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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listingthereading Below you can find a complete list of the books I’ve been reading since November 2012 in reading order…  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 as soon as possible…

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

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Review-A-Thon April/May 2015

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I still have quite a few older reviews I have to either update to my new review format or finish writing. Since I’m what you call a professional procrastinator, my only hope is to put some pressure behind it and do another Review-A-Thon starting next Tuesday. I still have 10 older reviews I have to finish writing, and 23 reviews that need improvement… All books read in 2013 or before, but somehow not finishing them feels wrong.

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So these are my goals:

  • Complete at least 6 reviews that haven’t been published yet.
    1. The Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett
    2. A Game Of Thrones – by George R.R. Martin
    3. The Hobbit – by J.R.R. Tolkien
    4. One Hundred Years Of Solitude – by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    5. Mockingjay – by Suzanne Collins
    6. Catching Fire – by Suzanne Collins
    7. The Kite Runner – by Khaled Hosseini
    8. Daughter Of Fortune – by Isabel Allende
    9. Shake Hands With The Devil – by Romeo Dallaire
    10. The Help – by Kathryn Stockett
  • Finish at least 12 reviews that still need improving
    1. To Kill A Mockingbird – by Harper Lee
    2. Brave New World – by Aldous Huxley
    3. A Storm Of Swords – by George R.R. Martin
    4. A Clash Of Kings – by George R.R. Martin
    5. Running the Amazon – by Joe Kane
    6. The Da Vinci Code – by Dan Brown
    7. Plunder Of The Sun – by David Dodge
    8. Death Of A Bore – by M.C. Beaton
    9. Hunting Badger – by Tony Hillerman
    10. Pop Goes The Weasel – by James Patterson
    11. Moth Smoke – by Mohsin Hamid
    12. Petals On The Wind – by V.C. Andrews
    13. Hothouse Orchid – by Stuart Woods
    14. Grant Comes East – by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen
    15. Tragic Magic – by Laura Childs
    16. The Return – by Victoria Hislop
    17. Life Of Pi – by Yann Martel
    18. The Forgotten Garden – by Kate Morton
    19. The Pelican Brief – by John Grisham
    20. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – by Stieg Larsson
    21. The Abstinence Teacher – by Tom Perrotta
    22. The Broken Shore – by Peter Temple
    23. Cross – by James Patterson

Fingers crossed I will actually be able to complete these goals! :D

Friday Finds #33 – April 24th

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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 not to add any new titles to my already exploding TBR pile, but I guess I’m hopelessly failing haha.  Below you can find a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page.

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: The Last Time We Say Goodbye – by Cynthia Hand

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Title: The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: February 10th 2015
Finished reading: April 22nd 2015
Pages: 400
Rating 5

“Time passes. That’s the rule. No matter what happens, no matter how much it might feel like everything in your life has been frozen around one particular moment, time marches on.”

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Wow, just wow. I do not cry easily when I’m reading a novel, but The Last Time We Say Goodbye left me with tears in my eyes. Cynthia Hand did an excellent job describing the different main characters and explaining how a suicide affects those who are close to the victim. This story is both sad and brilliant at the same time… The attempts of the main character Lex to cope with the loss of her brother simply heartbreaking and without doubt exceptionally well written. I loved the prose and the little journal entries at the beginning of some chapters; they give a great insight in what Lex is feeling at the moment. The Last Time We Say Goodbye is what you call a ‘heavy’ read that will end up affecting you more than you would have thought… It’s not an easy read, but a story that will definitely stay with you for quite some time.

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Lex used to be happy. She used to be just another nerdy teenager with divorced parents, friends, a boyfriend she loved and dreams about college… But that was before her brother Ty decided to do the unthinkable. Feeling ‘below empty’, he decided to kill himself. Suddenly, Lex is the girl whose brother killed himself. And she doesn’t know how to cope with this loss. Lex tries to put her life back together, blocking out what happened and pushing away her friends and dad. He left them for another woman a few years back, and she still blames him for it… Trying to find a way to accept her brother’s dead, she goes to therapy. That’s when she starts a journal to write down her feelings… Although Lex doesn’t feel it will help; she prefers to forget. Soon forgetting seems impossible as she starts seeing the image of her brother everywhere. Lex knows he’s gone, but she has a feeling she has to help Ty with some unfinished business before she can really move on…

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I don’t think I will forget The Last Time We Say Goodbye any time soon. It’s a beautifully written and heartbreaking story that will leave its mark once you’ve read it. It’s a story full of love, loss and acceptance; something you can relate to if you have ever experienced the death of a loved one. Cynthia Hand did an excellent job with this novel, and I would definitely recommend it to those who don’t mind a contemporary read dealing with tough issues. Make sure you have some tissues nearby if you decide to read this one!

BOOK REVIEW: I’ll Give You The Sun – by Jandy Nelson

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Title: I’ll Give You The Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: September 16th 2014
Finished reading: April 20th 2015
Pages: 371
Rating 4

“Or maybe a person is just made up of a lot of people,” I say. “Maybe we’re accumulating these new selves all the time.” Hauling them in as we make choices, good and bad, as we screw up, step up, lose our minds, find our minds, fall apart, fall in love, as we grieve, grow, retreat from the world, dive into the world, as we make things, as we break things.”

