REVIEW

[DE/ENG] Review: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith / J.K.Rowling

This review is readable in German and English. Please scroll down below for the English version.

Diese Rezension kann man in Deutsch und Englisch lesen. Bitte scrolle für die englische Version nach unten.


 

Hallihallo,

wieder habe ich eine Rezension im Gepäck – Der Ruf des Kuckucks von Robert Galbraith aka niemand geringeres als J.K.Rowling. Da ich noch nie andere Bücher von ihr außer – natürlich – die Harry Potter Saga gelesen habe, hat es mich also besonders gefreut, dass ich Der Ruf des Kuckucks lesen konnte. Dieses Buch wurde mit freundlicherweise im Tausch für eine ehrliche Rezension von Bloggerportal und Blanvalet zur Verfügung gestellt.

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Buchinformationen

Titel: Der Ruf des Kuckucks
Autor: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Krimi
Art: eBook
Preis: €8,99[D]; CHF 11,00

Verlag: Blanvalet
Veröffentlicht am: 30. November 2013

Handlung
Cormoran Strike, Privatdetektiv, wird vom Anwalt John Bristow angeheuert, den Mord an seiner jüngeren Schwester und Model Lula Landry zu beweisen. Diese stürzte tötlich vom Balkon ihrer Wohnung, was für viele Familienmitglieder und Freunde Lulas’ nach Selbstmord aussah. Doch John Bristow ist fest davon überzeugt, dass es Mord war. Desto tiefer Cormoran in die Ermittlungen taucht, desto eher wird dem Privatdetektiv klar, dass die Polizei vielleicht doch nicht so eine glänzende Arbeit abgeliefert hat, wie es vielleicht die Presse überschwänglich berichtet hatte. Wem darf Cormoran schlussendlich noch vertrauen?

Cover
Das Cover verrät nicht viel von der Handlung, scheint aber eine gewisse düstere Atmosphäre erschaffen zu wollen. Ein typisches Krimi-Cover, von dessen Genre ich mir aber einfallsreichere Cover wünschen würde, um mehr optische Vielfalt zu haben. Die vermutete Düsternis und Ernsthaftigkeit spiegelt sich aber nicht so ganz in der Geschichte wieder. Mehr dazu aber später.

Meine Meinung
Wie schon oben erwähnt, habe ich mich sehr auf Der Ruf des Kuckucks gefreut, war aber etwas skeptisch der Tatsache gegenüber, da ich nicht der allergrößte Krimi-Fan bin. Liegt womöglich am Cover, denn gute und schlechte Krimis lassen sich nicht vom Cover unterscheiden und hinterlassen eine Ungewissheit, in was man sich nun zu stürzen wagt (The Stranger von Harlan Coban hat mich zum Beispiel umgestimmt, dass Krimis sehr spannend und alles andere als langweilig sein können). Krimis scheinen immer eine ähnliche Struktur zu haben, die entweder langwierig und langweilig geschrieben sein können oder so, dass man mitfiebert und miträtselt.

Im folgenden Abschnitt werde ich Punkte aufzählen und Merkmale von Der Ruf des Kuckucks beschreiben, die mir besonders im Gedächtnis geblieben sind.

Punkt Eins, die Charaktere. Cormoran Strike sowohl seine Sekretärin Robin waren mir sympathisch und sie hatten Witz. Jedoch hat es zu viel mehr Beschreibung auch nicht mehr gebracht, wie ich im späteren Nachdenkverfahren mit dem Buch festgestellt habe. Über Cormoran hat man einiges an Hintergrundinformation erfahren. Über Robin auch etwas, jedoch fühlte sie sich wie ein lästiger Sidekick von Strike an, die schlechter behandelt wurde als sie eigentlich wert war. Keine der vorkommenden Charaktere hatte so richtigen Tiefgang, es fühlte sich alles sehr oberflächig an, vor allem da es sich immer wieder um dieselben Probleme der Charaktere drehte und nicht viel gegen erwähnte Probleme gehandelt wurden. Vielleicht werden diese Charaktere noch in den folgenden Büchern ausgereift und besser beschrieben, aber selbst das konnte J.K.Rowling im ersten Harry Potter Buch schon besser. Ja, ich stelle Vergleiche von zwei verschiedenen Genres an, weil es Elemente sind, die übergreifend funktionieren sollten.

Punkt 2, ich mag nach wie vor J.K.Rowlings Schreibstil. Bevor ich diese Rezension geschrieben habe, las ich ein paar andere Beurteilungen durch, um zu verstehen, wie es anderen Lesern so ergangen war und ob ich andere Sichtweisen hatte als sie. Wie immer gehen die Geschmäcker überall auseinander. Jedoch kann ich mit Sicherheit sagen, dass es bei den Leuten sehr darauf ankommt, wie ein Krimi geschrieben ist. Manche haben ernstere Krimis lieber, andere mögen es, wenn sie lockerer sind. Ich bin dann doch eher eine Person, dessen Krimis etwas aufgelockerter sein dürfen, aber deswegen nicht an Ernsthaftigkeit verlieren dürfen.

