Sunday Post #13 – January 31st

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Today is Sunday, which means it’s time for another installment of my Sunday Post where I will share a summary of my blogging week and other random facts… Here we go!


# CURRENTLY READING

I haven’t been having a lot of spare time to read and I’m currently away camping for the weekend, so I’m still reading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. I love the worldbuilding so far, but unfortunately it’s yet another YA fantasy series with an annoying love triangle…

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# LATEST ADDITION TO MY SHELVES

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I finally have a copy of All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr! I have been wanting to read this one for ages so I will definitely try to pick this title up next month.

# OTHER (BOOK) NEWS

Not a lot of book news this week because it’s vacation time, but I have been cooking a lot! 😀 I still have a few older recipes pending at Easy Peasy Delicious Food, but these three new recipes will be coming soon as well. (Cold shredded chicken, vegetable and potatosalad // banana oatmeal breakfast bars // variety of salty muffins)

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# WHAT’S NEW ON IT’S ALL ABOUT BOOKS


That’s all for this Sunday Post… I hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

BOOK REVIEW: Everything I Never Told You – by Celeste Ng

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Title: Everything I Never Told You
Author: Celeste Ng
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
First published: June 26th 2014
Finished reading: January 17th 2016
Pages: 304
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“The things that go unsaid are often the things that eat at you–whether because you didn’t get to have your say, or because the other person never got to hear you and really wanted to.”

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Everything I Never Told You has been recommended to me in the past and after rereading the blurb earlier this month I decided I was in the mood for this historical fiction read with a dash of mystery. Unfortunately, this novel by Celeste Ng turned out to be quite a slow read and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. First of all, the blurb is slightly misleading and the main story is more about the family history and how Lydia’s parents met than about the missing girl herself… Which alone isn’t a such bad thing, but I didn’t really like the mother or father as a character and the story itself reads really slow as well. I liked the 1950s and 1970s setting and the fact that the novel touches the subject of racial discrimination. Finding a Chinese American family living in a small town in Ohio during those times is rare, and unfortunately it’s all too true that what people don’t know they often don’t fully accept… Still, somehow this story just didn’t manage to convince me completely. The actions of the mother and father, the lack of background on Lydia and how things happened… For me, there was too much focus on the past instead of on the present (1970s). Everything I Never Told You might still be a great read for those who are more interested in a realistic fiction story and a family portrait; just don’t set your expectations too high before starting it.

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When Marilyn decided to marry her professor James Lee, she already knew people were probably going to gossip about the couple. Mixed racial marriages weren’t all that common in the 1950s and generally frowned upon, and even her own mother disaproves… But Marilyn takes James as her husband anyway. Together they form the only Chinese American family living in a small town in Ohio and raise three kids together. Marilyn has been restless though because she had to give up her dream to be a doctor in order to have her oldest child Lydia… Her mother had always wanted her to find a husband and be a housewife, but Marilyn thought differently. Now she ended up with exactly the life her mother had planned for her, and secretly she is looking for a way out. When her daughter Lydia disappears and is found dead in the local lake, the whole family falls apart… And Marilyn doesn’t know if she can fight her feelings any longer.

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It sounds like a very intriguing story and it partly is, but personally I found myself underwhelmed by this story. I had really high expectations for Everything I Never Told You.Sadly, it turned out to be quite a slow read and more of a family portrait with a lot of drama and the actual event of Lydia missing was driven to the background. It’s not a bad read and I know some of you loved this book, but unfortunately I didn’t have the same feelings…

BOOK REVIEW: Illuminae – by Amie Kaufman

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Title: Illuminae
(The Illuminae Files #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: October 20th 2015
Finished reading: January 15th 2016
Pages: 608
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“Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us. And that’s what I think you’re afraid of. Maybe not of dying. But of this you, the you you’ve become, ceasing to exist.”

