Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress Marissa Meyer The Lunar Chronicles
Cress Marissa Meyer Cover The Lunar Chronicles

Title: Cress 
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, YA 
Publication date: February 4, 2014 
Rating: ★★★★ 

: In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Read In 2015

I've read 70 books in 2015 and many of them were really, really good. Mind-blowingly great, even.   My average rating on goodreads was 4.1 this year, so that says a lot. Many books were part of a series, because I still seem to love those the most. I've made a little list of the books and series I enjoyed the most. It was really hard to put them in order. I loved all of them almost equally. What were your favourite reads this past year?

1. Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas
This was by far the series I loved best this year. I've read everything from Throne Of Glass to Queen of Shadows in 2015 and every book was better than the one before. I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about this series. Aelin is one of my favourite female characters of all time. 
Quotes: "You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love."
"Tell me that even if I lead us all to ruin, we'll burn in hell together."

2. Prodigy and Champion (Legend series) by Marie Lu
A close second. I read Prodigy and Champion early on in 2015 and they wrecked me. Many, many feels and emotions and very well crafted characters. Day broke my heart, June shattered what little pieces there were left of it. Marie Lu is brilliant.
Quote: I did this to him. And because he loves me, he can never really escape it. He'll remember the fate of his family every time he sees me, even if he loves me. Especially if he loves me.

3. Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Surprise of the year! I hadn't read anything by Leigh Bardugo before, but she amazed me. This book was absolutely fantastic. Detailed world building and interesting characters that immediately hooked me. This is a masterpiece. I can't wait for the next installment in this series.
Quote: We're all someone's monster.

4. The Young Elites series by Marie Lu
I read both The Young Elites and The Rose Society this year and it's safe to say I have never read anything like it. Marie Lu takes darkness to an entirely different level here. This series is extraordinary. The characters are dark, vengeful, hateful and unsympathetic. And yet I loved this so, so much.
Quote: Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, so she destroyed them all.

5. The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken
Everyone kept telling me to read this, so I finally started it over the summer. And finished it soon after! I read all books in a row and loved every page of them. It's as good as people say it is. I especially loved the world building. And Cole, but.. :(
Quote: You can push someone’s button over and over again to get what you want, but there comes a point when your finger slips and you finally hit the wrong one.

6. The Collectors' Society series by Heather Lyons
There are currently 3 books in this series and I loved them to pieces. It's a very unique kind of story and it's done so exceptionally well - you'll love it. It's also a NA series and the maturity of the characters is relieving. The world building is brilliant and the emotions are real. Go read it!
Quote: Madness—that old, dear friend of mine—has come home for a visit. And I welcome its return with open arms.

7. The World Of Ice & Fire by George R.R. Martin
The World of Ice & Fire: The official history of Westeros and the world of A Game Of Thrones. This book is not a story so much as an encyclopedia. This book is a masterpiece. It's mind-blowing. The insane amount of detail Martin offers makes it so easy to forget that all of this book's content is in fact fictional.
Quote: Glory may be everlasting, yet it is fleeting as well—soon forgotten in the aftermath if it leads to greater disasters.

8. The Martian by Andy Weir
It hardly seems fair to put this book in position 8, because I absolutely loved it. It's incredibly detailed and well researched, has a very compelling plot and one perfect main character: Mark Watney. The humor warmed my heart, the tensity often made me jump up and down my chair. It's sci-fi that feels awfully realistic.
Quote: I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.

9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
I've only just finished this series. I read everything from Cinder to Winter in a row and I honestly enjoyed it a lot. Cinder and Scarlet were both great heroines to root for. I probably loved the characters more than the actual story, but these are the kind of books you just can't put down. You have to keep going.
Quote: Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given and what we do with them.

10. The Knife Of Never Letting Go & The Ask and The Answer (Chaos Walking) by Patrick Ness
These were my first books by Patrick Ness and they did not disappoint. I loved how different his writing was from anything else I'd read before. His style is unique and so are his characters and his world. I was really impressed. 
Quotes: "We are the choices we make."
"Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking."

