Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi)

19503

Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 29 of My Book List 2019

”The world has a shit memory. It will never pay its debts unless you force its hand.”

Ahh! Where to start? Where to begin? Maybe I should just go for blunt honesty and say it like it is: I could bite myself for not reading this sooner!!! What was I even thinking to procrastinate for so long? This book was already on “My Book List 2019” and it took me until 2020 to read it. (Which is actually sort of typical me! *lol*) Still, if we stick to honesty I’ve to admit that I’m kind of torn about having read “The Gilded Wolves”. Why is that so?

Well, on the one hand I loved those characters and their diversity! The plot was so much fun and I adored the puzzles and the fact that this book kept me on my toes and forced me to pay attention to what was happening. In some way “The Gilded Wolves” felt like the unknown lovechild of Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons” and Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows”. With a dash of its uncle “Indiana Jones” and a pinch of its aunt “Ocean 11” mixed into it. XD Plus, let’s not forget about the tension that oozed from every single one of those pages! All those six characters have a painful past they’d rather forget and want to go into a bright future instead. And boy, is Chokshi a master at playing their weaknesses in order to build up tensions! XD Just amazing! <333 On the other hand I find myself faced with a huge disadvantage now. I read the first book, loved it and now I’ll have to wait until the end of 2020 until I’ll be able to read the next instalment. Which is just cruel! I mean after THAT ending!!?? >_< ADFKADKFAKSJFDLKASDFJASKDFJASKFD!! I need answers and I need them soon! So I’ll finally get myself a NetGalley account (Yes, I’m THAT desperate to get my paws on a copy) and hopefully my wish for an ARC will be granted. (I’m crossing all my claws here. *lol*)

This said, let’s begin with my fangirl/rant feast! There’s so much I need to get out of my system and since I had to shorten my review for goodreads (damn word limits, I didn’t even get to my infamous “The relationship & ships” category) I’ll make sure to let it all out on here! I’ll be nothing but thorough! I can promise you that! *lol*

2

Welcome to the “Palais des Rêves”, where dreams come true and spoilers become reality! ;-P If you don’t want to be spoiled I’d advise you not to mingle with the crowd! It’s a fair warning and in your best interest! Mark my words before you decide to linger. XD

Séverin – The Leader:

”He was deception steeped in elegance, from his sharp smile to his unsettling eyes. Séverin’s eyes were the precise color of sleep – sable velvet with a violet sheen, promising either nightmare or dream.”

Chokshi definitely has a way with words. I could imagine Séverin so well and in my mind he’s drop-dead gorgeous. *drools* Still, his habit of chewing cloves might be a turn-off. *lol* Not that I don’t like cloves, I really like the taste and the smell, but only in small doses. The way Séverin popped them into his mouth it must have tasted more than just intense. Not that I’d fantasize about kissing him… Nuhu… not me. ;-P Anyway! His character kind of reminded me of “Gansey” (especially the habit of chewing on something. With Gansey it was mint leaves though) and he definitely was not only the leader of the group but also some sort of responsible father figure. I hated to find out about his and Tristan’s childhood and I think he might have named his foster fathers after the seven deadly sins. My buddy and I gave that a lot of thought and we eventually decided that they had other real names and Séverin only called them like that in his mind. Would be such a typical Séverin move. XD Also from all the characters in the book he was probably the most driven and torn. To be shunned by his family and to be denied his legacy wounded him deeply and I have no idea what will happen to him in the next book. I just hope he won’t go all “dark side”. >_<

”Must you creep up on us like that? I didn’t even hear you come into the room!”
“It’s part of my aesthetic,” said Séverin, dangling a Forged muffling bell.

”Séverin closed his eyes. It wasn’t about enough. Tristan would never understand. He had never felt the pulse of an entirely different future, only to see it ripped from his grasp and smothered in front of him. He didn’t understand that sometimes the only way to take down what had destroyed you was to disguise yourself as part of it.”

”He wished he didn’t know what he had lost. Maybe then every day wouldn’t feel like this. As if he had once known how to fly, but the skies had shaken him loose and left him with nothing but the memory of wings.”

”Memories unsettled him. He hated the thought that he might have missed something, and he didn’t want time warping how he remembered things because he didn’t trust himself to remember without bias. And he needed to. Because only then, only with absolute impartiality, could he detect where he had gone wrong.”

Laila – L’Énigme:

”She hated seeing someone hold an empty plate and always thought everyone was hungry. She knew everyone’s secrets even without having to read their objects. At the Palais des Rêves, she turned that radiance into an allure that earned her star billing and the name, L’Énigme. The Mystery.”

Laila was such an intriguing character! She’s Indian, can read the history of objects (kinda reminded me of Tessa Grey) and is some sort of a sexy mother hen. Oh well, that sounded kinda wrong but it’s still true somehow? *lol* I think what I’m trying to say is that she cares about everyone and treats the crew like they are her children. XD I mean there’s a really domestic side to her. She bakes for her friends and listens to their troubles yet at night she’s L’Énigme and dazzles the crowd at the Palais des Rêves! She’s a temptress and no one seems to be more ensnared by her than Séverin! XD Just like with all of the other characters there’s something dark lurking in her past though, and to say this surprised me would be putting it mildly. As I understand it, she was a stillborn and forged into living with the help of the lives of a cygnet and a jungle cat? Which explains her dark fur-like hair and her black eyes. Apparently beings who are forged into life like that don’t live longer than 19 years or so though, so that’s the main reason why she’s trying to stay away from Séverin and working on finding a cure. And boy do I hope that she finds one! She’s way too young and too precious to die and her love to Séverin definitely needs a decent chance to thrive. Not that they are on good terms right now. Damn! >_< Also did anyone notice that “Laila” literally means “Born at night” in some cultures? If that’s no suitable name for her I dunno! ;-P

”It will fade,” she said.
“And then I’ll be real?” Laila would ask. Her mother’s hands always stilled when she asked that question. “You are real, my girl, for you are loved.” Her father’s hands had not always been so kind. He did not always know what to make of her. His crafted child.

”The almost painful exquisiteness of being unveiled by a glance. It made her feel aware of everything about her – skin stretched over bone, silk clinging to her limbs, her breath heating the air. The kind of awareness that makes one feel alive. It terrified her.”

”She didn’t want to glide through life, unfeeling. She wanted to know everything while she could. She didn’t want the ghosts of thresholds not crossed hanging over her. She didn’t want one night. She wanted a chance.”

“Her mother’s voice rang in her ears: ‚Don’t capture their hearts. Steal their imagination. It’s far more useful.”

Enrique – The historian:

”When he realized he didn’t have the talent, he chose to study the subjects that felt closest to Forging: history and language. He could still change the world… maybe not with something as dramatic or grand as Forging, but in more intimate ways. Writing. Speaking. Human connection.”

I admire that boy so much! Enrique is not only a revolutionary bisexual Spanish-Filipino (he could be pan too but judging by his thoughts I think he’s bi) but also an ardent historian! ❤ And I loved that mixture! It made him a really interesting character and even though he obviously isn’t all too good at socializing he still had a great humour and an even quicker mind! That man is the full package and I was so there for it! XD Unlike the other members of the crew he didn’t have any Forging powers but he made up for it with his sharp wit, resourcefulness and seemingly infinite knowledge. I really would have loved to read more about him, especially at the ending!!! Because damn, was it too much to give us more info??!!! Chokshi left us completely in the dark about what happened to him, Hypnos and Zofia which is so NOT OKAY!!! I need answers! *dies*

”There were Forged dragons out of myths from the Orient, Sirenas with heavy-lidded eyes, bhuts with backwards feet. And though they were not all his tales, he saw himself in them: pushed to the corners of the dark. He was just like them. As solid as smoke and just as powerless.”

”Nothing but a symbol?” repeated Enrique quietly. “People die for symbols. People have hope because of symbols. They’re not just lines. They’re histories, cultures, traditions, given shape.”

”Enrique used to feel a twinge of shame when it came to his feelings… He used to pray that when it came to attraction, his body would just choose between men and women, and not both.

Zofia – The phoenix:

”A month later, ten students locked themselves in the lab with her. Again came the sounds, smells, laughing. The other students didn’t grab her. They knew the barest touch – like a feather trailed down skin – hurt her more. Calm slipped out of reach no matter how many times she counted backward, or begged to be let go, or asked what she had done wrong.”

Zofia is my precious, skilled phoenix! She’s Jewish-Polish and totally socially awkward. I really liked that she’s so shy and can get completely absorbed in her work. It’s kind of endearing and I always thought of her as the little sister of the group. I could picture her standing in her lab while she created new things, completely forgetting about the cookie Laila brought her. Apparently she was a victim of mobbing at the university and I despised her classmates for violating her that way. They might not have physically hurt her but they used her insecurity and aversion to touch to taunt and mentally abuse her and that’s just horrible! My poor little girl! Don’t hurt my Zofia or I’ll defend her like a lion! *grrr* Zofia is really great at maths too and her and Enrique were such a great team it was a pleasure to watch them figure out things together. I always had Beckett and Castle in mind when they threw their knowledge and ideas at each other. Just perfect. *lol* I can’t help but wonder what happened to her after Tristan’s death though. I mean Hypnos and Enrique kissed and judging by the hints that were dropped, to witness their kiss caused her to withdraw from the world again. Which is such a shame! >_< I really liked that she began to open up and I’d hate for her to be alone! *sends hugs to Zofia*

”What it could do did not seem within human grasp, but that was the thing about numbers. They weren’t like people, who could say one thing and do another. They weren’t like riddles of social mannerisms or conversations. Numbers never lied.”

”She could be like her parents. Like her sister. She could walk down a street or through a crowd. She wouldn’t know that tight, breath-pulling sensation of drowning, all because someone had asked about her day and she didn’t know how to answer.
Knowledge would make her brave. And more than anything, Zofia wanted to be brave.”

”She was reminded of all that she could not detect. All that she could not do. She could storm into a room, but she could not command its attention through charm. She could face herself in the mirror, but she could not spark imaginations with her face. Zofia stepped back. She should stay in the world she knew. And not reach for one she did not.”

Tristan – The Botanist:

”His love and his fear and his own cracked mind made it easy to convince him that betraying you was saving you.”

Tristan was such a surprise. I mean he was clearly the crew’s baby brother who loved his tarantula Goliath and thought up little miniature gardens before he actually created them and made them a real and living thing. He was such an adorable boy and even though he shared his rather dark and twisted childhood with Séverin it seemed like he got out of it just fine. Well, at least it seemed like it. To be honest there was always something that troubled me about him and the words of Joux-Roubert certainly didn’t make it any better. The birds that disappeared from the garden… I knew there was something wrong with it. Hellz! I certainly didn’t expect it to end like that though! O_o Sweet, precious, little Tristan did WHAT??!!! OMG! I really would have loved to find out why he did that but I guess now we’ll never know… Or we might find out in the next book? I hope we do because that ending left such a huge question mark over my head and the fact that we never got Tristan’s POV makes it even harder to fathom why he would have done such a thing. Also is it just me or was it some sort of bad omen that Tristan never got his own POV? XD

”What? I’m hungry. What about you, Tristan? What do you want?”
“This,” Tristan said quietly. “Just this.”

Hypnos – The Patriarch

”He knew the other boy’s skin, a deep umber like the rain-soaked bark of an oak tree. He knew the textured hair cropped close to his head. Even knew his strangely colored eyes, a blue so pale they looked like panes of frost.”

At first Hypnos was no part of the crew but I ADORED that boy the moment he appeared! His first meeting with Séverin and Enrique was so amazing; I couldn’t help but fall head over heels for him. I loved his flair for the dramatic and his quirky and strangely innocent (even though he’s pretty good at threatening people!) nature. He’s an adorable walking and talking disaster and all I wanted was more!! XD It’s kind of strange that he’s the Patriarch of House Nyx but I’m sure he has skills and responsibilities we never even got to see. Just like with Tristan we didn’t get a Hypnos POV (well only that short chapter at the ending) and I can’t wait to read his thoughts! Let’s hope we’ll get to see them in the next book. Also Hypnos seems to be bi? Just a guess here because he showed obvious interest in Enrique but also sort of charmed Zofia? Maybe that was just my imagination though and he’s actually gay and only loves to flatter pretty women? *lol* I suppose I won’t know until I read “The Silvered Serpents”.

Hypnos loosed a breath. “I hate when I have to do this! Flaring tempers, veiled threats, ugh. It ages me, mon cher, and I detest that.”

”Did you say fur ball?” asked Hypnos. “Like a puppy? How endearing.”
“She said fireball.”
“Oh. That is decidedly less endearing.”

”What’s going on here” – said Hypnos, his voice rising as a bizarre grin spread across his face, – “is that you care for me. We’re all friends. We’re friends going to save another friend! This is… this is amazing!”

”I had to choose, and perhaps the Order forced my hand in this. But what no one tells you is that even when you decide which world you will live in, the world may not always see you as you would wish. Sometimes it demands that you be so outrageous as to transcend your very skin. You can change your name. Your eye color. Make yourself a myth and live within it, so that you belong to no one but yourself.”

3

Laila & Séverin:

”When Séverin turned back to the room, he went still. Though the room was nearly dark, whatever light clung to its corners now raced to illuminate Laila. It seemed the world couldn’t help but want to be near her … every beam of light, pair of eyes, atom of air. Maybe that’s why sometimes he couldn’t breathe around her.”

