Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Apologies

School is sucking out my life one exam at a time.

I'm really sorry I haven't been posting this week and I probably won't in the upcoming one. :(

I haven't finished one single book this week and I'm drowning in homework.

So apologies again and I hope I will be able to finish at least one book this week and get on with blogging!

xxx

From demotivational.com

Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday Moaning

Well let's start with the good thing today. The sun is shining :)
That's pretty rare over here and a lot of people were sitting outside in the sun during break time.

So much studying!!!


As for my reading I'm halfway done with Pandemonium and I will finish it tomorrow (I really really hope so).

I have this really thick book (900 page) I need to read for Dutch Literature class so that interferes with my normal reading. It's not bad but it takes a lot of time to get through.

It took a long while...
Other ones I'm still reading are the Gargoyle. I also want to start Looking for Alibrandi later this week. I've been anticipating that book for more than a year :)

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Stuff

And once again I'm studying on sunday. My family is going to see the Avengers later and I have to stay home :(

Made cupcakes with my family on thursday, They were delicious ^^

This week was a little slow on reviews and I haven't read much unfortunately.

I do expect to finish Pandemonium tomorrow so that review will be coming soon.

I did some short reviews on the books I read in the vacation. I liked them all a lot, so check them out!


Links I've loved:

A compilation of films that were released in 2011. I'm a huge movie fan and I could identify almost every movie in the clip. Many awesome movies and a few I didn't like so much overall a good selection :)

“Dysfunctional Families”: On YA and Responsible Parenting
Article on Cuddlebuggery. It's astounding how little parents are involved in the lives of their children in YA books, especially because your parents have a huge influence on your life.

New episode of Game of Thrones tomorrow *starts fangirling*!


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Stacking the Shelves #2


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. This way I can show all the new awesome books I bought and received :D I didn't expect to do this meme this week since I had very little money. But it turned out to be not such a bad week at all. Actually it was a really good book week!

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
Got this for only two euros ($2,50) in a pretty hardcover edition. Many people love it and the movie is apparently good too. That doesn't happen often..



White Hot by Sandra Brown
Sandra Brown writes great Romantic Suspense. Read this one a year ago and I really liked it. Found it on the market also for 2 euros.


The giver by Lois Lowry
I was at the American Book Center tuesday. I had never been there before and it was love at first sight.
I was walking around with a huge smile on my face and I screamed a little bit (inside my head) every time I saw a book that I'd been wanting forever (which was an awful lot :P).
Ironically I was broke
So luckily in the bargains section I could buy the Giver with my very limited money (3,99 in euros). It has won a bunch of prizes and it's one of the early dystopian books marketed to teens. I'm a huge fan of the genre so I'm curious :)

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta
The only Marchetta book I didn't own yet. My aunt gave it to me for my birthday but it only arrived weeks ago. If I didn't have any homework I would have finished it already but for now it's stalled until next week :(

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Got this from my aunt for my upcoming birthday (in two months). I love the shit out of Vonnegut and his books are kind of my bible. I own about 9 books of his and I can't wait to read this one and be amazed by his wisdom.

That was Stacking the Shelves for this week. Have you read any of the books I received? And did you get any books you really wanted? Tell me in the comments! :)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Quotes I love About Love

“It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” 
― Roald DahlThe Witches

“To conceal anything from those to whom I am attached, is not in my nature. I can never close my lips where I have opened my heart.” 
― Charles Dickens

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.” 
― Kurt VonnegutThe Sirens of Titan

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” 
― Elbert Hubbard

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.” 
― William ShakespeareHamlet

“Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
"After all this time?"
"Always," said Snape.” 
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.” 
― Alfred Tennyson

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach” 
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair.” 
― William BlakeSongs of Innocence and Songs of Experience

“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” 
― William ShakespeareA Midsummer Night's Dream

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” 
― Dr. Seuss

“Sometimes people are beautiful.
Not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.” 
― Markus ZusakI am the Messenger

“The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.” 
― Markus ZusakThe Book Thief

*Crying*

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Shorts Reviews

Some short reviews on books I've read in the past few weeks and whether you should read them ;)

Room by Emma Donoghue. 

