YVO’S SHORTIES #46 – The Chaos Of Stars & Bang

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two YA reads belonging to different genres. The first is The Chaos Of Stars by Kiersten White, which has an absolutely gorgeous cover but had an absolutely horrible main character who ruined the story for me. The second is Bang by Barry Lyga, a book I’ve been looking forward to since Jasper Dent is one of my absolute favorites, but sadly the story didn’t convince me.


Title: The Chaos Of Stars
Author: Kiersten White

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance
First published: September 10th 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Finished reading: September 5th 2018
Pages: 277

“It’s all a matter of perspective. And maybe we thought we were living one story, when if we look at it a little different, we can reframe everything – all out memories and attributes and experiences – and see that we’re actually living a different story.”


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Let’s face it: The Chaos Of Stars has a drop dead gorgeous cover that makes you want to get a copy instantly. Add the promise of Egyptian mythology included in the plot, and I was instantly sold. I didn’t understand why this book was getting such low ratings on Goodreads, especially since I loved her first two The Conqueror’s Saga books… But let’s just say I found out exactly why not long after I started reading The Chaos Of Stars. It doesn’t happen often that I have such an instant dislike of a character, but Isadora pretty much does the trick. What a whiny, annoying, self-centered, arrogant and disrespectful brat! Basically, she managed to enrage me on every single page, and I had to work hard on my breathing techniques to prevent myself from throwing my kindle against the wall. And no, sadly I’m not exaggerating here. An example? She whines constantly about the fact that she is not immortal, that nobody loves her, that she should be in the center of attention, that other people are less than her… Should I go on, or do you get the idea? Multiply this a couple of times, add a case of insta-love and a couple of other YA cliches and you have the gist of what happens in The Chaos Of Stars. I was hoping to have a lot of Egyptian mythology here, but it was mostly pushed into the background to favor Isadora and her ‘problems’. At least the chapters started with a reference to the mythology, and I liked that some of the characters actually were old Gods. But overall this book sadly was a huge disappointment.


Title: Bang
Author: Barry Lyga

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
First published: April 18th 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: September 8th 2018
Pages: 304

“Some things are private. And they should stay that way and they get to stay that way.”


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I have been meaning to pick up another of Barry Lyga‘s books for ages. The Jasper Dent series is one of my absolute favorites and I had high hopes for Bang, but sadly it wasn’t as good as I hoped. This by no means had to do with the topic itself, which is really important and I appreciate the author shining a light on what is still considered a taboo. The question of having guns laying around with (small) children involved should never be ignored, as it can have devastating consequences. Likewise, depression and suicide should not be taking lightly either. That said, I felt that there was not enough focus on these two elements in Bang, the story instead concentrating on the whole pizza baking idea and contemporary romance scenes in general. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, since I’m a huge foodie myself, but the story fell rather flat for me. While there are some interesting elements, there was nothing that really stood out for me in Bang, with the topics that are most interesting and heartbreaking being pushed into the background. The writing is solid and some of the pizza recipes were mouthwatering good, but overall Bang wasn’t what I hoped it would be.


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WWW Wednesdays #187 – September 12th

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 three more titles for the N.E.W.T. readathon… The first is a pending ARC due soon: The Girl Made Of Clay by Nicole Meier. It’s still early days, but it seems to be a fast read. I also started another physical copy and a Dutch translation of Half Bad by Sally Green. I’ve been meaning to read this series for years, so the N.E.W.T.s were a good excuse to finally do so. I have a feeling I would enjoy the story better reading it in English on my kindle, but I also know I really need the practise. 😉 I also started All These Things I’ve Done by Gabrielle Zevin before I realized I needed to read the ARC first.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Chaos Of Stars by Kiersten White (2/5 stars) REVIEW 17/09
It doesn’t happen often that I have such an instant dislike of a character, but Isadora pretty much does the trick. What a whiny, annoying, self-centered, arrogant and disrespectful brat! Basically, she managed to enrage me on every single page, and I had to work hard on my breathing techniques to prevent myself from throwing my kindle against the wall. And no, sadly I’m not exaggerating here. Add a case of insta-love and a couple of other YA cliches and you have the gist of what happens in The Chaos Of Stars… I’m adding an extra star just for the occasional appearance of the Egyptian mythology elements the story promised.

