Friday, July 21, 2017

July Wrap up - Book Haul & What to Expect Next Month

 Hi there!
Yep, I'm totally writing my wrap-up for July!
I'll be packing my suitcase for a 2 week camping trip somewhere in Germany/Switzerland!
So ready to relax :)



Thanks for stopping by, I'll see you in two weeks.

Enjoy 💛

   

 


PHYSICAL BOOKS
(either from Celebrate Books, friends, authors, giveaways or self-bought)

   
   

   
   

Did you read any of the books above?!
Let me know!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Everything is Normal: Life and Times of a Soviet Kid

Author: Sergey Grechishkin
Started reading: July 2nd 2017
Finished the book: July 17th 2017
Pages: 305
Genres: Autobiography, Memoir
Published: 2017
Source: Got a digital copy from the author
Goodreads score: Not enough ratings
My score:
Synopsis
This book is both a memoir and a social history. On one hand, it is a light-hearted worm’s-eye-view of the USSR through one middle-class Soviet childhood in the 1970s - 1980s. On the other hand, it is a reflection on the mundane deprivations and existential terrors of day-to-day life in Leningrad in the decades preceding the collapse of the USSR.

The author occupies a peculiar place in the Soviet world. He is the son of a dissident father and also the step-son of a politically favored Leningrad University professor and Party member. He also occupies a peculiar place in the literal geographic sense- both his home and school are only a few blocks away from the city’s KGB headquarters, where a yet-unknown officer called Vladimir Putin is learning his trade..

My thoughts
I've never really known much about Russia, despite all the negativity from the press and the media. I was very curious what a little kid could tell me and teach me about his childhood in the Soviet Union. I was surprised by this book! Although it felt long at some point, I was enjoying the things I read most of the time.

Pros
  • Kid's point of view: The strong part about this book, is that it's told from a kid's point of view. The way a kid is experiencing things is always very different from an adult's point of view. The fact that Sergey was pretty happy in his childhood and actually has some great memories is a nice way to experience the Soviet Union.
  • Nice telling voice: The telling voice is awesome. I have no idea how I can explain this any further to you, but I enjoyed "listening" to Sergey; telling me about his childhood. It felt like listening to somebody instead of reading it yourself.
  • Educational: Like I just pointed out; I hear a lot of negative stories about Russia and have seen some documentaries that aren't always that positive. The fact that this kid is happy with the things he has and the way things are described are different than what you always hear from the media and the press. I like to hear the stories from somebody that has been there, instead of others who form their own conclusions. And don't forget; Learning about the communism and the way things were on the other side of Europe during WWII and after, was highly educational!
  • Sparkle of humor: I like the way Sergey start's his chapters, actually with some sarcasm or a little inside joke. But during the story you can always expect a little spark of sarcasm around the corner. It made the story light and enjoyable to read!
Cons
  • Feels long: The story feels like a long read. It didn't feel like 305 pages at all to me. At some point I felt like the story could've been maybe 50/100 pages shorter. And somewhere around 70% in the book this feeling started working against me.
Overall
 This book was something I don't read very often and I liked it! I'm actually pretty curious what Sergey did after school, where he met his wife, what he did for a living and when/how he made the decision to move to Londen.
Educational and lighthearted with a great telling voice. The Soviet Union from a kid's point of view is a lot different than hearing adults talking about it!

Other opinions about this book
"This is one extraordinary book. If you don't read this, then you are so not in the cool posse. If you read true stories a ton like me, or regardless of the possibility that you don't, begin now, with this one. Honestly, do it. I cracking cherished this."
- Antonio Mailer @ Inkshares

"A rare, first-hand glimpse into the lives of our Soviet brothers and sisters before the collapse of the USSR. I anticipate this to be a historical treasure!"
- Ferd Crôtte @ Inkshares

Memorable quotes from this book
"But as history teaches us, the only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability."

"Adults like to say that childhood passes quickly, that it's over in the blink of an eye. I can't agree. When you become an adult, that's when life starts roaring by."

"in the Soviet Union there is freedom of speech. But it's not written anywhere that one should be free after his speech."

Do you read a lot of autobiography books? Why or why not?


Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)


Author: Marissa Meyer
Started reading: July 8th 2017
Finished the book: July 16th 2017
Pages: 552
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA
Published: February 4th 2014
Source: Bought the book
Goodreads score: 4.46
My score:
Synopsis
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.



My thoughts
This series is awesome! I loved Cinder, that's one of my favorites of all time. I've already read it two times! Scarlet wasn't really a favorite, but still a good book in this series. Cress totally tipped the scale towards awesome again! I liked it better than Scarlet, and that's why I give it 5 apples! I can't even think of any cons, now that I try to think about it...

Pros
  • Ending: The ending left me with goosebumps! I totally felt pumped to read the next book and I already added that one to my list! Hope to read it very soon. The ending of this book was one of the strongest parts. It's the main reason I gave the book 5 apples. I was like; "Hell yeah! BRING IT ON!"
  • Diversity in characters: With Cress added to the bunch, I feel like there is a nice diversity in characters. She's very shy and soft and is trying to keep the nerves away by pretending to be someone else. I think she is so sweet and kind and lovely, very different from Scarlet and Cinder!
  • Doesn't feel long: This book has 552 pages! It didn't feel long AT ALL. You can rush through the pages in a nice fast pacing and there is a lot going on, this keeps you reading! It's so weird how a book of 200 pages can feel long and how a book of 552 pages doesn't feel that long at all....
  • Fast pacing: I think this is the reason that the book doesn't feel that long. The pacing is great. You switch between different settings and different main characters and every time something new is happening. It keeps you turning the pages and wanting to know what is going to happen after. It's never dull or hard to get through. 
  • Keeping the fairytale alive: SO STRONG. The way Marissa Meyer can keep the fairy tales alive in every book is great. Everytime I start a Lunar Chronicles book, I'm curious how Meyer is going to remind me of this one fairy tale! I need to point this out, because, of course the main focus is on the fairy tales in every book, but this is a GIFT, a TALENT if you can tell a totally different story but still remind people of that one fairy tale...
Cons
I really can't tell you.. I have nothing to complain about!

Overall
I was reminding myself that I was reading Cress while also reading ACOWAR. I was totally blown away by ACOWAR and I'm still having a book-hangover, but this is actually a great compliment towards Marissa Meyer. I just finished my favorite book of all times, and I still loved Cress. I was so scared that I would get into a reading slump, but this book totally pulled me through. At the end of the book I was like: "YEAAAHH GIVE ME MORE BABY!!"
So ready for Winter.

Other opinions about this book
"As always, Meyer excels at interweaving new characters that extend beyond the archetypes of their fairy tale into the main story. Readers will eagerly await the final installment of this highly appealing and well-constructed series."
- School Library Journal

"Once again, Meyer offers up a science fiction fantasy page-turner that salutes women's intelligence and empowerment... Old and new romances, unfinished story lines, and the prognostication of wartime horrors all pave the way for Meyer's much anticipated next installment, Winter."
- Booklist

"This multilayered, action-packed page-turner is sure to please series fans."
- The Horn Book

Memorable quotes from this book
"Maybe there isn't such a thing as fate. Maybe it's just the opportunities we're given, and what we do with them. I'm beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don't just happen. We have to make them ourselves."

"Hello?" A girl again. "I know you can hear me. I'm sorry my friend is such a wing nut. You can just ignore him."
"That's usually what we do," said the other feminine voice."

What's your opinion on fairytale retellings? 
And did you read this series?!