Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Raven King (Maggie Stiefvater)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

 

”The head is too wise. The heart is all fire.”

There’s no better way to start this review than with this quote, because after reading this series my heart is truly all fire. When I began to read “The Raven Boys” in October 2017 I had no idea that I’d love this series so much. I was completely oblivious to the fact that those boys would take over my entire world and I had no clue that I’d become so attached to them. I just didn’t know what I was getting myself into but after finishing the last book I can say that I don’t regret anything!!! XD

Over those last seven months I’ve been on a long journey with my boys. I cheered for them, I suffered with them, I was sad and despaired, I was hopeful and happy. I sighed, I laughed, I cried, I tore at my hair, I screamed, I dreamed, and I died about a thousand deaths!
In short: I lived and breathed those books!!!

They became an integral part of me and my life and I actually feel like I’ve become one of the Raven Boys as well. I guess that means that in some way I kind of made a bargain with Cabeswater too. Uh oh! XD

Well, anyway!
What I want to say is that I love those characters so much, I feel like every attempt to put it into words is automatically bound to fail. There are no words to describe how intensely I feel about those boys and even if I’d become a hundred years, I still wouldn’t be able to express all of my feelings.
It’s an impossible task and maybe this is good the way it is. It’s part of the magic of those books and truth be told, I’m convinced we all need a little magic in our lives every once in a while. 😉

So, speaking of magic:

There was lightning and thunder outside of my window when I finished this book.
It looked like the end of the world.

To read those final pages of “The Raven King”?!
It FELT like the end of the world…

I will miss my boys and Maggie’s unique magic so damn much! T_T *sobs and is unconsolable*

1

”You were the one who told me, Ronan, that something was starting, all those months ago. Now’s not the time to be going rogue. Someone’s going to get killed. No more playing around. There’s no more time for anything but truth. We’re supposed to be in this together, whatever this is.”

I think this quote is kind of giving direction to the entire last book because after the third sleeper was woken up a lot of strange things begin to happen. Our boys have a lot of different troubles to face and to say they are in deep doo-doo would be putting it more than just mildly. *lol* They don’t only have to work on the discrepancies among each other, but also outside of their magical world and inside of Cabeswater. In short: There’s a whole wagon of feels that’s going to hit you, and it’s going to hit you hard! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

2

”Leaves,” Ronan Lynch’s voice said, full of intention.
“Dust,” Adam Parrish said.
“Wind,” Blue Sargent said.
“Shit,” Henry Cheng added.

I’m sure this is the moment the people who know my reviews have been waiting for. Yes, you already know what’s coming. 😉 Let’s make it official then: This is my spoiler section and if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave now! Because this was the last and final book and I’m going to spoil the hell out of you if you didn’t read the other three. XD Fair warning, sound advice! Take it or leave it! It’s up to you! ;-P

Gansey – The King:

”He was a book, and he was holding his final pages, and he wanted to get to the end to find out how it went, and he didn’t want it to be over.”

Oh, Gansey. My troubled soul! I once again felt so sorry for him and to top it all off we finally found out that he actually knows he’s going to die. Of course I should have known that he would figure it out, but for some reason I thought he was unaware of his impending death. Well, turns out he knew it all along. *sigh* The way it all happened in the end was so unexpected though. I didn’t see this coming… NOT AT ALL and I think I was at least as devastated as Gansey when he found out that Glendower had been dead for years. My heart bled for him… for him and his wishes and all his unfulfilled dreams. T_T

”It was this: this moment and no other moment, and for the first time that Gansey could remember, he knew what it would feel like to be present in his own life.”

”Gansey’s death had been foretold for this year. It was him. It was always going to be him.
Glendower was dead. He’d always been dead.
And Gansey kind of wanted to live.”

Blue – The Mirror Tree:

”Her hair had got wilder since he first met her, less contained by all of her clips, and her mouth had got messier since he met her, more desirous of forbidden kisses, and her stance had got harder, her spine sharpened by grief and peril.”

It was really nice to find out about Artemus’ origins and it caused me understand Blue a little bit better. It explained why she always felt wrong in her own skin and I guess it also explains why Gansey and she had this special connection. XD Still, in some way the reveal of her background story only confused me even more and I don’t even dare to say it but after four entire books, I still don’t feel like I really know her character. *lol* After BLLB her character became less tangible again and I really don’t know why. Maybe Maggie, that genius master mind, planned it that way? I guess I’ll never know. *shrugs*

”Blue was filled with frustration that her life was so clearly demarcated. Things that were not enough, but that she could have. Things that were something more, that she couldn’t.

