Want-to-reads February 2018

Hey you all! I promised to share my monthly want-to-reads with you and that’s what I’m going to do today 🙂 I’ve been in the mood for some romance stories, so, I’m planning to read my unread Brenda Novak books and my mom bought a new trilogy by Nora Roberts that I really want to read. I would also really like to read Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi.

I’m curious to see if I can read all these books this month or if I will change my mind and read a bunch of different books haha. I’ll let you know at the end of the month 😉

Happy reading you all!

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The imperfection of perfection

Hey you all! I’m participating in another blogtour for Dutch Venture Publishing 🙂 This blogtour revolves around Onzuiver (The Blemished) by Sarah Dalton. When I read the description I knew I had to read this book because it sounded really awesome and intriguing. And, boy, did Sarah deliver on the promise that description made!!! First, let me give you the description and then I will proceed with my review. I promised to make a pictureguide for this book, but it was impossible to find the right pictures to express the important scenes in this story, so, instead I added some pictures that remind me of the characters in this book 🙂

onzuiver

A beautiful world comes at a price…

In the near future, genetics have advanced to the point where parents can design their ideal child. Perfect clones are the norm, and those born through natural conception are treated as their inferiors, living in poverty and servitude.

Fifteen-year-old Mina Hart has flawed genes. She’s part of the Blemished, forced to live in the slums, and taught only how to serve the GEMs, those who have been genetically engineered. When Mina is sixteen she’ll be coerced into suffering the Operation, a procedure that leaves girls infertile, and in most cases, insane. But Mina doesn’t want to have the Operation, and she’s willing to do everything she can to stop it happening. Because Mina has a secret power, and she’s about to start using it.

This book is written so well and with so much suspense that it kept me hooked from start to finish ❤ I loved the whole concept of a dystopian world where perfection is so important that people are willing to enslave and kill for it. The author did a really good job with her worldbuilding and manages to create a world that is not only scary and horrible, but also very recognizable. In this age of technological advancements it is not that hard to imagine that the balance between technological and genetical possibilities on the one hand and etchics and morality on the other will one day tip in the direction of unethical experimentation and influencing of the fabric of life itself. Who wouldn’t want a perfect child? A child that will never experience mental illness or hereditary diseases. A child that will be perfect in health as well as looks … But genetic perfection like that comes at a price, because to get rid off all undesirable genes the people who possess those genes will have to be sacrifices for the greater good. And that is what Sarah Dalton explores in this book (and series): a society where the genetically flawed are treated like disposable waste and slaves and where genetically altered humans rule with cruelty. This is one of those books that really get you thinking about the consequences of seemingly harmless medical advancements like gentherapy and genetic modification. Any book that manages to do that while still keeping the tension high and the pace fast deserves to be read by many people!

I loved main character Mina. She is strong, headstrong, loyal, kind, and not afraid to fight for her ideals and those she loves. I also really liked the fact that Mina had a special ability. The entire time I was reading the story I hoped Mina would find a way to escape the horrible reality of her life. The bond between her and Daniel was really interesting and I liked how well they fit together. I’m hoping they will get together in the following books in the series!

Daniel was also a really cool character. He’s so sweet and protective and I loved how he tried to care for Mina as well as Angela. Besides, just like Mina he has a special ability that is really intiguing.

Daniel

I also really liked Angela, Mina’s best friend. She’s sweet, funny and kind. I loved her positive attitude and the way in which she handled all the struggles and hardships in her life.

angela

I was a bit disappointed that this book had a love-triangle as I really hate those. However, I think that the triangle is resolved in this first book, so, keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t come back in the next books haha. I didn’t much like love interest Sebastian. I thought he was a bit of a douchebag because of the way he kept putting Mina in dangerous situations and especially later on when Mina finds out his ulterior motives. Maybe Sebastian will turn out to be a good guy later on, but in this book I really didn’t like him.

sebastian running

The pace of this book is really fast and really kept me hooked. I finished the book in one day because I couldn’t stop reading! I loved all the twists and turns and all the tension and (family and love) drama ❤ I hope the next book will be translated soon because I want to know how the story continues!!!

