Book review | The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

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rating-3-stars

“[…] she knew now that passion was love, at its most extreme edge, that made you cross an Arctic wilderness in winter” (169).

Here’s a tip: do not read this book in summer. It is just not a summer read. It is a book you should read on a cold and rainy Sunday in your PJs with a cup of tea and a wool blanket.

The Quality of Silence tells the story of Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby who undertake a dangerous road trip in a truck across Northern Alaska to find Ruby’s father who is missing. On a long ice road in winter darkness, Yasmin contemplates her relationship with her husband, while Ruby, completely deaf since birth, must find other ways to communicate than by sight. The book is narrated by Yasmin and Ruby alternately. Yasmin gives insight in her worries about Ruby’s disability and the effect it will have on her daughter’s life. Ruby shines a different light on living in a world without sound.

The setting of this novel would give everybody the chills. Alone in unfamiliar, deathly cold and dark Alaska? An inexperienced driver on an ice road? Chased by someone unknown? A psychological thriller indeed. However, to me, the tension built up rather slowly. I had no trouble putting the book down until I was about halfway through. This should not be the case with a thriller. Still it was a nice read and I loved Ruby’s way of thinking. The Quality of Silence might not be a spine-chiller, but it is a complex and beautifully written novel.

Lupton, Rosamund. The Quality of Silence. London: Piatkus, (2015) 2016.

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Real Neat Blog Award

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Thank you Amy @ Novelgossip for this award nomination! Her reviews are honest and enthusiastic. If you do not follow her already, give her a follow.

About the rules

  1. Thank and link the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Answer the 7 questions that the nomination has provided you.
  3. Create 7 questions for your nominees.
  4. Nominate 7 other bloggers.

 

Novelgossip’s questions and my answers:

  • Favourite series? I feel like I am repeating myself, but Harry Potter. I just love that wizarding world. When I pick up a HP book, I get really nostalgic.
  • Most underappreciated book you’ve read? Difficult question. I actually walked to my book cases for this one. The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris? Every one of these books is just a really nice read and way better, with a different storyline, than the tv-show.
  • Favourite book that you’ve reviewed? Link? Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Really love this book.
  • Favourite book cover? The covers of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs. Mysterious and creepy.

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  • Do you ever borrow books from the library? If so, do you return them on time or late? Yes. I often renew them a couple of times before I read them. When I can’t renew them, I read them in a few days and I then often have to pay a fine.
  • Why did you start your blog? I wanted to write more, be creative and discuss books with other book lovers.
  • Do you have a favourite snack/drink while reading? Tea or wine. I am always very careful not to spill anything though. And chocolate of course!

 

My questions:

  1. What is your favourite feel-good novel?
  2. Do you always feel like reading?
  3. If you want to go to a film adaptation of a book, do you always read the book first?
  4. Best book to film adaptation ever?
  5. Favourite female character in a book?
  6. Do you rather have books that look like they’ve never been read or do you love cracked spines?
  7. What is your favourite genre?

 

I nominate the following blogs:

 

If you don’t want to do this award or if you have already done it, no worries.

 

Please note the image of this award was taken from the blog that nominated me. If there is a problem with the ownership of this image, please let me know and I will immediately take it down.

Book review | The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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rating-4-stars

To step on a train to me is going on an adventure, even if it is just for a day. I discovered Sweden and Scotland by train. Both amazing journeys that I would absolutely recommend. A book titled The Girl on the Train is therefore something I had to read.

The Girl on the Train is in short about Rachel who on her daily train journey observes a specific house and makes assumptions about the couple, Scott and Megan, who live in it. After an incident involving Megan, Rachel believes she has seen something worth looking into.

“The train crawls along; it judders past warehouses and water towers, bridges and sheds, past modest Victorian houses, their backs turned squarely to the track. My head leaning against the carriage window, I watch these houses roll past me like a tracking shot in a film. I see them as others do not; even their owners probably don’t see them from this perspective. Twice a day, I am offered a view into other lives” (16).

Paula Hawkins composes incredibly beautiful sentences. I am rather jealous of her style of writing. She is able to gradually build up tension and she basically makes you doubt everyone and everything. It is a real whodunit novel. Right until the very end, I was unsure about who the perpetrator was; this doesn’t happen to me very often.

I did have trouble relating to the main characters though. Probably because I felt we did not have much in common. Rachel is an alcoholic who cannot except her husband leaving her for another woman. Megan is mentally unstable.

To me however a thriller is good when I want to finish it as quickly as possible and this book is a fast read. If there is no one around and you are in for a game of Cluedo, pick up this book and put your feet up. The film adaptation of The Girl on the Train is coming to theatres in October.

