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, RATINGTITLE and SERIES.<<<

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Friday Finds #73 – February 12th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at A Daily Rhythm and 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! :D

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: The Death Code – by Lindsay Cummings

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Title: The Death Code
(The Murder Complex #2)
Author: Lindsay Cummings
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Thriller
First published: May 26th 2015
Finished reading: January 20th 2016
Pages: 496
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“There’s hope in there somewhere. There’s always hope. Sometimes it just takes a little patience before it shows itself.”

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I read and loved The Murder Complex last year. Since I’m trying to finish some of my pending series and I wanted to know how the story continued as well, I decided to finally pick up the sequel. The Death Code turned out to be just as good as the first book, although slightly different. The world in this series is dark, violent and might not be for everyone, but I personally loved it. Lindsay Cummings writes in a way that makes you want to keep on reading. The chapters are short and the POV switches between the two main characters Meadow and Zephyr, which helps you understand both characters and their relationship. The prose is easy to read, the pace is fast and I liked the fact that the plot wasn’t a copy of the first book. The Death Code is a proper dystopian story set in a world I wouldn’t want to live in myself… Which makes it all the more simple to connect to the characters. If you like the genre, I would definitely recommend this series!

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WARNING: do not read this summary if you haven’t read the first book in the series yet! It will most likely contain spoilers, even though I’ve made sure to keep it short.

The sequel starts a few weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Meadow is kept prisoner and is tortured without result, and Zephyr is both trying to keep her secret and find a way to save her… Meadow in the meantime is determined to resist and find a way out to find her brother, father and little sister. She promised herself to never give up until they are safe, but that is easier said than done… And it seems that they were finally able to guess her weakness. Will Meadow and Zephyr overcome their difficulties and find a way to achieve their goals?

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The Murder Complex series went straight to my favorite YA dystopian list. I really enjoyed both books even though the world the story is set in is actually quite dark and violent… The characters and plot are interesting and the two books really complement each other. In The Death Code Meadow and Zephyr dive into the unknown, and that turns the sequel into a whole new story… The pace is fast, the prose itself is well written and I would recommend this series to anyone who wants to read a good and dark dystopian read without many sappy romance scenes.

WWW Wednesdays #77 – February 10th

wwwwednesdaysWWW 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 still not that far into Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, but I plan to change that today. Hopefully I will like it as much as everyone that has recommended this novel to me! I’m also still decided whether to DNF Eve by Iris Johansen or not. I have put it on hold for now, but the combination of a misleading blurb (it was supposed to be the first in a trilogy, but ended up being book number twelve in a series, so a lot of background is missing) and sexual attraction/romance scenes that make me cringe really make me not want to continue reading it.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, a book I ended up enjoying despite my initial reservations about the love triangle. I loved the worldbuilding, plot and action and will be picking up the sequel soon.
* I then picked up Never Never Part Three by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher to finally find out how the story ends, and I ended up being VERY disappointed with how they decided to conclude the story.
* I was actually going to DNF the last read, Death Of Secrets by Bowen Greenwood and in a way I wish I did, because it really was a bad read. Lousy characters, chaotic plot and I didn’t like the prose either… I just couldn’t concentrate on the story even though the general idea of the story does have potential.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish Me Before You, I will pick up All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I was actually planning on picking it up during the weekend but I didn’t have a lot of time to read… I also want to make a start with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon so I can finally begin with this series I have been wanting to read for ages. And I want to give Gillian Flynn another go and read her other novel Sharp Objects as well. My latest TBR jar pick is still Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

Teaser Tuesdays #80 – February 9th: Me Before You

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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 started reading Me Before You by Jojo Moyes before the weekend, but since I haven’t had a lot of time to read I’m still not that far into the story yet. So far it looks really promising though, and definitely better than the other Jojo Moyes novel I tried last year (The One Plus One). Hopefully I will find more time this week so I can actually finish this story…

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My teaser (14%):

“During those first two weeks, I got quite good at keeping my face completely blank, and I would turn away and disappear into the other room and just say as little to him as I possibly could. I started to hate him, and I’m sure he knew it.”

What are you reading right now?

Month In Review: January 2016

monthinreviewjanuary2016img1454611627314January has flown away and the second month of 2016 is already a week old. It’s still summer down here in Argentina and also vacation time, which means a lot of camping, kayaking and sunbathing… It also means I haven’t been reading much in the last two weeks or so, but thanks to the Bout Of Books 15.0 read-a-thon I still managed to finish no less than 16 books in January. Which means I’m ahead schedule and I will be able to read some of the longer books I have been wanting to pick up for a while now without feeling guilty!

  • Number of books read in January: 16
  • Total number of books read this year: 16
  • Total number of pages read in January: 5.168
  • Total number of pages read this year: 5.168

I’m terribly behind with my reviews, mostly because I’ve been distracted by my vacation time… I’m planning on catching up soon though!

