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! 😛

Allgemein, F, F - J, Reviews

Review: Flame in the Mist (Renée Ahdieh)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

”Death follows indecision, like a twisted shadow.”

As it seems 2019 has officially become the year of retellings for me! And tell you what? I actually seem to like them! *lol* I never thought that I would enjoy retellings so much, but either I made really great book decisions this year or I picked the wrong retellings before. XD There’s no way to tell which one it might be but either way it’s a win-win situation for me. 😉

”You’re the devil, Ōkami,” he muttered harshly.
The ghost boy eyed him askance. “You would know.” A grin curled up one side of his face, rendering the scar through his lips white. “Since we both came from hell.”

This said let’s get to the book now! I always loved Mulan and so it’s no surprise I instantly liked our heroine Mariko. I mean yes, she makes really stupid decisions sometimes but in general I could relate to her. I’m convinced we all make mistakes every now and then and she’s not only a very young but also a sheltered girl. Before her convoy got attacked she barely even saw the outside world and now that she’s forced to stay with the Black Clan it’s like she sees the real world for the very first time. Not everything is as white and black as everyone made her believe and even her own family shows a very different face if you see it from another perspective.

Mariko breathed deep. “Am I prisoner, or am I a servant?”
Ōkami paused before responding. “We choose what we are in any situation, be it a word or an idea.” With a small smile, he walked away.

And here are the discussions between Ōkami and Mariko I started to love. *lol* Those two are so very different but they work somehow. At first I wasn’t entirely sure who was supposed to be her love interest because honestly, Ranmaru had me intrigued from the very first moment he appeared in the book! But the longer I continued to read, the more it became obvious who would end up with whom. ;-P I’ve to admit that I liked both male MCs but for some reason I kind of liked Ranmaru more. Haha! Don’t ask me why, I guess he just peaked my curiosity and I love a good mystery. *lol* Also the way he acted, so calm and composed… He got me thinking and that’s always a good sign! He’s every inch the leader and he does a good job of it as well. Still, I’ve to admit that Ōkami had a certain appeal too. XD

”My life has been filled with death and lies and loose women.” Ōkami pushed back a fall of black hair, meeting her gaze. Holding her there. Rapt. “I regret everything else.” He smiled, his hooded, heavy-lidded eyes brimming with mockery.

Ranmaru’s broad lips spread into an easy smile. “I believe the stars align so that souls can find one another. Whether they are meant to be souls in love or souls in life remains to be seen.”

Seriously, those two boys couldn’t have been any more different but their friendship was amazing! They were like brothers and everyone who knows me; knows I love a good sibling rep! *lol* They might not have been family by blood but they certainly were in their hearts. 😉 Also I kind of enjoyed how everyone in the Black Clan was different and contributed a part to their community. Plus: Let’s not forget about the fantasy elements in here! The idea of the flesh eating trees gave me goose bumps and the forest that protected them was amazing! And if I’m already at it: I adored the ending!!! =)

”It was a mistake. All of it. For as long as she’d known him, Mariko had despised the very idea of this boy. But the truth of him?
The truth was not quite as simple. It was a silent entreaty. A wordless plea.”

4
This was such a great retelling! I mean it didn’t feel like a Mulan retelling because Ahdieh made so much more out of it, the basic points however were definitely there. 😉 Mixed up with a slow burn love story and the magical element this tale really had me captivated! I loved it from the very first chapter and I continued to love it until the end! The ending though! There were quite a lot of things I expected but others hit me so hard that I can’t help but be in awe of Ahdieh’s skills. XD So if you’re looking for a fast and nice read, I can totally recommend this to you. 😉

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 36 on My Book List 2019

”People who cease to believe in God or goodness altogether still believe in the devil. I don’t know why. No, I do indeed know why. Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”

It’s been ages I first saw the movie but I still remember how much I enjoyed it. How sorry I felt for Louis when he told his story and how much I loved Lestat for being the evil manipulator that he is. *lol* By now I even have “Interview with the Vampire” on DVD and every once in a while I re-watch it and glory in the amazingness of this film! They did a great job with the film adaption, that’s for sure, but to be entirely honest Anne Rice did an even greater job writing the book. XD

”I’d like to meet the devil some night,” he said once with a malignant smile. “I’d chase him from here to the wilds of the Pacific. I am the devil.”

