Reading challenges and their effects

Hello everyone,

I’m back! I finally have time to read again and I hope this will get me to publish blog posts more regularly.

Whenever I don’t have time to read or just don’t feel like picking up a book, I feel guilty, especially when I see all these other bloggers and booktubers and bookstagrammers who read so many books a month! So, these past few weeks I’ve really been thinking a lot about this whenever I felt guilt coming up for not making myself read at least a few pages a day.

As I said, sometimes I just don’t want to. I, of course, love and really enjoy reading, but it should not be a chore, it should be something I do regularly because I want to, because I like it. I’m sure this pressure to read a certain amount of books comes from social media, where sometimes I feel like it’s a competition who will read the biggest amout or read the lastest releases the fastest.

But it can’t work that way. Reading is a very personal experience. Everyone enjoys different things, everyone reads at a different pace, everyone has different priorities when it comes to this. So you can’t judge someone for having read less books than you in a month or year or even none at all. But also, someone who reads a book per week (because that’s the pace they read at) shouldn’t feel bad for not finishing 140 novels in a year.

This year I set my Goodreads reading challenge to 50 books, because I read about 60 books last year and the year before that, so I figured I could reach that goal easily this year as well. But that didn’t happen (or rather: probably won’t happen). I’ve read 36 books so far this year and am 6 books behind schedule. And that’s fine. School was crazy this year and will continue to be crazy until June 2017, so sometimes I don’t have time to read and other times I prefer watching a tv show or just listening to music or spending some time with my family after a stressful day.

Next year, I will set my reading challenge to 1 book, like I saw a few booktubers do this year. I think the Goodreads reading challenge is a great way to keep track of the books you’ve read in a year, so I’m not going to stop using it all together. But I am going to drastically lower my goal because that way the pressure of reading a certain number of books.

Another thing that I will concentrate on more is to read different genres and authors and out of my comfort zone, especially some books that I’ve been eyeing for a while now but haven’t gotten to yet.


I hope my rambling made some sort of sense! Haha. I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on this topic.

love, marina

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Reading Wrap-Up | June, July & August 2016

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Hi friends,

I can’t believe I’m doing a wrap-up for three months! Oh man. I hardly read anything in June and July because summer break didn’t start until July 29th for me, so I was still in the middle of exams in June and in a huge reading slump in July. I’m sorry for my excuses, I really am. Anyways, the books that I did read during summer where good, I enjoyed most of them and even loved a few. So let’s get into them and my opinions on said books!

June

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3) by Maggie Stiefvater – 5/5 Stars

There’s not much I can say about this book without spoiling it because it’s in the middle of a series, but I adored it, just like the previous two installments. The world Maggie Stiefvater created just kept getting bigger and more interesting with each book and I loved that.

The Raven King (The Raven Cycle #4) by Maggie Stiefvater – 5/5 Stars

Sadly, this series had to come to an end at some point, but at least the ending was great. You can read my full review for The Raven King here. If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you probably know that this series quickly became one of my all time favorites.

July

Zenith (The Androma Saga #1) by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings – 4/5 Stars

Sasha is a Booktuber I’ve watched for years and when she announced she was publishing a fantasy-sci-fi series with The Murder Complex-author Lindsay Cummings, I was immediatley excited and looking forward to it! And they did not disappoint. The story follows kick-ass female space pirates and it’s great. The plan was to publish the story in four parts as e-books, with Zenith being part 1, but recently it was announced that a publisher decided to publish the whole novel in physical form in Fall 2017, so congrats to Sasha and Lindsay!

Bahnwärter Thiel by Gerhart Hauptmann – 2/5 Stars

This was a book I had to read for my German class and even after discussing it in class with my teacher I honestly still don’t understand the point of it. It was a very short book, but the story that was there just didn’t do anything for me and I didn’t like the writing.

August

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – 4/5 Stars

The moment after I heard that this book is centered around a girl who has schizophrenia I knew that I had to read it. Mental illnesses are, sadly, hardly ever discussed in YA literature and this one is especially rarely represented. But in my opinion Francesca Zappia did a very good job showing the effects schizophrenia has on the person who is suffering from it and the people connected to that person.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio – 4/5 Stars

I want everyone to read this book and be reminded why it is so important to be nice and kind. Every person out there can learn something from this book, no matter their age. That’s all I’m gonna say about it. Read it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – 4/5 Stars

The concept of this book is so scary, but so interesting and the execution of it was well done. Basically, books are illegal in the world Ray Bradbury created and the fireman’s job is to burn all books and arrest or even kill every person that owns one. I liked Bradbury’s writing, I thought his vision was easily understood, there were just some scenes I didn’t 100% like, hence the 4 stars.

