maandag 11 augustus 2014

July Book Haul

It has been a while since I wrote something on my blog other than a review. It's time for a Book Haul. I know I'm a little late with my haul for July, but I'm gonna do it anyhow.

Like so many people I'm on sort of a book buying ban. "Sort of" because I know I'm not able to stop buying books completely. It's just... I have so many unread books... I don't even have place for them anymore. I hope I'll have my own home soon so I can buy a huge bookcase! 

Here is my haul:

1. Hippy Chick by Louise Harwood

Ibiza: paradise for the clubbers, hedonists and sun-seekers, but for Honey Ballantyne it is the only home she has ever known. With the responsibility of running a hotel on her shoulders, and two hippy-dippy parents whose idea of a hard day's work is a yoga class without their clothes on, Honey feels trapped. When her first love, Edouard, returns to the island from London and truths about her parents start to unravel, Honey is forced to realize that before she can make decisions about her future she must reconcile herself with the past . . .

Hahaaaaa even if I would've been on a BBB (Book Buying Ban), it's not forbidden to swap a book, is it? I found this book in our hotel while we were in Greece this summer and you could just take it. They had an entire shelf with books left by tourists and you could just grab one and take it with you. Yay! I liked it! I'm not sure this book will be completely my style, but I'm planning on finding that out as soon as possible.

2. How to fall in love by Cecelia Ahern


She has just two weeks. Two weeks to teach him how to fall in love – with his own life.

Adam Basil and Christine Rose are thrown together late one night, when Christine is crossing the Halfpenny Bridge in Dublin. Adam is there, poised, threatening to jump. Adam is desperate – but Christine makes a crazy deal with him. His 35th birthday is looming and she bets him she can show him that life is worth living before then. 

Despite her determination, Christine knows what a dangerous promise she’s made. Against the ticking of the clock, the two of them embark on wild escapades, grand romantic gestures and some unlikely late-night outings. Slowly, Christine thinks Adam is starting to fall back in love with his life. 

But has she done enough to change his mind for good? And is that all that’s starting to happen?

I read the blurb of this book in a little folder our local bookstore always gives when you buy something and I liked it straight away! It looks like the kind of book I won't be able to put down. I'm really looking forward to read it, but the last month I let fait decide wich book I read next. I made a TBR jar (To Be Read jar) and pick a new paper out of it every time I finish a book. Hopefully I'll pick this one soon!

3. Take a chance on me by Jill Mansell

Cleo Quinn doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to men, but now Will's come along. Handsome and attentive, he could be her Mr Right. Things are definitely looking up for Cleo... apart from one small problem with a rather large ego. Johnny LaVenture, sculptor extraordinaire and her personal childhood nemesis, is back in Channing's Hill and tormenting her as if he'd never been away.

Meanwhile Cleo's sister Abbie has a problem of her own-husband Tom has become distant and withdrawn, and she's determined to find out why. But will the shocking truth mean the end of their idyllically happy marriage?

The sisters are about to discover that the past can come back to haunt you, and that love can flourish in the unlikeliest of places...

A deal where you buy 3 Jill Mansell books and only pay for 2 of them... I could NOT let this pass. Mansell was the author who introduced me to chick lit and I will be grateful for ever! Though I already have a lot of her books, I could find three more of them without a problem...

4. To the moon and back by Jill Mansell

The gorgeously indulgent, funny and touching new novel from the bestselling author

When Ellie Kendall tragically loses her husband she feels her life is over. But eventually she’s ready for a new start – at work, that is. She doesn’t need a new man when she has a certain secret visitor to keep her company...

Zack McLaren seems to have it all, but the girl he can’t stop thinking about won’t give him a second glance. If only she’d pay him the same attention she lavishes on his dog.

Moving to North London, Ellie meets neighbour Roo who has a secret of her own. Can the girls sort out their lives? Guilt is a powerful emotion, but a lot can happen in a year in Primrose Hill...

Same deal: book 2

5. Good at Games by Jill Mansell

Suzy fell for Harry the moment she showed him her husband's sperm sample. It didn't really belong to her husband though because she wasn't married, and the sperm sample was really just the dregs from her milk carton, but when you're trying to get off a speeding charge, you have to improvise, right?

Same deal: book 3





6. Porcia, wife of Brutus by Adelheid van Beuningen

It's 43 B.C., Porcia is dying. Marcus Junius Brutus's wife has cancer and she considers suicide. But first she'll put her life on paper and writes everything down. She takes the reader to her happy marriage where everything has something to do with the struggle between Brutus and his biggest political rival Julius Caesar. Porcia bluntly reports the murder on this powerful ruler and the evolution afterwards.

In "Porcia, wife of Brutus" Van Beuningen shows her facination for the ancient times: with her typical historical precesion she makes ancient Rome accessible through a political love story.

Since I'm a teacher in Latin and Ancient Greek, it's normal I always look out for books about these languages, cultures, countries,... I saw this book by accident in a cheap book store. It's a store with second hand books and new books that didn't sell too good. If I wanted this book, I had to act than and there because next time it would'nt be there anymore. I know, this sounds like an excuse... Maybe because it is one :p Hehe!

To be honest I don't know a lot about Porcia or Brutus. Maybe that's the reason why I wanted to read this book. It's always nice to discover new things!