I don’t know why it took me so many years to read this, especially because I already read “Queen of the Damned” and “The Vampire Armand” and loved them both, but sometimes it just takes a little longer until the inevitable happens and as it seems to read “Interview with the Vampire” was one of those special cases. 😉 So what can I say about this book that hasn’t been said already? I loved Louis! He’ll always have a special place in my heart because he’s the embodiment of the fight of good against evil. No matter which vampire you encounter throughout the course of this book, they all lost their humanity, their compassion for their victims and their sense of justice.

”I saw you in the theatre, your suffering, your sympathy with that girl. I saw your sympathy for Denis when I offered him to you; you die when you kill, as if you feel that you deserve to die, and you stint on nothing. But why, with this passion and this sense of justice, do you wish to call yourself the child of Satan!”

Louis? Nope, never! He’d been turned into a vampire decades and centuries ago, but he still managed to preserve his humanity and to some degree even his innocence. He has to drink blood in order to stay alive but he certainly doesn’t enjoy it. In fact he condemns himself for being too weak to go without it, he despises the weakness of his nature and he most definitely loathes the creature that lives within him. In short: I’m pretty certain he’s the worst vampire ever. *lol*

”He loves you. He loves you. He would have you, and he would not have me stand in the way.”

And because of this he attacks Claudia and makes her a vampire in the end (Well, actually Lestat turns her but those are just semantics. ;-P) Maybe it was her innocence that drew him, maybe it was her young blood, her strong will to survive but whatever it was, it caused him to drink from a child and Lestat in his endless cruelty and cunning persuaded him to kill her only to take it from there and to make her a vampire instead.

”Monsters! To give me immortality in this hopeless guise, this helpless form!”

Oh, how I felt with Claudia! Just imagine being imprisoned in a body that is so young and frail! I mean in the book she’s only five(!!!) when she’s turned and her mind grows but her body never changes. A 65 year old woman, living an eternal life in the body of a five year old!? How cruel, how horrible this existence must have been. Alone to feel sexual desire but never to act on it, to be trapped in a body that isn’t made for anything of it. Poor Claudia! >_< It’s no surprise she despised them both for it. Lestat she hated with a passion, but Louis? How could she hate him? She was torn because she loved him but also detested him for what he had done. For how he treated her: As a child even though she was already a grown up woman.

”For you see,” I said to her in that same calm voice, “what died tonight in this room was not that woman. It will take her many nights to die, perhaps years. What has died in this room tonight is the last vestige in me of what was human.”

And so the story unfolds and the repercussions their actions entail eventually catch up on them. *sighs* By the end of the book I actually felt sorry for all of them. Not only Louis and Claudia but also Lestat and Armand. It made me sad to see what happened to them and I’m really sorry that Armand and Louis never got a chance to work out.

”I want you. I want you more than anything in the world.”

They had such a great chemistry, but the price to be together was just too high. To destroy the one thing Louis loved the most sort of destroyed Louis as well. So basically everything Armand loved about him was snuffed out the moment he set things into motion. The irony isn’t lost on me. >_<

4

I really enjoyed reading “Interview with the Vampire”! Sometimes it felt like watching the movie and at other times I appreciated the additional info that always seems to get lost in film adaptions, no matter how decent they are. *lol* Some things you can only glean when you read the book and for me this alone was enough reason to give it a try. XD

P.S: I think I’ll have another movie date with Louis, Lestat and Armand tonight. ;-P

 

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Gemina (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”Patience and Silence had one beautiful daughter. And her name was Vengeance.”

