ARC Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer

ARC Review: The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer

IMG_1223

Being pregnant while you’re a virgin, is that even possible? In The Inconceivable Life of Quinn it’s possible. Or is it? You’ve to read the book for yourself to decide if it’s possible, or not. Marianna Baer instantly grabbed my attention with a topic like this. I actually didn’t know what to expect from this story and luckily it was a pleasantly surprising read. It was actually unique and fascinating and I’m glad I got to read the ARC.

img_1053-1

Synopsis

Quinn Cutler is sixteen and the daughter of a high-profile Brooklyn politician. She’s also pregnant, a crisis made infinitely more shocking by the fact that she has no memory of ever having sex. Before Quinn can solve this deeply troubling mystery, her story becomes public. Rumors spread, jeopardizing her reputation, her relationship with a boyfriend she adores, and her father’s campaign for Congress. Religious fanatics gather at the Cutlers’ home, believing Quinn is a virgin, pregnant with the next messiah. Quinn’s desperate search for answers uncovers lies and family secrets—strange, possibly supernatural ones. Might she, in fact, be a virgin?

img_1053-1

What I liked

  • The Cutler family and their history and background. It was well-developed and it added real depth to the story. For example, the way the actions of Quinn’s grandma influenced Quinn’s father by leaving him when he was young and eventually committing suicide. It made Quinn’s dad an anxious and overprotective dad. Continuously afraid of Quinn becoming depressed. More important, he’s afraid of Quinn’s obsession with water, the same obsession his mother had. Marianna Baer beautifully illustrates how the actions of a parent can define a child.
  • The relationship between Quinn and Jesse. They were so good together, the real definition of soul mates. Even though, they didn’t have a relationship anymore and Jesse felt betrayed, he kept loving and supporting Quinn. He tried to understand her and believe in her, even when no one else did. Moreover, it wasn’t one-sided, Quinn would give up anything for Jesse as well. She leant on him in difficult times, but not once did I have the feeling she used him.
  • The way the author let the readers choose for themselves. Is what happened to Quinn something supernatural or is she psychotic? Honestly, both explanations/beliefs could be right. We’ll never really know.
  • That Quinn was an unreliable narrator. She’s unreliable because some chapters are told from another POV’s. How they viewed Quinn and her situation made me question her reliability. That realisation made the story so much more interesting. I was continuously guessing what really happened to Quinn and what was true or not.
  • Quinn’s an intriguing main character. She’s doubting herself because she doesn’t know what’s the truth and what’s imagination anymore. I admire that she still did what she thought was right, instead of doing what others said was best for her. For example, deciding to keep her baby. Throughout the story she’s searching for the truth, a truth she’ll probably never find. However in her search for the truth, she finds herself and learns what’s important to her. She grows up.

img_1053-1

What I didn’t like

  •  Honestly, I can’t of anything I didn’t like.

img_1053-1

The verdict

img_1050-6

This book definitely deserves five stars, because it was a beautiful, breath-taking and unique read. I recommend this one to everyone. Period.
img_1053-1

Have you read the Inconceivable Life of Quinn already? What did you think of this book? Or is it on your TBR? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

img_1051

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
A Month in Books: March 2017

A Month in Books: March 2017

March was a really busy month. I’m surprised that I found the time to actually read. Looking back I read a nice amount of books. However, writing reviews didn’t go so well. Hopefully, April will be a better review writing month.

So, this is a new monthly post. I hope it’s a fun overview of all book related things I did this month. I had a lot of fun writing it.

img_1053-2

Reading stats

Books read: 11
Most read genre: fantasy
Favorite book: Geekerella – Ashley Poston

img_1053-2

All about books

Favorite main character
Quinn from The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer

Favorite side character
Sage from Geekerella – Ashley Poston.

Favorite villain
Irina from the Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine

Favorite romantic relationship
Wolfe and Santi from Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine.

