YVO’S SHORTIES #156 – Where She Went & Living Dead In Dallas

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around a romance binge, one contemporary and one a fantasy read. It turned out to be a hit and miss round: I really enjoyed my time with Where She Went, while I was completely put off by the series after reading Sookie Stackhouse sequel Living Dead In Dallas.


Title: Where She Went
(If I Stay #2)
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 5th 2011
Publisher: Speak
Finished reading: April 2nd 2020
Pages: 297

“I find the need to remind myself of the temporariness of a day, to reassure myself that I got through yesterday, I’ll get through today.”

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After taking years to finally pick up my copy of If I Stay, I decided to read the second book as soon as possible so I won’t forget about the details in the first. And as I was craving a contemporary, Where She Went seemed like the perfect fit for me… I’ve heard people saying that they enjoyed the sequel better than the first book, and I’m definitely joining that group now. While I liked the first book and was especially intrigued by the whole POV from an unconscious character, there was just something about Where She Went that made me enjoy Adam and Mia’s story even more. This time around we see things from Adam’s eyes, and the story takes place three years after the first book ends. Once again I loved just how big of a role music plays in the story. Not only are both main characters successful musicians, but we also get little quotes of Adam’s songs he wrote for Shooting Star’s first big album… Quotes that help show us the effects of what happened in the first book on his life, but also were a nice little touch to give the story that little something extra. I really liked the direction the story decided to take, and the ending was just right for me. If you enjoy a good contemporary romance with sad and happy moments alike, this duology is a great choice. You can technically read Where She Went as a stand-alone as well, although you will be missing out on character background and you might not fully understand their dynamics…


Title: Living Dead In Dallas
(Sookie Stackhouse #2)

Author: Charlaine Harris
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
First published: March 26th 2002
Publisher: Ace
Finished reading: April 4th 2020
Pages: 289


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Wait, a vampire book on It’s All About Books?!?! Don’t worry, I’m still very much allergic to vampires, and I won’t be reading another one any time soon… I’ve learned from my mistakes. It’s just that somehow I actually really enjoyed the episodes I’ve seen of True Blood years ago and I remembered enjoying the first book back when I read it, so I had high hopes for the sequel as well. I guess I should have known… Sadly, the TV series is in this case so much better than the book! Apart from the almost continuous sex scenes (yuk!), I really couldn’t stand Sookie or Bill. Sookie comes over as arrogant, self absorbed, sex addicted and just oh so full of herself… The constant references to her big boobs and curvy body being irresistible made me gag and the fact she was constantly thinking about sex did the same. What happened to the more innocent and tolerable Sookie in book one? TV Sookie definitely didn’t come over this way… And Bill: I like him in the TV series, but he is one arrogant and inconsiderate bastard in the book. The plot itself wasn’t too much to talk about either… I think I’m just going to leave this series be in the future.


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YVO’S SHORTIES #153 – I’ll Be Gone In The Dark & If I Stay

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two backlist titles with a completely different target group and genre, but both I’ve been meaning to read for a while and both were stories I ended up enjoying. The true crime title I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.


Title: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark
Author: Michelle McNamara

Genre: Non Fiction, True Crime
First published: February 27th 2018
Publisher: Harper
Finished reading: February 25th 2020
Pages: 340

“If you commit murder and then vanish, what you leave behind isn’t just pain but absence, a supreme blankness that triumphs over everything else.”


