Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Solitaire (Alice Oseman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trigger warnings: 

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

Review: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 22 on My Book List 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Midnight Library (Matt Haig)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 34 of My Book List 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The only way to learn is to live.“

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

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea (T.J. Klune)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

„They don’t see the children,“ she said. „Not for who they are, only for what they’re capable of.“
“They should be given a chance, as all children should. What hope would they have to be adapted if they’re treated as something to be feared?”

To say “The House in the Cerulean Sea” is hard to review would be an understatement because I’ve thought about writing this review for months, yet I’m still not able to come up with a good way to talk about this marvellous book. How to write about it? How to convey all the feelings I had while I read it? Well, I might just start at the beginning and take it from there and hopefully to write this down will help me to figure things out. Sometimes the beginning is the hardest part. 😉

”They fear what they don’t understand. And that fear turns to hate for reasons I’m sure even they can’t begin to comprehend. And since they don’t understand the children, since they fear them, they hate them. This can’t be the first time you’ve heard of this. It happens everywhere.”

This all out of the way, I’m probably the last person on earth who read this book so I won’t waste a lot of time by speaking about the plot. I guess by now everybody and their grandma knows that “The House in the Cerulean Sea” is about a social worker named Linus Baker who is sent to an orphanage on an island that is taking care of children with magical abilities. His company (DICOMY) sent him there in order to find out if the children on the island are dangerous and if the orphanage needs to be closed. So much for the storyline and what the book is about.  Well, this doesn’t sound all too spectacular, right? Wrong. The story might be pretty unspectacular but believe me the implementation of it is not. There are so many important themes packed into this 400 pages book, it’s really hard to talk about them all. I’m going to try to touch as many subjects as possible but I’m sure no matter how hard I try, I won’t be able to do this book justice so please bear with me. I touched a lot of topics when I did my vlives though so if you’re interested I’ll put the links down below so that you can watch them after reading this review. 😉

”And so when faced with a perceived threat, and even though everything felt topsy-turvy, Linus did the only thing he could: He moved to protect the children.”

Okay, so first things first: This was actually the first TJ Klune book I ever read and I was totally blown away by Klune’s writing style and the way he tackles important topics. It was really easy to get caught up in the flow of the book and to follow Linus’ journey. The thing about Linus is that he might work for DICOMY and follow the rules but he still managed to keep his compassion. He moved within the rules of his company, but he never lost himself. He had a purpose and he wanted to fulfil it so he didn’t just blindly follow the rules but also thought about the consequences of his actions. Honestly, Linus was such an intriguing and honest character and I really loved to get to know him better. DICOMY the company he works for? I hated it with a fierce passion and alone the slogans caused me to get goose bumps. I mean “A Quiet child is a healthy child.” or “We’re the happiest when we listen to those in charge”?! *shudders* DICOMY was extremely totalitarian and of course being the rebel that I am I just couldn’t with this company. I couldn’t help but wonder how Linus was able to work at DICOMY for so long though and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that he probably wanted to make a difference from the inside. Unfortunately his boss Ms. Jenkins as well as Extremely Upper Management made it really hard to bring about that change. Truth be told, even Linus neighbour Mrs. Klapper was horrible and if you ask me he lived in an extremely toxic environment before he went to the island.

He took the offered hand in his own. The skin was cool and dry, and as the fingers wrapped around his own, Linus felt a little curl of warmth in the back of his mind. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” Mr. Parnassus said. “Regardless of the reason you’re here.”

Which leads me right to the orphanage on the island: I adored all the children so much!! They were all different and each and every single one of them had a distinct voice. I think Klune did an amazing job at describing them and their differences. Those children didn’t just look like children and had their own voice, they all acted like children too and I absolutely loved this about the book. It’s not easy to find a realistic child representation in a book but Klune did it with a lot of passion and a good eye on the details. Even the way they spoke was typical for children and that made me feel like they were actual people. The logic of children is a lot different than those of adults and to see this reflected in the story added such a nice touch and made me enjoy it even more.

She cocked her head at him. “But what about your cat? Don’t you want to find her before she gets eaten and all that’s left is her tail because it’s too fluffy to choke down?”

”When she handed over the bowl, he thanked her quietly before heading toward the table. The others cheered at the sight of him, scooting over to make room. He sat next to Lucy, putting an arm over his shoulders and pulling him close. Lucy laughed and looked up at him, eyes bright. Sal’s arm stayed right where it was as they ate.”

Seriously, I love those children with all my heart and would defend them with my life and I’d do the very same for Linus, Ms. Chapelwhite and Arthur as well. Ms. Chapelwhite had a heart of gold and Arthur. Arthur is the best thing that could have ever happened to those kids! He loves them fiercely and like a father and he did such an awesome job at raising them and supporting them in every way he could. Arthur is incredible and I don’t have enough words to describe the kind of beautiful person that he is. I’m a parent myself and to see how Arthur accepted his children and how he responded to their individual needs and gave them a nourishing environment that was able to catch them whenever they struggled. Ahhh! My heart is so full just thinking of Arthur. <333 Legit the most wholesome and amazing person ever! I adore him so much, you have no idea!

„Hope?“ Linus said stupidly.
“Hope,” Mr. Parnassus repeated. “Because that is what we must give him, what we must give all of them. Hope and guidance and a place to call their own, a home where they can be who they are without fear of repercussion.”

”And I know sometimes you see things when you close your eyes that no one should ever see. But there is good in you, Lucifer, overwhelmingly so. I know there is. You are special. You are important. Not just to the others. But to me. There has never been anyone like you before, and I see you for all that you are, and all the things you aren’t. Come home. All I want you to do is come home.”

The relationship between Arthur and his charges is legit one of the most wholesome things I ever had the pleasure to read about and I probably could go on and on, filling this review with remarkable and brilliant quotes. Not that Linus’s relationship with them isn’t at least as beneficial as Arthur’s. I loved how Linus came to the island, not only afraid of the children but also trying to keep his distance and objectivity, just to be won over by them with every passing day. The kids were so sceptical at first as well and didn’t want Linus to snoop around their home, but the more time they spent in each other’s company the more they began to trust each other and this was such a beautiful thing to read about! I think most of my favourite scenes were with the kids and Linus, because it might have been gentle and brief moments but they were incredibly beautiful and heart-warming at the same time. So precious and important for him and the kids. T_T No matter if it was Phee, Chauncey, Lucy, Sal, Talia or Theodore, they all formed a deep connection with Linus and I was so there for it.

Linus shook his head. “I could never be mad at you. Not for this. If I sound angry, it’s at this … this man, not you.”
“Oh. Because you like me, huh?”
Yes. God help him, yes. Very much so. All of them, really. „Something like that.“

”Did he tell you that?”
“No. I don’t think he’s allowed. But we know. We all know. Just like we know what you both did when you left the other day. He’s one of us. Just like you.”
„I’m afraid I don’t have magic.“
„You do, Mr. Baker. Arthur told me that there can be magic in the ordinary.“

My heart!! Seriously, I’m going through all the feels again while writing this review, but I need to get it out of my system so I’ll keep on writing and talk about the last thing I need to speak about when it comes to this lovely book: The relationship between Arthur and Linus! ❤ I swear, those two killed me! If you like a slow-burn then this book is definitely for you, because it mostly focuses on the kids but there are also a couple of sweet and gentle moments between Linus and Arthur and I lived and breathed for them. Their affection for each other is so subtle and cute I soaked up every moment between them like a rare sunray on a rainy day.

„I meant what I said.“ Arthur’s voice was hushed.
“About?”
“Liking you the way you are. I don’t know that I’ve ever thought that more about anyone I’ve ever met.” Linus gripped the door knob. “That’s … thank you. That’s very kind of you to say. Good night, Arthur.” Arthur chuckled. “Good night, Linus.” And with that, Linus fled the bedroom.

”They listen to every single thing you say. They look to you because you are their family. You are their –“ He stopped, breathing heavily. He shouldn’t say it. It wasn’t right. None of this was. It wasn’t – “You are their father, Arthur. You said you love them more than life itself. You have to know they feel the same about you. Of course they do. How can they not? Look at you. Look at what you’ve made here. You are a fire, and they need to know how you burn. Not only because of who you are, but because of what they have made you into.”

I probably could go on and on about “The House in the Cerulean Sea” but I think I’ll draw the line here before my review gets out of control. XD There are still so many things I would have liked to talk about but I’m afraid if I do you’ll never hear the end of it so this is where I write down my final thoughts and hope that it will be enough.

4

“The House in the Cerulean Sea” was definitely one of the most wholesome and precious books I ever read and this despite the fact that it tackles so many serious topics. No matter if it’s xenophobia, prejudices, abuse or fascism Klune tackles it all with a fierce determination that’s not only unique but also demanding. He challenges his characters to do the right thing, to look at situations from a different angle and to follow their own heart and he does it with so much finesse and care that it’s difficult to pinpoint when their change actually began. Well done, Mr. Klune! Well done! This might have been my first TJ Klune book, but it definitely won’t be the last. 😉

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, V

Review: Verity (Colleen Hoover)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 33 on My Book List 2022

”My mother used to say that houses have a soul, and if that is true, the soul of Verity Crawford’s house is as dark as they come.”

Trigger warnings at the end of my review!

Okay, I’ll admit it, this book was one hell of a wild ride and CoHo knows how to write thrillers. The sheer amount of trigger warnings I had to write down at the beginning of this review is definitely testimonial to that. I mean nowadays all thrillers seem to have a long list of trigger warnings so I guess CoHo delivered on that front.

As for the trigger warnings themselves: Tread with caution. I get why almost no one bothers to write them in their review because they give away a lot of the plot and will spoil big parts of the story for you. I personally still would have liked to get them because for me some parts were really tough to read. And yes, I felt sick to my stomach when I read some of the scenes and had to put the book down for a little while before I picked it up again. I really don’t want to spoil anything so all I’ll say is: Parents might have a hard time to get through this and if you are a parent you might consider reading the trigger warnings as a heads-up.

”I haven’t read any of them, either. Not since her first book.”
I spin and look at him. “Really?”
“I didn’t like being inside her head.”

This out of the way let’s get to the actual review and what the book is about: Well, the plot is easily told. Lowen a struggling writer gets the offer of a lifetime when she is called by her agent and asked to come to New York. After her mother’s death Lowen is in no good mental state, bills are piling and she’s afraid of losing the roof above her head. So all of this ultimately leads her to accept the deal of finishing Verity Crawford’s book series who has become a nursing case after a car crash. Lowen moves into Verity’s house in order to collect all the important notes and doesn’t just find Verity’s autobiography but also falls for Jeremy – Verity’s husband. Yep, and that’s basically all you know when you dive into the book.

”What you read will taste so bad at times, you’ll want to spit it out, but you’ll swallow these words and they will become part of you, part of your gut, and you will hurt because of them.”

This book. Honestly, it was a mindf*ck! All the characters were extremely dislikeable and I just couldn’t find myself pulling for any of them? Well, okay I liked little Crew and the twins so I guess there’s that. But Verity, Lowen and Jeremy?! Phew. I don’t even know where to start. Everything we find out about Verity is horrible but truth be told I couldn’t even be team Lowen because the mere fact that she has the hots for Jeremy was revolting!? I mean okay, you do you, Lowen, but the way she lusted after him was so urgh. No words. Then again the same could be said about Verity and the thoughts we read in her autobiography. I think someone has to address the big elephant in the room: What exactly is so special about dear Jeremy that two women are so crazy about him?! Is he made of gold? I didn’t get the appeal of Jeremy AT ALL, I mean he seemed to be a handsome nice guy and a good father but nothing that would qualify this kind of obsession and to be honest I think he’s at least as f*cked up as the two women in his life. You gotta be if you’re with people like that, right?!

”Maybe guilt is why I’m writing it all down.
Because Jeremy needs to know the truth. Someday, somehow, he’ll find this. And then he’ll realize how much I fucking loved him.”

The most interesting thing in this book was the eerie atmosphere though. From the moment Lowen enters he house you can feel that something is off and all the incidents are piling up while our nice MC works through Verity’s notes and her autobiography. Which was extremely nosy btw. Not that I probably wouldn’t have read the manuscript as well, but Lowen if you decide to be a nosy witch that has no sense for boundaries could you at least do it fast?! *lol* I mean if I would find such a disturbing autobiography I would have read it in a night! Lowen however takes her sweet time and tries to seduce Jeremy while reading his wife’s unsettling words. I personally would have left that house as fast as I could, but I’m obviously not Lowen so what do I know? Like I said, none of the characters was likeable, not even Verity’s nurse that seemed to have a permanent scowl on her face.

4
This said I still paged through this book and wanted to know how it ends. I can’t say I enjoyed it because can you ever enjoy something that disgusts you so much? I think I’ll just settle for saying it was a page turner that made me think and feel, mostly emotions of revulsion but they are still valid feelings so we’ll just go with it. Terrifying, appalling, revolting, creepy, nauseating and bloodcurdling. All words that describe the unrelenting tale of “Verity” Crawford to a T. I guess it’s up to you if you decide to enter that world or not. I did my best to warn you though, didn’t I? 😉

Trigger warnings:attempts to initiate a miscarriage, death of children, grief, murder of a child, attempted murder, attempted suicide, obsession over a loved one, murder, mistreatment of a person who is a nursing case, adultery, child abuse, descriptive car accident
A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: All Systems Red (Martha Wells)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”I could have become a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites.”

Haha! Honestly, to read this quote was extremely relatable! I mean it are Murderbot’s thoughts but I can totally understand their enjoyment of tv shows. *lol* And to be completely honest I always wondered how Muderbot would like k-dramas. I bet they’d be hooked and totally forget about their mission, but that’s beside the point so let’s stop thinking about it and get this review back on track. ;-P

I really didn’t think I’d enjoy this short story so much because if we look at it from an objective perspective this sort of plot must have been part of countless science fiction books already. I mean a group of scientists that explores a new planet and gets into trouble with the inhabitants of that new world is nothing new. We’ve had that in about a gazillion of books and movies so this was definitely familiar territory. What was new was the fact that the narration of the story was told through Murderbot’s eyes who isn’t exactly part of the science team because it’s a security android and its only order is to protect the people it accompanies.

Well, that is until Murderbot develops a mind of its own and cuts off the governor module in order to be free. So we have a self-aware SecUnit that decides to stay with its humans because it still wants to protect them and watch tv shows. *lol* For a while the mission actually goes well and nothing happens. Well, that is until there happens something and the scientists don’t only discover that someone wants to kill them but also that Murderbot isn’t attached to the governor module anymore. Fun times!

„At least Mensah and Arada had overruled the ones who wanted to talk to me about it. Yes, talk to Murderbot about its feelings. The idea was so painful I dropped to 97 percent efficiency. I’d rather climb back into Hostile One’s mouth.“

Murderbot was quite something and I really liked to listen to its thoughts. If you ask me it was more human than some of the humans it encountered and sometimes it made me smile with its observations. The characters I liked the most were definitely the captain of the crew and Ratthi because they saw Murderbot as a person and not as an android and I really liked that. I think the feeling was mutual as well because Murderbot was actually fiercely protective of its human crew and once they got attacked it did everything possible to make sure they survived. 😉

”Maybe these clients had been terrible and abusive, maybe they had deserved it. I didn’t care. Nobody was touching my humans.”

4
All told “All Systems Red” was a quick and enjoyable read and after the ending I really want to know what happens next. I can see this series becoming one of those series I pick up whenever I want to read something short and fun so I’m pretty certain I’ll read book two soon. This said: If you want to read a typical sci-fi story with a rather untypical and unique POV this one might be the right choice for you.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky (Mackenzi Lee)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Someday, you little twat, I’d tell him, it’s going to be more. It’s going to be better, and so will you. Where we start doesn’t have to be where we end up.”

This might have been a very short novella but it was so good and kinda heart-breaking but also very hopeful?! I really loved to be back in the Montague sibling’s world and it was so good to see more of Percy and Monty. This story played right after the events of the first book and we got a brief glimpse at their lives on the island. They are still waiting for the ships departure and Felicity as well as Scipio’s crew are a part of this short story as well. As for what it is about:

”It’s only been a month.”
“Only?” She arches an eyebrow. My regret that I even toed this subject with her intensifies. “I expected that once you and Percy were in agreement about living in sin, you would lean hard into it.”

Haha! Yeah it’s basically about Monty and Percy finally going for the huge task of spending a night together. Seriously, Felicity’s and Monty’s conversations always give me life and those two siblings are just hilarious. It’s kinda sweet to see that despite them being super awkward around each other when it comes to the topic of love, they still find a way to talk about it anyway. Neither Felicity nor Monty are keen on exploring that topic with anyone, but their sibling bond is strong enough to be able to talk about it together. And this was extremely heart-warming and wholesome to see. =)

”I was almost always with someone because I was bored and hated myself, and it was something to do that wasn’t thinking about either of those things. I’ve never been with anyone because I loved them and wanted something more together. So this has never required any sort of emotional component, and I don’t know how to do that. I don’t even know if I can. Maybe I’m too far gone.”

But oh, Monty’s trauma runs so deep it was really sad to hear him speak about his feelings and initial motivations for sexual encounters. T_T I could understand why he felt nervous about spending a night with Percy and it made me very sad to hear him talk about himself. For someone who always came across as extremely confident there are a lot of hidden wounds our poor boy has to heal. I still haven’t read the last book but I’m kinda afraid I will come to dislike their father even more. And I already hate him with the fierce fires of hell for everything he did to Monty! *GRRR*

”You don’t owe me sex. You don’t owe me anything. I’m with you because I want to be. And if we’re together, it’ll be because we both want to be. And we are going to London together because we want to. And it’s going to be a disaster. But that’s all right, because we’ll have each other, and there’s no one on this goddamn planet I’d rather be a disaster with than you.”

I’m just glad Percy and Monty are so close they can talk about everything because boy, for a minute there I was really worried about how things would develop. *lol* It’s so rare to find a relationship like the one of those two and it was so, so, so good to finally have two YA characters that actually TALK about their problems and don’t fall for the typical miscommunication trope. Honestly, it was very refreshing to see how they solved their troubles. And the way Monty feels about Percy!? It was so beautiful I almost cried! I really wish we would have gotten Percy’s POV too but I suppose you can’t have everything. XD

”I want to breathe him, let him fill up my chest until my ribs strain and I break open like ripe fruit beneath a paring knife. I would be raw. I would freckle and blister in the sun. I would teach my body to regrow my heart each time I gave it to him, over and over and over again. Heart after heart after heart – every one of them his.”

We did get a little bit more about Scipio though and I swear this man is my hero! Why can’t the world have more Scipios? I absolutely adore this man and the way he talks to Monty! I wish Monty would have had him as a father instead of the vile and cruel creature that actually fathered him. But then again I guess that Scipio is more of a father to Monty and Felicity than their real father ever was. He is accepting and kind and he has his heart at the right place. Get yourself a Scipio and his crew to support you! ❤

I laugh – one short, humorless burst. “What would I have said – could you vacate the apartments for a while so Percy and I can engage in illegal activities?”
“Not illegal.”
“They are where I come from.” I shake my head, staring down at my feet. “I couldn’t have. I’ve been struck too many times.”
“Then maybe I should have said it to you sooner – you needn’t hide around us,” he says. “I’m sorry you ever felt you had to. And that the world makes you feel as though you have to.” I finally mange to look up at him, and he smiles. I almost start to cry.

4
This said I really enjoyed this short story and I loved to be back in their world! It was so good to see more of Monty and Percy and to find out how they eventually ended up in London in book two. “The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky” was the little puzzle piece I needed in order to fill in the blanks and to go happily into book 3! If it’s not already on my TBR I’ll place it there for 2023! 😉
All told, I can recommend reading this novella because it ultimately will end up giving you all the warm and wholesome vibes you wanted to get after finishing book one.

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 31 on My Book List 2021

”Why bother to make music when the silence and wind are so much larger? Why light lamps when the darkness will inevitably snuff them?”

This book was a dark, dark book, but then again it were extremely dark times and all our two main characters Marie-Laure and Werner were trying to do, was to survive them. To be honest I really don’t know how I feel about “All the Light We Cannot See”. It was a good and thought-provoking book and the story was written beautifully. Still, after all the reviews I read I thought this story would hit me harder and that it would be one of those books that would leave me crying in the end. None of that happened though and even though the plot was well-crafted and the prose was lyrical I still couldn’t help but feel a little detached from the characters and their fate.

I think I’m just not used to historical fiction anymore. The writing style in books like this one is very different to what I usually read and even though you follow the characters, you’re not exactly in their heads which is probably one of the main reasons  why I didn’t connect all too much with them. Also I was in a huge reading slump when I started to read the book in April and only picked it up in August again. I did finish it in a couple of days then though so yeah. It definitely had me engaged and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, I just wasn’t as attached to the characters as I usually am when I read other books.

”I want to be an engineer. And you want to study birds. Be like that American painter in the swamps. Why else do any of this if not to become who we want to be?”
A stillness in the room. Out there in the trees beyond Frederick’s window hangs an alien light.
“Your problem, Werner,” says Frederick, “is that you still believe you own your life.”

I however will admit that some scenes in this book hurt. Badly. No matter if it was Marie-Laure who struggled to survive in a world that was ever-changing and had no room for people with disabilities or Werner who just wanted to become an engineer and was forced to go to war instead. Their stories were so different, yet they both were connected somehow. Werner’s childhood and his very brutal education in one of the German military schools, Marie-Laure’s life as a blind person in times that made it even harder to navigate through them because nothing ever stayed the same. Two different sides of a coin but both connected in ways you could only grasp if you closed your eyes and let yourself sink into the story. The older they got the harder their lives became and the stronger the war around them raged. To see the world through Werner’s eyes and Marie-Laure’s ears was at least as fascinating and unique as it was heart-breaking.

”Frederick said we don’t have choices, don’t own our lives, but in the end it was Werner who pretended there were no choices, Werner who watched Frederick dump the pail of water at his feet – I will not – Werner who stood by as the consequences came raining down. Werner who watched Volkheimer wade into house after house, the same ravening nightmare recurring over and over and over.”

But it wasn’t just about Marie-Laure and Werner. There were so many other side-characters that stuck with me but I think Frederick and Volkheimer were the two people I still think about the most. It’s kinda funny how sometimes the side-characters actually leave a deeper impact on the reader than the main characters themselves.

I mean Frederick… oh Frederick. His story moved me the most and I still feel anger boiling deep in my stomach whenever I think about it. In Germany of World War II there was no room for honourable people like Frederick and it still hurts to think about this precious boy. I suppose there was no room for boys like Volkheimer or Werner as well. Volkheimer who was the best soldier because he was burly and did exactly what he was told, but still was so gentle with Werner whenever he was ill. Their friendship was everything and I couldn’t help but like Volkheimer even though he did what he did. Talk about conflicting feelings. >_<

Volkheimer definitely saw the potential in Werner and appreciated his talent and gifts. Truth be told, I think Werner was a genius that never got a chance to shine because all his talent went into the war machine and for me this makes him an even more tragic character than he would have been already.

”Go,”  says Volkheimer again. Werner looks at him a last time: his torn jacket and shovel jaw. The tenderness of his big hands. What you could be.
Did he know? All along?

I think this quote emphasizes it pretty well. Anyway, there’s one thing I still need to address before I wrap up my review and this is the supposed love story in this book. When you read the blurb you automatically think that there will be a love story between Marie-Laure and Werner but this is not the case. There is no love story between them and they only meet once in the entire book. So if you’re going into this book because you expect a romance you better be aware of this. I totally expected there to be a love story between them and was pretty disappointed when I discovered that there was none. Maybe I would have enjoyed the book even more if I would have known that from the get-go.

”Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

4

This said “All the Light We Cannot See” was a very good and thought-provoking book. It’s a slow story that takes time to unfold and to grow which is in total contrast to the fast-paced world and the time it plays in, but I think this was actually a big part of its charm. If you’re looking for a good historical fiction book that plays in World War II and packs a subtle yet strong punch you definitely should pick it up.

Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: One Last Stop (Casey McQuiston)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

Book 26 on My Book List 2021

”Does it ever, like … I don’t know. Make you lonely? To love somebody who can’t meet you there?”
She regrets it immediately, but Annie laughs.
“Sometimes. But, you know, that feeling? When you wake up in the morning and you have somebody to think about? Somewhere for hope to go? It’s good. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.”

Let me get this off my chest before I dive right into my review: I really loved this book! There were so many good topics in here and the found family trope was so strong it made my heart feel full! ❤ Funnily enough despite all that, I didn’t write down all too many quotes and I can’t say a lot about the individual characters. When I read RWARB I had so many quotes and wrote such a long review but when I read “One Last Stop” I didn’t feel like marking all too many passages? I think this is mostly due to the fact that RWARB was a very political book (I mean with a relationship between the son of the president of the USA and the English prince it kinda has to be, right?!) and therefore tackled a lot of important topics. Not that “One Last Stop” didn’t do this too. It was just more subtle and woven into the story so effortlessly that you had to pay attention to actually see the fine nuances. Also this story was definitely more focused on the mystery of Jane’s former life and how she ended up on the train than it was on taking a political stance on important themes.

”I wasn’t a builder. I wasn’t a leader. I was a fighter. I cooked people dinner. I took them to hospital. I stitched them up. But I only stayed long enough to take the good, and I always left when the bad got bad.”

I think this quote just about sums it up! As a lesbian Jane was a part of historical change and basically lived and breathed LGBTQIA+ history before she got stuck on the Q line. This is part of her and her life but it wasn’t the main topic of the book and the question of how exactly Jane landed in a time loop on the train was definitely the focus of the story. This made the book very enjoyable to read and it was easy to page through it and to get carried away by the current of the tale. If you ask me this was actually some sort of mystery with a romance element because even though this book is about August’s and Jane’s love story it’s also about solving Jane’s dilemma of being stuck.

”August’s mom saved one tupperware tub of files on her brother and not a single one of August’s baby pictures.”

Of course there are other plotlines as well and August’s relationship with her mum was one of them. It made me really sad to read about the effect her missing uncle had on their lives and the portrayal of people who never get closure was very realistic. If someone goes missing you can’t say goodbye because you always hold on to the hope that the person is still living so while I understand August’s mum, I still couldn’t help but feel sorry for August. The impact on her life was extreme and it’s no surprise her and her mum didn’t have a good relationship.

The top of Wes’s head pops up from under the table, along with one accusatory finger.
“Nobody asked the fucking Long Island Medium.”
Niko smiles. “Lucky guess. My third eye is closed tonight, baby. but thanks for confirming.”
Wes gapes at him. “I hate you.”

Thankfully August moved in with a bunch of adorably crazy people and I loved them ALL! I swear the found family in this was amazing and I really would have loved to be a part of their group too. Alone their conversations had me cracking up so much and the dynamics between them were chefs kiss. *lol* Niko and Wes were so hilarious and Myla was just precious! I think of all of Augusts friends Niko was my favourite. I loved his humour and the fact that he was such an all knowing medium. XD Niko is also a transgender boy and it really made me happy how unproblematic this revelation was. It was so, so nice to see that brief interaction between him and August. It was a quiet and gentle scene and done so well.

And now comes the topic no one ever seems to talk about when they are talking about “One Last Stop”: The awesome drag queen rep! I mean the queens and their community are a constant part of the entire book and yet I’ve never heard anyone talk about the rep! Not only is there something going on between Wes and Isaiah (aka Annie Depressant) but they play such an important role in the plot as well! I absolutely adored finding out about all the different queens and their performances and how they lived off-stage. They were all Queens and I loved each and every single one of them so much! <333 I kinda loved how McQuiston didn’t only tackle different LGBTQIA+ reps but also let us know about their history and just embedded it into the story. This is great storytelling right there! 😉

”Before August can get the threat out, Jane twists her around, backing her into the doors of the train. She pins August at the hips, shoulders braced against hers, hand wrapped around her racing pulse at the wrist, and August can feel Jane like lightning in her veins.”

And now to the part you probably waited for: The romance between August and Jane! First of all, I loved Jane and I can’t blame August for falling for this girl! I mean Jane is the full package! She’s kind, she’s funny and cheeky, she is bubbly and so many other things, plus I could relate to her. That scene when she danced in the train… could have been me. Honestly. *lol* And secondly, I was such a sucker for the f/f rep! Finally a realistic rep between two women! Usually f/f relationships in books feel wooden or sterile to me but this one was amazing! You could feel their love and longing and I gobbled it up like nobody’s business. XD So thank you Casey McQuiston for gifting us with this awesome representation! Finally an author who knows how to write f/f relationships. ❤

”I look at you, and it feels like I’m realer than I’ve ever been, from right here.” She covers August’s hand with hers. “So big it burns. God, August, it’s beautiful, but it hurts so bad.” And, damningly, “You’re the reason I feel like this.”

Still, I feel like I need to warn you about the PDA in this book because some people might not be okay with it. I mean the book plays on a subway train because Jane is bound to it and it’s a romance so it’s pretty obvious that the MCs are spending all their time together in public. I know some readers might be sensitive to content like this so I decided to mention it in my review as well. For me, personally, it worked. I mean yes, they are kissing and touching and one scene was a little bit too intense for my taste (at least when it’s done like that in public) but the other occupants of the train never seem to notice or care and the real steamy scenes actually almost always (except of that one exception) happen when the train is empty and they are the only passengers. If you pick up the book you should be aware of this! 😉

4
All told I enjoyed “One Last Stop” immensely and I can highly recommend it if you’re in search of a good f/f rep! The paranormal element brought a very unique and nice touch to the story and even though it was a fairly slow tale it still managed to keep me interested. The little newspaper articles and reports at the beginning of every chapters added a realistic depth to the story and I really liked to read them and to find out more about Jane’s past. Also the writing style is easier to get into than it was in RWARB. I loved this and I’m sure a lot of people will end up enjoying this book too! =)

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Spinning Silver (Naomi Novik)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

“A power claimed and challenged and thrice carried out is true; the proving makes it so.”

Do you remember those fairy tales your parents read to you when you were a kid? The Brothers Grimm kinda thing that was a little bit scary, but also had some wisdom in it and made you wonder what you would have done if you’d have been in the same situation? Well, I guess you could say Naomi Novik writes stories like that. “Spinning Silver” was my first Novik book and it definitely won’t be the last, but she’ll be one of those authors I’ll pick up when I’m in the right mood to go for one of her books. I can see why a lot of people loved this book and why others seemed to be disappointed. I honestly don’t know where I stand with this story. On the one hand I really enjoyed it and loved to be a part of this fairy tale. It was interesting enough to keep me engaged but on the other hand the ending kinda… I wouldn’t say it dragged, but it also didn’t stop at its climax. *lol*

I guess what I want to say with this is that it had some sort of… LotR kinda feeling?! Like there was an ending to the story, a climax everything and every character in the book worked towards to, but then it happened and the book just continued?! Do you get what I mean? XD For me things like that are always hard to digest, because they are kind of jarring and sort of cause the story to deflate. Aside from that I really enjoyed the story though and I had a lot of fun guessing how everything would turn out in the end.

“My mother had enough magic to give me three blessings before she died,” I said, and he instinctively bent in to hear it. “The first was wit; the second beauty, and the third—that fools should recognize neither.”

The two main characters were amazing and I really liked to follow Irina and Miryem’s story. They were both very different characters but they also were similar in some regards. I really liked that they were both strong women and tried their best to deal with the cards they were given. For a fairy tale this book addressed a lot of serious topics and we don’t only have forced marriages and anti-Semitism but also the suppression of women in a world that is dominated by men. Still, despite everything Irina and Miryem are determined to make their own way and this was awesome. Both of them didn’t have it easy and certainly expected their marriages to be different but they used their wits in order to survive and I was in awe at how well they played their cards.

“But the world I wanted wasn’t the world I lived in, and if I would do nothing until I could repair every terrible thing at once, I would do nothing forever.”

It was really interesting to see how both of them got to know their husbands better and how the relationships between them changed. I personally would have liked the change to be more visible though. It was very subtle and this made it kind of difficult to believe. Of course both of them had a hard time. Miryem as well as Irina struggle with their new roles, the expectations of others and their own reality which is so different to everything everyone else sees. Still, while reading the book I always had the feeling that both women did what they did for their families and people and not for their husbands which was okay, but also not the best way to go for a believable relationship?! I’m probably the only person who sees it that way. Maybe that’s just a typical fairy tale thing?! I mean considering all the fairy tales I heard and read when I was a kid there never was a lot of emotion to it. So yeah, I guess that makes me a bean counter once again. XD

“So the fairy silver brought you a monster of fire for a husband, and me a monster of ice. We should put them in a room together and let them make us both widows.”

I think the older I get and the more books I read the more I want to feel something. A book is good when it attacks me emotionally and I guess that’s why I have troubles with some authors and their writing style lately. If it doesn’t move me, it doesn’t leave a lasting impression. I mean “Spinning Silver” was good! It was loosely based on “Rumpelstiltskin” and I obviously rated it 4 stars. I missed to be emotional invested though and that’s the reason why it didn’t get 5 stars from me. If that makes sense? Plus I had no idea why Wanda’s story line was so pronounced. She was basically the third main female character in the story but her story didn’t contribute a lot to the main plot. If it did and I missed how, please someone let me know in the comments down below. Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Wanda as a character and the close bond she had with her brothers was really lovely but there didn’t seem to be much more to her story than the huge problem with their father. If her character actually had an important function it was totally lost on me. Sorry?! I suppose I just had the feeling that her story didn’t fit in with Miryem’s and Irina’s. *shrugs*

“There are men who are wolves inside, and want to eat up other people to fill their bellies. That is what was in your house with you, all your life. But here you are with your brothers, and you are not eaten up, and there is not a wolf inside you. You have fed each other, and you kept the wolf away.”

4
I probably could talk even longer about “Spinning Silver” but since I’ve such a backlog of reviews already I’ll just leave it at that. XD It was a good fairy tale and I felt conflicted throughout the entire book and found myself in a real moral dilemma near the ending. I had no idea which side I pulled for and well, if you know me you also know that that’s always a good thing in my book. 😉 All told “Spinning Silver” was a very enjoyable read and I can recommend it to everyone who loves fairy tales that feature strong female characters. Happy reading!