Allgemein, Sassy Antics

Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

Hey there my lovelies!

As some of you might already know I was at the Frankfurt Book Fair last weekend! XD And boy was it amazing!!! If you’re used to small book fairs (like ours in Vienna) this one most certainly will blow your mind! We walked in there and it was like: WOAH!!! O_o There were so many publishers that I lost count of them, but according to one of the people I talked with there were about 7.000 of them! Just imagine this big number! 7.000!!!! No wonder you could have easily beaten someone with the programm! *lol* To be entirely honest my feet still hurt from all the walking but boy was it worth it! 😀

I’m so glad I managed to get there because about a week before the fair everything that could possibly go wrong actually went wrong. I swear if there was ever a week that proved „Murphy’s Law“ is an actual thing then it was the week before the fair. I had a bad cold and Saturday night we even ended up in hospital because my little one had an acute otitis media. Sunday morning the doc sent us home and on Monday our children’s doctor almost sent us to hospital for a week again. Her inflammatory markers had exploded and she had about 40 degrees fever… Which naturally caused me to be worried sick! Thanks to antibiotics she was already doing better on Tuesday though. Which would have been perfect if the next tragedy wouldn’t have hit us out of the blue…

Anyway, let’s not talk about the bad stuff and focus on the good things in life instead! I was at the Frankfurt Book Fair! YAY! XD And I definitely wasn’t the only one! If anyone ever tells you that no one reads anymore and that books are dead, send them to the Frankfurt Book Fair! There were so many people I had to get rid of some parts of my HP Gryffindor student costume in order to be able to breathe! I was in good company though because there were a lot of other Cosplayers that ran around the entire book fair area as well. 😉 I swear, some of them were really dedicated, walking in their warm costumes for hours! They certainly have all my respect because after only two hours I already looked like a sloppy Gryffindor:

Sloppy Gryffindor

The cupboard under the stairs was really the only place you actually had to yourself. *lol* If you wanted to be a part of the fair you eventually had to become a member of the crowd though! So after a while we went out of the cupboard and mingled with the mass of people once again. 😉

There were so many great authors and I got a glimpse of them when they had their book signings! The waiting line for the famous authors was so long that we gave up on it though. I really would have loved to talk to Jojo Moyes or Sebastian Fitzek but I would have had to wait for hours and there were so many other interesting things going on! So we only took pictures of them and then continued on our journey!

Jojo Moyes

This said I got an autograph from Jessica Koch though! She sent me her book „So Near the Horizon“ about two years ago and asked me to read and review it. So there was no way I could miss out on the chance of talking to her! Unfortunately we were only able to exchange a couple of sentences, but it definitely was worth the long wait! ❤

Since this was my first huge book fair I learned quite a lot this weekend and I thought I’d share a little bit of this particular wisdom with you:

  • There are Shuttle Busses that drive directly from the Airport (Terminal 1) to the Frankfurt Book Fair and back again. (EUR 7,50 per ride) Just be careful with the timing and frequency of those busses. For instance on Saturday they only drove between 08:00 – 12:00 a.m and the Book Fair Team as well as the Hotline gave us a wrong info. We arrived at 12:15 and waited an hour until one of those busses arrived just to find out that the bus driver was already done with his shift. We only had luck that this was the BEST BUS DRIVER EVER and that after seeing our sad faces he actually agreed to drive us to the fair! BEST BUS DRIVER EVER: If you ever read this we owe you big time! ❤ Thank you so much!
  • If you want to line up for the book signing of your favourite author you better know the book publisher she/he works with. If you look up her/his signing time you’ll only find the hall she/he’s in but those halls are big and the only way to find the right booth is by looking for the publisher. It’s a lesson we had to learn the hard way. 😉
  • A recommendation: Buy a weekend ticket. Day tickets cost 22 Euros and a weekend ticket costs 30. With a day ticket you can’t leave the fair grounds anymore and if you truly want to see all the publishers it’s better to have more time! We had a weekend ticket and we could leave and come as we pleased which was very convenient. XD
  • Take water and food with you. The security let us pass with all our food and water bottles, which was really great because at the book fair we would have had to pay about 3 Euros for 0,20 litres. Which is A LOT of money! (They even charged 3 Euros just for water!)
  • If you come directly form the airport you can store your luggage at the wardrobe. If you want to explore the entire fair ground you better take your jacket with you though. Some parts of the fair are open air and October is definitely to cold just to go out there with your shirt.
  • The fair grounds are huge! So if google earth tells you, you only have to walk 7 minutes to your hotel: Don’t believe it! *lol* Dr. Google claimed we only had to walk 7 – 10 minutes to our hotel but in the end it took us about 20 minutes to get out of the fair grounds and then another 10 minutes to walk to our destination. XD

Okay, I think that’s it! For now anyway! My brain is fried and I can’t think of anything else atm! If you still have some questions you can always ask them in my comments! I won’t bite, promise! Or, well, at least not much! 😛

I had such a blast at the book fair and I met so many new authors! (Some of them even in the waiting line for other authors. *lol*) So I hope my blog post wasn’t only able to convey how much I enjoyed this weekend but also was interesting to read! Thanks for your attention!

