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, RATINGTITLE and SERIES.<<<

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BOOK REVIEW: Fairest – by Marissa Meyer

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Title: Fairest
(The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: January 27th 2015
Finished reading: August 19th 2015
Pages: 222
Rating 4

“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.”

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A lot of people probably have realized by now I love The Lunar Chronicles. This series is easily one of my favorite reads this year and I can’t wait for the fourth book Winter to be published. To make the wait a little less painful, I decided to finally read Fairest. I haven’t been enjoying the novellas as much as the main series so far and this one isn’t an exception. Don’t get me wrong: I still love the prose, setting and everything, but I just feel something is missing. The fact that Levana isn’t one of my favorite characters might be a problem, although I still enjoyed learning more about how she became the person she is in the main series. Fairest also gives you a little sneak peek of the Winter character… Which made me wish it was November already. If you enjoyed Marissa Meyer‘s series so far, you will like this one as well. Just make sure you don’t read it before you finish Cress

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WARNING: do not read this summary if you haven’t read the first three books in the series yet! It will most likely contain spoilers, even though I’ve made sure to keep it short.

Most people already know Queen Levana uses her glamour at all times to hide her true face. But what they don’t know is why she feels she has to. In Fairest, we learn all about Levana’s past and her cruel sister Channery… The past that damaged her and made her into the person she is today. Because Levana wasn’t always the evil person she seems to be today and she does have feelings after all…

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Even though I’m not a big fan of Levana’s character it was nice to learn more about her past; it makes her more human and it’s easier to understand the current situation. Maybe I didn’t enjoy Fairest as much as the main series, but Marissa Meyer‘s prose is just as magical as ever and I would definitely recommend reading this one. Plus, it includes an excerpt for Winter; a huge bonus for those who want to know what happens next!

BOOK REVIEW: The Martian – by Andy Weir

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Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Adventure
First published: February 11th 2014
Finished reading: August 18th 2015
Pages: 369
Rating 5

“I need to ask myself, ‘What would an Apollo astronaut do?’ He’d drink three whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, then fly to the moon in a command module smaller than my Rover. Man those guys were cool.”

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The Martian has been all over the blogosphere lately and it sounded like a very interesting read, so I thought it was about time I finally read it. In general I’m a bit hesitant towards overhyped books and I normally don’t read a lot of books set in space either… But I’m glad I decided to read this story by Andy Weir anyway, because The Martian was definitely an exception to the overhyped books rule. This book was simply brilliant. The main character, the plot, the prose… Everything was perfectly done and there were so many quotes marked on my kindle! The story of the main character and astronaut Mark Watney is one of extreme survival, but it’s also full of technical/scientific details I loved and funny moments that made me laugh out loud at points. It’s the perfect mix of science, adventure and humor that will speak to a very broad public… Even to those who normally don’t really like stories set in space like me. The Martian is without doubt one of my favorite reads this year and I would recommend it with my eyes closed!

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A few days ago, astronaut Mark Watney was just one of the first people to set foot on Mars, but things have gone terribly wrong since. A mayor dust story forces the crew to evacuate, but Mark never made it back to the ship… The rest of the crew thinks he’s dead and leave him behind. Mark is now stranded and completely alone on the foreign planet, but his resourcefulness helps him survive the first crucial days. He takes a crash course in Surviving On Mars 101 and soon he found himself a daily routine. He has no way to contact Earth to tell everyone he’s alive, but Mark is working on that. He will have to succeed to survive; there are a lot of things that can kill him on Mars and he is slowly running out of supplies and time…

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I can definitely understand why The Martian has won already so many awards, because this book is simply brilliant. Even if you aren’t into the whole space genre, you cannot help but enjoy this story, feel for the character and be amazed by his resourcefulness while surviving on Mars. The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time and I loved the prose and character development. This book has made it straight to my favorites list and I would love to read more of Andy Weir‘s work in the future. 110% recommended!

Friday Finds #51 – August 28th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at A Daily Rhythm and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads.  Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! :D

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: Never Never – by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Never Never
(Never Never #1)
Author: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
First published: January 7th 2015
Finished reading: August 17th 2015
Pages: 159
Rating 3,5

“How odd to be made of flesh, balanced on bone, and filled with a soul you’ve never met.”

