Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: I Wish You All the Best (Mason Deaver)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 27 on My Book List 2020

”If you’re queer, your life has the potential to become one long coming-out moment. If I ever want to be called the right pronouns, I’ll have to correct people and put myself out there first and who knows what could happen.”

When I first heard about “I Wish You All the Best” it was August 2019 and I desperately wanted to get my fingers on a copy. Unfortunately at first the book was only sold as an expensive hardcover on Amazon and considering the fact that I don’t have all too much space in my flat I decided to wait for a paperback or ebook version. It was a long wait but I got my copy. Eventually. XD

So I’m sure the question you’re asking yourself now is: Was it worth the long wait? Yes, yes it definitely was! There are so many reasons why to read this was great and the fact that there is (finally!!) a non-binary MC is just one of them! I don’t know many books that feature non-binary characters and the few that did only featured them as side-characters but never truly gave them the spotlight. Mason Deaver however did and I’ll always be thankful they decided to write this book. =) We need more non-binary reps in this world and the mere fact “I Wish You All the Best” exists is already a great achievement. I genuinely hope this book will help to pave the way for a lot of other books that feature non-binary reps and I trust that more and more of them will have non-binary MCs.

It will be a long way but we’ll get there, I’m sure of it. 😉 This said “I Wish You All the Best” has so much more to offer and aside from a great non-binary rep we also got a very diverse and relatable cast. No matter if it’s Mariam who is Shia and wearing a hijab or Meleika who is Korean-American (just to mention two examples) the diversity in this was great! Plus the portrayal of anxiety and mental health as well as the representation of friendships and relationships in this book were very well done as well. The friendship/family dynamics were pretty interesting and it’s definitely a very character driven book. Well, I guess this is the clue to head to my characters section so this is exactly what I’m going to do!

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I guess by now you all know that this is my spoilery spoiler section but for everyone who’s new to my reviews: This is my spoilery spoiler section, in which I usually gush, rant and talk about all the characters in detail! So if you don’t want to be spoiled: Now is your last chance to opt out. ;-P

Ben De Backer:

”I can do this, it’s going to be fine. Everything is going to be okay and this is most definitely the right thing to do. I know my parents, they know me, they deserve to know this thing about me as well.
And I want to tell them, I really, really do.”

I felt so sorry for Ben because what happened to them was really not okay. Here they were trying to open up to their parents and to tell them the truth about being non-binary and what did those parents do? They kicked their own kid out of the house! Like really kicked them out. In the middle of a cold winter night without any shoes or proper clothes! GRRRR! I was so angry when I read that scene. No wonder Ben had trust issues after receiving such a treatment. I felt so much for them and I just wanted to hug Ben and tell them that everything would be okay. My heart bled so much for Ben and the fact that they were hiding their true self after getting kicked out because they were afraid no one would accept them for who they are. T_T Thankfully they made new friends and had a great sister who tried to help them as good as possible. ❤

”I sort of became the punching bag for all of Dad’s issues. He didn’t actually hit me, but overnight, I essentially became an only child, the focus of anything and everything. If I did something wrong, it was blown way out of proportion.”

Nathan Allan:

”Come here.” He pulls me in. At first, I don’t want to move, but he’s so warm, and I’m desperate for a touch right now. His touch. He rocks us both back and forth a little. “If anyone should be apologizing, it’s me.” He’s sniffling. Is he crying too? “I just spent the last half year misgendering you, and you’re apologizing to me?”

I swear Nathan Allan is one of the most precious cinnamon rolls I ever read about! This boy! <333 Seriously! I loved how supportive he was of Ben and how he always tried to get them to talk about things without prying too much. Nathan was so respectful and yet at the same time he showed that he cared. I think everyone should have a Nathan Allan in their life and I’m sure the world would be a better place if everyone did. XD Also I could totally get why Ben chose the colour yellow for Nathan’s portray because it fit so good to his personality! He’s a bright sunray and needs to be protected at all costs. ❤

Hannah:

”And I’ll be in the waiting room if you need me. If you want to leave early, if you need me to sit in there with you, anything at all.”

Hannah was the best sibling ever and even though she left Ben to fend for themselves (?! please tell me if I used that wrongly) I still think she made it up to them in the end. She was very patient with Ben and gave them room to grow into themselves and to become the person they truly were. Also I loved how supportive Hannah’s hubby was. I mean Ben was basically a stranger yet they both just took them in and provided everything for them. Hannah and Thomas deserve and award for being that kind and gentle with Ben! ❤

”Because even when I finally got out of that goddamn house they still had a hold on me. And it’s breaking my heart to see you going through the same thing, Ben.”

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Ben & Nathan:

”Whatever happens” – his grip tightens a little – “I wish you all the best, Benjamin De Backer.” He says it with a smile. “You deserve it.”

I loved the super slow burn romance between those two. I mean it was pretty obvious that Nathan liked Ben, at least for me it was because you don’t make innuendos like that if you don’t like the other person. *lol* I guess Ben just needed time to realize it though. I mean there was a lot going on in their life and they had to come to terms with everything first and sort things out before they could fall in love and I just loved it. This was such a realistic and healthy approach and I wish everyone would love themselves first before going for a relationship. In YA books this happens way too often. That a character can only love and appreciate herself/himself/themselves if someone else does. And this is the wrong message. I think you should love and accept yourself first. You should know who you are and who you want to be before you go into a relationship because only if you’ve accepted yourself you will be ready to love and accept someone else. So to watch this play out in the book was amazing and to see how those two finally found each other was very sweet! ❤

Me: You’re serious? It’s like two houses away.
Nathan: Alright, but let it never be said that I’m anything short of a gentleman.
Me: Noted. Will you lead the search party if I get lost?
Nathan: Are you kidding? I’ll hang up flyers of that handsome face all over town!”

”Why did you pick yellow?” he asks.
I’m answering before I can stop myself. “Because it’s bright and hopeful.” I wait a beat. “Like you.”

”We’ll have to figure a lot of things out, won’t we?”
“Yeah.” His grip on me tightens. “But at least we can do it together, right?” He leans in and kisses me again, and I never want him to stop.

Ben & Hannah:

”So, what are your pronouns?” she asks.
The question strikes me. Not in the bad way. It’s just weird. Hannah is the first person to ask. The first person who had to ask. “They and them,” I say, trying to sound confident, but even I can tell I’m failing miserably.
“All right. Well, it might take some getting used to, so I want you to correct me when I mess up, okay?”

I just loved Hannah!! She was so great! And she definitely falls into the category of #SiblingGoals! Was it wrong of her to leave Ben like that? Yes, it was and Ben has every right to be angry. Was it the right thing for her to do at the time: Yes, because she needed to do it. We could judge Hanna for leaving her baby sibling in the clutches of their parents but considering what she went through it was best for her to cut the ties. There are moments in life when you have to watch out for yourself and when you’re so emotionally instable that you just can’t take care of others. So when you reach that point you need to accept the help from others and take care of yourself first before you can take care of someone else. Well, and Hannah back then was very young. She was basically a child too and was totally out of her depth. So yes, it was wrong to leave Ben but she felt like she had no other choice than to leave and I can acknowledge that even if it hurt her sibling. Well, even Ben acknowledged it but it didn’t change anything about Ben’s feelings, which is totally legitimate and okay. Still, at the end they managed to overcome their past and began a new part of their lives together and that was really nice and hopeful.

”But that was it. A phone number I couldn’t call, and an address to a place I couldn’t get to. I understand that you had to leave. That you couldn’t take it anymore, I’m not mad at you for that.” I wipe my eyes with my sleeve, and Dr. Taylor slides the box of tissues toward me. “But I was alone. I was alone and scared, and I didn’t really know what’d happened to you. You knew how bad they could get, and you just left me to fight for myself.”

Ben & their parents:

”Please.” I begged them both. “Don’t do this.”
Dad led me to the door, and Mom followed on his heels. I just kept begging and begging, but they never did anything.
“Mom! Please!”
“God doesn’t want this for you, Ben.”
I begged her not to say that, and then I started crying. But that must not have been enough. The door closed, and I wanted it to open back up.

You know, when I read that scene the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. Like URGH!!! What does God have to do with this?! Why wouldn’t God love Ben for being non-binary? Like WTH?! I hate it when people justify their narrow-mindedness with religious beliefs! I am part of the LGBTQ+ community and however you call the higher power you believe in, it created us the way we are so it wanted us to be the way we are! Period. Okay, my rant is over. XD This said I really disliked Ben’s parents. A LOT! They treated being non-binary like it was an illness that needed to be cured and you don’t even want to hear what I have to say about people that tell us something must be wrong with us because we are part of the LGBTQ+ community. *lol* Ahh lots of touchy subjects here. No wonder I loathed Ben’s parents so much. What they did was really unforgivable and I can’t even comprehend how someone would throw their own kid out of their house. I’m a parent myself and I would NEVER EVER do such a thing to my kid! I love my child more than anything and I’d do everything for her! <333 So yeah, why parents would do such a thing… I’ll never understand it. *shakes head* No wonder, Ben didn’t want to go back to them and chose to live with Hannah instead.

”You’ll come home after you graduate,” Dad says, and I notice it’s more of a command than a request. „We’ll take you to the therapist we’ve been seeing, maybe he can help you work through some of the things you’ve been dealing with. And help you with this nonbinary business.”

Ben & Mariam:

I don’t know much about Mariam’s parents, but they’ve never had any problem with them being nonbinary or pansexual, so Mariam never really had to worry about hiding their sexuality or their identify from their parents.”

The friendship between Mariam and Ben was so amazing! I loved those two and their conversations and I was very thankful that Mariam was a steady part of Ben’s live. They needed someone like them and I was glad Mariam was able to ground Ben somehow. Also there need to be more Mariam’s in the world as well because people who have some influence and openly advocate for the LGBTQ+ community are still very rare. To be honest, Mariam’s parents sound like #ParentGoals to me and it was really nice to see a positive parent representation too.

”Mariam, how do you get someone to like you?”
They let out a little squeal and I have to put them on mute before Hannah or Thomas think something is wrong. “Sorry, I’ve just been waiting for this day for forever.” They pretend to wipe away a tear.
“Love the vote of confidence,” I add.

The non-binary rep:

”Such a contrast to the other nonbinary people I’ve seen online. Their smooth, hairless, acneless faces, their trimmed hair that always seems perfect. These things I could never be. Because no matter how hard I will it, my body isn’t how I want to see myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with those kinds of enby people, I just … it’s hard to describe. Bodies are fucking weird, especially when it feels like you don’t belong in your own.”

Since this was an own-voices book the non-binary rep was great and I totally understood where Ben was coming from. It’s not easy to make peace with your body, especially if you’re in between somehow. And I should know because being gender-fluid isn’t easy as well. 😉 So yeah, I think the non-binary rep was spot on and accurate. (Take this with a grain of salt though because I’m not non-binary and would never dare to speak for the people who are.) Truth be told, the only thing I had a little trouble with was the fact that Ben got offended whenever someone used the wrong pronouns. I mean it wasn’t like they were out and how were people supposed to know? Sure, it can make you feel sick to be addressed with the wrong pronouns but you can’t hold it against others if you don’t come out to them and correct them. So I kinda would have liked Ben to tell Nathan that it wasn’t his fault for misgendering them. Because honestly, it wasn’t! He couldn’t smell it, right? I personally never hold it against people if they misgender me because I feel like I can’t expect them to know. (Especially because my pronouns constantly change) But oh well, that’s just me so maybe I’m too lenient with others? I dunno. *shrugs*

”Boys aren’t supposed to wear dresses. Even if I’m not a boy, even if clothing shouldn’t be gendered. Whenever anyone looks at me, that’s all they’ll see.”

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All told I really liked “I Wish You All the Best” and I appreciated the non-binary rep. To find a non-binary MC is really rare so I can’t thank Mason Deaver enough for this book. I loved the diversity and the fact that a lot of topics were tackled in here, not to mention that they were always addressed in a very sensitive and genuine way. This said I’m definitely looking forward to read Mason Deaver’s next book. =)

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

ARC Review: If This Gets Out (Sophie Gonzales)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

A huge thank you to NetGalley and Wednesday Books for the eARC!

How do I even describe how it felt to read this book? When I first read the blurb of “If This Gets Out” I immediately wanted to read it, because it had all the tropes and topics I crave to read about in a book. A successful boy band that is playing the biggest venues, strong friendships, an LGBTQ+ representation, the best-friends-to-lovers trope with a forbidden love spin and a road-trip through Europe in form of the band’s tour. In short: This sounded too good to be true and I desperately wanted to read it!

Needless to say I was over the moon when I actually got an ARC! I was so ready to dive into this book, you have no idea! Of course I had very high expectations as well and I was a little worried the book wouldn’t be able to live up to them. Looking at it in retrospective, I shouldn’t have worried because this was perfect! I got everything I wanted and even more!

I adored how the close friendship between the band members was portrayed. They laughed and joked, they quarrelled and had arguments, but they were always watching out for each other as well. They were like a family and I lived and breathed for their interactions. Another aspect that was brought into the book were the relationships of the band members with their parents and I was more than just happy to read about actual parents that care about their kids and only want the best for them. Of course not all parents are alike and there was a representation of a dysfunctional parent-child relationship as well.

Truth be told, I was surprised about the sheer amount of serious topics that were addressed in “If This Gets Out”. Drug abuse, emotional abuse, power games, band/label dynamics, the pressure of being famous, band life, the dark side of the music industry and the branding of bands and their individual members that has nothing to do with the real person behind the scenes. And I didn’t even talk about Zach and Ruben’s relationship yet. Which was nothing but amazing!

I loved to see how the feelings of the two MCs slowly started to change and how their friendship grew into something more. It was really well done and I found myself smiling so often that it started to hurt. I shipped those two so hard it was almost like they were an actual couple and not just two fictional characters. Also can we talk about their awesome communication?! Sure, they both had troubles to put their feelings into words and sometimes there was some miscommunication but when push came to shove they always tried their best to talk things out. I can only imagine how hard it must be to realize you have feelings for your best friend, let alone to deal with the pressure of being famous and the fear of somebody finding out. To come out should always be up to you, no matter if you’re famous or not. So I could relate to Ruben and Zach’s struggle.

