Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Reader Problems Tag

Hello readers,

Last week Merphy over on Booktube (I will link her channel here) tagged me to do The Readers Problem Tag, which I am obviously doing today (yes I am still short on reviews, I promise that after December things will calm down and I will be back as usual).
So let’s dive into it!

1. You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

Well I usually have a TBR with books I want to read, which I update every year. I go through it and see which books I still think off and which I have forgotten about. Those forgotten about I usually throw of that TBR. And then I usually pick two to three books that speak to my current mood and order them to read in the upcoming month. And that’s what I basically do every month around the 15th. Books that I do not have on the shelf yet I cannot read. It’s that simple since the library is pretty far away.

2. You‘re halfway through a book and you‘re just not loving it. Do you quit or are you committed?

If I really do not like a book I probably won’t even make it through half of the book. And there are so many books that I want to read that I do not any longer feel ashamed to DNF a book that’s just not my thing. It is also a reason why I have decided to take in less review requests (I literally have a waiting list at the moment only taking what I really feel for at that moment). I can’t however do that with required reading there I have to finish the book wether I like it or not.

3. The end of the year is coming and you are so close, but so far away on your Goodreads reading challenge. Do you try to catch up and how?

I have never set a too high reading goal yet so I do not know. I think I just read and what gets read gets read and what not who cares?

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

I never thought much about my book covers before I found Booktube, etc. Of course I try to find matching covers but I also fall in the category of I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes to some of my favorite series and the new buy then in’s three different languages depending on what’s currently out first and then they do not match. So I guess it doesn’t bother me that much after all.

5. Every one and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

Well I feel reading taste is individual as everything else. I am fine with people having different opinions so and I am fine having an unpopular opinion. I do not feel the need to bond with someone over this. I am however happy when I see people on Booktube or other book bloggers and readers sharing my opinion and having a conversation about it.

6. You’re reading a book and you are about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I usually tend to not read sad books in public. However laughing out loud while reading in public is not less weird...Just go for it. There are weirder things.

7. A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?!.!?!?!

When I really loved a book it takes years for me to forget what it was about or what happened. I remember books I loved really detailed for a long time so that when the sequel comes it has never appended that I needed to do any of the above.

8.You do not want anyone. ANYONE. borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

Well most people who know me know I do not let people borrow my books if someone however asks I honestly tell them that I have bad experiences with borrowing out books and ask them to check with the library or another friend first.
Close friends and family however can borrow most books on my shelf.

9. Reading ADD. You have picked up and put down 5 books the last month. How do you get over a reading slump?

Well as I am currently feeling I am in a reading slump I would say I just read my required reading and read some pages here in there of my own choices. Problem for me in the last year was that I took to many books for review and had too much required reading. So it normally helped to pick up something from an author I was sure never disappoints me such as Camilla Lรคckberg.

10. There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Well I usually keep an anticipated releases note with my TBR. But since I do not read books while they are hyped the too buy list narrows itself down naturally for most of the time.
Its also mostly sequels of series I am reading that are on that go with one per month.

11. After you have bought the new books you can't wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you get to them?

I usually have a TBR of 4 to 6 books per month. Which is totally utopic with university going on but works fine during vacation (if I do not get sick). I mostly buy books in the middle of the month so they arrive before the next begins and then I read them. So maximum for books I bought myself are 2 to 3 month. For other books it depends on the spot they have on the list in my head. I have some books on my shelf that are and have been unread for years, but I have stopped buying books randomly as well as picking books for reviews randomly (too much pressure too little joy).

So thats it for today!
I hope you enjoyed this tag. Thanks again to Merphy for tagging me.
I wish you all a happy 2nd advent. And I see you again soon with another bookish post.

Take care,

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Competitive Reading - A Wrap Up - New Books on my Shelf

Hello readers,

You may wonder “where is the Sunday review?” - Sorry not today.
I have seen a topic that has been discussed frequently in the bookish community.
Competitive reading or the pressure to read more, buy more books, etc.
Today I wanted to respond on it from my point of view.
I love reading books that I pick for myself or take a look into books people recommend me and I also like  reviewing books. This however can also make me feel pressured, but that is due to myself and not due to the bookish community! It’s goals I set myself and I am perfectly aware that I do not need to reach them.
This however is different for me when it comes to reading novels that are required for my classes. They are often books I would have never picked up, there are no fun to read for me and I need to read them in a hurry. So those books pressure me a lot and by that often slow down my enjoyable and fun reading, as well as my blogging. But over the last couple of months I have seen that I do blogging like my reading for fun and I rather skip a week of blogging than bringing you just something.
So my response is that it is not the bookish community that pressures or makes it a competition it’s a problem caused by myself (well and my studies).

With that said I want to move on to November’s Wrap up. I have finished three novels and am 530 pages into Jane Eyre.
First book I finished this month was Kallocain by Karin Boye, which is a dystopian and i read it for class. I do not have to say much to it. I think I rated it 3 stars because thinking about the time when it’s was written it was a really solid dystopian with many great aspect. So professionally rated 3 stars. Personally I felt the format wasn’t really my think and it was really slowly moving and since it was a must read that has been read in a hurry I didn’t really enjoy it.

Second book I finished was German Autumn (Tysk hรถst) by Stig Dagerman and another book for class, while being forced to read this this one actually read really fast and was really interesting. The writing style made it easy to understand while at the same time painting a realistic picture of the situation.
I rated it 4 stars.

