Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby (Review + Movie Trailer)

Publisher: Penguin
Page Count
: 249

It’s been so long since I have done a regular review for a book and I know because I checked (for real, I haven’t written one since the end of July). I am not exactly ecstatic that the first book after all these months is Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby now to be honest and it’s a little tough to explain the why of it all.

First, Juliet, Naked isn’t a bad book. It’s about people who feel they have wasted years of their lives, whole decades even, due to wrong decisions and a lack of action to change their less than ideal situations. Even as someone who isn’t in her 40s or 50s, I can relate to that topic. There are times I wonder what I am doing with my life and whether I have gotten into enough trouble, taken enough chances or simply whether I am on the right path for future me. This book chronicles how Annie, Duncan and Tucker have to live with their regrets and make the best of it, all packaged with a good measure of dry English humour, a deep fascination with 80s music, a spin on modern day online conversation/dating and unhealthy fandom culture.

Usually, all those aforementioned elements would draw me in immediately! Who am I kidding? The mere suggestion of them here was the reason I picked up the book and in the beginning it was all really funny. I could see myself in parts of each character, like in Duncan’s passion for something he loved (although I never was on his level of obsession for anything ever and I go deep sometimes), Tucker’s ability to share his deepest thoughts with a stranger on the internet but his inability to do so with his closest family and friends or Annie’s fear of having missed the opportunity to have a family of her own by getting comfortable in a situation because it was easy rather than the right one. I don’t mind having people be the main characters who aren’t perfect. In my eyes, it makes them more realistic and human to have various flaws and even flaws that you don’t have to forgive sometimes.  got all that and I felt that and even though it all sounds rather serious and gloomy, it also had some great humour sprinkled in.

But then there were also all these disjointed parts and characters that truly weren’t necessary. And worst of all the conclusion … it felt so open-ended and with a lack of, well, closure. I understand that not ever story needs to tie all ends together, but here it felt like we stopped a couple chapters short of where Juliet, Naked was supposed to end. I didn’t need for them to live happily ever after, but I did need a couple more infos on their fate. So, while I enjoyed the themes and characters (to some extent), the ultimate execution of the story just lacked something for me. I feel like there was a lot more in there we didn’t get to see.

Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! A rather average story that could have been more.

Now, as the title promised, I am also going to share the movie trailer here. I believe, and please don’t hold me accountable on this, the movie is currently in theaters (at least at the time of writing this post). I haven’t seen the movie yet, so no comment on that, but from what I gathered from the trailer, it looks like a faithful adaptation that expands on all the elements that were lacking or not quite right for me in the book. I am curious to see if I am right and whether they will change the end, but take a look for yourself:

Have you read or watched Juliet, Naked? Are there any other Nick Hornby books you’ve checked out? Let me know in the comments below!

Halloween Creatures Book Tag!

It’s that time of the year again where pumpkins are everywhere (just fyi, my team partner and I won the pumpkin carving competition among the interns at my firm and I am low-key proud) and people dress up as all sorts of mystical beings for Halloween. Which is why it’s the perfect time to do the Halloween Creatures Book Tag that I was tagged for by the ever amazing Orang-utan Librarian!

RULES

  • Answer all prompts.
  • Answer honestly.
  • Tag 1-13 people.
  • Link back to this post.
  • Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)
  • Have fun!

Witch: A magical character or book

  A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)

I am honestly and unapologetically obsessed with the A Discovery of Witches TV show, so I picked up the book and it has so much magic that unfortunately cannot compete with the wonder that is the show, but I am still reading it …

Werewolf: The perfect book to read at night

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)I am confused … all books can be read at night? The last book I spent reading until somewhat 3 AM though was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. That’s my answer even if I doubt that’s what this prompt was looking for.

Frankenstein: A book that truly shocked you

Sleeping Giants (Themis Files, #1)There were parts of Sleeping Giants, I will most likely forever think “what the what now??”, especially when it comes to  some of the medical stuff.

The Devil: A dark or evil character

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)It’s not so much a character as it is a whole strip of land, but Area X gives me some major evil vibes in Annihilation. I have rarely been this fascinated by something like it though. If the other books in the series were available with film tie-in as well, I would have binge-read the other books like there was no tomorrow.

