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Monday, February 12

Book Talk | Wintersong

February 12, 2018 16 Comments
Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Page Count: 436
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Goodreads Rating: 3.61
My Rating: 5.0
Book Cover Rating: 5.0
Bad Book Review: Just believe in fairytales enough and they'll come true.
Review Type: Spoiler free

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

The story
I really love this book alright. I even have a really hard time writing a review for this, because I don't even really know WHY I love this so much. I've read it twice now and felt like the second time it was even better.
Wintersong was so magical. I think that's a big reason why I love this so much. Something very special happened to me while reading this. I feel like I was inside the story, surrounded my magic. I could feel every singe thing that happened. To me that is exactly what makes a good book. I was so involved in this world that I could do nothing else but to read and read and read.
The book is split into two main parts. The beginning is full of excitement and games and the second part is deep and emotional and thorough.
Something else that really fascinated me were the Goblins. If you ask me what I imagine when I picture a 'goblin', I picture this troll-like creature who is ugly and lived underground. Not in this book. In Wintersong Goblins are more like Fae or Elves (and you all know how much I love those).
Wintersong is very slow paced, but I feel like for this book that doesn't matter at all. The story comes so natural and everything feels like it is explained when it needs to be explained and everything feels right. It's probably the only 500+ page book that I finished within two days. Especially for the second part of the book I feel like not much actually happened, but for some reason I am perfectly fine with that. Like I explained earlier, it felt right. The second part didn't need thrilling excitement. It was about the love between the Goblin King and Liesl and all of the struggles and pain that come with that.
This book is exactly what you would think of when you hear the word 'fairytale'. Something beautiful and exciting with a deep love story that hits you in ways you never expected it to and stays with you for a very long time.

“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort
of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”

The writing style
This book had a slow start, but was never boring. The opposite, actually. I couln't stop reading. The main reason for that is the writing style. This book is written deep and beautifully. S. Jae-Jones has a way of explaining this so well and in such a special way that all the world hit you right in your soul. But I feel like this entire book hit me right in my soul.
On S. Jae-Jones her website she explains that she's not much of a poet, on the contrary, she doesn't see herself as a poet at all, which to me is very funny. The entirety of Wintersong is almost like reading one big poem that pulls you in and doesn't let you go.

Let's talk about yet another reason why I really love this book: the involvement of music. I play both the piano and violin and those exact instruments play a really important part in this book. Liesl is a composer and plays both the piano, which is most comfortable to her, as well as the violin. Her brother Josef is a master on the violin and so is like the Goblin king. Jones explains what it's like to play an instrument and to feel music as though she has been playing herself for years. It made me so happy to read a book which explains what it's like to play an instrument so well and I think that if you play an instrument, you will really love this.

So yeah, this was my poor review for one of the best novels I ever read. This review is a mess, but that's kinda also how my feelings for this book are. I really recommend you just read it. And if you do, let me know how you felt!

Wednesday, January 31

Monthly Reading Recap | January

January 31, 2018 5 Comments
After a full year (I know, I know) I'm here with another reading recap. Yeah...I didn't really have anything interesting to write about in a recap the past months, but this month I've read some really amazing books so wanted to share those with everyone. And I promise I won't wait another year with posting the next one hahaha. But hey! I'm back \0/

Book Depository Affiliate

Before I get into the books I read this month I wanted to remind everybody who takes the time to read my blogposts that I am a Book Depository affiliate and if you use my code you can get 5% off your order!
About Book Depository
Book Depository has a massive offer of books that they sell for a (very) low prince. Most of the times they also have many different editions of books and sometimes you can even get them in different languages than English! Another great thing about them is that they offer free shipping worldwide AND you get a (adorable) free bookmark with every order you place!
I became an affiliate to offer my readers a chance of getting something they love for a little less money, because I think you all deserve that :) And it's also a way for me to make a little bit of money with my blog (it's not much, but I appreciate everything I get ♥)
Here is my affiliate link, once you click this, the 5% is automatically taken from all the prices on their website, you don't have to fill in an extra code at checkout!(Make sure to bookmark it so that you can use it again without going to my blog :))
Link here!

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository


Another quick shameless shoutout to myself (I'm sorry): I've had a book account on Instagram for a while now to accompany this blog, but I've never really done much with it. That has changed. I want to do more promotion work, but I also just really want to connect with other readers and followers, so I've been trying to grow my instagram! I'm also posting book pictures every day and post a lot of reading updates, book mail and other things in my story! I'd really appreciate it if you could give me a follow :)

January Wrap-Up

Okay now that I'm done shamelessly promoting myself, let's finally get into my wrap-up. Like I said, I read a lot of amazing books this month. For some reason I always start my year of with reading really good books, which always makes the beginning of my year great.

