29 January 2012

In My Mailbox (9)

'In My Mailbox' 
is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there!
So, it's that time again, to share the contents of my mailbox! It's very modest this time and didn't even come through the mail... Technically this should be known as 'In My Saddlebag'. (In Holland it's very normal to own a bicycle and have bags hanging over the rear luggage rack from it. Whereas the trouble I'm having now in finding the right translation for the words 'fietstas' and 'bagagedrager' leads me to believe it's not as common elsewhere!)

Anyway, here's my loot for the week (and now first on my TBR list!):

Fallen in Love ('Fallen' #3.5) by Lauren Kate

What did you get in your mailbox this week? Care to share with me?

Have a nice day! :)

27 January 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (1)

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee's View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Every week there's a new feature bloggers can respond too!

This week's Feature: Fiction Fervor

Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

'Avoiding at all costs' is an overstatement when it comes to my reading. Because I may not be inclined to a certain genre at first, my outlook may change after having read a good book in said genre. For example, I didn't expect to like dystopian novels as much as I do!

But I do tend stay away from chick flicks. I'm not interested in reading those perky, superficial books. 
On the other hand, I stay clear from books which are too heavy and intense as well. Real thrillers are not my thing either.

Books about war, biographies: I have read some in the past of course, but right now I choose not to. I do think everyone should read some of those books, though. It's important to know history.

However, I read to escape, which is why I prefer fantasy. With some romance. When it comes to sci-fi I prefer mine to be steampunk; other galaxies don't really fancy me. Also I am not attracted to reading about zombies or mermaids at the moment. Then again, that might change...


Have you participated in this weeks 'Feature & Follow Friday' as well? Leave me a comment and a link, Follow me, and I'll Follow you!

Have a nice day! :)

22 January 2012

In My Mailbox (8)

'In My Mailbox' 
is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there!

This week I got 'Camille' by Tess Oliver. It's about a 16-year old girl and her guardian who hunt werewolves. I kinda got the 'Van Helsing' vibe off the book, which is what attracted me about it!

Also, I received 'The Iron Knight' by Julie Kagawa, which is the 4th (and final?) installment in the 'The Iron Fey' series. No, I have not read the first 3 books yet, but I just know they're gonna be good!

So, did you get anything good in your mailbox this week? Do share!

Have a nice day! :)

18 January 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (1): Blythe Collection Guide Book

'Waiting on Wednesday' is a weekly meme,
 hosted by Jill over at 'Breaking the Spine'.

Hey and YAY!

Of course you all must have been aware I HEART Blythe dolls... You know, considering the name of this blog and all...;) 
(In case you missed it, here's a little info on me. Also, here's the link to my Flickr photostream, starring my 9 Blythes, amongst other things.) 
Anyway, it must come as no surprise to you then, that I ordered the 'Blythe Collection Guide Book'! 

In my opinion it is waaaay overdue! It's supposed to feature every Neo, Midi and Mini Blythe doll, and accessories manufactured from 2001 until 2011. I hope there will be some info on the original Kenner's as well. 

Also, I hope not everything will be in Japanese... In that case: does anyone know of a smartphone App that takes pictures of Japanese text and translates them into English???

I'm really excited for this book! I hope it makes its way from Japan to me very quickly!

Have a nice day! :)

15 January 2012

In My Mailbox (7)

'In My Mailbox' 
is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there!
Like it's the most normal thing in the world,
the mailman brought me some goodies again this week. 

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2) by Kiersten White

I read a positive review (from one of my most-trusted reviewers) about 'Deadly Cool', about its wittiness.
I knew I wanted to read it and ordered it right away.

I'm not sure how I came across 'I Capture the Castle' anymore, but it really appealed to me. I like historical settings and the contents just spoke to me. I ordered the DVD as well, which I viewed already. It was okay, but I think the quirky nature of some of the characters will come more to live in the book. (As always.) Also, did you know Dodie Smith wrote the '101 Dalmatians' books? I didn't until I read her bio on Goodreads... Shame on me...!

