It’s All About Books

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itsallaboutbooks2017

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… 🙂

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Unplanned Hiatus

Some might have noticed I have been quite absent lately… I haven’t disappeared, but I realized I’m in desperate need of a break. Sure part of the disappearance act was due to the fact I was out of town during the last couple of days, but it also has to do with my headstrong blogging slump that doesn’t seem to go away. Not only that, but I also haven’t finished one single book yet this month; something that hasn’t happened in a loooooong time. Reading slump? A new crochet addiction? I’m not sure, but I just haven’t been feeling like reading or blogging much this month and while I feel sad to admit this, I really need a break and focus on my personal life right now. So I’ve decided to go on an unplanned hiatus until I feel like blogging and reading again… You might see me on Twitter sometimes, but I’m putting my Instagram/Litsy accounts on hold as well as my blog for now. I might post a review or two since I have a few ARC deadlines coming up, but otherwise It’s All About Books will go on a very needed vacation. Hopefully I’ll be back before Halloween!

I’ll miss you all until then. ❤


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Month In Review: September 2017

It seems like my 5 Step Plan to beat my slump has been working and I’m definitely over my reading slump now. The blogging slump is still there though… Although scheduling posts has been a big help during the last two months. I have been a lot less active both here and on my social media accounts; I haven’t disappeared, I’m just taking some necessary breathing time! Actually going to write a post about that soon… Basically, I’ve been dedicating more time to my personal life, started eating healthier, exercising more, and this has been eating up some my blogging time. Also, it’s currently Spring and we’ve been working on some reforms in the garden… I’m truly surprised I was still able to read 18 titles, although a few of these were either short or superfast reads. 😉

As for the bookish numbers:

  • Number of books read in September: 18
  • Total number of books read this year: 165
  • Total number of pages read in September: 6.386
  • Total number of pages read this year: 55.046

Thankfully September was another good month and I even managed to add another 5 star rating to my list! (This Savage Song was a reread so doesn’t count) It was a great month in general since I had only two ratings below 3 stars (although one was a DNF) and lots of titles with a 4 star rating or above. Fingers crossed October will continue to be good!


5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now. 
This Savage Song – by Victoria Schwab (REREAD) // Our Dark Duet – by Victoria Schwab

4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 
Cold Blood – by Robert Bryndza // The Surrogate – by Louise Jensen // Flowers For Algernon – by Daniel Keyes // Snuggle And Play Crochet – by Carolina Guzman Benitez NO REVIEW // Murder Game – by Caroline Mitchell // The Diary Of A Young Girl – by Anne Frank (REREAD)

4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
The Dollmaker Of Krakow – by R.M. Romero // Beartown – by Fredrik Backman // A Different Blue – by Amy Harmon // The Mistake – by K.L. Slater

3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
Things I’m Seeing Without You – by Peter Bognanni // Her Last Secret – by Barbara Copperthwaite

3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 
The Lifeboat – by Charlotte Rogan // Heartless – by Marissa Meyer

2 STARS: It was ok. But mostly ‘meh’.
Bentwhistle The Dragon – by Paul Cude DNF

1.5 STARS: The story wasn’t horrible, but there still isn’t another word to describe it but ‘bad’.
I Am Behind You – by John Ajvide Lindqvist


Somehow I have joined way more challenges than usual this year, but at least I’ve already made a lot of progress with most of them so far. I’m considering the Netgalley challenge done since didn’t really have a goal in the first place and I already have surpassed the ‘magical’ number of 100 ARCs this year. I also made some progress with the Reading Through The Centuries challenge, although it’s going to be a struggle getting the final four titles in before the end of this year. The Beat The Backlist challenge is going good enough since I almost finished the 20 books published before 2013 and those 20 of course also count for the the total of 50 books published before 2016… Meaning I’m only 8 titles away of completing the challenge; not bad at all! 😀

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other goals…I managed to maintain my Netgalley ratio above 80% and even almost clean out my shelf completely, which I’m very happy about. But more importantly: I managed to both complete my classics, series and reread goals in September! I just love all that green on my goals list right now. 😉 Things are pretty hopeless when it comes to my TBR pile though, although I did manage to bring down the number slightly. I’m planning on cleaning up my kindle and getting rid of some Amazon freebies, so hopefully the number will be even less by next month! I’m currently working on the 800+ pages book (IT), so that should be another goal completed soon… I guess I should really start working on those Spanish books though. And running. I’ve been slowly picking up running again (I always combine it with speedwalking; in total at least 6-7km), but I’m so out of form I’m still not able to run for long. xD

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 5 classics (rereads don’t count) DONE 5/5 (The Color Purple, Little Women, The Jungle Book, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, Flowers For Algernon)
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count) DONE 5/5 (Shades Of Magic, The Dominion Trilogy, Confessions, Chaos Walking, The Monsters Of Verity)
  • Reread at least 3 books DONE 3/3 (The Perfect Stranger, This Savage Song, The Diary Of A Young Girl)
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 250 books 373/250
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages (maximum at 624 pages)
  • Read at least 2 books in Spanish 0/2
  • Read at least 1 book in Dutch DONE 1/1
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year
  • Keep my Netgalley ratio above the 80% currently at 98%
  • Start a Twitter account and use it regularly
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy October and Happy Reading! 


