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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BOOK REVIEW: Lucky Day – by Barry Lyga

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Title: Lucky Day
(Jasper Dent #0.1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA, Thriller, Horror
First published: April 1st 2014
Finished reading: July 24th 2015
Pages: 100
Rating 3,5

“But you know, sometimes the fight itself is worthwile, even if the prize at the end ain’t.”

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I really loved the first two books in the Jasper Dent series, but I also don’t want the story to be over yet… I decided to read this prequel novella first. Lucky Day is the first and longest out of the four novellas available and quite interesting. It’s not as good as the actual series, but I guess that’s mostly because Jazz is such a key character and the focus in Lucky Day is on Sheriff G. William Tanner. We follow him as he tries to catch the killer of two local girls and you learn a bit more about his character. Billy makes his appearance and you get a better idea how he was able to fool everyone for so long. But it really shows that Barry Lyga hit the jackpot when he created Jazz as his main character; there is a spark missing in this novella that I Hunt Killers and Game do have. Still, it’s an interesting and quick read that will definitely entertain you.

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Lobo’s Nod used to be a real quiet town, but that ended when a local girl went missing. Sheriff G. William Tanner is running for his last reelection and hasn’t been himself after the death of his wife, but he is still determined to find the girl. Then the impossible happens: a dead girl shows up, and it isn’t the missing girl. Tanner is now convinced they are both dead and that they are looking for a murderer that will probably kill again. And a killer that really knows Lobo’s Nod. But can it be really true that the murderer is among those Tanner already knows? The trail has gone cold, but Tanner doesn’t want to give up looking for the killer. Only luck can help him now…

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This prequel novella is all about how Sheriff G. William Tanner was able to catch the infamous serial killer Billy Dent. It’s a quick and entertaining read, but it misses the spark that makes I Hunt Killers and Game so special. I guess that’s mostly because Jazz and his friends are not a part of this novella… Because the prose has the same quality as the actual series. Still, I would definitely recommend this read if you enjoyed the series! It doesn’t really contain spoilers, so it can be read either before or after reading I Hunt Killers.

BOOK REVIEW: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock – by Matthew Quick

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Title: Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Author: Matthew Quick
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: August 13th 2013
Finished reading: July 24th 2015
Pages: 273
Rating 4

“DO ANYTHING! SOMETHING! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with every breath you take.”

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was recommended to me various times over the past two months, so I thought it was about time to read it. The story sure didn’t disappoint. Matthew Quick created with Leonard Peacock a very disturbed character that will make you want to keep on reading to find out if he really ends up doing what he has been planning: kill his former best friend and then himself with his grandfather’s gun. This might make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is brilliantly written and shows how various actions drove Leonard to form this disturbing plan in his head. The prose is more than good and I especially loved the letters from the future that are to help Leonard convince himself to not kill himself. This novel has some heavy themes that might not be for everyone, but I think it’s definitely worth it. It really gives you an insight in how seemingly normal kids end up with a gun in their hands and how a disaster possibly can be prevented by an act of kindness like that of Herr Silverman.

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Leonard Peacock turned 18 today, but nobody seems to realize it. He is tired of this life and decides to give four people a goodbye gift before he gives himself his own birthday present: killing his former best friend with his grandfather’s gun and afterwards end his own life. The four people that are most important in his life don’t realize what he is up to… His neighbor and Borgart fan Walt suspects something is wrong, but he doesn’t insist. His classmate Baback doesn’t trust his gift and leaves Leonard alone with his thoughts… And a Christian girl named Lauren doesn’t really appreciate his gift either. Will Her Silverman, the last person and the teacher of his class on the Holocaust, be able to save Leonard from his fate? Or can Leonard save himself before it’s too late?

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This is not your typical topic when it comes to YA contemporary novels, but it makes Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock that much more interesting. Sure, in a way it’s disturbing to read about a teenager who is planning to kill someone and then commit suicide, but it is something that can happen if someone is desperate enough. The prose is brilliant and with a fast pace it is quite a quick read that will leave you wondering what could have happened. I would definitely recommend reading it if you like YA contemporary and don’t mind a ‘heavy’ read!

WWW Wednesdays #50 – July 29th

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?

thegoldfinchmissperegrineshomeforpeculiarchildrenI’m still slowly making progress on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I can’t deny it is a very well written novel, but the pace is quite slow and it’s hard to keep my attention for long. I guess that’s why I have been reading so many books in between… Currently it’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. So far I’m really enjoying this read, so I will probably finish it first before trying to pick up The Goldfinch again.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

thescorchtrialsmasqueradeI finished reading Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier the other day and wasn’t overly impressed by it. I guess that at least I was able to cross off another era for the When Are You Reading? challenge… I’ve also finished The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. Like with The Maze Runner, the slang really bothered me during the whole story. The plot is slightly better than the first one, but it still wasn’t like I really enjoyed this read.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thirteenreasonswhycressI’m having a really hard time deciding what to read next! The Kings Of Cool by Don Winslow is still on the radar, but I haven’t been in the mood for it. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher sounds like a ‘heavy’ read I’m not sure I want to read after finishing my current reads… So I might just give in and read Cress so I can finally continue Marissa Meyer‘s series. :D

BOOK REVIEW: The Truth About Alice – by Jennifer Mathieu

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Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: June 3rd 2014
Finished reading: July 23rd 2015
Pages: 209
Rating 2

“There is one thing I’ve learned about people: they don’t get that mean and nasty overnight. It’s not human nature. But if you give people enough time, eventually they’ll do the most heartbreaking stuff in the world.”

