About Yvo

Thank you for visiting my blog! Let me introduce myself: I'm Yvonne, or Yvo for short... I was born a Dutchie, but felt that that tiny, rainy country known for tulips, windmills, cheese and of course Amsterdam wasn't my place to be. O no, the world was a lot bigger that and was calling me to start discovering it. Carpe Diem and all. So I learned Spanish (I actually have a degree in Spanish philology), went to study in Madrid, Spain when I was 20... And after that I decided to try and find my place in the world. I travelled around a lot during the last few years, and finally settled down in lovely Argentina after having found the love of my life while travelling in Colombia.

Teaser Tuesdays #180 – July 17th: Hunted

TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. 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 this title on a whim… I’ve been meaning to read Hunted by Meagan Spooner for a while now, and somehow this Beauty And The Beast retelling sounded just like I needed. I’m not that far into the story yet, but I’m looking forward to read more of the story soon.

My teaser (6%):

“Suddenly, over the howl of the rising storm, a heavy pounding against the front door broke through the sounds of chatter and laughter. The sisters exchanged glances as their father leaned to the side to look around the edge of his chair toward the hall.”

What are you reading right now?


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YVO’S SHORTIES #31 – Prodigy & Turtles All The Way Down

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a YA edition… The first book is the sequel of a series I was supposed to continue ages ago: Prodigy by Marie Lu. It was just as entertaining as the first book! The other title is one I wasn’t sure I wanted to pick up, but after seeing Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm mention it as her biggest surprise of 2018 so far I decided to give it a go. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green… And maybe it was just that I wasn’t in the mood for it, but I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I hoped I would.


Title: Prodigy
(Legend #2)
Author: Marie Lu

Genre: YA, Dystopia, Romance
First published: January 29th 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Finished reading: July 3rd 2018
Pages: 372

“Maybe I’ve been trying to escape the wrong place and run away from the wrong things.”


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I read Legend back in 2015, and even though I quite enjoyed the first book and vowed to read the sequels soon, somehow that never happened. One of my goals this year is to finish those poor neglected started series, and when I came across my copy of Prodigy I decided to pick it up on a whim. It was surprisingly easy to pick up where the first book had left off without rereading Legend, and there is no doubt this sequel is a very entertaining read. I managed to finish it in no time at all! The dystopian world is quite interesting; not that original maybe but I liked the dynamics. Could I have done without the multiple love triangle trope? Hell yes. Did that made me lower the rating slightly? Positive. But otherwise I found Prodigy to be a fast-pace and engaging YA dystopian read with a lot of promise for book number three. A healthy dose of action and twists are in place, and while not the most original plot, it will manage to grab your attention anyway. I’m looking forward to find out what the final book will bring.


Title: Turtles All The Way Down
Author: John Green

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fiction
First published: October 10th 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: July 6th 2018
Pages: 298

“True terror isn’t being scared, it’s not having a choice in the matter.”


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There is always such a hype around John Green‘s books and I’m sure you are already aware of just how well hyped books and me are getting along. I had made a promise to myself to leave his books be for now after a few ‘it’s not you, it’s probably me‘ experiences… But my curiosity was piqued by Ashley @ Socially Awkward Bookworm when she mentioned Turtles All The Way Down was her biggest surprise of 2018 so far. Do I regret reading the story? No, because I would have always wondered otherwise. Is it a bad read? Not exactly. But it was definitely one of those cases where the story just didn’t work for me. Which is actually kind of strange, because I’m always intrigued by a story with a mental illness theme and I do love my quirky and unique characters. But there was just something about Aza that just didn’t do it for me. There is nothing wrong with the character development and I think John Green did a great job giving us a peek inside her head and how it would be like being her. It just didn’t work for me in particular. The same goes for Daisy, although I do love the fact she writes fan fiction. The plot is a bit farfetched, but it adds a certain air of mystery to the story, transforming it from just another contemporary romance with mental illness angle to something a little more complicated. I do have to admit the pace was pretty slow though, and I could have done without annoying YA tropes like instalove. And was the story exactly credible as a whole? I’m still on the fence about that. But I guess fans of the genre who like their characters unique, flawed and intriguing will probably like Aza and her story as well. Hello, new hyped title on my unpopular opinion review list… Do make yourself comfortable.


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January-June 2018: The Numbers

Call me a nerd, but I do love my graphics posts! I first started properly keeping track of my reads in Excel back in 2016, making it possible to finally put together some graphics. I’ve done a bunch of ‘The Numbers’ posts over time, including my 2016 and 2017 posts, and it has been revealing interesting things about my reading habits. So why stop? 😉 This post will be al about the first six months of 2018. Let’s talk nerdy and see what my numbers were like, shall we?

First of all some quick facts. In the first six months of 2018 I have read no less than 97 books with a total page count of 30.832 pages; an average of about 318 pages per book. If I keep this up in the second half of the year, I will be able to match my reading numbers from last year, even though my page count is slightly lower so far. The average rating is 3,63 stars, which is actually the exact same rating as last year even though it included two 0 star ratings (DNF). No less than 28 books had a 4,5 or 5 star rating and 29 books received a rating 3 stars or below… Which means I enjoyed reading about 70% of the books during the year. Not that bad at all, even though the number is lower than previous years. Another fun fact: 60 of the 97 books I’ve read so far were actually ARCs; about 62% of the total. Way more than I was aiming for, but I do hope to be able to read more of my own books in the secound half of 2018.