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ARC REVIEW: Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past – by Paul Cude

Title: Bentwhistle The Dragon: A Threat From The Past
Author: Paul Cude

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Adventure
First published: October 19th 2011
Finished reading: September 29th 2017
Pages: 486
DNF at 49% (238 pages)

“The valuable lesson you should have learned, was that evil comes in many guises, not always visible to everyone.”

*** 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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It’s easy to say I have a weak spot for any story involving dragons as they are my favorite of mythical creatures. This story had me at the title, because how could I resist a new fantasy series where dragons play such a big role? I was really looking forward to start reading Bentwhistle The Dragon, and even though it took me longer than planned to actually pick it up my initial excitement was still there. That’s why it’s such a shock I had to make the hard decision to DNF this story. Because let’s face it: that almost never happens… But honestly, I’ve tried. Really tried. I’m not saying the writing is bad and it truly shows just how much time is put into the detailed and extensive descriptions and worldbuilding in general. This attention to detail is what stands out in this story and I can always appreciate when this much time is dedicated to creating a believable and well developed fantasy world. BUT. The thing is, the pace is supersuperSUPER slow and I just couldn’t get myself to keep interest. I don’t mind a slower pace if I get detailed descriptions in return, but I think in the case of Bentwhistle The Dragon it was kind of a description overdose. One superlong and extensive description after the other kind of had the reverse effect on me and instead of finding myself intrigued by a story about my favorite mythical creature, I was actually rather bored by it all. Because I have to be honest and say that nothing much really happens during the first half of the story especially considering it has over 200 pages. I definitely would have expected a lot more action or at least some suspense… I don’t think the age group would be happy with so many descriptions or the lack of action either, and I felt the tone was off for a YA story (too ‘formal’?). All in all Bentwhistle The Dragon definitely wasn’t for me, and unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading all those extensive descriptions hoping something exciting would happen in the second half. Especially since I found the mystery and ‘dangerous’ situation not suspenseful at all and to be honest rather lacking for what is labeled as a fantasy adventure story… I’m sad to see this dragon story on my very short list of DNF reads.

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Dragons have walked among humans for a long time, and nobody seems to be aware of them… Because the dragons are disguised as humans and live among them, infiltrating the human world in key positions to guide and protect them. They can change forms at will, although dragons are always careful to not reveal their secrets. But something is off, and it might be up to three young dragons to put a stop to it before it’s too late… Will they be able to?

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I had really high hopes for Bentwhistle The Dragon, and that’s why it makes me extra sad I had to make the though decision to DNF it. This almost never happens, but I struggled so much with the endless descriptions and superslow pace that I just couldn’t get myself to read the second part as well. I was really surprised by the lack of action as well, especially since it’s labeled as a fantasy adventure story… The worldbuilding is excellent and extensive, but in this case it might have been too much detail and the balance between plot/action and description was lost. Such a shame! I really wanted to enjoy this one.


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Friday Finds #148 – October 6th

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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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Favorite 2017 Reads #3

With less than three months left in 2017, I thought it was about time to put some of my favorite reads of this year in the spotlight. Out of the 160+ books I’ve read so far, I managed to add a total of 15 new 5 star reads to my list of favorites. That’s a lot of books to talk about in just one post, so I’ve decided to split them into three IN THE SPOTLIGHT posts in the order I read them. I wrote about the batch number 1 and number 2 a little while ago and now it’s time for the final 5 titles… Click on the links below to go to the full reviews.


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WWW Wednesdays #157 – October 4th

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?

I’m still reading The Rules Of Magic by Alice Hoffman, and I’m still not all that far into it. I normally would have finished it by now, but I’ve been distracted by a new hobby during the last few days. I discovered I absolute love to crochet! I wanted to try a few patterns out of the Snuggle And Play Crochet book I finished last week even though I had no knowledge of the crochet techniques… And it turns out it was easier to learn than I thought! (Or at least the basics haha.) Meet Mr. Red Fox a.k.a. the reason I’ve been slacking on my reading during the last few days. He still needs some arms but I ran out of red yarn. xD I actually made a granny blanket for the zebra I will be making soon as well, but decided to make Mr. Fox first since he seemed to be easier haha.