Was mir aber nach und nach doch etwas negativ aufgefallen ist, waren die Dialoge. Punkt 3. Es gab einen Haufen Dialoge, es musste ja viel mit Verdächtigen und Zeugen gesprochen werden, klar. Aber der Raum, des zwischen diesen Dialogen gefüllt wurde, war fast unnütz. Das Wichtigste spielte sich meistens im Gesprochenen ab und dort nicht einmal alles, denn mir war es kaum nachvollziehbar, wie der Privatdetektiv nun auf bestimmte Schlüsse gegen Ende gekommen ist.

Wenn ich etwas bei Krimis mag, dann ist es bei Fällen miträtseln zu können. Wenn aber beim Ermittelnden solche Gedankensprünge auftauchen und dieser plötzlich von irgendwoher seine Vermutungen schließt, dann wird es etwas nervig und man fühlt sich ein wenig betrogen. Denn anscheinend erhielt man nicht den gleichen Informationsgehalt, deswegen geblendet wurde und nicht wirklich eigene Schlüsse ziehen konnte. Oder ging es nur mir so?

Punkt 4, war die Geschichte um Lula Landry doch etwas lasch. Spannend wurde sie eigentlich nur, weil man selbst erraten wollte, wer nun der Mörder sei und ob es überhaupt einen Mörder gab. Durch den lockeren Schreibstil fällt es einem nicht so wirklich auf, zumindest mir nicht, aber dennoch begann es dem Ende entgegen doch zu nerven. Die Befragungen wirkten etwas seicht, man blieb halb im Dunkeln fragte sich, wann es endlich konkrete Hinweise geben würde.

Fazit

Wieso habe ich also beschlossen, dem Buch Der Ruf des Kuckucks von Robert Galbraith 4 von 5 Sternen zu geben? Nun ich habe obwohl ich doch etwas hergezogen bin, doch sehr viel Spaß während dem lesen. Die negativen Sachen sind mir erst im Nachhinein eingefallen und haben nur einen etwas bitteren Nachgeschmack, was aber das Lesevergnügen nicht mindern sollte.

xo Annina

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|Die Bilder sind Eigentum von Blattzirkus|


Hi guys,
here I am with a new review, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith aka no one else than J.K.Rowling. Since I have never read any other books from her except – of course – the Harry Potter saga, I was particularly pleased that I could read The Cuckoo’s Calling. This book was provided kindly by Bloggerportal and Blanvalet in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Information

Title: The Cuckoo’s Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith
Genre: Crime, Fiction
Type: eBook
Price: €8,99[D]; CHF 11,00

Publisher: Blanvalet
Published in: November 30th 2013

Plot
Cormoran Strike, private investigator, is hired by lawyer John Bristow to prove the murder of his younger sister and model Lula Landry. She fell from the balcony of her apartment, which for many family members and friends of Lula looked like suicide. But John Bristow is firmly convinced that it was murder. The deeper Cormoran dives into the investigations, the more it becomes clear to him that the police might not have delivered such a brilliant work, as perhaps the press had exuberantly reported. Who can Cormoran trust in the end?

Cover
The cover does not reveal much of the plot but it seems to want to create a certain gloomy atmosphere. A typical crime scene cover, of whose genre I would like to see more ingenious covers, in order to have more optical diversity. The presumed gloom and seriousness, however, is not quite reflected in the story. More about in my opinion section.

My Opinion
As I mentioned above, I was very much looking forward to The Cuckoo’s Calling, but was somewhat skeptical of the fact, because I am not the biggest crime mystery fan. The Stranger by Harlan Coban has shown me, for example, that crime thrills are very exciting and anything but dull). Crime books always seem to have a similar structure, which can be either lengthy and boring written or so that one is fevered and co-riddled. In the following section, I will list the points and describe the features of The Cuckoo’s Calling, which have been especially memorable.

First point, the characters. Cormoran Strike and his secretary Robin were sympathetic to me and they had humor. However, more description is not happening, as I have found in the later reflection proceedings with this book. With Cormoran you get some background information. With Robin too, but she felt like an annoying sidekick from Strike, who was treated worse than she was worth. None of the characters had such a real depth, it all felt very superficial, especially as they were always dealing with the same problems of the characters, and not many more problems were mentioned. Maybe these characters are still maturing in the following books and will be better described, but  J.K.Rowling has already done this better in the first Harry Potter book. Yes, I make comparisons of two different genres, because they are elements that should work across the board.

Second point, I still like J.K. Rowling’s writing style. Before I wrote this review, I read a few other reviews to understand how The Cuckoo’s Calling has affected other readers, and whether I had other visions than they did. As always, tastes are dispersed everywhere. However, I can safely say that it is very important for the people how a crime is written. Some prefer a more serious crime story, others like it when they are more relaxed. I am rather a person whose crime can be somewhat more relaxed, but can not lose their sincerity.

But what disturbed me the most, were the dialogues. Third point. There were a lot of dialogues, Strike had to talk a lot to suspects and witnesses, clearly. But the space filled between these dialogues was almost useless. The most important thing was mostly in the dialogue and not even then everything was revealed, because it was hardly comprehensible how the private investigator now came to certain conclusions towards the end.

