Top 15 Books of 2015

Mittwoch, 30. Dezember 2015

   Today, as the title suggests, I'll be showing you my favorite 15 books of 2015. These are not necessarily books that have been published in 2015, although many have been, but rather ones that I've simply read over the course of 2015. While putting together this list I've noticed that I've not read that many good books this year, even though I read more then last year. That is not to say that I've not read quite the number of extraordinary books, enough of them to fill this list and give me a hard time while trying to put them into a list.
   To be honest, I'm still unsure about the order of some parts of this list, but it's the best that I can do. Basically, all those 15 books are amazing, no matter at which place it is. All the clickable titles will take you to either the interview I had with the author or to their review. If I have both I will probably still link you to the review, so if you're interested in finding out more, follow the links!
   Without further ado, here are my favorite 15 books of 2015:

   #15 - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
   This is the only adult book that can be found on this list, which isn't a huge surprise seeing as I mainly read YA, with the occasional NA thrown in there. I've actually not read this one, but rather listened to the audio book in the car with my mom while we were on something like a road trip, one could say. The story was amazing, entertaining,  and immensely funny in so many ways. The narrator was kind of a dysfunctional one, seeing as he had a very science based mind and loved routines, he didn't even understand why someone would want to look at a the sunset every evening since, essentially, you just see the same thing you saw the previous day. I mean, what? But that's what made him incredibly lovable and seeing him change over the course of the book was brilliant. I had a great time listening to the audio book, thanks to the nice German narrator.

   This one was a really, really cute contemporary that I enjoyed so much whilst reading it. It was told through a dual POV where on one side we had a girl who wants to become and architect and on the side side a boy who was in a band. I loved the both of them, alone and together. Following Jesse, the male protagonist, to band meetings and just seeing him interact with his friends was a lot of fun and made me laugh out loud a good couple of times. I also enjoyed Madison's point of few, the way she interacted with her friends and her mom was really great. This book is just one of those contemporary ones that you can slip between "heavier" books to get a break, and by heavy I mean something like sci-fi or books dealing with mental health or something along those lines.

   This one was a really interesting and different story. Essentially it's 'just' a YA murder mystery story, but what makes it special is the setting. In this story we step away from the places we are familiar with, being big cities like NYC or LA, or small towns somewhere in the middle of nowhere where 'nothing ever happens' but instead places us on archeological digging grounds, which in itself is already really cool. This book has quite the diverse cast and features quite a bit of Native American history, seeing as some of the characters, like the love interest, are Native Americans. I've never read a book before that featured them, though I'm sure Western type stories do have them, so it was really interesting to see them represented and properly introduced instead of just used at cheap punch line or background feature. I enjoyed this book a lot!

   And here we are, the first hard topic book of this list, and believe me, there are more to come, because how could it be any different since this is a list of mine. In this book we follow Madeline who has a rare condition which basically makes her allergic to everything. This of course means that she's spent her entire life inside of her house, a special one, together with her mother and nurse. But one day a new family moves in next door and they happen to have a son in her age. Things happen and many things are discussed. I really enjoyed this book a lot, I really did. Sure, many people say they've seen the ending coming from a mile away, I might have too, but that didn't change the fact that the story was very well written and I enjoyed reading nonetheless.

   This is another one of those heavy topic books on this list, just like the one above. In this one we are presented with a reality in which tuberculosis appears in a total-drug resistant version and we follow a boy called Lane who goes to a camp made for kids that have it, just like we used to do with people decades ago when tuberculosis was something our medicine wasn't quite so well versed in curing yet. Knowing that this is a deadly disease we can immediately prepare ourselves for the fact that this isn't just some happy, cute, fluffy contemporary, but one that, as previously mentioned, is dealing with hard topics. I really liked the way the author handled the topic, the way the plot went along and I loved the characters. They were all different, all very interesting and fleshed out. Seeing bad things happen to them really made me sad, but following Lane's journey to coming to terms with having this disease and changing as character, it was really great. 

   Now this one was a giant surprise, the fact that I picked it up and got addicted to it, no one, including me, thought that would ever happen. As you may or may not know I strongly dislike angel books because all the ones I've tried before Angelfall were absolutely horrible and I could never finish them. This one wasn't like them, this one was actually really, really good. It had many things I really like in books like action, an ongoing apocalypse, the lack of a forced love story, and amazing characters that can kick ass and be incredibly sassy. Once I was going toward the end of this book I found myself panicking that I wouldn't be able to continue since I didn't have book two. Of course I ordered it asap and continued on. In short, if you hate angel books, give Angelfall a try because it's an amazing book with evil angels which is all sorts of cool. This book is how one does angel books right.

