Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Message To You For 2016

Ahh - just a day till the new year starts!
It's not that special, actually. In the end it's still the next day and nothing will actually change, just the last number of the year.
But the fireworks, the great food and the people just make it special.

Now we all have New Year's resolutions.
"I want to be happy"or "I'm going to study hard in my final year and pass my exams".
All great visions on how great the next year will be. Because this year is going to be YOUR year; this year is going to be perfect; this year, ooh this year, this year is going to be the BEST!

But when all the festivities are over, reality strucks in like lightning and suddenly life returns to normal. Nothing's changed!
You're still the same person like few hours before and well, your same old life goes on.
And those New Year's resolutions?
Well, they're just resolutions, aren't they?

Now I'm not going to tell you to cling to thes resolutions - make them reality! Hold on! Believe! - no.
Nor will I tell you to give up on them.
The only thing I will tell you is this:
Know that you don't know.

Because if you expect to be this or that, to do these great things this year, it will only hurt more when it doesn't happen, when you realize you're incapable, that you lack skill or motivation etcetera etcetera etcetera...
So don't.

Although it's better not to, we till have the visions. I mean everybody has them!
Everybody feels like doing something!
The only problem most of us face is that we aren't prepared for what's next.
And you can't be prepared for what's next.
But you can be prepared for not being prepared. You can be prepared for not knowing what to do.

The point is:
Next year, when you have this list of things you want to accomplish, be prepared for not accomplishing anything of this list at all! Life's weird!
Everything changes every single time! So how the hell would you know what's going to happen? You don't! Will it be good, will it be bad - YOU NEVER KNOW!
And you have to be at peace with that!

But then, what do you do when you never know what to do?
You just live. You do thigs relevant for this very moment. You think you should do homework now? Do it. You see your room's dirty? Clean it.
What will happen tomorrow, what you will do tomorrow, is and stays in tomorrow and you'll see what's up then.
Not now. Because you can't do anything for tomorrow now.
It's true that your actions might have any effect on tomorrow. Like if you do most of your homework now, you might have to do less tomorrow. But what if you get an email tomorrow saying that you get extra homework? Or your mom gives you extra chores?
There goes your preparation for tomorrow. So you don't have any idea how tomorrow will turn out for you.

To this point you probably feel like "know that you don't know" is the worst advice anyone could ever give to you and it's pointless and idiotic and strange and perhaps a bit scary.
Okay then - let's get back to those resolutions.
What are these resolutions?
They are hopes, some impossible, some quite doable.
But in the end hopes are hopes.
We need hopes.
We do it all the time - it's what keeps us going.
Because if we don't hope, how the hell are we going to enjoy this strange, impossible madness called life?

But Nadi, isn't having hopes pointless when you never know what will happen next and you can't be prepared for anything?
You tell me. Is it? Do you feel better if you don't have hopes? Will you feel motivated to do something? If hopes get pointless, then doesn't life become pointless?
If you ask me: no, hopes are definitely not pointless.
Because it's all we can do for now. We can't look into the future, but having hope can give us all a great boost. It will make us try!
If you keep on hoping, you will keep on trying!
And those who keep on trying are mainly the ones who get where they want to be, and happily!
Yes, some don't - they just had bad luck. Maybe they're badly injured, they lived in abad environment or lacked the skills or were aiming for something impossible. But that's life.

But knowing that you don't know isn't supposed to keep you from living or make you feel down or take away your hope!
It should fuel your hope!
You have no idea what is up ahead, you have no idea how things will turn out, so all you can do is hope and try to make these visions come true.
And that will - hopefully (see what I did there? *wink* *wink*) - get you where you want to be.

So here's my advice to you for 2016, and actually every single moment in your life:
Know that you don't know.
You have no idea what will happen tomorrow or next year or if your dreams will come true.
And you need to accept this.
But don't stop hoping, and with that: DON'T STOP TRYING!
Because in the end all you have to do is:
Hope for the best and be ready for the worst!

Have a wonderful time tonight! Enjoy your New Year's Eve with everyone you love and don't forget to hope!
I wish you all the best for 2016!

Until the next blog post! :)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All I Want For Christmas Book Tag

Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas, everybody!
I hope you're having fun and have got a lots of books or other presents, but mainly books, of course. Me and my family, we don't really celebrate Christmas - we just eat a lot and all the good stuff of course. And we get presents. Most times a few months too early.
Anyway - that doesn't mean I don't enjoy Christmas! Festivities don't matter as long as you have your family to spend a wonderful time with, because that's what Christmas is all about, right? O WHO AM I KIDDING? OF COURSE NOT! ALL WE WANT IS PRESENTS!
(...Just kidding. Kinda. Sorta. Not really. Hehehe...)
So today I'm doing the All I Want For Christmas Book Tag!

1) What fictional character do you want Santa to leave under the Christmas tree?