Hunting Prince Dracula | Kerri Maniscalco
I started the year off by reading the second in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. (I thought it was gonna be a trilogy, but now Goodreads says there is a #4 coming as well, yay!). As most of you already know, I absolutely loved SJTR and read it twice already. I had very high expectations going into this book and I was not disappointed. It was even more brutal and dark than the first book and had everything I was hoping for.
Full review here 

Milk and Honey | Rupi Kaur
Sometimes there are books that are so incredibly hyped that I'm just not interested in reading them at all. I don't know, for me a hype that big is kind of off-putting for me. But one of my New Years Reading Resolutions was that I wanted to read more poetry this year. I did some research on the internet and a lot of poems I came across that I really liked were by Rupi Kaur. That ended up convincing me to give this a shot.
I am SO glad that I did. This is gonna sound very cheesy, but I felt like this poetry collection was kind of life changing for me. I felt so much stronger and empowered when I was reading these poems and it made me realise that I shouldn't dwell on the past for so long. It really made me want to be the best I possibly could and I'm really thankful for that.

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead | Rick Riordan

Then I got into the final book in the Magnus Chase trilogy, which I got as a Christmas present from my parents. I love the Magnus Chase books and I'm so sad that they're now over. Even though I have this feeling that they're not actually over. Idk, it's just the way this book ended that made me think that Rick might be working on some more MC books?
But about the book, I think that this was the perfect ending to such a funny and exciting series. I can't say much about it, because that'd be a spoiler, but I just thought it was really good. If you're looking for a quick and funny, yet thrilling and exciting series to read, this one is the one to go for.

Uprooted | Naomi Novik
I only just uploaded my review for this book, and if you've read it, you know how I feel about this book. The story was really unique and well put together, but the writing did absolutely nothing for me. There was such an extensive load of quite unnecessary information that at some parts I just skimmed over the text, because I didn't really care. I think that by doing that I missed some important information about the plot or something, because some parts of this book highly confused me.
Despite that I do think that this was a very original book and it was definitely unlike anything I'd ever read before, that's why I did end up giving it quite a high rating.
Full review here

Wintersong | S Jae-Jones
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that this is one of my all time favorite novels. Last year I was lucky enough to have a copy of this before the book was even released and I read it immediately. I fell desperately in love with this story, this world, the characters, even the writing style. I'm gonna post a review of this one soon and I think it will be full of me just crying about how incredible this book is.
I decided to reread it because it's amazing, but also because the second book is coming out next week (can you hear me dying over here? I pre-ordered my copy months ago).
★★★★★ (honestly this deserves way more than 5 stars)

Monthly Purchases

Remember my 2018 Reading Resolutions post, where I said I was gonna read the books I own before getting any new ones? Hahahaha yeah that didn't happen. I BOUGHT NEW BOOKS YAY! I haven't even gotten all of them in the mail yet, but I'm excited about every single book that I got and I can't wait to get into all of them! (who am I kidding most of them will probably be sitting on my shelf for the rest of eternity)

I went shopping with my mom last week and we went to the bookstore. I ended up leaving with two books. The first book I got was Nightwalker by Marie Lu. I love the concept of famous YA authors re-imagining superhero stories and this is the second book of that series. And I got All About Mia by Lisa Williamson. I read her other book The Art of Being Normal last year and really enjoyed it. I've had my eyes on this book for a while now, but it was only out in hardcover, so I waited for the paperback to release and now I have it.

Then I had a little adventure on Book Depository. I saw some books on other people their bookstagrams that looked really interesting so I got them. The first book is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Everyone and their mothers are reading this atm and honestly the concept sounds really good, so I went ahead and bought the hardcover (for only €11, bless BD).
I also found this book called The Last Namsara, which sounds unlike anything I've ever read before and intrigued me, so I bought it.
The last book I got on my Book Depository buying spree was The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. I've been wanting to read this book ever since it came out and I really wanted to get the beautiful hardcover with the cabin in the woods and the deckled edges, but it was so expensive. I waited for a while to see if it would maybe get cheaper some time after it was released. Yeah, it didn't. So I found another really beautiful edition on BD that I hadn't seen before for only €8, so I decided to get that one.

