dinsdag 29 juli 2014

Review "The Gatekeeper's Sons"

Some information

Title: The Gatekeeper's Sons
Author: Eva Pohler
Pages: 384
Published: August 2012
Publisher: Green Press/Eva Pohler
My source: the author (thank you!)
My score on Goodreads: 4 stars


Fifteen-year-old Therese watches her parents die. While in a coma, she meets the twin sons of Hades—Hypnos, the god of sleep, and Thanatos, the god of death. She thinks she's manipulating a dream, not kissing the god of death and totally rocking his world. 

Than makes a deal with Hades and goes as a mortal to the Upperworld to try and win Therese's heart, but not all the gods are happy. Some give her gifts. Others try to kill her. 

The deal requires Therese to avenge the death of her parents. With the help of Than’s fierce and exotic sisters, the Furies, she finds herself in an arena face to face with the murderer, and only one will survive.

My review

Good book! This was my first audio book and I have to say I don't like audio books as much as I hoped I'd do. That's the reason why it took me so long to finish this book. The story was very good so that's not why I had to plough through it for months. 

In "The Gatekeeper's Sons" we meet Therese, 15 y.o., who just lost her parents in a terrible accident. The only problem is: the accident wasn't just an accident. It was a brutal murder and the person who pulled the trigger, wanted Therese to be dead too. In a way Therese would've liked this outcome better too, but the gods didn't believe she was ready to stop her life. 
The gods... in this story we are confronted with the Greek gods in all their glory. As a teacher in Greek and Latin I couldn't be thrilled more. I was frightened there would be lots of incorrect details, but I was happy to see Eva Pohler did a lot of research. Everything made sense and the whole story was poured in a beautiful whole. The gods were presented in a very good and complete way and the characters in the book were tangible, understandable, real,... The mix between gods and human beings was lovely.
After the accident Therese meets these gods very often. She even falls in love with one of the darkest gods in Greek mythology... Hades' son: Thanatos. His name means "Death", his job is to guide dead people to the underworld, the empire where his father is king. Why couldn't Therese fall for the cute boy next door? Why did she fall in love with an almost untangable god? Why is she risking her life to spend the rest of it with him in a world she doesn't know?

Beside the gods and the other characters I also liked the story. It was exciting from the beginning on! Sometimes I did believe there were otiose parts, but the main reason why I didn't like these parts was the voice reading this story. The person who did this was very good, but when you stumble upon an insipid part in a book you just start to read a little faster. With an audio book this wasn't possible and I had to listen to all these little parts in a very slow tempo. Hated it! That's why I prefer a real book instead of these audio books...

zaterdag 19 juli 2014

Review "Next Time Lucky"

Some information

Title: Next Time Lucky (Lessons of a Matchmaker)
Author: Siggy Buckley
Pages: 252
Published: January 2013
Publisher: Createspace
My Source: author (thank you!)
My Score on Goodreads: 4 stars


Cherie, a professional matchmaker from Dublin, Ireland, faces the ultimate challenge when she tries to find a soul mate for herself. She surfs the risky waves of the Internet and flies around the world to adventures, disappointments and not a few surprises. Chat-rooms prove to be intoxicating, and Cherie feels like in a kid in a candystore. Among the Lotharios she encounters are recycled bachelors, breezy islands of ego, fly-by-nights, birds of paradise, commitment phobics, and the odd sex maniac. She learns the hard way that it's easy come, uneasy go at this smorgasboard of cyber-dreamboats.
Her story is an intriguing read, offering a revealing glimpse into the world of cyber romance for singles that are toying with the idea, for those who haven’t dared yet, or those who just want to compare notes. It also discloses practical advice for modern day’s mate selection through the eyes of a dating expert, both on the Internet and in the real world.
With insight and great humor, Siggy Buckley tells the sassy story of a modern woman's dilemma of being independent yet longing for coupledom.
If you are thinking about online dating or want to compare notes, this book is a must.

