Clementine von Radics – Mouthful of Forevers
“You never need to apologize for how you chose to survive.”
I adore von Radics writing and how relatable her poetry is – a few of her performances of them are on YT and it’s a real treat watching her deliver her work! I was a bit disappointed about the number of love related poems in this collection… I don’t know, I just enjoy more balanced collections more.
Catherynne M. Valente – What the Dragon Said: A Love Story
“Don’t you ever feel
like you’re just
a story someone is telling
about someone like you?”
Basically one long poem from a dragon’s perspective and I loved everything about it! I just wished Valente’s poetry overall would be more like this piece…
Haruki Murakami – The Strange Library
“All I did was go to the library to borrow some books.”
The illustrations for this book are simply breathtaking! The Strange Library is a children’s book for adults, very dark in the style of Kafka and Burton. The ending could have been a tiny bit better but it’s open for interpretation which made up for it.
Tommy Wallach – We All Looked Up
“They said no man was an island, and Anita figured that was probably true. But women were; they had to be. And even if someone bothered to sail over and disembark, he’d soon discover that there was always a castle at the center of the island, surrounded by a deep moat, with a rickety drawbridge and archers manning the battlements and a big pot of oil posed above the gate, ready to boil alive anyone who dared to cross the threshold.”
At the very end the book informs you that Wallach created an album to go with the novel which I found very intriguing! Not exactly my cup of tea style-wise but I guess I’d have appreciated listening to it while reading… anyway, the novel itself has an interesting enough hook: the world may be doomed if a meteor hits it and the chances are about 30 % against that event. The reader gets to meet a bunch of characters all related to a high school and well, not a single one of them is relatable or likable. There’s a bunch of philosophy thematised and it feels incredibly forced.
Kiera Cass – The Queen
“His world looked like a storm. I was going to be its center.”
Backstory for Maxon’s parents which I actually found way more interesting than him and America. It’s of course totally over the top but probably my favourite of the novellas so far.
Michelle Hodkin – The Retribution of Mara Dyer
“The villain is the hero of her own story.”
Heard very mixed things about the final book and put off reading it for far too long because of it. I still like Mara and her story but this was a train-wreck. If you have supernatural stuff in your story, either have a very good plan right from the start where you think everything through or just don’t try explaining anything. If Hodkin had just said ‘screw it, the powers are due to magic and that’s it’, I’d have loved it! But the entire weird genetic explanation perforated with plot holes? Nah, forget it. Read one review where it was interpreted as a metaphor for mental illness in general which sounds nice but sadly I don’t see that for myself.
Anna Todd – After
“Hardin repeatedly breaks my heart, even when I don’t think there are any more pieces to break. And I love him. I love Hardin.”
You can’t enter a bookshop at the moment without falling over this series so I got curious and put the first installment on my kindle. You can tell pretty quickly that this again is a fanfiction turned bestseller… and gosh, why can’t they be edited like any other normal book? There’s so much unnecessary stuff included and the chapters read very poorly due to their structure. It takes very long until Hardin and Tessa have sex and after that point they basically fight, have sex, fight. The characters are pretty unlikable and especially Tessa was so naive and terrible it hurts! Especially with the ending I can’t believe there are still three more books! Personally liked FSOG more…
Steven Millhauser – The Knife Thrower and Other Stories
“As we hurry along the sidewalk, we have the absurd sensation that we have entered still another department, composed of ingeniously lifelike streets with artful shadows and reflections–that our destinations lie in a far corner of the same department–that we are condemned to hurry forever through these artificial halls, bright with late afternoon light, in search of the way out.”
rating: 3/5 | thoughts
Haruki Murakami – 1Q84
“If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation.”
rating: 5/5 | thoughts
Hamilton Wright Mabie – Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know
The collection was rather random and badly structured. You have all the long tales from the Arabian Nights right after another and it drags on and on. The variations of some of the more well-known tales also were off. For a kindle freebie okay but not recommendable.
Grady Hendrix – Horrorstör
“Something I learned from the Serbian tribes. Churches are built where saints were martyred. A bridge requires a child in its foundations if it is to hold. All great works must begin with a sacrifice.”
