Waiting on Wednesday: The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Mittwoch, 30. September 2015

   Hey guys!
   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
Expected Publication: October 8th 2015 by Ebury Press
Number of Pages: 224 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Hello reader,
   In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!
   We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil's teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan's a fail.
   Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas... (goodreads.com)

   My thoughts:

   I never read this types of books but I really, really like Dan and Phil so when I heard that they were writing a book I immediately know that I would make an exception for them, no matter what type of book it would be.
   Would I prefer a novel over what this book is? Definitely.
   Do I mind that this book isn't a novel? After that whole Zoella ghostwriter chaos/drama months ago, not at all.
   Dan and Phil are super funny and have so many different, interesting and fun stories to tell that I'm sure this book will be great. If you don't know these two yet, however that would be possible, go and check out their YouTube channels.

Ask the Author: Andy Weir (The Martian)

Samstag, 26. September 2015

   Hey guys!
   For this weeks Ask the Author I'm bringing you someone I am infinitely excited about seeing as his book was one of my absolute favorites last year (here's my review) and the movie based upon it is coming out very soon - of course I'm talking about Andy Weir. I had the chance to ask him a couple of Q's which he took the time and answered.
   Here's his book and his A's for my Q's:

The Martian by Andy Weir
Published: February 11th 2014 by Crown
Number of Pages: 369 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him? (goodreads.com)

Interview with Andy Weir

   1 - Describe The Martian with a haiku.
   Mark’s stranded on Mars
   No one knows he’s still alive
   He’s pretty much fucked.

   2 - What sparked the idea for The Martian? Was it the simple idea of an astronaut doing something extraordinary or something else entirely?
   I was imagining a manned Mars mission, putting it together in my mind. Naturally, you have to account for failure scenarios and have plans for what the crew could do. I realized those failure scenarios made for a pretty interesting story.

   3 - As someone who wasn’t the strongest in science back in high school I wondered which you found harder: figuring out the science in The Martian or the story itself?
   The science was easy and fun for me. I’m a dork with a lifelong interest. The hard part was the actual writing. That’s a lot of effort.

   4 - In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   There are a few minor unintentional scientific errors here and there. They’re minor, but I’d fix them.

   5 - What were the first thoughts and emotions you had when you first heard that The Martian would become a movie? How do you feel now, weeks from it finally hitting cinemas all over the world?
   It’s amazing. It’s like a dream come true. You fantasize about this sort of thing happening when you write a story, but you never think it’ll actually happen.

   6 - What’s next? Are you currently working on a new novel and, if so, could you tell us something about it?
   I'm working on my next book now. It's a more traditional sci-fi novel with aliens, faster-than-light travel, etc. It’s tentatively titled “Zhek”.

   7 - Your publishing story is quite an interesting one, a very different one then that from most of the authors who were previously featured on my blog or even my own story. Could you tell us something about it?
   Originally the book was just a serial I posted a chapter at a time to my website. Once the book was done, people started requesting that I make an e-book version so they didn’t have to read it in a web browser. So I did and posted it to my site. Then other people emailed saying they want to read the e-book, but they aren’t technically savvy and don’t know how to download a file from the internet and put it on their e-reader. They requested I make a Kindle version they could just get through Amazon. So I did that as well. I set the price at Amazon’s minimum allowable price of $0.99. More people bought the book from Amazon than downloaded it for free from my website. Amazon has a truly amazing reach into the readership market.
   The book sold very well and made its way up various top-seller lists on Amazon. That got the attention of Julian Pavia at Crown. He told his colleague David Fugate (a literary agent) about it. David ended up becoming my agent and Julian offered me a book deal. It was a whirlwind of activity because 20th Century Fox optioned the movie rights that same week.

   8 - I’m sure your opinion might be at least a tiny bit bias since your novel has been turned into a movie and, looking at the trailer, looks like it does it justice, but what is your general opinion on book-to-movie adaptations?
   They can be amazing or they can be a disaster or they can be anything in-between. I think the adaptation of “The Martian” is fantastic.

   9 - What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   1) You have to actually write. Daydreaming about the book you’re going to write someday isn’t writing. It’s daydreaming. Open your word processor and start writing.
   2) Resist the urge to tell friends and family your story. I know it’s hard because you want to talk about it and they’re (sometimes) interested in hearing about it. But it satisfies your need for an audience, which diminishes your motivation to actually write it. Make a rule: The only way for anyone to ever hear about your stories is to read them.
   3) This is the best time in history to self-publish. There’s no old-boy network between you and your readers. You can self-publish an ebook to major distributors (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) without any financial risk on your part.

