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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Whatever Makes You Happy

It's finally time for the last book I have to read for my Dutch class. Don't get me wrong, I love reading books for sure! Even in Dutch, the only thing that bothers me with school is that they give you a list of books you may read. No personal preferences! And that's why I always come across books I like but also don't like. Yet this time I found a book that was worth a 4 out of 5 stars which is something special! The book Whatever Makes You Happy is written by William Sutcliffe, the Dutch version is called Als Jij Maar Gelukkig Bent.

1728926Three mothers decide that their sons need to grow up! Even though the three guys are all 34-years-old, they don't do what their mothers want from them. They aren't in a serious relationship, they have a job that's not good enough,... but most importantly: they don't give their moms grandchildren. So Carol, Gillian and Helen decide to go to the houses of their sons and to stay one week. One week to give them a wake-up call and make sure they're back on the right path. But soon the mothers find themselves in a harder position than they thought and can only say one thing to their sons: Whatever makes you happy.

Why would this book be worth 4 stars you might ask? What makes this book different from the other books that I've read for my Dutch class? It's actually pretty simple: it was hilarious! And I'm so glad that I picked this book up from the library instead of the other book that I originally had in mind. I haven't laughed so hard with a Dutch book in quiet a while. And that's all because of the roles of the mothers and their unknowing sons. 

The first family I'll discuss are Carol and her son Matt. I laughed the hardest with this two. Just because Carol loves to snoop around and check things out in the apartment of her son. This obviously brings her in very awkward but hilarious situations where she'd find the best comeback for and gets away with it. This is why I really loved Carol, she'd do anything to follow her Matt without being seen, even if it means talking to a random person as if she's really interested. As for Matt, he was not that special to my opinion. He just reminds me a lot of my brother because he's represented as a gamer that doesn't stop gaming at all. He's also a womanizer something his mother does not appreciate!

The following family that we get to see in this book are Helen and Paul. I adored this family most because they were nice to each other (at least in the beginning) whereas the other two families are more rude and the moms will say what they want to say even if it hurts! Helen has always been a very pretty woman and she's now struggling with how she looks and we also get to know more of her relationship with her ex-partner. She's still really tortured by her ex-partner and can't stop thinking about how bad he's been and how a jerk he is. This will cause tension between her and her son. Also Helen is a woman that gets upset pretty easily and will start shouting very fast which made me frustrated with her. Because of that I could really relate and live up to Pauls reactions! Paul is the most different from the other two sons, he's gay and he doesn't want to tell this to Helen even though she already knows. What did bother me the most with this family is that we didn't see Paul that often, it was more about Helen so that was a little disappointing because I really liked Paul!

The last family we get to see in this book were Gillian and Daniel. Gillian was just straight forward! She just walks in tells her son what she's going to do and BAM she's staying for an entire week. What did bother me a little with Gillian is that she wants to pressure Daniel a lot, and that while Daniel himself has problems he doesn't want to tell his mother. Which brings us to Daniel, he's lovesick. This makes him also very different from the other two sons in this book! In his part in the book we see more flashbacks so that we can understand what has happened and why he's so depressed. Later his mother will find out and try to make him happy by giving some advice and say that he has to do whatever makes him happy.

So that's for all the important characters in this book, now some more about the plot. As I already said in the synopsis of the book the mothers will go to their sons and stay an entire week to give them a wake-up call. The plot won't go any crazy on you and it will not be very confusing. Now you might think that it's actually a pretty boring book but the story is good because it's hilarious! 

Mostly because the mothers each live up to what was "cool" and "good" in their own time and because they're so obsessed with getting grandchildren. They won't stop at anything and will tell their sons what they need to do! This brings many scenes that are funny but don't worry, there will also be serious parts in this book that even give pretty nice life lessons and advice! 

Although we see some more of the mothers than the sons, it's not that bad. The story is divided between the 3 families that are also connected and there are multiple chapters with each character so the sons will come around often. There are some special parts and some surprising parts that you never thought would happen but there aren't plenty of those. 

What I did absolutely love in this book was the flash forward to a year later so we could see how the families have changed and if they have changed at all! This didn't bring any hilariousness but it did bring one of those surprising elements and it even ended more differently that I had imagined! 

This book was one of the only books that I enjoyed for my Dutch class and I also know exactly that I liked it whereas with the others I had a more doubting mood. This book was refreshing, something I never thought I'd enjoy and also very funny. Above that William Sutcliffe has a very fluent writing style and you won't be left with questions or confusion! Do I recommend this book? It depends if you can enjoy the same humor as me! But if you want to try it out and read it, please do whatever makes you happy... ;)

"Just reassurance that our problems aren't because we're crazy or weak or stupid - that other people have the same difficulties."

Monday, March 21, 2016


It's been two weeks since my 18th birthday and today I'll review a book that was gifted for that occasion. I want to thank my friend, Nina, again for giving me this book! Thanks! This book has been on my "want to read list" for what seems like ages and now I could finally put it to the test: Alienated by Melissa Landers. And I can already tell that this book is wonderful! 

Cara Sweeney, a great and intelligent student and the valedictorian of her school, never thought she'd still be around to see this. This meaning the ginormous spaceship that made contact with Earth. They call themselves L'eihrs and are almost identical to the human race. They want an alliance with the Earth and that caused an exchange project. Cara never thought she'd be able to share a bathroom with an alien but here she is, sharing one... with... an alien?! Together with the project, a lot of havoc is created because natives of Earth don't want aliens roaming around. Soon Cara finds threat notes in her locker to either live or die. To be a human or a traitor...

