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Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

January Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

Dare I even say it?! Well, I guess I’ll just have to get it out: January was actually a pretty good reading month for me!  😀 I know, right?! OMG! Who would have thought I’d say that about the start of the new year?! I certainly wouldn’t. *lol* But it is the way it is and I read 5 books I enjoyed immensely. Okay, not all of them, but most of them! There was only one 3 paws read and that’s because I always read Becky Albertalli’s books even though they are kinda hit-and-miss for me. XD I never know how I’ll come out of it at the end.

As for the life stuff: 2023 already started pretty bad on the health front. I mean I was ill the entire Christmas holidays and went ill into 2023. After two weeks and when work started again we actually thought we’d be over it but then my hubby relapsed and was ill for another two weeks. Thankfully my kid and I were already immune against the virus because we had it too during the holidays. So there was that at least. Still, I had to keep things running while my hubby was out of commission so to speak and it wasn’t easy. *sighs*

Plus another one of my courses ended and I had to get the paper work done to apply for the next and last one while still studying for the current one. They give a maximum of 7 days to finish one course and to start with the next one and this time is always so stressful because you have to finish the former course while applying and getting everything on track for the next one. And if you want to do the exam you’re already in the next course but still need to finish the old one and for a time both overlap and it’s really all just one huge stressful mess. *lol* Kinda glad this was the last time I needed to apply for a new course but also sad that my educational sabbatical will be over in 5 months. =(

Anyway! Let’s talk about the nice things of life instead and focus on my reading statistics for January!

Books read: 5 (5 books & 0 webcomic, I did pretty well in January as it seems? Guess it helps to have a library deadline for books you absolutely want to read. *lol*)

Pages read: 1.909 (I’m pretty sure that’s a strong start into the new year. XD)

Average rating: 4,3 (I had two 5 paws reads and one 4,5 paws read so this month was pretty amazing! )

Books that were on my reading list: 3 (from 2020, 1 from 2021 and 1 from 2022. I’m amazed about the fact I actually read 3 books from my TBRs!)

January Reads:

       

   

The Silvered Serpents: 4 Pfoten,5

I knew this book was going to hurt and that’s why I procrastinated and never was in the right mood to pick it up. But at the end of the year I finally wanted to finish it because it had been on my „currently reading“ on Goodreads since March 2022 and I wanted a clean slate for 2023. So I didn’t quite manage to finish it in the old year but it was the first book I finished in 2023 and it was as painful as I thought it would be! Maybe even more so! T_T I swear every time I read a couple of chapters this book killed me. Laila and Severin were the death of me and Hypnos and Enrique weren’t any better. Like uff!! Add to that all the other things that happen and you’re on an emotional rollercoaster that hurts. Big time. Still, this was great and I loved every second of it. XD I can’t wait to read „The Bronzed Beasts“!

Kate in Waiting: 3 Pfoten

As I already said at the beginning of my Wrap-Up Becky Albertalli’s books are always a hit-and-miss for me. I never know if I’ll love them or if I’ll dislike them so I pick them up and hope for the best while I keep in mind that there is always the possibility that it won’t work for me. I guess in some ways „Kate in Waiting“ worked better for me than some of her other books, yet at the same time it wasn’t as amazing as „Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda“. Maybe it’s a case of „It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me.“ (Yes, shamelessly quoted Taylor Swift here!! *lol* ) I dunno! All I know is that I was through it very fast, that it was enjoyable to read but that it didn’t quite hit the mark for me. If you want to read my full review you just have to follow the link above. 😉

The Hidden Oracle: 5 Pfoten

I absolutely loved this book!!! ❤ And I adore Apollo as a narrator! He’s so funny but he’s also in so much pain and I loved to see that other side of him. I think he already changed a lot in the first book and I can’t wait how much more he’s going to change during the entire „The Trials of Apollo“ series! I loved how he cared about his children and knew them all by name and how he started to defy his father Zeus. Meg and him had a great friendship arc and I lived and breathed for his interactions with Percy. *lol* Plus we got to see a lot of Will and Nico in this one and I hope this trend will continue in the other books! I need my Solangelo!!! XD

This Savage Song: 5 Pfoten

„This Savage Song“ has been on my TBR for a very long time. I think I put it on my 2020 TBR list but never got around to reading it. I always borrowed it from my library and then was forced to give it back unread, so this time around I decided to read it even though I just had one week to do so. Well, turns out I didn’t even need 7 days. I was done after 5. *lol* This was AMAZING!!! Capital letters! I never thought I’d get so obsessed with this series but OMG! I loved and adored the two MCs and the world building was excellent! Also after the halfway mark the book picked up pace and I couldn’t put it down anymore. It felt like watching one of those super fast paced action movies and it was awesome! Can’t wait to read the second one!

Darius the Great Is Not Okay: 4 Pfoten

This book was such an interesting and fascinating read! I think I’d definitely call it a coming-of-age story but it also has a very educational aspect because you learn so much about Iran and Persian culture while you read it. I loved that! It’s always so interesting for me to hear about other cultures and the way Adib Khorram explained things was very perspicuous. Plus he tackled a lot of topics like bullying, depression and father-son-troubles. Definitely a book I can recommend.

Rankenzeile

This said: How was your January? Did you read many books? Were you ill during the holidays or were you lucky enough to enjoy them? =) Which kind of books did you read last month and can you recommend me any? Also did you already read the ones I read and if „yes“ did you enjoy them? What’s been going on in your life?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, K, K - O, Reviews

Review: Kate in Waiting (Becky Albertalli)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten,5

”If I could stop this crush, I would. I’d slam that brake so hard, with the full force of my brain. It’s just that I know it won’t work. I don’t think my brain’s in the driver’s seat.”

The first thing I have to admit before I go into this review is that I have a difficult relationship with Becky Albertalli’s books. I absolutely loved “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and I really enjoyed “What If It’s Us”, but I was no huge fan of “Leah on the Offbeat” and the other books I read of her were just mostly okay, I think. So yeah, difficult relationship. I never know if I’ll love her books or if they are just going to be an okay read for me. With “Kate in Waiting” it seems to be even more complicated, because I enjoyed it enough to page through it, but there were some things that I think weren’t handled that well?!

And this gets me in a difficult spot, because how to keep this review spoiler free without going into the things that – in my personal opinion – didn’t sit well with me? >_< I guess at the end of the day all I can do is try to explain why the book got the rating it got and to hope that I manage to convey my feelings. I’m going to try to do exactly that, so please bear with me. I think it’s always easier to start with the good things first and because of that I’ll talk about the friendship between Kate and Andy.

”It kind of bugs me, though, the way people get weird about our closeness. If we were a couple, no one would even blink. But people are always saying that if they didn’t know Andy was gay, they’d never believe we were just friends.
It’s such bullshit. First of all, we’re best friends.
Second of all, there’s no just. Friendship isn’t a just. Yes, Andy’s gay. No, we’re not a couple. But Anderson Walker is the most important person in my life, hands down.”