   This was another one of those books where, the second I saw an e-mail about the ARC being available, I had to get it immediately. The book was really, really good with an intriguing plot, I mean a world where at 17 (right?) you receive a memory from your future self that shows you who you'll become, how crazy is that? Even crazier when you receive a memory that shows you killing your own sister. Now if that doesn't hook you, make you want to read it right now, I don't know what will. I had an amazing time reading this book and the author is a really lovely person, which is always a great plus. Also, food plays a role in this story seeing as the protagonist wants to become a manual chef when she grows up, which is another reason for me to love it because, I mean, who doesn't love food?

   This was one of my most anticipated books of 2015, and Francesca Zappia was the first author I've ever interviewed, meaning that this book definitely has a special meaning for me. Besides, it came out on my birthday which only made it that much more awesome. It's another one of those hard topic books since this story features the ultimate unreliable narrator, one who definitely matches Mara Dyer, because she has a mental illness, paranoid schizophrenia to be exact, meaning that she sometimes struggles to distinguish between what's real and what isn't. Alex is a wonderful narrator and a character I loved a lot. Her story was extraordinary and captivating and it didn't let me go for weeks after I finished reading it. It's definitely one of those books that will stick around with you even after you finish it. And of course it looks absolutely beautiful on your shelf because, I mean, just look at that gorgeous cover!

   Out of all the books to be found on this list, this one is probably the most important one, dealing with a topic I think we should talk about way more, seeing as I'm sure there is quite the number of people out there who have no idea it even exists. What I'm talking about is being intersex. This book does an amazing job at introducing the reader to it and showing us the protagonists struggles of dealing with it, of having to come to terms with it and how it changes her life. I think these types of books are incredibly important in today world and I so wish more people would read them, maybe even discuss them in class. Personally, I wish we would discuss books like this one during English instead of, taking an example from my school reading, The Awakening by Kate Chopin which might be a valuable piece of literature but didn't teach us anything that would be remotely useful in our world and time. 

   This one was absolutely addicting and brilliant, despite the fact that it's basically one complete novel cut up into three novellas, the third one not being out yet, leaving me sitting over here just craving for it way too badly. Each novella ends on a killer cliffhanger that will make you go and buy the next one asap because you'll definitely want to know how it continues. This book combines many different aspects, for example, amnesia, in that the two protagonists wake up and don't remember who they are, what they are doing or anything, with mystery and also paranormal elements which is absolutely brilliant. Then again, looking at who wrote this I wasn't surprised at all. These two know exactly what they are doing and how to hook a reader. I cannot wait to get the final novella into my hands and see how it will all end!

   This one was a truly heavy one dealing with grief after the tragic death of someone who meant a lot to you. Of course I couldn't resists picking it up and reading it, because I'm drawn to sad stories like that. Thankfully I wasn't disappointed, but enjoyed it a whole lot, enough to contact the author and ask her for an interview. This story, as I mentioned, is really heavy, really slow paced, but portrays grief beautifully, just the way it is, the protagonists, Wren, never breaking character or acting as if her grief is just something that comes up in the story occasionally. No, her grief was always there, just the way it is in reality. Amy McNamara did an amazing job with this story, with shaping her characters and leading the story, her writing style gorgeous, allowing the reader to truly feel what Wren was feeling and picture the scenery easily. I feel very strongly about this book and I think you should definitely give it a read if you've not done so just yet.

   This book was absolutely hilarious! To be honest, I don't remember how I found it but the second it arrived in my house I couldn't stop reading it while laughing out loud. I've not read many humorous books like this one before, but hell was it fun. In this story we follow our main character whose dream girl gets kidnapped by aliens and so he embarks on a rescue mission along with a alien band who just so happen to be on tour through the galaxy. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? Well, it definitely is, but it's also the most entertaining thing ever. All the characters in this story were so funny, sassy, and just on point with unique personalities and quirks and seemed like the people you'd like to have as friends, one with whom you'd never get bored, like, ever. I loved this book and I'm pretty sure I'll be rereading it soon. If you're into space and humor and laughing until your stomach hurts then I definitely recommend picking this one up asap!

