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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
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz - Review

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe started out very slow but turned out to be great in the end.

 

In this book “Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.” (Goodreads)

 

The first hundred pages had me wondering what the hype surrounding this book was all about. The book started slow and had me bored to the point that I wondered if I should stop reading it. In the beginning I had a lot of trouble with the writing style. Saenz writes a lot of poetry and you could tell that by how he wrote this book. The chapters are very short. Instead of one flowing story, Aristotle’s and Dante’s journey is told through many anecdotes. They fit together and draw a wonderful story but through the anecdotes there a several time jumps. It is a personal preference of mine to read a story as a story and not through letters, mails, or several little snapshots of the story which leave a lot of room for interpretation.

 

Another problem of mine was the writing style. Again it was obvious that Saenz writes poetry because the whole writing was very lyrical. That just didn’t go well with the dialogues. I couldn’t imagine that any 15-year-old would talk like Aristotle and Dante did. That any 15-year-old would have dialogues like they did. I have met many teenagers in my life (I have been a teenager myself) and even the intellectual ones never talked like that. I think it was the result of an adult poet writing the dialogues. Of course his dialogues are more poetical and full of metaphors. They are beautiful. They just don’t fit.

 

After the first hundred pages something happened that changed the dynamic of Aristotle and Dante. That was the moment the book got my interest. I got sucked into the story. The dialogues were still as unrealistic (and beautiful) as before but now it didn’t bother me so much anymore because the story was so mesmerizing. I felt for Aristotle and Dante so much. This story tucked at my heart with full force. And can I mention that I absolutely loved the summer feeling this book conveys? 

 

After finishing this book I have to say, I see where the hype is coming from. I can’t give this book a five star rating even though three-fourth of the book totally deserves it. But the first hundred pages and the dialogues resulted in a 4 star rating. A highly recommended book.

Mindreader (=”Runner”) by Patrick Lee - Audiobook review

Mindreader - Patrick Lee

I saw the audiobook of Mindreader by Patrick Lee at my local library. I had never heard of it before and I would have never picked it up as a book (since I don’t read thrillers). But from time to time I like to listen to a good written thriller. In the end, I enjoyed this book a lot.

 

Mindreader is about “Sam Dryden, [a] retired special forces, [who] lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she’s running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child.” (Goodreads)

 

This books jumps right into the action and never stops until the last page. The action scenes are well-written, fast-paced, but still seemed logical to me.

 

The main character, Sam Dryden, was very charismatic. I love smart, tough men who still have a soft spot for people in need. Dryden is all that. I was a little ambivalent concerning Rachel. I thought the girl was a little too passive considering all the things she could do. It wasn’t until the end, when she finally took action herself that I started to like her more.

 

This book is really gripping. I caught myself searching for random things in my bag just so I could sit in my car a little bit longer and listen to the audiobook. For a perfect scoring I would have liked a little bit more personal and emotional insight. It certainly is the woman in me that is asking for this (and usually emotions are not big part of thrillers) but that is what makes this book just an entertaining read instead of an outstanding book.

Book Haul #4

I bought some new books! Okay, so my plan was to finish my TBR first but I also promised myself a long time ago, that I would never keep myself from reading when I want to read a certain book. After "Winter" by Marissa Meyer I was in the mood for some contemporary books. 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe I read first. It started out slow but in the end I liked it a lot. Review to come.

 

I bought The Sky is Everywhere just two days ago and can't wait to read it.

 

Im Freien Fall oder wie ich mich in eine Pappfigur verliebte (="Flat Out Love") is this month pick for my book club. I hauled it from my library and will read it next.

 

Everything leads to you has been highly recommended from Samantha from ThoughtsOnThomes. Our tastes are very similar so I hope I will love it, as well.

 

Last but not least, I currently reading The Rose Society. I'm only 19 pages in so I can't say anything, yet. 

 

Have your read any of the books? 

 

 

Favorites - January 2016

 

The first month of 2016 has passed by and you wonder what has happened in those 31 days? Well, I am currently highly motivated to organize my life. Thank you, youtube! No seriously, I watched some very interesting videos on youtube and now I am motivated to not only organize and structure my daily life a little bit more but also to set some life goals.

 

Other than that I have had a good reading month. I had a one-week-vacation and I used it to be lazy as f***. This means I read 4 books this month and listened to 2 audiobooks. I am very happy with myself.

 

This month’s favorites:

 

Books

Winter by Marissa Meyer

This was an easy choice. I love this series. It has become one of my all times favorites. And Winter, even though it is 800 pages long, was amazing.

 

Music

I Found by Amber Run

Okay, so I know that this is not a new song but I just discovered it. It seems to be on every single playlist on 8tracks. Don’t get me wrong. I totally get it. This song is fantastic but why have I never heard it before?

 

TV Show

Der Lehrer

This is a German TV Show that I discovered last year. This month the new season started and I just love the humor of this show. It’s pretty much a TV show about an unconventional teacher and even though it is hilarious it always has an important message in each episode, as well.