As for 'Supernaturally'... I didn't have a chance to read 'Paranormalcy' yet but I just know this is gonna be a good series!

Did you receive any books in the mail this week? Do share!

Have a nice day! :)

11 January 2012

Review: Clockwork Prince

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare
Series: The Infernal Devices
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Sci-Fi (Steampunk), Paranormal, Romance
Published:  December 2011
Pages: 496
My rating: 

The Blurb: The situation at the London Institute has never been more precarious. With Mortmain and his clockwork army still threatening, the Council wants to strip Charlotte of her power and hand the running of the Enclave over to the unscrupulous and power-hungry Benedict Lightwood. 
In the hope of saving Charlotte and the Institute, Will, Jem, and Tessa set out to unravel the secrets of Mortmain’s past—and discover unsettling Shadowhunter connections that hold the key not only to the enemy’s motivations, but also to the secret of Tessa’s identity. Tessa, already caught between the affections of Will and Jem, finds herself with another choice to make when she learns how the Shadowhunters helped make her a “monster.” Will she turn from them to her brother, Nate, who has been begging her to join him at Mortmain’s side? Where will her loyalties—and love—lie? Tessa alone can choose to save the Shadowhunters of London…or end them forever.

Ever since finishing the last page from ‘Clockwork Angel, I have been yearning for ‘Clockwork Prince’ to be published! The Victorian world, the realistic characters, the elaborate story-telling, the witty dialogues, the thickly woven plot, the subtle romance… they wouldn’t let me go! A few weeks after the book was delivered, I finally had the time to get reacquainted with my old friend(s) again. Oh… how I love the Institute, Tessa’s quest to find herself, Wills sarcasm, Jem’s gentleness, Henry’s absentmindedness, Charlottes stubborn care, even Jessie’s shallowness. There were a couple of times I had forgotten what happened to whom and why in the previous book, but those questions were answered quickly and it was like I never left.

My only small point of critique, or rather a fact I noticed (maybe because it’s been pointed out in several other reviews already) is the abundance of book referrals. Yes, Tessa loves to read. Yes, Cassandra Clare knows her classics. Big deal. Perhaps it’s plastered on a little too thickly. Yes, I recognize some of these books/passages, but not all. Mind you, I’m not English. I’m Dutch. Still there are times I wonder whether I should be ashamed for not knowing these books, not having reads the classics, not comprehending the referrals. Should I?

Like these well-placed literary interludes, every single word in this book is in the right place. Everything happens for a reason, is part of the grand scheme which unfolds while eagerly turning page after page. Wheels are clicking into place, sometimes unravelling surprising information, making room for heart breaking scenes at other times. Every detail about the Victorian Steampunk-pimped era adds to the feel and atmosphere of the book, whereas every detail of the world of Shadowhunters seems to be based on real facts and truly existing ‘cultures’, not a poorly thought-through imaginative world.

Though Tessa’s quest for finding out who or what she is, is sort of the central theme of the book, the reader gets more: a grand tour of the world of Shadowhunters, and all its participants. The switching narratives give the reader a great insight in all characters, remaining true to each and everyone’s voice the entire time.
Finally we learn WHY Will treats Tessa (and the rest of the world) the way he does… Oh my… Poor Will… Which, in turn, makes the natural way the friendship between Tessa and Jem develops into something more meaningful -no matter how sweet, realistic and understandable- even more bitter.

Even more so than the previous book, this book contains the perfect mix of action, character depth and surprising character growth/ change, unexpected plot twists, mysterious developments, very sensual and subtle romance, a gorgeous and realistic setting, laughter and tears.
CC’s writing style never seizes to amaze or bore me, it’s all done extremely well, elaborate and in a style suiting the setting. Even the dialogues are written accordingly to the era. The awkwardness of discussing matters of one’s own heart are handled correctly, distant and in an appropriate manner. A bit like the politics of nowadays, where big sentences tell an enormous story, hardly expressing an opinion or stealthily avoiding the subject at hand.

