Category Archives: Challenge

2014: New Year, new me, new chance.

So it is the time of the year again where everyone recaps 2013 and makes new years resolutions (or not) and as I am pro-resolutions even tho I am anti-sticking-to-them I want to do that too.

One thing I realised in 2013 was, that I didn’t like it too much how I restricted myself with this blog to stay within one topic. “Everyone” (as in “I read a lot about it”) is telling me, that you are supposed to stick to a topic or theme when you write a blog. I understand why, but I figured that this is not for me.

I often wanted to write about a lot of things but couldn’t because they were not book related. So, as this blog started as a new years resolution and had not a real theme at first I will go back to the roots so to speak.

So be prepared to read here about other things that happen in my life in the future.

Now that I’ve warned you, I can go ahead and start with “these other things” which will be my new years resolutions today. They are far from well thought about but I hope, that they will get better as I go. I started thinking about them about 2 days ago, that might be a reason. What I have are a few general topics under which I want to try to get stuff done..or right. And as I am one of these people who need to tell it other people to stick (a little bit better) to them, I will do so. Man, I just realise how rusty I am in blogging already, need to practice more often again. Without further ado, here are the main topics:

  1. FOOD
  2. FITNESS
  3. DIY
  4. EDUCATION
  5. SPACE
  6. FUN

These are not sorted by priority just by the order they came to my mind. So what do I mean with these things. Let’s take a closer look.

1. FOOD: I want to eat healthier this year. Not totally strict as I wouldn’t be able to stick to it forever anyway but I want to start building habits. “Totally strict” would also interfere with 6. General things might be: eat vegan more often, fish less (I am pescetarian). Less sweets (I want to stay sane so I will still eat a little bit of sweets!), less fatty things and more veggies and things that are good for me. I also want to cook more often as I haven’t really done that in the last year which I am missing. Oh, I almost forgot: drink at least 2 litres of water a day (got a handy dandy app on my phone for that and it did work out quite well in december already).

2. FITNESS: I have done close to no activity in 2013 and that’s not good at all. Also I am working full time again for a year now and I am sitting in front of a computer more than ever (even tho I was an expert in that before that already). Having probleps with my sciatic nerve in the second half of 2013 made me also realise that I am not getting younger. So I will try do more exercise this year. Even if it is only for 5 or 10 minutes. I am thinking about trying the Blogilates Workout Calendar and maybe getting a FitBit-thing.

3. DIY: I had so many Ideas, bought so many magazines and watched so many DIY videos on youtube last year but did hardly anything myself which made me mad about myself. So I want to make something as often as possible this year. And not only make, but finish! Also I really want to start an Etsy shop this year (as I am talking about that for ages already – and annoying all of my friends with it).

4. EDUCATION: This is rather simple to explain. I have to be done with my study by April 2015 and I still need a hand full of classes and all of my final paper. I want to be done with all that by the end of the year.

5. SPACE: No I don’t want to travel to the moon. With SPACE I mean the space around me. The apartment I live in (which is mostly my bf’s at the moment even tho I still have my own) and the stuff I surround myself with. I would like to move to a bigger place with my bf this year and also want to get rid of stuff (best case would be BEFORE moving) and organise the stuff I have better. Also, as I was reminded of the film Plastic Planet a while ago I also want to try to get rid of at least some of the plastic in my surrounding.

6. FUN: Doing all that I still want to have fun. It is of no use if I am miserable all the time. I want to make my life better and not worse! So I won’t punish myself if I don’t act according to the points above (this will be a hard challenge) and not give up immediately when that happens (“Now that I didn’t do any exercises for the last two days there is no need of continuing anymore”). Another thing I want to do this year is to watch all Episodes of Classic Doctor Who (I am in the middle of season 2 right now). And last but not least I don’t want to neglect this blog any longer even tho I have a lot on my plate and I won’t be able to promise anything.

Ok, I think the wall of text is long enough now. Respekt to everyone who read until here!

Do you do new years resolutions? If yes, which are yours for 2014? Do you stick to them normally?

Happy New Year everyone!

Review: Pale by Chris Wooding

Pale by Chris Wooding

Title: Pale
Author: Chris Wooding
Pages: 67
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
Published: September 10, 2012
Publisher: Stoke Books
ISBN: 9781781120910

Goodreads Summary :

The Lazarus Serum can bring you back from the dead. Only thing is, it turns you into a Pale. Jed can’t imagine anything worse, but then the choice is taken out of his hands…

Amazon.com | Amazon.de | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Thoughts:

So this is a REALLY quick read. It’s only 67 pages which made me finish it in about an hour, maybe less. It felt like less. The Story was predictable but still well told.

I just would have loved to get to know the characters better and everything. It was a little too short for my taste. But I totally understand that I am not really the target audience so if I was an early reader this would be a nice start. It probably would make me want to read more in dept books like this.

