Freitag, 24. Juli 2015

TAG - Shari J. Ryan

Title: TAG
Author: Shari J. Ryan
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Booktrope for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
What if your family had a big secret . . . a life changing secret. My dad, the bigwig CIA agent, was always on the run, whether he was being chased or doing the chasing. I missed him. Then my mom passed away, and my sister was murdered. I turned my solitude to strength because the alternative was too bleak.
But my luck seemed to turn: I met Tango. And while I want him more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my twenty-two years, danger lurks around every corner and I simply can’t take the chance of it finding me. But his tattoos, his smell, his darkness, and his body— that marine has taken over my every thought. But, what if he too isn’t what I think? A ticking time bomb isn’t going to leave me much time to waver. Even the bravest person can be in need of a miracle.

Before she was gone, my mom warned me to know everyone and trust no one. But what was I supposed to do when I found out I am the one not to be trusted? Turns out, I was always the bait in this conspiracy.

Take a breath... And fall in love with Tango. That's about right, I think. Whew... I know this story is going to be inside my head for a couple of days. But no can do, I have to write this review, so here it goes...

This story is so unlike anything I've ever read, expect for maybe one or two books. The plot idea is simply amazing and I am surprised of myself for loving it that much. Normally, I like to stick to the good old new adult books in which the hero meets the heroine and they both hate each other, then love each other and everyone is happy. The main idea of TAG might be the same, but the way to the end is just a thrilling and entertaining road.

At the beginning of the story, I was quite intimiated. I wasn't sure where this story was heading and the thought of laying it aside crossed my mind. Cali seemed like such a bitch (sorry, but if you ever get the chance to read it, you'll agree with me) and not like a strong and brave young woman, standing up for herself and seeking revenge for her sister Krissy's death. Actually, reading the prologue I thought it was from a guy's point of view. But that's just a side note.

To be completely honest with you, up until after the first few chapters (the airport scene to be more exact) I wasn't hooked on the book. I promised myself to keep on reading though, in order to write a decent review. I had it all planned and then the author finally made me liking the plot more and more, probably also because of Tango.

Tango is a super fabulous written guy, suffering from cancer. And he is also Cali's latest bodyguard. His intentions to join Cali on her way to find her father is to be cured. Cali's father is some mystery guy that you don't find out a lot about. You only know that he once was in China and found some special medicine that cures cancer. Cancer was also the reason for Cali's mother's death and once you're into the story, you get a good idea of the whole messed up family situation Cali is in. She used to be a carefree girl, but since her mother died and her sister was murdered by her former boyfriend, who is also tracking her down now in order to threaten her father, she keeps on rule in mind.

Know every one. Trust no one.

Her trust issues are a big deal in this book and I sometimes wanted to smash Cali against a wall and make her see that she can indeed trust Tango, though she is still insecure. But that's just her and her ways of thinking and feeling are important for the story, otherwise it wouldn't be the same. And I definitely wouldn't change a thing in this book. Even more important, there is always an exception to a rule.

Though I got to admit - Reaper was described as a horrible person. He is, I mean, he killed Krissy. And yet I wish we would have gotten to see more of his sweet side. I wonder if there is a prequel telling his and Cali's story? Oh my god! I want to read that and then cry once I reread Tag and come to the ultimate part.

By the way, does anyone know the show Burn Notice? It's one of my favourite shows ever and I somehow ended up comparing this book to it. It was like a teenage version of it. Pretty awesome! So, if you're a fan of this show, make sure to read TAG. If you're a fan of tough girls, hot boys, family drama, hot boys, criminal actions, hot boys and action in general, this book is the one for you! (Yes, I know I used the term "hot boys" three times in one sentence, but if you're annoyed by that, you haven't met Tango yet.)

Point of No Return - Olivia Luck

Title: Point of No Return
Author: Olivia Luck
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Book Enthusiast Promotions for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.

I had it all: an adoring husband, supportive friends, thriving career, a homey condo in the city.
Amend that.

I had it all except for love from my family. But life was good because I had him. Max was everything I dreamed a husband could be and somehow he loved me just as wildly as I loved him.

Until one cruel night he was stolen from me.

Then I had nothing but a vicious battle ahead of me. It’s a struggle so treacherous, I’m not sure if I’ll make it out with my heart in tact. But on the other side of that brutal war waits the most wondrous prize.

