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.

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.