Subscribe by mail

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Great Hunt

Time for a refreshing, new era type of book! I've been looking forward to the release of this book since the moment I knew it was coming. It's also the second series I'll be reading by this author, so my expectations are really high! The author I'm talking about has written the Sweet Evil-trilogy and is now coming with a duology: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins.

The lands of Lochlanach are being threatened by a beast. Fishermen, sailors, ordinary people and even the king's best fighters are being shredded to pieces by this beast. Nobody knows from where it comes but many think it's a creation of the lashed. Powerful people with magic, people who aren't welcome in the lands of Eurona.
The king of Lochlanach decides this has to stop, his people are in danger. So he decides to open up a great hunt and everyone of Eurona can join. The great prize when you kill the beast? His oldest daughter, Aerity. Everyone gathers after the declaration is send to all lands and the Great Hunt has begun. Aerity doesn't feel very happy with marrying someone she doesn't love, but she does what she has to do as a future queen. And things do become brighter when her eyes fall on the hunter Paxton. He's mysterious and hides many things but when the two grow closer, their bond starts to grow. But will it be Paxton to save the lands of Lochlanach and to receive the ultimate prize?

This book was more different than I had thought. I have to be honest and say that I was a little disappointed in the book. It's not that I didn't enjoy it but, I expected more thrill, more mystery and more of other things too. BUT I did like reading the book and can't wait for the second book in this duology. Why? 

First off the characters. Our main character is Aerity, she's not the strongest woman in comparison to other female characters such as Penryn (Angelfall-tryilogy) but I did sure admire her. What I didn't like as much about her, but was very predictable, is that she's a really girly girl. She likes to dress up, she acts as a real princess. I haven't read books with really princessy princesses so this was something I had to grow accustomed to but that's okay. 

Yet it is a reason for why I often had mixed feelings with this character. Although I did admire her! She has to marry someone she doesn't love, as a princess and she does feel really bad about it. She doesn't say anything about that to her father because she feels like she should fulfill her duty as the future Queen. Now that was something where you saw the fierceness in her and that's a moment where I did think she was a strong character. Well, a strong future ruler. 

Other than that, Aerity is very stubborn and won't let people walk over her when they don't need to. She'll get angry and sad at times but at the same time her worry for others and her kindness to other kinds of people are really inspirational. Besides, who wouldn't be inspired by a girl with a name like Aerity? I'm absolutely keen on her name!

Another character I'd like to discuss is Lady Wyneth. She does come many times in this story and therefore is an important character in the book. She's the cousin of Aerity and they're like best friends. As a reader you're also very happy to see that they're not only family, the friendship is the most important between the two. And that's great to see because both of them will suffer so they'll help each other, support each other. So you don't need to panic because you think this'll only be a romantic mystery book, friendship is there!

As for Wyneth herself, we don't see her like she used to be. She's suffering from loss and is struggling with this. The beast has caused this loss and now the reader gets a taste of Wyneth's sad side. The story will give a very special turn to this character and the bright side will come back! 

Now Paxton. Paxton is irritating, frustrating and all you actually might expect from this character. He's the mysterious guy that's against the royals but will fight because he wants peace and safety for his people. He's also the only one who acts like this towards the royal family and therefore to Aerity. In the beginning I didn't enjoy his behavior at all and during the book there were moments where I thought, Paxton you're going to far! But also with this character, the plot gives a nice turn! Secrets will be revealed and the mysteries around Paxton will be solved! 

What I liked about Paxton so much was that he only acted tough. If you think this character has no weaknesses, then you're wrong! He has a younger brother and really cares for him. Paxton doesn't want him to be hurt or anything else and that was something refreshing with this character: tenderness! Other than that I'd say he's a rough one that Paxton Seabolt!

What I didn't expect of this book was that it'd be written in the narrative perspective! We know so much about all the characters that come around: how they feel, what they think, how the stand with another character. And that all because it's in this perspective. I'm not really a fan of this narrative perspective, and also in this book I often thought it'd be much nicer to read it in I-perspective. Other times I thought the narrative perspective was a good thing though. This is just something really personal and will be different with each and every person.

As for the plot, it was situated in a more medieval time which I haven't read before. Just the language (which is also somewhat Irish to my opinion), the behavior of some and even the clothes that are describes, does refer to the medieval which I was keen on. For me it's very important to make references to the time and environment that plot is situated in and Wendy Higgins did this very well! 

Secondly, as I already mentioned, this story has it all! Romance, friendship, mystery but also thrill because of the beast. Of course this beast plays an important role because without this one, things wouldn't have come to a great hunt and Aerity might've just married the guy she loves. 