I'm kind of alone so I kind of need someone who can be my bestie. So I need someone who's sassy, has some humor, likes my non-humor humor, likes to kick some ass (even though I'd probably fail at kicking someone's ass. I'll probably just make threats and run off as soon as someone tells me to actually do it. #heroic) and likes books.
Uh. Well. Uhm. Hm. I think...
Amy. Amy Gumm.
Because her sass-level is high with its sarcastic humor and she how to kick some ass. I don't know if she likes books, though. She probably does. Or I'll make her.
I'll manage with my sarcastic non-humor humor and my kind of sassy sass. 
We would make such great friends.

2) What character would you want to kiss under the mistetoe?

Well, actually... Let's just skip that question and get to the real question.
In my reading journey I've come across a lot of hot guys. Like really hot guys. Like legit hot guys. Like so hot, you have to have a pack of ice nearby otherwise you going to die of their hotness. But there was one that will always manage to blow me away with his hotness. And that is...
Ashallayn'Darkmyr Tallyn form the Iron Fey series.
He was my first book crush and he always will be, because of his ice cold hotness.
If he'd kiss me under the mistletoe my life would be complete.

3) Write your Christmas Wishlist for Santa, what top 5 books are in it?

This list is kind of a mix between books that are already out and books that have to come out yet.

1. A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir (An Ember In The Ashes #2)
2. Glass Sword By Victoria Aveyard
3. Everyday by David Levithan
4. She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
5. The Iron Warrior by Julie Kagawa (Dutch Version)

I need this in my life as soon as possible, Santa. 

4) It's secret Santa at Hogwarts, what do you want to receive the most?

Well, I still haven't read Harry Potter yet. But lately I've been watching quite some Harry Potter movies and what I'd really like to have is that time-travel-necklace-thingy Hermoine uses to do more classes on one day, in the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I want to travel through time. It sounds so cool.

5) You get to spend the day with your with the characters and movie adaption actors from one fandom, what do you pick?

Well, the truth is that I haven't watch many movie adaptions from books. Or I have but I didn't know until later that it was a movie adaption. But I think I'm going for the cast of An Ember In The Ashes, because these characters are awesome and I'm pretty sure that the actors will be awesome too. Hopefully. It isn't a movie yet, by the way. But it will be. Soon. I don't know when, but soon.
(It better be soon, because I don't know if I can wait much longer)

6) With what fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on your roof?

Grimalkin. Obviously Grimalkin from the Iron Fey series. First of all because he's the laziest cat I've ever read about and I want to see him pretending to be a reindeer and see his face while doing so. And secondly; everyone of the Iron Fey fandom would want to see Grimalkin in a reindeer costume and just take pics with him.

7) You invite 10 fictional characters to your New Year's Eve party, who would you pick?

This is no top ten, but just to make it clear and easy to read:

1. Todd Hewitt
2. Viola Eade
3. August Pullman
4. Amy Gumm
5. Nox
6.  Professor Andrew Martin (the alien)
7. Alexa Hollen
8. Prince Damian
9. Mare Barrow

8) What character would make a good Santa (Doesn't have to be appearance, personality counts too)?

August Pullman, a little ten year old santa! HE WOULD BE SO CUTE. He's funny, he's happy, he's warm and lovely. Ugh, Christmassyness-overload!

That's it for this blog post!
I wish you all a Merry Chrismas!

Until the next blog post, then! :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

I fell for the first book and now I'm falling even harder for the second.
This book ripped my heart out, squeezed it tight, put it back to rip it out again - I've never felt THIS moved by a book before. Never.


After arriving at Haven, the first and biggest settlement of New World who has the cure to Noise, Todd and Viola, who is badly injured find that they were too late.
Mayor Prentiss has already taken over and they've walked straight into his arms.
They immediately get separated from each other and both try to live under the new circumstances and both are wondering where the other is.
And then one day a group called the Answer pops up and the bombs start to explode...

My opinion

Rate: 9.5/10

The Knife of Never Letting Go was furiously paced, but The Ask and The Answer was terrifyingly slow.
Those were the first words I spoke after finishing the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy. I am sooooooo moved? blown away? dead?
I don't even know what this book does to me, but it's good. SO. GOOD.

Ness has literally blown me away in this second book. I knew it would be a great series after reading the first book, but I never thought that Ness could make a build-up, a slow pace so utterly terrifying and awesome. 
This slow pace perfectly fits the protagonists' adjustment to their new environment and their feeling of hopelessness and desperation of not knowing who to trust, what to do or how to get back to each other. It also shows us these strong feelings they have for each other, which I really enjoyed reading. Well, I don't think enjoyed is the right word here, more like moved, heartbreaking, making-you-want-to-faint-of-happiness-and-or-sadness.

This slow pace felt more like filling a waterballoon. 
We got these creepy, confusing, mindwrenching events that filled the balloon; questions, horrible accidents, accusations, new friendships, more hatred, new discoveries - ALL OF IT - thrown into it and the balloon just gets bigger and bigger. And at the end of the book - BOOM.
It explodes. And I'm guessing that we're going to see the consequences of the explosion in the third and final - NOOOOO - book.
And it was this in particular that really absorbed me into the book.