Okay, there’s no other way than to say this in capital letters, so please bear with me: I LOVED THEM SO FREAKING MUCH, THEIR TENSION WAS EVERYTHING AND OMG THEY KILLED ME A THOUSAND TIMES!!! I swear the heat whenever they talked with each other was enough to destroy every thermometer! It was off the charts and could have burned down entire worlds! I absolutely loved their tension and I digged the fact that they had history together. Usually it’s always boy meets girl and they fall in love but in this case they spent a night together which both of them are trying really hard to forget. Of course they can’t stop thinking about it, but since neither of them wants to give into their feelings for each other (for very different reasons I may add) they try to avoid being alone instead. Without success because even though they are like NEVER alone their chemistry is STRONG! (And that’s putting it so lightly I can’t even!!!) I loved that Laila called Séverin “Majnun” and GODS did the ending kill me! I hate that they are like that now!!! Tristan’s loss changed Séverin so much and I just couldn’t bear to read those last 5 chapters! In my mind they don’t exist!!! I’ll only acknowledge them if Laila and Séverin end up together in “The Silvered Serpents”. Until then I’m in total denial! Which last 5 chapters??!! I dunno what you’re talking about! ;-P

”Oh, goodness, you care for Séverin! And why wouldn’t you? That boy looks like every dark corner of a fairy tale. The wolf in bed. The apple in a witch’s palm.” He winked.

”She thought back to that evening… on her birthday… when she’d felt buzzed with a daring she almost never indulged. She’d cornered him in his study, more intoxicated by the way he’d looked at her than she had been from any champagne. Séverin hadn’t gotten her a birthday present, and so she demanded a kiss that turned into something more…”

”Laila could picture his eyes perfectly, even though she couldn’t see them. His dusk-colored gaze darkening, fixed on her. Laila knew she should look at the other audience members, but she couldn’t look anywhere but at him, and she didn’t want him looking at anyone but her.”

Séverin wanted to call a doctor, a retinue of nurses, declare war on pans if he could… but Laila refused. “It’s a tiny burn, Majnun,” she’d said, laughing off his panic. “I know,” he’d said. But I cannot stand to see you hurt.

”They let each other stand like this, mutually clasped. Maybe it was just because it was still dark out, and the memory of this moment would dissolve with the sunlight. Or maybe it was because in that vast silence of uncertainty, they could feel each other’s pulse against their fingertips, and that cadence meant they could be many things, but not alone.”

”This was what a kiss that meant nothing supposedly felt like. As if he could not touch her enough, taste her enough, as if this movement alone would leave his body riddled as an addict’s.”

Zofia, Enrique & Hypnos:

“You’re impressed. Admit it.“
Zofia crossed her arms. “No.”
“I dazzle you with my intelligence.”
Zofia turned to Laila. “Make him stop.”

Now I don’t know if I’m on board of this love triangle! *lol* I gotta admit: I was shipping Hypnos and Enrique the moment they met and I just don’t see Zofia in the picture. I mean I want her to have someone that truly loves her because she really deserves to be happy, I’m just not sure if it should be my two boys. XD Zofia’s role in the group always gave me a rather sisterly vibe (like Tristan’s) and it was kind of strange to read that she seems to like Enrique more than just a brother. Her reaction at the end of the book said it all though and it’s pretty obvious that she has some feelings for him. Mhmm I dunno. Chokshi will have to do A LOT to convince me of this love triangle. *lol* For now I’m totally on board of the Hypnos/Enrique ship and I can’t wait to see where this is heading!!! ❤ Also: WHY WEREN’T THEY MENTIONED IN THE LAST FIVE CHAPTERS THAT (ACCORDING TO ME) DON’T EXIST??!

Hypnos was beautiful at a distance. Up close, he was just plain staggering. Enrique stumbled to his feet, hoping the other boy hadn’t noticed. When he looked up, Hypnos’s eyes looked darker. The pupils blown out, as if he was trying to take in all of him too.
“Had I known what pretty company you keep, I might have met with you sooner, Séverin,” said Hypnos, not taking his eyes off Enrique.

”Hypnos smiled, then whispered in her ear, “I do mean it. You are stunning. Though I did not quite like the look of your friend.”
“He’s not my friend.”
“Am I your friend?”

”I was only going to say that we make a good team, phoenix.” A corner of her mouth quirked up. “I know.” And that was true. Her math, his history. They were, he thought, a bit like an equation where the sum was greater than its parts.

Séverin & Enrique:

Enrique shuddered. „Honestly. Who looks at a vase covered in bull testicles and says, ‘You. I must have you.’?”
“The bored, the rich, and the enigmatic.”
Enrique sighed. “All my life aspirations.”

Haha! I really enjoyed their easy banter! Those two were obviously best friends (even though neither of them would admit it) and I liked that Séverin trusted Enrique so much. I mean he basically trusted him with his own life on multiple occasions and I’m glad they had each other. I’m kind of worried how their friendship is going to continue after Tristan’s death though. I mean Enrique and Hypnos seem to be on the best way of becoming a couple and even though Séverin accepted Hypnos in their ranks he did it kind of grudgingly. (At least it seemed like that to me.) I’m pretty sure he didn’t even talk with Enrique after Tristan died and this makes me really sad. =( Those two could have such a great friendship if Séverin would just allow anyone to get close to him. *sighs*

”You’re fondling it.”
Enrique rolled his eyes. “It’s an authentic piece of history and should be savored.”
“You might at least buy it dinner first,” said Séverin, before pointing at the metal edges.

4

“The Gilded Wolves” was everything I craved for and wanted to read! I loved to watch this story unfold, I adored the characters, their world, the diversity and all those puzzles! And I really, really want to read the next book! *lol* A huge thanks goes to my partner in crime Miri @ The Book Dragoness for reading this book with me! I enjoyed our discussions and I can’t wait for your comments on the second book!!! Let me live vicariously through you! ;-P

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Dream Thieves (Maggie Stiefvater)

20257177

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”All of us have secrets in our lives. We’re keepers or kept-from, players or played. Secrets and cockroaches – that’s what will be left at the end of it all.”

Oh god what can I say about this book?
I loved it!!!
I loved it with all my heart and even though I never wanted it to end I still wanted to know what would happen next! XD

Seriously, there is something about the way Maggie Stiefvater describes her world, how she expresses the countless feelings of her characters. With Maggie things are never perfunctory. They are deep, deep like a well or an ancient ocean! Her words drag you into the water; they carry you out into the raging sea!
Every gesture, every single moment, every sentence, they all have some meaning and if you’re perceptive enough you can read between the lines. I adore her writing style and I just can’t seem to get enough of her characters!
They’re all special in their own way and every one of them is just so tangible and real! I felt like I was part of her story, like I knew those boys and their troubles and thoughts.

I can’t seem to be able to describe what Maggie’s books do to me, all I can say is that they are magical and credible and always force me to feel!!! And oh boy, how they force me to feel!!! XD
To read “The Dream Thieves” was incredible and I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I think I love all those different boys even more than I did before!!! <333

1

”Ronan Lynch, keeper of secrets, fighter of men, devil of a boy, had told them all that he could take objects out of his dreams.”

Well, I guess that quote already explains it all! The second book of the Raven Cycle is dealing with Ronan Lynch’s ability to take things from dreams and if you know Ronan, you also know that he has many secrets and isn’t as tough as he comes across! XD Still, even though the main focus lies on Ronan and his family, the other characters play a huge part in the book as well! So don’t worry, there’s still a lot to read about the other precious Aglionby Boys and Blue! ;-P

2

”But the boys were not looking at the scenery. They stood in a close circle: Adam Parrish, gaunt and fair, Noah Czerny, smudgy and slouching; and Ronan Lynch, ferocious and dark.”

Here we go with my typical spoiler warning! From now on you’ll find yourself bombarded with spoilers and quotes! So beware and tread carefully!!!

Gansey:

”She would see a rich boy dressed like a mannequin and coiffed like a newscaster – but his eyes were like the dreaming pool in Cabeswater. He hid the insatiable wanting well, but now that she’d seen it once, she couldn’t stop seeing it.”

Richard Gansey the III, the golden boy who seems to have everything but is so lonely that it hurts! Oh boy did I feel sorry for him throughout the entire book! He always tried to fix everything and his friends are like brothers to him, yet he’s never able to tell them how he truly feels. It was so frustrating to watch him, to see how he struggled and couldn’t put his thoughts into words! Gansey is such a delicate soul but for some reason no one seems to get him. T_T He would do everything for his boys and I think he proved that more than once; as it seems they all have their problems to accept his help though. Still, I liked that we finally saw some other parts of Gansey’s personality as well! For instance his wild side and how he became friends with Adam! XD I love Gansey but he’s so lonesome and driven by his need to find Glendower that it’s sometimes almost painful to read his POV! >_<

”Once, he had dreamt that he found Glendower. It wasn’t the actual finding, but the day after. He wouldn’t forget the sensation of the dream. It hadn’t been joy, but instead, the absence of pain. He couldn’t forget that lightness. The freedom.

”There were many versions of Gansey, but this one had been rare since the introduction of Adam’s taming presence. It was also Ronan’s favourite. It was the opposite of Gansey’s most public face, which was pure control enclosed in a paper-thin wrapper of academia.”

Blue:

”Blue was a fanciful but sensible thing, like a platypus, or one of those sandwiches that had been cut into circles for a fancy tea party.”

I still like Blue but there were some things that caused me to be annoyed at her. For instance the fact that she didn’t want to tell Adam why she would never kiss him. I mean, I understand her reasons to keep it from him, but I think she could have chosen her words a little more carefully. I know Adam kind of drove her into a corner, I’m pretty certain that he would have understood it if she would have told him sooner though! But then again she is young and inexperienced and has no idea how to deal with boys so I guess this kind of works in her favor. *lol* Still, this was already the second book and I still have the feeling that I don’t know her! I really hope this is going to change in the next book!!!

Blue put a hand on his chest and pressed. “I don’t want to kiss you. It’s not going to be you and me.”

Adam:

”As always, his features intrigued Blue. They were not quite conventionally handsome, but they were interesting. He had the typical Henrietta prominent cheekbones and deep-set eyes, but his version of them was more delicate. It made him seem a little alien. A little impenetrable.”

Adam Parrish destroyed me!!! This boy broke my heart in so many different ways I can’t even count it anymore. My heart ached and bled for him!!! It was devastating to watch his decline!!! And oh god, that moment when he ran away and didn’t even remember Gansey’s phone number?!! I can’t even!!! It killed me to see him like that, to know that he was so broken and couldn’t seem to be able to fix it!! Hell, even Adam knew it!!! He was completely aware of his degeneration and that made it even harder to bear!!! I was so glad that Persephone helped him to find himself and encouraged him to make peace with Cabeswater! Their relationship was amazing and to know that Adam finally found his way and became “The Magician” filled me with joy!!!! =))) I bet he’s going to be powerful in the future and I can’t wait to see it happening!!! XD

”It was nothing, but it was Adam Parrish’s nothing. How he hated and loved it. How proud he was of it, how wretched it was.”

”Do you think you’re a train wreck?”
“That would mean I was on the tracks to start with,” he replied.

”He would be Cabeswater’s hands and Cabeswater’s eyes, but he wouldn’t be Cabeswater.
He would be Adam Parrish.”

Ronan:

”And Ronan was everything that was left: molten eyes and a smile made for war.”

Ronan Lynch is my precious boy!!! I love him to bits and pieces!!! The fact this book was about him and his family made me so happy and to read his POV was just amazing!! I love that he’s a walking and talking oxymoron and even though he seems to be so tough he’s actually a softie on the inside! *lol* AND OMG!!! I knew it!!!! I knew he was gay and had feelings for ADAM!!! YASSSS!!! There were so many hints in this book and the conversations with Kavinsky definitely helped to figure it out! We finally got to see the real Ronan and I’m thankful for every second of it. He cares about his family deeply (well everyone except of Declan of course ;-P) and to find out about his nightmares was more than just a revelation. I mean the fact Ronan tried to kill himself never set well with me and I couldn’t imagine him to commit suicide. So to find out that it had been the monsters of his dreams was kind of relieving but also disturbing. *lol* Also I’m pretty certain that Declan and him are at odds because he’s gay. There’s no palpable proof yet, but I think I read it between the lines! ;-P

”His gaze followed his brother’s leg to where it rested on top of Adam’s and his expression tightened.”

”Don’t fucking swear,” Ronan said.

”That’s not what Gansey is to me,” Ronan said.
“You didn’t say you don’t swing that way.”
Ronan was silent. Thunder growled under his feet. “No. I didn’t.”

Noah:

”The last six minutes, the ones that took place after Noah had first fallen but before he actually died, were excruciating. Blue considered herself a fairly steadfast, sensible girl, but no matter how many times she heard his torn-up breath seizing in his throat, she felt a little teary.”

I really wish we would have seen more of Noah, but since he’s connected to the ley line and Kavinsky and Ronan made it a habit to mess with it through the entire book, there really wasn’t any chance to get to know him better. Still, I love this boy and the kiss between him and Blue was so bittersweet!! It broke my heart into tiny little pieces and I think I’ll remember this moment forever! Oh god, how I wish that Noah could be happy! That he’d find someone who loves him and accepts him the way he is! As a wonderful and lovable ghost that never got a chance to live!!! Maggie please let him be happy in the next two books!!! Because my heart bleeds for this amazing boy and I couldn’t take it if he’d be unhappy for the rest of his undead life!!! T_T

”I know somebody you could kiss.”
“Who?” She realized his eyes were amused. “Oh, wait.”
He shrugged. He was maybe the only person Blue knew who could preserve the integrity of a shrug while lying down.”

”I’d ask you out, if I was alive.”
Nothing was fair.
“I’d say okay,” she replied.
She only had time to see him smile faintly. And then he was gone.

Kavinsky:

Ronan replied, “Not such a thief tonight.”
“Some nights,” Kavinsky said, all teeth, “you just take it. Consent is overrated.”

He’s such a numpty but I still liked him somehow? I don’t know! XD There was something about him that made him really intriguing and even though I knew that he was bad I still had the irrational hope that he would be able to change for the better. It was so obvious that he was unhappy with his life and would have needed some help, yet I’m still sure that he would have never accepted it. He definitely was gay and he SOOO had the hots for Ronan!!! *lol* His death might have been unnecessary but it certainly wasn’t unexpected… RIP Joseph Kavinsky! >_<

”After a moment, he heard the hood groan as Kavinsky leaned over him. Then he felt the ridged callus of a finger drag slowly over the skin on his back. A slow arc between his shoulder blades, drawing the pattern of his tattoo. Then sliding down his spine, tensing every muscle it moved over.”

