Eleanor and Park (Or the One With The Great Beginning)

March 13, 2015 books, reviews 12

Eleanor and Park Rainbow Rowell book cover on Reviews and Cake

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

It has now been several weeks since I’ve read Eleanor and Park and I STILL can’t decide how I feel about it. Some parts of the book were phenomenal and others were… not. Let’s break it down!
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The 100 Season 2 Finale: Clarke Became Death (Again)

March 12, 2015 reviews, tv shows 5

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, review episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


Today’s TV Show Thursday comes to you in an episode discussion of the latest The 100 episode, because what else could possibly be more important? I love that there’s such a disproportionate amount of book bloggers watching this show. I have no clue why that’s the case, but I APPROVE.

DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2 EPISODE 16 YET.
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In The Afterlight (Or The One With All My Favorite Characters)

March 6, 2015 books, reviews 8

In the Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken cover

Ruby can’t look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government’s attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds.

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America’s children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the “rehabilitation camps” housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

If you’ve read my reviews for The Darkest Minds and Never Fade, you know I think very highly of this series. I love that it dares to be dark, but has some light moments as well. I’m always a sucker for books with a focus on friendship, and The Darkest Minds does it very well. So as you can see, I already had high expectations of In The Afterlight. But did it live up to them?
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The 100 (Best Looking People Get Saved)

February 28, 2015 reviews, tv shows 8

TV Show Thursdays on Reviews and Cake

Welcome to TV Show Thursdays, where I discuss TV Shows, recap episodes and give my commentary on anything TV Show related!


If you’re following me on twitter, you might have noticed that I’ve been talking about little else but The 100 the last couple of days. I started watching the show last week, and I’m all caught up in time to watch the finale with everyone else next week. You know the people who watch an episode a time and then get back to their life? Yeah, that’s not me. When I like something, I’ll binge watch until I’ve seen everything there is to see, and that’s what happened with this show. I kept hearing about it the last few weeks, so I thought I’d give it a try. Then it took over my life.

The 100
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Book Review: City of Heavenly Fire (Or The One With Deja Vu)

February 25, 2015 books, reviews 4

ALT TEXT

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee – even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned. Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments.

This review might contain spoilers for the previous books in the series.

Guys! I FINALLY read this book. I read the first three books years and years ago. I loved them back then, and I knew there was going to be a spin off series, but then the series just randomly continued, which threw me a little. I didn’t love City of Fallen Angels to be honest, and I struggled a lot with the first half of City of Lost Souls (books 4 and 5 in the series, if all the City titles are confusing you too). It felt like the story was past the point where it should have naturally ended, and the writing bothered me a little as well. At one point I took three sample pages from City of Lost Souls and counted how many times the words “gold” and “silver” were used to describe random body parts of Jace or Sebastian. Trust me, it was a lot. HOWEVER, I did care about the characters and the story enough to want to finish the series. Little did I know there were going to be 18329 more books in the Shadowhunter world, but let’s not digress.
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The Triumphant Return

February 25, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 12

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The Party

I’M BACK ONLINE. You guys probably didn’t notice, but I didn’t have wifi for weeks. WEEKS. That’s decades in non-internet times. I might as well have been frozen in solid ice only to wake up in another millennium. What do you mean I watch too many movies? I dare you to say that again. Anyways, I have wifi again, which means I’m finally able to respond to comments and stalk your blogs write posts again. I only use this gif for special occasions, but I’m pretty sure this qualifies.

Loki Party Gif
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Talk to Me: How many blogs do you really follow?

February 20, 2015 discussion 8

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Let’s start the weekend off with a discussion! Today’s topic is about how many people you can realistically follow and the time you decide that you want to follow them and where. When I look at other people’s twitter profiles and see they’re following thousands of people, I often find myself wondering how many people they ACTUALLY follow (as in: read their blog posts and maybe interact in some way). I’m pretty sure no one’s able to actually keep up with a twitter or bloglovin’ feed that encompasses 2000 people, but I do wonder: how many people can you actually, realistically follow closely?

