December 27, 2013

End of Year Book Survey - Part Three

best books 2013 end of year survey

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?  
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor!!! Before the trilogy ends!!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?
Minders by Michele Jaffe - loved her novel Rosebush, love her blog and this book sounds great!

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 
I have no idea which debuts are even coming out!! But...suggestions?

4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014? 
The Cahill Witches Trilogy!! Those books are so underrated!!!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?
Read more books I really want to read. Read more because I want to do it. Read more adult books, be more active on the blog....I think to just be a much more enthusiastic reader again :)

December 26, 2013

End of Year Survey - Part Two

best books 2013 end of year survey

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 
Ahh, difficult! SO many! Also - I'm not quite sure if I even discovered this one in 2013! But I'll go with Cuddlebuggery - their posts are the kinds I save up for weekend reading time :)

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 
Woah. I do not know. I not knows. No idea. I would say the Lucid one but there's no way I can remember all the reviews I typed and although I really like writing them, I usually remember other people's reviews more than my own...
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Definitely the More Than A Twerking Queen one. I hate that I couldn't think of  a better title but the topic itself was and is important to me!

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
Sorry, but this is not a book blogging one. It's still incredibly good and incredibly important so you really should check it out!

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
 Looking at my history of failed read-a-thons in the latter half of the year, my last really great event was Bout of Books in May!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?
Meeting Veronika Roth at her book signing in London this November!!

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
None, really. I get excited about every page view and comment I get and I am usually rather overwhelmed by it than wish or ask for more. So, no, I'm pretty okay with the love my posts got :)

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)? books? Do they count? Because I seriously start liking them and if you had told me a year ago....

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Let's see...
reading 120 books this year? Complete fail! I'll finish short of at least 40!
Paranormal Reading Challenge: Well...I participated. And I did read more than 12 of the books, but I stopped keeping track early on in the year :/ Same for TBR Challenge and Sequel Challenge. 
With the Debut Author one I stopped trying after February :(
I also wanted to finish or continue reading series and trilogies - which I did! I didn't finish all of them, but I definitely made some progress! 

December 21, 2013

All Those Pretty Books...of 2013!

It is the time, people! 2013 is drawing to a close and I - like everybody else - start recapping all that happened in this wonderful, exciting year! Also, I really like lists. Anyway, because I find this amazing survey a bit too long for one post, I decided to split it up and post it on separate days. 
Today, you get a little recap of the Best Books I've Read This Year: 

best books 2013 end of year survey

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Contemporary YA –  Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick 
Historical Fiction – Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys 
Paranormal — The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
Science Fiction — How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff 
Fantasy — Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodriguez

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?
Sara Zarr! I would say Rainbow Rowell, but as of right now, I have only read one of her books :)

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Mhm...I read pretty much all over the place this year anyway, but I guess Ashes and Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick were something very new for me. I have never read anything as disguisting (but good!!!)

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood!! I couldn't stop turning the pages!!!

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodriguez, Katie McGarry's books....

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)
Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 
Mhm, not sure about this one, but I guess it was Sturmhound from Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
Allegiant by Veronika Roth (with Allegiant especially, I liked the book way more for the writing than plot/characters etc.)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell!!! It certainly changed my view of the world/myself/my life in a very significant way!!!

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?
16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?
Longest would be The Book Thief, but since I listened to that one, the second longest was Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick. 
Shortest is Are You There God, It's me Margeret by Judy Bloom (not counting novellas!)

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
Allegiant. 'nough said. 

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc)
 Rachel and Isaiah from Crash Into You 

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Many! But Through the Ever Night by Veronika Rossi especially!

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
Actually...none. I have not read any books this year that were recommended to me by other people. I feel sort of antisocial now...

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?
I guess that was contemporary YA!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?
Levi!!! From Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Although I really liked Isaiah from Crash Into You, too!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodriguez! Fantastic novel!

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?
Phew..Reached by Ally Condie?

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?
The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodriguez

December 09, 2013

#Reading Cram Kick Off: What I Plan on Reading this Week

I know, I know the task was to feature the books you want to read in three weeks, but I am still in London until Friday, so I guess the real Read-a-Thon where I get a ton of books done (oh, please, pretty, pretty please!) will have to wait until I'm home. Also, that's where the majority of my unread books are. As of right now, I can only say which books I may (or may not...) read this week and it will highly depend on what I'm in the mood for.

I would like to read/finish:

On WritingThis Song Will Save Your LifePoison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1)

Books I'm likely to start:

Because It Is My Blood (Birthright, #2)The Testing (The Testing, #1)Crash (Crash, #1)

The thing is, after reading Crash Into You, I have fallen into that dangerous trap of wanting to only read books with seriously messed up issues, super romantic and steamy relationships. Then, I read Ten Tiny Breaths and - fell even deeper into that trap!
So please (!) if you have any recommendations for books that are like Katie McGarry's (or can steal her latest manuscript for me) then do so, because I am dying here :D

December 06, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

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Tell us at least one new or unusual thing you’ve done in 2013.