Adam – The Magician:

”It seemed like he should become stranger, more other, when he was near Cabeswater, but in reality, the closer he was to Cabeswater, the more firmly present he remained. His mind didn’t have to wander far to communicate with Cabeswater when his body was able to lift a hand to touch it.”

I AM AND ALWAYS WILL BE IN LOVE WITH ADAM PARRISH! There I said it out loud! *lol* Don’t get me wrong, of course I still love Ronan too, but Ronan reminds me too much of myself. XD I love him in sense of Philia and Agape whereas Adam Parrish is my Eros and Agape. Haha! Does that make sense? Guess to all of you who had some serious Greek philosophy lessons it does. ;-P Well anyway, I love Adam and what he has become and I was so damn proud of him throughout the entire book. Despite his father and everything that happened to him he’s become a beautiful human being and I just love him for it! <333 He’s strong now, he found his way and nothing can stop him. Not even a stupid demon that’s trying to possess him! YAY! Gosh I just love my boy!!! My Adam! <333 *heart eyes* Still, Maggie why did you have to hurt him so much?! T_T

”Stop saying privilege. Love isn’t privilege. But Gansey had always had love, had always been capable of love. Now that Adam had discovered his feelings in himself, he was more certain than ever that he was right. Need was Adam’s baseline, his resting pulse. Love was a privilege. Adam was privileged; he didn’t want to give it up. He wanted to remember again and again how it felt.”

”For Adam, it meant linking in to the ley line that pulsed beneath the forest, unwrapping himself and allowing the bigger pattern inside. It was a process that was both eerie and awesome to watch from the outside. Adam; then Adam vacated; then Adam, more.”

”Do you know what hurts the most? What this means you think of me. You didn’t even give me the chance to be OK with it. You were just so sure I’d be eaten by jealousy. That’s how you see me?”

Ronan – The Greywaren:

”It was too cold for fireflies, but a multitude of them glistened in and out of being above the fields nonetheless. Those were his. Fanciful, purposeless, but lovely.
Ronan Lynch loved to dream about light.”

As it seems Ronan is always good for a surprise. *lol* I didn’t expect that Matthew was one of his dreams and I certainly didn’t expect the revelation about Cabeswater! XD I mean OMG!! Ronan dreamed Cabeswater into life!!! To dream a place like that? Gosh, he must be so damn powerful and skilled af!! Sounds like my boy? Yes, it does! 😉 I loved that he finally made peace with Declan and that the three Lynch brothers got along so well in the end. It made me happy to see them like that and I wish it could have stayed that way, but no Maggie had to break my heart into thousand pieces. As Ronan’s twin I felt with him when Aurora died and boy was it painful!!! WHY MAGGIE!!?? WHY??!! GOSH DAMN IT! RONAN LOST HIS FATHER AND NOW YOU HAD TO TAKE HIS MOTHER AS WELL???? You made him and orphan!!! He would have deserved so much better than that!!! T_T To see Ronan suffer and cry? It hurt so damn much… I can’t even…. *sobs*

”In this other place, it was easy to tell that the music was the sound of Ronan’s soul. Hungry and prayerful, it whispered of dark places, old places, fire and sex.”

”Ronan Lynch’s stare was a snake on the pavement where you wanted to walk. It was a match left on your pillow. It was pressing your lips together and tasting your own blood.”

”Ronan skidded to his knees, his arms around her, and it hurt Adam, somehow, to watch how ferociously he hugged his little strange dream creature, and how she buried her face into his shoulder. He stood with her in his arms, holding her tightly, and he heard him saying, No, you did good, it’s going to be OK, we’re waking up.”

”Ronan crouched beside him, black still smeared on his face under his nose and around his ears. His dreamt firefly rested on Gansey’s heart. “Wake up, you bastard,” he said. “You fucker. I can’t believe that you would…”
And he began to cry.

Noah – The Ghost:

”My mom always said he was a firecracker, which just meant he was always getting speeding tickets and jumping on tables at family reunions and stuff. He always had so many ideas. He was so hyper.”

