March 31, 2013

Weekly Favorites

I could go on and on about all the snow that just won't go away, now that we're officially transitioning into April. Or about how I'm drowning in school work, because I'm facing the most important exams of my life (so far!!!) in two weeks, but instead of doing that and being my whiny, anxious self, I will accentuate the positive, because there's a lot, actually.

Spring Break
It's not even that I'm doing anything, going away for vacation or hosting a big party or something (ha,me, yeah...right!). The simple knowledge that I will wake up tomorrow morning without having to go to school is so relaxing - it's like a drug, I'm telling you (not that I ever tried. really, promise!I fear for my lungs if I only sense cigarette smoke!).

(If I looked like that when I run, I'd totally try the Olympics, too :D)

My First Official 10K
Apart from the fact that I was so excited (okay, anxious) about it that I (and the rest of my family) had a really hard time sleeping the nights before the event - it was the best experience I made in a very long time! The thing about always running alone and never going on events is...you stay alone. And your running can feel very senseless when it's never for something. Now that I've done it one time, I'm addicted. Thousands of people in one place who love to do what I love doing, too. Who actually care about the differences between a morning and night run and a barefoot running shoe and a normal one...you get the picture. It's just like bookblogging.

The Sims 3
Will I ever grow up? I don't think so. There I was, thinking I had finally left that phase where I could spend days in front of a computer screen with little animated characters who speak their own language - which I don't even understand . Apparently not. Oh well, it's not like I'm ...ummm... seven books behind on my Goodreads challenge or something. Or, you know, in the middle of studying for exams....



Lés Miserables
Yes, I'm talking the movie. That new one that came out and that brought Anne Hathaway an Oscar and that I went to see in theater and that I came out of with the desperate wish to become a musical star? Yup, that one. And now I cannot help myself, I have to listen to that soundtrack 24/7. It's my life.

Soo...what were your highlights this week? Are you doing something special for Spring Break? Are you maybe a runner, too? Or do you want to be one? Or a musical star? And have you seen Lés Miserables?

March 30, 2013

Review - Reached by Ally Condie

Reached
by Ally Condie


One sentence: sorry for the mess. I know this month was a crazy chaos on the blog with the Cinder review first, then the one for Crossed (that should have been up months ago), followed by my Scarlet review last week and Reaches now. I can only aplogise for this complete lack of structure and hope you guys can still enjoy the review :)
Happy Easter!

Reached (Matched, #3)

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

Hardcover, Dutton, 512 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Penguin


A Long Story...Short!


Reached was a lot thicker than the previous installments in the trilogy but just as beautifully and fluently written, so that it didn't take me long to finish. It was great meeting the three main characters again and reading the story from those three points of view, but at the same time I didn't think the voices were any different or unique at all. There were quite a few events in the book when I really wanted to see some action, but it never came and sadly, the plot could not make up for that, either. Besides, the ending left me pretty unsatisfied, but still, not exactly wanting more.

Review for You:


I liked Matched, although some people were disappointed with it. I enjoyed Crossed a great deal, while many of you found it boring. I went into Reached with neither high nor lower expectations. Throughout the first half I had fun reading the novel. Then, I started to see it coming. My sudden disappointment with the author.
I know now what it was that made so many fans turn their backs on this trilogy. It's not Condie's writing  style, because it's pretty amazing how she poetically describes each character's thoughts without ever boring me. It's so easy to race through her books, you never have to take a break, you just seem to soar through the pages - that's how fluent and lively she tells a story.
The plot, you ask? Yeah...about that.
It doesn't exist. Not really. This book is about a revolution. However, the revolution takes place and no one even seems to notice! Sure, there is a believable explanation why we don't get any action or fights etc. But that is not how it works! We've been waiting for this to happen for two books! You can't just tell us that this is it!
Also, the characters. I had my problems telling Cassia's voice from Ky's in Crossed, but it was completely impossible to identify the three different voices used in Reached! When I got interrupted within a chapter and had to start over, I always went back to the beginning of the chapter to find out who was talking. 
I could go on and on here about what was good and what wasn't in Reached, but the result would stay the same - utter and complete disappointment. There was so much potential in this last book, but Condie (in my opinion) lost herself in beautiful words and descriptive writing and pages and pages of symbolism and metaphors, slowly making me fall asleep instead of coming up with that BAM moment that would have made her trilogy extraordinary.

