Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Having been published in 1817 Frankenstein is now the epitome of gothic books. Mary Shelley was only 19 years old when she wrote this dark tale of monstrosity, the rules of science and death.

Victor Frankenstein is a highly intelligent striving young man from Switzerland with an enthusiasm for alchemy. When he sets out to attend a rewarded Universtiy, it soon becomes clear that great things are to be expected from him. And doesn’t take long that he commences a project that will last far longer than he could have ever imagined. After endless hours in his labour he succeeds in the middle of the night when the creature he put together from lifeless limbs suddenly opens its eyes. But his creation is a wretch, a Monster and Frankenstein flies from his labour in fear. To his Desperation that’s not the end to the tale, in fact it’s only the beginning. For some time, Frankenstein doesn’t see or hear anything from the wretch, but when he murders Victors younger brother, it becomes clear to him that he made a huge mistake in bringing that miserable creature to life. The monster hunts him and takes revenge for giving him this pleasureless and miserable life by tormenting him with the murders of Frankensteins beloved ones.

The creature is feared and rejected by every human being because his appearance is hideous and he never meets a genuine hand. Tough, he longs for companionship, for a fellow creature, with whom he could share his lonely life with. Therefore, he sets out and seeks Frankenstein in person to demand from him to produce another wretch, just like him. If he, Frankenstein, would fulfil this task the monster and his partner would forever leave him and all humans in peace. But Frankenstein dares not to put another monster in the world and refuses the demand. Filled with rage and hatred for his creator the daemon thus makes his purpose of life to put Frankenstein into as much misery as possible. Innocent people have to give their lives in order to torment the troubled and despairing Frankenstein, who then vows to destroy the monster and sets out on a journey that will eventually cost him his life. The monster, after Frankenstein is dead, dies from his own hand, and the claims to not be the only devil in this tale. He says all he wanted was the be happy and to be content. He wanted to interact with other people, but he was left alone by his master, who feared him solely for his appearance. He claims to have emotions just like a person has and he felt the injustice and he wanted, in his misery, Frankenstein to feel the same pain he had to endure. The death of Frankenstein can also not satisfy him, because now his life is robbed of its only purpose of life, which was to torment his creator. Thus, he sets out and takes his own life.

This is how the Story of Frankenstein and his Monster Ends and I believe that book is an astonishing read. It’s about how pushing too far never equals a good outcome and how revenge and hatred lead only to more misery and that sometimes forgiveness and admitting one’s own mistakes and giving a helping hand to those who need it, may go a very long way.

I do not really believe that Frankenstein’s monster was evil from the beginning, nothing ever is evil on its day of birth. But being abandoned by his creator and rejected by everyone made him take the actions of a Monster. If he really was evil, I don’t know, but I think he could have come out alright if someone had taken proper care of him. This might be very naive, but I just have trouble believing that something is entirely evil or entirely good.

Anway, Frankenstein, though brilliant, could not see the line where science may be too much. His pushing too far over the edge kind of reminds me of Moria in Lord Of The Rings. The dwarves, just like Victor, stepped over a line and woke a monster that was far out of their league. The same happened to Frankenstein and I think no one can blame him for running away, that night when his Monster first opened its eyes. Nevertheless, he had to spend the rest of his life trying to destroy what his very own hands brought to life, but in the end, he only lost everything that was dear to him and of course his own life.

Frankenstein is an astonishing read. Shelley fills the head of her reader with the most grotesque images, that are so dreadful, I would not advise reading this book at night when you are alone at home. But I would certainly recommend reading it. Frankenstein may not be to everyone’s taste, but it is definitely worth your time.

Leah On The Offbeat – Becky Albertalli

After binge-listening to Simon Vs. The Homo-Sapiens Agenda on Audible, it came in handy that the Sequel Leah On The Offbeat was soon to be released. Of course, I preordered it and was very happy when it finally got delivered and just as I binge-listened its prequel I read Leah On The Offbeat in one sitting, which is a sign for a very fluent, easy-to-read style of writing.

But before we discuss Albertalli’s structure and style, let me give you a quick summary of both books.

Simon Vs. The Homo-Sapiens Agenda

Simon is your typical student with the same problems we all face in some sort in high-school.  Also, Simon is gay and he knows that for sure, so he starts mailing with an unknown other guy, who happens to be gay too. The two of them chat for approximately two-thirds of the book and it’s only in the end that they find out each other’s identities. It’s one of the cutest and sweetest books I’ve ever read, that I can tell you for sure. There’s a lot of relatable everyday High-School “Drama” going on and that’s pretty much about it. Nobody suffers from a terminal illness or a severe mental health condition, as we find it in most Y/A-books. The characters are literally just your average students with unique talents, attributes and fears. It’s a great read, really and one of the best things about it is, that Albertalli managed to transfer the characters to

Leah On The Offbeat

This time it’s all about bisexuality and not being super-skinny and the problems that come with falling in love with one of your friends, who has a super-cute boyfriend and seems to be super-duper hetero. And all of that whilst being in senior-year and on the edge of graduation. So, finding out what you want to do after High-School and making the most out of those last days, is definitely a huge topic in this particular book. But there’s also prom, break-ups and the cutest couple ever (Simon & Bram). And a hell lot of nice people being mostly nice, but sometimes not so nice to each other.