As per usual I do not review books I read for class. There are too many negative personal emotions towards the book that actually most times have nothing to do with the book but more with the situation I had to read them in.

And the book I picked for myself in November was Madam Tulip by David Ahern, which I have an in depth review of on the blog under the review tag.

As for Jane Eyre I wanted to finish it in November but with the beginning of the third part I needed a break from it and picked up Touch by Claire North. I am about 50 pages into that one.

I decided on not doing a December TBR. It is a stressful month with lots of required reading. So I rather wanted to let you now about the new books on my shelf because those are the ones I am most excited about reading. Besides Touch I picked up the Gunslinger by Stephen King which is the first book of his epic Fantasy Series The Dark Tower. I also picked up book four of the “Millenium Trilogy” by Stieg Larsson which is continued by David Lagercrantz after Stieg Larson’s notes if I am remembering right. And I really can’t wait to pick up The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Loved the first three books and the characters so I hope I won’t get disappointed.
And for my new books on my kindle I picked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

That’s it for today. Let me know your thoughts and what you are reading in the comments below and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: Madam Tulip by David Ahern

Hello readers,

Today I bring you the review on Madam Tulip by David Ahern. Madam Tulip is the first in a series of mystery novels.

Derry aka Madam Tulip is an unemployed Irish actress. No auditions coming up. She is also the daughter of a seventh son of a seventh son and by that has the gift of a fortune teller, which is how Madam Tulip came to life, fortune teller of the rich and famous. Eventually she has a dark vision when telling the fortune of one of her clients and ends up in this huge murder mystery with the mysterious death of a famous rap artist.
It is a world full of millionaires, horses and cocaine in which Derry needs to race to save her best friend from jail and her client from getting murdered.

Now this a very light mystery novel, at least I feel this way. It has a lot of humor and it read really fast. The plot was intriguing and it had some unexpected twists and turns towards the end. I however struggled a bit with the characters, which doesn’t necessarily makes a mystery novel bad for me. I just felt that as hilarious some of their actions were they could have been more serious at times but that is just a sense of humor this entire book has and it however fits well, it was just sometimes too much stupidity for me. For the writing, I overall liked it I just felt it had a tendency to have a lot of telling instead of showing and then again a lot of showing instead of telling at times which could have been more balanced, but that is a personal preference and didn’t make it less enjoyable to read.
I overall rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. I really enjoyed it and it was a solid really hilarious mystery novel and an incredible light read and I am looking forward to picking up the second book sometime soon.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks review and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,

Friday, November 10, 2017

Oktober Wrap up and November TBR

Hello readers,

I am a bit late with that October Wrap up bit I couldn’t decide earlier what to read in November, now that my new TBR is ready let’s dive into it.

I read a total of 6 books in October and I think they were all on last month TBR.
Starting with the classic I read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, which was a quick, really philosophical, dark read. It was perfect for October and I will have a more in-depth review of this one up soon.

As for my other reads I will go in the order I read them and provide you as per usual with the links to their in-depths reviews so that you can check them out.

First book I finished was Perfection by Merphy Napier, which is a Dystopian playing in a seemingly Utopian world. I really enjoyed this one. It has likeable characters and a really unique world, which I hope will be explained a little bit more in the conclusion. Find my review here.

The next book I picked up was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which was a really weird read and I still do not know what to make it of it. It tells the story of a man who after years comes back to his child home and visits a pond that makes him remember pretty creepy things from his childhood. I couldn’t make out what was real and what was pure childish fears and fantasies which is also a reason why my review isn’t up yet. It had definitely moments that I liked but for the majority of time I just wondered what to make of it.

The third book I picked up was Storm of Attraction by Lily Black which is a romantic suspense novel dealing with the story’s of a young female Martial Artist who gets stalked and then ends up being protected by her rival and exboyfriend. Now this has a lot of cliches and it’s pretty predictable, but the characters are likeable and it is a really fast and intriguing read. If you want to know more you can’t find my review here.

Next I read the Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima, where a young slave, called Bensin needs to win the the Empires most prestigious Martial Arts Tournament to free his young sister from a life in danger and slavery. This was really intriguing and had really likeable characters. The tournament descriptions were really a highlight but to me it really lacked the world building. Definitely check out my review here.

And my last read and probably favorite novel of the year was Something like Happy by Eva Woods. I honestly would say it is a save read to dive in blind. But for a short description we have Annie our main and really depressed and negative character who drowns in self pity meets Polly an overly joyful woman who makes it her goal to make Annie live her life to the fullest,because you never know when it ends. This book made me go through all my emotions and if you want to get more detailed insights into my thoughts on it please check out my review here.

Now onto my TBR for November. This month TBR holds some more classics as I have several required reads for University on it.
I am not going to say much to those as I honestly do not know much about them unless that they are all Swedish World War II and postwar novels, essays, poems.
The first one is a dystopian novel by Karin Boye called Kallocain. I am also reading two Essays and a poem from this author.
The second novel is German Autumn by Stig Dagerman.

The classic I chose for myself this month (and probably next month) is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontรซ, which will be the only book I read in german this month and which I already started and enjoy so far.

The book I am currently reading is Madam Tulip by David Ahern. I do not know how to describe this one yet and I kind of dove into it blindly (well I forgot what I knew about it) but it is really intriguing and funny.

The other two books are actually books I had already started in August but then needed a break from.
One is a really funny roadtrip with cats called Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat Patterson.
And the other one is a different take on the story of Jesus called the Transmigrant by Julie Klein.
I want to give those one last try and hope to finish them.

