Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt

Title/Author: Princess for Hire (Princess for Hire #1) by Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, March 16th 2010
How I got this book: bought it

Goodreads summary: "When Desi Bascomb gets discovered by the elite Facade Agency–royalty surrogates extraordinaire – her life goes from glamour-starved to spectacular in a blink. As her new agent, Meredith, explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?
Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don’t know? Or when a princess’s conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off – and you know she would want you to change his mind?
In this hilarious series debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time."

I so loved this book! It's totally cute and if I ever have a daughter, I'd give this to her to read. I think this would have been one of those books I would have devoured again and again as a kid if I'd read it back then.

Desi is a sweet girl, who, like so many girls her age, has a crush on a cute-but-a-bit-vapid boy she goes to school with. I know I had such a crush when I was 11. And probably more than one. Anyway, he is sort of dating her former best friend-turned-evil and this is a constant source of insecurity for Desi. I loved that she stays true to herself, even though she wants to fit in so badly.

I loved the whole concept of princesses hiring substitutes! The subs use a special powder to turn them into an exact copy of the princess they are working for. What I would give to have one of those compacts! Wouldn't it be wonderful to just be someone else for a day sometimes and getting paid to do just that?

Desi goes on 4 different jobs in the book and I loved how she dealt with the obstacles she got faced with. She really wants to make things better for other people and was very genuine. Sometimes she may not have thought things through, but that made it all the more fun to read about. I also really liked Meredith, her 'coach', she seemed bitchy at first, but she gradually warms up to Desi and I really liked the glimpse we get of her past.

I'm really excited to be reading the next one, The Royal Treatment, soon! I'm looking forward to new subbing adventures and more of Desi in general.
My rating: 4,5 stars

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Evil Blogger

For some reason Blogger is being evil and has decided not to let me comment. From the Help-section I've learned a lot of people are having the same problem, but they don't know how to fix it yet. I hope it's taken care of soon, cause I'm feeling a bit antisocial not commenting.
So if you've been wondering where I've been: I'm here, I'm reading the posts and will be back commenting as soon as it's fixed.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Midnight's Wild Passion by Anna Campbell

Title/Author: Midnight's Wild Passion by Anna Campbell
Publisher/Date published: Avon, May 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "London's most notorious seducer, Nicholas Challoner lives solely for revenge...
The dashing, licentious Marquess of Ranelaw can never forgive Godfrey Demarest for ruining his sister — now the time has come to repay the villain in the same coin. But one formidably intriguing impediment stands in the way of Nicholas's vengeance: Miss Antonia Smith, companion to his foe's unsuspecting daughter.
Having herself been deceived and disgraced by a rogue — banished by her privileged family as a result and forced to live a lie — Antonia vows to protect her charge from the same cruel fate. She recognizes Ranelaw for the shameless blackguard he is and will devote every ounce of her intelligence and resolve to thwarting him.
Yet Antonia has always had a fatal weakness for rakes..."

Somehow everything that happened in this book seemed a little unlikely. I mean, sure, the way things are done in historical romances is probably not so realistic, BUT well written, they can be believable. And I had some difficulty in that area with this one.

Antonia, our heroine, hasn't made the wisest decisions in the past and because of this her father banished her. Godfrey Demarest, a relative, takes her in and she becomes the companion to his daughter. She wears horribly unflattering dresses and glasses so as not to be recognized by her former acquaintances and this works well for her for 10 years. Which is when Ranelaw comes along and 'ruins' everything.

Antonia doesn't seem all that smart. A little bit less than she was in the book and I'd have labeled her 'too stupid to live'. However, she is very caring and loyal. And passionate when she lets herself. I must admit she really did annoy me at times and I wanted to smack her in the back of the head at the decisions she made.

Ranelaw appears to be an intelligent man, but in matters of the heart he needs to take another course or 50 in order to understand them. I get that he's angry Demarest ruined his sister, but come on, it's been 20 years! If you want to do anything, just shoot the man himself instead of going after his innocent daughter. And how is that going to help his sister? This really annoyed me.

Together the main characters did have chemistry and there were lovely moments in the book, but with Ranelaw being angry almost all the time and Antonia being scared, I just had issues with them. And I also didn't appreciate that at the beginning of the story their encounters were more Ranelaw forcing himself on Antonia than them being taken over by passion. Not romantic.

