Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

36 Questions That Changes My Mind About You - Vicki Grant

Title: 36 Questions That Changes My Mind About You
Author: Vicki Grant
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Running Press for letting me receive this book before its official release date.
Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?

The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from "What is your most terrible memory?" to "When did you last sing to yourself?" By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they've laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They've also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul's sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you've finished reading, you'll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you'll even fall in love.

So first off, I'm going to say that if you're stuck in a bubble of deep young adult reads, this one won't be for you. Of course, the characters struggle with problems, but you don't really get to feel their angst, not like with other novels. This one focuses on the sweetness and it's very light. The writing is very unique, so if you're up for a change, then maybe 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You could actually be a book of your taste.

Granted, I was confused by the way the story started and how the conversations between Hildy and Paul went - conversation style, like theatre plays and Shakespeare tales. But then I grew to like it and looked forward to these chapters instead of when Hildy met with her friends and the writing got back to the usual style. I wasn't interested in reading about her friends, I wanted more of her and Paul. Maybe I'm being mean here, because of course characters have got to have friends and stuff, but their conversations weren't interesting to me in the least. They went on about a topic for pages and pages and yeah, some lines were pretty funny, but the story was all about Hildy and Paul's romance for me.

Paul is a real douche in the beginning. He seems like this typical skater loner dude that's too cool for anyone, but as always, there's more to him than meets the eye and the same goes for Hildy. Right from the start, you know that her family situation isn't the best and appearance is all about the right acting. I didn't understand some things Hildy mentioned in conversations and you'll probably feel the same way, because everything is only revealed at the end, which is a great trick to keep the reader curious and read until the end. Paul's situation is a bit more predictable, he may not speak as much as Hildy but he's like an open book to the reader. You can figure his life situation out, it's not that hard. But maybe that's what's so interesting - beyond the fact that he's a man of few words, he saying so much without even trying to say something between the lines. No clue if the author striked for that, but I'm sure amazed by it, thinking about it just now.

The story itself is very unusual. I mean, two strangers meeting for an experiment in exchange for money (which is Paul's only motivation, really). They have to ask each other these 36 questions that have been given to them and their only task is to answer honestly. Fascinating how many secrets you actually tell a stranger, I think. Well, that goes for Hildy. As mentioned before, Paul's pretty tongue-tied and a douche. Luckily, that changes - he's got 36 questions in order for that to happen. How does anyone even come up with 36 questions? That's a lot. And sometimes, I got the feeling they kind of reappeared in a different shape. But that's okay. And truth be told, I liked the answers the author came up with for her characters. Questions make the characters seem more real. I liked that.

Truth be told, if I was a guy, I'd be annoyed by Hildy. Hell, I was annoyed by her half the time reading 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You. She's blabbering and blabbering, whew. I felt like putting down the book from time to time, only to release a breath and calm down a bit. She's a true piece of art. And I think Paul's her perfect opposite. And that's exactly why I enjoyed this book despite my fear of hating it in the beginning - it's sweet and light and the chemistry between the two characters is beyond cute. They're good for each other, Paul turning out to be something I would have never expected and Hildy being less annoying, too. Oh, and also I'm very glad it will be translated into that many languages. I can't wait to find some German readers to talk about this one.

Sonntag, 24. September 2017

German Review: Stars Over Castle Hill (On Dublin Street #6.6) - Samantha Young

Titel: Stars Over Castle Hill - Schicksalhafte Begegnung (On Dublin Street #6.6)
Autorin: Samantha Young
Bewertung: 3.5 - 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und Ullstein das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Joss and Braden Carmichael sind glücklich verheiratet - doch was wäre, wenn sich die beiden nicht an jenem schicksalhaften Tag vor über zehn Jahren begegnet wären?

