A new (very exciting) chapter !

Hello, lovelies!

It’s time to share something very exciting with you today!

I think all of you know that I love writing. I have had ideas to write short stories and novels and accumulated them for two years straight, not having written any of them. I wanted to change that, but it didn’t feel right to use this blog for that. And that’s why I created a new WordPress blog where I am planning to post all of my stories:

Illude

I posted my first short story today! It’s called The green-eyed girl.

I really want to know what you think of it, I’m super curious! And if you enjoyed it, definitely share it with your loved ones 😉 😉

Here is a little sneak peek!

At the museum, Neville was finally at rest. It had been a long time since he was able to hear his own thoughts without any car honks or construction sounds in the background. Right there, in the art museum, it was quiet. As quiet as London could be, anyway.

He walked through the first exposition, eying the nineteenth-century paintings. The finest paintings were created in that century if you would ask him. An exalted painting hanging right in front of him caught his attention. Hypnotised by its grandeur, he moved towards the artwork.  His eyes moved across every detail, noticing every brush stroke the painter had made. Much to Neville’s surprise, he didn’t recognise its creator. The little plaque under the painting told him the girl on the canvas was Princess Tarakanova, painted by Konstantin Flavitsky. The woman had been an impostor to the Russian throne. At 32 years old she was captured and killed. Legend says she had faked her death, only to die of drowning two years later.

‘I don’t believe she lived after she was captured. I think she died right there, unable to escape the iron fists that had caught her.’ The woman next to him noted. He didn’t remove his eyes from the painting. He didn’t need to, he recognised her voice straight away. ‘It’s up to us to decide whether we want to believe we can escape our superiors. Anyway, we tend to choose to believe what makes us feel least guilty.’ He answered.

Continue reading: Read it here.

Thank you so much for your support over the years!

I’ll talk to you soon! Liesje (1)

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Thoughts on A Monster Calls

Hello, lovely people!

Today, I wanted to do something different. Writing a standard review didn’t feel right for this book. So, instead of a review, I am trying out something different, and not just an ‘I liked this and I didn’t like that’ kind of post. More like an ‘I am writing in my diary’ post. This book brought forward a great message, and I wanted to talk about it in a more personal way.

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textbreaker

I read this book in one or two days. When it ended, I had the feeling like I had woken up from a dream. It’s one of those rare cases where the book quite literally takes over your life. Even today, I’m still convinced this is one of my best reads.

So, as you all of you who have read this story probably know that Patrick Ness tells the story of Conor O’Malley, a thirteen-year-old boy who lives together with his mum in a small town. 

One night, at seven minutes past midnight, after having had a terrible nightmare, a monster calls Conor to his window. Much to my surprise, Conor wasn’t afraid one bit. Only startled, and confused. At that moment, I realised that Conor must be coping with something so horrible that even a horrible creature can’t scare him. It’s scarier than the creature that is holding him up in the air, squeezing him tight.

I wondered why the author chose a monster to come to Connor. Why and how would it help Connor?

Answer: nothing is able to beat Connor’s horrors than another one.

Of course, this one was not an evil creature who escaped the underworld. It was good, and Connor’s only chance of making everything make sense, and to help Connor face his own monsters.

What was it then that Conor was so afraid of? What truth didn’t he want to reveal?

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Let’s start with this; Conor’s mother is gravely ill. He catches sad, compassionate eyes everywhere he goes, and people let him get away with almost every wrong thing he does, out of compassion of course. But it does more wrong than good. It certainly does not make Conor feel better.

He doesn’t like to be looked at as ‘the poor guy with the sick mother’. He wants to be punished for the bad things he does. He wants to be like any other thirteen-year-old boy. 

Conor also has bullies. Three guys regularly come up to him to beat him up, throw away his stuff or tease him about his mother. Most victims would ask them to stop, but Conor doesn’t. He is quiet and does nothing. It took me a while to understand why he acted like that. At first, I was frustrated he let them walk over him like that, but it’s actually very simple.

They noticed Conor, and they didn’t feel sympathy for him. And he didn’t feel completely alone because they saw him, saw him in a way nobody else did.

His home situation is a whole other case. His mother is too sick to do ‘the usual fun stuff’ with her son and his father lives overseas with a new wife and daughter. The grandmother is very present in Conor’s life. Unfortunately, they don’t quite get along. Conor thinks his grandmother is weird and annoying. The other way around it doesn’t seem to go well either. The grandmother always picks on the boy, and it seems like she sees him as a burden to her and his mother.

These factors make Conor increasingly frustrated. But he can’t admit to what he is feeling deep inside.

And that’s the reason why the monster came.

