books of the month: november 2017

Can you believe there’s only one more month left in this year? On one hand I can’t wait to leave the shitshow of 2017 behind when it comes to news and the whole wide world, but for me personally 2017 has been so good so I can’t quite get my head around this year being nearly over. I’m super excited for Christmas and my holidays though!

November has been really awesome when it comes to books. All of my reads were really good and interesting, even though I haven’t rated any of them five stars (all of them were really close though, I feel a bit bad about it). I’m also past my record of books read in one year! (From last year, 58 books!)

The best

The Princess Saves Herself in this One (Women are Some Kind of Magic, #1)The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed reading this so much! The poems are all really good, I nearly gave it five stars but I realised I feel about it the same way as about Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers which I just read as well – so I really like it, but it’s not quite as novel or exciting for me personally to get five stars.

But The Princess Saves Herself in this One is beautiful from the badass title, over the really clean and nice layout to the adorable last few pages. It’s about emotional abuse, about terrible and amazing relationships, it’s about feminism and being strong, it’s about suicide and loss and growing, it’s about being your own hero and becoming happier.
(It also has a list of trigger warnings in the beginning, yay!)

The first half was really sad and hard to read but every poem was so beautiful and well-written, I certainly didn’t want to stop reading. I really enjoy this style of poetry and even when they are super short, they always touch me deeply.
The second half is more empowering and while still sad or hard in sometimes they made me kind of happy and pumped and badass myself (or something).
Such a good book.

The Sun and Her FlowersThe Sun and Her Flowers by
Rupi KaurMy rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved reading this! Milk & Honey got five stars from me and this book is nearly as good as Rupi Kaur’s debut.
Maybe I didn’t find it quite as good because the novelty of her writing and style wore off a bit? But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love The Sun and Her Flowers.

The poems are about abuse, femininity, family, origins, friends, growing, dealing with the past, falling in and out of love and much more. They are short (not all) and beautiful, poignant and interesting. They not only deal with Rupi Kaur’s life but also her family, especially the women.

The illustrations were as beautiful as those in Milk & Honey, if not even better. I’ve always loved the combination of text and art in books and it’s a great combination and also beautiful to look at.

The Handmaid's TaleThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good afternoon, I think I’ve been scarred for life.
I’ve wanted to read this book for a while, especially since I heard more about it because of the TV show (which I totally need to watch at some point – I’ll either start next week or in 10 years) and now I did it and I’m not quite sure what to think about it??

The Handmaid’s Tale is definitely a great book about a dystopian future that is pretty damn horrifying. Women don’t really have any rights (apart from breeding) and no one is really allowed to have fun or enjoy themselves and of course everyone is watched by the Eyes.
Offred – the protagonist – is in the first generation of this new “era” and because of that, she remembers how life was before and she and everyone else is brainwashed into becoming these joyless, thoughtless members of some sort of cult, basically. Her life is so bleak and only there to give birth, nothing else.

So many parts of this book where incredibly terrible and repulsive (I’ll just say “Moira’s feet”, “the ceremony” and “salvaging”) and sometimes these events are described so clinically, which made everything even worse.

Offred isn’t exactly your typical hero and she doesn’t really *do* anything for most of the book which is also why it took me forever to truly get into it. I was interested from the beginning but the slow plot doesn’t exactly get me hooked. I wanted to know what happens to her and everyone else though and I didn’t really get any answers to that which annoys me a bit BUT I also see why that makes it even more fascinating and invites thinking about this story in more detail.

I’m wondering if all of the parallels to 1984 (which I haven’t read yet but will try to do soon) were intentional. I think both books make you think about some of the same things (the power of thoughts and words and brainwashing and an all-controlling and all-seeing state) but they also look at separate aspects of a possible dystopian future. In The Handmaid’s Tale it’s more about reproductive rights and how people might feel when their whole life changes so completely and how they try to live in these roles that they have become assigned to.

This is definitely a great story and it can be really important to think about these topics, I just wish the writing was a bit more to my taste.

The rest

Graffiti (and Other Poems)Graffiti by Savannah Brown

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was so lovely to read! I really Savannah’s videos of reciting her poetry and I’ve wanted to get my hands on more of her poems for a while!

Graffiti (and other poems) is about growing up and learning and experiencing so many new things and being overwhelmed, being in love, being okay. It’s beautifully illustrated (seriously, I couldn’t help but “aww” a few times when turning the page) and the cover is incredibly pretty, I’m quite in love with it.

The poems are short(-ish) and written in what seems to become my favourite type of poetry. I enjoyed reading them a lot, they are interesting and calming and so nicely written.
I hope Savannah will continue writing more because I think she’s really good at it.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve known a bit about Malala for years but I never really knew her story and what she went through and why. This book was so insightful not only about those two points but I also learned so much about cultures I didn’t really know anything about.

Malala describes her life as a Muslim, a Pakistani and a Pashtu in such great detail, but this book doesn’t just contain her story, it also includes the story of Pakistan and the Swat valley Malala grew up in. This is a part of the world you only hear bad things about on the news and being a year younger than Malala, I basically just know about the Taliban but not how it was before or what changed for the people in Pakistan when they arrived.
She recounts her life from being born to going to school to being shot, but she adds the stories of her country, her parents, her school and the groups that made her life so difficult and that was so interesting to me and I feel like I learned so much.

I have a huge respect for everything Malala did and survived, especially now that I know how difficult it is for girls in Pakistan and I realise how disheartening that must be.

Even though Malala did exceptional things and won countless prizes, she is still a normal young girl and she lived through many of the same experiences other children and teenagers have. I really liked reading about those normal moments too, Malala isn’t just an activist, she’s always saying that she’s just as normal as everyone else. She’s honestly so humble, I’m so inspired by her.

