Saturday, April 25, 2015

Epic Reads Book Tag

Epic Reads Book Tag:
I was tagged by (my lovely friend) Margo to do the epic reads book tag.
1. If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

2. What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?

3. Which two characters (not from the same book) do you think would make a good couple?

4. If you ran into your favourite author on the subway and could only say one sentence to them, who is it and what would you say?

5. What book made you a reader and why?

6. Incendio! Your bookshelf just caught on fire. Show us the one book you save.

7. Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one and why?

8. What is your most epic read of all time?

9. Tag someone new

10. End the video with a book shimmy.

I'm tagging Sharon, Maryline and Ana. I have also decided to add Jenny to my group of tagged people (even though that is not in the video).
Dear girls, if you rather do this tag on your blog instead of a video, that's fine. You are more than welcome to do with it whatever you want. You don't even have to do it if you don't want to. <3




*Music* Carrie Fletcher - The Way We Were



Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Messy Mess: A video as messy as my room

I am just rambling on about random things like: world book day, books I have received and how my brouth is not working properly.



I am a The Book Depository affiliate: http://www.bookdepository.com/?a_aid=silkea
(feel free to click it whenever buying books)

*World Book Night* http://www.worldbooknight.org/
*Carrie Hope Fletcher* https://twitter.com/CarrieHFletcher
*BiscuitAndBooks* https://twitter.com/BiscuitandBooks
*ThisChickReads* https://twitter.com/ThisChickReads
*Margo* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNKlo4sqjRE

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Weekly Obsession: All I Know Now


I have known about this book for a while now. I like Carrie Fletcher, I watch her videos and have seen her in Les Mis twice. Every time I talked to her she's been absolutely wonderful, so it was only a matter of time before 'All I Know Now' made an appearance on this blog.
But now that All I Know Now is reaching its publication date (23/04/2015) the internet is getting excited. Also, if you pre-order the book before publication day it is only half price

Meaning, it's only logical that this week's obsession is All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher.




We all know that growing up is hard to do, and sometimes the only thing that makes it better are the reassuring words of someone who has walked that bumpy road just a few steps ahead of you and somehow ended up as a fully-functioning adult.
 
Carrie Hope Fletcher is that person.* Thanks to her phenomenally popular YouTube videos, Carrie has become an 'honorary big sister' to hundreds of thousands of young people who turn to her for advice, friendship and, most of all, the knowledge that things will get better. Carrie has created a safe and positive space for young people to connect and share their hopes and concerns online, and now she will share her most personal thoughts and experiences in her first book, ALL I KNOW NOW. 
Part memoir, part advice guide, it will include Carrie's thoughts on some of the topics she's asked about most regularly: bullying, body image, relationships and perhaps the scariest question of all: what does the future hold for me? With warmth, wit and a sprinkling of hard-won wisdom, Carrie will provide the essential tools for growing up gracefully ...most of the time. *Although she did recently post a video about how to pee in a onesie. So the definition of 'adult' is a bit flexible here ... 
Source: Waterstones

Get it on:
- Waterstones (half price*)
- Amazon
- The Book Depository (FREE world wide shipping)

(*shipping costs not included)

What about me?

I ordered this book a while ago now and, as mentioned, I like Carrie as a person a lot so if I end up liking the book only half as much as her than this should be good.
The reviews so far seem all very promising and I'm curious to read it.
I might be a little older than Miss Fletcher but I doubt it's too late for anyone to maybe learn something new or get another person's perspective on certain things or issues that you as a person may have struggled with too.

So far it sounds very promising and I can't wait until the book is waiting in my mail box for me to pick it up.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Abuse and Respect Towards an Author


I talked earlier about how I was going through a book's Goodreads reviews and how shocked I was about how people weren't simply giving their opinion on a book but going into full on verbal abuse.
Online, verbal abuse and (online) bullying are topics that I am quite passionate about and I apologise in advance if some of this might be a little jumbled. It's just that when it's a matter I care about, the heart sometimes takes over from the brain.

That is why I would like to reserve this space on my blog to address the subject of abuse and bullying, even if it is just a small fracture of it.
This is a book and author's blog so I will mainly address the disrespectful way people are approaching authors (and then I'm not even discussing the way people approach each other).

* * *
You have the right to...

It's a readers' right to like or dislike a book.
It's your right to chose whether you continue reading this book/series or not.
It is your right to post an honest review.
It is your right to say that you liked/disliked a book.
It is your responsibility to do all of those things in a respectful way.

The key aspect of your right is to be respectful.
Understand that I am in no way forbidding you from saying that you hated a book, though some people might perceive that as rude, you can use the word 'hate' all you want in my opinion.
You can say that you hated a book for this or this reason and I could respectfully agree or disagree with you.

But as a reader you do not have the right to abuse an author - any author!- because you didn't like their books/writing style/personality/looks/etc..

