WWW Wednesdays #79 – February 24th

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 still haven’t finished All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr… Don’t get me wrong, I love this book so far both because of the prose, setting and characters, but somehow I haven’t been in the mood to read it. I’m fearing a starting reading slump, so I am trying to read quick, ‘easy’ or different reads instead. I’ve just picked up Bestiario by Julio Cortázar as well to start working on my promise to read more Spanish books; I’ve read a lot of his short stories during Uni and it’s nice to revisit them.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I finished was Every Day by David Levithan. I had my reservations and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be an excellent read.
* I then read Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn mostly because I needed something short and entertaining to get me to read again. Like the title says, this book is without doubt strange, mysterious and very intriguing! Recommendable.
* I also finished Dangerous Boys by Abigail Haas, a book I picked up on a whim after remembering how much I loved Dangerous Girls last year. I still prefer that one, although Dangerous Boys is almost as good. Abigail Haas knows how to play with the reader’s mind!
* The last book I finished is Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas, a Veronica Mars sequel that didn’t really live up to expectations. I loved the first book, but the sequel read a bit slow and failed to keep my attention. There was too much focus on the relationship between Veronica and Logan and politics and the actual case they were working on was pushed to the background…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to pick up The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton soon; both because I have been looking forward to it for quite some time now and I need it for a challenge as well. I might read Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson first though if I’m in the mood for a light read…. And I also finally want to stick to my promise and start with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, but that depends on how I feel after finishing my current reads. The Liar’s Chair by Rebecca Whitney is still my newest TBR jar pick.

BOOK REVIEW: Extraordinary Means – by Robyn Schneider

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Title: Extraordinary Means
Author: Robyn Schneider
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
First published: May 26th 2015
Finished reading: February 12th 2016
Pages: 336
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“Being temporary doesn’t make something matter any less, because the point isn’t for how long, the point is that it happened.”

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I’ve had Extraordinary Means on my radar ever since it came out last year, but somehow I never actually picked it up… Until my TBR jar decided it was time to finally read this novel by Robyn Schneider. What sounds like just another sad story about sick teenagers (this time suffering from an incurable strain of tuberculosis), is actually so much more. First of all, the Extraordinary Means is very well written and I really liked the main characters and their development. They live at the Latham house which is part hospital and part boarding school; no contact with the outside world is allowed since the disease is so contagious. This all sounds really depressing, but Robyn Schneider is able to give her story an unique touch through Sadie and her friends. They decide to ‘fight’ the system and the four form a close group of eccentric troublemakers who want to have the feeling they are still alive. I really liked Lane as a character as well, and the together the five characters really make this book into something special. Sad moments are mixed with both dark and funny ones and the story has just the right dose of romance. If you like contemporary fiction and don’t mind having to keep your box of tissues on standby, I would definitely recommend reading Extraordinary Means.

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At seventeen Lane has his whole life already planned out and has been working towards his admission to Stanford for years. All of this comes to an abrupt halt when he is diagnosed with an incurable strain of tuberculosis… And he is sent to Latham House so the disease doesn’t infect those around him. Latham House is a sanatorium for teens with TB and Lane has a hard time fitting in. He doesn’t want to throw away the future he has been working so hard for, but slowly he is starting to realize that this time he will have to put his health and body first… But it’s hard to relax if you don’t have friends to share your time with. He did recognize a girl he knew from summer camp a few years ago, Sadie, but she doesn’t seem to even want to talk to him. She has transformed from the shy loner he remembers to a very intriguing teenager, and both Sadie and her friends really fascinate Lane. Will Lane make any friends and accept the fact that he is sick? And will they win the fight against tuberculosis?

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What I liked of Extraordinary Means is that it is not just about a bunch of sick teenagers fighting against a disease (in this case an incurable strain of tuberculosis, which in itself is quite original). It’s also a story about friendship, second chances, first love and finding out what is really important in life. The novel is very well written and I really liked the main characters. The fast pace had me literally flying through the pages and the alternating chapters between Lane and Sadie made it hard to stop reading. Robyn Schneider was able to create a story that is both sad, dark, funny and cute at the same time; if you are looking for a good contemporary read, you should consider reading Extraordinary Means.

Teaser Tuesdays #82 – February 23rd: Mr. Kiss And Tell

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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 decided to pick up Mr. Kiss And Tell by Rob Thomas a few days ago since I was in the mood for a mystery/thriller read and I loved the first book of the series. Unfortunately, the sequel isn’t nearly as good as The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line… So far it has turned out to be quite a slow read and the plot just doesn’t grab my attention. Such a shame!

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My teaser (55%):

“Veronica’s footsteps echoed with unnerving loudness as she made her way up to the hall. She’d been half afraid she’d run into janitorial or security, but so far there was no sign of them.”

What are you reading right now?

