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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(157)

274 Bibliotheken, 2 Leser, 2 Gruppen, 142 Rezensionen

fantasy, jugendbuch, aditi khorana, amrita am ende beginnt der anfang, märchen

Amrita. Am Ende beginnt der Anfang

Aditi Khorana , Peter Klöss
Fester Einband: 320 Seiten
Erschienen bei Dressler, 21.08.2017
ISBN 9783791500560
Genre: Jugendbuch

Rezension:

          In 'Amrita - Am Ende beginnt der Anfang' verfolgen wir Amrita, die mit einem Freund ihres Vaters verheiratet werden soll, um zu verhindern, dass dieser ihre Heimat einnimmt so wie er es mit vielen Orten in der Umgebung bereits getan hat. Die Dinge entwickeln sich jedoch nicht wie geplant und Amrita findet sich plötzlich auf der Flucht vor jenem Mann, den sie heiraten sollte. An ihrer Seite ist Thala, ein Orakel welches Amrita von der Existenz der Bibliothek des Seins unterrichtet. Ein Ort, der es Amrita ermöglichen kann, ihre Vergangenheit zu ändern und somit Ereignisse ungeschehen zu machen. Als Leser begleiten wir Amrita auf dieser Reise voller Höhen und Tiefen und fiebern ihrer Finalen Entscheidung entgegen. 
Ich erinnere mich noch, dass ich, als ich die Leseprobe zu Beginn gelesen hatte, Schwierigkeiten mit dem Schreibstil hatte und es gedauert hat, bis ich mich in ihm wirklich wohl gefühlt habe. Das war nun nicht mehr der Fall! Ich fand mich überraschend gut in dem Schreibstil zurecht und mochte ihn mit jeder Seite mehr und mehr! 
In 'Amrita' begegnen wir unterschiedlichen Geschichten, mit welchen die Charaktere aufgewachsen sind wobei schnell deutlich wird, dass es nicht unbedingt nur Geschichten sind, sondern durch aus Dinge die im hier und jetzt geschehen. 
Trotz der Tatsache, dass ich die Idee hinter dem Buch wirklich toll fand, mir der Schreibstil sehr ans Herz gewachsen ist, konnten mich die Charaktere einfach nicht für sich gewinnen. Ja, sie hatten ihre Momente - vor allem Amrita! - aber ich habe zu keinem Zeitpunkt mit ihnen mitgefiebert. Mir fehlte wirklich die Verbindung, wodurch mich das Buch auch nicht in dem Ausmaß in seinen Bann ziehen konnte, wie ich es gewollt hätte. Was vermütlich auch erklart, wieso es am Ende so lange gedauert hat, bis ich es endlich gelesen habe.         

  (1)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(92)

231 Bibliotheken, 4 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 70 Rezensionen

italien, florenz, liebe, jenna evans welch, toskana

Love & Gelato

Jenna Evans Welch , Henriette Zeltner
Fester Einband: 400 Seiten
Erschienen bei HarperCollins, 12.06.2017
ISBN 9783959670913
Genre: Liebesromane

Rezension:

When I first saw that HarperCollins Germany was providing eARCs of Love & Gelato I had to jump at the opportunity and read this book! I had heard about it here and there - mostly on booktube and the synopsis sounded really interesting too. Unfortunately, I didn't end up liking this book. It definitely had a promising idea and I feel like if it had been executed differently, this could've been an awesome summer type of read!

Love & Gelato follows Lina as she comes to Italy to live with her father after her mother died and Lina promised to stay with him for at least the summer. As Lina arrives at her father's, she is given a diary her mother had kept when she was living in Florenz herself and Lina goes on a journey to discover all of the things her mother had experienced and seen. On her first full day in Florenz, she meets Ren who ends up joining her for this.

Unfortunately, the only aspect of this story that I really enjoyed was the premise of the book that ended up being poorly executed, in my opinion. Love & Gelato feels like a culmination of all of the things I do not like in the books I read:

insta-love predictability pacing that feels off lack of exploring the world the characters are in.

Love & Gelato takes place over the course of about a week and our two main characters are in love with each other by the end of that week with having gone through any and all imaginable trouble you could throw at a teenage couple. I feel like if this story had played out over the summer months, Lina and Ren could've gotten to know each other better and could have actually build towards getting into a relationship with each other. Instead, Lina basically tells Ren all about her mother's diary (that she is keeping secret otherwise) and they go off on this mission to find out what Lina's mother had experienced.

I felt like I pretty much knew what was going to happen for the rest of the book by the time I had read maybe 10% of it. And who wants to read that kind of book, really? I want to be surprised and kept on my toes! I know that may not always be something contemporary does, but I have seen it done really well in other books I've read this year! Those books had featured similar themes and were able to really pull them off, in my opinion.

When you choose to set your story in a country as beautiful as Italy and then specifically in Florenz, please take the time to actually have your characters explore the city and its surroundings! Don't have it be a thing that is going to be done with within a page or two. I was expecting to be introduced to all of the beauty a city like Florenz has to offer and all I got were a few short paragraphs.

Overall, I think the author missed out on writing a really great story and doing it justice by including all of the aspects I just mentioned. This had such potential and I was really excited to read it but I got disappointed in the end. 

  (2)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(151)

525 Bibliotheken, 42 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 84 Rezensionen

schattenjäger, fantasy, cassandra clare, lord of shadows, liebe

Lord of Shadows - Die dunklen Mächte

Cassandra Clare , Franca Fritz , Heinrich Koop
Fester Einband: 831 Seiten
Erschienen bei Goldmann, 09.10.2017
ISBN 9783442314256
Genre: Fantasy

Rezension:


It has been almost a week since I finished reading Lord Of Shadows and I still don't really know how to sum up how I feel about this book and everything that happened in it. I am still utterly heartbroken and terrified of the ramifications for all of the characters in the aftermath. How are we going to move forward from this without completely ruining the characters and us as readers? Someone, please invent a time machine so I can jump to the release date of Queen Of Air And Darkness and find out how all of this is going to play out. Please?


