Dienstag, 23. Mai 2017

Summer Reading


My semester is over soon. Like, very soon. I have two weeks left until I'm pretty much completely free. That means that I've been day-dreaming about all the books I want to read this summer for a month or so, aka. ever since the end of the semester came in sight. Today, I thought I'd share some of the books I hope to read this summer with you.

Now, obviously, I want to read the books on the picture above seeing as they're my current tbr-pile/row whatever you want to call them. However, only a few of them I actually want to mention:

Generally, I want to finish as many of the series I've started as possible. The libraries around town currently have the third (this) and the fourth of the Throne of Glass books available and I hope to read both of those this summer. 
Again, this goes with the finishing series I've started thing. Honestly, I don't think Percy Jackson and the Olympians is going to be a problem at all seeing as I'm starting to really look forward to reading all of the Riordan books.
I've only ever read one book by Gillian Flynn and I desperately need to remedy that. Moreover, I've heard great things about Sharp Object and I almost can't wait.
A Graphic Novel which I've heard fantastic things about. It doesn't take much to convince me to read a Graphic Novel but this one really promises to be quite the blast.

Apart from that, there are a lot more books I hope to read this summer.

Samstag, 20. Mai 2017

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2)


The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan

Blurb:

Percy Jackson's seventh-grade year has been surprisingly quiet. Not a single monster has set foot on his New York prep-school campus. But when an innocent game of dodgeball among Percy and his classmates turns into a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants, things get . . . well, ugly. And the unexpected arrival of Percy’s friend Annabeth brings more bad news: the magical borders that protect Camp Half-Blood have been poisoned by a mysterious enemy, and unless a cure is found, the only safe haven for demigods will be destroyed. 

Review:

Only one more day to go. Surely even I couldn't mess that up. 
As usual, I didn't have a clue how wrong I was.

This was so delightful. I practically flew through this book and it was pretty much the best book I could have wished for at the moment.

Thalia had gotten herself turned into a pine tree when she was twelve. Me … well, I was doing my best not to follow her example. I had nightmares about what Poseidon might turn me into if I were ever on the verge of death – plankton maybe. Or a floating patch of kelp.

Freitag, 19. Mai 2017

Die Unsterblichkeit


Die Unsterblichkeit von Milan Kundera

Zusammenfassung:

In einem Fitness-Club über den Dächern von Paris sitzt Milan Kundera, Autor und Figur der Unsterblichkeit, und beobachtet, wie eine etwa sechzigjährige Frau Schwimmstunden nimmt. Zum Abschied winkt sie dem Schwimmlehrer noch einmal zu und macht dabei eine so graziöse Handbewegung, dass der Betrachter beschliesst, diese Geste, die die ganze unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins zu enthalten scheint, der Heldin seines Romans, Agnes, zum Geschenk zu machen.

Rezension:


Das Ehebett: der Altar der Ehe; und wer Altar sagt, sagt: Opfer. Hier opfert sich einer für den anderen: beide schlafen schlecht ein und werden vom Atem des Partners geweckt; sie drücken sich deshalb an den Rand des Bettes und lassen in dessen Mitte einen breiten Freiraum; sie tun so, als schliefen sie, weil sie glauben, dass sie dem Partner so das Einschlafen erleichtern und dieser sich ohne Angst zu stören auf die Seite drehen könnte. Leider nutzt der Partner dies nicht aus, da er auch (aus den gleichen Gründen) so tut, als schliefe er, und Angst hat, sich zu bewegen. 

Eine merkwürdige Geschichte. Also, nicht das Buch an sich, sondern wie ich dieses Buch gelesen habe. Nach den ersten 100 Seiten (oder den ersten zwei Teilen) habe ich nämlich beschlossen aufzuhören. Ich zitiere (mich selbst): "Urgh, okay, echt kein gutes Buch momentan. Der erste Teil ist komplett über mich hinweggezogen ohne Eindruck zu hinterlassen (den habe ich zwischen Vorlesungen gelesen, weshalb das nicht sonderlich abwegig ist, aber normalerweise fesseln mich Bücher schon minimal, ohne dass ich nach 10 Seiten das Gefühl habe, nochmal von vorne Anfangen zu müssen) und der zweite Teil ist sozusagen eine Literaturanalyse von Goethes Leben (oder sowas), was ja schön und gut wäre, müsste ich nicht gerade so viel über Literaturanalysen lernen und bräuchte dringend ein Buch, das mich komplett ablenken sollte. (Eine spannende Analyse ist es, im übrigen, auch nicht, alles viel zu selbstverständlich und ersichtlich. Ich werde lieber überrascht und muss nachdenken als einfach mit total offensichtlichen "Erkenntnissen" gefüttert zu werden.) Also, erstmal werde ich das weg legen, vielleicht interessiert es mich nach den Prüfungen wieder ein wenig mehr und ich kann es fertig lesen (lange sollte das ja nicht dauern), vielleicht entscheide ich aber auch irgendwann, es einfach unvollendet endgültig abzubrechen.", aber habe ich das Buch dann tatsächlich auch abgebrochen? Nö. Am nächsten Morgen habe ich gemerkt, dass ich es wirklich, wirklich fertig lesen will. Ich weiss nicht wieso. Es hat mich immer noch nicht wirklich interessiert, es hat mich bis zuletzt nicht wirklich interessiert, aber ich musste es fertig lesen.

