The Literary Dinner Party Tag

I saw the Literary Dinner Party Tag over at Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books blog and she sort of invited everyone who was curious to do this tag. So, that’s how we got here! I am excited to see who I am going to invite!

1. One character who can cook/likes to cook

The first person that came to mind for this one is Hassan from The Hundred-Foot Journey. He can do all sorts of things, from traditional Indian food to haute cuisine. I mean, the guy literally was responsible for several Michelin stars, so I’d be honored to have him cook for this little dinner party.

2. One character who has money to fund the party

I actually had a hard time coming up with a book character who had a lot of money. Either they weren’t very memorable or there really aren’t a lot? No matter what the real reason is, in the end I went with Gansey from the Raven Cycle. I can see him financing a friend’s indulgences and maybe it would be fun for him too? I’d hope so!

3. One character who might cause a scene

Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns! Can you see it? Because I sure can! I am not even sure if she wants to cause a scene or if she just thinks it’s expected of her and therefore she should do it.

4. One character who is funny/amusing

This might not be the most obvious choice, but I want to invite Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before as the guest for this particular category. I don’t think she’s intentionally funny, like she’s not going to do her own stand up special on Netflix, but she is circumstantially funny? Hope that makes sense.

5. One character who is super social/popular

Uuuuh, I want Charlie from Queens of Geek to come! She’s a famous YouTuber so she could vlog about this epic event and then it would be on the interwebs forevermore afterwards.

6. One villain

I am going to invite Maven from Red Queen, because I love that damaged boy. Also, I decided he NEEDS to be portrayed by Freddy Carter if there is to be a movie or show and that means I get a Freddy Carter lookalike as my dinner guest and yeah … I am here for that.

7. One couple – doesn’t have to be romantic

I know it doesn’t have to be a romantic couple, but I’d really like to invite Juliet and Dawsey from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I feel like they’d be delightful company. She’s a writer, he’s a pig farmer – those are different worlds entirely. There’s loads to talk about and the way they met makes for an especially great story.

8. One hero/heroine

One of my favourite comic book heroines is Kamala Khan from Ms Marvel. I truly hope she will join the MCU soon, because her stories are great and her character is even more amazing.

9. One underappreciated character

I feel like you all keep sleeping on my cupcake August Flynn from This Savage Song. His story just kind of resonated with me and he will forever have a special place in my heart. I’ve had dreams where he was my adopted son, I love him that much!

10. One character of your own choosing

This dinner party would in no way be complete without my bookish husband Max Vandenburg from the Book Thief. He is kind and generous and a great conversationalist.

I TAG THEE

I hereby tag WHOEVER WANTS TO DO THE TAG!!!


I have such a weird mix of teen and adult characters here. I am not sure what kind of dinner party that would really shape up to be, but I would like to imagine it would be a fun one? What did you think of my choices? Who would you pick?  

The Summer Reader Tag

I was tagged to do the Summer Reader Tag by the lovely Heather @The Frozen Book Blog. I am glad I am getting to this while it is still summer, because some of my tags stay in the drafts forever (sorry about that by the way). Let’s see some questions and answers!

Lemonade: pick a book that started off bitter but got better.

The Song of AchillesPlease don’t hate me for this answer, but it took me like a millennia to get into The Song of Achilles. It was super slow and everything in it just sounded so mean (especially everything concerning women) and I know this is so close to actual Greek mythology, but I was just not in the mood for it. That is not to say that the story isn’t absolutely heart-wrenching and beautiful in the end, but it was a rocky start for me.

Golden Sun: pick a book that made you smile beyond compare.

I smiled A LOT while reading To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. I am pretty sure I laughed out loud in the middle of the night even though the rest of my household was sleeping, but I just couldn’t stop reading once I really started it. (Also, cannot wait to see the story unfold on screen this August!!)

Tropical Flowers: pick a book set in a foreign country.

Okay, let me set one things straight: I am pretty sure 99.9% of the books I read are not set in Austria, so this is like the easiest pick ever? A book I have read this year and that really made me want to visit the place though is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It is part of the Channel Islands and sounds absolutely lovely (even though I have heard they didn’t film the movie on the island itself?)

Tree Shade: pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced.

