Sunday, August 23, 2015

Review: Extraordinary Means

Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: I borrowed it from one of my friends
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
When he's sent to Lathma House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over.
But when he meets Sadie and her friends - a group of eccentric troublemakers - he realizes that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn't have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

My thoughts:
This book was so heartbreaking, you can't really expect anything else from a book about teenagers with incurable tuberculosis. But even though it was sad, it was funny as well. I laughed out loud plenty whilst reading this.

I adored the two main characters in this book, Lane and Sadie. We get to experience their story though both of their perspectives, which I personally really enjoyed. One of the best things about this book was how Sadie and Lane developed as they learned and experienced new things, and how their relationship evolved with them.

The supporting characters were also amazing. They were so different, but they still got along great. The other kids were Charlie, Nick and Marina. Charlie is gay and Marina is black, so yay! Diversity in books!

My absolute favourite part of this books was all the Harry Potter references. There were even some Game of Thrones, Doctor Who and John Green references as well. It was mostly Harry Potter though - which I'm perfectly okay with - and they created funny moments. Some of my favourite Harry Potter related moments were:
"I ran the class like Professor Snape was my spirit animal."

"We're going to Hogsmeade," Sadie said. "To get butterbeer"
"At least I'm not cosplaying as Professor Slughorn."
"Marina sat there writing fan fiction like if she tried hard enough, she could pretend she was at Hogwarts"

This has to be one of the best books I've read this year, and it's definitely one of my favourites. I flew through this so quickly. I decided that I wanted to start it, and before I knew it, it was finished. I rarely read a book in one sitting, because I get distracted, but that did not happen at all with this book.

I would recommend this to everyone I know, but especially people my age or if you're into YA books. I'm seriously considering buying this book just because I want to own it, love it, and make all of my friends read it. So yeah, this is a pretty great book. I really want to read more books by Robin Schneider because I'm sure I'll enjoy them as well. Even if they're only half as good as this one, they're definitely worth the read.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Autobuy Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week I won't actually have ten authors on my list, and it's simply because I don't have ten autobuy authors. I really tried to think about all the authors I like, but I realized that if I really had to think about it, they wouldn't actually be autobuy authors, to me that is. So on this list, I only have five authors that I want to share.

On top of my list is Sarah J. Maas. I've read every single book she's written, and I am super excited for Queen of Shadows. I want to get my hands on it as soon as possible, so that I can read it.

The second on my list is Rick Riordan. I don't actually own all of his books, yet, but I'm working on it. I am super excited for the Magnus Chase series, and I'm going to buy the first book as soon as I can. I've read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus, but I haven't gotten to The Kane Chronicles yet.

Veronica Roth makes it on to this list as well. I love the Divergent trilogy, and even though I haven't read or bought Four yet, it is on my list. 

Fourth on this list is Rainbow Rowell. Again, I don't actually own all of her books yet, but they are on my to buy list. I generally enjoy all of her books, even though some of them aren't my cup of tea, I want to - at least try - to read all of them.

Last, but not least, we have John Green. He's one of my absolute favourite authors and I've read all of his books, and I love them so much. I'm really hoping that he'll publish another book soon, but in the mean time I'm enjoying the movies based on his books instead.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Tag: The Beautiful Covers

This book tag was created by TheHeavyBlanks, and you can find his video here.

1. Choose 5 of the most beautiful books in your collection.
I'm just gonna say my Harry Potter box set. They are so stunning, and I am in love with them. 
2. Choose a beautiful book that features your most favourite colour.
3. Choose a beautiful book that features your least favourite colour.
4. Choose your favourite cover of a classic.

5. Choose your favourite cover of a children's book.
6. Do you often buy books based solely on a beautiful cover?
Yes, if I'm browsing a bookstore and see a beautiful book I'll gravitate towards that, and most likely pick it up. 