I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to get to know this hyper Noah. His story made me so damn sad and I really wish he would have had a chance to get his happily ever after. Unfortunately he didn’t get what he deserved and I can only hope that he’s happy wherever he is now. The way I see it Noah chose to safe Gansey when he died the first time. He did it in order to guarantee that Cabeswater could save him the second time around and in a strange way this actually makes sense. XD Still, Noah Czerny is adorable and precious and he would have deserved the world!!! T_T RIP Noah! <333

”Blue didn’t care that he – it – Noah – was strange and decaying and frightening. She knew that he – it – Noah was strange and decayed and frightened, and she knew that she loved him anyway.”

”Goodbye,” Noah said. “Don’t throw it away.”

Henry – The Special Extra:

”Once, you got me coffee,” Henry said. “When I was losing my mind. Consider the favour returned.”

Why was Henry introduced so late?! I loved that boy!!! He’s amazing and funny and honest and pure!!! I really wish he would have been a bigger part of this! I would have loved to read more about him and I instantly felt a connection to this awesome boy! I was so sorry when I found out that he had been kidnapped and I truly loved him for acting to safe Blue’s principles in front of the others. *lol* It makes me sad that I probably will never read about him again and I really hope Maggie will include him in one of her future stories. Please, Maggie! *makes huge puppy eyes*

”What do you want me to say?”
“Nothing yet,” Henry said. “I want you to think about it. And then I hope you will choose to trust me. Because I’m overfull on secrets and underfed on friends.”

”But it wasn’t that Henry was less of himself in English. He was less of himself out loud. His native language was thought.”

The Demon & Piper:

I already didn’t like Piper in “Blue Lily, Lily Blue” but my initial dislike for her grew into an even bigger monster in this book. I really started to hate her with a fierce passion and in the end all I wanted was for her to drop dead. *lol* I know those are strong and negative feelings coming from me but I really hated her so much! XD Piper and that mean demon almost killed my lovely boys so I think I’m kind of entitled to feel that way. I always knew that the demon would kill her and if you ask me he waited way too long to do it. *lol* Whoopsie, was that mean? *smiles innocently*

3

Henry & Gansey:

”Now get out,” Henry said.
Gansey looked at him. “I beg your pardon?”
“Stop driving,” he said. “I know you need to. You’ve needed to since we left. Get. Out.”

I loved the chemistry between Gansey and Henry! Yep, chemistry! Don’t even try to say there is none because it was all over the place!!! XD It was so amazing to watch and I couldn’t help but marvel at their interactions. It was wonderful how Henry always knew what Gansey needed and it was so funny that Gansey had no other choice than to accept it because he knew Henry was right. =)) I really wish we could have seen more of them and I truly hope there will be some sort of short story in the future. I know Maggie is busy, but I can always hope, right?! ;-P

”It’s like we’ve met each other before. No, not really. We are friends at once, we would instantly do what friends would do for each other. Not just pals. Friends. Blood brothers. You just feel it. We instead of you and me. That’s jeong.”

Ronan & Blue:

”Emptying another student’s backpack over his car. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
“I do,” Ronan said.
“Well, I don’t. I’m not proud of it.”
Ronan patted her leg. “I’ll be proud for you.”

Those two!!! *LOL* I will say it again and again! I love how close they became over those last few books and whenever they spoke with each other it always made me smile. Ronan’s reaction to her scar was priceless and it was so damn adorable that he was proud of her getting suspended! XD Their dynamic is so much fun and I’m so glad they started to get along so well. =)))

”Look, Sargent,” Ronan retorted. “I was gonna dream you some eye cream last night since clearly modern medicine’s doing jack shit for you, but I nearly had my ass handed to me by a death snake from the fourth circle of dream hell, so you’re welcome.”
Blue looked appropriately touched. “Ah, thanks, man.”
“No problem, bro.”

Ronan & Adam aka Ronam:

”Adam felt a surge of both accomplishment and nerves. He skated an edge here. Making Ronan Lynch smile felt as charged as making a bargain with Cabeswater. These weren’t forces to play with.”