Even though the book got really dragging sometimes and I got confused with all the names and complex history I loved reading about her life and everything beyond.
I admire people who stand up for their rights so much and I’m so happy I could learn from her.

View all my reviews


By the way, if you have any good poetry books similar to those above to recommend, please do! I’m really into poetry right now and I’m trying to find more of my favourite style.

See you soon ❤

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books of the month: october 2017

I have been a tiny bit inactive this month when it comes to blogging. I had a few things to talk about (I went to Lorde‘s concert in Munich and it was so damn amazing!) but school is keeping me rather busy and I didn’t really feel like writing anything.

BUT I’ve had loads of time on the train to read. I barely read outside of public transport right now but as I sit on a train for over an hour five days a week I do get something done!

I read six books this month which means I’m already done with my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I already read 53 books in 2017, I’m so happy! Some of the books this month were SO good and I even read one in German, can you believe? I basically never read German books, especially not by German authors but this author is one of my favourites and he hadn’t written a book in years. Of course, my review is in German as well and I’m just gonna put it in this blog post as usual.

The best

QualityLandQualityLand by Marc-Uwe Kling
My rating:
5 of 5 stars

Uhm, wie schreibt man Reviews auf Deutsch? Das ist das erste Deutsche Buch, das auch noch von einem Deutschen Autor ist, das ich in einer ganzen Weile lese. Und ich merke ich kann keine Deutschen Sätze mehr formulieren. Cool.

In meinem Freundeskreis sind die Känguru Chroniken mehr als nur bekannt. Sie sind eher eine Bibel. Jeder kennt und zitiert sie und da liegt es nahe, dass ich mich wirklich sehr auf etwas Neues von Marc-Uwe Kling gefreut habe. Die Idee klang interessant und ich wusste, dass es witzig werden würde.

Erstmal möchte ich anmerken wie schön dieses Buch aussieht! Ich liebe Buchcover und schwarz + gold und dann auch noch innen abwechselnd schwarze Seiten – ich bin begeistert. Allein dafür würde das Buch schon fünf Sterne bekommen.

Aber ehrlich, QualityLand ist so gut und so böse! Es ist so anders als die Känguru Bücher und das ist natürlich verständlich und auch etwas, das ich erwartet habe. Es ist weniger witzig, was wohl auch stark am Thema liegt und da wir schließlich kein kommunistisches Känguru mehr haben, aber dennoch unglaublich erheiternd.
Und so kritisch gegenüber der Digitalisierung (das ist das Offensichtlichste), aber auch gegenüber der Politik, dem Kapitalismus, der Gesellschaft, Ausländerfeindlichkeiten und Rassismus, Politiker, mit den wir in letzter Zeit leider handeln müssen, und so viel mehr! Und dabei lernt man sogar noch wirklich was (besonders, wenn der Alte etwas erzählt!).
Wirklich, manche Dialoge oder Erklärungen waren so genial, ich wollte gleich jedem davon erzählen. Es bringt mich zum Nachdenken und zum Lachen. Das ist für mich die beste Kombination.

Für mich schafft es dieses Buch, so viele Dinge zu vereinen, die mir wichtig sind oder die ich super finde: Humor, Anspielungen auf das Känguru, Politik und Kritik an der Menschheit, interessante Wege ein Buch aufzubauen (da es “Werbeunterbrechnungen” zwischen den Kapiteln gibt, was so unglaublich gut zum Thema passt) und mehr.

In anderen Worten: Viel schönes dabei.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) BodyHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was really excited for this and not because it’s an amazing story or funny or anything like that but because I knew I could learn a lot and get insights into things I never thought about before.

I loved Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist and since then I knew she had dealt with sexual abuse and obesity and problems resulting from that. Especially the chapters dealing with her abuse (rape but also emotional abuse) are hard to read and if you get triggered easily by these topics it might not be the right thing for you. Eating disorders are also mentioned quite heavily.

They are good though in a way that they raise awareness and make me understand better what her life is like. The same goes for everything she writes about being fat and having society judge her for that. There are some things (like the dimensions of literally every space ever) that I never thought about because I’m in such a different situation and I’m really glad I could learn about these things.
Awareness is important.

This book is not a guide to anything but it offers so much insight and quite a lot of really interesting and really important thoughts. I think this is a great read, especially for those who want to know more about diverse bodies and all the things mentioned above.
Just maybe do it like I did and read something fun in between.

Counting DescentCounting Descent by Clint Smith
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

(This is really close to five stars but I need to finally proper differentiate between four and five so…)

I have heard about Clint Smith before and I’ve been following him on Twitter for a while, where I saw a few of his newest poems. I found them all amazing and beautifully written so I had to get this collection at some point.

And it’s so good.

Clint Smith writes a lot about race, about police shootings and fear, about his family, about sports, about his hometown(s). I like all of his poems but especially those about race are so beautiful and haunting and sad and heart wrenching.

I also really like how they are different types of poems and how the layout is a bit different and unique for some of them.

Just a really good book.

The rest

The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3)The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this so much! I love all Rick Riordan books and this series has been particularly interesting to me because I love Norse Mythology a lot. I’m a bit sad it’s over but I’m also glad it’s a trilogy with a really nice ending and just hope I can see more of the characters in other stories (just give me something, please).

Magnus and all his friends finally have to face Loki and really prevent Ragnarök. For that, they have to survive challenges that are truly horrifying. Each person gets tested in a cruel way and even though they all deserve more happiness I’m glad every person on the team got their time to shine and there was quite a lot of backstory on everyone. Of course, there’s still stuff I’d love to find out but whatever.

I really like how important chosen families and friendships are in this series and this was highlighted even more in Ship of the Dead, especially near the end. The romance was still really subtle and adorable and I totally live for that.

