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Thursday, December 31, 2015

World After

A month ago, I read a the first book in this series. It was recommended to me by a friend, Fien and I enjoyed reading Angelfall so much, I bought the whole trilogy. This review is about the second book in this series: World After by Susan EE. I may have had a difficult time to get into it again but what happened in the book, and the many feels it gave me made all up for that!

The apocalypse continues with the angels rooming around and terrorizing the world. People are frightened, try to find a safe spot and survive. It's the same for Penryn and her family, she tries to keep her sick mother and sister in safety. One night changes everything and her sister is taken away, her mother disappears from time to time. Penryn's worst nightmare comes true: her family is being taken away from her. As an older sister, Penryn decides to go look for Paige and bring her into safety again. During her search party for her sister, Penryn discovers more of the cruelties that happen during this apocalypse. She even discovers the hard truth about what's happening to her sister. The only remaining question is if she'll find her on time and can change the outcome. Together with many allies she steps in the war that's raging, hoping she'll stay alive long enough to find Paige.

This book was a whole different level and I even liked it more than the first book. We start with another environment. Things have changed ever since the last book. We're no longer in the World Before, we're in the World After. In the world after there are changes, it's been terrorized and there is mass destruction. I kind of liked that scenery even more! It really gives you how it looks when a war is going on. Full destruction and almost no places to hide. 

What I loved most in this book is that Penryn, the main character, describes and compares how the World Before was and how it looks now, after the attack of the Angels. For me, it gave a better view on how it all looked and now looks which made it easier to visualize. I do have to say that I kind of missed the big bad Angels rooming around in the first part of the book. 

As for Penryn, she's still the strong girl as I described her in the review of Angelfall. I'm still very fond of her, she still impresses me. Even with her sister gone and her mother disappearing from time to time, she still manages to survive. She doesn't stop and cry, no she's as hard as steal and will go to the end of the world to get her family back together. I have so much respect for that, I know it's just a character but still! I did find some changes in her behavior. She something thinks things but she doesn't want to admit to those thoughts. To avoid admitting to them she says funny things to hide her true feelings. And what she says really made me laugh out loud, I laughed more in this book than I did in Angelfall which is something positive. 

But I do have to say that I think she's not as hard as she seems. The author slips it in the conversation from time to time that she just avoids thinking about what's happening, she only tries to focus. I wonder if some time in the next and last book, she'd break down. I wouldn't see that as something bad. I mean, it's a hard time in that world, she looses her family, I think it's normal that she doesn't behave all that hard all the time as she did here. So I'm very curious to were her character will lead in the next book! 

Especially because Penryn discovers so much about what's happening to her sister when she was taken away. It really frightens you and makes you feel with as well Penryn as with Page. This book won't let you unmoved.




As for her mother, I loved it that we saw her more in the second book. She's sometimes a crazy women but I really appreciate that about her. Somewhere mid the story she even does something that I really didn't expected from her. Actually there are a lot of things that surprised me about her character. She really gives another perspective and other feels to the story which I really appreciated in this book.

The plot was amazing as well as thrilling and it really keeps you turning those pages. I loved this book even more than the first one. I do want to say more but I don't want to spoil anything, I can only say that I had many feels as frustrations to a certain part. It's all positive though! And the ending was even better than in the first book. More thrilling, more of everything really! I can't wait to start the third and last book in this series which is called 'End of Days'. So yes, I do recommend this series to everyone! 

"Even the end of the world can't keep us from wanting to belong."

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

If I stay

This is the book I need to read for my school project. This is the book that I have to compare with the movie. This is: If I stay by Gayle Forman. I saw the film before I read the book and what I remember from the film is that it was very emotional and really captured every moment of the 'maybe end'. I really liked the movie so much! And it only gave me high expectations for the book.


Mia has a good life. She has a family that loves her and accepts her for who she is. She has a best friend that's always there for her and a boyfriend that supports her choices. She has her cello and her passion for music. That passion gives her many choices in life, choices she doesn't always know how to face. The biggest choice of them all? Stay true to her first love, music, even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
But all those choices are wiped away on a cold February morning and everything changes. Mia is only left behind with one choice. One that she never thought she'd have to face. One that's the hardest of all the choices she has had in her life. And it's the only one that matters.

Did the book meet my expectations? Not entirely. It might be because I'm reading the book for school and that I read too deep in it. It might be because the movie just left me speechless and nothing can add up to it. I don't know which factor has influenced my view on the book, but I just thought it was okay

The book shows, as always, a lot more of what's going on around the main character. If I stay uses a lot of flashbacks and that was something that I could appreciate. You only saw a little moment of Mia's present life so I was happy that her world around her started to build with every flashback I read. 

Did I like Mia? She was okay. I think that in the book she was a little bit more innocent in a way that she'd never fully enjoyed other things than music. That's how I really experienced it. She'd also always feel like an outsider to things. Feel like she didn't belong. In the beginning I liked to see her thoughts about it and see her deliberate what's right and wrong but towards the ending, I felt like it was an aspect that came a little too much at the surface of the book. And that made it for me a little bit less appealing. 

The movie showed a lot more of emotional aspects too. Every family member that was important and that we knew things about from the flashbacks came to her, talked to her, made her make her choice. In the book there are a lot of family members, I was happy about that. It shows that she has a lot of family that accepts her and supports her and even though she thinks she doesn't belong, she does. I do wished that some family members were explained, who they were, in what way they were important to her. I missed that in the book.

I did love all the parts where Adam, her boyfriend, came in. Although in the movie I felt like he had more emotions that he showed, this book held back his emotions. I think in the book he was a more closed person than in the movie, but there's nothing wrong with that. They're very opposite of each other. Adam is punk, Mia is classic and I was fond that their difference was showed but nevertheless they still supported each other. So I was very eager to the parts with Adam.

