Friday, September 29, 2017

Bookish Talks ~13~ So much to catch up on!

Hey, all! 

Oh my goodness, it's been such a long time since I wrote one of these. I've been so busy in life, I'm magically been socializing a tiny bit more and I've actually had a lot of bookish events happening around me! I just haven't taken the time to blog much... But now that university started for the 4th year, I'll be able to post more regularly again :)  I mean, hopefully! 

Magic Tea

So recently I've been chosen by @magicchests over on Instagram to review their new Magical Teas which has been the BEST thing! I love tea so much, so having tea based on bookish moments is amazing! A full review of these teas will come up here sooner or later. I received samples of Morr, Second Breakfast, Common Room, Winterfell and Beyond the Wall and I adore them all! Their brewing time is a little long but it's worth it, I promise! I tried Common Room with a friend who knows nothing about reviewing yet still said that it tasted exactly how he imagined the Gryffindor Common Room to smell, which is exactly what you want with bookish teas :) You guys can use Blog10 for a discount! 

Bookstagram Meetup NL
In August, a few Instagram friends and I organized a bookstagram meetup for Dutch Instagrammers! (Follow @anniekslibrary, @sortingdays, and @sneirrbooks!) It was so much work but in the end, we had over 40 people show up, provided goodie bags for everyone, and had local Etsy shops show up to meet their customers IRL! We had a pizza dinner and played Cards Against Humanity and just generally had a great time! It was so wonderful to meet some bookstagrammers that I have known for a long time but had never really met! 

Light The Pages
I also started (and just finished) repping for Light the Pages! Liv owns a little candle shop that has the most lovely and unique candles! She really puts a lot of love and work into her creations, and I would love it if you checked out her shop! You can get a discount with ANOTHERBB10, but just for a few more weeks! Trust me, they're so worth it! I like to burn one a day and have different ones for different moods. Plus they're always packaged with the most care and they are really fragrant! I'm going to miss repping for you Liv! 

Harry Potter Night
You guys know how I'm working with the bookstore in my local town, Maastricht? Last Friday, we had a huge Harry Potter evening to close off the Young Adult week! We had 440 people racing through our bookstore, who got sorted, and who participated in the House Cup quiz! We had Quidditch, actors, a sorting hat, and all kinds of people showing up! Follow Young Adult Dome on practically any platform for photos! :D 

My 21st
I just turned 21 on the 18th of September! Nothing big or fancy happened, but I did get the Percy Jackson and the Olympians box set - the ones with the pretty spines! Now I have two sets of those books but it's ok, I love them so much!! 

University life 
So now for more everyday happenings. I'm in my 4th year of bachelors out of 3, taking extra classes and still working hard with the Charity Committee. It's the first time that I really feel socially comfortable, which I am very, very happy about! it took a long time for me to get to this point where I'm less of an introvert and I can talk to people without worrying about being judged. That may also be why I haven't been so active on my blog this year - which I'm so sorry about! - because I can now spend more time talking to people and going to events than before as I'm less anxious about it. A few people really had a big impact on me in this sense which I am incredibly grateful for. :) 

So it's no surprise that I love music, of almost all types. I talk about it a lot here and always have a song-of-the-day on my Instagram! Recently, I managed to get tickets to see two of my all-time favorite bands; Imagine Dragons in February and The Script in March! I can hardly believe that I'm going to see either of them and even less both! I know there's still several months to wait but I'm actually going now and I cannot wait!!! 

Floating Shelves
I recently caved in and bought myself some floating shelves for my room! I have 3 of them and they look so good! I don't have a photo to share with you just yet but I'll try to upload one soon :) 

That's it for today! I hope you all have a lovely day/week, depending on when I post again ^^

Stay bookish, 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Truth, by Christina Benjamin

Hey, all! 

I just finished reading Truth, book 1 of the Geneva Project, by Christina Benjamin! 

Christina was kind enough to contact me on my Instagram and ask me if I wanted to read her book! I want to apologize that I wasn't able to read it right away - my TBR for work and for books that I just wanted to catch up on was quite incredible! 

"Trapped on a flood-ravaged island full of orphans, natives and wealthy citizens of the prosperous city Lux, a young girl named Geneva finds herself enslaved at an orphanage with no future and a past she can’t remember. That all changes when she meets someone who promises her that there’s more in store for her than she ever could have imagined. Her once dull life rapidly spirals out of control as she starts to acquire new magical powers that may be the key to unlocking an ancient legend along with her true identity. But first, she must master these powers, all while trying to keep them secret from her friends and the evil headmistress at the orphanage. Before she knows it, Geneva is in over her head and has inadvertently wrapped her friends into her web of magic and lies and now all of their lives hang in the balance once the headmistress finds out her plan to prove that the legend of Lux may not be a legend at all! Who will Geneva trust and how far will she go to save her friends and find out her true identity?"

Before reading this, you guys should be aware that this book is more of a middle-grade story than young adult. The main characters are quite young and the story is more 'fun' for younger readers. However, it was a middle-grade done well! There was a lot of good elements that makes this book a good introduction to reading for younger readers - magic, a dystopian setting, friends, enemies, and a whole lot of backstory and exposition. 

Truth follows a young girl who only knows her 'number' rather than her name, in a setting where people secretly know their names, and the fact that magic is real. She soon discovers that she is one of these magic-wielders and that she can take magic powers from others. She is tied to the legend surrounding the island, and by the end wants to learn more about herself and her origins, in a society where children are mostly orphans helping re-build the city after destruction. 

You guys know how much I love characters and their stories - it's really what I live for when I read. I feel like these characters should have been developed a little bit more - but then again I understand that this is difficult to do in a society where everyone is known by their age and number only. Hopefully, in the next book, the characters will flourish a bit more! I feel that that would give more depth to the book and make the emotions associated with the story magnified. 