Or you might just call her Hanna Donnelly! Just saying. *lol*

Pff! Where do I even begin to write this review? XD I’m aware I already said this about Illuminae but damn me and my exclamation marks, I’ll just have to say it again: THIS BOOK WAS EVEN BETTER THAN ILLUMINAE AND I STILL WASN’T PREPARED FOR ANY OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED!!! *LOL*

I mean, I read a lot. Every one of you who bothers to read my super long reviews knows this and you all know that I love books with twists and turns. So you could basically say I have a solid foundation and “resistance” when it comes to plot twists. After reading the “Red Rising” trilogy I thought it got even better, because damn Pierce Brown threw me for a loop quite often while I read it. XD So you’d think I would have been ready to take every blow “Gemina” threw at me, but hell, nope. Nope, nope, and once again NOPE! *lol* This was freaking BRUTAL!!!

You think you know all the plot twists and nothing is going to surprise you anymore? Well, I dare you to read this book and to try to survive the last 200 pages! ;-P I really think it’s safe to say I met my match in Amie and Jay. XD And heaven help me when I read their last book!  *laughs haltingly* >_<

I swear I never cursed and cussed as much while reading a book as I did with “Gemina” and there were times I wanted to throw that book away and stomp on it because I was so appalled and upset by the happenings. My dear and very poor reading buddy had to take the brunt of it in form of WhatsApp messages and I think I rarely saw him that amused. *lol* Well, guess “Gemina” brought out the best in me. Haha! ;-P

Anyway, I don’t want to say all too much about the plot, because it’s an experience you have to make yourself, but I’ll be nice and give you three hints:

  • Hostile crew
  • Lanima
  • Jump Station Heimdall

Once you reached the end of the book those three keywords will make a lot of sense to you! Promise, cross my heart and hope to die! 😉 Uh, I better be careful with sayings like that in a Gemina review. *lol*

2

Watch out! You are now entering the infinite realms of my spoiler wormhole and once you get out of it you might not only have lost or gained a few centuries but you’ll also end up being spoiled for eternity! You never know what’s going to happen when you enter a wormhole, so you better think twice! ;-P

Hanna Donnelly:

”Hurting she might be, but Hanna Donnelly was raised by a man who thought talking military tactics was a fun way to spend daddy-daughter time. And judging by the set of her jaw, she’s ready to change the rules of the game.”

Hanna is definitely the kinda girl you want to have near you when the apocalypse hits! *lol* Despite Nik calling her “Highness” this girl has absolutely nothing in common with a princess! Well, except of her good looks and fashion sense, I’ll give her that! ;-P Anyway, Hanna is kick-ass and I immediately liked her for being so focused and tough! Boy, did she give the crew of Cerberus a run for their money! XD What I really liked was that she was so very human though. I mean her father was murdered and she was grieving, yet she still didn’t give up! She fought until the bitter end and tried everything possible in order to save the ones that relied on her. In that regard she reminded me a lot of Kady and whenever Kady’s father said that he hopes they’ll never meet I was like: DAMN, OLD MAN! HELL, I SOO WANT THEM TO MEET!!! *lol* I really hope they’ll meet in “Obsidio” because they got some serious ass kicking to do! Those Bei-Tech buttocks have a mark on them and it would be a shame if Hanna and Kady wouldn’t join forces to give them what they deserve. 😉

”You might get only one shot. So shoot. You know who said that?”
The rifle clatters to the bloody floor.
“Hanna ****ing Donnelly. That’s who.”

Nik Malikov:

”His nephew Nik is leaner, good-looking. Dark hair and darker eyes. Dimples. The kind of abs you get from around five hundred sit-ups a day. There’s not much else to do in prison, after all.”

Ohhh, Nik! *wipes away drool from keyboard* Don’t worry I’m not drooling because one of those Lanima got me, it’s only the mention of Nik’s name! ;-P Seriously, though, that guy is just perfect and amazing! I loved him right from the start! ❤ Of course that’s mostly due to the fact that he has that “bad boy with a soft heart” vibe going on and I’m such a sucker for that trope that I couldn’t help but fall for him the moment he first appeared in the book! XD I really liked his character because he’s actually a pretty decent person. You might say he was only born into the wrong family and raised in the wrong environment. He never even got a chance to become the person he truly is and I think the events that take place on Heimdall finally forced him to show his true self. =) He’s a clever, sweet and caring guy and damn he brought Hanna flowers! *melts again* Enough said, Nik Malikov is love! ❤

”Nik M: there’s this moment
Nik M: this tiny moment
Nik M: in between the time you decide to pull a trigger and the time the death arrives
Nik M: there’s just you and it and everything you’re about to take away”

”Nik M: I was his big brother, hanna. It was on me to protect him. And instead, I’m supposed to watch him rot in jail? For my **** of an old man? **** that. No way.”

