Review: Let It Snow

◆ Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
◆ Read December 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.
The synopsis is slightly misleading. Only slightly. Because the stories weren't exactly hilarious and the last one was anything but charming! I did not know two of the authors before starting this, but I usually love John Green's books and this one kind of disappointed me in comparison to his other ones. True, it gets you in the holiday spirit, but don't expect much more from it! 

December Book Haul

Another book haul at last! This month's haul was slightly larger than expected because I was gifted a few books. That is always a wonderful surprise ;)

DIY: Christmas Ornament X (Snowflake)

This is the last paper Christmas Ornament that I made. Snce it's a rather large structure, you won't be able to hang it in your tree like the others, but it could look beautiful on the wall or in a window!

DIY: Christmas Ornament IX (Bird)

My mother always put little bird ornaments in our Christmas tree so I've come to associate them with Christmas. Made out of book pages, these little birds make a wonderful addition!

DIY: Christmas Ornament VIII (Sphere)

A Christmas tree isn't complete without some Christmas balls/spheres, right? Though this DIY makes use of a lot of book pages, it's sill relatively easy to make. Furthermore, you can make variations by gluing some sides together completely and others only halfway.

DIY: Christmas Ornament VII (Christmas Bell)

For some reason I always associate bells with Christmas. This tutorial is pretty similar to the Christmas tree one, but here come the instructions anyway! Unfortunately the photos have turned out slightly blurry because of lightning. 

DIY: Christmas Ornament VI (Origami Star)

Today's DIY is also origami-based. Once you get the hang of it, this one is really easy to do. 

DIY: christmas Ornament V (Origami Reindeer)

This tutorial is a little different than others, because technically I'm not giving instructions. Origami often seems difficult, but this one is very do-able if you follow the instructions carefully. Moreover, it's one of the more original ornaments I've seen around!

DIY: Christmas Ornament IV (Snowman)

Do you want to build a snowmaaaan? Though it's not typical for Christmas per se, it does get you in the winter mood. Moreover, this ornament is especially fun to make.

From Paper to Screen: Winter 2014/2015

From Paper To Screen is a seasonal post about upcoming movies that are based on books. This post deals with noteworthy movies that will be released this winter. You might want to check out the books before visiting the theater!

DIY: Christmas Ornament III (Christmas Tree)

It doesn't get any more christmasy than a Christmas Tree, right? Today I'll show you how to make a a small tree out of some old paper. 

DIY: Christmas Ornament II (Pop-Up Star)

The second tutorial is for this pop-up Christmas star! I think this might be one of my favorites because it fits in with the rest of the tree ornaments perfectly! 

DIY: Christmas Ornament I (Sphere)

Christmas is my favorite time of the year and one of the things I love about it, is decorating the christmas tree. However, this year I wanted to do something different, so I decided to make some bookish ornaments! From this day forth I will post DIY's on how to make different types of ornaments from book pages (I suggest you use an old, uninteresting book for these tutorials). The first one is for a sphere as pictured above!

Review: Where Rainbows End

Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
◆ Read December 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ From naughty children to rebellious teenagers, Rosie and Alex have stuck by each other through thick and thin. But just as as they're discovering the joys of teenage nights on the town and dating disasters, they're separated. Alex's family move from Dublin to America - and Alex goes with them. For good.

Rosie's lost without him. But on the eve of her departure to join Alex in Boston, Rosie gets news that will change her life forever - and keep her at home in Ireland.

Their magical connection sees them through the ups and downs of each others lives, but neither of them knows whether their friendship can survive the years and miles - or new relationships. And at the back of Rosie's mind is whether they were meant to be more than just good friends all along. Misunderstandings, circumstances and sheer bad luck have kept them apart, but when presented with the ultimate opportunity, will they gamble everything for true love?
Wheh, I finished this in a really short amount of time! Where Rainbows End has a much deeper plot than the average chick-lit and is a real pageturner at that. It did remind me of One Day but further research told me that this book was published well before Nicholl's, so I think Ahern might have inspired some authors in their writing!

The Christmas Gift Guide Tag

The holidays are a lot of fun but many of us are hard-pressed for gift suggestions! The Christmas Gift Guide Tag was created by the bloggers over at Crazy for YA, and it's such a good idea that I decided to join in! All books mentioned below are ones I've read in 2014.

Review: Sins of a Sovereignty

◆ Sins of Sovereignty by Plague Jack
◆ Read November 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Ten years ago a terrifying superweapon left one of Amernia’s most illustrious cities permanently shrouded in poisoned fog. Over the past decade, three great evils have haunted the Amernian people. First is the elusive Blood Queen, who holds Amernia in an iron grip. Second, are the entombed old gods, who speak only to a chosen few. Third is the nation's scar, a seemingly endless expanse of green miasma that has claimed the north. The rift between rich and poor, human and nonhuman, divides the kingdom more every day. As a spectral rider streaks across the sky, heralding the death of kings, foreign nations circle like vultures hungry for a feast. Legendary veteran of two wars, Sir Clark Pendragon, is sent north to quell the rising chaos. New alliances will be forged and broken as a Wild War threatens to tear Amernia asunder.
The author provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. Though it took me quite a while to finish (for which my busy life is to blame), this book exceeded my expectations.