And now some graphics for those who like them as much as I do. 😉

This graphic above explains exactly why my average rating ended up being quite high… About 54% of the books I read last year had a 4 star rating or above! And only 15% received a 2,5 star rating or below, so all in all I’m very happy with this one.

I already knew I hadn’t been reading a lot of Middle Grade in 2018, so I’m not at all surprised by this graphic. It does show that I still read more Adult than YA, which is probably mostly because I’ve been reading a lot of ARCs and I mainly request mystery/thrillers. 😉

One of the things I’ve been trying to do is read more books by male authors, because somehow I always seem to be reading more books my female authors (even though I never base my choice of books on the gender of the author). Sadly the percentage decreased by 7% since last year! I really have to step up my male author game in the second half of 2018.

A new graphic! After seeing Tina mention it in her update post, I decided to start keeping track of whether the books I read are by new authors or authors already known to me. And I have to say this graphic was a huge surprise! I would have never guessed that more than half of the books I read in the first half of 2018 are actually by new authors: a total of 62% or 60 books. I guess it shows I do love discovering new authors… And reading a lot of ARCs does help as well. I’m looking forward to read some old favorites though in the second half of 2018.

The main genre is basically the most dominant genre I think each book belongs to. As always mystery/thriller/horror is the biggest group (there’s truly no surprise there for those who follow my blog!). What is a surprise is that I have picked up a significant amount of contemporary romance reads as well, since it’s not one of my favorites. It’s good to see both historical fiction and fantasy quite well represented as well.

This average rating graphic is quite a shock… Although I’m aware each genre has received a few lower ratings during the year. Mystery/thriller/crime is well on top with a 4,06 rating. Looks like I’ve been reading a lot of excellent thrillers so far this year! Fantasy comes second (3,63 rating) and I’m actually quite shocked by the lowish ratings of the other genres. Especially when it comes to (realistic) fiction (2,6 stars) and non fiction/memoir (3,17 rating), but genres I normally enjoy and normally receive a higher rating.

The series/stand-alone ratio has been almost the same as in previous years, and I’m actually quite happy with this. As much as I love reading series, I tend to neglect them with the result of a huge pile of unfinished series collecting dust. And there is no such problem with stand-alones! 😉 I do want to finish a bunch of those unfinished series in the rest of 2018 though.

Boy do I feel bad about this graphic! I joined the Beat The Backlist challenge and have other challenges as well to help me read older titles, and somehow only a meager 16% of the books I’ve read in 2018 are published in 2015 or before. Oops? At least the number of books I read that were published in the current year went down: now a 43% of the total. I guess it shows I’ve been trying to get rid of my backlist, but somehow a lot of them ended up being books published in 2016 or 2017. I guess it’s better than nothing though right?

Last graphic: as always most books I’ve read have between 300 and 399 pages, which seems to be a pretty good number and a  sign of a story that’s not too short and not too long. There are exceptions of course; some stories are just too complex to be told in under 400 pages… I do have to step up my game when it comes to reading longer books, because only a meager 13% of my books had over 400 pages.


Tired of numbers yet? I know I am! That’s it for this January-June 2018 review… Happy reading everyone!


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Stacking The Shelves #49 – July 14th

Stacking The Shelves is hosted at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I wasn’t going to request any new titles, but you know how it goes… I never seem to be able to resist NG in the end. xD I really liked the sound of Run And Hide by Alan McDermott, so of course I had to add it to my NG shelf. Thanks again for the auto-approve! ❤

# NETGALLEY ARC #

Click on the summaries below to go to the Goodreads page… 

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ARC REVIEW: The Getaway Girls – by Dee MacDonald @bookouture

Title: The Getaway Girls
Author: Dee MacDonald
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: July 30th 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: July 7th 2018
Pages: 

“Was the world her oyster? Silly cliché, that! The world was more like the carrot, dangling seductively in front of her nose.”

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

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Wait, what? It’s All About Books featuring a contemporary romance read, and with such a high rating at that? Don’t be too surprised, because I can enjoy the genre every once in a while if I’m in the mood for it. And this is exactly what happened when I saw The Getaway Girls. Suffering from the so-called travel bug myself, I love road trip stories. It doesn’t really matter to me if I have visited those places myself, as reading about them makes it feel as if I were on a mini vacation in the first place and I love discovering new places to visit… But when I found out part of the story was set in Italy, I was sold. I have such great memories of this country and I couldn’t wait to discover what the main characters would encounter! I picked up The Getaway Girls on a day I really needed something light, entertaining, fun and engaging to distract myself, and this story delivered exactly that. I LOVED that the three main characters are seventy-year-olds and that they going on a road trip together. The character development is spot on and I really liked just how different their personalities and backgrounds were. It was great to see how they reacted to each other and they journey, and I had a wonderful time following them on their journey. It’s not all fun as they are trying to run away from Maggie’s dodgy partner Ringer, and I really liked that aspect of the plot as it added a little suspense to the whole story as well. But my favorite part of The Getaway Girls has without doubt to do with the descriptions of the places they visited. It almost felt I was on vacation in France and Italy as well! A welcome distraction from the cold winter months down here in Argentina… I had a blast reading this story and I liked how each of the three main characters got her own ending. It’s definitely made me curious about The Runaway Wife as well as I really liked Connie’s character! If you are a fan of the genre, this one is a must-read.

