Confessions of a Book Blogger: Book Hype- Expectations vs. Reality

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Whether we as readers like to admit it or not, our expectations of a book are largely influenced by the hype it receives. A lot of the hype comes from publishers, media, bloggers, and even other readers. For me, a book can be hyped even when it comes highly recommended by a person I trust to suggest a particular title or author to me.

I’ve found in my time as a reader and even more so in the year that I’ve been blogging that books in a series are more likely to be hyped, especially as each book is released. A similar thing happens when a popular author (for instance, John Green) releases a new title.

Hype builds our expectations, makes us feel like each title we read will be better than the last. It makes us excited to read new releases or a popular series/book. But it can also raise our expectations too high and we are left disappointed.

When a book lives up to the hype:

Snl-so-freakin-excitedThere isn’t much that feels more exciting than a great book that gives you what it promises and then some. When you just want to constantly dive in that world and live there. When you want it to be a series so that you can hold on to that world for just that much longer.

I usually know that my book expectations have been met when I have difficulty getting into the next book on my TBR list because it’s not the same world with the same characters.

 

When expectations aren’t met:

giphyUgh. When I am let down by a book, I have such a difficult time finishing it. It’s even worse when the whole book is ok and then the end just falls flat, ruining the whole thing. I’ve read a couple of books this year so far that really didn’t meet my expectations. Needless to say, I won’t be finishing these series and I will be more reluctant to pick up another book by the same author.

I also have way different expectations for a sci-fi or fantasy novel than I do for a contemporary novel. Do you find yourself doing this as well?

I try to hold them to different standards, knowing that the characters, scenarios, and writing styles can be vastly different.

Also, how do expectations influence your reading?

My New Obsession- Daughter of Smoke and Bone review

daughterofsmokeandboneSynopsis:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was one of those books that I just had to read after hearing bloggers and booktubers gush about how much they loved it and how they were waiting patiently (some not so much) for the third book in the series to come out. It had been on my TBR list for a while, so I finally decided to join the club (quite late) and read it.

And wow am I glad that I did!

Laini Taylor has written a beautifully crafted book about a girl who lives split between two worlds. Karou is desperately trying to find out who she is and learn more about her past. I was instantly swept away by the world that Taylor has created and fascinated by the characters, especially the chimera, who seem to be gentle giants but who also have scary secrets of their own. It gives a new twist to the idea of angels and demons, pitting them against each other in ways that make you think differently about both parties.

Karou is a strong, smart female character, one that I wish we saw more of in YA. She is a hard person to get to know and has more skeletons in her closet and secrets to keep than she cares to admit. She isn’t afraid to whoop a lot of ass and has the scars to prove it. However, I adored her and her relationships with the other characters in the book, especially her best friend Zuzana and her father-figure Brimstone.

Akiva is an angel hell-bent on revenge. He wants to destroy the chimera, but he is intrigued by Karou. He is a sexy, yet sometimes infuriating character that had me both cheering and fuming. Did I mention he was sexy??

10helloI mean, really.

My only issue with this book was the last couple of chapters. I guessed the twist before it happened (which was okay) but I just felt like the end was an info-dump extravaganza. I liked it and felt that it fit with the book, I just wished that it was broken up a little bit more.

Basically if you haven’t read Daughter of Smoke and bone yet, you should at least give it a try. It was captivating, beautiful, and tragic. I have both the second and third book just waiting for me to have time to jump into them and explore Karou’s world a little bit more.

If I could sum up in one GIF the way Daughter of Smoke and Bone made me feel, it would be :

exciteddavidtennantUnbe-freaking-lievably excited! Daughter of Smoke and Bone is probably the best book I have read thus far in 2014.

 

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?

 

What I'm Reading & Writing Wednesday

whatimreadingandwritingwednesdayHey there friends and happy Wednesday! It’s that time of the week where I let you all know what is going on in the world of Amanda’s Nose in a Book.

What I just finished reading…

coverCheck out my review/ book tour post about this book here.Written on her Heart was a fun, flirty, and refreshing NA Contemporary Romance.

What I’m Reading…

Yes, I am still reading Cress by Marissa Meyer. It’s taking me much longer than usual because I am preparing for a craft show that is in early June, and I only have a little bit of time every day to read. Luckily I should be finishing this either today or tomorrow.

After I finish Cress, (and yes I am determined to finish it this week) I am going to read Days of Blood and Starlight. I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone at the end of last month and have been itching to read the next book in the series since. Hopefully I will be able to post a review of Daughter of Smoke and Bone very soon.

What I’m Writing…

Nothing at the moment! I am taking a week or so off from writing and working on my novel to reassess what exactly it is that I want to do with it. That and the crocheting is kind of taking over my life.

What I’m Up To…

I have made all of the following cute critters within the last two weeks!

