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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Wrap Up

I feel like I always do book hauls and To Be Read posts but never really wrap up the month. That said I thought it'd be a great idea to feature a wrap up of this month! January has been the first month of the year which also means that the Goodreads Book Challenge has been set in motion! In 2017 I'd like to read...

45 books! I know for myself that's not really ambitious, I'll get to that as each year. I usually set the bar low so I don't feel like I won't make it but during the year I do make the number bigger! My first year I did this challenge, also the year I became a bookjunky, I managed to read 69 of my goal of 40. In 2016 I managed to read 60 out of the 50 I wanted to read. 

Also now the new year has been set in, I think it's a good time to explain why I post my review so late in comparison with when I finish the book! My aim on my blog is to post very frequently. In the beginning of my blog I couldn't post frequently and consistent because I read but also had tons of work for school. Near September 2016, so almost a year of my blog, I finally got the routine in it and was able to build up to my aim.

When I finish a book, I write a review immediately and then I plan it in. At this moment I still have 18 posts that are planned. Each time I write a review I plan it after the last book I've planned. I'm already in May with the posts ready and set so when I'm done reading it's planned further in May. That's why my reviews are at times a few months away from when I actually read the book. I do one review a week so it's frequently, always on Wednesday at 12h00. In the future I might begin with two reviews a week but for now this system works and it makes sure I chase the goal of frequently posting a review on my blog. I just thought it might be a good thing to explain in 2017 because some reviews are still months away and I read the book now, I want you guys to know there's a whole system and reason behind it!

That said, January is also the month that I have exams. I'm in my first year of college and that means exams in the first month of the new year. I was really curious to how many books I was going to read this month and can I just say I was pretty surprised with the outcome? 

     Children of Eden

My first book I read this month was one to get me out of my reading slump! Yes, I was in a reading slump and that for over 2 weeks! I got into it during the break in December and got out eventually in the new year. Hallelujah! The book that helped me to overcome my slump was Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa and Laura L. Sullivan. This is what the book is about:

The world is dead. Humankind has destroyed it, even after all the warnings by Aaron Al-Baz. Luckily for the remaining population, Aaron also made a world after: Eden. A world where people are divided by circles and the elite is in the center of it all. A world where second children are not allowed. Rowan is one of those second children and has been hiding inside for 16 years. Sick of her captivity she decides that she should be allowed to going out. Desperately leaving her house, she also leaves with consequences for those actions. And finding a friend leads to a great tragedy with loss and new threats...

I don't know how to feel about the book. I didn't like it, I did like it, but then didn't again. I'm having a very mixed feeling about it because I couldn't connect with the character and I am left with so many unresolved questions and I can't deal with that. 

Of course there are good things too, the subject is amazing and it shines a light on how humankind treats nature or how it damaged it and what they have to do now. It's also a dystopian about lying to and being lied to, not finding trustworthy people. I'm all for that! There's also action and one amazing scene that I adore, but it wasn't enough to make me have a good feeling about the book.

It's also so fast paced, you can't think or feel because the next event is already there. New information they find out isn't always used and is left unresolved. It might just be me but I'm really left undecided about this book! That doesn't mean I don't recommend it, I bet a lot of people loved and will love the book, I'm just not sure I did. I mean... the cover is beautiful! But the story... as I said: undecided! 


     Better Off Friends

A book I will not talk too much about is Better Off Friends by Elizabeht Eulberg. Why? Because it's for my Perfect Valentine's Read! I did already read it in January so the post would be up on the 14th of February, so stay tuned because what I can already say is that I really loved this read!

Macallan and Levi get best friends by a coincidence and ever since that coincidence, they're inseparable. They share jokes, they get together after school almost all the time, they help each other out when needed, they laugh all the time, they're just best friends. Yet not everyone seems to understand that, can't a boy and a girl be friends?
Macallan and Levi keep being asked if they're together while their relationship is pure platonic. And they're happy that way. That is until they realize that they're getting in each other's wat: boys won't ask Macallan out because of Leavi and Girls decide Levi is nothing when he hangs out with Macallan all the time. Both then ask themselves if maybe, just maybe they were supposed to be more than just platonic best friends or if that would endanger their friendship.

