Saturday, April 30, 2011

Guest Post: Around the World Book Tips featuring USA

We all love to read, enjoy numerous different genres and characters that enrich our life every day. What makes our literary world so special is that each country contributes with its own masterpieces to it. Let’s travel around and experience what makes each country’s literature so special, meet new authors and novels and get to know which, for us foreign, books fellow bloggers enjoy.

I hope you enjoy my guest post series "Around the World Book Tips"!

Today Loni shares her favourite book(s) from her home country the US with us. She loves spending time with her cute family and also a lot of books. There is no book she recommended that I wouldn't read, Loni has got a fantastic taste!
Don't forget to visit her blog A Casual Reader!

I was excited when Sarah asked me to be a guest on her blog! Here are a few question she asked me to blog about, so I hope you find this interesting and I don't bore you to death!

Which is your favorite US book and why?

She asked that it be an author that is not too well known and I immediately knew who I'd choose. I'm selecting, Salvaged by Stefne Miller. Here is a brief synopsis: 

Attie Reed should have died in the wreck that stole the lives of her mother and best friend. But her life was spared. Why?  When Attie moves to Oklahoma to stay with the Bennetts for the summer, she hopes she has left her nightmares behind. But her battle is far from over, and Riley Bennett steps forward to help her fight the nighttime monsters. As the battle wears on, Riley begins fighting monsters of his own: his feelings for Attie. And Attie realizes she must begin to face the monsters of the night herself if she wants to conquer them for good. Can Attie's life be salvaged?

Salvaged is described by some as "Christian Fiction" being that Jesus is a main character and being that I am a Christian, I did look at this more from a Christian aspect. However, I also think that no matter what your religious beliefs are, it's the overall message this story tells that is more the focus. It's inspiring and motivating and it's a beautiful a love story. Steffne actually has a great post on her blog concerning this and you can read it here  if you'd like.

What I liked so much about this story are the emotions. Feeling and actions are real and genuine and it's the only book I've read where I cried at the end simply because of the happiness and warm fuzzy feelings it brought me. Not only was the story itself amazing but I felt like I learned something. I felt like I wanted to be a better person after reading this and Riley is so amazing. Don't get me wrong, he has some struggles of his own too but in the end I would wish for my daughters to find someone as amazing and respectable as Riley Bennett. I would most definitely encourage everyone to read Salvaged if you haven't had a chance to. Religious beliefs aside, it truly is a wonderful, inspiring story. Also there is a sequel coming out in April- "Rise". I'm positive it will be just as amazing as Salvaged.

What makes US literature so special?

This is a tough question for me because I can't say I've read many foreign books to compare with US books. I would say that with America we have such a wide range places, such as cities, state, state parks and popular places that it makes it a little easier to place your self in a particular setting chosen by the author. But honestly, if the author does a well enough job at describing something, you feel like you've been there anyway!

If you got the chance to write an US themed novel, what would it be about?

Actually, I am writing something on the side. Purely for myself as a challenge but who knows if it will turn into anything more than something I'm proud of finishing. I don't write everyday and I have to be in a mood for it but its fun and had made me have even that much more respect for authors who do write books. It isn't easy and it is a lot of work!

My book is set in the state of Virginia. Clair is a runaway, running from an abusive step-father and alcoholic mother. No one believes what her step-father is trying to do to her due to his high profile status and influence and she's tired of putting up it.  So she avoids them all by running away. She's 17, and not yet legal. If she gets caught on her own, she'll be sent straight back to her parents. Then there is Alex, who was once a run away too. Now he's getting back on his feet but is dealing with his own past issues. Alex and Clair's paths cross one night, thus beginning their relationship but their past come back to haunt them and in ways they could have never imagined.

Well, thank you Sarah for letting me be your blog guest and I hope I didn't bore the daylights out of anyone!  I really look forward to reading more books from other places around the world because sometimes, when you can't travel to these places, reading about it is the next best thing!

Loni, be sure you didn't bore us for one single second! The US might not be the most exotic place on our tour, but I still love hearing you talk about its literature and possibilities. You know, I will read SALVAGED and of course the story you are writing!

Want to be part of the post series and featured with your own international book tip? Shoot me an email at goldie-mail(AT)web(DOT)de!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #2

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. This week's question is:

Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?

That would be Forever by Maggie Stiefvater!!! Who else is waiting for this one?

 In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Summary by Goodreads

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #23

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...

Not surprisingly, she couldn't speak. This wasn't just her normal nervous reaction- it was because Keith had slid over on his knees and was now leaning over his coffee table box, his face only a foot or so from hers.

