Graphic Novel Review – Paper Girls Vol. 1 & 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang & Matthew Wilson

‘In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. Collects Paper Girls #1-5.’ (GoodReads) (144 & 128 pages, April 5th & November 30th, by Image Comics)

I was so surprised by these graphic novels. I loved them so much. At first, I must be honest, I was a bit confused. It does take a while to get into the stories and to understand where they want to go with it. You are introduced to a lot of different characters in only a few pages, all of whom are important and who will have an impact on the rest of the story.

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You first get a small idea of the group and how they work together, but you’re rapidly thrown into a more sci-fi happening and there they lost me for a second. We got a lot of different creatures, a lot of strange things that were happening all over the place. Even more characters were introduced and I just couldn’t put them in place. I couldn’t see where they were headed with the story.

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That is, until the end of the first volume. At a certain point it just clicked and everything suddenly made sense and I reread the first volume, just to be sure I got all the information I needed for the rest of the story. The second volume just added more to the craziness and the story. And now that I grasped it and knew who was who and where they were headed with the story, I enjoyed it so much. Reading the second volume, I actually remembered I had the same experience reading Saga, Brian K. Vaughan’s other series, and one of my all-time favourites.

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I enjoyed the second volume even more and I like where they are taking the story. In the second volume you get even more information on the world and what is happening. But the bad guys suddenly became the good guys and then back to the bad guys. And at the end you just don’t know who to trust anymore and what you have to think about the whole situation. I was in a ‘WTF’-state for the entire volume. The girls are left in a rather difficult situation at the end and I can’t wait to read where they’re headed next.

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The drawings are beautiful as well. They’re so detailed, but not overwhelming so as not to take away from the story. They just blended so well and added to the texture of the story. I already knew Brian K. Vaughan, but it was the first time I saw the drawings and the art from Matthew Wilson and Cliff Chiang, but I’ll definitely check some of their other works, because I enjoyed this one a lot.

4 out of 5 stars for the first volume and 4.5 out of 5 for the second one. Now onto the third one, which is coming out in August if I’m not mistaken.

Cover Reveal – Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Yesterday ended for me so chill and relaxed, until I saw this post on Instagram from Sarah J. Maas:

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And I was suddenly wide awake. I couldn’t wait. I’ve been so eagerly anticipating the release of this book and the release of the cover, for me, is like a balm to ease the pain of the wait. So when I came home from work today and opened my Instagram I saw it. And it is beautiful.

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And I especially like the comments she posted with the picture:

therealsjmaasSo, so, so thrilled to finally reveal the US and UK/ANZ covers for Tower of Dawn!!! 🎉😄🎉😄🎉 A little backstory: in our many brainstorming sessions about this cover, we knew we wanted to capture and continue the look of the ToG covers, while also giving it a sense of being a different installment in the series (aka a book that doesn’t feature Aelin & co.). The result was this cover, which I am absolutely obsessed with, and is chock full of little secrets/hints (some of which I’ll talk about in my upcoming newsletter)! I basically consider Tower of Dawn to be Volume II of ToG5 (so not a direct sequel to EOS, but a parallel novel that takes place during the events of that book), and I am so ridiculously excited for you guys to read it this September!! 💖💖💖 #towerofdawn #chaolwestfall #nesrynfaliq#yrenetowers #throneofglass#empireofstorms #eeeeeeee”

I actually totally agree with her. The cover is beautiful, but so different from the other books. A bit like The Assassin’s Blade before. It still has the look and feel of a Throne of Glass cover, with the colours and the text, but it has his own peculiarities and there are apparently little nods and secrets hidden in the cover.

I can’t wait to read her newsletter to try to find the hints. And especially to read the book and then find it all back. I’m excited. I really am, but it will be strange I think to read a Throne of Glass novel without Aelin and the rest. And just to feast the eyes, the picture in big.

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What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments below.

xoxo

BBL.

