Saturday, 27 February 2016

Stacking the Shelves: February Book Haul E-book Edition

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. This week, I couldn't stop myself from buying a few e-books when I received a discount, in the end, the discount wasn't even one euro but still. I bought four e-books this week and I can't wait to read them!

1. Honour's Knight (Paradox, #2) by Rachel Bach 

I read Fortune's Pawn last year, and I have to say I wasn't that impressed by it. However, it kind of ended on a cliff-hanger, so I decided to pick up the second book in the series after all.

2. Air Awakens (Air Awakens, #1) by Elise Kova 

This one wasn't very expensive and I've heard good things about Air Awakens and I believe this is about a librarian? What's not to like? I can't wait to read it!

3. Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) by Jessica Spotswood

I recently read some amazing reviews of this book, so I couldn't wait to pick this one up. And I must admit, I love reading about witches!

4. Transcendence by Shay Savage

Since I saw the booktuber Little Book Owl talk about Transcendence last year, I have wanted to pick it up, however, the paperback version of this book is still very expensive (like 15 euros, still!). I don't remember why I exactly looked this book up on but it was around 5 euros and I think that's a pretty good deal, so I snatched it up!

Which books did you buy this week? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Let me know your thoughts down below!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Starflight (Starflight #1) by Melissa Landers

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

-- description --

This is my first Melissa Landers book and I really enjoyed it! At first I was hesitant to pick it up but after several days I finally gave in and purchased this book in hardback, which I don't normally do but the paperback isn't available yet. I read the book without the dustjacket and I most add that the paint of the hardcover rubbed off on my fingers, which I didn't enjoy at all. If I can bring myself to buy an expensive hardcover, it better be one of great quality!

Moving on to the actual story! I hoped this book would be a fluffy, cute, science fiction romance and I wasn't disappointed! I love romance stories that start out with an antagonistic relationship between the main character (Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books, so what did you expect?). Doran stars out as Solara's bully and he doesn't seem to possess any redeeming qualities, especially in the beginning. However, there is a lot of character development present in this book which was absolutely amazing!

One thing I didn't know before actually reading the book, is the fact that we get to different perspectives: one from Solara of course but we also get Doran's point of view! From the moment I read the first page, I knew I would love this book! I absolutely adore the characters, even all the secondary characters all amazing! I had a fantastic time reading Starflight and I'm actually sad it's over! Thankfully, we get a second book with two different main characters but I believe all the characters of this book will make an appearance.

I highly recommend Starflight if you are looking for a funny, fluffy, science fiction YA romance novel! I can't but give this book 5 out of 5 stars! I loved it! However, I would have preferred the paperback over the hardback, because the last one isn't very special (just plain dark blue and the title and author on the spine) and like I said, your fingers will be blue if you read the hardback.

Do you want to read Starflight or have you already finished it? Leave a comment down below!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

-- description --

I don't own this book, it was a loan from my wonderful friend! I'm really pleased that I got to read this book, I've been wanting to for a while and now it finally happened! I have to say though that I wasn't as impressed by this book than so many other people seem to be.

My main problems with this book are all situated in the beginning. I had a very hard time getting in to the story and even liking the characters. Enjoying the characters is a very big deal for me. At about half way through the book, I eventually did start to slowly like the main character, thank God!

I believe I'm still in a reading slump, unfortunately, even though I thought Truthwitch got me out of it, I haven't been reading a lot lately. Reading The Kiss of Deception didn't help at all in overcoming the slump. I really had a hard time getting into the book, the beginning contains some very boring descriptions and I even felt the characters were dull. I started to enjoy the book more once I got halfway through. I do really want to read the second book, but I'm glad I didn't waste my money on this one when I could lend it from my friend!

The concept was so intriguing! A princess runs away to avoid an arranged marriage and is followed by the prince and an assassin. We get several perspectives and the reader has to guess who is the prince and who is the assassin. Sounds cool, right? I thought so too, but it was boring!

The romance itself felt too like insta love, which is not something I particularly enjoy. I do not actually have a favourite love interest, I don't actually care who Lia ends up with, which is sad. The second part of the book is more based on an adventure and some amazing new characters were introduced which is what redeemed this book for me! It made me want to read on, because, truthfully, I almost marked this book as dnf.

This book was also way too long! Especially the first hundred pages could have been much shorter. However, since I did really enjoy the second half of the book, and the fact that I'm currently in a reading slump, made me give the book 4 out of 5 stars after all but I'm still having doubts if a 3 or less would have been more accurate.

