November 2016 Wrap-Up

NovemberWU

So, I did not in fact have a planned TBR for this month and I think that was a VERY good thing. I didn’t read a huge amount of books, but six is a pretty solid number. I am slowly getting back into shape again it seems and that thought makes me happy. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve read.

A Monster Calls   The Best Possible Answer   Three Dark Crowns   Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)   The Homecoming   Did I Mention I Miss You? (Did I Mention I Love You #3)

Click on the covers to get redirected to the Goodreads pages, on the titles to get to the reviews and on the names of my fellow bloggers to get to their reviews (if it’s up yet)!

InOtherNews

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy … it’s almost December, which means it’s almost Christmas, which means the year is almost over! *screams internally with all the things that still need to be done* The thing is, I quit my job and I will only work until the end of January, but I am not sure how I am going to continue after that. I have a semblance of a plan, but I am nervous and scared. The thing is, I always knew I wouldn’t just stay here in Vienna, yet every time it comes to leaving for a notable amount of time, I get doubts of what to do. I need to make money somehow, which requires work permits and an immense amount of paper work. Then you need to be able to get from A to B, get food, an accommodation – when am I supposed to organise that all? I am really not good at that kind of stuff … but deep breaths! Everything will be okay in the end.

Bildergebnis für deep breaths gif

Today also marks the last day of NaNoWriMo … well, I did not do all that great this month. I’ve written 7,500 words, so that’s exactly 7,500 more than I had before November, but it’s not a crazy amount either. I am not exactly disappointed, I just really didn’t have the head for it and am hoping that I can write more in the upcoming weeks. As always, this is my plea for you to read Arcadia on wattpad! Vote for it and comment – I love hearing your thoughts on it! It keeps me motivated! (Click here to get to wattpad)

November was a busy month with the Gilmore Girls revival (still uncertain if I will review it), Vienna Comic Con (me working there and visiting it as well) and an amazing OwlCrate box (unboxing coming for sure!). It all went by really quickly, but not in a bad way entirely. It was a pretty good month altogether, aside from the lack of blogging!

WRITING INSIGHTS

TRAILERS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

How was your month? Tell me all about it!

Did I Mention I Miss You? by Estelle Maskame (eArc Review)

dimimy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 352
US Release Date: Dec 6, 2016

**I was provided with an eArc by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

Did I Mention I Miss You? is the final installment in the DIMILY series. (You can read my reviews for part one here and part two here) This was a buddy read with Cristina again and you will be able to read her very own review in a couple days, so don’t forget to hop over to her blog too!

This review is going to be on the short end, first, because I don’t want to spoil the ending and second, because I just really don’t have all that much to say about it. The characters and settings are all very familiar at this point, even if there is a different town/city involved in each part of the book. This time around it was Portland, which just made me so homesick (which is totally the wrong word, but I DO consider Oregon my second home), but I simply loved reading about it.

Bildergebnis für portland gif

Everything started out pretty slow and in my opinion it only started to really get interesting by the second half of the book. So, I preferred the pacing in the previous installments, but I was so happy to see how much Tyler has grown. I really didn’t like him all that much in the first book, but by now he is a mature and genuinely good guy. It was enjoyable to see how they handled everything differently now that they had had some perspective on the situation, even though they moved very fast. So, I think the conclusion to Eden and Tyler’s story was satisfying and true to the characters they had become.

Yet there was something that bothered me nonetheless. A theme throughout all three books was Eden struggling with her weight, even though she is FAR from being overweight in any way. She’s a sporty girl who loves to run and be outdoors. I think it was a gravely missed opportunity to also make this story about positive body imagery. Instead of facing the fact that she is too harsh to herself, she rather deprives herself of the things she wants to eat or drink or lets herself feel guilty for eating/drinking them. I just wished it had been addressed openly at some point in the book that her body criticism was too much and unnecessary.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A very satisfying, yet not perfect ending to the series.

4stars

Have you read the series? Do you intend to? Thoughts?