Lastly I finally got a copy of Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. This has been on my TBR for quite some time, but for some reason I never got it. Now I came across a hardcover copy that was on sale, because there is a little damage to the book somewhere (I haven't found it yet), so I figured now was the good time to read it.

Well that was a giant blogpost, are you still here with me? I love you if you are. Let me know in the comments which books you read and bought this month. I really love reading your comments and I might find some good future books to review!

Monday, January 29

Book Talk | Uprooted

January 29, 2018 15 Comments
Title: Uprooted
Author: Naomi Novik
Page Count: 438
Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Goodreads Rating: 4.12
My Rating: 4.0
Book Cover Rating: 3.5
Bad Book Review:
Review Type: Spoiler free
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life. Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood. The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows - everyone knows - that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn't, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her. But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

The Story
I already have such a hard time writing a review for this book, because my feelings are so mixed. Apparently this book is based off a Polish fairytale or has influences of it? I don't know the fairytale. For me it felt like a mix of Beauty and the Beast and Rapunzel, but with more magic. This book highly confused me. I was confused about why the Dragon was taking girls and why every 10 years. I was confused about what the Wood was and what exactly it did. I understand that those were things that would be explained later on (turned out to be in the very end of the book), but as a reader I need something to build the world and its history in my head.
Don't get me wrong, when you finish the entire book it's a very well put together story that ends up being thought through pretty well (apart from some things that still confuse me). Maybe I was a bit disappointed was also because I went into this with very high expectations, since most people I come across absolutely love this book.
I did think this story was very unique, in a good way. I never read a story like this before and I really liked that. It was very refreshing. I liked the whole concept of the Wood and it being very scary, even though I didn't fully understand everything going on in there. And the whole magic system was really nice, also unlike anything I had ever read before.

The Characters
Something that really made this book better are the characters in it. First of all we have Agnieszka (pronounced as ag-nyesh-ka). She's not the prettiest girl out there, is clumsy and can't really do anything. I relate. She managed to trip over the air and is always covered in God knows what. But what I liked most about her was how headstrong she is. She wasn't gonna take any of the shit the Dragon was giving her for no reason at all. ''You're being awful to me for no reason? Well fuck you than.'' ''I'm not allowed to leave the tower? I'm gonna do it anyway.'' ''I can't do that? I'll show you I can.'' I really loved that about her.
Next we have the Dragon. First up I thought he was the biggest asshole on the planet for no reason at all. There was probably some very special reason why he was such a brooding bastard, but we never found out. But for some strange reason I actually started liking the guy throughout this book. I still don't know why, I think he grew on me and I started seeing the good parts to him. I think he genuinely wanted to do good things and I suppose he did like Agnieszka, in his own special way.
Lastly we have Kasia, Agnieszka's best friend and the best side character in the world. I really loved Kasia. She's the girl everyone thought the Dragon would choose. She's pretty, intelligent, likable and good at basically everything. When I first heard about her I thought that she would be your typical brainless pretty side character, oh how wrong I was. She turned out to be an absolute B A D A S S. Was I expecting her to pick up a swords and SLAY, NO. Did I love it? HELL YEAH. Please Kasia can you marry me.

 “Magic was singing in me, through me; I felt the murmur of his power singing back that same song.”

The Writing Style
I think the main reason why I had such a hard time reading this book was the way it's written. The reason why it's an adult book is not because of the age of the characters, but because of the writing style and I could really tell. I love YA books, because often they are quick to read. This book was the opposite. It was so slow. There were loads of massive paragraphs with information that could have been a small piece of text and the chapters were really long as well. There was a part where some magic ritual was explained and it was literally a full 10-15 page chapter. To me it was just so unnecessary. I'm sure there are many people who will like this writing style, but it just wasn't for me.

I wasn't planning on writing a 'negative' review and don't get me wrong: I did enjoy this book. I didn't give it 4 stars for nothing, but I just had quite some issues with it.

Monday, January 22

Bookish Top 5 | Books I Read Because Of The Internet

January 22, 2018 1 Comments
I was thinking about new things to do on this blog and thought about all the book things I always enjoy reading and watching myself. That's when I realised that I really enjoy top 5 or top 10 posts. It's easy to read, but still fun and is also very fun to write. So today I'm posting my first 'Bookish Top 5'. This edition: Books I read because of the internet. First of all: there are so many books I read because of the internet, but I chose the ones that ended up being very special to me or that stood out in some way.

