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.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Review: A Witch in Love by Ruth Warburton

Title: A Witch in Love
Author: Ruth Warburton
Series: Winter Trilogy #2
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

401 pages
Published July 5th 2012 by Hodder

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

In A Witch in Love Anna's adventure continues. She has discovered she's a witch, but she doesn't want to use her powers, ever. When her magic starts to spill out at random moments, it's becoming harder and harder to conceal her magic to the outwith, non-magical people.

This is a great follow up to Ms Warburton's debut novel, A Witch in Winter. Where in the first book the cast of characters was introduced, in the second book their personalities are expanded, moving them from relatable to love-worthy. I fell further in love with several of the secondary characters.

The absolute best thing about these books is how Ms Warburton GETS teenagers. The voice of the main character Anna is amazing. It's uncanny how good she captures the true feel and angst of being a teenager, without bringing it too far or overdoing it. I think a lot of teens will be able to relate to Anna, even though they might not have the awesome magic powers she has.

For me it took a while for the book to take off. For some reason the first hundred pages didn't grip me as much as I was hoping they would. Maybe it was just the lack of action and Anna's defiance for using magic, I can't really put a finger on it exactly. The last half definitely made up for the slowness of the beginning though.

The plot thickens, Anna meets a relative that might know more about her past, she ends up in a life threatening situation... I can't wait to read the third and final book in the series. Secretly I'm wishing it was longer than a trilogy.


Anna still finds it hard to believe that Seth loves her and has vowed to suppress her powers, no matter what.

But magic – like love – is uncontrollable. It spills out with terrible consequences, and soon, Anna is being hunted.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Monday, 23 July 2012

Guest Post: Emlyn Chand on Self Publishing

To celebrate being back from my well-needed blogging break, I am having the wonderful Emlyn Chand over today for a guest post, courtesy of Orangeberry Virtual Tours. Without further ado, here is her post!

The Guest Post

The Self-Published Author is No Different than the Salem Witch

Let's face it - the publishing industry is changing. We can all pretty much agree on that, right?

What we've got on our hands is an oncoming era of enlightenment (I prefer that to the often-touted “revolution”). ‘T wasn’t long ago that being a self-published author was practically as shocking and horrific as being a witch in Salem, Massachusetts circa 1700.

“What damnation have you wrought upon yourself? Upon us all?” The traditional pub villagers would cry as they rushed for their pitch forks and torches. “Be gone with you, unnatural creatures!”

And those unkind words were enough to send us packing. They didn’t have to chase us out of the village, for we never had any real magic, we were never any real threat.


We opened our eyes. We saw the true powers we possessed, and we saw the villagers for what they lacked.

We are able to manipulate our circumstances. We have more control than any who’ve gone before us. Self-publishing truly is magic.

But we can’t just walk around all blasé, showing off our green skin and harry warts while levitating our way through the park. That would be a mistake. We need to put on a little bit of concealer and keep our feet on the ground. We wouldn’t want to scare them away.

Similarly, a self-published or indie author needs to put on a bit of a show. We need to know when to conform to the “village” way of life and when to do our own damn thang. If we can get them to come in for a closer look, they might understand our allure. Then they’ll stop being so afraid.

Our make-up isn’t Maybelline to cover that green skin (I ♥ you, Elphaba). No. We apply our foundation by writing a truly fetching and well-edited manuscript. We dab on the blush when we take the time and expense needed to don an attractive book cover. Our lipstick is a professional, personal, and functional web presence.

Don’t we look pretty? We do, I tell you. And we’re all the more beautiful for knowing that we possess something so much deeper within: creativity, stick-to-it-ness, bravery, and of course – magic.

If you really examine the state of the publishing industry, it’s not the traditional house execs that populate the villages. Oh, they’re definitely the mayors, the cryers, and a few other choice townspeople. But if you want to see who lives in the village, go and knock on a few doors.

It’s the readers, bibliophiles, book addicts. They’re the ones who built this town. The mayor would have no village to govern if ‘tweren’t for them.