This is only my second story that has aliens in it. My first story ever read with aliens was the Lux-series by Jennifer L. Armentrout and I never thought another Alien than Daemon could steal my heart. Yet I found myself in such a great story, with such a great alien!

But first Cara Sweeney! She's a girl that won't let you play her. She's strong, knows what she wants and straight on. If you want to battle her she'd be honored but would make you lose. She's great at debating and therefore wants to become a journalist. That's also why she opened up a blog with the exchange project. Which we could visibly see in the book and I thought that was very creative as well as so cool! Other than that Cara is the valedictorian and is very intelligent. In the beginning I was a little intimidated by her. She came over as arrogant, a little aggressive but soon you find yourself loving Cara's personality.

I liked it that she was honest. She said what she wanted to say and that made her a very strong and expressive character. I'm sure we all know a Cara Sweeney in real life which also made this character really relatable. She won't let people play her, that way we also see she's a very strong woman and we see this on many occasions in the book. But there is a soft side to everyone and also Cara has one. I loved to see this side of Cara most because it's very unique. Most of the time she bites back but when the softer and caring Cara comes along you know some of her harshness is played. She just wants to protect herself from getting hurt. 

Hurt by her friends mostly which brings me to her friends. Or should I say "friends"? The first character: Eric. What a jerk he is! If I thought Cara was arrogant then what on Earth is he? I instantly hated him. Absolutely loathed him. He acted as if Cara was his and as if she was a thing. That's actually why I hated him most but he's also not as open-minded as Cara. Eric also hated the aliens before he even spoke to one and that slightly bothered my too with this character. I guess that makes me a proponent of aliens!

As for Cara's other friend, Tori. I liked her so much! So much! Until it changed... But let's start with the beginning of it all. I liked Tori because we had something in common: we both loathed Eric. This girl was also the opposite of Cara and that reminded me to the statement: opposites attract each other. I think that's the main reason that Tori and Cara came in contact. Tori also looked out for Cara and she's also the one to flip the finger very easily when something doesn't suit her. I liked this Tori, it seemed real and right. Until she decided to have a change of heart and be a damn alien hater! And there's so much more she did wrong. So I became very wary of this character.

Now my favorite character of this book, yes the alien: Aelyx. Pronounced as "A-licks". He was so... alien. He didn't like Earth for starters and loathed everything around Earth. The bright colors, the people, people showing affection, the fastfood, actually scratch that... he disliked all food. In the beginning I was a little scared I wouldn't enjoy this alien because he absolutely had an answer on everything that he didn't like. Yet his intelligence made me a bigger fan of him. He also changed and he became the sort of boy I never thought he'd become! It made him seem very interested, unique and evolved which he absolutely is. His whole race is very evolved, maybe a little too evolved.

That made it very interesting to me actually. The plot really takes you into the story by using L'eihr vocabulary, L'eihr culture, L'eihr gestures. It is like you are Cara and you're getting to know this new culture and race. You can ask yourself questions and they might be answered by Aelyx. I think seeing more of this L'eihr culture in general was something very nice in this story.

But it also made you very suspicious. The exchange students from L'eihr have something planned and that becomes clear because they act strange and use their vocabulary. It makes you wonder what they're up to and what it has to do with the human race because you don't know what they're talking about. Their vocab doesn't even come close to English and that creates the needed suspicion and curiosity with the readers.

What made this story more alive and realistic were the many opponents of the exchange project: HALO. Of course there'd be opponents of the alien race, it's foreign and frightens people. And I'm pretty sure many in real life also would be scared and protest for an alliance and that made it very realistic to me and a great asset to the story. Why? Because Cara takes an alien in her house and many people are angry with her. And here's where the thrill comes in! Cara gets threatening notes, she's seen as a traitor. This was something I was very keen on because we saw our main character under pressure and you just wanted to know how she would handle this. 

Further the story was told in narrative perspective and I'm never really been a great fan of such stories. Yet here I found myself being very happy that it was the narrative perspective. It didn't bother me at all, in fact it was quiet the opposite. I loved knowing the thoughts of both Cara and Aelyx because it made the story more alive to my opinion.

22614886If you're convinced in reading this story I'd also recommend you reading the #1.5 story: Until Midnight. It's a short story that takes place between the books Alienated and Invaded. It's not as good as Alienated to my opinion but it does make you want more! The best thing about this is that it's for free! If you want to read it make sure to click here.

Melissa Landers' writing style is easy and very fluently to read which makes sure you aren't confused. The characters are great and relatable as well as alive and the plot will make you ask for more. Above that once you read Alienated you've got yourself another book boyfriend which is always a great thing! I absolutely recommend this story because many scenes in this book are absolutely hilarious but you can also feel very frustrated and angry. All the things I've summed up make this book absolutely great! If you already read Alienated and you want to read Invaded, I also highly recommend Until Midnight because it's a nice read in between the books.

"Look what I made for you. A bowl of diabetes.”

Saturday, March 19, 2016

I'll Give You The Sun

A few months ago I read my first book written by Jandy Nelson: The Sky is Everywhere. A book that was gifted to me by my parents for Christmas. But there was another one in it, one that my eyes had laid on first: I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson. It was the first book that I saw written by this author and was mostly attracted to it because of its cover. Yet the synopsis made me want to read this book real badly...

Jude and Noah, the twins, always have had a very close bond. Jude is the open minded one, the daredevil and loves the social life. While Noah is more the introverted guy at the age of 13 and rather draws and loses himself in the boy next door. Yet the perfect family is falling apart and Jude and Noah are growing apart. And now it's Jude who's becoming the introverted one and Noah who rather has the social life. None of them really know what caused this but are absolutely certain that they want to find each other again. Author's note: What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

It did take me a few pages to really get into this book. For me it was a little harder to figure it out and to understand it. I don't know if it was because I was tired or because I read late in the evening, but sometimes I just couldn't follow with what was happening. Yet that didn't stop me from reading this book that turned out quite beautifully.

