Ultimate Blog Tour: Catalyst

Hey guys, today I’m doing something different! I read the book Catalyst as part of the blog tour organized by The Write Reads. I’m very grateful to be a part of the tour! Catalyst is the sequel of The Field and can be read as a standalone (in fact, I haven’t read The Field and I had no problems following the story).

Catalyst follows Marcie as she, her brother Eric and his girlfriend Renee join an archaeological dig overseen by Marcies parents. It starts when Marcie and the others arrive at the dig site. There, she meets the other students she will be working with, including Leo and Scott. Marcie also meets the senior graduate assistants Zeke and Lorraine. But Marcie has an odd feeling about Zeke and Lorraine that she can’t place as they work on the dig site…

When one day Marcie, Eric, Renee and Leo follow Zeke and Lorraine on a hike, Marcies feeling is confirmed as Zeke demonstrates how he moves a large rock. With his mind. If that isn’t enough, Zeke and Lorraine ask Marcie and the rest to help them save the world. But can they take on such a big task?

Marcie is a strong lead who stands up for what she believes in and I really respect that. She says what she thinks but she’s also fair to others. Those are characteristics I often miss in books, so I was glad to follow Marcie on her journey!

I did feel however that Marcies love interest fell a little flat. It started off cute and realistic, but I liked him less and less throughout the book. At a certain point in the book, I just wasn’t rooting for them anymore, which was a big let-down for me as I’m a huge romance lover.

I really enjoyed the first three quarters of the book. It was very clear that the author was sending a message to the readers and I appreciate that. But the last quarter of the book was incredibly confusing as it was a lot of information in not enough pages. It think the subject of the last part would have been great for a sequel, but it was too much to fit into this book and make it work.

Catalyst is a fun young adult book with a strong lead. I recommend it to readers who are invested in making the world a better place and to very patient sci-fi lovers, as the sci-fi part comes up later in the book. I enjoyed Catalyst and I really hope you do too!

 

Here’s the official blurb of the book:

Marcie is spending her summer working on the archeological dig that her mother runs: Angel Mounds, a site of an ancient indigenous civilization. Soon after she arrives, she meet some intriguing individuals, and becomes wrapped up in a supernaturally-charged mission to save the planet from the destruction man has brought upon itself.

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the “I see dead people” way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit . . . But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.
This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke. The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds-something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.

Get your copy here!

Behind the Blogger Book Tag

The lovely Nikki Swift Reads tagged me in the Behind the Blogger Book Tag! She has an amazing blog, so go check it out!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn from allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

Why did you start blogging? & Why have you kept blogging?

I joined the Facebook group YA Book Stop – YABS to try out reviewing books on Goodreads. That’s when I found out that I really enjoy doing it. Thinking that my opinion didn’t really matter, I didn’t dare to take the plunge and start a blog. Fortunately for me, my friends convinced me otherwise! I started my blog to review books, but when I joined book Twitter, I found out that there are so many other things that I can post as well. I’m currently making a list of blog ideas to use in the future😊

The reason why I kept blogging is the community. I love seeing the support writers, bloggers, booktubers and so many others give each other. It’s a wonderful community and I’m glad to be a part of it.

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

So far, I’ve only posted reviews and book tags. As I mentioned before, I’m currently making a list of other kinds of posts. It won’t be long before they come!

To answer the question, I’d say book tags. It’s a way to connect with the community and I love seeing what others write!

What are your top three favorite blog posts you wrote?

My three favorite blog posts are all ‘firsts’, so here they are:

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

  • Dancing. When I dance, I forget everything that’s on my mind.
  • Being around water. It doesn’t matter if I swim, relax on the beach, sail or go scuba diving, water relaxes me.
  • Horse riding in the forest. Just like dancing, I forget everything that’s on my mind. The forest is beautiful and the steady walk of the horse relaxes me.
  • Last but not least, reading. Do I even have to explain?

What are three of your favorite things?

  • The first snow of the year.
  • Lightning.
  • Cinnabon. I wish we had one nearby😭

What are your proudest blogging moments?

I’d say starting my blog. It took a lot of courage, but I’m glad I did it.

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

  • Reading.
  • Ballroom and latin dancing.

Describe your personality in three words

  • Naive.
  • Forgiving.
  • Open-minded.

What are your top three pet peeves?

  • Holes in socks.
  • Being blamed when I’m not guilty.
  • People stealing my food. I get annoyed even just thinking about it.

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I’m a plant killer. I don’t know how to keep them alive, they just keep dying on me!😭

I Tag:

My apologies if you’ve already been tagged. If you would like doing this tag as well, consider yourself tagged!

The Stay at Home Book Tag

Hey guys! Holly (The Writing Finch) tagged me in the Stay at Home Book Tag! This super fun tag was created by Princess of Paperback on Youtube and I can’t wait to answer the questions 🥰  If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!

