This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers! #2

Not too long ago, I compared book covers from different countries and you all seemed to really enjoy that. Therefore, I’m bringing this feature back and hope you all enjoy another round of pitching UK/US covers against German ones.

Obviously these are all my own, very subjective opinions! BUT I’d love nothing more than to hear your thoughts in the comments below, because the discussions were a lot of fun last time around. Also, as a little heads up, I don’t actually know which covers are from the US or the UK – I just either pick the one I own or see the most.

ROUND #1

a face made of stars with their eyes closed only the title of the book written in white all caps below it - "Sleeping Giants"       The cover is white with one robotic eye with a light blue iris. The black font takes up most of the space saying "Giants - Sie sind erwacht"

The Themis Files are one of my all time favorite Science Fiction series and I’m the proud owner of the hardcover copies, which I will gladly display on my shelf. The stars are actually all made to look shiny and silver and it’s such a treat to look at.

The German cover however … WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? First of all, “Giants – They have awoken” (which is the translated title of “Giants – Sie sind erwacht” sound so incredibly menacing and that message is just underlined with the cover. It completely loses the whimsy and curious feeling of wanting to explore space and discover who might else be out there. All the German cover gives me is evil robot vibes.

Right out of the gate, I have to hand this to the UK/US cover! So much more beautiful!

Read my review of Sleeping Giants here.

ROUND #2

A girl, who's face we cannot see, is riding a bike on a beach. The cover text says "Along for the Ride" in dark blue and "Sarah Dessen" in a lighter blue font     You can see the bare feet of a girl who is sitting on a washing machine and the back of a boy in jeans and a dark blue shirt. The title says "Because of you" in the curve of the washing machine door in red font and "Sarah Dessen" in orange font

In terms of the themes shown on the covers, both versions of Along for the Ride are valid. If you’ve read the book, you know that it ties into the story either way, but I have to admit that this isn’t an entirely fair fight. The cover on the left is a recently updated version, due to the release of the Netflix adaptation a couple months ago. While the original version from the 2010s still shows a girl on a bike, it has the same “outdated” look as the cover on the right.

I’m not super mad about the “German” cover, especially considering from when it is, but I’m definitely confused about the title change. Why choose something English, but not the original title? Sure, I know that they worry about people understanding it and “Because of you” is easier, but it still feels like an incredibly odd choice and not as fitting.

As I said, it wasn’t fair to begin with, but this one goes to the UK/US one again, just because it looks fresher.

Read my review of the Along for the Ride and the comparison to the movie here.

ROUND #3

a cubic looking red bird is mirrored by a blue one. The title of the book is "This Is How You Lose the Time War"       The background is a dark blue, on the right upper corner are blue leaves with geometrically placed light blue dots. On the lower left corner is a branch of deep red berries. The title of the book is "Verlorene der Zeit"

This Is How You Lose the Time War is a unique book and I can see the struggle of having to encapsulate that in a cover. I enjoy the simple background and the fractured birds from the English language cover, but I also understand the thought process behind the German one.

They once again chose to change the title, which would mean “Lost ones in time” if you translated it. Personally, I prefer the wittiness and the promise that comes with the original English title more. The one the German publisher chose makes me think about stranded people, rather than a complex story about how love can topple the best of plans.

This is very much a personal preference, but I’m once again here for the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #4

a blue and green landscape of a small mountain town with figures skating on a frozen lake to play hockey. The title says "Beartown" in large white font that partially gets hidden by the tree line       a blue and green landscape of a small town. The title of the book is "Kleine Stadt der großen Träume", which means "Small town of big dreams"

Sometimes changes can be much more subtle, but still impact a lot. At first glance, these two covers are obviously very similar, but again … curious choices from the German publisher.

For those of you who don’t know, Beartown is a book about a Swedish High School hockey team that is about to make it big and help out the entire town with their success. The original cover has the hints of boys playing hockey right there, but because the German publisher amped up the saturation and made the green color more prevalent, it now looks like a small town with a field of grass rather than a frozen lake.

This is one of the few occasions where I’m actually fine with the translated title though. “Small town of big dreams” makes a lot of sense in this context. I’m going to say this is a tie, despite me actually leaning more towards the original cover.

Read my review of Beartown here.

ROUND #5

the background looks like a light wooden floor, with crushed pink flowers strewn on it. The title "It ends with us" by "Colleen Hoover" is written in a slightly darker pink than the flowers are colored over the entirety of the cover      

It Ends With Us is the only Colleen Hoover book I’ve read, but since it’s having its renaissance on TikTok/BookTok, I thought I could feature it as well. To begin with, the German title translates to “Just one last time”, which fits the novel still, but conveys a very different message to the original title in my mind.

