Monday, February 27, 2017 15:26

Review | Audrey Coulthurst - Of Fire and Stars.

25164304TitleOf Fire and Stars.
Author:  Audrey Coulthurst.
Pages:  400.
Published: Published November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray.
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

Rating:


Dennaleia has been betrothed to prince of Mynaria, Thandilimon, ever since childhood. Her marriage will seal an alliance they need as protection from hostile lands, like Zumordan. The only thing that will make this marriage a little hard is the fact Denna has an Affinity for Fire - and she is going to be queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden. Oh, and not to forget the fact she falls in love with Thandi's sister Amaranthine, called Mare.

This book probably has the most ridiculous names I've ever seen. They are so freaking long! I kept using the short versions (Denna, Mara and Thandi), because good luck with their true names. I understand the need to come up with original names, but after a while they all started to sound like gibberish in my head.    

Thandi is the crown prince, future king and husband of Denna, but I feel like he hardly had any role in the story. He sometimes pops up to say a few words, before he disappears again. The story definitely focuses more on Denna and Mare. I get it, because the two of them fall in love, so they need more time together, but I don't think this was the right choice.

BUT, I definitely love the fact that two princesses fall in love with each other - and since the author decided to give Thandi hardly any role, there is no love-triangle. (Although we must not forget that Denna is practically cheating on Thandi, since they are officially betrothed) Denna doesn't even seem to give him a chance and spends all her time with Mare. They were sweet together, but also incredibly stupid. Let's just say that they are not the best in keeping their feelings/sort-of-relationship a secret from the outside world.

I think the author was trying to make Mare look like this rebellious, kick-ass girl, but instead she came across as childish and unnecessarily rude.
I can't believe that someone who is 18 would ever act in such a way, especially a princess. I also don't believe for one second that the king wouldn't have given her away in marriage already. Denna is practically betrothed from the moment she was born, so why would Mare be any special? Until the moment where the two of them say they love each other, then suddenly the king decided he wants to ship Mare off. What a coincidence! Let's throw this in for some more drama.

Oh right, not to forget that there is also something going on to give the love story some plot. There are several assassin attempts, and one of them kills possibly the only character I absolutely loved, and Mare/Denna team up to find out who is behind it. For some reason, the king and his council decide that it has to be the Zumordan, without any prove, and they will not listen to reason. Very mature.

There are also some hints to magic. Denna is struggling with her powers, because her mother always forced her to keep it a secret. This leads to random outbursts and the discovery she doesn't only control fire. I liked this aspect, but it could have been explored more properly. I felt it got pushed away to make way for the romance and that is a shame.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 06:00

Review | Erika Johansen - The Fate of the Tearling.

26542535Title: The Fate of the Tearling.
#3 of The Queen of the Tearling.
Author:  Erika Johansen.
Pages: 478 pages
Published: November 29th 2016 by Harper
Source: I received an ARC copy from the bookstore Van Ditmar.
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.
And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them. To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

Rating:

SPOILER FREE if you haven't read the first two books either.

This series has a lot of ups and downs. The Queen of the Tearling blew me away. I was confused by the world-building, but I fell in love with Kelsea and the side-characters, like the Mace. There was something about her actions and the way it moved the plot into interesting directions that got me hooked.

The Invasion of the Tearling was SO different and it took me a good amount of time to get into it. Kelsea showed an even darker side and I appreciated the fact she was so flawed. We got more information about the Red Queen, who rules in Mortnesme, and how she became that ruthless person. The only thing I did not like was the new storyline that was added, because it really did not seem to fit the atmosphere of the first book. I always thought this story took place in a more Medieval setting and this new character made me realize that was not the case at all.

That storyline continues in The Fate of the Tearling and starts to play a bigger role. It shows the basics of the world-building and how Kelsea's world was created. The background information was interesting, but at the same time I didn't care for the characters who played a role in it. I kept flipping the pages in the hope the story would switch back to Kelsea. It was an interesting (and in the end brave) decision to create such a plot though. 

