#CurrentlyWatching: Emerald City


I know, I know, there was something about me not wanting to talk about Emerald City all too soon, but what can I say? I couldn’t hold back any longer, I just love it too much. In case you’ve missed the previous post in this awesomely new feature, you can go check out the the first ever #CurrentlyWatching here. Right now I am just going to jump into the matter at hand!

Emerald City is a new show on NBC, currently in its first season with episodes that last about 40-something minutes. This is a story where The Wizard of Oz meets Game of Thrones. You definitely shouldn’t expect some sort of faithful retelling, because you are sure not going to get it. But go into it with an open mind and I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy about this show. Take a look!

Dorothy Gale, a 20-year old Kansas nurse, wants to build a relationship with her biological mother, who gave her up for adoption. But when she goes to find her, she finds a crime scene and a brewing storm instead. Taking shelter in a police squad car, the twister transports her and a police dog to the Land of Oz where Dorothy promptly runs over the Wicked Witch of the East. Facing a world she doesn’t know, where magic exists but is firmly banned, Dorothy has to find her way home again. All the while she doesn’t know that she is part of a prophecy that will change things in Oz forever.


You still get Dorothy (let’s not dwell on the fact that there’s no way she’s only 20) the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion (took me a while to figure that last one out), but all of it with a twist! The Wizard is a man of science who has banned magic, but the Witches are still considered most prestigious among the people. It’s a corrupted and more dark version of Oz, one very afraid of what might happen upon the arrival of Dorothy, because there haven’t been any travelers coming this way for a very long time.

I immediately fell in love with the show. The costumes, the make up, the set design – everything! Most of the visuals are gorgeous and it is so much fun to figure out all the similarities and differences to the original story. Not once have I been so invested in anything Oz related (it wasn’t even one of my favourite classic stories before), but there’s such an air of mystery to it now, you simply never know what might happen next. I don’t want to give away any of the twists and turns, because that would take all the fun out of you watching the show, however, there is so much unexpected to explore. I mean, peoples, there is even a transgender storyline! The cast is simply amazing and everyone is fully convincing in their roles. Rather than just focusing on Dorothy alone (although she is being capable and badass AF), you get to see all perspectives, without an overload of information (more the opposite of that). There are so many morally ambiguous characters we don’t know half of the motivation of yet, each week, I am sitting in agony, because I can’t wait for the next episode.


This is a new part of #CurrentlyWatching that will probably make an appearance in several of the upcoming posts. The thing is, I can’t really commit to a show without people to ship with each other. Interpersonal relationships are my jam and even my dramaturgy teacher had to admit that I was pretty darn good at spying a romantic entanglement from a single scene in a script. So, here I am, needing a place to swoon over all those amazing couples TV offers, starting with Dorothy and Lucas!

Right from the beginning, when Dorothy saves Lucas’ life, you can see sparks flying. The attraction is immediate and palpable TV chemistry at its best. The way they lean into each other or even just the way they look at each other, there was simply no way around me shipping them. But don’t you worry, they are not just perfect boring couple material. Lucas, which is not even his real name (really cute-Dorothy-involving scene how he got that name by the way!), can’t remember a thing about his life before he met Dorothy. The man is a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but when scraps of the man he used to be surface, there is clear tension between him an Dorothy. So, there is conflict, but at the same time they don’t tease you forever, but progress quite nicely.


One of the things I love most about them, is the way they act when there is danger ahead. It’s like they subconsciously move closer to each other, seeking comfort, even when they had known each other for all of five minutes. They hold hands or half-hug each other as if they could protect the other person that way somehow and it just makes my heart do all sorts of happy jumps. Sometimes it’s the little things that are the best!


Again, this portion of the post will be pretty short. I would not recommend you watch this show if you are uncomfortable with/don’t like one or more of the following things: unfaithful retellings, suicide, amputations, violence in general, recreational drug use, prostitution, …

So, what do you say folks? Are you going to tune in to Emerald City? If so, don’t forget to let me know, either here or on Twitter!

