Saturday, July 23, 2016 19:13

Review 261. Brittany Cavallaro – A Study in Charlotte.

23272028Title: A study in Charlotte.
Author:  Brittany Cavallaro.
Pages:  321.
Published: March 1st 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Sort: First book in Charlotte Holmes.
Source: Edelweiss and publisher, thanks!


The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar. From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
It was quite obvious in the beginning that I would not get along with this book. It's definitely a case of "it's me, not you" because this book has a lot to offer. For some reason though, I did not connect with the story, the characters or the writing.

Jamie Watson got a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, where Charlotte Holmes goes to school as well. The two of them meet and he is immediately impressed by her; Charlotte less. She likes to be by herself in her laboratory, but Jamie feels an attraction to her and the two of have to work together when they are being set up. A student dies under strange circumstances and they are both seen as suspects – and only Charlotte's intelligence can clear their names.

I liked the fact that Holmes is a girl now. She is smart, impulsive and confident, three trades I normally really like in a character. With Charlotte it was the opposite; I disliked her, could not connect with her and most of all, I had a hard time accepting her drugs abuse. She got on my nerves more often than I wished and even her hard times did not make me like her more.. The way she looks at life and treats certain situations just did not work for me.

I had the same with Jamie. He felt blank to me and I never had the feeling I was connected to him. There was no sparkle for me and the two lacked the chemistry I see in the TV show and movies. I guess it is because they only work together, because someone is trying to frame Charlotte and Jamie is pulled under as well. 

The way they put the clues together was kind of fun, but the overall mystery was not that exciting to me and the lack of emotions made this a failure for me.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 15:41

Retelling July '16 | Inspiration for retellings.

Don't forget to tweet and Instagram with the hash-tag #fairytaleRC.

UPDATE  @ your name/blog name. This is your master post, like your challenge page.
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

I often see people comment about the fact that they are 'failing' this challenge, but I want to point out there is no failling. This challenge is all about having fun and simply reading books you enjoy; and if you don't feel like it, then don't do it. But, this got me thinking about the fact some people might get stuck on what books they have to read. So, here is a list with all kinds of retellings you might be in the mood for – and some that will be published at the end of this year.

Thursday, July 14, 2016 22:13

Part 2 | Creating your bulletjournal collections.

Fairytale newsReminder: I'm a newbie at this. I've been using my bulletjournal since April this year, so I'm still in the middle of figuring everything out. I just thought I would give you a look at my method.

Last time I talked about my step into the world of bulletjournaling and I gave a quick explanation about what this concept means. In one sentence: it is a flexible way to keep track of your life with the help of collections. And those collections are the topic that I want to talk about today, because they decide the structure of your bulletjournal.

To describe the meaning of a collection, I like to point out this quote from the bulletjournal page: collections are pages dedicated to related ideas, can take any form you need them to, and are not just limited to lists. They can be projects, illustrations, basically any kind of related content that you want to live outside of your daily journaling.

This means that you need to sit down and decide for yourself what matters to you; what you want to have in your bulletjournal to help you in your daily life. There are different collections that I see return across the bulletjournal community and I use them myself, because they are really useful for me.

1. I always start with a page to introduce the new month. This is a great way for me to separate the months when I flip through my bulletjournal. I also find it relazing to do, because I try to come up with new ways to decorate the page. This time I went with a flower wreath.

Month July

2. Then I draw a calendar for the entire month where I write down big events like birthdays, tasks I need to do somewhere that month, my goals and recap. Most of the times I decorate it with an inspirational/motivational quote. Lately I've been trying out color schemes, where I pick two colours that I will use on every page that month. It looks neat. July is purple with pink.

Monthly calendar June

3. Then one of my favorite pages: a habit tracker. Here you can add anything you want to keep track of and whenever you do something during the day, you color in a square. At the end of the month you can see how many times you did a certain thing.


