23/06/2016

‘Make Me Read It’ Read-A-Thon: because who can resist a poll?

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When I saw a message/blog/tweet (already forgot were I read it first) about the Make Me Read It Read-A-Thon, I just HAD to check it out. This read-a-thon sounds like so much fun and also like a great way to cross a few books off my TBR.

So, what’s it all about?

“Look at the books you own, either physical, e-book or ones you’ve borrowed from the library and pick out a few you really want to read, or feel like you should read. Make a list of these books on your blog, or make a video, or a Goodreads shelf or post a picture on Instagram—whatever is easiest for you. Then get friends, other bloggers/booktubers etc. to vote on which books you HAVE to read. When the read-a-thon comes along, you read the books in the order of most votes. For example, if one book gets 10 votes—you read that first, then the one that got 7 and so on. If there’s a tie, then it’s your preference. The goal is to read as many as possible.”

Val from The Innocent Smiley and Ely from Tea and Titles are hosting this read-a-thon, which runs from the 9th to the 16th of July.

My goal is to read two books, hopefully three. I’ve chosen these six books for you to vote on:

Uprooted – Naomi Novik
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender – Leslye Walton
Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff
The Young Elites – Marie Lu
Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon
The Winner’s Curse – Marie Rutkoski

If you’re not sure what a book is about, follow the link to read the description on Goodreads!

These titles have either been on my TBR for some time now or are books I want to read for a challenge this year. These are all books I would love to read though, so it’s pretty much a win-win for me, but it’s up to you which I’ll read during this week!

Update: voting is now closed! Uprooted is the clear winner, with The Winner’s Curse coming in second. I’m really excited to read both of these this week, but look at that split third place! I’ll try to sneak them in too. Looks like I’ve got some reading to do!

Voting results

If you want, you can leave a comment below to let me know which book(s) you’ve picked and why :)

21/06/2016

Rating the 9 Books of 2016 I’ve Actually Read So Far

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year.

I’ve never been one who’s always on top of new releases. I like to read some reviews and hear some opinions after the hype has slowed down, because it’s one of the ways I can keep my TBR somewhat in control *coughs*. HOWEVER. Being more active in the book community means I’m paying more attention to new releases this year and I actually really enjoy being more in the loop! I’ve read nine 2016 releases so far, so I’m going to change the theme of this weeks Top Ten Tuesday a bit to be able to participate.

I will order this list from highest to lowest rating. Which means it starts with..

1. A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab / published February 23rd
Rating: ★★★★★
My first true 5 star rating of this year! I looooved this sequel and can’t wait for the next installment.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J. Maas / published May 3rd
Rating: ★★★★1/2
It was SO GOOD to be back in this world and even more awesome characters are added to the mix. I was pretty much on #teamRhys already after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, but now I can say he’s perfect and he’s my imaginary husband and all that jazzzz.

3. The Hidden Oracle – Rick Riordan / published May 3rd
Rating: ★★★★
Another new series by Rick Riordan and this one worked way better for me than Magnus Chase. It’s very much a Percy Jackson style book, but with a new main character who’s very different than Riordan has written before.

4. A Study in Charlotte – Brittany Cavallaro / published March 1st
Rating: ★★★1/2
I really enjoyed A Study in Charlotte, but the end felt lacking and too easy and well..  the mystery was better when it was still a mystery :’)

5. And I Darken – Kiersten White / expected June 28th
Rating: ★★★1/2
This was a special read for me because it was my very first advance reading copy I got approved for on NetGalley. I loved Lada, one of the main characters and am curious to read how this series continues, but the story drags in the middle and I got bored.

6. Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell / published February 25th
Rating: ★★★1/2
A short story I read during Deweys 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Cute, true Rainbow Rowell style about a Star Wars fangirl (see what I did there) waiting in line for the new movie.

