A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 3 on My Book List 2019

”Milton thought Hell was a city, you know. I think maybe he had it half-right. Perhaps London is just Hell’s entrance, and we are the damned souls refusing to pass through, fearing that what we will find on the other side will be worse than the horror we already know.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book has a very slow pacing and that there isn’t an awful lot of action, let alone an intriguing plot. No, this book has none of that, yet it’s still one of my all-time favourites and I’d recommend it to everyone who dares to talk books with me. (My opinions about books are always very strong and therefore book discussions with me can be quite… challenging. *lol*)

The thing is, this book is a good reminder that a great book can live from its character cast as well. It doesn’t need an awesome plot with twists and turns (even though there actually happen to be some in here) or action scenes that leave you gasping. Sometimes everything a book needs are well-thought out and realistic characters and yes, this is exactly what “Clockwork Angel” delivers. I’m in love with all the MCs and the way they see the world. The thoughts they share, the pieces of wisdom their words contain, the severity of the decisions they make, just everything! My love for this series is so deep I can barely put it into words. ❤

It’s true this book is very serious but it’s also funny as hell. There are book talks that will warm every bookworm’s heart, there is the first mention of “demon pox”, an MC that adores chocolate so much that he thinks people who don’t eat it are monsters and cannibal ducks that lead to the Herondale’s secret motto of “Never trust a duck.” Those characters are alive and breathing and they feel more than just real. They have their weaknesses and strengths, they love, they hurt, they joke, they cry, they are palpable and genuine and they are everything to me!

It’s safe to say that I love this series with all my heart. I just hope that you, my dear reader who’s reading this review right now, will end up loving it too! ;-P

2

Welcome to Victorian London! It’s moist, misty, filthy and the home of the Shadowhunters. 😉 Before you pass the threshold of the Institute you should know that you’ll be spoiled as soon as you enter their realm though. Scientia est potentia. Are you ready to gain knowledge?

Tessa:

“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”

I have no idea why I like Tessa so much but for some reason I do. *lol* At the beginning of the book she’s very naive and innocent. She has no idea why she was taken to the Dark Sisters and it made me sad to see her suffer so much. This poor girl didn’t even know what she was getting into and was totally lost. Well, until Will found her and brought her to the institute. I loved to see her character arc, how she changed from the shy girl into a determined woman. ❤ It was beautifully done and it was easily comprehensible. All the characteristics were already there, they just became more visible and prominent as she got stronger. =) By the end of the book Tessa is no naive and bland character any longer she’s become a stubborn woman that goes her own way and stands up for herself! And honestly, that’s exactly the Tessa I love. XD

”If no one in the entire world cared about you, did you really exist at all?”

”All your talk about Downworlders and how you don’t hate them. That’s all nothing, isn’t it? Just words. You don’t mean them. And as for mundanes, have you ever thought maybe you’d be better at protecting them if you didn’t despise them all so much?”

Will:

”He had the most beautiful face she had ever seen. Tangled black hair and eyes like blue glass. Elegant cheekbones, a full mouth, and long, thick lashes. Even the curve of his throat was perfect. He looked like every fictional hero she’d ever conjured up in her head.”

Ahhh Will! My precious book husband! <333 I’ll never get tired of this boy! No matter how long I live he (and Warner) will always be my book husbands. *lol* I seem to have a weakness for tortured souls and if Will isn’t the embodiment of a tortured soul then I don’t know! ❤ Also he’s sassy as hell and very sarcastic and boy do I love those traits in my men. Haha! In this book we don’t know why he acts the way he does but I can’t wait to read book two and to watch the story unfold. Still, despite his attitude it’s plain that he cares about all the people that live at the institute. He defended Charlotte when the Enclave talked over her and the way he takes care of Jem and worries about him is adorable. He always tries to keep his distance but the harder he tries the more he seems to fail. >_< At the ending he’s so distraught that he takes a drastic step (at least for him) and since I know what’s going to happen in “Clockwork Prince” I’m already suffering with him.

Tessa looked at Will. “What about you? What do you believe?”
“Pulvis et umbra sumus,” said Will, not looking at her as he spoke. “I believe we are dust and shadows. What else is there?”

”Exactly. There was a man who was worthless, and knew he was worthless, and yet however far down he tried to sink his soul, there was always some part of him capable of great action.” Will lowered his voice. “What is it he says to Lucie Manette? That though he is weak, he can still burn?”

”Are you implying that shreds of my reputation remain intact?” Will demanded with mock horror. “Clearly I have been doing something wrong. Or not doing something wrong, as the case may be.” He banged on the side of the carriage. “Thomas! We must away at once to the nearest brothel! I seek scandal and low companionship.”

”I think I don’t understand your acceptance of his death.”
“And I think that you do not understand that sometimes the only choice is between acceptance and madness.”

Jem:

”He was bareheaded, which drew the eye immediately to his hair. It was an odd bright silver color, like an untarnished shilling. His eyes were the same silver, and his fine-boned face was angular, the slight curve of his eyes the only clue to his heritage.”

I never realized this before but Cassie kind of “friendzoned” Jem in this first book! *lol* Now I know why I never saw him as Tessa’s main love interest. You just can’t because in “Clockwork Angel” Clare wrote him as a friend and not as a lover. Cleverly done, Ms. Clare! ;-P It’s not just the way he is described but also how his character acts. Jem is very down-to-earth and so much wiser than Will. He’s no daredevil but a strategist and this automatically makes him a good listener and friend. So of course everyone is rooting for Tessa and Will to hit it off. XD Still, despite Clare’s efforts I can’t help but love Jem as well. He’s such a gentle, kind and patient soul and therefore the complete opposite of Will, yet this is exactly what draws me to him. They are like fire and water and I love them both! <333 Also, in “Clockwork Prince” we get to see his more passionate side and I’m so ready for him to step out of that friendzone in which Cassie so deliberately placed him! ;-P Break free, Jem! Break free! ❤

”If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. Whatever the color, the shape, the design of the shade that conceals it, the flame inside the lamp remains the same. You are that flame.” He smiled then, seeming to have come back to himself, slightly embarrassed. “That’s what I believe.”

”You’re correct. But I’m surprised you know it. I know it. But I have had years to understand Will. To know when he means what he says and when he doesn’t.”

”He could probably have gotten there first – Will suspected Jem was in fact cleverer than he was himself – but he lacked Will’s tendency to assume the absolute worst about people and proceed from there.”

”We Shadowhunters have been what we are for so long, and are so insular, that we often forget to look at any situation from someone else’s point of view. It is only ever about whether something is good for the Nephilim or bad for the Nephilim. Sometimes I think we forget to ask whether it is good or bad for the world.”

”So why don’t you stop fighting? Will and the others –“
“Would understand,” Jem finished for her. “I know they would. But there is more to life than not dying. I am a Shadowhunter. It is what I am, not just what I do. I can’t live without it.”

Jessamine:

”I am not a Shadowhunter, Tessa. I despise everything about the Nephilim. I have never wanted to be one, and my dearest wish is to leave the Institute and never speak to a single soul who resides there ever again.”

Jessamine is one of those characters I never got warm with. She despises to be one of the Shadowhunters and she would rather live a normal life than to fight demons. I get why she feels that way and to some degree I even understand her wish to be normal. Unfortunately she was born as a Nephilim and therefore is expected to fight alongside the others. Jessie is a very inconsistent character because when push comes to shove she actually falls into the patterns of a Shadowhunter and fights with them. I think part of her anger might be even directed at herself because she hates herself for not being able to fight her true nature. Sooner or later her inner conflict will have major consequences but for now she seems to be okay. Well, at least she helped them out when they were attacked, so there’s that.

”I will not have this life, Tessa. I will not have it. I don’t care what I have to do. I won’t live like this. I’d rather die.”

Jessamine made a rude noise. “Chosen to kneel on the ground, are you?”

3

Tessa & Will:

”When he had come into her room at the Dark House, she had thought he was the most beautiful boy she’d ever seen, but just now, looking at him – she had never looked at a boy like that, not in this way that brought blood hot to her face, and tightened her chest.”

To say their relationship is complicated would be the understatement of the century. XD They care about each other deeply and they have an amazing chemistry, yet Will is keeping Tessa at a distance and never lets her get too close to him. Well, of course except of the one time he does and they kiss at the attic. I remember being as confused as Tessa when I first read this book. I couldn’t fathom why Will would so obviously love her, but still push her away. Sophie was right, there is some darkness in him and it’s consuming him from the inside out. T_T Poor Will! One of the best things about their relationship are not only their tender little moments but also their amazing bookish talks! ❤ I’m so glad I read “A Tale of Two Cities” because I finally understood all of their references! It added a new layer of enjoyment to my reading experience and I think I admire Cassandra Clare even more now. I love the way she involves literature and quotes into her books and to have two characters that are bookworms that fall in love is #couplegoals. *lol* Tessa and Will still have a long way to go though. *sighs deeply*

”Are you cold?” Lacing his fingers with hers, Will took her hand and pressed it to his cheek. She was startled by the feverish heat of his skin. “Tess,” he said, his voice thick and soft with desire, and she leaned toward him, swaying like a tree whose branches were weighted by snow.

