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The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
The Forever Song (Blood of Eden, #3)
Julie Kagawa

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)

Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop Count of the phrase ‟Namid’s creation (both wondrous and terrible)”: twelve.
Averaging once every twenty-five pages*, more or less.

* page count using ADE's algorithm.

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy)

The Winner's Curse - Marie Rutkoski There are far better and more articulated reviews here than what I could possibly write, so I'll just correct some misconceptions you can have about this book before reading it.


If you only look at the cover, you may expect pretty dresses and assorted frippery.
There was almost no mention of dresses here.
Yes, there were two balls. The first was almost a non-event, and the second one doesn't count because everyone got poisoned.

If you only look at that girl's expression/pose on the cover, you may expect a huge amount of woe-is-me, or at least some angst.
There was none of that. That girl on the cover can't possibly be Kestrel.

If you only read the title, just at the mention of the word "curse" you may expect some magical element.
There was nothing magical/paranormal in this book.

If you only read the synopsis, you may expect an instalove and a sweep-me-away romance.
No instalove.
There definitely was some romance, but it was subdued and slow-paced.

Stolen Songbird: Malediction Trilogy Book One (The Malediction Trilogy)

Stolen Songbird  - Danielle L. Jensen Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU book!
You pushed all the right buttons.




Let me make you a list of all the buttons hereby pushed.

A heroine who's not whiny. Or overly concerned with her looks or all the silly fripperies with which most YA heroines are sadly affected.

A swoon-worthy male lead.

Side characters who are actually worth reading about, and who contribute to the plot development. They are not just there to provide a counterpoint to the MCs' awesomeness.

A peculiar alternate world, well described but without as much as a scrap of infodump. The world building is a bit imperfect, but who cares.

A relationship that builds at the right pace, with the parties actually speaking, interacting and getting to know each other before making gooey eyes. They don't even do the gooey-eye thing.

Oh, and have I already said a swoon-worthy male lead?
I have to make a little room for him in my (too crowded) collection of fictional boyfriends.

5668951

Unravel

Unravel - Calia Read This book can't reach its potential of hypergalactic awesomeness (aka five-star rating) just because of the editing. What a pity.

The bad
Typos? Got them. Grammatical errors? Plenty. And let's not dwell on all the little discrepancies.
Discrepancies annoy me to no end: when a character is sitting but two words later is standing, or when a woman is wearing a skirt but when she undresses she's wearing a full dress (these are just general examples, not actual contents of the book).

The good
I just love it when I read a book and can't quite grasp what is real, what is unreal and what is somewhat in between.
Seeing other people's statuses, I know I was not the only one to have guessed what the deal really was. But the author does a very good job of throwing you off track.

Donners of the Dead

Donners of the Dead - Karina Halle Mar 6, 2014 (after reading)




Feb 24, 2014 (before reading)

When a new book by [a:Karina Halle|4785031|Karina Halle|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1333997846p2/4785031.jpg] comes out:
743109

… plus: zombies? Mystery? Horror? Gore?

Replica

Replica (Replica, #1) - Jenna Black Feb 21, 2014 (before reading)
[a:Jenna Black|51118|Jenna Black|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/authors/1243367862p2/51118.jpg]? Sign me in.
Even if

Sea of Shadows: Age of Legends

Sea of Shadows: Age of Legends (Age of Legends #1) - Kelley Armstrong Jan 30, 2013 (before reading)

She: I could lend my ARC to you when I'm finished.
Me: How do you want to have my firstborn, mailed, hand-delivered or what?

House of Ivy & Sorrow

House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple I wanted to like this book as much as I like its cover. Sadly, I didn't.


The good

I'll give it this: I really appreciate its take on witches.

I can't suffer this kind of Barbie-witches:


but I rather like the idea of witches like these:


Here I found something akin to the second kind, and that I've appreciated very much.

I've appreciated also the offhand way in which the author refers to a lesbian couple, especially in a YA book. As if that's something unarguably normal. It isn't, yet. But it should be.


The bad

Animal sacrifice for trivial purposes.
This is somewhat tied to my beliefs and, as such, someone may find it questionable:
- I'm ok with animal testing if that means finding a cure for leukemia;
- I'm NOT ok with animal testing if some animal has to suffer and die for a new hue of lipstick.
Frog's eyes to spy on people? Bat's ears to overhear conversations? I'm so not ok with that.
Admittedly, the witchcraft here is made also with one's own sacrifice (a pulled nail, a little bloodletting, and so on). That doesn't compensate for all the killing of small animals, usually for futile motives.

The characters don't sound their age.
People of seventeen years old are not so innocent and guileless as described here, and portraying them as such is just wishful thinking at best, and belittling of "real" teenagers at worst.
These girls sound like they are fresh out of a Disney movie (complete with "Love is forever!" catchphrase).
These guys can be that innocent only if they grew up in the Smurf village.

The heroine is a bit of a Mary Sue.
She used to be ugly, but now she's the prettiest of the pretty girls. And getting prettier and prettier. And she is brave, loyal and caring. She probably cries diamond tears and spits nuggets of gold early in the mornings.
The prettiest guy at school has been secretly in love with her forevah.
When an even prettier guy enters the scene, it's obvious that he has to fall in instalove (or almost there).
Do I need to go on?


I think that this is one of those YA books that's fine for teenagers but can't be fully appreciated by more mature readers.

All That Glows

All That Glows - Ryan Graudin The worst case of Mary Sue & Gary Stu I've come across in quite some time.
I didn't even reach the end of the second chapter, but I just couldn't go on with this kind of crap.

I'm sorry. I'm always so grateful to receive ARCs and I feel bad when I have to trash them. But there's no way for me to say something positive about this book.

Oh, wait. Yes. I like the font treatment on the cover.
There.

The King: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

The King - J.R. Ward Is this the last one yet? Please, let this be the last.
Let's move on with something new.

No One Else Can Have You

No One Else Can Have You - Kathleen  Hale Because of this.

Fire Kin (The Half-Light City, #4)

Fire Kin (The Half-Light City, #4) - M.J. Scott Jan 21, 2014 (before reading)
Damn you FictFact, I knew you were pretty much useless, but at least warn me that this is coming out this year!?

Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back - Jennifer L. Armentrout Even if me and Jennifer Armentrout don't get along quite so well, I requested this from Netgalley.

Who wants to bet I won't get it?

Masks (Cassandra Palmer Short)

Masks (Cassandra Palmer Short) - Karen Chance Mar 20, 2014 (before reading)
Me haz it!
On my ADE reader, it has 349 pages. Even considering the front/back matters, that's longer than most books.
Karen, you are awesome just for thinking to give this away for free!


Feb 20, 2014 (before reading)
There were some contractual issues with Penguin concerning this "too-lenghty" novella released for free. As I understand it, it will come out in the next few months not as a self-pubbed freebie but as an ebook special for Penguin.
Here an explanation on KC's website: http://www.karenchance.com/news/masks-update/

KC has promised other free novellas in the future, so all is well that ends well :)


Feb 14, 2014 (before reading)
What happened to this? It didn't even come out, and it has just vanished from the author's website.

Clean Sweep

Clean Sweep -  Ilona Andrews Just 179 pages? Damn, that's short.
I hope to be able to wait for the sequel :)

Heads Will Roll: A Tor.Com Original

Heads Will Roll - Lish McBride Loved this. I'd like to have a whole book about Lena. Please? :)