March 29, 2013

Geeknote!

Happy Friday, y'all!
If you've read my little Blogoversary series, you know I thought about doing Geeknotes again. Basically, for those of you who don't know, these entries will be short updates about things in my life (probably mainly not book - related) that I feel the need to share with you. 

Today, anxiety has brought me here. I probably won't be able to sleep at all tonight, because I'm running my first real and official 10K race tomorrow. 
Well, it's not exactly my first 10K ever, but I've been running consistently for four years now and I've always been afraid of actually participating in a race.That is why the only one I ever ran was a really small event in my village together with a handful (really! a handful) other people. 
You didn't even have to sign up for it and they didn't take your time, either.
Tomorrow is going to be a little different, though. This 10K I'm mainly running because I train for a half marathon in April which I would run away from (literally!) kicking and screaming if I didn't experience at least one real race before.
So, all this basically means that tomorrow really doesn't matter and I shouldn't worry about it. Except, I do. Now, my question for you is, do you run, too? If so, do you have any tips for the race (or preparation)? What do I have to take with me? (Trust me, I will forget my ID, or running shoes...)
Or do you do other sports? I'm curious :)


March 28, 2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet
by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Hardcover, 452 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

A Long Story Short:

Scarlet is pretty much like Cinder. But two times that. You get two fierce heroines, two fast paced Story lines, two times more plot twists, a futuristic Asia and a futuristic Europe. On top of that Meyer's writing style is still incredibly perfect, not too fast, not too slow, not too descriptive, never redundant. To cut it short  - I flew through this book and so will you.

Review for You:
Let's talk about the awesomeness that was this book. Freaking amazing, I'm telling you.
I was very worried about the second plot line and heroine thrown in. I couldn't imagine turning away from Cinder and Kai even for a little while and busy my mind with a girl I never heard of before and whose story I didn't care for.
Including Scarlet, or the idea of different story lines that intertwine in the different Lunar Chronicles novels, thankfully turned out to be one of the most brilliant ideas of the century. I'm pretty sure, not even Steve Jobs could have topped this. 
Having only Cinder as the main heroine in the second book would have meant following one plot that I would have gotten pretty tired of after a while. Or, phenomenon number two, or so to say, would have been Meyer throwing everything in the majority of authors have to give in second books: um...a love triangle. 
Wasn't the case.
Instead, the author took me to futuristic Europe, more specifically - France, showed me around, explained the new social structure and way of living there and introduced me to a heroine that is not only uniquely stubborn and confident, but also very different from Cinder without trying too hard to be.
I also met Wolf, whose true identity I wasn't even sure of after the book was over and together with Cinder I had the pleasure to be introduced to a very...interesting young fellow who will hopefully join us in the next books, as well.
If you were worried until now that your favorite sidekicks and villains fail to come back in the sequel to Cinder, never fear - they don't. They are very much present and true to their old selves and they never cease to entertain you.
I think I've said enough to get my opinion across - Scarlet is an amazing read, even better than Cinder and you should not wait a second longer to read it.
Oh, or listen to it. Esther Bochner from Macmillan Audio was so kind to offer an audio clip from the Cinder audiobook, so that you guys can get an impression of it. I personally think, it sounds like it's definitely worth a try :)

video

How about you guys? Have you read (and loved) these two books already? And what do you think about audiobooks? If you listen to them, when and where?
 Let me know in the comments!