As for her best friend, Kim, I liked Kim more in the movie. Here she was kind of the same as Adam, she held things back. When Mia described Kim, I could really visualize how she looked but it also made me feel like she was very introvert. In the movie she's a little more open which in my opinion was better. But I am of the opinion that we knew Kim better than in the movie, which is something good for me. We knew her religion, we knew her relationship with her mother, more about her hobbies. So it was nice to get to know her for 'real'

Even though Mia used the flashbacks and the people around her to make her choice, the book didn't make me feel as much as the movie did. I really thought it'd bring up so many feels but it actually didn't which I found very disappointing. But as I said it might be because I saw the movie first, it might be because I read the book for school. I tend to dislike more books or think they're just 'okay' when it's for school. That's why I rely more on the comparison with the movie in this review. I gave it a 3.5 stars on Goodreads but I don't know if I'll really recommend it. I also won't read the second part in this series. 

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” 



Sunday, December 27, 2015

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

In a past review I said I was going to review To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, and I guess it's time to do that now! I've got the book for my birthday and had my eyes on it very long. I didn't get into it very fast. It then lingered some time on my bookshelf before I started reading it again. I must say that I did find it hard to get into but if you hang on, it'll only get better!

This book is about Lara Jean, she has two sisters and a wonderful dad. Her one sister is like her icon, she looks up to her as if she's the statue of liberty. As if she'll learn you how to be a proper and good women. Lara Jean has a good life until the struggle comes. Her sister has to leave for college and she's the one that needs to take care of the family now. That's a lot of pressure for her, but the weight only adds up when her love letters are send out. 
Lara Jean is a girl that never admitted to her crushes. Her letters are for when she doesn't want to be in love anymore. It's some sort of goodbye to her. If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcism. My letters set me free. She keeps the letters hidden in a box she got from her mother. Though waking up and finding out that all her letters are out in the open and send to all her past crushes, isn't such a good thing for her. Especially when a letter is sent to someone very special to her. 

As I already said, this book was very hard for me to get into. Mainly because in the beginning I didn't feel really connected with the main character, Lara Jean. But also because of her older sister that's her icon. 

To be very blunt and fair, I hated Margot. I felt like she was such a bossy type and that she always looked down on her other sisters but mainly on Lara Jean. I was kind of glad that she was sent away to her college, very far away. I understand that she felt like she had to take care of her family, as the eldest but also because there's no mom. I get why she does it but I don't get why she looks so down onto Lara Jean. Especially, later in the book when certain things happen. It was not Lara Jean her fault but her own. So yeah, I didn't like Margot at all and she bothered me ever since the first time we met her in the book.

Her other sister is really funny though. She's the youngest among them and wants to be a grown-up. You can see that she's trying really hard. When Margot was still around she wanted to make decisions too, together with her older sisters. When Margot is gone she's treated more responsible and can participate more. Kitty also wants a puppy really badly which makes her funny at times because she tries very subtle to change her father's opinion on having a dog. Sometimes she fails at being subtle and you really laugh at it. So I did love Lara Jean's other sister!

As for Lara Jean, she had me focusing. At some times I wouldn't agree with her or feel differently about her but for most of the time I did understand what she was doing. In the beginning of the story I wasn't really feeling a connection but later on I did. I also think she's really responsible and tries to be her best self when she has to take care of the family, of Kitty. So afterward I really appreciated her. 

The neighbor, aka the oldest sister's boyfriend, is also a character that I was fond of. He seemed very funny and cared. Josh has been around the sisters ever since he moved next to them. Of course things happen with Margot moving away, they change and then we get to see less of Josh. I wished he didn't go away though. I felt like he was a part of that family and then letters are being send out and Lara Jean starts taking distance from all the boys she knows. God, I wish Josh kept close! I really liked his personality! I might also wanted to ship him and Lara Jean, instead of Margot. Is that wrong of me? ;)

Of course we get to see more boys through this book and I wasn't really fond of one particular in the beginning. But let's just say that he started to grow on me too and I couldn't decide which team I was on. Team Neighbor or Team Boy you'll get to know through the story?! When I eventually guessed I made up my mind, the book ended. I didn't expect that ending at all. I was shocked, I was surprised and I couldn't understand it! Which is a good sign!

The plot was also very surprising and intriguing. As I said, in the beginning I wasn't really fond of the story and put it aside but I'm glad I didn't decide to just put it aside forever. I liked the story because for me it was very refreshing. I hadn't read any book that had a story like this. Of course I suspected love would be around but not the kind like this. I mean, this love made sure that there was drama all over the place. And that all because of some letters, who would've guessed that'd ever happen? The drama caused a very original plan to solve it all which I was excited about.

I might not have enjoyed Margot's presence, I might not have enjoyed the beginning at all. But I only can say that you need to push through it and hold on because it gets better! Of course it can be that you don't have any difficulties with anything I said, all the better. 

After I was confused by the ending, I thought it was really the ending but I only just found out that there's a second book to this and let's say I need to get my hands on it. I need to know a real ending, not the surprised one I got because as you know I'm a sucker for real endings. Because what if my imagination is too far fetched? I just can't wait to get more adventure out of Lara Jean. So I do recommend this book


because it had an original and refreshing plot, it has romance and drama, it's in some sort also adventurous in my opinion. If you read this book what was your opinion on it?

“I don’t have to be so afraid of good-bye, because good-bye doesn’t have to be forever.” 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

My Heart and Other Black Holes

On Christmas Eve, I finally started My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga. I received the book 2 weeks ago when I finished my exams. I had to put him on hold because I was reading in another book I wanted to finish first. On Goodreads there are mostly good things written about it which made sure the expectation started to grow with each review I read. This book met all of those expectations... It was even better than what I imagined or dared to dream. It's also why I'll be writing a non-spoiler review and a spoiler review. It's written so well and stunning, emotional even. And for once I really want to spill the beans so that's why there is a spoiler review for the ones that already read the book. If you DIDN'T read the book, please DON'T spoil it for yourself! You'll regret it. Do me this favor, if you haven't read the book, only read the non-spoiler review and go pick up that book. As for the ones that did read the book, you don't need to read the non-spoiler review because I'll say everything that's in there, also in the spoiler review. 
Merry (1 day late) Christmas to you all!