As a person who writes myself, I know how much time and effort goes into writing a story. A writer puts all their efforts and love into their story and truly wants to make it the best they possibly can. They aim to create the perfect story for themselves and their readers. It costs them blood, sweat and tears (believe me, I'm speaking from personal experience).
In that manner, every author has their own voice, their own way of writing, their own story to tell and it is not their fault if you don't happen to like what they have to say.
But it is their right to write about what they want to write.

As a book blogger and passionate reader, I also know that there are books I will like more than others and that there are books I won't like at all. But no matter how much I disliked a book, NEVER would I consider expressing to an author how awful they are as a writer or (even worse) what a disgusting person they are.
You do not do that to anyone! It is rude, disrespectful and most of all it is abusive and considered as online bullying!

When a book blogger gives a book a 1 or 2* review because they do not like the book at all, it is a book bloggers' responsibility to express their opinions in a respectful way. They do this because they know that no matter their personal preference the author still put a lot of effort into writing the book. It is why they are and how they remain a respected book blogger.





As a reader it is not your right to bully an author because you did not like their book.

It doesn't matter if this person is a famous author or a lesser known one. It doesn't matter if this person is known by the general public or only by a handful of followers.
The social status and popularity of a person does not change the nature of your abuse.
It doesn't matter who you are talking to, online bullying is online bullying!

Books/series shouldn't be stopped from being published.
Authors shouldn't be stopped from writing their stories.
The only thing that should be stopped is the writing of abuse.





*And even though this post is specifically talking about authors and readers, this goes for everything in life. Just because you don't like something, does not give you the right to verbally abuse or bully another person.

Book Review: The Bane Chronicles


3,5 stars (I liked it) for The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

Amazon
The Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)
Goodreads
Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material. 
This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices. 
Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.
Source: Goodreads


Now, let me start off with the fact that I am aware that Cassandra Clare seems to be a pretty strongly discussed topic. People either love her series or hate them, there's no in between.
I personally am a very strong lover of the TMI & TID series and I think that is my right, just like it is other people's right to dislike it. I don't like every series or book I read either.
Yet, where most series seem to be discussed with mutual respect from both lovers as haters, Cassandra Clare and her books seem to be getting a lot of hate and bullying. Just scrolling through some of the goodreads comments shocked me and I'm not easily shocked.
I just wanted to use this space to say something on that subject before I continue with my review.

It's an author's right to write about what they love and like. It's their right to create more books and even create new series or books in a certain series.
It's your right to like or dislike these books but it is in no way your right to abuse the person responsible for writing these books! It is disrespectful and more over classifies as online bullying (I will address this topic more in this blog post)

* * *
This is not a spoiler free review
* * *

As I said, I am totally in love with the TMI and TID series, they have ripped apart my heart and made me cry more than any book aside from Me Before You has ever done.
So when The Bane Chronicles came out I had high hopes and expectations for the book. It almost pains me to say that they weren't fully satisfied.
My relationship with this book is complicated.

The Bane Chronicles were originally released as a series of short stories in the form of e-books. Eventually they were wrapped together into one book. The stories are as following:

  • What Really Happened in Peru
  • The Runaway Queen
  • Vampires, Scones and Edmund Herondale
  • The Midnight Heir
  • The Rise of the Hotel Dumort
  • Saving Raphael Santiago
  • The Fall of the Hotel Dumort
  • What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You're Not Officially Dating Anyway)
  • The Last Stand of the New York Institute
  • The Course of True Love (And First Dates)
  • The Voice-mail of  Magnus Bane

Even though this book was a bundle of short stories it was actually very easy to get into it and neither did I struggle to remain into it whenever one of the stories finished. Though maybe I would've preferred it if the stories had been completely chronologically. They started off that way but then near the end all of a sudden that changed and a few stories were no longer logically following each other but maybe that's me being picky (and the fact that I have the tendency to ignore dates in books. A weird thing I do)

But what really bothered me in this book is that instead of giving you answers and only raised more questions, and I think that is the main reason for my complicated.

The fact that the first short story is called 'What really happened in Peru' and ends in with the following sentence: "To this day, whatever it is that actually got him banned from Peru is -and perhaps must always remain- a mystery"
That sums up everything that frustrated me throughout the rest of the book. No real answers.

Cassandra Clare has amazed me throughout her previous series that she can hide little details in a certain book and bring them back up much later. She mastered the way of building an intricate web of information hidden between the lines that made sure you stayed attentive as a reader but The Bane Chronicles lacked that little extra. Cassie Clare managed very well in raising questions in the TID series that got answered in the TMI series and vice versa. It was satisfying and made me as a reader amazed about how clever she was as an author but it is that what TBC missed.

A lot of questions raised throughout both TID and TMI were mostly answered but then there were others questions that have still gone unanswered and I felt like TBC was going to give us the answers we craved but none of that happened with exception of one.

Even worse was that not only answers from the previous book remained unanswered but also questions that were raised within the book were never explained. It frustrated me quite a lot.