Will I allow myself to move forward?

I read the first book in this series, New Point, and I'm sorry to say that I liked that one much better than Point of No Return. I'll admit that after finishing the first book (you can also find my review to that on my blog) I wasn't sure whether I'd continue the series or not. I decided against it, because I wasn't interested in reading about Zoe's brother. So I skipped that book. Then I saw Point of No Return up on NetGalley. At first I thought it was the mentioned book about Zoe's brother, but after reading the summary, I knew it wasn't and so I started to be curious and requested a digital copy.

As always, I'm not saying it's a bad book. It is not. It just wasn't what I expected, basically because the first book was really new adult-ish and this one isn't, that's why I wonder why it was put into that section.

Anyway... What I love about Olivia Luck's writing style is that she captures emotions perfectly. So despite the fact that this wasn't my type of genre, really, I still enjoyed the two different point of views. Olivia Luck is talented at giving the characters their own voices. You will never once mistake a point of view, because you get to know the characters so well. And also, the relationships are always the one you ship. There aren't any other potential partners that you want the persons to end up with. Some may say it's boring - where is the challenge in that?! There isn't, simple as that. But there is a journey of the main characters and you will want to find out all about their development during the story.

You feel Violet's pain, because what she had to go through is something you want no one to ever experience. I think this story is focused on her change and her life more than it is about Cameron. Or maybe I just skipped these part unknowingly and swooned over him too much. He is such a sweet guy and you can't help but feel sorry for him, for being so patient and a total lovesick puppy. Can he get an aww? Aww!

There is, again, one thing that I didn't like that much. I wasn't such a big fan of the parts about Violet's job. I mean, of course her job is important for her future story and so on, but I grew tired of reading about meetings and her co-workers so fast. I don't know what's wrong with me, I'm sorry.

Naturally, I'd recommend this book to all fans of Olivia Luck (and I call myself a fan of her writing, definitely!), but also to those who want a break from reading new adult books and want to find out what happens to people after these new adult phases. If you're interested in that, I'm sure you'll just love Point of No Return. Side note: Isn't the cover just one of the prettiest you have ever seen?! I love it!

Elite (Eagle Elite #01) - Rachel van Dyken

Title: Elite (Eagle Elite #01)
Author: Rachel van Dyken
Rating: 4 - 4.5/5

Thanks for NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.

I absolutely love Rachel van Dyken. She could even write about talking apples in the garbage and I'd sit on the couch, my eReader with me and be totally fascinated.

Now, having already read the second book in the series, I'm having a hard time writing a review (after such a long time of ignoring this task) for this one. I don't want to give away spoilers or write things you might not understand if you haven't read the sequel yet. Gah, I am beyond excited to read the third book, actually. I apologize in advance - this review is going to be short (that's the plan, anyway) and probably not that helpful if you're hoping it will give you some advice on reading it or not. Though I can safely tell you - read it!

There should be more mafia books and it's so interesting to read about teenagers involved in that, because you wouldn't think they do stuff like that and even if, it is pretty shocking to think about that. But if it were up to me, I would want tons of books with mafia connected teens. Especially if they are like Chase.

Yes, Chase is only the best friend of the male main character Nixon. Anyway, I think he is the best thing Rachel van Dyken ever invented (and the last sentence of the second Eagle Elite book, Elect, ruined all my hopes for... Nah, too many spoilers, haha.) Nixon isn't so bad either, but he is more the guy for Tracey and not for me, haha. At first, he hates Tracey, which is totally amazing for me - the lover of hate/love relationships. All the fights, all the pranks made me feel sorry for Tracey so much. Yet in the end, they are a cute couple, I'll give them that.

All these family relations... I wonder how Rachel van Dyken keeps those in mind. It's so complicated. At least for me it is. Maybe I should reread Elite and Elect, the second one, before I start the others in the series or else I won't understand a thing, I suppose.

Not a single pages bored me or made me look forward to finally finishing the book. There's always something happening, most of the time some pretty shocking things that will leave you breathless and speechless, as well. It's so exciting and I remember not being able to put it down for more than a minute or two.