Another thing that was absolutely great in this book is the fact that, as said in the synopsis, the book has two parts in it. The first part are the younger ages told by Noah and the second part is told by Jude, those are the older ages. The border between these is the death of a very beloved person. The two different parts are also intertwined in the story. It's not that the first 150 are Noah and the last 150 pages are Jude. They just alternate each other and it's also easier to see the contrast between those two.

The first character I'd love to discuss is Noah. Why? Because I was a big fan of him if I had to pick one of the twins. I just could relate most to Noah, being a little more shy, being the observer of everything. Yet this character also shows you his imperfections, his doubts and his insecurities since he feels like he doesn't belong anywhere. I think there are a lot of Noah's in real life and really could see the realistic aspects in this character.

He's also very artistic which is what I loved most about him. He pictures everything in his head and gives his painting a name. For me it was a great asset to his character because the author made sure you could imagine how the painting would look. You'd use your own imagination, just like Noah, to form a painting. Which made it feel for me as if I was participating in the book.

As for Jude. I don't know. I just wasn't as glad with her as I was with Noah. It might be because I recognized myself more in Noah than in Jude. She was quite the popular girl when she was younger and always tried to hide her brother because he was "nerdy" and "normal" and "himself". She had a tons of friends, she was loved and she belonged. This already shows us a big contrast between the twins.

Yet this is only their character in the ages around 14, the part that Noah tells. When they're both older it's as if their characters are switched. Now Jude is the artistic one but not the kind that loves drawings and paintings like Noah, but sculptures. It's now Jude that locks herself up in her room while Noah is being the party guy and dates everyone and has a tons of friends and calls Jude "embarrassing".

It's really nice to see this big change when they're older but the reader is kept in the dark for quite a while to when this sudden change happened and why it happened. It's not that they've changed a little, their whole personalities have changed. They're the total opposite of what they once were! Above that it's as if the twins switched personalities. Though I did feel sad that my favorite character wasn't himself anymore, I absolutely loved to see the changes. And to be really honest, Jude grew on me eventually but it took me a while.

The plot will also be talking a lot about the rivalry between the two siblings. Both want to be the best and be seen as the best by their parents. This causes a lot of harshness between the two. They even try to prevent the other to win or try to disturb each other in their competition. It's since the younger ages that they had this rivalry and it's absolutely shown in the book. 

But I thought the rivalry was something that reflected the reality because a lot of siblings feel like they need to be better than the other to get most attention from their parents. I only read two books by Jandy Nelson, and correct me if I'm wrong, but to my opinion (I think a lot of other readers will be with me in this), Jandy Nelson shows very realistic aspects. Aspects that everyone can relate to and that's something I really like about her writing style. It's also those aspects that makes these books so beautiful and full of life and emotion.

However the most surprising was that the younger ages left clues and the older ages tried to refer back to the younger ages. It was a constant play between those ages and I never thought I'd like it that much. My first thought was "oh god, this will be so confusing!" but it's absolutely not, it only makes you want more. You want to go back to the younger ages to find out what Jude is talking about, but when you're in Noah's retelling you want to go forward again because Noah leaves clues that might or mightn't be answered with Jude. 

So I think it's clear that the plot was absolutely crazy! The changes between the age where Noah talks and the age where Jude talks is absolutely mind-blowing. There's just so much more than you might think in this story. With every superficial thing they say there's a deeper message. I was absolutely fond of this book! 

Noah leaves you in the dark so much and that causes you to feel like Jude in the older ages because Noah hides things for her too. Yet in the older ages Jude also leaves you in the dark and then you feel like Noah because also he doesn't know it.

And all these little parts make sure there's a mind-blowing ending to this story. I just can't put it into words, I absolutely loved this story. Not only because of the things you don't know and because you can relate to the characters so much but also because there are so many themes in this book. Going from friendship to love and back to family and art. The twin aspect is also something that's going to be a such an important part and I was really happy to read a book where this was important. 

I just really liked it that the main thing in this book was about the twins. About finding each other again after all that time of being apart from each other. And mostly about showing your weaknesses even though you don't want to. 

The plot just really surprised me and sure, it took me a while to get into the book and into the story but it was so worth it! You really felt like you were a part of it. It wasn't only that, some parts were absolutely hilarious only to bring you full of tears near the ending when everything comes colliding together. This book, ladies and gentlemen, will absolutely blow your mind! Jandy Nelson her writings can be read very easily yet have a serious and realistic tone to it. Also you can relate so much to the characters, and even if you don't like them they'll eventually grow on you. I absolutely recommend this book for everyone who likes art, family tragedies and family business, combined with some realistic themes like friendship and love. You'll absolutely love this book!

"His soul might be a sun. I've never met anyone who had the sun for a soul."

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Love and Other Theories

A book that was surprisingly different and refreshing! I never expected it to turn out this way. This book has been on my "Books I want list" for quiet a while now and finally I read Love and Other Theories by Alexis Bass! I do think this is a book you'll either love or hate, there is no comfort zone in here! 

Aubrey has a bright future to look forward to, accepted early into Barron she can finally party along with her other friends. And because of the theories they created ages ago, she can even get boys to want her without putting effort in it. The most important rule? Don't fall in love. Other rules? If you want more, you need to stop. And there are so many more rules in their theory, a theory that causes high school boys to stick around. Aubrey never had a problem with the rules or the theory. That is until Nathan Diggs comes around and Aubrey feels herself losing balance each time she sees him. Will she be able to stay strong? Or will she give into something her friends would hate her to become? Yet there is more to the story than only that...

