One raven for peril, one raven for true love

Hey you all! I don’t know about you, but I love to browse my favorite online bookshops for new reading material. Often when you buy a book or put a book on your wishlist you get a list of recommended books based on your own purchases and the purchases of other customers. Last time I was updating my wishlist I came across a few of those recommendations that sounded awesome. An enchantment of ravens by Margaret Rogerson was one of these recommended books and when I read the description I promptly put it on my wishlist. The description kept buzzing around in my head however, so, two days later I decided to just buy the book and I’m so glad I did! I loved this book!!!

Just read the description:

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

How awesome is that?!

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And the coverart by Charlie Bowater is so pretty ❤

If the description and cover haven’t already convinced you to buy this book let me try to explain why you should absolutely buy this book, like right now 😉

Isobel is one of those main characters you instantly love. She’s smart, sassy, friendly, loyal and isn’t afraid to defend herself and those she loves from beings far more powerful than her. Because of her talent with paint and a brush she has dealt with the Fae from an early age and she knows how to request the payment for her work in precise wording, calculating every eventuality. She knows bargains with the Fae are dangerous and often, if not always, turn out to be really bad for the human willing to strike a deal. Never once does she forget how deadly her clients and their abilities are. When one of her best clients, a fae from the Springcourt named Gadfly, tells her that the autumnprince Rook is in town and wants his portrait painted she doesn’t panic although she knows that princes are more powerful and dangerous than ordinary fae. She plans on handling the prince with the same caution and smarts as she does all her clients. Not a problem. But, she didn’t count on the feelings that the prince stirs inside of her…

I totally fell in love with Rook ❤ I loved how he couldn’t contain his emotions and how human he was despite the power he holds. He had such a big heart. He was so strong and tough, yet willing to give everything up to save Isobel. The romance between Isobel and Rook was so sweet and felt so real that I couldn’t stop reading! They were just perfect for each other. I also loved how they pushed each other away and pulled towards each other without meaning to. The obstacles they had to overcome were so realistic and well written that I couldn’t put the book down.

There are not many books where I love the side characters just as much as the main characters, but in this story I loved all of the characters. Every weird and cunning one of them ❤

The worldbuilding and tension in this story were really well developed. The book starts slow giving readers a chance to get to know the characters and the world and then the action takes off and you are swept away on a glorious, beautiful ride through the Faeworld and Rook’s and Isobel’s emotions. It was just awesome all around. Romantic, suspensefull and written so incredibly good!

I don’t know if there will be more stories in this storyworld as the ending seemed pretty rounded, but if there are more books to come I will definitely buy them. For now I will just put Margaret Rogerson’s name on my favorite authors list and wait ‘patiently’ for her next book 😉

Just in case you’re still not convinced: you should definitely buy this book because it has great characters, a sweet romance, page-turning suspense and beautiful writing! This is without a doubt a mustread!!!

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It’s a brandnew year!

Hey you all! Happy 2018!!! I know this ‘wrap-up of 2017’ post is a little late (blush) but New Year’s Eve turned out to be horrible (read: my drunken neighbour and her idiotic friends decided to start a fight that the police had to break up and I got knocked around by a huge drunken bastard because he was offended that I had my frontdoor open) so I didn’t feel like posting a happy blog on the first day of 2018. The rest of the week was shitty too, my bike broke down while I was going to work so I had to walk the rest of the way, my computer keeps crashing and my debitcard stopped working and a new one won’t arrive till next week grr. It’s like I’m cursed or something. But, all bad things eventually come to an end (I hope) and I thought lets do something fun and positive to break this negative cycle.

2018 start

Lets start with my 2017 in books. I’ve read 147 books, which means I didn’t finish my challenge of 168 books (14 books per month). But, I think 147 books is still a good number of read books (I wanted to include my Goodreads 2017 reading challenge here, but I can’t find it anymore as it was replaced by the 2018 challenge …) . I noticed that I didn’t read many new books in 2017, instead I reread a lot of old favorites. Bookish resolution #1 will be: READ MORE NEW BOOKS, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE SITTING ON YOUR SHELVES UNREAD.

At the beginning of 2017 I made a reading challenge for myself so I would read more classics and finish some of those piled-up to-read books. Well, I think I followed that challenge for a month and then I was kind of sick of it haha. I’ve learned that I don’t read relaxed when I set myself strict rules or goals, so, bookish resolution #2 is going to be: SEE A CHALLENGE AS GOOD FUN AND NOT AS A SET OF RULES THAT HAVE TO BE OBEYED AND FOLLOWED TO THE LETTER. In that spirit I joined the Epic Reads Challenge on Hebban.nl ( https://www.hebban.nl/spot/epic-reads ). Every month you can read a new YA fantasy novel and talk with fellow readers about your reading experience. I think this challenge will be real fun and maybe I will make some new bookish friends ❤

I also have some resolutions for this blog. I know I don’t do well with set days to post stuff, I’m a notorious procrastinator and do better with posting when I feel like it, however I do want to post more and a bit more regularly. So, bloggish resolution #1 is: WRITE A POST AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK. I think that will be manageable 😉 Moreover, every month I would like to review at least one originally Dutch book by a debuting author or from an author I know (I haven’t decided yet if I want to do those reviews in Dutch or English, but I will let you guys and girls know) which makes bloggish resolution #2: REVIEW AT LEAST ONE DUTCH BOOK PER MONTH. I think I would like to add a new category to my blog too, a category where I can post which books I really want to read every month and which books I actually ended up reading that month (so, that’s one post at the start of each month and one post at the end of each month 🙂 ) So, the last bloggish resolution (#3) is: KEEP SCORE OF WANT-TO-READS and HAVE-READS. And that’s all folks 😉

buying books

Happy reading you all! And see you soon 😉

 

 

Bookhaul November and December 2017

Hey you all! I can’t believe it’s the 31st of December already. 2017 is almost over, so, I thought this would be the perfect moment to share my last bookhaulpost of the year with you guys and girls. My November haul was a bit sad (just two books), so, I decided to do another combined bookhaul. Now, let’s look at my loot 😉

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This is the first pile of new books. I don’t know about you, but I love to read some romance novels in the holiday season. So, what books are these and what are they about?

Jennie Lucas – Oneindig waardevol (A ring for Vincenzo’s heir)

Scarlett Ravenwood takes an enormous risk interrupting Vincenzo Borgia’s wedding. He’s rich and powerful, whereas she’s penniless and alone, but she needs his help…to protect their unborn child! 

