reviewing everything from history to young adult.

Reading progress update: I've read 470 out of 780 pages.

City of Heavenly Fire - Cassandra Clare

Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary

Until the Final Hour: Hitler's Last Secretary - Traudl Junge As it appears on The Accidental Reader

Being a ww2 history reader and enthusiast I came across this book in the library. The 2004 movie downfall was based on this unique memoir.

This memoir was written by Traudl Junge, Hitlers last secretary. She was in the service of Hitler from 1942 to 1945 and she experienced all kinds of things – from days of happiness and triumph to days of panic and despair to the final hours of the third reich and the final moments of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.

The first draft of the book was composed in 1947 – barely two years after the end of WW2. It is written in that way that the author doesn't even judge, doesn't even comment on the events she witnessed. She just tells us the story, what happened and why it happened. In my opinion for this , for writing this way, is that after all this propaganda and after all the things she witnessed she wasnt fully aware of what exactly happened. Like she could not believe it – thus was not able to fully judge it , like she did in later years with interviews on documentaries.

The most interesting part of the story is the final month in the bunker. Where everything was falling apart, how everyone left Berlin, the state Hitler was in and how this powerful leader now lay in bed weak and alone, all of his followers already abandoned him and tried to negotiate with the enemy. Even his most faithfull men. How he seemed to not know whats going on and how he stopped having military meetings in contrast two years prior that he held military meeting with his commaders and all important people that could last hours with no end. It is interesting to see that Junge and the rest of the people in the bunker actually believed Hitler when he said that there will be one more army that will beat the enemy and that Germania will rise again – till the very last minute everyone waited for this army but nothing happened.

Some people condemn this memoir by stating that Traudl made Hitler appear human and almost feeling sympathetic about him – what most of us forget is that Hitler was a human being and although he was probably one of the most cruel leaders the history ever knew he had a sensitive side. In the book Traudl says that he was a fatherly figure that everyone admired and felt safe around. He was kind and always happy to give advice – he was even overly excited when people decided to get married. Even the movie received mixed reviews when it came to the acting of Bruno Ganz as Adolf Hitler – he made him too human for some , he made the audience feel sympathetic towards him and thats what I felt. I felt sorry for him, I felt sorry for the people around him.

Hitlers last secretary for him was an amazing read, I understood a lot of things about Hitler himself and how he acted than I did from all the other books I have read about the Third Reich. I recommend that to everyone out there interested in WW2.

Meet Me at the River

Meet Me at the River - Nina de Gramont As it appears on The Accidental Reader

When I was working at a bookstore I was around 100's of books...between them was this one.
The storyline is simple and cliché – about a girl and a boy , the ''mean parents'' (this reminds me of stuff – probably he is reading this right now and he is either smilling or cursing :) , a weird mother and the boys death. Its a pretty cliché romance BUT (drumroll please) the writing is so beautifuly amazing, so superb and although I wouldn;t read this book the writing alone made me finish it within a day.

Meet Tressa the girlfriend left behind and has to cope with the death of her boyfriend. Meet Luke the dead boyfriend – he is dead I know – but what kind of a young adult novel would that be without the dead coming back to hunt us???? Right. What I have to say next may be confusing for some and not for others. Although Meet Me At The River has a touch of paranormal the whole plot is all about coping with grief and life. Coming of age like. The beautiful wirting that I menitoned earlier helped a lot to shape the story.

Its a sad book. I didnt cry but my heart swell from sadness when paranormal and actual real life blended together. Tressa trying to find a way to cope with the loss and Luke trying to help her do it. How the people after an accident see you, how you get special treatment like you are a celebrity or simply because they think you are too fragile that if they push you even a tad you will break into a thousand little pieces.

There is a side story to the whole thing as well. Tressas mother and her adventures. This is the most important of all in order to understand Tressa and what shaped her. Why she didn;t quite fit with the rest and why Luke chose her. Make sure to pay extra attention to the family explaining otherwise you wont understand a thing.

This is a great read and although not The Fault In Our Stars (tears tears everywhere) this is a book worth reading.

Me Before You

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes As it appears on The Accidental Reader

This is difficult. I dont know how this review will develop or if you gonna like it but lets hope for the best.

Once I read the first two pages of the book I immediately understood that this will be a hard book to judge, it is nothing like the books I read before but it is so beautiful and sad and a huge tear jerker.
It starts with a small background story that initially a lot of us may not understand and it moves on in the present with Lou.