Kelsea has a long journey, coming from the girl who grew up in the Woods into a Queen who is capable of handling tough situations. I still admired her and the way she deals with everything that got in her way. I don't think she always made the best decisions, but she always made them with her country in mind and that loyalty is admirable. 

The ending was something I did not expect and took me off guard – and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. It matches the new approach the story took in the Invasion of the Tearling, but at the same time it did not give me enough satisfaction. This is probably one of those endings you can never completely hate or dislike, it just messes with your thoughts.

I liked the overall series, but I have to say that the sequels did let me down after The Queen of the Tearling. This might because of my different expectations or the fact I did not like the world-building in the end. I'm definitely going to keep an eye on the movie and any further books from this author, because she does know how to write.
quote review
These people are so damned proud of their hatred! Hatred is easy, and lazy to boot. It’s love that demands effort, love that exacts a price from each of us. Love costs; this is its value.
Monday, February 20, 2017 06:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Wrap Up + Giveaway.

loveathon2017-c[428]We’ve sadly reached the end of the event! Be sure to stop by all four host blogs (Alexa Loves Books, The Novel Hermit, Super Space Chick & The Daily Prophecy) to read a little bit about our thoughts on the event, and our acknowledgements for the people who have so generously donated and enthusiastically participated.

I had a fantastic time this year and I am so happy I could host this event together with my co-hosts. They had so much creativity and it reminds me why I'm still trying to return from my blogging slump. You have no idea how motivating it was to see all these sweet messages going around the blogosphere! And I had a blast hosting one of the four twitter chats, because I got to chat with so many new bloggers. Keep this going after the love-a-thon!

Also a big thanks to the people who were so generous to donate the books for the awesome prize packs: Tor Teen, Disney-Hyperion, the NOVL, and Alex from Booksy Daisy Reviews.

Prize Pack #1
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (ARC)
Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (ARC)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Shannon + Dean Hale (ARC)
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (ARC)

Prize Pack #2
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
Becoming Bonnie newspaper
The Nerdy + The Dirty by B.T. Gottfred
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
Updraft by Fran Wilde
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Gauntlet by Holly Jennings (ARC)
The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (ARC)
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (ARC)

Prize Pack #3
prize pack consists of:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
High Stakes edited by George R.R. Martin
Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly 
Seriously Shifted by Tina Connolly
Shades of Magic series book hugger
NOVL water bottle + tote bag
Tor Teen, The Dark Talent + Amberlough pins
Game of Shadows tattoo
Game of Shadows postcard
Arabella of Mars paper doll
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
The Infinity of You and Me by J.Q. Coyle
Spindle by E.K. Johnston
Dreamworld by Kit Alloway
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Romeo and What's Her Name by Shani Petroff (ARC)
The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydu (ARC)
Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman (ARC)



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Sunday, February 19, 2017 21:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Let Me Sing You a Love Song.

loveathon2017-c[428]Now’s the time to let your musical tastes shine! Dedicate a love song (or two or three) to your favorite book characters, and tell us why. Get as creative as you want, whether you decide to film a video, share a playlist or write out some lyrics and snap a photo. Link up at Alexa Loves Books.

Because of this post I've found out that I don't listen to romantic songs at all. Most of them are more about lost loves and broken hearts, but I guess that's also right for some of my sunken ships. Here are the three combinations I came up with:


John Legend – All of Me.
Beast – Dark Triumph (Robin LaFevers). He is described as incredibly ugly and huge, but his heart is so pure and sweet – it would sweep me right of my feet.

Jesper Lindell feat First Aid Kit – Slow down.
Shadow and Bone.

