Friday, October 31, 2014

Kicking Off: Nonfiction November

Becca from Lostinbooks is hosting Nonfiction November and thanks to Twitter (opening this account has turn out to be quite useful guys!) I heard about it!!. This will be my first ever Nonfiction November and yesterday I took a look at the books I already HAVE and that I am eager to read that fall in the Nonfiction genre: 


Now, as you probably remember, I still have the Sword and Laser book club, and I am participating in the Mara Dyer's readalong, and I have to Galleys that I need to check before November 25,  so I know I won't be able to tackle this six books...well, seven, there is one coming next week, but I didn't included in the list, since I don't have it yet. So, here is what I am planing to do: I will read for sure What we See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund, because I got it in my Quarterly box and it's been killing me that I haven't read it yet AND Why I Read by Wendy Lesser and that way I stick to reading Nonfiction related to reading! See what I did there? I know, I am quite witty...not.

Anyway, are you guys participating? if you are, leave me a link to your choices, I would love to get more future ideas. There will be post every week and you can see the list of subjects here. I won't be joining their readalong this time, but maybe next year. 

Happy Halloween!!



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Halloween


In the words of Jessi from Novel Heartbeat:
It’s a weekly feature. Each week I will choose a subject and talk about that subject in my life. The topics will be non-bookish so that you can get to know me on a more personal level! I definitely encourage you guys to participate, too. I want this to be meme style with a linky for you to add your posts to. I want to know more about you guys as well!
Today's topic is Halloween. I cannot show you my costume yet, since my party is on Saturday and I've managed to keep it a surprise from my friends. But let me present to you this year pumpkin!


In previous years our themes have varied quite a bit, but let me show you some of them: 
This is A as Tintin, my best friend (C) as a Zombie; her bf as a Ghostbuster and me as Minnie
A as Link and me as Kurumu Kurono
Hoppi wearing a bow tie, since he has Tuxedo coloring
And C's cat Pita as a bat!


This year we will be giving candy on Friday, there is a lot of kids in the neighborhood and it is quite fun. And then the party and that's pretty much it. Halloween is more C's holiday, she goes all out!!

What about you? what are you doing for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Secret of a Thousand Beauties by Mingmei Yip


I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Kensington Books for the book. The expected publication date is November 25, 2014.

First impressions

Look at the beautiful cover!! I will be honest with you today and say the first reason I had to ask for this book was the cover. And then I saw that the book takes place in China during the 1930s when a lot of contrasting situations were taking place. For example The Nationalist party with the end of the Warlord era while on the other side you have people still clinging to the overthrown Qing dynasty and their ancient traditions. Mingmei Yip tells the story of Spring Swallow, a young woman who seems to be marked with bad luck very early on. The author sets such a beautiful backdrop of the changing China and a changing woman determined to not letting her fate to be determined by others.

Final thoughts

This was such a sad book to read. Poor Spring Swallow couldn't catch a break! Promised in marriage before she was born, she is forced to become a ghost bride, which means marrying the spirit of her promised dead fiancé. Forced by tradition to take a path like this she decides to run away. She joins a group of embroiders, lead by Aunty Peony. All of the girls seem to have miserable pasts, but is Aunty Peony who becomes a mystery since she won't talk much about herself, only order and teach the girls.

But the pain in Spring Swallow won't end after she escaped. She will love and lost again, not only lovers but friend and family. And through it all we see China changing bit by bit and I think the voice of Spring Swallow was really well adjusted to see these changes as a foreign. Since she was accustomed to her ways of a tiny village, she discusses the changes and the implications of them.

The book has a slow pace but this is not necessarily a bad thing when the subjects discussed are foreign for the reader; it allows terms and notions to set in and then to concentrate on the story itself. I loved the dynamics between characters; they were well constructed and read nicely and so the outcome between each character was well rounded at the end.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Witch Sisters and The Descent by Alma Katsu (The Taker #2.5 and #3)


First impression

I really liked the two first book of this trilogy so I was quite eager to finish it. I am happy I read the short story The Witch Sisters since it gave more context to what was happening in the third and final book. I was a bit disappointed with the story of the latter however; there is more about Adair's past and it was interesting to see Lanore "confront her demons" but...there was something missing; the darkness present in the previous books was there but felt diluted. It was still a nice roundup of the story but I was hoping for more.

