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SlowReader

SlowReader's Kingdom

"Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”

Jane Smiley

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The False Prince
Jennifer A. Nielsen

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Mel has read 0 books toward a goal of 50 books.
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Reading progress update: I've read 500 out of 500 pages.

The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

Love, love, love this book. Shannon Samantha is my new Queen. Can't wait for the next book. Is it March already?

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Half Lost (The Half Bad Trilogy) - Sally Green

Awesome! Really enjoyed this last installement. And the last couple chapter added another half star. All these feelings!

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

Half Wild (The Half Bad Trilogy) - Sally Green

This started out 'meh', partly because it's been some time since I read the first book, but it finished strong. I'm going to pick up the last book right away.

Reading progress update: I've read 369 out of 370 pages.

Paper Princess: A Novel (The Royals) - Erin Watt

My new guilty pleasure....

Reading progress update: I've read 75%.

The Wednesday Group - Sylvia True

I really, really like this. Who would have thought since it is so far from my current lifestyle.

Reading progress update: I've read 50%.

Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare

What is it with Cassandra Clare, that I always like the side characters better than the main characters? 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.

— feeling surrender
The Infinite Sea (5th Wave) - Rick Yancey

Wow, I should have listened to the bad reviews. So many readers were disappointed by the 5th Wave sequel. I just couldn't believe that it could be that bad. I really liked the first book.

 

But this book was just BOOOOOOORING. I would have never finished it if I hadn't listened to the audiobook. 

 

What happened?!

 

Dear Yancey, if you want to write a philosophical book, please don't do it in a sequel to a YA action book. This is not what the reader would expect and therefore not enjoy.

 

I will not pick up the last book. I'm done with this series.

Reading progress update: I've read 70 out of 352 pages.

None of the Above - Andrea Di Gregorio

I'm a little annoyed by the author's sloppy research. Russian has no articles. It's German that has three (and therefore 'neuter'). 

 

But otherwise I'm enjoying this book.

Reading progress update: I've read 403 out of 648 pages.

Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas

I miss the time when I liked the main character...

 

And gosh, this book could have been shortened so much!

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading progress update: I've read 233 out of 648 pages.

Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas

And here comes Rowan. I really did NOT miss him... *sigh*

Reading progress update: I've read 10%.

The Storyteller - Jodi Picoult

I'm so confused. 

 

And at the same time so bored. I guessed where the story would go when it was first mentioned that Sage's parents were Jews.

Kings Rising by C. S. Pascat - Review

Kings Rising: Book Three of the Captive Prince Trilogy - C.S. Pacat

This is the last book of C.S. Pascat’s Captive Prince trilogy. I was very nervous when I started this book because the reviews where very mixed. A lot of readers were disappointed with this last installment and I didn’t want to ruin this amazing series with a bad last book.

 

I shouldn’t have worried. I LOVED this book! I loved it so much. The story was great, the ending was great. It was all I hoped for.

 

I absolutely love the main characters Damen and Laurent, especially the dynamic between them. A lot of readers complained the characters had changed and weren’t behaving according to their character traits in the first two books. I don’t agree with them. I read the first two books at the end of last year and to me every behavior in the last book made sense. Maybe some of the readers who had read the books some years ago had just developed a dream version of the characters. That’s something that quite often happens when there is a lot of time between books.

 

So in the end I can say that I absolutely love this series. I’m glad I stumbled upon it last year. My only complaint would be that I want to read more about Damen and Laurent. I crave so much more. I need more!

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park - Review

Flat-Out Love - Jessica Park

I admit, the only reason I read Flat Out Love was because it was this month pick of my book club BookCirle. I would have never picked it up since I find the German title sounds childish and the cover not very attractive. But in the end I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

 

The book is about “Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of the Watkins family’s Boston house. When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.” (Goodreads)

 

I enjoyed the beginning of the book very much. I had discovered that I really like stories about Freshman College when main characters enter the “adult-world” and find their way around campus. So the beginning of Flat-Out Love played exactly into this. Unfortunately, the story soon focused on the family dynamics. While I still enjoyed that - because the family is just a huge mess - I was disappointed that the college experience was completely ignored.

 

Like I said the story focuses on the characters. We have the main character Julie, who I found kind of bland. Beside her tainted relationship to her father there was nothing interesting about her. She is pretty, but not too much, smart, but not too much, kind, but not too much. Everything about her is just very, very perfectly ordinary.

 

The Watkins parents drove me nuts. They were nice and all, but they completely failed as parents. Matt, the one brother who is an MIT student, was kind of interesting but I found his character not very thought through. On the one hand he was supposed to be this nerd who is socially awkward, but on the other hand he was always socially perfect and self-confident when it fit the author’s mood. Somehow those two sides of him didn’t fit together.

 

Then there is Finn, the older brother and love interest of Julie. He seems like a dream guy. Good looking, smart and fun to be around. So to me the hardest part were all the facebook posts and email exchanges. I don’t like reading those. I can’t build a connection to characters through that.

