The Wine Book Tag

I was tagged for this such a long time ago, I won’t even comment on the specific year. Let’s just say it has been an embarrassing time period, but Flo @FlowlessBooks asked me to do the Wine Book Tag and I think it is fun and … better late than never?

Box Wine – a book that people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

Let me think about all the embarrassing things I could have read and liked. I know that the author of Call Me By Your Name has some questionable views (did he sexualize underage girls or did I imagine that interview?) and that puts the age difference in the book in an even worse light. I know all that and I know the book is far from perfect, but I really loved it when I read it. I can’t just forget some of those beautiful quotes between the mess.

Read my review HERE.

Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly

SoulswiftYou better not get tired of me mentioning Soulswift, but to me that book was perfect. As a standalone fantasy novel, it’s a rare bird anyway and it’s hard to get the pacing and content just right, but this book managed to do it all. I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with information or missing anything crucial. I was just heartbroken in the end, but that was to be expected …

Read my review HERE.

Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintry read

Don't Tell a SoulNot sure this really qualifies as spicy, but Don’t Tell a Soul definitely takes place during winter. I still remember the descriptions of mountains of snow and wading through snow storms to get to the manor. This story is not a ghost story, but is sure brings some along on the ride, which might work for the second part of the prompt? I hope so.

Read my review HERE.

Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down!

My mind immediately went to the Red Rising saga! I don’t usually get angry, but woah, I was shaking because I was so furious in parts of those books. They are also violent and brutal, but so well written and they keep you hooked. I still have Dark Age (the most recent book in the series) staring at me accusingly from my shelf, because I still haven’t picked it up. It’s so intimidating though!

Sevro will forever be one of my all time favourite characters and I cannot wait to see who they cast should they move forward with the TV show. My fingers are forever crossed for it to be Richard Harmon.

Read my review of the first book in the series HERE.

Pinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away!

I try to not go into books with too high expectations to begin with. Hype is scary and can quickly drain joy once you read something. I’m, however, always a bit wary when it comes to World War II related content, be it alternate history or authentic, so I did not expect too much from the Wolf by Wolf duology, but it is now one of my favourite duologies out there. I wish more people had read it!

Read my review of the first book in the duology HERE.

Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super-zesty?

The Unexpected EverythingWhat constitutes a super-zesty read? Anyway, I might just ignore that bit, but summer is something I associate with Morgan Matson books. I could probably choose any of her stories and would be able to fulfill that part of the prompt, but I’m going with The Unexpected Everything, just because I thought of it first. As always, it has a cute love interest, dogs and some lovely self-exploration.

Read my review HERE.

Rose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it

Maybe Beartown? When I tried to write my review of the book, it was hard to find an aspect the story did not cover. It’s about community, family, culpability, love, friendship, responsibility and so much more. Really, no clue how to summarize it other than it wrecked my feels. There’s an HBO series coming out for it soon and I cannot wait to feel devastated again.

Read my review of the book HERE.

Shiraz – A full-bodied book that is dark and juicy

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)I’ve delved more and more into darker stories, but I kind of thought of Ninth House first. It has so much death and mystery, which qualifies for the dark part, but I also think the relationships could be categorized as juicy. The full-bodied aspect is probably the fact that it has a very complex secret society and includes a lot of information, which bordered on overload for me at times.

Read my review HERE.

Merlot – a smooth easy read with a soft finish

Tweet CuteTweet Cute! Everything about reading that book was easy and fun and soft and warm. It was like a modern day Young Adult version of You’ve Got Mail, just with a foodie aspect instead of bookstores. What’s softer than that?

Read my review HERE.

Champagne – Your Favourite Book

AS IF I HAD JUST ONE!?!?!?

I don’t know how anyone else does it, so I’m going to cheat a little bit. I’m just going to pick a random book that I gave a high rating to recently and haven’t mentioned in the post already.

We ended on The Light Between Worlds! It’s heartbreaking with a touch of Narnia, just more heavily focused on the returning part  and mental health rather than the one about being in a magical kingdom. I mentioned several trigger warnings in my review, because I think that’s really necessary with this read, but I loved it.

The Light Between Worlds

Read my review HERE.


We’ve seen how bad I’m with sticking to tags, so I’ll just do the same I’ve been doing these past months: if you think you’d have fun with this yourself, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!!


What did you think of my picks for the different topics? Let’s talk!