The eye-candy that is the gorgeous cover of this book, continues on the inside as well. There’s no judging this book wrongly due to its cover. No shallow inside. For example, many beautiful poetic prose lines keep grabbing the reader’s attention, such as:
‘“No,” Tessa said. “I haven’t broken his heart at all.” Just torn my own in two.’
‘Pulling away from her had been like pulling his own skin off.’
It is very hard for me to express the ‘why’ of the deep love I harbour for ‘The Infernal Devices’ world and its characters. It’s just there. Most characters have earned a place in my heart, thanks to all the little details about them that bring them to life, as well as their big issues. Though I understand that certain choices had to be made the way they were made, I am curious how CC is gonna mend my shredded heart in ‘Clockwork Princess’. Let alone Tessa's torn heart... A huge sacrifice has to be made either way...

I cannot believe I’ll have to wait an entire year before finding out what will happen to these characters I have come to love so dearly. I do not wish to leave my friends behind, yet. I am not ready for such a long goodbye.

This series has swiftly become one of my favourite series ever. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, I’ll forgive you for not knowing, but strongly suggest you pick it up as soon as possible. You have no reason to postpone this any longer. Do yourself that favour…

Parting is such sweet sorrow…

P.S. I apologize sincerely that various efforts on my behalf to keep the repulsive, obsessive fan-girl inside me caged and silent did not pay off entirely. Ever since the Masked Ball scene she has been going at it without any sort of dignity. I can hear her screams bouncing off the walls of my head, pulsating in my brain… Her fists pounding at my insides, her hands grabbing hold of my intestines, rattling my entire being, begging to be set free… I fear for my sanity if I do not admit her to speak freely, even if only for one time... After which we shall forget all about this outburst and I shall gladly stow her away into eternal oblivion once more, where a proper lady is supposed to reside... Let’s have it out then, shall we, fangirl?

9 January 2012

In My Mailbox (6)

is a weekly recurring meme hosted by The Story Siren
Every Sunday, Kristi shares her mailbox contents 
and gives us bloggers the opportunity to leave a link 
sharing our own mail!

Hey there,
So, it's time to show you last week's contents of my mailbox again! Honestly, I bought 2 books, and received 1 through mail. I'm not entirely certain whether the 2 Dutch books are available in English as well, I think they're originally Dutch. It's the 'Devil's Diary' and 'Count Dracula's Diary'. Both are witty, sarcastic, full of historical facts, puzzles, etc. I think the 'Devil's Diary' is not meant for very religious people... Because Satan calls God a show-off and such. Kinda disrespectful, but in its own way I think it brings across a lot of biblical and historical knowledge.

'Horseradish' by Lemony Snicket became part of my 'want' list when I read some delightful dark quotes from the booklet. I have seen the movie 'Lemony Snicket & A Series of Unfortunate Events' and I love the strangeness, depressing-ness and the dry sarcastic humor. Someday I may read the entire series, until then this book will have to do. Once I've read it, I'll be sure to share some of my fav quotes!

Did you receive any books this week? Do share!
Have a nice day! :)

8 January 2012

Review: Cat O' Nine Tails

Cat O’ Nine Tails by Patricia Leever
Series: None
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Historical, Adventure (Pirates), Erotic
Published:  August 2011
Pages: 206
My rating: 

The Blurb: When Orrin and his brother Kale are hired by Queen Winifred to hunt down Aeron and her band of miscreants, Orrin never dreamed he’d fall in love with the beautiful she pirate, or the kind, accepting people of her island hideaway. As they grow closer, Aeron reveals her jaded past with Queen Winifred to Orrin; he doesn’t hesitate to offer his help to bring Winifred’s evil reign to an end. Aeron and Orrin soon discover that the strongest weapon in their combined arsenal is the love they have for each other.

After shamelessly offering a review in exchange for a paperback copy of  ‘Cat O’ Nine Tails’ -to the woman who happened to marry a man with the same last name as my own husband, Patti was kind enough to send me not only a (signed) copy of her book, she added a bookmark and some trading cards as well! So thanx once more, Patti!