7. Rebel of the Sands – Alwyn Hamilton / published February 4th
Rating: ★★★
I was so excited and immediately got it after I spotted it in the bookstore. The cover is gorgeous, but I didn’t really had a connection with the characters. Near the end, more fantasy elements were added and then I started to like it more.

8. Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet – Charlie N. Holmberg / expected June 28th
Rating: ★★★
The premise sounded so interesting: a girl who infuses her cakes and cookies with emotions during baking. But unfortunately, this was but a small part of the story. I felt confused at some point and didn’t really care for the ending.

9. Glass Sword – Victoria Aveyard / published February 9th
Rating: ★★
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Red Queen but still found it enjoyable. But I had a hard time with Glass Sword. It was still a fast read, but nope, the writing was messy and I found the main character Very Annoying.

15/06/2016

My most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic: the most anticipated releases for the second half of 2016.

For the second half of 2016, there are a few books I’m absolutely counting the days for until release day! For the others, they’re more of a ‘I’ve already seen them around a lot in the book community so I’ve added them to my TBR too’ choice.

So, the books I can’t wait to get my hands on? Probably no big surprises here:

EMPIRE OF STORMS – SARAH J. MAAS

Expected September 6th

My boyfriend once asked me if I was in love with Sarah J. Maas because apparently I talk a lot about her books? Especially after the amazingness that was A Court of Mist and Fury, I couldn’t shut up about it. I already want to reread ACOMAF! And then we also get a new book in the Throne of Glass series. Yesssss. I’m thinking of rereading the entire series to refresh my memory (and actually referring to it as the Empire of Storms pre-party in my head).

CROOKED KINGDOM – LEIGH BARDUGO

Expected September 27th

I looooved Six of Crows because of the amazing characters and thrilling story. I can’t wait to see what Bardugo does next and want to be reunited with the gang ASAP.

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – J.K. ROWLING

Expected July 31st 

Because Harry Potter. Duh.

THIS SAVAGE SONG – VICTORIA SCHWAB

Expected July 5th 

I’ve been swooning over A Gathering of Darkness for days now. It was perfect and my first 5 star rating of this year! I’m not really one to hand out 5 star ratings easily (even A Court of Mist and Fury didn’t get the whole 5 out of 5 because there were a few (sex) scenes that didn’t work for me),  so that says enough about how much I loved it. Now I’m planning on reading more of her books – Vicious is already on its way to me – and the blurb for This Savage Song sounds so cool!

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The next books are some that I’ve added to my to read list, but am not as impatiently waiting on as those above:

THE HAMMER OF THOR – RICK RIORDAN

Expected October 4th

While I didn’t really like the first book in the Magnus Chase series, I loved Rick Riordan’s other new series (Trials of Apollo). So hopefully, The Hammer of Thor has a bit more of the Apollo vibes.

FURTHERMORE – TAHEREH MAFI

Expected August 30th

LOOK AT THAT COVER. I think it’s gorgeous and that’s one of the reason it’s on my TBR. I haven’t read the Shatter Me series so I have no idea what her writing style is like, but I’ll definitely try this one.

HEARTLESS – MARISSA MEYER

Expected November 8th

This year, I finally dove into The Lunar Chronicles and thought it was so good! I liked how there were some elements of the fairy tales but also were completely new stories. Heartless promises to be another great retelling.

A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING – JESSICA CLUESS

Expected September 20th

Because this sounds really cool:

“Henrietta Howel can burst into flames.
Forced to reveal her power to save a friend, she’s shocked when instead of being executed, she’s invited to train as one of Her Majesty’s royal sorcerers.”

STRANGE THE DREAMER – LAINI TAYLOR

Expected September 27th

Haven’t read anything by Laini Taylor but this book has been getting some hype already. Or at least, I’ve seen it in a lot of video’s and BEA-hauls!

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR – NICOLA YOON

Expected November 1st

Everything, Everything is still waiting untouched on my selves to finally get some attention (I will get to you soon, book, I promise!) buuuuut this cover is equally colorful and it sounds like a cute contemporary.