If I like something in Crime, then it is being able to solve the case while reading along. If, however, such thought-jumps occur in the ascertaining and this suddenly closes the detective’s assumptions from somewhere, then it becomes somewhat annoying and one feels a little deceived. Apparently the reader did not get the same information content, which was why he or she felt blinded and could not really draw his or her own conclusions. Or was it just me?

Point 4, the story around Lula Landry was a bit limp. It was only exciting because I wanted to guess who the murderer was and whether there was any murderer at all. Because of the casual style, it did not really bother me at the beginning, but towards the end it got annoying. The interviews felt a little shallow, and I remained half in the dark wondering, whether there would finally be concrete hints.

Conclusion
So why did I decide to give the book The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith 4 out of 5 stars? Now that I have dragged it through the mud, I must admit that I still had loads of fun reading it. The negative details have occurred to me only afterwards, and have only left a bit of bitter aftertaste, which should not reduce the reading pleasure.

xo Annina

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|The pictures are property of Blattzirkus|

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW

Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling

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Hi guys,

since I am (slowly but steadily) re-reading Harry Potter again, here is a review for the most recent one I have read – The Goblet of Fire.

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Book Information

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K.Rowling
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Carlsen
Published in: October 21st 2000

Plot

It is Harry Potter’s fourth year at Hogwarts and one big event is happening during the school year: The Trimagical Tournament is hold in Hogwarts, whereas the three biggest magical schools from Europe are participating: Beauxbaton, Durmstrang and Hogwarts. Each school gets one student to compete against each other. The only remarkable thing about this year is though, that the Goblet of Fire announces a fourth student to participate: Harry Potter. Harry, who never really wanted to be part of this, to be even more in danger than he usually is, has no choice than to fight through the Trimagical Tournament with no support from his schoolmates and friends to begin with.

Opinion

Biases as always when coming to Harry Potter, I loved The Goblet of Fire as always a lot. It is one of my favorite books and movies as well since it is the perfect mix of humorous young adult book and serious action/drama book. The Goblet of Fire also marks the book from light childhood life to serious adulthood.

Harry, Ron and Hermione are not only experiencing their first Yule Ball but also a slight relationship drama is on the verge of erupting. But this happens without being officially addressed, yet it is one of the little changes in The Goblet of Fire. Also, very noticeable right after The Prisoner of Azkaban, the focus lies on Lord Voldemort and his deatheater followers. The book is instantly darker from Chapter 1 and ends equally dark. Harry dreaming about seeing his first person being killed in front of his eyes versus seeing his first dead happening right in front of him is a lot to take in, especially for a fourteen year old. Not to forget that Harry had the stress of surviving The Trimagical Tournament, a Tournament that is planned to be hard for seventeen year old wizards.

I mean, this makes Harry the smartest person in the room full of Wizards, doesn’t it? And what the hell Dumbledore, being worried about Harry but not pulling him out of the tournament? All of this could have been avoided, but no, he had to play Yolo-dore. (A thing that the whole Potterhead fandom probably is obsessing with is how careless Dumbledore’s actions toward Harry could become)

Conclusion

A solid 5 from 5 stars to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K.Rowling since it has been one of my favorite Harry Potter books caused by the mix of different elements (humor, plot-driven action, fantasy) and the development of the characters.

xo Annina

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|Cover is from Goodreads|

 

 

REVIEW

[GER/ENG] Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

This review is readable in German and English. For German, please scroll down below.

Diese Rezension lässt sich in Englisch und Deutsch lesen. Für die deutsche Version bitte nach unten scrollen.


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Hi guys,

since I haven’t read a classic novel for a while and this book happened to be on my Reading Challenge list, it was time to start it. And I wanted to read it at the end of the month (March) because I thought it wouldn’t be a long read, but I was very wrong about that.

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Book Information

Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance

Publisher: Nexx Verlag
Published in: January 11th 2016 (first time published in December 1847)

Available on Amazon

Plot
Mr.Lookwood, the new tenant of Trushcross Grange, arrives at Wuthering Heights to meet his landlord Heathcliff. Lockwood, however is welcomed to the estate in a very cold manner. Ellen Dean, the housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange, tells him during Lockwood’s stay at the estate, the life story of Heathcliff and how the man arrived as a foundling child at Wuthering Heights in the arms of Mr. Earnshaw. She explains how his childhood was full of teasing and hatred towards him, except from Mr. Earnshaws’ daughter Cathrine. Her brother Hindley was the meanest towards Heathcliff. Then, when Cathrine decided in her early twenties, that she only had eyes for Edgar Linton, Heathcliff runs away and returns years later as a posh and wealthy man to Wuthering Heights. But he does not return without a cruel revenge plan to destroy everyone that took the only thing from him he every cared for, Cathrine.

Style
The story is told from Mr.Lockwood’s point of view, as well as the housekeeper of the mansion Thruscross Grange Nelly Dean. Mr.Lockwood tells the story from the present, while Nelly Dean reproduces the story of Heathcliff from the past to the present to give the reader the chance to connect the dots between past and present.