I don’t want to spoil you too much, so if you are looking for an easy read over the summer or sort of want to relive your own last year of High-School, go ahead an grab a copy of Leah On The Offbeat. It’s certainly one of the best Y/A-Books of 2018. In my opinion, Becky Albertalli belongs right up there to the masters of Y/A-Fiction like John Green and Jandy Nelson.

You keep running away.

You keep finding me.

I mean, Jesus Christ, how freaking cute is that? Cheesy, yes but that’s just the risk you take whenever you go buy a Y/A-Book.

But in defence of the author, so far she managed the amount of cheesiness very well in her books. Like, Simon was cute, yes, but not so cheesy you get major eye-roll-dizziness and luckily it’s the same with Creekwood #2.

To wrap this up, I think Leah On The Offbeat is a great summer-read or an easy to read book you pick up whenever you want to forget about your own life for a bit and only care about the guys in the book.

Light Is The New Black – Rebecca Campbell

I’ve stumbled upon this book coincidentally.  It was amongst my recommendations on GoodReads and for some reason, it just spoke to me. I got through Light Is The New Black in one sitting, because especially Campbell’s personal story at the beginning is very gripping.

Basically, the author describes her own awakening, as she calls it, and all the changes she had to apply to her life in order to live up to those new circumstances. I won’t go into too much detail about her story, because I genuinely believe, it’d be best if you read the original. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say that Rebecca Campbell is very courageous, since she simply turned her life upside-down, and pursued everything her inner-self told her to do. I loved the way she talks about that period of her life. It’s so honest, relatable and most of all encouraging.

Obviously, it’s not necessary for everyone who has an awakening experience to make such drastic changes in their lives. It’s not crucial to divorce your partner or to go on a three-month hike (like Cheryl Strayed). You can have your awakening whilst you do the dishes or the laundry, you name it, really. It can, of course, involve a lot of change, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

Anyways, from Campbell’s point of view “Awakening” is more or less to let the feminine-part of you take the lead. Now, being a woman myself I find it hard to criticize feminism and I am indeed very glad on how much the social position of women has changed over the past years, nevertheless, I believe it to be a bit sad that some things have to be so categorized. I mean, why can’t awakening just be neutral? Why does it have to be feminine? Any person, regardless of gender, age, religion, income can find their inner-self and I just think it shouldn’t be mostly for women. Please, don’t get me wrong, I know that the author means, that awakening involves letting attributes, that are mostly known as female properties, on the front and to try to shift the focus from trying so hard to be successful to being happy and at ease, (to sum it up in a nutshell).

That being said, let’s move on to how this book is an utter enlightenment for this world. Campbell’s style of writing has some so truthful vibes to it, it’s hard to not get sucked into her story, therefore it’s easy to picture your own awakening and how it could feel like. Hence, I believe that Light Is The New Black could help a lot of people discover their own inner-self. Of course, it’s, just as Campbell says, very hard to enlight somebody else, nevertheless, I guess this book here has at least the potential to trigger a reader enough to go on a journey that will eventually lead them to their core. Does that make sense? In my opinion, things like spirituality are pretty hard to describe because it’s so very personal that each experience is quite different and therefore hard to apply to other people. Like, the story of how you came to find your awakening may very well be completely different to Campbell’s experience, but just as same, it’s very important that people who have already experienced that, talk openly about it, so that other people are informed that there is such a thing as an inner-self for example.

Now, to conclude this review, I very much enjoyed reading Light Is The New Black and am definitely recommending reading it to you as well. You may find some very interesting and perhaps even life-changing parts in there.

 

Take care

Swing Time – Zadie Smith

So, what I’ve seen so far Swing Time is a bit controversial, which yes, I do understand. I’ve been doing some research on this book and one sentence really stuck with me; someone said Smith should rather write less and say more. That statement pretty much sums up what I’ve been thinking whilst reading this book.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s an interesting read with a relatable protagonist and Zadie Smith’ style of writing is quite fluent, but as much as I try to comprehend what it is exactly she wants to tell the reader, I simply have no clue whatsoever.

In short Zadie Smiths book tells the story of a girl who struggles with her academic and ambitious mother, her talented yet self-absorbed best friend and her famous employer whom she dedicates her life to, as well as the difficulties of trying to “enhance” a village in Gambia. And whilst the childhood of the protagonist is very specifically written, the grown-up nameless protagonist is a bit hard to grasp, which results in quite long-winded passages.

Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that Swing Time is a very good example of how the journey can be the goal and as soon as I started seeing the book from that point of view I just went with the flow and did enjoy it, although I probably won’t read it again.

The Harry-Potter-Series – J.K. Rowling

I entered the world of magic when I was eleven years old, and although that was almost exactly 10 years ago, my love for the Harry-Potter-Series is still going strong. Truth to be told, I’ve read all seven books 30 times in those past ten years, which might seem a tiny bit insane, but it’s Harry Potter, after all, so I think it may be allowed.

Anyway, Harry, Ron and Hermione accompanied me throughout my adolescence and Hogwarts became kind of a second home to me. In fact, the world J.K. Rowling created was my safe shelter, whenever life became too hard for me to bear. Looking back at those rather difficult years now, I’m very grateful to have had those books to have just a little break from reality.

So, now that you know that I am quite the Potter-Head, it’s about time to figure out why people of all ages and cultures fall in love with Rowlings masterpiece. Hence, I’ve put together a short list of reasons I like the series and in case you have any more to add, just leave a comment down below 🙂

  1. The story is gripping and very well written
  2. The characters are relatable and so vivid the reader starts to believe to know them in real life
  3. The great display of the different shapes of love
    • Ron & Hermione are the best example of how friendship can turn into love
    • Lilys love for Harry shows that a mothers love never really ceases to exist
    • Snapes obsessive love for Lily makes it clear that when it comes to love, there’s hardly anything one wouldn’t do for the other
    • Dumbledores short, yet intensive relationship with Grindwald displays the powerful, fierce and somehow all-consuming feeling of first love and that sometimes falling head over toe for something can turn out to be quite destructive
    • And of course, the relationship between Harry, Ron and Hermione simply is the epidome of friendship
  4. With the Dementors Rowling managed to give one of the best literal descriptions of depression ever
  5. Harrys acceptance of his fate, that showed the reader, that sometimes it’s best to just stick things out and never ever despair whenever it gets to hard
  6. The way the characters grow from being children to adults
  7. Dumbledores firm believe that love will always win in the end, and of course every other wisdom he shares with the world
  8. Showing that it doesn’t matter what other people think about you
  9. Getting back up, whenever life knocks you down
  10. The amount of loyalty, friendship, bravery and wisdom

Obviously, there’d be a lot more to say about the greatness of Harry Potter, but I don’t want to let this get too long, so I’m gonna wrap it up.

From my point of view, Harry Potter is one of the most amazing literal accomplishment of our time and I’m sure the reasonable hype around it will be passed on to the next generation. And in case you haven’t read the series as of yet, I’d highly advise you to do so, but be warned, once you’re a Potter-Head there’s no way back.

Always

LivingInsideABook

 

The Lord Of The Flies – William Golding

Honestly, The Lord Of The Flies left me utterly speechless and shattered. I have not the slightest bit of idea on how I went so long without having ever read it. And even though Golding’s masterpiece is labelled as a book for children, I still was frightened to a point where I could not read the book at night but had to read it during daytime.

With The Lord Of The Flies, William Golding created a, for lack of a better word, deeply unsettling psycho-thriller that fucked up my mind, and left me constantly muttering to myself “I wouldn’t do that, or would I?”. The honest brutality that develops in the boys’ minds kind of fascinated me. It’s no secret that kids do have the ability to be immensely cruel to each other and to adults, but it still took me a few chapters from having solely a vague feeling that some of the boys might not make it off the island alive to realize that that, in fact, was going to happen.

I think I might let some time pass before reading this great book again and then I’ll update this review since I firmly believe there’s a lot more to say about this book, but I might just need another read to fully discover what else it has in stock.

Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Seriously, I’m so amazed at how this book has stunned me every single time I read it.

I love Wild and would highly recommend reading it to everyone, but especially to those who struggle to push through with something (especially mental health-related) or who struggle to find their inner self.

Now, I don’t think you necessarily have to go backpacking for three months to achieve what Cheryl Strayed did, but her way of getting back on track and her telling her story with such a truthful attitude, without sugar-coating the tiniest thing is just so inspiring. That woman managed to show the bumpy journey that comes with finding yourself and coming at ease with who you are and who you were.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to reach and I personally found it even harder to forgive myself than forgiving other people. That’s why the paragraph in which Strayed realizes that all the actions she’s done and that put her in so much pain ever since are okay to have happened, which marks the exact moment her mind is finally free. Those are one of the most life-changing sentences I’ve ever read, simply because it showed me that with accepting your past (which you cannot make undone anyway) is totally fine since everything that happened led you to where you are now and now is the exact place you have to be. Therefore everything is alright and there’s no use of dwelling in the past and regretting this and that because it cannot be changed and it was ok to happen.

Wild is astonishing to read and again I would recommend it to anyone and for those who cannot be bothered to read it, at least go and watch the movie. It’s so worth your time, you will be doing something good for yourself.