BOOK REVIEW: When We Collided – by Emery Lord

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Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Finished reading: July 31st 2016
Pages: 352
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“Even the constellations can see us now: we are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know.”

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I know a lot of bloggers are big Emery Lord fans, but I have never actually picked up any of her novels so far. Now I’ve finished When We Collided, I know this is going to change. Contemporary romance is not really my genre, especially if it’s too cheesy, but this story is definitely one of the exceptions to that rule. First of all, I loved the writing style! The prose and fast pace made When We Collided into a very quick and entertaining read and the only reason it took me this long to finish it is because I forgot my kindle when I went away during the weekend… Because the story reads like a train. The character development is well done and I really liked the main characters. Vivi and Jonah are just adorable together, and I love little Leah! The POV switches each chapter between Vivi and Jonah, and I like how the chapters complement each other. Also, I can really appreciate the whole bipolar angle. It’s a very important topic in the first place and Emery Lord did a great job of both incorporating it into the story and showing what it’s like having to live with the disease. The many artsy references are great as well! If you like a good contemporary romance novel with a ‘serious’ twist, I can definitely recommend When We Collided.

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Jonah has been struggling to deal with his father’s dead himself, but his mother is so down she cannot even get out of bed… It is up to him and his older siblings to take care of the younger ones, as well of the family restaurant. It’s easy to say life hasn’t been easy during the last few months. Things change when he meets Vivi when he takes his little sister Leah to a pottery workshop. Jonah would never have thought a girl like Vivi would pay attention to him, let alone be interested in him… But Leah is less insecure and invites her new friend over for dinner. Jonah and Vivi never expected their summer to be like this, and it is definitely turning out to be a summer that will change their future forever…

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Although it’s not my favorite genre, I can still really appreciate a contemporary romance story as long as it’s well written and not too cheesy. When We Collided is one of them. I fell in love with both the writing style and the main characters (especially Jonah, Vivi and Leah). I did feel Vivi was almost too ‘bubbly’ and cheerful at points, but that was until I reached the part that explained her character. I liked the ending as well: it was kind of refreshing! I would definitely recommend this novel to fans of the genre.

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… 🙂

ARC REVIEW: The One Memory Of Flora Banks – by Emily Barr

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Title: The One Memory Of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: January 12th 2017
Publisher: Penguin
Finished reading: January 14th 2017
Pages: 303
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“I am really here. Yet I know I am not. I am inside something that must be buried in my head. I am layers deep in my own brain.”

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

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After I read Claire‘s review at Art and Soul, I basically had no other choice but rush to Netgalley and request a copy of this new novel by Emily Barr as well. I literally did a happy dance when my request was approved soon after, because I had heard nothing but wonderful things about The One Memory Of Flora Banks (and not just because of the gorgeous cover). I picked up my copy straight after receiving it, and I completely agree with all the other raving reviews out there. This book is brilliant! I loved LOVED the main character and the fact that amnesia plays such a big role in the story. Sure, there is a hint of a love triangle and she doesn’t seem to care much about hurting her best friend’s feelings when she kisses the boyfriend. Sure, if you think about the plot critically it’s not exactly all that credible. But to be honest, I didn’t really care. Flora managed to win over my heart from the very first page and I loved both the writing and how Flora managed to do so many things suffering with anterograde amnesia like she does. And that ending! I’m already having a feeling this one will appear on my list of 2017 favorites.

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Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks suffers from anterograde amnesia ever since a tumor was removed from her brain at the age of ten. She has no short-term memory and is unable to make new memories; her mind has been resetting itself several times a day ever since the operation. But that is until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the day before he leaves town. Somehow Flora is still able to remember every detail about their conversation and kiss the next day, and the memory sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is the key to restoring her memory and making her whole again… So when an encouraging mail from Drake suggests to meet him far far away, Flora finally listens to the two words on her hand: ‘be brave’. Will Flora be able to find him?

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If you look critically, The One Memory Of Flora Banks actually has a plot that isn’t all that credible and even has a hint of a love triangle. I’m normally not a big fan of either, but in this case it was all completely forgotten thanks to the lovely writing and more importantly: Flora Banks. Flora is basically what makes this story and is without doubt one of my new favorite characters! I love how she is able to overcome her anterograde amnesia and do all the things she does. The One Memory Of Flora Banks is definitely a story that is worth the hype and more than recommended!


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ARC REVIEW: The Thankful – by Jamie Campbell

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Title: The Thankful
Author: Jamie Campbell

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
First published: August 19th 2016
Publisher: Eltham Press
Finished reading: January 12th 2017
Pages: 132
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“Like most everyone else in the world that day they had no real idea. What they has was a feeling. A weight in their stomachs that anatomy text books could not explain.”

