May 2016 Wrap-Up

MayWU

I can’t believe that another month has come and gone. I am quite proud of having managed to stick very close to my initial TBR as well. Let’s take a look:

  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (4 stars)
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (4.5 stars)
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (4 stars)
    Read with Cristina and Cátia.
  • Splintered by A.G. Howard (3.5 stars)
    Read with Marie
  • The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh (both 4.5 stars)
    TWATD read with Marie and review for TRATD is soon to come!
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
    We (Cátia, Cristina and me) will read this for sure in June!
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
    And I’ll read this one with Cátia as well!
  • Claire by Abigail Strom (4 stars)

Books that weren’t on my TBR (and yes, I am counting comics!):

  • Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius (2 stars)
  • Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 (4 stars)
  • Spider-Gwen Vol. 0 (4 stars)

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)   Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1)   Me Before You   Splintered (Splintered, #1)   The Wrath & the Dawn (The Wrath & the Dawn, #1)   The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)   Claire (Hart University, #2)   Anne & Henry   Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal   Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted?

As always, click on the titles above to get to the reviews (or on the name of the people I read the books with, to get to their reviews if they are up yet) and on the covers to be redirected to Goodreads!

InOtherNews

 

While it might have seemed like an ordinary month, I think it was a really great one. My writing spirits are back again and I am working on a new story which has me so excited. Also, I tried to spend my off time from work more productive. You know, not just sleeping away half the day and watching some telly the rest of the hours. Instead, I went to see an American Football game, went to some shops I always wanted to visit and I even bought new clothes that I love, which is just great. I have to say, it’s been easier to find stuff that actually fits now that I’ve lost some weight though.

But that wasn’t all there was! There are now more than 600 followers on Life and Other Disasters! I am so grateful to all of you for making my day with every single comment and like. You are simply so amazing and I cannot thank you enough for being so supportive in all of this! After the quite extravagant giveaway at the 500 follower milestone, I can’t afford to do that again. But would any of you be interested in a little Q&A? If so, just leave your questions in the comments and I shall answer them in a separate post soon!

TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY

ALL KIND OF TAGS

TRAILERS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

How was your month? I hope it was a good one! I am quite proud of my 10 books. Be sure to check out my TBR for next month tomorrow!

The Outlander Book Tag

outl

So, I saw Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile do the Outlander Book Tag and even though I wasn’t tagged (she basically tagged everyone though), I could not resist doing this myself. I hope you enjoy!

Side Note: only rule to this tag is to not answer with Outlander!

You touch some standing stones, and you get transported back in time. What year would you end up in? 

*fingers crossed it’s not too far in the past* As romantic and fantastic as it would be to go back in time to see something like Austrian monarchy in full bloom, I don’t think I want to go further than the 1920s. So, let’s just say that. At least they had the technology to already make selfies already (I am totally kidding, okay!).

Claire is a good nurse. But what type of skill would you want that a fictional character excels at?

I want to say some kind of  superpower, but I am going to try and stay in the realm of realism. I would love to have Marguerite’s (Firebird series) painting and drawing skills, capturing a person’s essence. I am not sure how helpful that would be if I ever get sent back in time, but who knows? Maybe I’ll draw a portray of someone important and that will give me an in to the it crowd.

Jamie and Claire are the ultimate relationship goals. Who is your favorite fictional couple?

That’s a bit of a tough one, there are so many great fictional couples. I think I am not going wrong with choosing Cath and Levi from Fangirl though. Those two are adorbs!

The ending of Outlander was shocking. What is one book that you read that totally blew your mind? 

Again, I just have to say the Red Rising trilogy. I still can’t cope with some of the things that have happened.

Scotland has lots of castles and we see a few in Outlander. What fictional kingdom would you want to live in?

So, this is not just visiting, this is living? I would love to see the different courts from A Court of Thorns and Roses. Not sure which one of them I would like to live in, because I still haven’t read A Court of Mist and Fury. But I could visit them all and then make my decision.

Outlander has some very steamy scenes. What is your favorite romance novel?

Picking a favourite is always so difficult. Let’s say it is not my number one, but it is definitely high up there – My Life Next Door (even though it doesn’t have steamy scenes as far as I can remember). If I had to go for steamy … hmmm … the last one I read and really liked was Nowhere But Here.

The Jacobite Rebellion is a huge plot point in Outlander. What is one of your favourite battles from a book?

I don’t really read books with battle scenes, but the books in the Worldwalker series always lead to some sort of big stand off in the end that’s pretty epic!

