Book Expectations

For over a solid month I´ve spent my time living in the reading funk world completely unable to touch another book or even think about reading ( Well, I was sick, as well, so….).

Book slumps / funks (or whatever y´all wanna call it) happens to us all, even the best of us lot.

I can´t really speak for others but the main reasons why I land in Reading Funk Land are probably the same reasons why others  land there.

  • Reading Overload  Blasphemy! I shall burn in Hell for even thinking this could be a reason.

 

one does not

 

Seriously though… One simply needs a damn break from reading once in a while.

 

  • Previous Books  Whether they´re good or bad, some books can cause major reading slumps
  • Time  Because ya either have it, or ya don´t.

 

But this isn´t about me whining about how unfair life is and why it can´t give me the strength to read at all times… This is about book expectations. Right.

My latest reading funk has exploded my personal reading funk record. In 3 weeks ( !!! ) I haven´t been able to touch another book. Why? Because the last story I read exceeded my expectations.

 

Weird, I know. Can hardly believe it myself with the luck I´ve had the last 2 years with romance novels. I can literally name a handful of books from off the top of my hat that have either changed the color of my undies / pulled the rug from beneath me / blown my mind.

 

I think the whole problem with me and reading is:

 

It´s not the book´s fault. It´s my fault. 

 

I always have high expectations when it comes to books. Call me spoiled if you like, but I expect to receive the whole package when I pick a book. Unfortunately, what I expect and what I´m 100% aware of are two pairs of shoes. It´s always a sad day when I come across a book that got my hopes up then shattered my dream of being able to add to my collection of sacred reads.

 

 

The latest private book discussion with my book bestie told me I´m too picky. That I also might be the only person who even has expectations for a book before reading. Well, after a half a bottle of wine I started questioning my approach towards books.

 

What would happen if I didn´t have any expectations at all for a book? Is that even possible? Isn´t there always something a reader expects before buying their next read? Is it bad to expect?

But then I dismissed the whole topic because of how ridiculous it is. Of course, readers have expectations!

Even if it´s something as simple as ” Okay, I want a romance. The book endorsements say it´s a romantic romance.” then I expect the book to be a romantic romance and not some early 90´s Peter Jackson splatter flick.

 

The reason why I can´t eat takeout while watching splatter films anymore.

 

Am I asking for too much when I say I want the whole bookish package that will most definitely reach my expectations? Is wanting a nice cover image, decent print quality, fairly acceptable editing, and a great / gripping story too over the top?

Well, I can easily say I don´t mind being picky. Books cost money and I don´t have it ( money, nor books ) growing on trees. But having oversized expectations might be a little too much for this time and era, considering how many hobby writers have the power to create a beautiful package and a less than great content.

Maybe having expectations isn´t entirely wrong. Perhaps this is a case of screwing down my personal bookish standards so I can avoid constant disappointments.

Either way- Let´s see what gems 2019 has in store for us romance readers. May the book Gods shower our heads with meaningful and deeply emotional love stories.


What about you? Do you have high book expectations?

Feel free to leave a comment below to discuss this gruesome topic. ❤


 

That´s it for today, dear bookish Padawans. I hope you have a lovely day / evening. Share the book love.

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Book Review: The Book Of Love – Fionnuala Kearney

synopsis single

One love. Two people. Twenty Years.

From the moment they met, Erin and Dom loved each other too much, too quickly. Everyone said it wouldn’t last. But they knew differently.

A wedding present, a notebook, brings them together through the good times and the bad. On the blank pages of their love story, they write down everything they can’t always say – the secrets, the heartbreak, the highs and lows. It’s where they see the best and worst of each other.

Falling in love is easy but staying in love is where the story begins…

This is the Book of Love


 

 

My Thoughts 2

I´ve read many books in my life. Many that were entertaining, gripping.. and overall just fantastic reads. I´ve had the pleasure of reading & reviewing great romances in my book blogging career but none have come close to this book.

`The Book Of Love` by Fionnuala Kearney….. The Book Of Love

The hardest part of reviewing a book you love is trying to find the right words. Because whatever I say will never describe what I felt after I finished / what I still feel for `The Book Of Love`.

