Reading abstract: May/June 2015

Before this will take another three months to write, let’s just dive right into it. These were the books I read in spring:

 

The Cuckoo’s Calling
by Robert Galbraith

4cat

Review: check!

 

Almost English
by Charlotte Mendelson

2cat

After reading the blurb of ‘Almost English’, I was intrigued. It’s about 16-year-old Marina who lives in London together with her mother and three very old Hungarian relatives. Because of her semi-Hungarian-ness she feels like an outsider and wants to have a fresh start where nobody knows her – at a traditional public boarding school. But this move doesn’t really improve anything.

Now, the idea of the story is very cool. I didn’t even mind that there was not that much actual plot (although the book could have done with a few less pages). But the execution of that concept… let’s just say that we didn’t really get along. I had the impression that the beginning and the ending of the story were missing and while reading it, I constantly felt like I was missing something. Which annoyed me. And then the two main characters Marina and her mother, they annoyed me some more. I struggled through the first half of the book and found it getting more interesting in the later chapters. But then the conclusion to the whole family mystery was quite the disappointment again. So constructed! And what the heck was Marina doing in the end? I did not really warm to her character either. She was spoilt. Also, I felt personally offended when she claimed that you have to be much cleverer to study history compared to science. Ha!

 

Attachments
by Rainbow Rowell

3cat

I liked ‘Attachments’. It was a nicely plotted story with witty and likable and – most of all – realistic characters that just made for a nice feel-good read. It was neither challenging nor deep, but kind of cute. It is chick-lit, right? Is it chick-lit? I don’t know. I still really enjoyed reading it.

The story is about a very reserved guy called Lincoln. He is responsible for internet security in a newspaper company which basically means he gets paid for reading the employees’ emails. He stumbles across the email exchange between Beth and Jennifer and instead of sending a warning to them he keeps reading until he falls for one of them. What I most like about this book – and any other book of Rainbow Rowell that I’ve read so far – is how believably she writes about human relationships that are always flawed and never perfect, while still keeping the story itself really light and enjoyable. I also found Lincoln quite an interesting character. In the beginning you want to punch him but then he starts to get his shit together and you kind of root for him. What I didn’t really get though, was how he could fall for one of the women when as a reader you still weren’t really able to tell the two apart. But later on their different personalities showed so that I could accept his preference.

 

The Beautifull Cassandra
by Jane Austen

4cat

I love Jane Austen. I love her so much. So of course this was the first of the Penguin Little Black Classic editions I needed to have. It’s a small collection of her earlier writings that were intended as entertainment for her family and friends. I thoroughly enjoyed reading these, even though none of the stories is a ‘Pride and Prejudice’, obviously. But even in these short stories you can already sense her superior talent of depicting the subtleties in human behaviour and interactions. And I really liked to see the development in her writing compared to her later works. Here, she is much more satirical, more openly mocking societal conventions and people like your grand ladyships. A young and bold Austen. I think it is much fun to read.

 

Sisters #1: Dicke Freunde, dünne Haut
by C.B. Lessmann

3cat

‘Sisters’ is a series of books written in German for rather young Young Adults in which three teenage girls live together in a flat and experience all kind of problems of adolescence. I really liked these books when I was in my early teens and when I recently found the first book of the series at a flea market, I bought it for the sake of old times. I must say, I now find the story and the writing rather silly, but still, it was a nice trip down memory lane. I will see if I can get my hands on a copy of the first book of the ‘Fearless’ series next, another ancient favourite of mine 😀

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