Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Get To Know Me Tag #2

Hi there!
Thanks for stopping by again.

Doing the Get To Know Me Tag last month was so much fun!!
I'm going to try and do this regularly.
I chose 8 new questions to answer about me, so you can get to know the person behind the blog.
I'll end this post by telling you the next physical book I'm going to read.

If you have questions for next time, leave them in the comments!!

Thanks for reading and have a nice day 💛

  • What is your favorite perfume?
    I like sweet sentences a lot. Bruno Banani, Jimmy Choo with Flash or Britney Spears are very nice. There is one perfume that totally fits me. There is a funny story behind this one; I got a sample for a perfume once and I put it on. I LOVE to bake, and this perfume has all kinds of vanilla extracts in it, so my boyfriend said: "You smell like the stuff you bake, this fits you." I was like; YES! This is my new favorite one so I bought it. It's called Want from Dsquared.
  • What sports do you play/have you played?
    I've been playing handball for 14 years with swimming and running next to it. I quit next year and went to the gym with running next to it as well, but I quit the gym. I got back problems from the machines and I'm planning on picking up handball again after summer break! I miss it so much!!
    (It's me in green on the photo.)

  • What is your favorite movie?
    It's like asking my favorite book, but I didn't want to do that to myself. Movies I can do.. I was asked this question a couple of days ago as well and I noticed that I really like Disney movies! I really like Brother Bear, Beauty and the Beast, Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Pirates of the Caribbean. Paranormal Activity was pretty creepy as well, but only the first movie. I slept with the lights on for 3 months after that... And I totally love Silent Hill, watched that one maybe 80 times already! (I like to exaggerate).
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
    I'm a pretty big sushi fan. I love it so much. I try to eat it once a month and totally fell in love with it when I was in Chicago. Fortunately I have friends who also LOVE sushi, so we can share this passion pretty often. Yay!
  • What do you do for a living?
    I'm a fulltime teacher, usually 40 hours as week. I'm teaching group 4 and 5 in The Netherlands. That would be 2nd and 3rd grade in the American School System. I have 29 kids in my classroom right now and in The Netherlands you teach them all the subjects they need all year long. The kids in my classroom get the following subjects: Maths, Handwriting, Grammar, Gymnastics, Reading, Dutch (speaking and writing), Technical Reading, Geography, Biology, History, Music, Drama, Drawing and Arts. I also teach them about the Catholic believes, traffic and speaking for a group of people.
  • What are your hobbies?
    I like working out, but I'm lazy as F... So usually I tell myself to work out and don't do it. I had so much more fun playing handball, so I really want to play again! I like to bake, especially a nice warm pie in winter, but also cupcakes and cookies. Traveling is my one big passion. Exploring and finding beautiful places is great! And reading of course.. I also like to go out, go out as in; Do fun things with people. Go to a movie, theater, restaurant, a park or something like that.
    (This is a picture of me camping in Sweden).

  • What are some of your favorite TV-shows?
    I've watched EVERYTHING from Desperate Housewives, 24 and Sons of Anarchy, so sad those series ended. Definitely not gonna watch the 24 spin-off, by the way. Gonna miss Jack Bauer too much! I LOVE Grey's Anatomy and Game of Thrones. The Walking Dead is a series I like as well. Broadchurch is great too!! Vikings is a series I also follow pretty active as well as Suits. Can you keep up?
  • What is your favorite holiday?
    CHRISTMAS!! I love it so much. I would love it if every day was Christmas!

And the book I'm about to pick up..
Detective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It's as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground...
With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire - and control - is reducing entire lives to ashes.
One misstep could mean Helen's career - and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen's own dark impulses threaten to consume her...

Do you have a question for me to answer in the next Get To Know Me Tag?
Leave it in the comments!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Review (re-read) (SPOILERS): A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

Author: Sarah J. Maas
Started reading: June 9th 2017
Finished the book: June 17th 2017
Pages: 626
Genres: Fantasy
Published: May 3rd 2016
Source: Bought the book
Goodreads score: 4.73
My score:

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

My thoughts
YES! I love this series so much, it's my favorite ever. I'm a total fangirl and don't EVER tell me something is wrong with this series. I turn into that girl that grows fangs within the second. I can't even write about this book without spoilers. So if you haven't read this second book, DON'T keep reading, just... Go into your reading corner and read this book. NOW! And then come back to fangirl together with me, please.

