Saturday, April 30, 2016

Introducing: FLASH REVIEW





It's time to introduce a new concept on my blog called 'Flash Review'.

Let me tell you how I came to this.
End of 2015: Silke went MIA on her blog due to internship responsibilities
January 2016: Silke announced she returned to her blog because she had graduated and wouldn't be so busy anymore.
March 2016: Silke unexpectedly got offered and started a new job and has been busier than ever.
2016: MIA all over again.

I'm annoyed at myself for constantly being convinced that 'this time I won't abandon the blog' and then end up doing it simply because life gets too hectic. Especially as I want to continue this blog and I want to continue writing about writing and reviewing books I've read.

But like many I have a busy job with long hours and I'm struggling to balance everything. Seriously, I don't get how other people do it! Tell me your secrets!
Anyway, because I have noticed that I tend to postpone reviews because of lack of time and then end up forgetting what I wanted to put in them 'cause I've already finished another book, I needed to find a solution.

Bring in: Flash Reiews.
What this concept mainly means to me is that by using the term 'flash review' the reader is aware of the short length of the review.
It will usually consist out of mostly one paragraph and include my main thoughts on the book and the reading experience.
Where with other reviews I would go into bigger detail and summarize the story, etc., Flash reviews will bring it back to its core.

It allows me to keep blogging even when I have a minimum amount of time. Besides, you know what they say....sometimes less is more.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Book Review: Carry On

6/10 for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything. 
Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

Source: Goodreads

I've still not quite managed to make my mind up about this book. And that's what makes this review so hard.
First of, I love getting lost in magical worlds. I mean, I'm from the Harry Potter generation (then again, who isn't!) and enjoy myself a world of wizards and magic even if I don't read it that often.
However, the danger with writing a story so similar to a childhood classic makes it impossible for me not to start comparing it in my head and finding loads and loads of similarities.
Carry On was filled with these similarities and I struggled to get around of them.

Then there was also the issue that is Simon Snow. A main character who is in fact too stubborn, self-centered and frustrating that I struggled a lot to get into the story. I felt like the story was out of balance at the beginning, focusing too much on the ticking time bomb the main character was.
And if this book had just been about Simon and his sidekicks then I don't think it would have been enough for me.

Luckily enough there was Baz who saved the book. The moment he appeared on the scene, the story came alive. I'm not saying that I need a gay character to make the book interesting, but in this case it truly helped. It added a layer of sexual attraction and constant tension that added a pace to the story that hadn't been there before. Not to mention, that Baz's subplot in the book was so much more interesting than Simon Snow's bigger picture.

Baz and Simon's difficult and tense relationship is what carried this story for me and it just about managed to carry the weight of it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Book review: Reader, I dumped him.

5/10 for Reader, I dumped him by  Lorelei Mathias

This story is a celebration of the people that bring you back to life when your world closes in: your mates.

Relationships come and go, but the Break-up Club membership never truly expires.

Holly Braithwaite and loveable loser Lawrence have been together for five years. But the obvious cracks in their relationship can no longer be ignored and Holly soon finds herself saying ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’
 
In the shock aftermath of their break up, Holly finds unlikely companions in Olivia, Harry and Bella. Together, they form the Break-up Club, as they support each other through their mutual melancholy and find ways to love, laugh and function as human beings again. 
Break-up Club meets every Sunday. Each week, as the comedy and drama unfolds, they discover a new BUC ‘rule’. And, one by one, the rules become vital markers on their journey to recovery . . . 
‘BREAK-UP CLUB’
To our members, we’re the first emergency service
 
 Source: Goodreads

The Break-up club sounded like such a brilliant and quirky idea. And the one thing that intrigued me to pick up this book is eventually what was only present on the background.

The sound of the break-up club had me filled with expectations about what this book would be but the story that unfolded in front of me was completely different. And didn't quite deliver on what it promised.

For starters, I really struggled to get into it. The prose felt really heavy for this type of story. I usually expect light prose that makes it fluent to read but still can pack a punch. This time it seemed to slow the story down, couldn't capture me and also made it really hard to connect with the characters.

The characters itself were another bother. They seemed to have no real purpose, just like the plot itself didn't seem to have a direction it was going, and it felt like they were just muddling along. I was constantly waiting for a peak in the story line and it never came.

What it comes down to is that this story felt like too much of a portrayal of what happens in real life. And though fiction depicts some alternate version of real life its purpose it to make it sound exciting. Because we all know that we love to turn to fiction because real life can be dull (even when it's eventful). I swear this reasoning made sense in my head.

And I'm so disappointed to be disappointed because it sounded like such a promising read.