Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

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

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.”