Loved the premise and the design of this book like a mail order catalog so naturally had to get it! Horrorstör is really a lot of fun and the characters are so relatable – if you’ve ever worked in retail, you just get it. Problem with this book is that at one point it turns from being fun and quirky to 08/15-been-there-done-that-horror with no surprises. Hendrix tries to include a twist at the end but it doesn’t work… but I’d love to see a movie adaption of this one for sure!
Jason Aaron – Thor # 3-8 + Thor Annual (2015)
Female!Thor is awesome, hands down! The reveal at the end is a bit meh but overall I really loved the series so far.
rating: 5, 5, 4, 3, 4, 4, 3/5
Jessica Park – Flat-Out Love
“You can look back now and see how you should have known, but you were focusing on the facts instead of the feeling.”
rating: 5/5 | thoughts
Benjamin Zephaniah – Face
“Martin learnt quickly to take every day as it came and never expect one day to be the same as the last.”
rating: 2/5 | thoughts
James Dawson – Say Her Name
“Bobbie wondered if that’s how long you truly live for – until the last person who remembers you, until the final bouquet on your grave.”
Love the urban legends surrounding Bloody Mary and hoped for some Final Destination vibe based on the cover and blurb. Sadly Say Her Name is pretty boring and predictable to the bone. There is one crazy scene which was original and saved the rating – but overall quite a letdown!
Rainer Wekwerth – Das Labyrinth erwacht
““Wir sind wie Ratten. Fressen, Beißen, Kämpfen – und vermutlich schaut uns einer dabei zu.“”
A group of teenagers wakes up with little memories and has to run through different worlds for portals – each world offers one portal too little for the group number – and after six worlds they shall be free. Well, that sounded interesting enough. I don’t know why ‘maze’ is in the title though unless Wekwerth just wanted to cash in on all the Maze Runner fans. There’s so little time passing in the novel and still we get two love stories and characters who change personality like chameleons. In between we get glimpses of the former lives of the teenagers and they’re basically walking cliches.
Jo Knowles – Lessons from a Dead Girl
“What happens when you finally decide to tell the truth and no one listens?”
Lessons from a Dead Girl just made me angry. It’s definitely an important topic, exploring abuse victims becoming abusers themselves and especially having the main characters both be girls. None of the characters are likable or relatable. You never get to feel sympathy for Leah, actually I just wanted to punch her in the face multiple times. Laine has zero support, not even in the end (and her two friends don’t count, they did nothing during the party!) and what type of message is this meant to give?
Emma Donoghue – Room
“Stories are a different kind of true.”
rating: 4/5 | thoughts
Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá – Daytripper
“Life is like a book son. And every book has an end. No matter how much you like that book you will get to the last page and it will end. No book is complete without its end. And once you get there, only when you read the last words, will you see how good the book is.”
This is the story of Bras de Olivias Dominguez and how he dies. Every chapter shows him at a different age and point in his life and every chapter ends with his death. Seeing the different possibilities how his life was and could have been is amazing! Daytripper is inspiring the reader to enjoy life and is a story which stays a while with you. The art is also rather good.
Eliza Granville – Gretel and the Dark
““…soon I shall go from here and everything that I have seen or heard, felt, smelled, tasted, enjoyed, loved, will be extinguished and forgotten. There will be nothing left of me but a number on some ledger. And so, I give the a Earth my memories.””
A story within a story within a story. It takes some time until one fully understands the different levels but the story is beautiful crafted and repays the reader. Granville incorporates some Polish and German into her language which is well done and gives everything a certain atmosphere. It’s difficult to talk about the different storylines without spoilers but the way fairy tales are integrated is wonderful. The main idea of a story being able to transport you anywhere and anytime and setting you free in the context of the main plot is a very powerful message.
Colleen Hoover, Tarryn Fisher – Never Never: Part Two
“Until then, never lose hope. Never stop loving me. Never forget. Never Never,”
I really want to know what happened to Charlie and Silas in the first place but part two gives us n o t h i n g. Part three is either going to be really rushing through the story or we’ll get another part… sigh.