7. Out of every book that you own, which book best exemplifies your idea of a beautiful book. 
I really like the simple design, and at first glance you only notice the title and author. But when you look closer you can see small details that matters in the story. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: Of Poseidon

*This is not a spoiler free review*

Title: Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy #1)
Author: Anna Banks
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Year published: 2012
How I got this book: Strand Bookstore in NYC
My rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen - literally, ouch! - booth teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma's gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom.

My thoughts:
This book was so easy to read, I just flew through it. I've wanted to read a book about mermaids for a long time, and I'm so glad that this was the book I picked up.

The mythology in this book was really interesting and though through. Banks created the Syrena in a way that they could actually exist in modern society, and how she explained the myth about Atlantis and how that used to be real city. One thing that annoyed me, though, was the fact that Banks said that Poseidon and Triton were brothers, but they are father and son. I feel like you have to know the mythology you're including in the book to write about it, so mistakes like that doesn't happen.

We read from both Emma's and Galen's perspectives in this books, which I greatly enjoyed. That way we got to learn things about the Syrena that Emma didn't know, and that made it easier to get into the story and to understand the mythology behind it.

I liked Emma a lot, and Rayna as well. Personally, I would be just as angry as Rayna if I were mated (married) to a person against my will and without my knowledge. I did not like Galen or Toraf at all. They had moments were they seemed nice, but at the end of the day they're both jerks. Galen was way too controlling with Emma, and he held back information from her, information that she definitely had the right to know. Just so he could be with her. And then we have Torf, who grew up with Galen and Rayna, and were best friends with them. He knew that Rayna never wanted to mate with anyone, but despite that he started to pursue her and even getting them mated behind her back. I really rooted for Rayna, until she had the sudden change of heart when she saw him kissing Emma, and then she was completely in love with him.

I liked the whole stalker plot, but I wish it was executed differently. From the beginning I suspected that Emma's mother was the stalker, and I usually never understand or suspect things until it's revealed. And when Galen found out that her mother is the lost queen everyone though died years and years ago, I wasn't surprised at all. It came completely out of the blue, without much foreshadowing, but I still knew that it was her mother when he found out that the queen was alive.

Lastly, one thing I could not understand at all is how Emma can talk underwater. I get that she's half Syrena and that they can talk underwater, but they can also breathe underwater. Emma can't breathe underwater and has to hold her breath, but still she managed to have full on conversations whilst doing so. It's common knowledge that you can't speak while holding your breath, because speaking will use up the breath your holding. And therefore you will have no air left, so technically, Emma should have drowned by staying so long underwater whilst talking.

So while I did have some obvious problems with this book, I still enjoyed it a lot. It was fast paced and entertaining, exactly what I excepted. Nothing more, but nothing less. You can't go into this book expecting depth or things like that, because you'll get disappointed. But nevertheless, I'm excited to read the next book, and I'm really hoping that it won't get worse. I have such high hopes for this series, because this can be great. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Aoleon the Martian Girl

Title: Aoleon The Martian Girl, Part 1: First Contact
Author: Brent LeVasseur
Publisher: Aoleon Press
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: I was lucky enough to get this for free though NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My rating: 2,5 stars

NetGalley synopsis:
Mars wants our cows (yes, cows!), and they're sending an invasion fleet to take them from us. Only Gilbert and Aoleon the Martian Girl stand in their way!

Gilbert always longed for adventure, but now that he has it, he's not sure that it's everything it's cracked up to be. Ever since the night he met Aoleon the Martian Girl sitting in the middle of a crop circle in Farmer Johnson's field, it's been nothing but one wild ride after another.

From fighting off swarms of giant killer robots to dealing with strange aliens from another world - never ming trekking across the vast Martian desert and skyboarding deep into the center of a (hopefully) extinct volcano - Gilbert has had his hands full just trying to keep up with it all. And now it's up to him and his new friend, Aoleon, to face off against the evil Martian overlord and keep our cows safe at home where they belong.

My thoughts:
This book is definitely not written for my age-range, and it's obvious throughout this entire book.

I didn't particularly like or enjoy this book. To me, it was extremely "childish" (on lack of a better word ). So while I didn't give it the best writing, it's not a bad book. It's just not a book for people my age.