”Tessa. I’m begging you. Do you understand? I’m begging you. Please, please leave.”

”Don’t you wish to go home?”
He didn’t move, his fingers still brushing her hand. “I can’t ever go home.”

Tessa & Jem:

His eyes were closed. “Will?” he said, without opening his eyes or ceasing to play. “Will, is that you?”

For some reason I love the moment Tessa and Jem meet for the very first time. It’s so tender and simple and the fact that he thought she was Will… Ahh! Just ahh! XD I like how they become friends and kind of bond over Will’s antics. Moreover I absolutely adore how Jem’s steady presence sort of conquers Tessa’s heart. They start as strangers that form a friendship and by the end of the book both of them begin to feel more for each other than mere affection. Also can we appreciate how considerate Jem is? He knows that his parabatai loves Tessa and even though it’s plain that he likes her too, he never acts on it. He holds back and lets them sort it out and he never, really NEVER takes advantage of Tessa’s confusion and pain. I swear he’s a patient angel and he deserves the world and more! <333

”There was something about the way Jem looked at her, she thought. Like he could see into and through her. But nothing inside her, nothing he saw or heard, could bother or upset or disappoint him.”

”He kissed the back of it, just a light touch of his mouth, and his hair – as soft and light as silk – brushed her wrist as he lowered his head. She felt a shock go through her, strong enough to startle her, and she stood speechless as he straightened, his mouth curving into a smile.”

”I think he did,” said Jem, “and does love you, in his way, but you cannot concern yourself with that. It is as great a thing to love as it is to be loved. Love is not something that can be wasted.”

Will & Jem:

Will shrugged. “The spoils of vice are a burdensome responsibility.”
“Yet one you seem strangely able to bear,” observed Jem, with an amused flash of his silvery eyes.

I LOVE MY TWO BOYS!!! They are everything to me and I’d die for them!! <333 Their relationship is one of the best things about this book and I’ve to admit that I ship them. Yes, you read right! I ship them… HARD! *lol* Even though the focus is on their friendship there is still some sort of chemistry between those two. And they love each other! It’s plain as day! Maybe not sexually but kind of romantically and in such a profound way that it’s impossible not to notice! I’d even go as far as to say that they have some sort of a “demiromantic relationship”. It’s really hard to explain with those two but boy do I love their relationship! <333 Plus you’ve to adore the way they tease each other! Their conversations are some of the best ones in this entire book. Only Tessa and Will’s book talks get close to the pleasure of reading their easy banter. ;-P I can’t wait to read “Clockwork Prince” because I know their special connection will be explored even more in the second instalment. =)))

”Hunger,” said Jem. “Were you thinking about blood?”
“No.”
“Were you thinking about eating me?” Will inquired.
“No!”
“No one would blame you,” said Jem. “He’s very annoying.”

”You think she’s pretty?” Will was surprised; Jem rarely opined on this sort of thing.
“Yes, and you do too.”
“I hadn’t noticed, really.”
“Yes, you have, and I’ve noticed you noticing.” Jem was smiling.

”I can minister angelically.”
“None too convincingly. And you’re not as pretty to look at as Tessa is,” Jem said, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the pillow.
“How rude. Many who have gazed upon me have compared the experience to gazing at the radiance of the sun.”
Jem still had his eyes closed. “If they mean it gives you a headache, they aren’t wrong.”

”You were ill,” Will said, not looking at Tessa as he spoke. “It’s nobody’s fault.” He paused. “I just think you should be careful. You’re not well still. Talking will just tire you out.”
“There are more important things than being careful.”

Tessa & Nate:

”I had disappointed him,” Nate said. “You disappointed him. You ran from the Dark Sisters, knowing what it would cost me. Your sisterly affection leaves something to be desired, Tessie.”

Well, I think we can all agree that Nate is a numpty, right? If anything his brotherly affection leaves something to be desired. I mean he basically sold Tessa to Mortmain and this even though she was his sister. Maybe she isn’t his sister by blood but they were raised together and she always took care of him. If you ask me he’s an ungrateful moron and the only thing he deserves is a heartfelt kick to his soft parts! I already hate him and I feel very sorry for Tessa. She definitely deserved a better brother than that! >_<

”She and her aunt had hidden Nate’s own weaknesses from him, the consequences of his own flaws and failings. Never telling him of the work Aunt Harriet hat had to do to make up the money he had lost gambling, of the taunts Tessa had endured from other children, calling her brother a drunk, a wastrel. They had hidden these things from him to keep him from being hurt.”

Charlotte & Henry:

”But you would never be so foolish,” Charlotte said. “Save that you are, at this very moment, being that foolish. You look at Henry and myself and you are not afraid of us. You are amused! A fairy tale come to life!” She slammed her hand down hard on the edge of his desk, making him jump.

Charlotte and Henry always make me feel warm and cosy! ❤ They can’t be a lot older than Will, Jem and Jessamine but they are like two loving parents that try to do what’s best for their kids. Yes, Charlotte might be harsh sometimes and Henry is sort of a dreamer, but they both kind of complement one another and they most definitely have their hearts at the right place! ❤ At the end of the day this is everything that matters and I’m sure our young Shadowhunters see it the same way. 😉

”Inanimate objects are harmless indeed, Mr. Mortmain. But one cannot always say the same of the men who use them.”

”Henry,” he said, “you’re on fire. You do know that, don’t you?”
“Oh, yes,” Henry said eagerly. The flames were now nearly to his shoulder. “I’ve been working like a man possessed all day.”

4

This series will always have a special place in my heart and I enjoyed this reread probably even more then when I read the book for the very first time. Three-dimensional characters, awesome quotes, meaningful conversations, great bookish discussions, a little bit of action and lots of humour made this a wonderful read. What truly distinguishes it from all of the other books are the deep relationships though. They add a good portion of misery and heart to the story and if we’re totally honest, we’ve to admit that we all love a tragic fairy tale every once in a while. Don’t you agree? ;-P

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 2 on My Book List 2019

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

After finishing “Cinder” I was kind of curious what other reviewers wrote about it and I was pretty surprised when I found out that a lot of my friends gave it only two or three stars. As it seems the main reason for those low ratings were 1.) It’s just not my jam or 2.) I read too many retellings. Sometimes even a combination of both. XD

Well, I guess it’s kind of good then that I wasn’t all too big on retellings over the last few years because I definitely enjoyed this! I don’t know if I would have liked it less if I would have read more retellings, but as some sort of “newbie” to the scene I actually ended up loving it to bits and pieces!

This was just amazing! ❤ I mean a cyborg Cinderella who’s a mechanic and lives in a futuristic world?! Sign me f*** up! I loved the entire New Beijing vibe and I was so down for all those “Star Wars” moments! XD (And just in case you wondered, I’ve been a Warsie AND a Trekkie since my early childhood days! *lol* Being a fan of both is impossible? Hah! I’m your living and breathing proof it’s not! ;-P) Anyway! I relished the breath of fresh air this retelling gave me and after reading all those “normal” fairy tales with my kid this was balm for my soul. *lol*

Finally something different! Finally a break from “Cinderella” who lost her glass slipper on the stairs. This so wasn’t your ordinary fairy tale and Cinder certainly wasn’t your ordinary heroine either. Before I go into more detail, I’ll head into my characters section though. Wouldn’t want you to get spoiled, right?! (Is it even spoiling if we all know about Cinderella’s story? *lol*)

2

Fair Warning: This is a spoiler well. If you lean forward you might tumble into the rabbit hole. I urge you to exercise caution. Proceed at your own risk. ;-P

Cinder:

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”

Haha! I loved Cinder! She was such a cool character and totally down-to-earth! Funnily enough she didn’t seem to enjoy beautiful dresses (the real Cinderella would have been shocked!) and rather preferred to stay in her room working on androids instead of going out. Which in all honesty made her a very relatable character. XD I liked that she was so strong-willed and had her own opinion about everything, but I also felt very sorry for her. Aside from Prince Kai and Dr. Erland, Peony was probably the only person who ever showed her some kindness and to lose her must have been a more than just hard blow. >_< Especially because Peony was just lovely and kind! I don’t know how it came to be that Peony was the only one who accepted Cinder the way she was but I was really glad that she had at least one sister that cared. XD Still, no matter how sad her death made me I think Cinder would have never dared to be so bold if she would have been around to see it, so I guess there’s at least one positive thing that came out of it. Poor Cinder though! T_T

A flash of hurt crossed his face. “What? I can’t buy you a gift?” he asked, in a tone that nearly stopped the electric pulses of her wiring.
“No. Not after I’ve ignored six of your comms in the last week. Are you dense?”
“So you did get them!”

Prince Kai:

Kai stepped closer to Torin, ignoring a group of lab technicians that were forced to swarm around them. „I have a plan. My plan is to not marry her. Diplomacy be damned. There. End of discussion.”