March 27, 2013

Looking Forward to the Future


In this last post in my little series to celebrate One Year Anniversary, I thought I'd talk a bit about  the right now and what I plan for the blog in the future

End of Highschool, Start of Something New
I feel like I mention it all the time lately, but I'm pretty much done with high school now (except for four exams). That alone is a huge change in my life, as it probably is for everyone else around my age. Right now, I plan on going to University in the fall, leaving my home and family for the first time to live on my own which is certainly exciting (and frightening). 
However, the end of High school even means a bit more for me,personally. Those of you who stumbled upon my header or who followed my very early post might have noticed that high school and all the drama that goes along with it wasn't really my...thing. Not to say I hated it. 
Not everything. There were moments when I was sure I would never want to leave school and the friends I made there and the lessons I learned. Then again, walking away from that life now, step by step, makes me feel relieved and open for new experiences and influences. 

New Design
One example of how that transforms to my blog is the new design. I was so sick of all the pink doodling I saw every time I visited the page - I needed a change! The new design is supposed to stand for my girlyness, but also for a fresh look into the future and compared to the old background, it seems a bit more grown - up to me.

New Ways of Blogging
Along with the new design, I also decided to freshen things up a bit for the second year of the Booksmartie. Inspired by all the new websites, YouTube channels and online movements I stumbled upon lately, I want to make this blog more spontaneous and up to date. I want to be a member of the awesome communities forming around me, I want to discuss, to argue, to share, to put my opinion out there and to bring other people's views into my life. 

As the result of this little Looking Back series, I thought it'd be nice to set some goals for the following year of blogging: 

- I want to blog more spontaneously and not cling to my schedule like a  madwoman
- I want to use Twitter more to interact with other people and actually know what's going on in the world
- I want to include some more personal updates in the form of "Geeknotes"
- I want to redesign my reviews to make them more interesting

But what about you guys? What do you want from the blog? What are some post ideas you want me to realise? 

March 26, 2013

One Year Anniversary!!!

Happy Birthday to meeee! Exactly this day, one year ago, I uploaded my very first post on the Booksmartie. 
It's been a great, sad, adventorous and exciting year for me - in the blogging universe and beyond - and in the next few days to come I want to share the highlights with you guys! I hope you enjoy!

Looking Back On...Blogging in Everyday Life



With the late spring and early summer month the routine I developed became...a habit. Basically, that meant two things. 
-One, I got posts done faster because I actually knew what to do and didn't feel completely lost with all the symbols and settings on blogger.
-With that, blogging found its way into my everyday life. 
-started reading whenever I found a free minute or two, taking notes on my phone for my reviews 
-made it a habit to check other blogs during breakfast, watch Youtube reviews as I cleaned my room and so on.

One important milestone during those months was Bout of Books 4.0 - my first Read-a-thon.
-recommend everyone but especially new bloggers to participate in an event like that
-makes you feel more at home in the blogging universe 
-having a common goal and so many opportunities to talk about it and interact with each other.

Bout of Books was also my first time seriously trying to use Twitter together with my blog - which I've been failing at miserably ever since. 
-forget it even exists 
-only very rarely actually post something on there.

With June came summer and with that my first themed reading month,
- summer-y contemporaries beyond -measure 
- but also Meg-a-Readers, another Read-a-thon
-didn't finish the way I wanted to. 
-Once-Upon-a- Readathon ended the same way 
- if not worse. That was also when I
- learned that sometimes however much fun things are, I can't do them all at the same time :) 



March 24, 2013

One Year Anniversary!!!


Happy Birthday to meeee! Exactly this day, one year ago, I uploaded my very first post on the Booksmartie. 
It's been a great, sad, adventorous and exciting year for me - in the blogging universe and beyond - and in the next few days to come I want to share the highlights with you guys! I hope you enjoy!

Looking Back on...Spring Break in the Blogosphere


Spring Break usually is 
- a rather difficult time for me
- the weather is horrible
- everyone else seems to be somewhere sunny
- there is nothing to do 
- I always get sick!