Aysel loves physics. She loves to know things about it, she'd love to know how it'll explain what happens to energy when someone dies. More specifically, when she dies. Ever since the crime her father committed, her mother can't look at her without being reminded and everybody on school is talking about it. Everybody simply keeps reminding her what happened, what her father did.
It only makes her question her life and if she doesn't cause any problems to her mother. If she isn't a danger, like her father. Is it growing inside of her? Will she become the same monster? She wants to spare everybody on earth and to make that happen she needs to die. 
She can't do it on her own, she's scared she'll back out when it'll happen so she goes on a site where she finds a suicide partner: FrozenRobot aka Roman. The boy has faced his own problem and is drowning in guilt. Also he thinks he needs to die. Both teenagers are in their own depression, both teenagers decide to do it together, they'll get each other to an end. The End. 

You'd think from what you read that this is going to be some hard, dark stuff to read but actually it isn't that hard as you think. It's very light written en really captures every part of the thoughts that might go through a teen's head when he or she is suicidal. 

Both main characters want to die and find each other on a site. This story was written so beautifully and stunning it was hard to stop reading. Especially because the two characters each have their own problem that makes them suicidal. I had a lot of questions because the 'why' isn't fully explained until further in the book. I was fond of the mystery around the sad characters, they kept their family in the dark but also the reader.

Aysel's reason will be explained very late in the book. Of course you get aspects and clues to why she wants to die but what happened to make her think this way stays a mystery for later in the book. I was really fond of this character because of the way she was. You'd think she'd be sad all the time, boring and dreadful but it wasn't like that. She'd say stupid jokes and ask stupid questions that did give you a smile on your face, she'd see things a little bit brighter and that's why I really liked her. Naturally she'll have moments in the book where she's really sad and doesn't understand the universe. 

She's also a physics geek and whenever she gets the chance to daydream a little, she'll use science questions to keep her busy. As for her family, they try. She doesn't experience it but during the book some characters really make an effort and tell her that they really are trying but that she's just too blind to see. 

As for Roman's family, they're really nice. His mother is very happy but also very protective. She wants to make everybody feel as if they're at home. He's a little bothered about it some times and so is Aysel. Roman is a character that in the beginning made me have a lot of questions. When the characters meet, he seems very handsome, he has friends that walk around him. He seems to have a good life. I guess that's what the author was trying to make us see, that in reality the person just let's you see what you want to see but deep down is actually all broken. 

What I was really fond of in this story is their connections. In the beginning they're each very distant, they get mad or irritated. But later in the book they get closer and I really liked that in this story. That if it's going to be the end, you don't need to be alone. You can try and find someone. I really loved the way their relationship grew into a friendship while each of them needs to face their own inner demons. One of the characters eventually does face them because of the other's unspoken words.

The author also left a note at the end of the book:
"To me, My Heart and Other Black Holes has always been a story about the people who understand you, all of you, even the scariest and weirdest parts of you. It's about those people who come into your life when you least expect it, in the strangest of ways, and change everything--it is about the importance of letting those people in, of opening up to them. It is about the people in your life who help you to see yourself differently and the true power of human connection."


This part of the author's note was something that I found in the story too. She illustrated it beautifully in the book and when you read the author's note, you know exactly what she's talking about and see the moment back in front of you. I also thought you could easily imagine the story since it's a topic that's very accurate in this generation.

This book was well written, was fluent and very emotional but also very realistic. My expectations have all been met and then it was still better than what I could've ever imagined. I recommend this book not only because of how moving it is but also because it's a problem very nowadays and it gives you perspective on it, in some way. Did you read any other books by Jasmine Wanga that you'd recommend? Leave a comment or message me!

“I will be stronger than my sadness.” 




Aysel loves physics. She loves to know things about it, she'd love to know how it'll explain what happens to energy when someone dies. More specifically, when she dies. Ever since the crime her father committed, her mother can't look at her without being reminded and everybody on school is talking about it. Everybody simply keeps reminding her what happened, what her father did.
It only makes her question her life and if she doesn't cause any problems to her mother. If she isn't a danger, like her father. Is it growing inside of her? Will she become the same monster? She wants to spare everybody on earth and to make that happen she needs to die. 
She can't do it on her own, she's scared she'll back out when it'll happen so she goes on a site where she finds a suicide partner: FrozenRobot aka Roman. The boy has faced his own problem and is drowning in guilt. Also he thinks he needs to die.  Both teenagers are in their own depression, both teenagers decide to do it together, they'll get each other to an end. The End. 

You'd think from what you read that this is going to be some hard, dark stuff to read but actually it isn't that hard as you think. It's very light written en really captures every part of the thoughts that might go through a teen's head when he or she is suicidal. 

Both main characters want to die and find each other on a site. This story was written so beautifully and stunning it was hard to stop reading. Especially because the two characters each have their own problem that makes them suicidal. I had a lot of questions because the 'why' isn't fully explained until further in the book. For example, Aysel's father did something really bad because he's in prison right? But I just kept asking myself why that'd be something to kill herself for. What did he do? How did he do it? And how affected her that? Of course later on we get to know that her father was acting strange and then murdered someone. She just felt like she'd become something like him, a monster and do monstrous things. I was fond of the mystery around the sad characters with their own reasons, they kept their family in the dark but also the reader.

