WWW Wednesdays #131 – April 5th

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 currently reading three books; the first two being for the Beat The Backlist challenge because I have been neglecting this challenge terribly in March. The Color Purple by Alice Walker is a (modern) classic I somehow never picked up before and I’m still deciding what to think of it. And I’ve been wanting to read the sequel ever since I finished the first book, so I’m hoping to continue Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken as soon as I finish  the first. Although I might read the ARC sequel Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell first, because I’m in the mood for another thriller.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I first finished The Yellow Envelope by  Kim Dinan, which didn’t turn out to be as good as I was hoping for. Instead of a travel memoir, it was more of a self-discovery journey and I had a lot of problems with the tone, focus of the story and (negative) cliches. More details in my review
* I then read the collection of short horror stories Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson, and it sure turned out to be a proper horror read. There are four stories in total and each is unique in its own way and represents a different subgenre. Warning: some of them have very graphic descriptions!
* The last book I was able to finish in March was History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera and I can definitely understand why so many people seem to love this book. I enjoyed reading this book, although it kind of feels bad to say that since part of it is really sad. Excellent character development and loved the prose! Not a 5 star read as expected (it felt a bit messy), but definitely more than recommended for fans of the genre.
* My first April read was an ARC: Blood Moon by John David Bethel. The fact that this story is somewhat based on a true event is without doubt shocking, because the main character sure has to go through a lot. Interesting read with a lot of action and graphic scenes (warning if you don’t like those!), and I liked the use of Spanish even though there were quite a lot of mistakes.
* My last read was actually a reread: The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. Back in January I couldn’t help myself and had to read this ARC as soon as I got a copy, and I decided to reread it before writing my review, since it’s going to be published soon. I enjoyed this thriller just as much the second time around. She is definitely one of my new favorite authors of the genre. I love LOVE her writing style.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… All for the April ARC month. What Doesn’t Kill You by Ed James is a Netgalley ARC and part of a detective series I’ve been enjoying so far. Among Friends: Travels In Cuba by Heather Murray was sent by the author and sounds like an intriguing travel read. Enchanters by K.F. Bradshaw is a Reading Alley ARC and will give me just the dose of fantasy I need (hopefully). I also still want to read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult , probably after I finish these three ARCs though.


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ARC REVIEW: The Yellow Envelope – by Kim Dinan

Title: The Yellow Envelope
Author: Kim Dinan

Genre: Non Fiction, Travel, Memoir
First published: April 1st 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Finished reading: March 28th 2017
Pages: 320

“At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your heart sing.”

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

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I might have mentioned my love for travel once or twice before, and as soon as I saw this travel memoir I had to request a copy. I enjoy reading non fiction and I’ve had the chance to visit both Peru and Ecuador twice, so I was looking forward to read about the author’s experience in those countries as well as those in Asia. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enjoy The Yellow Envelope as much as I thought I would and the story fell kind of flat for me. Rather than a true travel memoir, this story has mostly been a (rather self-centered) description of the author’s failing relationship with her husband, feelings and journey of self-discovery; definitely not what I expected at all and not as enjoyable to read either. Another thing that bothered me were the (negative) cliches about the countries they visited; I’ve traveled both alone and with my partner in both Ecuador and Peru during roughly the same time period (2012-2013) and I don’t think the descriptions of those countries are just or accurate. I also felt that both countries and people in general were talked down to; each country/culture/person is unique in its own way and the negativity really bothered me. I also don’t think it is right to claim there is a correct/superior way to travel either; each person should be able to decide which way is best for them and the ‘superior’ tone was actually quite annoying. And that’s coming from someone who has traveled for a long time without a real home as well, so I kind of know what I’m talking about. I’ll stop this rant and say that if you are looking for a memoir about the story of the road to self-discovery with just a hint of travel, The Yellow Envelope will probably interest you.

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Kim Dinan decided she wanted a change in her life and three years later both Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs and travel around the world. They are given a yellow envelope by another couple: inside a check and instructions to give the money away during their travels. There are only three rules: don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away. Kim and Brian travel through Ecuado, Peru, India, Nepal and other countries, and will face many obstacles along the way.

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I normally enjoy reading non fiction and I love anything that has to do with travel, but this memoir didn’t manage to convince me. Not only was the actual talk about traveling and the different countries limited, but the main focus was actually on the author, her feelings and self-discovery. This could have been an interesting read anyway once I adjusted my expectations, but I was really bothered by the tone and the fact that the different countries/cultures/persons were talked down to and didn’t receive it’s proper respect. I understand that it’s hard to portray a foreign culture properly (I’ve had this experience lots of times myself), but this just wasn’t the way. I liked the idea of the yellow envelope and what it represents though; it was probably the strongest feature of this memoir.