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet Marissa Meyer The Lunar Chronicles
Scarlet Marissa Meyer cover The Lunar Chronicles

Title: Scarlet 
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2 
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, YA 
Publication date: February 5, 2013 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Review: My True Love Gave To Me, Twelve Holiday Stories

My True Love Gave To Me Holiday Stories Stephanie Perkins
My True Love Gave To Me Holiday Stories Stephanie Perkins Cover

Title: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories 
Edited by: Stephanie Perkins 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, YA 
Publication date: October 14, 2014 
Overall rating: ★★★½ 

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder marissa meyer the lunar chronicles
Cinder Marissa Meyer cover the lunar chronicles

Title: Cinder 
Author: Marissa Meyer 
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1 
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling, YA 
Publication date: January 3, 2012 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Upcoming Releases: December 2015

Upcoming Releases December 2015
A little late, but I definitely didn’t want you to hold out on all these new releases. So here are some for December. There aren't too many anticipated releases this month, but I suppose they couldn’t keep on coming. I’m personally pretty excited about Heather Lyons new book, even though it sounds nothing like The Collectors’ Society. But that's about it. Oblivion sounds nice, but I still need to start Lux. Maybe over Christmas.. !

November Wrap Up

Hey guys! I'm terribly late with my wrap up (again), I do hope you can forgive me. I've been binge reading (is that even a thing?), so I guess I'm just hoping you get it. I've started reading The Lunar Chronicles and I can't seem to stop. Reading Winter at the moment, so I'm at the very end. I'd say I'm sad I didn't start this sooner, but I'm actually kind of glad I don't have to wait for any of the books to release. (a) #firstworldproblems.

I was also under the impression that I didn't buy a lot of books during november. But then I had a look at my october wrap up and realized that was a mistake. Haha. Oops. I should probably go on another book ban. It's just so hard, you know?

With NaNoWriMo I didn't get to a lot of reading in november. I've probably read more in this first week of december than I did last month. Cinder was definitely my favorite of the november three! 

The End Of NaNoWriMo 2015

Have any of you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? God, it's madness. It absolutely is. It's nerve-wrecking, you're pulling long hours and sometimes all-nighters. Or maybe that's just me, because I write a lot better when it's dark and life is.. less demanding. But despite everything I love it. Trying to get the better of yourself, trying to get past your doubts and fears and writing a *@/# novel!

Let's say this NaNo was both a success and a failure. A success because I reached 50k fairly easy. Just like the previous editions I could call myself a winner after merely two weeks. But instead of keeping up the good work and working towards the end of my draft, I kind of quit after reaching the 50 000 word count. I guess life happened. School was a lot busier than I'd anticipated and I made the terrible mistake of catching up on the tv shows I'd missed. Which led to watching even more and even starting Jessica Jones (which I promised myself I wouldn't during november). Ah, well.

It's not just that though. I had to finish the first draft of last year's project and apparently it took me 50k words to finish it. So I didn't even start the second part of the story. When I hit the winning goal, I had yet to start the story I'd intended on writing this year. And starting it involved lots of planning and plotting and creating new characters and I guess it felt as if maybe it was better to save it for a new edition. I'm definitely going to write it, it just wasn't this november. A shame, but there will be other opportunities. I won and I finished the first part, so I'm still a little proud. ;D

Did anyone else join?

Review: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Burying Water k.A. tucker
Burying Water K.A. Tucker Cover

Title: Burying Water 
Author: K.A. Tucker 
Series: Burying Water #1 
Genre: Contemporary, NA  
Publication date: October 7, 2014 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Left for dead in the fields of rural Oregon, a young woman defies all odds and survives—but she awakens with no idea who she is, or what happened to her. Refusing to answer to “Jane Doe” for another day, the woman renames herself “Water” for the tiny, hidden marking on her body—the only clue to her past. Taken in by old Ginny Fitzgerald, a crotchety but kind lady living on a nearby horse farm, Water slowly begins building a new life. But as she attempts to piece together the fleeting slivers of her memory, more questions emerge: Who is the next-door neighbor, quietly toiling under the hood of his Barracuda? Why won’t Ginny let him step foot on her property? And why does Water feel she recognizes him? Twenty-four-year-old Jesse Welles doesn’t know how long it will be before Water gets her memory back. For her sake, Jesse hopes the answer is never. He knows that she’ll stay so much safer—and happier—that way. And that’s why, as hard as it is, he needs to keep his distance. Because getting too close could flood her with realities better left buried. The trouble is, water always seems to find its way to the surface.