My absolute favourite shady character was Dustfinger from the Inkworld trilogy when I was little. He was also my first real fictional crush, but I suppose that’s a different story. Anyway, it wasn’t always obvious if you could trust him or not and what his motives are, so he seemed the perfect pick for this category.

Beach Sand: pick a book that was grainy, and the plot barely developed.

The One Memory of Flora BanksLike Heather, I have a bit of difficulty understanding what grainy means in regards to books, but my first thought went to The One Memory of Flora Banks. That book was chunky, repetitive and oddly structured and I had such high hopes for it, which were all crushed when I finally got to read it.

Green Grass: pick a character(s) that were full of life, making you smile.

I don’t know why he comes to mind, but Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games is a strong contender. I always loved him. It’s a classic case of “he deserved better” but while I got to read about him, he made me laugh and care for him and his struggles. He was such a positive character even through hardship.

Watermelon: pick a book that had some juicy secrets.

Trial by Fire (Worldwalker, #1)I don’t know if you know Trial by Fire from the Worldwalker trilogy, but there were secrets kept pretty much for the entirety of the series. Not in a bad way, just in a way that created tension and kept you intrigued.

Sun Hat: pick a book that had a vast, big universe/setting.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)The Illuminae Files has a really vast setting. They try to make up for it with schematics and plans, but I still confused the different galaxies and ships all the time. That in no way means I didn’t have a ton of fun exploring the universe with the characters. I love those books!

BBQ: pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk.

Uhm … I don’t know? Charlie from the Jackaby books?? At least I imagine him to be quite a hunk, while being the perfect gentleman at the same time?

Summer Fun: pass the tag on.

I tag whoever wants to do this! I realise that it’s not summer everywhere on earth at the same time, but if you are reading this and feel like you’d have fun doing the tag – YOU ARE HEREBY TAGGED!!! 

What did you think of my answers? What would yours have been like? Do you agree or disagree on anything? Let me know in the comments below!

I Spy Book Challenge

I was recently tagged for the I Spy Book Challenge (originally created by Kristin @Kristin Kraves Books) by the ever amazing Lily @Sprinkles of Dreams. Despite not looking easy at all, it does look like fun! So, here we go!!

RULES

Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!

Just fyi: There is no way I could have done this in 5 minutes! I really tried, but I needed a bit more than 10 and think that’s fairly decent. My shelf is an utter mess, so I am even a little proud haha

1-5
Food | Transportation | Weapon | Animal | Number

6-10
Something You Read | Body of Water | Product of Fire | Royalty | Architecture

11-15
Clothing Item | Family Member | Time of Day | Music | Paranormal Being

I cannot believe this wasn’t planned, but I just subconsciously did an entire row solely with movie/TV tie-ins and I am both stunned and proud of myself.

16-20
Occupation | Season | Color | Celestial Body | Something That Grows

I TAG THEE

Malanie | Kay Wisteria | Andie | Marie

And I tag whoever wants to do this tag! It’s a lot of fun and a real challenge if you really want to make it in time.

Did you agree with my choices? Should I have explained them or does an image really say more than a thousand words? Let me know in the comments below!

June 2018 Wrap-Up

Can you believe we are wrapping up June already? I have to say, I thought this year would go very differently from the way it did. Anyways, I am actually quite happy with the amount of reading I managed this month. And I am even more happy that the number of books I am behind on my Goodreads challenge is slightly decreasing. Here is what I’ve read:

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)  The Immortalists  Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)  The Song of Achilles  To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #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!

I have become increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in certain areas of my life. I know that I am definitely partially responsible for it, but it isn’t ALL on me and therefore I feel a little stuck. That’s never a nice feeling, so I tried to do as much as possible and to keep as busy as I can and succeeded in doing so. I went to a small film premiere for one of the funniest Austrian movies I have seen in recent years, I also got to go on a set visit for an Austrian TV show that hasn’t even aired yet and went to the monthly board game night one of my friend’s coordinates. In addition to that, I went to the movies with an entire branch of my family, there were several birthdays and I started to go to yoga again. It’s all baby steps, but I will get where I need to go in the end.

