Saturday, October 15, 2016 10:18

Review 268. Ransom Riggs – Hollow city.

20455954Title: Hollow city.
Author: Ransom Riggs.
Pages: 396.
Published: January 17th 2014 by Quirk Books.
Sort: Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar children #2.
Part 1. Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar children.
Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.


I loved Miss Peregrine and the unique use of photographs. There is something about books that use this method, like The cure for dreaming & In the shadow of blackbirds that fascinate me. It adds an extra dimension of creepiness to the story and it’s really effective for this book filled with Peculiar children and monsters. It creates the right atmosphere and it feels like I get to know the characters in a different way, because now you can literally see them.

This story takes off right after the end of the first book. The Peculiar children are fleeing from their island with Miss Peregrine captured in bird-form. They must find a way to get her back before it is too late. They need to travel through other time-loops to find the last person who can help them: Miss Wren. During their hopping through time-loops they find out that Peculiars are disappearing. There is something dangerous going on and they need Miss Peregrine back.

I liked the different places and people they see on their journey. The author put a lot of work in creating a big cast with diverse characters. They go from place to place, which made it easy to fly through the pages and I found it hard to put Hollow City down, but keep in mind that the plot still is slower than the average book. You need to be able to appreciate Riggs way of telling the story, because I can also see how this series is not going to work for some people.

Miss Peregrine’s home for Peculiar children feels more like a set-up in comparison with Hollow City. This book is filled with action and it’s far more fast-paced. The Peculiar children are on the run and they have to use their unique talents to stay out of the hands from the Hollows - and what a scary figures are those!

I liked that we see more of each individual character. The first book introduces us to a lot of people, with Jacob as main character, but they all get their time to shine now. It made me feel more connected to the storyline, because they don’t feel so distantly anymore. The way they have to work together to achieve their goal was nicely done. It’s great when people need each other and how everyone plays their own role. The only downside is that I don't care a lot for Jacob and I'm also not a fan of the sort-of-romance that is thrown into the story.

The ending was great and I want to know what is going to happen right now.

“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.”

Have you watched the movie from Miss Peregrine? Did you like it? I hope to see it soon! 
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 20:01

Review 267. Cat Winters - The Steep and Thorny Way.

22838927Title: The Steep and Thorny Way.
Author:  Cat Winters.
Pages:  352 pages
Published: March 8th 2016
Source: I received an ARC copy from the publisher Amulet books, thanks!
A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten. 1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all. The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night


Cat Winters has been on my favorite list ever since I read In the shadow of blackbirds. She followed up with the fantastic The cure for dreaming and The uninvited. The Steep and Thorny way did not fail to impress me and Cat continues to blow me away.

Hanalee Denney is the daughter of a white mother, Greta, and an African father, Hank. Her father died in an accident caused by Joe Adder and her mother remarried Clyde Koning, the doctor who treated her father the night he died. When Joe is released from prison, Hanalee pays him a visit with a gun to get her revenge, but instead, she returns home with information that change everything.

This book, a reimagining of Hamlet, is set in a time where the Klu Klux Klan is spreading hate through Oregon. Both Hanalee and Joe have a lot to fear from them, especially when Hanalee finds out that her father wasn't killed by the accident. Joe told her that he did not kill Hank, but that something else is going on and Hanalee is set to find out what truly happened that night. There is also has a LGBTQI subplot, which creates a powerful story with a paranormal touch.

Cat is a master in creating strong heroines and Hanalee is no exception. She is a brave, fierce girl who will not rest until she figures out why her father was killed. I did not feel a lot of connection with Joe, but his subplot added more tension and truly shows the reach and effect of hatred from close-minded people. 

I felt like the supernatural aspect could have been more prominent, but overall it was a perfectly blended into the story. It is also obvious that the author, again, did a lot of research before writing this book and I love that they continued to use old photographs. It definitely sets her books apart from others, together with her signature writing-style. Highly recommended.
Friday, October 07, 2016 21:42

Bulletjournal adventures | September.

