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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WWW Wednesdays #41 – May 27th

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?

teaseathousandpiecesofyouI started reading A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray the other day and so far I’m enjoying it. Hopefully it will stay that way! I’ve also started reading Tease by Amanda Maciel a few days ago and while it’s interesting, I cannot really connect to the characters. It makes it a bit more difficult to read this one fast, but it’s not a bad read at any rate.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

cityofashestreasureislandI finished Treasure Island the other day, and unfortunately I cannot say I ended up enjoying this classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. I feel a bit guilty, but I was almost bored by the story and couldn’t connect to the characters… I also finished City Of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, and I’m still sticking with the fact that I like the prequel trilogy better. There are so many love triangles going on that it’s becoming annoying!

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

thedivinerstheassassinsbladeMy next TBR jar pick is still The Diviners by Libba Bray; another series I’ve been wanting to read for a while now…But I might read The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas first because I need it for my Bookish Bingo challenge. Plus, that way I will have another series completed until the next Throne Of Glass book will be published. ;)

Teaser Tuesdays #44 – May 26th: A Thousand Pieces Of You

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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 started reading A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray the other day. This one has been on my TBR shelf for a while now and I’m glad I’m finally reading it. I’m not too far into the story so far, but I have seen quite a few positive reviews around so I’m hoping it will live up to expections.

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My teaser (7%):

“It feels as though I’m splintering into a dozen directions at once—grief, then rage, then panic. The last thing I need right now is to lose it. Instead I force my mind to go to the place that always calms and centers me: painting.”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: The Wicked Will Rise – by Danielle Paige

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Title: The Wicked Will Rise
(Dorothy Must Die #2)
Author: Danielle Paige
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
First published: March 30th 2015
Finished reading: May 17th 2015
Pages: 293
Rating 3,5

“But really what I mean by crappy is, like—you know—not very good at it. Like, if there were a Witch Mall, Glamora would work at Witch Neiman Marcus, Mombi would work at Witch Talbot’s and I would work at the Witch Dollar Store, where people would only come to buy witch paper towels, six rolls for ninety-nine cents.”

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I read Dorothy Must Die last month and even though I was a bit disappointed by the lack of action in this first book, I decided to read the sequel The Wicked Will Rise anyway to see if Dorothy would finally start working on her mission. Where the first book was a bit slow, Danielle Paige tried to squeeze in more than double the action in the sequel. I don’t mind a bit of action, but I couldn’t help but think it might have been better dividing it between the two. I mean, this sequel has about 150 pages less than Dorothy Must Die, so at points the story felt ‘rushed’. Still, I cannot deny I enjoyed it anyway and I will most likely end up reading the third book at some point when it comes out. (Whenever that is.) The prose is easy to read and I like Amy’s character. Combined with a fast pace it is a quick and entertaining read, although I think I liked Dorothy Must Die better.

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

Amy Gumm is still stuck in Oz and is trying to continue her mission. She has to kill Dorothy to free Oz, but first she has to remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain and take the Lion’s courage… She has only partly succeeded so far, and Dorothy still lives. Amy has managed to escape death so far, but the Revolutionary Order has vanished and Amy doesn’t know what to do next. The people around her all seem to tell her only half-truths and she doesn’t know what to believe anymore or who to trust. Good and evil are all mixed up in Oz right now; so who is truly wicked?

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Although Danielle Paige at least made sure Amy did actually work on her mission in this sequel, I cannot help but feel she tried to rush the story too much. The Wicked Will Rise is shorter than the first book, but it had way more action in it… Not a bad thing on itself, but I felt the balance between the first two books was a bit lost. Still, this is quite an entertaining read and I enjoyed the sometimes funny prose. Recommended to those who enjoy a good Wizard Of Oz retelling; just make sure to not compare it to Dorothy Must Die

BOOK REVIEW: World After – by Susan Ee

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Title: World After
(Penryn & The End Of Days #2)
Author: Susan Ee
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Dystopia
First published: November 19th 2013
Finished reading: May 15th 2015
Pages: 320
Rating 4,5

“I look up to say something but he puts his finger to my lips and whispers, “Don’t talk. You’ll just spoil my fantasy of rescuing an innocent damsel in distress as soon as you open your mouth.”

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I have to say I actually liked Angelfall better than the sequel. BUT: World After is still full of awesomeness. I cannot help but fangirl all over this series and Susan Ee made it straight to my favorite authors list. The worldbuilding, characters and prose; everything works just brilliantly together. The fact that this is one of the few YA fantasy series without a love triangle is a huge bonus as well. I would have liked to see more of Raffe as Penryn can become annoying at times, but I still loved reading this sequel. Action, horror and romance are mixed with a humor and dialogue between Penryn and Raffe that will probably make you laugh out loud at some points. Those who have already read World After will understand it when I say: Pooky Bear! Susan Ee was able to write down some great lines with that one. Now I can continue to ramble and fangirl all over the place, or simply conclude that this series is definitely worth your time if you enjoy YA fantasy. I know there is a huge hype around this series, but in this case it’s absolutely worth it.

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

People are still trying to survive after the angel apocalypse, but things are not getting easier. Penryn’s sister Paige was able to escape the angels, but when a group of humans captures her thinking she is a monster things become messy. Paige disappears and Penryn has no other choice than to try and find her sister. Again. That is not as easy as she originally thinks it is, because she has no idea where Paige or the angels went in the first place… And Raffe doesn’t seem around to help her this time. Raffe is still busy trying to get his wings and respect among the angels back, but will he really ignore Penryn when her life is in danger? And what about the secret plan the angels are working on to finally claim the earth as their own?