~ p. 86

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Review: Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent (Divergent #1)
Author: Veronica Roth
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: May 3rd 2011
Length: 496 pages
Genre: YA, dystopian novel
Source: ARC from Pulisher

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.
During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

 Summary by Goodreads 

Attention, this is an eulogy, consider me DIVERGENT fan for life! This book is not as good as expected, but dimensions better!

Beatrice or Tris is the type of  plain character that is soon noticed as the honest and adoring girl that she really is. She has a super honest voice that I cannot but adore. For Tris her whole life depends on one single choice. Thinking about the events of DIVERGENT  it overwhelms me that they all depend from that one single moment.
For the male protagonist, let me use four simple letters: L-O-V-E!

DIVERGENT  has a character cast that covers all imaginable profiles, some are honest, some cruel, full of hatred. Then there are amiable , compassionate, strong, intelligent, brave characters. One should mean that one novel can not cover every single character type or segment of emotions, but Veronica Roth did a very good job by writing DIVERGENT. I fell head over heels for DIVERGENT and its revolutionary characters. It's one of the very first novels that totally got me without a love triangle.

At no point do the story, the actions or dialogues appear forced. In DIVERGENT affection is beautiful in its simplicity. DIVERGENT sets you under a current flow of electricity that feels so incredibly good.

Each word seems to be just in the right place, forming ideal sentences that together result in an adventurous read. In the middle of this action-packed novel that tries to cope with the raw instincts describing men, the coruptness of a society, we find ourselves attracted by a love story that is easy and endlessly beautiful at the same time.

Veronica Roth has a sense for the perfect interaction between time,space and characters. I can honestly call her one of the best present YA authors, because she finds the perfect balance between natural romantce and nerve-racking action.

Veronica Roth is one of my new favourite authors, she is highly-qualified, her writing is super engaging and her words deeply touching and electrifying. Her writing talent is realised 100 %.

This novel has not one single page that not had my full and undivided attention. Word for word stole my heart. If I talked about this novel in a chat, the wide emoticon palette would not be sufficient to describe my experienced emotions while reading this novel.

When I start thinking about books I wish I had written myself because of their pure brilliance, DIVERGENT  immediately pops into my mind. This world is so well-constructed, I wish I would live in it. Want to know what DIVERGENT stands for? Dedicated-intelligent-romantic-gigantic-engaging novel to crave!

1) we enjoy the thrill of heights
2) all good things are four;)
3) it's simply electrifying
4) we love this new fascinating universe and all factions for their special talents
5) of the numerous different faces that can be found among our new favourite character cast

A debut novel you won't forget too soon. When some people think of dystopian novels as the black-white bookish TV, DIVERGENT needs to be praised as the HD version of them all! I am impressed by its diversity and joviality. DIVERGENT  is the best novel I've read in 2011, and so far this have been many fantastic books!

* You can read the first 100 pages of DIVERGENT here

* Want to learn more about DIVERGENT's factions? Click here

* Read the Q&A with Veronica Roth here

* Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy of DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth!

New Releases April 25th– May 1st

Let's have a look at the wonderful books being released this week!

April 26th

Abandon by Meg Cabot (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

We'll Always Have Summer (Summer #3) by Jenny Han (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances by Trisha Telep (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Summer and the City (Carrie Diaries Series #2)
by Candace Bushnell (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

The Last Little Blue Envelope (Little Blue Envelope #2) by Maureen Johnson (Goodreads ~ Amazon

Bumped (Bumped #1) by Megan McCafferty (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

I read and loved WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE SUMMER and will definitely read FUTURE IMPERFECT for my Debut Author Challenge 2011. Did you read/order any of the new released books? 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox #26

The idea of In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ( my second copy, but only reading the letter was so worth it:D)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Blogger Hop #1

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and is an awesome way to for book bloggers to interact and find each other. This week's question is: 

If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

When I find a book I really enjoy I often tend to buy or try the other books written by the author. I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver and cannot wait to read Before I Fall aswell! I would also buy every book written by Veronica Roth, Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, Kimberly Derting or Andrea Cremer. Their writing is so excellent that I trust in their sense for a good story blindly.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Review: Red Glove (Curse Workers #2) by Holly Black

Title: Red Glove (Curse Workers #2)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing Date: April 5th 2011
Length: 336 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose. 

Summary by Goodreads

RED GLOVE continues the story around Cassel and his con worker family with finesse and even more bottomless feelings.Where WHITE CAT helped us to establish ourselves to the strange-in a positive way- world of gloves and magic, RED GLOVE dives deeper into the bonds of family, foes and friends around Cassel Sharpe.

