Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is the first book in a trilogy telling a story about a bunch of strong young women. And the seas. And, because it is a fantasy novel, it is also about blood and weapons, pistolfights and a surpressing enemy. But first of all, it is about friendship so deep it equals sisterhood.
Caledonia Styx is captain of her own ship, the Mors Navis, and leads a crew of fifty-something girls (spoiler alert: the exact number changes more than once throughout the book) who are at least as reckless and determined as herself. But she has not come there easily. At age 14, she showed mercy to the wrong person which cost her family their lives. Now, years later, she wishes for revenge – and is willing to give a lot for it.
“Remember when they call you girl, they’re trying to tell you something. They’re trying to tell you that they’re more than you, that the body you’re in makes you less. But you know, and I know, that you’re exactly what you need to be.”Seafire, Natalie C. Parker
When I first heard about Leigh Bardugo’s first Adult Fantasy novel Ninth House, the Ivy League setting at Yale University paired with the author’s name on the cover were enough to convince me of reading it. And, given this information alone, I already would have expected a good story. But Leigh Bardugo adds magic to the College setting, letting Yale’s secret societies seem even more secretly and mysterious. The mention of magic and mysteries in the blurb made me want to read Ninth House even more. In contrast to the Shadow and Bone Trilogy, King of Scars, Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, which are all set in the fantastic world of the Grishaverse, Ninth House is a Fantasy novel set in a more realistic but not less creative environment.
“They would ingest a little bit of arsenic every day. It made their skin clear and their eyes bright and they felt wonderful. And all the while they were just drinking poison.“Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo, p.402
„Die Wahrheit ändert nichts an dem, was man für einen anderen Menschen empfindet. Das ist ja die Krux mit den Gefühlen.“Die Wahrheit über den Fall Harry Quebert, Joël Dicker, S. 680
Aurora, eine Kleinstadt an der Ostküste der USA, die die Öffentlichkeit ohne die verhängnisvollen Ereignisse vom Sommer 1975 niemals bemerkt hätte. Harry Quebert, ein gefeierter Schriftsteller, in dessen Garten die Leiche eines seit 33 Jahren vermissten Mädchens gefunden wird. Und sein Schüler, Marcus Goldman, mittlerweile ebenfalls erfolgreicher Schriftsteller, der sich auf die Suche nach der Wahrheit macht. Dazwischen Lektionen über das Schreiben, das Leben und das Boxen. Über ein Meisterwerk. Und schließlich gleich mehrere, mehr oder weniger gute, Bücher im Buch. Das alles auf über 700 Seiten und trotzdem in keinem einzigen Satz langweilig.
She sometimes said “I don’t know,“ even when she did know. What she meant was that it was more comfortable to stay in vagueness than to leave it. The Female Persuasion, Meg Wolitzer, p. 19
Bold as its strikingly colorful cover suggests, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer is an ode to being a woman, to purpose, dedication and passion. It tells a story about how life often leads ambitious young people ways they certainly would not have chosen for themselves in the beginning.
Young and rather shy Greer Kadetsky is a freshman at a College she does not want to be at when she meets the charismatic and fascinating feminist Faith Frank. At age sixty-three, Faith has been part of the US women’s movement for years. Greer, who is one of plenty of girls who have recently been harassed by a fellow student, is instantly drawn toward the elegant woman and seeks her advice. Though deeply in love with her high school boyfriend Cory, hearing Faith speak inspires Greer to search for a different kind of purpose and fulfillment.
Includes spoilers for Caraval. None for Legendary.
I picked up Legendary by Stephanie Garber because I loved its prequel, Caraval. Dense and colourful with bright and dark magic, enchantment and people who are not what they pretend to be, the game Caraval provides a world characters as well as readers can escape to, get lost and loose a bit of themselves in.
Nevertheless, I was a little skeptical in view of Legendary at first. Though Caraval ended with enough of a cliffhanger to make me want to read on about the sisters Scarlett and Donatella Dragna’s adventures, I could not get to like the idea of the series‘ main character changing. Because, while cautious and guarded Scarlett had been Caraval’s protagonist, this was about to change in Legendary. Here, her sister Donatella would have her turn.
Hold Still by Nina LaCour tells a story about loss, grief, the feeling of having terribly failed someone, about friendship, remembering and new beginnings, as the blurb indicates. But it also is about Photography and The Cure, which alone would have been enough for me to like it. However, if my feelings for this book stopped at just liking it, I would not be sitting on a balcony in the sun, writing this blogpost and listening to „Lovesong“ and „Just Like Heaven“ repeatedly right now. So, in the following, let me tell you which other feelings reading Hold Still evoked in me.
„Though it’s about a tragedy, hope and resilience are its heart.“LaCour, Nina. Hold Still (S.243). Penguin Young Readers Group. Kindle-Version.
“It wasn‘t the ghosts. It was the hauntings that mattered.“We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)
Marin is in her first year of college in New York and does not want to think back. She does not want to remember what has been lost to her and what she has left behind when she fled from her Californian hometown months ago. But while Marin does not feel able to reconnect with her past yet and certain important things and people have undoubtedly been lost forever, her best friend, Mabel, won’t give up on her. Even after countless unanswered calls and messages, Mabel keeps trying to reach out to Marin.
So, when Marin is about to spend Christmas and winter break all alone at college in New York, as far away from the Pacific Ocean as she can get, Mabel comes to visit. And Marin has to look back, whether she wants to or not. In doing so, she also has to begin to heal. And to realize that in life good things and things that hurt can rarely be separated. Instead, they often mix up in one and the same person.
“The trouble with denial is that when the truth comes, you aren‘t ready.“We Are Okay (Nina LaCour)
“All the strangest things are true.“ (April Genevieve Tucholke, Wink Poppy Midnight)
Some books stay in mind for a long time. I picked this particular one up at Barnes & Noble on Broadway in New York City when I visited NYC with my best friend, Victoria, in June 2017. The story is still in my head, I remember it, I think about it. It still won’t leave, which is proof that I really enjoyed reading it. I bought Wink Poppy Midnight while waiting for Vici getting ready at the hairdresser. She had decided that she was in need of new Highlights. What else could there possibly be worth doing than getting blonde highlights in NYC…
Anyways, while Vici got her hair dyed, I strolled around the near bookstore and found this book. It took me only a few days to read it, though I still was in the most exciting city I’ve ever been to, partly because my flight back home got cancelled and I had to spend ten hours at JFK, alone and bored, because Vici would stay in the US for another two months. I was quite happy to have Wink Poppy Midnight with me because it was a gripping read, which surprised me a bit. Somehow, though it is YA, the story definitely is not mainstream. It is strange, dark and confusing in parts. And Wink Poppy Midnight is one of those books of which I will always know where and when I bought and read them.
“Revenge. Justice. Love. They are the three stories that all other stories are made up of.“ (April Genevieve Tucholke, Wink Poppy Midnight)
„People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.“ (Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus)
This book is best read at night, when everybody else is asleep and flickering candlelight surrounds you. It is best read during nights when you’re just awake enough to stay up reading and just tired enough to get swept away to a world made of dreams, some of which keep balancing on the threatening edge of turning into nightmares.
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Night Circus is about love, friendship, time and magic. But most of all it is about dreams. Dreams that pass by nearly unnoticed as well as dreams that are followed until the edge of the world and the edge of time. It is about people who lead strange, dreamy lives, constantly chasing something that can never be caught.
And the book tells the story of Celia and Marco, two young magicians who are caught in a competition they themselves did not start, who are bound to each other since they have been but children and who are not able to tare this magical bond apart.