This book is definitely a must-read! It’s got intriguing and marvelous worldbuilding, a strong female lead, great tension and fast pacing that will keep you hooked from start to finish. If you love dystopia you should certainly put this one on your to read list, you won’t be disappointed 😉

If you want to know what other people in the blogtour thought about the book you can visit http://dutchventurepublishing.com/onzuiver-blogtour/ for all the stops in the tour 🙂

 

Bookhaul January 2018

Hey you all! So, yesterday I promised to share my January bookhaul with you guys and girls and here I am 😉 I added 8 beautiful new books to my collection and 5 of them are hardcovers ❤ I know 8 books is a lot, but every year in January I use the Airmiles that I saved in the previous year to buy books, so, eventhough I bought quite a few books it didn’t cost me too much money haha (and besides one of the books is a review copy I got from DVP, which only cost me the shipping). Which books did I buy? Let me show you!!!

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I bought Furthermore and Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi in hardcover ❤ I already owned a paperback copy of Furthermore but I loved the book so, so much that I decided to buy a hardcover copy too. I’m planning on using the paperback copy as a canvas to draw and paint on (in a sense adding to the black and white pictures that are already inside). I’ve never done a thing like this before, so, I’m really curious how it will turn out (if it turns out good I will share my ‘ book defacing’ with you all).

For those of you who don’t know these two books, here are the descriptions:

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. 

Whichwood (Furthermore #2) by Tahereh Mafi

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

I’m really looking forward to reading Whichwood as I absolutely loved Furthermore.

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And here are the rest of the books I added to my collection! They are so pretty!!! Here are the descriptions for these beauties ❤

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise… 

Everless by Sara Holland

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling #16) by Nalini Singh

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

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.

Onzuiver (The Blemished) by Sarah Dalton

A beautiful world comes at a price…

In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.

Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude’s School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…

I don’t know about you all but I think these books all sound so freaking awesome ❤ My coming days are booked 😉

Happy reading you all!

 

January Reads 2018

Hey you all! At the start of the year I shared my bloggish resolutions with you guys and girls and one of them was to write a Want-to-read-post at the start of every month and a Have-read-post at the end of every month. This first month I didn’t write a Want-to-read-post because I had no clue what I wanted to read, but I do have a Have-read-post for you all today! So, what did I read this first month of 2018?

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I read a total of 16 books 🙂 Last year around Christmas I decided to reread Harry Potter and I finished the last book in the series and The Tales of Beedle the Bard in the first week of January. Next I read An Enchantment of Ravens. Then I started in Witter Zwart, and decided to read that book slowly because it wasn’t a book to read in one sitting. So, I read Witter Zwart during the day. At night I reread most of the Psy-Changeling series ❤ which is one of my alltime favorites and because I ordered the latest installment Silver Silence I just had to reread the rest of the books 😉 When I finished the Psy-Changeling series and Witter Zwart I felt like reading some historical romance novels and reread two of the romance novels that I like very much.

In this first month I reread a lot of old favorites (just like last year) but I also read four books (An Enchantment of Ravens, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Witter Zwart and Silver Silence) I never read before, so, I think I managed to keep to one of my other bloggish resolutions too (Read more new books) 🙂 I’d say not bad for the first month of the year 😉

Happy reading you all!

Ps. tomorrow I will write my Febraury Want-to-reads-post and a January bookhaul because I added some pretty nice books to my collection ❤

Liefde in oorlogstijd

Hey allemaal! Zoals ik aan het begin van het jaar had aangekondigd, wilde ik graag iedere maand aandacht besteden aan ten minste één oorspronkelijk Nederlandstalig boek van een debuterend auteur. Vandaag schrijf ik daarom mijn allereerste volledig Nederlandstalige recensie op deze blog 🙂 Voor deze allereerste Nederlandstalige recensie heb ik een heel speciaal boek mogen lezen, namelijk: Witter Zwart van debuterend auteur Johan van den Ende. Witter Zwart is een historische roman die zich afspeelt tegen de achtergrond van de Tweede Wereldoorlog in het (naar mijn weten fictieve) plaatsje Pamiore in Italië. Voordat ik jullie vertel wat ik van dit boek vond, zal ik jullie eerst de beschrijving op de achterflap laten lezen zodat jullie weten waar het boek globaal over gaat.

Witterzwart

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?

