Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag A.K.A. What Happened to 2016 Tag

Thank you Jess for tagging me! Go check out her blog if you haven’t already because it’s gorgeous

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2016

This used to be Stars Above, but then I read Monsters of Men. It was an amazing rollercoaster and definitely didn’t disappoint. I havent’ reviewed any of the books in the trilogy, and I’m not sure I will. I just don’t know how to put my love for these books into words.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2016

I’m going with The Ask and the Answer, because apparently I haven’t even read that many sequels this year (and Stars Above doesn’t really count, since only the last story takes place after Winter).

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

Woops still haven’t read Lady Midnight

I kid you not I’ve been at the bookstore, stared at it, and picked up other books. I’ve kind of lost my excitement and there are other books I’d rather read. But I still want to read it! It just isn’t a priority anymore (I seriously don’t know what happened. Like I was so excited before it came out and then it did and I just…)

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

To be honest I’m not sure what books are coming out this year. I’m really not keeping up, because I’ve been really busy with school and now I figure I’ll just see when books come out when everyone in the community starts reading them lol. BUT I really can’t wait to read Heartless. Alice in Wonderland and written by Marissa Meyer? Yes please *grabby hands*

5. Biggest disappointment

a thousand nightsIT’S SO PRETTY. BOTH ON THE OUTSIDE AND INSIDE. BUT NOT STORY WISE. I was incredibly bored during this one. I love fairy tale retellings, but this one? Nope nope nope. Read my review here. Really wouldn’t recommend this one. BUT there are people out there who really love it, so that said if you’re interested in it still check it out.

6. Biggest surprise

Crystal Magic by Madeline Freeman. I got it for free on Amazon and the previous free e-books I had read weren’t that great, so my expectations were really, really low. But I really enjoyed this one! Read my review here.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

I think it’s a tie between Becky Albertali and Maggie Stiefvater, though I’ve met Becky at YalfestNL and she was so cute and lovely so I’m leaning towards her

8. Newest fictional crush

I’m afraid to say that there’s no new addition to my fictional boy harem

9. Newest favourite characterimg_0014

Definitely Simon Spiers! Also one of my favourite protagonist *nods* I mean he’s a Potterhead so how could I not love him (yes I’m biased so what ssh) Read my review here.

10. Book that made you cry

I reread The Perks of Being a Wallflower which made me cry again

11. Book that made you happy

starsaboveStars Above. Especially the last story. If you’ve read it you know what I’m talking about. It was just perfect and put a smile on my face. I loved seeing the gang all together again. The story of Cinder and Kai’s first meeting from Kai’s POV also put a big goofy smile on my face though. Read my review here.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I got Harry Potter Film Wizardry for my birthday and that definitely qualifies. It’s gorgeous inside and out. While I haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I don’t have any specific books really. I just want to read all the unread books on my shelves (not going to happen. Like I’m going to finish Les Mis hahaha. I really need to finally read that)

14. Favourite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

I assume this has to be someone you discovered this year? Then I’m choosing (sounds like I’m choosing a Pokemon haha – SPEAKING OF WHICH BY THE TIME THIS IS PUBLISHED I’D BETTER HAVE POKEMON GO) Liam from Hey Ashers! His reviews are brilliant – not just well-written and with good points, but also hilarious.

15. Tag! Who’s It?

Fadwa | Evi | Zin | Annemieke | Samantha | Marie | Joan | Emma 

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

How was the first half year of 2016 reading wise for you? What is your favourite and worst book so far? Any answers we have in common? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Courtship Tag

Quite some time ago I was tagged by Josie from Josie’s Book Corner. Thank you and sorry it took me so long! Because when I say ‘quite some time ago’ I mean like a year woops. Fun fact: I had already started this post, but then forgot or something? I don’t know what happened. Anyway don’t forget to check out her amazing blog!

Phase One: Initial Attraction: A book you bought because of the cover

*laughs maniacally as she looks at all the pretty books on her shelves*

I mean, the cover is the first thing you see, so of course a lot of books’ covers drew me in. BUT! I do not buy a book solely because of it’s cover. I grab something because of the cover, then if the blurb sounds good, I’ll buy it.

a thousand nights

Sadly, though it sounded good, it wasn’t.

Phase Two: First Impressions: A book you got because of the summary

Pretty much every book ever haha.

