Bookworm | July & August

Bookworm_July_August
So, today I’m gonna show you the books I read within the last two months. I read the first three books in July and the others – Lunar Chronicles and White Rabbit Chronicles – in August. Especially the Lunar Chronicles are amazing and I can really recommend them. Also, The Help is a wonderful book. So, let’s read!

The Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
So, I had watched the movie (the old one) before and also seen the musical Wicked, and I guess the story is known to everyone. During a storm Dorothy gets to Oz and kills the Witch of the East with her house. To get back to Kansas she has to find the Wizard – and kill the Wicked Witch of the West.
Now, here’s the thing since the musical Wicked I have great sympathies with the Elphaba and therefore didn’t dislike her as much as I probably should have. But then again, I almost always feel with the villains. And there’s one thing I don’t get – Dorothy wears silver shoes, not red ones, why does the film portrait her with red shoes? Anyway, I liked the book, it’s written nicely and the story is just adoreable. You got to love all the side characters (and Dorothy, too) and also the story. Actually the story is quite intersting and if you love childeren’s books, read it.

The Help – Kathryn Stockett
After watching the movie The Help, I just needed to buy this book. It is set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, whilst black people were treated extremly bad. This book mainly focuses on the maids that raise the white kids and are forgotten later on. But Miss Skeeter wants to know what happened to her maid, who just disappeared, eventually she decides to write a book including interviews with maids, especially Aibileen and Minny. During the book we get to know the stories of the three women and 1960s-Jackson.
I really loved this book, but I got to say I put it aside after about 200 pages for I did not really get into it at first. Probably because I watched the movie shortly before I started this book. The language was absolutely amazing, Stockett used slang and american vernacular (even though she’s actually british) and I think you get through the book easily, because it’s written nicely. The characteres are very round and I like most of the main characters, Minny is just so sassy, Skeeter is independent and strong and Aibileen is such a good person. But, I got to say, my favourite person is Miss Celia, I don’t really know why, she’s just a side character, but she’s adorable. Anyway, most of the characters are so lively and no matter if sympathetic or not, you can imagine them perfectly. Obviously, I love the 60s, there was a lot of bad stuff (which I don’t like), but it’s a interesting, changing time and this book shows this just great. It’s exactly the right lenght, including everything important to the story, also little things, but not drifting off all the time. There is a love story, too, but it is not really important, though I think good for the book. So, if you are interested in “historic” novels, pick this up and read it, it’s great.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things – Alice Hoffman
I actually bought this book almost exclusively due to it’s beautiful cover, but the blurb sounded interesting as well. And since I had nothing to read at the moment, I started to read it. The book is set in NYC in the year 1911, based on two young people. One, Coralie, a young girl with skin between her fingers and a great talent in swimming. She’s living with her father, the owner of the Museum of Extraordinary Thing, a museum that display abnormalities in humans. Two, Eddie, a young man, leaving his past and father behind, working as a photographer and searching for a missing girl.
I really liked Coralie, though I considered her rather weak. Eddie on the other hand was just cliché, mother died, left his past behind, bad boy attitudes, but very lonely. And I got to say, I did not grow fond of him. Then there were so many, unnecessary characters adding nothing to the story. But there also were, round, interesting characters, as Mr Morris. And to me, there was near to no storyline, only stringling together of little stories, so I stopped and lay the book aside after 100 pages. I picked it up again when I went to Berlin. The love story (they only got to know each other about 100 pages before the end) is so cheesy and unrealistic, I actually love it when there is kind of instant sympathy/love between characters, but it seemed to me that these two spend no time together. Still, it really is written beautifully and very lively and figurative, especially Cora’s persective, though the jumping back and forth with the frist-/third-person narrator confused me. But, on the other hand, I always wanted to skip the parts involving Cora’s father. I personally, would not recommend this book, even though it was well written, I did not get into the story at all (and I love stories set in past decades) due to Hoffman permanently drifting off.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles) – Marissa Meyer
Before picking up this book, I was full of prejudice. Cyborgs, really? But I had been proofed wrong (like Elizabeth Bennet), the book was amazing. I read it within two days and ordered the next book when I was about 150 pages through Cinder. Cinder is a cyborg girl working as a mechanic living in New Bejing, the book is set in the future. One day she meets prince Kai, but about at the same time her stepsister Peony (the book is based on Cinderella, but gladly there is one stepsister Cinder is friends with) gets ill due to a pandemia. One thing leads to another and as Cinder and Kai grow closer, her sister gets worse – and Cinder seems to be the key to the saving of tousands of people.
The book is written quite well, I got through it fastly, only had to look up a few mechanical terms I wasn’t familiar with. But other than that, it was easy and good to read, not special or poetic, but nice. I liked Cinder herself instantly, but she really enchanted me on the ball (I think since it is a Cinderella story this isn’t a spoiler everbody already knows), she really is kickass and brave. But she’s also empathetic and good-hearted. Even though I didn’t really fall for Kai, I liked the love story. Finally a YA book without love triangle and love being the center of every problem/the whole book. The love story was important, but not everything. Most of the other characters were rather flat, but still lively, the most important ones, such as the Lunar queen and Cinder’s android Iko (whom I love) are quite round and interesting. But most of the characters seemed very suspicious to me. The story is very different from other Young Adult novels and the fairy tale itself. I’m very fond of new twists on fairy tales and I fell for this one (though a few things were predictable). It was thrilling and unusual, the mix of fairytale and dystopia is wonderfully done, equipped with a great female protagonist and interesting details.

