Book reviews · Bookish posts

What I’ve Been Reading Lately

Now that I have started a new degree that’s eating up all my time, my blog has been a little more quiet. And so has my reading.. However, I still love talking about books with you guys, and instead of jumping right into the long, long list of reviews I still need to post, I thought I’d combine them together here to catch up. 🙂

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The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

An emotional rollercoaster, that how I would describe this book. I’m only just dabbling into the genre of magical realism, but this was the first novel I’ve ever read that incorporated it in a way that I loved. It was beautiful, gut-wrenching, realistic and cute. Definitely worth the hype.


Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
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I recently read, reviewed and LOVED The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas. After that, I knew I had to read more of her work. This book had the same suspense and awesome true crime aspects as her other works, but I found this book to be a little more predictable – I predicted who did it way before the actual reveal happened. Still a solid 4 star read though.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab
One of my favorite series this year was the Shades of magic series by V.E. Schwab. So obviously I was excited to read more of her works. The premise of this book really intrigued me, it’s about a world in which monsters are created from crimes and acts of violence, like massacres and murders. But the story left a lot to be desired, especially regarding the world building. So much was never explained, and for me it really took away from the story.

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The Rift: A New Africa Breaks Free by Alex Perry
Africa is a continent that’s long been misunderstood – and abused -by outsiders. Correspondent Alex Perry traveled the continent for most of a decade, meeting with entrepreneurs and warlords, professors and cocaine smugglers, presidents and jihadis. I loved how he gave them a platform in this book while also giving the reader historical context as to why certain situations exist in the first place. A book that taught me a lot, but especially to spend more time listening to stories from locals.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I really want to catch up with you guys! Have you read any of these books? If not, what have YOU been reading lately?

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Law school · university

Five Thoughts I Had in my First Five Weeks of Law School

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If you read this blog, my tweets or Instagram captions recently, you’ll know that I started law school at the beginning of September — honesty I feel like I talk about it so much that some people might be sick of it at this point, but I love talking about university and studying on here, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I worked towards going to law school for so long and now that it’s finally here, I am diving right in. Law school is very all-consuming, and I really want to talk about it more on this blog, so here are five thoughts I had in the first five weeks of law school to start out with this new ‘law school adventure’ blog post series. 🙂

These law books are SCARY
Law school is pretty much synonymous with ‘big, heavy, dense books’ and lots of reading, and my degree is no different. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty daunting at the start, especially because we also read a lot of jurisprudence. I also needed to learn how to work with our law books. I live in a civil law country, which means – unlike common law countries – we work with law books that have all the important laws you need and casebooks are completely separate. Formal precedents are not a thing, so the actual written text itself is super important. I’m getting muscles from carrying around all those heavy books, at least.

I don’t know what the heck I’m doing
I think anyone who starts law school – or any degree for that matter – will suffer from imposter syndrome in one way or another. Although my classmates are very nice and make me feel like I belong, I’ve definitely had moments where I had no idea what was going on or how I am doing, nor that I deserved to be in law school. I’m the first person in my family to attend University, and it’s all still a little surreal to me sometimes!

This is amazing
I went to journalism school, did a course in social work and now I’m in law school. But until now I have never felt truly challenged in high school or college. I always did well on tests without doing much work, and I sometimes felt like the class would dwell on things that I already understood. Law school demands a lot more from me, and I LOVE that. The work load is much heavier and the material much more challenging.

I’m going to fail this test
If you haven’t noticed already, the first five weeks of school were a rollercoaster. I only take one class at a time, which means I have a serious exam every five weeks. I just did the first one this Friday, and leading up to it I had multiple anxious moments in which I was scared I would fail and had to drop out. I don’t consider myself to be a very insecure person, but regarding school.. It’s something I still work on.

I have never felt more at home
Like I mentioned earlier, I have never felt like the education I got really fit me as a person. That also reflected in the interaction I had with my peers. I liked different things than them, and although that has never been a big problem, it did mean that I was always a bit of an outsider, just doing my own thing. Law school has changed all that, my peers make me feel at home and I can have super interesting discussions with them about all sorts of things. I feel at home!