Waiting on Wednesday: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Mittwoch, 23. September 2015

   Hey guys!
   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Expected Publication: September 29th 2015 by Henry Holt and Company
Number of Pages: 480 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: Yes, #1

   Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
   A convict with a thirst for revenge.
   A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
   A runaway with a privileged past.
   A spy known as the Wraith.
   A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
   A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
   Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first. (goodreads.com)

   My thoughts:

   I must admit, I've not read the Grisha Trilogy yet (I know shame on me, especially since I own Shadow and Bone) and fantasy isn't really one of my favorite genres at all BUT this book sounds amazing. I love the cover and the hardcover looks amazing with the black edges of the pages and everything. I definitely want to get into Leigh's books and discover this world that she created and so many people have fallen in love with. Hell, I'm willing to pay 17€ for the hardcover version so that already should tell you that I'm really interested in this book.

Waiting on Wednesday: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Mittwoch, 16. September 2015

   Hey guys!
   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler
Published: September 22nd 2015 by HarperTeen
Number of Pages: 336 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   Kate Weston can piece together most of the bash at John Doone’s house: shots with Stacey Stallard, Ben Cody taking her keys and getting her home early—the feeling that maybe he’s becoming more than just the guy she’s known since they were kids.
   But when a picture of Stacey passed out over Deacon Mills’s shoulder appears online the next morning, Kate suspects she doesn’t have all the details. When Stacey levels charges against four of Kate’s classmates, the whole town erupts into controversy. Facts that can’t be ignored begin to surface, and every answer Kate finds leads back to the same question: Where was Ben when a terrible crime was committed?
   This story—inspired by real events—from debut novelist Aaron Hartzler takes an unflinching look at silence as a form of complicity. It’s a book about the high stakes of speaking up, and the razor thin line between guilt and innocence that so often gets blurred, one hundred and forty characters at a time. (goodreads.com)

   My thoughts:

   As you guys know I am a sucker for books that deal with hard topics such as rape, grief, loss, or mental illness so when I discovered What We Saw I immediately knew I wanted to read it. I know it contains a trigger warning for rape and deals with victimizing and the fact that in our society most people tend to blame the victim and not the rapist because "she wore a short skirt so she was basically asking for it" type of thinking. Slut-shaming, consent, and sexism are topics that are huge currently, especially because they are topics that need to be discussed, so I'm always interested to see how well authors handle creating stories featuring them.
   One of my favorite reviewers, Emily from The Book Geek, gave this book 5 out of 5 stars which makes me want to read it only more so I cannot wait to finally be able to read it soon!

Ask the Author: Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed In Blood)

Samstag, 12. September 2015

   Hey guys!
   For this weeks Ask the Author I'm bringing you the amazing Kendare Blake, author of the Anna Dulogy. I've read Anna Dressed in Blood a while back and enjoyed it quite a lot so of course I had to reach out to Kendare Blake and ask her about an interview. Luckily she agreed to do it.
   Here's her book and her A's for my Q's:

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published: July 5th 2012 by Orchard Books
Pages: 373 Pages (Paperback UK)
Series: Yes, #1

   Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
   So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
   Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
   Yet she spares Cas's life. (goodreads.com)

Interview with Kendare Blake

   1 – Describe Anna Dressed in Blood with a haiku.
   Anna Dressed in Blood
   She kills all who enter here
   Yet she spares his life

   2 – What sparked the idea for Anna Dressed in Blood? Was it the simple idea of a boy who is something like a ghost hunter or something else entirely?
   Honestly I just wanted to write something that featured blood and guts. I wanted to write about decaying bodies and stuff. I hadn't written about that in a long time. I'd been doing mostly literary, in my MA programme. Plus, I wanted to play Silent Hill, but no one would play with me.

   3 – Was there a scene in the book you specifically remember writing because it stuck out to you, either in a positive or negative way?
   I remember writing the scene where Cas and his mom are trapped in his bedroom, listening to something approaching. That one was a lot of fun. It was the only scene that scared me while writing it.

   4 – What do you think makes Anna Dressed in Blood stand out?
   I don't know exactly. I really don't. I mean, I'm very glad that it does, and that people seem to enjoy it. I hope people continue to, because the movie project is still in the works!

   5 – In retrospective, is there anything that you’d change about the story or are you happy with the way it turned out in the end?
   I would never change anything! Now, that it's out, that's the way Cas told it, and that's the way it happened. If I changed anything now, I'd be making him lie.

   6 - How long did it take you from first idea until publishing deal?
   I can't exactly remember. I had the idea in the fall of 2008, and started writing in early 2009. I think I signed my agent in late 2009 and had a publishing offer in late winter, 2010. So, about two years from idea to deal. And another year and a half from deal to published book.

   7 - How did you feel when you first realized that this story you had written would soon be read by thousands of people and how do you feel now, years later, before your next book will be released? Did the feeling change or is it still the same?
   The feeling is a bit different, because now I know what to reasonably expect. That first time, I had no idea. It was all awe and wonder, and the culmination of over a decade of dreams and work. But it still feels great. Every single time, it still feels great.

   8 – What do you think about the cover of Anna Dressed in Blood? Is it anything like you imagined it being?
   I hardly ever imagine my covers. I'm just not a designer. When I saw Anna's cover, even the first draft of it, which had a vastly different hairstyle, I was blown away. I loved it. I still love it. Sometimes I wish it wasn't quite so fricken awesome, because lots of books I know get cool new foreign covers, but pretty much every foreign edition of Anna Dressed in Blood has had the same cover, just slightly tweaked. I think the only countries that changed it so far were Taiwan, Turkey, and maybe Indonesia.

