Saturday, February 28, 2015 01:00

Monthly recap | February '15. Valentine.

recap
This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.


OUAT1
Real-life.
A lot happened, but here are the most memorable moments:
We went out to dinner (SUSHI) with a large group of 12 people. I love sushi and I loved the company, so we had a great time. They added baked banana’s to their menu and I couldn’t stop eating those; so tasty!

Valentine’s day was nice. We normally don’t celebrate it. I surprised my boyfriend however, by taking him out for a special Valentine’s dinner. The restaurant used to be an inn, so the inside looks fantastic and they had helium balloons bound to the candle holders and rose petals spread on the table. There was live music and the food was delicious with a lot of variety. We finished the date with a walk along the old city and watching TV shows on bed until late in the night.
      I also ate pannenkoeken at the beach with my parents, boyfriend, sister and her boyfriend. I had a pizza night with my boyfriend and sister after my thesis defense.  My sister and her boyfriend came over to my boyfriend's apartment for dinner and we had, of course, one of those 'nailed it' moments. We tried to make a meal from a delicious looking recipe, but it looked like shit, haha. Luckily, it was quite tasty and we had a nice evening.

And I ended this month with another great book club meeting where I ate Korean food for the first time.

Friday, February 27, 2015 06:00

Alethea Kontis - Dearest book tour.

Tressa from Wishful endings contacted me on Twitter to see if I could help her out with her blog tour. I don't participate in many blog tours, but I'm always willing to help another blogger and I like this series. Enchanted was a great read. Hero let me down a little, but I'm curious about Dearest and Tressa was kind enough to send me a link through Netgalley, so keep an eye on the blog for an upcoming review.

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 11:52

Review 216. Mira Grant – Feed.

7094569Title: Feed.
Author: Mira Grant.
Pages: 599.
Published: May 1st 2010 by Orbit.
Sort: Feed #1.
The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop. The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives - the dark conspiracy behind the infected.
The truth will get out, even if it kills them.
Rating:

Nobody warned me about all the feelings in this book. I highly recommend that you DON’T read the blurb for the second book. I was warned by Wendy in time, because it contains a big spoiler for a twist that happens in this book. I must admit that it took me some time to get along with this story and characters. The beginning is awfully slow and I had to adjust to Mira’s writing-style. It’s a bit dense, but halfway I was completely sucked into the book and I couldn’t put it down. It’s admirable how she crafted the story.

This review is spoiler-free.

Sunday, February 22, 2015 22:10

Love-a-thon 2015. High Five.

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON_thumb[2]_thumb
I thought this was the best opportunity to spread some love to show my appreciation for you guys. I gave my own twist on the 'High Five' challenge and I'm only going to talk about the 'blogger' question. If I don’t mention your name, that doesn’t mean I’m not happy to have you around. You all contribute something unique to the community and it’s amazing that you are part of it. The last time we had our fair share of drama, but I hope we can put this behind us to focus on more important things: we are here to talk about our shared passion for reading and books. We might not always agree and there might be bumps in the road, but it’s an amazing thing we have here. Let’s not spoil that with negativity and fights.

First, I need to address some things people seem to discuss about all the time. So many articles shame people for the books they read, how they read and why they read. To those judgmental people I have one thing to say:


You are entitled to have your opinion, but not if it’s that kind of bullshit where you ridicule others for the books they pick up. It’s not up to you to decide what someone can/can’t read.

19:25

Love-a-thon 2015. Snapshots.

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON
Hosted by Alexa from http://www.alexalovesbooks.com
This mini-challenge is about bookish pictures! I use my Instagram to post pictures of the books I'm currently reading or the ones I recently bought. Scattered throughout my account you might find snippets of my life and past. You can find my IG over here: Mel_1704.

I am going to show you a different range of photo's, starting with a Books(h)elfie and proof I've been a reader for a very long time. Instead of walking with dolls I used my doll carriage as book trolley. I was also fond of comfortable reading spots, like sitting in our laundry basket.
10:02

Love-a-thon 2015. One can only quote.

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON
Hosted by Alexa from http://www.alexalovesbooks.com

This mini-challenge is all about picking your favorite quotes about 'love' and 'friendship'. I went with friendship quotes, because friendship are a powerful thing. I'm a big fan of Disney, so I went with a quote from Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne.

