Sunday, July 23, 2017

Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry


Hello readers,

I know there are probably thousands of reviews for this one already out there but since it  has been a recent read for me I wanted to get my thoughts out there too.
I know that the Giver by Lois Lowry has been read frequently in english classes as a dystopian but when I was back in school we read Fahrenheit 451 and although I already loved dystopians back then I kind of never dived deeper into them.
No wonder I hadn`t heared of this one before I had watched the movie a while ago. I decided right away I have to read the book too, which sometimes can be a bad idea but in this case it wasn`t.
I am pretty sure I will take up the other three books of The Giver Quartett for today lets just talk about my thoughts on this first book of the series.

Jonas lives in a world of regulations. Everything is planned out for the people, they do not have a say in the choices of their life, like who they are marrying, how many children they will have, how they will name their children, their professions, etc..
It is a colourless world, because colours give you choices and you could make the wrong. It also makes sameness impossible.
The community claims all this is to protect the people in their community.
When Jonas is named the new Memory Keeper which is the greatest honor he recieves the Givers memories which opens his eyes about the world he is living in.

I honestly loved it. I feel it is a solid dystopian although I somehow missed that little final "spark" in it.
The ending felt a little bit rushed and got me a bit confused at first.

I really liked the Giver and Jonas but felt at a complete loss with the other characters and I guess that maybe was the little spark I missed.

Overall however I enjoyed this one so much. It is such a fast paced read and really gets you thinking.
So I gave this 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for reading and let me know your thoughts on the book in the comments below!

I will see you again on Thursday (yes I couldn`t get the Wednesday for that one!) with an amazing guest post by Merryn Allingham.

Take care,
📚Nadja

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top 5 Recommendations: Hard Topics "Non-Fiction"

Hello readers,

as a throwback to last week I wanted to show you five books today dealing with hard topics. Now I have read so many books dealing with hard topics over the years that narrowing them down was really hard, but I decided to devide them in non-fiction and fictional reads. So this week I will recommend to you five Non-Fiction reads, although two of them are actually fiction but dealing with real events and as I wanted to include them I decided to include them here.

So starting with the three Non-Fiction reads dealing with hard topics.


1. Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi


Portia De Rossi is mostly known for her role in Ally McBeal and for being the wife of Ellen DeGeneres, at least she was for me.
What I didn`t knew was her story. Portia De Rossi suffered from eating disorders for many years, telling her story in this wonderful book. She isn`t sugar coating a thing in this novel. She is honest and open about it from the start to the end. How it developed and how it controlled her life. She didn`t left out a thing. The pictures that were added to this book were heart breaking to see and at the same time it made me really understand how dangerous it is and how easy it can be to cross the line from dieting to going over to an eating disorder. I went through so many emotions reading this book and I absolutely think every woman should read this book, especially before you consider dieting, because it will prepare you, it will yet know when you get too obsessed with your weight (I can say that from my own experience of loosing 35kg). It is a book that I reread a couple of times although it is a hard topic to read about.

2. Zoo station by Christiane F.


Is actually a german book. Christiane F. got introduced to marihuana at age 14 at a christian children home in Berlin, from there it didn`t took her long before she tried heroin for the first time and became a drug addict. To get the money for her drugs she became a child prostitute. Zoo station is telling her story. Again not sugar coating one thing this novel is an absolute must read in my eyes. Yes it has a lot of trigger warnings, but I read it at age 14 for the first time and it influenced me in the right direction. I never ever got interested in drugs and I can`t imagine anyone would after reading this. Her descriptions of trying to become clean, of hiding her double life from her mother who didn`t knew about her addiction for 2 year, who also didn`t knew that her child was working as a prostitute, are shocking and yet I would absolutely recommend to read it.

3. Waiting to be heard by Amanda Knox


Amanda Knox story was all over the world and I always wondered what was behind it.
I picked this book up two years ago and I was honestly shocked. I really never wanted to make my mind up wether she was innocent or not, but the way she got treated and that the italian authorities obviously weren`t trying to find evidence that might lead them to the real murderer but instead were trying to find evidence to pin it on her were scandalous to me.
Reading about her time in an italian jail and through her trial were really tough to read and made me really think about how many people might suffer innocent in jail.

On to the two books with fictional takes.

4. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Kurt Vonnegut survived the Allies' firebombing of Dresden in World War II as a prisoner-of-war in a slaughterhouse. The protagonist of Slaughterhouse Five does too, it is a central event in Billy Pilgrims life, which is why this novel is considered semi-autobiographical and I why I added it to my non-fiction recommendations. Vonnegut tells the experiences of World War II and Billy Pilgrims journeys through time, from being an American soldier and chaplains assistant to postwar in a satirical way. I felt the satirical elements did lighten it up but to me it stayed in the hard topics section. I read this actually when I was about 16 but it stuck with me.

5. Give a boy a gun by Morton Rhue


Is actually fiction but I felt it could be seen as a retelling of the school shooting in Columbine. I read this the first time when I was about 12 and honestly can still only recommend it. Bullying is such a central topic in todays society, this book takes it up and also shows some of the outcomes of it. Which in this case is a school shooting. It is definetly a shocking a read and it gave me the chills at times. But I re-read it so often, that the book looks like falling apart some time soon. Although it is fiction it felt incredible real to me.

That were my 5 recommendations for non-fiction hard topic reads. Let me know what you would recommend and if you have picked up any of these.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.
I see you again on Sunday for another bookish post.

Take care,
📚 Nadja