YVO’S SHORTIES #159 – The Girl In The Tree (DNF) & The Light Between Oceans

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around an ARC I had to sadly take the decision to DNF quite early on despite being excited to finally read it (The Girl In The Tree) and a backlist title I’ve been meaning to read for ages now and I definitely wish I would have picked up sooner (The Light Between Oceans).


Title: The Girl In The Tree
Author: Şebnem İşigüzel

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
First published: December 2016
Publisher: Amazon Crossing
Finished reading: April 16th 2020
Pages: 360
DNF at 11% (40 pages)
(Originally written in Turkish: ‘Ağaçtaki Kız’)

“Laughter is the wind of the mind and soul – it picks you up and whisks you far away.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Amazon Crossing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


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I was actually really looking forward to The Girl In The Tree, as the blurb sounded intriguing and I always love discovering new international authors. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have the reaction I had when I finally started reading it… But it is what it is I guess. I hate DNFing this early in a story and I feel more than guilty, but I just couldn’t take it anymore… I will keep this DNF review short as I only managed to read 11% (about 40 pages) before I threw in the towel, but I’ll try to explain shortly why I made the difficult decision to DNF this early on.

First of all, I struggled to connect with the writing. And with struggle, I mean REALLY struggling, and I wasn’t able to enjoy it at all. But more importantly, there was no plot whatsoever to speak of and the story seemed more like a collection of brain farts, random thoughts and random facts about characters you don’t know being thrown at you… Mixed in with random pop culture elements including Twilight and (the death of) Amy Whinehouse. I sadly found the whole ordeal to be tasteless, chaotic, confusing and I really couldn’t be bothered wasting more of my time to see if things would improve later on. Oh yes, this story definitely hit a nerve, and not in a good way. Such a shame, because I was actually looking forward to reading this… Don’t give up on The Girl In The Tree on my account though, as it seems like you will either love or hate this story depending on how you react to the writing style. It’s a book of extremes and most certainly not for everyone… And that includes myself sadly.


Title: The Light Between Oceans
Author: M.L. Stedman

Genre: Historical Fiction
First published: July 2012
Publisher: Scribner
Finished reading: April 17th 2020
Pages: 356

“There are times when the ocean is not the ocean – not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only gods can summon.”


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I’ve been meaning to pick up The Light Between Oceans for years now. I’m not sure why it took me this long to actually read it, as I’m a big fan of historical fiction and settings that enable me to travel to places I’ve never been… But what I do know is that I regret not reading this story sooner now. The post WWI setting on a small island near the Australian coast, the lighthouse keeper element, the strong presence of the ocean… These elements really gave The Light Between Oceans a more than solid base to build the rest of the story around, and especially the Janus Rock setting and lighthouse references made the story stand out for me. The main focus of the story is on family life, both grief and struggles related to multiple miscarriages and the arrival of the ‘mystery’ baby on the small island and its consequences for the future. It was interesting to follow both Tom and Isabel as they try to overcome the struggles life keeps throwing at them… And although I don’t agree with some decisions and certain behavior, I still had a great time reading about both their lives. The Light Between Oceans is a mostly character driven book with a fascinating setting that gives the story the perfect backdrop to develop both plot and characters. And while there were certain elements/details especially in the second half that started to irk me, I still ended up really enjoying my time with this historical fiction read.


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WWW Wednesdays #265 – April 22nd

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?

It’s another dose of contemporary for me right now with From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon. I’ve been meaning to try more of her books for a while now! I’m also starting blog tour read The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir, which I’ve been looking forward to.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan (3/5 stars) REVIEW 24/04
Things started out great (and also a lot darker than expected) and there were a lot of things I did love in One Summer In Paris, including the Paris setting and the dynamics and growing relationship between Grace and Audrey as well as the bookshop, French language learning, explaining of dyslexia and alcoholic parents past and even Audrey romance with Etienne. BUT. I absolutely hate it when the cheating/affair element plays a big role in a story.

2. The Girl In The Tree by Sebnem Isiguzel (DNF 11%; 0 stars) DNF REVIEW 28/04
I was actually really looking forward to The Girl In The Tree, as the blurb sounded intriguing and I always love discovering new international authors. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have the reaction I had when I finally started reading it… But it is what it is I guess. I hate DNFing this early in a story and I feel more than guilty, but I just couldn’t take it anymore… More about the reasons why I decided to DNF this early in the upcoming DNF shorties review.

3. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 28/04
I’ve been meaning to pick up The Light Between Oceans for years now. I’m not sure why it took me this long to actually read it, as I’m a big fan of historical fiction and settings that enable me to travel to places I’ve never been… But what I do know is that I regret not reading this story sooner now. The Light Between Oceans is a mostly character driven book with a fascinating setting that gives the story the perfect backdrop to develop both plot and characters. And while there were certain elements/details especially in the second half that started to irk me, I still ended up really enjoying my time with this historical fiction read.