This book has humour and sadness and mentions a lot of important topics (gender and sexuality and faith and racism and more) that might help younger readers and I’m happy for those people books like this exist. And for me too, cause I really liked it.

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

I wanted to read this for so long! Patrick Ness has written a few books I really, really liked and I knew this would be interesting and cool but oh my god, why did no one warn me how sad it is?

I knew nothing about this series, only that there’s going to be a movie and that there’s a dog and that’s about it. This meant that I was quite confused in the beginning because you’re just thrown into the plot and everything is from Todd’s narrative so it doesn’t make sense for him to tell the reader the things we don’t know but he has lived with his entire life. You get to know what’s going on and why bit by bit and before that it’s a lot of guessing and I LOVE guessing because I’m always interested in knowing if I was right or not (I was, partially, by the way).

The Chaos Walking series is sci-fi, more sci-fi than I thought at first, and it’s quite original. I never read a story similar to this, especially not told from the perspective of a boy who can hear voices. I really enjoyed the plot – or at least most of it – and I really liked the direction it took when Todd met Viola even though sadness ensured and I died like twenty times.

Can we talk about how amazing Manchee is? I love Manchee so much. Probably my favourite character in the book. Such a good boy.

This is Patrick Ness, so I knew it would be heart-wrenching, but I hoped it wouldn’t make me cry quite as much as it did in the end. I knew certain things had to happen or would happen but that doesn’t mean I was looking forward to them.

Patrick Ness’ writing is so captivating and I love how he used loads of short and cut-off sentences during really intense moments and how the Noise was shown in different fonts and all that. Really cool.
Weird ways of writing/layout are so my thing.

I’m really scared for the characters now, though. I definitely need to read on soon.

View all my reviews


Are there any amazing books you read this months? Any recommendations? Feel free to tell me about them!

See you soon ❤

books of the month: september 2017

After the first two weeks I thought this would be a very unproductive month (when it comes to reading at least) but then school started and I realised how much I can read while waiting for my train(s) so that’s something!

I’m now at 47 books of my 50 books reading challenge. I guess I should update it but I don’t know to what amount. Hm.

The best

The Hate U GiveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For some reason, I just can’t get around to write a proper review for this. But it’s so good. Probably in my top 10 best books I’ve read this year.

The Hate U Give was apparently highly anticipated and hyped (and as always I didn’t notice a lot of that) and every hype around this is certainly worth it! It’s such an amazing book in every way you can think of and I love it.

This book is about teenagers, about racism, about different neighbourhoods, about black lives matter and injustice.

It has the most amazing characters. Everyone – not just the main people but literally everyone – has a story and characteristics and a goal or something they are going through. Everyone is well written and super interesting and everyone brings something to the story.

The Hate U Give is a sad book – and it gets sad way quicker than I expected – but there’s also humour and fun moments and family life and, ugh, everything is just so complex and well-done, I love it.

The thing I like least is probably the romance but on the other hand, I really like how it’s not a big deal and just one of the many topics in this story.
Everything about the movement and the racism Starr and her people face is SO GOOD and so interesting and it made me so damn emotional. I wanted to get through this book quickly because it’s so captivating but I regretted reading almost all of it on public transport because I couldn’t cry. And I definitely wanted to.

Such a great book, so well-written, I recommend it to everyone, for sure.

The rest

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really liked the idea of a book set in 19th century Russia that has a bit of magic and I really liked the cover so of course, I had to buy this book. I knew from the beginning I wouldn’t love it but I definitely still liked it.

Vika and Nikolai are a bit annoying at times and they aren’t characters you can relate to and I didn’t enjoy the whole love triangle thing a lot but I really liked the story itself. For some reason, magical competitions are totally my thing. The ideas they brought into the game were quite creative and I liked seeing what they could do, I just wish the magic itself could be explained a bit more?
Saint Petersburg and the Russian Empire were explained so well, though, I really enjoyed reading about all these places.

I love the usage of a few French and Russian phrases, I’m a bit of a language nerd and that just makes everything better for me. Another thing that I appreciated a lot was the baking! So much cake and pastry and pastry + magic??? Amazing. Need more of that, please.

Closer to the end I got more into the story and some plot points came up that could be really interesting in the sequel! I’m also quite shocked and not really satisfied with the ending so… I guess I’ll have to read on!

The Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, QuestionThe Full Spectrum: A New Generation of Writing About Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Question by David Levithan
My rating:
3 of 5 stars

This was quite interesting! There were LGBTQ people (mostly young people) of all kinds telling their stories.

Some stories were really interesting and very well written, others a bit less so. Many of them were very hard to read (featuring homophobia, transphobia, self harm, suicidal thoughts, abuse,…), that’s why it took me a while to get through this book.

I found some of the stories a bit problematic? I don’t really want to go into details but hmpf.
I really wish there would have been more poetry because the few poems that were featured were really beautiful and interesting.

All in all, this book was quite nice to read but nothing really thrilled me.

What We LoseWhat We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really want to give this book four stars but it’s just not enough in some way.

This book isn’t written in long chapters but basically just in pages or paragraphs or very, very short chapters. That makes it quite fast paced and interesting and you are jumping around between different points in Thandi’s life and layout illustrates that in a way. I really liked that and I loved that there are a few parts of essays, photographs and graphs in this book! That’s not really usual for this type of novel, I’d say, and I always appreciate visually interesting things and when authors do something a bit different.

The story itself was interesting as well. Most of the book deals in some way with the illness and death of Thandi’s mother but that’s not everything. We get to know her and her best friend and her lovers and what happens to her after her mother dies.
The parts about grieving were so well written and so sad and they didn’t need long descriptions to be heart-wrenching.

I enjoyed reading this book but I also felt a bit disconnected from everything, especially in the second half. The part about Thandi’s relationship with Peter and everything that followed seem different from the rest of the book. I generally didn’t like this part as much, same with the ending.

