eighteen years

On December 9th, 2017 I turned eighteen years old. A date about which I had some strange feelings. All around me a lot of people were really hyped about their eighteenth birthday. Friends who never went out to party suddenly became the kings and queens of clubs and even the ones who never had the slightest bit of alcohol planned on getting drunk, having the time of their lives, a night to remember, etc etc etc. I was freaked out to the point I didn’t want to do anything for my birthday. While my friends were planning their ‚special‘ night of joining adulthood almost half a year in advance, I kept putting everyone off by saying I didn’t know yet or it was supposed to be a secret. Actually, I didn’t plan on doing anything aside from being in my room at home shedding a few tears. But it wasn’t only that. I was afraid of turning eighteen, because from eighteen on, one is officially an adult, where I live, and I did not [and still don’t] feel as if I am prepared to be accepted as that, and yes, I am indeed trying to come to a point, so this is for all those out there who felt and feel the same way.

what follows is a mixture of random shots of the days around my eighteenth birthday and some of my favorite quotes of the book ‘eighteen years’ by Madisen Kuhn, which accompanied me on the journey of realizing and accepting that nothing is going to change and that that’s okay. Basically it’s a mix of a lifestyle blog & a book review. Hoping it’ll turn out as enjoyable content.



i feel trapped inside of my feverish skin

and i wish i could escape it,

because i don’t want to be myself today


i don’t know why i’m so different,

why i feel so lonely and tired of living

yesterday, i was so happy and hopeful,

inspired and alive

i lit candles and sang along to the radio

and grinned and felt completely intact

but today, i’m in pieces

i feel hollow and meaningless

i don’t get why my feelings change so quickly

it’s like once i’ve wrapped my arms

around them, the wind picks them up

and carries them away, leaving me

with a heart full of unfamiliar emotions

i don’t understand

i just wish

i could figure myself out


Madisen Kuhn, birthday eve



one of the poems that spoke to me, really putting those emotions into words. Since my family knew how I was feeling, on the night before my birthday my mom took me out to the movies. Full program. Smuggling fast food inside the theater, big box of fresh popcorn. The rest of the night I spent decorating and cleaning. I rang in my birthday alone at midnight by taking a bath before I went to bed.




After sleeping in just a little and spending some time with my family I then headed out to the city, just like I had planned. I just knew I had to go for a walk through the streets of Berlin on my birthday, because that’s what I have been immensely enjoying the past year. On the way to the city I started reading ‘eighteen years’. Some of the pieces that really spoke to me will follow [I had tears in my eyes while reading all of them]…


who are you,


you are not a name

or a height or a weight

or a gender,

you are not an age

and you are not

where you are from

you are your favorite books

and the songs stuck in your head,

you are your thoughts

and what you eat for breakfast

on saturday mornings

you are a thousand things,

but everyone chooses

to see the million things

you are not

you are not

where you are from

you are

where you’re going

and i’d like

to go there


Madisen Kuhn, who are you, really?


she buried her face in books

so no one could see

the emptiness of her eyes


she filled her mind

with fictional fantasies

and hoped that one day

they would become real


but because her head

was always stuck in a book

she never got the chance

to have adventures of her own

Madisen Kuhn, cover to cover


i think the world

would be a nicer place

if we stopped pretending

we knew everything

about everyone

Madisen Kuhn, truth


every individual

is son intricate,

yet we rush to peg them,

to label them,

to tell them who they are


the more i meet people

and flip them inside out

to run my fingers along

the cracks of their beating heart,

the more i realize that

no one really is


Madisen Kuhn, depth


In the hours following that train ride I met two of my best friends, went to a photo booth to turn memories into paperweight,

got Starbucks to pay for my venti iced coffee, because that’s how nice they are when it’s your birthday and you have a Starbucks card [everyone was really cute, i’m being honest, they wrote ‘happy birthday anna’ on my cup with flowers and hearts and all of that, i guess], laughed a lot, met my cousin, had serious, but very good conversations while wandering the city and crashed at Coffee Fellows to flee the cold. The remaining hours of my birthday I spent at home with my family again. Pizza and Grand Hotel [one of my favorite series] were included.