Montag, 15. Mai 2017

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Blurb:

Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse – Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time he got to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends – one a satyr and the other a demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods. 

Review:

"Don't get me started on Charon!" Hades yelled. "He's been impossible ever since he discovered Italian suits!"

I had no intention of reading Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Originally, I had some stupid reasons for that decision and then I saw the movie(s) a couple of times and at some point I simply decided that reading these books would never happen. What changed then? Well, for one thing The Trials of Apollo was published and I witness its arrival in the book community. It's terribly hard resisting something that everyone is gushing about so I started toying with the idea of reading these books. The final straw, however, was a friend of mine who told me I really need to read this. (Moreover, the books recently appeared in English at the library I visit most often soo... Well, it's safe to say that I have no willpower whatsoever.) Thus, I have finally read The Lightning Thief. And it was quite fun, very fast-paced and I'm already excited to read the next book.

Hamilton and Books


So, I've been thinking that I want to make this a — more or less — weekly thing. Not necessarily doing a book tag a week but doing something quote unquote special each week. Seeing as Lisa from Lies 'n Buch suggested I do the Hamilton Book Tag, that's what I'll be doing this week.
Just in case you've been living under a soudproof Internet-blocking boulder: Hamilton is a musical and it's great – I didn't even like musicals until I listened to Hamilton and suddenly became obsessed with it (not musicals in general just Hamilton). Hence, I'm super eager to have an excuse to listen to all of the songs (again)!
The Hamilton Book Tag was created by Maureen from Maureenkeavy.

Quick warning: There are some spoilers for Harry Potter, Thondras Kinder, and The Lord of the Rings ahead.

Mittwoch, 10. Mai 2017

Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #1)


Demons at Deadnight (Divinicus Nex Chronicles #1) by A. & E. Kirk

Blurb:

For seventeen-year-old Aurora Lahey, survival is a lifestyle.
Aurora has the crappiest superpower on the planet. And it's just unleashed a hit squad from hell. Demons are on the hunt, salivating to carve her carcass into confetti.
The Hex Boys – mysterious, hunky, and notorious for their trails of destruction – have the answers Aurora needs to survive. But their overload of deadly secrets and suspicious motives makes trusting them a potentially fatal move.

Review:

(Sooo... I might have a slight problem. I can't decide on any of the funny moments to use as quote here. That's why I decided to only use quotes from the first chapter just to give myself a concrete limit to what material I can use. Honestly, that already says enough about how much I liked this book.)

"I believe you suffer confusion, Nex." The volume of its voice lowered. Had it backed off, thinking I had something up my sleeve? "I harbor no trepidation but that you remain alive. And my immutable predilection is to deliver your corpse in a profusion of pieces." Then that laugh. 
I couldn't comprehend much of what it said, but overall, I wasn't getting a warm and fuzzy vibe.

I am so happy right now. I had extremely high expectations for this book (I tried to suppress them, though, because I didn't want to be disappointed) but, somehow, it surpassed all of them. I was laugh-crying by page 9 and had decided that I loved Demons at Deadnight by page 20. I annoyed my entire family by continuously bursting into laughter and/or high-pitched laugh-wailing.

Before I go on let me make one thing clear: This is by no means a "good" book (as in "sophisticated", "complex", or any other fancy term you'd want to whip out to describe the kind of books commonly received as "good"). It's brilliant and I love it but it belongs to the guilty pleasure group of books. In other words: Objectively, it's pretty bad. The characters are pretty superficial (speaking of which: everything else is also pretty superficial), everyone is pretty stupid, the story mainly revolves around super-hot – sometimes pretty dense – guys and a – sometimes pretty dense – female in their midst, it is definitely tailored to a young-ish audience, and generally something you want to avoid if you can't handle stupid teen-movies. With explosions. (The explosions are important.)

I launched into a graceful ninja-like front roll, then stood my ground to face the monstrous heathen, fearless in my determination to vanquish the deadly foe. 
Nah, just kidding. I bolted, discretion being the better part of not getting dead.

Obviously, I love it. I need stories like this one every once in a while – or more often, honestly, they're just too much fun! – because they cheer me up like nothing else can. This book was extremely over-the-top and it didn't take itself seriously at all and I was laughing all the way through. Comparatively little things – like Aurora not being able to go a single day without getting herself into a hospital (if she even makes it an entire day without having to go back or, worse, not even being able to leave before she's got herself into trouble again) – started cracking me up because the story captured me on this constant level of near-giggling that made absolutely everything appear like the funniest thing ever. 