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds/Brendan Kiely (Book Review)


Publisher: Atheneum
Page Count
: 316

There is so much to say about this book, yet here I am, not even knowing where I should start. I am not saying that police brutality doesn’t exist in my country at all (racism and racial profiling is a global issue and I am not so naive to believe it doesn’t exist where I live), but it always feels different when it takes place in the US. Something about their police seems more trigger-happy and sadly there are more frequent occurrences of brutality. Cases from there even make it into our news from time to time and it twists my gut. I went into this book fully prepared to get my heart broken and All American Boys DEFINITELY delivered!

Despite it taking some time until I really connected with the characters and their voices, I felt they were distinct and authentic. A black and a white protagonist written by a black and a white author, it just seems like a good choice to have the story from various perspectives. It didn’t even take until the end of the first chapter for me to have cold shivers running down my back. There was just something so wrong about the situation – you see what happens, step by step, you know that Rashad was not one bit at fault, yet there is absolutely nothing you can do.

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This novel is extremely timely. It tackles not only police brutality, but also racial bias, integrity, social media as investigatory tools as well as white privilege. Rashad and Quinn both face struggles, admittedly very different ones, but Quinn has the luxury of walking away. While Rashad will have to face court and see the scars as a daily reminder of what happened, Quinn could have chosen to be a silent bystander only, his privilege would have allowed for it, and I am so very glad he didn’t. The lives of those boys were intertwined and altered forever. There were a lot of terrible things happening in this book, but at the same time there is so much beauty in seeing people stand up for each other (friends and strangers alike), Rashad processing what happened through art and Quinn’s courage to fight for what he believes. Black people have to face injustice and pain on a daily basis and they should not have to carry that weight, it’s upon white people to use their privilege and speak up.

I very much doubt that you would go out of this book the way you came in. It effortlessly describes the struggle of many people these days and the work we still have to do. In hindsight, having had a couple weeks to think about it, there is one more thing I would have wanted from the book – consequences. There are far too few instances where there were consequences in real life, so it makes sense and is actually very realistic not to show them, but I wanted that hope somehow. Obviously, the events rattled something and had an effect, but we never get to see how the case is handled at court or how/if Paul gets punished. I very much doubt that I would have wanted several more chapters, because it had a nearly perfect ending, but a quick summary of the following months in a short epilogue? I would have loved that.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! A very important story that made it onto my must-read list.


Will you be picking up All American Boys? Have you read it already?

#CurrentlyWatching: Sweet/Vicious


Today is the day, the first post in my new feature #CurrentlyWatching is going live and I am so excited to share this show with you. I know a lot of you expected Emerald City to go up first, because I’ve been obsessing over it for weeks, but I’ve only watched 3 episodes, so I felt like it was too early. Anyway, to get back to the matter at hands, I will first talk a little about the feature in general and then about the show.
#CurrentlyWatching is going to be a weekly regular on the blog from now on, in which I showcase a TV show of my own choosing. I want to empathize that not all shows will be suitable for all people. Just because I am saying that I love a show, does not mean you should necessarily watch it, which is why I divided the post in two parts. If by the end you are still not sure whether this is for you or not, I will be more than happy to discuss in the comments!

Now, Sweet/Vicious – I feel like it is not a show that is very present in people’s minds (hence why I want to share it with you). MTV has done such a great job with their original programming lately and Sweet/Vicious is no exception. Having gotten a 10-episode-order (each lasting about 40-something minutes), it is about to finish its first season in two weeks time. But enough of the factual blabla, what is it about?

Jules, a former quirky sorority girl, was raped by her best friend’s boyfriend. Not having gotten the support of the authorities that she had hoped for and scared to talk about it with the people closest to her, she tries to deal with the matter by herself. Finding a partner in crime in her new acquaintance, Ophelia, they avenge girls who have been assaulted by becoming wannabe vigilantes and taking revenge on the guys themselves.


I did not expect MTV to take on such a heavy topic and to do it well in the process. I know it sounds like a dreadful thing to watch, but they sparked it with humour, without ridiculing the situation. They don’t take themselves too seriously and it helps. Although I could do without some of the violence at times, it soon becomes clear that it’s only a minor part of the show and gets less with each episode as Jules is trying to find a way to cope with what happened to her.

Most shows that cover assault stories focus on the legal and criminal aspects but not so much on the emotional journey of the victim before/during/after what happened. Bit by bit Sweet/Vicious uncovers what happened to Jules and they do it in an unfortunately very realistic way. The build up to the flashback episode that shows what actually took place and the way it was handled by people who should know better and who should also do better simply broke me. I just felt so much rage and despair, while the same episode was able to make me swoon and laugh. It really is both, sweet and vicious.