The author makes a lot of time for the hunt, we see characters enroll in hunter's behavior and follow their instincts. Did I enjoy to see the hunt up close? Absolutely! Other books might just use the Great Beast to lead to some pathetic romance lovers story but this book makes you go on the hunt yourself. Thrill is therefore a very common theme in this book!

The beast does bring more mystery though because as a reader of The Great Hunt, you're constantly asking from where it came from and how it came here. Is there someone who made it? Is it a hybrid? Is it something paranormal with powers? Because, yes, powers are present! I think this also refers a little back to the medieval because then they also thought there were higher powers (witches and so on) and these powers will be offered to you on a silver plate! However I don't feel like it had a very, very important or big role in the plot. Sure, it was discussed but the beast, the hunt and the royal status of Aerity were most important. 

As for romance, I want to explain that a little further. It's not that every character is getting it on with every character. It's just the theme romance because Aerity will have to mary the one that wins the great hunt and defeated the beast. Which brings her in constant doubt to who it's going to be: a young one? An old one? Someone gray? Someone little? This brings some excitement with the reader because you're getting curious too. The author also gives you a choice, who's side are you on? Aerity: doing her duty for her future kingdom or Vixie (her sister) who's angry with her father for doing this to Aerity. 

And lastly I want to point out that the author, Wendy Higgins, also gave the readers of The Great Hunt an amazing cover and amazing maps of the lands! Eurona looks so beautiful and is so detailed. Also Lochlanach is going to be shown so you know where we're situated in the book and cities places. I always think it's an asset to the book to give maps, they're stunning to discover and useful during the plot! 

Altogether this book was worth the read! I might've expected some more of Wendy Higgins because of her other books but it really was a very wonderful read. The characters and plot are set in the medieval that is also present in the book. The beast will make you use your intuition and instincts together with the other hunters on the hunt. And your heart will long to the ending to know who'll kill it and who will mary the future Queen. And if it wasn't clear yet: YES, I do recommend this book! 

"Kill the beast. Win the girl."

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Shatter Me

Remember when I told you I picked Finding Audrey up from the library? Well, the book in this review is also a book that I'm lending from the library: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Can I just say that this cover is absolutely gorgeous?! The eye and all the land around it and the water, it's just so nice and so original. It just makes me want to read this book real badly...

Juliette hasn't touched a person for over several months. The reason? She killed someone with her own hands, but it was an accident. Not convinced, the authorities and her parents lock her up in an institution where she can't get out of. While this is all happening, the world is shutting itself down: it's hard to find food, birds aren't flying anymore, other animals are dying and the population is shrinking. The Reestablishment wants to heal the world but survivors of the world are against them and so a war will being and rebels will become stronger. That's the moment when The Reestablishment decides that Juliette isn't a weakness, it's their new power to destroy the opponents. Juliette on the other hand, is not convinced of this and doesn't dare to hurt one human being ever again but hard times, take hard measures... 

This book is a book I really appreciated. In fact I quiet liked it! First off, I was very curious to where this book might lead and I wasn't convinced that I'd like it as much as I do now. The characters are great, the plot was thrilling and makes you get excited. It has everything to be a great book! 

Juliette is the first character that I want to discuss, because she's the most important in this whole book. As said in the short synopsis, Juliette is stuck in an institution where she can't hurt a human being ever again. She's stuck between four walls with a tiny window and nothing else. The Reestablishment wants her away from the people because she's a dangerous thing, a weakness for the world. 

Juliette herself comes over as a very scared girl. She never intended to murder someone, she just wanted to help. It's actually already since she was a little kid that she was an outcast. Her parents didn't like her, kids bullied her and she never said or did anything back. Nobody touched her because they knew she'd be able to kill. She wants to help one time and then she's just being locked up. But things change, they want her as their weapon. They want her to kill everyone against them! And with that more people start getting around her and it's getting crowded. That's the moment when you really see how scared she is of someone touching her. She's very nervous around other people, she can't fight back and she wants distance around her. 

What I'm asking myself most about this character is what it is she has. It's clear she can hurt people only by touching them. Yet the author leaves us in the dark to why or how this is possible. I do wish we knew some more about this ability because it's important but I guess further books will have to explain this.

I liked Juliette because it wasn't laid on it thickly, her anxiety came 'natural' and her reactions were 'normal' in her circumstances. I was keen on her since she's also not the one with the big mouth when they want her as their weapon and she just stays calm and thinks well.

