Audio Book Adventures | Ready Player One.

Also: I'm not sponsored by Storytel. They don't even know who I am. Note that this is a Dutch website, another version of Audible. It is basically Netflix for audiobooks, because you pay 9,99 euro per month and can listen to as many audiobooks as you want.

9969571Listen Ready Player one by Ernest Cline on Storytel.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the  OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.


5/5 for voice. Wil Wheaton did one hell of a job in portraying the voice of Wade. He had me completely hooked to the story. He had all kinds of intonations for different emotions and I was swept away by the story of Wade. He turned him into a likable character.

3/5 for story. I loved the plot. The world is a terrible place and people use the OASIS to escape their daily lives. Wade is a Gunther; one of the many people who are trying to find a hidden egg in this virtual world. It was created by Holiday, who left his entire fortune up for grabs after his death. Five years have passed and no one has found the first clue yet, until Wade stumbles upon it. This is the beginning of a life/death race to find the Egg.

The pace is slow and tedious. There are a lot of descriptions and detail, which could be a bit too much for my taste. It made the story a little hard to follow at times. I wish some parts were more interesting, instead of descriptions of things like the surroundings.

I loved Wade. I really liked Artemis, 'H' and Soto + Deito. It is a diverse cast with good dynamics.
I was appalled by the fact that some people were willing to kill in order to win the game, but also not surprised, because it is definitely something that would happen in real life too.

Like I said, there are parts that the author wrote with MANY descriptions.  I'm not sure if I would enjoy this as a written book, because it was definitely thanks to Wheaton's brilliant storytelling that I kept listening.

Review | C.J Redwine – The Wish Granter.

Title: The Wish Granter.
Author: C.J Redwine.
Pages: 432.
Publication: February 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray – I got an eARC from the publisher through Edelweiss. Thanks!
The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop.
Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown. So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself. But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.
RATING:

I fell in love with The Shadow Queen – and hereby I declare it as one of my favorite retellings of Snow White – so I was extremely excited about The Wish Granter. This book is part of the series, but they have separate stories.

Alister Teague is cursed and he uses all his wit to break free. If you come across him and you make a deal with him, it means you are screwed. Alister is a foul player and that is how he manages to use Thad's desperation against him. He forces the boy into becoming King and in return, Alister will keep Thad's sister Ari save from their murderous family. Ari isn't happy with this change of life and together with Sebastian, she tries to come up with a plan to get rid of Alister.

Ari is feisty and intelligent. She knows something is up with Thad and the mysterious Teague and she's not going to wait to see what is going to happen. Instead, she is doing her own research and this leads her in the arms of Sebastian, the new blacksmith with a story of his own. Piece by piece Ari finds out what has transpired between Thad and Teague and what this will mean in the future. Her plan to release Thad is dangerous and shows her loyalty for her family. I adored the fierce love between her and her brother. It was nice to finally have another book with a healthy brother-sister relationship. It was my favorite aspect of the story.

Thad and Sebastian are both solid character. Neither of them are really memorable on their own, but I liked their role in the plot. The blossoming romance between Sebastian and Ari was adorable. It's not one of those I SHIP THIS HARDCORE ship, but I liked their chemistry and how supportive they were.

The plot is fast-paced and the writing-style is so smooth and easy to read. This is the type of book you could read in one sitting. I still liked The Shadow Queen more, but I can't wait to see what more stories Redwine is going to write in this world.


"Sometimes having courage means the hardest tasks fall onto your shoulders."

Monthly Recap July + August '17 | Engagement and Vacation time!

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A lot of things have happened these past two months (all really exciting), so I was too busy to write separate recaps. Here is an overview of all the things I have done that made me happy:

July:
The most important and best thing that happened: my boyfriend went down on his knee! July 25th is the day we (finally) got engaged. He asked me in a romantic way and he designed a beautiful ring for me. I couldn't be happier!

