April 30, 2012

Hello everyone!
Remember how I complained about the bad weather we had in Germany during the past weeks? Those dark days of winter seem to be over - finally! Now, though, I have a new problem. I'm so excited for summer and the sun and flowers and all that stuff that I just don' feel like wasting all that energy by the monotone Review-Meme-Review-Meme- routine I've been following since I started this blog.
SO, I thought I'd share some things that really put me in a great mood right now:

First of all, have you checked out this amazing blog yet? Well...considering how huge she already is you probably know her, but just in case you don't this is one of the blogs I've been loving lately!

Book Briefs

I love her blog name and the idea behind it. I find her reviews really helpful, but most of all I admire how she selects only - and really only - books that I want to add to my TBR list immediately! Honestly - check her out!

Next is the reason why I can't stop swooning at the view from my bedroom window: the view from my bedroom window :)

(okay, I'm not good at taking pictures, but I love this anyway!)

Also, aren't German publishers amazing? Here I was, counting down the days until the release of Insurgent and I only get to SEVEN, SIX - . Then that guy knocks on my door and hands me a wonderful, brand - new copy. I had pre-ordered it, yes, but I don't think anyone here was serious about not deliviring books before their actual release date so I'm exited to announce that I am almost through it and that it was not disappointing at all (at least for me)!

And then the last thing would be Feedly. Again, I don't know if this is still new to anyone but I use this browser-app to follow all the blogs I wanna keep track of and so far I found it to be so convenient!

Ha, I love it! And I love spring. And books. And trees. And life. Just like...in general :)
Wish you all a wonderful first day of the week!

April 29, 2012

Having my Coffee #1

So - I'm going to stop debating now. With myself, I mean. Over the Story Siren/IMM thingie. It took me a while to figure it out, but I think the solution I found for myself is quite a good one.
...Here it comes...

Having My Coffee is a new weekly feature I will do on my blog. Something I do every Sunday afternoon is drinking a super-hot super-sweet cup of coffee and usually I go through magazines or blogs or something. Since I started this blog, though, I finished my IMM posts during that time so that I thought this would make a good feature. Having My Coffee will serve as my weekly outlet, I will pack all the random thoughts (about books) here and at the end you guys will find all the books I got the past week, what I plan to do in the following week etc.
Consider this your weekly (book-) gossiping, coffee date with me :)

What got my brain working this week was of course the stuff that's going on with the Story Siren. It seems like she copied content from other bloggers without mentioning that it was not her content (which is called plagiarism).
I do have a general problem with plagiarism. Not exactly the it's-so-mean-I-can't-support-her-anymore-kind, though. It's rather that I just don't get it. Literally. Without sarcasm. I'm not being snarky or anything. I just don't understand how you copy and paste (because that's what it is - basically- isn't it?) without noticing. Several times. I mean, I am actually afraid that this will happen to me at some point in my life because there were people before the Story Siren who plagiarised and said they didn't notice their mistakes and not only in the blogging world, either. Big influential academics have been caught plagiarising and I have not figured out yet how you do that without noticing. And what I have to do to prevent myself from doing it. I mean, do you really not notice it?

Then, of course, there is that other question that comes to your mind when everyone in the book blogging community suddenly has an opinion and takes action: What do you do about it? I'm a total newbie to blogging and no one who was directly affected by the affair even knows me or my blog, so it's not that a big deal what I do about it. But still. I think I developed something like my own stand in this discussion.
I believe that plagiarism is wrong, no doubt about that. Everyone who does something - whatever it is - will only fool themselves in the end if they copy it from someone else. It's not real, not your own thing and you cannot be proud of it. By plagiarising you don't accomplish anything.
I also believe in second chances, though. Which is why I came to the decision of not ignoring The Story Siren completely. I will continue reading her blog, following her on twitter, I will comment and participate in giveaways just as I used to. Not because she is such a huge blogger and I think that's why it's okay for her to ignore the rules, but because I like her blogs and her reviews and her taste of books and I think that an apology is an apology and no matter what it deserves a second chance. What I will not continue doing (as you can see right now) is her Meme "In My Mailbox". I won't do one of the other Memes that work as an alternative to IMM because I don't want to punish or support plagiarism.
Instead, I will do this mix of personal thoughts and blog/book organization.