A few weeks back I saw a review post from a blog I follow on Facebook for this book that stated that they´ve never read such a beautiful story in their lives. A bold statement to make, if you ask me. Don´t all book bloggers make that claim every now and then?

I was cautious. Because I´m a burnt child when it comes to recommendations from fellow book bloggers. If it weren´t for the cover, the title and the tagline I think I would have skipped the masterpiece recommendation.

 

“A story for everyone who has loved and lost.” 

 

You can imagine how that line captured my attention. I was like

” I´d like to be the judge of that.” 

The title was something I haven´t seen in a long while. `The Book Of Love`- That could have meant many things. A quick synopsis scan on Goodreads and I was sold.

It´s the first time in my professional reading history that a recommendation was right. This book is a masterpiece. One I will forever cherish.

 

It´s simple but not easy. It´s gentle and raw. Innocent and powerful. It´s painful and soothing. It´s beautiful. It´s emotional. It´s the best book I´ve read in years.

 

There are many things I loved about this book but the things I appreciated most were:

  • The story comes with warts and all! A reader accompanies a young couple through the hardships of marriage and life. I just loved the opening scene because it´s relatable and I adored how their journey was not full of fluff. They live life with its ups and downs and find ways to cope with the negative sides of life.

 

  • The simple characters. I say simple because neither are exaggerated. Erin is just a simple woman and Dom is a simple man. Individually, they´re plain but together they´re the definition of love. How these characters move forward with all they go through is incredible.

 

  • The writing. I cannot preach about this enough: Great writing is half the rent. The author has the uncanny ability to draw a reader in with her words.

 

  • The pacing. Usually, I find myself often bored between scenes. This didn´t happen with this story. Because I wanted to find out what would happen next. I was dying to know who would do what and why and when.

 

To make a long review short: This book destroyed me. I rooted for Erin and Dom. I cheered for their love. I literally sat on the edge of my seat from start to finish and couldn´t keep my feelings in check the whole time. I cried and smiled. I felt the heartache and the love even if it pained me. I fell into the worst book funk in the history of book funks.

” So, my fear is more that if we try and take things apart too much to see how they work, that maybe they won´t fit back together again.”

 

 

`The Book Of Love` is truly a story about the enduring power of love.

 


 

Would I recommend this book? Yes! Although this is definitely one of those tough romances I still believe every romance reader should have this in their collection.

Would I re-read this book? Definitely. Sooner rather than later.

 


 

The Cover – 5 stars:  I love the simplicity of it. Light colors and a large title. A book cover doesn´t really need more.

 

The Story – 5 stars:     Fascinating and breathtaking.

 

The Characters – 5 stars:     I have so much love for these characters because they´re you and me and everyone else.

 

My emotional state after finishing this read:    Ruined. Destroyed. Done with the world. Shattered. All in the best way possible.

 

5 stars


 

`The Book Of Love` by Fionnuala Kearney can be purchased on Amazon.com


 

An Instagram Featured Book By Morgana´s Book Box

 

 

 

 

Mug Monday & Netgalley Musings

Mug Monday Feature:  My Monday mug, white

Book Discussion Topic:  Netgalley Pain

 

Hello and welcome back to Mug Monday!

So, a quick recap on what´s been going on since my last Mug Monday post:

Nothing good.

I´m glad we got that over with and can move onto more important topics- Like my mess with Netgalley.

Yes, I´ve fallen victim to the oversized ebook catalogue and I have no one else but myself to blame.

You see, as lovely as Netgalley is in a reader´s moment of helplessness it´s also a curse.

While sofa bound I became bored with Netflix and ended up with the brilliant idea to check Netgalley out and see if they had anything worth my time.

Mind you- This approach is just like going grocery shopping with an empty stomach. Never a wise idea.

As you may know, some Netgalley offers can be requested then approved / declined or can be read immediately. The titles I chose had to be requested, meaning I had to wait for approval from the publishers. Usually, I´m denied 3/4 of all the books I request ( for whatever reason ) and that often leaves me with no Netgalley reads. This is why I hit up at least 5 reads at once, in hopes some publishing house will have pity with me.

