Tuesday 31 May 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #86: Top Ten 2016 Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Broke and Bookish. This weeks topic is Top Ten 2016 Beach Reads


  1. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
  2. The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
  3. Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally
  4. Wanderlost by Jen Malone
  5. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  6. The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine
  7. Little Black Dress, Little White Lies by Laura Stampler
  8. Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein
  9. The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
  10. The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead


Monday 30 May 2016

Review: Manga Classics: Emma by Stacy King

23332879Title: Managa Classics: Emma
Author: Stacy King
Genre: classic, manga
Publisher: Udon Entertainment
Publication date: May 12th 2015
Pages: 308 (paperback)
Source: Netgalley

Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen's classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). - Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

This was the very first manga book that I have ever read, for some reason they never really appealed to me. But Emma is one of my favorite Jane Austen books so I thought that I should give it a shot and it was definitely worth it.

The story follows the original plotline, which I am really thankful for. Because I know some old stories in a new concept are sometimes altered a lot. Of course it is a lot shorter than the original since it is a manga so a lot of things were left out or told a bit differently since it is impossible to cram everything into one manga book. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this manga so much was because I recognized so much from the original story. It was a great read in so many ways. I enjoyed the graphics and it was nice to see how the characters were given certain expressions. And I could really imagine the characters being like that in real life as well. The dialogue between the characters and the inner monologues were well written and kept me interesting. When I was younger I read a lot of comic books and reading Emma reminded me so much of it.  

I only had one problem with this manga. Emma was already a bit snobbish in the book, usually without the intend to be so, but here she came across as a real snob and self-absorb. And she often was even cruel. Now it might be just me, since I have not read the book in ages but I do not remember her being like that at all. Other than that I have no complaints at all about this manga retelling.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Emma and it was definitely a good experience. I might actually pick up some other manga retellings from classics since it will me take less time to “reread” them then. If you are looking for a nice way to relive Emma than I would definitely recommend this to you.


Friday 27 May 2016

Guest Post: Resolution by Andrew Joyce

30009309Title: Resolution: Huck Finn's Greatest Adventure
Author: Andrew Joyce
Genre: Adult
Publication date: April 7th 2016
Pages: 370 (paperback)
Buy links: Amazon | Smashwords | B&N | iTunes | Kobo 

It is 1896 in the Yukon Territory, Canada. The largest gold strike in the annals of human history has just been made; however, word of the discovery will not reach the outside world for another year.

By happenstance, a fifty-nine-year-old Huck Finn and his lady friend, Molly Lee, are on hand, but they are not interested in gold. They have come to that neck of the woods seeking adventure.
Someone should have warned them, “Be careful what you wish for.”

When disaster strikes, they volunteer to save the day by making an arduous six hundred mile journey by dog sled in the depths of a Yukon winter. They race against time, nature, and man. With the temperature hovering around seventy degrees below zero, they must fight every day if they are to live to see the next.

On the frozen trail, they are put upon by murderers, hungry wolves, and hostile Indians, but those adversaries have nothing over the weather. At seventy below, your spit freezes a foot from your face. Your cheeks burn—your skin turns purple and black as it dies from the cold. You are in constant danger of losing fingers and toes to frostbite.

It is into this world that Huck and Molly race.

They cannot stop. They cannot turn back. They can only go on. Lives hang in the balance—including theirs.


My name is Andrew Joyce and I write books for a living. Elien has been kind enough to allow me a little space on her blog to promote my new novel RESOLUTION: Huck Finn’s Greatest Adventure. I think it’s a good book, but what do I know? Anyway, I’m kinda shy about tooting my own horn. So I think I’ll turn things over to my dog, Danny. Usually when he writes about me, it’s to tell the world what an idiot I am (his take on me, not mine). But today he’s feeling a little sentimental. So without further ado, here’s, Danny the Dog.

Andrew interrupted my very busy life to help him out here. For a person that works with words for a living, he has very little to say in real life. He wants me to tout his book for him, but I don’t think I will. Instead, I think I’ll tell you about how we met.

I found him thirteen years ago down in Miami. Nowadays we live on a boat in Fort Lauderdale, but I’m originally from Miami. Andrew, as far as I know, has always lived in Fort Lauderdale.

I was six months old and I wanted to go out and see the world. I wasn’t getting any younger and the lure of the road was calling to me. So, one day when no one was looking, I just took off. At first, I had a grand time. I’d sniff my way up one street and then down the next. I met up with a few other dogs, chased a few cars, and thought to myself, This is the life. But after a day or so, I started to get hungry and, unlike the home I had left, the humans I ran into had no desire to feed me. I did get into a few garbage cans, but the pickings were kinda slim.

