Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

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You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Happy Saturday, lovelies!

I’m finally back with a little mini review of Nina LaCours “We Are Okay”. Phew, I’m not, by the way, , maybe semi-okay. In a good way though!
My friends have been talking about it for months and I’ve finally got around to read it. Before we start, let’s appreciate the cover a bit more. I’m so in love with the design, I don’t actually want to give back the copy I borrowed. So I’m going to keep it for a bit longer and admire the view, and probably reread it again.*

Continue reading “Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour”

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!

Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

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“Not a god’s chosen, but a god’s cursed. That’s what we all are.”

Welcome to another review! First things first: I would consider this full of spoilers. With using the conditional here I do mean to say that this is literally a huge spoiler bubble. Especially because I like to share my thoughts on certain important plot points that happen towards the end of the book. So be warned. I’ll be adding a read more for good measures. You’ll be on your own from here on; okay, no I’m kidding. I won’t leave your side.

Continue reading “Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard”

Review: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

29939230Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Happy Saturday! 🙂

Spring is finally upon us and this weekend was nice enough that I just spent the last hours sitting outside with coffee and cake, and most importantly, my kindle (this would have been a really nice k-alliteration in German. Guess, I can’t have everything). And I finally, finally, finished A Conjuring of Light. I apologize in advance for how unorganized this review is, but I just had to write something the moment I’m done when most of my thoughts are still wrapped around the book.

That one was a wild ride. It feels like I read it for months and not just a little bit over a week. Oh boy. I can’t count the number of times I had to put down the book just to take a deep breath. Hint: It was almost all the time. As you might remember from this post here, I originally planned to binge it all. Didn’t really work that well due to the usual work related reasons and other books I squeezed in. I’m not sure if it would have been healthy anyway after that ending and the now looming reading slump.

But back to the book. This one is by far my favorite one out of the whole series. The moment I started the first chapter I was hooked again and it never stopped. I’m not sure if the Essen Tasch happened in this book or if it was part of the one before (or maybe part of both? Distinguishing between the both is kinda blurry at the moment) but I loved it. It was interesting to see another aspect of how magic is handled in Red London and I was just mesmerized by the tournament. Especially since everything was still okay.
Why couldn’t it just stay happy and simple. Instead it got so intense with people dying all the freaking time. Like, I really would have appreciated a break from time to time, so I didn’t have to take them myself.

Nevertheless, Victoria Schwab managed to create such a wonderful world with even more amazing diverse characters and I’m in love with all of them. Literally all of them. I can’t even decide who I love the most. If any of you are thinking of reading the Shades of Magic series, I can just repeat the list I tell my friends (while subtly forcing them to read it asap of course):

  • Badass Cross-Dressing Pirate Lady (and even more pirate ladies)
  • POC main characters
  • actual bisexual characters
  • Magic!!
  • The only thing better than London: four Londons

Honestly, at this point I’m still not ready to say goodbye to the story, and it’s been a few days already. Any tips on how to get over a reading slump? So far, I’m trying to reread old ones because I have no open mind for my tbr.

 

Review: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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Hello people! I promised you reviews and I’m not going to disappoint today. Coincidentally the first review of this year is also the first book I’ve read in 2017.  Heartless by Marissa Meyer is an Alice in Wonderland inspired novel focusing on the queen of hearts. I’ve always been quite fond of fairy-tale retellings and Alice in Wonderland has been quite a constant thing in my life as far as I can remember.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Before you read the book- maybe even before you continue reading this review- get yourself something sweet. Chocolate. Muffins. Cake. Whatever works best for you. Because I can tell you that you’ll be aching for sugary treats as soon as you start reading. Catherine, the protagonist, is a passionate baker and all the descriptions of lemon tarts, pumpkin pie, and scones make your mouth water so much I contemplated pausing and making myself some scones as well. Luckily, I could convince my mom to get me some Baklava, so I could continue reading while I was waiting. Yes, I just wanted to tell you all how great my mom is. Five stars. End of review. (Okay, I just noticed that I won’t talk about any more desserts, but please indulge yourself on my account ! 🙂 )

But for real, I devoured this book. “Fine literature does work up an appetite”. I think we can all agree with this quote. And this isn’t the only quote I have for you guys today. I basically lived for all of Meyer’s references to the original work. It wouldn’t have been Wonderland without its quirks and Jabberwockies. The Hatter’s, or should I say Hatta as he is called here, portrayal was on point and now I have at least three different answers to why a raven is like a writing desk. While we get our beloved and often quoted ones, I don’t want to withhold this gem for you:

“I heard the most delightful talk at the party today […] about a little girl who discovered an upward-falling rabbit hole just off the Crossroads, and when she started to climb her body fell up and up and— “

There’s literally nothing you can do wrong with subtle references and I did enjoy that brief glimpse into their experience with dear Alice.
Another thing I liked about Meyer’s writing style that you could pinpoint the beginning of Cath’s downward spiral into despair and madness, and into everything we later know to be characteristically of the Queen of Hearts. That point starts the first time the iconic line “Off with the head” falls. Throughout the book, I was waiting for this moment that would explain to us why that nice-ish girl would change so drastically. All I can say is that the author lived up to my expectations and created quite the heartless character. Hah, I stop with the puns now, promise!

In my opinion, the relationship between Cath and Jest progressed way too fast. I liked both characters just fine on their own, but to really ship them I would have needed either more pages or another book. For me, it felt like just another -more or less valid- excuse to throw in as a reason to why she couldn’t marry the king. Especially since they knew each other for a really short time. Thankfully, she did not forget her dream of opening a bakery for a boy, so there’s that.

I personally would have loved to have more insight on the White Kingdom, but I have to admit that that would have probably broken the mould for a stand-alone novel. Maybe, one day, we get all that content in a new book. That’d be quite nice.