From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar – coming out on December 21st

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Romantic thriller
  • Suspense
  • Ebook
  • 334 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.32

First of all, a great thanks to the author Jina S. Bazzar for gifting me a copy of her upcoming book From Fame to Ruin in exchange for an honest review.

From Fame to Ruin book cover, a romantic thriller novel that will be released on the 21st of December.
From Fame to Ruin cover, copied from

Carol is the sole heir to a broken empire, Ricardo the newest celebrity in the rock world. When they came together, their fire blazed. When their past caught up, they were left burned, scorched to the ground. When a psychopath decides it’s payback time, Carol is faced with an impossible choice – save her son or sell her life. Ricardo wants nothing to do with the woman who played him for a fool, but finds himself moored by circumstances, half truths, and memories of the past. They say time can heal anything. So far, time’s brought nothing but complications.

This book really took me by surprise. This was the first time I was contacted by an author to review their book and I was really flattered, but it also added a lot of pressure. What if I didn’t like it? I would have to give it a bad review and I really did not want to do that. I decided to take the leap and thank God, it paid off.

I didn’t know what to expect from a “Romantic thriller”, but now that I’ve read this book, I think it’s the most amazing combination of genres. Call me a girl, but I think the romance part of a book always just adds an extra dimension. In this book especially. The book constantly alternates between 4 years ago and today. The thriller part is happening in the today and the romantic parts of the story are (mostly) happening 4 years ago. This is the perfect recipe for a book that never gets boring. Usually the “4 years ago” is the boring backstory of how things came to be. That’s the part you have to plow through, because the information is essential, but you mostly just want to get back to the good parts. Now add a little (or a lot) romance and suddenly the backstory isn’t so boring anymore.

The choice of using a dual timeline was a really good one. The “4 years ago” chapters give your heart rate a little time to slow down again. I would be reading a chapter that happens in the “today” and then moving on to a chapter that happens 4 years ago and I would suddenly notice that I was clenching every muscle in my body. The best books are the books that give you high blood pressure, in my humble opinion.

From Fame to Ruin comes out on the 21st of December. I put the Amazon link below, so check it out if you’re interested!


My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

  • Fiction
  • Thriller/mystery
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 226 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.72

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“It takes a whole lot longer to dispose of a body than to dispose of a soul, especially if you don’t want to leave any evidence of foul play.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

Korede’s sister Ayoola is the favourite child, the most beautiful of the two and possibly a little sociopathic. Two of Ayoola’s boyfriends have mysteriously died before and now her third boyfriend is dead. Self-defence, apparently. It is also the third mess that Ayoola has left for Korede to clean up. Korede takes the burden of cleaning up the blood, getting rid of the body and stopping Ayoola from posting Instagram pictures while she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. After all, to Korede family always comes first. Until Ayoola starts dating the handsome doctor that Korede has been in love with for years. Korede is faced with the question how far she would go to protect her sister.

I enjoyed this book a lot. It had been on my shelf for years before I decided to pick it up, mostly because I thought it was a completely different kind of book. I finally picked it up after I coincidentally came across a review of the book somewhere and I realised it wasn’t at all the kind of book I thought it was. Why did I buy a book without reading the summary and then put it on my shelf for two years because I didn’t like the kind of book I thought it was, you ask? Well, I never said I was perfect.

“I dare you to find a flaw in her beauty; or to bring forth a woman who can stand beside her without wilting.”

Oyinkan Braithwaite, My Sister, the Serial Killer

I adored the characters in this book. They were hilarious and vibrant and there really wasn’t a dull moment. The book is written from Korede’s point of view, so you don’t really know what is going on in Ayoola’s head, but not knowing what she is thinking is a large part of the fun, otherwise it wouldn’t be a mystery. It was kind of a cliché that Korede is the “ugly duckling” and her sister is the beautiful, but naive one and that kind of bothered me a few times throughout the book, but I guess it also adds an extra dimension and I can’t really think of a different relationship that would add the same dimension to their interactions. So I guess I forgive her for the cliché.