Ohh, nice one! Actually, 2013 was my year of new things to do!! I swear I'm not usually as daring :D

1) Started driving on my own :D
2) Started living on my own!
3) Moved from Germany to London (uh...on my own...:))
4) Participated - and won! - Nanowrimo!
5) Started University

So, yeah, usually, my years are not that exciting, but turning 18 has done a couple of things to make my life a roller-coaster ride (literally - talking about me driving my mom's car...).
Let's hope for an even better 2014!!!

What are the new/unusual things you have done this year?

December 05, 2013

Review: Allegiant by Veronika Roth

Attention: This is more of a discussion of the book than a review. It does contain spoilers of all THREE books, so if you have not read Allegiant yet, don't you DARE scroll any further down!!!

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

I didn't want to do a review for this book for obvious reasons. One, not everyone has read it or even the other books, so I don't want to spoil something, but that would have meant Mini Review, and you can't have a Mini Review on Allegiant because that's just wrong.
Then again, I am not even sure I have this much to say about Allegiant. It's been  four weeks since I finished it and I have to say, my feelings - like almost everyone else's - are still very mixed.
On the one hand, there is Tris's death but the thing is, it didn't really shock me.
Granted, I thought Tobias would die and he didn't eventually, but I knew one of them was going to die and I just didn't think it would be Tris because she was telling the story (I thought).
So, no Tris's death didn't shock me. Also, because honestly? I was a bit disappointed by the scene and how it all happened. 
I mean, there she goes through death serum that would have killed ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING ON THAT PLANET  and  she FORGETS HER GUN AT THE FRONT DOOR?
Yes, you truly are a smart-ass, Triss Prior. 
Okay, let's not rant, because I really didn't hate the book.
But let's talk  about how I didn't like the two different viewpoints. Didn't expect that to happen, didn't have a good feeling when I realized it was happening and then I just got confused.
Sorry, but you can't do that. 
You cannot have two different people telling the story and not have them sound different because I WILL turn back to see who is talking and I WILL  get annoyed if that happens more than four times throughout the book.
It happened in every single chapter. 
Then there was the world outside of Chicago which I thought was lame. 
I'm sorry, I might just be dumb and should have expected this, but I literally sat there with my jaw open, like "What? That's everything? Freaking scientific experiments???"
I really did believe in war and destruction and chaos and a group of Divergent who save them all. Not that I like war, I don't. But I liked the saving them all and action part. 
Wasn't happening. My last complaint, I swear. 
Not enough action. 
For a last book, this was like a lullaby singing me to sleep. Nice, yes, but not the big epic finale I wanted. 
The good thing was the romance, in my opinion. I liked that Tris and Tobias, as the officially only couple in YA, are so stable and so grown up in their relationship. I loved how they dealt with problems the responsible and not the squeamish, hysterical way. 
I like that Veronika Roth, who is herself still pretty young, could even write about romance like this. I really, really liked that part. 
Overall, I have to say, I really enjoyed reading Allegiant for what it was, too. 
Roth's writing style in this one just blew me away! I want her to never stop writing books or any kind of words linked into sentences, really, because she does it so beautifully!
All in all, this was an enjoyable read, but I thought she got lost finishing off the plot and forgot that this was actually supposed to be a book so full of action that you will remember it forever and ever. 

December 02, 2013

End of the Year #ReadingCram

Can you believe how long ago my last Read-a-thon was? No, me neither! So I decided to participate in this one and kick of my End of Year reading - which really could use a boost!

I'm not quite sure which books I'm gonna read yet, though...suggestions?

December 01, 2013

December Books

RoomiesThese Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)Fracture Me (Shatter Me, #2.5)Racing SavannahPerfect LieDangerous Dream (Dangerous Creatures, #0.5)Warrior (The Dragon King Chronicles, #2)Third Lie's the Charm (The Liar Society, #3)

There may not be a lot of YA/NA out there in December, but the books we do get sound really nice! I've been looking forward for Roomies all year and can't wait to see what Dangerous Dream is about. Initially, I didn't plan on reading These Broken Stars, but the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive! Perfect Lie could be a hit or miss,but it sounds like really good New Adult! I have red Ellen Oh's first book, Prophecy and didn't really like it, so that one's not on my list.

Which of these are you planning to read?

November 30, 2013

November Wrap Up and December TBR

Just one warning for the following post: This year is not over in four weeks. I do not believe it. Or allow it. They are simply messing with us, guys. It is physically impossible for 12 months to go by that quickly.