The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey (eArc Review)

thc

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 320

**I was provided with an eArc by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

You know that I don’t like giving books a low rating, but I guess no one actually ever likes that. I have the unmistakable feeling that this would have been an even worse experience if I hadn’t buddy read it with Cristina (read her review HERE) and Cátia. Let me explain why I was so disappointed!

When I read the premise of this book, I thought it sounded promising, like an emotional contemporary that we would surely enjoy reading together. Well, it was not and I simply didn’t understand why it wasn’t working for me! Right from the beginning here was a big disconnect with the main character John. I’ve read my fair share of angry teen voices, but he just constantly got mad at things and people for no apparent reason. There were many who genuinely tried to help him, or simply did their job, yet he always felt like a charity case and would lash out. Misunderstood teen or not, I have a real problem with people who refuse to accept help or just simple kindness for no other reason than to keep wallowing in their fortress of misery. It’s not a weakness, it’s nothing to be ashamed of! We all need help sometimes. And still, even after pushing away basically all the people in his life, he still kept inspiring loyalty in everyone he met. I just didn’t understand it!

Bildergebnis für frustration gif

In addition to that, John was a very unreliable narrator, but again, for no apparent reason. He stated something in one chapter, just to say something entirely contradictory a few pages later. It confused me so much that I still don’t know what exactly happened during one of the main key events of the entire story. He was prone to taking drugs and drinking alcohol, which weirdly was never really condemned in the book except when he had to take mandatory drug tests, but I don’t think those were the reasons behind his volatile narration. Also, the timeline didn’t really make sense to me. There were too many gaps and oversights.

I wish that some of the other characters could have made up for the lack of likability in John, but that wasn’t the case either. Emily, his love interest, was an odd mix of personalities that made it difficult to figure her out and relate to her. His parents were negligent and/or absent, sometimes for reasons but not always very good ones. Only his little sister was bearable, but lets face it, kids up to the age of ten are mostly cute.

I am afraid it all boils down to me being very sorry, but saying that it wasn’t for me. The pacing was off, the narration repetitive and at times boring. Maybe it would work better for other people, you can surely try if you think that it might, but it is not my recommendation.

Fazit: 1/5 stars! I did not get anything from that book at all.

1star

What was your last most disappointing read? Let’s talk about it!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Nov 21-27)

trailers

This week wasn’t very rich on trailers, but I hope you still had a great time with your family and friends, watching Gilmore Girls or whatever else you did! (Not ready to talk about GG in full yet, I am kind of disappointed, but I also enjoyed it … contradictory feelings all around) Let’s dive into it:

Movies

The Book of Love

I want to see this SO, SO bad!

Rogue One

I know that I should be more excited, but it’s still only low-key. It’s not that I don’t think it will be great, but I just really would have liked to the get the next movies in the new trilogy in less than 2-year-steps.

Smurfs: The Lost Village

I like the animation a little better than the one mixed with the live-action characters mixed in.

Cars 3

I haven’t even watched Cars 1 and 2, so I really don’t know what to say. It looks kind of adult though.

The Comedian

I can’t quite place this movie, because it has a really good cast … but it just looks so meh. The music also felt out of place. He’s a comedian, he’s not working in a jazz club …

Silence

That’s the movie Adam Driver lost like 50 pounds for …

Mindgamers

This creeps me out …

Goon

Yeah, not for me …

TV Shows

Doctor Who Christmas Special

I am undecided about how I feel on this one … There are people from Shameless and Player on Doctor Who now … it’s weird.

Supergirl/Flash/Arrow/LoT – Crossover

This is gonna be epic and hilarious!

Barry

I am weirdly looking forward to this. I mean, I’ve always liked Obama, but I just never imagined myself watching a show or movie about his life.

APB

I think it looks kind of cool, but it’s FOX. I don’t even trust them with my beloved Pitch now, so I don’t know if they’ll keep that around once it starts airing.

The Royals (Season 3)

ONE MORE WEEK!!!!

What are you watching? What are you going to watch?

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)

soc

Publisher: Henry Holt
Page Count
: 462

Six of Crows was my first buddy read with the ever amazing Fadwa! I don’t know why we waited for so long, because I this was so much fun in my opinion *fingers crossed she feels the same way* and if time and schedules permit it, I would be up for another one any day. Don’t forget to check out her review on her blog right HERE!

