April Wrap Up

So this was my first full blogging month, and I loved it! I have totally fallen in love with blogging and posting my thoughts and feelings about books. I love it even more when I am able to talk to people about these books.

But because it was my first official blogging month I also read a whole lot of books! When I looked at my read pile for April on Goodreads I was shocked and so proud! Here I will just post the books I read this month and the rating I gave them (if I haven’t reviewed the book yet I will not post the rating)

So I read 11 books this month! Which is amazing! Of those 11, three were 5 star ratings. Now that I look at it I may upgrade the Jewel to a 3.5 out of 5 stars because I did enjoy that book more than the Selection books. I think I was too brutal because besides the instalove, I enjoyed most of the story and it was quite original.

I also dnf’ed (did not finish) two books, which I really don’t mind. I know a lot of people don’t like stopping books but I honestly believe that life it too short to read bad books.

Furthermore, I  haven’t reviewed the Program yet but it will probably end up pretty high on the list because I really enjoyed that book.

These were all the books I read this month. I think I can say I had a pretty great reading month! Let me know what books you read this month and if you read any of the books I read what you thought of them!

I will be posting my May TBR soon!

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Book Review: the Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

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Title: 
the Winner’s Curse
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: 2014 by Farrar Straus Giroux
Pages: 355
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9780374384685
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.
One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.
But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.
Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Wow, this is definitely my new favorite series. No doubt. I am actually kicking myself that I hadn’t found this book sooner. But on the other hand, I’m glad because I don’t have to wait for the next book to come out. I only have to wait two weeks until the second and third book get to me by mail, which is also waaay too long. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep away from spoilers for that long. I neeeeed to know what happens next!

I absolutely flew through this novel. It hooked me after two pages, after that I just couldn’t put it down. To start, the world-building in this novel was excellent. I understood and was intrigued by the whole concept. In this world, there are two communities, the Valorians and the Herrani’s. The Valorians took over the Herrani country ten years ago and have since then made the Herrani’s their slaves. The book follows our two main characters, Kestrel, a Valorian and Arin, a Herrani. Kestrel buys Arin at a slave auction and is then confronted with a developing friendship and the consequences thereof.

The romance in this novel was built up to very well, there is in no way instalove, which if perfect. The way Kestrel and Arin communicate with each other feels very real. The rise of the Herrani people in the novel also completely flipped the dynamics of the relationship which gave the book a whole other dimension. This is not a simple fantasy romance novel, it has so many political and social aspects which really intrigued me.

I love Kestrel’s character. In most novels the lead protagonist is a badass fighting machine and can kick any man’s butt. But I loved that in this novel Kestrel was a smartass. It felt very realistic and comforting to me that a woman can also beat many men by using her wits instead of violence.

Finally, this novel has one of the best plot twists that I have ever read. I just did not see that coming in any way and after I had put the book down I was just flabbergasted. I loved what Rutkoski did and I am so curious as to how this is going to play out in the second novel. But I am of course so routing for Kestrel and Arin. Anyway, I hope the books come in the mail super soon and I can marathon the rest of this series. I just really want to know what happens and how the story ends.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars and I honestly believe it deserves 6 out of 5 stars. I loved it and I cannot wait to read the next books in the Winner’s trilogy.

TTT: Top 10 Bookworm Delights

This is a weekly feature hosted on The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is top 10 bookworm delights.

  1. Receiving new books in the mail, of course I think everyone loves receiving packages in the mail. But bookworms become especially excited when these are new books!
  2. That new book feel, we all know very well that a new book, just feels different. It almost hurts to have to start reading the book, but we just have to know the story. But as long as we don’t break the spine!
  3. New book smell.  I mean come on, what booknerd does not love a new book smell? I just can’t help it sometimes, the smell just reminds me of all the amazing experiences I’ve had while reading these books. I even found out this week that I love new (just built) bookshelf smell..
  4. Book discussions. I just love to be able to talk about awesome books with other awesome book people. Being able to share your feels and theorize what sequels might be like is amazing.
  5. BOOKMAILLL. Getting new books in the mail just rocks!tumblr_o232bpQyhf1u95rdno1_400
  6. Library books.  There is something magical about library books. For some reason it’s just so awesome to be able to borrow a book and then read it and be able to return it for someone else to read. Sharing is caring.
  7. Buying new books your wanted, on sale. For me this really isn’t different from when I’m buying clothes, either way it just feels awesome to find something you wanted in the sales section and paying much less than you would have paid for it anyway.
  8. Reading in bed on a rainy day. I love being able to snuggle up with a good book on a rainy day. And luckily for me, since I live in the Netherlands it’s usually terrible weather, so I get to enjoy this pretty often.
  9. Finding underhyped books, and being able to recommend them to people. This is just awesome being able to find an amazing book that people just aren’t talking about.
  10. Everything else book related.  To be honest, for me almost everything about books is a delight. Besides maybe papercuts. So anything related to books and stories really can make me  a very happy camper.

