Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: White Hot Kiss (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

29922149. sy475

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 29 on My Book List 2021

There was a demon in McDonald’s.
And it had a powerful hunger for Big Macs.”

This is quite a way to start a book and I was immediately intrigued by it! *lol* I mean a demon at McDonalds? What a funny, unique and weird way to begin a book. So yes, the first line already captured my interest and the characters and the plot that followed did the rest. 😉 I remember reading this for the very first time a couple of years ago and it was one of those series that’s highly addicting and that just makes you want to devour all those books exactly the same way that demon ate its Big Macs. XD

I mean we could argue that “White Hot Kiss” follows all the typical YA stereotypes. We have two super-hot love interests aka a love triangle, an innocent pretty heroine, sizzling tension, a big mystery and a couple of troubles and issues that need to be resolved. What made this really enjoyable was the new setting of a war between wardens – who are basically gargoyles that protect humans – and demons. And well, the already mentioned sizzling tension between the MCs.

I didn’t read all too many books that featured gargoyles and demons so for me that was something new and refreshing. And of course the same goes for the characters powers and the world building. So yes, it might be tropey but I think this series can stand on its own. Especially because Armentrout’s writing style isn’t only captivating but also effortless. 😉 And because I love the characters so much I’ll just head to my characters section now.

2
Welcome to the world of Wardens and Demons! Both of them have secrets and it’s up to you which side you’ll join. Make sure to choose wisely because no matter which path you decide for I can guarantee you’ll always be spoiled. Are you sure you’re ready? ;-P

Layla:

”I met the man’s stare, held it and felt my lips curve into a smile. My heart raced, my skin tingled and flushed. I wanted his soul – so bad my skin wanted to peel itself off my bones. It felt like waiting for a kiss, when your lips were moments away from joining, those breathless seconds of anticipation.”

So Layla is actually a pretty interesting character. She’s not only half warden but also half demon and she’s constantly fighting her own nature which tells her to eat the souls of human beings. She can’t only rob people of their souls though; she can also see their auras. Some of them are already very tainted and others are still pure. And what makes her especially valuable for the wardens is that she obviously can see demons and tag them. So yeah, Layla has a lot going on and she still somehow manages to keep up with school. *lol* At the beginning of the book her world is only black and white and she’s very innocent but the more time she spends with Roth the more she realizes that there are all shades of grey and that the world is more complex than she thought. I really liked her character arc in this book and I can’t wait to see the Layla of book two! XD

Roth:

”For the love of all unholy things, why must you be so difficult? I apologize for calling you a prude. I’ll even apologize for yesterday. I scared you. I threw your cell in a toilet. See, I was raised in Hell. You could say I’m socially awkward.”

Okay, I’m going to be blunt here: Roth is super-hot boyfriend material! Like super, super hot boyfriend material! He isn’t only gorgeous (golden eyes, dimples, a six-pack, tattoos and black hair – gosh, that boy has a lot of things going for him! Haha!) but he also has a heart of gold! I’m such a sucker for this demon and if given the choice between him and Zayne it will always be: Zayne who?! *lol* I really love Roth and I think his character arc was beautifully done as well. He started out as a dubious character and became such a great and reliable constant. I loved that his blunt and sassy demeanour didn’t change while he was still growing as a character. It’s a feat not many authors accomplish, but Armentrout certainly did! I can’t wait for him to appear in book 2 because his story isn’t over yet and he just has to be a big part of it! XD

”People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils. No one is perfect, no matter what they are or what side they fight for.”

”I am only the next Crown Prince. That’s what I am – all I am.”

”It’s okay,” he whispered against the corner of my lip. “This is about you. Yeah, this is totally about you.” He sounded surprised by his own words, and when he spoke again, his voice was hoarse as he pressed his forehead against mine. “You undo me. You have no idea how you undo me.”

In that tiny moment of time, just a flicker of a second, his golden eyes met mine. “Free will, huh? Damn. It is a bitch.” And then he smiled – he smiled – at me, a real smile, revealing those deep dimples. “I lost myself the moment I found you.”

3
Layla & Roth:

”Do you know anything about her – about your heritage, Layla?” he said, and then his arm slipped around my waist, fitting my body against his. “Do you know anything about what you are?”
“Do you know anything about personal space?” I snapped.
“No.” He smirked, and then his eyes seemed to turn luminous. “But I do know that you really don’t mind me in your personal space.”

Haha! Those two were amazing! They have this really sizzling and strong chemistry and I just couldn’t get enough of them. I kinda loved that Roth always gravitated towards Layla and just couldn’t seem to be able to keep his hands off her. He’s always pulling her closer and touching her and I think this is so damn cute. ❤ Can someone give me a cuddly Roth? I think after Covid times I really need that in my life. *lol* Anyway, let’s move on! I really liked that he always gave her a choice. Layla might not have seen it like that but in fact Roth actually tried to give her some space and to let her sort out things on her own. Plus he always protected her and put her well-being above his own. And even more important he supported her and her decisions and accepted her for who she was! With him Layla never had to apologize for being a demon and he helped her to accept this half of her as well. She is both after all and to suppress one side like she did because of the wardens clearly wasn’t healthy for her. >_< They are both good for each other and I can’t wait to read more of their scenes together! <333

He moved without me realizing, his warm breath dancing over my cheeks, my lips. The air hitched in my lungs. His lips parted, and I wondered what it would be like to run my fingers across them, to feel them.
“What are you thinking?” he murmured, his eyes fluttering down.

”Layla, look at me. You don’t want to go down that road.”
With effort, I focused on him. “I’m sorry. It’s just so hard.”
His brows furrowed. “You don’t need to apologize for something that is natural to you, but taking a human’s soul… You can’t go back from that.”

”One second he was standing a good three feet away from me and the next his hands were gently clasping my cheeks. There was an instant when I wondered how something so strong and deadly could hold anything so carefully, but then he tilted my head back and lowered his own. My heart rate kicked into hyperdrive. He wasn’t going to kiss me. No way – Roth kissed me.”

”We’re talking.” He dipped his head, brushing his cheek against mine.
“This is not talking.” Not that I didn’t enjoy it. “And I really do have questions.”
“So ask away. I can multitask.” He tugged me forward, circling an arm around my waist. Dipping his head to where my neck sloped, he inhaled deeply. “Can’t you?”

Layla & Zayne:

”I’m not replacing you, Layla. It was an honest mistake.”
“But you are replacing me!” Realizing what I had said, I clasped my hands over my mouth and backed off.

I know there are a lot of Zayne fans out there but I honestly don’t get why anyone would prefer him over Roth. I mean except of looking good and being some sort of big brother for Layla there isn’t a lot that speaks in his favour. From my perspective he didn’t treat Layla any better than all the other wardens and constantly gave her the feeling to be inferior. It started with him telling her that she’s better than a soul eating demon even though he knows how much she is struggling and goes right to him telling her what she should and shouldn’t do. I get it. There is this strong big brother vibe but he really isn’t treating her well. If my sister would have been in a car accident I’d have eaten a huge big breakfast with her the next day! Just saying. Yes, he obviously cares about her but he certainly doesn’t accept her the way she is and because of that he’ll always get a red flag from me. #SorryNotSorry

”It doesn’t matter right now,” he said. “What does is that the bastard was right. We haven’t been keeping you safe. And if he’s truly the one who has, then there is something messed up about that.”

”How badly are you hurt? Do you need to go to the hospital? Have you been out all night? Should I –“
“I’m okay.” My voice cracked as I wrapped my fingers around his wrists. I’d never seen him like this before. “I’m okay.”
He stared at me, and I suddenly recognized the emotion churning in his eyes. Horror. “God, Layla, he … he hurt you.”

”You’re not a demon, Layla. You’re a Warden. You’re better than this.”
I felt my lower lip begin to tremble. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. My voice came out broken and small. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to. I just wanted him to stop and –“
“Shh…” Zayne closed his eyes and a muscle popped in his jaw. “I know. It’s okay.”

Layla, Abbot & the other gargoyles:

”Petr knew I’d get in trouble, and there was more than a hint of cruelty in his pale eyes. Worse yet, I knew that he saw nothing wrong with what he was doing. His actions would never taint his soul, because it was pure, no matter what he did. It was like a free pass to him. Petr pressed forward, his breath too warm against my cheek.
“You’re going to wish Abbot had snuffed out your miserable little life when you were a baby.”

Let me say this directly: The majority of the wardens suck! *lol* I know they are supposed to be the good guys but seriously, everyone who turns a blind eye to Petr and his father hurting and treating Layla like shit isn’t worth anything in my eyes! Abbot as well as Zayne and all the others KNEW about Petr, yet they still left Layla unguarded when he was around? How stupid and ignorant can you be? Petr deserved everything he got and Abbot isn’t any better than him if he allows him to things like that. Father figure my ass! I mean who would allow anything like that to happen to a child they consider to be their own kid? Also them constantly giving Layla shit for being half demon! As if it would be her fault! That poor girl had such a hard time suppressing her nature and they didn’t even give a damn about it. They should have accepted her for who she is and not held down something that is part of her as well. So yep, I’m no big fan of the wardens right now and if they don’t change their attitude soon I’ll side with the demons. They actually seem to be more human and compassionate than the wardens anyway. *lol*

”If I looked up the definition of intimidating, it would show a picture of Abbot. As the clan leader, he had to be fierce, stern and, at times, deadly. He represented the clan, was the one who met with human officials, and if any of the Wardens messed up, it was Abbot who took the fall. A lot of weight rested on his shoulders, but his back never bowed under the pressure.”

