Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Video: Book Cake Tag

I was tagged by a sweet friend of mine to do the book cake tag. You love books? You love cakes, and maybe even baking? Then this video might be just the one for you! Check it out to see which bookish ingredients I chose :)




Sunday, December 29, 2013

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PGQ-wwBoplc/UEyHALeJSII/AAAAAAAABOY/kJmUD9Skh9w/s1600/forbidden_by_tabitha_suzuma.jpgTitle: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Purchased
Age Group: Young Adult (YA)
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥

Title: Kiss of Twilight
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: Adult 
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ - See more at: http://yearningmermaid.blogspot.de/#sthash.X1r0KzaZ.dpuf
She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.
Title: Kiss of Twilight
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: Adult 
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ - See more at: http://yearningmermaid.blogspot.de/#sthash.X1r0KzaZ.dpuf
I still don´t know if my review will be a review in the right sense. After reading this book I just have the strong feeling that I want to talk and write about it, because it deserves the attention. This book made me feel so strongly that even now, after almost two weeks after rereading this book, I cannot fully grasp the feelings that shook me so deeply. Tabitha Suzuma created a beautiful story that left me stunned by its cruelness.

Maya and Lochan have to take care of their three younger siblings, because their mother is mostly drunk or absent from home. After a while they fall in love, maybe they always have been in love, but never realiesed it. It is the story of a broken family, but the children will not let it fully break apart. They are desperate to appear normal to the outer world, because they are afraid that social services will take them away. I really despised their mother for her selfish behavior. Yes, she went through a lot and her ex husband left her, but is that truly reason enough to be such a lousy mother? Most time I wanted to slap her in hopes that she finally wakes up from her little fantasy world and starts behaving like an adult, taking responsibility for her five children. 

Maya is a sweet sixteen-years old girl that has to take too much responsibility too soon. She has the mind of an adult and that is probably why I liked her so much. She is not the typical girl you find in so many books that make mistake after stupid mistake. Maya knows that life isn´t always fair and that some people have it harder than others. She acts like the mother her younger siblings never knew, a mother full of kindness and worry, laughter and joy. Maya is willing herself to be strong for the kids and that is something that makes her truly beautiful to me. Most times I felt like she deserved a person that loves her for who she is...and who could actually know her better than her brother Lochan? Who shares the same burden like her?

Lochan is a seventeen-year old boy that suffers from extrem shyness. He is not able to speak to other people but his own family. Even the thought of speaking in front of a whole class makes him hyperventilate. Yet, Lochan is also very bright and is the best pupil in class. His grades promise him a bright future, but Lochan knows that he has to take responsibility for his little family and must support them when he is finished with school. His relationship with Maya heals him in some ways and I always had the feeling that without Maya, Lochan would fall apart. They steady each other and they need each other.

Of course I know that incest is illegal and before reading this book I always felt like incest was something disgusting and unthinkable. But I think that this book made me realise that people don´t choose such a love. Their circumstances may be the reason for it and who am I to judge two people in love, when I don´t know all the facts? 
This story made me feel helpless, because I realised that nobody can do anything to make this story have a happy ending. This love is against the law and thus forbidden. It felt so unfair, because I truly rooted for Maya and Lochan. I wanted them to be happy together forever.
I don´t think I ever cried as hard because of a book before. Shouldn´t true love be left alone? Even if it is against the law? I still don´t know...Maybe there is no answer.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Video: Christmas Book Haul

Christmas is officially over and I´m quite sad about it. I love the festive period when my whole family comes together and we´re (mostly) in a happy mood. I also love getting presents, of course. So here I am showing you what books I got this christmas.



What books did you get this christmas?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Challenges in 2014

I´m not a really  big fan of reading challenges. I think 2-3 are okay, but more add a certain stress level to my reading schedule. I´ve been through it all and I learned from my failures...
In 2014 I decided to participate in "only" two reading challenges.

The first one is the 2014 Dystopia Reading Challenge hosted by Blog of Erised. I love to read dystopian books and I´m really looking forward to reading a few good ones in 2014.
My goal will be Revolutionist (13-18 books).

Then second is a reading challenge that I just do for myself. I challenge myself to read 80 books in 2014, which is an insanely enormous amount of books if you ask me. 

I´m really excited to see if I can actually meet my expectations...