And because this has been a pretty long post I will stop it now and wish you all a wonderful Sunday!

Books I got this week:

April 28, 2012

Review # 10 Dark Storm by Sarah Singleton

When life stabs you in the back and you feel like you're drowning in sadness - isn't it a life saver to have someone hold you above the waterline? Then again - too bad if that someone is not really alive anymore, either...
Dark Storm

Goodreads synopsis:

Ellie is staying with her maternal grandparents for the summer, while her recently bereaved dad takes off on holiday with his new girlfriend. Upset by his apparent callousness, missing her mother, and jealous for her dad's attention, she begins to spiral into depression. Her grandparents suggest she joins a local theatre group, to meet people her own age and get away from the dark thoughts that threaten to engulf her. But then she gets roped into a seance at the theatre, and is the only one who actually sees a real ghost. Now a spirit is contacting her from beyond the grave - and as the dead boy's story unfolds, Ellie finds herself falling in love with him. But if she solves his mystery and helps release his soul, will he be lost to her forever?

What drew me to this book was mainly the cover, but also the synopsis. I liked the mix of contemporary with a slight bit of paranormal and was interested in where the story might go. My journey with this book was very different from ordinary, but not exactly in a good way. After having read the first 30 pages I was so amazed by it that I was tempted to run and tell everyone I know about it and make them read it. I read further, discovered something and experienced the main part of the novel to be pretty disappointing.

First, though, I want to talk about why I loved the book in the beginning. The author had this great talent of jumping right into the story without overwhelming the reader. Really, I started this book five minutes before I had to get out of the bus and by the time I threw it into my backpack to get up, I was already completely into the story and couldn't wait to continue reading. This fast pacedness leads the reader through the whole book, so on the one hand this is a huge plus.

On the other hand, this plus became smaller for me with every page. What made me dread this book after a while was mainly the absolutely stiff dialogue. Usually, I don't even pay much attention to dialogue and I don't think I've ever mentioned it in any of my reviews, but I found the way the characters talked to each other just straight up annoying. I felt like they started a conversation, told each other the story of their lives although they had known the other person for  no longer than two minutes and then they were like "bye" and Ellie literally ran anywhere. She was running to so many places, never stayed anywhere for long and when she did, the author turned to summarising everything that happened so as if she just wanted to get it over with.

Another thing that really annoyed me was how simple everything the author wanted to happen just happened. Ellie got to know people in this book, they became friends and that was the end of it. They had barely ever talked, but Ellie told everyone immediately how she felt about the loss of her mother. Somehow, though she doesn't seem to be able to talk about that - or anything other than food - with her grandparents.
Same with the love interest, Harry the ghost. Ellie falling in love with him is a fact not a process. You turn the page and from one moment to the other she just goes on and on how she can't live without him. By the way, the fact that he is a ghost does not seem to be a problem at all. She's not turned off by it or scared or finds it weird or anything. She just goes with it.

The only thing I continued liking a LOT was the general plot of the novel. Just how everything happened and how Ellie developed throughout the novel was totally reasonable and there were some things in the story I just didn't expect at all.

To put it in a nutshell, I was turned off by this book pretty fast and almost considered not finishing it. I'm afraid I can't even say I'd recommend it to anyone. Except maybe, if someone doesn't care much about language and storytelling but only about the plot, because as I said before that was what I liked very much. Overall, a disappointing read for me.