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To me, these stories didn’t seem to make much sense at first. A prince who is both a murderer and a saviour. An apothecary who is evil-tempered but right-thinking. Invisible men making themselves more lonely by being seen. All these stories carried the message that not everything has to make sense. The human mind contradicts itself more than it speaks to reason.

That’s what Conor desperately needed to realise. His mother had been getting sicker by day, and none of the treatments ended up working. Slowly, but surely Conor understood that his mother wouldn’t live for very much longer. It killed him to think about it, so he shoved it away, pretended like that moment would never happen.

But it did.

Conor’s mother was going to die, and there was nothing that he could do about it. His mother had been suffering for so long, and it needed to stop. Conor realised this. His mother needed to die for her to stop hurting. And that was Connor’s real monster, the one that haunted him everywhere he went, even in his sleep.

Conor didn’t want his mother to suffer any longer. He loved his mother very much, and he wanted to finally let her rest in peace. It pained him so much that he had this thought inside him. He was the monster. Only that was proven a lie by the creature, the one Conor wasn’t impressed by in the beginning. He showed the boy that he wasn’t evil wanting his mother to stop hurting.

You can love someone by letting them go. The mind is a strange thing, but in the end, it’s our actions that matter. What’s most important, is to speak the truth. Only that way Conor was going to be strong and able to deal with the loss of his mother. Only that way he could love his mother fully, and therefore himself.


Thank you so much for reading!

What did you think of this post? I know it’s a bit different than usual, but it felt really good writing like this.

Liesje (1)

Jackaby | Spoiler Free Review

Hello, lovelies!

Jackaby is a book I read during my holiday in France. I love reading when I’m not at home. Most of the time I like the books even more because they remind me of the fun I had during that trip.


Details

jackaby cover


Jackaby by William Ritter

Publisher Algonquin Young Readers

Published date September 16, 2014

ISBN 1616203536

Page Count 299

Genre YA, Fantasy, Mystery


Synopsis

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.


Rating

★★★★✩


Review

I really liked Jackaby. It didn’t go as I expected it to go, though. Somehow, I had no clue that there were going to be fantastical elements in this story. I must’ve not paid much attention when I read the synopsis. At first, it threw me off, but when I got used to it, I really started to enjoy the story.

Jackaby himself was a character really similar to Sherlock Holmes. They were both peculiar, disliked by the police and shared incredible deductive skills. I love Sherlock Holmes, so I didn’t have that much difficulty with this. Although, it just felt like Sherlock Holmes was thrown into a fantasy novel.

Abigail was a decent character. She was the person that almost every girl can relate to. Recently, I’ve been loving reading about characters with unique (good or bad) personality traits. Abigail didn’t really stand out. She had the stereotypical YA personality: pretty, naive, stubborn, you know what I mean. I understood that she couldn’t be as ‘special’ as Jackaby. He was the extraordinary character of this book. I didn’t hold any grudges against her.

I picked this book up, mainly because I was in a mood for some crime and murder. I have been obsessing over mysteries for a couple of months. I’ve binge-watched Netflix documentaries and other series, I finished Pretty Little Liars, am currently watching episodes of Buzzfeed Unsolved and read some crime novels. I can’t get enough of it, haha.

The mystery of this story was enjoyable. I wouldn’t place it with my favourites, but it definitely didn’t bore me. As I said before, it took me some time to get used to the magical elements, but the author did a great job developing the story. There wasn’t too much fantasy to make it easy for the author to make up a murder mystery. I didn’t see the ending coming, but I wasn’t shocked either.

Although I loved the crime-solving parts of the story, I would’ve liked to see some scenes not involved with the murder. That way I could’ve gotten to know the characters better. There are two other books in this series, so there is a big chance that we’ll discover more about their personalities. At least, I hope so.

There wasn’t much romance in this book, and I really enjoyed that. Cheesy romance has become a serious turn-off for me.


Conclusion

This book is an excellent choice if you are looking for a lightweight story but with a strong plot at the same time. It did not give this book five stars because it didn’t ‘wow’ me as much as I expected it to do. But, I’m sure I’ll pick up the other books in this series soon.


If you read this book, definitely let me know in the comments. I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

Thank you so much for reading! Liesje

May & June Book Haul

Hello, everyone!

It’s almost midnight, and my two sisters and I are having a sleepover in my room. Soon we are leaving for Sicily! I’m pretty excited, to say the least. I will tell you all about it when I get back!

I’m a little late for this book haul, I even forgot to do the one for May. I bought some pretty amazing books in the months May and June. Let’s have a look!

