Beth Revis – Across the Universe

across the universe

Paperback
publisher: Razorbill
published: 2011
pages: 448

Blurb:

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES?
Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends–and planet–behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.
Someone tried to murder her.
Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest’s rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship’s cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ Sci-Fi YA novel
+ interesting premise and good story world
+ relatable female main protagonist
– narrative felt a little drawn-out at times

My Opinion:

Amy is frozen and transported on a spaceship to a new earth. Her mother and father are valuable assets to that mission and it was agreed that their daughter was allowed to accompany them. Unable to let her parents go, she agrees to get frozen. However, she suddenly awakes when someone unfreezes her and leaves her to die. And all that 50 years before the ship was said to arrive in the new world and thus 50 years before her parents would wake up. Now she is not only confronted with a new situation and a new way of life, but she also tries find out who wanted her dead and whether that person will continue to unfreeze and kill people.

The premise sounded promising and it really was an interesting story, world creation, and interesting ending. The story is told from alternating perspectives (Amy’s as well as Elder’s). Elder is the future leader of Godspeed (the ship). I like to read from both perspectives: the one that has spent their entire life on this ship (Elder) and the one that is frozen but her mind is awake and that has to adapt to the life and situation on a ship.

Though I had difficulties to get into the story in the beginning, the author was able to relate Amy’s fears, confusion, and frustration to me. I understood where she was coming from and what and how the ship and this new life bothered her. It was interesting to see the story develop and I was somewhat surprised by the end. I am not sure how the story will continue because it could have been a stand alone. Yes, there were some questions unanswered, and I am curious what the next books will be like.

The characters were fascinating though,except for the main characters, they felt a little flat. The twisting of earth’s history was interesting to say the least and the pace of the story was good, though not fast. Sometimes the story was a little drawn-out in between but picked up towards the big reveal.

Bottom Line:

All in all, this was a solid and good read with an interesting premise and relatable fears of the main protagonist.

Rating:

rating 3

My Reading Month April

I am happy with my reading month. I managed quite a few books as well as audiobooks. I will start of with the books I have read this past month.

Charlaine Harris – A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden #2)

I picked up the second book in the series because I wanted a nice and easy read and the Aurora Teagarden series did not disappoint. It is advertised as a mystery book which it really isn’t. Aurora just happens to be at the places where dead bodies are found and she spend a few thoughts on them. This does not make it a crime story. But her private life is compelling and so is the effortless writing of Harris. It just washed over me and I had to continue.

Charlaine Harris A Bone to PickHieronymus Frosch  Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Hieronymus Frosch: Das hat die Welt noch nicht gesehen

This German children’s book is lovely and wonderful and focuses on stories about an inventor frog and his friends. It is a fun read, beautifully illustrated and the book is made up of many stories that can be read individually. Really great for reading to a child. And since a frog is green, so is the color of the fond.

John Farman – The Very Bloody History of Britain (Without the Boring Bits) The First Bit!

Another quick read was the history of Britain without the boring bits – and it sure was bloody. It is an interesting take on the subject of history and I enjoyed reading it. Kings and queens seem to be quite weird. Fun.

Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire

The second installment in this series was again really enjoyable. The story was fast-paced from the beginning, adventurous, exiting, fun, with incredibly funny dialogues. I loved it.

Skulduggery Pleasant 2

Bette A. Stevens – Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale

This children’s book is a lovely little story about the monarch butterfly Matilda who wants to fly so bad and is told to be patient. It is a lovely book with beautiful illustrations. Wonderful.

Now onto my audiobooks that I listened in April.

Kristin Cashore – Die Beschenkte/ Graceling

I have read this book some time ago and now listened to the audiobook when I came across this. I enjoyed it as much as the first time. The premise is interesting, the characters well-developed, and likeable, and the translation was really good (I occasionally peeked into the book and compared). Totally recommend this.

Sabine Weigand – Das Buch der Königin

A German historical novel about an „old“ queen who gave birth to her child in a market place because people believed she wasn’t really having a child at 40. It was a good and entertaining story but was drawn out a little at times.

Veronica Roth – Divergent

I loved this audiobook. I found the unabridged version in English in my local library and I was thrilled to have it. The narrator was fantastic, the story well-paced and the characters well-developed. I enjoyed the main characters, the minor characters, I loathed the antagonists and wasn’t bothered by the love story thing. Great fun!

Andrea Sawatzki – Tief durchatmen, die Familie kommt.

This book is written by a German author/actress and focuses on one complicated family during Christmas time. It was an entertaining book though I had difficulties warming up to the female main protagonist. But the family was chaotic and I really enjoyed the end.

Reading Habits and Rituals #1

Throughout the past years, I have notice that my reading has changed, that my interests shifted or have broadened, and that my rituals surrounding the reading have adapted to my current situations. I have always read books, yet in times of crisis I have read more. When I am stressed or don’t have that much time, I tend to read more pages than at times when I am not stressed. Since I made those observations and spend a minute thinking about it, I discusses this with friends and I found the answers interesting. So, I came up with a questionnaire on reading habits. I have asked some people ranging from different age groups and backgrounds (that don’t necessarily have a blog) about their reading habits and rituals – just because I think it is interesting. Thus, I attempt to post a different interview each month. I start with myself. If you are interested in participating, please let me know. :)

1. Where do you like to read? Do you have a special place?

I read almost everywhere when there is time for it. But I do love my bed, my favorite (and really only) comfortable arm-chair, and my parents garden right under the cherry tree.