Again, these covers aren’t super different from one another and yet … the UK/US one just looks better. There’s something about the German one that makes it seem cheap, maybe it’s the white background, maybe it’s the changed font for the author’s name? I don’t know, but my vote goes to the English cover again.

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it, you’ve made it! The UK/US covers are the obvious winners! I don’t even need to tally the exact points. I really tried to put more effort into finding good German covers this time around, but somehow they keep disappointing me. Maybe I’ll have more luck next time?


What did you think of the revival of this feature? Would you like to see more comparisons in the future? Let’s chat!

My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth (ARC Review)

Cover image of the book My Mechanical Romance by Alexene Farol Follmuth, showing a girl with long dark hair in jeans and a light T-shirt holding a console looking at a slightly taller guy with light brown skin in brown pants, a white t-shirt and a blue sports jacket also holding a console. It also has the summary of the plot: Nerds are so hot. Especially battle robot building nerds.  Bel would rather die than think about the future. College apps? You’re funny. Extracurriculars? Not a chance. But when she accidentally reveals a talent for engineering at school, she’s basically forced into joining the robotics club. Even worse? All the boys ignore Bel—and Neelam, the only other girl on the team, doesn't seem to like her either.  Enter Mateo Luna, captain of the club, who recognizes Bel as a potential asset—until they start butting heads. Bel doesn’t care about Nationals, while Teo cares too much. But as the nights of after-school work grow longer and longer, Bel and Teo realize they've built more than just a combat-ready robot for the championship: they’ve made space for each other and themselves.  This sharply funny, academic rivals to lovers romance explores both the challenges girls of color face in STEM and the vulnerability of first love with unfailing wit and honesty.

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Holiday House
Page Count
: 273
Release Date: May 31, 2022

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

Earlier this year, I thought that I was slowly moving away from enjoying YA books, but My Mechanical Romance has enchanted me and brought be back into the fold! It was such a lovely, fast-paced and delightful read, I basically had to hold myself back from reading it through the night (and if I hadn’t had some other responsibilities the next day, I probably really just would have torn through it in one sitting).

While there’s always something great to say about a well executed teen romance, which this definitely is, I loved that it wasn’t the entire focus of the book. Yes, we had a bit of a rival phase that slowly (almost agonizingly) developed into something genuine and sweet, but we also had so much more.
Alexene Farol Follmuth managed to capture the intricacies of a teen at the brink of finishing school. There’s so many expectations from family, friends and teachers to know exactly what you’re going to do with your life. And in all honesty, some kids do know what they want, but it’s also okay to need time to figure it out. Life is long and full of surprises and sometimes it puts you on unexpected paths. But there’s not just pressure to get into the right school or to keep grades up, but there can be so many more contributing factors to make that time extra stressful. Sometimes it’s a crumbling family life, other times it’s the world being misogynistic or racist – paired with a blossoming first love, it’s bound to cause emotional chaos! I think the balance was handled so well in this book.

THE CHARACTERS 

There’s a very clear focus on Bel and Teo, who each have POV chapters of their own. They couldn’t be more different at first glance, but sort of complete each other in the cutest way. Seeing their relationship spark and grow was such a joy.
Sometimes I did wish we had learned some more about certain side characters (like Neelam for example, who was portrayed as unnecessarily harsh), but I understood people’s motivations overall and felt like they were all three dimensional characters. I can say that, because Dash is literally my favorite supportive foodie chaos character in the whole entire story. I also really liked that the parents were included in the story and even if they weren’t always 100% present, there was a reason for that too.

THE WRITING 

I really have to give Alexene Farol Follmuth credit for writing such authentic, quirky and fun dialogue. It’s what propels this story forward and keeps you invested and engaged throughout. If you like dialogue and inner monologues more than lengthy descriptions of surroundings and looks, this really is the book for you.

In addition to that, there was also a lot of use of text messages, which I think fits the vibe but also the age group really well. Let’s face it, I mostly communicate through text with people and I’m not even a teen anymore. I can’t really picture anyone calling anyone else all the time anymore …

VERDICT

I was one of the only girls in my mathletics team and I still remember clearly how surprised some people were that I was good at math, physics and chemistry. I was also really decent, although not patient enough, in shop class, having inherited some skills from my mom (who is the handy one when it comes to my parents). My school did not have a robotics team, but it’s definitely something I could have seen myself doing. I wasn’t really the type to participate in a lot of clubs and yet, Bel’s experience spoke to me. As I said earlier, My Mechanical Romance wasn’t just a fun and quirky romance, it was also heavily focused on girls in STEM and finding something you’re passionate about despite all the pressure and discouraging voices. I really hope this brings people joy and the knowledge that they can try anything they want, no matter what other’s say, and be successful, if they put in the work.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Such a lovely book!