  • Rhysand: I'm so dayum much team Rhysand. He's definitely my book crush and he's such a great character. Totally putting himself aside for all the people in his life he loves and wants to protect. This whole tough guy, shattering minds is one big mask and he is great at keeping the mask on. But when this mask comes of.. Ooh dayum YES! He's so sweet, funny, sexy, loving, caring, strong.. Do I need to keep going? 
  • Build up to final chapters: The story build-up is SO STRONG. You get to know the Night Court, get to know Rhysand and his inner circle. There are problems, big problems coming. The story is never dull for a moment and it builds up to some great final chapters. The first book left me crying, this second book left me LAUGHING LIKE AN EVIL PERSON. The final sentence. "And so Tamlin unwittingly led the High Lady of the Night Court into the heart of his territory." Hell yeah give me MORE.
  • Feelings: So many many feelings. Having Feyre shattered, sacred and full of terror at first. Being pushed and loved by Rhysand and his inner circle, Feyre gets to know herself much better. She is loved for who she is, so she can love again as well. The feelings that go with this transformation, and the feelings between Rhysand and Feyre are so strong and well written.
  • Feyre: Feyre is my HEROINE. She is fierce and strong without herself even knowing it. She's smart, loving and she has this foul mouth which has me laughing every time. She is the best.
  • Feyre AND Rhysand: Two of my favorite characters ever, teasing each other, provoking each other. Writing notes and being smart together. Reading each other's minds.. I NEVER want those two to break up, EVER. Don't do it to me please. I'm so scared to read the third book.....

Go. Away.

I'm sure I will read this book again. It's so well thought through with characters that feel alive, that have personalities with such depth. The endings of these books leave me shattered, crying or laughing like a maniac every time. I'm so scared for the third book. So scared to lose my beloved characters...

Other opinions about this book
"The erotically charged lead-up to the romantic storyline's climaxes (pun intended) adds stakes to the cliffhanger. Hits the spot for fans of dark, lush, sexy, fantasy."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Maas lets the relationship dynamics change organically, and her talent for creating chemistry between her characters (including some fiery sexual encounters) is as strong as ever. Maas gives Feyre the space to regain her agency and prove herself the equal of any High Lord, resulting in an immersive, satisfying read."
- Publishers weekly.

Memorable quotes from this book
"He thinks he'll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out."

"When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back."

"To the stars who listen - and the dreams that are answered."

Did you read this series already? What is your opinion? Do you plan to read it if you haven't?


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Review: A Temporary Thing

Author: Gil Miller
Started reading: June 8th 2017
Finished the book: June 9th 2017
Pages: 180
Genres: Crime, Fiction
Published: January 21st 2016
Source: Got a digital copy from the author
Goodreads score: Not enough reviews
My score:
When Lyle Villines learns his daughter has leukemia, he searches for a way to pay the huge medical bills that come with the condition. In desperation, he takes a well-paying, under-the-table job driving a delivery van. He doesn't know what the cargo is, but the pay is enough to make him ignore that for the sake of his child. Lyle questions his decision when he's hijacked on the interstate and left alive only so he can deliver a message to his employer. Turns out the load wasn't exactly legal. Nor was it insured, meaning he will have to pay for the loss by taking on a new job-cooking meth. Not only does it pay better, his boss says, it keeps him off the road. When Lyle objects, he's given a simple choice. He can either take the opportunity, or his family will suffer. Faced with no other option, the only thing to do is follow orders... and hope he can get out alive.

My thoughts
I didn't really had expectations when started this book. It felt like Breaking Bad pretty quickly. Lyle is a nice main character who can make you understand what he feels and why he makes certain choices. I found the story to be pretty predictable and the end felt rushed for me. I did read this story within a day, so it got me hooked and it was a nice, short read.