Final thoughts


When I started reading The Descent I kept feeling like I had forgotten stuff from the second book. As it turns out, it just happens that I didn't and Katsu simply decided to turn things around quite a bit. I don't want to give spoilers, but since this happened in the first pages, here it is. Luke is dead...dead! It felt so out of the blue to just take him out of the picture, but oh well.

I like Adair, as twisted as he is and I enjoyed the back story development. I was even surprised at the end. But...this calmer version of Adair has its downfall and it just fell flat compared to the dark, sinister character presented in the other books.

Lanore stays more or less true to herself and as I mentioned it gave a nice closure to her side of the story when she had to confront her friends and foes. But once again, it feels like a fading, washed out version of her. In the past books she felt strong, determined...here it was almost like just going through the motions.

I rounded the rating to a 4 because the end itself was different. It just feels like is a book from a completely different series. Even the cover seems to go for a different story, compared to the gorgeous and mysterious previous ones. Oh well.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Life of a Blogger: Origin of your name


In the words of Jessi from Novel Heartbeat:
It’s a weekly feature. Each week I will choose a subject and talk about that subject in my life. The topics will be non-bookish so that you can get to know me on a more personal level! I definitely encourage you guys to participate, too. I want this to be meme style with a linky for you to add your posts to. I want to know more about you guys as well!

What is the origin of my name? Carolina is the feminine version of Carlos (Carolus in Latin or just Charles) and it is supposed to have its origins with Charlemagne. I've been told is supposed to be the name of very organized people (true in my case, not so much my best friend whose name is also Carolina :P) but also very strong headed or stubborn...which is also true in my case.

As for how I was named Carolina, is a very short story: my aunt, who also happens to be my godmother, started calling my mom's belly Carolina the moment she knew my mom was pregnant. She didn't know if I was going to be a girl, she just decided the baby's name was Carolina. And my mom liked it and here we are.

So what's your name's origin?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The book has a really dark cover so I'm afraid you can't read the title :/

First impression

I had never heard about this book before, and for that I have to thank Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie. While this could've been just another YA supernatural, the supernatural part was very different (for me). You do have the "oh I hate him, no wait I love him now" moment, but, I saw that one coming so it didn't make me roll my eyes. It was quite an enjoyable read, what can I say. Plus I was still surprised by a couple of things, so hey, not bad!

Final thoughts

Let's discuss the book a bit more comprehensibly. The main character, Mara, wakes up after being in a terrible accident. She is the only survivor and she has lost her best friend, boyfriend and his sister, but she can't remember anything of what happened. She does, however, have episodes of PTSD and depression, not that you could blame her. She asks for her family to move and they end up in Florida (see, this part made me purse my lips, because, as bad as what happened was it felt like a bit too much to ask and in a drop of a hat her family is on board, anyway) She is now in a new city, in a new school and turns out the moving is not really helping her PTSD so...not great.

Queue to cute, mysterious boy with British Accent, Noah. He has his eye on Mara but she wants nothing to do with him, because he has some reputation...and you know already they end up together.

But Caro, you say, where is the supernatural? Well, things point out that when Mara wants someone dead, really wants them to, they actually die. Just like that. Mara doesn't really intend to kill them and has no idea how to control this, but for some reason that hasn't been discussed yet, she can kill with thoughts.

So what did I like about the book. I liked the characters. Well most of them, but particularly Mara's family. And Mara is not bad herself. She didn't feel to me like the insufferable teen that has become so common in YA books. Yes, she is full of angst, but she had an actual tragedy and a creepy discovery about herself that makes it more than understandable for her to feel that way.

I liked the fact that the author doesn't over "teenify" the dialogues. Oh, I hate when for some reason authors just drop expressions that they seem to think teens use and the dialogue seemed like a parody of airheads. This wasn't the case for this book and that I appreciate.