4. Little Whispers by K.L. Slater (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 07/05
K.L. Slater‘s psychological thrillers are must-reads for me, so having the chance to read two new titles in the same month is definitely a huge bonus. As always the writing is solid and it is without doubt an entertaining read, although I did feel the spark was a bit missing in Little Whispers… Or it might just be that these kind of domestic psychological thrillers are not a good match for me right now.

5. Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez (4/5 stars) REVIEW 03/05
I admit that it was coverlove at first sight when I first heard about this book, but as soon as I read the blurb I was fully convinced that this story would be for me. I love it when stories incorporate foreign cultures and Woven In Moonlight is filled with Bolivian culture and folklore… It’s a story that mixes real life elements with fantasy and I especially loved the magic incorporated into the story. Another bonus: the dose of romance is pretty mild!

6. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 30/04
Holy guacamole, what did I just read?! So dark, so twisted, and oh so glorious! I’m a big fan of John Marrs‘ writing and his newest title definitely didn’t disappoint. I have to admit that I saw some of the plot twists coming very early on, but I was too busy devouring this story to really care. What Lies Between Us is a dark dark and oh so disturbing psychological thriller, but apparently just what I needed right now.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I’m taking a little break from ARCs next to focus on my backlist titles again… First up are The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide, Pet Sematary by Stephen King and The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood depending on what I’m in the mood for. My newest TBR jar pick is also up soon: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.


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WWW Wednesdays #264 – April 15th

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 been craving more contemporary reads, and I’m currently reading One Summer In Paris by Sarah Morgan even though it’s probably not something I would normally read. We’ll see how things go! I’m also starting my final pending April ARC: The Girl In The Tree by Sebnem Isiguzel.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Sign Of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle (4/5 stars) NO REVIEW
I won’t be writing a full review for this one, but I really enjoyed meeting up with Sherlock Holmes and Watson again. I still can’t believe I’ve never read the original series before! The Sign Of Four was short, but sweet and highly entertaining.

2. The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick (4/5 stars) REVIEW 21/04
The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper is a proper feel-good story and tearjerker in one, and without doubt the exact right read I needed in these strange times. The writing is wonderful and makes it really easy to keep turning those pages… I finished The Curious Charms Of Arthur Pepper in no time at all.

3. The Apartment by K.L. Slater (4/5 stars) REVIEW 20/04
Those who have read a K.L. Slater psychological thriller before will know that it is best to clear your schedule before you start reading one of her stories, because once you have read the first couple of chapters you won’t be able to stop. Her writing is engaging and highly addictive; one moment you sit down to start a new story, and the next suddenly hours have passed and you find yourself staring at that final page. The Apartment is no exception, and another excellently written, suspenseful and highly addicting read.

4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting (2/5 stars) REVIEW 21/04
I was looking for a cute contemporary romance read to distract myself, and as soon as I saw Meet Cute I thought I had hit the jackpot. I was willing to forgive the sexy part as I really needed a romantic comedy in my life… But I guess the cover was completely false advertisement, as Meet Cute is mostly a considerably dark and depressing contemporary read which deals alternately with grief after the death of both parents in an accident and with a whole bunch of sexy scenes and cringeworthy ‘enemy to lover‘ trope cliches.

5. The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott (4,5/5 stars) BLOG TOURREVIEW 25/04
Look out for my review during my stop of the blog tour!

6. VOX by Christina Dalcher (3/5 stars) REVIEW 24/04
I’ve been meaning to read VOX for a long time now, and I was really curious to see how I would react to this story as I’ve seen mixed reviews. When I started reading I thought I was going to love this story as the writing was spot on for me and I have actually studied Wernicke’s aphasia as part of my Spanish philology degree… But sadly there were too many things that infuriated me, and that includes the love triangle and animal tests.

7. Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee (3/5 stars) REVIEW 27/04
I’ve seen this story mentioned in the past and couldn’t resist getting an ARC when I saw it on Netgalley… While I did like the writing, I found the actual story to be rather lacking, as there was no true plot to speak of and the characters were quite unlikeable. The idea of the curse is intriguing and I really wish both characters and the plot would have been more fleshed out. Beautiful writing did not make up for the fact that the story itself lacked development in both those areas… And the ending itself was quite unsatisfying as well.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I have two last Magical Readathon books and exams left pending: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman and Woven In Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez. I might throw in another contemporary after that, but if I’m in the mood for more thrillers I will probably pick up my next pending ARC The Creak On The Stairs by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir. I also finally have a new TBR jar pick: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. I’ve been wanting to read that one for a long time, so I’ll be looking forward to finally do so.


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Friday Finds #21 – January 30th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during, in this case, the last three weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. I’ve been away on vacation and I admit I haven’t had that much time to browse for new books… Plus, I’m technically on a book buying ban so that doesn’t help either. 😉  I still found some interesting titles though, but before I continue first some happy kitty news! My cat Jazmin turned out to be pregnant AGAIN and two days ago four lovely kittens were born! ❤ The funny thing is that she’s all white and the four kittens all have different colors… I’m considering keeping the black one if it’s a male; the tip of its tail is white, too cute! 😀

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On to my finds:

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