Friday, December 20, 2013

Follow Friday #3



Increase Blog Followers
Pick a book in your favorite genre that you’d recommend to a reluctant reader.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c4/The_Giver_Cover.gif/200px-The_Giver_Cover.gifhttp://www.hdwallpapers3d.com/wp-content/uploads/9780439023528_custom-49e9c33a338d97f0abb78402bcdee9b1103f33a0-s6-c30.jpgRight now I´m really into the dystopian genre. So I´d either recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or The Giver by Lois Lowry. Both are fantastic reads and will surely get everyone into reading.








bloglovinGFC


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kiss of Twilight (Dark Bonds #2) by Loribelle Hunt


Title: Kiss of Twilight
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: Adult 
Overall: ♥♥♥♥

 Dupree Jackson is everything a senior soldier of the Order of Templar should be. Cold. Unbreakable. A master at arms in the fight against demons. But as a hybrid, Dupree is beginning to lose himself to the demon half of his soul. One woman has the power to save him. If he lets her.
Kara Stone wants two things in life: to be merged with a demon so that she can become a full member of the Order; and Dupree Jackson. She knows they are meant to be together, if only Dupree would love her back.
Though his desire for Kara is undeniable, Dupree's need to protect her is stronger. Not wanting to see her merge, to face the internal struggle he deals with every day, he refuses to bond with her. But when Kara becomes a target and uncovers a dark secret about her past, Dupree may no longer have a choice.

I was pining for this novel so much after reading Kiss of Darkness, which I loved insanely. Kiss of Twilight starts where the first novel left off and I was sucked into the story all over again.

Dupree and Kara have known each other for a long time and both feel that they are meant to be with each other, but Dupree denies his feelings out of fear for her. This is both hard on her and him and their story focuses on their struggle.
Then there is the fact that Gia, one of the closest friends of Dupree and Winter (she was the main character in Kiss of Darkness) is still missing. Winter has the strong feeling that Gia was kidnapped, but they have no idea where to look for her.

What I love most about this series is that the characters, who were introduced in the first novel, are still as present as in the second one. I loved Winter and Marcus and I was so glad to see both of them again and I was absolutely thrilled when I was able to read a whole chapter from their POV.

Dupree´s and Kara´s story was not as interesting and intriguing as I anticipated, but that was mostly because I found that Gia´s relationship with Luke - Marcus´ brother - was way more intriguing. I was actually surprised to find out that the second novel focuses on Dupree rather than Gia, but it all makes sense if you consider the storyline.

All in all I can say that I enjoyed reading Kiss of Twilight just as much as I hoped for and even though Dupree and Kara are not my favourite couple I still loved reading about their relationship. 
The series promises to get even better with the third novel, which will focus on Gia and Luke. Their relationship is probably the most thrilling one and I am already waiting for it to hit the digital shelves. I´m so thrilled to find out how they will find Gia and her abductors...

Unfortunately author Loribelle Hunt is not thinking about continuing this wonderful story in the next year, which is so frustrating! There is a huge cliffhanger at the end that leaves me unsatisfied and -by now- disappointed.This is why I can only give 4 hearts for this book. It´s so frustrating not to know if the author decides to continue this series...

The Yearning Mermaid says: "This is a series you NEED to read if you´re a fan of Jeaniene Frost and Nalini Singh. Hot romance and a good paranormal twist. Pick it up if you don´t mind waiting for the continuation of the series!"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Video: BookTubeAThon TBR

The booktube community is in an uproar, because this weekend there will be another BookTubeAThon! A whole weekend with just one goal: To read as many books as possible! I decided to join in, but I´m also realistic. Two books are more than enough for a whole weekend, no need to stress myself over this! To all others that are participating and to those who are not: Happy Reading!




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Video: December Book Haul

Check out this video to see the books I couldn´t resist buying! Make also sure to subscribe to my channel :)


Monday, December 16, 2013

Freak of Nature (IFICS #1) by Julia Crane

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bdfzmTEt3BI/UPHf6P8j37I/AAAAAAAAAu4/mFNqjQxRfg8/s1600/Freak%2Bof%2BNature.jpgTitle: Freak of Nature
Author: Julia Crane
Publisher: Valknut Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: New Adult (NA)
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥

Donate Body to Science. Check.

When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.
I absolutely adore this series! I really can´t wait to hold the next book in my hands as this is a book I devoured in a single sitting. I find it so hard to wrap my thoughts around this story, because it is still so vivid in my mind. I´m going to try though, hoping that I´ll find a few more constructive words then "amazing" and "wonderful".

Kate wakes up and suddenly she is not human anymore. She is a mixture of human and machine, programmed to obey every order and supposed to not feel anything. But what she doesn´t let on is: she can still think, and she still has feelings. She struggles to remember her past life, always dreaming of a beautiful boy. Who is he? And what do these feelings toward Lucas mean, the one who programmed her, the one who created her? As Kate finds out more about herself, she realises that her sole purpose in existing may be to be a deadly weapon. Will she face her feelings and show them to Lucas, even though exposing her secret could result in her ultimate death?

I love Kate. I absolutely adore her! If I´d wake up to being half machine, I think I wouldn´t be able to stay sane, but Kate shows such unbelievable strength at a time like this! She has an iron-like will to stay alive and to stay herself that it humbled me.
Kate has an innocent view on her surroundings due to the loss of her memories and her past life. It´s almost like she was just born. She doesn´t understand certain words and phrases that she is being confronted with, but is utterly intelligent in other areas. She is like a walking dictionary, because the computer in her brain provides her with the knowledge.
I think this story captured me so fast, because I believe that this scenario could actually be possible. I can imagine that somewhere out there a Dr. Frankenstein with too much money is actually trying to do such a project. I found it sickening and utterly fascinating at the same time.