The following morning, a Sunday, my family and I went out for a post-birthday brunch at Coffee Fellows, which meant bagels, warm beverages and time well spent. Took a short walk around the near-by christmas market with my cousin and sister afterwards. Then I went home. Trouble was over and I had spent almost three full days trying to keep everything as it was with an almost feverish effort, spending energy I could have easily saved, because after all, everything that has changed since is the second digit of a simple number in my info box on social media. nothing has changed and that’s fine. I hate changes anyways.

Before I end this somewhat very personal, yet probably boring piece of writing, I have a few more words on ‘eighteen years’  by Madisen Kuhn and one more poem. Something to remember, a message, to those of you reading this, a sort of reminder…

Madisen, your book got through to me in so many ways. At a time that I felt troubled it had the words I needed to hear to be able to calm down. ‘eighteen years’ is the most honest, most real and most beautiful collection of poetry I have yet read. In the past year poetry has become the tongue of my soul, the safe heaven I can always come to. Before your book I would have never dared to believe that there is poetry out there that puts my deepest thoughts into proper words. You did. I found myself with tears in my eyes, heart hurting. You literally speak the same tongue my heart speaks. In a world of so many I feel I have found the one person who is able to translate my soul into words, the one person to be the interpreter to fill the gap between me and the rest of the world. I thank you from the deepest depths of my heart.

To everyone reading this, ‘eighteen years’ is “[The] book [which] is meant to be bent and worn, written in, tear-stained, and loved. This book is for you.” to put it in Madison’s own words. ‘eighteen years’ is the book of first and following loves, of life and coming of age, but to be downright honest, there is no way to do this book any justice listing a few of it’s topics like this. If you want to know what it’s like then there’s no way around just reading it, experiencing it with every cell of your body. To do so, clicking here marks step one [no worries, it’s the link to get your own copy]. Now all that is left to say, is this…


Don’t forget to get away every once in awhile,

To lose yourself in a book

Or in the woods behind your home

Ride your bike into the sunset,

Sit on your front steps and count the cars passing by,

Lay on your roof and gaze up at the night sky,

Drive along backroads with the windows rolled down

Listening to nothing but the sound of rushing wind

I hope you take the time to be alone,

To sort through the cluttered shelves of your heart

I hope you take the time to be silent,

To close your eyes and just listen

I hope you take the time to be still,

To quiet your mind and experience the beauty

Of simply Being

Madisen Kuhn, breathe


If we were Villains by M. L. Rio

IMG_5352.JPG“For someone who loved words as much as I did, it was amazing how often they failed me.”

Imagine living on words. Imagine living throughout the words of another person. A person who lived far before your time being. I am talking about Shakespeare. Imagine dedicating your whole existence to Shakespeare.

“‘Do you blame Shakespeare for any of it?’ The question is so unlikely, so nonsensical coming from such a sensible man, that I can’t suppress a smile. ‘I blame him for all of it,’ I say.”

That’s what Oliver and his classmates at Dellecher do. Or rather, once did. Because it’s been ten years since Oliver has last been at Dellecher, serving ten years for a murder he may or may not have committed.

“‘It’s not all bad. I still get letters trying to convince me that you’re innocent.’ ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘I get those, too.’ ‘Are you convinced yet?’ ‘No. I know better.'”

Being released after all, he finds that he is not the only one, who cannot forget and after ten years, he might finally be ready to share what happened a decade ago.

“Could I explain it all to Colborne, the little twists and turns and final exodos? I study his blank open face, the gray eyes winged now by crow’s-feet, but clear and bright as they have always been. ‘All right,’ I say. ‘I’ll tell you a story. […]'”

As they start their fourth year of acting at the elite conversatory Dellecher they think it is going to be just as it has always been. The seven of them, never apart, playing the same roles in life as on stage.

“Enter the players. There were seven of us, seven bright young things with wide precious futures ahead of us, though we saw no further than the books in front of our faces.”

