Nyx Book Reviews

fantasy ♥ paranormal ♥ horror ♥ science-fiction

Interview with the Page Girls

Today I’m interviewing the five awesome people behind the Page Girls website. They’re celebrating their birthday this week with tons of giveaways and other cool stuff. Go check their site out!

The Interview

Celine: Hi guys, and welcome to Nyx Book Reviews! Could you introduce yourselves?

Cecily: Thanks for having us! I’m Cecily. I’m a writer, cocktail drinker, and popcorn devourer.

India: I’m India. I’m a writer and I like drinking Cecily’s cocktails and paying her in popcorn.

April: Hi, I’m April. Love for writing aside, I’m big ol’ sports fanatic. Knicks and Yankees! Which is nothing to celebrate right now but ya know.

Emily: Hello there, I’m Emily Poule. Writing is my passion. Coffee is my drug. If by some freak occurrence, modern civilization was usurped by a race of killer dolphins, apes, or zombies, I would gladly spend my time in an underground shelter on the condition that I could have the following to keep me stimulated: a collection of great books, unlimited access to all Criterion Collection films, the rest of The Page Girls, and Michael Fassbender.

April: Mmm Michael Fassbender.

Jasmine: I’m Jasmine. I grew up knowing that the zombie/plague/destroy-all-life apocalypses would occur at some point, and have loved writing such scenarios ever since. I rely on these ladies to keep me in tasty spirits and sports analysis. I try to give them good book recommendations in exchange.

Could you tell us a bit more about The Page Girls?

Jasmine: The Page Girls represents a fun environment to connect with others through the written word. It’s nice to have a place where we can gather to creatively express our passions for storytelling.

Cecily: We’ve basically done that by creating an online mag where we publish a themed issue each week, containing anything from short stories to funny essays that reflect on the theme. This week’s issue, for example, is Love/Hate.

India: We all met in college, but since we’re now scattered around the country, it’s nice to have kind of a designated meeting place which is what The Page Girls has become for us. We’ve all had or continue to have all sorts of careers, but the big thing we have in common now is writing. So the site has become our stomping ground – kind of like a place where we can meet and work and talk together, even if we’re in different cities.

Emily: Definitely. For me, The Page Girls has become a place where we can collectively pursue our fascinations, our guilty pleasures, and our “life themes.” Plus, we mix great cocktails.

April: It’s definitely a fun outlet for personal anecdotes. It makes me see where I get my writing material from. I think we all have a lot more stories than we realize.

pagegirlsYou are celebrating your first blogoversary this week, congrats! Where would you like to see The Page Girls in a year?

Emily: I would love to see The Page Girls become a platform for female writers and readers to connect to each other. Writing my first novel could never, never have been done without the support of all of these girls and if we could create a strong platform of sisterhood that could be speak to women…to help each other grow through words and commonality…that could be the beginnings of a really strong community.

Jasmine: I agree. I would love to be inundated with emails from other authors and readers who all want to share their passions with us. I think it’s really important that the greater community keeps growing and inspiring new connections amongst each other. The Page Girls have been a really great place to grow as a writer and I hope others will join us in exploring all the stories that are begging to be talked about and passed around.

April: That has my vote too. It would be really fun to see these pieces sparking interesting conversations and stories of shared experiences. There are a lot of things about the other Page Girls that I didn’t even know about until reading some of their articles and essays. Maybe we naturally reveal more in writing. Whatever it is, I hope others start to join in on the fun!

Staying in the celebratory mood, what is your favourite party food and beverage?

April: My favorite party food is air. My going-out dresses are unforgiving to food babies so my method of operation is usually to decline food, drink everything that’s presented to me and when I go home, buy myself a roast beef sandwich from the 24-hour deli and eat it with my shoes on in bed.

Jasmine: Now that I’m in California, my tastes have grown to include tacos and Palomas.

April: You are so much fancier than me.

Cecily: My favorite party snacks are popcorn, popcorn, and popcorn. I have an addiction.

India: Coffee and cookies or champagne and caviar. Depends on the level of celebration!

Emily: Pad thai. Nothing inspires my heart to soar quite like deep fried rice noodles. Emily Poule Truth.

