Same book, different cover #09

battle-of-the-books

I’m back with 5 new book covers to pick and choose your favorite one. This is just for fun so there are no wrong answers! OK, I’ll go first, then it’s up to you:

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

AnUnwantedGuest  An Unwanted Guest 02

I pick cover 1. It pops out more and I’m not a fan of winter at all so maybe that’s why I’m not attracted to the cold cover nr. 2.

The Confession by Jo Spain

The Confession 02  The Confession 01  The Confession 03

Number 3. Then number 2. Not number 1 :-). Number 1 could be used as well for the cover of The Breakdown by B.A. Paris. The third cover gives something away about this novel and the first and second don’t really.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

 The Kiss Quotient 01  The Kiss Quotient 02

I kind of like them both. The quotient sign in the title of the first cover is a nice addition but my final choice is cover 2 because of the color.

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier 

Jar of Hearts 01  Jar of Hearts 02

The most difficult choice of all. Maybe a slight advantage for cover 1 over number 2 because I do like the red petals, they catch my attention immediately.

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Last Time I Lied 02  Last Time I Lied 01

Cover 1. His first novel, Final Girls, had pink edges and I like how the same technique – with another colour – is repeated in the second novel. If you have both novels it’s going to be lovely to look at  🙂

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So that’s it. Tell me your thoughts! If you can’t get enough, check out Battle Of The Books #1 – #2#3 – #4 – #5#6 – #7#8

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My favourite reads of 2018

 

Top 10 favs

Here it is, THE LIST! Why did I choose these books? Well because these are the books that were the most surprising, the most emotional, the most twisty turny and sensational of all the books I read this year.

I had a top 10 initially but then I started seeing bloggers list more than 10 books and I saw titles that I wanted on my list too so I eventually added them to my selection and ended up with 15 favorites this year.

You might agree, you might disagree, and you’re very welcome to tell me, but here’s what I chose for my top 15:

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Keeper by Johana Gustawsson

Where The Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

The Fear by C.L. Taylor

The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh

Guess Who by Chris McGeorge

A Scorned Woman by Jack Jordan

Never Go There by Rebecca Tinnelly

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Resin by Ane Riel

The Corset by Laura Purcell

If you were to ask me for my number one and most favorite book of the year then I have to say I was absolutely the most surprised by The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle!

If you like to see my favorites of last year and the year before, you can find them in my Home menu under the Reading tab or here: Top 10 2017Top 10 2016

I can’t wait to see what’s in your favorites list! Are there any from my list on yours?

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover #BookReview

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Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

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Colleen Hoover has quite clearly moved away from writing cute little romance stories. Well even those stories, the ones she wrote until a few years ago, were more emotional and touching than so many others but I still place them in the category of feel-good stories. It Ends With Us wasn’t a feel-good story for me, it was a punch in the gut kind of story, it was poignant and real, and this one – don’t let the cover let you think otherwise – is the same. She now obviously writes stories with a message, about things that life throws at you and how people cope with that.

The story has 2 plotlines, one showing Graham and Quinn at the very start of their relationship (cue swoonworthy moments) and years later in the present, when their relationship comes under such durress it might not even survive. How did it get this far when they were such a perfect couple? I really wanted to hang onto the chapters in the past but the author didn’t let me and kept the story going into the present too so that I couldn’t escape what was going on with them.

““What’s the secret to a perfect marriage?’ The old man leaned forward and looked at me very seriously. ‘Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.”

The main topic of the story was maybe a little bit out of the way of my own experiences and ideas about what I want in life, but I could understand Quinn and it wasn’t hard to root for them to find their way to each other again. I liked Quinn but it hurt me too to see how she pushed Graham away and let this unfulfilled dream come between them. As a bystander it’s easier to see what is needed and what is going on of course, and I wanted to tell her that communication was the only way out of it but I could only hope and wish so hard that they’d come to the same conclusion before reaching the breaking point of their marriage.

I really liked the story but if I want to compare it to the previous novel I read then I have to admit I really liked reading All Your Perfects but didn’t love it like It Ends With Us. It was heartfelt but this time it didn’t break me into a million pieces like her other novel did. It is however still a very recommendable story!

I purchased an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

Reading in a new book format (since 2009) #dwarsligger #flipback

Dwarsligger

Do you know what a ‘dwarsligger‘ is? I happen to have a few of these at home so I’ll explain it a little and then I’ll show you my small collection.

A dwarsligger is a teeny tiny book the size of a small smartphone with text that is printed horizontally (hence the Dutch name which basically means something similar to ‘landscape’). One page of a conventional book is printed on two horizontal pages of 8 x 12 cm.