RATING: 1 out of 3 Smarties

April 27, 2012

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #92

Hello and a happy Feature§&Follow friday everyone!
Today's question is:
Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then “broke up” with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

My answer:
Kind of. The character I was disappointed with was Princess Mia Thermopolis from Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" - series. I remember adoring and admiring her throughout the whole series, finding so many similarities between her and me. She was the one that first showed me that most teens consider themselves freaks and that it's normal to act like a lunatic at times, but also how important it is to have an opinion, to stand up for it even when it's tough and to fight for the things you truly believe in. Mia Thermopolis was my role model. Until the last book came out. 

Yes, I'm talking about the one where she stopped being a whole-hearted vegetarian, started being friends with what I considered the mean girls at the time and got her nails painted. She used a fancy phone, didn't talk to her former best friend (a highschool - genius) anymore. 
I hated her. From the bottom of my heart I could not understand her. 
I think I was about thirteen or fourteen at the time and I tried my best to delete the memory of Mia in the last book from my mind. 

Then some things happened in my life. If you're older than fourteen you probably know what comes next:
I made some new friends, joined some new clubs, developed some new interests and all of a sudden the final installment of TPD didn't seem that unrealistic to me anymore. I actually started liking it, I got  it. Mia just grew up. And a few years after her, I did, too.

So that's my answer. I was disappointed in her but then again, I wasn't. By the way, this also is the reason I almost always reread a book even if I wasn't such a big fan at first - you just never know if life would make you like the story the next time you pick it up :)

April 25, 2012

"Waiting On" City Of Lost Souls

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I'm waiting on "City Of Lost Souls" by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5)

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

A while back I have posted a review of the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments Series, "City Of Fallen Angels" and I loved it. Then, I was excited about this one, but now - so close to the release date I can't WAIT for it to finally arrive on my door mat ;)

April 24, 2012

Tune In Tuesday #4

Tune-in Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads. The idea is to share a song that you love, new or old, in order to spread some music around the blogosphere!

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)

I just find this song so empowering! Not just relationship - wise but also as a message for real life. I mean it does sound cruel to say stuff like that but after all, this is just the way it is. Then again, I also like listening to this one when getting ready for a party or a night out. It just puts me in a good mood!
So, what are you guys listening to?

April 23, 2012

Review #9 The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Grief can make you do all kinds of things. It can throw you into that dark hole that you don't know the way out of...how convenient is it then to have not one but two wonderful guys to pull you out again?

The Sky Is Everywhere

Goodreads synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transfer from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding. This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie’s struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

I picked this book mainly because I was in the mood for a very good contemporary read that might cheer me up a bit (my mood is pretty bad because it's almost may and all we get around here is grey sky and rain -ugh!). It might sound weird to choose a book that focuses on the death of some one's sister to lift my mood but I felt like this one would provide a nice happy end so I went with it. I did enjoy the book, I just wasn't obsessed with it.

What I liked most about this book was the way it was created - literally. Every few pages the regular story was interrupted for one of the protagonist's poems - beautifully written and really touching! I also liked the main character, Lennie, and her family. All of them were just so sympathetic and felt like real people and although you could see how all of them had a hard time dealing with the loss of Bailey they were so close and all had such great relationships, it was just adorable.

I wasn't a big fan of Toby, though.After the first few appearances he made in the book I was annoyed every time he came up and just wanted him to leave. Sorry, but I can't even put my finger on what exactly I didn't like about him. Maybe it was just that he was blocking the way to the other boy, Joe, in such an unnecessary way...
Which leads me to the next thing I didn't like: well...the plot. Which seems bad at first, but let me explain. I've never gone through something even similar to what Lennie goes through in this story, so I don't know how realistic her feelings towards the two boys are. As of right now I just didn't really understand what her problem was boy-wise. Other than that I loved Nelson's writing style. It was easy to get into the story and she didn't waste pages over pages to describe unimportant details which made The Sky is Everywhere a fast, enjoyable read.

The storyline around Lennie's mother was very interesting and one of the main reasons I wanted to keep reading this book. From pretty much the first chapter I was wondering what's it with her and the author kept me guessing almost until the last page.

