Epic Love Stories to Turn to in Times of Need

Epic Love Stories to Turn to in Times of Need

If I got paid for every time I get asked ‘what’s up’ with ‘my love life’, I’d surely be a millionaire by now. Whether it be by a meddling aunt, your parents, or by curious friends that particular question always manages to exhaust me. So for everyone that’s still wondering: the ‘love life’ is non-existent. There’s no man (or woman) in my life. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure Prince Charming took a detour in getting here (a serious error in judgment on his end). To everyone who lives through the same, this post is for you!

Most days I am totally fine with my single way of life. But some days, the lack of that epic love story makes me feel a little ‘meh.’ A friend of mine just got married and my god, it was a beautiful day that had me wiping away tears like mad. There’s just something about weddings that make you crave a little slice of that for yourself (you know, for when that detoured Prince Charming finally finds his way out of the woods).

For those ‘meh’ days:

So, for those ‘meh’ days… When your cat, best friend, dog, or sister isn’t enough to keep you company: here is a short list of books (YA and NA) with great epic love stories that I turn to when I need a reminder that my one is (somewhere) out there:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Let’s be honest, Simon vs.the Homo Sapiens Agenda can’t really miss from this list. I only recently read this book (in anticipation of Love, Simon) and LOVED it. It is such a beautiful and meaningful story about falling in love for the first time. This book will make you laugh, cry, and laugh again.

Wait for You by Jennifer Armentrout

The Wait for You series was one of the first NA series I read (I mean, I read EVERYTHING by Jennifer Armentrout) and I wholly recommend not just the first book, but the entire series. It deals with some heavy themes, without becoming too heavy and losing that feelgood vibe. The third book in the series, Stay with Me is my favorite book in the SIX book series.

Havoc by Jamie Shaw

A rockstar romance, need I say more? Havoc is the fourth and last book in this series and my absolute favorite. Although all other books in the Mayhem series are thoroughly enjoyable, this is the one that gives me the most feels. This love story is one that builds slowly and develops beautifully (and the love-interest is so damn sweet).

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout

Hey! Another Jennifer Armentrout book! And this time a YA. This one is a little heavier than her previously mentioned series. A lot heavier actually, but so good! It’s about pushing yourself to go beyond your past, getting to know yourself, and finding love in the process. The Problem with Forever will wreak havoc (see what I did there?) on your emotions, but it can’t miss from this list. Because if this isn’t an epic love story, then what is?

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Whoah, it’s been a while since I read Eleanor & Park… This is not really a simple love story. It’s a story about two star-crossed lovers that aren’t really given a chance. It’s a love story, but at the same time, it’s not (it is so much more). All I can say is that if you haven’t read this book, you’re seriously missing out!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Yup! Two Rainbow Rowell books! Because ‘Rainbow Rowell’ and ‘epic love story’ pretty much go together. Fangirl holds a special place in my heart, as it is the book that helped me greatly when I was seriously anxious about starting university. It’s a wonderful coming of age story with a lovable heroine (who develops greatly throughout the story) and a fun love-interest. This entire book is so relatable!

What epic love stories do you turn to when you need a reminder to believe in love?
The running project!

The running project!

One or two years ago I was still fit enough to run a half marathon. Then my BA thesis happened and ten months of internships happened. The past two years have been awesome, but still, a part of me mourns those hours spent running. Then again, nothing is ever accomplished simply by looking back. If you want to make changes, then the only way to do so is by actually ‘doing’. Which is why I made a promise to myself. No more sporadic runs, instead, I am back to training regularly. I am setting up a schedule and I am setting the goal for myself to pick a running event in Edinburgh.

MY running project

Part of wanting to get back into my routine is that I have a few months before my official moving date. I want to be used to my routine again so I can have some stability, something to focus on when I move. Although I am madly excited about the time to come, I do realize it’s going to be an adjustment to move away from everything I know. As The Meadows is practically going to be in my front yard, I have zero excuses for not going out and running a lap (or two). Running is going to be what I will turn to when I need some common ground.

The first run in my schedule was last Saturday. The next run was on Monday. And the next will be on Wednesday (the day after this post goes live). That’s three runs already, three runs closer to my goal of getting back into that running rhythm that I miss so much (and yet not at all, because let’s be honest, a bad run can be harrowing). That burning feeling in my lungs. That euphoria when you get back from a run and feel like you’re on top of the world.

The fun part about getting back to training was finding out that I hadn’t drifted off as far as I thought I did. On Saturday I ran 3k quite easily. I might be slower than I used to be, but I still had the stamina to run the entire distance.  However, on Monday the distance didn’t quite come as easily as it did two days before (and I believe a slight case of sore muscles might have a hand in that as well). Easy does it. I am not going to force it: I am going to enjoy getting back into the rhythm because what matters is that I am getting back into running again.

I guess what I am trying to say is: it is simple to get lost in what used to be. Try to remember that, no matter how insignificant, every run you go on is progress. And don’t forget to enjoy the process!