WHAT. A. HOTTIE! *swoons* I adored him right from the moment he appeared in the book! GAH! Prince Kai was just awesome! I loved that he didn’t back down and fought Queen Levana with every breath he took. There was so much at stake for him but he stayed true to himself and this even though Levana and the other countries certainly didn’t make it easy for him. So much pressure! Poor boy! =(( Plus can we acknowledge how caring he was even though his own life turned upside down. I mean he lost his father to the plague and yet he still managed to keep Levana at bay, served his country, tried to persuade Cinder and wanted to find a cure. XD Not to mention his adorable humour and enticing defiance. *lol* The perfect prince for sure! 😉

”I will –“ He paused again, straightened, and focused his eyes on some distant, invisible point. “I will do whatever needs to be done to ensure the well-being of my country. I will do whatever needs to be done to keep you all safe. That is my promise.”

Iko:

Iko rolled to her side, clasping her metal grippers over her chest. “Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”

IKO!!! <333 She was one of the best sidekicks ever and she definitely asked the right questions. *LOL* The idea of an android with feelings might have been nothing new but the way it was executed in here was perfect! XD When you read about Iko you involuntarily see her as a normal person, well until some body parts of her are mentioned and you’re reminded that she’s actually a machine with a soul. 😉 I can’t believe Adri destroyed her and my poor heart bled when Cinder found her in her room. I really hope Cinder will find a new body for her and that this time around it will be a human looking one. Iko deserves it and she’d be so happy if she’d have curves to wear all those pretty dresses. *lol*

Cinder flinched. “Can we please not talk about the prince?”
“I don’t think that will be possible. You’re working on his android, after all. Just think about the things she knows, the things she’s seen and –“ Iko’s voice sputtered. “Do you think she’s seen him in the nude?”

Queen Levana:

”I want her found and brought to me.”
“Right,” said Kai, “that’ll be no problem in a city of two and a half million people. Let me just go dig out my special Lunar detector, and I’ll get right on that.”
Levana tilted her head back so she could peer down her nose at Kai, even though he was taller than she was. “You do not wish to try my patience with your sarcasm, young prince.”

Queen Levana is no fun! Seriously, that woman has a stick up her ass. >_< The way she treated Kai and all her machinations… I really despised her for it! How can anyone be so cruel and heartless? I mean that moment with the mirror on her plate? ARGH! If I’d have been Prince Kai I’d have flipped her the bird multiple times. *lol* I guess in his own way he actually kind of did it. Haha! Considering how Cinder reacted to her once she saw through her glamour she must be as ugly on the outside as she’s on the inside and I really hope she won’t get Kai.

Adri:

”I think it a fair solution. After all, you bought it with my money, therefore it is mine to do with as I please. In some cultures they would cut off your hand, Cinder. Consider yourself fortunate.
“But it’s my foot!”
“And you will have to do without it until you can find a cheaper replacement.” She glowered at Cinder’s feet. Her lip curled with disgust. “You are not human, Cinder. It’s about time you realized that.”

There were moments when I wasn’t sure which one of them is worse. Adri or Queen Levana? And honestly sometimes I was even inclined to give Adri first place. For some of the things she did, she would have deserved to stand on the pedestal. *shakes head* I really don’t know what’s eating her but after reading “Glitches” I’m fairly certain that it had nothing to do with Cinder. As it seems she was always that hostile and I have no idea why Garan married her. That woman is just horrible and I hope she never meets Queen Levana! I don’t even want to think about what would happen if those two would join forces. *shudders*

3

Cinder & Prince Kai:

”I shouldn’t be telling you all this anyway. It isn’t your problem to worry about. It’s just … you’re easy to talk to.”
She shuffled her feet. “It is kind of my problem. I mean, we all have to live here.
“You could move to Europe.”
“You know, I’ve actually been considering that lately.”
Kai laughed again, the warmth returning to the sound. “If that’s not a vote of confidence, I don’t know what is.”

I’m totally on board of this ship! Those two were soo cute together and I loved their easy banter. ❤ Poor Prince Kai though! I have no idea how Cinder managed not to give into his advances. I mean there’s this amazing Prince who is determined to take her to the ball with him and she crushes his hopes again and again! WTH?? You might be a cyborg Cinder but I don’t think Prince Kai would have loved you any less if you would have told him the truth about yourself. I think if anything he might have loved you even more. If she would have just told him on her own terms. The way it was revealed was just too much for Kai and I can understand him, really. His words at the end of the book killed me but I get why he was so disappointed. There were plenty of opportunities to come clean with him, but Cinder never told him. =( Also I think that his last words were meant in the sense of it hurts him more to look at her than at Levana because he felt betrayed by her and at least Levana put her cards on the table. I’m really worried about him now because who knows what he might agree to now that Cinder is out of the picture. >_< He’s strong willed but the longer he stays in Queen Levana’s presence the harder it will get to resist her and I just don’t want him to give up on himself!! ARGH!!! I’m so afraid of what will happen to him in those next few books!

”It’s gone now,” she said. “I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” said Kai. “What causes it? What can we do to make it stop?”

Kai peeled his eyes away, finding some place of resignation off in the glistening garden. “You’re even more painful to look at than she is.”
Cinder’s heart shrivelled inside her until she was sure it would stop beating altogether.

Queen Levana & Prince Kai:

She was still battling Kai across the table, her eyes cold and calculating, and he unable to look away. “I have learned something valuable about you tonight, young prince. I hope you have learned something about me, as well.”
“That you prefer to rule through fear rather than justice? So sorry, Your Majesty, I’m afraid I already knew that about you.”
“No, indeed. I hope you noticed that I am capable of choosing my battles.” Her lips curved, her beauty returning full force. “If that’s what it takes to win the war.”

Those two were like cat and mouse! Unfortunately Kai was the mouse in this scenario and even though he held his own I’m afraid that Queen Levana might be able to persuade him to marry her. It’s not just her glamour but also the cure she offers. He always said that he only wants what’s best for his people and if it saves them he might even consider making a deal with the devil. =( Plus now that Dr. Erland vanished with Cinder he has no one that would continue his research for an antidote. To him it might look like there’s only one option left and I DON’T WANT HIM TO CHOOSE THAT FREAKIN OPTION! GOSH DARN IT!!! *dies*

4

I LOVED this!!! “Cinder” read like a unique mixture of “Cinderella” featuring “Star Wars” and even though I didn’t know it when I started to read the book this was exactly what I needed! XD Give me more of this and I might overcome my growing aversion to ordinary fairy tales. *lol* Maybe one day my kid will read those books too! 😉 This said: I can’t wait to continue with “Scarlet”!!!
Happy reading and enjoy!

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Circe (Madeline Miller)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 27 on My Book List 2019

”Of all the mortals on the earth, there are only a few the gods will ever hear of. Consider the practicalities. By the time we learn their names, they are dead. They must be meteors indeed to catch our attention. The merely good: you are dust to us.“

I thought long and hard what to write about “Circe” but when it comes down to it the first words that always pop into my mind are: “I loved this so damn much!!!” *lol* Which is neither especially eloquent nor particularly significant. So what to do? How to describe my love for this book in words that would do this masterpiece (and yes, in my opinion it truly is a masterpiece) justice?

”I felt myself tremble, but I would not let him see it. Great gods smell fear like sharks smell blood, and they will devour you for it just the same.”

I guess I might start with what it is not. “Circe” is definitely not like “The Song of Achilles”! To be honest those books couldn’t have been any more different even if they tried. Whilst the main topics of “The Song of Achilles” were the Trojan War and the undying love *weeps* between Patroclus and Achilles the major themes in “Circe” were her solitary life in exile and her encounter with Odysseus. This setting alone makes for an entirely different story and sets a completely different pace. The tale of Circe is slow and unfolds over time, the many centuries that pass away giving the reader not only a good sense of the change of the world but also an insight to our heroine’s lonely life. Just like the love between Patroclus and Achilles was almost tangible in every single page from “The Song of Achilles” Circe’s solitude is palpable in every written line.

”I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

The remarkable thing about her is that she didn’t let it get her down. She might have been in exile and shunned by her family but she never got bitter because of it. Quite the contrary. She took what she had and changed it according to her needs and she adapted to her new life and made the best out of it. And even more important, she defied the gods by doing so. It might have been small gestures and little actions but with every breath she took she refused to give them any satisfaction. Circe was a strong-willed, skilled and formidable woman and I couldn’t help but love her for it!

”We lit no tapers. The room was dark and warm from the day’s heat. Shadows draped the bed. No frogs sounded, no birds called. It was as if we had found the still heart of the universe. Nothing moved except for us.“

Despite her bravery and strong will it’s undeniable that she was a very lonely woman though. This however doesn’t mean that she didn’t know love. There were quite a few lovers and mortals she didn’t only take to her bed but also into her heart and whenever she did it; it left a mark on her soul. Circe loved deeply and gently and she always felt compassion for those men that came to her island and crossed her path. Well, at least until one day that changed everything.

