Monday, 22 August 2016

City of Lost Souls

*Disclaimer* This is the fifth book in “The Mortal Instruments” series so if you haven´t read the other four books yet, please be aware of spoilers. I would not advise reading if you want to start this series without being spoiled, but if you don´t mind feel free to continue on, just be warned. However if you have read City of Fallen Angels, this review won´t spoil the book.   

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 554
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Cassandra Clare has done it again. Even though The Mortal Instruments is certainly not the best series I have ever read, Clare manages to make each book better, which is something I am in awe of. City of Lost Souls is my favourite instalment in this series so far. As some of you might know by now, I don´t particularly love how Cassandra Clare constructs her plots. I find them to be a bit too slow building to grab my full attention right away. But with this book it was a bit different. Clare uses multiple POVs to showcase different story arcs that at the end come together beautifully to build the finale, which to be honest wasn´t as great as the previous one in City of Fallen Angels. Still I found the overall plot in this book, to be probably the strongest in all of her books I have read so far. 

This book also gives the reader more of a background knowledge of different characters, which I very much appreciated. Once again Clare highlights a certain character, in the last one it was Simon, in this one it is Alec. We haven´t seen as much of Alec as other characters, so it was nice getting to know him and the way he thinks more.  But where this books really shines is in Jace´s character development. We see him and Sebastian being melted and separated and melted and separated over and over again, so I wasn´t quite sure how much of the real Jace was left. But in the epilogue we see how much he has grown due to this circumstance. I reckon if I would reread this book, I would be able to pick up on a lot more subtle hints that point in this direction.

So what else is there to say? Well the classic things that Cassandra Clare is known for. It is a really funny book, I am a fan of all the relationships (seriously I ship them all) and I LOVE the nudges to the Infernal Devices, those are so great. Also it was really fun seeing bits of every city they went to.
What is your favourite ship from TMI? Let me know in the comments down below!
Read on xx


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

August Releases

A bit late, but but at least you can already get most of these releases now, right? ;)

Enter Title Here, by Kanakia Rahul

As the end of summer approaches, so does the time where we grab for the last contemporary book on our TBR-Piles. But which book would be better to chime in the beginning of fall/the start of the new school year than a combination of contemporary and school. Rashmi is the typical over the top-perfect-in-everything kind of student, who just wants to go to Stanford. So to get herself a head start she gets herself a literary agent. But to write a more relatable novel she starts doing all the typical American girl things like get a boyfriend.
Published August 2nd

It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover

Have I ever read a Colleen Hoover book? Well…. no. But with such a huge following, like she has I would think it is safe to say, that her books are quite enjoyable. From what I have heard so far it seems as it is another crowd pleasing favourite, which is enjoyed better the less you know about it, so we are going to leave it at that.
Published August 2nd

Attack on Titan, Volume 19

I have by no means caught up with this series yet, but it is always nice to have another volume of this AMAZING series. After Titans destroyed most of humanity, Humanity has withdrawn into one last city. The story picks up five hundred years later, when suddenly a colossal titan appears, who destroys the saving wall. I would highly recommend this series, especially if you liked the Mistborn series, by Brandon Sanderson.
Published August 2nd

Nevernight, by Jay Kristoff

This book! It has everything I could ever want (except for maybe dragons and ice cream, but I haven´t read it yet, so who knows?): an assassin, a boarding school AND magic? Heck yes, sign me in! But I am still a bit anxious, as the reviews so far have been really split. It seems that people either love or hate this book, so we will see.
Published August 11th

The Bronze Key, by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

I read the first book, called “The Iron Trial”, a couple of months ago. It is a fun Middle Grade series, in which the main protagonist Callum goes to this magic school. It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter, so if you have already finished the Cursed Child and can´t let go this one offers a similar premise.
Published August 30th

Furthermore, by Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh Mafi is best known for her bestselling Shatter Me series, which once again: I have not read yet! So I can´t go off that but the synopsis sounds cool. Apparently colour plays a big role in this one so that will be a new concept, that I have never seen done before.
Published August 30th

Saturday, 30 July 2016

July Wrap-Up

If I were to summon up my reading habits this month the only way I would be able to describe it were: Weird.
Hey guys, how are you? Long-time no see. I am sorry, but my computer had to be repaired and it took longer than I thought it would. But at least I read a lot! Especially during my vacation, but after that things got strange. I fell into a reading slump, but only kind of. I wanted to read, but no book grabbed my attention so I started I think five different ones until I finally committed and finished a book. But since then the only thing I have read this month are graphic novels/comics. Nothing wrong with that, but it I would rather read novels. Anyway, moving on to what I actually read:

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare          4/5 Stars
Once again a great book by Cassandra Clare, really liked the plot (Review to come)
Got this one as an ARC, this one just kinda fell flat. Pretty forgettable
The Well of Ascension, by Brandon Sanderson       4.5/5 Stars
While not as good as the first book, this was a really great high fantasy book (Review to come)
Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella     5/5 Stars
ReadbyZoe on YouTube read these books a while ago so I wanted to pick them up as well. LOVED it. Really fun and fast read with loveable characters
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, by Sophie Kinsella    4/5 Stars
This one repeated lots of things from the first book, so while still enjoyable, it just wasn´t as refreshing and fun
Shopaholic Ties the Knot, by Sophie Kinsella          4.5/5 Stars
The plot goes into a different direction and shopping takes the backseat, once again really great (I think I might review the series as a whole, or maybe in pairs, not sure yet)
My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick            2.5/5 Stars
This was the book that helped me start reading again, but it wasn´t pretty good to be honest. The characters were really cliché and the plot felt unnecessarily stretched out. (Review to come)

Graphic Novels:
Attack on Titan Vol 1, by Hajime Isayama    4/5 Stars
I started watching the anime again, so I knew what was going to happen; While really great, the art style was confusing at times
Attack on Titan Vol 2, by Hajime Isayama    4/5 Stars
I really appreciated the scene that was left out of the anime, it gave me a better understanding of Mikasa; I think I still prefer the anime though because the manga isn´t as suspenseful and emotionally gripping
East of West Vol 3: There Is No Us, by Jonathan Hickman         3.5/5 Stars
I took too much time off this series, so I was quite confused by what was going on, but I got back into it by one point; Finally, the threads are intertwining!
East of West Vol 4: Who Wants War? by Jonathan Hickman      4.5/5 Stars
Loved the information (maps, history etc.) at the beginning. Some of the story arcs are becoming understandable, but there is still lots of mystery around what´s really going on; Can´t wait for Volume 5!
Fables Vol 1: Legends in Exile, by Bill Willingham          5/5 Stars
Great first instalment, I can definitely see myself becoming obsessed with this series
Fables Volume 2: Animal Farm, by Bill Willingham         5/5 Stars
This volume was even better!
Seconds, by Bryan Lee O`Malley        4/5 Stars
A really quirky and cute graphic novel. The art style portrays the characters similar to chibis, which is sweet. The dynamic between Katie and the narrator is unlike anything I have read before. Recommend especially for people who want to get into graphic novels!!!
Sweet Tooth Vol 1: Out of the Deep Woods, by Jeff Lemire        3/5 Stars
Didn´t really like the artstyle, but it does fit the story well
Sweet Tooth Vol 2: In Captivity, by Jeff Lemire      3.5/5 Stars
I liked this one better; Also we got some backstory, which is always nice
Sweet Tooth Vol 3: Animal Armies, by Jeff Lemire          3/5 Stars
Didn´t like it as much as the second volume
Chew Vol 1: Taster´s Choice, by John Layman       3/5 Stars
This was a difficult one, I appreciate the plot and the characters, but I wasn´t a fan of the art and it is just a bit too gross for my taste (pun intented), I´ll probably read Vol 2 and then decide if I really want to continue on, I would still recommend it though, because it is by no means a “bad” comic
Y: The Last Man Vol 2: Cycles, by Brian K. Vaughan      4/5 Stars
Even though I didn´t like it as much as the first Volume, I still really liked it! It wasn´t as humorous and I can´t comprehend Hero´s actions. Also: Not cool Yorrick! What about Beth?
Y: The Last Man Vol 3: One Small Step, by Brian K. Vaughan   4/5 Stars
I think this is my least favourite volume in this series yet, it was great until that part with the theatre. That turned me off a bit, but apart from that: Great Volume, great series!
Y: The Last Man Vol 4: Safeword, by Brian K. Vaughan  4.5/5 Stars
The beginning was strange, but after they leave 711 this volume did everything right again.

As you can see, I was pretty busy this month. Do you want me to review any book/comic in particular? Let me know down below and we can discuss it together!

Read on xx

Friday, 22 July 2016

The Neverland Wars, by Audrey Greathouse

*Disclaimer* I was provided with an eARC in exchange for an honest review by Sara from YA Bound Book Tours.

Title: The Neverland Wars
Author: Audrey Greathouse
Pages: 302
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Magic can do a lot—give you flight, show you mermaids, help you taste the stars, and… solve the budget crisis? That's what the grown-ups will do with it if they ever make it to Neverland to steal its magic and bring their children home.

However, Gwen doesn't know this. She's just a sixteen-year-old girl with a place on the debate team and a powerful crush on Jay, the soon-to-be homecoming king. She doesn't know her little sister could actually run away with Peter Pan, or that she might have to chase after her to bring her home safe. Gwen will find out though—and when she does, she'll discover she's in the middle of a looming war between Neverland and reality.