The second half of the book was better than the first and it's what saved the book for me. Though I could have done without the epilogue.
My rating: 2,5 stars

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman

Title/Author: Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman
Publisher/Date published: Orbit, May 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The old ones will have their revenge.
Two peoples have been fighting over the same land for a thousand years. Invaders crushed the original inhabitants, and ancient powers have reluctantly given way to newer magics. But Ember was to change all this with a wedding to bind these warring people together - until her future goes up in flames.
Ember's husband-to-be is murdered by a vengeful elemental god, who sees peace as a breach of faith. Set on retribution, she enlists the help of Ash, son of a seer. Together they will pit themselves against elementals of fire and ice in a last attempt to end the conflicts that have scarred their past. They must look to the present, as old furies are waking to violence and are eager to reclaim their people."

This really is a book you shouldn't judge by its cover! Cause the cover is just blah and a bit boring and more western looking and the story, OMG, it was AMAZING! Based on the cover I would have expected cowboys (I'm not really sure why) and this book was so absolutely wonderful and was certainly not a western. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not my thing.

I loved the storytelling! Somewhere along the first chapters I got the feeling there'd been another story set in the same world and as it turns out, the author wrote a trilogy I think is about the main character's parents. But while we don't know everything that happened there, this doesn't take anything away from the storyline.

I loved Ember! She's a strong girl and she learns a lot along the way. She's very brave and stands up for those she loves, I could feel her pain and so wanted everything to work out for her. And Ash, gosh, he's wonderful. You really need to read this book for yourself, but Ash will stay in my head for some time to come. He's not the most handsome man around, but his personality is beautiful.

I thought all the Powers involved were really interesting and I'm definitely going to read the other trilogy Freeman's written soon! I'm hoping Ember and Ash will have a sequel, cause I'm not ready to let these characters go and
**SPOILER WARNING, light up to read**
I really need my happily ever after! I need more Ember and Ash together, the ending left me feeling sad and going: NOOO! They HAVE to be together!
**End of spoiler**

I got sucked into this story from the very first page. If you like fantasy and are looking for a good story: READ THIS BOOK! I absolutely loved it!
My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wither Giveaway

I absolutely LOVED Wither by Lauren DeStefano and so I was really excited when I saw her announce on her blog that she's giving away an ARC of both Wither and the sequel: Fever!!
I think I'd do happy dances a whole day long if I actually won this.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to her blog and enter!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Tale of Two Lovers by Maya Rodale

Title/Author: A Tale of Two Lovers by Maya Rodale
Publisher/Date published: May 1st 2011 by Avon
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "He is notorious.
Lord Simon Roxbury is a godsend to gossip columnists everywhere. This notorious rake has recently been caught in an extremely compromising position by none other than The London Weekly's Lady of Distinction. Rumor also has it that Lord R received an ultimatum: be wed or be penniless.
She is scandalous.
As A Lady of Distinction, Lady Julianna Somerset typically reports on other people's scandals, but soon she finds herself embroiled in a very public battle with an irate Lord Roxbury — one that leaves her reputation in tatters and her position at The Weekly on the line.
Together they're... respectable?
With no other choice available, these two enemies unite in a marriage of convenience to rescue both their reputations and secure his fortune. With their rivals intent on revealing the charade, Lady Julianna and Lord Simon inevitably surrender to temptation. It may just be a love match after all..."

I had some issues with this book. It's just that I was disappointed a bit by it. See, I love romances where hate turns to passion which leads them to discover they are actually falling in love. I think it's my Pride and Prejudice loving heart that always brings me back to this. And after reading the summary, I expected this from the book. And it just didn't get there.

Julianna and Roxbury are interesting characters in their own right. But, well, after the first kiss behind a potted plan (if I remember correctly), the tension was just gone. If Rodale could have just held on to that passion and the wonderfulness that was in that scene, the book would have been a lot better for me.

It was all a bit too easy and then they started making it hard for seemingly no reason. Julianna was contrary for the sake of being difficult and Roxbury didn't confront her about it and I'm not really sure why. It just lacked something for me.