”They moaned and squealed, and pressed their snouts to the earth. We are sorry, we are sorry.
Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”

And tell you what? I could understand her anger and wrath, because I think this was the first time she truly realized what had been done to her. The gods didn’t intervene on her behalf and left her to her own devices instead and the trust she had given to those who had needed her help was betrayed in the worst possible way. Add to that her acute loneliness and you get a goddess that becomes embittered and vindictive.

”And so,” he said, “which do you change, and which do you let go?”
“I change them all,” I said. “They have come to my house. Why should I care what is in their hearts?”
He had smiled and lifted his cup to me. “Lady, you and I are in accord.”

Who knows what would have happened if Odysseus would have never come to her island? Which kind of person would she have become? I guess we’ll never find out and I’m pretty sure that’s good the way it is. And here comes another scene that brought me immense joy, the moment Circe and Odysseus meet for the very first time. XD Gods, I loved their conversation so much! The tension and the way they tried to gauge each other’s reactions by talking about seemingly simple things! This was so masterfully done, I can’t even! One of the best book moments ever, I swear! <333

”I confess I’m in awe,“ he said, „they’re never so quiet for me. You must have had quite an effect on them.“
I heard a humming, like before a spell is cast. His gaze was a honed blade. All this had been prologue. As if we were in a play, we stood.

I’ve always loved Odysseus and I’ve been a huge fan of him ever since I read the Odyssey. I know he is a hero with many flaws and more morally grey than anything else, but this was always the reason why I loved him so much. He’s human, he’s intelligent, skilled, sly, he’s honourable (most of the time) and he knows how to manipulate people in order to get what the wants. Some might say he’s a dangerous man and they’d be completely right with it. So what’s not to love? *lol*

”The world was made of mysteries, and I was only another riddle among the millions. I did not answer him, and though he pretended frustration, yet I began to see that it pleased him in some strange way. A door that did not open at his knock was a novelty in its own right, and a kind of relief as well. All the world confessed to him. He confessed to me.”

Well, anyway! Those two meet and they clash! And yes, I savoured every single moment of it. Their conversations were really intriguing and it’s obvious Odysseus had a notable impact on Circe’s life. In more ways than one, I might add. ;-P Considering the circumstances this actually sounded kind of dirty now. *lol* Never mind my particular choice of words. XD

4

It’s undeniable that Madeline Miller has a way with words and no matter which kind of story she tells, she always seems to be able to turn it into gold. I loved how she managed to weave so many different parts of Greek mythology into “Circe’s” tale and I adored that our heroine was a constant part of it all. The pacing of the book might have been very slow, but this didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. Whilst the ending of “The Song of Achilles” made me ugly cry, “Circe’s” ending had an entirely different effect and gave me a sense of contentment and peace. This was definitely another one of Madeline Miller’s masterpieces and all that’s left to say is that I can really recommend it! 😉

 

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

Book 38 on My Book List 2019

 

”And so this exotic strain of gossip spread rapidly through the Levantine networks of the Asian jet set, and within a few hours, almost everyone in this exclusive circle knew that Nicholas Young was bringing a girl home to Singapore.

And, alamak! This was big news.”
I guess this quote is the perfect summary of the entire book. *lol* And yes, the title already tells us everything we need to know. Still, I expected something light and fluffy when I started to read “Crazy Rich Asians” but truth be told I was kinda thrown by the intense and serious turn this book took in the end. There happened quite some heavy stuff and this is probably the biggest understatement ever!! XD

 

Oh well, I’m getting ahead of myself here so let’s start at the beginning. Rachel and Nicholas have been in a solid relationship for two years and his best friend’s wedding is actually the main reason he’s taking his girlfriend with him. I mean he’s Colin’s best man so it’s only natural to take your long-time girlfriend with you, right? Yes and no! Because seriously, nothing and no one could have prepared them for what would happen when they set their feet on this island. XD It’s not only a clash of cultures but also some sort of grim war between two seemingly different classes of people. If there ever exists such a thing. Just because some people think they are better and superior this certainly doesn’t make them better and superior. Which already brings me to the first topic that got me really riled whenever I read this book:The audacity and obnoxious snobbery of Nick’s family and their “close” friends. Money can buy you a lot of things but it obviously can neither buy you a heart nor common sense!

”And unlike Leo, Eddie’s parents were the old-fashioned type – insisting from the moment Eddie graduated that he learn to live off his earnings.
It was so bloody unfair.

I had no, I repeat absolutely, no sympathy or compassion for “poor” Eddie. It must have been so damn hard just to have a big house instead of a villa or to have a small private jet instead of a huge luxury airplane. If you ask me those people are really rich and truly crazy. There are people starving in this world, there are people that don’t even have a place to call their home and all those rich spoilt brats cared about was their designer clothes, their food and how they could look better than the rest. Urgh! I know I’m taking this way too serious, but as a person who grew up in a hardworking family that had to work for every cent and never got anything for free I just lack sympathy for people like them. And therefore the list of the people I didn’t like in this book is as long as the equator. Probably even longer because to circle the entire world only once might not be enough. XD

So just to give you a short example: Eleanor, Bernard, Eddie, Lorena, Carol, Lauren, Francesca, Evan, Roderick, Wandi, Parker, Nadine, Jacqueline, Su Yi (aka Ah Ma), Alexandra, … and the list could go on and on!

Thankfully there are also people that I liked and that made up for the horrible snobbery of those others: Rachel, Nick, Astrid, Colin, Sophie, Peik Lin and all the Gohs in general, Alistair, Philip and Charlie. And maybe Oliver, but I really dunno what’s his angle in all of this. *lol*

”Oh, you really don’t have to do that. It’s not important to me what sort of family he comes from,” Rachel said.
“Nonsense, lah! Of course it’s important!” Wye Mun was adamant. “If he’s Singaporean, I have a responsibility to make sure he’s good enough for you!”

I wish Nick’s family would have seen it the same way because the way they treated Rachel was just horrible and mean! I think the biggest disappointment was Su Yi though. I really thought she would know better than her spoilt grandchild Eddie! Especially because if I got it correctly she’s only filthy rich because she inherited the money from her father and actually didn’t have to do anything to gain her wealth.

”Where she’s from is irrelevant. My youngest grandson is not going to marry some actress, especially one of questionable lineage,” Su Yi said simply. Turning to Alexandra, she said, “You will tell him to break off the engagement immediately.”

But every time I thought “OH GODS, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!!” some nice character made an appearance and I started to believe in the good in people again. *lol* Two of the best examples were definitely Nick and Charlie because boy those two men blew me away! And truth be told even Fiona showed some serious backbone when she defended her kids against their tyrant of a father! =)

”Who exactly are you trying to impress? The photographers? The readers of Hong Kong Tattle? You really care so much about them that you’d rather hit your own son over an accident that you caused in the first place by screaming at him for wearing the wrong cummerbund?”

And so it happens that events escalate and almost everything that can go wrong actually goes wrong in the end. I can’t even tell you how sorry I felt for Nick! I mean, yeah he was partly responsible for the things that happened but you can’t blame him for only thinking the best of his mum and grandma. I mean they are his family and they hurt him at least as much as they hurt Rachel. Up until the moment he realized what they did behind his back he was actually pretty clueless about their vindictive ways and the lengths to which they would go in order to keep him from marrying Rachel.

”She’s not something I can just give up, Mum. I love her, and I’m going to marry her. I don’t need anyone’s approval,” Nick said forcefully, rising from the table.
“Stupid boy! Ah Ma will disinherit you!”
“Like I care.”

”No, Rachel, please don’t go,” Nick said, grabbing her by the arm. “I need you to hear this. Ah Ma, I don’t know what stories you’ve been told, but I have met Rachel’s family, and I like them very much. They have certainly shown me a great deal more courtesy, warmth, and respect than our family has shown to Rachel.”

Poor Nick, poor Rachel! They both didn’t deserve to be treated like that! I felt really sorry for Rachel because her world was turned upside down, but to some degree I felt even more sorry for Nick because it was his own family that did all this stuff. Your family should be the people you can rely on and trust, your family should be the people that catch you when you fall and his family, well they hurt him because he wanted to marry the “wrong” kind of girl.

spoiler

And if this wouldn’t have been enough already Rachel even broke up with him because she couldn’t stand to see him anymore. He so didn’t deserve that!! I swear if Rachel wouldn’t have turned to him in the end I really would have thrown that book out of my window! *lol* YES! I felt that strongly about poor Nick’s misery!!!

 

4

“Crazy Rich Asians” was an interesting, unexpectedly intense and somehow educational book. It kept me entertained and forced me to read on because I always wanted to know what would happen next. Rachel and Nick were a great couple and I’m already curious about the second book. As it seems it’s not only about them but also about Nick’s cousin Astrid as well and after her encounter with her ex-boyfriend Charlie I’m really beyond excited to see where this is heading. Because let’s face it: As much as I liked Nick, Charlie is still the best!!!! ❤

spoiler

”If he didn’t have a chance of getting Astrid back, he at least wanted to try to help her. He wanted her to find love again with her husband. He wanted to see the joy return to Astrid’s face, that glow he had witnessed all those years ago at the bonfire on the beach. He wanted to pass it on.”

