Monday, June 26, 2017 13:11

Rainbow Rowell – Attachments.

Title: Attachments.
Author: Rainbow Rowell.
Pages: 357.
PublicationPublished February 2012 by Orion.
It's 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he is, it's too late to introduce himself. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart... and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.

This is one of those books I wasn't planning to read, until it was nominated and picked for our bookclub. I am someone who is pretty open-minded when it comes to reading books outside my comfort zone, so I bought it (I like the cover) and I dived right into it. I must say, I wasn't blown away, but I didn't hate it either.

The main character, Lincoln, is living his life without enjoying it. He is 29, recently moved back into his mother's house and he is doing a job that clearly doesn't excite him. He works at night, spends most of his day eating and sleeping, and the only social interactions he gets are when he plays Dungeon & Dragons with some friends. We see glimpses of his previous relationship and how it all stranded, leaving a mark on him.

Lincoln was a difficult character and at the end I'm still not sure if he grew on me. His work is checking emails and making sure that it is not used for personal use and that there are no inappropriate content/words. When Jennifer/Beth's email exchanges get flagged, he decides to read them and for some reason, he never sends them a warning message. Instead, he keeps reading their conversations and he is completely invested in their lives. I thought it was creepy, especially when he starts to fall for one of them..

I don't know. Maybe I'm just not romantic enough, but falling in love with someone because they write funny isn't something that speaks to me. The fact that we get to know Jennifer/Beth only through their emails also made it hard to feel connected to them, although I was quite fascinated by all the things they went through. Beth is in a relationship and is desperate to marry, Jennifer is happily married and feels the pressure of having a baby, but she believes she is not (perhaps never) ready for it.

I liked Lincoln's development and how he starts to get out of his shell, but the way he pretty much stalks the girl he starts to fall in love with.. I liked to read about his previous relationship, but I did not really care for the romance and that's a shame, because in the end, that's what this story is all about.

"I want someone whose heart is big enough to hold me."
Monday, June 12, 2017 15:21

Let it go | Collection of books.

Let it goLet it go is my feature, where I spotlight all the books I DNF and the ones I read, but don't want to review in detail. The name comes from the song from Frozen. This feature is based on several other DNF features.

Patrick Ness- Release. 
RATING: 2/5.
Patrick Ness' books always make me feel stupid. It's like I'm not clever enough to truly grasp his intentions, because I can't figure out how the two stories combine. It felt like I was reading two books at the same time and they didn't mesh together in my head.

31194576The first story is about Adam and how he deals with his homosexuality and his family, who are very religious and believe it is something he can be cured of. They try to avoid the topic, but whenever they can they make it clear they aren't willing to accept him. No matter what he does, it is always wrong. The moment his father tells him that is is hard to love him, but that the tries, my heart completely shattered for Adam. The fact that there are people in the world who think like that is just unbelievable to me. Love = love, no matter what, as long as it makes you happy.

Adam's romantic moments with his boyfriend made me melt and it was good to see he was so supported by him. The sex scenes were nicely done. Also his friendship with Angela! That was one amazing girl.

The other story is about a Queen and a Faun. She is possessed with the spirit of a girl that was strangled to death and she is now on the hunt to get justice. The Faun is hopping along to sort of protect her? The story was really poetic, but I struggled with it. I didn't understand what this story had to do with Adam.. and why it was there in the first place. I just don't see what it adds to the overall story.

So yeah. I'm starting to believe Ness' work is just not for me?

Jennifer Donnolly – Lost in a book
RATING: 2.5/5
31193354It's an easy and fast book, but she has made Belle really un-Belle-like at times for the plot. Moments where I thought 'this is NOT how Belle would act' but I tried to see this as a complete seperate story. You really have to overcome the idea that this is similar to Beauty and the Beast from Disney, so once I let go of that it became more enjoyable.

The inclusion of Death/Love was interesting. I was confused by the first chapter, yet intrigued by the way this was going to play out. It was an unique twist to add to the tale.

