Review: On Chesil Beach


◆ On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
◆ Read December 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ It is 1962 when Edward and Florence, 23 and 22 respectively, marry and repair to a hotel on the Dorset coast for their honeymoon. They are both virgins, both apprehensive about what's next and in Florence's case, utterly and blindly terrified and repelled by the little she knows. Through a tense dinner in their room, because Florence has decided that the weather is not fine enough to dine on the terrace, they are attended by two local boys acting as waiters. The cameo appearances of the boys and Edward and Florence's parents and siblings serve only to underline the emotional isolation of the two principals. ❞
On Chesil Beach is one of those books that makes you think. Ian McEwan explores how one mistake - the lack of speaking your mind - can change your life forever. It teaches you that life is too short not to be honest with others, especially those you love.

Review: Private Peaceful


◆ Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
◆ Read November 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ They've gone now, and I'm alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won't waste a single moment of it . . . I want tonight to be long, as long as my life . . ." For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly -- the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger ❞
Private Peaceful is a story said to be suitable for children aswell as grown-ups, which is without a doubt a true statement. This is the second book I've read by Michael Morpurgo - the first being War Horse - and I continue to be surprised by his ability to write stories that appeal to both young and old. Such was the case with War Horse, and it is with this one aswell.

Review: Listen To The Leaves


◆ Listen to the Leaves by Lisamarie Lamb, Yagni Payal, Cathy Graham, Ajo Despuig, Ann Partridge, Teodore Savu, Jamie DeBree, Mary Fleming and Carol R. Ward
◆ Read November 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Celebrate fall with this multi-cultural collection of stories that explore what it means to listen to the leaves. Romance, suspense, poetic literature, vampires and fantasy - a little of everything from authors in five countries. What will the leaves tell you? ❞
When I found out that I would be receiving an advance reading copy of this book, I got really excited because I adore autumn. As soon as it was delivered by mail I started reading, and it has been an enjoyable experience!

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey


◆ Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
◆ Read October 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.❞
I have never suffered so much while reading a book, wishing so badly it was over already. And no, it's not even because of the erotica. I'm still wondering how the hell this got published, why it has become a bestseller and why it is commonly listed as "a great love story".

I started reading Fifty Shades of Grey because I had read a lot of reviews about it and was kind of curious what had gotten people so worked up. So I decided to give it a try, intending to have a good laugh about it if it did turn out to be as horrible as I'd heard. And guess what? Even a good laugh was impossible.

Review: Minutes to Midnight


◆ Minutes to Midnight by H.R. Jackson
◆ Read October 2012
◆ English Audiobook Edition
◆ 
❝ Mythics: Creatures and beings of legend, possessing extraordinary abilities. Morgan, an Amazonian outcast, and Dirk, a Viking courtesan, must work together to find out who is behind the rash of random Mythic transformations before chaos grips the city of Las Vegas. Sword and sorcery combined, they must race against the coming maelstrom before what happens in Vegas...changes everything.❞
It's been an incredibly long time since I've last been extremely excited about a book series, the last time being because of the Harry Potter series. And then this book comes along and does exactly that: making me anticipate the next one in the series.

Review: Biography of Desire


◆ Biography of Desire by Adria Guinart
◆ Read September 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Biography of Desire explains the history of a wounded person, where pain comes from, how it manifests, how it translates to anguish. It is a trip from childhood to maturity, a journey through an ocean sometimes unruly, sometimes calm, with heaps of storms, generally inner ones. The experience of this inner journey through different states of being starts with a rape, a childhood sexual abuse which marks the tides and the waves erasing happy memories.
The poetic-I is a broken voice, sometimes on the verge of existentialism, some others speaking from depression and mental disorder; almost always from the strangeness of a world which is too beautiful and sinister at the same time, which he is unable to understand. Biography of Desire is an attempt to understand such duality.
I recieved this book as a giveaway a long, long time ago. In all honesty, I had forgotten about it's existence until recently when I was cleaning my room. I rarely read poetry, and I never review it, but I wanted to make an exception because the writer took the liberty to send it to me and because he was extremely kind. That's why I've tried my best to write a decent review, despite my inexperience with reviewing poetry.

