Welcome to Smaxx 2.0

Dear reader,

First of all; Happy new year! It’s been a while, and I’m sorry about that. I’ve been redecorating my room, I work at the post office and I’ve started my own news website. I’ve been so busy with that website that I haven’t read a single page since a few days before Christmas. And it only gets worse, cause for the first time in my life, I’ve lost a book. I repeat: I’VE LOST A BOOK! And not just any book, I’ve lost Good Omens (Smaxx December). Sorry again, Max..

Smaxx 2.0
Now, Max and I have had a month to relax, work, study and do all the things that needed to be done. All though, Max is still reading Good Omens. So now we are ready for a new season of The Smaxx Project. Get ready for Smaxx 2.0!

We’ve been having some Skype dates to brainstorm and now we’ve come up with a whole new reading list. Here we go!
We still chose a book every other month, but now we’ve linked it to categories. So here is our list for this year.

February – Sam
A book that you own, but have not read
Douglas Adams – The hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy

March – Max
A Memoir
Lena Dunham – Not that kind of girl

April – Sam
A book with short stories
Angela Carter – The bloody chamber and other stories

May – Max
A book that takes place somewhere you’ve always wanted to go
Keri Hulme – The bone people

June – Sam
A book by an author you’ve never read before
Claire North – The first fifteen lives of Harry August

July – Max
A book you can finish in a day
Lois Lowry – Gossamer

August – Sam
A book that’s been published in the year you were born
Torey L. Hayden – Ghost Girl

September – Max
A book from the bottom of your to read list
R.J. Palacio – Wonder

October – Sam
A book with a one word title
Jerry Spinelli – Loser

November – Max
A book that has won a Pulitzer Price
Junot Díaz – The brief wondrous life of Oscar Wao

December – Sam
A book set during Christmas time
Jeff Guinn – The autobiography of Santa Claus

I hope you like it, and I will see you soon!

Much love,

Sam

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Luna

Dear reader,

This book is about Regan and Liam. Or Regan and Luna. That kind of depends on what part of the day it is. Liam is transgender, a girl born in the body of a boy. But she only let’s Luna out at night when the parents are asleep. Regan, Luna’s sister is the only one who knows about this secret.

I think it is amazing that there’s a book written about a subject like this. I know some things about it so it’s not all new information, but I’ve never actually met anyone who’s transgender. And so I think it’s good that you can now have a little look inside their lives.

I do kind of dislike Regan, though. She keeps saying she loves Luna and that she will support Liam in everything she does. But on the other hand, she keeps saying that it is ruining her life. She thinks it’s weird that Liam wants to transit. And it makes her a bit two-faced. I really don’t like it. It’s like she’s fine with it, but she doesn’t want anyone else to know about it, because it gives her a bad reputation. Regan is so self-centered that it makes me want to cry. But maybe there’s a logic to it, as her hole life revolves around Luna and Liam…

I wonder what Maxx thought off it.

Smaxxpoints:
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The hundred-foot journey

Dear reader,

Maxx chose this month’s book and at first I didn’t like it so much, as the first half was quite boring. But it was just like Life of Pi for me. It get’s better when you pass the halfway-mark. I wonder what Maxx thought of it.. Click her name to check out her reviews too!

This novel is about Hassan Haji, a boy from Mumbai. Cooking is in his blood and that’s what he does best. He travels Europe with his family and ends up in France by accident, literally. Across the street is a two-star restaurant and soon it becomes their enemy. But for how long?

When the two-star neighbor-chef decides to take in Hassan and teach him everything she knows, Hassan’s world changes. He moves to Paris and even opens his own restaurant. But the economy drops and hardly any restaurant survives. Can he do it?

It took me quite a while to read this book. It was very hard to get in to. It wasn’t bad, it was just a tad long and boring. But when you get past the halfway-mark in the book it all becomes better. The story finally starts to live. And then you find out it’s actually a really good book.

Although, this story takes place in France and therefore people speak some French at times. As my Frenche is really bad, there were some things that I couldn’t understand. And a little while ago, I started re-watching the American series Gilmore Girls, I read a lot of this book with Michel‘s voice in my head.

Anyhow, after about 130 pages I quite liked this book and if you don’t mind reading a book that starts of really boring, then go read it. If not, just watch the movie.

PS: Want more reviews? Go check them out on my other blog blookersam.wordpress.com

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore

Dear reader,

I’m late with this review as it’s already October. But who cares? I finished reading this book ages ago, so it’s OK. I already had my review up on my Bookblog. But let’s review!