I'm not sure why Elite reminds me so much of the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles. The nationalities in Elite are mostly Italian, or to be more specific Sicilian and the boys in Simone Elkeles' books are hispanic. No relation there. Perhaps I think of these books as alike because I am a huge fan of Simone and that series written by her is my favourite book series of all time and Rachel van Dyken's series comes pretty close to that, too.

I guess this review is pretty annoying, always mentioning how much I loved this book but no real information. Well, I can't give you any more than this. A review should be honest and if I tell you I loved it, I am telling the truth. I'm sorry if that makes you feel less informed about the plot or the characters and so on. You probably think I avoid writing about these things considering how long ago I read it, but that's not it. I just don't know what to write, really. My heart sends all the love to my head, telling me to express my feelings for the book in this review and so this is what I do.

Elite is an exciting book and the idea of the story and the plot is so good and so well written, too. I'm glad Rachel van Dyken got this idea on paper and shared it with us readers, because I wouldn't want to miss such a masterpiece as this.

Montag, 6. Juli 2015

Chasing Each Other - J.D. Rivera

Title: Chasing Each Other
Author: J.D. Rivera
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Red Coat PR for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Miranda… I was always the life of the party, the happy one. Until Preston killed my soul. When he came into my life, he destroyed me. I was a shell of my former self, pretending to be fine while wishing I wouldn't wake up the next day. I never dreamed my best friend would come back into my life...and bring Brad Nicholson with her. I never dreamed the homicide detective with the cocky attitude could show me my worth again. He could show me that my life could be amazing every day. Until the day he found out about my past with Preston. Then, I was sure he'd see the real Miranda and ditch me for good.

Brad… From a young age, I made a decision. I knew what I wanted to do with my life and from that point on, my work molded me. Everything became routine. Casual. Until Mackenzie walked into my life, bringing her best friend, Miranda, with her. From the first moment I saw Miranda, I knew she could be someone special. I didn’t have time for relationships, but she was different. She was a piece of the puzzle that could be missing. But she was broken, I could see that. And all I wanted to do was turn her into the girl I knew she really was beneath her perfectly placed mask.

Miranda is a character that didn't need a hundred of pages until I liked her. That's what I liked about her - it only took a couple of pages until I dived into the story and really felt her pain and horror. I had some trouble liking the prologue though, but maybe that's because it was rushed. You don't find out a lot about the person, but then again that makes sense since it is a prologue. Oh my, do I even make sense now?! haha.

And now Brad... Gah, I need more cops in books. I'm a huge fan of authors who deal with age gapes, and whew, a sexy cop just made it to my favourite list. I need more cops in new adult books (remember that all you aspiring authors, please) Funny thing, I never understood why he thought of himself as a bad person. I would have assumed he did something terrible or something like that.

I'm out of words already. You know, I thought this read would be much more... Thrilling, as in a horror kind of way. I am glad it wasn't like that. Miranda has to deal with her past, but I'm so glad isn't wasn't something predictable. When I started reading Chasing Each Other I was like: "Alright, I know where this is heading." I was pleasently surprised, though.

What I didn't like, and yes, there is something I didn't like, were Mackenzie and Hayes. I mean, they were awesome friends and they both make you want them in your life. So maybe I liked them, yeah, I'm confusing as well, I know. What I really mean is that I am not as interested in their story as I was/am in Brad's and Miranda's, which is why I'll probably only read Chasing The Stars because I liked the author's style. I often wondered whether the author was from America or not. Not because of her English, because her English is great, but because the used words were extra ordinary and thought-through. I wish I could write like that.

So, I really, really missed reading new adult books lately and I am glad I requested this one on NetGalley. It was such a good choice to get back in the game! Thank you J.D. Rivera for creating these characters and this story. I absolutely enjoyed every second of reading it, which I can even prove. I had to read it on the Kindle app via my cell phone. Normally, I dislike reading things on my cell phone, but I couldn't even put it down this time. It was that good!

Dienstag, 27. Januar 2015

The End Of Feeling - Cindy C. Bennett

Title: The End Of Feeling
Author: Cindy C. Bennett
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Thanks to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.

Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Nefer seems to have it all: great looks, incredible football skills, and smooth moves that have won—and broken—the hearts of countless girls at his high school. But his hellish home life has left him feeling empty inside, unable to experience real feelings. He thinks he’s fine being this way forever…until he meets a beautiful and witty seventeen-year-old girl named Charlotte “Charlie” Austin. She may be new in town, but she’s already been warned about Benjamin’s reputation, so it’s easy for her to shoot down his advances.

Like him, she’s happier keeping people at a distance, especially since she, too, has secrets she’s not ready to share with anyone. But as the tentative friendship between the charismatic football captain and the new girl grows, Charlie finds herself feeling closer to Benjamin than she’s ever felt with anyone—and he wonders if he’s really capable of loving after all. Can they drop their guard, or is this so-called romance just another game?
It's January 2015 - let's note that. And then we'll speak about how awesome this book is and why it's one of my favourite reads of the year already (and probably forget that I read it when it was still 2014, haha).

I always planned on reading a Cindy C. Bennett book, somehow I didn't find the time yet or whatever other crazy reason there is. However, I am so glad The End Of Feeling was the first book I read by this author. Of course, it's very young adult like, but sometimes we all need that - the light and romantic stuff. And please don't be fooled by me. I say this is young adult fiction, and it is, but the main characters' problems are so heavy. It was really emotional and heartbreaking to read about those.

So maybe that's why I think Cindy C. Bennet created a real masterpiece here. She proves that YA books don't have to be all funny and all imature or something like that (hello to all you YA haters out there). Young adult books can be pretty amazing - the story, the writing, the characters. Everything about it, really.

Both characters are pretty strong, I liked that very much. None of them seems immature to me. In fact, they seemed very much like adults (except their behaviour when it came to each other). And yes, there are cliché parts in it as well. Football, shy girl - I mean, come on. All good stories need to be based on a little something we can relate to, right? Who doesn't love these typical football players that fall in love with the girl next door? You may have read thousands of books concerning that, but I don't believe you if you say you're so sick of it. Good teenage conflicts are the main part of any young adult book out there.

What I didn't like about the book... Well, I didn't like Charlotte's friends that much. That's probably because I seem to have an unevitable problem with any character's closest friends. Doesn't matter what kind of genre, what author and what book. I should work on that. Charlotte's aunt, yeah.. Uhm.. Spoiled? Definitely! Likeable? Perhaps during the end of the story, yes. Of course, I also didn't like Benjamin's dad, and I first disliked his mother, too. But then, as the story came to its end (which was way too fast, by the way) I tried to understand her and accepted her and her decisions. I think that's what Benjamin's character tried to do as well.

So, since I already said something to almost every character included in the book (I am not talking about Charlotte's friends, nope), I can safely say that Charlotte's mother is the cutest character I have ever read about. I loved how sweet Benjamin was whenever he was with her and how great they seemed to get along. A tragic story behind Charlotte's mother being her mother, wow. But that's what I said about this story being heavy. Young adult, so unlike any other young adult.

I recommend this book to everyone, and I mean everyone, out there. I'm sure fans of Jolene B. Perry and Nyrae Dawn will love this book as much as I did. One more thing I am sure of: This wasn't the last Cindy C. Bennett book I read.

Samstag, 20. Dezember 2014

Love Bites - Rachel K. Burke

Title: Love Bites
Author: Rachel K. Burke
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
What do you do when you fall in love with your best friend’s boyfriend?

That is the question that twenty-six year-old Justine Sterling has been asking herself ever since the day she met David Whitman, her best friend Renee’s boyfriend. Justine is determined to ignore her growing feelings for the irresistibly charming David, until one night, when she finds herself in the bed of the one person she should stay away from.

When Justine and David’s affair ends in heartbreak, Justine is forced to repair the damaged friendship with her best friend. In doing so, she learns that right and wrong decisions aren’t always black and white, and sometimes you have to follow your heart to see where it leads.
Alright. This is kind of hard, because this book was nothing like I thought it would be. I'm not sure if that's good or bad yet, let's weight out the options.

I liked the main conflict of this novel - a girl being in love with her best friend's boyfriend. It's so clichee and tons of books like that exist already, I know, but I never get tired of reading about those. At least I don't if they're well-written and that was the case with Love Bites. The writing was great.

