T5W: Books With “Hard” Topics

hard2

It’s time for Top 5 Wednesdays, a weekly meme created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to know more or join as well, just go to the Goodreads group by clicking here. This week we are talking about books with “hard” topics, which could be anything from sexual assault, mental or some other kind of illness to really anything you can think about. There are so many books that would be great examples to talk about here, so let’s see which devastating stories I can find.

hard

  1. Nineteen Minutes by Jodie Picoult
    This book is about the aftermath of a school shooting from various perspectives. I remember reading this one quite clearly and it was more than a little scary to see it broken down into components where you actually get the shooter …
  2. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
    I guess most of you know the movie and know that it’s about mental health. I thought it was a good book.
  3. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
    Murder and rape! All from the eyes of the victim! That book ruined my feels.
  4. The Bang-Bang Club by Greg Marinovich and João Silva
    This is the real account of photo-journalists and their dilemma between capturing war regions and intervering in events.
  5. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
    Okay, this one I have talked about before, but I remain of the opinion that it dealt brilliantly with a really difficult topic. I am not sure I could handle a World War III and the books raises some interesting questions about all the things we wouldn’t be prepared for.

What are some books with difficult topics you can think of? Have you read any from my list?

The Book Courtship Tag

Every now and then I tend to throw in a book tag to change up things on my blog. I actually read a lot, but I often don’t get around to posting about it and I’ll admit with shame that I let my Goodreads reviews slide as well. But I’m making up for it now! I forgot who created it originally, but I saw the Book Courtship Tag on jessethereader‘s channel on YouTube and it sounded like fun! The questions are structured according to the different phases of courtship, so here we go!

Phase 1 – Initial Attraction: A book that you bought because of the cover?
We’ve been over this before: I pretty much buy all my books because of their covers. Most recent acquiries include Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The 100: Day 21 by Kass Morgan and Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins. Don’t they look just lovely!!

Phase 2 – First Impressions: A book that you got because of the summary?
That’s actually a little bit of a tough one. Very often, I buy books because someone recommended them to me or it just has a general buzz going on. It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but I was really intrigued when I read the cover description of the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! I think it’s because I like vague descriptions rather than full on explanations of the story and the Night Circus was definitely vague!

Phase 3 – Sweet Talk: A book with great writing?
Uuuuh, I like that one! Although I love the writing in Red Queen and the Shatter Me Series, those seem like my go-to answers, so I want to say something different. Is it weird to say Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare at this point? It’s nothing like the books I mentioned before, but I found the writing hilarious! Maybe that’s because I completely and utterly associate it with the performance of Katherine Tate and David Tennant though … (click here to see the Trailer on YouTube!). Also, there’s a Joss Whedon version out there (again, click here for the Trailer) which I liked.

Phase 4 – First Date: A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?
If I start a series, the book has to be really, really terrible in order for me not to want to read on. (I stuck with the 100 series and that means something …). Yet, I do know of a book that I loved so much and still love to this day: The Bad Beginning from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket! I love that series to bits, even though I think it’s quite dark and frustrating for children.

Phase 5 – Late Night Phone Calls: A book that kept you up all night?
Many a book has managed to do that. Nowadays it just happens so often that I can’t remember at what time of the day I’ve read a book. However, when I was little that was a special thing to do (and a real honor for the book). I remember loving the City of Beasts series by Isabel Allende and it being so suspenseful that I just couldn’t put the books away!

3304

Phase 6 – Always on my mind: A book you couldn’t stop thinking about?
There are two books that’ve stayed with me a while after I was finished with reading them: How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff and Every Day by David Levithan. And here’s why:

  • For me, war is a very disturbing but vague concept. I’ve grown up in a safe environment and I wouldn’t wish for it to be any different, but How I Live Now allowed me a glimpse at how warfare would look like in developed countries nowadays and that just kept me thinking for a while. We are used to so many things these days, the world would go down in a whole different kind of chaos without the communication systems we have now.
    18485426
  • David Levithan is one of my all time favourite authors, but he managed something completely new with Every Day. The main protagonist switches body every single day, not willingly, it’s more like a curse. That led to the problem that A never had a gender identity. Try to imagine a character without those typical female or male voices, without a face to go with. It’s really weird. I can’t wait for the rest of the series!
    13262783

Phase 7 – Getting Physical: A book which you love the way it feels?
You’re going to have to trust me on this one, because I have no way of proving it, but I love the way The Spook’s Apprentice by Joseph Delaney feels like. It’s as if the book is bound in leather or something and that just feels sooo nice. The book has been turned into a movie with Ben Barnes, Jeff Bridges, Alicia Vikander, Julianne Moore and Kit Harington. I haven’t seen it yet, so if you have, tell me if it’s worth checking out!

33956

Phase 8 – Meeting the parents: A book you would recommend to your family and friends?
I’m not sure I would recommend it to all my friends (because let’s face it, the tastes vary a lot), but I recommended it to my mum and she liked it: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. It was a change from the usual sci-fi/fantasy/YA stuff I normally read and the old man’s POV just broke my heart. Also, I love stories that take place in a circus.

43641

Phase 9 – Thinking about the future: A book or series you know you will re-read many times in the future?
I’m not huge on re-reading, but I like to take a look at the Inkheart series by Cornelia Funke and everything written by John Green every now and then.

Phase 10 – Share the love: Who do you tag?
I don’t usually tag people with this, so whoever wants to do it – GO AHEAD! Spread the looove!

Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my bookshelf-life. Don’t hesitate to comment and discuss below! I’d love to hear what you think.
Read you soon!

Taylor Swift Book Tag!

