It’s All About Books

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It’s all about books.. Well, at least books have an important role of my life. They form a way to escape reality; for me to enter a different world. A place where everything is possible, only limited by the imagination of its writer. Like someone famous once said: ‘Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body‘.

I’ve been reading ever since I was three years old, devouring books by dozens at my hometown library. I continued reading all the way through high school, and later decided to study Spanish Language And Culture and read some more. A few years ago I started travelling, and that’s when the idea came up to start keeping track of the books I’ve read… Hence this blog It’s All About Books was born, with reviews of all the books I’ve been reading since November 2012.

Before I leave I would like to say that I’m always looking for new books to add to my TBR list, and I would love any recommendations you might think of. I’m trying to broaden my literary horizon, so I’m open to practically any literary genre… :)

Listing The Reading

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Below you can find a complete list of the books I’ve been reading since November 2012 in reading order… Some found at the library, others found on the internet and a few preciously owned by my own person. Please note that I’m in the process of improving my blog and reviews, and only reviews with link and rating are to be considered up-to-standard. I’m hoping to finish the improvements this month…

>>>For easy browsing, also check out the lists of reviews by
AUTHOR, RATING and TITLE.<<<

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BOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – by J.K. Rowling

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Title: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
(Harry Potter Series #4)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: July 10th 2000
Finished reading: November 21st 2014
Pages: 636
Rating 4,5

“I don’t know who Maxime thinks she’s kidding. If Hagrid’s half-giant, she definitely is. Big bones… the only thing that’s got bigger bones than her is a dinosaur.”

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I finally came around rereading the fourth book of the Harry Potter series! I had originally planned to reread all of them along with The Not A Book Club Club at Goodreads, but once I started with the Bookish Bingo challenge I couldn’t keep up with the pace. I’m glad I finally did reread The Goblet Of Fire though, because it has been one of my favorite books of the series. While Hermione and her S.P.E.W. promotion tends to be a bit on the annoying side, the tournament makes it a highly entertaining and addictive read. The fact that Harry’s godfather Sirius is playing a role in it is a huge bonus; I’ve always loved the Marauder characters and I wish J.K. Rowling would have incorporated them more into the books… The Goblet Of Fire is probably the first really dark book of the series, where Lord Voldemort rises again and the world is getting more dangerous. But it also shows Harry and his friends are growing up and behaving like any normal teenager… Definitely a must read in case you haven’t read it, like the rest of the series!

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Harry is about to start his fourth year at Hogwarts, but he has another event to look forward to before: the Quidditch World Cup. The Weasleys have invited him to come watch the final, and he is truly excited. Things take a turn for the worse after the match though, and Voldemort’s supporters, the Death Eaters, manage to mark the sky with a mark that hasn’t been seen since the Dark Lord attacked Harry Potter and lost all his power… And soon panick is all around.

Harry has other things to worry about though, as the first Triwizard tournament in centuries is being held at Hogwarts his year. And although Harry wasn’t supposed to enter the competition, somehow his name ended up in the goblet of fire anyway and he was chosen as one of the champions. He now has to face the three tasks along with the other three champions, and they definitely are not easy at all… And what about the person who put his name in the goblet? And the threat that Voldemort is getting stronger? It’s going to be another difficult and dangerous year at Hogwarts for Harry…

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I have loved this series ever since the first book came out, and I can easily say these books have shaped my childhood. In The Goblet Of Fire we see Harry that slowly growing up and the events are getting darker and more serious. While I don’t care much about the romance Rowling is trying to introduce in the story, I still very much loved this book. The tournament, the different tasks, marauders… The Goblet Of Fire is filled with mystery, magic and awesomeness. A must read!

BOOK REVIEW: Interview With The Vampire – by Anne Rice

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Title: Interview With The Vampire
(The Vampire Chronicles #1)
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy
First published: 1976
Finished reading: November 19th 2014
Pages: 342
Rating 2

“In the spring of 1988, I returned to New Orleans, and as soon as I smelled the air, I knew I was home. It was rich, almost sweet, like the scent of jasmine and roses around our old courtyard.”

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I was really tempted to DNF this novel. I’m not sure if it was because of the incredibly slow pace, if it was just a typical case of not-for-me or if Interview With The Vampire is really that bad. But what I can say is that it took me ages to finish a book this short and I cannot say that I enjoyed the ride. Sure, some of the prose is actually quite beautiful, but the pace is so slow that I kept wondering if I shouldn’t start a different novel instead. (Which I actually did at one point.) The story of the vampires Louis, Claudia and Lestat itself is quite interesting but just couldn’t connect to Anne Rice‘s writing; therefore my hours reading Interview With The Vampire became something close to torture. I can honestly say I only finished it for the Bookish Bingo challenge, and I’m not sure if I want to read more of Rice‘s work in the future. (Although Lestat has been recommended to me!)