Joss Carmichael ist erfolgreiche Autorin und lebt mit ihrem Mann Braden und ihren drei Kindern in der Dublin Street. Als sie gebeten wird, eine „Wäs-wäre-wenn-Geschichte“ über ihr Leben zu schreiben, muss sie sofort an den Tag denken, an dem sie Braden kennengelernt hat. Wo stünde sie jetzt, wenn sie ihn nie getroffen hätte? Das kann sich Joss kaum vorstellen. Sie ist sich sicher, dass es ihr Schicksal war, Braden früher oder später zu treffen. Aber was, wenn sie bei dieser Begegnung schon 30 und nicht erst 21 Jahre alt gewesen wäre? Vielleicht wäre sie selbst reifer gewesen und hätte vor der großen Liebe nicht solche Angst gehabt. Aber was, wenn Braden bereits von der Liebe enttäuscht worden wäre? Hätte er dann auch mit aller Kraft um sie gekämpft? Oder wäre ihre Liebe zum Scheitern verurteilt gewesen?

Mir war nicht bewusst, wie sehr ich diese Reihe vermisse, bevor ich begann, Stars Over Castle Hill zu lesen. Die alternative Geschichte um Joss und Braden macht mich damit nicht unbedingt zu dem größten Fan der beiden Charaktere (ich mag eher Jo, Cam, Olivia, Nate, Grace und Logan), aber dennoch fiel es mir schwer, das "Buch" aus der Hand zu legen. So viele Erinnerungen an die Charaktere wurden wach, so viel Liebe und so viel Schmerz noch einmal verdeutlicht.

Ich finde die Idee an sich, dass Joss als erfolgreiche Schriftstellerin eine alternative Geschichte verfassen soll, großartig. Das ist etwas ganz besonderes und nicht einfach nur ein Nachtrag, weil Samantha Young nicht weiß, wann Schluss ist. Man merkt während des Lesens, wie sehr ihr besonders diese beiden - Joss und Braden - am Herzen liegen, immerhin begann mit ihnen alles und seither begeistert die Reihe Fans auf der ganzen Welt. Anstatt also weiter über die glückliche Familie, die die beiden mittlerweile gegründet haben, zu schreiben, entschied sich die Autorin für einen anderen Weg, einen super kreativen, wie ich finde. Was wäre wenn... Ja, die Frage haben wir uns definitiv alle schon einmal gestellt und ich fand es toll, wie die Autorin mit dem Thema umging.

Kein Fan von Joss und Braden muss befürchten, dass es irgendwo dort draußen ein Universum gibt, in dem die beiden kein Paar sind. Früher oder später hätten sich die Wege der beiden gekreuzt. Ich brauche nicht erwähnen, dass es trotzdem in keiner dieser Dimensionen einfach für sie war, einander zu vertrauen und zu lieben. Gerade das macht es so spannend. Denn auch in Stars Over Castle Hill stehen einige Hürden im Weg, die es gilt, zu bewältigen. Eine großartige alternative Welt wurde da für sie entwickelt, eine, die glaubwürdig und überhaupt nicht unrealistisch erscheint. Ihre Charakterzüge sind genau dieselben, wovor ich etwas Angst hatte, dass es daran eventuell scheitern würde. Tat es aber nicht, seid beruhigt. Joss ist genauso stur wie in On Dublin Street und Braden ist immer noch der Typ zum Anschmachten. Es ist unglaublich, wie Samantha all ihre Charakterzüge beibehält, so als handelte es sich bei ihnen um wirkliche und keine fiktiven Personen. Ich bin begeistert.

Warum also keine volle Punktzahl? Nun, die Begegnung der beiden war mir etwas zu "zufällig" und wie bereits erwähnt bin ich generell kein riesiger Fan der beiden, was meiner Liebe zu der gesamten Reihe aber keinen Abbruch tut. Ich bin glücklich darüber, dass wir einen erneuten Einblick in ihr Leben bekommen haben, finde es schön, zu lesen, wie weit Joss gekommen ist, wie gut sie ihre Ängste überwunden hat. Bradens Reaktion auf die Geschichte, die Joss über sie beide verfasst hat, fand ich überzogen, um ehrlich zu sein. Klar, sie passt zu ihm, sie passt zu den beiden als Paar, aber es war mir zu störrisch. Dennoch empfehle ich dieses Buch aus tiefster Seele, denn Samantha Young ist eine grandiose Autorin und jede Seite, die aus ihrer Feder stammt, beschert einem eine wundervolle Zeit.