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True crime has always intrigued me, so I’m not sure why I don’t pick it up more often… I’ve been meaning to read I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara ever since it was first published two years ago, but somehow I just never got to it. I’m happy I finally did pick it up though. I confess I hadn’t heard of the Golden State Killer before, so this book was a true goldmine filled to the brim with information about his crimes and the investigation as it evolved both back in the 1970s and 1980s when they were first investigated as well as the cold case investigation in the 21st century with the help of DNA tests. True crime journalist Michelle McNamara played a big role in the investigation around the identity behind the Golden State Killer and it is sad that her untimely death ment she wasn’t able to see the guy finally get caught in 2018… Still, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark shows just how talented and determined the author was in her investigation and I can imagine just how big of a help she was in uncovering the truth after all that time. The details of the Golden State Killer crimes, both the rapes, home invasions and the murders, are pretty brutal and it’s hard to believe that with so many victims and attacks he was still able to escape justice for this long… I’ll Be Gone In The Dark doesn’t sugarcoat the graphic and gruesome facts, and definitely makes you glad you weren’t living in the areas mentioned back then… Or at least rethink about how terrifying the knowledge that someone dangerous is prowling close to where you live is, and how difficult it would be to defend yourself if he suddenly shows up in your bedroom that way. Definitely not a read for those with a weak stomach, but more than recommended if you are a true crime fan!


Title: If I Stay
(If I Stay #1)
Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: April 2nd 2009
Publisher: Speak
Finished reading: March 3rd 2020
Pages: 196

“He got it before I did. If I stay. If I live. It’s up to me.”


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I’m probably the last person on the planet to read this one! I’ve been meaning to try If I Stay for years now, but to be honest I wasn’t so sure if this story would be for me… I was afraid it was going to be too sappy and cliche for me, and that the hype around it simply wasn’t worth it. I confess I kept my expectations low, and the unexpected happened: I ended up being so much more invested in this story about Mia and Adam than I thought I would be! While I do feel part of the plot is a bit cliche, and especially the flashbacks can be a bit slow, there were also other elements I really loved. The most important of them being just how important music is throughout the story. Both the classical cello and the rock guitar come together beautifully and also represent the different characters in play in If I Stay… Somehow I ended up rooting for Mia and Adam despite the cliches, and I loved the fact that we saw the present story progress from the point of view of Mia’s unconscious self. Definitely an unique angle! The story introduces questions about life and death and it was intriguing to see Mia struggle to decide whether to stay or let go after this tragedy… Cliches and sometimes slow pace aside, I had a great time reading If I Stay and I might even have almost shed a tear or two at some point.


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WWW Wednesdays #258 – March 4th

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 finally started my Spanish reread of the seventh and final Harry Potter book: Harry Potter Y Las Reliquias De La Muerte. Way overdue! I’m planning on reading a chapter or two each day in between other reads if I have the time… I always love revisiting this series. ❤ I’m also finally reading Strangers by C.L. Taylor, a most anticipated read I’ve been really excited to pick up. I’m having a feeling I will finish it in no time at all depending on how much time I have to read today, and afterwards I’ll start straight away with The Body In The Garden by Katharine Schellman, which I’ve heard good things about.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Blue Night by Simone Buchholz (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/03
It took me a while to get used to the short and snappy writing style, and I also had a hard time figuring out who was who in the beginning. The flashback chapters were especially confusing at first, as you have no background as to who is who and how they all fit together. I honestly wasn’t sure if this story would be for me… BUT. Somehow, after I decided to take a little break and continue with fresh eyes, I started to warm up to Blue Night. Once I got the hang of both the writing style and the different characters in play, I was hooked. Or more than hooked; I literally devoured the pages, hungry for more.

2. Beton Rouge by Simone Buchholz (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 06/03
While it took me some time to get used to the writing and characters in Blue Night, I had no such problem with Beton Rouge. I was fully hooked as soon as I read the first chapter, and the same short and snappy chapters kept me turning those pages like there was no tomorrow. Beton Rouge is a lot more ‘readable’ and easier to follow for those without a proper background of the main characters, and the case Chas finds herself involved in is without intriguing. Her character is simply brilliant and I can’t wait to discover what happens in the next book.