The fact that both Noah and Jaime have interesting back stories was nice. I would like to learn more about them in the next book. And the fact that they are NOT in a love triangle with Mara made it even better. I am tired of the love triangle. Was I the only teenager not to have that? Anyway, I am giving it 4 stars because the pacing was nice, the slow building up to the story behind the accident was well carried, and because I liked the characters enough to want to continue reading the series. Not a full 5 stars because, while different, it did not blow me away.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Followers Giveaway!!



Hello, hello.

Do you know what happened? Well, the fall Dewey Read-a-Thon did and with that I now have 40 lovely followers here and 13 at BlogLovin. That makes me so happy guys! Thank you so much. I wanted to count the Feedburner followers too, but as it turns out it is only giving me an average based on latest visits, and that is always a bit inflated after these events.

But it got me thinking that I should do a Giveaway! Let's assume that I have 53 individual followers for the blog (I could only see one of you following me both by BL and through Blogger itself). Here is the deal: IF I make it to a lovely 60 (or more) total followers I will be giving away 15 CAD at The Book Depository, so obviously the giveaway is openly internationally.

However, I think is only fair that the active followers get extra points, and that is why if you leave me a comment down below you will get another entry, with more points, in the Rafflecopter. Please comment on either one thing you like about my blog or something you think I should improve, or both. That way I will also get some feedback and hopefully make the blog better.

So there you have it, the giveaway will be open until October 31st at midnight and then I will announce the winner :). Tell your friends!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 20, 2014

Die I will Not by S.K. Rizzolo (John Chase Mistery #3)



I asked and received this book through NetGalley for free. This review is not sponsored nor influenced in anyway. Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press for the book. The books is expected to be published on November 4th, 2014

First impression

This happens to me more often that I would like to admit...I start a book and I realized that is part of a series. But I decided to continue with it, because it was a crime book, setting in Georgian London! As it turns out the main story, the murder of a prominent editor could stand alone, but it wasn't as excited as I was hoping for. On the other hand the story of Penelope Wolfe seemed interesting, but unfortunately a lot of back-story was just hinted and so I was at lost there.

Final thoughts


First the things I enjoyed: the setting and description of it was very nice. The author definitely does a wonderful job putting your mind in the Georgian era, not only with fashion descriptions but the streets, situation and even in the dialogues.

I could feel that Penelope is quite a strong character and there are hints to her past, but off course you are supposed to know the nuances of it because you have read the previous books.

If I concentrate in the mystery itself, while I cannot say that it was predictable I wasn't grabbed by the story in a way that I would've try to guess beforehand who had committed the murder.

I would probably suggest this to other that really like Georgian set pieces, with the caveat that they should read the previous two books before. Maybe if I had better knowledge of the recurrent characters I would've drifted less often from the book and enjoyed the mystery part a bit more.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 24 and End of Event

Hello everyone. Hour 24...wait, what? I did it?? I did it!!!

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent. I am a bit sad I couldn't finish all my books, but I am in general satisfied.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1239, at least I read a bit the past hour
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 23
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 177 visits. So I manage to visit each blog 3 times :)

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

End of Event Meme:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
This past 2 hours I was really struggling, I barely read 20 pages each hour, I kept re reading the same sentence!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I really enjoyed all of my books, but I would say The Catcher in the Rye was funner than I thought it would be.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really, I love the organization this year. Great job guys!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The variety of support and challenges. As a cheerleader I loved the spreadsheet so we could make sure of who was lacking support.

5. How many books did you read?
4 and 3/4 ;)

6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
I was pleasantly surprised with TCitR

8. Which did you enjoy least?
If I have to say one it would be The Sister Brothers; I liked it but not as much as I thought I was going to.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I am very proud of my team, and as I mentioned, the spreadsheet did wonders for me. But as a reader I have to say, not a lot of cheering came my way :/

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
 Oh for sure I will be there in Spring unless something in the lab happens. As for my role, I might just stick to reading next time, we will see.

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 23

Hello everyone. Hour 22 only 3 hours to go!

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1224, at least I read a bit the past hour
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 22
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 168 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am almost done with my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 22

Hello everyone. Hour 22 only 3 hours to go!

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1179...I know, barely advanced, I kept reading the same sentence several times :
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 20
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 160 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am almost done with my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 21

Hello everyone. Hour 21, we are so close!!!