The character development in this book is SO. STRONG.
At some point in the story you just feel like you're reading from a whole other perspective. Both Todd and Viola grow up in this book, learn how to make difficult decisions and how to do anything for the other. 
*faints while yelling "OTP! OTP! OMG OTP!"*
They both become these leaderlike, confident persons and that's just so beautiful to see.
And the connection to the characters grows stronger and stronger...

This connection I have with the characters I have in this book is one I've never had before.
I can LITERALLY feel their frustration, their hurt, their anger, thir longing for each other (Todd and Viola). The twisted, too nice but so not nice mind of the Mayor - sorry, President - scares the poo out of me, but I LOVE IT because I can really feel the fear it instills in the characters. It really messes with my feelings, absorbs me even more into the story, to the point where I'm never letting go till I got the answer on my asking.

And there are really no bad things to say about this book! Only that it ended to soon and it still doesn't feel that Sci-Fi-y, although I feel like we're going to get some more Sci-Fi-y elements in the third and last - o boy - novel.
Which makes me realize... I'M ALMOST DONE WITH THIS SERIES.

Ah well, I'll just read it again.

That's it for this blog post!
Until the next blog post, then! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review Fight Or Flight by Chele Cooke

After reading the first book for the Out of Orbit blog tour, I was really pumped for the sequel. I had a feeling that something big was about to happen for Os-Veruh and its inhabitants. The Belsa would finally take action and Georgianna would turn in this badass leader, wielding swords like she was born to do it and Keirran would by her side and they would FINALLY join (Veniche way of saying marry). The Adveni would be burned to the ground and the Veniche would be victors.
Yeah, that wasn't really the case.
Instead it stayed true to its secretive theme with its hidden truths and betrayals and it was pretty freaking cool.


“This is nowhere near over. This is just the beginning.”

Georgianna Lennox is now a slave, serving an Adveni master and caught in the middle of a brewing war between oppressors and insurgents.

As the rebels increase their attacks against the Adveni, Georgianna is recruited as their eyes behind enemy lines.

But the lies she is forced to tell her owner are nothing compared to the secrets she must keep from her friends.

Secrets that could change the war in their favour, and lies that might destroy them all.

My opinion

Rate: 8/10

I really enjoyed how instead of my expectations of becoming this action-packed book it stayed to true to the secretive theme of the first book. Our protagonist, Georgianna, is confronted with lies and has to lie herself and kind of goes through the same progress as in the first book. Only now it's bigger, more important and we see her grow a bit more in the book.

I really liked the new additions to our cast of characters! Or more like the fact that old characters got a bigger part in this book, like Edtroka and Alec. Their personalities and ideals really spice things up in the story, because they pretty much completely influence Georgianna's actions and thoughts. Alec with his hate towards Keirran and Edtroka with his scary mood swings - they all really affect her and give this tension to the story.

Not much happened in the first half of the story; it was more Georgianna trying to get used to her new environment and her role as slave, but it were these "new" characters that made it way more fun to go through. 
Sometimes it was difficult to get through - the longing for the great life-changing, and action-packed twist was growing more and more and nearly made me throw the book away in frustration, but on the other hand I did enjoy, like I've said twice now, how we still had this secretive theme going on. Georgianna once again had to figure out the hidden truths and figure out what she was going to do with this knowledge.
The second half of the story took on this faster pace. More and more secrets were unraveled and I got to say - it got more fun too. Edtroka was throwing fists at someone, Georgianna got involved in another, but bigger plan and hell broke loose!
It made the wait totally worth it.

Seeing the other side, the Adveni-side of Os-Veruh in this book, really completed my vision of the world Cooke has created. After finishing the first book I kind of was afraid that the small part of the Adveni-world we saw, would be the only thing we would see, but luckily that wasn't at all true. I really enjoyed the "tech-feel" it gave to me, while I was reading it. The Adveni are this high-developed race and thanks to Cooke's detailed descriptions it gave me a better view on how developed they actually were.

The descriptions, like in the first book, did tend to drag on a bit every now and then. Though I appreciate them and sometimes, like with the description of the Adveni world, did enjoy them and found them necessary, I still thought they were just a bit too long.
It was another thing that made it a bit harder for me to get through this book.

But overall this book was great! I like the concept, the characters and the world and I'm really pumped for the third book! 
Ahh - I'm really hoping for some big character-developments in this book! 
I'm looking at you, Georgianna!

That's it for this blogpost!
Until the next blogpost, then! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

One of the very few Sci-Fi-novels, but also one of the very best Sci-Fi-novels I've ever read.
I really couldn't put this book down and if really had to, I couldn't wait to start reading again. I loved this book and I completely recommend it!


