Friday Finds #15 – November 14th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’m still trying to limit new additions in order to downsize my TBR list, but as you might guess it’s too hard to ignore newly found books and I’ve added a bunch this week anyway. Below you can find a selection of the titles I’ve added recently:

My finds:

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ARC REVIEW: The Elect – by Elle Todd

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Title: The Elect
(Allison’s Story Series #1)
Author: Elle Todd
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
First published: July 13th 2013
Finished reading: November 10th 2014
Pages: 353
Rating 4,5

Allison thought about telling him she’d seen the same movie and was pretty sure the claim was bogus. Instead, she offered her own bit of nonsense. “In some cultures, saving a life is considered an interference with fate and is punishable by death.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
(Guest Reviewer Program) ***

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I was intrigued by this first book of the Allison’s Story series as soon as I read the blurb that was sent to me by Ethereal Book Reviews. I admit it took me some time to finally start reading The Elect, but that was mostly because I wanted to be in the right mood for it… And I’m glad I did. This paranormal fantasy story with a dash of romance was worth the wait and left me wanting for more. I know Elle Todd has already published the second book, The Vanguard, and I will definitely try to read the sequel to find out what happens to the main characters. The Elect is a story with a fast pace, easy to read and Elle Todd is able to build up the tension quite smoothly by letting both Allison and the readers discover her powers gradually. I’m normally not a big fan of high school novels, but in this case the emphasis is being laid on the supernatural powers of the elect and it makes the few ‘cliche’ high school scenes tolerable. All in all definitely recommendable!

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Allison and Delaney have been best friends for ages. Allison is the quite and ‘invisible’ one of the pair, while Delaney doesn’t mind a little excitement. When the popular mean girl, Rebecca, decided to spread a horrible rumor around, Delaney is out for revenge. She convinced Allison to break into their high school to falsify an email accusing Rebecca of cheating… But things get complicated when Allison discovers they weren’t the only ones trespassing; the three boys doing something she never believed would have been possible. People can’t produce fire with their bare hands, or can they? Allison doesn’t know whether to trust her own eyes…

She doesn’t think the three boys recognized Allison despite her fiery red hair, but when Delaney wants to spy on them she doesn’t think it is a good idea. Ryan, Nate and Jeremy are the popular guys at school, and apparently they are hiding something that isn’t normal. When the three suddenly start showing interest in the two friends, Allison suspects something is off… But Delaney is developing a crush on Jeremy and thinks becoming friends with them is the best way to spy on them. They soon discover what the three boys are hiding, and Allison makes a discovery of her own… Nate and Jeremy are no the only ‘Elect‘ gifted with supernatural powers; Allison is able to use them as well when they are close! She is now forced to uncover the secrets of her past and find out who she really is… Because she is the first Elect that is able to use more than one power, and soon others are after her.

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I really enjoyed reading The Elect and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. It is an interesting story that is easy to read, and the ending leaves you wanting for more. Allison is a character you can easily relate to, and while some of the high school scenes were on the verge of annoying, the rest of the story made up for it. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy YA paranormal fantasy novels!

WWW Wednesdays #17 – November 12th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

interviewwiththevampireclockworkangelAfter reading the first few pages of Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice I decided I wasn’t in the mood for it… So I picked up my copy of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare first, a prequel triology to The Mortal Instruments series, first. Until now I’m enjoying Clockwork Angel, and I hope to finish this book later today.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

fahrenheit451theelectI’ve recently finished both the dystopian classic Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and the ARC The Elect by Elle Todd that was sent to me by Ethereal Book Reviews. I highly enjoyed both books and have posted my reviews recently. Hopefully I will keep getting lucky with my reading choices!

 

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

?innocenceAgain, I’m not sure yet what to read next. I do know it will be a book that I can fit in one of the empty squares in the Bookish Bingo challenge. Maybe Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer for the Green Cover square, or Innocence by Dean Koontz for the Snow On Cover square… Or a completely different title, who knows?

BOOK REVIEW: Fahrenheit 451 – by Ray Bradbury

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Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Genre: Classics, Dystopia, Fiction
First published: 1953
Finished reading: November 6th 2014
Pages: 227
Rating 5

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”

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I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this classic. Brave New World has been one of my favorite dystopian classics of all time, as is 1984. Now I have a third one to add to this list: Fahrenheit 451! I absolutely loved reading this novel by Ray Bradbury, up to the point that I’m lost for words describing my feelings towards Fahrenheit 451. The prose Bradbury used to describe this dystopian world is absolutely brilliant and I devoured every single page of this classic. Ignoring and burning books is a very scary thought and unfortunately the first has been happening on an increasingly larger scale over the years. Of course things haven’t evolved to the extreme of Guy Montag’s world, but it is true that in general people have an increasing tendency towards the fast and easy and books are being pushed towards the background. Fahrenheit 451 sure makes you wonder how things would be in the future, and if in our world we ever would reach such an extreme. I sure hope it doesn’t, because that would mean the end for classics as good as this one!

