Jennifer E. Smith – Die Statistische Wahrscheinlichkeit von Liebe auf den Ersten Blick/The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

die statistische wahrscheinlichkeit

Hardcover
Verlag: Carlsen
veröffentlicht: 2012
Seiten: 202

Book on Amazon (Deutsch/English)

Klappentext/Blurb:

Hadley könnte sich wirklich etwas Schöneres vorstellen, als auf er Hochzeit ihres Vaters als Brautjungfer anzutreten. Dass sie allerdings ihren Flug passt und erst einmal auf de überfüllten New Yorker Flughafen festsitzt, hat sie dann doch nicht gewollt. Und genauso wenig hatte sie vor, sich ausgerechnet hier unsterblich zu verlieben: in den Jungen mit den verwuschelten Haaren und dem Puderzucker auf dem Hemd, der wie sie nach London muss. Hadley bleibt genau eine Fluglänge Zeit, um sein Herz zu gewinnen…

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Meinung/My Opinion:

Das Buch habe ich mir wegen des Titels geschnappt. Es klang ein bisschen nach Herz und Gefühl und so nen Kram halt 🙂

Die Geschichte hat mir gefallen. Es treffen sich zwei Junge Leute auf einem Flughafen und verbringen eine Transatlantikflug miteinander. Hadley ist auf dem Weg zur Hochzeit ihres Vaters mit dem sie nur sperrlich Kontakt hat und den sie lange nicht mehr gesehen hat. Oliver, ihr Sitznachbar ist ebenfalls auf dem Weg zu seiner Familie nach London. Hadley fühlt sich sehr schnell zu ihrer sympathischen Begleitung hingezogen. Doch reicht eine Fluglänge aus sich kennenzulernen und sich wirklich zu verlieben.

In ihren knapp 200 Seiten schafft die Autorin eine interessante Geschichte zu erzählen und dabei auch eher ungewöhnliche Themen wie Tod und Trauer anzusprechen. Trotz des banal wirkenden Titels behandelt das Buch Probleme Jungendlicher wie Trennung oder Streit mit den Eltern ohne diese als banal abzustempeln. Dabei bleibt sie dem Stil Jugendlicher treu ohne dabei deren Erwachsenwerden aus den Augen zu verlieren.

Das Cover ist in seiner Gestaltung wirklich sehr schön und erlangt gerade aufgrund der gedeckten Farben das Auge des Betrachters. Der Schreibstil ist flüssig und besonders schön finde ich die Dickens Zitat, die sich durch das Buch ziehen.

Aufgrund meiner eigenen oft recht emotionslosen und rationalen Art hatte ich manchmal ein paar Probleme mit Hadleys Verhalten. Ein wenig Spannung hat mir auch gefehlt. Es ist ein schöne Buch für Zwischendurch, aber trotzdem fehlte mir das gewisse Etwas.

I chose this book because of the title. It sounded like a little romance and I was in the mood for that.

I enjoyed the story. Two people meet on an airport and spend an entire flight across the Atlantic with each other. Hadley is on the way to her father wedding – a father with whom she has little to no contact and whom she hasn’t seen for a long time. Oliver is also on the way to London to see his family. Hadley feels drawn to the young man, but is one flight enough time to get to know each other and to fall in love.

In those 200 pages the author creates a interesting story arch and is able to touch upon uncommon topics such as death and grief. The book deals with teenage problems of separation and fights with parents without treating those as banal and unimportant. In all that Smith does not loose sight or track of the coming of age aspect.

The cover is beautiful and draws attention because of its subdued colors. The writing is fluent and I personally enjoyed the Dickens quotes that are distributed throughout the novel.

Maybe because of my rather rational and sometimes emotionless attitude I had some problems with Hadley behavior. I also missed some suspense. It is a lovely story but the something extra was missing for me.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Ein gutes Buch, dass auch nicht davor zurück scheut, sich mit ernsteren Themen auseinanderzusetzen.

A good coming of age story that touches upon some teenage problems without ridiculing them.