Any Place But Here by Sarah Van Name (ARC Review)

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Page Count
: 336
Release Date: May 1, 2021

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

CW: underage drinking

Any Place But Here is my first encounter with Sarah Van Name’s writing and I immediately felt drawn into the world of her characters. You meet June and Jess at an evening that feels like it could be any night of the week for them, beyond tipsy and definitely drunk, just that it’s at a school venue and things are spiraling fast after they get discovered with booze in the bathroom.

After that, no matter what June says, her parents don’t trust her anymore and send her off to live with her grandmother (lovingly called Oma, which is also what I have always called my grandmothers too) to attend an all-girls-school. In the beginning, I struggled a bit with that punishment. I understand the concern of June’s parents and the way they mostly blame it on her “friendship” with Jess, but June is literally a straight A studen and … I come from a country where the legal drinking age is 16, so I always roll my eyes a bit at American laws. Of course, there is a difference between drinking responsibly and just getting wasted and I don’t condone the reckless kind since I’m not much of a drinker myself, but it’s always a bit difficult for me to wrap my head around why it is such a huge deal. I literally had bartending classes at my school when I was 16, but I’m veering off course. This conflict sets up the rest of the novel and does so really well.

Who would want to leave behind everyone they know, including the person they care about most, to live in a town where they know no one and nothing ever happens? I can tell you that the answer is not June.

As we see the world through her eyes, it quickly becomes clear that June’s relationship with Jess was more than “just” a friendship. Whenever she speaks about her, their shared bond seems undeniable, but the longer they spend apart, the harder it becomes. And you also start to wonder what held them together in the first place. Things become even trickier when June’s new friends bring up the question of her sexuality (in an intimate and non-pressure related setting) and June has no real answer for it, especially since she finds herself drawn to one of the new acquaintances. I find it’s not often that bisexuality is explored in young adult books, but I enjoyed the way it was done here.

I have spent my fair share of time away from family and friends and I always felt like I was a different person when I came back. Sometimes I was shocked to see how much had changed in my absence, other times I found myself annoyed with the lack of change in my environment when I felt so utterly different. This book perfectly mirrored my emotions and dealt with how hard it can be to let go or fight to keep someone in your life. It’s always a decision you have to make and sometimes you don’t ultimately get what you want.

When you meet new people that enrich your day to day and you find new hobbies that bring you joy, it can be hard to arrange and combine this with your old life. Things change and so do people. Aside from this beautiful exploration of love and friendship, it was also a great but nonchalant portrayal of family. The messiness of it, but the love that was woven through all decisions really warmed my heart. Even with them being miles apart, June’s younger siblings were always present in her thoughts and the struggle with her parents was so relatable. They always made her feel like she had to compete for their approval, but when she lived with her grandmother she experienced such a different parenting style and through that could actually find things she enjoyed.

Overall, I loved being on this ride with June and seeing her find her own way. It also got me really interested in photography, which I didn’t expect, but hey, maybe I’ll find my own Sam there.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A great read about changing relationships, family and expectations. Enjoyed it a lot!


I know the release is still a while away, but could you see yourself pick up Any Place But Here? Have you had experiences with toxic relationships? Let’s talk about it!

February 2021 Wrap-Up

Where January felt like a whole year in itself, I barely registered February. It’s always so short to begin with, but somehow it felt even shorter now. Nevertheless, I actually managed to read a decent amount of books, even if you probably wouldn’t have been able to tell from the lack of reviews I wrote. I just found for myself that I don’t want to review every book I finish, so I’m gonna give you a brief summary of my thoughts in the wrap-up instead.

  • Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (4 stars)
    I don’t think I properly reviewed any of the books in the To All the Boys series, so I didn’t want to do the final book either. I enjoyed it, just as I did the others. Some parts felt a bit rushed, but I liked the main conflict, because making decisions about your future is hard, but it’s sweet to think that some things might last.
  • S. by J.J. Abrams/Doug Dorst (3 stars)
    Reading S. is an experience and a challenge. The different timelines, meanings and stories are a lot and not all of them are really exciting. I enjoyed that this was a love letter to so many things, but the main storyline was still a bit lackluster.
  • Soulswift by Megan Bannen (5 stars)
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars)
    Now that the teaser for the upcoming Netflix adaptation is out, I could not resist finally picking up the books. I finished Shadow and Bone in half a day and I haven’t read anything this quick in YEARS. I agree with the people who say that Six of Crows is better, Bardugo improved her craft in since her first books, but I still loved it. I just don’t get where this incessant Darklina shipping comes from, but I do get loving the Darkling?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3) S. Soulswift Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)

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

So, I was scheduled to get my two remaining wisdom teeth removed in February and due to some annoying stuff, I ended up only getting one out and it’s still in the healing phase and that really knocked me out for a while there. I’m really not even that huge on food usually, but I was craving the most ridiculous things and I still haven’t been able to eat everything I wanted, but I WILL!

