Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fairyloot #6 - August 2017

Hi booklovers

It took the August Fairyloot box a very long time to get here and I'm again rather late in posting my unboxing, so here we go:

The August theme was 'Otherworlds'.

The gorgeous spoiler card
Exclusive Witchsoul Candle 
from Book and Nook
Exclusive Fictional Worlds Sleeping Mask 
by Fairyloot
Exclusive Handmade Velaris Pendant Necklace 
by Oh Panda Eyes
Exclusive Westeros Tea Strainer
by Fairyloot
Exclusive Neverland notebook
by TJ Lubrano
Exclusive Lord of the Rings magnetic bookmarks
by Paperly and Co
I got Frodo and Sam
 Exclusive Northern Lights
by Melissa Nettleship
The book:
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic
It came with a letter from the author and 
a signed bookplate
 Some bonus items
 
 
I really liked the contents of this box, but I'm very curious to see what will be in the September box.
 
Did you get the August Fairyloot box or are you eagerly awaiting the September one? Are you subscribed to any other (book)subscription boxes?
Let me know in the comments.
 
Bye for now
 
Annelies
 
Bye
 
 
 

 
 
 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Fairyloot #5 - July 2017

Hi booklovers

This Fairyloot unboxing is long overdue, so without further ado, here it is:

The July theme was 'Tricksters'.
As usual, we get a stunning spoiler card
An exclusive Sherlock Enamel Tin Mug
An exclusive Loki Lotion by Geeky Clean
Officially licensed Hogwarts playing cards

A fortune telling kitchen glove (this has already come in handy)
An exclusive Harley Quinn print
(I already gifted this to someone who is obsessed by HQ)
Terrible truths bookmark (Six of Crows)
The July book is 'Daughter of the Burning City' by Amanda Foody
Fairyloot bookmark
Full unboxing


I'm eagerly awaiting this month's box, which is themed 'Otherworlds'. Fingers crossed it gets here this week (and I put my unboxing up a lot quicker!)
Bye for now
Annelies 


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

31 day reading challenge.



Hi booklovers


A couple of months ago I saw a video on Little Book Owl's channel where she talked about the ’30 day reading challenge’ and I thought it was a great idea. 

August is the second month of my summer break so I should be able to read every day of the month. This might not be anything special, but I want to keep track of how much I read and which format I read the most of: physical books, e-books, audiobooks, graphic novels. I’ll try to write down how many pages I read / minutes I listen to an audiobook daily in my bullet journal and update you weekly. (I'm actually a bit late in posting this since I'm already a week into the challenge :-s I'll be posting an update for week 1 soon.)


Have you tried this challenge? Any tips on how to make sure I read daily? Let me know in the comments.


Bye for now


Annelies




Friday, 4 August 2017

June - July 2017 - wrap up.

Hi booklovers


I'm halfway through my summer holiday and July has flown by so quickly, so it's time for my June - July wrap-up.

June
*War and Wind (e-arc) - Alex Lidell - 4 stars. I was really happy when I recieved my review copy in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed Air and Ash, (review here) so I was really looking forward to reading War and Wind. I enjoyed the second book just as much, if not more than the first one. We get to see a lot more of all of the beloved characters: Nile, Domenic, Catsper. We also got to meet some new characters, who were very interesting - even though some got on my nerves because of what they did (not because of how they were written!). I still hate captain Rima with a passion - even more so than in book 1. He is such a manipulative bastard!
There were so many plot twists I didn't always see coming and I was very pleasantly surprised by them. They kept me intrigued and made me want to keep reading. I loved Domenic even more as a character because of how he is willing to sacrifice his own happiness in order to give Nile her 'happy ending'.
The ending was the perfect stepping stone to the third book and I can't wait to read that.

*A Thousand Pieces of You - Claudia Gray - 5 stars. I've had this book on my TBR for quite a while now and I finally felt like picking it up. I loved this story very much - I alternated between reading the physical book and listening to the audiobook and that definitely added to the great reading experience. I don't think I've ever read a story about interdimensional travel and it really intrigued me. I loved Marguerites character - even though she made some stupid mistakes - and I liked her interaction with Paul. I liked this book so much I immediately ordered the second and third book so I could binge read them and I hardly ever do that!

*Ten Thousand Skies Above You - Claudia Gray - 4 stars. The second book in the Firebird trilogy was just as fast-paced as the first one. I really enjoyed seeing the different universes and how Marguerites, Theo's and Pauls stories develop there. Not as good as the first one, but still a solid 4 star read.