Hawkins, Paula. The Girl on the Train. London: Transworld Publishers, 2015.

The Liebster Award

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Hi there!

The Liebster award is created to support and help advertise blogs with under 200 followers. I was nominated by two amazing bloggers, Bookishafterthoughts and Tripping The Page Fantastic. Thank you both so much!

About the rules

  1. Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award.*
  2. Answer the 11 questions that the blog gives you.
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs that you think are deserving of the award that have less than 200 followers.
  5. Let the blogs know you have nominated them.
  6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

 


 

Questions from Bookishafterthoughts and my answers

  • Do you listen to music while you read? Yes, but very much on the background.
  • Favourite childhood book series? The Twins at St. Clare’s by Enid Blyton and anything Roald Dahl.
  • Favourite place to read? In my green wing chair.
  • What are you currently reading? The Girl in the Train by Paula Hawkins.
  • Favourite YA romance novel? A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas.
  • Do you watch Booktube? If so, who are your favourite Booktubers? No. Never heard of it. I’m going to check it out though.
  • If you organize your books, how do you do it? By series. Wherever there is space basically.
  • Scariest book you’ve ever read? The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. The play is also scary as hell.
  • Ronmione or Harrmione? Ron & Hermione. Without a doubt.
  • Favourite book to movie adaptation? The Lord of the Rings.
  • Paperback or hardback? If I love the story, I want to own a beautiful edition of the book (hardback). I often buy the paperback though (better for my wallet).

 

Questions from Tripping The Page Fantastic and my answers

  • Share a quote that motivates you the most. ‘Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.’ (Hans Christian Andersen)
  • What is your favourite colour and why? Berry red, because I look good in it. 😉
  • Which book(s) do you reread often? Harry Potter.
  • What is your guilty pleasure? Dancing on Taylor Swift songs.
  • Why did you choose to start your blog? I want to discuss books with people who also love to read and talk about books.
  • What is your favourite thing about blogging? Being creative.
  • How long have you been friends with your best friend? 18 years and counting.
  • If you could have an afternoon with three famous (living or fictional) people, who would they be? Marilyn Monroe, Jane Austen and J.K. Rowling.
  • Is your workspace extraordinarily messy or absurdly neat? Neat when I start and finish. Messy in between.
  • If you could travel to one fictional place and visit regularly, where would it be? Rivendell.

 

11 Random facts about me

  • In desperate need of a cat.
  • Addicted to making picture collages on my wall.
  • Stone circles amaze me.
  • Always choose a mug that fits my mood or book.
  • Find puffins the cutest birds ever.
  • Favourite Ben & Jerry’s flavour: Strawberry Cheesecake. Chocolate Fudge Brownie was my favourite B&J flavour until last week.
  • Collect Royal Albert Flower of the Month cups, because I inherited a July cup from my grandma.
  • Own tons of earrings.
  • Am a perfectionist.
  • Love nail polish, but almost never put in on. Always seems to chip within a few hours.
  • Currently binge-watching Elementary.

 


 

I nominate the following blogs:

If you don’t want to do this award or if you have already done it, no worries.

My questions for you:

  1. Which book quote do you find inspiring?
  2. What is the last book you did not finish?
  3. Do you have a favourite bookshop?
  4. Of all the books you have read, which book impressed you the most?
  5. What shape would your patronus take?
  6. Where do you blog?
  7. Do you write anything else besides blog posts?
  8. Do you rather read during the day or at night?
  9. Last book that made you cry?
  10. Do you own any special editions?
  11. What is your favourite pastime besides reading?

I look forward to your answers!


 

*Please note the image of the Liebster award was taken from one of the blogs that nominated me. If there is a problem with the ownership of this image, please let me know and I will immediately take it down.

Book review | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne

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rating-3-stars

‘He really isn’t like his father at all is he?’ (22).

Arguably the most anticipated release of 2016. On the 31st of July, Harry’s birthday, every HP fan probably was either reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child or trying to get hold of it. I am a big Harry Potter fan myself and got into the book as soon as it hit the doormat.

This eighth story is not a novel, but a play. It is set nineteen years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Although the script is called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the protagonist is Albus Severus Potter, Harry’s youngest child. We witness Albus’ awful first few years at Hogwarts. A school that he, unlike his father, hates. The play shows the difficult relationship between Harry and Albus.