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles) – Marissa Meyer
After reading about 100 pages of Cinder, I decided on buying the second book in the series. I started it as soon as possible and read it within about two days as well. Probably I wouldn’t have put it down at all, if I didn’t have to do other things. So, since I don’t want to spoil you, I’ll say it, right here, read the review to Cinder, read the book and then you can read this review.
Cinder now is a fugitive and on her way to escape from prison she meets Captain (yes, to me he’s Captain, not Cadet) Thorne. And, my my, do I have a chruch on him. He’s kind of smug, but in a charismatic, charming way. To be honest, he makes me like Cinder more, she’s getting sarcastic with him and they really like each other, not in a romantic way, but that doesn’t matter at all. I might even prefer it like that. Their conversations are brilliant. Then there’s Scarlet – Red Riding Hood that is – and she’s just kicking butt. I adore her, from the page she was introduced I liked her and she didn’t proof me wrong. Now, she’s one of my favourite female characters of all time. Not sure if she kicked Emily from Zurück nach Hollyhill (= Back to Hollyhill, a German book), but she’s just great. In general I got to say, that Marissa Meyer creates amazing female characters, they are independent and strong. Sarcastic, funny and not whining about their bodies all day long. And they grow and develop during the book(s). But, the males aren’t bad either. I liked Wolf, not as much as other book-guys (cough Thorne cough), but still, he was a very interesting character and I liked that as a reader you never were entirely sure of his character. The only one, I’m not that fond of is Prince Kai, he’s so perfect and good, and though I like him, he’s just not as interesting to me. Obviously the story dragged me in, too, I liked the new twists and turns it took and the additons. I got to say, I really like books with more than two main characters (four to seven is perfect), because they add a certain dynamic to a story. And even the not so important characters were portrait quite round and various, not mashing to some kind of swamp. Meyers writing style, too, is quite good and you can make out a difference between the different perspectives easily. I really would have read this book in one sitting if possible and now I’m longing for Cress.

