Teaser Tuesday #3 – May 16th: The Silkworm

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Purple Booker. It’s as easy as eating brownies to join:

  1. Open the book you are reading on a random page.
  2. Choose two 'teaser' sentences from that page.
  3. Make sure you don't add spoilers in the teaser
  4. My own twist: I select sentences from the page I'm currently reading*

*because I’m human and imperfect, like Strike, so I have many flaws. And one of them is needing several weeks to finish one single book. I AM THE WORST. #dontkillmeokay #cormoranstrikewillfindyouifyoudo #justsoyouknow


Okay, I skipped last week’s TT but in all fairness, I had nothing worth mentioning (read: I wasn’t reading one single sentence from a book in my never ending TBR pile). It happens. The world didn’t stop spinning and we still have gravity to keep our feet on the ground. No deal. Moving on.

Today’s teaser has nothing to do with an angel dominated dystopian world written for young adults. Nope. You might want to put away those party hats though. The world might not be ending, but the book I’m reading is no happy sunset romance either.

Today, I’m teasing you with a mystery by our famous lady J.K. Rowling, written in her pseudonym. Not much to tease about yet so I figured I might as well give you a glimpse of the conversation between Strike and a woman he’s interviewing for the first time.

This teaser can be found at 3% of THIS edition. It’s the second book in the Cormoran Strike series.

What are you reading this week? Tease me back with two sentences!

Teaser Tuesday #2 – May 2nd: Angelfall

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Purple Booker. It’s as easy as eating brownies to join:

  1. Open the book you are reading on a random page.
  2. Choose two 'teaser' sentences from that page.
  3. Make sure you don't add spoilers in the teaser
  4. My own twist: I select sentences from the page I'm currently reading*

*because I’m human and imperfect, unlike Raffe who’s a walking Adonis on earth, so I have a pile of flaws. And one of them is needing several weeks to finish one single book. I AM THE WORST. #dontkillmeokay 


And onwards we go! I’m working on a title header for this meme but haven’t found the right vibe yet. Which, in all honesty, is one of the reasons why I’m still reading the same book as last week. I predicted this, didn’t I? Maybe I should consider a future into this? Hmm.

I’m almost at the end of this book and whoa, am I rooting for Raffe! I’ve always been a bit skeptical when it comes down to Angel related books (just like I am with faeries) but this one has a few different genres covered all in one book: dystopian, angels, action, political, demons…you name it and it’s probably in here!

To contribute to an action-filled chapter, you may find today’s teaser at 84% on page 273 of THIS edition.

What are you reading this week? You may tease me with two sentences! 😉

Teaser Tuesday #1 – April 25th: Angelfall

I have noticed some bloggers posting Teaser Tuesday’s posts here and there and I’ve decided I want to join in on the weekly meme that’s hosted by The Purple Booker.

It’s fairly easy to participate:

Open the book you are currently reading to a random page.
Choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from that page
Make sure you don’t add spoilers in the teasers

I’m going to change one little thing: I’ll be taking the teaser sentences from the page I’m currently on whilst reading because there might be two following weeks when I’ll be posting from the same book (not a fast reader compared to some of you!). We can’t be good in everything, right?

Today’s teaser is from Angelfall, the first book in Penryn & The End of Days series, written by Susan Ee. It’s a YA, fantasy set in a dystopian world with Angels. This teaser can be found at 1% as I’ve just begun re-reading this.

What are you reading today? Tease me with two sentences! 😉

Another Year of National Novel Writing Month!

nanowrimoMy heart thumps a bit harder, a bit faster. My stomach knots together, creating a tight little fist that would have had me doubled over with anxiety in any other situation. Now, a thousand little butterflies flutter at the edge of that fist, tickling. Waiting to explode. It’s almost that time of the year again. That time when writers from all over our globe connect, support and cheer each other on to write their 50K stories. Yes, it’s almost here. It’s still slightly out of reach but I can taste it already. My God, can I taste it already.

Oddly, it tastes bittersweet this year. For the first time in three years, I have not the tiniest bit of an idea what to write. It’s not that I don’t have any ideas. Oh boy. If that only were true. It’s more of the fact that I have too many ideas and I can’t wrap my mind around one in particular as they’re bouncing at the edge, all screaming to be heard.

Do I rewrite the story I began last year? Am I going to explore the three new worlds that’s been nagging me, revealed to me by my subconsciousness during my dreams and jumping on me while I attempt a nice, relaxing shower? Or maybe I should rekindle that fire of my two year old science fiction? 

