A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: Autobiography of Red (Anne Carson)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten,5

”Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.”

The thing with poetry books is that they always leave up a lot of things for interpretation. You cannot go into them expecting them to make a distinct point. Poetry meanders, comes back to its originals just to leave them again and to throw another question at your feet. It challenges and forces you to deal with everything that’s mentioned and hinted at. No, to read poetry is definitely no easy feat, yet I still love to do it every once in a while. It keeps me on my toes and causes me to think outside of the box and that’s always a good thing in my book.

”The red world And corresponding red breezes
Went on Geryon did not”

This said I really enjoyed reading “Autobiography of Red”. Carson has a unique way to tell her story and to follow Geryon’s character was extremely intriguing. It takes a while to get into the story but once you found the rhythm and flow of the tale you can’t help but wonder where it will take you. I found Carson’s choice to take Greek mythology and to put it into our modern world pretty impressive and bold. It’s a noteworthy choice and gave the entire story an edge I would have never been able to anticipate, yet the themes that are tackled could be found in ancient mythology as well.

”The world poured back and forth between their eyes once or twice.”

“Autobiography of Red” follows Geryon and his life on earth. In Greek mythology Geryon was a red winged monster that was slain by Herakles, in this poetry novel he’s a person who is trying to figure out his life and sexuality. There are many different topics that are tackled in this short book, sexual abuse, bullying, sexual identity and disfigurement just to mention some of them. If you read between the lines there are plenty of things to discuss, for instance the relationship between Geryon and Herakles as well as their relationship with Ancash a mutual friend.

„The effort it took to pull himself
away from Herakles‘ eyes
could have been measured on the scale devised by Richter.”

As I already said poetry leaves a lot of room for subjective interpretation but what I could gather from the story and how I interpret it is that Geryon is a very lonely person. His mother is affectionate but doesn’t know how to support her son. She’s not only unaware of the bullying at school but also doesn’t notice the ongoing sexual abuse by Geryon’s own brother. Geryon’s world is pretty dark and the atmosphere of the book makes sure to convey this feeling every step of the way. When Geryon meets Herakles and falls in love with him he begins to question his sexuality and this starts his process of finding himself. The relationship between Geryon and Herakles feels kind of toxic because even though their feelings seem to be mutual at first Herakles leaves him with a broken heart and this ultimately causes Geryon to fall into a depression.

„He saw the doorway
the house the night the world and
on the other side of the world somewhere Herakles laughing drinking getting into a car and Geryon’s
whole body formed one arch of a cry – upcast to that custom, the human custom of wrong love.

Years later they meet in Peru and Geryon’s conflicting feelings begin to overwhelm him once again. Geryon is aware of all the prying eyes and tries to keep his distance, but Herakles won’t let him be, taking the role of a predator that wants to seduce him. Ultimately Geryon is too weak to push him away. This was a really interesting shift in their dynamic because in the original myth Herakles is the hero that kills Geryon. Carson reverses their roles and makes “the monster” the victim which forces her readers to think outside of the box. I personally think it’s also a nod to the original Greek myth, because in fact Geryon was Herakles’s victim in the tale as well. Geryon was only killed by Herakles because it was his tenth task to steal Geryon’s herd of red bulls and after Herakles slayed Orthos and Eurytion Geryon challenged him to a duel which ended with his death.

„Aren’t you cold?“ said Geryon to Ancash who had no coat on. No, said Ancash.
Then he looked sideways at Geryon.
Well actually yes. He smiled. Geryon would have liked to wrap his coat around
this feather man. They walked on.”

As for the role of Ancash, their mutual friend in Peru? I’m still not all too sure what to make of his character, but I think Carson created him to point out Herakles’ abuse. Ancash doesn’t approve of Herakles’ advances and Geryon’s feelings for him, but I also got the feeling that he was jealous?! His character certainly acted as some sort of catalyst and pushed the story along. Honestly, if any of you read “Autobiography of Red” I’d love to hear your thoughts on Ancash. I still don’t know how to place him. XD

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All told, to read “Autobiography of Red” was a very weird, yet at the same time intriguing experience. I still don’t know what to make of the ending but I guess Carson left it that way on purpose. It’s the reader’s choice how to interpret it and I think that’s good the way it is. 😉

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

Review: Into the Drowning Deep (Mira Grant)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”It’s beautiful,” breathed Daniel, and while there were those who would have objected to the reverence in his voice, none of them corrected his statement. It was beautiful, in its own terrible way. So many monsters are.