Rating:

rating 3

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Agatha Christie – Cat Among the Pigeons

cat among the pigeons

paperback
publisher: HarperCollins
published 2002
pages: 352

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Late one night, two teachers investigate a mysterious flashing light in the sports pavilion, while the rest of the school sleeps. There, among the lacrosse sticks, they stumble upon the body of the unpopular games mistress – shot through the heart from point-blank range.

The school is thrown into chaos when the ‘cat’ strikes again. Unfortunately, schoolgirl Julia Upjohn knows too much. In particular, she knows that without Hercule Poirot’s help, she will be the next victim…

In (Very) Short:

+ a Hercule Poirot Mystery
+ thrilling and entertaining read
+ story worked despite the lack of Poirot in the beginning
+ the spy and revolution aspect were a lovely twist
– just a little Poirot towards the end

My Opinion:

Cat Among The Pigeons is one of the later Poirot mysteries and since he has been old when Christie started the series, he is even older now and thus not as present in the story than I would have liked him to be.

The story starts out at many different places before settling at the grounds of Meadowbank School. We meet a foreign prince and his British friend planing their escape from a revolutionary country, we meet the sister and the niece of the British friend, we hear about diamonds, spies, army and police officials and all strings come together at an all girls school in England.

While we know more than the characters do, we are sure that the murder has nothing to do with the school per se but with people coming together here. But is that really the case. As the story gets more convoluted and we as readers are not as sure anymore, Hercules Poirot finally enters the scene and saves the day.

The story is exiting and thrilling and there are so many twists and turns that I was thrown of any track and idea I had and did not know what to believe anymore. I enjoyed the foreign as well as the spy aspect of the story. Christie’s writing and stories are soothing and yet still exiting. But I wished Poirot would have entered the story earlier and not so much during the end. It sometimes seems a little forced that with someone telling him about the events, he still figured it all out without having been there himself. But still, the story was still very good without his constant presence.

Bottom Line:

A thrilling and great read.

Rating:

rating 4

Marcus Sedgwick – Flut und Fangzähne/Flood and Fang (Raven Mysteries #1)

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Hardcover
Verlag: ars Edition
veröffentlicht: 2011
Seiten: 191

Book on Amazon (Deutsch/English)

Klappentext/Blurb:

Rabe Edgar, selbst ernannter Wächter des ehrwürdigen Schlosses Otherhand, ist in großer Aufregung: Küchenmädchen verschwinden auf unheimliche Weise, ein gefährliches Ungeheuer hat verdächtige Spuren im Rhababerbeet hinterlassen und eine Flut droht das Schloss zu zerstören!

Es wird allerhöchste Zeit, dass Edgar die Sache in die Hand nimmt und die Bewohner von Otherhand vor dem drohenden Untergang rettet. Doch der Rabe hat die Rechnung ohne die verrückte Familie Otherhand gemacht, die blindlings in ihr Unglück stolpert…

Meet the wonderfully weird Otherhand family and their faithful guardian, Edgar the raven, and discover the dark secrets of Castle Otherhand. Edgar is alarmed when he sees a nasty looking black tail slinking under the castle walls. But his warnings to the inhabitants of the castle go unheeded: Lord Valevine Otherhand is too busy trying to invent the unthinkable and discover the unknowable; his wife, Minty, is too absorbed in her latest obsession – baking; and ten-year-old Cudweed is running riot with his infernal pet monkey. Only Solstice, the black-haired, poetry-writing Otherhand daughter, seems to pay any attention. As the lower storeys of the castle begin mysteriously to flood, and kitchen maids continue to go missing, the family come ever closer to the owner of the black tail…

In Kürze/In (Very) Short:

+ Abenteuergeschichte von einem Raben erzählt
+ erste Buch in der Raven Mysteries Reihe
+ lustig, unterhaltsam, spannend
+ sehr schön illustriert
+ adventure story told by raven Edgar
+ first book in the raven mysteries series
+ funny, entertaining, exiting
+ beautifully illustrated

Meinung/My Opinion:

Die ist der erste Band der Raven Mysteries Reihe. Ich hatte vor einiger Zeit den 2. Band gelesen, ohne wirklich zu wissen, wie die richtige Reihenfolge lautet und hatte trotzdem keine Probleme der Geschichte und den Charakteren zu folgen. Nun habe ich mich an den ersten Teil gemacht.

