Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Wrap-Up

Hello there. It's already the end of September - I can't believe how quickly this year is coming to an end! I'm here to post my rather disappointing and embarrassing monthly wrap-up. After reading 16 books in July and 9 books in August, I only managed to finish 3 books in September. I do have one good reason for this: I started University this month and that has kept me very busy and has only left little time to read anything other than law books for Uni.

I'm hoping this downwards trend isn't going to continue or soon I won't be able to show you any books at all in these wrap-ups. Obviously, I had been aware that once I started Uni, I wouldn't have as much time for reading anymore but I was quite overwhelmed by the workload and I'm still trying to adjust and get used to it. With also working part-time, my schedule is very full and the only time I really get to read is during my daily train rides to the city.

But without further ado, here are the books I read in September:

Unfortunately, I haven't managed to start the Lux series this month but I am very much planning to do so next month. I am also going to finish The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey that I started this month and that I'm about 100 pages in. October is also my birthday month, so there will hopefully be a book haul up at some point with what I got for my birthday (I am hoping for and expecting some lovely new additions to my TBR-pile). I am also very aware of all the "Review coming soon" remarks on my wrap-up and I do apologize (as I do every single month) but I will post reviews for all of the books at some point.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top 5 Non YA Books

Hello there. University has been keeping me busy but I still decided to write this quick Top 5 Wednesday post today (join the group here). This week's topic is Top 5 Non YA Books and here are the ones I've chosen. 

5. Fahrenheit by Ray Bradbury 
This is probably my favorite classic I've read so far and one of my favorite books I had to read for school.

4. Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella
Or any Sophie Kinsella book, really. I love her writing style and sometimes I just feel like reading a Sophie Kinsella book.

3. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin 
I absolutely love the Song Of Ice And Fire series and I can't wait for the next book to come out.

2. Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern 
I could read this book all day, it just makes me super happy and I love rereading it again and again.

1. Desert Flower by Waris Dirie and Cathleen Miller
One of my favorite books of all time and certainly the most touching and heartbreaking one. This is such an incredible (true) story that I can't seem to stop thinking about. I'm deeply impressed by Waris Dirie and what she has achieved in her life and have nothing but the greatest respect for her.

So that's it, my favorite non YA books. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Selection Trilogy

The Selection by Kiera Cass
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime.
The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

When America is selected to compete for becoming the new queen, she is probably the only girl who does not want to leave her home and move to the palace and into a new world. It means leaving the boy she loves behind and diving into a world full of jealous and intriguing young women with rules so different from the one she's used to. But it also means being able to support her family with the money she earns and ensure that they have something to eat every night.

America's experience in the palace was a really enjoyable read for me. I finished all three books rather quickly and enjoyed the lightness of the whole thing, even though there were some more serious subjects treated in the story as well. Because I read the books so quickly, I didn't really have time to get annoyed with the love triangle and America's constant changes of mind. I can imagine that, for other readers, these are reasons to dislike the books but it all didn't bother me too much.

I think that these are very light books even though there is a very interesting society described in the story. It is divided into eight castes and the caste you are born into decides what kind of job you will have and whether or not there will be food on your table. Parts of society are rebelling against this system and this becomes a more important part the further you get into the books. So it's not all shallow, but to me the books are mainly about Maxon's search for a wife and the pretty dresses and that was okay for me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top 5 Series I Won't Finish

Hey there. This week's topic for Top 5 Wednesday (join the goodreads group here) is Top 5 Series I Won't Finish. I'm actually struggling to find five options for the topics lately which is annoying, so today's picks include 3 books that I've read recently and 2 that I read a long time ago and can hardly remember.

5./4. Magic or Madness by Justine Larbalestier and Evernight by Claudia Gray
I couldn't decide which of these should be fifth and which fourth place, so I'm just going to mention them together. I read these such a long time ago, in German, and can't even remember what they're about really. But for some reason, I didn't want to continue with the series back then and I don't think I ever will, even though I own a really lovely (German) hardcover copy of Evernight and it looks beautiful on my shelf. 

3. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins
Okay, so I gave this book three stars back when I read it. I had some problems with it but I didn't hate it. However, I have no interest whatsoever in continuing with this series right now. I wanted this to be a standalone really badly and was quite disappointed to find out it isn't. Also, the ending didn't leave me wanting to know more, I just felt annoyed that things weren't resolved yet. I loved the writing style and the humour in this book but the story itself didn't do it for me and I'm really not curious as to what's going to happen.

2. The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater
I just couldn't get into Shiver and didn't enjoy it, so I have no interest in reading the other books in this series. I was so disappointed that I didn't like it because I was really intrigued at first but somehow it just didn't work for me.

1. Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness
Another one I was surprised that I didn't like. I bought this book not based on recommendations of booktubers or bloggers but because I thought it sounded interesting. Then I never picked it up until I heard more and more booktubers talk about how much they loved this series, so I decided to read it after all. And then I just didn't enjoy it. I have no idea why everyone else seems to love this. The worst part to me was the ending, it ruined any tiny little interest in the second book I had left.

So that's it. Let me know if you agree or disagree with any of my picks. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I went to Barcelona!

Hello there. As promised, I'm going to show you some pictures of my trip to Barcelona today. Sam and I spent a really great few days in the beautiful city and did a lot of sightseeing, shopping and ice cream eating. I've never been to Barcelona before and was overwhelmed by the amazingness. Barcelona has so many different sides, and I loved all that we have seen.

We arrived on Wednesday morning and first checked into our hotel. Already, it was quite warm and the sun was shining, so overall a really good start. Our hotel was located in a small street off the Ramblas and that was the perfect spot to start all our sightseeing. Since we had to get up quite early for our flight on Wednesday, we were rather tired and exhausted, so we only planned on walking around a little bit and exploring what was nearest to our hotel that day. We ended up walking all the way up to both famous Gaudi houses and then also walked to see the Sagrada Familia from the outside. All of this was super impressive and the architechture in the whole city incredibly beautiful. In the evening, we walked in the other direction and went over the Rambla de Mar bridge to take some pictures in the beautiful evening light. We then went for dinner in a nice and small restaurant in Barceloneta.

The next day, we went on our first sightseeing bus tour of the trip around the northern part of the city. We drove by the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell and then further west until Camp Nou. I really enjoy bus tours like this as it gives you a nice overview of the city and I go on one in almost every city I visit. We got off the bus to go shopping and dedicated the rest of the day to finding some nice clothes for me (and also some for Sam). 

On Friday, we took another smaller sightseeing bus tour and got off at the MNAC to spend some time with a beautiful view over the city. We took about a million pictures and only left once it started raining. After a very hot day it rained only briefly and we returned to the hotel exhausted and happy.  We walked around the smaller streets next to the Ramblas for a bit in the evening and went for dinner in a restaurant near our hotel.

On Saturday, our last day in the city, we decided to do everything we hadn't had time or energy for before. We started off with going to the market off las Ramblas. We then went to Park Güell and took some pictures of the amazing view over the city. Then we took the metro back to Sagrada Familia, this time we even went inside and it was so worth it. Then we took a walk down to the Arc de Triomf and then further down through a nice park until we turned right to get back to the Columbus Monument at the beginning of the Ramblas. Very exhausted we arrived back at the hotel and then, after a short nap, went to dinner in a nice restaurant on the Ramblas.

Overall, I really enjoyed our stay in Barcelona and loved exploring this beautiful city. If you've never been there, I highly recommend going. For a long time, I hadn't been very interested in visiting Barcelona but then this year so many people recommended going there, so Sam and I decided to go and I'm so glad we did. It was so worth it and exceeded all my expectations. I definitely want to go back one day, it was truly amazing.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Update and What To Expect

Hello there. I haven't blogged in a week and I'm here to explain why. First of all, I was on holidays (again) which was of course a lot of fun. My boyfriend and I went to Barcelona for a few days and only just returned today and that's my main reason why I'm not keeping up with blogging. There's also a lot of other stuff going on right now as well (I'm starting university in a week!!) and I feel like I don't have time for anything and I'm generally very confused and feeling a little weird. The trip to Barcelona was a nice out from all of that but now I'm back and I'm already feeling a little helpless again. I'm just not good with change at all. That's also why I haven't been reading as much which is unusual for me and it's all a little stressful at the moment.

BUT all of that doesn't mean I don't want to continue blogging. I have a few posts planned that will hopefully go up soon.

Barcelona in Pictures. Barcelona is such a beautiful city and we took a lot of pictures while we were there and I want to share them.

Book Reviews for
The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Beautiful Disaster series by Jamie McGuire
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Landline by Rainbow Rowell
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

I also know that I missed last Top 5 Wednesday and I'm not going to post that one at all. The topic was Top 5 Fictional Schools that we would love to attend. When I read the topic, everything screamed HOGWARTS in my head so that's like my only answer to that topic. I will continue with T5W in the future, though, because I really enjoy writing lists like that.

I might also do some University Update kind of posts where I can talk about what my Uni life is like etc.

Also, something I've wanted to do for quite a while is change the look of my blog a little and make it more book related (I've also been thinking about changing the name?) but I haven't had the time and I need my boyfriend's help to photoshop. Hopefully we will both find time at some point next week and that might happen. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please please please leave them in the comments (I will love you forever) because I'm unable to come up with anything.

Let me know what you think about my blogging plans or if you have any other suggestions and I really hope I'm able to get back into blogging and reading even with all the change happening. Thank you for reading!