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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Book Feast 2016 Book Haul

It's that time of the year where there are exams for everyone, but it's also the time of the year where the annual Book Feast (or for the Dutch people Boekenfestijn) shows up at Ghent! Luckily for me it's always open on a Friday evening too, that way I can visit it after I studied or did my exam! And as per usual, I found some books! Let's get started...


Remember last post about the Book Feast? Then I had a goal: The Hunger Games trilogy! But also this year I had a goal... I'm really obsessed when this Book Feast comes and then I start checking the site to see the advertisements and I saw a book series I wanted to have for a year now: The Mercy Fall trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. I had ordered the first three in Dutch because I couldn't find them with a good and beautiful cover, or I just couldn't find them at all! So I bought it for 20,00 euros and had to wait until the 1st of January 2016, because it was in reprint. Yet after the 1st I didn't receive anything but a mail saying it was delayed... for a whole year! But I said okay I'll wait just because I wanted them so badly!

However I saw the trilogy in a very nice cover for only 15,00 euro's in the advertisements of the Book Feast of Apeldoorn... which is in the Netherlands and not in Belgium. I worried that they'd all be sold there and there wouldn't be any left for Ghent. This is where the story begins! I send a mail to the customer service to ask if they'd be in Ghent too. The woman said that normally they would and they'd keep one apart (which is something they usually don't do!). But things turned out differently...

Friday the 17th of June, I counted down the hours to visit the feast and after checking the entrance with many, many books I went to the service where books would be held for me. But the woman said she didn't know anything about it. I was disappointed because I really want that series. My niece and me started in the aisle of Young Adult afterward and I found the second book in the series on its own: Linger. So I said to my niece: look! This is one of them. The ones I'm looking for! If you find a similar cover tell me! And only two seconds later she said: you mean these? She had found the last package of this series and I was just so happy! So thanks again Marika! 

It feels like the Book Feast is a real adventure! Each year there's something that happens. I'm just really glad I found the series because it's a bargain in comparison to the one I'm still waiting on. It has the nice covers, they're in English and 5,00 euros cheaper! So I'm canceling my order now I have them. Who knows maybe I had to wait even longer after the 1st of January 2017 to receive the reprint! 

For everyone who's not familiar with the series, here's the back of the first book Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater:
When a local boy is killed by wolves, Grace's small town becomes a place of fear and suspicion. But Grace can't help being fascinated by the pack, and by one yellow-eyed wolf in particular. There's something about him - something almost human. Then she meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away...

It's my first book series that contains wolves but I'm really looking forward to it! It's also my first book by Maggie Stiefvater but I know she's really known because of the Raven Boys. And therefore I've heard she's a really good author! I'm really curious...

Okay, so the first pair of books were found but there were more... of course. Last time there was one aisle of Young Adult, this time there were three! Above that I was really surprised that there were so many English books this time around! Which made this Book Trip even more fun. The next book I stumbled upon was one that caught my attention by it's cover. Bound by Sarah Bryant. The cover seemed so dark and mysterious and then this sentence also made me pick up the book: What Happens When an Angel Falls?

The book is about a girl that sees all sorts of things: ghosts, demons,... but she thinks they're all her imagination. Thinking she can escape it, she goes to a little town in Scotland where she meets someone who convinces her there's no such things as her imagination. The things she sees, are real and that person sees them too. 

I don't really know where this will turn to. It could be angel-alike or ghost-alike. All I know is that it really caught my attention and I want an answer on the question that's presented on the cover. Let's just hope it isn't too scary!

After I had that book in my hands, I got back with my niece and her eyes fell on a book we both want to read... badly, Teardrop by Lauren Kate. Only my niece doesn't enjoy reading in English and the book was there in English. So since it was a bargain of 4,99 euros, I couldn't let it slip away and took it with me. We searched if the Dutch version would be there but there was no luck for my niece. Although she did take the book Panic by Lauren Oliver. 