Jack is five, and excited about his birthday. He lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures eleven feet by eleven feet. He loves watching TV, and the cartoon characters he calls friends, but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real - only him, Ma and the things in Room. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside... Told in Jack's voice, Room is the story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible. Unsentimental and sometimes funny, devastating yet uplifting, Room is a novel like no other.
I try to read a lot of modern literature to improve my English. Some of them are pretentious, plotless and overly descriptive just for the hell of it but some are really great. This was one of the good ones. I was very invested in what would happen and I think Donoghue has taken an original story and made it her own. Sometimes it was hard to read but by writing this entirely from Jack's POV, it keeps it simple and a bit naive. Although when it comes to happenings like these I don't mind being naive at all. 4/5 stars

Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb

Detective Eve Dallas and her partner, Peabody, are following up on a senseless crime—an elderly grocery owner killed by three stoned punks for nothing more than kicks and snacks. This is Peabody's first case as primary detective—good thing she learned from the master.

But Peabody soon stumbles upon a trickier situation. After a hard workout, she's all alone in the locker room when the gym door clatters open; and-while hiding inside a shower stall trying not to make a sound—she overhears two fellow officers, Garnet and Oberman, arguing. It doesn't take long to realize they're both crooked—guilty not just of corruption but of murder. Now Peabody, Eve, and Eve's husband, Roarke, are trying to get the hard evidence they need to bring the dirty cops down—knowing all the while that the two are willing to kill to keep their secret.


There are over 33 books in this series and still I'm not tired of them. Kick-ass cop Eve Dallas and genius billionaire Roarke are still one of the best characters Roberts has ever created. And I've read a lot of them. This story takes another turn than usual because instead of solving a homicide, Dallas and her team have to take out a group of rogue cops. You really feel like you know them and their interactions are very funny. 
4.5/5 stars

Good Omen's by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett


Pratchett (of Discworld fame) and Gaiman (of Sandman fame) may seem an unlikely combination, but the topic (Armageddon) of this fast-paced novel is old hat to both. Pratchett's wackiness collaborates with Gaiman's morbid humor; the result is a humanist delight to be savored and reread again and again. You see, there was a bit of a mixup when the Antichrist was born, due in part to the machinations of Crowley, who did not so much fall as saunter downwards, and in part to the mysterious ways as manifested in the form of a part-time rare book dealer, an angel named Aziraphale. Like top agents everywhere, they've long had more in common with each other than the sides they represent, or the conflict they are nominally engaged in. The only person who knows how it will all end is Agnes Nutter, a witch whose prophecies all come true, if one can only manage to decipher them. The minor characters along the way (Famine makes an appearance as diet crazes, no-calorie food and anorexia epidemics) are as much fun as the story as a whole, which adds up to one of those rare books which is enormous fun to read the first time, and the second time, and the third time..

The very dry humor makes this book for me. I love absurd humor á la Monty Python and Fawlty Towers and this has the same tone. It doesn't make a lot of sense but it sure is amusing. I really hope they will make a series out of this as long as it is done right. It's not for everybody but you should definitely give it a try :) 4/5 stars


Also I NEED this shirt :P

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Review of Cross My Heart by Katie Klein

3 stars

True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .


Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past—a reputation—and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there’s no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton’s tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the “bad boy” vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own “good girl” image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom—everything Jaden knows—is one, massive lie.
*blurb from Goodreads

Review

It wasn't bad but I wasn't satisfied either.

The author said in an interview she decided later what would be Parker's secret and it shows. The ending is underdeveloped and it doesn't make any sense. It kinda ruined the rest of the story for me, which was sweet if what cliche. Props to the writer for taking a classic book I didn't know yet, instead of Romeo and Juliet, The Scarlet Letter or Wuthering Heights which are usually used.

What bothered me for example was (spoiler!) Parker who was supposed to be an undercover cop who scouts high school for drugs. So how does he go about that? Does he try to mingle with the students? He doesn't. He acts like an arrogant and unsocial bastard. He doesn't socialize and just sits there for a year and does nothing besides getting good grades. Just because he rides a motorcycle and is wearing a leather jacket doesn't mean the drug dealers will come running to him!!!(end spoiler)

It just didn't make any sense and it pissed me off. I understand it's fiction but that doesn't mean rational thought and common sense are excluded. Also I read it on kindle and the editing was just bad.

As far as self-published books go, this one wasn't bad and if you can't care if stories are logical, you're in for a good read.

