Thursday, January 23, 2014

Book Blogger Hop 23/01/2014

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted on the site Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.
Its purpose it to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new blogs, 
befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog. 

Each week bloggers answer a different question. This week's question was wether I blogged for fun or for a living. 

I blog for fun! I have never made any money off this site, but I do get free books in exchange for reviews from time to time, which is always nice! 

What about you? Do you blog for fun or for a living? Let me know in the comments! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 22/01/2013

“Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.
Expected Publication: 08/07/2014
Source: Goodreads

This year a lot of YA high fantasy novels are being published, and most of them look really good. I hope this one will live up to its promises.  

What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday 15/01/2014

“Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.
Loki, that’s me.

Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.

So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.

Now it’s my turn to take the stage.

With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge. 

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster
Source: Goodreads

I'll admit it, I was sold at the title, because Loki is my favorite norse deity and I am guaranteed to read  almost anything that deals with his character.
"The Gospel of Loki" is scheduled to be released 20/02/2014. 

What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments! 

W... W... W... Wednesday 15/01/2014

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading
where you answer the following questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently read?
What will you be reading next?

What are you currently reading? "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman and "The Opposite Of Magic" by Colleen Cowley.

What did you recently read? I haven't finished anything since last week. The last book I read was "Odd and the Frost Giants", also by Neil Gaiman. You can find my review here

What will you be reading next? "The Chaos of Stars" by Kiersten White or "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown, if it's already out by the time I finish the two books I am currently reading. 

So, what's your WWW for this week? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays 14/01/2013

Teaser Tuesday is a meme hosted on Should Be Reading.
If you want to join in, you have to:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser is from "The Opposite of Magic" by Colleen Cowley.
“No. What do you expect them to do—convince someone’s tonsils out?” 
“It’s magic. The sky’s the limit.” 
“You’re confusing life with fairy tales, Daggett.”  
“Says the man masquerading as Rumpelstiltskin!”
What are your teasers for this week? Let me know in the comments!  

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Debuts

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Brooke and the Bookish. This week's top ten is of the 2014 debuts I am excited for. 

10. "Dear Killer" by Katherine Ewell: the blurb is really intriguing and I'm really hyped for this book. The only thing I'm weary of is the author's young age. I've had bad experiences with young authors in the past, but admittedly they were all younger than her, and Veronica Roth, whose book I loved, was not all that older than Ewell when she published her debut novel. So I'm willing to give Ewell the benefit of doubt.  

9. "Nil" by Lynne Matson: I have read some glowing praise for this book and the concept is really interesting, too. 

8. "Alienated" by Melissa Landers: I really like the premise. I have read a book with the alien exchange student premise before, but that one was actually an analysis of gender roles in our society (and it was really good). I don't think this one will be nearly as good, judging from the last paragraph of the blurb. I am kind of hopeful, because the premise is really cool and has a certain nostalgic flavor for me, I just hope that it's not an "Obsidian" rip-off. 

7. "Illusive" by Emily Lloyd-Jones: I admit it, I was intrigued by the fact that it was marketed as a mix of "x-men" and "ocean's elven". Which probably means it won't have anything to do with either of those, but it still caught my eye. And I really like the concept of the super-powered criminals.

6. "Banished" by Lyz de Jager: damn, I really hate this cover. But since a book should not be judged by its cover I am giving this the benefit of doubt and judging it by its premise, which is really cool, if not exactly the most original thing I've ever heard of. 

5. "The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavander" by Lesley Walton : This promises to be speculative fiction at its finest, I just hope it lives up to my expectations. Short excursus: I am not really a fan of the title,  it's far too long and it's hard to remember.    

4. "Midnight Thief" by Livia Blackburne: this one is not really a debut, but it is the author's first work that is not a novella, so I'm counting this as a debut. I have been wanting to get back into high fantasy for a while, and this novel really seems interesting, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on this one. 

3. "Defy" by Sarah B. Larson: the blurb promises a good hight fantasy with a kick-ass heroine, even though she gets abducted - her two love interests are captive with her, so she probably will be actually badass and not a damsel in distress in disguise.


2. "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown: it promises to be a good ya dystopia novel, which are pretty hard to find.

1. "Half Bad" by Sally Green: this one has it all: an intriguing premise, a gorgeous cover and glowing praise and witches. What's not to be hyped about? 

So, what 2014 debuts are you excited about this year?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Quote-Tastic 13/01/2014

"Quote-Tastic" is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup . To participate you have to post a favorite quote from a current or past read.
This week's quote is from a current read, "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman
"You want me to follow you?" asked Shadow. "Or has Timmy fallen down another well?" The bird cawed again, impatiently. Shadow started walking toward it. It waited until he was close, then flapped heavily into another tree, heading somewhat to the left of the way Shadow had originally been going.
"Hey," said Shadow. "Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are."
The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.
"Say 'Nevermore,' " said Shadow.
"Fuck you," said the raven. It said nothing else as they went through the woodland together.
So, what's your favorite quote this week? Let me know in the comments!  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

That's what HE said Thursday 09/01/2014

That's what He said Thursday is a meme hosted on ChapterBreak

To partecipate you have to share a quote spoken from one of your book boyfriends to their lucky girl. 