The Characters
The narrator, Mr.Lockwood, the housekeeper Nelly Dean, Cathrine Earnshawn, Edgar Linton, Isabella Linton, Linton, Cathrine Linton, Hareton Earnshawn are the main characters. Apart from Mr. Lockwood, all the characters appear to have an almost innate hatred; contempt and coarseness are daily manners. Egoism and the rule of law dominate the story and are probably also the reason why Wuthering Heights is partly loved and partly hated. Because how can one love a book, if the characters are to be hated because of their personalities and actions?

Heathcliff
Roughly told, Wuthering Heights is about the foundling Heathcliff. Heathcliff is treated from the beginning on as an outcast of the family, although it was never his fault that he got a destiny like that. If even, it was fortunate that he was able to escape hunger and despair as a toddler. However, Heathcliff, whose real name is never known, can not celebrate this success and never reaches the real potential as a child. The only bright spot in his life is therefore Cathrine Earnshaw, the daughter of the landowner Mr. Earnshaw. Her character is similar to the one of Heathcliff – wild and somewhat coarse, not at all girlish – and the two seem to be on the same wavelength from the beginning on.

Wuthering Heights has a strong grip on the topic “What if?”. Because in my opinion, Heathcliff, the oh so malicious and harsh character, is concerned with reasons which, though resulting from several small occurrences, must be summed up in one fixed point. And this fixed point is his past love, Cathrine Earnshaw, to whom he has never confessed his feelings, and because of that decides to perish his life. He lets himself be captured in his role, to be only the ruffian, as it is to be expected of him. He mistreated the son of his wife, whom he only married for revenge and actually hated. Heathcliff hates the daughter of his past love and treats both children as he was treated. Especially after he realizes that the children, Cathrine and Heathcliff, a very cruel name coincidence (or is it?) might fancy each other.

And no matter how strongly one hopes for Heathcliff to become a better person, he never evolved and only dug himself deeper in his own grave.

Conclusion
In summary, Wuthering Heights is a very sad and depressing book, in which hope can only be felt towards the end. However, one feels oppressed during the whole story just like Wuthering Heights must have been as a home. Because I do not like the whole despair and all the hatred of the characters, but I have to admit that it is therefore a pretty good book, Wuthering Heights gets 4 out of 5 stars. Especially when you write reviews and then have to deal with the read content again, you notice that you have to let books work in your mind before you are able to judge them.

xo Annina

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|Cover is from Thalia.at|

(i) The Amazon Links are affiliated Links. I guessed this was the easiest way to establish a store where you can go and buy a book if you are interested in it plus it makes me literally just some cents, which would be awesome. Yes I got greedy and I would love to bath in my 10 times 5 cent pieces. You’re welcome.


 

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Hallihallo,

da ich schon lange keinen Klassiker gelesen habe und ich dieses Buch auch teil meiner Reading Challenge gemacht habe, dachte ich mir es wäre Zeit, es endlich mal zu lesen. Und weil ich dachte, dass es nicht so lang sein würde, was habe ich mich da getäuscht.

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Buchinformationen

Titel: Sturmhöhe
Autor: Emily Brontë
Genre: Fiktion, Historie, Romanze

Verlag: Nexx Verlag
Veröffentlicht am: 11.Januar 2016 (Erstveröffentlichung Dezember 1847)

Erhältlich bei Amazon

Handlung
Mr.Lockwood, der neue Mieter von Drosselkreuz, trifft in Sturmhöhe ein, um auf seinen Vermieter Heathcliff zu treffen. Lockwood wird aber alles andere als freundlich auf dem Gut willkommen geheißen. Die Haushälterin von Drosselkreuz, Ellen Dean erklärt ihm deshalb im Laufe seines Aufenthaltes die Geschichte von Heathcliff, wie er als Findelkind zur Familie Earnshaw kam und in seiner Kindheit von seiner Liebe Cathrine Earnshaw’s Bruder Hindley verachtet und gehänselt wurde. Ebenso wie seine Liebe zu Cathrine kaum erwidert wurde, denn diese schwor sich Edgar Linton an. Heatchliff verlässt aufgrund unerwiderter Liebe Sturmhöhe, um Jahre später als reicher Mann wiederzukommen und eine grausame Rache gegenüber der Earnshaws’ und Lintons’ zu planen.

Stil
Erzählt wird die Geschichte aus der Sicht von Mr.Lockwood, ein Mieter der Heimes Drosselkreuz und Nelly Dean, die Haushälterin von Sturmhöhe. Mr.Lockwood erzählt die Sicht der Geschichte aus der Gegenwart, während Nelly Dean die Geschichte um Heathcliff von der Vergangenheit aus bis in die Gegenwart wiedergibt und so dem Leser den Zusammenhang zwischen Vergangenheit und Gegenwart herstellt.

Die Charaktere
Der Erzähler, Mr.Lockwood, die Haushälterin Nelly Dean, Cathrine Earnshawn, Edgar Linton, Isabella Linton, Linton, Cathrine Linton, Hareton Earnshawn sind als Hauptcharaktere anzutreffen und miteinander verbunden. Abgesehen von Mr.Lockwood scheinen alle vorkommenden Charaktere einen fast angeborenen Hass in sich zu tragen; Verachtung und Grobheit steht an der Tagesordnung. Egoismus und Rechtshaberei beherrschen die Geschichte und sind wahrscheinlich auch der Grund, wieso Sturmhöhe teils geliebt und teils gehasst wird. Denn wie kann man ein Buch lieben, wenn man die vorkommenden Charaktere aufgrund ihrer Persönlichkeiten und Handlungen hassen muss?

