Catch a falling star – part three

It’s time to share my final review with you guys and girls about Nora Roberts’ Guardians trilogy. The third book is called Island of Glass (Het glazen eiland in Dutch). As always I will start with a description and then I will share my opinion with you all.


As the hunt for the Star of Ice leads the six guardians to Ireland, Doyle, the immortal, must face his tragic past. Three centuries ago, he closed off his heart, yet his warrior spirit is still drawn to the wild. And there’s no one more familiar with the wild than Riley—and the wolf within her…

An archaeologist, Riley is no stranger to the coast of Clare, but now she finds herself on unsure footing, targeted by the dark goddess who wants more than the stars, more than the blood of the guardians. While searching through Irish history for clues that will lead them to the final star and the mysterious Island of Glass, Riley must fight her practical nature and admit her sudden attraction to Doyle is more than just a fling. For it is his strength that will sustain her and give her the power to run towards love—and save them all…

In this third book the guardians have traveled to county Clare in Ireland, to the home of Bran and the birthplace of Doyle. The last two guardians, Riley and Doyle, are the main characters. Throughout the trilogy you will come to know much about Riley. She’s an archaeologist with a large network of acquantainces who can hook her up with anything and everything she requires. She’s the brain of the operation, where Sasha is the heart and Annika the soul. Riley is logical, extremely loyal, fierce and tough-ass. A great heroine. The fact that she’s a werewolf only adds to the fun. Her character intrigued from the start of the trilogy and I really liked to read from her point of view.

Main character Doyle is a bit more elusive. In the previous books he didn’t seem to play a major role and he is really private and reserved. As a result I didn’t really feel about this character. As always Nora Roberts masterfully develops her characters and slowly reveals what Doyle is struggling with thanks to his curse of immortality. I did come to like him as a result and really hoped he would get his happily ever after.

If you read a lot of Nora Roberts books you know she writes romance books, so naturally in this book Doyle and Riley fall for each other. However, this love felt too much like instant love for me. In the previous books these two characters didn’t really seem to care much about each other, certainly not more than new friends do. That they would end up together was not obvious from the development of the previous books and as such didn’t feel realistic to me. In my first review about Stars of Fortune I talked a bit about the plot Nora Roberts uses in all of her paranormal series, and in this plot structure we find an explanation for the reason why Doyle and Riley would end up together. It seems as if these two characters were only put together because they were simply the last two guardians and the last two unattached people. This doesn’t make for great romance. Only at the end of the book did I start to feel something towards the romance between these two. A bit of foreshadowing in the previous books would have gone a long way in making this romance feel less insta-love and more like a proper romance.

Another thing I didn’t much like about this book was the fact that the search for the Star of Ice was again really similar to the search for the other stars. Some research is done, Riley calls in a few favors and the team goes diving in underwater caves. And when they are not diving they are doing excercises and physical training. Because this is the same m.o. as in the previous two books it gets really tiring to read. Luckily Nora mixes things up a little by hiding the Star of Ice on land in a place that means a lot to Doyle. As a result the tension that is lacking in the first part of the book gets turned up in the rest of the book. Fortunately the rest of the book is suspenseful and the battle between the guardians and Malmon and Nerezza is also written well.

What I did like about this book was the character development of both main characters. Both Riley and Doyle are written realistically and have to overcome some personal issues before they are ready to defeat the antagonist and before they can really start a relationship.

I also liked the fact that it wasn’t Riley who had to find the star, but Doyle. In the previous books the women were pivotal in the quest, but here it is the man.

If you’re looking for a romantic trilogy with a suspenseful ending, fantastic elements, and well-developed characters then you should definitely read this one! The romance in this last book fell a bit short for me, but luckily that was made up for in the end. Overall I really did like this trilogy, despite its flaws :).

Catch a falling star – part two

Yesterday I shared my review of the Stars of Fortune by Nora Roberts with you guys and girls and promised you to post a review of book two Bay of Sighs (Baai der zuchten in Dutch) today. Well, here I am to fulfill my promise. As always I’ll first share the description of the book and then I will give my opinion of the book. If you don’t like spoilers then don’t read this review!


To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…

Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star.

Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground…

And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.

