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

“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.)

Altered #1 – by Jennifer Rush

3.5/5 ★

This book was a hard one. I’m so glad that Anna, the female protagonist, could turn the corner because I really wanted to like this book.

Summary

Anna lives with her Dad together (Mummy is dead) and works with him on scientific stuff. The creepy thing is that they nurture four boys, who are all living for about 5 years in their basement.
The mysterious Sam, Trev the calm one, the always hungry Cas (very high identification level!) and the grumpy Nick. While Anna gets along well with everyone, she is always scared by the furious Nick who obviously thinks that being held in a glass prison for 5 years isn’t that great, while Anna and her father are taking bloodsamples and testing their abilities.
(Anna always wonders why he hates her so much. Ehm, excuse me? Would you naturally become best buddies with your prison guard?)
Nevertheless she manages to be best friends with Trev and to bake herself into Cas’ heart (Chocolate Chip Cookies? Seriously?).
Of course, Anna is always asking herself what all these tests are for but her father won’t give her the answers and so she …. what? You thought she tries to find out the truth? No way, she’s just like “oh okay. Nevermind. Poor boys. Anna and her Dad are working for the “Branch” and sometimes this “Branch-guy” Connor visits. Or Riley. There are two guys but seem to me as one person being multiplied. Oh, and she’s in love with Sam, obviously.
After Sams managing a brilliant escape, Anna’s Dad begged them to take her with them because she would be punished as well for the outbreak.

Opinion

The first thing I have to say: Anna is freakin’ dumb sometimes. She can’t help it, I think.
Wait, I’ve saved the quote… Where is it? Ah, here:
(Situation: They have to steal a car to save their lives!) … and Anna is like:

“I just … I don’t know if I’m comfortable with all this.”
He gave me a look. “Now is not the time for your morality to make an appearance.” (Trev)

Her life is threatened by some Branch agents and all she can think about is …. I have no idea what she’s thinking. Maybe she wanted to run all the way to Lancaster (where they were headed) because she is totally working out every day in the lab?
That was the first time I rolled my eyes but nevermind, I still had hope. (This hope died soon enough but we’ll come to that later).
Okay, this story between Sam and Anna is interesting but I’m more interested in the question if Anna will become a bad ass in the near future, because this whiny and confused-acting girl isn’t made to be a main character in the story!
While Cas saves the story with his hilarious jokes and his steady hunger for any food, I hope, that something might accidentally kill Anna. No, just kidding.

In the beginning Anna mentioned that she had some combat lessons, so I had some hope she could defend herself. The funny thing is, while she totally failed the first few times … out of nowhere (the last 50 pages maybe) she was all hero-bad-ass-like. I haven’t seen that coming because it was really happening without a plausible reason!

However, I have complained enough. The story lives (thankfully) with the boys (she calls them “boys”. They are grown man with manipulated genes but nevermind. Boys fits just fine). The characters are authentic and funny (Cas, will you marry me?) and the style of writing is good as well.
There are enough suprising turns or new information introduced to the characters but while Anna is too dumb to figure at least something out on her own, Sam has to do all the work while she’s gaping at him to keep the reader interested.

Eventually, I’ll read the next two books, because Anna got herself together and I want to read some more about Cas, Nick and Trev. (Especially Cas … and the grumpy Nick. I might be the only one who like him … maybe because he’s is the only one giving everyone a hard time AND staying interesting. A very difficult combination if you think about it!)

Just, so that you have an example, here is how Cas works (constantly thinking of pizza and icecream. I love this guy!)

“We’re free!”
Nick sayin’ something grumpy!
“Awesome.” Cas rubbed his hands together. “Anyone have some marshmallows?”

Sure, I do.

If you liked this review please make sure to follow 🙂

Scarlet (A Robin Hood story) – by A. C. Gaughen

4/5 ★

Scarlet is a book I wanted to read for a veeeery long time. So, here we go!

Yes, I’ll admit it … one of the “I-love-the-cover-let’s-grab-it!”-Books. I mean, look at it! Every girl who loves stories about girls disguising themselves as boys because they’re so much smarter than everyone else will take this book back home.

What happens?