This book is about Clay who is in desperate need of a job. He searches everywhere but can’t find anything. One day Clay walks past Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore. There’s a poster on the window saying ‘Help Wanted’. Clay goes in and runs into Mr. Penumbra himself. He gets the job with a set of rules he must follow. His shift though, is during the night. It starts out boring and what not. But at one point it all kicks off and there’s no way to stop.

First off all, I thought that Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore was actually a bookstore that was open for 24-hours and then closed permanently to open up somewhere else again. But boy, was I wrong. The bookstore is actually open for 24-hours a day.

Secondly, I wish all jobs had such low requirements. That way I would’ve found a job already. But enough of that.

I thought this book was very adventurous. And it was a real page-turner. I really could not stop reading. At one point I was so tired that I really needed to stop reading and just go to bed, but I really couldn’t put the book away. The way it is written is so good, you become a part of the story and you forget that you’re actually reading a book. And you forget that the world you’re living in whilst reading, isn’t actually the real world.

And even though the situations at the bookstore aren’t always as great as they should be, this book really makes me want to work at a bookshop myself. And it’s not that I didn’t want that before I read this book, but this story just made it a lot worse!

Needless to say, I really really liked this book. It’s an easy read and a real page-turner.

Read it, love it, cherish it.

What about you, Maxx, did you like it?

Much love,

Sam

Blooker Sam

Dear reader,

I’m officially done with school. In two weeks I’ll get my diploma and then I’m out of there. Goodbye Friesland! And even though I’m happy to be gone, I will miss some things and people.
But since I’m completely done with everything, no school, no internship, no real job yet, I have a lot of free time on my hands.

Now, don’t worry, dad, I will still do my best to get a job. But I decided to be a real book blogger. So I made a sideblog on which I am going to blog about all the books I read. You can find all this on blookersam.wordpress.com. Might sound weird, but I’ve explained the name on that page. So enjoy!

I won’t neglect this blog, I will still post stuff on here. Smaxx will stay here and also my Song of the Week will be updated every Sunday. So go and have a look and if you like it, follow please!

Much love,

Sam

The Beach by Alex Garland – Smaxx Review

Dear reader,

I have a confession to make. And I’m quite ashamed to tell you all. But it’s something that I really have to get off of my chest.
Okay, here goes nothing.

I did not read the book.

So, that’s that. Now please let me explain. Thanks.
I started reading it and on August 22nd I was still only on page 57. I tried reading it, I just couldn’t do it. And it wasn’t the story, cause that was actually not that bad. It was just that it didn’t really tickle me. Is that the right way to put this?

But to be fair, I did download the movie. I watched it, so I could write this review and really tell you all what I thought of it. Now, I know it’s not the same, that became clear to me right at the beginning. But still, I guess the plot is the same and everything.

It’s about a guy named Richard and he’s traveling all by himself. He stays at some sort of hostel where he meets this guy Daffy. Daffy is a bit weird, starts talking about this beach which is really some sort of paradise and then they go to sleep. Alone, that is. Sorry if that sounded different.
The next day, Richard finds a note on his door. Only, it’s not a letter, it’s a map. Richard and his French hotel-neighbors go on a trip to find this island and then it gets weird.

Now, I don’t know if it gets weird too in the book. But I really don’t know what to think of this all. So I think it is safe to say that this is my least favorite entry of our Smaxx adventure. Sorry, Maxx. I really tried, but it just didn’t work for me. I promise that I don’t do this very often. I normally finish books, but there are just a few that I can’t get into.

Sorry that this ‘review’ wasn’t really a review. But when I say it gets weird, it really did. If you get curious, just go watch the movie and see it for yourself. Richard is played by Leonardo Dicaprio, so you might want to check it out anyway. He’s really good!

So, let’s hope other books will be more suited for me. See you next month!

Much love,

Sam

Smaxxpoints:
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Love letters to the dead

Dear reader,

I picked this book for June (and July as it seems) because I saw so much about it on Tumblr. I didn’t really know what to think about it so I wanted to give it a go.

Now, I really don’t know what Maxx thought of this one, cause last time we talked about Smaxx she hadn’t finished it, and unlike last time, I really don’t know.
But I do know that I didn’t think it was going to head this way.

This story is about a girl who gets an English assignment, the entire class has to write a letter to a dead person. She writes the letters, but they aren’t really letters. They’re more like diary entrees, but with a different name at the top every time.

The way it was written, with the letters and stuff, it made me think of Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Anyways.. I actually really liked this book. I think it shows that even though people don’t act like it, there might be more behind their smile.

See you next month with a new book.

Much love,

Sam