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Susan Ee writes in a way that makes you just want to keep on reading and I’m not sure how long I will resist the temptation of buying the recently published third books of the Penryn & The End Of Days series. Both Angelfall and World After have been brilliant, so if End Of Days has anywhere close to the same quality of setting, character development and prose I’m sure I will love it. Question is: do I really want this story to be over? I’m not sure if I can say goodbye to Penryn and Raffe just yet…

BOOK REVIEW: Don’t Tell Mummy – by Toni Maguire

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Title: Don’t Tell Mummy
Author: Toni Maguire
Genre: Memoir, True Crime
First published: 2006
Finished reading: May 13th 2015
Pages: 352
Rating 4

“The smile on his lips was always the smile of the nice father, but in his eyes I could see the nasty one, the one invisible to everyone else, the one that lived inside his head.”

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This memoir is not for the weak-hearted and will probably leave you with tears in your eyes. Toni Maguire didn’t have an easy childhood. Or more precisely said: a childhood from hell. Growing up with an abusive father, a mother who prefers to look the other way and family and friends who don’t see what’s happening behind closed doors… A recipe for every young child’s worst nightmare. The author was very brave to let her skeletons out of the closet and admit all those horrible facts actually happened to her all those years ago. Don’t Tell Mummy is a truly heartbreaking story that will definitely move you… It’s not a happy story, but one that has to be told as there are so many cases of child abuse still out there. Without doubt a memoir I would recommend; it’s very well written and not only tells us the facts of the abuse, but also the way people judge her when the truth comes out.

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The first few years of Toni Maguire’s life were almost perfect, but things change when they decide to move back to Ireland where her father is born. Their new idyllic life is marked by a terrible secret… When Toni is six years old, her father made his first improper move on his daughter and he doesn’t stop there. He warns her not to tell anyone, because they would end up blaming her for allowing him to do those things… And in the end even her mother prefers to look away. When Toni finally gathers the courage to tell her father’s little ‘secret’,  her mother simply says to never talk about it again. Soon Toni is alone and isolated from friends and family, with nobody to turn to. The abuse goes on for years, and even ends up in a pregnancy; the abortion almost killing Toni. And when people find out, they end up doing what her father warned her they would do: the end up judging and rejecting her for what he has done…

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This memoir tells a truly shocking story that will leave you without words and reaching for a box of tissues. Toni Maguire has had a horrible childhood and she is very brave to write down her story. The acts of her father nearly destroyed both her and her childhood, and it’s shocking that nobody noticed something in all those years before her pregnancy. Don’t Tell Mummy is a true eye opener and a very well written story that I would definitely recommend to those who enjoy reading memoirs and true crime stories. Beware: this is not a happy story and it won’t be for everyone…

Friday Finds #37 – May 22nd

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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. This week some finds that are neither YA or fantasy. I’ve been reading too much of both genres lately, and although I enjoy both I should probably start reading other genres too… Below 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: Unwind – by Neal Shusterman

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Title: Unwind
(Unwind Dystology #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Fantasy
First published: November 6th 2007
Finished reading: May 12th 2015
Pages: 335
Rating 4,5

“You see, a conflict always begins with an issue – a difference of opinion, an argument. But by the time it turns into a war, the issue doesn’t matter anymore, because now it’s about one thing and one thing only: how much each side hates the other.”

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I added Unwind to my wishlist on a whim last year and I’m glad I did, because I ended up really enjoying this read. Sure, it took me some time to get used to this dystopian world and the idea of teenagers being forced to ‘unwind’ is in a way macaber. But I like the idea behind the world Connor, Risa and Lev are forced to live in and what it stands for. Neal Shusterman forces you to think about life and what it’s worth; would it really be possible and above all legal to give away your own children with the knowledge they soon won’t be existing anymore? Can it be true that when all parts of a teenager’s body are reused their soul will continue to exist? Unwind is not just another dystopian novel. The prose, characters and worldbuilding are very convincing, and I would definitely recommend it to those who enjoy a good dystopian story without the sometimes annoying sappy romance scenes.

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After the Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights, the governments have decided to solve the problem in a very special way. Abortions are no longer legal and the life of all children is garantueed from the moment of conception until the age of thirteen. Unwanted babies can be given away by their mothers and have to be cared for by those who find it… But between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, children are no longer safe. When they are not following rules or a burden in general, it can be decided to have them ‘unwound’. Each and every part of the child will be transplanted into different donors, so that their life technically doesn’t end… But not everybody sees it that way.

Connor is a troublemaker and his parents don’t know what to do with him. He used to be their only child until his stepbrother was found on their doorstep… His parents decide to have Connor unwound, choosing his brother over their own blood. But Connor doesn’t plan on ending up being cut into pieces, and he decides to escape. Soon he finds himself running with two other teenagers. Risa is a ward of state that wasn’t talented enough to be worth keeping alive, but Lev is a whole different story. He is a tithe, conceived and raise to be unwound. But all that matters now is escaping the autorities and try to survive…

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I wasn’t too sure if I would like Unwind, but I ended up really enjoying this read. The fact that there aren’t a lot of romance scenes is refreshing, since most YA dystopian books I’ve read lately have been packed with it. The prose and fast pace made me finish this read quickly, and I will definitely continue this series soon. A copy of Unwholly is already waiting on my shelf!