Precious books

I have always loved reading and am now trying out this new site to post my reviews on!

Review: All the Light We Cannot See

— feeling love
All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Firstly, some of you may have noticed that this book took me very long to read. That was not because I didn’t enjoy this book, quite the opposite! I loved it so much that I wanted to enjoy every poetic detail, I cherished it so much I didn’t want it to be over.

The story contains two, or actually three, different stories. One is a story of a blind girl in Paris, another about a boy who is in a training school for Hitler’s Reich, and the third is about a dying man who’s desperate for a cure. All of them were told in such a way that you can’t help but have compassion for all the main character, even if they are so different.
The one object that connects all of them is a precious stone called the Sea of Flames. They say it has a special power: the holder will live forever, but everyone he loves dies. That almost supernatural aspect is awesome and it really adds to the story.
I think the goal for this book was to show how everyone was, in a way, a victim of the war and Anthony Doerr most certainly succeeded in that.

This book is a work of art, written very beautifully and poetic and so vivid - I really felt like I was a part of this story while reading it. 

I’m going to be honest: normally I don’t really like historical fiction and I doubted I was gonna like All the Light We Cannot See. But this story was written so well, the characters so well developed, that I couldn’t help but love it! So thanks Anthony Doerr for introducing me to a whole new genre.
 

Review: From a Distant Star

— feeling alien
From a Distant Star - Karen McQuestion

I feel like this is one of those books that I would have LOVED a few years ago, but doesn’t work out for me anymore.
The book follows the story of two teenagers in love: Emma and Lucas. Unfortunately, Lucas is dying of cancer and of course Emma would do anything to save him. So, she pays a visit to the local witch to find a cure, which she gets. Lucas starts feeling better, but something is off. He is not himself anymore..
To me, the characters didn't feel very real. They were all a bit 2D and stereotyped in my opinion. For example, Emma is the YA heroine with an ego the size of Pluto, Scott is the cool alien that can do anything (like healing a girl’s cancer) by just being there and Eric is the 14-year-old brother that acts like he is 18. I did not feel a connection to any of them.
From a Distant Star is a cute YA sci-fi story. Nothing more and nothing less. Like I said, 15-year-old me would have loved this, because a cute YA sci-fi story was exactly what I was looking for in books back then. Nowadays I like my books to have some more depth, or at least to be a bit more exciting. This book didn't contain any plot twists, which I kind of missed and some bits were actually quite annoying, like Emma’s possessiveness.
I would recommend this book to girls (and boys) age 14-16 who love sci-fi and a cute love story.

I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Mr. Memory and Other Stories of Wonder

Mr. Memory and Other Stories of Wonder - Paul Michael Peters Get a blanket, a nice cuppa and make yourself comfortable, because this is the perfect book to read after a long day of work. The stories are short enough to read one (or two, or seven - oops) when you're tired and want some entertainment before bed. They are imaginative and original and I think I'll always be a big fan of Paul Peters' works.

Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children

Hollow City - Ransom Riggs This is the second instalment of Miss Pelegrine's Home for Peculiar children. I think this wasn't as good as the first book, and sometimes I even found it a bit slow and boring. I was gonna give this three stars throughout the whole book, but I really enjoyed the ending so I updated it to four stars. I still want to read part three though!

Collected Shorter Fiction, Vol. 2: Volume II

Collected Shorter Fiction, Vol. 2: Volume II - Leo Tolstoy Why is everything that Anthony Doerr writes pure gold? This literally took me just two minutes to read, but I will think about this story for so much longer.
You can read it here, and it's worth those two minutes.

Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations

Atlas of Cursed Places: A Travel Guide to Dangerous and Frightful Destinations - Olivier Le Carrer When I saw this on Netgalley, I was extremely excited to read it. The concept is amazing, but somehow this just didn't work out for me. I missed images of the places I was reading about, and overall it felt a bit dry to me.

Here's a tip: When you read it, don't read it in kindle/epub format! The maps provided become unclear and overall, this book becomes a bit cluttered.