Todd Hewitt lives in Prentisstown. A town full of men, and no women, who can hear each other thoughts in a never-ending stream, called the Noise.
Just a month away from his birthday, Todd and his dog Manchee stumble upon a spot filled with complete silence. And this knowledge gives them more trouble than they'd expected. Todd must leave his parents, Ben and Cillian, and save his own life.
He's on the run - but how can he escape when everyone can hear his Noise?

My opinion

Rate; 8.5/10

Reading this book was such a great experience. I loved the characters, the plot-line was WOW, the writing style was fun and great, and although I find that the world-build and the sci-fi-elements weren't THAT great - I still felt like it was awesome.

The world was, in my opinion, a bit plain. There wasn't much to it - I didn't really have those "new-environment-with-super-duper-crazy-stuff-feels" and well, I'd liked to have those. I wanted to feel a bit more like I wasn't on a planet comparable to earth.
The same for the Sci-Fi-elements; yes, there were a few spaceships and a few aliens, but they weren't that prominent and just not enough.

But even though I didn't have those "Sci-Fi-feels" while reading this book, I was definitely engaged to the plot-line. IT WAS AWESOME.
This book was so fast, no furiously, paced and that gave such an exciting and tensed effect to me, which really made my heart stop beating a few times. Normally I wouldn't like fast-paced books, because it feels like nothing really happened in the book, but in this case it was really enjoyable and if it wasn't this fast, I'm not sure if I would've liked it all. The characters, and mainly Todd and Viola, have this I-need-to-survive-mentality shining through their thoughts and the book is survival-themed, which makes the fast pace wanted. It gives such an incredible feel to reading it.
But it also makes it end to soon :(.

The characters were really great in this book. 
They managed, just by their different personalities, to swing the mood of the story constantly. Our creep Aaron makes me shiver and terrified; Manchee makes me pee my pants with his "Poo, Todd!" "Poo, poo."'s; Todd makes me feel like I'm about to die any second and gives a bit more of seriousness to the story and Viola makes me fall silent.
These mood swings just make it so much more fun to read and I feel like Ness has made a perfect cast for this book.

The writing style was also one of the great things of this book. It was really engaging!
This is also because of the plot-line, but the writing style definitely had a part in it too.
Especially form of it was what really appealed me. It really stayed true to Todd's origins. He speaks with these yer's and direkshuns's and it makes it for me really fun to read. 
It makes it more Todd than Ness, and I find that a really fun and important element.
Also, the way it's actually written, typed I should say, is fun too. A tiny element, but definitely not an unimportant one. The Noise of the people is written in different fonts and most times go across two pages. Sometimes one page is filled with tons of Noise and I feel like that really makes me understand how overwhelming and distrubing this Noise could be. I'd probably kill myself if I could hear everybody's thoughts. And I would puke when I'd hear the dirty ones - UGH.

Overall this book was a great read. Although I didn't find it "Sci-Fi-y" enough, I still really really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend you to read it!

That's it for this blog post!
Until the next one, then! :)

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Nintendo Book Tag

When I was younger I was a real Pokémon-girl. I loved playing the games, catching all these legendaries, defeat other trainers and earn money, defeat gyms and become the Pokémon league-champion and collect all these cute little items.
I kind of still like it, actually, though I don't play the Nintendo or any other game console very often.
So I'm not sure if you can call me a Nintendo fangirl or gamefreak at all, but that won't stop from doing this tag; The Nintendo Book Tag!

1) NES (Nintendo Entertainment System): A classic you want to read

Because if you read my blog post on The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde, you know that since reading that book I fell in love with classics!
But I think I'm going for 1984 by George Orwell for this one, because one of my favorite teachers recommended it to me a few years ago and I still haven't got around reading it.

2) SNES (Super Nintendo): A sequel you liked more than the first (can be a second book in a series)

Oohh... That's a hard one. Uhm. Argh. Well... Could it... No. Well. Hm.
I'm thinking The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa, the second book in the Iron Fey series, but also The Iron Knight, the fourth book in the series. ARGH.
Because The Iron Daughter has so much Ash and Meghan; they're relationship is growing more and they learn more about each other and everything, but in the Iron Knight it's all Ash and him doing this trial for Meghan, because he loves her so much and and and....
Ugh. I choose both.

3) Nintendo 64: A book that revolutionized the way you look at the world

Siddhartha. No doubt. No other book, but Siddhartha by Herman Hesse.
This book has had this effect on me that still lingers and I will never forget what it taught and I will, and am doing (more like attempting) it right now, use it in my life.
Moving on...

4) Gamecube: A popular book that did not go over so well with you

*coughs* Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi *coughs* 
Sorry, but I just didn't like it. It just turned me off. 
Just nope. Just nope.
I won't say more, but click here if you want to know more.
Please don't kill me.

5) Wii: A new favorite book

Well, I've already used Siddhartha and The Ghosts of Heaven isn't a new one anymore...
I think I'm going for The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness for this one.
I haven't finished it yet, I'm almost half way through hehe, but I'm loving it so far. 