I was really fond of Aysel because of the way she was. You'd think she'd be sad all the time, boring and dreadful but it wasn't like that. She'd say stupid jokes and ask stupid questions that did give you a smile on your face, she'd see things a little bit brighter and that's why I really liked her. Naturally she'll have moments in the book where she's really sad and doesn't understand the universe. Then she starts talking about something black inside of her that takes away every feeling she has and when she said those things, it was explained so well that you were moved by it. I wished she didn't have to feel this way.

She's also a physics geek and whenever she gets the chance to daydream a little, she'll use science questions to keep her busy. As for her family, they try. She doesn't experience it but during the book some characters really make an effort and tell her that they really are trying but that she's just too blind to see. At the end she also confronted her mother, she wanted to see her dad. Aysel shared a part of her that she never wanted to say out loud and all because of Roman. That guy, I knew it from the start, was the one that'd keep her from doing the stupidest thing of her life.

As for Roman's family, they're really nice. His mother is very happy but also very protective. She wants to make everybody feel as if they're at home. He's a little bothered about it some times and so is Aysel. Roman is a character that in the beginning made me have a lot of questions. When the characters meet, he seems very handsome, he has friends that walk around him. He seems to have a good life. I guess that's what the author was trying to make us see, that in reality the person just let's you see what you want to see but deep down is actually all broken. And he is all broken, he feels guilty for what happened to his sister and is so determined to die and leave this earth because he doesn't deserve more. My heart ached for him! So many feelings and thoughts were in my mind and I wished he just didn't think like that! 

What I was really fond of in this story is their connections. In the beginning they're each very distant, they get mad or irritated. But later in the book they get closer and I really liked that in this story. That if it's going to be the end, you don't need to be alone. You can try and find someone. I really loved the way their relationship grew into a friendship while each of them needs to face their own inner demons. Aysel eventually does face them because of the Roman's unspoken words. Love saved them both! I mean those moments where Roman reached out for Aysel, they were fantastic! I was so happy in that moment and was so eager to see more of it. And the moment where they were camping, that whole part... it made me smile so much! It was fantastic and I loved their connection! 

The ending was the most moving in my point of view. I knew things were going to change, I knew one of them would flake out. But then I also knew that Roman knew and now he'd do something stupid on his own. I remember seeing the date about the chapter "Thursday, April 4" and I knew it, that's the day he'd do something stupid. 

I was surprised that he used a car though, but my heart was racing very hard when she was trying to find him. I just kept praying he wouldn't die and that this book wasn't going to end with someone dying. The ending... you'd think the ending would've been really their end. It wasn't, thank God!

The author also left a note at the end of the book:
"To me, My Heart and Other Black Holes has always been a story about the people who understand you, all of you, even the scariest and weirdest parts of you. It's about those people who come into your life when you least expect it, in the strangest of ways, and change everything--it is about the importance of letting those people in, of opening up to them. It is about the people in your life who help you to see yourself differently and the true power of human connection."



This part of the author's note was something that I find in the story too. She illustrated it beautifully in the book and when you read the author's note, you know exactly what she's talking about and see the moment back. They understand each others sadness. 
Roman is the one that changes everything for Aysel because of his drawing. And can I say that that was absolutely cute? She let him in and she saw that it could be different. That they could fix each other and you could really feel that with each page you turned, they were fixing each other.

I found it very moving and was very pleased by that! I also thought you could easily imagine the story since it's a topic that's very accurate in this generation.

This book was well written, was fluent and very emotional but also very realistic. My expectations have all been met and then it was still better than what I could've ever imagined. I recommend this book not only because of how moving it is but also because it's a problem very nowadays and it gives you perspective on it, in some way. Did you read any other books by Jasmine Wanga that you'd recommend? Leave a comment or message me!



“I will be stronger than my sadness.” 

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Hunger Games

So I finally did it. I finally read the first book in The Hunger Games Trilogy. I honestly don't know what I ever thought and why I waited so long to read this! I always felt hesitant to read them, I also don't know why that is. But my friend Fien, she's really into The Hunger Games, said I really needed to read them. She even recommended them to me and said in the message 'DO IT.' and I finally did it! After my big funny adventure at the Book Feast... So now I'll be talking about all of my feelings and my experience with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. 
I don't feel like I should explain what it's really about so I'm going to write what's on the back of the book... 


Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
In a dark vision of the near future twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When a sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature. 

So...There isn't really a bad thing I can say about this now, can I? This book just made me feel as if I was in the games myself. The writing style just did that with me, it was very easy to read. It was funny at moments, it was absolutely mind blowing! 

Of course the characters were really strong and the plot was so good! And I don't really have anything to say to it. Although I can say that I enjoyed it even better than the film. I thought the film was the best there was and then read this and it only gets better! 

I felt more connected with Katniss but also with a lot of different characters. More with Katniss might be because in the film you don't hear her thoughts. You only see her actions and what she really says but the book takes it so much deeper. Her thoughts on everything and everyone surrounding her, more thoughts about how she feels and misses Prim and how the relationship is with her and her family, Gale. 

In the film I was all pro Gale, to be honest, but the book... it changed me instantly from page 1. It's not that I didn't like Gale. I did but I felt that in the book it was more a platonic love between them. More like sister-brother and not as a couple. Whereas in the movie, I felt that something could come out of it. Well, at least until I saw Peeta. 

I didn't have a change of thought when it comes to Peeta. He's still the boy I imagine. He's funny, he can talk when he has to, he's calm and comforting. I saw all of that in the movie but also in the book and I really liked that. I couldn't and wouldn't want it any different. 

As for the plot, it was good. Thrilling. Emotional. It had it all! My heart skipped a beat or two when Peeta came. My heart stopped when someone died. My heart went faster when the end was nearing. My heart did all sorts of things and it was really satisfied. 

Also films don't capture everything from the book so there were surprises waiting for me. I'm really glad I read it because it gave me new perspectives on the story.

I do wish we saw some more of Effie. Somehow I just really like her. She's eccentric, maybe a little bit arrogant and blunt at some times in the book but I like that about her. I hope we'll see some more of her in the second book! 

