It’s All About Books

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itsallaboutbooks2017

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… 🙂

ARC REVIEW: Last Breath – by Robert Bryndza

Title: Last Breath
(DCI Erika Foster #4)
Author: Robert Bryndza

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: April 12th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: March 16th 2017
Pages: 281

“ ‘You know, Sparks, you might have been handed your superior rank by brown nosing, but you have to earn authority,’ said Erika, holding his gaze.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I became a fan of Robert Bryndza‘s detective series right after I read the first book The Girl In The Ice last year and I have been looking forward to another Erika Foster adventure ever since I finished the third book. Last Breath was on my list of most anticipated releases this year: I literally requested a copy the minute it appeared on Netgalley and put all my other reads on hold. It looks like Erika Foster came back stronger than ever! Last Breath is without doubt my new favorite novel of the series… And not just because of the excellent plot and disturbingly creepy killer. I also really liked the interaction between Erika and the other main characters in this one and it is great to see her character evolve over time. The case had me hooked right from the start and the plot and plot twists had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I literally couldn’t put Last Breath down until the final page! In short, this fourth Erika Foster book is fast-paced, full of twists, well written, has an interesting plot, disturbing killer and just the right amount of creepy; what more to ask? I’m already looking forward to book five and this one hasn’t even been published yet.

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first two books of this series yet. I’ll keep the summary super short but it’s impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

The body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, and Detective Erika Foster is one of the first on the scene. One problem though: it’s not her case… But after one look at the tortured remains of the woman Erika knows she needs to have this case. She is fighting to be put on the investigation team, and even though she is told not to, she starts investigating the crime. Soon she becomes involved as she finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Erika is determined to find the killer before he strikes again, but he seems to be a ghost. Will she be able to stop him on time? The life of another girl might be on the line…

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Like I said before, I have been following this series ever since I finished the first book. I always enjoy a good fast-paced crime thriller and these books simply deliver. Last Breath might just be the best one yet with a chillingly creepy serial killer on the loose and some very shocking plot twists… The prose is just as good as ever and I had a blast reading this fourth book even though my heart almost stopped once or twice. Excellent plot! If you haven’t read the series yet and like the genre, this one should be on your wishlist.


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WWW Wednesdays #129 – March 22nd

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m finally reading A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab, and so far I’m loving every single minute of it even though it’s a lot longer than expected. I’m not ready for this story to be over though! I’m going to miss my favorite characters… I’m also still reading The First City by Joe Hart, the final book of The Dominion Trilogy that I put on hold to start ACOL. To be honest, I’m having a hard time with this book so far and the main problem is one of the main characters: Zoe. I seriously can’t stand her and she’s starting to make me feel the same about the story as well. Not good…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I’ve been looking forward to another Erika Foster adventure ever since I finished the third book, and I literally requested a copy the minute it appeared on Netgalley and started reading it soon after. Last Breath is without doubt my new favorite Erika Foster novel! Fast-paced, full of twists, well written, interesting plot, disturbing killer and just the right amount of creepy; what more to ask? I’m already looking forward to book five and this one hasn’t even been published yet. xD
* I then read Bull by David Elliott, a mythology retelling of the classic minotaur story. This SO wasn’t what I was expecting!! I’m still not sure what to make of it, although I can’t deny it was an entertaining read… Bull is a retelling fully written in verse and each character has its own style, which was inventive. The writing style made me laugh more than once, although I’m not sure if the tone is actually appropriate for the story. To get an idea: this is how the story started:

“POSEIDON

Whaddup, bitches?

Am I right or am I right?
That bum Minos deserved what he got.”

Not exactly what you would expect when starting a Theseus and the minotaur retelling right?!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… The horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson has been on my list for way too long already, so I’m hoping to finally read it this week. But I also have the release date of both The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan and Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein coming up, so I should probably read those first… And I really REALLY want to read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera some time soon as well.


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Teaser Tuesdays #132 – March 21st: A Conjuring Of Light

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. 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!)

YESSSS!! I’m finally reading A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab… I’ve been wanting to read this third and final book ever since I finished AGOS last year and it was my nr. 1 most anticipated release this year. My ARC mountain prevented me from picking it up straight away, but I decided to let myself give in as a birthday present. And what a wonderful present it was! I’m loving every single minute of this book so far, although I’m kind of fearing it will break my heart more than once and I don’t want it to be over… Shades Of Magic is probably one of my all time favorite series.

My teaser (16%):

“God be with you,” said Bard dryly.

“What?” he asked, confused.

“Nothing,” she muttered. “Just try to stay alive.”

What are you reading right now?


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#AVAReadathon: A Very ARC-ish Readathon

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I’ve been talking about how I’m trying to beat the ARC monster last week and I came across the perfect challenge to help me do just that. Aimal @ Bookmarks And Paperbacks is hosting A Very ARCish Readathon during the whole month of April and the best part is that the goals are easy: just read as many ARCs as possible! 😀 You can join the readathon conversation by using the #AVAReadathon hashtag on social media as well.