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Guy Montag lives in a world where literature isn’t appreciated anymore and it is all about being happy. Montag is a not an ordinary fireman; his job is to burn books. The new authority believes books are the source of all unhappiness and cause nothing but problems. They have forbidden almost all books, and with the help of the Mechanical Hound and the Fire Department they care to track down everybody that tries to preserve and read the books that are left in this world. Montag isn’t happy with his current life though, and after talking to the young girl that lives next door, he starts to wonder if there is more to life than the government wants him to believe. Are books really that dangerous?

Montag then does the unthinkable and starts stealing books from the book burning sites.  Soon he has a small collection of books me makes sure are hidden even from his wife… When one day a book owner prefers to die over giving up her books, Montag is suddenly not so sure the government is doing the right thing anymore and he makes the mistake of showing his wife and some of her friends one of the books. Soon the Fire Department is stopping by at his place, but this time it is not a friendly visit from collegues… And soon Montag is running for his life.

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Ray Bradbury used some very beautiful and strong prose to describe this dystopian world! I absolutely loved reading every page and Fahrenheit 451 will definitely be high on the list of my favorite reads this year. Somehow this combination of an intriguing story and strong prose just works, and it is absolutely worth the full five stars!

Teaser Tuesdays #20 – November 11th: Interview With The Vampire

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’m reading Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice right now, a book I mostly decided to read to fill the Set in New Orleans square in the Bookish Bingo challenge. It’s too soon to have a proper opinion, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed..

interviewwiththevampire“The people wouldn’t even speak to me when I came up – you know what they are; but they had no objection to letting me watch. The truth was, you wouldn’t have thought I was standing there at all. You won’t believe me when I tell you what I saw, but you must believe me; because if you don’t, I’m mad, I know it.”

 

What are you reading right now?

Friday Finds #14 – November 7th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during, in this case, the last two weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I have been trying to limit new additions in order to downsize my TBR list a bit… Below you can find some of the titles I’ve added anyway:

My finds:

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ARC REVIEW: Nothing Everything Nothing – by Casia Schreyer

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Title: Nothing Everything Nothing
Author: Casia Schreyer
Genre: YA, Contemporary
First published: October 23rd 2014
Finished reading: November 3rd 2014
Pages: 218
Rating 4,5

No matter what other people think, you have to love you enough to want to be in this world. You have to love you enough to see your strenghts and your value even in the face of failure.

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Casia Schreyer! ***

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Wow. Books don’t leave me speechless often, but Nothing Everything Nothing is definitely one damn impressive novel. Casia Schreyer touches sensitive themes as teenage insecurity, (virtual) bullying, sexual harassment and suicide attempts without it becoming a boring lecture. It left me thinking of my own high school experiences and that nowadays it has become even easier to completely ‘destroy’ the life a teenager through websites like Facebook and Twitter… Virtual bullying has become an increasing problem over the years and should never be underestimated. Nothing Everything Nothing is a great novel to read and absorb information about this phenomenon. Through the life of the main character Molly we can see the cruelty of teenagers and its consequences from up close… Molly can be a tad superficial and naive at some points, but then again she is sixteen and desperate to fit in; her so-called friends and boyfriend are only seeking to destroy her. A very strong novel and definitely recommended. Close to the full five stars!

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All the sixteen-year-old Molly wants is to fit in, but with her blue hair and more curvy body she is not the perfect candidate to be popular. She desperately tries to make friends with a group three popular girls, and for now they seem to accept her… Or do they only see her as a social experiment? When the nineteen-year-old and popular Lance shows interest in Molly during spring break, her girlfriends act jealous and her best friend Brandon suspects something is off. But Molly doesn’t want to see the signals, and tries to do everything Lance wants so he doesn’t end their ‘relationship’.

The popular trio is trying to get Molly to break down by questioning her weight and relationship with both Lance and the ‘nerdy’ Brandon. Lance is being a bad influence and tries to force Molly into skipping class and drinking beer… Things she accepts to do just to please Lance. Slowly Lance is trying to make her drift away from Brandon and her family, buying her gifts and paying for her food. Molly is changing and both at school and at home they start worrying about her. Things escalate when Lance tries to force him on her. Molly manages to leave the house unharmed, but not before Lance has taken some saucy pictures of her without her shirt on. Her worst nightmare comes true as Lance starts publishing those photos online… And her life becomes a living hell. Molly is not sure she can coope with the humiliation…

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This is a very strong novel that touches some sensitive themes and contains some colorful language, so it is not suited for those who are offended easily. That said, it is a definite must read if you want to learn more about virtual bullying and its consequences. Nothing Everything Nothing is a novel I won’t forget soon, and the quote at the beginning of this review is a perfect motto to live by!