An ordinary woman in her mid 20's. A woman with no real interests and no adventurous life but with a scary experience behind her. When Lou loses her job because of the financial crisis she is over herself because her family has it hard. She knows that there is no way that she will find a decent job in order to support herself and her family and she seems to lose hope when she visits the unemployment office the only available job for her is as a carer for a quadriplegic man. She has no experience over this but then again she doesnt have experience in anything at all its the money that she needs and the pay is good that motivate her to go in for the interview.

Once she is hired she comes face to face with Will. A 35 year old man in a wheel chair unable to move from his chest and down. An ex businessman, he used to be encircled by fame, women sex and luxury and now he is being Lou's nightmare on a wheel chair. She is uncomfortable being around him he is making her life a living hell with his attitude and here starts adventure.

While the book moves on we start to see the real reason Will is treating Lou like that. That he is fighting for his right to have a say in his life now that his mother wants to control most of it out of fear that he will attempt suicide. Now that he is unable to take control of his own life by himself, that he constantly needs someone there to help him with everything. Deep inside we see a man thinking of his amazing and adventurous past and comparing it to the dull and full with misery future that expects him. He simply didnt chose this life for himself. Here we experience the great writing of the author. Although the perspective is from Lou;s point of view we get to know Will a lot better.

We get to see Lou getting attracted to him as he is being a little nicer to him, how she tries to cheer him and actually change her life for the best because of him. How she doing a great research on quadriplegics and the effort she puts in making Will's life easier. But to all that there is a reason.

Some of you may be little reluctant when it comes to the subject of the book. Its a really complicated story that evolves in a love story and how a small decision can change your life for ever. We see how a person can change who you are in a matter of a few months. That was the most beautiful part of the book , how I, the reader got to bond with Will and Lou. Their personalities are so alive, so full of life that I laughed and cried with them. They made me see things from a different perspective.
Moyes does not preach or judge of anyones ethics and decisions and she is really going through the stages of life and how an accident can change you. She gives some interesting perspectives on subjects but still she is letting the reader decide what to believe and what to judge. For me this is amazing storytelling.

I will definitely come back to this book again one day. In my opinion this is a book for those who like books that make you think , books that make you cry and books that the ending always leaves a taste bittersweet and for a lot of thought. Definitely worthed it.

The Wedding

The Wedding - Nicholas Sparks my link text">The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

This book is supposed to be the follow up of the smashing bestselling book The Notebook. To me, not even close. To me this book was a huge let down and a huge failure.Okay, I have to say that I was warned by the reviews of other readers but i did not expect it to be so bad.

Let's start with Wilson the simple husband who thinks he is wrong because his wife grew up with the idea of the ''ideal romance'' in her head and expects him to be the same way her parents Noah and Allie (The Notebook) were...well let me spell it out for you sugar : Not everyones the same way.

I felt like the book was dragging on and on and on with no end. I did not get why we had to read about Wilson and his wife and the wedding of their daughter and the preparation of the wedding...the strokes and heart attacks Noah had and all that s***. The ending was not clear enough for me to understand that yeah, you know what?, every couple goes through a crisis in his life and the point in everything is to understand and try your best everyday. I would never understand that if i never read other books like this..but better.

The whole book is over the top with a main character who tries to please his wife as best as he can and in the end he fails because, simply, his wife is blind and stupid. Anyways, there are people out there that will probably will like this without purpose book but simply its not for me.

So, if you read the Notebook and want something similar to read dont even think of this book. Its exactly the opposite of the love story of Noah and Allie. Try something else like P.S. I Love You or Twenty Boy Summer or ONE DAY.


Torn  - K.A. Robinson The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

This ARC was kindly provided by Atria Books through NetGalley.

This book contains a love triangle so I warn you...there will be a lot of hair pulling and a lot of head banging on walls, sinks whatever you find to hit your head from despair.

To be honest Torn follows the tradition of Easy by Tamara Webber and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire BUT with a huge difference apart from the love triangle - there is a lot of passion and tension in this one and that's what's sets it apart from the rest.

Meet Chloe, a twenty year old whose mother is a junkie and absent through her life, Chloe had to put up with her mothers crazy behaviour through her childhood up to her early teenage years, leaving her with a lot of scars both mentally and physically. As she tries to lead a normal life she goes to college with her two best friends Amber and Logan -and here starts the fun.

Chloe comes across Drake the hot pierced and tattooed guy that sits next to her in her classes and she starts falling for him (i would too), slowly they become friends and start hanging out more and more and here comes Logan in the picture. I won;t ruin it for you so I will leave it here for you.

