Sunday, August 21, 2016 12:22

Bout of books '16.



The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.


I will update this post as I go along.
TBR pile

I will attempt to read The forbidden wish by Jessica Khoury (also our bookclub pick for that weekend), P.S I like you by Kasie West and A true princess by Diane Zahler during the week. In the weekend I will make another pile, because I have a bookclub sleep-over! I hope to get a lot of reading done, because I have some catching up to do. *eyes Goodreads challenge tracker – 13 books behind*

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Saturday, August 20, 2016 06:00

Review 263. Claire Legrand – Winterspell

Title: Winterspell.
Author: Claire Legrand.
Pages: 454.
Published: September 30th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
Sort: Stand-alone
The clock chimes midnight, a curse breaks, and a girl meets a prince.. but what follows is not all sweetness and sugarplums. New York City, 1899. Clara Stole, the mayor's ever-proper daughter, leads a double life. Since her mother's murder, she has secretly trained in self-defense with the mysterious Drosselmeyer. Then, on Christmas Eve, disaster strikes. Her home is destroyed, her father abducted--by beings distinctly nothuman. To find him, Clara journeys to the war-ravaged land of Cane. Her only companion is the dethroned prince Nicholas, bound by a wicked curse. If they're to survive, Clara has no choice but to trust him, but his haunted eyes burn with secrets--and a need she can't define. With the dangerous, seductive faery queen Anise hunting them, Clara soon realizes she won't leave Cane unscathed--if she leaves at all.
Rating:

There was something about this book that kept me from completely falling in love with it. I felt a certain disconnection from the story and the characters. It also doesn’t scream nutcracker retelling to me, but my overall opinion is that it’s a good book. The writing-style was superb, although not something everyone will fancy, and I was absolutely blown-away by the villain.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 06:00

TTT | Walk of shame. Books I vowed to read in 2015, set in different countries.


This week we need to pick books with X setting. Examples given: near the beach, in boarding school and set in England. I wanted to do something with all the books I vowed to read in 2015. So, I'm going to share all the books that are set in different countries than where I live.

I was inspired by this topic, because I was scrolling through my older TTT content and saw all the failed seasonal TBR piles (2014 Spring, Summer and Fall. I've read 9/10 book for Summer 2015 though! ) I'm sharing here my top ten books of shame that fit with this weeks topic, because I still have to pick them up.

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Jay Kristoff – Stormdancer.
In my defense, I've tried to read this book somewhere at the beginning of 2015 and couldn't get into the story. I hope I will connect to it when I give it another try. This book is set in Japan.

Cinda Williams Chima – The demon king.
Fantasy! Magic and wizards, how is it possible I still haven't read this one?? This book is set in the mountain city of Fellsmarch.

Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner – These broken stars.
I feel like the whole world has read this book, except me. It needs to be done. Set on another planet.

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Maggie Stiefvater – The scorpio races.
I'm a big fan of the Raven Cycle books, I love the cover and the blurb sounds great. Set in Skarmouth.

Mira Grant – Deadline.
I loved Feed, but it was quite dense and slow. I hope to read this soon, but I have to be in the right mood for it. Set somewhere in America.

Elizabeth Norris – Unraveling.
Almost all my blogging friends seem to love this book. It is time to join them. Again, set somewhere in America (I believe?)

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Sarah Crossan – Breathe.
A long time ago I received an unsolicited review copy from resist, so it's time to finish this duology. Set partly in a dome in America.

Kendara Blake – Antigoddess.
I liked Anna dressed in blood and this book seems perfect for my (fairytale) retelling challenge. Setting: no idea where, but definitely not in The Netherlands.

Dan Brown – Inferno.
My 'guilty pleasure' books. I really do like his writing and the stories he creates. Set in Italy.

Phoebe North – Starglass.
I want to read more sci-fi and I've heard the author did a lot of research. Set in a space-ships.