Fun fact: Alexene Farol Follmuth is also the author behind the pen name Olivie Blake and therefore one of my favorite book series. Read my other posts here:


What do you think about My Mechanical Romance? Can you see yourself checking it out? Let’s talk!

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston (ARC Review)

The cover image of the book "The Dead Romantics" by Ashley Poston, showing two figures lying horizontally on the letters of the title, both reading a book. Also, the description for the book: A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.  Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.   When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won't give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.   For ten years, she's run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.   Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.   Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.

PublisherA button to add a book to the platform "The Storygraph"A button that says "Add book to Goodreads": Berkley Publishing Group
Page Count
: 368
Release Date: June 28, 2022

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

CW: loss of a loved one

The Dead Romantics has been on my radar, and frankly on my “most anticipated releases of 2022”-list, for the longest time now – so, when I was presented with the opportunity to read an advanced copy, I jumped at the chance! The official release is still a month away, but I just couldn’t stop myself from reading it and now you will all have to contend with me screaming about my love for it for eternity.

Sometimes, books just find you at the exact right moment in your life and I would say that The Dead Romantics is a prime example of exactly that happening. I’ve had the most fun with a romance in a while, but at the same time, there were instances where I just bawled my eyes out. This isn’t simply a story about love, but also grief and family and we all know I’m drawn to grief-books like moths to light. But at the same time, nothing about this book left me sad. I’d even go so far as to argue and say that it brought me hope, all the warm feelings inside and a whimsical smile on my face once I turned the last page.

THE CHARACTERS 

Florence Day – our narrator throughout the story – is the typical small bean but mighty and messy tornado of a person that I think many of us can relate to. She’s into fan fiction, buying books despite having a massive TBR already and she loves a good love story. In fact, she used to believe in the big love, in finding that one person who might be the exception to the rule, until she got disappointed in the worst ways. And you just understand her reluctance, her despair, and then life just knocks her down some more.
Enter – Benji Andor! He’s meticulous and tall as a tree (one would like to climb) and seemingly stoic, while actually being very kind and considerate once you get to know him a little bit and he definitely wants a happy ending for Florence. I loved him as a counterpart for Florence, although I would have loved it even more if we had gotten to spend some more time with him. I feel like, we, the readers, didn’t get to know him that much, but even Florence acknowledges that several times throughout the story. Their connection is based more on vibes and actions rather than exchanging hobbies and favorite songs, which is fine, but I just enjoyed his character and would have loved to learn even more about him. It really seemed like he had quite the story of his own.

Lee Pace entering the room with one hand on the door frame looking tall and sexy while doing absolutely nothing.
This is Benji Andor for me and I have a feeling Ashley Poston would be okay with that.

Aside from our two leads, there was an array of formidable side characters, many of which were also part of the LGBT+ community. We had supportive best friends, authentic sibling relationships and the despicable ex. A stand-out for me was Florence’s dad though, because his presence could be felt on nearly every page and that stuck with me. It very much reminded me of someone I lost and how sometimes a whole town can show up for that person and their family, when things get tough.

THE SETTING

First things first, I loved the supernatural twist to it all. It never felt forced or out of place, but just like something that naturally fit the story.

But the settings in general were so special and intriguing. On the one hand, you have the funeral home and something that usually holds a lot of sadness for people filled with so much life. A thing of beauty really! And then there’s just something so fun about reading a book that takes place within the publishing industry. I don’t know how accurate it is, but it felt like an inside look and gave way to a lot of references to real life publications, which I loved.
Parts of it are in the big city, parts of it are in a small town and it all just made sense?

VERDICT

I don’t know why writing reviews for books I absolutely adore is the hardest thing ever. It might be, because I just want to do a key smash and thrust the book into people’s hands for them to read it, but that wouldn’t be very informative now, would it? I hope this gave you a bit of a clearer idea of just how charming yet quirky I found The Dead Romantics! I genuinely hope that many people will pick it up, because it filled my heart to the brink and I would without a doubt just read sequels where they help different ghosts together. I’m greedy and just want more, please!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! There’s something so incredibly satisfying when an anticipated read turns out as amazing as you had hoped.