One of my absolute highlights about this book was that we got to revisit some of our previous characters and have them interact with our crew in Los Angeles and then to get back to the London Institute and get all the references to The Infernal Devices characters was so much fun too. I miss them all dearly and this just made me want to re-read TID even more.


And even though we had previous characters show up, they in no way overshadowed our main crew and what they were going through at any point. They were more of a nice addition and definitely a treat!


The only characters I didn't like were some of the newly introduced Centurions. I didn't appreciate they way they acted to the residents of the L. A. Institute or anyone, for that matter. I could have definitely done without them! We were also introduced to a bunch more characters and more of the history of them (or is it myths? I'm not sure.) and I am definitely curious if they are going to come back into play in QOAAD and if so, how they'll play into things and where their alliances are going to be, etc.!


And since we're already talking about characters can we please talk about Kit and Ty? They honestly were such a fun dynamic to read about and I loved seeing their relationship develop and change over time! I loved the fact that Kit, as someone who grew up in the human world, was aware of human medicine and mental illnesses and the perspective that gave him into Ty's situation. I am so excited to see their dynamic explored further in The Wicked Powers (Cassie has confirmed this, I am not being mean and spoiling you).


Kind of on the topic of Kit, one thing I was a bit disappointed about is the fact that some characters seem to have no unique character traits or are mostly characterized the same way as some of their ancestors and I think that's a bit lazy on the author's part. Obviously, you might share a couple of characteristics with your family but you're not entirely the same. This bothered me so much I actually marked it in my copy of Lord Of Shadows.


Continuing on the topic of relationships: something I didn't expect to enjoy quite as much as I did were Mark, Cristina and Kieran! That is such a fascinating dynamic and if Cassie wants to explore it further (in whatever form) I am definitely here for it! Give me more!


The one thing that will make me really angry when I read about two characters that share any kind of relationship is when they don't communicate. I get so angry and want to yell at my book or throw it across the room in frustration (which I'll never actually do, I love my books too much for that) and so the whole Julian and Emma relationship in this book involved a lot of internal screaming and yelling at my book. (#funtimes) They do eventually get their stuff together and talk, so it was all good eventually, but still. TALK TO EACH OTHER.


We were also introduced to some new character dynamics that I didn't see coming but really enjoyed (one in particular that I am not saying anything about because #spoilers) and which gave us a different look at some characters and how they were feeling. Which was highly appreciated!


Obviously, with a cast of characters as big as the Blackthorn family, there isn't always enough time to spend with each character and learn more about them but we did make small steps in getting to know some characters more in this book for sure!


Lord Of Shadows nicely continues the threads that Cassie spun in Lady Midnight while also including new threads that are going to determine how QOAAD is going to play out and definitely sets up some serious conflicts for quite a few of our characters (both new and old ones). It also feels like Lord Of Shadows was setting up more than just QOAAD but also Cassie's future trilogies (I'm not sure how much TDA plays into The Last Hours, but it definitely seems to play into TWP and the Magnus centric trilogy!) and I am so ready for all of it!


I can't believe I know have to wait two entire years to find out how this story ends. That is just simply too much time, Cassie!

  (4)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(16)

34 Bibliotheken, 1 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 6 Rezensionen

becky albertall, the upside of unrequited, englische bücher, becky albertalli, diversity

The Upside of Unrequited

Becky Albertalli
Fester Einband: 352 Seiten
Erschienen bei Balzer + Bray, 11.04.2017
ISBN 9780062348708
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:

The Upside Of Unrequited, the sophomore novel by author Becky Albertalli, introduces us to Molly, a twin and chubby girl who has never had a boyfriend before. But things change when her twin sister Cassie meets Mina, a Korean-American girl.

Because Mina? She introduces Will into Molly’s world. Will isn’t the only boy who enters Molly’s world, though. There’s also Reid, whose parents own the shop were Molly is working for the summer.

As the summer progresses, feelings start developing and things get complicated on more than one front.

PLOT

I thought The Upside Of Unrequited was a nice story about how falling in love and starting a new relationship can change your existing relationships with the people closest to you. And while I did enjoy reading this book (I actually finished it in one sitting one night), I don’t feel like there was a lot happening throughout.

We join our cast of characters at various parties throughout the story, we join Molly at her summer job where she spends time with Reid and then finally we have the wedding. And that’s really all that happens plot-wise and that’s not enough for me, to be honest.

WRITING

Becky Albertalli has a writing style that makes it easy to follow along with her story and definitely factors into how much you end up enjoying this novel. And while I did like the first person point of view that the author chose for this book it also made it difficult to get to know the other characters more – they felt really flat to me.

One thing I really enjoyed about the way this particular book was written is the fact that at times it felt like Molly was speaking directly to me as a reader which isn’t something I have come across often in the books I’ve read up until now.

CHARACTERS

As I just mentioned, I don’t think we got a chance to really get to know most of the characters apart from what Molly was telling us which was obviously tainted by Molly’s feelings about them and wasn’t from a neutral point of view – I would’ve preferred that at times. Cassie was usually busy being Mina’s girlfriend and neither Will nor Reid got developed much as characters which ultimately lead to me not caring about who Molly would ultimately end up with.

The one character I did feel we got to know well enough was Molly, which is a given since she was the narrator of this story and we were inside her head. And I have to say I often found myself nodding along to a lot of the things Molly was thinking about herself, her body and what it would be like to be with someone. My teenage self was full of all of those thoughts too.

In a way, it was really interesting to be reintroduced to all of those thoughts and compare that to how I am feeling about those things nowadays.