I really loved their friendship and I think it was portrayed well. They both care about each other deeply and it’s obvious throughout the entire book. They are a found family of their own and I really loved how Kate thought about their friendship. That quote above nailed it because I have a male best friend too and nope he isn’t gay like Andy. He actually has a lovely wife now and a kid and we’re still in contact and close. I was at their wedding last summer. XD I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s possible to have a friendship like that and that it’s really one of the best things if you’re so close that gender and sexuality don’t even matter. So to see this on page was amazing and I could relate to a lot of the things Kate thought about Anderson. Still, to see them giving each other the cold shoulder and the fact they were jealous about the time the other spent with Matt made me really sad. I mean they are teens and they are both in love with the same guy. Their feelings get the better of them. I get it, but even when my bestie and I liked the same guy (talking about a different bestie than before) we would just agree that the guy decides in the end.

”Katypie, I’m so sorry. I’m done being an asshole.” He leans over the gearshift and wraps his arms around me tight. “I love you so much. None of this matters. the Matt stuff? Doesn’t matter. I love you.”
I lean into his hug, my eyes prickling with tears. “I love you, too.”

The mere fact they were competing about Matt’s attention and trying to get some alone time with him didn’t sit well with me. I mean it’s okay that they both wanted to spend some time with him, but I didn’t like that they just assumed that Matt would either choose Kate or Andy. Like I mean, come on! There were so many other students at the school, what if Matt decided he didn’t want to be with any of them and just went for someone completely different? Now that would have been a plot twist. *lol* I personally think there should have at least been the possibility of an outcome like that, because it would have been way more realistic than Matt actually being with one of them.

Plus considering the closeness of Kate and Andy I would have thought they would have been able to set their Matt-differences aside, because if life taught me anything then it’s that teen romances come and go, but your true friends? Well, they are the ones that will always stick with you no matter what.

I guess what it comes down to is that I really liked their friendship but that their competition and jealousy didn’t fit with the close friendship they should have had. If that makes any sense? I honestly would never ever think about stabbing my bestie with a paint brush just because she was talking with my crush. And yes, not even in my teens! But maybe that’s just me. I dunno. I liked to read about Kate’s conflicting emotions, because they felt real, but I think her thoughts and actions sometimes were way too dramatic. But hey, at least Kate seemed to have some sort of conscience. We never got to see Andy’s POV but I honestly didn’t like a lot of the things he did. Kate at least tried to keep it civil but Andy? Wow. Never in a million years would I have treated my bestie like that. And I’m not just talking about his obvious jealousy whenever Kate spent time with Matt and the way he completely shut down and gave her the cold shoulder. I’m talking about

spoilerthe shit show that was their conversation in the toilet room. ”Are you serious right now?” I hear Andy step out of his stall, slamming the door behind him. “What was I supposed to do? Matt wasn’t out! How could I have told you?” “You said you thought I knew!” “I did! But I wasn’t sure. And, Katy, it wasn’t my thing to tell.” I agree with Andy that it wasn’t his thing to tell her Matt is gay, but I absolutely and totally don’t get why he ghosted Kate and didn’t even talk to her even though he knew Matt was gay and in love with him?! Yes, Matt is the one to decide if, when, where and how he comes out to other people. It is his decision, his life, his prerogative. BUT why did Anderson have to ghost Kate and ignore her? A sensible friend would have agreed to keep it on the low and to let Matt figure things out. I understand that Andy wanted to spend time with Matt, but he could always have kept it casual at first and still spent some time with Kate. If I’d have been Kate the fact he ghosted me and made me feel like shit would have been even worse than finding out that he didn’t tell me that crucial thing. But no, Kate is angry at Andy because she thinks he told Matt about her crush on him. That’s the only thing you’re angry about girl?! Not that your bestie decided to shut you out of his life because he just wanted to spend some time with his new bf who wasn’t officially out yet?! I know a lot of people might disagree with me here, but I stand by my opinion: If your bestie has a crush on the gay boy you’re secretly dating and that gay boy isn’t ready to come out yet, you tell your bf that you want to give him time to figure things out and that it’s best to keep things casual until he’s ready to come out because you don’t want to hurt your friends feelings by lying to them. There problem solved! He wouldn’t even need to mention Kate’s crush on Matt because to lie to your friends is already a bad position to be in. I’m sure Matt would have understood. But Anderson didn’t do any of those things and I got the feeling if it would have been the other way around Kate would have held back for his sake. So uff. Also the book plays during a time span of, I dunno, 3 or 4 weeks?! And Andy knew for about 2 weeks before Matt told Kate. You’d think he could have kept it casual and on the low for 14 days, right?! It’s not like we were talking about months or years.

Another thing I would have liked to see more of isn’t just Kate’s relationship with her brother but also her relationships with her other friends. I mean Raina and Brandie were her friends too but they were such superficial side-characters that they had no character at all? There would have been a lot of potential to make them more three-dimensional, especially with Raina’s background. And Matt? Why exactly did they like him in the first place?! What made him so unique that they both were crazy about him? The only thing I gathered about Matt was that he was sweet, a good actor and gorgeous. Period. There is no more to the main love interest than those three words. We never find out about his hobbies, why he doesn’t get along with his dad, if he’s good at sports or what actually happened that weekend he spent with his dad. And I mean more than the short answer he gave about it being horrible and him not enjoying to spend time with his father. The best character of the entire book was actually Noah Kaplan and no one can persuade me otherwise.

Noah blinks. „Why are we talking about testicles?“
„You brought them up.“ I blush. „I mean, not up, physically-„
„This conversation needs to be, like, a hundred percent less literal,“ says Noah.

I loved that boy and he was the sweetest thing. His character was multi-layered and funny and I loved the trio dynamic between him, Ryan and Kate. Honestly, Noah Kaplan’s existence saved a huge part of the book for me and I’m very thankful he was a solid part of it even though I think he deserved better than he got.

spoilerI mean it’s obvious that there is something between Kate and Noah, they have chemistry. But I think the change of Kate falling for Noah instead of Matt was too abrupt?! It felt like the moment she found out Matt wasn’t available because he’s gay and in love with Andy she just decided to go for Noah?! Am I the only one who feels like that? She had a crush on Matt for about 80% of the book and then just goes for Noah?! I think the transition of falling out of love with Matt and falling for Noah should have been more transparent and more pronounced. To mention that Noah was cute every once in a while didn’t make me believe that Kate actually had feelings for him. You don’t just fall out of a crush for a boy you had feelings for, for months. It’s not realistic. It’s not how things happen. Up to 80% of the book Kate wanted to be with Matt and after Andy told her that he’s his bf she got used to that fact in 24 hours?! Seriously?! Feelings don’t work like that. You can’t just switch them off. Nope. This sudden development was unrealistic and it made me feel like Noah was always there and had a crush on Kate for years and she just took him because the other guy she wanted to be with wasn’t available. And Noah deserves better than that!!!

