#TBRTakedown 2.0 // Read-A-Thons

I haven’t been reading at all these past few days, so it is just the perfect time to get back into reading. And a read-a-thon is just the perfect opportunity to do just that.

#TBRTakedown took already place at the beginning of June (my TBR for the last read-a-thon can be found here) and while I didn’t manage to read all of the books I wanted to (my wrap-up can be found here), it was still fun.

This read-a-thon is hosted by Shannon over at leaninglights on Youtube. Her announcement video for the second round of this read-a-thon can be found here. The read-a-thon goes from Saturday until Friday the next week (25th – 31st) and I cannot wait to start reading all of these books. The challenges are the same as the last time, but the books I chose are different:

#TBRTakedown 2.0 TBR1. A first book in a series on your TBR shelf. – The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
Recently I have binge-watched all three seasons of Veronica Mars and the movie within a week. That’s almost 47 hours worth of awesomeness. What better way to continue the story of Veronica Mars than with a book series? I really am excited for this book.

2. An unread sequel sitting on your TBR shelf. – Smoke by Ellen Hopkins
I have just read Burned by Ellen Hopkins a few weeks ago in another read-a-thon and I absolutely loved it. The first book ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and I really want to know what’s going to happen next.

3. An ‘out of your comfort zone’ book on le TBR shelf! – The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
I heard about this book when it came out and also about the tragic death of the author. I don’t really read essays, but I’m excited to try out something new and hopefully I’ll enjoy it.

4. A book that’s been on your TBR shelf over a year! – The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
This book has been on my TBR shelf for at least two years and now that a new sequel has come out and I have just bought myself the whole boxset of Mia’s adventures, it is time to read this book.

5. A book from your most recent book haul! – The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
This book got a lot of hype recently and the premise sounds so intriguing. I loved Dexter, the TV show, and I am excited to see how this mixes with a bit of erotica. This better be the page-turner everyone says it is!

I really hope to finish all of these books within a week. I won’t be home for the weekend because I’m on a mini-holiday and then I have to work from Tuesday to Friday. But nonetheless, I’m feeling optimistic.

As always, I will be posting my wrap-up by the end of the read-a-thon.

Are you participating in this read-a-thon and if so, what do you plan on reading?

Until next time: happy reading! 🙂

The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy by Sam Maggs // Reviews

This is the ultimate guide for every geek girl (and also boy).

the-fangirls-guide-to-the-galaxy-s.maggsGenre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Quirk Books

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

208 pages, hardback

series: –

Synopsis: Goodreads

This is something I’ve seen on the interwebz (as almost every book I come across) and after reading one page of it, I was sold and had to have it.

Non-Fiction is not my usual go-to genre. It intimidates me a bit and to be honest I am afraid of not liking it and falling asleep while reading it; or even worse: getting into a reading slump because of it. I don’t know where this fear comes from, but it’s palpable.

Well, with this one I had quite a lot of fun, but for the future I will probably not read an entire non-fiction book in one sitting, but rather read a bit of it here and there.

This handbook’s layout is so lovely presented to the reader. It is fairly small in size, has a lot of useful information for every geek girl (and boy) out there and is full of adorable illustrations that are provided by Kelly Bastow.

The book is divided into four parts and I’ll get separately into all of them:

Chapter One: It’s Good to Be A Geek Girl
I really enjoyed this part. There were several types of geeks explained and how you can identify them and with them (I fall under several categories, but mostly: Potterheads, Otakus, Star Warriors and YA Book Nerds). There is also a lot of slang explained and how to find like-minded people in the real world.
This was so much fun to read about; especially all of the different types of geeks.

Chapter Two: [Fandom Intensifies]: Geek Girls Online
I could really relate to this part because I have come to know so many lovely people who love especially books over the internet. Tumblr, Instagram, Goodreads, various blogs, etc. That’s where I find most of my inspirations for blogging, for book pictures and for recommendations on what to read next.
There was also a big part on fanfiction and although I have never read fanfiction, it made me curious and I want to check out some stories when I have some free time.