#5: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I don't talk about this book on my blog a lot, but it's a book I really enjoyed, without thinking I would. I was always kinda eh about this book, because tbh I thought the title was really stupid and I'm not really a big contemporary lover. But because literally everybody kept going on about this book on the internet, I decided to give it a go anyway. I was SO happy that I did. I was in a massive reading slump at the time and this book managed to get me out. I also related to the main character a lot which is always nice, and generally I just ended up really enjoying it.

#4: Caraval by Stephanie Garber
If you were part of any book communities on the internet the time this book came out last year, you will know how extremely hyped this was. It. Was. EVERYWHERE. I didn't know about the existence of this until it blew up so much and I was like okay it must be good I should read it. So I got the hardcover edition (bc it's pretty okay I enjoy taking pictures of books) and read it. It ended up being a very magical and different read. I enjoyed it.

#3: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
This is a series I read because of the internet that I feel really changed me as a person (actually all of the top 3 books are). Do I even have to explain how loved this series is all over the internet? What can I say about this? I really love the whole Shadowhunter world and this series introduced me to it. It's one of the longest series I've ever read and it just holds a special place in my heart.

#2 Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
I only very recently read this poetry collection, because one of my 2018 reading resolutions was reading more poetry. I didn't really know where to start so I decided to get this book. I had been putting this off for a very long time, because it felt a bit overhyped to me (stupid since I hadn't read it I know I know). This book spoke to me in such a special way. I could relate to a lot of the poems and it made me realise that I wanted to be more forgiving and just be positive. To me that meant a lot so this collection of poetry now holds a very special place in my heart.

#1 Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas
Where do I even start about how special this book is and how thankful I am. It sounds very silly, I know, but this book just means so incredibly much to me. I never used to read, but somehow I started watching booktube videos and noticed how everyone was talking about this series and the synopsis sounded very good to me. I went to the bookstore for the first time in my life and bought my paperback copy of Throne of Glass. I finished in two days, that's how much I loved it. I just wanted to keep on reading (unfortunately at the time the series was only out till Heir of Fire). I finished all the books out in like a week and realised how amazing books are. Even now, 3 years later, I still think about this series like every day and every single character hold a special place in my heart.
But that's not just it. Sarah J Maas was also the one who inspired me to start writing. I wanted to be able to put the stories I read down onto paper as well and whenever I watched interviews with her on Youtube I saw how much she loved her books and her world and I wanted that as well. This series and author means so much to me and if I ever get to meet Sarah in real life I honestly just want to thank her for everything she has done for me.

Let me know in the comments which books you read because of the internet and what your thoughts on them were!

~ Amber

Tuesday, January 16

Book Talk | Hunting Prince Dracula

January 16, 2018 2 Comments

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Page Count: 434
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.44
My Rating: 5.0
Book Cover Rating: 5.0
Bad Book Review: Sherlock Homes meets Indiana Jones: the novel
Review Type: Spoiler free
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

The story
Have you ever heard of books a thing in YA books called 'second book syndrome'? Yeah, this book was the complete opposite of that. As you all probably know by now: Stalking Jack the Ripper is one of my all time favorite books, so I had very high hopes going into this book, which can be dangerous. But let me just say: I was NOT disappointed

SJTR had me hooked from the first page, this book took about 50-60 pages for me to really get into, but once the story really kicked off I was hooked. The first thing I loved about this book was definitely the setting and it really added to the scary vibe of the story. It takes place in a very old castle in Romania where Dracula himself once lived. It's full of scary hallways and secret passages that make it feel like you are save nowhere you go.

As I already mentioned in my review of SJTR as well, I can't help but try and solve the case during these books and let my inner Sherlock Holmes come to life. Turns out I would make a terrible detective, because I keep being so wrong about these cases. But that's probably because of the amazing way Kerri has set up this story. Sometimes she drops these tiny hints that you don't realise are hints until you actually know who committed the murders and I think that makes these books so great.

''Monsters could wear the smiles of friends while secreting away the rotten soul of the Devil in the darkest crevices of themselves.''