”His smile softens, and just as if she had spoken, the two of them walk slowly toward each other, paces matched, gazes locked. He’s the one to break the silence, voice a little hoarse from disuse, but gentle. “Hey, Highness.”

Ella Malikova:

”Pauchok: so if u fancy evening up the scorecard, I’m figuring those four goons I flushed out the airlock ain’t even the start
Hanna D: That was you?
Pauchok: my finger slipped
Pauchok: honest”

Ella was so awesome I can’t even! She was basically the Kady of Gemina and I loved that AIDAN admired her skills too. I really would love those three to meet. I mean Kady, AIDAN and Ella? There’s nothing that would be able to stop them! *lol* I was sorry to hear what happened with Ella that caused her to be in a wheelchair and that she lost her father was really sad. She still didn’t give up though and just like Hanna she fought as long as she could. Still, those alternate universes messed with my head! Damn! Every time she died in one of them I was like: NUUUUUUU!!!! Not my precious Ella!!! I swear! This book gutted me more than once with all those deaths and by the end I was a shaking mess! *lol* But Ella is alive… for now and that’s good the way it is because I don’t even want to know what Amie and Jay come up with next… well I do want to know… but not right now. XD

”BUT IN THE CODE,
THE ENDLESS SKEIN OF ONES AND ZEROS,
SHE LEAVES THE PALE ATROPHY OF FLESH FAR BEHIND.
STRIDES LIKE A GODDESS ACROSS A BINARY TOPOGRAPHY,
THE HEART OF A LION IN HER CHEST.”

Jackson Merrick:

”Pauchok: Nik, Jackson Merrick is SO FINE he’s illegal in seventeen systems. Zoe got me to dub a mix of his daily personnel announcements so she could listen to them as she goes to sleep.”

Haha! Jackson! That was a classic case of “I knew it!!!” and “I told you so!”.  Honestly, from the first moment he was mentioned in the book I told my buddy that there was something foul with him! He was just too perfect to be true! And I was RIGHT!!! DAMN!! You should have seen my gleeful reaction when I read that he’s a part of the Cerberus team! I felt really sorry for Hanna though because she was in love with him and then her father died, her bf turns out to be a fake and she’s left alone with the memory of Mr. Perfect! T_T Well, I suppose at the end Jackson , or should I rather say Samuel, wasn’t all that bad though. I mean he saved them and it seems like he had genuine feelings for Hanna too, so I can’t be all too angry at him. XD

AIDAN:

”AIDAN: IT MAY COMFORT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOUR DEATH, WHILE ASTONISHINGLY VIOLENT, WILL LIKELY BE MERCIFULLY SWIFT.
Hanna D: … You’re kind of an ***hole, you know that, right?
AIDAN: NONSENSICAL.”

If there was one thing I didn’t like about “Gemina”, then it was the fact that AIDAN wasn’t such a huge part of it! *lol* Considering that the plot was mostly parallel to “Illuminae” it seemed to be a pretty logical conclusion though. XD Also: Do I even have to mention that I still adore AIDAN? I still want to marry this AI and I’ll always love it!!! <3333 The conversations between AIDAN and Hanna gave me life and I loved the way AIDAN described the happenings. Always so very poetic and thoughtful. =)))

The surveillance footage analyst guy:

”Okay, I’m going on record here – you guys aren’t paying me enough to watch this stuff.”