4. I'm trying out something new; a memory page, where I combine doodles and text to point out memorable things I did during the month. I combine this with the books I want to read and TV shows/movies I want to watch. A lot of times I don't finish the list, but it is fun to challenge myself.

Memories and toreadandowatch

5. Dailies. This is the part where you can really creative, because the ways you can use these dailies are endless. I'm still trying out different lay-outs and I love to switch up! Here are two examples of different lay-outs I've tried. The purpose is to fill these out with everything you have to do, in combination with the icons you choose in your key (I talked about this in the previous post)


So, there are the collections that return each month in my bulletjournal. What I love about this system is that you can always add more or take away the ones that don't work for you. It is up to you how you fill in your bulletjournal and how much decoration you use. There is no right or wrong way, because in the end it is basically a to-do list.

Other pages I have in my bulletjournal to give you an idea of all the things you can write down.
Challenges. I'm currently trying out two Instagram challenges called 'plan with me' and 'rock your handwriting' and it is fun! Here you can see the page where I set up the Plan with me challenge and a page where I did a prompt for rock your handwriting.

Doodle practice pages

Wishlists and lists where I write down all the movies I NEED to see, books I NEED to read, random things I want to buy at some point, etc. Basically, I love making lists and this bulletjournal is the perfect way to keep them all together. Here is a wish list with books that will be published in the next months.

And random pages, like these two. One is for motivational purposes, the other simply to talk about my love for reading. I really like setting up these pages, because I get to practice different fonts and decorations.

So that is it for my lay-out! I have returning collections and then I fill in the rest with my love for lists and random ideas I want to collect.

Was this helpful? What lay-out do you use in your bulletjournal?

Next up: Different lay-outs you can use for your collections.
Friday, July 08, 2016 18:58

Review 260. Paula Stokes – Girl Against the Universe.

26156199Title: Girl against the universe.
Author: Paula Stokes.
Pages:  400.
Published: May 17th 2016 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone.
Source: eARC on Edelweiss.
Maguire knows she’s bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch. But then on her way out of her therapist’s office, she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star, who wants to help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away, but staying away may be harder than she thought.

I think we all know by now that I'm not a contemporary reader. There are a few books that I've tried in the past that worked for me and this is now officially one of them. I heard a lot of good things about Girl Against the Universe on Twitter, so I decided to get a copy from Edelweiss to give it a shot – and I am so happy I did! This book was the perfect mix between fluffy and emotional. It was never too heavy, but at the same time did not shy away from the reality of both Maguire's and Jordy's problems. The author managed to strike a good balance between a tougher story and a blossoming romance that all starts with an unlikely friendship. The overall story was inspiring.

Maguire has had her share of bad luck and she writes it all down in her notebook to prove she is cursed. One of the worst things that happened to her was surviving a car crash, while her father, brother and uncle died. Maguire is now afraid to cause harm to others, so she stays away from friendship and situations where she is surrounded by people.  Maguire is now in therapy and she wants to work to one important goal: learning to overcome her fear and fly in a plane to her family abroad. 
Jordy is an aspiring tennis star who is with the same therapist as Maguire. He has a hard time figuring out who he is and his parents push him in other directions than his heart. The two of them meet after one of Maguire's sessions and when she has to join a sport, she runs into him during a tennis try-out. The two of them start a special kind of friendship; they both desperately need each other.

I loved how Maguire developed throughout the story. We see a girl who is afraid of anything grow into the person she was meant to be. The fact that she was brave enough to conquer her fears inspired me, because sometimes I let fears hold me back. Making a check list to help her work towards her goal was such a good idea and I liked how Jordy helped her. His story showed that sometimes it's good to talk with someone else, even if your problem might not look that serious. He definitely showed a lot of improvement throughout the story, but Maguire was the highlight to me.

I liked their relationship and how it slowly transitions. It felt realistic and friends-to-more is one of my favorite things, right after banter and sass.

 If you like contemporary books with a bit more depth, this is the one for you.
Friday, July 01, 2016 23:01

Monthly recap '16 June | Purple hair, don't care!