Jamie and Claire get married very unexpectedly. What fictional character would you like to marry on a whim?

Julian Blackthorn. There – done! I made a decision and didn’t even think about it for hours on end. I know, I am surprised too, but Julian is smart and kind and strong and warm and lovable.

Scotland is a very beautiful place. What fictional world would you love to visit?

I am currently reading The Rose and the Dagger and I would really love to see Khorasan as it is described in the book. I have a feeling that it would be too hot there for me, but I still want to feel the sun, smell the roses and eat the food they are always describing and that makes me hungry.

If you could change the past, would you?

Not on purpose. Messing with time is dangerous, but I am also a big klutz and I wouldn’t be surprised if I did something by accident and that having some sort of ripple effect …

I TAG

EVERYONE! I wasn’t officially tagged but I saw it and knew I wanted to take part, so if you feel the same, consider yourself tagged now!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (May 23-29)

trailers

So, today I will include some TV show promos again, simply because I didn’t have the time to create separate posts and I haven’t even found that many. Sorry about those videos that got taken down on previous TV promo posts, if I have the time, I will look for replacement videos. That’s the trouble with embedding YouTube videos, someone can always take them down. But without further ado, here’s what I found this week:

Movies

The Space Between Us

This movie looks so darn original, I love it BUT DON’T WATCH IT IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE HALF THE MOVIE. I don’t get trailer cutters sometimes. Who thought it was a good idea to basically show everything in 3 minutes? Asa is doing an amazing job though – his face when he sees te horse – priceless!

Careful What You Wish For

Is this the dark version of Endless Love?

Beauty and the Beast

I think we all got a little overly excited with this one. I watched it like a gazillion times! But I am still disappointed as to how little we actually saw. I WANT MORE! I am greedy that way.

Finding Dory

It looks so cute, but it’s been terribly long since Finding Nemo and I am scared it won’t be as great. But I will keep my anxious side at bay.

Sing

A FULL TRAILER – WOHOOO! I think I am most excited about Taron Eggerton being the voice of the gorilla. Legit awesomeness!

Morgan

They did so well with this trailer! It is proper terrifying, has some Ex_Machina vibes and the music is chilling to the bones. As if AI movies weren’t scary enough.

The Infiltrator

I can’t say that this is my kind of movie, but I also can’t deny that it looks good.

Wiener-Dog

Why is everyone so set on making weird shows/movies with dogs now?

Len and Company

I am not actually sure what to think about this one.

Seoul Searching

That’s definitely a different kind of movie!

TV Shows

Will (TNT)

Yeah, I don’t know. I love Shakespeare, but I’ll really have to see the pilot for that one first I think.

Good Behavior (TNT)

Well, Mary Crawley is sure living it up now!

Shooter (USA Network)

Well, I hope Ryan lasts longer in this one than in Secrets and Lies? Although I don’t think this is my kind of show.

Falling Water (USA Network)

Dreams are so fascinating. I definitely want to check this out!

What do you want to watch? Anything that caught your eye?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Book Review)

mby

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 448

There is so much hype around this book and there has been for a while, but I feel it has intensified ever since the Trailer for the movie came out. It’s as if that had been the final nudge for all the people out there who hadn’t read the book yet, including me, Cátia and Cristina as we once again attempted a buddy read together.

I was prepared with some tissues by my side and quite honestly a little surprised when it turned out to be a really easy and fast paced read. Lou’s voice is relatable and the few chapters that were thrown in from different POVs were a nice change as well, even if they weren’t always strictly necessary. I enjoyed it right from the beginning, the only thing that kept nagging me were basically all the side characters except for Nathan. I was able to get and even like some of them more by the end, but overall they were a selfish and nonsupporting lot.

The book gets more difficult as you get from page to page, asking some tough questions you will probably be glad not to have to answer for real. When I finished Me Before You, I felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest, however, I did NOT cry all that much and here’s why:

Lou’s and Will’s story is heartbreaking. There is no denying that. You get to see their relationship develop over time and you want them to be happy. But the thing is, their life will never be sunshine and rainbows and glitter bombs, that’s just not how it is. And even though you might wish for it to turn out differently in the end, a part of you always knew what this whole story would lead to. So, I shed that single tear when it was over, but I also recognised what the story was about – being granted the right to make your own choices. Something that, in my opinion, many people take for granted these days. It also encourages one to live boldly, a message that I always appreciate and try to embrace as much as possible.

