The No Disclaimers Book Tag!

I meant to post another book review, but I just didn’t find the time to read. So, instead you are getting the No Disclaimers Book Tag, which the lovely Orang-utan Librarian tagged me not too long ago. Only needing about two months until I get to it really is some of my quickest work. I hope you’ll enjoy!

Which trope(s) in books annoys you the most?

There’s a couple I get annoyed with, but most definitely the “I’m different than other girls” and the “absent parents” are all up there. I get that you want to differentiate your main character from others, but often it just puts shade on things girls like and/or pits them against each other for no real reason. I also understand why parents can be a hindrance in certain storylines, but at least put some effort into why they aren’t there. You could almost assume that every orphan has a magical life and that’s definitely not the case.

Which writer do you feel is overrated/overhyped?

I have to agree with the Orang-utan Librarian and say Veronica Roth. I’d probably also add Sarah J. Maas, Cassandra Clare and Rainbow Rowell to that list and I say all of those with the clear knowledge that I have read several of their books. If you would ask me why they were super successful and others weren’t, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

What are your least favorite books you’ve read since you started blogging?

I’ve been doing this for a long time by now (yep, more than 8 years) and I haven’t always liked everything I read. I suppose the most recent books I really didn’t enjoy were Animals, The Pisces and Find Me. The latter was an especially huge disappointment.

Animals The Pisces Find Me

What is a terrible ending that ruined an otherwise quality book?

I have a feeling that most books aren’t that great to begin with if you hate the ending, because looking back, I always found flaws in the stories I disliked after I was finished with them. Sometimes, at least I think so, you stick with books in the hope that they’ll deliver an amazing conclusion, but then they just … don’t?

However, I wasn’t a big fan of the continuation of the Shatter Me series. I didn’t hate the new books that came after Ignite Me, but it felt like they negated a lot of the things I enjoyed from the original trilogy … I still haven’t read the final book though.

Which fictional character(s) do you wish was/were not killed off?

Finnick Odair … that one will forever hurt.

What are some bookish pet peeves?

Bad communication is the bane of my existence. Why can’t people just talk? The drama that ensues from it isn’t enjoyable for me to read, but rather just annoys me.

When there’s a lot of typos and word repetition, I feel like there just wasn’t any effort put into editing, but that’s a very important component. I get that mistakes happen and I’m not gonna flip if there’s two mistakes in there somewhere, but if they keep happening, I’m gonna get a little bit irritated.

What are some books you feel should have more recognition?

I did a whole post on books that don’t have a lot of Goodreads ratings and deserve more attention, which you can read here. I’d really like for more people to read Soulswift and The Light Between Worlds. I don’t know why those two in particular, but they just kind of stayed with me.

Soulswift   The Light Between Worlds

What are your thoughts on censorship and banning books?

Generally, I’m opposed to censorship. I don’t really understand why most books are banned, but then, every once in a while, I wish certain books weren’t available. They lifted the ban on Hitler’s book in my country and all I could think of was “why would you let people read that demented man’s thoughts?”. So, maybe my answer isn’t that simple after all …

I TAG THEE

As per usual, this is an open invitation for anyone who sees this and feels like doing the tag! Just link back here and I’ll happily check out your take on it! Yes, I’m talking about YOU!


I hope this was some nice bookish content. Let me know about some of your views on the questions above!

Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins (ARC Review)

Publisher: Underlined
Page Count
: 303
Release Date: August 3, 2021

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

Everything I knew about this book before I started reading it just made me want to dive into it even more. From the fake-dating-trope to the setting among the LA music and film stars – I truly thought Like a Love Song was written for me, because it basically covered everything I love. I’m so very happy to report that it didn’t disappoint!

Natalie, as a narrator, has a fun and easy voice. She effortlessly manages to make herself relatable to the reader, even though she has a couple diva-moments, which the people in her life notice and even shade a little at times. All of that is part of her journey though and what a sweet one that is. Because when you are followed by paparazzi all the time and every moment of your life gets captured for the internet (be it in a professional capacity or by the shoddy phone camera of a fan), it may happen that you lose sight of who you really are. Natalie was vulnerable and anxious, constantly overthinking what the public, but also her friends and family, were thinking of her, and that made her so beautifully human. I really enjoyed watching her find her way back to herself.

Now, enter William. I sometimes wished we had gotten to know his family and his struggles on an even deeper level, but he was so easy to fall in love with regardless. There was a certain dorkiness and cluelessness to him that felt so endearing, but most of all I appreciated his willingness to keep it real despite the circumstances. Even when Natalie sometimes doubted him, I think his sincerity shone through. However, I’d like to add that I will not tolerate any slander of superhero movies, especially not from indie movie snobs.