4

After getting this all off my chest the only question is: Did I like “Kate in Waiting” or not?! Well, I mostly did. It was a fast and enjoyable read, the chapters are short and the writing style is easy to get into. I liked some parts of the friendship representation and I adored Noah Kaplan. The musical aspect was done nicely as well and I liked to read about how they got their show together. As with most of Becky’s Albertalli’s books there were some things that bugged me though and I just couldn’t overlook them. I have strong opinions (as you all know.*lol*) and when there’s something I didn’t like in a book I just talk about it. All told “Kate in Waiting” gets 3,5 paws from me. Not the best book I ever read but not bad either. I just wish I wouldn’t always feel so conflicted about Becky Albertalli’s characters and the choices they make. >_<

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Solitaire (Alice Oseman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4
Honestly if you read this entire review and followed my reasoning you deserve a medal. I never intended this to be such a serious review but I guess “Solitaire” tackled a couple of serious topics and after reading some of the other reviews I wanted to give my two cents as someone who has a little background knowledge in psychology. So the burning question is: Was “Solitaire” as good as all of Alice Oseman’s other books?
And my candid answer is: Yes and no. I think you just can’t compare it to any of her other works because for one thing it’s her debut novel and for another it’s an entirely different writing style. At least for me it is, because it’s extremely immersive and you see the world through Tori’s perspective and POV. Of course you could argue that you do that with every book and MC you read about but I think this time it was different. You saw the darkness with Tori’s eyes and yes, this is unpleasant, it doesn’t make you happy, it drags you down; it makes it a chore to get through the book and it’s exactly the reason why I think “Solitaire” is brilliant in its own way. I’m a sanguine person, but I appreciated to get a different glimpse at the world and it’s always good to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. A little bit of sensitivity never hurt anyone. With this in mind: Four paws. No more and no less.

Trigger warnings: 

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

Top Ten Tuesday:  New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

TTT was created by The Broke and Bookish and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl (click here for upcoming TTT topics!).

Today’s Topic is: : New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022 (If you didn’t read books by 10 new authors, share new-to-you authors whose books you added to your TBR in 2022. Get creative, if needed!)

1.) T.J Klune

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I’ve read my first TJ Klune book in July and hosted a Readalong named #Klunealong to finally dig my claws into one of his books. Well, in the end I read 2 more books from him and there is no end in sight! I just love his books so much and they are funny, heart-breaking, amazing, suspenseful, wholesome, sad, bitter-sweet, and all the other adjectives you can think of. Just amazing! And thankfully he wrote a ton of books so it will take me a long time to catch up to all of them. YAY! *lol*

2.) Margaret Rogerson

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„Sorcery of Thorns“ was my first Margaret Rogerson book but I really like her writing style and I absolutely adored the characters in this book. So I’m looking forward to read her other works and to find out if she might even have a series I can get lost in. This was a standalone and recently she released a sequel novella which I’m definitely going to read too.

3.) L. Philips

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I’ve never heard of this author but one day „Sometime After Midnight“ ended up on my goodreads feed and I got curious about the book. Honestly for such an unknown book this story was amazing and I was a sucker for the music element in here. I’m convinced L. Philips is making music herself because the way she described the two MCs making music together?! It was perfect! Such a surprising and awesome book! I loved every second of it! ❤

4.) Victoria Lee

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And here comes another author that totally surprised me! „The Fever King“ and Victoria Lee as an author have been on my radar for ages and I wanted to read this book for a very long time. Well, and then one day in spring I found it at one of my libraries and finally picked it up. And wow!! This story, the world and the two MCs got me good! I really can’t wait to read book two because I need to know what’s going to happen to Dara and Noam!!!!

5.) Naomi Novik

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Naomi Novik is one of those authors that was always recommended to me but I never read a single one of her books before last year. In 2022 I decided I’d finally try out one of her books and chose „Spinning Silver“, which apparently was a good choice because I enjoyed it a lot. Not gonna lie I loved the fairy-tale aspect of this and the strong female MCs but I was kinda thrown off by the ending. It felt like the book was over but then it wasn’t so I’m kinda careful with the next Novik book I’m going to pick up. *lol*

6.) Tracy Deonn

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This book was amazing!!! I never tought I’d enjoy „Legendborn“ as much as I did but wow!! I was such a sucker for this arthurian retelling you have no idea! The entire world, all the diverse characters, the strong female lead character, the grief rep and especially SELWYN KANE!!!! soo persuaded me to pick up the second book. I need more of Sel. Really! And I can’t wait to dig my fingers into „Bloodmarked“!

7.) Karla Nikole

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This book was exactly what I needed! An m/m vampire romance with a slow-burn and with one of my new favourite tropes „consent“ on both sides! *lol* I still dunno if you can call „consent“ a trope but for me it is because I love this in my books and I’ll never get enough of it. XD So Karla Nikole totally hit that spot for me and I can’t wait to read the rest of this series. Haru and Nino are two really awesome MCs and they fit together perfectly. I definitely want to see more of them and their world soon!

8.) Mira Grant

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Deadly mermaids that will rip your throat out as soon as they see you?! YES! I gobbled this book up like nobody’s business and had a lot of fun while paging through it! *lol* Mira Grant is a master at creating a creepy atmosphere and even though this was also gory af all the science we got in here definitely made up for it. It was just the right mixture of gore, horror, suspense and science and I loved it! ❤ Can’t wait to dive (pun totally intended) into the next of Mira Grant’s books. 😉

9.) Brandon Sanderson

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I finally read my first Brandon Sanderson book and I really enjoyed it. Admittedly it took me ages to get into the right mood to read „The Final Empire“ but that’s mostly a „it’s not the book, but me thing“ because I’m such a mood reader and I wasn’t in the right for epic fantasy for a while. *lol* But hey, once I got into the right mood I really loved this. It left me with so many questions though and I really hope that some of them will be answered in „The Well of Ascension“. *fingers crossed*

10.) Libba Bray

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I heard a lot about Libba Bray and her Diviners series but I never picked it up until one of my fellow BookTubers asked if someone wanted to read it with her. Well, of course I said yes and I had one of the best buddy reads ever! This was creepy, eerie and gruesome to read but also very entertaining and atmospheric?! I really enjoyed that it played in the 20ies and the characters were super interesting. Very curious where this series is going and I already agreed on a buddy read of book two with Victoria! (who is the aforementioned BookTuber that read the first book with me.)

Rankenzeile

So what about you? Which authors were new to you in 2022 and which books of them did you read? Do we have any books in common or did you actually read some of them already? And if yes, did you enjoy them?Did you discover different authors than me? And can you recommend books by them?? =)

Talk to me and let me know!