There are so many options and yet, I feel I can only choose one. But why? Why should I abide to the boundary of only submitting and/or committing myself to the one story? This year, this one option feels suffocating, somehow. It’s confusing me. I am aware that putting my complete attention to the one story, is the best way to write a 50K story but where I am now today, with my thoughts tumbling and jumping from one story to another, I don’t think I can focus enough.

Which made me think. A lot. It included a lot of wall staring if I’m being totally honest with you. And tears. What’s NaNoWriMo really about? Is it about writing THE one novel? Or is it about writing? The “enter your novel” option certainly makes it feel as if it’s about “Writing the ONE and only novel” but is it truly? Isn’t it more about a bunch of people gathering together, inspiring each other to write, write, write (towards that novel) but who said it can’t be two novels? Or one novel and a rewrite?

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You see, the thing is, I’m an emotional writer. I write dark scenes when I’m in a dark place. I write happy scenes when I’m in a good place. So if I’m being at my dark place and writing the happy, fluffy romance…I’m bound to kill someone at some point who isn’t supposed to be dead. Or when I’m in my happy place writing my mystery, the evil guy will most likely end up being married with my mc living happily ever after. Which, would be Crazy with a capital C.

So why force myself to writing the one story when I’m not in the mood and then, possibly, face a writer’s block? That would defeat the whole purpose of “writing 50K words in one month” challenge, wouldn’t it? I refuse to let myself get cornered by the one-way option on NaNoWriMo.

I don’t know what to write about. So? Who cares? As long as I’m writing. That’s what counts! And with this spirit, I’m starting this year’s NaNoWriMo with a complete blank page – I’m going to write whatever I feel whenever I feel it. Let the words flow and fall upon my paper as they come. Will this be a series of word vomits? Probably. But I will be writing and at least, that’s one thing I’m doing more than what I did in the previous months. And who knows, maybe, as the days continue I will find my focus again. Maybe I’ll even come up with new story ideas!

To the Unknown, here I come!

Yikes, I’ve never felt this nervous before.


Are you participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo? Tell me about your choice of novel. Are you doing a rewrite? Or are you just like me, deciding you’ll figure it out while you’re writing whatever comes to mind? Let me know in the comment section! 


August Wrap Up / The one when I’m binge-watching too many series

How can summer be over already? Yesterday it was July and today we’re September. WHAT?!

I swear it felt only a few hours ago when it was August but I suppose going back to work makes time fly. It also meant that my reading dropped. Drastically. I kind of hoped that #ReadThemAllThon would have tackled the issue but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. It was fun though whilst it lasted.

I also rediscovered Netflix and its many, many, many series. The fact that all seasons of the Gilmore Girls went worldwide, didn’t help either. That network is poisonous. Poisonous, I tell you! Honestly. In an addictive kind of way.

However, behold the mountain of books I read last month!

 

1. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie Laure and Werner live on opposite sides of the war. As they are both pushed into directions they couldn’t have foreseen, something that’s bigger than themselves, connects them together.

Can I simply say how much I loved reading Marie Laure’s side of the story? Her blindness made this so much more interesting to read as it added a diversity to the story that I haven’t come across with in the books I’ve read so far. Let me stress out, this is NOT a love story but simply a story told from (generally speaking) two point of views: Marie Laure from Paris and Werner from Germany while they both live through the horrors of war on opposite sides.

Rating: 4/5

2. Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Mac doesn’t have a care in the world when she’s being notified of her sister’s murder in Ireland. After hearing the alarming but confusing message from Alina, hours before she got killed, Mac is convinced that the local authorities aren’t doing everything they can and decides to travel to Dublin to help with the investigation. During her stay, Mac stumbles into the world of fae she didn’t believe existed.

I came across this on Goodreads while searching new books and one person told this series was kind of epic in reply to another person on a different series. Anyhow, I’m not much of a fan when it comes down to fairy tales, that’s for sure but heck this one got me HOOKED! Despite the mc’s naivety (and being completely, annoyingly stereotypical) I must say I enjoyed it a lot and will pick up the second book in the series.

It’s got mystery, murder, one very hot male and one even hotter (according to the law of this world but I disagree) faery. The writing is addictive, the world is a lot darker than I’m used to. The characters however, still need to…develop.