Cecily: Emily, your favorite party food is pad thai? What kind of parties do you go to?

Emily: Excellent ones.

pgsdWhat is your fondest Page Girls related memory?

India: Despite the site not having been around for very long, I’m happy to say that I have already had many fond memories! When I think of The Page Girls, I also think about the four individuals that I’ve been so lucky to have had all these years and all the memories we’ve made as just a group of friends. And I’m really looking forward to the site preserving all the memories to come.

Cecily: Hands down, my favorite part about The Page Girls are the “meetings” the five of us do on Google video chat. (Since we’re scattered across the country, it’s the only way we can all actually get together and talk face-to-face.) My ribs are usually sore after each meeting because I always laugh too hard.

Emily: April is always stuffing her face when we are on our Skype meetings. I love the moment when we all gradually become distracted by what exactly she’s consuming and HAVE to know what it is.

Cecily: Oh god. And now I’m laughing again.

April: Shoutout to Google Hangouts for turning the camera to me every time I chew. I honestly never realized you guys were watching me eat so much. If you must know what I’m devouring, it’s generally my morning eggs and coffee. By the way I put ranch dressing on my eggs. You all should too.

Jasmine: I’ve often thought about recording our Google Hangouts. That, and posting the many text messages and emails I’ve sent to India while I’m reading her books for the first time. I felt the need to express my OMG moments and book predictions to her. Thanks for indulging me India! Having such easy access to the author of some of your favorite books can be so much fun.

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Review: The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Title: The Vanishing Season
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Series: None
Rating: 3.5 Stars

256 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen
ARC received from the publisher

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

From the blurb The Vanishing Season sounds like a kind of mystery, written from the perspective of a ghost. Although this isn’t entirely wrong, the book has a different focus.

Maggie moves to a town right in the middle of a lake with her parents. It’s a lonely and cold place, but she meets two amazing friends, Pauline and Liam.

The book is basically about the friendship between Maggie, Pauline and Liam. The murders of teenage girls plays in the background of the story, and rarely touches the main characters. It’s not a mystery in the traditional sense. The main mystery is who the ghost narrative (written in italics throughout the story) is, and how it ties in with the bigger picture.

The cover fits the story very well. Most of the story is set during the winter months, and it’s very cold and bleak. What I really liked about the story is that it’s unconventional – the double narrative, the character dynamics and final resolution are all non-standard. I liked the way Maggie’s parents acted. They were very parent-like without being crazy protective or crazy my-kid-deserves-freedom, like many parents in YA are.

Like many other people reading The Vanishing Season, I somehow felt a bit distant to the characters. There is not much of a plot; it’s more a kind of meandering and unfolding kind of book, which is fine with me. The emotional punch just wasn’t there for me though, which is what this book does want to achieve. Maybe if it had been a bit longer, and had more indepth scenes, I would have felt differently.

The Vanishing Season was good. In some ways it reminded me of Code Name Verity (without the planes and the war) because of the close friendship between two girls. This is a good book if you want something different and not too long.

Blurb

Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter’s come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I’ve watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I’m the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I’m tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I’m tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don’t know why. I think it’s because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind.

Other reviews you might be interested in

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Books Up For Trades

Hello ladies and the occasional gentlemen! I really, really like collecting books. I really do. But there comes a point where you’ve filled all of the shelves at your parent’s house (and even some drawers), and have three overflowing Billy bookcases at your own place. This is the point where it’s time to let go. But throwing books in the trash is just shudder-inducing, and I can hardly shove over twenty books into my friends’ arms (not for lack of trying).

If any of the books on this list interest you, feel free to email me or message me with an offer. I’m happy to send you any (or multiple of these) in exchange for other books, new books, Amazon gift cards, or in many cases of the old/damaged ones, the gratitude of knowing they found a new home. I live in the Netherlands, so it’s probably not worth it to trade if you live outside of Europe.

booksUnless otherwise mentioned, these books are in near-new condition (they’ve been read, but the spines are intact and no pages are dog-eared):

  • Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Need by Carrie Jones
  • Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat
  • The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
  • A Treasure Worth Seeking by Sandra Brown
  • Lament by Maggie Stiefvater
  • A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest
  • Karakter by F. Bordewijk (Dutch – heavily used, spine cracked in many places)
  • ThisTown by Malcolm McKay
  • Cashel Byron’s Profession by Bernard Shaw
  • The League of Sharks by David Logan
  • Gossip Girl Psycho Killer by Cecily von Ziegesar (pages seem to have become a bit moist at some point – it looks fine but they’re slightly creased)
  • Untimed by Andy Gavin (ARC – with bookmark, looks a bit used)
  • Shadows of the Past by E.A. Jensen
  • My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
  • My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent
  • How to Bag a Jabberwock by Major Jack Union (signed, dedicated to Katrina)
  • The Thin Executioner by Darren Shan (spine cracked)
  • CurbCheck by Zach Fortier (signed, dedicated to Celine)
  • Deadly Secrets by Leeann Burke (signed, with bookmark)
  • Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright
  • Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black (ARC, very heavily used – cover is bent out of shape and the side looks rather dirty)
  • House of Dark Shadows + Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo

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Introducing My New Blog (+Giveaway)

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already noticed that I’m very excited and very proud to be introducing you guys to my new blog: Irresponsible Cactus. Over at the Cactus I talk about movies, books, myself, music, writing, travel, games… And many more cool things to come.

giveaway
My new blog is now exactly one week old, and it’s time for a celebration! Share the love and fill in the Rafflecopter below for some cool prizes. The giveaway is open internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. Please read the rules in the widget before entering. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Harry Potter Month: Quidditch

Harry Potter Month is an event hosted by Faith from Student Spyglass. Everyone can join, and collect points for the house of their choice by commenting, writing posts or reading the books! I’m representing Slytherin.

One of the cool things in the Harry Potter world is Quidditch. It’s fast paced, high risk, and very cool. And it makes Ron look like this.

In this interesting combo of sports, three people try to score with a regular ball, two try to hurt people by sending angry balls towards them, one tries to keep the ball out of the goal, and one tries to find a tiny flying gold ball. Quidditch gives wizards from all over the world some much needed distraction, and brings wizards from different countries together.
Sounds awesome, right? And since we Muggles obviously can’t ride on brooms, we can’t play this awesome sport. WRONG! Although Muggle quidditch of couse isn’t as glamorous as the wizard version is, it still looks like quite a lot of fun.

It’s still plenty fast-paced, and most of the rules of regular Quidditch are implemented. Beaters throw balls at the other teams like in dodgeball, and the Seekers try to catch the golden snitch – usually a man in a yellow suit with a tennis ball attached to his back. There is even a Muggle quidditch world cup! This article on Muggle quidditch is great.

Have you ever wanted to play Quidditch? What role would you have? Would you want to try Muggle quidditch?

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Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter

Title: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #1
Rating: 3.5 Stars

287 pages
Published February 9th 2010 by Disney-Hyperion
Borrowed from the library

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Kat is the offspring of a thieving family, and she’s one of the best and youngest thieves in the world. She has decided to step out of the family business and have a sort of regular life, until her father gets suspected of a crime he didn’t commit.

Heist Society is like Ocean’s Eleven in book form. It doesn’t make any logic sense, but it’s just so damn cool. Don’t we all sometimes wish we had such awesome thieving skills? That we climb through air vents and act all Mission Impossible? Heist Society uses that fascination and provides some good old wish-fulfilling fun.

Ms Carter has an easy and straight to the point writing style. The strength of the book is the plot that runs like well-oiled clockwork. There are no scenes that could have been cut out, or moments that bring the speed down. Days till deadline steadily tick away, heightening excitement. It’s so easy to read this book in just one sitting because you really feel like you’re moving towards something.

The thieving family provides the usual comic relief and internal struggles. Kat especially struggles with the older generation (her uncle and father), and feels torn between being with her family and having a normal life. There is also some romantic tension going on with billionaire-gone-thief Hale.

My only problem with Heist Society was that the story wasn’t memorable for me. Even minutes after finishing, the story started to fade. There was no lasting impression of it at all, even though I really enjoyed myself while reading it. Heist Society is perfect for an afternoon of fun, but I’m not yet fully convinced to love the characters. Maybe the next book, Uncommon Criminals will remedy that.

Blurb

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected.

