Showing posts with label katrin bongard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label katrin bongard. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Books Out of My Comfort Zone That I Enjoyed






I'm really very weird when it comes to books out of my comfort zone. I like reading what I know and love, which is mainly bad vampire books, greek mythology retellings, and chick-lit.

But once in a while I try out new genres and happen to like them. So here are the books that opened my eyes for their respective genres.










 7. LIFE'S THAT WAY: A MEMOIR - Jim Beaver

This is a memoir about a man's wife dying of cancer. I usually don't read memoirs or anything involving loss and grief. I'm so glad I did. This is one of my favorite books now.

6. ANATOMY LESSON - Matt Spadafora

Again, not a fan of memoirs and non-fiction, and even less when they're short stories. But I truly enjoyed this one, a collection of a couple funny, and sometimes sad short stories centered around the human body.


 5. ME BEFORE YOU - Jojo Moyes

Usually you can chase me with romance novels. This one is about a woman becoming a carer for a quadriplegic misanthrope. This book broke my heart. Read it.

4. SECOND GLANCE - Jodi Picoult

I'm not a fan of crime thrillers. I really just read a few adult books these days. So glad I did because this woman is now one of my favorite authors and this book has become my favorite.


3. LOVING - Katrin Bongard

I don't read contemporary unless you put a gun to my head. At least that was my opinion before I encountered this wonderful Pride and Prejudice retelling about a book blogger. Wow.

2. THE LOVER'S DICTIONARY - David Levithan

This book is told in dictionary entries. It doesn't get more out of my comfort zone than this. I absolutely fell in love. Read this.



1. READY PLAYER ONE - Ernest Cline

I never stop talking about this book, I know. It's just... I don't know anything about 80s pop culture, I'm super iffy about sci-fi, and then this one comes along and completely shatters my world. So. Good.




Did you enjoy some books out of your comfort zone?


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originating from The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they choose topics that we are supposed to create a list about, considering our personal reading preferences.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Books About Book Lovers | Top Ten Tuesday



10. The Neverending Story - Michael Ende
Bastian finds a book that draws him into the magical world of Fantastica. The world is in danger and only a human can save it by giving the queen a new name.

9. The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield
In this gothic novel, Margaret Lea is given the task to write the biography of the famous novelist Miss Winter. She hasn't read any of her books before, but one day finds a copy of Miss Winter's collection of thirteen stories. However, there are only twelve stories in the book and Margaret desperately wants to find out what the Thirteenth Tale is about.

8. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
Liesel, a girl whose parents have been taken to a concentration camp during the Second World War, spends her days stealing books.

7. Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman whose job it is to burn forbidden books, because they are the source of all unhappiness and evil in the world.


5. Matilda - Roald Dahl
This goes without saying.

4. Loving - Katrin Bongard
This is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but featuring a book blogging nerdy heroine!
(Review)

3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Again, no description needed.

2. Inkeart - Cornelia Funke
I don't think I need to describe the plot because at this point everyone has heard of it. If you've watched the horrible movie I apologize. The series is brilliant, unique and captivating. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend doing so!

1. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruis Zafón
Daniel, the son of an antiquarian book lover is in the possession of a novel called The Shadow of the Wind. He absolutely falls in love with it and tries to find out more about the author and his other works. Turns out, someone out there is destroying all of the authors other novels and Daniel is trying to find out why.


What's Your Favorite Novel Featuring a Book-Loving Character?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

[Review] Loving - Katrin Bongard

In LOVING, book blogger Ella has to do a school project with the hottest boy in her year. It doesn't really help that her best friend Zoe is in love with the school womanizer Luca as well. 

A Book Blogger Portrayed Accurately, Hallelujah!

I love how smoothly and fittingly Bongard incorporates Ella's pastime blogging hobby. I've only ever read one novel starring a book blogger before and in that one, it didn't even play a role for the plot. It absolutely makes sense for Ella, the introverted book nerd, to do this and to prefer it to going to parties and going out in general.
It's so fun to find all the things that we are concerned with in the novel, even accompany her to a major book expo! She's a thoroughly well-developed and absolutely believable character and her being "one of us" makes it even twice as remarkable that Bongard pulled it off realistically. In general her characters don't really seem to act their age.

Especially Ella is very mature and down-to-earth and even the so-called teenage meltdowns she has regarding Luca don't even seem dramatic enough. High schoolers don't keep it together and are always quiet and collected like her. I would have loved more major drama that really gets ugly, because that's what high school is like. Luca and Ella seem like new adult characters in college to me. I recall that some people have even labelled this a New Adult novel. I don't really agree, it's set in high school and the language is comparable to Middle Grade, so it's somewhere inbetween and a mash-up of all three genres.

Problematic Character Development

During the course of the novel protagonist Ella goes through the typical ugly duckling transformation which ends in her being the object of desire for a lot guys. I'm not a fan of that. I know that in reality high school boys are that superficial and will start to notice girls the second they take off their glasses and dress a little more extravagant - however, does this really have to be the topic of a novel for teenagers? I would have loved this way more if Bongard left out the whole lasik surgery thing and the makeover and just made Luca fall in love with Ella for her personality. Maybe he does fall in love with her because of who she is, but he would have never been interested in her in the first place, had she not become a swan.

The way that Ella develops in the novel and completely turns her habits inside out (starting to do sports, makeover, extroversion) doesn't make her sympathetic and frankly, it doesn't give off a positive vibe for teenage readers her age. You don't have to live up to society's expectations to be happy and fall in love. That's exactly what the novel advertises for - change everything about you and the hottest boy in school will like you - yay.
To me, that's a very problematic view point. However, if we're not talking about deep matters and all, I can fairly say that I enjoyed this novel a lot. I read it really quickly because of the easy writing style and because I loved that Ella is a book blogger and talks about the little things we bloggers worry about a lot.

Rating:

★★


Overall: Do I Recommend?


LOVING is absolutely not what I expected and that's a good thing. It's a cute, quick, but probably easily forgettable read. It's nice if you're a blogger yourself and one of those books you can read over and over again when you're on a vacation. It's beachy somehow, it's light and it's entertaining. Well-deserved four stars and a recommendation to all you book bloggers out there.


Synopsis:
"Ella's not really into the party scene at her school; she'd rather read or blog about books. When her best friend Zoe starts crushing on Luca, the school Casanova, she can't understand it... until she gets to know him better and discovers that he's not just hot, he's also intelligent and sensitive. How could a person not fall for him?"

Have You Read A Novel Featuring A Book-Blogging Character Before?

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