The health aspect being really draining, I wasn’t very motivated to do anything creatively. I didn’t write. I didn’t really draw, but I did try and keep up with my blogging. I think I chucked out a decent amount of posts and I hope you enjoyed them.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I have rarely been as excited for anything as I have for Shadow and Bone. I’ve watched the IGN Fan Fest exclusive trailer premiere and the cast q&a afterwards and I was in heaven. I don’t know what it is about all of it, because we got like 5 seconds of my baby crows, but I was beyond hyped. The sound design, the effects, the casting – all of it looks perfect! They put so much love into this show and I want to see it succeed.

Don’t hesitate to follow me over at Twitter for continuous Shadow and Bones spam!

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


How was your February? Did you enjoy the content I put out? Is there something you would like to see more of? Let’s talk!

Evermore Book Tag!

I wasn’t actually tagged for the Evermore Book Tag, but I saw it over at my friend Stephanie’s blog Adventures of a Bibliophile and felt like it would be fun to do. In all honesty, I always vibed more with evermore than with folklore, so, coming up with books to fit song titles should be fun!

RULES!

  • Link back to the original creator’s post: Ahaana’s at Windows to Worlds
  • Tag at least 5 people
  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post!!
  • Feel free to use the graphics from Ahaana’s original post/or mine, but please credit back because they took a lot of time and effort to make (:

Read More »

Soulswift by Megan Bannen (Book Review)

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Page Count
: 480

Honest question: Why has no one told me about this book before!?!?

I’m definitely not the most up to date person when it comes to book releases, but after reading the marvel that is Soulswift, I can whole-heartedly say that this book deserves more attention. I’m going to do my very best to not spoil anything for you, while still trying to convince you to pick up this book in the near future!

First off, I want to point out that Soulswift is a standalone fantasy, which is a rare bird to come across anyway (pun fully intended). So very often, you have to brace yourself for multiple volumes to release over an extended period of time to get to your conclusion, but somehow Bannen managed to pack a fully formed story, neither rushed nor dragging, into this one single book. I am in awe of that woman’s writing!

Stories about faith, even made up ones, are never easy in my opinion. There is such a fine line between religious fanaticism that feels harmful and a naivete towards the world and other beliefs that might be frustrating and annoying at times (although it didn’t feel annoying to me here), but offers great potential for growth. Bannen allowed us to draw our own conclusions, hearing different aspects and exploring the various angles. It felt very natural for the world she created and I loved that I knew that there were always going to be three sides to the belief system: Gelya’s version, Tavik’s story and the truth.

Why should I worship something that cares so little for me, or for you?

As I moved through Soulswift, I found myself attached to Gelya and Tavik more and more. Their enemies to friends to lovers dynamic and banter was endearing like nothing else, but they were also great characters on their own accords. They both have to overcome a vast amount of prejudice and yet their bond is so strong and frankly beautiful. You will weep for these characters, without a shadow of a doubt, because they are so strong and dedicated and devoted. By the end, it’s just a question of who to.

Aside from really enjoying the religious aspect, the created world and the characters, it was the small things that made this novel stand out for me. It challenged gender norms and stereotypes without throwing it in your face, but rather letting the characters question their world view through dialogue and realistic situations. For example, I cannot recall another Fantasy novel where a character got her period while on the road, which wasn’t dismissed here, but also not made into this awkward big deal. I really appreciated that!

Life and Death
All things in balance.

Why wouldn’t this book be for you?

Aside from the topic of faith, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, be it fictional or not, the ending isn’t something every reader will love either. I’m fully in the camp “a good ending doesn’t mean a happy ending”, but if you seek a story that will leave you warm and joyful, this is not it. I’m not saying it ends it utter devastation, because everything makes sense and is very beautiful in its own way, but also tragic. So very tragic and sad. I cried.

fly, little soulswift, fly

Fazit: 5/5 stars! 100% one of my new all-time favourites!!!


