Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • 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!

Firstlife by Gena Showalter.

Firstlife – Harlequin TEEN

Fate is an excuse, a way to remove blame and therefore guilt for poor decision making. Free choice decides the outcome of your life, not fate.
— Chapter 2

But the thing I wonder most? Do I have a set fate, or can I change it? In other words … can I mess it up worse?
— Chapter 3




When you’re turning 18 you are on the threshold of deciding things that will influence the rest of your life. That can feel pretty frightening. Now imagine that at this point when you hopefully still have more than three quarters of your life ahead of you the decision you have to make will also dictate where and how you’ll spend whatever comes after the end of your life, possibly for eternity. Sounds utterly terrifying? Welcome to the Everlife series.
Heaven and Hell are such old concepts in terms of afterlife scenarios that it is well time for a new idea … or maybe not such a new one but rather an updated version of an old one? Possibly Greek- and Egyptian-influenced but minus the multitude of deities and plus an army of solicitors clamouring for you to sign over your soul to their afterlife party.
I immediately appreciated the protagonist’s struggle to decide between the two options as both have their pros and cons. One of them sounds awesome in the short term but could turn very badly at any point for any reason and the other sounds safe but also a little boring if not uninspired … and also on the losing end of a perpetual war.
The other thing I appreciated how there were two guys trying to win over the girl and yet it is not a love triangle. Even if I don’t actually see the appeal of the love interest but I’d also think it’d be boring if all of us liked maracuya cheesecake ice cream (even if it’s so delicious).
The story is additionally (ha!) riddled with number facts and puzzles which are fun to work along and observe yet they don’t diminish the reading experience if maths isn’t your thing. I’m looking forward to continuing this series. Especially after that ending but I suppose it could have been even more cliffhanger-y.

There is a third option for not choosing a side at all, which is arguably the worst of all deals. Would you go safe and equal but also without rewards or negotiate for an amazing deal with benefits which is not safe and always in danger of being rewritten by the other party? Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • 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!

Frostblood by Elly Blake.

Frostblood – Little, Brown
Books for Young Readers

“Guest?” I repeated drily. “Does the abbey welcome many guests with ankle chains?”
“Its standards have fallen abysmally.”
— Chapter 3

“Perhaps if I gain some weight, you won’t call me a stick anymore.”
“You may hope to one day be a branch.”
— Chapter 9




The tagline – The Reign Of Ice Must End – held a very special appeal for me when I sat between all those snow Easter bunnies last week. And lo and behold, yesterday we actually had temperatures that one can call reminiscent of early summer. Which I promptly celebrated by sitting in a car for nearly nine hours but that’s neither here nor there.
This story takes the concept of having ice (or fire) in your veins a step further and has two classes of people, who can (masterfully or not so masterfully) command fire or ice. And as you can guess those two peoples do not get along too well. Or rather they want to each extinguish the other. So if you’re someone with fire magic it is rather a dangerous thing to live in the land of frost but that is exactly where our protagonist grew up. And rather quickly finds herself in prison about to die because of her fire. Until she is saved by an unlikely pair of ice wielders. Not that this makes things any easier but I’ll let you puzzle over that one yourself.
You probably know by now that I love some good banter and this book has so much of it. Ruby is everything you associate with someone who has fire in her heart, quite literally: passionate, consuming, unrelenting, yet also nurturing and caring. And I especially enjoyed her attempts to melt Sir McFrostypants. Great fun and I’m looking forward to reading more in the sequel after that twisty end.

After I complained about it being too cold for too long I immediately was almost boiled in my car last Sunday. Are you rather in the it’s-never-too-cold or the it’s-never-too-hot camp? Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Teaser Tuesday: The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • 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!

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee.

The Dazzling Heights –
HarperCollins

But the thing about the truth was that once you learned it, it became impossible to unlearn. No matter how many pills Leda popped, it was still there, lurking in the corners of her mind like an unwanted guest.
— Chapter 2

They were friends again, and therefore any enemy of Avery’s was now an enemy of hers. She was still Leda Cole, damn it, and no one hurt the people she cared about.
— Chapter 36



With the first book I was unintentionally spoilt about the identity of the victim but with this one, I took good care to avoid any such thing. And thus I found myself hoping that it wasn’t one of my favourites and just a little bit wishing that it might be one of the others. And that wish shifted while I was reading because I had to shift allegiances a little during this second book. I’m usually quite set in my affections but here I find that it’s mostly a degree of whom you find least loathsome … in a way at least. I understand all their motives and struggles to an extent but their ultimate way of handling things is maybe a little above my pay grade.
The only thing I really have difficulty understanding is one of the main “secrets” regarding Avery because I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. But maybe I was raised in a too liberal mindset. But now I suspect the group has enough tension among itself plus most likely another secret that will either bind them forever or be their downfall. I’m very intrigued to find out how this will play out or possibly fall to ruins in the next book.