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I’ve had Never Never on my wishlist ever since I first heard about it last year. I’ve never read anything by Colleen Hoover before because I’m not really into romance… But Never Never sounded like an interesting read so I decided to give it a go to get an idea of her work. I have to say I’m not disappointed. Colleen Hoover wrote this novella with Tarryn Fisher and together they created a very interesting story with an even more painful cliffhanger ending. I’m so glad I have part two on my kindle as well so I can find out how the story continues! I sure hope the cliffhanger at the end of the second part won’t be as bad, because it will be a long wait for part three… That said, I’m not sure if I’m a big fan of the main characters and some of their actions don’t make a lot of sense (why o why don’t they hide the papers in their pockets for easy access?!). Still, I can’t deny Never Never is an entertaining read that will leave you wanting for more. Recommended!

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Charlie and Silas have been best friends since they could walk and in love since they were fourteen… But since this morning they cannot remember anything of their past. Suddenly they are complete strangers, but they decide to stick together to find out what is wrong with them. They seem to be the only two affected by memory loss and the couple is determined to find out why. Charlie and Silas will have to work undercover to find out the truth about what happened to them… But the truth isn’t always what you want to hear.

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Never Never is short, entertaining and very well written. I’m not sure I like the main characters, but the whole mystery around their memory loss sucked me right into the story. I can’t wait to find out more about what happened to them! Warning: Never Never ends with a huge cliffhanger, so it’s best to have a copy of the sequel ready before you start this one. ;) I will definitely try more of Colleen Hoover‘s work in the future!

ARC REVIEW: Rarity From The Hollow – by Robert Eggleton

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Title: Rarity From The Hollow
Author: Robert Eggleton
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
First published: March 11th 2012
Finished reading: August 16th 2015
Pages: 354
Rating 3

“Right is right and wrong is wrong. It’s just like you know in your heart. Good and evil have always been and will always be the balance on which survival of the universe depends.”

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

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I received a copy of Rarity From The Hollow for review and it turned out to be an interesting enough read. It might not be for everyone because of the use of swear words, many sexual references and the use of marijuana, but then again Rarity From The Hollow is supposed to be ‘a children’s story for adults’. The swearing and drug use didn’t really bother me, but some of the sexual references did. Especially the way Lacy Dawn’s parents act around her and talk to her… And I wasn’t really sure what to think of the fact that Lacy Dawn is really young and constantly asks if Dotcom wants to see her panties either. That said, the story in general is quite creative and tells us Lacy Dawn’s adventures  while growing up. Especially the scenes set in Shptiludrp, the largest Shopping Mall in the universe, are quite creative and show an alternative future where materialism corrupts the world even more than the current situation… And the cockroach infestations was a nice twist as well. The pace is fast and makes it easy to read: all in all it was an enjoyable read.

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Lacy Dawn is not an ordinary little girl and she doesn’t live in an ordinary place. With talking trees, the ghost of her best friend and a two thousand year old alien named Dotcom to keep her company, she tries to escape her brutal life at home. Her dad is the violent type and her mom doesn’t know how to protect herself or her daughter… And Lacy Dawn is determined to make them better. But there is a bigger task out there for her; it has been decided many years ago Lacy Dawn is the one that must save the universe. How? There is a cockroach infestation at the Shptiludrp Shopping Mall, the central planet of the universe, and Lacy Dawn has to find a way to get rid of it. But things are not that easy and she will need all the help she can get…

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Rarity From The Hollow is without doubt an intriguing story. The adventures of Lacy Dawn are nothing less than creative and the story is told almost like a diary. I’m not sure I can truly appreciate the prose as the many sexual references, especially those related to the young Lacy Dawn, were actually quite disturbing. But the pace is fast and the rest of the story is definitely interesting. This novel might not be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

WWW Wednesdays #54 – August 26th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started reading The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins the other day and so far I’m really enjoying it. Fingers crossed that it will live up to the hype! I’ve also decided that I want to finish The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt before the end of the month, so I will try to dedicate more time to it. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before my next WWW post!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