Something else I want to mention in relation to the characters in this story is the diversity that is a natural part of the story. We see characters of different sexualities, races, religious beliefs and a character with mental health issues and as far as I can tell, Becky Albertalli dealt with them appropriately.

ENJOYMENT

I did really enjoy reading The Upside Of Unrequited! It was a light-hearted and sweet story that at times actually had me laughing out loud and definitely kept me entertained the whole way through!

As I was reading this book I did realize that I may not be the right audience for this book, considering I’m in my late 20s already. But while my age might be off, I could still see myself in the character as we share other aspects.

Had I read this book in my late teens, I would have definitely enjoyed this a lot more. But I am glad that I read it now. I have experiences now that I didn’t have then and my mindset about my body and the way I view it has changed and I am very grateful for that.

  (1)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(15)

38 Bibliotheken, 2 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 6 Rezensionen

young adult, marissa meyer, jugendbuch, heartless

Heartless

Marissa Meyer
Flexibler Einband: 464 Seiten
Erschienen bei Macmillan Children's Books, 17.11.2016
ISBN 9781509818020
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:

Marissa Meyer’s most recent release tells the story of the Queen Of Hearts before she became the Queen Of Hearts. Catherine is one of the most desired girls in the Kingdom of Hearts and holds a special place in the King’s heart. But Catherine doesn’t care about any of that, all she wants to do is bake to her heart’s content and open her own little bakery with her best friend Mary Ann.

At a royal ball, Catherine is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal – instead, she meets the mysterious court joker, Jest and things start to change for Catherine starting that very moment. We follow Catherine on various adventures, meet a variety of fun and loveable characters and learn how Catherine becomes the well-known Queen of Hearts.

In the acknowledgments at the end of Heartless Marissa Meyer talks about how she had mentioned to her agenting team that she wished author Gregory Maguire had written the origin story of the Queen Of Hearts to which her foreign rights agent replied ‘Marissa, why don’t you write the story?’. That’s how this story was born and I feel like you can feel Marissa Meyer’s love for the queen’s story throughout the entire novel and I couldn’t be happier to have been introduced to the Queen Of Hearts this way.

Unlike a lot of people, I have never dipped my toes into the world of Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland before and didn’t really know any of the characters introduced in Heartless – apart from the Mad Hatter who appeared on Once Upon A Time (played by the oh so lovely Sebastian Stan). I feel like any and all knowledge I have about anything related to Wonderland comes from the tv show.

This is also why I had difficulties picturing some of the characters while I was reading this novel at the beginning. In chapter 3 there is this moment: ‘Cath’s father was entertaining the Four, Seven and Eight of Diamonds.’ and this was the first time we’re introduced to the characters that are cards in this novel and I couldn’t figure out if I was supposed to picture them as actual cards or as humans that had the card symbols painted on them/their clothing in some form. I decided to go with the card thing and ended up being right,  as I figured out much later in the book. I wouldn’t blame this on the author or writing, though. This is simply me never having been in this world before.

Another problem with this novel was the insta-love trope that I have gotten quite tired of – as have many of you probably. So when Catherine and Jest meet and fall in love in moments (that’s what it felt like) I was quite annoyed for a little bit, but then I just fell really hard for the two of them and was really looking forward to their scenes together and seeing how things developed from their first meeting onward. And I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Marissa Meyer has such a lovely way with words that I am usually unable to put the book down and I find myself turning page after page, chapter after chapter and when I finally look up from my book I realize that it’s already late afternoon and I really need to make dinner.

The biggest problem I had with this book were Catherine’s mother’s constant comments about what Catherine was eating and how much of it. It honestly had me so angry and I feel like it might be triggering for people who have trouble with this kind of thing – so please be aware of this when you decide to pick this book up! And you can tell these comments have been going on for a while and that Catherine believes what her mother tells her (Cath’s mom calls her a walrus multiple times) later on during a different situation when Catherine wonders if she is too heavy to be lifted up.

I feel like Marissa always does really well with her cast of side characters and it was no different in this story. Cheshire our little gossiper of a cat, Hatta (I feel like I need to go back and re-read his scenes with an eye for detail soon) and everyone we meet at the tea party, Peter Peter who was so creepy and last but not least Mary Ann! I really enjoyed reading about her relationship with Catherine and seeing their dynamic play out. I almost forgot about Raven! I couldn’t quite figure out what my feelings about Raven were for the longest time (I feel like I almost automatically like anything to do with ravens since reading The Raven Cycle – even if this is a very different type of thing) and then there is the last third of the book and the ending especially.

Overall, I truly and fully enjoyed this story and Marissa definitely has made me curious about Wonderland and all of its characters. I feel like I should pick up more books set in Wonderland in the near future!

  (0)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(382)

679 Bibliotheken, 24 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 199 Rezensionen

magie, spiel, caraval, fantasy, liebe

Caraval

Stephanie Garber , Diana Bürgel
Flexibler Einband: 400 Seiten
Erschienen bei Piper, 20.03.2017
ISBN 9783492704168
Genre: Jugendbuch

Rezension:

Caraval tells the story of Scarlett and Donatella (who is referred to as Tella most of the time), sisters who live under the strict and abusive rule of their father, Governor Dragna on the island Trisda. The sisters have never been able to leave Trisda, but Scarlett has been dreaming about visiting Caraval – an annual performance where the audience participates in the show, for years now. Scarlett, now engaged to a man she has never met, has been writing to Legend (the Master of Caraval) for six years by the time she and Tella are finally invited to the show.

Scarlett and Tella are joined by Julian, a sailor who helps them get to Caraval. Upon their arrival at Caraval, Tella is kidnapped and Scarlett discovers this years mission: find Tella first and be granted a wish by Legend.

Every year, before the performance begins the participants are reminded that Caraval is just a game and not to get swept up in it.