   Upon first coming across this book over on lovely goodreads I immediately jumped onto my e-mail account and sent a ARC request to the publisher. Luckily, I got an eARC pretty early on and dove right into it. I was not disappointed in any way, rather the contrary. In For the Record we get a look into the world of being a rockstar, of being on the road in a tour bus and how hard being famous can sometimes be. This book was incredible. The writing style amazing, the characters well rounded and entertaining, all different with their own little flaws and quirks. This book is basically perfect for anyone who ever dreamed of becoming a rockstar when you grow up, I'm totally included in that group of people. You can really see that this author knows what she s writing about, seeing as she has contacts in the busieess and knows awesome people, like for example Fall Out Boy, one of my absolute favorite bands. I have so much love for this book! Go read it now, will you?

   This book completes the list of books dealing with hard topics that can be found on this list. What can I say, I just love me my hard topic books, the really well written ones. This one deals with suicide and the pressure to excel in school to live up to your parents expectations, and also your own. I've not seen many books before that tackled this topic so I was very happen to have picked it up. Thankfully this book turned out to be amazing in so many ways. The way the author handled the hard topic was extremely well done and felt realistic. The characters were well rounded, three dimensional ones with actions that made sense and never broke character to fit into a certain plot line or to make a scene cuter or anything. I love the protagonist, Paige, and enjoyed reading from her POV immensely.

   I had no doubt about this book being my absolute favorite of 2015. ever since I first heard about it early on in the year over on YouTube, more specifically, from LittleBookOwl, I knew I simply had to read it. I love sci-fi, I love space, and I love action. Illuminae has all of that and so much more. Besides that, the formatting is brilliant and unlike anything I've seen in any book before. The story isn't told through first or third person, but through a series of documents, transcripts and amazing illustrations, and it features AIDEN, the most insane AI I've ever seen in a sci-fi novel, whom you both hate passionately but somehow, weirdly, still like at the end. I have so many feeling and thoughts about this book that I could go on for the next three hours but that isn't quite why we are here today. If you want to know more of my thoughts and love for this book, check out my review.


   Of course I felt the need to mention this book, but seeing as it wasn't a classical novel in that sense I didn't think it should be on my list, since it's reserved for the best of the best reads, not to say that this book isn't good. Whatever, you get my point, right? So, this book. As someone who really likes Dan and Phil, who has been watching their videos for quite some time and sees them as huge inspiration, because they are just really relatable memes, well, at least Dan is, I was looking forward to their book ever since I heard of it coming. Of course, as anyone else I would have wished for it to be a little more like Binge by Typer Oakely, in that it would have features more stories from their past, growing up and many of the times their fans don't get to see, but I fully understand their decision against it. Either way, their book was a hell of a lot of fun to read and I did learn quite a few things I hadn't known before. And let's face it, it was already worth it even if only to read The Urge. If you read the book or are part of the Phandom, you'll know what I mean.

   #2 - Petty Little Lives by Alice Reeds
   This is totally my book, but I thought I'll mention it anyways since having a book published by an actual publisher and everything, that's a big deal, right? I had so much fun while writing this book, exploring all sorts of different themes and see my characters evolve and change, fun times. So far it received many book reviews which of course makes me happy, like it would make any other author, let's be real. This is a summer book and deals with the importance of family, overcoming differences and, of course, finding love in the most unexpected places. You know me, even if I write a contemporary it's highly unlikely that it'll just be fluffy and cute, because it's me who writes it. Anyways, this book is my first traditionally published book and, of course, I hope others will follow. 

   And this is it. This was my list of my favorite books of the year 2015, which passed really quickly, didn't it? I can't believe it's almost 2016 already, somehow that thought makes me feel old even though I'm not. Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post and have a great day or evening, depending on when you read this!

Blogmas Wrap-Up! (Blogmas Day #25)

Freitag, 25. Dezember 2015

   Welcome to Blogmas day 25!
   Today is the last day of this years blogmas. I can barely believe that the 25 days passed so fast, and that it's already Christmas, 2016 approaching quickly. When I announced that I would be doing blogmas this year I was sure I wouldn't be able to do it, since I'd never posted that much in a month before. But, now as we have the final day, I can honestly say that it was just so much fun! I definitely want to try and do it again next year. I hope you had just as much fun as I had.
   Now, below, you will find a complete list of all the posts I've made for blogmas. Look back at all the fun posts and catch up on some if you missed any. Thank you so much for reading all my words every day and with it giving me the motivation to keep up the work. Honestly, some of these posts took me way more time then I ever thought bloggers would put into a post. I enjoy all of this immensely, more then I ever thought I would, and I'm very glad I decided to create this post years ago.
   Enough of the blabbing, since I'm sure there will be another inspirational/emotional post toward the end of the year. Finally, here is the list of all my Blogmas 2015 posts:

December 1st 2015 - Day 1

December 2nd 2015 - Day 2

December 3rd 2015 - Day 3

December 4th 2015 - Day 4

December 5th 2015 - Day 5

December 6th 2015 - Day 6

December 7th 2015 - Day 7

December 8th 2015 - Day 8

December 9th 2015 - Day 9

December 10th 2015 - Day 10

December 11th 2015 - Day 11

December 12th 2015 - Day 12

December 13th 2015 - Day 13

December 14th 2015 - Day 14

December 15th 2015 - Day 15

December 16th 2015 - Day 16

December 17th 2015 - Day 17

December 18th 2015 - Day 18

December 19th 2015 - Day 19

December 20th 2015 - Day 20

December 21st 2015 - Day 21

December 22nd 2015 - Day 22

December 23rd 2015 - Day 23

December 24th 2015 - Day 24

   Thank you very much for reading and I will see you again soon! Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! (Blogmas Day #24)

Donnerstag, 24. Dezember 2015

   Welcome to blogmas day 24!
   For today I don't really have any post planned since we shouldn't spend this day chillin' online but rather with our families and/or friends, right? So for today I only want to say Merry Christmas everybody! I hope you're having a wonderful festive time, get lots and lots of amazing presents, even though we should remember that Christmas shouldn't be about the presents we get but about the time spent with those we love. I am thankful for each and every one of you, for reading my blog and following me on twitter and checking out my book, Petty Little Lives.
   I'm going to go now, get ready for Christmas Eve, all the food I plan on consuming and the christmas music in form of a loop of All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey. Sounds like a plan, doesn't it?
   Have a wonderful Christmas everybody and I will see you tomorrow for my blogmas wrap up!

Waiting on Wednesday: Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia (Blogmas Day #23)

Mittwoch, 23. Dezember 2015

   Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine in which we discuss our most anticipated upcoming releases.

   The book:

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia
Expected Publication: August 2nd 2016 by Disney-Hyperion
Number of Pages: 352 Pages (Hardcover)
Series: No

   I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.
   Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.
   What's a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent's help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.
   But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she's already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.
   Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)
   In this wholly unique, wickedly funny debut novel, Rahul Kanakia consciously uses the rules of storytelling—and then breaks them to pieces. (

   My thoughts:

   This good sounds amazing!
   What is less amazing is the fact that it comes out August 2016 because I really, really want to read it. (Hey Disney-Hyperion, how about an ARC? Pretty please?) What truly caught my attention is the fact that this is a story about a girl deciding to get herself a literary agent to make herself stand out among the perfect Stanford applicants, which reminds me of me back in high school, wanting nothing more then an agent, though I didn't dream of Stanford. Furthermore, the final line of the blurb makes the entire thing even more interesting because I really want to know in what way the author breaks the rules of story telling and I want to know how exactly this story is told.
   All in all I really want to read this book and cannot wait for it to come out, even though the latter is more then half a year away.

   Let me know in the comments below or via twitter (@Alice_Reeds) which books you're waiting for this Wednesday!
Shade Me by Jennifer Brown Cover

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag! (Blogmas Day #22)

Dienstag, 22. Dezember 2015

   Welcome to blogmas day 22!
   Slowly we are approaching the end of blogmas, reaching christmas, but there are still a couple of days left. So, for today I'm bringing you the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag which was originally created by LizzieLovesBooks over on YouTube. I think this looks really fun, and it's Christmas themed, so basically it first perfect. After yesterdays long discussion post a TAG seems like the way to go.

   #1 - A Partridge in a pear tree: Favorite Stand-Alone Book?
   Because I don't want to choose something uncreative like The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, because you all know I love this one lots and lots, I decided to go with Paint My Body Red by Heidi R. Kling. I've read this book not that long ago and loved it so much! It is one of those books that tackles heavy topics and just does it so well while also having an intriguing plot and amazing characters. Love this one so you should check it out if you've not done so yet!

