YVO’S SHORTIES #129 – Fever 1793 & The Museum Of Extraordinary Things (DNF)

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two historical fiction reads that I fully expected to love, but somehow failed to connect to. The historical aspect of Fever 1793 was brilliantly handled, but the characters fell a bit flat for me… And with a superslow pace and flat characters, I saw no other option but to DNF The Museum Of Extraordinary Things. Oh yes, sadly it’s time for a double dose of unpopular opinion reviews!


Title: Fever 1793
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction
First published: September 1st 2000
Publisher: Aladdin
Finished reading: October 17th 2019
Pages: 252

“Life was a battle, and Mother a tired and bitter captain. The captain I had to obey.”


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WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead!

I was browsing for possible titles that are set in the 18th century to read for the final era for the When Are You Reading? challenge when I saw this title pop up. I enjoyed her other title Wintergirls when I read it earlier this year and the historical setting and plot sounded fascinating, so I immediately knew I wanted to read this title. I’m not sure if this was the wrong book at the wrong time for me, or if it’s just that I’m not that used to middle grade books in the first place… But the fact is that I couldn’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed by this story. First things first, and I have to say that the historical setting is well developed and detailed when it comes to the facts of 18th century Philadelphia and the yellow fever outbreak. It shows that the author has investigated historical facts thoroughly and the descriptions feel realistic and help teach the readers more about yellow fever and the impact of the outbreak back then. I could also appreciate the explanation of what was based on historical facts and what might have been changed in the story. That said, I struggled to connect to the story. I’m not sure exactly why, but I think it has somewhat to do with the fact that I never felt a real connection with the main characters, making me feel mostly detached from  everything that happened to the main characters. In short, while the historical aspect of Fever 1793 was brilliantly handled, the characters somehow ended up falling a bit flat for me… I seem to be in the minority though, so if you haven’t tried this story yet and are intrigued by the blurb, you shouldn’t hesitate to try your luck.


Title: The Museum Of Extraordinary Things
Author: Alice Hoffman

Genre: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
First published: February 18th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Finished reading: October 21st 2019
Pages: 385
DNF at 38% (146 pages)

“Coney Island was, above all else, a place of dreams, with amusements like no others, rides that defied the rules of gravity, concerts and games of chance, ballrooms with so many electric lights they glowed as if on fire.”


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WARNING: unpopular opinion ahead!

I’ve been meaning to read this title for a long time, so I was excited when my TBR jar decided it was time to finally read it. The premise of The Museum Of Extraordinary Things sounds fantastic, so I fully expected to enjoy the story… Sadly, surprisingly enough it wasn’t ment to be. I’m not sure if it was just the wrong time for this story or if my book hangerover after finishing The Lion Tamer Who Lost the other day would have made me struggle with any book in the first place… But the fact is, I REALLY struggled with The Museum Of Extraordinary Things and I just couldn’t force myself to keep reading any longer. The pace is so so slow in general and the parts written in cursive are even slower… I had a hard time staying focused on the story and even started skimreading certain parts; definitely not a good sign. On top of that, I found the main characters to be quite flat and cliche… They lacked development for me to make them more rounded (at least in the part I read), and as The Museum Of Extraordinary Things seems to be a more character driven story, this became a real issue for me. I do have to say that the historical setting in early 20th century New York/Coney Island is absolutely fascinating and the historical references are probably the main reason I even made it this far. But as a whole, this story and me definitely didn’t get along.


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WWW Wednesdays #243 – October 23rd

WWW 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?

I’m currently reading two ARCs that are due soon… The first is Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo, a nordic noir sequel set in Greenland I’ve been looking forward to as the first book was excellent. The second is my first Peter May read (finally!): The Noble Path. I’m looking forward to see how I will react to his writing! And I’ve also decided to continue my Spanish reread of the Harry Potter series… Book number six it is!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Thin Air by Michelle Paver (4/5 stars) REVIEW 25/10
Partly a historical adventure story set in the 1935 Himalayas, partly a ghost story, Thin Air turned out to have a very interesting mix of different elements and it’s a story perfect for this Halloween month or the winter months for that matter.

2. Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (3/5 stars) REVIEW 28/10
I’m not sure if this was the wrong book at the wrong time for me, or if it’s just that I’m not that used to middle grade books in the first place… But the fact is that I couldn’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed by this story. While the historical aspect of Fever 1793 was brilliantly handled, the characters somehow ended up falling a bit flat for me… I seem to be in the minority though.

3. The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 27/10
After reading Call Me Star Girl earlier this year, I already knew I was going to be in for a treat with this title. I’ve been warned to keep tissues and comfort food close, and that was without doubt solid advice as this story left me with my heart shattered into a million little pieces. The Lion Tamer Who Lost isn’t my usual genre, but I should have worried as Ben and Andrew’s story won me over right from the very first chapter.

4. The Museum Of Extraordinary Thingsby Alice Hoffman (DNF 38%; 0 stars) REVIEW 28/10
I’m not sure if it’s just not the right time for this story or if my book hangover after The Lion Tamer Who Lost would have made me struggle with any book in the first place… But the fact is, I REALLY struggled with The Museum Of Extraordinary Things and I just couldn’t force myself to keep reading any longer. The pace is so so slow and I find the main characters to be quite flat and cliche… I’m really struggling to stay focused and even started skimreading some bits; I definitely wasn’t expecting this reaction as the premise of The Museum Of Extraordinary Things is fascinating.

5. The Neighbours by Nicola Gill (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 23/01/2020
That’s my first 2020 release in the pocket! xD If you are looking for a fun and entertaining romcom with that Bridget Jones vibe, The Neighbours should definitely be on your 2020 wishlist. It’s a superfast read and has both funny and more serious moments incorporated into the plot. Ginny and Cassie make a very unlikely pair, but I had a great time following them despite some of their character traits starting to get on my nerves…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As the blogging slump is getting worse every day and it’s becoming almost impossible to write a proper review, I’ve decided to put those ARCs and Orenda beauties on hold and only read backlist titles I can write shorties reviews for. I feel sad for having to do this, but I see no other way out… Also, I’ve decided to go on a blogging break in November (and maybe December too); more about that soon.

I’m hoping to read The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab next as I’m really in the mood for a Halloween read… I’m also going to try and finally read The Whisper Man by Alex North to see what the hype is all about. And what is Halloween month without a Stephen King read?! I was going to read Pet Sematary, but then I remembered I had promised myself to finish the Bill Hodges Trilogy first, so Finders Keepers it is. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it better than the first book. xD And I have a new TBR jar pick! The third Lacy Flint book Like This For Ever by Sharon Bolton… I really enjoyed the first two books, so I have high hopes for this one.


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WWW Wednesdays #242 – October 16th

WWW 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?

I’m finally reading my copy of Thin Air by Michelle Paver, a cover love buy with a very promising premise and a title I thought would be perfect for this Halloween month. I’m also finally starting The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech, although I admit I’m a bit worried my heart will suffer immensely before I reach the final page… And also that I’ll have yet another impossible review to write afterwards. xD

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen (4/5 stars) REVIEW
The first thing that people seem to mention when it comes to Antti Tuomainen‘s recent books is the way he is able to introduce dark comedy more than successfully into an already solid crime thriller. Nordic noir with a healthy dose of blacker-than-black humor? You can definitely count me in for that! I’ve been looking forward to finally discover his work for some time now, and while I thought it was going to be my pink and fabulous copy of Palm Beach Finland, I’m more than happy my first introduction has been Little Siberia in the end. If you like your humor dark and your Nordic Noir lighting fast, bloodchilling and touching at the same time, Little Siberia is simply a must-read. It’s like a big black bowl of delicious and hilarious crime magic!

2. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (5/5 stars) REREAD
Ove is easily one of my all time favorite characters, and A Man Called Ove was long overdue for a reread… After watching the Swedish movie adaptation last week, I decided to just give in and meet up with Ove again, and the story was just as magical the second time around. The Swedish movie adaptation is highly recommendable as well as it stays so close to the original story and it portrays Ove and the other characters perfectly. I won’t be writing a new review, but you can find my 2016 review here if you are interested.