I won't be starting the second book immediately, I want to make the series last longer. Enjoy and absorb every word of it. So do I recommend it? That'd be a big yes. Thanks Fien, for reminding me that I REALLY needed to read them! 

"May the odds be ever in your favour."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My True Love Gave To Me

So I finished my first Christmas read ever! This year I wanted to read a book that was very Christmas-y and would bring me into the holiday mood and festivities. It worked... It was the first book I've ever read that was like this and I'm really excited to talk about it: My True Love Gave To Me by 12 different authors 

This book consists of 12 different short stories and each is written by one of these authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Penã, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor and Kiersten White. 

And all of these Twelve Holiday Stories are edited by Stephanie Perkins. 
Now, I want to start with the cover! It's absolutely well considered! It's a skating rink with 12 pairs of couples and yes, every pair represents one story. In the beginning I found it hard to fine them based on what I got in the stories but eventually I found each and every one of them! 

I also bought it as a hardcover and just strip away that jacket! It's a total red cover, which I link with the festivities since red is a very nice color for Christmas. Into the front is also the title carved out which I thought was a very nice detail into it!

Next up are the stories. The first story I read was Midnights by Rainbow Rowell. It's about New Year's Eve and we get a little teaser of what happens on New Year's Eve that same year but then go back in time to see why this actually happens. After the flashbacks we get back to the present and see what happens next. 

I honestly fell in love with this story! The characters were really funny and I did laugh some times which is a very good thing, of course. It also made sure you kept reading because you want to know if your suspicions are right. I don't want to spoil more but I can only say I wish that this happened to me on New Year's Eve. 


The second story is one written by Kelly Link, The Lady and the Fox. I didn't immediately got it, to be honest. It took me a while to understand who the character was and whether or not she was a family member or just a friend of the family. 

Once I understood that bond, mysterious things start to occur. I liked it that their was mystery, I never thought mystery and Christmas could go together until now. I do have a tiny remark! The mystery resolves itself in the story of course but I think there wasn't enough around it. It all happened to fast which I wasn't very fond of. It took away the thrill, in my opinion. Other than that I really liked this story, but it's not my favorite in this series of 12! 

Next was Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Penã. I never read a story by this author but I was really curious. Especially after I saw the illustration of a cat above the beginning. I didn't see the link with the angels and the cat.

Soon things became clear to why their was a cat as an illustration. The character is catsitting the cat and gets stuck in the building with only one other person somewhere around because of the snow. They meet each other some pages further because the girl doesn't have any running water. Ever since that moment, the two get a long pretty good until Christmas Eve... The only question that remains is: Will everything end well? That is something you should find out! 

The fourth story in this lovely book is by Jenny Han, also known as the author of To All the Boys I've Loved Before which I'll be writing a review on soon, Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me.

This story is in my top 5! It was well written, it really got that Christmas spirit in it but it also broke my heart a little. The main character used to made up stories when she was little and now nobody believes her when she says anything. That already broke my heart because come on! Who didn't make up stories when they were little? It doesn't define us now, does it? 

Anyways, she's also in love with one of her very special friends. When I say special, I mean special! Though I'm not going to say what kind of special. Somehow being in a relationship with each other seems rather odd. When things happen on the annual ball, she runs outside and he follows her. To talk to her and then she gives her present and he gives her a present as well. One that she won't forget in a lifetime! This was absolutely stunning and still heartbreaking. It really captures the joy of Christmas in a special way. I loved the title but for that you'll have to read it... 

And then again, a story that's in my top 5 probably at the very top: It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins. This story was not surprising, I think we can all see what would've happened but still, it grabbed me and stuck with me after reading it. 

The main character has had a rough year and together with her mom she lives in a small apartment because they aren't that rich. The girl also makes special video's with voice overs. It'd be her ticket out of this horrible town, in her point of view. Ever since that I was thrilled because she needed a special voice and she goes all spy on him. 

It even comes that far that she buys a big Christmas tree where he has to help her with. Carrying it to her home but then only come to a surprise. Together they try to find a solution for this problem and that gives us very funny moments. It's during those moments that you know that you were right all along. What you thought would happen, is probably going to happen. Normally I'm a little bothered that the surprise is already ruined but I didn't mind it here at all. The ending was also a lot more different then I imagined. I adored this story so much!

Afterward came Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan. It was okay, I just didn't think it was really special and it didn't blow my mind. I did think it was a very original concept, in fact I thought it'd be such a good story. 

The ending though, that's what kind of made it just 'okay' for me. It would've been even more thrilling for me if funny things happened. It was also a story with the main character begin homosexual and then I'm all ears. Somehow I think stories with boys that fall for boys are really stunning and really capture the feeling. I kind of missed the relationship in it! The girls were cute. It's all about the magic of Santa but in order to explain that, I'd have to spoil which I will not do! 

My number two in my top 5: Krampuslauf by Holly Black. This story sticks with you like a bee drawn to honey! I never knew what 'krampus' was until I saw it in a TV-series, NCIS if I'm not mistaking. I don't know if it's something special for a specific place on earth but to all those who don't know what Krampus is: apparently it's some sort of Demon that comes from the Alps folklore. I think it's alike to what we here in Belgium have, which is Saint Niklaus. It's someone who gives presents to the good kids and 'takes' the bad kids with them.
But from what I see, the creature is really terrifying! 

Anyways, the beginning of the story is something a lot of teenage girls will feel connected with so I already was fond of that. The next thing that happens is the main character who'll be hosting a party to solve the problem that's explained in the beginning. Things happen and more paranormal creatures will come take a visit. I honestly can't say much or spoil the story... but I swear this story is special and so nice! It really wandered in my mind for the next few days and I only can say good things about it! 

