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review 2017-11-07 08:00
The Twins
The Twins - Tessa de Loo

~Short English Review Below~

 

Sommige boeken moet je gelezen hebben. En dan heb je ook nog een literatuurlijst die je moet vullen. Ik had de film al verschillende keren gezien (zowel thuis als op school) en daarom moest ik meteen aan dit boek denken. Bovendien had ik al veel positieve verhalen over De Tweeling van Tessa de Loo gelezen.

Twee vrouwen, die zussen blijken te zijn, ontmoeten zich voor het eerst in vijftig jaar weer in het Belgische kuuroord Spa. Toen ze klein waren zijn ze uitelkaar gehaald en Lotte kwam bij socialistische Nederlanders, Anna kwam terecht in een primitief boerendorpje. Dit allemaal aan het eind van de jaren 20 van de vorige eeuw. Zoals te verwachten valt, groeien zij totaal anders op, en beleven zij de tweede wereld oorlog helemaal anders. In Spa nu vertellen zij elkaar hun levensverhaal en de keuzes die zij maakten.

Het boek is inderdaad indrukwekkend, al waren er geen grote verrassingen, aangezien ik de film al gezien had. Het boek is beter dan de film in mijn ogen, al is het absoluut geen slechte verfilming. De schrijfstijl is mooi, alleen had het tempo van het verhaal voor mij af en toe iets hoger mogen liggen (waarschijnlijk omdat het meestal hoger ligt), maar dat was geen groot probleem verder. Het verhaal wordt goed uitgewerkt, en in mijn ogen is er genoeg ruimte voor het verhaal van de zussen. De verschillen worden goed neergelegd, en het is ook weer eens een kijkje in het leven van 'normale' Duitsers tijdens de WOII. Het klopt, dit zou een van die boeken moeten zijn die je gelezen moet hebben.

