Book Review: Trial by Fire (or The One With a Lot of Aquiline Noses)

October 4, 2014 books, reviews 0

Trial by Fire cover by Josephine Angelini

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA fantasy book that entertained me this much. Let’s talk about the good things first.

This review contains spoilers. Please only read on if you don’t mind or have already read the book.
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Stacking the Shelves #3

October 3, 2014 books 9

Wow, that week went by fast. I didn’t buy any new books, but I borrowed two from friends.

Joss Whedon: The Biography by Amy Pascale
Or, alternatively, Joss Whedon: Geek King of the Universe. Which is totally not over the top. At all. I’m about 80 pages in and I’m basically just waiting to get to the Avengers part. Apparently there’s an e-mail by Tom Hiddleston. Not that I’d care about that.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I already have Cat’s Cradle on my to-read list, but I happened upon this first. Apparently John Green mentioned it’s one of his all-time favorite books or something and that’s why my friend bought it. DFTBA, yo. It also says on the back it’s “one of the worlds great antiwar books”, so that sounds promising.

What’s New?

Um… my downstairs neighbours brought me delicious pizza tonight because they had too much. Can you say great neighbours? In slightly more interesting news: I’m going to the Frankfurt book fair next week, so prepare for a post on that soon!

On the Blog

I finally posted my review of Throne of Glass. Spoiler alert: I didn’t like it.

What have you been up to this past week?

Tynga's Reviews Stacking the Shelves Post
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews


Book Review: Throne of Glass (or The One With All The Balls, No Not Those)

October 3, 2014 books, reviews 0

Throne of Glass Cover by Sarah J Maas

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass–and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Initial Impression

I was fully prepared to like this book. Guess it goes to show that you should never trust the hype.

The word that best describes my feelings when reading the first couple of sentences of this book is relief. The author’s writing style didn’t suck, so how bad could it be, right? Wrong. I feel like the gifs in this review express my feelings perfectly, but I’m going to attempt to review it anyway.

Thoughts While Reading


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Stacking the Shelves: University Edition

September 27, 2014 books 5

I was planning to do my STS post next week because my internet at home doesn’t work, but I’ve been at the university library for an hour without writing a single word for my term paper, so I figured I might as well do something a little more fun!

Tynga's Reviews Stacking the Shelves Post
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

I was totally going to wait before buying more books, but I HAD to buy these for university. :D Usually we don’t read bad romance novels at uni, but this is a seminar called Investigating Intimate Relationships (yes, I totally expect this to get awkward haha) and the lecturer either has really bad taste in books or plans to look at them very critically. Here’s what I got.

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Dan Wells’ Partials Series: Best Book Trailer I’ve Ever Seen

September 23, 2014 miscellaneous 0

It’s time for


Okay, this isn’t actually a feature on my blog; I don’t watch that many book trailers. But if you credit me, you can use it for your blog if you like. You probably thought of the idea way before I posted this, didn’t you? Damn it, I bet you have a pretty banner to boot. I also wrote this post last Wednesday, I just scheduled it for Tuesday because alliterations. No, Thursday wasn’t an option. Okay, let’s just clarify this now: weekly features aren’t my field of expertise. It’s just too much commitment for me to handle, dramatic sigh. (No, I don’t plan on marrying anytime soon, in case you were wondering.)

Aaaaanyways: While researching for my term paper on Dan Wells’ Partials series and ethics in bioengineering, I was reminded of this gem:

This is hands down the best book trailer I’ve ever seen. At first I thought it was an actual movie trailer. I absolutely love the effort they have put into this. It’s creepy, it’s sleek, it’s absolutely like I would imagine a ParaGen ad to look.

If you haven’t read Dan Wells’ Partials series …well, you should. It’s Young Adult, post-apocalyptic/dystopian science fiction, and I don’t think it’s getting the attention it deserves! Dan Wells has mad world-building skills and his “villains” are phenomenal because he always manages to show both sides until you’re not even sure who you’re rooting for anymore. I love how he approaches the concept of humanity, especially humanity and morals under extreme conditions. Also, Marcus.