Scarlet is a thief, a pretty good one. Working hand in hand with Robin Locksley or better none for Robin the Hood and his two fellows Much and John (John Little), they steal from the rich and give it to the poor – so that they can pay their horribly high taxes to the cruel and mean and very, very bad Sheriff of Nottingham.
We are leaving Scarlet’s obvious eating disorder out and will deal with the real problem here. Some douche bounty hunter was hired by the unforgivingly very bad Sheriff to get the “band”, as they call themselves, caught or killed (killed, I think).
While Scarlet is the “every-time-someone-asks-questions-about-my-past-I’ll-hide-somewhere”-type, Robin tries to figure out how to save the people of this poor little town and how to get Scarlet to unravel herself. Turns out, there are way more secrets that you would’ve guessed.

Opinion

I really had to get used to Scarlet’s slang. I don’t know if this was really regular for the commoners but she was (actually) the only one talking like this. That was quite annoying but never mind, you get used to it very quickly.
Scarlet is a very fascinating character, with fascinating I mean: Sometimes you want to slap her though in some other moments you are just surprised how badly she wants to survive anything. It was clear from the beginning that she was hiding everything about her, but you get to enjoy the journey when she is talking about her past and you are trying to piece everything together.
The interpretation of John little was a bit confusing. In “Scarlet” he’s a lady killer and creeping me out, I can’t really say why but he is!
Robin, by the way, is just perfect. Cute, good-looking, handsome, charismatic, brave etc. but sometimes he has his outtakes (as Scarlet does – that’s why they fit together perfectly!). For God’s sake, tell Scarlet if you like her and Scarlet, get yourself together and figure out what you want.
What struck me most were the brutality and the big amount of blood that was shed. (For a girl’s book, let it be understood) It’s not the lovely tale of Marian and Robin, where you can turn everything into a happy ending – it’s the story of starving, desperate people who need a hero like “Robin Hood.”
I liked it, but I was missing the spark. Sometimes everyone gets so whiny or the story is stagnating and last but not least: No kissing. … and I mean, no kissing of the people who should kiss! … I know, I know, that’s so girly.

All good things must end: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Book #3) – Leigh Bardugo

5/5 
It’s over. So sad. One of the books I want to continue reading until … until I’m nothing but dust. Okay, now I’m definitively exaggerating! But still, I’m so glad that I’ve read this trilogy. Let’s get to the review, shall we?

 There will be no summary this time because I think if you’ve read Shadow and Bone and the sequel Siege and Storm, there is no need for a summary. This book is the last one and a brilliant conclusion of the series.

I was really afraid how the author will entangle all these hints and I am relieved to admit, that Leigh Bardugo solved it perfectly.
Alina is more and more struggling with her power, with the burden on her shoulders and the dark thoughts that’ll come every night. They still need to find the third amplifier to defeat the Darkling, but while the story gets darker and darker and their path is covered with more and more loss, they don’t give up. Mal is the centre of this undaunted hope. There was a quote in the story, I can’t really piece it together but it was something like “hope is like water, it always sneaks through”. This describes perfectly their situation.
You get to like the characters even more, even Zoya, that spoiled powerful beast, who can be quite helpful when she wants to be.
The showdown is … I can’t say, that I’ve expected more because I didn’t really know, what I was expecting, but it was adequate. I won’t spoil the ending but I’m glad it ended this way.
His writing is as terrific as in all the books before. I know, I haven’t really mentioned his writing or the concept of his story because I was so distracted by the storyline. I’m sorry. But all I can say is that he knows how to touch the readers heart with his characters (I’ll admit that there was an incident when I wanted to flush the book down the toilet because I thought something really, really bad has happened. Anyway. He made up for it. Fortunately.) and make them as human as possible without losing their essential traits to make the story come alive. (And all the characters still manage to be funny. Kind of. Fascinating.)

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Book #1) – Leigh Bardugo

5/5 ★

Actually, I wanted to review “Alera – Zeit der Rache” but after I (finally) finished it I was so bored out of my mind, I couldn’t waste anymore time on that really below-average sequel. I’ve never skipped so many pages before, all I wanted to do was strangle everyone. EVERYONE. Thank God it’s over. There is nothing worse than a stupid main character. Nothing!
Now let me get to the good part.