7. The war that killed Achilles: The true story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War by Caroline Alexander

The dramatic events of the Trojan War are legend?but Homer's epic poem, Iliad, is devoted entirely to a few mundane weeks at the end of a debilitating, waning ten-year campaign. The story's focus is not on drama but on a bitter truth: both armies want nothing more than to stop fighting and go home. Achilles?the electrifying hero who is Homer's brilliant creation?quarrels with his commander, Agamemnon, but eventually returns to the field to avenge a comrade's death. Few warriors, in life or literature, have challenged their commanding officer and the rationale of the war they fought as fiercely as did Homer's Achilles. Homer's Iliad addresses the central questions defining the war experience of every age. Is a warrior ever justified in challenging his commander? Must he sacrifice his life for someone else's cause? Giving his life for his country, does a man betray his family? Can death ever be compensated by glory? How is a catastrophic war ever allowed to start?and why, if all parties wish it over, can it not be ended? As she did in The Endurance and The Bounty, Caroline Alexander has taken apart a story we think we know and put it back together in a way that reveals what Homer really meant us to glean from his masterpiece. Written with the authority of a scholar and the vigor of a bestselling narrative historian, The War That Killed Achilles is a superb and utterly timely presentation of one of the timeless stories of our civilization.

Same reason as book number 6. I'm just interested in all these subjects. I adored the IIiad at University. We had to read it entirely and scant every sentence. It was great to find hidden meanings and links with other stories. I loved the mythical creatures and the great loves in this book. The hatred int it was less "loveable", but it made the book so you can't really hate the hatred... If you understand what I'm trying to say :p

8. The England of Jane Austen by Karin Quint

Since this book is Dutch, I couldn't find an English blurb. It's one of my favorites of this month as I'm a Janeite in heart and soul. This book is like a travel guide and takes you along the house of Jane Austen, the places where she stayed in her life (or where her family lived), the Jane Austen Centre, houses that served as film locations in the many adaptations... It's soooooo cool to have this book and I can't wait to visit all these places. I also hope I'll be able to visit the Jane Austen festival in Bath once in my life (or more) :p. 






9. And here are the books I received to review. A big thank you to the authors! I will read your book soon :)



9a: Nowhere to Goa by Doug E. Jones
9b: The Memory Closet by Ninie Hammon
9c: The secret of flying by Margaret Buckhanon

Thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you have a great book haul too for July! If you have read one of the books above, it would be great to know what you thought of it. :)




zaterdag 9 augustus 2014

Review "Pride/Prejudice: a novel of mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and their forbidden lovers"

Some information

Title: Pride/Prejudice: a novel of mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, and their forbidden lovers
Author: Ann Herendeen
Pages: 432
Published: January 2010
Publisher: Haper Paperbacks
My source: Boekenfestijn
My score on Goodreads: 3 stars

Blurb


For readers who've loved Jane Austen's most popular novel—the inestimable Pride and Prejudice—questions have always remained. What is the real nature of Darcy's intense friendship with Charles Bingley, to explain why he would prevent Bingley's marriage to Elizabeth's beautiful and virtuous sister Jane? How can Darcy reconcile his own desire for Elizabeth with his determination to save his friend from a similar entanglement? What is the disturbing history behind Darcy's tortured relationship with his foster brother, George Wickham? And what other intimacies, besides their cherished friendship, are exchanged between Elizabeth and Charlotte Lucas?

Ann Herendeen, acclaimed author of Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, reimagines this classic love story, focusing on the untold aspects of Jane Austen's timeless novel. Pride/Prejudice brings to light all the buried secrets, potential scandals, and unspoken, forbidden loves of Austen's story, weaving a tale of intertwined passions, pride humbled, and ultimately, freedom from prejudice.

My review

Ok... this book was... strange... ?!... 

I hope it won't affect the way I see Pride and Prejudice, mr. Darcy and all the others. In Pride/Prejudice Ann Herendeen shows us a totally different interpretation of Austens book. She finds something more than friendship between Darcy and Bingley. The two men love each other in a totally different way and in the beginning I had the feeling they just wanted to marry a woman because society wanted/ expected them to. After reading a while though, I discovered I was wrong. I also discovered Ann Herendeen did a good job in describing the scenes we "miss" in Pride and Prejudice. Her descriptions weren't always my cup of tea, but she at least sought a declaration for some events in the real work. She tried to read between the lines and ended up with a story that made sense completely. I doubt I would read the same story between the lines of Pride and Prejudice, but I'm sure I wouldn't be able to fit my ideas that good in the real story. Sometimes I really thought "Oh my God, what if she's right? What if she interpreted this correct and I was wrong all the time?" It was scary... I don't want another idea of the original story. I don't want to see Darcy and Bingley in another way than I did before. 

I gave this book 3 stars because I think Ann Herendeen did a very good job, but I couldn't find myself in her version of the story. I had mixed feelings all the time, but I'm glad I read the book.


dinsdag 29 juli 2014

Review "The Gatekeeper's Sons"

Some information

Title: The Gatekeeper's Sons
Author: Eva Pohler
Pages: 384
Published: August 2012
Publisher: Green Press/Eva Pohler
My source: the author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars

Blurb

Fifteen-year-old Therese watches her parents die. While in a coma, she meets the twin sons of Hades—Hypnos, the god of sleep, and Thanatos, the god of death. She thinks she's manipulating a dream, not kissing the god of death and totally rocking his world. 

Than makes a deal with Hades and goes as a mortal to the Upperworld to try and win Therese's heart, but not all the gods are happy. Some give her gifts. Others try to kill her. 

The deal requires Therese to avenge the death of her parents. With the help of Than’s fierce and exotic sisters, the Furies, she finds herself in an arena face to face with the murderer, and only one will survive.

My review

Good book! This was my first audio book and I have to say I don't like audio books as much as I hoped I'd do. That's the reason why it took me so long to finish this book. The story was very good so that's not why I had to plough through it for months. 