Fanmix Friday: Mockingjay

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case for Finnick & Annie from Mockingjay.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'm Looking Forward To In 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  In no particular order:

Book vs. Movie: Mockingjay Part 1

◆ Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
◆ Directed by  Francis Lawrence
◆ Seen November 2014
◆ Purchase the book: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ When Katniss destroys the games, she goes to District 13 after District 12 is destroyed. She meets President Coin who convinces her to be the symbol of rebellion, while trying to save Peeta from the Capitol.
Mockingjay was my least favorite book out of the entire series, which was partly because of the lack of arena. One of its strengths, however, was that it allowed more focus on other themes such as the sorrow and desperation characters felt and the way the districts rebelled against the Capitol. All in all, the movie managed to capture these things almost perfectly while also sticking mainly to the original plot.  

Review: Clockwork Angel

◆ Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
◆ Read November 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them....
Clockwork Angel has been on my TBR-list for a long time. The synopsis sounded amazing but because I did not like a the first book in another series by the same author (I'm talking about City of Bones), I felt kind of afraid to start this. I loved this book though, so my worries were unnecessary. 

Dreamcast: Anna and the French Kiss

Each Dreamcast features a selection of actors who I imagine look like the characters from a particular book. This dreamcast is for Anna and the French Kiss.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Eight Sequels I Can't Wait To Get

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  In no particular order:

Review: Ruby Red

◆ Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
◆ Read November 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
Ruby Red kept me up until late in the night because I needed to know what would happen next. So, I think it's safe to say that I really enjoyed it. However, I've been mulling over this review for a while now, because I can't quite put my finger on what I liked so much. 

Fanmix Friday: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

Review: Code Name Verity

◆ Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
◆ Read October/November 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun.

When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 
There are so many things I loved about this book, to the point that I literally could not think of a single criticism. It was that good. Not only is it World War II themed, it's about women being awesome, and it gave me a tremendous amount of feels (which is not a bad thing). 

NaNoWriMo: Preparation

A novel (even for NaNoWriMo) is nothing without preparation in advance. How you want to prepare, if at all, is different for every person. For this post, I'm focussing on how I'm preparing for the 1st of November.  

NaNoWriMo: Introduction

It's almost that time of the year again. National Novel Writing Month is just 3 days away! It's going to be one hell of a challenge combined with uni and my other hobbies, but I'm ready to get writing! From now on I will be posting weekly updates on my progress. Today's post is a short introduction for NaNoWriMo.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Eight Books & Movies To Get Into The Halloween Spirit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works!  In no particular order:

October Book Haul

This month's book haul consists of only two books. It's completely World War II-themed (though not on purpose), which I'm really fond of. 

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

◆ Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
◆ Read October 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
This book really made me want to go on a road trip. It just seems so appealing to drive across the country with the sun in the sky, the wind in your hair and music blasting out the car speakers. Except that it isn't summer anymore. And that I don't have a drivers licence. But this was a very fun, light read!

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
◆ Read October 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝  Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. 
As much as I hate to admit it, I didn't like Isla and the Happily Ever After  nearly as much as the other two books in the series. I cared less for the characters and I felt less invested in the plot. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works! 

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
◆ Read October 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝ Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
I was afraid that I wouldn't like Lola and the Boy Next Door as much as Anna and the French Kiss. I had nothing to worry about though, because it was just as great. Perhaps (dare I say it?) I even liked it a little more. I even finished it in less than a day!

Fanmix Friday: Lola and the Boy Next Door

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Review: The Rabbit Back Literature Society

◆ The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen
◆ Read October 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
A highly contagious book virus, a literary society and a Snow Queen-like disappearing author 'She came to realise that under one reality there's always another. And another one under that.' Only very special people are chosen by children's author Laura White to join 'The Society', an elite group of writers in the small town of Rabbit Back. Now a tenth member has been selected: Ella, literature teacher and possessor of beautifully curving lips. But soon Ella discovers that the Society is not what it seems. What is its mysterious ritual, 'The Game'? What explains the strange disappearance that occurs at Laura's winter party, in a whirlwind of snow? Why are the words inside books starting to rearrange themselves? Was there once another tenth member, before her? Slowly, disturbing secrets that had been buried come to light... In this chilling, darkly funny novel, the uncanny brushes up against the everyday in the most beguiling and unexpected of ways.
Sometimes when you read a good book, it's impossible to write a review about it. The Rabbit Back Literature Society is like that. I really enjoyed it, but I can't seem to pinpoint exactly what it is I liked so much. For the sake of my blog, I still tried to get my thoughts on paper (or screen).

