A book I'd rather give to the sea // Review by Ella

Friday, 2 June 2017

Hi there, it's Ella!
Today I'm back with my review for Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis, the book I received in my April Fairyloot.

The Plot:

The book tells the story of Khosa, who is born to be the Given, dancing into the sea once she gave birth to a child who is going to be the next Given, just like Khosas mother was before her.
This is to prevent the Kingdom of from a wave like one that once destroyed it.
Vincent is third in throne sequence of this kindom.
The twins Dara and Donil are the last of the magical race of Indiri and adopted by Vincents mother.
Witt is the Lithos, leader of the Pietra, which are about to march on the kingdom of Stille.

The good stuff: 

The writing was beautiful and the concept seems interesting. The author said, the character "dancing" to the sea was inspired by a disease called the Restless-Leg-Syndrome.
The chapters were short and the book overall fast to read.

That's it.

Now the bad stuff:

To me it felt like most of the book consisted of dialogues, mostly empty phrase. Khosa having to give birth was the #1 topic, but there was also a lot of talking about sex. "The Lithos is not to be distracted" was a frequent line aswell, but I did not really saw any sense behind it.
The characters consistently repeated themselfes and one another.
They felt flat, except for Dara maybe.

The relationship between the characters sometimes seemed weird.

As for the plot: There wasn't much going on and those things that happened could have fit on maybe a quarter of pages.
Still, it was really confusing. I wasn't completely sure about some important points of the books until half of the book.
Who were all the folks? Why did Pietra send their people off to the sea to die? Why did they kill the Indiri and why are they marching on Stille? (Simple answer: They're warriors. That's their nature. Sure.)

Furthermore, the world felt flat too. Like, the kindom of Stille only consisted of the castle (?) and you rarely met citizens. And there there were a forest, a river and the residence of the Lithos. Oh, and the house whre Khosa lived for like 5 minutes.

The in the Fairyloot box included Fairyscoop with an interview with author said, that Mindy McGinnis wrote linearly, beginning to end without plotting. That's how it felt - one chapter after the other, most seemed without a purpose and some just to fill space.
Overall:
✭✭✩✩

I hope this wasn't to short, but I am pretty sure you got a good enough impression of how the book felt to me.
Have you read it yet? What's your opinion on it?
As far as I know, Mindy McGinnis other books are quite good, so am I still motivated to check those out.

Bye then, 
Ella.

May Wrap-Up // Ella

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Urgh, I know. I am super lazy with posting.
However, I just write this post now and hope for the better.
By the way: Hi there, it's Ella.


So here's my cute little wrap-up, but yeah, I am still happy with it.
Though you see, and Goodreads counted, six books, on actually held two.
And I read exactly those books which I planned to read, so that's always a plus.

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

✭✭✩✩

It was boring and I was really disappointed - not because I had too high expectations, but because it came in my first ever fairyloot. But yeah, it... sucked. I will post a short review soon. Like, "this week soon". Friday, I hope.

Modestrecke by Jessica Weis & Julia Knolle (German) / reread

✭✭✭✭✩

This was quick and fun and I immediately knew, why I loved this, the first time I read it.

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

✭✭✭✩✩

Ok, so I was slightly disappointed by this book too.
This book was way too slow and way too few things happened.
After finishing this, I got the impression, it's rather a prequel to the actual story, which is about to happen in book two.
After I spend one week with this book, reading only a few pages per day, I forced myself to finally finishing it off. Then it got better. I read like 300 pages in a day and it turned out as a quick read, once I was into it. But still, it was told far too stretched for what happened.

Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers / reread 

✭✭✭

I wrote a review on it's sequel earlier this year and about a month later, I found this copy at a book outlet. I enjoyed it very much when I picked it up years ago from the library.
I immediately felt in love again and dare to say, the two books are my favourites.
It's just this wonderful atmosphere it creates, telling the story of Florines life after her mother vanished, that makes me want to read it over and over.
I highly recommend to check it out if you're into personal stories and enjoy books, which are less about an actual plot.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

✭✭✭✭✩

Though I have to admit I bought it because of the awesome cover, I was highly interested in the story too. It was wonderful written, you exactly felt what Starr felt and giving me her point of view just was a whole other world to me. I loved the relationship she had to her family. But seeing all the stuff going on after her friend was shot, this book left a deep impression on me.

At the Sign of the Sugared Plum & Petals in Ashes by Mary Hooper /reread

✭✭✭✭ & ✭✭✭✭✩

When you read about 400 pages in one day, you know, it's good.
My favourite book from years ago shouted for a reread, so I did. I enjoyed it very much, though I did not remember it being such a quick read, but was a slower reader back then anyways.
The historical setting in London 1665 & 1666 is well illustrated and that's what I love the most. I am all about the atmosphere I book creates. Tough now, being wise and old, I see Hannah as too naive and to "weak", I understand that you can't really make her modern day badass in the 17th century. But being a bit more sassy and strong would add a bit more to the story. But nevertheless, it was a five star read for me. 
The sequel is only a four star, because Hannah coming and enjoying London for the first time as well as the growing threat of the plague was the more enjoyable plot for me.