In Bay of Sighs we follow the adventures of the six guardians after they have procured the first Star of Fortune, the Star of Fire. The team has moved from Corfu to the Italian island of Capri. Sasha and Bran were pivotal in the capturing of the first star and now it’s Annika’s and Sawyer’s turn to find their star, the Star of Water.

Annika was one of my favorite characters in this series. She’s funny (although she doesn’t try to be), she’s a bit unwordly and doesn’t know how to express or behave herself according to human laws of conduct which results in more than one hilarious situation, she’s really kind and sees the best in everyone and everything. She is one of those innocent souls who keep their sense of wonder despite all the cruelties and hardships in life. Annika has got a major crush on fellow guardian Sawyer, but he doesn’t seem to feel the same for her. Or so she thinks.

I really liked Sawyer too. He’s funny, friendly, loves to tease and offers a helping hand wherever he can. His ability to travel through time and space is also really cool and very handy in times of danger and need. Ever since he saw Annika he’s had major feelings for her, but since she’s such an innocent soul he doesn’t want to act upon those feelings in fear she might get hurt or won’t understand what he wants from her. So he keeps his distance. But Annika makes it really hard for him to be chivalrous because she’s not only beautiful and sexy as hell, but also doesn’t have a problem with prancing around nude. Someone should really tell this mermaid that humans are a bit more prudish about bodies than the merfolk haha.

The romance between these two characters is super sweet and humorous. They keep dancing around each other and have a hard time keeping their hands to themselves. Sawyer because he wants to be chivalrous and Annika because she can’t seduce Sawyer first for fear of her sirenpowers kicking in and ensnaring him in a spell. So it’s up to Annika to convince Sawyer to be a bad boy ;).

The tension in this book is turned up a notch as the evil goddess Nerezza decides to use a human for her dirty work. Her eyes fall on Malmon, a corrupted, dark and evil treasure hunter who tried to kill Sawyer in the past and who had a few run ins with Riley too. Nerezza lures him to her mansion and enchants him to drink her blood. From that moment on Malmon has no more free will and has to do everything Nerezza wants, while at the same time he transforms into an abomination. Something not quite human, not quite demonic, but something in between. The adding of another antagonist ensures that the guardians run into even more trouble while trying to fulfill their quest and Annika and Sawyer will be tested to the limits of their strengths and love.

What I liked less about this book was the fact that the search for the second star was really similar to the search for the first star. Again the guardians have to dive to several underwater caves to see if the star is hidden in one of them. Again Riley has unlimited contacts who can supply them with everything they need from a boat to ammunition and special weapons. Because of this some parts of the book felt a bit repetitive. Luckily the new antagonist added some more tension and gave the protagonists a run for their money.

If you like your romance with a bit of fantasy, a lot of tension and some hilarious situations this book is the one for you ;).

Catch a falling star and battle an ancient goddess, catch a falling star and find true love.

Okay the rhythm of this title sucks, but I couldn’t resist haha. For those of you who have read most of my reviews it’s probably obvious that I’m a little bit addicted to Nora Roberts’ books. I especially love her paranormal stories! So, when I saw that her Guardians trilogy was translated to Dutch I knew I had to read these books. After reading them I can’t say I fell in love quite the way I normally do, but I did enjoy the stories. I will be sharing reviews of all three books in the coming days and will try to explain why this trilogy fell a little bit short for me. If you hate spoilers then only read the first review and skip the other two ;). I’ll start with a description and a review of the first book, then tomorrow I will give a description and review of book two and the day after that I’ll proceed with a description and review of book three. The title of the first book is Stars of Fortune (Een ster van vuur in Dutch).


To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…

Sasha Riggs is a reclusive artist, haunted by dreams and nightmares that she turns into extraordinary paintings. Her visions lead her to the Greek island of Corfu, where five others have been lured to seek the fire star. Sasha recognizes them, because she has drawn them: a magician, an archaeologist, a wanderer, a fighter, a loner. All on a quest. All with secrets.

Sasha is the one who holds them together—the seer. And in the magician, Bran Killian, she sees a man of immense power and compassion. As Sasha struggles with her rare ability, Bran is there to support her, challenge her, and believe in her.

But Sasha and Bran are just two of the six. And they all must all work together as a team to find the fire star in a cradle of land beneath the sea. Over their every attempt at trust, unity, and love, a dark threat looms. And it seeks to corrupt everything that stands in its way of possessing the stars… 

So, let me start by telling you what I liked about this book and then I will tell you what I liked less.