   #2 - Two Turtle Doves: Fictional OTP/Favorite Ship?
   Come on kids, say it with me: Mara Dyer and Noah Shaw from the Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. I've talked about these two and those books so many times already I'm sure all of you knew I would pick them the second you saw the word OTP in the question. I love Mara and Noah because they are so broken and beautiful and just perfect for each other. I mean, I love those two enough to actually name my laptop Noah. If that's not enough of a sign for it then I don't know. I'm actually contemplating naming my phone Mara. HM.

   #3 - Three French Hens: Favorite Trilogy?
   This is a really hard one, even though I have a feeling it shouldn't be. I want to go with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, but that's like my default answer so to switch it up I'm going to say Legend by Marie Lu. I love that trilogy, despite the fact that I always imagine June and Day to be at least two years older then they are actually in the books since everything they do seems a little unrealistic if you remember that they are merely like 15. But, besides that tiny fact, this trilogy is perfect and the ending, the ending was pure perfection. Champion, so the final book in the trilogy, was brilliant and tied all the loose ends in an amazing way. Marie Lu is definitely one of my favorite authors out there so.

   #4 - Four Calling Birds: Favorite Fictional Beast/Creature?
   I have a feeling that answering this question would be way easier if I would actually read more/any fantasy so, as cheap copout, I'm just going to say Unicorns, because Unicorns are awesome.

   #5 - Five Golden Rings: Show 5 Golden Books.

   #6 - Six Geese a Laying: Rotten egg - What's your least favorite book?
   There are a few books I disliked but there is only one that just made me want to throw my book across the room or out of the window because I just had so many problems with it, and that book is Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. So many people love this book yet I hated every single page of it. The relationship between the two main characters was horrifying and just so abusive I cannot understand how anyone could think it's "cute" or "goals". Just no. I didn't like this book, I disliked it even more then Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and Allegiant by Veronica Roth put together. 

   #7 - Seven Swans a Swimming: Show a Book with Water on the Cover.
   For this one, I could have had it really easy by just taking The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, because I'm cheap like that, BUT, I decided against doing that. Instead I'm going with Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer, a book I'm actually currently reading, even though I don't get much time to read recently which is a shame, really. This book is really good so far so I hope I'll find time to continue on with it really soon!

   #8 - Eight Maids a Milking: What fictional food do you wish you could taste?
   To be honest I have no idea about foods in books. I think those are one of those details that I don't really ay much attention to while reading. But I'm sure there's something in Harry Potter, like for example Butterbeer, which would be interesting to try.

   #9 - Nine Ladies Dancing: Favorite dance between two characters?
   I have no idea. I've honestly been thinking about an answer for this question for the past twenty minutes and I could not recall a couple dancing in any book I've read. This might be because there simply were none, or my ability to remember things like that just sucks on a major scale. Sorry!

   #10 - Ten Lords a Leaping: Favorite Book-To-Movie-Adaptation?
   This one is actually a tie between three movies because I cannot choose no matter how much I try: Catching Fire, The Martian and Fight Club (even though, first rule of the fight club, we don't talk about the fight club). I love these three movies and each of them has something amazing to them so choosing just one seemed like an impossible decision. Catching Fire is part of my favorite dystopian trilogy, The Martian is just all around perfect and science-y, and Fight Club is just a complete mind*ck on every scale with an ending I definitely did not see coming when I watched it for the first time. Love!

   #11 - Eleven Pipers Piping: Favorite Book-To-Movie-Adaptation Soundtrack?
   Another question that made me think for a moment to figure out my question. I think I will go with Twilight, or actually all four Twilight movies. The movies themselves might have been less then average but the music was really good! I was actually surprised by how good of a job they did with their music selection since some of the songs from the soundtracks are actually ones I still really like to listen to until today, and I don't mean only the MUSE song.

   #12 - Twelve Drummers Drumming: It's the end of the song; what's your favorite book ending?
   There are many books that have perfect endings, surprisingly enough, but because I didn't want to repeat myself I decided to go with Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead, the sixth and final book in the Vampire Academy Series. I love this series, it's definitely one of my favorites, just like Rose and Dimitri will forever be one of my favorite OTP's, and Dimitri my fictional boyfriend, closely tied with Noah. The ending of this series that utter perfection and I could have not wished for a better one. I definitely want to re-read the series again sometime soon because I miss it.

   And that is it, the 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag. I hope you enjoyed my answers. Leave yours in the comments below, or do the TAG on your blog/YouTube channel, but don't forget to leave a link in the comments or tweet it at me (@Alice_Reeds) so I can check it out!