Vincenzo’s furious that Scarlett kept the pregnancy from him, but to claim his heir he has no other option than to make her his wife. 

Scarlett hadn’t imagined a 24 carat diamond would feel so heavy; it weighs on the ache in her heart. Because she might not get the one, truly priceless, thing she desires…for his heart is off-limits!

Lynne Graham – Bouquet Christmas special

Gekust door de kerstman (The Italian’s Christmas Child)

Italian tycoon Vito Zaffari is waiting out the festive season while a family scandal fades from the press. So he’s come to his friend’s snow-covered English country cottage, determined to shut out the world. 

Until a beautiful bombshell dressed as Santa literally crashes into his Christmas! Innocent Holly Cleaver sneaks under Vito’s defenses—he wants her like no other before and decides he must have her. 

When Vito finds her gone the next day, he’s sure she’ll be easy to forget…until he discovers that their one night of passion has a shocking Christmas consequence!

Een bruid voor kerstmis (The Greek’s Christmas Bride)

Coldly ruthless and deeply cynical, Apollo Metraxis has made a career of bachelorhood. But when the inheritance of his father’s estate is conditional on a marriage and a child, he is forced to do the unthinkable! 

Unpolished Pixie Robinson is the world’s worst choice of a wife for Apollo. Yet her family’s mounting debts leave her defenseless and therefore uniquely suitable. But when the wedding night exposes Pixie’s untouched vulnerability, striking a chord in the dark reaches of his heart, Apollo is forced to think again.  

And that’s before he discovers that she’s carrying not one but two Metraxis heirs!

Champagne en rozen (The Winter Bride)

Angie Brown loved Leo Demetrios but his desire for her was brief and meaningless. After all, he was heir to a Greek shipping fortune and she was just the butler’s daughter.

For over two years Angie has kept secret the legacy of her stolen weekend of passion with Leo. But then she and her small son are forced to spend Christmas with him. How can Angie not tell Leo that Jake is his child?
 
Maybe Leo won’t guess he’s really Jake’s daddy… If he does, one things for certain – he’ll insist that Angie become his winter bride.

Brenda Novak – De rol van zijn leven (When lightning strikes)

Simon O’Neal’s causing trouble again. And it’s up to Gail DeMarco to stop him.

Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all—sexy and unpredictable Simon O’Neal. But Simon, who’s just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won’t listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list—and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.

Desperate to save her company, Gail has to humble herself by making a deal with Simon. The one thing he wants is custody of his son, but that’s going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl who’ll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek….

Gail’s the only one he can trust. She agrees to become his wife—reluctantly. But she isn’t reluctant because he’s too hard to like. It’s because he’s too hard not to love!

Brenda Novak – Kiezen of delen (When snow falls)

After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She’s grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she’s troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn’t her mother. 

Although Cheyenne has repeatedly asked for explanations, the people who could help aren’t talking. Cheyenne is set on finding answers, but without so much as a birth certificate, it won’t be easy. 

Things get even more complicated when her closest friend is attracted to the man Cheyenne has secretly loved for years. For Eve’s sake, she decides to step aside — which lands her right in the arms of Dylan Amos, oldest and baddest of the hell-raising Amos brothers. He’s the kind of guy she’s sworn to avoid. She can’t afford to make a mistake, not when she finally has a chance to learn who she really is and change her life for the better. But . . . maybe there’s more to Dylan than she thought. Maybe letting him go would be a bigger mistake.

Brenda Novak – Thuis in zijn armen (Come home to me)

Home is where her heart is…

When Presley Christensen returns to Whiskey Creek with her little boy after two years away, she has completely changed her life. She’s made peace with her past and overcome the negative behavior that resulted from her difficult childhood. Now she’s back in the small town that was the closest thing to “home” she ever knew—the town where she can be with the sister who’s her only family. 

There’s just one catch. Aaron Amos still lives in Whiskey Creek, at least until he moves to Reno to open a branch of the Amos brothers’ auto body shop. And no matter how hard she’s tried, Presley hasn’t been able to get over him. Seeing him again makes the longing so much worse. But she hopes she can get through the next few months, because she can’t fall back into his arms…or his bed. She’s come too far to backslide now. And there’s a secret she’s been guarding—a secret she’ll do anything to protect.

Brenda Novak – Beter dan ooit (This heart of mine)

First love. Second chance? As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him-especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next. Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob’s father isn’t exactly welcoming. Riley doesn’t trust Phoenix, doesn’t want her in Jacob’s life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he’s about to find both!

Jennifer L. Armentrout – If there’s no tomorrow

A single choice can change everything.

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?

Johan van den Ende – Witter Zwart (this book is only available in Dutch, so, the description is in Dutch)

Hoe maak je de juiste keuzes? De Italiaan en SS-officier Marco Sebastini Corletti wordt tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog in kamp Dachau en later in het geannexeerde Italië voortdurend met deze vraag geconfronteerd. Door zijn toenemende twijfel over het naziregime gaat Marco op zoek naar antwoorden op essentiële levensvraagstukken, maar meer nog zoekt hij zichzelf. Wanneer hij verliefd wordt op een joodse violiste lijken de tegenstrijdige werelden waarin hij zich begeeft onverenigbaar. Kan hij zijn strijd winnen en zichzelf na zijn keuzes weer in de ogen kijken?

Various – Edge Zero Wonderwaan (this book is only available in Dutch, so, the description is in Dutch)

Twintig fantastische verhalen uit 2016 van de beste nederlandse Science-Fiction-, Fantasy- en Horrorschrijvers, door een vakkundige jury geselecteerd uit meer dan honderd inzendingen. 

Donkere Wolken – Wendy Torenvliet De ijzeren vrucht – Johan Klein Haneveld Eekhoorns komen van Mars – Pen Stewart De lijkenkrabber – Tom Thys En de kwallen glanzend als parels in het maanlicht – Tais Teng Offa’s Bruid – Jan JB Kuipers Teken van leven – Iris Versluis Vrijheid is standalone – Django Mathijsen Onder de rook van duizend zielen – Nienke Pool & Mike Jansen Dode mannen dromen niet – Marcel Orie Knielen in de weide – Roelof Goudriaan Verstilde liefde – Django Mathijsen & Anaïd Haen Meertens & Zn. – Henriëtte Poelman Schedel kussen – Jaap Boekestein Zielenroerselen – Tom Schoonbaert Hoop – Peter Kaptein Algorhythm’n’Blues – Jack Schlimazlnik De val van de Eremast – Floris Kleijne Een schuur vol vermogen – Anaïd Haen De Ariadne Singulariteit – Mike Jansen

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I also got a few books for my birthday and Christmas. Everybody who knows me, knows I LOVE Harry Potter. My paperback copies are almost all first editions and they look terrible haha. Usually I keep my books in pristine order, but I’ve read Harry Potter so many times that the books look well-loved (read: there are some stains, pages have curled bottoms, the pages have become yellow and in the first book the glue has started to come loose). But I wouldn’t trade those old books for all the money in the world. However, I did want the English version too, because I have the beautiful Dutch versions. When I came across the illustrated versions by Jim Kay I knew I wanted those. I bought the first one for myself in November and I got the second and third book from my mom and sisters for my birthday ❤ And lucky bastard that I am, my youngest sister surprised me with the illustrated version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (by Olivia Lomenech Gill) on Christmas eve ❤

They are so, so, so stunning!!!