In "The Gatekeeper's Sons" we meet Therese, 15 y.o., who just lost her parents in a terrible accident. The only problem is: the accident wasn't just an accident. It was a brutal murder and the person who pulled the trigger, wanted Therese to be dead too. In a way Therese would've liked this outcome better too, but the gods didn't believe she was ready to stop her life. 
The gods... in this story we are confronted with the Greek gods in all their glory. As a teacher in Greek and Latin I couldn't be thrilled more. I was frightened there would be lots of incorrect details, but I was happy to see Eva Pohler did a lot of research. Everything made sense and the whole story was poured in a beautiful whole. The gods were presented in a very good and complete way and the characters in the book were tangible, understandable, real,... The mix between gods and human beings was lovely.
After the accident Therese meets these gods very often. She even falls in love with one of the darkest gods in Greek mythology... Hades' son: Thanatos. His name means "Death", his job is to guide dead people to the underworld, the empire where his father is king. Why couldn't Therese fall for the cute boy next door? Why did she fall in love with an almost untangable god? Why is she risking her life to spend the rest of it with him in a world she doesn't know?

Beside the gods and the other characters I also liked the story. It was exciting from the beginning on! Sometimes I did believe there were otiose parts, but the main reason why I didn't like these parts was the voice reading this story. The person who did this was very good, but when you stumble upon an insipid part in a book you just start to read a little faster. With an audio book this wasn't possible and I had to listen to all these little parts in a very slow tempo. Hated it! That's why I prefer a real book instead of these audio books...


zaterdag 19 juli 2014

Review "Next Time Lucky"

Some information

Title: Next Time Lucky (Lessons of a Matchmaker)
Author: Siggy Buckley
Pages: 252
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Createspace
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars


Blurb

Cherie, a professional matchmaker from Dublin, Ireland, faces the ultimate challenge when she tries to find a soul mate for herself. She surfs the risky waves of the Internet and flies around the world to adventures, disappointments and not a few surprises. Chat-rooms prove to be intoxicating, and Cherie feels like in a kid in a candystore. Among the Lotharios she encounters are recycled bachelors, breezy islands of ego, fly-by-nights, birds of paradise, commitment phobics, and the odd sex maniac. She learns the hard way that it's easy come, uneasy go at this smorgasboard of cyber-dreamboats.
Her story is an intriguing read, offering a revealing glimpse into the world of cyber romance for singles that are toying with the idea, for those who haven’t dared yet, or those who just want to compare notes. It also discloses practical advice for modern day’s mate selection through the eyes of a dating expert, both on the Internet and in the real world.
With insight and great humor, Siggy Buckley tells the sassy story of a modern woman's dilemma of being independent yet longing for coupledom.
If you are thinking about online dating or want to compare notes, this book is a must.


My review

Well, this was something different from what I normally read... But I liked it! 

In "Next Time Lucky" we meet Cherie, a German woman who lives in Ireland. She's at a point in her life where she's looking out for something more. She feels lonely after her divorce and a break-up. Her children are learning how to fly on their own and Cherie has the feeling she's left alone. This is extra hard when your job is to match couples and find "the one" for your clients. How is it possible Cherie can't find the man of her dreams while she's a professional matchmaker? 
Luckily Cherie isn't the kind of person who just sits there and waits for something to happen. She takes control of the situation and starts to fly around in the world of Internet Dating. Something new for her since she's only familiar with a good old dating agency. I have to say: this woman is a brave one. She starts making appointments and going on dates with total strangers. She even travels the world for them. 
Cherie gets to know nice men but she also meets creeps or very strange persons with serious problems. Even these experiences don't make her stop her quest for the man of her life. She always hopes that next time, she'll be lucky... And as a reader you hope with her!

Though this wasn't the kind of book I would normally pick up to read, I have to say I enjoyed it. It was the perfect holiday read for me but I assume it's a good book whenever you read it. Cherie is a character you can really connect with, even though she doesn't always do sensible things. Her courage to meet these unknown men is something I don't get at all. I wouldn't be able to meet another stranger after a bad experience with one. Cherie keeps hoping and in that way I envy her! 
This book was funny, confronting and warning at the same time. Sometimes Cherie tends to see things black and white, but this gave a funny touch to the book. 
I do think that people who wanted to join the internet dating community will think twice after reading this book. They'll see that a lot of people aren't honest on the internet and meeting with them could be dangerous. 

The writing in this book is what I liked the most. You just keep on reading without noticing how many pages you've read. The story sweeps you away and you start hoping Cherie will be "Next Time Lucky"!


vrijdag 18 juli 2014

Review "The Fault In Our Stars"

Some information

Title: The fault in our stars
Author: John Green
Pages: 313
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
My Source: Standaard Book Shop
My score on Goodreads: 3 stars

Blurb

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


My review


I don't like cancer stories. 

Maybe that's all there is to say... I've had a real cancer story in my life and that was more than enough.

Why did I read this book in spite of my aversion? Because EVERYBODY praised the book and almost gave me the feeling I HAD to like it. Everywhere on the Internet I saw people showing this book, saying "this is my favorite book". Everybody said you would need some Kleenex while reading this book because it's so beautiful. Of course I need Kleenex when people have cancer and die too soon. 

Though I didn't like the book in the way I hoped I would like it, it's not bad either. Of course not :). I want to praise John Green for writing in such a beautiful way. He's able to describe everything in a way you have the feeling you're there with the characters. You feel like you know Hazel and Augustus. I loved the characters! Party because they feel so real, but also because they just don't care what people think or say. They want to enjoy life (although they also have their bad moments) because they know their version of life is and will be a little different from other versions. 

What I also liked about this book is the fact I really couldn't predict how it would all go. We're dealing with two main characters who describe themselves as ticking time bombs. They're living on the edge all the time and this made me reading a little faster. I wanted to know how it would all end (hoping everything would be solved in a miraculous way).