To sum it up, this book was different in some ways than most contemporary fiction I read which made it a refreshing read for me. I was not a big fan of Toby, but I liked Joe okay and found the relationships between Lennie's family members and the way they dealt with unpleasant situations admirable.

RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties

April 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #3

Hello everyone!
I'm assuming almost every book-blogger out there (and every book-blog-reader, of course) already knows this meme that is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Anyway, it's basically a feature that allows bloggers to show which books they just added to their shelves no matter if they purchased them themselves or won them in giveaways etc.

Dark Storm by Sarah Singleton

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Dear Bully - Anthology

I bought all of these myself :)

April 21, 2012

Review #8 Beautiful Darkness-Kami Garcia, Margeret Stohl

Ready for the second installment of a series set in a smalltown where everything seems predictable but nothing really is? Where everyone from mad scientists to ordinary librarians seems to have a secret or two that are not ordinary at all?

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)

Goodreads summary:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.
Sometimes life-ending.
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems

I read Beautiful Creatures, the first book in the series, a few months ago and I loved every little detail about it. Especially the setting appealed to me. A small town where everyone and their grandma knows you and your family (like...literally!) and a boy who fit in the picture all his life until...he doesn't anymore. Throw in a cute and tragic love story and the book is for me. I bought Beautiful Darkness right after I finished Beautiful Creatures but somehow put it off until now. I have to say that I was a bit disappointed.

I still find the story in general amazing. All the little secrets in Gatlin that are uncovered throughout the novel always surprised me and kept me reading. I think Ethan is a great character. Not only is he absolutely nice and friendly and polite and funny (perfect boyfriend-material), but his development also is described so thoughtfully. During these two books and all the experiences Ethan makes the reader can really see him grow and make decisions that become more mature with every step he takes. Same with the other characters especially Link and Ridley. After finishing Beautiful Darkness I felt like I knew them all in real life.

The plot in this book was very different from the one in the first book which took me some time to get used to. There were so many new and different settings and characters and I didn't expect the story world to expand the way it did.

What I really didn't like in the book, though, was Lena. My favorite character from the first book turned into the most annoying one in Beautiful Darkness. Throughout the first 100 pages I was close to putting the book down quite often just because I couldn't stand Lena's behaviour. I mean, it was okay for her to act the way she did and totally reasonable, but still. Fifty pages to me would clearly have been enough to show her state of mind.

All in all, I didn't like this book as much as i liked the first one as it was very hard for me to get through the first 100 or so pages. After that, though, it was okay, I just felt like I couldn't really get into it anymore. I'd recommend continuing the series anyway, though, because the ending of this one made me look forward to number three so much. From what you can guess from Beautiful Darkness in my opinion makes reading Beautiful Chaos unavoidable :)

RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties

April 20, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #92

Hello and a happy Feature&Follow Friday everyone!
Today's question is:

Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?

Hate me, despise me, lecture me - I'm going to say the following anyway: I don't like Bella Swan (Twilight - Series). I've read the first three books of the series and it did not get any better. I just can't stand her whiny, helpless behaviour. Or maybe it's just that it seems to me like she always needs to be rescued. Or protected. And like in this whole world of vampires and werewolves around her she's the only one who can never do anything on her own. What this has to do with the topic of this FF? Wait and see. I'd like Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) to make a short and sweet appearance anywhere in the Twilight series. She does not necessarily have to fight Bella or knock her out or something. However, she (Katniss) might bring Bella to think for herself. And to fight/protect/rescue herself for a change. I mean, this is the 21st century, right? No woman should think she has to hide behind her kick-ass vampire boyfriend/werewolf best friend. At least that's what I think. Go feminism! :)

PS: Don't get me wrong. I liked the first three Twilight books quite a bit. Like...the overall atmosphere. I'm just not that crazy about it.

