Montag, 22. Oktober 2012

Speechless - Hannah Harrington

Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to Harlequin(TEEN) via Netgallery for giving me the chance to read this book before the official publication.

Chelsea Knot is blubbering secrets out like it's the latest fashion. But then someone nearly gets killed by telling a secret and she realises, something has to change. Silence - that is the solution. She vows to not speak and keeps her mouth shut. She won't speak, even when people start being mean. She wants people to forgive her, but can and will she really forgive herself?

I had the chance to read this before the official publication date. Unfortunately, I had some big family problems, so I read it after the publication. I am still very thankful for HarlequinTEEN for giving me the chance to read this before other people, even if I couldn't do that in the end.

I am sorry my summary is so similar to Goodread's. I hate writing summaries.
I am having some trouble writing this review. It has nothing to do with the fact how much I liked or disliked the book. I just read a lot of other books in the meantime that I liked better, and so I focused on them. Let me have a moment to reflect and remember this book again.

Chelsea is the typical teenage girl you read about in books: She is pretty popular, has a bunch of friends and all that kind of things. But there is one tiny problem - she can't keep a secret. Reading this book, you know she doesn't mean to harm other people by telling secrets the whole word. It's just that she can't help it. You get annoyed with her habit anyway, because seriously, who likes someone you can't trust your secrets with? Exactly, you don't like that person! Yet, when you read Speechless and go into the story more and more, you find yourself liking Chelsea more and more. And the fact that she didn't stop her vow: Not to speak at all.

What was up with the not speaking thing? I asked myself that too. In the beginning at least. But then I got used to not reading conversations between character A and character B. There are conversations in this book, let me tell you that. There are plenty. It's just that you're getting focused on Chelsea's mind a lot more often. I liked that. I liked to read things from her point of view, not just by reading how she spoke with other people, 'cause she didn't really do that during the book, but reading her thoughts. That's so much more intense. I don't know why. I didn't even liked that in the beginning, but I grew to like it during the story.

Speechless makes you think. I think that it's always good when a book leaves you thinking about life and stuff. More books should be like that. And in the end, it left me a little bit speechless myself. I didn't expect Hannah Harrington to fail me. She is fabulous, after all. I have to admit that I liked her other book Saving June more. It's one of my favourite books. But her second novel didn't let me down. It was everything a book is supposed to be: Funny, there is a very sweet romance involved and it is also a little difficult to understand (I mean the motives of the characters). It also shows you that not everything is working out fine, but you can deal and live with it anyway. You just have to be strong. I read this pretty fast and when I was done I thought: "What? This is it already?" It's a page-turner. You can't put it down once you start it.

So, once more Hannah Harrington proved me that she is a great author. One, that I would like to read more of.

Sonntag, 30. September 2012

Death And The Girl Next Door (Darklight #01) - Darynda James

Title: Death And The Girl Next Door (Darklight #01)
Author: Darynda James
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to St. Martin's Press via Netgallery for allowing me to read this book before the official publication.

Lorelei's parents disappeared when she was little. Ever since then she's lived with her grandparents. She learned how to deal with it. But then things at school get difficult when new student Jared arrives. Lorelei tries to get to know him a little better, but Cameron, someone who always stood in the background, doesn't seem to approve it and seems to know Jared more than he admits. They both try to hide something and Lorelei is determinded to find out what that is.

I want to keep this review short. I guess I won't be able to help people to tell if they should buy and read Death And The Girl Next Door or not. I can tell you it's worth it. The story is great, the romance is great, it's such a good novel. I loved it. I want to read the second one right now!

First off, the writing was beautiful. Words weren't used too often and it was really thrilling and exciting too. Happens not nearly often enough in other books. So plus point for Death And The Girl Next Door. The characters appeared real and also not too imature, which can happen quite fast when you write young adult books. Of course I loved Jared and Cameron, though Cameron could have been a little more friendly, I think. I wish he would have confessed his love for Lorelei already, but then again I think that this couple is never going to happen in the series. Always want the couple you can't have.

Glitch was so funny, and Darynda made so hilarious dialogues. They were so awesome when they included Glitch. I had to laugh so many times. I've got to admit, that I kinda of disliked Lorelei's best friend Brooke though. I don't know what it is, maybe because I assume something's going to happen between her and Cameron (I hope not!). She just wasn't a character that I prefer.

So, I think I read too much angel stuff lately. Makes me tired. It has absolutely nothing to do with the book, it was very good, but I think I'll just go back to read realistic fiction for a while again. Or at least paranormal books without angels and hell and heaven and all that.

I recommend it to everyone who likes paranormal stuff with angels and secrets that the heroine wants to find out. If you search for some exciting read, a story that makes you forget that you had something in the oven or that you had an appointment (I'm trying to say if you search for a novel that makes you forget about the world for a second), then you should totally pick this one up.

Freitag, 21. September 2012

The Night She Disappeared - April Henry

Title: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Rating: 3/5

It was an ordinary pizza delivery until Kayla didn't come back. Her friend Drew doesn't see a chance of her being still alive, but still agrees when Gabie asks for his help to find the kidnapper/killer. One thing's for sure: The orderer/kidnapper/killer didn't want Kayle - he asked for Gabie.

No matter how many times I write summaries, I will always suck. I don't know how other people/reviewers do that.

I expected this book to be a thrilling read. In some way it was, in some ways it wasn't. The storyline was good and the book idea was great, but I didn't feel this book as much as I would have wanted to.

So, Kayla is a teenage girl who jobs at Pete's pizza. This day, she switches shifts with Gabie, so she gets another day off. What nobody knows is that someone wanted this Wednesday to be his big day. Big day to kidnap Gabie. He calls, orders pizza, just like every other costumer would do. But then he asks if Gabie's on delivering shift, what makes Drew, who takes the order, a little uncomfortable. Yet, he sends Kayla off to deliver.