Not this time. Funnily enough, the book Gods thought it would be great to approve all of my requested reads. All 5.

And to top this whole fiasco off- The publishers contacted me after a week wanting to know where the feedback was.

This whole thing is my fault. I know that and fully accept my idiocy. This just shows that Netgalley is an unpredicable bitch who´s waiting for the right opportunity to screw a reader over. At least that´s my current feeling on the topic.

Alas…. `Tis time to get back into the reading cave….

But before I go I´ll leave you with this little Mug Monday special I created.

monday post

You´re welcome.

Now, if you´ll excuse me… My very much unloved Kindle is calling my name.

 

QOTD: How do you handle Netgalley? Do you get pressured by publishers for feedback? Do authors contact you inbetween? Let´s chat. ❤

I bid you all a wonderful Monday.

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Book Review: Vicious ( Sinners of Saint #1 ) – L. J. Shen

synopsis single

 

Emilia

They say love and hate are the same feelings experienced under different circumstances, and it’s true.The man who comes to me in my dreams also haunts me in my nightmares. He is a brilliant lawyer. A skilled criminal. A beautiful liar. A bully and a savior, a monster and a lover.

Ten years ago, he made me run away from the small town where we lived. Now, he came for me in New York, and he isn’t leaving until he takes me with him.

Vicious

She is a starving artist. Pretty and evasive like cherry blossom. Ten years ago, she barged into my life unannounced and turned everything upside down. She paid the price.

Emilia LeBlanc is completely off-limits, my best friend’s ex-girlfriend. The woman who knows my darkest secret, and the daughter of the cheap Help we hired to take care of our estate. That should deter me from chasing her, but it doesn’t. So she hates me. Big fucking deal. She better get used to me.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

The book isn´t the problem. I AM THE PROBLEM.

No. I don´t even see myself as the problem. It´s the type of story that didn´t do it for me.

And what makes this review extra painful is: I bought the book because of the gorgeous cover image. Dear heaven´s above… The cover is something beautiful. But that´s where the beauty ends for me.

Even the tagline is fantabulous.

He´s bad news wrapped in a good suit…

`Vicious`( Sinners of Saint #1 ) by L. J. Shen is one of those romances where the Hero terrorizes the Heroine without a logical reason. The idea of romanticizing over a vicious asshole is not my idea of a romance.vicious

It goes without saying that I felt no sympathy for the story or the main characters what – so – ever. And the main reason for that is because I´m not interested in romances where the Hero is a fucktard and the Heroine has no backbone.

It´s not my goal to put this book down. It´s not even my goal to hate on the characters, either. But what choice do I have if I found absolutely nothing remotely great about this book?

Vicious, a.k.a. Baron Spencer, also known briefly as Vic, has every negative quality a fictional character can possess. I´m going to gingerly ignore the fact that Vicious is drop dead gorgeous. They always are, so there´s no point in putting it out there. What bothered me was that I encountered yet another filthy rich asshat who had it all and much more. His only fault is that he´s an exaggerated vicious prick and he´s specially cruel to the girl he has a crush on / has had a crush on since the teenage years. How flattering.

Fast forward 10 years and we see the crush, Emilia, working herself tired in New York and she bumps into Vicious. He offers her a job with a great salary and VOILA! She accepts.

By all that´s pink and fluffy… I can´t stand a Heroine who doesn´t have a backbone. It´s actually painful to know how airheaded a character can be, even in 2016 ( when the book was published ).

The couple´s romance was built on nothing. The romance progressed into something weird. I couldn´t wrap my head around the idea of this book being anything romantic.

The Hero lovingly nicknamed the Heroine Help. No man would be able to walk anymore after calling me that.

I was annoyed and frustrated and slightly pissed off becauseI let the cover distract me from checking out reviews before buying this book.

The only good thing this book had going was the writing. Meeh. But that doesn´t make up for the rest.

