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“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Missing Persons

Missing Persons - Nicci Gerrard

This was the first book I read by Nicci Gerrard, and I didn't really have any expectations whatsoever, though I did expect it to be a thriller. It wasn't. The back cover already mentioned that the character who went missing, Johnny, would stay missing for multiple years, so when the book started of from before he even disappeared, there wasn't really much of a surprise to it. 


The story is really about how his family and the people that are left behind feel about his disappearance and how they deal with it. I must say I found the first half of the book extremely boring. The narrator in this part of the book was Isabel, Johnny's mother, and the whole first half is basically about him disappearing and how sad and devastated she feels and everything. I understand that she must have felt awful indeed, but I really didn't feel like I could empathize with her. All she did was run around and yell at everyone and mentally collapse. Also, the first part of the book after Johnny disappeared was about how they searched for him, which I also found extremely boring and unnecessary to read because I already knew they wouldn't find him.


When the narrator changed and the story was told from Felix' point of view (the father) it became a bit less boring, but still not too exciting, but when it changed again to Mia's point of view (the sister) I became more interested. I liked her character more and I could emphasize much better with her. I assume this has to do with her age and the fact that I can imagine how it much feel to lose your brother, while I can't imagine losing a son. Also, she dealt with her feelings in a whole different way her parents did, and I was never irritated by the way she acted.


I do think Nicci Gerrard did a really good job in describing her characters, they all had a personality that was very unique to their character and they all seemed really clear to me.
Also, I liked the writing style, although it sometimes bothered me a bit because from time to time it seemed a bit to dramatic and made me feel like I was reading a cheesy romance.


Overall, I didn't think it was a horrible book, but I thought it was a bit to long-winded and I don't think I would read it again. I can see why people would like it, but it just wasn't for me.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

2.5

I’m not sure if this book fulfilled my expectations or not. At first I was expecting a lot of it, because there was this really positive comment by John Green on the back cover, but after I read a few bad reviews about it, I lowered my expectations.I must say I liked the story.

It was (of course) very unbelievable, but that didn’t really bother me. It was a fast read and I enjoyed all the peculiar things. I also really liked the pictures, because they gave the story a darker sphere and they made the book seem less like a children’s book. But to be honest, these were the only things I really liked about the book.

I can’t really tell how I felt about the characters. There was of course some character development, but I didn’t really feel connected to the characters and I don’t think they were described well enough, because I couldn’t really form an image of them in my head. I was actually even a bit indifferent about them sometimes.I also really didn’t feel like there was a message behind the story. To me it felt like just a story about a bunch of kids with special powers. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the story, but to me that was all it was, a story. I didn’t really understand the whole point of the book, especially because it ended with a cliffhanger. I felt like the whole story had just started when the book ended.

One Day. David Nicholls

One Day - David Nicholls Why? Just why? I guess this describes my feelings after finishing this book. I was thinking about giving it 3 stars instead of 4, because of the ending, but I must admit I liked the rest of the book enough to give it 4 stars. But just, that ENDING. Why? Why would he do that? Why write an ending like that? Seriously, and even if someone had the die, why her? I think everyone who’s read the book will agree with me that Dexter is emotionally not as strong as Emma. I mean with the drinking and everything. He’s always been a bit lost. I liked the fact that he got over that, in the end it seemed he was a stronger person than I thought all along. But still, it wasn’t necessary at all to write an ending like that. Finally, after all these years, they were both happy and then THIS THING happens. I don’t think I’ve ever been so mad because of a book. I seriously wanted to throw my copy through the room. But overall I liked the book. I really liked the concept. You never get bored because there’s just so much that happens, not only during the chapters but also in between. I liked the characters too. Not because they are extremely likeable, they’re not, but because you get to see their good and their bad sides. You get to see them struggle, fight, give up, screw things up and also be happy. They were so real.I thought it was quite a sad book, because at first they have all these hopes for the future and expectations and after all, nothing turns out the way it should. It made me think about how everyone wants to change the world, but no one really does in the end. Like Emma said, you can’t change the entire world, just the bit around you, which is a nice thought and it makes the whole thing a bit less sad.But still, the ending ruined it for me. I feel like they both deserved a happier ending. I know that maybe would’ve been predictable and cliché and everything, but still I think that after all they’ve been through they both deserved to be happy.

