Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 3 out of 5.
  • Fiction
  • Contemporary romance, chick lit
  • Ebook
  • 384 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 3.86

In Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, Chloe Brown sets herself a challenge to.. well, get a life. Chloe is a chronically ill computer geek who finally moved out of her parents house after almost dying and composing a list of six directives to help her get a life. Number one was moving out: check! Now she has to enjoy a drunken night out, have meaningless sex and go camping, among other things. She has no idea how she’s going to cross all those things off her list, until she meets the building’s superintendent, Redford Morgan. Red is an artist in need of a website and Chloe just so happens to make websites. Could they make a deal?

Get A Life, Chloe Brown had a few things that I liked and a few things I didn’t like. The plot and the characters were definitely original, that’s one thing I liked. There aren’t many romance books out there with a disabled or chronically ill main character, so it was refreshing to read about Chloe and her fibromyalgia. The main characters weren’t very likeable, though, which made it really hard to relate to them. Chloe is just a flat out bitch in the beginning of the book and Red is not much better. Both characters get a little better throughout the book, but they still felt a little flat. The dual point of view gives you a little peek into Redford’s mind every now and then, but he is just not layered that well. He has some kind of anger and trust issues that come from a bad relationship, but he just kind of shuts down and then turns back on again which seems a little flat. The constant going back and forth between “oh she likes me” and “no she hates me” was also a little frustrating and annoying. He would constantly jump to conclusions in a matter of nanoseconds and take it out on Chloe. Chloe’s sisters seemed like a lot of fun, though. They’re pretty much the only likeable characters in the story. Which is good, since the other two books in the series are about them.

The book was definitely funny, amusing and quirky for most of story. Hibbert has a gift for making you giggle out loud. The interactions between Red and Chloe are witty and Chloe definitely has a sharp tongue that makes her interactions with Red fun to read about. These interactions with Red and her sisters are the only reason that this book still gets three stars.

My least favourite thing about this book were the extremely graphic sex scenes. Maybe graphic isn’t really the right word, the fact that it’s graphic isn’t really the problem. The bluntness of the language used and the lack of romance is the problem. I don’t mind a little spice, but the spicy scenes in this book just weren’t tastefully done at all. Why did it need to be so graphical, why did there have to be so much sex in public places and elaborate descriptions of Red jerking off and stuff like that. There is literally no need to write entire paragraphs on how Red really has to jerk off after every time he sees Chloe, because he likes her thighs or her ankles or something. It was just too much. A lot of the scenes made me plain uncomfortable. I would not even call them spicy, some of them were just plain disgusting. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone under 16.

If someone would ask me whether or not I would recommend this book, I wouldn’t know what I would say. It was enjoyable enough, I guess, but the blunt, distasteful sex scenes just really bothered me. If you’re used to the use of the words “cunt”, “shaft” and “pussy” and you don’t mind scenes where public sex happens out of the blue with no real motivation or cause in a phase of the story when nothing romantic has happened yet, then I would definitely recommend it. If that’s not your thing, don’t read it. I haven’t read the sequels yet, so I can’t tell you if it gets any better, but I’m not really a fan of struggling through a book just because “it gets better” anyway. That’s like 8 hours of your life we’re talking about. Spend them reading something you actually like.

I’m going to keep on reading the series because the next two books are about Chloe’s sisters and they were actually my favourite characters from the book, but I do really hope that the other two books are much less graphic and focused on sex. If the series keeps going in this fashion, it’s going to be a DNF for me. This one already almost was.

, ,

My Guide to Annotating Books

My Guide to Annotating Books

If you’re anything like me, there’s a fat chance you’re not annotating your books, because you’re afraid it’s not going to look as pretty as it does in the pictures or you ARE annotating, but you’re not sure you’re doing it right. Most of the annotating guides I’ve ever read, were written by the kind of girls who write their homework in pink glittery gel pens with beautiful elaborate headers for every chapter and a handwriting that looks like it’s a font straight out of Word. That’s all great and very satisfying to look at, but for most people (including me) it’s a fantasy. If you recognise this, this guide is for you. I laid out a couple of simple steps to get you annotating in no time.

