Top 14 Books of 2014

Mittwoch, 31. Dezember 2014

   Hey guys!
   The year is almost over, only a few more hours are left (at least in my time zone) and so I thought it would be the perfect time to finally talk about my favorite 14 books I've read in 2014. These are not necesserily books that have been published in 2014. They are simply taken out of the 58 books I've read in the past year. If you follow my blog and BookTube channel the book that is on my place nr. 1 will definitely not surprise you.
Anyway, let's get to the list!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 #14 - Riot by Sarah Mussi
   This was a great action packed read set in the near future (2018).  I enjoyed it a whole lot and that cover is amazing!

#13 - Erased by Margaret Chatwin
   So good! This is a not very known YA Contemporary with an amazing and very realistic plotline. The protagonist is a great guy and the things he goes through are great and heartbreaking at time, too.

#12 - Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
   A fun read with hot aliens. I enjoyed Jennifer L. Armentrouts writing a lot and the way Katy and Deamon "function" together is brilliant and funny and super entertaining.

#11 - Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
   This was the only adult book I read in 2014 and, oh boy, was it amazing! At the same time it was a hard read as it deals with quite a few hard topics and violent scenes but all in all it's a great read but definitely not for those who are not adults yet.

#10 - To all the boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
   My first Jenny Han book and I loved it! It's a cute YA contemporary with a lovable protagonist and a funny and cute plotline. Can't wait for the sequel to finally come out!

#9 - Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
   My first fantasy book in a very long time. I had an amazing time reading this. I love the protagonist because she is just so smart and witty and stays true to herself no matter what. And Sarah J. Maas' writing style is brilliant!

#8 - Slated Trilogy by Teri Terry
   This was a great trilogy which I simply couldn't put down once I started it. I love the different take on the dystopian society with slating terrorists and criminals as means of giving them a second chance. Following Kyla was great and seeing the pieces come together in the end was mind-blowing.

#7 - Ruin by Rachel van Dyken
   A very emotional and amazing read. The two main characters were very lovable and I enjoyed reading about them a lot. Though this book was a little predictable at times it was still exactly what I wanted it to be.

#6 - 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
   This was so creepy! When I first picked it up I was simply sold on the whole moon part but I totally did not expect the direction this book went in. I definitely couldn't read this one at night (I'm usually not a scardy-cat but this book!). If you are looking for a really creepy book that will blow your mind and happens to play on the moon, well, this is exactly what you are looking for!

#5 - Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
   Very beautiful and philosophical with two very lovable characters and a fantastic ending.

#4 - Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
   Witty, funny and all round amazing! I have not enjoyed a Vampire book in a long time but this series had be hooked since page one. And, Dimitri! Enough said.

#3 - Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens
   Another book that deals with complicated topics but is just fantastic. The writing is beautiful and the two main characters are very unique and great.

#2 - The Martian by Andy Weir
   Much Mars. Such science. Very fun. I finished this book only a few days ago but it was just so brilliant that it simply had to be on this list and on place number two.

#1 - The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
   Amazing finale to the Mara Dyer trilogy. I love this story, the characters and Michelle Hodkin's writing. She is among my top 3 favorite authors and I will definitely read anything and everything she writes. I could not wish for a better ending to this trilogy.

   And that was it. These are my favorite 14 reads of 2014. I am very curious what reads await me in 2015. Tell me in the comments below, or tweet me (@Alice_Reeds), what books made it onto your guy's lists of favorite books.

   I hope you're having a fantastic day and see you guys in 2015!

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Freitag, 26. Dezember 2014

The Martian by Andy Weir
Published: February 11th 2014 by Crown (first published 2011)
Number of Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Series: No
Buy it: Book Depository
 ~ Free shipping worldwide ~

   Apollo 13 meets Cast Away in this grippingly detailed, brilliantly ingenious man-vs-nature survival thriller, set on the surface of Mars.
   Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first men to walk on the surface of Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first man to die there.
   It started with the dust storm that holed his suit and nearly killed him, and that forced his crew to leave him behind, sure he was already dead. Now he's stranded millions of miles from the nearest human being, with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive--and even if he could get word out, his food would be gone years before a rescue mission could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to get him first.
   But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills--and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit--he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. But will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

"I'm pretty much fucked."

   This first line perfectly describes the entire novel. I'm not even kidding you. Way to go, Mr. Weir!
   After that opening line, paired with the blurb and the cover, I was sold. I had to get my hands on this book. I had to read it so I decided to buy it for myself for Christmas.
   I did not regret buying a hardcover copy.
   This book is nothing like what I usually read. It doesn't really fit into any of the genres I usually turn to and I loved it. This book was very different from what I have read so far throughout my years of reading. I admit, there was a lot I didn't understand simply because there is a lot of science in this book. A LOT. But, despite all the science, I still enjoyed this book a lot. I had a fantastic time reading it and exploring all these things involved in trying to survive on a planet where everything is out to kill you.

“Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. 
Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

   Mark Watney, the protagonist of this breathtaking novel, is a botanist and engineer who flew to Mars with his Crew where he was supposed to stay for 31 days. But, everything came differently and he ended up up there all alone. Through his "diary" entries we explore what is on his mind and how he tries to do everything he can to stay alive. He has an awesome sense of humor and never loses hope, as far as that is possible when you consider the fact that you have no way of telling anyone that you are actually still alive. Mark is a great protagonist and I would gladly read another story from his perspective. 

“As with most of life's problems, this one can be solved by a box of pure radiation.”

   The way this book is written is very unique and captivating, not only because of the extraordinary setting, but because of all the things that happen throughout the story, the science and the humor. There are many things I want to say about this book, point out things I liked most, but that would spoil the story for those who have not yet picked this book up. You definitely should.

“I started the day with some nothin’ tea. Nothin’ tea is easy to make. 
First, get some hot water, then add nothin’.”

   All in all The Martian is a very unique, spectacular and outstanding novel which has a lot to offer and, despite all the science which most humans without a degree in math, chemistry and/or engineering won't really understand, the story is more than just worth it. Don't let the science scare you. Just accept the science because it really isn't completely crucial to understand it. Mark's story is definitely worth reading. And I mean how often do you come across a book set on Mars?

   But, if The Martian still doesn't sound like a book for you, don't worry. The movie starring Matt Damon, Sean Bean and Jessica Chastain is set to come out November 2015 (Wikipedia). I hope they won't mess it up. Either way, I'm super excited.
I give The Martian by Andy Weir 5 out of 5 pirate-ninjas.

Review: The Interview (Movie, 2014)

Donnerstag, 25. Dezember 2014

Title: The Interview
Release: 2014
Runtime: 112 minutes
Cast: James Franco (Dave Skylark)
Seth Rogen (Aaron Rapoport)
Randall Park (Kim Jong-un)

In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un. (IMDb)

There was a lot of chaos and concerns around this movie, especially after the Sony hacks and threats. But, many people believe this was merely a public stunt to get more attention. Even if, I don't think it matters if it's true or not. It was a very successful way of getting a great number of people interested in a movie which, despite pulling a lot of topics into ridiculousness, also made them think about it all. Or at least it made me think.
   The Interview tells the story of the TV host Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport who go to North Korea to interview Kim Jong-un, because it turns out that he is a big fan of Skylark's show, while the CIA has given them the mission of killing him. Through twists and turns we follow their journey which features many jokes about various topics, pop culture references and more than one ridiculous scene. But, in the end, we still get information's and details which are there to make us think.
   Thanks to the great outcry that the canceling of the movie generated, many people happily watched the movie on the 24th of December 2014 when Sony released it online. Many may say that a movie about a topic like this should be more serious and rather have a drama-like tone to it but, let's be honest, a much smaller number of people would watch it. Not because they would think it's a bad movie but rather because many people are not really into dramas which offer loads of information's, political vibes and seriousness. People prefer light, funny movies which make penis-jokes and such. Therefore I think this movie, starring the currently funniest duo that comedy has to offer, James Franco and Seth Rogen, was a great way to do it.

   The portrayal of the characters these two played was great. James Franco was at his best. Funny and never out of character. Ridiculous while charming and convincing. Same goes for Seth Rogen, whose character maybe wasn't loud and obnoxious the way Franco's was, but he still had a lot to offer. The cautious friend who just wanted their show to have more credibility and also keep his best buddy safe.
   And no one is going to say that Randall Park didn't do a great job of playing Kim Jong-un. Surely he was nothing like the real one, but that wasn't the point. The point wasn't to create a super realistic portrayal of North Korea, of the things going on in the country. The point was to entertain while, even if only very subtly, show the people the propaganda and falseness of what North Korea wants to show the world and what it is actually like. The best example for this would be the grocery shop which is made to look like it is packed with fresh fruits and food for the people, while in reality it is only a picture and fake fruits.

   All in all I think this is a great movie to invite your friends over for quality comedy movie watching time on the sofa, just like the other Franco/Rogen movies were. Which is also why I think that it was a good movie of Sony to directly release it digitally and not in cinemas. This isn't your typical theatre movie but rather a sofa movie.
   Surely this isn't the movie we've all been waiting for, produced at top notch to show us what North Korea is really like and so on, but it was still a well-made, entertaining movie with a strong bromance and lots of funny lines and scenes. And it even has a puppy.
I give The Interview 4 out of 5 Stars. 

Review: Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski

Sonntag, 21. Dezember 2014

Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski
Published: June 19th 2013 (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
Number of Pages: 393 (Paperback)
Series: Yes, #1 of the In the Company of Killers Series
Buy it: Book Depository
 ~ Free shipping worldwide ~

   Sarai was only fourteen when her mother uprooted her to live in Mexico with a notorious drug lord. Over time she forgot what it was like to live a normal life, but she never let go of her hope to escape the compound where she has been held for the past nine years.
   Victor is a cold-blooded assassin who, like Sarai, has known only death and violence since he was a young boy. When Victor arrives at the compound to collect details and payment for a hit, Sarai sees him as her only opportunity for escape. But things don’t go as planned and instead of finding transport back to Tucson, she finds herself free from one dangerous man and caught in the clutches of another.
   While on the run, Victor strays from his primal nature as he succumbs to his conscience and resolves to help Sarai. As they grow closer, he finds himself willing to risk everything to keep her alive; even his relationship with his devoted brother and liaison, Niklas, who now like everyone else wants Sarai dead.
   As Victor and Sarai slowly build a trust, the differences between them seem to lessen, and an unlikely attraction intensifies. But Victor’s brutal skills and experience may not be enough in the end to save her, as the power she unknowingly holds over him may ultimately be what gets her killed.
   This is their story…

“There is a stark difference between fear and uncertainty, Sarai. You fear nothing but are uncertain of everything.”