Could I convince you to take a look at Soulswift? Was it on your radar before? Let’s talk!

The Guilty Reader Tag!

I thought I had dealt with my reading guilt a while ago (Do I read enough? Do I read the right books? etc. etc.), but then I got tagged by the Orang-utan Librarian and found myself really intrigued by the Guilty Reader Tag. It was originally created by by Chami @Read Like Wildfire and I cannot wait to dive into this with you! Let’s see if I will be judged guilty or not.

One. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

I have not! At least not that I can remember. I donate and sell my books and let some select friends and family choose out of the books I want to give away in case they want to read anything, but I don’t believe I have re-gifted anything on purpose.

Two. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

What would be the point of doing that?

Okay, so … I might have done that back in school in a way. I often skimmed books that I didn’t like, but I never claimed that have read something I did not read even one sentence of. I maybe, just maybe, have said that I finished something I haven’t. That definitely has happened. But in a social setting, again, what’s the point?

Three. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

There were definitely moments where I had borrowed my cousin’s books (we share a very similar taste when it comes to reading) and I maybe wanted to keep them, but I don’t think I ever did. I would not want to not get my books back, so I wouldn’t not return something either.

Four. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

That is actually something I am guilty of! It wasn’t on purpose, but I was standing in line at the bookstore to pay for what I had selected, when there was this table with a new book being promoted. It wasn’t really obvious that it was a sequel and because it mentioned Oregon (which was appealing to me, because that was shortly after my semester abroad in Oregon), I felt compelled to read it.

So, to speak more plainly, I read Where She Went before If I Stay. Did not really feel that weird though to be honest.

Five. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

Yep, a couple times accidentally and other times because I was asked to just tell them and I had checked beforehand if that was okay with them. I don’t mean to spoil anyone, like I don’t go out of my way to make sure I ruin someone’s experience, but sometimes you just gotta talk about stuff.

Six. Have You Ever Dogeared A Book?

Nope, I don’t like to do that. If it’s your book and you want to dogear a page, by all accounts, go for it!! It just feels like a crime when I think about doing it to mine.

Seven. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

I can’t recall a specific book this happened with, but I might have just to not have to lend it to anyone. I have made bad experiences with people who borrowed my books. Like, they came back drenched and torn and it’s my nightmare.

Eight. Have You Ever Skipped A Chapter Or A Section Of A Book?

Oh, 100%! Sometimes certain passages in a book are just boring and mind-numbing, but you also don’t want to give up on the story entirely? The solution is to just skim-read. It really speeds up the process and I simply do not have the brain capacity for super detailed meaningless descriptions. They are not for me.

Nine. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

This entire post sounds like my memory is getting really bad, but I just can’t remember doing that. Maybe I haven’t? Sometimes I just also think that opinions and tastes change and something you’ve really liked before can turn into something you dislike later on and maybe in that context, I have bad-mouthed a previously beloved book? But I don’t know. I am going to go with no.

THE VERDICT

4.5 out of 9 … so I am neither entirely guilty nor free of guilt. This fits my chaotic persona so well.


Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my reading habits. If you want to do this as well, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The SIMS Book Tag

Okay, so, how do I say this? I have been tagged for the Sims Book Tag all the way back in 2016/2017 by the lovely Cristina @My Tiny Obsessions and Loreva @La Book Dreamer and it really took me 4-5 years to actually post it. Why? I don’t know, but be aware that my shame is endless.

It’s just that I have recently gotten more into the Sims again, owning way too many expansion packs and add ons for that game than necessary and then I saw this still lingering in my drafts. I gathered, if I don’t do it now, I might never get to it. So, in the spirit of better late than never, I hope you do enjoy the following post!

**click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads**

THE ORIGINAL SIMS – THE BEST AUTHOR DEBUT

The Field Guide to the North American TeenagerI’ve mentioned this book so many times, but I just had so much fun with it? The Field Guide to the North American Teenager isn’t one of those stories with a finite end, but you still feel very satisfied with the outcome. It’s self-aware and funny and snarky – just immediately endeared me to check out all future releases by Ben Philippe.

Read my review here.

THE GRIM REAPER – THE SADDEST CHARACTER DEATH (SPOILER!!!)

I have mourned so many characters at this point, it is very hard to describe the absolute worst and saddest character death to me. However, I still very clearly remember the first (and therefore utterly devastating one), which was Dustfinger from the Inkworld trilogy. In case you haven’t read it, I am not going to talk about his fate in detail, but he will forever remain one of my all time favourite characters. He deserves the world!