Before we get into the review of Caraval, can we please talk about the design of this book first? The cover is absolutely gorgeous. The colors really pop and the reflective star behind the title is so pretty and great in photographs (you won’t believe how many pictures I have taken of this book!). Once you remove the dust jacket, you get this beautiful and reflective tear drop on the front cover and title on the spine. But the beauty doesn’t stop there! No! Once we actually turn to the pages of the book, we’ve got stunning divider pages and each chapter has decorative elements too. You gotta love that attention to detail!

Let’s talk writing for a bit! Stephanie Garber writes very descriptive which allows the reader to really dive into the world and picture it the way Garber intended you to see it. We start chapter two with

Scarlett’s feelings came in colors even brighter than usual. The urgent red of burning coals. The eager green of new grass buds.

and it continues this way for the entirety of the book. Garber tells her story in colors and smells and you can’t help yourself but to picture all of these things. When I first heard about how descriptive her writing style was, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it – I am usually not too big of a fan of that writing style. But I loved it in this book!

The writing was also one of the reasons why I just couldn’t put this book down at some point. Things were happening so fast, I kept turning page after page, chapter after chapter until I got to that last page! The other aspect was the great story! The closer we got to the final night of Caraval the more secrets were uncovered while more questions seemed to pop up simultaneously. I can’t tell you how often I thought I had things all figured out, just to then stop mid sentence to update my Goodreads, because I was wrong or a new thought popped into my head. It was fantastic! That’s another aspect I truly loved about this story: it kept you guessing!

You kept asking yourself if you were being swept away too far – the very thing you’ve been warned about twice! Were you taking everything you read at face value? Should you be questioning things more? The answer is probably yes. But it’s all part of the experience of Caraval!

We’ve covered the great writing and story, now let’s talk characters! Like Scarlett, I am an older sister too (the oldest, actually) so I was able to relate to what Scarlett was feeling and going through quite well. I understood her need to protect Tella at all costs, to make sure no harm would come to her and to be willing to do anything for Tella. And it was beautiful to see that in Scarlett, but I also loved the fact that Scarlett started to do things for herself and to think of herself as the story progressed.

The love the sisters have for each other is probably one of the most beautiful things in this story. It’s this love that really motivates Scarlett and Tella in their actions and decisions – I was amazed at how far they were willing to go for each other.

Another character who plays a significant role in Caraval is Julian, the sailor who appeared on Trisda just a month before the sisters are invited to Carval. He offers to take the sisters to Caraval on his boat and then joins Scarlett for her search of Tella. Stephanie Garber did such a fantastic job writing Julian – he ended up being the one aspect about Caraval that I kept second guessing and wondering about the entire time I was reading. I thought I had him figured out so, so many times! Discovering that Scarlett isn’t the only player driven by their love was so great! It truly shows you how far a person is willing to go!

Legend has this mysterious feel about him through the entirety of Caraval. We are given little pieces of back story here and there, but there is still so much more to his character! The last couple of chapters of Caraval give us a different side to Legend that I am so excited for Stephanie Garber to explore and tell us more about!

The ending is also something I really enjoyed about Caraval. While the story gets wrapped up nicely, we are given new information which sets up the sequel and has me really angry that I have to wait months and months until I get to jump back into this world! That’s why you should never read a debut novel right after it’s released – especially if it’s a series/trilogy. The waiting after you finish is going to kill you.

  (0)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(1)

7 Bibliotheken, 0 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 1 Rezension

A List of Cages

Robin Roe
Fester Einband: 320 Seiten
Erschienen bei Disney-Hyperion, 10.01.2017
ISBN 9781484763803
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:

A List Of Cages follows two teenage boys: Adam, a senior in high school and aide to the school’s psychologist and Julian, a freshman who keeps skipping out on his appointments with said psychologist. Adam and Julian meet each other for the (seemingly) first time when Adam is sent to take Julian to his appointment – which is also when Adam realizes he knows Julian: they used to be foster brothers a couple of years ago.

Julian hasn’t had it easy since his parents passed away when he was a child and he was taken to live with his uncle after staying with Adam and his mother at first. Julian is a boy who has been keeping to himself and has trouble opening up to and interacting with people – Adam included.

One of this book’s main themes is friendship and kindness and it’s written about so beautifully, you can feel the love and kindness that is being spread by all of the characters. Adam’s kindness and friendship is what ultimately brings Julian into Adam’s circle of friends and helps Julian to open up and be more outgoing and also accept the kindness and love he is being shown.

I want to make sure that I talk about a topic that is described multiple times throughout this book: child abuse. I was debating whether or not I should talk about it in my review but after thinking about it for a couple of days and talking to people about it, I decided to put it in here. It’s important that you are aware that the topic of child abuse is described multiple times and at points in great detail in this book. If this is something you can’t read about – please think twice about picking this book up!

Personally, I didn’t know much going into this book and I was able to process and deal with the describtions of child abuse but it was at times very difficult – especially towards the end where I felt almost as trapped as Julian.

But overall, taking everything into consideration this book had to offer, I am really glad I picked it up and read it. I would recommend you do too – if you feel comfortable.

It has taken me a couple of days to decide how to rate this book and I think I have come to a conclusion for now: 4 stars. 

  (0)
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(6)

11 Bibliotheken, 0 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 2 Rezensionen

parallelwelten, freundschaft, jugendroman, magie, romantik

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic)

V E Schwab
Fester Einband: 624 Seiten
Erschienen bei Tor Books, 21.02.2017
ISBN 9780765387462
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:

All I can tell you without spoiling you is: read this trilogy. The world is built so well. The magic system is awesome. The characters and their dynamics are everything I could have asked for and more! This is a must read for fantasy fans for sure!

Before we get into this review, you might wanna grab a drink and a snack! If this goes anything the way my previous review went, this is going to be a long one! I hope you don’t mind! 

