Saturday, August 31, 2013

Best of the Bunch ~ August 2013

Best of the Bunch is a monthly meme hosted by Always Lost in Stories on the last day of every month. The aim of this meme is to share the best book that we have read in that month and give it our Best of the Bunch award.




August Reads:

Inside Out (Insider #1) by Maria V. Snyder ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Immortal Heart (Few Are Angels #0.5) by Inger Iversen ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review


The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux ~ 5 Stars 
Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White ~ 4 Stars ~ My Review
Dirty Lines (Blurred Lines #4) by Breena Wilde ~ 5 Stars 


The Wish List by Eoin Colfer ~ 5 Stars ~ My Review!
Perfect Lies (Mind Games #2) by Kiersten White ~ 5 Stars ~ Review to come!
Suit & Fangs by Marian Tee ~ 3 Stars ~ Review to come!


The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles #5) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson ~ 4 Stars
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge ~ 5 Stars ~ Review to come!
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Michelle Hodkin ~ 3 Stars ~ Review to come!


Wait for You (Wait for You #1) by J. Lynn ~ 4 Stars ~ Review to come!
Irresistible Lines (Blurred Lines #5) by Breena Wilde ~ 4 Stars




And the Best of the Bunch winner of August 2013 is...




Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.




I have read so many amazing books this month but Cruel Beauty was without a doubt the best one. As a matter of fact it's the best book I have read so far this year! And I'm even rereading it now, a few days after I finished. It's THAT good!
Honorable mentions go to: Inside Out, Scarlet, The Phantom of the Opera, The Wish List and Perfect Lies.




What was the best book you've read this month?


Back From Vacation!

I'm back from vacation!


These last two weeks flew by and now I'm already home... *le sigh*

I am kinda glad to be back home where I have normal internet and am back with my lovely books.

Here are some picture from my vacation... :)









Tadaaaa!

Don't forget to keep an eye on Bookfever because I'll be back to blogging now. Missed it. <3


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vacation Time!

I'm going on vacation! =D


(Middelkerke!)


From saturday August 17th (today) 'til saturday August 31st I will be away on vacation to Middelkerke, a town at the coast here in Belgium. 
So I will be taken a break for blogging in this time. I might (not sure yet about that) have internet access so you may see me appearing on Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads but I won't be doing any blogging during the next two weeks. I think this will be my first blogging break in over 1.5 years. Wow!



Anyway goodbye for now and when I'm back be expecting some reviews to pop up because I mean to read quite a lot during this vacation. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Review: Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

Title: Banquet of Lies
Author: Michelle Diener
Publication: October 20th 2013 by Gallery Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: e-arc
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

e-Arc provided in exchange for an honest review.

   
A young noblewoman flees to London and poses as a servant to evade a murderer in this richly detailed and “compelling” (Publishers Weekly) historical novel.

Frightened for her life after her father, a British spy, is murdered, Giselle Barrington flees with the secret document her father gave her for safekeeping. Needing to hide from those now chasing her, and knowing that no one would look for a wealthy young society lady in a kitchen, she takes a job as a cook for a nobleman, determined to use her anonymity to uncover the murderer. Life below stairs gives her a new perspective on the hard realities of servants’ lives, even though she’s a highly paid one. And when her employer is drawn not only into her investigations, but also to her, they find themselves faced with the power imbalance between servant and master.


~My Thoughts:

Banquet of Lies is a fascinating, amazing book that I ended up devouring with every page. I couldn't stop reading and was so engrossed by it that I have to say this is definitely one of Michelle Diener's best books so far. Is it the best book? I can't pick a favorite with her books so it's impossible to say but it's definitely just as good as The Emperor's Conspiracy and everyone who knows me can tell how much in love I am with that book so Banquet of Lies has also definitely dazzled me.

In Banquet of Lies we meet Giselle "Gigi" Barrington, a young noblewoman who witnesses her father's murder. When she flees to London with a secret document that her father gave her, the document he was murdered for, Gigi goes into hiding, taking on the job as cook for Lord Aldridge. Meanwhile she tries to find out the identity of her father's murderer. 

