Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Shiver (Maggie Stiefvater)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”I saw it. I saw her, in a way I’d never seen anything before.
And I stopped it.

I really liked this one, I really did and considering the many negative reviews I read I can’t help but wonder if I’m truly that easy to please. *lol* I guess the answer is “yes” because I definitely would read every single book Maggie ever wrote and if possible I’d even read her grocery list! I just love her writing style, the way she always manages to create an amazing atmosphere, how she weaves a mystery around it all and adds so beautifully broken characters into her plot line. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m addicted to her books and no matter if other readers think that she disappointed them with „Shiver“, all I can say is: Maggie you made me very happy with this book!! <333

”Beck made perfect eggs. More than that. Beck kept me Sam. Back then, with the scars on my wrists still so fresh, I’d been so dangerously close to fracturing into something that was neither human nor wolf.”

Aww Sam!! I swear Sam is such a special snowflake and I loved him right from the start! This boy is precious, so damn precious I can’t even!! I loved that he was always so shy around Grace and that he tried to keep his distance even though he was in love with her. Beck was right; Sam really is the best of them all. And don’t even get me started about his yellow eyes! How cool is that?! A boy that turns into a wolf and has yellow eyes! XD Also his past, oh my! Maggie you have a talent to write the best broken characters and Sam is no exception to the rule. Poor boy and what he had to go through! I just wanted to wrap him into a blanket and keep him warm!!

”I wondered what Grace saw in me, why I fascinated her. What was I without my wolf skin? A boy stuffed so full of words that they spilled out of me.”

And no matter how many people think this is a typical YA story with werewolves. Well, you’re not wrong but you’re definitely not right either. I mean yes we have the insta-love trope and it’s pretty strong in that one, but if you think about it Grace and Sam kinda knew each other for years. *lol* PLUS Sam isn’t the super strong alpha male who’s a tease and tries to get into Grace’s pants! Nope, quite the contrary, he is shy, he’s super sweet, he’s decent, he’s vulnerable and he’s not strong! At least not physically. His mind?! Well, that’s an entirely different story because this boy definitely has a more than just strong will! ❤

”Dull orange-brown leaves, dry and dead, clung to the branches and fluttered in the wind, waiting for the gust of wind that would knock them to the ground. That was what Sam was: transient. A summer leaf clinging to a frozen branch for as long as possible.”

He fought against his change and boy how hard he fought! In fact both of them did. Grace tried her best to help him, but with the temperatures dropping so low this was a real struggle. And this kind of brings me to the next thing I loved about the book: The temperature information at the beginning of every chapter! This was a really cool detail and it really helped me to get a feel for the story! =)

”I felt like things were getting away from me. I’d found heaven and grabbed it as tightly as I could, but it was unravelling, an insubstantial thread sliding between my fingers, too fine to hold.”

As for the side characters: I loved Isabel and I was intrigued with Beck. They both were interesting characters and I’m pretty curious if they will make an appearance in the next book. I can’t really say that I want to see Shelby, but I’m afraid she’ll make an appearance no matter if I want her to or not. *lol* Also can I have more of Paul?! He seemed to be a fun character and he’s the wolf pack leader so I hope there will be more time with him in “Linger”?! XD


All told I enjoyed this immensely and because the ending was so abrupt I feel like I need to dive into the next book soon! I’m afraid I was once again left with thousands of questions and I’m in dire need of some answers, so we better start to read this soon! 😉
(Werewolves are perfect for October, right?! *lol*)

Last but not least I want to thank my awesome Sugar Bun for reading this book with me. As always our buddy read was rather spontaneous but I really enjoyed it and I loved that we tried to guess the ending. =) And in my defence: What would you do without me? You’d never read all those amazing yucky love romances! *lol* ;-P So are you ready for book two? *grins innocently* Haha!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: She Gets the Girl (Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Even though she makes me want to rip my hair out most days … she’s also the only person I’ve ever met and not been related to that I can be completely myself around, without buckling under the weight of my anxiety. I haven’t totally figured out why yet.”

But I have and it was a lot of fun to watch Molly come to the same conclusion. ;-P Those two!! I enjoyed this book so much and read it in a couple of days, which is very untypical for me. This is always a good sign and shows that I obviously had an amazing time. *lol* So what is the book about? Well, I guess you can already gather that from the blurb but I’ll still give you my two cents. In short you might say “She Gets the Girl” is about two girls that try to help each other out, but then accidentally end up falling in love instead. So far so good, sounds like a typical rom-com, but it’s not because the two MCs have quite a lot on their plates.

”Even though I’m finally gone, it suddenly feels like I’m right back in the house I left behind. Just waiting. Waiting for Mom to come home.
My mind would always get the better of me. I couldn’t stop obsessing over where she was. Who she was with. How much she was drinking. How much she was spending when we had a whole stack of bills on the kitchen table.”

Alex just moved out of her childhood home and is trying to start a new life in another city, but unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. She’s constantly broke because of her mom’s addiction, tries to juggle school and a new job, her roommate doesn’t like her because her boyfriend apparently has the hots for Alex (not that she would be even interested) and desperately tries to get her girlfriend back as well. So yeah, you might say Alex’s first week didn’t start all too well.

”I give her another hug because while I know it’s lame … we’re basically best friends. We’ve never explicitly called each other that, but when you’re this close with someone, it doesn’t need to be said. She’s been my closest friend all through high school. My only friend, if I’m honest.”

Not that Molly is doing much better on her end. (At least for her standards.) She just moved into her room and realized that she has a single dorm, so that means no roommates which was basically something she was afraid of but also desperately wished for because her social anxiety is already bad enough and it would have been easier to make friends. But alas no luck. Molly is stuck in a single dorm, has no idea how to cope with being at a foreign place, misses her mom who was her only friend and finally wants to get to know her crush a little bit better. Thankfully, she’s invited to a party, a party where her crush seems to flirt with Alex and Molly is not amused!

A conflict between the two is almost inevitable and they realize that they don’t like each other very much. Which was so much fun, because this was some sort of enemies-to-lovers trope and as you all know I love them! Anyway! It doesn’t take a genius to realize Molly is head over heels for Nora and Alex is pretty sure she can help her get the girl and prove to her kind of ex-girlfriend Natalie that she can have a friendship with other girls without lusting after them. (If you ask me that’s a red flag and tells you enough about Natalie’s character to understand that she’s a bad influence and not good for Alex. The way Natalie treated her… *shakes head*)

”But like … how? I’m not you.”
“You don’t have to be. You were yourself with him. You found something you knew about him and used that to work your way in. That’s all it is. I just want you to be more you, instead of a little ball of quiet anxiety in the corner of the party.”

So the two make a deal and start spending time together, which ultimately causes them to get to know each other even better than they wanted to. And this was done so well. I really liked how they went from enemies at first sight with a real strong animosity to tentative allies that became good friends and even more in the end. The way they started to share food and thoughts was amazing and it all felt so natural. I mean there are those two girls that try to win over their love-interests, yet at the same time they spend so much time together and get to know each other in the most intimate and open way possible. They don’t have to hide anything from each other because they both know who they are. They know each other’s weaknesses and strengths and can just “be” when they spend time together. They can be brutally honest and candid and just say what they think and feel.

”It’s been a while since I’ve had someone to hang out with like …” She motions back and forth between us. “Well, like this.”
That breaks my heart a little, but … I get it.
It’s been a while since I just hung out with someone like this. Someone I wasn’t trying to date or flirt with or keep comfortably at arm’s length. Someone that just wanted to hang out with me.
“Yeah. Me too,” I say.

