21. stu 2014.

Bookish Problems #15 - NetGalley vs Edelweiss

Hello dears. I got inspired for another Bookish Problems post and this is actually a question that's been coming to my mind from time to time. Please note that I'm not favoring either because I get approved there more or anything, just my view of the both.

NetGalley 

I'll start with NetGalley as I have been there longer. So, first thing that grabbed me when it comes to this site is organization and how easy it was to navigate it. Because I really tend to keep everything around me organized this was a really important thing to me. Another good thing it that you have your profile there where you can check your stats, which I couldn't find at Edelweiss. I really pay attention to this as I try to read all arcs I download so I really love that thing about NetGalley. Still archive date always works for me as it helps me organize (I'm an organization lunatic as you can see) my reads. But let's face it when it comes to YA book there are many that aren't available there. Which now leads us to Edelweiss.

Edelweiss

I resisted and avoided this site for quite some time. I had profile there for years but I started requesting books there just last spring. Main reason for that is that it's not easy to find your way there. It took me some time to get used to the site and how to find what I was looking for. You have epiphany once you get to look around and search for some books as you get a really great list of titles and some amazing books offered that you cannot find at NetGalley. I was also really surprised how easily I got approved there as I haven't been active for years. Downside is that I don't get to see my stats and this will sound weird but there is no archive (as far as I have seen). I'm always "nah, I'll read it soon" and then I end with that book on my Kindle for months.

Final verdict: Both. Yes I might be better familiar with NetGalley but Edelweiss offers some amazing books that you cannot miss. So,

So penny for your thoughts. Which one do you prefer and why? I always love to hear your opinion so share! I don't bite. Promise!

Until the next time, 

20. stu 2014.

(Series Review) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor



Buy the books:
Author's:

Book summary:

"Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?"

http://www.goodreads.com/series/67386-daughter-of-smoke-bone

      I am so happy that I waited for all three books to be published before picking up Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor is a queen of killing you slowly with cliffhangers. Even the final book leaves you with more questions than answers.

     First book of the trilogy was the weakest, in my opinion. Mainly focused on the romance and full of unbelievable portraying of Czechs - more like literary caricatures than actual characters - Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that slowly drives you crazy, no matter the fact that you keep reading it because you just have to see what will happen next. The most appealing thing about it, as one of my friends described it, is its weirdness. Yes, this is a love story with a paranormal twist and most of it can be labeled as the usual archetypes of the genre, what makes it easy for a reader to predict in which direction will story go, but, at the same time, you are pulled into this crazy whirlwind of emotions and mythology.

     Days of Blood and Starlight was a pleasant surprise - when it comes to trilogies, second book tends to be the weakest link, one that has all standard "middle book syndrome" issues. There is no middle book syndrome here.  Laini Taylor managed to redeem herself because she moved the focus of the story from the romance to the political intrigue, building of the fictional (fantasy) world - and here we come to the part where I realized what was the big no for me in the previous book, but also generally in fantasy literature. There is no "world will end if the star-crossed lovers don't end up together" storyline. I was sure that something along those lines will happen in the rest of the series, but thankfully, it did not.

     Dreams of Gods and Monsters was the most exciting book of the trilogy. Every chapter was like a cliffhanger for itself - it was a pure, enjoyable torture to read it. Full of angst and drama, unexpected twists and turns, final installment keeps you on your toes until the very end. And the second end. Also, the third one. You're confused, right? I know, I was, too. Dreams of Gods and Monsters started so good, but ended in the massive cluster of hints for what would come in the fantastical world of Eretz after we close the book and quick solutions for mysteries that popped up along the way. Imagined like the explanation of all whys and hows and how comes, it overwhelms a reader with amount of information, mythology and science mix up and constant switching from one point of view to the another. Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a book that should be read slowly - not in one sitting - take a breaks, process what you read and then continue. (Jessica from Rabid Reads explained this perfectly.)

    What is my biggest issue with the Laini Taylor's trilogy? Ending. It is obvious that this is not the open ending which is the end no matter all questions and mysteries that it includes, but the introduction to the possible spin-off series. (If the marketing division of the publishing house establishes that there is enough interest among readers/buyers for something like that and that it would bring a lot of money - you know, The Mortal Instruments scenario.)

