Teaser Tuesdays #34 – March 17th: Inferno

teasertuesdays

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 started reading Inferno, the fourth book in the Robert Langdon series, a few days ago and I’m currently about 250 pages into the story. I was not sure whether to pick up this title,  but my TBR cup decided for me. Plus, it’s part of my TBR pile challenge so no excuse not to read it… So far it’s entertaining, although the general idea of the book is easily to be called repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like Dan Brown‘s books, it’s just that they share so many similarities that they can hardly be called ‘original’ anymore. Inferno so far shares the same similarities with the first two books in the series (I haven’t read The Lost Symbol yet), but I like the setting in Italy and the many references to Dante and his Divine Comedy are definitely interesting. It makes me want to reread Dante’s work!

inferno“As Langdon stared up at the horrific sight, he tried to imagine the effect the mosaic had on the youthful Dante, who had attended services at this church year after year, and seen Satan staring down at him each time he prayed. This morning however, Langdon had the uneasy feeling that the devil was staring directly at him.”

 

What are you reading right now?

Gift Guide Tag

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I was tagged by Katherine at Katherine’s Bookcase to do this Gift Guide Tag almost a month ago, and only just came around actually writing this post. Oops! Thanks for tagging, this looks like fun! 😀

This tag was originally created by Crazy For YA as a Christmas gift idea tag.

The rules are:

1) Pick at least one book/series for each category

2) Tag at least 3 bloggers

3) Add your link to the original post

Below I will pick one or two books and/or series for each category… Most will be YA novels, but in some categories I had a hard time finding YA titles I liked so I picked adult novels instead. Here we go!

  • FOR THE CONTEMPORARY LOVER:

itskindofafunnystory

It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini (YA)

This is a really strong story about depression and  teenage suicide that will definitely leave its mark. The serious moments are mixed with humor and make this novel a must-read.

 

????????????????????????Paper Towns by John Green (YA)

I think most people that read YA novels already know John Green; his books are extremely popular. Rather than recommending The Fault In Our Stars (which is obviously good as well), I decided to pick Paper Towns. The prose is interesting, the dialogue brilliant and while the characters are not exactly likeable, you want to continue reading anyway.

  • FOR THE FANTASY LOVER:

beautifulcreaturesBeautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia (YA)

I’ve only read the first book in this series so far, but I’m absolutely loving it. The historical facts, the male POV and the magical elements made Beautiful Creatures into one of my favorite reads this year and one of my favorite YA fantasy series in general.

 

throneofglassseriesThrone Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas (YA)

I’m reading Heir Of Fire right now after finishing the second book, and I’m definitely enjoying this series! The first book wasn’t my absolute favorite, but I liked the second book way better and the third looks promising.

  • FOR THE ROMANCE LOVER:

Those who know me are already aware of the fact that the romance genre isn’t my thing… So it’s kind of hard to recommend romance novels. The one I’ve picked isn’t YA, but at least it’s something right? 😉

onedayOne Day by David Nicholls

Twenty years, two people, ONE DAY. Although the characters weren’t exactly to my liking, I did enjoy reading about the changes in perspective and friendship during the years, and Nicholls was able to put in some pretty big plot twists. It’s an interesting novel and recommended if you don’t mind a cliche situation or two.

 

  • FOR THE MUSIC LOVER:

 eleanorEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (YA)

I’ll have to repeat Katherine and pick Eleanor & Park for this one… There are not too many YA music novels out there that I know of. I cannot do anything but agree with just about everyone that this is an adorable little story. You cannot help feeling for the main characters, and crossing your fingers everything will work out in the end… And keep your tissues closeby if you are sensible to sadness.

  • FOR THE SCI-FI LOVER:

 fahrenheit451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (YA)

This sci-fi/dystopian classic is definitely a must-read and SO good! I absolutely loved reading this novel  up to the point that I’m lost for words describing my feelings… Somehow this combination of an intriguing story and strong prose just works.

 

  • FOR THE THRILLER/MYSTERY LOVER:

 theshiningseriesThe Shining series by Stephen King

Both The Shining books are probably two of my all time favorite thriller novels. I read the first one last year and the sequel not so long ago, and I absolutely loved both. Strong characters, creepy story, fast pace and easy-to-read prose… These two novels are simply brilliant.

  • FOR THE DYSTOPIAN LOVER:

The Hunger Games seriesthehungergamestrilogy by Suzanne Collins (YA)

One of my first YA dystopian reads and still one of my favorites! Katniss is a female heroine who seriously kicks ass and the story itself is definitely interesting.

Shadow And Bone by Leigh Bardugo (YA)shadowandboneee

I’ve only read the first book in The Grisha series so far, but I absolutely loved it. It somehow just clicked between me and this book, and I enjoyed every single moment of it. This book left me without words. Or maybe just with words like amazing, stunning, sad, beautiful, heartbreaking etc. I suggest you to read it now if you like YA dystopian novels!