”You have been doing nothing but lying since you met this demon! Why would I assume there was one truth mixed in among the lies?”
I don’t know what he said that did it, and maybe it was a combination of fear and frustration because I couldn’t get a single sentence out, but my control snapped. I shot to my feet so fast Abbot stood and backed up – he actually backed up from me.

Stacey & Layla:

”Are you coming on to me or something?”
Stacey grinned evilly. “I’d go gay for you.”
Digging out Sam’s notes, I snorted. “I wouldn’t go gay for you. Eva Hasher? Maybe.”
She gasped, clutching the front of her shirt. “That stung.”

Stacey is amazing and everyone needs a Stacey in their life!! This girl is made of awesome sauce and I loved her so much! *lol* She was such a great side-character and definitely stole the show whenever she appeared on page! Some of the things she said were just hilarious and remembering my own teen days she was a super relatable character. At some point in our life we all have a friend like her that is super blunt and nudges us in the right direction. XD Also her surprise and shock whenever she realized that Layla is super innocent was priceless. ❤ So yep, Layla might not want to date Stacey but if Layla doesn’t want her Stacey can always come to me. ;-P

”You need to get over him and get with a hottie.” She paused, nodding at the door. “Like him, for example. He’d leave you crying for a whole different reason.”
“I wasn’t crying over – “ I cut myself off when I realized she was gesturing at Roth. “Wait, how would he make me cry?”
Stacey’s eyes widened. “Are you for real? Do I need to spell it out for you?”

”Our bio class just got a billion times more interesting. And hotter, lots and lots hotter. Holy mother, I want to have his babies. Not now of course, but definitely later. But I’d like to start practicing soon.”

”Now go. Make mama proud.”
“Proud how?” I shouldered the bag.
Stacey arched a brow. “Use your imagination. Just remember, you can only be young and dumb once. And that is a fine specimen to be young and dumb with.”

4
I reread this as fast as I read it the first time and I’m still super enthusiastic about this series! I almost forgot how much the ending threw me and I can’t wait up to pick up book two to continue with this series. Jennifer L. Armentrout might have followed the YA formula but she gave it her own touch and this made this a truly addictive and enjoyable read.

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr)

305234

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2020

“Faeries could make themselves seen or not seen at will. And when they took people they took body and soul together.”

Before I start this review I’ve to be honest and tell you that I’m super biased when it comes to this series. *lol* It was the first faerie book series I ever read and I loved it so much that I bought all five books and even the accompanying novellas. XD Funnily enough I started this series all wrong and actually read “Ink Exchange” – the second book – first. Back then I found it in my library, was intrigued by the cover and after reading the blurb I just borrowed it, completely unaware that it was already the second book in a series.

Well, after reading the first couple of chapters I realized that I was right smack in the middle of a series but I was already way too hooked to stop reading. And looking at it in retrospective this was actually a good thing! “Ink Exchange” made me WANT to read this series and if I’d have picked up “Wicked Lovely” first I’m not sure if I’d have continued. Not that “Wicked Lovely” isn’t good. It’s great in its own way, but it’s definitely a really slow start. After reading it for the third time I can appreciate its beauty and recognize what a nice job Melissa Marr did. There is just a lot of info in this first book and most of it only starts to make sense when you continue with the series and get to know the world better.

This said, I think “Wicked Lovely” is some sort of series that slowly grows on you. If you make it through the technicalities of the first book you’ll most likely enjoy the rest as well! Plus if you read it once and reread it again, you’ll find so many interesting hints you missed the first time. XD Like for instance the brief appearances of Irial and Niall. 😉 I really can’t wait to review this properly so I’ll jump right into my characters section and relish that I’m finally able to gush about this!

2

You asked for the Sight and I’ll grant you your wish! Be aware that everything I do has its price though. If you consent you won’t only be able to see through the glamour of faeries but you’ll also see a lot of spoilers! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! It’s your choice, so I’d recommend choosing wisely. ;-P

Aislinn:

”She leaned against him, needing his comfort, his support. She was afraid, but she couldn’t just sit around waiting for someone to save her. She had to try to save herself, try to figure it out.”

I have no idea why I never liked Aislinn. *lol* I mean considering it all she’s actually a great character and I love that she isn’t just accepting everything fate is throwing at her. She might have no choice when it comes to her being the Summer Queen but I think it’s really amazing that she decided to do it on her own terms. She isn’t giving in because Keenan seduced her; she’s giving in because she knows she has no other choice than to do what is best for her and her people. Maybe that’s exactly what made her the Summer Queen. She’s the only one that didn’t fall for Keenan and his charms and decided to take up the staff because she actually wanted to. She wanted to help him and she didn’t want to be a summer girl or a wraith so she chose the only choice she could live with. And just as a side note: There are worse things than being the Summer Queen. *lol* ;-P

”Simply willing it away had never worked with the Sight, and she was beginning to believe that this was much the same. She knew she was changing, despite how much she’d been trying to deny it.
I’m one of them.”

”While he stood there, fighting not to falter under the chill Beira had released, Aislinn pulled him down and kissed each of his bruised cheeks, her lips soft as balm on the painful bruises. “I can’t stand a bully.”

Seth:

”He was lovely, tempting in ways so different than Keenan: dark and still, shadows and paleness.”

I LOVE Seth!! I mean I always loved Seth but when I read this series for the first time I only realized how amazing he was when I read “Fragile Eternity”. This time around I already appreciated him in the first book and I realized that I adore him. I mean this boy is basically the embodiment of a bad boy with a heart of gold. He has lots of piercings and the respect of a lot of people, he loves to read and he listens to great music so OMG! He’s like perfect! Plus he never pushes Ash! He always lets HER decide what to do and this is just awesome. The world needs more guys like Seth! I mean who wouldn’t want to date a gorgeous, caring, selfless and intelligent boy? =))

”He didn’t move any farther, didn’t close the distance between them. He might tease, flirt, but he didn’t pursue her. It was her choice. In a world where so many choices weren’t hers, it was a wonderful feeling.”

Keenan:

”He glowed faintly all the time, as if hot coals burned inside him. His collar-length hair shimmered like strands of copper that would slice her skin if Aislinn were to slide her fingers through it – not that she would.”

I think in many ways Keenan is exactly the opposite of Seth. He pushes Ash and wants to sway her in his favour. He tries to score with his charms and good looks and yes, he’s kind of selfish. Or at least he seems to appear like that. There’s more to Keenan than initially meets the eye and everything he does, he’s doing because he doesn’t have a choice. For him there’s no grey. He either finds his Summer Queen or his people die and the world is going to drown in endless winter. With all those responsibilities it’s really no wonder he’s so pushy. Keenan is desperate and when he said that hope is all he lives on I really felt sorry for him. He is a good and nice person, but Beira definitely didn’t make it easy for him to show his sweet side.

”What makes you think I won’t resent it today?”
“Hope. It’s what I live on …”

”I wish it didn’t trouble you. But I’m begging you to accept me. Simply tell me what you want, and I’ll try.”

Donia:

”Donia still wasn’t sure whom she resented more: Keenan, for convincing her he loved her, or Beira, for killing that dream. If he’d truly loved her enough, wouldn’t she be the one? Wouldn’t she be his queen?”

Ahhh Donia! My fierce, stubborn and upright winter girl! ❤ I hated how much she doubted herself because of Beira and her bitter fate still gnaws at me. She was the only one who had the guts to take up that staff and in the end the cold claimed her. What happened to her wasn’t fair and I really would have wished things would have turned out differently. Donia is such a great character and even though she could have been corrupted by Beira’s blackmail she didn’t even think about betraying Keenan. I’m kind of glad she’s the Winter Queen now. It will make things between her and Keenan even more complicated but I’m sure she’ll be strong enough to handle it. 😉

The words came to her from the white world, sliding through her lips like a winter wind, “I am the Winter Queen. As those before me, I will carry the wind and ice.”

Beira:

Beira let go of the staff and wrapped her arm around Donia, holding her up, and whispered, “If you fail me, it’s well within my power to take away this body of yours. He can’t stop me. You can’t stop me. You’ll be a shade, wandering, colder than even you can imagine. Think about it.” Then she let go.

Beira is such a WITCH!! I swear that woman is as cold as her icy exterior. How a person like her got a son like Keenan is beyond me. Also Beira’s relationship with Keenan was super abusive and I really felt for him. The worst thing about her was that she relished hurting others and abused her powers. She even turned against her own people and tried to cheat. The rules of how Aislinn would become the new Summer Queen were pretty exact, yet Beira still tried to interfere. It’s good that she died and that Donia is the new Winter Queen now. I’m sure she will be a way better monarch than Beira ever was. XD

”Mortals are such fragile things. Just tender feelings walking around exposed in their delicate shells … Easy to crush.”