   I rarely read adult books, new adult at most, but when I came across this book I couldn’t resist picking it up and giving it a read. I must admit, at first I wasn’t sure what I thought of it and it did take me quite some time to finally, truly get into it, but when I did, I couldn’t put it down anymore.
   Upon my first try with this book I only made it about 20% or so into the book. After that I put it away and only a few months later, during a train ride, I gave it another try. Let’s just say I spent the entirety of the ride, which was about 5h, reading this book despite the fact that I was supposed to work. I definitely didn’t regret my decision.
   This is not your average easy page turner, this book handles very hard and complicated topics, which almost seem too real, especially when you think about the fact that girls like Sarai exist in real life, too. Most of them unfortunately do not have a Victor like she does. It only gets worse once you realize that most of them will never get a chance to run and live like Sarai did. But, that is material for a very different and long discussion.
   The author created a brilliant story with many twists and turns which will keep you up reading long into the night. It will make you root for Sarai and hope that she will be all right. And it will make you fall in love with Victor, no matter how stoic and dismissive he may seem at first.

   “I thought perhaps I’d get to stay in one place for at least a year this time, but such is the life I lead, a dark and lonely path lined only with the solitude of death.” (Victor)

   Sarai is a very different but very strong character. She has seen hell and she survived in it for years. She knows the world is an ugly place which makes her a female character which, for once, is independent and unafraid. She isn’t naïve and she is brave. The way her character grows over the course of the novel is amazing and believable, which is something we, the readers, do not get often enough. 

“I hate him more every time he speaks.” (Sarai about Victor)

   Victor on the other hand is stoic and cold as steel. He never hesitates before going in for the kill. He is smart and he knows what’s at stake at all times. He never goes off character, which again is something I am very thankful for. Victor does warm up over the course of the novel but it takes him a realistic amount of time while no matter how much he tells us about himself, he never seems less mysterious. It’s rather quite the contrary. The more you get to read about him the more mysterious and intriguing of a character he seems.

     All in all I can definitely say that Killing Sarai is more than just worth a shot. It’s outstandingly crafted with believable characters and an action packet plotline. It will keep you guessing what will happen next and how in the world they will manage to survive one or the other situation. Once you get into the book it will make you addicted and wanting more.
     If action, guns, assassins and realistic characters are what you’re look for, then this is exactly for you, if you are old enough to read things like this, that is. This book is definitely nothing for the weak as it has violence and explicit content, a lot of it.

   I give Killing Sarai by J.A. Redmerski 5 out of 5 Stars.

100k Clicks!

Samstag, 20. Dezember 2014

   Hey guys!
   Just a couple of minutes ago I noticed that we just passed 100k views of this blog! I am so happy; I cannot even really put it into words. When I first started this blog one and a half years ago I would have never thought that I would reach this number any time soon. I would have never expected that it would happen so fast. Back then I expected to maybe hit a thousand views in a year or longer because I never thought people would bother reading my thoughts on movies and books.
   But, it turns out a few people actually do care and check out what I have to say.
   I don't want to make this too long so let me just say THANK YOU for sticking around and reading my posts. Maybe you just discovered my blog, maybe you've been reading my thoughts since post one. However it may be, thank you for coming over!
   Cheers and let's see what the next 100k will bring!

   Hey Leute,
   Vor wenigen Minuten hab ich gesehen, dass wir gerade 100k Klicks auf diesem Blog erreicht haben! Ich bin super glücklich, so sehr das ich es kaum in Worte fassen kann. Als ich den Blog vor anderthalb Jahren erstellt habe, hätte ich nie gedacht, dass ich diese Zahl so schnell erreichen würde. Damals dachte ich, dass ich vielleicht ein tausend Klicks innerhalb eines Jahres oder mehr erreichen würde, da ich nicht glaube, dass irgendjemanden meine Gedanken über Bücher und Filme interessieren würden.
   Aber, es stellt sich heraus dass viele es doch interessiert und sie immer mal wieder vorbeischauen.
   Ich will diesen Post nicht zu lange machen, daher lasst mich nur dies sagen: DANKE SEHR dafür das ihr meine Posts lest. Vielleicht hast du diesen Blog gerade erst entdeckt, vielleicht hast du ihn schon seit dem ersten Post verfolgt. Wie auch immer es sein mag, danke fürs vorbeischauen!
   Cheers und lasst uns sehen was die nächsten 100k bringen werden!

