Wednesday – Quoteday #8

It’s wednesday so it’s time for another quote :). When I was browsing on Pinterest I came across a beautiful picture of a library and underneath it was a quote from Jorge Luis Borges saying:

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”

Well, I really hope that he’s right and that if we die we go to bookheaven where you can read all day and won’t have to worry about work, school, bills and all other responsibilities. Just sit there reading and soaking up all those stories.

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Silence sometimes talks

A few months ago I bought my first New Adult book, Bad for you by Abbi Glines, and I fell in love with the genre and with the writing of this author. Her stories are packed with romance and emotions and will have you laughing and crying in equal measure. This review is about Until friday night by Abbi Glines. A book that really touched me and has instantly become one of my favorites. What’s the story about:

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god. But on the inside he’s grief-stricken – his father is dying and, unable to face the truth, he hasn’t told anyone.

Now, as his heartache grows, West finally decides he needs to talk to someone about his dad. So in the dark shadows of an after-game party, he tells the one girl who doesn’t ever speak. He tells her everything he can’t tell anyone else. West expected to feel relief, a flood of emotions – but what he didn’t  expect was for Maggie Carleton to reply, and for her to reveal a secret, more painful and horrific than his own. What he didn’t expect was to make a connection so strong that he could never ever let her go.

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Maggie is one of those characters that really get to you. She has seen something so horrific and brutal that she literally lost her voice, afraid that the sound of her own voice will take her back to the fateful day that she lost everything. So, now she keeps her silence and communicates through gestures and notes. Her silence has isolated her and made her the victim of more than one bullying kid, but she will never break her self-imposed silence. Not for anybody. Not for her godmother, who finally send her away, not for her aunt and uncle, who decide to give her a home, and not for her cousin Brady who doesn’t know what he should do with her.

Brady’s mom keeps ordering him to take Maggie with him when he goes to his friends and when he goes out and he’s had enough of it. He knows she’s hurt and that life has dealt her some serious shit, but he can’t help her and he doesn’t need a dog tailing him everywhere he goes. Maggie knows Brady hates to tag her along with him and decides to make it easy on him. She will keep her distance and won’t bother him so he can have fun with his friends. Hiding in bushes and underneath trees, waiting for Brady, becomes a new routine for Maggie and that’s how she gets to know West, Brady’s best friend.

One friday after a football game West comes across Maggie when he’s walking back to his car. He’s mad at everyone and everything because his dad’s dying and he just wants to blow of some steam. Seeing his best friend’s beautiful, mute cousin he decides to take his frustration out on her and kisses her until he feels better. For West it may just be blowing of steam, but for Maggie it’s her first kiss and the first time that she feels connected to anybody again. But, West doesn’t care about her emotions, he has enough to deal with on his own, so the next day he treats her like trash leaving Maggie hurt and once again alone. However something about West speaks to her and makes her think that he’s not really the jerk he’s pretending to be. A few weeks later, again on a friday, she discovers that she was right when West opens up to her, convinced that she is the only one who won’t betray his heartbreaking secret as she doesn’t speak. Colour him surprised when the silent girl suddenly starts to speak and reveals her own scars. Slowly a profound friendship and deeper feelings start to form between the two teens. West knows Maggie’s voice is a gift she only gives to him because she trusts him and he decides to protect her and keep her close to him.

Slowly, but surely Maggie falls hopelessly in love with West and begins to heal. She discovers that even through her own pain and bad memories she can love again and help others. Because West needs her more than she needs her safe silence. And if she can give her voice to him, than maybe it’s okay to give it to other people too…

 

For love there is no distance

Last week I promised to put some reviews of the many books I’ve read this month online and today I will fulfill part of that promise by posting 2 reviews. My first review is about The distance between us by Kasie West, a ya contemporary. I really enjoyed this book (as I did all of West’s books) and hope to get you all just as excited about her stories as I am :). So what’s this book about:

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence – he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

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This is one of those feelgood love stories that you just want to soak up and that puts a big smile on your face. Caymen is a sarcastic, witty einzelgänger who takes her responsibilities very seriously. She and her mom have always dealt with everything life has thrown at them together. Their financial situation has never been so dramatic but they can deal with it, Caymen is sure. However, her mom seems to keep some secrets…

Xander is the grandson of a very wealthy lady. He comes to the porcelain-doll shop for an errant for his grandma and finds the witty Caymen behind the register. Eventhough she’s less than welcoming he decides that he likes her and wants to see her more often. Every morning he waits for Caymen with a cup of hot chocolate and brings her to school. Their morning banters are really funny and revealing about their feelings. Slowly but surely they become friends and even more than that.

