The Maze Runner – James Dashner

The Story

“Thomas…. My name is Thomas.” That’s the only thing Thomas remembers, his first name. Waking up in a

Cover of The Maze Runner

Cover of The Maze Runner

strange metal box that is moving upwards, he doesn’t remember a thing. Not how he got there or what his life was about before waking up in that box. When the lift finally stops moving and the doors opens, about fifty faces are staring down at him. All boys. It appears he has arrived at The Glade, an open space, surrounded by gigantic stone walls. Behind those walls, lies a maze. A dangerous maze.

In the Glade, everyone has his own job. There are Bloodhousers (butchers), there are Medjacks (doctors) and there are Runners. They run through the maze, hoping they’ll find a way out. But as said: the maze is dangerous. There are Grievers out there, monstrous creatures, ever ready to snatch up the Runners and sting them. But Thomas is instantly drawn to the maze. He wants to be a Runner, needs to be a Runner. He doesn’t know why, but he has the feeling he knows it there. But there are rules and the number one rule is: do not go in the maze, unless you’re a Runner.

Everything seems to go its own way again, when suddenly the Box reappears with a girl in it. She clenches a paper with the message : This is the last one. Ever. She’s in a sort of coma and keeps repeating Thomas’ name. She also keeps saying everything will change.

And she is right. Things are changing in The Glade. And not for the better.

My opinion

When my boyfriend bought this series a couple of weeks ago, I’d never heard of it. It seemed like a nice enough series but I was busy reading other books at the moment so I didn’t start reading it until this weekend and I saw the movie before I read the book (great mistake, I couldn’t let my imagination run and create my own characters. Lesson learned.)

The movie poster. I wasn't blown away by the film either.

The movie poster. I wasn’t blown away by the film either.

I think the idea behind the novel is really great. It intrigued me instantly and I liked the parts in the maze. Although there is a lot of describing in the book and you don’t get the feeling you’re living the action. You’re just being told. It slows the story down and gives the reader the feeling there a bystander instead of Thomas or someone living in The Glade. I don’t like that sort of writing. I want to live the story.

But the main thing that annoyed me was the writing. AAAARGH!!
Are you freaking kidding me? I have the feeling Dashner only knows four words: Shuckface, Klunk, Shank and ‘Ya’ll’. There was a moment I thought I’d burn my copy (and since it’s my BF’s, he wouldn’t be so happy about that.) It was so frustrating. I am quite confident teenagers know a lot more words then those four and if not, you’re not doing them a favour by only using those. Seriously, there’s a limit to the use of shuckface, and Dashner: you crossed that line after one chapter.

It gets better towards the end, but by then I was so annoyed by the limited use of vocab I couldn’t really be bothered anymore. For me, it ruined the novel pretty much. But since I am no quitter and I want to know how this all ends, I’m going to read the second and third novel as well. Hopefully, there’s not as much slang as in the first one.

So if you don’t mind slang, go ahead and read The Maze Runner. It’s an interesting story. If slang is not your cup of tea: leave it be. You’ll get so frustrating you actually might burn your copy.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Language: English
Pages: 374
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 0385737947

My visit to De Boekenbeurs // Book Fair

8

Today was the last day of De Boekenbeurs. For those who do not live in Belgium and do not know what De Boekenbeurs is: it’s sort of book fair, where you can buy, find, touch, smell and of course buy books, ten days long! There are around 60,000 books to see and every day there are several authors you can meet and take a bookfie with. For me, it’s heaven!

The thing about De Boekebeurs is, you always spend more money then you intended to do. But, I have to say, I kept it decent this year. I only bought three books (a huge accomplishment for me, I say it myself). Since I absolutely have no more space left on my bookshelves, it was more or less necessarily to keep my spending in check. I had made a deal with myself to not buy Historical Fictions (definitely not about England) but I had to buy the book about the Borgias. I am weak, I know. But at least it’s not about The Tudors or anything other related to England. So that’s good.

14I also bought De bibliothecaresse van Auschwitz’ by Antonia Iturbe or translated in English: The librarian of Auschwitz’. apparently it sold very well at De Boekenbeurs, so I’m curious what’s it about. And I also bought the first adult novel by my favorite author when I was a child: De Moord op Miss België’ by Marc De Bel and that would be ‘The Murder of Miss Belgium’ in English. Looking forward to read them!

The fun thing about De Boekenbeurs is that you can also buy other things than books. For example, I bought this lovely map (or my boyfriend bought for me, to be precise) where you can scratch away the places you’ve visited. I’ve always wanted that!