My Bookish Christmas Wish list

Sonntag, 14. Dezember 2014

   Hey guys!
   It's the holiday season and Christmas is just around the corner so I thought today we should talk about the book which have made it onto my Christmas wish list. I saw a lot of BookTubers talk about theirs and so I want to do it, too. And yes, I know, they did it in video form while I am sitting here and writing about it. I know. But somehow I'm currently in a small video-making-slump so bear with me.
   Anyway, let's get to the books on my bookish wish list!

#1 - This Shattered World by Amy Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
   I very much enjoyed This Broken Stars, the first book in the Starbound trilogy, and so I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel. And let's be honest, who wouldn't want to get a book like this for Christmas, I mean did you notice the gorgeous cover?

#2 - Make up Your Life by Michelle Phan
   Michelle Phan is one of my favorite YouTubers out there so when I heard she has a book coming out I knew I have to have it. I am helplessly lost when it comes to make up so who knows, maybe Michelle's book will be able to help and save me?

#3 -  Ed Sheeran: A Visual Journey by Ed Sheeran and Philip Butah
   I love Ed Sheeran and his music. A book about him by him? Sign me up!

#4 - Revolution by Russell Brand
   I like Russell Brand. I enjoyed the movies he plays in and I enjoy watching his YouTube videos. I've heard him read out a few excerpts from his book and they sounded great so I definitely would like to find this book under my non-existent Christmas tree.

#5 - The Martian by Andy Weir
   After reading 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad I am fairly terrified of books set in space and other planets but still this book set on the Mars immediately intrigued me. And that cover? Love it!

#6 - The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
   A 810 pages long book set in Russia? Hell yes please! You guys know how much I love Russia and so I really don't know why I don't own this book yet.

#7 - My True Love Gave To Me by 12 Authors
   A book centered around Christmas? One with a gorgeous cover and pink pages? Sounds like the perfect Christmas gift to me!

#8 - Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
   I've only read one Colleen Hoover book so far but I've heard so much about her books and this one in particular that I just really want to check it out. And, pssh, don't tell anyone, but I've actually already ordered this one for myself for Christmas.

#9 - My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart
   See a pattern here? I love Hannah and her videos and so how could I say no to a book by her all about food and funny stories?

#10 - Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown Up by Grace Helbig
   As someone who is 20 years old I should know how to be an adult (in most European countries you are considered an adult from 18 upwards) but I don't so maybe Grace could help me out a bit so I can at least pretend to know what I am doing.

   And that is it, the 10 books that are currently atop my bookish Christmas wish list. Knowing myself this list will change in no time but whatever. But now it's your turn, tell me about the books you wish to find under your Christmas tree below in the comments or over twitter (@Alice_Reeds).

   Have a wonderful day/night,

Insurgent Trailer Reaction/Review

Samstag, 13. Dezember 2014

   Hey guys!
   Yesterday the first real trailer for Insurgent, the second movie in the Divergent movie quartet hit the internet which means that it's just about time to talk about it. But first, if you have not done it already, watch the trailer below:

   As you guys know I am a big fan of the book, Divergent, while I was definitely less than impressed by the movie. I wasn't that big of a fan of Insurgent, the book and, subsequently, I am even less then less than impressed by the trailer we've just received.
   I must admit, it's been a while since I read the book and I don't know if they said they will stick to the book plot or if they'll change up things to make them into better movie. I don't know. But what I do know is, is that this trailer looks more or less nothing like what I remember the book being. If they said they will change up the story line, my bad, I don't know. I stopped following the Divergent movie news after seeing that movie.
   But it does seem like the whole story line surrounding the "box" was completely changed because I don't remember that box being that big of the thing and surely it also not being the reason why Jeanine was hunting down those who are divergent. Then again I do not want get into more detail because, as mentioned previously, my memories of the book are quite vague and I don't want to spoil anyone who has not read the book yet.
   Speaking of things that annoy me, am I the only one who thinks Tris looks awful with the short haircut? I understand that it's because Shailene cut her hair for The Fault in Our Stars and all that, but don't they have a few bucks left to get the girl a wig? Or did I forget something and in the book she also decided to cut her hair? I don't know, and it also doesn't change the fact that she looks awful and now even younger which makes Four, whom you guys know I don't like (aka I'm not a fan of Theo James, the actor and not the character in itself, I know, I'm crazy, right? I know all the girls are going crazy over him), look even older next to her which makes seeing them as couple even more awkward as he looks like he would be at least a decade older than her. Anyways.
   Speaking of age, did someone notice the tiny fact that the actress playing Evelyn looks about Four's age and thus I really don't get how that is possible. I don't wanna spoiler those who have not read the book, but I know that those who have will understand what I mean. Or did they change that up, too? I mean, Theo is supposed to play a 18 year old boy while looking like someone in his late twenties (because that is the case), so maybe they thought they could do the same with Evelyn, take someone who looks in their twenties and make them play the a role of a forty year old charcter or something in that region?

   All in all, I am definitely not a fan of this trailer and where this movie series seems to be going. Then again I didn't like the road the book trilogy went down either, despite the fact that I absolutely loved the first one. I guess we'll simply have to wait and see. Maybe I am completely wrong and this movie will be amazing, while I feel like they already showed us all the key scenes this movie will have to offer in the trailer, but okay. Who knows, maybe the second trailer will be a little better?
   What do you guys think, did you like the trailer? Am I being too hard on the trailer because of the fact that I like my book-to-movie adaptations to actually follow the book's plot line? Tell me in the comment's below or tweet me (@Alice_Reeds).