Grim Reaper: A character that never should have died

The Glass Word (Dark Reflections, #3)I don’t even know if anyone knows the Dark Reflections trilogy, but in the final book there is a death that I shall never get over (but since I don’t want to spoil, I won’t name names).

Zombie: A book that made you hungry for more

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)I am pretty sure I am known for loving This Savage Song and it was just one of those books where I found a character I truly and honestly loved – August Flynn! He is my darling and adoptive son forevermore, but his world is also so very intriguing. I would have been down for copious amounts of more books in that setting rather than it just being a duology.

Gargoyle: A character that you would protect at all cost

I am going to refer to the previous answer here and say AUGUST FLYNN once more!

Vampire: A book that sucked the life out of you

This year, I read a book called Sweetbitter and I was so excited for it and the portrayal of the waiting staff at a restaurant but it was dreadful to read. It definitely felt like it took away some years of my life … in a not so great way.

Ghost: A book that still haunts you

The Night CircusContrary to Sweetbitter, this book haunts me in the best of ways – The Night Circus! It’s so magical and beautiful and intricate. You never understand everything that is happening, but you are enamored nonetheless. Can’t wait for some capable people to make this into a movie or show!

Demon: A book that really scared you

I am not even trying to be super dramatic but I honestly cannot think of a single book that really scared me, because then I most likely would have stopped reading it or never picked it up to begin with. I just don’t like being scared. (Annihilation probably came the closest though)

Skeleton: A character you have a bone to pick with

Iron Gold (Red Rising, #4)As much as I adore the entire Red Rising saga, I was just so mad at Darrow in Iron Gold sometimes. That boy was always reckless, but sometimes I just severely doubt his decision making skills. (not that I want to be the one making the decisions in his stead!)

Mummy: A book you would preserve throughout time

MomoIt’s strange that I only ever think of books from my childhood for these kind of questions but I think my answer might just be Momo. It would be so fitting as it deals with how we spend time and might not use it wisely.

Creepy Doll: A cover too scary to look at

Gonna steal the Orang-utan Librarian’s answer here and say it has to be the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1)

The Monster Mash- It’s fun to be with friends on Halloween! Tag your friends!

Seen as it is already Halloween and I am super late, I am going to leave it up to you if you want to do this tag or not. Consider yourself tagged!

This was my little contribution for Halloween. I hope you enjoyed the post and the monthly wrap-up should follow tomorrow! 

September 2018 Wrap-Up

My first month in Berlin is over and we will see if this is going to be a super short or very rambly post about all the things that have happened since I got here. First off, let’s start with the books I’ve read. Even if it’s only two, that is a 200% improvement from last month, so I am quite happy with that accomplishment. I still might lower my Goodreads goal, just because I’d like for it to actually be achievable, but here’s what I read in September for now:

Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a time  The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)

As always, click on the title to get to the review on the blog and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

Where do I even start to tell you what all happened this month? My new job started in a sort of frenzy as we were preparing for the world premiere of Michael Bully Herbig’s new movie “Ballon” (watch the trailer here – it’s in German though). His name might not mean much to you, but the German speaking folks will know that he is one of the most successful directors and actors in the country. His movies are ranked among the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time in Germany, just that he usually does comedies and this is his first thriller based on real events none the less. You can see how that is all mighty exciting!

Seeing all of this unfold, getting to meet the actors and being part of publicity stunts and ultimately watching the movie in a theater with all kinds of celebrities (Tokio Hotel of all people was there!?) was so much fun! And I was really impressed by it, because you could basically cut the tension in the room – the suspense was real! It’s not that I haven’t done these kind of things before, but just like Germany has about ten times as many people as Austria, it also has events and premieres on a much bigger scale. 

My boss was also kind enough to take me with her to the First Steps Awards, which felt like a really exclusive and great event. It celebrated new talents in the film industry, and not just actors and actresses, but everything from camera, writers and directors to producers. Shopping for it was a tiny bit of a nightmare, because I at least wanted to look semi-fancy and my size seems to be not-available in most stores, but in the end I saw so many people I have admired for a long time. I don’t feel like I could have experienced anything like it back in Vienna. 