Flut und Fangzähne ist eine schöne, unterhaltsame Abenteuergeschichte der Familie Otherhand. Der Protagonist, Familienrabe Edgar, entdeckt gleich zwei Bedrohungen: eine Flut und ein mysteriöser schleimiger Schwanz. Da nun immer mehr Dienstmädchen verschwinden und nur noch deren Schuhe zurückbleiben, muss der Schwanz zu einem Monster gehören. Während Edgar versucht der Familie klar zu machen, in welcher Gefahr sie sich befinden, muss er auch noch den Angriffen des Affen Buddy ausweichen. Kann er die Familie rechtzeitig warnen und sie retten?

Die Geschichte ist wieder einmal erzählt aus der Sicht des Raben, der die skurrilen Mitglieder der Familie und deren Haushalt manchmal genervt, aber dennoch liebevoll vorstellt. Edgar ist einfach nur liebenswert und seine Familie etwas skurril, eigen und ohne ihn direkt aufgeschmissen.

Das Buch ist sehr schön illustriert mit kleinen Zeichnung, die das Erzählte wunderbar unterstreichen, ohne den Fokus von der Geschichte zu nehmen. Jedem Kapitel ist ein kleine allgemeine Notiz über einzelne Mitglieder der Familie und deren jeweiliger Eigenheiten vorangestellt. Der Spannungsbogen ist konstant und Edgars Frust über die Familie sehr nachzuvollziehen. Eine gelungenes Abenteuer.

I have picked up the first book in the Raven Mysteries series by Marcus Sedgwick after I already read the second book. I read the second book without being familiar with the sequence of the series and still had no difficulties following the story. But I thought it was time to start with the first book.

Flood and Fang is a lovely and entertaining adventure story. The protagonist – the raven Edgar – discovers two threats looming within the castle boundaries of the Otherhands: a flood and a mysterious and slimy tail. After several maids disappear and their shoes are discovered as the only remains, Edgar is sure that the tail belongs to a monster. He tries to warn the family about the appending doom while trying to escape the families monkey’s grasp.

The story is told from the Edgar’s point of view, who is annoyed by but talks about the family members in a loving way. Edgar is sweet, cute, and endearing and the Otherhands are weird and quirky and seemingly lost without him.

The book’s illustrations emphasize the narration without steeling the focus away from the story. Each chapter starts with a little note about random characteristics or stories of the family members. The arc of suspense remains constant and Edgar frustration with his family is understandable. A well-made adventure.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Eine unterhaltsame Abenteuergeschichte mit einem liebenswürdigen Raben und einer skurrilen Familie.

An entertaining adventure story with an endearing raven as protagonist and one quirky family.

Rating:

rating 4

Marissa Meyer – Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

scarlet

paperback
publisher: Puffin Books
published 2013
pages: 452

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed the case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Bejing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner …

In (Very) Short:

+ the 2nd installment in the Lunar Chronicles series
+ science fiction retelling of fairy tales
+ different version of Little Red Riding Hood
+ while a new story line is introduced the old story line with Cinder still continues
+ wonderfully wicked, fun, entertaining, exiting – better than the first

My Opinion:

The second installment in the Lunar Chronicles series is better than the first. I never had that before – either they are as good as the first or they are not that good. But Scarlet is. It’s more exiting, fast paced, it had twists and turns that I personally did not see coming, and it has a SciFi setting. But let’s start at the beginning – the cover! Oh my good I think the cover is gorgeous, beautiful, artistic, just perfect. Anyway. To the important stuff: the story.

Scarlet’s grandmother is missing and the police is doing nothing about it. So, Scarlet takes matters into her own hands, meets Wolf (the only one willing to help and the only one who believes her), is betrayed, and ends up in an even bigger mess. While she tries to figure out what happened to her grandmother, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that will change her world and that of Cinder.