2. Toxic by Lydia Kang (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 
Even though science fiction isn’t really my genre, it was actually those elements that stood out for me. Especially Cyclo was fascinating, since the ship was almost like another character with its own development, ’emotions’ and flaws. I could have done without the more cliche romance scenes, and I wasn’t a fan of Hana, but overall I really enjoyed my time with Toxic.

3. Gone To Ground by Rachel Amphlett (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 16/09
If you are looking for a detective thriller series that keeps delivering, a plot that will keep you guessing until the very end or simply a very engaging and absorbing read, you will find all those things are covered in every single Detective Kay Hunter book. Gone To Ground is no exception and has exactly the same high quality I have become used to. I liked spending more time with my favorite team and while the case they investigate took some time to start rolling, the ending left me completely shocked. I definitely didn’t see that coming! Yet another detective thriller winner and without doubt worth the read.

4. Bang by Barry Lyga (3/5 stars) REVIEW 17/09
I have been meaning to pick up another of Barry Lyga‘s books for ages. The Jasper Dent series is one of my absolute favorites and I had high hopes for Bang, but sadly it wasn’t as good as I hoped. The topic itself is really important, but I felt it was pushed mostly into the background as there was more focus on the whole pizza baking and contemporary romance in general. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, since I’m a huge foodie myself, but the story fell rather flat for me.

5. Hero At The Fall by Alwyn Hamilton (3/5 stars) REVIEW 20/09
This was one of my most anticipated releases, as I loved the first two books and was dying to find out how things would end. It might have been that it has been too long since I read the first two books and didn’t remember all the details, but the fact is that I can’t say I actually enjoyed Hero At The Fall. Amani really annoyed me, with her whole ‘I’m not worthy’ and negative attitude in general. I admire the author for not being afraid to kill of characters George R.R. Martin style, but I do feel some of the deaths were unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the plot. The plot and pace itself were rather slow, and overall I had a hard time keeping myself invested into the story. Such a shame the series had to end this way for me!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m going to pick up The Ballroom by Anna Hope next as I’m trying to pass all Hogwarts subjects with at least an Acceptable grade… Afterwards I’ll probably read The Shattered Mountain by Rae Carson first since it’s a novella. Then comes Lies Between Us by Ronnie Turner, which I have been really excited about. I also plan to read Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman soon.


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Friday Finds #122 – February 24th

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FRIDAY FINDS 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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Friday Finds #91 – June 17th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Babs Book Bistro 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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BOOK REVIEW: Blood Of My Blood – by Barry Lyga

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Title: Blood Of My Blood
(Jasper Dent #3)
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA, Thriller, Horror
First published: September 9th 2014
Finished reading: August 7th 2015
Pages: 464
Rating 5

“He wasn’t just dead; he was severely dead. He was one of the deadest people Hughes had ever seen, and Hughes had seen quite a few.”

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I think most people have realized by now how much I love the Jasper Dent series. The third and final book of the trilogy isn’t an exception. Game ended with a huge cliffhanger and therefore Blood Of My Blood has a fast pace from the beginning. Barry Lyga writes in a way that makes it almost impossible to stop reading and I literally finished this last book in less than 24 hours. The prose, characters, plot… Everything is simply brilliant. And I’m not even talking about the mayor plot twists in Blood Of My Blood! I won’t give away any spoilers, but there were many things I definitely didn’t see coming. The ending was satisfying; although I’m a bit sad I had to say goodbye to some of my newest favorite characters. This series is definitely recommended to those who appreciate a good thriller/horror read!

