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.

Sideswiped (Off The Map #02) - Lia Riley

Title: Sideswiped (Off The Map #02)
Author: Lia Riley
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGallery and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Love is uncharted territory...

Sometimes in order to find yourself, you need to venture off the map.

Talia and Bran broke all the rules and navigated dark and stormy emotional waters to be together and now that they finally seem to have found their way back to each other, the winds of change threaten to blow their love off course yet again...
Lia Riley kidnapped us. Well, not really, but she made us dive into the story of Talia and Bran again. I really liked the first book in this series, Upside Down (review can be found on my blog, too), and I was relieved when I received an ARC of Sideswiped as well.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to read it before the official publication date, which I am so sorry for. But I read it now, and so let's start with the actual review...

While the first book focused on the basics of a relationship, such as first meeting, first (wrong) impressions and all that stuff, Sideswiped felt more mature to me. To me, it felt like getting to know Bran better and see things from his point of view. A relationship is great as long as you block out the problems, and that's what both characters had to face in this story.

They had a long-distance relationship for a short while and then Talia came back to Bran, but she wasn't allowed to stay with him forever. Her visa lasted for a limited time. In the beginning, only Talia seems worried about what will happen to them and their relationship after that time, but then you get to see how Bran thinks about it, and it may seem to be such a small problem, but it leads to bigger problems and worries and struggles and doubts and, and, and... I think the author captured that perfectly.

It's not all smiling teddy bears and beautiful colored butterflies anymore. It's real life.

Real life also means Talia's former mental situation is still a recent subject. Though I think it got worse comparing Sideswiped to Upside Down. We all knew she wasn't well in the first book, but now... I don't even know how to put it...

If you think it's all about their relationship only, yes of course it focuses on that, but I like hearing the characters talking and thinking about what they want to do with their lives too. All this "rescue the oceans" stuff is impressive, and I secretly wonder if Lia Riley is an expert or if she had to do some serious hard research in order to get all these informations.

At first, I was worried I wouldn't like this book. And yeah, I liked Upside Down better, because who doesn't like the idea of a happily ever after and forever sunny sunshine?! However, it's a very good sequel.

Also, I was surprised by how much I liked Bran's friend/mate/whatever Karma. Talia was so annoyed by him, and maybe that's part of the reason why I liked him. Will he get his own story? Please tell me he will get his own story!

As already mentioned, Lia Riley captured the emotions in this book great. And if you worry her jokes might be missing - they aren't. Her funny way of talking about things is still involved, so there are still lots of parts to laugh about.

If you liked the first book in the series, I suggest you read this one too. I can't add that much more (probably also because I am not that creative). Just read it and see for yourself.

New Point - Olivia Luck

Title: New Point
Author: Olivia Luck
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGallery and Olivia Luck for letting me receive a digital copy before the official release.
Imagine the worst day of your life. Immerse yourself in the details. How did you feel? Who were you with? What were the consequences?

Recalling my darkest day is as simple as typing a few search terms into a web browser. It only took thirty minutes for me to become the center of a media frenzy that caught the attention of an entire country.

So I hid.

Nine months later and I'm getting better. Moved two hours from home, landed my dream job, and met a delicious new guy.

Healing is that simple, right?

Wrong.
New Point focuses on a subject that surprisingly isn't included in a lot of novels. I'd have guessed that guns and shootings in school hook more authors that want to write about that. Honestly, I don't like reading about it (good thing New Point is the second book I read with that topic), because I don't like to think of such terrible things to happen, though they happen way too often, especially in the USA. But let's not talk about the laws there and such things. Let's talk about the book.

I'll admit, knowing the main characters has mental issues, gives me a hard time reading a book. I envy all authors for being able to create such characters. I don't know why I don't like to read about characters like that, but sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with their thoughts. Or maybe it's my wish to help them, put my hands on their shoulders and shake them and scream at the book.

The second Zoe moves to New Point she meets Miles (not right the second she moves, but you know what I mean). You don't get to understand why she moves, you just know it's not because of regular reasons. Miles is her hot neighbour who gets to share his point of view from time to time. I've been looking forward to that all the time. He and Zoe are bounded by a special connection right from the start. Their chemistry doesn't grow, it's constantly there, even when Miles behaves like an ass. Can I say that? It's already said, so whatever.

The only other book I read about a shooting at a school was from a student's point of view. New Point is from Zoe's point of view. She wasn't a student when that guy stepped into elementary school and threatened to kill someone, she worked at the school's libary.

Once I got to the story point where Zoe reflected what happened that day, I realized what a strong character Olivia Luck had invented. Before that, I thought of Zoe as... Not exactly weak, but not that confident either. And when... Argh, I can't write about that. I'd spoil too much and I can't have that.

There's one thing I have to write about critically though. I hope it doesn't give away too many spoilers. It seems too much of a coincidence to tell the kids what they should do in case of an emergency and within and hour, they have to recall what Zoe told them. I think she should have told them sooner, but maybe it's just me...

Olivia Luck is a really talented author. I saw that by the way she thought of small details and ideas she came up with, like Zoe's and Miles' sister's relationship.