Sketched by me, based on a picture from A.A Milne's work.

And I forced myself to pick only three quotes. There you go;

This is something I recognize myself in:
“You are my best friend as well as my lover, and I do not know which side of you I enjoy the most. I treasure each side, just as I have treasured our life together.” - Nicholas Sparks, The notebook.


Because there is almost no better friendship than these three:
"You said it once before," said Hermione quickly, "that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we? We're with you whatever happens.” - Hermione, J.K Rowling, Harry Potter & the half-blood prince.

And the last one, because I think it's powerful to see this happen between two guys.
“He looked at his friend, perhaps for the last time, and said what he had always known, from the moment they’d met, when he’d understood that the prince was his brother in soul. “I love you.” - Sarah J. Maas, Heir of fire.

What are some of your favorite quotes?
Saturday, February 21, 2015 06:00

Love-a-thon 2015. Introduction.

BANNER - 2015 LOVEATHON
I also participated in the 2014 Love-a-thon and you can find my interview here for even more information. Hosted by Alexa from http://www.alexalovesbooks.com

  1. What’s your name?
    Melanie, but everybody calls me Mel.

  2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
    The cold and rainy Netherlands.

  3. How did you get into blogging in the first place?
    Goodreads. I started to post my reviews there and I stumbled upon a few bloggers. I decided I wanted to do the same and I simply got started.

  4. How did you come up with your blog name?
    It’s a wink to my love for Harry Potter, based on their newspaper ‘The Daily Prophet.’

  5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
    Fantasy and Fairytales & retellings!
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 12:04

Review 215. Rhiannon Thomas – A wicked thing.

17930904Title: A wicked thing.
Author: Rhiannon Thomas.
Pages: 352.
Published: February 24th 2015 by HarperTeen
Sort: A sneaky #1 of yet-to-announced-series.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
add to goodreads
One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale. Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept. As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.
Rating:

It's not one of my favorite fairytale retellings, but it's definitely a good story. I liked what Rhiannon did with the story. She managed to take Sleeping Beauty and turn it into something new. The realistic approach to the tale gave it an interesting twist.
Saturday, February 14, 2015 14:49

Frozen book tag.

frozenbooktag
I was tagged by The Writing Hufflepuff. She also created this tag and who doesn’t love some Disney questions? In this tag we are asked questions based on the songs you can hear in the Frozen movie. I tag everyone who wants to fill out these questions too. Let's get started:

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 10:41

Fairytale News 47. Second chances.

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

Second chances happen in real life, although I must admit that I’m a difficult person. If you screw things up, I will hold that to against you. I’m not someone who can let go and forgive easily. I'm a little different when it comes to books. Sometimes we need to give second reading chances and there are three types to me:

-You return to a book/series you placed ‘on hold’ 
-You try the new book from an author whose previous work(s) you disliked.
-You read the sequel even when you didn’t like the previous book(s).
Sunday, February 08, 2015 10:29

Review 214. Merrie Haskell – The princess curse.

9588207Title: The princess curse.
Author: Merrie Haskell.
Pages: 328.
Published: September 6th 2011 by HarperCollins
Sort: Stand-alone.
Fairytale retelling challenge.

In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Sylvania, the prince offers a fabulous reward to anyone who cures the curse that forces the princesses to spend each night dancing to the point of exhaustion. Everyone who tries disappears or falls into an enchanted sleep.
Thirteen-year-old Reveka, a smart, courageous herbalist’s apprentice, decides to attempt to break the curse despite the danger. Unravelling the mystery behind the curse leads Reveka to the Underworld, and to save the princesses, Reveka will have to risk her soul.
Rating:

I enjoyed this book, but there were a couple of things that bothered me and their solutions were too easy and effortless. Most of my reservations are based on the romance and the fact that Reveka felt too young for the love-interest.
Friday, February 06, 2015 09:31

Review 213. Victoria Aveyard – Red Queen.

