Goodbye 2012, hello 2013!

New Year 13
Since the world decided not to end after all, we can go and celebrate the start of a new year! 2013 is a new start and I hope that all your dreams, wishes and goals will come true. I hope that your days will be filled with happiness, luck, opportunities and health. I hope that you will spend most of your time with your loved ones (and with reading a lot of great books of course ;)) Here is a capture of some of the things I did in 2012:

1. I started blogging and a whole new world opened up for me. I’ve made blogging friends, I’ve won great books, I got my first ARC and review copies and I’ve learned so much more about books and authors. I participated in Bloggiesta, I joined my first read-a-thon and I participated in 3 reading challenges (and I completed them).
2. I celebrated my 4-year-together with my boyfriend. He is a wonderful guy and he makes me very happy.
3. I received my ‘P’ with 65 credits (you need to get at least 60 credits and all the mandatory subjects) According to Wikipedia:
”Propedeuse is a propaedeutic diploma issued after the first year of studies, often referred to as "P" When in use at an educational institution, the propaedeutic diploma is a mandatory diploma which a student acquires by successfully completing all subjects (60 credits) and study requirements of the first year.”
I’m still in love with my study. It’s all I ever wanted and I’m really in my place.
4. I did a lot of fun stuff! I went to two attraction park, I had a paintball match, I went to Beatstad (music festival), I went three weeks to France (vacation) where I canoed 8 km (4.5 hours in the burning sun, I loved it!) but most of all, I’ve been around my friends and loved ones.
5. I read some incredible books! I read a total of 118 books, so I completed my Goodreads challenge (I was aiming for 100)

Favorites this year:

-Jodi Lynn Anderson - Tiger Lily.
-Sarah J. Maas - Throne of glass.
-Julie Kagawa - The immortal rules.
-A.C Gaughen - Scarlet.
-Marissa Meyer - Cinder.
-Veronica Roth - Divergent.
-Emma Cornwall - Incarnation.

And:

DNF. 
-Karen Ann Hopkins: Temptation.
-Hannah Moskowitz: Teeth.
-Heather Anastasiu: Glitch.

6. Besides reading, I also love to watch movies and series I've watched a total of 128. My goal is 150 in 2013.
In short, 2012 was an amazing year! I hope that 2013 will continue this way.

Here is a short recap of things you can expect:
-My Christmas haul (I haven’t received everything yet, it’s going to be epic!)
-A review about The forgotten queen from D.L Bogdan.
-My blogoversary!
-The start of my new reading challenges; *click here* So, I hope a lot of reviews!

On to another wonderful year of blogging, reading and having fun! Happy New Year!
Pooh

Review 108. Aviva Orr – The mist on Bronte Moor.

The Mist on Bronte MoorTitle: The mist on Bronte Moor.
Author: Aviva Orr.
Pages: 257.
Expected publication: January 8th 2013.
Publisher: WiDo Publishing.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: I received an e-ARC from the author.
When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage.  Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell. Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?
Rating:
I must say that this book blew me away! I loved the sound from this book and the story totally delivered to my expectations.

Feature & Follow (17)

Gain New Blog Followers

The Complete Grimm's Fairy TalesQ: What book do you think everyone should read? If you could gift the entire population with one book? 

This is a fun and difficult question, because I have some favorite books I want to recommend to people. But if I really have to choose, I think I will go for the good old fairytales :) Especially from the brothers Grimm. Their work is the foundation for a lot of other stories and nobody must forget about them. There is something magical and comforting about fairytales. They are short, but filled with wisdom about important aspects of our lives.

(Insert little cheat: & Harry Potter!)

Leave a link to your recommendation!

For almost two centuries, the stories of magic and myth gathered by the Brothers Grimm have been part of the way children—and adults—learn about the vagaries of the real world. Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow-White, Hänsel and Gretel, Little Red-Cap (a.k.a. Little Red Riding Hood), and Briar-Rose (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty) are only a few of more than 200 enchanting characters included here. Lyrically translated and beautifully illustrated, the tales are presented just as Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm originally set them down: bold, primal, just frightening enough, and endlessly engaging.

WoW 26. Strands & Gated.


Hosted by: Breaking the spine.