SIMS GETTING STUCK – A CHARACTER THAT JUST GOT IN THE WAY

Don't Tell a SoulI’d like to think that most characters serve a purpose in a story, so, I am having a hard time coming up with someone who was really in the way. However, I feel like Maisie from Don’t Tell a Soul was someone who definitely complicated things in several situations. If she didn’t feel the need to constantly intervene, I think some events might have run smoother.

Read my review here.

SIMLISH – A BOOK WITH AMAZING WRITING

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown just had absolutely amazing writing. There is a kind of omniscient narrator type voice and yet you always know which character you are currently dealing with. Ensemble casts, especially of that size, are never easy to handle, because it’s tricky to keep it all balanced, but Backman knew what he was doing. I’ve literally marked so many sentences in that book, it was a thing of beauty.

Read my review here.

EXPANSION PACKS – A SERIES WHERE THE BOOKS KEEP GETTING BETTER

I don’t know why this was the first book series that came to mind, but I am just going with my gut here – I think the Magicians books actually got better over time. It’s been a while, but I believe the second book was my favourite, but the third was still better than the first one, so it totally counts.

Read my reviews for The Magicians, The Magician’s Land and the Magician King.

SIM ROMANCE – THE WORST CASE OF INSTA-LOVE

A Pocketful of CrowsPhew, I tend to avoid books that insinuate insta love, so again, not easy to answer. (Yes, apparently I am going to say that about every single prompt.)

Okay, so, I didn’t review this book on the blog, because I really didn’t enjoy it, but A Pocketful of Crows was a very fairytale-esque story and had the main character and the love interest fall for each other in the most cliché of ways. It was immediate, it was founded on neither one of their qualities and just annoying, but thankfully that romance didn’t last. The real downfall of the book was the overall message for me though, because it suggested that you were right in exacting revenge upon people who wronged you.

CHEATS – A BOOK THAT WAS ENTIRELY UNREALISTIC

Famous in Love (Famous in Love, #1)Sometimes I think I can’t play the Sims without cheats anymore. Am I the only one?

Anyway, let’s talk books again. As someone who works in film and TV, I just didn’t find Famous in Love very realistic. Does that mean it’s not a fun and entertaining book? Of course not, but it’s just not how things would likely play out. And I will forever prefer the too-soon-cancelled TV version of this tale (which also wasn’t 100% authentic, but closer?).

Read my review here.

NEEDS FULFILLMENT – A CHARACTER THAT MADE ALL THE WRONG DECISIONS

AdmissionALL the wrong decisions is quite the heavy accusation. I think that Chloe from Admission made a lot of mistakes by not making very many decisions on her own. There’s no way she didn’t know that something was off, but by going along with what she was told to do (deciding not to speak up), she made all the wrong moves. I did enjoy that they didn’t glorify or redeem her actions entirely, but just explained how they came to be.

Read my review here.

ERROR CODE 12 – A SERIES THAT STARTED OFF WELL BUT WENT DOWNHILL FROM THERE

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Uhm, I don’t know? Divergent?

I thought the premise and concept was cool and I really enjoyed it in the beginning, but Allegiant? No, thank you. That book set itself up to fail in my opinion and it just felt kind of lost overall. Would have much rather prefered a different path for the series.

THE SIMS VORTEX – A SERIES THAT COMPLETELY ENGROSSED YOU

I’ve not spoken about this series in a long time, but RED RISING IS RIGHT THERE!! I feel bad for just staring at the brick of a book that is Dark Age on my shelf, but I am scared. These characters mean so much to me and they are in constant peril. I don’t know what kind of spell Pierce Brown put on me, but he has me heart and soul invested in this series. (check out a post I made about why the original trilogy is so great here)

Read my review of Red Rising, Golden Son, Morning Star and Iron Gold.


I TAG THEE

Since it took me so long to do this post, I don’t want to put anyone else on the spot. And I also genuinely think that a lot of people have already done the Sims Book Tag at this point, but if you think “hey, this is for me!”, then CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!


Do you play the Sims? Do you have a favourite expansion pack? Let’s chat!

January 2021 Wrap-Up

January was A MONTH for me. I refuse to go into detail, but it literally got worse than 2020, which, frankly, I thought was hard to accomplish. Unfortunately, most of February and possibly March will be tainted with struggle as well. I only have my fingers crossed for the summer, because there is a limit to my patience, but it is what it is for now. I just genuinely hope you all had a better time.