Monthly-recap_thumb6This post recaps my month: my personal life, all the books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
OUAT_thumb3This month was filled with lots of good food! What a surprise, haha, but we had a lot of occasions to celebrate.

First we took my mother for her birthday to La Cubanita (tapas) as a surprise. I went a second time to La Cubanita to catch up with some friends. It was fun to hang out with them. Then I had tapas at another restaurant with my book club, which was great as always!

We went out for dinner for my father's birthday (sushi) and then to celebrate it with the family we ordered some food and I got a fantastic burger with fries. For father's day we went to a world restaurant where you could eat all kinds of food, so that was awesome.

And yesterday I had sushi with a few of my colleagues and it was nice! It made me feel really accepted and they asked me for Facebook (I was scared to ask them to be friends before :'))

Other things I did:
I had my yearly review (been working there for 6 months now) and they are really positive. I got some good compliments, like: you are exactly how I imagine a microbiology analyst. I work accurately and I pick up new things quickly. It's also great how she 'deals' with my shyness. She told me to do everything at my own pace, to not force myself and just be myself; and she believes I fit in the team.

I got my ear pierced! Finally! I'm scared of needles, but I've been talking about getting one for years and I finally decided to do it. I got an auricle, which is basically a lower helix. You can see it in the picture here, together with my new hair! It did not turn out how I wanted it, but I'm loving the purple color.

Monday, June 27, 2016 21:20

Let it go | A mix of different books.

Let it go
Let it go is my feature, where I will spotlight all the books I DNF and the ones I've read and just want to talk about. The name is based on the wonderful song from the movie Frozen, hence the the reindeer. This feature is based on several other DNF features. 

Sarah Strohmeyer – This is my brain on boys.
1.5/5. Contemporary.
eARC from Edelweiss/publisher.

It went from: OH this is really fun and I love Addie! Girls as scientists are my thing! She is such a smart cookie and I love her experiment. To: oh.. This is exactly not good. Addie was a little too serious for my taste. She was a bit like Sheldon in that way and it did not work on the paper for me. Like the scene where someone told her someone 'fell from the face of the earth' and she tells him without blinking that 'the earth does not have a face.'

No shit, Sherlock.

I also did not appreciate how Kris treated his (ex)-girlfriend Kara. He should have stepped it up and simply told her it was over. Instead, he keeps dragging it around and while I did not like the girl at all, I could understood her accusation.

The whole experiment was lots of fun. Addie has this theory that you an make two people who have nothing in common, fall in love when they are in an intense situation. Kris has to make up for something, so now he is part of the experiment (without knowing what is going on) and Addie decides to at some point to make herself a subject too. From the point of view of a scientist, this is something you should NEVER EVER do, because it influences the way you look at the experiment. Being objective is the most important part, so I did not buy this.

I liked Addie's spark with Kris, but things could have been more polished to make this work better for me.

Elizabeth May – The vanishing throne.
4.5/5. Paranormal.
I was blown away by The falconer the first time AND second time. May has written a series that ticks off all the elements I look for: a kick-ass heroin, action, fast-paced plot, amazing writing-style and swoonworthy romance. We learn more about Kieran in this book, someone who stayed quite mysterious in The falconer. Aileana is in a pretty messed-up situation and she is such a brave, strong girl. The ending was brutal, just like The falconer, and it makes me want to pick up the sequel right now. It was a brave move from the author, because it could have turned into the worst twist ever, but it worked really well with the story.

V.E Schwab – A gathering of shadows.
Schwab is a genius. I don't think I will ever dislike anything she writes, because she is a magician with words. I reread A darker shade of magic and I think I fell in love with it even more. The intriquite world-building, the spectacular characters and the well-crafted villians, I love everything about it. I have lost my heart to Lila, who is now sailing the seas, and Kell, who feels locked up. READ THIS SERIES. I could not find the right words to express my love for this series, so you just have to pick it up and see for yourself.

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