The Simple Soul of Susan by Noel Branham| Review

Bildergebnis für the simple soul of susanThe Simple soul of Susan is a book that is was a pleasant change for me since I recently only read fantasy books. Guys, I just couldn’t put down. The story is extremely sweet even though it deals with some deep issues at times. Susan lives in a small town in Texas and all she wants for her life is to settle down with the love of her life and stay in her home town. But.. her love interest is her best friend and as you might think, things start to get complicated pretty soon.

This book deals with so many issues probably most of us have experienced in some way or another: friends who have once been close drift apart, growing up, starting a career, mobbing and belonging of a community, poverty and inequality. All these themes are contained in this small book. Some of the issues are only scratched on, others are detailed and discussed in-depth.

I really loved Susan, even though I think she cries a lot, and I felt real empathy for her and her problems, as I have faced them at some point in my life. I have to admit that I did cry when I read some of the scenes. I liked some of the other charraters as well but the main focus is on her and her experiences.

And that actually gets me to my next point: you have to understand that this novel, at least in my eyes, is more of a story telling though episodes. You will find a gradually developing plot and characters, but do understand that a few weeks or even months lie between some of the events. AT the beginning, this really bugged me and it was hard to get into the book. When I got used to it though, I got fully absorbed in the story.

That being said, I still wish the book would have been longer and that we would have gotten to know the main character more. What does she do when she doesn’t interact with other characters? What were her first encounters with some of the characters ( the old ladies for example). I think there is a whole world still waiting to be explored here and I wish the book wasn’t over and I could read more about Susan and her adventures.

I am so torn when it comes to the rating of this book that I decided not to give a rating. Some stylistic and plot techniques were a bit too convenient for my taste and I didn’t like the ‘episode-like’ telling of the story, but I did enjoy the book, the characters and their development so much, I don’t want to not give 5 stars simply because the story is so emotional adn wonderful to read. The story frows extremely nicely and it’s extremely easy to read.

So go ahead and read this wonderful novel youself or if you have already, what was your imporessions? What did you rate The Simple Soul of Susan?

 

  • I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does in no way influence my opinion of their work.
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Jade City by Fonda Lee | Review

Bildergebnis für jady city fonda leeJade City is the beginning of an interesting and ambitious trilogy. The first book, Jade City, was released three days ago and I want to make sure all of you get your hands on this wonderfully inspiring, interesting and compelling first book.
I have to be honest with you guys, I have not been reading as much as I used to, and of the books I read I rarely felt this spark of excitement, empathy, and commitment towards the characters in the book as I did here. That’s why I took the time to actually sit down and write a review.

Jade City is the kind of book that presents you with charismatic characters you wish you could meet in real life, a wondrously magical setting that keeps you on your toes . The story keeps you interested in what happened before the actual story begins. It is a complex world in which the reader quickly notices that there is so much more you don’t know, yet not plot-wise, but when looking at the world this story takes place.
We only get a glimpse of what is happening and so, everything was a mystery ( in a positive way) and many things have been left unanswered after the first book, but I’m anxious and impatient for the next book to be released. But let’s hear a bit from Fonda Lee herself:

“I started envisioning a society where magical jade granted special abilities to warriors with the proper training and bloodline, and the idea merged with my longstanding enthusiasm for mafia stories to become this modern gangster family saga. It’s the most intense, ambitious thing I’ve ever written, and there’s more to come.”

This story is so rich on characters, their development, cultural information and world- building that I would recommend it to anyone who likes a complex world without having to read a thousand pages. Lee makes all this possible in her newest story and I can honestly say that even though I have already read Jade City, I will definitely buy the book. The only thing that I really didn’t like about the book is that it is not available as hardcover in Europe. I mean, it is but has to be shipped here and so it is extremely expensive and not good for our environment.

Nyxia by Scott Reingten | Review

Bildergebnis für nyxia bookBowBowBowBowBow 5/5 Ribbons

Nyxia by Scott Reingten was such a wonderful, inspiring and interesting read. I have never read anything of the like before. Nyxia is not only a story of friendship, hardship and corruption, it is also a story that shows how people grow and succumb to their situation and how some will not give up who they are no matter the price. I literally devoured this book.

