Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #106: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that I am anxiously awaiting is:

Letters to the Lost
by Brigid Kemmerer

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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-travelling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons from his past. 

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually stranger. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Goodreads

Why I Can't Wait


This books sounds like a great read, both characters seem to have a trouble past and I cannot wait to find out how they will bond over it.

Expected publication date: April 4th 2017

Elien

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday #104: Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Broke and Bookish. This weeks topic is Top Ten Books On My Spring TBR

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  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  3. I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  4. Paper Towns by John Green
  5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
  6. The Kingsmaker's Daughter by Philippa Gregory
  7. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  8. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
  9. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
  10. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Elien

Monday, 13 March 2017

Review: The Pharaoh's Cat by Maria Luisa Lang

26269308Title: The Pharaoh's Cat
Author: Maria Luisa Lang
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult
Publication date: May 6th 20153
Pages: 184 (paperback)
Source: own-it








The Pharaoh’s Cat, a tragicomic fantasy narrated in the present tense by the cat himself, tells of a free-spirited, wise-cracking stray in ancient Egypt who suddenly acquires human powers and immediately captivates the young Pharaoh, making him laugh for the first time since his parents’ death.

The cat becomes the Pharaoh’s constant companion and, at the royal palace and on a tour of Egypt, participates in the festivities, developing an insatiable appetite for good food, wine, and gossip. Gradually, he renews the Pharaoh’s ability to enjoy life and inspires him to become a stronger leader. The bond of selfless love they share will change Egypt’s destiny.

The cat has a good friend in the High Priest of the god Amun-Ra and seeks his help in solving the mystery of his human powers and the supernatural manifestations that plague him. He has a mortal enemy in the Vizier—the second most powerful man in Egypt--who hates him for his close relationship with the Pharaoh. The Vizier’s persecution of the cat ultimately results in his fleeing with the High Priest to present-day New York City, where they find an ally in an Egyptologist’s daughter.


Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me in many ways, the way that the pharaoh’s ruled, how they build pyramids, the gods they worshipped… their whole culture is just so intriguing. So when Maria Luisa Lang approached me with the question to read her book I immediately said yes. And I am glad that I did because I got so much more than I expected!

The Pharaoh’s cat tells the adventures of a cat in ancient Egypt through the eyes of a cat. It might sound a bit odd but it was really great story and refreshing as well. It is not every day that you read a book through the eyes of a cat. From the very start I fell in love with Wrappa-Hamen, he really behaves like most cats I know. He’s lazy and basically only thinks about his next meal, but somehow his little adventures always turn into a big mess which was often quite hilarious. What I really loved that Wrappa-Hamen’s thoughts were exactly what I always imagined my cat to think. I do not know how the author managed to get the cats character so spot on but I imagine that she must have studied her own cat for a long while.

I really loved the way how the author decided to tell the story of some big events in Egypt. She managed to weave in the ancient Egyptian culture in her book in a way that it made it light and easy to understand.  I cannot tell how accurate all the events where in this book but I am sure that some of them are based on reality. And it wonderful that the author also gave descriptions of how the temples and the houses looked like. I definitely picked up some new things by reading this book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and fun read, it was perfect to fill up a nice Sunday afternoon. I really loved the uniqueness of the point of view of this book, it was interesting and refreshing. I cannot wait to read more of Wrappa-Hamen’s adventures. 


Elien

Friday, 10 March 2017

Interview: Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias author of The Good Dictator


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An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane. However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.  


Interview


Q: Tell us about the main character, for example, what are his strong aspects and his weakness?
A: Gustavo, the main character, it’s a regular person with a comfortable job, nice house, small kids, but he doesn’t love anymore is wife (Marta). Here’s two excerpts:
“… he had not loved her for some time. He did not think about getting divorced, Marta was a good mother for his sons, they had both gotten a good home, they even had a comfortable life, but he was sure that, but for the children, he would have already filed for divorce.”

“He had committed many mistakes in his life, he had failed in many aspects, but he wanted to be a good father, and the best thing for his kids was to be close to their mother, even if this meant he had to spend the life with someone so futile like Marta.”


Gustavo is a competitive person, even with their friends:
“Everybody turned to Gustavo waiting for a serious answer, without jokes, everybody knew he was calculating, practical and very logical. Gustavo, in turn, was sometimes rather competitive and knew that if he exposed his theory, they would want to do the same and this could lower his percentages of survival. At this very moment, he hated himself for thinking in such a selfish and competitive way with his old friends and that he probably would not see them again.”


When the object parked on the moon, he got obsessed with the list:
“The creation of the list had brought some adrenaline to his life, some hope in something new, in some sort of change. And now, there he was in one of his favorite places and he was thinking that he had failed, that the poor emotion he had for life had led him to the exaggeration of spending too much money, putting at risk his working place, and even worse, putting in risk his freedom after an unnecessary robbery.