My other reviews of Ashley Poston’s work:


Do you plan on reading The Dead Romantics? Let’s talk about that!

Are Harry Styles and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Harry Styles. All the information is taken from various social media posts, articles and interviews and could potentially be outdated.

A black and white picture of artist Harry Styles and the blogger Kat Impossible with the headline "Are Harry Styles and I compatible readers?"

The most popular feature on this blog is back with yet another installment of the reader compatibility series or celeb book club, as I like to call it! In case you missed the previous ones, which there are quite a few of by now, don’t hesitate to check out the following posts:
Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
Are Lupita Nyong’o and I compatible (readers)?

And here comes the obligatory reminder that this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously. I’m comparing my taste in books with that of actors and artists to see if we would be “compatible” on the basis of those reading tastes alone. There’s really no world in which my pseudo analysis holds any scientific value.


Read More »

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Book Review)

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Page Count
: 302

CW: loss of a loved one, suppressed trauma

I’m slowly making my way through Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bibliography, albeit in reverse order. I just wanted to make sure that I read everything before their respective adaptations released (yes, that means The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is next. I will actually get to it. Don’t worry!) and I haven’t been mad at any of her books yet. Quite the opposite – I found everything I’ve read by TJR really human and easy to relate to – even if I did enjoy some stories more than others.
So far, I think I might like One True Loves best!? Malibu Rising hit some great notes for me and you all know that Daisy Jones & The Six won’t ever be my favorite, but I felt strangely connected to Emma’s struggle in this book, despite never having been in anything even remotely similar to her situation.

One True Loves is told with a Before and After, with POV shifts and at quite a fast pace. In the beginning, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to connect to some of the more emotional parts, simply because we were rushing through her love stories at an exorbitant speed, but I massively enjoyed the pace and never felt like I missed out on anything important. When we started, I thought that this woman was faced with an impossible choice and I had no idea who she was going to pick, if she was going to pick any of them, but the conclusion made sense and I loved that for her. This was just a simple “love triangle”, but rather an emotional tornado that held so much truth, honesty and vulnerability. I was in awe of the communication skills of the characters, because bad communication is a pet peeve of mine, but they articulated their needs, wants and fears so well. Of course, sometimes that wasn’t easy and/or well received, but the openness with which this hardship was approached was beautiful and heart-breaking at the same time.

“It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? That every single person on this planet could lose their one true love and live to love again? It means the one you love could love again if they lost you.”

It’s difficult for me to put into words what this book accomplished to evoke in me. It asks the question: What is true love? Something so slippery and hard to define, but something that felt so clear and easy here. It also dealt with change, how we don’t stay the same and therefore our partners and surroundings don’t either. Nothing, if you really think about it, ever does stay the same and this book made it okay. It doesn’t mean that what happened before has to be tarnished or bad somehow, you can still love and cherish it and appreciate it for getting you to where you are and who you are now. Even at the danger of repeating myself, that was such a beautiful gift from this book!

“I have changed over time. That’s what people do. People aren’t stagnant. We evolve in reaction to our pleasures and our pains.”

Lastly, you know how I am when it comes to grief – I seek these books like a bloodhound, relishing in the tears I’m about to shed and One True Loves? Such great grief rep. Obviously losing a loved one is different for everyone and not even my own approach is the same every time something devastating happens, but I felt this was such a good approach to the topic and I really enjoyed the pain that came with diving into the matter.

Big shout out to the family in this book especially, because they did the best they could, which is so hard sometimes.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Highly recommend this if you are into complex love stories and just really human explorations of relationships (not even just romantic ones).


As I’ve mentioned previously, One True Loves has been adapted as a movie, starring Phillipa Soo, Luke Bracey and Simu Liu in the lead roles. There’s unfortunately no trailer yet, but I can already see everything unfold before my inner eye with these cast members. I’m genuinely excited for it and hope that the film will capture the same emotions, vulnerability and torn feeling. Not much more can be said for now, especially since there’s no official release date other than it being in 2022 and only one still has made it onto my timeline so far. I’m genuinely excited though! The cast seems fantastic either way.

One True Loves movie still of Phillipa Soo as Emma and Simu Liu as Sam


Have you read this TJR book? Do you want to? Where would it fall in your ranking? Let’s chat!

