Endlich mal wieder ein Roman, der seinem Hype gerecht wird!
Ich habe geschmunzelt und ich habe auch das eine oder andere Tränchen vergossen.
Leky schaffEndlich mal wieder ein Roman, der seinem Hype gerecht wird!
Ich habe geschmunzelt und ich habe auch das eine oder andere Tränchen vergossen.
Leky schafft es die eigentlich banale Story interessant und mit einer sprachlicher Schönheit zu erzählen, die Seltenheitswert hat. Figuren, die noch nicht mal einen vollständigen (oder überhaupt einen) Namen haben (der Optiker, der Einzelhändler, usw.), verleiht sie Tiefe. Jeder für sich ist auf seine Weise besonders und wichtig für die Geschichte. Durchdacht, strukturiert und wunderschön!
The second one in the series is just as cute and funny as the first one. This is a great YA series about parallel universes, first love, friendship andThe second one in the series is just as cute and funny as the first one. This is a great YA series about parallel universes, first love, friendship and everything I would have loved to read about as a twelve-year-old....more
Before the German translation of Unorthodox was released in 2016, the whole coYou can also find this and other reviews on my blog ->mereadingbooks
Before the German translation of Unorthodox was released in 2016, the whole controversy surrounding it had completely passed me by. So it was not the whole hullabaloo that was made about it but the topic itself that made me want to read Feldman's account of growing up in a strictly religious community.
Once I was done reading the book I read up on the supposed scandal behind it. And the thing is that I don't really care if Feldman's story is one hundred percent true. Almost every memoir is at least partly fictionalized. Memories are subjective. So, an account of one's life can only ever be one side of the story; one tiny peephole glimpse at the (supposed) Big Picture. I can understand that a community that is being portrayed in such a radical way (true or not) will lash out wanting to fight for its reputation. I read Feldman's story as just that - her story. A coming-of-age story, an account of emancipation in a culture that puts women second. Unorthodox deals with the importance of little acts of freedom, and with the significance of literature and empowerment.
Unfortunately, I can only give three stars because Feldman's writing could've used some polishing. What annoyed me most was how she took it for granted that the reader would know about hasidic rites and customs. When I read a book like Unorthodox, I want to learn about the culture described - fiction or non-fiction. I need some background info on what a certain piece of clothing looks like and what it stands for; I need it explained what that special holiday means to a hasidic Jew. Most of the time Feldman simply mentions the Yiddish word for something and moves on to describing her experience, simply telling her story. The significance of what is actually happening is not clear to a non-hasidic, non-Jewish reader. I just wish this book would've taught me a bit more about the hasidic culture in general. I know this is not what Feldman aimed at, but it would've made the book a more whole experience. By the way, a great example of a book giving an individual's account of a restrictive community while giving a well-rounded account of that culture is Reading Lolita in Tehran. I loved how it made me not only see the women's troubles but really understand the political and historical background of what was happening in Iran at the time. Feldman, however, missed out on a great opportunity to write something with a little more substance.
What I liked about Unorthodox was how it depicted the importance of knowing one's self - mentally and physically. The way Feldman describes the physical symptoms of her mental problems; the way her body tries to tell her that she's actually feeling unwell; and the way she comes to understand that - these were the parts which made me feel a connection to the narrator. I found it very authentic and I think it is important listen to the physical signs of mental problems.
If there's one thing I take with me from this book, it's how important it is to get to know oneself; and that we need the freedom to find out who we are in order to be happy....more
Contemporary YA is not really my genre. And it’s fairly rare that any book in thatYou can also find this and other reviews on my blog mereadingbooks
Contemporary YA is not really my genre. And it’s fairly rare that any book in that genre catches my attention. For me to want to read it there has to be something particularly interesting or special about the plot/style/narrative. There just has to be something about it. And, to be honest, most of the YA books out there can’t really keep that kind of promise. Which is okay. I’m in my thirties now (oh well, writing that down hurt a bit) and these books are definitely not written for me. They are not supposed to speak to me in any way. However, from time to time there are a few gems to find in that genre.
One of those gems is We Are Okay by Nina LaCour. It’s the story of Marin, who we meet as a lonely college girl who seems to have left her hometown and her friends and family behind because of something or other that happened, which she doesn’t want to talk about. It’s all quite mysterious for the first part of the novel and I’m not going to reveal anything in this review.
The narrative goes back and forth between the past and present and it is done in such a structured and well-written way that I can’t seem to decide which I liked better. LaCour makes you want to keep reading. At first, because you want to know the reasons for Marin’s escape and her sadness. But then you keep going because you actually feel for her and hope that her story will come to a happy ending. And that is what most YA contemporary novels lack, in my opinion: sincerity and authenticity. Yes, some of Marin’s actions are quite angsty and over the top; but still, they are believable behaviour for a teenage girl who has pretty much left everyone she loved behind.