   Have a wonderful day/night,

November Wrap Up

Mittwoch, 3. Dezember 2014

   Hey guys!
   November is done and so is NaNoWriMo. Let's start with that, shall we? I, just as last year, participated in NaNoWriMo which is also why I haven't been too active on here and on my YouTube during November. I dedicated most of my time to writing and winning, which I ended up doing a week or so early. My finishing word count was 65k words but since then I added a few more so I ended up with a first draft with a length of 67k words. Now I have to go into revision and sometime in the near future it'll again be quary time.
   When it comes to reading I didn't get too much of that done, only two books and two mangas. Not my best result but I guess it's still better than nothing, right?
   This month the Book of the Month and Most Anticipated are one and the same as it is The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. As you guys know I love that trilogy and I've been dying to read it. And I did. And I loved it. I also wrote a review for it, which you can find by clicking on the title in the list below.

   Books read:
   Books acquired:
  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  • A Thousnand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  • God's Buried Children by Daniel Farcas
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: 1 by Naoko Takeuchi
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: 2 by Naoko Takeuchi
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson
  • Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • The Fox Inheritance by Mary E. Pearson
  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi
  • Angelfall by Susan Ee
  • Balzhar by M Wolitzer
   ~ In Process ~
  • Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (24%)
  • God's Buried Children by Daniel Farcas (80%)
  • A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (9%)
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (61%)
  • and way too many more...
   For the Month of December I am hoping to read a few more books, though I have quite a few things planned and there also is the fact that I need to revise my NaNoWriMo novel, but I will still try my best to get some reading done.
   And that's it for this little post and update.


Top 5 Wednesday - Books over 500 Pages

Mittwoch, 26. November 2014

   Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey & Mindy. Check out the Goodreads page here!

   This week we are talking about chunky books with more than 500 pages. This is an interesting one because I'm not too sure if I have many of those, at least not in English. The thing with German books, or those translated into German, is that due to the language they are always way longer then the originals so maybe I will have to cheat a little. We'll see! Again, no particular order here.

   #1 The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - 546 Pages
   This book. Just this book! It's awesome but the end. Oh the end it gets me every time. So many feels and tears and just I cannot even. This book has the perfect length and just leaves you wanting the final book, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, asap. If you pick up the books now they are already all out so you can marathon them and won't know the awful suffering of waiting a year for the last book to come out. Lucky you.

   #2 Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead - 588 Pages
   Again, a great final book to a outstanding Vampire series. So many feels, so much action and just so much going on. Perfect.

   #3  Battle Royal by Koushun Takami - 617 Pages
   So violent and so bloody. It's been a while since I last read this one or watched the movie but it was a good one even though I have to admit I did struggle a bit with the names.

#4 Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - 576 Pages
   What an ending to a phenomenal trilogy. Beautifully crafted and just perfect. I did tear up a little a few times but all in all this was a great read and a perfect ending to The Infernal Devices Trilogy.

#5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling - 870 Pages
   Longest book shortest movie. Weird. But I think this one was one of my favorite Harry Potter books, close behind Deathly Hallows. But it truly is crazy long. In German it is even longer - 1080 pages in hardcover.

Review: Die Tribute von Panem: Mockingjay Part 1 (Film, 2014)

Donnerstag, 20. November 2014

Titel: Die Tribute von Panem: Mockingjay Part 1
Original Titel: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Erscheinungsjahr: 2014
Länge: 123 Minuten
FSK: 12
Hauptdarsteller: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen)
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark)
Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne)
Julianne Moore (President Coin)
Phillip Seaymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee)
Basiert auf dem gleichnamigen Roman von Suzanne Collins.

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) erwacht nach dem zweiten Hunger-Games-Turnier im Schiff der Rebellen. Da District 12 von der Regierung zerstört wurde, wird sie im unterirdischen District 13 versteckt. Sie erfährt, dass der District 13 entgegen der offiziellen Geschichtsschreibung noch immer existiert und jetzt die Anführer der Revolution stellt.

Auch wenn Kattnis zögert, sich der Truppe anzuschließen, erkennt sie, dass sie kaum andere Möglichkeiten hat. Die Rebellen wollen Katniss’ Popularität für ihre Zwecke ausnutzen und sie zum ‘Mockingjay’ aufbauen, dem Propagandaidol der Opposition gegen das Capitol. Gleichzeitig wird Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), der nicht aus der Arena gerettet werden konnte, von der Regierung gefangen gehalten. Er wird gezwungen, sich vor Kameras von Katniss und den Rebellen loszusagen und einen Waffenstillstand zu fordern... (

   Der lang erwartete dritte teil der Die Tribute von Panem Filmreihe ist endlich da! Ein Jahr lang mussten die Fans darauf warten aber nun ist er endlich in den Kinos.