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In case you’re wondering: the candles are from Book & Nook and the wooden bookmarks from Ink&Wonder

Happy reading you all on this last day of the year 😉 Tomorrow I will write a post about all the books I’ve read in 2017 and what my new bookish resolutions will be, so, see you next year!!!

 

 

A cowboy to heal her broken heart

Hey you all! Today I’m kicking off another blogtour for Dutch Venture Publishing 🙂 This tour revolves around the cowboyromance Love in Twin Bridges – Abby and Blake (Liefde in Twin Bridges – Abby en Blake) written by Debra Eliza Mane and Lizzie van den Ham. When I heard about this book I got really excited because I have a weak spot for everything cowboy and country music (country pop and country rock), so, I knew I had to read this book. I prepared a review for you guys with another pictureguide and a country playlist ❤ Let me first give you guys and girls a description of the book, then I will proceed with the pictureguide and the playlist and last I will give a short review of the book.

So what’s this story about:

When Abby loses her job and her longtime boyfriend Rens on one and the same day, she decides to turn her life around. Together with her rottweiler Elvis she will fly to America, far away from Rens who has cheated on her. Because she loves Elvis (the man ;)) she decides to buy a ticket to Graceland.

But fate has other things in store for her. All the flights to Tennessee are booked and Abby has no choice but to go to Montana. There she meets two sexy cowboys. Womanizer Jacob who pursues her relentlessly and nice but mysterious Blake who was the first person she met on American soil. Abby can’t help but fall for Blake, who showed her kindness when she needed it the most and whose coat keeps her warm. But will she ever see Blake again?

The story in picture and song

  1. Miranda Lambert – Kerosene
  2. Sheryl Crow – A change would do you good
  3. Carrie Underwood – Before he cheats
  4. Carrie Underwood – Get out of this town
  5. LeAnn Rimes – One way ticket (because I can)
  6. Ward Thomas – Carry you home
  7. Dixie Chicks – Wide open spaces
  8. Faith Hill – Somewhere down the road
  9. Gloriana – Come and save me
  10. Faith Hill – This kiss
  11. Lady Antebellum – Falling for you
  12. Lady Antebellum – Singing me home

 

My opinion

There were a lot of things I loved about this story, but there were also a couple of things that I didn’t like. The beginning of the story was fast and dramatic and effortlessly pulled me in. But around chapter 9 up until chapter 19 the story dragged a bit and not much happened. Around chapter 20 the pace kicks up again and the story grapped me again. This increase in pace, for me, came much too late and the story is wrapped up too fast and too easily in my opinion. However, I did like the characters, the romance and the ending. Let me elaborate a little on this.

In the beginning of the story we see how Abby loses both her job and her boyfriend, who turns out to cheat on her. Abby decides to get away from her imploding life, picks up her dog at the sitter, drives to the airport and books a ticket to Montana. I loved this part of the story. It was emotional, suspensefull and fun to read.

When Abby sets foot on American soil she meets Blake. I loved Blake’s character ❤ He’s nice, loyal, a sweetheart and hard worker. Blake gives his coat to Abby and helps her get a car. The two promiss to see each other again, so Abby can give his coat back. The paper on which Blake scribbles his address and phonenumber, however, gets smudged and Abby isn’t able to contact him. At the same time Blake loses his job and has to search for another employment. The whole section of the story that describes what happens to Abby and Blake before they meet again is incredibly slow and there’s not much happening except for Abby meeting sexy Jacob and his sister Duke who becomes Abby’s new best friend. Blake, meanwhile, has to deal with his ex Lucy-Jane who doesn’t seem to get that he doesn’t love her anymore. This part of the book could have been much shorter and could have had much more tension and drama.

When Blake and Abby meet each other again the story unfolds much faster, but some of the obstacles and troubles standing in the way of their blossoming love are brushed aside too fast and too easy, which was really a shame because I was looking forward to some trouble on the way to happiness. The ending, however, was really romantic and swoonworthy, so that luckily made up for the fast wrap up.

Eventhough I didn’t much like the slow section and the too fast and easy wrap up towards the ending, I did like the book overall. I loved all the characters and the way they interacted with each other. Abby was so realistic and I really felt for her, Blake was just perfect <3, Jacob was wonderfully over-the-top alpha male material with his arrogance and sexiness (looking forward to his story haha), Lucy-Jane was incredibly annoying and dumb, but I loved Duke most of all, she’s funny, naughty, tough-as-nails and a true and loyal friend (can I get her story first?!). Oh, and don’t forget Chevy and Elvis ❤ they were so cute and fun to read about.

I also loved the humor and the romance in this book. And I certainly loved all the sexy cowboys in the book 😉

This book is perfect for people who like uncomplicated romance novels with great and funny characters and love some country in their reading material 😉

If you want to read other reviews (in Dutch) of this book you can take a look at the next stop of the tour tomorrow on http://www.facebook.com/dianesboekenhoekje

Happy reading you all!

 

Winter wonderland romance

Hey you all! A few weeks ago I announced that I would place a review of the book Wonderland online on 14 November. Guess what date it is 😉 This review will be a little different than usual. I’m going to write it in English as well as Dutch. For every story in this short story collection I will first give a description and opinion in English and after that in Dutch. I promised to make a pictureguide too this time, so every story has a small picture gallery 🙂 This blogpost is part of the Wonderland-blogtour and underneath my review I will place links to the previous stop and the next stop in the blogtour 🙂

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This book contains ten short romantic YA Christmas stories. Some of them are contemporary and some are paranormal. So, let’s start reviewing!