Having said that, these are the books I read in (the alleged) month of November:

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)Runner's World Essential Guides: Weight Loss: Everything You Need to Know about Running to Slim DownBefore I FallDangerous Voices
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)Fangirl

I'm quite proud of this little stack. It's not my plan of two books a week, but I'm getting better at this time management thing! Allegiant was...well, you get the review next week! I have very confusing feelings about it. I loved, loved, loved Fangirl. Best book I have read this year. I will go as far as saying it changed my outlook on life and myself! I had a LOT of trouble finishing Before I Fall and can't say I liked it a lot, also didn't get the hype around The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer. That weight loss guide did its job by giving me a quick read, but it was boring and not very informative, so I wouldn't recommend it. If you're wondering about running nutrition, the Runnersworld book on Half Marathons and Marathons is a WAY better choice! Dangerous Voices, as well, was a quick read :)

For December I (once again) have pretty big plans. I'm going to be home for two weeks and have a total of 4 weeks Christmas break from Uni - so there will be tons of reading!!

Here's my plan as of right now:

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)Pantomime (Pantomime, #1)The Great Gatsby

These are the books I really want to finish. Graceling and Fire, because they've been on my stack for so long. Pantomime and The Great Gatsby, because I feel like reading them during the gloomier months of the year :)

Which books have you read this month? What are you reading next month? Any Christmas book recommendations?

November 29, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday

Increase Blog Followers

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day food? If you’re not American or Canadian, what is your favorite holiday food?

Cake!!! Does that even count? I don't know. I don't care, either. My aunt and I have that thing where we make my mom, grandma and other aunt bake at least 15 different cakes. Then, we share a piece of every single one of the. I really do not know how you could celebrate holidays without cakes!

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2014

Standalones that sound awesome!

The Promise of AmazingThe Secrets of Lily GravesMaybe One Day

Beginnings of new series!

Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog, #1)After the End (After the End, #1)

Sequels to old favorites! (And two of my favorite series ending...)

Sisters' Fate (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #3)Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I don't know about you guys, but I certainly looove the feeling of anticipation when a new year comes around and looking forward to all the new books coming out!
What are you looking forward to in 2014? What non-bookish things are you excited for??

November 28, 2013

Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnsson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago. 

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities

I think The Name of the Star is one of those books you have to read at the right time, which I certainly did. It is set in London, and I listened to it on audiobook as I was moving to London in the gloomy atmosphere of a Great Britain autumn. 
Yeah, I know! Yay, me!
However, if you want to read it, you certainly can do so if you don't have those awesome circumstances right now ;D 
The story is a long one and I don't know if I would have been all too happy reading it in an actual book, because it takes a LONG time until characters and setting are introduced and the real action stared.
The good thing about this is that the setting, boarding school in London, is perfect for long introductions. I really didn't mind at all, because the characters were so cool and I could just get lost in my childish boarding school fantasies. 
When "the real action" started, I was almost disappointed because Rory's everyday life kind of took the backseat. To be honest, I even think the balance of the first part and second part of the book weren't ideal.
It would probably have fit better if the author had included a bit more of Rory's normal life in the paranormal parts and vice versa. 
Speaking of paranormal, you know those kinds of stories are not my favorite thing. 
However, in this book, it was mixed with a big huge mystery, a lot of contemporary and a beautiful little first - love romance and all of that together made the book feel well rounded and provided for so many different issues to care for. 
To sum it up, I recommend The Name of the Star to everyone who wants a book to enjoy. Not a fast paced thriller, not a super cheesy romance, but simply a novel that has a bit of everything!

November 26, 2013

Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For

1) My Family

My mom, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my little brother. For encouraging me and making me the strong, brave and ambitious girl that I am today.

2) My Teachers

This might seem weird, but a lot of the things I have done in my life, that I am proud of, are of academic nature. I love reading and writing and thinking and analysing and when I first went to my highschool I was good at all those things, but not great. I only started being great (well, for highschool levels) when I started learning how to learn, how to not always have the loudest opinion, how to think with structure, how to treat others with care and respect. 
My teachers were a bunch of amazing people and I will never forget how much I learned from them. 

3) Disney

I know, unexpected one. I know, probably not very appropriate.But without their movies, I would never have started to believe that everything is possible. I would have never started dreaming. I would have never gone for my dreams.

4) My math teachers
Because, seriously, that was not an easy journey.

5) J.K. Rowling
For making me believe in fantasies, making me love literature, making me want to be a writer AND being a great role model all at once!

6) Meg Cabot
For making my teenage years bearable. Seriously (even if you never read this), you rock!

7) Sarah Dessen
For making those teenage years bearable when I grew out of the Princess Diaries books.

8) Rainbow Rowell
I actually went back to this list (which was already finished) and edited the post last night, because I finished her book, Fangirl, and it made me see myself in SUCH a new light that I'm sure I'll remember this novel for the rest of my life. 

