Sunday, February 22, 2015

I broke my book-buying -ban! (The Sunday Post #3)

Well, to be honest, a book buying ban for 155 days is  kind of a lot so... don't be hard on me, okay? And we were in France for holiday and I want to start learning French, which is why I had to buy some novels in French.

Aaand here they are:

(To get to the Goodreads pages of the books just click on the picture)

I don't exactly know what it's about because at the moment I don't speak French and the person in the bookstore hardly spoke any English.

The cover isn't that pretty, but hey: apparently there's romance in it!

This has received so many awards (I think) and I've been meaning to read this for ages - but I still don't actually know what it is about.

No idea. It looked entertaining. Kind of.

I got the last one from my mother, thanks again! And do you agree that this cover is incredible?

I am linking this up with the Sunday Post over at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Welcome to Rome!

So at the moment I'm staying in Rome with a few people from my class and other people from my year as a part of an exchange program. We all got up at horrible times like half past five and had to drive to the airport, only to wait there for ages. We tried out different creams and bought incredibly expensive juice. But when we left the ground it was pretty awesome, I have to admit that. This is the first time that I am in an other country than Germany with my school, so I wasn't the only one excited about this. 
I met my hosts for the following week at the school and luckily my host was friends with my friend's host and we all went to a small fast food store to get ssuppli (that's how it is supposed to be spelled, apparently) and it was delicious. Ssuppli are made of rice, mozzarella and tomatoes. Actually, my friend and I had already eaten a bit and thought about just trying these but we got stuffed not only a little bit but I felt like I was going to burst. Seriously. 
We went to the park with all the food and sat on a bench - in Germany most of the people sitting on park benches are drunk. So anyway we sat there and ate pizza and ssuppli and watched the birds. At least I did, it's so beautiful watching the spring in Rome.
And after that we went to get more food and try out the delicious cannoli you can see in the last picture. That was about it, I'll try to write more in the post tomorrow.
By the way, sorry for the quality of the pictures, I took these with my phone.

PS: sorry for this being non-bookish but I left my laptop and everything at home so there won't be any book related posts until the end of next week.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mini ARC Review: Patronella and the Janjilons by Cheryl Bentley

My rating: 2/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: Petronella #2
Genre: Middle Grade, Children's, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Published: February 18th 2015 by Sparkling Books Ltd.
Pages: 97 (ebook)
Source: I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Janjilons are not what they seem. They look like a type of monkey but they are really children. How did they turn into Janjilons? And could it happen to anyone?

Behind this mystery is someone evil, Judge Ormerod who wants to be the next Duke of Westshire. With the help of three weird sisters, he has to rid the land of clever children from being an obstacle to him. The Janjilons work for him as the three sisters mete out punishment and keep them locked up.

Petronella starts to look into these strange happenings. But time is running out because when the Judge no longer needs the Janjilons, they will be destroyed.

(source: Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I think if I had read this a few years ago I would have enjoyed it way more, which is why I was a bit sad when I finished the book. In my eyes it is meant to be read by children from eight to ten years old and does not belong in the category “young adult”.

I just felt that this was too absurd at times, I mean, there has to be a reason for some things, right? And the characters acted a bit too childish for their age – Not Betty or any of the other boys, rather the witches and the Judge.

The story was quite fast paced but mostly foreseeable and the language was mostly like this was a fairy tale or a myth, so personally I was left quite cold by it. I didn’t really care about any of the characters or what would happen to them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review: Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman a.o.

(Cover: Goodreads)
My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Anthologies, Drama
Published: January 29th 2015 by Corgi Children's 
Pages: 576 (ebook)
Source: I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.
(source: Goodreads)

My Thoughts

I have to admit, when I reqested this I didn’t have a single clue what it was about. But, well, the cover was pretty and I have a thing for pretty books, so I was already pretty sure this was going to end up in my shelf as a physical copy.

Until now I haven’t read many anthologies, more precisely: I haven’t read any anthologies at all. But I thought: “Well, it’s going to be good because you won’t get bored so easily because the stories will change every few pages.” Here’s the thing I noticed: short stories are quite long these days.

And the book itself was pretty long too: about 570 pages! I was really shocked and at first I didn’t want to read this at all, because – come on, 570 pages! But when I was halfway done with the first story I didn’t even notice how time passed and I just continued reading and suddenly, in a matter of three or four minutes it was the middle of the night.

But I have to admit, I didn’t read the extracts from novels that are already published. I plan on reading most of them anyway, or I have already read them, so I only read the stories that were actual short stories: seven out of 24. But I can tell you, these seven stories were great, because they were funny and diverse. Some of them dealt with LGBT-themes and a few of them also with disability.

And I know for sure that I will soon be reading Noughts & Crosses because, oh boy, Malorie Blackman’s writing style is awesome.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

ARC Review: The Dominion Pulse by Brad A. LaMar

(Graphic: Goodreads)
My rating: 1.5/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: Celtic Mythos #3
Genre: Young Adult, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Myths
Published: February 18th 2015 by Light Messages Publishing
Pages: 400 (ebook)
Source: I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Control of the worlds beats within the dominion pulse…

After losing his father to Elathan, Brendan is forced to regroup, recover, and come to grips with the immense responsibility that has been thrust upon him. Faced with the golden god's aggressive plans to free his frighteningly powerful allies and seize control of Otherworld, Brendan and his friends must seek their own power and enlist the help of the wise goddess Bibe. Time is working against the heroes––as the power of the enemy grows, their world becomes further marred in darkness.
(content: Goodreads)

My Thoughts

Don’t get me wrong: I like High Fantasy. And I also like Urban Fantasy. But I have never thought about a mixture of the two genres until I read The Dominion Pulse by Brad A. LaMar. Perhaps I am not correct and the book is Urban Fantasy through and through but to be Urban Fantasy there would have to be more stuff from the ‘real world’. On the other side, to be High Fantasy there would have to be more content from a fictional world.

So, well, I was quite irritated in the beginning and I think that was a bad start. After that, I only noticed things like the dialogue. Maybe other people think differently but to me the dialogue seemed dry and sort of... written. I know that every book’s dialogue is written because, well, books are written. But sometimes dialogue appears alive and realistic and you forget that behind all of this is someone who thought of the words and sentences. Not in this case, though. The characters merged into one big character, because they were just too similar to each other. My personal theory is that it was because of the many characters and view points, I personally couldn’t keep track of them. Most of the time I just thought: “So who is this guy again? Do I even know him?”

I expected a big turn in the story, a huge surprise and more sparks around the characters, more revelations about the relationships, more showing and less telling.

So all in all, I was disappointed by this book - dialogue, characters and world building aren’t little things after all.

Monday, February 2, 2015

French Cats

So, in Germany we currently have winter holiday, a week off during the first and second semester and my mother and I decided to go to France. Well, drive to France.
So now we are here, in the middle of nowhere (That's what it feels like, it's actually only twenty minutes to the middle of somewhere) and there is more than a meter of snow. Seriously. Everywhere. At first I thought it was kind of cool because we haven't had much snow this winter but when we had to leave our car in the valley and it was freezing cold and it was already hard to get on the parking lot - it sucked.
At least snow makes everything brighter and it does look very pretty on the mountains and trees. And honestly? I enjoy listening to French conversations. Ehhh.
Have I already mentioned that there's a cat here? There's a cat. And the cat is AWESOME. I love cats.

Until something interesting happens - Goodbye.