This book was something else and I have no idea how I survived reading this! XD I’m really such a scaredy fox and all I knew about “Into the Drowning Deep” was that it’s about killer mermaids and an expedition to the Mariana Trench. Well, and that there is an f/f relationship in this book because otherwise it wouldn’t have landed on my #Rainboween list. 😉 So far so good, right? Well, yeah, I suppose?! Nothing of those aforementioned things prepared me for the creepy story I was going to read, though. And boy, let me tell you this was quite something!

”We forgot about them, but they never forgot about us. They always knew that somewhere out there they had competition, strange and soft and walking on two legs and defenseless in the water. Most of all, they never forgot that we were delicious.“

I think I could have lived with gory scenes and bloodthirsty sirens, but what made this a really intriguing and exceptional story was the fact that those mermaids were extremely intelligent and had no qualms to use their knowledge to their advantage. They knew what they were hunting (humans in case you wondered) and how to get to it and in contrast to the humans they just took what they craved. Namely, meat and plenty of it. If you want to say it in a drastic way you could also say that the Melusine was some sort of all-you-can-eat buffet for them and you wouldn’t be wrong, because to be entirely honest those humans were basically put on a platter with a nice bow.

”So you think they’re watching us?” Luis glanced over the rail. The water was very dark and very clear at the same time, like looking through a window into infinity. A cold hand seemed to run along his spine, sending chills all through him.
„Mr Martines, I know they’re watching us. The only question is from how far away.“ Dr Toth smiled thinly.

So we have intelligent and ruthless sirens, scientists that want a piece of the cake without either realizing or caring that they ARE actually the cake and all the makings for a journey that will turn into a bloodbath. Nice! What I really liked about this story was the fact that we didn’t just get gory and bloody but also a lot of science and philosophy. Due to all the scientist on board of the ship there are a lot of tests and experiments happening but I think it was never over the top and woven so effortlessly into the tale that it always felt very natural and didn’t disturb the flow of the story. Also the atmosphere in this book was amazing! It was creepy, eerie and oppressive! And it was so suspenseful that it sometimes quite literally had me at the edge of my seat!

”This was not where she belonged. This had never been where she belonged. Humanity had chosen the land over the sea millennia ago, and sometimes – when she was letting her mind wander, when she was romanticizing what she did and how she did it – she thought the sea still held a grudge. Breakups were never easy, and while humanity was hot and fast and had had plenty of time to get over it, the oceans were deep and slow, and for them all change had happened only yesterday. The seas did not forgive, and they did not welcome their wayward children home.”

Fun fact I’ve to mention here: I always wanted to become a marine biologist when I was a kid but my asthma and the fact that I live in a landlocked region kind of killed that dream before it even got a chance to grow. Despite all that I was always fascinated with the sea, the Mariana Trench, reefs and everything else that lives in those depths though. And I think this made me enjoy “Into the Drowning Deep” even more because there is this scientific puzzle and every single person on that ship tries to solve it in their own way. Experiencing the story alongside the scientists and watching them while they made new discoveries and tried to understand those creatures that attacked them so relentlessly was extremely intriguing for me. I was probably as fascinated by them as Dr. Toth was and I wanted answers to how they were able to survive too.

”Dr Wilson is correct: the problem with trying to define nature is that nature is bigger than we are, and nature doesn’t care whether we know how to define it. Nature does what nature wants.”

As for the characters: I really liked most of them and actually prayed that they would survive. *lol* But quite honestly not even the ones I didn’t like would have deserved to die the way some of the mermaids victims did. *shudders* I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Some deaths were really gruesome and caused me to take a deep breath in order to be able to read on. Tory – Victoria Stewart – was one of the likable characters and I really liked that she and Olivia got closer during the journey. Tory was definitely a driven character and I really liked her and the way she tried to find answers to her sister’s death. Olive… Olive was amazing and I think it was great to see an on-page character that was autistic and had social anxiety as well. Olivia’s POV and rep added so much depth to the story and I think we need more representations like that in books!

”If one of the mermaids had taken him – one of those deep horrors, with teeth like daggers and the hands designed to catch and keep – then he hadn’t drowned, because he wouldn’t have had time. He would have died before his body hit the water.”