The plot would have benefited from more character building for the Beast, but again, the author probably did so for the plot. The whole story is driven by Belle's unhappiness in the castle, so the more lonely she gets, the more desperate she wants to leave. The idea of traveling to this other world through a book was great; it was one of the things I loved about the live 2017 version. The darker turn at the end was nicely done.

In the end, it was enjoyable, but not mind-blowing and definitely not as close to the original tale as I thought it would be.

Samantha Shannon – The Song Rising
RATING: 5/5.
I always struggle to review books in the middle of a series, so I'm going to be vague.

31451267The first thing I want to say is that I loved it. There is a slow start, but once the story kicks in it is one thrilling ride. Samantha has truly set up an interesting story filled with fascinating characters.

This sequel is all about Paige and her search to find a solution to destroy the new detection systems. They make it impossible for Clairvoyants to go out in public, so the stakes are high. This leads Paige into the heart of Manchester, where she may or may not be able to find help.

I also loved her struggle between following her heart in her romance or being the leader everyone expects her to be. The fact that the romance always take a back seat is something I really appreciate, since there are so many important things that keep Paige busy. It feels realistic, yet it never gets overwhelming. This book could easily be too chaotic to follow, but Samantha is able to keep it all under control. I need more!

Lexa Hillyer – Spindle Fire. 
RATING: 2.5/5.
30163661In the beginning of the book there is an introduction from someone, who says that the author also writes poems; I was expecting a lot from her writing-style, but to be honest it felt a bit choppy to me. It wasn't clicking with me and that prevented me from getting sucked into the story.

I thought it was great that this book features a blind character without giving her these over-the-top powers to make her bad-ass. Isabelle simply rocked and the fact she can't see added something extra to her personality. Aurora was less interesting to me, because she felt more distant. I couldn't connect with her, but I did like her part in the story. The switch from POV between the two sisters was distracting though and it made the story slow.

 There could have been more exciting twists and turns, although I did like all the original elements the author put in the story; like the way the fairies take something before they bestow a gift on the princess and that we get to see Aurora's dream while she is asleep.

Overall, an okay book.

Ernest Cline – Ready Player One. 
RATING: 4/5.
99695715/5 for voice. Wil Wheaton did one hell of a job in portraying the voice of Wade. He had me completely hooked. 3/5 for the overall story. I loved the plot, but the pace is slow and tedious. There are a lot of descriptions and detail, which could be a bit too much for my taste.

I loved Wade. I really liked Artemis, 'H' and Soto + Deito. It is a diverse cast with good dynamics.

I was appalled by the fact that some people were willing to kill in order to win the game, but also not surprised, because it is definitely something that would happen in real life too.

Wade is a Gunther; one of the many people who are trying to find a hidden egg in a virtual world called the Oasis. It was created by Holiday, who left his entire fortune up for grabs after his death. Five years have passed and no one has found the first clue yet, until Wade stumbles upon it. This is the beginning of a life/death race to find the Egg.

Like I said, there are parts that the author wrote with MANY descriptions. I love details, but sometimes I wish the story would move forward a little faster. I'm not sure if I would enjoy this as a written book, because it was definitely thanks to Wheaton's brilliant storytelling that I kept listening.
Monday, June 05, 2017 11:26

Monthly Recap May '17 | Being active again.

This post recaps my month: my personal life, all the books I’ve read & bought and all the movies and TV shows I’ve seen.

May was a great month for sure. I became a little more active and it feels good. The awesome sunny weather makes it easier for me to go outside, so I hope to keep it up.

1. I had a new shift at work. When you work in the weekend there are different stations you can work on. So far I had to do the urine cultures, but this time I got to oversee the work of another hospital. It's great that I'm starting to get more responsibilities.

2. I went to a yoga class with friends and it was so relaxing yet intense. I love this way of toning your muscles and getting relaxed, so I need to get over my fear of going alone. First step was taken, not it is time for me to be brave..