Sasha was a really nice main character. Thanks to her ability to foresee the future and her prophetic dreams she has always been an outcast and never had a real relationship. She lives as a recluse and earns a living with her paintings, some of which are the result of her prophetic dreams. When she keeps dreaming about and painting the same five people and the same island she decides to find out if this place exists. After some searching she discovers that she has painted the Greek island Corfu, and she decides to travel there to find out why she keeps dreaming about this island and these strangers. Because of her reclusive life Sasha is shy, innocent and sweet. She’s not good with people and making friends is really hard. But when she sees one of the women she has painted again and again she decides to just talk to her.

Riley, the woman, is a tough-ass archaeologist searching for three ancient artifacts known as the Stars of Fortune. And her research has led her to Corfu. She’s enjoying a well-deserved cocktail when suddenly a woman walks up to her and tells her she’s been dreaming of Riley. When the woman shows her detailed drawings and sketches of not just Riley herself, but also of four other people Riley starts to believe what the woman is saying. While Sasha and Riley are getting to know one another a man comes strolling by. A man who looks exactly like someone on Sasha’s drawings.

Bran is an Irish man with a special talent for magic. He’s outgoing, mysterious and chivalrous. When two women ask him to come sit with them and when the gorgeous blonde one starts explaining she has seen him in her dreams he’s intrigued. When the other woman reveals she’s searching for the Stars of Fortune Bran knows this chance encounter could be fated, for he is also searching for the Stars. His suspicions about fate seem to be confirmed when it turns out all three of them are staying at the same hotel and on the same floor.

Sasha, Riley and Bran decide to team up in their search for the Stars and the other people from the drawings. They decide to move from the hotel to a villa of an acquaintance of Riley’s so they have a bit more privacy for their research. It doesn’t take long before the next two people from Sasha’s drawings find their way to them. They find the adventurous and friendly Sawyer trying to hitch a ride on the road they take to the villa, and they meet kind, strange and beautiful Annika on the beach near their villa. Together the five of them find out that they are the chosen guardians to destroy an ancient, evil goddess Nerezza and return the Stars of Fortune to the Island of Glass. A dangerous and magical quest that will test their strengths and that will put them in mortal danger.

It doesn’t take long before Nerezza shows her face and decides to test the strength of these so called warriors. In this first fight the last member of their group, the strong, stern and reserved warrior Doyle, joins them. Finally their team is complete and the real search for the Stars can begin. On Corfu they will have to find the Star of Fire, first of the three stars. It’s up to Sasha to brings this first stage of their quest to a happy ending.

I really liked the romance between Sasha and Bran. It developed in a realistic tempo and they were really sweet together. I loved how Bran made Sasha discover the strong woman she always was on the inside and how he helped her to come to terms with her special gift. Bran is a real sweetheart and has a big heart. Yet at the same time he’s a really strong magician who has an immense amount of power, but he never uses this power to hurt people or to take the easy way out in life.

I also liked the fact that the story revolves around a fellowship and a quest (huge fan of LotR here!!!). The paranormal elements all had a good basis and history within the book and were realistic. The fact that Riley was an archaeologist and did historical research to discover hints about the Stars and their whereabouts was also really cool.

What I liked less was the fact that every paranormal trilogy by Nora Roberts seems to have the same plot which starts to become really obvious when you read a lot of her books. She always has one über villain without any redeeming qualities, the pure incarnation of evil. Most of the time this is a god or goddess or some type of sorcerer. Then there are one or more people or supernatural ‘guardians’ who have tried to stop the evil but didn’t succeed entirely. These ‘guardians’ however do succeed in crippling the evil in some way which results in a long absence of the evil until the time is right for the evil to rise again and take revenge. After many, many years three or six special people are born who are fated to destroy the evil if they succeed in finding three magical objects before the evil does. While the chosen ones are busy fulfilling their quest they either fall in love with each other or meet and have to work with somebody (not a chosen one) who turns out to be perfect for them, their one true love. In the end the evil is always defeated and the good guys live happily ever after. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this type of plot and Nora Roberts writes them really well. However, if an author keeps reusing the same plot over and over it gets a bit predictable and tiresome. I like some originality in the stories I read and on this criterium these books were lacking for me.