So this is all for today. I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you again soon with another bookish post.
Let me know what you are reading in the comments below.

Take care,

Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: Something Like Happy by Eva Woods

Hello readers,

A couple of weeks ago I had a surprise ARC of  Something Like Happy by Eva Woods in the mail. So thank you to Harper Collins for providing me with a copy.

Something like happy seemed to be marketed as one of those 100 Days to Happiness contemporary reads to me. It however turned out to be something absolutely magical in a pretty unique way.

One day while visiting her mother in hospital Annie meets Polly, a colorful and extremely positive person who Annie, who in general has given up on life and who drowns herself in self pity, thinks she doesn’t need (or want) in her life. However Polly attaches herself to Annie making it her personal matter to get Annie to live her life to the fullest because no one knows how long you have to live and no one knows this better than Polly.

“This is life” was something I kept thinking while reading this. Ups and downs, no sugar coating things. This is real or at least it could be which in my case made me first of all fall in love with the characters. Secondly I couldn’t put this down. I got emotionally attached to this novel. I laughed, I cried. It truely spoke to me and teached me a lot. Because it is true - we all are going to die someday. It could be in 50 years but it could also be tomorrow, which is why we should do everything to make our life worthwhile. This book is full of hope, happiness and sadness (because that’s how life is).
I honestly love this book and it is my absolute favorite of the year.
Yes it had its tiny little flaws, like picking up on cliches, but I felt it fit in. I felt it was needed.

Fast paced, intriguing, amazing characters, a read that made me experience all the emotions at once. I rated this 5 out of 5 stars and would absolutely recommend it.
Thanks again to Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC.

I hope you enjoyed this review and I will be back soon with another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Review: The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima

Hello readers,

finally catching up on some reviews. I am so sorry that my posts kind of just pop up here and there at the moment and I hope I will be back to regular posts on my usual days (which had been Sunday and Wednesday) but as you all know I have been sick all summer, then I fell into a major reading slump and now studentlife is back on, so I guess what I want to say is thank you for sticking with me.

Today’s review is on The Collar and the Cavvarach by Annie Douglass Lima, who was so kind on sending me an egalley and waiting patiently for me to review this novel. So The Collar and the Cavvarach is the first book in a series/duology (don’t quote me on that).
It is set in the Krillonian Empire where Bensin a teenage slave (also called a Collar) and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister Ellie freed. To do so he has to win in the most prestigious tournament of the Empire. But will Bensin manage to do so before Ellie’s owners sell her off to a life full of abuse?

Now Bensin is an absolutely lovable heroic young character. He is well developed as a character and his actions are understandable, although stupid at times. His sister however annoyed me a lot. I liked her and she was presented well and she was meant to annoy Bensin at the times she annoyed me as well, so it was written in a very “touchable” way, but this scenes were just not fun to read for me. However this was a tiny flaw. Overall I enjoyed the characters, the fast paced plot, the fight scenes, Bensins owner,  the watch officer, the writing...this book has a lot to offer.
The major point that made not give it 5 stars was the lack of world building. I absolutely have no clue how the Krillonian Empire works, Yes they have slave and there are options to be freed or to become a slave but besides that I didn’t really get the point of it. It didn’t make it less enjoyable to read though, I would have just wish for a little bit of an explanation to that.
So I gave The Collar and the Cavvarach 4.5 out of 5 stars.

I hope you enjoyed this review. As usual leave me thoughts and questions in the comments down below. Thanks again to Annie Douglass Lima for providing me with an egalley.

I will see you again soon with another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: Perfection by Merphy Napier

Hello readers,

today’s review is dear to my heart. Perfection is the first novel of a dystopian duology by my dear friend Merphy Napier over on Booktube (if you haven’t checked her out go ahead and find her on YouTube). Now I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago but I needed it all to settle in a it first.

Perfection is this “perfectly created world” with “Perfects” and “Non-Perfects”, no crimes, protected through a wall. For its population it is also known to be the last place on earth. “Don’t ask questions and keep the law” is what they have been told and teached all their lives. But what actually happens when you do? Ashton is about to find out when she gets kidnapped a couple of months before her graduation. Living in both worlds, seeing different sites of Perfection she is in constant danger. Will she manage to complete her newfound mission?

As I watch Merphy on Booktube and we have become some sort of reading buddies constantly exchanging our opinions via Goodreads this review was honestly a tough one and I did discuss my opinions first with her, this review is however as honest as it can be.

As for the characters we have Ashton, as a protagonist. Ashton is a Non-Perfect who for most of her life didn’t get along with other Non-Perfects. Her decisions were not always understandable for me and for 70% of the time I struggled with her. At first because her clumsiness is repeated so often and the first 70% of the book she was like America Singer from the Selection to me, but for the last 30% of the book she reminded me a lot of Lia from the Remnant Chronicles and I really started to like her and seeing her development finally understanding her decisions and getting a feeling for her character.
We also have Kaleb who I actually liked the most throughout the book. He was so funny and thoughtful and just for me a really likeable character and love interest. He seemed like a real person with flaws and not like the perfect mister dreamy who honestly gets a lot presented in YA and who annoys me every time.
It was really fast paced although in the beginning I felt more telling than showing which I usually do not like that much but I felt the further I got into the story the more it changed. So it became more and more enjoyable to read for me writing style wise.
As for the world building I felt it was a bit too slowly presented throughout the novel. I didn’t really understand how Perfection worked a 100% until the end. Throughout the novel I felt I was missing information which made it at times hard to understand.