I am also really happy to have established a sort of routine for myself, which involves working on Arcadia for at least three days a week. I did publish a new chapter, but I want to hopefully upload more than one per month from here on out. Also, I have come to the conclusion that Arcadia will be a duology and even though there is still a couple chapters left in part one of the series, it will be done rather sooner than later. It took me a while to figure out what was holding me back in writing more, until I gathered that there was just too much I wanted to pack into one book. This will make things a whole lot easier for me! Nonetheless, I could use your motivation more than ever and I just love getting feedback and reactions! Read Arcadia here if you haven’t yet and let me know what you think!!

Lastly, it was my 5-year-blogiversary and I had so much fun answering all YOUR questions! If you missed the posts, I put the links below and if there are still questions you want to ask me, you can do so in the comments. I did a little giveaway and my good friend Marie won and she recently received her gift and I couldn’t be happier that she likes it! Also, Life and Other Disasters now officially has more than 2000 WordPress followers and I am so happy this happened in the blogiversary month.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

This is a kind of random segment I just established in this very moment. Basically, I want to showcase a book/show/movie/song that was my absolute favourite thing of the month. For all of you who follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a short period of time, where my account has basically become a fan account for the movie Set It Up, but I was just so in awe of it! It’s very much in the spirit of older rom-coms (which I have missed SO much) but it is current and has an amazing cast. I watched it several times and have no regrets whatsoever! (The pizza scene is iconic forever!!!)

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I like that this little section has become a fixture in my wrap-up because all of you are creating such great content and I just feel like it needs to be shared.

  • T. Mack is a fellow blogger I feel like I have a lot in common with, so I was extremely delighted to see her spotlight the show Queer Eye. We all need it in our lives and I just hope everyone reads the article and then watches the show! There is no makeover show this impacting anywhere else out there.
  • The Orang-utan Librarian gives us another writing insight post on the difference between showing and telling (something I have personally struggled with)!
  • Sophie tells us all reasons as to why we should participate in Camp NaNo and explains the whole event a little further for people who are unfamiliar with it.
  • Meggy does something unplanned and gets personal and it is beautiful!
  • Lia wrote an amazing post to bring awareness about romance in media and how you apparently can’t find a happy ending if you are not willing to be in a relationship (which is totally not the right way of thinking!!).
  • Lois got to visit Canada this month (guess who was super jealous and wanted to hide in her suitcase?) and has written her first travel diary post! I cannot wait for the rest of it!
  • Nicka wrote this really relatable post about getting lost in your 20s and how it’s okay to not have it all figured out.
  • Lastly, I GOT INTERVIEWED! Deborah was so kind as to ask me some really interesting questions for her Blogger to Blogger series and I’d love it for all of you to check it out and maybe find out something new about me.

MY POSTS

BLOGIVERSARY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF POSTS

MOVIE/TV RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

So, this was my month! What do you think? Let’s chat about all the things that happened!

Mini Reviews: Beastly Bones, The Song of Achilles, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I love telling you guys how I feel about books! That is pretty much why this whole blog exists, so that I can rant and rave about all the things I am passionate about. However, sometimes I don’t have that strong of an opinion about my last read, or I simply don’t think it warrants a full review. That is why I took a page out of my good friend Marie’s book and am introducing mini reviews on the blog! That in no way means that there won’t be any more full length ones in the future, but every now and then I am just going to do a cumulative post of some of my recent reads with only a short summary of my thoughts.

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Beastly Bones by William Ritter

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)Beastly Bones is the sequel to Jackaby, which I read and loved not very long ago. I legit ordered this one right after I finished the first book and have no regrets. This time around I enjoyed the mystery of the case a little more, as it seemed less predictable. We are now getting farther into the characters’ backgrounds and are starting to uncover some secrets as well as an overarching plotline for the rest of the series. As much as book-to-book cases would work for this format, I am kind of glad there’s also something more than the people connecting the story throughout the series.

The only reason I am docking one star is because I was frustrated with how little faith or interest Jackaby and Rook showed in each other’s investigation techniques. It took them forever to solve something they might have realised far quicker if they had listened to one another. They do acknowledge that mistake by the end, so I feel like it shouldn’t happen as much in future parts.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A worthy sequel and … dragons!