Another thing I didn’t like was the way how all the characters met each other. It was all a bit too easy and convenient. It would’ve been nice if the search for teammembers had been a bit harder and less coincidental. The fact that there were six main characters also made the book a bit unclear at times. Sometimes I didn’t know who was speaking and other times the author switched from one person to the next so abruptly that I had to read passages two or three times to understand what happened and through whose eyes I was seeing the scene. Normally Nora Roberts is really good at this, but in this series it was a bit of a mess.

If you like paranormal, romantic stories with a quest this book is the one for you! The love story is realistic and sweet, the main characters are well-developed and it’s packed with magic and adventure :).


Wednesday – Quoteday #11

I really felt like posting a quote today and it made me laugh out loud because in my new year’s post I said I didn’t want to just post quotes on wednesdays anymore. Guess what day it is haha. Ah well, it’s a good day to share some beautiful words with you guys and girls ;).

I’m really happy today because I finally finished my thesis!!! Despite all the things that went wrong along the way, I’m so proud of the result. At the same time I feel a tiny bit lost and unhinged. Like I don’t know what to do now that I almost have my bachelor. Luckily, reading allows us to become whoever and whatever we want, wherever we land. Currently I’m residing in Furthermore, land of chaotic magic, trickery and mischief and I’m loving every minute of it! And who knows where and who I’ll be tomorrow…



New year’s post

Hey you all 🙂 It’s a new year and that means new bookish resolutions! I’m a bit late, but I’ve been sick with the flu and haven’t felt up too posting something. But today I wanted to finally tell you my reading and blogging goals for 2017 (eventhough I’m still really sick).

I’ve decided to change my quote and cover posts, because sharing those every wednesday and friday proved to be a bit too much. So, I will be sharing covers and quotes with you but not on a set day of the week and not every week.

I’m going to add some new things to my blog too. I want to share the books I’ve read every month with you and want to write more reviews of the books I loved the most. As a start I will share my own reading challenge with you :). If you like you can use it yourself too. I made this reading challenge to complete my bookish resolutions. Amongst these resolutions is finally reading all the unread books in my bookcase, and reading more classics.

This is my 2017 reading challenge:

  1. Read a book you love and read before.
  2. Read a classic.
  3. Read a children’s book.
  4. Read some poetry.
  5. Read a trilogy.
  6. Read a book you bought but didn’t read yet.
  7. Read a retelling.
  8. Read something romantic.
  9. Read a book with magical or fantastical elements in it.
  10. Read a book written by an author you haven’t read before.
  11. Read a book from one of your favorite writers.
  12. Read a book you feel like reading.
  13. Read a book with a kick-ass hero or heroine.
  14. Read a book in your favorite genre.

I’m going to try to read a book in all the categories every month and I’m aiming to read 168 books this year. I’m really excited to share my reading progress and new reviews with you so stay tuned ;).

Killing timepieces, Fabergé eggs and stolen hearts

Hey everybody! It’s been a while since my last post, but no worries I’m still here. I finally passed my Perspectives on History exam and the end of my thesis is finally showing, only one more chapter and a conclusion and I’m done :). Meanwhile, I’ve landed my first publishing contract for 8 short historical fiction stories and I’m waiting on news about another writing project! But best of all, it’s almost christmas. I just love everything about this holiday. I don’t know about you all, but I like reading christmas stories around this time of year. One of my all time favorites is the steampunk short Crimewave in a Corset by Stacy Gail. Let me first tell you what this story is about and then I will convince you to put this one on your to buy and to read list 😉

Roderick Coddington is on a mission to make Cornelia Peabody pay. After identifying her as the thief who stole a priceless Fabergé egg from his dying sister, he finds her and shackles a deadly timepiece to her arm. If she doesn’t return the egg by Christmas morning, she will die.

Normally seven days is more than enough time for Cornelia to carry out the perfect crime, but Roderick’s intrusion into her life is beyond distracting. He challenges her mind, and ignites her body with desire she’s never felt before. But worst of all, he threatens the independence she values above all else…

As Roderick spends time with Cornelia, he realizes there’s a lonely soul hidden beneath her beautiful but criminal veneer. Falling for a thief wasn’t part of Roderick’s plan, but plans can change and he has no intention of letting another priceless treasure get away from him. 


So, if the description and cover didn’t persuade you yet to put this on your list let me try to convince you ;).