While he was immersed in these thoughts, he saw his father open the old gated of the property and approach him. Gustavo sighed and thought that he would now have to hear his old father give him a moral lesson about life; accept your mistakes and don't fly into paranoia or exaggerations. That was exactly what he did not want right now, he had come to that place to be alone and now he would hear his father in a speech about common sense.”


Gustavo’s strongest aspects are probably his faster adaptable to a new situation, and he is a planner:
“Gustavo laughed again, he looked down with an amused look and saw the great hate that emanated from The Fatty.
- Do you know why it came down to this? You on your knees and me standing and observing your village in flames? Because you’re the weakest link. You know, you fatty, in the animal world, the ones who adapt the better to the environmental conditions are the ones who survive, and just between you and me, we both have the best example of it. You, who still think you are the GNR commander and that someone will come from the past to make me pay for my deeds. While I have quickly adapted to the new reality: as soon as the craft landed on The Moon, I made a list of indispensable things, I spent a lot of money in this list, I robbed a drugstore and was considered to be crazy by my family, but when the attack occurred, this crazy one was the one who had adapted the best to the new environment. And, let me tell you: I longed for this attack; I was fed up with living my comfortable and gray life behind a computer.”


Gustavo’s weakness it’s probably his inability to improvise:
“Gustavo remained quiet, feeling uncomfortable that Ramiro was better prepared than he was. He would've liked to have had a few minutes to think about some excuses, but he remained still, with no excuses, awaiting another wave of accusations and with some fear of what would come. Ramiro continued:”


Q: The novel it’s a dystopian or an utopian?
A: I think dystopian and utopian came along, and depends on the perspective of the reader. When the book was released in the Portuguese market, some said: it’s a post-apocalyptic novel, others a dystopian and either another’s claims it was a utopian. For Gustavo and his friends are a utopian, because they try to build a better society. Gustavo speaking:

“- I don’t do this for the power, Ramiro, I do this for our children, so that the future generation doesn't have to live in an unequal, corrupt and unprincipled society. I don’t want to be in power forever, I’m in favor of creating a law that one will only be able to be in public positions no more than eight years; after which, no privileges or special treatment are reward so that they have to go back to their work. Politics will be seen as a contribution to society and not as an opportunity to get rich and find well-paid state jobs for your friends. I do this so that your daughters and my children only hear about Swiss banks, tax havens and stock exchanges, like Wall Street, as things of a dark and greedy past from a lost society. I won’t allow you and your friends to change my view of the future.”

Elien

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Review: Legacy (Andalucian Night #3) by Hannah Fielding

Title: Legacy
30242500Author: Hannah Fielding
Series: Andalucian Nights
Genre: Romance, Adult
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Publication date: August 25th 2016
Pages: 448 (paperback)
Source: own it (received from author)






A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.

Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.

The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…

Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past?

Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…


Legacy is the third and final instalment in the Andalucian Nights series.  I have read all the other books in this series as well so I was curious to see how the series would conclude. And I recently went on holiday to Andalucía so it made this book even more appealing to me.

Luna grew up in the States and is currently working for a scientific newspaper in New York. But then her boss wants her to investigate a clinic in Spain, since her family on her mother’s side is Spanish this is the perfect task for her. As soon as she sets food on Spanish soil she comes across the charismatic and brooding Ruy. He is a complete mystery to Luna and as fate wants it there paths seem to keep colliding.

In a lot of ways Legacy was quite similar to Fielding’s other books. The two main characters meet, they are instantly attracted towards each other and they want to get to know one another but obstacles are continuously thrown on their path which makes their love seem doomed. And that is probably one of the biggest issues I had with this book. I loved it in the first book, thought it was okay in the second one but by this one it had become pretty repetitive. Especially since you already know how things will end in the end, there are no surprises left.

Besides that I did still enjoy this book, especially since it explores alternative health care. I do not know much about the subject so it was interesting to learn a bit more about it while reading this book. Another thing that I liked about it was the rich description of everything. Fielding always has the habit of doing that. And this time I enjoyed it even more since I had recently been to that region of Spain so it felt like I was revisiting certain memories. The author always just gives so many details and wonderful description that it feels like you are transported to that very place in that moment. And it is one of the things that I enjoyed the most about this book.

Overall I still did enjoy this book even though that I had some issues with it. If it is the first book that you read by Hannah Fielding that you will definitely experience it as a fun romance read. And I definitely still want to continue reading her other books. 


Elien

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Waiting on Wednedsday #105: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that I am anxiously awaiting is:

The Love Interest 
by Cale Dietrich

31145148


There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both. 



Why I Can't Wait


This book just sounds so good. An organization which sole mission is to raise teenagers to become spies? Count me in for that!