So much about this story was cute and funny, but it really had a lot of heart as well. I read it in just one day and that’s because it flowed really nicely, but also because it didn’t always go into great depth. Natalie’s feelings were very clear and I loved the glimpses at family and friends, funny text chains and hints at their life off the page, but sometimes I also wanted even more. I’m forever greedy that way.

The one final thing I will say is that the characters didn’t really feel like 17-year-olds to me. They could have just as easily been in their early twenties and I don’t see how that would have changed the story, but then again, I really didn’t mind that they sometimes seemed older in my head. Maybe I even preferred that in some scenes …

Lastly, Like a Love Song will officially release on my birthday and I think that is an especially good omen. I hope that date will put it under a lucky star, because I really think that a lot of people could potentially enjoy this fun story!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! If you like tropey (in the best sense of the word) teen romances, you should check this out!


Do you plan on reading Like a Love Song? What’s one of your favorite romance tropes? Let’s chat!

Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Chris Evans. All the information is taken from various tweets and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the second installment of this very special feature! For those of you who missed the first one or don’t really know what’s going on, I’d recommend heading over to Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible readers? I put a lot of work and passion into that post as well as this series as a whole, hoping it will bring you as much joy as it did to take part in it for me. You’ll definitely be able to see an explanation of the reading experiment at the beginning of the last feature, but in short, I read celebrities favorite books and determine if we would be a good match. All of that in good fun, obviously!


Read More »

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass (ARC Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Page Count
: 256
Release Date: July 13, 2021

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

CW: racism, homophobia, bullying, school shooting, graphic violence/death, suicide and suicidal ideation, physical and emotional abuse, mental illness, parental neglect and abandonment, attempted rape/child molestation, drug use, possession

Ever since I saw the cover for this book (shout out to Jessica Jenkins, who designed it, and Corey Brickley, who did the cover art), I knew I had to pick it up. Horror is still a new-to-me genre and I’m slowly easing myself into it, unsure where I truly stand on it, but I have no regrets reading The Taking of Jake Livingston.

While it may seem short, The Taking of Jake Livingston packs quite the punch. From the get go, Jake’s narration style mixed with the diary entries from Sawyer manage to create great tension and suspense. Although Sawyer gave me the creeps, I enjoyed how reasons for his behavior were explained but not excused. I felt like it was really easy to connect to the teen voices, which were casual but also had some really beautiful lines included. I was barely a couple pages in and I wanted to know everything that had happened and was about to happen.
I have to say that you barely get a breather while you read, with heavy topics such as abuse, racism, bullying, etc. being around every other corner. It became quite a lot at some point, but, at the same time, perfectly portrayed Jake’s dire circumstances. He was about to be stripped of everything, even his self, and you really felt that along with him. All of that made the lighter moments, especially those with Fiona and Allister, who were like bright spots in the ever-growing darkness, all the sweeter. I often wished they had been featured even more prominently, just to give Jake someone to lean on, although I understood that wasn’t the main plot.

Despite the heaviness and the gruesome scenes, some of which had me in literal tears, the book does end on a hopeful and lovely note. I don’t know if I could have handled a glum ending, but I was really pleased and even happy at what I got. This was a story about ghosts, control and letting go of things/people that hurt you, but it was also about self-acceptance and even queer Black love. While the romance surely wasn’t the main plot, the author managed to incorporate it perfectly, making it something that eased the heavy parts without ridiculing what was happening.

In the end, I was impressed by how much intensity could fit into such a “short” book. Some parts felt a bit disjointed and rushed, lacking consequences at times, but the discomfort and creepiness of some scenes will continue to haunt me. I’ll try to just think of the nice ending instead …

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Gripping and haunting story you will surely fly through!


Do you intend to pick up The Taking of Jake Livingston? Are you interested in YA horror?

June 2021 Wrap-Up

June was a whirlwind of a month for me and I can’t really explain why. Somehow it just went by in the blink of an eye, but I can’t complain. I even think I got some decent reading in, even though I think you’ll find the books quite a departure from what you can usually see on the blog. So, let’s check that out right away:

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (3 stars)
  • Any Human Heart by William Boyd (4 stars)
  • No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh (3 stars)
    This book was full of Buddhist teachings and very interesting to read, although a tad repetitive.
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (4 stars)
    Siddhartha was a reread for me, which I rarely ever do, but you’ll find out why soon enough!