3

Ash & Seth:

”Talk to me.”
She stood up, but he caught her hand before she could walk away again. He pulled her closer.
“I’m here. I’ll be here. Whatever it is.”

I really liked the chemistry between those two! Seth is one hell of a guy and the fact he wasn’t jealous when Aislinn told him that Keenan wants her to be his Summer Queen is actually quite amazing! All he said was that Keenan has bad timing! *lol* Like seriously!!! Find yourself a Seth! Also I’m still not over the fact that he waited 7 months!!! for Ash to finally admit to her feelings for him! That boy is PATIENT!!! If I’d have been Ash nothing would have been able to keep me away from Seth. XD I really love that boy! <333 So yeah, those two had quite a lot of sizzling moments and I can’t wait for more of them. Totally on board of this ship. 😉

”He lifted her onto the counter where she’d sat and talked to him countless times. But this time her hands were in his hair, wrapping her fingers in it, pulling him closer.
It was the most perfect kiss she’d ever had until she realized, Seth. This is Seth.”

”Since you don’t seem the jealous sort, I’m guessing she was a faery.”
“Wings and all.” She went over, pulled him down to her, and kissed him. “But I might be a bit more the jealous sort than I realized.”
He grinned. “Works for me.”

She shook her head. “No. But when he, it’s not him, it’s some faery thing ….”
He tipped her head up. “Don’t give up. Don’t leave me before you’re even here.”

Ash & Keenan:

”You’d be surprised at what I know about you. And you know what? None of it impresses me. Not one little bit.”
He laughed then – joyous and free, like the anger that’d flared in his eyes hadn’t existed. “Then I shall try harder.”

Aislinn definitely didn’t make it easy for Keenan to win her over. Sometimes she was just downright rude and I felt really sorry for him. I mean that boy is trying really hard and it’s not like he could do anything against it. His hands were bound and Ash giving him hell for it must have been tough. I guess they both tried to deal with the situation as best as they could and considering both of them are already in love with someone else will only make it even harder to cope with their new roles. Keenan is trying to play the long game with Ash though so this is going to be interesting. After all Seth is a mortal still. 😉 I think it’s good that Keenan accepted Seth at Ash’s side and that her happiness is more important to him than forcing a relationship. They are both fey though and their chemistry is there even if they don’t want it… Mhmm… XD

”I thought you’d be angry if you woke up with me, and” – he paused, mouth curled in a sardonic half-smile – “and I don’t want you angry.”
“I don’t want you at all. Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

”Keenan looked at Aislinn, curled up against Seth, seeming happy. It was what he wanted for her, happiness. There was little she could ask that he’d deny – even if that meant she would be in another’s arms for now.”

Donia & Keenan:

”Go away, Keenan. I don’t like you any more today than I did yesterday, or the day before that, or the –“ He interrupted, “But I still like you. That’s the beauty of this, isn’t it? I still miss you. Every single time we do this, Don.” He lowered his voice to try and hide how close it was to raw. “I miss you.”

The epitome of star-crossed lovers! I’ve to say that I felt really, really sorry for Keenan this time around. It’s obvious he loves Donia and the fact that she turned into the Winter Girl had nothing to do with his love for her. I know Donia thought that he just didn’t love her enough but as we could see with Ash love had nothing to do with becoming the Summer Queen. Keenan loved Donia for decades and she hated and resented him because she thought it was his fault that she turned into the Winter Girl. I certainly didn’t envy him his position as the Summer King. Poor boy! Despite of their new roles I can’t wait to see more of this power couple and I’m so ready to read the other books! =)))

He moved farther away from her – crouched on the floor, head bowed – where they couldn’t touch. He sounded as broken as he looked. “If you stop Aislinn, I lose everything. If you don’t, you die. What am I to do?”
“Hope I lose,” she suggested softly.

”He stroked her face, gently, as if she were something delicate and precious. Tears ran down his cheeks and dripped onto her face, melting the ice that still clung to her. “I thought I’d lost you. I thought we were too late.”

Ruling the Winter Court had come easily; she could be just, fair, to her fey. But having power over Keenan – that was a dangerous thing. She wanted him to sway to her wishes as she’d done so long to his. She licked her lips and was rewarded by a flash of darkness in those summer eyes.
He moved closer, hesitantly, but the look in his eyes was hopeful. “Why are you here?”
“For you.”

4

I still love this series with every fibre of my heart and I’ll continue to love it until I die. It was the first faerie series I ever read and therefore will always hold a special place in my heart. Yes, the first book is slow-paced but it’s still great and I’ll never get tired of recommending this series. <333

I can’t wait to read “Ink Exchange” and to be reunited with Irial, Niall and Leslie! XD

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: War Storm (Victoria Aveyard)

40165899. sy475

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Maven, Maven, Maven
more Maven that’s all I need!!!

I don’t care
about Mare.

Don’t give a damn
about Cal
that caveman!

I couldn’t care less
about Kilorn
that little a…

Maven, Maven, Maven
more Maven
that’s all I’m living for!!!

Maven, my precious Maven,
I hope you liked my lore!

*bows*
And I’m out! <333

___________________________________

”Love can be exploited, I guess, used to manipulate. It’s leverage. But I would never call loving someone else a weakness. I think living without love at all, any kind of love, is weakness. And the worst kind of darkness.”

And boy was this book dark because all the main characters tried to ignore their feelings and actually hoped they could live without the love of their life. *lol* This book was so heavy in so many different ways (yes even in the sense of actual weight ;-P) that it took me about 2 ½ months to read it and if I’m entirely honest I still don’t know how I feel about it. I mean I finished „War Storm“ about two weeks ago, but did I love it? Did I hate it? ARGH! I just don’t know! >_<

It was realistic. I mean, for a fantasy and YA book this series was damn realistic. Not when it came to the special abilities or the world they lived in, but when it came to human relationships, feelings, the dark abyss of people’s minds, driven characters and the things that move and motivate humankind. Well, if you take that into consideration then this book was brilliant and the ending was more than just fitting. Still, as much as I admired Victoria’s decision to give us a realistic ending, I still can’t bring myself to like it. *lol* Is that weird? XD I guess it is, because for once I actually didn’t want realistic. Haha! I wanted it all to work out nicely, but Victoria didn’t grant me that wish so yeah…

I hurt and I probably will do so until I get over that ending, which in all honesty might never happen. Guess I’ll have to learn to live with the ache and the countless “what ifs”.
Damn this book left me with so many questions, I can’t even! T_T

Anyway, let’s get back to the actual review! =)

1

”This world is a storm I helped create. We all did, in ways big and small. With steps we could not fathom, paths we never thought to walk.”

2

Welcome to my spoiler section! 😉 If you don’t want to be spoiled I suggest you skip the rest of my review and don’t even bother to take a peek! You most certainly will regret it if you still want to read the book! I’m a relentless “Spoiler Queen” and this section is going to be full of them! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! XD

Mare – The Lightning Girl:

”Break his crown, break his throne, rip his monarchy apart.” I stare up at her with as much strength as I can muster. The lightning in my blood responds with fervor, begging to crack loose. “But Tiberias lives.”

I really liked Mare’s character development and I think she eventually managed to come to terms with herself. In this book she knew exactly what she wanted, what she aimed to achieve and how far she would go to reach her goals. She didn’t make any compromises, it was all or nothing and I loved her for it!!! Finally!!! I’ve waited for her to be strong for so long, to cut her own path and to do what she needed to do! Yes, she was still broken by what Maven did to her, but she refused to give into it, to give him power over her! She fought back and stood her ground and I think this was one of the best things about this book! Mare you’ve come a long way and I’m proud of you! =))

”Even after Maven, my long months of imprisonment, all the death and destruction I’ve seen or caused. My broken heart, still bleeding inside me. The unending fear for the people I love, and the people I want to save. It all remains, a constant weight. But I won’t let it drown me.
I can still hope too.”

”Lightning has no mercy. Neither do I.”

Cal – Tiberias Calore:

”Tiberias still wears no crown, but I see it on him just the same. In his shoulders, in his eyes, in his slow, firm manner. He is a king as much as anyone can be. To the blood. To the bone.”

Haha! I was right! Cal didn’t change in this book! He was still not ready to give up his crown, he still wanted to be the king of Norta and he was clinging to his crown so stubbornly it was horrible to watch! URGH! What’s even worse is that he could have changed everything but just flat out refused to do so. I mean alone his situation with Evangeline! Why marry a woman that wants nothing more than to kill me in my sleep? A woman that loves someone else and doesn’t want me? For an empty throne? For a destroyed kingdom? I swear if I would have gotten a Euro for every time I wanted to yell “CAL YOU NUMPTY WAKE UP!” I’d be more than rich by now. *lol* So sorry, but I still don’t like him and I don’t get how anyone could love that egoistic and narrow-minded princeling. *grrr* #SorryNotSorry

”But every passing second makes my decision more difficult as I’m reminded of what I’m going to lose when the time comes. What I lost for so many weeks. Not just her love, but her voice. Her sharpness. The push and pull of a person who has no regard for my blood or my crown. Someone who sees me, and no one else in my place.”

Maven:

”He lays the flower on the railing, petals up, and fusses with his fingernails. They’re short, worn by teeth and anxiety. I would expect a king to keep his nails finely manicured, suited to the arms of a throne. Or maybe roughed by Training or combat, as I’m sure his brother’s are. Not ruined by nervous habits better suited to a child.”