Strands of Bronze and GoldStrands of Bronze and Gold - Jane Nickerson.
Expected publication: March 12th 2013 by Random House Children's Books
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi. Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world.
Gated - Amy Christine Parker.
Gated
Expected publication: August 27th 2013 by Random House Childrens.
Do the gates keep the unchosen out or the chosen in?In Mandrodage Meadows, life seems perfect. The members of this isolated suburban community have thrived under Pioneer, the charismatic leader who saved them from their sad, damaged lives. Lyla Hamilton and her parents are original members of the flock. They moved here following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, looking to escape the evil in the world. Now seventeen, Lyla knows certain facts are not to be questioned: Pioneer is her leader. Will is her Intended. The end of the world is near. Like Noah before him, Pioneer has been told of the imminent destruction of humanity. He says his chosen must arm themselves to fight off the unchosen people, who will surely seek refuge in the compound's underground fortress--the Silo. Lyla loves her family and friends, but given the choice, she prefers painting to target practice. And lately she'd rather think about a certain boy outside the compound than plan for married life in the Silo with Will. But with the end of days drawing near, she will have to pick up a gun, take a side, and let everyone know where she stands.

Review 107. Peta Crake – Harbinger.

Harbinger
Title: Harbinger.
Author: Peta Crake.
Pages: 245.
Published: September 2012.
Publisher: Destiny Romance.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
As an Olympic messenger, suburban Aussie girl Ophelia Lind is used to being at the beck and call of the gods. But when gorgeous demigod Aden moves into her neighbourhood and starts taking advantage of her services, Ophelia believes life could not get any worse. She's about to be proven very wrong. Ophelia tries to enjoy a normal, everyday life while running messages for the Greek gods – but without warning an odious creature - evil incarnate - begins to stalk her. As a messenger dealing with the all-powerful and sometimes frightening gods, Ophelia is accustomed to adventures and scrapes. But this is different. Even Aden, who is madly and deeply in love with Ophelia, finds it difficult to protect her. Suddenly Ophelia is in a battle for survival and begins to question everything – her upbringing, her identity, and her true feelings for the alluring and entirely frustrating Aden.
Rating: 3 out of 5. 

While this is definitely not the best book I’ve ever read, the low rating on Goodreads surprised me! The first two reviews are 1-star ratings.

Review 106. Heidi R. Kling – Witch’s brew.

Witch's Brew (The Spellspinners of Melas County, #1)Title: Witch’s brew.
Author: Heidi R. Kling.
Pages: 342.
Published: January 11th 2012 by Coliloquy, LLC.
Sort: Part one of ‘The spellspinsters of Melas Country.’
Source: I received an e-copy from the publisher.
The Spellspinners of Melas County is a fantasy YA romance series about a witch, a warlock, and their fight for their forbidden but prophesied love. Once soulmates, the witch and warlock covens of the California coast have been estranged for a century. Raised to hate each other, their teenagers meet in the Solstice Stones, a magical battleground where they draw energy from each other to maintain their balance. 16 year olds Logan and Lily have spent years training for their first Stones…only to discover just days before that the enemy may not be what either of them had thought. In Witch’s Brew, Lily is torn between her feelings for Logan and her coven’s need to know who—or what—he is. The young lovers race against time, their distrust for each other, and the powerful influence of their elders to unravel the mystery of their pasts before their future is destroyed.
Rating:

I guess this book just didn’t work for me. This is an active fiction title and according to Goodreads:

"Active fiction" is a new type of e-reading experience that allows the reader and the author to interact with each other and the text in new and different ways. In Witch’s Brew, Lily and Logan's fate is already decided, but Heidi explores several different possible pathways for how they get there. She shares scenes that wouldn’t normally fit in a book format and gives readers more precious moments between the two young lovers. As the series progresses, you'll see some normal narrative forms, interspersed with smaller scenes, alternate points of view, and a lot of "what if" scenarios.

It sounded like fun to me, but I didn’t like it. Despite the fact that there are only 2 ‘what if’ scenario’s, it was too chaotic for my taste. The two paths were quite similar, so I had the idea that I was reading the same thing twice – with just a little twist. It made it a bit harder to follow the real story and there were also some flaws.

Review 105. Rae Carson – The girl of fire and thorns.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)Title: The girl of fire and thorns.
Author: Rae Carson.
Pages: 424.
Published: September 20th 2011.
Publisher: Greenwillow.
Sort: Part one ‘Fire and thorns.’
Source: This book was sent by the publisher for an honest review.
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.
Rating: Favorite.