This was such a lovely aspect of the story and I really appreciated how their relationship was portrayed. Which brings me right to their chemistry on page. Those two girls had many cute moments and even though they were rather brief you could still feel the growing tension between them. No matter if it was Alex or Molly, they both became acutely aware of each other and it was extremely sweet to see them struggle with their feelings and the sudden realization that there might be more between them than just friendship.

”Did I screw it up?” She tugs at the shirt tied around her waist.”It’s the flannel, isn’t it? I knew I should’ve just worn a button-down instead …”
“No. You just … look … you look … really pretty,” I manage to get out, looking at the way the jeans accentuate the curve of her hips.
Molly’s hips, I remind myself, and pull my eyes quickly away.

Plus I really liked that Molly always invited Alex to lunch, dinner, etc. For Molly it was no big deal but for Alex it was basically her love language! XD Which was kinda funny to realize while I read the book, because due to Alex’s circumstances she never has all too much money to spend on food or nice things and here comes Molly spoiling her senseless with treats. *lol* This was really cute because Molly didn’t even think about it and just wanted to do something good for Alex. Thankfully Alex was one of those girls that didn’t take offense and actually could accept the offer.

”Some things have to fall apart because they don’t belong together, but some things belong so much they could never break.”

It wasn’t all sunshine and falling in love, though and the more serious parts of the book hit pretty hard as well. Molly’s social anxiety and all the troubles it entailed, her conflict with her mom because she’s too protective and doesn’t give her space to discover and find herself and her wish to be proud of her Korean heritage that’s constantly thwarted by the fact that her mom hates being Korean. It’s not easy to find your identity and if your parents don’t acknowledge an important and integral part of themselves, how are you supposed to do it?

”I don’t want to be an open book. I can’t be. Because I’m rotten just beneath the surface, and deep down I’m scared she knows that.”

Alex’s problems were of a different nature and my heart broke so much for her. To grow up like this, to constantly be worried about your mom and that she might end up dead because you’re not around to pay the bills anymore or to make sure she eats and doesn’t waste her money on booze. To work twice, as hard because she knew sooner or later she would have to pay a lot of money to get her mom out of trouble again. It was really hard to read about and gosh, I’m so glad Jim was on her side because without this precious man Alex probably would have lost it. He’s an angel, I swear. Gruff teddybear. I love him. <333

”Maybe she’s not the girl that gets everything so easily.
Maybe she’s so good at helping me show myself to the world because she’s put up a front of her own.”


Considering it all the book tackled many serious topics as well and I think the mixture of the light-hearted moments and the harsh ones was done very well. I also appreciated that they were addressed and challenged and that all the loose ends were tied up by the end of the book. I really don’t like open-endings that keep me guessing about the characters so to have full closure after finishing the story was nice. =) All told I had a very good time reading “She Gets the Girl” and I can’t wait to read another book of those two authors. This story was worth the hype and I’m glad I was finally able to read it.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Three Musketeers (Alexandre Dumas)

Rating: 3 Pfoten

”All for one, one for all.”

I honestly don’t even know where to start with my review of “The Three Musketeers” because the book was so very different to what I expected it to be. When we watch the movies, the three musketeers and d’Artagnan are always made out to be those honourable and noble heroes that save the day and serve their country and whilst the latter description is true, I can’t really say that the former one is as well. Or more directly, there is barely anything noble or honourable about them aside of the fact that they always feel offended in their honour and therefore get into plenty of trouble and fights. There I said it. Am I already drawing a pack with pitchforks? Well, I’m sorry, but it won’t get any better. XD

”Never fear quarrels, but seek adventures. I have taught you how to handle a sword; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel. Fight on all occasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently there is twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to give you, my son, but fifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsel you have just heard.”

Considering that’s the advice d’Artagnan’s father gave him before he went out to “seek adventures” I’m not surprised he spent about 75% of the book getting himself in life threatening situations and drew problems like a dungheap draws flies. Me being salty? Oh boy, I barely even started. You might continue to read my review or if you love this book with all your heart like about 76% of goodreads seems to do (I actually recalculated that, I’m noting but thorough), just stop reading and abort this mission. Fair warning. I won’t blame you. ;-P

”People, in general,” he said, “only ask advice not to follow it; or if they do follow it, it is for the sake of having someone to blame for having given it.”

Athos was a clever one, you might head his advice or blame me for not taking my warning seriously. Whatever floats your boat. I’ll just continue saying my piece. I know this book is beloved by so many and I’d be lying if I’d say I didn’t enjoy some parts of it. I did. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t all good either and I’m too much of a 21st century person to let some things slide. So this said let’s get down to business.

”What have I to fear,” replied d’Artagnan, “as long as I shall have the luck to enjoy the favour of their Majesties?”
“Everything, believe me. The cardinal is not the man to forget a mystification until he has settled account with the mystifier; and the mystifier appears to me to have the air of being a certain young Gascon of my acquaintance.”

I think by now everyone knows about the main plot of “The Three Musketeers”. A young Gascon named d’Artagnan arrives in Paris to become a Musketeer in the King’s service. But right after he arrives he already offends 3 musketeers and challenges all of them to a duel that is interrupted by the Cardinal’s men. The four men bond over their mutual adversaries and become friends that help the Queen regain her diamond ear studs she gave to her English lover Buckingham before she has to wear them on a ball. Another one of the Cardinals malicious schemes against the queen is thwarted and the three musketeers saved the day. So far so good. What’s interesting is that this only makes about 200 pages of this 560+ pages book. Where all the movies usually end the actual book continues for 350 more pages. So what happens in those pages?!

”Capital! Adieu, Chevalier.”
“Adieu, Countess.”
“Commend me to the cardinal.”
“Commend me to Satan.”
Milady and Rochefort exchanged a smile and separated.

Enter Milady one of the Cardinal’s most trusted and valuable assets. Truth be told, for me Milady was probably the most interesting character in the entire book because she was multi-layered, cunning, as beautiful as resourceful and had absolutely no scruples to do what she had to do in order to get what she wanted. We love a woman that is manipulative af. *lol* Honestly, the way she cheated her way through this book was really admirable and I had to grin when she spent about 6 chapters seducing a man by claiming she was a Protestant only to “convert” to being a Catholic as soon as it served her purpose.

”Who – – I?” cried Milady; “I a Protestant? Oh, no! I call to witness the God who hears us, that on the contrary I am a fervent Catholic!”

Fervent Catholic? Yeah, bet Felton turned in his gave when he heard that coming from her lips. *shakes head* Yet despite being one of the most intelligent pieces on the board she still seemed to be very naïve when it came to certain things. I mean how did she even mistake d’Artagnan for her lover? (Not one of d’Artagnan’s best moments btw. He basically raped an unknowing and averse woman. If she’d known it was d’Artagnan she would have never even considered to sleep with him. But it was dark. Oh what a plot device. Seriously, Dumas, are you kidding me?!) Which brings me right to d’Artagnan and the three musketeers.

”D’Artagnan and Athos put themselves into saddle with their companions, and all four set forward; Athos upon a horse he owed to a woman, Aramis on a horse he owed to his mistress, Porthos on a horse he owed his procurator’s wife, and d’Artagnan on a horse he owed to his good fortune – the best mistress possible.”