And thank God for it!

We arrived on their doorsteps – beaten, bloody, in need of a hot meal and a bit of rest. They may have been put off by our bedraggled appearance, but they ultimately let us in and showed us the true nature of their hospitality.

I kind of like this town; I think I’ll move in ;-)

Book & Bio

From an early age, Emlyn Chand has counted books among her best friends. She loves to hear and tell stories and emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). Her affinity for the written word extends to absolutely every area of her life: she has written two-and-a-half novels, leads a classics book group with over three hundred members, and, of course, runs the whole shebang at Novel Publicity.

Alex Kosmitoras's life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, an enticing new girl comes to their small Midwest town all the way from India. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to "see" the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they suggest Simmi is in mortal danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex embarks on his journey to change the future.

Friday, 13 July 2012

I'm On A Break!

Hi guys!

I've decided that it's time.

Time to stop blogging? Hell no! Time for my yearly vacation away from Nyx Book Reviews.

I took a break last year when blogging became too much of a chore and not a hobby for me. I think I stayed away for around two months, and in that time I retrieved my love for books, for blogging, for reading. I came back with tons of ideas and a whole new look on blogging.

And I want that. I want to come back here and make my blog even better than it is now. Because to be honest guys, I'm pretty damn proud of how much my blog grew this year. How I hosted my first event. Made new friends. Had the courage to contact authors. Took the leap and sit in front of a camera talking books.

But there is more to discover, and I need a fresh look. So, starting today I will stay clear from my blog for two weeks. That doesn't mean I'm entirely gone. I'll still be on Twitter, and will still update my reading progress over on Goodreads.

And when I get back, get ready. I'm putting together a big box of books giveaway. The Review Copy Cleanup is coming up. Reviews, interviews, guest posts, the whole affair. Self-hosting my blog. And a ton of other surprises.

I've got big plans my friends.

But in until then, enjoy the picture of this doggy.

Click me for more cuteness!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Review: Blackout by Mira Grant

Title: Blackout
Author: Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh Trilogy #3
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

632 pages
Published May 22th 2012 by Orbit

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

Okay, I know it for sure now. This book is one of my all time favourites.

This book. This whole series. It's so, so, so GOOD.

In this third and last part in the Newsflesh Trilogy, the After The End Times bloggers play the endgame. It's now or never, all or nothing. All the bodies they left in their wake are a dark presence they have to live with. Will they uncover the conspiracy before the government finds them and shut them up once and for all?

To be honest, I wouldn't recommend Blackout, or any of the books in this series if you are looking for a gruesome zombie book. Because to be honest, the amount of zombie encounters in this book is minimal. It's not about the shambling dead. It's about how fear can be used to control countries. It's about how easily people are persuaded when they are afraid, and how easy it is to scare them. These books are so much more than just zombie reads.

And it has intricate story lines! Hurray! I loved how all the threads came together in this one, and the fact that no questions were left unanswered. Blackout had some massive plot twists that literally made me go "oh my god oh my god what's happening". It's that good.

The only fault is something I don't mind personally, but I get why other people might get annoyed by it. There is some repetition in sentences and scenes. For example, the main characters are subjected to blood tests at every single building. But the thing is, repeating the fact that there are blood tests over and over again actually has a purpose in the story. It shows how paranoid everyone has become. It shows how repressed and twisted their society actually is. There was no unnecessary repetition in the story in my opinion.

If I was rich, I would gift these books to every person I know. Since I can't even afford buying myself new books, I will have to settle for recommending it to everyone I know. Seriously guys. These are keepers.


Rise up while you can. -Georgia Mason

The year was 2014. The year we cured cancer. The year we cured the common cold. And the year the dead started to walk. The year of the Rising.

The year was 2039. The world didn't end when the zombies came, it just got worse. Georgia and Shaun Mason set out on the biggest story of their generation. The uncovered the biggest conspiracy since the Rising and realized that to tell the truth, sacrifices have to be made.