Review: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion
The Rosie Project Graeme Simsion Cover

Title: The Rosie Project 
Author: Graeme Simsion 
Series: Don Tillman #1 
Genre: Contemporary, Adult Fiction 
Publication date: October 1, 2012 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

October Wrap Up

Sorry, guys. I know my wrap up is coming a little late, but I've barely had time to breathe this last week. I haven't read a single page either (which is almost an equivalent of breathing). But things will be better now that we've had performance nights of the play I was in. There's still NaNoWriMo as well (and I'm CRUSHING my word counts, it's going really, really well), but at least I'll have some time now to catch up on tv shows and finish the book I'm reading. October on the other hand was a really great month. So many new books to read and buy.

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Title: The Martian 
Author: Andy Weir 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult Fiction 
Publication date: February 11, 2014 
Rating: ★★★★★ 

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Goodreads Choice Awards 2015 - YA

It's time for the annual goodreads choice awards and needless to say, I always get a bit too invested in those. I like voting because it feels like I'm finally given the chance to reward the authors I love for the masterpieces they've given us. 

But the struggle is real. The adult categories are pretty easy to vote in as I usually only know one or two of the books/authors. But when it comes to Young Adult I've become too much of an expert. I know every single book that's nominated and I've probably read half of them. It's not fair of them to ask me to choose just one. Especially this early on. There are so many authors that deserve to win.

Best Young Adult fiction for example, featured Everything, Everything, All The Bright Places, P.S. I Still Love You, My Heart And Other Black Holes, I Was Here etc. How to choose? I want to read all of them! After deliberating rather long, I eventually settled on All The Bright Places - a book I haven't even read yet. But I feel like it deserves the win, based on my own expectations and countless reviews I've read. It seems unfair to just choose between the books I've actually read when I'm in fact a lot more excited about this one.

But then. Oh-My-God. Young Adult Fantasy. I almost fainted when I saw the nominees. HOW COULD I EVER CHOOSE BETWEEN THOSE? Yes yes, I'm biased because YA Fantasy might be my favourite genre, but what the actual f-? Queen Of Shadows! Six Of Crows! A Court Of Thorns And Roses! Carry On! Red Queen! An Ember In The Ashes! And that's not even the end of the list. I cried
out in frustration so hard my brother came in to ask what on earth was going on. But honestly, guys. I don't know. Should I just randomly pick one? Eenie, meenie, miny, mo? Sigh. It's unfair to ask me to choose. It feels like choosing between your mom and your dad. I considered not voting, but that seemed stupid because then I wouldn't be rewarding any of them. Red Queen was easily ruled out, because I voted for Victoria Aveyard in the best Debut Author category. And I didn't like The Heir all that much so not that one either. Okay, two down, thirteen to go. *Closes eyes and clicks vote*  In the end I decided to go for the one book that I had been dying to read for months. The one I had been endlessly fangirling about. Queen Of Shadows, of course. It was everything I wanted it to be and rose up to every expectation I had.  Sarah J. Maas has easily become one of my favourite authors. And yet I feel bad, because I thought Six Of Crows was just as good. I want to give Leigh Bardugo a thumbs up too. Or show Rainbow Rowell how much I loved Carry On.

Am I the only one struggling with this? Which books did you end up voting for?

Upcoming Releases: November 2015

Upcoming Releases November 2015
Another month, another list of really exciting books to discover. I won’t have a lot of time for reading due to over-investment in NaNoWriMo, but there are some potential beauties here that I just can’t miss out on. December it is!

NaNoWriMo 2015

November is just a few hours away and here I am, stressing about the insane weeks that are ahead of me. I'm doing NaNoWriMo for the third year in a row.

NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every november. It challenges its participants to create a novel writing routine and attitude and to keep it up for at least one month. The ultimate goal is to write 50 000 words over the course of thirty days. A novel, or at least part of it.

Everyone can take part and you can write whatever genre you want. It doesn't even matter in what language you decide to write. Last year over 300 000 people worldwide participated and as many new stories were created. The barriers to enter are really low. There is only a limited set of rules. The main one that you have to write 50k words between 0:00:01 november 1 and 23:59:59 november 30. You're allowed to plan and plot beforehand, but you can't count anything written before this date. 

In NaNoWriMo they live by the saying quantity over quality. NaNo wants to stimulate people to keep writing, even if they don't feel confident, even if it's the first time ever they're trying to write a story. November is for writing, editing comes later. Meanwhile they put a lot of effort in motivation. There are pep talks from famous authors, regional forums to connect with other wrimos, word sprints, tips to keep your story going etc. 