I also dragged myself through only two books, so, I didn’t read that much, but that’s for now not a real worry:

Don't Tell a Soul    My Year Abroad

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

I don’t really know what to tell you about the month, because the highs were high and the lows were low. I am so very grateful to have friends and family who keep checking in with me, because sometimes things just aren’t easy and even if we all know we can’t actually do anything about it, venting helps. I am not going to unload here as well, but know that everyone who comes and visits this blog and gives me something to do and distract myself with has my utmost gratitude. 

After a long, long pause from writing, I have finally returned to that world again too. I want to keep the WIP close to my heart, but I have jotted down more than 7K words and will be rewriting the ones I have before continuing on. It’s like I am creating a very detailed outline for what I want the readers to know, just to take it all apart and write into something that isn’t just a plain info dump.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

WandaVision. I have waited so long. I have anticipated that show for what feels like eternity, because Wanda Maximoff has always been one of my favourite characters and she’s finally getting the attention she deserves. I adore that even non-Marvel fans are checking out the show and letting themselves get dragged into the madness. Below you will find the list of reviews I have written for the series so far and I will continue to post weekly, spoiler-filled posts as the remaining episodes release.

A little stylized Wanda drawing I made!

Duskwood finally released the new episode!! I have talked about the mobile game before (check it out here) and it’s still one of my favourite things. I feel like this episode wasn’t as intricate as the previous one, but it once again left on a massive cruel cliffhanger. Here’s to hoping it won’t take another two months until we get new content.

MY OTHER POSTS

WANDAVISION REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS TAGS AND POSTS

TRAILER POSTS


Hope you had a better January than I did! On we venture into the rest of 2021! 

My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee (eARC Review)

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Page Count
: 496
Release Date: February 2, 2021

Further synopsis taken from Goodreads:

In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion–on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.

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

CW: parental abandonment, suicidal ideation, mental illness, forced labor, forced sexual intercourse, sex work

Let’s get it out of the way. Unfortunately, I was not the right reader for this book.

I had been very eager to pick up this novel, because of my own experiences abroad. Be it during my formative High School years or later on in life, every time I went to a different country for a longer period of time, I learned something about the world, about people and most importantly myself. No matter where I stayed, it changed me and taught me valuable lessons. I cherish those experiences and thought it would be a great connection to this story. But no matter how hard I tried, I constantly found myself losing interest.

Told between alternating timelines of now and the adventure that got Tiller to his present situation, I couldn’t always quite make the connection between the different scenarios. I felt that the story was disjointed and didn’t evoke the emotional effect I had hoped for. The journey abroad and its aftermath were so important, yet Tiller doesn’t even leave his country until about 40% into the book.

While everything Tiller describes has a purpose, it’s still hard to follow him as he finds value in situations you wish he had never gotten into. I don’t think anything ever goes smoothly when you set out for something potentially life-changing, but where he found himself along the way was among the worst that could happen. There are some clear themes around parenthood, taking action (which Tiller does very late in the book, mostly being an inactive protagonist who things happen to rather than someone who makes things happen – but that’s all part of the journey!) kinship and the privilege of certain opportunities. And yet, I still couldn’t always grasp the fondness for certain people and experiences I would have rather never thought of ever again, while Tiller had them on the highest of pedestals.

Ultimately, I think that this style of writing just wasn’t for me. I can see many literary fans rejoicing in the details, but I found myself drifting off mid-sentence as the descriptions became ever more elaborate and lengthy. In general, this book was just too long, offering pages of minute details of various foods and drinks or other things, just information on top of information, but not the connection to me as a reader I really sought. I am certain others will be able to appreciate Lee’s craftsmanship and skill more than I could. 

Fazit: 2/5 stars! Unfortunately, My Year Abroad failed to capture me.


Have you spent some time abroad? What was it like for you? Can you see yourself picking up a book like this?

Book to Screen Adaptations 2021

I feel like I am often skimming on the book content for the blog, but have plenty of movies and TV shows to talk about. In an effort to combine those elements, I wanted to share with you a post about 2021 book to screen adaptations. This list is neither complete nor have I read all the books the material will be based on. However, I am known for liking my movie covers and reading books once I have seen trailers, so, I want to share some that I found interesting.

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