Which is why I am still not done with Cress!! But I got bit by the crochet bug again after taking so much time off from it after Christmas.

I also came home last Friday to a surprise package from Epic Reads with two books inside. I completely forgot that I entered to win books from them, but I was so happy to see that I won something.

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What are you reading this week? What else are you up to?

Top Ten Book Covers I'd Frame As Pieces of Art

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

I feel like it’s been so long since I have done a Top Ten Tuesday (it’s been over a month if I’m not mistaken) so I’m excited to get back into the swing of things with this week’s theme, Top Ten Book Covers I’d Frame As Pieces of Art. So in no particular order.

10. The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi

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Holy gorgeous!!!! These book covers are so incredibly beautiful. I especially love Ignite Me (those colors!!)

9. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

hugo_intro_cover2I love the details in the gears on the cover of this book and the moon/city behind it, but I would love to paper my walls with the gorgeous illustrations inside!!!

8. The Harry Potter Series (original US covers) by J.K. Rowling

3I’m not going to lie to you and this might make me a huge geek, but I would hang posters of every single one of these book covers on my wall. They are so beautiful and detailed and I love the color schemes that were used by the illustrator. That and well, it’s Harry Potter.

7. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevive Tucholke

imagesLet’s just forget that I didn’t like the book for a moment, shall we??? This cover is effing beautiful. Take out the text and it’s creepy and just plain gorgeous.

6. Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle Book 3) by Maggie Steifvater

17378508This book hasn’t been released yet, but oh my goodness is the cover stunning! I am loving the greens, purples, and blues together!

5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Okay, it  might be because I am obsessed with this series right now, but I love the cover of this book. It’s unique and just plain gorgeous.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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There are so many beautiful covers for this novel, but I love this one. It’s gorgeous and I love how the title is written in tree branches.

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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This book is on my TBR, but the cover is what originally drew me in. I love the white on black with a pop of red.

2. Daughter of Smoke and Bone/ Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

daughterofsmokeandboneI love the pop of color used on both of these book covers (and am quite obsessed with this series at the moment!

1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

oceanlaneIt might just be that I love everything about this book, but I love this cover, it’s creepy yet graceful. I love the depth of color here.

Nameless by Lili St. Crow- A unique spin on a beloved fairy tale

nameless Synopsis:

When Camille was six years old, she was discovered alone in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, godfather of the Seven—the powerful Families that rule magic-ridden New Haven. Papa Vultusino adopted the mute, scarred child, naming her after his dead wife and raising her in luxury on Haven Hill alongside his own son, Nico.

Now Cami is turning sixteen. She’s no longer mute, though she keeps her faded scars hidden under her school uniform, and though she opens up only to her two best friends, Ruby and Ellie, and to Nico, who has become more than a brother to her. But even though Cami is a pampered Vultusino heiress, she knows that she is not really Family. Unlike them, she is a mortal with a past that lies buried in trauma. And it’s not until she meets the mysterious Tor, who reveals scars of his own, that Cami begins to uncover the secrets of her birth…to find out where she comes from and why her past is threatening her now.

Review:

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Nameless  (A Tale of Beauty and Madness #1). I’d heard that it was a retelling of beloved fairy tale snow white, but I was curious to know how this book would weave in that fairy tale. Truth be told, I thought that I had to really search for the connections throughout the majority of the book, which I was kind of disappointed with. But what really made up for it was the world created by Lili St. Crow.

Lili St. Crow has created a world, that looks much like our own on the surface, but that is full of monsters or “Twists” whose potential for magic got so out of control that it contorted their being and “Jacks” who look fantastical and have quite the attitude. Then there is the Family, made up of seven families of what seems to be vampires. While I loved the world and the magic that went along with it, I felt that a lot of explanation of what the Twists and Jacks were. I was really confused throughout the first portion of the novel, where these terms came up with no explanation. I felt like I should already know what or two these things were.

Cami was an interesting character to say the least. She has visions and vibes from her past that she can’t explain and is searching desperately to find out who she truely is. Her adopted brother is becoming something more in her eyes (which really freaked me out, especially considering that they grew up together), but in the novel it seemed that happened quite often within the Families.

One of my favorite things about this book were Cami’s two best friends Ellie and Ruby. Their interactions and adventures always made me laugh and I loved the banter that went on between them.

Overall, Nameless was an ok read. It had it’s faults, but I enjoyed the characters and being in the world created by the author.

Written on her Heart Blog Tour!!!

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Synopsis

Andi Callaway has dreamed of becoming a published author her entire life.

Ford Delaney has always wanted nothing more than to escape his past.

An opportunity of a lifetime. This is what Andi finds when she returns home to Callaway Cove on summer break. A chance to work for her literary idol Ford Delaney is up for grabs, and she’s willing to risk everything—her boyfriend, her best friends, and her education—to get it.