Have you read any of these books?
Saturday, August 13, 2016 06:00

Pokemon Go book tag.


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This tag was created by Aentee from Read at midnight. I also use her images.Pokemon-Tag-01Starters
There are two answers for this question. When it comes to the first books I read, I'm looking at Goosebumps, Virginia Andrews and the Hoe overleef ik series (Dutch book series that translates to 'How to survive… It is about all kinds of problems a teenage girl can cope with and it shows how she deals with it) When it comes to THE books that absolutely made me fall in love with fantasy, which is now my favorite genre, I have to pick Harry Potter.
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Well, since I've already mentioned Harry Potter and I don't want to repeat myself by naming is every where, I'm going to pick something else. I had to shake my head in shame, because at first I thought it was really hard to choose another title though, because I'm not a big classic-classic reader *eyes unread books by Jane Austen and Brontë sisters* But then I realized: DUH, fairytales in general! So I'm going with bundled copies from the stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Perrault, Brother's Grimm. I never get tired of those.
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This is something that is bound to happen when you are a book blogger. We are all aware of all the recent publication and upcoming books. Every now and then there is a huge hype for a certain bok and when it dies down, another title pops up. At this moment I'm getting tired of all the buzz around Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I'm not saying I've lost interest, but it certainly makes it harder to pick up.
Pokemon-Tag-04-Ditto
I think Amy Tintera – Ruined. It has many things you can find in other books, but she really crafted a story that made me fall in love with it – HARD. It was so good and I loved the characters, especially ruthless Em.
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Brandon Sanderson – The Finale Empire. It is not only size, but also hype. It is my mission to read at least the first book this year, so I think I'm going to bring it with me on vacation.
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I really value my sleep, so I tend to be strict about going to sleep on time before work. Sarah J. Maas – A court of Mist and Fury kept me up though. I simply couldn't put it down until I finished that last page.
Pokemon-Tag07-NidokingQueen
I could think of a few, but the first one I will always choose are Sybella/Beast from The Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. Their relationship is so special. They are both broken in different ways and they complete each other. Their bond is based on so much respect and trust. I love it. If you haven't read this series, please do yourself a favor and run to the bookstore now.
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Jodi Meadows – The Mirror King. I could not put it down. The ending was a little too-open for my taste, but this sequel to The Orphan Queen was fabulous.
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Hmmm, I think a lot of series could use spin-offs, simply by being in the same setting. I'm going with Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows, which is set in the same world as Shadow and Bone. I flew through this book like crazy. It is such a well-written, fast-paced, action-packed plot filled with this amazing diverse cast.
Pokemon-Tag14-Magikarp
If you know me by now, you are aware that contemporary is not my favorite genre and I tend to stay away from them (unless they are written by Kasie West) My bestest bookclub friends, however, do love contemporary; so every now and then I have to read one. Morgan Matson – Since You've Been Gone really surprised me.
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Alwyn Hamilton – Rebel of the Sands. A lot of people have talked about this book and I'm still excited to dive into it.
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I recently started collecting the Barnes and Nobles leatherbound editions from the fairytales and I love the look of them. So, you can imagine how happy it would make me to own these leatherbound editions from Andrew Lang's coloured fairytale books.

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To make this question less hard, I'm going to pick two debut novel that will be published this year 2016.  Erin Summerill – Ever the Hunted & Brie Sprangler – Beast.
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I actually made a list of my top 20 auto-buy authors in my bulletjournal. I have to say things have changed a little, because I think I'm going to take Sharon Biggs Waller off. I fell in love with A Mad, Wicked Folly, but The Forbidden Orchid was disappointing. Maybe I can find a new author this year to add to the list.

top 20
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A lot of books make me feel that way, especially if they are part in a series. I think Crooked Kingdoms by Leigh Bardugo is one of my highest anticipated sequels at the moment right now. I also can't wait for Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi.
Friday, August 12, 2016 06:00

Review 262. Cat Hellisen – Beastkeeper.