I don’t think I can say a lot about Theo because he represented Imagine and was actually a pretty blank character. His wife Dr. Jillian Toth however, was awesome and I really loved her dry humour and that she went on the journey knowing full well that she was most certainly going to die. Yet that still didn’t stop her because she wanted to see all her life’s work about mermaids put into practice. I’m pretty certain Dr. Toth would have tried to study the sirens even if they would have chewed and feasted on her already. *lol* Yep, that woman was badass and I really liked her, because despite all her fascination for those creatures she was still compassionate and kind. The twins Holly and Heather and their sister Hallie were all pretty interesting characters too. Every single one of them had their own voice and even though they worked in completely different niches (organic chemistry, deep sea diving, linguistics) they were a family and a lively bunch.

“Do I think they found mermaids? Yes. Of course I do. And I think the mermaids ate them all.”

4

All told, I really enjoyed “Into the Drowning Deep” and the story’s slow decent into tension, havoc and madness. When the book started I wasn’t all too sure if killer sirens would be able to scare me but once the shit hit the fan and the atmosphere got more and more deadly and dire I couldn’t escape the pull of the book anymore. This was horrifying, suspenseful and thrilling and if there was one thing I didn’t like it was the rather abrupt, horror movie like ending. But I guess you can’t have everything so I’ll take it as it is and be glad I never actually met those lethal sirens. 😉

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
Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

October Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

Okay, stress reading is A THING! *lol* It’s official now because even though I had so many things to do in October I somehow still managed to read 6 books! Which is more than I managed to read all year. I mean the most I was able to read in a month was 5 books in September so a whopping six in October is amazing! XD I’m kind of behind on my reviews now though so I’m sorry if all you got last month were a lot of reviews on my blog. I needed to do some serious catching up to all the reviews that have been waiting to be written and I hope you’ll forgive me for my blog being less varied for a while. It will get better again, I promise. 😉

As for other things that happened this month: I already said that stress reading is a thing so yes, studying kept me busy again and I finally wrote my final assignment so that I can get my diploma in addition to my already existing certificate. 😀 This took me a little while and since we were all ill again at the beginning of October it was quite a tough time to write it. Anyway I managed and now I’m still waiting for my grading. Fingers crossed I’ll get a good grade. Well, and to top it all off I already started with my next course at the beginning of October too so I had double the stress because I needed to keep up with the new one while finishing the old one. Fun times. ;-P

But hey, it worked out fine in the end and I read so much more than I read before because I was stress reading. *lol* I think I was very lucky with my book choices as well because I enjoyed so many of those books and to host #Rainboween made this even more enjoyable! I loved to host #Rainboween and to read all the spooky LGBTQIA+ books so be prepared that I’ll host another round of it next year as well. It will become an annual thing and I just love that! ❤ Anyway, enough of my month, let’s go for the bookish summary!

Books read: 6 (6 books & 0 webcomic, I can’t believe I actually read 6 books! O_o)

Pages read: 1.780 (Even though some of those books were pretty short it seems like the page count is big though?)

Average rating: 4,00 (It was such a good reading month! XD)

Books that were on my reading list: 0 ( 0 from 2020, 0 from 2021 and 1 from 2022. And I’m back to being a mood reader. Haha! But honestly after this amazing reading month I can’t even regret it.)

October Reads:

          

       

Blackout: 3 Pfoten,5

This was such a nice collection of short stories and I really enjoyed to read a different one every night. It were six stories in total and all focused on a blackout in NY City during a hot summer night. What I really liked was that this was own-voices (all black authors) and that there were even two stories that featured LGBTQIA+ representations. Plus all the stories were connected to each other and this was nice. =) If you want to read my full review you can do it here!

All Systems Red: 4 Pfoten

I wanted to read All Systems Red for ages and I finally did! I was supposed to read this book in September but oh well, as plans go I didn’t manage to get to it and then decided to read it in October instead. *lol* And I have no regrets. This might have been a typical sci-fi scenario story but the POV was definitely unique and I’m looking forward to read more of the „Murderbot Diaries“. 😉

Lore & Lust: 4 Pfoten,5

I absolutely loved this book!!! This story was exactly what I needed! A m/m vampire story with two amazing characters that become friends and then fall in love. Their mutual trust, their slow burn and especially their consent(!!!) made this such an amazing experience! I love Nino and Haru and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books in this series.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky: 4 Pfoten

It was so good to be back in Monty’s and Percy’s world and I loved to get a glimpse at their life together after the first book ended. They are both still adorable and Monty is still a mess but ahh what a sweet mess they are together. *lol* I think after I read this it’s finally time to pick up the third and last book of this series. I can’t wait to get to know their little brother. My full review about this book can be found here!