The book was very accessible. The chapters were short and sweet, it wasn’t too difficult to read, the writing is smooth and witty and I went through it quickly, which made it very enjoyable. I hate mystery novels or thrillers where you have to wait endlessly for a clue or for someone to solve the mystery while the narrator takes it upon themselves to describe where a character got their completely unrelated and irrelevant dog Fluffy or the EXACT colour of the leaves on an even more irrelevant tree (I’m looking at you, George R.R. Martin). This is definitely not that kind of book. My Sister, the Serial Killer is fast-paced while always making you want to keep reading and if you love reading a book in one session, you’ll adore this book.


Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance
  • Humor
  • Paperback
  • 496 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.84

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“Life is like an escalator. You see, it carries you on regardless. And you might as well enjoy the view and seize every opportunity while you’re passing. Otherwise, it’ll be too late.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

While Lara Lington is attending her great-aunt Sadie’s funeral, she is visited by Sadie’s ghost in the form a demanding girl in a 1920’s flapper dress. Sadie demands that Lara finds a necklace that had been in Sadies possession for seventy-five years, but was lost when she died. Lara refuses at first, being busy enough with her own troubles, having just been dumped by the love of her life and trying to keep her head above water as co-owner of her headhunting agency. Sadie keeps pestering Lara until she finally agrees on finding the necklace, uncovering some ugly secrets in the process.

This is the second Sophie Kinsella book I read. It’s also still one of my favourites (if not, THE favourite). The first Kinsella book I read is “Finding Audrey”, which is absolutely beautiful, but meant for a younger audience. I’ll write a review on that one soon.

Even though this book is 500 pages long, I literally devoured it. I love Kinsella, because her books are always light and easy to read. They really pull you into the story. She has a talent for making you feel like you’re really there. She doesn’t dwell on irrelevant things like the exact colour of a tree (which can absolutely be beautiful and relevant in a different kind of novel, obviously).

I loved the friendship between Sadie and Lara that evolved throughout the book. Lara started off being really annoyed by Sadie and naturally, I was really annoyed by Sadie as well, but Kinsella did an excellent job peeling off the layers of Sadie’s personality. Every time you learn something new, you start loving her a little more. The dynamic between Sadie and Lara is amazing. It’s enemies to friends, but Sadie also takes a role as a mentor. Being 105 years-old, she has a lot to teach Lara, though some of it is a little outdated…

“If a love affair is one-sided, then it’s only ever a question, never an answer. You can’t live your life waiting for an answer.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

There’s one theme that keeps coming back throughout the novel and that’s unanswered love. It wasn’t that obvious to me while I was reading the book and I really don’t remember it being featured so prominently. I only just noticed while looking up the quotes for this review. Nearly all of the quotes on Goodreads are about unanswered love. It’s Sadie telling Lara to stop waiting for her ex to start loving her back, that it’s not possible to make someone love you. She tells her to stop trailing after her ex. I didn’t mind the theme so much in this novel, but Kinsella does have a habit of making some of her main characters annoyingly dependent on men.

“Honestly, it’s so easy to get what you want from people if they think you’re a psycho.”

Sophie Kinsella, Twenties Girl

If you’ve never read anything by Sophie Kinsella before, consider this a sign to pick up Twenties Girl at your nearest bookstore and dive in. If you’re not really a fan of the paranormal element in this novel, I would recommend starting with “My Not so Perfect Life”. I’ll do a review on that gem soon.


Heroes by Stephen Fry

Heroes by Stephen Fry

  • Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology #2
  • Nonfiction
  • Mythology
  • Retellings
  • Paperback
  • 476 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.31

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“Such is the paradox of living. We willingly accept that we have no will.”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures is the sequel to Mythos, in which Stephen Fry (re)tells classic Greek Mythology. Where Mythos tells the tales of the Greek Gods and their victims, Heroes focuses solely on, sorry for stating the obvious, the heroes of Greek Mythology. It tells the stories of Perseus, Heracles, Oedipus and many others. The Heroes kill horrible beasts, endure the wrath of jealous wives and complete impossible labours.