   9 – Green or blue?
   Blue. But green is very nice.

   10 – What advice could you give aspiring authors?
   Read! It's the most important thing. And Write! It's also the most important thing. And it's harder than it sounds, just to finish something. Learn to finish things. Don't have a bunch of shiny ideas and only write the first three chapters. Finish it! Get it on the page. Even if it sucks, you can fix it later. But if it stays in your head, there's nothing to fix, nothing to work on.

   11 – If you were forced to participate in The Hunger Games, as female from District 12, what would be your strategy? Fight or flight?
   Probably similar to Katniss'. Flight first, then trap and fight when pressed. I wouldn't ally with anybody. Unless I planned on dying from the start. Like, to make a statement or to save someone else or something.

About the Author

   So, I write books. Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are horror, The Goddess War books are mythology, and Sleepwalk Society is contemporary. Different genres, because the world don't move to the beat of just one drum. Love to read, too. Fiction, philosophy, good books, bad books, because you take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have a stack of books and stuff. I mean, you've got to be adventurous. There's more to life that what you're living, so take a chance and face the wind.
   There's more coming soon like Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and Ungodly in 2015, so don't waste another minute on your cryin. We're nowhere near the end.
   My likes include animals, food, and nostalgia. I mean, whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV? Used to be everywhere you look, there's a heart, a hand to hold on to.
   Anyway, I love to hear from readers so drop me a line here or at my website and we'll talk about friends to know, and ways to grow, and great authors to be in charge of our days, and our nights.
   We can also talk about all the sitcom theme songs in this bio. Sha la la la.

Review: Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

Dienstag, 1. September 2015

Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
Published: May 13th 2014 by Gallery Books
Number of Pages: 416 Pages (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 in the Wild Seasons Series
Buy it: Book Depository
- Free worldwide shipping -

   One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.
   But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.
   When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away. (goodreads.com)

“Life is built of these little horrible moments and the giant expanses of awesome in between.”

   Sweet Filthy Boy is one of those books that have totally improbable plots yet still suck you in from page one on and won't let you go until you're done reading the entire thing. I read more then half the book the day it arrived at my house, needless to mention that I only stopped reading because it'd been already 4:00 am and I had stuff to do the next day.
   The story follows Mia Holland, a college graduate, and sets off when she decides to drive to Las Vegas with her two best friends. Because Vegas is Vegas things happen in the form of Mia meeting Ansel, a guy from France, and marries him while completely drunk. That in itself sounds like any other story featuring two people getting married drunk in Las Vegas, but what follows after those events is what made the story interesting and infinitely cute and addicting.

“I wonder if he thinks he married a girl with two personalities: vixen and wallflower.”

   I really liked Mia. She was a very interesting and relatable female protagonist. She was shy but still had a wild side yet she wasn't one of those characters who, when they see something they just go for it because they are strong like that, even if it doesn't go along with their character. Some of her decisions were a little weird but who hasn't made a weird decision at least once. Most of her actions made sense, or at least made sense for her character.
   I, like probably most females reading this novel, really liked Ansel, despite his ridiculously unsexy name and the fact that men like him don't exist in real life. He was charming, caring, kind and sweet with a spicy/filthy side to him. I loved how much he cared for Mia, even though she was a still a stranger, kind of, when they flew to France together. One of his decisions seemed totally ridiculous to me, but I guess it was necessary for the plot to play out the way it did. I wished he would have handled the situation a little differently and clarified a couple of things before the blew up in his face, but in the end I still thought he was a great character.

“He’s the guy who’ll do a ridiculous robot dance to make you laugh, who’ll lick the 
tip of your nose, make a fool out of himself for a smile. I’m sure if I tried to 
wrestle him to the ground, he’d let me win. And enjoy every minute.”

   The writing style was addicting, extremely funny and descriptive, but not too much. I could easily slip into the story, though in the very beginning of the book I was a little lost for a moment as to who narrates the story, which I know I'm not the only one to whom that happened. The characters were well developed and the scenery made me want to visit Paris, like, yesterday. I loved the couple of french sentences that were thrown into the dialogues. I really like it when authors do that as it underlines even more that the characters are in a foreign country and have to ability to speak in a language other then English. This was also beautifully underlined by how Ansel sometimes didn't remember a word in English and needed to describe it to Mia so she could try and guess which one he means.

    Sweet Filthy Boy was entertaining, steamy, creative and utterly addicting, a perfect read to get out of the reading slump, or at least it was for me. The chemistry between Mia and Ansel was off the charts, the story interesting and set mostly in a country other then America, which is always nice, and offered many moments to laugh out loud. I definitely recommend this one to lovers of contemporary novels, those old enough to read NA since this novel features a number of sex scenes, and those who are on the hunt for a addictive romance read.
   I give Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren 4 out of 5 stars.