Naamloos_thumb[5]Bulletjournaling has become more important in my life and I want to share it with you guys! I already started a series where I write down all the information I have gathered over the past few months, but from now on I will also showcase pictures (that I also post on my Instagram) and talk more about what keeps me busy.

Setting up September.
Septemberread and watch

I talked about collections in my second post about Bulletjournaling and I always love doing this. I like to pick 2 colours and stick with them throughout the entire month. For September I went with purple and green. Flowers are my favorite type of decoration, so I drew a half flower wreath.

I suck at completely TBR piles, but I still like to make one every month and see how far I can come. Most of the times I include the review copies I HAVE to read at some point. I also like to create a list with possible movies/TV shows for that month.

I ended up reading V.E Schwab - The Savage Song and L. Frank Baum - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. If you try really hard you can see that I planned to watch Reign and Stranger Things: did both things and decided to DNF Stranger Things. 

Bulletjournal challenges.

Like with Bookstagram, where you have tons of challenges on Instagram, there are challenges for Bulletjournaling as well. It is a good way to practice new set-ups, collections or to simply practice with your handwriting and different fonts. Another thing I would recommend if you want to practice your writing is to look for Lettering challenges, because they can help to give you inspiration.

Sometimes I want to practice, but drills can get boring, and these challenges give me ideas to use. I like to participate in #Rockyourhandwriting and #Planwithme. This month I tried a new lay-out for Rock your handwriting (inspired by Alexandra_plans) and it worked great. I'm going to keep it. I'm not strict with Plan with me, but I like to join some of the prompts and it is a great way to find new Bulletjournalists.


Here are two examples of how I filled some of the prompts. I did learn a lesson, as you can see with day 8 where I had to write my name several times; I need bigger squares. I could fit 6 days on one page by making 5x8 squares. I think 8x8 will be better for some prompts.

Dailies_thumb[2]Disney themed_thumb[2]
I'm always switching up the designs for my daily spreads, depending on how I feel that moment and I like to try new things. I tried to fit all my dailies on one page during a week with few tasks – and I decided to add more Disney in my life by making an Inside Out spread. Sadness is my favorite, who do you like most? I will definitely keep this up, because it was fun to do.

Setting up October.
Red Bubble_thumb[2]
I love the the last days of the month, so I can start to set up for the new month. For October I messed up the initial 'October', so I added an adorable Zootopia sticker I ordered from Redbubble and created a new header around it. I also added black/white flowers at the bottom and this is my new obsession at the moment.

DoodleHeader doodlesDoodle2Doodle3

I love making doodles. It is fun and relaxing! And what I love most about it is that you can make mistakes, because in the overall pictures, you will hardly notice them. I highly recommend picking up a pen and just go with the flow. Don't overthink it. Perhaps start with a few scribbles and see how you can make shapes with them.

The first two pictures are drawings I made in my Bulletjournal. I kept continued the black/white flower theme and I thought it was time to add another motivational quote, so I went with 'be gentle to your precious, little soul.' It's important to remind myself not to be too harsh on myself. Then I made a page where I practiced different headers and I've used it a few times so far. It's easy to refer to when I don't know what to use. The next one I'm going to make is a page with divider ideas.

The last two doodles are made in my sketch book. I decided to draw the same flower over and over again and then I used 5 different shades of blue. The next doodle I did included different elements and I decided to stick with a white border.

That's it for this Bulletjournal recap. Did you like this post and would you like to see more of them?
Friday, September 30, 2016 23:49

Monthly Recap September '16 | Food, food and let's see, more food.

Monthly-recap_thumb6This post recaps my month: my personal life, all the books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and my journey in the world of Bulletjournaling.
OUAT_thumb3The trend of talking about a lot of food in my recaps continues.

At the beginning of the month we had a barbecue at my grandparents' house. The weather was amazing, more a mix between Spring and Summer than Autumn, so we took the opportunity to barbecue on their balcony.

I went to the market with my mother and a friend of the family. I came home with bags filled with fruit. In the afternoon we went to a foodtruck festival and we ended up at the beach for a Pokémon hunt. Five grown-ups walking around, being overjoyed when a new Pokémon popped up; fabulous!