6) Nintendo Power: Favorite graphic novel series or series you want to start

I actually haven't read any graphic novels in my life.
I have to do that someday. I'm going to write that down and find me some graphic novels.
(Hopefully, if I don't forget, which I probably will so whoops)
But padfootandprongs07 (aka Raeleen May) spoke of Locke & Key by Joe Hills and Gabriel Rodríguez in one of her video's and said that it was dark and twisted, and I like me some darkness and twistiness (that's probably not a word, but anyway). So yeah.
I want to read that one.

7) Super Mario: A character you'd like to squish like a Goomba

Next one, please...

8) Zelda: A newer fantasy that you consider to be a modern classic

I love fantasy, but have I read a fantasy novel that is sooo good that it can be a modern classic?...
Well, THAT is a good question.
... No, I don't think so. Nope. Nu-uh. Haven't got an answer.

9) Samus-Aran: Favorite Sci-Fi novel or one you want to read

I'm going for The Knife Of Never Letting Go for this one, and perhaps the whole Chaos Walking trilogy. Since I haven't read all of them yet, they are kind of both becomung my favorite and still Sci-Fi-novels I have to read.

10) Pokémon: Book editions you want to collect

I'm not much of a collector of different editions of books, but if there would be one book whose versions I'd like to collect, if there are many different versions of it, I think it would be Half Bad by Sally Green.
But here comes the funny part; I don't even have one edition of the book. So I still have to read it, but I've seen one or two different editions of the book and I WANT MY HANDS ON THEM.
That didn't sound dirty at all.

11) Donkey Kong: A book with original characters

An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, because they're so vivid and cool and nice and arghh. They're like a pallette you use for painting and all of them are such strong colours that it's impossible to ignore them and not love them even though some of them are gigantic douchebags.

12) Nintendo Fandom: Favorite Nintendo game(s) or game you really want

It looks so awesome, I've watched the game trailer a few times and each time I get all excited and each time I get sad BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE IT.
I really want that game!... She said whiningly.

Well, that's it for this blog post!
Until the next blog post, then! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Not long after reading The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde (click here to read the review on that book), she scurried through the house looking for the few bookcases her parents owned and searched for a few more classics to read. Instead of starting reading these beautiful copies of many great authors, whose existence had been hidden from her for most of her life, she got another book from her father, an ebook which did something to her she can't explain. 
Her heart opened up again and she's ready take more classics in.


A young man, who goes by the name of Siddhartha, desires to find perfect knowledge of himself and the world. He's a fast learner and so soon tired of the teachings in his village.
He desires to leave and to complete his knowledge elsewhere. For this he wants to join the Samana's who have just visited his village. After a long night of persistently standing in the middle of the room, until his father gave his permission to leave, he sets out with his friend Govinda to find this perfect knowledge.
But soon he realizes that even here, with the Samana's, he didn't learn what he couldn't master after a few times trying or which he didn't already know. 
So will he ever find this knowledge? Or is he reaching for the impossible?

My opinion

Rate: 9.5/10

This book was amazing! I've never enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed reading this book.
It just really made me look at life differently and just did something to me I can't really explain.
Something like cutting my heart open and filling it with white clarity and joy!

The story itself was one that you don't see very often anymore and if you would it probably won't be as good. We basically follow the life of a very critical young man who goes through a few phases in which he learns a lot. And I, as a reader, felt like I was learning too. And I really loved that feeling. I think that's what made me feel even more connected to the book and the main character, Siddhartha.

And the writing style really helps with making me enjoy this book and the storyline. It is a translation of a German book, but it doesn't feel off. Like it is translated sooo literally that it doesn't make any sense at all or that it takes away the joy of reading it.
The sentences are quite long, which makes you want to read them a few times so that you can fully understand its meaning, but it just has something, SOMETHING, that gives the story a certain feeling. A certain clarity.
Because these sentences, the way everything is described, has something poetic, but something so direct, so to the point, that even a fool can understand it. 
I love it.

To get back to the story itself; Siddhartha's character development is ON POINT. Now this might be what the story is all about, but from all the books I read with character-development in it, it's rather the same all the time. A weak character grows stronger, a sceptical character grows softer etc. etc. etc. And I love these developments too, but something different can really open you up and "wow" you.
Now here you can also see a sceptical character turn into a softer one, but in a way in which you can feel the peace and clarity and understanding radiate of the pages.

And another thing that really got me, touched me, opened my eyes, opened my heart, were the messages int his story. Hesse told me something that I will forever keep in my heart and carry with me through life, and use to be the best version of myself.
He has put to words, something I needed to know to live my life better. He showed me an example which showed me how simple and lovely life can be if you just want it, just believe it.
Maybe I'm a bit vague about these messages, but I think you should read this book yourself to know what I'm talking about. Or what it'll do to you when you read it.