That's it, I'll be back with my review for Given to the Sea and my monthly post soon.
Also, I will challenge myself to posting everyday on instagram throughout June at least.

Bye then,
Ella

Warriors & Legends Fairyloot Unboxing // Ella

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Hooray! The May Fairyloot already arrived! And I am so pleased with it - so let me show you the awesome stuff it hold:
First we have an exclusive green tea blend by The Tea Leaf Co with hints of lychee and jasmine and also a 15% discount for the online shop.
The Opposing Tin Candle by In The Wick of Time was send out either as "flame" or "mist" and mine was obviously mist, which smells like warm stone and woodsmoke. Those candles were named by the author of this months book.
Next we have Celtic Socks, exclusively by Fairyloot. They are really soft and thick, so I think they are perfect for the colder season. They show a Celtic knot pattern.
Also included was World Mythology in Bite-sized Chunks by Mark Daniels. I am super excited about this, because I am really interested in mythology. I read about Greek, Nordic and Celtic mythology so far, but I am intrigued to learn about other cultures too.
Then there are an exclusive One Ring Bookmark by Ink and Wonder, a Metallic Feather Pen by Flora's Wonder Emporium and a Noandel Sampler.
I never read LoTR, but the bookmark is beautiful and still a nice item to use, even if you're not a fan, I think. The quill is absolutely cute and I already tried it: it's nice to write with.
Last but not least we got the book, which is Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I guessed it, when the topic and hint for the may book was announced and this was the reason I wanted this box so badly. It's a retelling of Mulan set in feudal Japan "filled with action, atmosphere and romance".
Sadly, I wasn't pleased with Given to the Sea, which was the book in the April box, but I have a very good feeling about this one! So excited to read it!

The box also included a signed bookplate, the fairyscoop, a note from the author, a Flame in the Mist bookmark as well as the Spoiler card and a fairyloot bookmark with the design of the month.
Lots of bookmarks, you see :D

I am thinking about writing a review on Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis.
However, you'll hear about me.
Ella

Notebook Filling Ideas // Ella

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Hi there, it's Ella!

And if you're something like me, you are an absolute victim of buying notebooks, collecting them, but you never really use them.
So I collected some ideas on how to finally start using those and want to share those with you.

Don't know what to do with these yet... The left ones were Study Books once, only a few pages filled.

Diary

Really basic. Make daily, weekly or monthly entries, write whenever you feel like or sit down by schedule. For getting things down, self reflection and clearing your mind.

Morning Pages
The concept says to sit down in the morning, let your thoughts flow and write three pages straight.
Check out this website for more information.

Reading Diary
As being a bookblogger, I had to put this in, though I don't do it myself. You could either write shorter or longer reviews and basic thoughts on every book you read or just for special ones. You could even just write a list of the books you read and if you want to, stars for rating, to track your reading over several years.

Travel Diary
Include packing lists, tickets, bills etc and write short reports on everyday of your journey. You might add photos and overall conclusions.

Dream Journal
Write down what you remember from last nights dream on an everyday basis or only when you feel like it. Might be fun, enlightening or a source of inspiration for creative work.

Gratitude Journal
Write down three things (or less or more) everyday that you are grateful for. Works also for things that made you happy.

(random) To Do Lists

List Journal
Not just random lists, but lists on movies you want to sea, destinations you want to visit, etc.
A bunge of ideas here and here.

Bullet Journal

Sketchbook

Photo album

Vocab Book

Study Book
Write summaries of your subject matter, mind maps, definitions, etc.

Collection of Poems and Quotes
Poems might be your own. Try to illustrate them.

Inspiration Book
Could also hold Poems and Quotes, but also pictures from magazines, the Internet or self-taken. Whatever inspires you, you know.

Idea Book
Blogpost ideas, book ideas, all sort of projects, ...

Questions on yourself
I got a little booklet with 1000 Questions for myself I want to start answering in a notebook soon.
You will find some on the Internet, for example those by Lavendaire.

Notes on specific topics
For example Podcasts, helpful videos, from (non-fiction) books,...
Whatever you want to learn more of.


Notebooks in use or planned:

  1. Questions on myself
  2. Random sketchbook for scribbles (I have a proper one)
  3. Current Notebook (IV) *
  4. A leporello I want to use as a Photo album. Still have to decide on what photos I want to put in there.
  5. This will be my next Notebook (V)
  6. Planning a book idea in this one
* I have a "Notebook" for several years now. It's a mixture of a lot of things.
To do lists, diary entries, sketches, lists, quotes, ... just everything. I tried bullet journaling for half a year and it was fine, but when I found a nice planner, I stopped. Maybe I will start again.
I planned on buying a Leuchttum1917 again, but I got way too much notebooks right now, so I will use one of those instead.

Of course, you can always combine the different ways of using a notebook into one.
Do you have more ideas?
What do you use your notebooks for?