I think that sentence and short description is the “four musketeers” in a nutshell and I can’t really say that I’m a huge fan of them. I used to love Aramis the most and I think of all of them he’s still my favourite because he might have the same flaws as the others but he is more or less tame in comparison to them. Yes, he has an affair with a woman even though he wants to become a priest but him yielding to this temptation only makes him more human. Plus he isn’t as hot-headed as the others. Still, when it comes down to it I can’t really be a fan of either of them because I just can’t condone their actions.

I mean they basically only drink, gamble and fight their way through the entire book. They have affairs with married women, can’t seem to be able to hold on to a single coin and treat their hosts as well as their servants poorly. I honestly don’t get why their servants stuck with them because they didn’t get paid for most of the book. Either the musketeers were too stupid to keep money and gave it away like it was nothing (and this even though they were always broke) or they gambled with the little they had and lost it again. Well, and if their servants demanded pay they just hit them and the thing was settled. Talk about real role-models right there. I stopped counting the moments I rolled my eyes or facepalmed myself. Also d’Artagnan literally falls in love with every woman that’s pretty and talks to him and they all suffer because of it. One way or another giving d’Artagnan their affection never ends well. XD If you’re a woman you better stay away from that young Gascon, he’s trouble. 😉

”Take my wealth, my fortune, my glory, all the days I have to live, for such an instant, for a night like that. For that night, madame, that night you loved me, I will swear it.”

As for the other players in the game. I think there wasn’t enough of the cardinal and we barely found out anything about him. Lord de Winter was okay, I suppose? Buckingham was probably the only truly honourable man in the entire story which is almost comical because him being an English man automatically makes him the enemy of France and therefore of the musketeers. Yet his love and devotion to the Queen was unyielding and he didn’t even think of another woman like a certain someone *cough* d’Artagnan *cough* who changed them like his underwear. Yes, I just said that. You can quote me if you want to. I stand by it. *lol*

I personally think that Milady was the most intriguing character of the entire book, yet at the same time, she was limited by being a woman. No matter how cunning or cruel she was, she could only move in certain patterns and the fact she even got arrested speaks volumes about how women were treated back then. This is a theme that’s running like a thread through the entire book, while the men have all the opportunity in the world and never have to fear any consequences, the same can’t be said for the women in the story. Well, and the way it all ends? Let’s just say the only woman that comes out of it in a good way is actually the Queen and she’s the Queen so I think that says A LOT.


All told, I came out of “The Three Musketeers” feeling quite disenchanted. The heroes I loved as a kid aren’t the heroes I read about. In the movies they were honourable and courageous, fighting against everything that was thrown their way and charmed their way into the beds of their love interests. In the book we get to see an entirely different side of them and I guess that only proves that Hollywood knew what it was doing when it adapted the book into a movie. XD I never thought I’d say this but I think I’ll stick with the movies this time around. I know “The Three Musketeers” is a classic and beloved by many. It has its merits and interesting, whimsical and funny parts, I’ll give you that, but it ultimately wasn’t for me.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Love Hypothesis (Ali Hazelwood)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 4 on My Book List 2023

”Kiss Dude, on the other hand, was standing right in front of her, lips parted, chest rising and a weird light flickering in his eyes, which was exactly when it dawned on her, the enormity of what she had just done. Of who she had just –“

This book was so much fun! Was it realistic? Nope. Did Olive get in a lot of funny and extremely crazy situations while fake dating Adam? You bet! *lol* Honestly, if you don’t overthink the beginning of the book (namely Olive kissing a random person she didn’t even look at just because she wanted to make her friend Anh believe that she was dating someone) and just go with the flow you’ll have a really good time with this one. XD I hear everyone who gave this story a one star rating but I think what we often forget these days is that not every book needs to be completely realistic and accurate in its representation. Sometimes you just need to read a book for the fun of it without overthinking things and digging too deep.

So yes, I could address the hinted at aro/ace rep that never got explored and just hung in the air and I could talk about Olive being a tiny, tiny fairy and Adam being one hell of a huge specimen of a man (of which we are reminded constantly) or about how much I dislike the miscommunication trope in books. But no. I won’t talk about things like that because all I wanted from this book was enjoyment and sometimes that means to leave your rationality and intellect at the door and to dive right into the fun instead. So that’s exactly what I did and I regret nothing. 😉

”Where were you born?” she asked.
“Is this another one of your green card marriage interview questions?”

For me “The Love Hypothesis” was a nice change to my usual reads because for once I didn’t read something serious and just decided to go for something light that was easy to read. And let me tell you, Ali Hazelwood totally delivers on that front and I can see why so many people love her books. Plus it was nice to see a representation of women in STEM because there are still too few and it’s good that Ali gave them a voice with her books. Also the romance between Adam and Olive had me laughing so much. Those two have great chemistry and I loved their easy banter and the way they didn’t hold back whenever they spoke with each other. They tested the waters, got to know each other and started a solid friendship before anything else happened. Something that is very important and isn’t explored often enough in romances if you ask me. I think to get to know the person you like is such an integral part of dating because if you are attracted to someone you usually want to know things about them too. That is, of course, if you’re looking for something solid. If you just want to scratch an itch and don’t want a relationship those rules don’t apply. Obviously.

”Or, you could stay mad, and we could go to your lab and throw test tubes full of toxic reagents at each other until the pain of third-degree burns overrides your shitty mood? Sounds like fun, no?”
He looked away and rolled his eyes, but she could see it in the curve of his cheeks that he was amused.

Anyway! What I wanted to say is that it was nice to see them have their coffee dates and trying to gauge the other’s personality. You might say they both were workaholics and didn’t have anything in common, but I think their passion for their work was actually one of the major things they HAD in common. As was their sarcasm and their protectiveness of each other and their close friends. Which brings me right to their besties! I absolutely loved Holden Rodrigues, Malcolm and Anh. Those three were great friends and I was very glad Olive and Adam had them because without them they probably would have never even realized that they weren’t fake dating anymore, but real dating instead. *lol* Also can we appreciate that scene when Anh and Malcom are upset on Olive’s behalf and so angry they cry? It was such a good friendship representation because if someone hurts your bestie and the people you love, you hurt too and that scene really hit hard for me.

”And if this guy is going to take you away from me and to Boston for an entire year, I want to make sure that he deserves you.” She winked. “Consider my presence the equivalent of a father cleaning his rifle in front of his daughter’s boyfriend before prom.”
“Aww, Daddy.”

The romance is the focus of the book, though and I personally enjoyed that part a lot. As always I liked the little moments and gestures more than I did the big ones and the “Comfy Lap Scene” as well as the “Snack” one can live in my head rent free. Truth be told, their consent when it came to THAT one particular scene was sexier than everything else that happened in the chapter. *lol* I blame my demi behind for this and I’m perfectly fine with it. XD

”I want to. I said I did.”
His throat bobbed. “It doesn’t matter, what you said. You can always change your mind.”

Adam could be a cruel tutor and teacher but he was always very respectful and friendly to Olive and this was super sweet. The people we love bring out the best in us and you could totally see this with Adam and Olive. I really liked that he appreciated her work and didn’t just see her as a woman in STEM but also as someone equal with a bright mind and great ideas. She didn’t have to be someone else around him and could just be herself because he took her the way she was. I think this was also the thing that drew him towards Olive in the first place. They both got each other without having to explain everything and Olive was probably one of the few people that realized he wasn’t mean to his students because he wanted to be. He was just a very fact oriented person and if someone did something wrong he didn’t hesitate to point it out. Sure, he could have been a little bit more empathetic and sensitive with his students but I also got where he was coming from.

