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Showing posts from 2019

Her Royal Highness (Royals #2)

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Her Royal Highness (Royals #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Blurb:

MillieQuint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.
Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute. The only problem: Millie's roommate Flora is a total princess. She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.
Review:

"There's a reason this sort of thing happens in fairy tales," Flora goes on, and I can see a smile start to spread across her face. "The beast clearly knows that he and I are connected by our love of this l…

Menagerie (Menagerie #1)

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Menagerie (Menagerie #1) by Rachel Vincent
Blurb:
When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.
But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Review:
Rommily knew that she understood more of the world than it understood of her since that nigh…

The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You #1)

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The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You #1) by Emery Lord
Blurb:
Can you plan happiness?  It's been a year since Paige's first boyfriend died in a swimming accident and it's time she rejoined the real world. So she makes a plan:  1. Date a boy (long-standing crush Ryan Chase seems like the perfect choice) 2. Attend parties (with best friends by your side: doable) 3. Join a club (simple enough, right?) 4. Travel (might as well dream big) 5. Swim (terrifying. Impossible)
Review:
"Sometimes we get it wrong the first time. But you only have to get it right once."
This totally hit the spot for me. The dynamic between Paige and her family/her friends was just so sweet and I totally loved it and then the addition of the love interest, who was such a genuinely nice person as well, just tied everything together perfectly. I totally saw a majority of the plot coming but, as Max says himself, sometimes the journey is the best part and the destination really doesn't …

Regarding the Pain of Others

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Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
Blurb:
Twenty-five years after her classic On Photography, Susan Sontag returns to the subject of visual representations of war and violence in our culture today.
How does the spectacle of the sufferings of others (via television or newsprint) affect us? Are viewers inured--or incited--to violence by the depiction of cruelty? In Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity--from Goya's The Disasters of War to photographs of the American Civil War, lynchings of blacks in the South, and the Nazi death camps, to contemporary horrific images of Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Israel and Palestine, and New York City on September 11, 2001.
In Regarding the Pain of Others Susan Sontag once again changes the way we think about the uses and meanings of images in our world, and offers an important reflection about how war itself is waged (and understood) in our time.
Review:
There now exists a vast re…

The Return of the Native

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The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
Blurb:
Tempestous Eustacia Vye passes her days dreaming of passionate love and the escape it may bring from the small community of Egdon Heath. Hearing that Clym Yeobright is to return from Paris, she sets her heart on marrying him, believing that through him she can leave rural life and find fulfilment elsewhere. But she is to be disappointed, for Clym has dreams of his own, and they have little in common with Eustacia’s. Their unhappy marriage causes havoc in the lives of those close to them, in particular Damon Wildeve, Eustacia’s former lover, Clym’s mother and his cousin Thomasin. The Return of the Native illustrates the tragic potential of romantic illusion and how its protagonists fail to recognize their opportunities to control their own destinies.
Review:
To be loved to madness–such was her great desire. Love was to her the one cordial which could drive away the eating loneliness of her days. And she seemed to long for the abstraction call…

Die Wilden Hühner und die Liebe (Die Wilden Hühner #5)

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Die Wilden Hühner und die Liebe (Die Wilden Hühner #5) von Cornelia Funke
Zusammenfassung:
Liebe is schön, aber gar nicht so einfach! Das müssen auch die fünf wilden Hühner einsehen. Sprotte ist zwar weiterhin glücklich in den Pygmäen Fred verliebt, aber ihre Mutter kann sich nicht entscheiden, ob sie wieder heiraten soll oder nicht. Und das geht Sprotte ganz schön auf die Nerven. Die schöne Melanie ist immer noch in Willi verknallt, Trude entdeckt ihre Vorliebe für schwarze Locken und Frieda muss sich mit einer Wochenendfreundschaft herumärgern. Wilmas erste Liebe aber ist die komplizierteste von allen! Was daraus wohl wird?
Rezension:
Liebe ist eben genauso ungerecht verteilt auf dieser Welt wie Regen. Die einen kriegen entschieden zu viel davon ab und die anderen zu wenig.
Der letzte Teil einer wirklich entzückenden Reihe. Ich habe mittlerweile eigentlich wirklich alles über die Reihe gesagt, was es zu sagen gibt, werde mir aber Mühe gegeben die wichtigsten Punkte noch ein letztes Mal z…

Die Wilden Hühner und das Glück der Erde (Die Wilden Hühner #4)

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Die Wilden Hühner und das Glück der Erde (Die Wilden Hühner #4) von Cornelia Funke
Zusammenfassung:
Sprotte kann es nicht fassen: Sie soll ihre Ferien auf einem Reiterhof verbringen. Obwohl sie von Pferden nicht das Geringste hält. Zum Glück kommen wenigstens auch alle anderen Wilden Hühner mit und bald merken die fünf Freundinnen, dass an dem Spruch vom "höchsten Glück der Erde" etwas dran ist. Wer hätte gedacht, dass man sich beim Reiten so wunderbar leicht fühlt, fast schwindelig, und einem die Pferde so ans Herz wachsen können.
Mit dem Herz ist das überhaupt so eine Sache. Die Jungs von der Pygmäen-Bande sind nämlich auch mit von der Partie und das hat zur Folge, dass Melanie Sehnsucht nach Willie hat und Theorien übers Küssen verbreitet. Wilma, Frieda und Trude proben "Romeo und Julia" im Pferdestall - und dann verliebt sich Frieda auch noch. Das kann Sprotte natürlich nicht passieren, glaubt sie jedenfalls ...

