Sunday, September 30, 2012

Daisy Update (21) and Book Haul (3) In which I made ALL THE FOOD

Hi guys!

So it's been a while since my last Update! I've been really busy on the weekends, so it kinda got away from me. But this weekend is filled with relaxing, reading and catching up on everything, so YAY!

Since my last Update I celebrated my parents' 30th anniversary by going to an amusement park with rides based on fairytales and after that we went out to dinner, it was great! We celebrated my mom's birthday on the weekend after, which was nice and we just hung out at my parents' house.

2 weeks ago on Sunday I started my first night shift week. We always start with a 24-hour shift on Sunday and then work the rest of the nights that week. And guys, it wasn't all that bad! I mean, Sunday was pretty quiet and then the other nights were as well! I only had to get up before my alarm went off once and other than that I got a couple of calls, but nothing really urgent. I kept hearing that I was really lucky, cause usually you have to get up at least once a night :) So I mostly just hung out at home during the day and took naps in the afternoon and read a lot and spent time with the boyfriend.

Then pretty much all of last Saturday was spent cooking in preparation for my birthday on Sunday! I wanted to do a tapas buffet because I love tapas and wanted to have a nice dinner on my birthday and not just fries or something. Usually I go out to dinner, but this time we had guests. So the boyfriend and I made a LOT of food, which was fun, I really love cooking! It just took up a big chunk of time, but it was completely worth it!
Here's the finished result:

On Sunday my parents, brother, the boyfriend's parents, brothers and sister with their significant others came over and we had a really nice time! I got something sparkly for my birthday from the boyfriend, which I absolutely LOVED, the boy knows me well! ;)
I just love being the birthday girl and having people come over and getting presents and such!

Wednesday one of my best friends and her boyfriend came over for dinner and we had such a good time! I love hanging out with her, we just get each other!
Other than having to at the last minute fill in for someone on the evening shift on Tuesday, work was pretty uneventful. The ER was pretty quiet, so I was doing ok.

Friday night there was a BBQ organised by the nursing staff and we were also invited, it was a lot of fun! It's nice to see all of them outside of the hospital, in regular clothes and not running around cause there's so much work to be done!

Yesterday I went over the my parents' house for dinner and stayed over, it's pretty relaxing when I visit them, cause we usually just walk the dogs, eat and watch TV or read and talk, it's really nice! And the dog who stayed over at my place a couple of months ago is really good at laying at my feet and keeping them warm :)

In Bookish News: Guys, I failed at not buying books. I kept myself on a ban till my birthday, but after that I just couldn't resist going on the Book Depository and pre-ordering myself some pretties. But I did manage to read a bit more with my night shift week, so it's kinda justified, right?

My book haul for the last 2,5 weeks:


Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Got these lovelies from my awesome brother for my birthday! :) THANK YOU! I wanted to complete my collection of them in English, as I own the first 4 books in Dutch before I switched to English.


A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies
The Diviners by Libba Bray: SO EXCITED! LOVED Gemma Doyle! Also, this one makes the rest of my books look like they're so tiny because it is MASSIVE.
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson: I may have squealed and done happy dances hugging this book when it arrived. I will also be starting this after I have typed up this post! :)
Vanish by Sophie Jordan
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

For Review:

The 13th Sign by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Seduced by a Pirate by Eloisa James
The Lady Most Willing by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockaway
Some Like It Wicked by Carole Mortimer
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid by Grace Burrowes
The Lady of Secrets by Susan Carroll
The Shadowy Horses by Susanna Kearsley
The Second Seduction of a Lady by Miranda Neville
Vengeance Bound by Justina Ireland

So that's all for me, while you're here, don't forget to enter my Birthday Bash Giveaway, as it ends next Sunday!

Hope you guys had a great week and happy Sunday!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review of Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Title/Author: Princess Academy (Princess Academy #1) by Shannon Hale
Publisher/Date published: Bloomsbury, first published 2005
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates."

Guys, every once in a while I read an MG book and I usually find myself fully immersed in it and being all kinds of happy because they're so fun and cute! Princess Academy is no exception, it was SO GOOD!

With Princess Academy, Shannon Hale has created a fairytale world full of characters for me to love! Miri is such a sweetheart and I loved her spirit! She's always thought everyone looked down on her for not working in the quarry because her father wouldn't let her and is trying to make up for it by putting a smile on people's faces. She loves her family very much and is loyal to her friends and is just all around a really strong girl. Guys, I could see me and Miri being friends if we ever met. She's the kind of girl you WANT to be friends with because she's awesome.

