Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

February Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

February was probably the fastest month in all history of fast months. *lol* I swear it was over before it even began. XD Maybe it was because I was way too busy with everything going on. Work, my family, my besties birthday, my own birthday and everything else kept me from reading and in the end I realized that I only managed to read 4 books?! I kinda miss the times I was able to read 6 – 8 books a month but as it seems 4 – 5 books a month is my new reality. >_<

So after two months in 2022 the quintessence is: Still too much stress, still too many things keeping me occupied and still not enough time to deal with everything. *lol* If anyone could sent me a time turner I’d really appreciate it. ;-P Also my allergies have been acting up again and even though my asthma got way better than it was before (thank you therapy 😀 ) the constant onslaught of pollen and everything that blooms in spring is still taking its toll on my body. So yeah, I’m kinda suffering from constant exhaustion and the fact that I’m typing this with a massive headache isn’t helping.

Let’s hope once all the pollen are gone I will be able to enjoy spring! Because quite honestly I can’t wait for warm weather and to be outside again. Winter has been way too long again. And this even though the months passed by quickly. I guess I’m just tired of the cold. *lol* Anyway enough talk about the weather let’s talk about books! ❤

Books read: 4 (4 books & 1 webcomic, I won’t talk about „Chakho“ though because I already spoke about it last month)

Pages read: 1.593 (It was so bad I didn’t even manage to read 1.000 pages. *lol*)

Average rating: 3,88 (I guess „The Cousins“ is responsible for that. XD)

Books that were on my reading list: 0 ( 0 from 2019, 0 from 2020 and 1 from 2022. I can’t help being a mood reader, but I’m getting better! )

February Reads:

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The House of Hades: 4 Pfoten,5

This was probably the darkest of Uncle Rick’s books so far! But I really enjoyed it and if possible the characters grew even more on me! I love my three golden boys and Percy, Leo and Nico will always be my faves! As for the girls: Hazel and Annabeth for the win! Those two rock! <333 I’m very curious how book 5 will end because right now the situation looks really dire! If our heroes survive this they definitely deserve a vacation. XD

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: 4 Pfoten

This was such a strange book but also a good one?! The more I think about it the more I come to the conclusion that it was actually pretty good. For me The Ocean at the End of the Lane  felt like an old fairy tale and I’m pretty sure this was part of what Neil Gaiman aimed for. The perspective of a young boy who sees the adult world through children’s eyes only added to that impression and even though the book was creepy and gross at times I still enjoyed it.

The Cousins: 3 Pfoten

So this was a three paws read because it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t really good either. There were a couple of plot twists I saw from miles away and the characters felt way too similar to those of in „One of Us is Lying“. I mean the book was nice to read but it wasn’t something I will remember for long and I know for fact that Mc Manus wrote better books than this one. So yeah. Fingers crossed her next book will be better again. =)

The Gilded Ones: 4 Pfoten

I only finished this recently and I already know „The Gilded Ones“ will be difficult to review. The first about 40 – 50% of the book reminded me of a lot of other YA books I read over the years and then I got over the 50% mark and suddenly the book picked up pace and got its own voice so umm yeah. I dunno where that leaves me but I’ll make sure to write a proper review to dive a little bit deeper into my reasoning for 3,5 paws which I ultimately rounded up to 4.

Rankenzeile

How was your February? Was it too short too? Did you read more books than I did and if yes, which books did you read? Did you read any of the books I spoke about in my wrap up? =) Am I the only one who suffers from allergies?! (I can’t be the only one, right?! *lol*) How come all the books I read last month started with „The“?! And are you looking forward to summer too?

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 Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 26 of My Book List 2022

”I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I found joy in the things that made me happy.”