Are any of these books on your list of anticipated reads for the second half of the year?

14/04/2016

Unboxing the very first FairyLoot subscription box

A couple of weeks ago, I saw something interesting on my Twitter feed: the announcement of a new monthly YA subscription box. After the great success of my first OwlCrate, I was definitely excited. Especially when I saw that FairyLoot ships from the UK, which means lower shipping rates to Europe. And look at the gorgeously designed website! If this was any indication how much attention would be paid to the details, I couldn’t miss this one!

The theme of the first FairyLoot is Retelling. I was anxiously awaiting the moment my doorbell would rang. Book mail always gets me super excited, like it’s Christmas or my birthday. (Please don’t tell me that’s just me, guys.)

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And then it arrived! I couldn’t wait to open it up. I skipped the note with the information on it because I didn’t wanted to be spoiled yet.

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The first thing I saw was this Shadowhunters candle. It was specially made by for this box. How awesome! I haven’t read any of the books yet but I have to admit, the tv show has been an absolute guilty pleasure for me..

Next were these Throne of Glass bookmarks by The Sticker Galley. It was a hint on the FairyLoot Twitter that an item from The Sticker Galley would be included and I got so excited because look at how cute their products are! But I didn’t expect it to be Throne of Glass related, and since it’s no secret that I’m a massive fan, I love them!

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Then I saw this Alice in Wonderland necklace. It was wrapped in a cute purple sachet and it was attached to a playing card. I love little details like this. The necklace itself is adorable and I can’t wait to wear it.

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Also, this purple notebook with constellations on them. I think it’s great how everything in this box is matching. And I’m a Gemini and that constellation is on the front!

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And now.. time for the book. I couldn’t wait to see what it was, I hadn’t been spoiled yet and I also hadn’t guessed the book yet. Turns out, it was one I’d put on my list: The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury. It’s an Aladdin retelling where the jinni is a fierce female. I’ve read great things about it so I can’t wait to start it. It came with a bookmark and a signed bookplate. It’s all in the details <3

Good thing I still read the note afterwards to, because the button was hidden in the purple wrapping. Luckily I found it. There are random versions of the button in the boxes. I love mine!

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Speaking of details, another thing I really loved was this note with a hashtag on it. There are two people who share the same hashtag, so they can find each other and buddy read. For me, things like this and the way everything was wrapped definitely showed me how much love Anissa put in these boxes.

The first FairyLoot is a great success. May’s theme has been announced and it will be High Fantasy. BRB ordering right now.

29/01/2016

My first ever OwlCrate box is here!

Oh man, I love receiving some good mail. While the daily mail (not a reference to the medium where I get my celebrity intake I swear) is not all that exciting, I’m always anxiously awaiting the doorbell to ring when I’ve ordered something. Because then I know GOOD MAIL IS COMING.

Since becoming more active on Bookstagram, I kept seeing these fun subscription boxes pop up. They all looked awesome, OwlCrate in particular. I participated in Secret Santa last Christmas and I soooo enjoyed the anticipation for my package to arrive. So when it was announced that the January box of OwlCrate would be themed ‘magic’ and would contain a Funko, I knew I just had to order it this time.

OwlCrate is a monthly YA subscription box. It contains a new YA novel and some bookish goodies, all centered around the theme of the month. For an idea of whats in the box, check out an overview of the past boxes here.

It’s shipped from the US of A, so I had to wait for a bit and kept refreshing the tracking info multiple times a day. But here it is!

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So first, there’s this card with great design from OwlCrate with a list of all the items in the box. Pictured above are two great designs by Evie Seo. I’m always looking with heart-eyes at her shop, so I’m so happy she contributed to this months box! There’s a book mark with a quote from the Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and a print with one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite series by one of my favorite writers.. You get it, I lovelovelove this Throne of Glass print.