NaNoWriMo is mainly a competition between you and yourself. You have to find the discipline and consistency to keep writing within yourself and you have to do it alone. Others can stimulate you and cheer you on, but no one can write the story for you. When you find the strength to pull through, sweet victory is waiting at the end of day 30. That day you can officially call yourself a winner. But more than that. You will have achieved something insane. You'll be a writer. 

I've done this twice before and both editions were huge successes. I suppose you could say writing is in my nature. I've been writing for years. Short stories, long ones. Am I good? Hell, I have no idea. But I'm doing this for myself. I like writing and this event challenges me to finish the stories I start. There's no greater feeling than finishing a draft at 90.000 words at the end of november. To see the little bar that keeps track of your word count turn green. 

Last year I started a story called Running Scared about a girl who's world got turned upside down by a new government trying to create a superior race. They selected and included her in a breeding program that was supposed to deliver the Children of Tomorrow. She ran from the authorities and her responsibilities but eventually reality caught up with her. She got arrested and dragged to the institution. That's where I'm picking the story up now. This november I'm set on writing the second part of my 'novel'. 

Wish me luck! 

PS: Are any of you joining the madness? Please let me know! Or if you consider participating and you have some questions, don't hesitate to ask me. I'd be happy to help you out.

PS2: I'm writing in Dutch btw.

Review: The Rose Society by Marie Lu

The Rose Society Marie Lu The Young Elites
The Rose Society Marie Ly cover The Young Elites

Title: The Rose Society 
Author: Marie Lu 
Series: The Young Elites #2
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: October 13, 2015 
Rating: ★★★★ ½ 

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

Review: Last Year's Mistake by Gina Ciocca

Last Year's Mistake Gina Ciocca
Last Year's Mistake Gina Ciocca cover

Title: Last Year’s Mistake 
Author: Gina Ciocca 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA 
Publication date: June 9, 2015 
Rating: ★★★ 

Synopsis: The summer before freshman year, Kelsey and David became inseparable best friends—until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke and everything around her crumbled, including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decide to move away, she can’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. But David’s not quite ready to be left. Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town. Old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never let him go. And maybe she never wants to…

Review: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Carry On Rainbow Rowell Simon Snow
Carry On Rainbow Rowell Simon Snow

Title: Carry On 
Author: Rainbow Rowell 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: Fantasy, YA 
Publication date: October 6, 2015 
Rating: ★★★★★½ 

Synopsis: Simon Snow just wants to relax and savour his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his room-mate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savour anything.

Release Day: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (+ fanfic)

So as you all probably know by now, I am very excited about this one. I've basically been jumping up and down since the moment I found out Rainbow Rowell was working on this. My greatest fear is that I'm raising my expectations too high, but tell me, how can I not? This is fan fiction gone real. Made up fan fiction gone real or whatever it is she's doing. If this book is anywhere near as good as Fangirl, I'm going to love it to bits. Let's hope book depository doesn't make me wait too long, because I don't think I can take waiting much longer.

In anticipation I'm sharing a Simon & Baz fanfic with you. I wrote it a while back when I'd just finished Fangirl and this feels like the right time to revisit it. Although I do admit that I don't remember just how much I made up and how much I took from the actual book. Either way, enjoy! And please let me know what you think when you've finished it. You can find it here.

Title: Carry On
Series: Stand-alone 
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he'll be safe. Simon can't even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can't stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you're the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax or savor anything.

Review: The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew

The Light That Gets Lost Natasha Carthew
The Light That Gets Lost Natasha Carthew cover

Title: The Light That Gets Lost 
Author: Natasha Carthew 
Series: Stand-alone 
Genre: YA 
Publication date: November 5, 2015 
Rating: ★★★

Synopsis: A small boy hiding in a cupboard witnesses something no child should ever see. He tries not to look but he still hears it. And when he comes out, there's no mistaking. His mum and dad have been killed. And though he's only small, he swears that he'll get revenge one day. Years later, Trey enters a strange camp that is meant to save troubled teenagers. It's packed with crazies, god-botherers, devoted felons and broken kids. Trey's been in and out of trouble ever since the day the bad thing happened, but he's he not here for saving: this is where he'll find the man who did it. Revenge and healing, salvation and hell are a boiling, dangerous mix, and Trey finds himself drawn to a girl, a dream and the offer of friendship in the dark.