Book Review – A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

ACOWAR_01‘A nightmare, I’d told Tamlin. I was the nightmare.
Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit—and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well. As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords—and hunt for allies in unexpected places.’ (Goodreads) (699 pages, May 2nd 2017, Bloomsbury Children Books)

This book had honestly a slow start. I just couldn’t connect to Feyre and Tamlin being back together. After finishing A Court of Mist and Fury I was in such a high and I wanted to jump right in the new story. But after a few chapters I just stopped reading for a few days, because it didn’t have the same feel as the previous book. And knowing everything about Tamlin now and knowing and missing Rhysand, it was just hard for me to connect to the story. I missed their conversations, their connection. Don’t even talk to me about Lucien. Her so-called friend that wanted to protect her, but couldn’t. He did warm up to me a little bit, after a few chapters, especially after seeing everything Feyre put him and the others through to destroy their plans. But unfortunately, the damage was done. 

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That was the funnest part of the beginning. Seeing how she manipulated them all, seeing how she now really got into her powers and used them for her plans. But I must say that the first part wasn’t my favourite. I do understand why Sarah J. Maas wanted to start with this part and it does have a lot of repercussions on the following events, but still I didn’t like it that much unfortunately.

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I did find the entire book a tiny, tiny bit disappointing, because I didn’t find the Rhysand I felt in love with. He wasn’t as strong as we’re used from him. Always questioning himself and showing his ‘true’ nature to the other High Lords as well. Luckily, we had some other interesting new characters in this book that brought fun conversations and more spice to the story, Like Hellion and the other High Lords. Even Tamlin and Jurian, two of my least favourite characters did surprise me near the end of the book.

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Another one of my favourite pairings, that went even further in this book, is Cassian and Nesta. The entire book they were hot and cold, coming closer and pushing back. The entire time off course with Mor and Azriel in the back, which also had an impact on their connection. Here we also finally get to see why Mor chose Cassian and not Azriel and why she doesn’t want to go into Azriel’s advances. I’m not entirely convinced with her explanation, but I do get it in one way. But the reason why she doesn’t tell them, is a bit selfish and it breaks my heart for Azriel.

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There are other problems in this book. Sarah J. Maas left a lot of questions unanswered, so I’m glad to know that we’ll get another 3 books in this series. I do wonder from whose standpoint we’ll get to see the continuation of the story. My guess (and hope) is on Nesta. She became the most interesting character to me in this book.

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Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of negative points in this review, but I loved this book nontheless. Once I got throught the first (small) part of this book, I flew through it and devoured it. The action scenes were incredible and I could just picture them in my head. My heart broke over different parts in this story and the end was good. It wasn’t the perfect ending and a bit too romantic and well rounded to my taste. It ended a bit too perfectly for me. But all the stuff that happened in between was a rollercoaster, and even though with the many shortcomings and questions left unanswered, I liked it a lot. A court of Mist and Fury is still my favourite, but this one definitely comes second to my taste.

4,25 out of 5 stars, yes a rather high score despite my review, but it is an addictive read. Sarah J. Maas writes in such a way that I couldn’t and wouldn’t put down the book, and that is for me the most important part of reading a book. I want to be transported in another world and story, and this book did just that for me. 

Book Reread – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

ACOMAF_01‘Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.’ (GoodReads) (626 pages, May 3rd 2016, Bloomsbury USA Children)

This book just blows me away. I read it in such a quick pace, that I never saw the days past. Coming to the end of each chapter I just wanted to continue reading and continue until I dropped. Unfortunately, having a full time job, I have to think about my sleep and I did have to force myself to put the book down and wait until the next day/evening to continue reading it, because it just wasn’t letting me go.

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Storywise and character development-wise (is that even a word ^^) there were some things that can be discussed, but the way Sarah J. Maas crafts her story and writes it all down, is just so addictive, that you basically overlook all the little things that you would normally find irritating. The timeline doesn’t always fit and she always give priority to the characters and their development, not looking at how events would normally unfold in time. But, I appreciate the way she does it or else I wouldn’t devour every book she puts out there. 

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The most important part of this story is the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand, or lack thereof. The entire book they banter and fight, but always with respect and you slowly fall back in love with Feyre, who (thanks to Rhysand) gets strong again and confident. But you also fall in love with Rhysand, because he treats her with respect. The respect she fought so hard for, but never got of Tamlin. Always giving her the choice if she wanted to join him, Cassian, Azriel and Mor in their endeavours and adventures. Never locking her up or making her be the pretty wife. Letting her become the powerful character we fell in love with in the beginning and most importantly letting her become the woman she was always meant to be.

