Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Railhead (Philip Reeve)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”The trouble with friends was, sooner or later he’d have to tell them about Ma’s troubles and his life on Bridge Street, and those were sadnesses which he preferred to hold close and secret. It fitted the image he had of himself, too – the lone thief, all stray-cat-cool, walking solitary down some midnight street.”

So the first thing I have to say about “Railhead” is that it’s unlike any other book I’ve ever read, which is pretty rare and definitely an accomplishment. I mean I read a lot of books and to find something unique that still surprises me is like winning the lottery jackpot. But the world Philip Reeve built? It’s amazing! I don’t know why so many people put this into the genre of “young adult” because I think it’s actually middle grade, but I guess this is a discussion for another day. 😉 Right now I just want to speak about the awesome world Reeve built and how cool it was to dive into it.

”I will not leave without Zen Starling,” said the Damask Rose.
“But you have the painter,” said Uncle Bugs. “Zen Starling means nothing to you.”
“He is brave,” said the train. “He came all this way to save his friend. I will not leave without him.”

I absolutely loved the idea of portals and railways that exist between different worlds and I adored the concept of sentient locos! Like OMG! This is ingenious! Every single loco that was mentioned in this book had its own voice and I loved to discover how different they were. They were very human and some of them even were in love like the “Time of Gifts” and “The Wildfire”.

”They tease each other, and sing, and talk about old times, other worlds they’ve seen. I don’t think they know I’m listening. It’s sweet. People say they’re twins, but they aren’t. They’re lovers. They come from different engine shops. They met on the Network. And they love each other so much…”

Okay, go ahead, tell me that feeling and speaking locomotives aren’t one of the coolest things ever. *lol* Also there are motoriks in this world as well and they are basically very human looking robots (I suppose you could say they are humanoids). One of my favourite characters was Flex! She/He wasn’t just a really sweet character but also some sort of gender fluid motorik and if you think I’m biased now: Well, yes, I am. XD I can’t help it though, I mean how often do you find gender fluid reps in a book and how many of them are cute and talented motoriks?

”Why do you keep switching?” he asked. “Male to female, female to male…”
Flex looked up at him and smiled. “Wouldn’t you, if you could?”

And if that isn’t enough to persuade you to read this book: We also have Hive Monks which are basically bodies that are made of a million bugs and somehow gain a conscience once they are enough to form a body. I know a lot of people might be repelled or horrified by the mere idea of creatures like that but for me they added a really nice sci-fi element to the story and I actually found it very interesting to read about them. They acted very human and Nova the motorik girl that helped Zen with every task that was given to him by Raven was an amazing character as well.

”Her face was very beautiful, he thought. He hadn’t been sure before, but he was now. The mind that lived behind it made it beautiful, the same way that the flame inside a lantern makes the lantern beautiful.“

Truth be told, the slow romance that formed between Nova and Zen was probably one of the most intriguing things about “Railhead”. Nova is a motorik but if you compare her to the other human beings that appear in this book she seems to be the most human of them all. She is compassionate, she is kind and she feels more deeply than most of the people that made an appearance in this book. Which brings me right to Raven. I can’t say I liked him, but I kinda understood where he came from and what he wanted to achieve. The way he went about it was wrong though and I think I’ll never forgive him for what he did to Nova.

”Things need shaking up, Zen. Everything keeps repeating itself, century after century. Empires rise up and grow old, and there’s always some new would-be Emperor waiting in the wings to take their turn. Dark ages come and go. People are born and people die. It’s so pointless. The Guardians mean well, but they have shunted the whole human race onto a branch line of history, and we keep trundling round in circles. It’s time someone changed that.”

Malik, Zen’s and Raven’s antagonist was a super interesting character as well. I loved to find out more about him and his complexity added a lot to the storyline. I mean he’s a man on a mission and he has his own codex of right and wrong. He is confident and knows exactly where he stands and he stands firm in his convictions. I had to admire that about him and I kind of hope that he’ll make an appearance in book two. (Him and his husband, because wow, that tidbit of information was just mentioned in passing and I loved it!!) As for Zen Sterling: He made for an interesting MC and even though I didn’t agree with all of his actions I was still able to see the good in him. In fact Zen is a very complicated character too and I can’t wait to find out how he’s going to change in book two. There is a lot of potential for character growth and I’m so here for it. 😉

4
“Railhead” was such an amazing read and I enjoyed it immensely. Mind you this is someone speaking who isn’t even moderately close to the age of middle grade. *lol* This however didn’t take away any of my enjoyment and I still loved to dive into this world. So if you want something different, if you want sci-fi and unique locos that travel through worlds and wormholes, if you want a young hero and his amazing side-kicks. Well, then this book is for you! 😉

Allgemein, P - T, R, Reviews

Review: Restore Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

By now a few days have passed ever since I finished reading this book, yet my first reaction to “Restore Me” still remains the same.

WHAT THE FREAKING HELL??!!
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK??!!
WHAT DID I JUST READ??!!
CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT I JUST READ?!!

And those were only four of the nicer things I thought when I closed the last page of this mind-blowing book! After reading this I’m shook to the core and my feelings are still all over the place! Tahereh Mafi SHATTERED, UNRAVELLED and DESTROYED me with every single line. To read this felt like someone was constantly punching me, hurting my body and my soul!!
Oh god, all those revelations! I can’t even… I’m still thinking about everything that happened in this book, I’m trying to wrap my head around it, I’m trying to understand it, but I just can’t.

This was just too much!!! My brain suffers from an overload of thoughts and feels and I’m desperately trying to recover from all the different blows. They came from every direction and boy did it hurt!! *cries*

TAHEREH HOW DARE YOU TO WRITE SUCH A BOOK AND THEN LET US WAIT FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR?!!!??

I wish I would have never bought this…
I wish I would have never read this…
I wish I wouldn’t have to wait for the next book…

This is pure torture…

“Restore Me”??!! *shakes head*
Are you kidding me Tahereh? You should have named it “Ruin Me”, “Devastate Me” or “Destruct Me”!
Not “Restore Me” why did you name this book like that?!!!

I can’t … I just can’t anymore… *sobs violently*

1
Juliette Ferrars is the new Supreme Commander of America and struggling to maintain a tight grip on her newfound powers and responsibility. There are a lot of things she hasn’t figured out yet and as the days go by she’s trying her best to take one step after the other forcing herself not to crumble under the sheer force of the new role that has been bestowed upon her. Will she be able to deal with the consequences of her actions or will her past cause her to falter?!

2
I’m so going to spoil the hell out of this section because FEELS!!! I can’t keep them in and if you don’t want to be captured in the midst of my raging emotions you better don’t continue to read! You’ve been warned! This is going to be a spoiler FEAST!!!

Juliette:

”I’m not proud that I’ve thought that.
Or that, in the quietest, loneliest hours of the morning I lie awake next to the son Anderson tortured nearly to death and wish that Anderson would return from the dead and take back the burden I stole from his shoulders.”


Where did the brave Juliette from “Ignite Me” go? I mean yeah, I knew she wouldn’t change overnight and that all her actions of the first three books would have some serious consequences, for some reason I really hoped that by now she would have developed more self-confidence though. I mean I get it! There’s a lot of responsibility on her shoulders and all those revelations were hitting her relentlessly, but despite all that some part of me still expected her to be stronger. She’s so powerful, why should she ever be afraid?! Plus even a blind person could see that Warner loves her more than anything else! How can she be so oblivious?! And that moment when she got drunk and shaved her head? This was such a 2007 Britney Spears move. I can understand why she was angry at Warner, I don’t get why she had to push him away so thoroughly though. It’s not like he knew the entire truth. I don’t like what happened to my independent and kick-ass Juliette from “Ignite Me” and I really hope that she’ll regain some of her self-assurance in the next book. Plus can we please talk about the fact that she killed an entire room full of people?! With nothing more than a scream?!! WTF?!!! O_o There’s a lot of explaining to do!!

”She steps forward. She looks suddenly terrifying. There’s a fire in her eyes. A murderous stillness in her movements. “If I ever catch you putting your hands on him again, I will tear open your chest,” she says, “and rip out your heart.”

”Getting angry and going to war, I understand. But patiently playing a confusing game of chess with a bunch of stranger from around the world?
God, I’d so much rather shoot someone.”


”Right now I can see her, this other version of myself, I can see her dragging her dirty fingernails against the chambers of my heart, drawing blood. And if I could reach inside myself and rip her out of me with my own two hands, I would.”

”I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that nothing is going to be the same for me, not ever again, and I have no idea who to trust or how to move forward. So yeah,” I say, nearly shouting the words, “right now I don’t care about anything. Because I don’t know what I’m fighting for anymore. And I don’t know who my friends are. Right now,” I say, “everyone is my enemy, including you.”

Warner:

”I feel old and unsettled, my heart and mind at war.”

My precious boy, my awesomeness on two legs!! Gosh, I love him so much!!! <333 He’s still my no.1 book husband (with Will of course!!!) and I couldn’t get enough of him! I loved that he had his own POV but his thoughts were so damn sad. I just wanted to hug him and tell him that he’s awesome and important and that he has a freaking damn right to grief!!!! Yes, I know everyone hated his father and Warner was certainly no exception to that rule, but this awful tyrant was still his father! No matter how much he hurt him and tortured him, no matter what he did to him, he was still his father and such bonds are hard to break. I hated that he was so alone in his grief and that no one except of Adam seemed to see and to understand it. Adam of all people! And Juliette! Girl, give that boy a break!!! I mean how much time passed after “Ignite Me”? Two weeks? How was Warner supposed to teach her everything he knew in two weeks? I mean it took him his entire life to master and understand the Reestablishment. And he didn’t even know the entire truth!!! He just wanted to protect Juliette, why is that so wrong?! My poor, poor baby!!! Warner didn’t deserve any of the shit he got in this book and I really hope Tahereh isn’t going to hurt him even more!! And what’s with that last Warner chapter?! An empty journal?!! AN EMPTY JOURNAL, TAHEREH???!!! If you put Warner into an asylum cell I’m going to RIOT!!! I’ll freaking riot!!! If he’s even more tortured and abused I’m going to die!!! Really!!! So you better don’t do anything mean to him!! AN EMPTY JOURNAL!!! *has a mental breakdown*

”And it is this, my unrequited affection for my father, that has always been my greatest weakness. So I lie here, marinating in a sorrow I can never speak of, while regret consumes my heart.”

”I have a great fear of drowning in the ocean of my own silence. In the steady thrum that accompanies quiet, my mind is unkind to me. I think too much. I feel, perhaps, far more than I should. It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that my goal in life is to outrun my mind, my memories.
So I have to keep moving.”


“I’m strangled into speechlessness, numb in my bones. I feel nothing but an immense, impossible pressure breaking apart my body. I fall backward, hard. My head is against the wall. I try to calm myself, calm my breathing. I try to be rational.”