Now, the year is 2041, and the investigation that began with the election of President Ryman is much bigger than anyone had assumed. With too much left to do and not much time left to do it in, the surviving staff of After the End Times must face mad scientists, zombie bears, rogue government agencies-and if there's one thing they know is true in post-zombie America, it's this:

Things can always get worse.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Monday, 9 July 2012

Once Upon A Readathon: Goals

Hi guys! I decided to join the readathon hosted by Candace @ Candace's Book Blog, Lori @ Pure Imagination and Angela @ Reading Angel. They're all fantasic bloggers, go check them out!

I really, really need to get some reading done. I feel like I've been incredibly lazy the last few weeks in the reading department. Looking at my statistics on Goodreads tells me I'm actually doing quite all right, but I prefer to be ahead of my yearly goal. Even though the readathon starts today, you can still sign up over here.

As for my goals the upcoming three days, I will be trying for two books. If I could get through three that would be amazing, but I'm afraid that might be pushing it too far (:

Here's the list (link goes to Goodreads):

Sunday, 8 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 (:

So I kind of caved and bought some books even though I'm still on a book buying ban. I keep telling myself it's okay though, because they're all books in series I've already read the first book of. I have to buy them, otherwise they might not sell those covers any more!

Sigh, the lengths I go in deceiving myself. The books are really awesome though, and I can't wait to dig into them (:

Click on the covers to go to their Goodreads page.

For review:

Another Outskirts Press book (thanks!). It looks like a mystery kind of book. Looking forward to read it during the Review Copy Cleanup!


I got my very first RAK!! If you want to know more about Random Acts of Kindness, go to the Book Soulmates site.
I got my RAK from Christine, a reader of my blog. Thank you thank you thank you! <3 I'm so happy you thought of me! I can't wait to start Magic Bites, it's an urban-fantasy series I've had my eyes on for so long. Look look, she even drew balloons on my card!

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, 7 July 2012

Review: Doubtless by Cat Grant

Title: Doubtless
Author: Cat Grant
Series: Priceless #2
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

50 pages
Published July 16th 2012 by Riptide Publishing
ARC received from the publisher

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Buy It

Not usually one for romance novellas, I give this one a try because I wanted a break from the countless YA novels I've been reading lately. My usual complaint is that they contain only sex and no story - but luckily that wasn't the case with Doubtless.

Steve has everything - a big apartment, an expensive car, a great job.. But there is no love in his life. When he encounters a male escort at a bar at night, he learns something about himself.

This novella is short, but sweet. I instantly liked Steve, who is humble and slightly awkward, but great at his job. He is a sad and confused guy yet stays away from being whiny. Basically this story is about his transformation.

I had no clue there was a book that comes before Doubtless, that tells the story of his best friend Connor. If you've read that one, Priceless, you already know this story won't end on a HEA. I didn't know that, so the ending of this book was quite a surprise for me. I really liked it though, it was sweet and positive without being gooey or clichéd.

There is some sex in Doubtless, but it doesn't overpower the story. There is a fade-out at one point, and the rest of it isn't too graphic or icky. I was quite impressed by the author's writing, and I'd love to read another book by her.


Loving your best friend is hard . . . especially when he's marrying someone else.

On the surface, Steve Campbell seems to have it all: a beautiful home, a snazzy car, and a dream job as one of the country’s top 3-D optics researchers. But underneath, he’s restless and dissatisfied, tired of empty encounters with leggy lab assistants and endless evenings alone.

A chance meeting with a handsome escort lifts Steve’s spirits and opens his eyes to his long-repressed attraction to men—and his love for his best friend and business partner, Connor Morrison.

Connor might’ve loved Steve like that once, but now it’s too late for their happily ever after; Connor’s about to ask his boyfriend to marry him. Fortunately, it's never too late to learn about yourself, and maybe Steve can find a happy ending on his own.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Interview: Jessica Bennett of Grub Street Reads

Today's interview is a little bit different from what you might be used to here on Nyx Book Reviews. I'm not interviewing an author (well - she is an author, but that's not the focus of the interview), but the co-owner of new indie book endorsement company Grub Street Reads.