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Rhysand was patient. Pushing her when he needed to, but letting go when he saw he went to far. But the other way around was true as well. She was there for him, when he needed her, letting her in, bit by bit to show why he did what he did, why he became who he is now… And most importantly who he really is. It did come as no surprise when they slowly started to fall in love with each other. Something I wished for so hard and seeing (reading) it unfurl in this story was, I think, the most important reason why I stayed hooked to this story. And the moment the mate bond snapped in place for her was just perfect. The way she reacted was, lets just say, not. 

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But they’re not the only ones. We got to meet a lot of new characters, all really interesting and different from each other. All strong females and males, standing by their high lord, but with their own ideas and personalities. The times they clashed and fought were the more interesting ones to read about. As well as the ones where they all got together and just were a family going out for dinner. But the bound between them was so unique, so strong, that even though they were all different, you could feel the love they had for each other through all the things they went through together.

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I could keep talking about this book, because this is one of my favourites. Each time I read it again and again (yes, I’ve read it 5 times now, and still counting 😉 ), it devours me and spits me out at the end, feeling raw and real. Because it takes your heart, cuddles it, then throws it on the ground and jumps on it. It’s a rollercoaster of emotion, good and bad, of events and plot points that keep you guessing and gasping for days afterwards and just doesn’t let go. Never.

Sidenote: I’m currently reading the third book in this series, and this one, the second one, is still my favourite. My love for this book runs deep, so deep. 

5 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this entire series, and especially this book.

xoxo

BBL.

Book Reread – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah. J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses #1

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beastwith faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!’ (Goodreads) (416 pages, May 5th 2015, Bloomsbury’s Children)

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I reread the first two books because of the next installment that will come out really soon. I just wanted to get back into the stories and return to this beautiful world before diving into the new book.

This book tore my heart out, again and again.

This review may contain some small spoilers.

This is the first time I reread this book. Last time, when A Court of Mist and Fury came out, I just couldn’t wait and immediately jumped into it. And I remember that the first time I read A Court of Thorns and Roses I loved it, truly loved it. I devoured it in a few days. But my thoughts changed while reading A Court of Mist and Fury. I remember thinking that this second book was so much better than the first one. A Court of Thorns and Roses felt flat and uneventful (except the end off course) and the entire relationship between Tamlin and Feyre felt strange and wrong and it didn’t compare to how I felt reading the second book.

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Now rereading this book I got so much more out of it. Knowing what will happen in the rest of the book and the second one, just made me notice so many details that I’m sure I didn’t understand or just skipped reading while I read it for the first time. It made my enjoyment reading this book again so much better. Picking up things that are important for future events and just knowing what will happen with them and where the story will go. That made some things that happen in this book easier for me to connect to, because I know that this will all have an impact on Feyre or change drastically in the second book.

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I still have the feeling that the second book is way better (I am currently rereading A Court of Mist and Fury), but my love for the first book came back strong. We see Feyre grow and evolve from a huntress with a closed, icy heart to a woman who dares to open her heart. You can see her strength in all her decisions and even when sometimes she settles in her role as the stupid human just there to enjoy her time and not thinking and seeing further than her own eyes, you feel the person she can become.

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But this book does take it time to get to the point and to the more interesting parts. The first ¾ of the book we see Tamlin and Feyre grow towards each other and getting to know each other and the most interesting parts here are the steaming little scenes here and there. The last part of the story is where we see Feyre break over and over again and where we get our first taste of Rhysand, the love of my life. Ok, I know, unfortunately he’s only a character from a book. From the first moment we get a taste of him in Tamlin’s manor, until the way he saves Feyre, he’s in my personal opinion the most interesting character in this entire book. I especially enjoyed their ‘discussions’ at the end of the story.

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Just read it. It’s not the most beautifully written book, but it’s Sarah J. Maas. It’s familiar, it’s moving, it grabs you and takes you through all the emotions and makes you forget everything around you. And that’s the most important part off course when reading a book. So I immediately picked up the second book and am now devouring this as well. All this to prepare myself for the third one, A Court of Wings and Ruin.