Something about the story... The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, meet each other at Cancer Kidd Support Group. Hazel hates to go there, but when she sees the handsome Augustus Waters appear, she starts to like it a little more. When this boy also seems to be funny and smart, she falls for him little by little. Augustus shows Hazel a totally new way of living your life and he makes her time on this planet more worthwhile. Hazel in her turn seems to calm Augustus down somewhat and shows him what real love is.

In short I liked this book but not as much as I hoped. Maybe my expectations where set too high because of all the good comments I heard about it. I'm very happy I've read the book but I don't think I'm going to recommend it to somebody. I hope the movie will be good because I'm planning on giving it a try...




zondag 1 juni 2014

Review "Never had a dream come true"

Some information

Title: Never had a dream come true
Author: Jennifer Wenn
Pages: 300
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
My source: author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars

Blurb

Lady Penelope de Vere has been in love with Rake for as long as she can remember, daydreaming over him constantly. But as her debut in the ton comes closer, she decides to finally let go of her silly childhood dream and accept someone else's wish to court her, someone who appreciates a quiet, book-filled life as she does. She wants marriage and, despite all the hints she throws his way, Rake only wants a mistress...she thinks. 

Lord Richard Darling has known Penny since she was a child and not once thought of her as anything but his niece's best friend and a very convenient scone-fetcher. That is, not until he happens upon her swimming in the lake at Chester Park dressed only in her thin chemise. A most eligible bachelor with a libertine reputation, he suddenly finds the girl he's always appreciated has turned into a woman he could love forever. So why won't she accept his proposal?

My review


I just couldn't put this book down. Instead I put my work down.

Though I had a lot to do this weekend, I claimed some time to read. I really needed to know what would happen in this story(even though I knew from the beginning on how it would all end). 

In "Never had a dream come true" Jennifer Wenn succeeds in delivering a beautiful story about two people who are desperately in love with each other without realising it. Richard and Penelope (Rake and Jenny) have known each other since Penny was born and had a familylike bond since. Penny's best friend, Francesca, is indeed Richards niece. As a child and teenager Penny couldn't keep her eyes of Rake and she always hoped he would notice her one day and confess her his love. When Penny turns eighteen this hope doens't seem so vain anymore, but as Rake is a proud libertine she's desperate he won't ever want to marry her. What follows are lots of misunderstandings, witty conversations, love, pain, sorrow, laughs, tears,... Just everything we need in a good romantic drama which turns out to be some kind of romantic comedy.

What I appreciated a lot while reading this story, is the fact Jennifer Wenn jumps from interesting event to interesting event. All the unnecessary parts are left out and captured in a few sentences. For example: we see Penny while she orders her dress for a party. Instead of telling us about the months between the fitting and the actual party, we just go straight on to this party. All the uninteresting months can be captured in a sentence like "months have passed". I love this! Some readers like long descriptions and like it that the "big moment" is put off as long as possible (suspense!), but I simply don't. I hate long descpriptions (only when I read Austen I can appreciate them) and I want a story to move on. This way you keep the reader and romantic soul in me interested.

Maybe all the misunderstandings and the difficult main characters (sometimes even I did roll my eyes) would bother some other readers, but they didn't bother me so I just did what I thought I should do: give the book five stars out of five! In my opinion this book didn't deserve less. It got me hooked from the first chapter on (can't say "the first page" because that wasn't true) and I hope other readers will love it as much as I did.


zaterdag 31 mei 2014

Review "Of love, actors and acrobats"

Some information

Title: Of love, actors and acrobats
Author: Brie Bennett
Pages: 358
Published: August 2012
Publisher:
My source: author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars

Blurb


How does a smart woman who doesn’t own a strapless dress and hasn’t had a manicure since senior prom find love in New York City? By going out on a Saturday night in sweatpants and a faded unicorn t-shirt, of course. At least, this approach seems to work for Zoe Richards, queen of bad dates and a boring job, newly thirty, and determined to turn her life around without becoming a vapid dilettante in the process.

Haunted by The Dream (true love, familial bliss, and a kickass career), Zoe turns the big 3-0 facing its antithesis. Her career? Neverending document review on a toilet plunger patent case. Familial bliss? Try coming home alone every night to a studio that could hardly fit a Keebler elf. And as for true love, that fabled nemesis of many a single woman, Zoe is a walking advertisement for why sperm banks might not be such a bad idea.

When serendipity throws Zoe into the path of Huck Gentry, dreamy star of the hit TV show Justice, Baby!, she must face all of her insecurities. Can girls with big noses who are in no danger of falling prey to anorexia win the heart of a guy like Huck? Of Love, Actors, and Acrobats is a hilarious look at what happens when you dare to be yourself and take a chance on love. For any woman who has ever dreamed of changing her life or ever struggled with why things just don’t seem to come together, Zoe’s antics provide an opportunity to laugh about the crazy double standards women today face in pursuit of the perfect life.

My review

Sometimes it just takes me a (long) while to start reading a book I was given for a review. I'm always honest with the authors... If they send me an e-book, it may end up in my huge pile of books and I don't know when I will get to it. To be honest I wasn't sure I was glad to stumble upon this book. I didn't know what to expect "of love, actors and acrobats". What was this book about? I hadn't read the blurb and the title didn't give away a lot. Luckily I saw the word "love" and thought "Well yeah, I can use a romantic book..." and I'm glad I could. 

"Of love, actors and acrobats" is more than a simple love story. It's a funny and recognizable love story. The main character, Zoe, is witty and says the wrong things all the time but at the same time her timing is perfect and she manages to do everything good in a bad way. She personifies a lot of girls. All the girls who aren't sure about their looks, who think they're less, who have doubts, who don't know if they'll find true love. Zoe gives those girls hope. She shows them everything is possible... as long as you believe in yourself. 
This last part is a difficult stumbling block for Zoe. When she meets the man of her dreams, Huck, she's not sure whether this is all possible for her. Isn't she too normal? Too thick? Too "everything this perfect man doesn't need or want in his life"? It appears she's not, but the hard thing for Zoe is to believe this.