I loved how at the Academy they taught the girls varying subjects, from reading to dancing to economics and diplomacy! If you might get to rule the country in the future, it's important you know more than how to plan a dinner party and I love that Shannon Hale let them have a broad education! Also, the things that change after they've been introduced to all this knowledge goes to show how much you can benefit from going to school and how just knowing how to read can change your life and can change a community.

There were some mean girls who were slightly annoying, but when you get to know everyone a little better, you find that they have a reason for their behaviour and are not just trying to be nasty. The part where the prince enters the story was nice and it didn't turn out like I expected it to in the end, but that was actually great cause it was kinda perfect like this (yes, I know I'm being vague, but SPOILERS).

There's a sweet little romance brewing between Miri and a boy who is all kinds of sweet boyness and I'm really rooting for them! I was so feeling for the poor boy because Miri gave him some mixed signals, but I don't think she was aware of this at the moment.

I'm so happy there's a sequel! It can be easily read as a standalone, but this world is just so magical that I think I'll find myself happily spending some time there with Palace of Stone! If I ever have a daughter, this will be one of the books I shove into her hands cause I think I would have read it to pieces when I was younger.

My rating: 5 stars

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review of The Kingmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory

Title/Author: The Kingmaker's Daughter (The Cousin's War #4) by Philippa Gregory
Publisher/Date published: Touchstone, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "The Kingmaker's Daughter is the gripping story of the daughters of the man known as the "Kingmaker," Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick: the most powerful magnate in fifteenth-century England. Without a son and heir, he uses his daughters, Anne and Isabel as pawns in his political games, and they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel, her first sister story since The Other Boleyn Girl, Philippa Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women.
At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Married at age fourteen, she is soon left widowed and fatherless, her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Anne manages her own escape by marrying Richard, Duke of Gloucester, but her choice will set her on a collision course with the overwhelming power of the royal family and will cost the lives of those she loves most in the world, including her precious only son, Prince Edward. Ultimately, the kingmaker's daughter will achieve her father's greatest ambition."

Guys, if you've been following this blog for a while, you might have heard me mention my anglophilic tendencies. I'm immensely fascinated by all the historical figures of English royalty and the wars and basically just EVERYTHING.
I also happen to have a love for Philippa Gregory's writing, because usually she writes about English historical figures in a way that makes me feel ALL THE THINGS. I really loved the third book in the series, The Lady of the Rivers, so of course I jumped at the chance to read The Kingmaker's Daughter!

Ever since I learned after reading the Lady of the Rivers that Elizabeth Woodville was the mother of the princes in the Tower (the mystery of which I find endlessly sad and fascinating), I've been dying to know more about her. And this novel showed me a whole different side of things than what I came to know in The Lady of the Rivers! I love that Philippa Gregory manages to make me LOVE characters in one novel and then really dislike them in another because they're from a different view point!

If I'd investigated more before going in, I would have probably already learned what happened to one of the characters I'd come to love so much in The Lady of the Rivers, Elizabeth Woodville's father, but I didn't and when it happened in The Kingmaker's Daughter I was so incredibly sad and heartbroken!

I liked Anne, though she was not a very strong girl/woman in my opinion. She's constantly being led around by men and doesn't seem to have strong beliefs herself for a large part of the novel. I never really connected to her or to Richard III, who I really got to be annoyed with toward the end of the novel.

All the implied plots and mentioning of poison and witchcraft makes me wonder what exactly was true of all this, the novel doesn't give a definite answer and I kinda like that. There was a lot of repitition in the novel and one particular event that also contained a dying horse is played again and agin. I sort of get it, but it was hard for me to read this, cause I HATE when animals die.

I guess I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't love The Kingmaker's Daughter as much as I would have expected to. Philippa Gregory's writing is still really engaging and I did enjoy reading it very much, but that little extra something that makes me over the moon excited to continue was missing. But a not-so-thrilling book by Philippa Gregory is still a good read!~

My rating: 3,5 stars

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Birthday Bash Giveaway!