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts down below! I also would like to know if the second book is worth my time.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Enjoyed That Weren't My Typical Genres

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is top ten books out of your comfort zone. I mainly selected books out of my comfort zone from last year, so you might have seen them on this blog before.

1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin was my first Margaret Atwood book and it will not be the last. I loved it! This is a historical fiction or literary fiction novel. Looking back at the previous year, I read a lot of (YA) fantasy books.

2. Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Like the previous book, this was a reading assignment for my Canadian literature class. Whilst reading Fall on Your Knees you are confronted with several disturbing things. After the lectures I even appreciated this book and I highly recommend it! This book, however, is probably the farthest from my comfort zone as a reader.

3. The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard #1) by Scott Lynch

This was the first adult fantasy book I read. I previously read a lot of YA fantasy and urban fantasy but this one is neither.

4. Assassin's Apprentice (Farseer Trilogy #1) by Robin Hobb

The next adult fantasy book I picked up was Assassin's Apprentice and in the beginning of 2016, I finished the second book in this series! I'm hoping to read the third one quite soon!

5. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Historical fiction is not my most read genre although I enjoy reading those books every once in a while.

6. Estrella Distante by Roberto Bolaño

This was a reading assignment for my Contemporary Latin American literature class and I really enjoyed it! This is about life during the dictatorship in Chile.

7. Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig

This was another literary fiction book I had to read for a Spanish literature class. This one was even more out of my comfort zone.

8. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Another literary fiction, this one I read just because I wanted to, and I fell in love with it! Absolutely amazing!

9. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

YA contemporary is not my usual genre at all, in fact I try to avoid it. However, I read all of Sophie Kinsella's standalones, so I couldn't miss out on this one.

10. Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce

This is a middle grade series and I really hesitated to pick this series up because of that. Now I'm really glad I did, because I truly enjoyed it.

Which books did you recently read that were out of your comfort zone? Let me know down below!

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week you need to pair up a song with a book. I did have some difficulties compiling this list but here we go:

1. Jolene by Dolly Parton

I love this song and I like the cover by the White Stripes even more! You can check out the White Stripes version here. It would make a sad story but I would still love to read it!

2. Never Stop – Safetysuit

Youtube link with lyrics here. You could probably use this song as a theme song for many books out there already.

3. Live Forever – Black Box Revelation

I love this song, and it makes me so proud to be a Belgian. Please, check this one out if you don't know it already! Clip here. And a book contemplating what it means to live forever? You can't tell me that doesn't sound awesome!

4. Halo – Beyoncé

Another romantic song, but it's Beyoncé, so I don't really need to say more, do I?

5. Feeling Good – Nina Simone and Sinnerman – Nina Simone

I couldn't choose between my two favourite Nina Simone songs!

7. Move the Mountain – Stratovarius

I don't remember where I heard this song for the first time, but I still love to listen to this one every now and then, youtube link here.

8. Can’t Pretend – Tom Odell

Another potentially sad book, but I think it would make for a great read! Link here.

9. Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova from the Once soundtrack

This is my favourite song from the movie and I believe it would make a fantastic book! This song is just heartbreakingly beautiful! Link here.

10. X-Men First Class Soundtrack: Magneto

This would make a fantastic book about a villain! I would definitely read that! Link here.

Which song do you wish were books? Do you know any of the songs I picked? Let me know down below!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Stacking the Shelves: February Book Haul Part 2

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Every week, bloggers post the books they bought that week. This week, I got four books, and I hope these will be the last books I buy this month because together with last book haul, it's becoming quite expensive.

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

I recently read The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo and I really enjoyed it! I hear Six of Crows is even better, so I can't wait to read it!

2. Starflight by Melissa Landers

I heard someone compare this book to The Lunar Chronicles, so I can't not pick it up. The only problem I have with this purchase, is the fact that it is an expensive hardback. This is not actually a book I want in hardback as it the book itself is quite plain beneath the dustjacket, just black with the title on the spine and no endpapers. If this book would have been available in paperback, I would not have hesitated to pick it up. So the story better be good!

3. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

I hoped to join the read-along of this book on the blog:, however, this blog has been removed, I don't know what happened but if anyone has more information about the read-along and if others are still going through with it, I would like to know because otherwise I probably bought this book for nothing.

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

I recently watched the BBC adaptation of War and Peace and I loved every second of it! Therefore I wanted to read the actual book as well! However this book is huge! It's more than a thousand pages long (and very heavy to lift)! I will probably need a little encouragement to read the entire book. If anyone is interested in doing a read-along or buddy read, definitely let me know! I bought the Vintage Classics hardback edition and it's so beautiful!