  • Final sentence: The title of this book totally snapped in place with the final sentence. That was such a strong part of this book that left me fulfilled and pleased with this final sentence. I totally believe first sentences and last sentences can be pretty important for a book. This book finished with a great one!
  • Fast paced: The story starts right away and keeps going at a nice fast pace. There is never a dull moment and it feels like Lyle is actually telling you about this time in his life. For me the book could even use more length, I'd love to read more, that's a good thing!
  • Reflective character: Like I said above, Lyle can make you understand what he feels and why he makes certain choices. He is great at reflecting on his own behavior and other people's behavior. Sometimes he's maybe a bit naive and impulsive in the way he does things, but the strong thing is that he knows this about himself and is not afraid to say so.
  • Spoken language: The story is written as a spoken language. It's like Lyle is talking; instead of nothing, it says "nothin". I get that this is probably the way Lyle pronounces his words and I totally understand that it should add to the story and maybe was a choice of the author, but it distracted me. Every time a word was written in spoken language I was thinking it over and I looked up different words on the Internet, because English is not my native language. So I kept wondering; "Is this how you spell this word?" And then I would look it up and got distracted.
  • Rushed story: I felt this book could use more pages. At some point in the story it felt rushed. Things go so fast that you can't adapt to the new situation. The story was enjoyable and I'm sure that a couple of chapters extra would still make this a nice and quick read. I love the fast paced way the story is written, but at some point, after 50% things started to feel rushed.
  • Abrupt ending: The book ends very abrupt for me. I don't want to spoil anything so I can't say too much, but the ending deserved more, except for the nice final sentence.
A nice crime story for fans of Breaking Bad. A great reflective and caring character. A fast paced story that will not be dull for a moment. And if you like crime, you should give this short story a try!

Memorable quotes from this book
"People are funny sometimes, and that includes me. Every now and then we do or don't do something and we can't explain it, not even to ourselves. But do it anyway."

Do you have a favorite sentence at the beginning or end from a book?


Friday, June 16, 2017

Kickstarter: A Hyacinth for His Hideousness (Gay Romance Novel)

Hi there!
A while ago Tharah Meester reached out to me, asking me to promote her Kickstarter Project. Tharah Meester writes in German and would love for her novel to be translated to English.
But... This will cost money!
As a book blogger, why not help out an author, by mentioning this book and ask others to help as well!?

If you can spare a bit to help out this author, it would be much appreciated!
All small amounts will help.
Thanks for checking out this post.

Following a public humiliation, Hyacinth Black is on the verge of being beaten to death by his father. Of all people, the man who is commonly referred to as 'Your Hideousness' comes to his defence; but his intervention has a price. Hyacinth must marry his rescuer.

Since the murder of his brother, Gavrila Ardenovic has been on the trail of a secret society, but in the city where he is only mocked, he has few allies. Therefore he keeps his distance from others and is used to supressing any hint of emotion.

Will lies and intrigues gain the upper hand or can Hyacinth succeed in battling the shadows of the past and break through his husband's cold-hearted façade?

Tharah Meester discovered very early, that a good romance novel not only raises your heartbeat, but can also cause a tingling sensation in your stomach. Not much later she realized, that this feeling is strongest, when she writes those stories herself. 
By now being an author has become her dearest passion and beyond that her career having written more than 25 short stories and novels (in German). Her most beloved genre is Historical Gay Romance, where she most of the time resides in her fictive world of Farefyr; that she created with her husband. Together they live with their much-
loved dog in a small city in Austria. 

Horse's hooves are hitting the cobbles in a steady beat, the sound of rattling carriage wheels fills the alleyways of the city. Snowflakes dancing wildly in the lantern's flickering lights. The townsfolk is rushing by only to immediately disappear again in the shadows. You're eyeing those that approach you suspiciously, because in Ascot you never know who to trust. The people here regardless of which quarter they are coming from, are cold as winter itself. The only redeeming thing you could say about them is that they don't care about who you love. They don't discriminate, but show their dismissive attitude to everyone equally. The frigidity of the citizens, however, is not your biggest problem, when you get in the way of the notorious secret society, that keeps even the rulers of Ascot like puppets on their strings. So stay away from suspicious people and, of course, the poor quarter. Just do it like the rest of the residents: don't trust anyone. Well, all right. Welcome to the city of Ascot!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Engadine Aerie (Hardy Durkin Travel Mysteries #5)

Author: Bluette Matthey
Started reading: June 8th 2017
Finished the book: June 9th 2017
Pages: 258
Genres: Mystery, Travel
Published: April 26th 2017
Source: Got a physical copy from the author
Goodreads score: 3.77
My score:

Hardy Durkin heads to the pristine Engadine Valley in Switzerland with the Skimarathon in mind, but is detoured by a body in the snow and an exotic beauty. While assisting TIGRIS in the hunt for a terrorist arms buyer he narrowly escapes two attempts on his life and meets a new and very deadly nemesis in Engadine Aerie.