The characters
This book definitely wouldn't be the same without its main character and her arrogant yet amazing companion. Audrey Rose and Thomas add so much life to this story. Their characters have a lot of depth to them, which is nice because if there is something I absolutely hate in books it's flat characters.
In this novel Audrey Rose really struggles with the outcome of the Jack the Ripper case and suffers from a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is written in such an incredible way. Kerri doesn't try to romanticize it and shows PTSD the ugly way it really is. Audrey Rose is not herself and keeps seeing things that aren't there to the point where she actually thinks she's going insane.
But despite that she still managed to keep her head up and be her intelligent and feminist self, even when she is surrounded by men who think a woman should not be cutting into corpses. Every time she sassed a male character in this book I couldn't help but going 'yaaaaaaas girl you go'. I really admired that aspect of her.
Now let's talk about my beautiful babe Thomas Cresswell. We got to spend so much time with him in this book and got to know a lot about his past and his character. He comes across as the perfect and arrogant guy who can never do anything wrong, but in this book we discover that that is not true at all. Even he struggles with the things that happened during the Jack the Ripper case and has changed because of it. His deduction skills seem less good as in the previous book and he obviously keeps a lot of things stuffed away inside of him. I love characters who aren't perfect, it makes them feel so much more real.

I love romance in books, but I don't like it when it takes over the entire story and it's the only thing that matters (a big reason why I don't read that many YA contemporary books). The romance in this book was so well done, because it was definitely there, but than again not really. I loved the snarky conversations between Audrey Rose and Thomas, they really brightened up such a grim and dark book. Throughout the entire novel I was just craving another kissing scene like in SJTR or at least for something adorable to happen between the two main characters.

''For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.'' 

Lesbian romance
This is just something I really quickly have to talk about as well. There is a great lesbian romance in this book and I couldn't help but love it. In so many YA books (that I read at least) that contain some kind of LGBTQ+ romance it either feels so forced into the story or the entire story evolves around it. This romance did not feel forced at all. It was especially refreshing since back in the late 1800s it was definitely not okay to be gay and the characters were so afraid that Audrey Rose would look down upon them for being who they are. It made me feel kinda sad to know that there were so many gay people in history who just couldn't be themself and had to either keep their relationship secret or just had to be with a person of the opposite sex to protect themselves. That was such a great add to this already great book.

I feel like this review is kinda all over the place, but there are so many things I love about this book, but if I went into all my opinions, this review would have been a full novel in itself.

Tuesday, January 9

My 2018 Reading Goals

January 09, 2018 0 Comments
Now that 2018 is finally here I thought it'd be fun to start off the new year with some reading resolutions. I have to be honest and say that I am horrible at sticking to my resolutions so most years I don't even bother coming up with any, but I figured that if I'd actually publish them on the internet for everybody to read I might actually stick to them so I don't look like an absolute failure. 2018 will also be the year that my gap year from school will be over and I'll be going to college, so I have no idea how much time I'll have left to read once that happens.

So let's talk about the Goodreads Challenge first. I've already written a blogpost on how I feel about this particular reading challenge and my opinion hasn't changed since. I still don't like it. It's supposed to be fun and all, but I'm a very competitive person and if I set a reading goal I have to reach it. Which lead to me constantly being stressed about reading, because I just had to read the impossible goal I set and it wasn't fun to do anymore.
So for 2018 I set my goal to 10 books, something I can easily reach. I mostly use the Goodreads Challenge to have a good overview of the amount and which books I read in a year, but I don't like the actual challenge aspect. This way I can keep track of what I've read without being stressed about it.

Let's get into some bookish things now. The first thing I really want to do is finish the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin. Last year I read the biggest book in the series: A Storm Of Swords, which was incredible as expected. And this year I want to read the final two. I'm already about 200 pages into A Feast For Crows, so if I finish that in the first half of the year and A Dance With Dragons in the second half, I can finally join everybody in crying about The Winds Of Winter never releasing and Game Of Thrones almost being over...good times.

I also really want to read more adult books. Right now I mostly read Young Adult, sometimes even middle grade, but at times I find myself just not relating to the characters anymore. I'm turning 20 next year so obviously I still fall under the young adult age category, but sometimes characters in YA books seem way too young to be doing the things they're doing (like epic battles and saving the entire kingdom or being part of heavy political games or something). And sometimes I'm just kinda 'eh' about it. I won't stop reading YA, bc if the books sounds good I'm definitely going to read it, but I also want to explore the whole adult or new adult genres more.

Another thing I really want to do in 2018 is read more poetry. I absolutely love poetry and it always speaks to me in such a special way, but despite that I never really pick up any poetry books. I spend more time on Pinterest exploring the poetry tag and pinning everything on my poetry board rather than actually buying some poetry collections. Recently I got The Princess Saves Herself In This One, Milk and Honey and Love Her Wild, so I can't wait to jump into those.