Legendary: 4 Pfoten

This was fun! XD After reading „Caraval“ I wanted to know who Legend is and well, I guess it’s no spoiler to say that you’ll find out if you read this book. 😉 I mean it’s named „Legendary“ for a reason, right? This said, I found myself enjoying Tella’s story more than Scarletts because Tella is a little reckless demon and I kinda liked that about her. *lol* Also the two love interests in here were amazing and I was intrigued by both of them, though admittedely I liked one of them more. ;-P

Into the Drowning Deep: 4 Pfoten

Oh boy! I so rarely read horror but I wanted to read this because it’s about sirens in the Mariana Trench and the dark deep always fascinated me. I even wanted to become a marine biologist when I was a teen but in the end didn’t become one because of my asthma and well, I live in a landlocked region. *lol* Anyway! This book was great and exactly the right mixture of gory, creepy and fascinating. I loved to read about the scientists when they spoke about life in the sea and the mermaids or rather sirens were at least as creepy as they were fascinating. Loved this, but I gotta say: I never want to meet one of those sirens.. Ever. XD

Rankenzeile

This said: How was your October? Was it a great reading month for you too? (I swear it was legit the best one I had in about a year!) Which spooky books did you read for Halloween month and did we have some in common? Did you take part in my #Rainboween Readathon? And if yes, which spooky LGBTQIA+ books did you read? Any recs for me? Also are you studying too and if yes, what are you studying?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

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

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox

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.”

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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, Book Tags

Top Ten Tuesday: Spooky LGBTQIA+ Books

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

Today’s Topic is: : Halloween Freebie (This time I decided to go for a focus on spooky LGBTQIA+ books because there are many and I’m having a lot of fun with the readathon I’m currently hosting #Rainboween so I figured why not give a couple more recs?! Some of them aren’t all too spooky but others well, they are. *lol*)

1.) „Into the Drowning Deep“ by Mira Grant

I just finished reading this book and boy did it have me at the edge of my seat! There are flesh eating sirens in this book and they are creepy af! *lol* Also they are very interesting because the ship that wants to find them is full of scientists and I really liked that science aspect during the book. =) If they’d really be real I wouldn’t want to meet them though. And yes there is a f/f relationship in this too so it definitely has a LGBTQIA+ rep.

2.) „Lore & Lust“ by Karla Nikole

This was the first book I read for #Rainboween and I loved it so much! It’s about two male vampires named Haruka and Nino who meet through an ancient vampire ritual they are kinda forced to supervise/witness. They are both very curious about each other and eventually become friends. This is a slow burn, people, but it really was such a lovely and nice one and I can totally recommend reading the book if you love vampires and m/m books.

3.) „Summer Sons“ by Lee Mandelo

Okay, I haven’t read that one yet but it sounds very promising and I definitely want to get a copy into my greedy hands! The plot sounds super mysterious because it’s about two best friends that wanted to go to college (at least I think it’s college?!) together. Eddie goes there first though and shortly before Andrew can join him Eddie dies. Apparently it was suicide, at least that’s what everyone thinks. Well, and then the shit hits the fan because Andrew finds out a lot of dark secrets about his bestie and begins to wonder if he ever knew him. Oh yeah and he’s haunted by a phantom too. *lol* Honestly, I want to read this so bad.

4.) „The Darkest Part of the Forest“ by Holly Black

I read this a while ago but I still remember it vividly because it was my first Holly Black book ever and it totally got me hooked on her books. ❤ „The Darkest Part of the Forest“ is about two siblings named Holly and Ben that live in a town named Fairfold that basically lives next to the faerie world. And right smack in the forest there is a glass coffin that holds a mysterious sleeping faerie prince. Both siblings are in love with him until one day he wakes up and turns their world upside down. ;-P

5.) „Wolfsong“ by TJ Klune

I loved all of TJ Klune’s books I read so far and I’m convinced I’ll love this one too. It’s about werewolves and the love between two boys named Ox and Joe that meet on a road when they are young. Apparently they grow older as the book progresses but find each other again? There isn’t a lot said about the plot but listening to everyone and their grandma raving about this series made me more than just curious. *lol* I am ready!!