Anna and the French KissIf I Stay (If I Stay, #1)City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)

My new blog, though
-made things rather interesting
- kept me busy
- helped me understand that highschool is only the beginning

My reading habits
- changed completely
- I read for hours, sick in bed
- I learned how to enjoy doing nothing for a change

The Sky Is EverywhereDark Storm

Blogging - wise
- I started to have a real routine in my posts
- I noticed that routines are rather boring
- I started including random posts just to change things up

Interestingly enough, I used to be a lot more spontaneous during the first few weeks of blogging and I'd really like to get back to that again. After all, blogging is about sharing something about yourself with the readers and I think it might be more fun to include some rather personal, fun updates from time to time!

March 23, 2013

One Year Anniversary!!!

Happy Birthday to meeee! Exactly this day, one year ago, I uploaded my very first post on the Booksmartie. 
It's been a great, sad, adventorous and exciting year for me - in the blogging universe and beyond - and in the next few days to come I want to share the highlights with you guys! I hope you enjoy!
Greetings, the Booksmartie

Looking Back on... My First Month of Blogging


Can you believe it? Because I can't. It feels like it was just yesterday, or say, last month that I slowly started typing my first book review. 

Back then, 
I had my nose stuck in my English textbook, devouring the section that dealt with book  reviews 
- tried to put some words together  that would eventually become a sentence. 
- Guess what? There was a handful of sentences at the end of the day
- but those sentences never became a blog post. I gave up and swore to never try again
- I was sure I could never do it. 

I didn't leave it at that, obviously. I took to Blogger again. After all, I had a design now and I knew what I wanted to do and everybody else - or so it seemed - could do it, too. 

So I tried again.
- this post that I started with the words "Hello Internet!" 
- I was shy and insecure and wanted to appear cool and confident 
- The only thing I  didn't want was for anyone I knew in person to find out (sooo embarassing!)


That's not to say I'm not proud of what I did in March 2012. My first blog entry might not have been a big hit and my first reviews weren't straight to the point, but I started and I tried and from that day on I never wasted a thought on quitting. Not once. 

My first real review (Veronica Roth's Divergent).
- Looking back on it now I realize I made one very big mistake - I was not completely honest. With myself, 
   that is.
- I was new to the blogging world and fascinated by how enthusiastic some people could get over books
- I wanted it, too. So I told myself I loved Divergent and had to write a raving review on it, although actually, I liked it - but was never completely obsessed with it. 


The complete opposite was Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. 
- I didn't like that book at all
- I was a bit nicer in that review than I would be today 
- still learned an important lesson when I had the review finished and uploaded 
- there is a way to write a negative review if you find the right words and the reasons why you didn't enjoyed
   the book.


I did memes on my blog from the very beginning
- it's a great way to interact with other bloggers because you have a topic to start awesome conversations
  with
- first meme I did was Feature & Follow Friday, the second  one Tune in Tuesday, I believe but that is a   
  topic for the April post.

Gain New Blog Followers

There were Geeknotes, as well 
- where I shared thoughts that just came to my mind for a second
- I do consider starting that again...I think it's fun
- what do you think?

I wrote little introductions before I started the actual review
-that doesn't strike me as a bad idea, either
-would you like to have that again?
-because I think I would like to do that again....

By the way...do you like this format of the post better than long texts? Because I could get used to the keyword style :)
Tell me what you think in the comments!

March 20, 2013

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed
by Ally Condie


Crossed (Matched, #2)

The hotly awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever


LONG STORY SHORT:


I loved Crossed at least as much as I loved Matched - maybe even more. The story continued and went exactly the way I wanted it to go, but the plot was never too obvious. Condie's writing style is awesome, very poetic but also fluent, so that you don't get stuck after a few pages because it seems like the author won't ever get to the point. It was great to meet Cassia, Xander and Ky again, but I was also immediately attached to the new characters that were introduced and that - as the world itself - had interesting back stories, too.