”It hit her then what was so special about Adam. That no matter his reputation, or how rocky their first meeting, since the very beginning, Olive had felt that he was on her side. Over and over, and in ways that she could never have anticipated, he had made her feel unjudged. Less alone.”

For me Adam Carlsen was a great love interest and I could understand why Olive fell for him so hard. He might have had his flaws but at the end of the day he was a good and decent person (unlike someone else I won’t mention here and who became the “Persona non grata” of this book for me).

She grinned. “Then maybe I should stick around. Just, you know, to save the department from your terrible moods?”
He glanced at the picture of the failed Western blot in her hand. “Well, it doesn’t look like you’re going to graduate anytime soon.”
She half laughed, half gasped. “Oh my God. Did you just-?”


All things considered, I loved this book and had a blast reading about Olive’s antics. I mean the situations she got herself into? Hilarious! So yeah, if you want to have a good time and read a romance that is entertaining and can be read quickly you definitely should go for this one. It’s fun, it’s amusing and it’s short-lived. If you’re looking for all of those qualities in a book, search no more, because you’ve found it.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Becky Chambers)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2021

”All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play. And what I see in you is a woman who has a clear idea of what she wants to be.”

Picture yourself in winter, it’s cold outside and little snowflakes are falling down to the ground, you don’t want to go outside because it’s way nicer at home and you take your biggest and warmest blanket to make yourself a human burrito. Maybe there’s a fresh cup of tea or coffee right next to you and you don’t even want to move an inch. Well, do it, but only to pick up “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” and then just snuggle back into your warm nest. XD Why did I give you this visual? Because this is the perfect story for cold winter days like the one I just described. This book is slow-paced, it’s cosy and full of love and has an amazing found family trope. It’s not very action packed but that’s okay, because if you want to read this book you’re looking for comfort sci-fi and “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” certainly delivers on that front.

”I don’t know. Maybe it’s just different for us. We’re different species, after all.” She paused. “Or maybe because I never thought to ask anyone what you’re asking. I never thought of fear as something that can go away. It just is. It reminds me that I want to stay alive. That doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.“

I really loved to get to know all the different members of the crew and the species they interact with. Also to hear about the cities and planets they went to was extremely interesting. Well, at least for me it was. I’m both, a Warsie as well as a Trekkie and to read about all those aliens, how they look like, what their culture is like and how they communicate with each other had me glued to the pages. I gotta give it to Becky Chambers, her imagination is amazing. To think of so many alien species and to make them come alive is a true talent and Becky obviously has it. No matter if it were the Toremi, Sianat, Grum, Aandrisk or Aeluons, the way they came to life in my imagination was truly awesome. Of course there were humans too and the majority of the Wayfarer, the ship on which the story takes place, is actually human.

”As they did so, they thought of the concept of purpose. Dr Chef’s purpose was to heal and nourish. Ashby’s purpose was to bind his crew together. Accepting the Wane ran contrary to those purposes. For them, accepting the death of a crew member was difficult. Ohan hoped they knew how much the effort was appreciated.”

Which brings me right to the members of the crew that all have their own troubles and personal problems, but still stick together and get through everything like only family can do. No matter how different they are – and they are very different, not only optically but also personality-wise – they always find a way to communicate and to solve their differences. I tried to find out who my favourite crew member would be but quite honestly I can’t decide. They were all great in their own way and the only reason I didn’t feel as close to Ohan or Corbin was the mere fact that their characters were written that way. Corbin is a grumpy algaeist that mostly sticks to his lab and Ohan is a Sianat Pair and goes by they/them pronouns because he’s sharing a body with a parasite. Yeah, I know alone this is kinda mind-blowing and don’t even get me started on how they look like, because my brain still has difficulties to wrap itself around that description. I guess the same can be said for Sissix the Aandrisk which I always kinda imagined like a crocodile or dinosaur with feathers and Dr Chef the cook and doctor of the crew whose looks are so beyond my imagination that I can’t even fathom his appearance. *lol*

”No one else was hurt. The ambi, the food, none of that mattered. They were things, and things could be replaced. His crew couldn’t be. The relief he’d felt upon learning he was the only one who’d wound up in the med bay topped anything that the painkillers could give.”

The humans on the ship are at least as interesting as the aliens, though and I really liked Rosemary, Kizzy and Jenks! I swear the friendship between them was amazing and Ashby Santoso as their captain. Seriously! I loved Ashby! That man is amazing and watches out for every single member of his crew. I’m not surprised he went for a relationship with a woman from another species, because that man doesn’t have a single malicious bone in his entire body and is the most open-minded, tolerant and nourishing person ever. I’m not surprised he considered Sissix to be his best friend, because those two worked so well together. And this is one of the best parts of this book, the friendships and relationships between the crew members. During the book we get an inter-species relationship of two women, Ashby himself is with an alien woman, Jenks is in love with the AI and Ohan is going by they/them pronouns so wow, talk about diversity and inclusion! XD I swear, the relationship between Jenks and Lovey was the sweetest thing and I totally shipped them together. Ahh who would have thought that a human and an AI would work so well together?! ❤

„The date on that directory. That’s the day I installed you.
Because I’ve loved you since then.“

My heart!!! T_T  But that’s not all, as I said the friendships are very special as well and Kizzy and Jenks were the most wholesome found family besties you could wish for. The way they understood each other and supported each other in difficult situations was giving me all the bitter-sweet and comfy feels and I really want to read more about them and see them all happy.

”I was a happy kid, and I couldn’t ask for better parents. But I was still jealous of the kids who had siblings. I grew up, and then you came along.” She looked up at him, and smiled. “And for the first time ever, I didn’t want a brother any more, because I finally had one.”

Unfortunately I don’t know if happiness is something they’ll be able to experience after the ending of the first book. Yes, I know I said that this is mostly a slow-paced and calm book at the beginning of my review, but it still has its suspenseful moments and there were some scenes that hit hard and changed those characters in ways they never would have been able to anticipate. Cryptic much? Well, yeah, but you have to deal with it because I won’t spoil anything. What I can say is that this book is legit about a crew on a space ship that makes tunnels to get to other planets, so of course there is some action going to happen along the way. To make worm-holes can be a dangerous business and since you’re playing with the space-time continuum there is always the possibility that things can go sideways. Or that the shit will hit the fan, especially when you don’t know if the alien species that just joined your alliance is actually friendly towards their new allies.


I never anticipated that I’d enjoy this story so much but the slow-pacing and focus on the different characters, their interactions and their relationships totally persuaded me and I ultimately ended up loving this book. To read about different planets and aliens, to get to know their culture and to find out how they think and feel, it was amazing! It’s kinda weird to say that this was comforting, because usually “comforting” isn’t the first word I think about when it comes to sci-fi, but it’s honestly the only one I can come up with when I think about “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”. Becky Chambers created a sci-fi world that is weirdly comforting and I don’t know about you, but I will take it. Sci-fi comfort reads, apparently that’s my new thing. 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Diviners (Libba Bray)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”We are the Diviners. We have been and we will be. It is a power that comes from the great energy of the land and its people, a realm shared for a spell, for as long as is needed. We see the dead. We speak to restless spirits. We walk in dreams. We read meaning from every held thing. The future unfolds for us like the navigator’s map, showing seas we have yet to travel.”