One thing that I did really enjoyed was the set up on Mars. It shows that LeVasseur has planned out how the civilization on Mars works, even though we barely learn anything about it in this book. So even though we don't learn a lot about it in this book, it is only the first book in a series, and I'm sure that the more you read, the more you'll learn about it.

As I said, I didn't really like this book, but I would still recommend it to children, as they are the targeted audience of this book. I can imagine that I would think this was a wonderful sci fi book if I were younger, and therefore I think younger children will enjoy it, especially if they are interested in space and aliens. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

While some of my favourite authors are on this list, not all of them are. Some I've just happened to read a lot of books from, and some that haven't made the list are authors that haven't published that many books, or I haven't had the chance to read them yet. 

The first author on this list has to be Darren Shan. I've read a total of 16 book by him, and they are book that I really enjoyed. He has written The Demonata series - they are incredible - and the Saga of Darren Shan. If you haven't read any of his book yet, I totally recommend that you do. 

Second on this list is R. L. Stine, and I've read a total of 13 books by him. If you don't know, he has written the Goosebumps series, and according to Goodreads it consists of 62 books. That's a lot of books. All of these books are children's horror but I still think they are great. They are so small and fast to read, and wonderful if you need something that will get you back into the reading spirit.

Third on this list I have J. K. Rowling. I have - unfortunately - only read 10 of her books. All Harry Potter related. I do want to read her other books, such as The Casual Vacancy and the Cormoran Strike series, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Rick Riordan is number four on my list, and I've read 10 books by him as well. I will make this number higher as soon as the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series comes out. I've read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and The Heroes of Olympus series. I'll probably pick up the Kane Chronicles at some point, but as of now I don't really feel like reading about Egyptian gods, even though Riordan's writing is amazing.

Unsurprisingly, Stephanie Meyer is number five on my list. I've read 6 books by her; The Twilight Saga, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and The Host. And yes, I am still waiting for her to continue on with The Host series, because it was supposed to be a trilogy. 

Sarah J. Maas is on of my absolute favourite authors, and the only reason I've only read 5 books by her, is because she's only published 5 books. I can't wait until the next book in the Throne of Glass series comes out, or the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, as that is a trilogy. I need Maas so write and publish more books, because I want to read them so bad. 

Of course John Green makes it on to this list as well. I've read all of John Green's novels, which makes 5. I'm not counting Zombicorns, because it's a short story and was never published as a physical book. I really enjoy all of John's books, and I wish that he will publish more in the near future. I obviously understand that he is busy with 3 of his books all of a sudden being turned into movies - and because of that I can't really complain either - but I do hope that he will return to writing soon.

George R. R. Martin is an author I "discovered" this summer. I've obviously heard of him before, and actually read half of A Game of Thrones, but it wasn't until now that I really read this book. I love the show Game of Thrones, and the books are even better. I am currently on my 5th book in the A song of Ice and Fire series as of now. Though I'm technically on the 4th book, because I read the books where some of them are split up. I'm so glad that I finally started this series, yet I am happy I didn't start it earlier. I have 1 and a half books left, and I'm still concerned about when the 6th book is coming out. I read somewhere that it was expected between 2015 and 2018, and I don't think I can wait that long.

This year I've also read quite a lot of contemporary, and therefore I've also read 4 books by Sarah Dessen. I don't normally read a lot of contemporary, but I've figured out that I generally enjoy Dessen's books and therefore I've been trying to read some more of them. I already have a couple more on my TBR pile, so I'm hoping that I'll get this number up soon. 

And the last author I'm going to mention on this list is Nicholas Sparks, and I've read 4 of his books. It's actually been quite a while since I've read any of his books, because they don't really grab my attention that much. They tend to be predictable, but still enjoyable, and I haven't really been in the mood for that lately. But I still like his books, and I have some on my TBR that I hope I'll get to soon, even though I'm not pushing myself to do it. 