To celebrate the good weather, my boyfriend and I decided to go to a park where we hired a rowing boat. It was great to spend some time together, because he has been very busy with school and his internship. The day after we went to a Mexican restaurant together with my sister and her boyfriend. I discovered a new favorite place! Such a nice atmosphere and you get so much delicious food for an excellent price.

I had my first weekend shift, where you have a slightly different working method, and I nailed it! We also went out for a farewell dinner from one of my colleagues.

I also went to a restaurant with my other grandparents, my parents and sister. I hadn't seen them in a while, so it was nice to catch up while eating good food. We went to a restaurant that has a Japanese water garden, which creates a relaxed atmosphere. You can choose (all inclusive) the classic French kitchen, Japanese sushi and Sashimi, the Mediteranian kitchen or Asian wok dishes. And the best of all perhaps is that there are (unlimited) slush puppies!

Tonight: book club! Yeay! We had a LOT of food and for some reason they decided that my vegetarian lasagna could use fries as a side-dish. There was enough food on my plate to feed another person, haha. We had some nice rants about real-life and bookish frustrations, so that was nice!

I know.. I know.. I was planning to buy less books, but that obviously did not happen this month (and spoiler: it's probably not going to happen next month either).

Review copies thanks to HarperCollins international.

And books I bought, without picture:
Christina Henry – Alice.
Christina Henry – Red Queen.
Lisa Maxwell – Unhooked.
Rae Carson – Like a River Glorious.

And Debby got me a copy from Anna Ursu - Breadcrumbs. Thank youuuu!


The e-books from:
Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies.
Short stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists.
Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unrelieable Guide.
Read_thumb51. V.E Schwab – This Savage Song.
2. Sarah J. Maas – Empire of Storms.
3. L. Frank Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
4. Rhiannon Thomas – Kingdom of Ashes.
5. Rosamund Hodge – Bright Smoke, Cold Fire.

Empire of Storms took up some time and I was in a very creative mood, so that's where most of my time went.
Hail Caesar, this was a big disappointment, but that's also because of my wrong expectations.
Central Intelligence, funny. Bit cliché, but it made me laugh.
Walk of shame, funny.
Mockingjay part 2, better than part 1 and I will never ever get over the part where one of my favorite characters from that series dies.
Ridiculous 6, so so bad, but I still had some good laughs.

TV shows.
Finished season 4 from New Girl.
Finally continued watching season 2 from Reign.
Officially decided I'm not going to continue Stranger Things. So many people were raving about it, but 6 episodes in and it was still not working for me.

How was your September?
Monday, September 26, 2016 10:49

Let it go | Boring, okay and amazing.

Let it go is my new feature, where I will spotlight all the books I DNF and the ones I read, but don’t want to review. And yes, the name is based on the wonderful song from the movie Frozen, hence the snowflake and the reindeer. This feature is based on several other DNF features.

2495567Title: The name of the wind.
Author: Patrick Rothfuss.
Pages: 722.
Published: 2007 by DAW.
Sort: The Kingkiller Chronicles #1.
Source: Christmas present from Daisy.
Rating: 2 OUT OF 5.
Innkeeper Kote narrates most of his tale to the Chronicler. Kvothe, when his family troupe of traveling players is massacred, spends years starving, beaten beyond count, in a crime-ridden city, then daringly enters a legendary school of magic.
This book was such a let down and I’m disappointed I didn’t love it like almost everybody. I guess I’m the black sheep here, because if there is one thing I can say about this book it would be ‘boring.’ Utterly boring. I thought this book would be filled with magic and perhaps even epic battles, but all I got was the terribly slow and uninteresting story told by an arrogant show-off. Kvothe really thinks he is a big deal, because he is supposed to be so intelligent, but he makes some pretty stupid decisions if you ask me. I don’t give a shit about Kvothe and this series is now on my ‘DNF-series list’ 722 pages was a struggle (to be honest, I only finished it because I got it as a present) and the sequel is close to a 1000 pages. No, thank you very much.