In this book you see Zoe in all her glory. You see her as happy as she can be. You see her crying. You see her making jokes about everything. You see her at times she doesn't know what to say. It's a very good way to get to know this character and to note the little or big things you have in common with her.

I enjoyed this book a lot but I didn't gave it 5 stars because there where parts I thought of as a little boring. Most of the time I loved the story and the characters though, so if you ever get the chance to read it: have fun!


maandag 14 april 2014

Review "Attachments"

Some information

Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Pages: 368
Published: February 2012
Publisher: Orion
My Scource: Standaard Boekhandel
My Score on Goodreads: 5 stars

Blurb

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Review

Wow, I loved this book! I didn't know Rainbow Rowell, but since I'm a new addict to Booktube, I discoverd her while watching booktubers raving about her books. For me the story started a little slow, but after a while I couldn't put it down anymore. You get to know the characters Jennifer, Beth and Lincoln pretty good through the e-mails of both women and the thoughts of Lincoln. You know I like good characters, especially when I can relate to them and this is a reason why I started liking this book an awful lot. 

In "Attachments" we meet Jennifer and Beth, two women working for the same newspaper in 1999. The Internet is fairly new at their office so they use it to the maximum and send each other a lot of e-mails concerning their private life. Because the bosses don't trust this new Internet hype, they hire Lincoln. An 28 y.o. man with a lot of majors who thought he would be chasing hackers and building firewalls as the new Internet Security Officer. Too bad for him he just gets to read e-mails between co-workers and has to check them for inappropriate content. I said "too bad", but maybe this stupid job (at night!) is the best thing that ever happened to Lincoln. He doesn't realise it at the beginning, but by reading other peoples e-mails he gets to know some of them pretty well. In this case he gets to know Jennifer and Beth because sometimes they tend to talk about "inappropriate stuff" with each other. Lincoln doesn't turn them in though... Just because he likes these women and starts to feel like they're his friends at work. In the end they ARE charing personal information with him... isn't it?

In this book we see Lincoln struggle with feelings of love, guilt and disorientation. Is this the job for him? Is this the life for him? Is this the "wife" for him? He just doesn't know it anymore and his mother isn't really helping. It's a book that keeps you hoping there will be a good ending to it, but it keeps putting you on the wrong track too. I loved it!


Review "Een schitterend gebrek"

Some information

Title: Een schitterend gebrek
Author: Arthur Japin
Pages: 239
Published: 2003
Publisher: Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers
My Source: My neighbour (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 5 stars (would give it 6 if I could)

Blurb (in Dutch)

Lucia en Casanova leren elkaar kennen op een feest nabij Venetiƫ, worden verliefd en beloven elkaar eeuwige trouw. Maar kort daarna verdwijnt Lucia plotseling uit Casanova's leven. Vele jaren later ontmoeten ze elkaar in een Amsterdamse schouwburg bij toeval opnieuw. Hij heeft er geen weet van dat zij het is omdat ze haar gezicht onder een sluier verbergt, en hij probeert haar te veroveren op de van hem bekende wijze.

Voor Lucia is de schokkende confrontatie aanleiding tot een reconstructie: haar jeugd in de Veneto, haar kortstondige maar heftige liefde voor Casanova, de verwoestende ziekte die haar trof, haar vlucht naar Amsterdam en haar werk als hoer. Langzaam wordt duidelijk dat haar verdwijning geen verraad was, maar een daad van liefde.

Review

I didn't plan on reading this book. I hadn't heard about it or about the author AT ALL. Shame on me! But then there was my lovely neighbour who asked me if I had ever read this book. When I told her "Nope", she lent it to me, after which I read it in one day. AND I TOTALLY LOVED IT! 

At first I was I little reserved. Would I be able to like a book about Casanova? I don't have a thing with this man and I hate the fact he is known as a womanizer. Juk! But then, I started reading... and reading. And I kept on reading without being able to put the book down. I liked the way the whole story is told from the perspective of Lucia, the first and only real love of Casanova. She tells everything in first person and switches between the present and the past. In this pendulum we get to know who the real Casanova was before he was disappointed in love and started to court every single woman he met. It made me like this man even though I started the book standing aloof. 

Lucia is a great character. She was only fourteen years old when she met Casanova(while he was a guest)at the mansion where she and her parents worked for a rich lady. She loved him right away and it seemed to be mutual. When Casanova leaves the house to make a career and promises her to come back, this means the world to Lucia. She hopes he can be whatever he wants to be and she certainly hopes she will stand near him for the rest of their lives. Too bad all these hopes were in vain. Lucia is hit by a terrible and dangerous disease while Casanova it away. Luckily she survives, but she is different afterwards. So different she fears to face her great love and runs away without letting him know why. 
Many years later Lucia meets an interesting man. She now lives in Amsterdam and has made her live work even though it wasn't easy at all. This interesting man reminds her of her only and first love, Casanova... Could it be him?

Oooh, I'd love to read some more books by Arthur Japin and I hope they will be as good as this one. I obviously recommend this book to anyone!


Review "Loving Mr. Darcy"

Some information

Title: Loving Mr. Darcy
Author: Sharon Lathan
Pages: 448 (aaargh)
Published: September 2009
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
My Scource: Boekenfestijn Gent
My Score on Goodreads: 2 stars

Blurb

Darcy and Lizzy venture away from Pemberley to journey through England, finding friends, relatives, fun, love, and an even deeper and more sacred bond along the way.

Having embarked on the greatest adventure of all, marriage and the start of a new life together, now the Darcys take the reader on a journey through a time of prosperity, enjoyment, and security. They experience all the adventures of travel, with friends
and relatives providing both companionship and complications, and with fun as their focus.

