Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trailer Tuesday #1 Me Being Me Is Exactly As Insane As You Being You

Summary (from Goodreads)
Darren hasn't had an easy year.

There was his parents’ divorce, which just so happened to come at the same time his older brother Nate left for college and his longtime best friend moved away. And of course there’s the whole not having a girlfriend thing.

Then one Thursday morning Darren's dad shows up at his house at 6 a.m. with a glazed chocolate doughnut and a revelation that turns Darren’s world inside out. In full freakout mode, Darren, in a totally un-Darren move, ditches school to go visit Nate. Barely twenty-four hours at Nate’s school makes everything much better or much worse—Darren has no idea. It might somehow be both. All he knows for sure is that in addition to trying to figure out why none of his family members are who they used to be, he’s now obsessed with a strangely amazing girl who showed up out of nowhere but then totally disappeared.

I am really, really psyched for this one, because:

  1. The trailer is kinda awesome
  2. It is written in lists, which is 
  3. very original and obviously because
  4. I love lists
What do you think of the Trailer? Or of the general concept of a novel in lists?

Monday, March 30, 2015

Review: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki / Jillian Tamaki

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: -
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Young Adult, Contemporary, Family
Published: May 2014 by First Second
Pages: 319 pages (paperback)
Source: purchased

Links: Goodreads - Amazon - First Second

Summary (from Goodreads)
Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

My Thoughts

This One Summer is an insanely gorgeous book. That’s part of why I bought it, even though I’m still supposed to be on my book buying ban. I mean, come on: the whole book is in dark blue/purple. It is so f*cking beautiful I could cry! So I’m very grateful for the authors turning it purple/blue, because it was black in the beginning. The other part was the back, where Stephanie Perkins said something about the book. Yup, you can always get me with Stephanie Perkins.

Basically, this is about the feeling of summer. Rose and her family have been going to Awago beach for ages and so has Windy, Rose’s summer friend who is one and a half years younger than her. Windy is adopted and always spends her summer holiday with her grandmother.
The thing about this story that reminded me most of summer was actually not the story itself but rather how you fly through the story and don’t even notice it and then wonder where the story has gone, even though you thought “What a big book, surely it’ll take me a bit of time.”. This really reminds me of summer and how the holiday are gone so fast even when they seemed endless in the beginning.
Also, the colours are perfect for summer. It’s like a soft breeze at the ocean, very calm and refreshing.

As for the plot... I don’t know. I mean, I flew through the book, but it didn’t feel like there was a big turn in the story and when the big secret got revealed I didn’t really care. This might sound horrible, but it is true. To be honest, the lack of plot is perfectly fine for me. It is a bit like summer holiday: There is not much of a change and you lose sight of some events and then you forget them at some point.
And I still continued reading, because of the beautiful artwork and because ‘lack of plot’ still doesn’t mean it’s boring.

The characters in this graphic novel were really cool to. They were honest (Most of the time) and still as imperfect as real people: They were moody, angry, annoyed, annoying, happy and scared. They did not feel artificial at all.

The art in the book certainly deserves five stars and the story deserves four stars, because even though there are no big turns it is still funny and interesting and a very quick read. I’m pretty sure I will reread this not just once.

Also: Jillian Tamaki’s graphic novel Super Mutant Magic Academy is coming out this year! I’m so excited!
And one last thing: The author and the illustrator Jillian and Mariko are cousins and have already written another young adult graphic novel together (Skim)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Wir wollten nichts. Wir wollten alles by Sanne Munk Jensen / Glenn Ringtved

Source: Goodreads
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Original language: Danish
Series: -
Genre: New Adult / Young Adult, Romance, Crime, Contemporary
Published: September 2013 by Gyldendal (German edition: 2015 by Oetinger)
Pages: 332 (German edition)
Source: received from Oetinger

Links: Publisher - Amazon  - Trailer (Warning: 16+ content!)

Summary (from Goodreads)
Lässt nicht los: Liebe, die absoluter nicht sein kann. Zwei Leichen werden aus dem Limfjord gezogen: Liam und Louise. Ihre Hände sind mit Handschellen aneinandergekettet. Alle Indizien weisen auf Selbstmord hin. Louises Eltern zerbrechen fast am Tod ihrer Tochter, doch ihr Vater klammert sich daran, die Wahrheit herauszufinden. Als er Louises Tagebuch findet, eröffnet sich ihm das Leben, das seine Tochter und Liam in den vergangenen Monaten geführt haben.