6.) „Malice“ by Heather Walter

Honestly this story had me at f/f „Sleeping Beauty“ retelling because YES! This is what I’m here for! XD Apparently gentle Aurora falls in love with the witch in this one and this idea has me super intrigued! I love fairy tales with a spin and this one sounds amazing! I’m sure I’ll get to this one sooner or later. Well, hopefully rather sooner! It just sounds so good. 😉

7.) „The Sacrifice“ by Rin Chupeco

I’ve never read a single book by Rin Chupeco but I’ve heard of them and they all have me intrigued so I guess it’s finally time to pick one up?! „The Sacrifice“ sounds absolutely awesome! I mean an island in the middle of the Philippines that is cursed? And a local guide that is supposed to help a Hollywood film crew? Sounds like my kinda cup of tea! *lol* Also I heard that there is a non-binary rep in here and quite honestly that makes this book even more tempting! =)

8.) „Sawkill Girls“ by Claire Legrand

I absolutely loved this book when I read it last year! Again we have an island setting and some sort of monster that lives on it and abducts young girls. What for? Well, you’ll find out if you read the book! *lol* Not gonna spoil anything here! All I’m going to say is that this book had me hooked and I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy it so much! It was a total surprise! There’s a sapphic rep in there too, but that’s all I’m going to say! ;-P

9.) „The Ghost of Buxton Manor“ by Jonathan L. Ferrara

I’m not gonna lie, by the end of this book I cried buckets of tears! Seriously, I was ugly crying and I still have no idea how a book about a boy that falls in love with a ghost boy that haunts his new home caused me to end up like that. There’s just something about Jonathan L. Ferrara’s writing style that hits you right smack in the feels! ❤  I was a mess after this book! Slightly spooky and creepy at times but so, so sad and charming at the same time. I highly recommend to read this one!

10.) „The Luminous Dead“ by Caitlin Starling

A psychological horror thriller about a woman who goes to a foreign planet in order to map a cave system but then ends up stuck in it with a guide she can’t fully trust? And something that might lurk in the dark and is following her? Is it imagination or is it real? Well, I’m definitely going to find out when I start to read this book! 😉

Rankenzeile

So what about you? Which freebie topic would you have chosen for this Top Ten Tuesday? Did you like my LGBTQIA+ take on it and if yes have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have some recommendations for me too? Any good and spooky LGBTQIA+ books I should add to my ever growing TBR?

Talk to me and let me know!

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

*hugs’n’kisses*

Sig.V.Ronan

The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The 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 - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

Review: Blackout (Dhonielle Clayton)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

What can I say about this collection of short stories? Well, I might just start with the basics and take it from there. 😉 For me this was a really nice collection and I enjoyed reading a different story each night. I loved that there were stories with LGBTQIA+ reps as well and that all of the stories were pretty diverse and varied. They all played during a blackout in NYC that was caused by an extreme heatwave and it was very interesting to follow the characters around while they all tried to make their way to a party in Brooklyn. I suppose NYC truly never sleeps, even when it’s dark. *lol*Anyway, considering the format I decided to talk a little bit about every story so without further ado let’s just jump into them:

“The Long Walk” by Tiffany D. Jackson

”That’s the thing about finding the right person to love. When someone loves you, all their hang-ups don’t really mean much. Because loving that person is a choice you have to make every day, even when that day isn’t what you expect.”

This was a nice tale about Kareem and Tammi who are exes and meet rather unexpectedly before the Blackout begins and throws everything into darkness. Throughout the entire book they try to make their way to the party in Brooklyn and their story kinda functions as the glue between all the other stories. 😉

“Mask Off” by Nic Stone

Tremaine and JJ meet again on the subway train that is stuck in the tunnels during the blackout. They haven’t spoken with each other for years but they went to the same school and JJ knows about Tremaine’s problems. Should he help him or keep his distance?
A really sweet love story about two boys that find each other in the dark. 😉

“Made to Fit” by Ashley Woodfolk

Nella is visiting her grandfather in Althea House, a senior living facility, when the Blackout starts. But she isn’t the only teen. Soon after the Blackout begins Joss and her dog Ziggy arrive in Althea House as well and Nella is forced to spend some time with a girl that is too gorgeous to be true and might be able to steal her heart if only given the chance.

“All the Great Love Stories … And Dust” by Dhonielle Clayton

”The truth: Everything we do together is a memory I never want to forget. Each joke, each touch, each experience. My notebooks spill over. Too big to hold all that is him … all that is me … all that is us together.”

Lana and Tristán have been best friends for ages always teasing each other and trying to win a bet. This time however their bet might turn out to be more than they bargained for. Skimming through the bookshelves of the NY public library during a blackout while looking for the best love story ever written turns out to be quite the challenge, especially with long harboured feelings getting in the way…

“No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by Angie Thomas

”Your heart will never lead you wrong, but it can be hard to hear it. You have to give it space to speak. That’s a form of love, too.”