She never comes back.

Kayla, Drew and Gabie aren't the best of friends, but Drew and Gabie are curious to find out what happened with Kayla and stumble upon various traces.

Who I liked: Drew, at first at least. Typical underdog, you got to have to fall for. But something's changed in the middle of the book. I don't know what it was (ok, it probably has to do with Gabie), but I didn't liked him as much as before then.
I also liked the kidnapper. Not as in like - he was a well-written and thought-through character.

Who I didn't like: Gabie, and this time I really don't know why that is. I didn't connect with her I guess. I liked that she didn't stop believing in Kayla being alive, though. I'll give her that.

There's not much for me to say. I had higher expectations for The Night She Disappeared, but I enjoyed it. I still wish for a breathtaking kidnap novel neverthless.

Donnerstag, 13. September 2012

Guardian (Halflings #02) - Heather Burch

Title: Guardian (Halflings #02)
Author: Heather Burch
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to Zondervan via Netgallery for accepting my request on reading this book.

Nikki's in danger. Everyone she loves is in danger because of her. Now she's on a mission with two boys who own her hearts. Torn between them and the tasks she is facing, Nikki has to make the right choices.

In the second book of the Halflings series Guardian everything felt a little too forced for me. The plot wasn't too obvious, so by the end I had to ask myslf if there was a plot at all. Or at least one that made a little sense. I bet there was, but you have a hard time figuring out.

I really loved the first book, and this one disappointed me. I wanted it to be more real. Not as in "leave the angel stuff out", but in "oh my god, I can't put it down and I feel connected." It wasn't that for me. Even if series are a good thing, sometimes it should have only been one big, fabulous book. It can't feel too stretched out that way. (It shouldn't)

At some parts I didn't quiet understand the character's actions. While I loved Nikki in Halflings, I kind of got annoyed by her in Guardian. Also, I wasn't happy with the pairing (the couple). I could (and can) see that Mace has some burden to carry, so why is he so nice? He has his bad mood moments, but he always end up being Mr. Nice Guy. I liked him better in book number one.

Main character number three, and the most awesome one as well - Raven. I am mad at him. He lost his coolness because of Nikki, and because of her decision he does something dumb and leaves the crew. I can't stay mad at him for long though and I loved the scenes that incdluded him.

Maybe I focused too much on the characters in this review, but I can't say much about the plot. As I said, it takes some time to follow, but it was pretty exciting still. By the end, when readers get to know what's going on with Nikki, you're shocked. I wasn't excpecting that. You always thought you knew who and what she was. Then it changed.

So, once again: Guardian was not as good as Halflings, and though it didn't match my hopes and expectations, I still liked it, 'cause this is a good book series. I hope the third book will be better than the second, but I'm not thinking bad of this one. Looking very forward for book three now.

And I'm sorry if my review isn't that helpfull. I can recommend that if you read Halflings, you should read Heather Burch's second book in the series too.

Dienstag, 12. Juni 2012

Timepiece (Hourglass #02) - Myra McEntire

Title: Timepiece (Hourglass #02)
Author: Myra McEntire
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to EgmontUSA via Netgallery for allowing me to read this book before the official publication.

One second everything was just fine for Kaleb, the next everything changes. It does when he sees Jack, the man who tried to kill his father. But just as quickly as he sees him, he is gone again. Now Kaleb wants to find Jack and stop him from messing with time (and probably take revenge for trying to kill his father). Along with his friends from Hourglas, an unforgetable and dangerous journey begins.

Okay, time-traveling is confusing me. I recommend that you re-read the first book before you catch up with Timepiece. I think it's what I should have done, because at some points I was lost. Especially in the beginning. Perhaps it's because Myra doesn't re-cap too much what happened in Hourglass, the first book. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, though one could think that. No, actually I am glad she doesn't repeat too much what happened in the first book. Some authors aren't good with that. You read a second or a third book and you already know everything that happened in the former book, yet the author seems to write the whole story again. Not good, so I was glad Myra didn't do that.

However, what I basically wanted to say above was that I'm not into time-traveling at all. I'm also afraid to read Tempest by Julie Cross, because I believe it will leave me lost and confused at the end. Not just because I want to read it in English and that isn't my first language. No, I bet I also wouldn't understand the whole thing in German. I'm glad I understood Timepiece, yet I still don't know what to think about this whole "let's change the past"-thing, even if that doesn't come from the main characters, who just live their lifes in the here and now. I know it's the main point of this book and it's surprising I rated it with four stars though I'm not into time-traveling. I don't understand myself either, but I guess it's just the whole story and the plot and the writing that makes me love this book as much as I do. Which is a lot, by the way.

The romance is another difficult theme in this book. I LOVE Kaleb. Seriously, he is one of my favourite male characters of all the time. I wanted him to get together with Em in the first book. I still want that, but my dreams aren't meant to be heard when it comes to that. So in this book you have to read about Kaleb and Lily, who is Em's best friend. That is so cliché, isn't it? I was surprised to find an ordinary match as that here, but it didn't do the book itself any harm. Their scenes were nice and lovely, but I just don't see them as a couple.

Yet I'm not sure if I would be happy if Em and Kaleb got together too. Confusing, I know. But somehow Emerson changed. Maybe it's because Timepiece is written in Kaleb's point of view (I have to thank Myra McEntire for that! You rock!) and Hourglass was written from Em's. I felt more connected with her in the first book and now in the second, I didn't feel connected with her at all. Her life and problems are told, I get that, but I still think she just changed. I can't even describe it, you just have to read it and eventually you will feel the same.

