Friday Finds #114 – December 30th

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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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BOOK REVIEW: Vanishing Girls – by Lauren Oliver

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Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA, Mystery, Comtemporary
First published: March 10th 2015
Finished reading: October 30th 2015
Pages: 368
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“Sometimes day and night reverse. Sometimes up goes down and down goes up, and love turns into hate, and the things you counted on get washed out from under your feet, leaving you pedaling in the air.”

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I probably should have known that I wouldn’t be blown away by Vanishing Girls after I saw that it was being compared to We Were Liars. I read that one earlier this year and it turned out to be a huge disappointment, and I cannot say I loved this novel by Lauren Oliver either. It’s not that Vanishing Girls is a terrible read and maybe it’s just that I’ve read too many similar stories, because the whole unreliable narrator strategy just gets a bit old. Sure, I liked the Fanland setting, but the plot twists weren’t exactly original. It was also quite easy to guess how the story would end and that kind of ruined the story for me. The characters felt real, but weren’t exactly likeable… And the whole love triangle just got on my nerves. The prose wasn’t always convincing either, but I do admit was quite a quick read and entertaining enough if you like YA contempory novels and don’t mind a not so original plot/ending.

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The two sisters Dara and Nick used to do everything together, but that was before the accident that left Dara scarred for life. Both sisters have trouble coping with the aftermath of the accident and the once popular Dara doesn’t want to be around people anymore. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks she just didn’t show up at her own birthday dinner to punish Nick… But it turns out there is a lot more going on as the nine-year-old Madeline Snow disappears as well. Nick starts to believe the two disappearances are connected and she is determined to find her sister before it’s too late. Will she be able to unravel the mystery and find Dara on time?

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I liked the Fanland setting; it reminded me of Joyland I read earlier this year. I don’t mind an unreliable narrator in stories, but lately so many novels with the same method have been published that it has lost its originality. The ending is quite a disappointment; you will most likely guess what will happen before you’re halfway done with Vanishing Girls. Still, it’s a quick and mostly entertaining read if you can forget about the unlikeable characters and plot twists.

WWW Wednesdays #63 – November 4th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’m about 60% into The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle and while it’s not a mindblowing read, the general plot is interesting enough for me to keep reading. I will probably end up finishing it later today… I still haven’t continued with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; not because I’m not enjoying it, but there are a few other books I want to finish first before fully commiting to this giant.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books and a novella this week; not bad at all…
* The first is The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings; an excellent prequel novella that gives the perfect introduction to the story and will convince you to read the rest of the series.
* Next up is Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, a novel that kept popping up at my TBR lists and finally decided to pick up. Not a bad read, but I wasn’t overwhelmed by it either…
* I then decided to read The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey since it was the last title on my October TBR I hadn’t started yet. I know other people love this series, but I wasn’t convinced by the sequel either.
* After two mediocre reads, I wanted something good and decided to pick up the Anna sequel Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake. While not as good as the first book, this one is still really good!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish The Valentine Circle, I will either start Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo or Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. Basically I’m superexcited to read both and I will be having a hard time deciding which one to pick up first. I also want to read Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling since it’s nominated for the Goodreads Choice awards… And my new TBR jar pick is Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

WWW Wednesdays #62 – October 28th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, although it’s still too early to say if I like it better than the first one. I’ve also started the prequel novella The Fear Trials by Lindsey Cummings… I’m going to try and finish this series ASAP. And I’ve put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold until November because there is no way I will be able to finish it before the end of the month anyway. It’s not that I don’t like it so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I didn’t have that much time to read last week and I was also quite distracted by my new food blog Easy Peasy Delicious Food, so I only managed to finish three books.
* The first is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, a read I really enjoyed and I will be reading the sequel soon as well.
* Next up was Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, a very entertaining and well written read.
* Last but not least: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Quite a short read, but not as good as I hoped for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to read Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake… I loved the first book and reading this one also means I will finish another series. Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender… I should also read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver since it has been appearing on my monthly TBR and WWW posts for ages. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until the month is over.

WWW Wednesdays #58 – September 30th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I’ve started both my current reads yesterday evening… The first is an ARC: Americosis Vol. 2 by Haydn Wilks. Since it’s a short story I will most likely finish it later today. The second is The Kill Order by James Dashner. I’m not exactly a big fan of the rest of the series (especially the last book was a mayor disappointment), but since people keep saying this one is actually better than the main series I decided to start it anyway. So far it’s quite a fast read.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I actually finished Queen Of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas before my failed trip, but I decided to count it anyway. I loved this fourth book of the Throne Of Glass series and I will be waiting impatiently for the next book… Although I’m grateful the ending wasn’t the mayor cliffhanger I was expecting. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski turned out to be a disappointment though. It had a really slow pace and I had the feeling the story could have been told with less pages. Most of the plot was quite cliche or at least predictable and I’m not sure I like the characters or prose for that matter. More of my complaints in the full review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have Firebolt by Adrienne Woods, an ARC, lined up as one of my next reads. I might read And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini or Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver first though, depending on what genre I’m in the mood for when I finish my current reads. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is my newest TBR jar pick; a title I have been wanting to read for ages now and can’t wait to start soon!