Mumford and Sons – I Gave You All.
Throne of Glass.
16:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Valentines Care Package.

loveathon2017-c[428]
Is there anything more exciting than receiving a surprise care package from one of your best book buddies? Didn’t think so! If you had the opportunity to surprise one or more of your favorite characters with a care package for Valentine’s Day, what would you be sure to include? Have fun virtually shopping for the character(s) you love and let us know via photos, collages, etc., what you would love to send them! Link up at Super Space Chick

I would send Sybella (Dark Triumph – Robin LaFevers) a new knife for her collection. And to stay in this theme, I would give Lila (A Darker Shade of Magic) a perfect pirate blade.
Nina (Six of Crows) gets a box of chocolate.
Copies of some of my favorite books go to Hermione (Harry Potter)
I want to give Chaol (Throne of glass) a big hug, because he is such a misunderstood character.
Cress (Lunar Chronicles) gets a set of hair products and a fancy hair brush.

Some random ideas:
Alina gets some sense, so she is able to make the right choice at the end of Ruin and Rising.
I would ship an indestructable tank packed with ammunition to Georgia and Shaun (Feed)
12:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | X meets Y.

loveathon2017-c[428]Mix and match away! This challenge is made for you to combine the books and movies/tv shows that you love in some way, in order for other people to find new recommendations for things to check out. Whether inspired by characters or themes, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

New Girl / Fangirl.
Reason: Cath and Jess are both a little awkward and they have great support around them.
downloadNew_girl_season_4_2
The Walking Dead / The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Reason: The zombies in the book are just as ruthless as the ones in The Walking Dead.

download (1)images

PRIZE PACK (US):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Vassa in the Night Tor Teen
Love and First Sight Little, Brown & Company
Unforgiveable Harper Collins
Tor Teen pin Tor Teen
The Dark Talent pin Tor Teen
Amberlough pin Tor Teen

PRIZE PACK (INTL):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Truthwitch Tor Teen
To Catch a Killer ARC Tor Teen
The Great Pursuit ARC Harper Collins
Metaltown tattoo Tor Teen
Tor sticker Tor Teen
Arabella of Mars paper dolls Tor Teen
Becoming Bonnie newspapers Tor Teen


01:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | On The Road (Trip!)

loveathon2017-c[428]
Let’s go on a road trip! Pick 3-4 people—fictional characters, readers/bloggers, authors—you’d love to take on this road trip; a place you’re headed towards like Disneyland, Grand Canyon, Martha’s Vineyard, etc; and what you’ll be doing on this road trip, like topics of discussion, who’s driving, who’s in charge of the road trip music, etc. Link up at The Novel Hermit.

I would love to hang out with Nina (Six of Crows), Sybella (Grave Mercy), Hermione (Harry Potter) and Lila (A Darker Shade of Magic), but it is hard to come up with a destination, since we don't have anything in common as a group. The best I can think of to make sure everyone is having a good time:

1. The first thing we do is go to the bookstore and hang out there. Lila is probably driving although she has no license, because she is easy like that. Sybella can look up books about fighting, Lila can read up on managing your own boat, Nina can drool over all the cook books and I can walk around with Hermione in the fantasy section.
 
2. Then we go and pick up some food, especially for Nina who loves to eat. We definitely need to bring a lot of chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate chip cookies.
 
3. Our hang-out location is probably some castle in a warm country. Sybella and Lila can practice fighting, because there is enough room and there are probably different weapons hanging on the wall as decoration. They can show us some ways to defend ourselves. Afterwards they can explore the castle, while Nina, Hermione and I rest next to the fire place with a book - and of course there will be guy talk.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 21:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Fancy Yourself a Poet?

loveathon2017-c[428]One of the most popular Love-a-Thon challenges is returning this year! All you have to do is create book spine poetry. You can either take a photo of the books, type out the titles in a post, read them out loud for a video or even get creative and collage it. Get as creative as possible! Link up at Alexa Loves Books.

Poem title: WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS.

FIND ME 

THE CURE FOR DREAMING.

For I am

RUINED

in the

LAIR OF DREAMS.

FEED

THE FORGETTING

of

A WORLD WITHOUT YOU.

There is

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS.

AND I DARKEN.

When the Moon was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore. 
Find me – Romily Bernard.
The Cure for Dreaming – Cat Winters.
Ruined – Amy Tintera.
Lair of Dreams – Libba Bray.
Feed – MIra Grant.
The Forgetting – Sharon Cameron.
A World Without You – Beth Revis.
A Gathering of Shadows – V.E. Schwab.
And I Darken – Kiersten White.