We actually finished this book last week and I usually tend to do my reviews right afterwards, but every now and then a book comes along and it needs more time. This book came with a lot of expectations! It has been recommended to me countless times and fanart as well as quotes from the characters have spammed my timeline more than once. I even had some book swag from subscription boxes at home, without ever having read a single word from the books. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining at all! Love for a story like this is beautiful, but it also puts some pressure on the book itself as well as me while reading. You cannot imagine how relieved I was when Six of Crows fully delivered!

There’s already an existing world from the Grisha books that I was not unaware of, but I still haven’t read those previous books. So, right in the beginning it took a little time to understand what’s what and where’s where, but gorgeous maps and little lists in the front where a big help in that department. Aside from that little confusion there is nearly nothing bad to say, which makes this the tough part of the review. I LOVED all the characters. It barely took me 5 chapters and I was already head over heels for most of them. Of course I could give you a precise ranking of my lovelies (From most love to least love, but still love all around: Inej, Kaz, Jesper, Weylan, Nina, Matthias), but the point is that they were all amazing.

Ähnliches Foto

I am lacking words today, but all six of them were multi-layered, beautifully unique, flawed, selfish, passionate, caring and generally hilarious characters. There were laugh-out-loud-moments, just as much as there were really scary action sequences. Even when I knew how a situation would end, my heart was still threatening to jump out of my rib cage. The dialogue was fast and witty, there were some predictable moments and others that completely surprised me. My shipping heart aches with all the possibilities. YOU SEE ME FLAILING HERE, RIGHT? I am not even into multiple-POV-books usually, but this one captured me in all its entirety. So, I am going to leave you with one last snippet, just in case you still need convincing (you really shouldn’t at this point) that the banter will be glorious!

Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Crooked Kingdom is already eagerly waiting on my shelf! (I recommend you have it ready too, because THAT ENDING!?)

5stars

How do you feel about the gang? Who’s your favourite? Do you want to read SoC?

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Nov 14-20)

trailers

I just had one of the greatest weekends at the Vienna Comic Con, working on Saturday at the VIP-Counter again and then spending everything I’ve earned on the floors today. I might just do a separate post for that sometime (but nothing is for sure yet), but I am so beat, my eyes are about to just fall shut. I hope I could still compile a list of trailers that made sense!

Movies

Beauty and the Beast

It’s PERFECTION! (Although I never noticed how inpractical candles are for hands when Lumiere was just an animated version)

Before I Fall

I wasn’t even going to read the book … but then I saw the trailer and now a voice inside my head is telling me that I have to. I really like Zoey Deutch by the way.

Kong: Skull Island

That jolly start though!

The Zookeeper’s Wife

It took me way too long to realise this wasn’t going to be about a zoo. This is going to be so unbearably sad.

The Secret Scripture

That cast, peoples! So many pretty people.

Detour

Am I the only one who’s vibing Fight Club here?

A Kind of Murder

Why is the only thing I am thinking about how I cannot place the time this is supposed to play in? Also, it looks like a mix between Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train somehow … that’s all my thoughts.

Monster Trucks

I put this on here before, but I don’t remember what was in the supposed first trailer, so here you go again!

Ghost in the Shell

So, this is the actual trailer.

TV Shows

The Royals (Season 3)

Only two more weeks, folks! I CANNOT WAIT!

Gilmore Girls

LESS THAN A WEEK GUYS AND GIRLS!

A Series of Unfortunate Events

It looks very interesting, but I am holding off judgement until I see it. (I am still just seeing a dressed up Barney Stinson and it’s making things difficult …)

What are you going to watch? What are you watching? How was your week?

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (Book Review)

tdc

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count
: 398

I received Three Dark Crowns as part of the September “Darkness” OwlCrate box (check out the full post here). There’s this rhyme/poem on the jacket of the book that just had me so intrigued from the first time I had lain eyes upon it.