It’s a good, rather short, story that’s definitely something a bit different and certainly interesting. Also, look at this beautiful cover!

View all my reviews

See you soon ❤

books of the month: august 2017

This month I’m away from home quite a lot so I didn’t have a lot of time to read (when this is going up I’m in Berlin again!) but the books I read were great and I hope I can finish those I started at some point.

Quick shoutout to paperfury aka Cait! Through her blog or Goodreads I first found out about A Darker Shade of Magic and now I’m dying. Thanks.

The Best

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a book this amazing it took me way too long to read it! I really loved A Darker Shade of Magic and almost gave it five stars. The only reason why I didn’t was that the book didn’t really captivate me as much as I wanted it to and my favourite books need to do that. A Gathering of Shadows did that, especially after the first 100 or so pages.

Everything I thought about the first book just got stronger in this one and I love it so much. It got darker (in a way), the banter got more and better and just hilarious, the writing was incredible, and so on. I don’t even know what to say about this book, I’m currently in a state of “what do I do with the world now? why am I stupid and didn’t order book three right away?”.

Gosh, V. E. Schwab’s writing is so good. I love how quick but descriptive everything is, how she manages to build these worlds so perfectly and you get such a good sense for their differences and they seem so damn real. Her world-building is all I ever wanted. And now that we have different countries and more characters she manages to describe everyone so subtle but so well and I feel like I really understand their differences and ahhhh, I just love it. Need to read more.

I absolutely love the relationship between Rhy and Kell. They love each other so much and there’s so much joking but also so much darkness and emotions and I could cry so many tears about how they want to protect each other!
I also love Alucard. He’s the kind of character that I will always like, no matter what, because he’s mysterious and a flirt and skilled and also cares deeply about certain things and people. I’m so excited to see more of him.
Lila was honestly just amazing in this book. She’s so great, I wish I could read ten more books about her banter and her scenes with Alucard and about her fighting. She’s incredible and she grew so much and changed and learned more about her. I can’t wait until we figure out the mysteries around her (same for Kell, tbh. If we ever do that).

After the first book, I already wanted to wrap Kell in a blanket and hug him but now I just want to take him away and keep him safe forever. He’s totally a character for me, I love how caring and angry and emotional he is and I relate to him on more levels than I thought.

I honestly found the plot so cool and interesting. I love learning about different countries and uses of magic and all these things and we got so much in this book. I also love dying of agony when certain characters circle around each other for 400 pages. Be still my beating heart.

I think I must order the third book right away because NEED.

(hint, I did just that)

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Honestly, wow. I was so, so excited for this book and I was so, so scared while reading and now I’m hurt and damaged but also happy and satisfied and ahh, why do you do this to us, Ms Schwab? This book was so good.

I’m still in that blank “I just finished a book series and what do I do with my life now?” state because I fell in love with this trilogy so quickly and deeply and in a way, I wish it would never end. But I’m also happy my darling characters don’t have to suffer even more. I’m trying to avoid all the spoilers not just because it’s the nice thing to do but also because I really enjoyed not knowing what’s going to happen and having my own ideas and all that.
I was super stressed out but whatever, it was worth it.

Characters:
– Kell, my love, still deserves more happiness but he was so great in this book and tried so hard and suffered so much and his bickering with everyone and his love for Rhy (and Lila) honestly give me life. He still needs to be wrapped in a blanket, please.
– Shoutout to Kell’s coat which deserves to be even more present. I want it. So badly.
– Lila might not be my favourite character but I definitely love her and she’s growing so much and is finally kind of dealing with her past and every scene with her and Kell killed me (on the boat…)
– Rhy is a precious darling and he has to go through so much and he’s also growing a lot because he has to and I just want him happy. His relationship with Alucard is so great and I wish we had gotten even more about them.
– I love Alucard and his banter with Kell. Scenes with those two and maybe Lila or Holland as well were just hilarious. I live for scenes like that. I liked Alucard since the beginning but in this book, my love just grew more and more.
– I know a lot of people love Holland and I never used to belong to them. I love the flawed characters who are dark and do some bad stuff, like Alucard or Lila, but I don’t tend to love the proper antiheroes. Holland grew so much on me during this book and I’m glad we learned a lot more about him. He is a great character and I feel so sorry for him.

Plot:
– So good. Gripping, captivating, interesting.
– There are twists and turns and so many flashbacks which give the characters more background.
– I still marvel at the world building. It’s just so good and detailed and I wish every author could do it as well as V. E. Schwab.
– A lot about magic and magical devices and that’s definitely something I’m here for!
– My worst fears weren’t made reality and you can’t guess how relieved I am about that.

About the ending:
View spoilers

In short, I absolutely loved this book, I think it was so well written and I got a lot of things I wanted and more that I didn’t want but that was so well done and so beautiful and honestly, this trilogy is special and I adore it.

Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A BookEveryone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book by Jomny Sun
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is probably the most adorable book I’ve ever read. It’s kind of a graphic novel or a comic or something like that so reading it doesn’t take long at all (I’ve already read it twice or two and a half times) but it’s so much fun and makes me so emotional.

This is a story about an alien who is sent to earth to research humans. He finds all kinds of animals and other creatures and talks to them. They become friends and the alien sometimes feels lonely and sad, but he’s also happy and hopeful. The characters range from the anxious egg to the stressed beaver and they are all adorable and lovely and show all kinds of different emotions we humans also have.

Even though none of the characters are human, the emotions they have and the topics they talk about are very human and very relatable and they all made me so happy, sad, inspired or hopeful and sometimes I just want to cry because the book is so pretty and lovely and important.

Lin-Manuel Miranda said about the book (the quote is on the back) that you should read it “if you want to feel more alive” and I think that summarises my feelings pretty neatly.