Another thing I figured was, that this book can be considered Dystopian but it still has a lot of truth to the world as it is now. You would just have to switch “Pale” with “(Illegal) Immigrant” or “Ex-Prisoner” and it would still make as much sense as it does now. Made me think about the topic, especially as bullying at school is also a trending thing right now. Sadly.

So if you have an hour to kill you can check out this Novella or one of the other  16 or so books Chris Wooding wrote so far. That’s a lot isn’t it? Given that he is only 32…that’s only 2 years older than me. Gosh! I need to start do important things in my life!

Cover: This Cover reminded me SO MUCH of Starters by Lissa Price and as I loved her book I was probably not very objective about this one at first. Maybe this was also the reason why I was a little bit disappointed with this book which isn’t really fair. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover – and especially not by some other books cover!

Rating: 3 Chocolate Hearts

Rating 3

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Review: Unbreak my Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Unbreak my Heart by Melissa C. Walker

Title: Unbreak my Heart
Author: Melissa C. Walker
Pages: 240
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
Published: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
ISBN: 9781599905280

Goodreads Summary :

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.

Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.

Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart?

Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.

Amazon.com | Amazon.de | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Thoughts:

If you are looking for a light quick summer read then this is for you! But be warned! You might – just as I did – desperately want to go on holiday (preferably on a boat) after you’ve read this. Don’t blame me for it in the end, I told you :).

What I like about the book that it is two stories in one. So one story is Clem going on a sailing trip over the summer with her family and the second story is the past year at school and how all the mess she got into started. So you slowly get to know Clem and her story over time.

This isn’t a book with a lot of stuff going on or twists or thrilling moments but it doesn’t have to. It’s a quiet little story more about feelings and relationships than about a big plot. I for myself liked it.

Also it wasn’t like all happiness and everything more about how to get it back. This made me think a little and also left a cosy feeling within me when I finished reading it.

Cover: I adore this cover. It is simple but I liked it the second I saw it and made me want to read the book. And it didn’t let me down.

Rating: 5 Chocolate Hearts

Rating 5

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Review: The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One – Genesis

The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One - Genesis by Aurelia

Title: The Journeys of John and Julia in Chapter One: Genesis
Author: Aurelia
Pages: 264
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
Published: June 29, 2012
Publisher: Gerber Rigler
ISBN: 9780984001965

Goodreads Summary :

The Journeys of John and Julia begin.
The Twenty-Two are watching.
Reality is about to change.

It all starts when Julia’s parents totally mess with her summer. First Julia’s dad takes off to start a whole new family. Then Julia’s mom yanks Julia from cheerleader camp to spend the summer with her grandmother in the land of no signal, no mall, no best friend Kellie. Julia’s only hope for human contact is geeky John Freeman, who is six months younger than she and about a million years behind her idea of cool.

If only Julia knew that her mom plans to dump her at Grandma’s not just for the summer, but for a whole year. If only Julia knew that a collective of wondrous beings called The Twenty- Two are watching over her and trying to make contact. If only Julia knew that they could tell Julia every thought she never knew she had and bend her reality in any way they choose. And that she’d be with John Freeman when it happened. He’d think that was way cool.

And that is just the beginning. For this seemingly mismatched pair have cracked open the door to another reality. And their enemy-to-be, the beyond evil Niem Vidalgo Oten, is about to enter the picture.

Amazon.com | Amazon.de | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Thoughts:

To be honest I’m not totally sure what to say about this book. I finished it pretty quickly and it was nice to read but…

I think I missed the connection to the main Characters. I couldn’t really connect  and feel with them. In one way they just didn’t bother me enough? Also some events or dialogues just confused me. A few times I was like “what? why did that happen now?” or  “Why did he do that?”

I mean I am aware that there is supposed to be something mystical or magical or however you want to call it in the book but sometimes I just didn’t see the reasons or connections. Probably I would have needed some more explanation and in depth description or the book was just not for me.

However I still finished it which means that it’s not totally lame and boring 🙂 otherwise I  would have stopped at some point.

Cover: I am not very fond of this Cover. It’s not bad but also nothing spectacular.

Rating: 2,5 Chocolate Hearts

Rating 2,5

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Review: Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by L.L. Samson

Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame by L.L. Samson

Title: Facing the Hunchback of Notre Dame (The Enchanted Attic #1)
Author: L.L. Samson
Pages: 144
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
Published: May 8, 2012
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 9780310727958

Goodreads Summary :

A hidden attic. A classic story. A very unexpected twist. Twin twelve-year-old bookworms Ophelia and Linus Easterday discover a hidden attic that once belonged to a mad scientist. While relaxing in the attic and enjoying her latest book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Ophelia dozes off, and within moments finds herself facing a fully alive and completely bewildered Quasimodo. Ophelia and Linus team up with a clever neighbor, a hippy priest, and a college custodian, learning Quasimodo’s story while searching for some way to get him back home—if he can survive long enough in the modern world.