I took some steps towards becoming more active: I had a yoga lesson in a park, when we had a beautiful sunny day, and I had a test day at a sport center (that I will join when they are done with their restorations)

I had some friend – and family time. I ate spareribs with my grandmother and grandfather, I had lunch at the Yogurt Barn with my mother and sister, lunch at Bagels & Beans with my sister and a trip to the hair dresser, I went to a birthday party from a friend and I saw Despicable Me 3 at the cinema with friends.

Engagement ringDuomo FlorenceSienaVenicePisaSwimming pool

August:
I went to Italy last year (and three times before it too), so for many people it was no surprise that we went there again this year. We are definitely Italy-lovers at this point. Last year we booked a tour that brought us to many different places, but we both decided we needed more freedom.

This time we flew to Florence, where we had an apartment with swimming pool on 5 km from the center. We spend 4 of our days in Florence and we made trips with the train to Siena, Pisa + Lucca and Pistoia. We had two full days of just lying at the pool with a book. After 11 days we moved to Venice, where we had 3 more days before we flew back home.

I can say that this vacation was PERFECT. We really enjoyed having a pool, where we could dive in after our full day of walking. We had the BEST ice cream in the world every day and pizza's like they are meant to be. We also had the best weather you can imagine.

I can finally cross off three places on my bucketlist (Florence, Pisa and Venice) and I definitely need to return to Venice at some point. It is such a magical place and I loved to wander around all the alleys and to see all the beautiful buildings. We also hired a gondola and although it was really expensive, it was so worth it! Siena was a surprise and I ended up falling in love with all the all the Medieval influences.
   
If you are interested in more vacation photo's, I share some more on my Instagram: Mel_1704.

I had a delicious lunch together with my sister and then we went to buy some plants. I had a fantastic wedding party from Daisy, who looked beautiful in her dress - and two book club meetings.

Bullet journal adventures | July spreads & haul.


If you are new to bulletjournaling: it is basically a wish list, to-do list and journal – and what I like to do is decorate it with doodles, handlettering, stamps and washi-tape. I have two informative posts about my step into this bujo-world and setting up collections.

july
Every month I like to pick a theme or a theme color, so for July I went with blue and ocean/beach details. I found two sets of doodles that inspired me: this set on Shutterstock and these doodles from Jamtoons. This was one of the first times I tried to use watercolours in my bulletjournal and I'm impressed with the paper; it holds the water really well! I think I will definitely continue to use watercolours in my spreads, because it is an easy way to add a pop of colour.

Boho Berry Challenge July10wordsBohoBoho2Boho3bohoberry
This was the first month that I participated in the new Instagram challenge by Boho Berry, simply called #bohoberrychallenge. Every month has its own theme and this time it was all about personal development/growth. I loved making all the spreads and to truly think about topics like: what I need more and less off or what I truly love about my life. Sometimes these are good things to think about. It always makes me realize how happy I am with the life I have and how far I have come as a person.

There are still aspects of my life that I need to work on, like dealing with my negative self-talk and how I deal with some unrealistic fears that still hold me back, but this challenge also showed me all the things I CAN celebrate about myself. Also tell me: what is your greatest talent? This is always one of the hardest questions, because I have a feeling I haven't discovered mine yet? So in the end I decided to go with reading multiple books at the same time, without losing track of the characters/plot.


glass dip penNotebooks
I have a little haul to show you this month. The first thing I got, after going back and forth between buying or leaving, I got this beautiful handmade glass dip pen from J. Herbin. I've practiced a little in my learning bulletjournal with some black ink from Pelikan 4001 and I really like it! It takes some practice, but the result is pretty and I definitely want to get some more colours ink.

And I got three new notebooks. Two of my beloved notebooks from Leuchtturm1917 for my collection. I got the Anthracite one and Red, which will be my bulletjournal for 2018. I've already started my preparations by copying spreads that I will need, like my book wish list of upcoming publications, my goals and Ultimate TV show tracker. I will show you all my spreads in one of my next bulletjournal updates.