The 8th story in this book is by Gayle Forman: What the hell have you done, Sophie Roth? This was a story I didn't understand at all in the beginning, it could've just been me I don't know! I just wasn't into it I guess? I just didn't feel any feast joy as I did with the other stories and it was kind of what I expected. 

Towards the end I did come to terms with it and appreciated what happened between the two most important characters and the ending was really stunning but I think it's a pity that I didn't like the beginning of it. 

Only four stories to go! Beer Buckets and Baby Jezus by Myra Mcentire. This is also a story in my top 5! It's the second story in this book that has the point of view from a boy and I really liked that. 

The guy is known for his pranks and one day he gets in big trouble because of them. It does bring him some sort of luck and some very sweet luck. He always felt like he wasn't good enough and that some popular guy, who we meet during the story, was the best there was. Throughout the story we get to see how he struggles with what he wants and how he sees himself. It changes him and he becomes some lucky boy! It was the joy of festivities combined with what teens struggle with nowadays: insecurities and that's what really sealed the deal for me!

Something totally different was Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White. Apparently there are towns called Christmas. It struck me as something weird and very surprising and made sure my imagination went running wild. 

The story made sure you kept reading because you wanted to know what was going to happen. Especially when a cook comes working in the dinner and makes dishes specifically for each customer. He doesn't follow the menu, he makes what he thinks they need to be happy again. 

It goes from meals they have eaten in the past, to meals that reminded them of some pleasant day. I thought it was going to be magic and that he was Santa but camouflaged as a cook! But we get to know that that isn't the case at all! The girl is really fascinated by him but wants to keep distance. 

She wants to go away from this little town that's called Christmas and therefore she needs to stay away from everything and everyone she could get attached to. Will she flee and find a better life? Read it for yourself.

Another one of my favorites! Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter. Why was it so special to me? Because the main character just switches her plain ticket with another girl! What kind of normal person does that? She was supposed to go to New York city and now she switched it and came in the middle of nowhere! That only brought suspicion to me. Why would somebody do that?

At first the family didn't see any differences with the actual girl that was supposed to come. Only the boy knew and she kind of felt bad for that. The family starts getting attached to her but she only wanted to stay for a day, maybe two and then flee. My suspicion arose every minute in this story... Who in hell is she running from? What is she running from? My prayers for answers are answered by the end of the story. It really kept you reading and the end of the story was really good! I was really fond of this little tale because of the mystery in it combined with again that Chirstmas-y spirit!

And last but not least The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Talor. I read this story today and finished the book but I didn't get into it really fast. It was kind of the same as with the story of Gayle Forman. I couldn't really imagine it in the beginning which is why it didn't entertain me until the last pages of the book. 

As the title said there is 'the Dreamer' and he brought some thrill and mystery into the story. Also the author chose for a two points of views which is a big YES! I'm very fond of stories that take the POV of two characters so this is what made it more than okay! Also the ending doesn't uncover the whole mystery. I wished I knew more about 'the Dreamer' but I guess the author did that on purpose and left room for my own imagination. 

I do recommend the book to everyone who wants to read a story that has Christmas joy in it but still has variety to it. The stories weren't the same concept at all and each gave you a different perspective on either Christmas, New Year's or for example Hanukkah. 
Also, if your doubting to pick it up because there are a lot of authors you don't know, just pick it up! I only knew 3 of the 12 authors and I really enjoyed most of the stories. It also gives you new authors to check out. 

24 hours left before Christmas Eve!



Monday, December 21, 2015

Alice in Zombieland

A few weeks ago, my niece let me lend her, probably, all time favorite book: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter. Last summer she was rereading the books when I was with her in the Ardennen. If you wonder where that exactly is, it's down south in Belgium. It's where nature surrounds you! We've had our own little space behind the caravan with a table and two chairs, and read. The whole time. 

One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. There's one night, on what was supposed to be a big and good day, where everything she loved turned to something bad. It took one night to change Alice's life forever . 
Every since that night, she's been seeing things and has been telling herself that what she sees isn't real. She's delusional and being crazy and because of that she doesn't tell her grandparents anything. 

It's a big relief that she met a girl she'd be going to school with, one that makes her laugh after her tragedy. 
She feels a little bit more comfortable until she makes eye contact with a boy that seems murderous. Ever since then he's annoyed by her and she's been seeing more things that make her feel a lunatic. Especially when the white rabbit cloud passes along... 

This story was a little harder to get into for me. The first few pages that described the awful tragedy where really good but then I felt a little lost for some chapters. After living through those chapters I fell in it, like Alice fell in that hole! 

The mystery around the boy, the things that happened and her own disbelief in what she was seeing made it a very thrilling and exciting read. The author really makes you feel like you're her too because she describes a lot of her feelings and her surroundings. I did like that the most about the book because you could really visualize everything in detail. 

Things got only better when we got to know more of Cole. The mysterious and tough looking boy, in the beginning I wasn't really fond of him because he really challenged Alice. And he kind of pushed my buttons but when we see more of him and are allowed in his zone, he's really a sweetheart. He's very protective over Ali and it also gives us a fierce romance you didn't expect. 

I did expect there'd be some sort of romance but not this kind. It was really strong in my point of view and something I loved in this book. It did bother me a little that Cole was hot and cold and kept jumping between those. Make up your mind, Cole! I guess it did make it even better for the reader that he did that because then you'd keep reading to find out what it's going to be. 

As for Alice she's a very strong character with a very strong personality. She might be broken on the inside and struggling with the loss but nobody is stepping on her toes! She's very protective and will stand up for herself or her new friend. 

Alice was a very cool character because of her stubbornness. She might've been broken ever since that night, she wouldn't let anybody else break her even more. She would pretend that she was a lot stronger than she actually was. Shielding herself and her true emotions so others wouldn't pick on her and I really liked that about her. She's also very daring and not scared, she'll do anything to protect her grandparents, even if it meant for her to die. 