REVIEW:


I know that there are a lot of mixed views on this book and the Matched series in general, and although in my review of Matched I said that I understand it  - I honestly actually don't. Some people seem to hate this book like crazy. I mean, I get that most dystopian novels are faster paced and have more action than these ones, but what I often missed in those - even in Divergent - was getting to know the background of things, the overall development of the world. I actually like that Cassia, Ky and Xander don't always find themselves running from everything and everyone because that leaves time for explaining the details of the story.

Crossed might not be for everyone but there are  a lot of elements in this book that make up for Condie's stronger focus on development. As I said the writing is so fluent that you can race / float through the book like nothing...and when it gets emotional like when Cassia tries to figure out her feelings for the people she's with or when she thinks about what's the right and wrong thing to do, I could identify with her really well.
Character growth is an important aspect in this second novel as well. All of the protagonists made a huge step towards adulthood - especially Cassia has really left her state of naive conformity and turned into a girl that more or less knows what she wants.
All in all, if you didn't like Matched you probably won't like Crossed either, but for everyone who liked the world-building in Matched and the writing style and who fell in love with the characters, Crossed is a great sequel.

March 18, 2013

Review: Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Pandemonium 
by Lauren Oliver


Pandemonium (Delirium, #2)

"So what was your name before?" I say, and she freezes, her back to me. "Before you came to the Wilds, I mean."
For a moment she stands there.
Then she turns around.
"You might as well get used to it now," she says with quite intensity.
"Everything you were, the life you had, the people you knew... dust."
She shakes her head and says, a little more firmly, "There is no before. There is only now, and what comes next."
After falling in love, Lena and Alex flee their oppressive society where love is outlawed and everyone must receive the "cure" - an operation that makes them immune to the delirium of love - but Lena alone manages to find her way to a community of resistance fighters. Although she is bereft without the boy she loves, her struggles seem to be leading her toward a new love.


A Long Story Short!


Writing and character development are once again Oliver's highest scores, but this time she upgrades to (relatively) fast paced action as we saw her do at the very end of Delirium. After experiencing another huge cliffhanger at the end, though, I really hope for a mind blowing Requiem - everything else would ruin this series in the end!

Review for You:

What was missing (a bit) in Delirium, came with Pandemonium - that's what most people think, I guess, and I  can only agree. If you thought Delirium was too slow and sacrificed story for world building, you'll probably like the sequel better. This book is based almost entirely on plot - on Lena's story - but still not ignoring the wonderful aspects we loved in Delirium, writing style, characters, development, and quotability.
The most important element in Pandemonium is undoubtedly the Then and Now feature Oliver uses to continue telling Lena's story. This way, we can experience two exciting plots that made my heart rate speed up more than just a couple of times.
To change things up even more, we have to let go most of the characters we grew to know and love in the first book to make room for a whole bunch of new ones - most of whom are unique, different and realistic. 
Anyhow, although I loved Raven, Tack, Blue, Sara and of course Julian, I still think excluding the rest from this book completely was kind of harsh. I'd hoped to see some more of Lena's family and old friends. 
Besides, Pandemonium is sad - heart wrenching, even. Sometimes to the point where I found it a bit too harsh, too dramatic. Then again, sure, it adds to the page-turning factor.
As this is a book by Lauren Oliver, I don't think I have to talk writing, but I will do it anyway, because not mentioning it would come close to an offense towards the author. So - brilliant. Period. I don't think there are many authors who can reach that level of beauty. It's extraordinary.
All in all? Read Pandemonium. I know Requiem was a disappointment for many (haven't read it yet) but after reading this book I can't help but feel excited for the final installment.

What about you? Have you read the trilogy? Do you plan on doing it? 

March 16, 2013

Time for Change...