OwlCrate Jan 3

I got the Harry Potter Funko! It’s so cute. I recently bought my first Funko’s (Katniss and Khaleesi) and I love them. So now that I have Harry, I should get Ron and Hermione too of course. OH! And I read that there are new HP Funko’s in the making, with Luna <3 and Draco. Can’t wait for those. Also pictured is a Patronus lip balm from Geek Fire Labs which tastes like mint and white chocolate. It’s lovely and I like the packaging.

OwlCrate Jan 4

This months book is Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley. It’s a fiction novel about the Brontë sisters with some fantasy and magical elements. It came with a handwritten letter from the author (man I love details like this) and an old school paper doll kit. I actually don’t know that much about the Brontës. I’ve read Jane Eyre but it’s been ages and I never even read Wuthering Heights. One of my resolutions was to read more classics this year, so I want to read those before reading Worlds of Ink and Shadow.

OwlCrate Jan 5

I really enjoyed this months OwlCrate. International shipping isn’t cheap, so that’s why I hadn’t ordered one before. But this one was as amazing as I had hoped. Not all monthly themes are really my thing, but I’m definitely keeping an eye on upcoming boxes. The anticipation and unwrapping is so much fun!

What do you think about (bookish) subscription boxes? Did you ever receive an OwlCrate? If so, what has been your favorite so far?

11/01/2016

Bookish resolutions for 2016

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Fight the never ending TBR

Like many, many readers, I find myself stuck in the to be read trap as well. I’m always adding books to my TBR list. When scrolling through Instagram or reading blogs or Goodreads, I hardly ever leave without writing down an author or title I want to read.

Unfortunately, my reading speed doesn’t match my adding books pace. Which results in brand new books on my shelves that have never been touched, apart from when I put them there. So this year, I want to read at least one book from my TBR a month.

Participate in reading challenges

2015 was the first year I set a Goodreads goal. It helped me to get back into reading regularly. It doesn’t feel as a burden for me, but works as motivation. I’ve set my number for this year: 60 books. Challenges are a good way to keep myself motivated.

I’ve seen some fun challenges, like the fairy tale retelling challenge or the Rock your TBR or reading more classics. But I didn’t want to drown in my own enthusiasm so I decided on one big challenge for this year. It’s the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge, over on Goodreads.

I like it because it has enough ‘save’ categories for books already on my TBR, but also some themes that will help me read outside my comfort zone. And I tried to sneak in some classic in as well. You can check out my reading plan for this challenge here.

Become smarter Read more classics

I’m reading a lot of young adult, which I love. But I’ve always liked diving in to classics as well. Mostly when I’m on vacation and have the time and concentration for something a bit more slow paced. I remember that feeling of accomplishment when I finally finished Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Oh man. I felt so proud.

However, I haven’t read a classic in ages! A shame, because I like learning more about classics and their influence on the bookish world. Maybe it will also help me reach my lifelong goal of being one of those people who can quote smart things from memory. Or finally understand references without googling them.

via GIPHY

ok, moving onnnn…

Get to know the book community

The last few months of 2015, I slowly discovered the bookish world online. The Broke and The Bookish hosts a yearly Secret Santa I’m so glad I joined last year. I had so much fun reading all the messages everyone posted. That’s why I would love to participate more in discussions, comment more on blogs and post more frequently on Instagram.

I love the whole bookstagram community. The people are awesome and I’ve discovered a lot of new books already. The photos are gorgeous as well and so inspiring. So I’m going to make more of an effort to post nice pictures as well (instead of a random picture every few weeks – my current Instagram routine).

Make more notes while reading

I’m a pretty fast reader. Most of the time, that’s a good thing. I should make a habit of making small notes though. When I like a book, I race through it because I don’t want to stop. It’s easy to forget things when it’s an action packed book. When I have almost no notes, I find it so hard to write a review. Reviewing books helps me to understand them better and think about the story and characters on a deeper level.

What are your reading goals for 2016? Are you participating in any reading challenges?