Montag, 21. Januar 2013

Completed first reading challenge in 2013

In a former post, I already informed you about my first reading challenge in 2013, that I set up for myself. I read the first set of books by alphabet. Leaving out X and Z I went through them all and am happy to announce that I am finished! WAHOO! I thought it'd be hard to find a book with the letter Q, but I managed. Unfortunately, the only Z-lettered books I know are German, or yet to be released. However, I am already thinking up new challenges, but I want to read some random ones first. In case you want to see the whole list of books in the first challenge this year, here it is:

A - Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

B - Beta (Annex #01) by Rachel Cohn REVIEW BELOW!
C - Cold Kiss (Cold Kiss #01) by Amy Garvey
D - Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing
E - Ember (Ember #01) by Carol Oates
F - Fury by Shirley Marr
G - Girl Saves Boy by Steph Bowe
H - He's So Not Worth It (She's So/He's So #02) by Kieran Scott
I - If I Lie by Corrine Jackson REVIEW
J - Just Flirt by Laura Bowers
K - Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle
L - Losing It by Eliza Jane
M - My Beautiful Failure by Janet Ruth Young
N - New Girl by Paige Harbison REVIEW
O - Over You by Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus REVIEW
P - Pandemonium (Delirium #02) by Lauren Oliver
Q - The Queen's Army (Cinder #1.5) by Marissa Meyer
R - Reasons I Fell For The Funny Fat Friend by Becca Ann
S - The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #01) by Jessica Sorensen
T - There's No Light In Darkness by Claire Contreras
U - Undeadly (The Reaper Diaries #01) by Michele Vail
V - Vain by Fisher Amelie
W - What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor
Y - Young Love Murder (Young Assassins #01) by April Brookshire

Thanks to all the authors for writing these books. I (mostly) had a good time!

Dienstag, 15. Januar 2013

There's No Light In Darkness (Darkness #01) - Claire Contreras

Title: There's No Light In Darkness (Darkness #01)
Author: Claire Contreras
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Blake's life is full of mystery. First her parents suffer a mysterious death and now she seems to remember more and more about her past. She decides to find out what really happened twenty-one years ago. Just as her journey begins, she has to decide if she really wants to risk to find out the truth, if her loved ones may pay for it.

I started this in the middle of the night because I couldn't sleep. I ended up awake for some time, though I didn't read this in one session. Maybe it was the night, but I liked the start very, very much. I thought: "Yes, finally another book that hooks me right from the start." I'm sad to say that they story faded a little during the middle and end.

While I enjoyed reading about the romance between Blake and Cole in the beginning, it kind of annoyed me later on. Simply because it was all this book was about. I wanted it to be focused on the crime. I wanted to feel horrified, but I didn't. The breaking in scene fools you. You think that there will be some action, but there won't. Cole will come around the corner and everything will be about the two of them hooking up again.

Don't get me wrong - I loved Cole! He is everything you desire in a bad boy for a book. But sometimes he was too soft and too loving and I don't really know. As I said - I liked the start, I didn't like how the story turned out.

I'm really out of words. This book is still cofusing me and I don't know what to think of it. Well, I do know, but I'm still not sure whether the points I liked overweight or not. I liked it, and I am very glad the beginning was what it was, 'cause otherwise, I would have seen this book as a typical let's-hook-up-and-break-up-until-we-make-up-again read. And let's face it, we've all had enough of that.

So thank you Claire, for creating the story. I hope to read more crime in the second Darkness book. I look forward to it. And I love the cover for There's No Light In Darkness. (Though I might have seen the original picture somewhere on Tumblr before). I will not give up on the series, and though you may get the impression that I didn't like it, you are wrong. I liked it. It's just not my favourite book ever, but that's fair to say, I guess.

Sonntag, 13. Januar 2013

Over You - Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus

Title: Over You
Author: Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus
Rating: 2.5/5

Max helps girls getting over their ex'es. But what do you do when your own ex shows up? Especially when you just thought you were over him and want to move on? As Hugo makes a re-appearance in Max' life, she struggles to balance her whole life. And at some point, she even asks herself if she is really that over him?!

I don't want and definitely don't mean to speak / write bad about this book. But whatever I expected this book to be like, I was disappointed.

