YVO’S SHORTIES #68 – The Couple Next Door & Vengeful

Time for another round of Yvo’s Shorties! This time around two completely different genres, but two titles I ended up really enjoying. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and Vengeful by V.E. Schwab


Title: The Couple Next Door
Author: Shari Lapena

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: July 14th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Books
Finished reading: December 11th 2018
Pages: 352

“Everyone is faking it, all of them pretending to be something they’re not. The whole world is built on lies and deceit.”


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I have been meaning to read this domestic thriller debut for quite some time now. I know there have been a lot of mixed reviews about this one, and I definitely think I have benefitted from waiting until the hype died down. I ended up enjoying The Couple Next Door way better than I thought I would. There are some things to be said about the writing style, which I wasn’t always are sure about, but overall I managed to keep turning those pages fast enough. This has a lot to do with the pace and both the mystery around Anne’s past and other secrets in play… I do have to say that I’m not sure about the credibility of it all and some aspects and plot twists seemed a bit too absurd to be believable. But there is also no doubt that The Couple Next Door was still a very entertaining ride and I’m glad I finally took the time to read it. The ending was definitely unexpected! It kind of made me wish there were more pages to see how things would develop after that bombshell. I’ll be looking forward to read more of her work in the future…


Title: Vengeful
(Villains #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
First published: September 25th 2018
Publisher: Titan Books
Finished reading: December 14th 2018
Pages: 592

“Some people were matches, a bit of light and no heat. And some were furnaces, all heat but little light. And then, once in a blue moon, there was a bonfire, something so hot and bright you couldn’t stand too near without burning.”


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I enjoyed reading Vicious, so of course I was excited about Vengeful ever since I first found out there was going to be a sequel. I was going to do a reread of the first book first, but with so many other titles pending I decided to dive straight in and see if I could pick up the thread. And as soon as I started, I just couldn’t make myself stop… V.E. Schwab is one of my absolute favorite authors, and Vengeful is without doubt a brilliant sequel. It’s been too long to properly compare it with the first book, but what I do know is that I loved every single minute of my time with book two. While the plot is actually quite simple, it is both the writing style and character development that blow you away. There is a reason she is one of my favorite authors, because her writing is of such a high quality that you just cannot help but fall in love with it. The same goes for the characters… We have a lot of old favorites, and a few new introductions as well that will leave a very strong mark. Marcella and June, I’m looking at you! The whole superpower/villain angle works fascinatingly well and while maybe not that original, the incorporation of those elements is done in such a way that you will have no choice but enjoy the ride. Vengeful will take a well-deserved place on my shelf of favorites, and I will already be looking forward to reread both Villains books together in the future.


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WWW Wednesdays #201 – December 19th

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 in the middle of the Christmas At Hogwarts #magicalfeast2018 readathon, and currently I’m on to book number four A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. I discovered this series some time ago when I read the ARC of the third book of the series, and I’m excited to be binge-reading the first two books this close to Christmas! I’m also enjoying my time with Outlander so far, although I’ve put it on hold until I finish the readathon titles. I’m currently at 16%, so there’s still a long way to go…

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab (4,5/5 stars) REVIEW 20/12
As soon as I started, I just couldn’t make myself stop… V.E. Schwab is one of my absolute favorite authors, and Vengeful is without doubt a brilliant sequel. It’s been too long to properly compare it with the first book, but what I do know is that I loved every single minute of my time with book two. While the plot is actually quite simple, it is both the writing style and character development that blow you away.

2. Perdimos Nuestro Camino (I Have Lost My Way) by Gayle Forman (4/5 stars) REVIEW 21/12
I was super excited to receive my very first book mail ever through the Masa Critica program at Babelio, and of course I couldn’t resist picking it up straight away. It’s the Spanish translation of I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman and without doubt an excellent title. Both the writing style and character development really stood out for me. The author sure has a way of creating unique and diverse characters! My heart went out for them and the ending left me craving for more…

3. The Deal Of A Lifetime by Fredrik Backman (3/5 stars) REVIEW 26/12
I’m a big fan of Fredrik Backman’s books and I really needed to start reading more Christmas themed stories, so I thought this would be a perfect fit… I was surprise to have a less than positive reaction to the story. I admit the story is clever in a way, but somehow I wasn’t able to connect to the characters or writing and the plot was all over the place. Interesting premise, but this time around he failed to hit the mark for me.

4. Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald (/5 stars) REVIEW 23/12
I know contemporary romance isn’t really my thing, but I like to step out of my comfort zone every once in a while and this title sounded like a lot of fun. The writing is fast and there were without doubt some very witty moments, but there were also characters who started to get on my nerves and there were quite a few cliches involved. I admit I had a good time reading this one though.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

There is no doubt I’ll pick up The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig next as I want to read both books in a row. I’m then reading Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire next, which is also my final #magicalfeast2018 book. I loved the first book, and I’ve been looking forward to continue the series ever since. And as an early Christmas present to myself I will be reading Bridge To Burn by Rachel Amphlett during the weekend! I can’t wait to spend more time with Kay Hunter. ❤ My newest TBR jar pick is still The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble.