In several stories Magnus thinks back about the rough break-up between Camilla and himself, allowing us to know that it had been painful and complicated. When this fact gets mentioned several times in more than one of the stories, you tend to wonder what exactly it was that happened. Yet, this is never explained or even mentioned in anyway.

In The Midnight Heir we meet James Herondale, a tormented boy that is trying anything to destroy himself. The source of his behaviour is a girl known as Grace Lightwood, who is described in such a way that she doesn't come across as simply human or a normal Shadowhunter. Besides that we have a murderous mother that calls upon the warlock to kill off certain Shadowhunters. The story ends with Magnus walking away. I ended up with more questions than answers for example: what eventually came to be from James? What kind of creature is Grace Lightwood? What happened to the murderous mother? Nothing gets answered or even remotely referred to in the later short stories.

One of the more satisfying stories was Saving Raphael Santiago. It was one of the few stories that actually explained the back story between Magnus and Raphael (to which was hinted previously in the book series). It gives answers and actually feels like a solid, well put together short story but it was one of the few. But this is exactly what I had expected from the other stories too, this is what I had expected from this book but instead that never happened.

Not to mention that there are certain questions from the TID&TMI series that I had expected to be answered in TBC and none of them were in fact addressed. The most pressing one (for me personally) being: Why did the witchlight change colour in City of Lost Souls?

I am aware that a lot of the issues I have with this book might be of a personal matter but what it really comes down to is that Cassie Clare has been so clever in her previous series, both series complimented each other but this time it was like TBC was written completely separate and without much thought of what was written before. It almost felt like it was written by a stranger with no knowledge of anything that had previously happened.


On the plus side, one of my favourite couples in the book series was Malec (Magnus & Alec) and I was treated to three more stories that gave me more insight in their relationship and even treated me to a story of their first date. It was cute and charming and it made me happy to read more about my favourite couple.

All in all, I liked the book. Magnus Bane is one of my all time favourite characters and he has some really nteresting friends, especially the immortal ones. I just expected more.




Thursday, April 09, 2015

Weekly Obsession: The Day We Disappeared


This week's obsession is moved one day ahead. Why? I'll tell you why!
Today, the 9th of April is one of the best days you'll have in April as a big bunch of authors are celebrating their book's publication day!
One of them is The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson
My timeline has been exploding with good comments about this week, most of them coming from book bloggers I respect.




Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her. 
Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind. 
Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .

A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . . 
Source: Goodreads
 Get it on:
Amazon
-The book depositry (free shipping)
- or your favourite bookstore


What about me?
Like I said, my timeline has been going completely crazy about this book. I am so incredibly curious to find out why and very eager to get pulled into this gripping story.
The book is out today and I think it won't be long before I'll be pressing that 'buy' button.

If you read the book or are buying it, go give @Lucy_Robinson some love on twitter!

Friday, April 03, 2015

One where I say 'I finished editing' too much

How many 'I finished editing' can you count?
Way too many, I'm assuming ;)


Happy Easter to everyone and if you have Easter break then I hope you'll fill it with plenty of books, friends and family, and of course CHOCOLATE!

Sending you all a great amount of love!

Host of Cover Design Giveaway: Jennie Rawlings
Admire her work on her website: http://www.serifim.com/testimonials
and go follow her Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelloSerifim

Weekly Obsession: So You Think You Can Dance



This week's obsession is not a book (I know, I know).
So, SYTYCD has started in Belgium again and we've reached the points of the live shows and one of my dance teachers had made it that far. So the entire week he has been the excitement of the week as he made it through last Sunday's first live show.


Book Review: Paris for One

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

3,5 stars (I liked it) to Paris for One

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type. 
But, when her boyfriend doesn't turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong. 
Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?
Source: Goodreads 

The book depository (free shipping)

In association with Quick Reads bring Jojo Moyes us Paris for One. A charming short story that'll warm your heart and put a smile on your face.

There's only so much you can do with 100 pages of text but Jojo Moyes manages fairly well. She creates Nell, who is instantly likable. Nell is uncertain, indecisive and ready to proof to the world that she's not.
In her attempt to show the world that she is adventurous and impulsive. She buys two tickets to Paris for her and her boyfriend.

But unexpectedly, her boyfriend cancels on her last-minute and Nell ends up going to Paris on her own. Stuck in a country where she knows nothing about and barely speaks the language, she'll find that's just the tip beginning of her problems.

But when Nell meets Fabien by coincidence, her adventurous side gets a spark and Nell will end up having the best weekend she could imagine. I liked the chemistry between Fabien and Nell though slightly predictable.

It was an enjoyable read. Quick and simple, you'll finish this in one read and will find yourself wanting to know more about where things will go between Nell and Fabien.
I liked the story but it was pretty straight forward and predictable. I could easily relate with Nell's issues of finding her ways in a strange country and would've loved meeting my own Fabien when I found myself in a similar position.


A weekend in Paris that any open-minded spirit would dream of experiencing.