I have read one book by Lauren Kate before, which was Unforgiven, and then I discovered that I really enjoy her writing style so after reading about Teardrop on Goodreads, I kind of was sold. The thing is, each time I went to the bookstore only the second book was there. It's a weird thing in Belgium but I feel like it's only the second book in a series that's available. At least that's what I came across multiple times in bookstores here. Anyways, for the ones that'd be interested in the plot here it is:

Seventeen-year-old Eureka won't let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother's death and Ander's appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don't make sense. Can everything you love be washed away? 

I continued my walk and came across all Cassandra Clare's books. Last time I bought the second book in the Infernal Devices in a hardcover (for 5,00 euros my friends!) so I wanted to get the first and last book too, in hardcover. But they were only there in paperback! At that moment I didn't know if I should take them anyway or not but decided against it. Sorry, Cassandra Clare, we'll have to wait for a while...

That didn't let my "bookspirit" die though because I found another book, which is the last book I bought: Life Eternal by Yvonne Woon. Which I just now realize is a second in a series, I saw that it was a sequel but misinterpret it apparently... Oh well! Gives me an excuse to buy more books ;-). It went a little bit like Bound, I saw it, it was mysterious and I flipped the book and read the first two lines and was curious: I am in love with Dante Berlin. He is my soulmate. He saved my life. 

Doesn't it sound promising? It does! Goodreads also tells me this is a good book because it has 4.18 out of five which is not nothing. Did anyone read a book by Yvonne Woon before? What where your thoughts about it? 

With this book as my last book, the end of the Book Trip neared. I can safely say that this time there were more books to pick from and above that we all went home with bargains. The Book Feast is known to sell books but on a much lower price. Sometimes the books are damaged but it's all about taking the book from the bottom... 

"Books are uniquely portable magic" 
                                           ~Stephen King

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Distance Between Us

A few months ago I bought my 3th book by Kasie West! The first book I read by her was On the Fence and I was sold to her writing style. I'm really glad that I got to this book and again Kasie West gave me a great book with an amazing plot: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

Together with her mother Caymen knows two things about rich people: they spend their money on useless stuff and their attention span isn't worth a lot. Her mother always warned her about rich people, it was the first lesson she was taught. Ever since that life lesson, Caymen has always felt hate towards them. So when Xander comes into the porcelain doll store, she's convinced he's just the same as every other rich boy. 
But Xander isn't easily scared by Caymen's judgments and sarcasm and keeps returning to her or waiting for her in the front of the store. Caymen doesn't know how to react on this but soon, she finds herself enjoying his company. Just when Caymen is convinced that not all rich boys are the same and Xander is the exception on the rule, it's clear that money is a bigger part of their relationship...

This sounds as a book full of clichés right? And sure, there might be hiding some clichés in it like the fact that there's team "poor" and team "rich". I'm not someone who really minds that and this book also won't suffocate you with clichés because of the characters.

Caymen just brings you humor which lightens the clichés hidden in the book. She's a sweet girl but has her rough sides! She's very sarcastic and will always try to push you away if you're not like her. With this I mean: if you're rich, get out. Her sarcasm also brings a lot of dry humor and I'm someone who really can laugh with dry humor so this was such a big asset to the book and I really appreciated each thing Caymen said but meant sarcastic. 

Every coin has another side and also Caymen has that. She can be very sarcastic but that's because she really wants to hide her true feelings. She doesn't want you to know she might be thinking the whole opposite at that exact moment. Throughout the story her mask of sarcasm will start to fall and the other character will know how she's feeling. 

In the summary of the plot I also said that she hates the rich and also that has a reason. Her mother taught her this exact thing because her father was rich and he isn't around anymore. Caymen only has her mother left and the others of her family? We don't know where they are, and she doesn't either. Yet she explains in the book that she sometimes wished she knew who her dad was. Caymen therefore has a little notebook with things she knows about him or were mentioned by her mother. The bond between her and her mother is therefore very strong but the story will soon begin turning and give more and more cracks in their bond, but more about that later!