I suck at this, but I still wanted to participate and try my hand at doing something that sounds enough like poetry. So, here it is.
17:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Mix and Match.

loveathon2017-c[428]We all love books, but there are other things we’re passionate about too! All you’ve got to do is mash-up a non-bookish hobby/passion/talent/fandom with your bookish life. Do it through photos, collages, or videos. Get as creative as you’d like to! Link-up at Super Space Chick and take a look at all the other participants.

Bulletjournal and reading. I'm already writing a blog post about this topic, but I couldn't make this post without mentioning my bulletjournal. This is something I discovered in July last year and it has been one of the best things ever. It makes me feel peaceful, because I have a mind that tends to overthink. My anxiety is less now that I have a place where I can write down anything that might bother me. It's practically a diary, to-do-list and wish list in a fancy way. If you want a bit more information you can check out my post about my step into the world of bulletjournaling.

I combine my passion for doodling/making lists together with my love for books by making spreads about reading! Here are two examples I choose from my Instagram account Mel_1704.

Grimm
This is a spread I came up with not too long ago. If there is one thing I love it's fairytales, so I decided to write down every title from the Brother's Grimm (copies out of my leatherbound book from Barnes and Nobles), so I can keep track of reading every single one of them. I'm also going to use a color code system to be able to see whether I liked or disliked that specific tale.
Read-watch
Another thing that's new is my big Read and Watched in 2017 spread. I always used two methods: random notebooks and wrote down lists of book titles and an Excel sheet. I decided to spice it up by giving it more structure. This is where I keep track of everything I read (and see) together with a rating. I decided to include a 'Quote' section on the bottom of the page to fill up the empty space and I do love to collect inspirational/motivational quotes.

How do you keep track of your reading?
13:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Mad Lib fairytale edition.

loveathon2017-c[428]Welcome to my first challenge post! Fill out this Mad Libs to create your very own fairytale! I've come up with a story that is a mix of different fairytales and I can't wait to see how yours turns out.

If you’ve never done Mad Libs before, all you have to do is choose a word that fits the provided prompts below. Once that’s done, you’ll fill in the blanks of the fairytale provided as well and you’ll have your very own story!

Prompts. 
If you need any inspiration, you can click on the prompts with links.

1. LOCATION
2. CHARACTER (example: assassin)
3. TYPE OF STORE
4. BODY PART (plural)
5. ITEM
6. ROYALTY (any title you can think of)
7. REPEAT ITEM FROM #5.
8. ACTIVE VERB (example: running)
9. ANOTHER LOCATION
10. AN EMOTION
11. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT
12. PIECE OF FOOD
13. NUMBER
14. TYPE OF HOUSE
15. VOICE ADJECTIVE
16. DESCRIBE A SOUND (ending with –ing)
17. ROOM IN A HOUSE
18. OBJECTS
19. DESCRIBE AN OUTFIT
20. INFINITIVE VERB, activity
21. REPEAT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT from #11
22. A JOB

- Here is the fairytale you can fill in with your chosen words! Additionally, “it” was used, as we wanted to leave the gender choice up to you.

Once upon a time, in a far away (1), there lived a smart (2). It lived alone in a (3), where it had grown up with the deceased owner. It had beautiful (4), and it was known for its shiny red (5), the only thing it had left of its parents.

Alas, the (6) of the country became jealous and wanted to own this (7). So, it became a wanted person and had to flee into the forest to find a place to hide. After (8) around for hours, hungry and tired, it stumbled upon a/an (9). An old lady appeared, offering it shelter from the bitter cold.  She looked at it with (10) and said: "I will protect you, but I need your help first. Years ago I lost something precious and I want it back. You need to climb into the sky and get my (11) back. Here is a magical (12), throw it into the earth, sprinkle with water and it will sprout a beanstalk. You have (13) days to return before the stalk withers."

