, but by explaining where every thought comes from, she makes them believable, and even relatable.

    What I also loved about this story is it’s complexity. There are so many layers, all kinds of philosophies, that all collide and became this tale. To truly understand the motives behind the vampires’ actions, one has to really study every little piece of information, and give it the attention it deserves.

    That’s probably why it took me so damn long to finally finish this book. I read many passages aloud because they were so beautifully written. For me, the intricate sentences Rice has created came to life in a way that felt like poetry. Maybe there is too much descriptiveness for some readers, but I think this story didn’t deserve any less.

    The characters and the writing really made this story for me. There is not a lot of tension or excitement. This is kind of Lestat’s memoir. Therefore, we all know he will survive everything that comes across his path, but still, it is fascinating to see what is going on in his head, after we have seen only the outside in Interview with the Vampire. And especially how misunderstood he was. How Louis’ own prejudices have clouded his vision. This made me love Lestat even more, even by his own blood he is misunderstood and even hated.

    And finally a vampire that actually kills people. The current trend is that all “good” vampires must live on animal blood, and resist the temptation of human blood completely. In my humble opinion, vampires should be monsters, true creatures of the night, and what believable creature of the night only nibbles on little rat necks from time to time?

    Lestat has the perfect balance between good-hearted qualities and some wickedness, to keep it interesting. Slowly but steadily he grew to be one of my favourite characters of all time. Just like he is in love with humans, I have fallen in love with the vampires. The next part of the series, Queen of the Damned, is impatient for me to read it.

    Blurb
    'Ah, the taste and feel of blood when all passion and greed is sharpened in that one desire!' Lestat: a vampire - but very much not the conventional undead, for Lestat is the truly alive. Lestat is vivid, ecstatic, stagestruck, and in his extravagant story he plunges from the lasciviousness of eighteenth-century Paris to the demonic Egypt of prehistory; from fin-de-siecle New Orleans to the frenetic twentieth-century world of rock superstardom - as, pursued by the living and the dead, he searches across time for the secret of his own dark immortality.

    Sunday, 21 November 2010

    In My Mailbox

    In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.

    This week I received:

    2011 Reading Challenge: Outdo Yourself

    My goal for 2010 was to read 50 books. I'm now at 43, so with some luck I might even make it. But I still want to try to read more next year, that's why I'm joining The Book Vixen's 2011 challenge, and will try to read 10 books more next year



    Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
    Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
    hosted by The Book Vixen
    Details:
    • Runs January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 (books read prior to 1/1/11 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. You can sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
    • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2011 than you did in 2010. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
    • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
    • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are fine.
    • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them. It is not required that you review the books you read for this challenge but feel free to do so.
    • Post this reading challenge on your blog so you can keep a list of the books you’ve read for this challenge. Please include a link back to this post so readers can join the challenge too.
    • You do not have to be a book blogger to participate. You can keep tabs on books you’ve read for this challenge on Goodreads or LibraryThing if you’d like (maybe make a shelf for “Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge”). If you are not on either of those sites then you can list the books you read for this challenge in the comments on my wrap-up post, which will be up at the end of 2011.

    Levels:
         Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
         Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
         Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
         I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books


    I will be trying for Breaking a sweat, but I'll probably end up with Out of breath. 

    Saturday, 20 November 2010

    The Magical Never-Empty TBR Pile

    Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the size of your TBR-pile? Do your shelves bend under the massive weight? Do you keep adding and adding more books, while everyone tells you you really don't need more? If the answer to these questions is yes, then I'm sorry, but you are a true book addict.

    And I am happy to be one of them!

    Last week I ran out of shelve space. I just can't squish more books in, not even a tiny paperback. So now they are spreading more and more about the house, they're everywhere! They're piling up at my night stand, next to my bed, on the ground...

    And the worst thing is, there are dozens or more books that were privileged enough to earn a spot on my nice shelves, that are crying for me to read them! I try to limit myself to having a maximum of 50 unread books. When everything that I have ordered last week comes in, I'll be at 52. And that's just physical books. Don't even get me started on digital ones.

    But true addicts can't help themselves! Especially the well-connected ones. There are so many great book blog out there that talk about great books, that host even better giveaways, that keep feeding our addiction.

    There just aren't enough hours in the day to keep up with everything that's going on. Just now, I have about five books that are all screaming for my attention, but I can't even choose which one to read first. Usually I end up with trying to read them all at once, but then you never seem to finish one of them.

    Is there a cure? Is there a way for us to learn to control ourselves? Will we ever run out of books to read?


    Hi everyone, my name is Celine, and I'm a book addict.

    Friday, 19 November 2010

    Follow Friday #5

     
     
     Hosted by Parajunkee
    This week's feature: Ginger @ GReads

    Weekly Question:
    How long have you been book blogging?

    I'm still very new to book blogging. I created my blog about four months ago, but I started adding content activly about a month ago.

    Leave a comment so I can follow you back!

    Tuesday, 16 November 2010

    Teaser Tuesday #4

    teasertuesdays31Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
    • Grab your current read
    • Open to a random page
    • Share two “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    • Make sure you do not include spoilers
    • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

    Teaser Tuesday #4: Rampant

    "Unicorns are man-eating monsters.
    They don't have wings, they aren't lavender or sparkly, and you could never catch one to ride without its goring you through the sternum.

    And even if it somehow managed to miss you major arteries - and it never misses - you'd still die from the poison in it's horn.
    But don't worry. My great-great-great-great-great-aunt Clothilde killed the last one a hundred and fifty years ago."