Anna Karenina Any Human Heart No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life Siddhartha

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

I FINALLY got my appointment for the vaccine! I know that there’s still many countries that don’t have a wide access to it and my heart goes out to them. I felt very annoyed at how long it took for my own city to open up bookings for my age group, so I don’t want to imagine the frustrations others feel. At the same time, I’m very glad to finally have my appointment this weekend.

As my social media break continues in a light version (I do check up on my accounts from time to time, but it doesn’t even equate to an hour a day anymore), I found I had a lot of time for other things. I read more, I wrote more and I felt more creative urges coming back to me. I still haven’t drawn anything in months, but if I have the time (which is a rare good these days), I know a portrait I’d really like to do. I’d also like to think that I was very consistent with my blogging, which makes me happy, because in June, I celebrated my 8-year-blogiversary! Can you believe how long it’s been!? Thank you so, so very much for sticking around – it means the world to me!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Honestly, and I imagine you are all quite tired of hearing about it by now, but my favorite thing this past month was finally releasing my reading experiment, where I tried to see if Tom Hiddleston are compatible readers! As much as I enjoy doing other people’s tags and features on my blog, I wanted something that felt very me and fit on this site. This was like the perfect combination of things I love and I put so much work into it. I want everyone to know that I appreciated the responses to the post so much and am happy to announce that it’s now officially a series/feature on here! The next installment should be up in a couple weeks – feel free to guess which actor I’m matching with this time!

All of this was obviously fueled by my love for the currently airing Loki show! I ended up deciding on weekly reviews again, just because I love talking about all things Marvel way too much to not post about it at all. I noticed that there weren’t as many views on these reviews as there were on previous shows, but I’m past the point of caring. I just want to fangirl on my corner of the interwebs however much I please.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Sorry for this part of the wrap-up being so irregular, but here are some awesome posts from amazing bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

LOKI REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a great June and will have a great July as well! Don’t let the heatwave get to you!! Let’s chat!

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

I do these tags really irregularly, but I took the time to put something up last year and had a lot of fun with it. So, this is my attempt at bringing the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag back on a more regular basis. As in yearly. Hopefully.

*By clicking on the covers, you’ll be re-directed to the Goodreads pages of the books!*

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2021

SoulswiftI’ve only given 5 stars to ONE (fiction) book this year, so I feel like that has to be the one I mention for this prompt? I’m talking about Soulswift, a breathtaking and soul-crushing standalone fantasy novel here. I’m honestly still shocked that not more people have discovered this book yet.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2021

King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)The only books that were part of a series that I read this year were the Grishaverse books. I don’t feel super happy giving King of Scars this spot on the post, because I wasn’t actually as happy with it as I would have liked to be, but it’s the only one that makes sense. I should read more series again maybe …

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

For the Wolf (Wilderwood, #1)For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten is 100% up there! The book just sounds like it would be right up my alley and I’m really excited to dive into it once I can get my hands on a copy!

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

The Taking of Jake LivingstonI don’t know when this happened or why it really even happened, but I found myself drawn to more horror-esque books these past years. It’s such a weird change for me, because I literally hate being terrified, but apparently I don’t hate being just a little freaked out? I don’t know, but I’m super hyped to read The Taking of Jake Livingston.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

My Year AbroadI was so very sad to not have connected with My Year Abroad. I felt like there should have been enough basis from my real life experiences to make this book an outstanding read for me, but somehow, I just wasn’t the right reader for it. I saw a lot of people enjoy the style of writing, while I found it a bit dragging and difficult to get through.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Any Human HeartHonestly, before I started reading Any Human Heart, I really didn’t believe I was going to like it. I had read (or at least attempted to read) another book by the same author and I was incredibly bored. With this one though, despite me not really liking the main character, I felt it had so much emotion. In the end, I really enjoyed the journey we had together.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

You all know how much I adore Morgan Matson and how I will devour anything she writes? Well, I found an author with a similar style of writing, who evokes the same feelings in me. Through The Summer of Broken Rules, K.L. Walther managed to capture my heart and I would love to read future books by the author. This one transported me right to a summery vacation destination, so I’m here for more.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

The Summer of Broken RulesTo further elaborate the previous answer, I really, really enjoyed The Summer of Broken Rules because it introduced me to Wit. He’s such a lovely love interest and I don’t know how else to put it. I like caring, at times dorky guys with a healthy dose of humor and he provides all that!

