Although I don’t go to Amsterdam that often, there is always one good reason to go: books! Maastricht has a beautiful book store in the Dominican church, but the amount of English books they have is pretty small. Therefore Waterstones or the American Book Center in Amsterdam are my go-to places for some great books! This is what I came home with on my last trip, come take a look!
I literally just finished this one, and I can’t wait to share this with you guys! Here is my review about Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. There might be some spoilers, so read at your own risk!
We follow Sam, a sarcastic, horror-movie buff who gets bullied by the popular kids, trying to survive high school (all very relatable). He has a group of friends: chubby Adrian who doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, gay Mike who doesn’t open his mouth at all, and Allison the shy anime weeb who often chews on her hair. They all hide during their breaks in the IT room (also, very relatable).
One normal day, everything changes when a new girl, Camilla, joins their class. She is popular, but not like the typical girls, she is pretty and nerdy, and gets along with everyone. She tries to become friends with Sam and his friend group as they seem to share the same interests. After hours of WoW and chatting, they are starting to get to know each other and their families. Camilla becomes part of the friend group and helps Sam with the troubles he is struggling with.
The Post-it says “AltheaZorg.”
I stare at the Post-it.
Did she just ask me to play Warcraft? Is she a noob that I’m going to have to walk through a simple quest? Or have Justin and the Vessels of Wank put her up to something? Will there be a cast of the school’s biggest arsehat hanging out over a computer this evening plotting some brainless, but no doubt still humiliating, practical joke?
I have no idea. But there is only one solution.
I am never playing Warcraft again.
Every character has its own quirks, characteristics, and troubles. They all grow as the story progresses. There is this thing about Mike, where he suddenly stops with his biggest passion ever: karate. He won’t tell anyone what is going on, and even his best and oldest friend Sam, can’t seem to get it out of him. Sam, trying to figure out his own problems, is pretty worried about his friend. A thing I really liked, is that the story about Mike doesn’t feel overly focus on the whole gay thing. He is just like any other normal person with that has their own inner demons to fight.
The only thing that did kind of bother me was the character of Camilla. She pretty much sounds like a Mary Sue: she is nice, very pretty, everyone likes her, has a sexy British accent, gets the whole school back together, is a daughter of a former model and a famous writer AND she likes all the nerd stuff. She magically cures Sam’s depression, and gets this whole class to stop bullying them, eventually sort of becoming friends?
There was this part where she mentioned that, because they had to travel so much, she had many other schools where she figures out how most people worked. This way she could get easily merge in with the new class. I was really intrigued about getting to know more about those past experiences of hers… but we never did. I tried to get over the whole Mary Sue act as quick as possible so I could enjoy the rest of the book.
A very light and happy fluffy book filled with great nerd puns and humour.
The sarcastic humour of Sam’s internal monologue is absolutely hilarious. There were so many parts that were just so relatable and made me laugh. Sam’s favourite movie: the original Halloween. (HELL YES, great choice!)
I suggest this book to any fellow nerds out there who are looking for a light read, filled with comedy and a bit of romance. There are MANY great movie references which is amazing! I am looking forward reading more if Melissa Keil. I am especially excited for The Amazing Adventures of Cinnamon Girl.
If any of you have suggestions some great reads I need to know about, let me know in the comments! And if you read Life in Outer Space, let me know what you think about it!
The one memory of Flora Banks, a book written by Emily Barr, is about a girl whose memory keeps getting reset, making her forget everything that has happened after her 10th birthday. It’s a thrilling mystery book with a hint of romance and teen troubles. These are my thoughts on this book. (I am trying to spoil as little as possible, but there might still be some small spoilers here and there, so be warned!)
- Young Adult
The writing of book is quite unique, and so is the main character. The protagonist, Flora, keeps reminding herself the things that she remembers and writes notes on what she wants to remember. The writer takes the time to show the reader what actually goes on in Flora’s head and often repeats the things she remembers. I can see how some people might find it annoying the way everything keeps getting repeat, but it didn’t bother me at all. I actually think that this is really important, because we really understand what is going on inside her mind and how she gets to certain conclusions.
