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

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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!!!

November 22, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday

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Woah, hasn't it been a WHILE since I last did a F&F???
Yeah, I remember stopping because I had 4 reviews a week to post and no time/space for memes. Good times, people, good times!
I would go ahead and look when I participated last time, but that would end up being 30 minutes of procrastination time and I promised myself to STOP wasting time :D
Anyway, let's move on to today's activity:

You Are It! We are playing #FF tag this week. Comment on as many blogs as you can, even if they aren’t participating in #FF. Just say Happy #FF! At the end of your comment. Keep a running total if you want and update your post with it. The bigger the number the more impressed we will be!

Current Count: 0 :/
But I'll get on to it after I've done the first chunk of work today, i.e. killed three printers to get my essay printed in time!
My goal count is to comment on 30 blogs today...just because I'm crazy like that :D

Happy Friday everyone! And don't forget: the weekend is near!!!!!

November 21, 2013

Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4)


Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same. 

The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved? 
Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

This book did not blow me away like the other ones, especially Shadow Kiss, did.
That doesn't mean it was bad, though. 
After all, we are talking Vampire Academy here,so there were feelings, there was action, fighting and a very intellegently crafted fantasy world to dig in.
What fell short for me was the journey aspect of the book. I get why authors do that and also why it was necessary for this book, but I  personally don't like reading about it. Travel, sure, but just journeys where you know the character will do a lot of searching with a lot of dead ends until they. finally. get. to. the. interesting. part. Yeah, I did get pretty impatient pretty quickly, because the action only came towards the end of the novel.
I don't know what to make of the new characters that were introduced. I see amazing potential in them for the next books, but for this one it was a lot of introductions and the general, rather superficial blabla. 
Overall, most of the book seemed like the bridge to book five and the epic finale I hope there will be in book 6. It reminds me a LOT of the third Harry Potter book that always seemed a bit boring to me as I read it, but it built up to so much amazing stuff for the rest of the series!
Lastly, I have to say that the revelation at the end really hit me off guard and I cannot wait to see what happens next!

November 19, 2013

Top Ten Books To Travel in Time

For Time Travel Lovers:

Tempest (Tempest, #1)Vortex (Tempest, #2)

Tempest is a debut novel and you will notice. It seems a bit weak at the beginning, but the ending will blow you away. The writing is SO much better in Vortex, the action really gets going and it makes your head spin! Certainly for lovers of action, time travel and conspiracy theories!

For Historical Fiction Haters:

These books are way too action packed to bore you, but still introduce you to a historical setting that is featured in so many other books that you might even develop a taste for it!

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

These books again make the absolute best of their historical setting while still being immensely action packed, full of romance and really fast reads that keep you on the edge of your seat!

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)Star Cursed (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #2)

For Historical Fiction Lovers:

This book will tear your heart out and at the same time tells the story of a people that - in my opinion - is overlooked at a lot in historcial fiction.

Between Shades of Gray

And finally, if you're more one to look into the future, I recommend these two awesome series to you! I haven't finished either of them yet, but while All These Things I've Done is just a very crazy, very realistic seeming portrait of our future world, Ashes and Shadows are plain creepy, disguisting and scary - good!

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)Shadows (Ashes Trilogy, #2)

All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)

November 14, 2013

Review: Are You There God, It's Me Margeret by Judy Blume

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, has just moved from New York City to the suburbs, and she's anxious to fit in with her new friends. When she's asked to join a secret club she jumps at the chance. But when the girls start talking about boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret starts to wonder if she's normal. There are some things about growing up that are hard for her to talk about, even with her friends. Lucky for Margaret, she's got someone else to confide in... someone who always listens

I picked this and one other book up, simply out of curiousity. Everyone seems to have read Judy Blume and I like to be part of the club.
Uh, well, I guess I chose...the wrong book? Nah, kidding, calm down, I liked it.
I just wasn't obsessed with it. 
Because the main character was like..eleven. And she cared about eleven-year-old's issues.
The way she did it - and the way Judy Blume portrayed it, was amazing, I must say.
She really has the ability to see into a girl's head and write down what she finds there.
From my perspective the book was cute. And it made me wish I'd had it on my hands when I was eleven.
I will keep this review short simply because I know most of my readers are older than eleven, too, but just in case you're interested - or have maybe kids who are eleven - this book handles growing up and the beginning of puberty in the most beautiful way.
The language was very nice and friendly, the issues Margeret dealt  with were fitting for a girl her age and I think the way she dealt with all the changes going on in her life would encourage other girls reading this to feel more secure and confident, too.