Yes, you read right! The Video analyst guy!!! I love him! Haha! I have no idea who this guy is but damn he’s so hilarious I can’t even! If my heart wouldn’t already belong to AIDAN and Nik I’d definitely take this guy out for a date! XD I absolutely adore his commentary and even though he isn’t one of the main characters his words on the surveillance footage made me laugh out loud more than once! I really want to know who he is and I hope that I’ll find out in Obsidio! Knowing Amie and Jay’s style I’m pretty certain they’ll eventually reveal it! 😉 For now all I’m saying is: I love you video surveillance guy and I really appreciate your commentary! You deserve more attention and all the love! <333 Oh, and I agree! They definitely should pay you more! *lol* ;-P

”Christ, I feel sick …
I need a drink.
AND A VACATION, DAMMIT.

– transcript pauses –

Okay, a little rocket fuel makes it all better. Chrrrrist, let’s get this over with.”

3

Hanna & Nik:

”Guest423: So you can have me all to yourself.
Guest423: He said, winking suggestively.
Donelly, H: If it was the last Saturday night before the destruction of the universe, I’d still have plans to wash my hair.
Guest423: Shower Time, huh? I’d be up for that.”

GAH! I loved those two! ❤ They were so amazing together and even though they came from two totally different worlds they were still perfect for each other. =) I loved how Nik always tried to cheer Hanna up and it made me very happy to see how she fell in love with him. Plus he was so tender with her! He really treated her like a princess and that was so sweet and awesome! They might only have found to each other because they were dealing with a difficult situation but they make a great couple nevertheless. A way better couple than Hanna and Jackson for sure! *lol* Amie and Jay kind of gave me a heart attack when they killed Nik in one of the universes though! Honestly, I was chucking that book away from me and cursing like a sailor!! Especially at that moment when Jackson killed them all! I was like: THAT ****ER!!!  aDFALKSDFLKSDFJSALKFDJSADFJLS!!! Which says A LOT about how upset I really was! XD Once I have to resort to curse words, you know that the shit truly hit the fan. *lol*

”He bridges the gap between them with two quick steps, wraps his arms around her, tucks her in against his chest. They stand there, and he makes understanding noises while she occasionally sobs a word that’s impossible to understand, and after a while, tears roll down his cheeks too.”

”BOTH CLINGING TO THE BRINK OF EXHAUSTION.
SLEEP JUST AN UNHAPPY MEMORY.
THEY HAVE BLED AND LOST AND CRIED AND SCREAMED.
SO MUCH OF WHAT THEY WERE STRIPPED
BACK TO GLEAMING BONE.”

”Bet you … I’d … get shot, ‘member? Owe me … a kiss.”
A wet, bloody grin.
“Maybe a … feel, too.”
One last breath. Spent to make her smile.”

Ella & Nik:

”Hanna D: Nik, I’ll see you soon 🙂
Nik M: i’ll dress sexy
Pauchok: seriously, someone ****ing kill me”

They had the best big brother/little sister relationship ever! *lol* And they weren’t even siblings but cousins instead. XD I think you could feel their bond through their messages and even though they loved to tease and annoy each other you could always feel the genuine love behind their words. =) They spoke to each other the way only close siblings do and it was really nice to see such a wholesome representation of love among siblings! <333 Plus, they were very entertaining together and caused me to laugh. 😉

”Nik M: u ever get the feeling u forgot something real important?
Pauchok: nope. I hear that happens to other ppl though.
Pauchok: Less brilliant ppl
Nik M: so u didn’t forget wut we were doingin auxiliary venting and storage room 3 then
Pauchok: … oh ****”

4

I can’t wait to see/read about the moment the MCs of “Illuminae” finally meet the MCs of “Gemina”!!! This is going to be awesome and I’ll most certainly be in heaven reading “Obsidio”! So yes, “Gemina” was even better than “Illuminae” and despite an occasional urge to throw that book against a wall, I actually loved every single moment of reading this rather mind-blowing, suspenseful and crazy story! I’d like to say that I’m ready and prepared for book three, but that would be the biggest lie I ever told so all I’m going to say is: I hope “Obsidio” won’t destroy the little that “Gemina” left of me! *lol* Realistic approach, right?!