My Thoughts

This book's recommended age group is 16+

I opened this book and I immediately loved it. I mean: It starts with the ending. Somehow. Liam and Louise are lying on a metal table in a morgue, their hands tied together with handcuffs. It looks like suicide but Louise’s father cannot believe that. To him there has not been any reason so he begins searching frantically to find out why his daughter killed herself. He is completely sure it is Liam’s fault, he has never liked him anyway.

At the same time another part of the story begins: Liam and Louise meet in a bus in Aalborg’s outskirts and spend the next day together after they have been to a party. Their relationship evolves and as Louise drops out of school to spend more time with Liam he starts dealing with drugs to finance their glamorous lifes.  (To see spoiler highlight)

The writing style is typically Scandinavian: ruthless, kind of chilly and very clear. The whole story is from Louise’s view, even during the scenes where she is already dead. I have never thought about this before, but reading something like “I don’t know how long we’ve been in the water (...). Maybe a week or two.” makes me feel kind of uncomfortable.

Louise and Liam fall in love... instantly. And they also instantly act as if they had been together for ages and know each other that well. Personally I don’t really believe in affinity so their relationship seemed a bit artificial to me.

Louise, who is supposed to be the main character, only stands in Liam’s shadow and does what he wants. She rarely stands up for herself, which would help Liam at least as much as it would help her.

All in all I am a bit frustrated by these things, but the good thing is that this book is super compelling. Every time I told myself: “Just one page, only one page this time.” It was more like three chapters and then “Just one more chapter!” and then a horrible next day at school.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bookshops: West End Lane Books (London)

277 West End Lane 
West Hampstead, NW6 1QS
London, United Kingdom

When I entered West End Lane Books on my first day in London I immediately felt comfortable and wanted to sit down. There was a very kind lady reading out books to toddlers and when she discovered that it was one young boy's birthday all of them sang. I nearly forgot to look for books because it was such a nice scene to watch.

The corner with the children's books is hidden pretty well - or maybe I really am stupid. Or it was because of the people sitting in front of the books. Anyway, I did find the YA section and I was really happy: Even though there are only two shelves with young adult books it is a very good compilation and there were actually quite a few books I had never heard about (And I do spend a lot of time on Goodreads).

West End Lane Books might not be the cheapest bookstore but you can't call it expensive either. And what really convinced me: The staff is incredibly nice and funny. So if you happen  to be in London: Go check this one out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

source: Goodreads
My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: Throne of Glass #1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Historical
Published: August 2012 by Bloomsbury USA
Pages: 432
Source: purchased

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom. 

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she's bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it's the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best. 

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. 

Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined
(source: Goodreads)

My Thoughts

*Speaks in very noble British * May I present you: The book that got me obsessed with High Fantasy again! It is compelling, it is funny and it simply is one of the best Young Adult Fantasy series. I just loved this book, but I have to admit that there actually were a few things that (How else could it be) annoyed/irritated me.

Well, most of the the characters have fantastic names: Celaena, Chaol and Nehemia (Dorian doesn’t sound as fancy as the others). But the characters themselves.... I don’t know, but they all seemed to have a little hau (German phrase for ‘they are a little crazy’), for example Chaol. There were definitely more than three times when all he thought about was Celaena’s smell (In a negative way). But the thing is, I can’t imagine him at all. I know that he is muscular and apparently he has incredible brown eyes and that’s it. Anyway, I like Chaol.
His best friend Dorian the prince? Uhh, not so much. He was kind of stupid in my opinion and he acted unreasonably. Apparently he is ‘beautiful’...
Then there is Nehemia, a princess from another country who is at the palace to learn the other language. I am really unsure how to feel about her. She is always acting for the sake of her people and you can never be sure whether she is ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
Celaena herself is always presented as oh-so tough and badass, but to me she was quite whiny. She couldn’t stop complaining about everything and I’m not saying I wouldn’t, but I never said I was a badass in the first place. But she develops and starts caring about other people than herself and opens up to others again.

I think I remember flying through this book (Yes, remember, I don’t know anymore because I read it at the beginning of December) and even if not: It sure felt like flying through it. Most of the time the pace was just perfect, but some scenes in the middle where Celaena is training and it goes oooon and oooon. But some other scenes made me completely forget I was reading and still standing in my room wearing my boots and a coat.

Another thing that made reading Throne of Glass easy was the language: It wasn’t ‘old’ language but rather modern. Which definitely irritated me, but I read the book for the story so it’s not much of a big thing.