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1120...I know, barely advanced, I kept reading the same sentence several times :
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 20
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 149 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am almost done with my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  
Here are my guesses: 

  1. Miss Penunmbra's 24-hour bookstore
  2. I can read with my Eyes Shut
  3. The Neverending Story
  4. Farenheit 451
  5. The Book of Tomorrow
  6. The Weird Sisters
  7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  8. Misery
  9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  10. The Uncommon Reader
  11. The Night Bookmobile
  12. The Book Thief
  13. The Body in the Library
  14. Dewey: The Small-town Library-cat Who Touched the World

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 20

Hello everyone. Hour 20.Well, A has gone to bed and now is just me and the cat...and you guys off course!

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1089
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 19
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 140 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am starting my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  
Swedish Noir Novella: Is a great genre because it has the mystery of any thriller plus unbelievable dark yet beautiful settings. Authors from this genre seemed to have taken the darkness of a very long winter and put into their creepy characters to the dot!

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 19

Hello everyone.Hour 19 starting, how are you all doing?

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1050...40 pages last hour :/ better but I don't know if I will make it too all my stack now.
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 18
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 132 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am starting my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  
Swedish Noir Novella: Is a great genre because it has the mystery of any thriller plus unbelievable dark yet beautiful settings. Authors from this genre seemed to have taken the darkness of a very long winter and put into their creepy characters to the dot!

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 18

Hello everyone.I had a cappuccino and I am feeling a bit better.

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 1010...I barely read 30 pages last hour :/
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 17
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 124 visits. I have officially done the round twice and I am starting my third round for some blogs :D

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 17

Hello everyone.I had a cappuccino and I am feeling a bit better.

Books finished: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent.
Books started: 5->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers; The Descent; Alif the Unseen
Pages read: 979
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 16
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 118 visits. I have officially done the round twice! As we are approaching midnight I will take a break of cheering, but I will be back, don't worry!

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 16

Hello everyone.Getting tired, time to get coffee I think

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 900
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 14
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 118 visits. I have officially done the round twice! As we are approaching midnight I will take a break of cheering, but I will be back, don't worry!

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 15

Hello everyone. We are beginning hour 15 and I am starting to feel like I might need a nap soon :/ I really want to make it to the 24h, but we will see what happens.

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 827
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 13
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 102 visits

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 14

Hello everyone. We past the half mark and I don't know about you but I had to walk around the house a bit to stretch my legs. How are you guys doing?

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 747
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 13
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 92 visits

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 13

Hello everyone. We past the half mark and I don't know about you but I had to walk around the house a bit to stretch my legs. How are you guys doing?

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 687
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 12
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 86 visits

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 12 AND Mid-Event Survey

Hello everyone. Already hour 12! Did you have time to participate in my challenge? I hope you did!

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?

I jsut started The Descent by Alma Katsu
2. How many books have you read so far?

I have finished 3 books
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

That would be Beautiful Redemption since I am eager to finish that series!
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Only self imposed, walk around the house a bit to wake me up.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

It always surprises me how committed people are through the day!

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 627
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 10
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 77 visits

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 11

Hello everyone. Already hour 11! Did you have time to participate in my challenge? it will be open for another  hour, so you still have time!

Books finished: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers.
Books started: 4->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers, The Descent.
Pages read: 627
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 10
# of Blogs visited: 59 unique visits, but I just started re doing my rounds so we are up to 68 visits

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 10

Hello everyone. Already hour 10! Did you have time to participate in my challenge? it will be opne for another 2 hours, so you still have time!

Books finished: 2->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye.
Books started: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers
Pages read: 522
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 9
# of Blogs visited: 59

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)

Dewey Read-a-Thon: Hour 9

Hello everyone. Is it hour 9 and that means is time for MY challenge! I hope you have a chance to drop by and participate

Books finished: 2->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye.
Books started: 3->The Witch Sisters; The Catcher in the Rye; The Sister Brothers
Pages read: 429
Hours slept: 0
Total hours reading: 8
# of Blogs visited: 53

Mini-challenges in which I'm participating:  

Ok guys, back to reading :)