What makes or breaks these kind of silly books for me is whether they take themselves seriously. Luckily, as I've already established, this one doesn't. What happens, when a story as this one is as light hearted as this one, is that because it is already exaggerating and does not take itself seriously it's able to exaggerate even more! Which is why I usually made a dismissive/disbelieving "pfff" sound before I started laughing – re-playing a scene in my usually got me really going. Also, there's just something about hot teenage-boys trying to be all smooth and suave and ending up blurting out the stupidest lines.

Dogs aren't my thing.  
I hate dogs.   
And if this one was dumb enough to sacrifice itself for me, hallelujah. I kept running. 
After I reversed course. 
Stupid dog.

Just to make this story even better it included a lot of family. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before but I adore YA books that include a healthy dose of family – and actual friends but I'm sure we'll get to that eventually. Somehow, every time family is included they are one of the funniest parts of the story – this one being no exception – while also providing security and a generally healthy environment. What's not to love about that? I don't know.

Okay, so, obviously I could go on blubbering about how much I liked different parts of the story and how often I was cry-laughing (in short: too many times) or almost accidentally spilling my drink (Yeah, in retrospect I don't know why I was drinking while reading an obviously funny book, either. Happened only once, though. I can learn.) but, honestly? I don't really have anything substantial left to say. All that is left to mention is that I hope to get my hands on the second book asap.

A blow from behind lurched my body forward. I would've gone down but instead found myself airborne. And gaining altitude. 
Not good, because last I checked, I couldn't fly.

Rating:

If you haven't guessed it by now: it's 5/5 stars. And I am very delighted with that development while also dreading the time it'll take for me to read the next book in this series.

Details:

Name: Demons at Deadnight
Series: Divinicus Nex Chronicles
Author: A. & E. Kirk
Pages: 404 
Where?: Amazon

Sonntag, 7. Mai 2017

Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon


Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon by Dr. Nick Trout

Blurb:

A vicarious journey through twenty-four intimate, eye-opening, heartrending hours at the premier Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. You'll learn about the amazing progress of modern animal medicine, where organ transplants, joint replacements, and state-of-the-art cancer treatments have become more and more common. With these technological advances come controversies and complexities that Dr. Trout thoughtfully explores, such as how long (and at what cost) treatments should be given, how the Internet has changed pet care, and the rise in cosmetic surgery. You'll also be inspired by the heartwarming stories of struggle and survival filling these pages.

Review:

Things can go wrong for a veterinarian from the very first moment you pick up a crisp manila file, step out into a crowded waiting room, and call for your client, because a great deal of peril lies hidden in a name.

The first 100 pages of this book were so charming! I was reminiscing all those years I was set on becoming a vet (I had decided so when I was 5 years old and only changed my mind when I was confronted with the actual process of signing up for university), Trout's day was really exciting, and I was generally pleased with where this was going.

Samstag, 6. Mai 2017

Harry Potter Spells

Hey!

Soo ... I've been meaning to expand my content for a while now because after a year of mostly doing just reviews that has kind of become a little bit boring if I'm completely honest. However, I wasn't sure what I actually wanted to do in terms of "expansion" until I thought about doing a book-tag. Actually, it's already been a couple of months since I came up with that idea. And why? You might ask. Frankly, I'm not quite sure whether I can pull off doing a book-tag (the reasons are probably entirely irrational) and that's why I've been kind of avoiding it even though I've secretly watched/read quite a lot of book tags and wondered whether anyone would be interested in hearing my take on them. Today I've decided that I no longer care about any insecurities and that I'm just going to try a tag and see how much I like it. Maybe I'll do more in the future or maybe I'll think of something else to do.
tl;dr: I'm gonna do the Harry Potter Spells Book Tag now.
Also, since I can't find the original tag I'm just going to link you to the video I'm using as reference for the questions. 

Enjoy!

Freitag, 5. Mai 2017

Rebel Belle


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Blurb:

Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper's destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. 

Review:

"Paladin: an honorable knight; defender of a noble cause." 
"Laaaaaame," I whispered. I much preferred superhero.

Honestly, I am kind of disappointed, which makes me even more disappointed because I'm disappointed for being disappointed in a Rachel Hawkins book. Maybe it was because I loved Hex Hall so much and my expectations were way too high, maybe it was because I've been sick and that made my heart freeze up for a while. I don't know.

Mittwoch, 3. Mai 2017

Salt to the Sea


Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Blurb:

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets. Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies … and war.
As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom. 
Yet not all promises can be kept.

Review:

The Wilhelm Gustloff was pregnant with lost souls conceived of war. They would crowd into her belly and she would give birth to their freedom. But did anyone realize? The ship was christened for a man. Wilhelm Gustloff. My father had told me about him. He had been the leader of the Nazi Party in Switzerland. 
He was murdered. The ship was born of death.

I don't really know what I think about this book. It is not a bad book, not at all, but it also wasn't what I had imagined. I'm not disappointed exactly but looking back I would have expected more.