Why “After You” is basically “Me Before You” and why that’s a good thing.

Hello, fellow booklovers or just random visitors! It’s time to look into Jojo Moyes new book “After You” (The sequel to “Me Before You”). Ready?

Summary

Lou is depressed, but surely, she can’t admit that. She’s actually not depressed in the normal sense of the word, but she’s actually right there, where she started in the first book. She works at a place she doesn’t like, she lives in a flat, which she doesn’t love and she is lonelier than ever. The tide turns when she is falling of her … terrace? Yes, our sweet Lou was yelling angry at the dead man she loved after having a few drinks – and being distracted by a voice, while your balancing on the edge of the roof  isn’t the best way to deal with your anger. Because when you fall down and crash into your neighbours expensive antique, everyone thinks you wanted to kill yourself. Duh.
It’s alright, she survives. Her bones get broken a little and everyone thinks she had suicidal reasons, to “fall” off a rooftop.
Well, she get’s back to live with her parents and her awfully annoying sister to recover. Moving back into her flat something really, really … shocking happens. (If you don’t want to now, skip the rest of the summary). Will’s daughter is standing in her doorframe and this girl is a total mess.
Basically, Lou has to juggle a really, really messed up teenager with a stupid mother and some really BIG character flaws, with a shitty job, with the feeling of having disappointed Will’s last wishes, a support group and this really cute medic, who saved her life. Want to know more? Read the book.

For a more “professional” summary, click here.

Opinion

I was crying, I was laughing and I was (most of the time) really frustrated. I know, as someone who has no idea what to actually DO with the opportunities offered, how hard it is to choose a path. BUT DAMN – Lou is totally losing it, in every way possible. She is working in a terrible bar with a embarrassing and even more terrible outfit – and she doesn’t really care. But Lou is good. She’s one of those people who put the happiness of others (for example Will’s daughter Lily) before her own needs and that’s rare.

To skip the part where I totally go nuts with this girl is a favour (I was never this difficult as a teenager but my mum wasn’t even near that horrible person Lily calls “Mother”).
The writing and story are as good or as bad as the first book (Which worked perfectly fine for me). You dive back into the world and yes, you’re terribly sad that Will (that ass) is gone and Lou is left on her own.
I recommend this book to all of the readers and fans from “Me Before You” because it’s as heart wrenching and real as the first book. I hope you enjoyed this rambling and have great day.

xx

Sea of Stars (Kricket #2)

A few months ago the sequel of Under Different Stars was released and I’ve read it as fast as possible but didn’t really feel like reviewing it at once.
But now the fans of the Kricket-Series need to know what awaits them.

Title: Sea of Stars (Kricket#2)
Author: Amy A. Bartol
Pages: 320
Released: March 31st 2015
Rating: 3.5/5 ★

 picture and Summary by Goodreads.

What’s coming?

“Eighteen-year-old Kricket Hollowell was looking for her place in the world when she discovered that the universe was bigger—and more dangerous—than she had ever dreamed. Now, whisked across space to the planet Ethar, Kricket learns that her genetic ability to see the future makes her a sought-after commodity…and the catalyst for war between her star-crossed parents’ clans. According to Alameedan prophecy, one house will rise to power and the other will be completely wiped out, and Kricket’s precognition is believed to be the weapon that will tip the scales.

A target of both the Rafe and the Alameeda houses, Kricket finds protection—and a home—in the arms of Trey, her Etharian bodyguard-turned-boyfriend. But her visions of what’s to come disturb her deeply, especially since she must discover whether the gift of foresight will allow her to rewrite the future, or if her fate is as immovable as the stars.”

Opinion

It’s true. This book suffers from the “sequel”-disease. Before you read any further, you have to keep in mind that this Opinion will be full of spoilers (sorry). Just let me say that you should totally read the second book if you are a true fan and can handle a few downs.

Here’s why:

– The book is clearly just a “transition” to the third book and to make up for that Amy Bartol filled the book with so many cheesy scenes between Trey and Kricket, I couldn’t really take it that much longer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved that couple in the first book because the dosage of “Kricket-and-Trey-Moments” was perfect, but now it’s clearly an overdose. Sorry.