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Louis is ready to tell the story of how he was made a vampire and what happened to him afterwards. He is being interviewed by a human, and slowly we get to know more about him and the city of New Orleans where he lived. A vampire named Lestat turned him into a vampire in search of Louis’ money and property. Louis cannot accept his new life and hates himself for having to kill humans to survive. Lestat isn’t the best vampire teacher around and cares more about living comfortably than actually explaining the fundamental things about vampire life. Just as Louis wants to leave, Lestat turns a little girl, Claudia, into a vampire. Louis hadn’t killed her when he took Claudia’s blood, and Lestat turned her so Louis was forced to stay and take care of her.

Claudia is more vampire than Louis will ever be, and soon she is becoming tired of Lestat. She wants to escape to Europe with Louis, but first they have to get rid of Lestat… Which is difficult since he is immortal. They finally go to Europe anyway in search of more vampires… And encounter quite a few on the way. One of their final stops is Paris, where Louis meets Armand and other vampires. Louis is enchanted by Armand, but Claudia doesn’t like him nor the other vampires… And because she is afraid Louis will leave her, she forces him to turn a woman into a vampire. They aren’t as safe as they thought though; a surprise is waiting for them when they visit the theatre Armand owns…

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Like I explained before, I just couldn’t enjoy this novel. The pace was so slow that I had to force myself to keep reading… Even when some of the prose is actually quite beautiful. Maybe this was just a typical case of a book that wasn’t for me, since it has actually a high rating on goodreads, but I wouldn’t recommend reading Interview With The Vampire to anyone. But hey, that’s what different opinions are for, right?

WWW Wednesdays – November 19th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading… WWW WEDNESDAYS is all about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

innocenceharrypotterandthegobletoffireI’ve started Innocence by Dean Koontz the other day, and although I do like the story so far, I’m wondering if the ‘complicated’ prose Koontz uses in this novel is what I need right now… So I decided to finally reread the fourth book of the Harry Potter series first: The Goblet Of Fire. I’ve always loved this one and I’m really looking forward to read about the tournament again.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

clockworkangelinterviewwiththevampireI finished reading Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice, and unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate the prose Rice used to tell her story. A full review will be up before the weekend, but what I can say for now is that the slow pace almost caused me to DNF this novel… Maybe a case of not-for-me? I’ve also finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare recently, which I did love. A full review has already been posted!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

?I still have Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer lined up to fill the Green Cover square of the Bookish Bingo challenge… But it could also be a complete different title depending on my mood.

Teaser Tuesdays – November 18th: Innocence

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Should Be Reading. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve just started with Innocence by Dean Koontz; yet another book for the Bookish Bingo challenge (Snow On Cover square). It’s too soon to have a proper opinion, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed this one is better than my last read…

innocence“One thing wrong with the darkness in the bedroom was the smell of it, which had been fresh and clean before. Now a spice cologne faintly seasoned the air. The Goth girl had not used or needed fragrances, and this was the very scent that I had first smelled the previous night at the library.”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Clockwork Angel – by Cassandra Clare

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Title: Clockwork Angel
(The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Fantasy, Paranormal
First published: August 31st 2010
Finished reading: November 13th 2014
Pages: 479
Rating 4,5

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

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I’ve read the book City Of Bones by the same author a while ago, and have a few sequels of The Mortal Instruments series waiting for me on my TBR pile. When I needed a steampunk book for my Bookish Bingo challenge, and someone suggested reading Cassandra Clare‘s first book of the prequel trilogy, I knew I would probably enjoy it as well. So I decided to pick up a copy of Clockwork Angel, and I have to admit I enjoyed this first book of The Infernal Devices trilogy even better than the actual series. Maybe it was because of the historical London setting, maybe it was because of the many  book quotes or maybe it was even because of the automatons and vampires. But I liked the story and characters way more than in The Mortal Instruments series. The role of Mortmain was surprising and I loved Tessa as a character!

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The story starts when Tessa Gray is invited by her brother to leave New York behind and travel to Victorian London. What she doesn’t know is that her brother Nate was forced to write that letter and as soon as she arrives she is held prisoner by the Dark Sisters. It turns out she is not an ordinary girl; she is actually a shapeshifter who, after some training, can change into anyone she wants by just holding something that belongs to them. The Dark Sisters say she is promised to the Magister, but she manages to escape on time with the help of a Shadowhunter named Will.