  • FOR EVERYBODY:

theboyinthestripedpajamas

 The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (YA)

Set in the Second World War with themes as the Auschwitz concentration camp and other horrible facts, we see the facts through a nine-year-old boy’s eyes.This novel is amazingly moving and the point-of-view makes it such a special read. Make sure to keep a box of tissues close as you will probably need it during the last few chapters!

harrypotterseriesHarry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (YA)

I know most people will already have read the Harry Potter series, but I couldn’t leave this one out of my favorite YA books list. I’m one of the many people who have grown up with this series, and I still cannot get enough of it. I’m in the middle of a reread right now; only the last two are left!

~ TAG; YOU’RE IT! ~

And I’m going to tag… YOU! Anyone who’s interested in participating in this tag, feel free to join the fun! 😀

HaveFunToday

Friday Finds #27 – March 13th

fridayfinds

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 on a book buying ban, but I cannot help adding new titles to my virtual TBR list anyway… At least I’m slowly downsizing my physical TBR!

My finds this week:

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BOOK REVIEW: Crown Of Midnight – by Sarah J. Maas

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Title: Crown Of Midnight
(Throne Of Glass #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: August 27th 2013
Finished reading: March 10th 2015
Pages: 448
Rating 4,5

“Why are you crying?”
“Because,” she whispered, her voice shaking, “you remind me of what the world ought to be. What the world can be.”

myrambles1review

I read Throne Of Glass quite a few months ago and somehow I never came around continuing the series. The funny part is that a copy of book number two and three have been collecting dust on my TBR shelf for quite some time now… I guess that in a way I was afraid that the love triangle I didn’t particularly like in book one would become even more important in the sequels. Plus, sequels in other YA Fantasy series have let me down lately, so that could have held me back as well. I’m glad I finally did decide to start reading Crown Of Midnight, because I enjoyed the sequel way better than the first book. Sarah J. Maas was able to introduce a lot of new information about the past and Celaena has new difficult tasks to deal with. Not to mention the surprises the author has in store for her readers! I won’t be going into details to avoid spoilers, but Crown Of Midnight was good enough for me to pick up the third book straight away even though I had planned to read another book next. Definitely recommended for YA Fantasy fans who like a strong female heroine who seriously kicks ass!

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read Throne Of Glass yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Celaena is now officially the King’s Champion and has to do as he wishes in order to free herself, but the King is planning something evil and Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. Since he has treatened to kill the people close to her if she doesn’t do as he asks, Celaena has to hide the fact that she isn’t actually killing the men the King has ordered dead… And that secret becomes increasingly harder to hide from her best friend and foreign princess Nehemia and above all from the Captain of the Guard Chaol as their relationship grows more intense. Celaena isn’t the only one with secrets though, and those secrets have terrible consequences… Soon the King’s Champion doesn’t know who to trust anymore and she starts planning revenge. Is there really a rebel organization that is planning to fight against the King, and what is their role in the recent terrible events? And what about the Wyrd marks and secret passages showing up everywhere?

finalthoughtsreview

Crown Of Midnight is one of those sequels that is actually better than the first book. Less romance, more action and intriguing new facts about the main characters and the world they live in… Things are about to get a lot more complicated, and Sarah J. Maas takes us on a very interesting ride. The pace is fast and the prose easy to read… Making this novel hard to put down before it’s finished. Not all characters are to my liking, but Celaena seriously kicks ass and her past is definitely interesting. This series is without doubt recommended for those who like YA Fantasy and a strong female main character! I myself couldn’t stop reading Crown Of Midnight and started the next book Heir Of Fire right after finishing this one. That says enough right?

WWW Wednesdays #30 – March 11th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

heiroffireAfter finishing Crown Of Midnight yesterday, I just HAD to start the third book in the Throne Of Glass series straight away. I’m not too far into Heir Of Fire yet, but so far it’s definitely interesting… Especially with Celaena traveling around and discovering new things about her past. I’m probably going to finish this one soon! Such a shame I will have to wait until the fourth book is published to continue this series written by Sarah J. Maas

 

  • What did you recently finish reading?

irobotcrownofmidnightI’ve finished Crown Of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas yesterday and I absolutely loved it! I enjoyed the sequel better than Throne Of Glass, but that might just be because the love triangle wasn’t as important in the second book. A lot of new facts about Celaena and the world she lives in has been revealed… A full review will be posted soon! I also finished I, Robot by Isaac Asimov the other day, and although I thought the story was going to be completely different (I blame the movie for that), it was an enjoyable read with short stories about the evolution of robots.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

17212231My TBR cup has decided for me that I’m going to read Inferno by Dan Brown next. I’m not sure what to think of this title because other books by the same author have been a disappointment… I guess a lot of his work share too many similarities to be original. At least his books in general read fast, so I will probably finish this one before the end of the weekend.