Cassel is an outcast, talking about himself as dangerous while I love his torn character. He’s torn between lie and honesty, the criminal and the right thought, always circling around the same girl, Lila.
Their relationship is complex, difficult because it is built up by many different layers of time and action. While we get, thanks to the first person narrator, an insight into Cassel’s thoughts and feelings we never know how Lila really feels. And it's especially that mysterious bond between the two I love.

I wasn’t extremely interested in or fond of secondary characters like Cassel’s friends Sam and Daneca or his family members, probably because with Cassel we already got a protagonist that devours a lot of attention.

You shouldn’t think of RED GLOVE as a bright and all easy read. It’s a book displaying a corrupt and criminal society with shady characters and events. I wouldn’t describe RED GLOVE as a dystopian novel, still I sometimes registered the same gloomy atmosphere that is characteristic for a good read about an imperfect world.

Holly Black’s writing is not main-stream. Her speciality are short but concise sentences, her novel is made up of a wide vocabulary foundation and complex characters. Black is not just a con artist when it comes to playing with her characters, but with readers, too. I can’t believe it’s a years wait for BLACK HEART! 

1) where there's a white cat, there's a black one
2) we love to believe in fading curses
3) substituting lies by truth takes a lot of courage
4) of a hilarious Wallingford student with a famous namesake
5) friendship doesn’t need to be tested to persist 

Once again a conjuring mix of a magical world made up of shady figures and stirring emotions, written by the gloved-cat-lady in a fantastic non-mainstream style!

* For those of you who haven't already started it, check out WHITE CAT, the first  novel in this series!

* You can read an excerpt of RED GLOVE here

* You can also read parts of Lila's story, here

*Watch the book trailer here

* Want to meet Holly Black? View the tour dates here

* Thanks to Simon & Schuster and their Galley Grab programme for giving me access to an e-galley of RED GLOVE! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #22

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...

Griffin shuddered. "No way! They'll give me nightmares." Carlee, standing nearby, her lips purple from the cotton candy, snickered.

~ p. 95

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Memory Cage Giveaway Winner

Winner of the signed THE MEMORY CAGE copy is Vivien from the US (already contacted). Congratulations!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review: Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting

Title: Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: Headline
Publishing Date: March 2011
Length: 368 pages
Genre: YA, romance, mystery
Source: Bought 

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.
As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger. 

Summary by Goodreads 

 Several weeks have passed since the incidents of THE BODY FINDER. Now that Violet and Jay have changed their status from best friends and to more than friends one could think their relationship wouldn’t be intriguing anymore. Although they are together neither has lost his unique personality. Both protagonists develop new sides of their personalities and show that they can ,beside being together,  still be two individuals.

Kimberly Derting generously considered our demand for more Jay and Violet and wrote so many more exciting, romantic and steamy scenes that one has to love  DESIRES OF THE DEAD only on their account.

Violet is finally willing to explore the wide possibilities of her talent to sense the dead and Jay more than ever determined to protect her. There were  times Violet annoyed me with her stoic and reckless behaviour, but in the end it were the conflicts, are always the conflicts that awake my interest.

With the new case Violet is eventually thrown into and the involvement of the FBI, new dimensions of her ability are demonstrated. We get a glimpse of the working methods of the FBI and meet many new characters that communicate a different spirit than already established characters.

We meet Sarah who works for the FBI and her assistant Rafe who is the most mysterious character in this series so far. Although Violet has a relationship with Jay there is something that also connects her with Rafe. He knows things he couldn’t know and does things he shouldn’t do.
I sense a love triangle emerging and am really anxious to read about the relationship and feelings between the three of them. As I already stated I am team Jay , but I can’t resist that pull to excitingly new character Rafe. I really want to find out what’s the matter with him and which role he plays in Violet's life. He seems to have a special ability of his own and I cannot wait for Derting to reveal it.

The new murder case is not the only criminal and immoral incident that is thematised. A new family has moved to town with a bunch of secrets in tow. I don't want to go into detail, you should find out yourselves.

As in THE BODY FINDER Derting's writing is excellent and absorbing. She writes about the darker sides of life and the wicked thoughts of the human mind and is totally authentic and believable. Her language is rich, her characters are interestingly edgy and her story well-developed.

The story is told from Violet’s point of view on the one hand, on the other we also hear thoughts and witness actions of another narrator. This person is not as insane as THE BODY FINDER murderer, but sometimes just equally creepy. Derting plays with her readers and our loyalty towards Violet when applying a second point of view that is determined by the hatred for Violet and whose actions are directed towards the goal of Violet’s destruction.

I am more than thrilled about Derting’s announcement of two more novels in THE BODY FINDER series and I am terribly curious to find out what happens next, which other bodies haunt Violet and if someone or somewhat could be able to come between this special something that connects Jay and Violet.

