In Which I Apologize for Being a Terrible Blogger

I have been a terrible blogger the past few months. I took a month-long hiatus a while back, and then decided to pick my blogging back up. That went fine during the month of June. Since July has started though, I’ve been slacking. I’ve barely posted anything, aside from Top 5 Wednesdays and my weekly wrap ups. And I’m sorry. 

I do want to keep my blog going. And I want to create amazing content for you guys, and review the books I’ve been reading. I think half of the books I’ve read this year, I haven’t reviewed yet… 

I haven’t been feeling my best lately. I just don’t quite feel like myself at the moment, and can’t bring myself to write anything. I also haven’t read a single book this week. I’ve read tons of fan fiction though. What I’m trying to say here is: I’m sorry for not being present here. I’m sorry for not reviewing any of the books I’ve read, or writing any posts. 

I can’t write posts that I’m not 100% behind. And so I’ll have to cut back on writing posts and making videos until I’m feeling up to it. Or until I’m reading anything, for that matter. 

I hope you’ll all understand! 

Jolien Recommends: Difficult/Taboo Topics

I’m here for the first time in a while with a recommendations post (and video)! I thought I’d talk about 5 books I’ve read in the past few years that deal with some difficult or taboo topics.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma // This is the most taboo topic of all 5 books. If you don’t know, this book revolves around Lochan and Maya as they fall in love. The problem? They’re siblings. This book broke my heart. I know this is a difficult topic. Even thinking about falling in love with my brother makes me nauseous. But this book is worth picking up. It really is worth reading.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // I’ve talked about this book quite frequently ever since I read it a few months back. I absolutely adored it. This is the story of Romy, a teenage girl and rape victim. This book made me both angry and sad. Courtney Summers wrote an incredible book. This should be required reading in every school because it not only deals with rape and trauma, but also with slut-shaming and victim-blaming.

Down From the Mountain by Elizabeth Fixmer // I read Down from the Mountain in 2015, so it’s been a while. But I thought this was a really interesting book about Eva, who was raised on the compound of The Righteous Path. So it’s a fictional story set in a cult.

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp // This Is Where It Ends revolves around a school shooting. The entire story covers only 54 minutes, but I felt every single emotion on the planet while reading it. 

V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram // Maybe a weird choice to some? But I think that sex and virginity are still not talked about enough. And we still don’t respect other people’s choices enough. You want to lose your virginity at 16? If you are ready for it, that’s fine. You want to wait until you’re married? THAT IS FINE TOO. You know what? As long as it is your choice, every decision is FINE.


Those are my 5 recommendations of books that deal with topics that are either taboo, or not talked about often enough. Have you read any of these? Do you have any to recommend me?

June Wrap Up #4

what i read 80c8b0

ship of magic

Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) by Robin Hobb // ★★★★★ // I am continuing with Robin Hobb’s Realm of Elderlings! I absolutely adored this book. It’s multiple POV with quite a lot of main characters. Yet each one is so unique and distinctive that you never have trouble distinguishing them. Short feelings on the people? I am in love with Brashen. I like Althea and Wintrow. I want to hug Paragon. I want to kick Kyle in the nuts, and Malta in the face. 

what i watched 80c8b0

Fargo (1996) // ★★★ // To be honest, this movie left me underwhelmed. It certainly wasn’t bad! But it didn’t truly grip me either.

Lion (2016) // ★★★★★ // This movie on the other hand nearly broke me. It is such a beautiful movie, and knowing that this is a true story only made it more emotional. Sunny Pawar must be one of the best child actors I have ever seen, and Dev Patel just has my heart.

Piper (2016) // ★★★★ // THIS IS THE CUTEST THING. It’s only 6 minutes long, so you have no excuse not to watch it!

Review: The Marsh King’s Daughter

the marsh king's daughterThe Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
Published: June 29th, 2017 by Little, Brown Book Group

Genre: Mystery
Rating: ★★★ – I liked it.
Goodreads

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Synopsis: When notorious child abductor – known as the Marsh King – escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

break

I requested this book because it sounded like an interesting read. A woman who was raised in the marshes? An escaped criminal? I’m in. I quite liked this book, but there were also some things I didn’t love about it. 

This book is about Helena. One part of the book follows Helena as an adult, after her father escapes prison. The other part of the book follows Helena when she was a child, growing up in the marsh. This gives you both the thrilling aspect of an escaped convict she has to chase, and the emotional connection she has with him. 

I liked reading about Helena’s life in the marsh. Growing up without any contact with the outside world seems nearly impossible to me. She only had her mom and dad, and that’s all she knew. So her dad taught her how to survive in the marsh. How to hunt, how to disappear without being seen, how to track game, etc. As a child, she loved those “adventures”. And she idolized her dad. 

I liked reading about her relationship with her father. Obviously, it’s going to be a complex one. As a child, she adored him. She never knew he kidnapped her mom or that he was a bad man. He was just her dad, and he taught her everything she knows. As an adult, she knows what he did and how wrong it is. She knows that her dad is a terrible man. Yet he is still her dad. I found it intriguing to look at a guy I know is terrible through the eyes of an innocent child. 