Another character that's important is Adam. In the beginning you'll think that Adam is a stupid trader but things will get clear once you read on in the book. He's actually quiet nice and he's also someone who'll try and take care of Juliette. Not only her but also his brother and that's the aspect I loved about Adam: his humanity. He does stay a trader but for the good cause...

A friend of Adam is Kenji, did I like him? Let's say that he started growing on me the further the story developed. Yet I can't say with certainty that I actually trust him. He often says things and does things that make him look suspicious in my eyes but he can also make me laugh. I'm not quiet sure what to think of him and the author also doesn't give us much about him. The other books will have to clear things out for me! 

The last character I want to discuss is Warner. Warner is one of the leaders in The Reestablishment and it's also his fault that Juliette will become something she doesn't want to be. Warner is the madman in this book, he's weird and can get angry all of a sudden. He's unpredictable and that's why I often got confused by him. He's very important in the story but I'm not a fan of him, which is probably what the author wanted! 

As for the plot, it's thrilling! It's been a long time that I've read a book that has this in it. You keep falling back in danger, choices and sacrifices will have to be made. Danger's constantly on Juliettes heels but in the meantime she has herself to worry about. 
The action in this book is also not exaggerated, for me it had the best amount of action in it. There were times with action then some rest, then some action and I absolutely liked that in this book. 

Of course this book doesn't only contain action and thrill, it has romance in it too but I don't want to get in details because it's a sweet love and I want you to discover it on your own. Let's just say that the romance in the book also paused the action from time to time and that's really great. It has a good variation! 

There's one more thing that's really worth mentioning in this book: the suspicion. As I already said with Kenji, things he says and does make you feel like he's not completely trust worthy. But Juliette has problems with trusting too. This is logical, she's being used and hasn't seen people in a few months now. But with her you'll become suspicious about characters you thought you could trust. You get torn between worry for that certain character but also frustration because: can we trust this person, yes or no?! I'm an absolute fan of books that do this to you so that was a great asset to this book.

The author isn't done with you after that though! It'll throw you in a total new environment where you only have questions. You don't understand it, just like Juliette. You don't know who to trust or what to do, just like Juliette. This only showed me that you can really relate to the character and feel what she feels. I often had the same reaction as her and that made her my 'ally' in this book full of thrill. 

The Reestablishment, however, is not done with her either. They still want her and Juliette is still torn between her choice: become their weapon and be someone she doesn't want to be, or become who she always wanted to be: a human being. The author doesn't leave us a choice, we need to pick up the following book to find out what she's going to do, what she has decided and what'll happen next. With this I do have to say that I was a little disappointed, the ending could've been a little better in my opinion but that won't stop me from reading the following book!

My verdict therefore is that it's a good book with a nice amount of thrill, action, romance and suspicion. You'll keep your eyes open in the book to see who you can really trust and therefore can really relate to Juliette who has to do the same. Many characters will make you frustrated, will make you feel love and will make you hate them and want to kill them, but that's only an asset to the book. You'll really live in it together with the main character and that's the best thing a book can create: a world for you to live in. 

"Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior."

Saturday, April 9, 2016

La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh

My last review was about my last Dutch book I had to read: Whatever Makes You Happy. This review is also a book that I've read for school, more specifically it's for my French class and for my portfolio. I found this book during my first portfolio earlier this year, I had to make exercises around this book and read a little short part of it. And seeing that we could read it for the second portfolio made me very glad. I'm talking about La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh by Philippe Claudel

Because of a war, Monsieur Linh flees from his country together with his grandchild: Sang Diû. When he arrives at this new country he's all alone and is scared something will happen to Sang Diû, that's why he stays in the center he's sleeping at. But one day one of the hostesses tells him he should go outside because it's good for the both of them. And it's that same day that he meets Monsieur Bark. A citizen of the country that's still very unfamiliar for Monsieur Linh. Monsieur Bark just keeps talking and talking to Linh and he doesn't understand a word. Yet he feels very comfortable with him and he's also very nice to Sang Diû. Soon there's a friendship growing and the two can't be separated until the government decide that Monsieur Linh needs to go to an institution and there are no longer meetups with Monsieur Bark. This is against Linh his will and it brings him to a torturous choice: stay where he is with Sang Diû or flee and go find his only friend with Sang Diû... 

From the little excerpts that I already had read in the first portfolio, this story would be something very emotional and very special. And I was right! This wasn't just some story about a refugee meeting someone, it was so much more. It was the friendship between two cultures that really mattered! 