”I’ve been undone by emotion, over and over. It was emotion that prompted me to take any job – at any cost – to be near to my mother. It was emotion that led me to find Juliette, to seek her out in search of a cure for my mother. It was emotion that prompted me to fall in love, to get shot and lose my mind, to become a broken boy all over again – one who’d fall to his knees and beg his worthless, monstrous father to spare the girl he loved. It was emotion, my flimsy emotions that cost me everything.
I have no peace. No purpose.
How I wish I’d ripped out this heart from my chest long ago.”


Kenji:

”I mean, I know she’s probably a sociopath. And, like, would definitely murder me in my sleep. But damn she’s, wow,” he says. “She’s, like, batshit pretty. The kind of pretty that makes a man think getting murdered in his sleep might not be a bad way to go.”

I still love and adore Kenji!!! He’s such an awesome best friend and he always brings some fun into the book. I swear if it wouldn’t have been for Kenji this entire book would have been a brooding feast, so thank you Tahereh for inventing that boy!!! *lol* The only thing I’m still missing is a Kenji POV so maybe we’ll finally get that in the next book? XD Ohh, I’d dig a Kenji POV so much!!! Haha! And since my wishes for a girlfriend/love interest were obviously heard the last time this wish might come true as well, right? XD *making huge puppy eyes*

Nazeera & Haider:

I still don’t know what to think about those two. Apparently Nazeera was a close friend of Juliette when they were kids and Haider seems to like Warner a lot, so I’m pretty certain there’ll be a lot of interesting revelations in the next book. Despite the general air of hostility I liked both of their characters though. I mean Nazeera is a strong female character and I always dig them and Haider … Well we didn’t get to see a lot of him but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some abilities too. ;-P Plus Nazeera and Kenji!!! GOSH! That would be a match made in heaven!!! <333

Castle:

WHO. ARE. YOU?! This Castle was so completely different to the Castle we got to know in the earlier books! Where did all this information come from? How did he know about all the things not even Warner knew about?! Why did he know that Juliette’s parents are still alive? Does he work for them? Is he related to Juliette?! Where is the connection? I don’t get anything anymore. Up until now Castle was always some sort of gentle guide who gave good advice but took a back seat when things got too intense. Not now! Now he was smack in the middle and seemed to know more than anyone else! I have so many questions my head is spinning!!! And I demand answers in the next book!!! I want to know who he is!!!

Adam:

”I was an asshole. I took everything out on her. Blamed her for everything. For walking away from what I thought was one of the few sure things in my life. It’s my own fault, really. My own baggage. I’ve still got a lot of shit to work out,” he says finally. “I’ve got issues with people leaving me behind.”

THIS!!! It took 3 books to finally get this statement out of his mouth but it eventually happened!!!! OMG!!! I never thought I’d live to see the day when Kent admits that he was wrong!!! Ohh that was balm for my soul! XD Thank you Tahereh! I needed to read this so badly! If you think I’ll forgive Kent for everything he did you’re wrong though. I’ll tolerate him from now on, but the things he said to Juliette and Warner… Nope he’ll never be redeemed for that! Sorry! #SorryNotSorry

3
Juliette & Kenji:

I slap his hand away. “I may not know much about being a supreme commander yet, but I do know that I’m not supposed to be cute.”
Just then, the elevator dings open.
“Who says you can’t be cute and kick ass at the same time?” Kenji winks at me. “I do it every day.”


I still love their friendship! They are so adorable together and they act like siblings would do! *lol* I love that Kenji always tries to help Juliette and that deep down he’s more than just a little protective of her. Not that he’d show it, but it’s obvious whenever they interact with each other. XD Plus I’m glad that there’s at least one person Juliette can trust completely. Kenji would never lie to her and that’s good the way it is! =))

Warner & Kenji:

I smile, big. Lightbulb bright.
Kenji’s eyes widen, surprised, and he laughs. He nods at my face and says, “Aw, you’ve got dimples. I didn’t know that. That’s cute.”


I. SHIP. IT!!! Haha! I know Tahereh might have never intended her fans to ship Kenji and Warner but how couldn’t you?! *lol* Once they actually started to talk and stopped to be so hostile towards each other they were damn freaking cute! XD I loved their honest conversations and it made me happy that Kenji was able to make Warner smile! I mean he made him smile!!! That’s such an accomplishment! *lol* So yeah, I totally dig them! Sorry Tahereh! I can’t help it! ;-P

”I don’t really know man,” Kenji says, and sighs. “I think, this time, you just have to deal with the consequences of your own stupidity.”
I look away, bite back a laugh, and nod several times as I say, “Go to hell, Kishimoto.”
“I’m right behind you, bro.” He winks at me. Just once. And disappears.


Juliette & Warner:

”I miss you,” she says. It’s a whisper I almost don’t catch.
“I’m right here,” I say, gently touching her cheek. “I’m right here, love.”
But she shakes her head. Even as I pull her closer, even as she falls back asleep, she shakes her head.


MY SHIP HAS SUNK!!! *sobs* WHY TAHEREH??!!! Why did you have to do this? This was so damn painful to read!! I mean I understand that both of them had a lot of baggage and that they couldn’t change the way they are, but this?! WHY? So much heartbreak and pain on both of their sides!!! I just wanted them to be happy, to overcome their pain together, but nothing of that happened. Instead they drifted apart and didn’t talk to each other!! What happened to their mutual, strong, respectful and understanding relationship?! I can’t even put into words how much this killed me! You better set this right in the next book! They are my OTP!!! They need to be happy together!!! AND WHAT THE FREAKING HELL WAS THIS LAST CHAPTER?!!! Are you telling me that Warner and Juliette already loved each other when they were children?! That they played together and liked each other?!!! OMG!!! This ending really messed with my mind! I NEED BOOK 5! NOW!!! *faints*

”You will be made to feel lonely. Lost. You will long for validation from those you once admired, agonizing between pleasing old friends and doing what is right.” I look up. I feel my heart swell with pride as I stare at her. “But you must never, ever let the idiots into your head. They will only lead you astray.”

”Haider looks Juliette up and down then, examining her outfit, her hair, her plain, worn tennis shoes; and though he says nothing, I can feel his disapproval, his scepticism and ultimately – his disappointment in her.
It makes me want to throw him in the ocean.”


”Love.
It hits me with a painful force, the reminder. Of just how much I love her. God, I love all of her. Her impossibilities, her exasperations. I love how gentle she is with me when we’re alone. How soft and kind she can be in our quiet moments. How she never hesitates to defend me.
I love her.”


”This, I think, is the way to die.
I could drown in this moment and I’d never regret it. I could catch fire from this kiss and happily turn to ash. I could live here, die here, right here, against his hips, his lips. In the emotion in his eyes as he sinks into me, his heartbeats indistinguishable from mine.
This. Forever. This.“


”It’s a picture of a little boy standing next to a little girl. She’s sitting in a stairwell. He looks at her as she eats a piece of cake.
I flip it over.

Aaron and Ella“

4
All told, there was a lot about “Restore Me” that I loved, but also so much I hated. I’m really conflicted now and I don’t know if I loved or if I hated the book. After reading the ending I had to supress the sudden urge to throw it against a wall, but I also wanted to cradle it and cry my heart out. Ahhh I just don’t know how to feel about his book. I’m drowning in my emotions here. >_<

All I know is that I’m devastated and that I want to read “Shatter Me 5” asap! Shatter Me 5… there isn’t even a title yet. URGH!!! *dies*

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Champion (Marie Lu)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 16 on My Book List 2021

“Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”

I just wrote down that quote and I’m already bawling my eyes out… again! T_T Marie Lu certainly killed me with that ending. It’s like a shot in the heart and I’m still not over it and this even though I finished “Champion” about a month ago. Jeez! A month and my feelings are still all over the place. Yes, it was THAT good! T_T I don’t think I’ll get over it anytime soon. Well, maybe if I borrow “Rebel” from the library and replace the ending of this book with new information from the fourth instalment.

Seriously, I hope this will work because I can’t live with the ending of “Champion”. Does this sound a little bit too dramatic? Well, for me it is! Anyway, let’s get back to the overall review. When I began to read this book I thought that it would be mostly about June and Day because Commander Jameson and Thomas were finally out of the picture. Unfortunately the Colonies decided they wanted a piece of the cake that is the Republic and used the plague as a cause to invade it. Which basically meant that our infamous OTP is forced to fight against them while Day’s health is slowly deteriorating. And this just broke my heart! T_T

Of course there were a lot of plot twists I didn’t see coming even though I probably should have known better because Marie Lu is very adept at throwing them with the biggest impact. This said, the pacing of the book was slower this time around and there wasn’t as much action as in the first two books. I think this was realistic though because 1.) This book was more character driven than its predecessors and 2.) Day’s condition just didn’t give enough room to go for unrealistic action scenes. Still, despite all that “Champion” was a great finale and I can’t wait to dive into my characters section, which I’m going to do right now because I have feelings that need to pour out!

2

You are entering Antarctica the country of modern technology and progress. Be careful, though, not everything is as shiny as it seems and there might be backstabbing spoilers ahead of you. 😉

June:

June sees the hesitation on my face and knows it’s a confirmation of her fear. She bites her lip. “It’s my fault,” she says, as if it’s just simple logic. “And I’m not sure I will ever be able to earn your forgiveness. I shouldn’t.”

June broke my freaking heart. She stabbed me with her knife and left me bleeding all over the floor and the thing is, I can’t even be angry at her?! It might have killed me but she grew so much as a character and I can’t really hold it against her. She knows that her actions were unforgivable and that they hurt Day, yet she can’t change anything about it. Add Anden and his advances to the picture as well and you have a really confused girl that doesn’t know what to do. XD I kinda liked to see that side of her though because it was in total contrast to the girl she was in the first book. She learned to deal with her emotions while still being a badass soldier and the combination of both is just sexy. *lol* Still, the sacrifice she made in the end killed me and I basically yelled at the pages! >_<

”Now fate has handed the solution to me on a silver platter – Day survived his ordeal, and in return, I need to step out of his life. Even though he looks at me now like a stranger, he no longer has the look of pain and tragedy that always seemed to come with the passion and love he gazed at me with. Now he is free.
He is free of us, leaving me as the only bearer of our past’s burden.”

Day:

”I feel so out of place among these aristocrats, with their bank accounts and posh manners. No matter how much money the Republic throws at me, I will forever be the boy from the streets.”

