Juuli's Bookshelf

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

The Screaming Staircase - Jonathan Stroud

This was such an interesting mix of fantasy, horror and mystery. So good. 
The main characters reminded me other famous trios from other authors (Lindgren, Riordan, Rowling) and their relationships with each other made me laugh a lot. I adored George and loved Lucy, but Lockwood was too much of a daredevil for my taste and his annoying habit to keep things from his partners made me angry.
The story was too creepy to be a middle grade book. Hello, the mansion was a horrifying experience and all these other ghosts (and the skull in the jar) ... eerie and amazing at the same time. Of course I couldn't help myself and bought the second book right away.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

The beginning was weird and slow, but when I really got into the book, it turned out to be such an amazing story with great characters and unbelievable world(s). All these Londons were so different. I actually had a dream about the White one ... more like a nightmare, to be honest.

Kell, a wizard who can travel between worlds, is doing something illegal - for a price he smuggles things from one London to another. Delivering a letter to a dying man he has a feeling that something is wrong, so he opens the letter and finds a blank page. But the package with his payment contains a stone with very powerful and dangerous magic. Kell knows that such magic can destroy his world, so he tries to return it to its rightful place. While escaping the men trying to take to stone away, he meets Lila Bard, a pickpocket from Grey London, who is in search of her big adventure.

These characters were so amazing. I liked how conflicted Kell was - he seemed to have everything but actually was lonely and lost. And I adored Lila. She was wonderful - spunky and bloodthirsty but also brutally honest. Her friendship with Kell was a thing of beauty, so fragile and so strong at the same time. 
I'm glad I got the book from the library and decided to finish it. Yes, there was a moment somewhere on page 30, I actually thought of dnf-ing the book (I told you the beginning was weird). 
Now, I just have to wait for the second book to be translated into my mother tongue.

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss) (Volume 1) - Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh is one of my favourite authors. I love her Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series but this contemporary rock star romance book wasn't my cup of tea.
Both Molly and Fox had their past problems and their stories were interesting but I hoped for more drama and less sex. I actually didn't understand, how Fox decided with one look that Molly was right for him. What did he see in her that was so world changing? 
I also felt like I'm forced to read the second story about David and Thea to get the full story (those damn hints about their relationship made me crazy) and I don't want to. Maybe some day but not now.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird - Danielle L. Jensen

The main character Cecile plans to move to her mother's place in the city and become a singer. The day before leaving, she is kidnapped and brought to the city of trolls. The trolls have been cursed for centuries - they can't leave their city and believe that Cecile will break the curse. She has to marry the troll prince Tristan and live among trolls. The girl thinks about escaping, but with time her feelings change.
I loved the world building. The trolls were amazing, creepy, and scary. They couldn't lie but twisted the truth and manipulated people. They were also very strong, clever, had magic and their city blew my mind. I actually liked some troll characters and really hated the others. 
The book was long but at times I felt that the story had gaps which needed filling. One moment Cecile hated trolls and the other moment she already had friends and was ready to take risks to help them. The romance felt a bit rushed and I wanted more about Tristan's point of view.
Still, I liked how Cecile, who had all these big plans at the beginning of the story, started to discover who she really was and the things she was capable at the end of the story were astonishing. Also I liked the last sentence so much I want to read the second book soon.

Kaka ja kevad by Andrus Kivirähk

Kaka ja kevad - Andrus Kivirähk, Heiki Ernits

A bit weird but really funny stories. I read some of these several times. My favourites were a story about the spoon who wants to become  a pirate and the other story about a cat who tries Santa's job.

And the illustrations were gorgeous. Heiki Ernits is definitely a very talented artist. There were pages I spent more time admiring the illustration than reading the story.

Barbarian's Prize by Ruby Dixon

Barbarian's Prize: A SciFi Alien Romance (Ice Planet Barbarians) (Volume 6) - Ruby Dixon

So, Tiffany is one of the last unmated females and all single aliens try to impress the woman. It gets so bad that the idea of the competition is born. The winner gets the chance to escort Tiffany on her journey to the Elder's Cave (an old space ship). 
I didn't like the idea of the competition because Tiffany actually didn't want it. She had already chosen the male she liked, but because of her insecurity and events from the past she didn't have courage to say anything. So, she fooled everybody and it made me hate her. I wanted her to have some backbone and say no. I wanted her to realize that these blue aliens who took her in and fed and sheltered her were nothing like the creeps who stole her. But she just didn't get it.
The only saving grace was the hero of the story. He was amazing - the way he courted Tiffany was just sweet. And he was so patient with her. He deserved a better mate than whimpering Tiffany who couldn't open her mouth to end this foolish competition.
I also realized that with every book I like Vektal and Georgie less and less.