The sights and sounds, tastes and flavors of Regency England come alive. Through it all, Darcy and Lizzy continue to build a marriage filled with romance, sensuality, and the beauty of a deep, abiding love.

Review

I have to admit something. Every single time I pass by something related to Jane Austen, even in the smallest way, I have to go back, hug it a little and eventually buy it. Sometimes though this "love at first sight" turns out to be a little disappointing. That was the case with this book. I didn't dislike it, but I didn't like it too. Maybe it was the fact that there didn't happen a thing in this book that made me feel this way. I love to read love stories, but there has to happen something in them. This book just went on and on about the ever lasting love between Elizabeth and Darcy. Only a few chapters away from the end there happens something with these characters. For the rest of the time they say "I love you" a thousand times, buy a lot of things and think about all the things they still have to do. Tiresome!


maandag 31 maart 2014

March Book Haul


Last month has been crazy! I didn't even have the time to read a lot... Two books... In a whole month... I am ashamed of myself! You already have my review of "Vic Mongol" and currently I'm reading "Loving mr. Darcy" by Sharon Lathan. I hope I'll finish this book before the end of this week. It's like a super slow read! Aaargh! 

This lack of time didn't hold me back from buying books though. Luckily! I stille have a huge TBR pile in my room after I went to a Book Outlet a few months ago, but I'm going to ignore that for a while. I'll show those outlet books to you later. I promise!

Because I'm currently into Booktube (I LOVE IT), you'll probably recognize the books I've bought and ordered this month. They're books everybody on Youtube is raving about, so they made me a little curious. Some of these books should have been on my shelves long before now, but I finally bought them. 

Here they are (I'm super excited about all of them!) 


1. John Green - The fault in our stars (couldn't stay behind!)
2. Rachel Gibson - Run to you
3. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
3. Rainbow Rowell - Fangirl (ordered, still waiting for it)
4. Rainbow Rowell - Attachments (ordered, still waiting for it)



I have to say I really hate this cover of "Run to you"... I have another one (it isn't pretty either, but it's better than this one). The cover of "The Book Thief" isn't my favorite one either, but they only had this copy in my bookstore and I didn't wan't to wait for another one.
I'm looking forward to read all these books, but I have to read some others first. Finally I can start my two weeks of freedom! READING!


dinsdag 11 maart 2014

Review "Vic Mongol"

Some information

Title: Vic Mongol
Author: Jerry Gill
Pages: 162
Published: January 2014
Publisher: Ann\Darrow#company
My Scource: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 2 stars 

Blurb


Since man has been man, those called wise in every generation and culture have declared that true love never dies. There must be a reason they keep saying this. 
A merciless, agonizing memory can sometimes break a person and render them incapable of facing even the commonplace without being unnerved. Then sometimes it will forge a person into something more than human, a figure of near super human ability who can take action in even the most savage of circumstances.
Victoria Custer remembered how she and the one to whom she vowed her eternal love were buried by mountains and swallowed by the sea. That painful, frightening memory from a thousand generations past has forged her into something more than she was and has emboldened her with unrelenting purpose. Now, as Vic Challenger, she will confront even the grimmest peril and will venture into situations so horrible they make the bravest of men cower and weep for their mother. Vic has embarked against all odds on an epic quest that may last a lifetime and on any day could bring violent death. She has learned from her mysterious avatar Nat-ul, even when you face the gravest of threats, you need not be brave, you just need to do what needs done, for no matter how dire the circumstances, “It’s not hard. It’s just living.”
Nothing short of death will stop Vic. And even death itself seems to have failed at least once.
It’s the Fall of 1920 and Vic Challenger and her friend Lin Li have gone to Mongolia. They thought they were prepared for anything but doom begins to hound them, in the form of Hung-hu-tzes, White Russians, and hellish creatures that stalk them from underground. This is Lin's first trip with Vic but will it also be her last? They both have to wonder how this trip will end...

Review

Writing a book isn't easy, neither is writing a review about it. Sometimes you just don't know what to think about something you've read. For me that's the case with this book "Vic Mongol". I didn't know what to expect after reading the text on the cover. I also was a little scared because it's the second book about this main character, Vic, and I haven't read the first one. Always dangerous... I read the book nevertheless and now I'm sitting here and I don't know what to write about it.

The main thing that confuses me is the fact there seem to be many little unimportant stories in this book. We have a main character who's on a sort of quest in her life. We see her leaving for a trip to the other side of the world, hoping to find the person she's looking for. The one who can make her life complete. The curiosity is that this quest always seems to be put in the second place. Vic always gets in big trouble and instead of dealing with those things as quickly as possible, she always ends up putting these trouble central in her life. Where has her quest gone? Why doesn't she put more effort in finding that important person? Her whole life is dedicated to that mysterious person, but it seems to be easy to forget about him and end up looking for the murderer of an old lady she doesn't know of getting involved in political matters in Mongolia. Most of the time this just didn't make sense to me.

Who is this "Vic"? Victoria Custer, a.k.a. Vic Challenger, is a young reporter. She loves to travel around the world, take pictures of the amazing things around her and write controversial articles about them. Vic looks like a normal girl, a girly girl even, but she's everything but that. Vic has some sort of alter ego, Nat-ul. In her dreams Vic can communicate with this girl who lived more than a thousand years ago. Everything makes her believe she once was that person and is now reincarnated in a new human being. Nat-ul was in love with Nu, the son of Nu. A great warrior who returned her love and killed the biggest wild cat in the world to show her his love. Sadly Nu was killed after a giant earthquake. The cave he hid in, collapsed and he died. Nat-ul didn't survive this earthquake either but her soul keeps on searching her lover. Her soul which lives on in Vic Challenger.