1. Laying in bed – a book you read in one day 

The Selection series! I read the whole series in 5 days: one book a day! I enjoyed them tremendously. They are short, easy reads with good world building. The Selection is like The Bachelor with a kick-ass heroine (who is awful at making choices, but that’s my opinion). I think I read the series about three times now, just because the books are so much fun and easy to read. 

2. Snacking – a book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read 

Okay. Let me just check my ‘guilty-pleasure’ shelf on Goodreads!
Even though I do really have that shelf, I don’t feel guilty for enjoying specific books and you shouldn’t either. Books are for pleasure (and pain and tears and anger) so everybody should be able to read the books they want without having to feel guilty!

But, to answer the question: the only book that comes close to being a guilty pleasure is After by Anna Todd. It receives a lot of low ratings on Goodreads because people think it glorifies abusive relationships. While I agree that it certainly can have that influence on readers, I personally don’t experience it that way. I know that the relationship of Hardin and Tessa is incredibly abusive, but that’s the fun about books: it isn’t real! I read books to experience things I never would in my real life, to feel with the characters, feel their pain and joy and frustration. That’s why I don’t feel guilty for enjoying After.

3. Netflix – a series that you want to start

Oh God, there are a lot of series that I want to start. I’d say the Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. I’ve heard SO many good things about it and I bought the first book about a month ago, so I can’t wait to start!

4. Deep clean – a book that has been on your TBR for ages

Too many. I don’t think you want to see the list. I still have quite a few ARC’s to review, so my physical TBR has to wait a little longer. I think Bloodlines by Richelle Mead will have the most priority as soon as I finish my ARC’s. I enjoyed Vampire Academy a LOT and was so so excited when I heard Adrian Ivashkov will have a bigger role in Bloodlines, but I haven’t gotten around to read it yet.😭

5. Animal Crossing – a book you recently bought because of the hype

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I haven’t read a lot of SF, and I don’t really feel a pull towards the genre either. But I thought I’d give it a try and bought it. Unfortunately it has been waiting on my TBR shelf along with bloodlines…

6. Productivity – a book you learned from or had an impact on you

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. My wonderful boyfriend gifted it to me because he thinks I give too many f*cks about everything in my life. And it’s true, I actually do. That’s one of the reasons I read so much: to escape reality. Mark Manson really helped me see that it’s okay to not care and choose for myself sometimes.

7. Facetime – a book you were gifted

I think the most recent one is the Waterstones exclusive of House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas, with red sprayed edges.🥰I currently possess three editions of that book! I’m a HUGE fan of Sarah’s books, so I’m completely in love with the Waterstones exclusive.

8. Self care – what is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself

I saw this question and had to think for a few moments. What have I done to look after myself? Not much actually, I’ve been too caught up in all my work for uni. I did start making an Aelin Galathynius funko, so I guess that counts? (I’m still looking for the Bella Swan Wedding Dress funko for Aelins body, so if anyone sells it or knows anything please let me know!).
The question reminded me that I have to look after myself more often. I think I’m going to start with studying in the garden instead of my room more often.

BONUS – An upcoming release you are looking forward to

I think most of the new releases that I was looking forward to, just came out! They are House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas, The Betrothed by Kiera Cass and Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi. I’m mostly looking forward to A Vow so Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer, I can’t wait to read more about Grey!😍

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to the questions, let me know in the comments what you think!

I tag:
The Bookish Hedgemom
The Daily Sunlight
Lu Reviews Books

The Cake Flavoured Book Tag

I was tagged on twitter by Krista from The Bookish Hedgemom in the Cake Flavoured Book Tag! When I started this blog a month ago, I didn’t even know these things were common in the bookblogger world. I’m glad I found out this way! And I want to thank Krista for making me feel more welcome in the bookblogger world by tagging me. Now, let’s see my bookish cakes!

Chocolate Cake: a dark book that you loved

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart
I saw the book on Facebook several times, but never bothered to buy it. But when I saw it in the secondhand department in the Dominicanenkerk in Maastricht, I impulsively bought it (If you’re ever in The Netherlands, I highly recommend the Dominicanenkerk. It’s a bookstore in an actual church!). I didn’t read the back of the book, so I had no idea of what to expect. Well, I was hooked from the very beginning.

I actually don’t want to write a short summary of this book. I believe it’s better to just jump into the unknown here. The book made my cry and I wanted to throw it against the wall, but I loved it. I loved riding this rollercoaster and I wish I could experience reading it for the first time again. If you can handle an odd writing style, I highly recommend this book.

Vanilla cake: a favourite light read

The Selection, by Kiera Cass
I believe the Selection is what made me fall in love with YA books. I want to thank my sister for giving the series to me and by doing so, making me hooked on reading again. The books definitely aren’t perfect, but they are the perfect light read to me. I can easily finish each of these books in a day. I believe I’ve read the books about 5 times now.

