YVO’S SHORTIES #13: The Ends Of The World & The Hating Game


Ready for another round of Yvo’s Shorties? This time around I will be reviewing two books I actually read this year. Shocking, I know haha. Both are Beat The Backlist books and titles I’ve been meaning to read for a while… The first to finish a series: The Ends Of The World by Maggie Hall. The second from a genre I normally tend to stay away from, but ended up being a more than pleasant surprise: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.


Title: The Ends Of The World
(The Conspiracy Of Us #3)
Author: Maggie Hall

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
First published: July 18th 2017
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books For Young Readers
Finished reading: January 10th 2018
Pages: 320

“You’re a survivor. I’d never wish it on anyone, but you’re just like the rest of us now. Welcome to the world’s worst club.”


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I picked up this title as part of my goal to finish more series this year. I really enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy so I was looking forward to it, but unfortunately the third and final book The Ends Of The World ended up disappointing me. Why? First of all, I found there was way too much focus on the romance, significantly more than in the previous books and this took away a lot of the magic of this series. Sappy romance scenes, cliches, love triangle, you name it; this third book is coated with it and I wasn’t happy with that development. Especially since I enjoyed the first books a LOT. The spark that put this series on my radar in the first place was definitely missing in The Ends Of The World and I found there was too much focus on the political side rather than the mystery and conspiracy. The international settings saved this final book for me somewhat, but  all in all not the thrilling and explosive ending I was expecting.


Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne

Genre: Contemporary, Romance
First published: August 9th 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Finished reading: January 12th 2018
Pages: 387

“Both love and hate are mirror versions of the same game – and you have to win. Why? Your heart and your ego. Trust me, I should know.”


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Spoiler alert: I usually don’t like the romance genre, especially if it involves sexy scenes and love triangles. Was I afraid to go against my instinct and pick up The Hating Game? Hell yeah, but sometimes you just have to think outside the box, jump right in and live a little. Right? And I guess my jump into the unknown has turned out to be a right bet this time. Oh yes, I definitely understand why so many people love this book now. Because even though I’m not into romance and hate both sexy scenes and love triangles, Sally Thorne made me completely forget about that and I had a blast reading this one. Even though there are a lot of cliches in this book and the whole ‘gorgeous, gorgeous, I’m drooling’ thing can get annoying, somehow the dynamics worked and resulted in a highly entertaining read. It’s a miracle, but I here’s the proof I can actually enjoy a sexy romance read. Shocking, I know.


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WWW Wednesdays #159 – January 17th

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 almost finished with The Silent Girls by Dylan Young, which is turning out to be a really good start of a new detective series. I’m about to start The New Hunger by Isaac Marion as well, a Warm Bodies novella I’ve been meaning to read for a while. I still have to get a copy of the sequel; hopefully some time this year… I’m not a big zombie fan, but I remember enjoying the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. The Ends Of The World by Maggie Hall (3/5 stars) REVIEW 27/01
I picked up this title as part of my goal to finish more series this year… I really enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy so I was looking forward to it, but unfortunately The Ends Of The World ended up disappointing me. Too much focus on the romance and political background and the spark of the previous books was completely missing. The international settings saved this final book for me, but all in all not the thrilling ending I was expecting.

2. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne (4/5 stars) REVIEW 27/01
Oh yes, I definitely know why so many people love this book now. Because even though I’m not into romance and hate both sexy scenes and love triangles, Sally Thorne made me completely forget about that and I had a blast reading this one. Even though there are a lot of cliches in this book and the whole ‘gorgeous, gorgeous, I’m drooling’ thing can get annoying, somehow the dynamics worked and resulted in a highly entertaining read.