It followed the instructions given to her, and lo and behold, a beanstalk grew and grew and grew all the way up to the clouds. After an exhausting climb, it saw a huge (14). It walked to the door and knocked. A (15) voice said: 'Fee-fi-fo-fum, who dares to come and enter my house?" It was not afraid and said: "My name is Jamie and I've come to collect an item."

The door made a/an (16) sound when it opened and revealed a large (17) filled with golden (18). It stepped inside and walked towards the spiraling staircase, where a figure moved, cloaked in darkness.
 
"Who are you? Step in to the light, so I can see your face."
The beast growled angry. "Why did you come here? I just want to be left alone." Still, it moved and stood in front of it. There were three horns on his head, and hair all over his face and his mouth was filled with large teeth. He wore (19)
"What happened to you?" It reached out to touch one of the horns, but the beast flinched. "Many years ago I was cursed by a witch. I have one year left (20) so I can break the spell, but I'm not brave enough."
"If you give me the (21), I will help you."

In keeping its promise, the beast and it worked for a few hours and that afternoon, the beast transformed into an ordinary older guy. "I can't wait to return to my job as (22) in the normal world. Can I come with you?" Together they climbed down the beanstalk, carrying the instrument for the old lady. The moment she saw the guy and her beloved instrument, she started to weep.
"My husband, you have returned!" They hugged and looked at it.

"We have to tell you something," the old lady said. "You are our child. We were separated after the curse, but now we are reunited!" From that day, the three of them lived together in the forest, happily ever after.
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Don't forget to link-up and hop around other participants to see how their story turned out!

PRIZE PACK (US):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Vassa in the Night Tor Teen
Amberlough Tor Teen
The Last Time We Were Us Harper Collins
Metaltown tattoo Tor Teen
Tor Teen pin Tor Teen
The Dark Talent pin Tor Teen
Amberlough pin Tor Teen
PRIZE PACK (INTL):
Passenger Disney-Hyperion
Truthwitch Tor Teen
To Catch a Killer ARC Tor Teen
Gem & Dixie ARC Harper Collins
Metaltown tattoo Tor Teen
Tor sticker Tor Teen
Arabella of Mars paper dolls Tor Teen
Becoming Bonnie newspapers Tor Teen
LINKY:
06:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Questionnaire.

loveathon2017-c[428]I am proud to present the first post of the 2017 Love-a-Thon! It's been a lot of fun to work together with Alexa, Cee and Kristin to make this another successful event. This is the time to show us your answers to the questions and to hop around other bloggers to show them some love!

An Introduction to You and Your Blog.
pr2bewerkt
  1. What’s your name? Where in the world are you blogging from?
    My name is Melanie, but most people call me Mel. I'm from The Netherlands, a really cold country, but it does have its perks.

  2. Tell us your history with reading. Were you always a reader? Were you a reluctant reader? Was there a book that convinced you to become a reader?
    I've always been a reader. Ever since I was little I forced people to read books to me, until I was old enough to 'read' them myself. I also used my doll carriage to walk around with all my books, because I didn't like dolls.

  3. How did you get involved in the online book community?
    I stumbled upon Goodreads and found this whole new world filled with other booklovers!

  4. How did you choose your primary platform (blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc)? How did you come up with your blog name?
    I started to follow readers on Goodreads with similar taste and soon found out they used Blogspot for their blogs. I liked the fact that the interface seemed to easy and that it was free. My name comes from Harry Potter ( 'The Daily Prophet' ) and it was a very random idea that popped up in my head. I still love it. That happened in February 2012, so I've been around for some time now.

  5. What’s your favorite thing about the online book community?
    The fact that I can discuss, rave, fangirl, cry and laugh together with other people who get me.

  6. What sort of posts can readers expect from you?
    A mix of different type of posts. Mostly reviews. Sometimes I post a discussion, something about movies/TV shows and lately I've been really into bulletjournaling. It has been fun to explore this new hobby and to talk about it on my blog. I also talk a lot about fairytales, retellings and Disney whenever I get the chance.