My thoughts
A book that starts with the action right away. A murder was committed and Hardy Durkin stumbles on the body while he's out skiing with a company. Hardy gets involved in the mystery and with his razor-sharp mind and inventive ideas he gets close to solving the mystery. Hardy Durkin is a very mysterious person for me as well. It was nice to get to know him in this book.

  • History: There is so much history to be told about the area the book takes place. The first part was a part where I learned new things. This story has knowledge hidden in a lot of secret corners, look and you will find it! The writer is not only telling a nice story, but also teaching you something about the history involved in the different aspects of the book.
  • Hardy: He's a mysterious person who solves mysteries. He's the one to observe, listen and has a clear view in every situation. He has clever ideas to solve different problems and he's very brave as well. He's witty, but kind and also a bit elusive for me. Interesting...
  • Choice of words: I totally wanted to drink in the words used in this book, like liquid words. The choice of words made me think of poems. It was a unique way of writing, not something I see very often. Hard to explain this one... I learned so many new words, it just felt like something soft and flowing and beautiful.

  • I got distracted: I couldn't keep the focus on this book. I love beautiful places, so that wasn't the problem for me. I don't really like skiing, but I felt that the characters were in place and serene doing it. Maybe I couldn't keep the focus because of the next two points I'm going to address.
  • A lot of people and a lot going on: There are so many people with different story lines who all are important for the story. There are actually two different mysteries going on at the same time with different people involved at the same time. It was pretty hard to keep up at various points. I'm not really sure if I actually understood what had happened and how the mystery was solved in the end.
  • POV's: I know this book is part of a series and I know things can't change just like that, but I really feel that the different POV's in this book is not a strong point. It would've be pleasant for me if the book was written from Hardy's point of view. The strong aspect that way is that the character can explain their way of thinking.
It was nice to get to know Hardy. He's an intriguing main character for me. Silent, observing, with focus and smart ideas. The area that the book takes place was described beautifully. I'm not a snow person, but I felt that the characters were in place in this book.
If you like a good mystery, you should read this book.

What's your favorite mystery novel so far? Share it with me!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: Revived

Author: Ernesto Pavan
Started reading: June 3rd 2017
Finished the book: June 7th 2017
Pages: 207
Genres: Zombies
Published: February 23rd 2017
Source: Got a digital copy from the author
Goodreads score: Not enough reviews
My score:
For deadpan snark queen Violet Sharpe, death is not the end.

If you think life sucks, wait until after you're dead. After finding out she's contracted porthmeos, a nasty parasite, Violet is faced with a choice: either meet her end before her thirtieth birthday, or become one of the Revived, which is the politically correct word for... well, a zombie.

But the challenges of her new un-life are way worse than she thought. As part of a new minority, she faces discrimination and hatred, not to mention a laundry list of physical limitations and the looming ghost of depression. Can she meet these challenges with her usual strength and dark humor? Or is being Revived a fate worse than death?

My thoughts
This is quite the unique zombie story. I couldn't call it a horror book, because it wasn't really scary and that's what made this something I've not seen before. Most of the time you have the humans and the zombies that fight against each other, but not in this book! People actually get the chance to choose if they get sick, and that's how you get to know Violet in this story.

  • Violet: Violet is a badass lesbian chick who is not afraid to say what she thinks and how she feels. I love the way she hits on girls and has a crush for Scarlett Johansson. Violet is an awesome narrator and she is bold and sarcastic, but not afraid to show feelings as well, I love it!
  • A lot going on: A LOT is going on. You switch from transforming into a zombie, to meeting new friends, to dealing with the press and the people who despise zombies. It's a story that keeps the pace going and keeps you reading. It kept my attention all the way through.
  • Very unique: Like I said, it's not your usual zombies-that-eat-the-living story. People actually keep their brain and their feelings, their body is just dead. So they have to be careful, not bump yourself or break something, or you'll have to get it fixed. A really unique take on the subject!
  • Violet: Violet is a cool chick, bold but with feelings, but also has a temper. I found her to get annoyed really fast, to get mad really fast and she hurts people by doing that. This made her to not be my favorite character of all times. Since she died, I'd love for her to be happy that she has friends who take her in, and not treat them like she does at some points.
  • A lot going on: There is a lot going on, with a lot of loose ends, to my opinion. Like the first surgery Violet has, that opens up her belly, whats going on with that? She meets a girl in one of the first chapters and you only hear from this girl once again. The business, the people Violet meets, it all just goes a bit too fast for me. It is a pro, that the story is fast paced, but on the other hand I would've loved to maybe see 50 pages more and have some aspects worked out a bit better. I'm pretty sure it would've kept my attention just the same.
  • No chapters: The story felt unfinished, because there were no chapters. The story could've had some nice cliffhangers or chapter endings here and there. I'm a nitpick sometimes so here I am, complaining about chapters. But sometimes I'm just at that point where I tell myself: "Just one more chapter" and I couldn't do that, in this book. I had to figure out myself where to stop reading and pick up again after that.
A very unique book about zombies that has a badass maincharacter! You can see that most of the pros were cons for me as well. I think the story could use some fine tuning, but that didn't take away the pleasure I had reading this book. The conversations were nice, the pacing of the book was good, and hey, zombies, yeah! This wasn't your usual scary, sloppy, dirty zombie-horror story. It's something different. Different is good!