Dienstag, 12. September 2017

Fraternize (Players Game #01) - Rachel van Dyken

Title: Fraternize (Players Game #01)
Author: Rachel van Dyken
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Skyscape for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

There are so many five stars ratings for this one so far (it's not even out yet as I write this review) and I'm really glad about that. The thing about Rachel is that I love her. I love her humor, I love her writing style. She's one of my favorite storytellers, but... I usually never agree with her couples in books. And that's the case with Fraternize as well. I didn't like the endgame. Like, at all! Maybe I'm immature like that, because Em's "decision" makes sense, but I just didn't see it. No, no, no.

And so that's why I can't be very fair. That's what made me suffer so much while reading the book. It's great. I mean, the humor is fabulous and so like Rachel. You don't feel like you're reading a 300-something pages novel, but like you're reading about friends and funny dialogues, and it all flashes before your eyes like it's a TV show. It's not even annoying, because it's too good. That doesn't mean the author doesn't take her job serious, because she obviously does. She picks up heavy topics and includes them into her stories, she makes her characters suffer and she also makes the readers fall in love with them. That's real talent there!

I'm not a big fan of cheerleading, probably because it's not that popular in Germany, same as football. But thinking of other stories about cheerleaders, I liked this one much better. Maybe also because Emerson isn't the typical super model, but has got curves. I think we need more of those types of cheerleaders in real life, too. I also liked that Rachel van Dyken's focus wasn't set on rivality between the cheerleaders. There was a scene in which Emerson and Lily clearly hated each other, but we read much more about Emerson's friendship with Kinsey and then of course her love triangle. Miller and Sanchez. If you think one bad boy makes you swoon, then you'll most likely die reading about these two hotties.

Truth be told, during the book, I wasn't sure who to ship her with. Sometimes it was Miller, sometimes it was Grant (that's Sanchez' first name). It all came down to one person I won't name, because it'd give away spoilers, but yeah... As I said before, the endgame wasn't for me. And I hate that. Not because of Rachel, but because of me. It's obvious that guy is a better fit for her, but I still wouldn't accept it. That's why I saw a lack of chemistry, though there wasn't, that's why I saw a cheater, though he wasn't. That's why I saw so many things the way I wanted them to be, even though they were perfect. I don't know what's wrong with me. I remember reading the first two books in her Eagle Elite series and I was exactly the same. And I'm still mad over the endgame, yes. I still have yet to read the other books in that series, because I was too mad to continue. Which is probably why it'll take me years to start reading the second book. But I'm kind of excited about it too. And you know why? Because it's Rachel, damnit! She's a genius.

I absolutely loved the flashbacks. They were one of my favorite parts. Okay, yes, some of them were very short and rushed, but that's perfectly fine with me. I usually hate second chance romances, but the idea of Miller and Emerson while reading the flashbacks really grew on me.

Emerson's dad is suffering from Alzheimer's. Did your shoulders just slack? I saw it! Yes, it's a heavy topic, but I'm so glad Rachel managed to find a way that worked for her. A sad book wouldn't have been the right decision and too much humor isn't a good choice, either. But the mix was great! You still got the impression of the weight Emerson had to carry on her shoulders, but it was nice that there were these two boys who made it a little easier for her. Her life didn't revolve around her father's illness. I wouldn't have wanted that for her. And the scenes with her father really brought tears to my eyes. Especially the last one. I loved that.

I'm very aware that this review isn't as professional as some would like it do be. Is it even still a review? I have no idea. I could talk about Fraternize for hours, but there's a risk of telling spoiles, which is why I'll quit now (if you want to know who Emerson ended up with by the end of the book, just read the blurb for Infraction, the second book). One more thing: I want Jax' book now! Seriously... Even if I have no clue about book number two and my feelings toward the couple in there - I need more of Jax in my life. The hints about what his character might be like made me curious to find out more about him. If you love sports romances, funny dialogues, awesome friendships and Rachel van Dyken, go and pick this one up!