The plot was amazing, although there are some scenes that you really want to scream a huge Why? to the author I loved this book. The characters are well build and you instantly know who you like and who you don't. For example Logan simply did not cut it for me because I could relate to Chloe being controlled by her boyfriend or best friend -and thats what I consider a great book - the ability of the author to create such characters that the reader can relate to, can actually feel their frustration or happiness and all the emotions in between.

The book has a lots of ups and downs so get ready for a crazy and emotional roller-coaster, most of you will be torn between Drake and Logan, some of you will chose whose team you want to be in from page one and yeah thats the nice thing about love triangles - you don;t know who will end up with who. Where's the fun to a simple book with no love triangles, no teary eyes, no heart breaking moments and no make up sex?

This is a book that every romance fan will love to read and probably read again. Can't wait for the second book.

Breathe Into Me

Breathe Into Me - Sara Fawkes The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

I received this e-book as an ARC on NetGalley from St. Martin's Press and I totally loved this book.
Although, there is not a lot to say without spoiling anything to anyone, Breathe Into Me had my attention from page one.

This is just not any romance book out there, its a story about self discovery, self-appreciation and the journey of finding yourself and the power with in you. The book itself it was so good written, the characters so well developed that I instantly liked the laid back conversations between Lacey and her friends, I could actually relate with Lacey ,I felt her happiness and sorrow ,her ups and downs, because honestly this book is an emotional roller-coaster and the ride is hard.

Coming from a broken home, with a dead father and a retired from life mother Lacey can only help her little brother. As she tries to find a way out of her abusive relationship and her ''friend'', she decides that she needs to change. Coming across Everett helped her a lot and he helped her too.

I loved the conversations between them and I appreciated that the author actually took her time developing their relationship slowly that it was almost a torture but the outcome was rewarding. You can actually see the attraction growing between them and you can actually learn a few things about them because the characters have depth, the have emotions and thoughts and that makes them awesome.

What made this book more interesting was the unexpected plot twist that seriously I didn't see coming, once I thought that everything is perfect bam! everything changes, from then on the book becomes a little more serious and the story comes packed with revelations that will everyone speechless. I was actually turning the pages like crazy.

The ending was really good and although I dont know if we will have a chance to see a second part of Breathe Into Me , I am more than interested to read one.

The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945

The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 - Władysław Szpilman The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

The pianist is an amazingly well written book by a Jew survivor of WW2. Szpilman starts telling us about his life a few months before the German Invasion in Poland in 1939 and he cuts quick to the chase. Unlike, any other autobiographies based on this particular era we can see how everything started and how situations progressed for the jews and not only. The reader gets the chance to actually read how the newspapers wrote articles about the ghetto and the laws the Germans put out for everyone to follow...laws against the Jews and how absurd all these seemed then. No one believed a word from what was said until the Nazis started killing people in the street for no reason.

We read all these through the eyes of a jewish man who did everything he could do to protect his family, a man who witnessed atrocities of every kind happen to elderly and kids.How the Germans picked out people and executed them in front of everyone ,but also within this dark period we see people who were not that bad. Like a Nazi soldier or lieutenant who helped Szpilman and hide him and gave him food. I felt his hunger when he was looking for food and i felt his anguish as he drank water with bugs in it. The Pianist is a book that gives an insight of how it feels to be the hunted one and why wars like that should be avoided at any cost.

This book does not accuse anyone of anything it only shows that wars happen just because a few people decided on it and not a country as a whole. This book is all about forgiveness and the willingness of one to survive even under the worst conditions.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne The Accidental Reader

This is another book that I read during my experiment with World War 2 Literature and I have to say that I am little dissapointed. I made the mistake and watched the movie first before reading this book and usually the term ''the book is always better than the movie'' is true although it does not apply in this situation. The movie itself was not great but I expected the book to be for that reason only.

The first thing that I noticed was the writing of course. It was very good but no great but you get in the story pretty quickly. The author did a great job telling the story of a nine year old boy in Nazi Germany, son of an SS Officer , a boy who only wanted to explore everything, even the darkest corners of his home ,a boy sourounded by the world;s darkest time and humanities lowest point and be totally oblivious to what exactly was happening around him.

When he moved with his family to Poland, a few kilometers from Auschwitz he could see the chimneys of the most notorious death camp and yet he simply could not comprehend what this was...for him it was a farm with people that were wearing pajamas all day and the only thing that he wanted to do was find new friends in this new ''neighborhood'' and play with them. Until he meets one of the boys in that ;;farm;;.

