One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

Powerful, heartbreaking and yet hopeful.

Goodreads | 176 pages | Fiction, Contemporary

I received this eArc on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The main focus of the book lies on the dynamics of the family. Although the reader does not get to know the names of the main character, the father, the mother or the brother, they are portrayed by their feelings and certain characteristics. At first One of the Boys is misleading the reader, having them search for the evil that destroyed the family, finding it in different places until the true evil reveals itself.

In contrast to their parents, the main character, but also the brother to some extent, changed over the course of the book. Except for the abuse and violence, this is a part that can be elaborated on well. In a way I feel like it is important to highlight their strength and growth that made them endure their situation.

While the parents seem to have been the same all along while only hiding their true motivations, a change in the personality of the boys is clearly visible. While the MC can be observed as truly loyal, naive and immature at the beginning of the book, these character traits have changed in a whole other direction. He adopted some behavior from the father, leaving the father in the dark about the loyalty and plans of the boys. In the end it feels as if the boys is broken, corrupted by everything they had to endure, by carrying the weight of responsibility for themselves and their father at a way too early time.

Even at its short length, this novel manages to create a strong, loyal bond between the reader and the boys. Their struggle creates feelings of discontent and empathy for them. Due to all of these circumstances, this book very deservedly receives 4 out of 5 stars by me.


Have you read One of the Boys? What did you think of it? Be sure to let me know.

Week of No Clutter + Rafflecopter Giveaway!

You might have read my review of Year of No Clutter from a few days ago! In celebration of its publication yet another post will be published by me. As you were able to tell by my overall positive review, I was inspired after reading it. Decluttering and thoughtful consumerism is something that grew dear to my heart within the last year. I myself tried to be more conscious and to downsize.

As I already stated in my review, I was approved for an eARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review by Sourcebooks, who were also so kind to send out more information and material for this great book which made this post possible.

Week of No Clutter

It is not that easy, I know. But don’t sweat it! From March 7-14, you can sign-up to get a newsletter each day with tips, advice and videos from Eve Schaub herself in order to be able to conquer your clutter! You can sign up here. I would love to see lots of you get involved!

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Rafflecopter Giveaway

Little did I know, only cuties with non-free WordPresses can add Rafflecopter widgets directly to their site, yet I still hope you are going to follow the following link to win 1 of 5 copies of Year of No Clutter by Eve Schaub!

Click Me To Win A Book!


Year of No Clutter: A Memoir by Eve Schaub

A pleasant memoir about family, well-being, materialism as well as minimalism and of course everyone’s enemy – clutter! Loved it!

In exchange for an honest review I received this eARC from the publisher on NetGalley. Thank you very much!

I’ve been interested in decluttering and a clutter free lifestyle for quite a while now. Therefore this book immediately caught my attention and I was excited when I was approved for this title. Now let us get into it! Warning: Mild spoilers ahead, as well as mental health stuff. 

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The chapter about the hell room is extremely interesting and her writing is easy and quick to read. It was a nice way to get into the whole subject matter. Throughout reading it, personal stories and problems Eve had to face made it richer in variety.

Taken from the blurb on Goodreads:

Year of No Clutter is a deeply inspiring–and frequently hilarious — examination of why we keep stuff in the first place, and how to let it all go.

I absolutely have to agree with this statement. To be completely honest, at first I wasn’t aware of how serious and well-conceived this book was until I was around one third into it. I was absolutely sure that it would be just like other articles and posts on the internet about this topic, just in a longer version. But I was wrong, this book made me feel something and I could relate to it so much, I felt what Eve must have been feeling in some way or another. And because I was able to relate so much, I wanna share another passage from Year Of No Clutter.

I was afraid. Desperately. Afraid of side effects! Afraid it would make me sick! I pictured my hair falling out in clumps. […] I pictured myself violently ill, and these images circled my non-draining brain endlessly until the only way I could get any respite was to shelve the issue once more in the back storage closet of my mind. Phew.

(Somehow, this is exactly how I felt, although I was not diagnosed with OCD, but something else, and also:)

Today, I am a different person. I take an infinitesimal daily dose of what’s called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (translation: Roto-Rooter for my brain). My husband will be the first one to point out the differences between Even and eversoslightlymedicated Eve.