4,5 out of 5 stars… Definitely rereading this book, this entire series again some time.

xoxo

BBL.

Book Review – The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

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by Morgan Matson

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?’ (Goodreads) (519 pages, May 3rd 2016, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

I read this book in a few days while I was waiting for my copy of A Court of Wings and Ruin to come in the mail. And though I did enjoy it, my mind was already with my next read.

The beginning was a bit hard for me to get into. I’ve been reading a lot of fantasy lately, so switching back to contemporary reads was a bit difficult. But once I got into the flow and into the story, I actually rather enjoyed it.

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We see Andie’s life going all crazy after her dad gets into this huge scandal. She’s not used to having him around the house. The struggle to find their relationship back was so fun to read about. And I do think that this was the most interesting storyline of the entire book for me. Just seeing how they both cope with this new situation, how they both find their way back to each other and decide to change it all up.

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And when Clark steps into the story, the cuteness rises even more. Andie is not used to having relationships more than two-three weeks(?), I forgot the exact number. But here she gives it a shot. With all the difficulties that come with it off course. Because the summer is just that, perfect for a summer fling, not thinking about the end and what will happen after. A cute relationship in a cute novel. Perfect for a summer day reading.

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What I also liked a lot in this book were the friendships. Andie has a gang of friends and they are inseparable. I especially liked the text-messages they sent to each other and that were incorporated in the book, with emoticons and all.

Overall I would say this is a perfect, light summer contemporary read for a very sunny day. 

3,5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed it, but it did go a bit slow sometimes to me. I don’t know if it’s because I hadn’t read a contemporary read in awhile, or because of this book.

xoxo

BBL.

Cover Reveal – Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer keeps on coming out with amazing new books and after her graphic novel set in the world of the Lunar Chronicles, we now get an entire new world with superheroes and villains. So exciting! 

There’s even a short interview with Marissa Meyer on the LA Times, so definitely check that out to see her thoughts on this new book and what else she has in store for us. But first lets enjoy this beautiful cover.

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by Marissa Meyer

It really give me a Blade Runner and The Incredibles vibe. A futuristic world, divided, centered around technology and the city. The duality between the characters and the way the cover is divided in two, makes this cover really interesting and already gives us, next to the storyline off course, an idea of what the book will be about. The colours, the details of the drawing of the city gives us an idea of how important the setting will be as well. It gives me a feeling of those classic sci-fi cop movies. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Marissa Meyer is great at sketching a modern, sci-fi world (just read the Lunar Chronicles) and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do with superheroes and villains involved. Romeo & Juliet with superheroes. This can’t be anything but great.

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Will you be picking up this book?

xoxo

BBL.

Book Review – Freaks’ Squeele vol. 1 & 2

‘À la Faculté des Études Académiques des Héros, Chance, Xiong Mao et Ombre entament leur cursus. Ces trois nouveaux étudiants vont découvrir les joies de la vie universitaire, la concurrence sans pitié entre étudiants, les professeurs sadiques, le stress des examens et bien plus encore… Une université pour apprendre à gérer son image et obtenir un permis de super-héros : il fallait y penser.’ (Goodreads) (2x 140 pages, 2009, Ankama)

I found this little gem rather by accident. I was walking in my favorite Fnac-shop in Lille (Fr.) and I was looking for another book to read and I saw a little kid reading this in a corner. I found the drawings so crazy but still so beautiful, I decided to buy the first one just to see what I thought of it. And I loved it so much. The next time I was in Lille, I basically ran to the store to buy the second book and now I’m desperately waiting to have some more cash to buy the rest of the series.

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It is, I have to say, quite crazy. This graphic novel tells the story of three students who start at a university to become superheroes and they’re basically failing and are at the bottom of the list. They have all these crazy school assignments that they have to try to get done and there are ups and downs, and let’s just say some they finish and others just get out of control.

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The three main characters are so well rounded and they get this entire arc in both comics, which is so nice to see, especially in such short formats as the graphic novel. I’m sure they grow even more in the next volumes. It’s just so great to see these characters’ evolution and to see them change and grow. They are so different and just grew more and more in my heart because of their difference, but mostly because of their friendship. They stick together no matter what falls on their path.