Imma gonna die if they don’t end up together and she actually goes back to Michael!!!! ARAHAKSDFASDFJASDKFJADSKF! Charlie is precious!! So damn precious that I can’t even! <333 If Astrid doesn’t take him, I will! *lol*

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

Book 9 on My Book List 2019

”We are the people who fill the king’s prisons, the people our kingdom turns into laborers. The people Orïshans try to chase out of their features, outlawing our lineage as if white hair and dead magic were a social stain.”

I really don’t know how to begin this review and I’m pretty certain that this is mostly due to the fact that it seems to be unpopular opinion time. *lol* Truth be told, this rarely happens when I read a book. If my friends say they loved it, I usually end up loving it too and when it comes down to it, I think Tomi Adeyemi actually did a great job with her book. It was different, the cast was diverse, the magic system was intriguing, the characters weren’t only morally grey but also complex and the world building was unique.

So if all of that was awesome, why didn’t I like the book as much as I thought I would? Well, there were some things I just couldn’t bring myself to overlook. For instance I had kind of a tough time to get into the writing style (I guess it just wasn’t for me) and I would have liked to get a little bit more background information. I mean I still don’t know what exactly an agbön game is. Is it a war strategy game in real life? Why is it mentioned that Tzain is muscular due to it? Do they actually fight? Is it some sort of water combat?

Also how exactly do all of their powers work? Sure, at the beginning of the book there is an explanation of all the ten Maji clans but whenever someone uses their power we only see what they do but we never get to know HOW they do it and what’s behind of it. Sure, we could argue that the knowledge was lost when magic died and that no one really knows how to use their abilities properly, I think it would have been helpful to explain the machinations behind those powers and incantations though. For a die-hard fantasy fan like me the short explanation we got during the book definitely wasn’t enough. But once again that’s my subjective opinion.

Still, there is one thing I really couldn’t overlook and that was the way the ships developed or should I rather say the way they didn’t develop. They came out of nowhere and quite literally smacked you in the face. *lol* One moment it was like: „I hate you with a fire so bright I want to destroy and burn you to the ground“ and the next it was „I love you and want to be with you until our bones are dust on that aforementioned ground“. So urgh! A 180 degree change because of what? A single moment you agreed? Nope, definitely not working for me. #SorryNotSorry

If I convince myself to overlook all of those little things the book was a really great read though and I have no qualms to recommend it. Well, okay if you don’t like insta-love you might get annoyed and probably should keep this in mind. *lol* It’s just a suggestion though. ;-P

2

Welcome to my characters section! I don’t have any maji powers so if you continue to read your memory won’t be erased after you’re done with this part of my review. You will be spoiled for eternity and if you don’t want to take that risk you better leave now and never look back. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😉

Zélie:

”I see you dyed your hair.” She points at the color hiding my white streak and smirks. “You might want to add another coat. Some of your maggot’s still peeking through.”

I really liked Zélie! She was exactly the way you would imagine a heroine to be. I mean she had her beliefs and she stood by them and never gave up. No matter what happened, how torn and broken she felt, she always got up again and fought. For her family, for her people and for herself. I think if she truly sets her mind on something there is actually nothing she couldn’t do. Also, I kind of loved that we got to see both of her sides. On the outside she was always so brave and determined, but on the inside we could see her insecurities and fears. It was nice to see how others perceived her and how she truly was. XD My poor, poor girl though. =(( I suffered with her so much and as if the loss of her mother wouldn’t have been already enough she even had to fall into the hands of Saran. I will never forgive him for what he did to her and my heart will always bleed for Zélie! T_T

”Tell me, little prince.” I whip around. “What hurts more? The feeling you get when you use your magic or the pain of pushing it all down?”

”I won’t let your father get away with what he’s done. I won’t let your ignorance silence my pain.”

”You crushed us to build your monarchy on the backs of our blood and bone. Your mistake wasn’t keeping us alive. It was thinking we’d never fight back!”

”You don’t have to be afraid-“
“I am always afraid!”
I don’t know what shocks me more – the power in my voice or the words themselves.”

Amari:

”Sadness swells inside me as I close my eyes and picture her face. Just a brief thought of her is almost enough to take me away from the hell of this desert. If she were here, she’d be smiling, laughing at the grains of sand that got stuck between her teeth. She’d find beauty in all of this. Binta found the beauty in everything.”

Okay, let’s be blunt and totally honest here: Amari is my one and only true Queen and I love her to bits and pieces! <333 This girl is nothing but amazing and even though she had her weaknesses, this didn’t stop her from trying to improve and to make things better in the end. Amari knew exactly what she was capable of but I think she had troubles to come to terms with it. I guess in general she’s a rather peaceful person but if someone hurts the ones she loves and cares about she becomes a Lionaire. *lol* That kind of reminded me of myself, so I could totally relate to her. XD Plus, I loved that she was Saran’s daughter but still recognized her father’s faults and mistakes, that she dared to get in her father’s way. No, that she even tried to save him and tried to show him that he was wrong. It didn’t work out in the end but it definitely wasn’t due to her not trying.

”Do not worry,” I whisper as he takes his last breath. “I will make a far better queen.”

Inan:

”Magic slithers inside me. Venomous, like a thousand spiders crawling over my skin. It wants more of me. The curse wants to fight its way in –“

*sighs deeply* What a morally grey, confused, broken, complex and multi-layered character. I really don’t know if I should hate or like him and usually that’s a really good sign. *lol* Inan did so many stupid things and sometimes I just wanted to yell at him, if you know his entire background story it’s not easy to judge him for his actions though. His father’s warrior or not, it was obvious that he had troubles to come to terms with his role. If you’ve been raised in the belief that magic is bad it’s not easy to accept that everything you’ve been taught was a lie. I mean he’s been indoctrinated his entire life and it didn’t come as a surprise that he would have difficulties to accept that he’s actually one of the maji. Plus, despite everything his father did, he truly loved him…. Unfortunately that love wasn’t reciprocated and my heart broke when Saran found out about his powers and tried to kill him. I’m saying “tried” because I really don’t know if he survived the ending or not. It didn’t look good for him but it still might be possible that he survived. If he did I’m convinced that he’ll be even more broken than he was in the first book though and I’m not entirely sure if I’ll be able to handle such a broken Inan. >_<

”I’m really one of them.
I’m the very monster I hunt.”

”I hate my magic.” I lower my voice. “I despise the way it poisons me. But more than anything, I hate the way it makes me hate myself.”

Tzain:

Mhmm… I really don’t know what to think about Tzain. I have the feeling that I didn’t really get to know him because we never got his POV and that obviously makes it kind of hard to gauge his character. For some reason I didn’t like the little that I saw, though. I mean I get why he was angry at Zélie but it’s really not like anything that happened was her fault. I didn’t like his overprotective attitude and sometimes it felt like he was acting very selfish. I mean he is a kosidán and I think because of that he didn’t really understand what it means to be a diviner, what it means to be despised just because you look different. Still, I think some of his worries and reservations were valid and when the shit hit the fan Zélie could always count on him. So all told, I guess it’s safe to say that he’s a good brother who loves his sister and only wants the best for her. =)

Saran:

”After the Raid you should’ve been desperate to keep magic away. You were supposed to be afraid. Obedient. Now I see there is no educating your kind. You maggots all crave the disease tainting your blood.”

I hated Saran and it made me sick to hear his thoughts. If there ever was a person in a book who’s the epitome of racism it certainly would be Saran. Gah, all those prejudices and that senseless hate I really couldn’t stand him. And if I didn’t hate him enough already, the fact he wanted to kill Amari as well as Inan, his own flesh and blood, only caused me to despise him even more. I’m sorry for Amari because my warrior princess didn’t deserve to have the blood of her father on her blade, but I’m definitely not sorry that he died in the end. I mean he didn’t even hesitate to kill them both…. What a cruel father! *shakes head*

Roën:

”Don’t – “ He stops me before I interject. “This isn’t about you. I couldn’t speak for weeks after I got my scars. I certainly couldn’t fight.”

Now that’s a character that really intrigued me! Roën seems to be right up my alley and I hope that we’ll get to see more of him in the next book. There weren’t enough moments with him but the little I saw automatically gave me a Nikolai vibe and we all know how much I love Nikolai Lantsov. *lol* I don’t know how I feel about him being a possible love interest for Zélie but I’m inclined to give their ship a chance. XD So I guess I’ll just have to wait until book two comes out.

”Apologies.” He smiles. “My feet have a nasty habit of following my heart.”

3

Zélie & Inan:

”An unknown force burns behind his amber gaze, a prison I can’t escape. Something in his spirit seems to claw onto mine. But before I can spend another second locked in his eyes, Nailah flies over the gate, severing our connection.”

