Spring: The Season of Average Reading

Spring started as a really slow time for book consumption. At first, I wasn't sure if I had a general reading slump or if it was due to the fact that I hopped from an average book to the next that was average if you were being kind.

In the end, I managed to read seven books, and without beating around the bush I have to admit that all of them were in English. However, this downer can be ironed out by the fact that I have passed the halfway point of my Goodreads challenge. Fingers crossed that I can keep it up.

Before we move forwards, we have to look back on what kept me entertained in Spring:

Without Merit 

by Colleen Hoover 

Without Merrit by Colleen Hoover
This book tells the story of the Voss family. Oh boy, they are not a traditional family. The family lives upstairs in a renovated church with their father and stepmother. Meanwhile, the sick mother lives in the basement and refuses to leave it due to anxiety. As the story goes on, Merit retreats further and further into herself, the world falling apart around her until, one night, she's had enough and decides to take her mother's pills to end it.

Sadly, throughout the book Hoover only turns towards using cheap tropes and, at times, even horrible stereotypes. At first I had not really noticed them in "Without Merit" because the overall feeling was good. A few days later it came to me that, of course, the gay brother has to have pedo streaks - cheers - and the slut is, naturally bisexual - even if he doesn't use the word to describe it which is (you guessed it) another stereotype. Seemingly, the only trope that was not used was that the handsome boy would cure the poor broken girl - because they only get together at the very end when all the drama is over. Right ....

Still, "Without Merit" raises important issues about depression and suicide. At the same time, there are books which have done this in better ways: "Beautiful Broken Things" by Sara Bernard comes to mind.

In fact, I had not been able to shake the feelings of similarity between these books and "Without Merit" does not come out as the victor when compared.

Heirs of Empire 

by Evan Currie

The Scourwind family rules the empire, however, not everyone is happy with this. One day General Corian launches a successful coup against the family to secure his claim as the rightful ruler. There is a bloody battle in the castle, and the twins Lydia and Brennan barely manage to escape. Now, they are trying to regain their rightful place as the rulers of the empire!

"Heirs of Empire" mixes fantasy adventure with Sci-Fi. The technological level is one that would rather belong into Sci-Fi only, while the plot falls more into the fantasy adventure genre. This would be a great setting to explore the plot and the world.

In the end, the book managed to be barely above mediocre. It lacks any charm, character or feeling for the setting. It was almost so bland that it had nearly inspired me to write a rant about books that it lacked those features.

In fact, when I finally finished reading "Heirs of Empire" I was glad that it was finally over and begging to get a new book between my gabby hands.


Metro 2033

by Dmitry Glukhovsky

After humanity bombed itself into oblivion, what remains has fled into the metro system. Not only is survival tough but they are also struggling with The Dark Ones - a new species that is set to destroy the little that is left of the human race. In one of the metro stations lives Artyom, who has to make his way through the dangers of the metro - human and non-human ones - in order to keep his promise to a friend.

"Metro 2033" was the helping hand that pulled me out of the reading slump. What I held in my hands at that moment was a well-paced and exciting novel with a great creep factor. The creep factor was so high that I decided not to read this book when alone in the flat while the sun goes down. Every other minute I found myself look at the open bedroom door, thinking that a strange shadow was standing there. There wasn't.

On top of this, "Metro 2033" is one of the few action thrillers that has a likable main character. Artyom is not your beefed up a hyper-manly bloke who can fight himself out of every situation. While he has skills that are needed for survival in the metro, he often gets out alive from certain situations because of the help of other people or dumb luck.

Overall "Metro 2033" makes for a creepy and really enjoyable read! Here are nine reasons why you should be reading it.


Sharp Objects

by Gillian Flynn

A year ago a young and joyful child disappeared, a few days later, her corpse is found at the side of a creak. Now another young girl disappears. This is why Camille is sent back to her hometown. She is a professional journalist who is meant to report on the issue. In doing so, she gets pulled further and further into the investigation and uncovers the ugliest sides of Wind Gap.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
I picked up "Sharp Objects" because it had been on my TBR pile since quite a long time. I was already familiar with Flynn's work in "Gone Girl" but this novel pre-dates "Gone Girl." What Flynn manages with "Sharp Objects" is a true page turner. While reading it, the train journey just flew by, before I knew it I had arrived at my destination and was non the wiser about who the murderer would be.

On top of this, "Sharp Objects" is not shy about the type of book it is. It is truly gruesome in some places but not in the way that one might expect: usually, you'd read about disgusting details about the corpses - see B for Becket, Simon - Flynn focuses more on the disturbing and disgusting sides of human nature. Love is briefly touched but in the end it is reduced to nothing more than a casual f*ck in the backseat - not sex, no that word would be too soft to describe what had happened.

"Sharp Objects" is not shy of a big plot twist that leaves you feeling disassociate from everything around you. This is not just a great book for a debut novel, it is a pretty damn good book!