Step 1: What is your goal?

Obvious right? Maybe, but definitely important. The first time I started annotating I had no idea what I was doing or what my goal was. I just saw people annotate on Bookstagram and decided that I wanted to do that too. Now I realise that I spent a lot of time annotating the first halves of YA books that I am never going to read again and had no notable quotes whatsoever.

Before you start annotating, it is important to determine WHY you’re annotating. Do you want to understand the book better? Do you want to remember important information you’ve read? Do you plan on writing a review and want to mark the things you want write about? Annotating can be done in so many different ways and it’s important to determine your goal before you get started, so you can pick the right method that goes with that goal.

I annotate in different ways for various reasons. For instance:

  • When I do a buddy read, I use tabs to mark the pages I have to read per day;
  • When I read nonfiction, I highlight important information and then tab the page I highlighted, so I can find it easily;
  • I annotate classics like Jane Austen to understand what I’m reading a little better. I highlight beautiful quotes, write definitions to words I didn’t know in the margins and take notes on the story;
  • While reading Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie, I wrote down as much information as possible about the characters, because I wanted to find out who the killer was before Poirot did. It worked, though it took a lot of time and effort to compile files on all those suspects.
  • When I read the Harry Potter books for my rereading Harry Potter series, I tab anything I want to write about. Usually it’s not the most important parts of the story, but characters I forgot about or things that were left out of the movies.

Step 2: Determine how much time and effort you want to put into annotating

I’ve seen a lot of people on Booksta write entire summaries of every chapter they read on a post-it and sticking it in their books. People using glittery gel pens in all the colours of the rainbow, writing “wow!” and “huh?” and “I love this” in the margins or describing themes. If this is your thing, that’s wonderful, I admire your patience and discipline, but it really isn’t for me. If it’s not your thing either, that’s completely fine. If it is, great! There is no wrong way to annotate YOUR books. No wait, there is. If you’re not enjoying it, you’re doing it wrong. Which is why it is important to determine how much time you want to put into annotating. This can differ from day to day and from book to book, of course. I don’t spend any time annotating romance novels or Young Adult, for instance. I might highlight a quote or two or tab a really romantic scene, but I spend way more time annotating Sense and Sensibility. I look up the words I don’t know, write down important events, underline quotes I loved.

Most of the time, I start out annotating the crap out of a book and then after a few pages, I’m not feeling it anymore. I used to put the book down and return to it when I felt like annotating again, but that could usually take a couple of weeks.. I still have to finish The Twelve Dates of Christmas, because I annotated a lot in the first half of the book and then when I noticed how long it had taken me to get through the first half, I wasn’t feeling the second half anymore. Don’t be like me. Don’t get discouraged when you’re not feeling it anymore. Just dial down the annotating and carry on reading. Maybe it’s just not the kind of book that is worth annotating to you. If you’re annotating the wrong book (or the book wrong), it can really take all of the fun out of the book.

Step 3: Get your gear

Okay, so I’m a bit of an impulse buyer, so when I first decided that I wanted to start annotating my books, I bought every pretty pen I could find: pink, glittery, feathers on the back, erasable, scented, EVERYTHING! I did the same with post-its and tabs. I had every colour, shape, print. This may not come as a surprise, but the only stuff I use for annotating are: a pen (preferably black), a pencil, the simplest tabs available, a ruler, some blue post-its and an occasional highlighter. That’s a lot of money wasted on stuff I’m never going to use. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Unless you’re going for the flawless instagram aesthetic kind of annotating (which looks really pretty, but is really hard to maintain and takes a lot of time), I wouldn’t get too much stuff. Just start with the basics, see if that works for you and if you’re missing something, buy it.