Overall this still is a highly enjoyable and philosophical, ethical dystopian that is fast past with a really intriguing plot and likeable characters.
I gave this 4 out of 5 stars and am looking forward to the conclusion.

I really hope you enjoyed this review. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Review: Storm of Attraction by Lily Black

Hello readers,

today is time for another Sunday review. A while back Lily Black was so kind to offer me a review copy of Storm of Attraction in exchange for an honest review.

Storm of Attraction is a romantic suspense novel.
Alexa, a young librarian who in her spare time teaches Martial Arts lives in Willowdale. After years her former summer fling Drew returns to Willowdale to open up a Mixed Martial Arts school. Hurt feelings cause some sort of rivalry between those too, while at the same time being highly attracted to each other.
But Drew isn’t Alexa’s biggest problem when she finds out she has a stalker. When things escalate Drew becomes her protector. Will he manage to keep her save? And who says the stalker?

I honestly could have read this in one sitting if I would have had the time. It was highly intriguing. I liked the characters and the Martial Arts aspect of the whole story.
Alexa is a really likeable character, as well as Drew. It was easy to follow, at sometimes even too easy as I really quick had a feeling about who the stalker was and I was right about that. So no surprising twist and turn for me in this one. I felt it really was predictable but this didn’t make it a less enjoyable reading experience.
It was an intriguing and fast read, yet a bit too predictable for my taste so 4 out of 5 stars.

Thanks again to Lily Black for providing me with a review copy.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below when you pick up Storm of Attraction and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Hello readers,

I am back at regular Sunday reviews. For my Wednesday posts I still need to take a little break until I have found my way into my new weekly schedule. But I will throw in some posts here and there when time allows. Now onto todays review.

I usually do not read hyped books while the hype is still going on, but something inside me told me to pick this one up and I was absolutely right. I had been in a major reading slump when I picked this one up and it slowly and steadily got me out of this.

The young single mother, Jane, moves with her little son Ziggy to a new town. On the pre-school orientation day she meets Madeleine, who is a fellow mother and who knows her way around Pirriwee. They become friends and Madeleine introduces Jane to Celeste. A true beauty with an extremely handsome and successful husband and twin boys. All there children go in the same class. Rumors spread, secrets are kept. And what happened on Trivia night?

This is a contemporary novel with a mystery that we get fed a little bit of in every chapter. It is told through different perspectives (which we all know I highly enjoy). It is humorous, while still dealing with a very dark secret, which makes it very intriguing. The writing style was great. It was so easy and so quick to read. And every time I put it down I couldn't wait to pick it up again but at the same time I knew I would be right back into it even after taking a two day break. I honestly do not have anything to complain about. The plot was amazing, the characters were all well developed, I liked the writing style, I liked the combination of the heavy topics being presented the way they were (I do not want to say humorous here but some parts were just hilarious).

I gave this book another 5 out of 5 stars (been on the run with 5 star reads the last couple of books). It is great at the beach, it is great to get you out of a slump and it was definitely a book that got me to want to read more contemporaries.

That's it for today, I hope you enjoyed this review and I will be back soon with another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Hello readers,

I am back. And this time I mean really back. Back at reading. Back at regular blogging. It is fall which is my favorite season of the year and it calls for creepy reads. Which makes today's review your perfect read for fall, especially for October.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a highly disturbing dystopian novel.
In this dystopian setting abortion is forbidden. Instead parents have the option to Unwind their children between the age of 13 and 18 which means they are free to give their children away as organ donors. They are transplanted into different donors and by that they theoretically do not die but continue to live in them.
Now children can get unwound for different reasons. We meet Connor, Risa and Lev. All three running from being unwound but all three have different stories. Whereas Connor was simply too difficult for his parents to be controlled, Risa is a ward of the state, not worth enough to be kept alive. Lev is a tithe, a child who was simply conceived to be unwound.
Will they make it?

Now just the synopsis of this book sounded incredible dark, but it only gave me half of the chills the actual book gave me. This is really highly disturbing, but also incredible philosophical and as I find something that should really be discussed and taken into consideration. Reflecting on how our own societies deal with the topic of organ donation.
Besides that I must honestly say that I struggled a bit with the books pacing. The end was fine but the rest of it was for me a bit weird. It didn't make it less enjoyable to read I just felt that it slowed me down.
Otherwise I can just say that I loved this and highly recommend it.
I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. And I hope to pick up the second book next year (as this years TBR is full).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

See you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Hello readers,

If you have read my recent post (I will link to it here) you know I have gotten myself into reading more books out of my usual comfort zone. One genre that belongs to those group is historical fiction.
So to not being pushed into a too big reading slump by picking the wrong book I decided to go with a story I have already seen on TV to bring more life to it. Which is why I chose The White Queen by Philippa Gregory.

It is a historical fiction told from the perspective of a woman, Elizabeth Woodville, who later becomes The White Queen after marrying King Edward of the House of York secretly. Elizabeth is ambitious and makes early on enemies at court. Rumors of her being a witch are there from the start. But that is not the only problem. It is a time where cousin fights cousin, where brothers turn against each other, while everything Elizabeth tries is keeping the throne to Edward and her sons.
During all this her two boys become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower of London, who's fate is still unknown.

