Monthly Recap | November '14. Interview.

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.

This month had some stressful moments. Some things at the internship went wrong and I had to take care of them in a short time frame. It was so bad I had to skip the book club meeting, but at least it’s all fixed now and I can finally start the microbiology part! I learned quite some things when I made the plant extractions, but I'm happy to return to microbiology.

There were also a couple of good things that happened. I had a conversation with the directrice from my project and I found out I'm getting paid after all! I went to the 2x to the cinema (but one time all the movies were sold, haha). I had a telephonic interview and while I HATE talking on the telephone, it wasn't so bad. I also went for a drink with some friends and it was nice to catch up with them. I wasn't completely horrible when I had to give a presentation at school, because I passed it. I was so nervous I thought I was going to faint in front of the class.

I celebrated my 6-years together with my boyfriend. We didn’t do anything fancy, but we spend a lovely evening cooking a nice meal, watching a movie and playing Lego Pirates on the PS3. The BEST thing that happened was meeting Amber, Judith and Rinn in Amsterdam. We first went out for lunch and after that we spend a lot of time wandering around the bookstores. It was so much fun. I went pooling with some friends and it was great.

This month was terrible when it comes to working out. I did some exercises at home, but I couldn’t find the energy to go to the gym every week, so I only went once. I hope to change that in December with all the Holiday food and sweets, haha.

Debut-a-thon 2014.


Hosted by Books of Amber. This will take place from December 8th until December 14th. There is one rule: the debut must be released in 2014. There will be fun things during this event, like giveaways, interviews and challenges! Come join in the fun. You can find a list with possible titles here: 2014 debut author challenge.

Books I’m interested in:

For now I have no plans what I’m going to read, but if you have any recommendations let me know!

Review 303. Heidi Schulz – Hook’s revenge.

20454626Title: Hook’s revenge.
Author: Heidi Schulz.
Pages: 304.
Published: September 16th 2014 by Disney-Hyperion
Sort: Hook’s revenge #1.
Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink. So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

ADORABLE. Delightful. Magnificent. Those are three words that pop up in my head when I think about this book. I want to thank Debby and Daph for the book club meeting, because it pushed me to buy this book despite my book buying ban. This was exactly what I needed.

Review 302. Kasie West – Pivot Point series.

18090000Title: Pivot point.
Author: Kasie West.
Pages: 384.
Published: December 31st 2013 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Pivot point #1.
Source: Debby gave me her ARC copy.
Addison Coleman's life is one big "What if?" As a Searcher, a special type of clairvoyant, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she is able to look into the future and see both outcomes. So when her parents tell her they are getting a divorce and she has to pick who she wants to live with, a Search has never been more important. In one future Addie is living with her mom in the life she's always known and is being pursued by the most popular guy in school. In the other she is the new girl in school, where she falls for a cute, quiet artist. Then Addie finds herself drawn into a murder investigation, and her fate takes a darker turn. With so much to lose in either future, Addie must decide which reality she's willing to live through . . . and who she's willing to live without.

My first experience with Kasie West was her contemporary On the fence (which was adorable) Right away I knew I had to read more from her, so when Debby offered her copy I decided to go for it – and I’m so happy I did. This book blew me away and after finishing it in one sitting, I immediately ordered the second copy. You can read both reviews, they are spoiler-free.

Top 10 Tuesday 39. Sequels 2015.

What a difficult topic. You can see at my last post about my Mission Impossible about finishing series that I’m in the middle of a lot of series. A lot of them are special to me and I want to read the sequels like yesterday, but these are the ones I could think of right away:

1. Untitled Throne of Glass #4 by Sarah J. Maas.
ALL THE FEELINGS. After reading Heir of fire I need more. I still haven't written a review for HOF, it's so epic I can't find the words. I'm also extremely excited about A court of thorns and roses.

2. Untitled Red Queen #2 by Victoria Aveyard.
The first book will be published February 2015 and I already can’t wait for the sequel. I was impressed by the story.

3. The pirate code by Heidi Schulz.
Hook’s revenge is the first book and it was ADORABLE. If you like spunky MC's and fairytale retellings, you definitely need to check it out. My review will be up soon.

4. The winner’s crime by Marie Rutkoski.
The winner’s curse was a great book. I can’t wait to see what is going to happen. I still need to post my review though.

5. Ensnared by A.G Howard.
The dark twist to Wonderland is fantastic and the ending from the second book was brutal. I need to find out how it’s going to end.

