July 31, 2013

July Wrap Up and August TBR

So, July's over? Fine by me!!! Once again, I realize I'm not a fan of the heat, the doing nothing, the bathing suits and pools. I love back to school, colored leaves and hot sweet tea!
And although August may be everything but fall, my favorite time of year is still coming closer any day.

Even more reason to kick off this month with a serious commitment to reading, so that when September and October come around, I'll be back in the routine :)

Books I finished in July:
 
The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts (DAC, PRC)
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick (TBR, PRC)
Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick (TBR, PRC, Sequel C)
Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend by Loise Rozett (Sequel C)
Ink by Amanda Sun (DAC, PRC)
Hourglass by Myra McEntire (PRC, TBR)
Ten Things by Sarah Mlynowski (TBR)
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (Sequel C)
 
In addition to that I read one book for school which I do count, but not list on here, because it'd probably bore you guys to death :D
 
All in all, that's 9 books. A solid number, but I know I could have done better....
 
 
Books I plan to read in August:
 
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
34 Pieces of Me by Carmen Rodriguez
Heist Society (1,2,3) by Ally Carter
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
The Mediator 2,3,4 by Meg Cabot
 
That is...quite a lot. 12 books in total. I know that I can read 12 books a month - I'm not sure if I will :) With two Read-a-Thons on the way it shouldn't be too hard, though...I hope...
 
 
Which books have you read this month? And what are your goals for August?
By the way, do you already mourn the end of summer or can you - like me - not wait for the fall?



July 30, 2013

#BTHReadathon - Ready, Set, Go(als)!!!

 
Hey, fellow Read-a-thoners!

This is actually the first two-week Read-a-Thon I have ever encountered, so my goal list should be appropriately long, right?
OK, let's go for it!!!

 
 
These are the books I definitely want to finish this summer - preferably during BTH.
 
I already started Leigh Bardugo's Siege and Storm and Richelle Mead's Blood Promise.
 
The other novels are
 
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
34 Pieces of Me by Carmen Rodriguez
Luxe by Anna Godbersen
 
That's 7 novels, so I hope I can finish each of them in two days. Timewise, that'd be a goal of at least 2 1/2 hours of reading each day :)
 
MONDAY:
 
I did read approxamitely 90 minutes today (Siege and Storm), which was not my goal, but it's still okay considering I  had work today. I'm going to be working on Tuesday, too, but after that, I hope that I can really get into these books and catch up with my reading :)
 
Books Read:
Total:0
Today: I find myself halfway through Siege and Storm!
 
How are you guys doing???
 
 

July 26, 2013

Let's Beat the Heat - I'm reading a Marathon again :D

 
Hello, people of the internet!
 
Once again, I stumbled upon an amazing Read-a-Thon opportunity and could not say no. And why should any of us? It's summer, after all! Lots of free time, too much heat and too much sun to do anything but being lazy all day....sounds like the perfect time to seriously pick up some books again.
I'm super excited for this Read-a-Thon and I really hope, you are going to sign up, too!
 
 
Greetings,
 
the Booksmartie
 
Have you signed up for Beat the Heat, too? Or are you planning on doing it? Let me know in the comments!

July 25, 2013

2013 Bucket List Update

A few weeks back I saw a post over at I Solemnly Swear about the goals almost all of us made at the beginning of the year - and where they are now. I have to say, I didn't even remember most of them and now I seriously have to catch up! (Then again, that I did know before!)

1) Read 120 books.
I've mentioned more than enough that I'm failing terribly. I'm currently 8/9 books behind and I'm sure that if I don't get back on track this summer, I won't make my goal for the year, because the fall and winter time is going to be really stressful!

