Monday, January 16, 2017 06:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Sign-up post.

loveathon2017-c[428]Hello friends! I am happy to announce today that the 2017 Love-a-thon is happening and the official sign-ups are open today. I’m really excited to be hosting this event again,with the great team of Cee of The Novel Hermit, Alexa from Alexa loves books and Kristin of Super Space Chick (who will be joining us for the first time)! We’ve come up with some really fun ideas to challenge you creatively, and to encourage you to develop and strengthen the positive friendships you’ve formed in our online book community. Whether it’s a blog, a Twitter account, an Instagram account or a YouTube channel, we’re so excited to invite you to help spread the love again this year!

The Love-a-Thon is an event dedicated to spreading positivity and love. It’s time dedicated to visiting other bloggers/Instagrammers/BookTubers, leaving a comment or two, making new friends and fostering positivity among the members of our amazing community. As in the previous years, the event will include mini challenges, Twitter chats and giveaways galore! The full schedule will be sent to you when you’ve signed up, so you can start preparing your posts in advance.

We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone participate in sharing love, encouragement and inspiration all over the bookish communities on the blogosphere, Instagram and YouTube! And, of course, we hope everyone will have fun. If you’re interested in participating, please fill in the sign-up form below. Once that’s done, you can consider yourself an official #LoveAThon participant!

Who can participate in the Love-a-Thon?
All book bloggers, Bookstagrammers, BookTubers, and authors are welcome to jump in! We have challenges spanning three different platforms (blogs, YouTube & Instagram), and you can participate as much or as little as you’d like. (Everyone is invited to join in on the Twitter chats though!)

When is the Love-a-Thon happening?
We’re going to be maintaining the two day schedule, with the event taking place from February 18, 12:00AM EST to February 20, 12:00AM EST.

How can I sign up?
All you need to do is fill out the form below! You can grab the banner up top to share on your sidebar or your social media platform of choice. Sign-ups will be open up until February 18, though it’s recommended that you sign up early so that you receive the schedule and can plan out what you want to participate in!

How can I help?
There are two ways you can choose to help. First, you can help us spread the word! Last year’s number of participants was above and beyond anything we could have imagined. We are hoping there are even more of us this time! Second, you can donate to the giveaways! If you want to donate ANYTHING – books, swag, services – towards the mini-challenge giveaways or the big giveaway at the end, please email with details.

Use the official hashtag (#LoveAThon) when tweeting about the event. We'll be checking on it every now and then, so use it if you want us to see your tweets!

Questions, comments, concerns or suggestions? If you have any other concerns that were not answered here, feel free to send an email to or to tweet any of us (@alexalovesbooks • @tnhcee • @superspacechick • @dailyprophecy).

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up to participate in the 2017 Love-a-Thon today! If you do sign up, please know that we are so grateful and so excited to have you joining us this year. This community is really wonderful and is made up of such unique individuals. It’s truly awesome to be able to celebrate it, and to celebrate each other too!

You can use either of the links below :)

Link to the sign-up form:

Or the form:

Monday, January 09, 2017 20:47

7th Annual End of Year Survey | 2016, part 2.


1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016? 
I sucked this year. I hardly commented and I don't think I've found a new book blog.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016? 
I can't think of one that stood out.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog? 
I like the new Bulletjournal posts I've started. The first one was about Bulletjournal adventures in September.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)? 
I hosted the (Fairytale) retellings challenge again, but I was slumpy and sucked at it.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016? 
Making new connections with publishers.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year? 
I was uninspired. This is also the first year of working full-time after graduating last year, so I had to get used to my new schedule. A lot of time I was just too tired to write anything and I had no ideas, but I hope to get back to it in 2017.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)? 
According to the stats from blogspot, it is the sign-up post for the Fairytale retelling challenge.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love? 
My recaps. They were popular last year, but because I sucked a lot this year with commenting, I hardly got any comments back.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
The start of the Bookly Bird subscription box in The Netherlands. The items are not as epic as the boxes in other parts of Europe, but at least is is more affordable and I like to be surprised.