Shadowhunters are demonslayers and protect the mundanes (humans) from harm. They give Tessa protection, understanding that in the wrong hands she could be a powerful weapon… And they also realize something big is going to happen soon. A secret organization named the Pandemonium Club is out to destroy the Shadowhunters and take control over the British Empire. They are trying to create an army of clockwork creatures supposedly almost impossible to kill… Vampires, demons, warlocks and humans working together to finish them on time. And there is the case of Tessa’s brother, who is still missing… Will the Shadowhunters find Nate on time and prevent a war with the Pandemonium Club?

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I enjoyed this prequel way more than the actual series, and I will definitely be reading The Infernal Devices trilogy before continuing the actual series. Clockwork Angel was easy to read with interesting characters and historical references. I’ve never read a steampunk novel before, so I cannot make proper comparations, but the automatons added a nice touch to the plot and Tessa’s necklace sounded awesome. Some of the characters were a bit annoying (especially Jessamine), but the rest of the story definitely makes up for it. Definitely recommended for YA Fantasy fans! If you haven’t started The Mortal Instruments series yet, I suggest you to read this prequel trilogy first… Although I have to warn you the series might disappoint you after reading the prequel.

Friday Finds – November 14th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’m still trying to limit new additions in order to downsize my TBR list, but as you might guess it’s too hard to ignore newly found books and I’ve added a bunch this week anyway. Below you can find a selection of the titles I’ve added recently:

My finds:

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ARC REVIEW: The Elect – by Elle Todd

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Title: The Elect
(Allison’s Story Series #1)
Author: Elle Todd
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy
First published: July 13th 2013
Finished reading: November 10th 2014
Pages: 353
Rating 4,5

Allison thought about telling him she’d seen the same movie and was pretty sure the claim was bogus. Instead, she offered her own bit of nonsense. “In some cultures, saving a life is considered an interference with fate and is punishable by death.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author through Ethereal Book Reviews in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
(Guest Reviewer Program) ***

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I was intrigued by this first book of the Allison’s Story series as soon as I read the blurb that was sent to me by Ethereal Book Reviews. I admit it took me some time to finally start reading The Elect, but that was mostly because I wanted to be in the right mood for it… And I’m glad I did. This paranormal fantasy story with a dash of romance was worth the wait and left me wanting for more. I know Elle Todd has already published the second book, The Vanguard, and I will definitely try to read the sequel to find out what happens to the main characters. The Elect is a story with a fast pace, easy to read and Elle Todd is able to build up the tension quite smoothly by letting both Allison and the readers discover her powers gradually. I’m normally not a big fan of high school novels, but in this case the emphasis is being laid on the supernatural powers of the elect and it makes the few ‘cliche’ high school scenes tolerable. All in all definitely recommendable!

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Allison and Delaney have been best friends for ages. Allison is the quite and ‘invisible’ one of the pair, while Delaney doesn’t mind a little excitement. When the popular mean girl, Rebecca, decided to spread a horrible rumor around, Delaney is out for revenge. She convinced Allison to break into their high school to falsify an email accusing Rebecca of cheating… But things get complicated when Allison discovers they weren’t the only ones trespassing; the three boys doing something she never believed would have been possible. People can’t produce fire with their bare hands, or can they? Allison doesn’t know whether to trust her own eyes…

She doesn’t think the three boys recognized Allison despite her fiery red hair, but when Delaney wants to spy on them she doesn’t think it is a good idea. Ryan, Nate and Jeremy are the popular guys at school, and apparently they are hiding something that isn’t normal. When the three suddenly start showing interest in the two friends, Allison suspects something is off… But Delaney is developing a crush on Jeremy and thinks becoming friends with them is the best way to spy on them. They soon discover what the three boys are hiding, and Allison makes a discovery of her own… Nate and Jeremy are no the only ‘Elect‘ gifted with supernatural powers; Allison is able to use them as well when they are close! She is now forced to uncover the secrets of her past and find out who she really is… Because she is the first Elect that is able to use more than one power, and soon others are after her.

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I really enjoyed reading The Elect and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. It is an interesting story that is easy to read, and the ending leaves you wanting for more. Allison is a character you can easily relate to, and while some of the high school scenes were on the verge of annoying, the rest of the story made up for it. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy YA paranormal fantasy novels!