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Book Review

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Book Review

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Book ReviewSky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Published by Wednesday Books on April 24th 2018
Genres: Action & Adventure, Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
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Goodreads
five-stars

OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

I am always up for a good and solid Viking type of story! As a part of my studies revolved around studying their culture, I always find it hard to fall in love with these type of books because so many stories don’t really do their culture justice. Lucky for me (and you!) Sky in the Deep delivered, and how!

If you are not into lots of action and (some) gore, this book might not be for you. It is fast paced and action packed from the start, as you’re immediately thrown into a battle between two rival clans. And, for the rest of the story, that fast paced and action-packed vibe doesn’t let up! (Yay!)

Eelyn, the main character in Sky in the Deep, is hard and tough, not because circumstances forced her to be, but just because she is. And guys, you wouldn’t believe how refreshing that is! She develops a lot throughout the story as the foundation of everything she’s always believed in is shaken. She has to rediscover her place in her world and accept that maybe not everything is as black and white as she previously believed to be.

The romance, guys, is a slow burner! (Que fist pump!) I love me a good slow-burner, and THIS BOOK HAS IT! It is so good, it is forbidden, and it is intense. What isn’t to like?

Another thing I really enjoyed is that Sky in the Deep dives into the subject of what makes a family. The concept of which is something Eelyn redefines as she changes throughout the story. View Spoiler » It is all about who you let into your heart. Eelyn might be a badass, but you cannot deny that she has heart!

Fast paced and action-packed until the end! If you love the former and you don’t mind (some) gore, then Sky in the Deep is for you! For all the Viking-type-of-story fans out there: I can’t recommend this book enough!

five-stars
The Big Blogging Then vs Now

The Big Blogging Then vs Now


There are a lot of comparisons I can draw between 2013 and now. Smal ones and very big ones. But today I would like to start with a brief recount of what prompted me to start this blog. Back in 2013 I – and believe me, I had to think back real hard for this – I was still in high school. Or rather, I was in my last year of high school. A year I had to retake because I failed my year by 0.1 points. I was angry, hurt, and above all insecure that even my best wasn’t good enough. That year I learned that sometimes, even though you work really, really hard for something, things don’t always work out just because you put in the effort. That sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, take a step back and then go at it again. During that particular year (in March) I decided to start my own blog: a little piece of the big and unknown interwebs carved out for me, to share with you. And although I have been many things as a blogger; passionate, consistent, chaotic, struggling motivated, inconsistent, and more; starting this blog is a decision I will never regret.

Blogging Then vs Now: Differences

When I look back at the girl I was then, I see some things I still recognize in myself nowadays, but there are also some things that I lost along the way. As I am feeling a bit sentimental (blame it on all the hard work getting this blog GDPR proof) I really feel like sharing some with you.

Books were my everything. Let me clarify this. Back in 2013, I think reading was a way of escapism for me. I spent most of my time with my nose in a book, instead of going out and experiencing things for myself. I was really insecure and wanted to avoid situations that made me uncomfortable by simply reading about them (it is very easy not to get hurt or your ego bruised that way). But over the course of that initial year, I realized that I, like those characters, wanted more for myself. I wanted a career, experience an epic love story, have badass friends that I could count on, and, above all, be more daring. If you add checkboxes in front of that list, most of those would be checked off (except for that epic love story, maybe all those books have set the bar too high). Books still are a huge part of my life: I am aiming for a career in publishing and I still read a lot of books, but my life is no longer wholly made out of books.

I used to be a (somewhat) consistent blogger. Unfortunately, that is proving to be rather difficult for me nowadays. I am officially amongst the top 10 of most inconsistent bloggers… Which my inner control freak loathes, but I am grudgingly coming to the realization that this is just how it is at the moment. Frankly, I am quite happy I can still call myself a blogger. And who knows, maybe in another few years I’ll do another one of these posts and will be the amongst the top 10 of organized bloggers. (Probably right around the same time when hell freezes over…)

The sheer amount of books I read for my blog is another thing that has really changed. I used to read and review ANYTHING I could get my hands on. Boy, do I have respect for people who are able to do that for all this time! Looking back I also realize that I felt like I had to review everything as well. And I really just don’t have the heart or time to do that anymore. Some books I want to review and write about, and others I just don’t. So that’s what I do. Blogging should always remain fun, and in order to do this, I incorporated other types of posts. Now, amongst those bookish post, you’ll also be able to find a plethora of post dedicated to other subjects.

Blogging Then vs Now: Similarities

Aside from all those differences, there is one thing that will probably always remain the same: my love and gratefulness for blogging. For without blogging I would never have taken the step to study English Language and Culture. Without it, I would never have interned at not only one, but two publishing houses. Without it, my love for books would have probably been something that I would have kept to myself and I would never have gotten to meet so many other readers (and authors!) that share the same passion.

