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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May 2016 TBR

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I have WAY too many books waiting for me on my TBR shelf, so I started making a monthly TBR to help me decide. Last month wasn’t my best month for sticking with my monthly TBR and I only managed to read 4 out of 10 titles. I’ve started reading Daughter Of Smoke And Bone recently though, so I guess that would make it at least an almost 50% success… And reason enough to try it again this month.

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I’ve decided to put on hold the unread books on my April TBR since apparently I haven’t been in the mood to read them. Instead I’ve picked ten fresh ones… May will be a mix of fantasy reads and books belonging to different genres I have been wanting to read for a while including a classic and a Spanish read. Hopefully I will be able to read at least half of these by the end of the month!

>>> Find a complete list of the books of books owned and waiting to be read here and my full TBR list at Goodreads here <<<

# TBR #

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  • See How They Run by Ally Carter (336 pages)
  • Talon by Julie Kagawa (449 pages)
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (439 pages)
  • Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira (336 pages) current TBR jar pick
  • A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (336 pages)

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  • The Strange And Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (301 pages)
  • All The Rage by Courtney Summers (321 pages)
  • Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys (346 pages)
  • The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (118 pages)
  • La Sombra Del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (576 pages)

Have you read any of these and/or do you recommend them?

Month In Review: April 2016

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April was a month full of bad weather with a lot of rain and it is getting seriously cold down here in Argentina as well. Have I mentioned before that I HATE the cold winter months? I guess the only positive thing is that cold winter days will mean I will have more time to read… Although I prefer being outside in the sun instead.😉 As far as reading goes, while I managed to get the highest pagecount yet this year, I honestly thought I would be able to read more. Especially since I was stuck nursing an injured knee the first half of April… But I’m not complaining since I’m way ahead with my challenge in the first place. On to some numbers:

  • Number of books read in April: 17
  • Total number of books read this year: 64 (+1 reread)
  • Total number of pages read in April: 5.753
  • Total number of pages read this year: 20.544

I made it to the 20.000 pages mark already!😀 I can’t believe I have already read this many pages this year… April was a pretty lucky reading month as well since no less than 3! books received the highest rating and only four books had a 3 star rating or below. After an unsatisfactory March, this sure was a pleasant surprise!

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5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now. 
Steal Like An Artist – by Austin Kleon // The Conspiracy Of Us – by Maggie Hall // A Darker Shade Of Magic – by V.E. Schwab

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4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 
Map Of Fates – by Maggie Hall // Out Of My Mind – by Sharon M. Draper // A Gathering Of Shadows – by V.E. Schwab

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4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
Famous Last Words – by Katie Alender // Maybe Not – by Colleen Hoover

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3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
Not If I See You First – by Eric Lindstrom // Suicide Notes – by Michael Thomas Ford // The Girl In The Ice – by Robert Bryndza // Maybe Someday – by Colleen Hoover

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3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 
Blood Orchids – by Toby Neal

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2.5 STARS: I give this one the benefit of the doubt. Nothing too exciting. 
Ice Like Fire – by Sara Raasch

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2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.
All The Birds In The Sky – by Charlie Jane Anders // The Beginning Of Everything – by Robyn Schneider

In 2016 I decided to join in total four yearly challenges. So far I’m right on track with all of them even though I haven’t made any progress with the second.  Hopefully I will be able to keep this up! I’m also joining the second Bout Of Books Read-A-Thon (16.0) this year which will be hosted in May.😀

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other blogging goals… Basically, I couldn’t have done worse this month. I made no progress whatsoever with any of them, and to make things worse my TBR pile has even increased! since last month. I’m hopeless, I know… I’m planning to read at least a classic and a Spanish book next month to make up for it.

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 5 classics (rereads don’t count): 0/5
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count): 3/5 (the murder complex/never never/veronica mars)
  • Reread at least 3 books: 1/3 (red queen)
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 200 books: 292/200
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages: 0/1 (longest book 608 pages)
  • Read at least 5 books in Spanish: 1/5
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year
  • Finish older reviews that haven’t been posted yet: 4/10
  • Update older reviews to new format: 4/14
  • Reach 5km running! 2300m/5000m

Happy May and Happy Reading!

BOOK REVIEW: The Girl In The Ice – by Robert Bryndza

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Title: The Girl In The Ice
(DCI Erika Foster #1)
Author: Robert Bryndza
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime
First published: February 12th 2016
Finished reading: April 20th 2016
Pages: 396
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“The secret of blending in, is don’t try to. Everyone is so fucking self-obsessed.”

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I have been wanting to read The Girl In The Ice ever since I first heard about it and found out it was a mystery/thriller read… The cover is slighly misleading (when I first saw it I thought it would be a fantasy read until I investigated further), but the excellent plot more than makes up this initial confusion. In fact, I think the plot, plot twists and descriptions are probably the best aspect of this first book in the DCI Erika Foster series. The detailed descriptions set the right atmosphere right from the first page and the fast pace and intriguing murder case made it hard to stop reading this story. I admit some of the plot twists might be a bit farfetched, but the story is interesting enough that it doesn’t really matter. What did bother me and lowered the rating quite a bit is the ‘bitchiness’ of the characters and the slight lack of character development or other elements that maybe would have made me like the characters better. I understand Robert Bryndza was trying to create a strong female character with Erika Foster and I’m not saying she comes over as a bad detective, but why do all successful (female) detectives have to have a complicated personal life? And what is with all the bitchiness between the main characters? The fact that the characters were not likeable made it harder to connect to the story, although I have to say it is the only serious problem I had with The Girl In The Ice. So if you are looking for a good whodunit with a well written plot, a surprising ending and don’t mind unlikeable characters, make sure to add this book to your wishlist.

