Saturday, 28 January 2017

Sarah Dessen Book Club #1| DREAMLAND

The end of the month is quickly approaching and so I am here with the review on Dreamland, which is the first book picked to read in Sarah Dessen Book Club that I have started this year. Sarah Dessen is definitely my favourite author of contemporary YA genre. I love her books so much, as you might guess from all my previous posts about them. I think she's great at what she's doing. She knows perfectly well what is happening in head and heart of every girl, and in her books, she lets them know they are not alone. Small as it may seem, it's actually the greatest thing she can offer to her readers in time of need. I still remember my first time reading her books. I had been struggling with anorexia for three years at that time, and then I picked up her book called Just Listen (which is the book we will be reading next month). And believe it or not, reading that book was the first impulse that led to my healing. Shortly after that I have established this blog and now I am here, five years later as a completely different person. I owe Sarah Dessen a lot and I will never forget about her books...

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: SPEAK
Publishing date: 2011
Pages: 250


Caitlin's older sister, who has always been considered perfect by everyone in their family, suddenly left home, leaving her parents perplexed and worried beyond themselves. Since her sister's missing, Caitlin finds herself somehow loosing her balance and doesn't know what to do. But then she meets Rogerson and he's nothing like other boys she knows. He represents new possibilities for her. She feels like she can start to make her own decisions that are not at all based on her sister. She can finally find her own self. But what if Rogerson changes her in a totally different way...?

"It's so easy to get caught up in what people expect of you.
Sometimes, you can just lose yourself."

Dreamland was surely different from all other books by Sarah Dessen. It showed the dark side of love. What can become from the person who we choose to be with. Not only the person can change but they can change us to the point we don't even recognize ourselves anymore, which is scary but true. This book was kind of hard to read for me because it gave me pain and it was pretty obvious that the relationship between the main characters could only end up in a bad way. It was inevitable but I still didn't know what was going to happen in the end, and that kept me at the edge of my seat. I was feeling very uncomfortable throughout the whole book because of all the thing that were happening, and I have to admit I was really missing that kind of seed of hope that Sarah Dassen always implants to every book of hers. This one, though, was pretty depressing but it felt acutely important to read nonetheless.

"Behind the camera, I was invisible. When I lifted it up to my eye it was like I crawled into the lens,
losing myself there. and everything else fell away."

Even though Dreamland is one of Sarah Dessen's first books, I recognized her beautiful writing style in every single carefully crafted sentence of hers. I love the way she writes so much. It always makes me relate to the main character right from the beginning. Her novels are really easy to read, yet there is something very profound in the way they're told. Plus they are highly quotable. Dreamland isn't necessarily my favourite book of hers but it's definitely a book that should be read, for it's important to talk about the things that are mentioned in here. Sarah Dessen has written an open-hearted and honest story that deserves attention not only from teenagers but also adult readers. Although it discusses a heavy topic about dysfunctional family and ill-natured relationships, there is some room left for readers imagination of an happy ending. Sometimes there could be someone worthwhile very near if we could just open our eyes and see them...

Ratings: 4/5

Monday, 23 January 2017

Sense & Sensibility

Autor: Jane Austen
Nakladatel: Penguin Classics
Rok vydání: 2011
Počet stran: 448


Sense & Sensibility is Jane Austen's first published novel from 1811. It tells a story about the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne (well, there's also Margaret, but she's a bit too young for the dramas of adulthood), and it's about them falling in love with two different men whose difficult situations are not without resemblance. And so the reader follows Elinor and Marianne experiencing happiness as well as hardships of life and dealing with them in their own ways...

"There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind,
that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions."

The reason why I love reading so much is because I can abandon myself for a little while and just devour a good book with a fair amount of amusing characters with their interesting lifes. I love being able to forget my own afflictions and being connected with the main protagonists of the story throughout their own problems. And this is what I can do so easily with Jane Austen. She pulls me into the story immediately, and I can do nothing else but concentrate on her words and the meaning behind them...


"I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy;
but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way."

Sense & Sensibility is my favourite Jane Austen's novel, for I love to read about the family knot that distingushes this particular book from all her others. I think that our siblings, if we are lucky enough to have one, are the most important people in our lives. For our parents certainly won't be here for uf forever, and our relationships aren't always as steady as we would like them to be. Consequently, it's simply great to have someone whom you can count on in the times of need, and vice versa. And Jane Austen really captures the message in this story perfectly. I mean, the Dashwood sisters are not at all alike, but they love each other nonetheless, and they try to understand and even learn from the other, even if it's not always that easy. Whenever I read Sense & Sensibility, I always find myself in Elinor and am trying to draw some romanticism from Marianne to overcome my cynicism that I have charged throughout the recent years. I love this book entirely. I feel like it speaks right from my heart, you know. There's something extremely familiar about the story that it feels like home when I am reading it. And this feeling increases with every re-reading. I have only a few books which I think are worth to read again, Sense & Sensibility is definitely one of them...

"Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it."

Jane Austen's writing style surely needs some time to get used to at the beginning, but trust me, once you get into it, she won't let you go. I personaly find it very difficult to put her books down when it's time to go to sleep. I love her words thoroughly. She plays with them in such a way you wouldn't think possible, but it actually works perfectly well. It astonishes me every time. I Also love when author leaves some room for my own imagination. I don't like to go through every detail of every action if it's not necessary for the plot line. And Jane Austen really knows the subtle balance between saying too much or too little. But except of her being an incredibly talented writer, she's also one of the best storytellers ever. I know that there might be some people who wouldn't agree with me, which is totally fine. (As to quote Jane Austen, I would say: "One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.") But I myself genuinely think her stories amazingly fabricated. Every little thing in her novels is precisely studied, nothing is happening without meaning. Some of the details you wouldn't even be able to see at the first time (that's exactly why one should re-read her books). And that's what makes her a genius in my eyes...

Hodnocení: 5/5

Saturday, 21 January 2017

January Book Photo Challenge - Part III

Hi everyone,
I am bringing you another part of January Book Photo Challenge. The next one I am going to post on the last day of January which will be on Tuesday, so this is the last Saturday's post. I think I am going to miss it so I am considering taking part in February Book Photo Challenge, too. Let me know if you'd like me to...

15. Love Letter
I think that the most beautiful love letter I've ever read in the literature is the one which Captain Wentworth writes to Anne Elliot during the last scenes of Persuasion by Jane Austen. One cannot read it without tears in their eyes...

16. Out of Print
These gorgeous editions of works by Brontë sisters are out of print, unfortunatelly. There are six books published in this collection of Mr. Boddington's Penguin Classics, but I only managed to find these two when in London. And I treasure them the most, for they are some of my favourite books of all time, plus they look so pretty with these covers...

17. 400+ Pages
I've recently added this beautiful copy of The Complete Illustrated Works of Hans Christian Andersen to my collection. And I am looking forward to read bits and pieces of it every night, if possible. It has got 948 pages...

18. Retelling
If you're not visiting my blog for the first time, you probably know that I am a huge fan of fanfiction. I just like revisiting my favourite classic stories in new reimaginings. I think that the best retelling I've read so far is Persuade Me by Juliet Archer. It is a retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen, as you may guess from its title, and it's really amazing. You can read it even without knowing the original, but if you're a fan of Jane Austen, it will have something more into it for you. I am also planning to read The Importance of Being Emma soon...

19. Set in NYC
I've heard about The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath so many times, and I knew that I would read it eventually, but I wasn't intrigued to do it immediately. But then I came upon it during an idle hour in the bookshop where I had been working in London, and I read the back cover which made me buy it. Basicly, it is about this girl who moves to New York and gets a depression there. I feel like I will understand to this novel after moving to London and going through the biggest depression I've experienced in my whole life. But I still haven't read it, for I needed some time to get out of a tangle of the toxic thoughts in my head, first. But I think that now is the perfect time to finally read it...

20. Snowy Cover
I am reading Wild Roses by Deb Caletti currently and it has the loveliest snowy cover ever. I am just at the beginning but I like it so far, even though I don't love it as much as Stay, which I read in January last year, but I am hoping that I will eventually...

21. Autobiography
I bought Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham in the post Christmas sales, and I still haven't gotten into it. I've read a couple of chapters at the beginning of the month, though, and I really enjoyed Lauren Graham voice. So I would like to get to it soon...

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Secret Paris Cinema Club

Original title: Eines Abends in Paris
Author: Nicolas Barreau
Publisher: Quercus
Publishing date: 2014
Pages: 278


Alain Bonnard who has quite recently inherited a small cinema in Paris, which he cherishes many nostalgic memories about, lives a very quiet life untill everything changes when Hollywood stars approach him with request of filming a new movie in his little cinema. But this exciting news almost causes his loosing a woman who might be the love of his life...

"Isn't it simply incredible that, after all the millennia this world has been turning on its axis, love is still the most wonderful thing that can happen to two people? Again and again it's that feeling that enables us to start anew in expectations of great things."