 

Movie

Pearl Harbor

I thought long and hard about this one. I watched “The 5th Wave” this month and while I liked the movie, it wasn’t outstanding. I watched Pearl Harbor for the millionth time on TV this month. I love this movie. I still cry every time I watch it. The story is great, the music amazing, and I had a huge crush on Danny when I was a teenager.

(Fun fact: when I watched the movie in the movie theater back when it came out, I already knew how the story ended since I had let myself be spoiled because I thought I would never watch it anyway. How wrong I had been…)

 

Have you seen "The 5th Wave"? Did you like it? How was your start in 2016? Let me know!

Readathons and Book Clubs

So, usually I don't participate in readathons or book clubs because I just don't have the time.

 

This year, though, I decided to do a readathon and want to participate in a book club. Ambitious, I know. :D

 

The readathon, I want to do, is the #ayearathon. I changed the rules a little bit - I know, first I say I want to participate and then I already start changing the rules - because I don't always have time when the reading week takes place each month. So instead I plan to read a book fitting the theme sometime during the month. I don't give myself a weekly limit. 

 

For January the theme is "Benchwarmer - a book that has been sitting on your shelf for a while". For that I chose:

I'm confident I will finish it until the end of the month, though I am not as excited about it as I am usually are with Phillips' books.

 

The book club I joined is the German BookCircle. I will start next month since I didn't join until a few days ago. I'm curious how this will go. I hope that this will get me out of my comfort zone. 

 

Are you doing any readathons this year? Or are you a member of a book club?

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan - Audiobook Review

Immortal Beloved - Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan had been sitting on my reading wish list for many years now. I stumbled on it a few years back while looking for books on Amazon. The premise sounded interesting so I put it on my reading list. However, it was never on my highest priority so when I saw the audiobook in my library I was really excited. This was the perfect moment to finally read/listen to this book.

 

Unfortunately, the book did not live up to the expectation. I was very disappointed, especially in the beginning. As the title hints the book is about immortals. Nastasja, the main character, is over 450 years old – but behaves like a 12-year-old. She is not just acting bratty and spoiled but also talks like she is a hormone driven teenager. What was Tiernan thinking while writing her main character like that?! How does she reason such behavior? I mean, I get the spoilt, bored immortal that has lost herself in her boredom but why would she talk like a little kid? Why? She is over 450 years old!

 

It was driving me absolutely crazy. I could hardly concentrate on the story because of all the missing logic in Nastasja behavior. It only got better closer to the end, when she finally started acting like a grown up.

 

I might have liked the book better if I had read it instead of listened to the audiobook. Katja Danowski, the German narrator, managed to make Nastasja sound even younger. She had my blood boiling so much. I almost DNF’ed the book because of her. She can be a fantastic narrator. She even was doing a good job for most of the audiobook but for some reason she spoke Nastasja so childishly that I really wished they had chosen someone else to read this book.

 

The plot itself wasn’t too bad although it did not catch my attention as much as I hoped. Immortal Beloved was the first book of a trilogy. Even though it got better at the end I will not continue the series. The idea could have been executed so much better. The first disappointment of the year.

Top 5 Series I Want To Start In 2016

So, here is the second part of my "Most Anticipated..." list, even though it is more of a reading list. I added the three book series from last year that I wanted to start. I still want to read them so I could only choose 2 new series.

 

5. "The Darkest Minds" by Alexandra Bracken

This is still on my reading list though I have lost a little interest. I heard very mixed reviews. Some love it, some hate it. But many say that it could have been better. We will see...

 

4. "The False Prince" by Jennifer A. Nielson

I heard nothing but great things about this series so I really want so see what the fuss is about.

 

3. "Blood of Eden" by Julie Kagawa

Still want to read it. I think, if I don't start this soon I might be getting to old for enjoying it as much as I could.

 

2. "Written in Red" by Anne Bishop

This has been on my reading list a long time. It's time I finally started it.

 

1. "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown

This moved WAY up on my priority list. I decided to read it in German because all three paperbacks will be out in the next few month while it will be another year until the English paperback comes out.

Winter by Marissa Meyer - Review

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

Winter is the fourth and last installment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I finished this series with a smiling and a sad eye. I absolutely loved Winter. I think it is a perfect ending to this fantastic series. I wish it would continue but also couldn’t be happier about this last book.

 

To be honest, when I started reading Cinder 2 years ago I did not expect to start such a complex and layered sci-fi-story. I expected fairytale retellings in the typical YA fashion with a focus on the romance. How wrong I had been. As the story progressed during those four books, it became a complex story about character development, uncovering secrets, and the oldest problems of all: war between different cultures.

 

This was such a wonderful ride. The Lunar Chronicles have become one of my favorite series of all time. Marissa Meyer has a wonderful writing style that pulls the reader through the story without them realizing that they are actually reading and are not part of the story itself. Meyer had me feeling so many emotions: hate, love, sadness, happiness. That’s what books are all about!