Partly thanks to the Bout Of Books read-a-thon last week I was able to finish no less than NINE books. I guess this month is going to be a new record! I’m seriously behind on my reviews though, so I will have to start writing them soon before I start mixing up the different plots and characters…
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The first one on the list is Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Not as good as the main series, but it was interesting to learn more about how Levana became the person she is in the series. The prose was solid as always.
I continued with My Heart And Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, and it was just as good as I was hoping for. Interesting characters, prose, plot… And the author described depression really well.
I read The Death Cure by James Dashner next and wasn’t impressed. I felt it lacked a proper plot and I wasn’t a fan of the ending… Definitely my least favorite book of the series so far.
Joyland by Stephen King was good: I loved the 1973 carnival setting and the prose was interesting as always. I didn’t see the ending coming for sure!
The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E. Smith was my TBR jar pick last week and unfortunately not as good as I thought it would be… Some of  the scenes just were too cheesy for me.
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Next up is Me And Earl And The Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. I’m still not sure what to think of it; it’s highly original, but I’m not sure the humor didn’t go too far at points or if I actually liked some of the main characters.
I then couldn’t wait any longer and read Never Never Part Two by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher.  This part was even better than the first and unfortunately ended with a big cliffhanger as well.
Anatomy Of A Misfit by Andrea Portes wasn’t that great. I didn’t like most characters or the fact that it has a love triangle and the ending felt forced.
Last up is All Fall Down by Ally Carter, a read I have been looking forward to and even though it wasn’t what I was expecting, I ended up really enjoying it! The ending is a mayor cliffhanger though; I need the sequel!!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I will probably try to read The Kill Order by James Dashner so I can finish the series…Hopefully I will like it better than The Death Cure. I have been wanting to read Legend by Marie Lu for ages, so hopefully I will be able to finally start that series… And I have been wanting to read None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio for a long time as well. The last one on this list is my newest TBR jar pick: I Was Here by Gayle Forman. This one was already on my Bout Of Books TBR, so I will probably get to it soon.

BOOK REVIEW: The Knife Of Never Letting Go – by Patrick Ness

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Title: The Knife Of Never Letting Go
(Chaos Walking #1)
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
First published: May 5th 2008
Finished reading: August 15th 2015
Pages: 479
Rating 4

“War is like a monster,” he says, almost to himself. “War is the devil. It starts and it consumes and it grows and grows and grows.” He’s looking at me now. “And otherwise normal men become monsters, too.”

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I’ve had the Chaos Walking trilogy on my TBR for ages and I still don’t know why I haven’t started it sooner. The first book The Knife Of Never Letting Go is without doubt a very entertaining read. The dystopian world Patrick Ness created is quite interesting and the main character Todd and his talking dog Manchee really made the story into something special. The only real problem I had was with some of the ‘slang’ used; even after finishing the first book I still don’t have the feeling it really adds something to the story. I enjoyed Patrick Ness‘ prose in general, but I definitely struggled to understand some of the strange word alterations in the beginning (conversayshun, informayshun, direkshun etc. etc.) It just gets weird when too many of these kind of words are used together on one page. The rest of the story makes up for it though! Although the ending did have a big cliffhanger… Which is kind of frustrating since I don’t have a copy of the sequel yet.

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Todd and his dog Manchee live in a dystopian world where everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a never-ending stream of Noise. There are only men left in Prentisstown after all the women supposedly died of the disease, and things are getting out of control… Todd is the only ‘boy’ left; he will be the last to turn into a man on his birthday next month. Not only humans suffer from the noise; Todd can hear the thoughts of other animals including his own dog as well. One day when Todd is collecting apples, he stumbles upon an area of complete silence. Todd wants to investigate and soon finds out Prentisstown is hiding a terrible secret… And he will have to run for his life to escape his fate.

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The Knife Of Never Letting Go is the very entertaining first part of a story that without doubt will become even more interesting in the sequels. I guess that in this case the main characters made this book into something special and I can’t wait to find out what happens next! I had some minor problems with the prose and the cliffhanger ending, but the rest of the story is good enough to make you forget all about it. Recommended!