Sonntag, 10. September 2017

Something In The Way (Something In The Way #01) - Jessica Hawkins

Title: Something In The Way (Something In The Way #01)
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Weapenry Cooperative for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents' house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn't be broken...no matter how hard we tried.

I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights--I would wait. But I'd learn that life isn't always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn't matter. My older sister saw him next.

I loved this book. How's that for a review? Four simple words. Alright, I'll go into detail, haha.

While searching for book two, I've come around a very negative review written in German. I can safely say that I don't understand the reader's motives for rating the book the way he/she did at all. "Naive characters. I wasted my money on this one." I can't agree, sorry. Sure enough, Lake isn't the most mature female character you've ever come across, but... She's only sixteen. Can you really blame the author for creating a believable heorine? And Manning's parts... There are way too few to judge him as naive. He's anything but that. I could feel his struggle while reading his point of views. He's been through so much and I can't wait to find out more about his life before he ever met Lake and her sister Tiffany.

Well, yeah... Tiffany. I'm part of Jessica Hawkins' group on Facebook and laughed so hard when somebody described Tiffany's character as a bitch. That sums it up. And oddly enough, Lake still adores her, because she's her big sister. Maybe it's because I'm an only child, but I didn't quite get that part. Tiffany has said some awful things to her, but she's still running back to her. Truth be told, Lake sometimes just said what's on her mind as well and should have thought a little harder before 'slamming her sister in the face like that.' I loved how Manning handled these situations when he was with them. Such a protector. All female readers are swooning over him, I can tell.

Also, yes, Lake might appear like the typical teenage girl you read about often - daddy's little girl who wants to make him proud and doesn't even care about her own dreams in return because it'd make her feel horrible. But for Lake's character, that background story fit so well. I can't say I liked it, because of course it gets you mad to think a parent would hold their child up, instead of encouraging it to follow his/her dreams. So I never looked forward to these scenes, but they were necessary. At least Lake's mom wasn't like that, though she didn't speak up, either. Tiffany seemed to be the only rebel, though her motives are highly doubtful. But at least she didn't let anyone tell her what to do, so that's a good thing, right?!

Usually, I've come to dislike reading about summer camps, but gah, I was so excited to read about Lake's experience for that summer, hoping something between Manning and her would happen. The author did a really good job of creating a story that you don't want to put down. Eventually, I had to when my phone's battery was dead, but the whole time, I kept thinking, "I really want to continue reading. Charge already!" It was just so damn good!

I'm a sucker for books like this one. And I mean exactly like this one. The plot was amazing, I loved the story idea (simply because I have written a very similiar story like this one, too) and though I hated that it ended with a cliffhanger (but I still loved it, secretly) and I thought Manning's story toward the end was too brutal (no blood, don't worry), I enjoyed every second reading Something In The Way. I can't wait to read the sequel Somebody Else's Sky and the third book as well. There are so many things we need to find out about - will Lake still follow her father's footsteps or will she make a decision of her own? What about Tiffany? What about Manning? What about just everything, basically? I need book number two right now. Somebody give it to me!

Freitag, 25. August 2017

Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #01) - K.R. Grace

Title: Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #01)
Author: K.R. Grace
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Buoni Amici Press, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.

Then comes the bet.

If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.

The glitch?

They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend?

The truth is in the pages.

In the beginning, I had a hard time finding myself getting into the book. It started off as something else than I expected and I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not. Then, as I continued, I enjoyed the story and the main character Macey - a nerdy high school student you'll find yourself relating to. And her male best friend Cam had some swoon-worthy scenes, too.

Please don't get fooled by the title, though. Sure enough, there's a reason why the book is called Her Book Boyfriend, but to be honest, there wasn't a lot of book nerdy references or whatever else I'd hoped for. There's a quote in the end, saying Macey finally got her book boyfriend, but I didn't feel that at all. Macey's obsessed with an author and thinks she's got the recipe to catch herself the perfect boyfriend for prom. So she makes a list, thinking if she goes through all these types of guys, eventually she'll land herself something like the fantasy book boyfriend.