The books aren’t perfect. A friend of mine stopped reading around book two because the pacing was too slow for her (I can see why, but I didn’t mind it because, again, such great world building). As with every book, there are flaws, but, all in all, this is one of the best Young Adult sci-fi series I’ve ever read and I want more people to read it! I actually just wanted to share the trailer and now this has turned into half a review/recommendation post, so you can see I really love these books. I enjoyed these much, much more than more popular YA dystopian books like Divergent or Delirium (which I still haven’t bothered to pick up again), so if you haven’t read it and the description sounds like the book could be up your alley, do give it a try!

What are some of your favorite book trailers? Do you watch book trailers at all?


Things More Likely to Happen Than Winning at Goodreads First Reads

September 21, 2014 fun 6

In no particular order:

  • Leonardio DiCaprio winning an Oscar (too soon?)
  • Joss Whedon tweeting me (I’m working on it, guys, I’m working on it.)
  • me starting a term paper at a reasonable date instead of the night before
  • a dance off between the Hulk and Captain America (just in case you’re looking for ideas, Joss…)
  • reading five random YA books in a row without ever coming across a love triangle
  • Tom Hiddleston being rude to a fan (I’m a Marvel fan, can you tell by this list?)
  • One of Willow’s spells actually going right (also a Joss Whedon fan in case that wasn’t clear)
  • anyone using Google+
  • scrolling down your twitter feed without a cat being mentioned in some form or another (what about BUNNIES)
  • finding a band called What About Bunnies (It sounded like a good band name – anyone wanna start a band together? I can’t sing. Or play an instrument.)
  • me catching the legendary pokémon in my gameboy silver edition (unfulfilled childhood dream)
  • someone not freaking out when JK Rowling tweets them

List inspired by this tweet.

Let me know if you can think of more in the comments. :D Or if you’ve ever actually won a book at Goodreads First Reads. Fair warning: I probably won’t believe you.



Talk To Me: Are Translations Important?

September 19, 2014 books, discussion 3

This post is inspired by a BBC article on why English speakers won’t read books in translation.

Talk to Me

is a new no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!


When I was younger, I never really cared whether a book was a translation – unless I had to wait for the next book in a series because it had to be translated before I could read it. Other than that, the main criterion that decided whether I would read a book was, of course, always the story. To be honest, I never even thought about the subject that much until I read the above linked article. The author of it wonders why literatures from other languages make up so little of the English-language publishers’ output and it got me thinking. I almost exclusively read books written in English these days, and I read them in the original because I can, because I like it and because I don’t trust the translation. Before I was able to do this, however, I was already an avid reader. When I think back to my childhood, I’m pretty sure that the majority of the books I read were translations from English, so I never really thought about the fact that this could be different in other countries.

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Mini Series: Starting a WordPress Blog #2, Today: “Back it Up B****!”

September 17, 2014 fun 0

Follow my stream of consciousness as I try to figure out this website thing. Or don’t, it’s not like I can actually explain any of it.

How to NOT Start a WordPress Blog

Backing it Up
Still Not a How To

Okay so someone said on twitter they lost six days of posts because their blog just disappeared… IT CAN JUST DISAPPEAR WHAT. Okay, okay that won’t happen to you. Bad things always happen to other people, right? RIGHT? So, how do I back this thing up? Didn’t it say my blog was backed up at my cPanel? I guess I could check it, but… then I’d have to log in, which means I would have to get my password from where I saved it, which means WORK. Let’s see what Google says instead. Nah, not the WordPress site, they always go on and on – my attention span isn’t that- Oh, hang on, this looks ok. Soooo root directory, FTP something, something else I’ve heard before but don’t care to check out… This bores me already let’s check out twitter.

—two hours later—

What if my blog randomly disappears though?

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Book Review: The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer

September 16, 2014 books, reviews 0

I’m back from my holiday in North Germany, which was actually very nice (who would have thought), so have a review! Also check out my guest post at Laura Plus Books, in which I talk about reviewing older books, as well as the best method to review book series when you’re late to the party.

The Dark Wife

Three thousand years ago, a god told a lie. Now, only a goddess can tell the truth. Persephone has everything a daughter of Zeus could want–except for freedom. She lives on the green earth with her mother, Demeter, growing up beneath the ever-watchful eyes of the gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus. But when Persephone meets the enigmatic Hades, she experiences something new: choice.

Zeus calls Hades “lord” of the dead as a joke. In truth, Hades is the goddess of the underworld, and no friend of Zeus. She offers Persephone sanctuary in her land of the dead, so the young goddess may escape her Olympian destiny. But Persephone finds more than freedom in the underworld. She finds love, and herself.

