Books I’ve read in January

In this first blog post, I found it a bit pointless to do single reviews, so I review all books I’ve read this month. There are 2 originally Dutch books in there, but to keep consistency within this article, I will review them in English as well.
GALGENVELD BY ISA MARON (DUTCH ONLY!)
I started this book in the end of 2016, but finished it in January, so here it is. Galgenveld is the first out of four books in the Dutch thriller series “De Noordzeemoorden” and was on my reading list for quite a while. However, it didn’t impress me that much as other murder thrillers (like Tess Gerritsen) do, but it might improve when reading the other books. According to people who have read them as well, the series really starts to take off at book 2 or 3.
Kyra Slagter is really interested in forensic research, so when her brother found a death body above “Het IJ”, hanging on a pole, she went there to film everything. Detective Maud Mertens has to solve the case, but Kyra is trying to do the same as her hobby. The death person turned out to be one of her teachers, her art teacher to be exact. Throughout the book, two other people are brutally killed and Kyra is determined to get to know the truth. They find the truth, both Kyra and Maud. One mystery still remains: what happened to Kyra’s sister Sarina when she went missing four years ago? To be continued!
UGLY LOVE BY COLLEEN HOOVER
Colleen Hoover is a New York Times bestselling author within the New Adult genre. I got this book in my ebook package which I receive monthly.
When Tate  moves to San Francisco to live with her brother Corbin and to finish her masters in nursing, she meets Corbin’s neighbour and friend Miles. Both guys are pilots, all men portrayed in this book are. Tate falls hopelessly in love with Miles, but it definitely is not love at first sight. Miles is very resistive and this has all to do with things from the past: Rachel and the history between them.
I am happy that I didn’t buy this book myself, because I found it a waste of money. There is so much sex in it, it was way and way too much. I have nothing against sex, but sex in every chapter is not really my cup of tea. And that’s an understatement. The sex mainly appears in the chapters when the story is told from Tate’s perspective and in the present. The strong part of this book however, are the chapters told from Miles’  perspective and which travel back in time. Miles’ story starts 6 years ago and just the last two chapters of his are in the present. However, the book is very predictable and nothing exciting is happening. I have thought about giving up reading numerous times, but the thing why I kept reading was that I wanted to know about Rachel and what happened. Therefore I gave it two stars on Goodreads instead of one. However, when the truth came out, the climax was gone and the story immediately fell flat. If you love a lot of sex, its a must read!
JUDAS BY ASTRID HOLLEDER (DUTCH ONLY!)
Personally, I think this is the hardest book of this article to review since its a biography. When this book was released in November 2016, everybody was talking about it. It has been written very secretly, because of the safety of the author.
One of The Netherlands’ most notorious criminals is Willem Holleder. This book is written by his sister Astrid, about living with him and constantly having to live in fear. The book tells the stories of their youth until early 2016. At first I read very fast. This book has nearly 600 pages, but after one day, I was already halfway through. The last 100 pages took me longer since I had other obligations, but I was happy to read this book after I finished Ugly Love, which I reviewed before.
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS BY KHALED HOSSEINI
By far my most favourite book of this month. I read The Kite Runner, but I got told that this book was even better. And yes, everyone is right about that.
This book tells two storylines. One of Mariam, starting in 1972 and one of Laila, starting in 1982. The book starts in the Afghan city of Herat, but after a few chapters, the setting changes to Kabul. Mariam marries Rasheed and lives a very isolated live. Rasheed beats her up a lot, and doesn’t want Mariam to leave the house. Laila however, grows up in a very modern family. Her father is a  teacher and lets her get her education. However, after the Sovjet war in Afghanistan, a civil war broke out which killed both Laila’s parents. Rasheed takes care of her, but tells her that her friend Tariq (who fled the country) was killed. Laila then marries Rasheed and lives together with Mariam. And yes, Rasheed beats her up as well. The family had to live under the Taliban regime and then Mariam does something nobody could have expected. And then, someone from the past came to see Laila……
I recommend this book to everyone who likes to learn about other cultures and societies, because this story unfortunately is still relevant today. Its about  oppression of women, war, conflict, refugees wanting to return to their home country, which is also happening in 2017. The Afghan refugee crisis has been huge for the past 30 years. Its a book which tells about hope in difficult situations. I had other obligations this week, but if I did not have them, this book would have been finished within three days for sure. Go read it guys, you will understand today’s refugees better after finishing this book. 
Which of these books would you like to read?

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