 

The most interesting character in this book is Celeste who carries around a cardboard cut-out of her brother Finn. From the beginning the reader can tell that something has happened in this family and trying to figure out what it was, is what carries the story. There were many moments in this books where I thought, that everyone was just ignoring and tolerating behaviors and obvious malfunctions just to keep the secret hidden. That was something I really did not like.

 

At the end I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought. It is a light, quick read. I think most readers will guess the secret sooner or later but it is still an enjoyable book.

Favorites - February 2016

Can you believe it’s almost March? It feels like I just celebrated the New Year. I want to be a little kid again where time seemed to stand still. 23 days until Christmas took FOREVER back then. And now? One blink and it is already spring.

 

This month I read 2 books and listened to 3 audiobooks. I’m halfway through The Rose Society by Marie Lu but I can’t seem to get into this book. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for fantasy right now.

 

My favorites this month:

 

Books

Kings Rising by C. S. Pascat

I absolutely loved this last installment of the trilogy. I even canceled my book order for the paperback because it took too long to arrive and bought it as an ebook, so I could start sooner.

 

Music

Shake It Out by Florence and the Machine

I’m currently playing the Cerimonials album up and down. But my favorite is definitely Shake It Out.

 

TV Show

Criminal Minds

I’m back watching the new episodes of Criminal Minds. Who knows why I find series killers so interesting…

 

Movie

Joy

I was positively surprised by this film. While I love Jennifer Lawrence I expected this movie to drag a little bit. And with 120 minutes this movie is not the shortest. But I was completely pulled into the storyline. When the end came I was a little bit caught off-guard. I didn’t think this movie would get to me so much.

 

How was your month? Are you looking forward to spring?

Totally Should've Tag

It's been some time since my last tag. The Totally Should've Tag was created by emmabooks.

 

Totally should've gotten a sequel

Dark Destiny

That series doesn’t read like it was supposed to end there.


Totally should've had a spin off series

Harry Potter

That’s not even a question.


An author who totally should write more books

Jandy Nelson

“I’ll give you the sun” was amazing and I want to read her other book soon. I wish she would write faster and publish more books.

 

 A character who totally should've ended up with someone else

I mentioned this before: Harry Potter. I’m still shipping Harry and Luna.


Totally should've ended differently

I can’t really think of a book. Maybe I have to go with the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I hate that epilogue.

 

Totally should've had a movie franchise

The Lunar Chronicles

I think this series would make an awesome movie franchise.


Totally should've had a TV show

The Bone Season

I think this book series leaves a lot of room for a long running TV show.


Totally should've had only one point of view

Allegiant

The different points of view were written so badly. And why write two books from one point of view and the last one from two? That doesn’t make sense even if it had been executed well.


Totally should have a cover change

The Lux series

Take a look at the German cover. That’s how it should have been done.


Totally should've kept the original covers

The Winner’s Crime

And luckily the publishers were listening to the fans because they undid the cover change.


Totally should've stopped at book one

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I loved the first book. After that it went downhill quickly. The last book was okay but not even close to the greatness of the first one.

Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - Review

Heroes Are My Weakness: A Novel - Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I have read almost every single book by Susan Elizabeth Philips. I love her writing style. I love her stories. But most of all, I love her “Chicago Stars” and “Wynette, Texas” series. Unfortunately, in the last years Philips had focused on stand-alones. While I still liked those books, they never reached the greatness of her book series. Heroes Are My Weakness has the exact same problem.

 

Heroes Are My Weakness is about “a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels [and] a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs. But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.” [Goodreads]

 

Anyone reading Phillips’ books shouldn’t expect any big surprises. The stories are always the same: first the main characters hate each other, then they love each other. It is what her readers expect. It is what I expect.

 

So the stories rise and fall with the characters, the settings, and the circumstances. While I liked the setting – small, small island at the east coast - and the circumstances – poor woman looking for her inheritance at the place she spent part of her childhood -, I had

trouble with the female main character.

 

Annie Hewitt is quite likable. She has only one fault that I couldn’t get over with. She is a grown-up woman and talks with her puppets. In her head. Complete dialogues and all. I just couldn’t. I started to skip over those parts because I just didn’t know what to think of it. All her puppets had certain characteristics and she argued with them and got advises from them. I just was completely thrown off-balance. Why would she do that? Does she have a mental illness? Is she hearing voices? Is she schizophrenic?

 

I know that she is not. I know she is a healthy, sane woman, but I can’t wrap my head around why she would talk to her puppets LIKE THAT. She would analyze complete relationship problems with them like you would with your best friend. Luckily those dialogues appeared less and less towards the end.

 

Another problem I had with Annie was her irrational paranoia with Theo Harp, the male main character. I understand that he treated her badly as a kid. And I probably wouldn’t trust him, as well. But why would she think that he wanted to kill her? What kind of motive would he have? And if she really was that convinced that he wanted to kill her why would she go back to him again and again?

 

Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoyed this book. I just didn’t love it. Mainly because I didn’t always like Annie.

On a side note: can someone tell me why the German publisher thought this sunny, beach-like cover that conveys the feeling of summer would be a good cover for a book that takes place during winter on a cold, in snow covered island?