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Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Title: This is Where it Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Published: 2016 by Sourcebooks, Inc
Pages: 282
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
IBSN: 9781492622468
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

 

 

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I was very excited about this book when I first bought it. I heard it was written by a dutch author and so as a fellow Dutchie I really hoped it would be a great book. But I was kind of let down.

The book deals with a very important issue in the United States, that being school shootings. Therefore, I was expecting a very heavy and accurate portrayal of these events and what effect that would have on the survivors. But instead, I got a cheesy kind of romance with a very fluffy description of a school shooting.

I found the book to be extremely superficial, this important and heavy issue wasn’t at all explored in depth and that for me was the biggest let down of the book. The description of the deaths that these characters witnessed was very very little and at most it described what the victims looked like, and not at all what kind of effect this had on the characters themselves.

Another thing that annoyed me about this book was that it was written in multiple points of view. That is something that if you use it, it needs to be well executed. Which, in this case, it wasn’t. I felt as though every character had the same voice so to speak.

Lastly, I was very disappointed in Nijkamp’s portrayal of the shooter. He was put away as the bad guy very quickly and there was no in-depth look into how he came to this decision. The shooter was extremely one dimensional. All the victims and survivors had extremely sad stories that connected them to the shooter and the shooter was simply the shooter. After finishing this book I had more questions than answers. I wondered how the shooter came to his decision, why he decided that this was the nessesary outcome of passed events, and what was the final straw that made him snap?

This book could have been great, amazing and influential. But in the end it was a fluffy sad story, with a black and white portrayal of shool shootings and an easy ending. It had no depth into important issues and was a let down. Considering this I gave the book 2 out of 5 stars, mostly because I really liked the book cover.

Book Review: the 5th Wave – Rick Yancey

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Title: the 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Published: 2013 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 457
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
IBSN: 9780399162411
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

First of all, I loved this book! I know most people saw it as an average book, I just don’t understand why? I found that even though this is an “overused” idea of an alien invasion, Rick Yancey gave it a unique twist.

I did find the book a bit slow in the beginning, but in the end I appreciated all the explanation that is given at the beginning of the book. This makes for a more fast-paced story at the end. I just could not put the book down the last 100 pages.

I usually shy away for books with more than one point of view, but in this case it really worked because it just gave different sides of the story. I also found that all the point’s of view had a different voice, which I imagine is very hard to do. I liked the way we could see the story coming together through these points of view.

I liked the character development in this book, it wasn’t too much but it also gave the characters dimension. At some points I almost felt like I was Cassie, I could sense why she made her choices and that is something I enjoyed. I also really enjoyed Zombie’s POV, it gave a nice insight into what the different outcomes for different people in the invasion were and it added an extra dimension to the story.

I would definitely recommend this book to people who love science fiction and books about aliens. If that’s not your thing then maybe this book isn’t for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed it and gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Waiting on Wednesday: the Star-Touched Queen

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Title: the Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Choski
Publishing Date: April 26, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 9781250085474

 

 

 

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…
But Akaran has its own secrets — thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget. (Goodreads)

I have heard so many good things about this book recently! A fantasy romance novel is always something I’m up for but in this case I’m super excited. It sounds like such a fast-paced novel with hopefully some political intrigue. I can’t wait until this book is out and I can get my hands on it!

Book Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

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Title: City of Bones (the Mortal Instruments #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published: Margret K. McElderry Books in 2007
Pages: 485
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
IBSN: 978-1-4169-5507-8
My Rating: 4.5/5

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know… (Goodreads)

City of Bones is about Clary Frey who finds out she is part of a secret world that she didn’t know about. After her home is attacked and her mother is taken from her, Clary teams up with Jace, Isabelle, and Alec and with them tries to find the Mortal Cup and her mother.

My thoughts:

I know it’s awful that I hadn’t read this entire series before, but now that I am trying to be a good book blogger, I thought it was about time. I had read City of Bones before and I really liked it, I don’t even know why I didn’t continue the series. However, here I am trying again, and this time I can document all of it with reviews, yay!

In general, I liked the story, there were a lot of little things I had forgotten about after having read City of Bones the first time. So it was nice to re-read it.

I really liked the plot, it of course was quite unique. At least I had never read about a Shadowhunter world before. I thought there were great plot twists, and the story didn’t necessarily go where you expected it to go, which was nice.

The characters I also liked, I know a lot of people really dislike the not confident main character trope, but I really don’t mind it. As long as it’s not extreme I actually think it makes the character more relatable. In this case, I didn’t mind Clary’s unconfidence in her looks. I believe she only really said it maybe once or twice in the entire book, so I thought it made her more relatable. I also liked Jace and Simon and especially Alec for some reason. I liked how he was overprotective and a bit untrusting. It really enhanced the story for me and I am really curious how that it going to develop throughout the rest of the series.

The reason I didn’t give City of Bones 5 out of 5 stars, is because I felt there was a little bit of instalove, not a whole lot that it bugged me, but I would have liked the relationships to have been slower in this book.