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I’ve had The Truth About Alice on my TBR ever since it came out last year, but somehow I was hesitant to pick it up. I’ve heard mixed things about it and to be honest I wasn’t sure I was going to like this read… Turns out I was right. The Truth About Alice is basically about a bunch of teenage drama queens who spread rumors about Alice, and then you slowly find out what really happened and why they invented the rumors. The characters weren’t exactly likeable and you don’t hear from Alice until the very last chapter. (I guess that chapter is what saved this book a bit for me.) Jennifer Mathieu writes in a way that is easy to read and the pace is fast, but I felt myself not really caring about what was happening to the characters. You read the story from the point of view of different characters and learn what really happened through their eyes. The problem is that three of them are mostly annoying teenage wannabes (Elaine, Kelsie and Josh) and their ‘secrets’ are not interesting at all. The chapters with Kurt are refreshing; at least he has an interesting personality. But overall this was mostly a boring read with flat characters that could have been summarized by only reading the last chapter.

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According to the rumors, Alice Franklin is what you call a true slut. Everybody knows that she slept with two guys at one and the same party. And everybody knows she was writing dirty texts to Brandon at the moment he crashed his car and died. Everybody knows, so the rumors must be true right? The bathroom stall at their high school is full of messages that show what the students really think of Alice and things are getting out of control… Four Healy High students will tell what they know, but what is the truth about Alice? What really happened?

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I should have known The Truth About Alice wouldn’t be for me. I’m not a fan of high school drama and that is what this novel is all about. At least it’s a quick read, but I honestly didn’t care about the characters or about the truth about Alice… Which is kind of the whole point of this book. Well, at least now I know, right? Fans of YA contemporary and those who don’t mind annoying ‘popular’ high school students as main characters might still enjoy this read, but I wouldn’t recommend it myself.

Teaser Tuesdays # – July 28th: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at A Daily Rhythm. 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 reading Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, but I’m really excited about this read. I have been wanting to start this series by Ransom Riggs for a while now and so far it looks promising. Hopefully I will be able to read more of it later today!

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My teaser (53%):

“Though in a million superficial ways it would be identical to the day before – the same breeze would blow and the same three limbs would fall – my experience of it would be new. So would the peculiar children’s. They were the gods of this strange little heaven, and I was their guest.”

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Magonia – by Maria Dahvana Headley

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Title: Magonia
(Magonia #1)
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: April 28th 2015
Finished reading: July 22nd 2015
Pages: 320
Rating 2,5

“Death is the Santa Claus of the adult world. Except Santa Claus in reverse. The guy who takes all the presents away.”

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I’ve read this book together with The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs. I remember the first time I saw this book mentioned and immediately falling in love with the cover. It’s so gorgeous! I was really looking forward to Magonia… But unfortunately I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I had a hard time getting into the story. Part of the problem was the fact that I was expecting a fantasy story from the start, and the first few chapters are more of a YA contemporary novel. I wasn’t convinced by the characters and the prose really bothered me. I know a lot of people actually love Maria Dahvana Headley‘s writing style, but to me it felt somewhat forced and annoying to read. What’s with all the ( ) [ ] anyway? As far as the worldbuilding goes: I do admit it is very creative and it shows she spent a lot of time creating Magonia. Unfortunately, I was mostly weirded out by the whole descriptions. I mean, a bird flying down the main character’s throat and then nestling inside her lung? Flying ships and half-birds singing to get things done? Not really my cup of tea. I guess Magonia might be one of those books you either love or hate… And I don’t think I belong to the first group.

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Ever since she was little Aza Ray has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it very hard to even breathe properly. They didn’t expect her to live that long, but now she is almost sixteen years old and still holding on. When she thinks she sees a ship in the sky, people believe it’s just a side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think it’s a hallucination; she actually heard someone calling out for her from the ship. Only her best friend Jason seems to believe her, but it seems to be too late… As her lungs doesn’t seem to want to breathe no longer. Can she still be saved? And what about that flying ship? And the myths about Magonia?