I haven't read too many collaborations in my life, and I'm unsure what to think of them. Luckily, I haven't really read books where you could say that the two voices were just two different and didn't fit together. Over You is also one of them. Emma and Nicola's writings are similar and very good. I didn't like this book not because of the writing. I don't have to say anything bad about that.

The story itself just didn't do it for me. Or the actions during the story. The romance was too short and not very romantic as well. You didn't really get the connection. There was none for me. Max and Ben were just two teenagers. I couldn't really see in the point of them getting together or the idea to do that. The story focused too much on Bridget for that. And I didn't really like that girl. It seemed as if she depened on her ex-boyfriend Taylor too much. She wasn't her own person anymore. I guess, after some time being with the same person, that happens, but it was just too much, I think.

Also, Zach (Max' best friend) was too much involved in the whole thing. While I wanted the story to be more about Max and Ben, it wasn't. And that made me sad. Even Hugo (I can't picture a guy with that name as well, though I know lots of people own that name) had more scenes than Ben, or so it seemed. And forget about Hugo, he is such a douchebag!

I didn't really like Max' character also. I can't even explain why, but that's just how it was. I think a lot of things were too simple. Like the problem she had with her mother. You don't get to meet her new husband in the book as well. So, first off, you get Max' and her problem with her mother, but then the story is so focused on Bridget, that you forget about it, and by the end - ta-dah, all of a sudden everything is solved. Only, it isn't. Not for the reader. Things need to be told, I wanted fights, I wanted anger. None of that happened. It was just: "Yeah, you're the bestiest mom ever again!" And that's it. I didn't want that! Why did it have to be like that?

Another thing I didn't like was the point of views. One moment you read Max' point of the, the next it is Taylor's, and then again it's Ben's. Other books wait 'til a new chapter, but in Over You you have to concentrate real hard to actually get who is talking now, who is set on pause. I didn't like that.

So, as much as I wanted to like Over You, and as much as I love the cover (I LOVE THAT COVER! <3), I didn't enjoy the story. For me, it was disappointing. And I am very sorry to say that. I would have wished for something more too, but that's not how it goes. I wouldn't say that it fail me completely. There were some funny scenes which I laughed about. You like some stories, and some not. I didn't like this one too much, that's for sure.

Samstag, 12. Januar 2013

New Girl - Paige Harbison

Title: New Girl
Author: Paige Harbison
Rating: 3/5

Becca Normandy. That's the name of a student that went missing at Manderley Academy last year. This year, I'm the new student, and everyone is comparing me to Becca, especially when they assume I am interested in Max, who obviously belongs with Becca. What ever happened to her anyway and why is everyone making such a big secret of it?

"Should I really read this?" That's the main question I asked myself before I started this. Because of my 'reading first set of books in 2013 by alphabet'-challenge, I had to pick a book with the letter 'N'. After thinking it through (for like, three seconds) I decided to give New Girl a try. I love the cover (the blue one) and the story sounded nice as well. So why not?!

Probably because after reading this, I still don't know what to think of it. It was nice, it was bad. It had its moments, it had bad moments. It had everything and that was maybe a little too much to ask for.

You read this, thinking it involves a love triangle, but it does not. Probably from Becca's point of view, but not from the other. There's only Max for her. And let me tell you that Max is a typical boy character, you fall for. No reason to be ashamed, it happens to everyone of us. If you actually decide to read this book and not stop in the middle or somewhere else. I don't like putting books aside and give up reading them. It's not in my blood, I think. If I was a author (I write my own books, but none published yet), I wouldn't want readers to give up on my books too.

Back to New Girl. I can't say a lot about the characters. Okay, that is probably untrue. I can - I just don't want to. I hated Becca, I can tell you that much. She was a total bitch and I honestly think, she should have gotten help. What was wrong with her brain and her mind? She made me really angry. I couldn't stand her at all. Whenever it was time for her point of view, I was like: "NOOOOO! Please not!" I read them anyway.

This book seems to want to be seen as something between a chick-read and a horror-psycho-story. When a girl is missing and you don't know what happened to her, that's just always a little horrifying, isn't it? And I don't know why, but New Girl reminded me of the TV series Harper's Island. Perhaps because of the referrings to sea or lake or whatever it was. When I think of Manderley Academy, I think of an Island. Weird, huh?