So I wrote my list a little bit different this week, as you probably noticed. Instead of just listing them, I wanted to write a little bit more about each author. I don't know if this is something I'll do every week - sometimes I just don't have that much to say - but I'll probably do it sometimes, whenever I feel like it. 

I hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: Saint Anything

Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: BookDepository
My rating: 3,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and - lately - concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident.

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who runs a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis.Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

My thoughts:
While I did enjoy this book, I also had some problems with it. 

The one thing that annoyed me a lot was the typical YA-saying. "I realized I was holding my breath." I don't know how many times I read that throughout the book, but more than enough. I'm fine with it happening one time, but come on, how many times can one character not be aware of her own breathing? I mean, I can't recall a single time I was holding my breath without consciously deciding to do so.

I also had a big problem with the parents, they annoyed me so much. I got so frustrated every time Sydney interacted with them, and her mother, especially, just shut her down completely and decided everything and didn't really care about her. And the fact that her father just sat there, not helping Sydney really got to me. I just wanted to go into the book and shake some sense into them. 

Other than the parents - and Ames - I really liked the characters in this book. My heart really broke for Sydney at times because of how she felt with the situation with her family. I think Layla is my favourite character in this book, I absolutely adore her. She was such a wonderful friend for Sydney, but she wasn't perfect either. She wasn't just a one-dimensional side-character, but a character with depth that made a huge impact in Sydney's life.

There was a lot of stuff going on at once in this book, so much that it could almost be hard to keep track of it all. I just think it maybe would have been better if Dessen had decided on a couple less plot-lines and developed them more, instead of putting in something new all the time and never really going all inn. And the ending was too abrupt for me. I wanted more. I understand why it ended like that, but it didn't really feel like that much was resolved. It just sort of ended.

This was a typical YA-contemporary with a predictable plot and to unexpected twists and turns. While this is something that could be boring, it is executed quite well in this book, I think. But most important, you have to know the genre you're reading. This genre doesn't usually have big plot-twist, they are just cute stories about girls who fall in love or gains a best friend. They make you feel good, but they're nothing that'll stay in you memory for a long time. 

Even though this is not my favourite Sarah Dessen book, I will recommend it to every one that likes this genre. If you're into YA contemporary romance books, this will be perfect for you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

I'll be dividing this list into two parts, the books I've read and the books I really want to read. I really like fairytale retellings -and fairytales- so I really wish that I read more of them.


A Court of Thorns and Roses
This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It's the first book in a series, and every book will be a retelling of a different myth or fairytale.

The Wrath and the Dawn
This is a retelling of a 1001 nights

To read
Retelling of Cinderella

Cruel Beauty
Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Princess of the Midnight Ball
Retelling of the 12 dancing princesses

Crimson Bound
Retelling of The Girl Without Hands and Little Red Riding Hood

Retelling of Cinderella

Retelling of The Wizard of Oz

Retelling of Cinderella

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow
Retelling of East of the sun, west of the moon

Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Daughter of Dusk

*Contains spoilers for Midnight Thief, as this is the sequel*

Title: Daughter of Dusk (Midnight Thief #2)
Author: Livia Blackburne
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Year published: 2015
How I got this book: I got this from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my opinion
My rating: 3,5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
After learning the truth about her bloodlines, Kyra can't help but feel like a monster. 

Though she's formed a tentative alliance with the Palace, Kyra must keep her identity a secret or risk being hunted like the rest of her Demon Rider kin. Tristam and the imprisoned assassin James are among the few who know about her heritage, but when Tristam reveals a heartbreaking secret of his own, Kyra's not sure she can trust him. And with James's fate in the hands of the palace, Kyra fears that he will give her away to save himself.

As tension rise within Forge's Council, and vicious Demon Rider attacks continue in surrounding villages, Kyra knows she must do something to save her city. But she walks a dangerous line between opposing armies: will she be able to use her link to the Demon Riders for good, or will her Makvani blood prove to be deadly?

My thoughts:
First of all I want to say that I enjoyed this book a lot. The first 100 pages were a little slow I think, but not boring at all. 

