April Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I’m taking a break from all that’s happening at my mom’s birthday brunch right now and instead taking up the chance to write this Wrap-Up outside. Let’s hope the sun keeps shining!

This month has been quite productive for me reading-wise (and also in regard to posting more or less regularly I have to say). I’m glad I managed that with the new job and everything. I guess it’s a good thing I now have a commute of 40 mins.

Anyways, I read six books this month and at least 2.5 of them happened because a friend talked about binging everything on the currently reading pile before Always and Forever Lara Jean would arrive. I think, I just subconsciously followed her advice because wow I haven’t been on a roll like this for a few years at last.

So here’s the list:

25372801#1 All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
Goodreads
My rating: ★★

I’ve started this book back in January and I liked it a lot back then. I only gave it two stars because it’s unfortunately also one of those books that got pushed back because I wanted to read other new books first and when I finally got back to it, I lost touch with it. It didn’t feel interesting anymore and I found it a bit weird and boring? But I also often get this feeling whenever I take too long to finish a book.

32737127 #2 Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins
Goodreads
My rating: ★★★

I’m a sucker for biographies. Especially when they are written by people I like, find inspirational, or feel like I can somehow identify with. I enjoyed reading Lily Collins’ book, although there were quite a few too many tumblr-like inspirational quotes for my taste. Netherless, she manages to convey the importance of loving and standing up for oneself and it is something that should be remembered more often.

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#3 The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
Goodreads; My review
My rating: ★★★★

Certainly a surprise read. I didn’t think I would like this book as much as I did; but then the plot didn’t develop as I thought it would either.

 

28374007#4 Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Goodreads
My rating: ★★★★★

It is sooo good!! I finally got around to reading TDC and I fell in love with everything and everyone instantly. I was quite sad when I found out that the second book isn’t out yet. How am I supposed to wait until September??

 

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#5 Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Goodreads
My rating: ★★★

Another one of those books that I was looking forward to reading- Space, duh- and wanted to love but didn’t. Right from the beginning I was overwhelmed by the amount of  different species and races and planets. I hoped I would get it all later but I got even more confused. I also couldn’t warm up to the characters, so I tried to fight my way through the book but in the end I was mostly skimming the pages to see what was going to happen.

30312860#6 Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Goodreads; My review
My rating: ★★★★★

Do I even have to say anything about this book? You probably got that from my other posts but this is the book I looked forward to the most this year. And yes I was very lucky and got it early. I really really loved it a lot. It couldn’t have been better. If you want to hear me ramble about how amazing it is, go check out my review!

This was quite the eventful book month. I already have three more books on my tbr pile thanks to visiting friends (I’m not complaining ;)) and I can’t wait to start them. Guess the pile isn’t shrinking soon. Have you guys been reading any interesting, mindblowing books this month?

 

Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han

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Hello lovelies!

Anyone who follows me on my other social media might know that I already got this gem earlier last week. I was right about to use my lunch break to pick up the book from the store, before my sister took it upon herself. So why did it take me this long to write the review you ask? Well I got sick and spent most of the time sleeping and I still can’t seem to write any reviews while sleeping. Sad.

If you haven’t read the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series, you should do so now and come back later. It’s about 16-year-old Lara Jean, who wrote love letters to all the boy’s she loved before (hence the title) that get suddenly sent to said boys. It all spirals into confrontations, confessions, fake relationships. To top it off there’s lots of baking and the portrayal of cute relationships between sisters. Also we’ve got Asian-American main characters!

I’m putting a read more here for good measures, since I’m not sure what y’all would consider spoilery and most of it are just my feelings towards the book anyway. Continue reading “Review: Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han”

Review: The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

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I look at my hands. One of them says FLORA Be brave.

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora’s brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend’s boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora’s fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.


I can’t begin to tell you how much this book blindsided me. When I first got my hands on the excerpt, I thought this was just going to be your average Young Adult quick read. Amnesia as well as its effect and impact on other people always intrigued me, so I started reading and finishing it as soon as possible.

While it feels strange reading the same blurb of words every few pages, it is more than necessary to show Flora’s memory reset. It’s interesting how differently she reacts to it and the words she wrote on her skin. (Also kudos to Emily Barr for coming up with so many ways to summarize the same portion again and again). The only constant thing is the memory of kissing her best friend’s boyfriend.

Kissing a boy being the reason she suddenly remembers something and thus getting obsessed with him sounds quite cliché and unhealthy. And it is. But let me tell you: This book is more of a self-discovery journey. The boy is just one of the many reasons our protagonists starts her journey. We won’t see the boy again for some time and in between we get to meet so many different people who help Flora along her way.

Something I really love is that moment when you thought the book to be already over but the plot actually just starts. It felt like a rollar coaster going up and down, taking every looping plot twist it could with it. It’s certainly an important point to keeping it from being predictable and I’m thankful for it.

So, if you find yourself wanting to enrich yourself on how to live in the moment and how to find yourself, this book is clearly something for you. And if that isn’t your primary concern, Emily Barr’s writing manages to perfectly capture the beauty of the Arctic.
It felt so real that I had to stop myself from just hopping on a plane and having my own adventure.

Unboxing: Fairyloot #2

Happy Sunday everyone!

I can’t believe this is already my fourth Fairyloot box and only the second one I’m posting about. Shame on me. Especially because they are all so pretty. But I’m not going to withhold this gem from you any longer!

The theme is Myths and Monsters and the March box is actually the first anniversary box. Therefore, it came in purple. A very nice shade of purple to be more specific. A shade that fits right into my room with it’s purple walls. Against all odds, purple is not my favorite colour, otherwise this blog would have been called purple pages. The more I write that word, the more it looks wrong, so let’s just continue with the important part: The Unboxing.