Monsieur Linh is such a nice old man! Of course he's broken, he's sad and depressed. He has to flee his hometown and his country all that while his son and daughter-in-law were murdered during the war that was going on. The only family that was left was his grandchild: Sang Diû. From the moment he found her, he decided to take care of her and that's the main reason he fled his country. This doesn't only show that he's a nice old man, it also shows that even though he's sad and all alone he's still a very strong person. He's strong for his grandchild because that's what she needs. He's strong because he needs to flee his country and leave all his belongings there. He needs to stay alive for Sang Diû and that says so much about this character! I was a great fan of Monsieur Linh and I wish I could really meet him! 

As for Sang Diû, I also want to bring her aboard in this review. Sang Diû, who's still a baby of 6 weeks old when they leave their country, means soft morning. Can I just tell you guys that I was so happy about this name, it's so nice and sweet for some reason. I just really liked her name. And next to that, she's a brave young lady because she keeps awfully quiet so her grandfather doesn't have too much difficulties with her... 

Then the next character we need to discuss: Monsieur Bark. He looks tough on the outside but the more Linh meets up with him the more we get to see of Bark. I have to say it's not all tough and rough with this guy either. He also has suffered from a tragedy, but not war. And this certain aspect in this life makes him come back each day to the bench in front of the park. That bench also becomes the place Linh and Bark meet, and keep meeting. Did I love Bark? Yes! Why? Because he was so much alike Linh, even though something bad happened in his life, he still goes on and keeps very strong. Also I really appreciated Bark because he accepted Linh and Sang Diû in his country while others didn't. Even refugees from Linh's country don't want him there and that was pretty sad. So thank you Phillipe Claudel for at least making someone appreciate the nice old man! 

The plot will also be concentrating on the acceptance between the two men. The first time they meet each other it's as if it was destined! Monsieur Bark just keeps talking and talking, not realizing that Monsieur Linh can't understand because he isn't a native speaker. However, instead of calling Linh rude for not answering Bark just keeps talking and tells him things you'd never tell a stranger! As for Linh he'll grow accustomed to Bark talking and talking. 

The story will really make you see that it's okay for people who don't speak the same language to become friends. It also shows you that it's possible! You just need to want it really badly before it'll all work out. Of course we see that it's difficult to understand each other but that won't stop the two characters to become friends and to grow comfortable with each other. This theme: friendship, was something that really made me enjoy this book. And the other thing that I was very keen on in this book was that even though you're broken, you can heal again. These two men conquered a lot in their lives and now they're finally finding a way to live with it.

In my point of view, it also has a message and that's something I was really happy about too. The message that I really got in this book was that even though the other is a refugee, even though you don't understand him or her, even though he or she has another culture: you need to be patience, sweet and understanding! Because you don't know what that person has been through and it's only the people who stay around and try, like Monsieur Bark, to find out that this person is actually quiet nice. I really like books that have a message in them, even though most of the time it's only me who (thinks to) sees a message in this! ;)

What else is there to tell about this story's plot... I guess it's safe to say that this is actually a really serious book because it has really serious themes in it. Above that it's actually quiet emotional to see them becoming closer to each other and it was very nice to see this. And if you think that is all there is to say to this story then I'm going to tell you that it's nothing like that! It has a surprising element and it has the mystery. 

Mystery because Linh is now in an institution that's really weird and we don't really know the purpose of, but what makes it more mysterious is why he can't see Bark anymore and why he can't go outside of the gates. This obviously makes Monsieur Linh very nervous because he doesn't know these new people and they're also not very nice. He wants to see his friend again, which gives him a choice: stay or go. With this choice comes of course Sang Diû, and he does ask himself what is best for her.

The final pages will create some confusion because of the surprising element but I actually can't say more because then I'll spoil things that I don't want to. I actually can't say something without giving hints and this book should be read without spoilers! Just know that the confusion will go away and after you closed the book you'll think about it and then see that it's actually told in the story multiple times! 

I also read this book in French and the French version is also very easy to read if you're interested in reading it in this language. I absolutely enjoyed reading it in French to be honest! 

Altogether this book was emotionally stunning with a phenomenal friendship between two men who don't understand each other. Claudel presents you a book where it is possible to be open and nice to refugees and where a message is formed for the reader: there are friendships in all sorts of forms and shapes and as long as you're open to each other and nice you might get a new friend. This book is a recommendation to anyone who wants to see something emotional, yet surprising and who doesn't mind to read about refugees. Also, I dare you to read it in French because it'll make your reading experience even better! 

"Qu'est-ce que donc que la vie humaine si ce n'est un collier de blessures que l'on porte autour de son cou? A quoi sert d'aller ainsi dans les jours, les mois, les années, toujours plus faible, toujours meurtri?"