The book deals with the subject matter of mental health and especially OCD pretty well, in my opinion. Of course I cannot speak for people with this kind of problem, but it is sensitive enough with not any obvious insensitivities and not totally ignorant.

Eve is such a lovely and likable narrator. This memoir and her story are quite unique in my opinion. Her writing and use of language was – at least for me with English not being my native language – sophisticated and exiting, with many words I had never heard before. It somewhat showed some quirkiness of her character I think. Which I mean in the most positive way!

Conclusion

I wasn’t expecting all too much, since I hardly ever read memoirs, but let me tell you I was stunned! Eve has such an empathetic way of telling her stories, I was able to connect and feel like I was a part of that story. It’s definitely a fast read, with some helpful advice along the way. Therefore Year Of No Clutter will receive 4 out of 5 stars.

Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick

Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick

An interesting book I was eager to read once I saw the lovely cover. Sometimes exhausting to read, a little disappointing in the end, but overall it had some good thrills.

To be honest I wanna say right away, most of the characters and their choices were quite annoying to me. It seemed so obvious to make the right choices, but the characters were so busy with themselves and their desires that it was hard for them to react to the situations. That made it exhausting to read, because the reader knew what was going to happen, at least to some extent.

Although Claire as one of the main characters went through an extreme development character-wise, it didn’t change much at all, but it did make her character be the hero in this book (for around 40 pages, until she was being annoying again). In a way I would say that the character’s personalities were created very well by the author in order to fit the narrative.

Overall, I enjoyed the little indecencies, the mystery and the thrill (or what was there of it). However, I would have loved a clearer ending, a bigger punishment, a better solution. Except for that, it is a solid 3 out of 5 stars and I am actually interested in other works by this author.

Bad Little Girl | Psychological Thriller | 325 pages | Published February 2017 | Goodreads

February | Wrap-Up + Haul

February | Wrap-Up + Haul

For the first month in probably ever, I actually stuck to the books I had set out for that month. I nearly only read books from this TBR post for February. In the following short list, I will mention every book from said post and format it whether I have read it or not. If a work was read in February, I will make it bold, if I have at least started or read parts of it, it will be italic and a book I have not even remotely looked at at all, will be crossed out.

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David 180 pages | ★★★★✰ | My review

The Girls by Emma Cline 11 hours | ★★★✰✰

The Madman’s Tale by John Katzenbach 20 hours  ★✰✰✰✰ | Goodreads review

1Q84 #3 by Haruki Murakami 17 hours ★★★★✰

Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick | 325 pages ★★★✰✰

The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre 352 pages  | 45 pages done

Songs of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria 183 pages | 31 pages done

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | 305 pages |

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan 308 pages |

Human Acts by Han Kang 224 pages |

Lebensgeister by Banana Yoshimoto 160 pages |

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler 416 pages |

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger 368 pages |

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill 400 pages |

A Clash Of Kings by George R. R. Martin 931 pages |

Other Books

Nina is Not Ok by Shappi Khorsandi | 352 pages | ★★★★★ | My review

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie | 4 hours | 1 hour 30 minutes done

All in all, that makes 960 pages read and around 48 hours I spent listening to audio books.

All The Books I Bought In February

All of the following books were used before I bought them, none were new.

The Secret History

Abgeschnitten

The Silmarillion

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The Summer Of Chasing Mermaids

Lying Out Loud

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Clumsy

The Big Lie

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Gossip Girl #4: Because I’m Worth it

Gossip Girl #5: I Like It Like That

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How was February for you?

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Melissa and Lance were so worth it. Keeping the Distance contains a decent high-quality amount of ship-able material. A love story I cannot wait for to be continued.

Some Information

Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Published in February 2017

Goodreads | Author’s website

★★★★✰

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can’t. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something’s about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn’t her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs…

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he’s ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he’s known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he’s about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs…

My Thoughts

Adorable, sweet, lovely and even a little heartbreaking. That is what Keeping the Distance is to me. I was immediately drawn into the story and plot of this book. At several different occasions I found myself swooning over Lance, Melissa, or both of them at the same time. Near the end of the book, the author had established a somewhat strong connection to the characters so that it made me feel with them. It never got boring.

