Mini Reviews: Dumplin’ and Locke & Key

I am actually one book ahead of schedule for my Goodreads reading challenge and that has me super pumped. I started out the year definitely less in a reading slump than before, but now that some urgent stuff at work has crept in and I have been distracted, it slowed down again. Anyway, I wanted to share with you a couple more books I read this month, so here we go:

Dumplin‘ by Julie Murphy

Dumplin’ Movie Tie-in EditionI knew of the existence of this book for quite some time, but I never really paid attention to it (my bad, I am sorry). However, after the Netflix trailer for the movie adaptation dropped, I kind of knew I had to read it and I am so glad I picked up this book.

Dumplin’ was such a relatable and heartbreaking yet heartwarming read – I had the best of times flying through the pages. I don’t want to necessarily compare it to the movie (which Netflix still hasn’t released in my current territory by the way), but it had a completely different focus in my opinion. While I really enjoyed seeing more of Bo on the pages (he’s seriously such a great love interest. He’s not without flaws, but I love how he never really gave up on Willowdean), I felt like the mother-daughter-relationship was actually explored in a bit more depth in the movie. Both still had very interesting explorations of grief, confidence, changing relationships, experiencing life at different speeds and body shaming of all sorts; I enjoyed it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Would recommend, especially if you are into trying Dolly Parton as your reading soundtrack while you are at it.

Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft (Vol. 1) by Joe Hill/Gabriel Rodríguez

Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)Reading comics every now and then just makes sense to me. It cleanses my pallet, because there is so much less text and sometimes that’s just what I need. I picked this one in particular due to it being free on my Kindle at the moment of my reading it and because this is yet another comic book that is getting adapted for the small screen. By now I don’t think I need to explain that I have a thing for adaptations anymore.

The concept of the series is definitely fascinating. It opens up the doors for so many possibilities and I am more than curious to see how this will translate in the show they are making. I am a sucker for a good supernatural story after all! However, an issue I have found with quite a few comics lately is that I don’t enjoy violent content. Sure, it’s gritty and dark and often the igniting incident that propels the characters into a new life, but … I don’t particularly want to see that?

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Whenever we start telling stories without the gore, my ratings for comics will be higher than average.

That’s it from my side. I hope you’ve enjoyed those really rather short reviews! Let’s chat in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Parsnips, Buttered and The Darkest Minds

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

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

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

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

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

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

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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

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

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

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

3s

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

December 2017 Wrap-Up

I hope you all had a great start into the year 2018, whether it was by celebrating with friends and family or keeping it low-key at home. This year should be all about you doing you, at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Before I truly dive into 2018 now, there’s still a tiny summary for December necessary. So, let’s start with what I’ve read and how I’ve either mastered the art of picking up stories I love or how I’ve become ridiculously generous with ratings.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (4.5 stars)
  • Almost Midnight: Two Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)
    I had already read Kindred Spirits before (as most of you know, but here was my review!), however I absolutely enjoyed the second short story and especially the illustrations. They are my true weakness.
  • Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Vol. 1 (2.5 stars)
    While the art work was amazing, I got utterly lost with the story sometimes. It felt like there were connecting parts missing inbetween and it therefore didn’t always make sense to me.
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (5 stars)
  • Lumberjanes: A Terrible Plan, Vol. 3 (3 stars)
    I just really missed the old art work for this one.
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5 (5 stars)
    Forever love this entire storyline, I just wish the wait inbetween volumes wasn’t as long.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (5 stars)
    It’s such a powerful read and despite me not always loving the flow of words, they were too strong and important to give it anything other than 5 stars. I just want to emphasize that it is very America-centric.
  • Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (5 stars)
  • Book of Mythicality by Rhett and Link (5 stars)
    This is just an amazing treat for all the Good Mythical Morning fans out there.
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)
  • Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman (5 stars)
    MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE ENTIRE YEAR! I will write a detailed review soon, but I literally finished it at 10 PM.

The Upside of Unrequited  Almost Midnight: Two Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell  Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1  Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)  Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan  The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5: Imperial Phase I  Between the World and Me  Waking Gods (Themis Files, #2)

Book of Mythicality  The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic  Call Me by Your Name

Just like in old times, click on the title to get to the review on the blog (if there is one) and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

December was alright, I suppose. I did have some really nice times with friends, but mostly I just tried to be done with the Christmas stress and to stop worrying about why December is such a terrible month to apply for jobs. I don’t think anything groundbreaking has happened, and that is okay. 2017 was a weird year in general – I experienced some of the most brilliant moments of my life and learned more about myself than I thought was still possible, but there was also so much bad stuff happening all over the world and it saddens me to think about it. Maybe a little calm is the best for now anyway.