“Oh Icarus, Icarus, my beloved boy. Why couldn’t you listen? Why did you have to fly so close to the sun?”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

I enjoyed reading Heroes a lot. It definitely lived up to the expectations that Mythos had set. On the whole, the contents of the book appealed to me more than that of Mythos, since the adventures of Greek heroes interest me more than the gods’ pedigree. I read some reviews saying that Heroes is much more organised than Mythos and I have to agree. Heroes is organised by hero. All the adventures of a hero are bundled in chronological order in a chapter with the name of that hero, whereas Mythos was full of shorter stories and felt like complete chaos. What still kind of bothered me, though it isn’t really Fry’s fault, is the insane amount of names in this book. Every time Fry introduces a new character of creature, the name is spelled in capital letters, which happens pretty much every page.. luckily there is a List of Characters in the back of the book. It’s about 40 pages long, so I guess that tells you all you need to know.

Lessons I’ve learned from reading Heroes:

  • If you don’t like someone, just send them to kill some kind of bull and hopefully you’ll never see them again;
  • It is totally okay to throw your children off a mountain if the oracle vaguely tells you to;
  • All mythological creatures are dumb as hell, either insult or flatter them and you’ve practically already won;
  • If you don’t know who your father is, it’s a safe bet to assume it’s Zeus;
  • Don’t insult the gods, especially not by claiming you’re better at something than they are or by having sex on their altar;
  • Beastiality was completely normal in ancient times;
  • If you lay eyes on a handsome youth or girl, it is customary to tell them you love them within the first 10 minutes and then betray your family and risk your life to be with them.

“An unamused Hades cast them into stone chairs, their naked buttocks stuck to the seats, their legs bound by living snakes.”

Stephen Fry, Heroes

Heroes is exactly what you’d expect when you let a comedian write a nonfiction book. The information is definitely there, but you’re not always sure whether he’s kidding or not. I’m pretty sure he paraphrased a little, now and then.

Of course not every hero in Greek mythology is accounted for, but the biggest names are definitely there. It felt like Fry made an attempt to shorten the stories as much as possible to be able to fit more of them into a book, which affected the stories negatively, because a lot of detail was left out. I understand Fry’s choice in this, though, for the book is already 476 pages long and as much as I enjoy Greek mythology, I don’t think I would read an 800 page book about it.

Though this is technically the second book in a series of three (so far), it isn’t necessary to read them in that order. Heroes sometimes gives a reference to Mythos, but you usually get a one sentence summary of the story Fry is referring to.

TW: it may not really be a trigger, but there’s a lot of murder, familicide and sex with mortals, gods and animals, yes, animals, in this book. It’s not very descriptive, but nevertheless, I would recommend younger readers with a curiosity towards Greek mythology to start off by reading some Rick Riordan books, like the Percy Jackson, The Trials of Apollo or the Mark of Athena series. That’s about 15 books worth of kid-friendly fiction based on Greek mythology.


Everything I’ve read in November

Everything I’ve read in November: A wrap-up

Good morning/afternoon/night, depending on when you’re reading this! November was a really good month for me, reading-wise. I’ve read a total of 9 books (and bought many, many more new ones, but that’s irrelevant) and there are 4 books that I am currently reading. Since this blog is still fairly new, I thought I’d do a kind of “November wrap-up”-thing to give you an idea on what kinds of books I read and will be talking about and reviewing. I’m just going to go through them one by one, give you my ratings, a short (spoiler free) summary and some of my thoughts. If you’re not interested in one of the books, just scroll to the next one. I’ve put the books in the order that I’ve read them in.

