Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2017

Hold My Breath - Ginger Scott

Title: Hold My Breath
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Captured Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.

I would know.

They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger brother Evan be the one to shine.

Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.

The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.

My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.

And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.

In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.

Getting into a new novel by Ginger Scott goes like this: She announces a new book on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using a hot photo model as the cover person, preferably posting an edited picture of a quote from that book already. Then, you get excited and find out about the release day, you count down the days until it‘s out, but in the meantime, Ginger teases you with more graphics, more sneak peaks and comments like: „You‘ll fall in love with * insert name here *.“ And when it‘s finally released, you either read it as fast as you can, because you can‘t put it down, or you force yourself to read as slowly as possible in order to cherish every written word, every tiny scene between the two characters. I‘m type B of these two, because how else would I survive waiting for yet another book by Ginger Scott? The wait is almost unbearable.

But… I am not putting any pressure on her with that last sentence I just wrote. I am very stunned by how fast this woman manages to throw books our way, being a mom and a wife. That‘s really impressive.

So, back to the book. Hold My Breath is a bit different from the other books I have read by Ginger. I think that‘s mainly because the characters are bit a older than usual. That being said, I feared I might not like the characters or the book itself as much as I wanted to. But in the end, that doubt evaporated. Luckily. Will and Maddy‘s profession is a different one as well – they are both swimmers. Oh, I love that Ginger decided to write about those. All the abs, whew! Sports romances aren‘t usually my thing. If it had been another author, I‘m not sure the writing and the story would have been as good as it was here. But that‘s the author for you – able to write about anything and everything, always finding the right voice to do so.

This could be a TV show. I could totally see it becoming one. The drama, the feelings, the story… Everything is made for that. And then it‘s not. It‘s the kind of book you want to keep for yourself, the one you want to re-read if you feel lonely or in need of a good book. Ginger‘s books are all like that. They feel too precious to be made into something that could never fully capture the emotions you felt while reading them.

I liked Will far more than I liked Maddy. But that‘s handsome and loving male characters – I can‘t resist them. What I did like, though, was that they both kind of depended n each other. It wasn‘t just Will helping Maddy finding herself, but he grew as a person because of her too. I think these parts are always important. I don‘t like it when it‘s just a one-way street and the other characters stays the same through every line.

The quotes were amazing in this one. Whenever Will opened his mouth, you just knew he‘d make you swoon. And Maddy was a tough one, not the easiest to get along with, but a true soul. They made sense together, they belonged togeher. It was obvious right from the start to the reader and I‘m glad the author didn‘t try to force her characters to get together with anybody else. That‘d have been unnecessary drama.

With each book she writes, her characters seem more grown-up and more mature. They don‘t waste their time on the small things, but manage to cope with the big things, the massive rock-sized things in their life. I like to believe that readers will be able to survive a hard time by reading a Ginger Scott book. Her novels always contain important topics, so I like to believe she makes a difference in somebody‘s life. That sounds so over the top, but I‘m being serious.

This is just another masterpiece by her. If you haven‘t read any book of hers yet, I suggest you might start with this one, since it‘s brilliant and newer than the rest. If you‘ve already read her other books, what‘s stopping you from picking up Hold My Breath?

German Review: Begin Again (Begin #01) - Mona Kasten

Titel: Begin Again (Begin #01)
Autor: Mona Kasten
Bewertung: 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und Bastei Lübbe für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Neuer Name, neue Frisur, neue Stadt: Hunderte Meilen von ihrer dunklen Vergangenheit entfernt will die junge Studentin Allie Harper noch einmal ganz von vorne beginnen. Alles, was ihr für den Neuanfang noch fehlt, ist ein WG-Zimmer. Als sie auf den unverschämt attraktiven Kaden White trifft, ist ihr klar: Dieser Kerl mit seinen Tattoos und der mürrischen Art ist so ziemlich der Letzte, mit dem sie sich eine Wohnung teilen will. Doch als alle Stricke reißen, bleibt Allie keine andere Wahl. Kaden, der eigentlich auf keinen Fall eine weibliche Mitbewohnerin haben wollte, stellt sofort Regeln fürs Zusammenleben auf: keine Gefühlsduselei und schon gar keinen Körperkontakt! Zunächst kein Problem, doch mit der Zeit kommen sich die beiden näher – und irgendwann weiß Allie nicht mehr, ob sie seine Regeln noch einhalten kann...