How do you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone? Kayla and Tre’Shawn have been long-term sweethearts for ages and are happy together, but Kayla can’t help but feel an attraction towards Micah, another boy in her class. Feeling conflicted by her own heart Kayla has one hell of a bus ride ahead of her.

“Seymour and Grace” by Nicola Yoon

What do you do if you’re on your way to a party and your taxi driver turns out to be a handsome philosopher? Grace has no idea especially because she actually wanted to get to Brooklyn in order to make her ex jealous. To spend some time with her attractive Ryde driver Seymour definitely wasn’t part of the plan, but it might actually turn out to be exactly what she needed. 😉

4
This said: I really enjoyed all of those six love stories and they all had their own voice. The ones I liked the most were definitely “Mask Off”“All the Great Love Stories … And Dust” and “Seymour and Grace”. The writing style in “All the Great Love Stories… and Dust” was so beautiful and the other two stories were super cute! =) Also I usually love Angie Thomas’s books but this time around her short story just didn’t work for me. All told I liked reading this short stories collection and had a very good time! Happy reading! =)

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, N, Reviews

Review: Nick and Charlie (Alice Oseman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

”No, but – “ he shakes his head – “you’re Nick and Charlie.”
I laugh. “What does that mean?”
“It’s …” He laughs too, a nervous expulsion of air.
“You’re … it’s hard to explain. It’s like, if you had to provide evidence for soul mates, everyone would pick you two.”

I can’t believe this were only 159 pages, yet they packed such a punch! Leave it to Alice Oseman to put us through the emotional wringer. *lol* Seriously, to read “Nick and Charlie” was such a roller coaster and my emotional bandwidth went from happy to sad and depressed right smack back into slap happy and cosy territory! It was…. A LOT! XD

”People we know usually message Charlie these days when they want to talk to either of us because I’m horrific at replying to messages. He’s way more organised than me.”

First of all let me tell you how much I loved to see the entire “Heartstopper” crew again! I loved to read about those tiny details like the fact that people will text Charlie because they know Nick is with him. I mean this was such a nice look at their every day life and extremely wholesome to read about! ❤ Also their sweet and fluffy moments. They are just too adorable together and I guess I’m guilty of thinking “They are Nick and Charlie” too! I mean, they are! With some couples you just know that they are meant to be together forever and those two are like the epitome of this feeling!

”After a few seconds I go to move backwards, but he just pulls me further down. I laugh against his lips and I feel him smile too, but neither of us stop and after a minute or so I feel my hand subconsciously reach to run through his hair.“

Unfortunately Nick is leaving for uni soon and that causes quite the trouble between them. They wouldn’t be Nick and Charlie if they wouldn’t be able to manoeuvre around that bump in the road though, right?! Well, I suppose you’ll have to find that out for yourself. Not gonna spoil anything! ;-P What I can say for sure is that I absolutely love Tori and Nick’s mum! They are amazing and I really wish every LGBTQIA+ teen would have people like them in their lives! You need the support of loved ones and those two did an excellent job! As did Aled Last! Gosh! It was so good to see more of Aled in here! I just love my boy and I missed him ever since I read the last page of “Radio Silence”. ❤
Plus can we acknowledge how he is so damn good with Charlie’s feelings? He always said the right things and was the person that gave the best advice.

”You okay though?” he asks. “I feel like you’ve been really down today.”
I pause, a little taken aback. “Oh. Yeah. No. I’m fine.”
“Yeah?” He fiddles with his fingers and gives me a look.
“Yeah. I don’t know. Nick’s just talking a lot about uni, it’s kind of … just makes me feel a bit crap… I don’t know.” I groan and run a hand through my hair. “That sounds so bad when I say it out loud.”
“No, you’re allowed to feel things.” He smiles. “I get it.”

4
This said I really enjoyed reading “Nick and Charlie”! It was a great addition to the main series and it’s always so nice to be back in the world of “Heartstopper”! For me it felt like coming home and meeting a lot of good old friends, which is legit one of the best feelings ever! =)

”I think he just took them because he wanted to remember what this was like. What our life is like now. Chilling round each other’s houses, going on walks, eating together, sleeping together.
It sounds boring but it’s so wonderful.
It is. I feel myself tear up just looking at our life together.
I love this. I love us. I love our weird, boring life.”