There's one character I'd like to discuss because she might be my favorite in the story, Kat. She's really eccentric! She'll also stand up to anyone who steps on her toes or on those of her friends. In the beginning you might think she's a little vain and very enthusiastic but further into the story, you'll appreciate her. 

There's even a moment in the book where her character surprises you and the outcome did make me feel a little sad. Not that sad in the way that it ruined the character but sad in a way that you have compassion with her.   

Which brings me to the actual story, the book makes you feel a lot of things. There are books that you can read and think okay, I get it but this books (as many others) really grabs you at the heart. Next to that the book is very mysterious and thrilling which I adored! The ending was also very surprising and that did things with me! Also there were some references of Alice in Wonderland, such as the white rabbit. It was presented as a white cloud that looked like a rabbit and it has it's purpose and I liked it that the author used elements of the fairytale.

But the chapters are long! I point that out because I'm easily bothered by very long chapters. I'm that kind of girl that want's to read the whole chapter before stopping so I can go to bed or go out to do something. Because the chapters were so long, you either didn't start it and or started it but didn't finish it. I don't like to stop mid a chapter, it just bothers me for some reason. That's a little negative point but something that's really personal and can be different from reader to reader.

The book was a very good read and now I understand why my niece really enjoyed it and was really fond of it. It's also the first in a series of 4, I don't know if there'll be a fifth or not. Just so you know, it (currently) has 4 books in this White Rabbit Chronicles series, right now and the fourth came out last September! 

"She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever."

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Because You'll Never Meet Me

If you're looking for a story that'll be moving and close to reality then this is your next read: Because You'll Never Meet Me, a story of an impossible friendship and hope from a brilliant new writer Leah Thomas. Ollie UpandFree and Moritz have stolen my heart!

The story is about two boys. A fourteen-year-old from Michigan and a sixteen-year-old from Germany. The two of them meet by a common friend, on the first sight you'd think so? But this isn't any ordinary friendship.
Both boys are sick, Ollie UpandFree is allergic to Electricity while Moritz needs his electric pacemaker or he'll die. Which leads to the conclusion that both will never meet in person, will never touch each other and will never use words out loud to communicate.  Even if they'd meet each other, one of them would kill the other. You Could Kill Me. 
The author of the book gives us a fierce bond in the making through handwritten letters. When Moritz tells him the key to their shared, disturbing past, their friendship is put to the test that neither of them expected. 

I can't underline enough that this book was absolutely stunning. This friendship that evolves just by handwritten letters, no internet, it's nothing like how we make friends nowadays. Above that their diseases make sure they can never ever meet but both of them don't even care about that. 

The book is build up with chapters, each chapter is a written letter by either Oliver or Moritz. And you'll know who is writing or speaking through words because the book uses a different fond for each letter. Oliver's letters are neat, simple and slim while Moritz his letters are thicker and really dark from color. I already loved it that the author chose to pick two different kinds of fond because it made things more clear and as if you actually had the letters in your hands. Reading their conversation. 

Oliver or as he calls himself Ollie Ollie UpandFree lives in the woods only because of his disease. He has never seen a television show, never heard music with an Ipod. He hasn't seen anything that we nowadays do have seen and get bored of because it's nothing new. Today, we live in a fast and technical generation, we want new stuff, new updates and very fast. 

This book only shows us that there are people out their who can't even witness it, who are locked up or are very sensitive to all our new technologies because of this allergy. The author might be showing a very worse case of it but does that matter? It made me, as a reader, stop and think about it for a while. Especially because he feels alone. He's out there in the woods with his mother with zero friends and only his Glockenspiel and a lot of books. 

One day though, when he was younger and was challenging a power line, a girl passes him. He's immediately inspired and he wants to be with her all the time. Liz is very open, she says what she think, whenever she wants to say it. She just throws her feelings and thoughts out there. Ever since that day, Liz has come every Wednesday to see Ollie...

Until she stopped coming. Ollie describes how he feels when he's waiting at the power line for her, wishing she'd arrived on her bike as always. He tells Moritz how he feels whenever she's around and how she made him change. How their friendship was made. Unfortunately, Liz doesn't come when he's waiting for her and that only breaks Ollie's heart. It hurts him so deep he locks himself into his room, writing to Moritz and telling him why she hasn't come around anymore.

Moritz lives far away from Ollie with his own thoughts, own feelings and own big problems. In my opinion, we see him change the most in this book. He tells Oliver what he thinks about Liz even if it's very blunt.He speaks up for himself and might be a little distant in the beginning of the book. He also says no to Oliver's nickname for him: Mo. I am no Oscar Wilde and no Mo.

The thing with Moritz is that he's had a very hard past, one he's not very proud of and even scared of. And there's more then his disease, there are more secrets to tell. Throughout the book he'll reveal them and it'll surprise the reader very much. He tells them to Oliver because there are truths you can only tell a stranger but with those secrets a big test comes down onto their friendship. 

Both boys suffer from each their own personal problems and the other just really listens, even when it's through letters, both boys pull each other up. Ollie UpandFree by his energy, enthusiasm and optimism while Moritz tries to use Oliver's energy to get Oliver back on his feet or even by his wisdom. 

This book was so moving and emotional but stunning. Their friendship makes you want to long for something as fierce and strong as theirs. And all of that combined with the reality check you get. It really made me think about all the boys and girls that have these problems.

Their disease prevents them from meeting someone else, prevents them from getting friends. But it also prevents them from being happy, this due to the society of this generation. When their bond was created I thought it was beautiful but I was very curious to how this book could possibly end...

That's when events started happening. Things I didn't see coming at all! This books just surprises you while you're already enjoying their friendship. But it also makes you a little bit scared and gives you a thousand questions! What's going on? Where is he? What's he doing? What does he mean? What's going to go down? 