”The world’s a nightmare.”

The Gray Man:

”The king of swords, master of his own emotions, master of his own intellect, master of reason, gazed out at them, expression inscrutable.”

Ha! That man gave me anxiety!!! *lol* I was so worried that he’d hurt Ronan and after the scene with Declan I actually feared for Ronan’s life!!! But then the Gray Man met Maura and everything changed! XD The chapters from his POV were really interesting and I liked the idea of him being a hit man! 😉 He was a great addition to the cast and I can’t wait to see more of him and Maura! Because truth be told, they actually were cute as hell!! *grins like a Cheshire cat*

”I’m sorry no one saved you.”
Was he unsaved? Would he have ever ended up any other way?”

Maura kissed the back of his hand. “You’re going to have to be brave.”
The Gray Man said, “I’m always brave.”
She said, “Braver than that.”

3

Adam & Gansey

”If Adam was stupid about his pride, Gansey was stupid about Adam.”

I hated that they quarrelled so often but I loved it when Gansey spoke with his friend Malory and made Adam laugh!!! Their friendship was really tense in this book, but I think it was good this way. They had to work things out and realise where they were standing and without conflict they would have never even gotten that far! Sometimes it needs friction to find out who you are and to say there was a lot of it between Adam and Gansey certainly would be the understatement of the century. *lol*

”He hated the careful way Gansey had asked him about it. Tiptoeing, just like Adam had learned to tiptoe around his father.

”Gansey couldn’t shake the image of Adam by the side of the interstate, walking, walking, walking. Knowing he was forgetting what he was doing, but unable to stop. Unable to remember Gansey’s number, even when people did stop to help.”

Ronan & Noah

”Adam thinks he saw an apparition at his place.”
Ronan eyed Noah. “I’m seeing an apparition right now.”

Those two were hilarious!!! *LOL* I loved it when Ronan threw Noah out of the window!!! They have such a close relationship and it’s awesome that Ronan treats Noah like he would treat any other boy! (Well, except of throwing him out of the window of course! XD) Noah knows about Ronan’s feelings for Adam but he respects Ronan’s wishes and that’s amazing!!! <333 He’s a really good friend and I hope I’ll see more of their interactions in the next book! =)))

”Noah,” Ronan said tenderly, placing his palm on top of Noah’s cold, seven-years-dead hand, “you’re starting to piss me off.”

Ronan & Gansey:

”There was never a time when that could’ve been you and me. You know the difference between us and Kavinsky? We matter.”

Love those two boys! I think it’s kind of funny that Ronan thinks Adam tamed Gansey, because it’s actually what Gansey is doing with him! *lol* Gansey is the voice of reason and they complement each other so perfectly it’s kind of beautiful to watch! 😉

”His face went somber for half a second, and then it dissolved into an absolutely wonderful and fearless laugh. The old Ronan Lynch’s laugh. No, it was better than that one, because this new one had just a hint of darkness beneath it. This Ronan knew there was crap in the world, but he was laughing anyway.”

Gansey & Blue :

”In some parallel universe, there was a Gansey who could tell Blue that he found the ten inches of her bare calves far more tantalizing than the thirteen cubic feet of bare skin Orla sported.”

It’s somehow amusing that Gansey sees Blue as a glorious and fearless animal! Haha! But then again that’s just Gansey’s typical way to describe the people around him! XD I loved their telephone conversations and their easy banter!!! And I was happy that they called each other whenever they felt troubled and alone! PLUS that almost kiss between them GAVE ME LIFE!!!! <333 Oh my, how my heart skipped a beat when I read that scene!!! XD

”He pressed his eyes closed. Just the sound of her voice, the Henrietta lull to it, made him feel uneven and shattered.”

”Ha! Adam’s communing with trees and Noah keeps re-enacting being murdered and Ronan’s wrecking and then making me new cars. What’s new with you? Something terrible, I trust?”

”He leaned towards her – her heart spun again – and pressed his cheeks against hers. His lips didn’t touch her skin, but she felt his breath, hot and uneven, on her face. His fingers splayed on either side of her spine. Her lips were so close to his jaw that she felt his hint of stubble at the end of them. It was mint and memories and the past and the future and she felt as if she’d done this before and already she longed to do it again.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam!!! (I know the official ship name is Pynch but for me they’ll always be Ronam! <333):

”Ronan sometimes dreamt of Adam, too, the latter boy sullen and elegant and fluently disdainful of dream-Ronan’s clumsy attempts to communicate.”

I still want to know how Ronan tried to communicate!!! *LOOOL* All those little moments between those two gave me SO MUCH LIFE!!! They still kept their distance and didn’t say anything, but oh boy what they thought and how they acted around each other!!!! By the end of the book I was nothing but a babbling mess and the epilogue literally killed me!!!! OH GOD!!! I’M STILL NOT OVER IT!!! I knew Adam was Ronan’s second secret and I WANT to see more of them!!! Their interactions at the Barns were so explicit! That moment with the mask and when Adam said that he couldn’t kill Ronan’s demons! They know each other’s soul and they are just meant to be together!!! Knowing Maggie this love is going to be a slow burn though and I really don’t know if my tortured and tormented soul will be able to take it! XD

”And he was the boy with the most beautifully interesting car and the most savagely handsome of friends, Ronan Lynch.”

”The mask clattered to the floor. Adam, startled, stared at where Ronan’s hand gripped his wrist. Ronan could feel his own heart pounding and, in Adam’s wrist, Adam’s.”

”Adam looked up at Ronan. “I know it was you,” he said. “I figured it out. The rent.”
He held Ronan’s gaze for just a moment longer, until something inside Ronan unwound and he almost said something.

”Ronan’s second secret was Adam Parrish. Adam was different since making the bargain with Cabeswater. Stronger, stranger, farther away. It was hard not to stare at the odd and elegant lines of his face.”

4

THIS BOOK WAS INCREDIBLE!!!! I loved it even more than “The Raven Boys” and if it would be possible to give more than five paws I wouldn’t even hesitate to do it!!!
Maggie Stiefvater knows exactly what she’s doing and to say she’s doing it perfectly wouldn’t even get close to the truth! 😉

P.S: This was a buddy read with the amazing Lior!!! Seriously, I probably wouldn’t have survived to read this book if I wouldn’t have been able to fangirl with you!!! ❤

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Mackenzi Lee)

37880094

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 19 on My Book List 2019

”With a chunk of his finger missing, Callum is the most interesting he has ever been to me.”

Well, that sentence certainly got my attention and my first reaction was: RUN, FELICITY, RUN!!! *lol* Because let’s face it, if that’s the only thing that’s attractive about your partner you better leg it and don’t look back. XD Which is exactly what Felicity did and I was so proud of her. XD

I’m getting ahead of myself here though so let’s start with my thoughts after reading this book: Zounds, this was great! ❤ And after thinking about it for two weeks I still stand by it. ;-P This book was so very different than “The Gentleman’s Guide” but I loved it nevertheless! I guess that’s mostly due to the fact that Monty and Felicity are such different characters but also due to the topics that were tackled and the time in which those books play in.

As a girl Felicity had to face completely different challenges than her brother and it was so amazing to follow her journey to herself. Also can we please note that I still think that Sim, Johanna and Felicity should have started a pirate girl gang!? They would have been awesome and the bane of every male pirate’s existence! *lol* Or, well, of every man’s existence in general! ;-P

This said: There’s nothing better than a book full of strong women that know exactly what they want and how to fight for it. ❤ And now, let’s finally head to my character section so I can gush some more! 😉

2

You may board this ship but be aware that my crew is kinda rough. Their manners leave much to be desired and they can be quite rude throwing spoilers at your feet! Landlubbers ye be warned! ;-P

Felicity:

”I was sorry that my great plan hadn’t worked out. Sorry I was here relying on my brother’s Christian charity – what little he had to spare – because my plan for my future had lost its footing at every mile marker. Because I was born a girl but too stubborn to accept the lot that came with my sex.”

Felicity is such a great character and every time she was so down I wanted to tell her that she’s perfect just the way she is! I could relate to her hunger for knowledge and the curiosity that comes along with it and to some degree I even found myself in her. I’ve always been fascinated by nature and the human body as well, and for a very long time I actually wanted to become a surgeon or marine biologist. If you would have asked 5 – 15 year old Gin about her future job, she certainly would have given you that answer. *lol* Unfortunately life caught up with me when I got older and I realized that I could become neither of those two. >_< Well, anyway! I could understand Felicity and her desire to be a part of this world. To be more than what all those men saw in her and to remodel and reshape their world into a better place! There was so much she could give and those biased men just didn’t want to see it! *grrr* Still, she eventually tried to work with the tools she had at hand and if you ask me she did a marvellous job of it! ❤

”Half my heart is this hunger. My being is constructed by an aching to know the answers to every mystery of the frail ligaments that connected us to life and death. That wanting feels a part of me. It has seeped into my skin like mercury injected into a vein to trace its shape through the body. One drop colored my whole being. It is the only way I can see myself.”

”This work is mine. If it is selfish to want, then selfishness shall be my weapon. I will fight for everything that cannot fight for itself. Block the wind and keep away the wolves and put supper on the table. I am suddenly swollen with more than wanting to be known – I want to know.”

Johanna:

”I’m not telling you how you feel, I’m telling you how you make me feel. I felt so silly for so long because of you. But I like dressing this way.” She spreads her arms. “I like curling my hair and twirling in skirts with ruffles, and I like how Max looks with that big pink bow on. And that doesn’t mean I’m not still smart and capable and strong.”

At first I didn’t know what Felicity saw in her but the more I got to know her, the better I understood why Johanna acted the way she did. Johanna loves to be a woman and she embraces everything that comes along with it, yet she doesn’t want to be defined by her choice of clothes. She’s basically the embodiment of beauty and brains! Unfortunately the men in her vicinity only wanted to see her as a docile girl and didn’t appreciate her intelligence. So you might say that Felicity and Johanna faced exactly the same problems because they didn’t fit in the common mold of their time. Johanna wanted to get noticed for her intelligence and not only for her love for frilly dresses. Much to her chagrin people apparently couldn’t be bothered to see beyond her clothing style though. Poor girl!! >_< Despite everything she still didn’t let anyone get her down though, and that makes her a very strong woman and a truly amazing character! ❤

Sim:

”That’s the lie of it all. You have to be better to prove yourself worthy of being equal.”

Aww how I felt with Sim! She’s the third girl in the gang and even though she’s kind of a pirate princess she still has to deal with the same problems Felicty and Johanna had to deal with. Her father didn’t see beyond her being a girl and even though she would have deserved to be his heir her brother would have taken over if anything would have happened to him. Which is so unfair! Because just like Sim said: As a woman she always had to be better than her brothers in order to prove that she was as qualified as them. I loved that Mackenzi addressed that topic because I think that despite all the decades that are between Felicity’s time and ours this still holds true for many of us. >_<

”I’m sorry your father doesn’t see it.”
“See what?” She raises her eyes to mine, and we trade a look that feels like a dare.
“How bloody brilliant you are,” I say.

Platt:

”I’m a little disappointed it isn’t blood your dress is covered in. I would quite like to see a lady surgeon at her post.”

What a SLIMEBALL!!! I hated Platt with a fierce passion and his character stands for everything that is wrong in their time. He likes intelligent women? My ass! I would have loved to throw that man into the sea and to watch what the dragons would do to him! *lol* Heaven knows he would have deserved it! Such a conniving, opportunistic, misogynistic and disgusting person! *throws darts at a picture of Platt* XD

3

Felicity & Monty:

”I’ve missed you. Both of you.” I can hear the soft smile in his voice when he replies, “I won’t tell Monty.”

Haha! Their relationship is still everything! I love them! <333 They’d never admit that they care about each other but when push comes to shove they’ll always have each other’s back! The two are such realistic siblings I can’t even! Mackenzi clearly outdid herself with this sibling rep and I can’t emphasise enough how much I love her for writing them this way! I’m sure many people who have siblings can relate to that and I’m definitely one of them. XD Also Monty and Percy are still so precious!!! I want to hug them for eternity! ❤

”Do you want me to marry Mr. Doyle because you think I need a man to protect me? Or complete me? I’ll pass on that, thank you very much.”
“No,” he says. “I just wish you had someone cheering for you all the time, because you deserve it.”

Monty points at me. “That one’s got a squint like she reads too many books.”
I shall break into a thousand pieces with the effort it requires not to roll my eyes at him. He’s taking such great pleasure in his clandestine crowing that he’s going to give us both away.

Felicity & Johanna:

When she looks at me, I am disarmed. “Well then,” she says, and I don’t know how I shall survive these next few days without drowning in her. “Lucky you’re not me.”

Well, those two had a lot of issues to work through but I’m glad they never gave up and actually worked on their relationship! It’s obvious that Felicity apparently feels more than just friendship for Johanna but she never acted on it which is okay the way it is. I mean as far as I could tell Johanna is straight and Felicity seems to be a biromantic asexual? (Just a guess here… I can’t say for sure.) So this ship never would have sailed anyway.*lol* They have a more than just wonderful friendship though and if you ask me this is even more perfect than any relationship would have ever been. XD Gosh, I just loved those two! <333

”How is it, I wonder, that the brain and the heart can be so at odds and yet have such a profound effect upon the functions of the other?”

”I’m so pathetic,” she says, and I can’t tell if she’s laughing or crying. “I’m soft and selfish and sentimental.”
“You’re nothing of the sort, Johanna Hoffmann,” I reply. “You are a shield and spear to all the things you love. I’m glad to be among them.”

Felicity & Sim:

”And I’m not a crocodile. If I am to be an animal, I would like to be a fox.”
“Well then, foxy.” She whips the cloak off from around my shoulders, then smooths the collar of my dress, her hands lingering on my breastbone. “You’ve only got one chance at this, so make it count.”