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WWW Wednesdays #130 – March 29th

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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 currently about to finish one of my pending Netgalley ARCs: The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. I was really looking forward to this travel memoir, but it sort of fell flat for me. Rather than a true travel memoir, this story has mostly been a (rather self-centered) description of the author’s failing relationship with her husband and feelings; definitely not what I expected at all and not as enjoyable to read… I’ve also started History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, which I will continue as soon as I finish the memoir. I’m so excited to be finally reading it!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* YESSSS!!! I’ve finally been able to read A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab, the final book in one of my all time favorite fantasy series. And it sure didn’t disappoint; I loved every single minute of this third book and I still sort of have a book hangover (the fact that I didn’t really like the next three books I picked up didn’t help either). I’m going to miss this fictional world and its characters; luckily I have my own little Delilah Bard to keep me company now. 😉

Little Delilah Bard, Lila for short.

* I also read The First City by Joe Hart, another final book in a trilogy… And I had a really hard time finishing this one. I’ve never liked the main character Zoey, but in this third book she is becoming almost impossible to tolerate. I’ve seriously considered DNFing it at various points… Her self-centered, annoying and whiney dialogues and actions made this read into a true struggle. The other POVs were slightly better, although I’m not too sure about the plot either. The ending is ok enough I guess.
* The last read I finished is Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein, which started out interesting enough and I liked the general idea behind this story (faes and fae hunters). That said, this turned out to be yet another YA fantasy series destroyed by a… yes, you can already guess… a freaking LOVE TRIANGLEEE!!! I’ve become seriously allergic to them, and all these forbidden love interests and love triangles just made me enjoy the story a lot less. Also, the main character changes ‘teams’ constantly and it’s not really realistic.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are two more ARCs… The horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson has been on my list for way too long already, so I’m hoping to finally read it this week. I also need to read Blood Moon by John David Bethel. After so many ARCs, I’m hoping to finally read more of my own books as well, and both Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken and Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult are high on my list.


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Teaser Tuesdays #133 – March 28th: The Yellow Envelope

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme hosted at The Purple Booker. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

Another pending ARC before I finally pick up one of my own again… I’m currently reading a travel memoir: The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan. I enjoy reading non fiction and I love anything that has to do with travel, so I just had to request a copy as soon as I saw it mentioned. I’m not to far into the story yet, but I’ll be looking forward to continue it today.

My teaser (10%):

“At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your hearts sing.”

What are you reading right now?


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WWW Wednesdays #129 – March 22nd

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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 finally reading A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab, and so far I’m loving every single minute of it even though it’s a lot longer than expected. I’m not ready for this story to be over though! I’m going to miss my favorite characters… I’m also still reading The First City by Joe Hart, the final book of The Dominion Trilogy that I put on hold to start ACOL. To be honest, I’m having a hard time with this book so far and the main problem is one of the main characters: Zoe. I seriously can’t stand her and she’s starting to make me feel the same about the story as well. Not good…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* I’ve been looking forward to another Erika Foster adventure ever since I finished the third book, and I literally requested a copy the minute it appeared on Netgalley and started reading it soon after. Last Breath is without doubt my new favorite Erika Foster novel! Fast-paced, full of twists, well written, interesting plot, disturbing killer and just the right amount of creepy; what more to ask? I’m already looking forward to book five and this one hasn’t even been published yet. xD
* I then read Bull by David Elliott, a mythology retelling of the classic minotaur story. This SO wasn’t what I was expecting!! I’m still not sure what to make of it, although I can’t deny it was an entertaining read… Bull is a retelling fully written in verse and each character has its own style, which was inventive. The writing style made me laugh more than once, although I’m not sure if the tone is actually appropriate for the story. To get an idea: this is how the story started:

“POSEIDON

Whaddup, bitches?

Am I right or am I right?
That bum Minos deserved what he got.”

Not exactly what you would expect when starting a Theseus and the minotaur retelling right?!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Next up are three more ARCs… The horror story Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson has been on my list for way too long already, so I’m hoping to finally read it this week. But I also have the release date of both The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan and Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein coming up, so I should probably read those first… And I really REALLY want to read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera some time soon as well.


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