Apart from Vic we also have some other characters in the book, but we don't get to know them very well. This is one of the things I didn't like about this story. Sometimes all of our characters and the crazy situations they were in, just became a big blur. Also the frequent hunting on animals, the unbelieveable situations and the supernatural creatures made me sigh more than once. Further there were a lot of indistinct descriptions of crazy situations. 

All these things set apart, this could be a good book for people who like this writing style, this genre and this kind of stories. 


zondag 23 februari 2014

Review "The Trouble with Valentine's Day"

Some information

Title: The Trouble with Valentine's Day
Author: Rachel Gibson
Pages: 368
Published: January 2005
Publisher: Avon
My Scource: gift
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars

Covertext

Dumped by her boyfriend, stressed out by her job, Kate Hamilton needs to regroup and get back some self-esteem. She moves from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the wilderness of Gospel, Idaho for some small-town fun. But when her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected, she wonders what else could possibly go wrong?

Well, for starters she quickly realizes that the Mountain Mama Crafters Original Poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then she comes face to face with Rob Sutter, former ice hockey madman, owner of Sutter's Sports—and the hunky stranger who told her to get lost!

Rob's been more than burned by love—but then he and Kate find themselves in an ultra-compromising position in the M & S Market after-hours, giveing the phrase "clean-up in aisle five" a whole new meaning, and cause a whole lot of gossip in Gospel...

My short review

I don't know if this book is my favorite written by Rachel Gibson, but I liked it a lot! The characters in "The troube with Valentine's Day" are really great and very credible. The story is written in a way you keep on wondering what will happen even though you secretly know how it will all end. I never get tired of reading Gibsons books. In every single one of them the same things happen againts a slightly different background, but that doesn't matter. She knows how to keep her readers entertained and that's all I need in a chick lit book. Loved it and hope you'll love it too. I can't wait to start the other books in this series...


maandag 17 februari 2014

Review "Playing the Part"


Some information

Title: Playing the Part
Author: Darcy Daniel
Pages: 179
Published: February 2013
Publisher: Carina Press
My scource: The author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 5 stars!

Covertext

Anthea Cane is a successful actress—well, action star. Her films are mostly about how hot she looks silhouetted by fiery explosions. But Anthea is determined to prove she's more than just a body. With the role of a lifetime up for grabs—a serious adaptation of her favorite novel—Anthea sets off to her small hometown in the name of research.

Cole Daniel is a blind farmer with no patience for divas, especially one who mercilessly teased him as a young boy. When Anthea shows up using a fake name and pestering him into letting her stay, he can't pass up the opportunity to torment her just a little.

But Anthea won't let the stubborn farmer deter her from her goal, even if he is hotter than any man she's ever met. Cole finds his form of payback less than satisfying when Anthea keeps turning the tables on him, proving her mettle and gaining his respect. Will Anthea's research land her a man, as well as the part?

My review

When I pick up a chick lit book I always hope to find another kind of story. Something I didn't already read in four different books with different characters in the same situation. Darcy Daniel did a great job writing "Playing the Part". She managed to offer her readers a beautiful and sweet story without repeating one. Her characters were very real to me and I really loved them though they weren't always shining and on their best behaviour.

In this book we meet Anthea, a movie star without big roles behind her name. She's only asked for action movies where her looks can be used. For a long time she just didn't care about this, but when she wants a role in a movie adaptation of her (passed away) mothers favorite book and nobody believes she can do it, she starts to reconsider her career. Is this everything her life will ever be? Are people only "liking" her because of how she looks? Don't they believe she has some kind of depth? Apparantly not and this bothers Anthea above anything. 
She decides to demand an audition for the role and to do some research. The movie she wants to play in "The Farmers wife" is set in the country. Where would she do her research best? In Mayfield, the town she lived in when she was younger. 
In this town she meets Cole, a handsome, blind farmer she bullied in school. Thing is Anthea needs him to do her research. He's a farmer and she needs to know what it feels like to be a farmers wife... Would be great if she could use him or euhm "work together" with him... Because she knows Cole wouldn't welcome her with open arms, she invents a fake name and lies to him... Luckily these lies can't keep her from falling in love with him... madly... 

In this book you see the evolution of two people who dislike each other a lot to two people who want to care for and love each other 'till eternity... Darcy Daniel describes the feelings of these characters very very well and gives you the feeling you're out there in the field too. I also liked the sometimes detailed descriptions of little things in life. This made me connect even more with Cole. For this blind man, details are very important. Even the once superficial Anthea starts to get this and she learns to appreciate the little things in life. She completely transforms from a selfish star to a loving and caring woman who puts Cole in the first place. 

This really is a story that makes you smile. For me it might have been a little longer ;) I read it in one day and regretted that it came to an end...


Review "Suicide Game"

Some information

Title: Suicide Game
Author: Haidji
Pages: 358
Published: October 2013
Publisher: Createspace
My scource: Author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars

Covertext

Eight thousand candidates sign up for the Suicide Game. Only one can win. Their destination: the Night Stadium, a place of makeup and music, fear and adrenaline, blood and romance, celebration and death.
Each candidate has his or her own reason for entering the Game. The Council runs the Game. The outcome of the Game is left to fate...in the laps of the gods. The candidates will jump to their deaths in order to win everything, before capacity crowds in the Stadium. The public follows every jump, live on TV and on their mobile screens, choosing their favorite candidates and betting on their lives. 
The Game’s community also includes geeks, mafia, makeup artists, master chefs, models, musicians, ordinary workers, spies, terrorists, and many others. SG - Suicide Game is the story of the candidates’ journey. It boldly imagines a place where death and denial are interwoven with hope, choices and the innate desire for happiness. Impressive in the totality of its vision, it is an exploration of the best and worst things in our lives, nightmares and especially, our dreams.

