This month’s roundup is going to be super long – but that’s not because I read so many books last month, it’s because I was too lazy to write a January roundup so that this one covers both January and February. That’s good for me because the first month in 2017 was actually quite embarrassing when it comes to reading since I’ve only finished one book, one short story and one audiobook. Fortunately I was much more successful in February and it felt nice to have a strong reading month again.
Books & Audiobooks
I’m quite okay with the amount of books I read last month but not so much with their quality. In fact there were quite a few disappointments and the best books I read lately were mostly re-reads…
- The Ask and the Answer – Patrick Ness
Oh boy, I had not expected that this would turn into a disappointment but I had some major issues with the sequel to TKoNLG. I know it might be an unpopular opinion but I found this book rather problematic. The way the characters behaved upset me a lot and I absolutely didn’t like what Patrick Ness did to Todd and Viola whom I found so relatable in the first book but I more or less despised them in this one, especially Todd. Yes, this book has great villains and was still addictive but I’m not going to root for terrorists or abusers and being a kid just isn’t a good enough excuse for me.
- The Wide, Wide Sea – Patrick Ness
This cute human/Spackle romance managed to calm me down a bit after TAatA. Not that it added anything important to the overall story but I found it to be a nice bonus.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
I’m so glad Maraia made me listen to the English audiobooks because I’m enjoying Harry Potter even more than ever at the moment. Jim Dale is just awesome and in this one he could especially show how freaking good he is with different voices and accents.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
The fifth HP book used to be my last favorite one and I still think that it lacks a real story and only consists of side plots but the audiobook version worked so much better for me. Jim Dale’s Umbridge was just perfectly annoying and I loved how badass Professor McGonagall was in this book.
- The Other Side of Eve – Paul Ikin
I really wanted to like this book because it’s one of the prettiest bookish projects I’ve ever seen but the story just didn’t work for me at all. Most of the book was pretty tedious and the many typos and comma faults definitely didn’t make it easier…
- Gemina – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
I totally agree with everyone who says „Gemina“ is basically just a copy of „Illuminae“ but that didn’t keep me from enjoying it a lot. Yes, every detail was a little bit less amazing than in the first book but oh my God it was addictive as hell again and I just love the concept of this series.
- Die seltsame Berufung des Mr. Heming („A Pleasure and a Calling“) – Phil Hogan
I don’t really know what to think about this one. On the one hand it’s a story about a stalker which felt pretty weird but on the other hand it was also amusing at times. I had hoped for a little more suspense though.
- The Hunt – Oscar de Muriel
I don’t expect much from short stories but when 75% of a 50-pages novella is a preview of the next novel in the series and the story itself is completely redundant then I think it’s okay to be disappointed – even when it’s for free.
- A Fever of the Blood – Oscar de Muriel
The sequel to „The Strings of Murder“ couldn’t completely live up to my expectations either but I still liked the atmosphere and the character dynamics and also found the witch theme quite interesting, even though the murder case could’ve been a bit more suspenseful.
- Totenfang („The Restless Dead“) – Simon Beckett
I’m glad I switched to the audiobook versions of the David Hunter books because I’m beginning to feel that I’m enjoying the narration by Johannes Steck more than the actual stories. I’m somehow getting tired of Simon Beckett always using the same plot devices in every book and wish he would come up with some fresh ideas.
- Anonym – Ursula Poznanski & Arno Strobel
I didn’t have very high expectations for this one after getting disappointed by a few of Arno Strobel’s latest books but was surprised how addictive and thrilling this turned out to be. Good story, good narration (I liked the male much narrator better though^^), happy me.
- Dreadnought – April Daniels
A superhero story with a transgender protagonist sounded pretty interesting but unfortunately the superhero plot was rather lame and I often had the feeling I was reading a fan fiction to Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series (there even was a Calamity character!). The contemporary part of this book didn’t really work for me either.
- The Masked City – Genevieve Cogman
The month ended with another little disappointment since I found this book a bit less enjoyable than „The Invisible Library“. The middle part was just too slow and I missed the bookish aspect of the adventure compared to the first book because it felt rather like a „normal“ kidnapping case (if you can call a kidnapping case with dragons and fae normal^^) than a mission for the spy of a secret Library organization.
Trip to the United States
The main reason why I didn’t spent a lot of time reading in January was because I went to the United States for the very first time in my life to visit Maraia and we had a great time and it was fun to explore Michigan. I still can’t believe that the law students at the University of Michigan get to study in a library that looks like the Great Hall of Hogwarts and I have to admit I’m a little bit jealous 😀
- PASSENGERS: I can see why people find this story upsetting but to be honest it didn’t bother me a lot and I found this movie actually better than expected after all this negative coverage. Also the movie was visually absolutely stunning.
- ROGUE ONE – A STAR WARS STORY: I’m glad I still got to see this one on the big screen but I was definitely not prepared for how depressing this movie was 😀 Absolutely worth watching even though it took me a while to really get attached to the characters, but the actions scenes were great and gave me the real Star Wars feeling.