Favorite non-romantic relationship
Yukiko and Buruu from Stormdancer – Jay Kristoff

Favorite world/setting
The world of Ink and Bone – Rachel Caine

Favorite cover

img_1089

5 star books
Alice in Zombieland – Gena Showalter
The Shadow Queen – C.J. Redwine
Geekerella – Ashley Poston
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer

img_1053-2

Blog

Best review
Review: You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner

Best other post
Spring Flowers Book Tag

A post that deserves more love
Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

img_1053-2

Upcoming

My TBR
When the Moon was Ours – Anna-Marie McLemore
Towards a Secret Sky – Heather Maclean
The Crown’s Game – Evelyn Skye
All The Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera

Reviews
Geekerella – Ashley Poston
Defentions of Idefinable Thing – Whitney Taylor
The Castaways – Jessika Fleck
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn – Marianna Baer

Most anticipated debut
Meg & Linus – Hanna Nowinski

Most anticipated fantasy book
Spindle Fire – Lexa Hillyer

Most anticipated science fiction book
Defy the Stars – Claudia Gray

Most anticipated contemporary book
The Upside of Unrequited – Becky Albertalli

Most anticipated sequel
Blacklist – Alyson Noël

img_1053-2

What were your book and reading favorites? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

img_1051

Review: You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner

Review: You’re Welcome Universe by Whitney Gardner

IMG_1165

Can you imagine what it’s like to be deaf? You’re Welcome Universe gives us a fascinating insight in the life of a teenage girl who’s deaf. Author Whitney Gardner describes the difficulties of being deaf: interacting with people who can hear, dealing with prejudices and insensitive people. But she also emphasizes that being deaf doesn’t mean a person is pathetic or that someone can’t live a full life. Combined with a main character who loves art and a focus on friendship this book is a must-read for everyone who loves contemporary YA fiction.

img_1053-2

Synopsis (goodreads)

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
img_1053-2

What I liked

  • The artwork. This was a beautiful addition to the story.
  • The focus on (street) art and graffiti. The author described the need to create really well.
  • The portrayal of a deaf character. I think this book made me more empathetic for people who are deaf. I call it ‘more empathetic’ because I think it isn’t possible for someone who hears to really understand what it’s like to be deaf.
  • The dialogue. It emphasized how difficult it can be for someone who’s deaf to communicate with someone who hears. As a reader I really felt for main character Julia and I was frustrated that some people where so insensitive to her needs.
  • The focus on friendship instead of romance. The author wrote about real friendship based on mutual respect and genuine involvement. However, real friendship isn’t perfect, it also means fights and disagreements, but in the end it doesn’t matter if you agree or not. No, accepting these differences is what real friendship is about.
  • YP. I love how her friendship with Julia made her more confident about herself. Besides, she had a super cute personality.

img_1053-2

What I didn’t like

  • The ending felt rushed. I finished the book and I still had questions about some of the characters. To me, it’s a missed opportunity that the author didn’t wrap-up all subplots.
  • I couldn’t always relate with the main character. Not because of her disability, but because of her personality. She was rebellious, broke rules, lied a lot and was mean to others without a real reason. I understand she has a difficult time and she’s an adolescent, so I can understand her behavior partly. However, the lying and breaking laws isn’t something I can relate to, so the whole story I felt a distance between me and the main character.

img_1053-2

The verdict

img_1050-10

You’re Welcome Universe is a fun and easy read. If you’re looking for light-hearted diverse book, I’d recommend this one.

img_1053-2

What did you think of this book? Did you love it or hate it? Or is it still on your TBR? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

img_1051

Disclaimer: I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Reading Challenges: Bingo

Reading Challenges: Bingo

I was looking for a fun and casual reading challenge and found a few bingo challenges. I decided to participate in two of these bingo challenges.

img_1053-2

EpicReads Retelling Bingo

The first one is the EpicReads Retelling Bingo. I adore retellings and the five titles on the bingo card are all on my TBR.

img_1139
img_1053-2

Spring Bookish Bingo

The second one I found is a spring bingo card. The goal is to get as many bingo’s as possible in March, April and May.  Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Books has a new bingo card every new season. Be sure to check out her post for instructions on how the Bookish Bingo works.

img_1117

 

img_1053-2
Are you participating in any of these challenges? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

img_1051

Spring Flowers Book Tag

Spring Flowers Book Tag

Design

The weather in the Netherlands is absolutely dreary. So, I decided to create a spring book tag to cheer myself up. And of course for everyone else in need of some cheering up.

img_1053-2

Daffodil

A book about unrequited love

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton en Jodi Meadows. The unrequited love is more of a subplot. King Edward is in love with his childhood friend Lady Jane. However she only sees him as her best friend. It sounds sad, but this books has a happily ever after, even for king Edward.