Overall, my mind is quite occupied with work. I am one of those people who eats, breaths and dreams about work (the latter leading to some really weird stuff as some of my close friends will know). Deep inside, I know that I need a healthier work-life-balance. That my life shouldn’t be all about the job, but meeting new people and making new friends. I like Berlin and I feel like the streets I am walking on are slowly becoming a part of me, but I haven’t really found my people yet. It takes time and maybe I am not taking the necessary measures (aside from that one time I totally got friend-rejected) to really be pro-active and be in the world. But I am not going to lie, I really enjoy just sleeping the days away on the weekend.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

My favourite thing this month was to just watch a whole lot of German movies. In my mind, I always thought that I was meant to work in more of an English-language kind of industry, but being where I am right now, I can honestly say that I like German movies. I know a lot of the names and faces. There is a real difference to Austrian ones in tone and vibe and, as mentioned before, scale. I don’t know how interested you’d be in reading a post about that one day, but I could talk about all the good and bad ones I’ve watched lately? I just have no clue how many of them would be available with subtitles or such …

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read any posts, except for the ones I was tagged in. I haven’t been on the laptop much and the first couple of weeks, I didn’t even have internet in my own room, but I am really trying to get back into it and engage more again. So, to help me with that, leave the link to one (or more) of your favourite posts by yourself and bloggers you like in the comments! I will try my best to check them all out! I also promise to check my spam comments more often, just to make sure none of you accidentally end up there.

MY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

That’s all from me for now! I hope you enjoyed this very rambly summary of my month. What have you been up to? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Parsnips, Buttered and The Darkest Minds

It’s no secret that I have read very little during my time in Berlin so far. Being busy, tired and just generally occupied with other things will do that. I also have a very short way to and from work (which I love), so there’s not even really an opportunity to read on the train or so. But I am nonetheless quite happy I read something and here’s what that something was:

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a time by Joe Lycett

Parsnips, Buttered: How to win at modern life, one email at a timeEvery now and then, when the mood strikes, I like to dabble in some non-fiction books. And when I do, I am mostly drawn to works written by either actors or comedians I already know – Parsnips, Buttered was no exception to that.

People who have seen some of Joe Lycett’s work, know exactly what kind of ridiculous email-exchanges he gets himself tangled up in. This book is a hilarious compilation of some of his mischief, but it is by no means a guide or how-to-book. It’s just a little bit of short-lived fun that definitely got better with me hearing Joe’s voice narrate the whole thing in my head.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! I can see this working for some people and not at all striking the right chord with others.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)Some of you already know this, but I won tickets to see a preview of The Darkest Minds in August. Even though I usually try to avoid dubbed versions of movies, I didn’t even mind it as much for this one and really enjoyed the film. In my opinion, that movie would have worked a whole lot better a couple years back, because dystopian YA book adaptations just aren’t really that sought after these days and all the adult reviewers kept comparing it to the likes of Hunger Games and Maze Runner, even though it could have been its own thing.

I am rambling too much tough. What I meant to say was that I enjoyed the movie, but that made reading the book in hindsight a little more tricky. It’s not that I think one or the other is better per se, just that there are almost as many similarities as there are differences and therefore reading can get a little tiresome.

For me, the book filled in some questions that were left open after watching the movie, while I generally enjoyed some of the visuals better than reading about those events. I am curious where this story will go, but it is not exactly a priority of mine. Chubs is definitely one of my favourite characters now and the guy who played Liam in the movie is on my radar for young talent!

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Is it wrong of me to say that the prime of those kind of stories is past?

3s

Have you read either one of those? Did you read more installments in the Darkest Minds series? Did you see the movie and would you like a more thorough comparison from me? Let’s talk about it!

What’s On My Bookshelf Tag

I don’t remember the last time I spent this much time on my own laptop, but it’s been really tough to find my work-life-balance so far (probably because I love work but whatever). Still, I don’t want there to only be trailer posts on the blog, so I was really happy that Kelly @Just Another Book in the Wall tagged me for the What’s On My Bookshelf Tag (originally created by Emily @Wicked Good Reads)! It’s a little hard to do without my physical bookshelf, but I will try my best!