BOOK REVIEW: I, Robot – by Isaac Asimov

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Title: I, Robot
(Robot Series #0.1)
Author: Isaac Asimov
Genre: Science Fiction, Classics, Fantasy
First published: 1950
Finished reading: March 7th 2015
Pages: 249
Rating 3,5

“Fifty years,” I hackneyed, “is a long time.”
“Not when you’re looking back at them,” she said. “You wonder how they vanished so quickly.”

myrambles1review

Normally it’s the other way around, but in this case I saw the movie version of I, Robot before reading the novel. The movie definitely gave me the wrong idea of what to expect of this classic collection of robot stories by Isaac Asimov. I guess the movie is only loosely based on the original novel, and in a way it’s a good thing. Isaac Asimov is able to show the evolution in the robot industry through a series of short stories and memories of  Susan Calvin, a robopsychologist with the company U.S. Robots. Although I didn’t enjoy every story in the same way and the last one especially was a bit slow-paced, the prose in general is interesting and the stories make you wonder what it would be like if such robots really would exist. The fact that Asimov wrote I, Robot in 1950 makes this novel even more interesting; he shows us how he saw the future and the cultural changes that come with it. The fact that the 2007 of his novel doesn’t compare with reality didn’t bother me, nor did the fact that I don’t see the world developing into the one he describes in the years between 2015 and 2057. I guess that’s merely the consequence of the common believes in older sci-fi novels that technology would advance with a great speed. All in all an interesting bunch of robot stories that are quite easy to read.

shortsummary1review

“A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.”

The Three Laws every robot has to obey are sacred and supposedly never fail… But retired robopsychologist Susan Calvin can tell some anecdotes of things that didn’t go according to the plans during the past decades. A journalist in 2057 decides to interview the woman to get a human interest angle for his article, and Susan starts telling him about the evolution of the robots and their technology with a series of short stories. They start with a story set all the way back in 1998, where a robot called Robbie became a little girl’s best friend even though his model didn’t speak. Her mother decides to get rid of the robot because she finds the relationship her daughter shares with him unnatural, but the little girl doesn’t rest until she has her Robbie back. And Robbie feels the same, answering the question of the existence of robot emotions… We also travel to space with Greg Powell and Mike Donovan. The two are robot experts and are sent to various space stations or planets to investigate robots that don’t act the way they are supposed to. From a ‘drunk’ robot to a mind-reading robot and one that decides to take over the space ship… The different stories have it all. There is even one where a human politician is being accused of being a robot… A lot of stories have the same characters, but each one is unique in its own way.

finalthoughtsreview

I, Robot is actually a bunch of short robot stories that  connect together because they mostly have the same main characters and/or are memories of the robopsychologist Susan Calvin. They are quite easy to read and entertaining, except maybe the last one (The Evitable Conflict) that did have a slower pace… Isaac Asimov was able to write an interesting sci-fi novel that even has some humor hidden away between the lines. Don’t make the same mistake as I did and think that this novel has anything to do with the movie I, Robot! That one is only loosely based on some of the facts in this classic, and the novel is without doubt way more interesting.

Teaser Tuesdays #33 – March 10th: Crown Of Midnight

teasertuesdays

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 started reading Crown Of Midnight, the second book in the Throne Of Glass series the other day, and until now I’m absolutely loving it. I’m glad that in this sequel Sarah J. Maas decided to push the whole love triangle to the background and focuses more on the tasks of Celaena has to complete in order to earn her freedom. The fast pace and easy-to-read prose makes it hard to stop reading!

crownofmidnight“You’re the greatest assassin in Erilea, and yet you can’t stand watch for a few hours?”

“What’s there to watch?” she hissed. “Couples sneaking out to fondle each other between the hedges? Or His Royal Highness, dancing with every eligible maiden?”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: The Cold Wife – by Ruth Ann Nordin

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Title: The Cold Wife
(Virginia Historicals #2)
Author: Ruth Ann Nordin
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
First published: February 27th 2010
Finished reading: March 4th 2015
Pages: 304
Rating 2

“You don’t understand how the real world works, Junior! You think it’s all dinner parties and business meetings? It’s survival of the fittest. You have to be tough and do whatever it takes to make it if you’re going to be successful.”

myrambles1review

When my friend gave me a copy of The Cold Wife by Ruth Ann Nordin, I wasn’t sure what to think of it. I always enjoy reading historical fiction novels as long as they don’t involve too much romance and are faithful to the period the story is set in… But reading the blurb and reviews at goodreads made me fear this one wouldn’t be of my taste. Unfortunately, my suspicions turned out to be correct. Flat characters, slow pace, descriptions that didn’t feel right for the 1894 setting… I’m afraid I cannot name a lot of positive points of this second novel in the Virginia Historical series. The general idea of a woman opposing an arranged marriage is without doubt an interesting topic, but the execution in The Cold Wife is unfortunately nothing but poor. The main character Carrie and her reactions are not believable and the way she interacts with her brother is almost childish. To be honest, the husband Justin wasn’t really believable either. I couldn’t connect to the prose and the story in general was almost boring. I’m still asking myself why I’ve even bothered to finish it… I guess I was hoping things would improve at some point, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.