I CAN’T EVEN!! MY HEART!!! MY. HEART.!!! I loved every little moment between them, every single gesture, every eye contact, every smile, every playful remark!!! THEY ARE EVERYTHING!!! Their first kiss blew me away and I was so happy I couldn’t stop smiling for two days! And OMG!!! Ronan thinking about Adam’s hands? It was my undoing! I love hands, I love Adam, I love Ronan! ARGH! I think I’m going to die! And what a wonderful death it would be!!! Still, nothing, really nothing could prepare me for CHAPTER 39!!! PERFECTION, UTTER AND SHEER PERFECTION!!! I read this chapter about a thousand times. It still moves me, it makes me cry! <333 *shakes head and fights tears* I just love them so much… Thank you Maggie! *sobs*

”He had memorized the shape of Adam’s hands in particular: the way his thumb jutted awkwardly, boyishly; the roads of the prominent veins; the large knuckles that punctuated his long fingers. In dreams Ronan put them to his mouth.
His feelings for Adam were an oil spill; he’d let them overflow and now there wasn’t a damn place in the ocean that wouldn’t catch fire if he dropped a match.”

”Asshole,” Ronan said.
Adam smiled cheerily. Ronan would start wars and burn cities for that true smile, elastic and amiable.”

”When Adam kissed him, it was every mile per hour Ronan had ever gone over the speed limit. It was every window-down, goose-bumps-on-skin, teeth-chattering-cold night drive. It was Adam’s ribs under Ronan’s hands and Adam’s mouth on his mouth, again and again and again. It was stubble on lips and Ronan having to stop, to get his breath, to restart his heart. They were both hungry animals, but Adam had been starving for longer.”

”They sprawled on the living room sofa and Adam studied the tattoo that covered Ronan’s back: all the sharp edges that hooked wondrously and fearfully into each other.
“Unguibus et rostro,” Adam said.
Ronan put Adam’s fingers to his mouth.
He was never sleeping again.

Blue & Gansey:

”And third, most importantly, Gansey was outrageously and eternally driven to distraction by the image of her behind the wheel of his car. Ronan and Adam weren’t with them, so there was no one to catch them in what felt like an incredibly indecent act.”

Don’t you love it that Gansey thinks Blue driving his Camaro is an “incredibly indecent act”? *LOL* Those two are so innocent it’s not even normal. Haha! Where Adam and Ronan are all fire, tension and heat, Gansey and Blue are almost too shy and sweet. XD I was so happy they finally decided to tell the others and the chapter of Henry Cheng’s toga party gave me life!!! Seriously, I loved this party so damn much! It’s a perfect example of Maggie’s awesome writing skills and I truly wish this chapter would have never ended. =))) I’m so happy they can be together now and forgive me this pun, but I think their first kiss was rather breathtaking, don’t you agree? ;-P *lol*

”It was Blue’s shoulder and her collarbone and her legs and her throat and her laugh her laugh her laugh. He couldn’t stop looking at her, and here, it didn’t matter, because no one here cared that they were together. Here, he could play his fingers over her fingers as they stood close, she could lean her cheek on his bare shoulder, he could hook his ankle playfully in hers, she could catch herself with an arm around his waist. Here he was unbelievably greedy for that laugh.”

”Right after he spoke, Blue threw her arms tightly around his neck. Right after he spoke, she pressed her face into the side of his. Right after he spoke, she held him like a shouted word. Love, love, love.

4

It was such a wonderful journey! I’m so sad it’s over now. T_T I will miss my boys so much! I will miss their comments, their unconditional love, their easy banter. *sniff* This series goes straight to my favourite shelf and it will stay there forever! <333
Thank you, Maggie!

Also, a big thanks to my lovely Adam! Thank you for holding my hand throughout the entire book. I was so lucky to have you at my side. I think I couldn’t have done this without your support and I’m so glad we read this together! <333

”That’s all there is.”

(No, not really! I could have gone on and on but I already reached the gr word limit. So, yeah I’m sorry guys! *lol*)

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

If you ask me there is no quote that would describe the essence of “The Hate U Give” better than this one. Heaven knows, to speak up for yourself and your beliefs is never easy, but if you don’t do it your voice won’t be heard and things will continue to go on the way they were before.

It’s a lesson our heroine Starr learns the hard way and it’s a more than just important lesson as well.

”I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down.
Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.”

I could understand Starr’s internal battle and I could relate to her so much. To admit that she’s the witness, to speak up for Khalil and to say what truly happened… well, it takes guts to take that step. Especially because she was smack in the middle of it all. On the one hand there were the King Lords and the gang members at Garden Heights and on the other hand there was the police. Neither of both sides was all too keen on hearing the truth about what went down that night (and this is putting it mildly), but the truth needed to be heard and I think it was very brave of Starr to find her voice. Truth be told, I actually enjoyed watching her journey.

”Oh, we know the truth, that’s not what we want,” says Daddy. “We want justice.”