But then everything begins to shift as castings get changed and the friends seem to drift apart. And all of a sudden they find themselves actors in a tragedy they never intended to play. Their every-day rivalry becomes more and more present until one of them is found dead, while the rest of them have to face their most significant role yet. Convincing the police, and each other, that they are innocent.

my thoughts- I bought this book before having read The Secret History by Donna Tartt and remember being unsure about buying it for exactly that reason. You’re probably asking yourself what this has to do with The Secret History, well, it is said to be similar to it and I thought, why have two books of the same kind, without you knowing if you like it? I had already fallen in love with the cover though, so I ended up buying it. Then I read The Secret History and liked, but was far from loving it. I had my doubts about this book after that, but started reading it anyways, a few weeks later. I was drawn to it from the first page. If We Were Villains hooked me in all the possible ways. It is written in in first-person, from Oliver’s point of view, and has a unique, yet easily understandable writing style, that was straight forward or describing at exactly the right times, which made the plot have a good pace. The writing style also made a good access to the the characters possible. I liked Oliver since page one and rooted with him all throughout the story, looking at things through his eyes. Him and all other characters were really well developed. Some points of the plot itself were a little predictable, but that makes complete sense, because it fits Oliver’s character (as you will learn, while reading the book) to realize some things a little later than the rest, meaning relations ships going on unofficially and stuff. I also really loved the way the story was told. In the ‘now’ at the beginning of each ‘act’ to then continue by looking back at past events, like unraveling it the other way around, from back to front, from present to past. That was a refreshing way to deal with a murder case in a book. Another thing I was obsessed with was the autumn-ish, fall-ish feeling it spread. While reading I stumbled over some incredibly beautiful fall quotes, that I still have to go look for again sometime soon. And there is more positiveness about it. If we were Villains easily manages to encourage to read Shakespeare, and a lot of it, I feel. Reading the characters act out all those plays and roles from works like ‘Macbeth’ or ‘Romeo and Juliet’ gives me a lot of incentive to check them all out and to study them. What else I can say is that it stays suspenseful until the very very end, but there’s nothing more coming from me now. I’m done, and you, you just go get the book. Oh, and don’t you dare not tell me if you end up liking it!

If you haven’t got enough of this book yet, go check out my currently developing If we were Villains board on my Pinterest.

yours, anna xx

A List of Cages by Robin Roe

{Before getting into this review too deeply and forgetting about it eventually, I want to thank Robin Roe for her book with it’s message about friendship and the power of kindness. Thank you, Robin.}

What it is about- Adam and Julian, Julian and Adam. A fifth-grader and a second-grade-kindergartener as reading partners. When Adam hears about it, he still isn’t sure if it’s going to be fun or not really so, but then he get’s to know Julian.

“The boy assigned to me – Julian – looked like and anime character, with too much shiny black hair that fell just short of his enormous round eyes.”

Julian, the second-grader that has to take reading practice along with the kindergarteners,

“‘If you are a second grader, then why are you here?’ I asked. ‘I have dyslexia,’ he said. ‘I’m in Reading Improvement.'”

and Julian the most talented singer, the one that draws the best pictures. Julian, the happy kid.

“I can’t remember what Julian sang, but he was good. Not just little-kid-good, but really good.”

The two drift apart and find back together at a time in which too much has changed. There is no Julian, the happy kid.

“When he looked up, his enormous eyes were like glass, something reflective instead of animated. ‘Julian?’ I said.”

And they drift apart again only to find back to each other another time. That’s where the story begins.

“‘Julian?’ I spin around. And the moment seems to slow. […] He breaks into a grin. I glance around to find who he’s smiling at, but no-one is there. ‘It’ me,’ he says. ‘Adam.’

Adam’s and Julian’s, Julian’s and Adam’s. A friendship that is meant to be, but hard to accomplish. When Adam wants to help, Julian pushes him away as far as he can, refusing help that is desperately needed.

“I panic. ‘W-who are you calling?’ ‘The police.’ ‘No, don’t!’ I plead. […] ‘Please.’ He takes a deep breath. ‘Okay. Okay.'”

But their story grows and shows the power of kindness, of friendship, even in moments where there should not be hope or the slightest possibility of healing. While talking of loss and immense pain, Adam and Julian show, that there is always a way to work life out, taking it however it may come.

Why I picked this book up- I received this book as my February book of the month in my Bookish Box. Actually I didn’t plan on picking it up so soon, but after I had read Adam’s short review on it, I couldn’t help myself. I started reading it an hour later. About forty eight hours later I sat in my room crying, the book opened on it’s last page. And people, I want you to know that I have been in a reading slump since finishing the hours by Michael Cunningham a whole month ago. Yes, the book was that good. Buuuut, it’s time for my opinion only now.

How I liked it- This book and it’s message mean far too much to me. Kindness is a value I respect more than almost any other. Kindness has power just like hate does.