I've used a lot of "love" in this blog post, haven't I?
Ah, well, this book just brings me so much joy and love that I have no other to describe it with, other than joy and love.
*sighs peacefully*
*thinks about becoming a buddhist ('cause that's what the book kind of sort of totally is about, buddhism)*
*then realizes she doesn't need to become a buddhist*
*insert spiritual and wise thoughts in here*
*sighs peacefully again*

That's it for this blog post, guys!'
Until the next blog post, then! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review The Rose Cord by J D Oswald

I finally got around reading the second book in this series! And I loved it!
Immediately after reading this book, I scurried to the bookstore in town and bought the other available sequels, because I'm obsessed, guys, OBSESSED.
I love the magic. I love Errol. I love Benfro. I hate Magog. O how I hate Magog.
Beulah gives me the chills. And Melyn pisses me off like hell.
It's great and I completely recommend reading the first book (click here for the review on that one)!


May contain spoilers of the first book!

Our two heroes continue their story in Gwlad. Benfro, with his mother dead by the hands of Melyn, must flee to not go under the same fate as his mother. He travels through the forest of the Ffrydd, going God knows where and stumbles upon the last resting place of the great dragon Legend, Magog, Son of the Summer Moon. Saving Magog's unreckoned jewel, Benfro has no idea what he's got himself into. And it doesn't matter, because the great Magog is willing to teach him everything he needs to take his revenge on the men who killed his mother. But how high will the price be?
Once he wanted nothing more than to be a Warrior Priest of the Order of the High Ffrydd, but now, as Errol uncovers the truth behind the Order he isn't so sure anymore. Meanwhile the Twin Kingdoms prepare for war against Llanwennog and Queen Beulah needs a spy to infiltrate their kingdom. Since Errol looks like a Llanwennog, he makes the perfect spy, only if the inquisitor could make him his puppet.

My opinion

Rate: 8.5/10

What a nice read!
The story picks up right where it left off and takes a but further into the world Oswald has created. We don't get to see very much, mostly just woods and the few places where men live, but still - I take what I can get, haha. More mysteries are discovered in this book and a few are unraveled, but quite like the first book - it was another build-up.
By build-up I mean a book which is part of one big story. The book isn't very eventful or superexciting, but it's slowly working up to the mindblowing event and contains a lot of information such as history of Gwlad, seeing our characters working on their magic or uncovering more about themselves, seeing the characters get prepared for something etc.

So in a build-up things are quite slow and almost boring, normally.
But with this book - and with the first one also - I didn't find it a problem at all. Like I said before in my review on the first book - I love the writing style and that is exactly why I don't mind the fact that it is quite slow. Oswald's vocabulary and descriptions making the reading journey worth it and his strong and great characters are so fun to get into. They're also growing in this book, especially Benfro and Errol, and that's so fun to see.

Another thing that really compensated for the slow pace of the book was the prominence of magic. Since both Errol and Benfro are consistently encountering magic, learning how to use it, how to control it, we too get to learn more and more about the magic. And I really really really love the magic in this book and how it almost seems real. It's so close to the nature, with the Grym and its lines connecting everything and everyone in the world and how your mind plays such a big role in controlling and using the magic is so fascinating. It feels old-school, like an ancient form of magic, and it really fits the story.

When it comes to different perspectives in the story, I kind of found it a shame that we got so much Benfro and not enough Errol. I even missed Beulah and Melyn!
Don't get me wrong - I love Benfro and I loved the new descriptions of the new places he discovers and the events that occur. They're literally magical, and just have that overdosis of fantasy-touch, which I love, but sometimes it gets a bit too much. These descriptions tend to drag on because of the many that are made (green as grass, for example) and it kind of feels like we linger to long at one place. 
We don't really move on much in this perspective.

The real section that got me really thrilled and excited were the last few hundred pages of the book.
Here the tension starts to build up more and more; the characters in the book unravel a few more mysteries or they finally encounter the mysteries I as a reader already knew of. The switches between the perspectives occur more and more which is way more fun, but makes the long wait worth it!

Although the story continues slowly, Oswald did definitely put a lot of stuff in the story. The book is full of information on places and magic, dragonkind and its history and quite some mysteries pop up in the book, making it seem big, but it didn't feel so big at all.
Very contradictory, I know, but what I'm trying to say is; he puts a lot of elements in the story, but smoothes this out over the rest of the book, giving us bits and pieces of these elements every now and then.

Overall this book was a nice read and though it was another build-up, the magic, the writing style and the world itself made up for it. I'm really thrilled for the third book, because I hope it will be action-packed and we finally get to unravel some more mysteries!

That's it for this blogpost!
Until the next blogpost, then! :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Time and Place Book Tag

So I saw Ariel Bissett doing this tag and I loved to hear the strange stories she had to tell about five of her books. I know that I have some strange or beautiful, but mostly strange experiences with my books too. So that's why today I have for you the Time and Place book tag!