3. Deep Blue Trouble by Steph Broadribb (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 22/01
I messed up and didn’t realise this was actually a sequel, but besides a few confusing first pages it wasn’t that hard to follow the story without the background info. This was one firecracker of a thriller and such a good read! I loved the bounty hunter angle and both the writing and plot are excellent. Highly recommended for sure.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

I did it again, misbehaved and requested another Bookouture thriller… And since the publish date is today, I want to read Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan ASAP. As part of the whole finishing my series goal, I’m probably picking up The Last Star by Rick Yancey afterwards even though I’m not a big fan of the first two books… I want to read The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater for the same reason, but I might wait a little until I have time to binge-read all three books since I have a few other titles I want to get to as well. My latest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


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WWW Wednesdays #158 – January 10th

WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

It’s been a while since I last did one of these! Three months to be exact… Oops? This time around it’s all about the books I’ve been reading so far in 2018; next week will be back to normal. (Hopefully)

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m almost finished with The Ends Of The World by Maggie Hall, which will be the first series I will be able to finish this year. I loved the first two books of the series, but I’m kind of struggling with the final one… I’m just not feeling it, there is way too much politics involved and I can’t find the same magic of the first two books. It might just have been me, but definitely not the experience I was expecting. I’m dying to read The Hating Game by Sally Thorne though, which I’ve sampled already and sounds like a winner.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 11/01
I already had a feeling this was going to be good, but I honestly couldn’t have wished for a better book to start the reading year with. Keep Her Safe was one heck of a thriller with so many intense moments I found it impossible to stop reading. I practically devoured this story and its many plot twists and the final part of Keep Her Safe definitely had some jaw droppingly fierce moments. A trigger warning for those if extreme and violent scenes aren’t your thing! Otherwise, I can highly recommend this thriller.

2. Life In Outer Space by Melissa Keil (3/5 stars) REVIEW 18/01
I love my geeky/nerdy reads and I was so sure I was going to enjoy this one… But I guess it just wasn’t ment to be. Basically I feel this book is trying too hard. The geeky/nerdy elements felt forced and unnatural and I wasn’t a fan of the characters either… And there were a LOT of high school cliches involved.

3. Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany (3/5 stars) REVIEW
I had high hopes for Her Last Lie, but unfortunately I can say that only the last part of this story actually lived up to expectations. The writing is good, the premise is promising and the ending is surprisingly strong. There were a few plot twists I didn’t see coming either, and I loved the travel elements. That said, I found there was too much focus on the romantic relationships of the main character, I found the cheating/love triangle highly annoying and the main character itself very unlikeable. My feelings for this book are basically all over the place, because while I felt a strong dislike for the story during most of Her Last Lie, I absolutely loved the final part (starting with the Northern Lights scene). It’s hard to wrap my head around these feelings, but I do admit these positive feelings sure took their time making an appearance. Fans of slower paced psychological thrillers with a romantic focus might enjoy this one a lot better though. Just don’t expect a lot of suspense and excitement until the very end.

4. The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/01
I was intrigued as soon as I started reading The Bunker Diary and this is both an addictive, shocking, thought-provoking and emotional read. I sure wish I would have picked it up sooner! The writing is interesting and we learn about what is happening through the diary of the main character. Not only tells us about the events in the bunker, but it also shows the mental state of the character as well as how the things that happen have their effect. It’s hard to talk properly about this story without giving away too much, but The Bunker Diary will crush your heart, make you stare at the final page and at loss for words. A trigger warning for some graphic descriptions, but all in all I can really recommend reading this story. It definitely blew me away.

5. The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (4/5 stars) REVIEW 13/01
I have a weak spot for WWII historical fiction, so I just had to request a copy of this title as soon as I heard about it. This book is based on real events and the author has interviewed the main character of this story personally. It gives a remarkable insight in the life at Auschwitz and how the main character manages to survive by having given the task of tattooing the numbers on the arms of the prisoners of Auschwitz. You won’t keep your eyes dry with this one!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

As part of the whole finishing my series goal, I’m probably picking up The Last Star by Rick Yancey next. I’m not a big fan of the trilogy, but since I have already read the first two and have a copy of the last book on my kindle, I’ll give it a go anyway. I also need to read my last pending January ARC The Silent Girls by Dylan Young… And I want to read The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter ASAP as well (although I might pick up another thriller first since it’s a ‘sort of’ ARC?) My newest TBR jar pick is still Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.