I couldn't resist this lilac coloured notebook from Rhodia. This is one of their new lines. I already owned their dotted Notepad to practice handwriting, so I decided to branch out and try their dotted Goalbook. I have to say I'm not impressed.. The quality of the cover is disappointing. It is made of a soft material, so you can see every line and scratch the moment you touch it. The paper has darker dots and seems flimsier – I don't think it will react to water colours as well as the Leuchtturm paper. Shame! They have a different range of colours, so I hoped I could switch between them, but I will stick with my good old Leuchtturm notebooks.

Christina Henry – Alice.

TitleAlice.
Author: Christina Henry.
Pages: 325.
PublicationPublished June 28th 2016 by Titan Books Ltd
In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn't remember why she's in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood...Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.
RATING:

Warning: this book contains rape and a lot of violence. It is dark and graphic. I will mention these aspects in my review. I would classify this book as a mixture of horror and retelling.

Alice is trapped in an asylum after she mysterious disappeared and returned – covered in blood with no memories of what happened. She becomes friends with the guy in the next cell called Hatcher. They both manage to escape when the asylum burns down and they have an important mission: find the sword to kill the Jabberwocky.

Alice has no idea what is going on, but she is thrown into dangerous situations alongside Hatcher, who believes she is the one. They meet several characters who are extremely dark and twisted, like the Caterpillar who mutilates girls in his brothel to make them exclusive and the Walrus who eats girls while he rapes them.

This aspect gave me mixed feelings. I've always found Alice to be a pretty messed-up fairytale and this book really plays in on that feeling. It twists it in an even darker version that portrays how sick this 'Wonderland' can be. On the other hand, it is gruesome and quite graphic at times, which made it intense and not exactly enjoyable. This makes it hard to say I liked the book; I did, but not in the way you say you like a contemporary book where everything is fluffy and happy.

The fight against the Rabbit and the Jabberwocky was a bit of a let down. Alice and Hatcher have to make their way through deaths and situations that are harder, so I expected more of it. It felt like they got away easy there, like the author had used up everything in the way leading up to the battle.

When it comes to Alice and Hatcher and their sort-of-romance.. Alice and Hatcher are both unpredictable and highly flawed characters. Alice is a tough girl with a broken mind and Hatcher is unstable. It makes them different from many books I've read so far. I can't say I have fallen in love with either of them, but they do fascinate me. It was nice to see how they support each other and drag each other through the hardship, but I couldn't get on board of their growing feelings. I'm curious about the sequel and how this romance is going to play out.

"If you let grief in, it might consume you."

Reading Challenge | The Reading Quest.

The Reading Quest Character Card Creator

The quest will take place between Sunday 13th August to Sunday 10th September, 2017. This fabulous reading challenge is hosted by Read At Midnight.
There are four different characters you can pick from. I'm going with Bard for my first quest!
BARD: While the bards may not engage in direct combat, they make up for it with their intimate knowledge of songs and stories. They will travel through the Fifth Down path on the quest board, reading famed tales and singing lost songs.
The stats you start with: Level 1. EXP: 10. HP: 10.

+EXP: each finished book +10.
Book by marginalised author: +20.
Finish quest: +50.
Every additional quest: +30.

+Level: every 50 EXP.

+HP: every 10 pages +1.
Tweeting #TheReadingQuest +1. Max +20.
Photos #TheReadingQuest +1. Max +20.
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Books I read:

A book that has a TV/movie adaptation: Neil Gaiman - American Gods.
A Fairytale Retelling: RaShelle Workman - A Beauty so Beastly.
A book cover with striking typography: V.E Schwab - A Gathering of Shadows.
A book translated from another language: Cornelia Funke - Inkheart.
A banned book: 

Potions, book by 2+ authors: Anthology; Because You Love to Hate Me.
Time Warp, book set in past or future:
Expansion, companion novel or short story:
Multiplayer, buddy read a book:
Grind, a book with 500+ pages: V.E Schwab - A Conjuring of Light.
Respawn, read a previous DNF:
Animal companion, reference to animal in title:
Mini game, graphic novel, novella or poem collection:
Open world, read whatever you want: Susan Dennard - Truthwitch.