Now this is really as intriguing as it sounded. You could really see the historian background of Philippa Gregory in the writing which made it move a bit slow, but it didn't made me want to put the book away. At times I felt I hated the ambitious main character which made it a bit less enjoyable, but  overall this book was really a great historical read for me. And with the added mystery and witchcraft it really had more elements than just political strategies to it.
I rated it 4 out of 5 stars and hope to pick up another book by Philippa Gregory sometime soon.

If you have any historical fiction that you enjoyed and would recommend please let me know and I will check them out.

I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Monday, October 2, 2017

What I am currently reading

Hello readers,

I know my updates have been patchy at the moment. If you have been following me for a while you know this is not the usual, but at the beginning of summer I caught a pretty bad virus that basically threw me into a reading slump. I was incredible tired and happy to just make it through my day and then sleep. Since then I have been on and of with fevers and colds and I didn't had 2 weeks in a row where I felt good. With everything that goes on besides blogging I really struggled prioritizing and of course university always comes first.
So for today I thought I do some explaining and tell you what I recently read, what reviews I still want to go up soon and what I am currently reading and what I am about to read.

I am currently working on a home assignment comparing two plays by Henrik Ibsen, one being The Dollhouse and the other one being Ghosts, so those two I have been reading very intensely over the past month looking at every detail. In short the main problem in the Dollhouse is a woman leaving her husband and her children, breaking with the rules of the society, whereas in Ghosts the female protagonist tried to always protect the image of a perfect family and now starts seeing the faults in doing so. The Dollhouse is one of my favorite plays so this has clearly been fun, but also exhausting and I still have to get everything written down, so that's is the reason why I can only add one more book to my recent reads which is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

Big Little Lies tells the story of three women leading up to a tragic ending. I feel like this is one that is most thrilling to dive into without knowing much about it. The book feeds you with little information on the tragedy that happens all throughout the chapters. You know it is bad, but the approach to it is at times hilarious. It is absolutely mean, at times terrifying and when I had finished it I realized how sad this actually was. I really think it is unique and I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

Which leads me to upcoming reviews. I really want to bring you and in depth review of Big Little Lies.
As well as on Unwind by Neal Shusterman which really was beyond what I expected. Another review that is still missing is The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I must say I am a really bad reader when it comes to historical fiction and wanted to pick something that I already knew to some extent but that I also had mixed feelings about because I doubted that it would be a short good as the TV show. But it surprised me as well, so watch out for that review too.

Now to my current reads. Two days ago I started The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, I can't say much about it now, just that to me it sounded like a perfect read for October and that I hope to finish it this month. I am only a couple of pages in, as I somehow felt like picking up Perfection by my friend Merphy Napier (check out her YouTube channel) first and I have been reading every headache free minute since then. I am about 30% in so far and I really like the characters so far as well as the dystopian world but I can't say how I feel about it and I also would like to let Merphy now my thoughts first.

For the rest of the month I plan to read one classic, so far I have Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde planned.

Everything that goes beyond those three books would be great but I doubt I will get more in. I however plan to finally finishing Do your Om Thing and to read Something Like Happy by Eva Woods.

What are you currently reading? What is on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.

And I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Friday, September 29, 2017

Author Intetview: J.D. Thompson on Like Broken China

Hello readers,

Today I am happy to welcome J.D. Thompson to the blog who will be answering some questions to her novel Like Broken China. 

1. Like Broken Heart is a woman's fiction novel. Could you give us a short description of the main character and the breaking points in her life?

The main character is Courtney Cook, a thirty year old mom of two who finds herself picking up the pieces of her live after her marriage dissolves

2. Like Broken China is described as a story of heartbreak, through addiction and dealing with the aftermath. How did you come up with this storyline? What made you choose it?

The subject of addiction has always fascinated me. Understanding the mind of an addict works, and more importantly the impact that their actions have on those who love them, was what inspired me to write this novel. So many are affected by the disease and bringing the topic to light was important to me.

3. What challenges did you meet while writing this novel?

Like all of my work before it, what I found most challenging while creating Like Broken China was not so much the writing but the editing process involved. I’ve learned from experience that editing your own work can be a nearly impossible task. This time around I did myself a favor and paid for a professional editing service once the manuscript was complete.

4. What should readers take away from reading this novel?

That life doesn’t end with heartbreak and that more often than not, a person is stronger than they believe. I think another aspect that’simportant to take away from the novel is how important it is to forgive someone, regardless if they deserve your forgiveness or not. 

5. How did you manage to balance out the heartbreak and the humor?

It was a fine line. I tried to keep some of the storyline light despite the heavy context. It was difficult at times because I also didn’t want to make a mockery of the situations that Courtney faced.

Thank you J.D. for your time.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. A book blurb of Like Broken China can be found below.
I will be back soon with another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

About Like Broken China:

Is love enough to repair the pieces of a shattered life?

This is the question plaguing Courtney Cook’s mind as she packs what feels like her whole existence into a 20ft moving van. When she encountered Matt for the first time in a coffee shop ten years prior, she was immediately transfixed. Dark, adventurous and wildly untamed, Matt was everything Courtney didn’t know she wanted. One night of uninhibited abandon is all it took for her to be completely enthralled by the boy without limits. Now with two children, a sky-high mortgage and a marriage crippled by addiction, Courtney finds her world is riddled with cracks that no amount of love can repair. 