Although some parts were predictable, I found that the story overall was original and fun to read - the chapters were short (my fave!) and it was always interesting to see what kind of trouble the characters could get into. 

Overall I'm giving this book a 3.5/5 feathers! Not so much my speed but I did appreciate the story and the originality behind. it! Cannot wait to read part two! 

Make sure to check out The Geneva Chronicles on Amazon! 

Stay bookish! 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare

Hey, all! 

It feels like I haven't blogged in AGES! Goodness I missed it! It's surprisingly hard to find time to read and write in the summer - during class it becomes routine, but when you're busy in the summer with visits and traveling, finishing a book takes forever!

Not to mention that I'm a full 18 books behind on my Goodreads challenge... RIP 2017 reading ambitions... 

Anyway more on my non-reading year in a few days, I'm planning a huge Bookish Talk post! 

(I really need a blogging calendar...) 

I recently finished reading Lord of Shadows, by Cassandra Clare! (This review will be quite short as I finished it over 2 weeks ago and it's super difficult to be able to review it with the same clarity as I usually do.)

"A Shadowhunter’s life is bound by duty. Constrained by honor. The word of a Shadowhunter is a solemn pledge, and no vow is more sacred than the vow that binds parabatai, warrior partners—sworn to fight together, die together, but never to fall in love.

Emma Carstairs has learned that the love she shares with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, isn’t just forbidden—it could destroy them both. She knows she should run from Julian. But how can she when the Blackthorns are threatened by enemies on all sides?

Their only hope is the Black Volume of the Dead, a spell book of terrible power. Everyone wants it. Only the Blackthorns can find it. Spurred on by a dark bargain with the Seelie Queen, Emma; her best friend, Cristina; and Mark and Julian Blackthorn journey into the Courts of Faerie, where glittering revels hide bloody danger and no promise can be trusted. Meanwhile, rising tension between Shadowhunters and Downworlders has produced the Cohort, an extremist group of Shadowhunters dedicated to registering Downworlders and “unsuitable” Nephilim. They’ll do anything in their power to expose Julian’s secrets and take the Los Angeles Institute for their own.

When Downworlders turn against the Clave, a new threat rises in the form of the Lord of Shadows—the Unseelie King, who sends his greatest warriors to slaughter those with Blackthorn blood and seize the Black Volume. As dangers close in, Julian devises a risky scheme that depends on the cooperation of an unpredictable enemy. But success may come with a price he and Emma cannot even imagine, one that will bring with it a reckoning of blood that could have repercussions for everyone and everything they hold dear."

WARNING: This review will contain loads of spoilers for Lady Midnight, and some for Lord of Shadows. Do not proceed if you still haven't read them! 

This book was a lot better than Lady Midnight! I felt a lot more related to the characters and some situations. 

In this book, Kit is becoming a more official member of the Blackthorn family. Kit is honestly one of my favorite characters in the series. It's nice to see someone who knows about the shadow world and be surprised to find out that he's actually a part of it. He really does not care about the status of being a Herondale, and is very sarcastic. However he develops a truly amazing relation with Ty, and a good one with Livvy. I really really love Kit and Ty. Kit really seems to understand him and is able to reach out to him despite his autism, that none of the other Herondales know about. I really hope that they become parabatai in the third book - they just work so well together, it's beautiful! He also had a cute 'relationship' with Livvy UNTIL THAT ENDING! 

Cassandra Clare has a special talent - that of seeing someone's heart, deciding it would look better in shreds, doing everything possible for that to happen, then handing it back on a silver platter, acting all innocent. While this didn't kill me as much as Clockwork Princess, I cannot believe what she did. Yet again I can just because it's a lot more realistic that way. BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT OKAY! Now we all have to wait 2 years to know how it plays out... wonderful! 

I like Emma and Julian's relationship, but Julian still scares me. He's like a Parseltongue for people rather than snakes, or a Charmspeaker, and it makes me really uncomfortable. But I'm glad to see that their relationship may possibly be possible? Or will Cassie do something horrible again? Who knows! I just love their friendship more than anything else :) 

Now I REALLY liked Annabel, despite her wrongdoings. She is so intriguing and I really cannot wait to see how her character plays out in the next book! 

I was so happy to see that Magnus, Alec, Clary and Jace were all supporting characters! They really created a bridge between the stories that left me thinking "I see what you did there!" That was more for fun than practicality, but you need a bit of nostalgia sometimes! 

I'm also really liking the whole Christina/Mark ship, with Keiran kind of annoying everyone. It's fun to read about, and you really have no clue how it will end! (Although I hate Diego, he can leave yesterday.)

My favorite quote from the book that isn't all deep and morally-convincing is simply Julian and Emma talking about Shadowhunter last names!

"I wonder what other family mottoes are," Emma mused. "Do you know any?"
"The Lightwood family motto is 'We mean well.'"
"Very funny."
Julian looked over at her. "No, really, it actually is." 
"Seriously? So what's the Herondale family motto? 'Chiseled by angsty'?"
He shrugged. 'If you don't know what your last name is, it's probably Herondale'?"
Emma burst out laughing. "What about Carstairs?" she asked, tapping Cortana. "'We have a sword'? 'Blunt instruments are for losers'?"
"Morgenstern," offered Julian. "'When in doubt, start a war'?"
"How about 'Had even one of us ever been any good, like ever, seriously'?"

Overall, this book was a really great installment for the series! I can't believe that we have to wait for so long until the next part in published! 

I'm giving this book a 4.5/5 feathers! 

Have you read Lord of Shadows? What did you think of it? Let me know! 

Stay bookish!