I love the fact, that while a new fairy tale character and her story is introduced, Cinder’s story continues parallel to Scarlet’s. Thus the reader is somewhat satisfied as we were left with a cliffhanger at the end of book one. At the same time Meyer does not simply add a new story line but uses that to slowly complete the story world and Cinder’s past. It is inevitable yet interesting to see both story lines collide and form a new one.

Scarlet, unlike Cinder, is stubborn, strong-willed and minded, who has anger and trust issues, and despite her independent upbringing and nature, seems lost without her grandmother. Wolf, on the other hand, is quite mysterious and foreign, physically strong but is sometimes unsure and insecure. Just as Scarlet, I was not sure what to make of him and was surprised when his true nature was revealed.

The writing is vivid and fluent and I almost inhaled the pages. 30 pages were read in no time and felt like maybe two at best. The narration is fast paced, the arc of suspense is tense throughout the entire book and does not stop at the end. Though the cliffhanger is still bad, there is some small form of satisfactory conclusion that gives a little peace of mind. The whole story world and the overall story itself has still so much to offer, that I am exited and anxious to see how Meyer can wrap it up in the two more books she has planned for the series.

Bottom Line:

Fantastic continuation of the series with a new strong character, a new, exiting yet additional story line, old friends and spaceships. What more could you want. Go pick it up.

Ratings:

rating 5

Febuary Releases That Add to My Wishlist

As I scan through Amazon releases regularly, I decided I will share some of the upcoming releases that I am exited about and that I will eventually have to buy and read.

1. Marissa Meyer – Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

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paperback
550 pages
Puffin Books

Cress is the third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, following Cinder and Scarlet.
Incarcerated in a satellite, an expert hacker and out to save the world – Cress isn’t your usual damsel in distress.
CRESS grew-up as a prisoner. With only netscreens for company she’s forced to do the bidding of the evil Queen Levana. Now that means tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai. But little does Levana know that those she seeks, and the man she loves, are plotting her downfall . . .
As paths cross and the price of freedom rises, happily ever after has never seemed further away for Cress, Scarlet and Cinder.(Amazon)

2. Holly Black – The Coldes Girl in Coldtown

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paperback
432 pages
Indigo

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. It’s an eternal party, shown on TV 24 hours a day – gorgeous, glamorous, deadly! Because, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave… (Amazon)

3. Gena Showalter – Alice Through the Zombie Glass (The White Rabbit Chronicles #2)

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paperback
400 pages
Mira Ink

Zombies stalk the night.
Forget blood and brains.
These monsters hunger for human souls.
Sadly, they ve got mine…
Alice Bell has lost so much. Family. Friends. A home. She thought she had nothing else to give. She was wrong. After a new zombie attack, strange things begin to happen to her. Mirrors come to life, and the whispers of the dead assault her ears. But the worst? A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do very wicked things. She s never needed her team of zombie slayers more, but ultra bad-boy Cole Holland, the leader and her boyfriend, suddenly withdraws from her… from everyone. Now, with her best friend Kat at her side, Ali must kill the zombies, uncover Cole s secret and learn to fight the darkness.
But the clock is ticking…and if she fails at a single task, they’re all doomed. (Amazon)

4. Lauren DeStefano – Sever (The Chemical Garden #3)

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paperback
384 pages
Harper Voyager

The third and final novel in Lauren DeStefano’s breathtaking dystopian romance series, The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Time is running out for Rhine.
With less than three years left until the virus claims her life, Rhine is desperate for answers. Having escaped torment at Vaughn’s mansion, she finds respite in the dilapidated home of her husband’s uncle, an eccentric inventor who hates Vaughn almost as much as Rhine does.
Rhine’s determination to be reunited with her twin brother, Rowan, increases as each day brings terrifying revelations to light about his involvement in an underground resistance. She realizes must find him before he destroys the one thing they have left: hope. (Amazon)

5. Victoria Schwab – The Unbound (An Archived Novel)

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Hardcover
384 pages
Hyperion

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Mackenzie Bishop is still recovering from having almost lost her life to a violent History. But moving on is proving a difficult task when all she dreams of is that fateful day. And when people begin disappearing, all lines lead back to her. Mackenzie fears a set-up and the race is on to prove it. (Amazon)