Of course her family tried to protect her from harm and wanted to keep her identity anonymous but the more things happened, the harder it got to stay out of it. You might say that Starr eventually ended up in all that mess her family tried to protect her from, but then again it wasn’t really like she had a choice. If your best friend would have been murdered in front of your eyes, if he would have been unarmed, his back to the police officer that shot him, the only thing he did a concerned glance into his car because you were the co-driver and he didn’t want you to get hurt. What would you have done after you held him dying in your arms?

”The truth casts a shadow over the kitchen – people like us in situations like this become hashtags, but they rarely get justice. I think we all wait for that one time though, that one time when it ends right.”

Yes, you would have wanted to get justice too! At least I would have wanted it because there’s nothing in this world that makes me feel more helpless and angry than injustice and the injustice that happened in this book was outrageous!!!

”But Khalil didn’t stay put, did he?” she says.
“He didn’t pull the trigger on himself either.”

I loved Starr so much for that statement alone! There were two police officers interrogating her and all they tried to do was to put the blame on Khalil. Because of course it was his fault that he got shot! He was a drug dealer after all, right? NO!! HELL, NO!!!! Even if he would have been a drug dealer this wouldn’t have made things right! He was unarmed, he didn’t do anything wrong, he only checked on his friend and he had to die for it. THIS IS NOT OKAY!!! THIS IS NOT RIGHT!!! THIS IS WRONG!!! And no matter how much people tried to discredit him, nothing of what they said about him was the truth!!!

”Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

The truth is that he was just a normal kid, driving home his best friend after they left from a party. End of the story. Or it should have been… What I really liked about this book was that it made you think. I mean Starr’s own uncle is a policeman and a good and righteous one at that. Yet there were also those officers that treated her father so badly and tried to intimidate her. Just because you’re a cop you’re not automatically a good person, just because you’re black you’re not automatically a drug dealer. Just because you go to a private school you’re not automatically rich.

Angie Thomas plays with ingrained prejudices and subjective perceptions. In “The Hate U Give” she shows us that supposedly good people can be bad and that people who seem to have a bad reputation can have a kind heart too. There occur at least as many prejudices against white people as there appear against black ones. For instance Starr’s father Maverick doesn’t like her boyfriend and is distrustful of him because he’s white. And Starr is the cool kid at her school because she’s one of the few students that attend the school and are black. Quite honestly, if I go by Starr’s and her friend’s definition of being black I’d be black through and through. *lol* I don’t like green bean casserole and for me Macaroni and cheese is a snack that comes out of the oven (thus a side dish) So I guess according to their reasoning that makes me as black as them! XD

”At an early age I learned that people make mistakes, and you have to decide if their mistakes are bigger than your love for them.”

Despite all the humour that can be found in here, the message of this book is quite clear though: We’re all human, we all make mistakes, family is important and got your back, justice must be practiced and lived, we shouldn’t be judged for our skin colour and we should always stand up for our beliefs, no matter how hard it is.

I think that’s a great message and one that should be heard! So thank you Angie Thomas for writing this book, for giving Starr a strong voice, for allowing us to get a glimpse of other people’s lives and for showing me that Starr’s family is as funny, caring and crazy as mine.

A great book with an important message! Read it and let it be heard! =)

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: Turtles All the Way Down (John Green)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

 

”One of the challenges with pain – physical or psychic – is that we can really only approach it through metaphor. It can’t be represented the way a table or a body can. In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.”

Those words rang so true and I think this is my favourite quote from the entire book. Because yes, I’ve been there and done that and in all honesty I can’t tell you what was worse. Physical or psychic? In both cases I couldn’t find my voice. For different reasons but the outcome was the same. So I totally agree with this statement. Pain IS the opposite of language and if you want to work through it you’ve to learn to express yourself.

Which is exactly what Aza is doing in this book. Or to be completely honest: This is what everyone is trying to do in this book. No matter if it’s Davis, Aza’s mom or her best friend Daisy. They all hurt, in different ways, for different reasons, but they feel pain and they really try their best to deal with it. With varying success, but they are fighting and this is always good because this means that none of them gave up yet.

“Turtles All the Way Down” is no fast read, it’s neither suspenseful nor easy, but it’s real and true and this makes all the difference. You won’t find action scenes or plot twists in here, you’ll find real people with real problems and the will to work through them. No supernatural obstacles, just ordinary life and its challenges. Which, truth be told are sometimes even worse than everything a superhero has to put up with. 😉 This said, let’s head to my character section and go into more detail.