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Movie Review: The Imitation Game

February 18, 2015 movies, recs, reviews 10

Remember waaaay back in December when I talked about wanting to watch The Imitation Game? If you need a quick refresher on the basic premise of the movie, check out that post. Anyways, I finally watched it!

benedict cumberbatch the imitation game poster


…and OH MY GOD WAS THIS MOVIE GOOD.

It was everything I expected and more.

Great Acting? Check.

Coding? Check.

Frenemies? Check.

A TEAR MY HEART OUT BECAUSE I’M DYING OF ALL THE FEELS story? Doublecheck.

It’s no surprise that Ben rocked the role like Axl Rose on his best day, but I was really suprised that Keira Knightley was right up there with him in terms of quality acting. Now I knew she can’t just play the damsel in distress and she’s had some good roles before, but out of all the movies I’ve watched with her, this was definitely her best performance.

I’m not going to go into the end of the movie or the great twists and turns throughout because I want you all to enjoy the full experience, but trust me when I say it’s great storytelling. At times I knew I was being emotionally manipulated (okay basically the entire point of a movie is to emotionally manipulate you, but you know what I mean), but I didn’t care. It was just heartbreaking and awesome and did I mention it’s a good movie? It’s somewhat anachronological and it took me until the middle of the movie until I understood the exact timeline, but I think it was mostly well done. The soundtrack wasn’t revolutionary, but in this case I don’t think it was a mistake to go with what worked before.

For some reason I kept being reminded of other movies while I watched it. Like, at the very beginning of the movie there’s a scene where a newspaper boy calls out 800 000 children evacuated and you can see the station with the trains leaving and I couldn’t help but think meanwhile in Narnia. And then later you can see kids with gas masks and how can that NOT remind someone of Are you my mummy? (unless that person has never watched Doctor Who, I guess, but in that case what are you even doing with your life)? Then there’s this revelatory scene in a bar that reminded me of A Beautiful Mind (which, by the way, is also a very good movie).

The Imitation Game is nominated for 8 Oscars, a fact I’m very happy about. I never cared much about the Oscars, but I’m planning to watch them this year, and I will SO be rooting for this movie to win a couple of awards.

Have you watched the movie yet? Are you planning to? And what do you think about the Oscars – must watch or totally irrelevant?

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Book Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (Or the One That Surprised Me)

February 12, 2015 books, reviews 8

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins cover

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tag-along ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

I’m not sure how to describe this book. It’s like some bizarre mixture of Vampire Academy, St Trinian’s and Winx. To be honest, I almost gave up after the first couple of chapters. The writing felt immature, the story borrowed and the characters flat. Maybe I’m spoiled after reading The Darkest Minds, but I expect more from YA. But then something happened. I started to really enjoy it and time flew by as I read until I got to the ending – and boy, was that an ending. It exceeded my expectations by far. Some aspects were predictable, sure, but all in all the book went places I didn’t think it would go and I loved it.
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Talk to Me: Blogging Communities

February 9, 2015 books, discussion, movies 10

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

Today’s post is about different blogging communities! Okay, so if you follow this blog or have stumbled upon it before, you might have noticed that, while I mostly post about books, I also post about movies and random stuff I like. If I’ve posted about something that is not book related several times in a row, I wonder whether I can still say I’m a book blogger. It doesn’t really make much of a difference, but since I feel most at home in the book blogging community, it’s worth consideration to me. I think I do consider myself a book blogger, but who says you only have to be one thing? Which brings me to my actual question: What kinds of blogging communities are there? And do most people just keep to one of them, or are they part of different communities?

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New Bookshelf!