See you soon,
Ella.

This was April '17 & May TBR // Ella

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Hi there, it's Ella!
And here we go with my better late than never monthly post.

Overall:

University started, Easter passed, what should I say...
I am really enjoying studying again, but I still have to figure out the right routine for me. But I think I will be able to fulfil my goal of more productivity this semester.
I also spend a weekend at Münster, which was really nice.
As I wrote in my Wrap-Up post, this was not my best reading month considering my amount of books, but they all were really good, so that's absolutely fine.

Favourites:



  1. Quality time with my family during Easter 
  2. I received my first Fairyloot box in April - and I loved it! So excited for the may one
  3. My weekend at Münster - eating great burger and watching Chinese lights at the zoo
  4. I read great books - but my favourite was Ready Player One

Looking forward:

May doesn't hold to exciting things - but I am looking forward to more warm weather and more good books + finally settling a good study routine.

TBR:


  1. At the Sign of the Sugared Plum & Petals in Ashes by Mary Hooper
  2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  3. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  4. Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
  5. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers
  6. Modestrecke by Jessica Weiss & Julia Knolle
Books I will reread - check out my post on this too. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea I  just bought in Münster. I read this some years ago and posted a review on its sequel in march.

See ya,
Ella

April Wrap-Up // Ella

Friday, 5 May 2017



Hi there, it's Ella!

And there we go again....
I know, I'm a bit late, but I will start with my monthly post trio right away. Starting with my wrap-up today, followed by my monthly overview and tbr.

Let's dive right into it.

I started this month with

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard ✭✭✭

and have also read Glass Sword ✭✭✭✭✩

I did enjoy both books very much, though I liked the first one a bit better. The Sequel was going slow at some points, but I am super curious for the third one, though I will wait to buy this one until there a copy of the size of my two others available.
I consider writing a review on the series after reading Kings Cage.



We Are Okay by Nina LaCour  ✭✭✭

I really loved this one. Check out my review.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline  ✭✭✭

Was probably my favourite read this month. 

My Goodreads review: This book was an awesome read!
I really enjoyed the virtual reality, the possibilities it gaves to the plot.
Action, fun and mystery, magic, 80s culture and a tiny little bit of romance.
I loved the characters (except the evil ones of course - but even they were the perfect villains you love to hate).
But I also likes the serious background of the book - it really makes one think - and we should:
Massive environmental pollution and growing relevance of living online are topics we're already dealing with and will even more in the future.


The Creeping Shadow ( Lockwood & Co #4) by Jonathan Stroud ✭✭✭✭✩

I am quite a fan of the Lockwood series, though they're middle grade reads. But the authors creates an awesome atmosphere, cosy but exciting. It makes me feel being a child again, not only because those are middle grade reads or I started the series when I was some years younger, but because the concept of ghost hunters itself is rather a more childlike. I love that.
But I have to admit, that I did not enjoy this book as much as the previous ones, mainly because we had not the regular team setup and some emotional distance between the characters.


Not on the photo but still read

The Ice Twins by S.K.Tremayne ✭✭✭✭✩

I do not usually read thrillers, but sometimes, I do.
The Ice Twins was a really quick read for me, because it was damn exciting. I absolutely didn't see the plot twist in the end coming. The concept was unique I think and the psychological concept my cup of tea, since I study psychology and that's what I am interested in.

As you see, I did not read as much as in the last months, but university started again, so that's some kind of excuse. (It's not.) 
But I really enjoyed those books I read, so that's a plus!

See you soon,
Ella

How to build a TBR // Ella

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Hit there, it's Ella.

Since I finished my tbr some weeks ago, it was finally time to get some new reads.

I was super proud to and happy I finally did it and I had absolutely no problem with my now new task: Grabbin' some books.


First, I ordered the American Hardcover of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Yes, I have to admit that at one point, this was a cover buy, but I also heard that this book is really well written, so hey, I got to got it.

Ready Player One was on my radar ever since, however, I never bought it- Until now. The concept sounded super exciting (and having it already read by now: yes, it was.)

I am a fan of the Lockwood & Co. series for some years by now and I am always in need to read that book when a new one is anounced. This is the fourth one, German edition, The Creeping Shadow in English. Though they are middle grade reads, I highly recommend them, I enjoyed every single one of them, including this one, it's already read.


I don't exactly know why I picked Thre Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, but I recently read Red Queen plus I somehow guessed it must be good because I saw one post on it on EpicReads. Don't know. I am in the mood for this I think.

We Are Okay was a cover buy but turned out as an awesome read. Did a review  on this one.

Given to the Sea was the book I got in the Aprils Fairyloot.

And last but not least: Glass Sword. I adored Red Queen, so there was no way not getting this one.

So, my upcoming monthly tbrs will feature these books (or at least those one I heven't read yet, which are three in numbers) plus some planned rereads. I did a post on those too.

I will see you soon in my monthly wrap-up and monthly overall post.

Ella.