September 25, 2016

September 2016 // Book haul

September 2016 book haul @ Potterhead Reviews

As you might know, my birthday was last month. With my birthday money I always like to treat myself to some new books. It also happens that ALL the books are coming out in August, September and October so that’s really convenient. Let the (pre)ordering begin!

The books I bought:
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
This book is all over the internet, the hype was crazy when this book came out. Honestly, I think the hype also ruined it a bit for me. I wasn’t that blown away by this book after finishing it and I also had a really tough time getting through it. I’ll talk more about it in my September wrap up. I ordered this one off of Wordery because the UK hardcover was only €12 there. I know. WHAT A CATCH. And it’s so beautiful!

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
You know I like me some YA fantasy and I had heard good things about Rebel of the Sands. Also: the cover is just fantastic imo. I devoured this book in 2 or 3 days and enjoyed it very much.

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab
This one was only* €20 on The Book Depository so of course I had to add it to my basket. I read A Darker Shade of Magic last summer and thought it was about time I got onto the sequel. Haven’t started it as of yet.
*It's usually around €30 for the hardcover on the website I usually order from.

The Beauty of Darkness by Mary E. Pearson
WHAT A BEAST! The Beauty of Darkness is the finale to the Remnant Chronicles so obviously a lot had to be addressed and wrapped up. I liked the ending to this trilogy. Don’t expect epic-ness à la Sarah J. Maas though. I was really sad I had finished another amazing YA fantasy series.

September 2016 book haul bookstack

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
I had this one preordered but still ended up receiving it later than the release date (which isn’t the end of the world, it’s just never happened before). This was definitely one of my most anticipated book releases of 2016. How do I say this… Empire of Storms messed with my emotions, it made me happy and giddy but also angry and sad but most of all this book just killed me. It was amazing and epic and everything I hoped it would be but it also broke my heart which I obviously, don’t enjoy all that much.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
Another preorder. I loved Tahereh's first series, Shatter Me, but most of all I loved her writing style. Furthermore is a middle grade book, which isn’t my preferred genre at all, but I’m hoping to find that amazing writing of hers again in this book.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
I preordered the paperback and unfortunately it’s not as shiny as the hardcover edition but it’s got a really nice texture? I don’t know how to explain this. Anyway, I loved her Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy to death (might need to reread soon) so obviously I’d want to read her new work. I’ve forgotten what it’s about and I think I’m just gonna go in blind and see what happens.

September 2016 book haul bookish chevron

And that was my book haul. A lot, for my usual standards but tame in comparison to others. I’ve already finished over half of them so I’ve already had to tell myself to slow the fuck down. There are still some exciting book releases ahead such as Crooked Kingdom, Gemina and Crystal Storm. Not to forget that the illustrated edition of Chamber of Secrets is coming out next month!

Let me know if you have recently hauled new books and which new releases you are most excited about!

September 18, 2016

Planning essentials: pens, washi, stickers

Planner essentials @ Potterhead Reviews

I have gotten really into planners and planning and planner communities and basically everything planner related over the past year. I watch planner videos and buy stickers on Etsy (in a controlled amount!)). I wanted to share what my essentials were in terms of pens and all that jazz. I won’t be talking about my planner itself but if you want a sneak peek of what it looks like, check out the blogpost I did on my DIY planner back in February. Okay then, let’s get into it.

Pens, highlighters

Staedtler pigment liners & Staedtler triplus fineliners

The Staedtler fineliners are a favourite because they work well on the Moleskine paper. That paper is really thin so whatever you do, it is visible on the back of the page. It’s not that bad with the fineliners though, so I continue to use them.
The Staedtler triplus roller does bleed through. I used it for a few spreads and did not like how it looked on the paper BUT I do write really nicely with it, so that’s why I still consider this an essential. It's probably fine on a thicker sort of paper!

Bic M10 pen (ballpoint pen)

This is the most basic ballpoint pen out there tbh but I love how it writes and how the ink smells (DON'T JUDGE ME!). The M10 writes super smooth and the ink is a true black.

Uni-ball Power Tank (ballpoint pen)

Going from basic to fancy in .2 seconds. I love this pen because of its design mostly. It looks + is sturdy and it has a rubber grip which makes writing very fun and comfortable. The ink is a true black and the pen writes smoothly. Refills are available online (= BONUS!).

Zebra mildliners (highlighters)

These are an absolute hype on #studyblr and that’s also why I got them. I like how these are mild (hello, captain obvious speaking) and not in your face fluorescent. It gives me more options for highlighting when I’m studying. I get tired of the same old yellow, pink, green and blue so I mix it up with these. But because they have kind of unique colors I also like to use them in my planner to add color here and there.