Anything else I can say? Oh, yes. Let's write a few sentences about Kaleb and not just about his romance with Lily, because there is also so much more to him. You see that in this book. He is struggling with so much and that makes his character so much more real. It's heartbreaking, I tell you. When you read about his mother, who is in "coma" and his father and how Kaleb thinks Michael (Emerson's boyfriend) means much more to his dad than he does, it makes you feel sorry for Kaleb. He is acting like a tough guy and a womanizer, but really he has so much to deal with and I really liked that he wasn't described as this typical bad guy.

I'm sorry if this review isn't the kind of review you would prefer. I can't say so much about the characters, they are all great. I can also add that this book is exciting with Kaleb and Lily's search (I should probably add Em and Michael too, but Kaleb and Lily did most of the work) and it's really difficult to put at down. (At some points I felt miserable that I had to.) I recommend this book to everyone, especially those who couldn't get enough of Hourglass. Myra McEntire has created another piece of art and it's beautiful!

I'm not sure if I should give this book four or three point five stars. It's tough for me to decide that. Since this series is very interesting, I decide to give it four points. :) Also, I am looking forward for more!

Donnerstag, 24. Mai 2012

Almost - Anne Eliot

Title: Almost
Author: Anne Eliot
Rating: 4/5

Three years ago Jess has almost been raped. She's never been the same since then, though she also wants other people to think that she isn't the same. She's rather seen as the rebel and bitch. To become a little "normal" again, she lands a summer internship and gives Gray Porter, ultimate hottie, a lot of money to pretend to be her boyfriend over the summer. What she didn't expect was for him to treat her just perfectly and for her to fall in love with him head over heels. And what she also doesn't know is that he knows so much more than she'd wish for.

This is the kind of book that I adore. Oh, yes, how I fell in love with this genius of a book! It was perfect. Almost . . . (Very clever inside joke, huh? :P)

In the beginning I really disliked Jess. She seemed too tough if you know what I mean. You could see (or read) that it's all fake. At least for me it felt that way. She doesn't wants to be seen as weak, but yet she kind of is. She is having these extreme nightmares about her almost-rape-experience and so she sometimes even denies herself to fall asleep. What happens during the day then, is that she needs to take a nap in order to not fall down in the middle of the street and sleep right there. She is afraid. I mean, who wouldn't? No girl or boy wants to experience something like that. It's the most horrible thing in the world. She isn't the same person she was three years ago. How could she be? It though seems as if her parents can't respect that and push her to finally live a "normal" life again. I could see that they wanted her to be happy, but it felt so forced. You can't force someone to live the life you want her or him to live. If something like that happens, you need your time to calm down and turn back into your old self, if that's even possible. I think it's not. You can't expect that after one or two years everything should be fine. Everybody has their own speed of moving on.

To achieve that "normal" life, or at least to achieve that for others to see, even though it's all just pretened, she makes a deal with Gray Porter, who is as you may have guessed right, the ultimate hottie that everybody wants to date. He needs the money of the summer intership and so she knows he won't say no to the following deal: Pretend to be her boyfriend and get a lot of money for that, so he can afford almost everything he ever dreamed of. (Probably over the top, but you get the point) He agrees and soon they spend more and more time together, growing tighter and tighter.

Now let me reflect: When you read about them growing closer together, it's just fabulous. I wouldn't say it's romantic, but when you read it, you feel the sparks and the love and everything. It's amazing. The beautiful writing Anne did here helped very much.

So, I wasn't much a fan of Jess. But let me tell you, I may have been her, because just as much as she loves Gray, I have fallen for that guy! :P Not that way, but in the typical Boys in Books are Better way. (Note: That's another point I liked. The books and quotes that were mentioned in the beginning of this book. I wish there would have been more of that.) He is such a deep thinking guy. Okay, probably not THAT deep thinking, but I really enjoyed reading his parts. The way he adores Jess and the way he struggles with what he knows about the night she has almost been raped. It's tragic and I felt so sorry for him. Also the way he cared about his Gran. It was so cute.

What else can I say? You just have to read this book to understand how good it is. It has everything! It's funny, romantic, dramatic, sad but really the one thing it is 100% is AWESOME!

Samstag, 12. Mai 2012

When You Were Mine - Rebecca Serle

Title: When You Were Mine 
Author: Rebecca Serle 
Rating: 3.5/5

Rosaline and Rob have been best friends as long as they can remember. Now Rosaline has deeper feelings for Rob and when he comes back after summer and ask her for a date, she believes he feels the same way. But out of nowhere an old "enemy" appears, who happen to be Rosaline's cousin Juliet. Rob immediately seems disinterested in Rosaline and more interested in her cousin. What if she might lose his best friend over someone like Juliet?

It doesn't happen often that I like the main characters in books. At least not when they are girls. There is just always something that I don't like about them. No matter if it's their act or the way they think or whatever. Somehow, with Rosaline it was completely different. I connected with her character right from the start and until the end.

The way Rob act during the book should make you hate him, but actually you still remember how sweet and cute he used to be in the beginning and so I wasn't able to hate him the way I should have. I wanted to. I tried to. It didn't work. I didn't like him as much as in the beginning, but I also felt sorry for him (you'll come to that point when you read the book, I don't want to spoil).

Then there is Len. Gosh, I loved him from the first moment. While in real life you would be annoyed by someone who has to say something constantly and non-stop, I really enjoyed his comments and he also said some very true things (i.e. that stuff about moving on). While Rob always seemed to be best friend OR boyfriend, Len seemed to be the perfect guy for both things. I like it when I read about characters like his. Makes me smile.

Now to also mention Rosaline's friends Olivia and Charlie, they were nice. What I found really interesting was reading about the relationship between Olivia and Charlie's brother. Those scenes were so funny! They would make a good comedy thing on a big screen in the movies. Oh yes, I would like that. However, I couldn't connected with Charlie. I mean, I could, but not in the way I could with Rose. I think she was a very good best friend anyway. I like to think of friendships like that one.

