The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Kate DiCamillo)

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a novel written Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.
Finished on: 14.10.2017

Plot:
Abilene gets a china rabbit from her grandmother as a gift and said rabbit – Edward Tulane – quickly becomes her most treasured possession. So it’s no surprise that the naturally vain Edward becomes even more convinced of his own perfection. But then he falls overboard from the ship Abilene and her family are vacationing on. This is the start of a long and arduous journey for Edward.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a touching book for all ages that doesn’t shortchange any age group. It really is a beautiful read.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Carry On (Rainbow Rowell)

Carry On is a novel by Rainbow Rowell. It’s – kind of – a spin-off from Fangirl.
Finished on: 14.10.2017

Plot:
Simon Snow is in his final year at the magical school of Watford. Simon is the Chosen One, prophesised to defeat the Insidious Humdrum, an honor Simon could really do without. Especially since his hold on magic is tenuous at best. But together with his best friend Penelope, who has an excellent grasp of magic, Simon is ready to face the world. Even his roommate Baz who Simon is sure is up to no good. Baz really does think more about Simon than he probably should, but it’s not really because his intentions are evil.

Carry On is a quick, fun read and really drew me in, despite a couple of issues I had here and there. It definitely managed to make me smile.

Continue reading

A Gathering of Shadows (V.E. Schwab)

A Gathering of Shadows is the second novel in Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab [aka Victoria Schwab].
Finished on: 10.10.2017
[Here’s my review of the first novel.]

Plot:
It’s been months since Kell and Lila had to face White London, and things are settling. Lila has gone to be a pirate as she’s always dreamed, while Kell is trying to find his place with the royal family again. But things are tense, having lost the trust of the King and Queen and still having to figure out the changed relationship with Rhy. With the approach of an international magic contest in Red London, it is even more imperative that things start to run smoothly again. But the other Londons still harbor some surprises.

A Gathering of Shadows was a good, quick read, but I did have my problems with it, starting with the magic tournament angle (incredibly overdone) to character development.

Continue reading

Blasmusikpop oder Wie die Wissenschaft in die Berge kam (Vea Kaiser)

Blasmusikpop oder Wie die Wissenschaft in die Berge kam (literally: Brass Music Pop or How Science Came into the Mountains) is Vea Kaiser‘s first novel.
Finished on: 26.9.2017

Plot:
Johannes Gerlitzen was the first person to leave St. Peter am Anger, a small mountain village, and to return as an academic, a Doctor (even if he had to trick a little to get his qualifications). Now his grandson, also called Johannes, is groomed by him to also go into science. And little Johannes takes that very seriously, although natural sciences are less his cup of tea. The rest of the village doesn’t really understand the Johanneses, and little Johannes doesn’t understand them, either.

I’ve heard many good things about Blasmusikpop and how funny it is, but I struggled with it. It does get better towards the end, but it does take some time until it gets there.

Continue reading

Wolves of the Calla (Stephen King)

Wolves of the Calla is the fifth novel in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Finished on: 8.9.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
The ka-tet – Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy – are still on their quest which leads them through Calla Bryn Sturgis when they realize that they are being followed at a distance. It doesn’t take long for their suitors to catch up with them. It turns out that they are locals, joined by Father Callahan who crossed over from New York a long time ago, and they have come to ask the gunslingers for help. But that isn’t everything that they have going on: Additionally, Eddie and Jake travel to New York in their dreams, going to to-dash, which leads them back to the bookstore Jake visited and that seems intimately connected with The Dark Tower.

There were many things about Wolves of the Calla that annoyed me, making this installment of the series one of my least favorite, even if it still managed to pull me in.

Continue reading

My Madder Fatter Diary (Rae Earl)

My Madder Fatter Diary is the second collection of diary entries Rae Earl wrote as a teenager. It follows the events after My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary.
Finished on: 10.8.2017

Plot:
It’s 1990. Rae has to face her A Levels and figure out what she can and wants to do next. But figuring yourself out is a tall order even when you don’t struggle with your mother, have mental health issues and no proper help with that, when you aren’t fat or in love with the most gorgeous guy on earth. That means that life’s a tall order for Rae, but at least she has the big personality to match it.

