Saturday, April 30, 2016 16:40

Monthly recap April '16 | My birthday month.

Monthly-recap_thumb6This post recaps my month: my personal life, all the books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
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A lot of good things happened this month, making it one of the best months I've had so far! It started with two shopping trips with my mother and sister, where we also had lunch. I bought some pretty clothes that I still can't wear, because the weather has been awful lately..

I had an overnight stay at a castle with my boyfriend! It was SO cool. It was so fancy and we had breakfast on bed. I felt like a princess for one night.

Castle

I had sushi with some collegues and it really starts to feel like I'm part of the group. I went to dinner with the six of us to a dim sum restaurant and heavens, that is delicious! First time I ate it and definitely not the last time. I also had fantastic hamburgers with fries at the beach with my parents and sister. (So many of my recaps include food, haha, I love food).


Birthday cakeCouch

We FINALLY got to pick up our couch, right on time for my birthday party/house-warming. We had a great time with our family and it was nice to finally show everyone the house. My sister made her best cake so far: Alice in Wonderland themed. Everyone really spoiled me, with a couple of books, money, a new cover for my e-reader, bookends, hair dryer, toaster and a beautiful Marauder poster. I still can't believe I turned 25 (I talked about it in my birthday post), but I'm really happy how far I've come.

Birthday presentbookclub readathon

I had a book club sleep-over where we attempted the Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon and we read around 13 hours. I finished a total of 3 books. With a lot of food (pizza!), great company (a cat!) and awesome books, I had a fantastic read-a-thon.

If you are interested in more pictures, check out my Instagram Mel_1704.

I also had a lot of 'us' time with my boyfriend this month. We played Just Dance and Mario Party, watched tons of movies, finally caught up on a few TV shows and we spend Kingsday together, strolling on a street fair. In the morning it looked like we had to miss it (it kept raining), but eventually the sun came through and we were able to keep our tradition. I added 6 dvd's for a total of 5 euro to my collection, so not a bad haul!

Monday, April 25, 2016 06:00

Tour | What I love about ACOTAR,

ACOTAR readalong

I was asked by Alexa and Bloomsbury to participate in this event where multiple blogs share their reasons why they love ACOTAR. I'm in the middle of rereading this book, so it is a perfect timing to share you why you should pick up this book if you haven't read it yet! You can also read my review of A court of thorns and roses.

1. It is a retelling of Beauty and the beast. tumblr_n76bxhvSm21tx9vazo1_500
Sarah managed to craft a new story with the basics of my favorite fairytale of all time. I think she did the story justice with her creativity. The world-building is based on fey and the difficult life conditions for mortals after they build the wall to separate their lands from the fey. Feyre makes the mistake of killing a fey and has to pay the price by leaving her world behind. Feyre is in no way similar to the Belle in Disney, but I love her all the same. She is feisty and loyal to her family, even when they not always appreciated her hard work to keep them alive. She is trust into a dangerous world and I admire her for her strength.

2. The beast reminds me of Richard Armitage.
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I already talked about this in my post where I showed you all the actors I would pick for my ACOTAR cast (definitely check it out, lots of pretty people) and who does not like to read about a character that reminds you of this handsome guy? His broody look and his low voice are perfect for the role of Tamlin if you ask me. #TeamTamlin by the way. He stole my heart the moment he tried to compliment Feyre, in his own way.

3. Complexity.
From the world-building to the characters, this book is complex and layered. I loved every character and how they added something unique to the story. There is Tamlin, who has to deal with a lot of shit, his sarcastic friend Lucian and the mysterious Rhysand, a character you love to hate. The fact that this world is based around the fey works so really well in Beauty and the beast, something I'd never expected. There is also a delicious romance based on hate-to-love, which I always adore, and it never takes over from the plot.  I liked the build-up and how is added something to the plot rather than overwhelm it.

4. THERE IS A MAP.
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I talked about this with the book club and we had the same thoughts: we love maps! It's pretty to look at, even when we don't use it while reading. For some reason I always create a world that looks different, but I love to see how the author envisioned their world. I just love art work and I thin it adds something special, especially with fantasy and their (most of the times) complex worlds.

So, did I sway you to pick it up?
Wednesday, April 20, 2016 21:09

Review. 256. Holly Black – The darkest part of the forest.