This one is something every book lover always says, but never really sticks to: I want to read more of the books I already own. There are always so many amazing new books coming out that I want to read and sometimes I forget the books I already have. I have books that have been sitting on my shelves for literally 2 years just waiting to finally be opened. This year will be the moment for those books.

The last thing I want to do reading wise in 2018 is review more books and just blog more in general. I love reading and I really love writing blogposts and yet I rarely review books. Sometimes because I simply don't have enough thoughts about a book to write a full review about it, but most of the times I'm honestly too lazy *insert GOT Shame nun*. After I posted my Stalking Jack The Ripper review on here, I got quite a lot of messages on Tumblr and Instagram (where I shared it as well) of people they now wanted to read the book because of my review. The idea of positively influencing people to read a book I really loved and letting them experience the same thing made me so happy that it made me realise that I want to review the books I read for all of my blog readers.

So those were my reading goals and resolutions for 2018. Let me know in the comments what yours are, I'd love to read them. And if you want to talk to me personally you can always message me on my Tumblr or Instagram:

~ Amber

Thursday, January 4

Book Talk | Stalking Jack The Ripper

January 04, 2018 1 Comments
Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Page Count: 326
Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction, YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.0
My Rating: 5.0
Book Cover Rating: 5.0
Bad Book Review: I do not have very good deduction skills.
Review Type: Spoiler free
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

 ''Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn't believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.''

The story
Where do I even start? I love this book so much that I've read it twice in one year. After reading it a second time now, I realised that it's actually one of my all time favorite books. This story is so incredibly thrilling that even the second time around I could not put it down. You constantly find yourself trying to solve the case alongside the main character Audrey Rose and her companion Thomas, and I kept going over all the details of the case over and over again.
Thomas has great deduction skills, I most certainly do not haha. Oh how wrong I was about Jack the Ripper over and over again. Every time I thought I had figured out who Jack was I turned out to be so terribly wrong and I never saw the end coming (which I'm obviously not going to talk about). Honestly that only made the book better.

I also really loved the historical aspect of the book. As most of the people who read this book probably already know: I love history and Victorian England just so happens to be one of my favorite historical periods. I loved seeing the time period come to life in this book and Kerri did an amazing job making it as accurate as possible, or at least that's how I felt, and it really brought this book to life. It was very interesting to see how Audrey Rose was constantly being judged for simply being a woman, as was normal during that time.

The characters
I always think that the characters and really make or break a book, even if the story is great. The two most important characters in this book made this already great story even better.
Let's start off with Audrey Rose. As I already said before she is constantly being judged by men for simply being born a woman. She literally does not care, which I really liked. I love books with strong female characters and Audrey Rose is no exception. She dives straight into a world of men and doesn't care about what anyone thinks, just so she can do what she loves doing (what just so happens to be cutting into corpses but alright, you do you). Another thing I loved about Audrey, or more the way she's written, is that she still feels her emotions very strongly, which kept her very human. Sometimes in books I find that authors create this perfect character, which just doesn't feel very real to me.

Thomas is the Audrey Rose her companion during this case and together they make such a great team. In the beginning of the book I thought Thomas would be your standard ''I'm amazing and arrogant look at me'' kind of character, but I was so wrong about him. Yes he does have a pretty high opinion of himself, though I do believe that his cockiness is also to hide his real emotions. But honestly, I thought his funny comments and self loving gave this book just the funny twist that it otherwise would have missed. And once you get to know Thomas as a character, he turns out to be hiding so much, which really makes you realise there is more to a person that they might show.

The romance (this could be seen as a spoiler? idk...)
There is also a (to me) great romance in this book, simply because it's not really a 'romance'. The chemistry between these characters is so strong, yet Audrey doesn't really act to and Thomas keeps making comments that are hilarious and sweet at the same time. All of this only made me ship them more tbh. I can't wait to see what the next book will bring.

I know I didn't describe any negative things about this book, but honestly that's just because I couldn't find any. I'm sure there are people who have some sort of critique about the story or the characters, but this novel contained everything I love in a book: a thrilling storyline, likable characters, an amazing romance and it also happens to be written very well.

Tuesday, December 12

'Tis The Season Book Tag

December 12, 2017 2 Comments

I have been gone for quite some time, but I'm back with a lot of new blogpost ideas! Since it's almost Christmas aka my favorite time of the year, I thought it'd be nice for me to return to blogging with a tag that first this time perfectly!