It was a publisher of Christian books that invented this new book format in 2009. If you haven’t heard of it it’s probably because there were only Dutch titles at first, then in 2010 there was a launch on the Spanish market and a year later Hodder and Stoughton published some titles in English (using the term flipback) but it’s only now in 2018 that it’s growing even more with Penguin Books who will publish John Green’s titles in the US. Good going, right?!

So the dwarsligger/flipback is held horizontally and the idea is that you can flip the pages with one hand. It’s ideal if you commute and you only have one hand free. The paper is super thin, similar to the pages of the Bible. I personally really like the idea of the format but I’m not a fan of the paper.

So here’s my little collection. They are all numbered at the back too so you can easily keep track of the ones you already have. I think I’ve only read one of them since I had them though (as a birthday gift some 10 years ago), but maybe I should give it another chance. I have to admit that it IS indeed a great idea if you go somewhere where you’re not supposed to take a book with you, it’s so small it fits in the pocket of your jeans ;-), or if you go on vacation and you want to read a paper copy.

Dwarsligger 1

If you don’t have a lot of space in your library, then this is a great solution to invest in, it’s very compact :-).

Dwarsligger 2

As for the price, it’s a little bit cheaper than a regular book but not that much. It’s 12,50 euro (most books have a price set at 19,99 euro, some 13,95 euro). It might be a lot cheaper in other countries though, as it is with traditional books.

Dwarsligger 3

I read there also exist special leather pockets to keep them in (gah that’s so cute!)

If you want to read more about it and see all the titles they already have (close to 500 in Dutch), you can check out the sites about the Flipbackbook (in English) or Dwarsligger (in Dutch).

So what do you think? Would you ever consider reading one of these babies? Why not give a few as a Christmas gift (or ask them) to another bookworm? Oh and have you read my post about Bookazines (another Dutch invention!). Check out my post on that topic here.

Before I Find You by Ali Knight #BookReview

BeforeIFindYou def

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Maggie is a husband watcher. A snooper, a marriage doctor, a killer of happy-ever-afters. She runs her own private detective agency specialising in catching out those who cheat. And she’s very good at it. Until Helene walks through her door.

Helene is a husband catcher. A beautiful wife, a doting stepmother, a dazzling presence at parties. She counts herself lucky to have married one of the most eligible men in town – Gabe Moreau. Until she sees something that threatens her little family of three.

Alice is a perfect daughter. Apple of her father’s eye, a kind stepchild to Helene, a tragic daughter of a dead mother. She lives a sheltered but happy life. Until she finds a handwritten note on her father’s desk: ‘You owe me. I’m not going away.’

All three women suspect Gabe Moreau of keeping secrets and telling lies. But not one of them suspects that the truth could result in murder . . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half

I was lucky enough to read Before I Find You via the Pigeonhole app installed on my tablet, so I received one stave each day over a course of ten days.

Before I Find You is a story dominated by women, very strong women to be exact.  I can’t say I felt much sympathy for any of them, unfortunately. Helene, the woman who suspects her husband Gabe of cheating, was too snubby and composed for me to like her. I hate to say it because there really shouldn’t be any excuse but in a way I could even see why her husband might have done what she suspects him of. Alice, the daughter, is a spoilt little brat who I wouldn’t want in my house and who happens to be smart beyond her years. I knew not to underestimate her. As for Maggie, the PI, who I would have expected to like and love, well she didn’t seem like a bad person but even she’s quite rude and standoffish. I also knew she was hiding something about her past so that didn’t make her very trustworthy either.

Aside from the characters, the storyline was quite good and kept me on my toes. The start of the story was a bit of a slow burner but it really kicks into higher gear when the murder happens. I quickly became engrossed and hooked from there. I didn’t know who to put my money on from thereon and if I thought it would end here, well no no.. the author had a brilliant twist up her sleeve that really lifted the story up to a higher level. I very much enjoyed the last part of the novel and I’d give it 4 stars easily for the ‘where the hell did that came from’ plot but I’m afraid the characters influenced my rating in this case more than I wanted. It’s still a good read though so I’m sure to keep an eye out for another one of her novels.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via The Pigeonhole. This is my honest opinion.

New BFF: Lunarlucibooks

BFF

It’s the middle of the week so yay, that means only two more days and it’s the weekend again! I don’t know what your favorite day of the week is but mine is not even a day, it is only a few hours and it’s Friday evening. I love Friday evenings, I love the pizza and the tv and that feeling that it’s finally there and there’s nothing you have to do (unlike Saturdays).