First of all I really want to underline that I had many frustrations. This theory? It sucks. It's absolutely ridiculous but somehow it kept me reading. I was so convinced of how wrong it was and I couldn't wait for Aubrey or her friends for that matter to realize that it really was wrong. Above that this book contains a lot of bitchiness, I have to be honest about that. This is also the main reason why I think you either will love or hate this book. 

I didn't know if I would stick around but at some point in this story things turned and it also wasn't always about that (ridiculously) theory. The first part in the book the theorie is being explained but later on it'll be about what the theorie causes: the consequences of stopping yourself from loving because of some stupid theory. Not only the consequences on that but also the consequences on your friendship. 

I said there'd be a lot of bitchiness but in my opinion that was only inflicted by one person and that's not Aubrey. Aubrey got accepted into Barron, her dream college and because she worked hard for it she can now lay back and party along with her friends. It's obvious that she missed out on many things because she was working hard on getting accepted in collage yet she won't wait any longer. 

She and her other three friends seem to be getting it along with a lot of boys. A. Lot. They drink, some smoke and if they're not watching Mercy Rose, they're partying or hooking up. And I wasn't sure if I should love or hate it. At one side, I thought this was going a little fast and all but on the other side I thought this was really refreshing. Normally it's always about to be bad boys that hook up all the time, yet this time we really see that it's different. It's the girls who are bad and switch beds every night. That's why I'd call this book refreshing though I wished that at some point they'd stop already and then I'm not talking about our main character.

The thing that bothered me most was the first time Aubrey got to know Nathan. Because they leave in the middel of class to go fool around. I thought Aubrey would be a lot more different since she studied hard those past years, I kind of thought she'd be nerdier and not like her friends. So that was a very surprising factor. I just didn't like it that it just happened, they didn't even know each other! And it really caused me to get another view on our "saint" Aubrey.

Nathan Diggs. The new guy in town and already fooling around on his first day. He did sure leave an impression yet from the start I felt like he wasn't showing who he really was. Wearing leather jackets, pretending. But I saw right through it, just like others in the book. He's actually a really sweet guy, that's sensitive and really wants to see the good in people. That'll become clear when you're further into the book.

But he couldn't make me choose for him. I had already gaven my heart to Chapman. Trip Chapman. Early in the book we get hints to Aubrey's old crush who she tested the theories on which was Trip. He left for college since he's a year older but I couldn't wait to see him in the book. He really did seem a very special character! My first impression of him was that he's really laid back, funny and very relaxed. Through this story we'll see this character from all different angles and I was really keen on Trip. Though I wish he came a little more in the story.

Then the one that caused the bitchiness in this story: Shelby, a friend of Aubrey, her best friend. From the very first beginning I couldn't get a long with Shelby at all. She was mean, she was such a bitch and had a razor sharp tongue. I absolutely hated her and that feeling never went away through the story. Aubrey and her friends excluded a friend years ago, a story that will be explained in the book, and now Shelby thinks it's funny to keep picking on the poor girl. That's why I didn't like her, she tries to hurt everyone and comments on every little thing! 

So no, Shelby was absolutely not my favorite in the story. She's also the one that really pushed the theories forward and that's probably why Aubrey follows them this strictly. Shelby is her best friend, why would she be wrong? Also I felt like Shelby was a little like Alaska from Looking for Alaska (by John Green). Somehow I always envisioned Alaska when I saw the name "Shelby" is that weird?

A positive aspect on the characters was that I really could relate to them and recognize their personalities in real life. I think we all know a relaxed and funny Trip Chapman in our life, or a sweet and calm guy like Nathan Diggs. And yes, we all know a Shelby too. I also really like Aubrey, even though at some points she really frustrated me. Those frustrations were caused because of the theory she believes in. 

As for the plot, in the beginning like I already said the theories are explained a lot and since I didn't agree with them I was a little scared that this book would only be about this. I was wrong! Of course they explain the theories, maybe a little bit too much, but it was good that they did because then you can understand the title and the further development in the plot. Because things don't stay as sweet as you might have guessed. 

The theories will cause a lot of drama because Aubrey feels like she's falling for the oh-so sweet Nathan Diggs that while the first rule claims: Do not fall in love. She wants to hide that she might be falling for Nathan because the theory hates girls that want the "girlfriend-status" and so her friends would start to hate her. I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous but I promise this will turn out a lot more better than it sounds! 

Aubrey keeps spending a lot of time with Nathan that while Trip is reaching out to her again for help. Aubrey is pulled between the two boys but her heart keeps going back to Nathan. They keep fooling around that is until Nathan suddenly stops and takes intrest in someone else. 

Aubrey feels heartbroken by it that while the theory actually should make sure that your heart can't be broken. Secrets start to develop and Aubrey thinks she's going insane thinking that there's something between Nathan and that other girl. 

It makes her do very stupid yet thrilling things, such as taking that person's phone to check the messages. I was really excited about this because it creates certain feelings to the reader. The fear of getting caught but also the excitement of finding something that shouldn't be there. I was making up theories myself to what that girl might be doing with Nathan and what would happen if Aubrey finds it out.

But Aubrey breaks down a couple of times because she feels so lonely and betrayed even though she didn't know if Nathan, even though they're not into a relationship, was being unfaithful. And then there comes my favorite character to the rescue: Trip Chapman. That guy really took my heart from the start! He tries to comfort Aubrey and to be there for her when she needs it. 