20958632Title: The darkest part of the forest.
Author: Holly Black.
Pages: 324.
Published: January 13th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Sort: Stand-alone.
Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does…
Rating:

There were two reasons that made me excited to read this book: 1. The cover, because look at it! It’s gorgeous and 2. The whole boy sleeping in a glass coffin promise made me think this could be a little fairytale-ish and I was right. The story holds a certain fairytale charm with it’s magical writing.

Once there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but she forgot herself.
Sunday, April 17, 2016 00:09

Birthday: 25 years.


It's that time of the year again. Twenty-five years ago I was born on a cloudy April 17th (because of course, thank you Dutch weather) and I don't feel like my age. I feel like I’m still around 18, trying to find my way in life and getting things on track. Sometimes I feel like I’m portraying to be an adult, but I just like to believe I will keep a young heart and mind.

When I was younger I thought my life would be IT around this age. I would have this perfect image and when I look at my life now, it's not the complete picture I envisioned. And that’s not a bad thing. I’m happy with my life, but it’s interesting to realize that things will not always go the way you imagine. That is one of the first lessons;

Thursday, April 14, 2016 22:12

Fairytale News | Feeling uninspired.

Mel on reading

A while back I talked about how I was afraid that I was writing and posting content that was not really original or creative. This was followed by another post where I talked about the fact that originality is almost impossible, especially if you look at all the new blogs that pop up lately. I learned to let go of the idea that I had to come up with new ideas all the time, simply because almost everything has been done before. It's the fact that YOU are writing it, that makes it unique.

The problem with that is, however, that I feel uninspired. I don't have any problems anymore with talking about topics many people have spoken about, but I simply don't feel like it. You might have noticed that I've cut down in the amount of posts. It's not only because I'm busy or the fact I still haven't found a schedule that works for me; it's more that I have no idea what I want to write about and what I want to say. Every evening I sit in front of my computer screen and I'm just blank. I end up doing a lot of things, but none of them have to do with blogging. The amount of unread posts in my Bloglovin' feed is prove of my lack of motivation.

I still love blogging and I enjoy writing, so it's frustrating that it is not working out. I'm still able to type down my reviews, but I want more on my blog (especially since those are not the most popular type of posts) The only thing I still work on with a lot of ideas is my fairytale challenge and I enjoy my monthly recaps, but for some reason my head is completely empty when it comes to other ideas. Discussion posts, yeah. I have quite some random thoughts scribbled down in my notebook, but the words does not come out the way I want and I don't feel like writing them. I am now thinking about revisiting older posts and see if I have new thoughts to add – or perhaps I have changed my mind over the course of time.

And if I am being honest, I sometimes have a little voice that wonders how much I actually contribute to the community. There are so many new blogs and that is great! But every now and then I feel like I'm swallowed up in the mass and I don't know if I stand out enough?  I guess I just need to embrace my blogging slump, then kick myself and get right back at it.


Made my first GIF. 


How do you deal with feeling uninspired? Any tips for me?
Monday, April 11, 2016 18:29

Retelling April '16 | Illustrations.

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Don't forget to tweet and Instagram with the hash-tag #fairytaleRC.

At the end of this post you can put links to your challenge page/post and every review you post on your blog. Please make this easy to navigate by putting it like this: 
UPDATE  @ your name/blog name. This is your master post, like your challenge page. 
REVIEW – book title @ your name/blog name.

I'm sorry I have kept you waiting for so long, but things went a bit out of my hands, so here is the link-up post for April. I realized I never asked about the bingo card, how did you guys do? And are you still on schedule or are you behind, because remember: this challenge is all about having fun and reading good books. No pressure!

This month I want to talk about one of my favorite things in fairytale books and that is illustrations! Nowadays we can find many drawings inspired by a huge variety of fairytales. Today I want to show you some of my favorite illustrations and I want to invite you to make a post/tweet/photo/video where you share your favorites.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016 19:19

Review 255. Jodi Meadows – The mirror king.