 

Winter with its 800 pages is the longest book of the series. I was apprehensive of it. Could it have been shorter? Sure, but I honestly don’t know what could have been left out. During the whole book something is happening. Not once was I bored. From the first page to the last there is action and revolution planning going on. Where could it have been possibly shortened?

 

Could it have been split into two books? Sure, but I don’t know where the first book should have ended. Any split would have caused an outrage. So, yes, Winter is big. But it is so big because it has to be. So much needed to be told and Meyer managed that perfectly. There wasn’t a single scene that could have been left out. But also it did not feel like something was missing.

 

To me, it was a perfect book that had me left wishing just for one thing: that I had more time for reading. Well done, Marissa Meyer. Well done!

Top 5 Most Anticipated Books of 2016

At the end of 2015, I really liked how I could look back at my “Most Anticipated…” list and see which books I actually read. So I decided to create another Top 5 for 2016. Let’s start with the “Most Anticipated Books of 2016”.

 

5. "Strange The Dreamer" by Laini Taylor

Release date: September 27th 2016

I loved Laini Taylor's "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" series, so I am really looking forward to her new series.

 

4. "Heartless" by Marissa Meyer

Release date: November 8th 2016

I'm actually not a big fan of fairytale retellings but I love Marissa Meyer's writing style. And if "Heartless" is anything like "The Lunar Chronicles" it will be amazing.

 

3. "A Torch Against The Night" by Sabaa Tahir

Release date: August 30th 2016

"An Ember in the Ashes" was one of my favorite books of 2015, so of course I can't wait for the sequel.

 

2. "The Winners Kiss" by Marie Rutkoski

Release date: March 29th 2016

What can I say? This series is amazing and I am so excited for the last book. (And I am so glad publishers listened to the fans for once and undid the cover change!)

 

1. “The Doors of Stone” by Patrick Rothfuss

This is still on my list. Do I know if it will come out in 2016? No. But one can hope...

 

Honorable mention: "Kings Rising" by C. S. Pascat  - This book comes out February 2nd so it's almost like I already have it in my hands. I will read it the second it comes out.

 

What are your most anticipated books?

Reading progress update: I've read 101 out of 359 pages.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Not really convinced, yet. Somehow I expected more. Maybe it is the writing style....

Reading progress update: I've read 550 out of 800 pages.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

I hate Levana so much right now!!!!

 

But I love it when books make me feel so intensely...

Reading progress update: I've read 214 out of 800 pages.

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

Wish I had more time to read!!!! Loving it!

Reading progress update: I've read 17%.

— feeling unhappy
Immortal Beloved - Cate Tiernan

The narrator might actually ruin this book for me...

 

And on a side note, why does a person that is 450 years old sound like a 12-year-old?

My True Love Gave To Me - Mini Review

The Girl who woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

 

This story is the biggest disappointment of the book. But only because I had the highest expectations and was really looking forward to reading this one. I love Taylor’s “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” and was pushing my expectations higher and higher while reading “My True Love Gave To Me”. The idea of the story was not even bad per se. I just did not care for the characters at all. I could not get into the story until I finally started skimming the pages. Taylor’s writing was beautiful as ever but I just did not feel this story.

 

1 star

My True Love Gave To Me - Mini Review

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter

 

What a pleasant surprise! I did not know what to expect when I started reading this story. I liked the airport scene at the beginning very much and enjoyed myself immensely when I was continuing the story. I loved the idea, I loved the characters, and it also felt kind of like Christmas. My only problem with this story was that it felt rushed. The plot is enough for a longer story if not even a book. Crammed into this little short story the characters felt kind of flat. The story moves on way too fast and suddenly we are at the end of it even though it feels like so much more is going to happen. So, how about a longer version of this, please? I would love to read it!

“That’s not Santa. He’s one of the Yule Lads.”

“How many are there?”

“Nine,” I said.

“I thought there were twelve?” Emily asked.

“Well, maybe it varies in different parts of the country,” Ethan said. “Right, Hulda?”

“Right!” I agreed. “Some places there are twelve, but where I live there are nine because … the other three died because they forgot their shoes.”

 

4 stars

2015 Top 15 Books

I decided to wrap up 2015 the same way I did last year. I finished my reading challenge of reading 50 books and read 68 books. In total I finished 23976 pages. Of those 68 books 30 were audiobooks I listened to. When it comes to the content I was not as happy as I was with the books I read 2014.

 

I rated 

5 books with *

8 books with **

17 books with ***

29 books with ****

7 books with *****

 

DNF'ed 2 books.

 

This is my Top 15. Again I will not mention a series twice (makes choosing a little bit easier):

 

 

15. Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

14. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

13. Rebel Spring by MOrgan Rhodes

12. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat

11. Hate List by Jennifer Brown

10. Angelfall series by Susan Ee

9. The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

8. The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

7. Uprooted by Naomi Novik

6. Fairest by Marissa Meyer

5. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

4. The Passage by Justin Cronin

3. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

2. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

1. Captive and Queen by Aimee Carter

 

Happy New Year to Everyone!!!!