Monthly recap | August '15. Sucks.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
I was in Spain until August 9th. It was hard to say goodbye to the easy and warm life there, because now I had to deal with a couple of things that still bug me. There are some changes in my life and it has been beating me up, but I know for sure it will work out. For now, I have found a job for two months, so that is motivating!

The rest of the month has been quite uneventful. My boyfriend left for 10 days to Greece, so I was stuck in the rainy and cold Netherlands. I definitely missed him a lot. I went to the Firework event with my sister and brother in law. This is an event we have every year here and different countries are competing for the highest score. I went game-hunting with my dad and we found an amazing store. It was a very fun day and we came home with an Extension set to a card game that is quickly becoming one of our favorites (Machiavelli) I also went grocery shopping with my mum and we discovered this Healthy & Organic store with all kinds of yummy treats.  I went to the beach with my boyfriend to enjoy one of the few sunny days we’ve had and we celebrated his birthday.

I guess this was just one of those sucky months, but I have a good feeling about September.

Fairytale News | Favorite book or favorite author?

'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.

There is a difference between a favorite book and a favorite author for me.

Definition of a favorite book:
You can’t stop thinking about it, you recommend it to everyone and you want to reread it as soon as possible. BUT, you don’t feel the need to read every other book written by that author. Sometimes you even dislike their other work.

Definition of a favorite author:You read and love anything they write. Their new books are standard on your wish-list, because it doesn’t even matter what it is about. You even read books outside your comfort zone, because they wrote it. This author can hardly do anything wrong for you.

Review 236. Stacey Jay – Princess of thorns.

18782855Title: Princess of thorns.
Author: Stacey Jay.
Pages: 400.
Published: December 9th 2014 by Delacorte Press.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

”Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.” Game of Thrones? Not really, but the twisted fantasy-adventure description comes close my thoughts.

Recap: vacation in Spain.

You might have noticed that it was quiet on my blog. I decided to take a complete hiatus during my 3-week vacation in Spain. It was great to take some time off for the first time in years. I have new energy and ideas for blog posts, so it’s good to be back with new inspiration! If you want to see some other pictures, look at my Instagram Mel_1704

Today I want to show you some pictures from my vacation. We went with a total of 10 people. We rented a huge mansion on top of a hill, with a private swimming pool and the most beautiful view I’ve seen in a long time. It was close to a village 50 minutes from Barcelona. This was my first time in Spain and I’ve completely lost my heart to this country, the weather, the surroundings and the people. I always love to look at the food in different countries. I can’t believe how big the fruits and vegetables are! Also, the water is magical! My hair has never been so soft and shiny. (Random information, very interesting Mel) 

The first day consisted of a road trip with the car for 12 hours. We had a break in a hotel in Clermont-Ferrand (France) Then 7 more hours and we almost immediately jumped into the pool when we arrived. The house was fantastic. We had a big garden and a covered terrace where we hang our hammocks. Every day was around 32 – 40 degrees, but inside the house it was cool. The forest was right behind our house, so we had some pretty walks there. Here are some pictures of the view (I took too many of them, because I couldn’t get enough of it)

Let it go | All the books I read in Spain part 2.

This Monstrous ThingIron Hearted Violet17 & GoneElla Enchanted

Mackenzie Lee – This monstrous thing. 2.5/5.
This is a retelling of Frankenstein. Alasdair brings his brother Oliver back to life because he feels guilty. I liked how this book gives a different look on bringing someone back. It’s not solely about a crazy professor and Frankenstein didn’t turn out to be the monster we know. The steampunk feeling was nicely done. The rating is based on the fact that it’s not a memorable story and overall, it wasn’t that spectacular.

Nova Ren Suma – 17 & gone. 3.5/5.
Books with unreliable narrations can be so intriguing. I liked The walls around us and I was curious about this book. Lauren has visions of 17-year-old girls who disappeared and she has a feeling they want to tell her something. Lauren believes one of the girls, Abby, is still alive and she is the one to save her. I had a feeling at the beginning of the book that there was something wrong and Nova didn’t let me down. It’s a haunting story and I flew through the pages.