Expected publication date: May 16th 2017

Elien

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

My Dream Late Crate: Sherlock Holmes


Loot Crate is a monthly subscription box service for geeks and gamers alike. And they want to find out what you would put in your very own Dream Crate. If you feel inspirational, creative or it just sounds like fun then definitely don't hesitate to create your very own Dream Loot Crate and make sure to head over to their crate subscription page for more information!

I am a big Sherlock fan so I decided to center my dream crate around him. Here's what my personal dream crate would look like:




A magnifying glass and letter opener decorated with the image of the World's Greatest Detective:  A letter opener and a  magnifying glass because you would not be able to walk into the footsteps of the greatest detective of all times without these two items!







[Sherlock: A Study in Pink (Product Image)]I recently discovered the world of Manga and as it turns out they have a manga adaptation of the tv series. I need this so badly!!









Afbeeldingsresultaat voor irene adler funko popsIrene Adler is probably one of my favorite characters that ever appeared on the show. She is just amazing so I wouldn't mind having a funko pop of her on my shelves. 






A poster with all the wisdom of Sherlock Holmes. I guess we can all use a bit of his advice from time to time (even though that we might not always understand it). 
















 Because we can all use a good mug for the cup of tea/coffee we enjoy while watching or reading Sherlock.













 And of course my dream crate would not be complete if it did not contain the vintage classic edition of Sherlock Holmes by Penguine. 










Let me know what would be in your dream crate!

Elien

Monday, 6 March 2017

Review: The Last Shadow Gate (The Shadow Gate Chronicles #1) by Michael W. Garza

34457021Title: The Last Shadow Gate
Author: Michael W. Garza
Series: The Shadow Gate Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Middle Grade
Publisher: NeerHaven Press
Publication date: March 3rd 2017
Pages: 262 (paperback)
Source: Own it (received from author)
Buy links: Amazon




Summer vacation was never supposed to be like this.

It was bad enough Naomi had to be shipped off to her dad's home for the summer and deal with her half-brother Gavin, but when the siblings are forced to spend their break with their great-grandmother in upstate New York, everything changes. An investigation into the strange disappearance of their great-grandfather forces them to retrace his footsteps. They discover a gateway between worlds and encounter extraordinary creatures in a land where the people are desperate to escape the coming of a shade lord. To survive their adventure, Naomi and Gavin must settle their differences and find the elusive shadow gate that will take them home again.


When the author approached me with the request to read The Last Shadow Gate I immediately accepted since the story sounded like a fun adventure and fantasy story for younger readers.

Two siblings are forced to spend the entire summer together at their great-grandmother’s house in Albany, NY. The least you could say is that they were not happy at all with their parent’s decision. They grew up on other sides of the country and Naomi already thought it was bad enough that she had to spend time with her little brother every summer but now she will literally have no escape from him all summer long. And to make things worse their great-grandmother went a bit crazy after her husband disappeared according to their father.  But what they find during their stay with their great-grandmother’s is better than either of them could have ever hoped for. Soon enough they are pulled into an adventure that surpasses their wildest imagination.

I think I was as fascinated as Naomi and Gavin with their great-grandfather’s tales of a shadow gates. The mystery pulled me right in and it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire story. The author did create a magical world filled with incredible creatures that I could have never imagined. The entire book was just one big adventure, the siblings constantly ran into trouble while trying to navigate the new world they ended up in. There were some fights, a battle and a lot of other events that created suspense. The world that the author had created was surrounded by darkness but at the same time I could also see the beauty in it.

The siblings were also fun to read about. At times Gavin sounded a lot older than twelve and seemed more mature in a lot of ways than his sister Naomi. But I just loves seeing how much they cared about each other and how they grew closer throughout the story.  The other characters they came across during their journey were also interesting and I am really hoping that we get to see some of them again in the next book.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a really quick and kept me entertained until the end. If you are looking for a fantasy book for a middle grader than I would definitely recommend this one. I cannot wait until the next book in this series comes out. 


Elien

Thursday, 2 March 2017

New Releases in March


This month is a month in which some amazing books are released. I'm so excited for some of them and I can't wait to read them!

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Black Moon (The Broken Trilogy #3) by L.A. Weatherly (March 1st)
The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater's Daughter #3) by Melinda Salisbury (March 2nd)
The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco (March 7th)
The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) by Samantha Shannon (March 7th)

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Your're Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner (March 7th)
Hunted by Megan Spooner (March 14th)
The Struggle (Titan #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (March 20th)
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor (March 28th)

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Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion #1) by Rosalyn Even (March 28th)
A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Choksi (March 28th)

Elien

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #104: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights books that have not yet been released, but ones that you should pre-order today! This week's book that I am anxiously awaiting is:

When Dimple Met Rishi
by Sandhya Menon

28458598

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.

Why I Can't Wait


This just sounds like a fun read and I cannot wait to find out more about it.

Expected publication date: May 30th 2017

Elien