So today is the day I turn 25! I still can't believe I'm a twenty-something girl! So much has happened the last year, I've graduated and got my first job as a doctor, bought my first car... There have been a lot of changes and it's all been just wonderful! :)

I'm one of those people who LOVE birthdays. My own as well as other people's. I spend ages planning what to wear, what to eat, what to DO on the day itself :)

And I love to share my joy with other people, which is why I'm giving away a book of your choice! Open till October 7th, to anywhere the Book Depository ships to.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now excuse me while I get back to eating my chocolate pie and put the finishing touches on the EPIC FOOD FEST that will happen tonight! :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Review of Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Title/Author: Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide.
Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England — the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright.
Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love... with no acting required."

I was fully expecting this to be a fun, cute timetraveling story. And luckily I had been warned by some reviews that this might not be the case after all, otherwise I would have been more disappointed than I was now.

My problems started when I couldn't really connect to Miranda. To be honest, I thought she was annoying and seemed rather spoiled and just one of those girls I would have avoided in high school. Then within a couple of pages, Stephen GRABS her and takes her to the 16th century. After which she just sort of submits to what he wants and doesn't seem to really have a backbone. She was constantly in tears because Stephen was not being a gentleman and pushing her to do the thing he brought her there for. I just wanted to shake her at times.

And can I just say that I was really annoyed at all the mandhandling going on? I mean, I know that women didn't have much say in things in the 16th century, but men used to have a modicum of respect for them, right? Stephen just drags Miranda everywhere, I would have kicked him in a special place if he did that to me.
Also, the working her modern-day charms on Shakespeare in the summary is code for seducing him. I was rolling my eyes at this solution to all the problems, cause it seems like such a guy thing to want to solve everything with physical intimacies. Because of course it's much better than just talking about stuff. Yeah...

Minor spoiler, but of course Stephen serves as an alternate love interest and I could just not get into this storyline. He blows hot and cold and is just not really nice to Miranda most of the time and well, HE'S FORCING HER TO HAVE INTERCOUSE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. To me that would be a major deal breaker. But Miranda seems to be ok with this. I thought Shakespeare was a much more charming character and it would have seemed more likely that she would fall in love with him for real instead of just trying to seduce him.

A lot of the religious struggle in England of the 16th century comes into play and this adds a pretty dark factor to the story. I think I kept reading to find out how they would turn events about and because while I very much disliked the main characters, Pamela Mingle does weave an interesting story and it might also have to do with my stubborn streak in not wanting to give up on this book.

I love a good timetraveling romance, but this was just not all that romantic and spineless main characters aren't my favourite to read about. I do think it had a lot of potential, it was just a bit too convoluted to really take off.

My rating: 2 stars

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review of False Memory by Dan Krokos

Title/Author: False Memory (False Memory #1) by Dan Krokos
Publisher/Date published: Disney Hyperion, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically - altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy — especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.
Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter... when there may not be a future."

Guys, I went in knowing that an author who has a similar reading taste to mine was completely in love with False Memory. So of course I expected to at least like it a lot. And I'm happy to tell you all that False Memory totally lived up to my expectations!

The pace in False Memory never slows down! I was kept on the edge of my seat, not wanting to put it down, because there were all these things happening and I HAD TO know what was going on! I read a large part of it during my 24-hour shift at the hospital and let me tell you it was a good way to stay awake! I was VERY tempted to stay up and read through the night.

I liked that we're just as clueless as Miranda is after her memory loss and discover everything along with her. It took a while for me to connect to her, because her personality developed as the story progressed and she got more memory flashes. The only thing that somewhat bothered me was that if, like Miranda, I discovered someone had cause my memory loss on purpose, I'd be SO ANGRY! Seriously. And I'd want to know right away what possessed them to do such a thing. She sorta gets a lame explanation early on, but nothing beyond that. I don't think I would have accepted that.

There's a HUGE love traingle going on, while it slightly annoyed me at times, I could understand being torn between the two guys, because they both have their endearing qualities and she has memories of both of them. I know who I'm rooting for though ;)

Guys, I did not see all the twists and turns coming. Some of them left me staring at the screen of my ereader going 'SAY WHAT??'. It was SO GOOD! It got creepier and creepier the more we were told of what exactly was going on and I just loved it! False Memory was killing me while reading it, but in a good way. A VERY good way! (Side note: when I told Dan Krokos this on Twitter he responded with: If it starts to kill you in a bad way, set the book on fire and RUN!)

There's so much creepy still left unexplained, though I do feel that the storyline in this first part of the series got wrapped up nicely. After finishing False Memory I'm left NEEDING more, so the wait till August 2013 will be a looooong one...

