Saturday, 19 May 2012

Thoughts: The Outcast by Sadie Jones

The Outcast is Sadie Jones' debut novel. And it's a strong one. It is 1957, after two years in prison Lewis Aldridge comes back home. Nobody is keen on having Lewis back, except for Kit. Rewind to 1945. Lewis father Gilbert returns from second world war. Slowly Lewiss adjusts to have a man in the house, being only accustomed to live with his mother and the maid. Gilbert is sure that his wife spoiled the child, that Lewis is a mother's boy. Due to a terrible accident Lewis suffers great loss from which he does not seem to recover.

Lewis' life moves in a downward spiral. He makes one bad decision after bad decision. Nobody helps, but nobody wants to help either. Only Kit, a girl, a little younger than Lewis, living in the neighborhood, attempts to include Lewis in their small town life. Only he already became the outcast, living in an isolation which seems to be easily suspended.

Reading this book felt like watching a bad car accident. You know it's going to happen but you can't do anything to stop it. Sadie Jones dissected community life, in which one became the chosen outlaw and nobody wants to reach out a helping hand. Her writing is unique and catered the sad tone of the book. Add a dysfunctional family, British setting and literary praise and you'll have this book. Sounds appealing?

Further reading:
The Uninvited Guest by Sadie Jones, published March 2012

Thursday, 17 May 2012

And now for something completely different...

Today's post is neither a book review nor a bookish meme. I just wanted to declare my addiction for a TV series starring Zooey Deschanel.

Just recently New Girl aired in Germany and since then I am a big fan of this TV series and Zooey Deschanel. She plays the quirky, chaotic but extra lovely Jessica Day.

Jess is the new Fem-Nerd, weird but sexy, whimsical but comical. She moves in with three guys, Schmidt is a yuppie, Nick is the alleged womanizer, and Winston is the failed jock. All together they build a community that suits for laugh out louds.

Individualism comes with capital letters in this series. Jess is not a freek just because she likes to sing to herself or wears false teeth to a wedding. She is individual. Nowadays this seems to be more and more important in our society. One has to be in contrast of others. Unfortunately this often feels too forced or doesn't come with the desired effect. Not so with New Girl Jess who is being different by making fun of herself and not acting out individualism. 

Have you seen New Girl? Do you like it? Or do you think it's just weird?

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Giveaway: Radiance by Alyson Noel

Dear readers of this blog. I want to give away Radiance by Alyson Noel. I got it for free as the cut of its pages is not accurate. BUT the cover looks great and no pages are amiss. If you have interest please leave a comment and a way to contact you. I will send everywhere. I will pull a winner next wednesday, May16th.

You do not need to be a follower although you are welcome to become a regular reader of my blog.

Good luck!

Thoughts: The Night Circus

I only got lukewarm with this book. First of course I was excited to dip into this story of a magical competition and a mysterious circus for a venue. Morgenstern surely has a thing for creating an atmosphere.The black and white tents of the Victorian circus which only opens at nightfall, the quirky magicians in their breathtaking robes and so on. But for me the story lacked in implementation.


The battle of the star-crossed lovers, bound by a magical power they can not overcome, reminded me of The Hunger Games a bit too much. But here unfortunately the battle was never really fought, Celia and Marco built tents containing beautiful things for one another just to impress each other. That's it. No real challenge, which was announced from the start, after all. The romance between the two is meek, as there is always a distance between them, Celia working in the traveling circus and Marco being the assistant of the circus owner, living in London.

The writing was okay, although I always felt like being hold at a distance here too. And although the book should have been all about magic, the part that described actual magic was kept plain. One could say that was done to make place for imagination, but to me it did not feel that way. Almost every time the characters could have revealed anything that could have actually lend to the story, they gave cryptic or evasive answers which only felt self-important to me. Examples?

"Help with what?" Bailey asks, but the fortune-teller does not answer.

"One of them is… somewhere else," Isobel explains. Celia does not question her further.

This is a typical Tsukiko response, one that does not truly answer the question. Isobel does not pry.

"You smile as though you have a secret," he says. "I have a lot of secrets." Celia says, glancing at him over her shoulder, before turning back to the wall.

There are many more.

Altogether I liked the descriptions of the circus and I too feel like it would be an asset if there was a magical place like this. But what happens in the circus should bust the limitations of a normal world as we know it and make place for something more extraordinary.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I am back!

I am not entirey sure anybody missed me. BUT I am a 100% sure I missed blogging and my blogging friends. Where have I been? I have been at my desk or in the library finishing my studies with my diploma thesis. And I have my first job. I am working in my city's office for environment and I am in charge to put together an exhibition for the catastrophic flood that hit Germany in 2002. Nonetheless I am back to reading for fun. Right now I have my nose in The Outcast by Sadie Smith and I enjoy the book and myself very much. Thank you. I'll be back to posting regularly, writing reviews and participating in memes. And now I will have a look around at my favorite blogs and see myself what you guys have been up to. Read on!