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Finding Audrey

Time for a new book review! Thanks to the Easter holidays I can read a lot so that means that I can review some more. The book I'm going to review this time is Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella. I've had this book in my hands a couple of times but it wasn't until I saw it in the library that I thought, let's just take it and read it.

Audrey has an anxiety disorder, she doesn't leave her house and doesn't put off her sunglasses. Her sunglasses make sure that the world around her keeps distance, it makes sure she doesn't need to make eye contact with people. If she has to do communicate with other people, she'll get very nervous, stressed out and scared. Her psychologist wants her to try and make more contact with the world she's scared of and for that Audrey needs to film. Film her life and soon film people she doesn't know all too well. It's then that she meets Linus, a friend of her brother. It's also very clear that he won't leave Audrey, he wants to help her. Together they try to take steps and make Audrey comfortable in a world she finds so terrifying. 

You might think it's really weird that I don't take it with me in the store but do take it with me in the library. Well, it does sound a little weird! It's just that I wasn't sure if I'd love this book so much that it was worth it to buy. I was doubting so that's why I decided against it, some weeks ago when I was going to walk out of the library it caught my attention. It's only lending so that's why I decided to try it out and see if I was wrong to doubt. 

But before I'll explain if I was wrong or not, I think it's appropriate to talk a little more about the characters! First of all Audrey! To be honest, she was a great character. I've read books before with people having some sort of disorder yet I found this one a lot more interesting. If that's the right way to put it... It's just that this was something more relatable to my opinion. Also because the psychologist was involved and the book is really concentrated on her disorder and not about the world around her and new adventures. That's also what makes this book a lot more different from other books. 

Now back to Audrey. As I already said in the short synopsis, Audrey hides herself behind her sunglasses and tries to stay inside a lot. It's very clear in the beginning that she's suffering from this disorder and that she's also very fragile. But we will see a big development in this character, she's starting to open up to strange people, in particular to Linus. Ever since that moment a lot of changes come with Audrey, she'll dare to take a step outside of her comfortzone. She will be growing stronger and more sure of herself but her sunglasses are something that she keeps close. 

Also at some point in the book you see that she's getting ahead of herself but only to show others that she can really do it. This kind of bothered me a little because all people who said she was still fragile, were wrong in her point of view. Of course we can also see this as something positive, that she wants to get through it by thinking positive but I didn't see it like that. But Audrey is a character who you could really relate to which is something great since she's the main character!

The second character that I'll discuss is Linus since also he is a very important person in this book. First of all maybe what his relationship is with this family: Linus is a friend of Audrey's younger brother Frank. Now we understand this we can go on with Linus. He's important because he wants to help Audrey. He wants her to heal and not to have this disorder any longer. The way he tries to help her is very personal and very beautiful, in my opinion. Their first meetup wasn't the best one and Linus really felt guilty, that's why they start writing little notes to each other and that way they start communicating. Ever since that moment Linus wants to be involved with the process she's making. I really enjoyed the presence of Linus because it was nice to see how much he wanted to help and also to see how he was trying to help. It all starts really innocent though... 

Two other characters that I need to discuss are Audrey's mother and Frank. These two characters... they're hilarious! Because Audrey stays home, Audrey's mom took some time off from her work. Now she's kind of bored at home and she reads the Daily Mail, she's obsessed with it and she believes everything that's in it. This causes her mother to take things way to serious and this makes her also go crazy! So crazy she'll work it out on her son Frank. 

Frank does not like this at all. He's a gamer and wants to join the championship of LOC (this is the game he plays). His mother read that gaming was bad and that it'd make someone more dumb, etc so now she keeps checking on Frank: is he gaming? How much does he game? Is he gaming again? And so on but this causes tension between the two and make sure they have many fights. His mom just goes crazy at a certain moment, I'm telling you guys you'll laugh so hard! This craziness and humor makes sure that the topic of the book comes a lot easier and is also a lot lighter to read. The humor therefore is a very important aspect.

Which brings me to the story line as already mentioned Audrey needs to film her life and interview other people. She's walking around almost constantly with the camera, and when she wants to film... it can be on a very inappropriate time. What I mean with this is that Audrey starts filming when her parents are having a rather more awkward-for-the-daughter conversation. And she has a lot of these moments which make it funny to read this. And so there are many more elements that I could tell to convince you this book is really funny! 

Next to humor there are also other feels that come around such as: fierceness, frustration, love and hate. Let me explain the latter! Audrey won't tell us what has happened that caused her to get this disorder, she only tells us that she doesn't go outside anymore. This means that she doesn't meet up with friends anymore and somewhere in the story we do get to see a friend again. She's just a little naive and thought Audrey has something far more worse going on. This causes me to hate her a little because she thinks that this isn't all too bad. I live up with the emotions that Audrey is sending us. This is however a great asset to this story! It really pulls you in and you feel what the character feels. 