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesFolks, I have to be real with you, I feel bad because I didn’t love this as much as apparently everyone else in my immediate friend circle did. I adore Greek Mythology, I like a good slow-burn gay romance, I am ALL for books that make the unreal seem real, but still … the book didn’t click with me the way I hoped it would.

First of all, it took me forever to really get into the story. I felt it was too slow, until it finally picked up some pace around the halfway point. Then I wasn’t too happy with a certain cheating plotline … but ultimately, while I know this is mainly a love story and rightly so, I felt like this would have just been utterly confusing in terms of names, places and events for people who are unfamiliar with Greek Mythology beforehand.

Having said that, The Song of Achilles is definitely quality content and a beautifully devastating story that will hit you right in the heart! I understand every single person who was emotionally distraught by the end of it, because so was I. 

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Takes you right to Ancient Greece!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)This is another book everyone kept screaming at me to read and I actually had a signed copy for a while (that traveled with me through all of Canada), so I have no idea what took me so long. The only thing I do know is that the trailer was the thing that finally got me to pick it up for real and I am so grateful for that! To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before just made me all mushy and soft inside.

It has all the things I love in a YA contemporary, from pretend relationships to letters to adorable love interests to a strong focus on family – I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more! I adored the characters and was excited to read a book with an Korean-American MC.

I don’t know what to say other than I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book and once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. I literally finished it in one swoop and stayed up until 2 AM to do so. Very few books have managed to make me want to miss out on precious sleep.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! A perfect YA contemporary with a more than promising Netflix adaptation that I cannot wait for!

So, how are you all feeling about the mini reviews? Do you like them or do you prefer the longer format? (Again, I am not giving up on regular reviews!) Have you read any of these books and have thoughts on them? Let’s talk!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin (Book Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Page Count
: 352

CW: death, graphic sex scenes, suicide, animal cruelty

I was so looking forward to this book. The premise, as strange and gloomy as it may sound, really captivated me and I was ready to dive into it immediately. I quite enjoy family-centric books that focus on the bonds that are built, strained and possibly destroyed over time, which made the whole aspect of the story spanning over several decades even more endearing. After actually reading the book though, I was rather torn. I debated whether I could actually find the words to write this review, but here we are and I am trying.

“She’d tell herself that what she really wanted was not to live forever, but to stop worrying.”

I both liked and very much disliked this book. Don’t get me wrong, there were many powerful and enchanting moments in the Immortalists but something about the execution irked me. I was prepared for sadness and difficult scenes, after all, this book is about death. However, the read stayed kind of illusive to me until the end and therefore made some of the more hard-hitting moments difficult to grasp. I was confused by several passages, never quite sure if it could be classified as magical realism or if this was supposed to just be reality. I understand that there isn’t always a need to explain everything, but if you are indicating there was e.g. a mental illness at play and you make it look like magic instead, I will definitely be confused. Also, even though the topic of the book is supposedly about fate vs. self-fulfilling prophecies, I don’t actually know where it stands on that subject by the end of it. Maybe it’s good to question that. Maybe it was designed that way to make the reader think, but I would have liked to explore the intricacies of that concept a little more.

“Character is fate—that’s what he said. They’re bound up, those two, like brothers and sisters. You wanna know the future?” She points at Varya with her free hand. “Look in the mirror.”

Overall, the Immortalists reads a lot like historical fiction. Since we start in the late 60s and go all the way to the mid 2000s, they cover a lot of ground and events during that time. That was also the reason why I let them get away with language I would not have liked to read in a book set in contemporary times.

“She knows that stories have the power to change things: the past and the future, even the present.”

Lastly, I don’t need my characters to be likable. We aren’t all likable humans, but these four siblings really didn’t make it easy to root for them sometimes. And the way some of their bodily changes were described just felt unnecessary to me. Do you really have to introduce a 13 year-old in the second sentence of a book by mentioning her pubic hair? I am not trying to say there’s anything wrong about pubic hair, but what was the point of that description?

This may be an odd way to end the review, but this was also an odd read for me. From what I understand, a lot of people really enjoyed this book and therefore it could just be a me-problem here. I cannot put into words what it was lacking for me, but there definitely was something missing that could have elevated The Immortalists by a couple stars.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! While it had some great moments, it ultimately wasn’t the kind of book I wanted it to be.