> The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
A whole new world
So I was like twelve around this time and I was this very very shy girl who liked videogames and just got into reading, thanks to one of her friends.
It was winter, I think, and on a cold afternoon my dad called when he was in the centrum (the part of the city with all the stores and stuff).
"Hey Nadi," he said and I listened very carefully and couldn't help the grin that spread across my face. I knew that when he called, he had some kind of gift or something like that to offer, hehe.
"So I'm in the bookstore right now and I found this book 'The Iron King', would you like to read that?"
"No no no," I sadi immediately, "I already have that one, it's actually called the Ice Queen."
(In Dutch 'ice' and 'iron' kind of sound the same. Well, at least to me...)
"No no," he said, "it's 'The Iron King'. You know what? I'll just buy it for and if you like it, that's fine and if don't, it's fine too."
When my dad came home and handed that book to me, I underestimated the power it held.
Because as soon as I started reading it, the book opened up my heart a bit more to reading. It grabbed me with its strong, but gentle, arms and dragged me into it.
My once so grey head became red. Orange. Yellow. Green. The rainbow.
My sweet escape, it was. And it would become so much more.

> The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde
The Book Chair
Now don't let this title mislead you - I didn't actually make a book chair (though that would be pretty awesome) with tons of editions of The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde. I did something to it that no reader should do to its book.
I sat on it.
Accidentally, of course! I'll tell you how it went:
So I was quite busy working on stuff. Switching from my laptop - which I had placed on my bed, since there was no place on my desk anymore - to my desk. And a bit to my phone...
After a few hours of working (I actually don't if it were hours, but it sounds good) I got a text from one of my friends to check out something on the internet. And, of course, for checking something out you're going to need a laptop. Or phone. But I chose the laptop.
Now keep in mind that the laptop was on my bed and my book lay next to it on my bed.
I think you've already guessed what happened afterwards.
I sat on my bed to sit comfortably in front of my laptop. And not realizing for ten seconds at least that I was sitting on my book. 
When I got up again, I was like: HOLY FUDGEBALLS I SAT ON MY BOOK. NO NO NO!
And then I put in the bookcase, where it could heal slowly and where butt can't do him any harm.

> The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
A Gift of Heaven
I've told you this story before and I'm going to tell you again, because I can. (Was that a rhyme? Nice.)
So for English class I was supposed to read a book for my booktest, which basically was answering tons of questions about the book and get a grade for it. Woohoo.
Anyway, so I was in quite a rush, because booktest was about to take place in a couple of weeks and I'm not the fastest reader so I needed a book right now.
I decided to run to the big and probably the only real bookstore in town and as soon as I entered I ran immediately to the Young Adult-section of the store, not caring to take a look at any other books.
I was strolling between the tables, letting my hands glide over the covers of the books and knowing that I never wanted to leave again. But I had to and I had to very soon so I decided to push my feelings away and focus on the real task.
After fifteen minutes of walking between the tables and pondering about which book I should take with me and then he appeared. As if the angels of Heaven had put it there just for me to see, I found this blue-ish, turquoise book with a spiral staircase on it, which probably led to Heaven, I assumed, called 'The Ghosts of Heaven'. I immediately thought (after a few times considering to take another book instead) that this was it. This was THE book. And it was, because it became one of my favorites.
I need to buy more books of this author.

> Wonder by R J Palacio
Cry-baby and Smile-baby
So I was searching Goodreads for some nice and fun books to read and I suddenly came across this one: Wonder by R J Palacio.
I read the synopsis, skimmed through a few reviews and thought by myself: I HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.
I put it on my Must Read List and went on searching for other books.
A few months later I found myself in that big and probably the only real bookstore here again. Me and my bookish friends were just spending hours in the bookstore, each of us in a quite different section of the store and were just indulging all the books we wanted to have but didn't have enough money for to buy all of them. We were basically torturing ourselves. But then I realized that I still had a book token (if that's the right way to call it) and a debit card with more than enough money. Now I could've bought a hell lot of books with my debit card and my book token, but I decided I was going to be a good girl and buy one or two books.
And then I saw one - exactly one - copy of Wonder between all the books on the lowest shelf. So I went and bought it immediately with another book. 
I thought it would be a nice read, not a heartbreaking story that would rip my heart out a billion times to put it back again, make it whole again and rip it out again afterwards.
I started reading this book and I started smiling like a doofus and I was letting it touch my heart and destroy it. I kept on smiling and smiling and siling, till something bad happened and I nearly cried. I was so engaged to the story that I could literally feel my heart stop as bad things happened, as Auggie got hurt or got really depressed. I love Auggie.
And this is probably the first book that really got me sooooooo close to crying. That made the tears literally well up in my eyes.
It destroyed me. And it made me smile.
God, I love this book.