Cornelia was raised by a mother whose only care was how much profit she could make by stealing. When Cornelia didn’t come home with enough goods her mother would beat her. Needless to say Cornelia grew up thinking that stealing was the only way to make a living and people cannot be trusted. Her only rule is never to steal from the poor or sick, and only to rob powerful institutions. She lives a solitary life and enjoys using her wit to outsmart people. One day when she comes home she discovers that somebody has broken in. Convinced that the thief has left the building without discovering her secret hideout she makes her way upstairs only to be attacked by the man who broke in.

Roderick is a professor at the local university and has made it his life’s mission to make the thief of his beloved Beth’s Fabergé egg pay. The only thing that made his sick sister happy was that egg and when it was stolen she took a turn for the worse and died. When he finds out Cornelia stole the precious trinket he concocts a plan to get it back. He breaks in and sets a trap to ensnare a thief. Then he will shackle Cornelia with his killing timepiece and make her steal the egg back. But when his plan succeeds and he spends time with her he discovers that beneath the fineer of a ruthless thief lies the heart of a scarred and lonely woman who cares a great deal about other people. She’s just afraid to show her gentle and caring nature for nobody ever loved her.

I absolutely love the romance between these two characters. At first Roderick hates Cornelia for what she did, but slowly he starts to fall for her smarts and kind nature. Making him wonder if he should proceed with his plan. Especially when Cornelia tells him where the Fabergé egg ended up. Cornelia is afraid of Roderick at first, but soon discovers that although he says he hates her he doesn’t seem to want to hurt her like her mother did. And he does strange things to her heart. However, she is convinced that a man like him can never love a woman like her and when the mission to steal the egg back proves not only dangerous, but just as heartbreaking as when she stole from Beth she doesn’t know if she can go through with it. Will Roderick unshackle her or will his hate make him kill her for not getting the egg back? The feelings between these two characters are so sweet, yet at the same time explosive (prepare for some steamy scenes ;)). You can’t help but root for these two and hope they will eventually end up together.

Another great thing about this story is the attention to historical and scientific detail making it utterly believable. From flying machines to traps. From killing timepieces to precious Fabergé eggs. Every detail has been carefully written.

If you like sweet and steamy romance, suspense, an overload of emotions and a story full of scientific and historical details this is the one for you. Prepare for a christmas adventure you didn’t see coming!

Wednesday – Quoteday #10

As a writer I always have stories swimming around in my head. Ideas for characters, plots, worlds, creatures and so much more. Sometimes these ideas crystallize into stories, short and long, and sometimes they just stay in their initial ideaforms. I’ve got notebooks full of them. And pages of summaries waiting to be written out in full novels. This got me to thinking how it is possible that so many of us love to tell and come up with stories. Even though we are by no means all writers, we humans are all storytellers. Even if we just relate our day to friends or family we pour our experiences in a storymold, exaggerating a little bit to give some suspense or to make an event seem more amusing. The memories of our childhood become tales we tell to and with the ones we love at special occasions. We are always and everywhere surrounded by stories. So, when I found the following quote by Jonathan Gottschall I could only agree with him.

We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.”

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

Do you all ever have the feeling that you’ve read too much? I finished reading the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness three days ago and after more than 1800 pages in the same story world I felt a bit wrung dry. So, I decided to pick up a book that wasn’t part of a series, that would probably be light-hearted and didn’t have too many pages. When I was standing in front of my bookcases my eye automatically wandered to my NA and contemporary YA section. And there it was: the book that would shake me awake. I chose The fill-in boyfriend by Kasie West and read it in one night because I couldn’t put it down! What’s this book about?

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend—two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party—three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.


I don’t know how West does it, but in every book I’ve read of her I loved the characters. Gia is one of the most popular girls at her school, but lately she’s been feeling like there’s something missing. Besides, her friendship with Jules has taken a weird turn, it’s as if Jules is jealous about everything and goes out of her way to make Gia look bad. Worst of all is that her other friends are starting to believe Jules. So, when Gia’s new boyfriend Bradley dumps her just before prom she makes a desperate last-minute decision and asks a complete stranger to play her boyfriend.