By the end of the book, I didn't realise how many guys there were until she counted them all. It's funny how if she had been described as a mean girl, the reader probably would have had the impression she was a slut, but since she was always a cutie, you won't get mad over it. Toward the end, I had some problems with how she finally realized none of these guys were it for her, but well... I wouldn't have had seen another option for it either.

I liked the part when Macey decided to go for the other sex. That was beyond hilarious and just the kind of scene light and easy romance novels like this one need. That's what makes them so special - always a good laughter. And unlike many other female main characters, she got along great with children. The friendship between her and Winter - Cam's younger sister - was adorable.

Speaking of Cam, I wonder what happened to his family situation after the book ended. I am curious to find out, but on the other hand I don't want to pick up the sequel, Her Hollywood Boyfriend, because I am not a fan of band romances at all, especially the teen kind. Thinking about Cam now, I think the title of the book might be justified. Reading about his change of heart makes sense for the title to be Her Book Boyfriend, I guess.

Despite my usual hatred for most friend characters, there wasn't a single one that I disliked with this novel. The amount of dialogues are fine and the reader gets the impression that they'd all have each others backs if it was to decide. And then there is Wen, a cute girl who never talks. Granted, it's predictable thinking of when she'll eventually start talking, but I still kind of liked her. The gestures described were so much fun.

Also this mind sound superficial, but I love the cover. It's simple, yet something I'd want to be seen on my real-life shelf. And the writing was great! Every so often I want to read a book like this one but can't get along with the author's voice. If I find another novel by K.R. Grace with a description that makes me think I could enjoy the book, I'll definitely read it!

So, if you're looking for a sweet, light romance with a nerdy YA heroine and a predictable, yet super fun plot, you might think about picking up Her Book Boyfriend.

Dienstag, 15. August 2017

Escape - Jessica Ashe

Title: Escape
Author: Jessica Ashe
Rating: 2.5/5
I had to lose my V-plates at some point; it might as well be with Caiden Ramsden.

Just one night. No dating, no dinner, no small talk. Just sex, and lots of it. Caiden was a cocky, arrogant jerk, who knew his ripped, tattooed muscles drove women crazy. In other words, he was exactly the type of bad boy I should stay well away from.

I’m a high-achieving student on my way to the University of Cambridge; I’m not supposed to “do” anyone, let alone an arsehole like Caiden.

At least I never had to see him again. Or so I thought.

Now Caiden’s sitting in my living room with a big announcement. He’s my new stepbrother, and he’s here to make my summer a living hell.

Our one night together was better than I liked to admit. I knew I’d end up in bed with him again soon. What I didn’t know was that he would turn my world upside down in the process.
This is the first time in quite a while that I've decided to write a review for the sake of it and not because I've been granted an ARC through any network. But I think this book deserves it and so here it goes...

There was a phase when I enjoyed reading about step-brother romances a lot. They used to be one of my favourite kinds of books. These days, I feel like the stories repeat themselves, simply because yeah... There are only so many options you have with this topic. Anyway. Escape started off totally differently from any of the other step-brother romances I've read in the past. The two characters already had their interaction and we only get to read about flashbacks to that one particular night. Back then, they didn't know what their parents had in mind. They didn't even know their parents knew each other. So it all comes down as a shock when Caiden's mom and Victoria's dad announce their engagement.

This story had a lot of potential. Like, really. A LOT! But honestly, the flashbacks were way sexier than when the two characters were drawn to each other again. I liked their fights and Caiden seemed like another swoon-worthy bad boy. Until he didn't. I never understood his change of heart toward the end of the book. It didn't fit his character. No change was described, it just suddenly happened and I didn't feel it. Same with Victoria, a posh English girl. Where did all her shyness go? Clearly, just because you have sex with a bad boy, doesn't mean you're suddenly someone else entierely.

And then there was Victoria's background story. That was a surprise. I kind of liked the twist, but she got over the news so fast. I couldn't believe it. "Oh, what? It's not like I thought. Well, I'll cry for a second and then forget about it." That's what it felt like to me. I hated her then. I really did. And any emotions towards the characters is good emotion, right? It connects you with the book. At that point, I wante dto disconnect, though. I liked 60% of it and then I didn't anymore. And I got sad over that. Caiden didn't even have a background story. I didn't mind that that much, though. He was a good enough bad boy, no need to dig for any history that isn't there.