Finding Violet Park

Finding Violet Park - Jenny Valentine I started reading this book with very high expectations. Not only is Jenny Valentine one of my all-time favourite writers, but this is also her first book and it got a lot of good reviews. I must say I was a little bit disappointed after I finished reading. The book wasn’t bad, it was very good actually, but it just wasn’t what I expected.There were a lot of things about this book I liked. I liked Jenny Valentine’s writing style, this is one of my favourite things about her books, although I thought it wasn’t such an important aspect of the book as in her other books. Maybe this is because this was her first book. I loved the character development, it was very well told and I just liked reading how Lucas changed throughout the story. I liked the relationships between the characters, because they were all so different and unique. I also thought the story and the plot was very good, I just liked the whole concept of the book.The only problem was the amount of pages I think. My copy counts 189 pages and I just didn’t feel like it was enough to relate to the characters and the story. I didn’t really feel like I could make a connection or something to them and I thought this was very sad, because apart from this I really liked the book. If it would have been longer, I would have definitely loved it. I think this book and the concept and plot had more potential than what it eventually became. Maybe I’ll read it again, more careful this time, so that I get the chance to “bound” with the characters.

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger I finished this book quite fast. It’s the kind of book that keeps you reading, suddenly you’ve read 20 pages without noticing you read so much, but you don’t have to keep reading, like with page-turners. I really liked this book. I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower before this one and I noticed a lot of similarities. Since The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite books, I loved this one too. I think Holden was quite a difficult character to figure out. At first he seemed really mean to me, I didn’t like him to be honest. But after a while I really started caring for him and I was able to relate to him in a way I surely did not expect. He reminded me a lot of myself, but at the same time we were complete opposites. That was very strange and new to me and I think it made me like the book more. I sort of liked the way he saw the world, but I thought he was also very pessimistic and that made me kind of sad. I agreed with him on many things in the book, but I think there are more optimistic ways to have the opinions he has. On the other hand, the pessimism made the idea behind the story more clear and understandable. It wouldn’t be as good if Holden would have been an extremely happy and optimistic person.The swearing bothered me a bit at first, but once I got used to it, I didn’t care that much anymore. It contributed to Holden’s personality and gave his opinions more strength I think.It’s funny how books always seem to answer to the mood you’re in and the things that are on your mind. This book did this more than any other book I’ve ever read and it completely blew my mind.

1984

1984 - Wow. Just, wow.I’ve spend a very long time thinking how I can explain what this book made me feel. I wasn’t expecting a lot when I started reading, definitely because I read a very old edition with a lot of spelling mistakes, but once I got a few chapters into the book and was able to look further than the old grammar, it really got to me. It made me feel terrified and fascinated at the same time. It was a scary book, but not in the usual way. It really made me think about things. What if something like this actually happened? I can’t imagine what it must be like to not be allowed to have your own opinion. Not only the entire concept of the book, but also the way everything was described made me feel very scared. I didn’t like the characters in particular. To be honest, I disliked quite a lot of the characters. For example Julia. I thought she was very arrogant, and maybe even a bit narrow-minded, despite her hate against the Party. She hated them, but she didn’t seem to care for other things besides her own pleasure. I didn’t really dislike Winston, but I just didn’t really like him that much. I did feel quite sorry for him. At first I liked O’Brien, but for obvious reasons that didn’t last very long.The most terrifying part of the book was the ending. There’s a part in the book where Winston says that to be able to die while hating the party would be freedom. That’s why the last sentence in particular really scared me, because he didn’t die in freedom after all. Throughout the entire book, he had been able to keep his hate for the party alive, sometimes he hated them more, sometimes less, but it was always there. He was able to stick to his own opinion, despite everything they had done to him, he kept on being himself. But at the end, even he, Winston Smith, who had always hated the Party so deeply, wasn’t able to die in freedom. He died as a part of the Party, not as himself. This scared me, because it showed that the Party can even brainwash the most self-determined people.I really loved this book. It was terrifying, but it was also so well written and clever that it’s almost impossible not to love it. It’s the kind of book that keeps you thinking, much more than just an enjoyable read.

Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1)

Beautiful Creatures (Beautiful Creatures Series #1) - I give it 4 stars for the story, which I really liked. I was afraid that it was going to be just another YA paranormal romance story, but the story turned out really good. It did have some of the kind of superficial things that most paranormal romance books have and that bother me a bit. Of course the girl, Lena, was amazingly beautiful and the guy, Ethan, was amazing at sports, basketball in this case. But overall they weren’t very cliché. I liked the fact that at first, it seemed like they were, but after a while you start noticing they’re not. For example the fact that Ethan loves to read. For Lena I think I don’t need to give an example because her entire personality was just so special and original. I thought the whole paranormal part was very original too. The writers created a whole new world, instead of reusing ideas from other books. It makes you very curious about what the world the characters live in is like. There’s just so much you don’t know as a reader, which makes it able for the book to give a lot of answers, but at the same time give a lot of questions so the story doesn’t get boring.I wasn’t such a great fan of the writing style. It wasn’t bad or anything but it was just very normal (I can’t really say a lot about this though because I read the Dutch translation, instead of the original version). But I also think that books from this genre usually get their greatness from the story, and not from the writing style.The ending was amazing and horrible at the same time. The entire story I was waiting for the moment Lena would turn 16 and suddenly we have to wait until she turns 17. This was extremely frustrating, but also a great motivation to read the next book.