Soon, Kat’s friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history–and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Other reviews you might be interested in

Release Day: The Merman by Carl-Johan Vallgren

Nella and her brother Robert live an isolated and difficult life with their alcoholic mother and father in a small town on the west coast of Sweden. Robert is bullied at school for his learning difficulties, and in an attempt to protect him, Nella resorts to debt and petty crime to pay off his increasingly violent tormentors.

When she turns to her only schoolfriend Tommy for help, her suspicions are aroused by the mysterious comings and goings of his brothers at their dilapidated boat house. But when she uncovers the reason behind their enigmatic behaviour, her life is opened to the realities of a mindboggling secret.

The Merman is an exhilarating and beautiful book about sibling love and betrayal – and what happens when the mundane collides with the strange and wonderful.

The Merman celebrates its paperback release today. Check out the book on Goodreads or the publisher’s website.

“This book manages to pull off being a book about abuse and bullying and being an outsider on the one hand, and having a supernatural on the other … The Merman is painfully honest and open about crazy people” Read my review of The Merman

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Email Subscriber Problems

Hi all! Just a quick update to say that I STILL DON’T HAVE A LAPTOP. I ordered one the day after the old one died, then that one was the wrong model, reordered a different one, that one was broken, and now I’m waiting for my replacement. It’s seriously been such a struggle, and absolutely tedious. But oh well, at least my boyfriend lent me his laptop so I can at least do some basic stuff.

Which brings me to the email subscriber stuff. Seriously, I am so sorry for you, email subbers. I’ve been ping ponging between Feedburner, Feedpress and then FeedBlitz, trying to find a feed service that actually works. And every time you get tons of emails – and I apologise. I’m deleting my FeedBlitz account, and you might have to resubscribe if you’re still interested in receiving emails. I’ll just be using a WP plugin though, and no longer any fancy services. Fancy services are a pain in the butt.

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Review: Misery by Stephen King

Title: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Series: None
Rating: 5 Stars

338 pages
Published June 3rd 1988 by Signet
Bought

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

What I love about Stephen King is that although all of his books are written in his voice, you never truly know what you’re going to get. Some of his books are epic (It, The Stand), some are extremely personal (Lisey’s Story) and some are nostalgic and subtle (Joyland). He is a very versatile writer, and Misery is yet another proof of that.

Paul Sheldon has written a series of bestselling novels, that he thinks of as his non serious novels. After finishing one of his serious novels, he gets in a car crash that shatters his legs. He wakes up in the house of Annie Wilkes, his number one fan. But Annie is not satisfied with the ending of his bestselling Misery series, and she demands a new one.

The premise is very simple. There are only two characters, Paul and Annie. From the first page Paul is in Annie’s house. I was a bit hesitant about this situation – although the book isn’t very long, I was afraid this setting wouldn’t hold my attention for long. I shouldn’t have worried at all. After a page or thirty I couldn’t tear my eyes from the page, and I read all of it in about a day and a half.

Like all of his books, Misery builds to a huge crescendo where you’ll be reading as fast as possible, trying to find out who will die and who will survive (since that’s what it usually boils down to). Misery starts at creepy, then descends to downright gruesome and disturbing. Where some of King’s books use a supernatural evil (It, The Shining), Misery builds upon what would happen if a truly crazy woman would find her favourite author in a stroke of coincidence. It’s this realism what makes the book so scary. Where supernatural forces are something of a nightmare, something that belongs in stories, we all know crazy people. We see their pictures in the newspapers, or sometimes, even worse, we don’t.

Annie could have just been a caricature, an evil piece of cardboard that tortures Paul because she’s evil. Instead, she also has her moments where she is sweet, where she sits with Paul and watches some TV with him. She sings while she cleans. It’s these things that makes her human, and which makes her “bad moods” even scarier.

Although it’s an uncomfortable read (some scenes were so graphic that they’re burned into my brain), Misery joins the ranks of my favourite King books. Maybe it’s exactly this discomfort that makes his books so amazing.

Blurb

Paul Sheldon. He’s a bestselling novelist who has finally met his biggest fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house. Now Annie wants Paul to write his greatest work—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an ax. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty…

Other reviews you might be interested in

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