Es kommt selten genug vor, dass deutsche Autoren sich an das New Adult Genre trauen, und wenn, dann sind es meist nur abgekupferte Geschichten, die man schon etliche Male gelesen hat. Gut, Allie und Kadens Geschichte, bzw. ihre Umstände, wie sie einandner kennenlernen, ist auch nicht unbedingt etwas, das man noch nie zuvor gelesen hat, aber sie hat Charme und Witz. Auch etwas, das in vielen anderen Büchern fehlt.

Mein Lieblingscharakter wird Allie definitiv nicht werden. Es ist nicht wirklich etwas, das ich näher beschreiben kann, aber weibliche Heldinnen neigen dazu, mich zu nerven. Der Vorteil an Allie war, dass sie nicht eines der schüchternen Mädchen war, von denen es zu viel in diesem Genre gibt. Sie war tough und eigenständig, oder zumindest versuchte sie es zu sein. Das hat mir wiederum gefallen.

Und unter uns: Wer Kaden nicht verfällt, dem ist nicht mehr zu helfen. Seine mürrische Art ging einem teilweise auf den Senkel, aber so sind Typen doch, oder?! Man könnte sie gerne mal erschlagen und im nächsten Moment will man sie doch wieder nur an sich drücken. Genau so war es mit Kaden. Die Art, wie er sich um Allie kümmerte, war herzzerreißend und unglaublich süß. Wir brauchen unbedingt mehr Kadens auf dieser Welt. Jemand sollte eine Petition starten.

Das Katz- und Mausspiel der beiden war nicht das typische im eigentlich Sinne. Ihre Szenen sind gut durchdacht und alle notwendig für die Geschichte. Beide Charaktere entwickeln sich miteinander weiter und wachsen dadurch auch zusammen. Am Ende fragt man sich, wie die beiden es je ohne einander auf die Reihe bekommen sollten. Sie sind einfach perfekt füreinander. Wobei mir die letzten Kapitel nicht mehr so gut gefallen haben, wie der Rest des Buches. Aber Pluspunkte gibt es für die Katze, die nach Spiderman benannt wurde. Oh, ich liebe es, wenn mein Nerd-Herz etwas zu futtern bekommt. Das hat Begin Again mehr als einmal geschafft.

Ein weiteres dickes YAY! an Mona Kasten, gibt es für die Playlist. Wer Busted hört, kann bei mir gar nichts falsch machen. Das nur als Randnotiz. :)

Ich bin schon wahnsinnig gespannt auf Spencers und Dawns Geschichte. Besonders Spencer hat sich während Begin Again in mein Herz geschlichen. Man muss diesen Kerl einfach mögen. Er mauserte sich zu meinem Lieblingscharakter, ohne einer der beiden Hauptpersonen zu sein. Aber so ist das mit Nebencharakteren – man mag sie häufig beinahe mehr als alle anderen, denn sie sind so interessant und mysteriös. Ich bekomme schon eine Gänsehaut, wenn ich daran denke, bald Trust Again in den Händen zu halten.

Zugegeben, meine Rezension hat vielleicht nicht immer den richtigen Ton getroffen, aber meine Bewertung dieses Buches spricht hoffentlich für sich. Ich fand Begin Again super gelungen, toll geschrieben und war sehr glücklich, wie viele tolle Elemente (Gespräche, Insider, Witze, Nerd-Anekdoten) eingebaut wurden. Ich bin gespannt auf mehr!

Mittwoch, 30. November 2016

A Promise Kept - Anissa Garcia

Title: A Promise Kept
Author: Anissa Garcia
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and AG Romance Reads, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Closing her heart a long time ago, Grace Clark made a promise she’s vowed to keep. Having Hollywood heartthrob Evan Matthews move in next door with his alluring good looks, charisma, wit, and sexy smile is a temptation that runs the risk of compromising the importance of that promise.

Evan is drawn to his new neighbor. Grace is the exact opposite of the women he normally encounters. Enticing, down-to-earth, and confident, she captivates him. She has no problems facing off with Evan, and he soon realizes Grace is much more than just a challenge. He wants to prove himself to her.

Grace can see the man beyond the actor, and with more than just her pride at stake, she needs to hold tight to her promise before Evan breaks through all her walls, exposing her heart.

I've never been a big fan of books that include celebrities as main characters. Of course, now you're thinking, "Why did she decide to request this one then?" It's more about the story line that had me hooked. And I don't regret requesting A Promise Kept at all, because fortunately, Evan being an actor wasn't the main part of the story. Not everything revolved around that. It's a topic, yes, but there's more to it than his job.