Something else that needs to be told for the plot is that it will show you how Audrey gets stronger, how she has a relapse and gets all anxious again. The book just represents a rather more realistic version of how someone's proces goes: ups and downs. That's also what I really liked in this story, the realistic perspective. 

Now the creative part in this book because there are a bunch of them! First of all, Audrey often takes time to really talk to the person who's reading this. She will assume things of you, she will tell things to you "personally", she will say things but also hide things because she thinks it's not important to tell. I really enjoyed this, I've never read a book where a character directs itself to the reader so this was really refreshing. 

The second creative thing in this book was that some conversations of her filming will be told in a screenplay kinda way and I liked that aspect too. And the last thing worth mentioning is probably the fact that the little notes send between her and Linus are really presented as notes in the book. So I was really surprised by this! I absolutely adore the cover, it's the first thing that pulled me to this story but really reading it and seeing more creative things really make this a great book! 

Now my verdict? I'm not disappointed that I didn't buy the book myself. Sure it was a great book with great characters! It has a good plot that's realistic but will be lightning the mood by its humor and other feels and has a very nice lay-out. But I don't regret not buying it because it isn't going to compete with the books I wanted more badly. That doesn't mean I didn't like reading this book! I absolutely loved this book and I do recommend it! If I did buy it, I wouldn't have been disappointed at all! So if you were doubting too, go check out a library and pick it up! Or go buy a copy, whatever you prefer! I'm pretty sure you'll also sink into this story of Audrey trying to find Audrey! I hope you guys enjoy is as much as I did!

"It won't be forever. You'll be in the dark for as long as it takes and then you'll come out."

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Did I Mention I Need You?

Did I Mention I NEED the third book in this series right now? A while back I posted a review on the first book in the DIMILY-series: Did I Mention I Love You? I remember saying that I loved the book so, so much but guess what... I've got the second book for my birthday: Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame and I have to confess the following: I'm so obsessed with this series, I absolutely can't breath anymore! I need the third (and last! Yes start crying y'all!) book in this series. Unfortunately I'll need to wait until the 28th of April because then it's the release... and then I need to wait even more because I'm on my trip to Italy! Anyway, let's jump into the review.

It's been a year since Eden has last seen Tyler but the summer has arrived again and she's going to pay him a visit in the city that never sleeps: New York. Both have turned different ways since last time things went south. Tyler has been going on an awareness tour for child abuse and Eden has stayed in Santa Monica together with her new boyfriend. However it's her last summer she can spend with her family because in the fall she leaves LA to go to the University of Californin, she goes to him anyway. Convinced that both she and Tyler are okay, things start to heat up again in NYC and old memories come to the surface... 

I'm so excited to talk about this book! God, I've had so much more feels in this book than I've had in the first book. And can I just make you pay attention, again, to that cover?! It's the same as the first one: four pictures but this time it's themed with New York City pictures. Also I want to express how happy I am that this book is situated in New York. I'd love to go to New York one day and reading the descriptions of how everything looks, how it feels, just made me want to go to the airport and take the first plane to my dream city! 

And it also made me want to really meet each character in this book! Eden hasn't changed a lot in this book. She's older, logical! But she's still running and doing her workouts, she's still the girl I got to know in the first book and I can still relate to her. What I did feel in this book is that Eden comes over a little bit more comfortabel and confident than she was in the first book. Of course she'll have her moments where she has a relapse and is insecure again but most of the time I was really proud of her. She was a strong, confident and independent woman but then with a boyfriend and I can only look up to her for that! 

The second book also means greeting my favorite person in the whole world: Tyler. He was the one that changed the most during the time jump of a year. Remember when I said he was an angry and frustrating jerk? Yeah well, he has things more under control this time. But mark my words: more. Also he has his relapses in getting angry and all riled up but that's how we know him and that's how we love him. Yet I did feel like he wasn't as childish anymore as he was in the first book, and that's what made him look more older and more mature.

With a new city there also come new friends: Emily and Stephan. Let's start with Emily, I have to express that I wasn't a big fan of her in the beginning but that was Eden's fault. I'll come back on that later! Anyway, Emily is a friend of Tyler's and they met on the tour they went on together. Emily is more of a shy girl. She also wasn't too confident to begin with but Tyler explains why that is (not going to spoil my favorite book!). She's also drawn back from the social life and tries not to raise too much attention to herself. She and Tyler are also very close and that makes sure she's also a very good friend to him and his friends. She might be shy but she will help out whenever someone needs it. So after my jealousy for her, I could appreciate her! 