Life

The Future of Blogging: Views From Someone Who Has Been Blogging For Nearly 10 Years

Morning person routine coffee tips

What was the hayday of blogging? Many people don’t know that I’ve been blogging on different platforms for close to 10 years. I used to write stories on Livejournal and Blogspot, and later I started writing a personal blog. Throughout the years I have rebranded, repurposed and renamed everything. It always made sense to me, because I like my blog to be a reflection of my personal life, and – obviously – my life has changed a lot in the last ten years. I’m 22, currently in law school. In the past I got a degree in journalism, did a year-long course in social work and worked as a freelancer on the side.

When I have this conversation about blogging with people, they often ask me about the past and the future of blogging. Does blogging content even have a future outside of SEO? If you go follow bloggers on Twitter, you’ll notice a trend of ”omg the blogging world used to be so much better and more kind. Nowadays it’s all about follow trains and getting brand deals.” I both agree and disagree with this statement. 

Making money blogging
Throughout the years, blogging has definitely become more commercial. If you started a long time ago, just like me, you probably never made a blog with the idea that you were going to make so much money. Here’s the thing, there used to be no money and blogging. Now, there is money in blogging, but almost every niche is also very oversaturated. So now you could argue that making money is even harder, because you have to be in the top 0.1% to even have your content read by a large audience, let alone make money with it.

However, this is not why I blog. I have made some money from my blog in the past (plus I still get free books semi regularly because I review them) but it is not my aim. This is why after ten years, I’m still here. I always enjoyed the community aspect of blogging. But is that community aspect holding up?

Comment threads and follow trains
I hate to go all ”everything used to be better!” on you, but I do really miss the time where other bloggers would comment on my posts because they truly enjoyed them, and not because they were trying to grow their own audience. I know those people are still around and I appreciate each and every single one of you, but they aren’t as common as they used to be. If you are among the latter, please know that there is nothing wrong with commenting to grow your audience. We all want to grow our audiences and you are not at fault for wanting to grow your own.  Continue reading “The Future of Blogging: Views From Someone Who Has Been Blogging For Nearly 10 Years”

Bookish posts

14 Great YA Books You Should Add To your TBR Right Now

It’s no secret I’ve been critical of YA fiction in the past. I hate a lot of tropes, have a love for very specific books.. I could go on. I don’t want this space to be negative, nor do I want to be the girl to trash books on the internet. It’s just not what I’m about.

So today I want to share with you a long awaited list of YA books that I DO in fact, enjoyed reading. I read a wide variety of books, so this list will also consist of a wide variety of books. What they will have in common is that, of course, they’re catered towards a YA audience, but they’re also actually good.

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14. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
Often cited as the best YA introduction to Western Philosophy, Sophie’s World is one of those books that holds a special place in my heart. The first half is a bit slow plot-wise, but don’t let it catch of you off guard! When I first read this, I read the entire second portion of the book is less than a day.

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13. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy NelsonA book that will eave you fuzzy and heartbroken at the same time. I’ll Give You The Sun tells the story of two twin siblings and the loss of their mother. This book is absolutely beautiful, in both storyline and writing style.

 

Cinder
12, 11, 10 and 9. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The four books that make up The Lunar Chronicles are absolutely phenomenal. This is a widely known series, but if you haven’t read them yet, just know that you absolutely should! Cinder, Scarlett, Cress and Winter are all names of characters based on various fairytales, as their names suggest. Their lives end up winding together as their dystopian future is being threatened by a plague.

The Hate U Give

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Read this book and then watch the movie (which comes out in less than two months!),pretty please. You’ve probably heard of this one also (if you haven’t, HOW?!) so you know that it tells and important story about racism and police brutality in the United States. Iwasn’t the biggest fan of the writing style here, but the actual story itself is very well done and important.

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7, 6 and 5. The Shades of Magic series bij V.E. Schwab
I know technically this book is considered ”adult” but it definitely reads more YA to me. The main characters are all fairly young (19 and 21 if I’m not mistaken) and the books are very accessible in both the storyline and the writing style. Definitely check this out if you love a good fantasy!

 

4. Salt To The Sea by Ruta SepetysSchermafbeelding 2018-08-27 om 18.51.29.png
This book is based on true events, and I always find it hard to review those. This novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. Nearly all were drowned. Although this book is definitely not perfect, it was a quick read and it taught me a lot about this specific moment in history. Continue reading “14 Great YA Books You Should Add To your TBR Right Now”

Book reviews

Book Review: The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick

Reason youre alive book review matthew Quick

There’s this ongoing debate about unlikeable characters: Should you rate a book lower if it has an unlikeable or problematic character? Even if that was actually the point of the book in the first place?