  7. What book genres do you talk about most?
    Fantasy and fairytales, my favorite genres.
Favorites
  1. Favorite food? Beverage? You can always make me up for a (vegetable) curry with rice or a noodle dish. I love a good smoothie.

  2. Favorite color?
    Mint green, lilac/lavender and gray.

  3. Favorite things to do apart from reading?
    Being creative; bulletjournaling and drawing, watching TV shows/movies, gaming.

  4. Favorite tv shows? A few of them: Game of Thrones, Vikings, Three Musketeers, Black Sails, Ripperstreet, A series of Unfortunate Events and Sherlock.

    giphy

  5. Favorite movies?
    DISNEY. ALL THE DISNEY MOVIES. Beauty and the Beast means everything to me.
    Animation movies like: How to train your Dragon, Anastasia, Swan Princess, Thumbelina, Quest for Camelot, Despicable Me and Legend of the Guardians. Give them all to me.
    Marvel, especially all the movies with Loki in it.

    Fairytales, like la belle et la bête, the new Cinderella, Ever After and Hook.
  6. Favorite musical artists?
    Mumford and sons <3  and First Aid Kit.

  7. Favorite places to shop? Physical shop: American Book Center.
    Online: Bol.com.
Book Talk
  1. Favorite childhood books?
    It all started with the Disney book collection and classic fairytale books, then the Goosebump books and eventually Virginia Andrews. But, everything changed when I discovered Harry Potter, because that was my gateway into fantasy books – and when I found Juliet Marillier, the start of my love for fairytale retellings.

  2. Your Hogwarts house?
    I've always felt Ravenclaw would be the best fit and I always get storted in this House. I did this Buzzfeed quiz and it said: I am 38% Ravenclaw, 26% Hufflepuff, 21% Gryffindor, and 15% Slytherin.

  3. Favorite books read in the last five years?
    I have a Favorite book shelf on Goodreads, but my top 3 series:
    Robin LaFevers – His Fair Assassin. [Dark Triumph is perfection]
    V.E Schwab – Shades of Magic.
    Leigh Bardugo – Six of Crows.

    994327022055262Sixofcrows13928[5]

  4. Underrated book, series or author you love?
    Everything by Juliet Marillier. Hands down one of my favorite authors.

  5. A book you want to see made into a film or tv show?
    Six of Crows, although I would be terrified too, because how awful would it be if they messed it up?

  6. Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family?
    Chaol (Throne of glass), Duval (Grave Mercy) or Hector (Fire and Thorns)
    Sturmhond (The Grisha) or Thorne (Lunar Chronicles)
    The Weasleys (Harry Potter)

  7. Books you want to read in 2017?
    *snort* You really don't want me to get started. Here is my Not-published-yet shelf on Goodreads to give you an idea.

02:00

Love-A-Thon 2017 | Sweethearts Candy Messages.

loveathon2017-c[428]
- You’ve received a box of Sweethearts candy, and you’re asked to share the candy with a person or couple – fictional or real. Tell us who you’d give these messages to. Link up at The Novel Hermit.

LOVE WINS: A couple you didn’t think would get together, but against all odds, they did.
This could be a spoiler, but let me just say that I'm really happy with all the ships that (finally) sailed in Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

I DO: A character you’d marry.
I know that a lot of people dislike him and I still don't get it, because I would marry Chaol from the Throne of Glass series in a heartbeat.

DREAM BIG: A character whose dreams you want to come true.
Blue from The Raven Cycle (Maggie Stiefvater)

CRAZY 4 U: A character you’re crazy about.
Lila from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab

TRUE LOVE: Your ultimate OTP.
Robin LaFevers – Dark Triumph. If you've met Sybella and Beast, you know what I am talking about.

TE AMO: A language you’d want to be wooed in.
I think Spanish/Italian, such passionate languages.

BFF: A character you want to be your best friend.
I'm not going with the most obvious character (Hermione), so I'm going with Sorcha from Daughter of the Forest (Juliet Marillier)

WINK WINK: A character you’d want to wink at you.
I wouldn't object to a nice wink from Hector (The Girl of Fire and Thorns)

SWEET TALK: A character who knows how to sweet talk/flirt.
There are two characters that pop up in my head immediately.
Sturmhond from the Grisha trilogy (Leigh Bardugo) and Thorne from the Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer). Boy, do they know how to use their words.