*A Million Worlds With You - Claudia Gray - 4.5 stars. The fact that I read all three books in this trilogy back to back is saying something. This was a very solid conclusion. I have to admit it was sometimes a bit confusing to know which Marguerite we were following but I enjoyed this nonetheless.
I'll be doing a review of the trilogy and link it here once it's up.

July
*Bad Romeo (e-book) - Leisa Rayven - 3.5 stars. I liked the story, but it did have some clichés and one of the main characters was very, very angsty. I, nonetheless, will continue with the series.

*Snow Like Ashes - Sara Raash (reread) - 4 stars. I buddy (re)read this with one of my pupils. When I read it the first time I gave it 4.5 stars, but this time I'm taking off another 0.5 star because I found there to be some clichés I didn't pick up the first time around. However, I still enjoyed it very much.

*Written in Red - Anne Bishop - 5 stars. This is one of the best books I've read this year and it will definitely make my top 10 of 2017. The interaction between the Others (shapeshifters) in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg (the squeeky toy) and some of the other humans is great and refreshing. Finally a book where vampires actually enjoy being vampires :-)
(I'll be posting a full review later.)

*Second position (e-book) - Katherine Locke - 4.5 stars. This is the second NA novel about artists that I've read this month (the first one being Bad Romeo) and I have to say I enjoyed this one a whole lot more. I read this book for the #OWBookclub and the theme for July was mental health and disability.
This book deals with topics of mental health and disability in a very human and realistic way. At least it feels realistic to me since I don't suffer from any mental health problems or disabilities. To me it felt like the problems were dealt with in a sincere way, without glossing over it or exagerating things. I loved the conversations between Aly and dr. Ham.
The way the relationship between Aly and Zed progresses and develops was at a much slower pace than in other NA novels and that was good. Given their history together, it wouldn't have felt right if everything went back to normal from the start. I also like how 'normal' they act, they do every day things.
Both their professions - Aly being a ballet dancer and Zed being a teacher - appealed to me very much.
The only thing that didn't feel completely necesarry for me was the 'epilogue', the interview Aly gave. I'm definitely going to read the sequel.

*Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (reread - audiobook) - J.K. Rowling - 5 stars. 
The way Stephen Fry did the voice of Umbridge made me hate her even more than I did when reading the book for the first time.

*The Unexpected Everything - Morgan Matson - 3.5 star. Definitely not the best book by Morgan Matson. The story was too long and it dragged at times. It was a cute read, but I fear Morgan is starting to use the same 'concept' in her stories. What I did really like, however, was the appearance of previous characters and places. It makes it more fun to read the books in publication order.
I'm very happy with my reading over the last two months even if there were some books I didn't enjoy as much as others.

What was your favourite book of June of July? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now

Annelies

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - spoiler-free review.

Hi booklovers

Today I want to review The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. This is a very hard book to review. Up until page 342 this was a mèh - okayish book and I could understand the mixed reviews it was getting. The last 40 pages however turned this from a 2.75 stars read into a 3.75 stars read and all it took was a little confession. I read this for the #OWBookclub for March - the theme was Fairytale Retellings - but I didn’t finish it before the end of March.

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: YA, fantasy, retellings
Format: paperback
*Story:
Every night the Caliph of Khorasan – Khalid – takes a new bride and every morning the girl is found dead. Shahrzad’s best friend is one of the victims and she seeks revenge. She volunteers to be Khalid’s next bride so she can end his reign of terror. Through her storytelling she manages to stay alive, but she soon finds out there is more to Khalids actions than meets the eye.

*Characters: 
-Shahrzad: This is a hard character to ‘rate’: on the one hand she is strong and determined to go through with her plan but on the other hand she is also very fickle and indecisive. Sometimes she was quirky and smart-tongued but at other times she was just downright childish.
SPOILER:
I also found it very unconvincing that she changed her mind about Khalid almost overnight.
 
-Khalid: He is a very ‘hard to read’ character. The moment he finally opened up to Shazi and told her why he has to kill these young women was the moment the story finally grabbed me. Unfortunately, there were only about 40 pages of the book left by that time :-s
 
-Jalal: He is both arrogant and very honest – well, most of the time anyway.
 
-Tariq: I didn’t like him at all.
SPOILER:
Shazi specifically said she’s nobody’s possession, but I found Tariq to be very possessive – even more so than Khalid - and I didn't like that!
 
-Despira: A quirky character who wears her heart on her sleeve.
 