Oh Maven… *shakes head sadly* I’m sorry to say it but I have to agree with all the people who told me that Victoria ruined his character. Yes, she did. Gosh, he had so much potential, but it was all wasted when he died. T_T I loved the Maven POVs but I really wished there would have been more to them. Don’t get me wrong, we actually got a good glimpse at his mind but it definitely lacked the cunning and cruel side of him. All I saw was a broken and tortured soul but I’d have loved to see more. I can’t describe it but Maven was always such a complex character and even though he was the villain he wasn’t entirely bad. There was a part of him that was still good and Victoria destroyed it. I mean I get that Maven eventually had to die. I actually expected it, but the way it happened? No, I didn’t like it. *sighs* He was nothing but a typical villain in the end and all the fine nuances I loved about him were suddenly gone. I don’t know what I expected but he should have gotten at least a small chance to redeem himself. Like for instance what if he would have hesitated to kill Mare, if he would have realized what he’s doing and Mare would have seized the chance and would have killed him? For me this would have been a better ending. But there was no hesitation, no remorse and that felt so… dissonant with his character. Urgh! I dunno! *cries a river for Maven’s tortured soul* T_T

”Mother’s voice has grown fainter as time passes, but she never truly recedes. Sometimes I wonder if she planted a seed in me, leaving it to bloom only after her death. I don’t know if whispers can even do that. But it’s an easy explanation for the murmurs and the mutters that rattle around in my skull.”

”At least her voice is gentle today. When I falter, when I slow down, it turns sharp, a fraying, splintering shriek, steel on steel. Glass popping in the heat of flame. Sometimes it’s so awful I check to make sure my eyes and ears aren’t bleeding. They never do. Her words never exist beyond the cage of my head.”

”The electric energy is a tease at best. Beyond my reach, beyond the sphere of Silent Stone. I ache for my ability the way I ache for Mare, for Thomas, for who I was supposed to be.”

Iris :

”Maven, his kingdom, they’re a shield, but a sword too. We have to use him, even though he’s a danger to us all.”

I know some people will say “WHAT?!” now, but I really started to like that manipulative and cunning sea lake witch. *lol* Iris and Maven certainly were equal when it came to their machinations and intrigues and their conversations always dripped with venom. I kind of liked that they were at each other’s throat and haha by betraying dear Maven to the enemy Iris definitely showed some serious backbone! *lol* I didn’t think she had it in her but to manipulate the “King of manipulation” definitely is an achievement! 😉 Still, I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen to the Lakelands now. The ending of the book left me with a lot of questions and I’m afraid I’ll never get any answers to them. =S

”In spite of my better instincts, I feel the smallest pang of pity for Maven Calore. He is not of his own making. Not entirely. Someone else perfectly cut him apart and poorly put him back together.”

Evangeline:

”In a flash, I envision the life he wants for us all. The life he would subject all of us to. The crown on my head, his heart in her hand. My children threatened every second by any child she might have. My days spent bending to his will, no matter how gentle it might be. No matter how many days he might let me spend with my Elane, as long as he can spend his with Mare.”

I don’t even dare to say it but I think I love her?! *lol* I mean I always kind of liked her even though she was so bitchy and mean to Mare but during the last three books she really started to grow on me. XD Her character development was awesome and even though some part of her still thinks that Silvers are superior to the Reds she started to learn that not everything is black and white and that change is possible. I guess a lot of her dislike for Reds was due to her upbringing and I’m sure given half a chance she’ll question everything she believed for so long. Well, in fact she already started to question everything in this book and boy was I proud of her when she decided for love in the end!!! She did something Cal never managed to do and I adore her for it!!! <333

”I think the war has done something to me. Put a fear in me I never had before. Not for myself, but for Ptolemus and Elane. The ones I love most, and would kill to protect. Sacrifice everything to keep safe and close. I’ve tasted a crown now, and I know it doesn’t compare.”

”I try to read her thoughts on her face, her carefully worn expression of thoughtfulness. Is she remembering our lives a year ago? When we thought we would be happy beneath the Nortan throne together, living in a future built on our secrets? As if we were ever truly a secret to anyone with eyes.”

3

Mare & Cal:

”I love you is a promise we both made, and we both broke. It should mean I choose you above all else. I want you more. I need you always. I cannot live without you. I will do anything to keep our lives from parting.
But he wouldn’t. And I won’t.
I am less than his crown, and he is less than my cause.”

Mare and Cal! ARGH! I swear no couple ever made me feel so frustrated! Their constant back and forth was horrible and if you ask me Cal is still a coward!! And a numpty!!! I mean let’s face it, they both made their POV very clear, they drew the lines in the sand and both of them didn’t want to budge. They were determined to do what they thought they had to do and not even their love for each other was strong enough to change that. And then Cal finally loses his kingdom and everything he fought for and chooses Mare?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! Was it even a choice if he had nothing to lose anymore?!! It was like: Oh, worst case scenario happened and I lost everything, but wait now I can be with Mare! YOU NUMPTY COULD HAVE HAD HER ALL ALONG!!! Seriously, this was sooo stupid and what is Mare doing? She ACTUALLY TAKES HIM BACK!!! ARGH!!! After everything that happened, after everything Cal did!! SHE. TAKES. HIM. BACK!!! I can’t even… no I just can’t!!! They’ll never be my OTP!!! Sorry! But no way! All Cal would have gotten from me would be a certain finger right into his face! Guess it’s good Mare is more forgiving than I. *lol*

”Try as I might, I can’t stamp out the hope still burning in my heart. I still want him to choose me. And I would still forgive him if he admitted his mistake. That hope refuses to die, stupid as it might be.”

”But I also can’t –“
Stay away. Keep doing this. Denying ourselves in the face of always-looming death.
Tiberias hisses out a breath. “Neither can I.”

”I’m done with crowns,” he murmurs to the top of my head.
“Finally,” I whisper.

Mare & Maven:

The full force of his gaze almost knocks me out of my seat. “And I want to die the way my mother did,” he says plainly, as if asking for an extra blanket. Again I feel too stunned to think. All I can do is keep my jaw locked in place so my mouth won’t gape open in shock.
“Ripped apart by your fury,” he pushes on, his eyes horrible, unforgettable, searing into me. The brand on my collarbone seems to burn. “And your hatred.”

Their relationship was always cruel, dangerous and crazy but I still loved their dynamic. XD Those two never gave each other an inch as well and even though Maven was the villain I still think that he loved Mare even more than Cal. I mean for Cal his kingdom always came first, for Mare the Red Guard always came first and for Maven? He had the throne, he lost the throne but he always wanted Mare. She was his main motivation and even though his love for her was twisted, obsessive and wrong, it was still love. His mother made him into the person he became and changed him so much that he lost himself in the process. It was not voluntarily, she just did it without his permission. I’m with Farley on that one, he might have been a decent human being if not for his mother’s poison. I really wish it wouldn’t have ended that way and I can only hope that Maven met Thomas again. After all he was the first domino that fell and Maven’s love for him was genuine. *sighs deeply*

He smiles. “That’s enough for me. A better good-by than I deserve.”
“And what do I deserve, Maven?”
“Better than we ever gave you.”

”We’re alike in some ways, too many ways. I’ve tasted darkness, and he lives in it. He represents what I could become, without my family, without an anchor, if I’m pushed into the abyss.”

Maven & Cal:

”The impossible. Part of me still refuses to believe that. My brother is not a lost cause. He can’t be. I won’t allow it.”

Well, and that’s about the only thing I liked about Cal! *lol* His love for his brother! His hope that Maven might still be saved! Cal knew what Maven’s mother did to him and he always tried to find a solution that would not end with Maven being killed. Unfortunately there was no way to undo what Elara had already done and we all know how it ended. T_T Still, I have to give Cal kudos for never giving up on his brother. Even when the end was near, he still hoped that he would change and that they’d find a cure. He loved him until the bitter end and I couldn’t help but love him for it. Even though I actually don’t like him. *lol* Talk about confusing feelings. XD

”We grew up knowing I would be king and he would stand at my side. My strongest ally, my most fervent supporter. My best adviser, a shield and a crutch. A second opinion. A sanctuary. Not once did I question the arrangement, and I never thought he did either. How wrong I was.”

”Maven,” I sigh, shaking my head at his blindness. “The last person who loves you isn’t standing in this room. He’s out there. And you burned that bridge to ashes.”

4

Despite being able to clobber someone with this huge book I still liked it and enjoyed to read the many different POVs. Sometimes it felt like there were just too many political discussions going on and like the plot didn’t move an inch and then something unexpected would happen and everything would go way too fast again. I have very mixed feelings about this book because I think a few pages less and a little more characterization would have been desirable, it’s just my personal opinion though. All in all it was a good ending to a great series and even though I might feel conflicted about some of the characters choices and their development it ultimately was Victoria’s decision to make.
So all told this leaves me with 3,5 paws rounded up to 4. 😉

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

ARC Review: When You Get the Chance (Tom Ryan)

49202877. sy475

Rating: 4 Pfoten

*A huge thank you to NetGalley and “Perseus Books, Running Press” for providing a free ARC*

This book has been on my radar for quite a while and the moment I saw the cover I really wanted to read this. I just love how queer this is and the skyline of Toronto in the background as well as the blurb only added to my already high expectations. If you ask me the world needs more covers like that and I’d be happy to buy them all. This said, the most important question is: Did “When You Get the Chance” live up to my expectations or not?