img_1053-2

Foxglove

A book you pretended to like

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I really wanted to love this book but I actually didn’t like it at all. However, when talking about this book I say I liked so-so.

img_1053-2

Lilac

A book about a first love

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. The romance in this book is beautiful and innocent. A bittersweet first love, as it often is.

img_1053-2

Hyacinth

A book with a sad ending

Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I wouldn’t call the ending bad, but it isn’t a happily ever after either. The ending fitted the story, so I was satisfied. Still, it didn’t give me a super happy feeling.

img_1053-2

Peony

A book that made you feel embarrassed

Blank Spaces by Cass Lennox. I was reading this book in the train. It had some pretty hot scenes. My cheeks grew hot and I was afraid everyone could see what I was reading. Probably not really. But still. I felt pretty uncomfortable

img_1053-2

Tulip

A book with the most beautiful declaration of love

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. When Rhys and Feyre finally confessed, it was super romantic and made my heart pound.

img_1053-2

Crocus

A book that made you laugh out loud

Waste of Space by Gina Damico. I’m currently reading this book and I have to say it’s really funny. Gina Damico’s writing style is witty and sarcastic. She makes fun of relevant topics and her use of stereotypes is comical and almost grotesque, making the story interesting instead of boring.

img_1053-2

Pansy

A book that challenged you to think about an important or heavy subject

Hold Back the Stars by Katie Kahn. This book encouraged me the think about the functioning of our society, but also about individualism.

img_1053-2

Daisy

A book about a strong female friendship

The Alchemists of Loom by Elisa Kova. The friendship between Ari and Florence is strong and based on mutual respect. Theirs is a friendship that will last forever.

img_1053-2

IMG_1128

I’m tagging everyone who’s interested in doing this tag. Don’t forget to credit me as the creator of this tag and link back to me. I hope you enjoy answering these questions.

img_1051

 

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

IMG_1134

Can you imagine a world where owning real books is forbidden? It may sound unbelievable, but I can. Why? We live in a digital age and a lot of people read digital books. Myself included. Still I would miss the smell and feel of a new book. Ink and Bone gives an interesting insight in a world that could be ours in the future.

img_1053-2
“You don’t have just ink in your blood. It’s in your bones. Your skeleton’s black with it.”

Synopsis (goodreads)

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn

img_1053-2

“We never wanted to conquer the world, only our fears.”

What I liked

  • The writing style. It’s like a post-impressionistic painting: colorful, vibrant, imperfect and raw.
  • Christopher Wolfe: he has a bad guy attitude but he’s actually a big (but sexy) sweetie.
  • Santi & Wolfe?? Love them! They really made this book, especially the second half. I hope they will appear in the next book.
  • The diverse cast of characters with varying ethnicities and sexual orientations.
  • The world-building. The world in this book is like our world, but not entirely. At times, this world is most like the 18th/19th century with steam- and clockpunk elements like automatons. Other times, it’s more like science fiction with its advanced technology. For example the codex, that’s a bit like our iPad with ebooks. Alchemy is the one thing that connects and explains everything.
  • That main character Jess doesn’t have any special powers. He’s wonderfully imperfect. He has a temper and is a good liar, but he’s also loyal and sympathetic. He makes bad decisions, but that makes him human.
  • The dynamics between the most important characters. They all had different personalities but were awesome together. I love how they all became friends throughout the book.
  • The lack of romance. The story has a smal romantic subplot and a few romantic scenes. But other than that, the romance was only hinted at.
  • The cover. It’s gorgeous.

img_1053-2

“It was the Burner’s motto: A life is worth more than a book.”

What I didn’t like

  • Stereotypical characters: the clumsy but gentle best friend, the super smart girl, the hostile roommate. Doesn’t this sound a bit like HP?
  • It took a while for me to understand the functioning of the Great Library.
  • An unexpected death of an important character.
  • After all the twists and turns the ending disappointed me a little.

img_1053-2

“Winning, losing, doesn’t matter. You can’t give up, because whether you win or lose, you just set up the board and keep playing.”

The verdict

img_1050-10

Ink & Bone is a lovely first book in a series about books. Although it took me time getting into, reading this book was a great experience. One I would recommend to anyone who likes an original fantasy novel.
img_1053-2

“Lives are short, but knowledge is eternal.”

I made a board on Pinterest inspired by Ink and Bone, so if you want to see what I put together click here.