1. Do you have a favorite winter read?
Right now it's Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. People who have been following my blog for a while know that this is one of my favorite books of the year. It is beautifully written and one of the most incredible stories I've ever read. The title and cover both remind me of winter so it perfectly fits this season. I'm actually planning on rereading it before the second book comes out in February.

2. Find a book with blue on the cover.
The book I just finished has a beautiful blue cover: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
3. Find a book that you'd use as a star on a Christmas tree.
 I'm gonna place A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas on top of my Christmas tree simply bc it was one of the best books I ever read.
Can I get through a single blogpost without mentioning how much I love Sarah J Maas? Nope.

4. Pick one fictional place that would be perfect for a winter holiday.
I'd love to spend Christmas at Hogwarts! I think that the Christmas decorations would bring me in the perfect holiday mood. Maybe I could even go and visit Hogsmeade. 

5. Pick one fictional character that you'd take with you on your winter holiday.
I'd love to spend my holiday with Feyre Archeron from the Court Of Thorns And Roses trilogy (wow I'm mentioning a Sarah J Maas book again can you believe it?). But I'd love to spend my holiday with her because she loves painting and we could spend the entire time making art and talking about how beautiful Rhysand is.

6. Name one book on your wishlist this year.
I asked my parents for Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I read Stalking Jack The Ripper earlier this year and thought it was really good. I finished it in like two days and actually want to reread it again soon! Hunting Prince Dracula is the second book in this trilogy and I really want to read it.

7. Favorite holiday drink, treat and movie.
Drink: Hot chocolate, definitely.
Treat: Christmas cookies
Movie: Lord Of The Rings. It's not even a Christmas movie but I love watching long movies during the holidays and LOTR has always held a special place in my heart.

~ Amber

Wednesday, May 17

Great Books That I Don't Talk About Enough

May 17, 2017 5 Comments

I was making a list with all the books I read throughout the past years in my One Note, to keep track of my reading besides Goodreads. Here I came across some amazing books that I read that I almost never talk about. Because they were so good, I wanted to share these books with all of you.

Question of the day:
Which books do you think were great but don't talk about enough?

Salt To The Sea - Ruta Sepetys
I always talk about how much I loved Ruta's other novel Between Shades Of Gray, but always forget about this one. This book follows the niece of the main character in BSOG. Even though I didn't love this one as much as Between Shades Of Gray, this was still really good. I was really mad at this character about the other book, but this really made me understand her choices too. What I really liked about this book is that it follows 4 different characters who all meet each other eventually. The way this is written is also amazing. Ruta Sepetys is an amazing author and this book needs to be read.

The Diabolic - S. J. Kincaid
I rarely read Sci-Fi books, but this was such a refreshing read. A lot of people found this book average, but to me it had something special. I really liked the idea of a robot disguising as someone else and going into enemy territory. I also liked that she was struggling with feeling things, even though she wasn't supposed to have those. This book took some really interesting turns and was something I hadn't read before.
Review | Goodreads

The Grisha Trilogy - Leigh Bardugo
This is actually a whole trilogy that I really enjoyed that I never talk about. I loved this world and the characters. The books were fast paced, interesting and the characters were all fun. The only thing I didn't like was how this story ended. I'm not going to spoil it, but I was really angry. I think that's the main reason why I never talk about these books.
Review | Goodreads

The Art Of Being Normal - Lisa Williamson
This was the first book with a transgender protagonist I ever read and it was so eye opening. I did make a tumblr post about how I think everyone should read this, but now I never really talk about it anymore. This book was fun, quick, had interesting characters and like I said, was so eye opening.
Review | Goodreads

Ash - Malinda Lo
This book was also something else. It's a Cinderella retelling, but with fairies and a gay Cinderella. Sometimes you just come across those books that are completely different from anything you've ever read. This book was one of those. It's really fast paced and the story just makes you want to keep reading.
Review | Goodreads

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones
Wintersong. Where do I ever start? This book was incredible. It had all the elements that I absolutely love. The story has music and composing, it has great love and is written so beautifully. Sometimes you come across those books that are written in such a way that it's almost a poem. This book is one of them. I can't even start to explain how much I loved this.
Review | Goodreads

Stalking Jack The Ripper - Kerri Maniscalco
Another book that was really good. For whatever reason I rarely pick up mystery novels. But I was interested in the whole Jack the Ripper thing, so I wanted to read it. Reading this book was almost like watching an episode of Sherlock (and I love me some Sherlock). In my head I was trying to solve the case alongside out protagonist and the plot twist in this book omg. The best thing about this: there will be more books in this series!
Review | Goodreads
~ Amber

Friday, May 12

I Dare You Book Tag

May 12, 2017 2 Comments
I am so terribly sorry I've been gone for such a long time, but my life has been crazy with work and finals for college, so I didn't really have the time to write any blogposts. Today I'm back with a tag I recently read over at paperfury her blog, that sounded like a lot of fun and had some questions I hadn't seen before! Let's get right into it.