Their character arc was done so well, though, and I couldn’t help but cheer for them when they finally decided that they had enough and wanted to tackle their problems head-on. They were aware of the consequences but they knew they had to do it order to live the way they wanted to and to witness how they took control of their situation wasn’t just a sight to behold but it also had me at the edge of my seat crossing my fingers for all of them.

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All told “If This Gets Out” was an amazing book that didn’t only live up to my high expectations but even managed to exceed them! Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich succeeded to write a great story that addresses a lot of the issues people in the music industry have to face and they did it in a sensitive and respectful manner. The romance between Zach and Ruben was everything I ever wanted and even more and the Zuben ship is definitely one of my favourite ships now. 😉

So if you’re a fan of music, if you ever shipped members of a band, if you’re a part of a fandom, if you like books that tackle serious issues, if you love the found-family trope, if you like character driven stories and enjoy great character arcs. Well, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this immensely.

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

Do you still remember my review of “Unravel me”?
Yes?!
Okay! Then let me tell you something:

“Ignite me” was so much better than the last book!!!!

I don’t know how Tahereh Mafi did it but she killed me!!!! I died about a thousand deaths while I read this book and I have absolutely no clue how I even survived to read this!!! Gosh, that book left me reeling and laughing and gasping and crying and swooning and drooling and I had absolutely no idea what to do with all those feels!!!
I bit my nails, I was desperate, I was hopeful, I wanted to smash the book against a wall – which would have been pretty bad because I read it on my e-reader and I’m quite certain it wouldn’t have survived this special kind of treatment *lol* – I wanted to shake some of the characters, wanted to yell at them, I wanted to laugh with them, I wanted to punch some sense into their heads. (Yeah, Adam it’s you I’m talking about!!!) And most of all I really, really wanted them to be happy and fine!!!

So yeah, I think you get the idea! 😉
It was an emotional rollercoaster and I actually loved every second of it! *lol*

That said I guess I can finally jump to the actual review! I hope you manage to read until the end. If not: You’ve been brave and I don’t blame you! ;-P

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„My eyes are filling fast with tears and I blink and blink but the world is a mess and I want to laugh because all I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can’t bear to see it.“

The book basically starts where “Unravel me” left off. Juliette has been saved by Warner and was brought back to base while she was unconscious. In the first chapter we learn that Omega Point has been destroyed completely and that Warner had no other choice than to smuggle Juliette into his private quarters. Of course our heroine is not happy about the bad new and wants to find out what truly happened and if anyone is still alive. So yeah our golden boy and our lethal girl decide to take a trip to the place where Omega Point used to be and it’s actually there, where the plot thickens and everything gains momentum! 😉 Since I don’t want to spoil you I decided to leave it at that, I’m pretty certain that most of you have already read the entire trilogy though.
So for everyone who’s already read the books and for everyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled:

The character’s section is going to be full, I repeat, full of spoilers!!! So beware my fellow readers! Ye be warned!!! ;-P *lol*

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Juliette:

I loved how self-confident and strong Juliette has become. She’s finally capable of forming her own opinions and she doesn’t take – forgive me my crude choice of words – shit anymore! *lol* The old Juliette would have cowered and accepted the way Adam treated her, the new Juliette kicked ass!!! Quite literally as well! XD I was so proud of her! She finally had the courage to stand up for herself and her beliefs and she didn’t only make her own decisions but also made sure to follow through with them! It was amazing to watch her transformation and I was so glad she finally found herself!!! There was only one thing I didn’t like about her and that was how she let Warner suffer! How dare you Juliette! How dare you to break his wonderful and gentle heart!!!! I mean jeez I know you had to think things through, but seriously!!!! It’s WARNER we’re talking about!!!! That awesome hot guy who’s crazy and madly in love with you!!!! XD Open your freakin eyes!!! *lol* Okay, okay enough of the rant, everything is fine! 😉

”Or,” I say to him, “I leave, find your father, kill him, and deal with the consequences on my own.”
Warner fights a smile and fails.
He glances down and laughs just a little before looking me right in the eye. He shakes his head.
“What’s so funny?”
“My dear girl.”
“What?”
“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now.”

„I can’t be that girl anymore.
For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree.
I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.”

”I remember it so well.” I hesitate. “Dying. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t scream because my lungs were torn apart or full of blood. I don’t know. I just had to lie there, trying to breathe, hoping to drop dead as quickly as possible. And the whole time,” I say, “the whole time I kept thinking about how I’d spent my entire life being a coward, and how it got me nowhere. And I knew that if I had the chance to do it all again, I’d do it differently. I promised myself I’d finally stop being afraid.”

”This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.”

Adam:

Well, I think I’ve to take that back. Nothing is fine when it comes to Adam. Adam… that name… I just have to think about him and I become aggressive. Oh man, I seriously have issues with that boy!!! I already wanted to slap some sense into him while I read “Unravel me”, reading about his character in “Ignite me” I was actually tempted to punch him in the face! Gosh!! That stupid, stupid, stubborn, selfish, obnoxious and incorrigible jerk!!! And that’s actually me putting it more than just mildly! I hate him, I loathe him, I want to scratch him with my fingernails! How dare he to be so egoistic and mean!? When I read chapter 27 I was so angry I wanted to slap him in his stupid pretty face!!! Saying that he was happier when he thought Juliette was dead?!!?? I mean seriously!!??? WHAT THE FREAKIN HELL!??!!! Don’t you have any decency?! And then he even has the nerve to throw her out and to keep his relation to Warner a secret? *grrrrrr* I could go on and on about how much I despise him now, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. ADAM is dead to me and the fact he decided to get to know Warner in the end still doesn’t change anything about my opinion! What a stupid fool!!!

”It’s not charity,” I snap. “He cares about me – and I care about him!”
Warner nods, unimpressed. “You should get a dog, love. I hear they share much the same qualities.”

What do you know about being alive?” he demands. “You wouldn’t say a word when I first found you. You were afraid of your own shadow. You were so consumed by your grief and guilt that you’d gone almost completely insane – living so far inside your own head that you had no idea what happened to the world while you were gone.”

You don’t even know what you’re saying,” Kenji tells him. “You’re acting crazy – “
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”
“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back –“
“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”

“And right now, I can’t say I know what Adam would do if I were dying in front of him. I’m not sure if he would save my life. And that uncertainty alone makes me certain that something wasn’t right between us. Something wasn’t real.
Maybe we both fell in love with the illusion of something more.”

Warner:

He’s standing at the front door, hands shoved casually in his pockets, no fewer than six different guns pointed at his face.”

Oh Warner… *sighs dreamily* With every book I read I loved that boy more and more! He still is awesomeness on two legs and if possible he got even more awesome throughout the book. Gosh, how much I love him!!! I’m Warner trash, I want to have his babies, he’s the perfect man and he’s easily become my no.1 book boyfriend. (Well, truth be told Will and he seem to share that place now. *LOL*) We finally saw more of his vulnerable side and I loved E.V.E.R.Y single S.E.C.O.N.D of it!!! I loved how he came to Juliette rescue when Adam and her had that argument back at Adam’s house and I was so heartbroken when he tried to hide his scars in chapter 32. And good god, I swear when I read chapter 50 it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I was crying so hard I was even forced to take a break. That chapter literally killed me! I was so overwhelmed by my emotions I could barely breathe. My heart ached so much… that poor lost boy, to read that chapter was pure torture and just to remember it is actually enough to cause me to weep again. *sniff* Warner suffered and hurt so much throughout the entire book and all I wanted to do was to cradle him and to take his pain away. No one deserves to be so miserable and alone and I really hated Adam for hiding his and James’s true identity. If I’m entirely honest I also kind of hated Juliette for being so indecisive and when they finally hit it off I was so happy I grinned the entire time. =))))))

I’ve said it before, love, and I’m sorry I have to say it again, but you do not understand the choices I have to make. You don’t know what I’ve seen and what I’m forced to witness every single day.” He hesitates. “And I wouldn’t want you to. But do not presume to understand my actions,” he says, finally meeting my eyes. “Because if you do, I can assure you you’ll only be met with disappointment. And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.”

“He wasn’t trying to patronize me.
He was enjoying himself.
Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The Reestablishment.
He has a soft spot for fashion.”

”I have no one to impress,” he says. “No one who cares about what happens to me. I’m not in the business of making friends, love. My job is to lead an army, and it’s the only thing I’m good at. No one,” he says, “would be proud of the things I’ve accomplished. My mother doesn’t even know me anymore. My father thinks I’m weak and pathetic. My soldiers want me dead. The world is going to hell. And the conversations I have with you are the longest I’ve ever had.”

Warner takes a hard, shaky breath. “Then what did you say to him?”
Seven seconds die between us.
“Nothing,” I whisper.
Warner stills.
I don’t breathe.
No one speaks for what feels like forever.
“Of course,” Warner finally says. He looks pale, unsteady. “You said nothing. Of course.”

”The bed is empty.
Warner has collapsed in the corner.
He’s curled into himself, knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, his head buried in his arms. And he’s shaking.
Tremors are rocking his entire body.
I’ve never, ever seen him look like a child before. Never, not once, not in all the time I’ve known him. But right now, he looks just like a little boy. Scared. Vulnerable. All alone.”

”It’s the only way I know how to exist,” he says. “In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take everything.”
I stare into his eyes for what feels like forever.
He leans into my ear. Lowers his voice. “Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

Kenji:

I think that boy is the most complex side character I ever had the pleasure to come across. *lol* He’s funny and serious at the same time and he cares so deeply for his friends that it’s sometimes even kind of painful to watch. I loved how he cared about Juliette and how he tried his best to support her. It was pretty obvious that he didn’t agree with her opinion about Warner, yet he still accepted her decision and tried everything possible in order to understand her motives. I really wish there would be more Kenji’s out in the world and I truly hope that Kenji finds true love in the next book. Do you hear me, Mafi? I want Kenji to have a girlfriend in “Restore me”!!! He deserves it, he sooo does!!! XD If you haven’t written a girlfriend for him already, you still got plenty of time to change this!!! 😉 So yeah, do it!!!!! Oh and by the way: That’s an order and no request!!! *LOL*

“You’re not bothered by all the heavy breathing going on over here?” He makes a haphazard gesture towards us.
I jump away from Adam reflexively.
“No,” James says, crossing his arms. “Are you?”
“Disgust was my general reaction, yeah.”
“I bet you wouldn’t think it was gross if it was you.”
A long pause.
“You make a good point,” Kenji finally says. “Maybe you should find me a lady in this crappy sector. I’m okay with anyone between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five.” He points at James. “So how about you get on that, thanks.”

“Good for you. I’ll buy you a balloon the minute the world stops shitting on itself.”
“Thank you,” I say, pleased. “You’re a good teacher.”
“I’m good at everything,” he points out.
“Humble, too.”
“And really good looking.”
I choke on a laugh.

“It just gets really heavy sometimes.” He looks away. “Too heavy. Even for me. And some days I don’t want to laugh,” he says. “I don’t want to be funny. I don’t want to give a shit about anything. Some days I just want to sit on my ass and cry. All day long.” His hands stop moving against the mats. “Is that crazy?” he asks quietly, still not meeting my gaze.

”Who’s Bruce Lee?”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”
“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”
“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just – I can’t even talk to you right now.”

James:

Oh that little boy was just so adorable and I had to laugh so hard whenever he spoke with Warner! Those two brothers had such an awesome chemistry and I loved how open and unprejudiced James was! Unlike Adam he actually saw the good in Warner and I just loved him for it! XD

Warner studies Jame’s face with rapt fascination. He bends down on one knee, meets James at eye level. “And who are you?” he asks.
Everyone in the room is silent, watching.

”Why do you call her ‘love’?” James asks. “I’ve heard you say that before, too. A lot. Are you in love with her? I think Adam’s in love with her. Kenji’s not in love with her, though. I already asked him.”
Warner blinks at him.
“Well?” James asks.
“Well what?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“What?” James blushes. “No. She’s like a million years older than me.”
“Would anyone like to take over this conversation?” Warner asks, looking around in the group.

”So, wait – then you’re not the bad guy,” James says all of a sudden. “You’re on our side, right?”
Warner turns slowly to meet James’s eyes. Says nothing.
“Well?” James asks, impatient. “Aren’t you on our side?”
Warner blinks. Twice. “So it seems,” he says, looking as though he can hardly believe he’s saying it.

Anderson:

Thank god he was finally shot and didn’t even get a proper chance to say anything! I swear everything that man ever said revolted me immensely and I’m just glad that it’s over and that no word is ever going to escape his lips again. XD

”And shoot him in the forehead.
Twice.
Once for Adam.
Once for Warner.”

So yeah, I loved the entire book and if there is one thing I didn’t like than it’s just the fact that the trilogy is over and that the ending was too fast. I would have liked to see more of the aftermath and I kind of hoped for some sort of epilogue, but considering the fact that Tahereh Mafi is going to write three other books I don’t feel the urge to complain! *lol*

All told, I highly recommend the “Shatter me” trilogy and if you haven’t read it already you definitely should!!!! 😉

And last but not least: This was a buddy read with the awesome Megha and I was sooo damn glad I was able to talk about all those feels!!! Thanks a lot! You rock!!! XD

”You know,” he whispers, his lips at my ear, “the whole world will be coming for us now.”
I lean back. Look into his eyes.
“I can’t wait to watch them try.”

Allgemein, F - J, J, Reviews

Review: Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) – Lev A.C. Rosen

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

”Just ‘cause I like sex and have a decent amount of it doesn’t mean everyone else should. Everyone gets to use their naughty parts however and as often as they’d like.”

I really loved this book and its (sex) positive message! I mean there are a lot of YA books out there but I usually roll my eyes whenever there is a sex scene. No matter what you read, sex is always romanticized and I just can’t stand it anymore. I guess that’s one of the main reasons why I turn to smut books every once in a while because most of them are actually realistic and don’t gloss over the less sexy parts of being intimate together. I mean seriously how are teens supposed to get a realistic idea of this really important thing if the female characters in books already climax because a guy just touched their breasts? (Yes, I recently read that in a YA book and I was NOT happy with it!)