She'll be out of place as a teenager in Neverland, but she won't be the only one. Peter Pan's constant treks back to the mainland have slowly aged him into adolescence as well. Soon, Gwen will have to decide whether she's going to join impish, playful Peter in his fight for eternal youth… or if she's going to scramble back to reality in time for the homecoming dance.

I love Peter Pan. I really do. And I love retellings even more, so it is really sad that this is a book that is best described as forgettable and just ok. Nothing too special and not worth recommending or even remembering. While it is a fast paced read with fun aspects like e.g the mermaids (really enjoyed those) and it does have a nice modern twist on the Peter Pan store I just had lots of problems with it, the biggest one being the characters, especially Gwen. Apart from being a naive girl, the only thing Gwen is the perfect shining star (pun intended) and she is oh so special. Yes, she "sees behind the glamour" of growing up, contrary to all the teenage robots around her, but apart from that she has about zero personality. She justifies lots of her behavior with how her parents treat her, which by the way is NOT how parents treat their kids these days. It is only used as another device to get the authors message across, but while yes, I got what she wanted to achieve, but there is hardly any way around that if the reader is hit over the head with what they should be feeling. Another example for that are the lost boys. They are depicted as these really, once again, naive children, who are so centered around the idea of adventures that they completely shuffle off their families to be in Neverland. I can´t comprehend these actions, but at least they had more character than Gwen did. Also I smell a love triangle coming, which I am not a fan of.

This book just tries to be/do something it does´t have the skill to do. It tries questioning the meaning of growing up and how age and puberty affect us, but really all it does is making me roll my eyes on a seemingly desperate added depth to an already forgettable YA book. I would say if you look for a fast paced read and are willing to over lacking characters, this book might be for you, but it just wash´t for me.

Do you guys know of any other Peter Pan retellings you would recommend? If so I would be really interested in reading them!

Read on xx


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

June Wrap Up

Let´s call this month “Lena is only reading Cassandra Clare” month, shall we?  Because her books are seemingly all that I have read in the last thirty days. (Except for one book I didn´t like, but who cares)

ClockworkAngel, by Cassandra Clare    3.5/5 Stars 
A “fine” first instalment in TID series

City ofFallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare             4/5 Stars
Liked it; not my favourite in the series so far, but good
Really didn´t like it; ended up DNFing it
Loved it, had some problems with it, but I am looking forward to the finale; review coming soon!

Do you guys like it, if I only say a bit about the books in Wrap-Ups or do you want me to do something else? Let me know in the comments down below!
Read on xx


Friday, 1 July 2016

July Releases

My top picks that are released in July 

Saga Volume 6, by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

If you have been reading my blog you will by now know that Saga is one of my all-time favourite series. Even though I am not completely caught up (cuz let´s face it graphic novels are EXPENSIVE) I am really happy that there is another volume out for me to put on my Christmas wish list.
If you haven´t read Saga yet, first off: Do it! It´s phenomenal! (Except if you are younger because there is LOTS of violence and sexy stuff) But it basically follows this young couple, from different planets as they raise their child, while on the run from their governments. It´s funny, the story is great, the art is phenomenal and you should read it.
Published July 5th

Learning to Swear in America, by Katie Kennedy

As the earth is about to be destroyed by an asteroid, NASA calls onto 17 year old mastermind Yuri to save the day. But Yuri has a hard time getting the older physicists to listen to him. But then he meets Dovie, who shows him what it means to save the world and save a life worth living.
This synopsis sounds so ridiculous that it will be great. I am curious to see in which route they take Yuri´s social capacity though, because I most often see characters who are “teenage geniuses” portrayed in the likes of Sheldon Cooper. What I hope this story will do is provide a greater perspective on the ability of teenagers to induct change/save the world, so we will see. "Learning to Swear in America" is also a debut and I love supporting debut authors so go Katie!
Published July 5th

An Author´s Odyssey, by Chris Colfer

“The Land of Stories” is hands down one of my favourite Middle Grade series, like ever. It got me started into reading retellings and branch out more into MG in general and just bae. Also Chris Colfer, whom you may know from the TV show “Glee” is the author so there is that. I haven´t read the fourth book yet, but I got it recently, so this is definitely very high up on my TBR. As this is the fifth book in a series there are of course spoilers, but the description on GR literally only says fifth book in the Land of Stories series, so that shouldn´t be a problem. The first book follows two siblings, who fall into their grandmother´s  old story book, where they meet lots of known characters like Little Red Riding Hood (Go Red!) as they try to find a way back into the real world.
Published July 12th

Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine

After really enjoying the Steampunk element in “Clockwork Angel” (read my review here) I am excited to read another book set in the same era. “Arabella of Mars” follows. Britain has a new colony on Mars, where our main character Arabella (Well duh), who is everything but a proper young lady, lives. To discipline her, her mother sends her to earth, London to be exact. But after some dramatic change in her family´s circumstance, she needs to go back to Mars. To achieve this she must disguise herself as a boy on a ship serving the Mars Trading Company. It sounds fun, action packed and like a great SciFi Steampunk novel.
Published July 12th

On the Other Side, by Carrie Hope Fletcher

I would really like to give you guys a summary of what this book is about, but its description confuses me. The only thing I can gather from it is that this book follows Evie Snow after she dies and because of some secret in the past, which she now has to unravel, she can´t go into heaven.  I like Carrie Hope Fletcher´s YouTube channel so I am really excited for this book to come out next month.
Published July 14th

The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware

The most likely time for me to pick up a thriller is on holiday (on which I will go soon eeek!) so if you are the same “The Woman in Cabin 10”, may be a good choice, especially since the story is set on a cruise, which gives me major holiday vibes. The travel journalist Lo Blacklock has been given the chance of a lifetime. She gets to travel on a luxury cruise for seven days in the North Sea. But then a passenger gets thrown overboard.
Published July 19th

A World Without You, by Beth Ravis

We follow this boy, named Bo, who thinks he can travel through time. So his parents send him to a school for troubled youths, where he meets this girl Sophie and they fall in love. But even despite their love Sophie commits suicide due to her depression. Now Bo thinks Sophie is not really dead and he is convinced he is able to go back in time to save her.
Beth Ravis is known for her popular “Across the Universe” trilogy, which I haven´t read, but this book sounds really interesting. I imagine it to take a different approach on mental illness with magical realism sprinkled into it, which I am really intrigued by.
Published July 19th

P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West

During Chemistry Lily scribbles down a line from her favourite song. No surprise she is surprised to find a message next to it the next day, Soon enough Lily and her mystery student are exchanging messages, lyrics and even sharing secrets.
I almost missed this book! Thank goodness I didn´t because it sounds so cute and sweet. If you have read all the summery contemporaries you own yet, this sounds like P.S I Like You would be a great one to pick up next.
Published July 26th



Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by J.K Rowling

This is the “continuation” of the Harry Potter series, which let´s be honest everyone and their mother have read by now. Don´t get me wrong it IS my favourite series of all time and I am reals excited for this book, but I don´t know if I am willing to spend actually quite a lot of money on a manuscript.
Published July 31st

So what releases are you most excited about? Hopefully I didn´t miss any! Let me know in the comments down below!
Read on xx

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare

*Disclaimer* This is the second book in the "Infernal Devices” trilogy so if you haven´t read the first book yet please be aware of spoilers. I would not advise reading if you want to start this series without being spoiled, but if you don´t mind feel free to continue on, just be warned. However if you have read Clockwork Angel, this review won´t spoil the book .

Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Pages: 560
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

I was sick when I picked this book up, so I wasn´t sure whether I was really gonna get some reading done or not. But this book! If you have read my review of “Clockwork Angel” (which you can read here) you know that I didn´t like it as much as I would have liked to and I am really happy to say that I loved Clockwork Prince. The plot was so much more enjoyable than pretty much any other Cassandra Clare book I have read so far. (I am gonna make a post on why that is soon) It was action packed with LOTS of plot twists. You think the story is going to evolve in a certain direction and then “BAM”, no. Plot twist. Also their actions were comprehensible (Apart from that weird ghost scene; that was just weird). They were acting like real human beings, which I liked. A great example for that are Jem and Tessa. Instead of doing something stupid, they actually TALKED! About their feelings! Like adults! Finally some YA characters who talk about their problems/feelings instead of running away from them. (I am looking at you Jace Wayland)
This book in a whole is just so full of romance! Not only ones involving Tessa, but we also get to know the dynamic between Charlotte and Henry more, which I loved. But the most prominent relationships are certainly the ones involving Tessa. Clare kills the reader with that damn love triangle. In my review I also said that I wasn´t the biggest fan of Wills yet, but that has CHANGED! We get to know why Will acts like he does and I am sooooo in love with him, please marry me! The love triangle is constructed to be an absolute masterpiece. Clare manages to let the reader see what Tessa feels about Jem and Will and shows two different men, who both have their own reasons for being loveable. Especially in the beginning I shipped Jem and Tessa and Will with myself (sorrynotsorry), but somewhere in the middle I realised that I wanted Tessa to be with Will as well as Jem. I found the romance to be quite Insta Lovey, but once I got over that, I was in it to win it. Apart from that the only complaint I have is that some of the expressions were not appropriate for the 19th century and that Tessa was a bit naïve some times.

So I am basically a mess right now and can´t wait to read Clockwork Princess. 

Read on xx