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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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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Teaser Tuesdays #36 – March 31st: The Husband’s Secret

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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 The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty yesterday, my very first read on my new kindle! :D I’m not too far into the story yet, so I cannot say too much about it. It looks pretty promising so far though…

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My teaser (32%):

“While she’d been driving Rachel home, she’d temporarily forgotten everything: the strange things Polly and Esther had said about John-Paul today in the car, her decision to open his letter tonight. Did she still feel justified?”

 

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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Title: Ella Enchanted
Author: Gail Carson Levine
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Fiction
First published: 1997
Finished reading: March 24th 2015
Pages: 232
Rating 3

“I wished she’d never stop squeezing me. I wished I could spend the rest of my life as a child, being slightly crushed by someone who loved me.”

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I started reading Ella Enchanted mostly because I needed to read a fairy tale retelling for my 2015 Bookish Bingo Challenge. (And I didn’t realize I actually already owned a copy of various other retellings to choose from.) Even though I know this is a story ment for the younger under us, I couldn’t say I was impressed by this novel by Gail Carson Levine. I felt the character lacked dept and I couldn’t really connect to them. And I don’t think I would have felt differently if I would have read this as a kid… Ella could have been made way more lifely (and maybe even more stubborn) so the story itself would have more action to it. Her adventures now seemed a bit boring and the other characters didn’t add too much to the story. It shows that this story is based on the original Cinderella story, with references to the evil stepsisters, the prince, the glass slipper, the fairy godmother etc. Still, if I would be honest I think I prefer the original story over this retelling.

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Ella was given a ‘gift’ by a fairy when she was born, but that gift turned out to be a curse in disguise… She was given the ‘gift’ of obedience, where she must obey any order that is given to her even if it ends up hurting her. When her mother realizes the magnitude of the problem, she forbids Ella to tell anyone of her secret. Ella is constantly trying to fight against the urge of being obedient, although without success. When her mother dies, Ella is left alone with her absent father and fairy godmother. Her father doesn’t really care about her, and sends her away to finishing school along with two other rather unpleasant girls. The oldest of the two soon finds out about her curse and starts making Ella’s life miserable. One day she has enough and runs away from school in order to find the fairy who gave her the gift of obedience, hoping she will break the curse…

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Maybe it was just me, or maybe it was the story. What I know is that I wasn’t really impressed by Ella Enchanted. I guess I was expecting a more lifely main character and more focus on the adventures than on the descriptions and relationships with other characters. Don’t get me wrong; it’s not like I hated it, but I wasn’t blown away with this novel by Gail Carson Levine either. I guess children might enjoy the story better than I did do, so I would still recommend it to the younger readers. But for adults… I’m not so sure.

BOOK REVIEW: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

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Title: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
(Harry Potter Series #6)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: YA, Fantasy
First published: July 16th 2005
Finished reading: March 23rd 2015
Pages: 608
Rating 4,5

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”

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I’m still trying to complete my Harry Potter series reread and the other day I was able to finish the sixth book in the series. In Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, the main characters are about to come of age in the wizard world and it shows. At the age of sixteen, the main characters are given more responsabilities and the world they live in is becoming more dangerous every day. Harry and Dumbledore have to face new challenges as they are trying to defeat the Dark Lord… J.K. Rowling‘s prose is brilliant as always. Although the series gets darker as the main characters grow up, it only feels like a natural development and I guess it’s part of the charm of her novels. Relationships develop and romance starts playing a role, but it doesn’t distract from the main story. Harry’s adventures are more dangerous than ever, and the battle against Lord Voldemort is not without victims… Like the rest of the series, Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince simply delivers.

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WARNING: Spoilers! I’ve tried to keep this summary short, but it’s almost impossible to keep it without spoilers… Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the previous books yet!

Harry Potter is starting his sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraf and Wizardry, and things are not getting easier. After He Who Must Not Be Named showed his face at the ministry, people no longer think that the young wizard is lying about his return, but Harry is not sure it’s a good thing. People are becoming afraid, and there even has been talk about closing Hogwarts… Some people call him The Chosen One, but he has other thoughts in his head. Dumbledore is going to give him private lessons this year, and Harry is full of questions. The headmaster promises him that he can join Dumbledore on his quest, but there are other things going on at Hogwarts as well. What is Malfoy exactly up to? And what about the mysterious potions book and the half-blood prince?