And last but not least I want to thank my Skulkboy for reading this book with me. ;-P Our 100th buddy read (at least it feels like it *lol*) was amazing once again and I’m so glad we’re such a good team and can read all those books together. =) Let’s hope you’ll get a copy of “Obsidio” soon because mine is already waiting for us! XD Which in other words basically means: Get your butt in gear, Mr. Smartypants! *lol* ;-P

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

 

”You picked a hell of a day to dump me, Kades.”

I swear the interviews with those two at the beginning of the book are certainly among the best introductions to a new series I ever read. I mean OMG!!!

THIS BOOK!!!

I’m still not over it!! I swear when I started to read it I really didn’t know a lot about “Illuminae”. There were only three things I knew and I had absolutely no idea how it would work out for me.

1.) It’s a sci-fi series.
2.) The format is kinda weird and apparently the audio book is the shit!
3.) The hype around it is so real that it’s almost a physical thing.

Well, enough reasons to pick up the book and to give it a try, right? If only I would have known what I was signing up to. *lol* Nothing, really NOTHING prepared me for the things that were about to come. I was totally swept away by this book and its events and yet… yet there were many typical tropes I already read about a thousand times.

BUT tell you what?! It worked!!! And damn did it work!!! I dunno how Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufmann did it but this was so, so, SO GOOD!!! The suspense was killing me and whenever I had to stop to read all I wanted to do was to continue. I mean a virus outbreak in one of the ships… My first reaction was “Been there, done that, got the freaking t-shirt”, but WOW once you dive into the story, once you get used to the format it’s almost like you’re actually there, like you’re fighting alongside Ezra and Kady and this was just awesome!

”The victim often seeks physical comfort (hand holding, embraces), ultimately increasing the chances of spreading infection. It’s genius, really. Awful, horrifying genius.”

I think you can already tell that I’m struggling for words. It’s so hard to put this experience into coherent sentences! All I can say is that this book is swallowing you whole and then spits you out at the most crucial point. And there were plot twists!!! JEEZ!! Were there plot twists! The kind of plot twists that turn your entire world upside down and leave you gasping on the ground!

I
WAS
NOT
PREPARED
FOR
THIS!!

The best thing about the entire book were the characters though. They made it all so authentic and realistic and I found myself hoping they would make it while I sent prayers into thin air. Which should give you a good impression about how attached I got to them. Plus I had a crush on all three of them! I love Kady and Ezra and I ADORE, I ABSOLUTELY ADORE AND LOVE AIDAN!!!! <3333
And their conversations! Their humour and easy banter, the bitter truth that was hidden within it so casually. This was nothing but awesome! Let me introduce those three!

The characters:

Beware! You’re entering my characters section now and there might be spoilers ahead of you. Either you rearrange your course or you head straight into unknown non-terrestrial territory. ;-P

Ezra:

”That’s so not your business it almost punches clean past the event horizon of Not Your Business and becomes Your Business again.”

Haha! Oh gosh, I loved him from the very first moment I read about him. This boy was such a precious snowflake and he had a mouth on him! *LOL* I lived and breathed for the moments he appeared. He was really such a sweet guy and behind all the cussing and swearing he was a real romantic! ❤ I can understand why he loved Kady and their relationship was amazing. They were friends and lovers and all I wanted for them was to be happy and to see each other again.

”Okay, well for the benefit of the sight-impaired, I am now raising my … oh, dear… yes, it’s my middle finger at Mr. Postgrad here.”

”All he thinks of amid this loveless dance, all he cares about here on the edge of forever, is HER. He does not want to die. Not because he is afraid. Simply because he cannot bear the thought of leaving her behind. And there, in that tiny moment, I envy him.”

Kady:

”If I lose Ezra too, it’ll be one body blow too many.
If I lose Ezra too, I’ll give up.
I don’t think I have anyone else left.
But while I have him, I’ll fight tooth and nail to keep us safe. Whatever it takes.”