I think all girls will be able to relate to Grace. At least a little bit. Or a bit more. She's a writer, which makes it so hard to hate her (though there is absolutely no reason for that anyway) and has got some insecurities like the rest of us. She's one of these real characters. You kind of get the impression the written story is based on somebody's real life, like someone told Anissa Garcia her story and she decided to write it down. I was impressed with that, because I completely forgot this was fiction. There's this one special event in her life, or let's say there are two special events in her life, that made a deep impact on her. For the worse, I mean. She still can't get over these two things that happened in her life, even after all these years.

And then there is Evan, her new neigbor, who challanges everything she ever believed in or promised, for that matter. Right from the start, his intentions with her are pretty clear. He doesn't even care about hiding his feelings for her and is one of the most patient guys I have ever read about. He's too sweet to be real (well, duh, he is fictional). He suspects there must be more to Grace than she reveals and is curious to find out all about her. The chemistry between these two is unbelievable. Well done, Anissa Garcia!

Also, you won't get tired of reading about Evan's and Grace's friends. They are all so hilarious and if they'll ever get their own voices, I will definitely most likely read them.

A Promise Kept is a story for the heart, whether you want a book that breaks it or mends it. Doesn't matter. Both things will happen, I can tell you that much. You'll feel sorry for Grace, you'll want her to make out with Evan already, you'll want to kiss Evan yourself and you will want to slap him (oh, how I wanted to slap him because he couldn't see what he did wrong in a certain situation). These two characters fit with each other so perfectly, it's hard to see straight from all the chemistry between them.

Donnerstag, 24. November 2016

The Hard Count - Ginger Scott

Title: The Hard Count
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to Ginger Scott for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Nico Medina’s world is eleven miles away from mine. During the day, it’s a place where doors are open—where homes are lived in, and neighbors love. But when the sun sets, it becomes a place where young boys are afraid, where eyes watch from idling cars that hide in the shadows and wicked smoke flows from pipes.

West End is the kind of place that people survive. It buries them—one at a time, one way or another. And when Nico was a little boy, his mom always told him to run.

I’m Reagan Prescott—coach’s daughter, sister to the prodigal son, daughter in the perfect family.
Life on top.
Lies.
My world is the ugly one. Private school politics and one of the best high school football programs in the country can break even the toughest souls. Our darkness plays out in whispers and rumors, and money and status trump all. I would know—I’ve watched it kill my family slowly, strangling us for years.

In our twisted world, a boy from West End is the only shining light.
Quarterback.
Hero.
Heart.
Good.
I hated him before I needed him.
I fell for him fast.
I loved him when it was almost too late.

When two ugly worlds collide, even the strongest fall. But my world…it hasn’t met the boy from West End.
Ginger Scott is a genius. That sums it up. Enough words. My review ends here.

She's one of the best authors out there. I wish I had any physical copy of hers on my shelf, but unfortunately, I only read her books as eBooks. Shame on me, right?! There are stories that need to be on your shelf, and Ginger happens to write these stories for me. Her characters are always so complex, so real. I never once felt like they couldn't exist in real life, too. They're like friends. Or at least let me say they don't feel like strangers to you when you're reading the books.

Same goes for Nico and Reagan. I can't say they're my favourite characters Ginger created, but this story needs to be read. It's different from her previous books (the ones I have read) and yet you will recognize her voice anywhere. While her other books belong into the new adult genre, this one focuses on young adult. And I loved that. Ginger's voice fits so perfectly into that genre - for these deep, life-changing young adult books you long for. Her characters always go through a development that works for new adult, yes, perfectly, of course... But it's incredibly amazing for young adult books. Their change as a person is so important and I am glad there are authors that manage to find the right words, the right pace. Ta-dah: Ginger Scott.

This is actually a secret love letter to the author, if you can't tell already, haha. It's weird - the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to write a review. One that makes sense, that is.

I know adults that aren't behaving as adult-ish as Nico and Reagan did in the book. And that made them seem real to me, as well, because these days, young teens carry around so many burdens on their shoulders, you quickly find yourself judging them (or being judged) without really knowing them. Both of their stories couldn't be more different from one another, but none of them is less important than the other one.

I can say it out loud now - I wish I was more like Reagan. She seemed like such a strong, independent woman, especially when she and Nico fought in class. I loved reading about those "discussions". There was a smile tugging at my lips. So many scenes caused me to smile and others caused me to silently cry. I shouldn't be surprised. Tears are always predictable when it comes to Ginger's books - no matter if they are happy tears or sad ones.