I liked reading about her growth as a person. Especially in regards to her mom. While I was reading, I thought she was terrible to her mom as a child. And we can read how much adult-Helena regrets that. How she just didn’t understand as a child, and now wishes she had been more compassionate.

liked reading about her life as an adult too. How she used the skills she learned as a child to make money. For example, she goes bear hunting and her jam-making business is her main source of income. How she still has trouble understanding the rest of us at times, and the way we live our lives now. 

I didn’t like the excessive descriptions of hunting. I can deal with some animal deaths, but there were so many in this book. I don’t need to know how you hunt for bears, how you shoot a deer or trap a rabbit. I honestly don’t need to read about you killing animals 1000000 times. I know that was a big part of her life as a child, because that’s how they got their food. But I just couldn’t read any more of it.

I didn’t like the fact that Helena felt she alone could find her dad. In a way, I do understand. If he has made it to the marsh, there is no way the police will find him by themselves. He knows the marshes like the back of his hand, and has no trouble disappearing in them. Helena has a much bigger chance of finding him, because he trained her himself. But why couldn’t she just go to the police, tell them she was their best shot at finding him and guide them through the marsh? Why did she have to go alone?

I was also a tad disappointed with the big reveal on how she and her mom got out of the marsh, and how her dad was caught. It wasn’t the epic showdown I was expecting.

I quite enjoyed reading about Helena’s life, both as an adult and a child. What I loved most was seeing Helena’s dad through her eyes. As a reader, you know he’s a terrible person and a criminal. But she only sees her dad, and doesn’t know any different. That’s such an interesting perspective. I did enjoy this book, but there were some parts I had an issue with.

Top 5 Wednesday: Hate to Love Ships

I’m going to be honest and say this is one of my favorite romance tropes, ever. So seeing this topic not only makes me excited to share mine, it also will give me a clue as to which other books to pick up with a trope I know I usually love in it! As always, the #T5W information can be found in the description of my video. 

  1. Arianna & Cvareh / The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova
  2. Han & Raisa / The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima
  3. Wanda & Ian / The Host by Stephenie Meyer
  4. Logan & Veronica / Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham
  5. Simon & Baz / Carry On by Rainbow Rowell 

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Reads of 2017 (so far)

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic.

 

Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop // I don’t think this is a surprise to anyone who has been following my blog for a while. This series has been on my favorites list since I started my blog, and the latest installment is no different.

All the Rage by Courtney Summers // This book took me by surprise. I never expected to love it as much as I did, because I’m generally not much of a contemporary reader. But this book was so honest, brutal and angry that I couldn’t help but love it. It just sparked so many emotions in me. 

Assassin’s Quest (Farseer #3) by Robin Hobb // What an incredible end to the trilogy! It is by far my favorite of the three, and I honestly can’t wait to read more of her works. 

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli // THIS BOOK. I fell in love with this book. I know this is one of the few contemporaries I will actually want to re-read. I just felt like I could understand Molly so well, better than I ever have with a main character. I just hope to find my Reid too.

The Exiled Queen (Seven Realms #2) by Cinda Williams Chima // I’ve read the first 3 books in the series this year, but the second one is my favorite. Maybe because I love school settings in a fantasy book? Anyway, if you’re one of the people who also hasn’t started this series: please do. I started reading it in January and was hesitant because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. It did though. It did. 

 

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough // Another book that managed to surprise me. This is about Love and Death, who have been playing the Game for centuries. They both choose a player, and if they both fall in love and choose it above all other things in their lives, Love wins. If not, Death wins. Guess what happens then? This is set in Seattle during the Great Depression and the players are Henry (a white boy adopted by a wealthy family) and Flora (an African-American girl who sings in a jazz club but wants to be a pilot). 

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown // I’m late to the party here. Everyone has already read this -and its sequels- and I’ve only read it this year. But I really loved it. This is a science fiction story revolving around a revenge plot (basically). It’s epic. 

Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking // This book made me feel so cozy and warm. It featured everything I love, and I’m now convinced I need to move to Denmark.

The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga #2) by Elise Kova // I would feature the first book here too, but I read that one in 2016. I love this epic fantasy series. I liked her Air Awakens books (I’ve read the first 2) but wasn’t really blown away by them. These though… I just flew through them!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman // Another contemporary. I feel like this year, I’ve really expanded my reading in terms of genres. This book is amazing. It’s the story of Frances, a 17 or 18 year-old girl in the UK. It’s the first story of a girl in high school where I feel like I can actually recognize my high school experience. Plus, the diversity here is incredible. Frances is British-Ethiopian. Daniel (a side character) is Korean. There’s bisexual, gay, demi- and asexual rep. Honestly, it’s so so so good.


Those are my favorite reads of the year so far! I’m excited to see what the next half of 2017 brings, to be honest. Obviously, I didn’t include any re-reads in this. I’ve re-read The Others by Anne Bishop, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier so far. I love them all but I don’t feel like it’s honest to include them here. What are your favorite reads of the year so far? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? I’d love to talk to you about them!