1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?
I first took a look at my bookshelf but had no idea, so I scrolled all the way back in my google backup photo's (since I always take pictures of my new books anyway) to find out which book I got the longest ago haha. That book is The Complete Sherlock Holmes Long Stories by ser Arthur Conan Doyle. I got this book for Christmas in 2014 and I still haven't read it...

2. Which is your current read, your last read and your next read?
Soooooo this is quite funny. My previous read was A Court Of Wings And Ruin and my current read is A Court Of Wings And Ruin...Yeah...This book just came out and I loved it so much I just started rereading right away haha. And my next read will be........*drumroll*
A Court Of Wings And Ruin! 
No, just kidding. It will probably be The Knife Of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?
People who have been following this blog for a while will probably understand my answer for this. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I didn't HATE it, because I don't think I've ever hated a book, but it was sooooooooooooooo boring. Too much irrelevant information, a story that dragged on and not a lot of excitement.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself to read, but probably won't?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I got it for Christmas, because at that moment I really wanted to read it. I got 10 pages in, almost died from boredom and picked up something else. I keep telling myself I'll get back to it, but I know I won't.

5. Which books are you saving for retirement?
Pride and Prejudice lol.

6. Last page: read it first, or wait till the end?
Wait till the end, obviously.

7. Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?
Interesting! I don't always read the acknowledgments, but I love seeing authors talk about how unreal being published is and fangirling about their own characters. I also love seeing the people they mention, it always makes me realise how many authors know each other.

8. Which character would you switch places with?
Feyre Archeron! I'd tap Rhys his booty every day yes pls. Also, I want the Inner Circle and Lucien as my best friends.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of a certain moment in your life? (a person, place, time etc.)
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Someone really dear to me died of cancer a few years ago. Reading that book felt like ripping open an old wound. I just avoid books about cancer all together now.

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way?
My Infernal Devices boxset/books! During Christmas a year ago me and adarlansassasssin did a Christmas book swap. She got me a present and I got her one. She ended up buying me the Infernal Devices box set. At that point I was just reading and loving The Mortal Instruments and she was of the opinion that I HAD to read that trilogy as well.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
I gave my best friend my copy of A Court Of Thorns And Roses for her birthday. I had two copies and decided that she had to read this trilogy. A year later I bought her A Court Of Mist And Fury.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Well, it's not a lot of places, but rather the furthest away. I brought my copy of A Clash Of Kings with me to Prague. We went there on a 4 days city trip with school and I needed a long book with me to read on the plane, so I brought this.

13. Any ''required reading'' you hated in school that wasn't so bad a few years later?
Here in the Netherlands we don't have to read like specific titles. We (or at least I did) get this enormous list of books to choose from, so most of the books I read were great. I did read one book that was shit, but I never read it again and still think it's shit. It's a Dutch book called Oeroeg, don't look it up.

14. Used or brand new?
I used to be all about the brand new books, but recently I've been getting some used books in this YA Facebook group I'm in and they're all in great condition. If they still look good I don't mind that the books have been read before. I have also been getting some books from a seller that are brand new, but have like a small fold in the page or a slight tear in the dust jacket, so they can't be sold for the full price anymore. I don't really mind those things, so I buy a lot from that seller as well. (it's a Dutch seller, sorry everyone who was interested)

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?
I picked up the Dutch version of the da Vinci Code, got to about 50 pages and got super bored. I ended up sellinng the book.

16. Have you ever seen a movie that you liked more than the book?
Lord Of The Rings. I read the first book and enjoyed it, but thought all the descriptions dragged on a lot which made it such a slow read. I LOVE the movies though, I've seen them all several times.

17. Have you ever read a book that made you hungry? Cookbooks excluded.
Uhm...I don't know, I've never really thought about that. I don't think I have. Though, when pizza is mentioned, I want pizza.

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?
There is several people, actually. First there is my best friend, because we love the same things and know exactly what the other liked. I am mostly the one to give her recs, though haha. Then there is my blog buddies over at spinesandcovers, they like the same things as me as well and we always talk about books in our little Twitter DM group haha.