Chapter Three: Geronimo! How to Survive Conventions
Actually, I mostly skim-read that part as I have never been to a convention. It’s not that I wouldn’t be interested. It’s just that the biggest conventions are mostly in the U.S. and I’m overseas in Germany and cannot attend any of them. But if you like cosplay, conventions and live in the U.S. or Canada, you definitely should read it more thoroughly because there are also tips on what to bring to a convention and other useful things.

Chapter Four: Aim to Misbehave: Geek Girl Feminism
That was probably my most favorite part of all of them. There are explanations on why feminism is so important, myths on feminism are debunked, powerful female characters from TV shows, movies, video games, books and comics are shown and recommended to read, watch and play. This was definitely an amazing and very informative chapter on feminism and I will probably re-read it from time to time.

In between each of the chapters there were interviews with women who are authors, editors, producers, artists, actresses and many other things and I really enjoyed their take on fangirls and what has made them the fangirl they are today.

I found a funny gif set that describes this book and fangirls in general on Tumblr. If you want to check it out, you can find it here.

Overall this was a fun and quirky read that made me so proud to be a geek. The best of it is that I can look several things up that are geeky and I will definitely need some time to get through all of the recommendations from chapter four.

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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson // Reviews

When Nimona applies as an assistant to Lord Blackheart, the villain of the city, his life gets complicated.

nimona-n.stevensonGenre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, YA

Publisher: HarperTeen

Publication Date: May 12, 2015

266 pages, paperback

series: –

Synopsis: Goodreads

I heard about this graphic novel here and there on Booktube and also on Instagram and after seeing this gorgeous cover, I knew I had to get it. The art style looked very familiar and now I know why: this is the same artist that designed the cover of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

This graphic novel is based on a series of web comics, which I unfortunately know nothing about, but I definitely have to look those up.

This graphic novel was amazing. Basically everything about it was amazing! I could not find a single flaw (not that I was looking for it!) and I think that everyone who loves either fantasy or graphic novels or both, should read it.

The story was so much fun! It was set in a fantasy world, maybe comparable to medieval times, but with a touch of modern technology. There were knights and heroes and villains and kings and dragons and shapeshifters. What made the story itself really fun, was the fact that it was told (mostly) from the point of view of the villain of the story, who tries to overthrow the government, but the villain does not really want to be a villain. Very funny, very emotional and a lot of fun overall.

I loved the characters. First, the names of these characters were hilarious. Lord Ballister Blackheart, Sir Ambrosious Goldenloin and of course Nimona. Let that sink in and then tell me it is not funny.

Nimona is a shapeshifter and appears in the lab of the villain, Lord Blackheart, to apply and then directly start as his sidekick/assistant. Her back story was mysterious and didn’t really add up, but that doesn’t matter at first because she causes so much havoc and is so much fun to read about. What I also really liked was the fact that she was drawn as a plus size girl and she seemed to feel comfortable that way. That theme wasn’t elaborated, but it was still a nice aspect.

Lord Blackheart has become the villain of the town due to tragic circumstances in his past. He has lost an arm and now has a metallic one (pretty cool!) and does his best to be a ‘good’ villain. I really enjoyed his character and how conflicted he was between being a villain, but somehow still trying to be a good guy.

And of course we have the artwork, which was so so beautiful. I love this art style. It’s so pleasing to look at. The characters look adorable and everything was so colorful. I definitely need more of that art style in my life.

There were some aspects that were subtle, but still great to see in a graphic novel: the plus size main character, LGBTQ+ themes and a lot of feminism. I loved every aspect of it.

As you may have noticed, I really, really, really loved this graphic novel. Simply amazing!

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Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger // Reviews

Sonny lies about almost anything and when she gets to know a boy, she wants to be honest, but accidentally lies to him and mayhem ensues.

