Mini Reviews: The Dire King, Defy Me, Find Me

You won’t believe it, but I have read THREE books THIS WEEK!? It’s been such a long time since I have done this, but it feels like old me. I am not saying I am back to my old form completely, but this is a really good thing. I missed books! (I mean, I love TV shows and movies, but there’s just something about creating a whole world just in your head. Still, because I don’t want a massive hold-back on reviews and I don’t actually have a huge amount to say about each book, I am just going to do mini reviews for them. Here we go:

The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter

The Dire King (Jackaby, #4)

The Dire King is the last installment in the Jackaby series, a book series I mainly started due to cover lust, but never really regretted picking up. We are going to ignore the fact that it took me a year to finish this book, because I didn’t want to take it to Berlin with me and only read bits and pieces when I came back to visit, because overall, I really enjoyed this series.

The things I struggled with most, were probably during the crucial “finale battle” scenes. I had a hard time following descriptions of places and couldn’t really picture where characters were at what point during the fight – which is not ideal, to say the least. However, I loved how it all came together in the end! I don’t think this is my favourite part in the entire series, but I liked the thought process behind the end we got, because you could really see how it had all been building up to this.

Also, twains kind of rock!

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Not a bad ending as far as they go!

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Defy Me (Shatter Me, #5)I may have given the previous installment in the ever growing Shatter Me series a good rating, but in all honesty, I was disappointed with it. The characters were barely recognisable and the writing style had changed drastically, although it had been one of my favourite components of the original trilogy. I struggled, to say the least. However, something brought me back into the fold with Defy Me.

I could see how this part of the series might split people into two camps, because nothing much happens. The events that took place during the 370-something pages could have probably be told in half that, but I am glad Tahereh Mafi took her time. I loved being back deep into the character’s minds. I loved getting all the angst and complexity that didn’t come from silly romance fails but from decades of abuse and the terrifying task of piecing a broken mind back together. It felt dark and like I couldn’t believe all the things that had happened to bring us to where the book is now.

Maybe, just maybe, not everything ties in nicely with the OG trilogy and I am a little sad at that too. But moving forward with these new books, you’ll just have to accept things or maybe don’t pick up the sequels at all. I was definitely much more on board with this than Restore Me (except for the last 3-4 chapters, because they were sappy and there was legit something that made me question if I just read a whole paragraph wrong with someone’s gunshot wound just disappearing from one chapter to the next …).

Fazit: 4/5 stars! My interest for this series is back again.

Find Me (Call Me By Your Name #2) by André Aciman

Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2)For those of you who have followed me for a while, you know how much I adore the Call Me By Your Name book. I love to quote from it, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and all that despite knowing that it has some issues (nevermind the ones concerning the author himself), so when a sequel was announced, I was on board! BIGGEST. LITERARY. DISAPPOINTMENT. OF. MY. LIFE!

This was definitely marketed as a sequel. The blurb on the book (On Goodreads it does mention the dad in the synopsis, but not on the book!) just talks about Elio and Oliver and their love echoing through time, but you know what? That’s not what this book is about, because in the 260 pages I just read, Elio doesn’t show up until after 100+ pages and Oliver past the 200+ page mark. The time they have actual page time together isn’t even noteworthy. Instead, you get to watch Elio’s now divorced dad catch a bad case of instalove (yes, not just instalust, which I would get with this book) for a woman half his age on the train. And then you get to watch Elio do the same just in reverse at a concert.

Hear me out, I am okay with age differences in consenting adult relationships. You do you! I was, however, bugged by the constant mention of casual cheating, like monogamy is just the worst. I don’t mind people in polyamorous or open relationships, but that’s just not what these characters were in at the time of their story. I don’t even want to get started on the aphobic comments that were made either. It’s just not what I signed up for with this book! I was promised the continuation of an epic love … and I only got a rushed fake happy ending for them. I think I am just going to pretend I never read this …

Fazit: 1/5 stars! I regret getting this book so much.

Have you read any of these books or do you want to? Let’s talk about that!

