Thursday, 30 March 2017

Review: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Alternate cover edition can be found here. The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

-- --

I LOVED The Handmaid's Tale! It's seriously a book everyone should read. It actually gave me chills. The month of March was also the perfect time to read it, as on the eighth of March was International Women's Day! Also, Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel is coming out in April. I saw the new trailer and it's looking really good! Can't wait to watch it!

The Handmaid's Tale is considered a modern classic and a feminist read and I agree with both labels. Margaret Atwood is becoming one of my favourite authors! I've also read and loved The Blind Assassin, which I highly recommend, of course.

I don't want to give too much away about the plot of The Handmaid's Tale, I didn't know much before reading it, and I prefer it that way. I was at times confused though, primarily in the beginning of the novel. It actually took me about 130 pages to figure out the names and was shocked both by their significance and the fact I didn't realize it sooner!

Gilhead actually scares me a lot. Even though it's a dystopian story, I can actually imagine it happening in real life. Therefore, I think this book is incredibly important because this kind of future should absolutely be avoided. The novel was actually published in 1985, but I believe now is the perfect time to read it.

Obviously, I gave it 5 out of 5 stars! This book made me think, shocked me and held me completely in its grip. I feel like everyone can get something out of reader this book and therefore, I would recommend it to anyone as well! If you haven't read this one, you should definitely do so soon! Now let's the TV show will be as great as the book, in as far that's possible.

Have you read The Handmaid's Tale? Or are you planning to? Leave your thoughts down below! Also, I would love some recommendations on which Atwood book to pick up next!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I Would Like To Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week bloggers post their top ten on a previously suggested topic. This week's topic is top ten authors I would like to meet. And let's face it, I never will because I live in Belgium.

1. V. E. Schwab

I'm currently reading A Conjuring of Light and I'm absolutely in love with this trilogy! So sad it will be over after this book. I'm not ready for it to end yet...

2. Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite YA series. I absolutely love Captain Thorne, he's the best character ever!

3. Donna Tart

Loved the Goldfinch and I'm waiting for the perfect moment to read The Secret History, as I really want to savour it.

4. Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin are the two amazing books I read by Atwood. I still trying to figure out which novel to read next, because the all sound amazing!

5. Isabel Allende

I've read several of her books and I will read more in the future. Allende never disappoints.

6. Sally Thorne

I truly enjoyed The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, it has become one of my favourite comfort reads, and I've read it twice already! Can't wait to read her new book this year!

7. Sarah Andersen

Her comics are incredibly funny and sooo relatable! She makes me feel normal and want to get my hands on the follow up volume of Adulthood is a Myth soon!

8. Yaa Gyasi

I finished reading Homegoing this month and I was so impressed with her debut novel! I believe it would definitely be interesting to meet her!

9. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

To my great shame, I still haven't read anything by Adichie yet. But I've seen a couple of her interviews and I believe her to a fantastic author who will make me think and reflect. This is absolutely going to be the year I read an Adichie novel!

10. Sophie Kinsella

The one author I actually met at a signing! Yeah, me! I got really flustered and my face was probably bright red. She signed a copy of Twenties Girl for me, sadly, they only had a copy in Dutch at the fair, and Twenties Girl ended up being one of my least favourite Sophie Kinsella novels. I would love to meet her again, so she can sign my favourite books. Sophie Kinsella's novels are special to me because those were the very first I read in English.

Which authors do you want to meet? Have you met any of the ones mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Girl in 6E (Deanna Madden #1) by A.R. Torre

I haven't touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it's not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide... my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets... one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl's life depending on you venturing into society?

Enter a world of lies, thrills, fears, and all desires, in this original thriller from A. R. Torre.

-- description --

Hmm, this book... After reading so many positive reviews I was really excited to read The Girl in 6E, even though it is an erotic suspense novel, two genres I don't normally read.

The first part of this book was so boring! Almost nothing but erotic descriptions, and let me tell you, that's not why I wanted to read it. I was looking for a female Dexter and in the end the book, things did turn out that way. However, I was willing to not finish this book more than any of the others I've read this year.

Another thing I did not care for, is the first scene with Jeremy and Deanna, I was really not okay with that scene and the book doesn't really make a fuss about it. That's what shocked me the most.

This book is difficult to rate, the first half is easily a one or two stars at best, the second part is better. I rated it 3 stars on Goodreads, mainly because of the awesome plot twist, but I'm still considering whether I should lower it or not. The plot twist does make me slightly more curious about the second book in the series, so let me know if that one is better. I can't but feel disappointed by this book, especially since I read so many glowing reviews. But then again, I should have known I wouldn't enjoy an erotica, I just hoped it would have focused more on the suspense part. Needless to say, this book is very explicit.

Have you read this book as well? Or are you planning to read it in the future? Leave your thoughts down below!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: ten of the shortest books I've read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week bloggers post their top ten on a previously suggested topic. This week's topic is top ten shortest books I've read.

1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

2. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

6. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

7. Carrie by Stephen King

Which short books do you recommend? Have you read any of the books mentioned? Leave your thoughts down below!