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TOP 10 Favorite New Authors Discovered In 2016

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With this year almost coming to an end, I thought it was about time to look back at all those books I’ve read and all those amazing new authors I have discovered in 2016. Some of the authors on this list have published their debut this year, while others have been writing books for years and I’ve only started reading their work recently. But what all have in common is that they have written some pretty darn good books! ❤ ❤


1. VICTORIA (V.E.) SCHWAB

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There is simply no way I can talk about favorite new authors without mentioning this author and her work. I don’t know why I have started reading her books before 2016, but what I do know is that V.E. Schwab is now one of my all time favorite authors. Everything she writes is simply brilliant!! A Darker Shade Of Magic is still my absolute favorite, with This Savage Song coming in a close second. But both A Gathering Of Shadows and Vicious were excellent reads as well. I will be looking forward to the sequels that will be published in 2017!

2. FREDRIK BACKMAN

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Although this Swedish author has been publishing books for years, I’ve only recently found out about his work. Fredrik Backman has been all over the book blog community lately, and his work is worth all the hype around it. I read A Man Called Ove last month and completely fell in love with both the character, the prose and the humor used. Not many authors can make me laugh and cry with the same story, and he is without doubt one of my favorite new discoveries this year.

3. BLAKE CROUCH

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I was vaguely aware of this author and his Wayward Pines series, but with so many other pending series I never actually bought a copy of the first book. But then earlier this year suddenly Dark Matter was literally EVERYWHERE. I admit I don’t read a lot of science fiction; not because I don’t like the genre, but there are other genres I simply like better. But it was really hard to ignore this book after so many recommendations, and Dark Matter is definitely one of those books that is actually worth the hype. It was simply BRILLIANT.

4. SHALINI BOLAND

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I requested a Netgalley copy of The Girl From The Sea a few months back, and it turned out to be one of the best psychological thrillers I was able to read this year. Shalini Boland instantly made it to my new favorite authors list, so I was more than honored when she contacted me with the question if I wanted to read/review her newest book The Best Friend as well. it turned out to be yet another excellent psychological thriller, and I will definitely be looking forward to any new thriller titles.

5. MEGAN MIRANDA

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Megan Miranda is another author that became an instant favorite after reading a Netgalley ARC. All The Missing Girls is without doubt one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read and one I cannot recommend enough. I have just received a copy of The Perfect Stranger as well, which will be published next year, and words cannot describe how excited I am to be reading this book soon! 😀

6. TIFFANY MCDANIEL

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Did I mention already how happy I am that I finally signed up for Netgalley this year?! TIffany McDaniel is yet another Netgalley find, and it’s without doubt one of the most interesting and well written stories I’ve read this year. The Summer That Melted Everything is the author’s debut novel, and what a brilliant way to start!

7. ROBERT BRYNDZA

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I’m sure I’ve mentioned before the mystery/thriller genre is one of my favorites, and the books in DCI Erika Foster series always seem to deliver. And to be honest, I’m in awe with the pace Robert Bryndza is able to write and publish so many quality thrillers! The Girl In The Ice, The Night Stalker and Dark Water have all been published in 2016, and although the second book is my absolute favorite, I highly enjoyed all three of them. I will be looking forward to the next book of the series!

8. MAGGIE HALL

theconspiracyofusseriesTo be honest, I wasn’t to sure if this series was going to be for me…But besides the romance scenes I didn’t particularly care for, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically an example of what I would call a perfect read. A fast pace, easy-to-read prose, an interesting plot with just the right amount of plot twists, an international atmosphere, characters I can connect to… Check. Check. CHECK! I loved the first book so much I decided to read the sequel Map Of Fates straight away and trust me, that doesn’t happen often. The third book is one of my most anticipated 2017 releases… And Maggie Hall one of my new favorite authors.