And now we come to the ship that might or might have not sailed. *lol* I admit it: I wish it would have sailed full force, but I understand and respect why it didn’t. Sim was crushing really hard on Felicity which she never hid and openly admitted and Felicity had feelings for Sim too. So I really dunno if they became a couple in the end but I’m sure if they did it would have been on equal terms. Sim tried to understand Felicity and was very curious about her being ace/aro and I’m convinced that she would have never pushed her to do anything she didn’t want to do. Though I’m also certain that Sim probably would have wanted more out of a relationship with Felicity. I mean she kissed her so there’s that… I guess we’ll never know what happened in the end. Or, well, we eventually might. *lol* There will be a third book after all! ;-P

”Or maybe I would be a flower. But a really tough flower.”
“A wildflower,” Sim says. “The kind that are strong enough to stand against wind, rare and difficult to find and impossible to forget. Something men walk continents for a glimpse of.”

”That oil slick of a smile spreads over her lips, and I want to touch a candle to it and watch her smolder, this dangerous, gorgeous, wildfire of a woman.”

”And would we be happy?” I ask.
“Ecstatic,” she replies.

The feminism & diversity:

”You deserve to be here. You deserve to exist. You deserve to take up space in this world of men.”

Ohh the feminism was strong in this one and I LOVED it! It was so amazing to see how those three girls took their fates in their own hands! <333 They might have had doubts and there were a lot of obstacles in their way but in the end they always continued to fight! Also, Felicity telling off that guy at the reception was one of my fave things ever! *lol* Way to go, girl! XD And can we please note the diversity in here as well?! I mean we have Johanna who’s a feminist even though she loves to dress up and has mastered the art of using make-up! We have Felicity who doesn’t give a damn about her clothes, is ace/aro and can gush about medical theories like a pro and we have Sim who’s a queer muslim pirate princess! (I say queer because I don’t know if she’s the L, B or Q in the LGBTQ+ spectrum. She might be pan, it’s never mentioned so I can only guess.) So THIS was everything!!! <333

”I have as much claim to this world as anyone else. No one will offer Johanna and me permission to make this work ours, to take up her mother’s maps and follow their headings to the horizon’s edge, where the sea and the sky smoke together. First of our name, first of our kind.”

”Really? First girls, and then young lady? That’s how you feel it is appropriate to refer to us? Like children?”
“Your current comportment is excessively so,” he replies.
“And your current comportment doesn’t give me much reason to believe your brain is your best asset,” I reply.

The ace/aro rep:

”I want friends,” I say. “Good friends, that make up a different kind of family.”
“That sounds lonely.”
“It wouldn’t be lonely,” I reply. “I’d like to be on my own, but not alone.”

I think the ace/aro rep was really great in this one but since I’m not ace/aro you’ll have to take my words and opinion with a pinch of salt. The way it was described, it just felt like I understood what Felicity was trying to put into words. Like she loves her family and friends deeply but she has no desire to get physical with them. For instance she doesn’t like hugs (I’m such a hugger! *lol*) and her kiss with Sim was okay but not as earth shattering as it might have been for people with another sexual orientation?! Does that make sense? If you’re ace/aro and read this please correct me if I’m wrong. XD Ultimately the rep was done in a way I could grasp, it made being ace/aro more tangible for me and so I think it was done well. =)

”Did that work any sort of magic?”
“Not really.”
“That’s a shame.” She settles back into our little nest of cloaks, pulling the collar higher around her face. “It worked for me.”

4

What’s not to love about this book? From the reps to feminism, from the strong girl gang that took on every obstacle that was placed in their way up to the mystery of the dragons and the conflicts that were dealt with this was a more than just amazing journey to read! Mackenzi Lee took all those different topics and mashed them together into one huge book! And if you ask me she did it masterly! If you like crafty, strong and stubborn women that don’t take any s*it from anyone, do their thing and go their own way “The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy” might be the perfect tale for you. ;-P

”I’m learning there is no one way for life to be lived, no one way to be strong or brave or kind or good. Rather there are many people doing the best they can with the heart they are given and the hand they are dealt. Our best is all we can do, and all we can hold to is each other.
And, zounds, that is more than enough.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Upside of Unrequited (Becky Albertalli)

32596757__SY475_

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 3 of My Book List 2020

”Falling in love is terrifying.”

This book was definitely better than “Leah on the Offbeat” but it still wasn’t as great as “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”. So I guess that means that for me it’s somewhere right in the middle. There were many things I loved about “The Upside of Unrequited”, but I also had some issues I just couldn’t seem to be able to ignore. Which is kinda good, because I like to address my issues head-on. (and I need to write something into my reviews after all, right? They would be boring without a little bit of controversy. *lol*)

”This is going to sound weird, but I think I need to be rejected. I think I need it like I need a flu shot. Or like those therapists who make you hold snakes until you’re not afraid of snakes anymore.

So keeping that in mind let’s talk about the things I loved first: I really liked that Molly was such a relatable teen. I mean she was super insecure and didn’t know how to act around guys she liked and she was crushing on 26 boys and nothing ever happened with any of them! I don’t know about you, but I think this was a really healthy rep! Yes, Molly is seventeen in the book and never kissed a boy, let alone held his hand. It’s often mentioned that she feels stupid and childish because of it, but it’s also implied that this is totally okay. And it is!

She looks at me. “Wow. Like, you can’t. You actually can’t admit it.”
I cover my face.
“This is so sad and adorable.”
“I’m twelve years old. I know.”
“You seriously are.” She laughs. “Which is okay! But you’re gonna have to turn thirteen.”

These days it feels like teens have to deal with this enormous pressure of having a bf/gf in order to be valued and accepted. It was already bad when I was a teen but looking at the next generation now I can see how much this has changed. A teen that’s seventeen and has no romantic experience? Almost impossible. Most of them seem to have their first bf/gf at the age of 12 or 13 and there are some that are even younger. So I’m glad that Molly was a character that only crushed but never followed through with it. It’s okay to have crushes and to wait for the right person, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! 😉

”Because that’s the thing about change. It’s so painfully normal. It’s the most basic of all tragedies.”

Another topic that was dealt with was the power of change and the problems that come along with it. Molly and her twin sister Cassie start to go into different directions because they both make new
experiences, fall in love and start to have a life outside of each other’s orbit. Which is so “coming of age” that it was actually pretty painful to watch. The chasm that opened between them felt very realistic though and even though it hurt to see their sisterly bond getting stretched so much, it was still a great rep. I think everyone who has a sibling can relate to that and I was reminded of the time my sister got her first bf.

”I remember when she got a boyfriend, and she just fell off the grid. It sucked.”
“Yeah.”
“And no one warns you about this. No one tells you how hard it is, because, yay, love! And we’re so happy for them! But there’s this sharp edge to it, right? Because yeah, you’re happy for them. But you’ve also lost them.”

Those words from Patty rang so true! No one warns you what happens when your sibling starts to date someone and yes, it is some sort of loss. I remember when my sister started to date her first bf. We always used to hang out in our room and watched our favourite TV show together. And well, when she got her first bf I found myself making some comment about the show, turning my head towards her bed just to realize that she wasn’t there anymore. I think what I’m trying to say with this is that you have your rituals and once another person comes into your life, those little rituals sort of die. They are replaced with new people, new experiences and other new rituals. To grow up means to change and you have to accept that change and go with it in order to keep in touch.

”It’s just I’m having trouble balancing this. I’m not used to having another person be this important to me.”
She’s staring at her knees, tears pooling in her eyes.
“And I don’t want to lose us, you know?”

I liked that the issue was addressed in the end but I still think they should have talked more about everything that happened. For twins that were so close before, they actually didn’t do a lot of talking and this led to many misunderstandings and problems during the book. So I found myself being annoyed that they just couldn’t seem to be able to talk about their issues. *lol* I’m a very direct person though so I guess this might count as my subjective opinion. 😉

”I KNOW! She fell asleep watching Harry Potter. Side-eye emoji.
I write back frantically. WHAT? That is the worst. She is the worst.
She’s a squib, he writes. Which makes me smile all the way to Woodley Park.”

Next to the great diverse cast (we have two moms, twins, a pansexual Korean-American character, a gay character, a medical anxiety rep etc.) the friendships in “The Upside of Unrequited” were definitely among my favourite things about this book! XD I loved how Molly and Simon bonded not only over their friendship with Abby but also over their mutual love for Harry Potter. *lol* Those two were just great and I really enjoyed reading about their short interactions. =)

”And I always tell Molly: you’re a little zaftig, of course, but you have a lovely face. Isn’t she lovely?”

So I think now that I talked about the many things I liked, it’s finally time to tackle the problematic topic I had issues with: I really didn’t like that Molly considered herself to be a “fat girl”. So what? She’s not a skinny size zero mannequin and actually has some curves. What’s wrong with that? Nothing! If anything the only thing that’s wrong, is the fact that her grandma made her feel bad about not being skinny. Her grandma was called out on her behaviour though and it was shown that she had her own problems and issues to deal with, but ultimately was a good person. (Which was great because it made her a complex and realistic character.) Still, what I really had issues with is the fact that Molly thought that “girls like her” don’t get boyfriends and apparently needed one to tell her that she’s beautiful before she could accept herself.

”Even if he likes me, I’m not sure he’d like me naked. I hate that I’m even thinking that. I hate hating my body. Actually, I don’t even hate my body. I just worry everyone else might.”

I didn’t like that Leah in “Leah on the Offbeat” always thought about herself as a “fat girl” and I still didn’t enjoy seeing this kind of self-perception in here. It’s like Becky tries to show us that everyone is different, that there are girls with curves out there and that this is okay, yet at the same time they always seem to have problems to accept themselves. Which, with all due respect, is bulls*it! It’s okay to have a normal body, everyone has their problem areas and no one is as skinny as all those models in magazines! For once I’d love to see a normal character in a YA book! (I’m not talking about the “I’m so plain but everyone still loves me because as it turns out I’m actually pretty special- trope” here) And if you truly want to write about girls with curves, then please, please, PLEASE, let them be content with them for once!!! I mean, hell, there are actually people out there that are okay with their body. It would be really sad if all of us would hate themselves like Molly does.

I can only speak for myself but a couple of years ago (yes, I was a teen back then) I posted a picture of myself on social media and there was a guy that commented: “You look great but your boobs are too small.” So what? Yes, my butt is probably bigger than my boobs. I know that and I’m fine with it. *shrugs* And just in case you’re interested in my answer. I told him the following: “Thanks, I’m content with my boobs!!!” Well, apparently some people found this answer so hilarious that they actually founded a group called: “I’m content with my boobs.” But that’s a story for another day. *lol*

To get back to the topic at hand: There are people that love their body, stand by it and accept themselves exactly the way they are! And it would be really refreshing to read about a YA character that doesn’t have issues with its size. I hated that Molly needed a boyfriend to feel good in her skin and the message that was conveyed with that was really wrong. Like only a bf or gf can make you feel beautiful and valued. *shakes head*

4

“The Upside of Unrequited” was a great book and once I started to read it I found myself rushing through the pages. There were many things I loved: For instance the diverse cast, the different reps and the undeniable fact that it made me feel all giddy and happy at the end. (Which, if you ask me, seems to be a typical Becky Albertalli trade mark. ;-)) Unfortunately there were also some things I had issues with and so this ended up being a 3,5 paws (rounded up to 4) book for me. Still, it was a fast and nice read and it tackled a lot of important topics that are rarely mentioned in other YA books. So for this alone “The Upside of Unrequited” is definitely worth a try. 😉 Happy reading!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: They Both Die at the End (Adam Silvera)

35216509__SY475_

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Mateo, I regret to inform you that sometime in the next twenty-four hours you’ll be meeting an untimely death. And while there isn’t anything we can do to suspend that, you still have a chance to live.”

Imagine a stranger calls you in the middle of the night and tells you those exact words. Did you end up in a horror movie? Nope. You’re in the future and by now technology is so advanced that people are informed when they are going to die. But of course there’s a catch. They inform you 24 hours before you die and they neither know how it’s going to happen nor when. A car crash, an elevator, an explosion, choking on food? In three hours, right now when you receive the call, 23 hours and 59 minutes from the moment you’ve been called? Everything is possible.

”I was raised to be honest, but the truth can be complicated. It doesn’t matter if the truth won’t make a mess, sometimes the words don’t come out until you’re alone. Even that’s not guaranteed. Sometimes the truth is a secret you’re keeping from yourself because living a lie is easier.”

So what are you supposed to do? Try to fight it? Stay at home and hope you’re safe there? Go out and live your last day to the fullest? Deny it or rather use the chance to say goodbye to your loved ones? It’s up to you but whatever you do, “Death Cast” is never wrong and sooner or later death will find and claim you. It doesn’t matter if you’re 90 or 5. A mother, father, child, husband, aunt, best friend or a celebrity, death doesn’t care about those things, it makes no difference.

”I look ahead at the empty streets, and I start walking towards Rufus and his bike, walking towards death with every minute we lose, walking against a world that’s against us.”

Mateo and Rufus both received the call and neither of them is able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Rufus made a mistake that caused his friends to be “unavailable” and Mateo’s father is in a coma and won’t even notice when his son dies. Thankfully there’s an app for situations like that (I just loved this! I mean nowadays there’s an app for everything, right? *lol*) and our two boys meet over “Last Friend”. They are both going to die and they decide to spend their last day together…

”You shouldn’t donate to charity, help the elderly cross the street, or rescue puppies in the hopes you’ll be repaid later. I may not be able to cure cancer or end world hunger, but small kindnesses go a long way.”

And here is the moment when I’m finally going to talk about those two young and sweet boys that only have one day left to do whatever they feel like doing. This book really made me think and it certainly caused me to feel. I could relate to their struggle so much and a little part of me broke when Mateo threw his books across the room knowing full well that it wouldn’t matter if they got ripped or destroyed because in a few hours he wouldn’t be there to care about it. There were so many little moments that ripped my heart out. T_T Mateo singing for his dad who couldn’t hear him, Rufus hoping the Plutos would show up, Mateo taking care of his best friend’s kid so she could have a few moments to herself, Rufus thinking that Mateo is pure… IT. BROKE. MY. FREAKING. HEART!