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe! ❤

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 22 on My Book List 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4
“The Final Empire” was different than I expected it to be and because of the complex world-building it actually took me quite some time to get into the story. It’s been a while I last read epic fantasy and at the beginning of the book there was a lot of name-dropping and lots of explanations about the world, the social classes and Allomancy. Once you get over that and the story actually starts to move along it was very easy to follow Vin’s journey, though. There weren’t a lot of action scenes but the ones we got were all great and it was fun to read them. I really just wish that the characters would have been more developed. Still, after the ending I really want to know what happens next and maybe Sanderson will dig deeper into the characters and their background stories in the next books. Guess the only way to find out is by picking up “The Well of Ascension” soon. 😉

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 34 of My Book List 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The only way to learn is to live.“

4
All things considered, “The Midnight Library” was an interesting and fascinating journey through all the different lives of Nora Seed. It’s a thought-provoking and very philosophical book and due to that it might not be for everyone. Considering the book tackled such a deep topic, it kind of lacked a little bit of depth for me though. It felt like a lot of the things that happened were only discussed on the surface and handled superficially. Still, if you’re interested in philosophy and psychology, if you like to think outside of the box, if you’re open-minded and enjoy reflecting on your decisions, then this book will most likely be the right choice for you. As for the question if Nora found THE perfect life for herself? Well, I won’t spoil anything. If you really want to know you’ll have to pick up the book and find out for yourself. ;-P

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

My Book List 2023

Hey there my lovelies! =)

In my „Top 15 of my bookish 2022“ blog post I mentioned that I would try to read 45 books this year again and that there were only 40 on my list so far. I asked you, my fellow BookTubers/Subscribers and my IG friends for recommendations to fill in those last five blank spots and as always your suggestions were amazing! ❤

I wrote them all down and put them into a bowl. Well, and then I pulled out 5 of them! Soon there will be a video of it on my BookTube! 😉 This said: A huge thank you to everyone who threw recs my way and participated! I really appreciate all the time and effort you put into your answers and I hope you’ll find your recommendation at the end of the following list! ❤ (light cobalt blue colour) Since this worked out so fine last year I put emojis next to the books again and tried my best to classify them for you. I think they are pretty self-explanatory but if you have questions what they mean you can always ask me in the comments! 😉

So here I go:

1.) The Wrath and the Dawn –  Renée Ahdieh

2.) Legends & Lattes – Travis Baldree Mage on WhatsApp

3.) Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan

4.) The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood What each colour heart emoji actually means

5.) The Spanish Love Deception – Elena Armas What each colour heart emoji actually means

6.) Crying in H Mart – Michelle Zauner 

7.) Pachinko – Min Jin Lee 

8.) Of Mice and Men –  John Steinbeck

9.) The Red Palace – June Hur

10.) Midnight in Everwood – Maria Kuzniar Mage on WhatsApp

11.) Gallant – V.E. Schwab 

12.) In Deep Waters– F.T. Lukens What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

13.) The City We Became – N.K. Jemisin Mage on WhatsApp What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

14.) Black Sun – Rebecca Roanhorse What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

15.) Shadowsong – S. Jae-Jones (final book of the series)

16.) Babel – R.F. Kuang Mage on WhatsApp

17.) The Bodyguard – Katherine CenterWhat each colour heart emoji actually means  

18.) Anatomy: A Love Story – Dana Schwartz

19.) Finale – Sephanie Garber (final book of the series) Mage on WhatsApp  

20.) Bright We Burn – Kiersten White (final book of the series)What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com  

21.) The Bronzed Beasts – Roshani Chokshi (final book of the series)  What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

22.) Bloodmarked – Tracy Deonn  Mage on WhatsApp  

23.) Kiss & Tell – Adib Khorram  What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

24.) Flash Fire – T.J. Klune What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

25.) Ravensong – T.J. Klune What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.comCrying Face Emoji Gif, HD Png Download , Transparent Png Image - PNGitem

26.) A Taste of Gold & Iron – Alexandra Rowland What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.comWhat each colour heart emoji actually means

27.) Hell Bent – Leigh Bardugo (release date: Jan 10th 2023) Face Screaming in Fear Emoji (U+1F631) 

28.) A World Without Princes – Soman Chainani

29.) Mysteries of Thorn Manor – Margaret Rogerson (release date: Jan. 17th 2023)

30.) The Stolen Heir – Holly Black (release date: Jan. 3rd 2023)  🧚 Fairy Emoji on WhatsApp 2.20.206.24

31.) The Atlas Six – Olivie Blake What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

32.) The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides Face Screaming in Fear Emoji (U+1F631)

33.) The Husband Hoax – Saxon James What Does 🌈 Rainbow Emoji Mean? - Emoji by Dictionary.com

34.) The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

35.) The Awakening – Caroline Peckham  🧚 Fairy Emoji on WhatsApp 2.20.206.24

36.) The Winners – Fredrik Backman (final book of the series) Face Screaming in Fear Emoji (U+1F631)

37.) Carrie Soto Is Back – Taylor Jenkins Reid

38.) Belladonna – Adalyn Grace

39.) The Iron King – Julie Kagawa  🧚 Fairy Emoji on WhatsApp 2.20.206.24

40.) Cold Iron Heart – Melissa Marr  🧚 Fairy Emoji on WhatsApp 2.20.206.24

41.)  – Wicked Fox – Kat Cho

42.)  – The Stationary Shop of Tehran – Marjan Kamali

43.)  –  How to Bite Your Neigbor and Win a Wager – D.N. Bryn Emojipedia on Twitter: "🧛 Vampires on iOS, Android, Samsung and Facebook  https://t.co/OmAHgHDXIf https://t.co/V8tM3I1vtf" / Twitter

44.)  – The Thief – Megan Whalen Turner

45.)  – What Moves the Dead – T. Kingfisher  Face Screaming in Fear Emoji (U+1F631)

Rankenzeile

I’m really looking forward to read all of those books and I hope that this time around I’ll actually manage to get to them. Or well, at least most of them! *lol* I’m pretty confident that I’ll get through this list though, because most of those books I had in my mind for quite a while and I didn’t add any rereads this year. (Even though I might go for some when the mood hits me. XD) Of course I’ll continue to try to get through My Book List 2019 , My Book List 2020 , My Book List 2021 and now My Book List 2022 as well. On my 2019 list there are only 6 books left I still have to tick off and I know I can do it! I know I said this in 2022 already but I’m going to say it again: 2023 is going to be the year!!! I know it! Haha!

Anyway! What about you? Did you already read some of the books on my list or are you planning to read them in near future? How many books do you want to read in 2023? Are you taking part in the GR challenge? Which releases of 2023 are you looking forward to? Talk to me and let me know!

And as always: Stay healthy and safe! ❤

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

December Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

And here I thought my reading slump was over! *lol* It’s kinda funny how my November-Me read 6 books yet at the same time my December-Me barely managed to finish 3. Haha! Also it’s kinda hilarious how I spoke about being ill in November and just had to realize that I was ill once again?! Like seriously, how often was I ill in 2022?! I must have been ill every two months or so. XD Really, let’s just hope 2023 will be a healthier year because I honestly don’t want to have another year like last one.