Planner sneek peak stickers

Washi tape

I love to use washi tape to decorate my pages, especially my monthly views. Every month has a different color scheme. For the weekly spreads I mostly prefer thin washi because it’s easier to work with and it’s great to section off ‘days’ (you know what I mean).

I get my washi from all over the place - as long as it’s at a reasonable price. I’m not about to splurge on freakin tape people! Although I would really love to have the ones with gold foil… or the rose gold ones… A girl can dream. Seriously, where can I find these?


Planner specific stickers

These are usually (if not only) designed for Erin Condren planners but I use them in my planner anyway. If you get a little creative you can make it work. I’m not ashamed to admit that I mimicked the EC planner layout in my Moleskine so I could use the stickers to their full potential… But I also sometimes just wing it.

I’ve only ordered stickers from three of four different shops so far so I don’t exactly have much experience but when I do, I might just share my favourites with you in a separate blog post if you'd be interested in that.

My planner is almost completely filled out, I only have a few months left in it and then I’ll probably start a real bullet journal. I just can’t go back to the premade planners I used to use. And as much as I like the EC planners’ aesthetic, I don’t like the price at all and the shipping rate even less. I'll share my bujo spreads when I finally get to start it.

Are you into planning? What do you use? Any planner related blogs you can recommend?

September 1, 2016

August wrap up

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So in August I was ‘free’, meaning I didn’t have to go to work or school or whatever but I used quotation marks because I didn’t get to do fun things like reading, sleeping in, photographing books, marathoning 1001 shows,… you get the picture. Anyway - what I’m trying to say is that I was studying all month. I feel like I say this in 11 out of 12 wrap ups every year but sadly, that’s just how it is.

 photo Foto 14-08-16 14 36 17_zpspw4dxytr.jpgI did have my birthday this month so at least that’s nice. I bought myself some prezzies this year. First I decided to expand my collection of Harry Potter Funko Pop!s because I love Harry Potter and they all just look really cute. Most people don’t understand why I would spend money on figurines “because they have no purpose” but honestly… that could be said about a lot of home decorations as well.

I wanted to try out brush lettering and ordered brush pens to practice. Honestly, I have no idea what kind of brush pens are supposed to be “the best”. I figured Tombow is a decent brand and I ordered a set of 5 pens in basic colors to see how I feel about this lettering thing. So far I’m having a lot of fun experimenting. I’m always to trying to reach perfection but this needs a lot of practice. I’m also trying lettering with watercolours and a pencil. I have these phases where I want to get creative with things sometimes.

This month I hit a 100 followers on Bloglovin’! Super super super happy and thanks everyone for following! I also hit the 700 follower mark on Instagram. Actually it’s more like: I’m hitting the 700 follower mark on and off. Every time I’m at 700 I lose some followers again, it’s bloody frustrating.

 photo Foto 5-08-16 09 52 08_zpsbm5i9lk5.jpg Books read

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling & co. // 3 stars
The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead // 4 stars
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven // 4 stars
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton // 4.5 stars

I definitely had a good reading month - at least compared to last month where I didn’t finish ANYTHING. Obviously I wanted to read Cursed Child before spoilers started getting out and I guess that got me back into reading. Apart from Cursed Child, I read a lot of good books this month. My favorite is Rebel of the Sands. I love YA fantasy and this one didn't disappoint.

You might have missed…

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling // spoiler free book review
Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry // spoiler free book review
Empire of Storms theories // let’s discuss!

TV // music // movies

I finished ‘marathoning’ Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. It took me about three months but it was absolutely worth it! I’m also glad that I don’t have to wait as long for the new seasons anymore. Chicago Fire is probably my favourite out of all of them because these characters are just fantastic. Literally have never seen characters with such big hearts before THEY’RE ALL MY BABIES.

I LOVE the Suicide Squad soundtracks! It’s right up my alley and I like the variation in genres. Besides the music I also like the movie very much. I don't see what the problem with this movie is. Some people have bashed it so bad that I actually had really low expectations. In the end I thought this was a good "superhero" (but not really cuz they're villains) movie. Crazy things happen in comics and crazy things happened on the movie. I thought Jared Leto made a great Joker although his interpretation was different from Heath Ledger's (which was just phenomenal).

How was August?

