Review: Trapped In Silver by Emily Sowden

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Title: Trapped In Silver
Series: The Eldryn Chronicles
Author: Emily Sowden
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Source: Oftomes Publishing
Rating: ★★★★☆4/5

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SYNOPSIS: To seventeen-year-old Ava, wild woodcats, hungry stragglers, and simple-minded townsfolk are the evils she’s grown accustomed to. But when Ethan, an unusual man with eyes of smoke and fire opal, enters her world she quickly understands that there are worse things out there than drunken men and carnivorous forest creatures. Ava is a specialised liar and a hell of a fighter, but against a group of animalistic men called Berserkers she struggles to survive the encounter as the desperate swing of a dagger is all it takes to change her life for good. Ava escapes the pursuit in an unfamiliar land full of impossible creatures, unlikely allies, and the man she doesn’t know whether to kiss or kill. Quickly Ava becomes involved in a centuries-long war and begins to unravel the reasons behind her relentless nightmares, discovering truths long-buried in a violent history of love, loss and betrayal.

THOUGHTS:
When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, I thought it had potential to be a great story if written right, and it definitely was! It was obvious from the beginning of the book that a lot of thought had been put in the world-building of this trilogy, consisting of detailed myths, background stories, odd creatures and an interesting history the story was going to build on.

The thing that stood out the most for me however was how well the characters, in particular Ava, were written. I thought Ava was such an interesting character, portrayed as a stubborn and loud-mouthed girl but not in an over exaggerated and annoying way. In addition to the characters being well written, they were also very much real. Ava was, as she should be, written as a real person with flaws, a girl who comes from an incredibly difficult background. As Ava works on their families farm to pay for their expenses while her father is away, having to switch between herself and her alter-ego Cedar and dealing with her brother who’s closed off and seems to have several secrets of his own, life is not easy. On top of that, even though Ava has to come to terms with a lot of terrifying and overwhelming information in a short period of time, she doesn’t become the fantasy cliche of the girl turned into warrior within the first 20 pages. Ava is much more than a one dimensional character consisting of oneliners, even though hers could be incredibly funny at times. Likewise I enjoyed all the other characters just as much as I got to know more about them and their quirks each chapter, their different background stories and relationship with each-other makes the world-building aspect in this book come to life even more.

I have to admit that I thought the start of the book was quite difficult to get into, as it is a pretty slow paced book in general but as soon as I really started to understand the story, which took me some chapters, I just flew through the pages. Something I didn’t like too much about this book however were the visions and dreams Ava had especially in the beginning. I thought they were usually too long and didn’t really add to the story that much. I also need to add that I hope the next book in this series, doesn’t put too much focus on the relationship between Ava and Ethan, as this is something that fantasy themed stories usually do and I don’t often enjoy when it starts to become the overwhelming story line of the book. In the end however, I thought this was a well written original addition to the fantasy/young adult genre and I would definitely recommend this to people who want to read a new take on a fantasy cliche, and to everyone who appreciates thorough world-building.

If you like this you might also enjoy:
Lost In Darkness (Eldryn Chronicles 2) by Emily Sowden
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell

(NOTE: this book has been given to me by Oftomes publishing in exchange for an honest review.)

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Why I didn’t finish ‘When Dimple Met Rishi’ (A Semi-Review)

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Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Publication Date: May 30th 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 380
Source: Bol.com
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5

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Synopsis:
This book revolves around Dimple Shah, an Indian girl who’s about to head off to university. When her traditional parents, who are obsessed with finding the perfect Indian husband for Dimple find out about a summer program for aspiring web developers they decide to pay a lot of cash for Dimple to go. Only to set their own plan in motion: To introduce Dimple to Rishi, the perfect Indian guy they want their daughter to marry. Dimple however, doesn’t know any of this when she arrives at campus and this guy who she’s never met introduces himself as her future husband..

Thoughts:
I was actually pretty excited to read this book when I came across it on my recommended list of books on Goodreads. I thought that finally someone had gone and written a book that was going to twist the arranged marriage trope into something readable again, but in reality I barely got halfway through the book before I pretty much realized that there wasn’t anything about the story I actually liked.