The Interview

Nyx Book Reviews: Hi Jessica, welcome to Nyx Book Reviews! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Jessica: Hi Celine, I’m really pleased to be here at Nyx Book Reviews. My business partner, Leslie Ramey, and I are both fans of the blog, and we’re excited to share information about our business, Grub Streets Reads, with you and your readers.

Leslie and I are, first and foremost, passionate readers. Personally, my addiction started when a shady friend slipped me my first Goosebumps book at a young age. That was the gateway book, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It shouldn’t be surprising that both Leslie and I knew early on that we wanted to be authors.

Fast forward a few decades, and I found myself sitting across from Leslie in a writer’s critique group. She and I began to meet separately to critique each other’s work and to discuss publishing our work. We both did our own research of the current publishing market and decided to self-publish. It was a really exciting time, but also scary. Self-publishing means that you’re on your own, especially when it comes to marketing your book. Marketing is a task that almost all indie authors struggle with.

During this time, Leslie and I looked at every possible way to market our books. We assumed there was some organization out there that provided endorsements or had developed a quality standard for indie books, but all we found were authors and readers alike asking for this type of service. No one was doing it, even though the need was clear.

Leslie and I spent a lot of time discussing the idea. This included much lip chewing, brain storming, and maybe a few tequila shots, but eventually we decided that if no one was going to step up to the plate, we would. A year – and much, much, much work – later, we’re fit to burst with pride over Grub Street Reads, which officially launches July 9th.

Your company is called Grub Street Reads. What do you guys do?

In a nutshell, Grub Street Reads seeks to encourage higher readership of self-published and indie authors by providing a quality standard for self-published and independently-published novels. The Grub Street Reads endorsement seal is given to those books that pass an evaluation process based on the fundamental qualities of good storytelling.

We believe that the indie book market needs standards and that spotlighting the best indie books on the market with our endorsement is a good thing for authors, readers and the reputation of the indie market.
We’re very open about our evaluation process and endorsement criteria on our website. We also have a fun and kooky video on our home page that explains our business in a little more detail:

You endorse books. How is this different from publishing books, like the big publishing houses do?

One of the biggest differences is that we don’t consider ourselves to be “gatekeepers”. Just a few years ago the only viable way to be a successful author was to get into the big bookstores. In most instances, this required an author to get an agent who would then have to place the book with a publisher. If a publisher didn’t accept the book, the author had a very poor chance of ever getting visibility. Agents and publishers are very picky and only a very small percentage of authors ever got a publishing contract.

At Grub Street Reads, we don’t stop anyone from publishing their book. Even if we don’t endorse a particular novel, that author can still self-publish on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and potentially be a great success.

Our main focus is to spotlight and support quality indie books, not to hold anyone back.

Another big difference is that a publisher will typically handle all aspects of an author’s book publication, marketing and distribution. This includes editing the manuscript, developing a cover, publicizing the book, etc…

At Grub Street Reads, we don’t publish or actively distribute books. We do list all of our endorsed books in the Grub Street Reads Library and include links to where they can be purchased. We also try to support our endorsed authors by acknowledging them on our website, our social networking sites, our newsletters and in many other ways.

What kind of books/authors are you looking for?

Quality is the most important factor when it comes to receiving a Grub Street Reads endorsement. We are very clear about what our endorsement criteria are and even have a “Read Before You Submit” page on our website with Dos and Don’ts.

If you’ve got a great book, we’d love to evaluate it and give you our endorsement if your manuscript meets our criteria.

As far as specifics go, we accept all genres of fiction except for children’s book. We also accept creative nonfiction. We don’t accept poetry or screenplays. Manuscripts must be complete, and at this time we’re only accepting manuscripts written in English. We accept manuscripts that are unpublished, self-published, and traditionally-published.

Do you think indie publishing will take over the market?

I don’t think we’ll be seeing the major publishing companies melt away entirely in the next couple of years, but they’re definitely not the only game in town anymore. . The explosion in self-publishing will only get bigger as more and more authors look at the market just like Leslie and I did and see all the opportunities that abound for indie authors.