I don't have to say yet again how much I love Michelle's books. Every book of her that I have read so far were all so exciting, detailed and just plain gorgeous that I have to wonder is she can even write a book that I would dislike even in the smallest. I think not!
Banquet of Lies was really exciting to read. Not only because of the enthralling story but also because it connected with The Emperor's Conspiracy. Yep! There were characters from there in Banquet of Lies. I might even have squealed with delight a little bit. I won't spoil it for people and tell who I saw but I'll say this, if you thought The Emperor's Conspiracy's end was a little bit too left open for interpretation as to what was going to happen to Charlotte, you'll find out in Banquet of Lies! ;)

Anywhoo, back to Banquet of Lies...
I loved getting to know all these new characters. The main character Gigi was fab! Michelle's female main characters are always so awesome and written to not to let people walk all over them. I love that! 
Lord Aldridge, Jonathan was amazing as well. Swoon-worthy for sure! *fans face*
I loved the relationship between Gigi and Jonathan. Everytime they were together in a room it was like fireworks were in the sky. They sparked so much!
There were a lot of other fascinating characters (some I loved, some I hate *coughEdgarscough*). One character I loved was Chef Georges Bisset. Definitely one of my favorite secondary characters he was. He was like a second father to Gigi and I love how protective he was over her. Such an interesting character. I would love to learn more about him. 


The overall story was amazingly written, as I am used to by a Michelle Diener book. The way she described everything, the details. Beautiful! I wonder if there'll be any more books that will connect like this book does with The Emperor's Conspiracy because I am so not ready to say goodbye to any of these characters at all. I need more!




~Favorite Quotes:
Just like she'd done to his butler, his cook had picked him up like a bottle of champagne and shaken him vigorously, and now, at last back down on his feet, he could only stumble about, ready to explode.
It was a sensation he suddenly craved.
He was an adventure come to life.
Eventhough the facade of a society gentleman was trowled on thick tonight, there was still a hint of the savage beneath, the man who could burst into deadly, immediate action, who could fly down stairs as if he had wings.
She kept her gaze on him to avoid looking at Lord Aldridge for a moment longer. She liked watching him from afar, but close up, it gave her the sense of journeying in an out of control carriage over rough road. Thrilling, but inherently dangerous.




~About the author:
Michelle Diener writes historical fiction. Her Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series starts with IN A TREACHEROUS COURT. Set in the court of Henry VIII, it features the real historical figures of artist Susanna Horenbout and Henry’s Keeper of the Palace of Westminster and Yeoman of the King’s Robes, John Parker. It was followed by KEEPER OF THE KING’S SECRETS, also featuring Susanna Horenbout and John Parker, and DANGEROUS SANCTUARY, a short story with the same characters, set between the two books, is currently available as an ebook only.
Set during the Napoleonic Wars in London in 1811, THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, was released on November 27th, 2012. BANQUET OF LIES, which is connected to THE EMPEROR’S CONSPIRACY, is set to release on October 22nd, 2013.

On 1 March 2013, DAUGHTER OF THE SKY was released. It is set in Zululand at the outbreak of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

Michelle also contributed a short paranormal story to the ENTANGLED Anthology entitled BREAKING OUT. All the proceeds of the sale of ENTANGLED go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Michelle was born in London, grew up in South Africa, and now lives in Australia with her husband and two children.

When she’s not writing, or driving her kids from activity to activity, you can find her blogging at Magical Musings, or online at Twitter and Facebook.
Find Michelle also on:

Purchase Banquet of Lies on:


Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Series: Mind Games #1
Publication: February 19th 2013 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult ~ Paranormal
Cover Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

    
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.


~My Thoughts:

So far I've read only one book by Kiersten White which was The Chaos of Stars, a book with Egyptian mythology in it. I loved it so I wanted to try another book by this author to see if I was going to like it as much also. I really wanted to try Mind Games because it seemed really great and how could I resist that gorgeous cover? Anyways... I've seen a lot of mixed reviews of it — the usual extremes of only one, two stars or four, five stars. Because of that it's always hard to tell what you will think of it, personally. And I must admit, starting it the first fifty pages or so were kind of slow and I didn't know what to think of it. It doesn't mean it was bad or anything... I just needed something to pigue my interest. (That's why it didn't get a full five stars.)

Mind Games introduces us to two girls, sisters. Fia is the younger one who has flawless instinct. She acts first, never thinking always knowing what is right and what is wrong. Her older sister, Annie, is blind except when she has her future visions, where she can see clearly as you and me can. Together they are trapped in a school that's run by the Keane foundation where they use both Fia and Annie plus other girls who also have special abilities for their own gain. Fia and Annie have to keep using their gifts or risk each others lives and that's just not something they are willing to risk.

This book was fast-paced and shocking but very enjoyable for me. Its characters were brilliant and yet messed up in their own ways. Kiersten White has created a very intense world with the school Fia and Annie are trapped. I could practually smell, taste and feel Fia and Annie's desperation to protect each other. Especially Fia was very harsh and fierce to read about because she's so broken by everything she had to do to protect her sister. 

Mind Games felt right from the beginning very different from other books. I've never read anything like it. The overall story makes it very interesting as did the characters. It has both the sister's point of view, but also flashbacks about what happened before, taking place so far back as ten years ago to six months back, also in both Fia and Annie's perspective.

