Books I Loved To Read And Books Hated To Read In Winter

Only last week Spring started in the northern hemisphere: the flowers are starting to bloom, most of the motorsport series' start their engines, the days are getting longer and warmer, snow is melting and the high alpine roads are being prepared for business. One forth of a year has passed, which means that it a perfect time to round up the books I have read in winter!

Overall, I picked up 13 books. I finished all but one - more of that later. Let's start with the first book I picked up in 2018:


The One Memory of Flora Banks

by Emily Barr

I mentioned this books in a prior blog post at the end of last year. It tells the story of Flora who suffers a type of amnesia that only allows her to retain any memory for a few hours. Until one fateful day when a boy kisses her. In the hopes of finding a cure for her illness, Flora decides to find him again.

While this book could have very easily fallen into the (unpopular) trope of "the handsome boy is going to cure the shy maid with his c*ck" it handled the balance very well. While at first Flora's main motive is that she has suddenly fallen is love, it becomes clear that she longs to find a cure and thinks love is going to be the answer - this trope is destroyed by the end of the book. It further highlights how far Flora can go on her own, how strong she is in spite of her illness. This is only strengthened by the letter her brother writes at the end.

While "The One Memory of Flora Banks" has weak points, the overall impression I had was one of an emotional read with a story line with unexpected twists.

A Haunting in Edinburgh 

by Spring Horton 

This is the 5th part in the Atticus McLaren mysteries series. This time Atticus and his friends encounter their case in a hotel in Edinburgh: strange noises appear during the night, what seems to be blood gushes out of the sink, and a strange voice warns them to leave the hotel. This is when the investigation starts, and they try to find an earthly explanation for the phenomenons.

If you are looking for a cosy mystery novel with a slight touch of the supernatural, then look no further.

My full review of this book can be found here. 

Beautiful Broken Things

by Sara Barnard

Caddy turned 16, and in the following year she wants to reach three goals: get a boyfriend. She wants to lose her virginity, and to experience a Significant Life Event. Only one of those things is going to happen as Suzanne starts to become part of her life. Suzanne is a survivor of domestic violence and still suffers from the trauma. Because of the behaviour, she is marked as a trouble maker and Caddy is told to stay away from her ...

When reading it you can tell how much thought Barnard spent on crafting the characters, dealing with the plot, and touching on the mental issues. It shows the strength and weaknesses of friendship. This is a very beautiful and well-crafted book, and I'd recommend it to everyone.

I reviewed this book in full here.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

by Natasha Pulley 

When  Steepleton returns to his flat he finds a golden pocket watch has been left for him. He can't open it and the mystery around it only continues as it saves his life six months later. Then Steepleton starts to investigate and meets the watchmaker: Keita Mori. At first he seems harmless but soon a chain of unexpected events might reveal a dark secret.

"The Watchmaker of Filigree Street" gets a special shout-out due to the way the LGBT+ characters are written. Pulley has put this element into the story with much care, and while it may be subtle it did not come as a surprise. Furthermore, it is well treated without being brash: two simple but clear hints confirm that the people in question are a unit now. Otherwise, the book offers a good mystery plot with a unique take on it.



Blackhole Heart Beat

by Andrew Henley

This is a SciFi action thriller, that follow Elizabeth - a fearless treasure hunter. She is sent out to find another treasure by the person who saved her life. If she doesn't do it? She was advised not to ask what would happen then ...

Sadly, this is as good as it gets. This is the second book in my life that I DNF-ed. I really tried to push through and get to the ending. However, the book has a few major problems: the characters are all one-dimensional. You can't really tell what the plot is, there are unnecessary side plots which are only there to show the awesomeness of the main character (annoying). It appears that there is a whole universe with The Charted and The Barely Charted but any thoughts the author may have had about world building are left in his head.

On top of this - I am almost done - the book is horribly formatted: you can't change the size of the font, which was all right on my amazon fire but would have been a killer on my phone (which is not A5 shaped), and sometimes the text went over the page leading whole sentence if not a paragraph being lost.

I managed about 30% of the book until I decided that life was too short ...

Every Day

by David Levithan

This book follows the story of A - a sentient being who wakes up in a different body every day. Usually A tries to live the life of the original owner of the body, trying to interfere as little as possible. Until one day when they end up being Justin, and they hopelessly fall in love with his girlfriend Rhiannon.

I absolutely fell in love with the set up of this story - it was the first time I had been presented with a love story where one person is someone else every day. This kept me going. The writing is top notch and you know exactly what A is thinking and feeling - even though I can't relate to them all the time, I could tell why they feel this way, and what motives them.

As the story progresses A's character development is one of the most sensible I had the pleasure to read. Not only does A develop in a logical way, they also develop into a better person. The bittersweet ending of Every Day is the cherry on the cake.