It’s easier than ever to self-publish, and the royalty rates offered by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online distributors can’t be beat. With the continued and far-reaching adoption of Kindles, Nooks, iPads and other electronic reading devices, readers are buying ebooks in droves. No longer must authors get their novels into (dwindling) bookstores to be successful.

The publishing promise land has come for authors. Unfortunately, that promise land is getting really crowded. The process of self-publishing a novel may be easy, but actually developing a strong readership is anything but. Authors still need to find a way to stand out from the crowd and please readers.

Speaking of readers, I think most of them don’t care whether a book is self-published or comes from a big publishing house. They just want a great story that will sweep them away. Unfortunately, with so many low-quality books floating around, readers are starting to shy away from trying new authors.

The bigger the indie book market gets, the greater the need for Grub Street Reads.

Thank you for answering my questions (:

Thanks for letting me stop by your place to chat! It’s been a pleasure. A couple last things I wanted to mention: Grub Street Reads officially launches July 9th, but our beta site is up, and we already have a growing list of endorsed indie books in the GSR library. We invite readers of Nyx Book Reviews to check out our site, view/mock our kooky video and read more about our endorsement process and criteria. We’re also offering a 25% discount for all manuscripts submitted before our official launch, so hurry up and hustle over.

Thanks so much for your time!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Review Copy Cleanup August: Sign Up

Hello everyone, we're proud to introduce the second Review Copy Cleanup! Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea and me had so much fun hosting the first Review Copy Cleanup in March that we decided to have another one. Whether you took part in the previous Cleanup or you're new to this event, you're welcome to join in the fun and sign up!

What is the Review Copy Cleanup?

My bookish friend Vicky and I were getting swamped in review books. We decided to make it all a bit more fun and are challenging you all to read your review copies with us! Clean up that big pile of books this August and join the Review Copy Cleanup. During the month of August we will host a number of Twitter parties and mini-readathons, to motivate ourselves and other participants! So if your review pile is getting out of control as well, make sure to join us on a quest to clean up our review copy pile and to have some fun in the process.

Grab Our Button!

The Guidelines
  • The challenge runs from 1 to 31 August
  • To sign up, just fill in the Mister Linky below. Link to your sign up post directly please! The Linky is the same for both our blogs, so you only have to sign up once
  • The sign up is open until 15 August 2012
  • When you post your sign up post on your blog, either include the challenge button with your post or link it back to this article so that people know where to sign up. Thank you! 
  • Every book you received for review counts towards the challenge, both ebooks and hard copies, including all genres and lengths
  • You don't need to follow the two hosts in order to be able to sign up for the event (although it's appreciated)
  • Feel free to use the #RCCleanup hashtag on Twitter for your RCC related tweets or join in the Twitter party at and meet lots of awesome bloggers (:
  • The dates of the readathons and Twitter parties will be announced closer to the RCC

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Review: The Girl Is Trouble by Kathryn Miller Haines

Title: The Girl Is Trouble
Author: Kathryn Miller Haines
Series: Girl Is Murder #2
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

336 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Roaring Brook Press
ARC received through Netgalley

Goodreads | Author | Publisher | Amazon | Book Depository

I like my mystery detectives to be like Sherlock or Poirot. Those all-knowing eyes seeing the littlest clues in the most unlikely places. Or, for them to be like Jacques Clouseau, an utter clutz that still manages to solve the mystery by pure luck. The problem I had with The Girl Is Trouble is that the heroine was neither.

Iris Anderson and her dad, a veteran, are living in the Lower East Side. Her mother committed suicide almost a year ago, and dad doesn't want to talk about it. When Iris discovers new evidence, she is determined to find out what really happened.

I absolutely love the 40s setting in Manhattan. It's a historical setting that I'm not that familiar with, and it was great to be sucked back to the time of funny dances and long skirts. Of course there is also the darker side of that time; the second world war. The war is ever present in this book, but never annoyingly so. I thought the background was very well done.