I suppose it might have been the stress before Christmas this time around because at first I studied a lot and tried to get ahead of my study schedule so that I could have two weeks off during the holidays. Of course there were lots of things to organize as well and shortly before Christmas my mum had to go to the hospital and had a surgery. Like legit, right before Christmas. We didn’t even know if we’d be able to celebrate it together. Thankfully everything turned out fine and we could celebrate as a family, but then I woke up ill on the 25th and today is January 11th and I’m STILL. NOT. FULLY. RECOVERED. XD

I had a respiratory infection and after a couple of days I thought it would get better but then it moved to my ears and I got a really horrible ear infection. So yeah, I’m still coughing at night and my ear is kinda cracking and closing off every once in a while. I wonder when that will stop. Anyway! I really hope that I won’t talk about any illnesses in my January Wrap-Up! Wish me luck! *fingers crossed* Haha! Let’s just talk about the books I read in December. Shall we? 😉

Books read: 3 (3 books & 0 webcomic, I only read 3 books but December was a stressful month. *lol*)

Pages read: 1.283 (Guess the page count isn’t so bad.)

Average rating: 3,5 (I think I didn’t have such a lowe average rating for a while.)

Books that were on my reading list: 1 ( 0 from 2020, 0 from 2021 and 1 from 2022. Well, at least one of those 3 was on my TBR. ;-P)

December Reads:

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The Midnight Library: 3 Pfoten

A lot of people have read this and it has been all over my feed. Even RM of BTS read „The Midnight Library“ and he kinda persuaded me to pick it up when I found the book in my library. Nora’s journey was interesting and the different lives she lived were fascinating. The concept of being able to live a completely different life by just making a different choice or decision was very intriguing and I liked that there were so many philosophical and psychological approaches in the book. Despite the deep topic it somehow lacked some depth for me though so in the end it turned out to be a three paws read. Not entirely blown away, but not bad either which means I’m right in the middle. 😉

The Diviners: 4 Pfoten

I read this as a buddy read with a fellow BookTuber and we both enjoyed to read „The Diviners“ together. For some reason we both didn’t think the book would turn out to be so creepy, eerie and gruesome, though. *lol* I legit had to start reading this during the day because some of the murder details and how the murderer went about killing his victims was pretty horrid. Despite to experience the 20ies through Evie’s eyes was amazing though. I didn’t really get used to the lingo but the roaring twenties must have been a fun time with all those hidden bars and speakeasies. I dunno if Evie as a narrator won me over but Theta and Henry sure did. Loved those two and I hope to see more of them in the next book. XD

Solitaire: 3 Pfoten,5

This book came as a surprise because it turned out to be different than I thought it would be. „Solitaire“ was pretty dark and Tori was a very unusual MC. There were some things I didn’t understand fully but I guess it’s because we got to see Tori’s POV and she doesn’t really seem to have a grasp on how Charlie’s life actually is. I’ll definitely touch more of that in my review. All I’ll say for now is that I love Michael Holden! He’s my hero and I could relate to a lot of the things he thought and said. ❤

Rankenzeile

This said: How was your December? Was it a good reading month for you?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe! ❤

*hugs’n’kisses*

signature

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

Top 15 of my bookish 2022 – The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series + Book Recs from You?!

Hey there my lovelies!

2022 is finally over and I genuinely hope that 2023 will turn out to be a better year! At least health-, life-, and reading-wise. *lol* I really hope your 2023 already started well and that you’re having a good time those holidays. =) This said I want to begin the new year with a look at the old one once again. My „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“ blog post are another tradition by now and as every year I want to give you a brief overview of 2022! My initial goal for this year was to read 45 books and even though I managed to hit that number in November I still had a very though time to finish my challenge because I was in another horrible reading slump at the beginning of the year. It started in January and stuck with me until August (The statistics for everyone who’s interested: January – June: 23, July – December: 28. Guess you can see how bad it actually was.) Considering I read a whopping 15 books in the last quarter alone this says A LOT about my reading slump over the year that was 2022. XD

Anyway! I’m out of my slump now and I hope it stays that way! *lol* Let’s do this and go for the traditional summary of my reading year 2022! Read about „The Awesome, The Meagre & The Series“! 😛

I hope you’ll enjoy it!

The Awesome:

– „Wolfsong“ by T.J Klune

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Everyone, literally EVERYONE I know was raving about TJ Klune’s „Green Creek“ series and here I was not even having read a single book of Klune. Well, I rectified that in 2022 with my #Klunealong and started to read his books and let me tell you this: I missed out big time!!! I loved all of his books I read but I absolutely adored „Wolfsong“! I am obsessed with this werewolf found-family and I was so damn glad that this book had almost 600 pages because damn, every single one of them was worth it!! This book! THIS BOOK! It broke my heart in tiny little pieces, had me gasping for air, had me laughing so hard that I had to clutch my stomach and then mended my heart in the best way possible again. Joe and Ox, Ox and Joe! They are everything and I can’t wait to read the next book!!! ❤

– „The King’s Men“ by Nora Sakavic

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I was so damn heart-broken after finishing „The Raven King“in 2021 that I didn’t dare to pick up „The King’s Men“ until it was already November 2022. But OMG!!! I’m so glad I did because it had all the Andreil moments I wanted to see!!! It almost killed me to read this book, not gonna lie! It was a lot to stomach especially around the middle of the book and I was crying and gasping and dying inside while I read this part of the book, but the ending. It was so worth the pain. I’m obsessed with the Foxes and with Andreil and I’ll never get tired of them. To finish the series left such a huge void in my heart that I went on a fanart and fanfic binge and even though I finished reading the book at the end of November I’m still obsessed and I’m still in my fanfic rabbit hole. It’s comfy here. If you need any recs, ask me! ;-P I think Andreil are my new OTP now. No regrets! ❤

„Sorcery of Thorns“ by Margaret Rogerson

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When I picked up this book it was during the worst months of my reading slump and despite this it had me glued to the pages. Honestly, „Sorcery of Thorns“ gave me hope again! It totally surprised me and made me believe in the power of great books again. And for that this book will always hold a special place in my heart! Also Elisabeth, Nathaniel and Silas were an amazing trio and I think Silas easily became one of my book bfs! *lol* Yes, he’s a side-character but he is AWESOME and I’d defend my precious Silas with my life! ❤

„A Small Hotel“ by Suanne Laqueur

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Suanne once again killed me with one of her books and I’m not mad! Nope, quite the contrary. I love to die reading her books because she’s one of the most amazing authors out there and if you haven’t read a single one of her books yet, you’re definitely missing out! I can’t emphasize it enough: Suanne Laqueur is one hell of an author and this book once again proved it. It played during WW2 and it was so painful to read, but the family bonds were awesome and my heart… oh my heart! ❤ Just read it! Not a lot of authors manage to be historical accurate and to hit in the feels at the same time but Suanne does and that makes her truly special. 😉