”Know what you want. Ask for it. Be prepared for people to say no. That’s the best any of us can do.”

So being aware of all that I chose to read “Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)” and I absolutely adored this super refreshing approach! Jack is a gay teen and he has sex. A lot of it! Moreover he is totally unapologetic about it and I just lived and breathed for this kind of rep! Here’s a boy who’s totally comfortable with his looks, with his body with what he wants from life. Jack doesn’t want to be in a relationship because he likes to be free to do what he wants and that is great!!!

Not everyone has to be in a relationship and especially not when you’re so young. I remember a time when everyone in my class had a girlfriend or boyfriend because it was idk… the thing to do?! At a certain age everyone just started to date and you were kind of an outsider if you didn’t. And just for the record I didn’t date anyone at that time because I just waited for the right person to come along. I never gave into peer pressure, but I’m pretty certain not everyone is as steadfast as I am/was. Especially not if you’re a teen.

Because let’s be totally honest here and face it: Teenagers are super insecure! They only just start to discover their own sexuality and they feel awkward in their changing body. They are driven by hormones and they don’t know what to do with it. *lol* And this is exactly where “Jack of Hearts” picks up! Jack starts to write a sex advice column for all those insecure teens because his friend Jenna asks him to and at first he’s pretty sceptical about it but as it turns out he’s hitting the right nerve.

”On the one hand, coming out is important to show solidarity, encourage folks to come out, and so forth. On the other hand, the entire concept is essentially playing into straight society’s game that anything but strict heterosexuality is something that needs to be announced, warned about. The closet exists because straight people shoved us in it, and because if we try to leave it, they’re often angry and/or violent.”

Jack’s advice was really great and I loved to read his column because it was so realistic! Here’s a boy that knows exactly what he’s talking about and he doesn’t mince his words! He’s direct and merciless in his approach and he calls things by their real name! The diversity of the questions that hit his mailbox varies from how to ask a guy for a date up to how to have anal sex so yeah, it covers a pretty wide range. 😉 One of my favourite columns was when he called out the straight girls for romanticizing gay love. I was like: YAS BOY!!! Tell them! Because it happens way too often and it needs to be addressed!

”But it’s real,” I say softly.
“Perhaps, Jack, if you attracted less attention, you wouldn’t be getting emails like this. If this is real, I’d suggest stopping the column, and trying to keep a low profile.”


Which brings me right to another topic that is addressed and caused my bones to boil with anger! I absolutely hated the principal of Jack’s school because he’s one of those homophobic people that hide behind their “good deeds” for others. In this particular case behind his good deeds for the students of the school. By not taking Jack seriously and by letting him fend for himself, by actually suggesting that it’s Jack’s own fault for getting blackmailed because of his “lifestyle”, by telling him to keep a low profile and being not himself he CROSSED A DAMN FREAKING LINE and I wanted to kick his butt so badly!!! AHHH I can’t even!!! It’s hidden homophobes like him that make it so difficult to be who you truly are!

”You’re amazing,” she says softly. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let them tell you what to do, or how to act. Just do what you want. I’ll support you.”

Thankfully Jack’s best friends Jenna and Ben always got his back and tried to help him find the culprit. Blackmail is a serious thing and gosh it made me so damn angry to see how much it changed Jack. He went from that outgoing, flirty boy that wears tank tops, eyeliner and black nail polish to a guy that doesn’t go to parties and wears no make-up, to a guy that blends in. And all that just because the principal didn’t help him and he tried to protect the ones he loved. I hated to see his transformation, I hated to see what the blackmail did to him and I wanted nothing more than to find Pinky. This said I loved Jack’s mom and her stance on things but I really hope that I would notice if something like that happened to my kid.

”That’s how I think now. My outfit is boring. My makeup is pretty dull, too. But I look okay. It’s not like I’m going to get laid, right? I mean, if I do, then Pinky will be mad, and I don’t want that. I don’t want Mom or Ben or Jenna to suffer just because I wanted to have fun.”

As for who Pinky turned out to be:

 

spoilerI already had an inkling that Pinky might be a girl and when I finally saw the list of the people who were good at Origami I knew exactly who it was. I mean we all know that Kaitlyn was one of the girls that romanticized gay love so I was not surprised when I saw her name on the list and put two and two together.

It didn’t really come as a surprise. At least not for me, because I love to play Sherlock Holmes in my free time. *lol* Still, speaking about Pinky brings me to the one and basically only thing I didn’t like about this book. The way everything was dealt with after the revelation. I really wanted there to be some consequences! For Pinky to suffer and to realize what she/he did! But none of that really happened and I was not okay with that. I repeat Blackmail is a serious thing and how everything was resolved in here just didn’t do it for me. Maybe that makes me petty but I just couldn’t with the ending.

spoilerI mean Jack still has nightmares but they all moved on like nothing ever happened and no one even knows what Kaitlyn did to him? Not even her best friends know because it’s kept quiet?! Maybe I’m a vindictive witch but I would have SHOUTED her freaking name from the rooftops so that everyone would have known what she did and that it is NOT okay to do something like that! Because yes, we can argue that she would have suffered from it getting out and that her life would have probably been miserable for a while. At least as long as she was attending classes at their school, but and there’s a huge BUT! That girl knew exactly what she was doing! She knew exactly that no one would believe Jack if he claimed it was her. She even said so when she blackmailed him AGAIN and directly in his face while Jack secretly had the audio running! There was no remorse, no fear of consequences, no realisation that she was doing something wrong! Who says she won’t do that again to another boy?! So I’m sorry, but I can’t accept the way things were dealt with here. If you let someone like that off the hook that easily it will happen again and I’m already afraid for her next victim. Because there is no way there isn’t going to be a next one. That girl needs help, therapy and not a reprimand. Yes, it was said she cried at Pattyn’s office but to me it sounded like she only cried because she was found out. To be fair it was never mentioned that she didn’t get help but it also wasn’t mentioned that she did. So an open ending in that regard definitely didn’t work for me.

All told I really enjoyed “Jack of Hearts” and it was a great book! Finally a sex-positive rep and a realistic one at that! We need more of those in our YA books! Moreover Jack’s voice was relatable and brought a fresh and unapologetic breeze into YA literature. I’ll definitely watch out for Lev A.C. Rosen’s next book! =)

Allgemein, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: House of Earth and Blood (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 24 on My Book List 2021

“Through love, all is possible.”

To be honest I don’t even know where to start with this review. This book was great in so many different ways that I’m having a really tough time to sort my thoughts and feelings. What I can definitely tell you is that this book is one of the slower ones. It has 803 pages and up to page 500 every single one of them is used to build up the plot and to introduce all the characters. I know a lot of other people who reviewed “House of Earth and Blood” actually didn’t like this long build up and saw it as a huge flaw but personally I think that it was important for the storyline.

Are 500 pages to introduce the characters and the world setting too long? Maybe. But in this book it worked for me.  I guess everyone who ever read high fantasy knows that plenty of pages go into the history of the MCs and the world building. (Quite honestly sometimes you’d even get pages of descriptions of the surroundings. I’m looking at you LOTR!!! *lol*) Every info I got in HOEAB was interesting and important for the plot though so I’m definitely not complaining. 😉

Even the least important characters and side-characters had history and I was living and breathing for it. Sure, there are some characters like Tharion, Aidas and Queen Hypaxia I’d love to hear more about (and I’m sure I will in the next book) but considering the many different groups and the complexity of the world Sarah actually did a great job. This said the last 300 pages just about killed me and I couldn’t have stopped reading even if my life would have depended on it. *lol* Yes, it was THAT suspenseful. Quite honestly I have no idea how Sarah wants to top this book!!?? I mean this was book one in a series and my expectations for book two are so high they are scratching the sky. XD Before I think about the next book let’s speak about this one first, okay?! ;-P

2

Welcome to Crescent City! The city of many possibilities and ALL the spoilers! *lol* So if you don’t want to be spoiled and haven’t read the book yet, I’d recommend to take the next bus out of town because this is going to be a spoiler festival! XD You’ve been warned! 😉

Bryce Quinlan:

Hunt’s stare lifted to her own again. “Do you own any weapons?” The purely male gleam in his eye told her that he assumed she didn’t.
“Bother me again,” she said sweetly, just before she shut the window in his face, “and you’ll find out.”

I love Bryce so freaking much, I can’t even! This girl is the BEST! I love as good as everything about her and her many flaws only made her even more likable in my eyes! This is a character I could totally relate to and she felt very real! I mean she’s stubborn, clever, resilient, funny, loyal and compassionate. Yes, at times she’s even reckless but it’s all just limited to pushing her boundaries. She never really goes overboard unlike some of Sarah’s other characters and that was really refreshing. Bryce is a very self-confident character and knows exactly what she wants and she’s not only working hard but also has both feet on the ground. The way she dealt with Micah?! OMG!!! That’s a fierce woman right there! *lol* I respect her character and I hope we’ll get to see even more of it in the next book!

”It’s easier for me – when people assume the worst about what I am. It lets me see who they really are.”

Hunt Athalar:

”In the harsh bathroom firstlights, his light brown skin was pallid under the black band of thorns across his brow. The tattoo, he’d learned to live with. But he shrank from the look in his dark eyes. Glazed. Empty. Like staring into Hel.”

I kinda liked his nickname. Umbra Mortis definitely has some ring to it. *lol* This said I also think in many ways Hunt was the broken, powerful “alphahole” Sarah J. Maas has written about so often. Just like with Rowan and Rhysand his background story is heavy and quite violent which was no surprise because obviously Sarah likes to write about men with baggage. ;-P Of course I still liked him and rooted for his character he just reminded me a lot of all the other men Sarah wrote about. What I certainly didn’t expect was his betrayal and the fact that he knew about the drugs all along! This came as such a surprise and his involvement totally threw me. XD Then again it probably shouldn’t have surprised me. After all he didn’t regret any of his actions and said so multiple times. I wonder where Sarah will go with his character in future.

”By the time Ramuel decided to let me serve as his assassin, it had been nine years since I’d seen sunlight. Since I’d heard the wind or smelled the rain. Since I’d seen grass, or a river, or a mountain. Since I’d flown.”

”There were some of the Fallen who accepted the halo and slave tattoo, you know. After a few decades, they accepted it. Stopped fighting it.”
“Why have you never stopped?”
“Because we were right then, and we’re still right now. Shahar was only the spear point. I followed her blindly into a battle we could never have won, but I believed in what she stood for.”

Danika Fendry:

”It was unheard of, for a shifter to have that sort of power, yet all the standard childhood tests had confirmed it: once Danika Dropped, she’d become a considerable power among the wolves, the likes of which had not been seen since the elder days across the sea.“

If I’m completely honest I probably would have married Danika before dating Bryce! *lol* I loved her character so much and I really wish there would have been even more of her. I mean I already knew Danika was going to die, but I wasn’t prepared of how fast I’d grow fond of her and her pack! She was such an amazing person and her death was horrible. >_< At least as horrible as her own mother! I swear, Sabine certainly didn’t make it easy to like her. If there is even the slightest possibility that Danika gets reborn and reappears in the next book I’d be so here for it. XD Is it possible, Sarah? Please! *makes huge puppy eyes*

”Her goal was to protect you. Always. Even from yourself.“

Sandriel:

”She and the commander of her triarii, Pollux, take cruelty and punishment to new levels.” He clenched his jaw, shaking off the blood-soaked memories. “They’re not stories to tell on a busy street.” Or at all.”

That angel most definitely was no angel at all and should have burned in Hel. I hated Sandriel with a fierce passion and I really wish she would have died in the rebellion! It’s not right that a cruel person like her was that powerful and even though she got what she deserved I still think that her death was too quick. She should have gone to prison for eternity and not died that quickly. >_< Well, she’s dead now and won’t cause any more trouble. XD

Tharion, Queen Hypaxia & Aidas:

Aidas had nearly vanished into nothing when he added, the words a ghost slithering through the room, “The Oracle did not see. But I did.”

Okay, those three were just side characters but each one of them was super intriguing and I would have loved to get more of their background story!!! Like seriously! Just give me more! Aidas the Prince of the Chasm was one hell of an interesting character and Tharion as well as Queen Hypaxia easily won me over as well. I always knew that med witch was suspicious but I didn’t even think about the possibility that she might be Ruhn’s betrothed. *lol* Let’s hope all of them will be a part of the next book! ❤

Tharion crossed his arms, muscles rippling beneath his black long-sleeved T-shirt. After the initial parade and that first day of endless meetings, most of them had donned far less formal wear for the rest of the talks. “I know the costs of war, Governor.” Bold male, to say that, to look Sandriel dead in the eye.

3

Bryce & Hunt:

”Hey.” Hunt knelt at Bryce’s side. He reached for her shoulder, but lowered his hand. How many people ever saw the hands of the Umbra Mortis reach for them with no hint of violence?

What I really loved about their relationship is that it grew steadily. There was no insta-love or some unnecessary drama. They started out as two strangers that both knew about the other’s reputation and didn’t trust each other. The more they got to know each other and the more time they spent together, the more they started to see the true person behind all their bravado though. It was so refreshing to see them develop a really close friendship. Sure, there was attraction but it was just a part of their friendship and didn’t define it. I adored how they started to take pictures of each other to make new memories and how just to be around each other helped them to deal with their problems. They both had a lot on their plate but together they managed to pull through it. I still can’t believe that Hunt was in on the dugs though. That was quite a shocker and I’m kind of worried Sarah will pull a typical Maas and make us dislike Hunt in the next book. So far all her books started out with a love interest the MC would die for and then she ended up with someone completely different. *lol* It would be such a shame if that happened in here too. I guess only time will tell. XD

”Only sorrow lay here. And something like understanding. Like she saw him, as he’d seen her in that shooting gallery, marked every broken shard and didn’t mind the jagged bits. Under the table, the toe of her high hell brushed against his boot. A little confirmation that yes – she saw his guilt, the pain, and she wouldn’t shy from it. His chest tightened.”

”And she tried not to look too shocked when he laid his head on her thigh, his arm coming across her to rest on the pillow. A child laying his head on his mother’s lap. A friend looking for any sort of reassuring contact to remind him that he was a living being. A good person, no matter what they made him do.”