The story starts with an intriguing prologue, making you want to keep on reading. After that we get to know Flora, in her own way. Flora doesn’t seem to remember anything after her tenth birthday, even though she is now 17 years old. But one day everything changes. After kissing her best friend’s boyfriend (Drake) on the beach, she somehow is able to remember. She is very excited, as this is something that had never happened before. Thinking that Drake is special, and will give her even more memories, she wants to be with him. The problem is that the boy is going to Svalbard, Norway, for his studies and has to leave the next day. Flora keeps everything a secret from her parents, but when her parents to go to Paris with Flora staying home alone, she seizes her chance go and look for the boy that will heal her.
Flora is a quirky and loving girl, having her own way of living and thinking. She has a strong mind and lots of willpower. Sadly her memory can get in the way of her being able to live her life to the fullest. She is a very cute character and definitely captures the hearts of the readers.
Throughout this story we meet many people, we get to see what Flora’s day to day life looks like and we find out many secrets about her life. It is a psychological thriller and a real page turner. Your mind keeps wanting to solve the puzzle, thinking things like: maybe she just has an overly big imagination, or memories might have been distorted. Maybe she is just a stalker or maybe it all really happened the way she remembers. But you don’t know the truth until after you finish the book.
It is a great book that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, as you discover secret after secret about Flora’s life. It is not the typical YA romance novel, but rather a psychological thriller, which for me is perfect. All in all I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a bit of mystery and thriller and cute quirky main-characters.
I give this book a 4/5. Goodreads has listed it as a 3,5/5.
Bad, not recommended – 1
Not really my things – 2
It was fun, but.. – 3
Great read, recommended – 4
LOVE IT – 5
What are your thoughts on:
The one memory of Flora Banks?
Collecting books. It is something I cannot help myself from doing. I see a pretty book, I take it home! Now, I am a slow reader, but I love reading nonetheless, especially during the spring and summer time: taking your books with you as you go to the park. Today I would like to share with you the “BEST BOOKS EVER”! Nah, just my favorites.
By Lauren Kate
This is actually the first book that got me into reading. I’ve always hated reading since we had to finish our books quickly in elementary school and I was just really, really slow (like really). But halfway through highschool I found myself browsing through some young adult fantasy books and ended up buying Fallen by Lauren Kate. I took it to school with me EVERY single day. This is such a nostalgic book for me, and even though I rarely read the angsty young adult books with vampires and stuff anymore, this one will forever have a special place in my heart.
An awkward love story
By Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison
This book is actually the last one I finished reading. I bought it on a whim when visiting the bookstore, and it ended up being one of the best purchases! It is just such a funny book that had me laughing the whole way reading through it! It is so cute and relatable, and I love the fact how it was written. There are two authors, and they each have their own character that they write. Tom Ellen writes the parts of the boy and Lucy Ivison writes parts of the girl her life. There are many, many, many awkard moments, leaving you with a feeling of vicarious shame from time to time!
The madwoman upstairs
By Catherine Lowell
On our last day in Paris, my friends and I decided to visit this absolutely amazing bookstore: Shakespeare and company. And even though I was almost through my money, I ended up buying two books (which both received official stamps from the store!). An amazingly illustrated version of the first Sherlock Holmes case and The madwoman upstairs. I don’t think I’ve ever finished a book that fast! I read it the whole bus trip from Paris to Maastricht and the days after, not being able to put it down! It has suspense, mystery, and such an amazing main character that is just so relatable and funny!
A darker shade of magic
By V.A. Schwab
Now I have yet to finish this book, but the way it is written and themes are so amazing! It feels like a young adult fantasy book, but with a more mature feel to it. It has magic, suspense, and an absolutely amazing world. Seriously, the way Victoria Schwab built all the different places is just perfect. I also have a few friends that are absolutely smitten with the book, so definitely check this one out if you’re looking for a new series!
I also bought two new books (they are both about memory for some reason). One is an English crime called “Mister Memory” by Marcus Sedgwick, about a man who remembers every little detail of his life and murder mystery. And the other one is a young adult book called “The One memory of Flora Banks” by Emily Barr. It is about a girl who has amnesia and forgets everything, day after day, until.. this one boy comes around! I love cheesy romantic books when they have a little bit of an edge, so I hope this one won’t disappoint!
Do you guys read too? If so, what are your favorite books? And did you already know the one’s I listed here? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!