„The Fever King“ by Victoria Lee

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And here’s another book that surprised me! I wanted to read this one for ages and had it on my TBR for a very long time (I think I added it in 2019), but never picked it up. Which is a shame because this was honestly so damn good?! Noam and Dara totally won me over and the dystopian setting with a blood fever that kills about 98% of the people it infects and leaves the ones who survive with special powers and abilities was pretty cool. Also there were so many political intrigues going on and I’m always a sucker for political intrigues and horrible villains. Well, and the one in „The Fever King“ was horrible so it delivered on all fronts. Can’t wait to pick up book 2 even though I’m afraid it will hurt. >_<

The Meagre:

– „The Cousins“ by Karen M. McManus

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So, I gave this book 3 paws and that’s exactly what it was for me. I mean I really love Karen M. McManus’s books and read almost all of them by now, but this one just felt like a copy of all her other books that came before. I can’t even remember the main three characters names but they felt like a rip-off of Bronwyn, Addy and Nate and I wasn’t happy about that. It felt like I was reading a different story in a different setting with the same characters all over again and I really would have liked the characters to be more individual. Maybe that’s a me problem, but oh well. It is the way it is.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

– „Whispers Underground“ by Ben Aaronovitch

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Another 3 paws read and once again a book that didn’t live up to my expectations. „Whispers Underground“ was already the third book in the „Rivers of London“ series but it held no surprises for me and the plot was kind of idling along. This series has so much potential but if it’s not used the best series can fall flat. I like to pick up urban-fantasy every once in a while and this series isn’t bad. Unfortunately it’s not exactly awesome either and I dunno if I’ll continue to read it. I guess I’ll just read book 4 and if it’s underwhelming I might have to consider if I’ll dnf the series altogether. I mean there are 9 books in total and if I’m not feeling it…

„Children of Virtue and Vengeance“ by Tomi Adeyemi

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It truly pains me to say this but aside from a very long title I can’t seem to be able to remember, this book also turned out to be THE WORST BOOK I read in 2022. Legit the worst! I’m sorry to say this because I really enjoyed the first book and I was looking forward to read this one because I saw the potential this series held and I was convinced the author would make use of it in the second installment. But nope! This book… it was all over the place and the characters… oh gods! They all made a 180 degrees turn and I couldn’t comprehend any of their actions. One second they were screaming „BLOODY MURDER“ and the next they wanted peace?! Like WTF!!?? This book was legit one of the most inconsistent books I ever read, filled with even more inconsistent characters and left me with a major and questionmark sized WTAF above my head and a headache made in hell. I so rarely ditch entire series but this one… I won’t pick up book 3. I don’t even care that this book ended on a cliff-hanger. I might be alone with this opinion but I stand by it. Two paws and that is generous! XD

„All the Light We Cannot See“ by Anthony Doerr

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I gave „All the Light We Cannot See“ four paws but it was more like 3,5 for me. I heard so many great things about this book but in the end I wasn’t nearly as much invested in this story as I thought it would be?! I mean it had all the potential to be a great story and to cause me to cry buckets of tears. But it didn’t?! I mean, the plot wasn’t bad and it was a very sad story but for some reason I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this as I should have been? Maybe my expectations were too high after hearing everyone rave about it? Who knows. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

– „Black Butler“ by Yana Toboso

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This was the first volume in the „Black Butler“ manga series, but it didn’t really persuade me to pick it up again. I mean it wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t good enough to sweep me off my feet. Normally when I read a manga the first volume makes me want to dive deeper into the series but this time around this didn’t happen so I guess I just won’t continue to read this series.

The Series:

– „Legendborn“ by Tracy Deonn

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And once again this was a book that turned out to be a big surprise! I didn’t expect to love this arthurian retelling as much as I did but „Legendborn“ had everything I love in my books. An amazing plot, LGBTQIA+ reps, great world-building, an awesome grief rep and most of all Selwyn Kane!!! I love Selwyn and even though Nick is a great guy I’ll be #TeamSelwyn all the way. I’m going to die on this hill and I can’t wait to read book two! ❤

„Lore & Lust“ by Karla Nikole

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I’ve heard a lot about this series before I picked it up and I was a really happy camper when I finally read it. Nino and Haru were amazing and I loved them together. The consent and their from-strangers-to-allies-to-friends-to-lovers relationship was everything! ❤ I love consent in my books and those two were such a great example. Also it’s been a while I read a vampire book and the fact this was m/m made it even better. Very curious about book two which I’m convinced will focus more on the plot this time around.

– „The Extraordinaries“ by TJ Klune

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I legit laughed tears while I read this series! It was one of the most hilarious books I ever read! Just last year a friend of mine and I spoke about how I’m always reading books that are more serious and only have the occasional witty banter, but that I never read books that actually make me laugh. Well, TJ Klune made me laugh so damn much with this super heroes series, you have no idea! I loved it and can’t wait to pick up book two this year!

– „The Heroes of Olympus“ by Rick Riordan

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2022 was the year in which I finished reading „The Heroes of Olympus“ series and I had a blast with those last two books. This series was way more serious than the original Percy Jackson series but I think it fit the age of the characters and I was happy to be introduced to so many new and amazing characters. Leo Valdez and Nico Di Angelo will always be my faves but Hazel was awesome too and Percy and Annabeth will always be great. ❤ I’m so ready to start with „The Trials of Apollo“ this year. XD

– „House of Sky and Breath“ by Sarah J. Maas

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Oh boy did this book kill me! I gotta give it to Sarah J. Maas, this woman can write. I might get annoyed by her excessive use of the word „mate“ and how her characters always seem to lose their individuality once they are mated but she’s still a great writer and her world-building and character development are top-notch. This book might not have blown me away as much as „House of Earth and Blood“ did, but it was still amazing and I think I’ll give it 4 or 5 paws. Not sure yet. Maybe 4,5? I still need to write my review so the jury is still out on that one. *lol* The wait for book 3 is definitely pure torture, though. Uff! According to Goodreads it will be released in 2023 so let’s hope for the best. *fingers crossed*

Rankenzeile

So this was my year 2022 in 15 books! How was your 2022? Was it a good reading year for you? Did you manage to read all the books you wanted to read? Or did you fall into a huge reading slump as well? Are there some books you didn’t manage to read in 2022 and took into 2023?  Let me know in the comments! 😉

And because this has become a tradition too: Just like in the years before I want to give you a chance to throw in some of your book recommendations for My Book List 2023! My goal is to read 45 books in 2023 and the last 5 spots are up to you! Just write me your book recs in the comments and I’ll throw them in a bowl and pull out 5 of them! 😉 

This said I wish you all a HAPPY NEW YEAR and I hope that your 2023 will be awesome and way better than 2022 ever was! ❤ I mean it gotta be better, right?! Right? *lol* And because it’s so important these days: Aside from happines, success, contentment, luck and lots of love I also wish you good health!

Please take care an stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

signature

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, Sassy Antics

Achievements of 2022 & My bookish New Year’s resolutions for 2023

Hey there, my lovelies!

