Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)

Started: August 11, 2017
Finished: August 31, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Lies can make harsh truths less painful. But I believe pain is essential for growth.

This was one of the first excerpts I read after receiving a recommendation to read this shortly after actively starting to use Goodreads – and after reading that I felt a bit “meh”. But when I was asked to read this for the Make Me Read It Readathon this summer, I decided to give it a go.

I did not end up reading it during the readathon – I started it during that time, but finished it much later – and after finishing it I still felt a bit “meh”. I’m not sure about the characters or the world or the writing. Everything felt very much like an introduction to a larger story, which, in part, is why I’m still interested in reading the rest of this series. Not sure if I’ll do it in 2018 or if I’ll wait even longer – but if I do I might have to re-read this again just to make sure I remember the things that happened in this novel.

I think I’ll let the rest of you decide. Should I read the rest of the story as soon as possible? Is it worth it? Let me know!


Me Before You (Me Before You #1)

Started: August 7, 2017
Finished: August 9, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.

Once, Will was a young man who lived every day to the fullest. Then, one day, he is injured in a motorcycle accident and ends up in a wheelchair, unable to use his hands or legs. Unable to, in his opinion, live. And then someone new enters his life; Louisa Clark, a young, quirky woman who, despite all her spunk, despite all her crazy outfits, seems to settle. Does not push boundaries.

Two very different people – who turn out to be exactly what the other one needs.

Me Before You is a beautiful, heartwrenching story that leaves you numb after you’ve read the final page and – as one person warned me before picking it up – may cause some severe book hangover. It’s actually really difficult to pick up another story after this because it just stays with you. Makes you wonder if you’re Lou – who settles for things in her life without questioning them – or Will – who once never settled for anything. Or if you’re somewhere in between.

Jojo Moyes’ writing is absolutely brilliant and her characters seem to jump out of the pages of the book while you read. Despite the sadness of the story, you want to be a part of it. Want to be a fly on the wall in Will’s cottage as the two banter and make each other feel seen. This is a must-read for everyone, regardless of reading preference, because it, other than being beautifully written, also gives you a very important thing to ponder. Though, what that is, I shall leave all you future readers to find out for yourselves.

Dragon Age Omnibus

Started: August 6, 2017
Finished: August 6, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

I’m Alistair Theirin, and I’m King of Ferelden. Son of Maric the Savior? You’re… really not convinced, are you?

So my sister introduced me to Dragon Age last autumn – and, slowly, I fell into this fandom. I am by now totally hooked, but this was, unfortunately, not quite my cup of tea. It might have to do with it being a graphic novel and I’m not that into graphic novels, since I tend to feel like they move forward too quickly. What I did like about this, however, was that the characters were true to who they are in the games. And it felt good to get back to laughing at Alistair – aka “Prince Butt” (ask my sister) – and his lame jokes.

Caraval (Caraval #1)

Started: July 21, 2017
Finished: August 3, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

Hope is a powerful thing. Some say it’s a different breed of magic altogether.

Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This book gave me mixed feelings.

The story is entertaining, the locations are amazing and well-written and you feel yourself getting lost in the world of Caraval more and more with every page. And you never seem to be able to pinpoint who is good and who is bad. You never know who to trust. Oh yes, to begin with you will trust just about anyone – and then you’ll grow cynical, distance yourself from everyone and everything. As if everything is a trick. Not something you can trust. And then you go in the opposite way; you trust everything and everyone once more. And will have your heart broken and then pieced together for it.

The main character, however, is a bit blah. Not someone that intrigued me that much – I actually found her to be quite stupid at times. Yes, I’m a Ravenclaw; I get annoyed when characters don’t see obvious answers or listen to reasonable arguments. I also found that the romance was very, very predictable. Enjoyable – and not really off-putting – but if you’ve followed my reviews for some time you’ll know I do have some trouble with predictability. So that does lower my rating of this as well.

I am, however, intrigued by the epilogue and what a second novel set in this universe might entail. So I will most likely pick up that book fairly soon after it is published.

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

Started: July 28, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

This dangerous girl. This captivating beauty.
This destroyer of worlds and creator of wonder.

When I read the excerpt for this novel, I felt as if it was almost exactly like the original story – and that made me push it away. I was not all that interested in reading A Thousand and One Nights but written with modern prose. After reading this novel, I still stand by the fact that there are a lot more of the original story in this novel than you might find in other retellings – but I do admit that the book is, still, amazing.

Renée Ahdieh’s writing is captivating and her characters and world feel incredibly real. I fell in love with Khalid and wanted Shazi as my best friend. I wanted to practice archery with Jalal and gossip with Despina. I wanted to live in their kingdom, despite the dangers present there, and I wanted to jump into the story more and more with every page.

If the many similarities with the original story did not bother me that much – and I honestly do not know why they did – this would have been a 5 star read. Especially since those similarities appeared less and less the further into the book you got. But, because of this, I have to stick to 4 stars. Still recommend that everyone reads this – and I can happily admit that I bought the sequel almost immediately after finishing this.

I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #2: Read a hyped book)

The Sleeper and the Spindle

Started: July 30, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 3/5 stars

It would be the end of her life, she decided, if life was a time of choices. In a week from now, she would have no choices.

In this short book, Neil Gaiman combines the tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Snow White is about to marry her Prince when three of the dwarves come to her castle and tell her of a curse in the kingdom beyond the mountains; everyone there is falling asleep. In order to keep the curse from reaching her kingdom, Snow White sets out together with the dwarves to break the curse – by waking the sleeping princess.

The base of this story is interesting and Neil Gaiman’s writing is, as always, a delight. However, the story could have been a lot more captivating if it had been longer. As it is now, it lacks in the character and world development – and even though the ending is a twist and a half, it could have been more.

All in all, an average book.

I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #7: Read seven books)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Started: July 30, 2017
Finished: July 30, 2017

Language: English
Rating: 4/5 stars

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure Muggle purchasers that the amusing creatures described hereafter are fictional and cannot hurt you.To wizards, I say merely: Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

Actual rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

A quick read made all the better by Eddie Redmayne – aka Newt – reading it!

I actually think I would not have enjoyed this as much if I had bought it as a physical book. Yes, it is an essential part of your Hogwarts library and the facts about each magical creature are really interesting, but having the man we now think of as Newt Scamander read it made it a lot better. But it is still a book that acts as an encyclopedia for fantastic beasts. If you’re looking for facts about a specific creature in these times of internet wikis, I’d recommend looking it up there instead.

I read this book for the BookTubeAThon 2017 (Challenge #5: Finish a book completely outdoors)