9. HEATHER DEMETRIOS

I saw this book around a lot last year, but was afraid to read it because I thought it was going to be another sappy romance novel. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Heather Demetrios has made it to my new favorite author list with I’ll Meet You There, a well written story full of raw and honest emotions, flawed characters you cannot help but fall in love with and just the right dose of romance. I practically flew through this book and it’s without one of my favorite reads so far this year.

10. JULIE BUXBAUM

tellmethreethingsI always seem to be complaining about romance scenes I didn’t like, but there are authors that can make me forget I don’t actually like the genre all that much. Julie Buxbaum turned out to be one of them. Sure, Tell Me Three Things is in fact quite cheesy and even has the dreaded love triangle, but I fell in love with the story anyway. It’s the perfect ‘feel-good’ read and very very addicting.


I can’t believe how hard it was to narrow it down to just ten authors! I guess it’s a great sign I was able to read a LOT of excellent books this year though. 😉 Have you read any of these books? And what are your favorite new authors this year?

BOOK REVIEW: Map Of Fates – by Maggie Hall

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Title: Map Of Fates
(The Conspiracy Of Us #2)
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
First published: March 8th 2016
Finished reading: April 9th 2016
Pages: 311
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“Do you think all those people believe in fate? Or do you think they’re just living their lives the best they can with whatever’s thrown at them?”

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I think this is one of the first series in a long time where I actually needed to pick up the sequel straight after finishing the first book. The Conspiracy Of Us is seriously addicting! This series by Maggie Hall is basically almost everything I want in a good story, with only the romance scenes putting a slight damper on the otherwise perfection. And while Map Of Fates isn’t as good as the first book and the romance scenes are becoming more annoying (read: love triangle related), the sequel is still very much a solid read. London, India, Venice, Greece, Paris, Cannes… I simply love the internationality of this series. The pace is incredibly fast and the story so engaging that it is definitely hard to put this story down. The main characters are still likeable in general, although what was just a hint of a love triangle in The Conspiracy Of Us has grown into some quite annoying and cheesy romance scenes in the sequel. Luckily enough the rest of the story is good enough to make up for it, and I will be waiting anciously for the third book to find out what happens next. The wait sure will be a long one, since there isn’t even an official title or publish date yet. Sigh…

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WARNING: Possible spoilers! Please don’t read this summary if you haven’t read the first book yet. I’ll keep the summary short but it’s almost impossible to keep it completely spoiler-free…

Two weeks ago, Avery West thought her life was pretty much ordinary besides the fact she had to move all the time. Now she has discovered she is actually the heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, her mother was taken hostage and her future will most likely involve marrying the One. She is determined to change destiny, free her mother and solve the clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle… But she only has two more weeks before it’s too late and both her mother will be killed and her freedom taken away from her. Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues with the help of some of her new allies. Will they find out the truth on time?

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I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot to avoid any spoilers, but what I can say that this series is definitely worth reading. The Conspiracy Of Us series mixes old conspiracy theories with action, international locations, romance and a healthy dose of mystery and plot twists. The result? A VERY engaging story that is without doubt worth your time if you enjoy the genre. One of my new favorites!

BOOK REVIEW: The Conspiracy Of Us – by Maggie Hall

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Title: The Conspiracy Of Us
(The Conspiracy Of Us #1)
Author: Maggie Hall
Genre: YA, Mystery, Romance
First published: January 13th 2015
Finished reading: April 8th 2016
Pages: 330
Rating 5qqq

“Toska.” He leaned forward, too. “It’s a Russian word. It has no translation into any other language, but the closest I’ve heard is the ache. A longing. The sense that something is missing, and even if you’re not sure what it is, you ache for it. Down to your bones.”

