Monthly recap | July '14. How to train your dragon.

I always enjoy watching recaps from other bloggers, so that’s why I’ll be posting my own recaps. This wrap up is also my new ‘Showcase Sunday’ since I don’t have the time to do weekly hauls. Instead, I hope to capture it in vlogs every now and then.
-I helped my sister decorating two birthday cakes. After that I went to my nephew’s birthday.
-I went to the Primark and I found 3 awesome Harry Potter shirts. Finally! It was my reason to go twice, haha. Two have the Hogwarts crest and one Slytherin (although I’m in Ravenclaw)
-I went to the beach two times and to an outdoor swimming pool. We had some nice warm days.
-My parents gave me and my boyfriend a hotel voucher and we had a great time, especially because there was a swimming pool and free bowling.
-I went to the cinema with my boyfriend and one of his friends. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2.
-My boyfriend and me practiced setting up our tent, because we are planning to camp for 5 days. I’ve never camped before and I’m a little nervous, but excited as well.
-Book club meeting! We had some delicious food, especially the dessert.
-I was interviewed by Siiri from Little pieces of Imagination.
-I brightened my hair with Sunkiss jelly from L'oreal and I really like the natural effect! Picture taken from my Instagram.

I did some other things too, but I'm lazy and I'm not sure if anyone finds this interesting in the first place.

Review 276. Maggie Stiefvater – The dream thieves.

19189768Title: The dream thieves.
Author: Maggie Stiefvater.
Pages: 450.
Published: September 5th 2013.
Sort: The raven cycle #2.
The raven boys #1. The raven boys.
Source: Birthday present from boyfriend.

Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

The most interesting thing about this book was the ending. Some people warned me about it, but when I finally read the conclusion it was a lot more satisfying then expected. If you loved the tale from The Raven boys, you’re going to devour this book too.

There are small spoilers for the first book.

Review 275. Leigh Bardugo – Ruin and Rising.

14061957Title: Ruin and rising.
Author: Leigh Bardugo.
Pages: 417.
Published: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co.
Sort: The Grisha, Part #3.
Part #1. Shadow and bone.
Part #2. Siege and storm.
The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives. Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

How am I supposed to write a review about this book? This story gave me so many emotions, but most of all it left me confused. I still have mixed feelings and right after finishing I felt the need to cry. I think it’s because it wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. Instead of the great ending I expected, I got something clichéd and it lost the creativity Bardugo showed me several times throughout the series. 

But at the same time, I got a lot of sassiness from one of my favorite characters, Sturmhond, background story from two fascinating characters, adorable romantic moments and a kick-ass Alina. The one thing that didn’t surprise me was my growing hate for Mal.

From here on, there are spoilers for the entire series. Don't continue if you haven't read all 3 books.

Fairytale News | Spoilers (2).

'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.

A while back I talked about spoilers and if there is such a thing as ‘a spoiler that stops being a spoiler’ after a certain time. You can find my post about it right here: Spoiler talk.

Basically, my question was when it’s okay to talk about details. Is there a time limit for a spoiler? I hate spoilers with a passion, so one of the negative things (for me) of being a blogger is stumbling on (accidental) spoilers. I wanted to know what you thought about handling information we might not consider as a spoiler anymore, because of the age of the book (like with Harry Potter/LOTR/GOT) I also wondered how we should deal with them on social platforms, like Twitter.

Most of you guys had the same idea as me, which means that as long as things are popular and on going (like with Game of thrones and the TV show) you should be careful about it. Otherwise, there is no ‘rule’ you should follow, but it’s always kind to take other people in consideration. Placing a spoiler tag in your review isn’t that hard, but at the same time it’s always a good thing to be careful yourself. If you know you are going to read a book soon, it might be best to stay away from reviews.

Almost everyone was also on the same page when it comes to Twitter. Spoilers are inevitable, unfortunately. It is preferred if you take those conversations personal (like with DM’s or other platforms like Whatsapp), but it’s up to you. Therefor it’s best to stay away from Twitter when it comes to new releases and new aired episodes. Again, if you are a tweeter it might be nice of you to warn people for upcoming spoiler tweets.

Today I want to tackle something I haven’t talked about in the previous discussion and that is spoilers in comments. It has happened to me that I came across people who openly talked about spoilers in their comments. It is of course free for you to talk about that, but do you ever think about this? Are you aware that you might accidentally spoiler someone else if you go into detail, while the review used spoiler tags?

I always try to stay vague when I comment, because I would feel terrible knowing I ruined a book for someone else. So my next question is, how do you feel about this? Have you ever consider this possibility or do you never read comments?