The plot starts building to the end when the big scheme comes out and secrets are revealed. I can't blame Aubrey for her outburst then! I also had many feels during this book, not only frustration towards Shelby and the theory but also happiness, sadness for Aubrey and madness to the secrets that I wanted to know too. I was becoming desperate and for me that was a very great asset to this book! The author keeps you in the dark until the very last part of the book before you'll know what's going on in here. And when it all comes out... oh man

This theory just shows you perfectly to what the consequences will be towards your love life and even your friendships. Things start breaking down all at once and you can only wonder what this means for Aubrey, her friends, Nathan and even Trip. It really captures realistic things! I wouldn't say people would make up this theory but parts of it and its consequences are really realistic in my opinion. 

I know that the bitchiness and the stupid theory might be scaring you off to read the book, yet for everyone who wants something refreshing and a book with a lot of feels: this might be your read! You'll be left with secrets, drama and frustration but there are also very adorable parts in this book. You can relate to the main character and the others are very easy to imagine because the personalities aren't anything new in this world. The theory is only used to show you the consequences of it and what might happen to you friendship when it creates secrets. I was a little unsure in the beginning but the book really did prove me wrong. It wasn't only about the theory, or the consequences but also about how to say goodbye and what it'd mean. After being past the first 100 pages I had the same laid back, relaxing feeling as Trip Chapman and was taken by the story. I'm really not disappointed that I picked up this book!

"Rule #1: Do not fall in love. 
Rule #2: see the above."

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Deepest Cut

Last Saturday was my birthday! And one of the gifts that I have received was a very short but very interesting and exciting book: The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton. I don't think I've ever been scared by reading a book but this one... it gave me the creeps but I really did enjoy the book!

Riley has lost her mother a year ago and is struggling with the guilt. But she's not only struggling with that, she's struggling with her new gift. The gift she got when she woke up in the hospital bed. She sees them, every one of them... ghosts, the death, whatever you want to call them. But nobody believed her. Riley doesn't know how to control it, doesn't know how to make it go away. So she just doesn't make eye contact at all and hopes they'll go away eventually. 
That is until Riley and her family move all the way from Portland to a town in Scotland: Braemar. Living at a very old inn a ghosts is following her around. A very, very hot ghosts that doesn't seem from this century and soon Riley finds herself talking to him and getting closer to him. The ghost it cursed, doomed to stay on the place he has lived all his life and Riley wants to set him free, give him his peace. But that's crossing the witch that cursed him. Soon Riley finds herself in a hard position, giving her new friend the peace he deserves or walking away so the Witch won't hurt her family anymore...

I love the cover. I just love how the girl looks, how the background looks, how the title is presented and that's also what attracted me to the book first. Then the synopsis looked amazing and the book... it's even better than I expected. Though the rating on Goodreads is average. What I also was very excited about is that you can interpret the title in very different ways. The story will make sure that there'll be more than one explanation for it and that was something I was just so happy about!

First of all, our main character Riley. She's not an ordinary girl at all! She's gifted but with the gift came a lot of struggles, a lot of problems and a lot of dangerous situations. Above that she was in the car wreck that caused her mother to die and Riley feels very guilty. She thought she could summon her mother since she can see the death but her mother never appeared. Torn and devastated Riley thinks her mother doesn't come because she hates her, hates her for killing her. And yet she still feels responsible to save a lost soul that's been cursed for all eternity. Which also shows how Riley really is. 

Riley was a very special character, in my opinion. She was more reserved than others and she has changed a lot over the years. It's not that we see a direct change in her that exact moment but we do get many flashbacks to what her past life was like, what made her change and what the changes were and I was very keen on seeing it. But I was also very happy to see how she reacted with seeing the death, how she felt, how she responded because I don't think it's easy having a gift like that. Especially because each time there's a ghost near, she feels how they have died. She even gets visions where she's being that person, in the exact same spot at the exact same time and then is being murdered. She doesn't only see the death, she feels the death and for me that was a great asset to the story because I never read a book where the gift goes this far.

Which brings me to the next character I'd love to discuss because I adored him from beginning to the ending: the ghost. Mister MacKinnon! Or should I say Mister Handsome? Because from the descriptions we get from Riley, this guy is not a ghost that looks pale and starving. 

In fact he doesn't even seem mad. You'd think if you were cursed to stay around the place you lived for all eternity he'd be mad. But no, this one was only surprised and very impressed that someone could see him. He also wasn't alone anymore and I think that was reflected very well in this book, the devastation of being alone and finally being able to communicate with someone. 

I also think young MacKinnon made this story very special because Riley and he start depending on each other and a real friendship grows. I really loved to see that. I know it sounds really weird that a human and a ghost could be friends, maybe like each other even but we could say the same with a human and an alien! As far as I'm concerned, this was just very refreshing and out of the box. 

Another character I really want to discuss is Shane, Riley's brother. That because I saw the greatest change in him. It's clear that Shane did  not want to move to Scotland at all. And Riley also talks a lot about him, how their bond was before the accident, before their mother died. And you really see that they were very close and helped each other out. Though in the beginning we only see Shane as a mad maniac who drinks, smokes and only does the bad sort of things at the age of fifteen! 

But as I said, we see the biggest change in his behavior. While you're reading you will see a moment where it all click together in his mind and where mad maniac Shane is replaced by a Shane with worry. Old characteristics that Riley described are coming to the surface and I was really keen on that. In the beginning I was really frustrated with Shane because he only seemed to blame other people and does bad things, yet he really grew on me! 