What did you think of this book? Did you love it or hate it? Or is it still on your TBR? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

img_1051

Disclaimer: this review is my interpretation of this book. It is my truth, but it isn’t the only truth.
Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

img_1083

The wishes we make in the dark have consequences, and the Lord of Mischief will call their reckoning

Wintersong is a dark and poetic story about music, madness, sacrifice, passion, magic, wishes and learning to accept  yourself. I absolutely adored this story and I felt a bit sad after finishing it. Besides entertaining me, this story made me feel all kinds of emotions and it made me think about topics like beauty and cruelty and sacrifice.

Hopefully you don’t mind the amount of quotes. I found so many beautiful quotes while reading and I know I went a little overboard, but I think they enhance the review in this respect.

img_1053-2

He had been cold for so long that he no longer remembered light or heat or all that was good in the world. She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw. So he accepted her hand in marriage, a hand given as a lifeline is to a drowning man.

Synopsis

Insecure and plain girl Liesl has one dream, becoming a composer. But being born in the wrong time and age means pursuing her dream is next to impossible and so she lives her life in service of the people she loves. Never giving in to her own wishes and desires, keeping her music to herself. However, she has a secret audience. The Erlkönig. A man who claims Liesl’s music makes him feel alive again. Through games and cunning the Erlkönig tries to win Liesl’s hand, heart and music. But the stakes are higher than Liesl ever could’ve imagined. Set in a world full of ancient magic and passion bordering on madness, Liesl tries to save the ones she loves.

img_1053-2

But the Goblin King had his own voice, full of passion, longing, and reverence, and it was unexpectedly….vibrant. Alive.”

What I liked

  • The writing style. It’s actually the most outstanding part of the book. The author uses formal and old-fashioned words that enhance the overall feel of the story and the descriptions are vibrant and luscious.
  • The use of the German words like Fraulein and Mein Herr. It strenghtens the setting.
  • The whole story reads like a fairy tale.
  • The chemistry between Liesl and the Erlkönig is super hot. The sexual attraction is palpable. However, their chemistry also shines through their passion for music.
  • The fact that Liesl wanted and liked sex and even admitting it. As a feminist, I totally approve of the way the author handled sexuality. That a woman feels lust too and acts on these feelings and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The kiss is sweeter than sin and fiercer than temptation. I am not gentle, I am not kind; I am rough and wild and savage.”

  • The use of contradictions. Beautiful but cruel. Ugly but seductive. It sounds impossible, but after thinking about it for a while I realised that there can be beauty in cruelty and that beauty can be cruel. Moreover, in a twisted kind of way ugliness can be seductive because it gives power.
  • Often, the interaction between Liesl and der Erlkönig was on a whole other level than normal communication. They communicated through their music and it was beautiful.
  • This story had elements of the myth about Hades and Persephone, Beauty and the Beast and Red Riding Hood.
  • Both Liesl and der Erlkönig changed a lot during this story. Der Erlkönig learnt that true love is letting the other go. While Liesl learnt to accept herself.
  • The ending. It was bittersweet and broke my heart. Still, it was a satisfying end. However, the ending makes a sequel also a possibility.
  • Even though the book was 436 pages, it felt like it could’ve been a 1000 pages. Not because it was boring or had a slow pacing, but because it was a rich and intricate story full of details, secrets and little plot twists.

img_1053-2

A sparrow is beautiful in its own way,” Käthe said severely. “Don’t force yourself to be a peacock, Liesl. Embrace your sparrow self.”

What I didn’t like

  • Every few pages Liesl was complaining about her being plain and talentless. In the end it becomes clear why her plain appearances are emphasised and I can understand the author’s reasoning behind it. Still, it really annoyed me

img_1053-2

His beauty hurt, but it was the pain that made it beautiful.

The verdict

img_1050-6

I give this story five stars without any doubt. I think I made it clear in this review how much I love this book. And if you weren’t sure if you’d want to read it, I encourage you to give it a try. Especially if you like fairy tales, a poetic writing style and a bittersweet plot.

img_1053-2

Love is the bridge that spans the world above and below, and keeps the wheel of life turning.

What did you think of this book? Did you love it or hate it? Or is it still on your TBR? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

img_1051

Beware of the Goblin men and the wares they sell

Disclaimer: this review is my interpretation of this book. It is my truth, but it isn’t the only truth.