EXP: 60.
LEVEL: 2.
HP: 224.

Fairytale News | A new beginning.


Hello hello!

It has been while since I really sat down to write a blog post for my blog. I've been typing down many reviews, which I posted mainly on Goodreads, but my passion for blogging was gone for a long time. I talked about feeling uninspired in March and how a lot of it had to do with feeling disconnected from the community. This feeling is starting to get better. I have taken a step back from Twitter, but I have started to spend more time visiting other blogs and reading their posts.

I decided to spice things up by getting a new design, which was also necessarily after the shut down of Photobucket. I don't know if you've noticed it, but for a couple of days my blog design had notifications that 'this image is no longer available.' I still feel a lot of love for my old design and how it was completely me, but sometimes change is a good thing too.

I bought my design on Etsy, from the webshop BloggerTemplate. It is such an affordable design that I can customize to my own taste. I'm still playing around with all the features, but for now I have settled down on this look and I love it! It is simple and I could use one of my favorite colors, so I'm a happy blogger. I'm currently working on making new headers - this here is one of them! All the others you currently see are place holders until I have designed something better.

I have to admit that the excitement I felt in the beginning, around the time I started my blog, still hasn't returned completely, but I feel motivated again. I have a few ideas for blog posts, so perhaps my inspiration is slowly returning.

I can't promise that I will post more regularly like I used to, but I think I might be able to post more. We will see! But for now, I at least feel the need to sit down to write a post every now and then.


Audio book Adventures | Two short stories.


Also: I'm not sponsored by Storytel. They don't even know who I am. Note that this is a Dutch website, another version of Audible. It is basically Netflix for audiobooks, because you pay 9,99 euro per month and can listen to as many audiobooks as you want.


I have listened to three books so far and I'm currently in the middle of one (Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, narrated by Dan Stevens) I love the fact that Storytel allows me to go from audiobook to audiobook, because I'm quite picky when it comes to the narrator. I have found out that I enjoy listening to males more than females, so that is where I will focus on right now.

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Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs. Read by Simon Callow. Listen on Storytel.
This audiobook was fabulous! This book has different stories set in the world of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. There is a princess with a fork-tongue, there are friendly cannibals and a boy who turned into a locust. Each story had something magical and strange about it and I loved them all. The narrator did a fabulous job of using different voices, which made the stories come alive. Highly recommended.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaimain. Read by Neil Gaiman. Listen on Storytel.
There is something special about authors who narrate their own book and Gaiman has a pleasant voice to listen to. This is a short, middle grade story about a father who spins a tale around the fact he returned late from the store to get some milk. This book is really entertaining and I think young children will love the adventures!

Bulletjournal adventure | What I use for bulletjournaling.


If you are new to bulletjournaling: it is basically a wish list, to-do list and journal – and what I like to do is decorate it with doodles, handlettering, stamps and washi-tape. I have two informative posts about my step into this bujo-world and setting up collections.

Today I want to talk about all the materials I use for my bulletjournal. Almost everything I get is bought on a Dutch website called Penstore. I am not sponsored, but simply enjoy using this website. It is easy to navigate, with different sections, and they provide fast shipping. For my Dutch followers: if you want there are also Notitieboekplaza, de Inktpot, Writersplaza, de Kwast and Liefde voor Papier.

You don't have to use anything that I mention in this post. Bulletjournaling is all about what works for YOU. So if you use a regular 1 dollar notebook and only a pencil, that is fine too! I just want to show you all the materials that work for me and it might give you some inspiration.


Recap June '17 | More new books.

OUAT_thumb3Bookclub! I was the only one who finished the book, but most of our conversations are about other things anyway, haha. Daph gave me a birthday present that took ages to arrive and it is this gorgeous Grimm's Fairytales picture book. It looks great in my growing Fairytale book collection. I haven't shot a photo of it yet, but it will follow!

Travel agency. We are busy with the planning of our vacation (we really need to start booking something..), so we went to an agency for travels with the train to get some information. Looks like we might visit Venice after all! I'm so excited and hope to share our booked plans soon.