17878931Title: Red Queen.
Author: Victoria Aveyard.
Pages: 320.
Published: February 10th 2015 by HarperTeen
Sort: Red Queen trilogy #1.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher. I also received an ARC for the blog tour.
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers. To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control. But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?
Rating:

This book is pitched as “a thrilling new fantasy trilogy for fans of DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES.” I don’t see the connection with those two books, because this story is something else entirely; and it was amazing as it is. I’m not sure if it was my mood, but things that normally bug me really worked. (I see that the new blurb has another pitch, Graceling meets The Selection, which seems to come closer to this book) Thanks to Harpercollins International for inviting me for their blog tour!


Tuesday, February 03, 2015 10:45

Review 212. MarcyKate Connolly – Monstrous.

16181516Title: Monstrous.
Author: MarcyKate Connolly.
Pages: 432.
Published: February 10th 2015 by HarperCollins Children's Books.
Sort: Stand-alone.
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark. Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre. Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre. And what he knows will change Kym’s life.
Rating:

What a surprising ending! That was absolutely the best part about this book, because I never saw it coming and I thought it was a brave decision for a Middle Grade book. I was bothered by Kymera’s ignorance, but at the same time I think this will work great for children. Most of them are innocent too, so I bet they will devour this fairytale-like story.
Sunday, February 01, 2015 12:24

February retelling link-up | Quiz.

Unless-you-are-Snow-White_thumb2
One month is done already, how did you do? Any books you highly recommend? I'm so happy to announce that there are 135 participants! I never imagined it would become so big, thank you all for joining. At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this:

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name. This is the link to your master post.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

Don't forget to tweet with the hashtag #fairytaleRC

Welcome to this test from the Girls University of Seven Kingdoms. Please make sure you answer all these questions with honesty, so we can decide in which classes we have to put you. The test results will decide what your fate is going to be and it’s up to us to make you ready for your ending. Don’t forget to fill in the back.
Name:
Age:
Kingdom:

1. You are invited to a coronation party in a neighbour kingdom, you:
a. are thrilled! Dancing, food, drinks, you can’t wait.
b. are going, but only because it’s your duty as a princess.
c. try to fake a sickness in the hope you don’t have to go.
d. make a deal with a witch so you can stay home.

2. Your parents want you to marry, you:
a. are more than happy. Where is your true love?
b. will accept and you let them pick a guy your country can benefit from.
c. try to delay by coming up with excuses.
d. run away. You make your own rules.


3. Your best friend wants to go on an adventure, you:
a. already packed your bags and are ready to go.
b. first want to see her planning to see if it doesn’t interfere too much with your schedule.
c. pass, you can’t handle too much excitement.
d. just returned from your own adventure, so you need to take a break.

4. You are captured by a villain, you:
a. think it’s quite exciting and start day-dreaming about being saved by Prince Charming.
b. try to make a deal. What else does he want. Money, political influence?
c. faint and cry. You feel sorry for the villain, he must be so lonely to turn to the evil side.
d. kick his ass. You learned some fighting moves from your best friend.

5. There is a table with magical items in front of you, you pick:
a. the mirror; mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?
b. a book. Practical and it could always come in handy.
c. nothing. So many choices, what if you take the wrong item?
d. the knife, because you like to sneak out of your room to explore the woods.

6. If you have to pick a best friend, you:
a. want someone who is just as pretty as you are.
b. want someone intelligent.
c. want someone sweet and quiet.
d. want someone tough and strong.
*turn to the back*

7. What is your favorite fairytale location?
a. a big castle with lots of decorations.
b. a castle on the mountains to oversee your people.
c. a house hidden in the woods.
d. a castle near the water on a high cliff.

8. What is your best quality?
a. I have beautiful hair and a pretty voice.
b. I am smart en determined.
c. I can sit in a room and nobody will notice me?
d. I am brave.

9. How would you describe your Prince Charming?
a. He must be gorgeous and he will do anything to make me happy.
b. He must have a lot of money and power.
c.  He must be nice to animals.
d. He must know how to fight.

10. What is your ideal gown?
a. That doesn’t matter, I look good in anything.
b. Something classic and timeless.
c. It must be simple and plain.
d. Something comfortable.

Thank you so much for answering our questions. We will send you your lists of approved lessons in two weeks. We look forward to help you to make the best out of your ending, whether it will be happy or not!

---
I managed to sneak into the building and I snatched this file from the Headmistress desks. Let’s find out what your ending is going to be, right?

12

Let me know in the comments, even if you aren’t part of the reading challenge, what your fate might be?
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