Friday, 17 March 2017

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King. 

-- description --

I picked up Daughter of the Pirate King after trying out several other books and not finding any I truly wanted to read at that time. I read the first page of Tricia Levenseller's book and was immediately interested in reading more. So, naturally, I did! 

Alosa is a feisty, sassy and kick-ass pirate who I wouldn't dare to cross. She is everything I expected her to be. There is also a dash of fantasy/magic in this book, but it does not overtake the whole plot.

The crew of the Nightfarer was also a lot of fun to read about! The secondary characters were definitely entertaining, the two pirates who had to guard Alosa the most were a drunkard and a thief, and were responsible for a lot of comic relief.

The one thing I would have liked to have seen a bit differently is the romance. The relationship between Alosa and Riden felt way too rushed and at times unfounded. I didn't like that she felt immediate attraction to him and those feelings stayed throughout the book. Personally, I like slow burning romances a lot more.

There were a couple of plot twists, some I saw coming a mile away, others were more entertaining. The storyline isn't wildly spectacular, but I was looking for a fun and enjoyable pirate story and that is exactly what I got.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars. It was the right book at the right time for me. It is possible I would rate this a bit lower if I wasn't feeling so slumpy and considered this book as my saviour from the dark side of a reading slump. I you are interested in reading a young adult fantasy book, centred around pirates, this is the book for you! A female sass and kick-ass lead assured! I can't wait to read the second book!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Review: Firefly

Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.

-- description --

Firefly is a science fiction TV show created by Joss Whedon. Despite its fan base it got cancelled after only one season containing fourteen episodes. I started watching this show because two of the main actors are coming to Ghent in our version of Comic Con, called Facts. I'm talking about Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin.

Before, I avoided the show because I had a feeling I would fall in love with it instantly and be incredibly sad such an amazing show actually got cancelled. And of course that's exactly what happened. 

Firefly is mostly set on spaceship Serenity, which is a firefly, hence the title of the show. The characters are what made the show so special to me. I loved every single one of them! To me this was a feel-good show, even though it was constantly action-packed, I just felt very connected to the characters. It's hard to pick a favourite but how can you not love Mal? 

This show is action-packed, full of laughs, friendship and love. There is something there for everyone. I, for sure, will truly miss this show! But maybe, with all these revivals, a second season is still possible? Who knows? 

I highly recommend you give this show a try! But please do start with the episode Serenity, which is the actual first episode where all the characters are introduced. After watching the first half of that episode, I already knew I would have to binge watch the rest! So what are you waiting for? Quit reading this blog and go watch Firefly!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week bloggers post their top ten on a previously suggested topic. This week's topic is top ten books you want to read in spring. Some books I already own, others still need to be released or I just still need to get my hands on! I'm really excited about all of them!

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

2. Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renee Ahdieh

A gorgeous cover and described as a Mulan retelling? Please take my money! I'm really looking forward to reading this one! Especially, since I enjoyed The Wrath and the Dawn so much!

3. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Even though I'm not a fan of young adult contemporary books, I'm looking forward to this one! It sounds so cute!

4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Since I loved reading The Blind Assassin and I've been wanting to pick up another Atwood book! As this particular book is being adapted into a TV show, I truly have to read it now!

5. Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor 

I barely know what this book is about, however, I love Laini Taylor's writing, so I'll pick up whatever she publishes next!

6. The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

This book is stunning! I've heard great things and it's selected for the Baileys Prize, so of course now I've got to read it!

7. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

This is happening! I swear!

8. Hunted by Meagan Spooner 

I can never read too many Beauty and the Beast retellings, so I'm adding this one to my TBR!

9. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

One of my most anticipated books this year!

Which books are you planning to read in spring? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Friday, 10 March 2017

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

An unflinching, darkly funny, and deeply moving story of a boy, his seriously ill mother, and an unexpected monstrous visitor.

At seven minutes past midnight, thirteen-year-old Conor wakes to find a monster outside his bedroom window. But it isn't the monster Conor's been expecting-- he's been expecting the one from his nightmare, the nightmare he's had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments. The monster in his backyard is different. It's ancient. And wild. And it wants something from Conor. Something terrible and dangerous. It wants the truth. From the final idea of award-winning author Siobhan Dowd-- whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself-- Patrick Ness has spun a haunting and darkly funny novel of mischief, loss, and monsters both real and imagined.

-- description --

I borrowed the movie edition of A Monster Calls from my bookbestie! This book completely and utterly broke my heart! I had to fight my tears at so many points, needless to say this book really got to me! I believe other editions of the novel contain drawings by Jim Kay and I think that would definitely add something more to the reading experience. So, if possible get those editions!

Conor has a very difficult life, his father lives in America with his new family, his mother has cancer, his grandmother and him do not get along and he gets bullied every day at school. Then, one night, a tree transforms into a monster and starts visiting Conor at 12:07 almost every day.

This is a book about love, hope and how to cope told through the eyes of thirteen year old Conor. I highly recommend this book to everyone. Really, readers of all ages will enjoy this!