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi (Book Review)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count
: 310

Tahereh Mafi is one of my all-time favourite authors. I haven’t read everything by her, however, most of what I have read was more in the dystopian (??? gosh, I am terrible with genres) category, whereas A Very Large Expanse of Sea is Mafi’s first YA contemporary! I wasn’t sure how her writing style would translate to this genre, but it was a truly amazing read!

Where to even start? Set one year after the terrible events of 9/11, it chronicles a particularly memorable time for Muslim teenager Shirin. You can immediately tell that it is a very personal story and while I don’t know all the specifics that went into this book, I am certain that Tahereh drew some parts of it from her own experiences. Even though I can’t say I was really a teen in 2002 just yet myself, I was slowly getting there, and it instantly brought back some memories from that peculiar time. I remember the news reports and the fear and all that even though I was living on an entirely different continent. But I also associate those years with a certain kind of nostalgia, when everything was getting more digitalised while not quite being there yet.

Aside from a setting I could easily wrap my head around, I was most enamored with the characters. Shirin is a no-bullshit kind of narrator and a really smart one at that. She manages to paint a picture of all the people in her life in a way that makes them seem real, even if you only meet them briefly on the page. Her growing relationship to Ocean was exactly how I picture teens in love for the first time. Everything happened fast but at the same time with caution and the awareness that the other person might just have the power to break their heart.

The entire story tackled so many different topics. This isn’t just a love story, although there certainly is a focus on it, but also a tale about family, friendship, finding your passions and having to handle racism and Islamophobia. It hurts deeply to know that there are such vastly ignorant and hateful people out there. I always wished that those parts of the story were fiction only, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

Lastly, Tahereh Mafi finished the story off in the most bittersweet way. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I am not going to go into the details here, but it felt right to end it in that certain way, while you also wanted so much more afterwards.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! This book was packed with so much in such few pages in comparison.

Have you read A Very Large Expanse of Sea? Is it something you’d be interested in? How did you feel about Tahereh writing in another genre? Let’s talk about it!

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (Book Review)

Publisher: Electric Monkey
Page Count
: 448

CW: anxiety, panic attacks, transphobia, recollections of abuse, depression, mention of suicide

Restore Me is the continuation of the Shatter Me series (I once talked about it way, way back in the day and you can read that post here) and I got to read it with my very good friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. Definitely stay on the lookout for her review in the near future!

When I first heard the announcement for the new additions to the series, I was both super excited and dreaded their release at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored the original Shatter Me trilogy, but they were tied up nice enough for me. Obviously there was room for more to tell, but I was a little worried about whether the things to come were really necessary and afraid that they might change my feelings towards characters I love. I think Tahereh Mafi managed to truly create another plot element that made sense to the history of the characters and at least I wasn’t disappointed in that area.

I wish I could say this book was everything I had dreamed of, but that would be the overstatement of the year. It took me quite a while until I was really back in that world. Something about the writing style has changed and didn’t feel as enchanting and unique as it used to. I think that’s really a shame, because the writing style is what made the original trilogy so special to me and made me want to revisit it time and time again. Also, I felt myself being far more impatient with the characters than I used to be, annoyed at their utter lack of communication. They kept tiptoeing around each other, assuming things that sometimes weren’t even true or just plain exaggerating for … drama? I don’t even know.

As much as I just complained, it was nice to have the old gang back. Obviously, Kenji is still my most favourite person in the entire series (and I honestly don’t think that will ever change). At first, I struggled with Warner’s perspective a little bit, feeling quite detached from his narration style, but by the end, I think I often felt more with him than with Juliette. There are a lot of things that surface from his past and I just think that he was judged unfairly sometimes. Do I condone everything he did and feel like he shouldn’t suffer any repercussions? No. But the way he was brought up and plain had to survive sometimes, I just don’t think most of what he did was really news to anyone (except J apparently).

This book also introduced some new characters and I love, love, love one of them especially and am intrigued, to say the least, about the others. I don’t really want to talk about anyone by name just so you get to meet them all by yourself and can form your own opinion, but I have a weird trust for that person and hope they’ll continue to play an important role.