   In Mockingjay Part 1 sehen wir die Verfilmung der ersten hälfte des dritten und finalen Buches der Tribute von Panem Trilogie. Der Film fokussiert sich mehr auf Katniss und dass was zwei mal an den Hunger Spielen teilnehmen und der Verlust von Peeta, welcher vom Capitol geschnappt wurde, aus ihr gemacht hat. Sicherlich waren sich die Leute, die für diese Filme verantwortlich sind, von Anfang an darüber im Klaren, dass sie die Erwartung an den dritten teil, dank des grades an Genialität welchen Catching Fire präsentiert hat, sehr hochgesteckt haben und das es wirklich ausgesprochen schwer wird den Erwartungen der Fans gerecht zu werden. Daher hat es mich nicht wirklich überrascht das Mockingjay Part 1 leider nicht ganz so großartig ist wie Catching Fire. Es gibt keine interessante Arena mehr, kein Kampf um leben oder Tod in dem sinne wie es in den ersten zwei Filmen war. Nein, in Mockingjay Part 1 und 2 geht es um die Rebellion gegen das Capitol welches ein für alle Mal gestürzt werden soll.
   Generell hat mir der Film dennoch ausgesprochen gut gefallen und ich fand es interessant, dass es dieses mal eben so sehr um Katniss und ihren zustand ging, auch wenn es nicht ganz so den riesigen Effekt hatte wie es im Buch war, wobei ich wirklich nicht weiß wie sie dass hätten machen sollen ohne dass die Schauspielerin es einem in einem Voice Over einfach erzählt hätte.
   Die Art wie Distrikt 13 dargestellt wurde war gut, auch wenn es nichts Außergewöhnliches war. Es gab schon mehrere Filme die in unterirdischen Bunkern spielten, welche nun mal meist grau und trüb sind, jedoch gab es hier und da ein paar interessante Details die es wieder rausgeholt haben. Beispielsweise gibt es eine Szene in der alle Bewohner von Distrikt 13 eine lange Serie an Treppen hinuntersteigen müssen. Die Szene wird kinematographisch genial dargestellt und genau das sind so kleine Details die den Film doch wieder gut machen.
   Des Weiteren wird auch Distrikt 12 gezeigt, welcher dank der Bomben die das Capitol abgeworfen hat komplett in Schutt und Asche liegt. Die Art wie Jennifer Lawrence Katniss spielt, als sie dort ankommt und die Verwüstung sieht, war spitze und zeigt mal wieder warum gerade sie ausgewählt wurde um Katniss zu spielen.
   Etwas was in diesem Film auch nicht immer so perfekt war, wie es in den zwei Vorgängern war, war meiner Meinung nach die Musik. Es gab ein paar stellen und Szenen in denen die Musik nicht wirklich zu dem was gerade passiert passte oder wo sie einfach ein bisschen zu laut oder aufdringlich war. Dann aber gibt es wieder Szenen in denen die Musik einfach genial ist und die Stimmung einfach noch mehr unterstreicht. Somit könnte mal also sagen, dass sich die weniger guten und sehr guten Momente ausbalancieren.

   Zu den schauspielern kann man sagen das die Neuzugänge wie zum Beispiel Natalie Dormer (bekannt aus Game of Thrones) welche Cressida spielt, in ihrer rolle sehr überzeugend wirkte und äußerlich perfekt zu der Figur passte.
   Auch Julianne Moore, welche Präsident Coin spielt, eine großartige Leistung abliefert. Die Art wie President Coin dargestellt wird, und äußerlich kreiert wurde, ist perfekt und überzeugend. Die grauen haare und die Art zu sprechen, welche Julianne Moore für Coin gewählt hat passen wirklich außerordentlich gut und ich bin froh dass sie für die Rolle gewählt wurde.
   Liam Hemsworth, der Gale spielt, hat sich selbst in diesem Film übertroffen. Schon in den ersten beiden filmen hat er Gale grandios dargestellt jedoch kamen in diesem film die Gefühle welche Gale für Katniss hat und die Tatsache, dass Gale eigentlich fast schon eine tragische Figur ist, sehr gut zum Vorschein und alles was er sagte, auch die wirklich emotionalen stellen, stellte er perfekt dar, so dass man es ihm wirklich alles glaubte.
   Josh Hutcherson hat es geschafft die schrecklichen dinge welche Peeta in diesem Film durchlebt einfach nur sagenhaft überzeugend darzustellen. Auch die Art wie die Stylisten es geschafft haben, die Verschlechterung von einem Körperlichen und seelischen zustand zu zeigen war genau so wie ich es mir beim lesen vorgestellt habe. Es gab ganz besonders einen Moment, in dem Peeta fast wie in einer Art Trance seinen Text runterleiert und als er dann auf einmal Katniss sieht, hat man sofort das Gefühl als würde ihn das aus dieser Trance aufwecken und die Art wie Josh genau dies zum Ausdruck bringt ist überragend.
   Auch die vielen anderen Charaktere in der neuen und ungewohnten Umgebung wieder zu sehen war interessant und die Schauspieler haben, meiner Meinung nach, eine gute Leistung abgeliefert. Sicherlich gab es hier und da ein paar kleine Momente in denen ich mir gewünscht hätte, dass sie es vielleicht doch ein wenig anders gemacht hätten, aber alles in allem waren alle wirklich gut. Insbesondere Donald Sutherland, der den verdammten Präsident Snow spielt, zeigte auch in diesem film wieder, was für ein überragend guter Schauspieler er ist und das genau er der richtige für die rolle ist. Einfach nur überzeugend und angsteinflößend gut.