I also never thought I’d relate so much to an egg or an onion but you learn new things every day.

Jomny’s amazing Twitter

The Rest

Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, #2)Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll
My rating:
3 of 5 stars

This was quite adorable! I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland two years ago, just in time for the 150th birthday and I loved that book way more than I thought I would. Since then I kind of forgot about the sequel but by chance, I saw the book again and finally got it.

I don’t like Through the Looking-Glass as much as the first book, unfortunately. The first one had a plot that I found quite adorable and fun but not so much this one. And there weren’t as many amazing puns either. It was still fun and not a bad read (obviously a quick and easy one) but I had hoped for a bit more.

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with yellow flowers 3
by freepik

 

See you soon ❤

books of the month: july 2017

I again read four books this month. And again It took me half of the month to read the last one. Both of those things are beginning to get boring. BUT I read some good and some very interesting stuff this month so I can’t really complain!

EDIT: I didn’t expect to finish my re-read of The Fault in Our Stars so quickly so I actually managed to read five books?? Wow!

The best

The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was amazing! I adored The Wrath & The Dawn and was really excited for the second book. I didn’t know at first that there wouldn’t be a third part and that this is the end but the story fit perfectly into two books so it totally makes sense.

The things that I loved so much about the first book appeared just as much or even more in part 2 and I’m SO happy about that!

My favourite thing: the girls. Both Shazi and her sister Irsa are great characters and I’m so glad they are not just damsels in distress or there for the romance. Shazi definitely developed in time and got stronger but she is still snarky and sassy as always and I LOVED her confrontations with everyone. But it is also definitely shown that she has flaws and isn’t good at everything. The same goes for her sister who gets a way bigger role than in book 1 and who has her own plot and has her part in saving the world (well, saving two countries, at least). There are two more female characters that are awesome and badass and who I was very happy to see in the end and I’m also really happy about their endings but I don’t want to spoil anything.

Shazi does explore her magic a bit, I just wished she’d do it even more. But: Magic carpet. I was so happy whenever it showed up. If you need a reason to read this book then that should help. Gosh, I love flying carpets.
It was really interesting to learn a bit more about the magic in this universe and it was nice to have just a little bit of it for a change but… it was such cool magic, I want MORE!

I (again) have to note how beautifully written this book is. Everything sounds like a quote worth remembering or like a poem or an important story. Every sentence matters and it’s not excessively long or too heavily described. No, it’s just perfect.

I must say that the plot wasn’t quite as exciting as in the first book, but almost as good. Everything is a bit sadder and darker and more confusing. Parts of the plot are happening in different places so you’re jumping back and forth a bit and I liked that quite a lot, but it didn’t feel quite as fast paced as I thought it would.

I still really enjoyed everything I read. I’m incredibly happy with the ending. For me, this book was happy and sad and romantic and sassy enough to be just perfect. The only thing that annoyed me was the annoying teenage boys who were way too dramatic and who made everything more complicated and worse. But we already had that in the first book so this shouldn’t be a surprise.
The love drama and the kind-of-love-triangle-but-not-really were dealt with so well! It wasn’t about the girl choosing between two boys, it was more about the girl already knowing what she wants and the boys being kinda stupid so that it takes them way too long to get over it. But it also shows how people can grow and understand and I really enjoyed that.

All in all, an amazing book with beautiful characters and a beautiful plot and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVER EVER AHH. And I thought The Wrath & The Dawn looked great in my bookshelf!

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

RE-READ JULY 2017

I haven’t read this book in over two years and I figured now that John Green is finally releasing a new book this fall (I’m so excited) I just go back and read it again. And it felt like coming home.

Even though some time has passed, I still remember everything that happened and so many scenes and so many quotes! And that’s quite unusual for me because I tend to forget specific things about books very, very quickly (it’s quite annoying). But not with TFIOS. I really must have read it seven times, even though I don’t remember all those seven times.

I still cry buckets while reading this book and I’m still surprised with how much I love it. It inspires me and gives me hope but it also makes me sad because life is unfair and cancer exists. Honestly, I could just copy and paste everything I wrote below, it’s all still relevant.

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The rest

Doing It!: Let's Talk About SexDoing It!: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was so interesting! I’ve been watching Hannah Witton’s YouTube videos for a while and I always found them interesting and funny so I knew this wouldn’t be bad at all.

She combined a lot of interesting and important topics about relationships and sex and our bodies in this book. Some things I knew before, some were new to me.
I especially love that she got a lot of super interesting people to write about their experiences or topics they know best. This made this book quite diverse and I definitely appreciate that! Some of those people I knew before and it was really nice to see them again or learn more about them.

Even though some of the topics were quite serious and nothing to laugh about, Hannah managed to get a lot of humour and funny anecdotes in it so Doing It! became more than just a guide.

Definitely a fun read and I’m pretty sure everyone can learn something from this book.

Eurovision!: A History of Modern Europe Through the World's Greatest Song ContestEurovision!: A History of Modern Europe Through the World’s Greatest Song Contest by Chris West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an incredibly interesting read. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (or any other social media) will probably know by now how much I love the Eurovision Song Contest and how much I care about it.
Another thing that I love very much is history.

I haven’t had a history lesson in three years so I usually compensate by watching YouTube videos about empires and the horrible things they did but switching to this book was an amazing idea. I saw some of my fellow Eurovision-loving friends talk about it and immediately knew I should buy this book.

Eurovision! actually includes way more history than I thought it would. The book has one chapter for every year of Eurovision (1956 – 2016) and every chapter includes what happened in the world of Eurovision and in the world of politics, wars, social changes, and so on. Chris West includes all the plans and ideas to unite Europe, statistics on what people thought about these ideas, which troubles we had with European countries or which troubles European countries had with other nations, and more.
On the music side, he talks about some of the more interesting songs of every year of Eurovision, about the rules and technologies that have changed, about the controversies Eurovision or certain artists or songs caused and on how politics sometimes influenced the contest.