Kelly Barnhill – Iron-hearted Violet. 4/5.
Gorgeous book! It is filled with artwork that really added something to the story. Violet is smart, witty and loved by her people, but she is described as downright ugly. This is starting to become a problem when she wakes the Nybbass, who fills her head with lies. He makes her believe that true princesses are beautiful and he can help her with that problem. I liked the friendship between Violet and Demetrius. I also loved the presence of the dragon and the message in this book.

Gail Carson Levine – Ella Enchanted. 3/5.
I love the movie, so I thought it was time to finally read the book. And I was surprised, because this story is NOTHING like the movie. It’s like they only took the concept and created something entirely new; and definitely more enjoyable. The chemistry between Ella and Charles is much better on screen than in the book – and they made the story much more fast-paced. It’s still a good book, but this is one of those moments where I prefer the movie. (And if you don’t know the story; Ella got a ‘gift’ from a fairy at her birth. Obedience. This brings her in some difficult situations)

Let it go | All the books I read in Spain part 1.

Let it go is my new feature, where I will spotlight all the books I DNF and the ones I read, but don’t want to review. And yes, the name is based on the wonderful song from the movie Frozen, hence the snowflake and the reindeer. This feature is based on several other DNF features.

I read quite some books in Spain and I was planning to review them all separately, but let’s be honest, I’m too lazy at this moment to do so. The only book I will spotlight on itself is The wrath and the dawn (because it is amazing) These reviews feature pictures I made to test my new camera.

The storyspinnerBecky Wallace – The storyspinner. 4/5.
SHIP. Johanna’s family is expelled from their troupe when her father falls to death during his performance. They have a hard time earning money, especially with their alcoholic mother. One day she is beat up by Prince Rafi when he catches her hunting a dear on his property. His mother is appalled by her son’s behavior and he has to make an oath that he will make it up to Johanna. I loved the chemistry between Johanna and Rafi, who dislike each other from the moment they meet. Johanna is a strong, smart girl who doesn’t take crap from anyone. The romance was great, there are some shocking moments and I loved the plot, so give me more please! I didn't give it 5 stars, because the overall story isn't very unique.

Review 235. V.E Schwab – Vicious.

13638125Title: Vicious
Author: V.E (Victoria) Schwab.
Pages: 364.
Published: September 24th 2013 by Tor.
Sort: Stand-alone.
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

Let one thing be clear: Victoria knows how the write. I fell in love with A darker shade of magic and I also really liked The Archived and The near witch. I think this book ended up being a little disappointed, because I was expecting more from it. The love I felt for ADSOM and the raving reviews for this book made me think it was going to be epic, and while it was good, I wasn’t fully blown-away by it. Christina also made me look differently at some things and she opened up my eyes for things that could have been better.

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."

Monthly recap | July '15. Spain.

This post recaps my month, from personal life to books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
I had my last day at my internship and I felt really appreciated. I had two job interviews, but both of them didn’t work out.. So I’m on the hunt. I went to a birthday from friends of the family and the guy helped me with my new camera. I got a lot of extra accessories for a good price, so now I am the owner of a Canon 700d! I’ll finally have better quality videos and book photo’s. I had a lunch with my sister to celebrate our graduations and I went glow midget golfing with my boyfriend, my sister and brother-in-law.

The best thing that happened were my three weeks in Spain. I came back yesterday and I will write another post about it, but in one word: FANTASTIC. The weather, the view and the things I did; can I go back please? Here a preview of our private pool and the view.

I have a vacation hang-over and I think it’s so bad this year, because I don’t feel like real-life at the moment. Oh well. I’m back in the blogging community and I missed you guys! Time to catch up.

August retelling link-up | Fairytale recommendations.

September has started. Are you still on schedule? Don't forgot to add the hash tag #fairytaleRC to all your tweets.

I sometimes get questions about fairytale retelling recommendations. Today I’m going to list all the favorite retellings I’ve acquired over the years.