We have plenty of POV's in this book, including Kyra, Tristma, Flick, James and even Bacchus/Rand for a passage. All of them were interesting to read from, but Kyra is my absolute favourite. I think she's such an awesome, strong girl. There are a lot of character development for Kyra in this book, and I was so happy with the direction it took. It was clear that she was afraid of the Demon Rider part of her blood, but she learned that it doesn't have to be all bad and to not fear it anymore. 

Kyra also learns about her past in this book, and finds out some shocking things about herself.

I absolutely hated Willem. He was the perfect villain. So cunning and clever, my favourite type of antagonist. He was the guy you loved to hate, and I totally despised him.

I don't want to say much more about it, except that I recommend it a lot. The setting is wonderful, the characters are great and the plot is intriguing. If you've read Midnight Thief and liked that, you should definitely read this one. If you haven't read Midnight Thief yet, you should pick that up as soon as possible so you can read this as well.

This book comes out tomorrow, the 4th of August, and I hope some of you will read it!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review: The Blood of Olympus

*This will contain spoilers for the entire Heroes of Olympus series, including this book*

Title: The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5)
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Year published: 2014
How I got this book: Through BookDepository
Why I read this book: I love this series
My rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen - all of them - and they're stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood - the blood of Olympus - in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legions from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athen to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it "might" be able to stop a war between the two camps. 

The Athena Parthenos will go west, the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere agains Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other options. They have sacrifices too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

My thoughts:
I loved this book so much, and I'm so happy with how everything turned out for the characters, but I'm also so sad that this is over. I never wanted this series to end, I just enjoyed every book too much. Every night I only allowed myself to read a couple of chapters - to make it last longer - but when I was about a third of the way I gave up and read the rest in one sitting.

Rick's writing is so readable. It flows so easily and it's never boring. Things happen all the time, keeping you alert throughout the book. This was no exception to this, things happened all the time.

I was so, so happy that we got to read from Nico's POV. He's grown so much in this series and is probably my favourite out of all the characters, Leo coming up at second place. We get to read from both Nico's and Reyna's perspective in this book, and while I've seen many complain about this, I really enjoyed it. Reyna was a wonderful character and I was so happy that we got to know her a lot better.  While I did think that the Nico and Reyna part distracted a lot from the "main" plot - if I can call it that - it was okay, because I think both was interesting to read.

We didn't get a Percy perspective in this book, which I'm kind of sad about, but it's also okay. This whole series started with him 9 books earlier, and it would have been great to end it with him as well. But Rick decided that we didn't, and I'm okay with that. We also read from Leo's, Piper's and Jason's POV, and they were the three that started the Heroes of Olympus series, so I see what Rick did there. And Leo is so adorable and I love him so much, so I didn't mind the choice of POVs. 

If there's one thing I have to complain about, it's the ending. There was so much buildup to the fight with the giants, but that ended as soon as it started. And then, there was this whole fighting Gaea - which was supposed to be undefeatable - and that didn't get much space in the book either. They didn't even need that many people, I mean, Leo and Festus could practically do it on their own. Also, the ending after the fighting didn't really satisfy me. They all thought Leo was dead, and they just talked a little and then it was like he had never existed. But I really  enjoyed Nico and Will. I found myself smiling and snickering at the book whilst reading their conversations.

So, even though I'm not completely happy, I still liked it enough to give it 5 stars. I can't help but love everything Riordan writes, and I didn't give much thought about the ending and fights until after I had finished the book and started to think about it. It's a typical Riordan book, with lots of obstacles for the characters, and as soon as they think they might catch a break, something new happens. And I love it. 

Oh, and there was the hint about his new series coming out about Magnus Chase and the Norse gods? I can't wait for that series, especially since I've grown up with Norse mythology. But anyway, this doesn't have anything to do with the book I'm reviewing now.

You should pick up this series if you haven't yet. It's amazing. Although I'd advise you to read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series first, but it's not required. It'll just help you understand some small things, and give you a deeper connection with some of the characters.

Have you read this book? Did it satisfy you as an ending for this series?