What's different from her other books is also the point of view. It's mainly written in Reagan's point of view, but every once in a while, you get to read about Nico's past in his point of view. I was excited about reading these chapters. I craved them. I wanted to get inside Nico's head, I assumed it'd be so important to understand him, get a good view on his thoughts. Of all the guys Ginger Scott has created so far, I think Nico might be my favourite. I didn't always understand his motives, but I really, really, really loved the way he treated Reagan and was there for her, though Reagan wanted to be the one for him. Tell me, why did I say they weren't my favourite characters earlier in this review? I can't remember why I thought that. But it's just too hard to choose, so I'd rather not.

Freitag, 18. November 2016

The Two-Night One-Night Stand - Ryan Ringbloom

Title: Two-Night One-Night Stand
Author: Ryan Ringbloom
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
A girl. A guy. And a talking peen.

Holly Martin isn't the type to have a one-night stand. But a crushing break up, a sexy blind date, and a few shots of Fireball is about to change all that.

Matthew Daniels is an introverted PA who claims he’s too busy to date. But that doesn’t stop his older brothers from encouraging him to let loose and get out there, because as they put it - the right girl won’t just walk up to you.

But what if she does?

Is it possible for a one-night stand that happens twice, to actually become more? Could two nights of reckless debauchery actually lead to true love? Or is this just another case of a whisky induced disaster?

Normally, I refuse to read books that include adult characters with a job. I am more of a young adult or new adult reader, porbably because of my age. However, Two-Night One-Night Stand was rated as new adult, which is why I requested it in the first place. And wow, I am so glad it was rated that way or else I would have missed a damn good novel.

It's one of the funniest books I have ever written. The author did an amazing job at that. Some jokes were obvious, others weren't and you had to think twice, which was fun. The illustrations at the beginning of each chapter did their job just fine... They were hilarious and made you laugh out loud. I adored these!

Back to the original story... Holly is supposed to be matched up with one of her friend's brother at a bar. Until he shows up, she decides to get a couple of drinks. And when he finally shows up, she's more loosened up than in a while. Only the guy she talks to isn't the one she thinks he is and the guy - Matthew - doesn't bother explaining the situation. Instead, he lets Holly think she's Nick - the guy she's supposed to meet. That leads to a lot of drama, a lot of problems, a lot of hilarious scenes and more than once you'll want to slap both characters.

Oh, I wanted to beat Holly up. Like, real bad. She wasn't my most favourite character in the beginning of the book and after a while she was just plain annoying. While Matthew was such a cutie, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him though he made a mistake in the first place. But compared to Holly's 24/7 complaining about everything, telling herself she is a bitch (I couldn't agree more, by the way!) and then seeing herself as a victim again (and going around in circles forever), he was the better character. And even though I am the one complaining about Holly now, I wouldn't have wanted her to be any different or else I might have not liked the novel as much as I did.

To be honest, the plot left me hanging around the end of the book. I didn't like the scenes or the settings as much as in the beginning, but that's probably because it got more serious and the characters wouldn't have appeared that way cranking one joke after another.

All in all, I enjoyed the story so much. The idea was fabulous and the written thing was a lot better than other, similar books. After reading a lot of emotional and dramatic novels, this was something refreshing that I can definitely recommend to anyone looking for a little fun with still enough romance included.

Mittwoch, 9. November 2016

Once Confronted - Lynne Stringer

Title: Once Confronted
Author: Lynne Stringer
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Rhiza Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
After a normal day turns disastrous, Madison Craig tries to put her life back together. She’s jumping at shadows and finds even familiar places terrifying. Can she forgive the men who hurt her? Her friend Evan Mansfield sees no need to do anything but hate their assailants. He struggles with bitterness, but Maddy wants to move on. What will she do when one of the men asks for forgiveness?

The first chapter promised something big. I hoped the book would be something deep and poetic, a story to keep in mind forever. And the writing was good at first, but soon enough the main character - Maddy - annoyed me. I probably shouldn't say that, considering the things she has been through when that one thing happened, but I can't help it. Her life was rushed after that, the author described it really fast. I can see why, there isn't a lot to tell in between, but still...

And what the author did to Evan, her co-worker and the guy who's been through the same as Maddy and was there when she was... I was shocked. I couldn't believe how he turned out. He wouldn't deal what had happened to both of them. I wanted him to stay the cute guy that Maddy crushed on. I wanted them to be the perfect couple. Of course, that would have been boring and too predictable. Maybe it wouldn't have fitted the story either, I don't know. To be honest, his change wasn't even that unrealistic. I can see the author really thought about the story and researched and all that stuff. It was well thought-through, but just not my favourite plot ever.