      Final judgement? Beautifully told story about angels and demons, Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy will find its fans among readers who prefer fantasy and paranormal romance, especially younger readers who are meeting this kind of literature for the first time. For those who are spoiled by epicness of Lumatere Chronicles or don't like when trilogies are not really trilogies, this will be enjoyable read,like it was for me.

Ratings:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone - 3 stars
Days of Blood and Stralight - 5 stars
Dreams of Gods and Monsters - 3.5/4 stars



Happy reading,

19. stu 2014.

Waiting on Wednesday (#122)

You know the story. This is a meme created by Breaking the Spine and every week we pick books we're waiting for. Here are our picks for this week.

We can't wait to read...


When Rachelle was fifteen she was good—apprenticed to her aunt and in training to protect her village from dark magic. But she was also reckless— straying from the forest path in search of a way to free her world from the threat of eternal darkness. After an illicit meeting goes dreadfully wrong, Rachelle is forced to make a terrible choice that binds her to the very evil she had hoped to defeat.

Three years later, Rachelle has given her life to serving the realm, fighting deadly creatures in an effort to atone. When the king orders her to guard his son Armand—the man she hates most—Rachelle forces Armand to help her find the legendary sword that might save their world. As the two become unexpected allies, they uncover far-reaching conspiracies, hidden magic, and a love that may be their undoing. In a palace built on unbelievable wealth and dangerous secrets, can Rachelle discover the truth and stop the fall of endless night?

Inspired by the classic fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, Crimson Bound is an exhilarating tale of darkness, love, and redemption.

(This is a standalone novel, not part of the Cruel Beauty Universe.)

Release date: May 5th 2015

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21570318-crimson-bound

Cruel Beauty was one of the best retellings we have ever read, so it is no surprise that we are excited for the up coming Rosamund Hodge novel. 

What are you looking forward this week? 

Happy reading,

18. stu 2014.

Series a Month Challenge

    Last month I saw great post on Book Munchies - Kim challenged herself to read at least one series a month. That got me thinking about all those series that I've started and haven't finished or I really want to read. Once upon a time, I refused to read anything other that series and then I got bored with waiting for sequels, so I decided to wait for at least three books to be published before picking it up. And now, I have so many sequels that I have no idea where to start.

Rules?


   I should probably point out that this is not an "official challenge" - girl behind this idea is Danielle, blogger from Love at First Page. She has same problem a me - standalone books because you don't have to wait for sequels - and she decided to challenge herself to read more series. Rules are that it has to be 3+ books series with at least two books already published or a completed duology.

What I plan to read?


    I won't make definite list because I don't know for sure what would appeal to me the most from my TBR list, but I have few possible candidates. Like a series that everyone read except me. I've already finished one series this month - Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (you can read my review later this week). Here is a list of series that I hope I'll be able to read.


Wish me luck! 
xoxo,


17. stu 2014.

The Girl In Between by Leakan Kemp (Excerpt)

FREE AT  
Author's 

Book summary:
Bryn Reyes is a real life sleeping beauty. Afflicted with Klein-Levin Syndrome, she suffers episodes of prolonged sleep that steal weeks, and sometimes even months, from her life. But unlike most KLS patients, she doesn’t spend each episode in a catatonic state or wake up with no recollection of the time she’s missed. Instead, Bryn spends half her life in an alternate reality made up of her memories. For Bryn, the past is a place, until one day a boy she’s never met before washes up on the illusory beach of her dreams with no memory of who he is.
But the appearance of this strange boy isn’t the only thing that’s changed. Bryn’s symptoms are worsening, her body weakening as she’s plagued by hallucinations even while awake. Her only hope of finding a cure is to undergo experimental treatment created by a German specialist. But when Dr. Banz reveals that he knows more about her strange symptoms than he originally let on, Bryn learns that the boy in her head might actually be the key to understanding what’s happening to her, and worse, that if she doesn’t find out his identity before it’s too late, they both may not survive.

