Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #10: Books I Really Love But Feel Like I Haven't Talked About Enough

I'm finally doing another TTT again, yay me! This week's topic is books we really love but don't talk about enough and if that isn't the perfect topic, I don't know what is. So here are my ten books that I want to take this opportunity to talk about:

  • THE TRUTH ABOUT ALICE by Jennifer Mathieu: I read this book last year and feel like I barely even mentioned it since then, even though I actually really enjoyed it. This story deals so well with bullying and related topics and it deeply impressed me. I didn't actually get what I wanted as the story didn't developed the way I had hoped (I always need a happy ending for everyone), but I really appreciated that. It helped support the point the book was making and also underlined the topics/problems that were addressed, as did the different perspectives the story is told from. Overall I thought this was an important and thought-provoking book and I'd highly recommend it.

  • ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell: I guess this book's problem is that it's always overshadowed by my undying love for one of Rowell's other books, Fangirl. But Attachments was brilliant in its own way. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this book as the characters, the plot, the writing, everything simply worked together brilliantly. I have a weakness for books told in letters or the like, so the fact that an important part of the story is written in e-mails worked out perfectly for me. If you're looking for a book that will make you laugh as well as give you all the fuzzy feelings, this is the one for you.

  • THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman: I can't tell you exactly what it was about this book that made me love it so much. I was pretty freaked out by the story for the most part (I don't do scary, okay??), but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Neil Gaiman's writing was so magical and wonderful, there are definitely some highly quotable sentences in this book.

  • REMEMBER ME? by Sophie Kinsella: Sophie Kinsella is one of my pre-blogging favorite authors. I used to love all her books, and I guess I still do but I just haven't read them in a while. Her stories are always witty and unique (if pretty unrealistic) and they're overall just fun, light reads. 

  • THE ELVEN by Bernhard Hennen: This one is German (Adult) High Fantasy that I loved it long before I ever read English books. I can't exactly recall the story of this 900 page monster, but I remember spending two weeks of summer holidays at my grandparents' and doing nothing but read this book (and the many sequels). I have a number of songs that I must have listened to while reading it that, when I hear them today, make me think of certain parts of the story. I just absolutely love that feeling and all the memories I have connected to reading this book (if not the actual story itself). 

  • THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green: I guess the reason why I don't talk about The Fault in Our Stars that much is because it's such an obvious choice. This book is so well loved that everyone knows about it anyway. But it never hurts to mention it anyway: I loved The Fault in Our Stars. It's one of the books that really got me back into reading and it's definitely the first one that made me sob. I read it in one day and let's just say, it was a very emotional day for me.

  • THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton: I'm 100% sure that this isn't everyone's cup of tea and that's why I hardly ever recommend it. But for me, the story and especially the writing worked out perfectly. I loved the magical elements and how unique it all is. This is a special story and it will always have a special place in my heart.

  • THE HOST by Stephenie Meyer: I will never get tired of defending this book to anyone mocking it just because Stephenie Meyer happened to also write the very controversial Twilight series. Believe me, The Host is its very own book and to this day, I still love it with a passion. The story is unlike anything I've ever read and it made me feel all the feels. I can't even tell you how many times I've read and re-read this book, and yet I hardly ever mention it.

  • DESERT FLOWER by Waris Dirie: This one couldn't be more different from what I usually read and maybe that's exactly why I love it so much. I think I read it after seeing the movie at the cinema. I was absolutely horrified by what I'd learned, but also deeply impressed by the strength of Waris Dirie. 

  • LOVE LETTERS TO THE DEAD by Ava Dellaira: Since I read this book, I've seen a number of mixed reviews and I guess I get it, but I also don't. I understand that not everyone can read this book the way I did. Throughout it all, I was so heartbroken by the fact that Laurel had lost her sister, I don't think I even registered anything else. The way this story is written just made me feel the raw pain her sister's death had caused Laurel and it constantly reminded me of how absolutely horrible it would be for me to lose my own sister. Because of that, I cried throughout the entire book (seriously, I was cried the entire time). And since this book could evoke such strong feelings in me, of course I love it. 
What are some books you love but never tell anyone about?
Have you read any of the ones I mentioned?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ARC Review: The Mother Road

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion or my review of the book in any way. Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with this eARC!
by Meghan Quinn
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication date: January 12, 2016
Published by: Hot-Lanta Publishing, LLC
Ebook, 273 pages
My rating: DNF at 74%

Never in a million years would I have pictured myself as an axe-wielding, dragon lady, chopping up multi-colored flannel shirts into my very own plaid mulch. But here I am, chopping away my frustrations.

It all started when my brother, Paul, convinced me to go on one last family road trip across the Mother Road with him and my dad.. Just like old times, right? Wrong. What Paul fails to mention is his best man, Porter, will be joining us, who just so happens to be my childhood crush and the man who broke my heart four years ago.

What is supposed to be a fun, family bonding experience across Route 66 turns into a war of pranks, awkward moments and bathrooms full of dirty flannel shirts and day old beard clippings. Paul’s know-it-all attitude and Porter’s devilish charm brings me to the brink of my sanity on my seven day trek across the United States with three bearded men in a small 1980’s RV.

I am admitting defeat at the 74% mark. I put this book down a while ago and thought that maybe I would pick it back up and actually enjoy reading it, but I have no desire to continue on with the story. 

I requested this book on Netgalley because it sounded like it was made for me. Roadtrip? Hate-to-love kind of romance? It all sounded so good. Unfortunately, it didn't work out.