For those of you who visit blogs directly - and not with feedreaders, like I do - you probably already know. For everyone else - I finally worked up the courage to change my blog design...pretty much completely.
This is unusual for me, because typically I hate change. In any way. It doesn't matter if it's moving from one place to the other or having to find a new pair of favorite jeans - I like to have things the way they have been since forever. 
So why, you might ask, did I even change anything on my blog where I make the rules? 
The answer is simple. Although I hate change, what I hated even more these past few days was the same old boring design I was staring at every time I uploaded a new post. And now, weirdly enough, I feel relieved. I am really, really happy with how it turned out. I wanted something a bit more clean and bright,and not as busy as the old design. I also think this one looks more...modern. 
However, this is of course not only about how I feel. This is about my readers, you guys, as well. So, let me know what you think! Like the new design? Want the old one back? Is the new font comfortable to read?
I'd love to know your thoughts!

March 14, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder 
by Marissa Meyer


Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)


Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . 
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Hardcover, 1st Edition, 387 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends



A Long Story...Short!

Marissa Meyer did an overall fantastic job with Cinder - there's no better way to put it. Every aspect of this book has been perfected with wonderful care and a love for details. The Cinderella retelling? Very well done. The storyline is so close to the original - it's almost scary! Talking about scary - our villain(s) in this book definitely deserved that spot. Whether we're talking about the evil queen or the mean stepmother - they both are "bad" in a way that is not only fun to watch but also draws you into the story more and more because you. just. want. the main character to have her big triumph in the end. The pacing and plot is another bonus, because even if you don't have the time, or you don't feel like reading you will make time to read Cinder and you won't be able to stop turning pages until the book is over and even then your inner voice will scream for more. So you better head out and get Cinder and Scarlet to guarantee you won't go crazy!

RATING:
3/3 smarties...and a cupcake!


Review for You:

There should be something like a book hype appreciation day. Seriously, the only reason I eventually went and picked up - and read - Cinder was the fact that everyone - bloggers and youtubers united - talked about this book and its sequel. It appeared on every website and in every video and at one point I just wanted to see for myself - and it was worth it. Oh man, what a book!
Even though I consider myself a very avid reader and even though I have not been in a reading slump in a very long time I can be very...petty about the books I read. Very. I can't pinpoint what makes me go absolutely crazy about books like Delirium, Tempest or Cinder. I think it's the mix of combined awesomeness. It's not only good plot and pacing, not only great characters and their development, not only beautiful writing, because none of those details are what I think about when I'm reading.
It happens in the bus as that's where and when I read the most. It's when my mood shifts from sitting in my seat, cozied in next to the heater, and enjoying a good book. It's when suddenly I find myself in the book, shrinking every time the bus stops because I
a) have to realize I'm in the bus, not in a futuristic Asian world and
b) that my bus stop will come eventually and that I'm going to have to stop reading at some point in my life.
This is what happened with Cinder again. The characters were well rounded, realistic, unique and likable - well, almost all of them. Of course, there's no way I could not fall for our love interest in this  book and wish and hope for him and Cinder to be together, but Cinder's very special friend Iko found her way into my heart as soon as she appeared on the pages as did Peony. The awesome aspect in this book is that I also grew to "like" the evil characters because they were so well done! I love when you can feel the danger coming from them or - in the case of Cinder's stepmother - want to punch them in the face nonstop. And that again makes you cheer the heroine on even more.
On to the actual story.
I'm sure almost everyone knows the original Cinderella - or at least one or two versions of it. I myself had a few doubts about how that storyline would be translated into futuristic Asia - but that was unnecessary. Meyer did it perfectly. It's amazing how Cinder's story was wrapped around that storyline and how the whole world evolved around it.
The world, by the way, is not just something for Asia-obsessed geeks like me. Marissa Meyer's dystopian world is a mix of futuristic world building a la carte and fantasy elements that rock your socks :)
Besides, it's easy to understand how everything works together, the social system and hierarchy and everything. For that, maybe, Meyer's writing style is to blame. The author has no problem being precise and understandable while still scoring points for beautiful language and fast pace.
All in all, you might have guessed it already, I was completely in love with Cinder and cannot wait for Scarlet.