I'd want to say a few words about the witch that cursed young MacKinnon, but not too much so you all can read it for yourselves! She's really terrifying! I can't even describe it, she just gave me the creeps. We even see visions of Riley in this book where you see how this witch was ages ago and how she died. I also hated this witch, but I'm sure you'll see for yourself why that was! She's not only scary but also very manipulative and dangerous. She interferes, she makes characters dream weird things, she makes them do crazy things. So I think these things can show my distrust towards this character. 

As for the plot. The oh-so scary but still surprising and very enjoyable plot! This book just kept surprising me! In the beginning I was like "okay, this is going great!" but then this witch comes a long and everything changes in a blink of an eye.

She's out to harm Riley and her family if Riley even dares to take contact with MacKinnon again. And ever since then I, as a reader, was also inflicted. I wanted Riley's ghost friend to have peace but I also didn't want to see Riley hurt or Shane for that matter. And you were really part of it the whole time because also Riley felt this way. I was very happy that this book inflicted this onto me because it made this book more thrilling.

Thrilling in a way that Riley makes the decisions even if you're not okay with them. She'll roll with it and you'll have to just follow and hope things don't get ugly. It was just so good to be on the tip of your toes each time Riley was doing something that could cause this Witch to go insane! And there's even a part where as well as the reader as Riley don't know who is trustworthy. 

Which also made this book an absolute page turner. The thrill, the surprise but also the friendship between Riley and good-looking ghost MacKinnon were all parts that really made this an excellent read. The Witch goes insane a few times in the book and then I heard something outside and got a little bit uncomfortable but that was okay. I loved it that this book made me feel so many things and even scared me a little. I never had a book that scared me! 

Also Scotland is presented a little. I've read one book Sparks in Scotland where you really see Scotland through the eyes of the character. Here it was more limited but I was still very happy that we saw some of it, like for example the Braemar castle.

And lastly, the end. It wasn't how I imagined it at all, so speaking of a surprise! Somehow I kind of saw a part coming but then it didn't seem the real ending of this book. But it did cause you to get emotional! Eventually it wasn't the end at all and other things started to happen only to give you a very, very wonderful but scary cliffhanger! Luckily for me there are two more books in this series!

My verdict? This book was a page turner that kept you on the tip of your toes with every turn of the page. You could laugh, you could love, you could be scared, you could be thrilled or even get frustrated with Shane. This book was so refreshing and absolutely great! I did have some parts where I thought this is going a little too fast but that won't change my point of view on this book: it's absolutely great!

“If only he knew how little I cared about living.” 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Birthday Haul

And it happened again! Yesterday (5th of March) was my birthday and I reached the age of 18. The age where I can finally drive a car, which I was looking forward to for ages! Well, I can't drive yet, tomorrow I'll take my theoretical exam and if I succeed then I can drive. And I can do other things that aren't as fun but more like boring such as voting. 

Yet this post is not about what I can and can't do at this age but about what I got for my birthday. And big surprise, it were books! And the books I had listen on my birthday list. So this post will be about all the books I got and why I wanted them! 

First of all, Nina. She's a very good friend of mine and she gave me two books. Nina, if you read this thanks again! She gifted me the Alienates series by Melissa Landers. A series that's been on my book list for quiet a while now and she gave these books to me. Thanks again!

I just want to underline that I absolutely love the cover! I adore it! Both of the covers actually! And if you take of the jacket the books are a nice full blue and the other a very warm reddish-purplish. For anyone who doesn't know the series, or never heard of it before let me give you a quick summery on what the first book is about...

Aliens finally made contact with earth and our main character, Cara Sweeney, is one of the chosen exchange students. She soon will be sharing a bathroom with one of the L'eihrs. Not only that, she'll also know so much information that others will never know because they weren't chosen. 
The humans and Aliens share a nearly identical DNA but when she meets Aelyx she's not so sure if that statement is the truth. Soon she finds herself getting really close to the alien while other students are fleeing because they're aliens. Above that Cara gets many threatening notes, the only question that remains is who they're from and if that person is human or alien...

I'm really looking forward to this story because it's about aliens! I only read one alien series and that was the Lux-series by Jennifer L. Armentrout so I'm really excited to get into aliens again and find out if I enjoy it as much as Jennifer L. Armentrout's Daemon.

Then there are the presents of my parents, sister and brother. Many books are follow-ups in a series such as Apollyon (4th in the Covenant series - Jennifer L. Armentrout), Torn (2th in the Trylle series - Amanda Hocking), Haze (2th in the Rephaim series - Paula Weston). Those are books I just couldn't wait on getting my hands on but I waited, patiently and here they are! Of course I can't wait to get into it! Because I already know that they're great books, of great series! 

Another book that's a follow-up in a series is Did I Mention I Need You? By Estelle Maskame. A while ago I wrote a review on the first one in this DIMILY-series: Did I Mention I Love You? 
I was absolutely pleased with the story that ended abruptly and not the way I wanted it to go. So of course I'm more than happy that I have the second book now! I can't wait to dive into it and above that, fall in love all over again! 

Eden goes all the way from Portland to Santa Monica to spend the summer with her father. The man who left her and her mother three years ago and never let anything hear of him. Then all of a sudden, he called her and gave her the opportunity to spend the summer with him and his new family. Eden accepted to offer, but not for her dad. She thought it could give her a way more awesome summer there than in stupid, boring Portland. 
But as she arrives there and meets with one of the three stepbrothers, she isn't as convinced this is going to be as awesome as she thought. Taylor is short tempered, has an ego to big for his head and drives her completely insane! Yet she can't deny that she doesn't find him interesting. Soon Eden gets caught up in a lot of drama and the masks eventually fall, revealing all sorts of secrets but also creates a whole lot of new lies and secrets... It might not be an awesome summer, it is at least an interesting one. 