Obviously, I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars! I still have the feeling I'm about to cry when I think about this book. At some points I recognized myself in this book and even though I'm in my twenties the monster did end up teaching me something: it's okay.

This is a very well-known book but if for some reason or other you haven't had to chance to read it yet, I would highly recommend you do! It's definitely worth your time! There is also a movie adaption of this novel available and I'm going to watch and review it soon!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Stacking the Shelves: February Book Haul

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Each week bloggers post the books they purchased or received. This month I got seven books and one comic! I've already read two of them and am currently reading a third one!

1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Really enjoyed this one! You should definitely give this book a try before you watch the TV show!

2. A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

If you follow this blog, you might know I read this book last month! I was borrowing my friend's copy but I enjoyed it so much, I had to grab one for myself! Can't wait to read the other books in this trilogy! I highly recommend this one!

3. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab

4. A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

5. The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) by S.J. Kincaid

I've heard great things about this one! Can't wait to read it!

6. Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Monstress (Collected Editions) #1)
by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda

Really enjoyed this volume! The art is stunning!

7. My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

I love Sophie Kinsella and I've heard good things about her newest novel, so I simply couldn't resist!

8. Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies #1) by Rhoda Belleza 

I'm currently reading Empress of a Thousand Skies and I'm shocked by the low Goodreads rating because I'm really liking it so far! I got this book in my FairyLoot box. Review to come!

Which books did you get recently? Have you read any of the books mentioned? Leave your thoughts down below!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Review: La La Land

It might not be a secret but I love musicals! My absolute favourite is The Phantom of the Opera. It was a magical experience to watch the West End show. It was the most perfect birthday gift I ever got! I also adore old Hollywood musicals, Singin' in the Rain, would be my favourite musical film. However, La La Land has a change to become my new favourite musical film.

The film starts with a traffic jam and some random people getting out of their cars and starting to sing and dance. That was my first clue I was absolutely going to love this movie!

The main characters are an actress going whose auditions are always a disaster and a struggling jazz musician. The story was absolutely fascinating, and I have to admit I was in tears a couple of times. 

Some scenes reminded me of other musicals, like for example the picture above reminded me of West Side Story, which I was lucky enough to see a live version in English!

The music and songs were gorgeous! I could listen to them every day, which is of course what I've been doing lately, and I have absolutely no shame :p

Another Day of Sun, Someone in the Crowd and City of Stars are my favourite songs of the musical. The latter rightly won the Oscar! I could listen to just those three on repeat every single day!

The dance scene were simply stunning! I absolutely love this movie! I can already tell, I'm going to buy the DVD when it comes out and show it to my entire family!

I highly recommend this musical! I can't praise it enough! It deserves all the hype! If you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for! Go watch it right now!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

March TBR

These are the books I would like to read in the month of March!

1.  The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

2. Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown 

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

4. Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies #1) by Rhoda Belleza

5. Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1) by Tricia Levenseller

6. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

Which books are you planning to read this month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February Wrap Up

These are the books I read in February! 

1. One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3) by Ilona Andrews

This series is just so much fun! Ilona Andrews publishes it in chapters on their website, but I always wait to read it when it is finished. You do notice it's been written in parts but I've gotten over that. I would really recommend this series! I've previously reviewed the first book, if you want to know a bit more.

I gave One Fell Sweep 4 stars!

2. Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu

Really enjoyed the first volume of Monstress! You can find my review here. I gave Monstress 4 stars!

3. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty 

This book got me out of my reading slump! I liked this one so much! I've started watching the TV show, and so far it is following the book pretty closely. However, I do recommend you read the book first! 5 stars! You can find my review here.

4. Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber 

I got this book in my second FairyLoot box, which was simply the best box ever! Even though my candle got damaged in the mail.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book but around halfway through it started to go downhill for me. If anyone is interested, I might review this book more thoroughly, so leave a comment down below! 3 stars! Kind of disappointed.

5. The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1) by Jessica Khoury

I absolutely adore the main character Zahra! She's amazing! I loved the fact that she's a jinni, which is so refreshing! I'm now searching for more books with a jinni, so if you have any recommendations, please leave a comment down below! However, I wasn't that impressed with Alladin, and the romance, I could have easily done without it. But yes, Zahra made this book awesome and I gave it 3,5 stars! If you are interested in a YA novel about a jinni, please pick this one up!

6. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This was my very first Shirley Jackson novel and I'm sooo glad I finally picked it up! I wouldn't necessarily call this a horror story, but it definitely was atmospheric and it seriously made me angry as hell with some of the characters. I highly recommend this one, if you want to read a short, eerie novel! 4 stars!

I also started two more books this month (and I'm hoping to finish them soon!): 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Loving this book! I can already tell, I will force a lot of people to read this one!

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

I was reading this book, which my bookbestie graciously lend out to me, when I got in a big reading slump. I basically didn't do anything but watch Netflix. However, I'm finishing this book in March! I'm currently at page 320, so it's going to happen!

Which books did you read last month? Have you read any of the books mentioned above? Leave your thoughts down below!