Review: Devil's Peak


◆ Devil's Peak by Deon Meyer
◆ Read August 2012
◆ Dutch Edition
◆ 
❝ A gruesome abuse case has hit the newsstands, and one man has taken it upon himself to stand up for the children of Cape Town. When the accused is found stabbed through the heart by spear, it's only the beginning of a string of bloody murders - and of a dangerous dilemma for detective Griessel. The detective is always just one step behind as someone slays the city's killers. But the paths of Griessel and the avenger collide when a young prostitute lures them both into a dangerous plan - and the two find themselves with a heart-stopping problem that no system of justice could ever make right. ❞
It has been a while since I've read a book as brilliant as this literary thriller. It exceeded my expectations in every way and I regret that I left it unopened on my bookshelf for so long!

Review: The Crystal Cave


◆ The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart
◆ Read july 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝  Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys -- or as he would later be known, Merlin -- leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man's-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur -- king for once and always. 
No matter how long ago this book was published, it is far from being outdated and I don't suspect it will ever be. The Crystal Cave is a great read to guide readers - both new to the legend and those already familiar with it - through the world of swords and sorcerer's, enchantment and battles with Merlin as narrator.

Review: The Angel Experiment


◆ The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
◆ Read july 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Six unforgettable kids—with no families, no homes—are running for their lives. Max Ride and her best friends have the ability to fly. And that's just the beginning of their amazing powers. But they don't know where they come from, who's hunting them, why they are different from all other humans... and if they're meant to save mankind—or destroy it ❞
I had good expectations of this book, especially because it is a bestselling series. But damn, what has this been a dissapointment!

Review: Anastasia's Secret


◆ Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap
◆ Read july 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ For Anastasia Romanov, life as the privileged daughter of Russia's last tsar is about to be torn apart by the bloodshed of revolution. Ousted from the imperial palace when the Bolsheviks seize control of the government, Anastasia and her family are exiled to Siberia. But even while the rebels debate the family's future with agonizing slowness and the threat to their lives grows more menacing, romance quietly blooms between Anastasia and Sasha, a sympathetic young guard she has known since childhood. But will the strength of their love be enough to save Anastasia from a violent death?
After having written a huge paper for history about the Romanov family and their execution, I really got into their story. Yet most of the books I consulted for information were dull and quite boring, until I came across Anastasia's Secret. Despite the fact that it was fiction, I wanted to give it a try anyway and it has been a fun read.

Review: The Perks of Being A Wallflower


◆ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
◆ Read july 2012
◆ Dutch Edition
◆ 
❝ This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.❞
The Perks of Being a Wallflower has gotten a lot of media attention ever since it was first released, and it had been on my to-read list for a long time. When the trailer for the film came out I decided to give it a go because I wanted to have read the book before I would watch the film.

Review: The Nine Lives of Chloe King


◆ The Nine Lives of Chloe King: The Fallen; The Stolen; The Chosen by Liz Braswell
◆ Read july 2012
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy...or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn't so normal after all. There's the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes - oh, and the claws.
As she discovers who she is - and where she comes from - it is clear she is not alone. And someone is trying to get her. Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough? 
Like so many others, I started reading The Nine Lives of Chloe King because I saw the show, which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of those situations where the show is actually better than the book. When I first opened the book I was immensely excited. It started out okay, not really as good as I expected but introductions are hard so I continued reading because I hope for more. Around 50 or 100 pages I was struggling so hard to get through it that I put the book away for a while. Needless to say, the dissapointment was huge.

Review: Skeletons at the Feast


◆ Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
◆ Read june 2012
◆ Dutch Edition
◆ 
❝ In January 1945, in the waning months of World War II, a small group of people begin the longest journey of their lives: an attempt to cross the remnants of the Third Reich, from Warsaw to the Rhine if necessary, to reach the British and American lines 
This book got my attention because it seemed different from other historical novels about World War II. Seldom have I come across a book that describes the events from the point of view of German people who had no influence or contribution whatsoever to the war. Skeletons at the Feast offers you this, aswell as the stories of a Scottish man who has become a prisoner of war, a young Jewish woman struggling to stay alive and a Jewish man who has taken on the identity of German corporal. This combination of varied characters makes for an intense yet touching storyline and you come to love each of them despite their flaws. 

Review: The Time Traveler's Wife


◆ The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
◆ Read january 2012
◆ Dutch Edition
◆ 
❝  When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable ❞
Despite most of the negative reviews about this book, I quite enjoyed it. I thought that the book started out confusing because there's no explanation whatsoever how or why the main character travels through time, you just land in the middle of it all. However, as the story progresses everything becomes clearer and you find yourself pulled into the main characters frustrating world where time and place are inconsistent. 
 

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