Have you read any of these books or are you planning to? And which books did you buy this week? Let me know down below!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Valentine's Day Themed Freebie: Favourite Couples in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is a Valentine's Day freebie, so I decided to write a top ten of my favourite couples in books! I chose the characters that actually do get together in end, so I'm not going to give the names of the characters because I don't want to spoil anyone. It's just the main couple at the end (of the series) that I list. This wasn't a very hard topic for me, so let's get started! These are in no particular order:

1. Enchanted Inc. by Shanna Swendson

OMG! This couple is so, so cute! I need more!

2. Cress by Marissa Meyer

My favourite couple from The Lunar Chronicles!!! I hope they are featured extensively in the epilogue or get an entire series based on them because I simply need way, way more!

3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I read this books years ago, and I still catch myself thinking about it every now and then. It's also probably the book that made me cry the hardest and longest of all books.

4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

How can this one not be on the list? They are perfection!

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

6. The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose #2) by Jennifer Donnelly

7. As Shadows Fade (The Gardella Vampire Hunters: Victoria #5) by Colleen Gleason

8. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

9. De guillotine by Simone van der Vlugt

10. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger 

I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about this book, but it felt very real to me and stuck with me.

Have you read any of these books or do you want to? I would like to know your thoughts about them, so leave them down below!

Monday, 8 February 2016

Truthwitch (The Witchlands #1) by Susan Dennard

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch. 

-- description --

Truthwitch was one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and it did not disappoint. I LOVED it! I believe it's going to a four book series and I want the second book right this instant, but let's face it, we'll have to wait a year. A WHOLE year for the second book to come out. I can't deal with that at this moment. It's safe to say, Truthwitch got me out of my reading slump, right at the moment my classes resume, I'm sorry to say.

However, back to the book. It's a fantasy that is highly focused on the friendship between the two main characters, which is so refreshing and much needed in this genre. Even though there is a romance in this book, you already know that it won't push the friendship between Safi and Iseult to the background. For this alone, you should read the book! Female friendships are so scarce in (fantasy) young adult novels.

Once more this year, I'm reading a book with all likeable characters. I loved all of the characters in this book, there wasn't a boring or unnecessary character to be found which was awesome. We get four different points of view, first of all, Safi and Iseult, of course, and then, we also get Prince Merik's perspective and the point of view of the Bloodwitch, Aeduan, which I found incredibly interesting. The only problem with these different perspectives is the fact that Susan Dennard only uses a double space to announce a change of perspective in the middle of a chapter. Once, the author also uses ***, which felt out of place and inconsistent since this wasn't included in the rest of the book. I would have preferred to have *** in every chapter to announce a different point of view. However, I'm not complaining, I could follow the story quite well, it just required a little bit more concentration.

The magic system, although interesting and intriguing, should have been explained a little bit better. The reader isn't told what the different types of magic can do, therefore, I was not as "scared" as the characters were when for example a Firewitch showed up. There are many more examples like this to be found in the book. Also, I don't know if I just missed it but suddenly at the end, a new type of witch was introduced. It would have been nice to have an overview of all the possible witches and their powers in the beginning of the book. As well, as a little bit more information about the world and the different countries and people. We only get a map in the beginning of the book and that just has to do.

Spoilers below about the romance in the book

The romance between Safi and Merik, although cute, felt lacking to me. Especially when told from Merik's point of view. I am shipping them, though, I wouldn't have minded for it to have dragged out till the next book, or so.

And then, there is Iseult. I have a feeling she could end up with Aeduan and I wouldn't mind that one bit. Did anyone else think this as well?

End of the spoilers:

All in all, I really loved Truthwitch and although I do have some minor problems with the book I gave it 5 out of 5 stars. There is a very high possibility that this book will be in my top ten books of 2016, we'll have to wait and see!

Have you read Truthwitch or are you planning to? I would love to hear your thoughts about it! Leave a comment down below!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Ruin and Rising (The Grisha #3) by Leigh Bardugo

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for. 

-- description -- 

I finally finished Ruin and Rising! I started it in January, then I had to put it down in order to study for an exam and then, I had quite a lot of trouble picking it back up again, in part to blame to my reading slump. In the end, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, however, I almost gave it 3 stars because of the slump. It was definitely a struggle to read, mostly because it was most likely the wrong book at the wrong time.