My rating: 4,5 stars

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review of The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

Title/Author: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
Publisher/Date published: Dial, August 16th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say goodbye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice - and not just her own."

Guys, you may have noticed I don't exactly read a lot of faery books. There's one really good reason for it: I'm not such a fan of this specific type of paranormal. But in The Treachery of Beautiful Things I have found a faery book to LOVE! HOORAY!

The tree-swallowing-boy thing made me decide to give this one a shot, because I can't imagine anything more sinisterly awesome than that. I loved that the fae world wasn't depicted as just pretty or cruel, but an intriguing mix that was more than a little dangerous. The creatures hold on to their 'GRRR' as I like to call it and nothing is as it seems.

Jenny was an amazing main character. I immediately connected to her and was rooting for her! She's not without flaws, but she's my kind of girl with the right amount of bravery and sense and a selflessness I wish I posessed. Maybe I connected this strongly because if my older brother had been taken by a tree and I had the chance to get him back, there is nothing that would stop me.

And Jack, *sigh*, Jack with his heterochromatic eyes stole my heart. Such a beautiful tortured soul. He is a true fairytale hero, maybe not the flawless princes of Disney movies, but a hero nonetheless.

I won't pretend that I understand all the complicaties relationships and rules of the fae world, but I really enjoyed the glimpse I got of it in The Treachery of Beautiful Things. Which I might add is an insanely appropriate title! I loved that there was an appearance off Robin Goodfellow AKA Puck, who was my favourite character after Jenny and Jack.

And let me tell you, there is nothing treacherous about the beautiful cover. It does the book justice and I will carry Jenny and Jack with me in my heart. The ending left me clutching my ereader with a smile and for me that's one of the best ways to feel after finishing a book. Highly recommended!

My rating: 5 stars

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review of Pleasures of a Tempted Lady by Jennifer Haymore

Title/Author: Pleasures of a Tempted Lady (Donovan Sisters #1) by Jennifer Haymore
Publisher/Date published: Forever, July 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Forbidden passion is the ultimate temptation...
Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child — and Meg Donovan, Will's long-lost love. Meg's disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she's back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will's own.
After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she's come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge — and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can't risk putting the only man she's ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist."

I really liked the second book in this series, Secrets of an Accidental Duchess, so when I saw the sequel about the mysterious Meg I didn't know how fast I had to click that request button. I'm sad to say this one didn't live up to my expectations.

I REALLY wanted to like Pleasures of a Tempted Lady, and while it was ok, it wasn't nearly as good as Secrets of an Accidental Duchess was. In theory it had all the right ingredients: ships, pirates (sort of), a dashing hero, SECRETS and there was actually something at stake. Looking back, I think the stumbling block for me was the heroine.

You see, Meg was kind of bland. I never really got what was so special about her, except that she was really pretty. After reading the whole book I still don't know how to define her personality, she was just not memorable to me. Which is what made me not fully believe that this wonderful man would still be pining for her after 8 years.
At times I just wanted to shake her, because she was having some too-stupid-to-live moments. I mean, seriously, OF COURSE it's a good idea to go off on your own as a woman when there's an evil, powerful man chasing you and leave every protection behind... GAH!

Will is a good guy. Granted, he did make a mistake way back when, but well, it's been almost 8 years and he's been punishing himself for it ever since, so I can forgive him for it. I could root for him. I just wished he had chosen a different kind of woman to fall in love with.

There's also a side story with the youngest Donovan sister mixed in, which felt a little unnecessary and hastily done to me. These two could have easily had their own novel or novella and it would have been better I think.

I did like Pleasures of a Tempted Lady, but after reading the second book in the series I'd come to expect something a little more exciting. I was also kind of sad Olivia didn't make more of an appearance, because all the other sisters were frequently present.

My rating: 2,5 stars

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review of Touched by Cyn Balog

Title/Author: Touched by Cyn Balog
Publisher/Date published: Delacorte BFYR, August 14th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Nick Cross always listens to the voice in his head. Because if he doesn't? Things can go really, really wrong. Like the day he decided to go off script and saved a girl from being run over... and let another one drown. Trying to change the future doesn't work.
But this summer at the Jersey Shore, something's about to happen that Nick never could have predicted. He meets a girl named Taryn and finds out about the Book of Touch. Now the path that he thought he was on begins to shift... and there's no way to stop things from happening. Or is there?
In a life where there are no surprises, nothing has prepared Nick for what he's about to discover - or the choice he will be forced to make..."