I liked this book very much. Especially the characters, I was happy with all of them. Believe me, that doesn't happen too often. I had high expectations, and this book only disappointed me with the very shocking last act, so it didn't really disappoint me. Just a little bit. It's complicated as you see. I am still struggling, but I liked this book and I would recommend it to everyone who likes deep-thinking characters and nice romances and of course the good old drama.

At Season's End - Eric Hendershot

Title: At Season's End
Author: Eric Hendershot
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to Cedar Fort via Netgallery for allowing me to read this book.
Sal and her family travel around the US country and search for work at fields. When they come across the north, she falls in love with Ben, but as the picking season ends, she and her family have to leave again to search for new jobs. She doesn't know if she'll ever see him again, especially when a tragedy hits the family and effects all of them. Suddenly Sal and her brother have to be grown-ups and take care of themselves. They must learn to fight for what they want, and Sal knows that what she wants is to see Ben again.

Okay, my summary sucks as always, but I don't really care right now. I couldn't do any better.

Despite the religious things in this book, I think the characters were very strong written. Eric Hendershot did a very good job, because you could always relate to them in some kind of way. And also you couldn't help but feel sorry for Sal and her brother when they had to deal with things on their own. But I must admit, that only at this point the book grew interessting for me. I really liked to read what they had to go through up from there and liked the "happy end", 'cause they deserved to be happy so much.

I should have read more about this book before I requested it via Netgallery. Somehow, I always pick the religious books, though I'm an atheist. It's not that easy for me to read about God all the time, if I myself don't believe in God and Adam and Eve and all that. There were way too many God-phrases in this book. Way too religious, also when it comes to the language. English isn't my first language, so sometimes it wasn't that easy for me to understand what they were saying. Yet, the sentences and parts that weren't about God, were very well written. A really nice style.

I feel kind of sorry that I'm giving this book only 2.5 stars, but as I sad, there was too much God talk. It wasn't because of the story, no, I liked it actually. The idea of travelling around really caught my attention, the romance between Sal and Ben was sweet too and after Sal and Tim are on their own, it was interesting and exciting to read what happens next and if they will get caught.

Freitag, 17. Februar 2012

Beautiful Disaster - Jamie McGuire

Title: Beautiful Disaster 
Author: Jamie McGuire 
Rating: 3.5/5

Abby is new at college and actually planed on leaving her past behind, but what she didn't expect was to fall for a guy, that is everything but sweet. In fact, Travis Maddox's body is covered with tattoos and he sometimes takes part in fights that aren't all too legal. What both don't know when they set a bet that makes Abby stay with Travis a month, both of their lifes will change dramatically. Who thought falling for someone can be that nerve-wrecking?

The first thing that came to my mind when I finished this book was Hmm... I really didn't know what to think of it. I loved some parts, I thought some parts were okay, I hated some parts, etc. I'll come to those points later.

Abby is a good girl but has a horrible background. Her father drank and played too much, also risked too much, and that's why she left home and went off to college with her best friend America. When I read someone saying "Mare" I first didn't know who was meant, until I realized that is the short version for America. That happens when you have friends with names that aren't that English and when they can't even pronounce and say your name, because you happen to have an English name. But enough name talk. She wants to leave it all behind, but then when she meets bad boy Travis, she knows she can't resist for long. In the end, she is just a sucker for bad boys as everyone else is.

So, I didn't really get this bet thing. I mean, I liked it, it was the main point why Abby stayed with Travis, but whatever.

Abby's on-and-off date material Parker was a little weird. First, he seemed like a nice guy but during the story I found him annoying. To me, it seemed as if he tried to buy Abby instead of trying to show her how much he liked her by actually being himself and counting on that and not on his money or the expensive presents and dates. However, he once said a very smart thing that I found kind of cute in a way, but also very mature and I don't know what else.

“No, it’s a car. The love of my life will be a woman with my last name.”
 Travis really scared me at some parts. I mean he had a lot of temper and not in the "I hit women and I'm okay with it" way, but in the "I am psycho!" way. It was really crazy. For me, his life depened too much on Abby. I mean, make a girl the center of your universe, I am all up for that, but you have to draw a line. He was not just crazy about her, he was obsessed. And also, he is a men's slut. I'm just glad he changed, because you wouldn't want anything to do with a person like that. I still liked him, don't get me wrong. It was just that sometimes he scared me and I thought he lost his mind.

I like authors with hope that boys actually love a girl so much, they'd change their whole world for them. Every good story involves that bad guy (which you immediately fall for. Me aswell) that is turned good by the beauty he waited for his whole lifetime. Well, after reading such stories, I hate waking up and realize I am stuck in world that is nothing like that. I repeat myself all over again, but at least I know no one who is like that. Sure, it's nice to read about the perfect world where true love actually still exists and the couple gets their happily ever after. I love to read stories like that! But also I hate to face the reality after that. Rise and fall, so to say.

I am fighting with myself. I liked this book a lot, I really did, but somehow . . . I don't know but something was missing. I am a very complicated and complex person, I know that and so I guess that is the reason why I am still not completely satisfied with this book. I read so many good things about it, it's a natural thing I set high expectation on this one. While I didn't get disappointed, I also didn't get what I was hoping for. Leave out the positive things I wrote about above. I don't know if it's the lack of the character's backgrounds, or if I'm tired of reading about love-triangles, which actually happens to seem ridiculous to me. No one could ever get tired of a well written love-triangle disaster. I am a sucker for romance, but I think it took over. That's probably what felt not all too right with me in the end.

Mittwoch, 15. Februar 2012

On The Fringe - Courtney King Walker

Title: On The Fringe
Author: Courtney King Walker
Rating: 4/5

Claire's world isn't the same after Daniel, who happens to be her brother Matthew's best friend but also her secret crush, gets murdered. While everyone else is living their lifes, almost as if nothing happened, Claire can't forget about Daniel and her lost. On her sixteenth birthday, she drowns but get saved by Daniel. Somehow, while she was dead he and her connected and she was able to see him. Now, being alive again, she is the only one who can see him and this time she is not willing to lose him again. But at some point the two of them got to face that their connection could be very dangerous too.