3. Deadly Waters by OMJ Ryan (4/5 stars) BLOG TOUR REVIEW 14/03
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 09/03
I’m probably the last person on the planet to read this one! I’ve been meaning to try If I Stay for years now, but to be honest I wasn’t so sure if this story would be for me… I was afraid it was going to be too sappy and cliche for me, and that the hype around it simply wasn’t worth it. I confess I kept my expectations low, and the unexpected happened: I ended up being so much more invested in this story about Mia and Adam than I thought I would be!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

With a possible trip happening in the second half of March, I’m planning on reading as much ARCs as possible in the first half so I hopefully won’t miss any deadline. First up is blog tour title Mexico Street by Simone Buchholz, which I’m really excited about after Beton Rouge. Then I’ll probably read The Secret Admirer by Carol Wyer first to give me a little time to get that blog tour review ready… Followed immediately by Deep Dark Night by Steph Broadribb, which is my final blog tour this month. I can’t wait to meet up with Lori again!! ❤ #TeamLori My latest TBR jar pick is still The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani & Mindi Scott, which I’ll probably try to read soon as a little break in between all those thriller ARCs.


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Top Ten Tuesday #5 – August 12th: To Read Or Not To Read?

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The Broke And The Bookish presents us every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday it’s time to post my Top Ten To Read Or Not To Read! It’s all about those books I thought I would love when I first heard about them, but now I’m not so sure I would like anymore… They are listed below in no particular order and with short descriptions copied from Goodreads:

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  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart: “We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret…”
    # There has been quite a hype around this book, and after reading mixed reviews, I’m not so sure anymore if I would enjoy it.
  • The Scorch Trials by James Dashner: “The Gladers have two weeks to cross through the Scorch—the most burned-out section of the world. And WICKED has made sure to adjust the variables and stack the odds against them.Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken. All bets are off.”
    # Before starting The Maze Runner, I thought I would love the series and got the three books together. Now I’m not sure if I want to continue reading the series after a disappointing first part.
  • The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu: “In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students—the girl who has the infamous party, the car accident survivor, the former best friend, and the boy next door—tell all they know. But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there’s only one person to ask: Alice herself.”
    # I’ve read mixed reviews about this book, and The Truth About Alice have moved down my TBR list quite a bit…
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman: “Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.”
    # Another hyped book I’m not too sure whether it’s worth reading still.

 

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  • Allegiant by Veronica Roth: “Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.”
    # I loved the first book, was disappointed by the sequel, and now I don’t know whether to read the final part of the Divergent trilogy.
  • Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins: “Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test.”
    # When I first got Sweet Evil, I thought I would love it, but now I’m having doubts.
  • Silence by Michelle Sagara: “For Emma, life had stopped with Nathan’s death.  But tonight was different.  Tonight Emma and her dog were not alone in the cemetery.”
    # Same as with Sweet Evil, I’m not too sure about my choice of Silence anymore.

 

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  • Bumped by Megan McCafferty: “When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society. A strikingly original look at friendship, love, and sisterhood—in a future that is eerily believable.”
    # I mainly wanted to read this because it sounded similar to Brave New World (Which I loved), but I’m not sure if it’s a book I would enjoy anymore.
  • Utopia by Thomas More: “Through the voice of the mysterious traveler Raphael Hythloday, More describes a pagan, communist city-state governed by reason. Addressing such issues as religious pluralism, women’s rights, state-sponsored education, colonialism, and justified warfare, Utopia seems remarkably contemporary nearly five centuries after it was written.”
    # I got this book as part of my classics haul, but I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to read this classic any time soon.
  • Purity Of Blood by Arturo Perez-Reverte: “The fearless Alatriste is hired to infiltrate a convent and rescue a young girl forced to serve as a powerful priest’s concubine. The girl’s father is barred from legal recourse as the priest threatens to reveal that the man’s family is “not of pure blood” and is, in fact, of Jewish descent—which will all but destroy the family name.”
    # I got this book a long time ago since I’ve enjoyed other books of this author before, but somehow I just cannot get into the story. I’ve actually picked up and abandoned Purity Of Blood twice before already… (I’m reading it in Spanish by the way.)

Friday Finds #2 – June 20th

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Originally featured at Should Be Reading FRIDAY FINDS showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered this week and added to my readinglist. I’m an ‘adding junkie’ and my TBR list at Goodreads is already exploding, but I still love to find new potential treasures. Below a selection of my newest finds; what about yours? Any interesting new books you’ve found lately?

My finds:

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