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When the body of a woman is discovered beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to investigate the murder. The case is delicate since the victim turns out to be the daughter of a very influential family and Erika Foster is told she cannot ask any painful questions or do anything that might damage their reputation. Erika doesn’t trust the family though and decides to dig deeper anyway… And she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes whose deaths look suspiciously similar. Her boss is furious that she doesn’t leave the family alone and wants to release information that can damage both their reputation and that of the victim… Erika feels she is close to discovering information that will help her to solve the case, but after her last investigation went terribly wrong her career is hanging by a thread and she doesn’t find the support she needs to continue. Will she be able to find a way to fight her own personal demons as well as to hunt the new killer before he kills again?

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Like I said above, I would have given The Girl In The Ice an even higher rating if it wouldn’t have been for the ‘bitchy’ characters. I don’t mind strong characters or a bit of swearing if it’s used in the right way, but the constant bitching between the main characters became quite annoying after a while. The plot and plot twists are more than excellent though and I have to say I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Combine this with detailed descriptions that set the right atmosphere and a fast pace and you have a really entertaining whodunit that is definitely worth reading if you like the genre.

Friday Finds #84 – April 29th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Books And A Beat 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! 😀

My finds:

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WWW Wednesdays #88 – April 27th

wwwwednesdaysWWW 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?

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I finally started The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah the other day and even though I didn’t have much free time to read, I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve also finally picked up my latest TBR jar pick The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson, but it’s too soon to say anything about it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first title I managed to finish since last week was The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza. The plot, plot twists and descriptions are really good, but the ‘bitchiness’ of the character did make me enjoy this mystery/thriller less than I thought I would… Still definitely worth reading though!
* I then decided to read Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, which turned out to be an entertaining enough read. I actually loved the first part (up until about 55-60% I would have given it 5 stars), but things went downhill from there… Still, I really enjoyed most of it.
* I decided to pick up the novella Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover as well since it was short and I kind of wanted to read more about Warren… And I actually liked the novella better than the last part of Maybe Someday.
* The last book I finished is A Gathering Of Shadows by V.E. Schwab, and I have a feeling it is going to take some time to get my thoughts together… Such a good series and the wait for the third book is going to be a long one!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really should start reading Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor next since it was the winner of the which series to read next? poll last month… I will most likely do as soon as I finish one of the titles above; I just wanted to read my last TBR jar pick first. I also want to read The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, although I should probably get a copy of the fourth book first… And I honestly don’t know why I haven’t read See How They Run by Ally Carter yet, since I loved the first book last year and this sequel has been on my most anticipated 2015 releases list. Oops? My new TBR jar pick is Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira. I’ve heard mixed things about that one, so I will be keeping my fingers crossed.

BOOK REVIEW: The Beginning Of Everything – by Robyn Schneider

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Title: The Beginning Of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
First published: August 27th 2013
Finished reading: April 18th 2016
Pages: 335
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“If everything really does get better, the way everyone claims, then happiness should be graphable. But that’s crap, because better isn’t quantifiable.”

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I was looking for a quick and entertaining read and since I loved reading Robyn Schneider‘s other novel Extraordinary Means two months ago, I decided to pick up my copy of The Beginning Of Everything. Unfortunately, this story wasn’t as nearly as good as my first experience with her work. It might have been because of my high expectations, but the cheesy and cliche plot and annoying characters made me feel mostly disappointed by this read. The first three chapters make you think this could be a really interesting take on how Ezra deals with the fact that he can no longer play tennis and has to adapt to his new life and status at school. Those chapters are actually quite misleading, because the rest of the story is basically a cliche storybook involving a couple of seniors both trying to be different and fitting in during the last year in high school. Jocks against nerds, a former jock now belonging to the debate club, the former tennis captain that used to date a cheerleader, prom, (hotelroom) parties involving alcohol and games… This plot is basically one big cliche and almost made me gag. I guess those who don’t mind a story like this will probably end up loving The Beginning Of Everything, but this definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. Also, the fact that I couldn’t stand the main character, the whole pity party and prom situations didn’t help either… And the tension between Cassidy and Ezra is actually quite boring. But like I said before, fans of contemporary romance who don’t mind cheesy and cliche high school scenes will probably love this read.

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Ezra Faulkner used to be the golden boy with a great athletic career and a busy social life with his jock friends and girlfriend. But all that changed that one night of his personal tragedy, where a reckless driver shatters his knee and dreams… Ezra can no longer play tennis and finds himself without friends or a girlfriend after she cheated on him. His senior year is not going to be as he thought it would, and suddenly he finds himself at the table of misfits. His former teammates don’t seem to care much about the fact that Ezra is missing, but can he accept his new status and friendships? And what about the new girl Cassidy Thorpe, who seems to be unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met?

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The Beginning Of Everything started out promising even though I never liked the main character, but things soon went downhill from there. I admit I never really like cheesy contemporary romance stories, but the promise of something better actually made me feel more disappointed in the end. I’m not saying this is a bad read and the right person will probably love it, but if you want to try Robyn Schneider‘s work I would definitely recommend reading her other novel Extraordinary Means first.