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works! In no particular order:

Theatre Review: War Horse

◆ 
◆ Originally written by Michael Morpurgo
◆ Seen October 2014
◆ Dutch version
◆ Purchase the book: The Book Depository

The theatre adaption of War Horse is based on the children's book of the same name written by Michael Morpurgo. We weren't allowed to take pictures during the show so I can't illustrate, but believe me when I say that it was a true wonder to experience. If you have the chance to see the theatre adaption, wherever you are, take it. You won't regret it!

Review: Outlander

◆ Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
◆ Read September 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ Purchase: The Book Depository
◆ 
❝  The year is 1945. Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon--when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach--an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding Highland clans in the year of Our Lord...1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire is catapulted into intrigues and dangers that may threaten her life...and shatter her heart. For here she meets James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, and becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
The TV adaption of Outlander came out this year and it's really quite beautiful. Needless to say, I thought it was about time I read the book. What a drag it was though! Everybody seems to love it, but it was a huge disappointment for me. 

Fanmix Friday: Gone Girl

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

September Book Haul

I've got two more books to add to my bookcase! It's about time I start to stack my books more efficiently, because my shelves are overflowing with books. Any ideas, tell me in a comment! For now, here is my September book haul. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works! In no particular order:

One Year Anniversary Giveaway: Results

Congratulations girls! Along with the books you've chosen, you will receive a bookmark I picked for you.

I will be hosting more giveaways in the future, so for those of you who did not win, look out for that! You're always free to request or suggest something. 

Review: Zone 22

◆ Zone 22 by Tig Hague
◆ Read September 2014
◆ Dutch Edition
◆ 
❝ When Tig Hague kissed goodbye to his girlfriend Lucy, he was already thinking of his return. The couple were going house-hunting, looking for their first home together. Tig was only going to be gone a few days on a routine business trip - the annual highlight of an otherwise unglamorous job working on the Russian desk of a London bank.
But just hours later something went wrong at Moscow airport. Very wrong.

Misunderstanding a request from customs for a backhander to speed his progress into the country, Tig was pulled to one side to have his bag searched. A deliberate inconvenience, he thought.

But Tig's world was about to implode with dizzying, terrifying speed. A tiny lump of hashish, nothing more than detritus from a recent stag weekend, was discovered in the pocket of an old pair of jeans. Too small to warrant anything more than a slapped wrist back home, he hadn't even known it was there.

Tig was in Moscow's notorious Piet Centrale jail by nightfall - and that was just a stepping stone on his way to prison camp Zone 22 in the bleak, remote wastes of Mordovia.

He wouldn't be returning home for years ...
The thing about Zone 22 is that it isn't a great book, but it does tell a very interesting and horrifying story. It is a true story about a British man who ends up in a gulag-like camp in Russia.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works! In no particular order:

From Paper To Screen: Fall 2014

From Paper To Screen is a seasonal post about upcoming movies that are based on books. This post deals with noteworthy movies that will be released this fall (some technically still in the summer). You might want to check out the books before visiting the theater!

Fanmix Friday: Scarlet

In Fanmix Friday, literature and music are combined. Some particular scenes in books make me think of certain songs. I collect these ideas and incorporate them in a fanmix for a particular piece of literature. In this case, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Five Underrated Contemporary Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish. Want to participate? Head over to their blog and find out how it works! I switched it up a bit and picked underrated contemporaries in general, instead of just Young Adult. The list only has 5 items because of lack of time (Tuesday is officially over, oops). In no particular order:

Recommendations: World War II Non-Fiction

These books are recommendations for non-fiction books about the second world war. Some are well-known, others perhaps not, but they all tell you what life was like during the war, from all imaginable perspectives. 

Review: The Queen of the Tearling

◆ The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
◆ Read September 2014
◆ English Edition
◆ 
❝ Kelsea Glynn is the sole heir to the throne of Tearling but has been raised in secret by foster parents after her mother - Queen Elyssa, as vain as she was stupid - was murdered for ruining her kingdom. For 18 years, the Tearling has been ruled by Kelsea's uncle in the role of Regent however he is but the debauched puppet of the Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of neighbouring realm of Mortmesme. On Kelsea's 19th birthday, the tattered remnants of her mother's guard - each pledged to defend the queen to the death - arrive to bring this most un-regal young woman out of hiding...

And so begins her journey back to her kingdom's heart, to claim the throne, earn the loyalty of her people, overturn her mother's legacy and redeem the Tearling from the forces of corruption and dark magic that are threatening to destroy it. But Kelsea's story is not just about her learning the true nature of her inheritance - it's about a heroine who must learn to acknowledge and live with the realities of coming of age in all its insecurities and attractions, alongside the ethical dilemmas of ruling justly and fairly while simply trying to stay alive...
The Queen of the Tearling is a very engaging read from beginning to end. Many aspects of the book were slightly different from the average book in the fantasy genre and literally made me grin in delight. I really appreciate the choices the author made in her book and certainly hope some other authors will take note. In fact, if it weren't for one point of criticism, I would have given this book five stars.

Instagram Account


That's right, Brilliant Bookshelf's social media network is expanding. You already knew about Tumblr, Facebook and Goodreads, but now Instagram is added to the list!
 

Brilliant Bookshelf