Another character worth mentioning is the rich guy: Xander. Sure he was predictable, he looked good apparently, he bit his lips and did those half-smiles we all swoon for but he made sure the readers knew soon enough that he's very soft on the inside. I was really surprised to find out that he hasn't this sarcastic side or something to back off Caymen with. Yet all his defenses were down with her and from the beginning I started wondering why that really was. Throughout the book things will become a lot more clearer with this character and I was a great fan of him because he was such a softy! 

Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the friendship that grew between them! All that was caused by Xander of course because he waited outside on her and he payed visits a lot. When they eventually have some problems, it'll be Caymen who starts missing her friend awfully a lot and that's, again, a moment where we can see her mask of sarcasm break! 

Another character I want to mention is Robert, he's the contrary of Xander. The book does have the stereotypes of the poor and the rich. Let me set him as an example of the true rich stereotype. He's rich and he's absolutely horrible! He uses Xander and his fame in the town to get what he wants. He tries everything to make Caymen feel bad and make sure the friendship between Caymen and Xander is doomed. Everything we expect for a stereotype, right? That's what I thought. 

This does show such a great contrast between Xander and Robert and I was happy about that. It just shows the readers that we all live in a world that only knows  and sees the stereotypes and will always jump to conclusions before we have even talked to this person. And that shows us that we should pay more attention to people before we jump to conclusions, because sure there can be someone that's rich but that doesn't mean he's a bad guy. Xander is an amazing guy, he can't change the fact that he's rich. Between the lines, books really learn us more than we thought they would, or that's at least how I see it! 

Okay, secondly the plot! As I already mentioned clichés and stereotypes will be hiding in the story, nevertheless I did enjoy the book because of a certain mystery that started to create itself. Caymen and her mom always have had a very strong bond and the store is having some issues (which again, shows the clichés of the poor). They both try their hardest to make things less painful for the both of them and help out when needed. There are new initiatives such as making parties for birthdays and so on. The story shows us that Caymen is the strongest of the two, or so we expect. She runs the business, tells her mom to stop when she treats the kids too much by giving them dolls clothes for free and so on. 

Yet her mom is acting a little weird and this will cause cracks in their bond. There's a man that comes a lot and calls a lot and Caymen, as well as the reader, will start asking themselves who the guy is and what he's doing here. On top of that her mother is more and more absent, she's more and more tired. Of course we all form our own theories and jump to conclusions such as oh the guy is her new lover, he's her dad, she is sick or pregnant and so on but eventually we'll be very surprised! For everyone who hates clichés, hidden between the lines or not, the mystery will make up for that.

But this is not the only thing, Caymen's family mystery starts to unravel itself too. She'll get more and more clues to who is who, and what they mean to her and that's all because of her bond with Xander. Although he's not the one knowing it was going to happen, he sure has a part into it. And that's when everything starts going south and you know the end is nearing. The end is something I'm not going to talk about at all, I'm only  going to say that it was surprising, not predictable to my opinion and that I was really happy with it!

Moving along! There's just one more thing that I really want to say and that's the following: career days. Sounds weird right, and no it has nothing to do with the careers of the Hunger Games! In fact it's just literally what it means: a day for a career. Xander doesn't know what he wants to be in the future and Caymen says she'll work for her mom's store but deep down, she doesn't want to be stuck in it. She doesn't let Xander see that or hear those words leave her mouth but he sure knows. That's how they started with career days. Each of them would plan a day with a certain career and together they'd do it for the day. If it was nice, it might be what they want to be. If it's horrible, they know they can rule that possibility out. I really enjoyed the career days, although I wished there were more in the story, it was still something refreshing. I haven't read a book that contained this so that means I was just very excited by this new aspect. Have you read a book before that had something like this? Let me know!

Jumping to my conclusion I think it's safe to say that Kasie West did it again, she gave me a smooth story line that's easy to understand and very easy to read but has everything to be such a good book! She learns us that stereotypes are just stereotypes and you need to look closer to a person and she learns us that strong bonds are still in the world. Above that the characters were just amazingly sarcastic (which I absolutely adored!) and also very funny but it was all mixed with some mystery around her mother and the new guy as well as new mysteries around Caymen's family! Well done, again, Kasie West!