3. I had a short vacation with my boyfriend's mother, sister, brother their boyfriend/girlfriend. We stayed at a bungalow house from Friday to Monday and we had some great activities and fantastic weather! The first day we swam in the subtropical pool and I got injured after I bumped my head really hard under water in the wild-water course. Nothing too bad though, but it shocked me and I had a monstrous headache that night.
The next day we had a parcour in the trees, about 6 meters of the ground. It was scary at times, but it felt so good to complete it without falling! After it we went into an Egyptian themed escape room, which we completed with 3 minutes left. Everyone went for another swim in the pool, but I stayed back home with my mother-in-law and finished a book.
The next day we went for a round of paintball. The guns were bad, but it was fun to do and afterwards we did a few adventure golf courses, which was challenging. Board game night!
On Monday we had to leave the bungalow at 10:00, so we went to the pool and stayed there until 14:00. We ate some ice cream, I played pool with my boyfriend (and won of course ;P) and then we went home.
4. I had a sport event with work. Archery tag, Lasergame, Volleybal, Estafette and Bubble football. We didn't win anything, but it was fun to hang out with some colleagues after work.

5. De-coloured my hair! It turned green, but after I washed it with ketchup and more Head & Shoulders it slowly turned back into blonde. I have to say; the purple hair adventure was great and now that I know it will wash out relatively easy, I will return to it!

6. I ordered sushi from a new place and it was delicious.

7. Celebrated my sister's and grandfather's birthday.

8. I got some pretty flowers from my boyfriend, because we are 8.5 years together.
I cleaned up my shelves and got rid of another 10+ books, including my three mismatched paperbacks from Game of Thrones. I saw a nice offer on my favorite website, so I decided to get the Game of Thrones box set of all 7 books.

The leatherbound editions from Barnes & Nobles are some of my favorite books, so I finally got The Arabian Nights. I'm a big Potterhead and I couldn't pass the opportunity to get the 20th special House editions for the first book – and because I''m crazy I also bought the others. Those extra pages are worth it! (I'm a Ravenclaw, in case you did'nt know yet) I stumbled on Alice in Zombieland in the bargain section of ABC and decided to take it with me, since I met Gena Showalter last month :)


And last, but definitely not least, my Fairyloot box! I got a subscription last month and I think it has been one of my best decisions this year. This box is always so magical. The items are picked with such care and the books so far have all been on my wish list.

Items: World Mythology book, Renee Ahdieh – The Flame in the Mist, celtic socks, a wooden Lord of the Rings bookmark, a gel pen in the shape of a feather, candle called 'Mist' (which smells great) and Warriors & Legends inspired tea. There was also a sampler, a coupon code for more tea, a bookmark from the book, a signed sticker, interview with the author and a letter from her.

Three random new items I got that made me really happy. Cogsworth was always out of stock, but this time I found one and I bought it right away! <3 Also decided to get this edition of Rapunzel, because her hair is so lovely detailed. And since I'm getting more into audio books, I got a good headphone in this fantastic mint color. They are good! Fresh 'n Rebel is the brand, in case you are curious.

Another month where I sort of let myself down when it comes to reading. I'm simply too busy with all the other things I like too, that I don't give myself any time to sit down to pick up a book. I want to change that in June.

1. Samantha Shannon – The Song Rising. 5/5.
2. Morgan Matson – The Unexpected Everything. 2/5.
3. Lexa Hillyer – Spindle Fire. 2/5.
4. Earnest Cline – Ready Player One (audio book) 3.5/5.
5. Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury (reread) 4/5.

TV Shows: 1. The Blacklist season 2 episode 14 – 21.
2. Better Call Saul season 3 episode 4 – 7.
1. Self less. Mweh.
2. Keeping up with the Joneses. Pretty funny, but nothing special.
3. Pirates 3: At World's End, as preparation rewatching the movies for the new one.
4. Big Hero 6, forced my father and sister to watch it (and they liked it a lot)

What did you do in May?
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