Before I picked up this book I already heard so much about “The Diviners” but I never truly did some research and only knew what was written on the blurb. So I basically went into this blind and I don’t regret anything! This was such a fun book to read and definitely way more eerie than I bargained for. I honestly didn’t expect it to be so dark and atmospheric but I’m very happy the book turned out to be this way. Sometimes you just gotta read a creepy book and this time around it was “The Diviners” for me.

There is no greater power on this earth than story.” Will paced the length of the room. “People think boundaries and borders build nations. Nonsense – words do. Beliefs, declarations, constitutions – words. Stories. Myths. Lies. Promises. History.”

So what exactly is “The Diviners” about?! Well, it’s a book about a girl named Evie O’Neill who can read objects. After doing this drunk at a party with a rather interesting outcome, she’s exiled and sent to her Uncle Will in New York City. Of course Evie is ecstatic to be sent to New York because in the 1920s it was THE place to be. Evie is looking forward to a lot of parties, speakeasies, flirting, dancing and spending time with her best friend Mabel. But then a murderer is on the loose and her Uncle who runs the museum of occult is asked to help with the investigation. At first he doesn’t want Evie to help with her special abilities, but the more and more people die, the more desperate they become to reveal the identity of the killer, especially once it becomes clear that the murderer is no ordinary man…

Evie leaped up from her seat and pounded a fist on the table. She’d had it with Will’s reluctance. They’d tried it his way, and all they had to show for it was another dead body. “It’s too dangerous not to at least try!”
Jericho looked to Sam, who shrugged. “Don’t look at me. I don’t know from nothing.” Sam said.
“There’s a killer out there and we have to stop him, any way we can,” Evie pleaded. “Please.”

I swear this was such a wild ride. Whenever the murderer appeared on page I had to read the chapter during the day because it was just too damn scary. Honestly, this man gave me the creeps and to find out about his history was at least as horrible as to see how he killed his victims. *shudders* Victoria and I both agreed that this story was a lot more eerie and nightmarish than we initially anticipated, but that still didn’t stop us from reading the book! XD I have to admit that I had a little bit of trouble to understand the 1920s lingo because there were some words I never even heard before. It was an interesting challenge to figure out their meaning or to look them up, though. And as you all know I love myself a good challenge every once in a while. *lol*

Uncle Will frowned. “Didn’t they teach you how to go about research in that school of yours?”
“No. But I can recite “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while making martinis.”
“I weep for the future.”
“That’s where the martinis come in.”

Another thing I really enjoyed were the characters and their easy banter. No matter if it was Evie and her Uncle Will or Evie and Sam, the characters all had some spunk and their dynamics and interactions were a lot of fun to read about. One of my favourite pairings was definitely Sam Lloyd and Evie because those two didn’t give each other an inch and were always at each other’s throat. And of course I absolutely enjoyed watching them trade barbs! They had a lot of potential to become one of my favourite enemies-to-lovers couple but unfortunately not a lot happened. >_< Well, the book clearly was no romance so I suppose I’ll have to be okay with that.

”You can’t blame a fella for kissing the prettiest girl in New York, can you, sister?” Sam’s grin was anything but apologetic.
Evie brought up her knee quickly and decisively, and he dropped to the floor like a grain sack. “You can’t blame a girl for her quick reflexes now, can you, pal?”

Evie replied with an eye-roll. “Do you think you can manage to not steal anything while I’m gone?”
”The only thing I’m trying to steal is your heart, doll.” Sam smirked.
“You’re not that talented a thief, Sam Lloyd.”

Do you see what I mean?! *lol* This said, Theta and Henry were my favourite side-characters and I can’t wait to find out more about them in book two. I’m sure they will have a bigger part in that one and because of that I’ll probably enjoy it more?! Not that I didn’t enjoy “The Diviners” but Evie could be a very self-centred and egoistic narrator at times, so it was hard to feel some sympathy for her when she did something stupid that hurt her friends feelings. As for Mabel and Jericho. They were both pretty bland characters and while I believe that there is more to Mabel and that we’ll see her shine in one of the later books I don’t think the same can be said about Jericho. His character totally didn’t persuade me. I don’t know why but I just didn’t get warm with him and he felt too distant. I honestly have no idea what Mabel and Evie saw in him. In my opinion Evie and Sam clearly had more chemistry than Evie and Jericho and I’m definitely Team Sam. 😉

”Perhaps Mabel was right, and she was selfish. But what was the point of living so quietly you made no noise at all? “Oh Evie, you’re too much,” people said, and it wasn’t complimentary. Yes, she was too much. She felt like too much inside all the time.
So why wasn’t she ever enough?

I really enjoyed “The Diviners” and for me it was a fast and intriguing read. The eerie atmosphere and the murder mystery kept me glued to the pages and the fact that I was extremely creeped out by the murderer only added to my enjoyment. If there were two things I didn’t like about the book then it was Evie’s egoism which sometimes made her an immature and vexing narrator and the fact that there were so many Diviners in the story. I mean at some point I actually asked Victoria if everyone would turn out to be one in the end. *lol* The sudden frequency of appearing Diviners just felt a little bit off and unrealistic to me. All told, I had a good time reading the first book of this series and Victoria and I already decided that we’ll go for another buddy read of book two this year.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

I can’t believe how we got from this Apollo at the beginning to the Apollo at the end of the book. But then again, there was always good in him. It was just buried underneath his huge ego. *lol* I guess in some way I’m very thankful Zeus decided to kick Apollo out of Olympus, because it didn’t just give us an entirely new series that plays in the Percy Jackson universe but also helps us to understand how Apollo (and most of the gods) think about demi-gods and humankind in general. It’s nice to have a gods POV for a change and it definitely made for good entertainment. The interesting thing about Apollo is that he’s a really witty and hilarious character but at the same time there is some depth to him we didn’t get with a lot of the other heroes in the PJ universe. Sure, they all have their troubled pasts, some more than others, but at the end of the day they are all teenagers that learn to find themselves and to pave their own way.

”I wanted to say: You remind me of someone. But I didn’t dare open that line of conversation. Only two mortals ever had broken my heart. Even after so many centuries, I couldn’t think of her, couldn’t say her name without falling into despair.”

Apollo is entirely different to the demi-gods because he was around for thousands of years and despite being one of the powerful gods, he has loved and lost already. He’s a grown-up stuck in the body of a powerless teen and for the first time ever since he came into being he’s forced to realize what it truly means to be human and what it entails. Obviously to have no eight-pack abs and to have horrible acne! *lol* I had a good laugh about that one because I’m sure every teenager can relate to those “horrors” Apollo spoke about. ;-P If you take away his narcissism, egoism, good looks and high-handedness all that’s left is his true self, though. And this is exactly what happens in the book. Apollo is forced to accept his new reality and it allows him to shine and to show that underneath it all he’s actually a pretty decent human being.

”Then it occurred to me how many times I had asked for sacrifices, how many heroes I had sent to their deaths. Had they been any less noble and courageous than these [redacted]? Yet I had felt no remorse when I sent them off on deadly tasks. I had used them and discarded them, laid waste to their lives to build my own glory. I was no less of a monster than …”

Yes, I’m trying my best to keep this review spoiler free so you’ll have to live with “redacted” quotes. *lol* Anyway! What I really liked about “The Hidden Oracle” were the interactions between Apollo and all his children. Well, truth be told, not only his children but their friends as well. He’s a very kind soul and some sort of father figure that adopts everyone no matter how much they annoy him and this is extremely wholesome and endearing. I loved that he knew all of his children by name and also remembered their mothers and fathers.