Let it go | Forget about me + The vanishing season.

Two short DNF reviews today. This book had a very interesting promise, but it just didn't work for me. I think it's very personal if you like the writing-style or not - in my case, I didn't. I do love the original promise and I wish I was able to connect with the style. The other is a book where the ending surprised me so much, it added around 0.5 stars to the rating. I wasn't surprised by the crushing effect from this book, because the author destroyed me before.

Review 274. Elizabeth May – The falconer.

16046550Title: The falconer.
Author: Elizabeth May.
Pages: 312.
Published: September 26th 2013 by Gollancz
Sort: The falconer #1.
One girl's nightmare is this girl's faery tale.
She's a stunner. Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty. She's a liar. But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She's leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them. She's a murderer. Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother. She's a Falconer. The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother's murder — but she'll have to save the world first.

The first time I heard about this book, I was extremely excited to read it. But when the hype started, it became one of those feared books. I am happy to announce that this book is worth the hype. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and the plot.

Review 273. Mary E. Pearson - The kiss of deception.

16429619Title: The kiss of deception.
Author: Mary E. Pearson.
Pages: 492.
Published: July 8th by Henry Holt.
Sort: The remnant chronicles #1, fantasy.
Source: Netgalley & Publisher.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met. On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

The overall feeling of this book was ‘meh’ to me. I really liked the beginning and ending, but the middle part dragged. I was bored and I definitely had some moments where I wanted to DNF it, but after reading other reviews who raved about the ending, I decided to give it a chance. I’m happy I did, because the story picks up and leaves us with a huge cliff-hanger. I’m most of the times not a fan of those, but I liked the timing to end the story. I’m between a 2.5 – 3 stars, but I feel generous today.

Top 10 Tuesday 35. Favorite TV shows and movies.

I’m a huge movie/TV show addict, so this is hard to list down. I think it's time to cheat like I always do. I'm going to pile all the movies/TV shows I love that I can think of in this list. I'm always looking out for new movies/TV shows to watch so if you have any recommendations you think I might like, let me know!

OUAT1. Once upon a time. One word: fairytales. (Or another one: HOOK) I love the blend of fairytales and real life. It's fun to see a lot of fairytale characters with an unique twist on their original story.

2. Game of thrones. I'm reading the books as the moment and one of the things I like about the TV is that they made the characters older and most of the actors aren't bad looking.

the_tudors_wallpaper_1280x1024_33. The Tudors. I am fascinated by this time era and Jonathan Rhys Meyers is a great actor. I can only see him when I read books about Henry VIII. Anne Boleyn is also portrayed by a beautiful actress called Natalie Dormer. You might know her from GOT.

bglg4. Fairytales. This also includes Princess bride to me. Other examples are Maleficent, Beauty and the beast (2014, a French movie) and Ever after. I’m so excited for upcoming movies like Beauty and the beast with Emma Watson, Into the woods with a CRAZY good casting, Cinderella (March 2015), Peter Pan (with Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard), Pinocchio (Robert Downey Jr), Arabian Nights (Anthony Hopkins) and the list goes on. My heart is happy.

5. Animation movies. I’m not only a huge fan of Disney, I absolutely adore all kinds of animation movies. DreamWorks, Tim Burton, Warner Bros and 20th century Fox are some other names (which you might know from Anastasia)

6. Marvel. I’m not a fan of the Hulk movies, but I can watch all the others over and over without getting bored. Sassy Loki, sarcastic Iron man, the good guy Captain America; I adore all of them.

the-hobbit-wbp087. LOTR + The hobbit. The best fantasy movies if you ask me. They pay so much attention to the world and it’s beautiful to look at. I think I prefer The hobbit, because Bilbo is less annoying than Frodo and who doesn’t want to listen to Richard Armitage’s voice?

8. Sherlock. Not only the TV show, but also the version with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I’m attracted to intelligent guys.

despicable-me-2-23055-400x2509. Steve Carell. He is a genius. From the TV show The office to his characters in movies like Dinner for Schmucks, Crazy stupid love, Evan Almighty and Date night. If he is in a comedy movie, I know I’m going to love it. There aren’t a lot of comedy movies that make me laugh, but some of them are The heat, Identity thief, Pitch perfect, 10 things I hate about you, Easy A, We're the Millers, 21 jump street, Bridesmaids, The Hangover (1-3), and The ugly truth.

10. North & South. I’m in love with the BBC mini series, but I think this one is my favorite. The story is fantastic and there is Richard Armitage. One of my other favorite is Jane Eyre (1983) with Timothy Dalton as Mr. Rochester.