Luckily, there was Jeremy who saved the story for me. A bit. In the beginning of the story, you won't think you'll ever grow to like him, believe me. But then Maddy decides to take a big step ahead, to find some kind of closure for herself after everything that happened and that still haunts her. She wants to draw a line and that's when Jeremy steps into the picture. So, while Evan changed for worse, Jeremy changed for the better. I liked that change far better than the first I spoke about. I would have loved to read more of him, though we get to read plenty (more than of Evan, that's for sure).

It was really dramatic, which makes sense since the book deals with a dramatic topic. If you want to read about unicorns and rainbows, I suggest you don't pick Once Confroted up. It won't be for you. I am not even sure if it was for me. That's why my rating is a low one. I feel pretty bad about that, but as always, I can guarantee it wasn't a bad book. I just wasn't my kind of book and I would have dealt with some things different than the main character or the author herself did.

Donnerstag, 27. Oktober 2016

The Summer Before Forever - Melissa Chambers

Title: The Summer Before Forever
Author: Melissa Chambers
Rating: 4 - 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Chloe Stone’s life is a hot mess. Determined to stop being so freaking skittish, she packs up her quasi-famous best friend and heads to Florida. The goal? Complete the summer bucket list to end all bucket lists. The problem? Her hot soon-to-be stepbrother, Landon Jacobs.

Landon’s mom will throttle him if he even looks at his future stepsister the wrong way. Problem is, Chloe is everything he didn’t know he wanted, and that’s…inconvenient. Watching her tear it up on a karaoke stage, stand up to his asshole friend, and rock her first string bikini destroys his sanity.

But there’s more than their future family on the line. Landon is hiding something—something he knows will change how she feels about him—and she’s hiding something from him, too. And when the secrets come out, there’s a good chance neither will look at the other the same way again...

I'll admit, I took my time to start reading this book. I have no idea why. Maybe its length intimidated me. I was busy, I knew I couldn't read it fast and sometimes, I just happen to like quick reads better than thick books. But... When I finally decided to read it, I couldn't put it down and so I was done pretty fast, too. What a shame, because The Summer Before Forever is definitely one of my favourite books this year. It's everything you want for a young adult book.

Of course, it's no big surprise you'll fall in love with Chloe and Landon if you're already a fan of stepbrother/stepsister romance. Do we even know what's so fascinating about it? There's just something about these kind of romances that's thrilling. At least in books. Not sure what I'd think of it in real life. But real life is hardly ever as beautiful as books or it's hard to look at it that way. Written words can be much more powerful than what you see with the eye, so maybe all love stories have its charm because of that.

There are a lot of young adult books that try too hard, some focus on the wrong things, some are too light. While light YA books can be enjoyable, I think they desperately need a depth too. Or maybe it depends on the reader's mood. The topics in The Summer Before Forever aren't too dramatic, it's nothing the reader won't be able to deal with. I can't stop gushing about this book since I loved it so much. And whenever that happens, it's so hard finding the right words to describe it, to tell what it's about without sounding too childish. I'm always afraid to give away any spoilers, so I hardly ever discuss the characters themselves. The temptation of revealing too much is very strong.

What I can tell is that Chloe and Landon are some of the cutest characters I have ever read about. I especially loved a certain music scene you'll grow to love too. I smiled so much during that scene. The two made me smile so much in general. Also, I wasn't as annoyed with Chloe's best friend as I usually am with the heorine's friend. Her being part of a talent show on TV was also something different. Can't say I'm a fan of those in real life and enjoy reading about these, but luckily, the focus is on Chloe. And Landon. Don't forget Landon.

He's like this super character. He's definitely not bad boy, but he isn't exactly a nerd either. And yes, that works. He's something in between, just a regular nice guy. And boy, that doesn't happen too often, right?! Most of the time, the guy is either super bad, screwing his way around town, campus or whatever, or he's a nerd who might have had a girlfriend in the past but is super shy now, rather drawing comics or playing video games. Since it's so hard to find these regular nice guys in real life, it might explain why we're not reading about these guys in books more often. But we need those! I need more Landons in books. All you authors out there - read The Summer Before Forever and create a guy like him. Teenage girls need to read about them all, not just the bad boys (though they are described quite yummy too).

Also, I thought the relationship between Chloe and her dad was rather interesting. It's not the first time a girl and her dad don't really get along, but I liked the way the author dealt with it. Their story was present, but not too much, not dragged or anything like that. It made sense. It made me sad... Some things aren't just always sunny, right?

So, coming to think of it, there are tons of reasons I loved this book that I can't name. If this review hasn't made you curious about it by now, I am sorry. I can guarantee that it's one of my favourite young adult books this year. The writing is so good, so realistic. The story isn't unusual and yet it felt so different from everything else out there. I think an author needs to be really talented in order to achieve that.