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Book Review: UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

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Title: UnEnchanted
Author: Chanda Hahn
Published: 2011 by Chanda Hahn
235 pages (e-Book edition)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Rating: 1/5 stars (DNF)

 

 

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular and uncoordinated; until she saves her crush’s life on a field trip, changing her High School status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is descended from the Brothers Grimm and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business. Which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it’s next fairytale victim.
To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

So I’m not going to be very positive about this book and quite straight to the point because I’d rather just move on to a better book as soon as possible.

The reason I picked up this book was because I was out and about all day but had forgotten my book at home. This was available as a free e-Book and after reading about half of the book, I could see why.

The plot was actually quite interesting and was really what drew me to wanting to read the story, but it was one big disappointment. First off, one of the worst things to come across in a novel are spelling and grammar mistakes, and in this book they were everywhere. This on its own really put me off the book. But besides that, it was also quite boring. A large chunk of what I read was all filler and I had the idea I could skip a few pages and wouldn’t have missed anything.

All in all, I gave this book 1 out of 5 stars because it just really let me down.

Book Review: the Jewel by Amy Ewing

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I was really on the fence about this book. I really just could not decide if I liked it enough or not enough. So eventually I came to the conclusion that it was just not enough. Therefore, I gave this book 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Violet Lasting has been a surrogate since she was 12 when she was tested for a genetic mutation which makes it possible for you to have children. For some reason the richest families in the Jewel cannot get pregnant. This is why annually there is an Auction at which all the royalty buy surrogates. Surrogates are promised a better life in the Jewel, the richest area in the city, however once Violet arrives there she finds out most surrogates are treated very poorly. She finds two unexpected allies and worries about her best friend, Raven.

It’s not that this book is terrible, not at all. When I started this book I absolutely loved it. It had so much potential and I was just flying through it. Then Ash happened. I thought I was finally reading a dystopian novel where the girl isn’t suddenly overcome with love and romance. But apparently I was… I was really hoping that this novel was an exception to the girl needing to be saved by a guy trope, but unfortunately it wasn’t. Besides that, there was so much instalove in this book, it just really put me off the book a bit.

There were some redeeming qualities to this novel, I personally found Violet to be quite relatable. Although she was going through a rebellious phase, I didn’t find the rebellion to be fake or forced, like I often do in dystopian novels. I also did really enjoy the plot until Ash came into the story. And of course, the artwork that was in the front of the novel, I just love art in books. It makes the story so much easier to visualize and you really have the idea you’re seeing what the author wanted you to see.

I probably will be reading the second book in this series because I am quite curious as to what happens to Violet. I hope the duology will end on better terms. I would recommend this book to people who like romance and dystopian novels. But if that’s not your thing, don’t waste your time on this book.

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April BOOK HAUL

Seeing as I am just a beginner blogger, buying books is something I try to do wisely. I don’t buy books that I don’t plan on reading soon because I do also have other bills to pay. I wish I could spend all of my money on books, but sadly that just isn’t the case. However, that does make it even more exciting when I splurge and buy a whole bunch of books.
These past few days all of my new books have been coming in and I wanted to share my new baby’s with all of you!
Disclaimer: Since I do live in Europe it is sometimes harder, and more expensive, for me to get English books. I will be adding where I got all of these books and how much I paid for them, I’m sure I’m not the only one in Europe looking for cheap books! However I am not sponsored by any of these sites, these are just my personal preferences.

First, my package from amazon.co.uk came in. This is a great site to find cheap books if the shipping to your country isn’t too high. For my I believe it was 2 pounds, so that wasn’t too bad. I had ordered the Siren by Kiera Cass and City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. I know it’s terrible that I haven’t read this series yet, but it’s just so daunting! But I will be getting to it soon, I promise.
The same day a package from bol.com came in the mail. This is a website that sells all sorts of thing, including books, though not very cheaply I’m afraid. However, I’m pretty sure it only delivers to the Netherlands and Belgium. Luckily, I bought a two books there during a sale period so I was able to get the Jewel by Amy Ewing and the Crown by Kiera Cass for pretty cheap. The Crown was a pre-order but that means I will be getting it in the mail the day it becomes available, excitingg!

Then I had to wait two days before my next two packages came in the mail. But luckily I received those today, so I can finally open them. The first package I received today was from bookdepository.com, which is a great site especially for people who live outside the US or UK. I am always able to get books at a discount and they use free international shipping, win win! The book I got from them was Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I have heard amazing things about this book and I just can’t wait to start reading it!
The last package I got was also a discounted package from bol.com. This time, I was able to get 2 + 1 free book, which is pretty awesome because the 2 books I got were also priced down. I got The Cuckoo’s Calling and the Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling. I also got An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

Obviously, I can’t wait to start reading these books and will be posting my reviews once I have finished them. If you’re interested in what books I am reading right now and my progress, check out my goodreads or my twitter accounts.