Truth be told, this isn’t as easy to answer as some might think. The beginning of this book was pretty slow and about half of the book deals with their stay at the family cottage. It’s only about the 50% mark that things actually start to get interesting when they finally hit the road. From there on out I really enjoyed their journey though and I think Tom Ryan did a great job at capturing the spirit of Pride. The feeling of being a part of all those people, of the respect, acceptance, support and safety they offer. It felt like I was there along with them and made new friends while we walked the streets of Toronto.

Another thing I truly appreciated was the diversity we got to see in this book. Mark is gay, Talia is a lesbian or pan (she’s questioning her sexual orientation because she dated Erin who is non-binary) and of course there are a lot of other queer characters as well. 😉 Speaking of the characters themselves I can’t say that I connected with any of them. Well, none except of Paige! Mark’s ten years old little sister is such a ray of sunshine and I swear she was the best character in the entire book! I loved how she saw the world and tried to understand it and I absolutely adored her stance on being queer. For her it was so normal to have a brother who’s gay and gosh how I want more people like that in the world. Ten year old Paige gave me hope in humanity and I can’t thank Tom Ryan enough for that!! For me she represented a generation that grew up with LGBTQ+ rights and accepts everyone who’s under the rainbow and I really hope that one day we’ll actually get there. =) Still, there was a moment when one of the MCs got outed by Paige and I was very glad this issue was broached and challenged. No one should out you except of yourself!

As for Mark and Talia?! Mark might have been outgoing but he was also self-centred and more than just a little egoistic! I couldn’t with him and even though some of his actions later on in the book obviously tried to redeem him, I really can’t say that I liked his embodiment of the entitled white male. Then again I’ve to admit that it was good to have a character like Mark in this book, because quite honestly not everyone can be a sweet fluffy cinnamon roll and the world is made of more complex characters than that. 😉 Talia on the other hand, was the complete opposite of Mark and more on the calm and distant side of things. Whilst Mark didn’t seem to care about deep feelings and only wanted fun, Talia was a very deep and emotional character who had difficulties to accept that her partner had changed without her at their side.

I could probably go on and on about this book but I think I’ll leave it at that. The only thing that truly bothered me was that the characters apparently had no decency regarding their situation. I mean their grandfather just died and their grandma ended up in hospital; you’d think they would have thought about other things than the fastest way to pride. I suppose some of their behaviour could be explained by them being teens and having no tangible idea of the concept of mortality, but even then I would have felt bad for my actions if I’d have been in their shoes. (I felt really sorry for Talia’s dad and Mark’s mom.)

4

Regardless of everything I just mentioned this was still a fast and enjoyable read. Sure, there were some important topics that were only brought up but never truly addressed, since this book had only 272 pages I had no problem to overlook those little weaknesses though. There’s only so much you can put into a 250+ pages book and considering this Tom Ryan actually did a good job! All told this leaves me with 3,5 paws rounded up to 4 and the hope that my next Tom Ryan book will be another pleasant read.

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)

28243032

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”I wonder if there’s a secret current that connects people who have lost something. Not in the way that everyone loses something, but in the way that undoes your life, undoes your self, so that when you look at your face it isn’t yours anymore.”

This book was one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Not only because the writing style is amazing but also because there is so much truth in it. The truth can be beautiful, it can be bittersweet, it can be painful and excruciating, it can hurt you but it can also give you hope. The truth of “We Are Okay”? It does all those things and even more.

”No one will know if you stay in bed all day. No one will know if you wear the same sweatpants for the entire month, if you eat every meal in front of television shows and use T-shirts as napkins. Go ahead and listen to that same song on repeat until its sound turns to nothing and you sleep the winter away.”

There’s a sadness in this book, on every page, in every single line. It seeps from the pages, it’s a tangible and breathing thing. It makes it hard to pick up the book and it stays throughout the entire story. A silent and looming companion, something to be afraid of but also something that keeps you going, something that accompanies you, for better or for worse. There were so many things I could relate to and I think my personal experiences made up a big part of the story’s appeal.

”I’m just afraid that one day something’s going to catch me by surprise. Stale coffee. Squares of American cheese. Hard tomatoes, so unripe they’re white in the center. The most innocent things can call back the most terrible.”

How can anyone who hasn’t gone through loss even comprehend how hard it is to remain a living, functioning and acting part of this world? The answer is simple: They can’t. Grief is something that changes you, it turns and twists you, you might look the same on the outside but on the inside you’re shaken to your core. Once grief found you, it leaves its mark and it’s something you carry with you for the rest of your life. You can’t get rid of it and you recognize it in people that made the same experiences.

”But I know that there’s a difference between how I used to understand things and how I do now. I used to cry over a story and then close the book, and it all would be over. Now everything resonates, sticks like a splinter, festers.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m always glad for the people who never experienced such a profound loss. They still have some sort of innocence to them; they’ve never been shattered like that and don’t have to try to fit together the pieces of a puzzle they didn’t even know existed. It’s not easy to come back from this kind of grief and it doesn’t only take away your innocence, it also steals your youth.

”In the kitchen, I put a pot of water on the stove. Before the water reaches a boil, he will be here. I dropped pasta in and set the timer. Before the then minutes are up. I melted some butter. I wasn’t hungry, but I would eat it anyway, and by the time I was done, he would walk through the door and call out my name.”

*sighs* How I could relate to this part of the book. The waiting, the hoping that her grandfather would turn up. The ingrained KNOWING that he wouldn’t. That utter and deafening sense that something is wrong but you can’t do anything to make it right. You’re helpless, desperate and frantic and you just don’t know what to do. Until, well, until someone eventually confirms your biggest fears. Until someone shatters your world forever.

”And Hannah kept saving me. She saved me with never asking questions, with instead reading to me about bees and botany and evolution. She saved me with clothes she loaned me and never took back. She saved me with seats next to her in the dining hall, with quick evasions when people asked me questions I couldn’t answer, with chapters read aloud and forced trips off campus and rides to the grocery store and a pair of winter boots.”

But thankfully there are people like Hannah out there. People that watch out for you, that don’t turn away from you but embrace you with all your shattered parts. I’m pretty sure Hannah might have experienced loss too because she stuck with Marin and in my experience only people that went through it will react like that. The others? Well, those who are fortunate will have never experienced anything like it, so they’ll say how sorry they are, they’ll try to cheer you up, but when you fall into that black and endless rabbit hole of grief. Well, they’ll eventually lose interest after a few days or weeks (if you’re lucky) and then move on. Without you…

It took Marin months to speak about her loss; it took me an entire year to open up and to speak about mine. A year that changed me forever, a year I’ll never get back. I really wish I would have had this book when I was seventeen and I hope and pray that everyone who experiences the very same thing will stumble upon it. That they’ll find solace and hope in Nina LaCour’s words and that they’ll eventually find the strength to move on. Because the truth is: Life is merciless and it doesn’t pause for the living.

If I learned anything then it’s this and that you’ve to live your life like there will be no tomorrow.

Make your experiences, don’t regret anything, recognize your loss, stay true to yourself, keep on fighting, keep living, because it’s worth it. Life is so worth it and you only have one chance! Make it count! 😉

This said, I love this book with all my heart and I’ll recommend it to everyone who ever experienced loss! This, this is your book! Your voice! Your thoughts on paper! Read it and heal! ❤

„Say yes.“

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)

39704614__SY475_

Rating: 4 Pfoten

This apartment isn’t home for either of us, but we’re home to each other, and that’s what makes every wall fall away so I only focus on him.”

When I heard that Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera were writing a love child book together I instantly knew that I needed this in my life. XD Okay, it might have taken me a little while to get to it and I guess I kinda missed the hype train, but maybe this was good because I could focus on my own opinion instead of reading the opinion of others on my feed. 😉

And after finishing the final page let me tell you this: My opinion about this book is quite a strong one! *lol* I know there are a lot of people out there that ended up not liking “What If It’s Us” and I’m the first one to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. If you’re looking for a fluffy and cute contemporary book you might be disappointed. Because yes, there is some fluff and cuteness going on but in this one it’s actually taking a backseat. At least it felt like that for me.

”But there were only so many hits to the heart I could take before I needed to step away. I gave him a lot of chances – I gave us a lot of chances. I just wasn’t good enough to remind him love could be a good thing.”

So what did Albertalli and Silvera try to achieve with this? If you ask me I think they wanted to write something realistic! And if they tried to do this, well, then they certainly nailed it! I mean at first I was a little bit disappointed about where this was heading too. I was hoping for a sweet romance and then I got Arthur and Ben! *lol* One of them some sort of innocent and naïve country bumpkin that only lives in the big city for the summer and the other a pretty disenchanted guy that is grumpy because his first love didn’t work out the way he hoped it would.