2

This is my characters section so this means that you’ll be spoiled relentlessly if you decide to continue to read. It’s your choice and up to you, but if you didn’t read the book yet and begin to regret your own curiosity: Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because, well, I just officially did! ;-P

Aza:

”And if you can’t pick what you do or think about, then maybe you aren’t really real, you know? Maybe I’m just a lie that I’m whispering to myself.”

Oh, how I felt with Aza when I read this book. She knows she has a problem and she’s doing her best to work through it but she just can’t escape what she thinks or who she truly is. There’s always something gnawing at the back of her mind and even though she’s living an ordinary life and doing homework etc. there’s still something that’s holding her back. I have to admit, sometimes it was really tough to read Aza’s POV because her spirals were pretty intense. There were moments I had to close the book and put it aside… a privilege Aza didn’t have because it was her own mind and her own thoughts that haunted her. Yet despite everything she was going to school and trying to fit into our world. And sometimes she even succeeded to live in the moment. I can’t even fathom how difficult this must have been but I’m kind of proud of Aza because she never gave up. =)

”You don’t actually want to do this; it’s just an invasive. Everyone has them. But you can’t shut yours up. Since you’ve had a reasonable amount of cognitive behavioral therapy, you tell yourself, I am not my thoughts, even though deep down you’re not sure what exactly that makes you.”

Daisy:

”But a human woman falling in love with a Wookie, God forbid. I mean, I know I’m just feeding the trolls here, Holmesy, but I can’t stand for it.”

Haha! Okay, the idea of Rey/Chewie fanfic is still something I have to get used to, but in general I got the gist of what Daisy meant. *lol* I liked Aza’s best friend and it was great to see how they worked together. Daisy was definitely the outgoing and honest kind of type and I really appreciated that about her. She didn’t mince her words and never beat about the bush and this was really refreshing. I can understand why some people might think that Daisy was selfish and self-centred, but I think that she only wanted the best for Aza and really loved her. If you don’t have OCD it’s hard to understand the actions of people that have it, but Daisy tried and that has to count for something!

Davis Pickett:

”I don’t know what superpower William James enjoyed, but I can no more choose my thoughts than choose my name.”

Where to start with Davis? What a pure and tortured soul! T_T I really loved that boy! In the eyes of others he might have had everything he wished for but Davis was aware that he didn’t have the one thing that truly counts: A loving father who took care of his sons. After his father’s disappearance he was left to his own devices and even though it seemed like everything was secured – at least legally – this didn’t change anything about the fact that he had a hard fate. Without their father and without a mother he was the only one his younger brother could rely on and this was a lot of responsibility for such a young boy. The scene where Aza’s mother confronted him and told him that she only wants the best for her daughter was so sad to read. No wonder Davis cried. If his father would have only cared about him half as much… >_< Davis is such a precious bean and he deserves the world! I really hope he was able to start a new life and that he got everything he wanted and more! <333

”At this point I don’t care why someone likes me. I’m just so goddamned lonely. I know that’s pathetic. But yeah.”

He started to say something, but then had to stop, because his eyes were welling up with tears. “Davis, are you all right?” my mom asked. He tried to speak again but it devolved into a choked sob.
“Davis, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize….”
Blushing, he said, “I’m sorry.”

”I guess at some point, you realize that whoever takes care of you is just a person, and that they have no superpowers and can’t actually protect you from getting hurt. Which is one thing. But Noah is starting to understand that maybe the person he thought was a superhero turns out sort of to be the villain. And that really sucks.”

”The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be. Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.”

3

Aza & Davis:

”Him: And the thing is, when you lose someone, you realize you’ll eventually lose everyone.
Me: True. And once you know that, you can never forget it.”

*sighs* Those two. They would have been good for each other but their circumstances made it so difficult to be together. Aza was fighting hard against her growing OCD and Davis was kind of fighting for his and his brother’s existence. So definitely not the right time to start a relationship. Still, I liked that they were there for each other whenever things got tough and in their own way they understood and respected each other more than anyone else would have been able to. Their deep conversations were definitely the highlight of this book and I felt really sorry for both of them. It didn’t surprise me that Davis was hurt when Aza decided to break up with him, but considering their circumstances it was the sensible thing to do. This said my heart will always bleed for those two and I don’t think it will ever stop! >_<

”I’m not gonna un-have this is what I mean. I’ve had it since I can remember and it’s not getting better and I can’t have a normal life if I can’t kiss someone without freaking out.”
“It’s okay, Aza. Really.”