Wow, just wow! I was speechless when I finished this book. This book blew me away.

Summary.
This story starts on Lucero-Elisa’s (also known as Elisa) wedding. It’s clear that this isn’t based on love. She will marry King Alejandro de Vega, because she isn’t just a princess. She is the bearer from the Godstone. This is a stone placed by God into the navel of the Chosen One. This person is destined for greatness, but most of them die before they can complete their Service. She will be much safer in Alejandro’s county and her father, King from Orovalle, promised an army against Invierne. There has been a war before and there will be a new war soon. When she is kidnapped and dragged into the desert, it’s clear that something is going on. Invierne is strong, because they have animagus; people with magic – and she is the only one who can battle against it with her own magic.

Opinion.
This book is a roller coaster when it comes to your emotions! Rae doesn’t spare her main character. Be prepared, that’s all I have to say. There were some parts of this story.. If you have read this book, I think you all know what I’m talking about.

You are plunged into the story of Elisa, a girl with a low self-esteem because of her appearance. She loves to eat and nobody can look beyond her ‘fat’ appearance. I liked her right away. She is so kind and intelligent! I recognized her shyness, but I loved her development in this story. She is very brave. There is also Humberto, this boy is great! He is caring, even when he is one of her captivators. He is doing it for a good cause and he treats her so sweet. I liked the way their feelings developed and I was rooting for them to be together. There are also other characters and they play important roles in this book. I love that the secondary characters were so well-written. You really get to know them.

This story is filled with action and world-building. Even when they are traveling for over a month in the desert, I was never bored by the story. There were enough details to understand how much Elisa suffered, but it was fast enough to keep the pace high. The plot was great. I liked how this story builds toward it and it definitely delivered. I was afraid that the religious aspect might bother me, but that wasn't the case at all!

I can’t wait to read the next book, because I’m hooked! If you like (high) fantasy, I recommend to read this book as soon as possible.Pooh

Showcase Sunday 18. HarperCollins.

I said last week that this haul would be awesome and that is because I got my first review copies from a publisher! I contacted HarperCollins International and they were so kind to provide me with four of my listed books. They might even work in the future with me, so you can imagine my happiness. As you can see (my bookmark is sticking out), I already started to read The girl of Fire and Thorns from Rae Carson.

Review Books.

I also managed to snatch some copies from Netgalley:

The forgotten Queen - D.L BogdanBetween two thorns - Emma NewmanRapunzel Untangled - Cindy Bennett
What is your haul this week? :)
Pooh

Books I want from Santa.

I wasn't very active with blogging this week. School thought it was fun to keep me busy for hours and I went to an attraction park yesterday. It was cold, but I had a great time with my friends :)

Today I want to show you my Christmas list! Books I want Santa to bring me So no pre-orders. Perhaps you can find some good books for your own list :)

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1)The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)Witch Song (Witch Song, #1)A Curse Dark As Gold
Princess of the Silver Woods (Princess, #3)Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters, #6)Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, #3)The Princess Curse
The Fault in Our StarsVesselDefiance (Defiance, #1)Firelight (Darkest London, #1)
The Scorpio RacesThe Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)The Book of Blood and ShadowThe Way We Fall (Fallen World, #1)
Anything But Ordinary Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English VersionSnow Whyte and the Queen of MayhemFeed (Newsflesh, #1)
Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)The Hero's Guide to Saving Your KingdomPrincess of the Wild Swans
Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1)The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy, #1)Mystic City (Mystic City, #1)
The Darkest MindsFalling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1)The Farm (The Farm, #1)Legend (Legend, #1)
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)The Gathering Storm (Katerina, #1)The Last Princess (Last Princess, #1)Gilt 
Storybound (Storybound #1) A Witch in Winter (Winter Trilogy, #1)Touching the SurfaceOrigin 
The Rose Bride: A Retelling of "The White Bride and the Black Bride" (Once Upon a Time)Winter's Child: A Retelling of "The Snow Queen"The World Above: A Retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" (Once Upon A Time)Water Song: A Retelling of The Frog Prince (Once Upon a Time)
The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)

There are enough books for Santa to pick from as you can see, haha, and there are so much more books I want. That is the curse of being a book lover; you always want more! You can't have enough, the list is endless :)

If you could pick ONE book you want from Santa, what would you pick?

PS: I don't know why, but the layout from this post just won't work. So, I will keep it this weird looking.