*** 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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Confession: I’ve had The Thankful pending for way too long. I’m not sure why though, because this historical fiction ARC about the May War of 1940 in the Netherlands sounded truly fascinating. I grew up in the Netherlands myself and I’m aware of the basic facts of what happened in the country, but it’s been a long time since I last read a story with so many details. Jamie Campbell does a great job of explaining exactly what happened during those days with the help of the main character Ruth. The Thankful basically follows her story as she tries to escape the Germans, but you will learn what happened during the May War along the way. The choice to leave many Dutch and German words without translation is without doubt original, although I do think it would have been a lot more difficult to enjoy the story if I wouldn’t have been able to understand those languages myself. The geography can be quite confusing as well (even for me and I grew up there), but those are only two minor details in an otherwise excellent description of the May War. If you want to learn more about how the Netherlands ended up being invaded by the Germans during WWII, The Thankful is without doubt a great choice. A lot more entertaining than a simple history book without losing its historical accuracy!

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The twelve-year-old Ruth Imker with Jewish heritage has been running for most of her life. She had to leave Vienna because it was no longer safe, but before long she couldn’t stay in Cologne either. They sent her to Rotterdam, because the Netherlands was supposed to be safe. But even though the Dutch didn’t expect it, the Germans came during the early morning of the tenth of May 1940. Ruth will have to run again and try to find a way to get to England… And she has an unlikely protector to help her. Will they be able to escape?

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Even though the story might be a bit more difficult to understand for those who don’t understand Dutch and German due to the use of certain use in that language, I still think it is a great read for those who want to learn more about the May War. Apart from the words in foreign languages, the rest of the story is both intriguing and easy to follow; you will find yourself hoping the characters will be able to find a way out. Not perfect, but without doubt an interesting historical fiction read!


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Friday Finds #117 – January 20th

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FRIDAY FINDS 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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2017 (Netgalley) ARCs: The Complete List

I signed up for the 2017 Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge hosted by Bookish Things & More here, and thought it would be easier to have a different post with all the ARCs I will be reading this year together. (This includes other ARCs that won’t count for the challenge; those are marked in orange while the Netgalley ARCs are marked in green). Hopefully it will be an easier way to keep track of all those lovely ARCs that have been sent to me this year!  ❤

>>> Last updated January 19th 2017<<<

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BOOK REVIEW: The Sun Is Also A Star – by Nicola Yoon

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Title: The Sun Is Also A Star
Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Finished reading: January 11th 2017
Pages: 348
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“There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”

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I confess I have been in love with the cover ever since I first saw it… But that wasn’t the only reason for me to add The Sun Is Also A Star to my wishlist, I also really enjoyed Nicola Yoon‘s other novel Everything, Everything last year. Like so many others, I was really excited to read this new story, but after I saw a lot of mixed reviews about this book I was actually kind of afraid to pick it up myself. Luckily The Sun Is Also A Star has proved to be one of the exceptions and I actually more than enjoyed reading it. Apart from the excellent prose that is a real pleasure to read, what really stood out for me were the main characters. I could really appreciate the fact that they are not the typical stereotype ‘white-American’ teenagers and I thought they added a whole different level to the story. As an immigrant living in Argentina I could really relate to some of the problems and challenges they have to face by living in a country that is either not their own or other people think is not their own. Sure, their romantic story is a bit sappy and literally what insta-love is all about, but I forgave the characters for it. Also, just the ending alone deserved an extra 1/2 star to be added to the rating. If you haven’t tried The Sun Is Also A Star yet, I can definitely suggest you do. Not everybody seems to love it, but it is without doubt worth the try. And no matter what happens, you always have that gorgeous cover to stare at, right? 😉

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Natasha is a girl who was born in Jamaica, but has lived in the US for quite some years already. She is also a girl who believes in science and facts, and not in fate, destiny or dreams. Especially since her future is about to be shattered as her family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica… But then she meets Daniel by chance. Daniel has always been a good son and student trying to live up to the high expectations of his parents. They want him to be a doctor, but he secretly dreams to be a poet… And he has completely different ideas about dreams, fate and love than Natasha. Especially after he meets her. What will happen to the two after their unlikely meeting?

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If you really think about the basic plot, The Sun Is Also A Star is rather tacky and cliche. But it sure doesn’t feel that way while you are reading it. I’m normally allergic to stories with tropes as insta-love, but in this case it was really easy to forgive the main characters. Both the writing style and the character development are excellent and made me thoroughly enjoy this story. The ending really made my day as well… All in all such a great read!