"A lot of people don't get my humor. My mom calls it dry humor. I think that means "not funny", but also means I'm the only one who ever knows it's a joke."

Monday, July 11, 2016

Summer read of July: Love & Gelato

I know it's still early to already pick my ultimate summer read of the month (which yes, is a new concept I created for my blog), but I'm pretty sure nothing will be a better summer read! I'm really satisfied with this book and so excited to write a review about it and recommend it to you guys because it really has so much to be a really good book. Above that this is the first book the author published which makes this an absolute masterpiece: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina's mother makes her promise that she has to go to Italy. Lina doesn't know why her mother would want that but promises it anyway because it's her mother's last wish. After the loss of her mother, Lina finishes her school year in Seattle and then moves out to the country she didn't want to go to. There, she is confronted with her mother's memories and above that she finds out why she is in Italy. Her mother wanted her to go to find her father and together with the journal she'll discover much more than only that. Lina meets a new friend, which makes her time in Italy more interesting and together they find out the real truth about what happened in Italy...

This was the book I actually wanted to take with me when I was touring around in Italy but unfortunately the book got postponed and I had to pick another book that was set in Italy: Love, Lucy. The day I went to Italy, Love & Gelato was delivered at my house and I was so disappointed it wasn't there the day before because I realize now that this book... would've been the perfect book for my trip! 

First off, let's discuss the characters! Carolina or as everyone will call her in the book Lina. She's one hell of a girl, and I say that mostly because she's been through a lot. She lost her mother when she's just sixteen and now she had to move to Italy because she promised her mother. Fulfilling her mother's last wish, Lina can't stop plotting her escape! She didn't want to be here because she doesn't know what her mom expects from her.

With this I mean the following: she's living with her father. The father who hasn't been around for sixteen years, so I did understand why she didn't want to hang around. Yet there comes a certain moment in the book where she almost forgets all about it and will stick around longer than she had expected to.

One of her father's coworkers gives Lina a journal, one that her mom has send her a while back. Lina'll have a difficult time with having it around because it constantly reminds her of her mother. What I admired a lot in Lina was the fact that she kept really strong. She didn't want people to baby her or act weird around her and she's in a whole new different environment and then gets a journal in her hands,... This is hard stuff for her and that's why I admired this character the most. She will show her weaknesses and let her guards down every so often which shows you the realistic side of losing someone very close.

But we'll also see Lina grow to become a better version of herself that has conquered it all. One version that will show you things won't always stay bad and it will get better as long as you go for it 100% and try. This book really focuses on the trying because Lina will try to be on her best behavior, try to be her best self, try to become comfortable again and happy but also try and go through with what her mom asked her to do: find her father. Together with the journal of her mother, we see her grow a lot in the book! 

Lina will have to make a lot of decisions and what I liked most about this character was that I could easily project myself in her shoes and understand why she decides this or that. Or why she feels the way she's feeling. This was a major asset to this character and of course to the book!

Another character worth discussing is Howard. Howard is the one Lina will be residing with during her visit in Italy. He's somewhat uncomfortable in the beginning and doesn't really know what to do with a teenager under his roof. What I admired the most in him was that he did try and made the best of it. Another thing that he contributed a lot to the story were parts of history. He's very interested in it and during the book we will see him telling stories that I found very exciting as well as interesting. 

Other than that Howard is a very relaxed guy that has weird hobbies during the night and is very laid back which I certainly appreciated about him. He's a very open person and does his best in life to keep very positive. We'll also find out a little bit more about his past, which was interestingly exciting and sometimes a bit sad but I really enjoyed to get to know him better!

The last character I want to discuss is the first friend Lina makes in Italy: Ren, which is short for Lorenzo. I won't tell you why Lina calls him Ren because I think it was pretty funny to read the reason which is why I want you guys to find it out on your own. Ren is a lot like Howard, he is laid back and always tries to be positive. But he was also a genius, very weird at times and he said what he thought. These are the things I really liked about him because I can easily relate to him and also understand him. Above that, he's always in a very good mood and is really funny! I was very keen on him because he didn't act strange around Lina because her mother died. He payed his respects and then tried to make the best of it by showing Lina around in Florence and give her a good time. Yet he's also there when she needs a friend and will always help her out. He's like the perfect best friend mixed together with his weirdness!  