Not only the world was intriguing. It was this mix of sci-fi-ish elements combined with the competition that creates a deadly situation in which even the victors are damned in a way.

“Emmet Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to planet Eden- a planet that Babel has kept hidden- where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has the quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.”

 

The struggle in this book was so real and captivating, I felt like I was the one fighting for my life, my future and my sanity.  Babel Corp. doesn’t play games and who isn’t partaking will forfeit their chance of not only winning, but securing a chance of happiness for their whole family.  There isn’t much world-building as the whole story takes place in a space ship. But the characters are three-dimensional, emotional, torn and desperate. This book tells the story of friendship, humanity and the will to survive. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something refreshingly new and mysterious that has the potential to be on your top five list 2017.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller | Review

Screenshot_2017-04-07-13-05-54...BowBowBowBow4/5 Ribbons for this witty debut novel

Daughter of the Pirate King is the debut novel of Tricia Levenseller. I can’t say that this story really sucked me into its world immediately because the start was a little bumpy but apart from that, the story really flowed well and the main character, the daughter of a fearless pirate king who rules most of the sea, really captured my heart. She is funny and witty and plays her part of a secret intelligence agent really well. She kind of reminded me a little of James Bond because she does get a lot of attention from the other sex and she know how to use that to her advantage.

I really liked that ‘feministic’side of her, too, though I do think she kind of lost her head a little when a hot and smart pirate comes her way. Either way, I was captured by the intriguing and ( at least for me ) unique way in which the story was told and I literally finished this one in one go! I just couldn’t put it down once I was part of the story and I had all the names down 😀

The only thing that bugged me a little was that for me personally, the romance part seemed a little forced and I could see why it was part of the storyline but I think it would have worked just fine with a little less romance.I also thought that even though the story was well written and the world that was described was described very well, I though that the characters did come a little short. They could have been a little more fleshed out. I don’t say I didn’t understand some of their actions or thoughts because they were plausible. I just tend to like characters more than the plot and so I can’t be really satisfied if the characters seem to flat for me.

There was an unexpected twist at the end that really turned the story around and I think that Daughter of the Pirate King is a well-written and fantastic debut novel. If you’re searching for a light read ( no gore 😉 ) that is easy-to-read and funny, with witty and smart characters that try to get the best of one another. Then follow them on a mission that will keep everyone on their toes and read this book 😀

What Are You Reading Wednesdays? WAYRW #19

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This is a weekly meme hosted by It’s A Reading Thing. I think it’s a cool way to let you guys know what I am currently reading. Let the show begin…

Continue reading “What Are You Reading Wednesdays? WAYRW #19”

Hunted by Meagan Spooner | Review

20170503_155135...-BowBowBowBowBow 5/5  Ribbons for this beautiful retelling of the special sort! I have already read A Tale as Old as Time, which was also a retelling from The Beauty of the Beast and I really loved that one and at first, I wasn’t really sure what to think of Hunted, because I didn’t know if it would be weird to read another retelling but as I started reading, the book really hooked me fast. The main character, Beauty, is a huntress through and through. She is forced to be part of the high society until her father loses his money on a failed drip to foreign lands. They lose everything but at least, they have the old hut in the woods her father and her used to sleep in when they went on hunting trips. Beauty has two other sisters, like in the original fairy tale.

This is actually why I liked the story so much! I really didn’t know that the original story was a little more gory that the Disney fairy tale so I was positively surprised, especially that Beauty had two sisters! I really loved their interactions and the strong family bond they had. SO as far as my knowledge goes, the plot was rather original for a retelling with some twists I definitely didn’t see coming.

The characters were deep and intriguing, funny and strong and the world is lush and colorful and full of magical creatures and old spells. It is a world of wonder and I am so glad to be finally able to share the review of this awesome book with you.