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Connie is free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades, and she has been dreaming of an adventure. She doesn’t seem to be the only one though, as Gill and Maggie from her flower arranging class love the sound of her plans. And soon the two want to tag along with her idea of traveling to southern Italy in a campervan to find her roots. A journey that will take them through France first and will take them to places and new experiences they never thought they would be having… Will the three be able to reach their destination safely?

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If you love a good road trip story with well developed and interesting characters, lots of sightseeing, funny moments, a dash of suspense and a dose of romance that is just right, you will love The Getaway Girls as well. I had so much fun following Connie, Gill and Maggie around and I loved the fact that they were seventy-year-olds, as I don’t see older main characters around that often. Entertaining, uplifting, a pinch of suspense and a healthy dose of summer romance… This story will make you forget about your own problems for a while as you join the main characters on their journey.


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ARC REVIEW: The Secret – by K.L. Slater @bookouture

Title: The Secret
Author: K.L. Slater
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 27th 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Finished reading: July 4th 2018 
Pages: 

“Sometimes you know what’s good for you but you go and do just the opposite anyway.”

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

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The fact is that I’m a huge fan of K.L. Slater‘s psychological thrillers, so any time I see a new title popping up, my heart skips a beat. The Secret is without doubt another great title to welcome to the family. While not my absolute favorite of the bunch, there is no doubt that this newest psychological thriller is a very strong read with an ending that will leave you gaping at the last page and unable to utter something coherently. Oh yes, you might think you have this story all figured out early on (I’m including myself here), but this is all a smokescreen. The Secret has a couple of masterly incorporated plot twist bombs included that will shake you to the core and will dishevel you. Did I have a very STRONG dislike for Louise? Yes. Did I think Alice was a mayor pushover? Yes. Did those things sometimes frustrate me? Most definitely. But despite the unlikeable characters that made you want to hit something or someone and talk sense into them, you will find yourself completely hooked as you try to figure out what is really going on. And if you like surprises, you will be in for a real treat with the final reveals. Make sure to add The Secret to your wishlist if you are a psychological thriller fan, because this story is one of those rollercoaster rides that starts out slow but will have you breathless by the final page!

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The sisters Alice and Louise used to be close, but their different personalities made them drift apart. But as Louise is struggling to juggle her new promotion at work with her eight-year-old son Archie, she has been starting to drop him off at her sister Alice’s flat. As Alice starts spending more time with Archie, she is starting to suspect something is off… And she has the feeling Archie might be hiding a secret or two. He isn’t the only one hiding something though…

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Let me tell you a secret: the secrets and twists in The Secret will have you flabbergasted by the time you reach the last page. Oh yes, you will be in for one hell of a surprise and shocking ending with this one… Make sure to brace yourself. It is true that the strong dislike for one of the main characters did get a little frustrating, but the story would not have been the same otherwise and the suspense and general plot made up for it. What a read!


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My Blog’s Name in Books

I saw this book meme posted by Jenn @ Bound To Writing and I couldn’t resist joining the fun. This book meme was originally started by Lynne @ Fictionophile and I thought it would be a great way to shine a light upon some of the books still pending on my TBR list.

THE RULES:

1.  Spell out your blog’s name. (this is where you wish your blog’s name was shorter LOL)

2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (Note you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge – the books must already be on your Goodread’s TBR)

3. Have fun!  

I was actually surprised it was relatively easy to find books for my blog name… Partly because my TBR list on Goodreads is HUGE, and partly because It’s All About Books doesn’t have any tricky letters. (Phew! 😉 ) Let’s go see which books I’ve chosen to write my blog name with…

I : I Let You Go – by Clare Mackintosh
T : Talon – by Julie Kagawa
S : Saint Anything – by Sarah Dessen

A : A Tale For The Time Being – by Ruth Ozeki
L : Lair Of Dreams – by Libba Bray
L : Library Of Souls – by Ransom Riggs

A : An Ember In The Ashes – by Sabaa Tahir
B : Britt-Marie Was Here – by Fredrik Backman
O : Outlander – by Diana Gabaldon
U : Uprooted – by Naomi Novik
T : Tell The Wolves I’m Home – by Carol Rifka Brunt

B : Blue Blood – by Sara Blaedel
O : Outrun The Moon – by Stacey Lee
O : One Of Us – by Asne Seierstad
K : Kids Of Appetite – by David Arnold
S : Splintered – by A.G. Howard


Have you read any of these titles yourself? Would you recommend them? Any of these titles I should avoid reading? Feel free to comment. 🙂


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