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There has been an enormous hype around this book even before it actually came out, and now I’ve read it I can definitely understand why. Illuminae is without doubt a very special book. The plot itself might not be overly original, but the prose and creative layout of the text and many illustrations are just that: highly original. Still, it was the creative layout of some parts of the book (especially the AIDAN pages and the battle scenes) that were also starting to frustrate me. Those who have read a shiny paperback or hardback version will probably be surprised, but trust me: having to read a kindle version of Illuminae royally sucks. There really should be a warning on the cover saying to only start reading it if you have an actual copy in your hands… Because I really started to get a headache trying to decipher some of the pages and ended up finishing it on my computer. The plot is quite simple and I liked the idea behind Illuminae, but I’m not sure I was a fan of the relationship between Kady and Ezra. The computer AIDAN had an interesting role even though I’m still not sure why they couldn’t just shut it down… But hey, a computer of fantasy story is set in 2575 can do whatever it wants right? Would I recommend it? Yes, but please don’t make the same mistake as I did and read it on your kindle…

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Kady decided to break up with her boyfriend Ezra the other day, but what she didn’t know is that her planet was about to be invaded… Two megacorporations are at war over a planet, and the planet and its people are being destroyed in the process. Some manage to escape, and both Kady and Ezra are among them. They were forced to fight their way out onto an evacuating spaceship, and the three ships that managed to escape are now trying to escape the enemy warship in pursuit. Kady, her mother and Ezra end up on different ships, and the enemy warship is not the only problem they have to face… A deadly plague broke out on one of the ships and is mutating, and the onboard computer AIDAN is having problems as well. Will they be able to make it somewhere safe on time?

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Like I said above, the actual plot is not that special, but the way the story is told is. Amie Kaufman has used all kinds of documents, emails, military files and other things to slowly tell us the story what happened on those ships that were trying to escape the enemy warship… The creativeness of the layout and illustrations is clear, but I also cannot deny some of the pages really started to frustrate me as they weren’t easy to decipher on my kindle. Still, there is no doubt that I will pick up a paper version of the sequel as soon as it comes out.

Friday Finds #71 – January 29th

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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! 😀

My finds:

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Continue reading

Best Of 2015: July – December

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It’s time for part two of my very own best-of-2015 list! Since I read 185 books last year and I have too many favorites, I decided to make things a little easier and pick a favorite for each month. You can find the first part here; this post below is for my favorite reads during the second half of 2015. Here we go!


July 2015:

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  • a total of 20 books read
  • 3 books with a 4 or 4,5 star rating
  • 5 books with a 5 star rating
  • WINNER: I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
  • HONORABLE MENTIONS: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia // Wonder by R.J. Palacio // Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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August 2015:

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dangerousgirlsallfalldowntheknifeofneverlettinggomyheartandotherblackholesthirteenreasonswhy

September 2015:

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  • a total of 11 books read
  • 3 books with a 4 or 4,5 star rating
  • 1 book with a 5 star rating
  • WINNER: None Of The Above by I.W. Gregorio
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

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October 2015:

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thegirloffireandthornsannadressedinbloodthroughthewoodsthenightcircus

November 2015:

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carryonsixofcrowsbetweenshadesofgray

December 2015:

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paperweightmelophobiatheravenboystheskyiseverywhere


Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them as much as I did? What were your favorite 2015 reads? Feel free to comment. 🙂

WWW Wednesdays #75 – January 27th

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’ve started reading Confessions by Kanae Minato earlier this week, and although it’s an intruiging read I’m not sure if I actually like the writing style so far. I’ve also finally picked up my last TBR jar pick, Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. So far it looks really promising!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings, which means I’ve finished my first series this year! I enjoyed this sequel just as much as the first book and I would really recommend it.
* I then finally picked up I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios, a book I absolutely loved. Kudos to the author for raising awareness to what war veterans are going through and doing that by writing this beautiful story in the process!
* The last book I managed to finish was my pending ARC Eternal War Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. I loved the general plot and worldbuilding behind this story and it was really interesting, but it was quite a slow read and I did have some minor problems with it. More in the review!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I loved the first book in the Veronica Mars series, so I’m probably going to read the sequel Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas next. I have also been thinking of finally picking up The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken… Although I might read Defending Jacob by William Landay first. Last but not least, Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider is my new TBR jar pick.

BOOK REVIEW: Dark Places – by Gillian Flynn

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Title: Dark Places
Author: Gillian Flynn
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Contemporary
First published: May 5th 2009
Finished reading: January 11th 2016
Pages: 349
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“I was not a lovable child, and I’d grown into a deeply unlovable adult. Draw a picture of my soul, and it’d be a scribble with fangs.”