”We don’t take that risk,” Hunt snarled. “We’ll figure out how to get the venom another way.”
“I can handle myself – “
“I can’t fucking handle myself, Quinlan. Not if you might be in danger.”

”You’re my friend. Who watches trashy TV with me and puts up with my shit. You’re the person I don’t need to explain myself to – not when it matters. You see everything I am, and you don’t run away from it.”
He smiled at her, let it convey everything that glowed inside him at her words. “I like that.”

Bryce & Ruhn:

”He’d wounded her, and it had scared the Hel out of her that he held such power. That she had wanted so many things from him, imagined so many things with her brother – adventures and holidays and ordinary moments – and he had the ability to rip it all away.”

Ahhh I absolutely loved this sibling bond! I mean yes, at the beginning of the book Bryce is keeping her distance to Ruhn and doesn’t want to have to do anything with him, but to be honest the reason for that was pretty shady if you ask me. I mean yes, they had a fight, but it’s no reason to avoid your brother for years. XD The explanation why she brushed him off was pretty lame but then again there are siblings in real life that don’t talk with each other for ages because of one silly thing. Believe me I’ve seen it – siblings that didn’t talk to each other for 30 years because of some minor matter and died without reconciling – so I suppose it might be realistic after all. I’m just glad Ruhn and Bryce are talking again and I definitely want to find out more about Ruhn in the next book. He was just a small part in here and I’m very curious about him and his life. Also I really thought Ruhn might be bi or pan but then Queen Hypaxia appeared and I guess that’s it. >_< I’m pretty certain my queer ass won’t see a real LGBTQ+ pairing in this series as well. Which is a shame but then again it’s probably better if Sarah doesn’t write them. I mean not every straight author can pull off a realistic queer rep so I respect her for steering clear of it. It takes guts to say “no” and to know your own limits. 😉

From the pure devastation on Ruhn’s face, her brother hadn’t known, either.
“Tell Ruhn I forgive him,” Bryce said, shaking again. Tears streamed down the prince’s face.
“I forgave him a long time ago,” Bryce said. “I just didn’t know how to tell him. Tell him I’m sorry I hid the truth, and that I only did it because I love him and didn’t want to take anything away from him. He’ll always be the better one of us.”

”His blue eyes gleamed in the streetlights, dawn still far off. A breeze off the Istros ruffled his black hair. And it was the tears that filled his eyes, the wonder in them, that had Bryce launching forward. Had her throwing her arms around her brother and holding him tightly.
Ruhn didn’t hesitate before his arms came around her. He shook so badly that she knew he was crying.”

Bryce & Syrinx & Lehabah:

”My friends are with me and I am not afraid.”

THOSE THREE BROKE MY FREAKING HEART!!!! AHHHH!! I’m still crying for Lehabah!!! This little precious fire sprite!!! I can’t!!! T_T I loved Lehabah so much! She was so fierce and compassionate and had quite an attitude but ahh that only made her even more likeable! I loved that she always called out Bryce on her coldness and unfriendly behaviour and that she was such a gossip. *lol* I can’t believe she died and the scene when she fought to give Bryce those precious seconds had me in tears. I was SOBBING reading that scene!!! SOBBING! T_T I’m still not over it. I guess I’ll never be. Also Syrinx is such a precious creature! <333 I want a Syrinx as well!

The words rippled through the library as Bryce wept. “I traded with Jesiba for your freedom last week. I have the papers in my desk. I wanted to throw a party for it – to surprise you.” The bathroom door began warping, bending. Bryce sobbed, “I bought you, and now I set you free, Lehabah.”
Lehabah’s smile didn’t falter. “I know,” she said. “I peeked in your drawer.”
And despite the monster trying to break loose behind them, Bryce chocked on a laugh before she begged, “You are a free person – you do not have to do this. You are free, Lehabah.”
Yet Lehabah remained at the foot of the stairs. “Then let the world know that my first act of freedom was to help my friends.”

Bryce & Danika:

”Bryce patted Danika’s silken head as she passed. Danika nipped her fingers, teeth flashing.
Bryce chuckled, entering the narrow kitchen.”

The bond between Danika and Bryce was so amazing!!! <333 I’m such a sucker for close friendships and found family and Danika and Bryce were like the embodiment of this trope! They had a friendship you rarely find and I count myself lucky to have the same kind of closeness with my bestie. The tender gestures, cuddling, hugging, all those physical gestures of affection but also the strong mental bond and spiritual closeness, it was all there with Bryce and Danika, which is the reason why I loved them both so much! <333 Ahh how I wish Danika wouldn’t have had to die. But that moment when Danika answered and told Bryce to “light it up”. OMG!!! She made the drop with her, from the other side she still helped Bryce and helped her to make the Drop!!! I can’t! I just can’t!!! Those two are killing me! <333 *weeps in a corner* I really wish Danika wouldn’t have died. T_T

”I know people don’t get it. It’s just … a light went out inside me when it happened. Danika wasn’t my sister, or my lover. But she was the one person that I knew would always pick up the phone, or call me back. She was the one person who made me feel brave because no matter what happened, no matter how bad or embarrassing or shitty it was, I knew that I had her in my corner. That if it all went to Hel, I could talk to her and it would be fine.”

She whispered. “I’m scared.”
Danika grabbed her hand again. “That’s the point of it, Bryce. Of life. To live, to love, knowing that it might all vanish tomorrow. It makes everything that much more precious.” She took Bryce’s face in her hands and pressed their brows together.

Bryce, Juniper & Fury:

”They’d never spoken of it. But Bryce wondered if Juniper had later told Fury how close it had been, how hard she’d worked to keep that phone call going while she raced over without alerting Bryce, sensing that something was wrong-wrong-wrong.
Bryce didn’t like to think about that winter. That night. But she would never stop being grateful for Juniper for that sense – that love that had kept her from making such a terrible, stupid mistake.

And here is the obligatory LGBTQ+ side character couple I kind of expected to appear in this book. Juniper and Fury are barely mentioned and then their relationship is dropped out of nowhere and even Bryce has a tough time to comprehend where it came from. *lol* Then again Sarah is probably steering clear of making an LGBTQ+ relationship the main focus because she might be worried she couldn’t pull it off. Idk. *shrugs* I really liked Bryce’s friendship with Juniper but Fury is a mystery to me and I kinda wish we would have seen more of both! They were so out of the plot they probably don’t even deserve the description “side character”. XD I genuinely hope well get to see more of them in the second book.

Fury hissed, “Juniper and I have something that is none of your fucking business.” Bryce refrained from gaping. Juniper had never hinted, never suggested – “I could no sooner stop talking to her than I could rip out my own fucking heart, okay?”

The grief rep:

”It’s not fine. I will never talk to her again. I think people expect me to be over it by now. but I can’t. Anytime I get anywhere close to the truth of my new reality, I want to space out again. To not have to be me. I can’t fucking dance anymore because it reminds me of her – of all the dancing we did together in clubs or on the streets or in  our apartment or dorm. I don’t let myself dance anymore because it brought me joy, and … And I didn’t, I don’t, want to feel those things.”

I had to give the grief rep its own space because I think it was done really well! As someone who’s unfortunately quite familiar with grief this really hit close to home. The way Bryce mourned for Danika was so damn relatable… When you’re so close to someone, when you love someone as much as Bryce loved Danika to get through that grief seems to be impossible. The worst thing is that others grieve too but they move on faster than you do. It’s because their bond wasn’t as strong as yours and they can’t comprehend why you’re still in mourning after two years. They don’t understand… but I do. I’ve been there, done that and got the freaking t-shirt so this really hit me on a personal level. Sarah nailed it and I want to thank her for this realistic portrayal!

She said quietly, “I need to find who did this, Hunt.”
He met her raw, aching stare. “I know.”
“No,” she said hoarsely. “You don’t. I don’t care what Micah’s motives are – if I don’t find this fucking person, it is going to eat me alive.” Not the murderer or the demon, but the pain and grief that he was only starting to realize dwelled inside her.

”Hunt opened his mouth to tell Quinlan he understood. Not just the complicated relationship thing, but the loss. To wake up one morning surrounded by friends and his lover – and then to end the day with all of them dead. He understood how it gnawed on bones and blood and the very soul of a person. How nothing could ever make it right.”

4

“House of Earth and Blood” was quite something and I loved to read this book! Sarah tackled so many important and interesting topics and she did it in a very sensitive manner. It might have seemed to be a slow paced book up to the 500 pages mark but I think it was necessary to build up the story like that. I have absolutely no idea how Sarah J. Maas wants to top this book but I’m more than just willing to find out! *lol* Let’s hope the wait for “Crescent City 2” won’t be all too long. XD

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: I Was Born for This (Alice Oseman)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 40 on My Book List 2021

”Most adults see teenagers as confused kids who don’t understand much, while they’re the pillars of knowledge and experience and know exactly what is right at all times.”

It’s kind of funny how much this quote resonates with me even though I’m an adult in every sense of the word. I go to work, I pay my rent, I buy groceries for my family, I have a kid, … So how come this book was such a perfect read for me? Well, the truth is, I am an adult but that doesn’t stop me from doing the things I love (for instance writing poetry and reviews) and maybe this has kept me kind of young? I dunno. XD I think I might not be your typical adult but then again who is?

I guess you can already tell that this book made me think a lot and I have so many thoughts and feelings it’s quite a challenge to put them all into words. There were so many topics and situations that spoke to me and no matter if it was Jimmy’s POV as a musician, Angel’s POV as part of the fandom, the diversity and reps or the relationships between all of those lovely characters, I could relate to all of them! *lol* This book reminded me so much of my own youth and my life in general that it almost felt like Alice Oseman wrote it just for me. Like seriously! Alice how do you do this?

I just loved every second of “I Was Born for This” and I never wanted it to end! If you ask me it could have had a 1.000 pages and it still wouldn’t have been enough. XD I have so many thoughts it feels almost impossible to get them all down on paper screen but as always I’ll try my best. 😉 I think I’ll just go with the flow and see where this review is heading. So if you want to read my personal take on fandoms, the characters, music and relationships feel free to join me on this ride. If not, you better don’t continue to read.

2

This is my spoilery spoiler warning and if you haven’t read the book yet, I’d recommend to turn around and to head in the other direction. *lol* Far be it from me to let my fellow readers jump into this unprepared. 😉

Fereshteh “Angel” Rahimi:

”And I know they’re both worried about my future. They don’t ever say it, but I know they know I’m average and average is disappointing for them. Especially compared to my brother. The pinnacle of ambition and success.”

First of all I have to say how much I loved Angel’s true name! Fereshteh is such a beautiful name and if you ask me I’d have preferred her to go with her real name instead of Angel. ❤ This said I really liked Angel and how she always tried to help everyone. She was such a kind and gentle soul and even though she had no idea what she wanted to do in life she was still a very strong character and able to stand up for herself. That argument she had with her parents broke my heart because I was about the same age when I had a similar conflict with my parents and I think they only just realized that I became a person who had its own opinion about things. XD I’m sure one day my kid and I will have such an argument too and I can only hope that she’ll know that I love her no matter what. I’m pretty sure that’s something every child and parent will have to go through. They grow up so fast and they steal your heart the moment you see them. Why am I getting all sappy now? *lol* Never mind! Let’s continue! I kinda liked the scene when Mac confronted Angel about being a “fandom celebrity” because *lol* that’s me whenever some of my GR friends claim that I’m popular on here. (Like what?!) And just for the record: I don’t think I am. I just write my reviews. That’s it. 😉 Or to say it with Angel’s words: “It’s just the internet.” *shrugs* Also I could relate to her feeling average. It’s hard to have an older sibling that is perfect in every sense of the way. Been there, done that, got the freaking t-shirt. *lol* So yeah Angel’s POV really hit home. XD

”Well, I didn’t realise you were some sort of fandom celebrity,” he says with the fakest smile I’ve ever seen.
I laugh at him. “That’s a massive overstatement.”
He raises an eyebrow. “You joking? Literally everyone here knows who you are. People keep coming up to you to take selfies.”
I shrug. “It’s just the internet.”

”Are you still angry with me?”
“I was never angry, my darling. Only scared.”
“Why … were you scared?”
There’s a pause.
“Because I felt that I suddenly didn’t know you,” she says.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci:

”Everything’s sort of changing and happening and I feel excited and scared, and my brain doesn’t know how to deal with it all.”

Jimmy’s struggle is so real! I really liked Jimmy because he felt and thought so much about everything! His anxiety was tough to witness and even though I have no experience with anxiety in the way Jimmy feels it I know exactly how it feels to have a panic attack or a mental breakdown. Jimmy is a truly beautiful person inside and out but I think he had to go through a lot of shit when he came out as transgender and I’m pretty sure that only increased his anxiety. If you’re a public person to come out can be so much worse because everyone and their grandma knows it.  And there will always be haters… no matter if you’re a nobody like me or a public person. Shitstorms can be so much worse when you’re the latter though. So it’s no wonder Jimmy almost broke under the pressure and I’m glad he decided to pull in the reins. The Ark came so far, they are popular enough to do what THEY want to do. 😉 I can’t help but wonder if idols or stars really feel like they’re living a lie. I mean there happens a lot that’s off screen and we never get to see it but if they really feel like they’re a fraud that would make me kind of sad. =S Guess we’ll never know.

”I can’t breathe, shaking, probably going to die, something’s going to kill me, someone’s going to kill me, how am I going to save myself? How am I going to save myself? How am I going to save myself?”

”I don’t know who I am. Everything I do feels like a lie. I wake up every day and I have to be Jimmy Kaga-Ricci, this famous guy, and I have to smile at the camera and say hi to people but … I don’t even know who I am underneath that.”

”No, you don’t fucking know that, Rowan.” I raise my voice. “I’m not going to just sit and wait for things to change any more. I’m changing things. I’m doing what I want for once.“

Lister Bird:

”Why else would anyone want to be around me?” he says. “I’m Lister Bird. Why else would anyone want to be around me other than to get with me?”