There will follow a lot more characters that come and go in the story, most of them are friends of her mother and because of the journal we'll get to know them on a more personal level. The thing is, we often never met them but at the same time we did because of what Lina's mother wrote down about them. This was a very nice thing in the book, discovering her friends without meeting them. The journal gives you detailed versions of her friends and that way you get to know them. 

But there are also new friends that Lina has made during her stay in Italy. Each and every character has its own way of expressing him or herself and is very unique. That's what I was fond of: the uniqueness in each character, but also their behavior. The characters will almost always be identified by their characteristics which was also a great asset because it gave away how they acted and how they were.  

Now the plot, if you think this is only about love and gelato, then I already will tell you: it's not. Of course these two will come around in the story: you're in Italy how can there not be love or gelato?! But this story has another side too that's very important to the plot!

As I already said, Lina receives a journal of her mother. This journal will describe the memories her mother had when she was in Italy. As a reader you will discover how her mother was and what she enjoyed the most. The journal will be very important in the book because it makes sure Lina will take a leap in the dark and discover new things. What it felt like for me was the following: her mother is her tour guide in Florence. She's not longer alive but she still lives in her memories. Lina will discover so much about her mother and will visit the most beautiful places in Florence together with her mother because of what she has written. 

I really enjoyed the concept of the journal because her mother describes everything so well, it felt as if I was back in Florence. Florence was my favorite city in the ten days I was in Italy and I was very pleased in reading it and be able to visualize every places there was described. If you haven't been to Italy or Florence for that matter, don't panic! The descriptions will be so clear and so easy to visualize, you will devour the city in no time! Above that, it's also Lina's first visit and she will add more to the descriptions and add her own thoughts which made it all the more spectacular to read. 

The journal will not only bring the most beautiful places of Florence, it will bring much more! The first thing it brought was a close friendship between Lina and Ren. This due to the fact that Lina trusts Ren a lot and will tell him about the journal. He will show her the places in Florence himself which made this friendship absolutely solid, strong and interesting! 

The best thing the journal brought was an adventure, not only discovering Italy through the eyes of her mother but it will also bring her secrets. Lina often asks herself if this was really her mother because she sees such a whole different side of her, so when the mysterious secrets come up she questions herself more. This will become the adventure of a lifetime! I was so into it and I wanted to discover the truth as badly as Lina wanted it herself. That's also why this was such a good book: you were able to really throw yourself into it and enjoy it, this all the while you waited with suspicion on a new lead to the truth. Who wouldn't want to know the truth when the first sentence in the book is "I made the wrong choice"It gives unexpected twists and turns and will give you so much mystery it's hard not to keep reading on! The mystery will just add so much more dimension to the book! 

Another thing I want to point out is that there are also Italian words and sentences in it which I was so glad about! We're in Italy, some Italian should be in it. The author did really surprise me with adding this because I never thought there would be Italian in it. Of course, I didn't understand all of it but then there was the context and sometimes translations (by the characters) to make clear what was said but overall, many of the words were understandable! 

We'll also be able to read the journal of her mother ourselves because Jenna Evans Welch made sure there were dates and another font which made it clear that you were now reading the journal. Again, I really want to say it was a great asset to the book because it showed you how her mother was but also gave away her memories, descriptions and of course caused much more thrill and suspicion in the book. It also shows sides of Florence I didn't know of such as secret bakeries! 

The last thing I really want to point out are the resemblances between Carolina and her mother. While you're part of Lina's story, you're also part of her mom's memories. After reading the book, I was so content that I started thinking about it really deeply and found out there are so many things alike. Not only their stories show identical aspects (but then in a different time and of course with each its own differences) but it also showed you, as a reader, they were really mother and daughter and that was something I really appreciated!