April 19, 2012

About Worlds...Mine-And Others

Hello everyone!
As tomorrow, Friday 20th, my blog will be one whole month old, I thought it was about time that I introduce myself probably. And my view on books. And the purpose of this blog. And some other random things. So... here you go:

Every Book I read contains a story. I have to say that because there exist books that - in my opinion - don't really contain stories. My Math textbook, for example. Or even some autobiographies. The content of a book that I consider to be a story will be featured on this blog. That's how you will know what I consider a story.

The reason I read books are not the stories, though. It's the worlds. And in the following, I want to explain to you what I mean by that. Let's start with a little example: There are stories that I start reading when I get into the school bus every morning. I stop when everyone starts packing their stuff and heading out the bus doors. That's when I notice that 45 minutes passed since I opened the book. A story turns into a world for me as soon as I forget where I am, whose with me, who I am. A story becomes a world to me if it draws me in, lets me laugh and cry and shout and scream with the characters. Whenever a story feels so familiar that it could be my own, that I can forget my own story and my own world, that story becomes a world to me.

This is why I can't judge a book with the help of stars or smileys or anything out there. I judge a book with the help of Smarties. I don't think amazing plot, great character development, super fluent language or never ending fast-paced-ness are responsible for a story to turn into a world. Of course, those details are important for any book, but I mention them in my reviews, not in my ratings. And because my ratings have nothing to do with the elements that are supposed to make a book good or bad, but simply with how much I loved the world, how easy it was to escape my own world I needed my own rating system.

The Smarties for those who don't know are part of this world, my own world. I'm German and I at least believe that Smarties are a German candy, but I have no idea if anyone from another country has ever heard of them. Basically, they are little colored chocolate balls that German kids love. I decided to use Smarties, because of my blog name (duh!) which brings me even closer to my own world.

I live in a small town in Germany where everyone knows each other. There are only two ways in this town (as there are probably in many towns like this): fit in or stay out. 
After years of trying to fit in I decided to stay out.
This might sound rather sad but it actually is the opposite. I do have a small group of friends and I love my family so much! My giving up on trying to fit in led me to actually knowing what I want in my life. Which led me to the United States of America. Which explains why I'm writing this blog in English. I was so obsessed with the USA and learning the English language for the past few years that I think I'm able now to make people understand what I want to say on this blog. During that English - learning process I once stumbled upon the word "book smart" - and I felt like I found myself, or a characterisation of myself.
I just am the shy, geeky girl that keeps her nose in a book whenever it's possible. I don't even have a major problem with the stuff that's in the textbooks (I wouldn't read them for pleasure, though) which is how I got the idea of my blog name. I'm book smart,
I am the Booksmartie

April 18, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday #3

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I'm waiting on: Fated by Alson Noel

Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)

Goodreads summary:

Lately strange things have been happening to Daire Santos. Animals follow her, crows mock her, and glowing people appear out of nowhere. Worried that Daire is having a nervous breakdown, her mother packs her off to stay in the dusty plains of Enchantment, New Mexico with a grandmother she’s never met.

There she crosses paths with Dace, a gorgeous guy with unearthly blue eyes who she’s encountered before...but only in her dreams. And she’ll get to know her grandmother—a woman who recognizes Daire’s bizarre episodes for what they are. A call to her true destiny as a Soul Seeker, one who can navigate between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her grandmother immediately begins teaching her to harness her powers—but it’s an art that must be mastered quickly. Because Dace’s brother is an evil shape-shifter who’s out to steal her powers. Now Daire must embrace her fate as a Soul Seeker and find out if Dace is one guy she’s meant to be with...or if he’s allied with the enemy she’s destined to destroy

A couple of weeks ago I decided to start reading more books by authors I haven't read anything from yet. Alyson Noel is a really popular one of them so I was excited to see that she has a new series coming out. Apart from that, the synopsis sounds interesting to me - and I'm really into paranormal stuff again right now!
So...what are you waiting on this wednesday?

April 17, 2012

Tune In Tuesday #3

Tune-in Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads. The idea is to share a song that you love, new or old, in order to spread some music around the blogosphere!