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I preferred the second volume a bit more, just because with the first volume I was trying to understand the world and to get to know the characters, which took some time at first, but didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. Definitely worth picking it up and I’m so sad it doesn’t have the success that it deserves. (It already stopped being printed in Dutch, bummer)

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The setting does seem a bit like any other story, finding your way in school, having magical abilities… They way it’s drawn, the way the story is told, the way they use colour is just so unique and I can’t wait to continue picking this one up. They already made so much more series set in this world that I can’t wait to see what else is in store for them. With some new characters in play, craziness is just around the corner.

3,5 – 4 out of 5 stars.

xoxo

BBL.

Book Review – Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

by Elizabeth Wein

by Elizabeth Wein

I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two. We are a sensational team.’ (Goodreads) (441 pages, 6th february 2012, Egmont Press)

I loved this book so much. I already heard so many great things about it from other bloggers and booktubers, but I just wanted to see for myself how good this book actually is. And I must say I was happily surprised.

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It was a bit strange at first of how the book was constructed. Of how the story was divided in two. First from one perspective and then we got the same exact story or period of time, from her friend’s perspective. But after a while I got used to it and enjoyed it immensely. I thought we would go between the characters, but the way she told the story made so much more sense at the end. Because it’s at that point we really understand what happened and what impact it will have or had on their friendship.

First we get the story from Maddie’s point of view. She is, at first glance, the stronger  of the two. She flies and flies and just wants to fly, taking every opportunity to go into the skies and sometimes even at her own peril. But it’s there that she meets Julie, and while she thinks (no spoilers) that some events are her fault, after getting all the information, you really see that she cares so deeply for Julie. This friendship is the main premise of the story and for this reason alone it’s great.

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Then we have Julie. She is quieter, a small girl with a quick wit. At first I didn’t really like her honestly, because I felt like we didn’t really have all the information or we didn’t get that much from her character and reasons. This makes sense though because she is a secret agent and she learns not to divulge information. But I really came to care for her at the end of the book, when everything felt into place. You see that, although they both think they are not strong, they care deeply for each other and their friendship makes them both better persons.

That was what made this book so great. Next to the brilliant characters and the history (it really felt like the second World War), it’s the way Elizabeth Wein told the story. All the information we got from Maddie’s story fit perfectly with Julie’s story and so much made sense after reading everything. Reading it a second time, I think, will give so much more out of it because you now know how it’ll end and, for me personally, it will be great to see how it all blends together.

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This is a book I will cherish for the rest of my life. I read it in one setting and I just couldn’t put it down. It stuck to me for months afterwards. Even now, writing my review of it (I think) a year later, it just all comes back and I feel the tears on my cheeks. I can perfectly remember how I felt reading this book. I can see where I was when reading this book. It took me this long writing a review about it, because I wanted to give it the best one possible and I just couldn’t do it so soon after reading it. Needless to say that this book left an impact and I immediately gave to everyone in my family to read it. (My sister did, and she enjoyed it as well.)

5 out of 5 stars! A perfect blend of female friendship, history and a thriller. There are elements for everyone. Give it a go and let me know what you think of it!

xoxo

BBL.

BBL. Quickie (#2) – Shatter Me Series

Shatter Me is going to continue on… and on…

Shatter_01So this news dropped yesterday : Tahereh Mafi is releasing 3 more books in the Shatter Me series. Continuing on from where she left of with Ignite Me, we see, as they put it: ‘it will follow the new Supreme Commander as she attempts to lead Sector 45 with Warner at her side. But when tragedy strikes, Juliette will be tested, leading her to see if she can use her ability (to kill with a single touch) after all.’ Read all about it right here.

When this series ended my heart broke, because I loved the characters, the stories, the writing, the world Tahereh Mafi build… I am so glad she’s picking this back up, because honestly… when finishing the first trilogy, you can’t stop but wondering what happens after. Their story wasn’t finished at all. So I’m glad to see we’ll be able to see what Julliette and Warner will have to deal with after and how their epic adventure continues.

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Plus the title: Restore Me… It’s in line with the others and still gives us nothing to go on, but so much to wonder about. I… Can’t… Wait… March 6th, 2018 is still so far away. Click on the name to add it to your Goodreads!

xoxo

BBL.