Questions for You:
Have you read Cinder? If so, what do you think?
If not, what has kept you from it?
Can you recommend any similar books?

March 13, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday


Hey there! Yup, it actually is me. The Booksmartie. Haven't heard from me in a while, have ya? Oh, well. Let's just say school is keeping me busier than ever right now and I really need to focus on that! The good thing is, though, that I'm done with actually going to school in 1 1/2 weeks - crazy, right? Until then, i probably wont be reading (or blogging) all too much, but I hope you guys wait for me - I promise its going to be better days from now :)
Okay, on to the purpose of this post -  a book I'm wishing to see on my shelf soon...mhm...let me think. I know I chose this one before, but I pre-ordered it and it has not come until now!!! So annoying! But here it is:

Fragments (Partials, #2)

If you haven't read the first book, Partials, i highly recommend you do - I loved it!

March 09, 2013

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless

by Hannah Harrington

 
Speechless
 
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
 
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by HarlequinTeen
 

A Long Story Short

 
Speechless was a good, but not great contemporary book that I'd recommend to everyone who does not expect extraordinary things from the Story. I read this book, influenced by all the Hype around Hannah Harrington and this novel in General, I expected a great message, an even better romance - and all I got was average. I understand that the characters are fleshed out and that they really have chemistry, but I don't understand why I'm supposed to be completely blown away by the Story.
 
RATING:
2/3 Smarties

 

Review for you:

I hate These kinds of Reviews. I can't rant because it wasn't horrible, I can't rave, because I didn't even come Close to being obsessed with it.
What I liked? The characters. No matter which one, really. They were all authentic, most of them like-and lovable, the Boys respectful, the Girls strong and confident. I mean, it does say something if the only Thing you get from the Heroine are her inner thoughts and throughout the whole book you don't ever find her whiny or annoying in some way, not redundant, either.
Also, I won't spoil anything but there's something about the atmosphere around a workplace where People are cooking, that....just Appeals to me. If anyone of you has read Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever, or What Happened to Goodbye you know what I mean. It's just...ha, the atmosphere!
Anyway, the actual plot...dragged a Little bit towards the end. I felt like the ending should have come sooner. It's true that there were still some final endings to tie together, but I was not up for it anymore. Do you know that Feeling when you know there are still a few things in the plot that have to happen before the book is over, but you don't want to read them anymore, because you know how they'll turn out and you are satisfied with the Story as it is? Yeah, that. If I remember correctly it took me about three evenings to read the last 10% of the novel on my Kindle.
So, okay, you might be thinking right now. You found the ending a bit dragging and that's why you didn't like the entire book? Mhm...not quite.
My main Problem was the Hype. I expected a miracle. That sort of Story that makes you love and cry and that you remember forever and that teaches you important lessons for your life and everything after you die and...you know where I'm coming from, don't you?
Speechless was cute, maybe even good but by no means - in my opinion - was it a brilliant novel every single Person on this planet should read. Especially the actual premise, the speechlessness, came too short for me. I thought it'd be such a great deal, but it wasn't. Not really.
I think I've said it enough - I'm disappointed, but I guess without the expectations - or with more negative ones in my head - I would have enjoyed this novel!

March 08, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday

FF 2013Button 300x300 Feature & Follow #139
Today's Question:
What is a book you didn’t like that all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn’t popular?

Easy one. Everyone i know (blogger or not) loved Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Me? I hated it with a passion. still do, actually :D What about you guys? Did you like that book? Which books did you like that weren't popular? Because I'd really like to read them!

March 07, 2013

Review: Zoe Letting Go by Nora Price


Zoe Letting Go

A girl's letters to her best friend reveal two lives derailed by anorexia in this haunting debut that's Wintergirls meets The Sixth Sense
It's not a hospital, a spa, or an institution. That's what they told me--that's what the brochures promised.
But no matter what the brochures promised, Zoe finds that Twin Birch is a place for girls with a penchant for harming themselves. Through journal entries and letters to her best friend, Elise, she tries to understand why she was brought there, and how she could possibly belong in a place like this. But Zoe's letters to Elise remain unanswered. She wonders why her best friend would cut her off without a word, reliving memory after memory of their beautiful, rocky, inescapable friendship. But everyone has secrets--including Zoe--and as her own fragile mental state hangs in the balance, she must finally learn to come to terms with what happened to Elise before she's able to let go.