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles) – Gena Showalter
So, you know, I’ve got this thing for Alice in Wonderland and Wonderland-based stories and everything that has anything to do with Alice. And I like Kat from Covered in Cathair, so I went for this book. I told you, I wasn’t that fond of cyborgs – I’m not that fond of zombies either, but this book kind of changed my opinion towards books/movies featuring zombies. After the death of her parents, Alice comes to live with her grandparents. As she starts to see the zombies her father told her about, she thinks she’s losing her mind. Especially, since she has strange visions, looking at Cole, who is hot and has a bad reputation, but is somehow drawn to her as well.
Now, my describtion sounded very romantic – and there is a somehow cute, little bit steamy love story. I don’t really know how, but Showalter does the romance very realistic, yet quite fast. And I really liked it, even though Cole had his Bad Boy sides – usually I only rike really bad characters (Loki, Moriarty, various Disney villains and so on), but I don’t consider bad boys that charming. But Cole really is another type of bad boy, plus the relationship isn’t that typical either (yes, their are typical motives, but somehow…different). Yes, anyway, I liked Cole’s slight arrogance and charme (and he’s tall, has tattoos & dark hair, so…). Then Ali, she’s literally amazing – kick ass, pert and sarcastic. Yes, yes, yes, she has so much more character and power than other book-girls do. I think she deals very well with her traumatic experience and at least I can relate to her. The side characters are described quite round and these dialogues, I had to suppress a laugh in public more than once, Showalter writes very funny and witty, especially Ali’s thoughts and her conversations with Cole are hilarious. I also loved, that the best friend was very present, I think in YA those girls are often plain and forgotten, but Kat is wonderful and always there. Next to the wonderful and original references to Carroll’s book, the story is pretty good, too. Some turns were expectable, others were not. The book was quite compelling, so I read it within less than two days. And after hearing (reading) things about the next book, I’m kind of worried and can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles) – Marissa Meyer
You might have realised, that I’ve become obsessed with this book series, so I also read Cress within 24 hours. And again, not to spoil you, I’d recommend reading the review after having read Cinder and Scarlet.
Now, Cress is a Lunar shell and a hacker for Queen Levana, but while being incarcerated into a satellite, she grows more and more fond of Eartherns and is, too, waiting to be saved from her satellite. In the meanwhile Cinder and the crew planing on stoping the wedding – and stoping Levana.
Swooning over Captain Thorne? Right here, I really, really adore his character and everytime something between Cress (his obsessing over him just as well) and him happened, I got nervous and all (hehe, her thoughts were literally mine). Cress is adorable and I was kind of scared after reading a few reviews on the book that the romance in this book would be peculiar due to her akwardness and romance. And, to be honest, I’m not a fan of that damsel in distress thing, but it was well done and different – as always with Marissa Meyer and I’m actually glad, that she differs a lot from both Cinder and Scarlet. So the range and diversity of characters just grows. The romance was wonderful and interesting and I was obsessing even more about Thorne, both, he and Cress, developed a lot during the book (and I even liked Thorne’s change, though I loved his character in the beginning, but the change was realistic and beautiful). So did Kai, whom I grew a lot fonder to during this book. And to me, there are a lot of similarities to Disney’s Tangled. Still, Scarlet is my favourite and I just love the mocking between the crew members. The connections between the characters, the turns (though sometimes people realised things a little slowly) and twists To me Meyers writing stye gets better all the time – it’s funny and well articulated. Plus, the story is catching and you want to go on and on until you’ve finished the book. So, I’m totally looking forward to the fourth book.