Hayden is recovering from the heartbreak his ex-girlfriend and former best friend caused him by cheating together, so, when he sees Bradley breaking up with Gia and the desperation Gia feels he decides to help her out by playing Bradley. When Gia and Hayden are dancing they hit it off but the deal was to break up at the end of the evening and that is exactly what Hayden does. However, Gia can’t put her fill-in boyfriend out of her mind. She tries to get his phone number to thank him, but Hayden’s sister Bec does her best to keep Gia away from her brother because she feels Gia doesn’t deserve him. When Hayden’s ex invites him to her graduation party Bec takes action and forces Gia to go with Hayden to play his new girlfriend in exchange for his phone number. Gia feels like she owes Hayden for helping her out and decides to help out Hayden this time. This is the beginning of a complicated relationship based on a whole web of lies. Biggest complication however is the fact that Hayden and Gia really start to fall for each other but can’t be together because of all the lies they’ve told.

As with all lies, the truth eventually comes out (thanks to Jules). In one fell swoop Gia loses all of her friends, and on top of that her brother has used her for a film he created and makes her the laughing stock of his college. Gia feels like she’s an idiot with no character or redeeming qualities. Hayden and Bec are her only supporters, but when one of Hayden’s friends starts spreading lies about Gia Hayden doesn’t know who to believe and walks away from her. However, Bec has decided that she believes Gia and does her best to reunite Hayden and Gia because she knows they love each other despite the weird way they came together. Meanwhile Gia has to figure out who she is and what she wants in life.

I loved how the romance between Gia and Hayden developed and how Gia discovered herself. This love story and coming-of-age tale was really sweet, realistic and fun to read. This is one of those books you’ll want to read if you’re in the mood for some light reading, sweet romance and easy entertainment!

When the Junglebook meets a cemetery, magic is created <3

Hey you all. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. No worries, nothing bad happened, in fact a lot of good happened! I participated in a reading club revolving around the Dutch YA book Falco en de gestolen Stympha’s (if you haven’t read it put it on your list 😉 ), I wrote a short story (about a girl living in the time of emperor Justinian when the Mediterranean was devastated by a plague that cost many, many lives) that’s going to be published this weekend on and I got a really cool offer from a well-known Dutch YA-author that I can’t tell anything about yet but that’s got me jumping all around the room and hyperventilating from stress at the same time haha. On top of all that I’m studying like crazy to pass my exam Perspectives on History and I’m trying to finish all my reading for my Ba thesis. It’s a bit stressfull at the moment, but I’m really enjoying myself with all the different projects! Of course I’m still reading for entertainment too. And yesterday I read a really awesome book called The Graveyard Book written by Neil Gaiman. I hadn’t read anything by Neil before, but I’m putting his name on my ‘authors to follow’ list! So what’s this book about?

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family…



I loved everything about this book! Bod is a really sympathetic and cool main character. Throughout the story the reader sees him growing up, following him from toddler to teen. Bod is headstrong, kind, adventurous, and really curious. His curiosity paired with his sense of adventure leads him into all kind of mysteries and troubles. And along the way he finds a lot of friends in unlikely places. From a human girl wandering the cemetery ground, to the ghost of a teenage-aged witch buried in unhallowed ground, from a troublesome guardianghost in a Celtic burial mound to the entrance of a world full of corpse-eating monsters. But, despite all these mysteries contained on one ancient cemetery Bod yearns to discover the world of ordinary humans. People who breathe and exist like him. Yet that is the one thing Bod can’t do because when he leaves the graveyard a ruthless clan of killers will find him and finish the job they started when Bod was just a little boy. However, as Bod gets older he doesn’t care about the consequences anymore. He wants to go to school and lead at least part of a normal life. When his guardian Silas agrees to Bod going to a normal school everything changes and the inevitable future is set into motion…

I really liked the fact that all the inhabitants of the graveyard became a surrogate family for Bod. He is adopted by the Owenses, a lovely couple from the eighteenth (or nineteenth?) century. His education is provided by ghosts from different places and times and not only teaches him basic things like reading and writing, but also fading, dreamwalking and scaring people mentally. In some ways Bod is like the ghosts that are his family and in others he is as human as the rest of us. He literally balances on the divide between the living and the dead. But, the more he is immersed in the real world the weaker his connection with the dead becomes.

Added to this wonderfully magic background is the suspense of the killers that want to kill Bod. Why was his family murdered? Why does the murderer still want to finish his job? And why is there a whole clan of killers involved in these murders? I won’t betray the plot here, but I thought the plot was geniously created and masterfully unraffled.