Avril Lavigne - My World

In a nutshell? Story of my life!
Want a little bit more?  Here we go...
It takes HOURS to get my hair straigt after a shower...
There really is nothing else to do in my town. Except from reading, of course!
I never spent my money cutting grass as I'd kill myself in the process BUT
I spend it tutoring and working at a shop that sells machines to cut grass -so far, I didn't get fired.
Still not enough? I recommend following my blog :)
Hope everyone has an exciting Tuesday!

April 16, 2012

Review#7 Matched - Ally Condie

If your whole life was planned out perfectly, if you had the best chances, if you had the opportunity to live a life without risks - would you give it away for a boy?


Goodreads summary:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate... until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. 

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

I know that this is probably a novel that one will either love or hate. I had the advantage of not knowing that when I started reading it so that I could find my own point of view on this book and it turned out to be very positive.

Although I do see why some people did not enjoy Matched at all, I found it to be a very fast read. I think what I liked most about it was how you could glide into the story easily, the world was easy to understand. In many dystopians I find it hard to focus on everything that happens plus the complicated rules of the dystopian worlds plus getting to know all the characters etc. Ally Condie in my opinion used very simple language to quickly point out the overall structure of the world, introduce the characters and the protagonist's history.

Now on to the story itself. I have to admit that looking back I recognize that there does not happen that much throughout the novel. Fast paced action or any kinds of twists and turns were not included. It is weird, though, that this did not struck me as I was reading the novel. Same with the relationships between the characters. Actually, their development is very structured and without surprises. Again looking back it seems to me like the author knew where she wanted the story to go and simply went that way without any interruptions. There were no outstanding events, no fights, no dangerous, life-threatening moments. I'd describe the book as very quiet and settled. It's easy to get through, but it doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat.

All in all,  I have to say: I see why some people found it boring. AFTER having read the book I see the flaws many readers pointed out in their reviews. Anyways, as I was reading the book, I enjoyed it very much and I found it to be a quick read that was easy to get into.

the Booksmartie

RATING: 2 out of 3 Smarties

April 15, 2012

In My Mailbox #2

Hello everyone!
I'm assuming almost every book-blogger out there (and every book-blog-reader, of course) already knows this meme that is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Anyway, it's basically a feature that allows bloggers to show which books they just added to their shelves no matter if they purchased them themselves or won them in giveaways etc.

I went shopping last thursday and ended up spending hours in three different bookstores :) As always I couldn't decide on which books to buy and which ones to leave in the shelves, but I ended up picking these:

Cloaked by Alex Flinn


Rosebush by Michele Jaffe


Tempest by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest, #1)

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)

And then I received an e-mail on Friday (I believe), read it, read it again. Freaked. Well...kind of. You probably want to know why: I won a book in a giveaway for the first time!! I was so happy and I'm so excited now to start reading it!

ALIBI volumes 1 to 4 by John Byrne, Isabel Eckersly, Annie Miles, Sorrel Provola, 

Thanks again Mindful Musings for hosting the giveaway and Twist Literary for making it possible!

April 12, 2012

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #92

Hello and a happy Feature§&Follow friday everyone!
Today's question is:
What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book?

I had to think about this for a while, because on the one hand I'd be nervous about most books as I am complaining about book-to-movie adaptions all the time. Then again I think it was Meg Cabot who said (in her books, on her blog... I don't remember) that you shouldn't compare the movies to the books but simply enjoy them for what they are and also judge them apart from the book. I think her reason for that was that books and movies are two completely different mediums that can't be compared. This did sound reasonable to me.
Anyway, it is especially the Meg Cabot books that I wouldn't want to see as movies. And that's despite the fact that I'm a huge Anne Hathaway fan since the movie version of "The Princess Diaries". I read Meg Cabot's books mostly for the witty humour and the sarcastic elements in them and that's my problem with the Princess Diaries movies and also with probably every movie based on the books Meg Cabot wrote - I would miss that voice just too much to enjoy the story without it...if that makes any sense :)

Hope you have a not-too-dangerous Friday 13th!