August 22, 2016

Empire of Storms THEORIES

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Hello friends! I’ll be doing something I’ve never done before. There’s a first time for everything right? I love reading other people’s theories about books that still have to come out. I remember watching a video on theories for Clockwork Princess and just loving how much inspiration it gave me and how much discussion it created. With the release of Empire of Storms just a few weeks away, I want to discuss a few things I have been thinking about. These are my Empire of Storms theories (obviously there will be spoilers from the previous books):

1. Manon will change sides and join Aelin’s cause or Dorian’s (which is basically the same thing)
"As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world.” (source)

2. Dorian and Manon will meet face to face (this could mean ANYTHING although I’m not a Manorian shipper per sé)

3. I have a bad feeling about Aedion - I think he will die either in EoS or the last book

4. Ansel will come back - I don’t know who’s side she’ll be on though but I obviously hope it’s Aelin's
Sarah revealed in her April newsletter that "old characters return” so I feel like it’s gotta be Ansel. There’s more to tell about her.

5. I’m really unsure about Elide and whether or not she’ll get that Wyrdkey to Aelin.
I feel like it would be too good to be true that Aelin would have 2 keys. Although it would be a very very good thing. What I’m saying is that I don’t trust NO ONE with a Wyrdkey except for Aelin. I think Elide will meet people on her way to Terrasen to make it more complicated for her to get there. Also: she thinks she needs to give it to Celaena Sardothien but she won’t find that person in Terrasen...

6. Sarah said that "the scope of the world expands” so I’m assuming we’ll finally get a glimpse of the Southern Continent? 
Meaning Chaol will go to the Torre Cesme and instead of just healing, he’ll get tangled up in whatever is going on over there. Typical Chaol. Maybe he’ll get them to fight for Aelin’s cause.

7. I feel like Gavriel might make an appearance

8. Kaltain had magic. Elide is apparantly SOMETHING. The two looked like they could be sisters. Okay so OBVIOUSLY something’s going on here I just don’t know what.
Did Marion have a sister that married a Rompier and had a child named Kaltain? That would make Elide and Kaltain cousins.

9. Not entirely a theorie about EoS but… The next book will have Reign in the title. 
I just have this feeling.

What are your theories? Any crazy ones?

August 15, 2016

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

Nowhere But Here book review

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarryTitle: Nowhere But Here
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road #1
Genre: contemporary, young adult
Release: May 2015

An unforgettable new series from acclaimed author Katie McGarry about taking risks, opening your heart and ending up in a place you never imagined possible.
Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both.
Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down.
No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

3 star-rating
My thoughts on this book are kind of all over the place. There are things that I liked, there are other things that I didn’t like as much. It’s didn’t quite fulfil my craving for a good summer contemporary. This is also my first McGarry book and I have read lots of positive feedback on her other books. The expectations might have been high, though the fact that this series is about a motorcycle club did make me hesitate. Nowhere But Here tries to break through stereotypes surrounding motorcycle clubs though.

The romance was greatly written. I love how Katie McGarry has you rooting for the main characters from the start. I wasn’t that invested in the characters though. I didn’t like Oz per sé and Emily didn’t stand out to me either. None of the characters I really liked. I’m not saying they weren’t nice people though. I just didn’t feel connected to any of them. Oz, along with the other guys his age in this book, are portrayed as ‘bad boys’ and ‘guys that don’t fall for good girls’ - in other words: clichés. I’m not too big a fan of the bad boy cliché. After reading quite a few books with bad boys in it, the kind that goes all soft for some 'special girl’, you kind of grow tired of it.

Signed Nowhere But HereI also got kind of annoyed by the way these characters talked. These characters are 17, which is starting to feel like a lifetime ago and it’s getting hard relating to characters that age BUT I do know how 17-year-olds talk. Here’s the thing: in every conversation someone has to say something like “like I told you before”/“as I said”/“it’s like I said before”. What teenager talks like that?! It happened so many times that it got on my nerves. This is something minor though. I also think this is just me. I just want 17-year-olds to talk like 17-year-olds and not old ladies.

The thing that bothered me the most is the drama though. SO. MUCH. DRAMA. It felt like I was reading a contemporary set in a high school with hormonal teenagers sometimes, that’s how dramatic it got. Emily is basically living a lie. Her mom lied to her about her biological father and his family AND about hers (this isn’t a spoiler). There are so many lies about this family that it had me rolling my eyes. If certain characters just told the truth for the start, there wouldn’t have been so much going on and certain events would not have taken place. The going back and forth just annoyed me so much. I imagined myself in Emily’s place quite a few times and I know I would have exploded about 20 times because of the lying. ALL THE LIES. I just wanted her to get mad for once.

So, obviously family is an important aspect of this book. I like that - it doesn’t have to solely be about 2 people falling in love. There’s a big cast of characters. I’m not that interested in Razor’s story (Walk the Edge, book #2) since he’s described as the baddest boy of the bad-boy-club and I’m just not down for that. I would like to know what happens with Chevy and Violet but I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the book. I guess we’ll see if I want to give this series another try next year. For now I’ve had enough of the drama on Thunder Road.

Have you read Nowhere But Here? What are your thoughts on the book?