You know, the more I think about this book, the harder it is to review it properly. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is definitely one of those books that – for lack of a better word – smoulders after you finished the last page. It’s one of those stories that needs to sink in and slowly but steadily digs its claws into your mind. It’s kind of funny how you don’t even notice the effect while you read the book but experience it afterwards once you have time to actually think about it. The book is a pretty fast read and it didn’t take me long to page through it, the “aftereffects” are an entirely different matter though.

”Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everything.”

It are wisdoms like that, which cause you to think and to reflect on the story. I’m sure a lot of people already wrote about a million of words about this book but I guess I’ll just throw in a couple of thoughts I had after finishing “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”. The first thing I noticed is that the story has a lot of fairy tale like elements. We have a boy that sees the world with different eyes than the adults around him and because of that the grown-ups don’t believe him. The narrator of the book might only be seven years old, but in a lot of ways he’s more open-minded and perceptive than all the adults around him.     

”Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

For me the fight against the antagonist of the story was so frustrating because basically no one of the adults believes the boy when he says that the person is bad. And I guess it’s something a lot of adults do. They don’t understand the thoughts of their children and most of them don’t even bother to try to understand their perspective. Quite honestly, if my kid would tell me that there’s a horrible person that is evil I’d ask why? And yes, I’d try to see it through my child’s eyes. I haven’t lost that inner child of me yet and I hope I never will. I still make up stories and live in a fantasy world with my kid and I think it’s very important to give them this precious room to grow into themselves. They learn things playfully and it’s crucial to take them seriously when they are so insistent on something. As a parent you should protect your child and the things that happened to the poor boy in this story. Well, for me some of the scenes were extremely shocking.

”She was power incarnate, standing in the crackling air. She was the storm, she was the lightning, she was the adult world with all its power and all its secrets and all its foolish casual cruelty.”

This quote! It sums up everything I just said. Children might live in their own world but to them our adult world is at least as mysterious and incomprehensible as their world is to us. I hated Ursula Monkton with a passion, because she was the embodiment of the cruel adult world. She represented everything that made life complicated and miserable. It’s very interesting that Ursula wasn’t actually a bad person/being, she wanted to make people happy but she was ignorant to the fact that happiness always comes with a price. You can’t make everyone happy because one person’s happiness will probably turn out to be the cause of another person’s misfortune. There’s a balance in life and if you disrupt it things will get out of hand. 

”Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.”

And before that could actually happen, Lettie Hempstock and her mother and grandmother stepped in. Those three women were so interesting and I love what Neil Gaiman did with them. I mean it’s kinda obvious they stand for the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone. All three of them have been around as long as the universe itself and time has absolutely no meaning for them. Their existence in the book was very particular because they neither lived in the narrator’s world nor in the adult one. They lived somewhere in between and no matter how hard the boy tried to understand what they were talking about he couldn’t really grasp their world. Which was such a nice and subtle way to describe the discrepancy between childhood and adulthood. At least for me it did. I’m pretty sure a lot of people might have a different opinion about this aspect of the book and I’m also convinced that every take on this is valid. How you interpret and rate books is completely subjective so the same book will mean different things for everyone who reads it. 😉

”You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.”

As for the ending? Well, it made me sad. It’s obvious the things that happened changed the course of the narrator’s life and it’s not entirely clear if it was for the better or for worse. And I’m sure this is exactly what Neil Gaiman wanted us to wonder about. Some experiences are good and some are bad, but you always grow through them and they change and shape you into the person you are now. Some things you can influence and others are beyond your influence and just happen to you. It’s always up to you how you deal with it though.

”I make art, sometimes I make true art, and sometimes it fills the empty places in my life. Some of them. Not all.”

4

All told, I really enjoyed this book and to say it was thought-provoking would be an understatement. I guess you can already tell by my review that “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” will stay with me for a long time and that I’ll continue to think about it for quite some time. It was a very strange book, but also a good one. I definitely didn’t expect it to be so creepy but I suppose adult life can be pretty grim and creepy as well so it kind of fit the mood of the story. If you like books like that I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one too. =)