Ahh poor Lister! He’s definitely the visual of the group and apparently has many fangirls. It’s no surprise that he’s obviously feeling very lonely though. Jimmy’s and Rowan’s friendship is very strong and he only ended up in the band because he could play drums. So I can totally see why he’d feel left out and not as much a part of the group as the other two. He basically had no one to talk to so it’s no wonder he became a party boy and got drunk. It was his escape from the things he had to deal with but it certainly wasn’t a healthy way to handle the pressure. Many stars seem to go down that road and it makes me really sad whenever I hear that they ended up in rehab. Lister is aware of his problems though so I hope Rowan and Jimmy will help him to find his way back into a life without alcohol.

”Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to shout at you. I’m just tired.” He puts the near-empty bottle down on the sink next to me, and then pats me gently on the cheek. “Hey. Jimmy. Sorry.” Then he wraps his arms around my shoulders and hugs me tightly. “Sorry for always being shit.”

3

Angel & Jimmy:

”As we’re forcing our way out of the crowd, Jimmy clutches onto my hoodie with one hand, like a scared toddler. Is this weird? Probably. I love him more than my own fucking life.“

When I visualized their first meeting I definitely didn’t imagine them being scared shitless in a public toilet/bathroom. And I certainly didn’t see Jimmy with a knife in his hands, yet this is exactly what happened. *lol* Oh boy! Whenever I think about that scene I imagine myself meeting BTS in a toilet like that and haha to say it would make me super uncomfortable would be putting it mildly. XD What I know for certain is that I would try to speak with them and to ease their tension though. Angel did a great job considering the circumstances and I really loved her for helping Jimmy the way she did. Because quite honestly, if I would have no kid and no adult life I would help BTS like that too. Or well, even with my kid I’d probably invite them over to my flat and give them a safe space to crash and to calm down. (As long as they don’t tidy up my flat… *lol* Come to think of it 7 pairs of helping hands would be welcome though. ;-P) I know Jimmy’s grandfather would think we only do this because we have no life but I assure you: I have a life and I love and respect myself. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be kind to celebrities I never saw in person though. They are only human and if they are scared I will help them. Period. Angel and Jimmy might have a strange kind of friendship but they are there for each other and this is what counts in the end. The conversation they had about being a part of each other’s truth was really well written and I loved this scene so much. Music is a part of me and the people that make the music I adore are ultimately a part of me as well. So in that sense we’re all connected with our idols somehow. =) It’s a beautiful thought.

”You are … the damn light of my life,” I tell him. “When everything is bad, when I wake up and want to go back to sleep and never wake up, you’re there for me.”
“I’m not,” he whispers.
“You are.” I swallow nervously. “If you want it to end … I understand.” I pat my chest. “But … I guess … you’re ending a part of me too.”
“Part of you?”
“Without you … without The Ark … all I have is my dull life. You’re one of the few things I had in my life that was good and true. You’re part of my truth.”
He blinks. “You’re part of mine too.”

Jimmy & Lister:

”No one’s like us, Jimmy,” he says. “I think we’re your only dating options.”
“Rowan’s straight.”
“Oh. Just me, then.”
I whack him on the arm and we both laugh.

I don’t get how the fandom didn’t see that one coming! *lol* I mean Rowan is straight, Jimmy is openly gay and Lister openly bi. So it’s only logical to ship them together, right? *lol* Their ship name could be Jister or Limmy!? XD I know I’m being silly! Still, I really liked those two together and even though there is really nothing happening between them aside from a few hugs and one kiss I think that they might end up being a couple in the future. Also I can’t get over the fact that Lister quite literally accidentally stabbed himself because he was worried Jimmy might hurt himself and therefore stole his knife! I mean AHHHH!!! Those two… *shakes head* I wonder if Alice will ever write another book about those two. Probably not, so we can all enjoy our own imagination. ;-P

”You don’t have to … like me back,” he says, and his voice breaks but I can’t tell whether he’s laughing or trying not to cry. “But please don’t hate me.”

”He finishes drying my face, throws the paper towel into the bin, and then before I know what’s happening, he wraps me into a warm hug. He squeezes his arms around my shoulders and brushes his temple against my head.
“You know I love you, right?” he says, his voice sounding different, low, right next to my ear. “I know you and Rowan have always been a team, but … I love you too … okay?”

For a moment I think he might want to kiss me again, but instead he just presses his head into the crook of my neck, nestling his cheek on my shoulder, and wraps his arms round my shoulders. He smells vaguely smoky, and a little of alcohol, but he feels so warm.
“I want to change too,” he says.

Jimmy & Rowan:

”How you doing, Jimjam?”
“What?” I ask, not understanding the question.
He squeezes my arms, then rubs them soothingly. “Are you calm?”

Now let’s talk about the pic of Rowan and Jimmy sleeping together in their bed. *lol* OR let’s just talk about how close they are as friends! I mean it’s so obvious that they love each other a lot, just not in the way the fandom wants them to. There’s no Jowan, but I really adored their interactions and how much they seemed to care about each other. You can see that they are really close and that they are super comfortable around each other. I’m like that with my besties too and a very cuddly person. (Do whatever you want with that random info. *lol*) So for me to see their strong bond was really nice and even though they argued quite a lot in the ending it was only because they cared so much about each other. =)

”The photo does indeed show Jimmy and Rowan sleeping next to each other on a bed. Rowan is on his front, one arm slung over Jimmy’s chest. Jimmy’s head is tilted ever so slightly towards Rowan.”

”Jesus fucking Christ, I thought you’d been kidnapped. Thank God I still remember your fucking home phone number. God, look at you, sleeping in this tiny bed with a knife on your bedside table. Like, you could hurt yourself. God.”

The fandom rep:

”Neither of us have any friends in real life who like The Ark, but that doesn’t matter, because we have each other. I used to try to get people to talk about The Ark with me – my school friends, my parents, my older brother – but no one really cared.“

I loved the interview they gave when they said “the fans like to overthink everything we do” and I had to agree so much! *lol* I mean JK shows his eye tattoo in an episode of RUN and ARMYs be like: OMG!!! WHAT DOES IT MEAN!!?? I’m ARMY myself so I can laugh about this and say that we’re all clowns. *lol* Anyway, what I want to say with this is that the fandom rep was so damn on spot I can’t even! Haha! Alice Oseman captured it so well and I loved that by inventing Juliet and Angel she also gave room to the fandom side that’s not just screaming and fainting fangirls/boys. You’d be surprised about how many of us are actually normal people that just love our boys and their music. XD If I’d get a chance to spend a day with BTS I’d probably just hang out with them, eat good food, play silly games and talk about God and the world. Maybe I could even persuade them to play guitar or e-bass with me? *lol* So yeah, pretty normal stuff. Also since my kid is so little she’d probably be the star in the room and they’d play and goof around with her. XD Because no matter how famous they are, they are still normal (okay, they are perfect!) people and I totally agree with the sentiment that they feel like they are my friends. In difficult times their music helps me to get through the day and they always make me smile which is pretty amazing. =) So if you ever come to Austria and read this BTS, write me and I’ll invite you over for a schnitzel and potato salad. Considering the dumpling incident I better don’t invite you for roast pork and dumplings though. *lol* ;-P

”They’re not like normal musicians. It feels like they’re our friends and they understand us and care about us.”

”I know he asked you for help,” says Piero, “but the trouble is, while asking for help is always good, it’s impossible to keep relying on others to solve your problems for you. There comes a point where you have to help yourself. Believe in yourself.”

The musician rep:

”A lot of them only like us because we have nice faces. But as long as we are here, the three of us, and we get to make music, and we get to live this life – playing our music in a new city every week, bringing smiles to millions of faces, leaving our mark upon the world – then everything is good, and fine, and okay.”

As a former member of a band to read this rep made me very happy. It was so accurate and I think in the end we all just want to make music and to hang out together. A band is like a family. You spend so much time with your members that you know each other’s habits, hopes and fears. Sometimes you’ll be stuck together for weeks but you don’t care because as long as you’re together and making music everything is alright. You hug, you cry, you comfort each other, you hang out together, you cuddle, you laugh and joke. And you’re very close to each other and have a unique bond which many fans will ship because they think there has to be more to it. *lol* I don’t even know how many people shipped my bestie and me during band times but since even one of our teachers shipped us… well you get the idea. *lol* He was always just my bestie though. Like a brother. We went through thick and thin and even tough our band doesn’t exist anymore (he moved to Germany) and we both have a family and lives that keep us busy, we’re still close and stay in contact. This said the musician rep of “I Was Born for This” was perfect and felt really personal. ❤ So thank you Alice for writing it in this book! =)

”And Jimmy here,” Rowan continues, clapping me on the shoulder in a manly fashion, “Jimmy’s like my brother, you know? The fans know that. The world knows that. I think that’s what’s so special about being in The Ark. We might not be related but the three of us are brothers, yeah?”

”The three of us … we were born to be together,” I say. “And I can’t leave that. I don’t want to leave that.”

4

This book was made for me! I loved it so much and I’m sure it will always be one of my all-time favourites. =) The way Alice Oseman captured fandoms, showed the lives of musicians and represented anxiety was amazing and as always her character cast was super diverse. I’m so glad Alice writes books and I’ll continue to read everything she publishes. She has a rare gift and I’m thankful she shares it with the world. XD

”Everyone’s normal, really, aren’t they?” Bliss says. “I mean, everyone’s normal, everyone’s weird, everyone’s just trying to deal with their own life and keep calm and carry on. And hold on to something that’ll keep them going.”

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

”Conquer your fear, and you can conquer the world.”

I’m the first one to admit that this book was not what I expected it to be. I mean after the “school for assassins setting” in the first book I thought this series might continue in that vein. Little did I know Jay Kristoff had completely different plans that would exceed all of my expectations. And what kind of glorious plans they actually turned out to be. Glorious, indeed. Sanguis et gloria to be exact! Yes, my gentlefriends this is latin and if you’re familiar with the language you can already tell that this story is quite literally about blood and glory. (Well, I suppose in some way all of Jay Kristoff’s stories are. *lol*)

Anyway! Let’s not get distracted. 😉 “Godsgrave” was not what I expected, knowing Jay I probably should have expected this though. He always throws me for a loop and by now I’m convinced he lives and breathes to give his fans multiple heart attacks. I swear, all those plot twists will kill me one day and if I ever meet Jay I’ll pinch him in his ear. Well, and then I’ll hug the hell out of him. But first I’ll pinch him! You can bet on it! *lol* You deserve it, Jay! You know you do! (I might be two heads shorter than you but I’m fierce. ;-P)

This said: I absolutely loved “Godsgrave”! This book had me at the edge of my seat and I was more than eager to read on! And some days I wasn’t eager at all because I dreaded what was going to happen next. Thankfully my awesome friend Sabrina buddy read this book with me and I enjoyed her company immensely! XD Our WhatsApp chats were amazing and the amount of emojis and BTS gifs we used will probably go down in reading history. *lol* I’m very glad I didn’t have to read this alone and I’m already looking forward to our buddy read of “Darkdawn”. And before I continue to ramble I’ll just go to my character section! Jeez I have so many thoughts!

2

Welcome on the sands of the arena! Pick up your weapon of choice and face your enemy! We can’t promise you that you’ll survive this, but what we can promise, is that all of those spoilers will hurt! A lot! *lol* So if you don’t want to be spoiled you better drop your weapon and leave this arena as fast as possible. Yes, spoilers are a tough enemy, indeed! ;-P

Mia Corvere:

”And you know why I’m here. My father was executed as a traitor to entertain the mob. My mother died in a prison, and my baby brother beside her. And the men responsible need a fucking killing. That’s how I feel about it.”

I’m besotted and in love with Mia Corvere. There I said it and I stand by it! This girl is amazing! I already knew that she’s cunning and kick-ass but she reached an entirely new level of slyness in this one. Plus her character arc was beautiful to behold. The conflict in her only got even stronger as the plot proceeded and even though Mia was always one to question her actions and decisions she never felt as torn as she did in “Godsgrave”. I can’t believe she became a slave in order to kill Scaeva and Duomo at the magni. Her iron will is stunning! To go through with getting a slave mark and to live and fight alongside the gladiatii… Wow. I’m still in awe of the great lengths she’ll go to just to get her revenge. >_< The reality of it all touches her though and you could see it in her every action. I think Mia found her humanity and compassion in this book and it made for a really great character arc. Considering it all I can’t wait to see what will happen in “Darkdawn”! I mean that freaking ending!!! Her brother??! Some part of me already suspected he was still alive, but boy, this plot twist was kind of unexpected. XD

”But the wrongness of it was creeping on her like a cancer. Every turn she spent with this brand on her cheek made it harder and harder for her to ignore the folk who couldn’t just skip away from their chains through the shadows like she could. Not just gladiatii. The whole Republic was oiled by the machine of human misery. Now that her eyes were opened to it, she couldn’t unsee it. Didn’t want to.”

”She didn’t feel fear in the face of it all, no, the thing in her shadow wouldn’t allow that. But she did feel sorrow. Regret, for all that was and might have been.”

”The choice between looking plain and pretty isn’t really a choice at all. But any fool knows looking dangerous is preferable to both.”

“You can keep the glory. I’m just here for the blood.”

Dona Leona:

”But not this time,” she spat. “Never again. I want him on his knees. I want him to look up into my eyes and know it was me who put him there. I want to drink his suffering like the finest wine.”

Now here’s a character I really appreciated. Not for who she is but for what she represented. I loved that Jay Kristoff introduced us to Dona Leona because she was the mirror reflection of Mia. She was the person Mia would have become if her parents wouldn’t have died and if she would have been raised normally. (or as normal as you can be raised in a world like theirs) In a lot of ways Leona was a privileged woman, but no matter how independent she was, she still wasted her resources and couldn’t handle her money, which ultimately got her in a lot of dangerous traps. I believe there is something good in her and I’m pretty sure Mia saw it too because otherwise she would have let her die with the others. She spared her life and gifted her “all the kindness she could muster” so I hope Leona learned her lesson and will live a humble life with Arkades at her side. Also I kind of doubt we’ll see her in “Darkdawn”. 😉

Leona took Mia’s hand. Bladesinger’s also.
“I …”
She shook her head, trying to speak. Tears welling in her eyes.
“Be careful out there,” she finally whispered.

”He beat her to death with a bottle of goldwine, Arkades,” Leona said, her voice beginning to tremble. “Because she knocked over his glass at dinner. Who exactly does deserve that?”

