Feb 7, 2014

If I stay and Where she went by Gayle Forman

If I Stay

On a day that started like any other…
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

Where She Went

It’s been three years since the devastating accident … three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future—and each other.
Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

I borrowed the above from Gayle Forman's website. These two books are actually one story, Mia and Adam's. It's a tragic love story. In the first book Mia got into a coma after a terrible accident. She almost doesn't survive. Her boyfriend Adam plays an important role in her life and in the decision she has to make. 
In the second book they meet by chance and bit by bit their difficult history reveals itself. Even though the Juilliard cellist and rock star theme might be a little cliche, the love story is not. Everybody struggles and people who might seem very lucky because they have an enviable talent or career can have plenty of misery in their lives. Nobody is immune and fate is a mean bitch sometimes. Wrongs can be set right though and in misery you can sometimes still find beauty, that's what makes these books special.

Home sweet home

I've had such a busy January that I rarely spent an evening home on my own. I love having some me time. First I just relaxed on my sofa. I have this Sass and Belle owl cushion. It's for sale on their website, but also on Amazon. I like the fact that it has a name. I think such pillows need names and this one is called Scarlet. 

Then I took a bath and used these divine chocolate products from Bubbles & Butters. They are for sale at The Bath and Body ShopNelly and many other stores. All Bubbles & Butters products are pretty cheap and the smell is just great.

After my bath I made myself a nice cup of tea in this super cute Adelheid mug. When I was drinking my tea I got a text from Roy. He asked me if I wanted tickets for his next show. It's on Saturday and of course I said yes. He arranged that I can go with three friends. That's so nice of him! I'm really curious to hear him play. 

When it was time to go to bed I fell asleep with a big smile on my face under my very pretty Reversable Cambridge Floral duvet cover from Joules

Feb 6, 2014

The Vilage by Nikita Lalwani

On a winter morning Ray Bhullar arrives at the gates of an Indian village. She is here to make a film. But this will be no ordinary tale about India - for this is no ordinary village. It is an open prison, inhabited by murderers. An apparent innocent among the guilty, Ray tries hard to be accepted. But the longer she and the rest of the crew stay, the more the need for drama increases. Soon the fragile peace of the village will be shattered and, despite Ray's seemingly good intentions, the motives of the visitors and the lives of the inhabitants will be terrifyingly, brutally exposed.

I borrowed the summary from Amazon.  The atmosphere in the book was tense and oppressive. The main character Ray does a lot to be accepted, things that go against her character. She wants to belong, but she doesn't. Not with the residents of the village, because she lives in England. And not with her coworkers who think she's too stiff. She has different morals and her intentions are not theirs. Ray tries to meet the expectations of all the people involved in the film, but she struggles with it and with herself.
 What I liked about this book is how I somehow felt involved, I wanted to help Ray. I wanted to be there to make everything right. The style of writing is beautiful, but not easy to read. I enjoyed it very much though. I can recommend this book to someone who's looking for an intelligent read. When I finished the story I needed some time to think it over, to form an opinion. Nikita Lalwani has the ability to make you question and doubt things you've never thought about before, which I think is the greatest quality of her work.

A lovely date with Ben and Samuel

I dressed extra carefully yesterday because I'd meet Ben again. I chose this Sherbet Floral dress from Minkpink which I bought at Revolve Clothing. I'm so happy with this dress. it's decent enough for work when I wear it with leggings and a cardigan, but it isn't dowdy at all. 
Ben and Samual visited the library at the end of the day as usual. Just before the end of my shift, so Samuel would be sure I'd have time to read him a story. He wanted me to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar again. I have to read that story at least twice a week, but I never get tired of it, it will always remain one of my favorites. 
How can you make a date work while having a child around all the time? By using your child as part of your charm. Ben knows how it works very well. We went to an indoor playground that was open until nine. Which was a perfect excuse for two adults to enjoy being on a playground again. I had so much fun crawling into tubes, by climbing nets, trying out many different kinds of slides and going round and round again on the carrousel. We laughed the entire time, it was so exhilarating. When we were all tired and happy we went out for fries and ice cream. It was the best date ever! Ben gave me a quick kiss on the lips a few times when Samuel wasn't looking and we agreed to meet again on Sunday. Then he's got an evening alone, so it will be just the two of us. Oliver who?