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year? 
-Goodreads challenge: went down from 100 books to 90.
-Sucked at all the others, simply because I decided I wanted to read whatever I wanted to read, without feeling restricted.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2015 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017? 
Brandon Sanderson – The Final Empire.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)? 
V.E Schwab – A Conjuring of Light.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating? 
S. Jae Jones – Wintersong.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017? 
V.E Schwab – Our Dark Duet.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017? 
I hope to finish 100 books again and I will try to read as many prompts from the Popsugar challenge as I can. I also want to return to blogging and commenting around the blogosphere, because I feel like an outsider.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone: 
By Your Side by Kasie West. About a girl who deals with anxiety. She is locked in the library for the weekend and finds out she is there together with a boy who has a bad reputation.
Friday, January 06, 2017 20:06

7th Annual End Of Year Survey | 2016. Part 1.

I'm going to split up the Annual End of Year Survey, hosted by Jamie@Perpetual page turner, in two parts. In this part I'm going to talk about all the books I read in 2016.

Number Of Books You Read: 90.  
Number of Re-Reads: 10.
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (30) followed by fairytale retellings (22)

1. Best Book You Read In 2016? 
Best retelling: The Shadow Queen – C.J Redwine.
Best mystery: Far From You – Tess Sharpe.
Best contemporary: Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes.
Best fantasy: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo. (Second best: Amy Tintera – Ruined)
Best adult fantasy:  A Gathering of Shadows – V.E Schwab.
Best diverse book: The Rose and The Dagger – Renee Ahdieh.
Best steampunk: The Vanishing Throne – Elizabeth May.
Best paranormal: The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? 
The Female of Species by Mindy McGinnis. I loved her previous books, so I went in with high expectations and ended up being disappointed. I simply did not connect with the story of the characters.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I fell in love with the unique promise and the characters.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? 
I don't think I did a lot of book pushing this year. I've been in a terrible blogging slump and I hope to recover from in it 2017 – and return to pushing books.

5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016? 
Started: Ruined by Amy Tintera.
Sequel: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E Schwab.
Ender: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016? 
After scrolling through my list of read books, I'm gonna have to say none. All the books I loved this year were written by known authors. All the books by unknown authors before this year were okay or disappointing..

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone? 
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes. It is a contemporary book, but is is so much more than simple fluff. The struggles from both characters and how they dealt with their problems did a lot to me.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year? 
Hands down Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Ever since I fell in love with Six of Crows I've been anticipating this sequel and it was everything I could have asked for.

9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year? 
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, to refresh my memory for the sequel.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?
J.K Rowling – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has a gorgeous dark blue cover with gold details.

11. Most memorable character of 2016? 
Besides the group in Six of Crows, I would pick Holland from A Gathering of Shadows.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016? 
The Rose and The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh is beautiful.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016? 
Perhaps Am I normal yet? By Holly Black, about a girl with OCD.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read?
Most books I read this year were published in 2015/2016, but the only one I can think of that is way older is The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016? 
Jodi Meadows – The Mirror King.

“Sometimes we hate others for the things we hate in ourselves”

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016? 
Shortest: I'm not going to count novella's, so book: Diane Zahler – A True Princess. 192.
Longest: Sarah J. Maas – Empire of Storms. 693.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most. 
The Cursed Child, because I simply couldn't believe how terrible it was. Horrible plot and so not-Harry-Potter-like. I hated it.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!) 
I don't want to spoil anything, but let me say that I love all the sailing ships in the universe of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year. 
Despite the fact that my favorite Chaol simply disappeared to make way for sex scenes, I still love the friendship between him and Dorian.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously. 
I'm going with Ruined by Amy Tintera. I really liked her dystopian duology and she blew me away with Ruined. I never thought I would love it so much, because the story itself is pretty basic, but it was so good.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure. 
It is definitely not the best book I've ever read, but I finally picked up Illuminae by Kristoff/Kaufman and I love how unique it was.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016? 
None. Let me say, this was a mediocre reading year..