Rezension:
Es gibt in so ziemlich jeder Serie einen …

The Hippopotamus

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Did I have to take a photo of this book in front of all the liquor in the house? Yes.
The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry
Blurb:
Ted Wallace is an old, sour, womanising, cantankerous, whisky-sodden beast of a failed poet and drama critic, but he has his faults too.
Fired from his newspaper, months behind on his alimony payments and disgusted with a world that undervalues him, Ted seeks a few months repose and free drink at Swafford Hall, the country mansion of his old friend Lord Logan.
But strange things have been going on at Swafford. Miracles, Healings, Phenomena beyond the comprehension of a mud-caked hippopotamus like Ted...

Review:
A deranged university in Texas had paid me for the rights to all my papers.
"Papers?" I had asked when approached by their Professor of Modern Poetry. "What do you mean papers?"
"Hell, you know … notebooks, drafts, correspondence … papers."
What kind of self-conscious and insufferably twee belle-lettriste ponce keeps notebooks? I …

Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)

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Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2) by Kiersten White
Blurb:
She has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself.
After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada Dracul is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.
What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpe…

The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2)

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The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan
Blurb:
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on…

The Cure for Dreaming

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The Cure for Dreamingby Cat Winters
Blurb:
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Review:
"And tell her to say 'All is well' instead of ar…

Damsel

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Damsel by Elana K. Arnold
Blurb:
The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been. When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faces in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court. However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threat to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her.
Review:
"I am new to everything. I hav…

All das hier

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All das hier von Alexander Kamber
Zusammenfassung:
Einen Sommer lang waren sie zusammen, haben in Hamburg ein Theaterstück auf die Bühne gebracht und sind danach für unbeschwerte Tage ans Meer gefahren. Ein Jahr später kommt Finn bei einem Autounfall ums Leben, und mit ihm schwindet das heimliche Gravitationszentrum der Beziehungen. Da ist Anna, einst Finns Freundin, die jetzt mit Malte zusammen ist. Malte, dessen Nähe zu Finn ungeklärt geblieben ist. Und da ist Ben, dem Finn gegen die Drogen zu helfen versucht hat und der Finns Freundin Nessa mehr als zugeneigt ist. Der Roman erzählt von den wenigen Tagen nach Finns Tod und vom Wiedersehen der Freunde zum Begräbnis in Zürich. Sie streifen durch die Bars und über die Dächer der Stadt und versuchen, das Vergangene wieder zusammenzusetzen. Der noch von Finn geplante gemeinsame Trip nach Südfrankreich verspricht, wieder an jene Tage am Meer anknüpfen zu können.

Rezension:
Ich wollte aufstehen. Ich wollte sie nochmals umarmen, Ihre Haut berüh…

Throwback: December and January

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It'sthat time of the month again. Or rather months, because I once again put off writing a throwback for way to long and am regretting all of my life choices because there are just too many books to talk about now. Well, then again, in December I mostly listened to audiobooks and didn't read that much so it felt like it would be the more intelligent option to just wait and include January in my throwback. Oh boy, it was not. (Okay, honestly, it's not that bad, I'm just unnecessarily dreading this.)

Anyway, without further ado, this is a list of all the books I read and audiobooks I listened to in the months of January and December!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1)

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1) by Becky Albertalli
Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review:
"What's a de…

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

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(Yes, one of our kitten is kind of obsessed with biting books. I'm trying to make him break that habit but he's loyal to his own ways.)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Blurb:
It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard's assignment – find them and then retire them. Trouble was, the androids all looked exactly like humans, and they didn't want to be found.
Review:
Funny, he thought; even though I know rationally it's faked the sound of a false animal burning out its drive-train and power supply ties my stomach in knots. I wish, he thought painfully, that I could get another job. If I hadn't failed that IQ test I wouldn't be reduced to this ignominious task with its attendant emotional byproducts. 
Okay, so this was a really interesting experience. I would definitely recommend this one for a variety of reasons but I also struggled to connec…

Die Wilden Hühner: Fuchsalarm (Die Wilden Hühner #3)

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Die Wilden Hühner: Fuchsalarm (Die Wilden Hühner #3) von Cornelia Funke
Zusammenfassung:
Die Wilden Hühner sind in heller Aufregung: Sprotte hat "Fuchsalarm" gegeben! In der Geheimsprache der Mädchenbande heißt das größte Gefahr, Lebensgefahr. Und es geht auch wirklich um Leben und Tod: Sprottes Oma will nämlich ihre Hennen schlachten! Das können die Mädchen natürlich nicht zulassen und beschließen, ihre heiß geliebten Maskottchen zu entführen. Doch wie sollen sie zu fünft fünfzehn laut gackernde Hühner abtransportieren, ohne dass Oma Slättberg es merkt? Und vor allem- wohin mit den Tieren? Schließlich haben die Wilden Hühner immer noch kein eigenes Banden quartier. Ob sie vielleicht ausnahmsweise ihre alten Feinde, die Jungs von den Pygmäen, fragen sollen?