Review #6 City Of Fallen Angels - Cassandra Clare

You assumed the world was in order again after the end of the mortal war and the happy end for Jace and Clary? You thought the Shadowhunters would simply start over and live their lives, kill some demons in their free time without major incidents? Oh well...you thought wrong!

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

Goodreads summary:

The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend. 

But nothing comes without a price. 

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other. 

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. 

To be honest, the first two installments of the Mortal Instruments Series were not really for me. I read them, found a place for them on my shelf and moved on. I just couldn't get as excited as some of the hardcore fans could. I got the box set of the first three books, though, so I read the third one, too and actually liked it alright. There were many twists and turns in the story that kept me reading and at the end I wanted more and decided to read the fourth book, as well. I loved it.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how I felt familiar with all the characters and settings from the beginning. After getting to know Clary, Jace, Simon and all the others in books one to three, in book four I was much more able to identify with them and to understand their actions. Also, I felt like their was a lot more focus on the development on both their personalities and relationships. I blame that partly on the fact that it does not have that much "movement" in it. Almost all of the characters stay in one place and interact with each other, they have more time.

As for the pace, I found this one a bit slower than the other three, but that was not a problem at all. I was so into the story and the writing style was so fluent that I found myself checking the page number and being shocked by how much pages (and time!) had gone by without my noticing. It was actually really hard for me to put this down and remind myself that neither shadowhunters nor demons or other paranormal creatures exist and I'm still having a hard time accepting it :)

The only thing I disliked about the book was its ending. I won't say what it was exactly that bothered me because that would be a big spoiler, but I found it a bit unreasonable and I would have expected something like what happened in the end of this book at the beginning of the next book.

Anyway, I would recommend City of Fallen Angels for everyone, especially the people out there that (like me) could not really get into the story at the beginning of the series.

Greetings, the Booksmartie

RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties

April 11, 2012

"Waiting on": Keep Holding On

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we cannot wait to get our hands on.

This week I'm waiting on:

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding On

Synopsis( Barnes and Noble):
A romantic and empowering book about bullying
Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush Julian Porter starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk the pain of a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself—and for the love that keeps her holding on.

Actually, I just found myself drawn to the cover (I'm a sucker for cheesy love stories and I believed this was exactly what this book would be). Reading the synopsis, however, made me curious because I didn't expect the book to have such a sad issue in it. Also, I'm pretty sure I have the same shoes as the girl in the cover :)

What are you waiting on this wednesday?

April 10, 2012

Tune in Tuesday #2

Tune-in Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Ginger from GReads. The idea is to share a song that you love, new or old, in order to spread some music around the blogosphere!

Nicholas Wells - Meant to be

I want this guy to be my boyfriend. And to sing me this song every night. Nothing more to say.

Have a nice day!

April 09, 2012

Review #5 If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Imagine you are about to lose everything. Imagine your whole life was about to change forever. Would you go on anyway?

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

Goodreads summary:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... 

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands

I have a feeling I'm going to remember this novel for a very long time. Or more precisely I'm not going to forget it for the rest of my life. Really, it's amazing. I can't even put it into words. But of course I'm going to try anyway.

What amazed me most,I believe was the overall feeling you get while reading the novel. Once you start reading it you just can't put it down. "If I Stay" is one of those books that makes you feel like you have lived in its world all your life, like you were a part of it.

The characters are absolutely relatable. I fell in love with all of them at the very beginning. Mia was a great narrator and protagonist. She had a way of telling her story without exaggerating, she didn't need to use an enumeration of big adjectives to explain her point, everything she said was expressed in simple words which took away every chance for the novel to get boring or dreading.
None of the other characters seemed flat to me, they all had their very own edges and passions and none of them were those stereotypes you often see in novels. None of them were "typical geeks" or "typical mean girls" or something. They were just normal but very individual.

