The Song of Achilles: My Review

The Song of Achilles

I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller back in December and it was really time I made my review for this book. It had been on my TBR for a very long time, so I’m glad I finally picked it up. I listened to the audiobook, and I really enjoyed the narration, so if you are looking for audiobooks I would definitely recommend this one.

Genre: New Adult, Mythology, Fantasy, Retelling
My rating: 3,5 stars
Release date: September 2011

The story:

Set before and during the Trojan War, The Song of Achilles follows the famous Greek hero Achilles, through the eyes of his companion, best friend and lover Patroclus, a fallen prince who has no desire to fight. Achilles is the son of a nymph and a mortal king, and it has been prophesized that he will either die young in battle and fame, or live long and be forgotten. Achilles is strong, handsome, and the best warrior of his time. When Agamemnon calls all Greece for the Trojan War, he is reluctant to go at first, but finally gives in, running straight to his destiny.

My thoughts:

My first thought on this book was that the story is extremely beautiful and moving, and the writing is excellent. I know the story of the Trojan War, so I obviously guessed how this book would end, yet it was full of so many little details that made it definitely worth the read. Patroclus is an amazing, caring, and unique narrator, and it was definitely interesting to read about Achilles through his point of view.

My only regret is that I often felt that the story was a bit slow, however, it also turned out that the slow pace gave a unique atmosphere to the book, which was extremely fitting.

Overall, a very good retelling and a very enjoyable read. I wish that I could say more about it, but I feel like it left me impressed and speechless… I will definitely be looking for more Greek mythology retellings as I always end up really liking those.

Warning:

And first of all, thanks Diana for explaining this to me. Now that I know it, it is quite obvious. This book is a very good example of a very bad trope: the kill your gays trope. Of course it can be argued that this retelling is only following the original story. But it is still part of a trope that can be very harmful, and I couldn’t write this review without mentioning it.

Recommended for:

Mythology and retellings lover.

If you liked it, then I would recommend Song of Princes by Jannell Rhiannon! (review)

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this book in the comments as I would love to discuss it!

Sunday Recommendations: Mystery/Thriller

I remember that when I asked you all readers for ideas for my recommendation posts, someone suggested mystery and thrillers, and I realised I don’t read that much in that genre, but I have managed to gather seven books for a Sunday Recommendations post, so here are some books you should definitely read if you are into mystery and thriller books!

I think that anyway, this kind of category is always a bit subjective. Here are a list of books that could fit in either or both categories, I hope you fill find something that fits your taste!

I meant to post this such a long time ago, but I never finished writing the article, so here it is, finally.


And Then There Were NoneAnd then there were none by Agatha Christie

MYSTERY/THRILLER

I couldn’t write this list without including an Agatha Christie book, of course. I have to admit, I haven’t read that much of her work, but I did read And then there were none several times, and I find it extremely fascinating and unique.


Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnGone Girl

THRILLER

I jumped into this book because of the hype, not really knowing what to expect, considering I’m not really into this genre, and I didn’t really read about it beforehand. And then, I really got into the story. It was incredible, fascinating, wicked, and so much worth all the hype.


Girl Last SeenGirl Last Seen by Anne Greenwood Brown and Heather Anastasiu

THRILLER

I requested an ARC copy of this book last year, because it seemed interesting, and oh boy, not once did I regret it. If you have loved Gone Girl, then you should definitely check this one out. This is about a girl who disappears, and then the blame falls on her best friend. It follows several people who were close to her, until the truth is unveiled in a schocking way… I will never forget this book!


When I’m Gone by Emily BleekerWhen I'm Gone

MYSTERY

This one is more of a mystery than a thriller. It is not about finding a dead body, or unmasking a murderer, but rather about a man, who lost is wife, and is slowly discovering how little he knew about her, through letter she wrote to him, and through new people he meets. Definitely a wonderful and beautiful read, and one of my favourite books of 2016.


Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #1)Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

MYSTERY

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is another mystery book, and you have most likely heard about it, especially since the movie came out. Be ready to delve into a world of fantasy, following Jacob, who is trying to understand what happened to his grandfather, not only how he died, but how he grew up, and slowly realises that a lot of stories turn out to be true… For the best and for the worst.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle HodkinThe Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)

MYSTERY/THRILLER

A very creepy book you will love if you like mysteries and thrillers. Mara Dyer woke up in a hospital, and the last people who were with her are dead. Her parents decide to move, so she can start over, but weird and bloody things keep happening to her… Or do they? Mara is not sure if she is awake or dreaming… I have yet to read the sequel for this book, but I can already tell you that this one is amazing!


The ReaderThe Reader by Bernard Schlink

MYSTERY

In this historical mystery, we follow a young boy, who falls in love with a mysterious woman. One day she disappears. He meets her again, years later, while he is a law student, and she stands accused of war crimes she stubbornly doesn’t deny… Except Michael is sure there is more to it. Hannah is hiding something more, and he will find out what. This book is beautiful, moving and very interesting at the same time, I recommend it to both historical fiction fans and mystery lovers!


And that’s it for today, thanks for reading, and feel free to recommend similar books in the comments! I have written reviews for most of those books, you can find them in the search bar if you’d like, or read more about them on Goodreads. Have a great Sunday!

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #16

Hi readers! The Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal on her blog Bookshelves and Paperbacks and since reading diverse books is important to me, I’m trying to take part every week.

The rules are simple: in your diversity spotlight post, you share three books

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you want to read more about it, you can check out the Announcement Post!