Your gear may vary, depending on where you like to read. Some people like reading at a table or a desk, which means you can write relatively neatly and make neat lines. I personally like reading on the couch in a little cocoon, which is not the ideal position to write in. That’s why I write very little while annotating and when I do write, I do it in pencil, so that I can always erase it if it looks like it was written by a toddler. Highlighting quotes is also a little tricky, which is why I usually use a pencil and a ruler, so that I can still draw straight lines.

If you usually read library books, you can still annotate. I probably wouldn’t write in them, but you can still use post-its or a limited amount of tabs. If you’re afraid that you’re going to forget to take out your post-its, another option is to use loose pieces of paper. Just give the book a little shake and they will fall right out. That way you can still take notes for a review or buddy read.

If you’re more of a Kindle reader, you’ve got it especially easy. No gear necessary and you can just highlight sentences with your finger (on most e-readers anyway).

Step 4: Determine your key

If you’re going to use tabs or different coloured highlighters, you’re going to need a key. Otherwise you’re going to be looking for a romantic moment you loved, for instance, and looking through 100 tabs. If you determine before you start annotating that romantic moments=pink, you only have to comb through the pink tabs.

Your annotating key can differ from book to book or per goal. Naturally if you’re reading nonfiction, you’re not going to need a colour for romantic moments. Maybe you just need one colour for nonfiction books. Just find whatever works for you and try not to stick to a system that doesn’t work.

A little tip from me: write your key down somewhere. Numerous times have I come up with a key, only to get confused 5 minutes later and completely messing up. Most of my books are just tabs in random colours with no logic to them, because I didn’t write down my key.

Step 5: Read!

It’s go time! You’ve been reading about annotating long enough now, go pick up a book and go have fun. Your annotations don’t have to be perfect, they’re your books. Even if you’re a Bookstagrammer, I much prefer the messy, chaotic annotation pictures to the obsessively neat ones.

If you liked this guide, leave a comment or enter your email address to subscribe! Let me know if this guide helped you. I would love to hear from you. Happy reading!

Every Book I’ve read in January

Every Book I’ve read in January

Hello my wonderful bookworms! It feels like it was just yesterday that we were enjoying Christmas Dinner and complaining about another year ruined by COVID and now January has already come to an end. Can we please make time slow down? How am I ever going to get through my TBR before I die? Okay, let’s not go there. January is already depressing enough.

Anyway, January has been a good reading month for me. I set a goal for 75 books this year and I’m already slightly ahead. I like to be a little bit ahead so that I don’t have to stress about finding the time to read. I’ve read a total of 9 books in January and these are all of them:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Rating: 3 out of 5.

My very first book of the year. A young shepherd goes looking for a treasure and his purpose in life. Short, sweet and a little disappointing at times. The writing was just fine, but I just didn’t always agree with the themes. Also, I really disliked the ending. Literally any ending would’ve been better. The book kind of gets you thinking, but since I didn’t much agree with the themes, I didn’t take much away from it. If you have this on your TBR, you can leave it there, for it is interesting and relatively short and easy to read, but don’t move it up on my account. If the themes speak to you, read it. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time. It counts towards your reading goal, though..

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Heartbreaking, intriguing at times, but also very slow and occasionally dull. I liked, but not loved, this book. It peaks very early and I kept waiting for more, but it didn’t really come. Parts of the story were really heartbreaking and I noticed myself holding my breath while reading those, but most of the time I was just struggling through, waiting for something to happen. I linked a full review in the title and down below, including a summary of the story.

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #3

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The third part of the Trials of Apollo series, where the Greek God Apollo is punished by Zeus and sent to earth in the body of a mortal. Apollo is now 16-year-old Lester Papadopoulos, complete with acne and love handles. He is to stay on earth with 12-year-old Meg McCaffrey as his master until he has fulfilled his punishment. The books are set in the same world as Percy Jackson, so there are a lot of familiar faces.