As soon as we got a few tips on which book is going to be inside, I had to check the new releases. I’m usually not a fan of spoiling myself but I had my suspicion and I had to see if I was right or wrong. For once I was indeed right and I couldn’t be happier about getting Laini Taylor’s Strange The Dreamer. It’s so pretty and even has a sketch by the author. If it’s anywhere near as good as her Daughter of Smoke and Bones series, I can die happily. It also came with one out of three possible postcard designs.

Look how pretty it is!

They added a scarf for the first time. While I appreciate the dragonscale design by GivArt, I’m just not a huge scarf wearer apart from hiding in them during Winter, so I’m probably giving it to a friend as present.

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Since I started subscribing to Fairyloot, my stack of bookmarks exponentially increased (as did the amount of book bags I’m hording and using whenever I’m lending books to other people). This month, there are these cute ones by Bonitismo I can add to the collection; and they’re even magnetic!

Another thing that I — and probably nobody — can get enough of are candles. Good thing, the amazing people at Fairyloot added one to box. This Shadowhunter inspired candle from GeekyClean is just what I need in my candle batch. It smells quite strongly like black cherry and lime and I can’t wait to actually light it instead of just sniffing it.

This unicorn and rainbow fairy lights arrived just in time. I’m not so sure about the design yet, since I’m not really that into unicorns (or horses in general to be honest), but as far as I have tested it, you don’t see the shapes that clearly when it’s switched on anyway. Well, I wanted to get myself fairy lights for a while now so I’m not complaining.

Last but not least, I want to tell you about my favorite item in this box: The mermaid pocket mirror. I’ve always been fascinated by mermaids and Book Otter’s design is simply magnificent. The mirror is handy and fits right into all my bags so I can finally stop using my phone whenever I have to check myself in a mirror.

I got so used to having a nice book box delivered to my doorstep every month and I’m sad to take a pause from it, but unfortunately the next two theme’s aren’t really my cup of tea. So I might just try another subscription box for now since I’m basically saving money this month and the next; And then I’m surely back in June with another Fairyloot Unboxing so you guys can look forward to that!

Book Fair Haul

Hello everyone!
Imagine me arriving with a Starbucks and at least twenty minutes late, because that’s exactly how I feel. No, I didn’t forget the Leipzig book fair post I promised you in that awful last minute update I wrote before getting on the train. I just postponed it a little. A week late is still okay, I hope? Maybe next time I’m a better blogger and start writing the blog post at the fair. I could blame work again but that one’s getting old, so I’ll admit that I’m this close to finishing Horizon Zero Dawn and my boss was encouraging me to play so I didn’t have time to write anything. Am I indirectly blaming work again? Who knows. Better late than never anyways.
I didn’t get that many books this year but there are still some I want to share with you:

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I have to admit that I don’t know that much about the book itself. My sister asked for Trust Again and being the nice sister I am from time to time I obliged and bought it for her. The day before I saw quite the large queue for a signing with Mona Kasten, so I guess it’s a good one? It’s the second book in a young adult series and I’m more than willing to give it a shot.

Now a book I got signed is Scheinwelten by Elke Bergsma. It’s a Ostfriesland crime novel and we happened to stumble upon this group of crime authors by accident. We were eyeing this awesome tote by amazon publishing. Pro book fair tip by me: Amazon Publishing always has the best totes. If you can, go and get yourself one at the next fair. Me and my friends all got a different crime novel so I hope we’ll be switching copies soon.

Apart from semi-listening to Poetry Slams and taking a coffee break at the free coffee booth, we stumbled upon a reading by Laura Kuhn from her book “We could be Heroes”. It’s about a lesbian teenager who is trying to figure out her sexuality. I can’t think of many youth books with lgbt characters by German-speaking authors- correct me if I’m missing some essentials here. I regret not having bought it at the fair, and I don’t usually read that many books in German, but this one really caught my attention and I’ll be giving it a try soon.

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Other than that I got myself way too many free postcards. I would like to send some of them to my friends, but (unfortunately) most of them were there with me and got themselves those exact postcards. Life is hard I know.

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March Wrap Up

And another month comes to an end. I can’t believe it’s already April, time surely flies. To keep even better track of the books I’ve read, I decided to join the monthly wrap-up posts. Whenever I’m checking my goodreads challenge I feel like I missed some books, so I’m going to put my re-reads in here too. Let’s take a look at the books, shall we?

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#1  A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Goodreads; My review
My rating: ★★★★★

Honestly, there’s nothing I didn’t like about this book. The perfect ending for this amazing trilogy. I can’t wait to read Schwab’s other stuff. I swear, I had more to say in the review.

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#2  Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Goodreads
My rating:★★

I wanted to like this book so much. I tried. I have never been able to relate to poems and while I agreed with the feminists ones, I just didn’t know what to do with the others. Bekka over at Stories and Sweets managed to catch most of what I felt while reading in her review. Go check it out!

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#3 To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han
Goodreads
My rating: ★★★★★

While talking to my sister about everything that could happen in Always and Forever Lara Jean, I might have noticed that I didn’t quite remember what exactly happened in which book. So,naturally I had to start my re-read immediately and I even managed to finish this book in a day. I forgot how nice it is to just read an old favorite again and notice all those little things over and over again.

This month felt like way more books, but I’m probably confused by all the books I started (and have still not finished – oops) and all the fanfictions I read? Maybe I can up myself next month. What books have you guys read and enjoyed in March? 🙂