Phase Three: Sweet Talk: A book with great writing

Thankfully I know quite a few for this category, but I’ll go with The Book Thief, because it is one of my favourite stand-alones (second favourite after The Perks of Being a Wallflower) and it’s beautifully written. Sadly I have the movie cover so it’s not that pretty…

ONE DAY I’LL OWN A PRETTY EDITION.

Phase Four: First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series

Oh gosh so many boooks. Actually not that many. Of course I could go with the expected answer that is Harry Potter, but let’s go with Percy Jackson. I immediately bought the rest of the series when I finished The Lightning Thief.

Phase Five: Late night phone calls: A book that kept you up all night long

Definitely The Ask and the Answer. Not all night long though. I never stay awake that long haha.

Phase Six: Always on my mind: A book that you could not stop thinking about

carry on

I couldn’t stop thinking about Carry On for a while after I finished it. I was just so high on Snowbaz feels.

Phase Seven: Getting Physical: A book in which you love the way it feels

Oooh again every book ever. I just love the way books feel and I always pet them.

Phase Eight:  Meeting the Parents: A book in which you would recommend to your friends and family

I was going to say Harry Potter, but then I saw the next question. I’m going to go with The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is my favourite standalone. I’d honestly throw this book at everyone if I didn’t have a no-throwing-books-policy.

Phase Nine: Thinking about the future: A book or series that you know you’ll re-read many times in the future

Does it surprise anyone when I say Harry Potter

Phase Ten: Share the love! Here’s who I am tagging

The Jouska | Holly | Victoria | Liam | Carrianna | Aria

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

What book did you recently purchase because of it’s cover? And which one would you throw at everyone you ever met? Let me know in the comments! 

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Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

a thousand nights

Genre: Ya | fairytale retelling | fantasy
Goodreads rating: 3.68
My rating: ★

summary

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster (Goodreads).

review

Let me start this review with this gif:

That’s what this book was. The writing style didn’t captivate me, nothing happened until like the last 30 pages and it was basically just: ‘they bathed me, they did my hair, then I went to weave’. Then there was this passage about how to weave.

I really, really, really don’t.

There were so many flashbacks that I didn’t care for. They didn’t add to the plot, the characters were dull and so were the flashbacks themselves. It’s such a shame, because look at that beautiful cover (that’s without the jacket) and the summary sounds so interesting too. But it isn’t. I skim-read a lot. I only read the dialogue and the first sentence of a paragraph to see if it was important.

Okay, let’s start from the beginning. The main character (who is never named) is almost immediately taken to the palace. It felt very fast to me, so fast that the pace felt off. Then once we get to the palace, barely anything happens. There are the evenings that Lo-Melkhiin visits the main character, but those scenes were just… I mean, I don’t get why he wouldn’t kill her already? Her stories really weren’t that captivating (I haven’t read the original fairy tale yet, but that’s why he doesn’t kill Scheherazade right?) and she herself isn’t that interesting either.

Oh and the irony:

irony

Okay, so it turns out that the main character has magical/special powers, which I guessed was because she was being turned into a ‘smallgod’. I thought this was a really interesting concept, but I didn’t really get it (there was an explanation of how her ancestor had been turned into one, but oh my God the story was so dull and long. Like please shorten it) and I still don’t really understand how her powers work, which is a shame. Also at first I really didn’t understand what was happening. She had these visions of her family back home and at first it just seemed like she was imagining that, you know in the ‘I wonder what they’re doing right now’ kind of way.

None of the characters felt realistic to me. Not only were they very flat and would I not be able to describe them, at some point I almost screamed at the book ‘NOBODY TALKS THAT WAY’.

WHAT I DID LIKE

  • No romance (which I didn’t expect)
  • SISTERS! It focuses on the relationship between the two sisters and that’s beautiful
  • I do like the concept, I just don’t like the execution of it
  • And of course the beautiful jacket, hardback itself and the pages (I’m so shallow lol)

SPOILER SECTION

Lo-Melkhiin was a cruel ruler and killed all his wives because he was possessed by a demon. We start with a prologue from this demon’s perspective, which was really promising and gave me chills and made me excited. Then we got the main characters pov and it was just

I wish the demon thing was explored more. At the end he has an army of them and I just? More background information please? What are they capable of? Do they just possess people?