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Ultimately the show unabashedly portrays today’s rape culture, but also shines a light on the importance of friendship, family and even love. The characters are badass, witty, sassy, empowering and relatable. Jules (Eliza Bennett) is stronger than anyone would have suspected at first glance and Ophelia (Taylor Dearden) is fiercly loyal despite her commitment-phobia. They make mistakes too, they are far from perfect, but the show clearly states that there are consequences. I just love everyone’s performance and how much they’ve grown on me in this short amount of time.

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There are a lot of secrets that might still come out, friendships that are in peril, love that may not survive everything and wounds that will need more time to heal. I, for one, cannot wait to see how this pans out and hope that it will get renewed.


I am going to keep this section short. Despite the topic being a very important one, I would not blame anyone if they said that it wasn’t for them. In fact, the show put several trigger warnings and disclaimers before some of their episode, because they are well aware that it might be upsetting to some viewers. So, I would not recommend you watch this show if you are uncomfortable with one or more of the following themes: assault, rape, violence, foul language, excessive drug and alcohol consumption.

So, that was it for today’s post and I am already trying to determine what I’ll talk about next Friday. Do you think you’d watch Sweet/Vicious now or not? 

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin (Book Review)


Publisher: Orion
Page Count
: 496

Blood for Blood is the conclusion to the Wolf by Wolf duology (you can read my review for the first part here) and what an amazing one at that. I had the book at home for months now, but I dreaded finishing this little series, not really wanting it to end. Also, I felt like I had to be in the right mood for it, because of the whole World War II storyline and my relationship with that (already talked about that quite a bit in my other review).

This book broke me, but at the same time it was everything I could have wanted. Other than in Wolf by Wolf, we get multiple POVs and not just Yael’s, which in my opinion, serves the narrative greatly. While you never feel like you have all the information, you are way more in the loop about where everyone’s head is at. Yael’s actions from the first book definitely have consequences and affect her every relationship and even though I don’t condone what certain people did, reading chapters from their point of view made me understand their decisions. Also, you get a glimpse into their past as well, which shows how circumstances can shape people and how lives are intertwined without us realising it sometimes. Once again I feel pretty good about predicting some major plot twists, however, there will forever be one that I am not happy about. For obvious spoiler reasons I am not going to go into detail about it though. But the gif below, that was me! DESTROYED AND IN SHOCK!


I cried, I laughed, I was very involved once again. Right from the beginning it was action-packed and defying all my expectations for how this story could possibly play out. I actually thought that this would be a whole longer series than just the two books, but Blood for Blood has one of the most perfect closing sentences and I will forever cherish that tale for sure.

Noooow, there is one more thing I need to talk about and it’s something I also talked about in the review for the first book – the use of the German language. As a native speaker I am here to tell you, they used it all wrong. It already bothered me a little bit during Wolf by Wolf, but this time around I could barely go three pages without having to complain to someone (thanks for listening to me about that – you know who you are!). I didn’t really make that part of my rating though, because that would have meant such a huge reduction of stars and I actually like the story very much. So, here goes nothing, I am hoping this makes sense to you, but I mostly just need to vent.