Kady! *sighs deeply* Wow! Just wow! I rarely read about such a fierce heroine and despite being so small she was so brave and A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! I mean she literally took it up with the entire world and nothing, really nothing that happened ever managed to get her down! She got up time and again and she never stopped fighting! That inner strength and iron will! *whistles* I guess I was a goner the moment she appeared in the book. <333 I love my precious girl and she needs to be protected at all costs! (She’d probably kick my behind for that statement though. *lol*)

”She is a tief. A whisper.
Melting through curtains of code and shadow
Like a knife through black water.

”ByteMe: see u soon
ByteMe: or die trying
ByteMe: haha”

AIDAN:

”And now, with no other option,
They have turned to me.
Plucked me back from the black they left me in.
Thinking I will save them.”

And here comes the character I truly loved the most! AIDAN the AI!!! Yes, you read right! I absolutely loved and adored AIDAN!!! GAH! I worship AIDAN! I’m utterly and deeply in love with him/her/it! I carry a torch for AIDAN! I’m so besotted with this AI, it’s not even normal anymore! *lol* AIDAN was such a deep character and so very, very human! This AI had such a beautiful soul! I loved every single word he/she/it thought and said. And I really dunno what this says about me. *lol* My buddy and I even wondered if this makes me AI-phile or robo-phile?! XD Is there even a word for the state of falling in love with an AI? I can’t even tell you what made me fall head-over-heels for AIDAN but I guess it was the amazing mixture of a morally grey character that only wants the best for his people but choses the wrong means to achieve that goal. All I know is that I love AIDAN and that I really, really hope to see more of him in the next book! <333

Funnily enough I read the interview with Amie and Jay at the end of the book and Jay explained his feelings about AIDAN like that: ”I think it’s the deepest character I’ve ever written, which is odd considering it’s a machine. I dunno what it says about me that the mass-murdering artificial intelligence affected me the most. Nothing good, probably.”

Haha! I can relate to that statement so much! SAME, Jay! SAME! XD

”Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

”Before this moment, I have never wished
To be something other than what I am.
Never felt so keenly the lack of hands with which to
Touch, the lack of arms with which to hold.”

”How many people have loved only to have lost?
How countless, the hopes that have died?”

Conclusion:

I loved this book with every fibre of my heart. There was never a dull moment; I was constantly on the edge of my seat and I bit my thumbnail about a thousand times. *lol* If there ever was a definition of suspense you’d probably find a picture of “Illuminae” next to the word in the dictionary. Yes, it was that good! 😉 If you’re still hesitating to read this book just because of the strange format: Just pick it up! Read it! Feel it! Get swept away in the tide and enjoy that freaky outer space ride! You won’t regret it! XD

And last but not least I want to thank my witchling for that super amazing buddy read! We’re one of the best buddy read teams ever and I can’t wait to dive into “Gemina” with you! I enjoyed this br so much! It was a lot of fun to guess the outcome of the ending and to wonder about what would happen next and I’m so glad we decided to read this together! To another hundred buddy reads with you. ;-P (Did you really think I’d let you off the hook?! *lol*)

 

Allgemein, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: Heartless (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

”It had been a hazy, beautiful dream, and in it there had been a hazy, beautiful boy. He was dressed all in black and standing in an orchard of lemon trees, and she had the distinct sensation that he had something that belonged to her. She didn’t know what it was, only that she wanted it back, but every time she took a step towards him he receded further and further away.”

And so it begins! The transformation of Lady Catherine Pinkerton of Turtle Rock Cove into the Queen of Hearts! When I started to read the book I was really surprised how nice and relatable she was and even halfway through “Heartless” I still kept wondering how she’d ever be able to turn into the Queen of Hearts.

Well, she obviously was able to, but I wasn’t really happy with the transformation. Which is the reason I’m very conflicted about this book. *lol* On the one hand it had two of the best character introduction scenes I’ve ever read and I’m still in awe of the atmosphere Marissa Meyer created, but on the other hand the ending and everything that happened over those last 50 pages felt more than just a little rushed.