A full review is available here.


We Were Liars

by E. Lockhart

"We Were Liars" was one of the books I really looked forward to reading in 2018. I had only read good things about it, and it had been given the "YA Book Of The Year Award" by GoodReads. This is why my expectations for it were high ... maybe a bit too high.

While it is a fast paced book and a joy to read, I felt that it was lacking a mayor plot twist towards the end. I thought that the setting would be bigger and the story darker. "We Were Liars", sadly suffered from my too high expectations. In the end, I felt that it was barely above average ...

At the same time, I feel sorry that I have to come to this conclusion.

Esme's Wish

by Elizabeth Foster

Esme's mother has been missing for years. Everyone has given up on ever finding her again, even her father marries again. The world moves on ... everyone but Esme. She is convinced that her mother must still be alive. Thus she takes off on a quest to find her, and in doing so she encounters another world: Aeolia and the canal city Esperance.

What stood out in this book, was its unique and rich world-building. The plot may be slow from time to time but Foster builds the perfect universe and enjoyable characters, so that you want to keep going. By the end you are hooked to the world and the mystery that surrounds Esme's mother.

My full review is available here 


Pawing Through the Past

by Rita Mae Brown

Where do I start with this book? I got it because I liked the idea of a crime being solved by animal and most of all being solved by a bunch of cats. I enjoyed the "Schafskrimi" in the past - a murder is solved by a bunch of sheep and the story is told from their POV.

However, reading "Pawing Through The Past" I constantly failed to get into the story. The story is not told from the POV of the animals - and even though this fault is down to expectations, I felt like the line between animal thought and human plot was not drawn clear enough.

On top of this, the plot simply falls flat. There was no excitement and it felt predictable to me. The moment Harry mentioned that they had a gay class-mate who was bullied, it did not surprise me   SPOILER AHEAD  that she - she turned out to be trans - turned out to be the murderer. Even though the idea might be clever, it is simply annoying hat Brown used LGBT+ issues and stereotypes as such a cheap plot devise. In the end, she did not devote more than two half-hearted lines that roughly said "yeah, it was real bad they bullied him :/" to comment on the underlying issues.

Agent Prime

by Jake Bible 

While "Pawing Through the Past" has surprised me in a negative way, "Agent Prime" was a positive surprise. I thought the book would be a cheap space adventure novel filled with clichés and medi-core writing.

Instead it turned out to be a fast-paced space action thriller with two to three unpredictable plot twists. The book does not leave you waiting for the start of the plot. Instead you are thrown right into the chaos and you never leave until the very end.

Sadly, "Agent Prime" does break off rather quickly. At the same time, I wasn't sure how else this could have been done unless you want to kill the main character. The characters were not one-dimensional, and the interactions and relationships between each was as complicated and interesting as they'd be in real life.

Night Circus 

by Erin Morgenstern 

As children Celia and Marco had been bonded to each other. They are part of a game and each other's challengers. The playing field is a circus and through magic they need to out-perform their opponent. As they learn of each other, they fall in love. This does not matter to the game, as it must be played out. Sadly, the game does not end by declaring a winner. Instead it is a test of endurance and strength and whoever outlives the game and their opponent is the victor.

What "Night Circus" does really well is tell a story in the most beautiful and poetic way. It feels like every words was carefully selected and intended to be there. Even though it takes quite a bit until you realize what the plot is, every page made sense.

While a lot of people seemed to praise this book beyond all earthly beings, I can't jump on this bandwagon. Yes, it is well written and a great story-line but it never touched me on an emotional level.

Have you read any of those books, and how did you like them? Are there any books that I should be reading in spring? Let me know in the comments below.

10 comments :

  1. You read a lot of really good books. I'm so inspired that you finished 12 books in 3 months.

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    1. That's really lovely to read. I saw a lot of other book bloggers saying they "only" read 50 so far .... Now I feel better about my quota Thank you :D

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  2. Wow I love the sound of th first book, it sounds really interesting! Congrats on reading so many books!

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    1. Then please read it, I quite enjoyed it :) and thank you!

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  3. I've seen soo much hype about We Were Liars but I've always been hesitant to pick it up (for an unknown gut reason)! Glad to know you didn't enjoy it and probably won't get it now!

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    1. Glad to help, kinda :p It's a good book, but not worth the hype if I am honest ....

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  4. I haven’t read any of those actually! I’d like to read the one memory of Flora banks though as it sounds like something I’d like ☺️ Xx

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  5. There is something I love about reading in winter! All cosy in a warm house with a tea or coffee! I love when I find a good book to be engrossed in! Great post!

    Kelly
    http://thiswayandthatway.com

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