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle

The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle - Jude Isabella, Simone Shin 4,5*

The story follows a bicycle: first, it's property of a boy in America, but when he outgrows it, he decides to give it away to charity. After a long trip, the bicycle arrives in Africa, where it belongs to a girl who uses it for work and as her only form of transportation. But when it breaks, she decides to give it to charity as well. Will the bike help even more people?

This book is so important for young children! After reading this, they will understand how a small thing like giving away your old bike can help many other people. This book will activate them to help children in need and I think that's exactly what the writer was trying to do.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley.

The Martian

The Martian - Andy Weir 4,5*, probably.

Review coming soon

Into Coraira

Into Coraira - Jaime Lee Mann This is the second instalment in the Legend of Rhyme series. Find the first book here!

I enjoyed Elora of Stone, but this book was even better in my opinion. Where the first book left me with questions, this book answered a lot of them while still being interesting and easy to read. Somehow, the characters felt more like real persons and I think Jaime Lee Mann really showed us her potential!

I am kinda sad that English isn't my first language, because I would have loved to read this to the children I babysit. The book seems like such a good bedtime story!

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend - Katarina Bivald More like 4,5*, actually.

This is a book about books. Therefore, this book is amazing for everyone that loves books, especially classics. I fall in that category and I loved all the references, though sometimes they got a bit spoiler-y.

Sara’s life is fully dedicated to books. She works in a bookstore by day and reads by night. It’s good, and she’s happy, until the bookstore goes bankrupt. Suddenly she doesn’t know what to do with her life anymore, so she decides to take a break to visit her pen pal in Broken Wheel, Iowa. But things don’t exactly go as planned..

This is not a book full of action. That said, it is not boring at all! The story follows a quiet, dying town that is woken up when a tourist arrives and the reader learns about many well-written and realistic characters. The light and funny writing style makes it a very enjoyable beach-read!
The only aspect of this book that I didn’t enjoy as much is the romantic element. That’s just my opinion though, most people would actually like that and so this book definitely deserves its 4,5 stars!
And can Sara recommend me a book, please?

I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley.

Elora of Stone

Elora of Stone - Jaime Lee Mann 3,5*

This was a cute fantasy story for children age 9 - 12. It has everything it needs: fairies, magic, adventure and a bad guy. There even are some amazing illustrations!

The story is set in a universe where with every twin born, one of them ‘dies’. But when two super special twins are born, they are protected with magic and therefore both of them stay alive. They are just what their ancestor, the good witch Elora, needs to be freed from her curse of stone! Can they release her, or will they be too late?

I think the story is thought out very well, the universe was very clear before my eyes. The only thing that I had a small problem with, is that it switches from third-person to first-person narrative and that didn’t feel natural to me. But I have to remember that it's a children's story and kids don't care about that, and to them, it probably even adds to te story. I liked the rest of the book and I felt myself reading it in my read-to-children-voice.

I feel like this book is a great setup for book two: the story doesn’t seem nearly finished. It keeps you hanging on tight because now I just wanna read more within this universe!

I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Roots of Evil

The Roots of Evil - Philip Reeve More like 3,5*, really.

This was a fun, quick and mostly enjoyable read. Not a story that will provoke thought, or a story that you will remember for a long time, but an enjoyable read anyway.

Lumberjanes Vol. 2

Lumberjanes Vol. 2 -  Noelle Stevenson 4,5*

I just love these comics so much! The strong female characters are amazing and the only thing I kinda dislike is the messy art. That doesn't weigh up to how awesome the story is and I can't wait to read more and more and more!

Hersenschimmen

Hersenschimmen - J. Bernlef Best een goed literatuurboek voor de lijst. Het einde was wat verwarrend en het las niet echt heel gemakkelijk, maar verder was het goed te doen!

Alles wat er was

Alles wat er was - Hanna Bervoets Voor je literatuurlijst best een oké boek, maar soms best verwarrend.

They're Made Out Of Meat

They're Made Out Of Meat - Terry Bisson Amazingly funny short story. Even though it only has five pages, it made me smile several times. Just read it guys, it's only five pages and available to read for free!


Also, credits to the writer for putting this as an author's note:
(Thanks for your interest in my work. If you enjoyed this little piece, please give a dollar to a homeless person.)

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