That ship! *shakes head* Urgh! Okay, there obviously was attraction right from the beginning, but seriously, the little glimpses of “for a criminal I’m supposed to kill, Zélie actually looks hot” and “Inan is an obedient sexy bastard that wants to kill me” certainly didn’t prepare me for the fact that they made a 180 degree turn and became a ship all of a sudden. I’m saying this with all due respect but: WTF?!!! Inan’s powers show him Zélie’s pain and he understands everything? Yah, right. Totally relatable! It’s not like Inan was intent on killing her for half of the book and that they hated each other with a fierce passion. NAH! Oh wait, it WAS exactly like that! *rolls eyes* I can live with insta-love if it’s done well, but this was “INSTA love” (emphasis on “insta”) and I’m not okay with that. I like Zélie’s character and I like Inan’s character but I don’t like their ship?! Maybe I would have liked it if things would have gone more slowly, but the way it happened I just can’t… Well, I just can’t, you feel me? >_<

”Liar,” he decides. “You’re just trying to get into my head.”
“No, little prince. It’s you who’s gotten into mine.”

A smile spreads on my lips, one that’s coming more and more often in her presence. “You rather enjoy insulting me, don’t you?”
“It’s almost as satisfying as beating you with my staff.”

Amari & Tzain:

Tzain smiles, and it softens up every hard line in his face. “You’re not so quiet yourself, Princess. The way you snore, I should’ve called you the Lionaire this whole time.”

And here we go with another ship I don’t want to board. *lol* This felt so damn forced I can’t even. It’s like Tomi Adeyemi decided that she needed another couple and that those two would do. But just because they are two of the MCs and have the commonality that they don’t have any powers they don’t automatically have to become a ship! It’s just not working, especially because Amari is still in mourning for Binta. If you ask me they were definitely more than just friends and if anything I want to see Amari with Zélie which brings me to my unofficial ship of this book.

Amari & Zélie:

”I wipe away the remainder of her tears and place my hand on her cheek. I couldn’t be there for Binta, yet being with Zélie, I feel the hole in my heart closing. Binta would’ve told me to be brave. With Zélie, I already am.”

Now this is finally a ship I would board without a second thought or hesitation! XD Those two had chemistry and slowly but gradually became friends and grew on each other. They could be an amazing ship and I would totally support it. As for the probability: It was never explicitly mentioned but I’m pretty sure that Amari is bi. The way she mourned for Binta and the little glimpses we got of their relationship kind of gave me the impression that they were more than just friends and actually loved each other. Of course I could be wrong but I don’t think that I am. So from Amari’s POV it definitely would be possible. Zélie? I don’t know… Adeyemi focused too much on the male MC of the story so I doubt that Zélie is bi. Still, I’m curious to find out how the relationship between Amari and Zélie is going to develop and I’m definitely ready to read about it in book two. 😉

4

“Children of Blood and Bone” was a new and refreshing approach in the YA and fantasy genre. I might have had some issues with the execution but in general I really enjoyed reading Zélie’s story. So all told this makes 3,5 paws rounded up to four. I’m convinced there is a lot of potential and room for improvement so I’m really looking forward to read the sequel “Children of Virtue and Vengeance”.

And last but not least I want to thank the lovely Uzma for reading this book with me! It was a great buddy read and I hope there are even more to come! ❤ Maybe we could even go for the second book once it finally hits the stores? 😉 I’d definitely be up for another round. XD

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

 

LEIGH BARDUGO IS A RELENTLESS DEMJIN!!!

This was my first thought when I finished to read “Crooked Kingdom” and after thinking about it, I decided to leave it at that! It’s true! This amazing woman gave me all the feels and played me like a fiddle! There were so many twists and turns that my head actually started to spin and whenever I thought something would be alright, everything, literally everything changed once again!

How did you do this Leigh?
How can you be such a talented manipulator?
And why? Please tell me WHY!!??, did you have to rip my heart out?!

I’m shattered and broken, I can’t stop to think about your book! And I can’t stop to cry whenever I think about it!!! You destroyed me!!!!
And the worst part is that I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I loved to read your book!!! I loved Kaz’s scheming face, Inej’s silent justice, Jesper’s epiphany, Nina’s strength, Matthias’ transformation and Wylan’s sassy demeanor!!!

ARGH!!!
I hate love you Leigh Bardugo!!!!

Jeez, this book gave me such a hangover, but I’m still trying to write this review! I need to get those emotions off my chest and once I did, I might continue to cry an ocean or I might be able to move on. Either way I need to write this down now and I hope you’ll keep me company and stay with me throughout this, no doubt, very long review! *lol*

”Brick by brick.“

The plot:

”That’s the problem with Ketterdam, Jesper thought as they stumbled uncertainly through the dark. Trusting the wrong person can get you killed.”

After pulling the most remarkable heist of mankind’s history, the crew of Kaz Brekker should be swimming in kruge and coins, yet everything it gained them is an empty pocket and an abducted member of their crew. Of course Kaz can’t accept the fact that Van Eck has not only betrayed them but also has taken Inej as a hostage and since we all know “Dirtyhands” we can already guess where this is heading. The bastard of the barrel is determined to get his money and even more importantly to get his Wraith! Kaz won’t rest until he finally got what he wants and Pekka Rollins as well as Jan Van Eck will have to pay with the only currency the Barrel knows… their blood! 😉

”Has anyone noticed this whole city is looking for us, mad at us, or wants to kill us?”
“So?” said Kaz.
“Well, usually it’s just half the city.”

The characters:

” She thought of Jesper toying with his guns, Nina squeezing the life from a man with the flick of a wrist, Kaz picking a lock in his black gloves. Thugs. Thieves. Murderers. And all worth more than a thousand Jan Van Ecks.”

Warning: The characters section as well as the rest of the review is going to contain A LOT of spoilers! If you don’t want to read them you might stop now!

Kaz:

”She realised he’d stopped to change his coat and it clung to him in perfectly tailored lines. He stood leaning on his cane, hair neatly pushed back from his pale brow, a black glass boy of deadly edges.”

I love Kaz Brekker! This man is so awesome, I almost have no words! He always tries to show himself as a monster but deep down within him he’s probably the kindest and most honourable man anyone can wish for! I admired his pickpocket skills, his determination to get everything right, his strength and his wish to change the circumstances in which they live. He has such a sharp mind and his plans are so cunning, I can’t help but have to adore him for it! *lol* His background story still breaks my heart and I hated to see how much it shaped him, how hard it made it to love his crew. And yes, he loves every single one of them, not just Inej. The things he did for them! His little gestures that turned out to be a tornado in the aftermath, gosh once the dust settled it was so obvious that he truly cares! And that moment when he went to the Dregs?! OH GOD!! It killed me!!! He sacrificed himself in order to save the others and I almost died when I read this chapter!!! I think I have no more words, just deep love and endless affection that fill my heart whenever I think about this kind boy who was forced to live in a cruel world!!! <333

”He wasn’t Dirtyhands or Kaz Brekker or even the toughest lieutenant in the Dregs. He was just a boy fuelled by a white flame of rage, one that threatened to burn the pretense of the hard-won civility he maintained to ash.”

”That’s where you’re wrong,” said Kaz. “I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.”

”I’ve taken knives, bullets, and too many punches to count, all for a little piece of this town,” said Kaz. “This is the city I bled for. And if Ketterdam has taught me anything, it’s that you can always bleed a little more.”

Inej:

”Inej made a silent promise. Even if her plan failed, even if he smashed her legs to pulp, even if she never walked again, she’d find a way to pay him back in kind. She didn’t know how, but she’d manage it. She’d survived too much to let Jan Van Eck destroy her.

My brave, small and deadly girl! Oh, how much I suffered with her when she was in the captivity of Jan Van Eck!!! I swear when he threatened to break her legs my heart skipped a beat and I almost couldn’t bear to read her thoughts about Kaz! I wanted to tell her that he loves her, I wanted to scream it in her face!!! It was maddening! Still, I loved how strong Inej became, how she decided that she’d lead another life and would dedicate it to hunt the slave traders that took her away from her family! I think by killing Dunyasha she finally freed herself and was able to accept the person she has become and in some strange way I was even really proud of her! XD

”Inej was whole, unharmed. She bore no scars or trauma from her ordeal on Eil Komedie that food and sleep would not ease. But Van Eck had taken something from her nonetheless. I’ll be no use to him anymore. Words torn from some hidden place inside her, a truth she could not unknow. She should be glad of it. Better terrible truths than kind lies.“

Matthias:

”Big, blond, and blind,” Jesper said. “The Fjerdan way.”