It’s become a tradition on this blog by now so of course I’m going for another „Achievements of 2022/ My Bookish New Year’s resolutions for 2023“ blog post. Since we’re only a couple of hours away from the next year I thought it would be good to take a closer look at my achievements of 2022. It’s always nice to look at what I wanted to achieve at the beginning of the year and what I actually achieved during it. I’m pretty certain most of my goals for 2022 weren’t met because the first 6 months of 2022 weren’t any better than the last 6 months of 2021. >_< I was in a big reading slump because I was unhappy at work and it showed in the way I lived my first 6 months of 2022. I barely even read any books and all the joy I used to have was drained from me. Of course my bad work situation ultimately led to me withdrawing from everything and everyone and I had absolutely no desire to read. Which is always a bad sign if you’re a passionate reader like me. So yeah, I decided I needed to change something or I’d be stuck in this kind of limbo for the next couple of months or even years. And nope, not with me. *lol*

I never addressed it here directly before (because I wasn’t ready), but I basically told my boss that I’d either quit or go and take a year long educational sabbatical and that there were only those two options. Period. I’d come to a point where I just couldn’t take the work environment anymore because it started to be toxic for me and at this final point I had to cut my losses before my physical and especially my mental health would suffer from it. It wasn’t easy to leave a company I worked for more than 10 years. And most of those years were good years and a time I wouldn’t want to miss, but there’s only so much good that can outweight the bad and I suddenly found myself at a crossroads I never thought I’d ever come to. So in the end I made my decision and took the leap and I regret absolutely nothing. I have no idea what kind of job I’ll have next year and if I’ll even be able to find a new one before my educational sabbatical is over, but I know that it was the right decision and I stand by it.

All told the first half of 2022 was horrible and pretty much me trying to find my way, which took a lot of energy and effort. During the summer I tried to recuperate from the stress of those last couple of months and since I was a loyal and good employee I worked until the last day and tried to hand over my work as good as possible. I think I might have gotten even more gray hairs than last year but I learned a lot about myself and my limits so despite everything I count that as a win. Last year in this post I wrote that I want to be happy again and that I’m determined to make some changes. Well, I guess I did go through with that! *lol* I said that I deserve to be happy and I finally am! And in the end that’s all that counts, right?

This said maybe I managed to go through with some of my other goals as well? I guess the only way to find out is by comparing notes! Clean slate for the next year, here I come! Let’s celebrate some achievements! Hopefully. Haha!

So without further ado let’s go right to the awesome achievements and the good things that happened to me in 2022:

–  I recently celebrated my fourth year of blogging and I’m so glad I decided to go for this blog because it still brings me a lot of joy ! ❤ I can be creative on here and I can be myself and this is very important. =) To have a space to call my own is amazing and I really want to be more active once again. I promised to do better in 2022 and not to stumble from one blog post to the next, but due to all the things that happened I didn’t really manage to keep that promise! I’ll definitely try to be more consistent in 2023, though. XD

– In 2022 I wanted to continue to write two blog posts a week and I had the goal to be more active in the blogging community. Well, the first one so didn’t happen. *lol* There were weeks I only managed to get up one blog post and I was pretty inconsistent. I’m gonna be honest here, it was a struggle to maintain a schedule and I had no brain capacity to make it work. I think I did pretty okay with the second goal, though. I mean I was slightly more active in the blogging community than I was in 2021 and I tried to read other blog posts and to leave comments or likes. =) In 2023 I definitely want to get back to my usual schedule of 2 blog posts a week.

– One of my main life goals for 2022 was to eat more healthy and to take better care of myself. And considering I quit my job and went for an educational sabbatical I definitely ticked off the latter one. *lol* As for the eating more healthy. I did and I am still trying my best to eat more healthy. At the beginning of the year I discovered that I have an intolerance to gluten and totally changed my eating habits. It’s not that I can’t eat gluten at all, it’s more like that I can’t eat it in high doses. If that makes sense?! So my goal for 2023 is to keep to a balanced diet and to eat fish and salad at least once a week. (as a main course I mean. I love my salad and eat it as a side-dish too. 😉 )

– I read 51 books in 2022 and was able to finish my goodreads challenge. I initially set it on 45 books and despite my horrible reading slump I still managed to exceed it. ❤ Eight books ahaed of my challenge might not seem to be a lot but I count this as a big achievement, because for me it is! For 2023 I will set my official goal for 45 books again, but inofficially I want to read way more than that. XD Let’s see how that will go.

– I went for the third round of my own tag – The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag (Original!) and this time around I even did it on my BookTube and linked the video in my blog post. I tagged a lot of people in June for this but so far none of them did the tag so yeah. I guess that’s what you call a flop, but oh well, my tag is even making its rounds on IG now so I’m fine with that. Maybe BookTube just wasn’t the right platform for it. *shrugs* I also did my SASSY Saturday blog meme each and every single month! I really love to do this one because it’s so nice to talk about other things than books every once in a while! It’s always good to talk about things that excite you. 😉

– I continued to write even though my rp-game was pretty bad this year. I still managed to write a couple of posts and I genuinely hope that I’ll have more time for it in 2023 again. As for my poetry and reviews… It could have been a lot better but I’m okay with the little I wrote. To be honest I was in no good headspace most of the year and it took me months to get over the anger and resentment I felt towards my former company. The outrageous injustice I went through was hard to digest and it gnawed at me. So I wasn’t as creative as I wanted to be but I really hope 2023 will make it all better. *fingers crossed*

– I think this is worth mentioning and actually an achievement: I might not have requested a lot of ARCS on NetGalley last year, but I actually got approved for every one I requested?! One is still pending, but hopefully that one will get approved too. XD My goal for next year is to read all the review copies I got from authors over the years and to finally catch up to them AND to request ARCs  more actively on NetGalley. I’ve been horrible at reading the review copies I got from authors because I was in a reading slump and didn’t feel like reading most of the times. And when I read I read books I really wanted to read because it was the only way to keep on reading. >_< So yep, 2023 I’ll try to catch up to all those ARCs and review copies. Wish me luck!

– I continued my BookTube Channel and Instagram journey! (@thesassylibraryfox3) 😉 And it’s still going great?! =)) Okay, well I think I might be shadow banned at YT right now because no one ever sees my new videos (even the people that are subscribed to me) but I hope that whatever the algorithm has against me will fade one day?! I still have a lot of fun creating my own video content and I kinda love editing, but it would be nice if someone would actually be able to see those videos?! *lol* (Also don’t ask me what I would have gotten shadow banned for because I honestly didn’t do anything.) As for Instagram: This one has been fun! I made a lot of new friends and posted my photography, Bookstagram pictures and even started to post BTS fanart in June I think! Honestly, I love how my IG grid looks like and I regret absolutely nothing! ❤

– I reached the awesome number of 520 followers on my blog and I couldn’t be more happy! I’m so thankful for all your support and for everyone who still bothers to read my blog posts. You have no idea how much this means to me! ❤ Also, hello and welcome to everyone who clicked that follow button! I’m glad you became part of my „kits“ and I promise I’ll try my best to keep it interesting. 😉

My bookish New Year’s resolutions for 2022 vs. what actually happened and what is hopefully going to happen in 2023:

– Don’t read more than 5 books at the same time! (Well, I think this year I didn’t do all too bad with this. I mean most of the time it were about 5-6 and very rarely when I read a manga and put it on the list too it were 7. But considering it all I did pretty well. Guess I learned my lesson from last year and actually managed to keep it down.)