*screams in heartbreak* Day crying alone in the abandoned kitchen of his family’s old house was legit one of the saddest moments in this series. T_T Gosh! Where to start?! Day suffered so much in this series already and to see how he got weaker and weaker with every passing day just killed me. I think after finishing “Prodigy” I was kind of in denial and thought that his brain tumour might just be a cruel way to keep him in line. But no… Marie Lu actually went through with it and I died about a thousand deaths. To see how his health deteriorated was so painful and yet still he worried about Eden and June and the people of the Republic. If anyone ever needed proof that Day is an angel: Well, this is it! I mean despite everything he still fought for what he believed in and gave it everything. I just can’t with this precious boy! <333

”What makes me lose my breath, though, is that he’s leaning heavily on a pair of crutches. How long has he been here? He looks exhausted, pale, and distant. I wonder what new drugs the doctors are trying on him. The thought is a sudden, stabbing reminder of Day’s waning life, the few seconds he has left, slowly ticking by.”

”My heart’s been torn wide open, just like I feared it would be, and i have no willpower to close it back up. Any barrier I might’ve succeeded in putting up around myself, any resistance I might’ve built up against my feelings for her, is now completely gone. Shattered.”

”Help me,” I whisper desperately to the empty room. “I can’t do this.” I want to, I love her, but I can’t bear it. It’s been almost a year. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just move on?”

”The Republic is weak and broken.” I narrow my eyes. “But it is still your country. Fight for it. This is your home, not theirs.”

”You and I will probably never get a chance to meet. But I know you. You have taught me about all the good things in my life, and why I’ve fought for my family all these years. I hope for great things for your own loved ones, that they can go through life without suffering the way mine have.”

Anden:

”I don’t want to hear anyone else right now. I want to hear you. You are the heart of the people, Day – you always have been. You’ve given everything you have in order to protect them.” Day stiffens beside me, but Anden goes on. “I fear for the people. I worry about their safety, that we’ll be handing them over to the enemy just as we’re starting to put the pieces together.”

You know, Anden is actually a very decent guy. I really liked him and I appreciated that he trusted Day so much. He’s exactly the kind of elector the Republic needed and I’m sure he will do a great job at guiding his country into the future. If anyone can do it, it’s him! He cares for his people and he only wants the best for them. This makes him already very different to his father and I loved that about him. Plus he’s a good loser! He knew exactly that June’s heart was with Day but he never resented her for it. Quite the contrary, he accepted his defeat with dignity and there aren’t many people who would have been able to do so. I guess I’m an Anden fan now. =)

”I envy Day, you know,” he says, his voice as soft as ever. “I’m jealous that he gets to make decisions with his heart. Every choice he makes is honest, and the people love him for it. He can afford to use his heart.”

”You are a soldier, Ms. Iparis, through and through – but it has been an honor to see you as a Princeps-Elect.” The Elector of the Republic bows to me. “Whatever happens from here, I hope you remember that.”

3

June & Day:

Half of my heart is breaking at the pain on her face; the other half, I realize guiltily, is swelling with happiness to know that she still cares. There’s love in her tragic words, in the folds of that thin metal ring. Isn’t there?
Finally, I take a deep breath. “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”

Talk about star-crossed lovers! I swear Marie Lu is a master at giving us star-crossed love stories. She seems to love to kill us and I have yet to come across a Marie Lu series that doesn’t stab me with the feels. I mean THOSE TWO… I CAN’T!!! T_T My freaking heart got stabbed repeatedly just to shrivel into a little black pea at the ending of the book. Because unlike the majority of this planet named earth I JUST CAN’T with bittersweet endings like that! Like ARADKAFJASDFKASJFAKSDFJSDADKF! 10 YEARS??!!! Are you freaking kidding me?!! I’m having a déjà vu now because I just remembered the ending of Pirates of the Carribean 3. And my reaction back then was basically the same. >_< Didn’t we suffer enough already, Marie!? Why did you have to do this?!! ARGH!!!! *has a mental breakdown* Okay, I’m fine. *says it like Neil Josten* Also is it just me or did June really never tell him that she loves him?!! ARGHIIIIIIIIIIIII! If she doesn’t say it in “Rebel” I’m probably gonna die! Yep, I’m THAT invested! I mean I understand why June didn’t and let him go in the end but still… I’m fine. Totally. T_T

”Has it really been so long since the last time we kissed? Have I really missed him this much? Have all the problems threatening to crush us both weakened us to the point where we are gasping for breath, clinging desperately to each other for survival? I’ve forgotten how right it feels to be in his arms.”

”Why do I do this to myself? I see you and feel such – “ He has tears in his eyes now. The sight is more than I can bear. He takes two steps away from me and then turns back like a caged animal. “Do you even love me?” he suddenly asks. He grips both of my shoulders. “I’ve said it to you before, and I still mean it. But I’ve never heard it from you. I can’t tell. And then you give me this ring” – he pauses to hold his hand up – “and I don’t know what to think anymore.”

Day just smiles at me, an expression so sad that it breaks through my numbness, and I begin to cry. Those bright blue eyes. Before me is the boy who has bandaged my wounds on the streets of Lake, who has guarded his family with every bone in his body, who has stayed by my side in spite of everything, the boy of light and laughter and life, of grief and fury and passion, the boy whose fate is intertwined with mine, forever and always.
“I love you,” he whispers. “Can you stay awhile?”

”I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”

”It’s you,” he whispers. There is wonder in his voice.
“Is it?” I whisper back, my voice trembling with all the emotions I’ve kept hidden for so long.
Day is so close, and his eyes are so bright. “I hope,” he replies softly, “to get to know you again. If you are open to it. There is a fog around you that I would like to clear away.”

Tess & Day:

”What were my last words to her … back when we had botched the Patriot’s assassination attempt on Anden? Please, Tess – I can’t leave you here. But that’s exactly what I did.
I turn away, taking another drag on my cigarette. Do I miss her? “Every day,” I reply.

I’m so glad they resolved their differences and finally had this dire needed talk! They had to sort their feelings first and needed to talk things out properly. Also it made me happy to know that Tess was there for Day and accompanied him on his difficult way. To be honest it was kind of sad to hear that they didn’t have as much contact ten years after, but then I guess that’s life and it was very realistic that they kind of grew apart over time. I mean they obviously still kept contact but it was different than their super close relationship as teens. Still, I’ll always be happy they reconciled. =)

I swallow hard and look down. “but I don’t love you the way you want me to. I’m sorry if I ever gave you the wrong impression. I don’t think I’ve ever treated you as well as you deserve.” My heart twists painfully as the words leave my mouth, striking her as they do. “So don’t be sorry. It’s my fault, not yours.”

”When the entire world turned its back on me and left me to die, you took me in. You were the one person who cared about what might happen to me. You were everything. Everything. You became my entire family – you were my parents and my siblings and my caretaker, my only friend and companion, you were both my protector and someone who needed protecting. You see? I didn’t love you in the way you might’ve thought I did, although I can’t deny that was part of it. But the way I feel goes beyond that.”

June & Thomas:

”Your brother froze, like I thought he would. There was complete stillness. We drew apart, the silence heavy around us, and for a moment I wondered whether I’d made a huge mistake, whether I’d simply misread every signal from the past few years. Or perhaps, perhaps he knew what I was up to. I felt a strange sense of relief at that thought. Maybe id’d be better if Metias figured out Commander Jamesons’s plans for him. Maybe there’s a way to get out of this.”

I didn’t think it would be possible for me to despise Thomas even more but boy, “Champion” really made me hate him! How could he do this to Metias?! A person he obviously loved?! Or he wouldn’t have kissed him. Thomas was such a FOOL! He’s the living and breathing epitome of ignorance! How could he be so thick in the head?! Like seriously?! How can he live and breathe every single day knowing he killed the only person who ever loved him?! My only explanation is that Thomas was an unfeeling robot. His death was random and stupid and truth be told exactly the kind of death his character deserved. No tears for Thomas just one sentence: Good riddance! XD

”I could’ve chosen Day’s route. I could have become a criminal. But I didn’t. I did everything right, you know. That was what Metias loved about me. He respected me. I followed all the rules, I obeyed all the laws, I worked my way up from where I started.” He leans toward me; his eyes grow more desperate. “I took an oath, June. I am still bound by that oath. I will die with honor for sacrificing everything I have – everything – for my country. And yet, Day is the legend, while I am to be executed.” His voice finally breaks with all his anguish and inner torment, the injustice he feels. “It makes no sense.”

Day & Eden:

”Man, look at us,” I reply. My laughter turns into coughs. “What a team, yeah?”
Eden finds me by placing a tentative hand on my head. He sits beside me with his legs crossed and gives me a wry grin. “Hey – with your metal leg and half a brain, and my four leftover senses, we almost make a whole person.”

Day’s unconditional love for Eden will always tug at my heartstrings. This boy loves his family so damn much and since Eden is the only one who is left of it his baby brother means the world to him. <333 I just loved those two and their close relationship and gosh, when Day carried Eden even though he was shot by Commander Jameson I was covering my mouth and praying that June would take out that cold hearted bitch before she could shoot him a second time. This boy really gave everything for his family and people. T_T I just hope Day and Eden will always have such a close bond. As it seems they are still close 10 years after all the happenings in “Champion” so there’s that, right?

A lump rises in my throat. “Eden,” I begin, “we’ve lost Mom and John. Dad is gone. You’re all I have left. I can’t afford to lose you too. Everything I’ve done so far, I’ve done for you. I’m not letting you risk your life to save the Republic – or the Colonies.”
The defiance fades from Eden’s eyes. He props his arms up on the railing and leans his head against his hands. “If there’s one thing I know about you,” he says, “it’s that you’re not selfish.”

”A small, bittersweet smile tugs at the corners of my mouth. Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves. Except it’s not his life that we need in order to save Tess, but his brother’s.”

”You did good,” I reply. “I’m proud of you.” And I am. I’m prouder of him than I’ve ever been of myself – I’m proud of him for standing up to me.”

4

And here I hoped Marie Lu would give me an ending that wouldn’t break me. I should have known better. She’s famous for her bittersweet endings and this one was as bittersweet as they get. I definitely need to get my hands on “Rebel” and I hope it will be able to ease my mind because right now it’s still reeling. 4 weeks after finishing “Champion” I can say that the book finished me instead. My heart is still bleeding. >_<

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

”Words, I think, are such unpredictable creatures.
No gun, no sword, no army or king will ever be more powerful than a sentence. Swords may cut and kill, but words will stab and stay, burying themselves in our bones to become corpses we carry into the future, all the time digging and failing to rip their skeletons from our flesh.”

Do you still remember my review of “Unravel me”?
Yes?!
Okay! Then let me tell you something:

“Ignite me” was so much better than the last book!!!!

I don’t know how Tahereh Mafi did it but she killed me!!!! I died about a thousand deaths while I read this book and I have absolutely no clue how I even survived to read this!!! Gosh, that book left me reeling and laughing and gasping and crying and swooning and drooling and I had absolutely no idea what to do with all those feels!!!
I bit my nails, I was desperate, I was hopeful, I wanted to smash the book against a wall – which would have been pretty bad because I read it on my e-reader and I’m quite certain it wouldn’t have survived this special kind of treatment *lol* – I wanted to shake some of the characters, wanted to yell at them, I wanted to laugh with them, I wanted to punch some sense into their heads. (Yeah, Adam it’s you I’m talking about!!!) And most of all I really, really wanted them to be happy and fine!!!