As for the author, I really want to congratulate you! This was your first book ever but it was, still is, a masterpiece! I never expected to receive a story like this. It made me get lost in the streets of my favorite city but also showed some other cities. It make me fall back in love and made me want Italian gelato but it also made me wait in suspense and gave so many mysterious leads, thrill, secrets and plot twists. Next to that, the friendships that were created were absolutely stunning to witness. I really hope you'll write more books so I can devour those too! You did an absolute great job with this debut book. 

Love & Gelato is an absolute summer read! And if you didn't get the clue yet: Sì, io raccomando questo libro! Let's hope that translation was right... anyway: I do recommend this book. If you want to wander through the streets of Florence and want to fall in love with it, dream of gelato and above that receive a big dose of mysteries created by a journal full of memories? Then this is your read. I promise you this book is absolutely amazing and will give you so many things to adore about it, you can't do anything else but devour it. 

"I made the wrong choice."

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer TBR

In my opinion, summer started on the first of July. Why? Because then school is officially done which means the holidays have started... I'm so glad that it is summer! And a holidays of more than two months! Speaking of more than two months, this means I've got a lot of time to read. That's a good thing because I have a lot of books that need to be read! 

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Remember the time I said that this book was delayed? And that it was such a pity because I wanted to read it while I was in Italy? Well, since it's summer, I decided this will be my first summer read. My trip to Italy felt like holidays and like summer since it was so hot, which means this book will feel like summer to me.

Lina spends her time in Italy, not because she wants to but because her mother ordered her to. On her trip in Italy, she has to find her father and get to know him but the thing that bothers Lina the most is that her father wasn't around for quiet some time. Together with her mother's journal, Lina discovers the little things in life and starts to appreciate her time in Tuscany. With the new friend she made, Lina discovers way more than she had ever expected to...

I'm really looking forward to reading this because this is a debut book so who knows if I really enjoyed it Jenna Evans Welch could be my next favorite, or one of my favorite, authors! Also the thing I'm absolutely keen on is that it's in Tuscany! It was my favorite place in Italy on my trip with Florence as my favorite city. I'm hoping the book will describe a lot of its surroundings, then I can relive my trip too.

"People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more."

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
Last summer my mother brought back Red Queen by this author when she was in England. I was seriously addicted to this book when I read it and was so pleased that this was a series. I had pre-ordered a signed copy but told me that Aveyard put a stop on the signing for a while and later on I got to hear I couldn't get a copy that was signed. I was really, really disappointed but of course, I bought the second book because I wanted to read on! 

Mare escaped from the silvers but that doesn't mean she's safe. The silvers, and more in particularity the Queen and her son, are trying to find her and are trying to get her killed. Mare is running for her life but also knows that she's not alone in this. She's not the only one that's different, she's got a whole group that supports her and are more alike to her than she had ever dared to imagine. Together they try to overthrow the Queen and her son but soon Mare finds herself being on a crossroad: becoming what she's trying to destroy or shatter under the weight of the rebellion...

If all, I'm already feeling the anticipation in this book! I'm really curious about Mare and find out what she's going to do or who she's going to become. This book is definitely on my summer TBR, especially because it's been laying at home for a while now!

"If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different."

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Next on my list of to be read books is a book by one of my favorite Authors! It's the 4th one in the Covenant series: Apollyon. It's been so long since I've read a book by her, the last book I read by her was Deity that stopped with some sort of a cliffhanger which means it's absolutely time to read this book!

Alex has always feared that she'd lose herself during her life and this time, she feels lost in her new world. The gods are also making a mess of it by killing everyone and everything that comes in their way. Luckily for Alex, there's one thing stronger than fate and one person that'd risk everything, even fighting his own gods, to bring her back to the world she has always known and also to make her be herself again. But Alex is having a tough time in finding who she really is. Will she set Seth free or will she become the thing she never wanted to be?

This book is the last but one in this series which means I'm in for a book full of thrill because we're coming closer to the end of the series!

"Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex."