 

~~~~

 

The Twins is a story following two sisters who've had quite radically different lives after they are taken apart when their father dies. They have not seen each other for fifty years. Can it still be possible to reconcile before it's too late?

 

I thought this was a very interesting novel. I read it for my Dutch class. The writing is nice, only the pacing sometimes is a tad slow. I'm glad I read it.

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review 2017-11-03 20:47
Clean Western Romance
Twins for the Cowboy (Triple C Cowboys) ... Twins for the Cowboy (Triple C Cowboys) (Volume 1) - Linda Goodnight

Twins For The Cowboy by Linda Goodnight is a clean western romance.  Ms Goodnight has supplied us with a well-written book and gets an A+ from me for her amazing characters.  Whitney is the single mom of twins and has been left a ranch full of mini animals.  Nate is her new neighbor that is helping her learn how to care for her animals.  There is plenty of drama, suspense, humor and just a touch of spice to keep readers engaged in this story.  This book is safe for any age.  I enjoyed Twins For The Cowboy and would gladly read more from Linda Goodnight in the future.  Twins For The Cowboy is book 1 of the Triple C Cowboys Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review 2017-09-14 12:49
A very young Young Adult or kids fantasy
The Mansion's Twins (At the Crossworlds Book 1) - Rose Channing

You know that feeling of uncertainty, the mixed emotions and the flat feeling of lack of excitement?

uncertain face

Well, that's how I feel about this book. It has a lot going for it - a unique and twisting landscape and world for its characters (of which there were many), magic and mayhem in equal amounts as well as an unusual plot. 

What didn't work for me was the level the story was pitched at. We have so many young adult books about magic that this felt like it didn't fit, even for all it's unique qualities. This felt too juvenile to be considered Young Adult and felt more squarely pitched at children, not just those who enjoy the young adult genre. 

description

A few things I noticed:

31% - Anyone who grows to(o) close to them will breath(e) in the magic...
32% - "Shouldn't you (delete massive space) two be out...
52% - "There's a trapdoor her(e),"

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-09-11 13:29
The Drops of God (manga, vol. 2) story by Tadashi Agi, art by Shu Okimoto, translation by Kate Robinson
The Drops of God 2 - Shu Okimoto,Tadashi Agi

Most of the volume is devoted to Shizuku selecting French wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition sponsored by his company’s new Wine Division, although it isn’t immediately apparent that the first part of the volume has anything at all to do with the competition.

In the first part of the volume, Shizuku helps a struggling French restaurant. Their business was nearly killed off by a bad review from Issei Tomine, and now he’s scheduled to come reevaluate the restaurant. The restaurant’s owner is confident about his food but has no idea what to do about the wine menu - his wife used to handle that, but she died some time ago. In order to figure out where the restaurant owner went wrong, Shizuku must discover how to properly pair wine and food.

Shizuku’s efforts help him select one of the wines for the “Italy vs. France” competition, but he still needs two others. He finds the second one after visiting a bizarre wine shop staffed by twin brothers with very different opinions about wine and the third one after being approached by Maki Saionji, a wine importer and Issei Tomine’s occasional lover. The volume wraps up with both the competition and Shizuku and Issei finally reading the first part of Shizuku’s father’s will, which gives them the clues necessary to find the first of Shizuku’s father’s “Twelve Apostles.”

Hm. Still an enjoyable series overall. The first part of the volume was nice, but a little too removed from the main storyline and a little too serious to be fun despite that. There were some good educational aspects, though - the volume touched on the difference between how Japanese people view drinking tea with a meal (for example, tea can be used to cancel out the flavor of heavy and rich food) and the way wines are traditionally paired with French cuisine (the wine and food should enhance each other rather than cancel each other out). I also liked the father-daughter relationship aspect. The daughter was more responsible and dedicated than she initially appeared to be.

The next part of the volume, the weird wine shop, brought the story back to the restrained wackiness I enjoyed in the first volume. The brothers were amusing, complete opposites. One preferred to focus on wines from wineries with good reputations and would consider nothing else - he didn’t even bother to try all his wines to figure out if they were good, he just assumed they were because of their reputations. The other brother focused entirely on cheap wines and refused to stock anything else. His part of the shop looked like a cheesy dollar store, or maybe a giant “going out of business” sale.

The one thing I absolutely didn’t like about that part of the volume was the brothers’ father. I think readers were supposed to view him as being at least as amusing as his sons, but I just thought he was a horrible human being. In order to get his sons to cooperate and improve the family business, he

lied to them and told them he had cancer.

(spoiler show)

I mean, what kind of person does that? Thankfully, there was no sign that Shizuku and Miyabi would be returning there anytime soon.

For me, the weakest part of the volume was the wine competition. It went very quickly, and I felt like I had a much better grasp on the appeals of the French wines than I did on the Italian ones, since so much of the volume had been devoted to those. The final verdict was interesting, though. I was left with the impression that, if you’re unfamiliar with wine and looking to select a decent cheap one, it’s probably best to go with an Italian wine, but if you’re a bit more experienced and looking for more variety, French might be the way to go.

One ongoing bit of mystery: the identity of the woman who declared the competition’s final verdict and who gave Shizuku advice that helped him with his wine selections. She looked like a random cranky old woman when she was first introduced, but it soon became clear that she was quite wealthy and had probably known Shizuku’s father very well.

This volume left me feeling a little less excited overall than the first one, but the educational aspects were still pretty good and I’m still looking forward to seeing what else the series has in store for readers. It looks like Shizuku will be spending at least part of the next volume working with an amnesiac artist in an effort to find out what she knows about the First Apostle.

A couple things that struck me: even with help from all of his wine-possessing friends, Shizuku is going to end up spending a small fortune trying to get up to speed on wines; and, if they weren’t rivals, Shizuku and Issei would probably make for decent wine-tasting friends since they keep selecting/appreciating the same things.

Additional Comments:

My feelings about the artwork are still largely the same: it’s lovely, although noticeably focused on characters over backgrounds. However, there were a couple parts in this volume where I felt Okimoto slipped up a bit: a three-page section showing Shizuku back at the Wine Division, helping the chief with a wine cellar and receiving a dessert wine from him, and a panel in which Sara cutely encouraged people to taste the “Italy vs. France” wines. The bit with the chief looked unfinished, as though some of the screentone had been forgotten, and some of the linework was unusually thick. The panel with Sara was mostly fine, but her lips were odd, like she’d only put makeup on the right half of them.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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