Then Stephan! Well, let's not call him Stephan because he doesn't like that, he rather goes by the name Snake. Don't ask me why, the first time I read it I was as confused as Eden was! He's from Boston and came to NY for his studies. What's his relation with Tyler? They're roommates. And I absolutely loved Snake from the start. It's all you'd imagine for a guy like him: lazy, a beer lover, a funny guy and even irritating. I absolutely found him hilarious at times but what I even loved most about him was the fact that he could be serious when he needed to be. And he'll also take care of his friends which is even more perfect than I had imagined him.

You might ask now (after all my babbling) where the other characters are at. Well, if you liked Rachel, Dean and Tiffani in the first book then I've got good news for you: they're coming back in this story. However this time around I've had a lot of difficulties with appreciating them! First of Dean, I still love Dean. He's still the nice guy I remember and he really cares about making sure everyone is okay. But Rachel is just being different from the way I remember her in the first book, she starts acting more and more like my least favorite character in the first book: Tiffani. And as I already said that character will be coming back around. My feelings towards her have not changed a bit. 

Speaking of feelings that haven't changed, I've grown to hate Eden's father even more! Who had ever thought that? Certain aspects enroll in the book that make him even more stupid than he was before. So no, the dad of Eden has not made himself popular with me! It's for you to find out why and see if you feel the same!

Now I've got the characters covered we can go on to the plot. The plot that made my heart beat faster, broke my heart, stabbed my heart, healed it again to only stab and break it again. Yes, we're having a plot like this. And that's all because of the feels in this books because again there are plenty! 

As already mentioned Eden goes to spend some time with Tyler in New York City. Things start out totally fine between them. Tyler shows her around and while he does that both characters describe the city. I absolutely loved that, the fact that the author took time to describe the city. If you've never been there, it's nice to being able to form the city and really be in it. I can really relate to Eden so each time she said something about it I could really imagine what she said and I also felt the same as she did. The city is described so well that it really makes you want to go there. This was a great asset to the plot in my opinion. 

But things don't stay as innocent as I might have made it look like. Again there'll be drama but there's also scandal! I don't know what it is that the author does but it just doesn't bother me at all! I'm most of the time not someone who likes drama and scandal in books but here it's applied 'softly' and it doesn't bother me as much. The scandal is also just a little part in the book and will blow over rather fast in my opinion.

The drama however stays a bigger part in the book and goes with ups and downs. There will be moment you'll ask yourself now where's that drama at? And there will me moments you're laughing like the devil because you're enjoying the drama way too much! I don't really want to give examples because I don't want to spoil you guys, it's too good for spoilers... but it's hard not to spoil anything! 

If this didn't convince you yet let me talk about all the feels you'll get. As already mentioned in the short synopsis, memories start surfacing again and it all takes us to a trip to memory lane. It's rather obvious that this makes us get a lot of feels. You'll feel the frustration from time to time because it takes so long! (Figure out what I'm talking about ;) ) But you'll also feel mad at times, you'll want to crush the book or rip it apart. This plot makes you feel loved, hated and it'll even make you jealous. And this brings me to what I said earlier about Emily.

Emily comes around and comes along really well with Tyler. This brings my ship in danger and I live for my ship like many other bookworms do! But I wasn't the only one feeling threatened. As memories come surfacing again also Eden feels the effect of Emily coming around. She acts jealous and she doesn't want to pay any attention to Emily whatsoever. I literally felt the same. I didn't want Emily around and Eden only fuels your hatred towards this character. You'll get the same feelings like the main character, if not feeling it ten times worse and yes, you'll act jealous and irritated. But the air will clear and soon you'll be able to appreciate Emily as a person! I was really keen on the part where the character can make you feel so much more than you already did and that has everything to do with the writing style of the writer, which is in this series absolutely on point and great!

Also there's the temptation. We all know what happens when two persons who have had an amazing past together, rethink about that past: things get out of control. And as a reader you're like "don't do it, you've got a boyfriend! He's your best friend!" but you also want it. The biggest question that'll linger in your head will be "What's going to happen now?". You never get a good answer on it, at least not for a while but the temptation to choose the bad as a reader is big! And with bad I mean cheating on the boyfriend. As reader you're constantly pulled between your own decisions. What would you do? And eventually who would you pick? And then you've got the charms of Tyler and you tend to go to the bad side and probably will go to hell for it. But it's still a book and it's still the characters that'll have to choose and that's what makes this read to exciting: the thrill, the temptation, the unknown decision! 