The Selection is a dystopian book that follows America Singer. America was selected as one of the 35 girls who have an opportunity to prince Maxon’s heart and become the future queen of Illéa. However, America never wanted to be selected at all, because it meant that she had to leave her secret love Aspen behind. But when America arrives at the palace, she finds out that prince Maxon isn’t so bad after all. The Selection is the perfect vanilla feel-good book!

Red velvet: a book that gives you mixed emotions

Vicious, by V.E. Schwab
Vicious has a special place in my heart. I bought this book because V.E. Schwab came to The Netherlands and I wanted to read some of her work before meeting her. It was AMAZING. Vicious follows Eli and Victor, whom used to be college roommates but ended up as sworn enemies. When Victor breaks out of prison, his one goals is to find Eli.

What I love about this book, is that there isn’t a clear distinction between protagonist and antagonist. I understand the motivation of the antagonist. That left me with mixed emotions: who was I rooting for?

I highly recommend this book to everyone, which brings me to the next cake!

Cheesecake: a book that you recommend to everyone

Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
As soon as I read the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, I couldn’t wait to read more about that world. I had to get my hands on Six of Crows, I just had to. And fortunately, it wasn’t too long before I did.

It took a while for me to get into the book. I expected to read more about Ravka, but Six of Crows was based in Kerch instead. The book follows a band of misfits who get the opportunity of a lifetime. They have to break someone out of the best guarded prison in the world, in exchange for lots and lots and lots of money.

I didn’t expect to like it that much, but the depth of the characters is extraordinary. I had never read anything like it. I’ll just give you one tip if you choose to read it: don’t forget the tissues.

Coffee cake: a book that you started but never finished

Ninth House, by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo is one of my insta-buy authors. I loved the Grisha trilogy, I adored the Six of Crows duology and I loved King of Scars. So when I heard that she was releasing an adult fantasy book, I immediately pre-ordered the Waterstones exclusive edition.

When I started reading Ninth House, I was riding the train on my way to an amazing weekend. I guess that was my mistake. I was so excited that I couldn’t focus on a book that was already hard to follow. That was four months ago and I still haven’t picked up the book. I had been warned that it takes a while to get into the book, so I’m planning on trying again as soon as possible. I won’t give up on this book!

Carrot cake: a book with great writing

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
Like with most books that are written in a very specific writing style, this is a love-or-hate book. Well, I loved it. It was SO WELL WRITTEN. The slow burn, the world building, the suspence, it was KILLING ME.

As you may have noticed, I’m very passionate about this book. I currently possess three different editions of The Night Circus, and I’m planning on adding more to my collection. Erin Morgenstern has truly written a masterpiece. I felt like I was sucked into the book and experiencing the story myself.

I recommend this book to everyone that loves a slow-paced piece of art and wants to escape reality. Read this in a place with a calm environment to improve your experience, and enjoy Le Cirque des Rêves.

Tiramisu: a book that left you wanting more

Clockwork Princess, by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess is the final book in The Infernal Devices. I was not okay with the ending and I was okay with the ending. The book left me heartbroken. It made me sob and suffer and I just wanted to read more about Tessa and the Branwells. I was planning on reading the series again but I truly believe that I can’t handle saying goodbye to the characters again.

So if you enjoyed reading The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, don’t hesitate to read TID. And if you didn’t like the characters from The Mortal Instruments but loved the world of the Shadowhunters, you shouldn’t hesitate to read TID either.

BTW, this trilogy contains the best love triangle ever written. And you’re hearing that from someone who isn’t a fan of love triangles.

Cupcakes: a series with 4 or more books

Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy follows the dhampir Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend and protector. I actually bought the series after watching the movie, which became a guilty pleasure of mine. Vampire Academy is one of the only longer series that didn’t bore me halfway through. Each book contained new, interesting adventures, funny moments and the perfect amount of romance. Even though I wanted to smack Rose sometimes, I enjoyed her sassy, badass character. She doesn’t hesitate to do everything she can to protect her loved ones.

Fruit cake: a book that wasn’t what you anticipated

Always and Forever, Lara Jean, by Jenny Han
Last but not least (well, it kind of is): Always and Forever, Lara Jean. It is the final book of the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. I hated this book. I’m not saying it’s a bad book, but I absolutely hated it. SPOILER ALERT: In my opinion, nothing interesting happened in the book besides Peter being a huge asshole. I was actually on team John Ambrose McLaren in the previous book. I expected to fall in love with Peter all over again and forget all about his actions in P.S. I Still Love You, but that wasn’t the case at all. I didn’t feel for the conclusion of the trilogy. I proudly show the first two books on my bookshelf and just pretend this one doesn’t exist. That might be rude, but I want to enjoy the first to books without being reminded all the time by how the story ends.

 

Thank you again Krista for tagging me! It was fun placing the books in unusual categories and comparing them with cakes. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and have some inspiration on what to read next. And now I tag Leah from One More Chapter!