Excerpt
“Can I show you something?” she asked.I wasn’t sure if I should follow her or even if I could but I didn’t want her to let go of me. I didn’t want her to disappear again and leave me there alone, still lost. So I nodded.We swam to the end of the dock and she untied the small rowboat. She climbed in first, reaching for the oars and holding it steady as I sat down across from her. I watched the house recede. My eyes trailed back to the road, still waiting for someone to come down it. They didn’t.“Where are we going?” I asked.“Not far.”I searched the horizon but it was empty. No land. No boats. It felt like we were headed straight for the skyline, about to fall off into nothing. The waves grew choppy and I wanted to take the oars from her but I didn’t know where we were going and for some reason I liked listening to the slow rhythm of her breathing as she fought the waves.The boat finally grinded to a stop and when I looked over the edge the water was so clear I could see tiny creatures bedding in the sand, their thin shadows eclipsed by the girl as she climbed onto the sandbar.“I went to the Bahamas once when I was thirteen,” she said. “The water was so blue. I strapped on a snorkel and spent the entire week just walking from sandbar to sandbar, face underwater watching the fish swim by.”I followed her out of the boat and a school of bright yellow fish cut between us, scales glinting.“This?” I said.She smiled and walked around to the other side of the boat. The water was a dark grey, my legs tangled in a mess of rust colored seaweed. I could barely see my feet, their shadows disappearing beneath swirls of mud.“This is the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. I tagged along on one of my mom’s work trips. It was just a few weeks after Hurricane Ike.”I stared at the muddled outline where the two oceans converged—one light, one dark. I waited for them to mix, for that invisible seam to break free but it didn’t.We waded farther out into the clear water, another school of fish bumping against my calf, bright red coral twisting near my ankles. It was startling.“I used to come here,” she said. “When I first got sick I would stand here and it wouldn’t feel like purgatory anymore. They’re memories.” She faced the beach. “My memories.” Then she looked at me. “I don’t know why you’re here or if you’re—”“Real?” I asked.She nodded and I wasn’t so sure anymore either.“But you don’t have to be afraid,” she said. “It doesn’t have to feel like purgatory.”I watched the sunlight reflecting off the ocean and dancing against her skin. Her eyes were lighter in the sun; green churning to a soft sea foam like the waves crashing near our feet. And standing there in that invisible seam between two oceans, two worlds, she was just as startling.The tide swirled in her gaze and I watched it shimmer there, glinting from a soft grey to jade and then I said, “It doesn’t.”


Until the next time,

16. stu 2014.

The Sunday Post (#33)

Hello all. Well, as some of you know Sundays are always reserved for Sunday Post which is a meme created by lovely Kim @Caffeinated Book Reviews!

Morning darlings. It's another Sunday so time to update you a bit. It's hard to believe it's middle of the November already. It seems like time goes by faster and faster. However, it's time for midterms for Tanja, and that means studying and less time for reading. She is not happy about it, but well it's her last year at Uni and she will miss that for sure. Glass is enjoying with some interesting books you'll get to hear about in the week to come. 
So let's see what you can expect next week!
  • The Girl In Between by Leakan Kemp (Excerpt) 
  • Series a Month Challenge 
  • Waiting on Wednesday (#122)
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Series Review) 
  • Bookish Problems #15 - NetGalley vs Edelweiss 
Glass' haul 
Thank you: Herlequin and HarperCollins

Tanja's haul 
Thank you: Random House UK 

Until the next time, 

15. stu 2014.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Book summary:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.
Maybe that was always beside the point.
Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.
When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.
That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .
Is that what she’s supposed to do?
Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
         My not reading blurbs before starting books is usually a great thing and it usually pays of, but sometimes it backfires and I get here where am at the moment. So Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors I have heard amazing things about, but haven't read any of her books. So when girls proposed it for a read-a-long I was why not!? As I haven't read the blurb I had no idea what this book was about.

         And Landline is about all those things that seem so far away from me and it's full of adult things that I have hard time understanding. Words like marriage and husband and kids are pretty abstract for me. I know their meaning but to apply them in my life is usually when I refer to someone else and never about me. So it's not a surprise that I never connected with Georgie and her life story, which influenced by feelings for this book.

         Landline didn't have only that one issue. It's actually the state of this book that is somewhere between fantasy and reality. It's a mix I usually love to see in books, but here not really. Not even I could decide what to believe in.

         Still there is hope for me and other Rowell books, as I really liked the writing here and how she made the story real. It was obvious that she knows how to write a story so I just need to read the right one. Hopefully I'll not have to search for long.

Rating: 2 stars.

Until the next time,

13. stu 2014.