It was pretty easy to connect with Claire as the reader and a teenage girl. Her fears are very realistic and her deep love for Daniel is just wonderful and powerful aswell. Also, I think, it's great how much she cares about all the people around her. At least it felt that way to me. Of course, the person, or better said former person, she cares about the most is Daniel, but seriously, who wouldn't want to know what really happened when he died and is now stuck "on the fringe"?

I don't know what it is, but I always fall for male characters in books
(especially when the author writes from a guy's point of view, too). I know, there are a lot of girl who have crushes on book characters. I wouldn't call it crush, but I can't help but notice their cuteness. See, in this book, Daniel never really paid much attention to Claire. He saw her and afterwards he has a lot of memories shared with her, but she was always just Matthew's little sister. Then, suddenly, he is dead and realizes how things could have been between him and Claire. It's tragic, really. And so sweet! He is so protective over her when it comes to Aden (who died and is now a ghost aswell).

The scene I loved the most was probably the one when Claire and Daniel figured out they had that four-and-a-half-minute connection. I found that really interesting, though as I write it down now like this, it sounds kind of lame. I suggest, you read this book yourself, so you can see it isn't as lame as it sounds with all my "interesting" and "great" and all that.

During the book, there are some facts that will warm your heart or shock you a bit. I liked the balance of both things and I'm glad that the romance didn't shrink with it.

At first, I wasn't so sure if I should give this book four stars or not. When I started this book and went through the first chapters, I was quite confident that it'd end up with four stars. Now that I finished it, I have to admit that I am not very happy with the ending. To be fair, there are probably only three books out of hundreds, with whose endings I am happy or almost happy, so endings are always a little difficult for me. In the end I decided to be gentle and give it four stars anyhow. I mean, it all worked for me: The characters appeared real, the writing was great, it was a very, very good debut novel and I am glad I picked it up. The fact that I have an issue with endings, shouldn't do this book any harm, so four stars. Let me one more thing:
On The Fringe was even better than I expected it to be. It was an experiment I am grateful for I dared. :) Now go and do too!

Dienstag, 14. Februar 2012

Nothing Like You - Lauren Strasnick

Title: Nothing Like You
Author: Lauren Strasnick
Rating: 3.5/5

Holly doesn't feel anything. There are as good as no emotions ever since her mom died a couple of months ago. So, it's not big deal for her to love her virginity to Paul, someone she doesn't even know that well and how has a girlfriend too. That thing with Paul should have been a one-night-stand, but now Paul keeps visiting her during night times and for Holly it's nice to be a person that gets attention. Unfortunately, her guy isn't really her guy. He doesn't want to break up with Saskia, and now that Saskia is becoming one of Holly's friends, it's even harder for her to see the thin line between right and wrong.

It's bad to start with a negative espect at first, but I just have to say it: Holly is a little bitch!
(Excuse my language, please!) I didn't hate this book, not at all. It's nice not to read about the girl next door all the time, but now Holly really crossed a line for me. It's fine if you want to lose your virginity to some guy you don't even know that well, or love or whatever. I don't want to know how people do that, I just know that I don't agree with them when it comes to that kind of theme. I can understand that an event like your mother's death can turn your universe upside down, but why does that have to lead to sleeping with a guy who doesn't really care about you? Who happens to have a girlfriend who is a nice girl and who didn't do anything to you? I don't know if I'm trying to get to any point, I don't think there is one. I just wanted to start with the things that bothered me.

I, however, liked that, at some point of the story, Holly didn't want to let go of her mother and wanted to try to get a connection with her. I don't believe in all that hokuspokus-stuff, but in
Nothing Like You it showed that Holly wasn't as numb as she saw herself or other people saw her. It was her desperate trying to do anything at all. What I found a little strange, but also funny, was the fact that she called her dad by his name. And now you can guess what I loved the most? - Nils, of course! Actually, my review doesn't make any sense. I explained Holly to be a bitch in my eyes, but most readers will think the same of Nils. I've got to admit, he is a heartbreaker and I don't like that. He sets his eyes on a girl, dates her, gets bored, dumps her and starts looking for a new one. Yeah, that's not the perfect way, no doubt about it. But he is a great best friend, I think, and he and Holly would have been an amazing couple. Luckily, this is another open-ended book, or so it seems to me, so you can think of your own ending.

So, the other small things I want to mention are: I felt sorry for Saskia. She was such a nice girl and I like Holly for at least trying to stay away from Paul because of Saskia. I'd like to know what happens to Paul in twenty years. He seemed like the type of guy who'd betray his woman, well, mainly because he betrayed Saskia, so he already did that and why would a guy who loves himself as much as he does change that? I really didn't like him, though he tried to act sweet and cute sometimes. As I said, he
acted to be that way. It was just a dumb trick.

I know, this review is not very good. I am sorry. It may seem as if I didn't enjoy this book and regret reading it. Well, I enjoyed this book and I do not regret that I read it. I liked the story, but I didn't feel so good about the characters itself. That's it. That's what bothered me. I mean, it's good if a book brings out your emotions and you write about the things you got mad about during the story and the things you felt good about, right? So, what? This is the perfect book if you want to feel emotions while you read! I wouldn't have called the book
Nothing Like You, but probably that is just because I still don't know why it's called that. My top guess is that everyone always told Holly how much she looked like her mom, but that was all they had in common. Both had their own personalities and were nothing like the other one. After all is said and done now, I'm really excited to read Lauren Strasnick's other book - Her and Me and You.