So this was the synopsis of the first book and I can only be very excited for the second book and how things will be going now! Who'll be keeping secrets and who'll be causing drama... 

That said, there are 3 more books to go. Well 2 and a book box! A book I won't be talking a lot about in here is The Deepest Cut by J. A. Templeton because I already finished this book yesterday and a review will be coming online one of these days. So stay tuned and also know that I was very happy with this book! It scared me as much as it surprised me and I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It's also the first in a trilogy so I still have 2 books before it's all over. 

Next is my first Coho read! I have many books by Colleen Hoover on my TBR list and Books I Want list and finally I'll be reading one. One that I've heard many, many good things about and has excellent rating (4.37 stars): Maybe Someday. Here is the short synopsis from Goodreads: 

At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.
Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

Doesn't it sound exciting? Speaking of exciting the last books I want to talk about is the book box that I got... The Selection Box by Kiera Cass! Yes, I am finally getting into the selection! 

I heard many great things about the books, and many have recommended it to me. I had seen them earlier in a box around December but they were in Dutch and I was like... hmm I don't know! Then I found them on in English and I was like "Hell Yeah!" and now I can read them because I got them from my parents. 

Also my grand-mother came to pay a visit even though she was very sick! So thanks for coming! She also gave me a book that seems very interesting: Lady of the Light by Donna Gillespie. In Dutch it's called Auriane, and can I just point out that I really like that name? 

It's a book that has nearly a 1000 pages and is about a girl that is destined to be a fighter and to stop the curse that's been threatening a family. Yet things don't go as planned and Auriane gets stopped by Romans and brought to the arena where she falls in love with a Roman who seems to have a lot of secrets of his own... 

I am really interested in that book because it's in the time of the Romans and I really like that time. Well, I'm interested in it! I think it was a very hard time for all the gladiators and such but still... There's great architecture! 

These were all the books that I got for my birthday and I want to say a speciale thank you again to my parents, sister, brother, grandmother and Nina, my friend! Thank you all very much for the books where I'll be spending time with for the rest of these coming months! 

Thank you!

Friday, March 4, 2016

La Fille de Papier

Our first French book for this year was one we could choose! The teacher has some copies of 5 books and I picked La Fille de Papier by Guillaume Musso. I didn't know that this book would turn out this good to be honest. Of all the books I've read for my French classes in all those years, this one was the most surprising and best one I've ever read. I'd even recommend it to read it in French! 

Tom Boyd is a writer and the first two books of his trilogy are a big hit! Above that Tom has two good friends and falls in love with the lovely Aurore who is a celebrity too. Yet Aurore doesn't feel like it can last and leaves the famous writer. 
Devastated and torn Tom decides not to finish the last book in the trilogy. The story ends in the middle of the book with an unfinished chapter. He's just done with it and meanwhile gets on the wrong path of life. That it until a mysterious women arrives in his house, one that looks very alike the main character of his book. Soon decisions he once made will change or there will be consequences. 

The synopsis was the thing that really captured my attention because it creates a lot of mystery and many questions come in mind to who the girl might be. Especially with the title! So I was very keen on this book in comparison with the rest. Also the cover isn't ugly at all, on the contrary it's actually quiet nice. 

But not only the synopsis and cover are nice, also each and every character in this book. There are 4 important characters which are Tom, Carole, Milo and the mysterious girl. Those 4 will help each other even if it means to help them with weird affaires. 

Tom is a writer and it's also through his eyes that the story is written. In the beginning I was a little bit offish towards this character because he was bad. This devastated that keeping himself locked up and stop writing was the only thing there was for him. 

Though we soon see a change in his character and ever since then we see the real side of him. He snarks at times, defends himself but also questions a lot. And yes, he's still into Aurore who we'll see in this book too. 

Then Carole and Milo. Both characters are best friends of Tom and are also very nice characters to read about. It's actually the parts where these two were that I enjoyed the most because they affect each other a lot. On the one side we have Carole, who's a police officer and also very serious while Milo is the one who makes weird statements, and isn't the serious one of the two. I also feel like Milo is more the funny guy in this story but he has his serious and sincere moments in the books.

Both care a lot about Tom and that's reflected in the book. They both want Tom back on the good path, back to what he loves in his life which isn't Aurore but writing. That means both will go very far (which you can interpret figuratively but also literally) to save Tom. So I'd say friendship is a theme in this story that's very important. The three of them will lean onto each other and need each other through this very surprising adventure. 

When I mean surprising I'm actually referring to the fourth and last important character in this book which is the mysterious lookalike of Tom's main character. She also is acting as if she really is Billie. In the beginning I thought she was just some crazy fan infiltrating in Tom's house but soon the story will make you doubt it and question a lot of what happens. Especially around "Billie". 

The characters are very nice to read about but also very approachable, with that I mean that you can really understand how they feel and maybe even can relate to them. Also I was happy that there were 4 important characters. Many times there are 2 main characters and the others come around but aren't that important. These four will be needed to complete the story and find out what to do next. 

I might have already made it look like this is more of a mysterious story. I have to say yes but only partly. There is some sort of mystery especially around the mysterious girl. But with that I don't only mean the superficial of "who is she" but also what will happen with her, and if things are real. 

The story is also very adventurous because they see many countries such as the US, Mexico but also France (Paris). The original plan for Tom and Billie was to go to Mexico. Billie would try to convince Aurore to come to Tom and Tom would write his story but that was after "Billie" 'conducted' Tom. There's a whole story around this but I don't want to go into details because it's actually pretty funny. 