My Opinion On Fan Fiction (Blogmas Day #21)

Montag, 21. Dezember 2015

   Welcome to Blogmas day 21!
   Today, as the title suggest, I will be talking about this very controversial thing most people ignore or try to avoid: Fan fiction. Some of us, me included, have found themselves at a point in their life where you've just been so engrossed in a fandom, for a movie, TV show or book, that you started to dream up your own stories involving their characters or world. Some did it with Star Wars, others with Twilight, One Direction or Teen Wolf. Then there are others who just think fan fiction is awful and should be shunned.
   Today, we, and by that I mean me, will discuss both those points. Let's go!

   First up, what is fan fiction? Fan fictions are stories, be it one-shots that count not even 100 words or full on novel length stories written by the fans of a certain thing. There are many different types of fan fictions, romantic ones, tragic, smutty or even full on disturbing ones, whatever you might want to read, I'm pretty sure someone wrote it.
   Personally, in the past I've actually read an interesting amount of fan fictions. I started out thinking that it was the worst idea ever, but soon I discovered that some of the people writing those fan fictions are mad talented at what they are doing. I'm pretty sure you could take some, change the names, and you'd have perfectly working novels that could potentially be best sellers, in a good way, not the Fifty Shades of Grey way. During my obsessive music phase, or the peak of my fan fiction reading time, I found myself reading fan fictions about people like Ville Valo, the singer of HIM, Jared Leto, the singer of 30 Seconds to Mars, or Harry Potter, more specifically Dramione (Draco x Hermione) type fan fictions. I know Draco and Hermione have never been a thing yet they will always be my dream OTP, sorry Ron.
Ville Valo (HIM)
   When it comes to the stories about Ville Valo I've encountered one that I actually saved onto my laptop many years ago because it was just that good. It was really long, had an amazing protagonist and just a wonderful story filled with adventures, music and fun. I had a great time. In the Dramione department I stumbled upon another gem called Victim of the Fall which just blew my mind. The story is centered around Hermione and is just so incredibly well written I can't even explain it. If you like sad, living through the aftermath type stories that explore interesting ideas set in the Harry Potter world definitely check this one out. Seriously, someone from the Publishing world should take a look at it.
   Then also, just so the person won't get mad at me, I have to mention a story someone I know is currently posting on Wattpad that's also crazy good called Confide in Me which is a danisnotonfire fan fiction. For those who don't know danisnotonfire aka Dan Howell is a YouTuber from the UK whom I like so that was already a good enough reason for me to give it a try. So, here you go, I mentioned your story, hope ya happy now. Check it out guys.

   But, now, let's have a look at the other side of the argument being that fan fiction is awful and everyone who reads and writes it should be shunned from society, basically every parents standpoint on the topic when they realize that their kid is reading Johnlock (Sherlock x Watson) fan fiction on tumblr.
   I can understand people who think this way, especially after reading some of the more disturbing fan fictions that you hear about in certain fandoms. Whatever you do, don't look them up and don't read them, you will never be able to get those images out of your brain so I won't mention any titles but if you read them you know what I mean. But, besides overly disturbing and cringeworthy smut there are also those "fun" fan fictions that are clearly written by 12 year old that look a little something like this:
   OMG Harry Styles walkd into the rum & kissed me @ the mouth and omg said he luvs me & we married the nxt day.
Harry Styles
(One Direction)
  That was the worst example I could make up but it's 2am so I'm sure you can forgive me. But, I'm sure you get the gist of what I mean. Stories that are extremely badly written, have plots that make no sense or just represent what 12 year olds thinks love is because Harry is perfection, or Justin Bieber, whichever you prefer.
   I know other parents also say that they discourage their children from writing fan fiction because they believe it's pointless, seeing as those stories are not novels that could get published nor are they really getting them anywhere in life, they are just fan stories about things that would never happen in such a way in real life. I can kind of understand where you're coming from with that argument.

   But, looking at both arguments I'm sure you can find a million more for each side, argue for or against them, and we will never find the ultimate answer. Some people tried to discuss the question if fan fiction is literature, mostly concluding that no, it's not.

   According to these are the definitions for literature:
  1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays.
   2. the entire body of writings of a specific language, period, people, etc.: the literature of England.
   3. the writings dealing with a particular subject: the literature of ornithology.
   4. the profession of a writer or author.
   5. literary work or production.