Shopping. Because what else would you do when you get your vacation money from work? Haha. I'm building a new wardrobe, so every month I buy some new pieces and this time I discovered a new favorite store.

Family. My mom and dad celebrated their birthday together and it was fun to hang out with everyone. My father got a special tablet for photo editing and we treated our mom by going to La Cubanita. On one of the hottest days, Father's day, we went to the park and I had a barbecue over at my grandparent's house.

Music festival. There's always a free music festival, with different stages and lesser-known bands. Unfortunately, it started to rain really hard that day, so we only went there for an hour. We visited our friends and even took a walk in the woods after we had some delicious ice cream (Tony Chocolonely flavour!)

Team building. This year we went with Insights, which is a personality test that shows your percentage for certain colors – and those are assigned to certain personality traits. The test also makes some sort of story about you, with different subjects like 'strong and weak points' and 'the way you interact with others'. Some things were spot on, but I also noticed a few wrong elements that made me sound really harsh and cold. We had some team building elements, followed by a barbecue, so I had a great time.

Harry Potter. Twenty years of Potter magic! Seventeen years ago I discovered this fandom and it has never let me go. I can't believe it and it makes my heart so happy to see Harry Potter is still alive, especially now with the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

HP magic

Rainbow Rowell – Attachments.

Title: Attachments.
Author: Rainbow Rowell.
Pages: 357.
PublicationPublished February 2012 by Orion.
It's 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious details, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realizes just how head-over-heels he is, it's too late to introduce himself. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart... and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.
RATING:

This is one of those books I wasn't planning to read, until it was nominated and picked for our bookclub. I am someone who is pretty open-minded when it comes to reading books outside my comfort zone, so I bought it (I like the cover) and I dived right into it. I must say, I wasn't blown away, but I didn't hate it either.

The main character, Lincoln, is living his life without enjoying it. He is 29, recently moved back into his mother's house and he is doing a job that clearly doesn't excite him. He works at night, spends most of his day eating and sleeping, and the only social interactions he gets are when he plays Dungeon & Dragons with some friends. We see glimpses of his previous relationship and how it all stranded, leaving a mark on him.

Lincoln was a difficult character and at the end I'm still not sure if he grew on me. His work is checking emails and making sure that it is not used for personal use and that there are no inappropriate content/words. When Jennifer/Beth's email exchanges get flagged, he decides to read them and for some reason, he never sends them a warning message. Instead, he keeps reading their conversations and he is completely invested in their lives. I thought it was creepy, especially when he starts to fall for one of them..

I don't know. Maybe I'm just not romantic enough, but falling in love with someone because they write funny isn't something that speaks to me. The fact that we get to know Jennifer/Beth only through their emails also made it hard to feel connected to them, although I was quite fascinated by all the things they went through. Beth is in a relationship and is desperate to marry, Jennifer is happily married and feels the pressure of having a baby, but she believes she is not (perhaps never) ready for it.

I liked Lincoln's development and how he starts to get out of his shell, but the way he pretty much stalks the girl he starts to fall in love with.. I liked to read about his previous relationship, but I did not really care for the romance and that's a shame, because in the end, that's what this story is all about.


"I want someone whose heart is big enough to hold me."

Let it go | Collection of books.


Patrick Ness- Release. 
RATING: 2/5.
Patrick Ness' books always make me feel stupid. It's like I'm not clever enough to truly grasp his intentions, because I can't figure out how the two stories combine. It felt like I was reading two books at the same time and they didn't mesh together in my head.

31194576The first story is about Adam and how he deals with his homosexuality and his family, who are very religious and believe it is something he can be cured of. They try to avoid the topic, but whenever they can they make it clear they aren't willing to accept him. No matter what he does, it is always wrong. The moment his father tells him that is is hard to love him, but that the tries, my heart completely shattered for Adam. The fact that there are people in the world who think like that is just unbelievable to me. Love = love, no matter what, as long as it makes you happy.