The story did get some smiles from me, mainly for the boxing scene with the Writing Girls. It was an enjoyable read, just not what I was hoping for and it left me feeling a bit disappointed.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory

Title/Author: The Guardian by Margaret Mallory
Publisher/Date published: Forever, May 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Four young Highlanders - Connor, Ian, Alex and Duncan - hurry home from France after hearing news of the disastrous Battle of Flodden against Henry VIII's forces. With his father among the dead, Connor must take his place as chieftain. Before he can lead his clan through the perilous times ahead, however, he must first dislodge the usurper who has taken his family's castle and claimed leadership of the clan.
Connor's cousins and best friend, Ian, Alex and Duncan, will stand shoulder to shoulder with him in every fight. They are willing to give their lives for their clan and their new chieftain. But taking wives to serve the clan's interests is a different matter altogether..."

I really need to get something out first: the cover? Not a fan. Really. This cover makes me thankful for e-readers.

Anyway, onto the book itself. The story centers around Sìleas and Ian, who have known each other since they were little. Due to an unfortunate event and huge overreacting by Ian's father, they are forced to marry at a tender age: Sìleas is 13 at the time. After this, Ian leaves to fight in France and doesn't come back until 5 years have passed, leaving Sìleas behind with the shame of being abandoned by her husband. Ian finds out a lot can change in 5 years.

I had some issues with this book. First off, the name Sìleas, supposed to be pronounced as SHEE-las according to the author, threw me off everytime cause I needed to repronounce what I read in my head if that makes sense. And the accent. I get why it's there, but it made me connect less to the characters and slowed my reading down considerably.

I liked Sìleas as a character, as well as Ian. Sìleas is a kindhearted, brave young woman and Ian seems to be a caring and loyal man. Very nice qualities in a character in my opinion.
There was however the slight problem I had of them together. First off, Ian doesn't want to marry her because she's not a beauty at 13 (and well yeah, he's being forced to) and then at 18, when she's grown into her skin, he suddenly wants nothing more than to be her husband? I know they have history because they grew up together, but this did bother me.
I also thought it was pretty unlikely that Ian was the only one who didn't recognize her after their return, since they were close before he left.

I liked that the story wasn't just some scene to set their romance against, something real was going on and I enjoyed reading about it. I also really liked Alex and Ian's little brother, they were interesting characters.

My rating: 3 stars

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eleven Scandals To Start To WIn A Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

Title/Author: Eleven Scandals To Start To Win A Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers #3) by Sarah MacLean
Publisher/Date published: Avon, May 1st 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "She lives for passion.
Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society's rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London's most practiced gossips... and precisely the kind of woman The Duke of Leighton wants far, far away from him.
He swears by reputation.
Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening—risking everything he holds dear — he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety. She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion."

If you've been coming around here somewhat longer, you might have seen me rave about this series before. Because it's FREAKING AMAZING!!! SERIOUSLY!! The little romantic inside of me cheers the whole time while reading these books. Pretty loudly, I might add.

So, I read a bunch of romance books. And some of it isn't great. But these books right here? They are so great. I love how Sarah MacLean writes! She is such an amazing storyteller and I just love her.

Sometimes I don't like to read series of romance novels, cause it can get a bit boring and repetitive, but here I really liked it. Juliana was introduced in the first book and I've grown to love her along the way. So to have her as the main character in this one was just great. And I liked getting to know her even better and revisiting the characters from the previous books.

In the previous two books I didn't think much of Simon, but he turns out to be as swoonworthy as I've come to expect from MacLean's heroes. Gosh, I really loved the chemistry between Simon and Juliana and it was all so romantic!

This one is completely recommended, as well as the rest of the series, to anyone who even remotely likes historical romance. It's brilliant and it will make you fall in love with the characters. I absolutely loved it!

My rating: 5 stars

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

Title/Author: Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, May 3rd 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley.


Goodreads summary: "Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past — the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart."