I haven’t continued with IT by Stephen King yet, but I’m planning to do so soon. I haven’t been reading much during the last couple of days in the first place, so that’s probably why as well.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (3/5 stars) REVIEW
I really wanted to love Heartless and I was sure I was going to after reading the first couple of chapters. The writing is wonderful and take you right to the magical world these famous characters live in. I just loved Cath and her baking; I’m craving to start baking something myself right now (and eating it afterwards of course!). Everything was going great until the love triangle, which positively ruined Heartless for me. After the introduction of this romance trope, the main focus was on this relation and I felt kind of betrayed. Oh well, most people seem to love this story, so I guess this will be yet another unpopular opinion to add to the mix… If you dislike love triangles as much as I do, consider yourself warned though.

2. Murder Game by Caroline Mitchell (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 08/10
I know I wasn’t convinced by the first book of this series, but I loved book two and this third book is just as good as the previous one. I literally finished Murder Game in less than a day and found myself on the edge of my seat the whole time! Fast-paced, well written, suspenseful… An excellent serial killer thriller!

3. Bentwhistle The Dragon by Paul Cude (2/5 stars; DNF at 49%) REVIEW 06/10
Honestly, I’ve tried. I’m not saying the writing is bad and it truly shows just how much time is put into the detailed and extensive descriptions and worldbuilding. The thing is, the pace is supersuperslow and I just can’t get myself to keep interest. One superlong and extensive description after the other kind of had the reverse effect on me and instead of finding myself intrigued by another story about my favorite mythical creature, I was rather bored by it all. I don’t think the age group would be happy with so many descriptions and the lack of action either… All in all definitely not for me, and unfortunately I just couldn’t bring myself to torture myself any further with more extensive descriptions (especially since I found the mystery and ‘dangerous’ situation not all that suspenseful to be honest).

4. The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank (4,5/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I must have read this classic a dozen of times before and I don’t think I can add anything new to all the reviews that have been written about it before… I had my first experience with her diary during high school, where we read the book in Dutch and went to visit the place where she was hiding with her family in Amsterdam. This diary is such a powerful story and really shows what it was like for Jews in hiding during the war… Very intriguing read everyone should read at some point in their lives.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m picking up The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland next even though the publish date is still relatively far away… I absolutely loved her previous thrillers and can’t wait to start her newest.  Another ARC I need to pick up soon is Halfway by Lokesh/Anubhav Sharma. And after so many glowing reviews, I’m also reading Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. This novel has all the signs of becoming my next 5 star read! My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


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BOOK REVIEW: Heartless – by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: November 8th 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Finished reading: September 28th 2017
Pages: 453 

“It is a dangerous thing to unbelieve something only because it frightens you.”

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I’m a big fan of Marissa Meyer ever since I first I first started The Lunar Chronicles, so adding Heartless to my wishlist was a no-brainer. I’m still surprised it took me this long to pick up one of my most anticipated releases from last year… Although I did hear some mixed things about it that made me wonder. And guess what? Here’s another unpopular opinion coming up. Again. Because despite my initial expectations and feelings, I didn’t end up loving Heartless like I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, when I started reading this I was sure I was absolutely going to love this story. The writing is wonderful and simply enchanting and had me hooked right from the first page. I dived right into this magical retelling and had a blast reading about Cath and her baking. A little warning there: this story will make you crave both baking and eating all those sweets and tarts! Seriously mouthwatering… Everything went perfect up until the love triangle was introduced. Oh yes, Heartless is yet another YA fantasy story that suffers from the dreaded romance trope. Unfortunately things went downhill fast after that and I was really frustrated by all that romantic blabbering and love triangle related nonsense. It nearly broke my heart because I absolutely loved the story before that! So it’s easy to say the love triangle business put a mayor damper on what could have been a delightful and positively delicious read. The final part was a bit of a surprise, although I’m not sure what to think of it. All in all not the reaction I was hoping to have after finishing Heartless…Trust me, I’m feeling disappointed as well to feel this way.

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Catherine has been dreaming for years to open her own bakery one day and sell the pastries everybody seems to love. She is a very talented baker, but her parents have other plans for her in store. The unmarried King himself seems to show a special interest in Cath and it is her mother’s dream for her daughter to be queen one day. Even though Catherine doesn’t agree and wants a different future for herself. And then she meets the mysterious Jest at the ball where the King is about to propose to her… And things take a different turn.

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I really wanted to love Heartless and I was sure I was going to after reading the first couple of chapters. The writing is wonderful and take you right to the magical world these famous characters live in. I just loved Cath and her baking; I’m craving to start baking something myself right now (and eating it afterwards of course!). Everything was going great until the love triangle, which positively ruined Heartless for me. After the introduction of this romance trope, the main focus was on this relation and I felt kind of betrayed. Oh well, most people seem to love this story, so I guess this will be yet another unpopular opinion to add to the mix… If you dislike love triangles as much as I do, consider yourself warned though.


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