Through the Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles) – Gena Showalter
Contains spoilers for Alice in Zombieland. As things seem just perfect, a new boy and a new girl arrive at the slayers. He’s hot and interested in Ali andshe has a past with Cole. Strange things happen between the guys and girls and meanwhile the Ali has a terrible incident with a zombie, changing things inside her.
I expected a lot of this book and I was kind of disappointed. Showalter still writes great and hilarious, but there were a lot of things I didn’t like. To me, this book was weaker than the first, not as fascinating and the action scenes weren’t as detailed. The main drama was the love drama and I’m not a fan of that. I don’t like it, when new “love interests” are introduced, the only cause problems and adds drama, but nothing to the story. So to me, that was really unnecessary and it took the focus from fighting and the real storyline – and the real storyline would have been amazing. Though, I liked Gavin, he was kind of a Captain Thorne character. To me, the character of Cole was forced into this bad boy role and he was actually very weak at first (in this book), so I grew to dislike him. Later on, I liked the tension a lot (I love that in general) and Cole’s confusion, his fighting and problems were great (obviously not his problems, but I like the way Showalter did that). In the end, I liked him again, though he was a little too sweet and out of character. Everything got veeeeeery cheesy and I don’t like romance a lot anyway, so cheesy romance is even worse. I think, in the beginning, Ali fell out of character a few times, by not forcing him to talk, but later on, I liked her again and her strength was great. Unfortunately a few earlier visions got lost, I believe. And I’d have said the visions they had in this book only would come true, because of the way the characters reacted to the visions (it all came different eventually, and, in quite a good way). Mackenzie’s change throughout the book was wonderful and I just love when that happens and it was very realistic. What really ticks me off on the other hand are those SMS shortings. I mean, seriously? Who writes like that? But I cried at Kat’s love/friendship confession to Ali, that was beautiful. There were great parts in this book and I’m looking forward to the next part, but still I think you could have made more of the idea.

The Queen of Zombie Hearts (White Rabbit Chronicles) – Gena Showalter
Again: Spoilers for the prior books. Ali and her friends are now fighting against Anima, who trains zombies and killed four of their friends. While things get worse for the slayers, also Ali and Cole have their problems again. Then, Ali discovers that some of her past isn’t what she thought it was.
First, once more, I really liked the idea, but I didn’T really like how it turned out. it was an easy read, yes, and still funny, but the first book was just too good. It really annoys me, that there’s always something to keep Ali and Cole from going further or talking about important stuff. And serisously, why is it that difficult to talk to each other? There are permanently useless conflicts from not talking and causes an on-off-relationship. Plus, Cole’s character development… Well, I don’t like this only girl that tames the bad boy-thing and things are also getting way too cute for my taste. The other characters are just wonderful, especially Kat and Gavin are wonderful, I really love them. The story itself was interesting, though a bit predictable and some of the conflicts just vanish into pure air. And I think, the tension is mostly due to personal conflicts, the main conflict is over in like 50 pages or less. Other than that, I even cried at a few times and the writing stlye is hilarious. I’d still recommend the books for Showalters amazing writing style.

I hope you found some of the books interesting. Did you read any of the books and agree/disagree with me? Or can you recommend a book?

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4 thoughts on “Bookworm | July & August

  1. Die ersten beiden Bücher habe ich auch gelesen und dass ich the Help wunderbar fand, weißt du ja. :) Am liebsten mochte ich daran einfach, dass es nicht schwarz-weiß ist (haha…), sondern reale Personen darstellt. Die anderen Bücher sind vermutlich nichts für mich, da ich inzwischen eigentlich nur Biographien, Sachbücher und sagen wir mal Fantasy freie Kinderbücher lese. ;) Wenn ich ein Kinderbuch für Erwachsene empfehlen würde, ist es ganz klar Winnie Puh. Der Humor ist einfach goldig, als Kind hab ich das nie verstanden und teilweise Tränen gelacht, als ich als Erwachsene die Witze von früher endlich auch lustig finden konnte. ;)

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    • Ja, das fand ich auch so wunderbar. Es ist einfach ein tolles Buch.
      Stimmt, ich denke auch nicht, dass die deinen Geschmack treffen, wobei ich das bei Cinder und mir ja auch nicht gedacht hätte. ^^
      Kinderbücher mag ich auch total gerne, vor allem eben klassische, ich will gerne mehr Klassiker generell lesen, also Winnie Puh ist jetzt auf der Liste (habe ich vor Ewigkeiten mal gelesene…)
      Liebe Grüße

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