Rezension:
"Wisst ihr, was Sprotte schreiben würde?" Frieda verstellte die Stimme: "Tochter sucht Mann für liebeskranke, im Moment leider unzurechnungsfähige Mutter. Besuchszeiten: einen Sonntag pro Monat. Bewe…

Everybody Sees the Ants

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Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King
Blurb:
Lucky Linderman didn't ask for his life. He didn't ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn't ask for a father who never got over it. He didn't ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn't ask to be the target of Nader McMillan's relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.
But Lucky has a secret--one that helps him wade through the mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos--the prison his grandfather couldn't escape--where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It's dangerous and wild, and it's a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?
Review:
Only two hours earlier she was telling me how great I was because I could cook eggs. Now my egg-making means I'm a homicidal maniac…

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

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City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare
Blurb:
Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won't let her go--especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil--and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

Review:
"I don't want to be a man," said Jace. "I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can't confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on…

Die Wilden Hühner auf Klassenfahrt (Die Wilden Hühner #2)

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Die Wilden Hühner auf Klassenfahrt (Die Wilden Hühner #2) von Cornelia Funke
Zusammenfassung:
Eine Woche Klassenfahrt ans Meer! Spitzenmäßig finden das die Freundinnen Sprotte, Frieda, Melanie und Trude - alle zusammen Die Wilden Hühner genannt. Nervig sind Die Pygmäen: vier Jungs, die dauernd versuchen der Mädchenbande eins auszuwischen. Und das mit so albernem Stinkbombenjuckpulversonstwaskram. Mit dem gruseligen Gelächter nachts auf dem Flur und den rätselhaften Fußspuren im Zimmer haben die Jungs Fred, Willi, Steve und Torte diesmal allerdings nichts zu tun. Stimmt es am Ende tatsächlich, was sich die Leute vom Geist des alten Strandräubers Jap Lornsen erzählen?
Rezension:
"Oh, nichts Besonderes. Nur eine dumme Gespenstergeschichte. Von einem herumgeisternden Strandvogt." Straubmann guckte sie über den Tassenrand an. "Ausgerechnet beim Landschulheim soll er herumspuken. Ziemlich unglaubaft, nicht wahr?"
Der erste Teil der Die Wilden Hühner-Reihe hatte mich irgendwie…

Restmensch

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Restmensch von Daniel G. Spieker und Devon Wolters
Beschreibung:
Eine Kurzgeschichtensammlung mit fünf Geschichten von zwei Stimmen aus der jungen Horrorliteratur. Düstere, surreale Stimmungen mit Themen, die über die klassischen Motive hinausgehen.
Rezension:
"Du willst hier weg, oder? Wir wollen dich loswerden."
Kurzgeschichtensammlungen bewerten finde ich irgendwie sehr schwer. Besonders schwer, natürlich, wenn ich dann auch noch mit beiden daran beteiligten Autoren befreundet bin, was hier der Fall ist. Mir sei also, hoffentlich, verziehen, wenn ich mich hier grundsätzlich etwas bis sehr vage ausdrücke. Eine allfällige Inklination zu einer positiven Betrachtungsweise, hoffentlich, auch.

Slaughterhouse-Five

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Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Billy Pilgrim, a traumatized American POW, becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens. Under their watchful gaze, he must relive his life over and over again, coming at last to some understanding of the human comedy.

Review:
I have this disease late at night sometimes, involving alcohol and the telephone. I get drunk, and I drive my wife away with a breath like mustard gas and roses. And then, speaking gravely and elegantly into the telephone, I ask the telephone operators to connect me with this friend or that one, from whom I have not heard in years.
Slaughterhouse-Five is quite the beautiful book. It is also terrible and disturbing, after all it is a book about war, but that cannot change the fact that it is inherently beautiful. It's beauty struck me at odd times, sometimes a particular sentence resonated with me, sometimes a particular imagery enchanted me, and sometimes a story-telling device amazed me. What I'm trying to say …

2018 Recommendations: May the Reading Continue

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Another year has passed and I hope you've had a good one. Personally, a lot has happened this past year so my reading has somewhat suffered (not greatly but a little) and, thus, this year's book recommendations list is the shortest yet. That being said, there are still quite a lot of books on this list and I really hope it proves at least somewhat useful for you.
Now, before I actually get into the list I have a couple of things to say. However, since I've already said all these things last year I'm just going to copy the work I've already done (I'm lazy like that) and if you're already familiar with the format you don't have to bother reading this again (in case you're lazy like that, too). This isn't a list of all my favorites. Some of the best books I read last year won't be on this list because [insert reason here] but I'll include some books I personally didn't enjoy as much as I could have because I see some inherent value in t…