Furian:

”If I’d allowed you to win at Messala’s palazzo with your devilry, you’d have set a taint at the heart of this place. I’d starve before I ate food bought with dishonest coin, and die before I claimed a laurel I’d not earned.”

I think Furian is the perfect name for this numpty because he made me so damn furious, I can’t even. *lol* I hated that guy with a fierce passion and I’m not sorry that he died. XD I mean, how stupid can you possibly be? All that talk about honour and the will of the gods drove me crazy and his stubbornness made me super angry. Especially after I found out why he became a gladiatii. Like seriously? Are you kidding me? He was a vile scoundrel and wanted to atone for his deeds by killing even more people? (innocent, enslaved people for that matter!!!) REALLY??!!  O_o WTH??!! I had such high hopes when he was introduced as another darkin but he only turned out to be one hell of a disappointment.  >_< And just for the record I knew he was sleeping with Leona right from the beginning. *shakes head* Well, I hope the next darkin Mia encounters will have more common sense. *wipes away Furian’s blood stains* Good riddance!

”I do not expect you to understand. But magni is a holy rite. Judged by the Hand of God himself. And if Rapha taught me anything, it was that the things we do are more important than the things we’ve done.”

”I look in your eyes and I see intent. I see design. Ever since you set foot in our collegium, I’ve felt your hand at work. Like some shadow puppeteer ever pulling the strings, and we, the marionettes.”
Mia snatched her arm free with a snarl. “Don’t touch me.”

Sidonius:

”Bollocks,” Sid said. “I watch you, Crow. I watch you watching us. Arkades. Leona. Furian. Me. Those little wheels behind those shady eyes always aturn. And though I don’t think you’re quite the coldest fish in this pond, you can’t honestly say you give a damn whether any of us lives or dies. Especially when we’re all likely to perish in the venatus anyways. So what’s your game?”

Haha! I remember Sabrina and me saying that he’s going to die… and that pretty soon! *lol* Well, I guess we were both wrong. Sid turned out to be quite the surprise and I got really attached to that big oaf! XD His principles and morals weren’t misguided like Furian’s and the longer I read the more I began to appreciate his character. That he knew Mia’s father was a twist I didn’t see coming and everything he said about Dona Corvere? After that ending I can only assume that he was right about her character. I wonder if we’ll ever see him again? With Jay you never know. I, for my part, hope we will! 😉

”There’s no softer pillow than a clear conscience.”

3

Mia & Ash:

”No, if Mia was afraid, it wasn’t of wanting a girl.
It was wanting this girl.
Ashlinn Järnheim.
Thief.
Liar.
Killer.
Traitor.“

A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this but: Am I the only one who doesn’t feel this relationship. At all?! Go ahead! You’re allowed to pull out your pitchforks and axes. I won’t hold it against you. I’ll just say my part and be done with it, okay? 😉 Here goes nothing! You all know I’m the first one who’d love to ship an f/f couple! I think they are still underrepresented in YA literature and I definitely want more f/f ships in my books. So believe me when I say that I’m ALL for the sapphic romances! This one however just doesn’t seem to work for me. As much as I appreciated the Mia & Ash vs. Leona & Furian scene, I still can’t help but feel like something is missing. Maybe it’s the fact that Ash killed Tric (in cold blood I might add) and never apologized for it because “he had to die” in order for her plan to work. Or maybe it’s because this came out of nowhere. Yes, they kissed in “Nevernight” but they basically went from “I hate you” right to “I love you”. I mean, hell’s bells, she killed Tric and there was nothing that would have redeemed her actions. So why the hell would Mia fall for her? My only explanation is that she became blinded by all the violence around her and wanted something sweet. *lol* I dunno. *shrugs* It just didn’t work for me. I know that’s a super unpopular opinion but I stand by it. #SorryNotSorry

”This kiss was an invitation; a gently, desperate plea for a beginning, not an ending. A question without words, Mia’s mouth open and melting against Ashlinn’s own. And as she felt Ashlinn shiver, the feather-light brush of her tongue in kind, Mia had her answer.”

Mia & Mr. Kindly & Eclipse:

”You’re not helping,” she whispered back.
“… i am offering moral support …”
“You’re being an annoying little shit.”
“… that too …”

The dynamic between those three is quite something! It’s interesting to see them interact with each other and even though Mr. Kindly and Eclipse seem to hate each other they are both reluctant to part ways with Mia. Sometimes I couldn’t help but wonder if they represent different parts of Mia’s character because Eclipse is rather the improvident and reckless character while Mr. Kindly is all compassion and caution. When Mr. Kindly remarked that they might change her by eating her fear I began to wonder too. Mia being darkin is still so mysterious and the fact that she killed Furian… well, is he going to be a shadow creature too? Where do they come from? Why are darkin so drawn toward each other? I have so many questions and just like Mia I hope they’ll be answered soon!

”… you send me away …?”
“… O, MY HEART BLEEDS …”
“… we have no hearts, you idiotic mutt …”
“… BE SURE TO REMIND ME OF THAT, WHEN I AM EATING YOURS …”

”… i am sorry, mia …”
“You?” she whispered. “Why?”
“ … he was your friend … “
“They’re not my familia, remember?” she replied. “They’re not my friends.”
She looked down at her hands. Blurred almost shapeless by her tears. “All of them are only a means to an end.”

”… i wonder sometimes, what we are making of her …”
“… WE ARE MAKING HER STRONG. STEEL. RUTHLESS AS THE STORM AND THE SEA…”
“… the thing we take from her … i wonder if she does not need it…”
“… YOU SPEAK OF FEAR …?”

Mia & The gladiatii:

”In every breath, hope abides.”

This was one of the best found families I ever saw. Mia fought her compassion tooth and nail but in the end it didn’t help. She still got attached to that bunch of gladiatii and I can’t blame her for it. They were all such interesting characters and they grew on me as well. I loved Byern, Bryn, Sidionius, Bladesinger, Wavewaker and Maggot. Those 6 were amazing and I grew super fond of them. I can’t believe little Maggot had to die though! My heart broke so much when Mia called her baby! T_T Poor little Maggot! She deserved so much better than that. And all just because of Magistrae! That witch! Urgh! I really hope the survivors will do fine after they got their slave mark removed! ❤

Mia felt hot tears in her eyes, a crushing weight on her shoulders. A scream was building in her belly, but her voice was only a whisper.
“Please, baby.”

Mia & Mercurio:

”This is important to her,” Mercurio replied.
“Be that as it may, this whole plan is fucking lunacy.”
Mercurio sighed. “I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, girl, but Mia Corvere and lunacy go together like cigarillos and smoke.”
Ashlinn smiled. “O, aye, I noticed.”

I love Mercurio! He’s not only a great teacher but also a great man and underneath all that grumpiness he’s a real softie. *lol* He’s Mia’s family and her father figure. Also he obviously feels strongly about Mia because otherwise he would have never dared to defy the Red Church as long as he did. He loves her and she loves him and I’m really worried about that old bastard now. XD The Church has him and knowing them they won’t go soft on my old man. I just hope he survives until Mia is able to find him. >_<

”I’m not in the business of taking in every stray that walks in off the street, Mia,” he growled. “I’m a bishop of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, not a fucking charity worker.”
Mia folded her arms, fixed Mercurio with her dark stare.
“I recall a stray who walked into the parlour of Mercurio’s Curios not so long ago,” she said. “A girl without a friend in the world, and a whole Republic arrayed against her. You took her in. You gave her a place to belong. You gave her love in a world where she’d thought there was nothing left but shit. And thinking of it now, I don’t ever think she said, thank you.”

Mia & the Red Church:

”Problem with being a librarian is there’s some lessons you just can’t learn from books. And the problem with being an assassin is there’s some mysteries you just can’t solve by stabbing fuck out of them.”

Ha! Chronicler Aelius is probably one of my all-time fave characters ever! I wonder how he feels towards Mia now though. I mean he always liked her and he knew that she would be part of a great story so I kind of hope he is still on her side. I’m sure Adonai is still on Team Mia too. He owes her after all. As for Aalea, maybe she would help her? She obviously seems to have the hots for Mia. *lol* I loved her direct offer to warm Mia’s cold nights. ;-P I guess we’ll have to see if the Red Church is truly Mia’s enemy now. >_<

”This life we live … there is room in it for love, Mia. But a love like autumn leaves. Beautiful one turn. A bonfire the next. Only ashes the remainder.”

4

“Godsgrave” was one hell of a surprise and I loved every second of it. This is how character arcs are done and even though this book plays in a Roman setting I couldn’t help but compare it to a Greek tragedy. It had all the makings and plot twists to be one and after THAT kind of ending I’m more than just ready for “Darkdawn”!

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Imagine Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 2 Pfoten, 5

 
Book 28 on My Book List 2020
 
 

„What happened to you, man?“ I whisper. „Where’d you go?“
„Hell,“ he says. „I’ve finally found hell.“

Me too, Ladies and Gentlemen, me too! >_<

Hell was reading this book and you better get yourself some chocolate before you continue to read because I’m so bitter that I could be mistaken for a lemon. I’m not just bitter though, I’m salty as well. So buckle up this is going to be a spicy ride. (Okay, I’m done with the food hints now. *lol* You get the idea! ;-P)

This book was just … URGH!!

I’m so disappointed right now I’ve been fighting to find the proper words for at least two weeks. And I just realized that I’ll probably never find them. >_< I think the most important thing you have to know is that I loved the original trilogy! It was so good and I’m such a huge Tahereh Mafi fan! Moreover I actually enjoyed books 4 and 5! They were different but they were still good! So what went wrong? A LOT!!!  Or basically everything!

Seriously, if it wouldn’t have been for my beloved Jello who had the questionable pleasure to experience my disappointment first hand I most certainly would have never made it through this book! So a huge shout-out to Jello for surviving this buddy read with me! *lol* You’re the best, girl! And I swear I would have never made it through this book without your support! <333 So thank you so much for keeping me company on this hard ride. XD It was tough for both of us but we got through it somehow! *sighs* This said let’s get to the root of the problem:

”My questions are endless.
I kill them.”

Oh, how I wish I would have had the same luxury!!!

Unlike Juliette I couldn’t just kill my questions though and instead of getting answers all I got was a headache and even more questions than before. There happened so many things that left question marks above my head and NONE, really NONE were answered! You’d think an author who writes the last book in a series that consists of 6!!! (SIX!!!) books in total would try to wrap it up all nicely in the end? Nope! Nah, Nuh-uh. Nopedy nope! I didn’t get my awesome ending wrapped up in a lovely bow and I’m so bitter about it! So, so bitter! And this comes from a fan that loved and read all the former books, mind you! I’m not writing this rant because I dislike Tahereh’s books or because I want to make her feel bad, I’m writing this rant because I LOVE Tahereh and her writing style and I can’t believe that she would write such an ending!!! I just can’t wrap my head around it!

„It is only in the desperate seconds before death that we realize the windows against which we broke our bodies were only mirrors, all along.”

What went wrong Tahereh? Why give us such a sloppy ending even though we know you are a magnificent writer?!  Where did your amazing and beautiful writing style go? I missed it during the entire book. The fact that I only wrote down 4 quotes from a book that consists of 450 pages should already tell us enough! After reading all the other books I couldn’t even pack all those lovely and beautiful quotes into my reviews. I had no problem this time around. In fact I had to go looking for those 4 quotes so that I actually COULD put something into this review. *shakes head*

Still, the writing style wasn’t the only thing that made me sad. I also missed the amazingness of my beloved characters. They used to be complex, they had character arcs and they developed. They grew and changed over time. In this book it was like they all went back to their starting point and couldn’t be more than stereotypes. Which is such a shame! And don’t even get me started on Juliette/Ella!

spoilerWTH, Tahereh?!!! I hated Robo-J so much and whenever I read “Yes, sir!” I felt like I wanted to puke!! What was the point in making her bland like that? That entire thing with Anderson and his sadistic streak, the fact that Juliette was attracted to HIM??!! WHAT DID I EVEN READ HERE?? At times it felt like I jumped right into a twisted and revolting version of “50 Shades of Grey” and the obedient/dull soldier looking up to her dominant master theme was THE WORST and so didn’t work for me!!!

Another thing that riled me big time was that the main topic of those last 3 books was Emmaline and then we barely get anything about her. The first 10% of the book and then… nothing! Like she wasn’t important enough to keep the plot moving. Instead we get… moments that made me want to tear my hair out! >_< And to add insult to injury we get an epilogue that was so unsatisfying that I sat there crying into the book! Not because it was so good, but because it made my heart bleed all over the pages by not being what I wanted it to be. T_T

This book should have been named “Torture Me” instead of “Imagine Me” but if I have to go with the theme, I’ll do it my way (and this is where it gets salty, my friends):

“Imagine Me” borrowing Winston’s whiskey flask and taking a big swig in order to get through this book. *lol* Thank you, Winston! ;-P

“Imagine Me” throwing this book against a wall.

“Imagine Me” setting it on fire and then chucking it out of the window.

And “Imagine Me” letting it being run over by a car only to get drenched in rain! All for good measure, of course! 😉

“Imagine Me” hoping for a great ending and getting THIS and…

spoilerA DOG!!! Not even a wedding but a freaking dog??! I understand why Tahereh wrote that scene but I really would have rather wanted to read their wedding scene! Damn it!

“Imagine Me” and my face falling when I realized this was neither about Emmaline nor about my OTP.

spoilerI mean Juliette and Warner’s relationship was basically non-existent! They spent about 90% of this book apart and then he KISSES her back into her mind??!! Like seriously? Are you kidding me? Juliette doesn’t even recognize, let alone remember Warner but she makes out with him? How could Tahereh reduce their beautiful and deep relationship to nothing but physical attraction? There was so much more than that between them and it was the physical aspect she latched on to?!! WE (the fans) and Warner & Juliette deserved so much better than that!!!

“Imagine Me” being one of Tahereh’s biggest fans but being so damn salty I could turn a lake into the sea. If you ever come across an Austrian lake that’s as salty as the Black Sea: I’m sorry, that was me! XD

“Imagine Me” getting whiplash from shaking my head too much! My neck hurts, no kidding!