Sonntag, 12. Februar 2012

Getting Over Garrett Delaney - Abby McDonald

Title: Getting Over Garrett Delaney
Author: Abby McDonald
Rating: 4/5

Sadie has been in love with Garrett Delaney for two years now. Unfortunately, he is only her best friend and doesn't know about her feelings for him. This summer, Garrett gets accepted for a summer literary retreat and Sadie does not. All she ever wanted him to see is that she is the right one for him. But now, he falls for another girl and Sadie is left alone and heartbroken. Time for her to get back on train and start a new life: A new life that doesn't involve her best friend as her crush, but one that involves a new job and new friends. By creating a 12-step-system, Sadie is trying to get over Garrett Delaney.

I absolutely loved Sadie as a character. Some may say that she was way too obsessed with Garrett, yet I loved that about her. I loved to read the first few chapters the most because she was crushing so hard on him, though she had to act in front of him all the time. Can you actually imagine someone doing that two whole years? If someone believes in love, it's Sadie! You feel sorry for her because her love isn't returned the way it should be and worse she is just seen as the best friend and has to listen to all of Garrett's girl stories. You read about them a little in this book, but at some point Sadie mentions that her best friend and long-term crush is a huge heartbreaker and never really taking a relationship that serious. You'll figure out as much by the end. I would love to spoil now, but I won't!

Small note here: Sadie had an advantage because her mother is a therapist. I guess it's not easy when your mom always wants to talk about your problems in life and all that, when she should trust that you'll come to her by yourself if you feel like you need help. I didn't really like that she talked to Sadie as if she was one of her patients. She sometimes seemed so cold and I found that really horrible. Not that it did this book any harm, no, but I wouldn't want my mom to talk to me like that.

Now when it comes to Garrett, I loved him in the beginning. He was very sweet and let's not forget that he remembered Sadie's birthday. So, even though he might has his bad sides
(which includes such as being blind about Sadie's love for him, etc.), it's a nice surprise that he rememberes a birthday as a guy. Who wouldn't want that in real life too? Also, you read way too seldom (I have big problems with the English language right now. I need new words!) about guys that read poetries and write them aswell, about guys who love old music and good classic films, I think. Even though he somehow forces Sadie into all of that stuff, it's nice to rea about a guy who likes those things. I just tried to picture some of my male friends to read poetry or write them - yeah, good joke! During the middle of the book, I wanted him gone. Now, this is funny because he was gone in some way, but Sadie kept thinking about him, so he was content all the time, more or less as a shadow in the background. So, when he came back for real, I was really mad. Sadie finally managed to get a new life and clear her thoughts and for what? Absolutely nothing! And that's when he got annoying. He always wanted her to spend time with him. Obviously, that is just another prove that guys are blind: If he would have listened to Sadie a little more carefully, he would have got the hint that she was trying to avoid him. *sigh* So, after loving him in the beginning and being annoyed in the middle part, I felt so sorry for him by the end of the book. Again, it's really hard for me not to spoil, but let's just say that by the end I doubted that he clearly understood what love means. If you read the book and come to that part, you'll understand what I mean and probably feel the same way as me.

I wish there was as much or almost as much to write about Josh. But there isn't. I loved him during the whole book. He was such a funny guy and I loved that he went for his dreams and didn't care what other people thought of him. That's it. There is nothing more I can say, because, honestly, I wished for more scenes with him. If you read the book you might say that there were enough scenes with him, but I don't think so. I wish the connection between him and Sadie would have been deeper. I always wanted them to be together, but I never read anything that'd lead to a relationship between those two. When I finished this book, their connection was just like the ones you have with close friends, but not
those kind of close friends. However, you can think of an ending for yourself, which is good. If you didn't want them to be together, you can just imagine they go seperate ways and that's it. I, however, like to think that they somehow got together and had the connection I was hoping to read and somehow did, but on the other hand didn't. It's complicated.

Before I try to put down in words how much I liked this book, I got to make a
huge compliment to Abby McDonald! Now, sure her writing was great and stuff, but what I really, really, really loved in the first place was that she used two of my favourite girls name ever: Kayla and Sadie. I know, it sounds like a weird compliment, but it is one anyway.

I'd recommend this book to everyone who once loved someone without being loved back the same way, and I think that makes almost everyone on the planet. No, seriously, the 12-step-system was really great and I think young girl, old girl and even grandma's would think that system is helpful. Basically, it has all the points you know yourself, but it's good to read them and think of it like a task and not an action you have to do in order to forget someone because you want that so bad. I don't know how to describe it. Whatever, I was dying to read this book and I liked it a lot. The beginning is fabulous, I think, and even though that fabulous-thing fades a little during the middle and end, it's worth at least one reading, though I might re-read this some time soon.

Montag, 23. Januar 2012

Halflings (Halflings #01) - Heather Burch

Title: Halflings (Halflings #01)
Author: Heather Burch
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to Zondervan via Netgallery for accepting my request on reading this book.

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret-and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

This is the first time I am using the Goodread summary. I loved this book, but I can't write a summary this time. It's too hard. There are too many things I'd write. It wouldn't be a summary anymore once I finished it.

Nikki is an ordinary teenage girl, but she loves to draw. Not that that's so unordinary, but it's a talent. Her best friend Krissy wants her to be more girly like. You know, such as making make up and clothes the center of your universe. Luckily, Nikki is just herself and Krissy secretly loves her for that, even if she tries her best to convince her best friend to wear a little bit more make up and care a little more about the boys at school. BOOM! That's when three new boys, Mace, Raven and Vine come to her school. She instinctly knows that at least one of them saved her from an attack not all too long ago. Now it can't be possible that they, plus her savior, come to her school by accident, right?

What she soon discovers is that Mace, Raven and Vine are halflings that were sent here to protect Nikki, since she seems to be the target of some evil powers.