A Library Book

S.: S. Hardcover in slipcase : [S.]: By Doug Dorst: S. : J. J. Abrams (Ship of Theseus)I don’t have any library books, however, I DO have a book in library optic and that’s S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. That book is something else, which always makes it hard to explain why I still haven’t finished reading it.

A Book You Got As a Gift

Probably a couple throughout my days, but somehow the first one I thought of was Landline by Rainbow Rowell, which my very good friend Cristina sent me all the way from Portugal. I love her so much and not just because she up and decided to send me one of her books to keep.

A Childhood Book

Today, I am really just going with the first book that pops into my mind, which in this case is Momo by Michael Ende. I am pretty sure I did a book report on it and confused my entire class about what it’s about.

A Magical Book

Devils & Thieves (Devils & Thieves, #1)All books are magical in itself, because words are magic, but for the purpose of this tag I will go with Devils & Thieves. Despite the book having quite a few shortcomings, the magical system is really interesting!

A Romantic Book

Nicholas Sparks books are pretty much synonymous with romance, right? One of the ones I really, really liked was The Longest Ride. I guess I appreciate a good dual time line if done well.

A Steamy Book

I don’t really read all that many steamy books? But the first chapter of Save the Date by Morgan Matson was surprisingly steamy in comparison to the lack of romance (which I very much appreciated) during the rest of the book.

An Old Book

Persuasion? Persuasion! (Cause it’s my favourite Austen book.)

A Book That Makes You Happy and/or Laugh

I recently read Parsnips, Buttered by Joe Lycett, which is basically just a compilation of mails Joe wrote or received. Some of those stories are truly hilarious. He is one of my favourite British comedians, so I definitely laughed, while I simultaneously very much doubt it’s for everyone.

A Book That Makes You Emotional

We all know I cannot stop mentioning this book, but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was really great and made me feel so many different things.

A Book Whose Ending You Disliked

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)? I just always pretend that book doesn’t even exist in the series.

A Book You Wish Had Illustrations

I am not sure if maybe there were a couple tiny illustrations in The Night Circus, but I would want a proper graphic novel for the magic that is this book!

A Book or Genre You Like to Read on a Rainy Day

I think I am a pretty simple girl and can read whatever comes my way on a rainy day. Lately it has been more contemporary and adult fiction admittedly though.

I TAG THEE

Anyone and everyone who wants to do this tag! I am unfortunately really not able to be super active in the community right now, so I have no idea who has done the tag or who would enjoy it. Link me up if you decide to give it a try though, so I can see your answers!

Did you like this tag? Could you relate to my answers? Let’s talk a little bit in the comments and I’ll try not to need a week to respond to them!

August 2018 Wrap-Up

So, this Wrap-Up is going to look a little different than the previous posts. For one, I think I haven’t read a single book, which means my usual monthly read section is empty. I actually started three or so different ones, but I just didn’t make it through any of them before leaving for Berlin, which brings me to my second point – I AM IN BERLIN!

As I mentioned in my July wrap-up, I got an internship here for six months and I cannot wait to start working on Monday. I have been abroad several times, mostly for a longer duration and it’s always an adventure, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not easy!

There is always so much to do beforehand and I figure it will be fine, because I have done all of it in some shape or form many times before. Well, that’s just not how this works. The bureaucratic stuff that needs doing is always different and sometimes it is not even clear what exactly it is. Once you’ve figured that out, there’s still various hurdles of when and where you are able to actually do the registration or application or whatever. It’s a very annoying process that will forever frustrate me.

Aside from that, there are still so many other factors. I always feel strange coming into a new place, especially when I know I will stay there for a while. You cannot just make any place your immediate home, or at least I can’t. In this case, I know the language (even if I don’t understand everything. Let’s be real, they might not understand everything I say either) but I still feel like a little alien. Every place has this distinct vibe about it. You see it in the clothing, the way people talk, walk and behave, it’s littler mannerisms that only the locals know how to interpret and react to. Sometimes you click immediately with a place, sometimes it’s a slow burn romance and in worst case scenarios the city and you don’t warm up to each other at all. I can’t say which one Berlin will be just yet, but there’s going to be ups and downs. My flat doesn’t really feel like mine yet, but I am going to make it just that. And I am going to find the people and community that can make any place worthwhile. It all just takes time.