         369 pages, 7,95 € Kindle

 What’s happening?
The story takes place in Ravka, a very icy country with slight russian touch, which is divided by the Fold (insert dramatic music), ” a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh”. Sounds jolly, doesn’t it?
Alina and Mal are two orphans who grew up together (and she has a serious crush on him ever since). They serve in the First Army of the King. But one day Alina discovers that she has some really awesome powers (when her ship was attacked and her best friend Mal was in deadly danger) – she is a sun sommoner.
The Grishas, another word for snobby and spoiled magicians, who can heal or summon fire or do some other crazy stuff, take her under their wings. Especially the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha of all time. He can summon pure darkness (If that’s not cool, I don’t know what it is).
Apart from Mal she learns to fight and to control her powers and grows more and more fond of that good-looking Darkling, who wants to destroy the mold with her powers, so that there can be peace and blablabla.
But as always there are some very dark secrets…

Opinion:

I loved it. Every single word of it. As I am an admirer of the russian language (I have no clue why, actually. My mom is from a slavic country, maybe that’s it?) I love to read about anything that only seems to be slightly russian.
Alina is an outsider, always was and that’s why I like her so much in the first place. She isn’t shallow as others or pretentious or dumb (sorry), she follows her heart and tries hard. The reader is Alina at some point, you get sucked in so badly that after finishing the book you finally remember that you are actually sitting at home and not fighting in the colds of Ravka.
You are also enchanted by this world of magic and rough reality at the same time (yes, it sounds like a contradiction but it’s not). I am eager to catch up witch the sequel. Tomorrow, another train ride is due. I’m already too excited to sleep.

ps: I hope my grammar isn’t that bad.

Trial By Fire – Josephine Angelini (“Everflame”)

5/5 

Finished this yesterday while listening to my secret all-time favorites Mumford & Sons.
So, here I go again, trying to do some serious book recommendation while struggling with english grammar.
As I started reading this book, the knowledge that Josephini Angelini had written it, was always much more present that I wanted it to be. Everyone remembers “Starcrossed” and now you are frightened to discover, if this trilogy opening will leave you unsatisfied or relieved, because it might be good or even better than “Starcrossed”
 At this point I should admit that I didn’t like the last book. The spark was lost. But nevermind, we’re now talking about another great beginning of a story.

Price: 5,55 € on amazon.com
385 (wonderful) pages
Language: English

Summary:

Lily’s life sucks because Lily seems to be allergic to kind of … everything. After dealing with a crush on her (shitty) best friend Tristan and public humiliation (again), she is willing to be taken away, as that creepy little voice in her head asks her to (yeah, at that point she thought she was talking to herself. Guess what? She wasn’t).
Now, she’s in another dimension, with another Lily (Lillian) and another big sister … and furious. All she wants to do is go home, take care of her sick mom again and get away from that creepy witch, who looks just like her (because she is Lily. Kind of. Read the book).
In this world, there is a war between the 13 walled cities (because there are so many monsters running around, kiling people) and the outlanders.
After some chaos she is taken care of by Rowan, Tristan (looking as Tristan from Lily’s dimension but isn’t exactly her Tristan and is at the same time. Confusing, eh?) and Caleb and she discoveres that she’s a badass very powerful witch who can end the tyranny of Lilian (that other witch, that looks just like her).
Oh, and what I forgot to mention: Lilian kills every scientist or teacher, because science is baaaad. (Didn’t figure that out, but I made some assumptions. Read the book!)

Opinion:

I liked it! Mainly, because the characters where so authentic I started to believe they had to exist somewhere. Lily is a main character you can easily identify with but there is still so much to discover about her in her development from a little, weak girl to strong(-minded) woman,
And yes, I liked the guy. I know, I know, that’s so … girly, but he is really cool and he is smart and ohmygoshheissofreakinghot….

Sorry, got carried away. What was I saying?
There is not even a second you could be bored, every time you might get the idea that that the story is calming down and then BOOOM another (problem) thing is happening! You suffer with every character (who isn’t boring or bad or not relevant) and experience joy and confusion and anger and desperation and … pretty much everything.
 So, read this really, really good book!
Now I’m struggling to call this my new favorite, because it isn’t as dark and (at the end) depressing as “The Young Elites”. Oh, damn it!

An alle deutschen Buchliebhaber: Ich habe zwar nicht die deutsche Version gelesen, aber ich würde es trotzdem empfehlen. Wer nicht gerade dem englischen zugetan ist, kann sich ja auch mit der deutschen Version vergnügen, denn der Inhalt bleibt derselbe.
Amazing.