This was such a lovely story that warmed my heart during this incredibly cold winter. It's been a really long time since I've read some book that took place in Paris, and so I was very glad when I came upon this one. I found it in one of the bookshop branches where I'd been working in London, and I just couldn't resist to buy it, for it sounded like exactly my cup of tea. The back cover described The Secret Paris Cinema Club as "a Parisian Notting Hill with all the charm of Chocolat". I mean, what more did I need to be sold on the spot for it...?

I have to say that this book really lived up to my expectations. It was beautifully written, very funny and charming. I adored the main character Alain Bonnard. He indeed reminded me of William Thacker from Notting Hill. And I wished him luck throughout the whole book. The love story in this book was of instant kind, but I didn't really mind it. As long as it's believable, I might as well enjoy it. And this was definitely the case. Over all it was a very sweet novel with a few surprises as well. I would definitely recommend this book to every hopeless romantic. I'm sure, you'll love it just as I did...

Ratings: 5/5

Saturday, 14 January 2017

January Book Photo Challenge - Part II

Happy Saturday to everyone.
I am here again with the second part of January Book Photo Challenge. I am really glad I joined in this month, for it's such a fun to take pictures of books and discuss them with you. In this post you'll see one of my bookshelves and will learn about my favourite literary couple. So without further ado, let's get started...

8. Cozy in Bed
Bed is my favourite place to read, for rooms in our old house are so cold in winter. I always try to make myself as comfortable as possible. And I love to have a cup of tea as well as some snack (preferably fruit and/or chocolate) by my side...
 
9. Quote to Live By
I absolutely love this quote from Emma by Jane Austen. I think it's so true, for every other charm will fade away eventually, but the tenderness of heart will make you beautiful in spite of your age...

10. Favourite Genre
I should think I like to read every genre. But the true is that the vast majority of my reading consists of contemporary Yong Adult with a few fantasy books and a little bit more classics. So YA it is, I guess...

11. Shelfie
Here is one of my bookshelves that my Daddy made for me. It contains most of my translated books. It's positioned above my desk and the chest of drawers so it's really high. The highest shelf is actually just under the ceiling so whenever I want to pull out some book, I have to bring a big stool from the kitchen to reach it. It's very complicated but I love that it kind of dominates to my room. Sometimes I like to stand down below the shelves and just stare at them, for they are so pretty...

12. Black & White
I was rather surprised of how few books with black and white covers I actually own. In fact, I found only two in my bookshelf, because the other ones always had another colour in them too. The second black and white book was a paperback copy of The Princess Bride, but I chose The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. For I think the cover is very sophisticated and lovely, plus it also corresponds with the story line perfectly...

13. Literary OTP
I didn't really have to think twice about this one, for my favourite literary couple is Allyson and Willem from Just One Day. I don't think I've ever read about other two people I wished so badly for them to be together. They just clicked, you know. I still haven't read the sequel Just One Year, though, for I was overwhelmed with feelings when I started it and I just had to put it down. But I will read it, I am sure, even if it should be just for the sake of Gayle Forman's writing, which is just beautiful. Oh, the feelings...

14. Page Saver
I love these British Writers bookmarks which I bought in London. I don't think they are necessarily handy, and therefore I don't really use them, but they are really beautiful so I can forgive the lack of practicality to them...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Visiting Host

Hello, dear readers!
So today I am finally going to share with you some of the pictures I've taken in the Czech publishing house Host on Saturday. They invited me along with my fellow bloggers to come to their office and talk about books, Blogosphere, BookTube and other stuff like that. I am very pleased to be part of the team they've decided to build up a few years ago. And it was really nice to meet all of the people again. So thank you very much for this experience and also for all the new books. You're amazing...

Saturday, 7 January 2017

January Book Photo Challenge - Part I

Hi everyone,
today I am here to share with you a bunch of photos that I have taken to the Book Photo Challenge, which I decided to join in this month. I thought I would show you my pictures weekly instead of every day, for I have some other posts coming up, and I don't want to glut my blog with too many things at once. I hope it's okay with you...

1. Reading Resolution
My reading resolution for 2017 would be to finally finish Harry Potter series. Plus I really would like to read more series in general, for I have read only stand-alones during the last year...

2. New Year. New Book 
The newest book in my bookshelf is actually a series The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I bought it because of my New Year's resolution and also because I absolutely adored Marie Lu's Legend trilogy...