3. Hydra by Matt Wesolowski (5/5 stars) REVIEW 23/10
Boy, this book blew me away! I already had a brilliant experience with the first Six Stories book, but Hydra left me lost for words and unable to write a proper review… The podcast format, the premise, the characters, the paranormal and horror elements, the writing, the suspense and plot twists… I don’t even know where to start my review, as everything was just pure magic.

4. Like Follow Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch (4/5 stars) REVIEW 20/10
The writing is solid and makes it really easy to fly through those pages. The plot is also well constructed and handled perfectly to keep building up that suspense as well as managing to mislead you successfully. Things can be said about the credibility of certain aspects of the plot, but there is no denying that Like Follow Kill was a very entertaining ride with an ending that I never saw coming and left me flabbergasted. Those final chapters are on fire!! If you enjoy reading psychological thrillers with an unreliable narrator and an explosive twist, Like Follow Kill should definitely be on your wishlist.

5. Infinity + One by Amy Harmon (4/5 stars) REVIEW 25/10
I think most will be aware of the fact that I adore Amy Harmon‘s books by now… I’ve decided to make the wait for her next story Where The Lost Wander a little less painful by tackling some of her backlist titles I still had pending. I was going to finally pick up The Bird And The Sword, but my heart screamed for a dose of contemporary romance and Infinity + One sounded perfect for the job. And it definitely was! While this story isn’t my absolute favorite of her work, it’s undeniably an excellent read fans of the genre will love.

6. The Other Daughter by Shalini Boland (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/11
I’ve been a fan of her psychological thrillers ever since the first one came out, and The Other Daughter is another excellent read. Well written and with a humongous plot twist bomb I never saw coming!!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m probably reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson next so I can finally finish the final era for the When Are You Reading? challenge… I also need to read the ARC Cold Fear by Mads Peder Nordbo some time soon. And it’s time for another dose of Matt Wesolowski with the third Six Stories book Changeling as soon as I’m able to get my thoughts together and actually finish my review for Hydra. I also need to finally read my latest TBR jar pick The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman some time soon.


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WWW Wednesdays #241 – October 9th

WWW 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?

I’ve probably already finished Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen by the time this post goes live… I’ve been flying through it and I definitely understand the love for his writing now! More in my blog tour review going live this Saturday October 12th. I’m also starting the sequel Hydra by Matt Wesolowski for an upcoming #WesolowskiWednesdays #Orentober post… And I read the first few pages of Like Follow Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch before I realized my blog tour stop was really close, so I’ll continue with that after I finish the other two.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Tunnel Of Bones by Victoria Schwab (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 19/10
I think everyone probably knows by now I’m a huge fan of Victoria Schwab’s books, and I’ve loved every single book I tried so far. This middle grade series is no exception, and even with high expectations Tunnel Of Bones was just as good as I was hoping for. If you are looking like a fun, quick and fabulous Halloween story, you have just found your next read! You will find paranormal elements, humor, friendship, a dose of forboding and a hint of danger, all sprinkled with that French je ne sais quoi that makes you love every single page of this story. Is it too soon to ask about the next book yet? I’m seriously addicted to this series.

2. Close To You by Kerry Wilkinson (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/10
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour!!

3. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 21/10
I admit I took a chance when I decided to get a copy and read The Bride Test. I’m very much allergic to sexy scenes in contemporary romance reads, and after a less than favorable reaction to The Kiss Quotient I thought it would be better to just stay away. But there is no denying that Helen Hoang can write and I love how she develops her characters, so I just couldn’t resist giving this story a try in the end. I’m so glad I did, because while I found the many many sexy scenes to be cringeworthy, I somehow enjoyed the actual story a lot better than the first book.

4. The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 21/10
I had that feeling that it would be a perfect read for the time of the year, and both my instincts and the reviews I read in the past were absolutely right. If you are looking for a little something to get you in the right mood for Halloween, The Twisted Tree is a fantastic choice. Norse mythology, horror and paranormal elements are mixed together with a YA contemporary story in the most successful way… Both the Norse mythology elements and the actual setting on a small island in the middle of nowhere Norway really took this creepy story to the next level.