However Caymen’s mom seems to be really sick, seems to hide more than one thing from her daughter and their financial situation takes a turn for the worst. Luckily, Caymen can count on Xander, or at least she thinks so until she attents a party and discovers that Xander knows a lot more about her family’s history than she herself knows. Things that make her doubt about his feelings and sincerity. Things that prove that the one person she loves most in life, her mom, has been lying to her all her life…

The romance and feelings in this book are really well-developed, the characters are funny and cute and the suspense is well-dosed. This is one of those romantic books you want to read and reread and take with you at the beach when the weather’s nice.   

A second chance at life

I was updating my Goodreads account this morning to add all the books I’ve read this month and was surprised to see I already read 37 books in July!!! But if you take a look at this blog I haven’t posted a review of any of them. Seems right to correct this, doesn’t it ;). So, if I can manage it I will be posting a lot of reviews the following days! Starting today with a review of Nora Robert’s Whiskey Beach (Het Strandhuis). I’m a huge fan of Nora Roberts and own almost all of her books that are translated to Dutch and I love almost all of them (occasionally there are one or two where I don’t like the premise, plot or one of the characters). Whiskey Beach is one of her books I will be rereading many times because I absolutely loved it! Let me first tell you what the book’s about and then I will convince you why you have to read this one :).

For more than three hundred years, Bluff House has sat above Whiskey Beach, guarding its shore—and its secrets. But to Eli Landon, it’s home…

A Boston lawyer, Eli has weathered an intense year of public scrutiny and police investigations after being accused of—but never arrested for—the murder of his soon-to-be-ex wife.
He finds sanctuary at Bluff House, even though his beloved grandmother is in Boston recuperating from a nasty fall. Abra Walsh is always there, though. Whiskey Beach’s resident housekeeper, yoga instructor, jewelry maker, and massage therapist, Abra is a woman of many talents—including helping Eli take control of his life and clear his name. But as they become entangled in each other, they find themselves caught in a net that stretches back for centuries—one that has ensnared a man intent on reaping the rewards of destroying Eli Landon once and for all…

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If there is one thing Nora Roberts is good at it’s creating realistic characters who sweep you of your feet and take you away with them on their journey. Eli is most definitely one of those characters. Life has been rough for him after his wife was murdered and he became the prime suspect. Friends have abandoned him, his in-laws want him behind bars no matter what and the tenacious pitbull of a detective who is leading the case against Eli doesn’t let go of his suspicions no matter how far fetched or impossible they are. The relentless media and police harassment have turned Eli into a depressed recluse. To escape from it all he decides to move to the family estate to finally find some peace.

Enter Abra, a free spirit and woman of many traits. Abra has had her own problems in the past and found peace and harmony in the beautiful coastal village of Whiskey Beach. She teaches yoga, makes jewelry, massages people, is a waitress at the local bar and cleans houses. One of the houses she cleans is Bluff House the family estate of the Landon’s. Eli’s grandmother made Abra promise to take care of her grandson and when Abra meets him she knows she’s going to keep that promise no matter what. Eli is way too thin and looks as if all the joy and life has been sucked out of him and if there is one thing Abra is good at it’s making people feel better.

The relationship between these two characters is really well-developed. At first Eli is mostly mad and wants to be alone. He pushes Abra away and doesn’t want to deal with this crazy, positive woman although she’s really kind and pretty. But Abra won’t go away. She forces him to eat more and do more. It doesn’t take long before Eli decides to take her advice to heart and begins to take care of himself again. At the same time the two grow more attached and become friends and lovers.