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WWW Wednesdays #200 – December 12th

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 going to try and focus solely on Outlander by Diana Gabaldon during the rest of the week to see if I can make a proper dent into the story. It’s going to be tricky though, because I have a copy of Vengeful staring at me demanding to be read… I’m not sure how much longer I can resist temptation.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

1. Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (3,5/5 stars) REVIEW 13/12
Girl With A Pearl Earring turned out to be a very interesting story set in the 1660s in a Dutch city called Delft. The description of both the setting and era is very well done, and I like how the author stayed true to the Dutch names. The writing was solid and made it easy to follow Griet’s story as things develop. There were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way though.

2. My Life In A Cat House by Gwen Cooper (4/5 stars) REVIEW 18/12
I knew I wanted to read My Life In A Cat House as soon as I saw the gorgeous cat on the cover. A memoir written by a fellow cat admirer? Yes please! I admit I hadn’t heard of Gwen Cooper before I started this memoir, but this hasn’t prevented me from highly enjoying her different ‘tails’ about her five cats. We get to know each of them through memories and anecdotes about why each cat is unique in its own way. My Life In A Cat House will make a great gift for any cat owner or cat lover in general.

3. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (4/5 stars) REVIEW 20/12
There have been a lot of mixed reviews around this one, and I definitely think I have benefitted from waiting until the hype died down. I ended up enjoying this domestic thriller way better than I thought I would .There are some things to be said about the writing style and the credibility of it all, but overall it was without doubt an entertaining ride and the ending definitely was unexpected. I’ll be looking forward to read more of her work now!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab has been calling me ever since I got a copy and I don’t think I can resist much longer. I’ve been dying to find out how things continue! I’m also planning to read the pending ARC Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald soon as it sounds like a fun read. And as part of the whole gift to myself and reading mostly my own books until next year, I want to read Down Among The Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuire. I loved the first book, and I’ve been looking forward to continue the series ever since. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble.


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BOOK REVIEW: A Conjuring Of Light – by V.E. Schwab @veschwab

Title: A Conjuring Of Light
(Shades Of Magic #3)
Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Magic
First published: February 21st 2017
Publisher: Tor Books
Finished reading: March 22nd 2017
Pages: 624

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”


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I think I’m going to need more than a little help here to write a somewhat coherent review… It’s been over a week since I finished reading A Conjuring Of Light, and I still have a book hangover. I guess that’s a good sign right? That and the fact that I cannot start talking about this book and series without sounding like a bat crazy fangirl or possibly spoiling something for those who haven’t read this book/series yet. Or most likely both. So this is me trying to explain to you why the Shades Of Magic series is without doubt one of my all time favorite fantasy reads while being completely spoiler-free! Basically, I arrived a bit late at the party and only started reading A Darker Shade Of Magic less than a year ago. I was a goner as soon as I read the first chapter; the prose, the worldbuilding, the plot, THE CHARACTERS!! I had an instant crush on this series and an instant new favorite author as well… I read both books in quick succession and then added myself to the evergrowing group of people impatiently waiting for the third and final book to be published. And trust me, I still don’t understand why it took me almost a whole month to pick up my copy of A Conjuring Of Light. I guess I wasn’t ready yet to say goodbye to some of my all time favorite characters… But I’m SO glad I finally read this third book. Forget the 600+ pages, forget the romance, forget anything else I forgot to mention; the truth is that I savoured every single minute of A Conjuring Of Light and I’m going to miss this fictional world. How much? Let’s say I named my new kitten after Delilah Bard and leave it at that. All I can say is that if you haven’t tried this series and like the genre, you probably should! It’s so brilliant you’ll probably need sunglasses while you read.

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

The delicate balance between the different Londons seems to have been disturbed in such a way that it has reached its breaking point. Red London is starting to lose its red vibrant feel of magic and darkness casts a shadow of the Maresh Empire… Who is trying to take control over the city and empire? And will our favorite characters be able to stop the change before its too late? Their whole world might be on the line…

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I guess my review has turned into a fangirl ramble in the end after all… Oops?! Although I guess it’s really had to talk about the plot and what happens to the characters without giving too much away to those who haven’t read it yet. Let’s just say that while I loved the second book a tiny bit less than the first book, A Conjuring Of Light came back strong again. It’s a bit long, especially if you compare it to the first book, but I personally didn’t mind because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters yet anyway. The ending was also satisfying and I really hope this won’t be the last we’ve heard of this fictional world.


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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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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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Teaser Tuesdays #132 – March 21st: A Conjuring Of Light

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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!)

YESSSS!! I’m finally reading A Conjuring Of Light by V.E. Schwab… I’ve been wanting to read this third and final book ever since I finished AGOS last year and it was my nr. 1 most anticipated release this year. My ARC mountain prevented me from picking it up straight away, but I decided to let myself give in as a birthday present. And what a wonderful present it was! I’m loving every single minute of this book so far, although I’m kind of fearing it will break my heart more than once and I don’t want it to be over… Shades Of Magic is probably one of my all time favorite series.

My teaser (16%):

“God be with you,” said Bard dryly.

“What?” he asked, confused.

“Nothing,” she muttered. “Just try to stay alive.”

What are you reading right now?


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