February 7, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 18

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The Acquisition

collaged

I moved into this place about a year ago, and ever since then, there has been a wide, sad expanse of wall above my couch. I always meant to hang up a big picture there, but I never quite found the right one. Then I visited a friend, and she had a shelf full of books up on her wall. You might be able to guess what my next Christmas wish was. After a trip to hell Ikea and some near misses with the wiring in my wall, the shelf was finally up. I expected to have a lot more space for my books now, but somehow my other shelf is still almost as full as before (bottom right).
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Spotlight: Five Movies I’m Looking Forward to in 2015

February 4, 2015 miscellaneous, movies 8



2015 is shaping up to be a great year when it comes to movies! Here are some of the movies I am most looking forward to this year:

Avengers: Age of Ultron





I’ve been waiting for this movie to finally come out for so long that I’m almost over it. Except I CAN’T WAIT OMG. Avengers is like one of my main obsessions and I got on the nerves of everyone I knew for AGES after I saw it. In fact, I probably still do. If you forgot to turn off your bluetooth and you find a “StarkPhone” or a “StarkBook” nearby, I’m probably close. Or someone stole my phone and my laptop, in which case please contact me.

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Book Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken (Or the One With Nonstop Action)

January 27, 2015 books, reviews 4

Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken cover

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

No spoilers in the review, can’t make promises for the comment section.

Remember how much I loved The Darkest Minds? After I read the first chapter of Never Fade (it was included at the end of my copy of The Darkest Minds), I was a little worried that it would focus more on EPIC LOVE OMG and less on all the awesome people and the interesting plot from the first book. Well. That was SO not the case.

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21 Random Facts About Me

January 25, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 12

I haven’t talked about myself in at least a day, so I thought a list was in order. Inspired by Cait at Paperfury, who I hope won’t mind me kidnapping her idea. I am also doing 21 things because I am also 21.

  1. I have a terrible singing voice, but I sing ALL THE TIME. Sorry, not sorry.
  2. I also love to master the rap parts of songs. My current favorite is Airplanes.
  3. I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I never had the discipline to actually do it. If you recall, “participate in NaNoWriMo and win” is on my list of goals this year, and I’m already terrified.

  4. I have no idea what to do with my life (and the answer won’t change no matter how many times you ask, grandpa). I’d kind of just like to hang out, watch tv shows, read a couple of good books and blog. Can someone pay me for that please?
  5. I’m doing my bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary American Studies, but all jokes related to important events in history go right over my head. I also have a history exam that’ll make up 20% of my grade coming up soon. Oh, well.

  6. I have no siblings, and I’m not sure I can imagine how it would be like to have them. My mum raised me by herself, and I’m very close with my grandma and my cousin, even though both are very different from me.
  7. I once didn’t clean my room for two years because, dare I quote myself, “I’m going to move out soon anyway”. I’m better at it now, I promise.

  8. Declarations of love or affection make me panic. I prefer to coat everything in a heavy layer of sarcasm and wrap it up with a neat little bow of eye-roll. I also tend not to believe people when they’re being genuine (or are they?). This is probably why people think I’m being sarcastic when I am being serious.

  9. I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, but my all time favorite album is Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory.
  10. I feel simultaneously too young and too old for my age.
  11. I used to have really bad self-esteem, but I thought this was normal. I’m working on it.

  12. I’m not a beach person. It’s sandy and salty, and I always get sunburn. I love watching the sunset at a beach, and jetski is like the most fun thing I’ve ever done, but I’ve never been able to just lie and get a tan for hours and hours and hours. It’s so boring I can’t even. No, not even with a good book.
  13. My friends are really important to me. I’ve always liked the saying “friends are the family you choose”. Everything in life is easier and more fun if you have someone in your corner rooting for you. Due to being a bit on the introverted side of the spectrum, it takes me ages to make good friends, but once you’re in the circle of trust you’ll probably stay there (Meet the Parents reference intended).
  14. I hate clubbing. I do like having a couple of drinks and dancing from time to time, but after a while it gets boring, and I just want to go home and do something more interesting instead. Like this:

  15. My favorite childhood tv shows are: Gilmore Girls, King of Queens and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Honorary mentions go to Charmed and Xena: Warrior Princess. Other great 90s/early 2000s shows that I didn’t watch much as a child, but love: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Friends.
  16. I get distracted easily. For example, I went looking for the Airplanes video earlier and saw a Neil Patrick Harris video recommended in the sidebar. It was a music video of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, so I watched the trailer for that and a performance of a song from the movie, in which he kissed his husband. That led to a search for interviews with Neil Patrick Harris and his husband. I watched them do a newlywed quiz and then went on to watch a couple more videos before I returned to this list. My grandma came in and asked me to change the setting for the TV downstairs. Since I was already downstairs, I figured I might as well get a piece of cake for all that hard work. Then I Googled for 90s TV Shows to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. The list I found linked to a video, so I was back on YouTube. Maybe it’s just YouTube’s fault. (Edit:It is now about five hours after I wrote this last part. I’m not even going to attempt to list all the things that distracted me in the meantime, but I rest my case.)

  17. I’m a night person. School and me never got along because it was just TOO DAMN EARLY. I am now at university and don’t attend classes that start before noon out of principle. If I’m longing for sleep all day long, I’ll still be wide awake at night. I can focus best at night as well.
  18. My middle name is Sylvia. I have had to check my own ID card at multiple points throughout my life because I can never remember where the y goes.
  19. When the sun is shining and the birds are chirping …you will most likely find me inside. I despise it when people pity you when you stay inside on a warm summer day (hey mom). It’s not that I can’t appreciate a day at the lake, but most of the time I just don’t care that much about the weather. In fact, I think summer is too hot. I much prefer spring and sunny fall and winter days.

  20. My first language is German, and I am fluent in English. I have also had lessons in French and Spanish, but I can’t really hold a conversation in either because I never practiced much. When I last went to France, the waitress asked me how the food was, and I replied “muy bien, gracias”. Needless to say, she gave me a weird look and walked away before I could correct my mistake.

  21. One of these points was going to be that I am fearless when it comes to placing mugs of tea in close vicinity to my laptop, but right after I came up with that I knocked over a cup of tea, so I didn’t want to tempt fate. I also drop my phone so much that I’m honestly surprised it still works. I might or might not have accidentally dropped it onto my face when I was lying on my back and typing. Several times.

Aaaalright, that’s it! Tell me something random about yourself in the comments. :)

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Couch Potato Edition

January 25, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous, movies 10

Heeeello internet.

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I’ve been dreadfully sick all week, but I decided to crawl out from under my blanket for long enough to let you participate in my misery. Sound like fun? Yes, I thought it did.

Story time!

Okay, let me paint a picture here: After several nightmares in which my tongue is stuck to my gums, I wake up to find out my tongue is actually stuck my gums because my mouth is so dry it might as well be the fucking sahara. I have a massive headache and my floor is a sea of snotty tissues (as in they were actually full of snot, not as in they were stuck-up).

stuck up box of kleenex

This box of tissues is not amused.


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Spotlight: My Favorite YouTube Videos

January 23, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous, recs 3



I love YouTube. I just adore the concept of a creative space where everyone with access to the internet and a camera can upload their videos for everyone to enjoy. I’m sure it has a positive impact on my life to watch people to whom I can relate. I’m honestly so grateful I was born in the age of the internet! I thought you might enjoy some of these too, so I collected some of the videos I find most inspiring and/or fun:



This video is called popularity, but it’s also about self-confidence and getting out of your comfort zone. I like Christine for her positive vibes, and I love this video for reminding me to be more self-confident and to trust in myself.
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Talk to Me: Commenting Back

January 20, 2015 discussion 12

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

A community is only a community when people interact with each other. In the blogging world, this mostly happens through commenting, link ups, and interaction on social media. Most of the time, the people who comment on posts have a blog of their own. If you’re a blogger yourself, you’re probably aware that some bloggers make it their mission to not only reply to every comment they get, but to also check out their commenters’ blogs (if they have one) to comment on THEIR posts. Other bloggers may never reply, or only reply when they feel they have something insightful to say, and they don’t often – or never – take a look at their commenters’ blog posts. Since bloggers can have vastly different priorities, I thought it would be interesting to see what you guys have to say about commenting back!
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