This book can easily be read as a stand-alone. I haven't read the first book, The Girl Is Murder, but I had absolutely no troubles following the storyline. There were maybe a couple of references to a previous case, but nothing that threw me off.

The only thing that kept annoying me throughout the book is the heroine, Iris. There isn't really anything wrong with her. Her personality isn't obnoxious or too stupid to live. It's just that she has absolutely no hand in solving the mystery AT ALL. About every single major plot twist has to be explained to Iris by her weird best friend Pearl, which was a way more interesting character for me. The clues just kind of come to her, and the only thing Iris has to do is fit them together. Another point I didn't very much like is Iris's voice. She's supposed to be fifteen, yet she thinks like a twenty year-old. Fifteen isn't that long ago for me that I can't remember what it was like, and I am pretty sure I didn't have that many insightful views on my own life and thoughts. That's something you learn with experience, and even though tragedies like your mom dying make you grow up fast, you still don't have the life experiences to objectively categorise and analyse your thoughts and feelings. Just my two cents.

This was a very fast-paced read, and with two overlapping cases (Iris is asked to find a secret note-writer and the case of her mother) make sure the story keeps moving. There are some very interesting characters in the book like the best friend Pearl and the daughter of the landlady Betty. I recommend this for people looking for a fast mystery read, and I think a younger audience will definitely appreciate this read.


Iris Anderson and her father have finally come to an understanding. Iris is allowed to help out at her Pop's detective agency as long as she follows his rules and learns from his technique. But when Iris uncovers details about her mother's supposed suicide, suddenly Iris is thrown headfirst into her most intense and personal case yet.

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Monday, 2 July 2012

June Wrap Up & My Trip to Luxembourg

Aaaaand.. It's gone.

June is always one of the busiest months of the year for me, and this time it was no different. It's the big birthday month, with birthdays to celebrate every single week, one of them being my own 18th birthday. It's also the start of festival season. Music is my second passion, right after books. As a birthday gift my parents paid to let me go on a trip to Luxembourg with my boyfriend, and it was so much fun (: I've added some pictures of the trip down below, if you're interested.

  • Kingdom Blog Tour. I had quite some fun interviewing the author, Anderson O'Donnel.
  • Fanatical about Fiction. I joined this Youtube group of "booktubers". So far I've taped three vlogs, and I'm immensely enjoying this new direction. I'm still extremely shy when sitting in front of the camera, but I'm getting better at it every time.
Guest Posts:
Book Favourites:

Books read: 6
Pages read: 2228
Remaining TBR Hill: 117
Read more about the TBR Hill here

The beautiful city of Luxembourg
Striking a pose in Luxembourg

Me and friends at the festival

How the ground looked close to the stage

This guy did a belly slide in the mud

There was a tent where you could watch soccer & stay dry
Us getting REALLY wet at Biffy Clyro

Sunday, 1 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 (:

So I kind of caved and bought some books even though I'm still on a book buying ban. I keep telling myself it's okay though, because they're all books in series I've already read the first book of. I have to buy them, otherwise they might not sell those covers any more!

Sigh, the lengths I go in deceiving myself. The books are really awesome though, and I can't wait to dig into them (:

Click on the covers or links to go to their Goodreads page.

For review:

This is a rather large book, but it looks quite interesting! It looks like it's a mystery/thriller kind of book, but with vampires. I have no idea how this combination will turn out, but the cover is quite catchy. Thanks to Outskirts Press & the author for providing the review copy (:


Blackout! I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one since I loooooved Deadline. I already started reading it, and it promises to be just as awesome as the previous books.
Perchance to Dream & So Silver Bright. The first book in the series, Eyes Like Stars, was one of the weirdest books I've ever read. It's this kind of surreal fantasy story. These covers are absolutely gorgeous, and I'm glad to have the complete series.
A Witch in Love. Ruth Warburton's writing shows a lot of promise in her debut, A Witch in Winter, and I'm really looking forward to read the second book in the series. I also had the honour of interviewing her, if you're interested.

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!