Feb 5, 2014


If you have an e-reader I can totally recommend you the Bookperk newsletter from HarperColins Publishers. In this daily newsletter you get information about bargains, offers and new books. I'm glad I subscribed as I've already bought several digital books for a very low price. Plus I like to read all the book news I can read. There's always something new to discover and there are so many good books out there. It's easy to just choose recent and popular, but I'd like to read all kind of things. For me this newsletter's perfect and I hope you will enjoy it as well.

A teary Tuesday evening

I went to Stella for dinner yesterday evening and brought desert. I made this divine Chocolate & Cranberrie Slice. I found this recipe on Annabel Langbein's website which is a great source for any kind of recipe you can think of. 
When Stella opened the door for me she took me aside first and whispered that Jada was inside. Jada as in Oliver's girlfriend. 'I told you that I don't know Oliver too well, as I've only met him a few times, but Jada is a very good friend and I think she deserves to know what kind of person he really is. You and I are going to tell her,' she said. And that was that. Gossip goes fast that's for sure as from her words I could understand that she knew about our meeting on Saturday. I didn't have to do much of the actual talking. Stella told Jada that Oliver was dating me and that I had no idea he had a girlfriend. She also said that as soon as I found out I broke it off. I'm glad she did, otherwise it might have turned into a nasty cat fight. Jada never suspected a thing as she thought Oliver was always at the library or the university for his studies. There must have been girls before me, because they rarely spent a Saturday evening together. Poor Jada. She needed the box of tissues that Stella put next to her very badly. I felt a bit ashamed about my own pity party on Sunday as he was her whole life and I only knew him for a few weeks. After the crying we bitched about him for quite a while which made her feel a lot better. Her next couple of weeks aren't going to be fun, so I'll make sure to check up on her a few times. 
For the occasion Stella made sure there was lots of comfort food, so we ate pizza first and had large glasses of red wine. We combined my desert with chocolate milk. I don't know why lots of calories always work so comforting, but they somehow do. After crying and bitching Jada sent Oliver a text to tell him they were through. Of course a few minutes later my phone beeped and I received a text from him that I won't repeat over here. It was something like this @##$$%&&. I'm so glad I'm being blamed for the whole thing now, still it's worth saving Jada from even more heartbreak. She would have found out eventually. 

Feb 4, 2014

About a Boy

About a Boy

The million-copy number-one bestseller About a Boy is Nick Hornby’s comic and heart-warming novel about growing up, staying young, and learning what it means to be responsible.

‘How cool was Will Freeman?’
Too cool! At thirty-six, he’s as hip as a teenager. He’s single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He’s also found a great way to score with women: attend single parents’ groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.
Which is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old on the planet. Marcus is a bit strange: he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart, looks after his mum and has never owned a pair of trainers. But Marcus latches on to Will – and won’t let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?

I borrowed the above from Nick Hornby's website and bought the book at the Bookdepository. The characters in the movie are endearing and that's even more so in the book. I like how the indifferent Will becomes involved in something he initially doesn't want to be involved in at all and then starts caring more and more. Marcus is said to be a bit strange, but I think he's cool. He goes his own way, wears what he likes and he's strong. The friendship between Will and Marcus is the main theme and also the best part of the book. When it develops it's clear that they both need each other. This story is sweet and very well written. It's quite a serious story as Marcus' mother Fiona is really depressed and Marcus is being bullied at school. It never gets too heavy though, but the struggles are very real. The style is pretty easy to read. When the book and the movie came out I was still a teenager, I liked it back then, but now that I've got a few more years behind me I appreciate it even more. 

Happy Monday Mail!