CIMG5998

2. When do you read the most? On vacation, before you go to bed?

I almost always read before I go to sleep, on the weekend, and on the train. I also attempt to read some time in the late afternoon or early evening to just wind down from the day’s excitement. I try to squeeze it in whenever and wherever I can.

3. Why do you grab a book?

To wind down and to escape my thoughts and reality.

4. Are you a mood reader or a season reader?

I am more of a mood reader. I don’t care what season it is. If I am in the mood for a Christmas book in June, I will read it.

5. What do you need around when your read or what don’t you need around you? Do you grab food and drink, do you want people around, does music play in the background?

I like food and stuff around but I am also fine without. I can’t do music though. All other noises are pretty much OK, but music makes me my mind drift. Not helpful.

6. Did you read a lot when you were a teenager? If yes, did you keep it a secret?

I always read. But I don’t recall if it was a lot. I was quite lucky that most of my friends were very accepting and some quite dorky like me, so I did not keep it a secret. But I did not broadcast it either.

7. Do you tell your friends what kind of genres you read (even the embarrassing ones) or do you keep it to yourself?

It depends on the person. Now most of my friends know that and what I read and since many of them have kids its good because I can recommend some books.

8. Would you reveal to us what the most embarrassing book/genre is that you enjoy?

I was always embarrassed to read YA fantasy and I still am a little. I have never read Shades of Grey or any other of that kind – what’s the genre? Erotic literature? I think I would just keep that to myself.

9. What are your favorite genres?

Fantasy, YA fantasy, crime fiction (mostly whodunit really), middle grade adventure/fantasy/mystery books, science fiction. I do like an occasional non-fiction book in between like experience reports or historical things. I also enjoy a historical novels. But I listen to them as audiobooks because the descriptions are sometimes quite detailed and listening to them is easier.

10. Has your work, studies or school influenced your reading and how?

Yes, I studied American Studies and other subjects and all included lots of canonized literature, so I went for the opposite. I started to read YA and children’s literature because it would just help me to wind down and there was no pressure. My studies however hooked me onto crime fiction especially the early writers. However, many of the required readings were enjoyable, but of course there were also the awful, slow, and plain terrible ones.

Thomas Hermanns – Das Tomatensaft-Mysterium: Fliegen in der Comedy Class

This book is a comedy book that focuses on the universe of air travel. Written by a Germany Comedian, the book takes us from booking, to check-in, flying, and finally landing at the baggage claim. It introduces and explains all the idiosyncrasies of traveling by plane, the author highlights the different categories of travelers, flight staff, and the rules at the baggage claim. The book is funny and entertaining, and I am not sure whether I was supposed to laugh or cry when I identified myself as member of several of those groups. Sadly, this book is not available in English, but I am sure, there are equivalents of the English book market.

tomatensaft-mysterium

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Goldstein Verlag
veröffentlicht 2010
Seiten: 208

Book (Deutsch)

Klappentext:

Nur Fliegen ist schöner … hieß es früher. Heutzutage ist ein einfacher Flug von A nach B jedoch eher ein Hindernislauf als ein luxuriöses Dahintreibenlassen. Thomas Hermanns erzählt in Stand-up-Comedy-Manier von seinen Erlebnissen beim Fliegen, vom Ticketkauf bis zum verlorenen Koffer. Gleichzeitig gibt er Tipps, wie man im oft hektischen Flugverkehr die Ruhe behält, damit man in der Luft nicht in die Luft geht! (Amazon)

In Kürze:

+ kurzweilig, unterhaltsam, lustig
+ ein unterhaltsamer, komischer Erfahrungsbericht eines Vielfliegers
+ sehr schön für Zwischendurch

Meinung:

Thomas Hermanns nimmt einen mit auf die Reise – die Flugreise. Wir begleiten ihn von Erwerb des Tickets, über den Check-In, bis him zum Flug und alle dem was damit verbunden ist. Er weiht uns ein in die Tricks und Eigenschaften der Zunft und stellt uns die verschiedenen Kategorien, in die die Reisenden, die Stewardessen und die Kofferholer eingeordnet werden können, vor.

Es ist ein unterhaltsames und kurzweiliges Buch und dem ein oder anderen mag es beim Fliegen schon mal ähnlich ergangen sein. Dabei sollte man das Buch vielleicht gerade dann lesen, wenn man selber fliegt. Aber auch ich habe die ein oder andere Kategorie wieder erkannt. Schlimmer noch, wenn man sich selbst in einer der Kategorien wiederfindet.

Das Buch ist wunderbar für Zwischendurch, da es aus recht kurzen Kapiteln besteht und selbst wenn man in der Mitte des Kapitels unterbrechen muss, findet man schnell wieder rein.

Fazit:

Ein unterhaltsames, lustiges und kurzweiliges Buch über die Irrwege des Fliegens. Einen guten Flug.