Are you a zombie/horror person? Why, or why not?!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Ebook GIVEAWAY - Torn by Simon Williams

An eye opening, unapologetic and hilarious romp through the darkest moment of an Australian man's life.

My father told me life wasn't meant to be easy, but I don't think he anticipated it would turn out as heartbreaking as it did. Before one miserable night in 2014 there were two actions I'd never contemplated doing in my life, write a book or jumping off a 20-story balcony.

However, this night I found myself so afraid and despondent that I leaned against my balcony railing and wished that I could take away all the pain I was feeling with one action.

What could drive a man to consider taking his own life? I sat at my computer and started writing a suicide note. As I typed, I started to weigh up my life. With it resting perilously on the edge, I had the strength to be open, honest and unrepentant. 

Only when we start to die, do we stop apologizing for who we are, what we have done and what we go through.

I've read Torn: The Story of an Undeserving Wallaby Drowning in a Septic Tank a while a go. You can read the review here.

In this blogpost you can enter an Ebook Giveaway for Torn. There will be 5 copies to give out. Winners will be announced Sunday the 25th!

Sidenote: Make sure you fill out the blanks while entering the Giveaway. All information needs to be verified. If you don't fill out the blanks, your entry will not be valid!

Ebook Torn: The Story of an Undeserving Wallaby Drowning in a Septic Tank

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Author: J.K. Rowling
Started reading: June 5th 2017
Finished the book: June 7th 2017
Pages: 462
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Adventure
Published: September 1st 2014
Source: Bought the book
Goodreads score: 4.52
My score:

"Welcome to the Knight Bus, emergency transportation for the stranded witch or wizard. Just stick out your wand hand, step on board and we can take you anywhere you want to go."
When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it's the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run - and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry's tea leaves... But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss...

My thoughts
I'm actually reviewing the Harry Potter books because I think everyone should read them and I hope to win over those who haven't yet. The world building, plots and characters in the Harry Potter books are the best.
I need to say though: The third movie is the WORST. I read the book and watched the movie after (I like to compare) and all the good parts are taken out and they just take too much time to explain the ending. But since this is a book-review, I will go on and write only about the book. Just had to point out the movie-thing.

  • More about Harry's past: The nice thing about this book is that you learn much more about Harry's past. You receive more information about his parents and the time his father was on Hogwarts. I also think it will add more fire to Harry as a character in the other books.
  • New classes, new teachers: Always the best! New school year, new teachers, new classes. It's so strong in this series that you don't stuck with your "usual" teachers and classes. I like to discover more about Hogwarts and every book will give you new information about the Wizarding World, yay!
  • Hermione is badass: Around book 3, you should have your favorite character and I totally have one! Hermione is a smart girl that is not afraid to give her opinion. I love how fierce she is in this third book. She stands for her principals and is even willing to defend them. You go, badass Hermione!
  • Complexer plot: So much mystery in this book, starting at the beginning of the book already. The plot of this book is much complexer than the plots in the first two books and I love it. It's so clever and well thought through. The last chapters were a treat to read!
I might be biased but, hey, we're talking about Harry Potter here!

This is a series that I never want to end. Luckily there are much more books about the Wizarding World next to Harry Potter. I'm also very sure that I'll re-read this series again. And again. And again, maybe. This is just a series that really makes me want to dance!

Memorable quotes from this book
"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

"You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?"

"Where is wood?" said Harry, suddenly realizing he wasn't there.
"Still in the showers," said Fred. "We think he's trying to drown himself."

Did you read the third book and also watched the movie? What's your opinion on the movie after reading the book?