23. Best 2016 debut you read? 
None. All the debuts I read where disappointing.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year? 
I don't care about repeating myself, because this book deserves to be named here: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. It is such a fascinating world.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read? 
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. Despite the fact that it is a script, Rowling managed to make it feel like reading a story.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016? 
I don't cry/easily cry, so I can't think of one.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year? 
C.J Redwine – The Shadow Queen, because I don't hear a lot about it and I loved it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul? 
Yep, Crooked Kingdom, simply because I don't want it to be over.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016? 
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, because of the plot. Illuminae by Kristoff/Kaufman, because of the way it is written.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)? 
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas, because the ending is amazing, but the overall story was disappointing. It could have been so much more.

What is the best book you read in 2016?
Sunday, January 01, 2017 15:12

Bulletjournal adventure | December.

I started my official bulletjournal in June and after 7 months, my entire dotted Emerald green Leuchtturm 1917 is filled. I love to flip through it and see all the collections and spreads I've created. It helps me to stay organized in different ways, because it acts like a to do list, diary/journal and wishlist. It helps me to be creative in a different way and I love how I can practice different fonts and a more solid handwriting. Definitely be on the look-out for more bulletjournal posts in 2017, also to help you with setting up your bujo if you are interested.

Setting up the month. 

For the 'hello December' page I decided to draw some random snowflakes and Olaf. I accidently created a new month called 'Dember' in my monthly log, hehe.
Hello DecemberMonthly log decembers

The habit trackers are great, because they show me how I divide my time and what areas I should focus on. In my case, that is definitely working-out. The to read/to watch list is more an idea and over the months I rarely finished everything I wrote down, but it is a fun addition and I like to see how far I can come. It is most helpful for listing down review copies I should read that month.

December trackerTo read-to watch dec

I was really ambitious this year and decided I wanted to make my own Christmas cards. Here are two examples. On the other photo you can see one of my pages in my sketchbook and I'm quite happy with the result.
Christmas cardsDoodle1

2017, the start of a new bulletjournal. 

I always like to start with a new beginning, so I am saying goodbye to my full Emerald notebook and I'm going to start in a dotted turquoise Leuchtturm. It is fun that I can perfect my set-up and all my spreads now that I have more 'experience'

2017 planning
Thursday, December 29, 2016 21:31

Yearly recap | Fabulous 2016.

This year was fabulous, despite all the less fabulous things that happened all over the world. I can honestly say this was one of the best years so far, because I've been blessed with some fortunate events, lots of good food, lots of time with loved ones and many new opportunities. I've grown even more and I've stepped out of my comfort zone many times, which I hope to continue (and improve even further) in 2017.

My goals for 2017 include:
1. Keep pushing myself. Grow. Overcome my fears. Get out of my comfort zone.
2. Be gentle and loving to myself.
3. Keep making time to do the things I love.
4. Make beautiful memories and enjoy every moment. Be around my family as often as I can. Spend a lot of quality time with my boyfriend.
5. Be healthy: keep up the clean eating and start to work-out on a regular base.
6. Save money, but also treat myself every now and then.
7. Read all the books. Only buy the most anticipated ones/sequels.
8. Finish another bullet journal.
9. Be creative. Practice watercoloring and lettering. Work on my Wreck this journal.
10. Invest more time in Instagram –> practice more with my Canon.

This is my last post of 2016. HAPPY NEW YEAR LOVELY FRIENDS!

Here is a round-up from some of the things I believe are highlights of my year of 2016. Also: my book club meetings every month <3 I don't know what I would do without these girls!