The Kite Runner

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini This book really surprised me, in a good way. I wasn’t really excited to read it at first, because the story is very different from other books I’ve read, but I was immediately drawn into the story. I like the first part the most, in my opinion you could also call it the “happy” part. What I found very interesting about this book, is that I didn’t particularly like the main character. Amir had a lot of flaws and wasn’t such a nice person compared to Hassan. That’s one of the things I liked most about it I think. Amir wasn’t perfect or idealized like some main characters in YA books sometimes are. It’s not like he was a hero or anything, sometimes he even seemed like a bad guy. This was of course partly because he wanted his father’s approval. What I really liked about him was that he was so human. Main characters often tend to be quite heroic, but if we, the readers, would be in their place, we probably wouldn’t make such heroic and brave decisions as they do. I got mad at Amir first, after he didn’t help Hassan. It was obviously the wrong thing to do, but then I started thinking that I maybe would have done the same thing. He must have been incredibly scared, and he was only a child. People never confess to themselves that they would make such a wrong decision, at least not until they really have to make that decision. Like it’s forbidden to even think about doing such thing, and still Khaled Hosseini put it in his book. That was one of the things I really liked, because it felt like such a real story, with real human people and real flaws.It was also an incredibly sad book, probably the saddest one I’ve read so far. I guess sad books often have a deeper message, which I see as a good thing, and the story indeed made me think more about war and poverty and all the things we often forget to think about. But in the end it just felt like too much, too much sadness, pain and grief for one story. The book literally had every sad subject in it that people write books about (war, poverty, grief, regret, cancer, suicide, …) and some of those things contributed to the story, made it better in a sad way, but some things were very unnecessary in my opinion. The best example of that I think is at the end, when you think everything will turn out right, and then Sohrab tries to kill himself. I found that very unnecessary, because he finally was smiling again and after all it turned out that he had nothing to fear. The book is also full of “what if’s”. What if Amir helped Hassan? What if Hassan and Ali hadn’t left the house? What if Amir hadn’t told Sohrab about sending him back to an orphanage for a while (which was also unnecessary) ? What if Hassan and Amir had known they were brothers earlier? What if Amir’s father would have been more loving and caring about Amir? It just all makes the story even sadder.I don’t think I will read it again, although it was a very good book. It was just too sad for me I think. I don’t like books that are extremely happy, but this was just too sad. It wasn’t one of my favourites, but I definitely recommend reading it to everyone. It’s makes you see certain things in a very different way and it opened my eyes to things I never even thought about before.

Fever (Chemical Garden Trilogy)

Fever - Lauren DeStefano The book started of really good. The thing about sequels is that it always takes a while for me to get back into the story and the characters, but not with this one. What I liked about Whiter is that the pace was very fast. From the first sentence I was immediately thrown into the story, which I loved because I just had to keep reading. Fever was no difference from that, the story started were the previous one ended. But after a while the pace of the story slowed down a bit in my opinion. There is a pattern in the book that just keeps repeating itself. Rhine and Gabriel manage to escape the horrible situation they’re in, but tumble right in too another (sometimes even more horrible) situation. When you think they’ll never escape, they do and for a moment you are relieved, but it just keeps getting worse. I didn’t really feel like this book gave a lot of answers, just more questions, which I thought was very frustrating. Another thing that comes back a lot in the story, is the illness both Gabriel and Rhine experience and I found this quite depressing. I liked the characters less than in Wither, because they seemed much weaker. I liked the writing style, but I hope Sever gives more answers, I didn’t really feel like this book had a plot.

