What I’ve been up to this summer

To those who follow this blog, maybe you might have noticed that I have not been the most consistent blogger this week (not that this fact was new, because before summer I wasn’t all that consistent or present either, but this time I have a reason which changes things! (right?) ). This is where I tell you what I have been up to these past couple of weeks!

Around the end of July a friend and I went roadtripping through Ireland for a week and that was amazing! We had great weather, we saw beautiful nature and just had an all round epic time! The people were really friendly as well, as everyone told us they would be.

Here are some pictures:

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Killarney National Park, such a beautiful lake!

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I think this was some where around the Ring of Kerry, but I could definitely be mistaken!

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This was at the Cliffs of Moher, which was awesome! It wasn’t this misty all the time, it cleared up every now and again, but having a misty photo is a must when you go to Ireland!

Afterwards I stayed with my mum for a week because we were both home alone and we decided to team up instead! I’m really happy I went there because we just had a really nice time and the weather was pretty decent as well so we could go swimming together in the nearby lake and stuff like that (my boyfriend generally doesn’t care for swimming, so this was a nice change from that!).

Directly linked to the week where I stayed over at my mum’s with my mum, I stayed over another week there, but this time with my boyfriend and without my mother. She was on holiday with a friend and she asked if we could take care of the dog and cats while she was away. And so that’s what we did. I love those animals dearly, but they are a lot of work! Especially when you have to fit everything around your working day. But we came through unscathed and had a lot of time in our tiny zoo!

And now we’re back home and there has been work, I’ve been swimming, I’ve been getting ready for my 10K run, I’ve been meeting with friends and family, in short I’ve been busy this summer and I’m loving it.

What have you guys been up to recently?

Movie night: Finding Dory

Back when finding Nemo came out I really loved it. It was a lot of fun but also had some hidden gems in those moments that went deeper. When Finding Dory was announced I wasn’t that excited at first though. I thought it might just be too similar to Finding Nemo or that the story would just be lacking seeing as that’s sometimes the case with sequels. And then I saw the cutest trailer of Dory as a baby-fish and I was hooked! So I went to see it pretty soon after it came out here in Belgium.

As with most (all?) Pixar movies these days there is a short-film that preludes the movie and let me tell you, it was totally adorable! I don’t know if these shorts are included on the DVD’s, but I sure hope they are. (I also remember really loving the short that came with Brave! I can’t talk about the others because I haven’t seen them.)

So the movie picks up a little after Finding Nemo ends with Dory having flash backs of her parents causing her to set out to find them. But I can hear you think it already: another travel story spanning oceans, which new elements will that bring to the screen?! You are wrong, the main part of the story doesn’t play out in the ocean but in an aquatic park, which was just a lot of fun to watch because the “modes of transportation” were vastly different and it also brought a lot of challenges with it.

In this movie we meet some new characters, and Hank wins that hands down. He himself is just a lot of fun, but the way he interacts with Dory and the way their relationship grows throughout the movie was just so entertaining. I really liked Nemo and Marlin, but I was really happy the story didn’t focus on them. It just made the whole feel less like a spin-off.

I can truly say that I recommend this movie, it’s very entertaining, you will laugh, you will be excited but you will also be hit with a boatload of feels! It’s just a great mix of so many elements as many of the pixar movies are these days.

 

Have you seen Finding Dory? What did you think of the movie? If you haven’t seen the movie, how come? 

Review: Animorphs #2-5

So, anyone who has read my review on the first animorph book, or has been follwoing me on goodreads probably will have caught on to the fact that i’ve been reading a lot of the animorph books lately, but because they are quite slim books I think it’s easier to bunch a couple of them together per review. FYI, there will be some spoilers because these books just keep building off of each other and it would be very hard to keep talking about things without discussing some of the big storylines.

Here that goes!

 The Visitor (Animorphs, #2)

# 2:The visitor

The story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs find out that who another human-controller is, and it just so happens to be the father of a friend. Rachel takes it upon herself to investigate her friend’s situation.

The Encounter (Animorphs, #3)

# 3: The encounter

the story in 50 words or less:

Tobias has a bit of an identity-crisis after getting stuck in his hawk-morph. Meanwhile he also finds out about yeerk-supply runs the animorphs will try and sabotage.

The Message (Animorphs, #4)

#4: The message

the story in 50 words or less:

Cassie is getting some really weird dreams that turn out to be more than just dreams. Will she understand the message in time?

The Predator (Animorphs, #5)

#5: The predator

the story in 50 words or less:

The animorphs are now one member up from their original start-up and they now have knowledge about alien technology. Can they use that to help them in their fight againts the yeerks? Marco never wanted to be an animorph and is on the verge of quitting, can he find a reason to stay in the fight?