I love how Kate is able to see everything so logical that it sometimes left me breathless. She wants to make the world a better place so badly, almost like a child when it witnesses something really bad happening. It wants to fix it. 
I mourned the loss of her memories and wondered together with her who that mysterious boy in her dreams is.

I also love the relationship of Kate and Lucas. I don´t think I would have accepted him as a partner for sweet and strong Kate, if there hadn´t been the chapters in which the story takes place from his point of view. I am able to love him, because I can see how much his conscience is nagging him. He is regretting this whole project so much, but on the other hand he is also proud and thankful for the opportunity. He still sees the wrongness in taking emotions and memories of a human being and that made me relax. Lucas is a good guy after all! Their relationship is a secret and very sweet one, as Kate has an innocent mind of a child, paired with the logic of a machine. It made her special and unique.


I´m really, really curious to see where this story goes and the next book will be highly anticipated by me! I´m hoping for some more bad-ass fight scenes starring Kate! Can´t wait!

The Yearning Mermaid says: "A brilliant book that left me breathless, because of the realistic plot! A fascinating scenario within the rules of the world we all know so well. Kate has enough strength and character to make every reader adore her! A MUST-READ!"

A strange sensation on her face gave her pause. She reached up and touched her cheek, then drew wet fingertips away. What...was that a tear? Her artificial heart pounded in her ears as she stared at her hand, captivated. After all the time she had spent at the facility, all she had been through, she´d never cried. She didn´t think she could. Across from her, Lucas stared. "Oh my god. Kate."
Kaitlyn scanned her information drive and was appaled to see that in the United States alone over 1.2 million incidents of violent crimes were reported yearly. Over 90.000 of those incidents involved rape. She stewed over the statistics for many miles, and it fueled her desire to make the world a better place. [...] She wondered if anyone on the bus had been a victim of a crime, or if there were criminals on board. More than likely there were both.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Video: Winter Wonderland Book TAG

Another wintery video for you! Check it out to find out what I like reading the most in the festive period!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Follow Friday #2

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Bookselling Time: Go to your biggest bookcases. Go to the second shelf from the top and pick out the sixth book from the left. Handsell that book to us - even if you haven’t read it or if you hated it. (if you don’t have bookcases, done have six books on one shelf, etc, pick a book at random)


http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1270256853l/7944853.jpgThat would probably be Jeweled by Anya Bast. I haven´t read it yet, but I know it contains a few hot scenes, so it´s not suited for people under the age of 16. But just look at this gorgeous cover! I couldn´t resist, can you?







Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kiss of Darkness (Dark Bonds #1) by Loribelle Hunt

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_5P6ApOKYchU/TStDxgG0pgI/AAAAAAAAA6A/A_oK2BoBRmo/s1600/Kiss%252Bof%252BDarkness.jpgTitle: Kiss of Darkness
Author: Loribelle Hunt
Publisher: Carina Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥

 Winter, a hybrid, has spent her life at war. A group of humans who are part demon, the hybrids, along with the lupines and nightwalkers, have dedicated their lives to defeating demons and protecting humanity. Yet, despite their united cause, the three groups share an uneasy alliance. When hybrid military compounds come under attack from demon insurgents, Winter has no choice but to turn to the lupines and nightwalkers for assistance. It's a partnership based on necessity and she has no intention of letting down her guard with either group. Marcus, the nightwalker Lord, has other plans. The immediate attraction between him and Winter promises a passion he can't ignore. To claim her as his own, he'll not only have to fight the demons who seem hell-bent on destroying her, but her own misconceptions about him and the nightwalker race. It's a battle he refuses to lose.

A wonderful book that I devoured in no time! I fell in love with Marcus, Winter and so many other side characters in this book. I´m glad I have the next book in this series already on my kindle!

Hunt created a world in which nightwalkers (psychic vampires), lupines (werewolves), hybrids (half demon, half human) and demons exist. It is not the most unique idea, but nowadays, what is? 

Winter is the perfect heroine. Beautiful, strong and yet vulnerable. She has had a hard past and joined her soul with a demon in order to avenge her husbands death. Winter climbed up the ladder fast, but 60 years after the Joining she is close to giving in to her demon side. Only a mate can save her from the abyss and there might be a nightwalker who is more than willing to share her burden. 
Marcus, the Nightwalker Lord is strong, gorgeous, charming and I fell for him instantly. 
When he meets Winter he feels that both of them have a special connection and he will do everything to make her his mate. 
Then there is the war with the demons, who are getting stronger and stronger each day. Either the hybrids, lupines and the nightwalker join forces in order to fight the demons, or they will loose the battle that decides who lives and who dies...