Title: Beastkeeper.
Author: Cat Hellisen.
Pages: 208.
Published: February 3rd 2015 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Sort: Stand-alone.
Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from. When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive. Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.
Rating:

This book suffers from an unique problem: it is too short. This story would have benefited from more pages, to give it more development and depth. It was a good book now, but it could have been better. It is a shame that it didn’t live up to it’s full potential now, especially because it has such a fantastic writing-style.

Sarah lives a normal, happy life until her mother decides to leave them. Her father descends into a dark place and he’s not ready to take care of Sarah alone. Sarah meets Alan in the not-so-Forest near her house and he is one of her few friends. That’s until her father dumps Sarah with her grandmother and grandfather in the middle of nowhere.That’s the moment Sarah learns about the curse that runs in her family and how it can pass onto her. Alan is there for her, but he is not exactly what he seems.

I liked the overall story and how the author twisted the original tale into something new. It is hard to identify it as a beauty and the beast retelling, which was good and a little disappointing at the same time. It is more the story after BATB. There is more magic involved and different characters then the original tale, like her grandparents. It is also way darker, something I appreciated (and it surprised me a little, seeing that this is a Middle Grade).

The shortness of this book makes the story feel too fast-paced. There is hardly any time for a set-up, so I didn’t feel any connection with Sarah. She wasn’t a bad character, but I never felt I got to know her and it prevented me from getting sucked in the story. The moment I was starting to get hooked to what was going on, was the moment I reached the last pages. It’s definitely enjoyable, but I wish there was more. It is still worth a read!


Tuesday, August 09, 2016 06:00

TTT | Books I wish I could buy right now.




This week we have the 'rewind' where you can go back and revisit a topic you've missed. Last week we had: Ten Books You'd Buy Right This Second If Someone Handed You A Fully Loaded Gift Card. I am already buying books like a maniac, so I'm putting a spin on it.



It's about a boy.
His name is Clay.
He's building a bridge.
And he wants that bridge to be something truly great and miraculous.
In case you don't know, The Book Thief is one of my favorite books ever. It's one of the few stories that made me cry on the outside. I've re-read it so many times that I lost count and it never fails to touch me. This book was supposed to be out in 2011, but was postponed and no one knows when it will be published.

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A new YA fantasy in which elemental powers are reawakened after a genocide, and a girl realizes she has the power to control the earth on the same day she marries the king who hunted the Elementae to extinction.
Publication somewhere in 2017. I loved Scarlet, Lady Thief and Lion Heart. This was such a strong series about a Robin Hood retelling and I can't wait to read more from this author. The romance from Terra also sounds like a potential love-to-hate relationship, which I love.


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No title, no further information about the blurb. It will be published May 4th 2017 and the wait is going to be hard. And let's be real, I will read anything she writes:

Twilight of the Gods. WIP.
Crescent city. WIP.
Catwoman.
Novella about Chaol.

That is a lot of new books to look forward to! And of course we got the news that there will be more books published in ACOTAR. Exciting stuff is happening.


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On the eve of a new decade, after two hundred years of Scion rule, a revolution is beginning. Its unlikely cradle is the clairvoyant underworld in London, and even an old ally’s betrayal cannot stop it. But an enemy from Paige Mahoney’s past is about to return – an enemy that could quench the flame of hope for good..

Publication was pushed back to March 7th 2017. I'm not a fan of the new covers, but I am a fan of the story inside The Bone Season and The Mime Order, so I need this in my hands!