2) Read at least 12 books featuring paranormal creatures.
The Rules by Stacey Kade
Blue Moon/Shadowland by Alyson Noel
My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Enticed by Jessica Shirvington
Everneath by Brodi Ashton
Vortex/Tempest by Julie Cross
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Clockwork Angel/Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Ink by Amanda Sun

That's eleven and I didn't even count several books in series! That means that I only have to read 1more paranormal book in 2013...at least one goal is working out here :)

3) Finish open series.
Mehhh...this one didn't go all that well. I made some proress on the series I started, but...you know..
Mached Trilogy by Ally Condie (finished!)
Tempest Trilogy by Julie Cross (on track)
Under the Never Sky by Veronika Rossi (on track)
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (on track)
The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass (on track)
The Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick (on track)
Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard ( 4/5 behind)
Belles by Jen Calonita (2 behind)
Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington (1 behind)
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (3 behind)
Pandemonium Trilogy (1 behind)
Shiver Trilogy (2 behind)
 
4) Don't buy books only because of the hype.Defiance *cough*
I really didn't go overboard with this one. I barely bought any books - and only a few hyped up new releases. Instead, I'm being a good girl, reading what's on my shelf and only choosing stories I'm genuinely interested in.

5) Stay away from dystopias if they don't sound really, really, really amazing and different. Oh, and if their title is not Fragments or Requiem.

This is pretty much the same as no.4. I have to say, though, that I still haven't read either Requiem or Fragments :) And the dystopians I did pick were really, really good!

6) Actually read Pandemonium. Because, you know, there is no such thing as the right time to read a book.
Yup, have actually read that one a while ago.

7) Read at least twelve debut novels.
I am FAILING! Big time. Plan on making it up with audiobooks, though. Isn't going too well, either.

8) Include some classics. Just..do it.
Nope. Hasn't happened. I'm determined to read The Great Gatsby, though.

9) Come back to Fantasy reads and Historical Fiction, because those have always been my favorite genres.
This one was difficult. I did look out for these genres, but it's pretty hard finding good historical fiction or fantasy...suggestions?

10) Dogear books. Because I hate that all my books look like they come straight from the store and have never been touched after that :)
As if, my dear readers. As if. Stopped after book two, because it looks TERRIBLE. And it hurts my bookish heart.

July 24, 2013

We Have to Save Ourselves

This post is different from pretty much every other one I've ever written for this blog - and that's because I don't usually have a thought and write. Usually, I think about something for weeks and weeks and then decide to share :) This time, though, I watched the Youtube video below and thought BAM, yes, she's right.
And this has got to be shared.



Up until now, I didn't even give this a thought. I mean, maybe I have. In the back of my mind where thoughts lure and voices talk that I simply do not want to listen to.
The good thing about the Internet is that we all get to have an outlet. A place where we can share and exchange thoughts and find and befriend people who care about the same things and go through similar phases in their lives.
I could go on and on about what good the Internet does for those who have trouble finding people they get along with. Blogs and Youtube channels build the icing of the cake, those are the big platforms where we talk and write about all the things that matter most to us. Meanwhile, Tumblr and Pinterest have strength in Pictures seeing as most of the things you see on those sites are images that express whatever the person posting feels passionate about.
And lastly, we have Twitter and (somehow) Facebook where real connections and conversations seem to come alive, where thousands of people unite, usually via hashtags.

I'm going to be honest with you: throughout the past year, the Internet has been my lifesaver. And, as this is the internet and a serious topic, I will correct myself and say that it has been a lifesaver in the metaphorical sense - not the literal one.

What I mean is that, instead of going to school, doing my homework and then getting lost behind the pages of a book, I got to put myself out there, talk about books with other people and have a feeling of company that I had been craving for a while.
Anyway, when it comes to the Internet, I think we all have to remember very clearly that it is - after all - a virtual world we live in. Not only virtual, but not real, either.
Before you start telling me in which ways the Internet is fueled by the thoughts and words, pictures and videos of real, living people - and therefore must be real as well as alive - let me get something out.
This virtual world we wander around is in many ways not that different from the fictional worlds most of us tend to spend our free time in.
Of course, we get to talk to people who really exist. But just like Harry Potter, many of them we will never meet. Just like we will never deal with Draco Malfoy at our real school, we will never experience a real fight through digital drama. Just because we had a lively discussion on Twitter about the ending of a book doesn't mean we could say the same arguments with the same amount of confidence in class.
I definitely love blogging. I love our little (hah, what? little!) virtual world here, I wouldn't want to miss any one of the seconds I spend in it.
I do think that it's important that we never try to replace something in our real worlds with the Internet more than just temporarily.
Having a blog is great, amazing! I always have something to say! I always have someone to say it to!
However, recently I just realized that we have to give our best in our real lives anyway. We have to take risks, we have to overcome fears, we have to make ourselves go out that door and talk to people and try to live the best lives we can.
Every day.