Guys, I'm jumping on the whole Cyn Balog bandwagon here, because I really enjoyed Touched!! I'm ashamed to say that I'd never read anything by her before, even when I've had Sleepless sitting on my shelf for almost 2 years now.

It's not often you find a male narrator in YA these days, or it could be that I'm just not reading the right ones. And a male narrator done well? One that I can absolutely root for and feel connected with? I only come across those maybe once or twice a year. And Nick Cross is one of those for 2012.

I LOVED the voice Cyn Balog gave him and that while he had all this extra bagage and because of that seemed like an old soul, he was still very much also a teenage boy. With all the insecurities and hormones and basically just all boyness. And I loved it. It was amazing to get swept up in the struggles he faces because of his ability to see the future and girl trouble and family issues, but also the happy moments. It was SO good and I was completely hooked.

I loved this version of how seeing the future can impact your life! The script thing is insane and the whole cycling Nick goes through every time he goes off-script is mindboggling. Loosing futures like that would have a less strong person hide from the world. Which is exactly what his mother does.
Which is also something I struggled with throughout the novel: I had zero respect for his mother. She seemed so selfish and just made my skin crawl.
However, there was a bright point in Nick's family: his grandmother. That lady is one in a thousand and she brought a smile to my face so many times!

I also really enjoyed the interaction between Nick and Taryn and I actually believed the whole insta-love thing from his side of it. Because if you see a future together in your mind and know so much about someone from said flashes of the future, I can understand loving them pretty quickly.

So, you say, why does this novel not get the full five stars?

Well, there was just this little problem I had with the ending. The last two or three chapters felt like they could have been their own book. Or maybe should have been. At the end I was trying to figure out how Cyn Balog would wrap all of it up in a neat fashion. And the did wrap it up, there was just still some tape and sprinkles missing.
It felt a bit like a cop out. I don't want to spoil anything, but from the general feel of the book, I wouldn't have expected this ending, it didn't fit it in my opinion. It felt rushed and easy and it made me close my ereader with a frown instead of the smile I was envisioning the whole time.

But really, I'd still recommend this book, because it was pretty great! It had a wonderful MALE narrator that I could easily relate to, a VERY interesting magical system and just all around awesomeness. I'm just a bit bummed about the ending.

My rating: 4 stars

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Daisy Update (21)

Hi guys!

I promise this post will be a lot more positive than last Sunday's was. After posting it I realised I sounded really negative and that wasn't my intention. I do really love my job, sometimes it just gets to me.

But this week was much easier because I only really worked 2 days, Wednesday to Friday I followed a course on how to systematically approach an acutely ill patient. It's meant to give you a plan to follow instead of staring at the patient in blind panick, not knowing where to start. So YAY to more routine and less flailing! It did kind of feel like I was in college again, with all the different classes we were taking over the 3 days and a lot of the other residents having started in the same year I had, so I knew a lot of them. It was fun :) Also, I noticed that I really can't pay attention to someone talking all day anymore without almost falling asleep. It's hard!

Following the course did mean that I didn't have Wednesday off, which felt weird, but it was worth it!
Though I'm a bit sad the boyfriend and I didn't get to spend any quiet time together this week. We're both just so busy and sometimes it's just nice to spend a night hanging out on the couch together, doing nothing.

Yesterday I went shopping :) I needed to get presents for all the people throwing parties this weekend and ended up buying some things for myself as well. Including shoes. But it had been over a month I think, so I was totally allowed! ;) I needed a pair of black heels that I could wear to work, AKA ones that are sturdy enough so they won't hurt and won't be ruined when something gets spilled on them (I've ruined shoes that way before). And I found these really cute wedges, so I'm good :) Wedge shoes are SO comfortable! I don't even feel like I'm wearing heels at all!

But enough about my shoe obsession ;)

Yesterday we went to a BBQ one of my best friend's was hosting for her birthday, which was fun. We don't hang out often enough anymore and I always have fun with her! After we went to the boyfriend's brother's party, which had PJ party as a theme, so instead of a cute dress or skirt I got to wear my pajama pants. Which was comfy, but I like dressing UP when I go out instead of down... But I caught up with his other brother's girlfriend and some other people, so it was nice.