So towards the end of the book the main character is allowed to go home for a bit for her sister’s wedding. There she finds out that her family had gathered an army and was preparing a war. ‘That is so exciting! Finally something is happening!’ I thought to myself, when I realised there were like 30 pages left. Um. Okay then.

By the time the actual war starts, there are only a few. The whole damn thing is over in like five pages. The main character saves the day with her mysterious powers because she’s of course a ‘special snowflake’.

And even though a war is supposed to be exciting, this one wasn’t? I was still skim-reading.

Of course if you wanted to read this, don’t feel discouraged! I’ve seen reviews of people who absolutely loved this book. It’s just not for me.

Did you read A Thousand Nights? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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Christmas 2015

Ah such an original title. Fun fact: I first typed 2016. YES I’M SECRETLY FROM THE FUTURE BUT I MUST KEEP THIS A SECRET. Which I just failed to do. Um. I’M JUST JOKING I’M NOT FROM THE FUTURE.

Anyway! I’ll start with the promised pictures of our Christmas tree, because a Christmas tree is the start of it all! At least it doesn’t feel like Christmas to me until our tree is up.

Under our tree we have my Christmas themed plushies haha. The hamsters are new (they’re the mascots for one of our biggest supermarket chains) but all the others were collected over the years. I think you can see the theme haha.

Here’s a picture of our entire tree plus the presents for my mom, grandfather, me and the people we got for Secret Santa. You can’t see the topper in this picture, but we want a new one anyway as it doesn’t go with the rest of the tree anymore.

The angel in the top right corner was made by me when I was little haha. It’s been a part of the tree ever since. Also, take a good look at Aurora. She seems to be missing something… Like part of a limp.

Of course I looked forward to Christmas because it meant spending time with my family (except for my mom and grandfather I don’t see the others that often!) but… I was also really excited because I could wear my Weasley jumper (not that I haven’t worn it already, but it feels so much more magical to wear it on Christmas itself haha).

christmas

We spent Christmas at my aunt’s, where we had lots of food (I really shouldn’t have eaten that much chocolate before dinner…), laughed a lot and of course opened presents. My six-year old cousin received all this stuff so he could be a knight (another sword, a shield and a helmet) so naturally I found myself sword fighting later on. If he had had a real sword I would be missing my hand now, let’s leave it at that haha. My mom was the victim later on, and he promised her he would bring his swords at New Years Eve so they can fight again (if he challenges me I shall bring out my wand. Just kidding, I’ll remind him how good my mom is. I’d like to keep my hand, thank you).

I got books (no surprise there). And some other book-related goodies.

The books I got are: A Thousand Nights, The Ask and the Answer, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Shatter Me and Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda. All in all I’m a happy bookworm! I also got sticky notes, new bookmarks and a mug.

I had to hold a photoshoot with A Thousand Nights though, because LOOK HOW GORGEOUS IT IS.

I hope the story itself is just as beautiful!

Before dinner my cousin was really hyperactive. At some point he claimed that we had to hide (‘Nah, I don’t have to. You go hide.’) which resulted in this gem:

If you can’t see him, you might have to zoom in haha. You may think he was that hyper because of the presents awaiting him, but nope, at this point we had already opened them!

We also held a photoshoot with him as a photographer (he refused to be in a picture himself). Though eventually my fabulous pose must have inspired him because he asked me to take a picture of him.

Then it was finally time for dinner (this is making me hungry – doesn’t help that it’s dinner time as I’m writing this). LOOK AT THOSE SHRIMP. Shrimp are very popular in our family. I feel like we all have some kind of obsession with them haha. This may not look like a lot to some of you, but there are only seven of us, and my six-year old cousin and grandfather don’t eat that much. Plus this picture is without desert. We had homemade ‘koekjespudding’ (I couldn’t find a translation, but literally it means ‘cookies pudding’).
My cousin actually wanted to play hide-and-seek after dinner, but I was too full to move. So that’s when my mom became his next sword-fighting victim haha. Lucky for her, my cousin had to go home so he could go to bed on time (seriously, he wasn’t even tired when they left. HOW. He was just a ball of energy throughout the entire evening).

So that was my day! I hope you all had as much fun as I did. Let me know in the comments how your Christmas was! 

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