Tuesday, March 24, 2015 20:43

Fairytale News 47. Personal vs professional reviews.

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

I love the change in blogging I see lately. People are trying out their own memes/features, bloggers change the way they write their review and there is diversity in what they post. One of the things I notice is that bloggers start to get more personal. We share things that happen in our daily lives en we include them in our reviews.

I absolutely love it. I think it’s great to know more about the blogger. It makes them feel like a person instead of a someone behind a computer screen in another part of the world. I like being able to read the voice of the blogger who writes the review. I'm not per se talking about fangirling, screaming or raving reviews, but more the way bloggers link their personal experiences to a review. It makes them stand out to me. The personal touch also makes it easier for me to see if I am going to like or dislike the book, especially if I’m close to that blogger.

At the same time I think that there are people out there who wish it would be more professional. Reviews only based on rational, objective things rather than talking about how a book makes you feel or think. They want to be able to create their opinion without being influenced by the feelings of the blogger. I can understand that side of the story too, but professional reviews always gives me the impression that they aren't completely genuine. I feel like personal reviews go more in depth and highlight different aspects, which tells me more about a book.

I’m very curious to see what you guys think. Are you someone who likes emotional, personal reviews or do you like the professional ones where they only talk about aspects of the story itself without the reviewers opinions?
Friday, March 20, 2015 20:31

Burn, rewrite or re-read tag.

I was tagged by the lovely Meg from Adrift on Vulcan. You are supposed to pick three random books. I first thought about random books from my read-shelf on Goodreads with a random number generator, but then I decided to be a rebel and make my own rules.

Thats how we roll in the shire thats how we_20d804_3674680
There are three rounds and I picked fairytales as my genre for this tag (suprise-surprise!). Then I went to Goodreads to the Listopia page. I opened the YA fairytale list and that's where I picked my random books from.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 17:53

Review 220. Leah Cypess – Death marked.

18803194Title: Death Marked.
Author: Leah Cypess.
Pages: 400.
Published: March 3rd 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Sort: Death Sworn #2.
Death Sworn #1. Death Sworn.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
At seventeen, Ileni lost her magical power and was exiled to the hidden caves of the assassins. She never thought she would survive long. But she discovered she was always meant to end up, powerless, in the caves as part of an elder sorcerer’s plan to destroy the evil Empire they'd battled so long. Except that Ileni is not an assassin, and she doesn't want to be a weapon. And, after everything, she’s not even sure she knows the truth. Now, at the very heart of the Empire—its academy for sorcerers—the truth is what she seeks. What she finds challenges every belief she holds dear—and it threatens her fledgling romance with the young master of assassins.

I think it was a good decision to keep this as duology, because the story got thin and stretched in this conclusion to Death Sworn. I wasn’t blown away by the first book, but in the end I decided to give the sequel a shot (because it’s another series to cross off my Mission impossible). I wasn’t completely let down. There was still not enough action and magic for my taste, but I liked the tension between the assassins and magicians – and how Ileni is stuck between both camps.

There are no spoilers for Death sworn.
Saturday, March 14, 2015 10:05

Review 219. Nova Ren Suma – The walls around us.

18044277Title: The walls around us.
Author: Nova Ren Suma.
Pages: 336.
Published: March 24th 2015 by Algonquin Young Readers
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries. We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

 (Quote from the blurb)
“Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”

The moment I started this book, I knew I was up to something good. This was one of the best beginnings I’ve read in a long time. The writing-style is gorgeous and I was immediately curious about the mystery around the juvenile detention center and Orianna. This is a story about guilt, lies and dealing with a situation that’s not in your control. Through the eyes of two girls, Amber and Violet, we get to know the story behind Ori’s conviction.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 06:00

TTT 41. For readers who like to find new favorite books.

Let’s forget the most obvious one: J.K Rowling – Harry Potter. I tried to focus on books I see myself re-reading over and over again; the books on my ultimate favorite list. I hope I can help you find some to add to your list too!


There she is again. I’ve been in love with Juliet Marillier’s books for years now. This story has a special place in my heart, because Daughter of the forest is the first book I read by her. I am actually re-reading this series this year, so I can finally post my reviews for it. Her books always have an amazing cast with strong female protagonists, interesting love-interested and the atmosphere is magical.

This is also a book you should be familiar with. I always try to spread my love for Markus Zusak – The book thief. His writing-style is gorgeous, the POV is unique and the story always makes me cry. Set in World War 2, you follow the story of Liesel, a girl who likes to steal books.

If you have to ask me one of my favorite fairytales I will immediately think about Jodi Lynn AndersonTiger Lily. The storytelling is beautiful and this is also one of the few books that can make me shed some tears.

Robin LaFevers is a genius and I feel a lot of love for this series. I even forced it upon my book club members (with success) and I will always adore all the characters she created. Dark Triumph is my favorite installment though, because of how broken and flawed Sybella is – yet deadly and you better not underestimate her. Her relationship is my ultimate OTP. Plus, nun assassins.


Rae Carson – The bitter kingdom is the last book in the girl of fire and thorns series and it’s by far my favorite book in the series. I love the character development and relationship between Elisa and her lover.

This is another fairytale I will think of if you ask my favorite retelling. Rosamund Hodge – Cruel beauty has an AMAZING world-building, where she uses mythology to create one of the most unique retellings of Beauty and the beast. You definitely need to meet the flawed, dark MC.

Lady Thief by A.C Gaughen is another fairytale retelling (if you are surprised I have so many of these on my lists you are clearly a new follower, haha) I love Scarlet and her sassy mouth and spunk. She doesn’t take crap from anyone, but she also has a certain vulnerability.

The dream thieves by Maggie Stiefvater was simply the best. The diverse cast has captured my heart. Bad-ass Blue and her friendship with The raven boys; I can’t get enough of them.

And of course, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. This is the best book in the series if you ask me. I loved the story and the fact that we got to meet Scarlet, Wolfe and Thorne.
Saturday, March 07, 2015 18:09

Review 218. Abigail Haas – Dangerous boys.

22907937Title: Dangerous boys.
Author: Abigail Haas.
Pages: 336 pages.
Published: August 14th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: A gift from Ellis.
It all comes down to this. Oliver, Ethan, and I. Three teens venture into an abandoned lake house one night. Hours later, only two emerge from the burning wreckage. Chloe drags one Reznick brother to safety, unconscious and bleeding. The other is left to burn, dead in the fire. But which brother survives? And is his death a tragic accident? Desperate self-defense? Or murder ...? Chloe is the only one with the answers. As the fire rages, and police and parents demand the truth, she struggles to piece the story together - a story of jealousy, twisted passion and the darkness that lurks behind even the most beautiful faces.

I heard a lot about Dangerous girls, so I added the books on my wish list and didn’t look at it again. Luckily, Ellis send me a copy and right after finishing Dangerous boys I ordered Dangerous girls. What a mind-fuck! I was very satisfied how this story was told and how it tied together in the end.
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