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5 STARS: Absolutely and entirely mind blowing! I suggest you to pick up a copy now. 
Neverwhere – by Neil Gaiman // I’ll Meet You There – by Heather Demetrios

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4.5 STARS: This one was almost perfect. Surely fantastic! 
All The Truth That’s In Me – by Julie Berry // The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line – by Rob Thomas // The Death Code – by Lindsay Cummings

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4 STARS: Wow, this was really good. Close to amazing!
Serafina And The Black Cloak – by Robert Beatty // Confessions Of A Murder Suspect – by James Patterson // Illuminae – by Amie Kaufman // Confessions – by Kanae Minato

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3.5 STARS: Great read. Really entertaining!
Dead Wood – by Dan Ames // Fantastic Mr. Fox – by Roald Dahl // Eternal War: Armies Of Saints – by Livio Gambarini

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3 STARS: It was a nice read, but not fantastic. 
Dark Places – by Gillian Flynn // Everything I Never Told You – by Celeste Ng

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2.5 STARS: I give this one the benefit of the doubt. Nothing too exciting. 
The Sin Eater’s Daughter – by Melinda Salisbury // Never Always Sometimes – by Adi Alsaid

Time for a new year and new challenges… I have only three yearly challenges so far, but I might add a bookish bingo or two later on. So far I’m on track for all three challenges, so things are looking up.

# CHALLENGES #

As for my other blogging goals… I’m almost done with my challenges goal and I already completed a series, but I still haven’t even started with the other goals. Hopefully I will be able to start with a few of these in February!

# OTHER READING/BLOGGING GOALS #

  • Read at least 5 classics (rereads don’t count): 0/5
  • Complete at least 5 series (rereads don’t count): 1/5 (the murder complex)
  • Reread at least 3 books: 0/3
  • Bring my physical TBR pile below 200 books: 267/200
  • Read at least one book over 800 pages: 0/1 (longest book 608 pages)
  • Read at least 5 books in Spanish: 0/5
  • Join at least 5 challenges during the year: 4/5
  • Finish older reviews that haven’t been posted yet: 0/10
  • Update older reviews to new format: 0/14
  • Reach 5km running! 2000m/5000m

Happy February and Happy Reading!

ARC REVIEW: Eternal War: Armies Of Saints – by Livio Gambarini

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Title: Eternal War: Armies Of Saints
Author: Livio Gambarini
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
First published: June 5th 2015
Finished reading: January 25th 2016
Pages: 184
Rating 3,5qqq

“Life is filled with doing terrible things and those who want to survive definitely have to do the worst of them.”

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

myrambles1reviewqqqEver since my Latin classes and visiting Rome twice (and Pompeii once) during high school I have been in love with Italy and its history. Being lucky enough to have lived in Southern Italy during three months has only deepened that connection… So when I was asked if I wanted to read a historical fiction/fantasy story both written by an Italian author (Livio Gambarini) and set in medieval Florence, I immediately said yes. I was lucky enough to receive an English translation published by Acheron Books, which really enabled me to properly enjoy Eternal War: Armies Of Saints (my Italian unfortunately is less than mediocre). The mix between fantasy and historical fiction is well done and I liked the fact that the story was set in Dante’s Florence. The story keeps switching between the material and spiritual world and this can become a bit confusing in the beginning, but once I got used to it the connection was actually quite interesting. Both Guido and Kabal are intriguing characters and the worldbuilding (especially the fantasy elements) is very imaginative. If you like the genre, I would definitely recommend reading this book.
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The war between the Guelphs and Ghibellines has been taking its toll on many families, but still their seems to be no end in sight. The conflict seems to go deeper than the two sides realize, as the spirit world seems to be involved in their war as well… Spirits have been guiding over their respective families during centuries, both protecting them and improving their own status in the spirit world. We follow Guido Cavalcanti and the spirit that guides the family, Kabal, as they both try to save the family from being completely destroyed. Guido is both a warrior and a poet, but due to a trick under the spell of the daughter of his enemy. He is determined to marry the girl he loves, but Kabal knows better and tries to both stop Guido from making a mistake and save the city… Will he be able to succeed before it’s too late?

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Eternal War: Armies Of Saints is without doubt a very intriguing read that mixes the historical and fantastical elements perfectly. I admit it takes a while to get used to the constant switches between the material and spiritual world, but once I did I really enjoyed this read. I do wish my Italian would have been good enough to read it in the original language, because I have the feeling Livio Gambarini‘s prose could have been appreciated even better in Italian… But I can’t deny I enjoyed the world he created in his novel and the idea of spirits guiding their families and living lives of their own. Recommended if you want to read an interesting historical fiction story with a fantasy twist.