I definitely learned a lot about history. I think in school we don’t learn enough about what happens after World War 2 so I only had an overview about certain things and this book added more facts to these gaps. I also learned more about Eurovision, especially the early years and the controversy that the contest brought with it even back then.
It’s very interesting to see how both Eurovision and Europe developed over the past 60 years and to see which influences contributed to the changes.

Especially in the last 15 or 20 years/chapters I don’t always agree with the author’s opinion on the EU and on certain countries but I still enjoyed reading all of it and I’m glad this book wasn’t dry or boring but in fact not just insightful but also quite witty and generally just really interesting!

Swing TimeSwing Time by Zadie Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be honest, I thought I would like this book more. It seemed interesting to me but it’s always a 50/50 chance with me and fiction, it seems. This book and I didn’t agree on a lot of things.

Swing Time is about several women to lead very different lives and who are in contact with each other but not all in the same way or for the same amount of time. It deals with race and class and relationships and so many other topics. These topics on their own are already interesting for me and I really liked how they were tackled and the book definitely made a few points that I found very important but there were other parts I did not enjoy at all.

I couldn’t connect at all with any of the characters. I found all of them rather annoying and it took me forever to get through the first 150 pages. I didn’t particularly enjoy the jumping around in time. The story is always told by the same person (who’s name we never go which annoyed me so much more than I thought it would – why?) but we jump back and forth through her life and I found that pretty confusing and I always forgot when which part is happening and so on – surely that has to do with not reading larger parts in one go, but still.

I got more into it during the second part of the book, finally, but all of my points still remained.

All in all, I still liked this book and it was not a bad read but also not a very good one.

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Any thoughts or recommendations? Feel free to chat with me about them!

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Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

I want to preface this review with two things:

A) This won’t be spoiler free. I can’t do spoiler free film reviews and also, everyone sees spoilers in a different way so who knows if I write the right things. I also assume that many people have already seen this movie because
B) What the fuck, Germany? In my Wonder Woman review, I already complained that the movie was in German cinemas later than basically everywhere else and with Spider-man this happened again?? It used to be different, what is going on?? I don’t like this development at all and I hate having to dodge spoilers. Step up your game, please.

Nevertheless, yesterday I could finally see the movie and boy, was it good!

Characters

I loved Tom Holland as Spiderman since the very beginning and mostly because of him I was excited about this movie and he was even better than I hoped for! Peter Parker is awkward and immature and very young and still learning so much, he’s trying his best to navigate his normal life and all the troubles being a teenager brings and his responsibility as a superhero. And he struggles with this balance and kind of fails but that’s okay because he’s so young and still learning and it looked so much more believable than any other Spiderman movie I’ve seen before and I was so happy about that. It’s also quite relatable. Everyone has to grow into their roles and you can’t be good at everything from the beginning. You need to learn and practice and be careful that you don’t do things you’re not ready for yet.

I absolutely love Peter’s excitement for everything concerning superheroes and his abilities. I love his “video diary” in the beginning and how much of a fanboy he is whenever he meets a new Avengers or Tony. And those scenes when he unlocks the 500 different kinds of web shooters (?? what are these things called again) and he tries them all out with the “suit lady” Karen and things go wrong and he’s super excited? Amazing. One of my favourite scenes/sequences in the whole movie. He really feels like a kid, but a kid that is learning a lot and facing very adult things and who isn’t JUST a kid and they did that so well, not just Tom Holland himself but also the people who wrote the script.

Peter’s friendship with Ned is great! I love how they nerd together over the suit and Star Wars and the Avengers and I’m glad Peter doesn’t keep everything from him. Of course, he doesn’t really have a choice but still, I find it really annoying when the characters need 10 years to tell anyone about anything.

I really like all of the high school characters, really. Michelle (or MJ) is great! I hoped she would have a bigger role in the movie but there were many other students who had a role too so I understand why she wasn’t featured so hugely. I’m sure this will change in the sequel anyway.

I love aunt May. She tries so hard to be a parent for Peter and she’s not really great at it, at least not all the time, but she tries and she cares a lot about him. I also hope we see more of her in the sequel as well because she’s great! I’m also really glad she found out about Peter in the hilarious mid-credits scene. She really deserves to know.

Tony Stark appeared a bit too much for my taste. He’s not a bad character but I do feel that we’ve seen enough of him and he doesn’t need to be involved in everything as much. But I also know that he wants to teach Peter and wants to make him a good Avengers, someone better than himself, and wants to help him so I do see why he is there.

I also think Tony sometimes ruins the moment. For example in the door scene. It’s a nice scene and he is serious (kind of) and is actually saying something important and then it has to be ruined with a “funny” joke or scene or something. That happens way too often in Marvel movies, as explained in this video.

Plot

I definitely liked the plot and I really like how much it ties-in with the other MCU movies. Of course, there’s this big plot hole because actually Avengers happened in 2012 and Homecoming in 2017 and that’s not 8 years later as the title card said and I was very confused by that for a while but here is a video explaining why this happened.

I really like that a lot of the plot was focused on Peter’s life in general, not just the superhero part and not just his battle with the Vulture. We get to see him in school and with friends and his aunt and doing loads of normal teenager things and that he enjoys those too and doesn’t just want to be a superhero. That ties in very well with the decision he makes in the end because of course, he doesn’t want to leave behind all his friends!

Generally, I think there was a good mixture of jokes and hilarious scenes, battles and serious moments. The perfect balance for this sort of movie and for this variation of Peter Parker!

The plot twist about the Vulture being Liz’ dad was SO good! I definitely didn’t expect that and I think most of the cinema gasped with me when the door opened. I fucking love plot twists. The Vulture was a pretty great villain. I found him actually scary with this huge wings and crazy-looking face and he would definitely have scared me as a 15-year-old.