March 2022 Wrap-Up

March didn’t really go according to plan. Not that I had an actual plan, but, you know … I thought it would go by with a couple less hiccups. For the most part, I was in a massive reading slump and only rereading one of my favorites from last year got me back into the mood to pick up more stories. Here’s what I ultimately got to:

  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (5 stars, reread)
    While I’ve read the self-published version last year, I took it upon myself to annotate and highlight the traditionally published edition this past month to create a post telling YOU if the book is something you might enjoy. I hope you’ll find the post enlightening.
  • All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie (2.5 stars)
    As far as novellas go, I’ve read better. It’s historical with elements of magic, but it just felt so clinical and detached.
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen (3.5 stars)
    I’m going to review the book on here eventually, I just want to combine it with my thoughts on the movie, which will release on April 22.

The Atlas Six (The Atlas, #1) All the Horses of Iceland Along for the Ride

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

For the most part of the last month, I was massively behind on all my reading goals, but I’m doing alright at the moment and have a mini-buffer even. I have not made much progress with The Ten Thousand Doors of January (still only about 24% into the story), but I’ve been flying through One True Loves (66%) and think I’ll finish it easily this weekend. After that I want to focus on a new reading experiment, which to the dismay of some, won’t be the Henry Cavill one just yet. You’ll see what I’ve chosen instead soon!

storygraph reading challenge progress update for March

 

I’m exhausted! I’ve had the worst couple of weeks of insomnia and constant headaches and I have no idea why (I say that like there hasn’t been an onslaught of things going on in my private life that have stressed me out). All of *that* has contributed to me not being at my blogging best and I downgraded from 3-4 posts per week to just 2 for most of March. It might not seem like it to you, but for me, that’s almost a mini-hiatus. I legit did the bare minimum.

On a more pleasant note, after months of not doing anything, I actually picked up a brush again did a couple drawings! I did a couple things, which you can check out on my art insta, but here’s a little taste of me drawing Jonathan Bailey (yes, the very Bridgerton one).

watercolor drawing by Kat Impossible of actor Jonathan Bailey

I also went ahead and got myself an annual pass for the local zoo and I’ve only gone twice so far, but I’m loving it. Truly, it’s the perfect way to go outside and spend some time wandering around in the fresh air and seeing some great animals. As always, I’m drawn to the jellyfish in the aquarium, but I also love visiting “my” bird.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

I’ve done it these past couple of months and I will continue to do it to show the longevity of blog posts. It never ceases to amaze me which posts people are drawn to even after such a long time.

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    The two posts actually have the exact same amount of views. I will never quite understand what draws people to that specific book review, but I know VERY well why the Sebastian Stan post has blown up once again. There’s the release of Fresh, but also him mentioning Alain de Botton in many an interview for the movie and me having picked that author for the reading experiment with him.
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    I genuinely hope that the last chapter will release soon, because I can see how many people click on the episode tracker when they visit.
  3. Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)
    It’s the only new post and I’m glad it’s so well received. That book means a lot to me and I know it’s not for everyone, so I hope this post will help people figure out if it’s for them.
  4. Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted December 2021)
    Today his movie The Bubble released on Netflix, but I think the increase in popularity is due to the Nicholas Cage movie releasing this year. The trailers and interviews looked hilarious.
  5. The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Book Review)
    (originally posted September 2021)
    The traditionally published version of the book released this past month, so I guess people were just curious. I think it’s funny that my book reviews are performing so well, when those are notoriously the posts that are supposed to be the least traction gaining ones.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Obviously, my love for The Atlas Six was reawakened big time, but I think it’s fair to say that my mind was mostly occupied by the anticipation for the new Bridgerton season and then actually getting to watch it. Surprisingly, I was also delighted at the new season of Sanditon. I’m very attached to Mr. Colbourne and think it’s hilarious that Theo James was replaced by someone who was also in the Divergent franchise (although with a much smaller part). It’s a true win for my regency love story yearning heart!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I was not as active this past month and apologize for that, but here are some posts I loved.

MY OTHER POSTS

MARVEL REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you’ve had a better March than me. Let’s talk!

Should YOU Read “The Atlas Six”? (What I learned from my reread!)

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’ve read The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake when it was still a self-published book sometime last year. I immediately fell in love with the characters and the world and was craving more. I “only” had a digital copy of the book, so, when it was traditionally published this year, I went to the shop and grabbed a copy to do something I usually never do – reread, annotate and highlight the entire thing! To my utter surprise, I loved it even more the second time around, but I also know that opinions on the book vary quite a bit.