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Magonia sounded so good when I first learned about it, but unfortunately I ended up not enjoying it that much. The only reason I haven’t given it a lower rating is because of the quite impressive worldbuilding. Maria Dahvana Headley spent a serious amount of time creating the world of Magonia and it shows in the details. It doesn’t take away the fact that I was mostly weirded out by the whole bird and flying ship situation and the fact that I didn’t like the main characters doesn’t really help either. And the prose… Some people might like it, but I was mostly just annoyed by it. I really wanted to like this one! But I guess you can’t always get what you wish for…

The Ultimate Book Tag

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I hope everybody had a great weekend! About two weeks ago I was tagged by Dancing Through The Pages to do The Ultimate Book Tag and it sounded like a fun one to do. Thanks again for the tag! :D So here we go…


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Fortunately enough no. I might get a headache when I read too long, but that mostly doesn’t have anything to do with me being in a car and more with me forgetting to use my reading glasses. :D

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

Mmm difficult question! Is it bad that I cannot think of a really good example right now? Most authors have their own unique writing style and I can’t pick any favorites.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

Do you even have to ask? Harry Potter, OBVIOUSLY! I’m a Harry Potter fan all the way… Because 1. It was such a struggle to even read Twilight in the first place and I still don’t know how I’ve managed to even finish it. 2. I grew up reading Harry Potter and it’s probably one of my favorite childhood series. 3. The worldbuilding, characters, prose… J.K. Rowling really knows how to write a story that will stay for you for a long time and that you never get tired of rereading.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is in it (besides books)?

I used to when I was in high school and attending uni… Now I mostly read at home or take my kindle with me when I go out.

5. Do you smell your books?

I love smelling books, especially when they are secondhand! Nothing smells better than a secondhand bookstore… Although I love the smell of new books as well. :D

6. Books with or without little illustrations.

It depends on the story I guess. I like them as long as they add something to the story, but if they are unnecessary they only end up distracting me.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I remember I enjoyed reading Dan Brown’s books in high school, but I’ve reread them later on I wasn’t really impressed. Quality writing is really hard to define though; those who normally read adult literature will probably not appreciate YA novels, but I wouldn’t exactly call them without quality. Really hard question!

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

My mind is drawing a blank here… No funny stories as far as I remember. I guess I was a true Matilda when I was younger, going to the library and checking out way to many books at the time. I’ve probably read most of the children section back when I was little! I loved books written by Roald Dahl and Astrid Lindgren, and also Dutch authors like Annie M.G. Schmidt, Paul Van Loon and Jan Terlouw. I actually wrote a letter to Paul Van Loon at some point and got a letter back with autograph and everything! :D

9. What is the tinniest book on your shelf?

Probably one of the many novellas that are part of a series…

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

That will most likely be one of George R.R. Martin’s books; A Storm Of Swords. With over 1.100 pages, it sure is a thick book. ;)

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I used to write poems and started a story at my other blog Ponderings On Life, but I haven’t written anything in over three years. During my high school school I was in the process of creating my own children series… But I ended up abandoning it when I moved abroad.

12. When did you get into reading?

I have been reading ever since I was little and never stopped loving it… Although I have been reading a lot more during the last few years.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

It’s hard to pick only one favorite, so I’ve decided to cheat and divide my favorites into different genres: My favorite dystopian classics would be Fahrenheit 451 and 1984, my favorite mystery classic And Then There Were None and my favorite historical fiction classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The Diary Of Anne Frank is one of my favorite memoirs…

14. In school what was your best subject?

I admit I was a true nerd in high school! My best subjects were Spanish, Chemistry and Management & Organization… A mix of language, science and numbers. My favorite subject was Spanish though, because I love the language and I was able to read and watch movies during class! :D

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

I guess it depends on who gave it to me in the first place, but I will most likely say that I’ve already read it and when they ask my opinion I will say something vage to not hurt their feelings.

16. (No clue what happened to this question but apparently it disappeared)

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

I’m what you call a professional procrastinator and I’m almost always behind with my reviews and other posts… Especially tags tend to get lost between all my other drafts. I have been trying to keep up with at least my reviews lately though! ;)

18. What is your favorite word?

Mmm dificult… I don’t think I have a favorite word in English. My favorite Spanish one is ‘ovni’ though. (UFO) :D

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Is there a big difference between the three? I feel dumb for not knowing haha. I normally call myself a nerd when I refer to my high school period…

20. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

I’m really sick of all those poorly done vampire stories with not-scary vampires, so I pick fairies. They are interesting characters and I loved the last book with fairies (A Court Of Thorns And Roses!)

21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

A tricky one, but I think I prefer angels. Especially after reading the first two books of the Penryn & The End Of Days series; I love that series!

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Definitely spìrits! Ghost stories are scary, and I still have to read a good werewolves story.

23. Zombies or Vampires? Why?

I’m not a fan of either, but it is easier to find a story where the zombies at least are somewhat credible (read scary).

24. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

Neither! I’m really not a romance fan and both are a mayor turn off for any book I read. If I HAVE to pick one, I guess I prefer forbidden love. I’m suffering from a YA love triangle overdose already!

25. And finally: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Can it also be action without romance? For me the less romance a story has, the better… Although I don’t mind a romance scene or two as long as they add to the story.

 


Feel free to join the fun if you liked this tag! Have a great last five days of July everyone! <3