6. Lion Heart by A.C Gaughen.
GIVE IT TO ME PLEASE. Scarlet was great, Lady Thief destroyed me.

7. The vanishing throne by Elizabeth May.
Look at the kick-ass cover! And after the ending from The Falconer I need more.

8. Winter by Marissa Meyer.
I don’t think this is a surprise. I’m in love with the creative twist to the original tales and one word: Thorne. Cinder, Scarlet and Cress are amazing. I also an't wait for Fairest.

9. End of Days by Susan Ee.
The story gets more gory and bloody with each sequel, I need this in my life.

10. The invasion of the Tearling by Erica Johanson.
The Queen of the Tearling was by no means perfect, but there was something about her storytelling that makes me hungry for more.

What are some of the sequels you are waiting for? Link me up with your TTT.

Mission impossible: tackling series (update 4)

I thought it was time for another update! If you don’t know about this mission, you can read all the details in my Tackling series introduction - my first update & second update & third update. With this mission I'm trying to cut down the huge amount of series I'm reading.

These are the series I hope to finish this year:
1. Gail Carriger - Parasol protectorate (Heartless & Timeless)
2. Rae Carson - The bitter kingdom (novella's optional)
3. Juliet Marillier - Seven waters (Flame of Seven Waters)
4. Veronica Roth - Divergent (Allegiant)
5. Adam Gidwitz - A tale dark and Grimm (The Grimm conclusion)

6. Dan Wells - Partials sequence (Ruins)
7.Marie Lu - Legend (Champion)
8. Leigh Bardugo - Grisha (Ruin and Rising)
9. Mary Pearson - Jenna Fox chronicles (Fox Forever)
10. Lauren DeStefano - Wither (Fever)
11. Kendare Blake - Anna dressed in blood (Girl of nightmares)12. Julie Kagawa - The forever song (Blood of Eden)

These are the series I already finished:
1. Juliet Marillier - Seven Waters (6 books)
2. Dan Wells - Partials sequence (3 books)
3. Julie Kagawa - Blood of Eden (3 books)
4. Veronica Roth - Divergent (3 books)
5. Amy Tintera - Reboot (2 books)
6. Rae Carson - Girl of fire and thorns (3 books)
7. Leigh Bardugo - Grisha (3 books)
8. Alison Goodman – Eona (2 books)
9. Robin LaFevers - His fair assassin (3 books)
10. Kristin Cashore - Graceling Realm (3 books)
11. Laini Taylor - Daughter of smoke and bone (3 books)
12. Kasie West - Pivot Point (2 books)
13. Kat Zhang - Hybrid chronicles (3 books)
14. Mindy McGinnis - Not a drop to drink (2 books)
15. Megan Shepherd - The madman's daughter (3 books)
16. Kendare Blake - Anna (2 books)

As you can see, I’m not the type of person that sticks to lists. I’m a mood reader, so it’s always hard for me to predict what I’m going to read. Luckily I made my list as a guideline. I’m happy that I made such a progress this year. I’m definitely going to challenge myself again next year, because it’s motivating to see that I can finish series if I want to.

Here are the statistics so far:

Let me know how you are doing with your series!

Review 301. Claudia Gray – A thousand pieces of you.

17234658Title: A thousand pieces of you.
Author: Claudia Gray.
Pages: 368.
Published: November 4th 2014 by Harper Teen.
Sort: Firebird #1.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him. Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

This was a hard review to write, because I don’t have much to say about A thousand pieces of you. This is a typical 3-star book for me. It was good, but nothing spectacular and I think I will forget about this soon. But for now, let us stare for a while at the beautiful cover *stares*

Review 300. Miriam Forster – Empire of shadows.

18716722Title: Empire of shadows.
Author: Miriam Forster.
Pages: 496.
Published: November 4th 2014 by Harper Teen
Sort: Bhinian Empire #2.
Review part 1: City of a thousand dolls.
Source:  I received an ARC from the publisher.

Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her—a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home. Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?

There is something about Miriam’s writing-style that really works for me. I love the way she creates the world and how she slowly unfolds the plot.

Fairytale News | Reviewing series.

'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.

Writing reviews is something I love to do. It’s fun to write down all my thoughts/feelings and talk about everything I liked and disliked. I always take care to post warnings about spoilers, because you know how much I hate spoilers. This is the reason I always have problems with reviews for series and installments.