Peter goes through quite the character development just in this movie. The ending surprised me. I didn’t think he would already get such a huge offer from Tony and that he then would turn it down, which the others didn’t expect at all. So mature of him!

Apart from the “you still got stuff to learn” message there’s also one about how powerful people don’t care at all about people beneath them and how they will just ignore them (as Happy and Tony ignore Ned and Peter) or make their lives worse (as the Vulture and his colleagues lose their jobs in the beginning of the movie). This is explained really well in this review of the movie. This is not just relatable, it also shows how Peter is truly the “friendly neighbourhood Spiderman” and “just a kid from Queens”, not a billionaire or god. He’s not like the other Avengers. At least not yet.

Speaking of Avengers, let’s take a minute to appreciate the hilarious Captain America scenes! Those videos were some of the funniest moments of the movie and the end credits scene was so worth waiting for.

The last big thing I want to mention is the whole romance/crush situation: I’m always annoyed when something like that happens in a movie because it’s so overused and often too cliché but I must say I was so happy it wasn’t such a HUGE deal for Peter and he still focused on many other things. And the ending was normal and not the “and then they kiss” cliché. (Which would have annoyed me so much because they are FIFTEEN, not every small crush becomes a relationship!) He was okay with it ending and she was too and it’s not the most important thing in the world. Thank goodness. 

More comments

  • Does anyone else think that the trailers spoiled way too much of the movie? You could basically puzzle together exactly what happens when and after watching the movie I’m definitely a bit annoyed by that. It would have been great not to have the hugging/door scene or the falling Death Star scene in the trailers because they would have been way funnier otherwise. And so much of the battles/action scenes were in the trailers :/
  • I want a two-hour movie of Peter trying out all the different things his suit can do with commentary from Karen. Those few scenes we got were already hilarious, I want more!
  • Yes I know I always alternate between Spiderman and Spider-Man. I will never be able to choose one, I don’t know why.
  • This is getting way too long, I need to stop and instead watch all the easter egg videos about the movie.

What do you think about Spider-Man: Homecoming? Tell me everything!

See you soon ❤

books of the month: june 2017

This month I’ve read six books! This means that now, halfway through 2017, I’ve already read 34 books aka 10 ahead of my Goodreads goal or 68%. Wow. This is going so well??

The Best

SolitaireSolitaire by Alice Oseman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, I absolutely loved Alice Oseman’s Radio Silence and I really hoped I would like this too and I WAS RIGHT, WHOOOO!

A lot of thoughts I have about this book are very similar to what I thought about Radio Silence so let’s keep this rather short.

I love her writing! So much! Something about it really grips me and makes it feel *real* to me, it’s incredibly relatable, even though I don’t agree with the choices the characters make A LOT, and her characters seem like actual teenagers to me who say what actual teenagers would say. You would think I could say this about a lot of books but I actually think I cannot so this makes me really happy!

The diversity is maybe not quite as strong as in Radio Silence (but this is her first book!) but it’s still pretty amazing. So many hard but important topics are mentioned!
Eating disorders (or OCD? it’s never really mentioned what exactly it is), anxiety, depression, suicide, being kind of a cast out at your school, being smart but not in a way that school likes, etc.

In the beginning, I found Tori (the main character) super relatable. She started to annoy me more and more and so did basically everyone else but I still found them relatable and true and they did the stupid things people do sometimes. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to throw everyone against a wall at some point… why are you like this, people??

I’m not entirely happy with the ending or the last couple of chapters but I can’t really pinpoint why. And I also don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll be quiet. And that didn’t make me like the book less anyway!

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2)Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been sitting here for what feels like forever, trying to figure out how to talk about this book. Ahhhh.

I LOVED IT, I really did! I already liked Lady Midnight SO much but this one might be even better?? I definitely love this series more than the TMI or TID series. Definitely.

“Okay, and why is this book so good?” you might ask. (You fool, just read it and find out for yourself, it’s worth it)

The plot is so amazing! There are so many subplots and they all align and interweave and collide and separate again and it’s all super interesting and it basically keeps all the characters busy, they are all ACTUALLY doing something and through that, you also get to know the characters way better and that even though there are SO MANY of them. It’s great.

I also really liked the plot?? It was super interesting and there were twists I didn’t expect and the whole Faerie stuff is so cool and I loved learning more about the culture and country and society of the faeries and can’t wait to see the drama of the next book! (Why do we have to wait two years for Queen of Air and Darkness, why oh why??)

I think the Annabel-and-Malcolm storyline, in general, is super interesting. Annabel is kind of badass, very scary AND a poor girl that kinda needs to be protected. Very conflicting feelings here.

I love that there are so many relationships and that not all of them are inherently romantic. I love Kit and Ty! It’s so cool that Kit immediately knew what was up with Ty and that he kind of knew how to handle it and is okay with it and helps him and is there for him all the time. I also like that those two and Livvy got a proper plot and investigated things. Ty would be a great Sherlock. I’ve also really come to love Kit. His sarcasm and annoyance are just great and he really is SUCH a Herondale. Perfect.

Mark + Kieran + Cristina was a plotline that I didn’t think I would love as much as I did. But all three are great and Kieran is so complex and kinda mean but not totally and Mark just needs protection and something nice and I love him and I want him to be happy. Cristina is even more badass and intelligent and sweet and lovely and I’m so happy she and Kieran get along so well?? I definitely know what I want with those three to happen but I don’t know if I will get it.