“Imagine Me” losing my appetite every single time Juliette said “Yes, sir!” (I need to eat lots of Christmas cookies to compensate for that!!)

“Imagine Me” wanting to erase the memory of this book with bleach! Yes, I’m that desperate! Come to think of it Evie and Max would come in pretty handy right now. XD

“Imagine Me” collapsing under the weight of all those question marks, because let’s face it: This book was all over the place! I feel like Atlas and it’s no fun!

And last but not least: “Imagine Me” renaming this book “Torture Me”!

The only good thing about “Torture Me” was Warner’s and Kenji’s bromance! Well, and this quote:

„To the world, she is formidable.
To me?
She is the world.“

That’s it! My fan heart is so broken right now, I want to “imagine” a world with a better ending than this! T_T

Okay, I’m done with the puns and I’ve vomited all my bitterness into this review. I’m sorry to say it but I can’t give this more than 2,5 paws. 2,5 paws because otherwise it would feel like I’d let Tahereh get away with this disaster of a book and someone has to speak the truth. As a huge fan of this series my heart is bleeding but I stand by my opinion! #SorryNotSorry

Let’s hope Mafi’s next book will be better again!

Allgemein, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: Heir of Fire (Sarah J. Maas)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”She has no hope, Prince. She has no hope left in her heart. Help her. If not for her sake, then at least for what she represents – what she could offer all of us, you included.”
“And what is that?” he dared ask.
Emrys met his gaze unflinchingly as he whispered, “A better world.”

First of all: YES, the rumour is true!
This series really gets better and better with each and every single book! 😉
Just thought I’d let you know! *lol*

To be honest, after “Crown of Midnight” all I hoped for was that “Heir of Fire” would be able to keep the pace. And tell you what? It actually exceeded my, admittedly, already high expectations! Yes, Sarah! You did an amazing job with this one! I was hooked right from the beginning and I didn’t want to stop to read this damn book!!!

I loved this book, I loved it so freaking much! It was so, so, so, so, SOOO, good!!!
And I was happy with it, I was SO happy with it!
UNTIL… UNTIL the last 20 pages hit me!! ARGH!!! T_T

I thought I’d be able to write about “Heir of Fire” without getting all too emotional but as it seems all my plans and good intentions just went out of the window. I can’t write about this book without getting emotional! I just can’t! It was too much!! That ending was too much!!! WHY?

WHY THE FREAKIDY FREAKING HELL, SARAH!!!!????
How could you do this to me??!!
HOW?!

I LOVE THIS BOOK!
BUT I HATE THIS ENDING SO MUCH!

I hate it,
I love it,
I hate that I love it,
I love that I hate it!

ADSFJKLMNÖ ADKFASLDFJASDKFASDK!
*throws book against the wall*
*a second time*
*for good measure*

Okay, I think I’m ready to continue now. *takes deep breath and collects herself*

All right! Let’s do this!
Just like with “Crown of Midnight” I won’t waste your time by writing about the plot. It’s way too complex to explain it without any spoilers and because of that, I guess it might be best if I just go for another round of “Keyword Boggle”!
It was so much fun the last time around, wasn’t it? ;-P

So here I go: Celaena, Dorian, Chaol, Rowan, Aelin, Manon, Abraxos, Sorscha, The King, magic, faeries, witches, darkness, fire, ice, wind, a kitchen, a healer, an apartment, blood, murder, and let’s not forget about the black stones. XD

I guess by now you could write your own book! *lol*
We’re still speaking about Sarah’s book though, so I’ll head directly into the characters section and won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

2

Do I still have to say it? Yes? Okay! Beware of my characters section because it’s known as the spoilery spoiler section of my reviews! Don’t read on, close your eyes, eat an ice, please think twice, I’m not nice, my reviews have spice. And spoilers, lots of spoilers, but you already know that or you wouldn’t have continued to read that bad rhyme! ;-P

Celaena:

”So you’d save another land, but not yours. Why can’t your friend save her own kingdom?”
“Because she is dead!” She screamed the last word so loudly it burned in her throat. “Because she is dead, and I am left with my worthless life!”

*sighs deeply* Oh, Celaena! How much pain does this poor girl have to endure? It hurt to read about her feelings after Nehemia’s death, it hurt to read how much she ached and wished she could have been someone else. That she could have saved her friend. That Nehemia would live instead of her. That Chaol would have trusted her. That he would have told her… Oh boy, Celaena’s heart was a black void of desperation and pain that only seemed to get worse before it even got a chance to get better. In the end it did get better though and I’m so happy about that! She finally found her inner strength and she accepted her heritage! Which is awesome, because I really can’t wait for her to kick some ass! *lol* Heaven knows the King’s behind is already a formidable target and please Sarah if there is any justice in your world you’ll let him burn for what he did!!! You’ll let him suffer for all the pain he caused!!! I can’t wait to see Celaena’s power unleashed! Guess the palace is going to be “hot stuff” soon! ;-P

”He had chosen the king. Even though he’d claimed he loved her, he still loyally served that monster. Maybe she had been a fool for letting him in, for dreaming of a world where she could ignore the fact that he was captain to the man who had shattered her life again and again.”

”No, all she could see were the slaves she’d left behind, the ashy mountains and those mass graves they dug every day, the faces of her people, who had worked beside her – her people whom she had left behind. Whom she had let herself forget, had let suffer; who had prayed for salvation, holding out hope that someone, anyone would remember them.
She had abandoned them – and she had been too late.”

”She would not let that light go out. She would fill the world with it, with her light – her gift. She would light up the darkness, so brightly that all who were lost or wounded or broken would find their way to it, a beacon for those who still dwelled in that abyss. It would not take a monster to destroy a monster – but light, light to drive out darkness.
She was not afraid.”

Chaol:

”He was afraid of what they would do to his kingdom. Because this was still his kingdom. He was working for Dorian, not Aelin – not Aedion. And he didn’t know where all of this put him.”

YESH! I know it was a long and hard way for Chaol but as it seems he’s finally on the right track! I loved that he began to question everything. He was so insecure and hurt that he had no other choice than to face his outlook on things and in the end this eventually forced him to see behind the kings carefully kept façade. Which is awesome, because I know deep down within him Chaol is a very good man!!! He was just completely oblivious to the fact that the served a monster! Still, I’m glad he decided for Dorian and I swear if Celaena and Chaol don’t do anything about this damn ending, I’m going to riot!!!! CHAOL you gotta help your Prince and rightful king!!!!

”I will not turn my back on my kingdom or my prince,” Chaol snapped. “I will not fight in your army and slaughter my people. And I will not break my vow to my father.” His honor might very well be all he would have left after the end of this.

Aedion was quiet long enough that Chaol got up to leave. But then the general said, “What would you have given – just to see her again?”
Chaol couldn’t turn around as he said, “It doesn’t matter now.”

Chaol kept his sword drawn. “I will not go to Anielle,” he growled. “And I will not serve you a moment longer. There is one true king in this room – there always has been. And he is not sitting on that throne.”

Dorian:

”Once Dorian might have already said something about it. But having magic, getting drawn into whatever mess Celaena was in, seeing that other world in the secret tunnels … all of that had changed everything. The best he could do these days was maintain a low profile – to keep his father or anyone else from looking too long in his direction.”

WHY SARAH??!! WHYYYYY? *breaks down and sobs* Why do you have to use him as a human punching bag? Dorian is so decent and compassionate; he doesn’t deserve to be broken!!! First you hurt him by finding out about Chaol’s and Celaena’s secret, then you kill off his girlfriend and in the end you even let him be forced into the Kings slavery!!?? LIKE SERIOUSLY!!?? WTFH!!?? WTF!!?? I CAN’T WITH THIS ENDING!!! I JUST CAN’T!!! HE SUFFERED ENOUGH!!! I don’t even want to know what is going to happen now that he’s wearing this freaking collar! He saved Chaol’s life! GODDAMNIT!!! GIVE MY BOY A BREAK!!! Sarah, I swear it here and now if Dorian isn’t saved by the end of book 4 I won’t continue to read this series. I just won’t! I know it’s the author’s right and decision to kill off characters or to make them suffer as they please, but I just can’t take it anymore. Dorian is my cutiepie and cinnamon roll and I think my heart hurts enough! I survived 3 books of ACOTAR watching how my precious Lucien went through hell and I just can’t take this anymore. Lucien never got his happily ever after and it still hurts!!! So no, sorry but no! If Dorian isn’t at least halfway alright after “Queen of Shadows” then I’m quitting this series! Period! I made up my mind! There was so much potential to give Dorian’s character a chance to evolve and to be awesome and interesting! So much raw magic that could have been used, but all that happened was that Sorscha died and Dorian sacrificed himself for Chaol. I’m pissed, I’m majorly pissed! And coming from me that means a lot! So yeah, this wrong is better set right or I’m quitting! I’m serious and I mean it! This said:
#TeamDorian forever and for always!!! <333

”He’d been a fool once, swearing he would tear the world apart for Celaena. A boy in love with a wildfire – or believing he was in love with one.”

”Because you’re not really scared of those things, are you? No – it’s what they represent. The change. But let me tell you,” Dorian breathed, his magic flickering and then subsiding in a flash of pain, “things have already changed. And changed because of you. I have magic – there is no undoing that, not getting rid of it. And as for Celaena …” He clamped down on the power that surged as he imagined – for the first time, he realized – what it was to be her. “As for Celaena,” he said again, “you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”

”We’re all risking something.” There was so little of the friend he’d grown up with. The prince glanced at his pocket watch. “I need to go.” Dorian stalked to the stairs, and there was no fear in his face, no doubt, as he said, “You gave me the truth today, so I’ll share mine: even if it meant us being friends again, I don’t think I would want to go back to how it was before – who I was before. And this …” He jerked his chin towards the scattered crystals and the bowl of water. “I think this is a good change, too. Don’t fear it.”

Aedion Ashryver:

”Handsome was a light way of describing what Aedion was. Overwhelming was more like it. Towering and heavily muscled, Aedion was every inch the warrior rumor claimed him to be.”

I like Aedion! I like him a lot!!! He’s such a tortured soul and he tried everything possible in order to protect his people! He was an intriguing new character and I can’t wait to see more of him. I really liked his interactions with Dorian because they were so much fun! *lol* Those two have a lot of potential to become close friends, but I guess the ending of this book kind of nullified that possibility. Still, I want Aedion’s noble and brave soul to be rescued as well and I don’t even want to know what the king is going to do with him. T_T I hope Aelin returns soon because her boys definitely need her right now! Poor Aedion, he waited for so long!!! And if I’m already at it! He saved Chaol’s ass too, so Chaol better get his groove on! He needs to make plans to save him as well! XD

”Cousin – that had been his most beloved title. Cousin, kin, protector. Those were the secret names he harboured deep within, the names he whispered to himself when the northern wind was shrieking through the Staghorns.”

”Aelin would come back from Wendlyn, no matter what the captain believed. Aelin would come back, and when she did … With every breath, Aedion felt that lingering scent wrapping tighter around his heart and soul. When she came back, he was never letting her go.”

”All you monsters can burn in hell. Because my queen is coming – and she will spike you to the walls of your godsdamned castle. And I can’t wait to help her gut you like the pig you are.” He spat at the king’s feet, right on top of the fake ring that had stopped bouncing.

Rowan:

”She noticed then that his arms were bandaged, and more bandages across his broad chest peeked up from beneath his shirt. She’d burned him again. And yet he had held on to her – had run all the way here and not let go once.”

The fierce, broody and intense warrior! I like him even though I have to admit that his abilities as a teacher kind of lack experience. *lol* Still, he’s a decent fae and despite the way he acted at the beginning of the book his heart actually seems to be in the right place. I loved that he took care of Celaena once he realised why she’s so broken and I suppose their fight at the beginning was kind of necessary. They both needed to let off some steam. XD I genuinely hope we’ll see more of him in the next book, because I feel like there is so much more to tell! 😉

”How – how did you come back from that kind of loss?”
“I didn’t. For a long while I couldn’t. I think I’m still … not back. I might never be.”
She nodded, lips pressed tight, and glanced toward the window.
“But maybe,” he said, quietly enough that she looked at him again. He didn’t smile, but his eyes were inquisitive. “Maybe we could find the way back together.”

Manon:

Silent as death, Manon slid up behind him. The fool didn’t even know she was there until she brought her mouth close to his ear and whispered, “Wrong kind of witch.”

I’M IN LOVE WITH MANON BLACKBEAK!!! This woman is so savage and fierce! I love it! *lol* As it seems for once my prayers were answered! I got more of the iron teeth witches and I loved every single chapter! XD Manon is so damn amazing! I just couldn’t get enough of her and followed her storyline closely. Truth be told, I just want to lean back and watch how her and Abraxos change the world. Haha! I disliked Manon’s grandmother a lot though and even though she became Wing Leader I’m pretty sure there will be some major estrangement in the future. Still, I loved Manon’s connection with Asterin and her Thirteen and I really hope they’ll always be at her side. Maybe Petrah will join them one day? Idk! I truly hope she’ll be fine some day because I really liked her too. >_<

”You’re mine,” Manon said to him.
The wyvern blinked at her, Titus’s blood still dripping from his cracked and broken teeth, and Manon had the feeling that he had come to the same decision. Perhaps he had known long before tonight, and his fight with Titus hadn’t been so much about survival as it had been a challenge to claim her.
As his rider. As his mistress. As his.”

”And Manon, because no one was watching, because she did not care, flung out her arms as well and savoured the freefall, the wind now a song in her ears, in her shriveled heart.”

”You touch him again,” Manon said, “and I’ll drink the marrow from your bones.”

3

Chaol & Dorian:

He met Dorian’s gaze. There was nothing kind in it. But Dorian said, “I’m trying, Chaol.”
Trying, because Chaol’s not consulting him on the plan to get Celaena out of Adarlan had been a breach of trust, and one that shamed him, though Dorian could never know that, either. “I know.”