> Het Geheim Van Mystic Mountain by Nadi Shahid
Written by Nadi
I always wanted to publish a book someday and when I was ten or eleven I decided that I would just Google: publisher for children.
And as stupid as it may sound, I actually found a publisher who would publish books written by children. I showed it to my mom and my dad and they looked at the site of the publisher carefully and nodded.
"Okay," they said. "You can send your manuscript if you have one already."
"Not yet," I said happily, probably while I was jumping and screaming, "but I'm going to write one and they're going to love it and everybody's going to love it!"
So in a few months I wrote a manuscript. It wasn't actually a book if you ask me now. More a short story. But back then I didn't care, whether it was a big book or a small one or even a book at all - I was so in love with the idea of publishing a book that I didn't really care what kind of book it would be and that I was actually already in love with the book I wrote before it was even written. 
As soon as I finished writing the manuscript, I send it to the publisher with my mom and dad sitting beside me.
A few days later my dad got an email saying that they'd love to publish my book and the following days were amazing. We needed to do some stuff for the publisher and we needed quite a lot of help for that. And I had so many supportive classmates who so happy for me as they got the news that I was going to publish a book. I got some sort of standing ovation, like Auggie, haha ;). 
And one teacher in particular was really supportive. She helped me plan stuff out, get the things I needed and she was just a great help. And I'm forever grateful for that.
She's a very special person to me and not only because she helped me publish my book, but for many more things. Good thing we still have some contact.
This book really has a special place in my heart, though as I look back on the story itself I could've made it even better, but it has given me so many great memories that I don't care whether it's a good book or not.

As you can see - this tag is really MY tag. Not that I created it, but it's just the perfect opportunity for my inner-writer to come out and take over. HELL YEAH! #NoShame
Well, I hope you enjoyed this blogpost as much as I loved writing it.
Until the next blogpost, then! :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Review The Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde

Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's a bad thing or maybe it doesn't really matter, but I haven't read many classics to be very honest. Of course I've heard of them, but I never thought about actually reading them, because I always had these other books which seemed way more fun to read. 
I was so wrong.
After this book I promised myself something very important: I'm going to read way more classics.


The book is a compilation made by Ian Smalls. It contains many different stories by Oscar Wilde like "The Happy Prince", "The Fisherman and His Soul" and many others of other genres. Also included is a part on "The Portrait of Mr. W.H.", in which Wilde and his friend Erskine try to solve a literature mystery.

My opinion

Rate: 9.5/10

This book makes me want to read more and more classical books and has opened my heart a little bit more to literature!
The short stories by Wilde seem so innocent and cute, but have a lot more to them than may appear. By this I mean that, even though they are short with a few funny characters, mostly animals which I completely love, they all gives some message. Every story contains a moral and I just love how he put these morals into these short stories.

I love how, instead of using humans, he personifies objects and animals and give them a big role in some stories. Sometimes they interfere in human lives, but the story is still about them. And I loved this new perspective; though the animals and objects thought as humans, it still felt like a completely different experience, looking through an animal's or object's eyes.

And how sad the endings of these stories were!
Well, not all of them, but most of them ended so sadly, but I felt like that sadness had a great impact on me. It made the moral of the story stick more to me. Because in most of the stories the characters make mistakes that have, most times, fatal consequences for them, making you as a reader feel like; I definitely shouldn't do that. Nope. Bad plan.
I liked how he did that.

The part on "The Portrait of W.H." was the part that stuck with me an will stick with me the most. Seeing how Wilde poured himself into literature, in solving the a mysterious case on a specific character of Shakespeare's Sonnets, was utterly fascinating. Perhaps it wasn't Wilde at all, but anyhow - it makes me kind of want to dig deeper into stories too.
Maybe not till the point where I'll have to spend even more money on the story or commit suicide because someone didn't believe in my point of view, but solving mysteries sounds fun. 

I also really enjoyed the poems (in proseform!). They were just beautiful and though I'm not a believer of God, I find that Wilde has made the role of Him so beautiful and interesting in these poems.

Furthermore I find it funny to compare this volume of short stories to our stories nowadays and I see quite a big difference between them. I know from Latin class that writers around the Roman era mainly wrote stories to show the citizens how to live their lives as a good person (or to share theories, philosophies etc.). I kind of have the feeling that Wilde did that as well, or maybe that was a thing around that time too. I'm still learning about our history guys! Though I'm not sure if we'll ever discuss this in class... Probably not. :(
But right now we are all into romance and its intimacy and the same love triangle all over again, mixed with magic and unicorns, that it feels nice to get away from that and read some classics every now and then.
And yes, these classics can contain a hell of a lot of drama, some are even more dramatic (think of Romeo and Juliet), but others were about morals, justice, a critical description on their time and place packed in a funny fictional way and in my opinion that's way more fun and interesting to read. 
I still love my unicorn-magic-and-a-little-bit-of-romance-stuff, but I also love to vary in reading and this book has made me want to dig more into another genre: classics. 
(Is that a genre?)

Overall; this was just a completely different reading experience to me and a great one at that! It's fun to explore some new genres and become more open to different genres, instead pouring yourself into one genre only. It's not a bad thing though, but I just don't enjoy that. And thanks to this classic by Oscar Wilde, I just want to read more and more classics!

That's it for this blogpost!
Until the next blogpost then! :)