Of course it doesn't take too much afford to fall for one of them - her savior Mace. She can tell that Mace feels the same way about her, but then there is Raven as well. He seems like the wild type of guy and Nikki knows she should stay away from him, yet she always finds him when Mace lets her down or disappoint her (even if he sometimes doesn't really understand why exactly he disappoints her).

It was so easy to fall for each character in this book. Nikki was a really interesting character. Seriously, when do read about a girl who is into karate and art? Right, never. It's a very nice mix. You can also relate to her when she is confused about what happens to her and she just seems so real. Mace is the sweet one, really, he is so sweet! But then again sweet is boring at some point and that's why Raven is so easy to love. Girls who love to read books with bad guys will love him. So, I guess that makes all the girls then. And also Vine has something special about himself. Though he seems kind of quite sometimes, he is pretty clever and I think he and Krissy would make a great couple! (Too bad Krissy seems like a girl who won't fall for a guy who is younger than her, even if it is just two years.)

At first, I found this book quite confusing. I had to get used to read books that were written in third person again, since I read a lot in first person now. The writing was incredible. I get jealous on writings so easily, really. Also, I normally hate books that are in written from more than one or two point of views, but I didn't mind it in this on at all. I enjoyed all point of views, especially Raven's. And while I also happen not to like stories of angels, fallen or heavenly, Heather Burch probably used some kind of magic on this book, because the whole angels story was interesting after all. I'd recommend this book to all fans of the "Wicked Lovely" series by Melissa Marr, because sometimes Halflings reminded me of it. I can't wait to read the next book!

Samstag, 21. Januar 2012

The Truth About Guys - Chad Eastham

Title: The Truth About Guys
Author: Chad Eastham
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to Thomas Nelson via Netgallery for accepting my request on reading this book.

It's really hard for me to rate an advice book. When I first heard about this book, I thought it was a novel. Also, it took me some time to finish it, but I'll tell you about the reasons for that later...

While I enjoyed reading the stories that lead to the chapters itself, I thought that some things were repeated way too often. "You are vulnerable" for instance. As an atheist, it isn't easy for me to read about God so often (which is one of the reasons I didn't finish this book right away). I don't want to read quotes from the Bible and all that since I have a different point of view on those things. So when Chad wrote about all these Adam and Eve stories, or said that guys acted a certain way because God created them like that, or girls should love themselves for who they were created, I stopped, clicked on exit and had to take a break from that book for the rest of the day. Believe in what you want, but it just doesn't work for me that way.

Now, I guess that was harsh for all the religious people reading this and I am sorry. The good thing is that you learn a lot about why guys act the way they do and learn to see things from a guy's point of view. Even though this book was made for girls to read, I think Chad described certain types of girl perfectly well, so it'd do good if guys read this book aswell. You might aswell learn more about girls here than you do about guys in fact.

I really liked to read Chad's own stories about him and his friends. I also liked that by the end of each chapter, he captured the things once again and made you think about them once more by creating the "discussion stuff" area. That area would be really great to actually discuss when you read this book in school. And even if it might seem like I couldn't get along with this book at all, it's not true. There were a lot of parts where I agreed with Chad. Oh, and there are also sometimes statistics that you'll be shocked about. I was, at least.

I don't know what else to say. I haven't read a lot of advice book. This is my second actually, so I don't really have a lot to compare this book with. I probably would have liked it much better without these God talks and all that, but it was nice anyway.

One more little point that I didn't like so much, or probably understood wrong: Chad always said that girls shouldn't do stuff, such as sleeping with a guys, just because their boyfriends wanted it. He made pretty clear that girls should wait for sex until marriage, but W A I T ! - How come I never once read that guys should wait aswell? How come they get a free ticket to sleep with every girl that comes along the way, and how come they even have a chance to do that, if all girls should wait until marriage? It doesn't really make sense to me. While the idea to wait until the right one comes around might be charming and romantic, it is really unrealistic in the present world. I'm just saying...

Freitag, 20. Januar 2012

The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Summer #01) - Amanda Howells

Title: The Summer of Skinny Dipping (Summer #01)
Author: Amanda Howells
Rating: 4/5

Mia is feeling miserable. First, her love Jake dumps her and now she has to spend the summer with her cousins, which wouldn't be such a bad thing if they hadn't changed so much. Mia feels like she doesn't fit in anymore... Until she meets Simon. With him, the summer doesn't seem so bad anymore, but nothing lasts forever. That's something that even Mia fears after all.

I really suck at writing summaries, I know. Whatever, really. The first thing you'll notice when you start this book is the beautiful writing. It's one of the most beautiful writings I've ever read, to be honest. I'm also quite jealous over the fact that I can't write like that. Good job Amanda Howells!

Mia is a character everyone can relate to, I think. If not for her smartness, then probably for her need and wish to fit in. Nobody wants to be left out alone, right? That's why I couldn't get along with her cousins Corinne and Beth and Corinne's friend Gen. Typical case of rich sobs here. They think they have it all: The money, the friends, the look and all that kind of stuff. But late at night the doubts take over. You already see, the same old thing. And even though it is such an old thing, I always get mad with characters like this because they remind me of the people who are like them in real life. Ugh.

Also, I couldn't stand Mia's mom in the beginning. She was described perfectly well: She seemed to force her daughters to be something she never was, or she was in this case actually. How much love for yourself can a person bear? Best prove done here: A LOT. You'll think different about her mom by the end, which I am grateful for, because I wouldn't have liked to read about another mom, who tried to reach her dreams through her daughters.

And now Simon. You will absolutely love him! He is thoughtful and funny. I love characters like his. Totally easy to adore him. He makes Mia feel special and accepted for what she is, though she discovers who she is also because of him in a way. So, if you like this guy as much as I did, you'll be shocked by the end. It'll tear your heart apart more or less. I'm happy that Mia writes down the certain three words on a piece of paper by the end of this book, because I missed these three words during their time together.