Heathcliff
Grob genommen dreht sich Sturmhöhe um das Findelkind Heathcliff. Heathcliff wird von Anfang an wie ein Ausgestoßener der Familie behandelt, obwohl er nie für sein Schicksal etwas konnte. Wenn, ist es Glück gewesen, dem Hunger und der Verzweiflung als Kleinkind zu entkommen. Jedoch kann Heathcliff, dessen wirklicher Name nie bekannt wird, diesen Erfolg nicht feiern und als Kind auch nie das wirkliche Potential erreichen.

Der einzige Lichtblick in seinem Leben ist daher Cathrine Earnshawn, die Tochter des Gutsbesitzers Mr. Earnshaw. Ihr Charakter ist dem von Heathcliff ähnlich – wild und etwas grob, ganz und gar nicht mädchenhaft – und die beiden scheinen von Anfang an auf derselben Wellenlänge zu sein.

Sturmhöhe hat einen starken Griff um das Thema „Was wäre wenn?“. Denn meiner Meinung nach handelt Heathcliff, der ach so böswillige und raue Charakter, aus Gründen, die zwar aus mehreren kleinen Geschehnissen resultieren, jedoch auf einen Fixpunkt zusammenzufassen sind. Und dieser Fixpunkt ist seine verflossene Liebe Cathrine Earnshaw, welcher er nie seine Gefühle zugestanden hat und sich daraufhin sein Leben lang zugrunde richtet. Er lässt sich in seiner Rolle gefangen nehmen nur der Grobian zu sein, wie es von ihm zu erwarten ist. Er misshandelt den Sohn seiner Frau, welcher er nur aus Rachegründen geheiratet hat und eigentlich hasst. Heathcliff hasst die Tochter seiner verflossenen Liebe und geht mit beiden Kindern so um, wie er damals behandelt worden ist. Besonders nachdem er bemerkt, dass die Kinder Cathrine und Heathcliff (ein sehr grausamer Zufall der Namen, wenn es überhaupt einer ist) sich mögen könnten.

Und so sehr man auch gehofft hat, dass sich Heathcliff bessern würde, tat er es nicht und fiel nur noch tiefer in sein eigens gegrabenes Grab.

Fazit
Zusammengefasst gesehen ist Sturmhöhe ein sehr trauriges und deprimierendes Buch, bei welchem erst gegen Ende wieder Hoffnung zu spüren ist. Jedoch fühlt man sich die ganze Geschichte über etwas beklemmend, so wie das Heim Sturmhöhe wohl gewesen sein musste.

Dadurch, dass mir die ganze Verzweiflung und der ganze Hass der Charaktere dann doch nicht gefallen hat, ich aber zugeben muss, dass es deswegen ein ziemlich gutes Buch ist, bekommt Sturmhöhe von mir 4 von 5 Sterne.

Besonders wenn man Rezensionen schreibt und sich dann noch einmal mit dem Gelesenen befassen musst, fällt einem doch auf, dass man Bücher auf sich wirken lassen muss, bevor man sie beurteilt.

xo Annina

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|Cover ist von Thalia.at|

(i) Die Amazon Links sind Affiliate Links. Ich dachte, es wäre der einfachste Weg um einen Laden festzulegen wo ihr hingehen und euch ein Buch kaufen könnt, wenn ihr an einem interessiert seid, das ich rezensiert habe. Außerdem würde mir das ein paar Cents einbringen und das wäre echt toll – ja ich bin gierig geworden und würde gerne in meinen 10 mal 5 Centstücken baden gehen. Danke.

 

BOOK TALKS

Read in March 2017

Hi guys,

another month, another reading list. This month I managed to read 6 books and even got to full-review a few (aka 4). Got to read Outlander, which had like 1100 pages and made me doubt if I’d be able to finish it in March, but I did it – yay! Let’s have a look at the list.

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1. Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

2. The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov

3. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Full Review)

4. Strungballs by Mike Russell (Full Review)

5. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Full Review)

6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (Full Review)


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Paris for One by Jojo Moyes
Genre: Fiction, Romance
4 out of 5 stars
Buy here on Amazon.

Paris for One by Jojo Moyes is a short story about a 26 year old woman called Nell spending a weekend alone in Paris. She got stood up by her boyfriend right before departure and decides to make the best of it by exploring the city she has never been to the fullest way possible.

It’s been a cute short story, very upbeaten and Jojo Moyes-like. Showing that you don’t need company to have fun (well at first) and just an undiscovered city that needs to be discovered, it makes a lot of good stories.


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The Lady with the Dog by Anton Chekhov
Genre: Fiction
3 out of 5 stars
Buy here on Amazon.

Since I couldn’t really remember the story anymore, Goodreads and my past self had to help me. Summary by Goodreads, opinion (as always) by me.

After a fortnight in Yalta, Dmitri Dmitritch Gurov has grown tired of the seaside. He is looking for a more interesting way to pass his vacation when a woman with a Pomeranian catches his eye. Gurov loathes his wife, and has spent his marriage chasing women, even though the affairs always end in disappointment. But Anna Sergeyevna will be different. For the first time in his life, Gurov will know love—and he will find it a very harsh mistress.

