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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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.