I had issues with this one. There was something that annoyed me throughout the book. And it made me like the main characters less. I remember being 17, I do. But not everything was about sex. Really. It wasn't. And the fact that Aura is constantly thinking about sex, talking about sex, about to have sex etc., it was annoying. See how often I've even said the word in one review? I don't think I even use the word in reviews of the historical romance novels I read.
**Slight spoiler, light up to read:
Really, I would have lost my respect for Aura if she had slept with Dylan. I did not like where the story was going there. It seemed a bit tasteless.
End of spoiler**

Aura seems to have a weird way of dealing with her grieve for Logan. And Zachary seemed to worry a bit too much and had a bit weird theories. I couldn't really follow how he came to them and it made everything more difficult than it should have been.

And Zachary kind of lost some of his shine in the middle of the book. But, he gained it back by the end. By the end, he was my boy again, the one I remember from the first book. And I love him. I mean for those of you who have read it, or those who are going to and want to look forward to something: the scene by the river. OMG! I'm not gonna say anything else, but really, good moment for Zach!

I enjoyed learning more about the Shift and events surrounding it. And about Aura's parents. I kind of guessed already, but still, it was a good plot point. I also liked Logan more in this one. He seemed to grow up in his afterlife and I liked the fact that as a ghost, he can't lie. Which means: no mixed signals.

All in all, I enjoyed this one, except for the annoying fact that most of it seemed to be about raging teenage hormones. And while I know it's a rough time hormone-wise, it seemed a bit too much.
I am however really looking forward to the last book in the series, I'm dying to know how it all ends! Though it means I'll have to say goodbye to Zach...

My rating: 3,5 stars

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

Title/Author: The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope #2) by Maureen Johnson
Publisher/Date published: HarperTeen, April 26th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley


Goodreads summary: "Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack — and the last little blue envelope inside — she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.
Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure — one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits... and her heart. This time, there are no instructions."

I enjoyed 13 Little Blue Envelopes, though I did have some issues with it. And the same thing goes for this one.

I mean, how are the grown-ups OK with Ginny going off yet again with people she doesn't know??? I mean, really?? If I said I was gonna travel across Europe with a guy I met one day ago, my mom would have me committed to a mental hospital. Or lock me in my room. And believe me, my parents were not that strict. There's just something seriously wrong with the adults in this series.

Now I've gotten that off my chest, let's get on to the other stuff.

I liked Ginny more than I did in the first book. She seems to know what she wants more and though I thought she should have told her uncle about Oliver and his plans right after meeting him, I thought she did alright with the rest of it.
Though I can not for the life of me think of a good reason why she wouldn't have asked Oliver about his reasons for doing what he did in the first place.

I liked Keith in the first book, but in the second he lost pretty much all of his good qualities for me. He just seemed petty, especially compared to Oliver, who I really liked. There's something about those British guys I guess. I hated how he was treated and thought he dealt with it very elegantly.

Another thing I liked: the last assignment Aunt Peg had for Ginny. I LOVED the last part of it and the growth Ginny goes through is amazing! The scene in the graveyard nearly broke my heart.

Also, props to the author for getting the Dutch conversation she has in it right! If anyone who's read it doesn't understand what's being said, let me know, I'm happy to translate ;)

My rating: 3 stars

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

Title/Author: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher/Date published: Feiwel & Friends, May 10th 2011
How I got this book: received an ARC from the publisher (can you believe it? My first ever printed ARC!)

Goodreads summary: "Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t... then the Marquess will make
life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday."

This book was such a sweet read! And can I just say that I love that every chapter had an illustration at the beginning? So pretty! And it was something I adored about fairytale books when I was little. And I still do.

I really enjoyed this take on Fairyland and the way it works and certain rules that almost always exist in these stories. I feel a bit cryptic saying this, but I really don't want to give anything away.

I loved the whole feel of it, September is a girl who can make anything happen. And she throws herself wholeheartedly into this adventure and I really liked her. And can I just say that I loved the green jacket! Is it weird that one of my favourite characters was a jacket? There was such emotion coming from it, major props to the author for that!

The way she described wyverns, I pictured A-Through-L as a huge chickenlike dragon. But luckily, the picture on the cover corrected me, which saved some weirdness. I loved the wyvern and his family. He seems so lovable and I just wanted to hug him. And as a kid I would have loved having a miniature version as a stuffed animal.
Oh, who am I kidding, I would love one now!

I really enjoyed reading it and I love looking at the illustrations, they're awesome!

My rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Title/Author: Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Publisher/Date published: Simon Pulse, May 4th 2010
How I got this book: own it

Goodreads summary: "Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.
Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding — and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart... and clues to the secret of the Shift."

COVER LOVE!! Isn't it pretty?! I love it, love the color: the purple and the single red ribbon in her hand. So simple, yet so fitting.

Anyway, onto the story. I thought it was really interesting that somewhere in the past the Shift happened and everyone born after can see and hear ghosts. And that the can't stand the color red. Which was kind of ironic remembering *something* about The Sixth Sense (I know practically everyone has seen it, but still, wouldn't be nice to spoil it for those who haven't).

Aura seemed like a nice girl, who has all the insecurities a girl her age probably has. She seems to know what she wants in some aspects of her life, like learning more about her mom and dad and the Shift. And I liked that she'd already done some research before we met her, it feels more realistic than just having everything (including the motivation to find out about things) handed to her throughout the story.

Logan.. I'm not really sure how I feel about him. Some times he seemed so, so sweet and other times I just wanted to smack him and yell SERIOUSLY?? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??? And it's not really nice to do that to someone who died. But really, how could he be so stupid? His death seemed a good idea evolutionwise.
Anyway, he did have his good moments and I think he really cares for Aura, which is nice.

And then there's Zachary. How I love Zachary. I can just hear his perfect accent in my head and *swoon*... So yes, I'm team Zachary. All the way.

I was however annoyed by one thing: Aura claims to love Logan so much, why does she lust after Zachary even before he died? And how can she even think about kissing him after Logan died? It was all a bit fast and hormonal in my opinion.

The ending made me so, so happy I already had Shift waiting for me! Gosh, I had to start it right away!

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Title/Author: We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han
Publisher/Date published: April 26h 2011 by Simon & Schuster
How I got this book: recieved it from the publisher as an egalley


I try to avoid them, but just in case.

Besides, if you haven't read the first two books, you really should. As in: go read them now. Seriously. Right now.

It's been two years since we last left Belly to fend for herself amongst the Fisher boys. And a lot has happened in the past two years.

And apparently, somewhere along the way, Belly lost most of her spine.

It's sad, but true, I liked this book less than the first two. I still really enjoyed it, but something that happened pretty early on in the book bugged me:
SPOILER WARNING, light up to read:
I'd never have taken someone who cheated on me back that easily. Really. And I'd NEVER EVER EVER accept their proposal right after. I mean, WHAT?? That was so weird.

I sort of lost some of the respect I had for Belly after that. And OMG, am I ever glad she finally has at least partly gotten rid of that horrible, horrible name! Her friends at university know her as Isabel of Iz, which is waaaaay better! I liked Belly less in this book though, I understand what the author was doing and that she had to make the big event happen somehow. But I don't really like the way things went down. And I didn't like Jeremiah as much in this one as I did in the previous books. I felt sort of betrayed by him by the thing mentioned in the spoiler above.

I was however glad to read Conrad's point of view. I never really understood Belly's love for Conrad. Sure, he seemed crushworthy, but that was about it for me. I enjoyed the chapters narrated by him the most and Han sure pulls a guy's voice off as well as she does a girl's, which is kinda awesome.

I felt slightly cheated by the ending. It felt a bit sudden and after such a struggle throughout 3 books, I would have liked to be shown a bit more about the happily ever after.

With all the things I've said I liked less in this one than the previous books, I still really enjoyed this book. I love Han's writing and hope she'll start a new series soon! I loved feeling 16 and in love again :) These books are the perfect summer read.

My rating: 3,5 stars

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Title/Author: The Goddess Test (Goddess Test #1) by Aimee Carter
Publisher/Date published: April 26th 2011 by Harlequin Teen
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "It's always been just Kate and her mom — and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.
Kate is sure he's crazy — until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess."


So, now I got that out of my system, onto the review:
I have a thing for Greek and Roman mythology. But more for Greek mythology. I'm not even sure why, I just do. I was obsessed with it when I was younger and these stories are probably one of the first things I read in English, cause there wasn't enough translated to Dutch in my humble opinion.