BOOK REVIEW: Death Of Secrets – by Bowen Greenwood

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Title: Death Of Secrets
(Secrets #1)
Author: Bowen Greenwood
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
First published: January 31st 2014
Finished reading: February 8th 2016
Pages: 336
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“I’m not sure what’s left of privacy right now, but whatever is left, I want to keep it for a while.”

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I got my copy of Death Of Secrets on a whim some time last year and I decided to pick it up last month because I was in the mood for a mystery/thriller read. Unfortunately I wasn’t impressed at all by this story by Bowen Greenwood. It took me ages to get into the story and I had actually originally decided to DNF it. The slow pace, characters that I couldn’t really care about and a prose that just didn’t grab my attention all disencouraged me to continue reading… And the only reason I decided to finish it in the end is that I almost never DNF a book. I continued reading even thouh I wasn’t convinced by it, and it took me a long time to reach the final page. I don’t like being so negative in my reviews, but it is hard to find positive points in a story I really didn’t like and still wish I hadn’t picked up again… The pace was just beyond slow even though it’s supposed to be an action story and the characters and their actions were not believable. And example? Imagine two main characters spending their time shopping and going on a romantic walk while being on the run from a mysterious enemy that wants to kill them… And then tell me that sounds plausible. The dialogue between the characters felt really unnatural as well. The general idea in Death Of Secrets is actually quite interesting though, but I can’t say that’s enough to actually enjoy the story.

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Kathy Kelver is just another student on her way home when she becomes a witness to a murder. Just before the man dies in front of her eyes, he gives her a USB stick and tells her to make sure Jakarta gets it. Kathy is terrified and runs to her dorm to call the cops, but when she goes back with her roommate, the body is gone and all evidence washed away. The police think she didn’t tell the truth, but Kathy soon finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous conspiracy. She has to run for her life and is determined to find out what is on the mysterious computer file on the USB. What she doesn’t know is that that file contains new technology that can change the future and privacy as we know it forever…

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The general idea of Death Of Secrets sounds intriguing and I guess that is why I decided to get a copy in the first place. Unfortunately the novel itself ended up being a disappointment. With a slow pace, flat characters with unbelievable actions, a prose that couldn’t catch my eye and a plot that is more than chaotic I almost wish I had sticked with my original decision to DNF it… Because I’m sorry to say I really struggled to finish this read.

Burn, Rewrite, Reread Book Tag

I saw this tag over at Betwixt These Pages and The Bookkeeper’s Secrets and it sounded like a fun way to think about the books I’ve read in the past. The rules are easy:

The Rules:

  • Randomly choose 3 books you’ve read. (Use the ‘random’ option on your Goodreads “read” shelf.*)
  • For each group of three books, decide which book you’d burn, rewrite, or reread.
  • Repeat until you complete three rounds (or five)

Here we go!

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BOOK REVIEW: Never Never Part Three – by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

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Title: Never Never Part Three
(Never Never #3)
Authors: Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Romance
First published: January 19th 2016
Finished reading: February 6th 2016
Pages: 92
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“I’d rather trust the versions of ourselves we don’t remember than trust people who don’t know us at all.”

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I really enjoyed reading the first two parts of the Never Never series last year and I have been waiting anxiously for the third and final part ever since. It wasn’t a surprise whatsoever that I just HAD to get a copy as soon as it was published… And you can imagine this excitement made by final disappointment by this ending all the bigger. I have just one question for Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher: WHY???!!! After the first two parts there were so many possible endings for this story, and I still cannot believe the road they decided to take in Never Never Part Three. I won’t go into details to avoid spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet, but what I can say is that I almost vomited because of the cheesiness of this third part and I was really tempted to throw my kindle against the wall by the time I reached the ending. What used to be an intriguing mystery story about two teenagers with memory loss has been turned into a story you either love or hate… And unfortunately I don’t belong to the first group. If you don’t mind (cheesy) romance, you will probably enjoy this final part though.

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

Silas and Charlie still don’t have their memories back and are not really closer to finding out the truth about why and how they lost it in the first place… Together they will have to look deeper into their past to see if they can dig up any new information. Meanwhile, the time is ticking and they only have limited time before their memories are reset again… Or so it seems. Could it be that Silas is keeping something secret from Charlie? Will they restore their memories and regain what they once had?

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The first half of Never Never Part Three was quite good and I was able to enjoy the prose as much in the first two parts. But as soon as I realized the path Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher had decided to take I was starting to feel uncomfortable. I don’t like cheesy romance and after the first two parts that was definitely NOT what I signed up for. Without going into further details, I can say I was more than disappointed with the ending and in a way I wish I hadn’t read the final part…Because the whole series is now kind of ruined for me. If you haven’t read the series or the final part yet and don’t like cheesy romance, hereby consider yourself warned.

Friday Finds #74 – February 19th

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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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