3. Currently Reading
The book I am reading at the moment is called The Secret Paris Cinema Club by Nicolas Barreau. And I am absolutely loving it. It's a very sweet story about Alain Bonnard who inherited a cinema after his Uncle passed away, and then he falls in love with a woman in a red coat who always comes to watch romantic movies on Wednesday nights. But just after they meet, they loose contact, so Alain have to unite all forces possible to find her...

4. Inspiration
These are some of my favourite Coffe Table Books, which I like to draw inspiration from whenever I have the need. I keep them within my reach at the side of my desk so I can easily pull one out and browse through it...

5. January Joy
I love to drink black tea with milk from my blue tin mug, for it keeps my hands warm while I read a book. And the only reason I like winter is because I can wear comfy sweaters...

6. Frosty Window
This is an illustration from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Not just that it has a frosty window in it, I also love it for the amazing atmosphere. Jim Kay is a genius...

7. Book in a Bag
I absolutely adore this little edition of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides that has been published by Picador Modern Classics. The cover is very sophisticated and resonates with the story beautifully. Plus it's a perfect size to carry in a little handbag...

Friday, 6 January 2017

Top 10 Books of 2016

Hi everyone,
today I decided to share with you, guys, my favourite books I have read during the last year. I have to admit that it wasn't a particularly good year in terms of reading. I hadn't had as much time for books as I would wish for. But I still managed somehow, for reading was the only thing which kept me sane at times. Over all I have read about forty books which is slightly less than I usually read per year, but I suppose it isn't that bad considering my living in London, working in bookshop and all those crazy things that had happened. Moreover, some of the books I've read were really great, and that's what counts, right?

1. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
This was the first time I've read Charlotte's Web and I was totally blown away. I am a huge fan of children's literature and the story of a little pig named Wilbur, who finds a true friend in a fragile spider Charlotte, really warmed my heart. If you still haven't read it, just do it...

2. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Another children's classic I've read this past year for the first time is Bridge to Terabithia. And it also became my favourite straight away. It's beautifully written, all the characters are very lively and the story line so captivating...

3. Forbiden by Tabitha Suzuma
I have read Forbidden just recently, and the story of the book is still throbbing within my heart. It was so devastating a book but I am glad I read it, and I would definitely recommend it. It is unforgettable and really unique story of love...

4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
I haven't read anything else by Marissa Meyer, and I kind of picked up Heartless on a whim, but it was absolutely worth it. Such a great book that kept me gripped the whole time. It was beautifully written as well as amazingly imagined. I loved the whole world and characters in it. If you're a fan of fairy tale re-tellings, you should not miss this one...

5. The Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork
My love for books by Francisco X. Stork has started with Marcelo in the Real World and continued with Irises that I have read in 2015. In the past year I have read The Last Summer of the Death Warriors as well as his newest novel The Memory of Light. It was hard to choose between these two, for they were equaly great, but I think that I connected with the characters of the first one a little bit more so I chose that one. It was a heartwarming and inspirational story that I would simply recommend to everybody...

6. Stay by Deb Caletti
I chose Stay to put on this list, for I was surprised how much of an impact this book had on me. It's a Young Adult novel about a girl who has fallen in love with a guy that became obsessed about her. And it's about her trying to find way out of this twisted relationship. I absolutely adored this novel and I am definitely going to read more books by Deb Caletti in the future because I really enjoy her writing style...

7. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Saint Anything is the latest novel of Sarah Dessen and it became one of my favourites. I simply adore Sarah Dessen's books and I shall never stop reading them. This one tells a story about Sydney who is trying to step out of the shadow of her brother and find her own way. It is really poignant and compelling novel that not only fans of Sarah Dessen should read. PS: I have a Sarah Dessen Book Club going on. Join in if you want to read all of her books along with me (see more info here).

8. The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West
Novels by Kasie West have really taken me by surprise. I fell in love with stories of hers right from the beginning. I also read The Distance Between Us but The Fill-In Boyfriend was definitely my favourite. It was such a sweet and lovely story that pulled me out of a reading slump and I utterly enjoyed it...

9. Landline by Rainbow Rowell
I've read Landline during the Christmas time and it was so magical. Even though I was slightly bored at the beginning, I was totally blown away from then on. I loved the dialog in this book so much as well as the love story behind it. Rainbow Rowell is just awesome...

10. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
My love for Nicholas Sparks is getting even bigger with every new book I read. The Choice is definitely another favourite of mine. I enjoyed that there were dogs in the story, and I really related to the characters. They were so passionate and enthusiastic about life which I found very inspirational. And I am giving another points for the beautiful ending which is quite rare in Nicholas Sparks's books...