I read the first two books in the series last year and since I made a New Year’s Resolution to finally finish some of the series I’ve started, I figured I’d start with this one. In The Burning Maze, Meg, Apollo and Rover (yes, Rover from the Percy Jackson series) have to find their way through the Labyrinth to rescue the next oracle in order to stop the emperors from taking over the world.

The Tyrant’s Tomb by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #4

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The fourth book in the Trials of Apollo series by Rick Riordan. Meg and Apollo set off from Camp Halfblood to Camp Jupiter, in the San Fransisco Bay Area. Camp Jupiter is the home of demigods that descend from the Roman Gods. The camp will be under attack soon and Apollo needs to find a way to defeat their enemies. That’s as much as I can say without spoiling anything. I loved this book. That’s all I will say.

Chess for Dummies by James Eade

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I started reading this Ebook AGES ago when I started to play chess with my boyfriend. I was a terrible chess player and he is actually pretty good, so I wanted to get on his level (or at least nearer to his level) so it would actually be fun for both parties. So I decided to do what I do best: read! Well, I owe mister Eade a great big thanks, because shortly after I finished this book, I won my very first chess game from my boyfriend, something I had never deemed possible. All kidding aside, the Dummies series is actually an amazing series to get into a certain subject with no prior knowledge. The book stays on the surface, but it gives you that push that gets you on a certain level. From there you can decide if you want to learn more. Chess for Dummies was very helpful to me! Now on to grand-mastery!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (reread)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really hope I don’t need to explain the plot to you anymore. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in January for my Rereading Harry Potter series of posts that will continue throughout the next couple of months. I absolutely loved rereading it. There were so many details that I had completely forgotten about and I loved meeting familiar characters for the first time again. It was just perfect. I linked the whole Rereading Harry Potter series so far in the book title. Check it out if you’re interested.

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo #5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The fifth and final part of the Trials of Apollo series. Weirdly enough, this was actually my least favourite of the three Trials of Apollo books that I read this month. I loved the final battle, which covers about half of the book, but the first half was a little annoying, if you ask me. Apollo and his companions go underground to look for the Troglodytes, a weird lizard-people who wear hats and eat other lizards, but also pretty much everything that moves. I guess the Troglodytes were amusing enough, but also a little too weird for me. The ending was epic, though, and a little emotional. Still definitely worth the read.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Without a doubt my favourite read for this month. Honestly, it was so much better than I had expected. I was a little afraid that it was overhyped when I read it, but it really isn’t. The story is completely fictional of course, but I hope with all my heart that one day we will have a female president and she will have a bisexual son who falls in love with the queer Prince of Wales. Until then, I will just have to keep rereading this book on repeat. Full review is coming somewhere in the next week. Stay tuned 😉

Elevation by Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Definitely the winner of the most-disappointing-January-read award. I had such high hopes for my very first Stephen King book, but alas. It wasn’t meant to be. Elevation is short, which is why I picked it as my first Stephen King book, but perhaps a little TOO short and frankly, it seemed a little rushed. I linked the full review in the title and down below.

I’m currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Adhieh, The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane and of course Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Stay tuned for updates and reviews on those! As always, thank you so much for reading and I’ll see you soon with more reviews, book recommendations and Harry Potter reading updates!

The Alchemist review:

The Comfort of Others review:

Rereading Harry Potter:

Elevation review:

Everything I read in 2021

Everything I read in 2021

Hi my fellow bookworms! First of all, Happy New Year! I just wanted to do a quick wrap-up of everything I read last year, the complete list. I included some of the stats from my Goodreads reading challenge.