This book was really adorable, and yes a cliche but I'm okay with that from time to time! Also the fact that they're best friends and maybe might or might not become something more was really cute to see because of their relationship. This friendship will be facing a lot of ups and downs which was very appreciated by me because it shows how realistic this is and makes it also very relatable. Just the whole girl and guy are best friends is very relatable to many of us out there that suffer from comments like 'aren't you guys a couple?'. But more about this book later this month! 

Also can I just point out that I just read 1 of the 2 books I wanted to read in the new year? Check out my blog post about 3 books I want to read in 2017 to find out what the other two books are!


     The LUX-series

Hello, New Year Book Resolutions. I'm not a big fan on re-reading books, mainly because I keep finding new books I want to read. Yet before 2017 started I was really thinking and watching my bookshelves in the process: why didn't I re-read books? And that's when I decided that books should get a re-reading. I'm holding on to my resolution because in the month of January, I have re-read the entire Lux-series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. From Obsidian to Opposition!

I even read the 0.5 book, Shadows, it's a prequel novella. I have the Special Collector's Books because when I first found the series, they only sold the collector's books. In Opposition, the bonus for the readers was the prequel novella. I never read it, probably because I was too torn up on the ending on the series. Yet this time around I did read it, along with the rest of the series. Since this is a series, I'll give the synopsis of the first book: Obsidian.

Katy moves with her mother to a small town after what happened to her dad. Desperate to make her mother happy she goes next door to make contact with the neighbors. What she didn't expect was a boy, half-naked, and immediately hating her without knowing who the hell she was. His sister is at least very nice to her but that doesn't stop the guy to get under her skin and make comments. Yet the more Katy spends time with Dee and Daemon, the more weird things she starts to notice. What on earth is going on? Who are they, really?

And since this is a series, I also won't go into detail about everything too much so I don't spoil anything. But this series guys, it's mind blowing! If you have read Jennifer L. Armentrout's books before, you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, I really recommend you do.

The whole Lux-series is very thrilling and very suspenseful and the first book in this series is also very mysterious. There'll be feels being spread all over the place such as shock, surprise, love, hatred, annoyance,... this entire book series is going to make you feel all emotions that possibly exist and that's amazing. Next to action, betrayal, lies and trust issues there's also space for romance but also loss and sadness. Really, there's nothing this series won't give you and I'm absolutely thrilled to have re-read this series and to feel every vibe of it again. This is one of those series I recommend to everyone! 

As for the prequel novella, Shadows. As told above I read it for the first time and I did really enjoy it. It was very fast paced but I was really happy to connect with the characters that'll have influences on the entire book series. It also shows a huge contrast with the Lux-series in content, in feels and in how the characters act but I still really enjoyed the book. This is a prequel, however I'm happy that I read it after the whole series because otherwise it'd tell us things that in the first book would be something the reader had yet to reveal. I rather live in suspense in the first book, Obsidian, than already know what's going on. But if you rather read it first, that's also an option!

More on each and every book in this series is in the month of April. The reviews have already been written and I didn't really know that I'd use the whole month of April for this series but be prepared! April is Luxen month on my blog, every review in that month is about this book series.


     The Distance from Me to You
A book that's been on my TBR pile for a little while now was The Distance from Me to You by Marina Gessner. To be really honest, I never expected this book to be this good. It made me want to go hike and be one with nature, go on an adventure and walk 2000 miles. This book will inspire a lot of people I believe!

McKenna is sick of following the rules, after high school she's determined to do what her father has done when he was this young: do a hike. And not just any hike but a 2000 miles hikes from Maine to Georgia, together with her friend Courtney. Yet when Courtney cancels on the plans, McKenna is determined to go through with the plan and hike all miles and get that certificate at the end of it. With a friend or alone, she'll make it. Lying to her parents, McKenna leaves her town. Starting the trail she's surprised with who she finds walking alongside her...