And this book, gosh, it brought together everything I love about Greek mythology and everything I love about YA. I fell in love with the characters, they are amazing. Kate is a great heroine, she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to speak up and do something about it if she doesn't like what's going on. I also loved how close she was to her mother. I'm a bit tired of the whole absent-parents going on in YA, so this was really nice. I'd want to be friends with Kate, that's how real she felt to me.

And Henry, OMG, sweet, dark, tortured and broken Henry! How I love him! He really seems to care about Kate and I thought the chemistry was just wonderful. I don't get how anyone could ever leave him.

I was a bit annoyed by Ava now and then, but nothing too distracting from the storyline. Another thing which made me go a bit 'really?':
***SPOILER WARNING, light up to read***
I get the whole secretive thing with the test and everything, but really, did they have to keep it a secret from Kate that her mother was really a goddess and actually wasn't going to die for real?? It seemed a bit cruel.

Oh, and another thing for those who've read it:
Did any of you guess about Demeter being Kate's mom? I figured something was going on, but for some reasons I thought she might be Persephone's daughter.

Anyway, I'm love, love, LOVING this book and I'm SOOO looking forward to the sequel!! That'll be a loooong wait...
My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Title/Author: Bumped (Bumped #1) by Megan McCafferty
Publisher/Date published: Balzer + Bray, April 26th 2011
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.
Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.
Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.
When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common."

It was probably also due to my not reading the summary before reading the book, but I was a bit confused at first. And there's so much slang, it was a bit hard for me to get into.

But once I did, it blew me away! I really, really enjoyed this book! I didn't connect to Melody and Harmony from the start, but slowly I got there. For Melody at least. Harmony not so much. If I'd come across someone like Harmony, I'd think they escaped from the nearest mental hospital. And I don't mean it in a positive way (if you can even take that in a positive way).

But I loved Melody. Of course, she's brainwashed as well, but she seemed more realistic. The story switches POV each chapter between Melody and Harmony and while reading Harmony's, I was looking forward to getting back to Melody. I thought she was so much more interesting. I could see myself being friends with her.

And Zen, how I love Zen! Even if he's not 'reproaesthetical' (see, told you there was a lot of slang). I love him and I hope we'll see even more of him in the next book!

It's scary to think that with all the crazy stuff happening in the medical world these days, it could easily be real as far as people only being able to get pregnant until they're 17 or 18 years old. What's also scary is what's happening right now. In Holland where I live, a couple of weeks ago it was all over the news that a 12-year-old girl gave birth to a baby while she was on school trip. A child having a child. It's horrifying.

But, back to the book. I am SOOO looking forward to the next one! I really enjoyed this one and if you enjoy dystopia as a genre, I'd totally recommend it!

My rating: 4 stars

Monday, May 2, 2011

It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han

Title/Author: It's Not Summer Without You (Summer #2) by Jenny Han
Publisher/Date published: April 27th 2010, Simon & Schuster
How I got this book: own it


I always try to avoid them, but you know, they can slip in (sneaky little things really).

We meet up with Belly (I still think this is one of the most horrible names ever), Jeremiah and Conrad the summer after The Summer I Turned Pretty ended. Jeremiah calls Belly to ask her to come along with him to find Conrad, who's suddenly left school in the middle of his finals. Of course, he's gone to Cousins.

I loved meeting up with the characters again. It felt like getting together with friends and just hanging out. It was relaxing. It was another perfect summer read. This one is darker than the last and there are bucketloads of sadness going around.

Han shows us what happened in the last year through flashbacks and I was dying to find out exactly what went on between Conrad and Belly! And oh my gosh, it was heartbreaking! It brought tears to my eyes and I felt 16 again and hurting because one of the boys I was in love with broke my heart. I so wanted to hit Conrad even though I know it would be totally inappropiate given the setting.
SLIGHT SPOILER, light up to read:
It was at Susannah's funeral when Belly found him in the basement with that stupid girl whatsherface and they had a fight. I know you can't hit someone who's mother just died, but seriously? I would have been SOOO tempted.

Anyway, I absolutely love Han's writing. She manages to engage me completely and just makes me forget all about the rest of the world with her storytelling. I think I loved this one even more than I did the first book!

Go read it. Or the first one if you haven't already.

My rating: 5 stars