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

Jazz has been shot in New York while he was hunting the Dog/Hat killer and things are not looking good for him. They left him to die… His girlfriend Connie isn’t much better off in the hands of his serial killer father Billy, and his best friend is currently bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz’ home. Jazz is still determined to stop his murderous father, but how will he be able to get out of this mess? And what about his girlfriend and best friend? It looks like Jazz has more on his plate than he can handle this time…

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Barry Lyga is easily one of my new favorite authors. I have loved every single book of the trilogy and in a way I’m a bit sad it’s over… The main character Jazz simply makes this series into something special. Action and horror are mixed with humor and form the perfect formula for an amazing YA thriller/horror read. I cannot repeat enough how much I loved reading I Hunt Killers, Game and Blood Of My Blood and I would recommend it to everyone who enjoys reading the genre. Warning: this series is highly addictive! 😀

WWW Wednesdays #52 – August 12th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below. This week I’m trying out a slightly different format! 😀

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I started Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas on a whim yesterday because I wasn’t happy with my other current reads. So far I’m definitely enjoying it better than the rest of the titles… It’s actually the second time I’ve started The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, and somehow I cannot seem to get a proper feel for the story. It’s not that I don’t like it, so maybe I’m just not in the mood for it right now. I’ve also started The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, a book I’ve been wanting to read for ages. I’m not sure what to think of the prose, but the plot is interesting so far. And as far as The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt goes… No progress at all this week. I really have to stop starting new books and read at least a few chapters! Currently I’ve only read about a third and I really want to finish it this month.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

recentreadsaugust12th2015 I managed to read no less than 6! books since my last WWW post. I guess the fact that it has been raining for about every day means I have been having a lot of free time to read…
I first finished Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, a ‘heavy’ read with a very original dialogue between the main character and the girl on the tapes.
I then couldn’t resist any longer and read Blood Of My Blood by Barry Lyga. It’s the third book of the Jasper Dent series and I absolutely loved it! So many plot twists, awesome characters and brilliant prose! Barry Lyga is definitely one of my new favorite authors.
I started Seriously Wicked by Tina Connolly on a whim afterwards, looking for a light read. I was mostly disappointed by it; boring characters, mediocre prose and a not so credible plot.
Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan was a lot better, although I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it even better during the Holiday season. But since it was a book club read, I didn’t have much choice picking the date. 😉
I’ve also read The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Finally! I’ve had this one on my TBR for ages… I enjoyed this read, especially the prose, but not as much as some others might have.
The last book I’ve managed to finish this week is You Are My Sunshine by Roberta Kagan. I wanted a proper historical fiction read after being disappointed by Masquerade a while back, but I wasn’t a fan of this novel either. Bland characters, a weak plot and the prose was not so great either. Such a shame, because I normally love WWII historical fiction!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Rarity From The Hollow, an ARC sent by the author Robert Eggleton, next on the list to read as soon as I finish my current reads. I also want to try and read The Death Cure by James Dashner so I can finish one more series (although I have a copy of The Kill Order as well)… And I’m looking forward to start The Martian by Andy Weir soon since I’ve heard great things about it. And I REALLY should read The Kings Of Cool by Don Winslow soon, because it was my TBR jar pick ages ago and I still haven’t picked it up…

Friday Finds #48 – August 7th

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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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BOOK REVIEW: Lucky Day – by Barry Lyga

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Title: Lucky Day
(Jasper Dent #0.1)
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA, Thriller, Horror
First published: April 1st 2014
Finished reading: July 24th 2015
Pages: 100
Rating 3,5

“But you know, sometimes the fight itself is worthwile, even if the prize at the end ain’t.”

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I really loved the first two books in the Jasper Dent series, but I also don’t want the story to be over yet… I decided to read this prequel novella first. Lucky Day is the first and longest out of the four novellas available and quite interesting. It’s not as good as the actual series, but I guess that’s mostly because Jazz is such a key character and the focus in Lucky Day is on Sheriff G. William Tanner. We follow him as he tries to catch the killer of two local girls and you learn a bit more about his character. Billy makes his appearance and you get a better idea how he was able to fool everyone for so long. But it really shows that Barry Lyga hit the jackpot when he created Jazz as his main character; there is a spark missing in this novella that I Hunt Killers and Game do have. Still, it’s an interesting and quick read that will definitely entertain you.