A Long Story...Short!

Although this book is kind of an addicting story, I don't think it'd make the top list in this genre. The story was good, the writing admirable, the heroine sympathetic and I was close to tears a couple of times, but the rather open ending and the unanswered questions throughout the book made it an overall unsatisfying read.
RATING: 2/ 3 Smarties

Review for You:


So, I guess you have to love this book for Wintergirls reasons. If you have read any other book on eating disorders, self-harm, depression or other horrible diseases that can ruin a person's life you know what I mean. The characters in those books are usually so far down, so desperate, that you can't help but feel for them and want them to be in a better place again and that's why you keep turning the pages.
That should not be the only reason, though. I think especially with books that are hard to put down for the aforementioned reasons, it's important to shine in other areas, as well.
Writing, for example. Which was great for most of the time in Zoe Letting Go. The story is told from Zoe's point of view and the heroine has a unique voice and way of thinking - I think that was impressive, also considering the fact that it's the author's first book.
The plot was pretty much perfect, too. The balance between present day and flashbacks was there at all times which held my interest. The letters to Elise were - in my opinion - a bit too many and a bit too long, but I'm not a fan of that kind of style, anyway - interrupting the story with letters that basically just recall what just happened in the last chapter.
As  I was reading , I was convinced that this would be a three Smartie review very easily - but that was when I still thought I would get an actual ending and answers to all of my questions.
I think it's okay, especially with contemporary stories like this to not explain every detail of how things will go on in the characters' lives. However, Price left so many aspects simply untalked about and up to the reader's imagination that it annoyed me - a lot, actually.
All in all, I would still recommend the book but warn you of an unsatisfying ending that I find pretty much unacceptable.

March 06, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday


What I wish for this Wednesday? Hehe, absolutely nothing! This past weekend, when I found myself drowning in schoolwork, barely keeping up with my second hobby, running, and not looking into a book the whole entire time, I figured - it's time to stop wishing and start reading again! 
Anyway, if I were to consider buying a book again (won't happen in the next few weeks, I hope) it would totally be Clockwork Princess. Why? Because I kind of feel obligated to buy every Cassandra Clare book out there. Not that I intend to keep up with that habit in the next few weeks. Just saying. 

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

March 05, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday



Top Ten Series I Want to Start But Haven't Yet

Can I just quickly state how much I love this week's topic? I can't wait to see all of your picks...and I don't know if ten is enough to list all of mine!


Already on my shelf:

1) Heist Society Series by Ally Carter
2) Graceling Series (Trilogy?) by Kristin Cashore
3) Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick
4) Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
5) The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
6) The Paranormalcy Series by Kiersten White
7) The Rot & Ruin Series by Jonathan Maberry
8) The Gone Series by Michael Grant
9) The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa
10) The Blood of Eden Series by Julie Kagawa


And the ones I'm dying tio put on my shelf:

11) The Shatter Me Trilogy by Tahereh Mafi
12) The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor
13) The Newsoul Trilogy by Jodi Meadows
14)The Covenant Series by J.L Armentrout
15)The Lux Series by J.L Armentrout
16)The Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series by Fiona Paul
17) The Bright Young Things series by Anna Godbersen
18) The Chemical Garden Series by Lauren Destefano
19)The Unraveling trilogy by Elizabeth Norris
20) The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

Phew...Looking back at this, it's kind of intimidating. Also, I'm not even halfway through them all...

Which series do you want to start but haven't yet? What's keeping you from it? And do you read series back to back or does it take you forever to finish one (like me)? Happy Tuesday everyone!


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