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The Harry Potter stories continue getting darker and more dangerous as Harry ages, and this sixth book is definitely no longer suited for the younger readers. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince is no less brilliant than the previous books though, and anyone who loved the first five titles will enjoy this second-to-last installment as well. J.K. Rowling managed to give us yet another magical adventure with an ending that will leave you in tears or at least shocked…

Friday Finds #29 – March 27th

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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. Last week was my birthday and I promptly forgot about my TBR downsizing promise… Book buying ban; what book buying ban?! *whistles* These are a few of my new finds this week. I will probably do a proper Stacking The Shelves update or two later on to show more of my new ebook goodies I’m excited about. (And my shiny new kindle my hubby gave me for me birthday! :D )

My finds this week:

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BOOK REVIEW: Inferno – by Dan Brown

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Title: Inferno
(Robert Langdon Series #4)
Author: Dan Brown
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
First published: May 14th 2013
Finished reading: March 18th 2015
Pages: 461
Rating 3

“The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It’s called Denial.”

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I promised myself wasn’t going to read any Dan Brown novels anymore, mostly because the general plot is becoming repetitive and with so many great books out there I prefer staying away from possible disappointments. But when I was given a copy of Inferno, I decided I was going to give the Robert Langdon series another try. I was told this fourth book is slightly different from the first three and thus refreshing… Although now I’ve read it, I’m not completely positive I agree. Sure, Dan Brown is able to write an entertaining story with a fast pace and easy-to-read prose, but somehow I constantly had a feeling of a deja vu. I enjoyed the setting in Italy and learning more about the architecture in Florence and Venice, but the general plot itself is quite similar to the previous books. Professor Robert Langdon with his life in danger and a beautiful woman helping him trying to solve the puzzle before it’s too late, people chasing them continuously… This could be a short summary of any of the three books I’ve read in this series. (The only one that’s missing is The Lost Symbol, of which I actually own a copy but I’m not sure if I end up reading it.) I guess Inferno ended up being exactly what I feared; entertaining, but too commercial and repetitive.

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Robert Langdon is back, and it doesn’t start of well for him. He wakes up in a hospital without knowing where he is and how he got there… Instead of at the Harvard campus back home, he finds himself now far away and in the middle of Italy. Robert doesn’t have much time to think about his situation, as a mysterious woman shows up at the hospital and tries to kill him. The beautiful doctor Sienna Brooks ends up saving him and soon she is helping him on his quest as well. It turns out that Robert was in Italy on a mission, and the answers he is looking for are found in the city of Florence where he woke up. He now both has to try and escape the people who are trying to hunt him down and try to solve the puzzle at the same time. A nearly impossible mission… What has Dante’s masterpiece to do with all of it? And can Robert really trust the people around him? The professor soon has to race to find the answers on time before it’s too late…

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This book seems to be extremely popular and very successful commercially, but I don’t think I would end up recommending it to someone. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I hated reading Inferno. I was just expecting something better and not the same old general plot I’ve read before. The threat of a virus or an epidemic disease makes for a nice twist, but in the end it is yet again Robert Langdon trying to save the day. Dan Brown‘s prose is easy to read, but unless he starts writing a novel with a different plot, I think I will stay away from his other novels.

WWW Wednesdays #32 – March 25th

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?

siegeandstormI started reading Siege And Storm, the second book in The Grisha series, the other day and I’m absolutely loving it so far. I loved reading Shadow And Bone last year, and now I finally own a copy of both sequels I’m excited to be reading more of Leigh Bardugo‘s work. Hopefully it stays this good!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

harrypotterandthehalfbloodprinceellaenchantedI finished Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine the other day to complete the fairytale retelling square in my 2015 Bookish Bingo Challenge… I cannot say I was blown away with it; it was an ok read but there are a lot better fairytale stories out there. I’ve also managed to finish my Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince reread, so now I’m only one book away of completing my HP series reread! It’s always great to revisit the adventures of Harry Potter that J.K. Rowling has invented.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

ataleoftwocitiestheshockofthefallMy hubby got me a kindle for my birthday (yay! <3 ), and I went a little e-book crazy! I have so many new reads I’m super excited about that it’s impossible to choose what to read next… I will probably start with The Shock Of The Fall by Nathan Filer to take a break from the YA Fantasy genre. Afterwards, I will most likely finally pick up my copy of A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens as part of my TBR Pile Challenge.

Teaser Tuesdays #35 – March 24th: Siege And Storm

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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’m about to start Siege And Storm, the second book in The Grisha series… I absolutely loved reading Shadow And Bone last year, so when I got an English copy of both sequels as a birthday gift I decided to continue this series straight away. I’m so excited to be reading more of Leigh Bardugo‘s work! :D

siegeandstorm“I threw up my hands and light burst through the hallway in a blinding cascade. Then rough hands seized me, yanking my arms behind my back. I was dragged inside the room, kicking and thrashing.”

 

 

What are you reading right now?