September Wrap Up

With summer over, september was hell bent on making life as busy as possible. School was insane because we had an inspection team over and I basically had to work through the night to get everything done. And then there's the amount of play rehearsals I need to do because the premiere is getting nearer. It was insane. So I hardly got around to reading. I finished Queen Of Shadows in a matter of days (BECAUSE IT WAS CRAZY, OKAY) but then I only found the time for two other books. And somehow I made up for my lack of reading by buying tons of books.. I don't know. Some twisted logic in my head, I guess. These books make me real happy though. ;D

Review: Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six Of Crows Leigh Bardugo
Six Of Crows Leigh Bardugo

Title: Six Of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six Of Crows #1 
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publication date:  September 29, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge. 
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. 
A runaway with a privileged past. 
A spy known as the Wraith. 
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. 
 A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. 

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first.

Trickery is not my native tongue, but I may learn to speak it yet.

I was momentarily lost for words when I finished, frantically trying to find the next chapter that simply wasn’t there. There was nothing about this story I didn’t love. Even the hardest person to convince wouldn’t be able to deny the brilliantness of Six Of Crows. Or that’s what I’d like to think. This book is fantastic.

I’m probably one of the few people that hasn’t read the Grisha trilogy yet. If you’re also part of the club, don’t worry. Even though the story is set in the same universe, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t. I was able to dive right into the world of Grisha and nothing was lost on me. This is a completely new story.

I understand the Grisha trilogy unfolded in some kind of alternate Russia. Six of Crows is set in an alternate Netherlands. I’m a bit reluctant to admit it, but that awfully bothered me in the beginning. Mainly because even though I’m Flemish, Dutch is my native tongue. There were a lot of words ‘borrowed’ from my language and where they probably added some mysterious aspect for readers without a clue what they meant, it felt really ridiculous to me. Everything was English and then suddenly there was a word in my own language. It just felt a bit odd. I’m not blaming Leigh Bardugo. She has every right to borrow from whatever language she wants, it’s just unfortunate when it’s yours. I needed some time to start appreciating it. It makes me wonder how often other readers feel this way.

Greed may do your bidding, but death serves no man.

There are six main characters and the book is written through the eyes of five of them. Convicts, thieves, grisha, runaways. Characters raised by awful circumstances, part of a society that thrives on money, territory, power and revenge. The main thing they have in common is their allegiance to the Dregs, one of the ruling gangs in Ketterdam. Each of them is carefully crafted, multi-layered, unique and they’re all equally important. The third person pov allows us to get to know them through the eyes of one another, which gives an interesting dimension to the story. They all have their own history, their own needs and most importantly their own hidden agendas. They are strongly built and perfectly balanced. They’re the kind of unlikable that becomes somehow likable.

When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

We are all someone’s monster.

Kaz Brekker is the leader of the team and I sometimes seemed to forget how young he actually was. He basically could have been any age with his maturity level. He was calculating and intimidating, showed no emotion and always got the job done. And there was Inej, my personal heroine. The Wraith. Badass, brave, so full of suppressed feelings.

Besides, she was the Wraith - the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.

Nina was really strong and Matthias was ever the element of surprise. And when things got too tough and tense, Jesper and Wylan were there to lighten the mood. I loved them all so much. They didn’t get along too well. There were trust issues, bad blood and circumstances trying to put them against each other. But in the end they realized they needed each other and I think that’s beautiful.

No matter what they thought of him, they’d walk a little taller tonight. It was why they stayed, why they gave their best approximation of loyalty for him.

The story was just as phenomenal as the characters. Six unlikely companions go on an impossible mission. They need to break into the most secure court in the world, the Ice Court and rescue one of the most important scientists in the world. Not the most original maybe, but in the right hands this could work out perfectly. And it really did. This story is the perfect combination of plotting, darkness, magic, action, humor and a bit of romance (although don’t worry, it never takes over).

She wouldn't wish love on anyone. It was the guest you welcomed and then couldn't be rid of.

I told you I loved everything and I could go on and on. I can already put this book on my all time favorites list. It was just that good. I would recommend everyone to read this. No regrets, promise.

No mourners. No funerals.

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