shortsummary1review

When Carrie’s father suddenly had to face bankrupcy, he didn’t want to leave his only daughter without a comfortable home. At the age of 24 Carrie Allen is old enough to be married, and her father decides to arrange for a marriage with the wealthy Justin Monroe. Although Justin is her brother’s friend, Carrie doesn’t care for him and she definitely doesn’t want to know anything about an arranged marriage. She wants to take care of her own life and decides to fight the union… But Carrie ends up being married to Justin anyway. Justin didn’t realize before Carrie didn’t want him as her husband and he offers her a deal: if after a month she still feels their marriage is wrong, he offers her an annulment. What Carrie doesn’t know is that Justin has been in love with her since he was fourteen, and he is determined to win her over… But Carrie is stubborn and refuses to believe that an arranged marriage could work.  Can he win her over on time?

finalthoughtsreview

As you might have guessed from my previous comments, I would definitely not recommend reading The Cold Wife. The initial idea behind the novel is interesting, but it’s poorly executed with weak prose, flat characters and a storyline that is unbelievable in general. Such a shame, since this novel could have been so much more!

BOOK REVIEW: Naked In Death – by J.D. Robb

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Title: Naked In Death
(In Death Series #1)
Author: J.D. Robb
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Romance
First published: July 1st 1995
Finished reading: March 3rd 2015
Pages: 320
Rating 3,5

“Roarke, what’s going on here?’
‘Lieutenant.’ He leaned forward, touched his lips to hers. ‘Indications are we’re having a romance.”

myrambles1review

The first book in the In Death series has been collecting dust on my TBR shelf for a while now even though I always enjoy reading crime/mystery novels. The other day I thought it was about time to start this series, especially since people seem to enjoy the In Death novels. Plus, there are so many of them that they apparently sell a lot, so there should be something good about them right? Naked In Death left me with mixed thoughts though. I really enjoyed the plot in general and the fact that it’s a mystery/crime novel set in the future, but I’m not a fan of the romance scenes. Eve and Roarke make an interesting couple though, and I will be checking out a few of the sequels at least to see how the characters evolve. J.D. Robb is actually a pseudonym for Eleanor Marie Robertson, and she also writes a lot of books under Nora Roberts…Funny that a writer makes the choice of having various pseudonyms, but I since she is using J.D. Robb exclusively for the In Death series it doesn’t get too confusing.

shortsummary1review

Eve Dallas is an experienced police lieutenant in the New York of 2058 with a terrible past. The night before she had to kill a suspect that had just butchered a child… But instead of the obligatory Testing the next day to see how she is cooping with the fact she killed someone, she is sent straight to a very messy crime scene. The daughter of a senator was brutally killed and the case has to be kept secret to the press… Leaving Eve in charge of the murder investigation. The victim was working as a prostitute, and the killer left a message: one of six. If Eve doesn’t stop him, soon enough there will be a serial killer on the loose.

In 2058 guns are something of the past and too expensive to use freely, but the killer doesn’t seem to mind. He murders his victims with three shots and afterwards leaves the weapon at the scene… And he sends a video recording to the cops. When he starts killing again Eve is desperate to find him, but it seems that not everybody is cooperating. An Irish billionaire named Roarke is one of the suspects in the murder investigation, but Eve finds out there is more to him than his lack of alibi…

finalthoughtsreview

The plot is definitely interesting and the fact that Naked In Death is set in the future makes it stand out from other novels in that genre. I liked the main characters Eve and Roarke and they make an interesting couple, although I’m not a fan of the romance scenes…The rest of the story is interesting enough though to make me forget the few scenes I didn’t like. There is a lot of action involved, the pace is fast and the prose easy to read. All in all the perfect read for those who enjoy crime/mystery novels and don’t mind having an adult scene or two thrown in.

Friday Finds #26 – March 6th

fridayfinds

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 on a book buying ban, but I cannot help adding new titles to my virtual TBR list anyway! Before I continue with this week’s additions, first a kitty update… They’re five weeks old and already show their own personalities! I’m keeping the black one, his name is Tommy after the Tom&Jerry TV series I used to love when I was a kid… I know he isn’t grey like Tom, but he has the white tail tip and all. 😉 The grey one still hasn’t an owner, but the other two are already adopted… I love the beige one, he’s so fluffy! ❤

gatitospeluditos

 

On to my finds:

ffmar62015