Thus began my journey through the hungry  eyes of Aeron and Orrin. (Yup, I’ll gladly admit I had some trouble separating them at first, because of their names…) Now, I’m all for sexual tension, don’t get me wrong, but Aeron and Orrin weren’t the only ones who felt relieved once that tension was eased. Because besides some minor world building (serving more as a drop-dead gorgeous background for the sexy fantasies lived out in this novel) the first 50 pages were oozing with cravings from Aeron for Orrin, and the other way around. Old-fashioned ‘Candlelight’ romance novels is probably what ‘Cat O’ Nine Tails’ compares to best. LOTS of lovin’, little plot. A feel-good book of which you already know the ending, then still end up with a big smile on your face because of said ending.

Once Aerons secret connection to Queen Winifred was revealed I had a hard time believing all of it. However, when Aeron was faced with the Queen, the way she froze and went completely catatonic was understandable and heart wrenching. So yes, Patricia Leever knows how to write, how to convey feelings.

Perspectives in this novel change from Aeron to Orrin, to William, to Kale, to Maura even. It’s written in a pleasant, fluent prose, suiting the era. The island, castle, ships and fight scenes are very well envisioned, despite the lack of descriptiveness.

Aeron is a pretty believable character, as far as female Pirate Captains are believable. She’s kick-ass, but too flawless at times and OOC in NOT taking the upper-hand when it comes to love-making, no matter how feministic she is supposed to be. It took me some time, but then Aeron really grew on me, especially when she showed her vulnerable side. I sympathized with her a lot.
I had some trouble with Orrins feelings/thoughts sometimes, he came off just a teensy bit too perfect. He seems a bit too much like the men one usually only encounters in fantasies and books, never in the real world. Yes, he’s dreamy, but he could never be existent. He’s written the way a woman thinks a fantasy guy should be, not the way a real man is.

Honestly, the romantic moments were too sweet (and frequent) for my taste, but if that’s your sort of thing you cannot go wrong with this book! Don’t expect too much action (except between the sheets) and anticipate a slowly paced plot. This book is about romance and location, about lovers finding each other.

You will be left with the exact feeling the blurb promises you: An escape to a place where love is the strongest bond people can share against a mutual enemy. Easy peasy if you ask me, when they’re both gorgeous and inhabit a dreamy fantasy island… ;)

Have a nice day! :)

4 January 2012

Cover Reveal (3): City of Lost Souls


So, how's Post-Holiday-Life treating you so far? I've only worked 2 days but it feels like I never did otherwise... Except for the getting-up early in the morning part, it's (too) easy to get adjusted again. I do think I'll take Friday off though, you know, to make the transition a little smoother... ;)

So, I happened to stumble upon another cover reveal today! Having read only 'City of Bones' until now (the 1st installment in 'The Mortal Instruments' series by Cassandra Clare) I obviously can wait for the 5th book to come out, but I will read the whole series someday! May 2012 this beauty will hit the shelves!

Personally I prefer the setting and characters from 'The Infernal Devices' series, also by Cassandra Clare. I loved 'Clockwork Angel' and am pleased that my 'Clockwork Prince' has been patiently waiting me for a couple o' weeks already, so why can't I find/take time to READ, dammit!?

So...Without further ado I present you the (gorgeous!) cover of 'City of Lost Souls'!

Which series do you prefer, and have you read every installment there is already? What are your thoughts on the cover then? You're welcome to discuss things with me, drop me a line! (If you solemnly promise to keep it spoiler free of course...)

Have a nice day! :)

1 January 2012

2012 Book Releases I'm looking forward to!

Hey there,

Let me start with: Best Wishes and a Happy, Healthy New Year to you, with plenty of reading time!

What better way to start off the year by sharing a list of the upcoming reads I'm excited about?! Some debuts reads are on my list, as well as some sequels I cannot wait to embrace and devour! I've pre-ordered all of these beauties already!
(Initially 'Hallowed' by Cynthia Hand was on this list as well, but since that was released early ( December 2011) it's already waiting for me at home. Yay!)


What releases are you looking forward to? Drop me a line and share your thoughts with me!
~Have a good first day of 2012 :)