– Why is it an overdose? I mean, they are so cute and sweet and and and … because, they are running away from that psycho Kyon what feels like the whole book aaaand …. I’m not prude but seriously I don’t need 60 % of Trey and Kricket just making out while the world is being torn to shreds. In the beginning there was some confused fighting against them and then some others and … WHAT?! There was not much “story” in this book, it contained what felt like 2 days or so.

– BUT there was a great surprise (thank God, I would have been so disappointed if not!): Kricket’s little sister. Oh, yes. Kricket has a little sister who was taken away by Kyon (PSYCHO!). Yes, this was one huuuuuuge turn-around and I’m loving it! This adds a new spice to the mush, Amy Bartol … “created”. *sigh*

– … aaaand I still love the boys, Trey’s squad. Whatever happens, you need some funny lines from Jax. Or one of the others. Always.

Yeah, you can read it. I did. It wasn’t that bad. I just wished it would’ve been better.

Gif.

#QuickTip: “Cruel Beauty”

Because I’m currently sick and can’t really do anything without coughing and grabbing more tissues because of my runny nose, I’m doing this really enjoyable book in a #QuickTip.

“This house has many dangers. I cannot save you from most of them.”
I let go and forced a smile. “I wasn’t born to be saved.”


Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Pages: 342
Rating: 5/5 ★

Summary

“Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.”

by Goodreads.

Opinion

I just wanted something light and sweet for my train ride to University and I was totally surprised what whas hidden behind this beautiful Cover.
While “Beauty and the Beast” was my favourite Disneymovie when I was younger, I’m still excited to read anything in that direction. Fairytale-Remakes are annoying half the world but I’m still in love with them (If they are as enchanted and twisted and beautifu as the originals, of course).
This one didn’t disappoint me – I was absorbed by the story (I just wanted to read few pages and put it aside for later but NO WAY.) and I was delighted that I couldn’t put all the pieces together after 100 pages (what is typical if you read a fairytale-remake because you already know the story)
Many readers won’t approve of what I’m saying right now – but I loved the female protagonist, Nyx. She was bitter, she was cruel and she was already a little bit cracked. She wasn’t the perfect heroine but she was the best she could be. Nyx showed me that there are always the two sides to every person – dark and light (I don’t like the terms “evil” and “good”).
… and yes, I’ll admit it. The male character was intriguing as well *sigh*

Love Letters To The Dead

Title: Love Letters to the Dead
Author: Ava Dellaira
Released:  April 1st 2014
Pages: 327
Rating: 5/5 ★

Summary

“It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. […]

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.”
from Goodreads.

Opinion

I should probably admit that it didn’t got me from the first page. I was warily and unconvinced because the main character – Laurel – was so young and I didn’t believe that I could connect with a 14-year old girl.
But I was wrong. This has nothing to do with age itself, more with “coming of age”  and the problem nearly everybody faces: to find yourself while you’re losing yourself in other people.
My english isn’t developed enough to describe the beauty of language, music and story in this book but I’ll try.
There are three things I really liked: The way Laurel spoke about music and art (the Letters she wrote to Kurt Cobain and Amy Whinehouse), the way she made me understand that music and biography of the artists aren’t two different things and how everything that’s broken can be fixed – not perfect & neat, but glued together and beautiful.

There are a few lines I’d like to quote:

” […] He plays the guitar so well, you wouldn’t believe it. But he doesn’t have a band. And he doesn’t try really hard to get one. He mostly plays alone in his room instead. That’s what Kristen says.
I think he does this for the same reason Hannah doesn’t turn in her work when the teachers say she is smart.
I think a lot of people want to be someone, but we are scared that if we try, we won’t be as good as everyone imagines we could be.”

Bam. There you have it. One of my biggest fears and it seems that everyone else is afraid, too.

This is just a tiny piece of what I was touched by and I really recommend you to look into this beatiful book.
Also, I’ve started to listen to Nirvana and Amy Whinehouse again, because I feel … connected.

However, the lesson I’ll remember from this book is simple: Don’t think about what life is supposed to be like and look at what it could become. Life is not perfect that’s what makes it so real.