These characters were also mind blowing and so well written! This book has a very strong female in the leading role that's full of determination and ready to show everyone who doubted her that she could and will walk from Maine to Georgia! McKenna is such an inspiration for all of us out there that want to do something but feel like they can't because people tell you you can't. Although she lied, McKenna is going for her goal and will walk those miles, together or by herself. The amount of strength she shows is something to really admire.

As for Sam, the other character in this book, he has had such a hard life that he'll also be an inspiration for people like him. He sets himself free and goes walking towards his new and better life. Although I really rooted for Sam, I often wondered why he became all hot and cold. I wish we got an answer on that because sometimes his mood switches so much without any indication.

As for the plot, waw. Just waw! The simplicity of walking and living through this adventure is just amazing. I'm amazed! So many might think there can't be anything great in this book because it's just walking. But the author takes so much time to make the surroundings and the noises visible for the reader that it really takes them onto this journey with the characters. Just amazingly written! And for the plot, not everything goes smooth... this is not your normal YA contemporary, there's so much more to this and I hope you want to discover it. It's a big recommendation!


     The Covenant series: Apollyon and Sentinel
Yes, the Lux-series wasn't the only book series I have read by one of my most loved authors! It's been a while since I read Deity in the Covenant series and for Christmas, I got the last part in the series! I have been putting reading the last two books off for a bit because well... they're the last two books in this series and I don't want it to really end? This month though I decided it was time to continue so I read Apollyon and Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout... I ADORED IT! Although I'm only going to talk about Apollyon here, the review on Sentinel is on its way!

Alexandria's one fear was to lose herself. Now she is awakened, she feels herself slip away. The gods are out on vengeance and they're starting with earth. The whole planet is being wiped with one catastrophe after the other to find Seth and his master, Lucien. And they are trying to reach Alex. Nobody is ready to let Alex slip away and become the source of Seth's rage onto the gods, and nobody is ready for Lucien taking the ultimate power. Nine of Deity island standing, they'll go to great lengths to save the ones they love and confront fate. Yet not all gods seem to be on the same side when it comes to power and they want Alex to stand by them...

This book, honestly it was amazing. I have to say every book in this Covenant series gave me a hard time getting into the first few pages but Apollyon didn't. This book is the best book yet in this series, I devoured it from page one as it came with such huge surprises! 

I'm really happy to tell that the romance part we've been seeing on and off over the few books will get a bigger spotlight onto them. I really loved to see how everyone was going with Alex being awakened and how they would really deal with it.

However the biggest surprise yet was Alex and her awakening! Not only did I expect something totally different, this character makes a very big change and becomes so mature! We know Alex as one of those act before you think characters but I was so shocked to see how much more different she acted to this drama as it all hit her. 

Also the plot, as always, was just filled with action and finding out certain things but I was most pleased with the fact that we got to see more of the gods. During the previous books we haven't really seen many gods or not for a long time, this book is a lot more about them! Now they know that a new power will strike them they're a little bit uneasy and start taking decisions. At first you'd think all gods want the same but the further you read the more you understand that something is luring with the gods and it's not good. Readers will be really pulled into this story and will be eager to find out what is going on and what needs to be done to stop this all. I can already tell it's the most shocking and revealing book in the whole series, I was amazed by it, I adored it and I absolutely can't wait to read Sentinel

Little update, I just finished Sentinel (we're two days later after I wrote what I wrote right above this paragraph!) and I was in tears because really... why? *standing ovation while crying* I'm ready to go die and work for Hades or something because this book is on the verge of me crying a new river in this world. I really loved it so much but I'm going to have a heartbreak for a week. Also, as this was the last book in the series I'm going to post the reviews on both Apollyon and Sentinel earlier than I normally plan. Instead of May, I'll post the reviews in February! Yey! I just thought it was a good thing to do, especially because it's been one year since I read Deity and I don't think I should wait another few months to share my crying-emotions with you guys about these books!