It’s a match – Chinouk Thijssen

In this story we get to know Gaia who is looking for a date to bring to the Christmasparty her sister organizes every year. Via Tinder she comes in contact with the gorgeous Milan and life seems wonderful all of a sudden. But, then Grazia, Gaia’s sister, tells Gaia that someone is blackmailing her fiancé. Will this Christmas be the happiest Gaia has ever had or will the blackmailer make good on his promise to hurt Grazia…

I don’t really know what to think of this story. I liked the main character and the suspense in it, but the pace was incredibly rushed and the romance felt too insta-love for me. I think this story would have been better if it had been longer, because in its current length there wasn’t enough room for the plot and plottwist to be reveilend naturally and gradually, and the romance couldn’t develop in a nice pace either. So, I liked the story and saw its potential, but it was just too short.

In dit verhaal leren we Gaia kennen die op zoek is naar een date. Ieder jaar organiseert haar zus Grazia namelijk een groot kerstfeest en dit jaar wil Gaia niet alleen op komen dagen. Op Tinder ontmoet Gaia de knappe Milan en de twee kunnen het super goed met elkaar vinden. Gaia is gelukkiger dan ze ooit is geweest, maar dan vertelt Grazia dat iemand haar verloofde chanteert. Wordt dit de gelukkigste kerst die Gaia ooit heeft meegemaakt of zal de chanteerder zijn dreigement uitvoeren en Grazia te grazen nemen…

Ik weet nog steeds niet helemaal wat ik van dit verhaal vind. Ik vond de hoofdpersoon leuk en de spanning zat er ook lekker in, maar het verhaal was te gehaast en de romance kwam nogal uit de lucht vallen. Ik denk dat het verhaal beter uit de verf was gekomen als het langer was geweest, zodat de plot en plottwist de ruimte hadden gehad om goed te ontvouwen en opgebouwd te worden. Bovendien had in een langer verhaal de romantiek beter uitgewerkt kunnen worden, zodat ik als lezer ook iets voor Milan had gevoeld waardoor het einde spectaculairder was geweest. Kortom, ik vond het verhaal best aardig en zag wat het had kunnen worden, maar het was gewoonweg te kort om alles eruit te halen wat erin zat.

Een wonder (a miracle) – Anne Nicolai

In this story Lynn and Will are the main characters. Lynn finds Will in the church where she and her brother a practicing for a play. She assumes Will is there as a substitute for one of the players, but soon she finds out the weird truth. Will came from the year 1897 and is looking for his sister that went missing. Somehow he’s ended up in the year 2017. Can Will and Lynn work together to save Will’s sister and will Will be able to get back home in time…

I love stories about time travelling and I also loved this story. The beginning was a little bit messy, but the rest of the story was written really well. I particularly loved the romance in this story ❤ I never heard of this author before, but I’m certainly going to check if she has written any other stories because I really like her writingstyle.

In dit verhaal leren we Lynn en Will kennen. Lynn zit samen met haar broer bij een toneelgezelschap en hun oefenruimte is in een kerk. Op een avond vind Lynn Will op een van de kerkbankjes en ze neemt aan dat hij de vervanger is voor een van de uitgevallen spelers. Al snel komt ze er echter achter dat de waarheid veel vreemder is. Will komt namelijk niet uit onze tijd, maar uit 1897 en hij is op zoek naar zijn vermiste zusje. Zal het Lynn en Will lukken om zijn zusje te vinden en zal Will terug kunnen naar zijn eigen tijd…

Ik hou van tijdreisverhalen en dit verhaal was geen uitzondering op die liefde. Hoewel het begin wat verwarrend en rommelig was, zat de rest super goed in elkaar. Ik vond vooral de romance in dit verhaal erg goed! Ik had nog nooit van deze auteur gehoord, maar ga zeker op zoek naar meer van haar werken want ik vond haar schrijfstijl erg goed.

Maria’s kerstengel (Maria’s Christmasangel) – Rianne Werring

In this story we get to know Maria, a hardworking high school student who loves to bake. Maria’s life seems simple and not particularly exciting, but secretly she’s struggling with the fact that she’s head over heels in love with Daan, or rather Danielle. She has no idea what to do with her feelings, but she knows what she feels is real and true. Maybe the Christmas dance will be the perfect time to start a new life…

I really liked this story. I loved the main character and how ordinary she was. I like reading stories about normal people and everyday struggles that have a happy ending and an upbeat feel.

In dit verhaal speelt Maria, een hardwerkende scholiere die van bakken houdt, de hoofdrol. Maria’s leven lijkt simpel en niet zo spannend, maar van binnen worstelt ze met het feit dat ze smoorverliefd is op Daan, eigenlijk Danielle. Ze heeft geen idee wat ze met deze gevoelens aanmoet, maar ze weet wel dat de liefde die ze voelt echt is. Misschien is het kerstgala de perfecte gelegenheid om een nieuw leven te beginnen…

Ik vond dit verhaal erg leuk. De hoofdpersoon kroop onder mijn huid en ik vond het erg tof dat ze zo normaal was. Ik hou wel van een verhaal waar gewone mensen met alledaagse zorgen de hoofdrol spelen maar de toon van het verhaal opgewekt blijft en het einde goed is 🙂

Alf – Eva Moraal

Sigrid is struggling with her parents divorce and decides to hide out in the empty apartment above the cafe she works in, so she doesn’t have to pretend to have a good time this Christmas. Her plans are derailed, however, when she discovers that her hide-out is used by a boy who also ran away from home. But why is Alf so special…

I don’t really know what to think of this story. It was nice, but not really memorable. I don’t know what it was, but the story seemed to drag a bit and I didn’t really feel the romance. The writingstyle was good, but somehow I just didn’t feel anything.

Sigrid heeft het moeilijk met de scheiding van haar ouders en besluit de kerst niet thuis door te brengen, maar zich te verstoppen in het appartement boven het café waar ze werkt. Haar plan om de kerst lekker in haar eentje te vieren worden echter in het honderd gestuurd als blijkt dat iemand haar verstop plek al gebruikt. De jongen, Alf, is ook van huis weggelopen. Maar wat maakt hem zo speciaal…

Ik weet niet zo goed wat ik van dit verhaal moet vinden. Het was best aardig, maar bleef niet echt hangen. Ik kan mijn vinger er niet echt op leggen wat het was, maar het verhaal kabbelde nogal en de romance kwam voor mij niet echt goed over. De schrijfstijl was goed, maar desondanks voelde ik er niet echt wat bij.