Reading about cooking is another thing I never enjoy. So, it's not the author's fault, but whenever I got to a scene in which Victoria talked about cooking, was in love with cooking or prepared something, I'd yawn. I mean, it's good the girl got a hobby. Way too few shy girls in romance novels got a real hobby. All they ever do is obsess over their love interest, so Victoria was a nice change to that. But I'd have wanted something else for her.

I pointed out a lot of things that I didn't like, but overall, I would still recommend this book to certain groups of readers, because the writing was very, very good. If you love surprising plot twists, hot alpha males and are interested in reading about an American guy and an English girl (the chapters are written in American and British English, which was fun!), this one should be on your list.

Montag, 14. August 2017

The Rules of Persuasion - Amity Hope

Title: The Rules of Persuasion
Author: Amity Hope
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
1) Take things slow (her rule)

2) Make it believable (his rule)


After tragedy hit her family, Meg Matthews officially crossed the line from “good girl” to “bad girl.” Motorcycle? Check. Graffiti? Check. The only thing Meg hadn’t planned on was blackmail. Too bad now a certain infuriating boy holds Meg’s future in his hands…

When Luke Prescott—star pitcher and town golden boy—catches Meg vandalizing the school, she’s given two choices: face the consequences or enter into a fake relationship with him to get his parents and his ex off his back.

But as Meg and Luke grow closer, they both realize they’ve been keeping secrets from each other. Their fake relationship might be doomed from the start—if they can’t learn to open up to the one person they never thought they’d trust.

The thing about different opinions is that you'll never understand the others'. I read some not very nice words about this novel and after finishing it, I can safely say that I don't agree in the least and I just don't understand how anyone can give this book only two stars. But then again, I don't have to understand. Opinions are different and that's a good thing (you just have to convince yourself of that).

Anyway... I always wanted to read Ditched by Amity Hope and never really found the time to do so. When I saw that The Rules of Persuasion was also written by her, I immediately took the chance and requested it on NetGalley. I am so glad I got accepted and was able to read this one before its official release. Now I know for sure that I'll be diving into Ditched the second I find the time to, because Amity Hope's writing style is fabulous! This novel was exactly the kind of sweet and light romance that I love from a publisher like Entangled.

The characters were super cute. Surprisingly, I even liked Meg and I sometimes have a hard time understanding the female main character's motives, but I liked Meg right from page one. And when we got to Luke's point of view, it was a done deal. The story itself isn't a new one. We all know there are a lot of novels out there that deal with fake relationships, but most of them are now being new adult reads, so I enjoyed something a little lighter. And though I always say light, light, light, there's also some depth to it. Like, Meg is dealing with a lot of pain and Luke's just.. Yeah, alright, he's dealing with rich kid problems, but you still feel sorry for him.

I thought their chemistry was great and I liked the balance between their scenes and the scenes with their friends or parents, because reading about them the whole time would have bored some readers (not me, but still...). Whenever we got to read about Luke's parents, I wanted to crawl into my phone and punch them, or grab them by the shoulders and shake them at least. Gosh, they were so frustrating. I'm glad Luke wasn't one of these characters that bought whatever they said but mostly stood his ground. And then there was Luke's ex-girlfriend who was too annoying to find any words. But she kept the story alive at some point, so I can't complain about her too much.

Another refreshing thing was that neither of them got into a fight with their best friends. Oh, I didn't realize how much I missed that harmony until I read this book. What is it with fights between best friends? I can see there has to be some kind of conflict for the plot to be exciting, but The Rules of Persuasion managed without it just fine.

Meg's reason for doing what she did was very sweet, too. I'd be lying if I said I haven't shed a tear when she confessed her story to Luke. It makes me sort of mad reading how some think there's no real developement of the characters, because that background story right there says otherwise. Luke might not deal with as heavy problems as Meg, but that's not even necessary. That's why they fit together so perfectly.

I liked this book a lot and it was even better than I expected - the perfect kind of summer romance for young adult readers.