5. The Dinner Party by R.J. Parker (3/5 stars) REVIEW 13/10
I had quite high expectations for this story, but somehow I didn’t end up having the reaction I expected to have to this story… If you are looking for a twisty, explosive and shocking thriller, The Dinner Party fits all those points and more. The tension is build up slowly but steadily in the rest of the story, mixing secrets and twists with moments of action and suspense. I initially had a very good feeling about this story, but as the storyline continued and evolved, I started wondering about the credibility of it all. As for the characters… Sadly, I can’t really say I liked them.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I need a little break from the thriller genre again after my current reads, so I’m picking up another Amy Harmon backlist title next: Infinity + One. I love her books so far and I’m planning on reading the last missing backlist titles ASAP. Then it’s either Halloween theme again with Thin Air by Michelle Paver or a psychological thriller ARC The Other Daughter by Shalini Boland depending on what I’m in the mood for. I also need to read my latest TBR jar pick The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman some time soon.


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WWW Wednesdays #240 – October 2nd

WWW 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?

No October is complete without spooky reads, and I’ve been saving Victoria Schwab‘s newest title Tunnel Of Bones especially for this Halloween month. I’m so excited to be diving into this sequel! I’m also starting another ARC: Close To You by Kerry Wilkinson. The blurb sounds absolutely brilliant, so I can’t wait to see if the story itself lives up to expectations. His writing is great, so I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy it…

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Hope And Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum (4/5 stars) REVIEW 11/10
Julie Buxbaum is one of the select group of authors who can make me enjoy the contemporary romance genre. After loving her first two YA books, it’s easy to say that my expectations were sky high for Hope And Other Punchlines. It might have been the wrong time to pick up this title, or it might have been that my expectations were a tad unrealistic, because while there is no doubt that this story is an excellent read, it didn’t blow me away as I thought it would. There is a lot to love in Hope And Other Punchlines though.

2. The Huntress by Kate Quinn (5/5 stars) REVIEW 05/10
I kept seeing glowing reviews about The Huntress and I love my WWII historical fiction, so I was super excited to finally dive in myself. It’s the first time I read one of her books (I have The Alice Network on my TBR though), and I was definitely blown away by what I found. Say hello to another 2019 favorite! The complex and rich plot, the writing, the different characters and settings… There is so much to love in this story and it’s without doubt one of the best WWII inspired historical fiction stories I’ve read to this date.

3. Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir (4/5 stars) REVIEW 04/10
Look out for my full review during my stop of the blog tour this Friday!!

4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/10
I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaiman‘s work for a while now, but somehow I never actually read Coraline despite having seen the movie… Until now. I thought this little book would be the perfect title to mark the start of the Halloween month with, and is without doubt a story that gives off the exact right creepy vibe. The writing is of the same high quality I’ve become used to of Neil Gaiman, and while it’s not my favorite story of his, I definitely had a great time discovering the story of Coraline. And with its spooky and eery vibe, it’s a perfect choice if you are looking for a quick and fun Halloween read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up is another upcoming #Orentober blog tour read I’ve been looking forward to: Little Siberia by Antti Tuomainen. I’ve been meaning to try his work for ages and I love the blurb for this story! I also need to read the ARC Like Follow Kill by Carissa Ann Lynch some time soon… And another #Orentober read is up soon as well: Hydra by Matt Wesolowski for an upcoming #WesolowskiWednesday post. I’m also reading my latest TBR jar pick The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman no matter what before the end of the month.


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WWW Wednesdays #239 – September 25th

WWW 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?

I’m currently reading one of my last pending ARCs this month and a title I’ve been really excited to pick up: The Huntress by Kate Quinn. It’s quite a long read so we’ll see how things go! I also wanted to change genres for a bit and then realized I hadn’t read Julie Buxbaum‘s newest yet, so Hope And Other Punchlines it is!

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Snap by Lilja Sigurdardottir (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 28/09
I admit I went in blind and it was the most fantastic surprise to find such an original plot! Snare wins a lot of brownie points for the drugs smuggling angle alone, but the interesting, well developed and diverse characters also have a lot to do with the success behind this first book of a trilogy I already know will be a new favorite. Snare is without doubt an excellent start of a Nordic noir trilogy with a original, exciting and well crafted plot fans of the genre will love. Recommended!

2. Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds (4/5 stars) REVIEW 02/10
The three different POVs and flashbacks are woven together into a coherent and moving story and the connection between the different storylines makes it really easy to just keep turning those pages. The main mystery is of course around Henry’s past and what happened to Francine, but we also have the question of the package Ariel was sent to deliver by her deceased mother. More heavy themes as the post-war era, regret, cancer and grief are contrasted with moments of lightness and even humor, turning Finding Henry Applebee into a well balanced read.

3. I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 10/10
I Will Make You Pay starts out as most regular psychological thrillers, but your attention is soon captured when the main character Alice receives the threatening phone call at the newspaper where she works as a journalist. This phone call marks the start of the so-called stalker plot and definitely takes the story to the next level. I did ended up having some minor issues with it, but overall it was without doubt a solid psychological thriller read.

4. Trap by Lilja Sigurdardottir (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 03/10
I already loved the first book of this trilogy, and the second book is just as good. There are so many different elements involved in this series, and together they make for one hell of a read. The international setting, the drugs smuggling element, crime, family, LGBT, the banking crisis, the characters, the plot… There is so much to love in Trap and I definitely can’t wait to pick up the third and final book.

5. Cradle To Grave by Rachel Amphlett (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 14/10
This is easily one of my favorite detective series and I’ve been waiting impatiently for this newest installment ever since I finished the last book… Kay Hunter is a force to be reckoned with, and Cradle To Grave is without doubt another great addition to the series. I literally read it in one sitting!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up is my second #Orentober read as my blog tour stop is getting close: Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir. I’m loving the series so far, so I have no doubt it will be another good one! I also need to read this month’s Criminally Good book club read The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup ASAP. I’m not sure if I have time for another read before the month is over, but if I do I will probably either pick up Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton or my latest TBR jar pick The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.


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WWW Wednesdays #238 – September 18th

WWW 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?

I’m binge reading the Reykjavik Noir Trilogy by Lilja Sigurdardottir in preparation for my stop of the blog tour for the third and final book… I’m currently reading book number one Snare. I’m also starting Finding Henry Applebee by Celia Reynolds and I’m looking forward to the change of genre and read a contemporary again.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. All Cats Are Introverts by Francesco Marciuliano (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 15/10
I know I don’t read a lot of poetry, but give me cat photos, give me humor and give me a relatable topic and I’m sold. As a true introvert and a cat owner, it was extremely easy to relate to the poems included in this bundle. I literally laughed out loud multiple times, my own cat Delilah Bard frowning at me as apparently I was making too much noise to her liking. The dry, sometimes slightly sarcastic humor is right up my alley and some poems definitely have a mean pun. The cat photos in this bundle are of a high quality and it shows that they have been chosen carefully as they suit each poem extremely well.

2. The Birthday House by Jill Treseder (3/5 stars) REVIEW 08/10
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour next month!

3. Muse Of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (5/5 stars) REVIEW 11/10
After being blown away by the first book of this duology, I was afraid it was going to be almost impossible for the sequel to live up to expectations. But I shouldn’t have doubted the power of Laini Taylor‘s absolutely gorgeous prose! Like with Strange The Dreamer, I was absolutely mesmerized by the words she uses to describe both the high fantasy world, its characters and the plot itself. Things can be said about the fact that not all that much seems to be happening considering its 500+ pages, although I did feel there was more going on in the sequel. But personally I didn’t really care as long as I was going to be able to keep lapping up those gorgeous sentences.

4. Here To Stay by Mark Edwards (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 29/09
I just HAD to get a copy after reading Meggy’s review and seeing others raving about it as well… And there is no doubt that this book delivered. I basically felt uncomfortable and threatened during the whole book, feeling what the main character feels while also just wanting to shake him and tell him to do something about his situation. I definitely didn’t see the ending coming either! I might need some time before I can get my thoughts together and write a review that does it justice. Mark Edwards has a new fan!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I just remembered I still had to read this month’s Criminally Good book club read! Since I really want to read it in the first place, I’m picking up The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup next. Afterwards it’s time for more ARCs… First up are The Huntress by Kate Quinn and I Will Make You Pay by Terese Driscoll. My latest TBR jar pick is still The Museum Of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman… I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to it this month as I have a huge pile of books I need to read first. xD


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