My take on the books:

 

I have to say I love these books, they are just such a quick read, things happen  at a quick pace though it doesn’t feel hugely overwhelming. That’s why I think it’s some real solid middle grade reading material. I also really enjoy how every book switches between the characters, it keeps things a bit fresher. Every character is very well-defined which is very fun. They all have such a different mindset and you can really read that too which is great. I strongly dislike different POV’s that all just feel extensions of each other, but that’s definitely not the case here. Everyone brings a different aspect to the story as a whole which really gives the whole thing another layer.

The morphing is a lot of fun, not only the description of the act, but also how the mind of the animal they are morphing into takes hold of the animorphs. I definitely love the seagul morph, it just cracks me up. And just like the POV’s feeling different everytime, the morphs also feel different which helps keep the story fresh (imagine all of the morphs being the same, how boring would that be!)

I am starting to dislike the beginning part where the story so far is recapped, though I will admit it’s done pretty well. I just read the first chapter diagonally now because of this though.

The stakes are definitely getting bigger, or maybe it’s more that they realise more and more that there is a lot more danger than they realised in this fight against the yeerks. There is also a lot of danger attached to just the morphing alone, even besides what happened to Tobias, and that’s something that is really becoming clear to these kids.

My rating:

3 stars ~ Entertaining middle grade books about an alien invasion!

Inside & Out Book Tag

So, I came across this tag on Fictional Living and it looked like a fun little tag. so without further ado, here are my answers:

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

In general I think it has enough information, though sometimes I come across a synopsis which in my opinion gives a bit too much information (like a certain plot point that I would like to have discovered on my own). But what sometimes feels as too much information upfront can just mean that there are more surprises inside, which makes it alright.

2.New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

I love hardcover books, just because they are sturdier and stay prettier over time. But I really enjoy paperbacks also because they are generally cheaper but also a lot more easy to read (no heavy books to hold for hours on end!). Seeing as I generally take my e-reader with me to pretty much anywhere (you’ll never know when a reading-opportunity will strike) I really enjoy e-books as well, though they can’t be added to your library which is a shame. Audiobooks is something I don’t have a lot of and don’t really listen to that often, so this is, for me, the least fun format for books.

3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I have never written in books if they weren’t books for school. I’m thinking of starting to add tabs to my books though because I really love quotes and I just want to keep better track of them in my books. plus I think it would be nice to be able to go back and just browse through some curated beautiful moments/quotes in my books.


4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

This is never a deciding factor for me. I never pick a book up based on the gender of the author (nor do I ever not pick up a book over this). I pick books based on many different things (have I enjoyed this author’s work before, does the synopsis sound good, did someone recommend it to me, does the cover look beautiful, etc.)

5.  Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there? 

I only do this accidentally when a certain paragraph or dialogue will catch my eye while reading. I will flip to a next page and my eyes just catch on something in all caps or with some indents or something. Though this has definitely happened less since getting my e-reader because I see less text at once.

6.  Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

I try to keep my bookshelves organized now that I have new ones (and don’t have to stack my books three deep). The only problem is that when I buy new books I don’t immediately put them in their place (it’s a fair bit of work seeing as I arrange my books on author’s names) so it always gets a bit out of control after a while.

7.  Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

Not that much. Usually it goes along with a good review by someone. I have added many a book to my TBR based on just a cover, though when actually buying books I’m a bit more selective.

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

I like both. Inside can be so nice and cozy, I especially love it when the weather is horrible outside. But reading outside, in the garden, sitting under a tree with a nice little breeze can also be a lot of fun. The only really important thing is that there is not a lot of distracting noise.

Review: The invasion by K.A. Applegate (Animorphs # 1)

The Invasion (Animorphs, #1)

The story in 50 words or less:

Five kids are witness to a horrible incident concerning aliens and they come out with the ability to morph into animals. Also, they now carry the burden of trying to save the world from an alien invasion.

My take on the book:

 

I read a couple of the books in this series back when I was in middle school, though I missed a lot of them (because my library never had the right ones in when I needed them!). And even though I hadn’t even come close to reading half of the books in the series, I did really enjoy them. So I decided to pick them back up. And this time I would be reading them in order!

I really enjoyed this book a lot. It’s just so entertaining! Jake may not be my favorite character in the book, but he’s not unlikable either, so I didn’t mind that this book was told from his point of view. The story moves quickly and there’s just no boring moment really. Things are just constantly happening during the (short) span of this book.  The writing isn’t anything special, but it’s definitely not bad either.
This book is just the beginning of a very vast series and it just makes me excited to check out the other books. All the books are told from different point of views and I can’t wait to find out how their voice brings something extra to the story. Plus I’m really excited to find out how these books will evolve and where the story will go.

My rating:

3 stars ~ A very entertaining book with average writing.  All in all, some very enjoyable middle grade books!

Have you read this book? Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on it?