Adam's romantic moments with his boyfriend made me melt and it was good to see he was so supported by him. The sex scenes were nicely done. Also his friendship with Angela! That was one amazing girl.

The other story is about a Queen and a Faun. She is possessed with the spirit of a girl that was strangled to death and she is now on the hunt to get justice. The Faun is hopping along to sort of protect her? The story was really poetic, but I struggled with it. I didn't understand what this story had to do with Adam.. and why it was there in the first place. I just don't see what it adds to the overall story.

So yeah. I'm starting to believe Ness' work is just not for me?

Recap May '17 | Being active again.


May was a great month for sure. I became a little more active and it feels good. The awesome sunny weather makes it easier for me to go outside, so I hope to keep it up.
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1. I went to a yoga class with friends and it was so relaxing yet intense. I love this way of toning your muscles and getting relaxed, so I need to get over my fear of going alone. First step was taken, now it is time for me to be brave..

2. I had a short vacation with my boyfriend's mother, sister, brother their boyfriend/girlfriend. We stayed at a bungalow house from Friday to Monday and we had some great activities and fantastic weather! The first day we swam in the subtropical pool and I got injured after I bumped my head really hard under water in the wild-water course. Nothing too bad though, but it shocked me and I had a monstrous headache that night.

The next day we had a parcour in the trees, about 6 meters of the ground. It was scary at times, but it felt so good to complete it without falling! After it we went into an Egyptian themed escape room, which we completed with 3 minutes left. Everyone went for another swim in the pool, but I stayed back home with my mother-in-law and finished a book.

The next day we went for a round of paintball. The guns were bad, but it was fun to do and afterwards we did a few adventure golf courses, which was challenging. Board game night!
On Monday we had to leave the bungalow at 10:00, so we went to the pool and stayed there until 14:00. We ate some ice cream, I played pool with my boyfriend (and won of course ;P) and then we went home.
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3. I had a sport event with work. Archery tag, Lasergame, Volleybal, Estafette and Bubble football. We didn't win anything, but it was fun to hang out with some colleagues after work.

6. De-coloured my hair! It turned green, but after I washed it with ketchup and more Head & Shoulders it slowly turned back into blonde. I have to say; the purple hair adventure was great and now that I know it will wash out relatively easy, I will return to it!


Erin Summerill – Ever the Hunted.

Title: Ever the Hunted.
Author: Erin Summerill.
Pages: 392.
PublishedDecember 27th 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers.
Source: Publisher on Netgalley, thanks!
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer. However, it’s not so simple. The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.
Ever the Hunted is a story with potential that let me down, because it didn't manage to be something special. There are many cliches that don't have to be problems, but I couldn't overlook them in this book. The writing itself was good and the reason I decided to finish this book instead of DNF-ing it. It's fast and easy, but the true problem is the plot.

There is nothing wrong with a basic plot; it only starts to form a problem when the author truly keeps it basic. The story fails to deliver something more. The characters are only so-so, the plot is predictable and the pacing is on the slow side. It all felt flat and uninspired to me.

Britta's father, the official Bounty Hunter of the King, has been murdered and her best childhood friend is the suspect. When Britta is caught poaching she has two choices: die or join the hunt for Cohen. If she finds him, she will get her freedom back. On her way Britta discovers clues that make her aware Cohen is around; and eventually they meet and run away together. Cohen vows he didn't kill her father and it is up to them to discover the truth.

Britta and Cohen are both unmemorable characters. In the beginning I imagined her to be a little like Meria from Brave, but that really isn't the case. She is great at tracking and she knows her way with the bow. Her father has taught her many things, but most of the times she seemed clueless. There was nothing special about her and she had a slight damsel in distress syndrome. She faints and cries a lot. While I don't object to anyone displaying these emotions (because no, crying doesn't make you look weak), Britta doesn't seem to be able to pick herself up without having a guy around. She is always second-guessing herself and needs a lot of affirmations from the people around her.