I swear, I never read about a couple that would have been worse for each other than those two! *lol* And I’m meaning this in the best way possible. At first glance they have nothing in common and just don’t fit together, but as the story continued to unfold I realized that this was okay. They are two different people that don’t have a lot in common but despite their obstacles, their misunderstandings, their troubles and personal sensitivities they still work somehow.

”…, and our voices don’t ever really become one, but I like how we sound together.
Like two people trying to make it work.”

I loved this quote because it’s so true! If you’re in a real relationship nothing is perfect. It’s easy to be in a relationship when you both still see things through rose-coloured glasses, but once this first stage of infatuation wears off a relationship is a lot of work. In Ben and Arthur’s case they just had to face those problems way earlier than others, they both tried to understand each other though and if you ask me I think this was a very mature approach. Speaking of which, another thing I really liked was the fact that both of them were already out of the closet. Ben’s entire family knew and Arthur told his people before he moved to New York.

”Yeah. I put up an Instagram post on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Said that I was thankful for all the people in my life who are cool enough to love me as I am. And everyone else could unfriend me online and in real life. I had even checked my follower count before posting.”

Gosh, how I wish everyone could be as brave as Ben! But then again, not everyone has a family and friends like him. Not all of us are fortunate enough not to be unfriended after a statement like that. No matter if it might be on Instagram or in real life. >_< Still, I liked that they were both comfortable with being who they truly are and it’s really rare to read an LGBTQ+ story in which the characters are already out. So kudos for that! Well, for that and for the amazing portrayal of realistic friendships! XD

Dylan claps. “Okay. I’m sold. I am shipping you with the boy you met when you were supposed to be shipping relationship relics to your last boy.”

I loved Ben’s and Dylan’s friendship so much! They were amazing and their innuendos and jokes kinda reminded me of my bestie and me. *lol* I swear, when it comes to that we’re exactly like those two and it was so refreshing to see a friendship like ours represented on the pages of a book. Alone for that I couldn’t help but adore this story! I would never ever say anything like Ben to my bestie though. Phew! That was a really hurtful comment and I swear if my bestie would have said something like that to me I wouldn’t have talked to her either! I’m just glad Ben got his act together and apologized to Dylan in the end. XD

Samantha takes a step away from him. “A lightning bolt is going to burst in here any second now and shut you up.”
“I eat lightning for breakfast.”

Samantha and Dylan were amazing too! ❤ They weren’t only made for each other and a truly perfect match, but also so damn funny that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. 😉 Some people might say that Dylan was a little bit over the top, but let me tell you this: there are actually real Dylan’s out there in this world and if you’re very lucky one of them is a part of your life! XD

4

At first I was a little bit disappointed because this went in an entirely different direction than I expected. The longer I read the more I got captivated by the story though. I began to appreciate it for its realistic and honest approach and with time all the characters and their individual flaws started to grow on me. If there is one thing I have to criticize then it’s THE ENDING!!!! I mean OMG!!! To quote the Duke from Moulin Rouge: “I don’t like this ending!”
WHY, Becky and Adam?!! WHY??!!! I think I’ll never get over this ending and like so many others before me I demand a “do-over”! (See what I did there? *lol*) I’ll miss my two disaster gays so much and I’ll always want a sequel. #SorryNotSorry ;-P
This said: Happy Reading!

Arthur is tearing up. “Thanks for this. For everything. This morning. This summer. I know I’m a lot, and you’ve been so cool about it.”
I laugh a little. “We’re the worst. I mean, we’re the best. But we’re the worst. You always think you’re too much, and I feel like I’m not enough.”

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (Leigh Bardugo)

34443972__SY475_

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.”

The more I thought about this book, the more I realized that “Wonder Woman” is one of those books you could easily transform into a movie. There were just so many scenes I could picture in a movie and even though this made my entire reading experience very vivid and highly entertaining, it unfortunately also meant that a little bit of my enjoyment went missing.

“Why is that?” you might ask and I’ll try to give you a proper answer. When I read a book I want my own fantasy to kick in and I don’t only want to imagine those moments but I also want to be surprised. So if I can picture them so easily this ultimately means that I already have a similar scene in my mind and this is never good. *lol*

Don’t get me wrong! I really loved this and it was a lot of fun, the “movie factor” was just too strong for my taste though. XD Especially because I recently saw the movie with Gal Gadot and always thought, I really would have loved to see this book as the movie instead of the actual movie. *lol* Because let’s face it: Leigh’s script was way better than the run of the mill Hollywood screenplay.
Yes, you read right and I stand by it. ;-P Leigh Bardugo is queen and even one of my four star reviews won’t change that. *lol*

On a more personal note: I started this book as a buddy read with my online bestie but about 10% into the book he dropped out of our BR and I had to finish it on my own. It’s sad we couldn’t read the book together but I understand his reasons so yeah, there’s that. >_<

And now onwards to one of my more lengthy reviews. 😉

2

Here’s your turning point! Either you move on and leave the safety of Themyscira (what a difficult word!!) or you decide to stay on the island and miss the opportunity to be spoiled! It’s up to you, choose wisely my young warrior! ;-P

Alia:

”Warbringer. Procatalysia. Haptandra. They could call it whatever they wanted. It sounded a lot like monster.”

Alia… Mhmm what to say about her? I think in this story she kind of represented the typical heroine. I mean she didn’t want to be a Warbringer and she would have rather preferred to die than to be the reason for the 3rd world war. So her character definitely went along with the characteristical attributes of a martyr and she had that sacrificial victim vibe down to a T. *lol* Unfortunately this also meant that we barely got to know her as a person. I mean yes, we get that she was a brainiac and a shy outsider but that’s about it. Which is very sad, because I really would have liked to see all of her different facets and for an MC this just wasn’t enough for me. >_<

Diana:

”We cannot spend our lives in hiding, wondering what we might accomplish if given the chance. We have to take that chance ourselves.”

Come to think of it the same could be said for Diana. She’s one of those super strong and righteous characters that throw around life lessons and quotes like nobody’s business! Haha! I’m not gonna lie, I kinda liked that about her, but it also made her a pretty innocent and bland character to read about. There were no rough edges and I was somehow reminded of Alina in “Shadow and Bone”. I can’t shake the feeling that Diana would have turned out to be a really great character if she would have been given a chance to thrive in a sequel. *lol* As far as I know there doesn’t exist a second book though, so I suppose I’ll just have to accept the fact that her character won’t be fleshed out and that this is everything we’ll ever get. XD *sniff* There would have been so much potential…

”We can’t help the way we’re born. We can’t help what we are, only what life we choose to make for ourselves.”

Nim:

”For all my big talk, I’ve never brought a girl home. I’ve never even hinted at that stuff to my parents. I’m afraid if I do, it will all fall apart.”

Boy, could I relate to Nim!!! I loved this girl so much and considering that she was just a side character, she and Theo actually saved the book for me. It’s kind of interesting how the side characters got a chance to shine in “Wonder Woman” and how I ended up thinking that the MCs were nothing special. *lol* But here it is and I accept it. XD Whilst I missed the depth in Diana’s and Alia’s character I got plenty of that with Nim. 😉 She was an amazing sidekick and her comments were priceless! XD You might call it the “Nikolai Lantsov” effect and Nim as well as Theo had plenty of it. *lol*I loved how fierce and independent Nim was and even though she stood on her own feet and was able to defend herself she still had a vulnerable and insecure side that was revealed throughout the course of the book. I really would have loved to read even more about her but unfortunately my wish wasn’t granted, which made me very sad because the world needs more Nim’s for sure! T_T

”What’s a supermodel?” Diana asked.
Nim stared at her.
“Uh, Diana’s homeschooled,” said Alia.
“Under a rock?” asked Nim.

”Because the whole world loves to tell us what we can’t do, that we aren’t good enough. The people in your own house should be on your side. It’s the people who never learn the word impossible who make history, because they’re the ones who keep trying.”

”Maybe it feels easier that way, just being invisible instead of always worrying what people think of you.”
Nim’s voice was surprisingly emphatic. “But that’s a choice, too, right? Because people are always going to look. They’re always going to judge, so you can say nothing or you can at least answer back.”

Jason:

”Is that stupid?” he asked. It was the first time she’d seen him look anything less than sure of himself. “To want a chance at greatness?”

Urgh! Jason! You can bet your lovely behind on the fact that I knew he was one of the bad guys the very moment he opened his mouth for the first time. *lol* I wasn’t fooled by him… not even for a second. XD He made a very bad villain though because his motives were really stupid. I mean yes, he wanted to get a chance to shine. So what? You’re going to risk your life in a war that will drag the entire world into mayhem just to get a shot at greatness? Who’s going to remember you when the entire world is descending into chaos? I think there are enough wars already and humanity is doing a great job at killing itself without the additional help of a Warbringer. At some point of the book Alia and Diana tried to tell him too, but of course he didn’t listen. XD Well, in the end he got what he deserved and even though the way it was executed made my eyes roll and sort of reminded me of the ending of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (except of the getting old and crumbling to dust part) it was still kind of fitting for him. *lol*

”Humans can’t hold to peace, Diana,” Jason said. His gaze was steady, certain, and in his words she heard the echo of her mother’s voice. “We’re brutes and have been since our beginning. If we can’t have peace, then at least give us a chance at a beautiful death.”