READATHON TBR

Netgalley/Reading Alley ARC

  • What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James
  • The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
  • Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw

Other ARCs

  • Blood Moon by John David Bethel
  • Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray
  • The Car Bomb by T.V. LoCicero

  • Riven by Belinda Crawford
  • Heartborn by Terry Maggert
  • The Merchant’s Pearl by Amie O’Brien

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ARC REVIEW: Goodbye Days – by Jeff Zentner

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
First published: March 7th 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK Children’s / Andersen
Finished reading: March 14th 2017
Pages: 416

“For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways, from being alone.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK Children’s/ Andersen in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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Birthday review! 😀 Because reading Goodbye Days this week was basically an early birthday present in the first place.

I absolutely loved reading Jeff Zentner‘s other novel The Serpent King earlier this year and I added Goodbye Days to my list of most anticipated releases as soon as I finished it. You can imagine my reaction when my Netgalley request was actually approved… I didn’t want to set my expectations too high after such a fantastic debut, and I kept telling myself it would be hard for Goodbye Days to outshine it. But I guess I shouldn’t have worried, because I think I have just found my new favorite Zentner novel. Basically, this story took my feelings, put them on the middle of the road and ran them over repeatedly with a bulldozer. It doesn’t happen often that a book actually manages to make me cry, but Goodbye Days managed to break my heart more than once. Brilliant prose, excellent characters and those feels!! I literally flew through the pages of this story and the characters were easy to love. And this isn’t just another YA contemporary story either; it also touches a very important topic. Thank you Goodbye Days for raising awareness to the dangers of using your phone while driving; is more dangerous than drunk driving and causes so many unnecessary accidents… Hopefully an eyeopener as well as a brilliant read! Recommended to any contempory/realistic fiction fan who doesn’t mind sad stories.

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Carver Briggs never thought something so simple as a text message could end the lives of his three best friends Mars, Eli and Blake. He didn’t think about possible consequences when he sent the text as they were driving to meet him, and while Mars was trying to answer the three friends ended up in a fatal car crash. Carver cannot stop blaming himself for the accident and it seems like he isn’t the only one… The authorities are looking into the accident to try and determine if they can press charges against him. Blake’s grandmother doesn’t blame him, and asks Carver to help remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. That leads to the idea to have memorial days for his other friends as well, but not everyone is willing to forgive… Can the goodbye days really help?

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Goodbye Days is without doubt one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. I don’t think I can find something negative about it, other than that it basically broke my heart and left me nursing a book hangover. The writing style is brilliant and will have you flying through the pages as you ride the emotional rollercoaster. The characters will win over your heart and the plot is both wonderful, sad and has an important lesson. If you like the genre, Goodbye Days is a must-read!


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Stacking The Shelves #11 – March 18th

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Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I know, I know, I wasn’t going to request any new titles, but there have been so many awesome titles popping up on Netgalley all week! Compared to those, ‘only’ three new titles pretty much sounds like a success to me… Plus, I already finished Last Breath so technically that one doesn’t count right? And The Red Hunter was a title I actually requested back in January… I’ve also been wanting to pick another Reading Alley read for ages and this one sounded good, so I ended up giving in as well. I’m weak, I know. xD

# NETGALLEY ARC #

# READING ALLEY ARC #

 

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! ❤


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ARC REVIEW: The Last Gods Of Indochine – by Samuel Ferrer

Title: The Last Gods Of Indochine
Author: Samuel Ferrer

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: September 20th 2016
Publisher: Signal 8 Press
Finished reading: March 13th 2017
Pages: 422

“I told Jean-Luc I feared entering a world where everyone is a stranger; the truth is, I am escaping from a world where everyone knew me too well.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I confess I’m terribly behind with my ARCs and this historical fiction story was long overdue. The Last Gods Of Indochine belongs to one of my favorite genres and both the Cambodian setting, era and reference to local mythology had me intrigued immediately. This novel by Samuel Ferrer surely didn’t disappoint. The Last Gods Of Indochine is mostly set in Cambodia and has two main storylines: one set in the 1920s and one set in the 13th century. I was instantly charmed by the story of Paaku the Lotus-Born all those centuries ago, and the mythology and ideas of his world are intriguing. His chapters are without doubt my favorite part of this novel, and I enjoyed learning more about both his world and his character. I wasn’t instantly convinced by Jacquie on the other hand, and it took me some time to connect to her. It was very interesting to read about her journey to Cambodia though and the circumstances under which both her grandfather before her and Jacquie herself had to travel in those days. I also particularly enjoyed their travels within Cambodia and it was nice to see both storylines slowly connect. In short, The Last Gods Of Indochine is a well written historical fiction story with an intriguing plot and a fascinating read in general for fans of the genre.

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In medieval Cambodia, Paaku the Lotus-Born is an orphan raised by a Vishu priest. One day something incredible happens and the community starts to believe Paaku might be the incarnation of a god… Something that might turn out to be dangerous for him and he is not sure if he wants that title in the first place. Meanwhile, in 1921, Jacquie follows the footsteps of her grandfather and travels to Indochina. Her grandfather was a famous explorer who died during his travels, and Jacquie wants to learn more about the country he explored. Soon she starts learning about the tragedy of Paaku’s history and the storylines slowly intertwine…

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If you enjoy reading well written historical fiction stories with an interesting setting and a touch of (Asian) mythology, The Last Gods Of Indochine is an excellent choice. Two stories set in two completely different centuries slowly start to intertwine… And the ‘modern’ world clashes with the medieval story. I had a great time reading this novel and especially Paaku’s POV stood out from me. Such a fascinating story!


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