PLOT

A Conjuring Of Light picks up shortly after A Gathering Of Shadows as we follow Lila into White London as she races to rescue and save both Kell and Rhy. Meanwhile, Osaron escaped into Red London and unfolds his plan to overtake the city and rule it as its new king. As Osaron’s power and reign spreads, our characters set off on a race to find something that is believed to be impossible – all to save Red London and its citizens.

The plot was definitely a lot more balanced in A Conjuring Of Light than it was in the first two books – things are constantly happening and the story steadily develops which I enjoyed a lot!

Overall, the plot kept me engaged and turning page after page! I also cried multiple times while reading this book – the first time about 50 pages into the story. The most heartbreaking cry was towards the end and I found myself shaking and sobbing loudly at about 4 AM.

Remember how I talked about how the stakes in the previous book weren’t high? Well, that definitely changed in this one! You could actually feel the dangers of the different situations and upcoming missions and I loved it!

WRITING

Victoria Schwab’s writing continues to be really awesome and it definitely makes for a great reading experience! She also writes in a way that makes you really experience the characters emotions – be it pain or joy!

After finishing this trilogy I am also 100% convinced that I need to read all of Victoria’s books currently released and yet to be released! 

CHARACTERS

Before I get into more detailed notes about our main characters I just want to mention something that really bothered me while reading this book but that I also noticed in the previous books.

I’ve talked about the lack of female characters in this world in my previous review and then while reading A Conjuring Of Light it really bothered me how so many of the female characters we knew by name were killed off? It was usually done in a rather brutal manner too. A couple of men die too but it’s never described in as much detail as it was with the female characters. I really want to know why that is a thing happening in this trilogy. Has Victoria ever talked about this before?

Now that that’s put to paper, let’s talk about our main characters!

Lila continues to be a freaking badass woman who kicks some serious ass throughout this entire book! She is also not afraid to voice her opinion and to talk back when she needs to – king Maxim got some of that for sure and I was reading and cheering Lila for it! Because boy, did king Maxim deserve it!

We also continue to explore Lila’s magic and we see her use it more and test its limits of both her own magic but also the Antari magic itself! Lila also quite grew as a person in this book and I loved seeing her grow into the woman she became by the end of this trilogy. Remember how I said I wanted to be a pirate on Lila’s ship? Yeah, that is definitely still something I would love to do!

We have seen Rhy slowly grow into his role as future king in A Gathering Of Shadows and even more so in this book and I honestly fell so much more in love with him through it all! Rhy’s transformation and growth was so fascinating to see and I could have spent so much more time with him and see him in his role! 

Rhy was probably one of the characters who had me feel with them the most! I was cheering for him so much and then I was right there with him during the hard moments when he really showed the kind person he had become but also the kind of person he wanted to be. Rhy Maresh is a gift.

On top of all that, we also get to explore the way Rhy feels about magic and his lack of it. We get to join him as he finds ways to show his strength despite not having any magic of his own and that was truly inspiring!

I came to love Alucard quite quickly in A Gathering Of Shadows and my love just continued to grow in A Conjuring Of Light! Alucard had some really heartbreaking scenes throughout this entire book and my heart couldn’t handle it! I also really enjoyed learning more about his past and how his and Rhy’s relationship came to the point we picked up at in A Gathering Of Shadows!

King Maxim also finally played more of a role in this book, after basically being a background character for the past two books – the same goes for Queen Emira. It was interesting seeing his limited interactions with both his sons and how their relationships changed and grew.

And finally, we can’t forget about Kell! Kell who went through quite the arc during the course of this trilogy! The man he became by the end of this book is quite different to the man we first met in A Darker Shade Of Magic and it’s understandable that he’s different and changed and finally willing to be more selfish with his own needs and wants.

I also want to say something else: Victoria Schwab has such a talent for writing great character dynamics! I really and truly enjoyed reading about all of these different dynamics between the characters – no matter if in pairs of two (Kell and Alucard were hilarious to watch and Rhy and Kell are the best sibling dynamic I have come across in a while!) or as a group! Because let me tell you, scenes between Rhy, Kell, Alucard and Lila were always so much fun to read and I couldn’t get enough of them!

PACING

I feel like the pacing of A Conjuring Of Light was done so much better than in the previous two books which resulted in the story flowing really nicely! The pacing in this one was everything I wanted the first two books to be. I felt like they needed much longer for things to actually start happening and for the story to develop.

Obviously, this book was much longer than especially the first one and while you could sometimes feel the length of the book, it never felt like it was too long!

ENJOYMENT

I really and truly loved this book and this entire trilogy so much! I felt with these characters so much. I felt their joy, their losses and their love for each other and I loved every second of it! I rooted so much for them and their world – even Holland.

I am really sad that this story has come to an end and that I don’t get to spend any more time with this lot! But I am also hopeful that we might still get more stories set in this world as quite a few things were still left open with the possibility for much more! And I definitely hope Victoria explore this world more in the future!

This book was hands down and without a doubt a 5-star read for me! I loved it so much and I was really satisfied with how this story wrapped up!

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(12)

25 Bibliotheken, 2 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 5 Rezensionen

fantasy, parallelwelten, magie, englische literatur, v.e. schwab

A Gathering of Shadows

Victoria Schwab
Fester Einband: 512 Seiten
Erschienen bei Tor Books, 23.02.2016
ISBN 9780765376473
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:


This review was originally posted to my blog readingthroughthenights!




It actually took me a couple of days to pick up A Gathering Of Shadows once I finished reading A Darker Shade Of Magic (click here to read my review) and even longer to actually finish reading it. I had mentioned in my February wrap up that I had a difficult reading month and I think I was still feeling all of it when I picked up AGOS which probably contributed to it taking me almost two weeks to finish the book (among something else that I will get into in my review in a second!). But I finally did it and now I get to share my thoughts with you guys!