Rating: 4/5

3. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

When Eragon stumbles upon a blue stone, all he thinks about is how lucky he is, hoping that this stone will make enough money to support his poor family. Never did he think it would carry a legacy as old as Alagaësia and that he would play a huge part in it.

Okay, I’m late when it comes to the Eragon-wagon but in all fairness Harry Potter was way more interesting at the time. Sorry. However, it’s basically a Game of Thrones/Lord of the Rings kind of book, adventure wise, with epic worlds, but for a younger audience (read: I’m almost 26 so I don’t like putting books into an age category as I read LOTR at age 14. My reading journey is so messed up). It’s compelling, it has myths, dark creatures, fair creatures, wizards, dragons and a very confusing language that I’ll never be able to memorize. Except for Brisingr which is kind of epic. The book is a beast in size, as I happily referred to it on social media while reading this.

Rating: 4/5

4. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Sargent feels normal amongst her family as her only ability is to enhance their psychic abilities. Until she sees Gansey’s soul, a premonition of his upcoming death. Gansey is an Aglionby boy, looking for the mysterious leylines of our planet. They have nothing in common until their paths cross and together they discover a whole new dimension of our world.

I expected a lot of this book because of the hype. I’m not saying this book wasn’t okay, it was, it simply took me a very long time to get into. The world building felt vague to me at the beginning. I didn’t understand what Gansey was looking for and how something I’ve never heard of suddenly seemed so important as everyone was searching for it, without any real explanation. It did get better after the first 90 pages. It even contained a shocking revelation!

Rating: 4/5


When I look at all the books I’ve read in August, I seemed like a happy reader, rating them all 4/5 stars. But if I’d give you my top four, I’d put Darkfever on number one and All The Light We Cannot See on number four. Darkfever surprised me when a lot of faery themed books lacked to entice me to their world. They were all good in their own way but they had a lot of flaws too. ATLWVCS, for example, took me forever to finish as it stimulated my short attention span.

Which books did you read during August?

 

#ReadThemAllThon Sign Up + TBR

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Guess what! Ooh, please guess! PLEASE? Well, fine. If you can’t be bothered to guess, I’ll tell you anyway in case the title isn’t clear. I’m going to read a bunch of books this month again! That is, if I don’t succumb with pressure, something that isn’t entirely unlikely…

As most of you must have caught on, Pokémon Go became a thing (one would even dare to say a hype) early July. It became such a big thing that there are so many challenges/book tags popping up on the great interwebz that you seriously can’t miss it. Seriously. I mean, even I noticed it from underneath my trustworthy rock.

So when I saw Aentee’s, from Readatmidnight, read-a-thon including Pokémon, I thought, hey, why not? I don’t have anything else to do in August (besides work). Et voilà, here I am!

What’s #ReadThemAllThon?

Basically, #ReadThemAllThon is a read-a-thon hosted by Aentee with challenges based on the gym badges from Pokémon. All you really have to know, is summed up in a few points:

Starts: August 14
Duration: 3 weeks
Ends: September 4
Sign-ups: until it’s over
Gym badges to win: 8

For more information, you can check out Aentee’s info post. I also want to stress out that the header and the images with badges/challenges used in this post, are all created by Aentee herself.

Earning CP

Of course, this wouldn’t be a Pokémon based read-a-thon, if you couldn’t choose a Pokémon to combat with. Each Pokémon starts with 10CP. When you reach 15OCP, your Pokémon will evolve. If you have a three stage Pokémon, it can evolve again at 400CP.

Here’s a list on how to earn CP:

Finish a book: +20CP
Write a review: +20CP
Every 10 pages you read: +1CP
Photo of book + Pokémon Go Pokémon: +5CP
Tweet under #ReadThemAllThon: +2CP/tweet
Evolving: +50CP

Fennekin, I choose you!

I had to think long and hard for my Pokémon. I immediately knew I wanted a Fire type one though. I’ve always considered that my element (never have to fear of being cold!). For a long time I considered Eevee but…I wanted something different. And tadaa, enter Fennekin! It also helps (s)he is a fox and I happen to like foxes! Besides, doesn’t (s)he look adorable?!

653Fennekin_XY_anime_4
Name: Fennekin

Type: Fire

Species: Fox Pokémon

Stages: 3

Next evolution: Braixen

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I’ve chosen Starters by Lissa Price. This book was sent to me by Yureka Books and it looked so good that I kind of needed an excuse to read this asap!

Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 336

 

readthemallthon-badge02-cascaderOne of my best friends was reading this book, telling me how it destroyed one of her friends and when asked if it would make me cry, the answer was, yes, it might. Oh goodie! Or saddie. Hmm.

Genre: Historical, Mythology
Pages: 352

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Each time I come across a new bookblogger or booktuber, Maggie Stiefvater’s been mentioned. I’ve always been curious but felt reluctant to begin, afraid that the hype would ruin it. Despite of being scared of the cover (birds, brr – raven, even worse!) I thought, why not?

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 408

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From the entire bunch, I’m looking most forward to reading this one. My copy feels so good in my hands and I love how the summary intrigued me. I have to admit I couldn’t restrain myself from reading the first page earlier this week and why does it feel like this person is ME?! Not sure if that’s a good thing, considering the first few sentences! Ah well, we’re all a bit nuts in the head, aren’t we? Otherwise life would be so dull!

Genre: Contemporary, YA
Pages: 444

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I admire Carrie Hope Fletcher. She’s young, energetic and goes after her dreams. So when the challenge said to read a book with an epic romance, and the cover saying how it’s “a love story like no other…” I figured this might as well be the excuse to indulge myself into her first fiction!

Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 340

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For this one, I decided on reading a book I have had on a loan for quite a while now. *coughs* two yearsdid you say something? No. Good. Anyway, I’d like to see what the hype is all about and it’s supposed to be good, having dragons and everything.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 441

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This was so hard! Apparently, I don’t have a lot of books with yellow on the cover (booktube-a-thon thingy) nor with red! The one book I had with a red cover was Me Before You, which, if you’ve read my previous post, is something I already read in July. AH. So I had to buy a new book. And since Yureka Books helped me to go wild with The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, I thought it wouldn’t harm to buy the second book in the series. And she’s wearing a red dress on the cover. It’s a win-win, really. Something tells me the purpose of read-a-thons is to kill that TBR pile. Not to supply yourself with more books. Shut up.

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 400

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Oh my. I thought I had NOTHING to add to the “post-apocalyptic settings” challenge of this read-a-thon but thankfully, I have yet another book on loan – and yes before you say anything on how long I’ve got it, it’s just as long as Eragon – and I vaguely remember how the world had been taken over by Rabids-slash-zombies in the first book of the series and it contained vampires and the mc had to break into abandoned houses and find food in tins. If these zombies aren’t  post-apocalyptic, then nothing is. Just saying.

Genre: Paranormal, Vampires
Pages: 434

What are you reading in August? Have you joined any challenges? 

July Wrap Up / The one when I return

*crawls from underneath rock and waves*

Hi. Do you remember me? I can’t believe I disappeared for four months. How time flies, doesn’t it? I have no excuses except for the one: I needed a time-out. My life changed between November and March and then, turned completely upside down in March (with my mum dying and thus losing my best friend).

With the whole shebang of me taking care of my mum and then dealing with her loss, I haven’t been up-to-date with the bookish world lately. I have NO CLUE what’s coming out soon or which ones I have missed! I haven’t felt so out of it since I was a kid. And that’s a long, long time ago, my friends. 

I don’t know what I like to read, anymore. I’ve picked up books in the past year and lost interest after a few chapters. My TBR shelves feel outdated and when I scan the titles, I feel lost. As if those beautiful stories simply don’t do it for me anymore, as if I’ve outgrown them. Be patient with me as I rediscover everything, please? So I need to tidy up those shelves, start afresh and simply stop with the impulse buying. HAHA. As if that’s ever going to happen! 

My reading hasn’t been spectacular so far. However, in July booktube-a-thon happened and this year I was focused on actually finishing it. I wanted to make videos and everything but…I guess wanting to do EVERYTHING all at once wasn’t a good plan. What is it, they say? One step at the time, and babysteps, right? I’ll get there…

I’ve managed to read 8 books in July though, and I’ve made a list for you to scroll through and discover my reading!

  1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark is hired by Will Trainer’s parents to help him through his depression. Will has quadriplegia and depends on people doing everything for him. When they meet, they didn’t expect that getting to know each other would change their life forever. 

Did I read this book because of the movie hype? Why, yes, I did. Sue me. I haven’t seen the film yet though (strong believer that it’s better to read the book before watching the movie) but I have been wanting to since June! The anticipation’s killing me!