It’s been a decent story, short story, which reminded me lots of Anna Karenina (thank you past self for elaborating so much. But hey, I really remember now that the writing has been similar to Anna Karenina, same as the atmosphere the book had).

 


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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance
3 out of 5 stars
Read the full review here.
Buy here on Amazon.

This young adult novel is about a girl called Maddie who hasn’t left her house for her whole life. She has a sickness that makes her unable to leave the house, since everything from the outside could trigger her sickness and make her very sick. When one day new neighbors move next to the girl, who’s later becoming friends with the boy of the family, not leaving the house doesn’t seem a option anymore.

I’ve fully reviewed Everything, Everything and I am still less than happy about the outcoming of this story. It was a bit too cheesy for me (very YA), and the plot made me think of a really bad joke. Like it was so “REALLY?!” that it couldn’t get any better than that. A lot of questions made sense after that big reveal but still, it was weird.

 


 

strungballs

Strungballs by Mike Russell
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Distopia
4 out of 5 stars
Read the full review here.|Buy here on Amazon.

Strungballs is a story about 10 year old Sidney who is undertaken an operation which takes away a cube of flesh out of his chest to put in a Strungball. He leaves in a flat of a very long corridor with his parents. That very long corrdior is a city and this city is protected by a skin made of the donated flesh by the people of the city. But when Sidney finds out the whole truth about his city, things get really weird.

Personally it’s taken me a bit to get into the story. It has been a 90 pages short story, so there hasn’t been much time for me to get into the story, yet after some time, it got easier. If you’re willing to see and acknowledge the parallels between other books, the book becomes better because you start to ask questions about it to find out more about Sidney and the background of the city. Wondering why things are like they are and why the hell people decided to undergo surgeries to get cut out cubes of flesh to put a Strungball in it. Really?


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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Romance, Fantasy;
4 out of 5 stars
Read the full review here.|Buy here on Amazon.

Outlander is a story about Claire Randall who travels with her husband Frank to Scotland for their honeymoon. When watching a ritual at Craigh Na Dun, said magic stones similar to Stonehenge, Claire sees a herb she wants to get back to the next day. As she touches a stone at Craigh Na Dun, the woman suddenly finds herself in the year of 1768, attacked by a red coat looking very similar to her husband Frank. Rescued by Scots, she meets Jaime Fraser, a man she slowly starts to like.

I still don’t know what to really think about this book. At once, I really want to read all the sequels right now, then I am like: “Well, do I really want to read about a character I don’t really like?” By that character, I mean Jamie. He’s really a controversial character for me who seems like a really good person at one moment and in the other he’s a rough…wildling? I don’t know how to better describe this. Claire, being an emancipated 20th century woman should know better though, just saying. Can’t take it.


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Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Classic, Romance
4 out of 5 stars
Read the full review here.|Buy here on Amazon.

Wuthering Heights is about a man called Heathcliff, found as a foundling by Mr.Earnshaw, a husband and father of two children, Cathrine and Hindley. Heathcliff grows up with nothing but hatred towards him except for Cathrine. When he learns that Cathrine fancies someone other than him, Heathcliff runs away, coming back as a rich and posh man, nothing but cold revenge planned in his mind.

I couldn’t really enjoy reading Wuthering Heights since it has been a really cruel book with really cruel, mean characters and an unforgiving storyline. Which doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a good book, which is had been considering everything written and planned in Wuthering Heights. But how am I supposed to enjoy a story when I can’t stand their characters? (It is a really tough rating choice when decisions like these have to be made).


It’s the current Reading Challenge status after March right now and I’m not behind my Goodreads challenge, so all is well at the moment 🙂

Popsugar Reading Challenge: 12/30
Popsugar Reading Challenge Advanced: 3/12
Personal Challenge: 3/13
Goodreads Challenge: 16/60

How has been your March considering books? How many have you read/have you read so far? Which books have you read that you would recommend? Let me know!

xo Annina

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| Covers are from Goodreads |

(i) The Amazon Links are affiliated Links. I guessed this was the easiest way to establish a store where you can go and buy a book if you are interested in it plus it makes me literally just some cents, which would be awesome. Yes I got greedy and I would love to bath in my 10 times 5 cent pieces. You’re welcome.

REVIEW

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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Hi guys,

daylight saving times gives me so much more motivation than winter time, so I try my best to write more full reviews again. Let’s start with this one – Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve read this book in German, so if there are translation mistakes with the names, I’m sorry. I tried my best in research 🙂 Also, this Review contains (evil) SPOILERS. I’m sorry, I really couldn’t help myself.