Winter and Marcus have great chemistry and it´s so much fun to see their relationship develop. I´ve had enough of those women, who turn down awesome men, even though they want them just as much. If you want them, go get them!

Hunt found the perfect balance and it left me very satisfied, because it neither went too fast, nor took it to long for those two to accept their feelings.
The main plot focuses on the fight with the demons and it was thrilling to see the characters in action. Especially Winter is a strong and intend fighter and I adored her strength and will.
 
The book also follows Winter´s best friends Gia and Dupree. Both of them have their own problems and it´s refreshing to read chapters where the book focuses on them instead of Winter and Marcus. 

The next book will follow Dupree and Kara. Both of them were introduced in Kiss of Darkness and their story promises to be just as thrilling.

I really enjoyed reading about this world, because it was entertaining and had a great mix. Filled with humor, tragedy and suspense it is the perfect series for me. 

The Yearning Mermaid says: "This book is a mixture of Nalini Singh´s Psy/Changeling Series and Jeaniene Frost´s Night Huntress series and thus was made for me! I loved it and really,really recommend it!"


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Darkness Watching (Darkworld Book #1) by Emma L. Adams

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_3Be9nO-ZtA/UiCpIrJVAKI/AAAAAAAAC1U/5872yJWXUk0/s1600/Darkness%2BWatching.JPGTitle: Darkness Watching
Author: Emma L. Adams
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: New Adult/ Young Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she's losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere - little knowing that it isn't coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life - but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she's looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be...

It certainly took me some time to adapt to the story and at first I didn´t really feel like I would love this book. But I´m more than glad that I was wrong! I really ended up enjoying this book so much and I´m already looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Ash is that ordinary girl in school that doesn´t really stand out and doesn´t have much friends except one. She has a huge fear of failing tests and university interviews and recently she´s been able to see demons.
As she moves out from home to the campus of Blackstone, Ash first thinks she is safe from the demons there. But she is wrong. Even more demons appear out of nowhere - targeting her - why, she has no clue. As she discovers her abilities more attacks focus on her. In order to survive, Ash must embrace her abilities and face the truth about her heritage.

I have to admit I didn´t feel it at first. I even disliked Ash a little bit, because she was so unbelievable scared of EVERYTHING. She was scared of tests, she was scared of interviews and she was scared of speaking her mind to her parents. It annoyed me, simply because Ash and I are so much unlike, I guess. 
As she moves to the campus, however, Ash transforms. Suddenly she isn´t this scared little girl anymore, but a young woman curious to find out about life at college. She also finally decides to know more about her abilities, which remain a complete mystery to her and the reader for so long. 
I love reading about protagonists that slowly learn to wield their power and are suddenly faced with so much strength and potential that it scares them! I just love it! It always gives me a sense of "everything is possible".

The story started off quite slow and the first few chapters were a drag for me, but after adapting to the pace of the book I couldn´t put it down. I simply devoured it. Adams manages really well to keep the suspense going, without confusing the reader in the process. Everything makes sense, even though there are more than a few mysteries that have yet to be solved.

It was also really refreshing that the romance part is not as dominant as in so many other books out there. I expected something different, and yet I ended up liking it the way it is.
 I also liked the side characters, especially Claudia was one of my favourites. I´m really curious to find out more about her and the Venantium. The latter is still one hell of a mystery to me.

And guys just look at this stunningly beautiful cover! Seriously?! If it wouldn´t have been for the intriguing synopsis, I would have solely picked the book up because of the cover!

The Yearning Mermaid says: "If you want a well written story about demons and magicians then this might be a book for you! The story is full of mysteries and strong characters that will keep you well occupied!"


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Video: Christmas Cracker Book TAG

Here is another video for you to watch! It´s about books I´m going to read over the festive period and books that are so good that I´d gift them to somebody else. Make sure to tell me what you think in the comment section down below!





Monday, December 9, 2013

Unravel me #1: Christmas Wishlist

                                                                    Unravel me                                                                          


Unravel me is a meme made by me that shows aspects of my life. This time I will show you my personal Christmas Wishlist. And let me tell you: There are a few books on my list that I hope to get!


http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1325667729l/11735983.jpg
http://www.mcnallyjackson.com/files/mcnallyjackson/cover_allegiant.jpg




 Insurgent and Allegiant   by Veronica Roth 
I cannot tell you how excited I am to get these! I found Divergent overwhelmingly good! I really can´t wait to see how Tris´story will continue!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/49/City_of_Ashes.jpghttp://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rcb-wAP9hjw/TbWihBwj2II/AAAAAAAAAMc/w0YxWuthtkU/s400/city_of_bones.jpg
















The Mortal Instruments Series
Normally I read the book first and only afterwards will I watch the movie. This did not happen with the Mortal Instruments. I saw the movie and I loved it...now I´m thrilled to find out if the books are even better (which they mostly are, don´t you agree?) Maybe Santa is willing to make this wish come true...

http://cdn.slashgear.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/F90_004_Right-Angle-Open_white.jpg-580x458.jpg
Samsung HMX-F90

And THIS is probably my biggest wish this christmas. I joined booktube recently and I´m still struggling to find out how to create good videos. I´m not a pro and I surely don´t need pro equipment, but a decent camcorder should help me with this matter. I love my mum for coming up with this! I didn´t even think of wishing for something like this for christmas...I think I´m getting a little bit too old for such big presents...but well, I surely won´t complain this time ;)


What are you wishing for?