She’s positive this will be the key to reaching her dreams. But the moment she begins working for the reclusive author, Andi realizes there’s more to him than just a name. As attraction builds between Andi and Ford, she begins to discover consequences must come hand-in-hand with something great—which could loosen control over her tightly wound life. And once romantic sparks fly, Andi’s other relationships start to crumble, Ford’s fame comes back to haunt him, and the heat they generate will either forge a powerful, enduring love or threaten everything she holds dear.

Review

Written on her Heart is a refreshing NA contemporary romance that I quickly found myself fully engrossed in. It was one of those books that I didn’t want to put down for anything. I just wanted to know what would happcoveren between Andi and Ford and how they would get there.

Andi Callaway is young and very determined not to let anything get in the way of her ambitions to become a published writer someday, not her family, friends, or her boyfriend, Peter.  I really liked Andi as the narrator and main character, even though I sometimes wanted to shake her for being so stubborn, I liked that she wanted to live up to her own expectations of herself, rather than someone else’s expectation of her. I found Andi to be a very realistic character, with some depth to her, quirks, as well as flaws. She was a character that it was easy for me to relate to in terms of drive and motivation. Andi is one of those characters that while she is stubborn you want her to succeed and you find yourself cheering her on.

On the other hand is Ford Delaney, super-stud bestselling author, and Andi’s new boss. I was so surprised that this character had as much depth to him as he did (which I really liked) and I enjoyed seeing him struggle to figure out his feelings (even if I was yelling “oh come on!” at him at a few points in the novel. I loved him.

One of the things I really liked about Written on her Heart was that it was sexy, but I wasn’t slapped in the face with sex on every page. There was substance to the book, the characters had depth and dimension. The romance was teased out and developed in a way that left me wanting more. I enjoyed the flirty aspects of the story, which made me want that romance that I hoped would happen before the end.

Written on her Heart by Paige Rion is the perfect flirty and romantic summer read that I was looking to kick-off the season with. It’s a great book to kick back and read on the beach or on the porch with a glass of wine. But I will say that once you pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down!

Buy Written on Her Heart

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Amazon Paperback

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Barnes & Noble Nook

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About the Author

Paige Rion is a contemporary romance author. She’s a mother, wife, blogger, hopeless chocoholic, coffee-addicted, wine-lover. Her debut, novel—a new adult romance—Written On Her Heart, is the first in the Callaway Cove series. The next in the series is to be released this summer. She loves connecting with readers on her blog and social media. You can visit her website at http://paigerion.com/

You can also connect with her here:

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If we were having cake.

Today is my 27th birthday and in honor of my birthday, I thought that I would do a twist on the meme “if we were having coffee,” and change it to “if we were having cake.” I saw one of my book blog friends do this a little while ago and absolutely loved the idea. To keep it with the bookish theme, check out the amazing bookish cakes/cupcakes I found online. Who wouldn’t wanna nom on those bad boys?

If we were having cake…harry-potter-birthday-theme-cakes-cupcakes-mumbai-35

I would bring you to one of my favorite local bakery/coffee shops There are a couple of ones where I live that make deliciously glorious baked goods (especially cupcakes and cakes). We would choose something that looked absolutely scrumptious, order a cup of coffee or tea and sit there for hours. I would probably pick up one of Oswego Tea Company’s tempting looking black forest cake cupcakes. We could catch up and or get to know one another a little better. I would ask you about yourself and what you are interested in, your passions, and new things that you are thinking of exploring this coming summer

If we were having cake…

I would probably chit chat with you about books. Ones you love and ones that you just couldn’t force yourself to finish. Ones that you think I need to move to the top of my TBR list and ones that I just can’t get enough of. We would talk about how I am hard-core fangirling over The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, and how I am really struggling to finish We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. I would probably ask you what I should do about not finishing this book that came so highly recommended to me, which I like, but that really isn’t my cup of tea.

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If we were having cake…

I would tell you how absolutely crazy life is right now. Between trying to finish another draft of my novel, trying to get back into blogging after a rather off month, working on crochet projects for an upcoming craft show getting ready for my boyfriend’s college graduation party, and other summer celebrations I don’t know if I have much time to breathe. But I will also tell you that I am super excited for all of these things and that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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If we were having cake…

I would tell you all about how I planned on finishing my second draft of my novel last month in Camp NaNoWriMo, but that didn’t even come close to happening. Sometimes life gets in the way and sometimes writer’s block sucks. However, I did write about 12k words all in new chapters and scenes. I would also let you know that I plan on giving Camp NaNoWriMo another shot again in July and this time, working on a story that has been kicking around in my brain for years now. Confessions of an Ice Cream girl promises to be a funny contemporary novel (hopefully). Summer is the perfect time for me to write one of those 🙂

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