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Malibu RisingHmmm … that’s a tough one. I met some great characters throughout the year so far, but I think I might have to give this one to Nina Riva from Malibu Rising. I don’t know how to explain it, but I found a lot of myself in her, which made me feel uncomfortable at times. But I also loved it?

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Ugh, I hate repeating answers so much, but Malibu Rising it is again. That book lost me a little bit in parts of the second half, but I felt a really big emotional connection to it and it definitely had me well up a couple times. Something about the setting and the family theme just got to me more than I expected.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Hana Khan Carries OnWhile Hana Khan Carries On definitely has some more serious elements to it that weren’t always easy to handle, Hana’s passion for her podcast and a career in the world of radio had be so excited and happy to keep reading this book. The fact that she also has a “You’ve Got Mail”-style romance was just the cherry on top.

FAVOURITE BOOK TO SCREEN ADAPTATION

Okay, this just HAS to be Shadow and Bone! Despite some flaws, the casting of this show was impeccable and gave us so much fun and heartwarming new content for the Grishaverse. I mean, that show made me utterly fall in love with Mal and while I liked him in the books (contrary to most of the fandom, I think), I ADORED the boy on the show. Cannot wait for season 2!

You can read more of my thoughts on the show here!

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

This is also super easy to answer for me, which is rare to be honest. I’m not trying to say that I’m not usually proud of my own content, but I was especially happy to publish my “Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?” post a few weeks back. It is now developing into a full blown series, where I read the favorite books of celebs and see if we would be a match or not. I think it’s such a fun feature that combines my love for reading with my admiration of all things TV and film. I hope you enjoy reading it just a fraction of how much I loved creating this post/future series.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and LightLast year, I mentioned a poetry collection for this special prompt and I’m going to stick with that again this year. I think Where Hope Comes From is such a gorgeous book inside and out! It was written during the times of Covid, so I understand if not everyone is up for that emotional exploration, but I think it was really beautiful.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

If We Were Villains

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)

SO. VERY. MANY. But just because I’m a terrible person and haven’t read the books I mentioned in 2020 yet. I’m going to put those exact same ones here again.

If We Were Villains and Dark Age. are still on my shelf and I have no excuse as to why I haven’t picked them up. Literally none. (Other than the fact that the size of Dark Age scares me.)

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this as well! If that’s you, then I tag YOU!!!


What did you think of my answers for the prompts of the tag? How is your reading year going so far? Let’s talk!!

Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Tom Hiddleston. All the information is taken from various interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the first of hopefully many installments in this brand new feature! I’ve already teased this “little” reading experiment in my May Wrap-Up post and am so excited to finally share it with you. When I was trying to think about something new and fresh that would fit well into the theme of the blog and also be a very me-thing to do, this was the very first thing that came to mind.
It basically boils down to me picking an actor or actress of my choice (Tom Hiddleston in this case), doing a little deep dive on their favorite books and then comparing how I feel about them. I think that a person’s taste in books reveals a lot about them and turning it into a sort of compatibility test felt like a neat idea. So, I hope you will all enjoy reading this as much as I did creating it!


Read More »

May 2021 Wrap-Up

Time’s just flying by and I have lost all track of what’s happening. I did, however, read an astonishing amount of books this past month, which was only possible because some of those were no more than 40 pages and included a lot of poetry collections, but still … I read a bunch! I love that for me. Let’s check out what was on my list:

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (3 stars)
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (3 stars)
    It is astonishing to me that, after 2,000 years, we still struggle with similar problems. This series of short essays wasn’t always something I agreed with, but it raised some very interesting points.
  • Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav (4 stars)
    This poetry collection was so easy to get into. I found a lot of passages I could identify with, while others were so specific that it almost felt like intruding on someone’s personal life.
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    This is “just” a printed version of the inaugural poem Amanda Gorman wrote, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Nothing beats watching her perform it though.
  • Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill (5 stars)
    Another poetry collection, this one with a focus on the year 2020. I found it very emotional to read and do not recommend it if you don’t want to be reminded of the pain of the pandemic (which we’re still in).
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (3 stars)
    Miller’s short story – Galatea – is bound to break your heart, like most of her writing will.