Powerful and provoking with humor woven throughout the raw sting of heartbreak, Like Broken China offers an honest take on the decisions two people make and the aftermath that can destroy an entire decade because of them.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

We all know I missed the Sunday review again, but I promise I won't make it a habit. It is my University free time and I use that time a lot to be with friends, family and on road trips, to restore and get the energy back for another semester. I feel I am slowly getting over my reading and blogging slump so everything should be back to normal soon once my everyday life has a routine again.

Now for today I have a review for you. Back in Juli I read the Selection series and my review for the first three books can be found on this blog already, so feel free to check those out too. Today I want to give you my thoughts on The Heir which is the 4th book of the series.

America and Maxon have become Queen and King, they married and got children. One of them being Eadlyn. Their oldest daughter who although she finds her parents story romantic doesn't plan on repeating it.
All her life Eadlyn has been prepared to become Queen and she is facing her responsibilities when there are riots starting again in the "kingdom". The castes have been eliminated but there are still problems of integration and Maxon and America think its time for another Selection...Eadlyns Selection.
But how will a Selection go with a Princess who doesn't want to find a husband?

For me honestly the Selection Series ended with book three, The One.
This one here was a nice and quick read but I felt as if I could open my review and complaint list from book one, The Selection.
I couldn't relate to the characters. I felt there was plothole after plothole, but somehow I still felt the story intrigued me and I kept on reading. The male selection candidates were a real challenge, some seemed nice, some seemed like a total nightmare, yet I felt there wasn't any depth to their characters. Eadlyn annoyed me for the majority of the book. I had my moments where I could understand her and then the next I thought how annoying can a character be. However I still kept on reading.
In the end I even wanted to pick up the next book.
So it is an enjoyable read, with its flaws and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

How did you enjoy this book of the series?

Let me know and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 weird reading habits

Hello readers,

today I have a quick post about my five weird reading habits. But before I jump into those I want to quickly remind you on the giveaway running on my blog until Tuesday next week. I can give three copies of Achilles by Greg Boose away (chances are high that you might be a winner!) so make sure you entry the Giveaway through the rafflecopter in this post.

So onto my weird reading habits:

1. Not breaking the spine!
This is a commonly known habit of book lovers I guess. But it is my number one rule to under no circumstances break the spine...ever! However sadly big chunky books often end up with one because how shall I read the words in the middle???
The struggle is real. I want my books to look as new as possible which leads me to...

2. Books in a zip lock bag
Yes...if I carry a book with me...which I do most of the times...I carry it in a zip lock bag.
I tend to put my tea mug in my bag and we all know how that can end...

3. Favorite place to read...
In my case in my car, parked in the parking hours from Uni...a tea lunch pack...just reading.
At home I get often distracted and disturbed...the phone mom wants something...the dog wants out, but at that parking lot it is just me and the book. Theoretically it's like being in a bathtub just without that thrilling action of not drowning your book!
(But when I am at home I read with the TV or the radio on...)

4. Looking for the next chapter
Before I start a new chapter I always count pages for the next. I hate having to cut it off in the middle of the chapter. So it is a way to assure I have enough time to finish it before I have to go.
You guessed right that makes me a crappy subway reader...but for long train rides or a flight I am all good.

5. Annotations
I know many people annotate in their books...I do not (unless it's an eBook or a book for Uni/school)
I carry an extra notebook with me where I write down my thoughts on a book or special quotes.

What are your 5 weird reading habits?
Let me know in the comments below.
I will see you again soon for another bookish post (and don't forget to entry the giveaway!)

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Giveaway: Achilles by Greg Boose (Closed)

Hello readers,

today I partnered up with Diversion Books to give away three copies of Achilles by Greg Boose.
Achilles is the first book of the Deep Sky Saga which is a thrilling space exploration YA series sure to be a perfect fit for fans of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.

ACHILLES introduces readers to orphaned teenager Jonah Lincoln as he prepares for a voyage from a hardscrabble life on Earth to the newly-colonized planet Thetis in the Silver Foot Galaxy. While Jonah may see this new beginning as a chance to be brave and self-sufficient, he’s thrown into chaos when his ship crashes not on Thetis, but on its lethal moon, Achilles. As the situation grows ever direr, Jonah and his fellow teenage survivors must endeavor to reach Thetis--especially as this moon turns out to not be as uninhabited as the colonists have been led to believe.

To win a copy of this novel you have to enter through this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

The Giveaway is open to US residents only and if you are under 18 years I need a permission of a parent to give your address to the publisher if you win, so your prize can be send to you.
This Giveaway ends September 26th at 12:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada) and I will contact the three winners on their given email addresses. You have then 24hours to answer my email otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Good luck to everyone!

Take care,
Nadja Ezzat

Friday, September 15, 2017

Guest Post: Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope. By J.G. Follansbee

Hello readers,

today I welcome J.G. Follansbee to Fit & Beautiful Heart reads in honor of his dystopian novelette The Mother Earth Insurgency with a guest post.

Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope.

Scientists agree. Climate change is real and it's already here. It affects millions of lives on a daily basis. If it hasn't affected you directly, it's only a matter of time until it does.

The changes are incremental and accumulating. Rain is falling harder, more often, and in greater amounts. Heat records break every day, in summer and in winter.

How will we live a decade from now, or a century, or a millennium? Will our species survive?

That's where storytelling comes in. As a writer of speculative fiction, I'm interested in how humans will adapt to a new world where average temperatures are as many as six degrees above the historical average, according to current scientific predictions. Even predictions on the low end will likely result in massive disruptions of life on planet Earth, including human life.