Anyway, I’m digressing, today I want to introduce you to a new blog friend of mine: Luci blogs at Lunarlucibooks. I love her Beyond the Books series where she shares stuff outside of reading: what she listens to, what she watches but also new nailart every month. I like looking at nail art, maybe not so surprising if you know how much I love looking at book covers :-). She loves kitties too, is even called a cat whisperer by some, so of course we’re BFF’s :-). OK let’s see what else we can find out.

QandA

Name: Luci

Luci is an English feminine given name variant of Lucy and an Italian surname derived from the Latin personal name Lucius (from Latin Lux, genitive Lucis, meaning “light”).

Blog: lunarlucibooks.wordpress.com
Twitter: twitter.com/lunarlucibooks
Instagram: Instagram.com/lunarlucibooks

Age: 20

Birthday:  January 16th

What did you study or do you study now / what is your current job? I currently am in college (for the Dutch people that follow Inge: HBO jaar 1, Mechatronica ;)) and I’m having quite a hard time haha

Mechatronics

Do you have any other hobbies? Hmmmm taking walks, or cycling, I recently picked up crocheting again and I love skating!

Your favourite color? Definitely black (although by official rules it isn’t a color but sshhhhh)

Do you collect anything (besides books)?  CD’s? (yeah I’m that old ;-)) Oh and nail polish! I have over 300 bottles and I like to do nail art myself. Also, my secret weak spot… notebooks. I just love the feeling of an all-new blank notebook!

Lunar L nailpolish

I do have more now, but they’re arranged in my bookshelves now, which is shown later in this post.

What’s the name of the book that you’ve had the longest? Have you read it?

If we’re talking about childhood books, it’s De Schippers van de Kameleon, and Paultje en het Paarse Krijtje [= Harold and the Purple Crayon, a book translated by Annie MG Schmidt]. Ahhh, brings back memories ❤

Have you ever regretted a book you purchased? A book that sounded so promising but you wished you’d have spent your money on another book after reading it?

So far, I don’t think I have.. Except for Shadow and Bone, but I bought the trilogy secondhand.

Blurb: Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Follow Alina Starkov through Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising as she discovers her dormant powers and is swept up in a world of luxury and illusion. As Alina struggles to fit into her new life, a threat to the kingdom of Ravka grows—one that will test old alliances and challenge the very limits of magic, one that will forge a leader from a frightened girl.

Do you listen to audio books? I do, these days! I cycle 40 to 50 minutes to school (and back) every day, so audiobooks are amazing for that. I do have to watch the road too though, so I can’t concentrate well on difficult books.

Cycling music

Do you have a favorite genre? Young Adult, Sci-fi and Fantasy. I’ll occasionally read a crime book (like the Millennium series, one of my favorites!)

What is the book highest on your wishlist right now? 

Right now it’s probably the Twisted Tales collection. It was at quite a low price earlier this month, but I didn’t have money left. Now, the price has gone up and honestly, fairytales are my weakness xD

twisted tale collection

Unravel the dark secrets surrounding the Beasts curse in this intriguing tale. Trapped in the castle with the terrifying Beast, Belle learns there is much more to her angry captor when she touches the enchanted rose. Suddenly, her mind is flooded with images of her mother, a woman Belle hardly remembers. Stranger still, Belle realises that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle and all his staff. Stunned and confused by the revelation, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel years of mystery.

 

How is your library organized? Currently, by color (and it took a damn while to do that! Haha) This pic is from a while ago so I’ve added new stuff but it’s the most recent I have.

Lunar L library

Do you read more ebooks or physical books? Definitely physical. I’ll read ebooks on my phone when I can’t pull out a physical one, which is usually at a time I can’t concentrate that well on anything, including reading. Reading ebooks is difficult for me, but I try!

Do you have a favorite book? IMPOSSIBLE TO ANSWER! Haha, nah I’m kidding, but one favorite…. Damn. I love my Pratchett collection, I reread Vampire Academy every once in a while… and I specifically loved The Night Circus, Geekerella, and since most recent discovery, all Alice Oseman’s books. As I’m writing this, I just finished Two Dark Reigns so that’s atm my favorite series haha

three dark crowns series

What’s the cover in your collection that you’re most proud of? 

I have actually no idea.. there are so many beautiful ones!

Do you have any idea how many books you own? <100, >100, >200, >300 …?

Let me count! At my own house, its 239, at my boyfriend’s 45, plus 7 new books I got since counting which makes it… 291 books! Damn.. that’s more than I expected hahaha

What’s the title of the last book you purchased? 

I think it’s… The Last Namsara and Vicious, which I bought just today with the Book Depository discount!

Discount

What was your favorite author when you were a child?  Hmm… I was a big BIG fan of this Dutch book series, Pinkeltje, so it’s probably Dick Laan. I also was quite the fan of the Kameleon series later in my childhood, so Hotze de Roos is in the list too.