Plot


We pick up four months after the events of A Darker Shade Of Magic as the kingdom and Rhy, in particular, are preparing for the Element Games that are being held in Arnes this year. We catch up with our favorite characters and are introduced to Alucard Emery and his crew aboard the Night Spire.


Even though A Gathering Of Shadows says it's about the Element Games that are about to take place, it takes us a good 300 pages to actually get to the games and I just did not enjoy that. And it's not like the story was bad or boring before we get to the games, not at all! But if your synopsis says we're about to experience this competition I expect a good part of the book to be about the competition!


Another thing I didn't enjoy about the competition was the fact that there were seemingly no real stakes for the winner or losers. I thought this would be more of a 'to the death' type of scenario and was a bit disappointed to find out that's not at all what was going to happen. All losing a game did was eliminate you from the next round. That's it. I would've loved more action and higher risks!


I was also expecting to be introduced to some kind of 'big bad' that would come in and disrupt the games and what they stood for and wreck havoc on Arnes at some point but again, there wasn't much of that either.


We are introduced to the 'big bad' and I am terrified for all of these characters' fates in A Conjuring Of Lights but it felt like AGOS was used as more of a setup for the final book and that's a bit disappointing, to be honest. It almost feels like this could've been a duology if things were shifted around a little bit.


There are great things about the plot though, I don't want to make it seem otherwise! I loved that we further explored Kell's feelings about his place in the royal family and we get to experience why he feels that way. We get to explore how Rhy feels about the events that took place in ADSOM and the after effects those events have on both Kell and Rhy and their relationship.


The first chapter of this book was just so much fun to read and once again showcased how god damn brilliant Lila Bard is and just how stupid and easily fooled men are. I admit I was a bit worried for her at first and by the end of it all, I was just laughing because of course. Lila and her journey in this story were so much fun to witness and I couldn't be more excited for what is yet to come!


Writing


I have really quickly come to like Victoria Schwab's writing and I actually find myself imagining the world she has created in this trilogy - which I don't do often. Or ever, probably. People often have ideas of how characters look like in their minds but I am just not that reader. You show me a picture of a character and say 'That's what XYZ looks like.' and I will be like 'Okay!'.


And while I don't have pictures of the characters in my mind for Victoria's books either, I often feel like I am in the middle of the story as things are happening. Especially during the Element Games. I felt like I was in those arenas with the magicians!


The writing of the games - or more of the fighting during the games - was so well done! I could feel time slow down when it did during the fights and I could feel time pick up and almost fly by too. I also want to mention a scene in ADSOM that I absolutely loved because of Victoria's writing (pages 131 and 132) where I felt like I was watching a movie and could the scene play out in detail before me - which, again, isn't something that happens often!


I'm only two books into Victoria's works and I am already wanting to pick up everything else she's released (I keep eyeing This Savage Song!) because I love her writing so much!


Characters


Oh how much I love these characters! I was sold on the main trio from the very beginning and I keep thinking about how attached I was to especially Rhy after his introduction and nothing has changed about it. I am actually more worried now than ever before - for all of them. But especially Rhy. The young prince has really grown on me! But let's break this up into individual characters and get into a bit more detail, shall we?


Let's start with Lila as she's also the first person we check in with! I've just mentioned how awesome Lila is in that first chapter and she continues to be the kickass woman we were introduced to in the first book but she also starts to slowly open up to people and lets her guard down a little bit and I really loved seeing it! We also get to see her trying to figure out her magic and where the limits are - are there any?


Someone who Lila spends a lot of time with is Alucard and can I just say how quickly this guy stole my heart? Not as fast as Rhy, but it was fast! He is just so much fun to read about and his different personas are interesting to explore and I need to hear all about his backstory and what led to the events he talked about - because it was still kind of vague and then we get comments from other characters about Alucard and I'm just sitting here like 'Gimme more!' [I hope none of you have that Britney stuck in your heads now].


I had made a note while reading ADSOM about how I was worried about the effects the Vitari magic might have on Kell in the future and we actually got to see more of it in this book. We witness Kell dealing with feeling restless and needing to release some of that energy by spending hours upon hours fighting and training.


Kell's arc in this book was probably one of my favorites so far. We get to repeatedly hear him voice his loyalty to the royal family and especially Rhy and to see that loyalty be questioned was so horrible to read.


Lastly, let's talk about my favorite prince: Rhy! He has definitely grown as a character and he seems to be taking his role as future king much more serious in this book and it was almost frightening to see him put on his 'king shoes' if you will. There is this scene in which he talks to Kell's personal guards and that transformation was insane.


Just like Kell, Rhy also has to deal with the aftermath of the events in ADSOM and you see him really struggle with what Kell did and the gift Kell gave him and in a way, that struggle is what sets off the events of the Element Games and the events that follow after.


We've seen the dynamics between Lila, Kell and Rhy so it was fun to throw Alucard into the mix and see how he switches things up and influences situations - and boy was it fun! I was eagerly awaiting for these four to finally come face to face and the payoff was definitely worth it! And with how this book ended, I can't wait to see how those last few moments are going to further change the dynamic between certain characters!


Pacing


Certain plot points and the pacing were the two things I struggled with in this book. I feel like the beginning of the book was stretched out too much and could have been shortened quite a bit. On the other hand, I would have liked to see more of the games as they were the focal point of this novel - at least to my understanding. There was such a build-up to the games and then they took part over less than a hundred pages (I think). That's just not well balanced enough for me.


To my understanding (and my German teacher is going to be so pissed if I get this wrong) a story is acted out in three parts:




-Build-up
-Climax
-Resolution


and I feel like we stopped mid-climax and that again doesn't sit right with me. Obviously, Victoria wants to keep the reader on the edge of their seats and keep them wanting more and for them to pick up the next book but I feel like that could have been done differently. Or maybe if the events of the book had been more balanced the ending wouldn't irritate me as much?