July 23, 2013

Sorry, But You're Just Not On The List! - Top Ten Tuesday

 
1) Vampires

Only exception: Clearly, we're not talking Vampire Academy here 'cause those books are amazing! But all other Vamps. Sorry, guys, but I really hate you!

2) Werewolves

I do not understand how someone could fall in love with a wolf. And it doesn't matter if said wolf is part human. It/He/She still has fur!!!

Only exception: Wolves of Mercy Falls. Still don't get the fur thing, but Stiefvater's writing is beautiful!

3) Paranormal Romance

You know that thing where two people can never be together because....

No exeption.

4) Adult

Only exception: All the Adult books I ever had to read. Because, admittedly, they were all amazing.

5) Animals

Only exception: Again, none. I'm not a big animal lover and the talking kind...no. Just no.

6) Mythology

Only exception: Everneath was really good, but most of them are too close to paranormal Romance for my taste.

7) Funny, Quirky Highschool Drama

Sad thing, I used to love this stuff. However, I find it gets old.

8) Quests

I hate books that don't have a certain setting. Quests and Journeys make the plot endless and dragging and boring most of the time.

Best example: Going Bovine by Libba Bray (clearly not my thing)

9) Religion and Spirituality

Count me OUT. Seriously, there's no exception. No matter which kind of religion/spirituality.
 
10) Anachronistic books

To everyone who was a Young Adult in the 90s, DO NOT hate me. It's in my blood (generation?). I can't read books that were contemporary novels but are older than say...2005. Why? Be aware, my reasoning is shallow. No Ipods, no Facebook, no Gossip Girl. A million Pop Culture references, yes, but none of them ones I understand!!!

July 21, 2013

A Peak in My Pocket


The web is an amazing place and throughout the week there is so much Content I like, so many ideas and Posts of others that I want to share with all of you guys, my followers! Every Sunday, I sit down and link up ALL the fantastic things that inspired me during the week!

Helpful stuff:

I knew about Pocket, and even Read it Later before, but ever since the whole Google Reader Replacement started and apps like Feedly tripled their fame around the net, I became aware of how useful these things can be. With Pocket, I save all the blog posts, Pictures, Pinterest pins and quotes
that cross my Screen -to share them at the end of the week - with you!

Inspirational:

Interesting!

Around the Bookblogosphere:

Another Read-a-Thon! And let me tell you - it's LONG! 





July 19, 2013

Review: Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)

A Long Story:

Finally a sequel that was even better than the first book! Very mature characters, serious teenage issues, family problems and the development of highschool friendships make this book not only readable, but relatable. From time to time the heroine's fantastic sarcasm peeks through, though, and clearly lightens the mood. A series everyone should at least have a peak into!!!

RATING: 3/3 Smarties


Review for You:

The only thing I remembered from the first Confessions book was that it was much more than I expected, so you might be surprised to find out that its sequel amazed me even more!
If that's possible, our Almost Girlfriend Rose lead the story better than the Angry Girl from last book.
It's only logical thinking about it, too. After all, Rose finds herself as a highschool sophomore now, turning sixteen. This might not seem like a big deal at first, but one year can actually matter a lot (remember how you changed from fourteen to sixteen...see?)
While Rose 1.0 seemed  helpless and fragile to me and therefore a bit unrelatable, Rose 2.0 was not always, but very often, a confident girl who knew what she wanted. 
Her straightforward and brave way to tackle  situations not only made her grow on me, but it also drove the plot forward.
Which is another goal Rozett scored with this book. There's no arguing Confessions#1 was a fluent and entertaining book, but looking back on it, I still think #2 had a bit more depth and dealt not only with everything Rose was going through, but it included more general topics - and her friends' and families' problems, too.
Peter and his plotline were the only things I found a bit unsatisfying. I actually liked the direction it was going, but then, the solution to his problem seemed rushed to me - and like the author didn't even include the reader in what was going on with him.
Also, toward the end of the book, Tracey's story kind of lost itself and she seemed gone for a long period of time, which was just sad.
However, to make up for that, we get a lot of beloved characters back! First of all, of course, Jamie (the personification of hotness), then Angelo whom I LOVED in this book, Regina (okay, definitely didn't love her, but...) and so, so many more.
It's definitely worth a  read!
I don't want to tell you too much about the book, just that the series is really, really worth reading. I flew through it like nothing and can't wait to get the next book on my hands!

July 17, 2013

Wishlist Wednesday


The reason I chose Myra McEntire's Timepiece is because I'm in the middle of the first book in the trilogy, Hourglass, right now and I'm loving it! Soo much better than I expected!


Timepiece (Hourglass, #2)

July 16, 2013

Top Ten Books that deserve more recognition




The Year of the Great SeventhThe Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)How I Live NowConfessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)Entice (The Violet Eden Chapters, #2)
Vortex (Tempest, #2)Geek GirlDear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their StoriesAll These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)


The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts
The Rules by Stacey Kade
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
The Confessions Series by Louise Rozett
The Violet Eden Chapters by Jessica Shirvington
The Tempest Trilogy by Julie Cross
Geek Girl by Holly Smale
Dear Bully (Anthology)
Birthright Trilogy by Gabrielle Zevin
The Cahill Witch Chronicles by Jessica Spotswood

July 15, 2013

Good Morning Monday #2

Good Morning lovelies, how are you all today?

Time flies by, doesn't it? When I last checked, I was just out of school and there was snow everywhere (that was back in April) and now, half of July is already over - weird, isn't it? I, at least, can't keep up anymore!

Anyway, let's come to the important stuff. Like this.


Let's just laugh a little, shall we? All together, on three!

See? Mondays aren't that bad! And even if you think they're bad, maybe we can try to raise the mood one more time by thinking of all the fantastic things that lie ahead of us, yes? Ok.
So, for me that would be catching up on my reading as I am the laziest person in the world right now.
I did get through Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend last week - which was uh-mazing!! However, since that was the only book I finished last week, I still have Myra McEntires books Hourglass and Timepiece and Amanda Sun's Ink to read. Let's press our thumbs together so that I can actually get through them all!!!

As for this week's topic - it's Indie! And by that I mean all kinds of Indie. Indie books, Indie music, Indie authours  - you get the gist! Just check in from time to time to see reviews of at least one (and maybe two) awesome novels, a discussion post that's not so much a discussion at all, and a book I want on my shelf like crazy!

In other news, although I am ridiculously slow right now (for whatever reason), I start training for my first marathon EVER this week - so that's exciting.
Alongside that I AM DETERMINED (sorry for the shouting....) to do blogilates videos for at least 90 minutes and Nike Training Club workouts for at least 45 minutes this week...should be doable considering it's summer and I have basically nothing else to do!!!

Okay, I guess that's it for me and for today. Now, let me know, what books you plan on finishing this week and - if you're into fitness and stuff - what your favorite workout is! Do you like Running - or Pilates? 

July 10, 2013

Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2)

The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive.
Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she’d come to love.
But she was wrong.
Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don’t trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive. 

A Long Story Short:

I had a few issues with Shadows and the author made me a bit mad at times, but overall I can only recommend the sequel to Ashes, as well. It's not completely free from second book syndrome, yet one of the most gripping novels I've read in a while.