“Hate ricochets, but kindness does too.”

It did so much to me. I will never, never be able to feel how Julian felt, because little have I lost compared to what he has suffered through, but I can understand now. I understand as much as a person who did not live through it can and the loss of a person is something we all have experienced.

“It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.”

Especially this quote makes me remember a special member of my family that has passed away when I was only five. Five, an age that you can already, but far from enough, remember. I am said to look like him, be like him. I am said to have his eyes and hair and humor and music talent. It is more than just sad knowing that you shared so much with someone you barely had the chance to get to know. But I know, he would be so proud of me and that is everything one needs. 

Even under the message this book can put in an appearance. And a good one it is. With a simple and easy-to-get-into writing style Robin Roe tells the story that is other than the writing a lot more difficult on every level. The characters, to get to them are all their own individuals and there are a lot of them. A lot. There is none of them taken less care of than another one. They have their very own opinions, strong opinions and that’s a good thing. Another thing about this book is that it is so fast paced you probably have to calm yourself down. Fast readers will most likely read it in one sitting, but let me tell you, A List of Cages deserves more than a few hours of your time. It deserves all your time and after and even while reading you should set it down for a moment now and then to think, just do it and thank me afterwards.

To come to and end, this book is a book for everyone. Adults just as teens, as it’s a young adult novel, but it’s far more than that, so don’t let that make you shy away from picking it up. But above all it is a book to talk about. A book to one’s characters should look up. And I wish it all the luck on the big bad book market. It deserves to be admired, read, hugged and loved. Just as it deserves to be presented from one person to another, not obligatory for a birthday or another yearly festive, but just like that. Out of kindness, because this is what it is supposed to teach. The Power of Kindness.

the hours by Michael Cunningham

{after i have successfully missed the one-year-anniversary of my blog, i am finally back with a review of a rather unknown book back from the year i was born in, 1999, which had a great impact on me, will forever be remembered and re-read a over and over again. this book is named the hours and was written by Michael Cunningham}

what it is about- the book follows three women through a day in each of their ordinary, plain lives. It is 1920, London, and there is someone or something who or that links these three, completely different women together. Virginia Woolf and her still unfinished book “Mrs Dalloway”. the hours follows Virginia herself in the process of writing it,

“She may pick up her pen and follow it with her hand as it moves across; she may pick up her pen and find that she’s merely herself, a women in a housecoat holding a pen, afraid and uncertain, only mildly competent, with no idea where to begin or what to write. She picks up her pen. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

then Clarissa Vaughan, Mrs Dalloway, in New York, who is preparing to surprise a recovering friend

“‘Who is it?’

‘Just me.’



‘Oh, Mrs. D. Oh, come in.’

Isn’t it time, she thinks, to dispense with the old nickname? If he’s having a good enough day, she’ll bring it up: Richard, don’t you think it’s time to just call me Clarissa?”

and finally Laura Brown,a young women from Los Angeles, yearns to get away from her responsibilities and mother and wife to read Virginia Woolf’s book Mrs Dalloway.

“She lays the book face down on her chest. Already her bedroom (no, their bedroom) feels more densely inhabited, more actual, because a character named Mrs. Dalloway is on her way to buy flowers.”

Why I picked this book up- I randomly found this book at my local library and since I was going to lend another book anyways all I thought was, well why not take a second one and if you don’t end up reading it, what bad did it do? Also, it’s pretty and you like pretty books. I ended up taking and reading it as you might have noticed. On another note, I have not yet read anything by or about Virginia Woolf so that wasn’t a reason either. It was just plain interest, a good cover and well written synopsis. Thank you to my local library for having it on their shelfs and thank you to myself for not dumping it, because it is one of the best books I have yet read.