De wensster (The wishingstar) – Jen Minkman

Imre and Jonas have been college friends a long time, but today is the first day they are going somewhere alone. They agreed to go to national park Dwingelderveld to go stargazing. When they see a falling star something magical happens…

I really, really loved this story! It had a nice slow pace, realistic characters and I loved the ending. I liked how the story went from normal to paranormal and how the main characters discovered their heart’s desire 🙂

Imre en Jonas zijn al tijden vrienden op de PABO maar ze hebben nog nooit iets samen gedaan. Aangezien ze beiden van astronomie houden, besluiten ze samen naar nationaal park Dwingelderveld te gaan om sterren te kijken. Wanneer ze een vallende ster zien, gebeurt er iets magisch…

Dit verhaal was echt ontzettend gaaf! Het had een mooie, langzame opbouw, realistische personages en het einde was erg mooi. Ik vond het erg tof hoe het verhaal van normaal naar paranormaal ging en hoe de personages hun hartenwens ontdekten 🙂

Mijn allerliefste (My sweetheart) – Debora Elisabeth

In this story we get to know Annabelle and Collin. Collin is fighting in a war and Annabelle is left behind at home. The two struggle with not being together and not being able to communicate. Will they ever get back together again…

This was the only story in the collection that had a whole different world in it. I loved the dystopian feel of it. I also loved the main characters and their struggle. This was such a cool story and I hated the fact that it was so short because I wanted to continue reading haha.

In dit verhaal leren we Annabelle en Collin kennen. Collin vecht aan het front terwijl Annabelle thuis achterblijft. De twee hebben het zwaar nu ze uit elkaar gerukt zijn en omdat ze nauwelijks kunnen communiceren met elkaar. Zullen ze ooit weer bij elkaar komen…

Dit was het enige verhaal in de bundel dat een hele andere wereld had. Het dystopische element was echt super gaaf. De hoofdpersonen en hun problemen waren ook erg tof. Dit was een van mijn lievelingsverhalen en ik baalde best wel toen het uit was omdat ik graag verder had willen lezen haha.

Kerst’mis (Christ’mas) – Jennefer Mellink

Lotte has never known her birth parents and every Christmas she struggles with the not knowing. This year her boyfriend Jochem wants to give her a happy Christmas but will she be able to set aside her sorrow and concentrate on all the positive things in her life…

Somehow in every short story collection there is a story that you don’t like and I’m sad to say that this was that story for me. I found this one a little bit messy, not very believable and the main characters didn’t really feel rounded to me. Maybe others will love this one, but this was not the one for me.

Lotte weet niet wie haar biologische ouders zijn en iedere kerst heeft ze het er moeilijk mee. Dit jaar probeert haar vriendje Jochem haar een fijne kerstmis te bezorgen, maar kan ze haar verdriet opzij zetten en zich concentreren op de positieve dingen in haar leven…

Tot nu toe heb ik altijd in elke bundel één verhaal gehad dat ik niet zo denderend vond en helaas was dit in deze bundel dit verhaal. Ik vond het verhaal een beetje rommelig, bij tijd en wijle ongeloofwaardig en de personages voelden niet echt goed uitgewerkt aan. Misschien dat andere lezers dit verhaal wel erg leuk vinden, maar dit was gewoon niet mijn ding.

Helse Heenreis (One hellish journey) – Marijke F. Jansen

Killian has had enough of his life. That’s why he’s sitting on this beach in the dark and cold on Christmas eve. At his darkest moment, however, a girl comes tumbling from the sky and falls on top of him. Maybe life isn’t so dark after all…

I loved this one!!! It was so emotional and Killian was so realistic and sad. I loved how the author managed to make him so life like in so few words. The paranormal element was really fun and surprising and that ending was beautiful ❤

Killian heeft genoeg van zijn ellendige leven. Daarom zit hij in het donker op het koude strand op kerstavond. Op zijn meest duistere moment valt er echter een meisje uit de lucht recht bovenop hem. Misschien is het leven toch niet zo duister als hij denkt…

Dit was mijn favoriete verhaal in deze bundel! Het was zo ontzettend emotioneel en Killian was zo realistisch en triest. Zo knap hoe de schrijfster in zo weinig woorden zo’n levensecht personage heeft weten neer te zetten. Het paranormale element in dit verhaal was erg leuk en verrassend en het einde was prachtig ❤

Droomband (Dream connection) – Patty van Delft

Julia is head over heels in love with Jonathan but he doesn’t seem to know she exists. To make matters worse he is dating Natalja. When Julia is hiding from a storm in a bookshop Jonathan and Natalja come inside and she runs outside stumbling into a store she never saw before. There she finds a special bracelet that will show her her soulmate according to the old lady running the store. Julia doesn’t believe in magic, but the dreams she has because of the bracelet seem so real and the boy in it steals her heart. Is there a possibility that the bracelet is truly magical and that the boy in her dreams is her soulmate…

I love Patty’s writingstyle. Somehow she knows how to perfectly blend magic with reality and how to infuse her stories with emotions and realistic romances. I loved everything about this story ❤

Julia is smoorverliefd op Jonathan, maar die schijnt niet eens te weten dat ze bestaat. Om alles nog erger te maken, heeft hij nu ook nog eens verkering met Natalja. Wanneer Julia in een boekwinkel aan het schuilen is voor een storm komen Jonathan en Natalja ineens samen binnen. In plaats van binnen te blijven, besluit Julia weer naar buiten te gaan waar ze op een winkel stuit die ze nog nooit heeft gezien. In dit winkeltje vindt ze een speciale armband die haar zielsverwant aan haar zal onthullen volgens de stokoude verkoopster. Julia gelooft niet in magie, maar de dromen die ze ineens heeft dankzij de armband zijn zo realistisch en de jongen die er in voorkomt steelt moeiteloos haar hart. Is het mogelijk dat de armband echt magisch is en dat de jongen in haar dromen haar zielsverwant is…

Ik hou van Patty’s schrijfstijl. Op de een of andere manier weet ze magie en werkelijkheid perfect te combineren en zijn haar verhalen gevuld met emotie en realistische romances. Ik vond alles aan dit verhaal prachtig ❤

Suikersneeuw (Sugarsnow) – Vanessa Gerrits

In this story we get to know Sien who has recently lost her father. She escapes from her sorrow through her favorite bookseries Heirs of Light and through helping in her parents marketstall. Then one day she meets San and life seems a little brighter…

This was kind of the odd one out in this collection. Somehow this story didn’t really fit in with the others. I still don’t really know what I thought of it. Funny thing was that I became really curious about the story mentioned in the story and I really want to read that one haha. Hopefully the author will write that story 😉