BOOK REVIEW: Hot Ice – by Nora Roberts

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Title: Hot Ice
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Suspense
First published: 1987
Finished reading: November 2nd 2014
Pages: 280
Rating 3

“You’re a first-class bastard, Doug.” This time he grinned because he’d heard the light trace of respect. “I like first class, Whitney. I’m going to live there the rest of my life.”

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I have to admit I mostly picked up a copy of this novel because I had to read a book with ‘Ice‘, ‘Frost‘ or ‘Snow‘ in the title for the Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition challenge, and the only title I could find a copy of easily was Hot Ice. The story and characters were on the cheesy/cliche limit of my tolerance, but in general it was an easy and entertaining read. The two main characters Whitney and Douglas are a case of ‘opposites attract’. They end up stuck together chasing a treasure and also being chased down by Douglas’ former employer; and sooner or later they end up together. SO cliche! Le sigh. But the treasure hunt and their adventures in Madagascar are interesting to read and the novel keeps a fast pace. All in all an ok read if you don’t expect too much of it… Combined with a cold drink next to the pool or a steaming cup of coffee inside, it will give you a few entertaining reading hours.

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Whitney has everything most women dream of; as the heiress of an ice cream imperium she has access to all the money she wants and on top of that she is a classic beauty. But she has a mayor problem; she is easily bored and always looking for action. When one day by chance Douglas enters her car, she suddenly is in the middle of more action than she could have hoped for. Douglas is a shady figure and he is currently being chased by his former employer. Reason? He was asked to steal some very valuable documents leading to a treasure, but when he found out his boss would kill him anyway, he decided to keep the documents. Whitney’s crazy driving skills take them safely to her flat, but the bad guys are not far away… And soon Whitney has to flee with Douglas in order to stay alive.

Whitney has an advantage: she has cash and connections. Soon they are off to Europe and later to Madagascar, although the bad guys are never far away. Whitney and Douglas made a deal to share the treasure; a business proposition since Whitney has the cash and Douglas the documents. But neither trust each other… Not to mention the small problem of the mutual physical attraction. They soon have to travel by foot and car through the middle of the jungle while trying to shake of the men that are determined to take back the documents. The treasure is not far away if only they could reach that town somewhere in Madagascar…

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Like I said before, Hot Ice has an interesting plot and a lot of cliche moments, but the story in general does deliver. It is an easy read with a fast pace and Nora Roberts is able to make you want to continue reading in order to find out if they are able to find the treasure on time. So I guess that if you need something easy, cheesy and entertaining, reading Hot Ice would be a good choice!

WWW Wednesdays – November 5th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

fahrenheit451Right now I’m reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I’ve been wanting to read this classic for ages and I finally came around reading it. And so far I’m absolutely loving this story! I have the feeling this will be one more title to add to my all time favorite classics… Together with dystopian classics like Brave New World or 1984. I will most likely finish Fahrenheit 451 before the weekend and will be having a review up soon!

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

527019nothingeverythingnothingI have finished Hot Ice by Nora Roberts a few days ago, a novel I mostly just read for the Bookish Bingo challenge… It turned out to be an ok novel with some very cheesy/cliche moments, but in general entertaining. I’m writing the review right now, so it should be up soon. I’ve also finished an ARC by Casia Schreyer named Nothing Everything Nothing this week. I absolutely loved this novel and a full review will be up tomorrow. This book is definitely a must read!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

theelectLike last week, it will be between the next ARC I have lined up or a book that I can fit both in the Bookish Bingo and Reading Through The Centuries challenge… The next ARC would be The Elect by Elle Todd, a very interesting story I’m looking forward to. As for the other option; that would be a surprise even for me…

Teaser Tuesdays #19 – November 4th: Fahrenheit 451

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve started reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury only yesterday, so I’m not too far into the story yet. I’ve been wanting to read this classic for a while now, and finally came around reading it. I guess it fitted perfectly into the Bookish Bingo and Reading Through The Centuries challenges… I’m excited to be reading Fahrenheit 451! 😀

fahrenheit451“School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophies, histories, languages dropped, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons, pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts?”

What are you reading right now? Have you read this classic by Ray Bradbury?