A story nicely told with a tint of sadness and a friendship evolving in the two different worlds with just a wired fence to separate them, a sad ending and message so well passed, this is a book that should stand along with other novels about the holocaust with the exception of a few mistakes by the author.

How can a boy growing up in Nazi Germany does not what Heil Hitler means and how can he possibly believe that this is a form of saying hello? How can the author refer to the English name of Auschwitz (out-with) when this book is supposed to be taking place in Germany - Poland and the main characters speak German? Also there are some plot holes in the story that there are not hard to pass but anyone can notice them. Due to those little mistakes the book loses some of its just thus the 3 stars.

Humans of New York

Humans of New York - Brandon Stanton The Accidental Reader book reviews

This is an amazing photography book, giving an insight of The People of New York, an insight to the city that never sleeps. I was amazed at the diversity of people in New York ,it's like everyone lives in its own world and you see all types of fashion and non fashion.

It gives a feeling of freedom, like people dont care how they look and that is refreshing, especially when you grew up in a place where appearances is everything. It makes you want to rebel and thats refreshing. I love this photography book.

Zlata's Diary: a Child's Life in Sarajevo

Zlata's Diary: a Child's Life in Sarajevo - Zlata Filipović, Christina Pribichevich-Zoric The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

In my opinion you can really review a diary, a diary written by a little girl that had her childhood stolen from the cruelty of war. A lot of people have compared this diary to the Diary of Anne Frank and I have to agree to that. It's pretty much the same situations but different times, and that makes you think how can things like that happen today? How people go into war without even thinking of the consequences that it will have on children, to their country, to their world?

We see Zlata writing in her diary before the war broke out and all you can see is a happy kid, a kid listening to Michael Jackson, and Madonna, going to her friends homes , watching MTV and dreaming of rock stars and pop stars, we see a kid that he utmost concern is homework and all that change in an instant with the declaration of war.

War transforms a person from kind to cruel, from soft to hard, imagine the impact that it has to a 12 year old child, the damage it can create. Suddenly, Zlata changes and starts thinking about politics and worry about things that kids their age should not, either because they are too young to comprehend or because simply they have other fun stuff in their minds. We see Zlata growing up and get more serious, more worried about her family's safety and her own and its heart breaking.

Although, most of us can only read diaries like these we should try and prevent situations similar to what Zlata and Anne Frank went through to occur again.


Night - Marion Wiesel, Elie Wiesel The Accidental Reader

While doing an experiment on reading books of WWII Death Camp survivor's accounts and memoirs I came across this little book and to be honest, this is the most memorable in comparison to the rest.

Like every autobiographical book, it starts with a little background on the authors life at the time and fast enough it progresses to the main events of the book - at this point the story turns into Nightmare. Young Ellie was taken to Auschwitz - Birkenau in train vagons that were for animals - he and his family were treated like animals. Once in the death camp he is being separeted from his family and stays with his father and thats because an inmate warned them by telling them to lie about their ages.

From that point on we see the everyday life in Auschwitz - the nightmares those people had to go through, the starvation and the treatment they were receiving.The most important of all in this book is how a person changes - how war can change a human being from good to bad, from ethical to unethical.
At some point in the book we actually read how Ellie wished his father was dead so he wouldn't bear his burden, how he was disgusted at himself a second later for thinking of it and how he realised that he was changed so much within those few months he was in the camp, but anyone would think that way, especially when you try to survive, when life becomes a struggle about your life and when you are willing to do anything to survive, sacrifice everything just to get alive from this nightmare.I felt so sad after reading this paragraph, so guilty for a reason I cannot comprehend.

The reason I gave this book 4 stars is because of the way the book is written, although I know that is is an abridged version of the book in comparison to the original one which is only available in Yiddish (the full version). I think the publisher went too far with cutting out shocking scenes from the book that it severed a lot the content and especially for those who wanted to read more and wanted more insight of Auschwitz.
It;s a great account of the Holocaust that everyone should read.

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf - Ntozake Shange The Accidental Reader

When I watched the movie For Colored Girls who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuff I loved the way the plot flew and the poems...oh the poems were amazing. Two years later I picked the book expecting to find poems in it but what I found was a play. This particular book is not available in Greece so I read it last month in the USA.

I am not really good with reading plays and sceenplays, a reason I never really liked reading Shakespeare, but what I liked was the words. Written freely and with misspelled words and other errors I would consider it a waste of time, but no...the book is meant to be performed and not read, its meant to be seen and not read but above all this play has a story to tell, a very painful one.