Cohen also lacks traits that make him stand out. He is the typical boy-next-door, so I didn't give a crap about their plain romance. I always like the friends-who-turn-into-lover-trope (although I prefer sarcastic/hate-to-love romance), but not if both characters bore me to death. There was also too much emphasis on their growing feelings.

The ending sort of made up for it, but the overall story wasn't enough to make me want to pick up the sequel.
“Bravery is a choice that is yours to make. Don't let fear steal your will.” 

Audio book Adventures | Discovering Storytel.


I have tried to listen to audio books in the past, but for some reason it never managed to grab my attention. This was before I found out that I can listen, and enjoy, audio books on my way to work. Sitting in the bus with an audio book is the best thing ever! I still can't concentrate on audio books when I do something, but the bus ride is so much more fun now. 

This month I discovered Storytel and since it offers a 14-day free trial, I decided to give it a shot. I can already tell you that I've paid for my first month now. It is basically a Netflix service for audio books. For €9.99 a month you can listen to as many audio books as you want. You don't buy them, so when your cancel your subscription you'll not be able to listen to your previous audio books. I think this is a great deal. Also: I'm not sponsored by Storytel. They don't even know who I am. 

C.J Redwine – The Wish Granter.

Title: The Wish Granter.
Author: C.J Redwine.
Pages: 432.
PublishedFebruary 14th 2017 by Balzer + Bray.
Source: Publisher on Edelweiss, thanks!

The world has turned upside down for Thad and Ari Glavan, the bastard twins of SĂșndraille’s king. Their mother was murdered. The royal family died mysteriously. And now Thad sits on the throne of a kingdom whose streets are suddenly overrun with violence he can’t stop. Growing up ignored by the nobility, Ari never wanted to be a proper princess. And when Thad suddenly starts training Ari to take his place, she realizes that her brother’s ascension to the throne wasn’t fate. It was the work of a Wish Granter named Alistair Teague who tricked Thad into wishing away both the safety of his people and his soul in exchange for the crown. So Ari recruits the help of Thad’s enigmatic new weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, to teach her how to fight Teague. With secret ties to Teague’s criminal empire, Sebastian might just hold the key to discovering Alistair’s weaknesses, saving Ari’s brother—and herself. But Teague is ruthless and more than ready to destroy anyone who dares stand in his way—and now he has his sights set on the princess. And if Ari can’t outwit him, she’ll lose Sebastian, her brother…and her soul.

I fell in love with The Shadow Queen – and hereby I declare it as one of my favorite retelling of Snow White – so I was extremely excited about The Wish Granter. This book is part of the series, but they have separate stories. While I didn't fall in love with it as much as I did with The Shadow Queen, I think it is a fantastic retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

Alister Teague is cursed and he uses all his wit to break free. If you come across him and you make a deal with him, it means you are screwed. Alister is a foul player and that is how he manages to use Thad's desperation against him. He forces the boy into becoming King and in return, Alister will keep Thad's sister Ari save from their murderous family. Ari isn't happy with this change of life and together with Sebastian, she tries to come up with a plan to get rid of Alister.

Ari is feisty and intelligent. She knows something is up with Thad and the mysterious Teague and she's not going to wait to see what is going to happen. Instead, she is doing her own research and this leads her in the arms of Sebastian, the new blacksmith with a story of his own. Piece by piece Ari finds out what has transpired between Thad and Teague and what this will mean in the future. Her plan to release Thad is dangerous and shows her loyalty for her family. I adored the fierce love between her and her brother. It was nice to finally have another book with a healthy brother-sister relationship. It was my favorite aspect of the story.

Thad and Sebastian are both solid character. Neither of them are really memorable on their own, but I liked their role in the plot. The blossoming romance between Sebastian and Ari was adorable. It's not one of those I SHIP THIS HARDCORE ship, but I liked their chemistry and how supportive they were.

The plot is fast-paced and the writing-style is so smooth and easy to read. This is the type of book you could read in one sitting. I still liked The Shadow Queen more, but I can't wait to see what more stories Redwine is going to write in this world.

"Sometimes having courage means the hardest tasks fall onto your shoulders."