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Divergent (Divergent series Book #1) by Veronica Roth

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91o13sPo7VL._SL1500_.jpg
Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: purchased
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥ 

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I practically devoured Divergent in a couple of hours and that happens not with many books. This story cast a spell over me. By now I wished I had Insurgent and Allegiant already in my hands, but I guess I´ll have to wait until Christmas...

I think there isn´t much left to say about Divergent that hasn´t already been said, but I´ll try anyway. It´s hard to sum up the story without giving too much away and thus spoiling my readers. I just say that much: 
Beatrice was born into the faction Abnegation and with age 16 you get to make a choice. Either stay with your family in the faction you were born into, or choose another faction that you truly want to belong to, betraying your family and friends in the process. Beatrice does not choose Abnegation on the the choosing day, but instead decides to live a life of the Dauntless. Beatrice transforms into Tris, a brave girl that finds it hard to truly adapt to just one faction. And she has to hide her "flaw": she is a Divergent. A person that is able to think beyond the rules and lies that her society and her government has put her under. Being divergent is dangerous, and Tris has yet to learn what that truly means.

I liked Tris from the very first page. She is the kind of girl that asks too many questions, is curious of her surroundings and questions other peoples actions and motives. I even adored her for her courage to leave her old faction, even though she knew she´d hurt her parents by doings so. (I´m pretty sure I would have chosen the easy way, probably leading a life in regret, never knowing what could have been...)
I found the world that Roth created quite cruel and I wondered most times what "being brave" actually means. From the beginning it felt like the Dauntless have a wrong sense of "braveness". I don´t think it is brave to jump on and off a moving train, I don´t thinks it´s brave to jump from a building, I don´t think it´s brave to beat another person up. All the time I felt like WRONG WRONG WRONG. I was so glad that Tris and a few other characters realised that it was indeed a wrong bravery they were being teached, but in the end some of that teaching stayed with everybody. Yes, Dauntless is probably the coolest faction in my opinion, but the definition of bravery rubbed me the wrong way all the time.

My secret star of this book and maybe even the whole series will be Tris´ mom. It was one hell of a surprise to find out about her and I was so amazed by her hidden spine and bravery that it brought me to tears. Even her father managed to bring tears to my eyes and I was so touched as Tris realises what amazing parents she actually has.

I many ways Divergent reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry. I don´t know if this resemblance was intentional, but I certainly do know that Lowry is one of the favourite authors of Roth. In both novels there is a "choosing day", where a decision will define the future. I just love those kind of reads! 

All in all Divergent it a book suited for both Young Adults and Adults as well, and I enjoyed every single second reading it. Divergend ends with a huge cliffhanger, leaving the reader (and me) wanting more. 

The Yearning Mermaid says: "To those out there who haven´t already read Divergent: If you are a fan of dystopian worlds then pick it up ASAP! You won´t regret it!"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Follow Friday #1

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

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

I started booktubing! This is really something unusual for me, because I´m kind of phobic that people find me on the internet with my real face and all :D But well, I´m having so much fun filming and stuff that I don´t care anymore, which is even more unusual!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Guest Post by Author Terra Harmony

Hey guys!
I recently posted my review of The Rising (Painted Maidens Trilogy Book #1) by Terra Harmony, which I loved because of it´s uniqueness. In the Rising you can read about  mermaids, werewolves and a wonderful underwater landscape that is slowly destroyed by careless human behaviour. 
Terra Harmony writes eco-fantasy novels, which means she focuses - among other things-  on certain problems concerning our nature and wants to alert the reader, using subtle narrative techniques.

I´m beyond thrilled to welcome Terra Harmony, Author of The Rising, to my blog! She will answer a few really interesting questions concerning her series and her writing process.

Hi Lea! First, thanks so much for having me on your blog – and of course, for your wonderful review of 'The Rising'! I'm glad you enjoyed the book, and I'm already hard at work on the second one! 
Lea had several questions/suggestions for a guest post, and I wanted to be sure to address them all! 

Why did you choose to write a trilogy featuring mermaids?
Mainly because I like a challenge. Mermaids have been done, but not really in their element. Most books have the mermaids on shore, and when they are underwater they are using telepathy to talk. That is totally cheating! My goal was to show the mermaids in their own environment, and hopefully the readers will fall in love with the mermaids, their society, and their environment (which is where the whole 'eco' part of the book comes in – it is subtle, but the underlying theme of 'save our oceans' is definitely there). 