Theo:

”You mean we’re all going to join hands and sing folk songs?”
“That sounds unpleasant,” said Diana.
“Come on!” said Theo. “Peace, love, the Age of Asparagus.”
“Aquarius,” corrected Nim.

*LOL* Theo, this brilliant little piece of sh**! Haha! I can’t say how much I adored him. Yes, he was a nerd but he was a sexy nerd and I could totally understand that Alia had the hots for him. XD I completely fell in love with him and his pointy shoes as well. *lol* ;-P He provided the easy banter and the funny moments of this story and I can’t understand why Jason wanted to kill him! I mean he was his best friend, he stood by him and even though everyone suspected him of being the villain he took it in stride and proved them wrong! He could have been offended by them suspecting him but instead he tried to understand them and overcame his hurt. =) Plus even though he might have been a skinny son of a gun he had his heart at the right place and managed to be cool when you least expected it. 😉 So yes, I’m a Theo fan now! XD

”Diana,” said Nim. “Kick Jason’s ass.”
She frowned, confused. “Specifically his ass?”
“Yeah.”
“Why?”
Without looking up from the keys, Theo said, “New York tradition.”

3

Alia & Diana:

”You are being hunted.”
“Hunted,” Alia said flatly. “For my silky pelt?”
“Because you are haptandra.”
“Say again?”
“A Warbringer.”
“I’m not into gaming.”

Haha! The dialogues between those two! ❤ They sure as hell made an interesting team, yet they still worked out somehow. *lol* I really liked their strong bond and friendship and I wish they would have gotten a chance to spend more time with each other. After everything that happened the ending felt rather rushed and when I closed the final page of the book I couldn’t help but wish for a little bit more time with those two. I didn’t like that Diana had to go back to her island immediately and to me it felt like they didn’t get a decent chance at closure. I mean Diana would have deserved to be with them, even if it would have been for just a little while. >_<

Alia & Theo:

”I drove,” said Theo. “Once.”
“That was a golf cart,” said Alia.
“So? It had four wheels and went vroom.”
“You crashed it into a tree.”
“I’ll have you know that tree had been drinking.”

Ahhh I loved how well they knew each other and yet they still never went for a romance. *lol* I guess they both might have waited for the right time and as it seems it finally arrived. Thank the gods! Because those two fit together perfectly! XD I knew they’d be awesome the moment Theo was introduced and I longed to read about their first kiss! Which didn’t happen!!! Like OMG!!! WHY LEIGH??!!!! A little kiss never hurt nobody! >_< Guess I’ll just have to picture their happily ever after in my mind. *sighs*

”The night of the party at the Met, how come you complimented everyone but me?”
He grinned. “Because you in that gold dress turned my brain to mush.”
She rolled her eyes. “Right.”
He took a couple of steps, then paused. “Alia?” he called back.
“What, Theo?”
“That night, at the party? You looked like buried treasure.”

Diana & Jason:

”You’re pretty enough, Jason Keralis. But hardly intimidating.”
His eyelids stuttered. “Pretty?”

Pff, I didn’t get to witness my Aleo ship but unfortunately I had to watch the shipwreck of Dison! *lol* This relationship was doomed right from the beginning because I didn’t feel any chemistry between those two! They danced, they laughed, hell, they even spent a night together yet they didn’t even evoke a shred of emotion in me. >_< I guess their impeccable behaviour made it kind of hard to enjoy their relationship. They were both too bland to make a decent couple and I could only roll my eyes whenever they were supposed to have a romantic moment. *sighs deeply* Nope, those two just didn’t work for me. #SorryNotSorry

”I think you’ve grown too used to people saying yes to you.”
“Have I?”
“But you have no idea how much I enjoy saying no.”

Nim & Theo:

”Nim, you look like a delicious confection, a walking, talking – probably poisonous – petit four.”
“In that case,” said Nim, “bite me.”

Now that’s what I call a perfect frenemy relationship. Haha! I wonder if it was just Alia’s Warbringer influence or if they kept up their banter after the happenings at the spring. *lol* I like to believe that they started to like each other and developed some sort of love-hate sibling friendship over the years. XD In the book they were like cat and mouse and their entertainment effect was very high. If it would have been up to me there would have been even more crazy conversations between them but I guess it was perfect the way Leigh decided to handle it. 😉

”We’re the villains! It’s always cooler to be the villain. You get to wear black and have a lair and brood. Besides, girls can’t resist a bad boy.”
“You are such an idiot,” said Nim.
He tapped his temple. “It’s not my fault you lack the vision.”

4

“Wonder Woman – Warbringer” was a highly entertaining book that reminded me a lot of all those modern blockbusters you can watch at the movies. There was plenty of easy banter and a great and diverse cast of MCs and side-characters alike. I loved that a lot of myths and legends weren’t only mentioned but also woven into the story and if there was one thing I didn’t like, then it was the fact that the MCs didn’t really convince me. In my opinion the side characters were more intriguing than the MCs and this in combination with the rather abrupt ending ultimately caused me to rate this book with only four paws. If you’re looking for an easy and funny read this definitely should be able to satisfy your hunger though. 😉

 

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: Wintersong (S. Jae-Jones)

24763621

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 12 on My Book List 2019

”The last night of the year,” Constanze said. “Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride.”

I don’t know about you, but I was so intrigued by this sentence, that I had to continue to read the entire book and I’m very glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. “Wintersong” truly gave me everything I expected to read … and then some. XD It was obvious that Jae-Jones did her research and even though there were a few things that bugged me, she still did a great job at including the German myth of the “Erlkönig”.

As someone who grew up in Austria it was impossible to avoid Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s work, but since he’s one of my favourite poets “Der Erlkönig” always held a special place in my heart. I mean it’s a poem about a faerie king who tries to seduce a father’s son. And it’s a very haunting and suspenseful piece of work as well. ❤ So if you haven’t read it yet, I totally recommend you to read it before you start with this book. It will give you an idea about the Erlkönig’s true nature and I think Jae-Jones nailed this side of the faerie king more than just well. *lol*

Speaking of which, this book was so dark, twisted and artful I just couldn’t get enough of it. The Underground, the atmosphere, the goblins, the revels, the changelings, the myth of the Lorelei, just everything!!! It was such a pleasure to read this and the writing style was so beautiful that I could have cried. ❤ I loved that the author created such a unique world and that you couldn’t help but sympathize with Liesl and the Goblin King. They both had their roles to play and they did it as best as they could. XD

If there was anything I didn’t like then it were the German spelling mistakes or the frequent use of the phrase “the austere young man”. I know why Jae-Jones used this kind of wording to describe the human side of the Goblin King, but after reading it for the 100th time I got as tired of it as of Sarah J. Maas use of the word “mate” or the phrase “my inner goddess” in 50 Shades of Grey. *lol*
There are a lot of other words that could have been used instead of “austere” and giving it a little bit of thought I already come up with “grave, serious, demure, solemn, severe, stern” the list could probably go on and on… I really loved this book but the constant repetition of “austere” took away a little bit of my enjoyment.

Plus: Can we agree that it’s “Gugelhupf” and not “Gugelhopf”? *lol* I know I’m a bean counter now, but as a person that loves to eat “Gugelhupf” I really couldn’t read it spelled like that. XD Still, as far as I could find out Jae-Jones has no German background so she actually did a great job at including the language and its legends. XD

I’m really looking forward to read “Shadowsong” soon, because it just can’t end like this! There’s got to be a solution and I’m so ready to be swept away by it. *lol*

2

You are entering the realm of the Goblin King and if you don’t want to be spoiled you better leave his domain. 😉 The Underground is dangerous and our changelings love to confuse mortal estrays. Oh, and they bite. ;-P *lol*

Liesl aka Elisabeth:

“After all, I was not a child of beauty; I was a child of the queer, the strange, and the wild.“

Now Liesl was a character I could totally relate to. She loved music and composed her own pieces and she found a lot of enjoyment in listening to other people play. I’m pretty much the same, I love to write lyrics and to compose a melody to them, but I also appreciate it when I can close my eyes and someone else plays or sings for me. If they are really good I might even be moved to tears. (Yes, this actually happens!!) So imagine me starting to read this book and finding our MC Liesl! It was amazing! Not only because of the musical aspect but also because we both seemed to be pretty alike when it comes to being in the background. *lol* It’s not that Elisabeth was a shy or quiet character, quite the contrary, she’s outspoken, passionate, outgoing, headstrong, brave, pretty stubborn and compassionate but because of her family and the expectations they had she never even got a proper chance to fulfil her potential. In her father’s eyes Josef was the better musician and because of that he neglected Liesl. And in all honesty this was one of the main reasons my heart bled for her. T_T During her time in the Underground she eventually found her own voice though and even though it hurt to see her waste away, it was still good to know that she was finally doing something for herself! XD Her escape at the end didn’t come as a surprise but I really want to know what happened to the poor Goblin King!!! >_<

”I had watched him study me, and knew now how he had become the most sublime interpreter of my art. He was as familiar to me as the sound of my own voice.”

”I wanted to bend the entire world – both above and below – to what I needed. For once. Just once. Light my flame, mein Herr, I thought. Light my fire, and watch me burn.”