”He kept saying what do I do, what do I do, his head on my shoulder. I wondered whether it was a mistake to tell him. What do I do? He asked it again and again, pleading.”

Daisy & Aza:

”I don’t mean that you’re a bad friend or anything. But you’re slightly tortured, and the way you’re tortured is sometimes also painful for, like, everyone around you.”

Now that was quite a friendship and I could relate to it from Daisy’s POV. I have a few friends that have OCD and even though I’m trying to understand them it’s not always easy. If you don’t have OCD it’s kinda tough to understand why people would do certain things and I think John Green portrayed this incomprehension quite well. Daisy loved Aza and this was more than just obvious, yet she still had troubles to maintain their friendship. I think most of that is due to the fact that the most ordinary things (in our eyes ordinary, mind you) become a challenge for people with OCD. We can’t even fathom what it means to go out into the world and to live with that voice in the back of your mind. So at times this makes it hard to comprehend Aza’s actions. Despite all that Daisy did everything she could. She tried to understand Aza and she accepted her the way she was. If you ask me this is what true friendship is about and in my eyes they were perfect! =)

”What are their jobs? When was the last time you were at my apartment – five years ago? We’re supposed to be best friends, Holmesy, and you don’t even know if I have any fucking pets. You have no idea what it’s like for me, and you’re so like, pathologically uncurious that you don’t even know what you don’t know.”

Aza & her mom:

”You feeling scared?”
“Kinda.”
“Of what?”
“It’s not like that. The sentence doesn’t have, like, an object. I’m just scared.”
“I don’t know what to say, Aza. I see the pain on your face and I want to take it from you.”

Aza’s mom was so great! She was a single mom and tried her best to give Aza everything she needed. There was no doubt that she loved her daughter dearly and it was so good to see that she always managed to engage Aza in dialogue. Of course this wasn’t always welcome from Aza’s side but I guess that’s a typical teen trait. Regardless of their troubles and fears, no teen seems to be keen on the idea of talking with their parents about the real important things. *lol* I think that if she would have wanted to, Aza knew that she could always confide in her mother though. And last but not least her mom’s words resonated so much with me. It’s so hard to see your kid in pain and not to be able to do anything against it and if I could, I would do everything possible to take away my child’s pain. No matter if it’s heartache or a flu. XD

”You seemed locked inside of your mind, and I can’t know what’s going on in there, and it scares me.” I pressed my thumbnail against my fingertip through the Band-Aid, thinking it would scare her a lot more if she could see what was going on in there.

The OCD rep:

”The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends. It just keeps tightening, infinitely.”

I don’t have OCD so you have to take my words with a grain of salt. I do think that the rep was done very well in this book though. As I mentioned before, I have a couple of friends that suffer from OCD and before I read this book I was trying to understand them but never truly did. I think to read “Turtles All the Way Down” gave me a better understanding of their troubles and fears. Of course there are different types of OCD and there was only one part of it represented in here, the “thought spiral” is something that all of my friends seem to have in common though. I can’t even imagine how tough it must be to get out of bed and to live your life with thoughts like that always spinning in the back of your mind. To read about it made it so palpable and real. It’s one thing if people try to explain it to you, it’s an entirely different thing if you’re in their head and experience those things exactly like they do. Some of those book scenes were pretty intense and yes, I admit it, I sometimes found myself closing the book because I couldn’t take the repetitive thoughts and the spiral downwards any longer. When I needed a break I could close the book, but people who have OCD can’t just close a book, they have to live through their thoughts and that’s actually pretty scary. I think I finally got how scary it actually is! So thank you John Green for giving us this rep and for helping us to understand the people we love and care about! If not entirely, at least a little bit better.

”True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice in the matter.”

4

“Turtles All the Way Down” was a fairly slow-paced and somehow gentle book. John Green dealt with quite a few sensitive topics yet always tackled them in a careful manner. Whilst it can be argued that the plot around the missing billionaire is only background music, there is no doubt that Green used it as a device in order to focus on the important things. The things that have moved our world for centuries. Love, hope, fear, anger, frustration, despair and the entire bandwidth of human emotions. If you’re looking for one or all of those things you’ll certainly gain something from reading this book! Happy reading!

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gilded Wolves (Roshani Chokshi)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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! 😉