It's a riddle to me how Dana (Becca's former roommate and now "new girl's") could keep a secret for so long. She was also a character that drove me mad. The way she always screamed around and seemed to freak. I think her and Becca could have been twin sisters. Bitchy twin sisters, I might add. I really don't know why there is such a strong dislike for the characters in this book.

I liked Max and Johnny, though when I was finished with this book, I asked myself why they didn't do anything. Why they let themselves treat the way Becca did. I couldn't understand it, but I guess I don't have to.

What really scared me is that I noticed not even once, that "new girl" didn't have a name. Nobody called her by her name during the book. I am sorry if this appears as a spoiler to you now, but it really scared me. So easy not to notice something was missing. You get to know her name by the end, though.

I am sorry if my review isn't much of a help when it comes to the decision if you should read it or not. I think you should. It takes a while 'til you get into the story, but it's nice and not as bad as reviews say. It's not my favourite read either, but I am glad I picked it up and did stick with it.

Dienstag, 8. Januar 2013

If I Lie - Corrine Jackson

Title: If I Lie
Author: Corrine Jackson
Rating: 4 - 4.5/5

I don't know how Corrine made it, but this book put me through so many emotions. It was crazy. I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I smiled. I thought I would have to tell my mom to send me to a doctor or something. I loved this book so much.

Quinn got caught kissing a boy. The problem is that she already has a boyfriend - Carey. He is serving for his country in Afghanistan and currently there. Now her friends call her the meanest things and the only way to stop the rumors and mean words, would be to tell them Carey's secret. Then Carey goes MIA (missing) and she still has to deal with keeping her promise: To keep his secret.

Normally, I don't enjoy reading books about people in the Army. Granted, I have only read a few of them, but it always annoys me a little how the couple is already together - then the guy flies away, there is war, he gets wounded (or not), the girl is sad, he is furious 'cause he wants to serve his country, so he breaks up with her, thinking it's for the best. So cliché, isn't it? However, I loved If I Lie a lot. Even it if fit this cliché in some ways too. The story just made my heart ache a lot. I can not say enough how much I loved it. (But I'll try to stop. I think you get the point)

I can't imagine what it must be like for a family, especially for a mother to fear for her son to get wounded, get MIA or even killed. For me, it's unbelievable anyway, because I think this whole war thing and sending people there is useless and crazy and everything else. I can't think of it as help. I always think that people make everything worse by starting another war, just to end the war in the country they are sending people to. It doesn't even make sense, does it? Innocent people are dying over there and it won't ever stop. The war won't ever stop. While thinking and writing about this now, I am really mad. Seriously, it's just gaaaahhh! But my complaining won't change anything. Not the tiniest bit. No matter how many people are trying to raise their voices against it - it will meet numb ears.

So, let's talk about something happier - THIS BOOK! haha.
I was a little afraid to start this. I had it on my eBook reader for some time now but never had the urge to read it. I was staring at the cover all the time and think: "What if this book disappoints me? Why am I even having such high expectation on this one?" I know the answer now: To match those expectations. And saying this makes me very happy. It's rare enough that I find a book that amazes me. It actually only happens in like 1 of 20 books. I wish I could say I am joking. But I am not. Not really.

Time to write something about the characters, I guess. Always a hard task for me. I'll start with Sophie Quinn, since she is the main character. In the beginning I wasn't sure what to think of her. Sweet, innocent. So wrong! Well, not completely wrong, but she is a strong girl, and when you read this book, you get the impression that you actually know her in real life. Everyone should be a little Sophie Quinn. So Corrine, share a piece of her with us! She is so brave and you feel sorry for her so many times. You can relate to her if you got disappointed by your friends some time, if they failed you, if rumors starting to get out of hand, if you have to deal with a strict parent, if you have to deal with a parent who left you, if you feel something for someone and it seems so wrong, if you struggle to keep secrets, if you are a good friend, if you are a lousy friend. Everyone can relate to her in some way. I think that is what made her so special. In a lot of books, the character has a straight line - girl, rich, beautiful, spoiled, the end. Sophie is a lot of things. She is a real person. At least the way she was written and created makes you feel that way. Awesome!

Carey is one of the guys you find cute. He is nothing out-standing, but he just is and you like him. I felt really sorry for him and that he had to keep his secret a secret. It was cliché, but it was not. Sexuality is still such a topic in the Army. I don't really see why it'd matter what gender you love. I guess I did spoil a bit now. But after the first two chapters, you know what is going on with him anyway. I am sorry if you are bothered by my "spoiler" now. I really am. I just can't help it.