However Eli’s old life and his new life become strangely entangled when a private investigator comes to Whiskey Beack asking all sorts of questions. At the same time somebody is breaking and entering Bluff House and Abra gets attacked. Strangest of all is that the thief didn’t steal anything, but is digging a giant hole in the basement floor instead. When the private investigator turns up dead not long after the attack on Abra Eli becomes a prime suspect again and the detective from Boston decides that Eli has killed not only his wife but also the p.i.

Eli’s had enough of playing the victim, this time he will proof his innocence (in both crimes) once and for all. With the help of Abra, some new friends and the deputy of Whiskey Beach he fights back. It doesn’t take long before he discovers that the murder of his wife, the burglaries in Bluff House and the nasty fall of his grandma are all connected to each other and a fabled treasure that is supposed to be buried somewhere in Bluff House…

The suspense and emotions in this book will keep you riveted and wanting to finish the book so make sure you have enough time as you won’t want to put the book down ;).

Wednesday – Quoteday #7

On this extremely hot and sweaty day there is not much else to do than read and write (can you say Heaven 😉 ). Because I have all the time of the world today I thought it would be fun to share another poem about reading with you all. The poem I chose is called Just Words and is written by Erin Hanson, a really talented young lady from Australia. If you haven’t heard of her then you should really check her poetry out!

Are they really “just words” strung out across paper,

Or are they answers to questions we’ve not learnt to ask,

If they’re really “just words” then how come when we read them,

We feel like somebody has seen through or mask,

I don’t think “just words” can hold such a power,

That makes us believe that there really is hope,

There has to be something in words that will help you,

Hold on when you’re reaching the end of your rope,

The people that write them are dealing with magic,

They change the whole world with a paper and pen,

And that I may be one is a dream I’d keep having,

If given the chance to live my life again,

They can’t be “just words” when you stop feeling lonely,

As if the author is someone that you’ve always known,

Like a hand has reached out to brush your tears from your cheek,

When you’re reading the words in your room all alone.

I think all readers will agree that stories are not “just words” that they are so much more :).  

Coverlove Friday #5

I know, I know, it’s not friday, but I’m pretending it is because yesterday was hell haha. Sometimes there are days that are so busy and you just feel a bit out of sorts. Nothing seems to go the way you want it to and everything seems really hard and costs a lot of energy. Luckily today my energy seems to have come back and I’d like to share another amazing cover with you all. This time I chose the covers from a bookseries I don’t own and haven’t read yet, but that has been on my to read/ to buy list for quite some time.

 

Aren’t they pretty?! When I was searching for new books to put on my list and came across the cover of City of a Thousand Dolls I knew this was one I had to know more about. When I read the description of the first book I was even more intrigued and decided that I should absolutely put it on my list. As I haven’t read them yet I don’t know if the books live up to the promise the cover and description give, but there’s only one way to find out ;).

For those of you who haven’t read or even heard of this story, here’s the description:

The girl with no past, and no future, may be the only one who can save their lives.

Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a little girl. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. She makes her way as Matron’s errand girl, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.

Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but also her life.

If any of you have read the books I’m really curious if you liked it or not!

Wednesday – Quoteday #6

It has been a while since I posted anything. The last two weeks were so extremely busy that I couldn’t find the time to write something, but luckily I have time today :). Since it’s summer vacation (or almost anyway 😉 ) and the weather is mostly nice, I’ve been in the mood to read romantic stories. Stories that allow you to relax completely and just dream away. The last couple of weeks I’ve been binge reading New Adult contemporaries and a lot of paranormal sci-fi romance novels. I just love these type of stories and don’t quite get why a lot of people say that these books are their ‘guilty pleasures’. Why would you try to keep your love for them hidden or feel the need to apologize for what you enjoy to read?

The quote I want to share with you today is by Rae Carson and describes exactly how I feel about reading my favorite books:

‘I don’t care if it’s Twilight or Fifty Shades or War & Peace, never let someone make you ashamed of what you love to read.’

Excellent advice, is it not?