Here’s what I got in May…

bronzehorsemanshThe Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons

tenantwildfellhallshThe Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

zenwritingshZen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

beautifuldamnedshThe Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

And these are the books I got in June…

studycharlotteshA Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

studyscarletshA Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

(I can’t read A Study in Charlotte before reading this one first)

UpsideUnrequitedshThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

codenameverityshCode Name Verity by Elizabeth E Wein

worldaboveshWorld After by Susan Ee

jackabyshJackaby by William Ritter

feel me fallshFeel me Fall by James Morris

Have you found a book you want to read as well or have read already, tell me about it in the comments!

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon!Liesje

Anna and the French Kiss | Review

Hello, everyone!

AATFK by Stephanie Perkins.jpg

View this book on Goodreads


Honestly, it’s a shame that I hadn’t picked up Anna and the French Kiss earlier. It had been sitting on my shelf for more than a year. I’m so glad I’ve finally read this book.

I have to admit that I didn’t have high expectations for this book. It had been hyped up from the day it came out, and I’m not a big fan of cheesy romance stories. But I was wrong. This book isn’t a cheesy romance at all.

I have studied abroad in France (not in Paris) as well. It felt like I was there again. Stephanie’s Perkins’ France was very accurate to the ‘real France’. The cafeteria, the behaviour of students in class (not raising their finger and such) and the going out (drinking and smoking). Stephanie Perkins did an excellent job on the world building.

Anna is a lovely girl, who many teenagers can relate to in one aspect or another. She cares about people, and she is sarcastic, stubborn and sometimes awkward. Anna could easily be one of the girls at your school or one of your friends. She has an authentic personality, and therefore she could reach a significant part of our teenage generation. 

What was really pleasing is that Anna definitely made some mistakes in this story. She got into situations all of us could be in. She was a really likeable character.

And of course, we have to discuss Anna’s French/British/American heartthrob, Etienne. I don’t know what his situation is, all I really understood is that he has a French name, has an English accent. More I could not say without risking to be wrong. But despite this, he had me as hooked as he had Anna from the start. Although she wouldn’t admit it, in the beginning, she was attracted to him since the moment they met. Now, how’s that for romance!

Etienne was the cool, handsome, ready-to-live-his-life guy who every girl could have a crush on. But he wasn’t perfect, and I loved that the most about him. He had issues of his own, and he surely made some pretty big mistakes.

All the characters of Anna and the French Kiss differ from each other. I didn’t get bored by any of the characters Stephanie wrote about. All of them had their own thoughts, interests, looks and personality traits. That’s one of the reasons that this book deserved five stars.

Together they brought a really great message about, which I won’t share with you right now in case you haven’t read this book yet. Although the people in this book had quite some issues either with family, friends or themselves, this book was mainly a cute and adorable read.

This book got me in the summer spirits, so if you are looking for a book to do that, I would recommend considering Anna and the French Kiss. People who are usually not fond of romance novels should give this book a chance as well. It’s about a lot more that Etienne’s hot body or his perfect hair. To be honest, I always pictured him as Harry Styles. But I guess that’s understandable, right?

I am definitely going to check out her other books.


Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll talk to you soon!Liesje

Waiting on Wednesday #6

Hello, everyone!

Have you noticed how many great books are coming out this year? It’s incredible! I can’t handle all the excitement and emotion. I don’t know what to do with myself, haha.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. You spotlight an upcoming release that you’re eagerly anticipating.

This book is a special one. I’ve seen it around everywhere, and you probably have too. There is so much fuss about this book. I checked it out a couple of weeks ago, and I have been anxiously waiting for may 30th since then.

The book I’m talking about is When Dimple met Rishi by Sandhya Menon.

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Synopsis

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


Are you excited for this book?

Much love, liesje

My Summer TBR of 2017

Hello, everyone!

Today was a long day! With my school, I went on an excursion to observe the landscape of Belgium. It doesn’t sound very exciting, and I must admit that it was not really my cup of tea. It wasn’t all bad though because the weather was really nice and I had great company. I had almost tripped once when we were climbing on a large hill. Did not really have fun there.

The weather of today really got me in the mood for summer. That’s why I decided to gather all the books that I want to read this summertime. I’m so excited for them. They are not all cute, fluffy reads, just books that I have been on my tbr for a long time. And in the summertime I have much more time on my hands. Especially this year! After graduating high school, I get an extra month of vacation.

