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.