Longest read: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (947 pages)

Shortest read: Omdenken by Berthold Gunster (64 pages)

First book of 2021: My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Last book of 2021: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Favourite book of 2021: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Least favourite book of 2021: Om nooit te vergeten by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Every book I read in 2021:

  • My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Damn, Honey by Marie Lotte Hagen & Nydia van Voorthuizen ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Small Talk Survival by Liz Luyben & Iris Posthouwer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Home Edit Life by Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Prfct by Saskia Geraerts ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Waarom je niet zomaar moet stemmen waar je ouders op stemmen by Titia Hoogendoorn ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Blackout by Marc Elsberg ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Stoorzender by Arjen Lubach ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Empath by David M. Clark ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Feminists Don’t Wear Pink by Scarlett Curtis ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • If I Stay by Gayle Forman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Duke and I (Bridgerton #1) by Julia Quinn ⭐️⭐️
  • The Book of Overthinking by Gwendoline Smith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Omdenken by Berthold Gunster ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Omdenken in Communicatie by Berthold Gunster ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Eerste hulp bij Hoogsensitiviteit by Elke L.S. Van Hoof ⭐️⭐️
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Siege and Storm (Shadow and Bone #2) by Leigh Bardugo ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Love is Blind by M.J. Arlidge ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Windsor Knot (Her Majesty the Queen Investigates #1) by S.J. Bennett ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Om nooit te vergeten by Thomas Olde Heuvelt ⭐️⭐️
  • Geen hond die ernaar kraait & andere onuitroeibare taalfouten by Friederike de Raat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Hoe bereidt je een paard? & andere onuitroeibare taalfouten by Friederike de Raat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Four by Veronica Roth ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Happy Life 365 by Kelly Weekers ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Heroes by Stephen Fry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • From Fame to Ruin by Jina S. Bazzar ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • One of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying #2) by Karen M. McManus ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Highest Rated on Goodreads: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (4.45)

Average book length: 311 pages

What are your 2021 stats? Let me know in the comments!

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

  • Historical Fiction
  • Fantasy/Magical realism
  • Hardcover
  • 560 pages
  • Goodreads rating: 4.24

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have been putting off reviewing this beautiful piece of art, because I just knew I would never be able to write a review that would do this book justice. I read this book almost 9 months ago and I haven’t found any book that surpasses it yet, nor do I think I ever will. I would probably sell my soul to be able to read it for the first time again (though not to the Gods that answer after dark). But alright, here we go.

“Never pray to the Gods that answer after dark.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

In the year 1714, a young woman named Adeline LaRue makes a bargain with the devil to be free. From that moment on, though, she is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets, as soon as she is out of sight. For 300 years, she walks the earth without being able to leave a single trace, until she walks into a second hand bookshop in New York to exchange the book she just stole from there the day before.

“If you only walk in other people’s steps, you cannot make your own way. You cannot leave a mark.”

V.E. Schwab, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

I have to be honest, I cried throughout most of the book. Every time Addie is forgotten by.someone she has grown to care about, every time she tries to leave a mark on the world that fades away after just a few seconds, every time the devil tells her to give up on life, because nobody will every remember who she is.

This was actually the very first book I read because of Bookstagram. I came across a reel of a girl describing the plot of the book and saying it was the best book she had ever read. She was so passionate about it that I decided to read it too. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more.

It’s a slow-paced story, but it captivated me from the very beginning. The story starts in 1714 with Addie running for her life. From then on it alternates between the past, starting in 1714 and working your way up throughout Addie’s 300 year long life while Addie figures out how her new life works, and the present, where she goes through life stealthy, knowing the exact moment she’ll be forgotten.

I’ve literally never read anything like this, but if I had to compare it to something, it would be the movie The Age of Adaline (the name is probably a coincidence). This is a movie featuring Blake Lively, about a young woman born in 1908, who gets hit by lightning at age 29 and from then on never ages a day again.

Shortly before publishing this book, Victoria Schwab posted on Goodreads the following words: “I can’t believe we made it. Addie spent so many years haunting me, I hope she haunts a few of you.

Oh Victoria, you have no idea.