My Madder Fatter Diary manages to bring Rae’s story to a nice conclusion (as much as you can bring a life story that doesn’t end in death to a conclusion). It’s a hugely enjoyable and emotional read that I absolutely loved.

Continue reading

Re-Read: The Loop (Nicholas Evans)

The Loop is a novel by Nicholas Evans. I read the German translation Im Kreis des Wolfes by Bernhard Robben.
Finished on: 5.8.2017

Plot:
Hope, Montana is shaken – the wolves have returned to the woods around town, and the first cattle has been taken. Unofficial town leader Buck Calder will not have it – he just wants those wolves gone. But there are species protection laws and the local specialists send for Helen Ross, a biologist specialized in wolves, to try and figure things out. Helen is in need of a change of scenery and jumps at the chance, clashing pretty much immediately with Calder, but finding an unexpected ally in Calder’s young son Luke.

I read The Loop when I was a teenager (after having loved Evans’ The Horse Whisperer) and was very much taken with it back then. Reading it about 15 years later, it doesn’t quite hold up to my fond memories of it, but it is a decent read.

Continue reading

The Wind Through the Keyhole (Stephen King)

The Wind Through the Keyhole is an extra novel in The Dark Tower series by Stephen King that is set between the fourth – Wizard and Glass – and the fifth novel – Wolves of the Calla without actually advancing the major plot. It was also written after the seven actual novels of the series were finished.
Finished on: 28.7.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
The ka-tet Roland, Eddie, Susannah, Jake and Oy get trapped in a storm, a starkblast. As they wait it out, Roland tells them the story of when he and Jaime De Curry were sent west to Debaria as young men to investigate the claims of a town that a shapeshifter is terrorizing them. In Debaria Roland finds that the only person who might be able to identify the shapeshifter is a young boy, Bill. They, too, have to wait for a bit, so Roland tells Bill a story he heard in his own childhood, of Tim Ross and his magical quest to avenge his father.

I liked this interlude that provides us with yet another look at Roland’s youth. In fact, it might be one of my favorites of the series – although mostly for the story within the story within the story that was a beautiful fairy tale.

Continue reading

My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (Rae Earl)

My Fat, Mad Teenage Diary (renamed after the TV show to My Mad Fat Diary) is a collection of diary entries Rae Earl wrote as a teenager.
Finished on: 17.7.2017

Plot:
It’s the 80s. Rae is 17, mad about boys and music and lives with her mother in a council house. She’s also struggling. The relationship with her mother is strained, but that’s the least of her problems. Rae is fat which makes her incredibly insecure and she also has mental health issues that make her life even more difficult. But she’s also funny, smart and there are the boys in her neighborhood to obsess about.

I watched the TV show based on this book (and its sequel) and fell in love with it pretty immediately. And now that I finally picked up the book, I loved it, too.

Continue reading

Wizard and Glass (Stephen King)

Wizard and Glass is the fourth novel in the The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.
Finished on: 11.7.2017
[Here are my reviews of the other novels in the series.]

Plot:
Roland, Jake, Eddie, Susannah and Oy manage to defeat Blaine and arrive at the Topeka railway station, Kansas. Only it’s not the Kansas of Jake’s, Eddie’s and Susannah’s world. Something awful has happened here. As they leave the city, they come close to something Roland calls a “thinny”, an eerie hole in the dimensional fabric. As they camp for the night, Roland tells them the story of where he encountered a thinny for the first time, which is also the story of his first big love, Susan Delgado.

Most of Wizard and Glass is spent in Roland’s past, a “detour” from the quest I very much enjoyed, even though I had some issues here and there with a couple of things.

[SPOILERS]

Continue reading