Since I don’t want to bore you with all my NaNoWriMo stuff and I have no idea what else to write about, I’ll do the Taylor Swift Book Tag for you! I  know I’m a little late to the party, but her album 1989 didn’t come out that long ago, so … deal with it!

So, let’s do this!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
(pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with)

I’ll have to go with the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth … loved Divergent, liked Insurgent, hated Allegiant. In case you don’t know what happens, I don’t want to spoil you. Let’s just say I wasn’t pleased for several reasons.

2. Red
(pick a book with a RED cover)

This seriously made me wonder if I should organise my bookshelve, so that the books are colour coordinated. Turns out, I don’t have many red books and I didn’t want to use Allegiant twice. But I do own the movie tie in of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I remember reading this within two days or so and really enjoying it. Honestly, this is the only zombie book I own.

3. The Best Day
(pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic)

I’m going to go with A Good Year by Peter Mayle. Whenever I read this book, I feel like I’m in the South of France, in a small village with the sun warming my skin. Since I actually spent a couple of months in the South of France to work there, this definitely makes me feel nostalgic.

4. Love Story
(pick a book with forbidden love)

This is far more difficult than I imagined and the only book I can think of is How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff. If you want to know more about it, you should click here, because I already wrote a post for it!

5. I Knew You Were Trouble
(pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love)

Definitely Warner from the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi! Again, you can check the books out in my previous post!

6. Innocent
(pick a book that someone ruined the ending for)

This might disappoint you, but I can’t think of one single book where that happened. I’m just amazing at avoiding Spoilers it seems. Sorry.

7. Everything Has Changed
(pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development)

Another tough one. I’m choosing Cheryl from Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I really enjoyed that book and I think that you can see how she changed throughout her journey. It is somewhat of an autobiography, so it makes sense that her character goes through some sort of change. Still haven’t seen the movie though … need to do that soon because it features Reese Witherspoon and Thomas Sodaski!

8. You Belong With Me
(pick your most anticipated book release)

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I love to have movie tie ins for my books. So, the book I am waiting for has been out for years, but I want to have it with the actual film cover. That book would be The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Since I have no idea how the cover is going to look like, the picture above is the regular one.

9. Forever and Always
(pick your favorite book couple)

Anna and Etienne without a doubt! If you love romance as much as I do, there is no way you’re going to get around reading the Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins. I love those books!

10. Come Back, Be Here
(pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I hope there is no need to explain, but I wrote about the book in a previous post as well.

 

And here are some bonus questions that were added during Katytastic‘s BookTube video for the tag!

11. Teardrops On My Guitar
(pick a book that made you cry a lot)

I cried so hard while reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. WWII is just a really emotional topic for me and I loved Zusak’s style of writing, which made it so much easier to understand and feel with the characters.

12. Shake It Off
(pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters)

Are there haters for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern? Somehow I can’t imagine it, but if there are haters out there, I’d shake them off. Love the book to bits and again wrote a post about it!

So, I hope you liked this. If so, leave a comment/like and feel free to do the tag yourself! In case you want more stuff like this, just let me know!

 

 

 

How I Live Now – Book vs. Movie

How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff definitely isn’t a universally appealing story, but it somehow managed to fascinate me – which not a lot of stories have been capable of as of late. I have read the book and watched the movie and I wanted have finally decided to share my feelings about it with you.

First off, a little summary: Daisy, a fifteen-year-old girl from Manhatten gets sent to England to visit her family there. The only thing is, she never met her aunt and cousins before, because her father didn’t want to talk about anything related to her deceased mother. So, naturally, Daisy feels quite uncomfortable, rejected by her father and now having to live with perfect strangers. It doesn’t take long, until her aunt has to go away for a business trip and leaves the kids by themselves. Now the real storyline begins, because the next day World War III breaks out.

I don’t want to say more than that about the plot, because it will totally spoil the experience, but you are probably wondering why I categorized the book as not universally appealing. Well, one of the problems a lot of the readers complained about is Meg Rossoff‘s style of writing, which is very stream-of-consciousness, and there are no quotation marks around the dialogue parts. This might seem strange to some people, but it isn’t actually something that bothered me very much. Now on to the second point. Very early on in the story, Daisy falls in love with one of her cousins. I mean she’s a teenager and they’ve never met before and it really seems like they are in love, but some people complained that it would encourage incest. Now, I am not into incest stories, but somehow I didn’t mind that part either. I guess, that those are points that could turn people off from reading the book, but I don’t think it should.

From the more problematic parts on to what I really liked about the book. I thought that it was extremely interesting to see how Meg Rossoff would envision a worldwide war in modern-day civilzed countries. Mostly, when I read about war it is either about WWI or WWII or in some sort of dystopian novel, but this one actually took place in the here and now in a country like Great Britain. That’s also what I would like to have read or in case of the movie seen more about. The build-up and the resolution concering the war could have been way longer in my opinion. And I was extremely sad at the ending … I dread endings, so they are never really my thing.

Now, I’ve talked a lot about the book, but I think I enjoyed the movie even more! It is drastically different from the book, not so much in what happens (although there were some changes involved as well), but concerning the characters. A lot of people just didn’t exist in the movie or were portrayed completely different and usually that would annoy me, but in case of How I Live Now it weirdly enough didn’t. It was shot beautifully, it has a great soundtrack and I adore the main actors Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay. It really was heartbreaking! Other than that, there’s only to say that it was directed by Kevin Macdonald and stars (next to the people I mentioned before) Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, Corey Johnso, Harley Bird and many others.

What did you think of the movie or book? Would you watch it after seeing the trailer? I think it is definitely a story that should be checked out even though you might hear a lot of negative things about it.