17622948Title: Witchstruck.
Author: Victoria Lamb.
Pages: 320.
Published: September 24th 2013 by Harlequin Teen.
Sort: Tudor Witch #1.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
Rating: 3 OUT OF 5.
If she sink, she be no witch and shall be drowned. If she float, she be a witch and must be hanged. Meg Lytton has always known she is different;that she bears a dark and powerful gift. But in 1554 England, in service at Woodstock Palace to the banished Tudor princess Elizabeth, it has never been more dangerous to practise witchcraft. Meg knows she must guard her secret carefully from the many suspicious eyes watching over the princess and her companions. One wrong move could mean her life, and the life of Elizabeth, rightful heir to the English throne. With witchfinder Marcus Dent determined to have Meg's hand in marriage, and Meg's own family conspiring against the English queen, there isn't a single person Meg can trust. Certainly not the enigmatic young Spanish priest Alejandro de Castillo, despite her undeniable feelings. But when all the world turns against her, Meg must open her heart to a dangerous choice.
Witchstruck was one of those books that manage to take historical events and twist them into something new. I'm a huge fan of everything that has to do with The Tudors, so when I found this book with a paranormal twist I knew I had to read it; and I'm glad I did!

The first thing I liked were the characters. Elizabeth is exactly how I imagine she would be. Deep down she is soft and hungry for love, but she puts on a strong mask and she has the proud and arrogant way from her mother. I like how she's never truly bowing down to the will of her half-sister.

Then there is our MC, who embraces her gifts as a witch without hesitation. I thought she was a clever girl and I like how she refused Marcus no matter what. (That was one creepy guy) While the plot is pretty basic and there aren't many climaxes, I had a great adventure with this book.

Author: Noelle Stevenson.
Pages: 272.
Published: May 19th 2015 by Harper Collins.
Sort: Stand-alone comic.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher (but is also free on: Gingerhaze)
Rating: 4 OUT OF 5.
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel is perfect for the legions of fans of the web comic and is sure to win Noelle many new ones. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
It has been a while since I've read a comic and I was delighted by Nimona. I wasn't blown away by the drawing style in the beginning, but I warmed up for it and was sucked into the story. I read it in one sitting and I liked the story behind Nimona and how Ballister turned into a villain.

Nimona is a kick-ass girl with an interesting past. She is feisty and her shape shifting abilities are amazing. One moment she is a girl with pink hair, the next moment she has turned into a shark. It was fun how she acts like a true villain ("why don't you just kill him, that is what villains do?") while Ballister is more into thwarting the Institution. There is one thing sure: you don't want to mess with her! Ballister is also a complex character and I liked his relationship with his arch nemesis Abrosius. I was totally shipping them to be honest, haha.

The only downside is that the ending might have been a bit abrupt. I would have liked to see a little more closure, because there are some minor questions left. I believe the author said that a sequel isn't ruled out, so I have my fingers crossed. I want more Nimona!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 07:00

Maas Thirteen | Empire of storms blog tour.

EOS blog tour banner[1213367]
I am happy to be back! This adventure all started with the Thirteen days of ash and fire and the fun continued with the Queen of Shadows blog tour and ACOTAR. So, of course I did not hesitate to be part of the Empire of Storms tour when I was approaced by Maas Thirteen. Make sure to check out all the previous stops, because everyone has their own content.


September 7 - Katie @ Polished Page-Turners
September 8 - Steph @ No BS Book Reviews
September 9 - Sarah @ What Sarah Read
September 12 - Kelly @ Belle of the Literati
September 13 - Louisse @ The Soul Sisters
September 14 - Gillian @ Writer of Wrongs
September 15 - Andi @ Andi’s ABCs
September 16 - Gina @ Behind the Pages
September 19 - Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction
September 20 - Mel @ The Daily Prophecy
September 21 - Betty @ Book Rock Betty
September 22 - Rachel @ Hello Chelly
September 23 - Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books

Over the course of these five books, Sarah has created an interesting world. Together with Aelin and her court, we've seen many places and met different people. Today I want to explore all the information and recap some of the things we've learned so far. I used Throne of Glass wiki for my 'research' and the information is spoiler-free if you've read at least Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight.

The entire continent is called Erilea, with the most important countries: Terrassen and Adarlan. 