At the end of the book I really had to do my best not to cry. Because Bod is human he can’t stay on the graveyard forever. This also means that a farewell is inevitable. However, I never suspected how final that last goodbye would be. The ending is kind of happy-sad. The reader knows that Bod has an adventurous future ahead of him, but he also has to leave everything he has ever known and cared about behind.

If you’re looking for a suspensefull, magical story with a sympathetic main character and loads of interesting supporting  characters pick up Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book! Who knew how fantastical a Junglebook  retelling could be?!

A spacetime lovestory

Hey you guys and girls I’ve got a great new book for you! As official reviewer for Dutch Venture Publishing I get to read Dutch YA and NA novels even before they are available in bookstores. A week ago I received an email informing me that a new New Adult title was ready to be reviewed. When I read the description I knew right away that this was a book I wanted to read and when I started reading yesterday I couldn’t stop anymore! The book I’m talking about is Laat me sterren zien (translated to English: Show me stars) by Lizzie van den Ham. Let me first tell you what this book is about and then I will convince you why you have to read this one!

Tori is determined to start over, far away from her meddlesome parents. What could be further from home than a place billions of miles away? Tori spent her life as ambassadors daughter on the planet Mars, but her internship takes place on a spacestation near Saturn. The ideal place to turn a new leaf.

But starting over without dealing with the past proves more difficult than Tori could have imagined. After a horrific experience with a boy that wouldn’t accept ‘no’ she’s still scared to let any man come to close. Especially a sexy man like Alen Novak, head of security. Alen is just as arrogant as he is handsome. And his dark past makes him even more dangerous, yet alluring. 

Can Tori learn to trust and love again? 


I don’t know if I ever mentioned this but I love romance stories that take place in outerspace! It doesn’t matter if it’s a romance between a human and an alien or between humans in space, or between aliens. I’m just totally in love with the idea of love in space (don’t ask me why, because I don’t know why haha). In this book Earth has been devastated by wars and humans have ventured to the planets in our own starsystem to set up colonies. Main character Victoria, Tori for friends, has lived her whole life on Mars but has had enough of her controlling and slightly snobbish parents. When she gets the chance to take an internship as astrobiologist on Saturn and its moons she doesn’t think twice and departs.

Tori is a real nice main character. She’s sweet, innocent, and headstrong. Even though she grew up in an environment of privilege and wealth she never became a snob and doesn’t look down on people. She hates her Elitist upbringing and the way the Elite behaves. For Tori the character of people is way more important. However strong she may be, she’s also terrified of men and love due to an experience with a boy a year ago, making her seem stand-offish.

I loved the character of Alen, Tori’s love interest. He’s a man that has had a rough life and has struggled to achieve everything he has in life. He works hard, is real smart, kind to everybody and believes in fair chances. However, he hates the Elite and their arrogance. Moreover he is haunted by his past, as a orphan and criminal.

The romance between these two troubled characters is really well-developed and thought out. Alen dislikes Tori at first sight because of where she came from and what she represents. Tori thinks Alen is cute, but his despise and his presence scare her more than she’s willing to admit. Slowly but surely Alen discovers that Tori is not the arrogant and spoiled Elitist girl he thinks she is, but he can’t figure out why she’s nice and flirty on the one hand and seems scared of him on the other. Leading him to believe that she knows he has been in prison and she dislikes him for his past. Tori really likes Alen but his mere presence is intimidating and when he turns on his charm he’s irresistable but even more intimidating. She can’t help but fall for him but be scared of everything that entails. What if she opens her heart again and she will get hurt again? After all some men are not what they seem. A game of push and pull keeps them hovering around each other but at the same time apart. Mixed messages, wrong assumptions and prejudice separate them every time they get close to one another. It will take trust on Tori’s part and a freedom of the past on Alen’s part to get them together.

Added to this realistic and well-developed romance is the intrigue of a traitor on the spacestation. While the tension between the main characters rises, a scientist starts selling information to an interested party not afraid to start a war over resources and plunges everybody in danger. Can Saturn, its moons, and all the people living on them be saved in time and will Tori and Alen finally get together? Read the book and you will find out ;).

This book has a realistic romance, two troubled main characters that are fated to find each other and a good suspense that will keep you glued to the pages! Another must read for romance and New Adult fans.