How I liked it- Before I get all caught up talking about how much I loved this book, here are some things you should know about it: It would be good if you read Virginia’s Mrs Dalloway before reading this, at least I have heard it would, because it refers to it in a way, but if you just want to enjoy good writing, then you totally don’t have to do this. I didn’t do it because I picked it up without knowing anything, but I bet you’d get into this book faster if you would have read it. I recommend not to pick up this book if you want a fast paced, plot packed novel, because this is something totally different. This book is poetic and about life and the characters way more than about an actual story. It is a novel you take yourself some time for, in which you appreciate the writing, all it’s words and maxims. It takes some time getting into it or better to be said, getting the hang of how it works, but as soon as you have read the first three chapters (a chapter from each of the characters) you will be just fine. It’s time to get on to my encomium now. Michael Cunningham is a true artist of words. His writing style is almost poetic and I would love to quote every single line of him from this book for the rest of my life. If I was to read only one book for the rest of my life, I would be close to pick this one. I have never before read a story that was written this way, meaning the close connection of the three women, which are so much unlike each other at the same time and then again so similar. How they are all three linked by that book Mrs Dalloway is remarkably made. It is easy to follow the plot, once into it and it is the usualness that actually makes it special. The way each character sees the world, the people around them and life in general. I recommend it to all of those, who are open for three stories about life written in a very poetic way. If you are into poetry and quotes, you can’t quite end up not liking this book {just like me}.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

a spoiler-free review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller follows…

What it is about- Everyone knows him, the hero of the greek, the fallen one. And with his Name they know his tale, the one of Young Achilles, half-god and half-human, Born to be a hero, died as one. But there is another Boy, one only few know, one just as much of a hero as his companion. A Young Boy who bad things have happened to, banned from home by his father, sad and rather lonely.

I would have no parents, no family name, no inheritance. […] This was how I came to be ten, and an orphan. This is how I came to Phthia.

Until the lifes of both collide and for them both nothing will ever be what is was again.

He yawned, his eyes heavy-lidded. “What’s your name?” […] “Patroclus.” It was the name my father had given me, hopefully but injudiciously, at my birth, and it tasted of bitterness on my tongue. “Honor of the father,” it meant. […] He rolled onto his side to face me. A stray lock of Gold fell half into his eyes; he blew it away. “My name is Achilles.” I jerked my chin up, an inch, in bare acknowledgement. We regarded each other for a moment. Then he blinked and yawned again, his mouth cracked wide as a cat’s. “Welcome to Phthia.”

The Song of Achilles is a Tale of Gods and Godesses, Kings and  Queens, Immortal fame…

“Name one hero who was happy.” I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back. “You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward. “I can’t.” “I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.” “Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this. “I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Why me?” “Because you’re the reason. Swear it.” “I swear it,” I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes. “I swear it,” he echoed. We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.

…and the human heart…

“He is mortal,” she says. “And mortals die.” “I am mortal!” he screams. “What good is godhead, if it cannot do this? What good are YOU?” “I know you are mortal,” she says. She places each cold word as a tile in a mosaic. “I know it better than anyone. I left you too Long on Pelion. It has ruined you.” She gestures, a flick, at his torn clothing, his tear-stained face. “This is not my son.” His chest heaves. “Then who is it mother? Am I not famous enough? […] And who else? Send them before me. I will kill them all!”.

It tells the story of the rise and fall of two heros, one known for it, famous, the  other one not. But above all it tells the tale of two lovers, who fought to be together until their last breath and after. After all it is a tale of love and what we are willing to sacrifice for it.

Why I picked up this book- The Song of Achilles was recommended to me by two of my dear book-companions Tringa and Morgaine. And then, because I fully trust them and because it was said to be an emotional Story, I ordered it this summer, took it to London with me and read it.

How I liked it- This will be the messed up part. I finished this book over a week ago but it’s still hurting me and when I see it lying around in my room, I pick it up and hug it to my chest. I like to Keep it Close These days though I have finished it, i always have it around. I would have never picked up this book myself. I don’d usually read a lot of historical fiction and I’m not a huge fan of it but.. this BOOK! Everything about it is just precious: 1) It actually makes you learn something. 2) Every Character is absolutely amazing. 3) The writing style. The writing is one of the most beautiful things in this book. It is so poetic. I just died every second sentence.Okay, so yes, I liked this book. I liked it so so much I’ll never let it leave my heart and my copy of it is already so worn out. I underlined in it and it had a dog-eared page and honestly, I just don’t care. For me it gets even more beautiful with every single crack in the spine, every dog-eared page. So, whoever you are and whatever book-genre you like, read this one because it’ll make you grow mentally, it’ll do something to you and that’s why it’s so prechious and everyone should read it. Okay, so my Job is done now, I’ll go hug my book again now. Writing this review made me cry and while I’m being emotional you go run and to the next bookstore and get this book. We’ll talk again when you’ve finished reading it and are emotional unstable, just like me. GO GET IT!