Amazon.com | Amazon.de | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Thoughts:

I just finished the Book and wanted to do the Review as long as it is still “fresh” in my mind. First of all I have to say I had a bit of a hard time getting into the book. It might have to do with the language that is used in the Book. English is not my first language so a lot of words weren’t really familiar to me and it through me a little out of the Story sometimes. But I got used to it.

Funnily a lot of the words I didn’t know where explained in the book. There happens to be a Storyteller who is telling the story to us and as he is proud of his use of the English Language he likes to use “nice” words but is at the same time kind enough to explain the complicated ones. This is especially important as this is a Middle Grade Book for Ages 9-12.

It was a nice short read but still took me ages as I kept putting it down. I am not entirely sure why. Another thing I liked about the book was that you get to know a Classic at the same time. So this is the perfect start for a younger reader who doesn’t quite dare to read “the real stuff” yet but is interested about what else there is in Book World.

Cover: It’s a well made Cover which is Age Apropriate and matches the Story.

Rating: 3,5 Chocolate Hearts

Rating 5

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Review: Starters by Lissa Price

Starters by Lissa Price

Title: Starters (Starters #1)
Author: Lissa Price
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley
Language: English
Published: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
ISBN: 9780385742375

Goodreads Summary :

In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party–her body will commit murder, if her mind can’t stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first–the very young and very old.

With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie’s neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It’s a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank’s horrible plan. . . .

Amazon.com | Amazon.de | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

My Thoughts:

I just finished this Book a few Minutes ago. Wow, this was a good one! I was kept in the story after just a few pages and after that there was not one moment I didn’t want to know what would happen next and believe me, it happened a lot! There were a lot of smaller and medium twists in it and also a few big ones. I’m not going to spoiler you, don’t worry. I hate it myself to be spoilered.

Also the Idea that was used about old people renting young peoples bodies was something fresh and new to me. Haven’t seen that before and made me really want to read it. And I am so glad it didn’t disappoint me it was even better than I thought in the beginning.

Since I read the Hunger Games I was searching for another nice Dystopian and this one was right up that Alley. Ok, it is not the Hunger Games but I still gave it 5 Chocolate Hearts which doesn’t happen very often. I definitely recommend it!

Oh, and I just realised that this – as I already guessed – is really the first book in a Series. Really looking forward to the next one!

Cover: I like the Cover design even tho it is so different to the Covers that I normally like but maybe that’s what intrigued me to request it on NetGalley. Which reminds me of wanting to thank Random House for giving me the book to review!

Rating: 5 Chocolate Hearts

Rating 5

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Bloggiesta Wrap up Post

Three days are over, already! The time went by way too quickly. I managed to do only a small portion of what I wanted to do but at least a little bit.

On Day 1 I had a late start because I had to deal with two papers first. I finished one and tried to postpone the other one (haven’t heard back by the teacher yet, so can’t tell if it was successfully). As it was late by then already I just did the Pinterest Mini-Challenge and commented on a few To-do-Lists and then went to bed. Sadly I couldn’t attend the Twitterchat because it was too late for me and I had to go to class the next morning.

Day 2 started with said Class and when I was back home I was sooo tired I couldn’t really do anything so I went for a nap – which made me have even less time . *sigh* Luckily I did manage to get at least a little bit done. I decluttered my Sidebars, wrote the long threaded and most feared Review Policy Page and thought about New Content which was a bigger success than I thought beforehand. I also attended the Twitterchat that day, it was a blast!

Today which was Day 3 I slept in way too long (I start to see a pattern here) and attended the Twitterchat. I updated the Excel Sheet I have for my NetGalley books (and realised how many I have to read by now! brrr), did the Goodreads Mini-Challenge and the one where you learn how to make your Reviews better. I also read through the 5 tips to write your Reviews faster but didn’t do the Challenge part for it.

That’s all not a very huge success especially because I wanted to write and schedule a lot of posts and didn’t even manage to write an IMM Post but I did at least something and got some motivation to do more in the Future. Also I met a lot of awesome people during this weekend. I love the Book Blogger Community, everyone is so kind and helpful. It feels like a big family. Btw did you realise it too that (nearly?) all of us where females? I couldn’t really find any male blogger the whole weekend! Not that I have a problem with it I am just wondering! Is it because reading in general is something that more girls do than boys? Hm, this will keep me thinking a while longer I guess :).

So when it was time to call it an End I was in a kind of depressed mood for a bit. Not sure if it was because the fun weekend was over already or because I was mad at myself because I wasted it without doing a lot…

How was your Bloggiesta Weekend? Did you manage to do everything on your list? Or at least most? If yes, Congratulations, I am really proud of you! (and a little jealous :D)

All I have left to say now is Bye Bloggiesta, see you again in September for the next Weekend of Blogging Madness and Love spreading! Thank you Suey and Danielle for hosting this awesome Event!