Finally, I am glad I picked up the book before going to watch the movie. It looks great from the Trailer and as if they stuck really close to the original story, but I am still struggling with some of the casting (not Lou and Will – they look awesomepants!). I bet it will be fun either way and not only because of the bumblebee tights moment!

4stars

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A story that will target your heart viciously with main characters that are compelling until the final page.

Have you read Me Before You? Are you excited for the movie? How many packs of tissues did you need?

The Spring has Sprung Book Tag

So, spring is almost over, summer’s almost here – I am super late with my tags, so I am finally going to do The “Spring as Sprung” Book Tag before it is too late, which I was gratefully tagged by the awesome Orang-utan Librarian! Thank you! This should be fun!

THE RULES:

  • Answer the questions for the tag
  • Nominate whoever you want
  • Post the image of this tag
  • Have fun!

spring-has-sprung

Flowers: Look on your bookshelves. What is the most beautiful book both inside and out?

The Martian!!! I can’t get over the shimmery mix of orange and red and just the general beauty of it. Also, it is one of my all time favourite books, so there’s always that. Where is my real life Watney? I am still waiting for you dude!

Grass: What is a book that you find that others like way more than you do?

It’s not that I don’t like the story itself, but somehow I couldn’t connect to The Perks of Being a Wallflower all that much, even though I feel like it is a modern classic and a must read and everyone loves it.

Rain: What’s a great book that lifts your spirits when you’re down?

I’ve said it a couple times now, but Inkheart is just that amazing and I loved it and cherish it still. I don’t even know how old I was when I read the book. It was probably 10 years ago, but I will never dislike a book that was practically a love letter to readers.

Dew: What’s a book that made you feel alive?

My answers are so boring, but Red Rising definitely made me feel alive. My emotional range in real life has its ups and downs, but I felt some deep emotions with that book, things that I don’t usually feel – it was so exhilarating!

Storms: What’s a book that you found unpredictable?

Darn it! I used a good answer for this one for the previous question. Well, what else was unpredictable? We Were Liars kind of threw me a loop there. It’s not even that it was the most original or shocking thing ever, but I was so into the story, reading it through the course of a stormy afternoon that I simply didn’t notice it coming up.

Rainbow: What was a book that you struggled with, only to be happy that you read it in the end?

The entire Magicians trilogy made me feel so weird. I did not like those books, but in the end they stayed with me and I couldn’t forget about them. So, I don’t have regrets, even though I am still hesitant to ever recommend it to others.

Chilly Weather: What’s a book that you couldn’t finish or didn’t enjoy?

I always try not to DNF books, but at some point I get impatient and put them on hold and then … well, in most cases I forget about them and they remain on my shelf unfinished. I could not get through Winter’s Tale. Which still makes me sad, but that writing was so full of description and metaphor and I just couldn’t do it.

Warm Weather: What’s a book that you loved and wanted more of?

I guess Kindred Spirits is the perfect candidate for this one. I loved it immensely, because it just felt so true to my life in many aspects and like a story I could truly relate to and then it was over. Like a teaser for a movie but never the whole thing.

ks1

Green: What’s a book that you haven’t read yet, but really want to?

The Unexpected Everything! It is sitting on my shelf and taunting me, but SOON! I would never pass on a chance to read a Morgan Matson book.

Pink: What’s a book in which you felt a strong connection to the characters?

One of the characters I could really connect to was Emily from Since You’ve Been Gone. I’ve mentioned it before in a post with characters that matched my personality, so yeah, that’s still true.

Purple: What’s a book that when you read it, you feel safe?

Safe you say? I honestly don’t know, usually books spark my wanderlust, my urge to do something more with my life than I am currently doing. They get my imagination started, make me yearn for magic and foreign lands. For the love and friendship of fictional characters. But safe? Not really. Sorry for such a non-answer. I will probably be able to think of something as soon as the post goes up.

Orange: What book do you feel is intelligently written?

I don’t know why exactly this is coming to mind now, but The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks was one of the first books that came to mind. I feel like YA is an underrated genre in terms of being intelligently written, so I am choosing that book instead of some classic.

Yellow: What book puts a smile on your face?

Anything You Want was downright hilarious until it had me sobbing of course. But before that – laugh-out-loud funny!

I TAG:

Since I was so late and I really have no clue who already did this tag, I tag everyone who wants to do it!

TTT: Books I Am Scared to Re-Read

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, if you want to know more about it, you can just click on the name! I strayed a bit from this week’s theme, which would have been as followed:

Ten Books I Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed (less love, more love, complicated feelings, indifference, thought it was great in a genre until you became more well read in that genre etc.)