The Wave by Morton Rhue – 3.5/5 Stars

I watched the movie adaptation of The Wave a few years ago and loved it, so I wanted to read the book as well. This covers a very important topic in an interesting way, which sadly wasn’t always executed well in my opinion. Nonetheless I think it’s an important book that everyone should read at some point.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Harry Potter #8) by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne – 2.75/5 Stars

I don’t know whether to give this book 2.75 or 3 stars but I’ll stay with this rating for now. Honestly, I didn’t hate it like many others did. I see what they didn’t like about it, but there are just some things I really enjoyed, for example Scorpius, his friendship with Albus and Draco as a dad. But the whole thing felt very fanfiction-y to me while reading it, I honestly can’t believe this is now Harry Potter canon, it doesn’t feel like an 8th book. Many things didn’t really make sense. I must say though that I think I would’ve liked it more if I had seen it as a play first. I’m sure it’s extremely interesting to see the magic come to life and that some parts work better on stage than in the book. It is a script, not a novel, so there is literally only dialog. I think if it had been a full-length novel, things would’ve been better explained.


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So, that’s it for my reading wrap for the months of June, July and August! I know it isn’t much, but I hope to step up my reading game again for the rest of the year. What was your favorite book you’ve read last month? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know!

love, marina

Anticipated Book Releases | Fall 2016

Hello everyone,

September is starting tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited! Sure, that means school is just around the corner, but that also means that fall is very close and fall is by far my favorite season of the year, so YAY! Also, I live in Munich and the Oktoberfest takes place here every September, which I’m also looking forward to a lot because it’s extremely fun and one of the best things that happen in this city.

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But other than that there are also some great books coming out this September, October and November, so let’s take a look at that ones that I’m anticipating!Read More »

I’m back!

Hello everyone,

I’m back from the dead! I’m joking of course, but I apologize for not posting in about a month. I was in a really bad reading slump, so I didn’t really have anything to talk about and then I was on vacation for 2 weeks and I honestly don’t have an excuse for the past 2 weeks other than the facts that I was binge-watching My Mad Fat Diary and hanging out with friends all the time, so I didn’t get any reading done (again). At least I had a great time!

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I currently have about two and a half weeks of summer break left before I start my senior year, which I’m not looking forward to at all because it will be really stressful with A-levels and such. During the time I have left of my break I need to get quite a bit done for a 15-page long research paper that I have to do for school, but since my friends will all be out of town I will concentrate on that and on reading.

Anyways, I started Harry Potter and the Cursed Child a few days ago but I’ve only read the first scene so far, so I’ll try to get that done asap. Also, I bought Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo last week and I can’t wait to read it! It’s been on top of my tbr-list since I’d first heard of it, and with the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, coming out next month I need to get to it!

Today I found out that Colleen Hoover is coming to a bookstore in my city in September!! I was really excited when I read about that because no authors ever come here other than some German ones I’ve never heard of. I’ve only read Never Never by CoHo but I’ll try to read a few of her other books before meeting her. I’m especially interested in It Ends With Us and Ugly Love, the latter I’ve wanted to read for years.


This was just a little update on my life and a big I’M SORRY FOR NOT POSTING. I’ll be back with new posts very soon.

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Have you read The Cursed Child already? If so, what’s your opinion on it? I’d love to know!

love, marina

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag (2016 Edition)

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Hello guys,

I’m back! I was gone for a few weeks because I was on a school trip all of last week and honestly didn’t have anything to talk about before that. But the lovely Cristina @ tinyobsessions tagged me to do the Mid-Year Freak Out tag, which I think is a great tag because it’s really interesting to see which books other bloggers liked or disliked the most so far this year! So, thank you very much Cris 🙂 Make sure to check out her blog!

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Exciting bookish mail!

Hello fellow bloggers,

Last month I read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and loved it! After finishing the book, I went to her website and saw that you can email her and ask for signed swag and bookmarks. So that’s what I did. I emailed her saying how much I enjoyed the book, thanked her for writing it and asked for personalized swag. She responded and today I received her mail! I’m so happy and thankful for not only the gifts, but also that she took time to read my email.

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This is what I got in the mail! First, we have two super cute stickers (the speech bubble and the book cover in the left corner) that I need to find a special place for. If you have any ideas what I could put them on, please let me know!

Next is a really pretty drawing of Simon and Blue that I will not show because it spoils Blue’s identity. But on the back of the drawing it says “S + B ♥ Marina“. Marina ♥ S + B too. A LOT. Last but certainly not least, a bookmark and a tattoo that say “the tumblr” were included. “The tumblr” is a website that the people in Simon’s school use to send  anonymous messages. It sometimes leads to disasters. I can’t wait to use the bookmark, because you can never have to many bookmarks. Ever.

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So this is it! Becky is such a sweet person, I already tweeted her saying thank you, but I wish I could thank her 273 times. This means so much to me. I’ve recommended Simon multiple times now, but if you haven’t read it yet, do it. You won’t regret it.

love, marina