So yeah, I think you get the idea! 😉
It was an emotional rollercoaster and I actually loved every second of it! *lol*

That said I guess I can finally jump to the actual review! I hope you manage to read until the end. If not: You’ve been brave and I don’t blame you! ;-P

1

„My eyes are filling fast with tears and I blink and blink but the world is a mess and I want to laugh because all I can think is how horrible and beautiful it is, that our eyes blur the truth when we can’t bear to see it.“

The book basically starts where “Unravel me” left off. Juliette has been saved by Warner and was brought back to base while she was unconscious. In the first chapter we learn that Omega Point has been destroyed completely and that Warner had no other choice than to smuggle Juliette into his private quarters. Of course our heroine is not happy about the bad new and wants to find out what truly happened and if anyone is still alive. So yeah our golden boy and our lethal girl decide to take a trip to the place where Omega Point used to be and it’s actually there, where the plot thickens and everything gains momentum! 😉 Since I don’t want to spoil you I decided to leave it at that, I’m pretty certain that most of you have already read the entire trilogy though.
So for everyone who’s already read the books and for everyone who doesn’t want to be spoiled:

The character’s section is going to be full, I repeat, full of spoilers!!! So beware my fellow readers! Ye be warned!!! ;-P *lol*

2

Juliette:

I loved how self-confident and strong Juliette has become. She’s finally capable of forming her own opinions and she doesn’t take – forgive me my crude choice of words – shit anymore! *lol* The old Juliette would have cowered and accepted the way Adam treated her, the new Juliette kicked ass!!! Quite literally as well! XD I was so proud of her! She finally had the courage to stand up for herself and her beliefs and she didn’t only make her own decisions but also made sure to follow through with them! It was amazing to watch her transformation and I was so glad she finally found herself!!! There was only one thing I didn’t like about her and that was how she let Warner suffer! How dare you Juliette! How dare you to break his wonderful and gentle heart!!!! I mean jeez I know you had to think things through, but seriously!!!! It’s WARNER we’re talking about!!!! That awesome hot guy who’s crazy and madly in love with you!!!! XD Open your freakin eyes!!! *lol* Okay, okay enough of the rant, everything is fine! 😉

”Or,” I say to him, “I leave, find your father, kill him, and deal with the consequences on my own.”
Warner fights a smile and fails.
He glances down and laughs just a little before looking me right in the eye. He shakes his head.
“What’s so funny?”
“My dear girl.”
“What?”
“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now.”

„I can’t be that girl anymore.
For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree.
I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind.”

”I remember it so well.” I hesitate. “Dying. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced. I couldn’t scream because my lungs were torn apart or full of blood. I don’t know. I just had to lie there, trying to breathe, hoping to drop dead as quickly as possible. And the whole time,” I say, “the whole time I kept thinking about how I’d spent my entire life being a coward, and how it got me nowhere. And I knew that if I had the chance to do it all again, I’d do it differently. I promised myself I’d finally stop being afraid.”

”This isn’t about Adam or Warner,” I tell him. “This is about me and what I want. This is about me finally understanding where I want to be in ten years. Because I’m going to be alive, Kenji. I will be alive in ten years, and I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be strong. And I don’t need anyone to tell me that anymore. I am enough, and I always will be.”

Adam:

Well, I think I’ve to take that back. Nothing is fine when it comes to Adam. Adam… that name… I just have to think about him and I become aggressive. Oh man, I seriously have issues with that boy!!! I already wanted to slap some sense into him while I read “Unravel me”, reading about his character in “Ignite me” I was actually tempted to punch him in the face! Gosh!! That stupid, stupid, stubborn, selfish, obnoxious and incorrigible jerk!!! And that’s actually me putting it more than just mildly! I hate him, I loathe him, I want to scratch him with my fingernails! How dare he to be so egoistic and mean!? When I read chapter 27 I was so angry I wanted to slap him in his stupid pretty face!!! Saying that he was happier when he thought Juliette was dead?!!?? I mean seriously!!??? WHAT THE FREAKIN HELL!??!!! Don’t you have any decency?! And then he even has the nerve to throw her out and to keep his relation to Warner a secret? *grrrrrr* I could go on and on about how much I despise him now, but I think I’ll just leave it at that. ADAM is dead to me and the fact he decided to get to know Warner in the end still doesn’t change anything about my opinion! What a stupid fool!!!

”It’s not charity,” I snap. “He cares about me – and I care about him!”
Warner nods, unimpressed. “You should get a dog, love. I hear they share much the same qualities.”

What do you know about being alive?” he demands. “You wouldn’t say a word when I first found you. You were afraid of your own shadow. You were so consumed by your grief and guilt that you’d gone almost completely insane – living so far inside your own head that you had no idea what happened to the world while you were gone.”

You don’t even know what you’re saying,” Kenji tells him. “You’re acting crazy – “
“I was happier,” Adam says, “when I thought she was dead.”
“You don’t mean that. Don’t say things like that, man. Once you say that kind of shit you can’t take it back –“
“Oh, I mean it,” Adam says. “I really, really mean it.” He finally looks at me. Fists clenched. “Thinking you were dead,” he says to me, “was so much better. It hurt so much less than this.”

“And right now, I can’t say I know what Adam would do if I were dying in front of him. I’m not sure if he would save my life. And that uncertainty alone makes me certain that something wasn’t right between us. Something wasn’t real.
Maybe we both fell in love with the illusion of something more.”

Warner:

He’s standing at the front door, hands shoved casually in his pockets, no fewer than six different guns pointed at his face.”

Oh Warner… *sighs dreamily* With every book I read I loved that boy more and more! He still is awesomeness on two legs and if possible he got even more awesome throughout the book. Gosh, how much I love him!!! I’m Warner trash, I want to have his babies, he’s the perfect man and he’s easily become my no.1 book boyfriend. (Well, truth be told Will and he seem to share that place now. *LOL*) We finally saw more of his vulnerable side and I loved E.V.E.R.Y single S.E.C.O.N.D of it!!! I loved how he came to Juliette rescue when Adam and her had that argument back at Adam’s house and I was so heartbroken when he tried to hide his scars in chapter 32. And good god, I swear when I read chapter 50 it broke my heart into tiny little pieces. I was crying so hard I was even forced to take a break. That chapter literally killed me! I was so overwhelmed by my emotions I could barely breathe. My heart ached so much… that poor lost boy, to read that chapter was pure torture and just to remember it is actually enough to cause me to weep again. *sniff* Warner suffered and hurt so much throughout the entire book and all I wanted to do was to cradle him and to take his pain away. No one deserves to be so miserable and alone and I really hated Adam for hiding his and James’s true identity. If I’m entirely honest I also kind of hated Juliette for being so indecisive and when they finally hit it off I was so happy I grinned the entire time. =))))))

I’ve said it before, love, and I’m sorry I have to say it again, but you do not understand the choices I have to make. You don’t know what I’ve seen and what I’m forced to witness every single day.” He hesitates. “And I wouldn’t want you to. But do not presume to understand my actions,” he says, finally meeting my eyes. “Because if you do, I can assure you you’ll only be met with disappointment. And if you insist on continuing to make assumptions about my character, I’ll advise you only this: assume you will always be wrong.”

“He wasn’t trying to patronize me.
He was enjoying himself.
Aaron Warner Anderson, chief commander and regent of Sector 45, son of the supreme commander of The Reestablishment.
He has a soft spot for fashion.”

”I have no one to impress,” he says. “No one who cares about what happens to me. I’m not in the business of making friends, love. My job is to lead an army, and it’s the only thing I’m good at. No one,” he says, “would be proud of the things I’ve accomplished. My mother doesn’t even know me anymore. My father thinks I’m weak and pathetic. My soldiers want me dead. The world is going to hell. And the conversations I have with you are the longest I’ve ever had.”

Warner takes a hard, shaky breath. “Then what did you say to him?”
Seven seconds die between us.
“Nothing,” I whisper.
Warner stills.
I don’t breathe.
No one speaks for what feels like forever.
“Of course,” Warner finally says. He looks pale, unsteady. “You said nothing. Of course.”

”The bed is empty.
Warner has collapsed in the corner.
He’s curled into himself, knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, his head buried in his arms. And he’s shaking.
Tremors are rocking his entire body.
I’ve never, ever seen him look like a child before. Never, not once, not in all the time I’ve known him. But right now, he looks just like a little boy. Scared. Vulnerable. All alone.”

”It’s the only way I know how to exist,” he says. “In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take everything.”
I stare into his eyes for what feels like forever.
He leans into my ear. Lowers his voice. “Ignite, my love. Ignite.”

Kenji:

I think that boy is the most complex side character I ever had the pleasure to come across. *lol* He’s funny and serious at the same time and he cares so deeply for his friends that it’s sometimes even kind of painful to watch. I loved how he cared about Juliette and how he tried his best to support her. It was pretty obvious that he didn’t agree with her opinion about Warner, yet he still accepted her decision and tried everything possible in order to understand her motives. I really wish there would be more Kenji’s out in the world and I truly hope that Kenji finds true love in the next book. Do you hear me, Mafi? I want Kenji to have a girlfriend in “Restore me”!!! He deserves it, he sooo does!!! XD If you haven’t written a girlfriend for him already, you still got plenty of time to change this!!! 😉 So yeah, do it!!!!! Oh and by the way: That’s an order and no request!!! *LOL*

“You’re not bothered by all the heavy breathing going on over here?” He makes a haphazard gesture towards us.
I jump away from Adam reflexively.
“No,” James says, crossing his arms. “Are you?”
“Disgust was my general reaction, yeah.”
“I bet you wouldn’t think it was gross if it was you.”
A long pause.
“You make a good point,” Kenji finally says. “Maybe you should find me a lady in this crappy sector. I’m okay with anyone between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five.” He points at James. “So how about you get on that, thanks.”

“Good for you. I’ll buy you a balloon the minute the world stops shitting on itself.”
“Thank you,” I say, pleased. “You’re a good teacher.”
“I’m good at everything,” he points out.
“Humble, too.”
“And really good looking.”
I choke on a laugh.

“It just gets really heavy sometimes.” He looks away. “Too heavy. Even for me. And some days I don’t want to laugh,” he says. “I don’t want to be funny. I don’t want to give a shit about anything. Some days I just want to sit on my ass and cry. All day long.” His hands stop moving against the mats. “Is that crazy?” he asks quietly, still not meeting my gaze.

”Who’s Bruce Lee?”
“Who’s Bruce Lee?” Kenji asks, horrified. “Oh my God. We can’t even be friends anymore.”
“Why? Was he a friend of yours?”
“You know what,” he says, “just stop. Just – I can’t even talk to you right now.”