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Book Information

Title: Outlander – Fire and Stone
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Type read: Paperback
Pages: 1104

Published in: May 4th 2015 (first published on June 1st 1991)
Published by: Knaur Taschenbuch

Plot
Located after the second world war, Claire Randall arrives with her husband Frank at Inverness in Scotland, for a late honeymoon. Both coming from the war, remembering it fresh, the time at the Highlands is much needed. While Frank is the most eager about history, especially in genealogy, Claire loves to wander around in town, exploring it and getting to know more about Herbalism. When Claire and Frank visit Craigh Na Dun, a stone circle at a hill close to Inverness and witness a ritual from old Scottish times, she feels that something has happened there. Later, Claire comes back for a herb at Craigh Na Dun and feels a power drawing her to one of the stones. When touching it, Claire feels that something has changed. She gets raided by a Redcoat, a man who just looks like her husband Frank and is saved by a Highlander, who takes her to his group where Claire realises that she has landed in 1743.

Opinion
First things first, I have watched the first season of Outlander before I read the book. The TV show is very close to the book, so if you watch or read Outlander there is a possibility to get spoilered. Just to leave you warned here.

Setting
Now, let’s start with the environment of Outlander. The book is set in Scotland in the middle of the 18th century, whereas the English invaded Scotland and the Scots hate the British. Especially if you are a wanted man and hated by the federal corporal of the English colony. This is the case for Jamie McTavish aka Fraser, who got punished for multiple reasons by Jonathan Randall, an anchestor of Frank Randall, Claire’s husband. Claire will get to know Jamie pretty soon after she gets rescued from Jonathan Randall. The historical background of this book seems very accurate when it comes to behavorism, Clans and believing in black magic and witches in this time set. Which is cool, at least for the reader since you feel like it is the real deal and nothing pulled along to fit the story.

Characters
It’s a very rough story when it comes to the characters. It gets very heavy both when it comes to hateful punishment or romance. Where in fact I was more okay with the violence than with the romance, since the romance seemed more like a rape-mance, which didn’t quite fit in the picture I have with Claire being an emancipated 20th century woman, but okay. It probably fit into the 18th century but still.

Also, after watching the TV show and reading the book, I still can’t stand Jamie, the main character next to Claire. At once, he really seems like a good and nice Highlander guy and suddenly throwing everything off by having to be the man in this marriage. And Claire pulling off an Anastasia Steele and simply going with it. He was so stubborn and he always said he had to protect Claire and BLABLABLA. He pretty much did an awful job at that by getting himself halfway killed while Claire probably would be able to carry herself blindfolded and with one hand. I’m not kidding. And then he had to punish her because she endangered herself. Why. Why. Why. Loving her but having to beat her up? That might be 18th century etiquette but Claire isn’t from that time and somehow went with it. All this isn’t getting in my head. 

The villain
I mean, how twisted is it from Diana Gabaldon to make a guy the evilest of all evil men to look like Claire’s loving husband Frank? That’s super messed up and probably not good for Claire’s mind. Frank, an English Redcoat with a loving hate for Jamie, is a man that doesn’t know that he his evil and this is the good kind of villain. Reading about him made my stomach turn because ew, that man. You will be prepared but you won’t be prepared. This man gets under your skin from the first phrase he says.

Last but not least, the story
Personally I think the book could be shorter since there were passages in it that dragged on forever. The writing isn’t bad at all, I actually loved it a lot. I just recognized at some point that it got too much. I loved the Scottish scenery, since I’ve been to Scotland myself (even Inverness) and I could imagine myself being there. Still, I don’t know if I want to continue reading the books or watching the TV show, since watching it is not as time consuming as reading it (it took me a month to finish the book).

Conclusion
I would recommand Outlander to everyone who loves a historical romance, packed with action, a little fantasy element and a dash of mystery. That’s why I give Outlander by Diana Gabaldon 4 out of 5 stars, simply because I enjoyed it even if there are characters I can’t stand at all and even if it dragged at some points. It’s been a beautiful read.


I’ll leave the trailer for the first season of Outlander with you 🙂

 

Anyone here who has read or watched Outlander yet and can tell me if it’s worth to continue the series?

xo Annina

Also visit me on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Goodreads 🙂 !

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| Book Cover is from Goodreads |

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW

Review: Strungballs by Mike Russell

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Hi guys,

I’m here with a review that you possibly could like if you loved reading The Giver! It’s called Strungballs by Mike Russell and it is my first book that I’m not reading for a challenge this year, wohoo. Let’s start.

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Book Information

Title: Strungballs
Author: Mike Russell
Genre: Fiction, Dystopia
Type: Kindle eBook

Published on: November 3rd 2016
Publisher: StrangeBooks

Plot
10-year old Sydney awakes in a 4x4x4m room on a 2x1x1m bed, awaiting for an event yet unknown to the reader. Suddenly a machine appears, cutting out a flesh cube out of his chest and puts in a Strungball into the now existing hole.

The reader learns that Sydney lives in a city, which is made of one corridor and 999 rooms, full of people who dedicated their lives to donating flesh cubes to their protecting city wall, a skin made of the population’s flesh. These people, Sydney’s father and mother included, act like smiling robots that do everything for the greater good.

But when two boys from Sydney’s school beat him up because he doesn’t have the newest Strungball anymore (since apparently a strungball gets renewed every five days or such), Sydney gets to know Albert, the doctor of the city.

Albert asks him weird and doubtful questions about the being of serving for the city and the greater good of Strungballs. With this doubt planted into Sydney’s mind, the young boy starts to look beyond his current life and notices that there is far more to archive than being a Strungball advertiser.