Although family and friendship was well portrayed in contrast to some other contemporaries, Cam felt a wee bit flat and not as vivid as she could have been. She is a good friend to Melissa, the reader does see that, but there wasn’t quite enough happening involving her for her to really be the bestest of friends. Hopefully there will be more Cam quality time in the following books. Maybe even some Cam/Hunter or Cam/Jace time. But we’ll see; a girl can still dream though, right? Just believe me, Keeping the Distance contains a decent high-quality amount of ship-able material.

Additionally, the environment that is Iloilo is so fantastic and unique. It does add its part to the story.  You may call it ignorant, but I was unaware of the history of colonization of the Philippines. For a good third of the book I was wondering why the names were not at all what I was expecting and rather sounding Spanish. Until I did some research and read up on it, which makes a whole lot of sense now. So the book also offered knowledge I hadn’t possessed beforehand.

All in all, I am utterly excited for the second book in this series to be published. Clarisse’s writing can be described as sophisticated and lively. Keeping the Distance has everything a swoon-worthy romance novel needs: the amazing couple, the chill friends, this little bit of trouble, the cheesy pick-up lines (in a totally not serious way) and the deeply bonding moments between the two MCs. This series still has so much potential and could wind up to be one of my favorite series.


Have you read it? If so, what did you think of it?

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi

Let me tell you, this book was a wild, amazing, emotional rollercoaster. I’m going to tell you right away it’s a 5/5 read – I’m speechless. Well, nearly.

In exchange for an honest review I received this eARC from the publisher on NetGalley. Thank you very much!

Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?

Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all.

And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.

But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…

Synopsis taken from Goodreads

Let’s get right into some of the main reasons why I loved this book to bits! Beware: Mild spoilers as well as sexual abuse and alcoholism ahead.

Although Nina is Not OK is a YA Contemporary, at that it was being very serious and mature. Right from the beginning I loved that the book did not mince matters. It was raw, edgy and, well, explicitly sexual. I was not expecting it to be this explicit, considering that Nina is only 17 at that point in the book. I’m not even judging, I simply expected this book to be for a younger audience.

Nina makes you feel something. Her feelings and thoughts and her suffering, but also happiness, are written in a way to make you feel it too. It is intense. Additionally, there is so much happening all the time. The reader is not stuck at one particular point in time, although Nina consistently keeps being reminded of that certain event from the beginning. Because so many aspects of Nina’s life are being visited throughout reading this book, it makes her feel like she is a real human being, a good friend. Her character development is clearly visible and especially at the end, she is obviously changed.

And Nina is not even the only amazing character. Let us briefly talk about Beth and Zoe. Well, you may think now that since this book has one amazing huge important bad-ass main character, the development for the other ones fell flat. But you guessed right: it didn’t. They felt equally real, went through tough stuff and ended up in different places.

Shappi Khorsandi has such an interesting way of writing. It is unexpected and entertaining. She manages to make Nina is Not OK so vivid by being equally plot- and character-driven. It left me speechless on a few occasions, but it made me want to keep reading it forever and ever.

February | To Be Read

February | To Be Read

I’m a little late for this month’s TBR post, I know I know. However, I just really got into the mood of setting a goal way too high for me to ever achieve it within a month. Since Friday this week is going to be my birthday, I have an unusual amount of beautiful books at home. So, what do I wanna read this month?

All of the information for the books was taken from their page on Goodreads.

The following four books were lent to me by my amazing bestest friend Anna, who does have a blog but hasn’t yet posted anything. For my birthday we decided that she would let me have these for a while. I am already in love with all of them.

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Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

305 pages | Goodreads

Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself.

Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

308 pages | Goodreads

Written in startlingly beautiful prose, HARMLESS LIKE YOU is set across New York, Berlin and Connecticut, following the stories of Yuki Oyama, a Japanese girl fighting to make it as an artist, and Yuki’s son Jay who, as an adult in the present day, is forced to confront his mother who abandoned him when he was only two years old.