RATING: 3/3 Smarties


Review for You:

The general opinion seems to be that Shadows, the second book in the Ashes trilogy, can not keep up with the brilliance of the first book.
Being the last one reading it, of course, I was warned and I do think that's why my own disappointment wasn't too harsh. I can't say I loved Shadows as much as I loved Ashes, but it's still one of the best books I've read this year. 
The good thing about the book was Bick's writing, her ability to create suspense, to think in the mind of her characters, to never, ever draw an unrealistic plot line or twist and to keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what happens.
Shadows could still have been amazing for all those qualities - if they hadn't been so familiar already. With Ashes I had the benefit of surprise, I was astonished by Bick's skills and that tied me over and kept me amazed until the end.
Shadows, though, had to score in plot and character development in order to wow me again. And while the latter is totally one of Bick's strenghts, I had my problems with the plot.
I can only agree with the masses when they say that Bick relied on too many points of view. In the beginning, it didn't bother me much that she went from one perspective only, Alex's, to several more. I can't name them all (spoilers), but I think at the end we were at at least five. Which is a lot.
Still, it's not the number of perspectives we had, but what they did to the novel, I think.
Peter's and Alex's plotline were cut short, in my opinion, and then stagnitized throughout the middle of the book. Orange's (substitute for he who shall not be named) perspective kept me entertained, but wasn't enough to stick through the other parts of the book without getting bored.
Jumping to a completely different topic, I think Bick went overboard with her realistic and descriptive writing style. This book, my dears, can hardly be considered YA anymore. That's my opinion, at least. If it was a movie, I'm sure anyone under sixteen (maybe even eighteen) wouldn't be allowed to see it. It's not just the violence that's going on in Shadows, it's mostly just the things the characters do to stay alive.
I mean, I get that in a situation like the one described in the book, people would probably behave that way. But I really do find it problematic to still call Shadows YA.
On a more positive side, the ending was fantastic and the novel left off at a really interestsing point. Also, Monsters is coming out soon, so if you haven't started the trilogy yet (and if you think you can handle it), I definitely recommend you go and pick it up.

Review: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy #1)


It could happen tomorrow . . .
An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.
Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP. 
For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.
Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation. 


A Long Story Short:
Amazing. Read it.

RATING: 
3/3 Smarties



Review for You:

It took me a year to start reading this book. And while, yes, my TBR pile is huge and growing, there's still no way to justify my holding off. Despite it's terrible marketing.
Seriously, I don't like to be spoiled by the synopsis of a book, either, but if you don't even have an idea of what you're actually holding in your hands, it's quite difficult to get exited about it.*
Unless, of course, you manage to get to the first page.
Which is just as amazing as the entire rest of this book. Seriously, I was amazed by how much Bick had to offer. 
Ashes was not just excellent writing, it was realistic premise, fast paced plot and fantastic characters all in one huge pile of pages. I don't even know where to start with the praise for Ashes. Or, let me think. I guess now I do know.
It's disguisting. You really must be prepared for that. As I stated, it's also great, but it has a lot of violence, a lot of despair, a lot of death and ugliness in it and if you told me before I would never have picked it up. Which would have been a big mistake.
Going along with how disguisting Ashes was is Bick's writing. That woman has got skills, people! Her writing is descriptive, to the point and - unique in every aspect of the book.
It doesn't matter if we're talking Alex, the main character with her strong personality and voice, or Tom and Ellie, all three of them, by the way, come with extraordinary background stories that shaped them into the people you meet on the pages.
In general, Bick is a genius when it comes to letting the reader get to know her characters. All the sidekicks in this story, no matter how important their role for the plot was, were introduced in such a way that at the end of the page I felt like I knew them personally.
Bick's writing also gives the pace of the novel something mindblowing. She manages to put those little words and phrases at the end of her chapters that make it impossible to put the book down - and I didn't have to, anyway. The author's choice of words seems to be random , yet totally fitting, which gives Ashes a poetic touch without ever being slow and dragging. Cornelia Funke, Lauren Oliver and Maggie Stiefvater, for example, are all writers with beautiful language skills - but their books often suffer from slow pace and a lack of action whereas I'd compare Ashes with The Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer) or Under the Never Sky (Veronika Rossi). 
These three novels all made me fall in love from the first page because I could just breeze through the book and still enjoy every second of it.
Overall, you have got to read Ashes to find out about the true beauty of it yourself. I could give you more information about how great Bick handled the romantic aspects, how much feelings this book conveyed, how I was still thinking about it long after I'd finished, but that would turn out to be repetitive and maybe even spoil the book for you, so I recommend you just go and read it yourself, because it's amazing!