 

 

 

 

My experience: Opening up my own Business

rahmenToday I want to tell you what happened to Magic Chest. For those who didn’t know, this year in January, I started my own book subscription business 😀 I did it because I wanted to give European people the opportunity to get fantasy book boxes from their own region and make it more affordable for people to subscribe to a box. Usually, a box costs about 50€ ( about 56Dollars) with the shipping from the US and I knew many bloggers and friends who just couldn’t afford that. So I thought, Why don’t I change that?

That’S how Magic Chest was born. Since then, much has happened but today, I want to tell you a little bit about what changed for me personally since I started my own business. I want to give you some insight in how it is to start a business and also share my experience with you 🙂

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Bye bye free time. Well, the obvious thing is that until recently, you haven’t seen me around much because between my part-time job, my own business and uni, I didn’t have any time for anything. Especially in the first two months or so, I was really engrossed in and preoccupied with all the legal stuff I needed to remember, include, write and tell different departments. I also created my own logo and tried to come up with a decent and affordable marketing plan.

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Reading and researching basically became my job. As a blogger, reading ARCs is fun, even if it is stressful at times. It is something I really don’t want to miss, that’s why I started to dedicate more time to it again. When reading becomes your job though, you do look at books differently: will my customers like this book? Why? How expensive is the hardcover edition? Is the language easy to understand for people who don’t have an advanced knowledge of English? Is it a good book to create a theme based upon the content? There are many more things to consider than simply ‘Did I enjoy reading the book’ and in some way, I learned that the hard way. I might tell you more of that at some other point 😉

20170610_185035...Interacting, posting, photos and videos and What is a Hashtag?## When I first started out, I literally had to learn everything about social media, Newsletter Marketing, Tweets, Hashtags and how important interaction actually is. Of course I knew about Hashtags but there can be a BIG difference in your audience, depending on which ones you use. Also, I learned how to make high-quality pictures of my product and how to reach out to others to do the same. I am generally a really shy person so this was a huge deal for me in the beginning. You really wouldn’t believe how much time and effort it takes to create beautiful pictures and thoughtful content! 😀

Skill honing: I can plan ahead even better than before. I am in this ‘business’ now for about six months and even though I could organize my studies and work pretty decently before, I can do so even better now. The simple reason for that time has become something that is easily ‘sold out# so to speak. But I have a private life, friends, family, my boyfriend and sports and I want to keep a balance between work and my private life. In the beginning I utterly failed to do anything else than work (understandably, as I literally didn’t know anything about sh*t) but now it has become much easier to let work go even if I have a new idea or some info I desperately want to share right now. I plan months ahead. Not only the books, monthly themes and items, but also marketing strategies and my own social media posts are planned ahead so I can make sure I never forget anything, like important holidays. Which brings  me to my next point.

20170201_225746-mcBe patient! What I really learned, and needed to learn(!), was to be more patient. I am a really impulsive person, best example: I thought about opening up a business and the next day, I just did it 😀 I am just like that and privately, I think it is actually a great thing to be energetic and spontaneous ( but not before thinking things through at least a little bit 😉 ) BUT for a business, this can be a TOTAl killer! So I really needed to plan ahead instead of jumping straight to some new idea or spilling all the important stuff right at the beginning. Especially when it all started out, I think I acted a little too fast sometimes. Gladly, there were no  bad consequences that I could actually track down but I know I could have done better.

Be tough! In the beginning, I really only created Magic Chest so people could have better access to the book boxes they so desired but after spending over a thousand Euros, which is a lot for a student, I realized that I had to calculate better instead of ONLY trying to appease people and make their unboxing experience great. Now, I have learned to create a great product for my customers but also to  look after myself and my budget. And so, in the last two months I have actually made my first money with the boxes ❤ ❤

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What I can honestly say is that it was and is tough with my studies, a job and my own business, but at the end of each day, no matter if I am extremely tired of relaxed all day, I know that I did the right thing and I would do it again and again and again. I am actually thinking of creating another small business when the time is right 😉

Please let me know what you thought about this post and if you’d like to know more about me and my experiences as a business owner;)

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