   Alles in allem kann man sagen das Mockingjay Part 1 einfach am "Zweiter Teil"-Syndrom leidet. Dies bedeutet das er einfach ein brücken film ist, welcher die Spannung und Szenerie für das finale setzt und aufbaute während er selbst nicht wirklich viele herausragende Momente zu bieten hat, was natürlich nicht heißen soll das er schlecht ist, sondern einfach nur nicht so Aktion geladen und spannend wie die beiden ersten teile.
   Das ende ist, wie auch schon bei Catching Fire, einfach nur der hammer. Man könnte es ungefähr so beschreiben, dass das ende einem förmlich das herz aus der Brust reißt und einen blutend am Boden liegen lässt, für ein ganzes Jahr, bis man für den finalen film wieder zusammengeflickt wird. Sie haben den perfekten Moment für das ende ausgesucht, welches dafür gesorgt hat, dass man definitiv den nächsten teil sehen will, auch wenn nur um zu sehen was weiter mit **** passieren wird.

  Mein Fazit ist daher, das Mockingjay Part 1 zwar nicht ganz den Erwartungen gerecht wird, wahrscheinlich eben weil Catching Fire die Erwartungen so hochgeschraubt hat, aber dennoch ist es ein wirklich guter film mit interessanten Szenen und Momenten die einem definitiv Lust machen den Letzt teil nächstes Jahr zu sehen. Ich hatte mir zwar doch, besonders nach den Trailern, etwas ein kleines bisschen besseres gewünscht, als das was wir Letzen Endes bekommen haben, aber es ist nicht tragisch. Was tragisch ist, ist die Tatsache das wir auf den nächsten film ein ganzes Jahr warten müssen.

   Ich gebe Die Tribute von Panem: Mockingjay Part 1 4 von 5 Sternen.

Top 5 Wednesday - Rebellion Groups

Mittwoch, 19. November 2014

   Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey & Mindy. Check out the Goodreads page here!

   This week we are talking about Rebellion groups and honestly this si a really hard one. But, let's try and find 5. As always, these are in no particular order.

   #1 Mockingjay - The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
   To many spoilery spoilers could happen if I explained this one in more detail so let me just tell you one thing: they are awesome. Read the books. Do it. And then watch the movies.

   #2 Real Life vs. Digital School - Awaken Trilogy by Katie Kacvinsky
   In Maddie Freeman's future America everything is done digitally. School, shopping, socializing and even going for a walk or ballroom dancing. No one meets in real life anymore. But, there is a movement which wants real life back and those guys are amazing. This Trilogy totally holds out a mirror to show us just how many things are currently going wrong and how it could possibly end up one day. Amazing.

   #3 Anti-Slating - Slated Trilogy by Teri Terry
   Slating is a process done to teenagers before they turn 16, I believe, when they show criminal behavior. What it does? It erases everything. Your personality, your memories and everything else. Once you are slated it's all gone and you have to learn everything once more. It's horrible. But, luckily there are people out there who stand up against it and the way this story unfolds over the trilogy is absolutely amazing.

   #4 Rebels vs Rose - Hunting Freedom Trilogy by Alice Reeds
   The Rose is the new government which was set up 44 years ago after the world went to hell during war. The Rose provides it all: safety, education and a place for everyone to live and work at. It might all seem nice and dandy but there are other out in the shadows who know that reality is not quite as pretty as it might seem on the outside.

   #5 Dumbledores Army - Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
   The one is probably the most obvious choice on this list because how could I not include this iconic group of students who stood up against that wicked woman, Umbridge, and gave the students of Hogwarts until the last book.

Top 5 Wednesdays - Couples

Mittwoch, 12. November 2014

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Lainey & Mindy. Check out the Goodreads page here!

   This week on Top 5 Wednesday we are talking about our favorite couples, or so called OTPs. For those who might not know it, OTP stands for One True Pairing but let's face it, we all have like a huge list of OTPs. Again, these are in no particular order.

   #1 Mara Dyer & Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
   I love these two. They are perfect together. Mara is such a twisted character and Noah is so broken himself but together they heal each other. I love the dynamics between these two. How at first Mara almost hates his guts and they tease each other but in the end they fall for each other in just the most beautiful way possible.

   #2 Rose Hathaway & Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
   Do I need to explain this choice? I mean I think I've talked about these two surely the most often or at least as often as I've talked about Mara and Noah. They are both really strong and distinct characters with minds of their own and just reading about those two, about their relationship and everything is just so funny and heartbreaking and I loved all of it.

   #3 Katniss Everdeen & Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
   I must admit, at first I wasn't the biggest fan of Peeta for reasons I cannot remember but as the story continued over the books I started to love Peeta and just the way Katniss and Peeta start to feel for each other and then everything that happens in Mockingjay. It's just perfect, heartbreaking to a point that's unexplainable. These two are amazing and I love them.

   #4 Maddie Freeman & Justin Solvi from Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky
   Maddie and Justin, so different yet so amazing together. At first Justin tries to keep their relationship on a mission level, meaning no feeling besides 'we have to because our cause makes us' but once they finally become a thing it's amazing. Especially the way their relationship unfolds, changes and grows over the second book. Just so good. So good.

   #5 Nastya Kashnikov & Josh Bennett from The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
   Here we also have a case of two really broken characters who manage to be the savior of the other one. Nastya is gone through a horrible thing and isn't willing to speak to anyone ever until she meets Josh. At first she just watches him but once they start to become friends and everything starts to unfold it's perfect.

Review: The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mittwoch, 5. November 2014

The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Published: November 4th 2014 (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Number of Pages: 480 Pages (Hardback)
Series: Yes, #3 of Mara Dyer Trilogy
Buy it: The Book Depository
~ Free shipping worldwide ~

   Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
   There is.
   She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
   She should.
   She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
   She will now.
   Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
   Retribution has arrived.

"She looked genuinely concerned, and I'm not sure I'd ever wanted to hit someone as much in my entire life." (Mara)

   Where to start, where to start?
   I've been waiting to read this book ever since I finished reading The Evolution of Mara Dyer for the first time maybe a year ago. I must admit, it was frustration to see the release date being pushed further and further back but, in the end, I am happy because I know that it was all worth the waiting.
   I've read a lot of trilogies over the years but rarely they had such a perfect last book as The Retribution of Mara Dyer. (I'm looking over at you, Allegiant) After reading the first two books I had so many question, just like everybody else. There was so much I wanted to know and that I felt needed more explaining and depth. And let's face it, after THAT EDING in The Evolution of Mara Dyer, we all needed this one to find out if certain things were true or not.
   I can promise you that this book will give you all the answers to any question you might have ever had regarding the characters, the chapters set in India et cetera. But, while you get a lot of details, informations and background to our beloved or hated characters, there are also moments and lines that will make you burst out laughing, loud. Michelle somehow managed to create teenage characters that really felt like teenagers. They made jokes that felt truly like jokes that teenagers make. They used pop culture references toward The Hunger Games, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. It was simply brilliant.

"I thought you were going to give it the District Twelve salute." (Jamie)

   Oftentimes author create teenage character which just do not feel like the age they are said to be, but these characters did. They were amazing, smart but also had flaws which made them more real than a lot of other characters out in the world of books.

"Before I could say anything, Jamie began writing giant letters over the words with his index finger. F-U-C-K Y-O-U. My sentiment exactly."

   Something that makes this book stand out is the depth of detail we get regarding the medical and psychological aspect of what is happening to our lovely protagonists. I seriously am not surprised that Michelle Hodkin needed more time to write this book because I am sure it took a lot of time to figure that all out and make it sound so spot on as it is done in this book.

   It was also very interesting to get more background info regarding Dr. Kells which, in the end, helped you understand what was going on in her head and how it all fit together. And I admit, I might hate her now even more than I did in the previous book.

   Mara, on the other hand, now she goes through a lot in this book. But she is such a strong character that she still manages to survive it all, against all odds, even though she might not always make the best decisions ever but it all just perfectly underlines and explains all the things that are going on inside of her, the way the "thing" affects her mentality and personality. She is not afraid of making hard choices, not even the hardest one of them all.
   Jamie is just amazing in this book. He never loses his sense of humor and he is just such a great character and friend for Mara. Even at the worst times he decides to stand with her, despite how scared he might be. I enjoyed the fact that he had a bigger role in this book and that we got to see him so much for the last time.

"The freaks shall inherit the earth." (Jamie)

   There are also other characters which I would love to comment on BUT I don't want to spoil anyone. But I can tell you there are surprises coming, good and bad ones, so prepare yourself. One in particular surprised me a lot when I thought I might have it all figured out but then I realized "you know nothing, Alice (Jon Snow)"

"I want to double-fist the shit out of this pizza" - I still cannot believe that Michelle Hodkin managed to sneak this sentence into a published book. Amazing!

   All in all, The Retribution of Mara Dyer was more than just a worthy ending for this outstandingly amazing, dark, mind-blowing and brilliant trilogy. This book had it all, all the things a final book should have: Answers, moments that will make you laugh, moments that will make you cry, gasp and shocked, happy and sad, and the perfect amount of cuteness.
   The Mara Dyer trilogy is dark, twisted and psychological in exactly the way I love and want a book to be. It will make you fall in love with the characters, it will make you feel what they feel and it will make saying good-bye to them even harder.
   I am both happy that I have read this book and sad that this is it. There will be no more.

"This is a love story- Twisted and Messy. Flawed and Screwed up."

   To conclude this review I want to say Thank You Michelle Hodkin for writing this amazing trilogy, for giving us Mara, Noah, Jamie and all the other outstanding characters. This trilogy is truly perfect and I cannot wait to see what you will write next.

"My name is not Mara Dyer."

I give The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 5 out of 5 Stars.