Overall, Restore Me was mostly an introduction of what these new books would be about. It was an incredibly fast read and interesting to see alternating chapters from Warner and Juliette’s POV. I didn’t find much of the plot surprising, but … maybe that’s just me? There was definitely A LOT happening without much happening at all at the same time. Again, it felt like a set-up for the future the majority of the time. There’s also a cruel cliffhanger, so consider yourself warned!

On a final side rant, I am really sad that the font for the paperback was changed. I do realise that they rereleased the entire series with Electric Monkey and changed the font for all the books, but why wasn’t it also available from the same publisher as the hardcover, that had the previously established font still? I will never understand certain decisions …

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Interesting continuation of one of my favourite series.

Have you read Restore Me? Do you want to? Have you read the original books in the Shatter Me series?

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Duos That Should Write Books Together

As you all know by now, I mostly participate in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s theme is “Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together” and while it’s definitely a topic that took some serious thinking, it’s a fantastic idea. I doubt that I’ll get to 10 but here we go!

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1. Tahereh Mafi & Ransom Riggs

Can anybody else imagine the awesomeness of those two creating a story together? I think everyone of us picked them for their list. Whenever I see interviews with them, videos from their YouTube channel or their comments on social media -I just love them so much together and I think they could create something really special and unique. (Also, on a completely unrelated note, they make me believe in true love … just wanted to throw that in there. Has anyone seen their wedding pictures? Gorgeous!!!)

2. Nicholas Sparks & Cecelia Ahern

Do you want full blown romance with a touch of magic sprinkled on top every now and then? Because I think that’s exactly what those two could accomplish together (and maybe Cecelia could get Sparks to break out of his admittedly very well working but nonetheless repetitive theme).

3. Sarah J. Maas & Victoria Aveyard

I don’t know about you, but I think those two could create one heck of an amazing world with characters that you have to watch all the time, because you never know what’s really up with them.

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4. Rainbow Rowell & John Green

This would be the ultimate teen/YA book and we would all drown in all the feels we would feel! I can see it clearly ahead of me! Also, they talked about Firefly and I love that show.

5. Rachel Matson & E. Lockhart

I think that both of these authors are really good at depicting buddy-stories in their books and somehow I would like to see how they would work together. Maybe each one of them could write a certain POV of a character and it would just keep switching between the two? In my head they’d create an amazing friendship story.

6. David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

Putting this duo on the list is a little bit like cheating, because they have already written 3 books together – BUT I WANT MORE!

7. David Levithan & Nina LaCour

Those two have actually announced their collaboration sometime soon and I am super excited. They are both very important authors in the LGBTQIA community and I think whatever the result of their work together will be, is going to be amazing.

I think that’s all I can come up with. Who are some authors you would like to see working together? Share links to your list below if you like!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want To See As TV Shows

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for the original weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday created by The Broke and the BookishIf you want to join into the fun, just head over to her website and check out the theme of the week. Since we all get a FREEBIE this week, I chose to do “Books I Want To See As TV Shows“. It’s common knowledge that I love all things TV (even more than watching movies most of the time), so you’re going to get a list of books that I’d like to see as a TV show (some of those will actually be happening!)

top-ten-tuesday

1. Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh announced on a BookTube videoShatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) that the series has been optioned for TV and I just got SO excited! I am cautiously optimistic that it will happen and keep thinking about who may be cast for some of the characters (I might do a post for that soon!). I loved that world so much and I think I would’ve been sad if they just pushed all the content in 3 or 4 movies, this way they can go on even beyond the ending of the books.

2. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I actually liked the movie, even though it wasn’t like the books. I thought the casting was really good, but hey, it got picked up by Netflix and they have an amazing track record with their original content (still not over the awesomeness that is Sense8)! With more than 13 books out already, this could definitely be a show for the long-run.

3. Rebel Belle Series by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle, #1)To my own shame I have to admit that I still haven’t read Miss Mayhem, but superheroes are really in right now and I consider Harper Price somewhat of a heroine. She has superpowers/super-strenght at least. Then it’s all in a High School setting – I can see it!

4. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

This is another show that’s actually happening under the title “Shadowhunters”. Since the movie was somewhat of a flop (mostly due to seriously bad casting in my opinion), I am glad it gets a do-over on TV. Also, I am totally on board with the casting this time around (except for Kat McNamara as Clary … sorry, I am still hesitant about that one). But I finally want a real trailer now!!!

5. Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Avalon HighThere’s actually a movie for this as well I think, but it was a Disney-channel movie and therefore … well, disney-fied (watch the Trailer for that here). It just looked ridiculous but I love the Arthurian theme of the book and I think it would work very well as a TV show where the story can be stretched out. The book would obviously only serve for one Season, but I bet they could come up with other mystical stuff to do afterwards.

6. Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Can you imagine it? Every book would be a season and after Season 3/Isla everyone would want more and then Stephanie Perkins would be forced to right more books in that universe and I would be beyond happy! Okay, so maybe I just want more books, but I still think it would be a really funny and sweet show.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FangirlI imagine this as a show where not a lot would actually happen, but you just sort of see what Cath is doing all day long with some flashes of her fanfiction in between. Episodes would probably only be like 25 minutes long, but still, the show would go on forever, because people can just relate to her and her geek life so much.

8. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next DoorIn my opinion we would see so much more of the actual life next door if it were a TV show. Also, there is surely a lot of drama they could come up with over the seasons and we could just switch the focus to a different sibling every season and watch as they grow up!

9. The Beautiful Dead by Eden Maguire

Jonas (Beautiful Dead, #1)I could see this being a lot like the teenage version of Ghost Whisperer.

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night CircusAs much as I am rooting for the movie to come out (it has been optioned after all), I don’t think that one movie could ever be enough. There are so many different places in the circus itself that I would like to see, that I doubt they could fit them all in 2 hours. They’d have to scratch a lot and I don’t want that. When it comes to the Night Circus I can be really greedy! It’s just so magical!

Honourable mentions

  • The Magicians by Lev Grossman (also actually happening!)
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (but only as a mini-series)
  • Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

So, what do you think? If any of those shows would really happen, I SO want to do the casting. That would be amazing! Have you read some of the books as well and do you share my vision? Would you rather have movies for some of those books or no adaptation at all? What are some books you would like to see as a TV show?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Auto-buy Authors

Last week I started to do Top Ten Tuesday, which is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishThis week’s topic is Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors, which means authors where I don’t even need to know what their book is about, I’ll buy it either way. So, here we go again!

So, last time I mentioned that I have a 3-strike-rule when it comes to authors. After liking a book, I give them 2 more books to prove to me that they are not just a one-hit-wonder. I usually exclude series, but sometimes I make exceptions. After that I just buy every book that I see (granted I have money). FYI: The following authors are only numbered so that you can see that they are 10, not to show any sort of ranking to be honest.

1. John Green

I don’t own all his books, but I definitely want to. (Only missing Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Let It Snow) I have yet to come  across a book by him that I did not enjoy.

2. Tahereh Mafi

I’ve “only” read her Shatter Me series but I fell in love with her style of writing. It has something poetic and unusual – absolutely an auto-buy!

3. Stephanie Perkins

If she continues to write books like the one from the Anna and the French Kiss series, there is no way I am not buying them!

4. Nicholas Sparks

This one is a bit tricky. I am not actively seeking out Sparks books, but I do enjoy them. Mostly I end up buying them when one of them is being adapted for a movie and I want to read it before the release.

5. Cassandra Clare

I am utterly and completely immersed in the Shadowhunter world. I will read anything she publishes and am happy that she continues to tell stories from this universe.

6. E. Lockhart

I’ve read three stand-alones by her and was not disappointed. We Were Liars is still my favourite, but I could easily imagine reading more from her.

7. Rainbow Rowell

What is there to say? I like her books and I’m going to read more of them.

8. David Levithan

I like both, the books he writes alone as well as his collaborations. If you are especially interested in LGBT-themed books, he’s your man!

9. Ernest Cline

He’s published 2 books, I’ve read both and enjoyed them a lot. I want more!

10. Morgan Matson

Her books are just the perfect books for the summer time! I still haven’t read everything she’s published but I can absolutely recommend Since You’ve Been Gone and Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour! They are brilliant!

So, that’s all for today! What are your thoughts? Did some of my authors make it on your list as well? Who are some of the people you can’t resist buying books from?