It’s not that I’ve never changed my opinion about a book, but I couldn’t really think about all that many examples. So, instead I want to talk about books I will probably never read again, because I am scared that I won’t love them the same way. Makes sense, right?

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Whatever I am going to write now is true for a lot of the books from this list. Many I have read during my childhood and they have manifested a love for books and traveling, certain topics and characters as well as places. The Thief Lord was always pure magic to me, making the real Venice a vast disappointment until nightfall came and all that magic returned. I am scared that if I read that book now, I wouldn’t be able to read it with the same innocent eyes of a child as I did before and that might ruin the story.

Momo by Michael Ende

Oh, Momo! I watched the TV show and read the book and it was one of the first books I used for the book reports at school. Whenever I think of it, I think of spending my time wisely and not letting adult responsibilities cloud my judgment of what’s truly important in life. That story is way too precious in my head.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I was considering re-reading the series before the Netflix show comes out, but nope, I just can’t do it. That series accompanied me for years and I have them all neatly in a row on my shelf. My laptop’s name is Lemony. Those books had a real influence on me and I will forever not trust adults I guess.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Again, this book is magic itself. I lived in a bubble of black, white and red for days afterwards, having images of all my visits to the circus and their shortcomings in comparison to the Night Circus stuck in my head. Maybe I’ll re-read it one day, but I am afraid that I’ll be bored by knowing what’s going on and what will happen.

The Martian by Andy Weir

There are some things that are still funny after hearing them 100 times. As much as I love Watney and want one in my life, I am scared I won’t laugh anymore and that would be sad.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book ruined me! I was a sobbing mess in parts and even the movie, which isn’t even as emotional as the book still has me crying. So, it’s not that I don’t think it’s a beautiful piece of writing, but I am simply scared of putting myself through that torture again.

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood

This book always brings about memories of a certain song (The National – So Far Around the Bend), a summer working in France (because that’s what I was doing while reading), a really long fake-pearl necklace (because that came with the book in the package my parents sent me) and the matter of life and death to me. There is no way I could ever recreate all the same circumstances to make this book as meaningful as it was the first time.

Das Buch by Wolfgang & Heike Hohlbein

This one was my first attempt at a really long book. It took me months, not having acquired the super speed reading abilities I have now. It was a weird book and you felt like you were in a bit of a loop sometimes, but somehow it stuck and it won’t go away.

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

I never read many mermaid books, even though I loved the concept of them. This isn’t really about mermaids either, but definitely about beings from the sea. I just loved water and the idea of getting lost in it, even though I was always scared of all the creatures that lived in there that I could and couldn’t see. It doesn’t make sense, but it was such a lovely tale that I cherished, but I never finished the series due to some really annoying publishing issues that I won’t go into now.

The Secret Circle series by L.J. Smith

This one is easy, I wanted to read it before the show, I did (at least book 1-3) and then I was super sad when it was cancelled and I can’t re-read it now. Just can’t!

How did your TTT go? Could you think of books that you didn’t keep feeling the same about over time? Are there some you wouldn’t want to read again either out of fear you won’t love them as much?

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh (Book Review)

TWATD

Publisher: Putnam
Page Count
: 404

I read this book together with the wonderful and amazing Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. We’ve read a couple of books together by now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we once again had a fantastic time buddy reading and as always, I was super glad to have someone to share my thoughts with. Don’t forget to check back on her blog within the next couple of weeks to see her review!

The Wrath and the Dawn was an absolutely magical tale. Inspired by A Thousand and One Night, I was bound to like it from the beginning, because those used to be some of my favourite tales as a child. Shahrzad was a commanding presence from the get-go, determined to avenge her friend. I understood her motivation right away, even though her techniques were a little unorthodox, but I had a much more difficult time understanding Khalid. I was never able to hate him. From the first moment he appeared, I saw him as a broken boy, smelling of sun and sandalwood. In my mind he was a good person with warm eyes, but that’s just not how he is described. It’s mysterious how my brain can conjure up something that’s not really there. Either way, I am glad that there was sort of a valid explanation in the end.

But Shazi and Khalid weren’t the only characters I liked, the side characters were just as great! The only thing that bothered me a little was that I felt like I was missing a backstory on some of them (*cough* Despina and Jalal *cough*). Some decisions just felt rushed, but as if they were really important for what’s to come. I hear there are various novellas for the duology, but even though I think that novellas should enhance a story, they shouldn’t hold necessary information on key characters. In my opinion, that is supposed to be in the actual novel itself.