I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. My opinion is in no way biased.

lol-k.keplingerGenre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Publication Date: July 2, 2015

309 pages, e-book

series: #2 in The DUFF companion series

Synopsis: Goodreads

As soon as I saw this book over at Netgalley, I knew I had to request it and I’m glad that I got approved. Prior to reading this, I prepared myself by reading The DUFF (review can be found here) to have the story and its characters fresh in my mind.

I loved the cameo appearances from Bianca and Wesley and how present they were throughout a lot of parts in the story and how this story was told from the point of view of Wesley’s little sister’s best friend, Sonny.

Sonny’s ‘thing’ has always been lying to everyone about everything to get out of tricky situations and to just make her life easier. Her family life is basically non-existent. She lives secretly in her best friend’s room because her mother kicked her out. The real reason why she doesn’t want to disclose, not even her best friend. I liked Sonny’s character and could really identify with her apart from the fact that she lies about being late to school, about her real reason why she doesn’t live at her own home and also about practically everything else. I knew that this web of lies would come crashing down on Sonny some time throughout the story and I was right.
I just don’t think that lying is the best way to deal with everything. But this definitely left room for character development and character growth and I liked how Sonny changed throughout the story.

Amy, Sonny’s best friend and Wesley’s little sister, was more on the quiet side. She was always polite and also somewhat shy. At the beginning it seemed like there was no personality behind that character. But after reading more of her I definitely saw potential and I wasn’t disappointed in the end. Amy is caring and does seem like a yes-person at the beginning of the story. No depth, no real reason for her to be there as a character except for building a story with Sonny as the main character. But I soon realised that Amy wasn’t as shallow a character as I thought. That was just her way. Like Sonny had her lying, Amy had her quietness and she also had feelings and her own opinion and I even liked her character development more than that of Sonny.

Then we have Ryder. I didn’t know what to think of him at first. He seems like a massive a-hole at first, full of himself. But as Sonny got to him, I got too as a reader. I understood why he did certain things and why he was the way he was. But overall I just feel indifferent towards him and his character.

What I really could not stand was that Sonny used Amy and made her look bad to be with Ryder. I think this is something a friend should never do.
I really enjoyed the theme of how important friendship is in this book and how actions like these can also ruin it and are not that easy to mend and maintain.

As I already said, I really liked the cameo appearances of Bianca and Wesley, especially that of Wesley. He was not only a great big brother to Amy, but also to Sonny. I loved the advice he gave her and how he tried to bring Sonny out of her shell and to finally tell the truth.

The story was, as in The DUFF, easy to follow and I loved the setting at Hamilton High. I really have to get my hands on a copy of her other books as they are set in that same small town, as far as I know.

Overall I really enjoyed this story and this “lesson” it teaches on why someone should not go through life lying about practically everything. The ending was satisfying and not everything was wrapped up in a bow, which I really enjoyed and what made the story more realistic for me.

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July 2015 TBR // Bookish lists

I know the month is almost over, but I still wanted to share the books I’ve planned on reading in July. As there are quite a few read-a-thons going on this month and at the beginning of next month, I thought that setting myself a somewhat smaller TBR would be best. So here’s my TBR:

July-TBR 20151. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
I actually wanted to read this for a read-a-long at the end of June and the beginning of July and unfortunately I didn’t manage to read it then. I am still planning on reading it at the end of this month and get done with this behemoth.

2. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Throwing in a summer-y contemporary YA fiction novel as I really love this genre and I definitely need to read more summer-y books this summer and not wait until autumn.

3. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
This book was chosen as the book pick of the month for the We the Book Dragons book club over on Goodreads. I had this book forever and I am intrigued by the interactive aspects of it, so I definitely have to read this.

4. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
I got this book in my Owlcrate last month and as I am already behind on reading the book I receive in a monthly subscription, I definitely wanted to dive into this one.

I hope to get to read all of these books this month or rather finish off my TBR for this month; you’ll definitely know as soon as I’ll post my wrap-up.

Until next time: happy reading! 🙂