For a nice Good Girl/Bad Boy story I would recommend Perfect Chemisty by Simone Elkeles.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Monday Moaning


I'm so tired and I feel like crap. Just 2 more days until I have a long weekend again. The last few months of school are stacked with tests because teachers can't plan, so I have weeks of studying ahead -.-

So my reading is a little slow lately :(

Still reading Game of Thrones and Persuasion.

Started Pandemonium and got up ahead with the Gargoyle. I really like it so far, I haven't read anything like it before :)

I hope I can get some more reading done when the weekend starts.

Now I'm off watching the new Game of Thrones episode ^^


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Sunday Stuff

Happy Mother's Day!

I made my mother a brunch together with my little sister :) She is one of the best people alive on this planet and there is nobody like her <3

My reviews

Gone Gone Gone by Hannah Moskowitz. Loved it.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Good romance, bad dystopia.

Links I  loved

15 Young Adult Fiction Properties That Could Be The Next 'Twilight' Or 'Hunger Games' | The Playlist

Young-Adult books that have been optioned for movies. Movies based on books are often tricky and I often don't like them or think that they fall short of the brilliantness of the book ;)
 I still have to read many of the books on this list, but if they can make the movie work that would be great because wonderful stories among them (sadly sucky ones too).

 Maurice Sendak, 1928 – 2012 - Chronicles of a Book Evangelist
After Maurice Sendak died I've read a lot of memories people have from reading his books and how he impacted their lives. He was truly a wonderful person. In the Dutch newspaper there was also an article about him and an column about how they made the dutch translation way to cutesy. She called to complain to the publisher but it turned out that the founder of the publisher was the one who wrote the translation... Awkward. I really hate it when they mess up translations, it ruins wonderful books. Another reason why I quit reading translations from English.
"I said anything I wanted because I don't believe in children, I don't believe in childhood. I don't believe that there's a demarcation. 'Oh, you mustn't tell them that. You mustn't tell them that.' You tell them anything you want. Just tell them if it's true. If it's true, you tell them." -Maurice Sendak
TheTruthIsViral
This is one of the reason I adore the internet and the digital age. These old, famous photos have been restored and color has been added. It has an interesting effect. Especially the 'mushroom' of the atom bombing looks tropical...

Video of the week




So so beautiful. The cinematography perfectly fits with the music.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review of Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

3,5 stars 

Lena Haloway is content in her safe, government-managed society. She feels (mostly) relaxed about the future in which her husband and career will be decided, and looks forward to turning 18, when she’ll be cured of deliria, a.k.a. love. She tries not to think about her mother’s suicide (her last words to Lena were a forbidden “I love you”) or the supposed “Invalid” community made up of the uncured just beyond her Portland, Maine, border. There’s no real point—she believes her government knows how to best protect its people, and should do so at any cost. But 95 days before her cure, Lena meets Alex, a confident and mysterious young man who makes her heart flutter and her skin turn red-hot. As their romance blossoms, Lena begins to doubt the intentions of those in power, and fears that her world will turn gray should she submit to the procedure. In this powerful and beautifully written novel, Lauren Oliver, the bestselling author ofBefore I Fall, throws readers into a tightly controlled society where options don’t exist, and shows not only the lengths one will go for a chance at freedom, but also the true meaning of sacrifice. --Jessica Schein *blurb from Goodreads

Review

I liked it but I didn't LOVE it. My problems mostly came from the how it works as a dystopia. Paolo Bacigalupi (who wrote the YA dystopian: Ship Breaker) says it a lot better than I ever will.

"Dystopias should be insurgent. They should force readers to question who they are, what their society is like, and what they take for granted. A good dystopia will illuminate the horrors right before our eyes, and one can hope that if it does its job well, it will create empathy and humanity in world that is sorely lacking."
So while they've got the horror part locked down -never feeling too much- it doesn't deliver on critisism on society. Why is love dangerous? I mean sometimes it really sucks but it isn't a threat. Mysogony, misandrie, dicrimination, homophobia, racism are just one of the few problems that society faces today. Loving people to much and going crazy isn't one of them.

Regardless I mostly enjoyed this book because it felt like an ode to Love. And I love Love :P
I may be a sarcastic, cynical person but also a total sucker for romance and everything that goes along with it. A few of my favorite poems by Romantic poets were mentioned like "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day' by Shakespeare and 'How do I love thee, let me count the ways' by Elizabeth Barett Browning.