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I’ve seen this book around everywhere since it first got published last year… So when I finally bought myself a copy of I’ll Give You The Sun, I decided it was just about time I finally read it. The cover alone convinced me I needed to read this novel, and the fact that it belongs to the glbt genre is a bonus. I needed a *We Need Diverse Books title for my Bookish Bingo challenges, and this novel by Jandy Nelson turned out to be a great choice. The prose is so colorful and radiant and awesome in general! I loved the main characters; both twins have such interesting personalities and I loved the fact that Jandy Nelson included so many art references. Sure, the prose can take a while to get used to and I can definitely understand it’s not for everybody, but I personally found it brilliant. I have so many quotes highlighted! I’ll Give You The Sun gives you a littlebit of everything; drama, love, death… And quite a few funny moments as well. Definitely recommended for those who enjoy reading YA contemporary!

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Jude and her twin brother Noah used to be really close, but something happened when they were thirteen that changed both of them forever and drifted them apart. Noah used to be an artsy nerdy boy with an amazing drawing talent, while Jude was the daredevil of the two and way more outgoing. Then something changed… And at the age of sixteen, they seem to have switched places and personalities. Jude got accepted in the art school Noah didn’t get in, and Noah decided to ignore his intimate feelings and pretend he isn’t gay. They both tell us their story, but it shows that they have not interpreted all the facts the right way. Only when they decide to forgive each other and improve their relationship will they find out the complete truth about what happened three years ago…

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It took me a while to get used to the prose, but when I did I was blown away by it. It’s so colorful, artsy and creative at times that it almost seems Jandy Nelson is painting with words. I loved both Jude and Noah as a character… And the plot is interesting as well. This novel is without doubt worth reading and the prose is simply brilliant. I’ll Give You The Sun goes straight to my reread list, and I will try to check out her other novel as well!

WWW Wednesdays #36 – April 22nd

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thelasttimewesaygoodbyefangirlI started reading The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand the other day and even though it is an interesting read, it’s so sad at the same time! I needed a break from all the sadness before actually finishing it, so I’ve started reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell last night as well. I’m not too far into the story yet, but so far it delivers.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

illgiveyouthesunIevensong finished reading I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson the other day, a novel that has been on my radar for a while now and I’m glad I’ve finally read it. The prose is really colorful to say the least, and the story itself interesting. A full review will follow shortly! I’ve also read Evensong by Krista Walsh, a novel that had a promising blurb but ended up being a huge disappointment…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

vampireacademyharrypotterandthedeathlyhallowsAs I’m trying to complete my Ready For Spring Bingo chart as soon as possible, I’m probably going to read Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead next (Forgotten Fridays Pick). I’m not sure I will end up liking that one, but I will give it a go… Either that or I will read Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows first so I can finally finish my HP series reread. (Also part of the bingo chart… A reread.)

Teaser Tuesdays #39 – April 21st

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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 only just started The Last Time We Say Goodbye, so I cannot say too many things about it, but so far this novel by Cynthia Hand sounds promising. I needed a dark contemporary read for my Bookish Bingo Spring challenge, and I guess this one definitely touches some touch subjects… Fingers crossed it says this good.

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My teaser (38%):

“Maybe I want to forget,” I say, just to be contrary. “Maybe it’d be easier to forget, and get on with my life. Isn’t that healthier? Moving on?”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Evensong – by Krista Walsh

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Title: Evensong
(Meratis Trilogy #1)
Author: Krista Walsh
Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
First published: January 28th 2014
Finished reading: April 18th 2015
Pages: 317
Rating 1,5

“We all feel the need to prove ourselves. Just because you lost doesn’t mean you’d decide differently next time.”

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At first glance Evensong had so much potential. An author ending up being stuck inside his own fantasy story definitely sounded like an interesting plot… Such a shame this novel by Krista Walsh didn’t live up to expectations. At all. The beginning of the story was acceptable, although I wasn’t completely convinced by the characters or prose. But when Krista Walsh decided to not simply stick to the ‘author trapped inside his fantasy novel‘ plot and introduced both a dragon, a sorcerer AND zombies into the plot, I lost all my hopes for this one. That Evensong is a huge disappointment is an understatement. The characters are flat and the prose is not convincing at all. Some of the ‘romance’ scenes even disturbing… This book just doesn’t work for me, and I don’t think I would recommend it to anyone.

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Jeff Powell is an author trying to finish one of his newest novels, but he seems to be unsure how to continue his story… Then one day he wakes up finding himself trapped inside the fictional world he himself created. Feldall is in danger, and his main characters need his help. He doesn’t know, but he doesn’t have full control of what happens in this fantasy world… The first proof being the spell they wrote to bring him there.

A dragon is tormenting the people of Feldall and he seems to be invincible… And there have been people disappearing without a trace as well. Jeff doesn’t know how to help, but since the enchantress cannot seem to perfect the spell to send him back home, he is stuck in the fictional world for now. And the main characters aren’t happy with him either. Plus, there is a new villain to be worried about that is about to unleash his powers on Feldall…

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This novel just didn’t work for me. The characters, plot, prose… All either close to ridiculous or flat and boring. When I first read the blurb of Evensong, I thought it sounded promising and the plot quite refreshing. I guess I was wrong. Another trilogy I won’t be finishing any time soon… And most likely never. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this novel, although it’s an Amazon kindle freebie in case you want to give it a try anyway. (Or at least it was when I downloaded and read it…)