What does your writing process in general look like?
I can tell you it looks a whole lot different than what I imagine it to be before I start a project. I am very image-driven, so before starting a book I like to ramp up my pinterest boards (http://www.pinterest.com/terraharmony/mermaids/). I also spent hours and hours cutting out pictures from my husband's scuba diving magazines and National Geographic to transform our office space into a collage of underwater pictures.

I get nervous that I won't be creative enough, so I'll have to draw on sources like these. 
The reality is I wrote almost the entire book on my laptop – in bed – still wearing pajamas – before the sun came up each morning. It is the only time of day when a quiet house and a functioning brain coincide. Not once did I even attempt to write in my underwater office!
Also, no outlining and very little world-building beforehand for me. Working like that, I tend to get bogged down in details. I will say I rely whole-heartedly on my critique group, beta readers, and editors to really help make my book shine! 

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love to write, and now on my seventh book I don't see that changing anytime soon. Even if I didn't make a dime off my novels, I couldn't force myself to stop writing! I have an overactive imagination, which helps with inspiration, but sheer drive is the only thing that can finish each book. 

What do you have in store for the next book?
I'm well on my way into it (I have it about 1/3 of the way done). There will be more surprises, of course, and a traitor.  And I will definitely delve more into the werewolf society. In fact, I'm considering having several chapters from Liam's point of view…
 
 About the Author                       

Terra is author of the eco-fantasy novels in the Akasha Series, 'Water', 'Air', 'Fire' and 'Earth', as well as the Painted Maidens Trilogy. Terra was born and raised in Colorado but has since lived in California, Texas, Utah, North Carolina, and Virginia.  Terra has served a 5½ year enlistment in the Marine Corp, has earned her bachelor's and master's degree and presently runs the language services division of a small business.
Terra currently lives in a suburb of Washington, DC with her husband of 14 years and three children.


 About the Book                                                                                
The Rising
Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy



Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down.  As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

                                                                                                      


 See my Review of The Rising here


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Video: How I Read TAG

Hey guys!

I just uploaded a new video :) Check out my booktube channel on youtube or just click on the video down below if you want to know more about my reading habits!
In the next days I will post a review of Divergent by Veronica Roth and I´m also thrilled that Terra Harmony author of The Rising will do a guest post. So make sure to check that out!



Monday, December 2, 2013

Video: November wrap-up and December TBR

 Hello my friends!

I´m really excited to announce that I´ve opened a booktube channel on youtube. I´m still figuring out how to improve the video quality (but christmas is near, so a new camera will hopefully solve this problem for me). In the meantime check out my new and very first video. It´s my November wrap-up and my December TBR. 



And just notice how disturbingly crazy my thumbnail picture looks like :D Oh wow.
Let me know what you think!

Caressed by Ice (Psy/Changeling Book #3) by Nalini Singh

http://bilder.buecher.de/produkte/22/22775/22775225z.jpgTitle: Caressed by Ice
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Purchased
Age Group: Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥


As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now he is a defector, and his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna...

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives...

When I finished reading Visions of Heat I hoped that in Caressed by Ice I would meet a couple I´d love yet again and Singh did not disappoint me: Brenna and Judd touched my heart with their unbelievable strong will to fight for their love.

Caressed by Ice is in no way an easy novel. Singh writes about a few really difficult topics like abuse and rape and I was curious how she would choose to deal with it. I was glad that she did not get to much into detail and mostly concentrated on Brenna´s mental state. It was so easy to connect to Brenna and her pain, because she is a lovely person one just has to admire for her strength and will to stay sane.  She is a really strong-minded female and I felt with her all the time. I exactly understood her longing to be free and her fear of loosing herself in the process.

Judd is not what Brenna needs, as she has to recover from the physical and emotional wounds she suffered. She knows it and he knows it as well. Judd is cold, merciless and conditioned to not feel anything. She needs touch and affection to not loose herself to insanity. However, both feel that there is more to them and are willing to risk everything in order to find out what that is - even their own lives.

This is the first novel that features the SnowDancer den and not the DarkRiver´s. I was surprised to find myself enjoying this "family" just as much and came to love a lot of characters. Brenna´s brothers are exactly like you picture big brothers: overprotective and prejudiced when it comes to potential boyfriends. Yet, their criticism doesn´t stand a chance, because Brenna got one mind of her own and her abduction showed her when to leash out. She does not want to be caged ever again, but her brothers are slowly crushing her with their need to keep her safe.
The plot this time concentrates on finding the evil person who sold out Brenna to the sociopath councilor. The reader is also introduced to another rebel Psy, who is still hooked to the Psynet. I know it will be one hell of a surprise to find out who the Ghost actually is...