BEST DAY: A moment from a book you wish happened to you or your IRL best day.
Getting that library from Beauty and the Beast, haha.

OOH LA LA: A character you want to slow dance with.
Duval, because I think he has some great moves (Grave Mercy – Robin LaFevers)

LOVE YOU: The character that gets your undying love.
Snape. I don't care how everyone feels about him [and Sybella from Dark Triumph] Always have, always will.
I RUN THIS SHIT funny gif_zpsxpnostyk
Tuesday, February 14, 2017 21:36

Review | By Your Side – Kasie West.

30256248Title: By Your Side.
Author:  Kasie West.
Pages:  352.
Published: January 31st 2017 by HarperTeen
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!
When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her. Only he doesn’t come. No one does. Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

Rating:


I've come to this point where I am sure I will never dislike a book written by Kasie West. This concept is probably my favorite one of her so far. I think every bookworm has a daydream where they are locked up in the library, especially if this happens to be together with a cute boy.

Autumn is on her way to a fun weekend with her friends, especially with her almost-boyfriend Jeff, when she gets stuck in the library. She keeps expecting someone to return and pick her up, but her friends don't seem to realize Autumn is left behind. Then she finds out she is not alone: Dax is there too and he has a good reason to be there. The two have a rocky start, mainly because of their prejudices, but slowly they start to talk and a friendship is formed.

I loved both Autumn and Dax. Autumn suffers from anxiety and has panic attacks - and now she can't take her medication. During the book we see her struggle with these problems and it was something I could identify with to a certain point. Dax has an entire different story that I'll not talk about in details, but believe me when I say he doesn't have the most happy youth while growing up and it has given him a reputation at school. Both Dax and Autumn have prejudices against each other and it was nice to see them overcome this. Autumn and Dax start to open up to each other and it was heart-warming to see them form a special bond.


I think West did a good job at showing Autumn's confusion, because she starts to like Dax while she is almost in a relationship with Jeff. There is no touch of love-triangle at all and this is the type of situation I could see happening in real life. She also struggles with his distant behavior, because can they keep this friendship alive outside the library?

Like always, this is a fluffy book with a deeper touch to it and I flew through the pages. Keep them coming West!
Wednesday, February 08, 2017 11:00

Review | Meagan Spooner – Hunted.

24485589Title: Hunted.
Author:  Meagan Spooner.
Pages:  352.
Published: March 14th 2017 by HarperTeen.
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!
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?

Rating:


Oh my! You are probably aware of my undying love for Beauty and the Beast, so I'm happy to say this is a worthy retelling. I LOVED every single moment and I already can't wait to buy a hard copy, so I can re-read it.

Yeva's father loses all his money after a stupid gamble for even more money and power. Yeva and her two sisters have to move into his tiny house in the forest, away from town. Yeva is secretly relieved to live in a more quiet place, but her father's fraying mind is starting to worry her. One day he returns, claiming he has to hunt down a monster and Yeva decides to go after him. Yeva is captured by the Beast, but over time the two grow closer and she is torn apart by her feelings for him and her loyalty towards her family.

Yeva was fabulous and it didn't take me much time to fall in love with her personality and voice. I loved everything about her. She is (physically and mentally) strong, wild and stubborn, but never too rash in her decisions. She is so out of place in town, but I like her attempts to fit in to make her father happy. It was clear from the beginning that she was meant for a different life than what he envisioned, but I admired her loyalty to her family to try it anyway. Her restlessness and need for more is how she ends up in the hands of Beast.

Every once in a while you get to see his point of view at the beginning of a chapter and it is clear he has a troubled mind. I liked the jumpy and chaotic writing, because it truly set him apart from the other characters in the book. His background story was fascinating and I was curious to see what the authors was planning to do with his curse; awesome twist! It felt like a fairytale inside a fairytale - and that background story made him a fascinating character.