I liked Lena and her actions were understandable regarding her circumstances. Oliver writes feelings very well and I like the writing a lot. I would still recommend it. It works good as a teenage romance but a lot less as a critisism of today's society and without all it's machinations that make dystopias so great.

The sequel, Pandemonium , is up next week because it ended with a terrible cliffhanger (why must writers do this?).

Have you read Delirium and what did you think about it? Tell me in the comments!

Bonus: Poem 43 By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints!---I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!---and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Simply Beautiful!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Quotes I love about Life

I adore quotes, I write them down everywhere and some have really helped at the suckier days of my life. So I'd like to make a few favorite quotes posts around life, love and books :) Because as Michel de Montaigne says: “I quote others only to better express myself.” With many of these quotes I have a special band so I'll try to explain myself as good as possible.

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn't already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
This is a quote from the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It's one of the best books I've ever read that has a great emotional punch told from the point of view of Death set during the Second World War. Everytime I read this post I get a little teary eyed. How with all the awful things that happen on this planet, there still are good things too.

“Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.”
William Goldman, The Princess Bride

This reminds me on bad days that life isn't perfect and sometimes it fucking sucks. But you just need to keep going and it will be alright again.

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies-"God damn it, you've got to be kind.”
Kurt Vonnegut is a great writer and philosopher, who really inspires me to be a better person.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large -- I contain multitudes.”
Walt Whitman


I contradict myself all the time. I'm glad Walt says it's okay.

“When you say too much about anything important. it always ends up sounding so much more trivial than it is. Words trash it.”
—Megan McCafferty


This is so true. Especially with books and movies, hard to explain what's so fantastic. So I just force my friends to read and watch what I loved ;)

Also how do you explain the love you have for your family, friends or books. I'm not a poet or even a writer, so I'm not even going to try. Actions, not words, count.
“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t. I’m not surprised some people prefer books.”
—Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

I'm not the best people person. But I've learned to understand them better by reading books and just by listening.

“Adolescence is best enjoyed without self-consciousness, but self-consciousness, unfortunately, is its leading symptom. Even when something important happens to you, even when your heart’s getting crushed or exalted, even when you’re absorbed in building the foundations of a personality, there comes these moments when you’re aware that what’s happening is not the real story. Unless you actually die, the real story is still ahead of you. This alone, this cruel mixture of consciousness and irrelevance, this built-in hollowness, is enough to account for how pissed off you are.”

― Jonathan Franzen, The Discomfort Zone

This quote struck me lately as very true. I hope it will change in time.

“I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

I behave like an idiot half of the time, so this is reassuring :)

“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”
—Harlan Ellison

This bothers me a lot. I respect your opinion. But with no facts or evidence to back things up there is no way I will take you seriously. This is a huge problem in politics or even how people act around each other.

“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.”
-Henry Miller

Because if you put yourself above other people, there isn't any point to your intelligence and fantastic cultivation.
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

In a few words Elie Wiesel manages to capture the essentiel truth. That the most terrible situtions don't change because nobody cares, because they look another way, because the only interests that matter are their own.

So that were my favorite quotes about life at this moment. Next week: Quotes I love about Love.

What are your favorite quotes? Tell me in the comments!




Tuesday, 8 May 2012

RIP Maurice Sendak

As everybody probably knows by now, Maurice Sendak, the children's book author of Where The Wild Things are, has passed way this morning. Unlike most of his fans, I only met Maurice a few months ago. Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Show (great show) interviewed him in his house. It's one of the best interviews I've ever seen and he's been one of my favorite people ever since. He inspired many people and his mark on the world will be lasting one.

For your viewing pleasure, the fantastic Maurice Sendak!
Rest In Peace, dear man.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Monday Moaning

I hate Mondays!

The first day of school after the vacation is always terrible. Your mind still thinks it's vacation but your teachers tell you otherwise. Had my driver's license theory exam and failed... for the second time -.-
Felt like an idiot...

Now after a full day of homework, baby sitting and tutoring. Sitting on my ass and enjoying the new episode of Game of Thrones. If you aren't watching this yet... you should! ^^

Tyrion's awesomeness is unlimited.

Still reading book 1 of Game of Thrones which isn't going as fast I would want it to go.

Also started Delirium by Lauren Oliver that I'm loving already :)

Furthermore reading the Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson. It has a strange gruesome attraction and I'm fascinated and repulsed at the same time.