”Entire lives aren’t lessons, but there are lessons in lives.
You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”

What Mateo and Rufus have at the end of their lives is so special! They get to know each other in a way not many people are able to. They speak about the important things, they don’t shy away from difficult topics and they get involved with each other. Without prejudices, without a second thought! But would they have been so open if it wouldn’t have been their last day? I doubt it. There are things you’re too scared to say, things you don’t even dare to think about, but what if the only person that’s holding you back is actually yourself?

I lean in to his ear. “I want to go to Jones Beach and race you to the waves and play in the rain with our friends. But I want quiet nights, too, where we talk about nonsense while watching bad movies.” I want us to have history, something longer than the small window of time we’re actually sharing, with an even longer future, but the dying elephant in the room crushes me.”

I loved that Rufus helped Mateo to find himself and I adored the way Mateo was able to get under Rufus’s skin. What if they would have been given more time together? How much they could have achieved and done; how good they could have lived! It’s just so unfair! Or at least it seems to be like that because if there is one thing you can say about death, then it’s that it’s actually fair. It makes no difference between young or old, married or single, famous or not, good or bad, sick or healthy, queer or straight, happy or unhappy. It’s just death and it … well, it happens. Sooner or later we all have to go. We’re born and we die, whatever happens in the middle is up to us.

”Why can’t we knock on Death’s door and be or barter or arm-wrestle or have a staring contest for the chance to keep living? I’d even want to fight for the chance to decide how I die. I’d go in my sleep.”

4

I guess you can already tell that this book made me think really hard. To be honest I never stopped thinking about it and I’m pretty sure this is one of those books that will stay with me for quite a while. Adam Silvera painted a vivid picture of a world in which we all know when it’s time to go. Whether this is good or bad is up for discussion and we readers are encouraged to give it some serious thought. The different POVs only add to that thought process and the way all those lives are connected and interwoven gives the reader a profound sense of life and its scope as well as its associated mechanisms. Or in other words: It’s like with the figuratively pebble that’s thrown in the pond. An infinitesimal action has huge consequences.

I won’t tell you how this ends because you know, “They Both Die at the End” or not?? but I will admit that close to the ending my thoughts were all over the place and I found myself yelling: “Oh, sh**! It can’t be!!!”

spoiler

It’s not the “when” or “what” that will leave your mind reeling, it’s the HOW!!!! AASDFKLASDJFKSDFJASKLDFJSAKLDFJSLD!!!

All told this was a great book that no doubt, will leave its mark.

”There are questions I can’t answer. I cannot tell you how you will survive without me. I cannot tell you how to mourn me. I cannot convince you to not feel guilty if you forget the anniversary of my death, or if you realize days or weeks or months have gone by without thinking about me.
I just want you to live.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Poppy War (R.F. Kuang)

35068705

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 8 on My Book List 2019

”Children ceased to be children when you put a sword in their hands. When you taught them to fight a war, then you armed them and put them on the front lines, they were not children anymore. They were soldiers.”

This book. I mean… THIS BOOK! *sighs deeply and shakes head*
There is so much to be said about “The Poppy War” and I’m afraid I won’t even be able to put at least half of my thoughts into decent sentences. Because after finishing this book about a month ago (A MONTH AGO!!!) I still have troubles to sort out all of my feelings and thoughts.

“The Poppy War” is a great book but it tackles a lot of serious topics and I guess that’s the reason why my heart always feels kind of heavy when I think about it. Of course there is a war raging in this book but there happen so many other things that it’s almost impossible not to flinch when you reach those final 40%. Think about every atrocity that’s ever happened and you get a good idea about what you’re going to read in this book. There’s genocide, rape, torture, self-harm… and that’s just me naming a few of the triggers that might come your way.

”War doesn’t determine who’s right. War determines who remains.”

Let me tell you this: The longer you continue the worse it gets and even though this was masterfully done and I loved the world building and all the characters there is still this strange undercurrent of heavy sadness and dread. Golyn Niis was so tough to read I still get goose bumps when I think about it. This chapter was so, so, so, so damn hard to get through and I can’t remember the last time I read a book and felt that way. Maybe I never felt that way reading a book before. At least I can’t remember a single book that actually made me feel like this. I swear my stomach turned and I had troubles to breathe. I was feeling nauseous reading a book! Yes, it was that heavy! Everyone who already read the book will know what I’m talking about and to those who didn’t: It’s really as bad as everyone claims it to be! I got plenty of warnings but nothing prepared me for Golyn Niis!

”Amateurs obsess over strategy, Irjah had once told their class. Professionals obsess over logistics.”

Still, despite this heavy feeling of uneasiness that always overcomes me when I think about “The Poppy War” this book was definitely worth reading! I loved the fantasy elements and the idea of powers from the gods! Plus I really enjoyed the chapters at Sinegard Academy and the chimei! What I loved the most was the representation of human nature though. I might be alone with this but it’s obvious that R.F. Kuang put a lot of effort into her characters and you could see it in the way they grow, develop and change. Their character arcs were so amazing to follow, I’m in awe! And before I continue to gush about them here, I might as well move to my character section instead. ;-P

2

This is my spoilery spoiler section and if you didn’t read the book already you better turn around and leave. If you’re still curious and don’t want to heed my warning you may proceed at your own risk! I mean I warned you, right? ;-P

Rin:

”No – they couldn’t just do this to her. They might think they could sweep her away like rubbish, but she didn’t have to lie down and take it. She had come from nothing. She wasn’t going back to nothing.”

Oh gods! Rin! I can’t believe what she did in the end and I can’t wrap my head around the fact that such a sweet and innocent girl could change that much! But it still happened and her descent was so heavy to watch. >_< I guess that’s what happens when you play with fire, quite literally in her case. She got addicted to the power and I’m so damn afraid of what she’s going to do next! I loved her defiance and strength at the beginning of the book, how she wanted to learn and did everything possible to achieve her goal. She was so determined and strong-willed! But then the war began and all those things happened and with every chapter Rin changed! She became something different, she hardened her heart, she lost her moral compass and made decisions that got her deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole! And then she did the unthinkable and I’m not sure if she’ll ever be able to return from that darkness again. T_T The ending broke my heart, for Rin, for the person she could have been for everything she HAD been before she came to Sinegard. She’s not the person she used to be and I find myself weeping for everything she lost and for what she became. =(((

”She didn’t want to be possessed. She wanted to remain free.”

”Then I will die on my feet,” she said. “I will die with flames in my hand and fury in my heart.”

”My god didn’t make me do anything,” she said. “The gods can’t make our choices for us. They can only offer their power, and we can wield it. And I did, and this is what I chose.” She swallowed. “I don’t regret it.”

”She was sane, she was convinced of it. She was whole. She had lost much, yes, but she still had her own mind. She made her decisions. She chose to accept the Phoenix. She chose to let it invade her mind.”

Altan:

”We’re the final front,” said Altan. “If we fail, this country’s lost.” He clapped her on the shoulder. “Excited?”

Altan broke my heart. At first I had the same impression like everyone else: That he knows what he’s doing, that he’s in control and a perfect student/soldier but the more we got to see from him, the more it became obvious that he’s far from all those things! This boy was broken beyond repair and he hid it so well that no one ever noticed until it was too late! I can’t say that I liked his actions but I could understand why he acted the way he did! He was lashing out at everyone because he was like a wild animal that only saw threats and didn’t know how to react to kindness. Altan was unable to see that not everyone who confronted him wanted to do him harm. Which makes me sad on so many levels. =( That poor, poor boy! To be tortured like this, to get out of it alive, to live with his past and the knowledge that it might happen again. Just to live with everything he went through! To draw breath every day and to continue, to keep on moving! I can’t even begin to comprehend how he must have felt and I can’t put into words how strongly I feel for him. T_T And I don’t want to believe that he’s dead! He can’t be dead! >_<

”I don’t know,” he said after a long moment. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

”Altan’s fire drew as its source an unending hate. It was a deep, slow burn. She could almost taste it, the venomous intent, the ancient misery, and it horrified her.
How could one person hate so much?
What had happened to him?

Kitay:

”One urinating statue for my easily entertained friend.”
Rin blushed. “Kitay, I can’t.”
“It costs nothing.”
“It costs a lot to me,” she said.
Kitay placed the statue in her hand. “If you say one more thing about money, I’m leaving you to get lost.”

I absolutely adored Kitay! He’s such a good friend and I loved that Rin and he became besties. =) Despite being fortunate enough to be one of the rich kids at Sinegard Academy he still reached out to her and became her friend. I think that’s what I loved about him the most, he didn’t care about titles or money, he just cared about the person and what it could do! Kitay is the living and breathing proof that good people exist and in the end his character was the only one that gave me any hope. Because despite all the things he witnessed and regardless of everything that happened to him, he still had moral values and acted according to them. In a world so harsh and cruel that it changed everyone around him, he still held on to his convictions and I loved him for it! <333

”There was a hard glint to his eyes that she had never seen in him before. He looked as if he had aged five years. He looked like his father. He was like a sword that had been sharpened, metal that had been tempered.”

Jiang:

”I am a mortal who has woken up, and there is power in awareness.”

I really don’t know how to feel about Jiang! I actually liked him at the beginning of the book but I was so disappointed by him when it ended. His character was some sort of catalyst and I had the distinct feeling that he could have done more, that he SHOUD HAVE done more! What if he would have taught Rin about her powers? What if he would have allowed her to use them in a safe setting? What if he would have fought alongside them and would have helped her to control the phoenix? He basically left Altan and Rin to their own devices and this set them on the dark path they were descending at the end. How different everything could have gone if Jiang would have watched out for them! =( To drop Altan as his student was the first mistake he made and not to teach Rin properly apparently his last.

”Ah. The law.” Jiang sniffed at an unidentified leaf and then tossed it away. “So inconvenient. So irrelevant.”

3

Rin & Altan:

”She knew what addiction looked like. Opium smokers were yellowed, useless sacks of flesh. They did not fight like Altan did. They did not move like Altan did. They were not perfect, lethal animals of graceful beauty.”

Okay, I’m going to say it: I DIDN’T SHIP RIN AND ALTAN! I’m sorry but I just couldn’t! They didn’t have much of a relationship before Rin joined the Cike and once she was a part of them her relationship with Altan was nothing but abusive. He slapped her, hurt her with words, forced her to do things she didn’t want to do and was everything else but supportive. How was I supposed to ship that? I get that Altan was thoroughly broken but he didn’t have to let it out on Rin and as frustrated as he might have been with her, he still had no right to hurt her. So nope, it was clear right from the beginning that he didn’t respect her as much as she respected him and if you ask me those two never had a future. (Not saying that I wouldn’t love for Altan to come back again. I still wouldn’t ship him with Rin though) I’ll never ship those two and I stand by it. Fight me! *lol* ;-P

”Hey. Hey.”
Cool fingers wrapped around her wrists. Gently, Altan pulled her hands away from her face. She looked up and met his eyes. They were a shade of crimson brighter than poppy petals.
“It’s okay,” he said. “I know. I know what it’s like. I’m going to help you.”

”She had adored an idea of him, an archetype, a version of him that was invulnerable. But now she knew the truth, she knew the realness of Altan and his vulnerabilities and most of all his pain… and still she loved him.”

He leaned forward and grasped her face in both hands. She thought for a bizarre moment that he was going to kiss her. He didn’t. He pressed his forehead against hers for a long time. She closed her eyes. She drank in the sensation of her skin against his. She seared it into her memory.”

Rin & Nezha:

”We aren’t here to be sophisticated. We’re here to fuck people up.”

Now that’s a relationship I could appreciate! Yes, Nezha was an ass at the beginning of the book but in contrast to Altan he actually realized his faults and apologized to Rin. I loved how they both grew out of their initial animosity and became friends in the end. And those fighting scenes!! They were pure harmony on the battlefield and anyone who claims differently didn’t read the book! XD Just like Kitay seemed to have become a moral compass for Rin the same could be said for Nezha and I’m sure if he’d been around at the end she wouldn’t have gone down that dark road. >_< Unfortunately Nezha was lost in the toxic mist and seems to be dead. I refuse to believe that he’s gone for good though. I mean he had some serious healing abilities so maybe he survived it and became a prisoner? But then again he most likely would have been with the Mugenese when Rin launched her attack and I don’t know if he would have been able to survive this as well. >_< I really hope Nezha will magically reappear in the second book! =)

”But I saved your life. Doesn’t that make us at least a little square?”
Square? Square? She had to laugh. “You almost got me expelled!”
“And you almost killed me,” he said. That shut her up.
“I was scared of you,” Nezha continued. “And I lashed out. I was stupid. I was a spoiled brat. I was a real pain in the ass. I thought I was better than you, and I’m not. I’m sorry.”

Altan & Chaghan:

”They had come to an understanding, she and Chaghan. They were no longer opposed, vying for Altan’s favor. They were allies, now, bound by the mutual atrocities they had commited.”

I’m going to be honest here: I’m such a sucker for Chaghan!!! I love his character!!!! And is it just me or did I actually feel some gay vibes between those two?! Altan and Chaghan definitely had more chemistry than Rin and Altan ever had! *lol* And they didn’t even have all too many scenes together! I got the distinct feeling that something happened when they spent those three days in the valleys and I’m not talking about Altan winning a fight between them, feel me? *wriggles eyebrows* Haha! ;-P Gosh, I really would have loved to find out more about their relationship and this is just one more reason why Altan can’t be dead! I just ship him and Chaghan too much to accept his death! Period! XD

4

“The Poppy War” was an amazing and sometimes truly revolting dark tale about a young girl that follows her own path and fights for what she thinks is right. It shows us how people can grow and how their circumstances and perceptions can change them. For better or for worse… This tale isn’t over yet. In fact it just began and I can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next. Let’s continue to hope for the best while we expect the worst, because apparently that’s the only attitude that will get you through this series. 😉

”And she would call the gods to do such terrible things.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Cruel Prince (Holly Black)

26032825

Rating: 5 Pfoten

Book 7 on My Book List 2019

”Faeries make up for their inability to lie with a panoply of deceptions and cruelties. Twisted words, pranks, omissions, riddles, scandals, not to mention their revenges upon one another for ancient, half-remembered slights. Storms are less fickle than they are, seas less capricious.”