  • Curse words: okay, I get it. The author used words even a non-German speaker could kind of grasp the understanding of such as verdammt or scheiße (and YES that is how you actually write that word, not with a double s), however, during the 1940s that wasn’t nearly as common of a curse word as it is these days. So, it does not necessarily make sense to use it so very often. Aside from that, the author used expressions that only exist in the English language such as “I don’t give a shit”. Now, they replaced one word (in this case “shit”) with the German equivalent, but since the saying doesn’t exist in the same form in my language, it again makes no sense. Therefore the use of words felt random and just for the sake of putting something German in there.
  • Nouns: You cannot use nouns as verbs or adjectives, also, they are always written with a capital letter. In addition to that, the ending of the word depends on whether it is singular or plural and the placement of it in the sentence. There are just so many grammatical issues I have with the way words were used. Unfortunately, I am also not sure that even the author understood all the words. Again, a couple of examples.
    • You cannot be dummkopf, however, you can be a Dummkopf.
    • You cannot blitzkrieg someone. Blitzkrieg is a military term and refers to quick military actions to prevent further escalation. It’s a method of warfare, yet it was used so often and casually in the book that even I started to doubt the actual meaning of the word. In fact, I don’t even know what it really meant in the context of the story sometimes.
  • The names: This was actually something that bothered me right from the beginning of the duology. I discussed the names with my mother and even she agreed that most of them would not be authentically German.
    • Luka Löwe LITERALLY means Luka Lion. Aside from the fact that I think that Luka is a rather modern name (that could just be me), he is supposed to be this hot womanizer and all I could see was an animated lion. It just takes away so much of the credibility and the earnestness if the main love interest has such a ridiculous name.
    • Why is every other character’s last name the one of an animal? We already clarified the meaning of Löwe. Wolfe anyone? (Still unhappy about the -e at the end of that name. If I could show you how silly that sounds pronounced in German, you would understand.) Baasch? (That’s not actually an animal, but Barsch is a fish and there’s really not that much of a difference here anymore.)
    • So many of the names were English-fied (again, well aware that’s not a word, but I think you get my meaning). There were letters added or taken away that just made the name sound … wrong? Some names were turned into nicknames NO German speaking person would use. I could see some of it working in this day and age, because we’re are such a global community, but not in the 40s and 50s, especially if German is the main language in that universe.

See, I would not have complained if those mistakes had happened once or twice … but they were constantly present. There was barely a time when they used the correct German word or phrase. So, what I don’t understand is why the publisher, who surely has a partner company in Germany or something, didn’t send it to them to check for those things? It would be such an easily avoidable thing to prevent frustration among everyone who DOES speak the language. Because let’s face it, not everyone of us has English as their mother tongue, yet most of us read in that language. I, for one, would really appreciate that.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! (but only because I didn’t take the language problems into consideration!)


Now that the duology is finished, will you read it too? Have you already read it?

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel (Book Review)


Publisher: Michael Joseph
Page Count
: 320

I wanted to read this book for very shallow reasons. I once saw the cover, matted black with silver stars sprinkled on it, and I could never ever forget it afterwards. Heck, I barely knew what it was about, but I knew I needed it for my collection. So, I was all the happier when my (majorly awesome) cousin gave it to me as a present for Christmas. It was my first read of the year and I am so glad I started 2017 off with this.

Many times now I have heard this book being compared to the Illuminae files and it’s not too far fetched of a comparison. Both are SciFi books and are told in an unusual but very effective format. Whereas the Illuminae files are very artistic, the Themis Files (which is what the series is called) have more of military order to them. Told in interviews, reports and journal entries, you are able to get the picture, but never get too close to the subjects. At least that’s what I thought at first, but by the end by heart was beating with fear of the fate of everyone involved in the project, even the people that are inherently mysterious because you don’t even know their name. This particular style of storytelling works really well for me, because I love to analyze and interpret dialogue a lot. If there’s ever too much description in a book, I’ll most certainly get bored.

I don’t want to get into the plot too much, seen as this is probably a book you best not know too much about before you read it. There’s so much mystery in this story and it’s good that way. The characters don’t know what they are doing, you don’t know what’s happening, this is something new in the world! Ultimately it comes down to this being a story about humanity. What do we do with a discovery like this? Will we use it for “good” or for “evil”? What lengths are willing to go to for scientific discovery? How do we handle the certain knowledge that we are not alone out there? These are all questions posed, but only partially answered, because the story is far from being done by the end of the book. It definitely went down some twisted and dark paths, so I hope you are up for that if you decided to read the book as well. I, for one, am extremely intrigued and glad that the sequel will be coming out later this year. Until then, I am just going to wonder what I actually read …

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Also, final side note, I hear this has a really good audio book, even though I haven’t listened to it myself. It supposedly has different voice actors for all the characters and quite a couple of people have noted on that. As I said, I cannot speak from my own experience, but it might be worth trying out if you are a fan of audio books.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Sort of like an adult, less artistic and more straight forward Illuminae files and I love it?


Have you heard of the book? Are you as excited for the sequel as I am? 

