The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson

Published by the Penguin Young Readers Group – 2004 – 370 pages

Nina, Avery and Melanie, who form the Bermudez Triangle, have been best friends for life. bermudez traingleHowever, this summer they will be seperated for the first time. While Avery and Mel stay and get a summer job, Nina attends a program at Stanford. When Nina comes back after ten weeks nothing’s the same anymore. While Nina tries to keep up a long-distance relationship with Steve whom she met at the program, Mel and Avery became more than friends. There are secrets and lies, the friends grow distant just to grow toegether again. It’s a whirlwind of feelings, finding your identity and learning to forgive.

You might have figured by now that characters are the most important thing for me in a story, so a big part of this getting such a low rating from me is due to them. None of the three main characters is in any way likeable. Avery never takes responsibility for her actions and runs away from everything, Mel is clingy, naive and never understand what is going on around her and Nina is self-centered and obsessively in love with a person who treats her horribly. Now, I know these are all traits we all may have at times, too and I’m all for characters being real and not always being perfect and agreeable, but in all of the 370 pages each of the girls might had one scene in which she was bearable. The only nice character that I enjoyed was Parker, but even he made a horrible joke and was into like three girls in the course of the book. But all in all, the boys were generally more bearable (gosh, I hate saying this, but it’s true in this book). Johnson is great at writing boys. She’s horrible at writing girls.

You know how you can sometimes tell when a person might like you? There’s just something about the way they look at you or the way they keep trying to talk to you?

Let’s move on to the relationships. So, they’ve been best friends for pretty much their whole lives and I honestly barely felt any real connection between them. Like when Mel tells Nina something that’s really important to her and Nina has to fake her interest because she can’t stop thinking about her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend. Yeah, best friend award definitely won’t go to any of these girls.

 Irony is the word I forget the meaning of immediately after I look it up, but I kind of feel like I live in a constant state of it.

Now to the LGBTQA+ part, or well rather just the L and the B. This book was written over a decade, this has to be noted, and representation is great. Now, I can’t judge how accurate all of that was, I’ll leave that to people who actually relate to it. I did think it was great that one of the characters seemed to struggle with the whole “gay” thing and questioned and denied it, because I suppose that does happen to people, too. And it was great that Mel wasn’t the “stereotypical lesbian” but then there’s a scene where they go to a dance for lesbians and guess what EVERYONE HAS SHORT HAIR!!! yeah great way to ruin it all.
And then there’s Nina who’s asking herself after everything she says or does “omg is that/am I homophobic??”. And when she dances with a girl at a party (as you would dance with any of your friends) “omg it happened, am I gay, too. Will people think I’m gay??”

Sorry, this review is so messy but this book was really messy, too. Everything was pretty predictable. There were some nice scenes and moments, but most of it was just enervating.
Anyhow, I was gonna give it 3 stars at first but so many moments that just made me shake my head happened in the last 80 pages, and the last impression is the lasting one so…

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

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Epic Reads Tag

epic

Hello! I saw this tag a few weeks ago on Going Through Books (loved her answers, click to get to her post) and thought I’d give it a go. It should be a fun one. Hope you enjoy.


If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to lunch, who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Oooh so many, I think Markus Zusak would be fun, since I practically know nothing about him personally and I feel like he’s got some great stories to tell. And I would ask him to bring Rudi from The Book Thief with him (SPOILER: it would be great to see him alive again) and I would like to think that he grew up (I know, I know). It sure would be a funny evening with him. We’d get a nice steak since I don’t think Rudi’s seen much meat during the war and after it (I know, living in denial here).

What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?
I think prequels make most sense with dystopias and sci-fi since with contemporaries and such there wasn’t really “happening” much before, to be harsh. And I feel like most of the books were prequels are really exciting already have one (The Maze Runner, Throne of Glass…). So, I’d go with Divergent. Maybe about how they started the whole “project” from the perspective of Tris’ mom.

Which two characters (not from the same book) would make a good couple?
Kenji from the Shatter Me series and Nehemia from Throne of Glass. Just because Kenji is an absolute amazing and loveable guy, although he doesn’t always seem like it. He likes to cover up his feelings with humour and I feel like Nehemia could totally deal with him and get him to talk about personal stuff. And I feel like they’re quiet opposites so they have what the other needs but also have enough in common.
This is the first time I ever thought about this, but I actually do think they fit! Where’s the fanfiction?

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and only could say one sentence to them, who is it and what would it be?
I would never just talk someone up in public, even if they were my favourite celebrity ever. I wouldn’t know what to say at all, especially not in one sentence only.

What book made you a reader and why?
I’ve been a reader since I can remember, so it wasn’t any book in particular. Already in kindergarden I’d spend a lot of time looking at (and trying to read) books. I’d always go to the library a lot and pretty much read everything that was for my age. But of course, as for so many 0f my generation Harry Potter was very important.

Your bookshelf just caught fire. Show the book you’d save.
What a nightmare. I’d try to grab as many books as possible tbh. But one of the favourite ones I own is definitely my copy of Clockwork Princess which is signed and is generally just beautiful and shiny and that I’ve actually held so often, hah. And to cheat a little, also the boxset of the first four Harry Potter books that I’ve had since I was a kid (by the time I could read well enough the first four books were out already I suppose).

Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one? Why?
Dystopia? Honestly? None. They’re all horrible to actually live in. I’m not nearly badass enough to survive in any of them for even a day. There are some pretty nice fantasy worlds, but dystopia definitely not.

What is your most epic read of all time?
Hmm, well some of my favourite books I definitely wouldn’t describe as “epic”, they’re rather quiet but in the best way possible. As for epic, I think it must be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, which everyone who’s read it knows that this doesn’t need an explanation. It’s pure magic.


Aaaaand that was it. Either this tag is older already and that‘s why I haven’t seen this tag around much or not many people have done it. Anyhow I’ll nominate a few, feel free to do it or not:
Kayla @ kdrewkthebookworm
Calliope @ Calliope The Book Goddess
Louise @ geniereads
Ashleigh @ A frolic through fiction

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Published by Indigo – 2013 – 419 pages

Most big cities have  a quarantined part called Coldtown. In them vampires live but also humans who got infected, hope to be turned or simply want to be part of the big and glamorous party world, that is being streamed live out of the Coldtowns. After a party in the “real world” Tana’s life has been turned upside-down. She has to learn whom to trust and decide what she really wants. Shecoldest girl takes all the risks but will she be able to protect the people she loves, and herself?

I started this book a few years back when it only just came out and was all over. I loved the title and still believe it’s so intriguing. However, I must have been in some really bad reading slump because I only made it a few pages in and then abandoned it for another time. Therefore, I was quiet hesitate about starting it again remembering how badly I did with it before. In the end, curiosity won, and I picked this up again after 3 years.

First of all, I lovelovelove when books have a quote at the beginning of each chapter but the font was so adorned and curvy some words were so hard to read which was simply maddening. Why would you chose a font you can barely read when there are so many beautiful ones out there that you CAN read? I know, Holly is friends with Cassie Clare and the quotes at the beginning definitely reminded me of her (though she didn’t invent that of course) and there’s also a character that reminded me of Simon Lewis, oh well.

Every hero is the villain of his own story.

While the cover says it is not suitable for younger readers the writing style reminded me of Middle Grade books, which makes sense since Black has written books for children before. There wasn’t much going on sexually either, well excpet for some kissing and seductivelly getting bitten. However, me being a Person that hates needles and having their blood drawen and really can’t think about much worse Things than a needle going into my veins or seeing it happen to anyone else, some scenes for me were a bit like “make it stop. make it stop. make it stop”. But that’s a personal thing, generally I don’t believe there’s much of anything explicit or triggering in this book.

Clever girl. You play with fire because you want to be burnt.

Now, the idea in general and some passages were really good, but I don’t feel that this book really lived up to ist potential. Some of the secondary characters I loved and wished to get to explore their story a bit more, but the main characters were quiet flat in my opinion. Seriously, what is it with all those teenage protagonists having such a death wish?

So, as I mentioned there were some really nice and interesting parts and this book definitely had potential but it wasn’t done well through all the parts. And the writing style was too childish for me (although, I do love MG) and some parts simply made me cringe.

Rating: 3 out of 5

NY-Times By the Book Tag

NY times

Hello, I’m back with another Tag Tuesday. For once I was actually tagged and that by the gorgeous Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews so have a look at her post with some really great answers!
The tag was created by the booktuber Marie Berg so have a look at her original video.
This one has a lot of questions and long answers so grab some drinks and food, lean back and hopefully enjoy!



What book is on your nightstand now?

Well, for once since pretty much 3 months Film Art – an Introduction by Bordwell and Thompson is on there since I have to read this 500 pages monster for a course at Uni and the exam is on friday (only a few pages left now,phew). If any of you guys are interested in how movies are made, what decisions directors face, why we understand that a flashback is a flashback etc etc etc, this is a really good introduction!
As for more light reads I just got The Jewel by Amy Ewing from the library (I haven’t gotten books from the library in such a long time, feels weird but somehow comforting).

What was the last truly great book you’ve read?
I had to look through my read books on Goodreads since I don’t think there’s been one very recently.
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson I adored, it was brave, maddening and heart-breaking and had everything in it that I want in a book.

If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?
Aaaah, this is a tough question. And I feel if I actually met any of them I wouldn’t get a single word out.
I’d probably go for someone who’s been dead for a long time since we don’t really know much about them on a personal level. Maybe, Jane Austen? And I’d just want to have a very personal chat, not ask her anything about her books but rather trying to get to know her.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelf?
I haven’t been blogging for very long yet so you guys might be surprised by a lot, I don’t know. I have a lot of history books, non-fiction as well as historical fiction, mostly about Marie Stuart (whom I love).

How do you organize your personal library?
I don’t really. Since I have one of those IKEA bookshelves that has like compartments I’m just trying to fit as many books into one as possible. I do put all the books of one series next to each other but otherwise, other books by the same author can be at a different place. I once tried to do the rainbow thing and I liked it a lot at the beginning but then it started to bother me. I like it the most when it looks random, so I just stack it randomly, too. Although, lately I tried to put all the books that I have read and those that I haven’t yet seperately so I have a better overview.

What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet?
There definitely are a lot of classics, I’ve caught up on a few but there still are some that I’ve been wanting to read for years. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, for sure. As for more modern books, I saw The Archived by Victoria Schwab at a bookstore probably some two years ago and really wanted to pick it up but somehow ended up picking up other books. But the synopsis sounded so interesting and the cover was beautiful.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didn’t?
I loved To Kill A Mockingbird, and (as a lot of people I believe) I unfortunately didn’t enjoy Go Set A Watchman at all, it was very disappointing. Also, Eat, Pray, Love after having seen the movie for a few times I really expected the book to be great but I kinda have to say that I hated it.

What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?
Oh, I do read pretty much everything. I especially love Fantasy and Sci-Fi, but I’ll also read historical fiction and biographies, crimes and mysteries. I’d say I probably enjoy contemporaries the least, once in a while I like to read some but for me they’re often too “ordinary” and make me cringe, welp.

If you could require the President to read one book, what would it be?
The answer should probably be something with morals and whatelse. But honestly, I’d just tell him, “mate you read whatever you want. Tell me what genres you like and I’ll hit you up with some recommendations.”

What do you plan to read next?
I’m bad at planning I usually just pick up whatever I feel like reading right now. But I think I’ll either pick up Anna and the French Kiss or The Song of Achilles next. But who knows…


*Wipes sweat off forehead* congrats you made it to the end!

And I nominate:
Hannah @ Mortal Reader
Lisa @ The Not So Secret Life Of A Fan Girl
Nina @ By Page or By Plane

And as always, no pressure.

The Book of Shhh by Lauren Oliver

Published by HarperCollins – 2016 – 49 pages

Hello Delirium fans you guys probably know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t read the Delirium trilogy, book of shhhlet me tell you real quick what the setting of the story is.

It’s the United States of the future (that’s new, right) and love is seen as a disease. It makes us lie, be irrational and commit crimes (and other horrible things). So the government experimented for a cure and found it. Everyone over 18 must get the cure (which consist of brain surgery) and will then get matched with a partner. But wait, there’s 18 years you have to live in fear of getting infected with Amor Deliria Nervosa. Thank God, there’s The Book of Shhh, The Safety, Health, and Happiness Handbook who will tell you exactly what to do when you think you’re infected, what the symptoms are and how you can detect them in other people who might refuse to believe that infected they are a danger to other people.

First of all, let me tell you guys, this little 80 pages ebook is for free! Lauren kindly left this as a gift to all the Delirium fans, so you can get it for free wherever you buy (or in this case don’t buy) your ebooks!

Now, back to Business. So, The Book of Shhh is mentioned a few times in the trilogy but we only get to “read” very few of it. So, this ebook should be a bigger excerpt, still however only an excerpt though. They call it the pocket companion for every day. You know, like there are those small Bibles, but then at home you’re supposed to have a bigger one? Yeah, that’s kinda like that. I suppose (it is stated however, that this is NOT a Bible, this is a word from the old world, away with it!).

First we get a little bit of history about the disease and the cure in the United States, including case studies, from single moms, suicides and crimes of passion (see? love is badbadbad!). Then we get a little part about the importance of community and how you, yes you!, should form your own group to control people in your neighbourhood (isn’t that lovely? *sigh* I love dystopia.). Then how you recognize the disease and the symptoms and how to respond to people who don’t believe it’s a bad thing. My favourite chapter title: “For Parents: How to Discourage Curiosity in Children”.

So, there’s lots and lots of stuff like this, my favourite favourite favourite part however the quotes and proverbs sections where there have been made “minor updates and additions”. Here 3 of my favourite one’s (including the original quote):

1. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and be grateful. – Mark Twain
(Original: Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.)

2. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one indicated safer by a sign, And that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
(Original: Two roads diverged in a Wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.)

3. Think different and you risk an all-too-common devastating fate. – Steve Jobs
(I couldn’t find a certain quote for this one, but Jobs made a whole “Think different” campaign!)

So, obviously this book isn’t anything life changing or something that stays with you for a long time but it’s great for Delirium fans. I at least, love getting some background info on the whole world that has been created. It was very cleverly written, too, with a lot of references to modern life. And I have so much respect for Lauren for making this for free for her fans and I feel like these kind of books aren’t very easy to write (but what book is?).


In other news, it’s now exactly been a month since I started my blog. Thank you, to all of you for liking and commenting and generally being lovely people. I couldn’t imagine a cooler group to share this space with!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

the sunshine blogger award

It’s not very sunny out today so this tag is perfect for today. Thanks a lot to the lovely Lisa from The Not So Secret Life of a Fan Girl for nominating me. So, let’s get to it!

1. Which Hogwarts house are you a part of?
First time I’ve done the test on Pottermore I got Hufflepuff and was so disappointed about it, but after a while realized how great Hufflepuff actually is and developped some real pride. A few years later however I did the test again and got Ravenclaw and my whole life had been a life. Anyhow, I think I’m most of a Ravenclaw. I’d love to be a real Hufflepuff though I don’t think I am a full one. I also have a little bit of Slytherin in me. The only house that I don’t belong in at all is Gryffindor.
I think everyone is a combination of several houses, nobody is just black or white , maybe we’re all a bit cunning when we see our chance, but can also be compassionate and loyal to the right person. Then again, in certain situations we try to be rational and think about all the consequences, but at other times we can be reckless, too.

2. A book everyone loves that you hate?
Well, there’s Looking for Alaska that I absolutely hate with a passion, but then again a lot of people didn’t like it either (as it is with John Green, you love it or you hate it). So, another one that all my friends and all the people online I know loved is Cloud Atlas which I DNFed.

3. Your most anticipated release this year?
Listen, is another answer than The Cursed Child even legal?

4. Most loved and hated characters?
Again, all the characters in Looking for Alaska I hated, especially Alaska (I know, I know, people LOVE talking about things they hate, and I’m not an exception, sorry!). But also (this might be an unpopular opinion, might also not) I really really do not like Severus Snape and Albus Dumbledore, these men give me so much rage. I discussed this with my mom (who likes them both) so many times and I always end up in tears like “why can’t you see it?? They are the WORST!!”.
Anyhow, now to the most loved ones, this is sooo hard. To stick with the HP theme, I have so much love for Ron (he might be my all time favourite character in all the books). Lyra from the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman is also a fave.

5. A book pairing you hate?
This is so 2000 and late but Bella and Edward, no. Okay, just no. Team Jacob all the way. Listen, I know no one cares about Twilight anymore but I never hated endgame as much as that one.

6. Your pet peeve?
People who take stuff and don’t put it back the same way and place as it was before.

7. A bad habit you have?
When something’s really important to me I can be very stubborn and get upset easily.

8. Your favourite season?
Autumn. Perfect weather (well, not really but in an ideal world it would be perfect weather in autumn) and nature looks the prettiest at that time, one last burst of colour before it all goes away.

9. A simple thing that makes you smile (like being inside on a cold, wet day)?
I watch a lot of TV shows (like cooking or fashion shows) where you also get to go inside people’s homes and I love when I spot a book on bookshelves that I know and love (Harry Potter definitely happens a lot, and you can spot those so easily). This is the only thing I can think of right now, oops.

10. Favourite thing to blog about (tags, reviews, hauls…)?
I haven’t done too much yet. But I think I enjoy the posts the most which aren’t really classified. The ones, where I can choose a new topic each week. Maybe some Top 10 list, or my favourite quotes, or talking about an author I love and why I love him or her. That gives me the most freedom and I can always choose something that I enjoy writing about and am in the mood for.

11. Your favourite super hero and villain?
I’m honestly not much of a super hero kind of girl. I haven’t read any comics are such. I’ve seen the old and new Spiderman movies and some of the Marvel movies, which was okay to watch but they were never any of my favourites. Anyhow, I remember a year ago when I was in Poland visiting my grandparents, we watched Iron Man and we were all laughing so much. So, I do love Iron Man (also I haven’t seen Civil War but #TeamIronMan), he might actually be the only super hero I love. Maybe because he isn’t much of a typical super hero.
So, villain. Again, I don’t know too many, so I might have to go with the most basic answer ever, Loki. As for villains in general. they are great and stories need them.


So, here are my questions:
1. Which is your favourite fairytale?
2. You can choose any character to go to a concert with (as a friend, as a sibling, as a date, whatever). Who would you choose and what concert would you go to?
3. Do you have any quirks (movements you do a lot, or something you do when you’re nervous…)?
4. Is there a movie that you enjoyed more than the book it was based on?
5.  When it comes to books, do you prefer an open ending or one where everything is resolved?
6. Favourite ice-cream flavour?
7. If you could bring back one TV Show from your childhood which would it be?
8. A book a lot of people didn’t like but you did?
9. Rainy or sunny days?
10. What did you want to become (job-wise) when you were a kid?
11. Favourite book friendship (two or more people)?

And, I tag:
Jaed @ The Bibliophile Blogs
Clémence @ Clemi’s Bookish World
Demi @ Bookstraveller
Ashleigh @ A frolic through fiction
Kathie @ Fabled Haven
Rine @ Rine Reads
Chocolatenwaffles
Orang-utan Librarian
Esther @ Chapter Adventures

As always feel free to sit this one out if you’ve already done it or don’t feel like doing it!

May Wrap-up

Wrap-up of the monthWelcome to my first monthly wrap-up! It’s been a very exciting month since I started my blog. And I’m actually surprised how much I am enjoying this so far, and all you guys have been the greatest and sweetest so far, thank you for that.

What I have read

So, reading wise, the month started quiet badly. I was in a very deep reading slump. But by the middle of the month (shortly before I started this blog) I got into such a great reading mood. I read 7 books this month, which is below average for me, but considering I only read 1 book in the first 15 days, it is a better result than I expected. So, here are the books I read:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou ♦♦♦◊◊
  • Wither by Lauren DeStefano ♦♦♦♦◊
  • Sherlock: The Casebook by Guy Adams ♦♦♦♦♦
  • After You by Jojo Moyes ♦♦♦◊◊
  • The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi ♦♦♦♦◊
  • The Book of Shhh by Lauren Oliver ♦♦♦♦◊
  • The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling ♦♦♦♦◊

If you want to know what else I’ve been reading, check out my reading list with all the books I’ve read this year so far, and my favourites marked in bold.

This month's book haul

Since the beginning of this year I have set it as my goal not to buy anything (excpet the essentials, such as food) for 6 months and I’ve been succeding quiet well and am actually even enjoying it. The only downside, I really MISS buying books. Therefore, I  don’t really have much of a haul (beware though, July’s book haul is probably going to be huge), BUT I was at a charity shop with my mom yesterday and she did buy me some books, so there’s a small haul after all. The books I bought are:

  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (in two tomes since it’s so thick)
  • Hector and the Search for Happiness by François Lelord
  • Airborn by Kenneth Oppel
  • Alberto’s Lost Birthday by Diana Rosie
Posts

As for posts, I think I have figured out a quiet good posting schedule for myself and already have quiet some posts prepared, so that is great for when I’ll be away for a few weeks next month.

Reviews

15. May Wither by Lauren DeStefano
22. May After You by Jojo Moyes
29. May The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi

Tags & Awards

24. May The Book Sacrifice Tag
25. May Real Neat Blogger Award
31. May A-Z About Me Tag

Weekly Bookish Posts

20. May Top 10 Books on my Summer Reading List
27. May The Largest Middle-earth Themed Collection in the World

What else has been going on

In other news, I’m close to finishing my first year at university. I already had some exams in the last couple of days, but will also have some more in the beginning of next month and also some papers to hand in. Furthermore, I’ll have my driving test next month, too, which I’m uber nervous for. All in all, I’ll have more time to read next month though, and hope I won’t get into a reading slump anymore. The Euro 2016 (European Football Championship in France) is starting next month and I AM SO EXCITED. Generally, May isn’t really my favourite month, but it always means summer is getting close, so I’m happy that I managed to get a lot of things done.

What were your favourite May reads? What was your favourite Thing that happened in May?
See you all in June!