In Tales From A Warming Planet, a series I've written with climate change as a main theme, human beings live, grow, and fight, as they always have, but in a different environment. In August, I released the first story in the series, titled The Mother Earth Insurgency. It's a novelette of 15,000 words, a kind of preview of my series of three novels. The Mother Earth Insurgency is available now on Amazon.

In The Mother Earth Insurgency, Nick Sorrows is an agent of the Bureau of Environmental Security who infiltrates a terrorist group fighting what it believes is the corporate takeover of “green” energy, such as wind farms and solar farms. The BES is tasked with protecting the planet from environmental harm, somewhat like the FBI, but with darker methods. As Nick pursues his mission, he discovers a major action planned by the group, led by an ex-environmental lawyer named Jon Janicks. The action could kill Sorrows' young son. Can Nick save his son and thousands more from certain death?

All my stories in the Tales series fit into the dystopia and thriller genres, with a heavy dose of science fiction. (Sorry, no spaceships or ray guns.) I've focused on strong characters, particularly female characters. In the first novel, Carbon Run, scheduled for release this fall, Anne Penn is a young woman whose father is accused of destroying an endangered species. After her father disappears, Anne accompanies another BES agent, Janine Kilel, to find her father. More strong female lead characters appear in upcoming Tales  novels, including City of Ice and Dreams, and Restoration.

A few commentators place these kinds of stories in a new genre, “climate fiction.” The genre's history goes back decades, and today's practitioners include Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver. The canon is expanding all the time.

More and more writers are asking: How will we live in a climate-changed world? My work is a small, hopefully entertaining, answer to the question. I hope you'll go along for the journey.

J.G. Follansbee is a writer who blogs at You can follow him on Facebook (@AuthorJGFollansbee), Twitter (@Joe_Follansbee), and Instagram (@jgfollansbee).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Author Interview: A.H. Richardson on Murder in Little Shendon

Hello readers,
today I welcome A.H. Richardson for an interview on Murder in Little Shendon to Fit & Beautiful Heart reads.
Murder in Little Shendon is the first novel of the Hazlitt/Brandon series. A series of murder mystery novels that follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths - Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon.

1. Murder in Little Shendon is a thriller murder mystery where as your first ever novel was a children`s book. How did you come from writing books for children to writing a thriller?
I think I wanted to write a 'who-dun -it' long before I wrote the Jorie stories. Growing up in England, and raised in a fine boarding school, I read my first Agatha Christie when I was about ten ... and loved it, and thereafter read everything she ever wrote.  I believe I dreamed at quite an early age about writing a murder mystery, and wondered how challenging it would be... and it is challenging by its very nature.  I grew up the daughter of a famous father, Clive Richardson, a concert pianist and composer - my mother sang opera, so the theatre and art genes ran in my blood, it's safe to say!  I grew up with a love since of dragons, magic and fantasy, and wrote the Jorie stories long before the mysteries.  The murder mysteries, however, were always simmering in the back of my mind,and I did not write these until later - and it was always easy to separate them ... you just wear a different hat!

2. There are a lot of british TV shows running on international TVs now, such as Inspector Barnaby and Father Brown. When I first heared of Murder in Little Shendon I wondered if it might be like those shows and where you would see similarities and differences?
Nobody does a mystery quite like the  British - in the same way that nobody did musicals like Hollywood, in the good old days   I know very well the British mysteries you refer to, and they are excellent.  I always used to love 'Morse' remember him? - a very laid back slightly morose character.  In a way you're quite right, Murder i  Little Shendon is not unlike these shows, and I would say that there are more similarities than differences, especially since Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon are the two sleuths who do all the investigations, and are great friends though vastly different from one another.  They feature also in the other books.

3. How would you describe your main characters?
The two main characters the ones whose names I mentioned in the last question, are the two loveable sleuths.  Sir Victor is a charming debonair quite wealthy retired diplomat who worked for MI5 and Scotland Yard. He is low-key, well-read, clever and cautious.  His partner, Beresford Brandon (Berry) is a shortish, stout teddy-bear of a man, a fine Shakespearian actor, and the son of a famous detective.  He is personable, funny,  a mimic, great with people, and a romantic. They have become quite real for me, and sometimes I hear one or another of them talking to me... better not print that, or people will wonder... One's characters do talk to one,  that is how a book gets written!

4. Did you thought of a specific place when coming up with the town of Little Shendon? If so where would I have to go to get a real life experience of Little Shendon?
There are all sorts of quaint tiny villages in Southern England especially with names like, Little Chipping, and there's one called Little Piddle... no, really there is.  I used to visit a village called Little Cattcot, so I took up the 'Little' and added Shendon.  You would have to travel to Dorset and Devon and Cornwall to find these places, many of them do a B and B, and are lovely to visit, but don't try to find Little Shendon, that is only in Angela's stories.

5. Could you imagine seeing Murder in Little Shendon on the big screen?
resounding YES!  Because of my drama training, and stage work, I absolutely see this as a film, and in some places in the book, I am told, it comes a cross as almost a screenplay.

Thank you very much to A.H. Richardson for answering my questions.

About A.H. Richardson:

A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

In addition to the Hazlitt Brandon series, she is also the author of a series of children’s chapter books, the Jorie series, which includes Jorie and the Magic Stones, Jorie and the Gold Key, and Jorie and the River of Fire.