Ship It

by Britta Lundin

Ship It by  Britta Lundin
"Ship It" sets out to explore fandom and particularly shipping from the fan-ish but also from the production side's point of view.

Claire is an avoid watcher of the TV-Show "Demon Heart" and she ships the two main characters. One day, she visits a panel and asks about the possibility of her ship becoming canon one day. However, she gets shot down in a rude manner. The whole fandom doesn't take this response too well, and in an attempt to polish the show's image, they take Claire along with them. While on tour, Claire learns about the behind the scenes of tv production and marketing, and even a bit about herself.

All in all, "Ship It" provides a really enjoyable summer reading for any fangirl out there. It is light-hearted and the plot moves at a comfortable pace. Furthermore, it adds funny and dramatic moments. In a world where fandom and "fangirling" is generally the butt of the joke "Ship It" celebrates it and gives you a welcome break.

You can find my full review here.

The Invisible Library

by Genevieve Cogman 

Irene is a librarian. However, she doesn't just work in any library, she works for the Invisible Library - an organisation that collects books from different alternatives. One day, Irene is given an assistant, and they are posted in an alternative of London. At first, the mission sounds easy: pick up the book from the British Library and bring it back to the Invisible Library. However, as soon as Irene and Kai arrive it turns out that the book has already been stolen and now they must find it and safely bring it back into the library.

While the plot and the world that revolves around the invisible library seem rich and exciting, the moment I set down to write a mini-review about this book, I was left with nothing.

"The Invisible Library" falls into this weird no man's land of books where the idea, the execution and the writing work out but by the end of the day the emotional impression it left is next to none. It was not particularly bad - thus no negative reaction - but at the same time it was not over-whelming good as well - thus, no real positive reaction either.


The Telling Error

by Sophie Hannah 

The last book I read in spring was "The Telling Error" by Sophie Hannah. It is a twisted murder mystery: the popular and highly controversial columnist Blundy has been found murdered in his house. The crime scene makes next to no sense: there had been a knife at the crime scene but Blundy hadn't been stabbed. Instead he was chocked with it. The words "He is no less dead" are written across the wall.

Then Nicki Clements becomes the first suspect of the investigation. She had acted suspiciously while driving past the crime scene, but while she can prove that she had not been the murderer of Blundy, it later transpires that she is not innocent regarding the circumstances of his murder.

This book falls into the same category as "The Invisible Library." While it is great fun to read while you're at it, in about half a year, I will have probably forgotten all about it. But while it lasted it was fun, so there is no shame about ... wait, that's prep talk for something else in life ....

Moving on, I really enjoyed how this story was told and that we weren't only following the detective's point of view. Instead, we got fed bits of information by Nicki as well. In the end, the murder was resolved through her story line.

Even though, the final showdown was a little bit of a disappointment, I would still recommend this book if you are looking for something to keep you entertained on a longer train ride.

All in all, Spring was a lower average month for my inner bookworm. The books that really stood out and saved the season were: "Sharp Objects", and "Ship It".

For summer, I plan to a) set out to find some perfect reads for autumn and b) read at least one book that is in German - it's been over half a year woman! In the meantime, I shall hope that those reads are going to be a bit more above average than the ones from Spring.

Have you read any of those books? And if so, let me know what you thought of them!

18 comments :

  1. I don't know why you think you had a reading slump. You have read more in one season than I did in the last six months or so. I am not a fan of post apocalyptic novels but Metro 2033 is definitely intriguing. Same goes for Sharp Objects. Not sure if I would be able to stomach it but something I would definitely want to read in the future.

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    1. Awww, thank you so much. I hope that you find the time to read them :)

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  2. Looks like you ended up with a pretty good list of books read. Sometimes it’s hard to get out of a reading slump.

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  3. I haven't read any of these, but will check a few out. I have heard good things about Colleen Hoover and have yet to try one of her books. Once my summer queue dies down I will give one a go.

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    1. Enjoy. I am curious to know what you thought of it!

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  4. Great list! I loved Sharp Objects!

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  5. Haven't read any but have heard some things about them. Happy reading.

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  6. Sharp Objects is my favorite Gillian Flynn novel!

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  7. I read Sharp Objects a year or 2 ago after we saw Gone Girl and I loved it! Did you har they're turning it into an HBO show now?! I think I may need to check it out!

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    1. No! I hadn't heard of that. I really need to have a look at that. Thanks for letting me know.

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  8. That's not a bad season, I always hit a lull in Spring - maybe it's a universal thing? I've just got The Invisible Library but I haven't heard much of anything about it, good or bad - you're summary basically explains that. Either way, I'll give it a go. Great post :)

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    1. Thank you. "The Invisible Library" is a nice read ... but it lacks something, it was so hard to put my finger on it. I am interested if you have the same experience. Xx

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  9. Most of them I'd never heard of before. The others I haven't read.

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  10. Great list. Some I hadn't heard of.

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  11. Great list! I haven't heard of some of them.

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