The Wrath and the Dawn was really fast paced and a lovely tale. It got more intense with every chapter, your heart getting torn in all different kind of directions. It truly did end on a cruel cliffhanger, so I am glad I waited with reading the book until I had the second one at home as well. And that is what I am going to do now – go on and read The Rose and the Dagger, because I definitely can’t get enough of that story!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A beautifully written and magical tale with characters that you can’t help but love!

4stars

Have you read The Wrath and the Dawn? Did you enjoy it? 

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (May 16-22)

trailers

Are you tired yet of all the TV show stuff I am sending your way? I hope not, because there are still some more channels I have to cover, but first we switch it up with a little more movie-related trailers. Here’s what I’ve found this week:

Star Trek Beyond

I … I am not sure I know what to say. It looks like chaos and a lot of bad things happening. But I love Star Trek, so I cannot wait. I am conflicted that way.

Don’t Think Twice

So, a movie about comedians that is not necessarily a comedy. Could work! I am hoping it does, because I love Gillian Jacobs.

Nine Lives

Why can’t people make normal movies with animals? They always turn out so weird!

Ghostbusters

So, I have 2 Trailers for you here. I feel a little iffy about Chris Hemsworth in this, but it seems that he likes acting in comedies now, playing characters that I cannot take seriously.

The Light Between the Oceans

This movie is going to break my heart. I already showed you a trailer once, but Cátia was kind enough to show me the new one (actually already last week, ooopsie!). Now I only need to read the book before the movie comes out.

Margarita with a Straw

I have to admit that I only clicked on the trailer because it said that it had William Moseley in it (wait ’til the very end if you want to see him), but it looks so great. I like that there are more diverse movies out there now.

Queen of Katwe

I love that chess can change a life like that!

Are you going to watch some of those movies? 

Space Zombies and a Crazy AI – An Illuminae Files Book Review!

Illuminae

Publisher: Knopf Books
Page Count
: 599

It has taken me forever to write this review. I was just staring at the empty file for the post and no words would come to me. I am afraid this is going to be really, really short in the end, because Illuminae is one of those books where you simply can’t talk about the content at all without spoiling something. The header was meant to catch your attention, because those were elements of the story that I did not expect to be in there at all. I am not sure, but maybe that would have even put me off reading the book rather than getting me more into it (not a big fan of zombie-related stuff), had I known it before, but it was done great. This is all you get from me plot-vise though, let’s talk about some parts of the story that I can’t spoil.

First of all, I want to say that this book is a work of art. I am a huge fan of epistolary story-telling, because I simply find it a lot more engaging than regular writing. Still, it has to be done right in order to work and Illuminae has managed to do just that. The characters seemed vivid and real, some surprisingly more so than I expected.

I gave the book 4 stars, because there were a lot of things that were supposed to tuck at your emotions or make you surprised, but somehow they didn’t catch me all that off-guard. It’s not that I could have exactly guessed what would happen, but it also didn’t really stun me. All in all it was still such an enjoyable read! I am really excited for the sequel and still in love with the looks of the book. I sometimes just stare at it dreamily! The only thing that would have made the art better is if it had been in colour.

So, I guess that’s all I am going to tell you about it. But, as always, I would be happy to talk in the comments in more detail.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Definitely a book that is worth the hype!

4stars

Have you read Illuminae? Are you as excited for Gemina as I am?

T5W: Summer Reads

sr

It’s time for Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly meme created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to know more or join as well, just go to the Goodreads group by clicking here. I quite like that this week’s theme is Summer Reads, I find those much easier than winter reads. So, without further ado, here’s my selection:

Anything by Morgan Matson

This woman has summer magic in her ink! It really doesn’t matter which book you’ll pick up, you’ll feel a warm breeze of summer air coming your way. I still haven’t read The Unexpected Everything, but SOON!

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart/Sarah Mlynowski/Lauren Myracle

There is just something decidedly summer-y about a road trip. I can’t put my finger on it, but that’s just the way it is.

How to Be Bad

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

People were dressed in short shorts and tank tops because the weather was so warm. That’s summer for you!

Nowhere But Here (Thunder Road, #1)

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I guess contemporaries just have that summer effect on me a lot of the time. It’s not even that they are all warm and fuzzy and happy all the time, but somehow MLND still screams summer my way.

My Life Next Door

A Good Year by Peter Mayle

Imagine it – the South of France, beautiful weather, rows of wine and the best company. That’s how summer is supposed to be and I think that book even made me smell summer in the midst of pouring rain.

What are some books you associate with summer? Tell me all about it in the comments?