22909838Title: The mirror king.
Author:  Jodi Meadows.
Pages:  554.
Published: April 5th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Book.
Sort: Final book in The orphan queen duology.
Source: I received an ARC copy from HarperCollinsINT.
Goodreads 
Wilhelmina has a hundred enemies. HER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her. HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule.
Rating:

This, my friends, is how you write a sequel and I love that Meadows decided to go with a duology, which fits with the story and how it all ended. She made me fall in love with every character, because they are all complex and they all have their own motivations. I also really appreciate how she gave everyone a hard time. There are no rainbows and butterflies in this story, I can tell you that.

There are no spoilers for the first book.
Friday, April 01, 2016 20:15

Monthly Recap March '16 | Lots of good food.

Monthly-recap_thumb6 This post recaps my month: my personal life, all the books I’ve read & bought, movies and TV shows I’ve seen and links to posts that interest me.
OUAT_thumb3I went to the Ikea with my boyfriend and my parents to finally pick up our last pieces of furniture. We are almost done for the house-warming, which we will celebrate together with my birthday in April. So, most of March we've been busy with the house.

I went to the hairdresser together with my sister and we tried a new one. I loved it! Head massage and warm towels to activate a hairmask; it was like a mini spa. The guy also cut my hair in a fantastic way and showed me a quick method to make beachy waves. My hair has never looked so good!

I went out to dinner with my boyfriend and we had some of the best spareribs ever. We also ordered sushi at my parents house, I went out to have a Libanese mezze dinner with my family-in-law for Easter and I went to the book club, so I had some tasty meals this month. We had Easter breakfast and a board game day with my family for Easter. I won with Monopoly from my father, boyfriend and brother in law. Ha!

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This is a feature, started by Quartz Feather and co-hosted by The Daily Prophecy, where you divide the books you’ve read during the month in To read {recommended} and Not to read {not recommended}. Additionally, you can talk about the books you’re planning to read next month. You can link-up in the Linky down below.


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Recommended.
Jodi Meadows – The mirror king. 4.5/5.
Maria Snyder – Night study. 3/5.
Paula Stokes – Girl against the universe. 4/5.
Liesl Shurtliff – Red: the true story of Red Riding Hood. 3/5.
Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere, BBC audio. 4/5.
Rachel Caine – Ink and bone. 4.5/5.

Not recommended.
Sarah Ahiers – Assassin's heart.
Rosamund Hodge – But world enough and time. 2/5.
Rosamund Hodge – Perfect world. 2.5/5.
Not a bad month! I fell in love with The mirror king, Girl against the universe & Ink and bone.  I also found out that I quite like audio drama,. Neverwhere had awesome voice actors and I always love Gaiman's creative stories.
Watched_thumb5Movies.
1. Ride-along part 2. Funny.
2. My fake fiancé. Not the best, but enjoyable enough for one time.
3. The martian. Good! I liked it much better than the book.
4. Daddy's home. Hehe, stupid humor that did make me laugh.
5. Sisters. That was okay.
6. The amazing Spiderman 2. First time I saw a Spiderman movie and now I know why. What a terrible movie, damn. So much romance.. I want action people!

TV shows.
1. White collar season 4, still a big fan.
2. Reign season 1. So many pretty clothes. Such pretty girls. So unrealistic and annoying, yet addictive.
3. New Girl, up to date.
4. The big bang theory, up to date.


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March incomingphone casepre-order swagredubble

A nice stack of new books. The two on the bottom called 'De Dwergen' are part of a German series that is translated into Dutch. It means The dwarves and Markus Heitz is a really good author. I also got a new phone case, received my swag because I pre-ordered The forbidden wish & I placed my first order on Redbubble. I choose a few stickers and I'm impressed! Great quality, fast shipping and affordable prices. My new order is already on its way, haha.
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You can always find tons of links to interesting posts on Christina reads YA and I thought it would be fun to highlight some articles and news that interest me. It is divided in Whozits (random stuff with gadgets and gismos for YT and scientific articles) and Whatzits (bookish).


Whozits.
Scientists have grown a first-of-its-kind functional heart muscle from stem cells. "Regenerating a whole heart is most certainly a long-term goal that is several years away, so we are currently working on engineering a functional myocardial patch that could replace cardiac tissue damaged due [to] a heart attack or heart failure," said researcher Jacques Guyette from the Massachusetts General Hospital Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM).

Surgeons can now practice on 3D printed hearts. What a wonderful, comforting idea!

Whatzits.
17 truths only book lovers will understand.
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