”I got up from the bed. With each step forward, the Goblin King retreated, but when I had his back pressed against the wall, he could run no farther from me. I placed my hands on his chest, a light touch, and rose up onto my toes to whisper in his ear.
“I came back,” I murmured. “Of my own free will.”

The Goblin King aka Der Erlkönig:

“You are clever. I do not offer this gift to you out of the goodness of my heart, but out of a selfish need to see what you might do with it.”

I absolutely loved and adored the Goblin King!!! Seriously, this character was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!! <333 Jae-Jones did such a great job at turning him into a complex and morally grey character and even though I didn’t agree with many of the things he did, I still couldn’t help but like him. I mean the Erlkönig is super manipulative, he does what needs to be done, he doesn’t even shy away from using Käthe as leverage to get what he wants, yet at the same time he feels conflicted about his actions. It was obvious that he loved Liesl and that he didn’t want to hurt her, but if he needed to do it in order to save his people he still went for it regardless of his own feelings for her. I mean woah!!! If that isn’t the embodiment of a tortured character then I really don’t know. *lol* The Goblin King just couldn’t change the way he was, because his humanity was at least as much a part of him as the role of being the Lord of the Underground. Both were facets of his character but ultimately his body and soul were bound to his duty as the Goblin King. Talk about feeling torn! >_< It made me sad that he was forced to let Liesl go, but I could understand why he did it. In the end his heart won and he could no longer bear to watch her die. =(( My poor Erlkönig is all alone now though. *sniff*

”There was a grace to every line of his body; elegance was not only in his air, but in the way he moved. Even when he was awkward. Even when he was unsure.”

”Coerced is such a strong word,” he said. “I like to think I am persuasive on my own merits.”
“She thinks you are a Hungarian count.”
He waved his hand. “We all have our flaws.”

”I would take my violin and play.” The words were spoken almost before his lips could catch up to what he was saying. “I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.”

”What will happen to you if I win?” I whispered.
A smile crossed his lips, but the corners were downturned, more sad than satisfied. “You know,” he said. “You’re the only one who’s ever asked.”

Käthe:

”Then it became clear just what Käthe’s greatest dream had been: to marry rich. Not for fancy gowns or expensive jewels, but to provide for her family.”

Mhmm Käthe. I liked her because she wasn’t the doll everyone expected her to be. There was a lot of depth to her character once you actually bothered to take a closer look. XD It was obvious that she loved Liesl and even though it took Liesl quite some time to realize this, she eventually did it in the end. I think in some way Käthe reminded me of my own sister, because she was also one of those girls (still is) that draws the stares of people. Just like Käthe my sister never seems to realise that people are looking her way and I could totally relate to Liesl in that regard. It’s not easy to be in the shadow of your sister and Elisabeth’s frustration was more than just palpable for me. Still, Liesl and I love our sisters dearly and we both would go to hell and back (or in this particular case rather the Underground) in order to save them from the Goblin King. *lol* 😉

“The fluttered and flirted outrageously, carefully oblivious to the stares she drew like moths to the flame. Both men and women traced the lines of her body, the curve of her cheek, the pout of her lip.”

”That one,” the merchant said, pointing to Käthe, whose head lolled against my shoulder, “burns like kindling. All flash, and no real heat. But you,” he said. “You smolder, mistress. There is a fire burning within you, but it is a slow burn. It shimmers with heat, waiting only for a breath to fan it to life.”

3

Liesl & The Goblin King:

”Oh, Elisabeth,” he said. “You foolish, foolish girl. How easily you give me your trust.”
“I play the hand I am dealt.”
“Yes, and by my rules.” The tips of his teeth glinted. “Beware, Elisabeth. You may prefer the pretty lie to the ugly truth.”

Now those two were a really intriguing couple! *lol* I loved their dynamic and it was refreshing to see that Elisabeth could unnerve the Goblin King at least as much as he was able to unnerve her. XD That scene when she surprised him in his bedchamber and teased him about their supposedly spent night?! XD Just awesome! It showed how human and shy the Erlkönig could be and since this was in stark contrast to his usual swagger I couldn’t help but grin while I read it. *lol* Still, what I probably loved the most about them was their profound recognition of each other’s soul. They knew exactly who the other was and yes, Liesl never got to know the Goblin King’s true name, but that didn’t stop her from seeing his true self. It was beautiful to watch them grow together, to see how their mutual love for music was able to connect them in ways that trumped every physical and carnal experience. They were so perfect for each other and yet they still couldn’t be. Because Liesl would have died a slow death if she would have stayed with the Erlkönig and because he loved her so much he couldn’t bear to watch it happen. Their love is truly tragic and the ending broke my heart. T_T I knew it was bound to end like that but it was still so sad! I really need to read “Shadowsong” asap, because those two deserve a HEA and I hope Jae-Jones will give it to them! (And me, of course!! *lol*)

”My soul thrilled with recognition at the sight of his face, but the reality of him frightened me. He was an old friend in myth and legend; he was a stranger in breath and body.”

”Why did you marry me, if not for this?”
This time it was the Goblin King who stumbled back, as though I had slapped him. “If you thought that I wanted –“

”You were angry when you wrote this, weren’t you? I can see the rage, the impotence, in your notes.” Then he looked up. “Oh, Elisabeth,” he breathed. “You wrote this on your – on our wedding night, didn’t you?”

”I am,” he whispers, “the monster I warned you against.”
“You are,” I say hoarsely, “the monster I claim.”

Liesl & Sepperl:

“Think you that our music comes from God? No, it comes from below. From him. The Ruler Underground.”

Sepperl was a really sweet boy and I wish I would have had a chance to get to know him better. Unfortunately he was only a short part of the book and most of the things we read about him were from Liesl’s memory or from the short glimpses we got to see while he was away from her. Still, I loved that he and Elisabeth had such a strong connection and I hope that we’ll get to see more of him in the second book. Since he’s one of the Goblin King’s Changelings, I’m pretty certain that he’ll have an important part in “Shadowsong” though. XD

”Your soul rests within you, Sepperl.” I lightly touched my hand to his breast. “Here. That’s where your music comes from. Not from the land. Not from the woods outside.”
“I don’t know.” Josef buried his face in his hands. “But I am afraid. I am afraid of the bargain I struck with the stranger in my dreams. But now you understand why I’m too terrified to leave.”


4

“Wintersong” was everything I wanted to read and even more! This book had the makings of a dark faerie tale and occasionally even managed to give me some serious “The Phantom of the Opera” vibes. If you like dark and mysterious books, if you’re a big fan of music and faeries and if you enjoy a lush and vivid writing style… Well, then “Wintersong” most certainly will be the right choice for you. 😉

Allgemein, U - Z, W

Review: We Were Liars (E. Lockhart)

20935171

Rating:4 Pfoten

”We were warm and shivering,
and young and ancient,
and alive.“

When I began to read this book I went in completely blind and had absolutely no clue what it was about. The blurb on the back didn’t tell me anything about the plot and everything I knew was that “We Were Liars” had apparently won the YA Goodreads Choice Award in 2014.
So yeah, I just decided to read it and hoped it would be good and looking at it in retrospective this actually was the best decision I could have made! ;-P

Because let’s face it, this book will mess with your head big time.
The Liars will make you wonder, they’ll make you question what happened in summer 15 and you’ll not only become curious but you’ll also feel a need to read on. XD

”Silence is a protective coating over pain.”

Of course there are plenty of hints, but will you be able to figure them out or will you be in the dark until the end?
I guess by now you already realised that this isn’t one of my typical reviews and yes, you’re right. I won’t write anything about the plot. Sorry?! No, I think I’m not. *lol*

”A brute beneath a pleasant surface, betraying his kindness in letting me come to his sheltered island every year – I’ve betrayed him by seducing his Catherine, his Cadence. And my penance is to become the monster he always saw in me.”

This is a book you’ll have to experience for yourself! And I want you all to scream: ”WHAT THE FREAKING HELL!!??” when you finally reach the ending. Haha!
And before you ask, yes I screamed it loud and clear!!! XD This story is a mindfuck and even my (usually very) observant mind wasn’t ready for the finale! ;-P

So all I’m going to do is to give you a little character description. The rest you’ll have to figure out on your own. XD

Meet the Liars:

Mirren:
”She is sugar. She is curiosity and rain.”
”Be a little kinder than you have to.”

Johnny:
”He is bounce. He is effort and snark.”
”Never eat anything bigger than your ass.”

Gat:
”Do not accept an evil you can change.”
”His nose was dramatic, his mouth sweet. Skin deep borwn, hair black and waving. Body wired with energy. Gat seemed spring-loaded. Like he was searching for something. He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.”

Cady:
”Always do what you are afraid to do,” I say.
”These days she is a gnarled crone, touching the raw flesh of my brain with her cruel fingernails. She pokes my exposed nerves, exploring whether she’ll take up residence in my skull. If she gets in, I’m confined to my bedroom for a day or maybe two.”

Are you curious and intrigued already?

If yes, I hope you’ll enjoy the book as much as I did. It was a really nice and fast read and it definitely exceeded my expectations.
No! Truth be told, it completely messed with my mind.
But we all love deliberate confusion, don’t we? ;-P

”I suffer migraines. I do not suffer fools.
I like a twist of meaning.”