''Reading'' about five different girls with the colors of rainbow I saw the difficulties of life, the pain of love and the pain of loss, the crash of hope and the ray of hope through the tunnel in an era of hatred and racism towards black women. This book is art, while reading you can actually visualize and you can hear the songs and see the dances but above all the author asks you to FEEL.

I loved every word of this book and although I had to re-read a few parts in order to comprehend through the slung and errors that did not stop me from finishing this play.

Fifty Shades Darker

Fifty Shades Darker - E.L. James The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

Okay, this may sound crazy but i liked this book more than the first one and thats rarely a case with me. It seemed more mature and more serious that the first and i think that in this one you get to see the actual relationship between Christian and Anna.

Although, you will notice the repetitive and often annoying inner goddess and the constantly exlamation of Holy Shit, Holy Crap and all tones of crap and holyness, you will also notice how different the sequel of the series is.

I liked that you get an insight of Christians fears and demons and how he actually tries to work things out with Anna, he is not a heartless bastard after all. I dont have a lot to add on this one due to the fact that it is an erotica book...but what i want to say is this: Fifty Shades Darker is not BDSM and Disturbing, actually i dont even know how it got this label. I think its just a little more extreme erotica than usual. Anna is such a chicken so she doesnt try out anything and that is lame.

That's all that i have to add on this book.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey  - E.L. James The Accidental Reader Book Reviews

So, I made the mistake and read The Crossfire Trilogy first instead of this one...mmmm...i think i liked the crossfire a lot more because it was so mature and a little more realistic than this one.

Christian is a psychopath with a lot of anger management and control issues. As for his sexual preferences let me tell you this: I have read a lot more kinky and weird stuff that what is being described in the book. I dont even know how it got the label of weird and sexually twisted or whatever , in my opinion is not that bad. Actually, to me 50 shades is a love story, a little weird but still a love story, i mean you can see how Christian adores Anna.

The book left me confused and wondering what is the book about. I cant decide if its a story about a guy that likes BDSM or about a guy;s childhood abuse and the impact it had in his adult life and not only. Its not clear and I am interested to find out in the second book or third. It;s not because Ana since day one clarifies that she doesnt want him to go all kinky and shit with her and that she actually wants a 'real relationship'' BUT then she goes all crazy when Christian plays i dont know what the hell the author plans to do.

The writing is addicting and although its not a great book i couldnt put it down because i really wanted to know what will happen to them as the book progressed. Thus the 4 stars.

The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star

The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star - Nikki Sixx The Accidental Reader

This is one of the best autobiographies i have ever read. Its so true and you know that it happened because it is a diary, something really personal and secret is being opened in this book for all the fans to read.

I am not a huge fan of Motley Crue but i always admired Nikki for his ability to write good songs and play the bass , so i decided to pick up his book and see what he had to say , what i read screwed up with me completely.

We all know that with fame comes money and with money comes ..well...hobbies..or drugs or whatever. It depends how one will use it. In this case Nikki used his money for coke and heroin and other drugs. You see a rockstar artist spiral down to the bottom of the abyss through what i call Hell. He explains how messed up he is because of his difficult childhood and how he blames his mother for everything. You get to see how a person loses touch with reality and how this artist forgets everything about music and fans and concerts and the only thing he cares about is drugs ,how, when and where he will do it.

While reading his diary entries people that actually were there tell their stories and memories of that era and you really think WTF? I read things that i didnt consider possible to happen ,how can someone OD and then just go home and shoot up again? Along the way Nikki was shooting up with other rockstars like Slash and Duff from GN'R when they were touring together.

As the book progresses you see that Nikki knew the situation he was in...he tried to get clean but that lasted for a couple of weeks and within two weeks he comes around again as a totally different person. He completely changes and then he falls again and then it gets ugly. Along with the drugs comes depression and a continuing remembrance of his awful childhood. He even kicked his mom and sister out of the hotel he was in , he didnt hang out with anyone and wanted to be alone all the time in spite the fact that he hated loneliness.

I think this is a great example on how someone can reach bottom and then come around suddenly and change his whole life , his whole ideas about life and death. I think this is a book everyone should read because in the end you can see hope.

Currently reading

Winter Longing
Tricia Mills
The Tenth Circle
Jodi Picoult
The Coming of the Third Reich
Richard J. Evans
City of Heavenly Fire
Cassandra Clare
Progress: 470/780 pages