August 31, 2013

September Books

Ahh, September! It's probably the 9th time I'm saying it this year, but time is. flying.
I remember suffering through endless snow and ice and now the leaves are turning red and yellow again...and I'm SO happy about it! I love Back to School time, the cozy feeling that comes with the rain pounding on my window and the colorful fall clothes you can see in the windows and...
oh,what? I wanted to talk about books today? Woah, almost forgot...

Here they come, September releases at their best!!!

Auto - Add - To - Wishlist

Antigoddess (Goddess War, #1)All Our Yesterdays (Cassandra Chronicles, #1)Not a Drop to Drink Where the Stars Still ShineThe Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)3:59This Song Will Save Your LifeRose Under FireTen Tiny BreathsMonsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3)The Truth About You and MeModel Misfit (Geek Girl)Torn (Torn, #1)

Series I Want to Start:

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles, #2)Smoke (Burned, #2)Once We Were (The Hybrid Chronicles, #2)Rogue (Croak, #3)

Books I'm Not Too Excited About:

United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)FangirlThe Chaos of StarsFrozen (Heart of Dread, #1)The Coldest Girl in ColdtownUntil It Hurts to Stop

I know, I know. I don't want to read a lot of the most anticipated books of September! But I'm really fed up with reading slumps and books collecting dust on my shelf. So I won't get any more that I don't feel like reading in the first place!

So, what books are you guys excited for?
Do you follow the "trends" and do you find it hard to say "no" to certain books? Which ones?

So You Think You are a Geek? My Trip to Gamescom in Cologne

I'm starting to feel like I'm spending more time in Cologne this summer than at home.
First, I had to go on that 2.5 hour train ride for what seemed like a million times (okay, three, but still) for Uni and then one of my best friends asked me to go to Gamescom with her.
This, obviously, is not a Gaming blog and I am not a gamer. Anyway, as the nerdy book lover that I am, I find myself at least fascinated by that crazy world that gamers seem to live in full of fairy-tal-ish creatures and mind blowing stories.
5 Lessons I Learned as the only Not-Gamer at Gamescom Cologne
1) You won't believe it at first but
...there are a TON of Gamers out there!
2) You will meet a million celebrities but you won't know anyone of them. Seriously, not one.
3) Nintendo is for babies. If you get all excited about how you have Dr Kawashima on your old NDS, I'm afraid you will never be one of the cool kids.
 4) Just because there is a Sims 4 booth doesn't mean they'll show you anything you haven't already stalked on Youtube.
5) You'll beg and cry and scream, but your friends won't stand in a line with you for three hours just to pinch that Sim-of-the-Future in the cheek
 5) If you do plan to wait in a line for three hours, you better bring that PS3 that's glued to your hands anyway. Because a minute without gaming is a wasted minute, right?
6) If your friends want to convince you to watch a match of LoL.....
...don't let them fool you. They don't mean that Miley Cyrus movie...
...and you'll spend another 45 minutes having NO idea why everyone around you is cheering and screaming their heads off....
I'll have to say, I expected a bit more from Gamescom. The way it was done? AMAZING! It was a geekfest! But for a girl who needs to breathe into a paper back whenever someone plays LoL, WoW or (heaven, forbid!) Call of was pretty scary terrain...
Questions for Today:
Do you play video games?
If you do, which ones? I need recommendations!!!
And would you like a more in-depth report on my day in Cologne? In a more review-ish style?


August 27, 2013

Top Ten Secondary Characters

First of all, thank you all for your amazing and frequent comments while I am mostly MIA!  I really, really love reading them and appreciate your suggestions SO much! Also, after catching up on my favorite blogs today and seeing all the new September releases and that Divergent trailer I am totally feeling like this reading/blogging slump is coming to an end :D

But now, on to the secondary characters I cannot live without!
It's kind of cliché to say, but I really do think sidekicks can be just as important as the heroines and heroes of a book. After all, they often make for the funny jokes, they are the ones to clear up the mess our MCs created and sort through their mess of thoughts so that they can think clear again :D
1) Many, many Harry Potter people
SO many of them had such important roles in the end (Neville, Ginny, Professor Lupin, heck even Aberforth Dumbledore!)
2) Sturmhound from Siege and Storm
3) Jessy from The Mediator Series
4) Doc from The Mediator Series
5)Iko from The Lunar Chronicles
6) Link's mom from The Caster Chronicles
7) Roar from the Under the Never Sky Trilogy
8) Sam from Deadly Cool and Social Suicide
9) Lina's mom from Between Shades of Grey
10) Mehh, no number ten - can't think of anyone else! Who did you choose that I totally forgot? Any suggestions?