Aside from the two main characters we had a bunch of others. Some you will like, some you will hate. But really, all these people from the Keane foundation are awful. I can't understand why someone would be willing to work there. Anywho... we also have James Keane. Yes, Keane as in the Keane foundation. He's the son of the Mr. Keane who calls the shot. He's one of the love interests for Fia. Though it's not like there's a lot of romance in it, just the potential for romance, especially with Adam. Fia has a lot of history with James but things actually feel right with Adam. But before I give too much away I must say personally I like James more. People will probably call me crazy but what can I say, I like the bad ones.

The ending of this book was freaking shocking. I was freaked out by everything that was happening suddenly. Shit really did hit the fan. It only made me crave the sequel even more. I'm really glad I was able to score it already! I can tell you I will be reading it soon because I can't wait to read about what's going to happen next. I'm sure it's going to be really exciting as well.

Mind Games by Kiersten White was really as author Holly Black says on the cover of my copy, "A brutal, exciting gem of a book." It's the perfect description of it. It was all that and more. I was surprised by how captivated I was by it. A definite must-read for fans of psychological thrillers with paranormal twists.






About the author:
Kiersten White is the NYT bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy and Mind Games, the start of a new dark thriller series. She has one tall husband and three small children and lives near the ocean, where her life is perfectly normal. Visit her at www.kierstenwhite.com.
Find her also on:

Purchase Mind Games on:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond | Kobo



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Throwback Thursday #3

Throwback Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by me and Christina @ Booksane where we feature books that we've read in the past but are still crazy about. It could be a book you read as a child and still remember and love or maybe just a book that you haven't read in a long time and want to show your love for.
Each week we'll be featuring a new random question to answer!



My Throwback pick of the week:


Darkfever (Fever #1) by Karen Marie Moning
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Dell (first published October 1st 2006)


"My name is MacKayla, Mac for short. I'm a sidhe-seer, one who sees the Fae, a fact I accepted only recently and very reluctantly.

My philosophy is pretty simple - any day nobody's trying to kill me is a good day in my book. I haven't had many good days lately. Not since the walls between Man and Fae came down. But then, there's not a sidhe-seer alive who's had a good day since then."


When MacKayla's sister was murdered, she left a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cel phone. Journeying to Ireland in search of answers, Mac is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to master a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae...

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister's death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysteriou Jericho...while at the same time, the ruthless V'lane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. As the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: to find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book - because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control both worlds in their hands...




To say that Darkfever (and this series) is one of my favorites, is an understatement. I can say that this book is my favorite current fantasy series. It's brilliant! I can't even express enough how much I love it. Even now there are still so many questions that I need answered. But I probably will never get all the answered even though the series is still going... And yet I crave more and more of this genius series.
All the characters are so addicting! Mac, Barrons (q,gkqjhkqhjzkh), V'lane, Christian, Dani, etc... :D <3




Quote from Darkfever:
"Last night you said you wanted to know what to expect so you could better select your attire. I told you we were going to visit a vampire in a Goth-den tonight. Why, then, Ms. Lane, do you look like a perky rainbow?"

(I'm so proud of myself for only featuring 1 quote because with this book I could go on forever! xD)




Question of this week:

Do you listen to music while reading?


Never actually. I need the quiet while I am reading or I have a hard time concentrating. I can read while people are around me and maybe when the tv is on but I prefer it to be silent, so definitely no listening to music while I'm reading for me. 




How about you?
Answer in the comment section!

--


If you'd like to participate in Throwback Thursday you can add your post to the linky below. Feel free to add a favorite quote of the book you're spotlighting as well in your post. :)





Wednesday, August 14, 2013

August New Release Giveaway Hop! (INT)


This giveaway hop is hosted by Book Twirps and Refracted Light Reviews.

~August 15 - 31, 2013~




Hi everyone!
We're already in the middle of August. When did this happen? Time flies so fast!

Time for the giveaway!

What can you win?

One of the six e-books featured below!

It will be send via Amazon!



Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn
Daysider (Nightsiders #1) by Susan Krinard



Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5) by Cora Carmack
The Rise of the Hotel Dumort (The Bane Chronicles #5) by Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson



Girl on Tour (Kylie Ryans #2) by Caisey Quinn (if you want the first one that'd be fine by me!)



~Terms and conditions:
  • Open internationally. 
  • Winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email before a new winner will be chosen. 
  • I will be checking the entries, so no cheating!
  • Book will be send as an e-book via Amazon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hop by the other blogs!







♥ Holly's Boys ♥

Highly recommended story to check out!