I think it´s safe to say that I won´t be continuing the series.


 

Would I recommend this book? No. I wouldn´t.

Would I reread this book? Uugh, no.


 

The Cover –  5 stars:    Beautiful cover.

The Story –  2 stars:    No.

The Characters – 1 star:  A definite no.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Annoyed in the worst way.

2 stars

Should you still feel the need to buy this book then I won´t be holding anyone back. Just click here and order your copy.

 

Book Review: A Quiet Kind Of Thunder – Sara Barnard

synopsis single

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.


My Thoughts 2

Nevermind the fact that I had the song `Thunder`by Imagine Dragons stuck in my head while reading this book…. Just ignore that. This isn´t about my own person torture ( although, I do find that song cute. Just not while I´m trying to concentrate on a story)

Let me just say one thing:  LOVE!

That pretty much sums up my feelings for `A Quiet Kind Of Thunder` by Sara Barnard.

a quiet kind of thunder

She doesn´t speak. He´s deaf. They connect. And from there on a reader is put on a ride that´s so cute it stinks to high heaven!

By all that´s pink and fluffy, I wasn´t able to handle so much awesomeness all at once. It´s like seeing a box filled with kittens and you just adore them to bits from afar but when you get closer you want to take all of them home and love them for the rest of their lives!

That is how I felt with these characters.

The idea of the story is perfect. Take flawed characters and have them fall for each other. Have them learn how to deal with their fears and learn how to appreciate themselves.

There is no exaggerated drama or evil threat involved in this book. It´s about love.

This isn´t an instalove story. It´s a story about a first love and the obstacles that come along with that first love while having disabilities.

I´ve read quite a few romance novels that had carried the same theme but none of those books come close to `A Quiet Kind Of Thunder`.

Now, let´s shove the fluff aside and begin with the nitty gritty. The real message the story wants to deliver ( and successfully does, in my opinion ).

While this is an absolute cute read it isn´t lighthearted. In fact- this book has themes included that aren´t so lovey dovey. Death and anxiety. And it´s also super educational. It wasn´t hard for me to tell that the author did her homework. Very detailed but not in a medical way. The author took great care in describing the Heroine´s feelings, which I appreciated. I don´t suffer from anxiety or panic attacks but when you accompany Steffi on her journey you can´t help but feel the reality of her pain. It feels realistic. I felt for her. Just as much as I felt for Rhys, the Hero. The author did a wonderful job and for that I cannot thank her enough.

As for Rhys…Dear Laawd, I loved that boy ( okay. That sounds creepy coming from Mrs. Robinson here ).

I think what I appreciated most was how true to life the whole story was. That when young people deal with their firsts in life, nothing goes smoothly. Because the reality is: when going through your firsts ( I´m refering to everything a teenager can experience for the first time ) there´s going to be a truck load of awkward moments. The author should receive a standing ovation for trying to “tell it how it really is” instead of painting out awkward situations to be something that has to be perfect.

Being in love feels awkward. Having sex for the first time is awkward. Fighting for the first time is awkward. This couple..they were awkward and lovable and just… perfect, despite their imperfections.

This is a story about how love does NOT conquer all. This is a story about growth and change. It´s about having a voice even if you can´t speak. It´s about the ability to listen even if you can hear.

Bah. * throws kitchen towel * I´m in love. That´ll have to do for now.


Would I recommend this book? Yes! Anyone up for a YA feel real teenage romance with imperfect kiddos… DEFINITELY! If you love fluff, ABSOLUTELY!

Would I reread this book? I most certainly will.

`A Quiet Kind Of Thunder is a gem!


The Cover – 5 stars: Matches perfectly with the story. Pink and hearts with gold highlights.

The Story – 5 stars: I have absolutely nothing to complain about other than it took me a bit to fully get into the story. But that didn´t bother me. It´s a love story. I love love stories.

The Characters – 5 stars: Perfectly flawed. Imperfection at it´s finest.

My emotional state after finishing this read: I might never shut up about this book.

5 stars


 

Get your copy of `A Quiet Kind Of Thunder`here.