First of all, I felt like it was WAY too cliche. I can appreciate a good cliche story every once in a while. In this case however it just seemed to irk me. I think the “I hate my (sort of) arranged marriage but oops I fell in love with the guy anyway” trope is just too overplayed at this point. It felt like the author in addition to using that trope tried way too hard to make it original in some way by throwing in this competition at a university where (of course) Dimple ends up partnering with the guy her parents want her to marry. I didn’t feel like it was believable and I didn’t enjoy reading the story after I started realizing this was going to be one of those books where they’re going to end up together anyways. It got so many good reviews on Goodreads and I honestly don’t understand why. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this book is disastrous. I actually think the writing style was quite pleasant and I loved a lot of the references the author made to nerd/pop culture but other than that I could not enjoy this at all.

I also felt like the way their relationship was portrayed wasn’t very exciting to read either just like Dimple’s parents or Dimple herself who didn’t feel dimensional to me. As a core character Dimple came off as way too whiny and it seemed like the author was trying way too hard to make her authentic and edgy by constantly stating every 4 or 5 pages she doesn’t wear make-up and that’s she’s oh-so strong and independent. Even more so a lot of the aspects of this story, such as the app contest, came across as forced and in reality all the book pretty much discussed was Dimple and Rishi’s relationship.

All in all, I think that if the author would’ve committed herself to drastically and honestly modifying this trope I would have enjoyed it way more than I did now.

September 17′ TBR

In which I talk about what books I plan on reading in September!

I have big plans in terms of what i’m wanting to read this September! These are actually all books that I only recently got. Surprisingly I had a bit of a reading slump in at the beginning of August but i’m back!

23437156First of all, I got Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo as the duology book set from Book Depository a couple of weeks ago! Everyone seems to absolutely love it so I can’t wait to find out if it’s really that good or just overhyped. I’m actually setting myself on a time restraint with this one as well because i’ll be reading and discussing Six Of Crows on Goodreads with a friend this month!

11362175Then, I got The New Ghost by Robert Hunter from Book Depository as well. It’s this amazingly beautiful graphic novel that I saw in one of Sanne’s (booksandquills) video’s some time ago. It’s a story ghost and his first day presiding in the afterlife.

31117620I also go the hardback version of Gather The Daughters by Jennie Melamed which I’m probably the most excited about among all the other books I got! I’ve never heard of Jennie Melamed before and to be honest the first thing that drew me to this book is when I saw the beautiful cover! This is one of those books where you only have to read the synopsis to know it’ll be a great read. It’s about this island, in the middle of nowhere, with the only inhabitant all being members of some sort of cult who in the middle of the summer have some kind of ritual where all the young girls run free and explore the island. So one night, one girl sees something she isn’t supposed to see which changes everything from that day forward. I’ve never read any story like it before and I must say my expectations of this one are sky high!

24120519I’m also planning on reading A Library Of Souls by Ransom Riggs which is the last book in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. I absolutely adored part 1 and 2 (I actually ended up seeing the movie before reading the books which doesn’t happen to me often). I don’t have any worries about not finishing this one because the last book had a horrible cliff hanger so I can’t wait to pick this up!

Summed up: 

 

Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

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Title: He Said/She Said
Author: Erin Kelly
Genre: Thriller
Publication date: April 20th, 2017
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 416
Source: Bol.com
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
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SYNOPSIS: In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack. She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, it is not only the victim’s life that is changed forever. Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear, and while Laura knows she was right to speak out, the events that follow have taught her that you can never see the whole picture: something, and someone, is always in the dark.

THOUGHTS:  I really enjoyed reading this book! I was hesitant at first because I don’t read thrillers often as it is mostly a hit or miss genre for me. This however was an amazing read and very often reminded me of the Millennium series by Stieg Larsson. This book is THE ultimate mix between betrayal, lies, guilt and trauma if that wasn’t clear from the synopsis already. All of this takes place in a time frame of about 16 years, between 1999 and 2015.

This was an incredibly unique story. I loved that the entire book connects around the theme of eclipses and so-called eclipse chasers. I think that made it intriguing and clever to me (and i’ve actually learned quite a lot about eclipses.) I also have to say that I was really impressed with how this story was structured. Because of the large period of time the book covers the plot jumps from the ‘now’ period which is 2015, back in time to when this traumatic event happened every 3 or so chapters. It was done in a way that made the story built up a lot of tension. The author really makes your opinions on these characters who you think you know, drastically change by the time you’re halfway through. In a sense, you’re peeling of layers of their personalities as you go along and right when you think you know what’s about to happen or how Laura or Kit will react, she changes up the entire plot without making it unrealistic in any way.