It gives you that extra thrill to read even faster than you already did. Only to have more feels, more emotions at the end of the book. The ending was absolutely beautiful! I leaves room for your own imagination too and that's something I normally don't enjoy. 

I'm the kind of person that wants to know how it ends, how it really ends. This book on the other hand made me happy that their was room for that. I'd love to see a flash forward of this friendship but I doubt the writer will ever write something like that, it might ruin all the magic and impact this book has on the reader.

This book deserves 5 stars out of 5. It has everything it needs to move the readers and at the same time, let them crave for more. If you want to read a book that's closer to reality, this is what you'll need. This friendship with all the human flaws is exactly you'll get.

"There are truths you can only tell a stranger."




Sunday, December 13, 2015

Flight

Only two more exams to go and then it's finally a break from school. Although we have a lot of homework, I plan to read an review a lot more. Some days ago I finished some amazing book: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy. 
As you might have already read in my TBR of December, I found the book while browsing on an online book shop. I kind of fell head over heals right then and there because of the cover but I was shocked that it wasn't really known. And with that I mean on Instagram for example, I usually find thousands of tags from the books I read but this time it wasn't the case. Goodreads gave it a 3.91 out of five stars. I didn't read any reviews, I just wanted them. 


Alison flees from her ex-boyfriend and accepts the invitation of her dad. Her parents have been divorced since she was a kid and their relationship has never been really good after that. She drives all the way to New Orleans, feeling happy that she's getting an escape. 

Ever since her breakup she swore off men. No more boys that either break her heart or with who she didn't feel any sparks. She'd have a nice summer of her own without that kind of trouble. Or well, she at least hoped so... 

As in every book I read, the girl meets a guy. It's exactly how it goes down, she meets a guy and she might be a little drawn to him. She tries to fight it but the boy... he's just so mysterious, he grabs her attention, he's handsome, has an ego. Let's just stick with the fact that he's definitely something. The only question is will she be able to stay away? 

This book started going really fast. The beginning is in my point of view very fast paced but if I really minded it is another question. I can't really say it ruined the book but I do think that because of it's fast moving, it kind of took away mystery that could've lingered more. 

You just get to know things a lot sooner than some slower paced books. I swear though it wasn't fast paced the whole time! I just missed the thrill in the beginning and the longing and the feels! Talking about feels, I've got many. MANY! 

Let's start with our main female character: Alison. She's on a very good spot on the boys market, she's had relationships before but there's just something stopping her. She just broke up with her boyfriend because she didn't feel it. The sparks. She also always seemed to pick the wrong guys and mostly the ones with big ego's.
 Allie's parents are divorced, as I said before, which also leads to a constant longing for her parents. She's very close with her mother but she really wanted that her dad would spend time with her too. 

He doesn't. Her father isn't around a lot in the book either. He invited her to come and work in his hotel and even provides a room where she and a friend can stay. I was kind of irritated with the man, you let your daughter come to you for the summer but where in the hell are you most of the time? I felt the same anger Alison sometimes felt with her father. 

Another character who I really enjoyed was Allison's friend: Jessica or as her friends call her Jess. She's very exuberant and is kind of the party girl. She loves boys, she picks up multiple boys in the story but then we get to see a side of her I never thought we'd see. She's kind of keeping on a mask and somewhere in the story we see the mask shatter into tiny pieces. It was... emotional but also very interesting to see the change, I didn't expect that. 

Now my favorite character of this book: Levi. He's such a jerk! Absolutely no doubt, he has such a big ego! But then again he's very mysterious and from the description we get, he's very handsome. In a way he made me think about Daemon from the LUX-series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. If you read those books you know what I'm talking about. 

It's also very obvious something is up with him. He just acts really weird, he blows off all the girls when he's with Alison. Above that Owen and Jared are always by his side. All the freaking time! It's not that I minded them there but it obviously caused suspicion. 

Owen is more the quiet guy of the group. He listens and he's really funny once he dares saying something. I see him more of the guy that has a lot of wisdom. And more as the older brother of the group.
Jared is the complete opposite but does has some traits like Levi. He's an arrogant bastard but I did find a moment in the book that he was actually not who I thought he was. Kind of like Jess though, he's an absolute magnate to the opposite gender. 

The characters really surprised me. When you thought you knew them, you actually didn't. There'd happen something that shows you that they have another side to them. 


They just make sure you never get boring with them which I'm very fond of. It's the first book I ever read by Alyssa Rose Ivy but if all her characters are like this, versatile and exciting, I might get more books of her.

The story was as I said a little bit fast paced at the beginning but once you're into it, it 'slows down'. Other than that I really enjoyed the book a lot! The mystery will eventually unravel itself and once you get the mystery out of its blinds, you'll know exactly why I loved this book so much.

One thing that did kind of bother me was that Allison was so calm with it. I can't believe how relaxed she was and how accepting! Even when certain events happened, she was calm. Well, after she got so furious that I just couldn't stop laughing. I did understand her reaction but somehow I did think it was funny! After these things unraveled and she got mad, she got awfully calm. That kind of bothered me because most girls who find something out like that will have a little shock after, then accept it and then be calm about it. She was just calm and excited. Where's the shock? The avoiding? And then the excitement? But other than that, this was a fantastic read!

Do I recommend the book? Yes. I'd call it kind of a more 'simple' read as in, it's not as mysterious as other books, it's not as romantic as other books but if you liked Daemon you'll like Levi. In another life they might have been brother! It was something that I enjoyed and was also my genre of books... if that explains it more. 

If you're wondering if it'd be the book you'd read, I'd place it under the genres: paranormal, fantasy and shifters. And if you'd like to know more about it, here's the link to Goodreads

I've already got the second book in my hands and I might be having it in my hands because it's my next review to write. Now. This very evening. I finished it in a day... But I can tell you, I found it even better than the first one! The cover isn't as appealing to me as the cover from Flight but more about the story will follow  in another review!

"Sometimes you just have to take flight."