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I normally don’t like it when a book is compared to the work of a different author, but in this case I totally agree The Conspiracy Of Us bears similarities to one of the Ally Carter books I read last year (All Fall Down). And like with that series, I ended up loving The Conspiracy Of Us as well. I’m so glad my TBR jar decided it was time to start reading this series, because I haven’t felt this way about a fiction read in way too long! It’s true I didn’t care for the romance scenes and the ‘almost’ love triangle, but in this case the rest of the story more than made up for it. It’s easy to say Maggie Hall‘s writing had me hooked right from the first chapter; the story is fast-paced with just the right amount of plot twists, adrenaline and mystery. More importantly, since I love traveling and discovering new cultures myself, I could especially appreciate the Paris and Istanbul descriptions and the many historical references. I liked the main characters and their development as well (if you don’t count the romance scenes), and I’m really looking forward to find out what happens next. In short, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically just about everything I want in a good story. If you haven’t read it yet and like the genre, I strongly suggest trying out this series!

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Avery West grew up thinking her father abandoned them when she was a baby. They have been moving around a lot because of her mother’s job and she always tries to keep a distance to the people around her so it won’t hurt too much when she has to say goodbye again. This time seems to be different though as she meets Jack, and it seems like he isn’t exactly who he claims to be. Soon her life is being turned around and she finds herself on a plane to Paris on her way to her newfound family… Although things are not as simple as Avery thinks. Apparently, her family is part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, and Avery might be the key to an ancient prophecy. While she is trying to unravel the mystery, Avery soon realizes she is in more danger than she thought… And the trail of clues leads her from Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and other places she never would have imagined visiting, let alone with someone chasing her. Who can she really trust and will she unravel the mystery on time?

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It’s been a long time since I have love a series (that isn’t YA fantasy) this much. Besides the romance scenes I didn’t particularly care for, The Conspiracy Of Us is basically an example of what I would call a perfect read. A fast pace, easy-to-read prose, an interesting plot with just the right amount of plot twists, an international atmosphere, characters I can connect to… Check. Check. CHECK! As you might have guessed already, I really enjoyed this first book and I have already started reading the sequel as I’m writing this review. Recommended!

WWW Wednesdays #86 – April 13th

wwwwednesdaysWWW 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?

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I actually started the two other books first, but I needed something completely fantasy/romance free after I finished my last read. Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford sounded like it would do the job and so far it’s turning out ot be an interesting and fast read. The other two books I’m reading are A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, with I’m loving so far and I’ve only put on hold because I’m not really in the mood for fantasy and I don’t want to spoil it… And I’ve also finally picked up Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I’ll probably finish this one first before continuing with ADSOM

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I wanted to escape the whole YA/love triangle business, so I decided to pick up this mystery/thriller kindle freebie: Blood Orchids by Toby Neal. Unfortunately not even changing genres helped me escape a love triangle and it did ruin the story slightly for me, but the story itself is still quite entertaining in general. There were quite a few things that bothered me though; more about it in my full review.
* I decided to pick up my TBR jar pick next, and boy was that the best decision I could have made! I LOVED The Conspiracy Of Us by Maggie Hall despite the hint of a love triangle… Fast pace, international setting, a conspiracy, plot twists, interesting characters: this book is almost everything I want in a series.
* I picked up the sequel Map Of Fates straight after finishing the first book, and while it was not as good as The Conspiracy Of Us and the romance scenes became more annoying (read: love triangle related), I still pretty much loved this one as well. The wait for the third book will be a long one!
* I was actually already reading All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders before I started any of the books mentioned above, but it took me a long time to finish it. Boy, this book was WEIRD! I guess this is one of those where the story either works for you or it doesn’t. I definitely belong to the second group and I wasn’t convinced by this story at all. The plot was all over the place, the pace a bit slow, I didn’t particularly like the characters and the story didn’t really make sense. Also, I thought this was an adult novel, but most of it felt more like a middle grade/YA read; up until a few sex scenes were thrown in. WTF?! I need more time to gather my thoughts…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have been in a weird reading mood lately so I will probably end up reading completely different titles instead, but here’s what I would like to read. First up is Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper since I have been wanting to escape from the whole fantasy/romance/love triangle theme… And I guess both The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza and The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah would probably work as well. My new TBR jar pick is The Name Of The Star by Maureen Johnson, which I’m really excited about since I have been wanting to start this series for a while now. Jack The Ripper twist, yes please!