From which author do you have most books?

Number 30

Terry Pratchett, I think, after that it’s Rick Riordan (but to be honest he just has SO MANY BOOKS), Richelle Mead and Marissa Meyer comes quite close too:

Terry Pratchett: 30
Cassandra Clare: 11
Richelle Mead: 12
Rick Riordan: 14
Sarah J Maas: 12, soon to be 13 when Kingdom of Ash comes out!

Are there books you’ve read 2 or 3 times? Vampire Academy! I just love that world to be honest ❤ And I’ve read Cinder 3 times but the first two times was when I checked it out at the library, then I couldn’t find the second one, then a while later I bought Scarlet, forgot what happened in Cinder, and read both of them. Then it took another while before I could order Cress and Winter, and now I’m still planning on reading them all at once, which means it’ll be the 4th time for Cinder hahaha

How many books are there on your Goodreads challenge this year and how many have you read already? I put my challenge on 50 and as I’m writing this, I’m at 41! I’m doing quite well, yay!

Can you spell your name with the first letters of titles in your book case ? 

I have quite the short name so I did my full username. Ironically enough, out of all these books I have read exactly one: Ignite me. And I don’t even remember so my entire name in books is on my tbr still 😉

Lunar L name  Lunar L Name 2

The Last Star
The Upside of Unrequited
The Names They Gave Us
Alice in Zombieland
Red Queen

Library of Souls
Uprooted
The Cruel Prince
Ignite Me

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In case you missed it, here are the 5 last BFF’s (Blog Friends Forever) I posted about. If you want to read the previous posts, you can find the tab with links on my home page.

Lorna – On The Shelf Reviews
Vera – Unfiltered Tales
Kelly – Another Book In The Wall
Zoë – What’s Better Than Books
Umut – Umut Reviews

I don’t want my BFF club to be complete just yet! There’s still room for plenty more so give me a shout if you want to be added! 

 

For the Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter # BookReview

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She must find Annabelle. Before it’s too late.

THE MISSING
Nora’s daughter Annabelle has disappeared, last seen on her way home from a party.

THE LOST
Gullspång’s inexperienced police are wilting under the national media spotlight – and its residents desperate for answers.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING . . .
Stockholm DI Charlie Lager must return home to find Annabelle, and then get out of town as soon as she can. Before everyone discovers the truth about her.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

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Two detectives from Stockholm are sent to a Swedish rural village to investigate the disappearance of a 17 year old girl Annabelle when she didn’t come home after a party. If you’re looking for an interesting police procedural with focus on two very talented detectives with great deduction skills then I’m not sure you’ll be satisfied. Much of their progress actually comes from one or two witnesses who eventually tell them something useful. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get invested in a character-driven story which relies heavily on an interesting backstory, all of which happens to be a police detective, then this is worth your while.

DI Charlie (Charlene) Lager fled from this same village 20 years earlier and she’s not looking forward to revisiting her past. The story’s focus is predominantly on Charlie and I got to know her first as someone who drinks, who’s on some sort of medication and who leads a promiscuous lifestyle; getting it on with a married colleague doesn’t even stop her. Not the most admirable person I believe but she is very intelligent and no detail escapes her so she has her good qualities too.

Throughout the story there are many flashbacks to her past which show a very unconventional upbringing by her mother Betty. She keeps calling her Betty all the time which felt a little weird but maybe it was just another sign of how different a family they were too. There was never a label on her mother’s mental illness but I believe she did have one, probably a manic depression of sorts. In any case her mother didn’t really raise her how she should have, although I do believe she loved her daughter in her own way. At the end of the story it made me understand better how Charlie became so messed up with the childhood she had. It took me a long time to understand why she never returned, I couldn’t really define her exact emotion, but in the end I think she was consumed by guilt. It might have been better if the author had made this more clear right at the start, it would have heigthened the intrigue even more from the beginning.

Besides the succint investigation and Charlie’s youth with Betty, there were also two little girls Rosa and Alice in other alternating chapters. These chapters didn’t seem to be related to the rest at all so I was all the more curious how they fit in. I didn’t like the way their friendship was evolving at all and I had that imminent feeling that something was wrong early on in the story but I was still surprised how important their role comes into play.

I enjoyed reading the past sequences most of all because they held most of the mystery. The ongoing investigation was a bit slow and as soon as a key character came into the story I knew it was a likely suspect. Even though the ending was still surprising, I would have been more satisfied with a big climax revealing her murderer, now it fizzled out a little bit for me.

Overall a commendable debut where I especially enjoyed reading about Charlie. You’ll definitely have a feel for this detective in this new series and it’s great to know where she came from.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.