My review

Well, this was something different from what I normally read... But I liked it! 

In "Next Time Lucky" we meet Cherie, a German woman who lives in Ireland. She's at a point in her life where she's looking out for something more. She feels lonely after her divorce and a break-up. Her children are learning how to fly on their own and Cherie has the feeling she's left alone. This is extra hard when your job is to match couples and find "the one" for your clients. How is it possible Cherie can't find the man of her dreams while she's a professional matchmaker? 
Luckily Cherie isn't the kind of person who just sits there and waits for something to happen. She takes control of the situation and starts to fly around in the world of Internet Dating. Something new for her since she's only familiar with a good old dating agency. I have to say: this woman is a brave one. She starts making appointments and going on dates with total strangers. She even travels the world for them. 
Cherie gets to know nice men but she also meets creeps or very strange persons with serious problems. Even these experiences don't make her stop her quest for the man of her life. She always hopes that next time, she'll be lucky... And as a reader you hope with her!

Though this wasn't the kind of book I would normally pick up to read, I have to say I enjoyed it. It was the perfect holiday read for me but I assume it's a good book whenever you read it. Cherie is a character you can really connect with, even though she doesn't always do sensible things. Her courage to meet these unknown men is something I don't get at all. I wouldn't be able to meet another stranger after a bad experience with one. Cherie keeps hoping and in that way I envy her! 
This book was funny, confronting and warning at the same time. Sometimes Cherie tends to see things black and white, but this gave a funny touch to the book. 
I do think that people who wanted to join the internet dating community will think twice after reading this book. They'll see that a lot of people aren't honest on the internet and meeting with them could be dangerous. 

The writing in this book is what I liked the most. You just keep on reading without noticing how many pages you've read. The story sweeps you away and you start hoping Cherie will be "Next Time Lucky"!

vrijdag 18 juli 2014

Review "The Fault In Our Stars"

Some information

Title: The fault in our stars
Author: John Green
Pages: 313
Published: January 2012
Publisher: Dutton Books
My Source: Standaard Book Shop
My score on Goodreads: 3 stars


Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

My review

I don't like cancer stories. 

Maybe that's all there is to say... I've had a real cancer story in my life and that was more than enough.

Why did I read this book in spite of my aversion? Because EVERYBODY praised the book and almost gave me the feeling I HAD to like it. Everywhere on the Internet I saw people showing this book, saying "this is my favorite book". Everybody said you would need some Kleenex while reading this book because it's so beautiful. Of course I need Kleenex when people have cancer and die too soon. 

Though I didn't like the book in the way I hoped I would like it, it's not bad either. Of course not :). I want to praise John Green for writing in such a beautiful way. He's able to describe everything in a way you have the feeling you're there with the characters. You feel like you know Hazel and Augustus. I loved the characters! Party because they feel so real, but also because they just don't care what people think or say. They want to enjoy life (although they also have their bad moments) because they know their version of life is and will be a little different from other versions. 

What I also liked about this book is the fact I really couldn't predict how it would all go. We're dealing with two main characters who describe themselves as ticking time bombs. They're living on the edge all the time and this made me reading a little faster. I wanted to know how it would all end (hoping everything would be solved in a miraculous way).

Something about the story... The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, meet each other at Cancer Kidd Support Group. Hazel hates to go there, but when she sees the handsome Augustus Waters appear, she starts to like it a little more. When this boy also seems to be funny and smart, she falls for him little by little. Augustus shows Hazel a totally new way of living your life and he makes her time on this planet more worthwhile. Hazel in her turn seems to calm Augustus down somewhat and shows him what real love is.

In short I liked this book but not as much as I hoped. Maybe my expectations where set too high because of all the good comments I heard about it. I'm very happy I've read the book but I don't think I'm going to recommend it to somebody. I hope the movie will be good because I'm planning on giving it a try...