I’m sooooooo glad not the whole book focuses on Jules and Emma and their relationship. I hate it when that happens and I dislike it when there’s this huge forbidden love thing but it gets blown up way out of proportion. No, it didn’t get as annoying and overshadowing-everything-else as I had feared and I actually really liked it. Especially after a certain talk the two had. (“talk” *eyebrowwiggle*)

I’m so happy we got to know Diana’s backstory! She also deserves soo much happiness and I hope she will get it eventually. She’s a great person and she does a lot for the kids and she really needs to get more love and recognition. I hope her love life works out!

It was great that Alec and Magnus and the kids appeared. They are great characters and it’s lovely to see how much they grew up or changed since TMI and I’m happy Tavvy got some friends to play with!

Only Dru was kind of left out and I found that a bit sad. Her small plot line felt a bit awkward and like Cassie just needed another plot so that she isn’t left out. Hm.

There are a few plot lines that were only hinted on or at least not properly explored and they made me so excited for book 3 and I’m already thinking about theories (Clary + Jace, Magnus, the Faerie object, etc.)

I’m so glad there was so much sass and fun and sarcasm in this book! These are always my favourite moments and they were pretty brilliant!

So yes, all in all I can say that I can’t stop talking and thinking about this book and that I loved it SO MUCH, more than I expected!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And again I’m so in love with the Harry Potter series and can’t really put my thoughts into words.

I have always loved the last book quite a lot but I’ve seen the movies so many times that I definitely forgot some of the things they had changed from the book. Interestingly, my favourite scenes from the movies don’t appear in the book and my favourite scenes from the book don’t appear in the movies (so I definitely love both (or all three??) a lot!).

I don’t like all the mistrust and sadness in this book but there are so many topics that are so great and important, about love and knowledge and death and society and boxes you put people in and on how complex people are and so on and I loved to revisit these scenes again. So many times I just wanted to shout “YES, this is great!” out loud but the people around me might have minded that.

I’m not sure what else to say. Just that through this reread of the whole series I’ve fallen in love with the Harry Potter series even more and I’m so happy to go back into this universe because it always makes me happy (unless I cry over the various deaths that I’m still not over).

The Rest

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2)The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

Yay, another awesome book by Rick Riordan! It has all the things I love about his books:
– scary prophecies
– DIVERSITY AHHH
– LGBTQ* people (bisexual Apollo!!!! a f/f parent couple!!!!!!!!!!!)
– mythical creatures
– more hilarious scenes than I can count
– death.

Well, not quite as much the last one but I do think all my favourite books include a bit of darkness and tragedy so… I’m okay with it. I was still very sad, though.

I really enjoyed reading The Dark Prophecy, besides wanting to shout at everyone to please be nicer to each other and to stop hitting each other and oh, why does no one in this universe ever get a break? My poor babies.

To be fair, the plot wasn’t the most exciting one (in parts) and not the most original one, but it was still a lot of fun and there are so many moments that made me smile and laugh and wonder if Rick Riordan has a pop culture reference bucket list he wants to cross off before he dies! And some of the characters certainly had a very interesting character development, mostly Apollo. He is still an arrogant prick but he also cares way more about the people around him and that makes him so much nicer. I wonder how this continues.
I would like to order a spin-off about the Waystation characters, please. There is so much to tell there! Or just about the Waystation itself, I’m not picky. (that’s the lie of the year)

Also, is Rick Riordan hinting on another series about a different kind of mythology?? Please tell me he is! And please tell me he’s going to include this character because he is AMAZING!

I don’t really know what else to say. Just that I’m so happy and also slightly amazed that after all these years these books still fascinate me like in the beginning, I still learn more about mythology, I still am thrilled and amused and I always want more.

Half of a Yellow SunHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating:
4 of 5 stars

I’ve read Ms Adichie’s Americanah a few months ago and loved it and I immediately knew I had to read more of her books. To me, Half of a Yellow Sun is almost as good as Americanah and at least just as interesting.

Half of a Yellow Sun takes place in Nigeria in the 1960s and it goes all the way from the tension in the first few years, through massacres, the secession of a new country called Biafra and through the following war between Biafra and Nigeria until it ends. I already wrote about Americanah that I barely know anything about Nigeria, and especially not about its history, and through Ms Adichie’s books, I definitely learnt a lot.
This book is told from the perspective of three people: a Nigerian woman (Olanna) who is a university lecturer, her partner’s houseboy (Ugwu) and her sister’s partner (Richard) who is a white English guy. Through this you see different perspectives on the whole situation and also on the society in Nigeria and how people are treated differently and what they feel and think about. I found that incredibly interesting.

There’s so much evil in this book too. The racism in this postcolonial country where most whites think they are better than the natives, the sexism of the 1960s and the misogynistic society in general, the crimes of the war (from betrayal, wounds and starvation to rape, humiliation and death) and so much more. It was hard to read sometimes but that doesn’t make it less important.

This book made me think about a lot of things I never thought about before and it offered such a huge insight into this country, this time and the people living there, in different classes of society.

What I didn’t like so much about the book is that I didn’t like any of the characters a lot. That’s not really a bad thing but it just didn’t make me enjoy the book as much as I would have otherwise (so no five stars). Also, I found it pretty annoying that Ugwu always just thought about how beautiful or ugly every girl or woman is, he never really thought about anything else. I’d be so much more interested in his education and what he thinks about the differences between the life he had in his village and in Nsukka. Or if his beliefs changed. Maybe this is supposed to symbolise what a teenage boy constantly thinks about but… it’s just sexist… and shallow.

All in all, Half of a Yellow Sun is still an amazing book and I recommend it to basically everyone because it’s so insightful.

You Are Here: An Owner's Manual for Dangerous MindsYou Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is so much fun! This is a colouring book but not only, there are also jokes and nice thoughts to remember and small stories and altogether it’s pretty and lovely and positive!

The pictures are so pretty and I’m definitely having a lot of fun colouring them in or reading the words around them. If you find normal colouring books a bit boring, this might be something for you!

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See you soon ❤