In dit verhaal leren we Sien kennen die haar vader is verloren. De enige manier waarop ze haar verdriet een beetje kan vergeten is door middel van het lezen van haar favoriete boekenserie Erfgenamen van het Licht en door het helpen in de oliebollenkraam van haar ouders. Op een dag ontmoet ze San en het leven lijkt ineens een beetje beter…

Op de een of andere manier leek dit verhaal niet helemaal in de bundel te passen. Ik weet nog steeds niet echt wat ik ervan vond. Het grappige was dat ik na het lezen van dit verhaal vooral nieuwsgierig was naar het verhaal dat in het verhaal genoemd wordt en dat wil ik echt super graag lezen haha. Hopelijk schrijft de auteur dat verhaal ook nog eens 😉

This collection of stories has something for everybody: contemporary, paranormal, dystopia, love, death, hope and happy endings all around. This is a lovely collection to read beneath a blanket, with a hot cup of cocoa in your hand and the sparkling Christmastree next to you ❤ The only thing missing was Rudolph… Where’s my favorite reindeer!

If you want to read other people’s opinions of this book you can look at the previous blogstop on https://www.linda-linea-recta.nl/wonderland/ and tomorrow at the next blog stop on http://selinablogt.nl

Happy reading you all!

 

Bookhaul October 2017

Hey you all! Today I’m going to share my modest October bookhaul with you guys and girls. I bought two gorgeous hardcovers with a fairytale theme, I received one book filled with romantic YA christmas stories for reviewing purposes and I won a book in a giveaway on Facebook hosted by Chantal de Vries ❤

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So, what are these books about?

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo:

For a review and description of this book see: https://confessionsofaserialreadersite.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/fairytales-the-grisha-way/

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden:

For a review and description of this book see: https://confessionsofaserialreadersite.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/deep-inside-the-woods-ancient-evil-stirs/

Een zomer in Parijs (One Paris Summer) by Denise Grover Swank:

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren’t betrayal enough, he’s about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.

Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn’t support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

I’m really looking forward to reading this book! It sounds so awesome ❤

Wonderland by various authors:

For this book there is no official description, but it is a collection of short YA romantic Christmas stories written by ten popular Dutch YA authors. I’m still debating if I’m going to write this review in Dutch or if I’m going to make a bilingual review in Dutch and English (I’m leaning towards the latter). The review will be posted on 14 November so stay tuned for that one 😉

And that’s all for October I’m afraid. But, eventhough it’s just a small pile, two of the four books were absolutely amazing and I have high hopes for the other two, so, quality makes up for quantity 😉

 

Deep inside the woods ancient evil stirs

Hey you all! I don’t know what it is this month, but I’ve only read extraordinary books. Today I’m going to discuss Katherine Arden’s debut novel The Bear and the Nightingale, a truly mesmerizing and awesomely written book. I have to confess that I bought this one purely because of the cover and because the book was compared to Naomi Novik’s Uprooted. Since I absolutely fell in love with Uprooted I decided to just go ahead and buy this book and, boy, did I struck gold!!! The Bear and the Nightingale is a work of writing art ❤ Let me tell you what the book is about and why I fell in love with it.

the bear and the nightingale

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

For the first time I don’t really know where to start my review. This book was just all around awesome! I loved Katherine’s writing style. It’s lyrical, dark, and slow burning. The way in which she describes life in the cold stretches of the countryside in Russia in the 16th century is truly amazing. With her lush and elaborate descriptions she manages to transport her readers backwards in time towards an age full of superstition, inequality and hardships. Everything I loved in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Novik’s Uprooted is combined in this novel: a slow pace, descriptive writing, magic, small minded villagers, an unlikely hero who refuses to let circumstances and the way people perceive him or her get him or her down, an ancient evil, and a grumpy mentor.

Another thing I loved is the theme of religion versus folklore and the supernatural. It has always been a personal fascination of mine how Christianity managed to suppress peoples believe in supernatural beings as deities, house spirits etc. In this book Arden explores this theme majestically. When Father Konstantin comes to the village where Vasya/ Vasilisa and her family live much is changed. Konstantin doesn’t want people to honor the old gods and house spirits and forces them to put all their faith in God. Vasya, however, is one of the few people who possesses the second sight and she sees what the consequences of not honoring the ancient beings are. Because the less people believe in their house spirits, the more they weaken and the flimsier the barriers of protection against evil become. Worse, still, is the fact that with the weakening of the protective barriers comes the rising of an ancient evil that hungers for death and destruction. Another thing I loved was the fact that Arden portrays Konstantin as a man of many flaws, but with a strong conviction in the rightness of what he does and believes. Even though Konstantin is at times very unlikeable I was fascinated by this character.

And then Vasilisa herself … Vasya was such a realistic and cool main character. All her life she has been told that she is not as pretty as her sisters, that she is weird and that the only options she has in life are marriage or joining a convent. But, Vasya knows that those two options are not for her. She doesn’t want to be a slave to a man and she doesn’t want to be locked up in a cold building honoring a distant God. So, she plays in the woods, gets to know all the spirits and supernatural creatures no one else seems to see and is taught skills that no girl should possess, including riding bareback on a horse. When she gets older people start calling her witch and evil. And when darkness stirs and demons gather around the village Vasya becomes a scapegoat for all that befalls the villagers.

quote vasya

Vasya’s struggles were so realistic and at times heartbreaking that I couldn’t help but root for her and hope that she would manage to get free of her circumstances. I loved the way in which Vasya refused to adhere to what she should do and how she should act as a woman and just forged her own path ❤

The pace of this book starts out slow. As a reader you get sucked into Vasya’s world and get to know her and her family. You begin to love her brothers Kolya, Sacha and Alyosha, and her sisters Olga and Irina. Her father Pyotr sometimes seems strong and a loveable man and other times he’s weak and you start to hate him a bit. Her stepmom Anna is a harder character to love because she can be cruel and mean, but other times you feel sorry for her. I loved how human all the characters were; just ordinary people with good and bad qualities. The supernatural characters were portrayed just as well. I loved how these ‘demons’ balanced between good and evil and how they interacted with Vasya. I really liked Morozko’s character and hope that he plays an even bigger role in the sequel. He’s wonderfully mysterious. Once you get to know all these characters and the world is set firmly in place the pace kicks up and races towards an incredible climax that was beautifully written and composed.