   Just looking at that definition, fan fiction could actually be considered literature since those stories are bodies of writings in specific languages, periods or about people, and contain the expression of permanent and universal ideas as essential features. Some of those stories deal with more then just the writer's love for Harry Styles, some deal with depression, existential and identity related crisis or self harm, many in a way that could help the reader through their own depression by showing them a way through it. It's incredible what some of those fan fiction writers manage to create.
   At the end of the day, my question is, does it matter if fan fiction is valuable literature or not? I don't think so. Most of these writers don't seek recognition for their bold ideas or discussions on world moving topics, but rather praise from those who are in the same fandom.
   Personally I think parents should encourage their kids to write these stories, except for the disturbing ones, because, essentially, fan fictions are just another type of creative writing. Would you rather have your daughter party and drink her brain out at sixteen or sit in her room writing smutty fan fiction and sharing it with her friends or fandom members? I think the latter is more desirable, especially when you look at how well Fifty Shades of Grey or the After series did. Both of them used to be fan fictions but are now best selling stories with millions of fans and readers. Who knows, maybe that silly story your daughter is writing could be like that one day too?

   To end this endlessly long post, I can only say that while I get both sides of the argument, one saying that fan fiction is amazing and the other saying it's awful, I think everyone should have the freedom to decide for themselves if they want to get involved, either by writing or reading it, and if your daughter/son is writing these stories, let them do it. Of course, if they happen to write disturbing stories involving really damaging ideas and acts, stop them immediately! I mean the good stories, the silly or funny ones, those should be encouraged.

   And that's it, that's my discussion of fan fiction. Tell me your opinion down in the comments down below (no need to sign up), share your experiences with fan fiction, or tweet them at me, @Alice_Reeds. I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you guys tomorrow!

Ed Sheeran Book TAG (Blogmas Day #20)

Sonntag, 20. Dezember 2015

   Welcome to blogmas day 20!
   Today I'm bringing you a book TAG related to one of my absolute favorite artists...the brilliant Ed Sheeran, which you know if you've read the title of this post. I've seen this tag float around on the Spanish side of the BookTube community and decided that I want to do it to. Of course, seeing as I don't really speak Spanish, and my blog is in English, I had to ask a friend to translate the questions for me and I've tweaked them a little.
  If you want to check out the original TAG click here.

   #1 - This - The book that started your reading adventure.
   I would say there are several books that did the trick for me, but the one that sticks out the most is definitely Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I'm not ashamed to admit that I used to love this series like the twiheart that I used to be at 14. When a friend of mine first mentioned the story to me I wasn't sure if I would like it and I didn't know about the growing hype for it yet. Once I started to read Twilight I couldn't stop until I was done with Breaking Dawn. Like many of us in the book community Twilight introduced me to the YA section and since then I never wanted to leave again. Sure, they might not be the best books out there but they will forever have a special place in my mind.

   #2 - Give Me Love - A book with which you lived and suffered through relations between the characters.
   I love this song, it's probably my favorite Ed Sheeran song to be honest, so of course I had to pair my favorite Ed song with my favorite trilogy that fits perfectly with the task. Of course I'm talking about the Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin, how else could it be. You know me, I always find a way to mention these books in TAGs and lists. The emotional journey onto which we go with Mara and Noah in these books is just one hell of a rollercoaster that will, at times, make you swoon and, moments later, rip out your heart. It's magical. I love the relationship that Mara and Noah have, I lived through it, I suffered thanks to it, but I enjoyed every second of it.

   #3 - Sing - A book in which they mention songs/music.
   As someone who loves music I'm always on the hunt for books that incorporate music, are centered around musicians, rock bands, or just characters that love music. My recent absolute favorite when it comes to these types of books, and fitting perfectly into this question, is For the Record by Charlotte Huang. In this story we follow Chelsea who is the new singer of a famous rock band. Through her eyes we experience what it means to stand in the spotlight, to be a rockstar, and it's absolutely amazing. Charlotte Huang did an amazing job at making the story feel incredibly realistic and just a hell of a lot of fun. 

   #4 - Thinking Out Loud - A romantic book.
   I guess the choice of book for this one is kind of very obvious, and extremely uninspired and unoriginal, but of course I have to go with The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Let's face it, The Fault in Our Stars is perfection. John did an amazing job at creating brilliant characters that make us fall in love with them within pages. The story is both heartbreaking but also so cute, romantic and swoon worthy in so many ways. I mean, Augustus Waters, need I say more? Loved this one and it's definitely my favorite contemporary romance book, despite the heart shattering ending and all.