Dancing in My Nuddy-Pants! (Confessions of Georgia Nicolsn)

"Dancing In My Nuddy-Pants!"  - Louise Rennison Equally to the previous books, this book is simply hilarious. Georgia Nicolson is the weirdest person you will ever come to meet in a book. I liked the writing style, it had a fast pace and was very easy to read, definitely not boring. I consider this just an enjoyable read and not a great work of fiction or anything, which is fine because I don’t think it’s really meant to be touching, just very funny. This is a series of books I like the read when I want to read something light, easy and funny, nothing to heavy. Sometimes I found Georgia a bit annoying, but I don’t think she is supposed to be a character you can relate to and has all these amazing qualities. Often, she seems quite mean and selfish, which is the part I thought was so annoying, but it also made her funny and you shouldn’t take her too seriously. Overall I thought it was a funny and enjoyable book, but it’s very similar to the previous ones and if you would read them all immediately after each other, I think they would get a bit boring.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky I’ve been wanting to read this book for a very long time, and when I finally did, I finished it in about 4 days (what doesn’t happen very often lately when I read books). I don’t really know why it went so fast this time, but I think it was because I could really relate to the characters, especially Charlie. I just needed to know that he would be okay at the end. I could also really relate to the things he would say and his way of thinking, and I think all introvert people are able to relate to him. It was a sad book, but at the same time it wasn’t. I think Stephen Chbosky really did a good job in compensating the bad things with the good ones. Overall Charlie was quite sad I think and he had been through bad things, but there were moments when he seemed to be incredibly happy (I guess there’s no need to refer to the “I felt infinite”-part). I also really loved the writing style. It wasn’t too difficult, and I think it’s very nice to read when you are a teenager (like me) but at the same time it isn’t superficial or anything, it really gets to you. In some books, were the writing style is pleasant for teenagers, the characters are usually a bit superficial I think. They don’t really have something that makes them special, and those books are mostly focused on the story itself. This book wasn’t like that. The characters and their development are very important, and they are all special in a different way. They have their good and bad sides, and you really get to know them. From the moment I started reading I knew this was going to be my new favorite book, and I was very right about that.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green I had very high expectations for this book, because of all the great things I heard about it. I immediately liked the book, but at first I didn’t think it was that different or better than other books. I was already starting the wonder why everyone loved it so much when the story just completely hit me. While reading the book, I was expecting Hazel would die at the end, and I really wish she wouldn’t but I was prepared for it. Augustus getting sick again wasn’t something I was prepared for. John Green was really brilliant (and also kind of horrible, because I cried) to come up with that, because while Hazel was scared that she was a grenade and that she would hurt Gus by loving him, Gus turned out to be the grenade in the story. Many times, mostly at the end of the story, I could see little bits of myself in the characters and in the things they thought and said. That’s one of the things I love most about John Green’s writing, that sometimes he writes exactly what I am thinking. What I also love about his books, is the fact that the characters are all so smart. They seem to understand life in a way most people don’t. That’s maybe why Augustus’s eulogy for Hazel was my favorite part of the book, because it was so smart of him to notice her way of being and thinking like that, and because her way of being is so incredibly smart. I really loved this book, it’s one of those books you want to read over and over again.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer This book is amazing. Really. It is the saddest book I have ever read. The amount of pain and grief is unbelievable. I could feel everything the characters felt. I like the fact that there are different points of view, so you understand everyone’s part in the story better. Why they went away, why they did certain things. I really loved Oskar. He is so innocent and smart. I also really liked the writing style. Very unique and different from any book I’ve ever read. I think everyone should read this.

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines - I absolutely loved this book. I read Looking for Alaska before this, which was also a pretty great book, but the atmosphere was completely different. Looking for Alaska was rather a sad book, very heavy. The characters all carried around these things that happened in their past, and had all been hurt in some kind of way. An Abundance of Katherines was very different in that way. The characters had also been hurt (like Lindsey and Colin when they were kids) but it didn’t have such a big influence on the story as in Looking for Alaska. This story was funny and in my opinion easier to read, because it wasn’t as heavy. It made me laugh out loud several times, which doesn’t happen really fast when I’m reading a book. It was also very easy to associate with the characters. Sometimes it was like they said the exact things I sometimes thought about. This is probably the best book I’ve read this year.

Alice In Wonderland

Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll I LOVE THIS BOOK.It is weird and strange and some of the chapters make absolutely no sense and that’s why I love it. I recognised a lot of myself in Alice and I liked the social commentary. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that will enchant you till the end and stay with you for the rest of your life.

Before I Die

Before I Die - Jenny Downham This is a really sad and emotional book, and I liked it very much. I knew from the beginning Tessa was going to die, because a friend of me read it first and she told me, and at the beginning I didn’t really care that much. But while reading the book I really started caring about her and I kept hoping she would survive. I can honestly say that I cried several times over this book, definitely in the end.