The action started fast in this book but the author,Gayle Forman, took her time describing the different situations and emotions. She never used too many or not enough words. Also, everything just felt so real as if it could happen to anyone anytime. The fact that you don't get any hints on how the story is going to turn out was keeping me on edge and made it almost impossible to put this book down.

I am not a musical person. Not at all. But the musical theme in this book just fit so well and is a huge part of the novel and I loved it. It really inspired me to expand my knowledge of music and it points out how many different kinds of music there are and how important music is in pretty much everyone's life.
Lastly, I would like to mention how this novel also brought me thinking about my life and what's really important in life and how much we should all appreciate the people who we are close with.
All in all this novel really touched my heart and it is just so special that I would tell anyone who hasn't read it yet to do so now. Come on. Go. Get it. Now.

Greetings, the Booksmartie

RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties

April 08, 2012

In My Mailbox #1


Hello everyone!
I'm assuming almost every book-blogger out there (and every book-blog-reader, of course) already knows this meme that is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Anyway, it's basically a feature that allows bloggers to show which books they just added to their shelves no matter if they purchased them themselves or won them in giveaways etc.
As you may or may not know I live in Germany but read English books which means that it's sometimes difficult to get my hands on brand new copies, but most of the time the books I order arrive at my house at time and there are even German bookstores that offer English books in their stores (and not just online) so it's not really a problem.
But now on to the actual topic of this post: what I got in my mailbox this week (and purchased myself):

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson                

The Sky Is Everywhere

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

Purchased for my Kindle app:

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

I'm excited to see what you guys got this week and wish a happy Easter to everyone who celebrates and a wonderful sunday to the rest of you :)

April 06, 2012

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #91

Hello and a happy Feature§&Follow friday everyone!
Today's question is:
Have you ever bought a book BECAUSE of a bad review?

My answer: No, actually I haven't and I can't see why I would to be honest. Of course, if there is a big controversy around a certain book I'm most likely going to read it, but only because someone did NOT like the book...I don't think so...I would of course read a book although it has gotten a bad review if I wanted to read it anyway-what about you?

April 05, 2012

Review #4 Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Parents can be somewhat annoying, can't they? They make us do chores, they give us curfews and the very, very mean examples send us to a fabulous boarding school in FRANCE where we get to meet a ton of cute guys and get to eat nutella-banana- crêpes all the time...at least that's what happens to Anna in "Anna and the French Kiss"

Anna and the French Kiss

Goodreads summary:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

I chose to take French in eighth grade. I met my French teacher and regretted it. I chose to quit French a year after that. Since then I've avoided anything that has to do with France. Until - you guessed it - I read this novel. To cut it short: I loved it. The story, the setting, the language, the characters - just beautiful.

I believe that there's different kinds of wonderful books. There's books like Divergent or The Hunger Games that draw you into their story until you're not sure which world is the one you actually belong with. However, Anna and the French Kiss - for me, at least - was just a wonderful, beautiful read that I enjoyed. It is not so much what happens in the book although the plot in my opinion is very well constructed. I was surprised by the things that happened, the many problems that appeared and how they were solved.

What really made me love this book, though, was the way the story was told. The descriptions of Paris and the French, the whole atmosphere in the school and the dorm, the relationships between the characters and how they developed.

Anna was refreshingly ... special, I think you could call it. She has so many different character traits and habits that it feels like getting to know a real girl and not just a fictional character. In addition to that, not one time in the story she made a decision that seemed unreasonable to me. The way she thinks about things and how she treats other people, all her actions just seem normal and you're not asking yourself why on earth she handles things the way she does.

I liked the other characters, too. Some very minor ones were maybe a little bit flat, but that didn't bother me at all. One gets to see some  hot guys - perfect boyfriend material - but also relationships between normal friends and how they change in the process of growing up.

All in all I can recommend this book for really everyone (okay, maybe every girl). I think even readers who usually don't like to read romantic novels or contemporary fiction in general would enjoy this story - and fall in love with everything french ;)

Greetings, the Booksmartie

RATING: 3 out of 3 Smarties

Similar To This

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...