That’s really all I can tell you about Berlin so far. I haven’t blogged as much in the past month and I have no idea how the next month will be, but I am looking forward to finding out. I also haven’t blog-hopped as much, so I am sorry for not having the usual categories where I highlight other people’s posts. I hope to catch up and be more engaged once I have really settled a bit.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

It was without a doubt – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I have watched the movie several times by now and it is still so cute. There were quite a couple changes to the book and I am actually more than happy with most of them, to the point where I liked characters better in the movie than I did in the book. I hope the success of the movie (I think most of my bookish friends and everyone who is thirsty for Noah has watched it) will lead to sequels in the near future.

Now I cannot wait to hype Sierra Burgess is a Loser in a week!!!

MY POSTS

WRITING POSTS

MOVIE/TV RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

How was your month? I did a lot of things to distract me from my worries, like start learning Norwegian and start a new #witchyWIP (hope the ones of you who know how to access it keep enjoying it, more is to come!). Do you also start random things when you don’t want to focus on what’s making you anxious?

The Adventure Book Tag

The lovely Keira has a new blog called Headphones and Hyperboles and I think she deserves some followers over there! So, I was very happy when she tagged me for the Adventure Book Tag, which in turn gave me a chance to link back to her post. Definitely don’t forget to also head over to her blog!

Which character would you love to go on an adventure with?

I want to go on an adventure with Mark Watney (The Martian). I know that the guy is entertaining as heck and should we ever, for whatever reason that surely has nothing to do with me being an incompetent bean, get into a life-threatening predicament, I am pretty confident we’d survive because of him. The man lived isolated on Mars and came back alright, I think putting my faith in him isn’t too bad of a decision.

If you could be any character for the day, who would you be and why?

This was a tough call! I think my decision was lastly heavily influenced by the fact that I am currently reading the third book in the Jackaby series, but I’d want to be Abigail Rook. She basically the Watson to a supernatural Sherlock and gets to experience all kinds of strange things. I am not sure how cool I’d be with living in the past, but electricity was invented at least. She has fancy dresses and gets to flirt with the ever so charming Charlie Cane. Even if it was just for a day, I think it would be fun.

What book is on your TBR bucket list?

One day, some day I really want to finish S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. It’s such a fascinating book, with riddles and fold out maps and trinkets hidden in the pages. It’s truly interactive and maybe three stories in one? As interesting as it is, it’s just super hard to read at the same time.

Which book has a contemporary setting you would love to go to?

As cheesy, silly, over the top, predictable, repetitive, etc. Nicholas Sparks’ books are, they make North Carolina sound really pretty. I would like to see their coast for real one day, although it is by far not on top of my travel list.

Which book has a fantasy/fictional setting you would love to go to?

People who know me, know that I have quite a thing for Alice in Wonderland, so that’s a world I would LOVE to see. I’d probably go mad there with all the riddles and nonsense, but it would be a magical experience nonetheless.

What book or book edition would you do anything to get your hands on?

How bad is it that I cannot think of a single book!? I do have a couple signed books at home that I probably wouldn’t want to loose, just like I wouldn’t want to trade my editions of the books I put post-its in to highlight my favourite passages, but I wouldn’t go and do anything crazy for any book out there.

Name a character who is very adventurous and daring.

To Kill a KingdomPrince Elian from To Kill a Kingdom seems pretty willing to do risky stuff to me. The dude fancies himself a pirate (which I do have my quarrels with. I am pretty sure he is just a sailor, but if it makes him happy, so be it) and pirates are notoriously daring.

Name the craziest or weirdest place you’ve ever read a book.

I … I … I don’t know? I don’t want to sound boring but I just honestly don’t think any of the places I read at was that crazy. I did bring a book to a school dance once … but it was more of a precaution, I didn’t actually end up reading it.

I TAG THEE

Marta | Marie | Michelle | WHOEVER WANTS TO DO THE TAG

What did you think of my answers? Did you agree with them? Who would you trade places with? Or where would you go? Tell me all about it in the comments!