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Lobo’s Nod used to be a real quiet town, but that ended when a local girl went missing. Sheriff G. William Tanner is running for his last reelection and hasn’t been himself after the death of his wife, but he is still determined to find the girl. Then the impossible happens: a dead girl shows up, and it isn’t the missing girl. Tanner is now convinced they are both dead and that they are looking for a murderer that will probably kill again. And a killer that really knows Lobo’s Nod. But can it be really true that the murderer is among those Tanner already knows? The trail has gone cold, but Tanner doesn’t want to give up looking for the killer. Only luck can help him now…

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This prequel novella is all about how Sheriff G. William Tanner was able to catch the infamous serial killer Billy Dent. It’s a quick and entertaining read, but it misses the spark that makes I Hunt Killers and Game so special. I guess that’s mostly because Jazz and his friends are not a part of this novella… Because the prose has the same quality as the actual series. Still, I would definitely recommend this read if you enjoyed the series! It doesn’t really contain spoilers, so it can be read either before or after reading I Hunt Killers.

BOOK REVIEW: Game – by Barry Lyga

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Title: Game
(Jasper Dent #2)
Author: Barry Lyga
Genre: YA, Thriller, Horror
First published: April 16th 2013
Finished reading: July 19th 2015
Pages: 520
Rating 5

“Well, of course it was Billy screwing with his mind. That’s what Billy did. Dear Old Dad had a PhD in mind screwing. The question was, was it just Billy screwing with his mind?”

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How do I even start describing my love for this series?! I almost feel I need to invent a 6 star rating just to express how much I have been enjoying the first two books of the Jasper Dent series. The mystery/thriller/horror genre is one of my favorites and Barry Lyga has moved straight to the list of my favorite authors of that genre. Game is, like I Hunt Killers, simply a masterpiece; disturbing, scary, brilliantly written and it keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. And that ending! I normally don’t like cliffhangers, but in this case the author is forgiven. What a plot twist and a way to end this sequel! The pace is fast and Barry Lyga does a more than excellent job of describing the main character Jazz and his inner conflicts. Growing up with his Dear Old Dad being an infamous serial killer definitely left its mark… But I love how determined he is to fight his destiny and hunt down both his dad and the newest serial killer in town. If you haven’t read this series yet and enjoy the genre: this one is a definite must-read!

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

Jazz thought he was finally free of his serial killer dad Billy back when he was sent to prison four years ago… But Dear Old Dad managed to escape and is haunting his boy yet again. Jazz is desperate to prove he will not follow in his father’s footsteps. When a NY detective asks for his help in the Hat-Dog Killer case, he decides it’s time to do as his new tattoo says and ‘hunt killers’. Not everybody agrees to his presence in New York and it looks like the Hat-Dog Killer wants to play with both him and his girlfriend Connie. And what has his father to do with all of this? Jazz doesn’t think his father can resist his urge to kill for to long…

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I know it looks a lot like I am fangirling all over the place, but this series is just SO good. Game was just as brilliant as the first book, I Hunt Killers, and definitely left me wanting for more. The prose, the setting, the characters, the suspense… Everything  justworks perfectly together. If you add that up with a dose of creepy and even a little humor, you have the ingredients for the perfect YA thriller/horror read. Seriously addicting and without doubt worth reading!

WWW Wednesdays #48 – July 15th

wwwwednesdaysOriginally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

thegoldfinchthe5thwaveI’ve only made little progress on The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt during the last week. I guess it’s mostly because I just haven’t been feeling like reading it and decided to start other books instead… I’m currently reading The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey as well. Finally! I like it so far, although I’m still not completely convinced… Maybe I was expecting too much of it, who knows?

  • What did you recently finish reading?

madeyouuplingerI finally gave in and read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia. I was a bit afraid to read it because of all the hype around this book, but in this case it’s worth it. Such a great read! ❤ I’ve also made a promise to myself that for every new series I want to start I have to read a sequel of a different series first… I decided to read Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and although I liked it slightly better than the first one, I’m still not impressed. I guess it’s too much romance and too little werewolf action for my taste.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

gamemagoniaMasquerade by Kylie Fornasier is still high on my list, mostly because I need it for theWhen Are You Reading? challenge. I might end up reading either Game by Barry Lyga or Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley first though. Game because I really want to know how the story continues and Magonia because it’s The Book Club of the Opinionated Hufflepuffs July read…