Have you had a character in a book you wished would die only to suddenly find that there is maybe another one you loathe even more? Share your experiences and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • 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!

Nemesis by Anna Banks.

Nemesis –
Feiwel & Friends

But with new problems come new solutions, and Tarik is not interested in clinging to custom if it means losing his people. Some traditions are to be respected—but so is common sense.
— Chapter 36

He dares not ask, for no matter what her answer, he will hear only the truth. And some truths he cannot bear the weight of. Only recently did he learn this about himself.
— Chapter 50




This book had me giggling for a completely unintentional reason: one of the gifted people is called Lingots, which has to do with hearing the truth but also being able to speak and understand any language … and funnily enough my language learning app rewards you in a currency called Lingots. I’m quite sure it’s unrelated but a nice detail anyway.
Only because someone is able to hear if they are being lied to obviously doesn’t mean they know the answer to everything. This becomes ever more clear when the two main characters of this duology … let’s call it meet. Tarik is a Lingot and Sepora has way too many secrets to hide, including her very existence. And apparently hiding in plain sight actually works. For a while at least.
I had a lot of fun reading about these two dancing around each other and learning to navigate personal and political matters (because obviously while falling in love you also must be able to run/save a nation/the future of your continent). I realised just now that most of my bookmarks happen to be in Tarik’s chapters. Maybe because the outside perspective of his third-person narration lends itself better to being quotable than Sepora’s first-person point of view. That or I’m toast, which is also a good explanation. Anyway, these perspective switches are a neat narrative method. It might have been confusing to switch points of view within characters as well, but sometimes that could have added another layer of mystique or insight. I would have loved to really have Tarik’s perspective or a more external view on Sepora, but I understand why this might have seemed unfeasible.
The book ends on a mean cliffhanger but luckily the second book is already out so that torture can be avoided.

Would you like to be able to immediately know if what you hear is the truth? I think this can be a real burden while at the same time also be quite useful for various reasons. Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Teaser Tuesday: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia of The Purple Booker.
To play along just do the following:
  • 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!

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.

Wintersong – Titan Books

“But remember, Elisabeth, our childish games are behind us now.” Those wolf’s eyes glittered. “When I play, I play for keeps.”
— Chapter 6

But hope … hope was stubborn. Like a weed it returned, even after I had plucked it away again and again.
— Chapter 30




Happy Spring Equinox/first day of spring. (And happy birthday to two very important people in my life, although I suspect that if at all only one of them will read this ;)) Winter returned with a vengeance this past weekend to my neck of the woods, I hope you have been faring a little better than this sun and warmth deprived reader. So what could be better fitting than a book with winter in the title?
I was very pleasantly surprised that the setting of this book hit very close to home for me geographically speaking. And linguistically, because the author amusingly adds the odd German phrase here and there and while I usually find this a little tedious if the foreign language is then immediately translated this wasn’t the case here but I imagine that non-natives will be able to discern the meaning. I’m also quietly pleased that I only found one grammatical error and one stylistic oddity among those phrases. I wonder how the exotic phrases were handled in the German translation. But I digress … language nerd.
There is a second book recently published to which I will come eventually. It will be interesting to see if the connection of faery (yes, again) to motives from other mythologies will remain as strong there. Or maybe even stronger for there is a secret to be uncovered and a possible curse to be broken. As well as several other fun elements that I hope to see again and see resolved. It’s very fun to see one’s home depicted as a magical and to English readers also foreign/possibly slightly exotic place. After all, the deep dark German woods are the home to many of the original faery tale creatures. And if after you’ve read this book you feel the urge to read the decisive poem on der Erlk├Ânig by Goethe, I’ll direct you to my favourite translation right next to the original and the literal version here. Only know that our heroine would soundly disagree with this version of him as she comes to know him in quite a different capacity.

Have you ever been surprised by a book being set in what is basically your neighbourhood? I suspect this happens more often to English readers than to Germans reading English books. Share your thoughts and teasers in the comments!