Reading a new Harry Potter story, was of course wonderfully nostalgic. Albus’ grim life at Hogwarts and his loneliness really got to me. The start of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child impressed me and got me excited for what was yet to come. However it went downhill from there. My expectations might have been too high. The story seems somewhat simple. It is easy to satisfy fans with appearances of well-known characters, such as Professor McGonagall and Draco Malfoy. Harry, Ron and Hermione are almost caricatures of their younger selves; Hermione is the smart and sensible one, Ron is the joker and Harry is still the hot head. The relationship between Harry and Albus is tense, but it is not entirely clear how this came to be and why they can’t fix it.

Although I am disappointed, I do realise it is written as a play. With the right special effects, the casted spells and wizard duels could be spectacular. Furthermore, the actors must make the characters come to life. The real magic of the Harry Potter series to me is the friendship between the main characters. If the actors are able to portray that on stage, I am positive this is going to be one awesome show.

Did I enjoy the story? Yes. Would I recommend it? Only to HP fans. Do I want to see a performance of the play? Hell yes. What did I learn from it? Do not mess with time!

Rowling J.K., Tiffany, John & Thorne, Jack. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. London: Little, Brown, 2016.

Reader Confessions Tag

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Thank you Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer for tagging me. Inge writes the most lovely book reviews. Have you read any of them? If not, you should definitely have a look!

  1. Have you ever damaged a book? I tend to dog ear pages with sentences on it I find particular interesting or inspiring. Only on paperbacks though.
  1. Have you ever damaged a borrowed book? No. Never. Everyone can lend me a book without having to worry about its state when I return it.
  1. How long does it take you to read a book? It depends on the length of the book, doesn’t it? If I love the book, it could take me an afternoon/evening. If I find the book interesting, but it doesn’t grip me, it can take up to six weeks. If I don’t like a book at all after page 100, I put it down and often don’t open it again.
  1. Books that you haven’t finished? The last book I didn’t finish is Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. I don’t think I will ever finish it. Has anyone read it? Should I give it another go?
  1. Hyped popular books that you don’t like? Many book bloggers answered this question with 50 Shades of Grey. I however am not ashamed to say I quite liked the series, but won’t ever read them again. I don’t know if it is a hyped book, but I did not enjoy nor finish Gone Girl.
  1. Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading? The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. I liked the first few, but after those it got a little bit too sexy, dark and violent for me.
  1. How many books do you own? I have never counted them. I store a lot of books at my parents place. I don’t know, maybe 500?
  1. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader? I am a fast reader, but I do sometimes read funny or cute passages twice.
  1. Do you like to buddy read? I have never done it, but I would not mind to give it a try. I do however love to read with a glass of wine within hands’ reach.
  1. Do you read better in your head or out loud? In my head. It is a lot faster that way. I however sometimes feel the need to read Harry Potter out loud. Don’t know why. Maybe a comfort thing.
  1. If you were only allowed to own one book which one and why? Harry Potter, because it is my go-to book when I’ve had an awful day.

I actually really liked doing this tag. It is not too long and I enjoyed reading the answers of bloggers who also did this tag. Are any of the bloggers below interested in doing this tag? If you have already done this tag or don’t want to do it, no worries.

Carla @ Wordsmalarkey

Betty @ Bookish Regards

Caitlin & Cynthia @ Shelfie!

Ali @ I Wuv Books

Marte @ Frost and Books

Book review | A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

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rating-4-stars

‘I knew I was headed down a path that would likely end in my mortal heart being left in pieces, and yet … And yet I couldn’t stop myself’ (221).

On an incredible amount of book blogs, I found reviews of Sarah J. Maas’ novels. The reviews of A Court of Thorns and Roses were written with such enthusiasm that I bought this book instead of the first installment of the Throne of Glass series.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is a variation on ‘Beauty and the Beast’, but fiercer, darker and more enchanting. Feyre hunts in order to provide food for her family. One night she kills an animal that is part of the Fairie Realms behind The Wall. When a stranger comes knocking at her family’s cabin, he tells her the price for killing the fairie animal is ‘a human life in exchange’ (37). In order to keep her family safe, she accepts his offer to live behind The Wall in a magical, strange and dangerous land.

The first page of the book instantly pulled me into Feyre’s world and I could barely stop reading. Luckily I had a few days off! So my advice: clear your schedule before even thinking of opening this book. A Court of Thorns and Roses is more on the adult side of young adult which I like. It contains romance, a huge inferiority complex, magical creatures, evil lurking and an action-packed ending. I however couldn’t give this book a five-star rating, because the second book in the series is even better and I do not have a six-star rating system.

Find out more on: www.sarahjmaas.com

Maas, Sarah J. A Court of Thorns and Roses. London, Oxford, New York, New Delhi and Sydney: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.