On my third day of freedom, I’m running down the street and a white pickup truck stops and this guy gets out and talks to me. I forget exactly what he said, but it was something along the line of buying me a hamburger. Naturally, I jumped into the truck and off we went. Right about now, you are all thinking that the human was Andrew. Well you are all wrong. The guy’s name was Don.

He took me to a McDonalds and bought me two hamburgers. Then we went to his house and I stayed with him. I had tired of being on the road. It was nice to be fed every day, and to be loved wasn’t bad either. The only down side was that Don kept calling me George.

Now this is where Andrew comes into the picture. About three times a week, Andrew would drive down to Miami to do some business. Don was a friend of his, and they’d get together for lunch whenever they could. A week after I found Don, he took me to breakfast where we met up with Andrew. Andrew and I were introduced and the three of us had drive-thru McMuffins. Whatever they are, but they were good.

While we were eating, Don said, “I can’t take care of George anymore. I’m going to take him to the Humane Society this morning.” He was? That came as news to me! I thought he liked me. But as you will shortly see, there were bigger things happening here—cosmic things.

Andrew spoke up. “Look, I live almost across the street from the Fort Lauderdale Humane Society. I’ll take the dog in for you and save you a trip.” So I was put in Andrew’s car and away we went.
It’s about a twenty-minute ride from where we left Don to the Humane Society.

As we exited the highway, Andrew turned to me and said, “It looks like I’m stuck with you. I just can’t drop you off to be put in a cage.” I figured that’s what he would do because I gave him a few licks during the ride up, and I tried to look both pitiful and cute at the same time. That ain’t easy, you try it sometime.

When we got to the boat, Andrew told me that he once had a dog named George, so I would need a new name. Hey, I don’t care what you call me; just don’t call me late for dinner! At first, he said he was going to name me Don, but then he changed it to Danny. My full name is Daniel J. Daniels.

Now here is where things get a little weird. A week later, Don was dead. I don’t know if he knew he was going to die, or if some cosmic force had him turn me over to Andrew because he was destined to die. Whatever it was, here I am living on a boat with my human. He’s not really a bad sort, although it was a chore to get him trained just right. But it’s been worth it. Every morning after I take him for a walk, he gives me a treat. What dog could ask for anything more?

That’s about it for now. If I hurry, I might be able to get home in time to catch Sesame Street—my favorite.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot—go out and buy Andrew’s new book and make the old guy happy.

This is Andrew again. On behalf of Danny and myself, I would like to thank Elien for having us over. It’s been a real pleasure.

Author bio

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written four books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, RESOLUTION. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, YELLOW HAIR.


Thursday 26 May 2016

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

24529123Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marijke Nijkamp
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: January 5th 2016
Pages: 285 (hardcover)
Source: Netgalley

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.  The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This Is Where It Ends has left me really conflicted. On one hand I really like the concept of this book, it is something that needed to be addressed, but on the other hand it did not feel realistic to me for multiple reasons.

The book is told in different perspectives, which was one of the interesting things about this book. We got to see how everyone reacted differently to the events and how it was experienced by people who were inside when the shooting occurred and the ones who were locked outside and had no way to help the ones inside.

The first hundred pages or so I was really into the story. The plotline spoke to me a lot. Where I grew up, in Belgium, there has never been a school shooting (at least not that I know of). But it is something we hear about on the news or read about in the newspapers and I could just never wrap my mind around it. So I wanted to see how the author would address this issue. In the beginning I could understand how the characters were feeling and why exactly they were feeling it. But after a while somethings just did not make sense to me anymore. Some of the characters undertook some unbelievable actions. Another reason why I started to like the book less was because the characters were underdeveloped.  The different narrators tell their own stories; none of them basically have a good life. They are clearly portrayed as the victims and in the end they but a school shooting has so much more to it.

To be honest I was hoping that we would get a better insight into why the shooter decided to do such a thing in the first place. This is not a decision a person makes overnight and I had hoped that the author would let us see the different events that led up to making such a decision. Or that she at least would have given us a better background story of the shooter. Now he was portrayed as the guy that has never been really good. Maybe he should have been one of the narrators as well, in my opinion that might have helped the book a lot.

This Is Where It Ends was not what I had hoped for and I believe that it could have been so much more. But I am still glad that someone tried to address this topic since most people try to steer clear from it since that it is so controversial.