Bookish Problems #14 - Having a co-blogger

Hi darlings. As you know in our bookish problems posts we tackle some of the issues or problems that might occur in our little blogging world. Today I will share my thoughts on one of the topics that is often raised when you have a blog. 

So life gets tough sometimes, and with school, work, family, etc blogging is something that you sadly have to put aside for some time. It's hard to see something, you spend so much time and love building alone and therefore you often think about sharing it with someone else. For me, personally, this is not something I had much troubles with as Glass and I have been blogging together for years now and honestly I couldn't imagine it without her. But at the same time I understand all of you who don't want to share your blog with someone else, as it's your baby after all.

So question is - Having a co-blogger? Yes? No? Maybe? 


Well, as I said I'm a bit biased here and I'd always go for YES when it comes to this issue. It's amazing when you have someone to relay on and when you know that someone will be there to take care of everything when you cannot. For me Glass has always been there and always understood me, and I truly hope I was the same for her.

But there were times where Glass was busy with work and everything and I took care of everything. So yes we can say that even though never officially either of us "left" we had a fair share of being only bloggers here. It's not much different, but you just simply have to organize more and think more things through. But at the end, the other one was always somehow present.

At the end honestly I don't think I can imagine this blog and blogging in general without Glass. I truly hope that I'll never have to :) 

I know that finding someone to share your blog with, someone you can trust, is hard. I'm really honored that Glass trusted me and it meant so much for me as I have found my best friend for life in her after all this time. That thing will certainly never change. So you never know and maybe you'll be lucky as I was.

What are your experiences with co-blogging? Would you ever try it if you already haven't? Share! We like hearing your thoughts! 


Until the next time,

12. stu 2014.

Waiting on Wednesday (#121)


You know the story. This is a meme created by Breaking the Spine and every week we pick books we're waiting for. Here are our picks for this week.

Glass can't wait to read...


"For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancé cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever.

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape.

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?"



Expected publication date: November 25th 2014

Tanja can't wait to read...


"Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war."


Expected publication date: December 23rd 2014

So, so you like our picks this week? What is on your list? 

 

11. stu 2014.

ARC Review: The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur

Buy the book at 
Author's 

Book summary:
Seventeen-year-old Genesis Lee has never forgotten anything. As one of the Mementi—a small group of genetically-enhanced humans—Gena remembers everything with the help of her Link bracelets, which preserve memories perfectly. But Links can be stolen, and six people have already lost their lives to a memory thief, including Gena’s best friend.
Anyone could be next. Which is why Gena is less than pleased to meet a strange but charming boy named Kalan who claims that they’ve not only met, but that Gena knows who the thief is.
The problem is, Gena doesn’t remember Kalan, she doesn’t remember seeing the thief, and she doesn’t know why she’s forgetting things— or how much else she might forget. As growing tensions between Mementi and ordinary humans drive the city of Havendale into chaos, Gena and Kalan team up to search for the thief. And as Gena loses more memories, they realize they have to solve the mystery fast.
Because Gena’s life is unhappening around her.
        Welcome to the typical day in my life, when I'm just browsing Edelweiss/NetGalley and suddenly I see a pretty cover and why wouldn't I download it! Right, so yeah week as I am I go for it. I did that countless times and (oops) I did it again with this book. I found The Unhappening of Genesis Lee one day at Edelweiss and well here I am writing a review for it.

        First element in this story that grabbed me was the whole eidetic memory idea which was always fascinating to me. Now imagine a world or maybe even future where world is developed that much that people actually have the capacity to have internal but also external memory connected to you by technology. Seems freaky and it is for me. It'd be amazing to remember all the good things from life, but there are also bad ones. I do appreciate my brain as it tends to forget about bad things often enough. Like I said freaky and scary but at the same time we never know what future brings.

       Even though it freaked me out, this book has also got me amazed and really invested in the story. I really got the whole idea. Another important thing is that the romance here was so good! I loved it and how it was developed. We have had enough first meetings for the lifetime, I believe, but still Kelan and Gena had that chemistry necessary for the book.

       Despite freaking me out and driving me crazy at the moments, this book still offered a really interesting idea which is nicely done. A story that I'll think about even some time after reading it.

Rating: 3.5 stars.

Until the next time,

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