Book 1: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Feminism/Gender studies
  • LGBT
  • Activism
  • Published in 2020
  • Goodreads rating: 3.90
  • Hardcover Edition
  • 224 pages
  • TW: rape, sexual assault

Disclaimer: I use the word “queer” in this review, because that’s the word that Florence Given uses in her book. Please do not take offense if that’s not the term that you prefer or think should be used.

This is Florence Given’s, a London based artist, writer and activist, debut novel. All of the art in the book is made by Given herself.

I initially gave this book 4 stars, but in retrospect I decided to lower it to 3 stars. Mainly because I looked at the back cover and the blurb said: “The game-changing book that every woman needs” and well, it’s really not… Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pretty good read. I went through it fairly easily and I definitely learned some new things every now ant then, but it’s really more of a summary of the basics of feminism and it focuses A LOT on being queer, which I am not. If you are and you’re struggling with what that means to you and your femininity, I would recommend reading this book, because it does give a lot of useful advice in that department. However, if you’re a straight cis woman, a few of the chapters will not apply to you.

“There is enough room for all women to be whole without tearing each other down.”

Florence Given, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty

You would like this if:

  • You like reading about feminism or are interested in feminism;
  • You’re looking for a smooth introduction into feminism;
  • You’re LGBTQ+ and you’re struggling with femininity
  • You want to read about a queer girl’s struggle with feminism.

I posted a longer review of this book a few days ago, so check that one out if you want to know more. I’ll link it at the bottom of this post.

Book 2: Een boek vol taalfouten (A Book Full of Grammar Mistakes) by Friederieke de Raat

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Dutch
  • Nonfiction
  • Language
  • Published in 2019
  • Goodreads rating: 3.67
  • Paperback
  • 208 pages

This is a Dutch reference book about common Dutch grammar mistakes. It consists of two previously published books by the same author. It tackles common grammar mistakes and offers grammar rules and mnemonic devices for each type of mistake.

I’ll be short about this, because nobody probably cares about this book. Basically, it does the trick. It’s not really meant to be réád, it’s more of a reference book for common Dutch grammar mistakes and it’s a pretty good one. It’s clear and funny with lots of good examples. Although for a reference book, I would have chosen to give the chapters a name that makes it easier to recognise the mistake you’re looking for.

You would like this if:

  • You’re Dutch;
  • You’re a grammar guru;
  • You’re confused about spelling and grammar and you need a book for reference.

Book 3: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Mystery/crime
  • Fiction
  • Classics
  • First published in 1937
  • Goodreads rating: 4.11
  • Hardcover (Dutch)
  • 252 pages

This is the seventeenth book in the Hercule Poirot-series by Agatha Christie, though they do not have to be read in that order to make sense. As the title suggests, this book takes place in Egypt, where detective Hercule Poirot is supposed to be on vacation. In a resort, just before he leaves on a cruise on the Nile, Poirot runs into a young, wealthy girl named Linnet Doyle, who just married her best friends fiancé. She tells Poirot that her best friend is following her and threatening her. When Poirot starts his cruise, Linnet Doyle is there and so is her best friend. Now look at the title of the book and see if you can figure out what happens next.

I don’t mean to brag, but.. I figured out exactly what happened before Poirot did. Maybe I should consider a change of occupation.. All kidding aside, I really enjoyed finding out who the murderer was. Agatha Christie has a way of keeping the drama alive (pun intended) until the very end. Even though I was pretty sure I knew who’d done it and how when the murder was committed, she keeps you on edge until you finally find out if you were right. There’s just two things that bothered me a little about this book. 1: the murder isn’t committed until almost halfway through the book, and 2: character-wise, it’s like you’re reading Game of Thrones. The first hundred pages, it feels like she’s introducing a new character every page and half of them have no importance to the story whatsoever. I tried taking notes on the characters throughout the book to see if I could figure out who’d done it before Poirot figured it out, but I stopped after about a hundred pages because it felt completely irrelevant.