The Nature of Witches  On The Shortness Of Life: De Brevitate Vitae (A New Translation with Image Gallery and Seneca Biography) (Stoics In Their Own Words Book 4)  Love Looks Pretty on You  The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem  Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light  Malibu Rising  Galatea

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, what’s new? I have further reduced my time on social media (although it’s still easy to reach me via DMs if there’s ever something I need to know or you want to talk about) and it has been very freeing. I barely check my timeline, I tweet something every other day and then log off again and just enjoy not giving my opinion on all things? It’s not that I have nothing to say or talk about, but … does the whole world need to know? The answer is likely “no”, so I reduce my interactions mostly to brief reactions about what I’ve watched recently. It honestly works for me.

I haven’t drawn or done much creatively once more and I’m not sure June will be the month for that either. It’s going to hold a lot of changes for me and we shall see how that might also affect my blogging schedule (been going “strong” with at least 2 posts each week minimum). For now, it looks like the Canada thing needs to be buried, which saddens me but is something I’ll just have to deal with. I think a lot of lives have been interrupted/disrupted/changed during the past year and if letting go of that dream is what it means for me, then it could have been much worse I suppose.

During the past months, my blogging friend Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile has really inspired me with her reading experiments. Be it about books she read based on her zodiac sign or letting Buzzfeed decide her next reads, it is always sure to be fun and a unique to her experience. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to copy her, but I have started my very own reading experiment. I wanted it to be something that felt very true to me and that you would all hopefully enjoy as well. I’m not ready to disclose what exactly my post will entail, but having written about it here will give me that accountability to go through with it! I’M SO EXCITED!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Since I spent less time on social media apps, you might think I spent less time in front of screens, but that’s not entirely true. I still watched a whole lot, for example also the TV adaptation of Panic by Lauren Oliver. Fair warning, I forgot everything there was about the plot, except for random details, but I had a good time. The concept of the game within the story is pretty reckless and stupid, all of it is a very teen angst filled show, but I was entertained.

I’ve also started to delve into fan fiction a bit, just because I think it’s such an amazing outlet for all the creative people out there. I love reading my friends’ takes on Charmed (which are often better than canon) such as katasstropheee‘s or amandapanda425‘s works (to just name a few). But also all things Marvel related, where I’m especially excited to see the Why Me? fic continued once the Loki show will air. Reimagining already existing worlds can be so satisfying and I might try my own hand at it while my motivation for my original novels is lacking.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS BOOKISH STUFF

TRAILER POSTS


What are some things that shaped your May? What are you looking forward to in June? Let’s chat a little bit and I hope you are all happy and healthy!

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (ARC Review)

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Page Count
: 384
Release Date: June 1, 2021

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

CW: alcoholism, parental abandonment, loss of a loved one, adultification, mention of drug use, cheating

Many of my friends would probably gasp at the statement, but Malibu Rising was my first full length novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I had always meant to check out her books, had made plans so many times before, especially because I had enjoyed her novella Evidence of the Affair a whole lot, but apparently never followed through. I’m so very glad I remedied that now.

As we follow the Riva family through the decades, it is somehow easy to fall in love with all these characters. They felt real and flawed and relatable. With so many mentions of people that actually exist(ed), you were almost tempted to look up if their story was based on someone’s actual life.

As you alternate between the siblings Nina, Jay, Hub and Kit as grown-ups in the 80s and their parents June and Mick falling in love in the 50s, it becomes clear early on how these people shaped each other. While I first worried that some of the characters would get lost, there was a great balance between all of them and it felt astonishingly easy to follow their tale. Character traits as well as relationships to others but also money make a lot of sense when you consider the decisions made by those who came before you. It is all interwoven and shows how you can become the person you want to be because of or despite of your upbringing. My heart broke for these characters over and over and over again. I really just wanted to hold them and was proud of how they continued to trust in people and gave their love so freely even after the hardships they endured.

I have to say, as much as the book had me in the first half, it kind of lost me at times in the second one. I was so invested in the fate of the siblings, in their life story, I didn’t even really care if there was a bigger plot to it all. Just following their struggles and growth, seeing them get through it together, was enough for me. However, as much as I had forgotten the big life-changing party was going to take place later on in the book, it still came barreling in in the second half.
While I thought it was already bordering on too many POVs when we just had the siblings as well as their parents, Taylor Jenkins Reid doubled down and introduced many one-off POVs to show just how crowded and wild the party was getting. I understood that some of the fleeting perspectives added to the atmosphere, but overall, they weren’t necessary to further the story in my opinion. It all just became a bit too much and too disjointed for me.