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There are two rival schools in Gatlon City: the respected and exclusive Morris Academy that has turned many an evolved youth into celebrity superheroes, and the Gatlon School for the Gifted, which has a slightly less impressive reputation. Students of Gatlon tend to be relegated to minions, placeholders, or—at best—sidekicks. Clara has no interest in being a hero, but she does need answers. Her invisible, mischievous pet Thunderbird, Tondra, is dying, and she refuses to let him go without a fight. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot more happening in Gatlon than just a sickly mythical bird. Crime is on the rise, the police have gone complacent, and a new team of vigilantes are causing more problems than they’re fixing. When Clara and her peers find themselves swept up in the chaos and no longer able to tell the good guys from the bad, no one is sure which side of hero vs. villain they’ll fall on.

As far as I know there is no exact publication date, but I believe it will be published somewhere in 2017. My love for her books Cinder, Scarlet (my favorite), Cress, Winter, Fairest and Stars Above is big. We also have Heartless to look forward to, publication in November this year, and Wires and Nerves January 2017.


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Victoria Schwab – The returnedA conjuring of light and Vengeful.
Schwab has stated that the third book in The Archived trilogy has been outlined/plotted, and although she isn't yet sure when the book will be released.
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Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire—and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes and foes struggle alike. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees Schwab reach a thrilling culmination concerning the fate of beloved protagonists—and old enemies. Publication 2017.
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Vengeful has no information.

My love for her books can't be expressed in words and I am so excited this is going to be a thing. I don't know how long we have to wait, but it will be worth it. It all started with The Near Witch, then The ArchivedThe Unbound and Vicious. But, A Darker Shade of Magic and A gathering of shadows are beyond perfection and this is one of my all time favorite series. I can't wait to find out how it is all going to end.




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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them. So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

Publication March 14th 2017. PLEASE LET THIS BE GOOD. Beauty and the beast retellings are my life. I have never read anything by this author before, but this blurb almost sounds too good to be true. The fact that the trend of (fairytale) retellings is still going strong in 2017 makes me extremely happy.


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Maggie Stiefvater – Darknovel & Girlnovel. Nothing known about Foolishnovel

Untitled as of yet, but going by the code name 'darknovel' on Stiefvater's blog, will be her next YA novel, a paranormal standalone, about "creepy Colorado magic" and "dust" and is loosely based on a story she wrote in 2008 as a riff on a fear that dogged her in her early teen years.

You can follow anything Stiefvater wants to share about it on her Tumblr blog in the #darknovel tag. She started writing it four months after finishing The Raven Kingand it is supposed to be the next novel she publishes. According to a tweet from 03/25 she is in the process of finishing it up now.

Untitled as of yet, but going by the code name 'girlnovel' on Stiefvater's blog, will be her first adult novel, paranormal, standalone, and will involve "a pack of girl street-racers" and "bad decisions". The narrator of the novel will be named Hennessy. You can follow anything Stiefvater wants to share about it on her blog in the #girlnovel tag.
I loved everything about The Raven Cycle (with The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves, Blue Lily Lily Blue and The Raven King) and count is also one of my all time favorite series, so I'm highly anticipating everything Stiefvater will write in the future. I have yet to read The Scorpion Races and her Shiver series, so at least I have some things to look forward to.



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August 2017. Another author that makes me want to read anything she writes. I loved Shadow and Bones + Siege and storm and I am the biggest fan of Six of Crows, so I have high hopes for Wonder Woman.


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Strange the Dreamer is the story of: 
the aftermath of a war between gods and men 
a mysterious city stripped of its name 
a mythic hero with blood on his hands 
a young librarian with a singular dream 
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled 
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage. 
Welcome to Weep.

March 28th 2017. I fell in love with her stunning writing in her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series (with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight and Dreams of Gods and Monsters). It has been too long. I can't wait.

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Sybella and Beast to the treacherous French Court with the Duchess Anne, where a mysterious mole from the convent may or may not have gone rogue

2018. You have NO IDEA how happy this makes me. I may have cried some happy tears. If you ask me for my favorite series, I think I will name this one after Harry Potter. It is glorious and the fact that the sequel is about my two favorite characters in the series, makes me even happier.




So, what books are you waiting for?
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