Another thing that makes We Are Okay stand out is that it’s not plot driven at all and that it relies heavily on language. Nina LaCour has a beautiful way of describing feelings and memories. Here’s an example:
“It’s a dark place, not knowing. It’s difficult to surrender to. But I guess it’s where we live most of the time. I guess it’s where we all live, so maybe it doesn’t have to be so lonely. Maybe I can settle into it, cozy up to it, make a home inside uncertainty.”
Also, that love scene on the beach is one of the most sincere, realistic, and touching things I’ve ever come across in a YA book. Simply beautiful. To me this is a book that shows that it’s author takes her readers seriously. There’s no dumbing down, no simplifying of matters or feelings. I love it when YA literature is intelligent and honest! ...more
Ross Welford has written a really wonderful time travel story for kids! This is tThis and other reviews can also be found on my blog me reading books.
Ross Welford has written a really wonderful time travel story for kids! This is the story Albert Chaudhury who on his twelfth birthday gets a letter from his deceased father telling him that Albert might have a chance of preventing his dad's death - by travelling through time! What a great premise for a middle-grade book! There are tons of time-travel stories out there but I really think this one stands out.
Let me tell you why... First of all, you have the cultural background invoked by Welford. Albert is part-Indian and the way the author includes bits of Indian culture here and there is really well-done and makes for an interesting read. I absolutely loved the (a bit over-the-top) portrayal of Alberts grandfather wearing traditional Indian clothing, drinking chai tea and meditating all the time.
I also like it when a book can teach you bits and pieces of knowledge without getting too "teachy" about it. Welford manages to explain Einstein's theory of relativity and the paradoxes of time travel in a book aimed at 10-to-twelve-year-olds, for crying out loud! He also includes a bit of 80s trivia, computer knowledge and pop-culture references - making this book a fun read for any (kind of geeky) adult.
Apart from that, it's also a beautiful little story of friendship and family. It's as much about time travel as it is about the fact that our actions always have consequences; it's about being brave and standing up to bullies, and it's about doing everything you can for the people you love.
It's not the best time-travel plot I've ever read, but it is one of the best middle-grade time-travel books there is!...more
Initially, I wanted to give this a one-star rating but the fact that I actuallyThis and other reviews can also be found on my blog me reading books.
Initially, I wanted to give this a one-star rating but the fact that I actually wanted to know how it ends merits another star in my opinion. It’s the story of Linda, who found her sister murdered in her own apartment. Linda is convinced that she saw the murderer escape but he was never found. Years later she has become a famous author living a life in total isolation. Content with this agoraphobic lifestyle her only human contacts are her publisher and her assistant. One terrible day she sees the man, who allegedly escaped the scene of the crime twelve years before, on TV. He’s become a well-known journalist. So in order to get him to confess Linda writes a crime thriller about her sister’s murder and invites the man she deems to be the murderer into her house.
So far so good.
I found this premise pretty intriguing and was hoping for something of a cat-and-mouse game between these two characters – especially since Linda is portrayed as a very intelligent and clever woman. I was also hoping for something that would resemble a play since the setting (a dining room) is fairly enclosed and there really are only the two main characters who truly matter. I was hoping for an intelligent verbal exchange of blows along the lines of Koch’s The Dinner. Alas, none of this happened. From the beginning, Linda as a character is just not likeable. She’s arrogant and self-involved. (I listened to the audiobook and absolutely hated the voice of the actress reading it so it might have added to my opinion of the protagonist.) So you kind of hope for her to crack and to have made the wrong assumptions. I simply did not want her plan to work.
The problem is that not one of the characters are very plausible. I’m trying to keep this spoiler-free so I won’t go into this too much. But the way these people forget important things and how they react to mentally stressful situations is not very realistic.
Also, the overall conclusion was the least believable of all possible outcomes. It felt like the last showdown was simply tacked on to the rest of the plot to give the whole book some kind of grand finale.
One last thing that I absolutely hated was how the murder victim was portrayed like she had deserved to be brutally stabbed to death. In every scenario the author gives us, the victim provokes her murderer into a blind rage. It’s like the author wants us to think that the crime was in some way satisfied because this woman simply was a husband-stealing, mean girl; a bad person.
In conclusion, this book was not bad in itself. The plot was actually constructed fairly well, if not very plausible. Raabe had me convinced that I knew what was going on until the twist at the very end. She’s also not a bad writer. I think this book could have done with a more feasible motive for the murder and with a better understanding of what trauma does to a person (a deeply-rooted fear of the outside world cannot be overcome in mere hours)....more
I'm not going to write a full review of this. Let's just say this was as amazing as part one and I need the next book right now! (This one isn't even oI'm not going to write a full review of this. Let's just say this was as amazing as part one and I need the next book right now! (This one isn't even officially out while I'm writing this, but whatever...)...more