January: I found a job in December and started January 4th. I also moved into my rental house with my boyfriend. I also saw the Beauty and the Beast musical.
February: I made a beginning with bulletjournaling (but my real attempt started in April) and I was one of the hosts for the Love-a-thon.
March: I spend a lot of time with my family and boyfriend; we visited a lot of restaurants. 
April: I celebrated my 25th birthday, together with our official house-warming. We slept in a castle. We had the bookclub sleep-over at my place.
May: Sad news was that I lost a friend in a car accident. At the same time, my grandfather turned 80. I saw Mumford and sons in concert and it was fabulous.
June: A LOT of good food. I finally got my ear pierced (Auricle) and I dyed my hair tips purple.
July: I got my hair retouched. I went to a theme park.
August: I saw the Harry Potter exhibition in Brussels, together with a long weekend there. I went on vacation to Italy, where I saw some amazing places like Rome, Capri, Vatican City and Pompeii – where I climbed on the Vesuvius.
September: More good food, haha. I went rowing with my boyfriend in the park.
October: I got a contract renewal, which means another year at my job! I'm loving it. Again, had a lot of good food this month = family time.
November: We celebrated our 8th anniversary by going to an escape room. I had a team building event with work and a Sinterklaas celebration.

This month, December, recap:
-Celebrated Sinterklaas with my boyfriend's mother.
-Bought our first Christmas Tree and decorations, which was so much fun.
-Celebrated my grandmother's birthday.
-Went out for dinner with my sister after a full day of Christmas shopping.
-Celebrated 'three' Christmas days. I really got spoiled by my family.

I finished a total of 5 books so far, but I have 6 more to go so I can reach my goal of 90 books. I will talk about this in the Annual End of Year Survey by Jamie @ Perpetual Page Turner.
1. Heidi Heilig – The ship beyond time.
2. Diane Zahler – A true princess.
3. Wendy Higgins – The great pursuit.
4. J.K Rowling – Fantastic beasts and where to find them.
5. Kathryn Purdie – Burning glass.
As you might have noticed, I took a step back this year. I hardly participated in my own (Fairytale) retelling challenge, because I felt uninspired, and I didn't find any motivation to go around and comment in the blogosphere. I'm definitely going to step it up in 2017. I've given myself enough time to get used to my new life schedule (my first full-time job) and I feel like I am ready to return! I'm definitely going to change things up, because I did enjoy writing my bullet journal posts. I feel blessed that publishers still want to work with me and I even made a new connection.

My blog resolutions are:
1. Write down all the reviews I want to post on my blog, but don't review ALL of them. It is okay to read a book for me.
2. Post more regularly and try new things. I don't have to be unique/original, but I want to explore different topics.
3. Comment on other blogs once a week. Pick a day and use one hour to comment.

In one word: how was your 2016? Any resolutions for 2017?
Monday, December 12, 2016 12:05

Review 272 | The Female of Species - Mindy McGinnis.

25812109Title: The Female of Species.
Author:  Mindy McGinnis.
Pages:  352.
Published: September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books.
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence. While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways. But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her. So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for. Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


I really, really, really, really wanted to love this book, because I count Mindy McGinnis as one of my favorite authors. She gained a spot on my auto-buy list, but I struggled with this book and didn't end up loving it.

Alex Craft is a killer. The murderer of her sister Anna walked free and Alex took matters into her own hands. She is now dealing with her violent thoughts and she makes sure she is in the shadow. She tries to stay unremarkable, until she is noticed by Jack Fisher. He is the popular guy of the school; the one every guy looks up to. He carries a guilt with him about what happened the night they searched for Anna - and now he is starting to fall for Alex.

Another person who sees Alex is Peekay, the preacher's kid who doesn't seem to fit in. She struggles with her identity; she is supposed to be this saint-like girl because of her father, but she wants to break free and be herself.

This book is violent, filled with swear words and there is sexual content. It is definitely a thought-provoking story and the fantastic writing-style had me hooked enough to finish it. But, the overall feeling this book gave me was disappointment. I could not connect with it and I did not feel any emotions when it came to the characters. I've read several other reviews and it feels like I missed out on something, but the delivery of the story was simply not for me. So, don't take my word for it and also check out these two fabulous reviews: Wendy Darling and Karen.

“But boys will be boys, our favorite phrase that excuses so many things, while the only thing we have for the opposite gender is women, said with disdain and punctuated with an eye roll.”
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