The Fandom Book Tag!

fandom

Cristina from My Tiny Obsessions has once again done me the honour and tagged me for a Book Tag. I am especially happy that it is The Fandom Book Tag (originally created by Fangirlfashionista) because I am part of so many of those fandoms myself. I’m geeking out just thinking about it! Prepare for awesomeness because this is going to be a loooong post!

DOCTOR WHO: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) BLUE COVER

It’s not TARDIS-blue but Sapphire Blue (Ruby Red Trilogy #2) by Kerstin Gier

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MARVEL: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) RED COVER

The Elite (The Selection Series #2) by Kiera Cass.

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THE SIMPSONS: A BOOK WITH A (MOSTLY) YELLOW COVER

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord (note to self: should finally watch the movie!)

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Read More »

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the BookishI’ve never participated so far, but since this week’s motto is Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From, I thought it’d be the perfect time to join in the meme-craziness. Let’s do this!

There are actually a couple of authors of whom I have several books, just because I have a 3-strike-rule with authors. After reading one of their books and liking it, they have two more chances to prove to me that they are not just a one-hit-wonder. That way I end up knowing if their future books are an insta-buy or not. Still, 3 is not that big a number and we’ll see how many people actually made it on the list with more than that!

  1. Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler (16 books)
    I devoured the Series of Unfortunate Events books (13 books in total) when I was younger and couldn’t resist additionally buying a collection of poems called Horseradish, The Beatrice Letters and The Unauthorized Autobiography.
  2. Charlaine Harris (13 books)
    I don’t know how many books she’s written in total, but I barely made it through the entire Sookie Stackhouse Series, so I decided not to read another series of hers. It’s not that the Sookie Stackhouse books are bad, but they do tend to get repetitive after a while.
    http://www.charlaineharris.com/photos/Photo_Small.jpg
  3. Cassandra Clare (9 books)
    I’ve read the entire Mortal Instruments Series as well as the Infernal Devices Series and I loved them. I intend to get to the companion novellas and short stories at some point as well!
  4. Nicholas Sparks (7 books)
    I like cheesy romance … SO WHAT? I read The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John and A Walk to Remember. This pretty much means that I read most of the movie adaptations. I also own a copy of the Notebook, Message in a Bottle and Three Weeks with my Brother, but I haven’t gotten to those yet.
  5. David Levithan (6 books)
    Okay, so three of the books were co-written with Rachel Cohn, but nonetheless, I really like his books. The co-written ones were more fun to be honest and consist of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List and Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. The books I’ve read that were written by Levithan alone were still good books, but didn’t excite me as much: Every Day, The Realm of Possibility and Wide Awake.
  6. Cornelia Funke (5 books)
    I adored her books! I will never get over the awesomeness that is the Thief Lord and the Inkheart Trilogy was basically a book series about fictional characters coming to life. (Dustfinger will always be my hero!) I also read Potilla, but that book was rather forgettable.
  7. Stephenie Meyer (5 books)
    Read the Twilight Series as well as The Host. I liked the books at the time, but I am not sure how I feel about them now. I remember that it took me forever to get into The Host, but I actually remember more about it than I do about the Twilight books. There are supposed to sequels to the Host, but I’m not sure I’d read them now. I think it’s been too long.
  8. Tahereh Mafi (4 books)
    I very much enjoyed the Shatter Me series, so I also read the companion novella Unite Me.
  9. John Green (4 books)
    I have read pretty much the standard books: The Fault In Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns and An Abundance of Katherines.
  10. Eden Maguire (4 books)
    Eden Maguire’s series the Beautiful Dead is rather unknown as far as I know and I think the ratings aren’t that high from what I can remember. Still, I loved reading it at the time and like thinking back to it. Click here to read the Goodreads synopsis!

Turns out there are a lot more people of whom I’ve read 4 books, such as Georgia Byng, George R.R. Martin, Kiera Cass, L. J. Smith and many more. This list would go on for a while though if I continued like this. By clicking on the author’s pictures, you’ll be redirected to their Goodreads page where you’ll be able to see their entire bibliography. What are some of your most read authors? Any recommendations?