It´s both funny and frightening to follow Brenna´s and Judd´s story. There are so many horrific elements that kept me reading and reading, but there are just as much lovely situations when Judd actually shows signs of affection and love. 
Their story is a beautiful one and I think their love is one of the most purest in the whole series. I really loved to see them interact and the ending is so stunningly beautiful that it brought me to tears. 

The Yearning Mermaid says: "Book #3 in the Psy/Changeling series introduces the reader to the Snow Dancers and the new characters will touch your heart! I know for sure they touched mine!"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Forbidden: Discover the Legend (Wolf Sirens Book #1)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q1dfJNlIQ7k/UhVElmz3R3I/AAAAAAAARXk/opDSvXox908/s1600/15768848.jpgTitle: Forbidden: Discover the Legend
Author: Tina Smith
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥♥ 

Misunderstood seventeen year old Lila Crain unwillingly moves to the foreboding town of Shade, prepared to face her punishment - Shade High. But she can't begin to anticipate the life-altering events that lie in wait for her.

The dark and charismatic Reid has a wolfish grin and amber eyes that would make any girl blush and he has his sights set on the new girl in school.
Reid's stunning friends - including icy top dog Sam - invite Lila into their clique. Suspicious, yet flattered by their attention she answers the intriguing call like a moth to a flame.

Thrillingly introduced to the local nightlife by the enigmatic group, Lila finally feels like she belongs. But her newly found friendships threaten to turn sour when she unwittingly develops feelings for the leader's off-limits boyfriend, Sky.
Tensions rise further when a quirky local named Cresida warns Lila to stay away from the clique at all costs.

Undeterred, she is irresistibly drawn to uncover the truth behind their mysterious lifestyle.
Lila unwittingly starts off a chain of events that will forever alter fate for both hunter and hunted as she learns they have been waiting for her...

I still don´t really know what to say about this book. I don´t want to say I hated it, because that would be way to harsh, but I also can´t seem to make myself say I liked it either. Because I didn´t. Most of the time I forced myself to read on and that´s what I did. I got through it all and I´m glad it´s over.

Lila Crain is the new girl in town and in school. She is avoided by everyone but the popular clique that wants Lila to join its group. She adapts quickly, learning to love her new popularity and lifestyle. But then she finds out that the people she´s been hanging out with are werewolves and her life gets an all new turn as she slowly learns why the group bothered to hang out with her in the first place...

I really disliked Lila. Maybe not from the very first page, but after getting to know her better. She is an extremely annoying teenage girl with so many bad character traits. She is superficial, selfish and insensitive. In real life I would avoid her at all costs.
At first she is with Reid, also a member of the popular group. She is not in love with him, but for appearances sake she stays with him, not caring about his feelings. She is secretly in love with Sky, Sams´boyfriend who should obviously be off limits. When Lila touches Reid, she thinks of Sky. When she kisses Reid, she thinks of Sky and when she is actually having sex with Reid she thinks of Sky,too. You get where I´m going, right?
She uses Reid in such a selfish and unfeeling way that at some point I really came to hate Lila. She doesn´t deserve Reid...I don´t think Lila deserves any guy at all.

Then there is this thing were I actually didn´t know where this story was going. I felt like Lila never asked the right questions and just acted unnaturally. There is this scene when Lila is attacked by Lily in werewolf form. But she never asks why she was attacked. She never asks what the reasons were. She never really asks why she was invited into this special group and no one else. Surely she doesn´t think she has the looks for it? 
At some point in the book it says: "Lily was shot, but I was hit, too."  I mean, really? REALLY? Somebody DIED because of YOU and all you can think of is YOURSELF and YOUR feelings. I had never felt as disgruntled because of a scene before. Never.

Then the plot. The plot doesn´t really evolve until the last 100 pages or so. I was just waiting for this final development in Lila, because at some point in the beginning you begin to expect it. But it never comes until almost the end. If this was supposed to add some tension, well then it clearly didn´t work. I was bored most of the time.

I still gave 2 stars, because the last 100 pages or so were good. When Lila was finally beginning to show some spine and character and started to think beyond her unrealistic feelings for Sky that are close to an obsession. I feel like the next book could be an improvement, because the story developed in a certain direction that could promise to be quite interesting, but right now I don´t really want to find out for myself. This will probably be a series I will not pick up so quickly again. 

The Yearning Mermaid says: "If you are not too picky about female protagonists and enjoy a fairly entertaining book that keeps you occupied, then try it. Maybe you will like it more then I did..."
 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan

Title: Fractured Light
Author: Rachel McClellan
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Source: NetGalley
Age Group: YA 
Overall: ♥♥♥♥


Llona Reese thought dealing with her parents' murder would be the hardest thing she'd have to overcome. But she was wrong. Being an Aura, a female gifted with the power of light, has given her incredible power, but when she realizes that her parents' killer is now after her, Llona must use her gift as a weapon--or suffer the consequences.