*On the back of my edition they only provide the reader with a paragraph taken from the book which leaves you in the blue as to what the book is actually about. The Goodreads summary has a lot more details.

July 09, 2013

Top Ten Things I have to say about movie adaptions


Harry Potter

The movies were wonderful, no doubt about that. I had my problems with them and I like some more than others and I'm still not over them splitting part seven in two, but at the end of the day I still enjoy watching those movies.

The Devil Wears Prada

I am not even entitled of an opinion as I haven't read the book yet, but I loved the movie. Like...loved it!! The actors were amazing and the setting was caught brilliantly and if the book is even better, I can't wait for it!

The Hunger Games

This is a difficult one, in my opinion. I wasn't obsessed with the movie, but then, I'm also not the biggest fan of the books, either. I enjoyed them enough, but I never really got the hype. Same with the movie. I totally get all the love for Jennifer Laurens and the rest of the crew, but...the enthusiasm didn't come...

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

This movie is SO cute! The actresses for the four girls were pretty unknown back then - and real superstars nowadays (well, to me they're superstars, anyway). So, go watch that movie. I still haven't read the last book of the series (and I do find it kind of slow at times), but the movie is really, really nice.

The Princess Diaries 

I only saw this one two times. The first time I was in...second grade, I think - and I loved it. Because it was an ordinary girl finding out she was a princess. Finally, I had proof for my theories. The next time was about a month ago - and I hated the movie. After reading and loving all the books, I realized that it just can't compare. Sorry. Even Anne Hathaway can't make up for that. I like her as an actress now, but back then...not so much.

The Lucky One

I loved the book and I'm obsessed with Zac Efron, but the movie didn't make it for me. I remember being so disappointed by it when it came out last year. Then again, I went to see it with my mom and spend most of the time hiding in my seat because there were SO much more steamy scenes than I remembered. Awkward!

The Last Song

Loved them both, book and movie. I read the book first and it brought me to tears and the movie has come out really great, too!

Twilight

Most of you already know Twilight and I don't go together really well. One contributing factor was, I think, was that I saw the movie first. And I had to sit through it and hated every second. It was SO boring. I mean, I get why some of you like it. I also get why one would like the books. It's just not for me.

Ruby Red Trilogy

Yup, this is, in fact, a movie. Here in Germany the trilogy has long come out, the hype was fading and then - the movie came out. And I'm afraid, I haven't even seen it. I saw pictures of the costumes and the setting and everything - and I'm too afraid to try it. Seriously, I don't want this trilogy ruined for me.




July 07, 2013

Good Morning Monday! #1

Good Morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Bookish Universe!

First of all, don't worry, I'm not crazy. Even the Booksmartie, early raiser by birth, has got her problems with waking up at 5AM on a Monday to go to work.
So, admittedly, I am not typing this in the morning, but on a sunshin-y sunday afternoon near my window, with a good book and a balcony right in side. So, I might as well start this post with something to cheer you up a little:

hahahaha
Let's skip book and balcony for a second, though, and talk about the week ahead. I personally sincerely hope it's going to be an awesome one.
Tomorrow, we'll start of with a Top Ten Tuesday that is all about the movies...but I'm going to have to alternate the topic a bit to fit my needs (and abilities).
Wednesday and Thursday is for reviews - this time, though, on books that I really don't want to see in movie version. The pictures that are still in my head give me nightmares, I'm telling you!
Friday is for following, of course - and a big surprise for everyone, as always. 
On Saturday, we will discuss movies, duh! - but from a different point of view.
Also, 45 Pounds is coming out this week and I would get my head chopped off to read this book. 
45 Pounds (More or Less)
Sadly,though, I'm still desperately trying not to drown in my TBR pile these days...
Instead, I'm looking forward to reading Myra McEntires Hourglass and (maybe) Timepiece (shhh, the last book is coming out next month!) and the new Confessions book by Louise Rozett. Oh, and despite the so-so reviews for Amanda Sun's Ink, I'm hoping to get my own taste of it somewhere in the middle of this week, too.
Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)Ink (Paper Gods, #1)Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)
With this, I'm going to leave with the one question burning in my mind:

What are you reading this week? 