And this is exactly why I LOVED this book! I dunno about you but I love my faeries wicked, cunning and cruel and unfortunately not a lot of authors are able to pull that off. Many faerie books are pretty soft and the MCs are like Twilight’s Bella and Edward only that they are faeries instead of vampires. So I’m always beyond excited and more than just a little delighted (oopsie that rhymed again, I can’t hide my faerie heritage after all) when I find a book and an author that actually knows about the true legends and fairy tales.

What it comes down to is that Holly Black definitely is one of those mentioned authors! I swear, I didn’t have as much fun reading a faerie book ever since I finished Melika Dannese’s “Deadmarsh Fey” and Melissa Marr’s “Wicked Lovely” series. If you don’t know either of those two you better check them out and see if they might be something for you. 😉 I admit they aren’t for everyone because they stick to the facts of legends and myths (especially Melika’s book) but if you’re into well researched books and want something that’s close to the common folk tales but still has its own voice I can totally recommend them.

Anyway! After finishing “The Cruel Prince” I was so satisfied, I felt like I needed the proverbial cigarette after. Since I don’t smoke I settled for a whiskey instead and enjoyed one of those rare silent evenings when you’re able to let your thoughts wander. In the end I can say that I loved all the characters and their duplicity and I’m definitely craving for more! I can’t wait to read “The Wicked King” soon, but for now you’ll just have to endure one of my long and super spoilery reviews. This is how faeries are done and I’m so going to write an essay about it! *lol*

2

You’re leaving the mortal realm and are now entering Faerie. Keep your friends close to you, don’t accept dance proposals and if any food is offered to you and you take it… well, then you’re already doomed. XD Spoilers ahead of you. Be my guest! And btw did I mention that it would be a pleasure to dance with you? *offers hand* ;-P

Jude:

”No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal. I hate that most of all. Even if, by some miracle, I could be better than them, I will never be one of them.”

Ahhh now Jude is what I call a driven character! That girl’s on fire and no matter what kind of obstacle is in her way she’s ready to take it up with the entire world. I kinda like her for it. *lol* I mean she’s very self-conscious, she knows her limits and that she’ll never become one of the faeries she lives with but she’s still sort of brave and reckless. Just because she’s a human and weak in comparison to all the others this doesn’t mean that she’ll back down. Jude might be human but she won’t allow her weaknesses to define her and that’s amazing! I know many people might think that she’s dumb for even trying and that she should keep her head down just like her twin sister Taryn, but if you’re constantly being picked at there comes a point where you can’t and won’t take it any longer. I loved that Jude is courageous enough to take that extra step, to do what no one expects her to do and to laugh in their faces even if they are trying to push her down. Is it dangerous? You bet it is. Was it fun to watch Jude dish out retaliation to those obnoxious faeries? HELL YES!!! I adore my cunning and determined baby and I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do next. XD

”I am going to keep on defying you. I am going to shame you with my defiance. You remind me that I am a mere mortal and you are a prince of Faerie. Well, let me remind you that means you have much to lose and I have nothing.”

”What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

”If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.”

”No matter how unlikely it seems, you are the most important person in all of Faerie. Whosoever has you, has power. And I want power.”
“I suppose you were right after all.” He studies my face, giving nothing away on his own. “I suppose I didn’t know the least of what you could do.”

Locke:

”There is pleasure in being with them,” he says. “Taking what we wish, indulging in every terrible thought. There’s safety in being awful.”

Now that’s a character that had me yelling at the pages, in a good way of course. 😉 Haha! I can’t believe that none of them realized how dangerous Locke truly is! I never bought into his “lonely boy” façade and if you ask me that one is going to be big, big trouble in book two. He might have taken a backseat in “The Cruel Prince” at the ending but that was only because he enjoyed “watching the story unfold”. XD Locke is a perfect example of a trickster and his story, well, it’s not over yet. Not by a long shot! And tell you what? I can’t wait to see what that wicked young faerie is going to do next. *lol* He might have fooled Jude once but I’m sure she’s on guard now and knowing her she won’t let him off the hook so easily. He’s most certainly prepared for her revenge though so Cardan and Jude better tread carefully around him. 😉 That boy’s got skill and he’ll use every little bit of it to get what he craves and wants. I guess he already proved that he has absolutely no qualms about playing unfair. XD

”I like for things to happen, for stories to unfold. And if I can’t find a good enough story, I make one.” He looks every inch the trickster in that moment.

Cardan:

”And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest, with black hair as iridescent as a raven’s wing and cheekbones sharp enough to cut out a girl’s heart.”

Okay, let me get it down on this page: I LOVED Cardan that little **** (insert swear word of your choice here)! *lol* GAH! I didn’t see such an arrogant and obnoxious character ever since I finished Melissa Marr’s series. Cardan is so cocksure of himself that it was a pleasure to watch him in action. Like seriously! That boy!!! All tough and mean on the outside but once you see beyond that he’s vulnerable af! ❤ What was really curious about him was that he has a tail! XD No one ever mentioned that in the reviews I read and I loved how it was implied that he hides it because it’s giving away his feelings. If there was one thing I didn’t like then it was that he wasn’t an all too big part of the story. I would have loved to see more of him and I really hope that Holly Black will do me that favour in “The Wicked King”. There are so many sides of his character I didn’t see yet and I want to explore them layer by layer! (Double meaning totally intended here! *lol*)

”Do you know what mortal means? It means born to die. It means deserving of death. That’s what you are, what defines you – dying. And yet here you stand, determined to oppose me even as you rot away from the inside out, you corrupt, corrosive mortal creature. Tell me how that is. Do you really think you can win against me? Against a prince of Faerie?”

”You are terrifying. Nearly my whole family is dead, and while they never had much love for me, I don’t want to join them. I’ve spent all night worrying what you’re going to do, and I know exactly what I deserve. I have a reason to be nervous.”

”Have I told you how hideous you look tonight?” Cardan asks, leaning back in the elaborately carved chair, the warmth of his words turning the question into something like a compliment.  “No,” I say, glad to be annoyed back into the present. “Tell me.”“I cannot,” he says, then frowns. “Jude?” I may never be used to the sound of my name on his lips. His brows draw together. “There’s a bruise coming up on your jaw.”

Vivi:

”I think it broke Vivi’s heart to return, but she did it. And she stayed. Whatever else I can say about Vivi, when it really mattered, she stuck by us.”

Why did no one ever mention that Jude and Taryn have a big sister?! I was like: WHAT?! when I started to read the book and the fact that she has a mortal girlfriend was even more intriguing! I mean yes, Vivi is a side-character but she’s a pretty cool one and seems to have her heart in the right place. I like her way more than I like Taryn and I wish Holly Black would have taken more time to flesh her out. So far all we know is that she’s a rebel, kind and wants to live in the mortal world, which isn’t an awful lot if you ask me. I really hope that’s going to change in book two though! =)

„Vivienne shrugs, and I am reminded of how, despite her being my sister, we differ in ways that are hard to comprehend. “You did a brave thing. Be glad of that. Not everyone can be brave. I’m not always.”

3

Jude & Locke:

”I brace myself for more scorn, but then one corner of his mouth lifts. He winks, as if in acknowledgement of being caught out. As if we’re sharing a secret. As if he thinks I am not loathly, as though he does not find my mortality contagious.”

ALL of my faerie instincts screamed “HELL NO!!!” when Locke started to show interest in Jude and as it seems I was right. I’ve to admit that I have a lot of respect for Locke though. I mean that boy managed to seduce and confuse Jude big time and this even though she’s so distrustful and basically only sees the bad in every faerie. That’s quite an achievement and one of the main reasons I love Locke. He’s a manipulative, conniving and intelligent bastard and their relationship was nothing but cold-blooded calculation. Ahh how I admire that kind of ambition. *lol* Anyway, we all know that Jude will do everything possible to settle that score so Ha! You better wrap up warmly, Locke and Taryn. There’s an ice storm coming right your way. ;-P

”It takes us a long time to wend our way back down the stairs. My hands are in his hair. His mouth is on my neck. My back is against the ancient stone wall. Everything is slow and perfect and makes no sense at all. This can’t be my life. This feels nothing like my life.”

”Do you love me enough to give me up?” I am sure my expression is stricken. He leans closer. “Isn’t that a test of love?”

Jude & Taryn:

”You think I’m weak.”
“You are weak,” I tell her. “You’re weak and pathetic and I –“
“I’m a mirror,” she shouts. “I’m the mirror you don’t want to look at.”

Well, if Taryn isn’t a two-faced snake then I dunno. There’s Jude trying to save her naïve and stupid sister, just to find out that our young and innocent girl is anything but! I knew there was something up with her and Locke and I was not surprised to find out the truth. Unfortunately this can’t be said about Jude and I’m pretty sure Taryn just gambled her only chance to win the award for “best twin sister”. Not that she ever stood a chance to get it. I mean she always let Jude struggle on her own, she never helped her, never tried to defend her, she just let those faeries do what they wanted and if Taryn would have been my sister I would have broken with her a long time ago. Guess Jude got to that point now as well. >_<

Jude & Cardan:

”I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”

I ship them. HARD!!! I loved those two! This kind of hate-love is so damn intriguing I can’t even! It’s so rare to see it on page and boy did Holly Black surpass herself! There are those two people that hate each other so much that they want to kill each other yet at the same time they have this incredible attraction and can’t seem to be able to fight it. I’ll only say it once but: YAS!!!! This is the supreme discipline of a love-hate relationship and if it continues to be that good in book two I’ll be in seventh heaven and will savour every second! It’s obvious they want each other but whilst it was pretty evident that Jude hated Cardan more than he hated her, the same can’t be said for the ending of the book. I think at the end they might have switched roles and I’m more than just certain that Cardan hates Jude with a fierce passion now. She forced him to take over the throne, the one thing he never wanted and he’s bound to her. Ohh damn! This is going to be fun once the one year and one day is over! *lol* But until then we can expect deadly C.H.E.M.I.S.T.R.Y and I’m so ready for it! <333

His hand slides lover on my hip. I narrow my eyes at him.
“You really hate me, don’t you?” he asks, his smile growing.
“Almost as much as you hate me,” I say, thinking of the page with my name scratched on it. Thinking of the way he looked at me when he was drunk in the hedge maze. The way he’s looking at me now.

He leans in and closes his eyes. “Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.”
I’m shocked into silence.
“Maybe you should shoot me after all,” he says, covering his face with one long-fingered hand.

I fix him with a look. “I can be charming. I charmed you, didn’t I?”
He rolls his eyes. “Do not expect others to share my depraved tastes.”

”He kisses me hard, with a kind of devouring desperation, fingers digging into my hair. Our mouths slide together, teeth over lips over tongues. Desire hits me like a kick to the stomach. It’s like fighting, except what we’re fighting for is to crawl inside each other’s skin.”

”Cardan looks at me with helpless rage. Then, the full minute of my command up, he rises slowly to his feet. The fury in his eyes is familiar, the glitter of them like banked fire, like coals burning hotter than flames ever could. This time I deserve it. I promised he was going to be able to walk away from the Court and all its manipulations. I promised he would be free from all this. I lied.”

Cardan & Locke:

”Enough,” Locke says sharply to Cardan. He’s got his hands on my shoulders and is pulling me roughly to my feet. “I’m taking her home.”
“Are you, now?” Cardan asks him, eyebrows raised. “Interesting timing. You like the savor of a little humiliation, just not too much?”
“I hate it when you get like this.” Locke says under his breath.

Okay, seriously. What is it with those two? *lol* There is something between them and I just can’t put my finger on it! Judging by Cardan’s comment Locke didn’t try anything with him yet, but I think Cardan might have a soft spot for Locke? I mean he basically admitted that he’s insulted because Locke never showed any interest in him. XD Is this one-sided? Or is there more to it? Mhmm… those two are a tough nut to crack but I’ll find out sooner or later! Hopefully “The Wicked King” will be revealing. If there is actually something I’ve to admit that I’d definitely ship it! *lol*

That makes his smile grow. “Maybe he didn’t. Maybe either of you would have done as his first mortal conquest. I believe his goal is to have both of you in the end.”
I don’t like any of this. “What about you?”
He gives me a quick, odd look. “Locke hasn’t gotten around to seducing me yet, if that’s what you’re asking. I suppose I should be insulted.”

Madoc & Jude:

He kneels down in front of me and takes my hand in his rough green fingers. He must be able to feel how I am trembling. He lets out a long sigh, probably discarding more threats. “Then tell me what will help, Jude. Tell me, and I will do it.”

What a twisted and odd father/daughter relationship! I’m pretty sure that they love each other in their own way and even though Madoc killed Jude’s parents she still started to see him as her father somehow. It’s clear that Madoc sees her as his daughter too and judging by the way he reacted to the faeries hurting Jude he truly seems to care about her. The ending though. I can’t help but wonder how they’ll come out of all of this. This is bound to rebound and I’m kinda worried about Jude. *lol*

”The cups of wine,” he says. “But how did you know which one I would choose?”
“I didn’t,” I tell him, thinking that he’ll be at least a little pleased by the answer, despite himself. It is the kind of strategy he likes best. “I poisoned them both.”

4

I loved everything about this book! From the scheming to the intrigue, from the duplicity to the bitter truth, from lovers to haters and the other way around… Written down on 370 pages of perfection there was basically everything I crave for in a good faerie book and I really couldn’t be even more delighted than I already am. ❤ This book was AMAZING and totally worth the hype! Enough said! 😉

P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Color Purple (Alice Walker)

800545__SY475_

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 4 on My Book List 2019

”You got to fight. But I don’t know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.”