Let's start with Terrassen, the country of the Galathynius monarchs who where rumored to be dead. It is the largest country in Adarlan's empire and was the first one the King of Adarlan conquered. The capital city is Orynth where Celaena/Aelin was born. Other cities we see mentioned in the book are Perranth (where Elide comes from) and Allsbrook. The cities are surrounded by two mountains; the Staghorns and the Anascauls. There is also Oakwald forest. East of Terrassen there is the North Sea, which leads into the Great Sea.

Aelin, 19 at the moment of Empire of Storms, is the child of Rhoe and Evalin Galathynius and heir of Brannon Galathynius. He was the first King of Terrassen. He was blessed by Mala and later married her when she turned mortal. They got one child: Elena Galathynius (who married Gavin Havilliard) He stole the Wyrdkeys from Meave. She is born from the line of Mab, her deceased great grandmother, which makes Maeve her distant aunt.

Aelin grew up in Rifthold, the capital city of Adarlan. It is led by the King of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard's, 21, unnamed father. He found one of the Wyrdkeys and used it for his scheme to conquer the entire continent. During his reign he managed to conquer Terrassen, Eyllwe and Melisandre. Another important place in her life is Endovier, a town on the west side of Adarlan. Near the town are the Salt Mines where Celaena managed to survive until she became the Assassin of Adarlan. 

We've seen her train in the Deserted Lands, where she learned from the Silent Assassins in the Red Desert. Skull's bay with Captain Rolfe make a short appearance in the novella's too, because that's the place where she saves the lives of many slaves.

Nehemia, 19, came from Eyllwe. The capital city is Banjali. Adarlan ruled over Eyllwe and the people were often captures and sold into slavery, to the Calaculla slave labor camp. King of Adarlan allowed the royal family to retain their titles, reasons are never told.

Aelin's mother came from Wendlyn. It is ruled by the House of Ashryver and the current monarch is King Glaston, with his heir the crown prince Galan Ashreyver. The capital city is Varese. The house probably descends from Queen Mab. Aedion Ashryver is Aelin's cousin and Galan Ashryver her distant cousin. Doranelle is the place where Meave rules. Mora and Mab are her sisters. Rowan Whitethorn, 300+ years and descended of Mora, is her nephew. Her cadre is formed with Rowan, Gavriel, Vaughan, Lorcan, Fenrys and Connall.

Anielle is a small kingdom and Chaol, 22, is the heir. It is now ruled by his father, Lord of Anielle, and he has a younger brother Terrin Westfall. It is close to the White Fang Mountains, where something dark is happening throughout the series with Lord of Perranth (also named Vernon) at the head. Chaol grew up in Rifthold, so there is no information about Anielle.

Manon, 117, is the heir from the Blackbeak Witch clan. Her original country are the Wastes, divided in Western and Frozen. The Western wastes region was once ruled by Crochan witches. Manon is waiting to return and reclaim their land, but in Empire of Storms you find out that it will not be an easy task. The hold of Briarcliff is situated along the coast.

Fenharrow is briefly mentioned, because Sorcha's parents originally came from that country and we learn some things about Melisandre in Empire of Storms.

That's it! A brief summary of countries and some important characters.

TITLE: Empire of Storms, Throne of Glass #5
AUTHOR: Sarah J. Maas
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury
PUBLICATION DATE: September 6, 2015
PAGES: 704 pages
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.  As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.  Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Purchase: Amazon - Target - Barnes and NobleIndieBound - Book DepositoryWHSmithKoboiBooks - Audible

AUTHOR INFO author photo[1213369]
arah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses series, as well as a USA Today and international bestselling author. Sarah wrote the first incarnation of the Throne of Glass series when she was just sixteen, and it has now sold in thirty-five languages. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.

She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies.

Author Links: Website || Blog || Twitter || Pinterest || Tumblr || Instagram

PRIZE: One signed copy of Empire of Storms, one Throne of Glass tote bag, one set of lip balms (Dorian, Chaol, Rowan) & one Celaena soap (c/o Behind the Pages) & Throne of Glass buttons (c/o ThroneofGlassPH)

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