August 23, 2013

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

I can only say that I am really, truly sorry for the lack of posts lately. Worst thing about it? I don't know when I will be able to post regularly right now! Preparing for Uni is really stressful and I've been working two jobs and running a lot and...reading and blogging  couldn't be my first priority these days.
In order to make up for it (a bit, at least) I am doing something really exciting this weekend and you will read all about it come next week, so I hope you stay tuned for that and that it will make you a bit less furious over my Internet absence :D
Oh, and I've got a review for you, too!

Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2)
Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.
A Long Story Short:
Review for You:
I'm going to be honest and say that originally, my excitement for Siege and Storm was limited. For the first time ever, I had to look a book up on Wikipedia because for the life of me, I could not remember everything that happened in Shadow and Bone. I remembered liking the book  a lot and wanting to read the sequel WAY back then. But it's been a year. My tastes changed a lot. I wasn't sure - and surely not excited.
With Siege and Storm I felt like I grew into the book. Or the book grew on me. In the beginning, I fell in love again with Bardugo's amazing storytelling. The almost fairy-tale-ish approach she has is different from most authors. Especially since she manages to do it without over the top descriptions and detailing.
While Alina and Mal were never my favorite YA characters (and still aren't) there was soon a new one introduced that I cannot summon enough praise for.
I'm talking Sturmhound, of course. One of the funniest, most interesting and witty characters I have ever encountered in YA. Every page that he was on I was bound to love. I have yet to feel that way about any bookish character!
The plot surprised me a couple of times because it was so unpredictable. Sometimes I thought it was going to go in a certain direction - that I didn't like - and then BOOM something happened and we were (literally!) headed somewhere completely else.
When the book settles a bit eventually, I was wrong again. I expected things to continue at a slower pace and prepared myself for the boredom a rough spot like that usually comes with...thankfully, that wasn't the case, though.
Bardugo once again managed to keep me interested in her story from beginning to end. No pause, no rough spot, no slow period. Everything going really smoothly.
The only thing I found a bit annoying was the romance and how Mal and Alina's relationship developed. Then again, I don't like Mal to begin with (I don't know why, I just don't get him at all), so that's probably why.
The ending, then, was epic. Just fantastic! I want to say it's a pretty much perfect ending! Like...the action is coming around big time and you find that you're shivering all over and then, when all that action is over, the only thing you get is a small epilogue. Not a hundred more pages explaining and analysing everything that just happened - like in some other novels.
All in all, I was very impressed by Siege and Storm. It did not disappoint at all and I can't wait for the last book in the trilogy and everything else Leigh Bardugo might have in store!!! 

August 20, 2013

Ambitious Goals, a Headache and a Day in Cologne

Bout of Books

Monday & Tuesday

Books Read: none
Pages read: 137

So, I might have overestimated myself (once again). And it might take me three, instead of one day, to finish The Catastrophic History of You and Me.
And I might not be as in love with the book as I thought I would be.
Anyway, I'm trying and I do have excuses (of course I do!)

a) I spent all of Monday in Cologne which is a 2,5 hour train ride away from home 
b) I totally planned on spending the train ride reading but 
c) I got a headache from here across the Universe and back and could not do anything but snuggle up on my seat and listen to "Safe and Sound" (Capital City, not Taylor Swift though that one's great, too)

Admittedly, you could have skipped the above section and just went with this:

I am failing. Heeeelp!
The bac-up plan is this:

I will try to read as much of TCHOYAM tonight. Then, I will cheat and read those two Judy Bloom books tomorrow (they're only about 150 pages) and then I will be back on track by Thursday.
Sounds like a plan, right?

But enough of me, how are you doing with your goals???

August 18, 2013

My First Half and My Fifth BoB

As an Introduction, I thought I'd inform you all that I ran my first Half Marathon today! My goal time was 1:45:00 but guess what??? I finished with 1:43:43 - and I'm SO stoked to go out there and run and run and run so that I can get even faster than that!!!