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BOOK REVIEW: Wuthering Heights – by Emily Brontë

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Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
Genre: Classics, Fiction, Romance
First published: 1847
Publisher: Penguin Books
Finished reading: December 31st 2016
Pages: 360
(Audio duration 13hs 14m 06s)
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“I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.”

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I was browsing my list of reviews the other day and realized I totally forgot to write my review on my last read of 2016. Oops? So this is me making up for that. My last read of 2016 was actually an audiobook I listened to on Audible of one of the popular classics: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. It was my first experience with the Brontë sister’s books and I have to say it was quite a positive one. I’m still a newbie when it comes to listening to audiobooks, but I found my experience listening to the story of Heathcliff and Catherine to be so much more entertaining than I thought I would! Sure, there is a lot of drama going on and I didn’t really like every character, but I found myself looking forward to my time with the inhabitants of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. It’s a bit hard to properly judge the writing style by just listening to the prose, but I’m quite positive I would enjoy reading the physical version of Wuthering Heights just as much. I definitely have it marked for a ‘reread’ some time in the future!

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Lockwood is the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors. One night he is forced to seek shelter at the home of his landlord at Wuthering Heights, and it is not a positive experience. And then he finds out all about the history of the events that took place years ago and influenced the history of both Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. It all started with young Heathcliff and Catherine, and when things didn’t turn out as planned the events that happened next have influenced current and future generations alike…

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I have to admit I was never sure the classics of the Brontë sisters would be my thing, but I’m glad I finally gave Wuthering Heights a go. Audiobook or not, I enjoyed this story so much better than I thought I would even though some of the characters can be quite irritable. The history of both families is intriguing and I will definitely be looking forward to revisit this world some time in the future when I pick up the physical version.


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WWW Wednesdays #120 – January 18th

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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?

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I’m currently reading Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell over at RivetedLit, and although I’m not that far into the story so far I’m really enjoying it! It’s only up until the 23rd, so this is my priority read now. I’ve also started Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt, which is a very entertaining psychological thriller so far. I’ve also made some progress with Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, although I still have a long way to go before I finish it… I guess I’ve been focusing on finishing some ARCs and other pending reads first?

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I’ve managed to finish since last week is The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this new story and I was actually kind of afraid to pick it up, but I ended up enjoying this story a lot! I loved the characters and the fact that they are not the typical ‘white-American teenagers’; as an immigrant living in Argentina I could really relate to some of their problems. The prose is excellent as well and just the ending deserved an extra 1/2 star to be added to the rating.
* I then read another pending ARC The Thankful by Jamie Campbell. It’s a historical fiction story about the May War of 1940 in the Netherlands, and without doubt an interesting read. The choice to leave many Dutch and German words without translation is without doubt original, although I do think it would have been a lot more difficult to enjoy the story if I wouldn’t have been able to understand those languages myself. The geography can be quite confusing as well, but those are only two minor details in an otherwise interesting description of the May War.
* I then picked up my Netgalley copy of The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr straight after receiving it, and I completely agree with all the other raving reviews out there. This book is brilliant! I loved LOVED the main character and the fact that amnesia plays such a big role in the story. Sure, there is a hint of a love triangle and she doesn’t seem to care much about hurting her best friend’s feelings when she kisses the boyfriend. Sure, if you think about the plot critically it’s not exactly all that credible. But to be honest, I didn’t really care. Flora managed to win over my heart from the very first page and I loved both the writing and how Flora managed to do so many things suffering with anterograde amnesia like she does. And that ending! I’m already having a feeling this one will appear on my list of 2017 favorites.
* I then read another graphic novel ARC: It’s All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot. It switches between short essays and illustrations that show the reader Ruby’s experiences living with social anxiety and the daily struggles of life with mental illness. I  enjoyed reading this graphic novel and found it really easy to connect to the little stories. The author shows life as it is without trying to hide the ugly parts, and I appreciated the sincerity of it all.
* The last book I finished is Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey, another ARC and quite entertaining psychological thriller. The main character suffers from mild amnesia and has a very messed up past and a history with mental illness and eating disorders; basically the perfect unreliable narrator and an easy victim to anyone who wants to play with her mind. The writing was very enjoyable and the story itself quite intriguing, although I do have to say I kind of already guessed the ending about 60% into the story and it was kind of predictable.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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Next up is probably another Netgalley ARC: Blink by K.L. Slater. Although I have been in the mood for fantasy, so I might pick up either Splintered by A.G. Howard or The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken first. Although if I have to be honest, it will probably be the second that I will end up reading after hearing so many mixed things about the Alice In Wonderland retelling. 😉 My newest TBR jar pick is still The Five Stages Of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson.


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