With this post, I intend to highlight some aspects of the book (don’t worry, no spoilers!) to help you determine whether The Atlas Six is the right read for YOU or not. It’s not a traditional review by any means, so if that’s something you’re more interested in, I recommend you visit my post from last year here. While there were some slight edits made for the newly published version, the majority of what I said still rings true and is an accurate depiction of my feelings towards the story.

Now, let’s get started on me rambling on for way too long!

The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake

Blurb according to the publisher:
The world’s best young magicians accept the opportunity of a lifetime.
Six are chosen. Only five will walk away.

The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few . . .
– Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.
– Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.
– Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.
– Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.
– Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them.

REASONS YOU MIGHT LOVE/HATE THE ATLAS SIX

The Writing

First things first, this is the opening volume to a  dark academia/fantasy trilogy. I want to point this out, because sometimes I wonder if people think it’s a self-contained story, when it’s very much not. In other words, it is to be expected that The Atlas Six does not give you answers to all your questions, might even leave you confused on some subjects and definitely has a grueling cliffhanger.

Other than that, the story is told in third person and from multiple POVs. There’s quite a big cast of characters, but more on that later on. Something that’s very much notable in Olivie Blake’s writing is that everything sounds flowery, yet incredibly sophisticated, but even more so, she heavily focuses on dialogue. This can be both, actual conversations between certain people, or inner turmoil. There will be entire pages of discussions on matters of philosophy and science, which to me felt invigorating, while I can see others struggling to the see the point or importance of it. But that’s the thing, while I read it, I felt like there was a purpose to everything and we learned many things along with the characters. Also, it’s balanced well with humor!

“We study the realm of consciousness because we understand that to decide something, to weigh a cost and accept its consequences, is to forcibly alter the world in some tangible way. That is a magic as true and as real as any other.”

What I struggled with a bit reading it for the first time, but not so much on my reread, was figuring out how much time had passed between certain scenes. This book covers a lot of ground and not always linearly, so that’s something to keep in mind.

It’s definitely written in a witty and clever way with lots of turns and twists. Something I will admit though, is that it felt frustrating to me that the characters didn’t realize one of the biggest (in my opinion *obvious*) turn of events for the majority of the book. Ultimately, in this volume, we get eased into this world. We are meant to hopefully fall in love with who the story is about and to care deeply about what happens next. Because there will be a definite shift in The Atlas Paradox.

The Characters

Did you ever want a cast of characters where every. single. one of them is morally grey and (probably) also not straight? I present to you: Libby Rhodes, Nico de Varona, Reina Mori, Tristan Caine, Parisa Kamali and Callum Nova

“No one here is good. Knowledge is carnage. You can’t have it without sacrifice.”

There’s actually more characters in the book that aren’t exactly unimportant, but these six, they really are the backbone of the story! You won’t like all of them, I sure didn’t and they definitely often can’t stand each other, but you will appreciate every single one of them for what they bring to the table. There are almost limitless possibilities for shipping, there’s even a threesome somewhere in there, but the bonds are so complex that it goes beyond just romantic attachment.

I think a lot of whether the reader enjoys The Atlas Six hinges on how many characters fascinate them. I personally loved three characters with my entire being, was intrigued by one more, felt disappointed at the lack of page time for a certain someone and just despised the last. That one’s a literal psycho and I cannot. (I was just referring to the above mentioned six leads here.)
It’s easy to sense a certain kind of favoritism the author has, in my opinion, as some characters either got just more chapters in general or the more interesting (to me) plotlines. I don’t know if that will be consistent throughout the entire series, or whether there’s more “to do” for certain characters in the later books. Either way, that favoritism might also make the reader lean more towards those figures.

Something that can definitely go one of two ways were the ample illustrations of the characters between parts of the book. I, for one, adored them! They were done by Little Chmura in the indie version as well as the traditional one, although they are different (yet both gorgeous). I know that certain people prefer to imagine the appearance themselves and not get a certain look “forced” on them. Here’s a taste of what the portraits approximately look like, although I’ll forever be salty we don’t have colored versions in the printed books:

The World-Building

This is probably the point I heard the most criticism about since the traditional release. If you are looking for a book with a very strict and structural magical system, this might not be it for you! Honestly, I love when magic is just woven into the fabric of every day life, when there’s hints of otherness around every corner and you can see that there lies a certain power within some and not others, but it is never explicitly mentioned why that is. In a way, magic is common in this world and if you have it and can monetize it, you’re on top of the food chain. Power is everything and knowledge is power, which is why the Alexandrian Society is so secretive and competitive.