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There has been a lot of hype around Gillian Flynn‘s other novel Gone Girl, but I honestly didn’t think it was actually worth it. I still decided to try her other novels though, and I picked up Dark Places first for no particular reason. I know a lot of people seem to love this read as well, but I can’t say I was impressed. There is no doubt Gillian Flynn was able to create a disturbing, dark and twisted story with many crazy plot twists and a somewhat surprising ending. That said, I had a hard time getting into the story and it took me a long time to actually finish it. I didn’t like the characters at all and the whole mystery around the death of the Day’s family actually reads a bit slow. How can such a disturbing story read slow? Imagine an event and have it repeated over and over with small details being changed… It’s like hitting the snooze button in the morning. I know the whole unreliable narrator thing has been used a lot lately, but I just couldn’t enjoy it in Dark Places. It didn’t help that I couldn’t feel no sympathy whatsover for the main character Libby Day. That is kind of the point in this story and she does feel ‘real’, but it didn’t help me like this story any better. All in all not my favorite read.

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When Libby Day was only seven-years-old, her mother and two sisters were brutally murdered in the small town of Kinnakee Kansas. The murder scene was a bloody mess, and Libby only survived because she managed to hide outside in the freezing cold… The killer? Her own fifteen-year-old brother Ben; she knows because had heard him herself that night. Twenty-five years later, Ben is still in prison and Libby has grown up being a mess. She never overcame what happened that one night from hell, and lives off the money other people sent her. But the money is running out and she has to find a way to take care of herself… And just at that moment a secret society called the Kill Club offers her money to help discover proof that her brother Ben is actually innocent. Libby doesn’t want to, but cannot bring to find herself a real job and has no other choice than accept the offer. Libby soon has to face the ghosts of her past… Will she find out the truth about what happened that night long ago?

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The blurb sounded quite interesting and the general story itself is both dark, twisted and intriguing at the same time. Still, I can’t say I loved Dark Places. Maybe the book was just too disturbing for me, but what I can say is that it took me ages to finish it and the characters were a mayor turn off. If you ask me, I would stick with Gone Girl for now instead of Dark Places… But I’ve heard her first novel Sharp Objects is actually a lot better, so I’m going to try and read that one soon.

Teaser Tuesdays #78 – January 26th: Confessions

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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’m not too far into Confessions by Kanae Minato yet, but hopefully I will be able to change that today. So far it’s an intriguing read!

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My teaser (23%):

“Just a few months ago I saw you every day, Yuko-sensei, but now I don’t know how to find you or where to send this letter. You stood there in front of us and told us that you couldn’t trust the law to punish the boys who had taken the life of your little girl, that you were going to handle them yourself – and then you disappeared.”

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Never Always Sometimes – by Adi Alsaid

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Title: Never Always Sometimes
Author: Adi Alsaid
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: August 4th 2015
Finished reading: January 10th 2016
Pages: 320
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“Human beings are more or less formulas. Pun intended. We are not any one thing that is mathematically provable. We are more or less than we are anything. We are more or less kind, or more or less not. More or less selfish, happy, wise, lonely.”

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For a novel that has been mentioned a lot last year, Never Always Sometimes has quite a low goodreads rating. I have been doubting whether to read it, but curiosity won over and I picked up a copy of this novel by Adi Alsaid anyway. I have to say that after reading it, I’m having mixed thoughts about this story. At first glance it’s a fast read and quite entertaining. The ‘playful’ friendship between Dave and Julia makes for quite a few funny moments and I like the fact that they decide to fight the high school cliches by actually doing every single one of them on their Never list. BUT. And now comes the big but: what is supposed to be them fighting cliches and being original actually turns out in quite a cliche plot and character development. And then I’m not even talking about the love triangle OR the ending. The love triangle is annoying and kind of ruins the original chemistry between the two main characters. And the ending… I don’t want to spoil things, but let’s just say it was completely unsatisfying. Would I recommend Never Always Sometimes? Maybe, but only as long as you like the genre, don’t set your expectations too high and aren’t allergic to crappy love triangles.