     The Yesterdays of Tomorrow
A while back I had received a first in a duology to read for review. I really loved the story and the author had given me the second book in the duology to also read for review. In comparison to the first book I did have a hard time getting into the book and it's been laying around unfinished since November. This month I really wanted to give it another try and around page 80, I really got into the story and good thing because the rest of The Yesterdays of Tomorrow by Jessica Hernandez was actually fantastic!

A year later and the curse is still roaming over the lands. Kaia and the rest are doing everything they can to restore the lands and lift the curse. However, not all darkness has been gone and many secret plans are still around. It's getting harder and harder to know who to trust and who is lying to who. When the curse will be lifted, if it ever will be lifted, would everything be back to normal? Or is there new darkness coming their way? War is coming... Kaia and her friends will be going through tough times and desperate times ask for desperate measures.

This book really showed a very strong main character that really grew a lot since the first book. She's ready to fend for herself and save everyone, including her loved ones, from the curse. All characters have this amazing bond that really amazed me from beginning to end, especially because they're so loyal to each other.

Loyalty will be a main thing in this book as is lies, betrayal and trust issues. Compared to the first book in the series, I was really surprised with how this plot was turning out as I never had expected these words to be linked with it! The author also made space for a bit of romance that was subtle and very tender and I was really keen to see that as well. This book contained a lot of surprising aspects in different situations and I was really pleased to continue with the book.

The only remark I had was regarding the recapitulation of the first book in the second one. The author didn't make a lot of space to retell what was happening and I felt myself struggling with getting into the story since I didn't knew all details anymore. However, the rest of the book was absolutely surprising and fantastic! 


Lastly, I finished a book that I think is very underrated! I bought the book on a Book Fair, last summer, and haven't gotten around to reading this one until yesterday! I picked up Bound by Sarah Bryant and was actually really shocked that I didn't start reading this one first. Goodreads also showed me how underrated this book is as it only has 69 ratings. 

Sophie has been seeing strange things since she was a little kid. And those things have been scaring her and haunting her forever. Determined to never see the creatures again, she runs to the ends of the world. Or literally the pub "End of the World" where she starts working. Soon she finds out that coming here was a mistake as more creatures are haunting her and new creatures find their way to her. Above that, two strange boys she feels oddly connected to start acting extremely weird. There is more to the ends of the world than she had first thought...

This book was a mystery. A total mystery! Our main character Sophie doesn't know what's happening and she also doesn't know what she's seeing. Together with the reader we'll be on our way to find out what it is. I had an extremely good time with finding possibilities to the creatures she sees and ruling some out every step in this book. 

And then there were the two guys she felt oddly connected with that add more mystery and thrill to this book and make you very suspicious to what they exactly know and how they're involved. All of that will be fueled by the dreams Sophie starts having about a girl that only talks in cryptic messages. 

I think it's very easy to see that this book is a world of mystery and when the truth comes out I was actually very surprised to what a diverse world the author has created next to what these people/creatures actually are. The author really kept us thinking and thinking while the answer was actually really forthcoming if you had understood the clues from the beginning. A really good book! I devoured it so much because it really has that mystery that grabs at you. I really hope that this book becomes more popular because it really is a great story! 

One thing that I didn't think was well communicated on Goodreads by the author was that this book has a sequel, or well second in a series, Riven. The book did tell us at the ending that there is a next part in this but I wouldn't have known that as I never turn the page after the last one! But just know there is a second book in this series and believe me, you'll want to know that after that ending... ! 


I'm really surprised to how many books I have read in this month but also really pleased! It really means I'm out of my reading slump and that's a good thing because I love books and couldn't believe it took me until the beginning of January to get back into it. This also made sure that I have read 13 books and therefore am already at 29% of my reading challenge and 10 books ahead of schedule! What have you guys read this month and what are you planning on reading in February? 

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