Zoals de beschrijving al wel duidelijk maakt, is dit geen boek dat je eventjes uitleest. Het is een verhaal dat erom vraagt om langzaam gelezen te worden, met aandacht en concentratie. Iedere pagina staat vol informatie, vol gevoel en bespiegeling waardoor je echt de tijd moet nemen om het verhaal volledig tot je door te laten dringen. Ik geloof niet dat ik ooit een maand heb gedaan over het lezen van een boek met maar 460 pagina’s maar bij deze had ik dat wel. Na het lezen van zo’n twee à drie hoofdstukken iedere dag moest ik gewoon even stoppen om alles te laten bezinken. Niet in negatieve zin, allerminst. Bij sommige boeken kun je gewoon niet door de pagina’s heen jagen omdat dat het verhaal geen recht zou doen. Hoewel het boek ontegenzeggelijk spannend is, is het niet de spanning die mij geboeid hield. Nee, het was het hoofdpersonage en zijn keuzes die mij vasthielden en ervoor zorgden dat ik niet sneller kon en wilde lezen.

Marco is een zeer gelaagde hoofdpersoon. Een moeilijk hoofdpersoon ook. Moeilijk om van te houden, moeilijk om te haten. Waarom? Omdat hij zo menselijk is. Hij is arrogant, hooghartig, strijd voor iets dat verfoeilijk is en waarvan hij diep van binnen weet dat het slecht is, maar toch houdt hij zich vast aan zijn principes en de idealen die eens veel voor hem betekenden maar steeds meer van hem af zijn gaan staan. Maar hij is ook zorgzaam, liefdevol en soms zachtaardig. Misschien zou je hem als lezer moeten haten om zijn keuze voor de SS, om te strijden voor Hitlers afschuwelijke denkbeelden, maar toch kun je het niet. Johan van den Ende zet zijn hoofdpersoon, zijn anti-held, zo goed neer dat je gewoon verder moet blijven lezen ondanks de fouten die Marco maakt. Het zou makkelijk zijn geweest om als schrijver een hoofdpersoon neer te zetten die slecht begint en goed eindigt, maar Van den Ende neemt deze makkelijke weg niet. Hij laat Marco bungelen tussen goed en slecht in en juist daardoor wordt het hoofdpersonage levensecht. Als we terugkijken op de Tweede Wereldoorlog zijn we hard en onverbiddelijk in ons oordeel over de Duitsers, over hun acties, maar verliezen we soms de nuance uit het oog. Want: ook de Duitsers waren mensen. Ook binnen de rangen van de SS zullen er mensen rondgelopen hebben die hun eigen acties misschien wel veroordeelden of verafschuwden of gedwongen waren dingen te doen die ze niet wilden om hun eigen leven en dat van hun geliefden niet in gevaar te brengen. En dat is wat Van den Ende ons toont in dit verhaal, de feilbare, menselijke kant van de vijand. De twijfels over tegenover de trouw aan het nazisme en Hitler, de persoonlijke keuzes en worstelingen tegenover de orders van hogerhand. Praat dit goed wat er is gebeurd? Allerminst, maar het brengt wel een stuk realiteit terug in onze denkbeelden want slecht en goed kunnen in het dagelijks leven en zeker in oorlogstijd bijna onmerkbaar door elkaar lopen totdat zij een verwrongen massa wordt die niet meer uit te pluizen valt. Niet iedere nazi was tenslotte een Hitler of een Mengele. Ik kan alleen maar mijn bewondering voor en mijn complimenten aan de auteur geven die zo’n hoofdpersoon op zo’n voortreffelijke wijze weet neer te zetten.

“Het is de haat die achter de façade van het hakenkruis leeft, die mensen doet geloven dat er veel te winnen is in moord. Ik ken alle gezichten van die moord, de gruwelijke lelijkheid en kilte die hij brengt. Het zijn die beelden die mijn nachten domineren, mij laten baden in het zweet van verantwoordelijkheid.”

Ester is net zo’n complex personage. Ze lijkt te balanceren tussen adolescentie en volwassenheid in haar gedrag. Ze is fel, weigert haar mond te houden als ze het ergens niet mee eens is, verdedigt wat en wie ze is ten alle koste, maar toch houdt ze vast aan haar verliefdheid voor Marco. Op sommige momenten snapte ik die liefde niet, wilde ik haar door elkaar schudden en zeggen dat niets kan excuseren wat Marco allemaal doet en op andere momenten begreep ik waarom ze om hem geeft. Ik vond het prachtig hoe Van den Ende Ester neerzette als sterke vrouw.