Moving on, Bout of Books 8.0 starts tomorrow!!! So if you haven't signed up yet (why would that be???) I strongly recommend that you do now, because you might forget if you don't and I tell ya, this is not something you want to miss.

Bout of Books
Just because I've only mentioned it about 30000000.... times on this blog, BoB is the BEST Read-a-Thon you could participate in because it's packed with socializing stuff which I love!
I mean, you just cannot miss their amazing Twitter chats and challenges. You cannot.

Okay, all my enthusiasm aside, have you noticed something? If you know me well, you can probably guess.

Fun Fact no.1) I haven't signed up for BoB yet. (Okay, you can't know that, but as I said, those who know me...I'm such a procrastinator!)

Fun Fact no2) No goal post. Nope. Nada. And you could have known that one!

So, this is kind of my goal post. You know, where I tell you my super ambitious plans for the week only to realize, they are so unrealistic you guys are probably laughing off your guts at the moment (can you even do that? Laugh off your guts? Never mind)

Uhh, you know, it's completely normal to do two Read-a-Thons in a row the exact same selection of books again. Only means, I might be a little bit moody when it comes to my reads,but I'm 18 years old and allowed to change my mind every two seconds!

Books that you see in the picture:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
The Summer of Firsts and Lasts
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Are You There God, It's Me, Margeret
and Forever by Judy Bloom

That's eight books. And I'm determined to finish all of them. I already talked about it with 
A book a day. No. Big. Deal.
Okay, maybe it is. But if you don't dream big, nothing will exciting will ever happen, right?
Wish me luck and GO sign up for that Read-a-Thon now! 
Happy Sunday!

Have you signed up for Bout of Books 8.0? 
Which books are you hoping to read before summer's over?
And is anyone a runner? 

August 16, 2013

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)
One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?
A Long Story Short:
Hourglass had a really great beginning, in my opinion, but the novel went downhill from the middle. The side characters were too flat, the plot too slow and detailed, the plot twists either a bit unrealisic or too obvious. You should definitely give Hourglass a try,but I have a feeling I'll be highly disappointed with the rest of the trilogy...
RATING: 3/3 Smarties
Hourglass was a lot more than I expected and basically everything I want in  a good book.
It is about time travel (always a bonus) and it's done in the best way possible. Not too much fantasy or paranormal (which I suspected), but a lot of science and "facts" that make the story believable, so that you don't always have to close both eyes in order to enjoy the novel.
Big cheers to the heroine, Emerson! A character that not only has an extraordinary (but very sad) background, but one that has visibly grown through that and into a person not only many girls can probably relate to, but also one I'd want my younger cousins to look up to.
She's (mostly) confident, she's witty and although she seems to be a negative person (all that sarcasm!), she really just handles life with a healthy portion of humor.
If that's not enough, Emerson's family is so incredibly nice and supportive! I mean, especially towards the ending it grew a bit unbelievable and fairy-tale/Disney movie - ish, but still.
Let's talk about steamy then. Or, our love interest and the tension that went with it! I'm going to say this - it's not easy for the two of them, it was extremely frustrating for me and in the end, it even got nerve racking and brought me pretty close to tears! What exactly I'm talking about, you'll have to see for yourselves...but let me tell, Hourglass is worth a read, if only for Michael.
Despite my love for Emerson's family and Michael, I do have to say a thing or two about side characters. Her best friend (whose name I actually forgot)? Complete fail, in my opinion. She seemed to appear for three lines (of a page) and then be on the phone with Emerson for two seconds and then she was gone again for half the book, just to reveal a big secret of hers towards the ending. I really wasn't impressed by her, or most of the other side characters.
Or the antagonist/villain. Because he wasn't a  villain. Because yes, he has done terrible things, but...he had no reason to (in my opinion). His motives just weren't big enough for me to count.
In the end, all these things did make me close one eye in order to keep enjoying the story.
It's difficult for me to review this book, since Hourglass started on such a good note, but then somehow lost itself in the middle. I thought it was too long and packed with a few really unimportant details, it had some too obvious plot twists and the ending was a bit...blah.
Finally, I also heard that the second book will not be told by Emerson's point of view which is a huge letdown for me.
All in all I do recommend this book, it is quite amazing and has the potential for "favorite trilogy of the year". Anyway, I really think it depends on book two. If it's anything like the beginning of Hourglass, I'll love it.

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