November 13, 2013

I haven't read very good books this year

This post just came to me as I was scrolling through my goodreads list of read books.
Last year this time around, I was obsessed with reading and the bookish world. The new JK Rowling book had just come out, I remember loving All These Things I've Done (Gabrielle Zevin) shortly after. I know I spend hours in front of our fireplace, curled up devouring Beautiful Chaos. 

I mean, there was also Sweet Evil (Wendy Higgins) which I read for a Read-a-long and hated, but overall, I just really enjoyed reading and I loved most of the books I chose. 
This year went good at the beginning. January and February were packed with good reads  - and then it just went downhill.
Admittedly, school and finals really stressed me out at the time, but I also think that the books I did read weren't really motivating me to pick up the next one. So very few of them really amazed me.

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)All These Things I've Done (Birthright, #1)
( These two I can only recommend if you're looking for awesome fall reads!!)

My pickiness is a problem, I know. I wasn't this choosy last year. Back then, my expectations towards books weren't as high. But still. If I were to choose to reread this year's or last year's books - I'd absolutely choose 2012.

What I don't want to say with this post is that this year's releases were worse than last years - they really were not. But I didn't buy a lot of new books, I read mostly older ones.

I just think I choose my books wrong. I have changed so much throughout the last year and I guess I should just start picking the kinds of books the older Booksmartie would like to read.
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
(mhm...this one was amazing and I do have the sequel on my shelf...)

So, what do you guys think about my emotional issues? And which books could you recommend to someone like me who is desperate for a real loving relationship with a new book??

Suggestions are not welcome, they are NEEDED!!!

November 10, 2013

NaNoWriMo (yup, caught that bug), Inspiration and Youtube

So, because I clearly have nothing else to do and manage blogging so well and reading - ha, a breeze, these days - and Uni basically doesn't exist, I decided to write a novel in a month.
That logic makes sense to me.
If you have any more specific questions to the whole NaNoWriMo - thing, just comment down below and I might make a post about that. What I'm doing, how I plan on pulling through, my writing experience as a whole...

Right now I'm just going to tell you about a special bit of inspiration - and information - that I found today, which is a Youtube channel. To be exact, it is Ben Kenower's Youtube channel. What he does is just interview a bunch of different authors, and he asks really interesting questions and they give awesome answers :)

I personally think it is - as I said - motivating and interesting to hear how authors work, think, what they do on a daily basis, where "ideas come from" (the infamous question). And not just for NaNoWriMo - people, either. I am pretty sure, everyone's favorite YA author has at least one video featured on this amazing channel!

November 09, 2013

I Met Veronika Roth and I sort of Didn't Have a Lot to Say

So, I met the bestest author in YA this Wednesday. I, and a whole theater full of booklovers, as well.
On her trip through the UK, she made a stop in London to read a part of one of her short stories from Four's perspective, then answered questions and then the BIG surprise (no, really, it was huge!).

I tried to take pictures with my phone but I'm not exactly a professional. Which means the pictures I did take were super blurry and halfway through, my phone just died.

You might not have seen what the BIG surprise was because my pictures are bad like that, but you should recognize her on these next pictures...

Okay, still nothing? Let's see...

Yeah, turns out some people know how to take decent pictures.... :)
They did a little interview-thingy together that was really interesting to watch and towards the end they showed us the teaser trailer for the Divergent movie which I hadn't seen before and I LOVED it! I personally think it looks really promising!

And I took about a million pictures of the signature, because I COULDN'T RUIN THIS PICTURE, TOO!

As she was signing the books most people asked her questions or talked to her and I oh, well...couldn't think of anything at all to say! Yeah, pretty embarassing. I was just fevereshly thinking of a good question to ask, but I couldn't think of something she hadn't already talked about on her blog/interviews etc. so instead of asking her one of the normal questions everybody asks, I just didn't say anything at all.
Yeah, I know. Let's just don't even....
But the signing was amazing!!! It was my first time meeting ANY kind of author, but I will definitely be on the lookout for more!! 

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