The One Million Dollar Question

For everyone who finds themselves as behind as I do, here's an update: It is, in fact, July.
And although the changes for the blog that I announced back in May still haven't happened yet - I do plan on letting them happen as soon as tomorrow, Monday, starts.
Now, before you go ahead and prepare yourselves for the upcoming apocalypse, hurricane or at least very big riot on the blog, let me tell you - it's not going to be all that mindblowing.
Basically, it's just  a way for me to come up with post ideas and making blogging a bit more extaordinary for myself.
Anyway, I'll stop rambling now and tell you what's going to be new.

The Schedule


Well, kind of.You will still get your Top Ten Tuesday every week. And you might have noticed that I started doing Wishlist Wednesday and Follow Friday on alternating weeks to have more time and space for unique posts, and less for memes. For example, I really, really hope that I can do one Discussion Post per week. Another new thing will be Good Morning Mondays! (more on that below) and my weekly updates on Sundays.

Good Morning Monday!(s)


This is the major new feature I want to include. In these posts, going up on Monday mornings, I will update you on the general topic/theme that the blog will follow for that week - probably usually correlating with whatever topic the TTT is about. In GMM!, I also plan on telling you which books I want to read that week, which releases I am excited about and bookish events that are worth getting all hyped up about. 

Themes

(okay, so that's themed benches, not posts, but I guess you get the point)

As I mentioned above, for the month of July, I want to try and see if I can work with weekly themes for the blog - and if you would like me to continue that. I believe it would give the blog a lot more struture. I won't always match my weekly themes with the TTT topics - although I realized in my July planning that it works quite well. What I really, really want, though, is to come up with topics that you, my readers, are interested in.
So, I'm going to finish this post by asking you the number one million dollar question:

What do you want to see on the blog? Which topics are you interested in? Would you like to see me, exploring the (completely foreign to me!!!) world of HTML and blog design? Do you want me to read books in other languages (that, I imagine, could turn out quite interesting!)? Do you want me to talk about other "species" of booklovers, like BookTubers, librarians,...I-can't-think-of-anyone-else-right-nows...?

Let me know in the comments, I'd love to read your thoughts!!!

July 06, 2013

Review: The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

The Year of the Great Seventh



Sophie has always felt out of step — an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.
To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.



Long Story Short:


The Year of the Great Seventh is a good book for everyone looking for something more extraordinary. The unique mix of themes  planted into your general YA environment and executed by (mostly) normal teenagers made the novel realistic, but also fun. Teresa Orts kept me guessing throughout the whole book. At the end, I wasn't blown away, but I did find myself entertained and happy to not have skipped this one.

Review for You:


Not bad, not bad. I've got to say I'm quite impressed. Admittedly, I was genuinely intrigued by the idea of combining high school drama, Hollywood glam and egyptian mythology. And not in a cynical way. I was just really curious how Orts would manage to bring those three together....and I found myself quite surprised as to how it worked out.
The plot is what Orts gets a big huge applause for. No matter what she did, it kept me entertained. Not glued to the pages, not really, but it wasn't difficult to pick the book up again and wonder what would happen next.
We jumped from Sophie's home and school to Hollywood premieres and parties to historical museums and eventually, halfway across the US - without ever feeling rushed or not rushed enough.
Whatever the setting, whatever the journey, Orts never had explanations and descriptions too long or short.
When it comes to writing, there were a few odd moments. In general, it was easy to follow Orts's writing style. It's not too special, but it also didn't bother me. The only thing I found really annoying was how once in a while, Orts would completely forget that Sophie is a teenager and therefore might sit on the bed "cross-legged" - but by no means "in the lotus position".
There were several of those expressions. I'm not going to lie, I had to look some words up. I mean, sure, you can guess from the context what they mean, but in a book that's written mostly towards a teenage audience, please don't use words most college students wouldn't know (or, at least, use)! It's not only annoying, missplaced, and looking kind of stand-off-ish, it's also just plain unnecessary and downgraded the book a bit for me,
Along with that went the way Orts tended to tell a story. You know those authors who show and not tell? Well, Orts did show. And it was good. Way better than I expected. But then, almost every time, she added an explanation to the information she already showed me. Her characters, especially Sophie and Nate, developed well - there was no need to explain why they did certain things, made their decisions the way they did.
Coming to the side characters, I was a bit annoyed with them. They were one-dimensional for the most part and definitely came short. Sophie's friends were either not home anyway, but traveling the world as teenage movie stars, or they were on the phone for two minutes and then said their goodbyes. Her parents were a little better, especially Sophie's dad was not only sympathetic, but pretty realistic, too. Her mom, though, had  me irritated. It seemed like Orts couldn't decide who that woman was supposed to be. The ambitious Hollywood mom or the caring one who wants nothing but her child's happiness???
What's definitely special about The Year of the Great Seventh is the mix of themes as I mentioned in the beginning. This way, the book wasn't loaded with mythology -which is what usually makes me leave mythology books on the shelves. The romance peaked out here and there which I LOVED. Again, because it wasn't too much, our lovebirds weren't obsessed with each other, but they still had some cute scenes together.
All in all, this is certainly a unique and interesting book. It's not something you absolutely have to read, but if you're looking for something out of your average YA,definitely check this book out!

July 05, 2013

Where the Magic Happens...

I
Comfort Zone

t's true what they say. Most of the time, the great things only happen when you get out of your daily routine, overcome all your fear and doubts and do that new thing you've been eyeing for so long.
As I said, most of the time, the magic only happens where your comfort zone ends.
That, though, also depends on these two factors.

1) You are ready to step out of your comfort zone.
2) You step into the right direction.

These two might seem obvious, but especially when it comes to books, I find that it can be quite difficult for both of them to be true.
I, for example, have been getting tired of good ol' YA contemporary lately. After turning to it for the past two years, it was enough.
I did not need any more of those bullied highschool girls with their mysterious boyfriends and difficult family situations in my life and right now, I start feeling a lump in my throat when I look at all those other contemps still sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read.
At first, I thought the time had come for Adult novels. 
I felt like now that I'd obviously had enough of my old passion, I could step right out of my comfort zone, into the Adult genre.
Did not happen that way. 

move out of your comfort zone
First of all, I was maybe fed up with that old thing, but not really ready to try something new. Especially something so...uh...drastic. 
And then, I'd never thought about the fact that there are so many adult genres that it's incredibly difficult to decide where to start. Also, every book I grabbed had like...700 pages.
As soon as a friend of mine told me that Bridget Jones is actually from the 90s where they only had uber-dimensional cell phones and NO facebook - I gave up. That was just it. I could not handle it.
Now, without revealing the hysterical teenage girl that I am (deep in my heart), let's get rational again. Jumping straight into adult books did not work for me. I was, after all, not ready to leave YA and also not willing to head straight into Adult books. It even got me in that kind of personal reading crisis where I had no idea what to read and, therefore, had to empty the Amazon.com bargain section - and my wallet.
In the end, I decided to branch out - but in a different direction. Instead of contemporary, I am trying dystopian novels again - which I thought I was done with, too. And I want to read more Fantasy again and finally start with Manga.
Basically, what I'm saying is that we all get to the point where we are in need of something new and exciting that sets itself apart from everyday life (or reading, in this case).
What I learned in the past few months is that there's no need to venture into something you don't even want in the first place. It's enough to just grab that one book everybody else loves that you never thought you'd pick up, be surprised, and have a new favorite genre!

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