My review

Strange title, strange story, not my genre at all,... I didn't think I would like this book the way I did. Can't say I completely changed my mind. For me, it's still a strange book with a very odd theme. On the other hand I believe it could be refreshing to read this kind of story. A book about a Game where people choose to commit suicide before the eyes of thousands of people is one of a kind. It's possible you're offended by this story, but author Haidji dares to write it down for us and we should appreciate that!

It's not because the author dared to write this kind of story I gave "Suicide Game" 4 stars. It's because of the messages hidden in the book. Haidji shows us some people who were let down by society. People who don't want to live anymore or are prepared to offer their lives for others. Second of all I liked the writing style. Though this was not my genre at all, I wanted to know what would happen next and kept on reading. It's a style that drags you along. 
One thing I didn't like was the repeated "intro" of the Game. Every step of the Game a hostess cheers on the people who are ready to jump and at the same time she tries to spread enthusiasm. Every step of the Game is consequently accompanied by the exact same words and this started to bother me after a while. 
Another thing I would have changed if I could was the Game itself. This Suicide Game could be called "Jump Game" too. There isn't much variation in the way the contestants test their luck.

Suicide Game puts you to thinking about our society. What if... ? What if this kind of Games where people commit suicide to entertain others would be accepted in our world? I think I would be indignant! In this Game the public pays a lot of money to see people die. They bet on who's going to survive and who isn't. They buy T-shirts with the Suicide Game symbol on them, eat suicide dogs, clap when big groups of people face death,... It's horrific! The contradiction in this game is that after a while the public starts to care for the contestants. They don't want their favorites to die, they cry when they see who's behind the candidate. A human being of flesh and blood. The public starts to realise they could be on the other side of the Game too. Maybe one day they will wake up disappointed in society too or they will see they have nobody in their life to rely on... That's the day they could enter the Suicide Game too and when that day arrives they wouldn't be clapping during every jump. They would be scared... 

I hope that everybody who's willing to read this book will start to think about it like I did and love it.


zondag 19 januari 2014

Review "Dawn at Last"

Some information

Title: Dawn at Last
Author: Lawrence Grodecki
Pages: 251 (e-book)
Published: September 2013
Publisher: Lawrence Grodecki
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 3 stars

Covertext

A smart and sexy romance, perhaps the kind your mother doesn't want you to know? Chances are she will love it too, even though this is definitely not old school shenanigans!

Secrets deeper than the Seven Seas . . . 

Modern day Victoria, BC sets the stage for Donna Belauche, a professional intimacy counselor who keeps her client list short and her list of friends shorter. Life is far from fun and games for Donna. In her quiet time, it is not her work that brings her to the brink of madness. It’s the weight of her past – so many deep secrets – almost crushing her. Holding love at arm’s length, she pushes men away, even one who especially adores her.

"That's when she wrote in her journal, 'genuinely kind and charming,' but next to that she added 'perhaps a little dangerous…be very careful.'"

Making Dali Blush 

As she pushes love away, Donna devotes her free time to the pursuit of a different kind of passion - a hobby involving tulips, a creative exploration of women – an exploration of what some call sinful, and yet others divine. She is not alone in this project. She and her partners do it all in the name of art . . . but have they taken it all too far?

"As wonderful as it seemed, still is it even okay, or was it all just decadence? Yet such a sweet decadence, as fresh as the first drop of honey."

It's funny how it works when love's at play. 

Some say this book is controversial because of its characters - interracial relationships, unconventional pasts, and affairs between lady friends who are oblivious to the label, "lesbian romance". They see nothing unusual in any of it. For them it is just how they live. There is Ben, the house painter who will paint most anything, and a server named Sunni, with a thing for buns. Along with three others, they manage to help Donna find her way, almost in spite of themselves. They don't realize how important each is to the other, especially to Donna, as she scratches away at the ties that bind her.

Untwisting the Night Away 

The lives of these misfits twist together like vines - never knowing exactly where they will wind up. Through all the intertwining, love offers up one amusing surprise after another. Then, on one final night - three men and three ladies - everything finally comes together. Lives are changed forever . . . but for the better? How does one ever really know? At last, is it ever just about love?

My review

Hmmm difficult one... The author of this book, Lawrence Grodecki, is a great and kind person and I wish I could say that this book was great too, but it wasn't completely my kind of thing. 

The story itself was pretty good. I liked the idea and the plot development was worked out very well. In "Dawn at Last" we meet a lot of people who are connected to each other in one way or another. The thing is most of them don't know they are connected to so many people around them. The main thing that brings them all together is a secret art project hosted by Charles Lartimer. He and his two companions, Pierre and Donna, have created something like an art heaven on earth (this is how they see it). They'd like to keep it a secret because it needs to be exclusive and they sometimes do things that aren't respected by "normal" people.
It's impossible for me to give you the whole plot without giving away spoilers.

Why wasn't the story my kind of thing? I don't know. Maybe I didn't believe the characters. Sometimes they all seemed so unreal to me I couldn't see them as actual "people". Maybe all the long dialogues and descriptions started to get on my nerves. You can sense the author wants to learn us a lot of lessons. He wants to share a lot of wisdom with us, but all these things don't come across (for me that is) as he would like it. Maybe it all seemed too far-fetched at times. I just don't know. 
Some people would blame the story, but I liked the story itself. I can't blame a thing. It's just that generally the book didn't seem to please me. Did I have expectations that were too high? It's possible. 

The strange thing is that, if I can ever read the sequel, I will do it with pleasure. Though it wasn't completely my genre, I would like to know how these characters develop. Maybe they get more real once you really get to know them and once you see them grow. 

The fact I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to, shouldn't keep you from reading it. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this kind of book. I really don't know.