The reason why I may be confused about my thoughts on this book is that it was described as New Adult, and I think the author isn't a New Adult author. She's an adult author. This is a book for adults. It contains jobs and fashion and pregnancy and adult friendships and, and, and... I can't help but being reminded of Sex and The City, which I never liked, and novels by Paige Toon, who is an author I love very, very much.

I also liked the different characters. All of them had their own voice. You could always tell them apart because none of them acted and spoke the same way. That doesn't mean I could relate to all of them. For example, I liked Renee and Dylan's relationship, but I just wasn't interested in reading anything about those two. But I was really excited to read about Justine's past, and David, and then the other guy that stepped into her life (you'll know who I mean once you decide to give this book a chance).

As mentioned, I started this book with different expectations. Different isn't always bad, yeah, of course. That's not what I am saying. However, different is hard for me to deal with. I'm still unsure what to think of this book, because it had its good points, but then there were parts, job interviews for example, that I just wanted to skip because it was too adult-like and I hoped for a New Adult book. I'm complaining too much, I'm sorry.

I still think this book captured the emotion of a bad breakup perfectly as well as the part when you try to deal with the circumstances afterwards. And I think this is what makes the book special in a way, too, because I think there aren't many novels out there that really deal with situations.

Donnerstag, 30. Oktober 2014

I Need You (Starting Out #03) - Jane Lark

Title: I Need You (Starting Out #03)
Author: Jane Lark
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGallery and HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Guilt can eat away at you, but love can cut like a knife...

Wanting his best friend's girlfriend is a cliché Billy knows well - it's the tightrope he's walked for years. But now Jason and Lindy have broken up and Billy can't help but be there for the girl he's loved from afar for so long. She's hurting.

Fighting to find a road to the future, Lindy's heart hurts. She's trying to escape the truth, but Billy keeps making her face it - and it's ugly. How can she keep living when everything is made of glass and it keeps shattering?

Her one constant is Billy. Only, rebound isn't his style and when Lindy starts to see him in a different light, he just can't trust her. He's no one's second best.
Billy and Lindy. Lindy and Billy. Hmm.. I first thought I was pulled into a novel taking place in the 80's.

I Need You is a great example for how wrong my first impressions of a book can be. I didn't like Lindy - at all. The idea behind the story didn't turn out the way I hoped. I basically thought to myself: "Just read this book already and write this dumb review, so you can start a better book."

The only good thing was Billy. Why? Oh, only because he was the male protagonist and let's face it - they are the best things about books in general, especially when they're swoon-worthy and that's the case, most of the time.

Lindy was a mental wreck and heartless and... Weird. Her boyfriend Jason dumped her a few months earlier for another girl, who also already had a baby once the story started to tell Lindy's and Billy's point of view. She's still not over Jason, constantly crying and even trying to kill herself.

And then there comes Billy. Awesome and adorable Billy. I got it bad, yeah, haha. He'd always love Lindy, even when before she started dating his best friend Jason. Yes, that typical 'friend falls for the best friend's girlfriend'. But this is better. And I don't even know why. The places, the talks, everything started being really good after the first few pages. Good thing I didn't stop and decided to drop it.

Billy seemed to be the only person trying to help Lindy while all the others already gave up on her, just like she gave up on herself too. I mean, how can you not love a character like that?! Simply impossible.

At some point, believe it or not, I wasn't even annoyed by Lindy anymore. Not as much as before anyway. I felt sorry for her and understood her actions a little better.

I didn't like Nial and his crew that much. I guess that was because he stood in Billy's way and I didn't want anyone to ruin his chances. Were Nial and his crew really that imporant? Did they have to be included in this book? I don't think so, but whatever... I'll accept it. No other choice for me, is there?

So, after a while I enjoyed this book and understood the story and the idea behind it. I found myself liking it more and more. The thing is, I won't read the others in the series. I am so sorry Jane Lark, but I just don't want to. I hated Jason and I hated Rachel. Not because they made Lindy act the way she did, but they just seemed so false, so fake. Maybe they were intended to be good persons, but I still didn't like them. There's no way I want to find out about their awkward story.

I Need You is a book I had to get used to. It wasn't what I expected, and though I first thought that might be a bad thing, it turned out to be not so bad anymore. Three solid stars, mainly because of Jason and Rachel, and perhaps Lindy because she thought about Jason waaaay to much.