This is something I still struggle with myself. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick is a book with an unlikeable character like that. And while I don’t want to rate a book lower only because the MC isn’t a perfect person, his words an actions did have an affect on my enjoyment of the book. And if I enjoyed a book less, that means I should give it a lower rating, right? Otherwise I’m just giving a book a rating that doesn’t make sense for me.

”Only the good die young, and I’ve lived nasty.” – David Granger, The Reason You’re Alive

Dilemma’s. Before I go off on an even longer tangent, let me tell you about the premise of book. In The Reason You’re Alive, we get to know David Granger. He’s a republican army veteran that loves guns and regularly craps on how ”politically correct” the current world is. I think most of us know someone like this, and most of us don’t really like spending time with them.

However, David has an eclectic group of friends who all tolerate him, including a gay couple and a Vietnamese woman. Reading this felt a little unrealistic to me. David has very liberal opinions at times, yet still votes against the interest of his diverse group of friends? How does that make sense? Continue reading “Book Review: The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick”

Bookish posts

8 Specific Types of Young Adult Books That I Would Like To Read More Of

reading less YA

Do you ever read a book with very specific tropes and you just go ”give me more of that!” but it’s super hard, of not impossible, to find those books? This happens to me ALL. THE. TIME. I figured writing a blog post listing all my favorite too-specific-to-search-tropes and maybe, just maybe you’ll think of a book that you just KNOW I’ll love! If you do, please recommend it to me in the comment section down below. 

Books in which food somehow plays a huge role
I’m talking the type of book in which food is more than just fuel. I want it to SHINE. Food is often part of a culture, a time period or even a fantasy world, and too often to I feel like authors forget how much you can tell about a setting with food.

Books with female pirates
I’m sure they’re out there, but WHERE? I read about a female pirate in the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab, and I want more girly pirates now. I want to read more pirate stories anyway, why do I feel like this is a setting we don’t see that often in YA fiction?

Books with a library setting, or books about books in general
Take a drink every time I say ‘book’. But seriously, I love reading books about books, or books that have a library setting. Library settings are magical, and usually instantly make me love about about 64% more. 

Books with unlikeable main characters
Give me dark and twisty main characters. Give me main characters that make the wrong decision and push everyone away. But most of all, make me root for these people even though I shouldn’t. 

(Realistic) books set in law school
Okay, I’m only including this here because I’m starting law school in about two weeks and I’m super excited about it. I’m currently reading and watching anything law school related that I can get my hands on. Yes.. I’m that much of a geek. But I would like the books to be somewhat realistic, because I bet law school isn’t as glamorous as some books and films make it out to be, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure.  Continue reading “8 Specific Types of Young Adult Books That I Would Like To Read More Of”

Bookish posts

The Pros and Cons of Reviewing ARCs

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After a bunch of people loved my post about the pros and cons of being a mood reader, I decided to have this format make a comeback, and this time we’re talking ARCs!

For those of you who stumbled on this post and have no idea what an ARC is: this acronym stands for Advanced Reader Copy, and it’s a version of a book that is often released to a very small amount of people before the actual release date. These people, often book bloggers or BookTubers, will then review the book beforehand and (hopefully) create some hype! ARCs are also sometimes given out to get feedback from readers about the actual content of the book. Think pace, characters, writing style..

ARCs usually still have some typos and other mistakes in them (it’s almost never the final copy!) and most of the times the final cover isn’t there either. I’ve been ARC reviewing for a long time. If you want to send me an ARC, please check out my review policy.

Pros of reviewing ARCs

  • You get to read the book before anyone else! Or.. almost anyone else. If you’re excited about a book, those few weeks or months make all the difference. If it’s a very anticipated release and you’re first with a review on your platform of choice, you’ll probably reach a bigger audience too.
  • Your reading makes a difference. I don’t know if this is a pro for anyone else.. but I love this about ARC reading. It just feels like my feedback and review is valued.
  • You get books in your mailbox. Christmas in July! Or.. August actually. It’s so much fun to get books in your mailbox. Sometimes I get sent books unsolicited, and although I prefer it if people let me know that they’re going to send me a book, it’s still nice to open up a little present!

Continue reading “The Pros and Cons of Reviewing ARCs”