First of all, I know this book is supposed to be really funny, but it wasn't my kind of humor. The pranks and the very embarrassing situations that our main character finds herself in didn't make me laugh but rather made me feel very uncomfortable.

I also didn't like the family dynamics. Marley's relationship to her brother felt so awkward and weird, I didn't enjoy reading about it at all. Her dad seemed like a nice guy and I liked his character, but how they all interacted with each other again didn't really feel right to me. 

And then there's the romance. Just, no. It was so full of stereotypes and I swear I've read it all before. First of all, Porter is not the kind of guy that sounds attractive to me at all. But obviously Marley doesn't feel the same way, which is totally fine. But then their 'trying not to be attracted to the other person' thoughts and actions were just plain boring. Again, this might just be me getting over the New Adult genre, but it really didn't work for me. I don't want to read about how a girl 'hates' a guy but at the same time can't keep her hands off him ever again. Marley was exactly that. She resents Porter for what he did to her four years ago but is at the same time super attracted to him. And then of course there's the great explanation for Porter's actions which doesn't make any sense at all, but is good enough for Marley and they can finally be together. No, thank you. 

So, yes. The story of The Mother Road was nothing special, and I had hoped it would be. The very stereotypical romance didn't work for me and I also didn't particularly enjoy the way it was written. All in all, it wasn't worth pushing through the last third of the book for me.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Review: Me Before You

Me Before You
by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You #1
Genres: Fiction, Romance
Publication date: January 5, 2012
Published by: Penguin
Paperback, 481 pages
My rating: 3.5/5 ★

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

I have the most conflicted feelings about this book and mostly, I just feel frustrated. My expectations had been sky-high when I started reading this. I was so ready for a beautiful, if heartbreaking love story. And I'm going go be honest, I feel a little let down. I can see why this is such a beloved book, and I definitely think the story is beautiful, touching and thought-provoking. But something just doesn't sit quite right with me. 

For one thing, I didn't really cry, especially not at the end of the book. And coming from me, that's very unexpected and a bit of a disappointment in itself. As I said, I just feel frustrated. I feel like this book did not make use of all its potential (there had been so much potential to leave me a sobbing mess). And I don't even mean that I want it to have a different ending (although I kind of do). There was just a little something missing for me. I don't know if this makes me one of those people like Lou's mom. I don't think that I am. I am very much pro choices and I think that everyone should have the right to make their own decisions. I still can't help but feel frustrated. Maybe that's okay, though. 

It's not all about the ending, though. I liked this book, I did. However, I was pretty irritated by Louisa, but then I'm very happy with the character development she went through. Louisa's sister and family in general were another aspect that really just frustrated me. It all seemed so miserable and Louisa's relationship to her sister and parents felt so wrong. And then there's Patrick who I thought was just completely horrible. 

Overall this book was pretty depressing where I simply expected it to make me cry. It makes me feel really down, but not actually sad. It's weird.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

February Wrap-Up

Hello there. Well, isn't this year just off to an incredibly speedy start? It's already March, people! For once, February actually felt like a proper month to me, which is kind of ironic considering it's actually the shortest month of the year. So let's see what I've been up to.

What I Read

So I read a total of four books, one graphic novel and three novellas this month. Yay me! I finally feel like I'm out of my reading slump. This also has me almost caught up with my goodreads challenge, which is great. Two of the books I read were rereads, but I'm counting them anyway.
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: The Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay (Illustrations), 5/5 ★
  • Not surprisingly, this was completely amazing. Not only was the story fantastic as always, but it profited so much from the gorgeous illustrations. It made for a completely different reading experience, and I loved every second of it.

  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, 5/5 ★
  • When I first read this book, I only gave it three stars (and I'm not changing my goodreads rating now). But of course, I felt so much more connected to the characters now and I couldn't help but smile the whole time reading this. I actually listened to the audiobook (my first audiobook, yay!) while I lay in bed sick for two days.

  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
  • The Fiery Trial: 3/5 ★ Born to Endless Night: 5/5 ★ Angels Twice Descending: 5/5 ★ Overall I am just so glad that I read these short stories. At first, I thought I would wait for the bind-up to come out but I really think that it was the best idea to read these before Lady Midnight is released. If you love the Shadowhunters world, go and read these novellas!

  • Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, 3/5 ★
  • This book just didn't quite manage to pull me in. None of the characters really grew on me and I didn't really care about where the story was going for the most part. It just wasn't really my book.

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, 5/5 ★
  • I was over the moon when I read this book. It just made me so happy, especially because I had read so many mediocre ones before. This one definitely lived up to the hype for me. It was witty and adorable and it warmed my heart.

  • Saga Volume 5 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Illustrator), 3/5 ★
  • I really like this graphic novel series but with this volume, I had been a little confused (probably because it had been a while since I read the last volume) and then I was finished before I really got into it.

  • Where I Belong by J. Daniels, DNF
  • Reading this book showed me that maybe I should stop with the New Adult for at least a little while. If you want to know more, I wrote a review here.

What I Bought

I'm not 100% sure this is right, but I think I only bought one book this month. It's almost too good to be true. I know for sure that I also got some ebooks but I'm not even going to try and keep track of those.. So here's what I can remember buying (though I had actually forgotten I had preordered it, so receiving it was a nice little surprise):


So at the end of February, uni started again and before that I had been sick for almost two weeks and then spent one week in Turkey with my soccer team. All of this has obviously taken a toll on my blogging (which is why I decided to just leave out the 'On the Blog' section completely this time). But luckily, I still got some reading done and if I could just get rid of this lingering cold that I still have, I would feel completely ready to get back into things, uni, reading and  blogging wise. 

I hope you all had a great month and happy March to you!