 1) more talents should be moved to a professional base
2) most important is staying true… and oreos
3) of our favourite bodyguard
4) of its remarkably gorgeous kissing scenes
5) of Derting's ability to throw light on the darkest sides of life

 DESIRES OF THE DEAD can definitely fulfill the desires of every reader in search for a phenomenal novel with high creep 'n' cuddle factor!


* For those of you who haven't already started this series, check out THE BODY FINDER, the first  novel in this series!

* You can download an excerpt (first seven chapters!) of DESRES OF THE DEAD here

*Watch the book trailer here

* Make sure to visit

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Coveresque feat. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot (US vs. Dutch vs. German)

Tell me, which THE BOY NEXT DOOR cover do you like best?  US on the left, we've got the Dutch cover in the middle and the German one on the right side. What I really like about the US and Dutch covers are their bright colours. But the US and German cover can definitely score with their cute dogs :)

Has anyone read this novel by Meg Cabot? I haven't read one single book written by her and everyone keeps saying that I really should... Would THE BOY NEXT DOOR be the ideal kick-off for my future Meg Cabot admiration?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Book Review: Afterlife (Evernight #4) by Claudia Gray

Title: Afterlife (Evernight #4)
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: March 2011
Length: 364 pages
Genre: YA, fantasy, paranormal romance
Source: Finished Copy from Publisher

Bianca and Lucas have always believed they could endure anything to be together. When a twist of fate not only transforms Bianca into a wraith but also turns Lucas into a vampire – the very creature he spent his life hunting – they are left reeling. Haunted by his powerful need to kill, Lucas can turn to only one place for help… Evernight Academy. But with the vampire leader of Evernight waging war on the wraiths, Bianca’s former home has become the most dangerous place she could be, despite the new powers her ghostly transformation has given her. A battle between wraiths and vampires looms, and Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. Is their love strong enough to survive after life?

Summary by Goodreads

AFTERLIFE continues the story of Bianca and Lucas seamlessly after HOURGLASS ended with a major cliffhanger. Without much pre-talk or summaries of former events, the actions of AFTERLIFE are put in motion. 

The focus of this final instalment in the EVERNIGHT series is not just on Bianca's part of the story, but also on Lucas' new life and the constant transformation process he must go through.
This time the perspectives of our protagonists are reversed and characters- as readers- get the chance to see what it's like to be in the enemy's body. It is fascinating to examine Lucas' and Bianca’s new lives and find out how they cope with an existence that has never been their decision, the existence of a creature that has once been their enemy.

AFTERLIFE is further represented by many secondary characters, whose personalities aren’t extraordinarily stunning, but who still got a lot of potential and initiate progress with several appearances throughout the story.

Claudia Gray’s writing style is consistent and as good as in her previous works. With the final novel in the EVERNIGHT series Claudia Gray crosses the line between life and death as never before. It also features an interesting comparison of two concepts of paranormal creatures, vampires and ghosts and offers new perspectives and elements.

Although it's the last novel in the EVERNIGHT series, AFTERLIFE isn't as spectacular as expected. The end left me with mixed feelings and didn’t really satisfy me, because it is more neutral than a brilliant finish.

Nevertheless AFTERLIFE is a great book, because all the characters we've meet and learnt to love over the previous three novels come together again for this final episode, for the final battle against enemies and fate. 

1) people can actually change
2) old demons can be dammed
3) we enjoy good ghost stories
4) we already have some people's dreams in mind we wouldn't mind to enter
5) of a very good writing style

Though AFTERLIFE doesn't develop its action the way that I hoped for, it is an absolute must for EVERNIGHT fans. Find out if Lucas and Bianca end up together or if death finally gets its way.

I am already looking forward to Claudia Gray's next book, it will definitely find a bookish new home on my shelves. 

* For those of you who haven't already started this series, check out its first novel- EVERNIGHT!
* Make sure to visit

* Thanks to HarperCollins for sending me a copy of AFTERLIFE by Claudia Gray!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #21

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading and it asks us to...

Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Just as the firefighter's fingers ghosted down the back of his tee shirt, Griffin launched himself into the air. And vanished.

~ p. 49

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Releases April 11th– April 17th

Let's have a look at the wonderful books being released this week!

April 12th

The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Kelley Armstrong (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Enclave (Razorland #1) by Ann Aguirre (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Insight by Diana Greenwood (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

What Comes After by Steve Watkins (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

My Unfair Godmother (My Fair Godmother #2) by Janette Rallison (Goodreads ~ Amazon)
April 14th

The Returning by Christine Hinwood (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

April 15th

Shattered: A Daughter's Regret by Melody Carlson (Goodreads ~ Amazon)

Do you want to read one of these new books? I'm definitely going to read The Twilight Guide and What Comes After!