YVO’S SHORTIES #23: Salt To The Sea & Ready Player One

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two titles I’ve been meaning to read for ages and that both turned out to be excellent reads. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline… Popular hyped books that actually lived up to the hype and without doubt worth reading!


Title: Salt To The Sea
Author: Ruta Sepetys

Genre: YA, Historical Fiction
First published: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Philomel Books
Finished reading: March 27th 2018
Pages: 393

“War had bled color from everything, leaving nothing but a storm of gray.”


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I’ve been wanting to read this novel for a long time now, probably ever since I first heard about it. I’ve become a fan of Ruta Sepetys‘ writing after reading Between Shades Of Gray and Out Of The Easy; both because of the fantastic writing and well researched and detailed historical settings and descriptions. Salt To The Sea without doubt fits all these points above. I have a weak spot for WWII historical fiction in general and I hadn’t heard about the Wilhelm Gustloff incident before, so that was a double bonus for me. It truly shows in the little details just how well researched this novel is and the descriptions made it feel as if you were there yourself along with the characters. The plot is an interesting one and shows just how difficult it was to find your way to safety close to the end of the war. I admit it took me a while to get used to the multiple POVs and remembering who is who, which slowed down the pace inicially, but each different character and POV does show a different view on the situation and add something to the story. I was a bit annoyed by Alfred, who I didn’t like at all and I wasn’t sure about the particular style of his chapters. But the rest of the characters were interesting and I liked how the different styles used in each POV showed their different personalities. There is even some sort of interaction between the POVs and sometimes different characters tell their personal experience of the same event… Adding power to what was happening to them. Salt To The Sea is without doubt a very strong historical fiction read that shines the light on an event that is not all that well known. It’s not my favorite Ruta Sepetys novel, but without doubt worth reading.


Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia
First published: August 16th 2011
Publisher: Broadway Books
Finished reading: March 31st 2018
Pages: 386

“I felt like a kid standing in the world’s greatest video arcade without any quarters, unable to do anything but walk around and watch the other kids play.”


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I have been meaning to read this one for years (and that is without exaggerating). Somehow, the enormous hype around Ready Player One made me a bit afraid to actually pick it up, especially considering my complicated relationship with hyped books in the first place. I finally read Armada first last year, and I can’t say I was that impressed by it… But since people kept telling me that Ready Player One was so much better, I was determined to give it a go one day. And I’m glad I finally did do so, because I loved it so much better than I thought I would! Science fiction can go both ways for me, but as a (former) gamer myself I just loved the general worldbuilding and many many game references… The 80s references didn’t hit home, but that is mostly because I was too young to actually remember that time in the first place. And from what I could see, everything was well researched. Ready Player One is set in the future, and a dystopian future at that. A very interesting backdrop for this story and very well developed! The worldbuilding wasn’t the only thing that worked well for me. I also really enjoyed the writing style itself and of course the plot, which both made me want to keep on reading to find out what would happen next. The characters are well developed and easy to like, and I could also appreciate the fact we get to see both the online side and the ‘real’ side of the main characters involved. All in all a superentertaining and well written sci-fi and gaming adventure I can recommend to fans of the genre.


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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…