You would like this if:

  • You’re a true crime fan;
  • You like a good “whodunnit” mystery;
  • You like a slow-burn crime/mystery novel;
  • You’re looking for an accessible classic novel;
  • You like Agatha Christie.

Book 4: It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Romance
  • Fiction
  • Published in 2016
  • Goodreads rating: 4.43
  • Paperback
  • 376 pages
  • TW: (domestic) abuse

Just a warning in advance: I read this book without reading any reviews or summaries and I think it really ads to the experience, so if you’re thinking of reading this book, I would recommend skipping to the “you would like this if” or to the next book. For this exact reason, I will skip the summary for this book and go straight to the review. If you’re headstrong and still want to continue reading, I tried keeping the review as spoiler-free as possible.

The best way I can describe this book is.. it was a rollercoaster. An emotional rollercoaster. It’s really not your typical romance novel. It’s not even your typical Colleen Hoover novel. This book truly is one of a kind. You will go through so many emotions, I can almost guarantee an existential crisis after finishing this. The characters are unique and amazing, the writing is gorgeous and the plot and the layout of the book are genius. Trust me, read. this. book.

You would like this if:

  • You like having your heart broken by fictional characters;
  • You’re looking for something to have an existential crisis about;
  • You’re looking for a romance book that can make you laugh out loud and sob even louder.

Book 5: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Young Adult
  • Murder mystery/crime/thriller
  • Fiction
  • Published in 2019
  • Goodreads rating 4.36
  • Paperback
  • 433 pages

Five years ago, a girl named Andie Bell was murdered by a boy named Sal Singh. The boy then killed himself. Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure, though. She thinks Sal is innocent and the real killer is still out there. She takes it upon herself to investigate the murder. When she starts getting anonymous threats, she knows she’s onto something.

For some reason it really bothered me that the main character is called Pippa. I know it’s a young adult novel, but she’s not a toddler, nor a cartoon character.. Anyway, once I got over the name, I really enjoyed this book. It’s pretty lengthy, but it felt like a breeze! Like all murder mystery novels, it starts off a little slow, but the fact that it alternates between Pippa’s life and her Production Log entries, keeps it interesting. The book has a huge plot twist that I wasn’t expecting, followed by another plot twist that I wás kind of expecting and then ANOTHER plot twist that took me completely by surprise. Like most good mystery novels, you struggle through 100 pages of information, then it starts getting good and the pace picks up and then suddenly the story is over and you just stare blankly into space for a few hours trying to wrap your head around it.

You would like this if:

  • You like a good murder mystery;
  • You like a badass High School girl who’s determined to get to the bottom of things;
  • You like plot twists.

Book 6: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Fantasy
  • Young Adult
  • Published in 2015
  • Goodreads rating: 4.06
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages

Kell is one of the last Antari, magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes through a magical city. There is Grey London, Red London, White London and there used to be Black London. Because of his ability, Kell works as a messenger between the Londons, but he is also a smuggler. After a deal goes horribly wrong, he runs into Delilah Bard, a pickpocket of Grey London. She attempts to steal from him, which links her to Kell.

This book didn’t grip me as much as I’d hoped. I was really hyped for ADSoM, because I LOVED The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (if you haven’t read that one yet, drop everything right now and go read it) and this book (series) was really hyped up everywhere. It didn’t really live up to that hype. I mean, it’s good, the characters are really well-written, I love the whole concept of multiple Londons and the dialogue is great. Also, the book is divided in 14 parts, which have about 3 to 5 chapters each, so that makes it really easy to read. I read this book very quickly, but in a lot of small reading sessions, because I couldn’t concentrate on it for too long at a time. I just didn’t grip me as much as I’d expected it to and I’m not sure why. Still, it’s a really good book and I’m still going to read the rest of the series.

You would like this if:

  • You like reading about a completely different magical world;
  • You’d like a story about a badass heroine who is actually a thief.