   #5 - Tenerife Sea - A book which is set in an ancient era.
   This one was quite a hard one for me because, as you all know, I don't really read historical fiction/fantasy novels so I wasn't quite sure if I should just skip this question or choose a book I've heard nothing but good things about. Obviously I went with the latter and my choice fell onto An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Around the time this book came out and flashed everybody with its amazingness, and the fact that originally it was planned as standalone, I heard floods of positive opinions about it. I've not read it myself and I highly doubt that I ever will but it seems like a good choice for this song/question.

   #6 - Photograph - A book that made you feel melancholic.
   Melancholic/sad books are something I love wholeheartedly. I think they are beautiful and require an amazing amount of skill so they will make you feel all the feels and for the story and sadness to feel realistic. There are many, many authors who do an amazing job at writing sad stories that really make you think and feel what the characters are going through. Of course I had to pick my absolute favorite book from this category, one I've mentioned many times before on this blog: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. This book is absolutely beautiful, haunting and perfect in every way. The characters are endlessly broken but seeing them work through their problems and get better, it's wonderful. I cannot recommend this book enough.

   #7 - Small Bump - A book that you anxiously await.
   For this one I have two choices, one is totally obvious if you've followed by blog for a while, or read my answer for #2. I am extremely looking forward to The Shaw Confessions by Michelle Hodkin, unfortunately for me and everybody else who loved the Mara Dyer Trilogy, this new trilogy/series isn't coming out until 2017, which is just so far away. Besides that I'm also really looking forward to The Last Star by Rick Yancey, the third and final book in the The 5th Wave Trilogy. Like many readers I've not beed the biggest fan of book two, The Infinite Sea, yet I really hope book three will turn it all around and offer us a worth ending to the trilogy that started out so well with The 5th Wave. There's also the movie coming out 2016 so let's see how that will go.

   #8 - Wake Me Up - A book that kept you awake reading.
   There are many books that would fit this one, but my choice fell onto Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky. This is the first book in the Awaken Trilogy, where I have to admit that I've still not read book three which is all sorts of tragic and awful. When I first got this book a couple of years ago, not too long after it came out in Germany, I couldn't get enough of it. I loved every single page of it, still love it to this day, and spend many sleepless nights reading this book, and it's sequel, Middle Ground. This book was my introduction to the dystopian section and soon lead me to discovering The Hunger Games and my undying love for the trilogy, but not the last two movies.

   #9 - You Need Me, I Don't Need You - A book you were anticipating to read but ultimately disappointed you.
   I loved Divergent by Veronica Roth. I liked Insurgent but I absolutely HATED Allegiant from the first until the last page. I think it was one of the worst final books in a trilogy I've ever read since it offered us the most convoluted and no sense making answers to all the questions we had regarding the story and history of the Divergent world I could have imagined. Many people give Ms. Roth credit for the move she did in the book, no spoilers, yet I saw it coming already the second I knew that this one would be written from two POV's. I didn't think it was a brave move, but rather one we could have all lived without since it didn't add anything amazing to the story. Basically what I'm saying is that Allegiant disappointed me in every way possible.

   #10 - I See Fire - A book with flames or fire on the cover.
   This one was another really hard one to find. I don't think I have any books on my shelves that have flames or fire on them, and if I do I can't remember. But, then I remembered a certain book that does have flames on it, but I unfortunately still don't own it, shame on me. The book I'm talking about is The Ables by Jeremy Scott, the guy behind the YouTube Channel Cinema Sins, a channel I love a lot. When I heard that he's coming out with a book about kids with disabilities that have superpowers I knew i had to have it, but I didn't get it for whatever reason, though one thing is clear, I definitely want to listen to the audiobook as he reads the book himself and we all know that he has an amazing voice.

   #11 - Sofa - A book that you take with you everywhere.
   For this question I don't have a single book as answer, and I don't want to repeat myself once more by saying all the Mara Dyer books by Michelle Hodkin, so I will simply say any and all books I have on my phone and iPad thanks to my kindle app. I have all sorts of books on there, ones I bought and others that I got as eARC's. I of course always have either my phone or both with me so whenever I feel like passing the time by reading I can just pull up the app and read any of the books I have on there.

   And that's it, that was the Ed Sheeran Book TAG. I hope you enjoyed this post and leave all your answers below or answer them on your own blog/YouTube Channel leaving a link to it in the comments, or tweet them at me, @Alice_Reeds.
   Thank you so much for reading and I will see you guys tomorrow, hopefully less late then today.