– Don’t add more than 290 books to my TBR pile. (I only have 285 books on my TBR pile on goodreads right now! And I have no idea how I did that? *lol* Magic! It must be magic because I never managed to reach that goal before. Ever. XD WTH?! Wow, I succeeded at something! And no one is more surprised about this than I am. Haha! Next year I’ll try to go for 280? Will I be able to do that? Only the stars can tell… )

– Read the books I already own!! (I wasn’t doing so bad with this one and actually read a couple of books from my shelves. Unfortunately I discovered the little free libraries around my area and got rid of a lot of books I already read. But what can I say? I discovered that there were even a couple of amazing English books and that discovery somehow added a couple more books to my shelves once again. As for my e-reader: Let’s not talk about my e-reader copies, okay?! ;-P )

– Don’t borrow more than 15 books at the same time from my library! Hahahahahaha! OMG! I still see my bestie bent over from laughing too hard when we went to the library in summer! I really wanted to keep to that system but since I was ill A LOT in 2022 I kinda went for „binge raids“ in some of the libraries, because I knew I wouldn’t get there for months. 😉 So one of those binge raids ended up with me wanting to add 5 books to my library card… and it only took 2 and told me to go to the desk. Turns out I had already reached the limit of 25 books. *LOL* And you know what the precious librarian did when I looked at him totally puzzled and crestfallen? He added the other three to my card and made an exception for me! ❤ So in the end I even blew my card limit and actually had 28 books on there for a little while. I swear, my bestie is still laughing about that incident. XD

– Stick to My Book List 2022My Book List 2021 and finish My Book List 2020 & My Book List 2019! At the risk of repeating myself once again: This wasn’t happening. At all! >_< Quote from me last year: „Still, I know 2022 is going to be the year in which I finally finish my 2019 list! I know I can do it! I got this! I repeat, I got this! *lol* (Or I’m just delul. Haha!)“ Turns out I was delul af! Haha! I honestly dunno how many books I ticked off of my lists, but I know I read a couple of books from them so I count that as a win. I definitely need to update them soon. Oh and you probably already guessed the goal for 2023: Stick to My Book List 2023. ;P

– I voved improvement and said I would continue with my „Hugs’n’kisses OR Dismissed by the Missus/Messrs blog meme but that didn’t really happen. I think I only did it twice? Why am I like that? T_T *lol* In my defence I was super consistent with my SASSY Saturday though! I did one every month and it was fun to talk about other things than books as well. So for 2023 I’ll definitely keep it and will try to throw in a couple of „Hugs’n’Kisses“ posts too. Wish me luck! I’ll need it. Haha!

– I said I’d try to create more of my own book tags and …. I didn’t. *lol* I went for volume three of my The LGBTQ+ Rep Book Tag (Original!) though and discovered that I read more and more LGBTQIA+ books every year. I wanted to get up my Original BTS Book Tag but that still didn’t happen, plus I have a concrete idea for another tag that also didn’t happen. 2023 is going to be the year I’ll finally go for them though! It will happen! Yes. XD

– Get 500 followers on my blog! I currently have 523 followers so I guess I reached that goal. My blog didn’t grow as much as I hoped it would though, but honestly it’s my own fault. I didn’t engage as much as I wanted to with other bloggers and therefore barely made any new friends on here while I lost some of my old ones at the same time. A lot of the people I loved to follow aren’t active on here anymore or they deleted their account and don’t even have a blog anymore. It always makes me sad when that happens but I know it’s not easy to maintain a blog and a schedule. So I understand. Me struggling through 2022 should have made that perfectly clear. *lol* I guess for 2023 my goal will be more realistic and I hope I’ll make it to 550 followers. For me personally, every single one of you is already so much more than I hoped for! ❤ You guys are amazing and I can’t emphasize enough how much it means to me that you’re still around! THANK YOU!!

– Reorganize my physical bookshelves. I did that! YESH! Finally something I did! Haha! Something tells me I might have to reorganize them in 2023 as well. Yearly tradition? Yep, I guess so. *lol*  There are a couple of books I want to get rid of and others I want to add, plus I actually rearranged my shelves the way I wanted to and made book stacks and it looks cool that way and saved a lot of space. Let’s see how I’ll change my shelves in 2023. I’m already curious. 😉

– Both my IG as well as my BookTube have been growing, even though I get the feeling that my growth stopped recently. I’ve been stuck on 334 subscribers on BookTube for two months now and my IG isn’t growing as much as I want it to grow either. I think I got shadow banned on both platforms and I dunno why. I did nothing wrong, got no warnings or anything, but for some reason the algorithm is against me. It’s kinda frustrating. Not gonna lie, it takes a lot of time to make posts and to record and edit videos and if the algorithm is against you, you can’t do anything. (I tried all the tips they give you to fight the algorithm, but it doesn’t work.) So I guess my goal for 2023 on both platforms is to get my subscriber count on BookTube to 400 (I’ll be good if I manage that fighting the algorithm. *lol*) and to 300 followers on IG. No idea, if I’ll be able to manage this but I guess next year we’ll know. And just for the record: I am extremely thankful for all the 334 subscribers and IG followers I currently have!!! They are still there watching my videos, liking and commenting on them and I couldn’t ask for more than that! ❤

– Relocate some of my longer reviews from goodreads to my blog. I did that and it’s something I can tick off with a good conscience. 😀 I’ll continue to do that in 2023 and hopefully one day I’ll have all the important reviews transferred to here.

– I said I want to host a Readalong on my BookTube and I did!!! I hosted my #Klunealong and it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it immensely! Plus I also went for #Rainboween and read lots of LGBTQIA+ books in October. My goal for 2023 is to host another readalong and to go for #Rainboween Vol. 2 because I had so much fun doing both of them and I really want to do it again. No idea what the Readalong will be about but I’ll come up with something. 😉

Rankenzeile

So if you read all this you get a medal from me! ;-P I know this was super long so I’m very thankful if you actually read this post until now! 2022 felt like both, a very long and a pretty fast year. At least for me it did. It’s kinda weird but it is the way it is. *lol* How was your 2022? Did you follow your TBR or did you become a mood reader? Which goals did you set yourself and were you able to accomplish them? What got you through this year? (My formular to get through 2022 consisted once again of watching k-dramas on Netflix, listening to and watching BTS dance, lots of Netflix & Chill ice cream when I had an especially bad day *lol*, reading and dancing my heart out whenever I could and of talking with my besties for hours.) What did you do in 2022 to ease your mind and what are your goals for 2023?!

Talk to me and let me know!

And as always try to stay healthy and safe!

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox