All the books I read // April Wrap-Up

Can you believe another month is already over? How crazy .. And how crazy was April? I went to London for a few days (a Book-Haul will follow soon), spend some really fun days with friends and I read SEVEN books. Seven!! I don’t think I have ever read more in just one month.

AprilWrapUp

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch

When I was a kid, I was in charge of changing my dad’s records while he lounged around and drank tea – that’s how I know my Argo from my Tempo. And that’s why, when Dr Walid called me down to the morgue to listen to a corpse, I recognised the tune as ‘Body and Soul’ – something violently supernatural had happened to the victim, strong enough to leave its imprint on his corpse as if it were a wax cylinder recording. The former owner of the body, Cyrus Wilkins, was a part-time jazz saxophonist and full-time accountant who dropped dead of a heart attack just after finishing a gig.

He wasn’t the first, but no one was going to let me exhume corpses to see if they were playing my tune, so it was back to old-fashioned police legwork, starting in Soho, the heart of the scene, with the lovely Simone – Cyrus’ ex-lover, professional jazz kitten and as inviting as a Rubens’ portrait – as my guide. And it didn’t take me long to realise there were monsters stalking Soho, creatures that fed off that special gift that separates the great musician from someone who can raise a decent tune. What they take is beauty. What they leave behind sickness, failure and broken lives.

And as I hunted them, my investigation was getting tangled up in another story: a brilliant trumpet player, Richard ‘Lord’ Grant – my father – who managed to destroy his own career. Twice.

That’s the thing about policing: most of the time you’re doing it to maintain public order. Occasionally you’re doing it for justice. And maybe, once in your career, you doing it for revenge. (x)

I read the first book in this series some time last year, after hearing so much about the series. A lot of people have been telling me how amazing the series is and that I really needed to read it. Now I didn’t think the first book was as mind-blowing as I expected it to be. When I picked up the second book in the series I was hoping to finally see more of the magic I was promised but meh.. It was a fun read, I’ll give it that, but nothing more.

Rating: ★★★

All the bright places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. (x)

I don’t even know what to say.. I saw many people reading and loving this book. After reading the synopsis I was sure I would be loving this book too. But in the end I wasn’t liking it at all. Mental illness is neither quirky nor cute. And using it as main plot? No, thank you.

Rating: ★★

AchtNacht by Sebastian Fitzek **only available in German**

Es ist der 8. 8., acht Uhr acht.
Sie haben 80 Millionen Feinde.
Werden Sie die AchtNacht überleben?

Stellen Sie sich vor, es gibt eine Todeslotterie.
Sie können den Namen eines verhassten Menschen in einen Lostopf werfen.
In der „AchtNacht“, am 8. 8. jedes Jahres, wird aus allen Vorschlägen ein Name gezogen.
Der Auserwählte ist eine AchtNacht lang geächtet, vogelfrei.
Jeder in Deutschland darf ihn straffrei töten – und wird mit einem Kopfgeld von zehn Millionen Euro belohnt.

Das ist kein Gedankenspiel. Sondern bitterer Ernst.
Es ist ein massenpsychologisches Experiment, das aus dem Ruder lief.
Und Ihr Name wurde gezogen!

A few words about the story: When the AchtNacht-page went online everyone thought it was a joke. Once a year, on the 8th of August, one person is chosen and for one night this person is outlawed. The closer the night of AchtNacht gets, the crazier people get, until all hell breaks loose.

I wanted to read a book by Fitzek for ages now. Maybe I should have read a different book by him first, because I didn’t like this one very much. While I thought the idea of the book was very intriguing, it didn’t deliver.

Rating: ★★

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

As a child, Rose Franklin made an astonishing discovery: a giant metallic hand, buried deep within the earth. As an adult, she’s dedicated her brilliant scientific career to solving the mystery that began that fateful day: Why was a titanic robot of unknown origin buried in pieces around the world? Years of investigation have produced intriguing answers—and even more perplexing questions. But the truth is closer than ever before when a second robot, more massive than the first, materializes and lashes out with deadly force.

Now humankind faces a nightmare invasion scenario made real, as more colossal machines touch down across the globe. But Rose and her team at the Earth Defense Corps refuse to surrender. They can turn the tide if they can unlock the last secrets of an advanced alien technology. The greatest weapon humanity wields is knowledge in a do-or-die battle to inherit the Earth . . . and maybe even the stars. (x)

The first book in the Themis files series just blew my mind. And book 2 was just as brilliant. I was again hooked from page 1. Those plot twists? I sure as hell wasn’t expecting all that happening.

Rating: ★★★★

milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look. (x)

Rating: ★★★★★

the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace

the princess saves herself in this one is a collection of poetry about resilience. It is about writing your own ending.

From Amanda Lovelace, a poetry collection in four parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first three sections piece together the life of the author while the final section serves as a note to the reader. This moving book explores love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, and inspiration. (x)

Rating: ★★★★

I have to admit, before I picked these books up I haven’t been into poetry at all. And it probably would have stayed like this, if I hadn’t seen so many people posting about these poetry collections. I’m glad I got myself these, because they are amazing and gave me so many feelings.

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How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

From actress, comedian and YouTube sensation Lilly Singh (aka Superwoman) comes the definitive guide to being a BAWSE – a person who exudes confidence, reaches goals, gets hurt efficiently, and smiles genuinely because they’ve fought through it all and made it out the other side.

Told in her hilarious, bold voice that’s inspired over 9 million fans, and using stories from her own life to illustrate her message, Lilly proves that there are no shortcuts to success.

WARNING: This book does NOT include hopeful thoughts, lucky charms, and cute quotes. That’s because success, happiness and everything else you want in life needs to be fought for – not wished for. In Lilly’s world, there are no escalators. Only stairs. (x)

THIS BOOK IS TRULY INSPIRATIONAL. It was incredible to read about her story, how she achieved the goals she set herself and became so successful with what she is doing. By reading this I  learned a lot for my own life.

Rating: ★★★★★
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