”Thank you,” I managed.
I could not add my children. It didn’t seem right. These demigods were my protectors and my family, but for the present I could not think of myself as their father. A father should do more – a father should give more to his children than he takes. I have to admit that this was a novel idea for me. It made me feel even worse than before.

His developing friendship with Meg was so nice to watch and it always got me when he thought about his children and how he should have done more for them. He’s probably the only god who knows all his children’s names (except of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, but if you only have one kid that’s not really a challenge. XD) yet he still wanted to do better. Apollo truly cares about his kids and if they get into trouble there’s nothing he wouldn’t do in order to save them. And this even in his powerless human form. And it’s the same for his children. They’d do anything to help their father as well and if that isn’t a good and nourishing foundation for love and trust then I don’t know.

The curse of the River Styx could kill me in its slow cancerous way, or Zeus could strike me down. But my oath to save Meg McCaffrey had to come first.
I turned my face to the sky. “If you want to punish me, Father, be my guest, but have the courage to hurt me directly, not my mortal companion. BE A MAN!”

The defiance!!! *lol* It reminded me of Percy and it’s no wonder those two worked so well together. Seriously their conversations gave me life and some part of me hopes for more cameos of Percy just to see him banter with Apollo. I guess it’s safe to say that all of the demi-gods have a difficult relationship with their godly parents but Apollo is a god (or was until this book) and obviously has a more than just complicated relationship with his father Zeus as well. I wonder if Zeus will learn something from this too and I genuinely hope he does because Apollo deserves to have a father that cares about him too.

”Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”
“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.
“Don’t tempt me.”

Moreover he has loved and lost and his pride cost him dearly in the past. According to Apollo there were only two people he truly loved and they are a constant in the entire book. He still thinks about them and they are always on his mind, their ghosts accompanying him wherever he goes. His grief is deep and I felt really sorry for him whenever he was reminded of them. Also because I just need to say it: Apollo is a bisexual disaster and I LOVE him for it! The way he handles sexuality and how it’s no big deal for him. A true icon! I wish everyone’s parents would be as accepting and open-minded as Apollo and I loved that he kinda shipped his own son with his boyfriend. XD That’s such a rare thing to witness, but if anyone would do it, it would be Apollo, of course. 😉

Will changed his surgical gloves and glared at the woods. “We will find them. We have to.”
Nico di Angelo gave him a flask. “Drink. Right now, this is where you need to be.”

Which brings me right to one of the most important things about “The Hidden Oracle” and technically it’s no spoiler because if you read the book it’s already mentioned about 25-30% into it. My Solangelo ship finally sailed and I’m not mad about it!! <333 What I’m MAD about though, is that it happened so fast and that we never found out what exactly happened! Like the last time I checked Will and Nico weren’t a thing at the end of “The Blood of Olympus” and now they are together?!! AHHHHH!!! My shipper heart is happy and not happy at the same time! Like: How dare you Uncle Rick? How dare you to throw this ship at us without any explanation of how it all happened?!! We didn’t even get a first time of holding hands or their first kiss. Like NO! Can we please at least hear about their story and how they became a couple?! T_T It feels like I missed out on 30 minutes of a fast-paced movie! *lol*

Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not-“
“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”
“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled.
“Oh, I’ll get you for that.”

Still, I loved those two and their gentle gestures. They care about each other so much and the way they watch out for each other and take care of each other was so beautiful I melted. They are the epitome of the “Grump and Sunshine” trope and had me smiling whenever they were on page. Despite Nico’s grumpy attitude it’s more than just obvious that he loves to be Will’s boyfriend and adores him. I can’t wait to see more of their interactions and I hope they’ll be a big part of the next book too. I mean Will is Apollo’s son and the healer of the camp, it would make sense if he and Nico would go on a quest with Apollo, right?! Nico is still one of my favourite PJ characters ever and I’m absolutely in love with Will Solace. His slightly bossy and no-nonsense personality gets me every single time. <333

”You guys go,” Will told me. “The chariot is only designed for three, and after that shadow-travel Nico is going to pass out any second.”
“No, I’m not,” Nico complained, then passed out.
Will caught him in a fireman’s lift and took him away. “Good luck! I’m going to get the Lord of Darkness here some Gatorade!”

Ahh you just gotta love Will. XD He’ll become one of the best healers ever and Apollo is already very proud of him. =) This said I absolutely loved “The Hidden Oracle” and had an amazing time. I read this book in a couple of days and for me this is actually pretty fast. It usually takes me weeks to finish a story but this time around I just couldn’t put it down. Apollo as a character is extremely intriguing and I love the more serious vibe of this series. Don’t get me wrong, Apollo is one of the most hilarious characters ever, but he also has a very earnest side and the mixture of both of his sides worked more than just well for me. Plus his character growth after the first book is already palpable and I can’t wait to see how much more he’s going to change throughout the series.

”Apollo,” Chiron said, “you must do this. You are the lord of archery and illness.”
“I’m not lord of anything!” I wailed. “I’m a stupid ugly mortal teenager! I’m nobody!”

All told “The Hidden Oracle” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read and had everything I hoped for and even more. Apollo’s development and character arc is done so well and Meg is a more than just interesting and complex side-kick. Fingers crossed we’ll see more of her and Peaches in the next book. I’m ready to pick up “The Dark Prophecy”! Let’s hope I’ll get hold of a library copy soon! ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Solitaire (Alice Oseman)


Rating: 4 Pfoten

Trigger warnings can be found at the end of the review! 

”And who are you, Victoria Spring?”
I can’t think of anything to say because that is what my answer would be really. Nothing. I am a vacuum. I am a void. I am nothing.

To write a review about “Solitaire” turns out to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Mostly because I still don’t know where I stand with the book or rather on which side I came out of? About half of the people who read it loved it and the other half seems to dislike it pretty strongly. There rarely seems to be anything in between and I totally get why the opinions about this book are so varied. It’s not an easy book to like, because Tori Spring is not your typical MC. And I don’t even mean that she’s an anti-hero, she’s just not someone you’d like to be friends with and her life and the people she surrounds herself with are all pretty bland and uncongenial.

”There’s a time and a place for being normal. For most people, normal is their default setting. But for some, like you and me, normal is something we have to bring out, like putting on a suit for a posh dinner.”

But well, I guess that’s exactly the point of the book. You’re not supposed to like Tori, you’re expected to question her life, you’re meant to challenge her decisions and you’re expected to scrutinize the way she interacts with her environment. Alice herself wrote that Tori is battling undiagnosed depression and you can feel it on every single page. The people she surrounds herself with don’t get it and Tori herself doesn’t expect anything from life which only makes everything even worse. You can see the spiral she’s in but she’s unable to get out of it herself and so she falls deeper and deeper into it. The people around her notice that she’s unhappy, but they don’t see to which extent. And they decide to ignore her moods instead of confronting her about them because whenever they do she shuts herself off and withdraws.

”I’m not in a biscuit mood today.”
“Well, I’m still coming over, Tori.”
“You don’t have to come over. I’m completely fine.”
“Don’t lie.”