Cover
Personally I think the cover needs some more work because it leaves an impression of some cheap novella story, which is not the case with this one. A change of typography would help already. It is a rather funny, strange font in which the cover would fit the publisher, yet not so much the story. Yes, the story is strange on its own, but still. I would have preferred a more dystopian approach.

Opinion
If you approach this novella with the thought that it is from a publisher called StrangeBooks you will be better prepared for what is going to happen within the next pages. The whole world around Sydney is a very weird one with parents you would love to punch because they love to repeatetly say “good” in as many occasions as possible, considering every single action of their beings towards the greater good, the Skin outsider of their city, protecting them from the Others. More or less the Others are people that live without a cube cut out of their body and a Strungball stuck in it.

My main question has been for a while: How do they cut a cube-hole into you and putting a ball in it? I mean, that had to bleed a lot, right? Maybe the cube in my imagination was far too big to be logical, but it bothered me. Anyways, thank everyone in the Strungball universe for making us meet Sydney at a point in his life where he was already doubting this whole Strungball business. That made him a good guy. Also the story had enough time to introduce us to the world the boy was living it.

Yet I felt like the story was a bit weirdly paced. It felt like a good while (and needed time) to introduce the reader to Sydney and the world. Then the point came where Sydney realized all kind of things (I don’t want to spoil) and suddenly action happens speed-as-lightning fast. I had to repeatedly read same paragraphs to recognize and process in my brain what was actually going on (oh dear, it’s not a kids novel, aboard ship!). It gets abstract and confusing and I think I have to re-read it to actually get it. If there is a way to actually get it and the author just doesn’t want to mess with our brains.

These things said, Strungballs could have been a nice full novel with a better world building and explainations. Maybe there’s an after story to that ending? Maybe another twisted sidestory than Sydney’s? On the other side, it had characteristics of The Giver, but that’s easy to say with an novella.

Conclusion
I give Strungball by Mike Russell 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a rather 3.5 star but since it turned out better than expected, yet it has been a little bit too strange for me, I’ll leave it with 4 stars. I embraced the strangeness.

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I have given an honest review in exchange for this novella. Thank you StrangeBooks for that!

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I hope you enjoyed reading this review! Have you read something by Mike Russell yet? If not – are there any similar stories to this one you have read? I’d like to know 🙂

xo Annina

Also visit me on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Goodreads 🙂 !

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| I got the cover from StrangeBooks |
REVIEW

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Hi guys,
hopefully back from a weird reading slump and no reading strategy, here I am with a full book review.

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Book Information
Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Type: eBook
Pages: 310

Published on: September 15th 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Plot
Maddie Whittier has never had normal teenage experiences or vacations, because she has never left the house for almost 17 years. That’s because she is very sick with SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency), a sickness that is triggered by various influences from the outside. It can be a type of soap, type of grass, type of anything. And if that chemical triggers the sickness, it’s going down for Maddie.
So naturally, she is not leaving the house when her mom made sure she had everything she needed inside. A air conditioner and encloser that circulates fresh air every four hours, tutors that teach her and entertainment, such as books and games. But when a new family moves in next to Maddie, with a teenage son Maddie starts to fancy, her world turns upside down.

Opinion
I think the plot started out nice, was average in the middle, got better towards the end and was average at the ending again. The thing that probably annoyed me the most is that she could almost do whatever she wanted without getting sick. How could a super sick person get not easily sick? It made no sense. Lesson learned, since there are times where you have to finish a book to actually understand actions. Ha, news, right? Still, Maddie was never read as a disabled person, which is on one hand great (I sound like a douche pointing this out) on the other hand she never really struggled with anything. That made me forget that this story was anything beside a teenage romance and made me lose interest in it.

Olly for example just seem to exist to be the love puppy to Maddie. Maddie was a bit better as a character since the reader actually got to read her inner thoughts and such, so more depth for that. Maddie loved to read and write, had an tutor in architecture…and that’s it, since her thoughts were rolling around Olly the rest of the time. She wasn’t caring that her mom cared for her loads, she  never cared that she might get sick from being with Olly, nothing. At least have some respect towards your sickness, okay? That’s far past the motto: “You might be disabled, but you can still live!”. With everything considered, she had a wonderful family and never experienced abuse (you will excuse me if you have read the ending).

Olly on the other hand was living with an abusive father that hit Olly’s mother who is too scared to say anything or even leave him (I would have a long time). He barely talked about it and instead was making sure Maddie was okay. Maddie on the other hand asked him if he was alright, never going further, never caring more. Them together, that’s all both of them were counting for (and me, rolling my eyes at them). And chatting to each other, wondering what Maddie and Olly were doing wasn’t making a super interesting book. Especially since I realized from the very beginning that they would end up being together because it was obvious.

If all the things mentioned above weren’t enough for a 3 out of 5 rating, the plot twist made sure of it I wasn’t considering a 2 out of 5 stars. It just felt off and a little bit pulled out of nowhere. I mean it made sense considering facts but I still think there could have been a better solution for it.

Conclusion
A simple read with an unusual take off and a slow plot. That’s why I give Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 3 out of 5 stars.

xo Annina

Also visit me on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Goodreads 🙂 !

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| Cover is from goodreads |