I really wanted to love this book. I absolutely adore the cover and the description sounded exactly like my kind of thing. Unfortunately, even though I was very excited to read this book, it did not live up to my expectations.

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Tag: Seven Deadly Sins

September 9, 2014 books, fun 2


What is your most inexpensive book?

That would be Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

 photo 1cf90123-71de-44c4-9aac-afac72bf2584_zps1d96e56c.jpg

I heard a lot of booktubers rave about it, so I looked it up on Amazon. For some reason they offered the ebook for free. By “some reason” I mean even Amazon doesn’t have the audacity to demand money for something so unconditionally and irrevocably bad. I’m so glad I didn’t spend money on this.

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Talk to Me: Commenting on Old Posts

September 4, 2014 discussion 10

Talk to Me

is a new no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!


While reading other blogs, I have noticed that often I scroll down, see an interesting post, think about commenting and then… don’t. Not because I suddenly realized that I don’t find it interesting anymore or because I’ve run out of time, but because I saw it’s been a while since the entry has been posted and I think my comment is “too late” somehow.


Now on my own blog I love comments, no matter on which posts. Granted, it’s still a baby blog, but I don’t think I’ll feel about this any differently once I’ve been posting for a while. I’m sharing my thoughts because I love to write it all down and communicate with someone else, so I’m always happy when someone comments (unless it’s spam obviously). However, whenever I’m reading another blog, I find myself unwilling to comment when the post is even a few days old – especially when other things have been posted in between. Somehow I must think that my comment wouldn’t be relevant anymore because it’s already “old news”. And that’s just if the post is a few days old; let’s not even talk about months or years. Lately, I’ve been trying to get over that and just comment if I have something to say if the post is reasonably recent (yay alliteration).


So, whatch’all think? Do you do this too? Do you think it makes sense or should people feel free to comment on posts no matter how old they are? If you have your own blog: how do you feel about comments on old posts? Are you happy about them, or have you already forgotten what the heck you were going on about back then?




(Not So) Quick Book Recs

August 29, 2014 books, recs 0

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I love recommendations, so I thought I’d share some of the books I have read this year with you. None of them are very recent, but I enjoyed them all immensely and I hope you will too if you decide to pick them up (or that you did if you already read them).



Bitterblue is finally old enough to take over the reign of her kingdom. The only problem is her kingdom is a frickin’ mess. Her advisors are being mysterious, her subjects are illiterate and hungry and her father has left the country scarred beyond comprehension. It seems that Bitterblue will need to dig up some ugly truths if she ever wants to lead Monsea to a better age…

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Book Review: After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

August 26, 2014 books, reviews 0

After I Do

When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

This book severely disappointed me. And then it didn’t.

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Book Review: The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

August 21, 2014 books, reviews 2

The Queen of the Tearling

Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother – Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid – was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea’s uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea’s 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother’s guard – each pledged to defend the queen to the death – arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding…

This book is hard to review because I simultaneously liked and didn’t like it. That’s probably the reason the review turned out so long, so skip to the ending if you just want to see the conclusion and my rating. The Queen of the Tearling was entertaining, fun and my kind of book while having so many issues I need more than one hand to count them. Let’s start with the flaws and then let me tell you why you should read it anyway.
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Book Review: The People of Forever are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu

August 18, 2014 books, reviews 0

The People of Forever are Not Afraid

Yael, Avishag and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty village in Israel. They attend high school, gossip about boys, and try to find ways to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. Then at eighteen they are conscripted into the army. Yael trains marksmen, Avishag stands guard watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences and Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. All of them live in that single intense second before danger erupts, all of them trying to survive however they can.

Last semester, I watched Scorcese’s Taxi Driver for a seminar at university. I remember my teacher stating that it was one of the movies on which she could base an entire seminar because it is so complex. The People of Forever are Not Afraid reminded me of that. It sometimes has the same feeling of clinical detachment and austerity while being very layered and open to interpretation.
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August 18, 2014 psa 3

I’m glad you found your way here. This is my blog, where I will mostly post book reviews and related things. I’m still new to WordPress and all the freedom that comes with it, so I’m excited about my new website and what I can do with it.  I can’t wait to start blogging!


I look even more excited than this owl.

I look even more excited than this owl.