Continuing Persuasion, didn't make a lot of progress, will make up for it this week.

More reviews are coming so stay posted!

What will you be reading this week? Tell me in the comments!




Credit tyrion gif: strange spanners: Explosion of Game of Thrones Awesome

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Review of Gone Gone Gone by Hannah Moskowitz



Gone, Gone, Gone 

by Hannah Moskowitz

5 stars

It's a year after 9/11. Sniper shootings throughout the D.C. area have everyone on edge and trying to make sense of these random acts of violence. Meanwhile, Craig and Lio are just trying to make sense of their lives. Craig’s crushing on quiet, distant Lio, and preoccupied with what it meant when Lio kissed him...and if he’ll do it again...and if kissing Lio will help him finally get over his ex-boyfriend, Cody. Lio feels most alive when he's with Craig. He forgets about his broken family, his dead brother, and the messed up world. But being with Craig means being vulnerable...and Lio will have to decide whether love is worth the risk.


*blurb from Goodreads

The gif that describes it all ;)

Credit

Review

Craig is a fifteen year old boy who loves his animals more than anything. But now a burglar broke in, his animals have all escaped and he feels more lost than ever. Lio is in love with Craig but Craig isn't over his ex-boyfriend Cody, who lives out of state. 

Words fall short when I try to describe this book. It's the best feeling to get after finishing a book but not necessarily good when you try to write a review about it. I'll give it a shot anyway because this book is too good not to read.

For me reading is mostly about feeling. Some books resonate with you and others don't. What I loved about this book that it perfectly captures the feeling of being in love, not just love but unrequited love. The wanting that turns to aching because you want to be with somebody so badly that it hurts. To want to touch, to completely inhibit that person. Yes, I could relate very well :) 

Written from two first person POVs, you get to know the thoughts of Craig as well as Lio. Their problems are very complicated and I think Moskowitz showed other people's motivations really well. Nobody is just the bad guy, there is a reason that's usually from misunderstanding. You see Craig and Lio slowly growing to each other and it's a beautiful thing to witness.

Since I'm still young and I can barely remember 9/11 -also I'm not American- this gave me a whole new insight to the aftereffects. Over the years I've learned more about it but I will never really understand how it changed America. This book portrays the fear and the confusion very well. I didn't know about the shootings in D.C. and I can't imagine how it must have felt. It's not an easy subject to tackle but I think Moskowitz did it both respectfully and honest. 

The characters are believable and it never feels forced. A new classic that will stay with you for a long time.

Short
Moskowitz writes an earnest and understated story of two lost boys on a journey to find what they need and get what they want. 

I'd never read any books by Hannah Moskowitz before but now I'm certainly reading the rest of her books. 

Sunday Stuff


Since I didn't do anything in the past two days since I got home, I have to do all my homework in one day. God bless procrastination...

So I had a birthday yesterday, I ate too much cake :) I should really start running again but I keep putting it off. Tomorrow my vacation is over and I have to go to school again -.-

Luckily I've got some great books to read and to review.

This week I reviewed Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens which I didn't  like and I'm still working on my review of Gone Gone Gone by Hannah Moskowitz...

Links I've loved:







  • Article about the sexual submission in a.o. The Fifty Shades of Grey book and how apperently some people think that the succes Fifty Shades is the ulitmate proof that women secretly want to be dominated all the time... Now I'm not a fan of the book but that's just stupid.


Favorite quotes of the week:


I quote others only to better express myself.
Michel de Montaigne (The Complete Essays)


Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, no matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds.
How humans became the storytelling animal. (via explore-blog)


Not to get all philosophical, but what is reality anyway, when no two people can ever see the same thing in exactly the same way? Reality is a lot more subjective than people like to think it is.
Jessica Darling, in Megan McCaffery’s ‘Second Helpings’


Bonus

A picure from time gone by. This is the Vienna Opera Court around 1902. (Credit)


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Stacking the Shelves #1 part 2



Now for part 2 of Stacking the Shelves hosted over at Tynga's Reviews. I posted Part 1 yesterday. Clicking on the book name will lead you to the bookpage on Goodreads.