9) My local library
First, for providing me with books and letting me turn them in late every.single.time until I turned 14. And then they let me volunteer there and I had one of the most rewarding experiences in my life!

10) My old Highschool Librarian
She is hardcore and mean, but man! - I will never, ever return a book late!

November 25, 2013

I Finally Found Peace...

This one question has bothered me for so long, I don't even know how I could live with myself.
Today, though, I have found my piece. I have made a life changing decision. 
Oh, yes, in the difficulty that is ebook vs. "real" book, I have ventured over to the dark side of computer technology.

The funny thing is, the Queen of argumentation and diplomacy (that would be me, in case you got confused there) has exactly one argument that beats the fantastic smell of new and old books, the way the pages feel when you turn them and the look of book spines on your shelf: community.

Let's be honest here. How often (in a day) do you read something in a book and you just want to get up and tell the whole world about this amazing character, a fantastic quote or something else you just LOVED. And how often, especially in YA, do you then give up and turn to the next page because you realize noone in the radius of 100 miles even cares about why Jace is the hottest Shadowhunter you will ever find in the fictional world? 
If you're anything like me, that happens all the time.

As I was devouring my new favorite book of the year, Fangirl, today (very oblivious to the fact that I have 2 essays due in the course of 5 (now 4) days) I noticed something "new" that Amazon has done to their Kindle app. I  have actually no idea how new it is. Might be that I just missed it because it's been a while since I read an ebook. But what they've done is this: every time you come across a sentence loads of people have marked, it is marked in your book. 
At first, it wasn't a big deal. THEN, though, I started getting SO excited whenever I noticed something further down the page was underlined. Because it meant some amazing words were about to come to my eyes!!! And the excitement was worth it every. single. time. 
And knowing that other people liked it just as much as I did made me SO happy as I was reading Fangirl!!!

So, yes, this is my ultimate decision. I will, of course, still be buying physical copies of books - no way will I give up on them!!! But I will admit that I have come to prefer ebooks for exactly that quoting reason. I would even go as far as saying it's the first step to making reading a really social activity instead of something you do locked up in your room. I am beyond excited as to what we will be able to do with ebooks in 10/20 years!!!

November 23, 2013

The Hardest Week of My Life


So, this week was awful. 
And for once I don't mean that in a teenager-y depressed way á la no one understands me, I'm such a desperate creature (you know what I'm talking about, don't you?) - but just in a sighing, very adult-ish stressed out way.
I mean, when I was still in highschool there were busy weeks, too. Those days where you didn't see home until the sun was already down again and you ran from A to B to get your stuff done and meanwhile tried to squeeze some homework in. 
It's not like school is easier that way. I guess I was just more used to it. In school, I knew what to do for a good mark and even if it cost me three nights of sleep and tears and hurting fingers I would get that A if I wanted it.
At Uni, things are a lot more complicated. You might be working your something off, but you still can't be sure it's enough. Hell, you could be doing something completely irrelevant and noone tells you!
This is what happened to me this week. It is just frustrating working so hard and then realizing you did it wrong/ have to improve majorly in that area etc. etc. 
In addition to that comes all the other work you  still have to do that you might also be doing wrong. 
And then you go  for your every day easy run and realize it is. not. easy.
It was quite awful for me this week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I literally paused every three seconds, gasping for air and asking myself what was wrong with me. 

I mean, failing at one thing, fine. You move on and try again tomorrow. But failing at one thing, being insecure about something else and then realizing that you can't even run half a mile anymore is sort of depressing.

So, here's what I did. 

1) Skipped dinner every night and shoved my mouth full with candy and pastries.

2) Limited running to minimum length and minimum speed.

3) Left that watch at home. (Me without my Garmin? Has never happened before!)

4) Actually set down to read a book that was not a law book. 

5) Went shopping.

Okay, that last point is not entirely true. I have not gone shopping yet. I am going shopping after I'm done with this post.

The point I'm trying to make here is: If you feel stressed out (especially with the holidays coming up!!!) and ready to stay in bed all day - do that!
And if the majority of you (like me) can't afford staying in bed all day, try deleting some things from your schedule. And if you think that's impossible, I'm here to tell you it is  not. It. Is. Not. 
You don't have to do every single thing in the world. Not everything and not everyday. Give yourself a break and just do what you want to do (plus the things you HAVE to do like feed your children). 

I think it's frustrating when people advice you to "just take a break" in times like these, because usually you just can't. I get that. There might just not be free weekends. But I promise you there are free minutes. Sometimes even free hours. And we need them. So I think we should take them.

tough people.

Okay, enough for today. I hope this post inspired you :D 
And that you have a fantastic (or at least very efficient) weekend!!!

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