In about two hours we have the annual family reunion. My mom's side of the family gets together once a year around my grandmother's birthday. I don't see much of them other than that day, so it'll be nice to see what everyone's doing. After that we have another birthday, so we're pretty busy this weekend!

Also, it's my brother's birthday! :) He's turning 27, which feels so weird, cause in my mind he'll always be the way we grew up together and it's weird to think of him as an adult with a job. It also means that my own birthday is coming up in 2 weeks. I can't believe July and August have flown by so fast!

In bookish news: I failed at reading again. I had to study a bit for the course I was taking and it took up most of my free reading time. Also, I fell asleep. And with being so busy on the weekend and not having Wednesday off, well, I kinda didn't have a lot of time. I did really enjoy the one book I did manage to read and my review will probably be up tomorrow, so there's that :)

I'm off to eat something and get ready for the afternoon and maybe visit some blogs and read some, but that's kinda wishful thinking... Hope you have a great week!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review of The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry

Title/Author: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry
Publisher/Date published: William Morrow Paperback, July 31st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley

Goodreads summary: "Four of the five daughters of England's Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were regal, genteel, and everything a princess should be. But one was rebellious, scandalous, and untamed.
This is her story...
To the court and subjects of Queen Victoria, young Princess Louise - later the Duchess of Argyll - was the "Wild One." Proud and impetuous, she fought the constraints placed on her and her brothers and sisters, dreamed of becoming an artist, and broke with a three-hundred-year-old tradition by marrying outside of the privileged circle of European royals. Some said she wed for love. Others whispered of a scandal covered up by the Crown. It will take a handsome American, recruited by the queen's elite Secret Service, to discover the truth. But even as Stephen Byrne - code name the Raven - vows to risk his life to protect the royal family from violent Irish radicals, he tempts Louise with a forbidden love that could prove just as dangerous."

Guys, you may already know how I'm a huge anglophile and am obsessed with anything to do with Elizabeth I. But did you also know how I became obsessed with Queen Victoria after watching The Young Victoria?? Cause I totally am! So of course I jumped at the chance to read a story about her wild child daughter!

I love how novels like this one and the ones by Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir transport me to an era I only know through history texts, movies and novels. I love how they bring history to life. And Mary Hart Perry does this in a way that makes my heart happy! I was totally engaged and rooting for all the characters and it was just wonderful!

Louise is a very likeable, passionate young woman. She's not so much a wild child according to our standards, but I can see how she might have been over a century ago. She seemed to me more like a naive, sheltered girl who wanted to believe the best of people even when it wasn't always justified.
I also really liked Stephen. He was a very worthy male love interest! I mean, if I'd been Louise, I probably would have swooned at his feet as well. He's all alpha male combined with a sensitive side which is just really attractive.

Without giving anything away, stories like this one always make me wonder what exactly is true of all the rumors surrounding the relationships between husband and wife and in the royal family itself. While I really loved Queen Victoria in the movie The Young Victoria, here she seemed like a tyrannical old lady who didn't always act in the best interest of her children. And it makes me wonder what the true version is, probably somewhere in the middle.

The Wild Princess was a glimpse in a time that wasn't nearly enough for my taste! I could have gladly stayed with Louise and her Stephen longer and that to me is the sign of good storytelling. I was rooting for both of them and reading The Wild Princess kept me up during a 24-hour shift when I was supposed to be sleeping. I really enjoyed it and will absolutely keep an eye out for more from Mary Hart Perry!

My rating: 4,5 stars

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review of The Rogue Pirate's Bride by Shana Galen

Title/Author: The Rogue Pirate's Bride (The Sons of the Revolution #3) by Shana Galen
Publisher/Date published: Sourcebooks Casablanca, February 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads summary: "Passionate, action-packed Regency romance by RT Reviewer’s Choice award-winning author Shana Galen features the swashbuckling Sebastien Harcourt, marquis de Valere, and the nautical genius heroine destined to best him. After escaping France on a privateer’s ship, Sebastian becomes the notorious privateer Captain Cutlass. His reputation as a rogue precedes him and he’s undefeated in battle, until he crosses swords with the beautiful daughter of a British admiral. Raeven Russell is out for revenge, but now she’s not so sure she wants the dashing captain to change his wicked ways."