By now, I'm not sure if I'll read the sequel. The sequel is about Zoe's brother and his love affair or however you want to put it. The idea of their story doesn't make me want to read it as soon as possible. I'll probably put it on my list and see whether I'm in the mood to read it or not.

Samstag, 20. September 2014

Stupid Girl - Cindy Miles

Title: Stupid Girl
Author: Cindy Miles
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to TKA Distribution and NetGallery for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.

After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course.

A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona.

As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.
It took me ages to write a review. Now, I think it's time to get one done. Finally... And I don't know what to say.

If I say I loved this book and it is one of my favorite reads this year, that's a bit too short, right? Hmm... Well, then let me tell you I am not lying by saying these two things. I really loved this book - it was more than I expected and totally my taste. And yes, it also was one of my favorite reads this year.

Let's start... The prologue. Holy hell. It gave me goose bumps and not the good kind. The book starts like a movie, pulling you into the story at the first page. If you decide to read this book, make sure you have enough time planned, because you won't be able to put it down. You just won't.

I totally fell in love with Olivia's family at page one. So, I really hope Cindy Miles decides to write novels about each one of them. If not, I'll just keep on hoping... Even for a novella. I don't care as long as I get to read more. Because Cindy Miles can write. Wow.

Brax is a fabulous name and you can't not fall for him. He's what female readers are looking for in a book boyfriend. Don't pretend otherwise. We all know the truth.

I loved to read Brax and Olivia's story. Their relationship, their ups and down, everything made perfect sense. Everything was perfect. Simple as that. It rarely happens that I find a book and love it the way it is. Normally, there are one or two things I would want to change. Good thing Stupid Girl is different. I wanna own a physical copy and frame it - it was that beautiful.

So, if you want to read it (and I strongly recommend you do) and find yourself feeling bored, if this book gives you nothing - you have got a heart of stone. I almost cried while reading and that's saying a lot since even Titanic doesn't make me cry.

Thank you Cindy Miles for writing this amazing book. I am sorry if this review isn't much of a help, but my reviews usually aren't, haha. I hope to be reading more of your stuff in the future.

Dienstag, 19. August 2014

This Is Falling - Ginger Scott

Title: This Is Falling
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 4 - 4.5/5

Thanks to Ginger Scott and NetGallery for letting me read this book before the official release.
First, I had to remember how to breathe. Then, I had to learn how to survive. Two years, three months and sixteen days had passed since I was the Rowe Stanton from before, since tragedy stole my youth and my heart went along with it.

When I left for college, I put a thousand miles between my future and my past. I’d made a choice—I was going to cross back to the other side, to live with the living. I just didn’t know how.

And then I met Nate Preeter.

An All-American baseball player, Nate wasn’t supposed to notice a ghost-of-a-girl like me. But he did. He shouldn’t want to know my name. But he did. And when he learned my secret and saw the scars it left behind, he was supposed to run. But he didn’t.

My heart was dead, and I was never supposed to belong to anyone. But Nate Preeter had me feeling, and he made me want to be his. He showed me everything I was missing.

And then he showed me how to fall.
I think every reader can connect with Rowe. I can't even describe why, but all her doubts, etc. - I know that I can perfectly relate to her character. Her character was thought-through and not just written down, come what may. The author had a plan behind that, and you get to know Rowe like you'd want to get to know a friend. A loyal friend, to be exact.

And Nate... It's your own fault if you don't fall for him. Male characters have it so easy, seriously. Tons of girls are swooning after them and all they have to do is to exist inside a book. Some may say his story doesn't get as much attention as Rowe's, but I like the way things are said and unsaid. I wouldn't want Sadie to show up more often and I wouldn't want him to attend to more practice sessions. His side of the story was good the way it was. I didn't feel like anything was missing, neither did I feel that way with Rowe's point of views.

This Is Falling... Was it? Falling, I mean? Definitely, yes. And yet far from it. It was falling, tearing and shattering my heart into pieces. In the most beautiful way, as well. After finishing this book, I was totally confused and didn't know what to do with myself. I am still free falling here, waiting for my parachute to open up, rescuing me before I crash. And I will crash. Because that's what this story does to you. It makes you look forward to that special crash that's going to leave you stunned and breathless.

Very poetic, wasn't I? Tried my best, haha. Anyway... During the book (after the first few pages, to be honest) I was done. I just knew this was about to become one of the greatest reads this year. Even better - 'guilty pleasure'-list, here comes This Is Falling, one of my most favourite books ever. I found myself wishing I had written this book, wishing I was as good as Ginger Scott. The story was brilliant and though a lot of books happen to have a great story, most of them point out difficulties on paper. But not this one. It was very well-written, easy to understand (especially for a non-American like me) and yet you cannot miss Ginger Scott's talent with words. They're chosen wisely. Gah, I adore it. (And the cover is also really pretty!)

That's why I love NetGallery so much. You find book you didn't really had on your list and find yourself getting lost in a beautiful story. So, yeah, I'm really glad I stumbled across this one. I'm glad I am a bookworm and had the pleasure to read This Is Falling before most readers get the chance to. And I know I will buy myself a phsyical copy too. My shelf is practically screaming for it to take a seat.