A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Blame it on the bet by L.E. Rico

Hello readers,

today I have another review for you (I know a day late). As many of you might know I am a huge fan of Lauren E. Ricos writing (here writing has L.E. Rico). Tomorrow her new novel Blame it on the bet will be released.

Blame it on the bet is a romance. Telling the story of Hennessy O'Halloran, who tries to save the family pub together with her three sisters from the L.A. real estate developer Bryan Truitt.

Bryan is used to getting what he wants, but Hennessy is a real challenge for him. They make it a bet, if she can't raise the money before foreclosure he gets it, if he however leaves Mayhem before this date he gives her the money to save it.
Mayhem is a charming little city with cats in sweaters (with funny names) where the fortune can be found at the bottom of a pie.

As opposed to Lauren's previous novels this one is a light romance. It is funny, full of charme and easy to read.
I was in such a reading slump when I picked this up but it instantly got me out of it. I loved getting both perspectives. The character developement in this novel came mostly through the present and not through dealing with the characters past. These two developed through their interacting with each other which in my opinion made it such a light read.
The cats in sweaters and all over the town of Mayhem and it's citizens were so loveable, funny, hilarious.
The balance between the seriousness off loosing a family business, the internal family problems, the dealing with a loss, then sticking together, finding love, was just on point.
Only thing I could complain about was that the wintery theme of this (and yes it is an important part of the story) didn't fit to the summery weather we had when I read this.

Overall 5 out of 5 stars for Blame it on the bet.
Thanks again to Lauren E. Rico and Entangled Publishing for providing me with an e-galley.

Let me know if you pick it up and what your thoughts are in the comments below and I see you all soon again for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Top 5 Recommendations: Favorite Books when I was a teenager

Hello readers,

when I was a teenager (like 12 years ago) there was little to no YA out there or it least nothing I was aware of. So you might wonder: What did she read back then?
Trust me there were actually really great books that I picked up as a teenager and today I will present you my five favorite novels that I read as a teenager.

1. On the road by Jack Kerouac

A novel based on the travels of Kerouac (the narrator Sal Paradise) and his friends across the United States. Full of Jazz, poetry and drug use it is a novel about the post war Beat Generation, with many of its key figures such as Allen Ginsberg.
I loved this read. I read it so fast and countless times as a teen. It always made me laugh and I always found new thinks that I found interesting.

2. The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

Was my first ever fantasy read and I loved it. The illustrations added so much and made it feel so real and like I was exploring the world of Zamonia myself.
Optimus Yarnspinner is a Lindworm, which is something like a dinosaur, who after inheriting his godfathers possessions, which included a perfectly written story by an unknown author, travels to Bookholm to find this unknown author. Bookholm is a city devoted to literature, labyrinthine catacombs housing many valuable books, among various monsters and perils. Once there Yarnspinner    gets directed by a publisher to Pfistomel Smyke, who possesses the most powerful books but who also plans to eradicate all forms of art in Zamonia. He drugs Yarnspinner and transfers him to the catacombs where the real journey starts.
Honestly, you have to read this!
It is a huge chunk of a book for me, but I read throug it in 2 sittings.
Let me know if you read it and what you thought of it.

3. Give a Boy a Gun by Morton Rhue

This is a book about a school shooting which I already talked about in my Hard Topics recommendations so I will link you to it here.

4. The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

Is to me a beautiful love story. Where a father passes on a story about a girl who he saw at a tram, asking the son to solve the mystery of the girls identity.
It was just beautiful. Let's be honest I DNFed Sophie's World but I loved the Orange Girl. I re-read it a couple of times and it is a perfect novel to read in one sitting and it stuck with me for all those  years. If somebody asks me whats a short novel you would recommend, something more special and literary, I keep saying The Orange Girl.

5. The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The well known bestselling thriller trilogy telling the story of Lisbeth Salander. I know there is new and fourth book out, haven't read it because to me the story ended with the third book.
We all know I love crimes and thrillers but these ones are clearly unique for me. I read all three books in 8 days and I can still remember details. The characters and plot are just excellent to me. The twists and turns and just how complex all of this is, you are just waiting that there is something left out but it really isn't.
It is obviously not the most recommendable read for teens but I would say 16+ works fine.

So this is it for today's recommended reads. Let me know your top 5 reads when you were a teen.
And I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

finally those reviews are coming.
I know I took my time but I am slowly catching up and I got a lot more to come your way (just saying author interviews and a Giveaway).
So today I  my thought on the third book of the Selections Series, The One by Kiera Cass for you.
If you haven`t checked out my reviews on The Selection and The Elite yet, I am going to link you to The Elite here where you will also find the link to the Selection.

So the time has come for one winner to be crowned. America has never dreamed that she would be anywhere close to the crown or to fall in love with Prince Maxon, but as the threats from outside of the palace walls grow she realizes what she stands to loose.
Will she manage to fight for it?

I just loved this "final" book of Americas Selection. I loved how much both America and Maxon grow. How we get to know more of Maxons background and how America finally makes up her mind. The dystopian element was finally there and really there and I got to understand the world this was taking place in.
I really couldn`t put this book down. I just kept on reading and hated every break I took.
Don`t get me wrong it was still flawed but what made it good definetly outweight the flaws. I completely stopped caring about them.
Romance was on point and the emotions were just amazing.
Overall 5 out of 5 stars from me.

How did you enjoy it? - Let me know in the comments.

I will see you again on Wednesday for another bookish post.

Take care,
๐Ÿ“š Nadja