“Three dark queens
Are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends

Three dark sisters
All fair to be seen,
Two to devour
And one to be Queen”

You have to admit, that sounds pretty sinister and … amazing! However, the final product didn’t really hold up to that promise. I was fortunately already warned about this by previous readers, but I still had my issues with it. This book is laced with all different kind of POVs, some of them seeming way more important than the ones from the actual queens. There was the political scheming I would expect in a novel like this, but again, the queens were more concerned with inter-personal relationships than that. It’s like they had already resigned themselves to their fate.

Something that nagged me a little bit while reading was the fact that I could guess a lot of what was about to happen (I am not kidding, I saw the final twist coming in the first chapter). It really took until the last quarter of the book to really surprise me with what was going on. I have to admit that that saved everything for me, because now I really want to know what will happen in the sequels. I don’t see the point of rehashing everything that happened in the book, because then it would be even less interesting for you to read, instead I am going to tell you what I liked/disliked about each of the queens:

  • The book starts out with Katherine or Kat. You are supposed to pity her because of her upbringing and at first I did feel sorry, but that girl is ruthless and cruel. Seen as she has a similar name to mine, I would have wanted to like her, but she was my least favourite queen – by far! To this point I am not entirely sure what happened to her in the end of that book.
  • Mirabella is the one the people have the most faith in because of her immense powers. I was happy to see that she at least has a conscience and wasn’t as comfortable with what she had to do as her sisters seemed to be, but somehow I didn’t click entirely with her. Especially her love life was a pain …
  • Then, at last, there is Arsinoe. I immediately took to her wild and defiant nature, but she made so many dumb choices. Yet still, in the end she was my favourite. I liked the people in her life, even if the drama that was unfolding around her wasn’t always the greatest. I guess I just really like to root for the underdog here.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Interesting, yet not overwhelming start to a series with much potential.

4stars

Would you like to read this book? If you already have, who was your favourite queen?

The Best Possible Answer by E. Katherine Kottaras (eArc Review)

bpa

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Page Count
: 272

**I got provided with an e-copy of the book by the publisher in return for an honest review!**

The Best Possible Answer came out earlier this month and this the second book by Kottaras that I have read now (check out my review for How to Be Brave here). I wasn’t the biggest fan of her first book, but I am happy to say that I enjoyed this one a lot more.

Going into this, I didn’t really know what to expect. It was going to be a contemporary, most likely with some romance, but that was all I thought beforehand. In parts I was right, because there was some romance, even though it was my least favourite part. It was cute and based on mutual appreciation. Yet, I just knew that it was bound to end in disaster or at least complicate things by a lot – as it tends to happen when you aren’t up front with people you care about. However, the book was about so much more!

Pressure is a wicked thing. Some people can’t function without it and I, for one, know that I would not make some deadlines if it weren’t for that last-minute-panic. But too much of it? Man, I’ve been breathless with anxiety of everything that is expected of me before – it’s not a nice feeling and Viviana was one of the unfortunate characters who suffered regular panic attacks.  In my opinion, the topic was treated very well and accurately, even though I wish her parents had handled it differently. There is a reason as to how this all started for Viv, but I won’t go into detail, and I just cannot believe how cruel and inconsiderate most people in her life were. There was a real lack of empathy, but somehow it felt true to reality, to how this would probably play out for real and it made me sick.

There are a lot of different relationships here and tough decisions to be made about them. Sometimes you can love someone but not like them or accept their decisions at all. I believe that it was ultimately a lot more about family, the one you are bound to by blood and the one you choose for yourself, as well as self-acceptance. There is truth in learning from your mistakes, but you have to be allowed to make them first. Lastly, I really loved the chapter beginnings. They were actual tips for people who are in their last years of High School (at least in the US, my final years looked a little different).

Fazit: 4/5 stars! I think this would make a great summer read.

4stars

Have you read something by Kottaras? Would you be interested in this one?

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Nov 7-13)

trailers

What to say? It has been a tough week for many people out there, with the news about a certain orange being winning the election. The outcome really doesn’t bode well with me and it makes me fear of what my own country’s election will look like next month. As much as there can be said, I don’t even want to waste words on that person. Instead I will offer distraction in the shape of trailers, because that is what I do best!