A book I have read and enjoyed

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Genre: New Adult, Fantasy, Retelling

The Song of AchillesI read The Song of Achilles back in December and I promise I will review it here very soon. In the meantime, I am including it in this feature because it deserves a spot here! If you like mythology retellings and are looking for LGBTQ (M/M) reads then this is definitely something I would recommend. However, I also heard that this book had received bad critics from the LGBT+ community, so if you think the representation is not accurate, something is not right with this book, please let me know in the comments, I am always interested.

Anyway, the plot in a nutshell: The Song of Achilles, as you probably guessed from the title, follows Greek hero Achilles, before and during the Trojan war. The story is told from the eyes of his faithful companion and lover Patroclus, in a very poetic way. If you know the story of the Trojan war, this book won’t have much surprises in store for you, however, I still thought it was a very good and enjoyable retelling!


A book on my TBR

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

How gorgeous is that cover??

Iron CastGoodreads summary:
In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.
When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.


A book releasing soon

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Genre: YA, Contemporary

We Are OkayGoodreads summary:
“You go through life thinking there’s so much you need. . . . Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.”
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Release date: February 14th


And that’s all for this week’s Diversity Spotlight Thursday! I hope you enjoyed, feel to recommend me more diverse books in the comments, or give a link to your own Diversity Spotlight post as I love fnding out about new books I haven’t heard of!

Life & Reading Update!

Hi guys! First of all, I wanted to share my latest booktube video, where I talk about 20 great things that happened to me in 2016. I really enjoyed filming it, and reminding myself of all those positive things that happened to me!

And I also wanted to say a few words about my Goodreads challenge for this year. I have set the challenge to 52 books because I find that it’s a number that makes sense, as there are 52 weeks in a year. I have been reading a lot since the beginning of January, but I don’t know how long it will last, so it’s also a “safety choice” of a sort.

In facts, I have been reading some short stories, textbooks and YA novels, which amounts to a total of 11 titles, and that’s totally insane. I just wanted to share it because I can barely believe it, and I’m really proud of myself. Because at the same time, I have also been studying a lot, which is the reason why I am not as active here as I used to be, both posting, reading and commenting on other blog posts. But I will probably have more time to do that during my semester break… In March!

I also wanted to mention something else that makes me really happy: I finally heard from my tutor, and she gave me a rather positive feedback on my Master Thesis – at least what I have done so far. So it makes me happy, and I just want to scream everywhere… I’m not gonna fail this semester! (At least I have the best chances not to…)

Anyway, that was just a quick post for today. I hope you’re all having a wonderful time!

Teaser Tuesday #50

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme is hosted by Ambrosia from The Purple Booker.

1. Grab your current read

2. Open to a random page

3. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

4. Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

I’m currently reading A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard and I really like it so far so I thought it would be a perfect idea to promote it in this week’s Teaser Tuesday!

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Mental Illness and Disability

My quote:

“I’m really not disapproving. Just… cautious. Protective. That’s the best friend prerogative, right?” – p.62

Published on January 12th

Goodreads

2017 Reading Goals: Ich schaffe das!

Yes, I know I have already shared some of my reading plans for 2017, but I really wanted to make it more official, and to get everything together.

And yes, I am using a German expression, not just to show off but also because I really like it 😊

My Goodreads goal for this year is to read 52 books. This is a lot less than I read in 2016, since I read 96 books, but I wanted first to make it something accessible which wouldn’t be stressful, and also in case I have a reading slump, or don’t have time to read because of my work, or anything of the sort. Since there are 52 in a year, I thought it would be a very decent goal, and so far, I have already read 6 books, I don’t know what’s going on!

If you want to see more of my reading goals for this year, including reading more classics, and reading more diversely, you can watch the video below!

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl: My Review

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl

Me & Earl & the Dying Girl was writte by Jesse Andrews and published in 2012. It is a young adult release, dealing with teenage cancer, which has been turned in a movie (I haven’t seen) and often compared to The Fault In Our Stars, though I’m not sure why, because except for the part played by cancer, these two books have nothing in common, if you ask me.

Genre: YA, Contemporary
My rating: ★★★✩✩

I heard a lot about this book, and I heard lots of mixed opinions. Some people say it is amazing, some people say they couldn’t finish it. Everyone seems to have their own opinion, and now it’s time to give you my own.

The story:

Greg goes through high school following one very precise rule: be friendly with everyone, but be friend with no one. So when his mom tells him that his middle school crush Rachel has leukemia, and he must do everything he can to be with her, and cheer her up, he has no choice but to break his own rule, and he ends up bringing his only sort-of-friend/film-buddy Earl into this.

My opinion:

When I think about this book, two things come to my mind: the first is that this book was quite funny, I cannot deny it. And the other being that overall, I was quite disappointed with it, as much as I wanted to like it. Maybe I’m just not in a contemporary mood at the moment, as I observed the same thing when reading Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven (review coming soon). Or maybe I’m getting too old to read YA, because I can’t really relate to American high schoolers. Or maybe it was just not the thing for me. But throughout the story, I felt that something was missing. I’m not sure what it is, but it left me waiting for more, expecting more.

The book is well-written, and at first, I really liked it. Greg is a funny and unique narrator, but little by little, I felt that he grew more annoying and frustrating. I felt that there could be more to the story. Maybe he was too much of a pessimist, maybe it was just not my thing. But I thought he could have done a better job at being a friend, instead of always seeing the dark side of things.

On the other hand, I really liked Earl and Rachel. They felt more relatable than Greg, more human. I wanted to know what would happen to them next, and made me enjoy this book more.

One other thing that I liked us the enfing. I won’t say too much because I don’t want to spoil you the story, but it was good to finally see Greg get things done, and at least, I’m glad I finished this book.

Overall, I’m not sure what to make of it. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to, but it still had some good points, especially great humour (most of the time) and amazing side characters.

I would love to have your opinion on this book, so if you have read it, feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments so we can discuss!