Yesterday was a quiet day at work. There wasn't much activity in the library, so I did some catching up on my reading. I always like it when there are lots of customers, but Mondays are usually quiet. There's a new employee at the coffee corner, her name is Zoe and we had the chance to get to know each other a little better. She seems very nice. The rest of the time I spent listening to my boss Nanette who complained about her husband non stop. I think they're getting a divorce and I feel bad for her. We don't get along that well, so I have no idea why she chose me to tell all this. She's my boss though, so I made some polite comments and tried to listen to her as well as I could. She's ten years older than me and they have two kids, I feel really sorry for them. I told her to bring them along for my new experiment. I'm going to read fantasy and horror stories to kids in their early teens. I like those books myself and why would those kids be too old for a good story? I think talking about this has made us a bit closer at least which isn't a bad thing.
At the end of the afternoon I met Gina for a quick coffee. She told me all about her first day at the art library and I think she's going to like it a lot. It was so nice to chat to my friend after work. She missed her girls a lot, but she was happy to be at work again. Of course I told her all about my weekend. She gave me a big hug and then assured me it was for the best that I found out so soon and that love would work out just fine in the end, also for me. I needed that. Gina always knows exactly what to say. 

When I came home there was a package from me. My monchhichi doll! There are some very nice ones for sale on eBay. Mine is pink and it's so cute! That wasn't the only mail I received either. Samuel made a drawing for me on a piece of cardboard, so I got a hand made card. Ben wrote a short message on it. He told me they're looking forward to meeting me again on Wednesday and that he's hoping I will keep my evening free. Of course! Such a sweet gesture. 

Feb 3, 2014

Sunday pajama pity party

After the party I thought I had forgotten all about Oliver. We barely knew each other and only went on two dates, but on Sunday morning I felt horrible. When I was sitting on my sofa in my Munki Munki chickens pajamas I couldn't stop crying. The tears kept coming. I don't know if it was because of Oliver or if I cried because of all the chances I've already missed. I'm 28 and I still don't have a boyfriend. Everyone around me is settling down and I am not. I felt so sorry for myself I even feel a bit ashamed about it now. Fortunately I got a phone call from my mother at the right moment. 
I needed some motherly love and that was what I got. She heard all about Oliver and Jada from Dawn and she wanted to check if I was all right. When she heard I wasn't she told me to come over right away. My father brought me a stiff drink and my mother gave me some chocolate, a huge piece of home made lemon cake and lots of hugs and then I felt a whole lot better. 

Party with Jenna

I still can't believe Dawn let me wear this Alice and Olivia dress on Saturday! She must have seen my sad face and offered me a choice of cool dresses from her wardrobe. She told me she sometimes needs those for work. I really really really like this dress and it was perfect for the party I went to. It meant I didn't seem like a total misfit standing between all those fancy people. 
Jenna actually took me to some kind of celebrity event in a huge penthouse. She was invited when she interviewed some hotshot in the music industry. She so desperately wanted to go that she would even have gone alone while she didn't know anybody here. I couldn't stop staring at all those famous people. I saw models, actors and singers. Most of them I've seen in the magazines we have at our library. It was surreal. Jenna and I were both welcomed with a glass of champagne. There were luxurious hors d'oeuvres. I tasted a few and I'm pretty sure the caterer was a celebrity chef as I saw one walking around. I totally understand now why he's so very much in demand. 
Jenna saw an actor she'd interviewed a couple of times and they started talking. They didn't stop talking and only had eyes for each other, so I was on my own for a while. Then I met Roy, a wanna be singer songwriter. Also someone who was in awe with everything and everyone he saw around him. We must have looked so insecure, but that feeling completely disappeared as we got to know each other. He's such a nice guy! He's trying to make it in the music business, but it isn't easy. He was supposed to mingle at this party and try to make some contacts, which he did and then he saw me and forgot all about everyone else. At least that is what he told me when he gave me his phone number before I went home. 
Jenna had the time of her life and the actor told her he'd arrange some small part for her in the soap he's playing in, so she can see what it's like and write an article about it. I'm glad she's met someone nice and hope the future will have something more in store for them. She couldn't stop talking about the guy. His name is Cameron and I'd never heard of him, but that doesn't really matter right? We were both floating when we got home. It was such a fantastic party!

Happy Endings by Jon Rance

A novel about people just like us.

Four people. Two couples. 