When I think about “The Color Purple” the first few words that pop into my mind are: classic, banned and touchy subjects. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that. I mean it’s a book every reader heard about. Some of us had to read it in school, others saw the movie, and still others only knew that it’s one of those highly controversial books. I belonged to the latter category and even though I read a few reviews about it, I definitely wasn’t prepared for what I was about to read.

”I feel like something pushing me forward. If I don’t watch out I’ll have hold of her hand, tasting her fingers in my mouth.”

This book surprised me, but not in the way I thought it would. I expected abuse in a man’s world, the suppression of women and yes, even rape because my bestie warned me about that one a few years ago. What everyone forgot to mention was that this is also a story about strong women and two sisters that write each other for years. One of them is living with a violent husband and the other lives in a colony in Africa and deals with completely different problems than her sister overseas. To follow their lives was very intriguing and I enjoyed Nettie’s letters from Africa a lot. It was interesting to read how she lived and how the native people dealt with the missionaries that came to them.

”Who you think you is? he say. You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all.”

Celie however had to deal with an entirely different set of problems though, and I can’t say how much I despised Mr. for his behaviour! He’s your typical run-of-the-mill obnoxious and violent husband and I just couldn’t deal with him. If I’d have been Celie I would have left him as soon as possible. But where to go if you’re a penniless woman without any family ties? Well, Celie certainly found her own way to deal with him and I’m very proud of her for standing up to him. It took time and courage but she eventually managed to do it. =)

What load of bricks fell on you? I ast.
No bricks, he say. Just experience. You know, everybody bound to git some of that sooner or later. All they have to do is stay alive. And I start to git mine real heavy long about the time I told Shug it was true that I beat you cause you was you and not her.”

A very important part of this book which was never mentioned in any of the reviews I read is the fact that there is a f/f relationship in “The Color Purple”. Yes, you read right: A f/f relationship between a lesbian and a bisexual woman! (At least I got the impression it’s a lesbian/bi relationship) Which aside from the violence and abuse is probably one of the main reasons this book is banned in so many countries and schools. In my opinion Walker made sure never to explicitly touch the subject but from the little you see, you can glean that they are in love with each other and have a sexual relationship. I know some people claim that there is graphic sexual content but either I read too much smut in my life (pretty likely! *lol*) or I have a different concept of graphic than the average person. (also very likely due to all of the smut! ;-P)

”He love looking at Shug. I love looking at Shug.
But Shug don’t love looking at but one of us. Him.
But that the way it spose to be. I know that. But if that so, why my heart hurt me so?”

If this would have been a modern book I would have been very unhappy with the bisexual rep, but since it’s an old one I decided to take it the way it is. No need to rant about it when I know that people had a completely different outlook on bisexuality back then. >_< Let’s just say I didn’t like that the bi character was represented as a rogue that only thinks with her loins. *lol*

4

“The Color Purple” addresses a lot of sensitive issues and considering in which time it was written this was a pretty bold move. Walker doesn’t shy away from bringing up difficult topics though and instead decided to introduce us into the life of a huge family that works in its own way. It’s complex, it’s multi-layered and at times it’s tough to read, but if that’s your jam I can totally recommend this book to you. 😉

”I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever was or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found It.”

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue (Casey McQuiston)

41150487__SY475_

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”He wants to set himself on fire, but he can’t afford for anyone to see him burn.”

This sentence, this book, the topics that are tackled, the honest and blunt way they are dealt with and approached?! This was everything!!! I love this book so much, I can’t even put it into words. <333 Well, I loved it and some little, tiny, infinitesimal part of me might haven even hated it for being so perfect! Because the way subjects are approached in here? Gods, I wish everyone would be as open minded as the characters in this book.

That sentence at the beginning of my review? It hit close to home, it pains me to read it, yet I still love the fact that Casey McQuiston wrote it down on paper! That she had the guts to give this particular kind of feeling her own voice and words. How many people who are forced to be in the closet have felt like that? How many children were afraid to come out to their parents? How many still didn’t do it and never will, because they know exactly what their parents might say? How they will react… How many of us have felt alone and were weighted down by the truth?

This book, this supposedly romantic comedy, it touched me in a way books rarely do. It ripped out my heart, it made me laugh, it stomped all over my feelings, it smacked me across the face, it forced me to confront me with myself and it gave me something I didn’t even know I was missing: It gave me hope.

Hope that there IS a better world out there.

Hope that one day people will accept others the way they are.

Hope that people can change.

Hope that we’re all equal and that our actions count more than our outward appearance.

Hope that our future in this world is worth fighting for.

So if you decide to read this book, enjoy it! Laugh and cry, appreciate the politics and scheming, adore Henry and Alex for being the way they are, fall in love, enjoy their freedom and youth, but most of all find yourself in those pages and try to keep this feeling even after you closed the book. 😉

2

Do I even have to mention that you’ll be spoiled into oblivion if you dare to cross this line?! *lol* This is my characters section and I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t gush like a crazy little teen! XD So you’ve been warned! Dare to move on or leave it at that. Your decision, your choice. ;-P

Alex:

”Alex’s image is all charisma and genius and smirking wit, thoughtful interviews and the cover of GQ at eighteen; Henry’s is placid smiles and gentle chivalry and generic charity appearances, a perfectly blank Prince Charming canvas. Henry’s role, Alex thinks, is much easier to play.”

I didn’t like Alex at the beginning of the book! I know this might come as a shock but I really felt like he was sitting on his high horse and didn’t even bother to think about how other people felt. Or in this particular case how Henry felt. In his mind he gave him a role and never even looked beyond the horizon. But then the accident with the cake happened and Alex was forced to spend some time with Henry and he finally realized what a dumbass he actually was. I loved how Alex realized that he likes him and I adored him for being so unapologetic about his bisexuality. He just accepted it as a part of himself, he wondered about it, he explored it but he never felt bad about being who he truly was! And this was amazing! I wish there would be more bi representations like that; I wish that everyone would be as cool about being bi as Alex was. As his friends and family were! It was a huge part of him but it didn’t define him or is actions. This was so wholesome and such a nice way to deal with your own sexuality. Then again Alex is a very confident and brazen character so to deal with it like that fit him perfectly. XD

”It’s unpredictable and it’s intoxicating and it’s fun, because Alex has never met a challenge he didn’t love, and he – well, Henry is a challenge, head to toe, beginning to end.”

”He shouldn’t feel wronged deep in his gut. But that everyone seems enamored, when the only difference between the lie and the truth that would burn up Fox News is the gender involved … well, it fucking stings.”

”Sería una mentira, porque no sería él.” It would be a lie, because it wouldn’t be him.

Henry:

”Hmm,” Henry says, making a show of thinking hard. “I always liked Luke. He’s brave and good, and he’s the strongest Jedi of them all. I think Luke is proof that it doesn’t matter where you come from or who your family is – you can always be great if you’re true to yourself.”

I FREAKING LOVED, LOVED, LOVED and LOVED, Henry! *lol* This boy is adorable and kind and sweet and gentle and everything anyone will ever need! <333 I mean he’s a Warsie and Potterhead!!! He ships Lupin with Sirius and he loves to watch Bake Off because it’s so soothing??!! Where the freaking hell is my Prince Henry!!??? *lol* I definitely need this fluffy biscuit Prince in my life! Like yesterday! XD But there’s also a wild side to Henry, a defiant one and boy did I ever live for those little snippets of his personality! I adored his character arc so much! I mean at the beginning of the book he was the shy and reserved prince and by the end of it he eventually found his own voice and shouted his innermost thoughts into the world. Still, it was so sad that his father died when he was so young and I felt Henry’s grief like it was my own. T_T I could understand why his mother decided to withdraw from the world, but I was really glad that she accepted her son the way he was and fought for him in the end. =)

”It’s just so soothing,” Henry says. “Everything’s all pastel-coloured and the music is so relaxing and everyone’s so lovely to one another. And you learn so much about different types of biscuits, Alex. So much. When the world seems awful, such as when you’re trapped in a Great Turkey Calamity, you can put it on and vanish into biscuit land.”

”A curious thing about grief is the way it takes your entire life, all those foundational years that made you who you are, and makes them so painful to look back upon because of the absence there, that suddenly they’re inaccessible. You must invent an entirely new system.”

”What are we even defending here, Philip? What kind of legacy? What kind of family, that says, we’ll take the murder, we’ll take the raping and pillaging and the colonizing, we’ll scrub it up nice and neat in a museum, but oh no, you’re a bloody poof? That’s beyond our sense of decorum! I’ve bloody well had it. I’ve sat about long enough letting you and Gran and the weight of the damned world keep me pinned, and I’m finished. I don’t care. You can take your legacy and your decorum and you can shove it up your fucking arse, Philip. I’m done.”

”I’ve been gay as a maypole since the day I came out of Mum, Philip.”

Nora:

”Numbers on me being into dudes?”

That pulls Nora up short, before she cocks her head to the side and says. “Seventy-eight percent probability of latent bisexual tendencies. One hundred percent probability this is not a hypothetical question.”

I loved Nora’s analytical mind and her conversations with Alex. It was obvious they were great friends and knew each other better than anyone else. XD And don’t kill me for this but: WHAT EXACTLY WAS GOING ON WITH NORA AND JUNE???!!! There was something there, right? I didn’t imagine this unresolved sexual tension, did I? *lol* Want to hear my thoughts on it? I think there was some sort of threesome going on the night they celebrated at the karaoke bar. Pez, Nora AND June! All three of them, feel me? *wriggles eyebrows* Unfortunately this is a mystery that was neither tackled nor resolved so my imagination will have to continue to run wild and I’ll blame it all on Casey McQuiston! *lol* ;-P

Alex’s parents:

”How many times do I have to tell y’all not to discuss your murder plots in front of a sitting president?” their mother interrupts. “Plausible deniability. Come on.”

Haha! This sentence instantly made me love the President! XD She was such a cool woman and Alex was so lucky to have her as his mum! It was amazing how she could be all business but at the same time always watched out for her kids. They were her first priority no matter how important her job was and she would have done anything to make them happy. Yes, she had a lot of responsibility and tried to perform damage control, but that was mostly due to her feelings for her son. She didn’t want Alex to get hurt and she wanted to protect him. I mean she was a public figure and we all know how those games are played. Well and as it turned out, Richards played very dirty indeed. >_< Also can we appreciate how Alex’s dad reacted to him being bi and loving Henry? I wish more parents would say words like that to their queer kids! Because it’s true, it’s not different when it’s your own kid, you still love your child and want the best for it. (At least it should be that way!!!) You want it to be happy, right? See, that’s exactly what I meant when I said this book gave me hope. =)

His dad slaps him on the bicep with the spoon, leaving a splatter of crema and cheese behind. “Have a little more faith in your old man than that, eh? A little appreciation for the patron saint of gender-neutral bathrooms in California? Little shit.”
“Okay, okay, sorry!” Alex says, laughing. “I just know it’s different when it’s your own kid.”
His dad laughs too, rubbing a hand over his goatee. “It’s really not. Not to me, anyway. I see you.”

”Diaz, you insane, hopeless romantic little shit,” says the voice of the President of the United States, muffled in the bed. “It had better be forever. Be safe.”

”I am your mother. I was your mother before I was ever the president, and I’ll be your mother long after, to the day they put me in the ground and beyond this earth. You are my child. So, if you’re serious about this, I’ll back your play.”

”I’m not giving them shit,” Ellen cuts him off immediately, not even looking up, “especially not after what they did to you. This is real shit. I’m taking this motherfucker down. It has to stick.” She finally puts her highlighter down. “We’re leaking it to the press.”

3

June & Alex:

”You have so much in you, it’s almost impossible to match it. But he’s your match, dumbass.”

Haha! I loved this sibling relationship because seriously, it was just so realistic! *lol* June and Alex were typical siblings which basically means that they were blunt and honest to a fault and didn’t hesitate to call each other out! XD I loved how June noticed that her brother was obsessed with Henry and I’m glad Alex had such a great sister! She supported him and even went into a fake relationship with Henry to keep them out of trouble! That’s the love and sacrifice of a loving sibling! <333 I wish we would have seen more of June, but maybe there’s going to be a second book? About June, Pez and Nora? Maybe? Some day? Mhmm, mind to do your fans a favour, Casey? XD *lol* ;-P

”Ugh! Men!” she groans. “No emotional vocabulary. I can’t believe our ancestors survived centuries of wars and plagues and genocide just to wind up with your sorry ass.” She throws a pillow at him, and Alex scream-laughs as it hits him in the face.

Henry & Alex:

”Let’s get it over with.”
“I’d rather be waterboarded,” Henry says, smiling back. The camera snaps nearby. His eyes are big and soft and blue, and he desperately needs to be punched in one of them. “Your country could probably arrange that.”
Alex throws his head back and laughs handsomely, loud and false. “Go fuck yourself.”
“Hardly enough time,” Henry says.”

I could have quoted the entire book, I swear!!! There were so many amazing quotes, countless sweet and tender moments, about a thousand ways they told each other that they are in love. ❤ Easy banter, sassy retorts, just everything you could possibly wish for. One of my personal highlights was the Turkey Gate though. *lol* And their e-mails, hell, their e-mails killed me! T_T I loved how they swore so much in their normal conversations but wrote so beautiful messages to each other. And considering that to write a message takes time and that you think long and hard what to write this was very realistic too. They were utterly, truly and madly in love and you could read it in every line! I felt so sorry for them though. It must have been so tough to be exposed like that and to deal with the press and consequences. Alone the fact that Richards leaked their relationship and didn’t even give a damn about their feelings. They were outed by others and it was NOT their own decision! And this is wrong!!! If you decide to out yourself it’s a personal thing, it’s something you decide, something that should be in your hands! You should be able to decide when you come out to your family, your friends or the world. If you never want to come out that’s okay too, but it is YOUR DECISION to make and no one should take this away from you! GRRR!! *grizzly bear mode* I guess you can already tell that this is a very important and touchy subject for me. XD But I feel about this strongly, because not everyone is ready to come out and for many people to take this step means to give up the life they are used to. Not everyone is as understanding as Alex’s family and not everyone accepts a person the way it is… Anyway, those two are sharing the first place with Baz and Simon now. *LOL* Because I love both of those m/m couples so much and can’t decide which one is the better OTP! XD Their level of cuteness is just off the charts!! <333

Henry’s whole face grimaces in frustration, his eyes casting skyward like they’re searching for help from an uncaring universe. “Christ, you are as thick as it gets,” he says, and he grabs Alex’s face in both hands and kisses him.