“Magonia” – You tricked me!

 Title: “Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Released: April 28th 2015
Pages: 309
Rating: 3 / 5 ★

Summary

“Aza Ray is drowning in thin air.
Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live.
So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn’t think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who’s always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—and as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war is coming (No, she doesn’t. I’m sorry, but this is the start of a misleading Summary!).
Magonia and Earth are on the cusp of a reckoning. And in Aza’s hands lies the fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. (… no! You can’t say it like that because it arouses expectations which can’t be fulfilled!)
Where do her loyalties lie?”

Opinion

It’s so hard to give a book objectively nearly 5 stars while you feel like you’ve been betrayed by the Cover and the misleading Summary all along.
This story is truly beautiful and makes you long for more … BUT!
I knew I was going to be disappointed because I’ve got my hopes so high that even J.K. Rowling might’ve had trouble fulfilling them.
We’re going to make it very easy here – I can recommend this book without doubts, but you have to make yourself clear that there is no promised “war” and that “fate”-thing going on! This is misleading and a very wide interpretation of what’s really happening.

Aza is a great main character, she’s smart (usually) and sarcastic and her death seems to be unavoidable (because of that lung disease, remember?). Jason, her best friend, is also quirky and smart which makes them a perfect team.
Well, I was waiting nearly over 70 pages to finally get to the “Magonia”-Part and after Aza finally discovered that she was actually magonian – this is where the book is starting to fail (slowly). I loved reading about the world where sky ships are sailing the winds and clouds, accompanied by bats and whales and stormsharks doesn’t that sound amazing?!.

But there was no time for exploring, adventure or so as I’ve hoped for, Aza was told what to do and she did it and then she didn’t and the book was over. I’m trying not to spoil youthe story, okay? It was a bit too … thin. This book could’ve been made into a 400 pages opening of a beautiful series, surrounding Magonia, Aza and Jason and all the struggles they’re facing together. So many questions are unanswered and I’m not satisfied. This book had definately not enough pages!
I just sat there thinking nothing but “Really?! That’s it?”.
I was waiting for the “Awesome-Factor” to kick in but it didn’t because my expectations were to high, remember?.
BUT despite these little flaws I’ve enjoyed the way of writing, the characters and the wonderful world Maria Headley created.
I’m googleing right now if there’s going to be a sequel (I hope so!).


… THERE IS! Someone on Goodreads is saying that the sequel is coming out in April 2016. … I CAN’T WAIT!
There you have it – another bad Review unhelpfull and confusing for the reader.

Images via here, here and here.

 

“Stardust” – Neil Gaiman (Book vs. Movie?)

Titel: Stardust
Autor: Neil Gaiman
Sprache: Englisch
Seiten: 148
Rating: 4/5 ★

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Inhalt

“Hopelessly crossed in love, a boy of half-fairy parentage leaves his mundane Victorian-English village on a quest for a fallen star in the magical realm. The star proves to be an attractive woman with a hot temper, who plunges with our hero into adventures featuring witches, the lion and the unicorn, plotting elf-lords, ships that sail the sky, magical transformations, curses whose effects rebound, binding conditions with hidden loopholes and all the rest.”
by Goodreads


Meinung

Vorweg sollte ich vielleicht erwähnen, dass ich vorbelastet bin: Ich habe den Film gefühlte 1000 Mal gesehen und liebe ihn noch immer wie beim ersten Mal! Deswegen waren meine Erwartungen auch entsprechend.
Ich fange mal von vorne an – Tristan ist tatsächlich ähnlich beschrieben wie im Film, der arme, nette Trottel, der sich in das schönste Mädchen in “Wall” verguckt hat (allerdings ist sie hier keine ordinäre Zicke wie im Film, sondern tatsächlich dem Tristan zumindest manchmal überlegen).

Wer den Film gesehen hat und sich die gleiche Handlung erhofft, wird natürlich enttäuscht sein. Warum schreibe ich natürlich? Mir hätte von Anfang an klar sein sollen, dass der Film natürlich nur eine Adaption ist, wobei ich ihn sogar plottechnisch weiterentwickelter finde als das Buch *hastig-in-Deckung-geh*.