The only person that calls her out on her bullshit and challenges her is Michael Holden, because Michael Holden knows how she feels. He gets her in a way no one else does because he’s angry about a lot of things and he doesn’t know how to get rid of that anger. He learned to cope with it and to live with it, but it’s never truly gone.

Just like a depression, of course you can have good phases in which you’re not depressive and feel positive and good about the world, but there’s always the risk of falling back into a depression. It starts slowly and then more and more things happen and in the end you spiral so hard you can’t get out of it anymore. At least not without any help. And just in case you wondered, yes I’ve a background in psychology, which is probably the reason why I got what Alice Oseman was trying to do with this book. I’m pretty certain the 50% that came out loving “Solitaire” either have a background like that too or they themselves went through it as well. We can relate to Tori, we can understand why she is the way she is and therefore see the book for what it is and what it’s trying to tell us. I’m not saying that the other 50% that disliked the book were wrong, there’s no right or wrong when it comes to things like that, I’m just trying to explain that they probably never had to fight depression and don’t know the signs. If you’ve never dealt with depression and read this book you’ll most definitely think that it’s a super dark one, that everything in Tori’s life is shitty and mediocre and that the book has absolutely no storyline or central theme. Well, for me it does because it shows how Tori lives with her depression and tries to fight it with self-irony, dark humour and by holding onto the good moments in life.

“I don’t want people to try and understand why I’m the way I am, because I should be the first person to understand that. And I don’t understand yet. I don’t want people to interfere. I don’t want people in my head, picking out this and that, permanently picking up the broken pieces of me.“

All the things that happen in the book are what lead to the ending. No matter if it’s the sudden appearance of Michael Holden and Lucas Ryan or the mystery about Solitaire that runs through the entire book like a golden thread. No matter if it’s Tori’s complicated relationship with her mother and friends or her closeness to Charlie and the things she had to witness. They all come together in the end and they collide. I guess you could say all those things and especially Michael Holden and Solitaire work as some sort of catalyst that inevitably leads us to the ending of the story. Just like a musical crescendo. It builds and builds until it finally explodes.

He chuckles again and rubs his eyes. “You do know me.” And he’s right. I do know him. Just because someone smiles doesn’t mean that they’re happy.

As for the way Tori sees her world, I was surprised that despite everything she witnessed with Charlie she still thought that he had a great life and that he’s popular. Sometimes reading her POV felt like I missed a memo, because Charlie certainly wouldn’t have been driven to do the things he did if his life would have been as perfect as Tori thought it was. Then again that discrepancy and stark contrast of what Tori saw and what was the actual truth only emphasized the inconsistency of her perception of the world. (Uff, I never meant that review to turn out so factual and technical. Sorry! XD)

”And you would think that it would be someone like Nick who was at the top of Truham – loud, attractive, house captain, rugby player. But no. It’s Charlie.
What I’m trying to say is that Charlie is a nice person and, despite everything I’ve just explained, everybody seems to love him. And I think that is a modern miracle.”

On a different note: It’s good to know Ben Hope is still a hopeless case (pun totally intended) and as horrible as ever. The things he said to Charlie. Wow. Internalized homophobia that turns against yourself is really bad and if that boy doesn’t come to terms with his sexuality soon he’s going to be in a really bad place. I don’t know if Alice Oseman will ever address his character development but for Ben Hope’s sake I genuinely hope that he’ll have an epiphany one day. This said the last thing I need to address and want to talk about is that it says: “This is not a love story.” on the blurb and I think that this is something that’s up for debate. I personally think that it might not look like one, but that it actually IS one. Or in different words: It isn’t until it is?! *lol* Do with that statement what you want. ;-P

Honestly if you read this entire review and followed my reasoning you deserve a medal. I never intended this to be such a serious review but I guess “Solitaire” tackled a couple of serious topics and after reading some of the other reviews I wanted to give my two cents as someone who has a little background knowledge in psychology. So the burning question is: Was “Solitaire” as good as all of Alice Oseman’s other books?
And my candid answer is: Yes and no. I think you just can’t compare it to any of her other works because for one thing it’s her debut novel and for another it’s an entirely different writing style. At least for me it is, because it’s extremely immersive and you see the world through Tori’s perspective and POV. Of course you could argue that you do that with every book and MC you read about but I think this time it was different. You saw the darkness with Tori’s eyes and yes, this is unpleasant, it doesn’t make you happy, it drags you down; it makes it a chore to get through the book and it’s exactly the reason why I think “Solitaire” is brilliant in its own way. I’m a sanguine person, but I appreciated to get a different glimpse at the world and it’s always good to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. A little bit of sensitivity never hurt anyone. With this in mind: Four paws. No more and no less.

Trigger warnings: 

spoilerdepression, self-harm, eating disorder, arson, bullying (on page), suicide attempt (implied) and thoughts of suicide (mentioned on page), homophobia (also internalized), obsessive-compulsive behaviours (on page), assault (on page)
Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)


Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 22 on My Book List 2020

”His anger was quiet, not as fierce as it had been the night he’d killed Lord Tresting. But he felt it still, felt it in the itch of his scars and in the remembered screams of the woman he loved. As far as Kelsier was concerned, any man who upheld the Final Empire also forfeited his right to live.”

So I think I’ll be one of the few unpopular opinions when it comes to this book and that’s okay, because to every pro there also needs to be a contra and I guess this time around I’ll be that voice. Not that “The Final Empire” wasn’t a good book, it was actually pretty good, but it also wasn’t exactly what I expected after I went into this series. With all those raging reviews about the amazing world-building and magic system and the talk about a Kelsier and Vin – the strong heroine – my expectations didn’t quite match with what I actually got.

”Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.
There was always another secret.”

The world-building was quite interesting and I liked the idea of the Lord Ruler winning the war and therefore being their new leader who suppresses the masses. By now it’s not an entirely new concept though because a lot of dystopian books start with the baddies at the pulse of power and with rebels overthrowing them. Still, the world was very vivid and described in detail and it was easy to get lost in it and the mist. (pun totally intended) As for the magic system, I personally wouldn’t say that it’s some sort of magic system. I know lots of people say Allomancy is one of the best magic systems they have ever read about but in a strict sense and from my point of view it’s rather some sort of science instead? I mean we have 10 metals and the elusive 11th metal no one is sure even exists and if it does what it’s supposed to do. The pushing and pulling of the metals, the way Kelsier described Allomancy and taught Vin about it. It sounded more like they have supernatural abilities that are fuelled by the different metals and because of that it didn’t really feel like a magic system to me. Because when I think of magic it’s of the not tangible kind of sort and comes from within the people without having to use any devices to fuel it. To be honest I think for me this book falls more into the category of superheroes and powers. Considering all the other reviewers that talk about Allomancy as a magic-system I’m probably the odd duck, though. I suppose you could start an entire discussion about this, but I’ll just leave it at that and say for me it’s super powers fuelled by metals and science. 😉

Kell leaned forward again. “But, you weren’t born an aristocrat. You’re not noble, Vin. You don’t have to play by their rules – and that makes you even more powerful.”