I don’t want to betray too much of what happens in the book, so, you can experience the epic writing and story all for yourself ❤ I will suffice with saying that this is an astonishing book with an awesome and realistic main character, elaborate and gorgeous worldbuilding based on historical research, which explores several interesting themes, is extremely suspenseful and is written in such a realistic and magical way that you will keep turning pages. This is definitely a must read!

 

Fairytales the Grisha way

Hey you all! Today I’m going to share a new kind of review with you. Instead of discussing the book and giving a summary, I’m going to share some pictures with you guys and girls to show you how awesome The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo is. If you would rather not see some of the stunningly beautiful art in this book and want to be surprised if you buy the book than don’t read and look any further!!!

 

Before I start showing you the pictures I’d like to comment in short on the whole novella thing. It seems as though making novella’s is a new and lasting hype in the YA world. Almost every popular YA series has at least one, but often two or more novella’s which are put between the full length novels as extra’s or expansions of the main story. On the one hand this can be really fun and exciting because the story gets prolonged that way and some aspects of the world or characters can be elaborated on. On the other hand sometimes it becomes a cheap trick to get readers to buy even more books; books that were not absolutely necessary to understand the story. Most of the time I don’t buy these novella’s because of  this. What annoys me most, though, are people who warn readers that they absolutely have to buy these novella’s because otherwise the series won’t make sense. That’s just a load of rubbish. Up until this day I haven’t come across a novella that needs to be bought and read because it is essential to the main story. The Language of Thorns is also a novella that doesn’t absolutely have to be read. In fact, nothing in this book is directly linked to the Grisha trilogy or the Six of Crows duology except the locations in these six short stories. So, you don’t have to buy this book to better understand the two main series, but it is an awesome collector’s item that contains six truly beautiful short stories, or rather short folktales, that the characters in the main stories no doubt grew up with ❤

So, let’s start this alternative review!

When you remove the stunning dust cover (or rather cloth cover) you see this stunning cover:

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Those two covers are enough to get my fan heart beating a little faster, but wait until you see what’s inside!

First up:

20171023_122206[1] A gorgeous fairytale that reminded me a bit of the Minotaur-myth meshed with Beauty and the Beast elements ❤ On every page there are tiny drawings that expand further and further until it comes to a climax in the endpages of the story, where a full blown drawing is depicted.

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This first story was one of my favorites!

Second:

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This story was based on the Ugly Duckling and is written so well that I didn’t see that plottwist at the end coming! I loved the fox as a main character and the dark and twisted vibe was awesome. And the artwork at the end was again amazing. Sadly, with this story I can’t show you the artpiece because it contains a spoiler about the plottwist 😉

 

Third:

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Again an amazingly twisted and dark story with a plottwist I didn’t see coming. This one has a little bit of Hansel and Gretel in it, but in a whole new way. The final pages were truly stunning again.

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It’s so pretty ❤

Fourth:

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I loved the feministic touch in this story. That twist at the end had me grinning like the Cheshire Cat and chuckling like an evil witch 😉 I’m still trying to come up with what fairytale this story was based upon, because I’m sure I’ve read a fairytale or story where the hero needs to fulfill a couple of tasks to win the hand of the pretty princess, but I can’t remember which story it is… Anyway this was another one of my favorites (come to think of it, I think all of them are my favorites haha).

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Fifth:

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This story was based on The Nutcracker, but has a dark vibe the original story doesn’t have. I loved the sinister feeling of this one and that ending was so cool! I liked the artwork of this story the least, but it still is very nicely done.

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Sixth:

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The last story is the longest one and a variation on The Little Mermaid. I loved how round the main character in this short story was and I liked how the story built towards an explosive climax. I still can’t decide which story I liked best of all, but this one is certainly a contender. And the drawings are so, so beautiful ❤

If you’re looking for a novella that is worth your money and deserves a place on your bookshelves this is certainly the one to buy. Not because the stories in it are necessary to understand the Grishaverse, but because the book is stunning and the stories in it are written really well and all have a unique take on classical fairytales.

Bookhaul August & September 2017

Hey you all! You may have noticed that my bookhauls for the months August and September were missing. I decided to wait with posting these hauls because they were kind of … pathetic haha. If it wasn’t for giveaways and review copies I probably wouldn’t have had any books to show you guys and girls. Luckily, Lady Luck favors the broke 😉

When I wanted to take a picture of the spines of the books in my bookhaul the pile of books promptly keeled over, which resulted in this picture that made me laugh really hard, because somehow it looks kind of cool.

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Four of these books I got for free 🙂 I won Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus in a giveaway by the magazine Libelle, I won Bloedwetten: Verlossing (English translation: Bloodlaws: Redemption) by Sophia Drenth in a Facebook giveaway by the author and Nienke Pool, I won Een fijne neus voor liefde (The secret of a heartnote) by Stacey Lee in a giveaway by HarperCollins Young Adult and I got Ster van Acht (Angel Star) by Jennifer Murgia as a review copy for Dutch Venture Publishing. The remaining two books I bought for a project I’m working on and will tell you more about when I’m finished 😉

So, what are these books about? (note: I added two descriptions in Dutch because these books will probably not be translated to English any time soon)

Homo Deus: A brief history of tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari:

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

Bloedwetten: Verlossing by Sophia Drenth (description in Dutch):

Neerlanders hebben hun angst verloren voor de bloeddrinkende Ath’vacii. Burgers gebruiken nu zelf gretig het pulver dat wordt vervaardigd uit Ath’vacii-bloed en bewonderen de machtige stem van een monsterlijke operazanger die eeuwen geleden onsterfelijk werd gemaakt.

Roan Storm is recent door de Ath’vacii tot het eeuwige leven veroordeeld. Hij verliest zijn grote liefde Maïa aan een sterfelijke mens. Samen met zijn staaljagers staat hij machteloos als zijn Bloedwet wordt misbruikt door zijn aartsrivaal.

Wanneer bloedhongerige mensen Ath’vacii beginnen aan te vallen en Maïa’s leven in gevaar komt, valt Storm dieper dan zijn resterende vrienden ooit hadden kunnen vrezen.

Structuring your novel: essential keys for writing an outstanding story by K.M. Weiland:

Is Structure the Hidden Foundation of All Successful Stories?

Why do some stories work and others don’t? The answer is structure. In this new guide from the author of the bestselling Outlining Your Novel, you will discover the universal underpinnings that guarantee powerful plot and character arcs. An understanding of proper story and scene structure will help you to not only perfectly time your story’s major events, but will also provide you with an unerring standard to use in evaluating your novel’s pacing and progression.