Book 7: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Fantasy
  • Young Adult
  • Dystopian
  • Published in 2014
  • Goodreads rating: 4.00
  • 285 pages

Four: A Divergent Collection is a collection of short stories from the Divergent universe from Four’s perspective. It contains four stories; The Transfer, The Initiate, The Son and The Traitor, as well as some exclusive scenes from Divergent.

I read the Divergent books almost 10 years ago, probably (the first one came out in 2011), so I kind of remembered the story, but not much else. Turns out Veronica Roth is actually a really good writer! I figured the story would be kind of interesting, since the Divergent books and movies don’t tell you that much about Four’s back story, so I was just going to read through it and add it to my trophy shelf with the Divergent books. I really had not expected to like it this much. So naturally, I added the Carve the Mark books by Veronica Roth to my TBR-list.

You would like this if:

  • You have read the Divergent books and liked them;
  • You want to know more about Four’s back story.

Book 8: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Rating: 4 out of 5.
  • Dystopian
  • Young Adult
  • Fantasy
  • Romance
  • Published in 2011
  • Goodreads rating: 3.92
  • 338 pages

It’s going to be really hard to summarise this without spoiling anything, but I’ll do my best. Juliette is locked up for murdering a small child by accidentally touching him. Her touch can hurt or kill a person. After 264 days of isolation, Juliette suddenly gets a new cellmate. Two weeks later, The Reestablishment is letting her out to be used as a weapon. She recognises one of the soldiers as her former cellmate.

After reading the first few pages, I was really disappointed with this book. It read like it was written by a 5-year old and I HATED it. But since this book had been hyped up so much, I decided to keep going. I am so glad that I did. It turned out really good. I’m not sure whether the writing got better or it just stopped bothering me, but it’s clear that Mafi went for a diary-like vibe in the beginning (the main character carries around a notebook). The story, even though it feels a little all over the place like she’s trying to fit 8 different kinds of stories into 1, is pretty amazing. You definitely have no idea how the story is going to progress and I loved that. It turned out to be one of the most interesting books I’ve ever read.

You would like this if:

  • You like dystopian/post-apocalyptic books, but with a twist;
  • You like an enemies to lovers story;
  • You’re bored of knowing exactly what’s going to happen in a book;
  • You like a story about a supernatural girl who has no idea what she’s capable of.

Book 9: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Rating: 5 out of 5.
  • Memoir/Autobiography
  • Comedy
  • Published in 2016
  • Goodreads rating: 3.93
  • Kindle Edition
  • 229 pages
  • Reading time ca. 5 hours

The full title of the book is Talking as Fast as I Can: from Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between, so.. there’s your summary! Just kidding, I’ll be a little more thorough. The book is a memoir of Lauren Graham’s life, which includes two essays/chapters on Gilmore Girls (What It Was Like, Part One and What It Was Like, Part Two) and some chapters on her childhood, various endeavours, such as Project Runway and some small plays she starred in, the series Parenthood and her book Someday, Someday, Maybe, amongst other things. The book is written in chronological order with plenty of pictures.

I was actually really afraid to start on this book, because I absolutely love Gilmore Girls (I’m rewatching it for my 6th or 7th time right now) and I love Lorelai and Rory so much, so I was afraid that it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Also, I read some reviews in advance and they said that there was a lot of not Gilmore-related content and I actually don’t know any other stuff with Lauren Graham in it, but then I figured that I could just skip over those bits if they weren’t interesting. I ended up reading the whole thing, start to finish, in 3 days (WHILE also reading Shatter Me). I had so much fun reading this.

You will like this if:

  • You’re a Gilmore Girls fan and you’re curious to know about what was happening behind the scenes and the life of Lauren Graham.

Obviously if you have no idea who Lauren Graham is and you’ve never seen Gilmore Girls, don’t read this book. You won’t enjoy it.

That’s the end of my November wrap-up! If you liked this kind of post, let me know and I’ll see if I can do more of these wrap-ups. I’ll definitely do a 2021 wrap-up with my favourite books from this year. Check out the full reviews for some of these books below.