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Book Review)


Publisher: Orion Books
Page Count
: 536

Crooked Kingdom is yet another book back from December that I have neglected to review until today! It is the second and final part in the Six of Crows duology (my review for the first part can be read here!) and what a ride it has been. I did not technically read this Fadwa @Word Wonders, however, without her emotional support and me being able to ramble while I read, it would only have been half as much fun. So, many thanks for that!

I just really struggle with reviewing sequels, because I obviously don’t want to give away the plot, most of what I liked or disliked was already mentioned in my previous post and despite repeating myself a lot, I don’t actually enjoy doing that. So, what’s left to say? Because I still love the group-dynamic, their banter and how they are like some lovely, dysfunctional family. I still adore the twists and turns of the story, the adrenaline that rushes through my veins, even when I know (or at least think I know) how a situation ends.

While I was romantically frustrated with this book, all my ships sailed and there was just so much love all around. I am not going to lie, if a book has abso-freaking-lutely no one to ship, I will get bored, so this duology was like a shipping heaven. There’s so much potential all around, without any silly love triangles or other ridiculous jealousy plots. You just have all kinds of pairings and they are so cutesy with each other. I just really, really, really wanted some kind of making out session, which I didn’t get …

Unfortunately I was spoiled for one of the major plot twists (even if it wasn’t in detail) because of social media. I am obviously not going to repeat myself here, but let’s just say that the actual scene didn’t have much impact on me. I can’t even describe a feeling, because in that very moment, I felt absolutely nothing, which disconcerted me a little to be honest. HOWEVER, in a later scene it really hit me I guess. Somehow I am not sure though if I ever fully realised what happened there or if I am denying it.

Finally, even without having read the Grisha trilogy, this duology was a feast for my ever hungry reader soul. We had such an inclusive cast (including POC, m/m romance, a character suffering from PTSD and another one from dyslexia to name just a bit of what’s going on) and exciting plot! If you want something engaging, thrilling and emotional, this should be your next read!

I will finish this review with one of my favourite Kaz Brekker quotes and general favourite quotes from the series (be still my beating heart):


Fazit: 5/5 stars! LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this duology!


Have you read Crooked Kingdom or the duology as a whole? Would you like to in the future?

Gemina by Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff (Book Review)


Publisher: Knopf Books
Page Count
: 608

Gemina is the sequel to Illuminae (click here to read my review) and I was lucky enough to read it with my blogging friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books! Just like with its predecessor, there was some crazy stuff going on and I was really glad I had someone to freak out with.

This series is incredibly difficult to review without spoiling it. So, I won’t even really attempt to talk about what is going on in terms of plot. Go an experience it for yourself! What I can say, is that I would like to be able to tell you that I was surprised by what happened, but I think Marie can attest to me predicting or sensing that something would happen at least 90% of the time. There is really no way of telling if that was just me or if it was easier to guess now that I knew how the authors worked from what I read in Illuminae, but it was still full of twists and turns and I had a lot of fun!

I actually liked Gemina better than Illuminae somehow. I clicked with the new characters way faster, but fear not, our old heroes and villains make plenty of appearances. And while I still am not able to see the entire big picture here, I love how everything is connected. It’s quite a massive book, but the format just makes it so much easier to breeze through the whole thing in very little time. There were less schematics and more doodles and sketches from a journal, which helped me personally a lot. I think that I got confused with all the different ships last time around. However, I still think that it’s a shame they don’t offer the book in colour. I would definitely be willing to pay more for a chance to have it really be even more astounding.

While, as I said, I enjoyed the format again, there were also a couple things about it I had issues with. For one, a couple of the last chapters felt incredibly repetitive for reasons I cannot go into detail with. It was fun and made sense at first, but it simply dragged on for too long and I was actually happy when that part of the story was over. And second, it sometimes was printed in such a dark colour on dark background that it was near impossible to read (seriously! WHYYY?). I get that that’s sometimes on purpose, but not in a regular chat room conversation. Maybe I had a weirdly printed version, but if that’s a general issue, they should definitely work on that for the finale.

Speaking of which – I cannot wait to see what this all leads to and how it ends for all those characters that have really grown on me!

Fazit: 4.5 stars! It was even better than Illuminae, which I so didn’t expect. I AM READY FOR THE FINALE!


Now that I’ve successfully said basically nothing about the book, how do you feel? Have you read Gemina already? Are you going to?