Anyway they go to Mexico but are followed by Tom's best friends for a reason that'll become clearer after reading the funny part that lead Tom and Billie to Mexico. Plans are disturbed when things go wrong with Billie. It's actually really weird what happens and first I thought it was something philosophic with a deeper meaning that I didn't got but then... Wow. It was real... or seemed serious business at least.

Things change a lot in this story only to build towards the ending which was also very surprising in my opinion but also a little predicable. Well, I have to come back on that statement, you could think it's a predictable end but the story isn't the end by then. And what happens next really surprised me in a very good way. I was flabbergasted, felt like I missed something very important here. The big lines of the ending were predictable but there was a nice turn in it which I found very surprising and was very keen on. 

Now, I read this story in French and I'd recommend it in French too not because I think that reading it in English would be more difficult but it's just very nice to read it in French. I understood almost the whole book with exception of some details and bigger parts but it didn't bother me at all. 

Also something that I was in love with in this book was every beginning of each new chapter! There was a quote at each beginning and I really like quotes so I was happy that the author used that to begin something new with! 

This book was very surprising and an easier read. It wasn't boring at all and each and every character was just so open and had its own character which I was a great fan of. The story is also very thrilling as well as adventurous in my opinion. I really enjoyed reading this book because I couldn't stop reading in it, and I just kept turning those pages. For short? I recommend this book to everyone who wants something special and refreshing as well as something that will make you feel so much at the ending.

"Les liens se font et se défont, c'est la vie."

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

TBR of March

Again, I'm sorry that I haven't posted a lot lately but there's so much work for school! And I'm studying to get through my theoretical exam for the car. So I haven't read all too much lately, and I haven't really finished a book. I am busy in books though but my TBR of February isn't totally complete.

Also this month is when my birthday takes place! Yep, the 5th of March and that means more books are probably on the way. Which also means that I probably won't be able to keep myself at the TBR of this month but I can always try. Last month I didn't finish Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, it's taking me a while to get into the story too. So I'm going to finished that one hopefully this month.

I'll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson

A book that I also got for Christmas was this guy together with The Sky is Everywhere by the same author. I'll give you the sun was actually the first book I ever had in my hands by Jandy Nelson and I was really curious to where the plot was going to go. 

The book is about a pair of twins: Jude and Noah. Noah is the one that isolates himself from a very early age while his twin Jude is the one who talks for the both of them and who does things that are very adventurous. They have a very close bonding until that stops at a sudden point. Both, brother and sister, don't know what has happened but also don't know that they both have half the story.

When I read that I was very curious to what the author meant and suddenly it became clearer! The first few years are told in the point of view by Noah and the other half of the story is told by Jude. So the author really plays with this through the book. 

I'm just very curious to how this will change their bonding and if they'll ever find each other again. Especially because it seems that both are very different from each other. 

The Sky is Everywhere didn't disappoint me at all, on the contrary it really made me want more by this author. Therefore my expectations are a little higher with this book, also because it has so many great reviews. 

"Maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story."

La fille de papier by Guillaume Musso

It's that time of the year again where we get books for our French class. I'll be reading La fille de papier. I also already started in it because you know, deadlines and all! And I have to be honest... I'm really enjoying this book! 

I actually hated every book I had read for my French class. I either just didn't understand the plot or it was boring and very dreadful. But this book... man, it could make me read more books in French! Just kidding! But I am going to write a review of this book which might be later this week? Beginning next week? I'm almost through it! 

It's about an author who falls in love with for what looks to him "the one" but Aurore decides she doesn't want to stay around. Devastated the author decides to stop writing and the last book of the trilogy will never be a thing. However, the last sentence he wrote in this book will change his decisions. Especially when a girl emerges who looks exactly alike his main character.

I don't want to spill to many beans but I do recommend this book already, even though I'm not through it yet. I'd even recommend it in French! The author uses quotes at the beginning of every chapter which is an asset in my opinion but the characters are also very lovely and nice to read about. It's also not very difficult to understand which I'm really happy about because that means I finally understand a French book! For once. And the plot is... WAUW! You just keep turning those pages. But more will come in a review, stay tuned! 

"Les liens se font et se défont, c'est la vie."

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia 

A book that's been adapted to a movie. I saw the movie and I wasn't all to excited about it really, there are better fantasy movies in my opinion. BUT I've heard a lot of good things about the books! And I got the book as a present which is very nice because now I'll actually read the book instead of waiting around to buy it. And the cover! So, so beautiful! And I really can't wait to get into this story. I also thought it was a standalone but it seems like it's a series: Caster Chronicles. Which means more fun to read! 

The book has a female main character who's struggling with her powers. Keeping it for herself and concealing it is becoming very hard for her. But there's more: a curse, one that's been haunting the family for many, many generations. 
The male main character on the other hand can't wait to get out of this town that he hates. And then he also gets those weird dreams with a girl in. He thinks he's crazy until he sees the girl and immediately is drawn to her. But what secrets is she hiding?

It does sound a little predictable but that doesn't mean the plot will be dreadful and boring. I think most synopsis make you think that it's a predictable story but then it turns out to be this major book with so many feels. So yeah, I'm really excited to start reading this book too! 

"Sixteen Moons, Sixteen Years. Sixteen of your deepest fears. Sixteen times you dreamed my tears. Falling, Falling through the years."

Yet those are the only books I'll be reading for my TBR. Only because of what I said earlier: it's my birthday this month! Many books will come, I have ordered some books myself and then I often get sidetracked on my real TBR. But we'll see at the end of this month! What is your TBR for March?

Also if you'd like to participate in a photo book challenge! Make sure to go check my page "Challenges I'm participating in" because there's a new challenge up there for March!