I do love all the characters in Leigh Bardugo's books although I find Mal extremly boring on certain occasions (which, let's be honest, is most of the time). My favourite character would actually have to be Nikolai, I think he's amazing and probably the most interesting and resourceful character of all (his only rival in this is the Darkling). I'm hoping to see more of Nikolai in Six of Crows but somehow I doubt it.

The ending filled me with very mixed feelings, I would have preferred Alina to end up with one of the other love interests but I do feel the ending was nicely done, and I understand why the author chose this ending. It fits and wraps things up nicely!

All in all, Ruin and Rising is probably my least favourite book of The Grisha Trilogy but I would definitely recommend the entire trilogy to anyone who is even remotely interested in reading it. Especially if you like great and likeable characters and a pretty cool world and magic system! Before purchasing the books, I heard some really mixed reviews which made me hesitant to pick them up, but now I'm so glad I did! I will definitely check out more of Leigh Bardugo's works in the future, in fact, I already ordered Six of Crows!

Did you read The Grisha Trilogy or do you want to? Leave your thoughts down below!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Stacking the Shelves: February Book Haul Part 1

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. I will split my February book haul in two or more parts and these are the first five books I got in February:

1. The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski

2. Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

3. The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe #1) by Raymond Chandler

4. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

5. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

I do have to admit that most of these are in part cover buys. I mean, how could I resist these?

Have you read any of these books and what did you think of them? Which books did you buy this month? Let me know down below!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Historical Settings I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is top ten historical setting you love to read about. This one was quite difficult for me but I managed to find some

1. Shakespeare's England

I LOVE Shakespeare!

2. Jane Austen's England

Do I need to say more?

3. Victorian England

I love the classics and historical novels set in Victorian England (and movies too).

4. Egypt

I haven't read many books set in Egypt but I do find the time of ancient pharaoh's very interesting!

5. Canada

I loved my Canadian literature course and I can't wait to read more Canadian books, I'm especially interested in Margaret Atwood, Ann-Marie MacDonald and Barbara Gowdy.

6. WWI & WWII setting

I love to read about these wars and I also love the stories my grandparents tell me about their experiences and their family's experience in those wars.

7. Latin America

I've read several books by authors of different Latin American countries, the novels set during the periods of dictatorship were the focus of my last course and it interested me greatly! I recommend Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Roberto Bolaño and Isabel Allende, although I didn't read her in class.

8. Russia

I really want to read the Russian classics like War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

9. France

I really want to read Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas. I've already read The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and I loved it!

10. Scotland

I've always been interested in Scotland and I've been wanting to travel to Scotland for a very long time. I'm hoping to go in one of the coming years

11. The United States of America

I like historical novels set in the US although I haven't read that many. I would really like to read a book about the civil rights and anything of the early history of America.

Which historical settings do you like to read about? Do you have any recommendations set in these places or periods? Let me know down below!

Monday, 1 February 2016

January 2016 Wrap up

I don't write monthly wrap ups regularly and that is something I want to change this year! So far, I'm doing well with keeping up my resolutions  to write more on this blog, especially since I had exams this month. In the end, I managed to read two comics and four books! This counts for 9% of my Goodreads challenge, I'm on track!

1. Rat Queens, Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth by Kurtis J. Wiebe

This was the first thing I picked up this year and I liked it so much better than the first one, which at the time didn't impress me. Maybe I liked it better because I knew more of what to expect. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

2. Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan

The second volume of Saga, I liked way more than the first one, as well. I believe I both were kind of a right book/comic at the right time! 4 stars as well!

3. Royal Assassin (Farseer Trilogy, #2) by Robin Hobb

I Royal Assassin quite a lot! I even wrote a review! I gave this one once again 4 out of 5 stars! Check out the review here.

4. Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Loved this one! 5 out of 5 stars! Check out the review here!

5. Siege and Storm (The Grisha, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

This second book in the trilogy was amazing which I was happy to discover! 5 our of 5 stars! Check out my review here!

6. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

This book was a loan from my grandmother and I had it in my possession since the summer months. I finally got to it and I really liked it! I have read several of Isabel Allende's books but it has been a few years. I was happy to read her most recent novel and to know that I still love her writing! 4 out of 5 stars.
I read this book in Dutch which is probably why it took me so long to finally pick it up, but I'm really glad that I did!

I also started reading Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo but I had to put it down in order to study for an exam. Since my examinations ended, however I've been feeling kind of slumpy. I'm hoping to change that as soon as possible but before that I'm probably not continuing with this book and watch Netflix instead.

Have you read any of these books? And what did you think of them? Let me know down below! I would also really like to know the books you read this month! Furthermore, if you would like a review of any of the books mentioned, let me know down below as well!