Structuring Your Novel will show you:

• How to determine the best methods for unleashing your unique and personal vision for your story.
• How to identify common structural weaknesses and flip them around into stunning strengths.
• How to eliminate saggy middles by discovering your “centerpiece.”
• Why you should NEVER include conflict on every page.
• How to discover the questions you don’t want readers asking about your plot—and then how to get them to ask the right questions.

Story structure has empowered countless bestselling and classic authors. Now it’s your turn!

Ster van Acht (Angel Star) by Jennifer Murgia:

See https://confessionsofaserialreadersite.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/to-fall-in-love-with-an-angel/ for a description and review of the book.

Een fijne neus voor liefde (The secret of a heartnote) by Stacey Lee:

See https://confessionsofaserialreadersite.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/love-is-in-the-air/ for a description and review of the book.

Storytelling in 12 stappen (English translation: Storytelling in 12 steps) by Mieke Bouma (description in Dutch):

Storytelling in 12 stappen is gebaseerd op de monomythe van Joseph Campbell en The Writer’s Journey van Christopher Vogler, ook wel bekend als ‘De Reis van de Held’. Voor schrijvers en verhalenvertellers vormt deze mythische verhaalstructuur een onuitputtelijke inspiratiebron.
In deze praktische schrijfgids behandelt scenarioschrijver en schrijfdocent Mieke Bouma dit verhaalmodel stap voor stap. Storytelling in 12 stappen biedt schrijvers en verhalenvertellers richtlijnen voor het construeren van sterke plots en het creëren van universele en levensechte karakters. Oefeningen en praktische opdrachten helpen bij het oplossen van schrijfproblemen, zorgen voor inspiratie en prikkelen de verbeelding.
Dit boek is niet alleen een avontuur voor auteurs, scenaristen, toneelschrijvers en producenten, maar voor iedereen die van verhalen houdt en ze wil (leren) schrijven of vertellen.  

 

 

 

The road to revenge

Hey you all! You might have wondered why it took me so long to post a review of Crooked Kingdom as I posted my review of Six of Crows a week or two ago. It wasn’t because it took me so long to finish the second book … No, I’m still emotionally unstable haha. I don’t know how Bardugo does it, but she has me hooked to her stories with my heart and soul. This review will contain spoilers of the ending of Six of Crows so don’t continue reading if you don’t want to know how that book ends!

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I made a fanart-card again and I discovered that I love this handlettering thing (even though my normal writing is a mess haha) Ps. No crows and ravens were harmed in the making of this photo, I collected these feathers through the years in parks and woods without attacking any birds, I swear 😉

So what’s this second book about:

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope.

As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world. 

In Six of Crows we saw how Kaz and his crew pulled off the impossible: breaking into the Ice Court to retrieve a high-value-prisoner and delivering him to Ketterdam. But, Kaz never anticipated that their client, the presumed honorable merchant, Jan van Eck would double cross them and kidnap Inej. In Crooked Kingdom the reader sees what Kaz will do to get Inej back and take revenge on not only Van Eck but also his greatest enemy.

kaz and inej

Let’s start with Kaz. In this book you get to know him even better. He is reluctant to admit his feelings, but he can’t deny them any longer even though he knows that he will probably never be able to touch someone without breaking down and feeling horrified. I loved the way in which Kaz tried to fight his feelings, but ultimately embraced them. The discovery of his warmer feelings, however, doesn’t mean that Kaz isn’t cold and relentless any more. If anything the betrayal by Van Eck made him even more determined to take revenge and outsmart everyone. The plans and plots he comes up with are so cool and evil! I love how Kaz’ darkside and his goodness mash together in this book ❤

Inej was so incredibly well portrayed in this book!!! Her capture by Van Eck throws her back into her own past when she was helpless and couldn’t stop the things that were done to her. But, instead of breaking apart Inej learns that even though she’s scared she will never be helpless again. She would sooner die than let people use her again. I loved her vulnerability and her inner strength in this book and her determination to get what she deserves: be it love or revenge. She’s one kick-ass girl!

fear

Inej and Kaz weren’t the only ones that went through hell in this book. In Six of Crows we learnt that it was Jesper’s fault that the mission at the Ice Court went incredibly wrong. He tries his best to make up for his faults, but Kaz doesn’t forgive easily, especially not now that Inej has been taken. Jesper’s struggle is so real and sad that my heart broke for him, but I loved how he tried to correct his wrongs and how he grew closer to Wylan. Best of all was the fact that his humor was still there despite everything that went wrong.

And then Wylan … I loved the fact that he had a much larger role in this book and that the reader gets to know him better. His struggle with his horrible father, Jan van Eck, was so realistic and sad. But, it was beautiful how he proved his dad wrong in the end and took revenge on him for all that he did to Wylan and his mom ❤ The feelings between Jesper and Wylan were so sweet and cute that it made me smile the whole time when they were together in the same scenes. ❤ ❤ ❤

Nina and Matthias also had some obstacles on the way. Matthias struggles with the fact that he betrayed his fellow soldiers, his commander and his country by protecting Nina and staying with Kaz and his crew. Even though he’s torn apart inside he can’t help but feel that he did the right thing even when it feels so wrong. He struggles with accepting his new world and the possibility that Grisha are not abominations and unnatural, yet, he can’t deny his feelings for Nina. I loved the fact that Matthias didn’t simply change his mind about his world, but that he had a hard time with accepting everything, which made the book and his character that much more realistic.

Last, but not least: Nina. To save the crew she had to take some of the drug Jurda Parem which is extremely addictive. Even though she wants to clean her system of the drug she can’t help but be overcome by craving it every time she tries to use her heartrender gifts. It’s as if everything that makes her her is stripped away from her. She’s weakened by the drug and has to learn how to fight the normal way. The only things keeping her sane are Matthias and her will to find and free Inej. Along the way she discovers that her old talents have transformed into something new and that love can cure you even from a drug as addictive as Jurda Parem.

This book was genius. The plot was written extremely well and I loved how some of Kaz’ plans failed, but how he nevertheless thought of ways to set things right again. The tension was really high and well dosed. And the emotions … let’s just say I was a wreck when I finished this book! It was so intense and I’m still mad and sad about that ending! because not all of the crew came back from this mission … (crying in handkerchief) This book was a rollercoaster of feelings and suspense ❤

Oh, and I absolutely loved the way in which Kaz took revenge on his enemies. I think I’m going to hire him when somebody crosses me, so you are forewarned 😉

justice

I don’t think I have to mention that this is a definite must read 😉 It’s so, so good!!! Even though your heart will be blown to smithereens, you have to read this one. You won’t regret it.