I thought the characters were written with a lot of depth. They were real, authentic and complex in the way they were depicted in dealing with their traumatic experiences, even the side characters. I felt as if in this book it was even more so about the unravelling of these characters, their experiences, regrets, secrets and especially the break-down of Laura and Kit’s relationship than it was about the actual event that set the story into motion.

The only thing I disliked about the book is that I think some parts just dragged on too long for my taste and weren’t really necessary to put in the book at all. Especially since it’s already quite a lot of pages (416!). Because of this I would not recommend this book to people who like their thriller books to be fast-paced all the time. I definitely think this is a great story but it takes a while for the plot to come through properly and really start making sense. However if you don’t mind being confused every once in a while and like me are a patient reader and thoroughly enjoy being put on the wrong path, this is definitely a book for you.

QUOTES:

“Leibniz said, Music is the mind counting without being conscious it’s counting. An eclipse is maths; it’s the most beautiful maths there is.”

“That’s the thing with secrets. They’re leaky; you can’t decide to share the bits that suit you without a million questions oozing out. You have to solder a part of yourself shut.”

If you like this book you might also enjoy:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (#1 of the Millennium series)
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown

Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

a monster callsTitle: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Horror
Publication Date: 2011, May 5th
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 216
Source: Waterstones
Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5


SYNOPSIS: The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

THOUGHTS: 
I enjoyed reading this book so much more than I thought I was going to when I picked it up from Waterstones as an impulsive buy. Not that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy it, it was just at a level of amazing I did not foresee!

First of all, I absolutely loved the artwork in this book! I’m not ashamed to say that I am someone who loves pretty books and sometimes falls into the trap of buying a book just because of it’s cover.. I thought the artwork really gave an extra dimension to the story, made it more real for me and gave me that kind of fairytale book vibe even though it isn’t quite the typical fairytale. Going on that, I loved the way the story was told and portrayed in a fairytale like way with this magical but also pretty terrifying tree telling three old tales while the story at the same time takes place in a reality where these kinds of things do not or at least should not happen.

When it comes to the plot I thought it was very heartfelt. Conor, the main character whose mom is battling cancer and is dealing with all sorts of problems ranging from bullies at school to the absence of his dad, was written very convincingly. I really did empathise with him and it definitely was an original take on depicting grief, loss and anger. The stories told by this magical tree in Conor’s backyard are not your typical fairy tale stories. They show how not everything is simply black and white, right and wrong. How loss doesn’t necessarily equal death and that is is necessary to let go and forgive those you love. At this point you might think you’ve got this book all figured out but I promise you that this is one of those books where you simply cannot predict what’s going to happen next.

I won’t spoil the ending but I will say it made me cry which I didn’t expect in a million years. I’m not the emotional type when it comes to reading books but this definitely struck a cord with me. I think it’s one of those books that will stay with me for a long time and that I would recommend both children and adults to read.

QUOTES:

“There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.”

“You do not write your life with words…You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do.”

If you like this book you might enjoy:
Tinder by Sally Gardner
Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
The Last of The Spirits by Chris Priestly
Hunting Monsters by S.L. Huang

Sidenote: you can check out the website of the illustrator Jim Kay over here

Introduction 2.0

I wanted to attempt introducing myself once again as lots of things have changed since the last time I logged in to this blog. So.. let’s start fresh.

Hi there!

As you can read on the right side of this page, my name is Esther. I am a 20 year old university student from the Netherlands, specializing in the Japanese language and minoring in Korean and Global Affairs.

I have started this blog because I love to read! For me reading has always been something that has brought me great comfort, joy and most of all a good distraction. More importantly so I’ve always loved talking about my favorite books with friends, giving them recommendations on what to read and spending hours discussing what could possibly happen in the sequel (or why movie adaptations of books almost always suck) I decided that I wanted to take that to a larger scale and share all my talking about books with the internet!

On this blog I will be sharing reviews of the books i’ve read, the books i’m looking forward to reading, my bookish adventures/travels, book hauls and lots of recommendations.

I hope you’ll find what you’re looking for on this blog. Have a lovely day!

Esther ~