Here are the books I am planning to read the next couple of months!

everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

the hate u giveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

wintersongWintersong by S. Jae. Jones

anna kareninaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The DivinersThe Diviners by Libba Bray

doon-shadowDoon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

everlandEverland by Wendy Spinale

4Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdoms #3) by Morgan Rhodes

6Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

1Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

finding-paris-shadowFinding Paris by Joy Preble

tmwThe Magician’s Workshop by Hansen & Fehr

ill-give-you-the-sunI’ll Give you the Sun by Jandy Nelson

28000518At fire’s end (Champions #1) by Charlotte Jain

27973757The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

29939266To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough


What do you think of the books? Do you have a summer tbr? Tell me in the comments.

I’ll talk to you soon! Thanks for reading! liesje

Monthly Character Casting | Angelfall

Hi, everyone!

It’s time for another book casting today!

Monthly Character Casting LOGO (2)If you didn’t know, MCC is a monthly feature I created a few months back. You can share a dream cast for a book of your choosing. We post every 7th of the month. You can join anytime you want!

If you want to participate, you can either use the logo (the one on the left) or make your own and link back to my blog. Make sure to tell me in the comments if you’re interested!

Today, I am going to cast the characters of Angelfall, one of my favorite books of all time. I hope you’ll like it!


Laura Marano as Paige

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source

 Crystal Reed as Penryn

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Marlon Teixeira as Raffe

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*swoon*

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What do you think of my cast? I’m so happy! Who would you cast for the cast of Angelfall?

If you have any suggestions for other books, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments!


Thank you so much for reading! liesje

Waiting on Wednesday #5

Hello, everybody!

How are you all doing today? I’m feeling a little down because I have a presentation of my German course tomorrow. We had to watch Schindler’s List and another movie about the Holocaust. Then, we had to pick three scenes from every movie that touched us and then talk about it in class. It’s a really heavy topic but I’m glad we are doing it. It reminds us once again what humans (if we can even call them that) are capable of.

Now, let’s cheer up by talking about some books!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blog feature hosted by Breaking the Spine. You spotlight an upcoming release that you’re eagerly anticipating.

I haven’t read any books of Adam Silvera but I’ve heard a lot of great things about them. This one, in particular, sounds very interesting! Tell me in the comments if you would like to read this book.

It comes out September 5th, 2017.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Adam Silvera reminds us that there’s no life without death and no love without loss in this devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day.

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

View this book on Goodreads


Thank you so much for reading!liesje

Book Review | A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

AGATB by Libba Bray (1).jpg

View this book on Goodreads


SYNOPSIS

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy—jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.


RATING

★★★★★


DISCUSSION

(no spoilers!)

Let’s start off by saying that I fell in love with Libba Bray’s writing style. A lot of times I was amazed how beautiful she could describe the simplest of things. She could make a frog seem attractive if she wanted to.

I started reading this story not really knowing anything, except that it takes place in London and it had something to do with a group of four girls. I loved going into this books without knowing anything more than that.

I didn’t expect the book to have a dark vibe to it, but I – for some reason – really like those kinds of books.

The story takes place in 19th century London. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to read this book. The world building was great. I have no doubt London at that time was as gloomy and mysterious as described in this book.

The first half of the book went quite slow. There was a lot ‘building up’ going on. I was waiting and waiting for things to get on. It wasn’t until I reached about the middle of the book when things started to go down. I also have the bad habit of reading little bits and then wait for a long period before reading further. That may also be the reason why it seemed to go slow.

Other than that, I loved the story. The world building was great. The characters had depth. There were some plot twists I didn’t see coming. It was perfect!

I adored the cast of this story. Not because they were nice (they weren’t) but because they were all different and had their own stories to tell. I understand it could’ve come off as stereotypical to some readers, but I found them quite entertaining. They were surely not boring. I also enjoyed reading about the struggles of teenage girls, like having a crush and body issues.

Gemma was the most relatable character to me. Her character – all of the characters, really – could’ve easily been based off someone living in this time. Which is not that abnormal when you think of it. Our knowledge of the world has grown to this day. However, I don’t think we are totally different people than the ones that existed hundreds of years ago. It’s not like our brains have gotten bigger. It is the circumstances that made us see things in a different perspective. Do you get what I mean? I find it quite hard to put this into words.

I was convinced the four girls, Gemma, Ann, Felicity, and Pippa, did not feel like they could fully trust one another. It was also not to be this way, I think. Some had issues with this, but I didn’t. It came off as truthful and honest. To put your trust in someone to tell your darkest secrets and most private thoughts take a lot of courage and trust.


CONCLUSION

I really enjoyed this book! I am not overjoyed, but that could be because it wasn’t a feel good book. I think the darkness of this book had me under its spell for a little while longer. I definitely turned the last page thinking this was a really well-written book. Libba Bray is a wonderful author. I’ll definitely pick up one of her other books soon, after I read the hundred other books I want to read at this moment.


Thank you so much for reading!liesje