James:

Oh that little boy was just so adorable and I had to laugh so hard whenever he spoke with Warner! Those two brothers had such an awesome chemistry and I loved how open and unprejudiced James was! Unlike Adam he actually saw the good in Warner and I just loved him for it! XD

Warner studies Jame’s face with rapt fascination. He bends down on one knee, meets James at eye level. “And who are you?” he asks.
Everyone in the room is silent, watching.

”Why do you call her ‘love’?” James asks. “I’ve heard you say that before, too. A lot. Are you in love with her? I think Adam’s in love with her. Kenji’s not in love with her, though. I already asked him.”
Warner blinks at him.
“Well?” James asks.
“Well what?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“Are you in love with her?”
“What?” James blushes. “No. She’s like a million years older than me.”
“Would anyone like to take over this conversation?” Warner asks, looking around in the group.

”So, wait – then you’re not the bad guy,” James says all of a sudden. “You’re on our side, right?”
Warner turns slowly to meet James’s eyes. Says nothing.
“Well?” James asks, impatient. “Aren’t you on our side?”
Warner blinks. Twice. “So it seems,” he says, looking as though he can hardly believe he’s saying it.

Anderson:

Thank god he was finally shot and didn’t even get a proper chance to say anything! I swear everything that man ever said revolted me immensely and I’m just glad that it’s over and that no word is ever going to escape his lips again. XD

”And shoot him in the forehead.
Twice.
Once for Adam.
Once for Warner.”

So yeah, I loved the entire book and if there is one thing I didn’t like than it’s just the fact that the trilogy is over and that the ending was too fast. I would have liked to see more of the aftermath and I kind of hoped for some sort of epilogue, but considering the fact that Tahereh Mafi is going to write three other books I don’t feel the urge to complain! *lol*

All told, I highly recommend the “Shatter me” trilogy and if you haven’t read it already you definitely should!!!! 😉

And last but not least: This was a buddy read with the awesome Megha and I was sooo damn glad I was able to talk about all those feels!!! Thanks a lot! You rock!!! XD

”You know,” he whispers, his lips at my ear, “the whole world will be coming for us now.”
I lean back. Look into his eyes.
“I can’t wait to watch them try.”

Allgemein, Reviews, U, U - Z

Review: Unravel Me (Tahereh Mafi)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

I can’t. I just can’t deal with all those feels!!!
I finished reading this book about two days ago, yet my feelings are still too muddled and my mind is spinning and I just can’t seem to be able to think straight. XD

I swear that book killed me and if Mafi’s third book “Ignite Me” is going to be as good as this one – I seriously don’t even dare to think that it might be even better – it actually might be the death of me! *lol*

All I can do is to try to write a halfway coherent review of “Unravel Me” and considering all the feelings and the emotional rollercoaster I went through “to try” actually seems to be the right choice of words.

I loved that book! I loved it so much I decided to buy the entire “Shatter Me” series in paperback just so I can mark all my favourite moments!! *lol* Okay admittedly most of them will be Warner moments but then again that boy is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.N.E.S.S on two legs! No doubt, you know exactly what I mean! *wriggles eyebrows*

Anyway you wanted a review and I promise I’ll try my very best to give it to you! So yeah, we better get this started right?

1

The storyline begins with Juliette’s life at Omega Point and her constant struggle to become a part of the community. Knowing our young heroine it’s not all too hard to guess that she’s doing a rather awful job at adapting to her new circumstances and even though Adam tries his best to keep her grounded things unfortunately aren’t as easy as they seem to be. If I would have to sum it up I’d say that plot-wise there actually doesn’t happen a lot. Mostly because the rebels are just hiding at Omega Point and try to prepare for war. Considering the love story, there happens so much that you barely get a chance to breathe though. So yeah if you’re a sucker for love stories this book will tear you apart and scatter your remains in all four cardinal directions. If you’re not into YA love stories, teen angst and heart palpitations I’d not only advise you to give this book a wide berth but also would suggest to read another book of your – no doubt long – “to be read” list! ;-P

2

WARNING will contain spoilers and many quotes! XD

Juliette:

I loved how much she has grown in this book. At the beginning of “Shatter me” she was so insecure and frail, already scratching her sentences before she even got a proper chance to think them to an end. Now she has so many different thoughts that she can barely contain them, constantly thinking about everything that’s happening, second-guessing her own decisions, second-guessing other people’s decisions, second-guessing her relationships with Adam and Warner. It was refreshing to see that she’s finally beginning to think about the things she wants and that she actually realised that not everything is black and white. Especially not Warner! *lol* 😉

“I took what I wanted. I knew better and I took it anyway. Adam couldn’t have known, he could never have known what it would be like to really suffer at my hands. He was innocent of the depth of it, of the cruel reality of it. He’d only felt bursts of my power, according to Castle. He’d only felt small stabs of it and was able and aware enough to let go without feeling the full effects.
But I knew better.
I knew what I was capable of.”

“I think about glasses half full and glasses to see the world clearly. I think about sacrifice. And compromise. I think about what will happen if no one fights back. I think about a world where no one stands up to injustice.
And I wonder if maybe everyone here is right.
If maybe it’s time to fight.”

“Maybe it’s because he’s broken and I’m foolish enough to think I can fix him. Maybe it’s because I see myself, I see 3, 4, 5, 6, 17-year-old Juliette abandoned, neglected, mistreated, abused for something out-side of her control and I think of Warner as someone who’s just like me, someone who was never given a chance in life.”

“All I know is that it’ll never be safe for me to rely on someone else again, to need constant reassurance of who I am and who I might someday be. I can love him, but I can’t depend on him to be my backbone. I can’t be my own person if I constantly require someone else to hold me together.”

Adam:

Meh, I don’t know! While I really liked him in the first book and even kind of shipped him with Juliette, my sympathy for him now seems to have vanished. I understand that he hates Warner and that he desperately wants to be with Juliette. His actions and the way he deals with things definitely don’t get my approval though. I mean he could have easily saved them a lot of heartbreak if he just would have been honest to his girl and he’s so blinded by his love for Juliette and his hatred for Warner that he doesn’t even try to understand their point of view. I’m not saying that he should be all like “we’re one big happy family” but I really would have wished that he would have paused for a moment and would have used his brain! *lol* There are damn good reasons why Juliette decided to steer clear of him and I’m sure that if he would have given her some space and time, she probably might have even reconsidered her decision. I mean it’s obvious she loves him but with his actions he’s just pushing her away.

“How is it possible,” he says, “that I’m this close to you and it’s killing me that you’re still so far away?”

“Because it takes a lot more than blood to be family,” he says. “And I want nothing to do with him. I’d like to be able to watch him die and feel no sympathy, no remorse. He’s the textbook definition of a monster,” Adam says to me. “Just like my dad. And I’ll drop dead before I recognize him as my brother.”

Warner:

“He’s a vision of emerald and onyx, silhouetted in the sunlight in the most deceiving way. He could be glowing. That could be a halo around his head. This could be the world’s way of making an example out of irony. Because Warner is beautiful in ways even Adam isn’t.”

All good things come in threes, right? XD I already said it and I say it again: Warner is just amazing! I still love this boy and he’s easily become one of my all-time favourite book boyfriends!!! I probably could gush forever and still wouldn’t be able to put everything into words so I’ll just try my best to form coherent sentences that might be interrupted by high-pitched girl squees! *LOL* Just to let you know and warn you in advance! ;-P
Okay, here we go! Warner is probably one of the most complex characters I ever had the pleasure to encounter and believe me I read so many YA books that this actually means something!!! XD Over the course of the book he’s actually a prisoner at Omega Point, but since Juliette and Warner seem to have a “special connection” Castle just decided to assign her to interrogate him. There were so many scenes I loved and even though I can’t seem to be able to choose, Chapter 45 and Chapter 62 literally, I mean LITERALLY caused me to whimper!!! I had to read those two chapters twice because I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t even… Jeez I still can’t process it!!!

“ I told you I hated you.”
“Yes,” he says. He nods. “Well You’d be surprised how many people say that to me.”
“I don’t think I would.”
His lips twitch. “You tried to kill me.”
“That amuses you.”
“Oh, yes,” he says, his grin growing. “I find it fascinating.” A pause. “Would you like to know why?”
I stare at him.
“Because all you ever said to me,” he explains, “ was that you didn’t want to hurt anyone. You didn’t want to murder people.”
“I don’t.”
“Except for me?”
I’m all out of letters. Fresh out of words. Someone has robbed me of my entire vocabulary.
“That decision was so easy for you to make,” he says. “So simple. You had a gun. You wanted to run away. You pulled the trigger. That was it.”

In case you wondered why this is a spoiler! Because for me it’s exactly the moment in which everything changes! 😉

I love everything about Warner, his honesty, his sweet words, his gentleness when he’s with Juliette, his anger and defiance when he’s around all the others, his broken heart, his fear, his insecurity, his self-confidence, his insolence, his intensity, his cheekiness, how he was able to quote Juliette’s journal, his protectiveness, his bravery his tattoos!!! (OH MY GOD HIS TATTOOS), his thoughts, his mind, his cleverness, his laughter…. See what I’m talking about?! XD

“Finding this,” he says, his voice soft as he pats the cover of my notebook, “was so” – his eyebrows pull together – “it was so extraordinarily painful.”

Let’s just say it and be done with it: I am Aaron Warner trash through and through and if Juliette doesn’t take him I’ll have absolutely no qualms to snatch him away from her! *LOL*

“He stands there, bearing the pain, blinking fast, jaw so tight, staring at his father with absolutely no emotion on his face; there’s no indication he’s just been slapped but the bright red mark across his cheek, his temple, and part of his forehead. But his arm sling is more blood than cotton now, and he looks far too ill to be on his feet.
Still he says nothing.”

“Do you know,” he says, closing the cover of the journal only to lay his hand on top of it. Protecting it. Staring at it. “I couldn’t sleep for days after I read that entry. I kept wanting to know which people were chasing you down the street, who it was you were running from. I wanted to find them,” he says, so softly, “and I wanted to rip their limbs off, one by one. I wanted to murder them in ways that would horrify you to hear.”

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend,” he says. “The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body, Juliette – “

“Please.”
He says “Please don’t shoot me for this.”
And he kisses me.

“ The truth,” he says, “is a painful reminder of why I prefer to live among the lies.”

Kenji:

I really like that he’s kind of become Juliette’s best friend and as a side character that boy really never fails to lighten up the mood. He’s funny and hilarious but at least after chapter 10 we realise that he can be more than just intense as well. XD That boy knows exactly what he’s doing and his mind definitely is at least as sharp as Warner’s. ;-P

“I shake my head, try to bite back my amusement. Kenji is a walking paradox of Unflinchingly Serious Person and 12-Year-Old Boy Going Through Puberty all rolled into one.”

I turn to face him. “Listen, I’m grateful you’re going to help me train now – really I am. Thank you for that. But you can’t go around proclaiming your fake love for me – especially not in front of Adam – and you have to let me cross this room before the breakfast hour is over, okay? I hardly ever get to see him.”
Kenji nods very slowly, looks a little solemn. “You’re right. I’m sorry. I get it.”
“Thank you.”
“Adam is jealous of our love.”

“Yeah, bro.” Kenji puts his utensils down. “You are moody. It’s always ‘Shut up, Kenji.’ ‘Go to sleep, Kenji.’ No one wants to see you naked, Kenji.” When I know for a fact that there are thousands of people who would love to see me naked – “

Anderson:

I hate him!!! I loathe him and I really wish that someone would finally put a stop to his cruel games! That man is just despicable and neither Adam, nor Warner nor James deserve a father like that!!!! I really hope the Reestablishment and Anderson fall together and that said I just can’t wait to read the next book! ;-P

“But then,” he says, laughing a little, “just as I began drafting my plans, my son came to me and begged me not to kill you. Just you.” He stops. Looks up. “He actually begged me not to kill you.” Laughs again. “It was just as pathetic as it was surprising.”

“Anderson’s gun is no longer pointed at me. He forgets me long enough to press the barrel of his gun into Warner’s forehead, twisting it, jabbing it against his skin as he speaks.”

Oh well, as it seems my review finally has come to an end! *lol*

For everyone that actually managed to read until now:
Thank you! I really hope you enjoyed my review and I’d be glad if you’d stay tuned for my thoughts about “Ignite me”. ;-P

And before I forget: This was a buddy read with Megha!!!
We’re going to rock „Ignite me“ as well! 😉

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Suzanne Collins)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
 
Book 33 on My Book List 2020
 

”Being a hero at home had its limitations; he needed a larger audience.”

So, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” made it into the “Goodreads Choice Awards 2020” and is probably one out of 3 books I actually managed to read this year. *lol* Taking a closer look at all the reviews that have been written about it, I have no idea how it ended up as a nominee in the awards but I suppose the main reason why it made its way in there is because it’s popular and provoked very conflicting emotions. I mean, all publicity is good publicity, right? 😉

I can see why so many people didn’t like it. The expectations for this were probably sky high and if you expected something similar like “The Hunger Games” it’s no wonder people ended up hating the book. As for me? Well, I went into this completely blind and all I knew was that it was going to be about President Snow. And tell you what?! I enjoyed it immensely! XD This book was right up my alley and the carefully hidden Slytherin/Dark Court faerie in me was a happy camper! ;-P (As was the part of me that loves to collect hints that are linked to the main trilogy.)

Yes, Coriolanus Snow is neither a hero nor an especially likable person but he’s cunning and knows how to use his strengths. I loved all the machinations and lies, the countless manipulations and the back-stabbing attitude of the tributes as well as their mentors. It kept the story going, it forced me to take a closer look at some of Coryo’s classmates and it helped me to understand Snow a little bit better. Mind you, I still hate him! *lol* But you can enjoy a book and still dislike its protagonist. 😉 So if you’re looking for a slow book whose focus is on the art of schemes, I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this. If you’re looking for action and a good redemption arc, well, I’m sorry to say it, but you won’t get it in here. This is no story in which the heroes win; it’s a murky, morally grey and ambitious tale. And it ends with: “SNOW LANDS ON TOP. ;-P

2

You’re entering the Capitol! Make sure to leave all your good intentions at the front door because you certainly won’t need them in here. Be prepared to read some spoilers and to discuss them with our host Lucky Flickerman! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Once you enter this spoilery arena all bets are off!

Coriolanus Snow:

”A tendency toward obsession was hardwired into his brain and would likely be his undoing if he couldn’t learn to outsmart it.”

I have so many mixed feelings about this boy! On the one hand there were moments I could relate to him and on the other hand he did a lot of things I didn’t agree with. To say he’s a fascinating character would be the understatement of the century. Is he good? No! Is he bad? No. If anything Coryo is one hell of a multifaceted character and I’ve to give Suzanne kudos for managing to make him this way. So who is Coriolanus Snow while he’s the mentor of Lucy Gray Baird in the 10th Hunger Games? He’s a boy driven by the will to survive! The lengths he’s going to just to ensure that his family “stays on top” are kind of remarkable. I mean there’s a boy who knows hunger, who has nothing but his family, a fancy apartment and his good name. War hardened him, showed him his limits and taught him that sentimentality has no bearing once you’re faced with the decision to either burn your beloved books or to freeze to death. Still, while his cousin Tigris is working hard to keep food on their table, Coryo’s job is to attend the academy’s classes. All in the hope that he’ll become big and earn them enough money to keep them afloat. That’s the boy at the beginning of the book, but the longer I followed his journey, the more it became apparent that he’s also an exceptional egoist and opportunist. Everything he did was calculated, every move he made was deliberate. All of his actions had an ulterior motive, even if it was as simple as not to anger Dr. Gaul. This boy is trying to survive and as long as the end justifies the means everything is allowed! The most fascinating thing for me was the fact that Coriolanus knew Dr. Gaul was trying to manipulate him into a certain direction, but that he still decided to let himself be formed by her. It was way easier than to swim against the tide and to lose everything. There were so many road junctions, so many different routes he could have taken, yet he always, ALWAYS chose the one that made life easier for him. Even if it meant to betray his friends. In the end this led to him being the perfect pawn in Dr. Gaul’s game and it eventually culminated in the poisoning of Dean Highbottom. His first real and intentional murder; the very first cobblestone that paved the way for his cruel future. Well, I don’t know about you, but I think Dr. Gaul won in the end!

”He buried his head in his hands, confused, angry, and most of all afraid. Afraid of Dr. Gaul. Afraid of the Capitol. Afraid of everything. If the people who were supposed to protect you played so fast and loose with your life… then how did you survive? Not by trusting them, that was for sure. And if you couldn’t trust them, who could you trust? All bets were off.”

”I keep asking myself why you did it.”
Not much choice, really, thought Coriolanus. “He’s my friend,” he said.

”What awaited him farther down that slope if he was unable to stop his descent? What else might he be capable of? Well, that was it. It stopped now. If he didn’t have honor, he had nothing. No more deception. No more shady strategies. No more rationalization. From now on he’d live honestly, and if he ended up as a beggar, at least he would be a decent one.”

”He’d continue the Games, of course, when he ruled Panem. People would call him a tyrant, ironfisted and cruel. But at least he would ensure survival for survival’s sake, giving them a chance to evolve. What else could humanity hope for? Really, it should thank him.”

Lucy Gray Baird:

”You can’t take my sass.
You can’t take my talking.
You can kiss my ass
And then keep on walking.
Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.”

I absolutely loved Lucy Gray Baird! She was one hell of a girl and I couldn’t help but admire her for her strength. She was scared and alone, but she still refused to back down. Some might say she’s a survivalist and that would be true. In contrast to Coryo she still has compassion and a good heart though. I think those two were pretty similar but what distinguished them were their different moral concepts and convictions. Coriolanus was like a wind chime always going in the direction of the least resistance without regretting (most of) his decisions while Lucy Gray had to do horrible things in order to survive and despised herself for them. She had to do those things to stay alive, but she neither enjoyed doing them nor did she accept her situation as an excuse. Quite the contrary, she didn’t excuse her actions; she lived with the harsh reality of them! Maybe it was her being a part of the Covey that helped her to get through the Hunger Games. I mean she was exceptionally resourceful and she knew how to work a crowd. Both qualities that worked in her favour. And let’s be honest here, the fact Coryo fell for her gave her an undeniable edge over the other tributes as well. He cared for her wellbeing, gave her food and helped her to avoid the deadly poison of the snakes. Guess Lucy Gray Baird might not only have been sassy and charming but also a little bit manipulative as well. ;-P

”Why? Are you asking?” said Lucy Gray seriously. He looked up in surprise. “Because I think this could work.”
Coriolanus felt himself blush a little at her teasing. “I’m pretty sure you could do better.”

Dr. Gaul:

”If you’re familiar, if they have pleasant associations with your scent – a warm tank, for instance – they’ll ignore you. A new scent, something foreign, that would be a threat,” said Dr. Gaul. “You’d be on your own, little girl.”

Dr. Gaul is one of those characters you can’t help but despise. She has no regard for life, or at least not as long as it isn’t useful for her purposes. This woman was ruthless and cruel, using her position in order to threaten, bully and hurt the people that got in her way. The handful of mentors she took an interest in all either ended up dead or were sent on their way to madness. For her the tributes were as much a part of the game as their mentors and she saw them all as tools. I don’t know why but for some reason the picture of Tilda Swinton in “Snowpiercer” always came to my mind when I thought of Dr. Gaul. *lol*It just seemed to fit her personality and the weirdness of her character. The thing that happened with Clemensia?! Oh boy! Dr. Gaul was one hell of a manipulative witch and it’s no surprise Snow turned out the way he is now after ending up under her tutelage. >_<

”How quickly civilization disappears. All your fine manners, education, family background, everything you pride yourself on, stripped away in the blink of an eye, revealing everything you actually are. A boy with a club who beats another boy to death. That’s mankind in its natural state.”

Sejanus Plinth:

”They’re not animals, though,” said Sejanus. “They’re kids, like you and me.”
“They’re not like me!” the little girl protested. “They’re district. That’s why they belong in a cage!”

Sejanus Plinth was too precious for this world and that’s exactly what cost him his life in the end. He was too trusting, too compassionate; he saw the tributes as people and not as animals like everyone else. Sejanus was brave but also so very innocent and naive. I think he underestimated the power, wiliness and cruelty of the people he was dealing with. On the one hand that made him braver than any of his classmates but on the other hand it also painted a target on his head. Someone like Sejanus had no place in a world like the Capitol and I think the only three people to ever realize this were his mother, Coryo and yes, unfortunately also Dr. Gaul. I think Sejanus was an idealistic dreamer and I really liked him for it. But dreaming will only get you as far and he didn’t have the necessary slyness to go about things the right way. It pained me to see where his way was heading but as a reader there was nothing I could have done to stop it. Which is another reason why this book was so intriguing. It made me pull for him, but at the same time I knew he wouldn’t make it.

”The only thing I loved about the war was the fact that I still lived at home. If you’re asking me if it had any value beyond that, I would say that it was an opportunity to right some wrongs.”

”You never miss a beat, do you? I remember that from school. Watching you watch other people. Pretending you weren’t. And choosing the moments you weighed in so carefully.”

3

Coriolanus & Lucy:

”So you didn’t have a second thought about diving into a cage of tributes?” prompted the reporter.
“A second, a third, and I imagine the fourth and fifth will be hitting me sometime soon,” admitted Coriolanus. “But if she’s brave enough to be here, shouldn’t I be?”

I really think those two loved each other. The way they fell in love might have been pretty fast but considering their circumstances I think it was realistic. I mean Lucy could have died any second and Coryo’s life was dangerous as well.  Not to mention that they were both very young and at least for Coriolanus it was his first love. If he wouldn’t have harboured real feelings for her he would have never even considered giving her his mother’s compact. It was, after all, his most precious possession. This said they barely knew each other and never had the time to spend all too much time in each other’s company. It’s no surprise they didn’t work out in the end; I’ve to admit that I was sort of thrown by the events at the ending of the book though! I mean OMG!!! After everything they went through together he actually wanted to kill her… just like that?! O_o But that’s Snow for you. He was always way too practical for his own good and he saw an opportunity to get the life he dreamed of. Lucy was the only obstacle left in his way so his logical conclusion was that she had to go. I’m glad Lucy was so smart and figured it out before he got a chance to kill her, but I’ll always wonder what happened to her. Maybe Katniss is her descendant? Who knows?

”You matter to me, Lucy Gray,” he repeated. His words drew her eyes back to him, but she still seemed distant.

”You’re not alone.” He took her hand. “And you won’t be alone in the arena; we’ll be together. I’ll be there every moment. I won’t take my eyes off of you. We’ll win this thing together, Lucy Gray. I promise.”

”It really would be like having you with me, wouldn’t it?”
“Go on,” he urged her. “Take me with you. Take it.”

Coriolanus & Sejanus:

”That’s not your fault,” said Coriolanus.
“I know. I know. I’m so blameless I’m choking on it,” said Sejanus.

Was it friendship or not? I think everyone who read this book might have asked themselves this question at some point. I think it was and then it wasn’t. The only reason Coryo saved Sejanus so often was because he would have probably died if he didn’t. I mean it’s not like Dr. Gaul gave him any choice in that matter. For Sejanus it was definitely friendship, he trusted Snow and considered him to be his best friend. For Coryo? I think some part of him actually cared about Sejanus, but it just wasn’t enough to put his friend before himself. When faced with the choice between his or Sejanus’s life Snow would have always chosen himself. And he did it in the end. He knew exactly what he did when he sent Dr. Gaul that voice record and even though he tried to reason with himself he ultimately knew that he had made the wrong choice. He knew about the consequences, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself into believing that he didn’t and yet he still did it. What really struck me as tragic was that nothing would have happened if he would have let Sejanus disappear with the rebels. I mean all they planned was to run away and to seek refuge in another district. So why did he do it? An ingrained sense of duty? To curry favour with Dr. Gaul? Aside from that he had absolutely no reason to turn on his friend. So if you ask me it was some combination of stepping over his friend to get where he always wanted to be and some twisted kind of payback for all the times he got into trouble because of Sejanus. That’s just my opinion though. If you have another theory: Hit me! I’d love to discuss this! XD

”Thanks. You’re quite the rebel,” said Sejanus as they carried their trays to the conveyor belt that ran to the kitchen.
“I’m bad news , all right,” said Coriolanus.

”The one thing Coriolanus had never questioned was Sejanus’s honesty. If anything, he’d have welcomed a little less of it. But this was a bald-faced lie, delivered as naturally as the truth. Which meant that now anything he said was suspect.”

”Coriolanus buried his face in his hands. He had killed Sejanus as surely as if he’d bludgeoned him to death like Bobbin or gunned him down like Mayfair. He’d killed the person who considered him his brother. But even as the vileness of the act threatened to drown him, a tiny voice kept asking, What choice did you have? What choice? No choice.”

Dr. Gaul and Sejanus:

”Possibly on his way to freedom,” said Sejanus in a strained voice. “Possibly captured and under wraps. Possibly injured and hiding. Possibly dead. I’ve no idea. Do you?”

Honestly, I was kind of impressed that Sejanus was able to defy Dr. Gaul for so long. That boy had guts to stand up to her like that and to question her in front of his entire class. Truth be told I was surprised she didn’t shut him up immediately, but then again he probably was another one of her experiments. She enjoyed to be challenged by him and for a while it seemed to amuse her. Also she would have had plenty of opportunities to harm him but she chose a public execution AFTER the Hunger Games in a district that was so far off that no one even noticed. Talk about revenge. Dr. Gaul got her payback alight. >_<

”That’s our right,” Dr. Gaul countered.
“No, it isn’t! I don’t care what you say. You’ve no right to starve people, to punish them for no reason. No right to take away their life and freedom. Those are things everyone is born with, and they’re not yours for the taking.”

4

Since this was Snow’s story I didn’t expect to be all too invested in it, but the more I read the more I was intrigued by the book. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was definitely a surprise in this regard and I don’t regret picking it up. Backstabbing, cruelty, machinations and complex characters, this book has it all. I can recommend it to everyone who can’t help but appreciate a well-crafted and thought-provoking intrigue. ;-P

Allgemein, F - J, G, Reviews

Review: Golden Son (Pierce Brown)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten
“I will die. You will die. We will all die and the universe will carry on without care. All that we have is that shout into the wind – how we live. How we go. And how we stand before we fall.”

It’s been three days I finished “Golden Son” and I still don’t know how I feel about it, let alone what I think about it. >_<
I’m just so confused and devastated and my heart is nothing but an empty void.

There seem to be three bloodydamn good reasons why I feel that way though:

1.) Pierce Brown ripped out my heart and gave it to the pitvipers.
2.) He broke my mind and didn’t leave any glue.
3.) His book shattered my soul and fractured it into tiny little pieces.

YES! “Golden Son” quite literally destroyed me and I have no idea how I’m supposed to survive the third book. I got so attached to all those characters and whenever something happened to them, I almost got a heart attack. The pacing was so fast, I barely managed to keep up with all those many plot twists and every time I thought I knew in which direction it was heading, the entire story line changed once again. To read this book was like playing chess without any rules. *lol* You have all the familiar chess pieces you need in order to play a decent game of chess, but your nice little figures never do what they are actually meant to do. It’s like they constantly give you the finger instead! XD

That’s so rude Pierce!!
So mean
and cruel
and painful!!!
You hear me?!
SO FREAKING SAVAGE AND EXCRUCIATING!!!
*mental breakdown*

Okay, okay I’m fine again. *clears throat*
Where was I again? Oh, yes the plot!

”How could so frail a girl have such a spirit, such a dream as freedom, when so many strong souls toiled and kept their heads down for fear of looking up?”

1

”They say a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. They made no mention of the heart.”

After graduating from the Institute, Darrow Au Andromedus spent his last three years as a Lancer of House Augustus serving no other than Nero himself. Left to his own devices and without any guidance from Ares he didn’t just try his very best to find his way amongst his fellow Golds but also worked more than just hard to become an integral and important part of Nero’s forces. This however isn’t as easy as it seems and all it needs is a small mistake that’s able to destroy the good reputation he has built. After all there are plenty of enemies that want to get a piece of him, first and foremost Cassius au Bellona and his entire House which still holds a deadly grudge against him. With his loyal Howlers scattered all over the galaxy and only Roque at his side, the growing pressure on Darrow’s shoulders might soon become too strong to stand it any longer. Will he rise like a comet or will he tumble into red dirt?

”Your people. My people. We have languished in darkness. But there will come a day when we walk in the light. It will not come from their mercy. It will not come by fate. It will come when brave hearts rise and choose to break the chains, to live for more.”

2

”We’re all just wounded souls, stumbling about in the dark, desperately trying to stitch ourselves together, hoping to fill the holes they ripped in us.”

This is the moment you enter my spoiler section. There will be lots of quotes and information about the individual characters and most definitely also way too many subjective emotions for your own good! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! ;-P

Darrow:

”I’ve seen her hanged a thousand times now as her martyrdom spreads across the worlds, city by city. Yet each time, it strikes me like a physical blow, nerve endings shivering in my chest, heart beating fast, neck tight just under the jaw. How cruel a life, that the sight of my dead wife means hope.”

Oh Darrow, my torn and insecure child! This boy is hurting so much, not just because of the things people are doing to him, but also because of his past, his current present and the things that might eventually happen in the future. He wears a burden that is too heavy for him but he still tries his best to stay strong, to keep on moving and to fight for the things he values. *sigh* He’s such a torn man, it’s exceptionally painful to watch. For instance Darrow still loves Eo and his family, but he also grew fond of some of his fellow Golds and to say he is walking a thin line between acceptance, betrayal and loyalty is actually putting it more than just mildly. In fact it doesn’t even get close to the truth! >_< That moment when he realised that Sevro knows about his true identity and accepts him the way he is, oh boy did it kill me!!! I was right there crying with him! <333 Darrow has a too gentle soul for what he’s about to do, but his determination and will are incredible! XD I loved how he treated Mickey and I’m really sorry for what happened to the poor Carver. I mean just like Darrow he’s a product of his environment and he certainly didn’t deserve to be abused by Harmony. Still, as much as I admire Darrow he definitely made some huge mistakes as well and I think the ending of “Golden Son” made that more than just clear!!! Urgh that ENDING!! I can’t even… T_T

”In so many ways, I’m still a boy, lost and afraid, seeking warmth and love. When I feel dirt, I honor Eo. And when I see fire, I remember the warmth and flicker of the flames across Mustang’s skin as we lay in our chamber of ice and snow.”

”He can’t say any more because I’m hugging him and crying. I sob and hold on to him, shaking, scaring him. He doesn’t move except to pat me on the head. All the weight falls from my shoulders. Someone knows. He knows and he’s here. He knows and he came to help me. To help me. I can’t stop shaking and saying thank you. Eo was right. I was right. “You are my friend,” I tremble out like a child. It almost makes him cry seeing me this way.”

”Because you’re my friend.” I bring his hands to my lips, kissing them gently as he looks up at me with hopeful eyes. “Weird as you are, wicked as you were. I know you want to be better. You want to live for more. We all do. And there’s not a place they could take one of my friends that I would ever abandon them.”

Mustang:

”Shame you don’t respect me enough to suppose that I have my own plan. You think I’m here because my aching loins thrust me into Bellona arms. Please. I’m no bitch in heat. I protect my family by any means necessary. Who do you protect but yourself?”

I don’t even dare to say it but I was kind of disappointed by Mustang in this book. I mean yes she’s still cheeky and she was one of the good guys, but after “Red Rising” I really would have expected her to play a more important role and to fight for her opinions and rights. First she decided to work for Octavia au Lune and then she became Cassius girlfriend?! Like seriously?! We all know what a – excuse my crude language – bitch Octavia is and to date Cassius because she thinks she might protect her family by doing so?! WTF!?!! Where is her fire?! Where is the snarky spark I loved so much?! She doesn’t have to resort to the typical tricks of a woman, she’s way better than that and the fact she chose to use her femininity instead of her strength, intelligence and will power was just frustrating. Truth be told I think Victra was a way better role model in this book! She didn’t care what others thought of her, she did what she wanted to and she took what she needed! Yup, I think I liked Victra more. *lol* Oh and don’t even get me started about Mustang’s reaction when she found out that Darrow is a Red!!! It’s like she wanted to support all the classes and change the system and then BAM! Darrow tells her he’s actually a Red and she hates him!? I mean yes she’s entitled to feel betrayed, everyone would do, but to react like that?! Preach water and drink wine, right?!

”If she gives me her heart, I’ll break it. My lie is too great to build a love upon. When she discovers what I am, she will reject me. Even if she could survive that, I would not.”

”The human spirit tries to break free, again and again, not in hate like the Dark Revolt. But for love. They don’t mimic each other. They aren’t inspired by others who come before them. Each is willing to take the leap, thinking they are the first. That’s bravery. And that means it’s part of who we are as people.”

Sevro:

”He stands quietly in his armor watching us, watching Roque hold the girl Sevro loves but has never told, the girl he could never have. The pain is raw and etched deep into the lines of his hawkish face. Impervious Sevro, immune to hurt, to sadness, to having his eye gouged out by Lilath, the Jackal’s lieutenant; it all falls on him now.”

I still L.O.V.E that boy to bits and pieces!!! He’s truly the best thing about this series!!! <333 Sevro is the best friend anyone can have and he’s so damn loyal and gentle it’s a pleasure to watch! Yes, I said gentle!! Because behind all his rabid-wolf-attitude and the tough façade he shows to others, he’s actually the sweetest and kindest soul ever! Plus I love his humour!!! XD And just like Darrow I seem to have a weakness for men with only one eye and a really sassy demeanour. (Yes Lucien I’m talking about YOU here!! ;-P) I wasn’t really surprised to find out that he’s half Red, I have to admit that Fitchner’s true identity threw me though. *lol* Who would have thought Fitchner had it in him? Well, I certainly didn’t! XD

”Audentes fortuna juvat,” Sevro chuckles.
“Fortune favors the bold? You deserve to die if that’s really going to be the last thing you say in this life.”

”Sevro?” I look around for him. He’s loitering around Pliny’s eyeball some twenty metres back. We turn to look at him and he shuffles his feet awkwardly.
”Can I …” He gestures to it.
“What?” Mustang asks.
“Can I have it?”
Mustang squints at him. “All yours.”
He scoops up the eyeball and jams it into his pocket, grinning merrily. He runs to catch up. “Collecting the set, hopefully.”

”I can’t do this without you.” After a desperate moment, “Are you with me? Sevro?”
He pulls back and wipes snot from his nose, muddying his face. Tears make lines in the mud as he looks up at me, voice cracking like a child’s. “Always, Darrow. Always.”

Roque:

”We are not our station in life. We are us – the sum of what we’ve done, what we want to do, and the people who we keep close. You’re my dearest friend, Darrow. Mind that. No matter what transpires, I will protect you as surely as you would protect me if ever I needed it.”

Roque… my precious poet with principles. My kind spirit in a cruel world. OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN!!! I knew this would come, I saw all the signs, Darrow’s betrayal, Quinn’s death, the fact Darrow shut him out of his inner circle over and over again. It was so damn hard to read!! Every little moment, every small action, every single word that left Darrow’s lips… it was poison for their friendship, poison for my poor Roque. Darrow should have tried to mend things between them, he should have given him time and an honest and long conversation but he did absolutely nothing and just left him out in the rain. Grief is a powerful emotion and it can change people in ways no one would have ever thought possible. Darrow of all people should have known this!!!! DAMN IT!!! Roque was so lonely and isolated, so broken… broken beyond repair and no one noticed. It’s really no surprise he did what he did…. I saw it coming, yet I still wasn’t prepared to face it. My heart is bleeding! I AM HEARTBROKEN! I feel so torn about Roque right now, but I can’t hate him. I can’t dislike him for what he did. He’s still my Roque. My gentle poet. *sobs* ARGH!! I hate Pierce Brown for making me feel this way. And how it happened in the end… I guess I finally have my answer how Roque made it through the passage…. I wish I would have never found out… It just hurts… T_T

”I didn’t mind that it was always about you, Darrow. That was what burned Tactus, but not me. I’m not in love with you like Mustang. I don’t worship you like Sevro or the Howlers. I was a true friend. I was someone who saw your light and your dark and accepted both without judgement, without agenda. And what did you do to me? You used me like a man uses a horse. I’m better than that. Quinn was better than that.”

”Friendships take minutes to make, moments to break, years to repair,” he says, turning to glance over his shoulder. “We’ll talk again soon.”

A needle from his ring pricks my wrist. Gentle, like the kiss he now plants on my cheek.
“And thus go liars, with a bloodydamn kiss.”
One word shatters a thousand lies.

The Jackal:

”Come now, Father …”
“You are not my son.”
Adrius flinches. With those few words, Augustus releases something. And the small part of Adrius that held out hope to be loved disappears. He shakes off his humanity, leaving only the Jackal.

Cunning, cruel, conniving, relentless, heartless and creepy. In short: The perfect villain! Adrius is certainly a force to be reckoned with and this time around I actually truly and completely blame Darrow! He knew what he was getting himself into, he knew “The Jackal” wasn’t to be trusted, yet he still hoped his wrath wouldn’t reach him?! I mean what did he expect?! That the Jackal would stand aside while he became his father’s successor?! Didn’t the death of Leto teach him anything?! Adrius acted exactly the way I expected him to and I can’t believe Darrow actually fell for his trap! I don’t even want to know what he’s going to do with him… Knowing the Jackal it’s going to be cruel and savage though! >_<

4

“Golden Son” was brilliant and ingenious! It caused me to laugh, it caused me to cry and it thoroughly broke my fragile heart! *sobs* I think I’ll never get over that ending… never ever as long as I live. It’s just too gorydamn painful! T_T

This said, I actually must be a masochist because I really can’t wait to read the last book. *lol*
Thank you Pierce Brown, you successfully turned me into a sappy and weeping mess! 😛

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, V

Review: VOX (Christina Dalcher)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 28 on My Book List 2019

”Patrick never seemed to mind my weekly escapes, although he’d joke about us sometimes, before there wasn’t anything left to joke about. We were, in his words, the voices that couldn’t be hushed.
Well. So much for the infallibility of Patrick.”
I went into this knowing full well that the injustice that happens in this book would make me more than just a little angry, but in fact Christina Dalcher’s book made me so furious that I decided to steer clear of the dystopian science fiction genre for a while. As it seems I just can’t stomach fictional worlds like the one in this book and I don’t know if that makes me a sissy or just a very compassionate human being. *lol* I’d like to believe I’m the latter one but I’m the first one to admit that I’ve an extremely thin skin when it comes to wrongfulness.Well, I guess there are worse things than a wish for justice and an allergy to its counterpart, right? Still, the injustice wasn’t the only topic that rubbed me the wrong way and it’s due to those many other issues that I couldn’t give the book more than 3 paws. Maybe I’m just not made for the dystopian genre but the way those stories are told always feels slightly detached. At least to me it does. I should have screamed and felt with the MC and part of me did when I read what happened to Jean and how her boys (especially Steven) treated her, but despite the injustice that got me boiling I still didn’t feel all too connected to the MC.

”You think I should garden and cook more? You think the work I do is less important than – I don’t know – crafts?”
“Not you, Mom. Other women. The ones who just wanna get out of the house and have some kind of identity.”

So you might say that I got angry because of the books circumstances but not because of Jean? Does that make sense? *lol* Anyway if we’re already talking about things I had issues with, I might as well mention that I was unhappy about the use of religion to justify what happened. Sure, you might say that people did (and still do) a lot of wrong things in the name of religion and to use it as a tool in order to create a dystopian world is nothing new. Agreed: In fact it’s been done so often that I can’t read it anymore. I heard voices that said Dalcher is dragging Christianity in the mud and I heard voices that said it was a well-developed plot device… As for me? Honest answer?

I’m just tired of authors using religion as a tool in order to paint a picture of their dystopian world. I read 3 dystopian books this year and all of them had a religious motive. No matter if it was “Station Eleven”, “The Power” or “Vox” they all used it and I’m probably the only person who’s not happy with that. *lol* I guess I just want diversity and unique ideas in my dystopians as well? *shrugs*

”Of course, there aren’t any two-mommy or two-daddy families anymore; the children of same-sex partnerships have all been moved to live with their closest male relative – an uncle, a grandfather, an older brother – until the biological parent remarries in the proper way.”

Sooo, did I already mention how angry and furious this book made me? Yes? Then let’s move on. I think the worst thing about Jean’s situation was the fact that she had only hundred words to raise her children and that her boys as well as her husband seemed to be okay with that. Of course they were, imagine how lovely your life could be if your mother had no way to reprimand you. Gosh, I don’t even want to think about it! *lol*

As the mom of a little rascal I know exactly what I’m talking about and believe me, if I had only a 100 words my kid would do what it wants and cause havoc all day! XD You need to talk with your kids, it’s very important and with restricting women to only 100 words it’s a wonder their world still worked. >_<

”It’s a life choice, Mom,” Steven said. “If you can choose one sexuality, you can just as easily choose another. That’s all they’re trying to do.”

Urgh, do I even have to mention how wrong this sentence is? I really didn’t like Steven and even though he was just a kid I still think that he did a lot of horrible and bad things. Poor Jean. =( As for the plot, I believe the idea was a good one but for me it lacked finesse in the execution. There were so many things that made no sense and left me with even more questions and the way the ending was resolved was so convenient that I couldn’t help myself and actually said: “What?! That’s it?” when I finished the final page.

To me it feels like there went a lot of energy into explaining the circumstances and the way life felt like for the MC and the other women in the book, but there was hardly any effort put into explaining how the men lived. What they did, if they were okay with their women being silenced. If they struggled with this change too.

Throughout the entire book we just get one side of the coin and I still ask myself the question: Why did they even decide that the words of women should be counted? To make them docile and obedient? Is that really the only motive? I have no clue where Dalcher wanted to go with this book, what the government actually planned to do or where the plot was supposed to head and this left me even more confused.

I’m sure some of you who read the book will say: „Why? It’s so logical!“ And if you are one of those people please feel free to enlighten me in the comments! I’d really appreciate some input there because for me it made no sense how it all ended. Especially the “cure and elicitor” aspect at the end of the book! What for?! Only women or men as well? Why take such drastic measures? I’ve the same feeling I had after finishing the TV series “Lost”: I don’t understand the ending. *lol*

4

“Vox” had some good ideas and they certainly brought a breath of fresh air to the dystopian genre, the longer I read the more I got confused though. The plot was thin and had quite some weaknesses I couldn’t overlook and the ending… well let’s just say it was way too convenient to be true.

spoiler

How practical that Jeans husband Patrick died and she could ride into the sunset with her kids and her lover Lorenzo!! *shakes head*

 

Don’t let my review keep you from reading it though! Maybe you’re one of the people who get it and if you do, I genuinely hope you’ll explain it to me! *lol* ;-P