And now to the interesting stuff: Your opinions! Did you ever visit a book fair? Was it cool or were you as blown away by it as my bestie and I? XD Which book fairs did you visit? Can you recommend me some? I really would love to hear your thoughts on this! (ideas and suggestions are always welcome! Maybe next year I’ll visit another book fair, you never know. 😉 )



The Sassy Library Fox

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: After You (Jojo Moyes)

Rating: 4 Pfoten


”Sometimes I felt as if we were all wading around in grief, reluctant to admit to others how far we were waving or drowning.”

Okay, before I start this review I have to admit three things:

1.) “After You” wasn’t what I expected it to be and headed into a completely different direction than I assumed.
2.) I think Jojo Moyes was very brave to go into this kind of direction and I appreciate her realistic approach.
3.) This might turn out to be a rather personal and subjective review.

I know it would be easy to say that I didn’t like Louisa in this book and a lot of reviewers before me actually did. They said they didn’t like how much she changed, that the happy girl was gone, that she wasted the gift Will had given her, that she was merely existing and not living her dream. Not doing, what Will wanted her to do before he died.

“Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live.”

But what a lot of readers didn’t get – and I’m glad they didn’t seem to get it because I’m speaking from personal experience here and I truly wish no one to make an experience like that– is that she was grieving. Yes, Will’s death didn’t come unexpected. It was planned, they all knew it would happen but that didn’t change anything about the fact that she loved him and that he still decided to go. I wasn’t surprised that Lou is a mess at the beginning of this book, I wasn’t surprised, that she didn’t see the world like she planned to, that she didn’t live her dream. Because honestly: How could she? The person she loved, her first and one true love was dead and there was nothing she could have done to stop him, nothing that would have changed his mind.

”How could I explain to this girl what Will and I had been to each other, the way I felt that no person in the world had ever understood me like he did or ever would again? How could she understand that losing him was like having a hole shot straight through me, a painful, constant reminder, an absence I could never fill?”

To lose the person you love? It changes you, it alters your perception, it makes you realize how short life is, it forces you to acknowledge that you won’t live forever, that everything could be over in nothing but a second. You know that you should move on, because life moves on regardless if you want it to or not. If there’s one thing death teaches you, then it’s that life is merciless and doesn’t pause for the living!

”So what was the hardest part?” Mr Gopnik said.
“I’m sorry?”
“Of working for William Traynor. It sounds like quite a challenge.”
I hesitated. The room was suddenly very quiet. “Letting him go.” I said. And found myself unexpectedly biting back tears.

So, yes Louisa is a mess! She’s still so very young and innocent and has to deal with the loss of the man who stole her heart. Of course this experience changed her, of course she isn’t the same person she was before and yes, she is fighting depression! But she is doing everything she can in order to deal with his loss and that’s admirable and needs to be acknowledged.

I know a lot of readers might have wanted the book to go in another direction and truth be told I wanted to see a happy Louisa too, but that’s not how things work, that’s not how mourning works. That would have been unrealistic and it would have devalued the love Lou felt for Will. So, is this book an intermediate phase? Yes, it is! But it is necessary! Lou has to grieve in order to be able to move on and to heal and she ultimately does! Boy, how she does!

It might have been sad to read her journey, it might have been depressing but it was realistic and wholesome and I can’t thank Jojo Moyes enough for this kind of representation! Because that’s what happens when you lose the person you love! You try to get back on your feet, you try to live on, you fight to be able to enjoy your life! You learn how to cope with your loss, to turn it into something positive! There are days you take one step forward and two steps back, but you learn to be thankful for the fact that you’re still alive! That life is still ahead of you! That the time you spent with your loved one – no matter how long or short lived it might have been – was precious and a gift! And eventually… well eventually you accept your loss and you move on. You finally live the life you know your loved one wanted you to live all along.

I could write about Lou’s love interest or the rather unexpected twist that happens right at the beginning of the story. I could write about Lou’s funny family and all their antics, but I think I’ll just leave it at that.

For me “After You” is a book about grief and healing. About learning how to live with your scars and about accepting them as a part of you. The loss of a loved one might push you into the abyss but it’s up to you if you fight and crawl out of them or stay there and get lost. It’s a fight no one can help you with, a fight you have to battle on your own. But let me tell you this, it’s a battle that’s always worth it. 😉

So thank you Jojo Moyes, for tackling such a sensitive and serious topic with genuine humour and tentative prudence. Thank you for giving us hope. I can only speak for myself here, but my teenage me really would have needed and appreciated your book! It might be too late for me, but I’m sure many other people will find comfort in your words!
And sometimes, well sometimes that’s already enough. =)