It felt like we were just getting somewhere and then the book ended - in the most horrible way ever and I can't believe people had to wait a year for the final book! I don't know how you people made it through!


Enjoyment


Despite my problems with a few plot points and the pacing, I still very much enjoyed this book! The character dynamics were so fun to read about and getting to see a bit more of the world Victoria created was fantastic too!


In my reading updates I talked about how the last 30-40 pages felt like I was falling off a very steep hill and there was nothing to stop or slow down my fall and I weirdly enough really enjoyed that feeling while reading those final pages? I was yelling at my book because surely that couldn't be happening right now? Surely Victoria wouldn't play us that dirty? Right? Wrong.


That to me is a sign of a great story, though! I want to feel emotions while reading your book! I want to laugh with your characters. I want to cry (or at least tear up) with your characters! I want to feel rage at what is happening to your characters (so, so much rage)! And I got all of that while reading A Gathering Of Shadows!


Final thoughts


I went into this review not knowing what I was going to rate this book (I haven't given it a rating on Goodreads yet either) even though I had written down mostly positive notes after I finished reading this book and I still stand by that. This book was great for the most part. But I feel like the pacing and balance of the story are really throwing me off here. I gave A Darker Shade Of Magic 4 stars on Goodreads and I was originally going to give the same rating to A Gathering Of Shadows, but I don't know if I can do that.


Let's summarize my thoughts really quickly (hopefully this is going to help me with the rating)!


The good
-the writing - I would give it 4/5 stars
-the characters and their dynamics - I would give it 3.5/5 stars (I am still missing more female characters who play a prominent role)
-Enjoyment - I would give this 3.5/5 stars too


The bad
-the balancing of the plot - I would give it 3/5 stars
-the pacing of the book - I would give it 3/5 stars too


Okay, taking all of this into consideration A Gathering Of Shadows is getting a 3,75/5 star rating from me! It's actually 3,5 when you do the math but I feel like this book deserves an almost 4 star rating, so I'm bumping it up to 3,75 stars!

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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(18)

41 Bibliotheken, 3 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 4 Rezensionen

fantasy, london, magie, magic, parallelwelten

A Darker Shade of Magic

Victoria Schwab
Flexibler Einband: 416 Seiten
Erschienen bei Tor Books, 19.01.2016
ISBN 9780765376466
Genre: Fantasy

Rezension:


This review was originally posted to readingthroughthenights (aka my book blog!).


When I first started reading A Darker Shade Of Magic, I was a bit confused when things would start happening, because the first 100 pages are used to introduce us to the characters and the world before the story starts developing further. I wasn't used to these kinds of character introductions, but then I learned that it's typical for Victoria Schwab and it makes sense, actually. I finished those 100 pages and was already too attached to some of the characters and really curious about others. One of my earliest notes to myself was 'Am I supposed to be this attached to Rhy??'. That thought popped up over and over again for the entirety of the book.


I feel like the way we were introduced to Kell, Rhy, Lila, Holland and even the Dane Twins made sure that we would care about them (for the most part) and want to know what happens to them. I found myself rooting for people I probably shouldn't be rooting for and worried for others.


What really drove the story in A Darker Shade Of Magic was the characters and their relationships with each other. Kell and Rhy were such a great dynamic to read about and then we have Lila and Kell who worked off each other so well. There wasn't much of a romance, but I think we might be heading in that direction in the next two books. Which I won't mind, I quite enjoy their back and forth (because Lila isn't one to take shit and I love it) and I can't wait to see where this goes!


Now that I'm thinking about characters and relationships, can we please have more females introduced soon? I feel like apart from the Queen, Astrid Dane and Lila there are no other females and it's weird.


Also, talking about relationships, are we going to put actual words to the little hints that we've been given about one of our characters? Because I would really like that!


I was honestly a bit worried if I would enjoy the traveling between different worlds aspect because I don't have much experience with it, but I ended up really liking it! Schwab did a really great job of explaining how the magic worked so that definitely helped a lot too! The magic was really interesting and at times dark and dangerous and it made for such great character moments towards the last third of the book!


Living in a world where magic isn't distributed equally, you start wondering and questioning and making all these notes to yourself about things and then you get to say 'YES!' for picking up on things (I tend to miss a lot of hints while reading) and the payoff is so great. I can't wait to see how we'll deal with all of that in the next book!


Victoria Schwab did a great job of answering my questions while at the same time giving me more things to wonder about for the next book! I really liked the balance of that! I don't feel like I got out of A Darker Shade Of Magic with more questions than I had before.


One thing I didn't expect was for the story to wrap up so nicely at the end? I kept wondering when Victoria would end the book and if it would be on this huge cliffhanger (which we had a good few of in chapters towards the end), but in the end it felt like the story could have been done at the end of A Darker Shade Of Magic, but it isn't. And the synopsis for A Gathering Of Shadows sounds so exciting!


I ended up giving A Darker Shade Of Magic a 4 star rating on goodreads (you can read my updates while reading here) and I would highly recommend you pick this book up! You'll be able to marathon the entire trilogy too! A Conjuring Of Lights just came out!

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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(1)

1 Bibliothek, 0 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 1 Rezension

The Names They Gave Us

Emery Lord
Flexibler Einband: 380 Seiten
Erschienen bei Bloomsbury Childrens, 04.05.2017
ISBN 9781408877814
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:


This review was originally posted to my blog readingthroughthenights


In Emery Lord's newest release The Names They Gave Us we are introduced to Lucy Hansson, a high school student who has her summer all figured out but then things don't go quite as planned. Her mother's cancer returns, her boyfriend puts their relationship on pause in an effort to figure if this relationship is really what they both want going forward and on top of all of that, Lucy also isn't working as a counselor at her childhood bible camp and instead helps out at Camp Daybreak, a neighbouring camp for troubled kids.


We join Lucy as she tries dealing with her new normal of working at Camp Daybreak, Sundays with her mother and her developing relationships with her fellow counselors at Camp Daybreak.