So, sorry – not sorry – for the sentimental downpour in this post, but I can’t help but come to the conclusion that, to me, blogging is and will forever be something to cherish. I might be terribly inconsistent and sometimes feel so uninspired that I want to bang my head on a table, but there has never been a moment that I have wanted to pull the plug. Because, in the end, blogging played a huge part in shaping the person I am today, and that person I am pretty damn proud of!

 

Books I Keep Rereading

Books I Keep Rereading

As one book addict extraordinaire to another I probably don’t have to tell you that we all have our favorite books. Whether that book is part of a series or a standalone, some books are simply made for rereading. Today I am sharing my favorite books with you, ones I’ve read over and over again and will probably continue to reread over and over again.

First things first, why read the same book so often you ask? Glad you did, because I made a list:

  1. I simply love the story and want to bask in its amazingness again.
  2. There are ALWAYS details you miss the first time around. When you read it that second time, that little detail of awesomeness you missed the first time around will slap you in the face and make you fall in love with the story EVEN MORE (even though you didn’t think that was possible).
  3. You can appreciate the way an author structured his or her plot, even more, when you know how the story goes. You might miss that subtle hint of what’s to come when you first read a story, but when you know how the story ends you’ll see it for what it truly is.
  4. The next book in a series is releasing soon and you want to brush up on ALL the details.
  5. I just feel like it.

Now you know the reasons why I reread, it’s time to share some of my favorite books (and series) that I keep rereading over and over again!

A Court of Thorns of Roses

From the very first book and onwards I have loved this series. I make no secret of the fact that I have an infinite amount of love for Sarah J. Maas’s writing, but the second book in this series, A Court of Mist and Fury, holds a special place in my heart. It is so beautifully written and this book wrecks my heart every single time before putting it together again. Sometimes I reread only the second book, and sometimes I do the whole series. Do I even have to express my excitement about A Court of Frost and Starlight? Cause I am ALL over that when it releases!

The Lord of the Rings & The Hobbit

I always like to say that my love for all things Tolkien was passed down from generation to generation. My grandfather LOVED Tolkien’s work. I’m not kidding; his old, worn, well-loved, beat-up copies are proof of this. After my grandfather came my mother, who shared her love for this beautiful series with me. I knew the stories and I can still recall that sense of wonder after having finished the books and then being introduced to the films. I even did my BA thesis on Tolkien (which proved to be the perfect excuse to reread all the books (yet) again.

Harry Potter

You did not think Harry Potter would be missing from this list, did you? This magical series pretty much sums up my youth. Whether I reread this series to convince my niece and nephew to read it or just because I need some magic in my life, Harry Potter is the answer!

Anything Jennifer Armentrout

Whether it’s aliens in the Lux series, demons and whatnot in the The Dark Elements series, or some good old romance in the Wait for You series. Jennifer Armentrout is a jack-of-all-trades, and the very best one there is! Her writing is the best and her dialogues are even greater. I love her books (as much as I love the witty author herself) and sometimes I just feel like reading her stories because I know they’ll make me laugh and feel good.

So there you go, these are (just) four of my favorite books to reread. There are many, many more books I could mention, but I think these are the ones I reread most. As we’ve come to the end of this post, there’s just one more thing left to say: you never need an excuse (even though I sometimes like to pretend I do) to reread a book!

What are your favorite books or series to reread?
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson | Book Review

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson | Book Review

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson | Book ReviewAn Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on September 26th 2017
Genres: Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 300
Format: Hardcover
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Goodreads
four-half-stars

A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Hello precious, and welcome to my top ten of favorite books this year! An Enchantment of Ravens was SUCH a beautiful book to read: gorgeous writing, wonderful characters, and a great plot. Honestly, I felt kinda desperate when I finished the book and realized it was a standalone novel because if there was more I would have jumped at the chance to dive into this world again.

If you’re a fan of fairy folklore, An Enchantment of Ravens is THE book for you. The story reminds me so much of traditional folklore and holds true to traditional aspects. At the same time, it is so incredibly unique and unlike anything I’ve read before. The various aspects of the story just work so well together; there’s humor, adventure, and lots of traveling. It’s wonderful!

The writing, guys… Margaret Rogerson is BORN to write. Her prose is so expertly crafted. It is creative and imaginative and I can’t wait to read more of her work. The world-building might have been a little on the underdeveloped side, but I found that I didn’t really care as much because the story was just so well-done.

One of my favorite (and main) aspects of the book is the whole concept of crafts; cooking, writing, painting, and so on. Isobel, our protagonist, paints for the faerie folk, who obsessively collect any crafts because they are unable to create any themselves. Then one day, out of the blue, a faerie prince shows up to have his portrait done and THE REST YOU’LL HAVE TO READ FOR YOURSELF. The whole concept is just so freaking awesome and well thought out.

You want to read An Enchantment of Ravens! It is such a gem to read and if you love faerie folklore or fantasy you won’t want to miss this. It is beautifully written and is so original you won’t want to stop reading until it’s finished -and then you’ll want more!

four-half-stars