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Human Acts by Han Kang

224 pages | Goodreads

Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend’s corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma.

Lebensgeister by Banana Yoshimoto

I wasn’t able to find an English translation for this book, so here just follows the German synopsis.

160 pages | Goodreads

Nach einem schweren Unfall und dem Verlust ihres Geliebten ist Sayoko nicht mehr sie selbst. Sie hat das Zwischenreich der Geister betreten und Geheimnisse der unsichtbaren Welt erfahren. In der Tempelstadt Kyoto lernt sie allmählich das Leben so zu akzeptieren, wie es ist: voller Ungewissheiten und Rätsel, dem Tod immer nahe, ob man jung ist oder alt.

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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

416 pages | Goodreads

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom – until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry – except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy – insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though – swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

368 pages | Goodreads

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend’s house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder’s the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can’t stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

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Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

180 pages | Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can’t. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something’s about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn’t her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs…

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he’s ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he’s known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he’s about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs…

Songs of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria

183 pages | Goodreads

Every breakup has its playlist.

How do you get over a seven-year relationship? 21-year-old Jill is trying to find out. But moving on is a harder job when Kim, her ex-boyfriend, is the lead guitarist of the band, and Jill is the vocalist. Every song they play together feels like slicing open a barely healed tattoo.

The Girl in 6E by A. R. Torre

352 pages | Goodreads

I haven’t touched a human in three years. That seems like it would be a difficult task, but it’s not. Not anymore, thanks to the internet.

I am, quite possibly, the most popular recluse ever. Not many shut-ins have a 200-member fan club, a bank account in the seven-figure range, and hundreds of men lining up to pay for undivided attention.

They get satisfaction, I get a distraction. Their secret desires are nothing compared to why I hide… my lust for blood, my love of death.

Taking their money is easy. Keeping all these secrets… one is bound to escape.

What if you hid yourself away because all you could think of was killing? And what if one girl’s life depending on you venturing into society?

Bad Little Girl by Frances Vick

325 pages | Goodreads

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

400 pages | Goodreads

In a world in which baby girls are no longer born naturally, women are bred in schools, trained in the arts of pleasing men until they are ready for the outside world. At graduation, the most highly rated girls become “companions”, permitted to live with their husbands and breed sons until they are no longer useful.

For the girls left behind, the future – as a concubine or a teacher – is grim.

Best friends Freida and Isabel are sure they’ll be chosen as companions – they are among the most highly rated girls in their year.

But as the intensity of final year takes hold, Isabel does the unthinkable and starts to put on weight. ..
And then, into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride.

Freida must fight for her future – even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known…

A Clash Of Kings by George R. R. Martin

931 pages | Goodreads

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The Girls by Emma Cline

11 hours | Goodreads

The Madman’s Tale by John Katzenbach

20 hours | Goodreads

1Q84 #3 by Haruki Murakami

17 hours | Goodreads

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What are you planing on reading this month? Let me know! (:

Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To Yet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted and created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a bookish topic for which one can create a list of 10 (or more or less) items that fit said theme! This week’s amazing topic is:

January 10: Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY plan to)

 

 

1 The Sun Is Also a Star Nicola Yoon

2 Girls Like Me Lola St.Vil

3 Something in Between Melissa de la Cruz

4 Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit Jaye Robin Brown

5 Swear on This Life Renee Carlino

6 Nice Girls Endure Chris Struyk-Bonn

7 Gena/Finn Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson

Highly Illogical Behavior John Corey Whaley

9 Summer Skin Kirsty Eagar

10 Cherry Lindsey Rosin


 

Bout of Books 18 | Final Update

The Bout of Books 18 readathon has ended. As you might have guessed, I am not too happy with the progress I made throughout the week. Now, I only finished half of the goals I set out for myself. I read one book and had fun, but that was it. I wish I’d have had more time on my hands. However, I’ll certainly be participating in the next Bout of Books as well!

Number of pages I’ve read today: 103

Total number of pages I’ve read: 518

Today’s Books: The Madman’s Tale (3h – 103 pages)

Books I finished today: –

All the books I finished: 1