Rating:
rating 4

Celebrate EARTH DAY with a FREE Butterfly Adventure eBook by Bette A. Stevens

Franzi's Book Chase:

This is really beautiful!

Originally posted on Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author:

Celebrate EARTH DAY with a FREE (April 21 & 22) Butterfly Adventure eBook by Bette A. Stevens
AM Look Inside Cover

EARTH DAY April 22

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“A lovely children’s book, with beautiful hand-drawn illustrations and a profound message.” ~ Nicholas C. Rossis, author

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Patrick Carman – Strengstens Verboten! Willkommen im Hotel Whippet/ Floors

Strengstens Verboten

Hardcover
Verlag: Chicken House
veröffentlicht 2012
Seiten: 287

Book (Deutsch/English)

Klappentext/Blurb:

Das Whippet ist das seltsamste und schönste Hotel der Welt, findet Leo, der Sohn des Hausmeisters. Geheime Zimmer und versteckte Gänge, ein Doppelhelix-Fahrstuhl, ein Fax ausspuckender Haifischkopf und jede Menge ziemlich verfressener Enten. Doch seit der Besitzer Merganzer Whippet vor einhundert Tagen spurlos verschwunden ist, ist alles anders. Denn die schreckliche Mrs Sparks macht dem Personal das Leben zur Hölle und es geht drunter und drüber. Da entdeckt Leo eine violette Kiste mit einem Brief. Und darin steht, dass nur Leo das Hotel noch retten kann. Doch dazu muss er zuerst ins Stockwerk dreiundeinhalb, anschließend vier Kisten finden und er soll dabei immer einen Freund oder eine Ente an seiner Seite haben. (Amazon)

There’s no place on earth like the Whippet Hotel. Every floor has its surprises and secrets. Guests are either mad or mysterious and ducks are everywhere. If anyone knows the Whippet, it’s Leo, the caretaker’s son. But when he finds four strange boxes that lead him to hidden floors, he realises something extraordinary is going on. As the hotel begins to fall apart, Leo’s on the ride of his life, without ever having to step outside. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short/ In Kürze:

+ spannendes, unterhaltsames Abenteuer
+ sympathische und kindgerechte Protagonisten
+ ein tolles und einfach nur fantastisch komisches Hotel
+ entertaining and exiting adventure
+ sympathetic and age appropriate protagonists
+ a wonderful, fantastically weird hotel

My Opinion/Meinung:

Willkommen im Hotel Whippet, einem der wohl durchgeknalltesten Hotels in New York. Leo lebt mit seinem Vater genau in diesem Hotel, denn sein Vater ist dort Hausmeister. Damit in dem Hotel alles funktioniert, muss Leo fleißig mithelfen. Es gibt nicht nur Zimmer, die wie Flipperautomaten gebaut sind oder einen Teich haben inklusive gefräßigen Fisch namens Leroy, sondern es gibt einen Entenaufzug, natürlich dazugehörige Enten und viele eigentümliche Bewohner. Der Erbauer und Besitzer des Hotels ist spurlos verschwunden als Leo eine Kiste im Entenaufzug entdeckt. Mit dieser Kiste beginnt ein Abenteuer, das Leo so schnell nicht vergessen wird.

Das Buch ist wunderbar geschrieben. Es hat ein bisschen gedauert bis ich reingekommen bin, aber das mag daran gelegen haben, dass ich in einer Leseflaute stecke. Trotz alledem hat mir das Buch Spaß gemacht. Es ist ein wunderbare Abenteuerroman voller Spannung, Robotern, Freundschaft und Bienenkorbfrisuren.

Leo und Remi sind beide sehr sympathisch und in keinster Weile aufdringlich. Ich war weder genervt von ihnen, noch fand ich sie verantwortungslos oder nicht ihrem Alter entsprechend. Sie haben sich verhalten wie Kinder sich verhalten würden und das fand ich durchaus angenehm. Auch die anderen Charaktere sind sehr gut gezeichnet, unterhaltsam und mehr oder weniger sympathisch.

Welcome to the Whippet hotel, one of the strangest hotels in New York. Leo and his father live in the basement of the hotel since Leo’s dad is the caretaker. To guarantee a smooth run of the hotel and its unique inventions, Leo has to help his dad a lot and he really enjoys it because he loves the hotel and the owner. There are rooms that are constructed like a game, that have ponds with fat fishes named Leroy in them, there is an elevator just for ducks, there are of course ducks, and some unique guests.

The writing is smooth, fluent, for children without being to simple so that adults can enjoy it, too. It took me while to get into the book but that is basically due to my reading slump. Still, it is a great adventure story which include robots, friendship, and hair that looks like beehives.

Leo and Remi – the two adventurers – are well developed and sympathetic characters that are in no way annoying. They act just as kids are suppose to act which is refreshing. The other characters inhabiting the story are also well-developed, entertaining, and more or less sympathetic.

Fazit/ Bottom Line:

Sehr unterhaltsames Abenteuerbuch für Mädchen und Jungen.

A wonderfully entertaining adventure story for boys and girls.

Rating:

rating 4