Oh god, Matthias! I can’t even write his name without forcing myself to hold back my tears! Such a waste. Such a terrible, terrible waste of a man that could have become someone great! I loved his character development in this book! I loved the way he adored Nina, how he treated her, took care of her, how he decided to ignore everything he was taught because he finally realised that it was all a lie! He tried to overcome his prejudices and he worked so hard to become a better man! Why, Leigh?! Why did you have to kill this wonderful man?!!! He died because he tried to help a young boy and his death was so useless and unnecessary! But then again, death always is. It makes no difference between young and old, kind or cruel, it’s just death and he always gets what he wants. =((
I’m mourning for the man Matthias could have become, for the wasted potential and for the boy that never got a chance to truly love! RIP Matthias Helvar! You’ve been better than waffles, it’s true!

“Meeting you was a disaster.”
She raised a brow. “Thank you.”
Djel, he was terrible at this. He stumbled on, trying to make her understand. “But I am grateful for that disaster. I needed a catastrophe to shake me from the life I knew. You were an earthquake, a landslide.”

”Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you.” We’ll find a way to change their minds. The boy had only been with the order for six months. He could be reached. “There’s so much in the world you don’t have to be afraid of, if you would only open your eyes.”

Nina:

”She was dressed in a sheer lavender gown rigged with some kind of corset that pushed her cleavage to alarming heights, and though she’d lost weight since her battle with parem, there was still plenty of her for Smeet to grab onto.“

My beautiful and fierce Grisha!!! My heart aches so much for her! Gosh! She was so brave and strong when she fought her addiction for jurda parem! I can’t even say how much I love this woman!! Life wasn’t kind to her but she still managed to joke, she still tried to deal with the cards destiny had dealt her and she always believed in Matthias! XD I wish I could hug her, cradle her, that I could tell her that everything is going to be alright, that she’ll overcome the loss of Matthias, that it will hurt and rip her heart out, but also that it will become better with time. She was SO. DAMN. STRONG. when she let him go and gosh I can’t even… I feel so sorry for her… because I know how it feels, because Leigh Bardugo managed to hit a nerve… Leigh, I think I’ll never forgive you for hurting Nina so much! T_T

”You have your own problems right now, Zenik, said a voice in her head. Stop worrying about saving the world and save your own ass. Sometimes her inner voice could be very wise.”

”Nina had grieved for her loss of power, for the connection she’d felt to the living world. She’d resented this shadow gift. I thad seemed like a sham, a punishment. But just as surely as life connected everything, so did death. It was that endless, fast-running river. She’d dipped her finger into its current, held the eddy of its power in her hand. She was the Queen of Mourning, and in its depths, she would never drown.“

Jesper:

”Jesper focused on the bullet, sensed the smallest parts of it. Maybe he was the same. A bullet in a chamber, spending his whole life waiting for the moment when he would have direction.”

Oh boy did he struggle in this book! My poor sharpshooter had to deal with so many different things and even though his own life was a more than just complicated mess, he still tried everything possible to help Wylan and the others as best as he could! His relationship with his father was pretty rocky and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. His inner fight resonated so much with me and I could understand why he’s so restless and reckless all of the time! Jesper was forced to suppress an essential part of him, a part that would have needed an outlet and caused him to end up searching the thrill. It made me sad that his father saw his gift as a curse and tried to squash it, but it also made me proud that Jes finally decided to stand up for himself! XD In the end he took responsibility for his actions and he tried to change his life! And when it comes down to it, this actually means everything!!! =)

”There’s a wound in you, and the tables, the dice, the cards – they feel like medicine. They soothe you, put you right for a time. But they’re poison, Jesper. Every time you play, you take another sip. You have to find some other way to heal that part of yourself.”

”I didn’t raise you to be a gambler, Jesper. I certainly didn’t raise you to be a criminal.”
Jesper released a bitter huff of laughter. “I love you, Da. I love you with all my lying, thieving, worthless heart, but yes, you did.”

Wylan:

”Always hit where the mark isn’t looking,” Wylan had murmured.
“Sweet Ghezen,” said Jesper. “You’ve been thoroughly corrupted.”

Awww Wylan, my precious cinnamon roll!!! GOSH! How much I adored him in this book!!! *lol* He became so strong and independent and it was a pleasure to see him evolve!!! His background story broke my heart and I swear when he found out that his mother was still alive I was devastated!!! How could his father do this to him? To his own child?!! I don’t get it!!! Still, I loved how strong Wylan became, how he sharpened his mind and learned to take Kaz’s advice! And god, when they started to beat him I wanted to jump into the book and save my little boy!!!! I can’t believe he let them break his ribs just to make it convincing and oh my god that moment when he turned on his father at the auction!! It was priceless!!! XD I love, love, love the new sassy and reckless Wylan!!!! And I want more!!! Leigh do you hear me?! I WANT MORE!!!

”Wylan Van Eck, you lied to Kaz Brekker.” Jesper clutched a hand to his chest. “And you got away with it! Do you give lessons?”
Wylan felt ridiculously pleased – until he thought about Kaz finding out. Then he felt a little like the first time he’d tried brandy and ended up spewing his dinner all over his own shoes.

”Wylan wanted to scream. The closet was crammed with paintings – landscapes, different views of the hospital grounds, a lake in sun and shadow, and there, repeated again and again, was the face of a little boy with ruddy curls and bright blue eyes.”

Jesper leaned in and said, quietly enough that no one else could hear, “I can read to him.”
“He has a very soothing baritone,” added Wylan, and then the guards were hauling his father down the aisle.

The ships:

”We meet fear, he’d said. We greet the unexpected visitor and listen to what he has to tell us. When fear arrives, something is about to happen.“

Inej & Kaz:

”I would come for you,” he said, and when he saw the wary look she shot him, he said it again. “I would come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Those two killed me once again!!! Their chemistry, the promise of their love!!! OH. MY. GOD!!! I loved how fierce and passionate Kaz became whenever he thought of Inej! He never said anything but damn, his thoughts!!! His thoughts!!! They were full of Inej!!! Full of his love for her!!! I died about a thousand deaths when they were in the bathroom together!!! He tried to overcome his phobia and his fears because he loved her so much and finally, FINALLY Inej realised how much it truly cost him to be so close to her!!! ARGH!! I’m still not over the bathroom scene or the fact that he actually paid her indenture!!! He even bought her a ship for Christ’s Sake!!! I just love those two and I really hope they’ll manage to be together!! The anticipation of what they could become, of what they could be together!!! I’m already fainting by just thinking about it!!! XD

”The silence between them was dark water. He could not cross it. He couldn’t walk the line between the decency she deserved and the violence this path demanded. If he tried, it might get them both killed. He could only be who he truly was – a boy who had no comfort to offer.“

”Before he even knew what he intended, he lowered his head. She drew in a sharp breath. His lips hovered just above the warm juncture between her shoulder and the column of her neck. He waited. Tell me to stop. Push me away.
She exhaled. “Go on,” she repeated. Finish the story.
The barest movement and his lips brushed her skin – warm, smooth, beaded with moisture. Desire coursed through him, a thousand images he’d hoarded, barely let himself imagine – the fall of her dark hair freed from its braid, his hand fitted to the lithe curve of her waist, her lips parted, whispering his name.”

”She felt his knuckles slide against hers. Then his hand was in her hand, his palm was pressed against her own. A tremor moved through him. Slowly he let their fingers entwine.”

Nina & Matthias:

”At one point he bathes her.”
Matthias’ steps faltered. “Why would he –“
“She’s tied up, so he has to.”
“Be silent.”
“Already giving orders. That’s very barbarian of you. Or we could mix it up. I’ll be the barbarian and you can be the princess. But you’ll have to do a lot more sighing and trembling and biting your lip.”
“How about I bite your lip?”
“Now you’re getting the hang of it, Helvar.”

The ship has sunk! T_T WHY!? They were so cute together, they should have been happy and they should have gotten a chance to make things right!!! They only kissed!!! They never got an opportunity to date properly; they never even did more than kiss!!!! WHY, LEIGH!? WHY??!!! You destroyed me! You deprived me of all the happiness they could have had!! They deserved so much better than to be parted by death!!! After everything they’ve been through they should have had a happy ever after!!! I’ll never be over Matthias death! Never! Their love was a delicate flower that never even got a chance to bloom! =( *sobs uncontrollably*

”You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.”

”How many rules have you broken since you met me? How many laws? They won’t be the last. Nothing about us will ever be proper,” she said. She tilted her face up to his. So close now it was as if they were already touching. “Not the way we met. Not the life we lead. And not the way we kiss.”

Wylan & Jesper:

”Yes, this is what I want,” said Jesper. Wylan looped his satchel over his shoulder, and without thinking, Jesper reached out and untwisted the strap. He didn’t let go. “But it’s not all that I want.”