Vin, Kelsier and all the other characters in the book are definitely a class of their own as well. *lol* I liked the easy banter and how we got to know a couple of personal things about all the different characters. Unfortunately I ended this book feeling not really close to or attached to any of the characters. I don’t know how to express it but to me it felt like Sanderson kept a lot of the characters on a need-to-know-basis. You just get the bits and pieces that are necessary to move the plot along and the rest of it is kept in the dark and whilst this was probably intended as a plot device to keep the reader in suspense it just didn’t work in my case. Because I DO like to get to know the characters I read about and I want them to be multi-layered and complex and to have an interesting background story. I want to understand why they act the way they do, what moves them, which motives they have and how they feel. There were so many characters Dox, Ham, Marsh, Sazed, Breeze, Spook, Elend etc. and even after reading 647 pages the only character I got a good grasp of was Vin. And this only because we see everything from her point of view. Kelsier, his entire background story and his time in the pits is still a mystery to me and I don’t think this will change anytime soon.

”You know,” he said, “it amazes me sometimes that we even try. With everything they’ve done to us – the deaths, the tortures, the agonies – you’d think that we would just give up on things like hope and love. But we don’t.”

I wish we would have gotten so much more about all of the characters, but I guess I’ll have to be content with what I got and see if there will be more in the second book. Two of my favourite characters were definitely Elend and Sazed and they made the bunch of characters even more interesting. Also Elend is truly precious and I wish we would have gotten more of him. I mean his relationship with his father is quite horrible but aside from superficial glimpses we never dove any deeper into their conflict. When I read a 600+ book I usually talk about the individual characters but as I already said, after reading “The Final Empire” I feel like I don’t know any of them nearly enough to write a good analysis about them. Except of probably Vin. She was a special brand of heroine for sure and I really liked that she started out as a street gang member and then became so much more. At the beginning of the book she’s shy, timid and distrustful, but the more she gets to know Kell and his crew the more she becomes strong and independent. The relationship between Kelsier and Vin was actually done pretty nicely and I liked the father/daughter vibe they gave off whenever they were together on page.

”Kelsier,” Vin said quietly. “He’s a good man, isn’t he?”
Sazed smiled. “A very good man, Mistress. One of the best I’ve known.”
Vin nodded slightly. “A good man…” she said softly. “I don’t think I’ve ever known one of those before.”

Another thing I really liked about the book was the heist element and all the intrigues, schemes and plot twists. There were a lot of things I didn’t see coming and it was interesting to see how the crew went about the nearly impossible task of overthrowing the Final Empire. They set themselves a goal that was almost unfeasible but they still worked around all the bumps in the road and made it work somehow. No matter what happened there was always a plan B, another route to go or like Kelsier thought: “Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.” In some way Kell’s masterplan and his mind kinda reminded me of Kaz Brekker and of course I enjoyed that immensely. 😉

”There was a grim mirth about them – as if they understood that they had a better chance of making the sun rise at night than they did of overthrowing the Final Empire. Yet, they were still going to try.”

“The Final Empire” was different than I expected it to be and because of the complex world-building it actually took me quite some time to get into the story. It’s been a while I last read epic fantasy and at the beginning of the book there was a lot of name-dropping and lots of explanations about the world, the social classes and Allomancy. Once you get over that and the story actually starts to move along it was very easy to follow Vin’s journey, though. There weren’t a lot of action scenes but the ones we got were all great and it was fun to read them. I really just wish that the characters would have been more developed. Still, after the ending I really want to know what happens next and maybe Sanderson will dig deeper into the characters and their background stories in the next books. Guess the only way to find out is by picking up “The Well of Ascension” soon. 😉

”… he smiled because that was what he did. That was how he proved to the Lord Ruler – and to himself – that he wasn’t beaten.
No, he wasn’t going to walk away. He wasn’t finished yet. Not by far.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 34 of My Book List 2022

”Between life and death there is a library,” she said. “And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be different if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

And this is basically already the short summary of “The Midnight Library”. The concept of the book is easily told and it’s not hard to follow Nora Seed’s journey and to get lost in all those different lives she chooses for herself. At the beginning of the book Nora is going through a strong depression and nothing seems to make sense anymore, so she chooses the only logical option for herself and tries to end her life which ultimately causes her to end up in the Midnight Library. In there she finds Mrs Elm, a librarian that was kind to her when she was a kid and that helped her through some tough times.

”You don’t have to understand life. You just have to live it.”

So Nora is leaving her “root-life” behind and trying out new and different lives for herself. What if she would have married her ex-boyfriend? What if she would have become a swimmer? Said yes to the music deal her former band was so close to finalize? Every choice alters her path and brings forth a different life but are those lives any better than the one she just left? Will she be happy in them, will she live longer? I really enjoyed how Matt Haig played with all those possibilities and let Nora explore her different lives. Some of them were over pretty fast, in others she stayed a little longer and took her time to find out more about herself. I personally would find it pretty jarring to jump from one life to the next, always knowing that this wasn’t my “root-life” and that I might be stealing the life of another me. If that makes sense?! Also the moment Nora feels disappointment in the life she’s currently living she’s automatically kicked out of it and ends up back in the library.

”Want,” she told her, in a measured tone, “is an interesting word. It means lack. Sometimes if we fill that lack with something else the original want disappears entirely. Maybe you have a lack problem rather than a want problem. Maybe there is a life that you really want to live.”

At first Nora is pretty certain that she doesn’t want to live in any of the lives that are available to her, but the more time she spends in them, the more intrigued she becomes. Could there be a life she actually wants to live? The problem is there are just too many options and in every single one of them her choices have an effect on the people she loves as well. It’s not just her life she’d choose, she’d also make a choice for the people she loves and cares about which ultimately leads to an ethical dilemma. If your own happiness would mean that someone you love would suffer, would you still go for it?

„To be a human was to continually dumb the world down into an understandable story that keeps things simple.“

To be honest this was one of the most fascinating things about the book. As someone who’s currently studying psychology it was extremely interesting to read about all those philosophical approaches and psychological theories. I don’t know if Matt Haig has a psychological background but the way he wrote about those things made me curious about the author behind the book. Nora obviously had a philosophical background so maybe he just did his research? It would be really interesting to know. (Psychology and philosophy are mostly studied to together, just to clarify that here.) Anyway, let’s get back on track. 😉

”Every second of every day we are entering a new universe. And we spend so much time wishing our lives were different, comparing ourselves to other people and to other versions of ourselves, when really most lives contain degrees of good and degrees of bad.“

To watch Nora go from one life to the next, always searching but never finding what she wanted to. To see her come to terms with some of the decisions she made, to follow her journey of figuring out what she wants from life and what is truly important. To see how her regrets got less and less. It inevitably causes you think about your own life choices and if you’re happy with them. And this is – if you ask me – exactly the point of this book. “The Midnight Library” is supposed to make you think, to force you to look at your own life and to consider if you’re happy, if you would do anything differently, if you have need for action to live exactly the kind of life you want to live. It’s not a fast paced book; it’s actually rather gentle while it leads you to come to your own conclusions and it’s definitely a book that makes you think.

“The only way to learn is to live.“

All things considered, “The Midnight Library” was an interesting and fascinating journey through all the different lives of Nora Seed. It’s a thought-provoking and very philosophical book and due to that it might not be for everyone. Considering the book tackled such a deep topic, it kind of lacked a little bit of depth for me though. It felt like a lot of the things that happened were only discussed on the surface and handled superficially. Still, if you’re interested in philosophy and psychology, if you like to think outside of the box, if you’re open-minded and enjoy reflecting on your decisions, then this book will most likely be the right choice for you. As for the question if Nora found THE perfect life for herself? Well, I won’t spoil anything. If you really want to know you’ll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself. ;-P