So here we go. :)



Bought in Vienna, Going Bovine by Libba Bray (YA)



It has won Printz Award in 2010. It's supposed to have absurd humor and is recommended for fans of Dounglas Adams (who wrote Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). I love both so I think this will be a book for me.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (YA)


I love Rick Riordan. He writes books suitable for many ages with lots of humor. This is the book in his  new Heroes of Olympic series that came out in 2010. It's set in the same world as the Percy Jackson books but now with different Protagonists, Jason, Piper and Leo. I read this book a while ago and it's just as good as Percy Jackson, glad to finally own it in print.

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning (Urban Fantasy, PNR)
Found this at the airport at a ridiculous high price for a mass market paperback but still couldn't resist. The Fever series written by Karen Marie Moning is one of the most addicting series out there. Although there are five books, it should be seen as one continuing story. This is the last book(5th) and it's awesome. Once you start the first book Darkfever you'll be sucked in and won't be able to sleep until you finished the last book. Highly recommended!


Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty (YA)


I read this in February and it was a revelation. I've been wanting to write a review of it but I haven't found the words yet.. I adore it and I see many re-reading in my bookfuture. Jessica is like my book soulmate.



Friday, 4 May 2012

Stacking the Shelves #1 part 1


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted over at Tynga's Reviews.

I want to do this meme every 2 weeks on Friday to show the new books I've bought.

Later I'd like to do this in a vlog but I'm still experienting with that, I do want you guys to actually understand what I'm saying. :P

My stack from these 2 weeks is a lot larger than usual because I got more salary than expected and went to Vienna where I robbed the bookstores (just kidding...). Basically my self containment flew out the window the moment I saw I could spend some more this month. To avoid creating a monster post I divided  it in two parts with another post coming tomorrow.

First one up is Treachery in Death by J.D. Robb a.k.a. Nora Roberts. The In Death series contains now over 34 books and I'm still not tired of the amazingness of the kick-ass couple that is tough cop Eve Dallas and billionaire genius Roarke. The secondary characters are also great and Robb has really made this futuristic world come alive for me. I do recommend to start with the first one in the series, Naked in Death, where Eve meets Roarke for the first time when he's suspect in a gruesome murder.




Good Omens, the baby made during a collaboration between Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett in the 1990's. Bought this on the airport. I already own the Dutch version but wanted it in English too. It's a very funny book but hard to get through in Dutch. Re-read this in one day and the English version reads so much better. The dry and absurd humor never fails to make me laugh out loud. I haven't read any of them separate but both American Gods and A touch of Magic are waiting on my bookshelves already. It may not be for everyone but if you like Douglas Adams for example, you should give it a try!



I found Pandemonium in the English Section of the bookshop in my town. Finding a YA book there is a miracle in itself and the fact that it didn't feature vampires made me buy it immediately just to send a sign to the bookstore -and God- that they should be buying these books. While I haven't read the first one (which I bought earlier this year) the reviews have been great and else I'm sure I can trade them with someone who will appreciate them. Also Lauren Oliver seems like a cool person :)




Gone Gone Gone by Hannah Moskowitz. This arrived in the mail today and I couldn't be happier. I was fan-girling over this book earlier and I've already started reading it. I don't think I will sleep tonight but who cares!

Second Part coming tomorrow. What did you buy in the last couple of weeks? Or have you read anything on my shelf? Tell me! :)







Thursday, 3 May 2012

Review of Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

 
 Ashlyn:A lonely society princess living in NewYork City.

Daddy hired you to be my bodyguard.

Colin: Childhood enemy, now her protector.

Daddy thought I’d be safe. He thought I’d never fall in love. He thought he could keep me forever.

Charles: obsessed with keeping her safe, keeping her his, he hires the one person he knows she could never fall in love with: Colin.

Daddy was wrong.


(Blurb from Goodreads)



 What's it About?

Ashlyn is a seventeen year old girl who has been protected by a bodyguard from age 5 after her nanny had kidnapped her. The nanny was in love with the father and wanted them to be together with Ashlyn. Since then then her high powered lawyer father has made sure his little Princess was kept safe from everybody. They moved from California to New York and Aslyn's every step is monitored, literally. This has led to a lot of resentment between the two and Ashlyn craves freedom. After her last bodyguard is fired because he fell in love with her. Her Dad decides to hire her childhood nemesis Colin Brennen whom she hates. But after they meet again after 10 years, her feelings start to change...

Review (Some spoilers ahead!)
I'm so happy this was free on kindle so I haven't actually wasted money on this. The premise seemed fun, I love high society insight because the people who live that life fascinate me. But instead I spend half of this book wanting to punch Ashlyn in the face and cringing over the shallow characters. 