Six months that will change their lives forever.
Kate wants to go travelling before she reaches the big Three-O, while her long-term boyfriend Ed just wants to settle down. Jack is desperate to be a published writer for many reasons, but mainly to save his relationship with fiancée Emma. Emma wants to be an actress more than anything in the world, or at least that's what she thought.

Told uniquely from all of their perspectives, this is a story about love, growing up and, of course, the search for a happy ending.  

I borrowed the above from Jon Rance's website. I've just finished this book and it's about four people who are about the same age as me. That means I can totally relate to them. It's about the dreams you have in life and about making them come true. It made me think about my dreams. My one and only big dream hasn't come true yet, but I'm not that old yet, so who knows. The other dream is being with the love of my life, which is a dream that also hasn't come true, but I can also add a yet here. These people seem to have it all and then they realize that what they've got is not what they want to have. I wonder if that's a characteristic of our generation? I have no idea, but the book got me thinking and I think that's the best part of it. It makes you think about life and about the decisions you make. Maybe for some it's even a wake up call? I don't know if it's been that for me, but I certainly see it as a book that has somehow inspired me.

Feb 2, 2014

Shopping with my sister

Yesterday Dawn and I wanted to go shopping together. It's something we haven't done in a long time as something always comes up, but we used to go quite often when we were younger. Even though I've seen her only recently she again had a make up item for me. This time I got a Makeup Delight palette from Neve Cosmetics! There's only one word to describe this, wow! I especially like the greens, they are perfect for my green eyes. I've just browsed the website and can't believe how much they have.  It's all natural and healthy as well. Dawn is always so good at finding those things for me. 
The shopping was quite a success. Dawn bought lots of clothes. She looked so good in all of them and it must have been nice for her to go somewhere without a husband or children for once. They are real sweethearts, but it's easier to shop online when you have a family and two busy jobs. 

This is what I bought for myself:

A pair of gorgeous skinny jeans from Joe's Jeans. I'm so happy with these as the fabric is soft and they fit like a glove.

This Stripe Candy Cane crew neck top from Superdry

And last, but not least this flowery jumpy jump zip hoodie by Roxy

I'm so happy with my purchases and Dawn and I were having a great time right until we met Oliver and his girlfriend Jada. I can't believe he's had a girlfriend all this time and went on weekend dates with me. I asked her for how long they'd been together and she told me they were a couple for a little over five (!) years now and they recently got engaged. She showed me her ring. Then she asked me how Oliver and I met. When I told her he knew me from work she confided in me and said that his job is taking a lot of his time, that last weekend he even went back to the university to finish something on Saturday night. He's such a liar! I can't believe he does this to her. She's such a nice person. Oliver kindly steered her away from me before I could say something that could have gotten him into trouble. 
Dawn saw something was the matter and took me to a nearby tea shop immediately so we could have a chat. I know he wasn't my boyfriend, but we kissed and we were going on a third date. I'm so glad I found out now, but I'm also angry and hurt! How could he do such a thing? Dawn solved the thing with a delicious piece of strawberry pie and after telling her everything I felt a bit better. We had a good time afterwards and she shopped some more. I didn't want this loser, which Oliver clearly is, to spoil the afternoon with my sister. 

He had the nerve to send me a text later: 

My dearest Lavender,
I'm so sorry about what happened this afternoon.
 Jada and I are history. I fell in love with you and am waiting for the
right time to break up with her. I hope our date tonight is still on?
Lots of love, your almost boyfriend Oliver xx

I can't believe he even tried this as she obviously doesn't think so and he's engaged. The nerve! Obviously the date was off and I went to a party with Jenna instead. More about that later.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

Dealing with Dragons

Cimorene is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart. . . .
And bored. So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon . . . and finds the family and excitement she's been looking for.

Searching for Dragons

Cimorene, the princess who refuses to be proper, meets her match in the not-quite-kingly Mendanbar. With the aid of a broken-down magic carpet and a leaky magical sword, the two tackle a series of dragon-nappings.