I’ll never forget the moment Jesper called Wylan, Wy! They were so sweet to each other, their gentle gestures, their little sexual innuendos! Oh god how hard I shipped them! I wanted them to kiss and they never did!! *lol* And then the thing with Kuwei happened and I was like: NUUUUUU!!!! WHY??!!! I already saw the shipwreck but then they managed to get their act together!! They were adorable!!! The way Jesper took care of Wylan after he found out about his mom!! It was amazing!! It was cute, it meant everything to me!!! And their first kiss!!?? OH GOD!!! It was sooo perfect!!! It was worth the painful wait and I’m so damn happy they are finally together!!! <333 Jesper and Wylan forever!!! I’ll ship them until I die!!!! XD

”Wy, listen to me. You have to pull yourself together. Can you do this? We can leave. I can tell her you’re not up to it, or I can just go in myself. We can try to come back some – “

”There was only the reality of Wylan’s mouth, the press of his lips, then the fine bones of his neck, the silky feel of his curls as Jesper cupped his nape and drew him nearer. This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart – or was it Wylan’s? – like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh.“

Jesper’s eyes travelled from the top of Wylan’s red-gold curls to the tips of his toes and back again. “But I do charge a pretty steep fee.”
Wylan flushed a magnificent shade of pink. “Well, hopefully the medic will be here to fix my ribs soon,” he said as he headed back into the parlor.
“Yeah?”
“Yes,” said Wylan, glancing briefly over his shoulder, his cheeks now red as cherries. “I’d like to make a down payment.”

My conclusion:

Leigh Bardugo’s “Crooked Kingdom” is a masterpiece of high emotions! It will destroy you and rip your heart out, but what’s even worse is that it’s like jurda parem. Once you read it, it will leave you gasping and craving for more! 😉

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”You’re so alive, Simon Snow.
You got my share of it.”

This is probably going to be the most incoherent review I’ve ever written but I just can’t seem to be able to contain myself!!! I mean we’re talking about SIMON AND BAZ!!! BAZ AND SIMON!!! <333
OMG!!! I can’t even!!! THEY ARE EVERYTHING AND EVEN MORE!!! XD

Their love reduced me to a babbling and giggling mess and I can’t stop to grin! I’m still grinning like a Cheshire cat and it’s starting to hurt!!! BUT oh god, how much I loved those two!!!
There are no words that would do them justice so suffice it to say that I died at least a thousand deaths!! <333 They are too freaking adorable and I want more!! I just want more!!! Rainbow do you hear me?!

I. WANT. MORE!!!! *dies*

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Oh, sorry! Was I out cold again?

Anyway!!! =)

This book WAS EVERYTHING!
BAZ IS EVERYTHING!
SIMON IS EVERYTHING!
And Baz and Simon GAVE ME LIFE!!! <3333

They obviously gave me cardiac arrhythmia too and I think chances are high I’ll never recover!!! Still, I’ll never regret that I read this book and it will forever have a special place in my heart! =)))

This said I’m heading straight to the characters section because I’m pretty certain that you all know about the plot by now! 😉 If not: The Insidious Humdrum (Haha! What a name!!!) is threatening to destroy the magical world and Simon Snow isn’t only the most powerful mage of the world but also the only one who seems to be able to stop him.

Okay, from now on there will be a ton of spoilers and quotes and uncontrolled, incoherent stuttering! If you still want to continue: You’ve been warned!!! ;-P

Simon:

”I don’t know”, he says, closing his eyes. “I guess I’ve never thought much about what I am. I’ve got a lot on my plate.”

Simon Snow!!! He’s clumsy, completely oblivious, he doesn’t get anything right and he’s basically a catastrophe walking on two legs! And for some reason that makes him adorable as hell!!! *LOL* Seriously, Simon is like a puppy you just want to cuddle! I can understand why Baz loves him so much and can’t seem to be able to get enough of him! Gosh there were so many moments between those too! It was so funny to see how obsessed Simon was and to read that he had absolutely no clue why he was even so obsessed with Baz! XD I mean Jeez Louise!!! He noticed that Baz looked thinner than usual and that he’s limping and he ran to his house at Christmas just to tell him what he’d found out! Ohh and how he almost lost his mind just because Baz wore jeans!!!!! *LOL* I loved their conversations, because they were always so tender and sweet! Even when they still claimed to be enemies there was always tension in the air!!! <333

”I don’t get to choose a plan. I just take it as it comes. And someday, something will catch me unawares or be too big to fight, but I’ll fight anyway. I’ll fight until I can’t anymore – what is there to think about?”

”I’ve never turned my back on you. And I’m not starting now.”

”He’s not a monster. He’s just a villain.
He’s not a villain. He’s just a boy.
I’m kissing a boy.
I’m kissing Baz.”

CHAPTER 61 WAS MY UNDOING!!! I read it 8 times!!! I just couldn’t stop to read it!!! It was so damn sweet!!! What they thought, how they reacted! AREAFDKASDLFASDFKASFDJA!!!! I CAN’T EVEN!!!!

”I’m going to die kissing Simon Snow…
Simon Snow is going to die kissing me.”

Baz:

”Why are you already weeping?” he snarled. “You’re ruining my plans to push you to tears.”

Tyrannus Basilton Grimm-Pitch!!! THAT BOY LITERALLY KILLED ME!!! I loved everything about Baz!!! Oh god, I can’t even!!! I’m fangirling so hard here I have to calm down so I can write a proper sentence!!! XD Okay, I think I can write now! I loved how rude he was, how his actions were in stark contrast to everything he thought!!! ARGH!!! AEDKLASDLKFASKD!!! His attitude!!! I mean he really “dared them fucking all” and it was sooo damn amazing to watch!!! XD BUT oh god! His thoughts were so hilarious and tender and I couldn’t get enough of it!!! Baz’s chapters gave me LIFE and I loved each and every single one of them!!! I loved how he noticed that Simon was too thin and how he tried to get him to eat something when they were about to solve the mystery of his mother’s death! I mean he even thought about bringing Simon food, because he knows that he needs it to function properly!!! And he didn’t let him go on Christmas!!! Every single one of Baz’s actions was performed with deliberate care and Simon never realised anything!!! <333 Haha! Oh and that moment when Baz called Simon “love” for the very first time? IT WAS THE DEATH OF ME!!! <333

”And when I felt myself slipping too far, I held on to the one thing I’m always sure of –
Blue eyes.
Bronze curls.
The fact that Simon Snow is the most powerful magician alive. That nothing can hurt him, not even me.
That Simon Snow is alive.
And I’m hopelessly in love with him.”

”It dawned on me during our fifth year. When he followed me around like a dog tied to my ankle. When he wouldn’t give me a single moment of solace to sort through my feelings – or try to wank them away.”

”Sharing a room with the person you want most is like sharing a room with an open fire.
He’s constantly drawing you in. And you’re constantly stepping too close. And you know it’s not good – that there is no good – that there’s absolutely nothing that can ever come of it.
But you do it anyway.
And then …
Well. Then you burn.”

”You were the sun, and I was crashing into you. I’d wake up every morning and think, ‘This will end in flames.’ “

Penny:

I was so glad that Simon had her as a friend!! Penelope is amazing and I loved how she bonded with Baz!!! XD Their conversation about his mother was so intriguing and I think their friendship will be awesome! =))) Plus I loved how Penny thought about Simon. Her POV was always so nice to read because she truly cared about him and always wanted his best! She wanted him to be okay, to survive and if it would have been possible she would have even run away with him!! Penny is intelligent, brilliant and blunt and probably the best friend anyone can have! In short: She is amazing and Simon was more than just lucky to have her at his side!!! <333

Agatha:

”I can’t break up with Simon for a Tory vampire – my parents would disown me. And I don’t even know what that would entail. Would I have to be evil?”

I didn’t like Agatha!!! She was such an egoistic and spoilt brat!!! She was so self-centred; she never even spent a thought about what other people wanted! To read her POV was horrible and the more I read about her, the more I disliked her! How can anyone be so shallow-brained? Plus, she ran away and never even thought about helping her friends!!! What a stupid girl!!!

”I wish I were wearing something other than leggings and Ugg boots. I always figured I’d make a more beautiful corpse.”

The Mage:

”The Greatest Mage is our only hope now.
But our greatest mage is fundamentally flawed. Cracked. Broken.”

The second character I didn’t like! The mage was so mean! All he wanted to do was to use his son and poor Simon would have done almost everything in order to please him!! I hated how he thought about Simon and I felt really sorry for Lucy! She didn’t deserve to be used like that! =( It makes me sad that Simon never found out who his parents were and I kind of hate Agatha for keeping it a secret! I mean if she would have told them about Lucy and Davy, Simon and the others sooner or later would have figured it out! I’m sure of that!!! But since she was a coward and ran away they never even got a chance to think about it!

All told, I really loved this book and I never ever wanted it to end! I swear I’m going to buy a physical copy of “Carry On” and then I’ll take it to my bed and cuddle it until I fall asleep!!! *LOL* Yes, that’s how much I loved it!!! <333

So if you want some fluff in your life, if you want to grin like a Cheshire cat and if you want to laugh out loud while sitting in a train: READ THIS BOOK!!! You won’t regret it! ;-P

”What you are is a fucking tragedy, Simon Snow. You literally couldn’t be a bigger mess.”
He tries to kiss me, but I hold back – “And you like that?”
“I love it,” he says.
“Why?”
“Because we match.”