J.R.R. Tolkien – The Fellowship of the Ring
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,“ said Frodo.
„So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.“ 

The readalong finally got through the first book in this month, hurray! It takes a bit until the story gets started and all the members of the fellowship are introduced which is probably my only complain here – if you see the story as a whole though that’s not the problem. I just happen to like the other two books in the trilogy a lot more.

rating: 4/5

Donna Tartt – The Secret History
“Are you happy here?” I said at last.
He considered this for a moment. “Not particularly,” he said. “But you’re not very happy where you are, either.”

I wanted to love this book. I did love this book in between. After a weak and very slow start the story became intriguing and made me want to read on and on. If I could have related more with any of the characters or if Richard hadn’t seemed so… dull? uninteresting? boring? it might have ended with another star. What really killed it for me was the ending. Yes, it’s a twist I didn’t expect and makes sense in a way as a consequence – but it made all the former events unnecessary. Also there were a few times in which the logic of the characters didn’t make any sense to me… what it really made me appreciate though was the love for ancient Greek. Seriously, it made me sad I had never felt that way over Latin.

rating: 3/5

Ned Vizzini – It’s Kind of a Funny Story
I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.

Vizzini’s writing style is nice but his main character got on my nerves. He seemed very unreal at times and made me want to yell at him. It’s just fascinating how he can basically get major help for his depression after just a few days in psych ward and the most obvious advice EVER although he has seen multiple doctors throughout the year. Seriously, none had the idea to look at what major things happened at the point where his depression started and to maybe look whether this were good or bad events? Ugh.

rating: 3/5

Lemony Snicket – The Bad Beginning
There are many types of books in the world, which makes good sense, because there are many, many different types of people, and everybody wants to read something different.

Loving the Series of Unfortunate Events even after all this years! We meet the main villain in the first book and his merry band of rouges and I still love the entire plan he has at the end.

rating: 5/5

Lemony Snicket – The Reptile Room
There are two types of panicking: standing still and not saying a word, and leaping all over the place babbling anything that comes into your head.

One of my favourite relatives/guardians of the orphans and overall just a great story! I’m just sad that the children couldn’t manage to take the viper with them.

rating: 5/5

Lemony Snicket – The Wide Window
For some stories, it’s easy. The moral of ‘The Three Bears,’ for instance, is „Never break into someone else’s house.’ The moral of ‚Snow White’ is ‚Never eat apples.’ The moral of World War I is ‚Never assassinate Archduke Ferdinand. 

Hate their aunt in this book and her actions but the whole grammar thing is integrated amazingly!

rating: 4/5

Lemony Snicket – The Miserable Mill
Sometime during your life—in fact, very soon—you may find yourself reading a book, and you may notice that a book’s first sentence can often tell you what sort of story your book contains.

Poe is like the worst character ever but okay. My favourite bit in this book? The pure fact that Count Olaf is disguising himself as a woman!

rating: 4/5

Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivían – Burn for Burn
This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap?

Basically this book is Pretty Little Liars on an island out of the perspective of the A team. We have three girls who want to take revenge. Great idea! Not so great is the fact that none of them is very likable or has proper reasons. One is angry with her former bff to erase her out of her life, the other one wants revenge because she believes her friend to sleep with her baby sister and number three was fat, tried to commit suicide because of bullying and now wants to make the main bully pay. The last one could have worked but the way that secret is revealed… nah, didn’t pay off. Their final plan backfires and we’re left with a cliffhanger but I don’t see any real motivation at this point to read another book in the series.

rating: 2/5

Laurie Halse Anderson – The Impossible Knife of Memory
„Milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, or the red diet stuff my mom likes? Or I could make hot chocolate.”
“Milk, chocolate milk, orange juice, red stuff, hot chocolate,” he repeated. “Or tea.”
“I’ll buy vodka off a homeless guy outside the bus station.”

I love the way this woman writes but she does the same mistake as in Wintergirl: she isn’t brave enough to jump down the edge and not make it a ‚happy’ end. It would have been a lot more stronger if her father would kill himself at the end and she had to deal with the aftermath and understanding everything. But nope, dad gets saved, becomes considerably better, boyfriend gets into his dream college and she looks forward. Meh. Also I didn’t understand her memory loss. Like – did she only decide not to remember and then basically switched the memories back on in the end? Or is there a deeper, psychological reason? No idea really.

rating: 3/5

Lois Lowry – The Giver
Now, empowered to ask questions of utmost rudeness – and promised answers – he could, conceivably (though it was almost unimaginable), ask someone, some adult, his father perhaps: “Do you lie?” But he would have no way of knowing if the answer he received were true.

That’s basically the perfect first dystopian novel to read at a younger age before getting into all the other big ones as a proper teenager. Two things about this pulled the rating down: the ending which leaves you hanging in the blue and the mechanics of how the whole memory thing works. Jonas starts to see colors which means they are still there – so did the people just decide not to see them anymore or is this a genetic thing somehow also connected to the eye color? How can memories be set free onto a whole community? Is this toying with the idea of a collective memory right there but without expressing it right? And why on earth are the memories bound to a certain radius of the city?? Yeah, whatever.

rating: 3/5

Lois Lowry – Gathering Blue
“Much the same as the blossom on a morning glory vine, I would think,” the man said.
“Yes, that’s true! But how -”
“I haven’t always been sightless. I remember those things.”

This is a companion novel to The Giver but without that notion I wouldn’t have gotten this. The society here is also a dystopian but set back to Medieval standards. People are basically kept in check by making them believe in beasts in the woods surrounding the city and people who can’t contribute to society, weak or ill or whatever are sent to die in the field. Kira has a special ability and gets saved through it but eventually recognizes her prison. The twist with her father was no surprise nor that the council isn’t playing fair game. Again we’re left with a lot of open questions and an open ending: why is that society interested in keeping his people enclosed and cut off of the world? being the most interesting one.

rating: 2/5

Jonnet Carmichael – The Chieftain needs an Heir

I hated this book so much that I didn’t even finish it. Good thing it was a kindle freebie at some point… this is the second part in a romance series. In part one the main couple obviously found together and married and now it’s two years later. The woman still hasn’t been pregnant which is a problem as her husband in his role as chieftain needs at least one heir. It’s already ‚lovely’ to read that basically the first year they didn’t have sex at all and the second year the husband got annoyed at the desperate tries of his wife to get pregnant, making the whole thing a chore for him, so that he starts cheating. Yeah, great, I already feel the love. Apparently the clan has weird traditions and the wise who know them are consulted coming up with the “REMEDIE FOR WYFES TOO TALLE” which needs to take place. No one explains this thing until it happens. In the meantime wife and husband get separated to prepare and it’s figured out that the woman couldn’t conceive/would loose any child because her jealous sister in law gave her cake with bad, bad seeds in it nearly daily. Okay, fine. Calling off the ritual? Nope, we already cleaned the rooms and why should we tell the two lovebirds of this anyway? The ritual is later revealed to be the husband having sex with his wife, leaving his seed, and then his brother and cousin are meant to have sex with her to push the seed in deeper (but they aren’t allowed to cum for obvious reasons) – and none of them has a problem with it! I really dunno what about this setup is considered romantic in any way and that’s written by a woman isn’t helping at all.

rating: 0/5

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