This week's quote was spoken by Will Herondale in Cassandra Clare's novel "Clockwork Prince".
I chose this quote both because it's very sweet and romantic and because it's a nice representation of the power of words and books. 
You and I, Tess, we’re alike. We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt—I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamed. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted—and then I realized that truly I just wanted you. The girl behind the scrawled letters. I loved you from the moment I read them. I love you still.
What's your favorite book boyfriend quote this week? 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

W... W... W.. Wednesday 08/01/2014

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading
where you answer the following questions:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently read?
What will you be reading next?

What are you currently reading? "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman and it's brilliant.

What did you recently read? "Odd and the Frost Giants", also by Neil Gaiman. I loved it and you can find me review here

What will you be reading next? "The Chaos of Stars" by Kiersten White. Two words: Egyptian mythology.   

So, what's your WWW for this week? Let me know in the comments!

Waiting on Wednesday 08/01/2014

“Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

Darrow is a miner and a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he digs all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of the
planet livable for future generations. Darrow has never seen the sky.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better future for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow and Reds like him are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow joins a resistance group in order to infiltrate the ruling class and destroy society from within. He will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies... even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Source: Goodreads

Pierce Brown's debut novel "Red Rising" has a great premise, I haven't read a really good YA dystopia since "Divergent" and I've read some glowing praise for this one. So, yeah, I'm hyped.
"Red Rising" is scheduled to be released on January 28th. 

What are you waiting for this week? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Brooke and the Bookish. This week's top ten is of bookish resolutions.

* Start reading books that are on my TBR shelf instead of getting side-tracked all the time and keep putting those reads off.

* Stop checking the number of pages of a book before deciding wether I should read it or not. If a book is good, 800 pages will feel like 100 and if it's bad 300 pages will feel like 1000. 

* Branch out more. I want to try and read new genres and leave my comfort zone.

* Stop trying to finish a book I don't like. It never works and I always end up in reading slumps when I try to force myself.

* WRITE. I've had a huge writer block for the last two years and though I've recently overcome it and finally have ideas, I have not finished any of the stories I started recently.     

* Organize my bookshelves on Goodreads. I have created a lot of bookshelves, but I'm to lazy to actually use them. It's time to change that.

* Comment more. I read a lot of blogs, but I rarely ever comment. And I want some of those comments to be on reviews, because those are usually the posts that get the least comments.

* Make more friends in the blogging community. 

* Stop stressing about the number of books I read. It's not a matter of quantity, it's a matter of quality. 

* Partecipate in a book giveaway. 

So, what are your resolutions, bookish and non, for 2014? Let me know in the comments! 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman

I'm pleased to say that this year's reading is off on a great start with the novella  
"Odd and the Frost Giants" by Neil Gaiman. 
I've read this book before, a couple of years ago. I liked it then, but I loved it this time around. I thinks it's partly because I read this in English this time, while I read the Italian translation, which, while good, paled in comparison to the original version, and partly because I have become a huge Norse mythology nerds in the meantime.
This time around, I knew all the myths and I was laughing at all the in-jokes way before they were explained to the reader. And it's great to see the figures I love so much represented so flawlessly. 
The main character is Odd, a Norse boy who was crippled in an accident. He doesn't fit in with the rest of his village and decides to run away from home. He comes across a fox, a bear and an eagle, who are actually Norse gods. They have been turned into animals by a Frost Giant, who has invaded Asgard. If they don't defeat him, Odd's land will be frozen in a perpetual winter, and many humans and animals will die. To prevent this, Odd chooses to help the gods reclaim Asgard.  
Odd is a great main character: he's clever, he's optimistic, he's curious, he's determined, he's brave. He doesn't let his handicap get in the way of what he has to do. Also, he's a hero who relies on his wit and isn't an hot-heated idiot who loves to get himself into trouble. 
The gods were hilarious. Being blocked into animal forms, they were pretty much helpless and so they were constantly bickering and behaving like children. Which could have turned out really annoying or really enjoyable. In this case, it's really enjoyable:  
"We weren't arguing," said the bear. "Because we can't talk." Then it said, "Oops." 
The fox and the eagle looked at the bear, who put a paw over his eyes and looked ashamed of itself. 
Odd sighed. "Which one of you wants to explain what's going on?" 
"Nothing's going on," said the fox brightly. "Just a few talking animals. Nothing to worry about. Happens every day. We'll be out of your hair first thing in the morning." 
The eagle fixed Odd with its one good eye. Then it turned to the fox. "Tell!" 
The fox shifted uncomfortably. "Why me?" 
"Oh," said the bear, "I don't know. Possibly because it's all your fault?"
Yeah, the gods aren't always the sharpest tools in the shed, but that is justified by Freya.  
Oh, yeah, let's talk about Freya, guys. Freya is awesome. She is smart and wise and gentle and witty and powerful and she stands up for herself. 
Also, she says one of the best sentences in the whole book. 
"He doesn't learn" said Odd. 
He though he had said it to himself, in his head, but Freya, who was sitting beside him, said, "No. He doesn't learn. None of them do. And they don't change, either. They can't. It's all part of being a God."
I just love this quote, because the hidden meaning is that humans have a huge advantage on gods because of our ability to adapt and to learn from our experiences and to change.
Also, on the note of how much I like Freya's character, it's interesting that she says "they" and not "us", implying that she has the potential to learn from her experience and change. 
Odd's mother is an interesting character, too, though we don't see much of her. What she went through must have been really hard, but she always remained strong and made the best of what she had. 
This novella is less dark than Gaiman's other works, but I can't say I mind, because the tone fits the story flawlessly.
The writing is fantastic, the characters are great, the humor is good, the story is entertaining and there are some interesting reflections and lessons in there, too.