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Dave and Julia have been best friends for years. Before starting high school, they vowed to never end up as cliche high school kids and made a list of Nevers: things they shouldn’t do during their high school years. Never sit at the same lunch table, never dye your hair a color of the rainbow, never hook up with a teacher… Some of these rules are simple, but what about never pining secretly after someone or never dating your best friend? Dave has a secret Julia doesn’t know anything about: he has been in love with her for as long as he can remember. So when Julia suggests to do every Never on the list, Dave sees a chance to maybe finally confess his feelings to her. And not only that: they both discover they might actually have been missing out on high school by not doing all those cliche things…

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I liked the general idea behind Never Always Sometimes and the friendship between the two main characters Dave and Julia. Their interactions in the first part of the book are quite funny, especially Julia who doesn’t have a clue Dave is in love with her. But as an overall this book was too much of a cliche for me, the love triangle was really annoying and the ending was not satisfying at all. Slightly original, yes, but I don’t think I’m the only one who wished the story would have been over after the roadtrip.

Sunday Post #12 – January 24th

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Today is Sunday, which means it’s time for another installment of my Sunday Post where I will share a summary of my blogging week and other random facts… Here we go!


# CURRENTLY READING

I’m trying to finish my only pending ARC before the end of the month: Eternal War: Armies Of Saints by Livio Gambarini. I like the setting and the fact that historical fiction has been mixed with fantasy… Hopefully I will find some time to continue reading it later today.

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# LATEST ADDITION TO MY SHELVES

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I loved the first book in the Veronica Mars series by Rob Thomas, so I had to get a copy of the sequel as well. Mr. Kiss And Tell sounds interesting, so I’m looking forward to be reading it next month or so.

# OTHER (BOOK) NEWS

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I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words! Thanks again for the nomination, I really appreciate it. ❤ I don’t have the time for an actual post, but I’ve decided to answer her questions anyway.

  • What is the most recent book you read? I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. I absolutely loved that book; kudos to the author for bringing awareness to what war veterans are going through.
  • Why did you decide to follow my blog? It’s always great to find someone with a similar taste for books. 🙂
  • Do you write as well as read? What do you write? I used to write poems and I started a children fantasy series when I was a teenager, but I have to confess that I haven’t been writing much during the last three years or so. I guess I’m just leaving it to those who actually know what they are doing. 😉
  • Who inspired your love of reading? My mom because she always read stories to me when I was little and took me to the library so I could lend tons of books. (Think Matilda with a cart; that would be mini-me.)
  • Do you have a friend or group you talk about books with in person? Where did you find this group? Not really… The people close to me don’t really like to read and wouldn’t read in English anyway. In fact, most people don’t even know I blog about books…
  • How many books did you read in 2015? 185, which is a ridiculous amount of books and I still don’t know how I actually managed to read them all.
  • Do you have a favorite genre? Or do you prefer literary fiction? I don’t have just one favorite genre, but I do love anything mystery/thriller, historical fiction and fantasy.
  • How about historical fiction? I really enjoy reading historical fiction; both recent history and other eras…
  • How many hours a week do you spend on your blog? That’s a difficult question, because I don’t always have a lot of time to blog… But I try to spend at least an hour or maybe two a day both writing posts and reading other blogs. Having the WordPress App on my phone does help a lot, although it doesn’t always work perfectly.
  • What’s your favorite part of blogging? Definitely the interaction with other bloggers. I love meeting other people who love books as much as I do!
  • What can you reach out and touch now with your right hand? My always-present kindle. I’m about to write a review and I always have my highlights handy for possible quotes and references.

Talking about food; I finally managed to post two new recipes at my Easy Peasy Delicious Food blog! 😀 Doughless Chard Pizza and Fresh Summer Corn Salad… The pizza is a personal favorite of mine. I also finally gave in and bought a muffin mold, so I’m going to be making muffins soon! And I made a batch of delicious oatmeal banana cookies the other day based on a recipe I found here. I will be changing the recipe a bit more next week and turn them into yummy banana breakfast bars! 😀

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Also, as some of you already know it’s currently summer down here in Argentina and the perfect way to survive the 35-40ºC heat is taking these kayaks out during the afternoon… Did I mention before that I love kayaking?! Drinking this refreshing typical South American drink tereré does help a lot as well… It’s basically herbs (the same as mate) with cold juice and delicious. 😀

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# WHAT’S NEW ON IT’S ALL ABOUT BOOKS


That’s all for this Sunday Post… I hope everyone is having a great Sunday!