Honorable mention: The big bang theory, 2 broke girls, Sabrina the teenage witch (I watched this all the time when I was younger), Charmed.

Let it go | Seven Waters and bullies.

Today I share two  little reviews for books I’ve read in the beginning of this year. The first book is part of a series from one of my favourite authors. It's a magical book filled with strong female characters and healthy relationships.  I also review an anthology that personally touched me.

Review 272. Erica Johansen – The queen of the Tearling.

Title: The queen of the Tearling.
Author: Erica Johansen.
Pages: 448.
Published: July 8th 2014 by Harper
Sort: The queen of the Tearling #1, fantasy. Source: I received a copy from the publisher on Edelweiss for the blog tour. I 'borrowed' the banner from Carina. Thank you! Link: Goodreads.
On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust. But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

This book made me happy, because it’s finally another story that lives up to the interesting blurb (and beautiful cover) I want to thank HarperCollins for allowing me to read this book for their blog tour, otherwise I might not have read this book anytime soon. The funny thing about this book is that it’s shelved under ‘Adult’ and ‘Young adult’ on Goodreads. I have to say that it feels like a mix between the two.

Blogging confession: I am socially awkward.

I thought I would share my confession today, because the Top Ten Tuesday topic for this week is your 10 blogging confessions. I don't feel the need to list them all down, because I'd rather use them for other 'Mel on reading' posts. So instead I'm going to share you something personal about myself and that is: awkwardness.

Despite the fact that I like to comment around the blogosphere, I am seriously awkward when it comes to being social in real life. I must admit that it's easier now I'm older, but there are still some stages I go through when it comes to meeting new people. The fact that I’m part of a book club I formed this year with a couple of other bloggers is still a milestone for me and it shows me that I've come a long way from the shy, scared girl I used to be.

Review 271. Alex Mallory – Wild.

16068974Title: Wild.
Author: Alex Mallory.
Pages: 448.
Published: July 8th 2014 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Stand-alone, fairytale.
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher.
The forest is full of secrets, and no one understands that better than Cade. Foraging, hunting, surviving— that’s all he knows. Alone for years, Cade believes he’s the sole survivor. At least, until he catches a glimpse of a beautiful stranger… Dara expected to find natural wonders when she set off for a spring break camping trip. Instead, she discovers a primitive boy— he’s stealthy and handsome and he might be following her. Intrigued, Dara seeks him out and sets a catastrophe in motion. Thrust back into society, Cade struggles with the realization that the life he knew was a lie. But he’s not the only one. Trying to explain life in a normal town leaves Dara questioning it. As the media swarm and the police close in, Dara and Cade risk everything to get closer. But will the truth about Cade’s past tear them apart?

Words to describe this book? Horrible. Disgusting. Terrible. Tagline? A failed attempt for a Tarzan retelling.

Review 270. Kasie West – On the fence.

18298225Title: On the fence.
Author: Kasie West.
Pages: 320.
Publication date: July 1st 2014 by HarperTeen
Sort: Stand-alone, contemporary.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…
Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

I rarely read contemporaries, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something fluffy and this one came highly recommended by Debby from Snuggly Oranges. She raved about it during on of our book club meetings, so I decided to download a copy from Edelweiss and I’m happy that I did. This is my first meeting with Kasie West and definitely not my last!

Monthly recap | June '14. High tea.

I always enjoy watching recaps from other bloggers, so that’s why I’ll be posting my own recaps. This wrap up is also my new ‘Showcase Sunday’ since I don’t have the time to do weekly hauls. Instead, I hope to capture it in vlogs every now and then.
Highlights this month:
Personal life.
-We went on a  nice diner for my parents 25-year marriage with my sister and boyfriend. I had a tasty mixed grill and peach sorbet.
-Went to a little market in our city center where I ate fried vegetable chips, which is very tasty!
High tea-Stopped at a playground near my house when I came back for school, where I read in the sun for two glorious hours.
-High Tea with my mother, her best friend and my sister. It was delicious. Here is one of the pictures for the sweets, but there were also warm scones, vegetarian wraps with cheese and salmon + chicken sandwiches.
-Saw the last Dutch football game (against Mexico) with two friends from my boyfriend. We also played some shooters.
-Book club meeting! We were supposed to talk about Alison Goodman – Eona, but me and Daisy were the only two who finished it, haha. We will talk about it when we go see The fault in our stars.
-Went to Veterans Day in our city center. I was touched by all the old guys.