It is SO hard to talk about a book in the middle of a series without giving too much information. I want to say enough to make people curious so they pick up the first book, but how on earth do you write such a review? The sequel is a continuation of a storyline and (hopefully) shows the development from characters, but you can't say too much about it. I feel like I'm walking in circles: trying to show you that it's a good book without actually coming to the point, because that might be a spoiler.

That's why it’s difficult for me to find a good way to review those sequels and they always seem to get less comments. I’ve been trying to write them in another format and you might have seen my first experiment where I reviewed the books of Bayern from Shannon Hale. I’m also saving reviews, so I can publish my reviews right after each other like with Mindy McGinnis duology Not a drop to drink and In a handful of dust.

The downside of these methods is, that some reviews have to wait until I’m done with the sequel(s) – and we all know from my mission impossible that there are a lot of unpublished series I’m reading. Sometimes I have no choice but to publish my review, especially when it's a review copy.


I’m very curious to see how you handle these sequel-reviews?

Review 299. Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl.

16068905Title: Fangirl.
Author: Rainbow Rowell.
Pages: 461.
Published: January 30th 2014 by Pan Macmillan.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words ...And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible...

Here comes a bookish confession: I have written a Harry Potter fan fiction. It was years ago when I was writing a lot of stories and poems when I came up with a HP version and it was quite popular. Not as big as Cath’s fan fiction, but I had an audience so I know how much fun it is when people read your story. (And no, I will never share it on my blog and it is written in Dutch anyway). It’s not hard to imagine that I loved this book! I won Fangirl over at Gabby, so thanks!

Review 298. Robin LaFevers – Mortal heart.

9943276Title: Mortal Heart.
Author: Robin LaFevers.
Pages: 480.
Published: November 4th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Sort: His fair assassin #1.
Review 1. Grave Mercy.
Review 2. Dark Triumph.
Source: My blogging friend Christina reads YA let me borrow her copy. THANK YOU! <3
Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn't mean she has. But across Brittany, the tides of war are drawing ever nearer, with France pressuring the beleaguered duchess from all sides. Annith’s search for answers threatens to rip open an intricate web of lies and deceit that sit at the heart of the convent she serves. Yet to expose them threatens the very fabric of her existence and risks an unforeseen chance at love, one that she can no longer deny. Annith must carefully pick a path and, gods willing, effect a miracle that will see her country—and her heart—to safety.

I am speechless. The best feeling in the world: when one of your most anticipated books of the year exceeds your expectations. Robin did it again and this series holds it's rightful place on my favorite list of all time. I must admit that I wasn’t blown away in the beginning, but that changed soon. While Sybella will always be my favorite, I really liked Annith. So now I'm extremely happy and sad, because it was amazing and I don't want it to be over!

This review is spoiler free for the entire series and book, but if you still want to be careful I will give you one sentence to describe it: This series is the perfect blend of sweet romance, kick-ass yet flawed females, action and history. I know I can’t do this book justice with my words, but I will try.

Monthly Recap | October '14. Halloween.

recapI 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.

This month was a little slow and I haven’t done a lot of exciting things. I’ve been to the gym every week, so go me! I went to the cinema with a couple of friends to see Dracula Untold and it was aaaahaamazing! I went shopping with my mother and sister and we had a nice lunch at Bagels & Beans. I went to a Halloween themed park and while it was a little disappointing, I had a great time with everyone. This year I was dressed as a ventriloquist dummy. We also had my boyfriend’s friends coming over to play some video games and I had a bookclub meeting.

The reason for the slow month was the start of my internship. The first few days were nerve-racking. I was all alone writing my plan, but I was asked for lunch by some people next to my office. You might remember how socially awkward I am, but I still managed to have a normal conversation. After two weeks of sitting there 9 hours a day I was starting to get bored. I was happy when my supervisor accepted my plan and I moved on to the lab. I was first helping out two guys, because they are working on something similar, but yesterday I finally started my own project! It’s fun, but also a bit stressful. I definitely need to get used to my new schedule.

This is for the people who are interested in more information about my internship. I'm not sure how much I can tell about my research, to be honest. The main idea is that I'm going to make extracts from certain plants and I will put these in a bioassay to see if there is an antimicrobial effect on Helicobacter pylori. This is a stomach bacteria and it’s the major cause of gastric ulcers and cancer. The Helicobacter is starting to get more resistance to the normal treatment and plant extracts might be a new solution. I wish I could tell you more, but I might be able to tell you all about it once I'm done and the article is published!