Those who can practice magic as more than just a spell or charm are called “medeians” and they usually have a specialty or tendency in which their power develops. Those powers can present phyiscally (being able to set fire to things, grow plants, etc.) or in a non-physical way (empathy, telepathy, illusions, …), giving each person a completely unique and individual experience with their magical gift.

Aside from people who can do magic, there also exist “creatures” in this world. That’s a point that could have definitely been expanded on and it’s something that regularly took me out of the story a little bit, as there’s only one POV that deals with the matter. “Creatures” (think satyrs, mermaids, etc.) are looked down upon in the magical society and if don’t fit into a pre-classified system, you are forgotten about altogether. I can imagine this being dealt with more in the future, but it was a bit of a lackluster point.

To sum it up, I adore books that just live off of vibes, never-ending philosophical and moral dilemmas with a little science thrown in. To me, that is heaven, but I understand that some people need more. They need certain charms or spells that only work when done just so, which The Atlas Six also has, but definitely doesn’t focus on. This is more of a trial and error way of using magic.

“The problem with knowledge, is its inexhaustible craving. the more of it you have, the less you feel you know.”


Have you made up your mind and did this help you? Did you already read the book? What are your thoughts? Let’s talk!

February 2022 Wrap-Up

Despite February having been a lot and me choosing to repress some stuff that is happening in reality (I know, it’s a kind of privilege), it was actually a pretty decent reading month for me. I got to everything I had set my eyes on and even a little more. So, at least in that department, I genuinely can’t complain much right now, even if most of the books wer only mediocre. Here’s what I read:

Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row by Anthony Ray Hinton A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Prosper's Demon by K.J. Parker

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! OR find me on Storygraph, where I’m more active this year. My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

As I’ve now said a lot, I’m using Storygraph really regularly now and it’s growing on me. I’m also low-key crushing my reading challenges and it’s making me happy. For a while there, I thought I had aimed too high with 15K words for this year, but it’s looking good. I’m now reading The Ten Thousand Doors of January (about 6% into the story) and even though it had mixed reviews, I’m enjoying it. I’m not even going to attempt to start a new reading experiment in March, I will try to alternate those.

I think it’s fairly understandable to say that I’m on edge right now. The Ukrainian border is closer to where I live than the other side of my own (very tiny) country. Geographically, this is probably one of the closest wars I have had to witness and I feel like I live in a 24/7 news cycle. At the same time, I’m confused and angered by some of the rhetoric used in media and by politicians alike, especially when it comes to refugees in comparison to coverage about previous countries that needed aid. I wish I could share some good resources here, but the ones I trust are all in German so … please, just be aware that there’s a lot of misinformation going around and be careful. Take care of yourselves!

Other than that, there’s things going on in my private life I want to talk about even less, BUT the weather is getting better. Yes, this is what it has come to. I’m talking about the weather … I can really feel it lift my spirits though and I’m hoping to get out more. I miss having places to go to, especially since I’ve been working from home in my one room apartment since mid-November now. So, this is honestly a good sign!

It also sort of started me imagining going on vacation for the first time in forever this year. I refuse to go on a plane or anywhere that is difficult to reach, but maybe a Berlin visit is due! I miss my second (or third or fourth) home. If I go, I want to go by train, because it’s such a nice deceleration to life and without the stress of how much luggage you can take in a carry on for a flight and such. I’m not sure when I’ll go, but I’m making all the plans for 2022.

MOST POPULAR POSTS OF FEBRUARY 2022

When I’m on other platforms and judging by my stats page, blogging has changed a lot over the years. I feel like it’s more of a second platform for many, next to video or image content on socials. Still, I’m dedicating this year to showing how valuable and kind of long term blogging as a medium is by sharing my top performing posts each month. (Hint: they are rarely ever the new ones!)

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Book Review)
    (originally posted in December 2020)
    Do I know why this is the most popular book review I’ve ever written? Heck no. I wish I did, but I’m glad it’s doing so well and finding an audience. Even if I wasn’t 100% convinced by the book …
  2. Something Different: Duskwood (Game)
    (originally posted June 2020)
    This game, I wish more people would play it so that I could talk about it with them. And also, that they’ll finally release the final chapter.
  3. Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted August 2021)
    Look, with Pam & Tommy releasing, I just think a lot of people are rediscovering Sebastian Stan.
  4. Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted July 2021)
    Interest for Chris always remains in waves.
  5. Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
    (originally posted June 2021)
    He almost got beat by Pedro Pascal for 5th place. It as SO close. But the reading experiments are just a huge draw to the blog.