The plot and writing moved with a fast, yet steady pace. It was the perfect balance between giving things enough time and moving on, so it wouldn't get too boring. The romance had enough time to blossom and I felt it happened subtle and believable. The writing is smooth, absolutely fairytale worthy and filled with details without getting overwhelming. This book definitely shows instead of tells, which made it easy to get swept away. 

Definitely highly recommended.
Saturday, February 04, 2017 22:04

Bulletjournal Adventure | January '17.

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If you are new to bulletjournaling: it is basically a wish list, to-do list and journal – and what I like to do is decorate it with doodles, handlettering, stamps and washi-tape. I have two informative posts about my step into this bujo-world and setting up collections. 

Setting up 2017.
I started with the set-up of my new bulletjournal in December last year and it has been so much fun. The best thing about the bullet system though, is that you can start at any point in the year. I started my dotted Emerald Green Leuchtturm 1917 in June last year and I filled it entirely. I wasn't really sure what to expect and what spreads I wanted to include, so setting up my new one was easier this time. I enjoyed using my Leuchtturm, so I bought a light blue one for 2017. The stickers you see are purchased from Redbubble.

My next informative post will be about all the materials I use, but here is already a little spoiler. I'm building a collection of different pens and I found this set of Staedtler fine liners (0.3 mm) for a good price. I really like to use them for that little pop of color in my spreads and they are also very easy to doodle with.

New BUJOKey-index

The first page is my key and the start of my Index. I googled a picture of the Disney castle and drew the silhouette as my key. The Index is the part where you list down all your spreads with page numbers to make it easier when you look for something. I have a few special methods to keep my Index simple and uncluttered that I will share with you next time. I'm currently 'reviewing' a few ways to make navigation easier as well, so be on the look-out for that post.

2017 calendar

Another spread I enjoy using is the 2017 calendar. I flip to this yearly overview when I'm setting-up my monthly log and habit tracker (I include the days and dates). And let's be honest, I simply like the look for having a calendar as one of the first pages. The next page are a few of my goals, divided in 'personal' and 'hobbies'. I like to set goals to give myself some guidance what I want to achieve in a year. This can be something as simple as 'make time for my family/boyfriend' or 'be kind and open-minded'.


Setting up January. 

I always use the same spreads for my months, because I found out they work the best for me. The only thing I switch is the placement, design and details.  (Not shown now: Expenses log, memories and weekly spreads, where I'm also trying out a new design)     


January
I think these 'Hello MONTH' pages make it easy to navigate in my journal. It is a fun divider between separate months and it gives me the ability to come up with something creative for that month. I like to have certain themes. For January I went with blue and simplicity by drawing different flowers. I am quite happy with the results of these doodles and how it all goes together! 

Jan tracker


I changed the design of my monthly log. Normally I would do a two page spread (Example can be found in my December bulletjournal post), but I realized I don't need all that space.The tiny squares are enough and I still have enough room for my 'Goals' and 'Tasks', so this is a better way to use the entire page. I also like that is it is right above my habit tracker.  


Read, watch Jan



Another thing I enjoy is to make To read/To watch pages, although I rarely finish everything I write down. I've done a great job in January though (see recap post). Next to it is a page for the Plan With Me Challenge, hosted on Instagram. I never finish the entire challenge, but it's a fun way to show my planner and to get to know other bulletjournalists.

So, in short:
1. You can start your bulletjournal at any point.
2. Key, Index and Calendar are easy spreads to have at the beginning of your journal.
3. Hello page, monthly log, tracker, Expenses log, memories and weekly spreads are the things I set up for every month.
4. Plan with me challenge is a fun way to get to know more bulletjournalists on Instagram.
5. Two materials I love to use: Staedtler fineliners and dotted Leuchtturm 1917.

Next up:
1. The spreads I use to keep track of my reading and blogging.
2. More information about materials I use.
3. My tips and tricks to easy navigation in the Index and Bulletjournal.
4. More pages I set up for 2017.
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