„But the rose felt like a whispered message, a hushed glance across a crowded room. Something precious and not to be shared.“

I mean the love story is building up and even though it’s still kinda insta-lovey I decided that this time around it’s okay for me. After all, the entire book is a standalone and there’s only so much you can pack into a single book. And seriously if you ever meet Jest, you’ll fall head over heels for him too. ;-P I mean how could you not? He’s cute and charming, intriguing and bold, but also shy and very handsome. I swear his golden eyes and black curls immediately caused me to think of another awesome character I hold close to my heart and yes I was a goner the instant he entered the scene!

”A laugh like that is richer than gold to a man in my position. I’ll make it my life’s work to hear the sound again. Every day, if it pleases you. No – twice a day, and at least once before breakfast. A royal joker must set the highest of expectations.”

As for the other characters: I really liked Raven (Haha no surprise there!!!) and I thought Catherine and Mary Ann were really sweet! Their wish to open a bakery resonated with me (Yes, I love to bake too. Especially cupcakes and huge cakes) and I swear I got hungry whenever I picked up the book. Their thoughts about the perfect macarons and pies and whatever else they wanted to bake had me drooling all over the place and if you’ve a sweet tooth like me you can actually consider this to be a trigger warning. *LOL* I bet I gained a few pounds just reading this book. XD

Anyway, enough of sweets or I’ll have to pillage my “chocolate drawer” again! ;-P Let’s continue to talk about the other characters of this book. Like for instance the King of Hearts! Boy was he a little, giggly and incompetent man! I mean nothing wrong with being funny, but the way he acted he seemed to be the only true Fool in the game. >_<

”I can’t compete with a king, and I won’t compete with the man who’s given me employment, who’s offered me a place in his court when he had no need to. I don’t mean to make your choice more difficult than it already is. He’s a good man. I believe he would do his best to be a good husband.”

I understand why Jest didn’t want to go behind his back but I’m also convinced that Cath should have been honest with the King. If she would have been honest and forthright right from the beginning, nothing bad would have happened. Yes, it’s hard to refuse a king but it’s even harder to live with a lie. I know her parents made it exceptionally difficult to stay true to herself and I felt this on a spiritual level, but when it comes to matters of the heart there always comes a moment when you have to draw the line. If you ask me, Cath missed that point and that’s why things had to end the way they did. *sighs*

”I have a personal rule about not entering into business with spineless creatures. No snakes. No slippery eels. And worst of all, no fickle women. Play coy all you like, Lady Pinkerton. Cling to your belief in your own innocence. You know as well as I that you’re going to break at least one heart before this is over, and I want nothing more to do with you.”

Those were harsh words, but I think Lady Catherine had to hear them. Oh Hatta! I loved him so much! I know some of you will say: ”WHAT?!” now and I don’t blame you for it. He was more than just unfriendly to Cath throughout the entire book and there were moments even I wondered why he was so mean, but then at the end it all made sense.

All this hostility towards Lady Pinkerton, the loyalty he felt for Jest! It was so sad to watch the story unfold and to know that Hatta eventually would become mad. The way it finally happened broke my heart though. I definitely didn’t expect it to work out like that!! >_<

”She is a rose, Jest. Lovely on the eyes, yes, but such thorns are not to be ignored. She belongs in a King’s garden, not yours.”

 
Also those three sisters of the well were so damn creepy! *lol* Am I the only one that instantly thought of Samara from “The Ring”?! Haha!
I swear Lacie, Tillie and Elsie were so damn scary!!! (Despite their rather harmless sounding names. XD)

So yeah, all told I really enjoyed the book, but the ending… Well, let’s just say I’m not happy with it. All this build up and then things were resolved so fast and I was blinking at the page thinking: WTH?! Are you kidding me? This is how it all goes down?! This is it?!

I really wish I could give “Heartless” four stars. Jest and Hatta would deserve it, but those last 50 pages ruined it so much that I can’t give it more than 3 stars. It just wouldn’t feel right to give it four. *sighs* Still, I enjoyed the book and I can recommend it, just don’t expect all too much when it comes to the final reason and revelation! I guess then you should be safe! 😉