Movies

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

It’s ridiculous how excited I am about this movie.

Collateral Beauty

Can’t stop, won’t stop, posting trailers for that movie! (bonus theory: what if his friends hire people to act as Death, Time and Love?)

Love Is All You Need

I love the premise of the movie, I am just not sure about the execution.

The History of Love

I see that young actress and I think Liesel every. single. time.

100 Streets

I can’t resist putting trailers with the same actors/actresses in. As much as I like the cast though, am undecided if I want to watch this or not.

Solace

I usually don’t watch those kind of movies, but … Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a very compelling argument. However, if I do want to see Anthony Hopkins, I will stick to Westworld for now.

Ghost in the Shell (Behind the Scenes + Sneak Peeks)

I still find the sound very disconcerting in between the scenes. Well, and probably the thing as a whole too.

Renegades

It’s the guy from Blindspot!

TV Shows

The Magicians (Season 2)

So, they went completely off-book by now. I do not know what’s coming, but I am not saying that’s a bad thing at all.

Poldark (Season 3)

Demelza’s brothers will finally show up and I am sure will make me swoon all over the place. I am so over Ross after last season, I can’t even. And what’s up with the guy at 28 seconds? They’ve cut it as if he’s exchanging meaningful looks with Demelza.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

I forgot this last week, so I am sharing it now. I am not sure how I feel about Violet and Klaus looking pretty much the same age, but I do know that this Count Olaf is not like the one in my head. I am sure Harris’ acting will be great, but just the look of him … I don’t like it all that much. I am super protective of that series, but I actually liked the movie very much. Still, it’s Netflix, which rarely disappoints.

How are you? Take care of yourself and know that we are here for you if you need someone to talk to! What are you watching?

Writing Insights #6: NaNoWriMo

nano

It’s been a while since I have posted a Writing Insight, but November is the perfect month to dive into a little bit of NaNoWriMo. It’s the third year I am participating and for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s quite the international venture though, with people from all over the world trying to write 50,000 words for the first draft of their novel in 30 days. Of course you can rebel and edit a previous work, choose your own word count or don’t write a comprehensive story at all. The spirit of the event is to write, no matter how you do it!

When I first tried, I “won” immediately, the second time around I honestly didn’t even try as hard (but I am still proud of getting to 25,000 words) and this year? Well, I am semi-nanowrimo-ing. My current WIP is called Arcadia, as I’ve mentioned several times before, and I don’t just want to rush it. However, I do try to write something every day. (If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read the Prologue + 6 Chapters right here!) So, there’s something that just really makes me want to participate, even when I don’t have the time or brain cells to be full in and here’s why:

  • I know that NaNoWriMo is a pressure of sorts, but it is also a lot of motivation. I am a competitive person, so when I get a task with a specific goal, such as reaching a certain word target each day, I WANT to do it. Also, you can earn badges and I just want to have them aaaaall!
  • If you sign up on the official NaNoWriMo website, you can connect with fellow writers online by adding them as writing buddies (my handle is Kat_Impossible if you want to add me!) BUT you can also come together with people from your region. This isn’t happening everywhere, but many places try to organise kick-off events, write-ins and planning sessions. It’s a fun way to meet new people who have similar interests to you and to find people who will hold you accountable during the month!
  • Whatever you write, know that it is not supposed to be perfect. The whole point of this venture is to get you to creative freedom. Write away, leave all the plotholes in the world in it and at the end of the month, you will have a first rough draft of your story and it’s the most glorious feeling! I am holding back this year, because I am sharing my story as I write it. That’s a scary thing in itself, but I at least try to make sense with it nonetheless. I am not saying that it won’t need a lot of work and time to edit Arcadia in the end, but it might be the tiniest bit easier than it would be if I didn’t care at all.

In the end, there’s no right or wrong way to do NaNoWriMo. I kept this post intentionally short, because I was wondering if you had specific quesitons about that topic? Have you ever participated in NaNoWriMo? Did you like the experience or not? Let’s discuss in the comments!