The beginning was alright. Ashlyn seemed like an ordinary girl, she goes to school, has fun with her best friend and adores playing the piano. Except her bodyguard Stuart, who does not behave like a bodyguard to me. He's in love with Ashlyn -which she knows- and seems disinterested from the whole body protecting part of bodyguarding. After she gets away from him -he seemed like a lousy bodyguard in the first place- because she wanted freedom, he doesn't tell her father. She tells her dad herself and he fires Stuart. The father is very overprotective but besides calling his daughter princess a lot there wasn't a bond between them. She wants to please him but he doesn't pay much attention to her and doesn't see her as a person, more as a child. Her father hires Colin Brennen as her new bodyguard, who bullied her when she was a child. She can't stand him and her father knows that. To me it seems that when you hire a bodyguard the one that needs protecting must trust said bodyguard. So that was the first thing that felt off to me. If you can't trust and respect your bodyguard will you listen to him when it counts? Secondly, the reason her father hires Colin is because he hates him and because Colin wants to work for the FBI when he's done studying (he's 21 now).
WTF! You want your daughter to be safe and you arrange such crappy security??? To me it felt like the whole bodyguard thing was just a plot device to set up the romance. An excuse for them to be close to each other, fall in love yadadada.

From the moment she looks at Colin she is overcome by lust and it never goes away. The entire story she is talking about how hot he is and I felt I never really got to know him. He had an ordinary childhood, is sorry for bullying Ashlyn and now wants to work for the FBI. I have no idea why he even likes her because she acts like a spoiled brat most of the time. She acts out and then regrets it because now Colin will think she's immature. But this cycle continues the entire book and she doesn't learn from her mistakes. They never really have conversations with each other either.

What also bothered me was the best friend, Felicity. She existed solely to react to Ashlyn and never becomes a fully developed character with a life of her own. Felicity's "teenage speak" (OMG!, seriously, no way!) felt forced and the jokes fell flat.

Problematic in this book was the portrayel of other girls at her school. Besides Felicity she has no friends (because her father does not deem them appropriate) and the mean girls who dislike her because Colin is hot are being described as skeletals who never eat and that's why they look like models. Felicty is a little bit fat but as Ashlyn tells us: you should look further than what people look like... What do you want to tell me??? This is complete bullshit. I don't get why that link is contantly made between fat - is nice- and skinny -is bitch-.

I can go on and on how the characters aren't consistent, the suspense was laughable, the stupid decisions Ashlyn made, and how the central relationship wasn't founded on anything beyond the superficial. It was confusing overall and I'm not planning to waste more time on it.

Quotes I hated


“Danicka asked where you were. I told her you and Colin were taking a long lunch eating- something she and her friends might want to take up since -clearly- Colin is a man, and men like meat, dogs like bones.” 


"Being domestic for Colin felt amazingly good. I had a ridiculous fantasy of myself, donned in a flirty apron, making him meals-as his wife."


WTF..!


"Pressed into the cushion, I felt like a delicate eggshell on a downy pillow."


Yes I think that too everytime I sit on a pillow....


In Short


It could have been an interesting story but bad characters and mediocre storytelling made this one sink. Don't even get me started on some of the subliminal messages it was sending.

1,5  stars

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Introduction: Why I Review

I've been toying with the idea to start a book blog for awhile now. Reading used to be something I did for myself, especially when I was younger. I was an avid reader -still am!- when I was and I've spend countless hours under the covers of my bed escaping to another world.  
But the internet and Goodreads made all the difference. After discovering many fantastic books and watching the awesome YA community from a distance, I wanted to be part of it. School is boring me to death and starting this blog is a good challenge for me. My English isn’t great but I hope to improve that too. My goal is to write honest reviews that give a good inside in my likes and dislikes of the book. And that that will be useful when you're trying to decide what your next great read will be.
Reading is one of the best things in the world. Because I’m known by most people as a bookworm, non-readers often ask me what’s so great about books. And that question is hard to answer because it’s so personal. Reading is a part of me. And without it… I don’t know what I’d be.   It's like trying to describe why chocolate tastes so good or the bond you have with your best friends, going to Rome, the most beautiful city in the world, indescribable. <3   So welcome to my blog, and happy reading!

Credit picture: http://www.etsy.com/listing/35586778/books-print