The plot for The Names They Gave Us sounded really intriguing to me when I first read it and I knew I wanted to read this book and see how Emery Lord would tell this story, even though I was worried that I wouldn't enjoy the religious aspects of the story as that is not something I usually gravitate towards in books I want to read. But I have to say, it wasn't something that felt like it was being pushed down your throat at any given point in the story. Religion was an important part of who Lucy was, yes. But it wasn't all Lucy was or what this story was about. I really appreciated that!


This story truly was about friendships and the relationships Lucy has build with the people in her life. Her parents are active participants in her life - even though they do keep secrets from her. And once Lucy arrives at Camp Daybreak she immediately gets along really well with Anna and through her connects with Jones, Keely and Tambe, a group of counselors who have worked at Camp Daybreak together before. I really enjoyed watching their dynamic!


This was my first novel by Emery Lord and I didn't know what to expect from her writing because of it. But I really enjoyed it!


I enjoyed that she took the time to introduce us to Camp Daybreak and it's daily rhythm; that we got to experience a day in the life with Lucy and her group of girls. We also get to explore the surroundings of Camp Daybreak a little bit, which was a fun addition to the story and allowed the characters to show a different side of themselves, which is definitely something I appreciate a lot in a story!


I've already talked a little bit about the characters, so I am not going to repeat all of it again here. What I do want to add is that I really appreciated the diverse set of characters that Emery Lord introduced us to in her story.


And just how Religion wasn't Lucy's defining character trait, none of these characters were just the aspects that highlighted them as diverse. It was never the black character XY or anything like that. Yes, character XY was black but also caring and loving and talented and so much more and I really loved seeing that!


The Names They Gave Us was definitely a well-paced story for a majority of the book. It had really small moments where I wished the author had taken more time to deal with situations that came up, but those weren't major story points or drawbacks for me.


To be completely honest, I was a little bit concerned that I might not enjoy this book as much as I would a different book with characters who weren't teenagers, but those worries were for nothing! I actually really enjoyed reading about these characters and their day to day lives as counselors at camp but also as just teenagers on their nights and days off.


Maybe that was because these characters didn't feel like teenagers most of the time? They felt they were mature for their age which definitely influenced my enjoyment!


This was a really quick, easy read and highly enjoyable! And now that I've read this, I definitely want to check out the author's previous works!

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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(31)

58 Bibliotheken, 9 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 7 Rezensionen

schattenjäger, werwölfe, dämonen, vampire, liebe

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices)

Cassandra Clare
Flexibler Einband: 720 Seiten
Erschienen bei Simon & Schuster Childrens Books, 23.05.2017
ISBN 9781471116650
Genre: Sonstiges

Rezension:  
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LOVELYBOOKS-Statistik

(4)

6 Bibliotheken, 0 Leser, 0 Gruppen, 3 Rezensionen

Now I Rise

Kiersten White
E-Buch Text: 480 Seiten
Erschienen bei RHCP Digital, 06.07.2017
ISBN 9781448196890
Genre: Jugendbuch

Rezension:


This review was originally posted to my blog readingthroughthenights!


To be completely honest with you guys, I have no idea how to write this review? I absolutely adored both books in The Conqueror Saga and all I want to do is yell at you guys to read them both as soon as possible? I want to tell you to run out and get your hands on a copy of And I Darken and then immediately preorder Now I Rise because they deserve all the love they can possibly get!


Now, let's talk about what I loved so much about these two books and make you want to read them too?


Reason #1: The Setting


Up until this point in my reading experience I haven't read any books set in the Ottoman Empire and so this was a completely new territory for me and I was a bit worried that I would get lost in the story a little bit and it admittedly happened a couple of times while listening to And I Darken but the story was so much easier to follow in Now I Rise! I loved getting to explore this part of the world and of history especially. I do enjoy learning about historical events but unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to get into historical fiction before. I couldn't be happier that this was my first look into what historical fiction can be!


Reason #2: The Diversity


We all know that I have made it a goal to read more diverse books this year and I was so happy about all of the diversity in this book! We had racial, sexual and religious diversity from the very beginning and I really appreciated it! I really enjoyed Radu's first reaction to partaking in prayer with a Muslim man and his constant struggle with religion and how religion guided him in his life and in his decisions. The story's setting in time and place also means that there are prejudices against various diversities included in this book and we get to see the characters deal with them and it gives them such room for growth and development! 


Reason #3: Complex Relationships Between Our Three Main Characters


I think one of the aspects I loved most about these books so far are the complex relationships between our three main characters Lada, Radu and Mehmed. We follow them from the moment they enter this world and we get to see them grow up and develop different relationships with each other that each come with their own difficulties and tests over the years and I loved that so, so much. Seeing Lada and Radu's relationship change over the years was even more interesting as they are always in competition with each other and such polar opposites in a lot of ways.


Reason #4: Lada Dracul


Honestly, this trilogy has given me a new female character to adore and I am so thankful! And while I thought I have been introduced to kickass characters before, I think Lada by far takes the crown! From a very young age, she is ruthless and not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right and even more so for what she believes she deserves and seeing her grow into the person she is by the end of Now I Rise was both awesome and absolutely terrifying. I wouldn't want to get on her bad side - ever. Seriously, I am afraid for the fate of anyone who dares to get in her way in the final book of this trilogy!


Reason #5: There Is Kindness Even In The Most Dark Places


This is something that really stood out to me while reading this book. Even when things are truly bad and there are such horrible things happening Lada and Radu will show kindness to the people they think deserve it. I feel like this was even more so true for Radu during the events of this book. He was surrounded by so much horror and hurt and he still tried to show kindness when he could while still fulfilling his role. But I wouldn't compare Radu's kindness to the one that Lada showed. She is an entirely different person and shows kindness in a different way.

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