Calling on Dragons

Those wicked wizards are back--and they've become very smart. (Sort of.) They intend to take over the Enchanted Forest once and for all . . . unless Cimorene finds a way to stop them. And some people think being queen is easy.

Talking to Dragons

One day, Daystar's mom, Cimorene, hands him a magic sword and kicks him out of the house. Daystar doesn't know what he is supposed to do with the magic sword, but knowing Cimorene, he's sure it must involve a dragon or two!

I bought this box set at the Bookdepository, but borrowed the text from Amazon. Ever since I was able to read I've been reading as many fairytales as possible. A lot of people stop doing that when they become older, but I didn't. I still love reading a good fairytale. And reading one that's four books long is fantastic! The books are full of magic, dragons, royalty, swords, caves and forests. Even a magic carpet comes by. Cimorene is snappy and smart, which is quite funny. She's always got a trick up her sleeve to beat those nasty wizards. The first three books are about her and everyone she meets during her adventures. In the last book her son is the main character. This book is a bit different from the rest, but it's still great. the author actually started the chronicles by writing book four and the rest of the books are prequels. Every single one of them is a gem and I hope this wonderful fairytale will never be forgotten. 

Feb 1, 2014

Friday evening dinner

I went to a dinner party last night. This time we went to Louise. She ordered food as she hasn't got time to spend many hours in the kitchen. We ate lots and lots of sushi with both sake and wine to swallow it down. You can imagine that lead to a merry evening. We learned a lot about her boyfriend Garry. They're officially together now. Louise asked me to go on a double date. When I told her I didn't know who to bring she said we'd choose the date and then I'd decide at the last moment. How will I do that? Somehow she did talk me into it though and I kind of look forward to it now too. 
Jenna wore these unusual shoes and I think they suit her very well. To be honest I wish I'd be the proud owner of a pair of these Dogo shoes. They are perfect for her as she's a journalist and knows her way with words. It's too bad we don't have the same size as her style is similar to mine. Louise's is very different. She wears suits and heels with her hair in a bun. While Lizzy is more trendy. She always wears exactly what's in at the moment. Naomi is the prettiest of all of us. She looks good in anything and her style is quite diverse. We often compare clothes, but shopping with the whole gang would be a complete disaster. We've tried, but we usually end up in a pub without having purchased anything.
Jenna is the only official single in our group now. I'm somewhere in between and Naomi, Louise and Lizzy all have boyfriends. A few months ago we were all single. Life changes so quickly. I hope we'll be able to keep up our Friday evening get togethers. We've had plenty of those over the years. Whenever I see my friends I always bring clean underwear and a toothbrush as usually I'm in no state to go home. Today that meant racing home in the morning to be ready in time to meet Dawn. Jenna asked me to come to a party, I didn't really get the details, so I have to send her a message later, but first it's shopping time!

Black Heart

As a former Agent of Death, Madeline Black is no stranger to witnessing violent ends. But being the one to cause them is an entirely different story…

Despite her having saved Chicago from a vampire invasion, the Agency wants to get Maddy off their payroll—permanently. With the deadly Retrievers hot on her trail, she has no choice but to trust Nathaniel to port her to safety. But even the exotic and dangerous world that she winds up in is not as peaceful as she would have hoped. Caught in a turf war between a group of fae and a disturbingly familiar foe, Maddy soon discovers that the twisted plots of her grandfather, Lucifer, and his brothers extend even into this unknown realm.

Now, with enemies gathering on all sides, Maddy’s fate is looking darker than ever. And to protect her unborn son from her adversaries, she may have to tap into a power she hoped never to access…

I borrowed this text from Amazon. I've been reading the Black Wings series right from the start. This is the latest and I enjoyed it a lot as usual. I love the snappy dialogue. It's funny and the things that are happening to Maddy are totally bizarre. There are angels, fairies, dragons and strange bug like creatures. Of course some famous characters like Lucifer, Oberon and Titania make their appearance, but the way they are presented and dealt with are quite unusual. The wit is what makes this one different from most other series. 
 Because of the writing style it's easy to read and it's perfect for when you need some light, action packed reading to relax. The books always end with a cliffhanger and I already can't wait to read the next book. 

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