Normalerweise bin ich diejenige, die jede Buchverfilmung verdammt, denn ein Film kann nie an die Bücher heranreichen (Außer bei Stephenie Meyers “Seelen”. Den fand ich bei Weitem besser als das Buch.). Es gibt natürlich Ausnahmen und dazu zählt Stardust.

Während es Buchs (ein altes, abgegriffenes Exemplar mit vergilbten Seiten, das mir ein Kommilitone geliehen hat – himmlisch. Ich liebe zerlesene Bücher! – keine Ironie!) hab ich mir mehr Tiefe gewünscht, Tiefe im Sinne von Gefühlen. Alles wurde erzählt wie ein Märchen, dabei kommt man den Figuren nur so nah wie es im Märchen von Aschenputtel, den zertanzten Schuhen oder eben Rotkäppchen eben möglich ist. Man bleibt ein wenig außen vor.

Aber vielleicht ist gerade das die Besonderheit – es ist ja ein Märchen, ein Märchen erzählt über einen jungen Mann, der auszog seiner Angebeteten den vom Himmel gefallenden Stern zu holen. Wenn das nicht märchenhaft klingt, dann weiß ich auch nicht.

Sich diesen “Klassiker” mal durchzulesen kann ich jedem nur empfehlen.
Auch wenn mir der Film mit mehr Wendungen und Abenteuern ein wenig besser gefallen hat. (Haut mich doch.)

“The Book of Life” (All Souls #3) – Deborah Harkness

Title: “The Book of Life” (All Souls #3)
Author: Deborah Harkness
Released: July 15th 2014
Pages:  561

Rating: 4/5 ★

Description

After traveling through time in Shadow of Night, the second book in Deborah Harkness’s enchanting series, historian and witch Diana Bishop and vampire scientist Matthew Clairmont return to the present to face new crises and old enemies.
At Matthew’s ancestral home at Sept-Tours, they reunite with the cast of characters from A Discovery of Witches–with one significant exception.
But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

In the trilogy’s final volume, Harkness deepens her themes of power and passion, family and caring, past deeds and their present consequences.
In ancestral homes and university laboratories, using ancient knowledge and modern science, from the hills of the Auvergne to the palaces of Venice and beyond, the couple at last learn what the witches discovered so many centuries ago.

from Goodreads


Opinion

It is a great finale, I can’t lie, but after having a few weeks distance from the state of finishing it and now (actually writing the review) I’m certain, that I won’t re-read it that quickly.
Yes, I am the “I-love-to-re-read-books-type” and a breathtaking book is always “re-readable”.
The Characters develope further (good), the storyline becomes more interesting (better) and new characters are introduced (not sure: Another villain Diana and Matthew have to fear? *hrmpf* Could have been done better).
If I’m honest, I didn’t really focus that much on the actual story and the problems, I just loved to read how friends and family bonded, fought together and guess what? They made it.

***  Warning! Spoiler!  ***

After the miscarriage in the past (remember? Timetravel – the second book) Diana is pregnant again and WOW, things are getting totally messed up. (In a good and a bad way). I was so excited for the babys to finally be born (I was having concerns, if I’m actually just reading the book because there’ll be babys in it?) Everything went as smoothly down as possible (no, I’m lying. There were troubles, but the birth wasn’t one of them. Pregnant women in labour are actually … funny.)

****

The conclusion Diana and Matthew got from Ashmole (that sneeky book everyone wants to possess) was rather disappointing, but that’s just my opinion. I really didn’t care that much about that crazy-magic-power-book and maybe that’s why I just shrugged it off.

Nevermind, I’ve enjoyed it and would recommend it to everyone who started the series and also to those who are questioning themselves, if they should. Just try it out!

About the Author

Born in 1965, Harkness grew up near Philadepelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of an American-born father and a British-born mother
Harkness […] studied abroad at Oxford University She is a well-regarded historian of science and medicine, as well as having studied alchemy, magic and the occult.
In 2011, Harkness published her first work of fiction, “A Discovery of Witches”.
Harkness is also the author of the award-winning wine blog, Good Wine Under $20.

Information via here and Images via here, here, here and here.