You know what I love about writing my reviews literally 5 minutes after finishing the book? That I'm still feeling all the things the book made me feel and may not be as coherent as after a day or two, but it's so much more a reaction to the book! I'm kinda hoping I'll be able to continue this way :)

First off I must say: I have a thing for pirates. It's true. You probably all guessed the Jack Sparrow thing, but there's more. I LOVE pirates like the one in The Rogue Pirate's Bride and other romance novels that like this one have a gentleman pirate and a kidnapping and the inevitable falling in love with said kidnapped 'boy' who turns out to be a beautiful girl. LOVE them. And it's been a while since I read a book that had such an amazing pirate in it as The Rogue Pirate's Bride had!

I just loved both Raeven and Bastien. They are loveable characters, Raeven is everything I want in a heroine! She is fierce and brave and yes, she takes risks that more often than not put her in a difficult position (no pun intended, I know 'mind in the gutter' and all), but she's more than capable of also getting out of her troubles! And Bastien, like I said, he's my kind of pirate and I would have swooned at his feet would he have looked at me the way I imagine he was looking at Raeven.

I also loved their interaction, they actually had things in common and after Raeven got over the whole 'I'm going to kill you' thing, they got along great together. I really liked that Bastien respected the experience Raeven had gained on her father's ship and didn't just put her aside and locked in his cabin, but let her do her share.

And you guys, I CRIED! I did, I had tears in my eyes for most of the final part of the book and it was wonderful and without wanting to give anything away, it had all of the things I love in a romance novel and the heartbreak and EVERYTHING!

So what I'm trying to say: if you like the genre AT ALL and if you have a thing for pirate's like I do: READ THE ROGUE PIRATE'S BRIDE!
Ok, now I'm off to stalk Shana Galen's Goodreads page to discover what else I can read by her!

My rating: 5 stars

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Daisy Update (20) In which I do ALL THE WORK

Hi guys!

My little blog has been somewhat quiet this week, which is mostly due to craziness at work and because of that I just wasn't able to focus on reading or writing reviews or other more creative posts: I kinda blanked.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday I was assigned to the emergency room and well, let's just say that while it's REALLY good for me as a doctor to experience everything and I know I'm learning a lot and have already grown into it over the past couple of days, it is HIGHLY stressful. There's a lot more pressure and less time and with also having to see the patients who were admitted the day before on the emergency nursing floor, it was pretty hectic. At one point on Thursday there were six patients in the ER I needed to examine, it was crazy and I'm lucky enough to have colleagues who came to my rescue and helped out. Friday ended awful in that I lost a patient and I just felt so helpless because there was nothing we could do.
The stress of the ER is getting to me in that I relive almost everything in my sleep and that's not really helpful.

Then yesterday I had my first 24-hour shift which had me feeling all kinds of nervous, cause while I rationalized that I usually do things by myself and only call the attending when I can't figure it out myself and I can also do this on the weekends, it's slightly nervewrecking to know you're the ONLY pulmonology doctor in the hospital and need to care for ALL the patients.
But it was kinda alright. I was busy from 8AM till 23.30PM and managed to eat somewhere in between seeing patients, but after that I went to bed and my pager didn't go off until 8AM the next morning. So I was actually able to get some sleep. And can I just say that it feels REALLY weird to sleep in the hospital? Especially when you know that at any time there might be an emergency you need to get up for.

But I made it, the patients survived and I'm kinda feeling ok after taking a nap earlier this afternoon.

I also did stuff aside from working ;) Wednesday I went to dinner with 3 of my best friends from high school. It was really fun and I ate so much I was still full the next morning! But the food was just SO GOOD! I love tapas... Between the four of us we have such an easy friendship and I love that we're still hanging out 7 years after we graduated from high school.

Also: last Wednesday at around 5.30 AM it was 7 years ago that I first met the boyfriend. We didn't really do anything to celebrate, because we were both crazy busy this week, but we'll celebrate in October probably when we're together 7 years.

Today is somewhat of a hard day for me emotionally. It's my grandmother's birthday, 17 days from now it'll be 4 years since she's passed away. I loved her very much and she was always so proud of me and her other grandchildren and days like this always make me sad because I just miss her.

In bookish news: I kinda failed at reading this week, though I did finish one book I really enjoyed and will be writing a review for soonish. I also completely failed at my book buying ban and pre-ordered more books. I'm running out of shelving space fast... I also feel pretty guilty for having so many books I haven't read yet. I should remedy this.

I doubt that this week will be any less busy than last week, but at least I have the weekend off, which is nice.
I hope you all have a nice Sunday and a great week!