“Als je het antwoord op deze vragen weet, vraag mij dan ten dans, in de nacht. Kijk door mijn vermomming heen en zie wie ik ben. Ik zal je dans niet weigeren en als we verdrinken, hebben we de liefde gekend.”

Wat betreft de liefde tussen Marco en Ester ben ik nog wat ambivalent. Op zich wordt deze goed neergezet, maar soms miste ik toch wat verdieping in de groei van gevoelens. Uit de dagboekfragmenten haal je als lezer wel een deel van het ontstaan van deze onmogelijke liefde maar hoe het kan dat Ester na wat ze allemaal heeft meegemaakt nog steeds van Marco houdt, vond ik minder duidelijk. Misschien had het geholpen als er ook een aantal hoofdstukken vanuit Ester waren geschreven waarin haar worsteling nog duidelijker naar voren kwam en waaruit je als lezer had kunnen opmaken waarom ze Marco niet harder veroordeelt. Vooral na wat er met Ester gebeurt op kerstavond 1943 tot aan 3 januari 1944. Hiermee wil ik niet zeggen dat de liefde in het boek ongeloofwaardig is want dat is zeker niet zo, maar soms is ze wel moeilijk te begrijpen en ik had daarom iets meer verdieping gewild.

“Hij wilde bij haar zijn. Een voortdurend willen. En tijdens het lezen had hij haar vast willen houden, haar willen kussen en zeggen dat ze alles was waar hij zolang naar had gezocht. Hij had haar zo laat gevonden, zou hij denken en verzwijgen. Voorbije jaren kunnen frustreren. Daarom zou hij haar zeggen dat haar liefde hem liet vergeten dat de tijd het leven consumeert en onachtzaam verteert.”

De spanning en plot in dit verhaal zijn extreem goed neergezet. Naast de gruwelijkheden van de oorlog en de liefde tussen Marco en Ester heeft Van den Ende een mysterie rondom een speciale viool toegevoegd dat je als lezer van begin tot einde aan het verhaal gekluisterd houdt. De spanning in dit boek is er niet zo een als in een goed geschreven thriller die steeds verder opgevoerd wordt en waardoor je pagina’s om moet blijven slaan, maar een constante aanwezigheid die je nieuwsgierig maakt naar wat er in het volgende hoofdstuk gaat gebeuren. Er zitten geen schokken of trappen in de spanningsboog maar ze is juist een strakke stijgende lijn die nergens wordt losgelaten en uitmondt in een treurige climax die misschien vanaf het begin wel onvermijdelijk was.

Als laatste nog iets over de schrijfstijl en opbouw van het verhaal. Johan van den Ende schrijft in een literaire, poëtische stijl; een stijl die sommigen misschien zal afschrikken of ontmoedigen omdat er werkelijk over iedere zin, ieder woord, is nagedacht. De zinnen zijn complex en het verhaal is gevuld met prachtige metaforen en diepe bespiegelingen die je diep zullen raken. Het is zeker geen stijl die ik persoonlijk vaak lees maar ik heb er wel van genoten.

“Maar mama zei daarover dat droge tranen intenser zijn, omdat ze niet rollen maar schuren langs een wond, waardoor die nooit geneest.”

Qua overkoepelende opbouw en ontwikkeling van de plot zit het verhaal strak in elkaar, maar toch heb ik wel een kleine kanttekening bij de opbouw van de hoofdstukken. Bijna ieder hoofdstuk begint met een informatief gedeelte over bijvoorbeeld het uiterlijk van een gebouw, de kleding van een personage, of de inrichting van een ruimte waardoor dit soms nogal vermoeiend werkte door de hoeveelheid informatie die op je af kwam. Hoewel ik deze informatie zeer nuttig en bruikbaar vond, werd het me af en toe toch iets teveel en had ik soms echt behoefte aan wat luchtigere passages.

Als je op zoek bent naar een boek waarin de geschiedenis op een goede manier in fictieve vorm uitgewerkt wordt, met complexe en realistische personages, waarin gruwelijke gebeurtenissen en innerlijke bespiegelingen elkaar naadloos afwisselen en waarin een onmogelijke liefde tussen twee tegenpolen de hoofdrol speelt dan moet je Witter Zwart zeker lezen!

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!!!

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!