If these are not enough feels for a book then the author has a big surprise for you at the end. You couldn't imagine a thing that's happening towards the end. Things start getting revealed, things start getting out of hand and you think to yourself "Estelle Maskame what on earth ar you doing?!" and that's when you're heart gets to the surprise of your life. This ending is not the ending I wanted. I remember my first review about this series where I said that this ending was "The ending wasn't supposed to be like that! I thought everything was fine and then BAM...", but this ending was my death! 

Again the author leaves us with no other choice than wait for the next book in this series to continue where it left off. I don't know what it is with authors but they just tend to keep giving cliff hangers and I love it but I also hate it! If one thing is clear it's that this book was even better than the first one was and I absolutely love this series. 

Again I lingered on every word there was in this book. I lived for the moments of flashbacks to the first book and to being able to laugh hard with new characters. I hated, I loved, I got angry and frustrated only to become happy again. The ending did made me cry and I want the third and last book now. To everyone who read the first book and does not have the second book yet: you need to get your hands on it now! To everyone who hasn't read this story: please read the review about the first book and if it makes you curious, go pick it up! I guarantee that this book will also not leave you untouched. In fact it only makes you want more! I can't believe that a book can have so much impact on my emotional system, but this one has me like I'm its marionet. Absolutely great story, with great characters and detail for the city we're at! Well done Estelle Maskame, again at it with those feels! 

"Love has no rules."

Friday, April 1, 2016

TBR of April

New month, new books in my TBR! Last month was my birthday and that means that I've more books to get through. In my last TBR, I said I was only going to 'force' myself to read 3 books, unfortunately I only read 2 books of them. But I will try to read that one this month too! 

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins
At the beginning of March Wendy Higgins has published a new book: The Great Hunt! Ever since I had found out she was writing this book, I was looking forward to having it myself. The cover release only made you want it a lot more and the plot seems really, really good! 

The lands of Lochlanach is being terrorized by a beast. The king asks for all hunters to come aboard and rescue the lands. The one who kills the beast gets the prize: his daughter. She is not really happy that she'll have to mary a stranger but she knows her duty. Yet her happiness and hope returns with a young good looking hunter, who has mystery around himself. He, on the other hand, is not the type to mary anyone at all. The two start getting more and more along, but that also means that secrets are being revealed... 

This sounds like such a great story. I'm not a fan of stories with "princesses and princes" but this absolutely seems like something with royals but also not with royals. I think the main focus will be on the beast and the story between the girl and the huntsman rather than on the princess' roots. So I'm really looking forward to this book! 

“I must ask you to sacrifice the promise of love for the sake of our kingdom.”

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare 
And yes, ladies and gentlemen, also for me it's time to move myself over to a read by Cassandra Clare. My friends just keep telling me how good this story is and how badly I should read it, etc. I guess most of the people know what this story is about since it's a really known series. But for the ones who don't here the synopsis of the book:

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

To be very honest, I have no idea if I'll like this book as much as my friends do. I might not like it at all, I might have difficulties to get through it OR I might totally love it and get obsessed about it. For me it's still a mystery but I'm looking forward to checking the book out! 

“The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he'd learned: that to love is to destroy, and that to be loved is to be the one destroyed.” 

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
For my birthday I received my first ever CoHo read! To be all fair and honest, I'm already reading in it since last week, so March, but I had to put it to a stop. It's not that I don't like it, in fact I'm liking it! But it's the Easter holidays and I promised myself I'd read Did I Mention I Need You? in this holiday so I didn't need to rush through it. But there's also homework etc so I decided to stop Maybe Someday and concentrate on homework and the book by Estelle Maskame for a while. But I'll be sure to finish the CoHo read this month!

Sydney has it all: a beautiful boyfriend, a great best friend, she goes to college, she has a roof above her head and to be fair: she's really happy. That all changes when she find out that her boyfriend is cheating on her and soon she's also left with nothing else but despair. 
Yet some other day she sees her neighbor again, one that's also very attractive. And he does see things in Sydney too. When everything collided together for Sydney, she now has one light in her dark tunnel: the neighbor. And their friendship is only growing...

“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.” 

My Italian book?

Other than that I had another book in mind for this TBR! April is the month where I'm going on a school trip to Italy. I had found a debut book that was totally located in Italy: Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. When I pre-ordered the book it should've been here on the 12th of April... unfortunately it's postponed to the 3th of May. So that's a sad thing because I really wanted to read the book in Italy! Now I have to find another book for my trip and this TBR. Other than that I don't know if I'll have time to read more books since the exams are also coming closer. So these are the books I really would like to read in this month. We'll see how far we get!