Back to book business though. OMG. The tears dropped from the eyes! It was heartbreakingly sad and beautiful. It gave me smiles and fuzzy feelings. I read it in the unabridged audiobook version and can I just say that it was narrated PERFECTLY. <3.

My Goodreads rating: 5/5 because of all the feels.

2. The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress by Beryl Bainbridge

Rose travels to the USA to meet Washington. They go on a road trip in search of Dr. Wheeler, a man they know and want to find for different reasons. While on their journey, it becomes clear that Rose and Washington have nothing in common besides knowing Dr. Wheeler.

I don’t understand how some people liked this book? I couldn’t connect with the characters, I didn’t understand the point of their journey as it didn’t come full circle, something I needed. And the ending…I…don’t see the connection? Anti-climax, much? Urgh.

Beryl Bainbridge died before she had a chance to finish the story so maybe that’s why it feels incomplete. This could be her style but as I don’t know her other work, I find it hard to judge.

My Goodreads rating: 2/5

3. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Told from the perspective of 9 year old Bruno, this story takes you on a tragic journey. Bruno’s family moves to a different country and feeling desolate in this strange place, Bruno goes on an adventure. During the adventure, he meets a new friend and despite their differences, the friendship grows but isn’t without consequences.

How awfully, horribly tragic is this story? I can’t say much more but it shocked me. The final chapters made me cry. That’s where I’ll leave it. Go read the book. Then watch the movie.

My Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5 because of the feels and the wonderful innocent style the author used to write this horrible story.

4. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Gabby Holland is agitated with her neighbor Travis Parker, whose dog must have impregnated her own with the way it struts unleashed around the neighborhood. It’s not until she sees another side of her neighbor that she has to let go of her prejudices. 

Despite its very unlikely ending, I enjoyed this story. I would have liked it more if the two timelines hand’t felt separated but had come full circle towards the true storyline of this book and hadn’t been just a glimpse of an important moment.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

5. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel takes the same train to London and back every single day. While on the train, she watches the inhabitants of the houses lining up next to the rails and imagines what their life must be like. Until one day, she sees something that will irrevocably change her life.

I usually don’t like thrillers. For some reason I lose interest halfway and let the book rest for an eternity to eventually toss it back to my TBR pile. But with this book, I finished it in one setting. Do I get a brownie for that? I wanted to find out what had happened, it was fast paced and I changed my opinion at least five times who might have done it. The characters, however, made very weird choices.

My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 for keeping me captivated

6. The Painted Bridge by Wendy Wallace

Anna Palmer has been placed into Lake House, an asylum for genteel women of a delicate nature, against her will by her husband on the ground of hysteria. Nothing is what it seems but how will she let everyone see the truth that she is, in fact, sane?

Nothing happens. At all. I’m not sure why I needed to read all these pages to come to the end. It wasn’t fascinating like I expected it to be and halfway it became clear what the real reason was for her placement. There were a few beautiful descriptions here and there but I fell asleep all the time. I don’t think that’s a good thing, haha! I liked the element of one of the doctors making photographs to diagnose a mental illness through a photo, though. I just wish something more had happened with it. Or the doctor.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

7. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

A collection of five mini stories. They are to wizard children what fairytales are to Muggles. These stories also contain notes by professor Dumbledore, sharing his opinion on some changes that happened throughout history.

I suppose this book received a lot more hype than it should be worth it because of the fandom. Was I overwhelmed with it though? Not really. But I liked the mini stories nevertheless, my favourite being The Fountain of Fair Fortune (second to the Tale of the Three Brothers). I loved the remarks on the Malfoy family!! HAHAHA. It’s also an easy, quick read if you ever need something light. And with light I mean the kind of light Harry and Ron would appreciate. Not Hermione light.

My Goodreads rating: 4/5

8. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Hastings is a guest at Emily Inglethorp’s house, an elder woman who has remarried. Everyone is convinced that the man married for money and then, Emily Inglethorp is murdered. Hastings decides to get help from Hercule Poirot, a  detective from Belgium.

It was a quick read and I snorted so many times because, let’s be honest for a minute, Poirot is ridiculous! He deduces crime in the oddest ways. But I like he’s Belgian. We have that in common. What bothered me was how the unraveling of the mystery happened without all the clues being there for the reader to pick up on. I like to think for myself, see if I can outwit Poirot but now I had not a chance of doing this.

My Goodreads rating: 3/5

That’s it for July! Which books did you read?

Exploring new worlds one book at the time