- THE GREAT WALL: This movie felt like 80% special effects and 20% story but to be honest that was exactly the reason why I wanted to watch it and so I got what I wanted, nothing more and nothing less.
- SPLIT: It’s hard to talk about this movie without giving any spoilers. It was definitely different from what I had expected and I’m having mixed feelings about it but the ending was M. Night Shyamalan at his best again and kinda blew my mind.
- STAR WARS –THE FORCE AWAKENS: Watched it for the third time now and it’s still awesome.
- HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN: It might still be my favorite HP book and so it’s no surprise that I’m not getting tired of watching the movie version either.
- HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE: I think I’ve only watched the fourth movie for the second time and I was a bit ashamed how much I had forgotten of the story 😀
- SCHOOL OF ROCK: I’m always having a hard time watching Jack Black movies because I find him rather obnoxious and his humor pretty flat but this one was actually fun to watch.
- A KNIGHT’S TALE: I have to admit that I watched this movie for the very first time and had somehow expected a cheesy romance but this was so much better than expected and highly entertaining. Also great soundtrack!
- SPIRITED AWAY: I think this might have been the first anime movie I’ve ever watched and it was… weird. Maybe a bit too weird for me 😀
- SHERLOCK: Hmm… I guess the fact that I still haven’t watched episodes two and three of the new season says everything about how much I enjoyed the first one?
- MODERN FAMILY: Still great.
- WAYWARD PINES: It was interesting to see how the show differed from the book but I have to say I liked both versions. Definitely curious for season 2.
- DESIGNATED SURVIVOR: my favorite show at the moment AND WHY DID IT GO ON MID-SEASON BREAK AFTER THAT EVIL CLIFFHANGER?
- PRISON BREAK: Finished my re-watch of season 3 and started rewatching season 4.
- SUITS: Finished season 4 and I guess it was my least favorite one yet. It’s just not the same when the characters don’t work on the same side… Liked the ending though!
- THE BIG BANG THEORY: Still don’t think this will ever get boring.
- ALL OR NOTHING: I started watching this show to get in the mood for the Super Bowl and was surprised how gripping it is even though I already knew that NFL season’s story. I don’t know if it’s still interesting when you’re not a football fan but this is definitely a very good sports documentary.
- BROOKLYN NINE-NINE: Finally started season 4 and WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED BEFORE THE MID-SEASON BREAK? Also I’m going to kill Pimento if nobody else takes care of it asap – so. fucking. annoying.
- HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: Binge-watched season 2 and holy shit it was such a mess. I have no idea how this could get even worse for them in season 3 but I guess these idiots will find a way 😀
- COUPLING: Re-watched season 3 and finished the show by watching season 4 for the first time – which was a mistake because now I can never unsee the poor effort of the producers to replace Jeff by a cheap Jeff copy who was not even close to being as funny as the original.
- A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS: I really liked the look and style of this show because it reminded me of „Pushing Daisies“ but I have mixed feelings about the story. I enjoyed watching it but I don’t think it lived up to my expectations. Also it was frustrating to see how ignorant everyone around the Baudelaire children was 😀
- ZOO: I don’t know why it took me over a year to watch the first season because I actually did enjoy watching it quite a lot. I hope it won’t take me another year to watch season 2.
- LIFE IN PIECES: I didn’t have very high expectations for this one because I was afraid it would just be a cheap „Modern Family“ clone but this show is hilarious and I would even say I like it more than the „original“ at the moment. Great characters, great humor!
- GOTHAM: Watched a few episodes of season 3 and basically I’m just waiting for X to finally show up again 😀
- HEMLOCK GROVE: Finally finished season 2. I don’t think I really knew what was going on anymore after my long absence from this show but it still had a few nice WTF moments 😀
One of my new year’s resolutions was to focus less on book reviews and add more variety to my blog posts, that’s why I decided to participate in the „Discussion Challenge“ this year and teamed up with Maraia to talk about bookish things. In our first two discussions we wondered if 2016 was a disappointing year and about how well action scenes work in books and we would love to get your opinion on these topics! 😉
Other blog posts
- [Top 10 Tuesday] Top Ten 2017 Debuts We Are Excited For
- [Top 10 Tuesday] Top Ten 2016 Releases We Meant To (Buddy) Read But Didn’t Get To (But TOTALLY Plan To)
- [Top 10 Tuesday] Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books
- [Top 10 Tuesday] 2017 Movies We’re Looking Forward To
- [Top 10 Tuesday] Top Ten Books We Wish Had More/Less … In Them
- [Top 10 Tuesday] Ten Books We Loved Less/More Than We Thought We Would
- [Vorschau] Krimi- & Thriller-Highlights im Januar 2017
- [Vorschau] Krimi- & Thriller-Highlights im Februar 2017
- [Vorschau] Krimi- & Thriller-Highlights im März 2017
- [New books on the shelves] December 2017
- [New books on the shelves] January 2017
- [Guest Post] Maraia’s End of Year Book Survey