© Burn or Buy that Book

© Burn or Buy that Book

But you can also buy funny gifts at De Boekenbeurs. Like these Polaroid postcards or lovely art books. You can also find the latest invention. Such as the bookseat!

If I had all the money in the world, I would still be bankrupt after a visit to De Boekenbeurs.

© Burn or Buy that Book I love these polaroid notes! Maybe I'll buy them next year.

I love these polaroid notes! Maybe I’ll buy them next year. © Burn or Buy that Book

There is only one minor thing about De Boekenbeurs: It’s only once’s a year… Or maybe that’s a good thing, I would be broke otherwise!

Looking forward to next year!

J.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————–

De Boekenbeurs
Antwerp Expo

My Reading Playlist: Five songs to listen to while you’re reading

7

© Burn Or Buy That Book

You are reading a fantastic novel, you feel the drama and the tension and then suddenly you notice something is off… It’s to quiet in the house and it ruins the atmosphere you have created. I hate it when that happens. I can’t read when it’s too quiet around me, I have to have some background noise. Or, instead of noise, some really good songs! That one song that makes your novel complete, that takes you to your dreamworld. Here are some of my favorite songs to listen to while I’m reading:

1.  The Temper Trap – Sweet disposition

This Australian band is active since 2005. Their first album was released in 2009, but it’s with their second album, The Temper Trap and the song Sweet Disposition that they caught my attention. When I am listening to this song, I feel like and floating in the air. This songs makes me dreamy and I like that feeling when I am reading.
*Ideal for: dreaming away while reading just about everything

2. Jake Bugg – Simple Pleasures

I saw Jake bugg at Rock Werchter Festival last year, and I fell instantly in love with his voice. The things he sings about are just wonderful, I really love his lyrics, it’s like you feel his pain. Just listen and become a fan!
* Ideal song for: reading about forbidden love and heatbreak 

3. Paolo Nutini – Candy

Although his name doesn’t sound like it, Paolo Nutini is a Scottish singer-songwriter. I saw him perform this year at Rock Werchter Festival and I became a fan when I heard the song Candy. It’s the same as with Jake Bugg, it has something really dramatic.
*Ideal song for: crying when the two main characters can’t be together for ever and ever

4. Alabama Shakes – Hang loose

The Alabama Shakes is an Amarican rock band with the fabulous Brittany Howard as lead singer. Their first album “Boys & Girls” was released in 2012, with the songs ‘Hang Loose’ and ‘Hold on’. Brittany Howard has such a warm voice, and this song makes me happy. When you are reading something dark and you want to lighten up the atmosphere, definitely listen to ‘Hang loose’.
*Ideal song for: everything will be alright books

5. The Black Keys – Nova Baby
This song is a bit more upbeat than the rest, but it makes me so happy and it makes me want to dance (so maybe not ideal if you want to have nice, quiet read). But I really recommend this song if you want something to shake off that heavy feeling of winter.
*ideal for: happyhappyjoyjoy books 

Feel free to share your favorite songs!

J.

Innocent Traitor – Alison Weir

The Story

591820

She was a pion in the great gamble of power. The went all-in. Only to lose everything they ever held dear.

Lady Jane Grey is the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, marques of Dorset and Lady Frances Brandon, niece of the formidable Henry VIII. Frances’ mother was Mary Tudor, Henry’s youngest and favorite sister.
as is the faith of many daughters, Jane’s sex is a disappointment to her parents. When the couple is not blessed with sons, they decide that a marriage should bring pride and honor to their family.

Jane’s upbringing is very strict. Lady Brandon doesn’t feel much affection for her daughter and treats her thus. Jane has a terrible youth, although she gets the best education a girl could wish. She is the most educated girl in the kingdom, aside from her cousin, princes Elizabeth. Jane loves learning and in books she finds the love she lacks from her family.

Her parents hope Jane will one day makes the most desirable marriage possible: they hope she will become Edward VI’s Queen. But when it is clear Edward VI will die young, they plot with the Duke of Northumberland to make Jane Queen in her own right. And rule England through her.

It is a terrible gamble. They go all-in, only to lose everything.

My Opinion

The story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days Queen is one of the most tragic stories England’s history has to offer. Reluctantly she accepts the crown, only to be deposed nine days later by her cousin Mary I. At first, Mary promises her a pardon. But when another plot is arises, Mary has no other chose than to behead Jane. She was only 16 years old.
And Alison Weir does the story of Jane credit. She makes you feel Jane’s pain and how she dreads accepting the crown. I had to choke back a tear at the end of the story.

The story is told through different POV’s. Usually, I am not a big fan of this writing style, but this time it definitely worked. There are a lot of important events were Jane was no party to, so by telling it through someone else, you are participant of the story, rather than just a bystander.