MY FAVORITES OF THE MONTH

Speaking of reading experiments, while I love doing them, I love publishing them even more! There’s just something so very satisfying about getting all the necessary reading done, comparing tastes and trying to find common ground with strangers based on nothing other than books. One of my favorite parts is also trying to find the thing that connects all the books, to dive into the psyche of the celebs a little and see what draws them to the material. It’s such a joy! I know I posted the latest installment with Lupita Nyong’o at an inopportune time, but I hope it doesn’t flop.

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I love this community, so please share that love by also checking out the posts of fellow bloggers!

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

WRITING LIFE

TRAILER POSTS


Hope February was kind to you and that March will treat you well! Let’s chat in the comments!

Are Lupita Nyong’o and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Lupita Nyong’o. All the information is taken from various social media posts and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Here we are once again with a new installment of the reader compatibility feature or celeb book club, as I like to call it! In case you missed the previous ones, don’t hesitate to check out the following posts:
Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?
Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?
Are Sebastian Stan and I compatible (readers)?
Are Pedro Pascal and I compatible (readers)?

And here comes once again the reminder that this is done with the sole intention of it being fun and not taken too seriously. I’m comparing my taste in books with that of actors and actresses to see if we would be “compatible” on the basis of those reading taste alone. How could you ever take that seriously?


Read More »

This or That: Comparing English/American & German Book Covers!

A while ago, I saw a post over at Lais @The Bookish Skies comparing Brazilian and American book covers and I was super intrigued by the idea. Somehow, I forgot about it though, or other things just became more pressing, until I watched Jack Edwards and Steph Bohrer compare UK and US book covers over on booktube. I just knew, I had to do this for German covers (and titles? Cause they often change them?) before I’d forget it again. So, in short, we’re going to compare UK and US book covers with those published on the German market! I don’t know who does it better, but this post might give us an indication.

(This was really inspired by all the people above, please check out their content!)

ROUND #1

       

I don’t remember if the left cover is the British or the US version, but whichever one it is, but I fully intend to finally read the book this year and that’s the version I own (I think).

For once, they did not actually change the title, but I legit couldn’t find a cover image without the silly “BookTok sensation” sticker. When they’re not actual stickers and cannot be removed from the book, I often feel like they might just become my villain origin story.

In general, there’s just something more mysterious, luxurious and enticing about the English language cover. This round clearly goes to the US/UK!

ROUND #2

       

Okay, where do I even start? They stuck to translating the title correctly, but that’s about where I stop liking the German cover.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a very slow paced, atmospheric book. It’s about prejudice and perseverance. It’s about love and life and family. There’s a lot of harsh realities and even a murder mystery, but I feel like the German cover leaned into that last bit way too hard. Somehow, the darker color scheme makes it reminiscent of crime and thriller books rather than the celebration of nature and societal commentary it is. Again, points go to the English language cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #3

        

There are a couple different variants of the English language cover, but they’re mostly in the realm of what is shown above. Please, do get ready for the translation of the German title though – I still can’t believe they called it that: “Destiny is a lousy traitor

While I think the German title sort of relates to the story, I just don’t know where they got that particular phrase from. It feels clunky (in German) and I would have never guessed it’s supposed to be TFIOS. The rest of the German cover is also just so random. 1) they ignore the stars in the OG title, but put them on the cover, 2) there’s a random city skyline? and 3) Is that a dandelion floating about?

The English cover isn’t particularly creative, but I feel calmer looking at it. English language covers keep winning.

ROUND #4

        

I chose the blue cover, because it’s the one I own. I know there are different versions out there, but it’s what’s on my shelf, so it’s what I’m going to judge it on.

I kind of like the German one more, but wish the head wasn’t part of it? I’m just confused, is that supposed to be Achilles? Either way, it looks a little more exciting than the blue cover, which is just very plain. So, while I don’t feel compelled to give either one a point, this one reluctantly goes to the German cover.

Read my review of the book here.

ROUND #5

        

They tried to do entirely too much with the German cover! Why do they always want to pack half the plot into the imagery, when a nice understated font can be so much more enticing. I don’t even know if the person in the crystal ball (where is that even coming from) is supposed to be Addie or Luc. I feel like this just leads you astray, because so much of the story actually takes place in the now. This is a disaster … English language cover wins again!

Read my review of the book here!


That’s it for today! The UK/US covers easily won with 4-1 points! If I ever do this again (should I?), I will have to make sure that I do a better job at finding nice German covers. Although … there are several reasons I don’t own many German editions and it’s apparently not just the language …


What did you think of this post? Would you like to see more comparisons? Let’s chat!