The Selection by Kiera Cass
A series that everyone seems to enjoy a lot is the Selection-series. For my birthday, I've received the first three books and I'm planning on reading each and every one of this series this summer!

The Selection is the opportunity every girl has been waiting on. It's the time where you can change your normal life into one with crowns, absolutely amazing dresses, glittering things and a palace to live in. Thirty-five girls will fight against each other to get what they want: the Prince and the new life. America Singer is one of those girls that is selected yet she wishes she never was selected at all. She doesn't want the crowns, the dresses, the glitter or the Prince. She wants her life, which might be normal but still amazing... 

I'm really curious to what's going to happen since America isn't keen on it at all. Who knows maybe she'll want it after a while, maybe she'll be a rebellion? I don't know at all! All I know is that I want to read the books especially because they got such beautiful covers!

"The life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined." 

How Hard Can Love Be? by Holly Bourne
A book that I've bought recently because I couldn't put it back is this one! I've never read a book by this author so I'm really in for a summer full of discovery! It feels very summer-y which is why I really want to read it now!

Amber feels like she needs some love. Her mother, who remarried and went to live in California, never really was the caring type which is why Amber feels the need to change this. She goes live with her for one summer, trying to get her mother to show some affection. And then there's someone else who also grabs her attention too but would he ever give her the attention she wants?

I feel this book will contain a lot of feels and how do I feel about that? Really good. Either that new person will rip her heart out or her mother will rip her heart out or just maybe things will walk very smoothly... All I know for certain is that I will enjoy this book! 

"There's no escaping the fact: love is hard."

So these were five books I really want to read during the summer but believe me, I've got more books that need to be read... So many books and so little time! I think we all know this struggle! Other books that need to be read are the following:
* Did I Mention I Miss You? (Estelle Maskame)
* Torn (Amanda Hocking)
* Haze (Paula Weston)
* The Power (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
* Let The Sky Fall (Shannon Messenger)
* Invaded (Melissa Landers)
* Teardrop (Lauren Kate)
See what I meant with too many books and so little time? 

"Books give a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight

to the imagination, and life 

to everything."

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Catching Fire (book VS movie)

Finally! Yes, I guess you can say that. I started the second book in the Hunger Games-trilogy in February and I only finished it now. It's just... I couldn't get into the story that fast, then followed a reading slump and therefore other books got between me and the book until now! I took it in my hands again and finished it in two days. 

This is going to be a slightly different review though. I found it really hard to make a review for the first book The Hunger Games and therefore I thought that I should do something different so I could make a review but without having a hard time! That's why I decided I'm going to compare it to the movie and tell which one I like better. For the ones that didn't read the Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, I recommend not reading on and read the review I did on the first book.

Last year around not only one tribute survived, this time there were two. Katniss and Peeta travel through the districts on their Tour but are closely watched. Some people don't buy what has happened in the arena last year and put Katniss to the test.
Under the eyes of the president, Katniss tries everything to make them believe. But things don't always go as planned, especially when the rebellions are starting to rise in the districts. As a punishment the Quarter Quell invites tributes out of the winners pool and that means Katniss is in for another round of the games and the pure torture.  
This time only one is leaving and she's betting everything on Peeta. 

First off I want to say that even though I wasn't into the book from the start, I did still really enjoy it. But because I was not into the first 100 pages, I decide to skip that part in the comparison because obviously, I don't remember a lot of that. 

What I do, already, want to tell is that I liked the book more than I did the movie. Although both were absolutely fantastic and I think we can agree that the producers made a very good job on the book translation. It's just so that the book gives you way more than the movie does. The thoughts of Katniss aren't told in the movie and that's a pity because she's got plenty. We can only guess what she's thinking by watching her expression and her reactions but I think those aren't as reliable because you're never sure. For me, her personal thoughts were something I was great fan of. It gives more dimension to this character and makes her more dynamic. 