Another detail I'd like to mention, as soon as I read about Ty, I wanted him to get a book of his own. I wish it was late 2014 already, because that's when his book will come out. I can't wait to read about his life as someone who can't walk, but used to. Of course, I am excited to read more of Ginger Scott's work.

Freitag, 15. August 2014

Upside Down (Off The Map #01) - Lia Riley

Title: Upside Down (Off The Map #01)
Author: Lia Riley
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGallery and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
If You Never Get Lost, You'll Never Be Found

Twenty-one-year-old Natalia Stolfi is saying good-bye to the past-and turning her life upside down with a trip to the land down under. For the next six months, she'll act like a carefree exchange student, not a girl sinking under the weight of painful memories. Everything is going according to plan until she meets a brooding surfer with hypnotic green eyes and the troubling ability to see straight through her act.

Bran Lockhart is having the worst year on record. After the girl of his dreams turned into a nightmare, he moved back home to Melbourne to piece his life together. Yet no amount of disappointment could blind him to the pretty California girl who gets past all his defenses. He's never wanted anyone the way he wants Talia. But when Bran gets a stark reminder of why he stopped believing in love, he and Talia must decide if what they have is once in a lifetime . . . of if they were meant to live a world apart.
I can definitely see why everyone on Twitter is chatting about this book. I was surprised I got accepted to read an advance copy at last. I got it right after the official release. I had totally forgotten about it since I requested it like four weeks before the acception. But I'm glad I got accepted. It's a great book.

It doesn't happen very often that I like both main characters. Either I like the hero or the heorine. With Upside Down I liked both. I liked Bran just as much as I liked Talia, their action totally understanding from my point of view. I was also positive surprised about the way they met. It was so uncommon and yet it fitted into the story. And though Bran is the typical player, he is different from them all. Gosh, I am running out of words. See what you did there Lia? Also, you make me want to travel so damn bad. I loved how you included so many places.

So, how can I describe this book like all these famous authors do. You know, those comments that get printed on the back of a book. Hmm... Saying It was an emotional read that had me struggling with tears isn't offering that many informations, is it? Gah, you reviews - you are seriously messing with my head.

The book shows real life problems and the characters don't seem fictional at all. It's like Lia Riley wrote down the story of two real human beings on this planet. Every little detail in this story made sense, and though it won't become my favourite read (I am very sorry to say that, but you see, I read too many books to choose a favourite), it's on the "that book was awesome" list. I can't wait for the next book in this series to release. I'm excited to read more about Bran and Talia's lives.

I'm sorry for keeping this review so short. I'm pretty uncreative these days.

Samstag, 26. Juli 2014

The Trap (Trapped #0.5) - Beverly Kendall

Title: The Trap (Trapped #0.5)
Author: Beverley Kendall
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGallery and Season Publishing for giving me a chance to read this book.
Looking back, I should have seen it coming.

Paige didn’t like that I went so far away to university. But it was going to only be for two years. She'd join me after she did her two years at community college. I thought we could swing that no problem. We were solid.

But she hated the distance. She hated not seeing me every day. She complained that I didn’t come home enough. She hated that for months on end, texting and phone calls were our only form of communication. It wasn’t enough.

She'd ask about the girls on campus. She’d gotten it into her head that girls were always making a play for me. I laughed and told her even if that were true, I’d never cheat on her. She didn't seem completely reassured by that.

The bottom line is, Paige thought she was losing me. She wanted me home with her. But I could never imagine the level she'd sink to—the trap she’d set to make that happen. And like an idiot I walked right into it.

And it’s a mistake I'm going to have to pay for the rest of my life.
Alright, so I think I’ve never actually read a novella prequel before the original first book. I can’t really say why. Maybe they were never released before the first book. I don’t know. Anyway… I think it’s good to start with The Trap if you want to read Trapped, simply because a lot of things happen in the prequel. I haven’t read Trapped yet, and I was told it can be read as a standalone, but who wants that? You want to understand why the characters interact and react the way they do. Some books have to have a prequel to let the reader see the intention behind their actions.

I want to slap and strangle Paige really bad, I’ve got to admit. I can’t help but think she cheated on … and maybe that’s spoiling, because there definitely is a big secret we’re denied to find out yet, but I hate her for it. I hate her so damn much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally horrible to get pregnant at such young age. You have to be a real tough girl in order to deal with that and I don’t see her being a tough girl. Gah, I really can’t stand her, I’m sorry.

And maybe it’s fate, I’m not sure, but I can’t seem to hate any male characters. It’s not in my nature or whatever. I wanted to cry for Mitch and comfort him. Readers may get the impression that he’s being harsh. Well, please imagine it was you. I bet 99% of us would react the same way. And when you get to read Trapped teasers, it’s pretty clear he isn’t as bad as some might like to think.

So, what more can I say? This was just a prequel, I think I shouldn’t write so much. This book is something I can recommend, if you like these easy reads that reflect friendship and teenage drama. It should be turned into a TV series or something, but then again it's probably already out there somewhere in a different kind of way. Good job, Beverley Kendall! I'm going to go for Trapped next.