Still, I cannot help but feel touched by all of it! Family and all its intricacies is one of my favorite topics to read about and Taylor Jenkins Reid managed to really bring that home. Each of the siblings was unique in their own way, but it was easy to find part of myself in each of them. The style of writing is engaging and manages to capture the flair of the setting and time period perfectly. I could picture everything in my mind as if I was watching a movie from back in the day. It’s rare that I read about a bunch of siblings who all love to surf with all their heart (something I know nothing about) and still feel so very connected to them. Definitely a read I will continue to cherish!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Very strong start with a bit of a jumbled second half, but still SO MUCH heart!


Do you plan on reading Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel? What is your favorite one by her you’ve read so far? Let’s talk!

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 362
Release Date: June 1, 2021

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

Advertised as “Practical Magic meets Twister“, The Nature of Witches immediately grabbed my attention when I first heard about it (those are legit two movies I adore with my whole heart). As much as I enjoy immersing myself in a high Fantasy concept, there’s something special about magic meeting our contemporary world, which this book does instead.
In this specific instance, witches have always lived among humans and helped them regulate the atmosphere and climate. But humans, as they tend to do in every reality it seems, wanted more. They went against the witches’ recommendations and tried to inhabit parts of the planet that should have been left to nature, always trying to push the limits further, until the Earth could take no more and the atmosphere became too erratic to be tamed by magic even.

As far as general premises go, this was something that interested me right away, because I loved the idea of mirroring our real life climate crisis in a magical way. However, the book only carried this idea as an underlying theme to propel the main character, Clara, further in her journey of accepting herself. Told from her POV, you mostly deal with her inner and very personal struggle. As an Everwitch, she can control magic no matter the season, whereas other witches are at their strongest or weakest depending on the time of year. Clara’s not just the only Everwitch there is, but because it has been so long since the last one lived, no one really knows what her powers entail, just that she is stronger and more dangerous and their only hope at counteracting the humans’ destruction. The danger in her abilities manifests specifically whenever she loses control, because her rampant magic seeks the people she loves the most and kills them, hence why she is reluctant to form any attachment to the people in her life.

While reading the book, I understood where Clara’s trauma came from. Imagine having powers you never asked for and that no one knows how to control, just to see them take every person you love from you at the slightest mistake. The conclusion that you would need to isolate yourself makes sense, but it still put the story in a repetitive loop, because not getting attached to anyone simply isn’t realistic. We are not even talking about romantic love here, but any kindness can make the heart grow fonder. Still, Clara focuses a lot on her romantic entanglements, which include her ex-girlfriend Paige and her current love interest Sang. I was personally more invested in Paige’s side of things, simply because she seemed like one of the few people willing to call out Clara when she was being self-centered and their history was really interesting. Sang, on the other hand, was one of the loveliest and sweetest characters. He was so supportive and exuded a calm that I wish I possessed too, but somehow I didn’t feel the depth of their love as much as it was described on the page.

All of this was a surprisingly quick read as you breeze through the seasons, but despite the dangerous situations the characters were put in, I didn’t feel the urgency of the plot. Usually, when it comes to magic, I try to just accept what I’m told, but I struggled a bit with the logistics. Here are a couple of examples that didn’t make sense to me entirely:

  • Every witch has their own seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter) in which they are born, their personality is affected by and their magic is the strongest. However, seasons aren’t technically bound to certain months. They are marked by weather patterns and daylight hours, completely different depending on where you live on the planet. So, if a Summer witch didn’t want to see her powers wane after three months, wouldn’t they just be of better use in a different geographical area?
  • Clara had to live in a shed in the woods all by herself after a fatal incident with her powers, to make sure she wouldn’t get attached to any of her other classmates who lived together in dorms. This technically seems logical, but then they pair her with one person to train her alone, be it a teacher for years or a newly introduced person her age. If you spend time with someone in close proximity and they are your only close contact, you will form an attachment. People tend to grow on you over time, so this course of action was an odd choice for me, because it obviously counteracted what they were trying to do.
  • The big final plan (which I won’t go into detail about) was reckless, could have backfired so badly and was purely based on a hunch. Never mind that we don’t fully understand what happened or why it was necessary exactly, but it seemed to be a cure all.

Finally, this may not have been everything I’d hoped it would be, but the writing was beautiful, especially when it came to the weather and plant life. I also really liked the little quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They were a nice touch and I don’t want to reveal anything, but loved how it came full circle in the final chapters. Something about them worked so well as affirmations, you didn’t even have to be a witch to feel like they could be helpful to you as well.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Very interesting concept and quick read, although it didn’t live up to my expectations!


Do you plan to read The Nature of Witches? What is your take on contemporary magical stories? Let’s talk!