Who you'll always like is Mia's aunt Kathleen. Sometimes Mia finds herself wishing her mom was like Kathleen, but at some point of the story she has to see that Kathleen "isn't exactly mother Teresa" as Corinne would say now and every mother is doing her best to support and love and care about her child.

As I said, the writing is beautiful which made me like this book so much. Some parts bore me, especially the start. Some things seemed like page-fillers (is that a word?), but I'm glad that Mia didn't repeat herself over and over again. Once she was done with a theme, she was done. It's a perfect summer read, and though I read this in winter now, I think I'll take it with me if I find myself sitting by the pool in summer or else where. As long as the sun is shining, this book will seem like a summer dream to you. I love when books create a special atmosphere and Amanda Howells succesfully did that.

Freitag, 13. Januar 2012

The Lifeguard - Deborah Blumenthal

Title: The Lifeguard
Deborah Blumenthal 
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company via Netgallery for allowing me to read this book before the official publication.

» Sirena's life is over. At least that's how she feels. While her parents deal with their divorce, they send Sirena to her aunt in Rhode Island. But while her life seems a mess, there might be a light. A light called Pilot. He is a lifeguard at the beach and Sirena falls herself fallen for him right away. He is not only good looking, no, there he also seems to hide a secret Sirena is dying to discover.

I don't understand why there are so many harsh words on this book. I totally loved it. Probably also because I was dying to read this, and I can relate to it a lot.

Sirena is sixteen years old and she doesn't want her life to change. She doesn't want her parents to divorce and at first, she also isn't thrilled about the fact that they send her to aunt. Even worse, her aunt's house is haunted by ghosts. The only good thing about this place is Will, her aunt's dog, and the beach. That's where she sees him the first time: Pilot, the lifeguard. She immediately feels drawn to him and while you read this book, you can't help but fall for him as well. His life is based on rescuing people from drowning, but at the same time, Sirena feels like she might get lost out at sea because of him. Not at sea itself, but I mean in mind. He seems too perfect to be true and as she gets to know him better, she discovers that his powers can't be those from a human.

While I don't like books that include singers, or at least I don't like those books most of the time, I loved to read about Sirena's passion for art. How she is obsessed about drawing the perfect picture of Pilot and all that. And how she finds a soulmate in that theme in Antonio. I also loved how worried she was about Cody, who lay in the hospital for a little while and seemed to die more and more each day.

I can't find any words right now. I loved this book, that is all I can say. The writing was just beautiful and Deborah Blumenthal made it seem like you were at the beach yourself, seeing how the connection between Sirena and Pilot grew taller and taller. I would have loved to read more about Pilot. There are lots of parts with him in this book, but I would have loved to get some very romantic scenes between him and Sirena. I'm also glad that the ghost part and mysterious healer parts didn't take too much of The Lifeguard. It still seemed like a realistic thing.

So, all in all, it's still in my favourite list. Four stars and I repeat: I loved it very much, but the romance was too small.

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2012

Orchids & Amethysts

Hello and welcome to Orchids & Amethyst or whatever I should call this blog. Orchids & Amethysts make it sounds like a magic store, so welcome to the brightside. You may be confused because there already are reviews in the archieve, but I just posted them so you could read them without seeing this as an "empty blog".

I can't wait to share my opinions about books with you and hope to find some that agree with me at some novels then. To get to know me a little better, I posted a few facts in the "About Me" area. You can find the reviews I wrote in the archive. Have fun and keep your eyes open! :)

x Darleen

Freitag, 6. Januar 2012

The Boyfriend Thief - Shana Norris

Title: The Boyfriend Thief
Author: Shana Norris
Rating: 3.5/5

Avery isn't the richest girl in town. To afford her trip to Costa Rica she takes the offer of her former best friend and now enemy Hannah, who explains her to "steal her boyfriend" and make him dump Hannah. Easily said, easily done. You'd think! Turns out that there is more to Zac than Avery first assumed and soon enough she asks herself if it's all worth the cost.

We all know these plots when boys make a bet about a girl and try to get inside her pants, right? As much as we all enjoy those plots, this has a different main point: There actually is a girl, I repeat, a girl who says yes to a sort of bet like that. It's not really a bet, just an arrangement, I'd say. Avery is desperate to get to Costa Rica and when Hannah comes along the way and tells her to give her the necessary money if Avery'll make Hannah's boyfriend Zac dump her.

Normal people would tell her to dump him herself and she'd be rid off him, but obviously, it'd make her appear not so good for the voting. I don't really see any point in all those American high school votes anyway. Just saying...

So, Avery is all in control and wants to make everything right. She's got her life all figured out, or at least planed out and nothing can come between her and her plans. If only there wasn't, for example, her dad. Trisha is probably his 45th girlfriend and Avery's tired of seeing all these faces leaving in the end. That's the reason why she doesn't believe in love aswell. It never works out. It does for a short time, but people leave.

Zac is different. Zac wants to show her that she's not right about that. He lives his life 'a little' more relaxed than her. He drags her into his world and Avery has got to admit that his point of view of life isn't that bad. But as much as he tries to force Avery not to hide herself anymore, he hides himself in some ways too. He wants to be a comedian, though his father has other plans for him. So, basically they learn from one each other.

I loved Zac and I could understand Avery very much. I didn't expect this book to be so good, but it really is. It's funny and realistic and very good read.

And here is one of the cutest lines you'll ever read in your life: “Don’t steal anymore hearts,” he told me. “You’ve already got mine.” Aww <3 Now if that doesn't make you want to read it, I don't know what else will.

I'm also sorry that this review is a little messed up and fast written. There are scenes I loved in this book that I didn't metion, which I am sorry for, but to say that I liked this book a lot is almost as good as mentioning every good scene.