”Should I tell you that when we’re apart, your body comes back to me in dreams? That when I sleep, I see you, the dip of your waist, the freckle above your hip, and when I wake up in the morning, it feels like I’ve just been with you, the phantom touch of your hand on the back of my neck flesh and not imagined? That I can feel your skin against mine, and it makes every bone in my body ache? That, for a few moments, I can hold my breath and be back there with you, in a dream, in a thousand rooms, nowhere at all?”

”I fucking love you, okay?” Alex half yells, finally, irreversibly. Henry goes very still against the mantelpiece. Alex watches him swallow, watches the muscle that keeps twitching in his jaw, and feels like he might shake out of his skin. “Fuck, I swear. You don’t make it fucking easy. But I’m in love with you.”

”but I’ve kissed your mouth, that corner, that place it goes, so many times now. i’ve memorized it. Topography on the map of you, a world i’m still charting. i know it. i added it to the key. here: inches to miles. i can multiply it out, read your latitude and longitude. recite your coordinates like la rosaria.”

”I hate this so much. I know. But we’re gonna do it together. And we’re gonna make it work. You and me and history, remember? We’re just gonna fucking fight. Because you’re it, okay? I’m never gonna love anybody in the world like I love you. So, I promise you, one day we’ll be able to just be, and fuck everyone else.”

”I don’t know if I’ll ever be allowed to tell the world, but I … I want to. One day. If there’s any legacy for me on this bloody earth, I want it to be true. So I can offer you all of me, in whatever way you’ll have me, and I can offer you the chance of a life. If you can wait, I want you to help me try.”

”Henry takes a moment to respond, but his voice is level. “I don’t know if I would have chosen it yet, but it’s out there now, and … I won’t lie. Not about this. Not about you.”

Bea & Henry:

”I was, what, eighteen? I drove there and she was sitting on the back steps, high as a kite, and I sat down next to her and cried and told her she wasn’t allowed to kill herself because Dad was gone and I was gay and I didn’t know what the hell to do, and that was how I came out to her.”

Those two were amazing together as well! Henry loved Bea so much and he tried to keep her out of trouble, did his best to make her realize that her life was worth living for. And in exchange for that she loved him back… unconditionally and exactly the way he was! They gave each other strength and hope and this is so important! ❤ Bea really knew Henry and was aware of his inner struggle and when Alex came into his life she did one of the best things a sibling can do: She accepted Alex but also warned him that she might kick his ass if he ever hurt her brother! Which fills me with so much love that I could burst! *lol* That’s the true love of a sibling! <33

”You need to understand this to be with Henry. He is the most loving, nurturing, selfless person you could hope to meet, but there is a sadness and a hurt in him that is tremendous, and you may very well never truly understand it, but you need to love it as much as you love the rest of him, because that’s him. That is him, part and parcel. And he is prepared to give it all to you, which is far more than I ever, in a thousand years, thought I would see him do.”

The crew of the White House:

”That’s why you – Oh my God, I thought you were getting into international relations or something.”
“I mean technically –“
“If you finish this sentence, I’m gonna spend tonight in jail.”

Zahra gave me life!!! Haha! It might be weird that I mention the crew of the White House but they definitely deserve to be mentioned! They were always with the kids and a part of the family. You know, like that grumpy old aunt you love because she’s always ranting about things. *LOL* I adored the way they treated each other and they legit had some of the best scenes in this book! ;-P

4

“Red, White & Royal Blue” was one of my most anticipated reads this year and I wasn’t disappointed! This book was everything I wanted it to be and it made so, so happy! McQuiston tackled a lot of serious topics and they varied from loss and depression up to homophobia and political schemes. This book was an amazing composition about love, hate, ignorance and prejudices. Some might say it’s a modern fairy tale and I’m inclined to agree. What made this book truly outstanding is its final message though: You are perfect just the way you are! You are beautiful and you are allowed to love yourself! Or to say it with Alex’s words:

”Take everything you want and know you deserve to have it.”

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde)

5297
Rating: 5 Pfoten

 

Book 13 on My Book List 2019

”He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.”

I think I must have been about fifteen when I read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the very first time and I was totally blown away by it. There was this book, written in such a beautiful way, using such colourful and flowery language and there were those three amazing characters that made me feel and wonder and question their lives and decisions!

You might say that up until I picked up “The Picture of Dorian Gray” I was as innocent as Dorian himself. I didn’t know that there were books like that out there, that there actually existed morally grey characters, corrupted characters, book characters that felt like real people and could make you question their behaviour. It was an entirely new world for me and I was totally fascinated by it.

So I read this book and I savoured every sentence, I devoured its wisdom and got lost in its pages! Looking at it in retrospective I think that Oscar Wilde actually was the first writer who didn’t only make me love classics but also the first author that ignited my undying love for villains and complex characters. And for that I’ll always be grateful!

I don’t know how often I read this book by now (goodreads your count doesn’t even get close to the actual number *lol*), but no matter how often I already read it, I’m still captivated by it. My fifteen year old me loved it as much as my 31 year old me does and if you ask me that’s exactly what makes a good classic. 😉 I’m sure I’ll never get tired of reading this book and I’ll always discover new things about it. And I genuinely hope that many other people will read it as well. It’s definitely worth it! 😉

2

Warning: You are now entering the gallery of “Spoilery Spoilers” and since this is one of my all-time faves I’ll probably end up writing an entire essay about it. If you prefer to stay innocent you better leave before my spoilers get to you and corrupt your soul! ;-P

Dorian Gray:

”It held the secret of his life, and told his story. It had taught him to love his own beauty. Would it teach him to loathe his own soul?”

Dorian Gray! I don’t even know where to start! I love his character to bits and pieces and he’s definitely one of the most intriguing book characters I ever had the pleasure to read about. At the beginning of the book he’s so innocent and naïve and I totally agree with Lord Henry when he says that this is charming. Dorian definitely is a charming character! He’s beautiful and pure and whenever I read the beginning of the book I get a sudden urge to protect him against everything that’s going to happen over the course of those 256 pages! He’s like a child that gets corrupted by the bad influence of others and when I write this I really mean it! Even at his worst he still seems to retain that innocent outlook at things. I mean he was corrupted and tainted by Lord Henry, and he ends up corrupting and tainting his friends but despite all of this he still wonders why they have become like that. He’s completely oblivious to his own role in their downfall and when Basil confronts him with it, he doesn’t believe him. He is convinced that his friends could have done the right thing and that his influence on them isn’t as strong as Basil claims it to be. What is even more intriguing is that Dorian actually wants to be good! There’s a part of him that’s still innocent and hopes that he can be redeemed, but there’s also that other side of him that whispers that he’s entitled to do whatever he wishes to do. It’s obvious that he’s fighting an inner struggle and that he seems to have lost his way. It’s the century old question every person has to ask her/himself. Do I want to be good? And even more important: Can I resist being bad? It’s so easy to do the wrong thing and it’s so tough to do what’s right. I mean that’s the main reason why actors and role-players love to be the baddies! Being bad is fun, it gives you a lot of freedom and if you’re good at it the consequences never catch up to you. ;-P So Dorian constantly finds himself at a crossroads. Will he do the right thing or is he going to give into his bad side? Is his bad side truly that bad? Is having a little fun with his friends and to indulge in pleasure wrong or is it just a part of being human? The fate of Dorian Gray makes you think and it involuntarily causes you to face your own demons and weaknesses. It ultimately causes you to acknowledge your own vices and fears. In short: It makes you pause and forces you to ponder your own life-choices! And this is nothing but awesome! XD

”I want to be good. I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.”

”He felt that the time had really come for making his choice. Or had his choice already been made? Yes, life had decided that for him – life, and his own infinite curiosity about life. Eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder sins – he was to have all these things. The portrait was to bear the burden of his shame: that was all.”

”I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them and to dominate them.”

”He was prisoned in thought. Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away.”

Lord Henry:

”You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing.”

Ahh Lord Henry! How much I love that bastard! *lol* He’s quite literally the devil in this book. He’s the person that stirrs Dorian’s soul! He’s the man who leads him down that dark road and just like Dorian he is completely oblivious to the magnitude of his influence! Yes, he knows that he’s corrupting Dorian, he even finds pleasure and joy in it, but throughout the entire book he never truly realizes how much his words actually changed him! How much damage they did to his soul! Lord Henry is the kind of character you just got to love. Arrogant, intelligent, wise, self-confident, brutally honest and completely unapologetic about his inappropriate behaviour. It’s no wonder Dorian is so fascinated by him and isn’t only willing but also eager to spend his time in his company. Lord Henry is basically the embodiment of temptation and young and innocent Dorian wants to be seduced! And honestly, who wouldn’t be drawn towards a character like Lord Henry? I swear he says the wisest things and vocalizes the most accurate statements regarding society! He’s exactly the kind of devil you’d love to have on your shoulder! Plus there’s so much truth in his words that it hurts! XD

”I make a great difference between people. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.”

”I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.”

”We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”

Basil Hallward:

”When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.”

If Lord Henry is the devil on Dorian’s shoulder then Basil certainly is the angel that sits on his other side. The painter functions as Dorian’s consciousness and as long as they know each other he always appeals to his good side and tries his best to sway him on a righteous path. He’s clearly the counterweight to Lord Henry’s corruption, but unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of leverage. Well, at least not as much as Harry does! I mean the saying: “Come to the dark side, we got cookies” exists for a reason, right? ;-P In the end Dorian can’t stand his bad conscience any longer and does the only thing that’s seemingly able to liberate him. He kills Basil in order to silence his remorse and regrets, but what he didn’t expect is that this dark deed makes him feel even more tainted and guilty. So in the end Basil’s death only increased his sense of guilt and caused him to feel even more haunted. In my opinion the murder of Basil is the final nail in Dorian’s coffin and from that moment on he couldn’t be saved anymore.

”You were the most unspoiled creature in the whole world. Now, I don’t know what has come over you. You talk as if you had no heart, no pity in you.”

3

Dorian Gray & Basil Hallward:

”He won’t like you the better for keeping your promises. He always breaks his own. I beg you not to go.” Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head.
“I entreat you.”
The lad hesitated, and looked over at Lord Henry, who was watching them from the tea-table with an amused smile.
“I must go, Basil,” he answered.

And this is the key moment! The very first time Dorian Gray finds himself at a crossroads and choses the wrong path. You gotta love Oscar Wilde for the subtle intensity of this scene! There’s nothing extraordinary or special about it, yet it’s still the first choice that leads Dorian down his dark descent. It’s unagitated, ordinary and so very powerful! It’s obvious Basil loved Dorian and when I talk about love here, I’m talking about true love and not just friendship. He’s infatuated with him and basically worships the young and innocent Dorian. After he realises what Dorian has become, it’s already too late for him though. Poor Basil, if he would have known what his picture would make of Dorian, if he would have known how much Lord Henry’s negative influence would change his innocent and pure friend….

”One has a right to judge of a man by the effect he has over his friends. Yours seem to lose all sense of honour, of goodness, of purity. You have filled them with a madness for pleasure. They have gone down into the depths. You led them there.”

”There was nothing evil in it, nothing shameful. You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of a satyr.”
“It is the face of my soul.”
“Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil.”
“Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him, Basil,” cried Dorian, with a wild gesture of despair.

Dorian Gray & Lord Henry:

”Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!”

Okay, and here comes the moment when I say that Lord Henry and Dorian Gray are in love with each other. *lol* It’s so freaking obvious!! They are fascinated by each other, they are besotted with each other and they want to spend every free moment in each other’s company! So yeah, there’s that! I think their dynamic and their interactions are very interesting and to me it seems like Lord Henry is some sort of catalyst. He’s the impulse that changes Dorian’s soul, he’s the first person who opens Dorian’s eyes and tells him that he’s beautiful. Oscar Wilde uses him as his tool to initiate Dorian’s monumental change. Which is kind of interesting, if you consider that Oscar Wilde was gay. It feels like Dorian’s and Henry’s relationship is wrong and I’m not even sure if Wilde was aware of that? I mean yes, their friendship led Dorian into the abyss of his soul, which is pretty obvious if you ask me, but there’s some subtle note about their “relationship”. It’s like deep down Oscar Wilde thought that it was wrong to have intense feelings for another man. And if you consider the time in which this was written it’s not surprising that he might have felt that way. Lord Henry represents Oscar’s sins and vices and it becomes quite apparent that some small part of him might have bemoaned his sexual orientation. In contrast to Wilde no one holds Dorian Gray to account though. He gets away with all of his sins and in the end this eventually causes him to destroys himself! What a moral punchline! XD

”Talking to him was like playing upon an exquisite violin. He answered to every touch and thrill of the bow…”

”Yes,” continued Lord Henry, “that is one of the great secrets of life – to cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul. You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.”

”The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted.“

„You know how a voice can stir one. Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vane are two things that I shall never forget. When I close my eyes, I hear them, and each of them says something different. I don’t know which to follow.“

”The soul is a terrible reality. It can be bought, and sold, and bartered away. It can be poisoned, or made perfect. There is a soul in each one of us. I know it.”

4

This book is a gem! It’s perfection and so quotable that I could probably highlight each and every single passage! No matter how often I read it, there is always something new I didn’t notice before! I still wonder and guess about certain characters and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” still causes me to think. The writing style is so beautiful I can’t help but fall in love with it. I fall in love with this book over and over again. Every time I read it I love it even more and I’m sure that I will adore this masterpiece until I’m wrinkled and old.

Oscar Wilde drags us into the dark depths of the human soul, and once you get there you don’t want to return to the surface anymore.

P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N!
That’s what this book is. <333