Kui jumal oli jänes by Sarah Winman

Kui jumal oli jänes - Sarah Winman, Johanna Ross

When God Was a Rabbit is a very colorful story about family and growing up. I enjoyed it a lot and the magical realism details made it especially good.

Kaleidoscope Hearts by Claire Contreras

Kaleidoscope Hearts - Claire Contreras

A book about second chance, friendship, and family. 
Elle's art sounded amazing and the more I read, the more I actually wanted to see her kaleidoscope hearts. The story itself was quite simple and I didn't have to think a lot to follow the storyline. Elle and Oliver were good characters, at times they behaved a bit childishly, but I still liked them. I was waiting for one event, but it wasn't even mentioned in this book.

Good story but I still feel that something was missing. 3.5 stars

Seducing Stag by Laurann Dohner

Seducing Stag (Cyborg Seduction Book 10) - Laurann Dohner, Dar Albert, Kelli Collins

Much better than the previous book, but very short. I actually don't understand when the main characters had time to fall in love. The book had a lot of action and Stag's crew members were interesting. I hope next book is Hellion's story.

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

On the Island  - Tracey Garvis-Graves

At first, it was rather shocking. I listened to my friend's praise and borrowed it from the library without reading the back cover. Somehow I thought T.J. was older, but he was only sixteen, so I almost stopped reading. Now I'm glad I didn't because it was a beautiful story - beautiful, horrible and so exciting. 
Because T.J. seemed more mature, the love story began years later, and it wasn't "typical" teacher student romance (they were more like friends), I was able to read and even enjoy the story. Author took a very sensitive theme and turned it into an interesting but realistic story. The main characters had a lot of challenges on the island (mother nature is wonderful but scary as hell) but I liked that they also had to face difficulties after returning to civilization. Anna and T.J. had to make an effort to have a relationship and get used to the "real" world. Great book.


Cover of the Estonian edition


The Good, The Bad And The Undead by Kim Harrison

The Good, The Bad and The Undead - Kim Harrison

Good story but not as good as the first one. There wasn't enough Jenks and at times Rachel was really annoying. I liked Al, he's such an interesting character and vampire world seemed so cruel but still fascinating. I'm definitely going to continue with this series.

A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey

A Heart So Wild - Johanna Lindsey

Well, I liked and at the same time didn't like the story. It was interesting to follow Courtney's growth as a person but the hero of the story was despicable. I didn't like his way of thinking and the way he treated Courtney was awful. He was a mean bully. 

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

Dead Witch Walking - Kim Harrison

I loved it. The world was interesting and characters amazing. This book had mystery, action, and friendship. Rachel was such a flawed character, she was so impulsive, never had a descent plan, and constantly needed rescuing but to my surprise I still liked her. Ivy's motives were hazy, she was so secretive and sometimes scary. No wonder Rachel was afraid of her flatmate. I loved Jenks. He was wonderful, a real hero and at the same time funny, too. I just adore him and his family. :)

Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

Neanderthal Seeks Human - Penny Reid

Wow! Janie was such a cool character. And her friends. What a great group of ladies, perfect safety net for a person who didn't feel so confident in social situations.

This book made me giggle and laugh. Really enjoyed the whole story. Need to read more Penny Reid books.

Shade by Jamie Begley

Shade - Jamie Begley

About 70% of this book is a retelling of Shade's Fall but this time through Shade's eyes. Only the last 30% is new material and tells what happened to our main characters next.


To my surprise I wasn't bored at all although I knew the story. Sure, at times I was shocked because Shade was even bigger horndog then I imagined. In previous book Lily saw only one part of Shade but in this book the reader has quite a clear picture how Shade spent his days and nights. There was a moment I planned dnfing the book but  a friend of mine convinced me to continue. She was right. I liked how main characters' relationship evolved  and Shade redeemed himself putting Lily's needs first. He was also so patient and when they were together Shade never looked at another woman again. So, finally I had warm feeling inside and a happy smile on my face

And then author had  to spoil everything writing the last epilogue. Yes, the book has two of those and the last one destroyed me. How could Jamie Begley torture her characters like that? After all they went through. How? Why?


My advise to you: Don't read the second one! Unless you want to cry a lot then go ahead.


If you want to finish with a positive note, read only the first epilogue and pretend the second one does not exist.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door - Huntley Fitzpatrick

1 star for amazing Garrett family.
1 star for Tim, who sounded so real and made me smile several times.
0.5 star for the buying condoms scene. This was really funny and actually the only scene I liked Sam. She had no backbone, no personality and she was stupid (sitting in that car, having a best friend like that). Even her little rebellion at the end of the book didn't change my mind. She was annoying. I really don't know what Jase saw in her. And the ending, what the hell, it isn't a fairy tale. Give me a realistic ending, not that sugar coated nonsense.