*Plot/worldbuilding/overall rating:
Like I said it took the story 342 out of the 388 pages to fully grab my attention, which is a pretty long time. I am, however, glad I didn’t DNF the book because the cliffhanger ending made me curious enough to want to pick up the sequel. I do sincerely hope that story grabs me from the start.
3.75 stars

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now

Annelies

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Waterstones / Sterling Books book haul.

Hi booklovers

At the beginning of June I went to Waterstones and Sterling Books with one of my best friends and of course we both bought some books.

Let's take a look at what I got:

*Sterling books:

*Waterstones:


Have you read any of these? What did you think of it?
What books did you get in July? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now
Annelies

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas - spoiler free review.

Hi booklovers

Last year during the summer I participated in the Fantasy Favourites Read-A-Thon and I was supposed to read Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, but it had been so long since I had read Heir of Fire that I couldn't remember enough of the story, so I stopped reading it and never picked it up again. The theme for February for the #OWBookclub was 'Badass females' and I thought Celaena Sardothien was pretty badass from what I could remember of the first three books. Also, I want to be all caught up with the series by the time the last book in the series comes out. But like everyone else I found out that the book about Chaol will be published in September and the final book in the series has been pushed back to 2018. At least now I don't have to rush to get through the other books and get myself into a reading slump. Binge-reading books in a series and I usually don't get along, unless they are very good books that aren't too long (i.e. less than 400 pages). Anyway, long intro, let's get into the actual review.

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: YA, fantasy
Format:paperback
*Story:
After spending a year in the salt mines of Endovier, Celaena Sardothien is given a chance to win back her freedom by becoming the king of Adarlan's champion. To become the champion, however, she has to defeat a number of other assassins and thieves. Throughout the story she regains her strength, both mentally and physically and she grows into her role as future champion.

*Characters:
-Celaena: oh my,  I had totally forgotten how arrogant and shallow she is at the beginning of the book. At times she cares more about how she looks than anything else. True, she’s a good assassin and she regains her strength throughout the book, but she was still so unbelievably shallow at times.
 
-Dorian: he is the Crown Prince of Adarlan. He has chosen Celaena to be his father’s champion. He’s at a marriageable age and his mother keeps pressuring him to choose a bride. Dorian, on the other hand doesn’t want to think about that just yet. Of course, he is immediately intrigued by Celaena and of course, he falls in love with her. Some might think this is a spoiler, but you can actually see that plotline developping a mile off. I did enjoy the way Dorian and Celaena interacted and bantered.

-Chaol: captain Westfall is to be Calaena’s personal trainer to help her get ready for the competition. At first he only sees her as an assassin, but as time goes by he starts to see her as a young and vulnerable girl. Of course, it doesn’t take him long either to develop feelings for her. Again, no spoiler, it’s an obvious plot development. With these two, I also liked how they interacted and bantered. Chaol is the complete opposite of Dorian, always serious and taking his duties very much to heart.

-Nehemia: she is a foreign princess who has come to the Adarlan court. She quickly befriends Celaena since Celaena both speaks and understands Eyllwe. Nehemia is a very strong person who is not always who she appears to be, but she proves herself to be a true friend.

-Elena: The spirit of the long dead queen of Adarlan. She gives Celaena the task of vanquishing the evil roaming the castle’s hallways.
 
*Plot/worldbuilding/overall rating:
There were some things I really liked about this book: it was fast-paced and action-packed at times. I really liked the characters of Nehemia and Elena. The story was good, however, it does have its flaws. There was too much emphasis on Celaena’s beauty. After reading about it five times, we get it already, you don’t have to repeat it a gazillion more times. Like I said, I found Celaena to be very arrogant and shallow. Granted, her name still bestows fear in the hearts of a lot of people, but, she did get caught and she did end up in Endovier. I also disliked the obvious YA trope of the love triangle. Like I said before, this is no spoiler, it is blatantly obvious the story is going to develop like that. I found the world building to be a bit lacking since we get to see little of the country.

*Audiobook experience:
While I was looking for a book to use my audible credit on, I stumbled upon this one and I decided to listen to a sample of it. I immediately recognized the voice-actress as the one who also read the part of Nina in Six of Crows. I really enjoyed her voice-acting and since I wanted to do a reread of the series, I thought I’d give it a go. It was a really good experience, although I do have to admit that I sometimes found it hard to know when the story switched POV’s.
Have you read this book / series? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.
Bye for now
Annelies