Oh, those two broke my heart! I really wanted them to solve their problems and then this damn ending came along!!! ARGH! They need a chance to fix all this! Sarah give them a chance, please!? They deserve it! And OMG Chaol told Dorian that he loves him!!! Way too late but he did it!!! <33 I just want my two boys to be happy and friends again. *sobs* They both suffered enough in those last two books, they really deserve some peace!!! And to take away their chance to make amends!! So mean, Sarah! So, so mean!!! >_<

”You think I’d run to my father?” The words were barely more than a strangled whisper as the temperature plummeted.
Chaol stepped forward, putting himself between Aedion and Dorian, his palms exposed. Placating. “I can’t afford to guess – to hope. Even with you.”

”You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.” He pitied Chaol, he realized. His heart hurt for his friend, for all that Chaol had surely been realizing these past few months. “Just as you cannot pick which parts of me you accept.”

”He looked at his friend, perhaps for the last time, and said what he had always known, from the moment they’d met, when he’d understood that the prince was his brother in soul. “I love you.” Dorian merely nodded, eyes still blazing, and lifted his hands again towards his father. Brother. Friend. King.

Sorscha & Dorian:

”She usually talked like this when she was nervous. Which, Dorian had noticed with some satisfaction, was when he came near. And not in a bad way – if he’d sensed that she was truly uncomfortable, he’d have kept his distance. This was more … flustered. He liked flustered.”

I suppose their relationship was doomed right from the beginning but I still would have liked it to work out. They were so sweet together, but I can’t shake the feeling that I missed some major parts of their plot. I really wish Sarah would have given us more of them because to me their entire storyline felt kinda rushed. Still, I was glad Sorscha helped Dorian to hide his magic and her being a spy was such an unexpected plot twist. >_< It really killed me when the King ordered her death and I can’t even describe how much Dorian’s pain hurt me! T_T I’m still not over this… probably I’ll never be!

”Yes,” he breathed, and kissed her. It was fast – but her face was flushed, and her eyes wide as he pulled back. His own eyes were wide, gods be damned, and he was still rubbing his thumb against her soft cheek. Still contemplating going back for more, because that hadn’t been nearly enough.”

Celaena & Rowan:

”Why don’t you just bite me again?”
“Why don’t I give you the lashing you deserve?”
He looked so dead set on it that she blinked. “If you ever take a whip to me, I will skin you alive.”

Oh, ho ho! Those two!! So much passion, so much pain! They were quite a sight to behold! *lol* I loved how their initial animosity turned into a solid friendship and I was so glad Celaena finally told someone about her past! This was so damn necessary and I’m glad Rowan was there to listen to her troubles and fears! ❤ I’m sure they’ll become lovers in the future, but as it seems Sarah just wants to torture us a little bit more. ;-P After all she’s good at that, torture seems to be her middle name! XD Bet the J. is just a fib! Haha!

”It was a selfish wish, and a fool’s hope.” She read the rest of it in his eyes. But it came true. “Dangerous, for a prince of ice and wind to pray to the Fire-Bringer,” she managed to say.
Rowan shrugged, a secret smile on his face as he wiped away the tear that escaped down her cheek. “For some reason, Mala likes me, and agreed that you and I make a formidable pair.”

 
4

Okay, I think I ranted enough now. *lol* So yeah, I hope I’ll get my hands on “Queen of Shadows” soon and that my precious Gem will continue this journey with me! I even wrote nice things about Chaol!! That’s got to count! ;-P

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Golden Son (Pierce Brown)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

It’s been three days I finished “Golden Son” and I still don’t know how I feel about it, let alone what I think about it. >_<
I’m just so confused and devastated and my heart is nothing but an empty void.

There seem to be three bloodydamn good reasons why I feel that way though:

1.) Pierce Brown ripped out my heart and gave it to the pitvipers.
2.) He broke my mind and didn’t leave any glue.
3.) His book shattered my soul and fractured it into tiny little pieces.

YES! “Golden Son” quite literally destroyed me and I have no idea how I’m supposed to survive the third book. I got so attached to all those characters and whenever something happened to them, I almost got a heart attack. The pacing was so fast, I barely managed to keep up with all those many plot twists and every time I thought I knew in which direction it was heading, the entire story line changed once again. To read this book was like playing chess without any rules. *lol* You have all the familiar chess pieces you need in order to play a decent game of chess, but your nice little figures never do what they are actually meant to do. It’s like they constantly give you the finger instead! XD

That’s so rude Pierce!!
So mean
and cruel
and painful!!!
You hear me?!
SO FREAKING SAVAGE AND EXCRUCIATING!!!
*mental breakdown*

Okay, okay I’m fine again. *clears throat*
Where was I again? Oh, yes the plot!

”How could so frail a girl have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up?”

1

”They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.”

After graduating from the Institute, Darrow Au Andromedus spent his last three years as a Lancer of House Augustus serving no other than Nero himself. Left to his own devices and without any guidance from Ares he didn’t just try his very best to find his way amongst his fellow Golds but also worked more than just hard to become an integral and important part of Nero’s forces. This however isn’t as easy as it seems and all it needs is a small mistake that’s able to destroy the good reputation he has built. After all there are plenty of enemies that want to get a piece of him, first and foremost Cassius au Bellona and his entire House which still holds a deadly grudge against him. With his loyal Howlers scattered all over the galaxy and only Roque at his side, the growing pressure on Darrow’s shoulders might soon become too strong to stand it any longer. Will he rise like a comet or will he tumble into red dirt?

”Your people. My people. We have languished in darkness. But there will come a day when we walk in the light. It will not come from their mercy. It will not come by fate. It will come when brave hearts rise and choose to break the chains, to live for more.”

2

”We’re all just wounded souls, stumbling about in the dark, desperately trying to stitch ourselves together, hoping to fill the holes they ripped in us.”

This is the moment you enter my spoiler section. There will be lots of quotes and information about the individual characters and most definitely also way too many subjective emotions for your own good! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

Darrow:

”I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.”

Oh Darrow, my torn and insecure child! This boy is hurting so much, not just because of the things people are doing to him, but also because of his past, his current present and the things that might eventually happen in the future. He wears a burden that is too heavy for him but he still tries his best to stay strong, to keep on moving and to fight for the things he values. *sigh* He’s such a torn man, it’s exceptionally painful to watch. For instance Darrow still loves Eo and his family, but he also grew fond of some of his fellow Golds and to say he is walking a thin line between acceptance, betrayal and loyalty is actually putting it more than just mildly. In fact it doesn’t even get close to the truth! >_< That moment when he realised that Sevro knows about his true identity and accepts him the way he is, oh boy did it kill me!!! I was right there crying with him! <333 Darrow has a too gentle soul for what he’s about to do, but his determination and will are incredible! XD I loved how he treated Mickey and I’m really sorry for what happened to the poor Carver. I mean just like Darrow he’s a product of his environment and he certainly didn’t deserve to be abused by Harmony. Still, as much as I admire Darrow he definitely made some huge mistakes as well and I think the ending of “Golden Son” made that more than just clear!!! Urgh that ENDING!! I can’t even… T_T

”In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.”

”He can’t say any more because I’m hugging him and crying. I sob and hold on to him, shaking, scaring him. He doesn’t move except to pat me on the head. All the weight falls from my shoulders. Someone knows. He knows and he’s here. He knows and he came to help me. To help me. I can’t stop shaking and saying thank you. Eo was right. I was right. “You are my friend,” I tremble out like a child. It almost makes him cry seeing me this way.”

”Because you’re my friend.” I bring his hands to my lips, kissing them gently as he looks up at me with hopeful eyes. “Weird as you are, wicked as you were. I know you want to be better. You want to live for more. We all do. And there’s not a place they could take one of my friends that I would ever abandon them.”

Mustang:

”Shame you don’t respect me enough to suppose that I have my own plan. You think I’m here because my aching loins thrust me into Bellona arms. Please. I’m no bitch in heat. I protect my family by any means necessary. Who do you protect but yourself?”

I don’t even dare to say it but I was kind of disappointed by Mustang in this book. I mean yes she’s still cheeky and she was one of the good guys, but after “Red Rising” I really would have expected her to play a more important role and to fight for her opinions and rights. First she decided to work for Octavia au Lune and then she became Cassius girlfriend?! Like seriously?! We all know what a – excuse my crude language – bitch Octavia is and to date Cassius because she thinks she might protect her family by doing so?! WTF!?!! Where is her fire?! Where is the snarky spark I loved so much?! She doesn’t have to resort to the typical tricks of a woman, she’s way better than that and the fact she chose to use her femininity instead of her strength, intelligence and will power was just frustrating. Truth be told I think Victra was a way better role model in this book! She didn’t care what others thought of her, she did what she wanted to and she took what she needed! Yup, I think I liked Victra more. *lol* Oh and don’t even get me started about Mustang’s reaction when she found out that Darrow is a Red!!! It’s like she wanted to support all the classes and change the system and then BAM! Darrow tells her he’s actually a Red and she hates him!? I mean yes she’s entitled to feel betrayed, everyone would do, but to react like that?! Preach water and drink wine, right?!

”If she gives me her heart, I’ll break it. My lie is too great to build a love upon. When she discovers what I am, she will reject me. Even if she could survive that, I would not.”

”The human spirit tries to break free, again and again, not in hate like the Dark Revolt. But for love. They don’t mimic each other. They aren’t inspired by others who come before them. Each is willing to take the leap, thinking they are the first. That’s bravery. And that means it’s part of who we are as people.”

Sevro:

”He stands quietly in his armor watching us, watching Roque hold the girl Sevro loves but has never told, the girl he could never have. The pain is raw and etched deep into the lines of his hawkish face. Impervious Sevro, immune to hurt, to sadness, to having his eye gouged out by Lilath, the Jackal’s lieutenant; it all falls on him now.”

I still L.O.V.E that boy to bits and pieces!!! He’s truly the best thing about this series!!! <333 Sevro is the best friend anyone can have and he’s so damn loyal and gentle it’s a pleasure to watch! Yes, I said gentle!! Because behind all his rabid-wolf-attitude and the tough façade he shows to others, he’s actually the sweetest and kindest soul ever! Plus I love his humour!!! XD And just like Darrow I seem to have a weakness for men with only one eye and a really sassy demeanour. (Yes Lucien I’m talking about YOU here!! ;-P) I wasn’t really surprised to find out that he’s half Red, I have to admit that Fitchner’s true identity threw me though. *lol* Who would have thought Fitchner had it in him? Well, I certainly didn’t! XD

”Audentes fortuna juvat,” Sevro chuckles.
“Fortune favors the bold? You deserve to die if that’s really going to be the last thing you say in this life.”

”Sevro?” I look around for him. He’s loitering around Pliny’s eyeball some twenty metres back. We turn to look at him and he shuffles his feet awkwardly.
”Can I …” He gestures to it.
“What?” Mustang asks.
“Can I have it?”
Mustang squints at him. “All yours.”
He scoops up the eyeball and jams it into his pocket, grinning merrily. He runs to catch up. “Collecting the set, hopefully.”

”I can’t do this without you.” After a desperate moment, “Are you with me? Sevro?”
He pulls back and wipes snot from his nose, muddying his face. Tears make lines in the mud as he looks up at me, voice cracking like a child’s. “Always, Darrow. Always.”

Roque:

”We are not our station in life. We are us – the sum of what we’ve done, what we want to do, and the people who we keep close. You’re my dearest friend, Darrow. Mind that. No matter what transpires, I will protect you as surely as you would protect me if ever I needed it.”

Roque… my precious poet with principles. My kind spirit in a cruel world. OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN!!! I knew this would come, I saw all the signs, Darrow’s betrayal, Quinn’s death, the fact Darrow shut him out of his inner circle over and over again. It was so damn hard to read!! Every little moment, every small action, every single word that left Darrow’s lips… it was poison for their friendship, poison for my poor Roque. Darrow should have tried to mend things between them, he should have given him time and an honest and long conversation but he did absolutely nothing and just left him out in the rain. Grief is a powerful emotion and it can change people in ways no one would have ever thought possible. Darrow of all people should have known this!!!! DAMN IT!!! Roque was so lonely and isolated, so broken… broken beyond repair and no one noticed. It’s really no surprise he did what he did…. I saw it coming, yet I still wasn’t prepared to face it. My heart is bleeding! I AM HEARTBROKEN! I feel so torn about Roque right now, but I can’t hate him. I can’t dislike him for what he did. He’s still my Roque. My gentle poet. *sobs* ARGH!! I hate Pierce Brown for making me feel this way. And how it happened in the end… I guess I finally have my answer how Roque made it through the passage…. I wish I would have never found out… It just hurts… T_T

”I didn’t mind that it was always about you, Darrow. That was what burned Tactus, but not me. I’m not in love with you like Mustang. I don’t worship you like Sevro or the Howlers. I was a true friend. I was someone who saw your light and your dark and accepted both without judgement, without agenda. And what did you do to me? You used me like a man uses a horse. I’m better than that. Quinn was better than that.”

”Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair,” he says, turning to glance over his shoulder. “We’ll talk again soon.”

A needle from his ring pricks my wrist. Gentle, like the kiss he now plants on my cheek.
“And thus go liars, with a bloodydamn kiss.”
One word shatters a thousand lies.

The Jackal:

”Come now, Father …”
“You are not my son.”
Adrius flinches. With those few words, Augustus releases something. And the small part of Adrius that held out hope to be loved disappears. He shakes off his humanity, leaving only the Jackal.

Cunning, cruel, conniving, relentless, heartless and creepy. In short: The perfect villain! Adrius is certainly a force to be reckoned with and this time around I actually truly and completely blame Darrow! He knew what he was getting himself into, he knew “The Jackal” wasn’t to be trusted, yet he still hoped his wrath wouldn’t reach him?! I mean what did he expect?! That the Jackal would stand aside while he became his father’s successor?! Didn’t the death of Leto teach him anything?! Adrius acted exactly the way I expected him to and I can’t believe Darrow actually fell for his trap! I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do with him… Knowing the Jackal it’s going to be cruel and savage though! >_<

4

“Golden Son” was brilliant and ingenious! It caused me to laugh, it caused me to cry and it thoroughly broke my fragile heart! *sobs* I think I’ll never get over that ending… never ever as long as I live. It’s just too gorydamn painful! T_T

This said, I actually must be a masochist because I really can’t wait to read the last book. *lol*
Thank you Pierce Brown, you successfully turned me into a sappy and weeping mess! 😛