At first the novel Fractured Light reminded me somehow of the Iron series by Julie Kagawa that I never really managed to finish, but as the story progressed this feeling faded.
This is one of the best debut author novels I´ve  read this year, as it took me completely by surprise.

Llona Reese lives with her uncle Jake, due to her parents death. They had never stayed anywhere too long, but now Llona feels like settling down in a little town called Bountiful.
She is a social outcast by choice, too afraid to befriend anyone, because Llona has got a secret.
She is an aura, someone gifted with the power of light and hunted by dark creatures: the Vykens, who also killed her mother.
As she tries to deal with her mother´s murder and her father´s deadly accident, she meets Christian, a lovely boy who is just a little bit too overprotective. And then there is Llonas new math teacher, whom she just can´t seem to resist.
Soon Llona finds herself being hunted by the same Vyken who killed her mother and she realises: In her current state she may not be able to stay alive...

I always liked the stories in which the protagonists seem to have little power and slowly learn to unfold all their potential.  It´s interesting to follow Llonas development, both in matters of power and social life.
With each new page we get to know more about her and the world she lives in, grow with her, and discover together what it means to be an aura.

The relationship between Llona and Christian is full of tension. This relationship is even more suspenseful than the plot itself, without being too dominant. McClellan managed really well to keep plot and relationship balanced and that is by far the most important aspect in a novel for me. At times I found it quite frustrating that Christian seems to crush Llonas will to fight and to become stronger in order to defend herself. It felt not right.

Another point I have to criticize: I found it rather obvious who the Vyken was. Right from the start actually. I had the hope that there was some kind of wicked trick to it, but in the end my suspicions were right and there was nothing more to it, which was very disappointing.
The huge and wonderful cliffhanger at the end, however, makes me want more, so I´ll give Fractured light 4 out of 5 Hearts. Llona in a school full of auras?! Hell yeah, I´m on to that!

I especially enjoyed that the book deals with typical teeny problems, without being too childish about it. Of course teenagers make mistakes, but that surely doesn´t mean that they have to make every stupid mistake along the "growing-up-road". 
This book is aimed for young adults and I really think it offers a few really helpful advices. It deals with the death of beloved persons and how to get on with life afterwards. It deals with unrequited love and true friendship.

The Yearning Mermaid says: "A good read for YA fantasy-fans, who like to watch strong characters evolve into something even stronger!"


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Visions of Heat (Psy/Changeling Book #2) by Nalini Singh

http://www.rebeccagoings.com/images/visions.jpgTitle: Visions of Heat
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Purchased
Age Group: Adult
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ 

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous - aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.
Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced - and keep her from Vaughn.


Nalini Singh is one my favourite authors. Nothing can change my mind on that. I absolutely adore her Psy/Changeling series, but of course I like every book in this series in a different way. Since Slave to Sensation is my one and only star, it´s only natural that the second book in the series doesn´t quite catch up to it. And that is okay, because even though I didn´t love Visions of Heat as much as Slave to Sensation I still enjoyed it quite a lot.

Faith Nightstar lives - due to her abilities - in an isolated area. She is the best foreseer in the world, but suddenly she starts getting dark visions, which is disturbing for a normal F-Psy. Those visions are signs of madness and the result of that is rehabilitation.
For me, Faith is a difficult character and at first I found it quite hard to identify with her. In the beginning she is so cold that as a reader I was repelled by her and her constant denial of feeling anything.  But as the story progresses she develops into this beautiful and warm woman that I liked. Not loved, but liked.

Changeling Vaughn D´Angelo feels something is up and starts observing Faith´s house in the middle of nowhere. He has a complicated past and a quiet and dangerous character. After reading Visions of Heat I still have the feeling that I don´t get Vaughn completely. To me he remains this mysterious changeling, who doesn´t open up to anyone, but his own woman. I guess this makes him special to many readers out there, because I´ve heard the second book in this installment is their favourite. I personally can´t really understand that, but I can accept it. Every person has different tastes.

I remember reading Visions of Heat right after finishing Slave to Sensation, which I think was a huge mistake. Those two books are so different that I remember feeling annoyed reading about Faiths and Vaughn's story. It was just so much different, because at some point it lacked this deep passion that I loved in the first novel so much.
I changed my mind about Visions of Heat when I reread the book again after some time had passed. I felt like I finally understood the motives and intentions of this strange couple.

I´m also always thrilled to read those short and rare chapters featuring Sascha and Lucas. Another central point why I love Singh´s work. She always keeps the reader updated on how the other characters develop that she focused on in previous books.

Also the conflict between Psy and Changeling gets more and more intense. I find it quite refreshing to get to know the Psy Council. Each member is a mystery and their secrets are dark and plenty. I always had a thing for the villain, and now there are so many!



The Yearning Mermaid says: "Psy/Changeling fans will be thrilled to read he second book in the series. Everyone else should read book #1 first."

See the review of Slave to Sensation 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...