Have you read The Immortalists? Is it a story you can see yourself enjoying? Let’s talk about it!

Mid Year Freak Out Tag (2018 Version)

I guess it’s already that time of the year again where I get to freak out over books because, well … it’s June and months have passed and I have tried to read a bunch. So, thank you to The Orang-utan Librarian for tagging me to do the Mid Year Freak Out Tag!

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2018

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra ChristoI hate picking favourites so much! I just always feel like I forget something, but I looked at all the books I read on Goodreads and To Kill a Kingdom caught my eye. I really liked reading about sirens and adventure at sea, therefore it is ONE of my favourites of the year so far.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2018

Iron Gold by Pierce BrownHands down, Iron Gold! I feel like I had to wait for this book forever and then I finally got it, had a super fun buddy read and am beyond excited that we most likely get the next book this year as well!? I cannot get enough of that world and the intensity that comes with it.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

Only Human is the finale of the Themis Files and I cannot wait to finally read how it all ends. I have it on my shelf and it’s staring at me like it’s trying to seduce me to read it sooner.

Only Human: Themis Files Book 3

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

As mentioned above, there’s another book coming in the Red Rising saga and it would be very strange to not say that Dark Age is the one I am most anticipating. But also, I am just not as up to date with new releases as I used to be, I am all about (or at least mostly) the backlist this year.

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Sweetbitter by Stephanie DanlerI don’t even want to think back to reading Sweetbitter. I was so excited to read about a main character who works as a server and does not just use that as a means to get by until they get their dream job, but then it was just terribly toxic.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeerHmmm … that’s a tough one. I think I might not have expected to love Annihilation as much as I did. Seen as it is more on the creepy side, it didn’t seem like an obvious choice for me. Usually I also don’t like detached writing, but this one worked perfectly.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

I fell a little bit in love with Nic Stone‘s writing when I read Dear Martin. I can’t really describe the why or anything like that, but it just flows super nicely and made Dear Martin such an addictive read. I am already looking forward to her next book!

Image result for nic stone

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Hands down, Dawsey Adams from the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society! He is kind, smart and patient, supported women and their independence at a time that wasn’t a sure thing and is good with kids. Where is my Dawsey??

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Just because I had so much fun reading Jackaby and I already mentioned To Kill a Kingdom before (cause Lira is freaking awesome), I am going with Abigail Rook. She is intelligent, great at deductions, always out for adventure and just as flustered as everyone else when she has a crush. (Seriously hoping to pick up Beastly Bones in the coming days to see where that all goes!)

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasUhm … good question. I think I cried while reading The Hate U Give. Injustice just always gets to me hard and Angie Thomas did such an amazing job at making you feel really close to the characters and feeling as if you were right there with them. Tears were shed for sure.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. YeeI remember laughing a lot while reading The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, so I am pretty sure it’s fair to say that it made me happy?

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

You would guess that I have an answer to this right away, but I am actually having a really hard time coming up with one. My most anticipated book to film adaptation would probably be Love, Simon, but it’s still not released anywhere in my country (two more weeks!!) and that just means I haven’t watched it. I also think that Crazy Rich Asians is going to be awesome, but I haven’t read or watched that one yet either. I keep trying to wrap my head around the fact that I don’t think I have seen that many movies this year so far??

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

I guess that it wasn’t really such a noteworthy post for most people, but I am so glad I did a more or less comprehensive post about my WIP titled “Let’s Talk About Arcadia“. It has been a massive help as a referral post for me whenever I talked about writing and updates of the story or did tags that related to my characters. Even if someone completely new joins the blog now, I will have a place to send them to for details on my story. Thus far, I was really always worried that my posts about Arcadia would get annoying, especially for people who didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and that’s why it’s one of my favourite posts this year.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Probably Obsidio? All the Illuminae Files books, especially since I was able to afford the hardcovers, are just gorgeous to look at.

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)

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

I am pretty sure I have around 20 unread books on my shelf? I am such a massive mood reader, that it has really become an issue for me to have that many books at home. I will try to get to at least half of those if not all of them by the end of the year, but I am not actually going to rattle them off.

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this tag!

What did you think about my mid year freak out? Can you relate? Do you have any questions or different answers? Let’s talk!