I haven’t talked about Arcadia in a while and I just feel like 2017 was among my worst years in terms of creativity. I honestly really tried to get at least one chapter up before the year ends, but it obviously didn’t happen. However, I did have a couple of epiphanies, which should make the continuation in the new year go more smoothly. I will share new chapters on wattpad as per usual, but am also willing to send out pdf-files if you ask nicely. Just send me an e-mail if you are interested!

ORIGINAL TAGS

BOOKISH STUFF

TV AND MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

How was your year? How was your December? How much did you read? Tell me all about it!

Discussion Time: Interaction on Book Review Posts

reviews

I’ve announced last year that I was taking part in the 2016 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, but so far I haven’t really followed through on that, have I? Well, I’ve noticed something and even though it’s not exactly news to me, I have started to wonder why exactly book reviews seem to be among the least popular posts on my blog. I know that I am far from being alone with this question, so I thought it was time for a discussion! What is up with the lack of interaction and traffic on book review posts?

whyread

Let’s start with something simple! Some of you may recall me asking you guys on Twitter whether you read reviews or not and to give your reasoning behind your choices. The answers given were very similar to how I feel about review posts and they are simple to summarise. I read them if:

  • I like/trust/respect the book blogger. Whenever I see some of my favourite bloggers put up a new review, I am reading it, whether I am usually interested in the genre or not. I mostly trust their opinions and if they really recommend something, I am that much more likely to pick up that particular book myself afterwards.
  • I loved/hated the book. Whenever I have a strong emotion for a book, I am seeking like-minded people or in some cases I just want to know what everyone else is thinking, even if their opinion differs a lot from mine.
  • I am unsure whether I want to read the book or not. This means that I’ve had my eye on it, but I am not all there to put my money on the table to buy a copy.
  • The person DNFd the book or gave it 1 star. These reviews are mostly interesting because they have an incredible entertainment value. I don’t like people who are negative for no reason, but a lot of bloggers are capable of criticising a book without tearing it to shreds and being hilarious at the same time.
  • Beautiful Cover! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a cover snob. Whenever I see a cover that interests me just in the slightest bit, I will want to find out what that book is about.

The only reason for not reading the review is therefore not being interested in the genre/book/cover or not wanting to be spoiled. Well, that gives us plenty of room as to why people should be reading these posts, so one must wonder why reviews aren’t more popular, right? There’s a simple explanation for that as well I am afraid. Goodreads and Amazon, amazing and helpful platforms that they are, offer the perfect venue to post reviews and for readers to find them. It’s like a marketplace – the demand for opinions on the books is there, because the readers are on the same sites and they easily want to find them. You can, of course, post them on your blog as well, but not everyone knows their way around the multitude of blogs on the interwebs these days. Unless you are a blogger yourself, it is far more difficult to find a site you trust in an instant without having visited a couple of times before.

nointeraction

I can only speak for myself here, but sometimes interacting on review posts is really difficult. Of course, I am going to give it a like/favourite/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, if I agree or found that it was a good post, but commenting on it? That is so much more difficult! If I haven’t read the book, there is likely not much for me to say just yet. If I have read the book, but it has been a while, I might not even remember the story in enough detail to comment on it. But there has to be something, right? So, here are a couple of suggestions of what you may be able to talk about:

  • If a person persuaded or dissuaded you from buying a book – tell them! It makes my day whenever someone drops me a short comment about how I have sparked their interest for a book. It is also interesting to hear about people who think it isn’t for them, because that leaves room for discussion afterwards.
  • In case you have read the book, try to think about your favourite characters. Maybe you can talk about your dream casting? Whether you want it to be adapted for the big or small screen? I am a huge TV and movie buff, so that always gets me going and it is fun to think about the casting together.
  • Read the review carefully and see if anything in particular gets your attention. It’s really the most basic thing. Did the romance sound interesting? Was there a certain diversity to the characters? Did it have a theme you didn’t expect? Did the reviewer tease you with something funny that made you curious?
  • If everything else fails, talk about the cover. I’m not sure this goes for everyone, but I for one enjoy gushing about aesthetics.

These are the things I try to remember when I read reviews. I want people to interact on mine, so I have to give them what I would like to have in return.

conclusion

In the end, I suppose I definitely understand why not everyone is running to read all the latest reviews. Sometimes you are just not interested in the book, other times you visit sites like Goodreads where you can find a decent amount of opinions all in one place. I will admit that I don’t read EVERYTHING that’s out there either, but I do vow to at least try to interact more on my fellow bloggers’ sites. With work and all, I haven’t been able to be as active as I’d sometimes like to be, but in my opinion, if you want people to interact on your blog, you should always make the same effort in return (or at least try to).

Thanks for bearing with me during my first discussion post, I am not sure this is exactly what a discussion is supposed to look like, but what’s done is done! Now it’s up to you? Have you experienced a lack of interaction on your review posts? Do you interact on other blogs yourself? Do you vow to try and comment more on reviews as well? I want to know everything you are thinking about!