I really liked this novel. The writing is very sober, but it gives you goosebumps. You almost feel the ax in your neck….

So definitely buy that book!


————————————————————————————————————————

Language: English
Pages: 416p

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0345494857

New Reading Material!

1

© Burn or Buy That Book

I had made a deal with myself. I wouldn’t buy any books for a whole month. Before I bought some new ones, I would sell some of my old books, the ones I didn’t read anymore. . For three weeks I could resist the call of my local bookshop. But I still could not part with the books I wanted to sell. But I wouldn’t cave in! I could do it!

But yesterday I had a date with a friend and I was a bit too early. So while I was wandering around, I came across a bookshop. And I thought to myself: why not take a look and see which new books had come out.
Ten minutes later, I found myself out of the shop with these two books in my hand.
I think this is the end of my book detox for now.

Cop Town – Karin Slaughter

The Story

Atlante Police Department, 1975. It is a men’s world, women don’t belong in the force. They should be baking cakes and cleaning the house, not catching scum of the streets. But being a housewife does not interest Maggie Lawson one bit. For four years now, she has been part of the police department, working under her uncle Terry Lawson and her brother Jimmy.

There's a shooter on the loose. And he has to be stopped...

There’s a shooter on the loose. And he has to be stopped…

The Department had had some hard weeks to endure. There’s a shooter on the loose, targeting policemen and killing them by shooting them in the head. When yet another cop is killed and Jimmy Lawsons gets injured, the whole corps is breathing fire. The shooter must be stopped. And they will do anything to catch him.

Enter the beautiful Kate Murphy. With a vindictive corps, crying for revenge, you can think of better days to start. She is teamed up with Maggie, whose instinct says there is something wrong with the shooter case. Her brother is lying about the night his partner got killed. But being women, they are bullied by Terry and the rest of the cops to take a step back and leave the thinking to them. Off course, they do not listen and start to investigate the murders themselves. Only to discover a horrible truth…

My Opinion

At first I was disappointed that Karin Slaughter’s new novel didn’t involve Will Trent and Faith Mitchell. I really like Amanda (and off course Faith) in those novels. But this novel is just as good as the Will Trent series! Maybe even better.

Karin Slaughter really has a way to suck you into the story. She’s not afraid to use crude language and doesn’t beat around the bush. Hard topics such as racism, homophobia, abuse… It’s all there, for everyone to see. The cunts and assholes fly around like it’s nothing.

I was really impressed by the characters of Kate Murphy and Maggie Lawson. To keep your head high while your being sexual harassed, like every minute or so,  you have to have courage. I also like how every character in the book has a good side and a really evil, dark side. There’s one part where Kate reflects on herself and wonders how many sides she has. She also wonders how it’s possible that some people, who are really awful and terrible, also can be nice (in their own ways). I think that’s one of my favorite parts of the book. It shows just how complex humans are.

I hope there will follow more books with Kate and Maggie as lead characters. Although, I will not forget you Amanda, you’re still one of my favorite heroins!

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Pages: 416
Publisher: Delacorte Press
ISBN: 034547497
Language: English
Dutch Translation: Veroordeeld

Five books that had a big influence on my life

images (3)

Off course it is a horrible task to choose your favorite books or the books that changed your life, but I am going to do it!

So here they are:

  1. De Katten Van Kruisem – Marc De Bel.

I read this book when I was about 8 or 9 years old and I remember I enjoyed every letter I read. This book made me fall in love with reading. I think I have read this book at least 20 times. I even wanted to name my children after the characters, Joppe and Lana.

  1. Het uur nul – Dirck Bracke

This is another book from my youth. The story is quite disturbing: a teenager who has unsafe sex contracts HIV. It covers how he has to come to terms that he won’t life long and how it affects his family and friends. It is a gripping story and as a young adult, it surely made me think about life and death.

  1. De Razende Stilte – Sherryl Jordan

Marnie, a young widow lives in a village where the people think she is a witch. She befriends Raaf, a boy her age who is deaf. Together, they develop a language by using their hands.
By reading this book, I got interested in sign language. I hope I’ll learn the language one day!

  1. The Harry Potter series – J.K Rowling

I think this one doesn’t need an explanation. 😉

  1. The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

This novel made passionate about historical fiction, as I have told in my previous blogpost: How I fell in love with Historical Fiction. I was always fascinated by history, but I didn’t do anything with it. After reading the White Queen, I was besotted with The Plantagenet and The Tudors and I started to do some research on my own. Five years later, I am studying history and one day hope to be a history teacher!