It's not just only the thoughts that I wouldn't have mind to have in the movie but also just the little things. I mean the book has so much more story, while the movie obviously obsesses more with the games, which are important but still. The dress picking for example, I was such a fan of that part because it told so much about the current relation between Katniss and president Snow. The game he was playing with her and the tensions between them. 

There's also much more action they leave out of the movie, there's a section in the book where Katniss is stuck at the other end of the power line but the movie doesn't say a thing about it and that's so sad. It leads to so much more thrill and anticipation, to my opinion. 

Speaking of more thrill and anticipation two other things that were great in the book, but were left away in the movie are the meeting with the two girls that are going to District 13 and the whole Avox situation. Can I say that when I read these parts, I was absolutely excited? Not that it's something to be excited about I mean these are big deals but really... It's now that we get a lead to the third book! How can they not put it into the movie? I thought this was such an exciting event that just awakens the curiosity... Above that this information about District 13 is really important and creates the story partly.

And the Avox situation was sheer torture but wouldn't it have been amazing to see in the movie? It's this that puts so much more pressure on Katniss and shows again how bad the capitol is. This would've been yet another perspective, next to the games, to show the darkness of the capitol and its true face. It's a great asset to the book and a shame that the movie didn't use it. So those are two other reasons why I like the book better.

Secondly the changes, with all books that turn into a movie comes the moment where they decide to change things. The first thing that I noticed that was changed was the fact that Katniss was more open to have allies. Did I like this version better? Not really. The book keeps up with her character. Katniss is known to be stubborn and she keeps stubborn in the book, while in the movie we see a sudden change in her behavior. I just wasn't so fond of her change, I like her stubbornness because it accentuates her willpower and courage. 

Another thing that changed was in the arena... suddenly almost everyone could swim. The book tells us this is not the case, even Peeta can't and therefore just stands and waits. Do I like this version better? Partly. I did enjoy it in the book that many were helpless and needed saving but it's also more thrilling that they all can swim in the movie. It brings more thrill and you start wondering if they'll make it out alive since everyone rushes into the water to collect the weapons. While you know in the book, they're going to be fine since everyone stands there on their platforms waiting. 

Talking about partly liking a scene better, let's talk about the moment with the Jabberjays. I loved this part better in the movie. I think it's because I could really hear them scream and shout and also because I could really see it: how Peeta was, how Finnick reacted to them and so on. I just felt better watching it than reading it because it brought me more emotions because I could really visualize it. 

Another thing I noticed is that I feel like the book has a better vision on Katniss and Peeta. I'm all pro these two... and the moments they share in the book are worth dying for, right?! But the movie gave me the feeling that it focused rather more on Prim. It's not that I don't like Prim, I do but I love Peeta so I wished the beautiful, lovely, addictive moments between Peeta and Katniss were shown more in the movie. But you can't have it all right? 

What I did get in the movie was more Effie! In the first review I mentioned that I absolutely adore her and the movie gave me again more Effie than the book did. I'm hoping the third one will give me more of her than I've had in the first two books. I mean, she's so eccentric but it really makes me happy. So don't spoil me with telling me if there's more Effie or not but pray with me that I'm lucky and have more of her! I'll let you guys now if there's enough of Effie or not when I come to the third book!

And if there's a last thing I want to mention it's the dress Cinna made. I'm not going to complain about anything because both book and movie give such a good impression of it. And that's really what I wanted to mention... that dress! It's absolutely stunning right? I mean... Wauw. When I read the book, I didn't remember how it went down in the movie but I re-watched the movie and then I saw it and I was still stunned. Both book and movie made me feel very happy about the dress. 

I guess it's obvious that in my opinion there are more pro's towards the book than the movie. Overall both book and movie are really good and I also really enjoyed it. There are just parts I rather see the movie-version, parts where I rather have the book-version and the latter was the reaction I had most. Even though I had a hard time to get into the book, I still give it a 4.5 stars on Goodreads because it had so many things that surprised me, the characters are still as amazing as in the first book and the new characters made me laugh or get emotional a lot. And I think many will agree with me. Which one did you like better: the book or the movie? 

"She survived the Hunger Games. Now the Capitol wants revenge."