Of course, there also is a sunny-boy in this. His name is Blake and he is G O R G E O U S. Everything he says makes you melt, unless he is being an ass. In some scenes, he is. Just so you know. Beware of him. You will fall in love with him so quickly. It should be forbidden. I liked him a lot. No, strike that. I loved him. But... Yes, there is a but. I think he should have stood up for Sophie. He should have been there for her. While Sophie thinks she used him in some way, it was the other way around as well. And I'm not sure what to think of the ending. I can't express my feelings 'cause that would mean I'd have to spoil again. I can't do that, can I? Writing reviews is so stupid. Okay, it's not, but I'd love to spoil now, but I refuse to! Get surprised what happens or not between the two of them in the end. Your head will have a lot to do by dealing with your emotions by then.

I will put the others together: I hated Sophie's former friends. I hated them so much. But that's how teenagers are. I am sorry that I know people like that, I am sorry that you most certainly know people like that too. I was disgusted by her mother, and though she tried to explain, I still can't forgive her for doing that to her own daughter. Gosh, I sound like the characters really exist. I should stop reading books. Yeah, not going to happen! I also kind of disliked her father. He is what you'd imagine an ex-soldier to be. Bitter. Who I loved was George and his and Sophie's conversations. They were so cute, and my heart broke when... Well, just when something happened.

I probably spoiled, so again - I'm sorry. I can only once more say how much I loved this book. I really should have picked this up sooner. But I'm so, so happy that I finally read this, and how it was able to take so much emotions from me. I didn't know I had it in me. If this is not on your wishlist, it should be. You did an amazing job, Corrine Jackson! This book is flawless!

Donnerstag, 3. Januar 2013

Beta (Annex #01) - Rachel Cohn

Title: Beta (Annex #01)
Author: Rachel Cohn
Rating: 4/5

Elysia is a Beta created in human's paradise Demesne, and only exists with one goal: Serve and work for humans. Once bought by a woman and her family, Elysia should be just like every other clone: Soulless and not having an own mind. Yet, somehow she wants to learn things and have thoughts. Only then, she is seeken by memories of her First, Z, though she knows that is not something that should happen. Afraid to be thrown away as a Deffect, she keeps her secret. But what will happen if people find out?

It's pretty rare that a book impresses me right from the start. This one did and I am already fangirling about it. I regret not picking it up sooner. I loved it!

Meet Elysia and read how she 'grows'. In the beginning you assume she is cold, 'cause after all she is a clone. Yet, when you continue reading the story, you learn the opposite. You actually forget that she is programmed and everything. You read the story like she is a real girl (and a very charming one too. Happens not all too often that I like the female main characters). If sometimes there weren't hints and flashbacks about how she's is just a clone, you would oversee that. At least I did. You like her even more and more and feel her pain also. You want to scream, you want to cry, you want to laugh, you want to crawl into this book and comfort her. It's heartbreaking. Seriously.

When I started the book, I liked the family she got in. Sure, the family seemed a little strange and not very loving, but I didn't feel like they wanted her to be their slave or anything. I liked that. After some events that you will read about too, however I couldn't stand them anymore. If there is anyone out there who did - please write me and tell me why, because I can't see how that is possible.

A little spoiler-ish: I really assumed that she would end up with Ivan at first. I actually liked him, especially while reading the first meeting between him, his sister and Elysia, you know, the pool scene. They seemed so happy and it was so cute. It was all family-like, but I couldn't help but see that there might be more to it. Too bad.

Tahir... Oh, Tahir. You make all the girls go "aww". And yes, I include myself. You are awesome, boy! Rachel Cohn created a very, very nice guy with him. And know what is strange? When I read what was up with him, I knew that I knew it before, but while reading the scenes before, I didn't really think about it. Does that even make sense? It's impossible for me to express what I want to express in English. Guess I wouldn't be able to in German as well. So, basically, I mean that it wasn't unexpected for me, but I was so into reading that book, that I couldn't even think: "I want this to happen. I want that to happen." I just read and loved it. Every single second of it.

And Alex. He obviously is no Tahir, but he really loved Z (Elysia's first.. Her original, so to say). Maybe that's why I wouldn't believe him if he declared his love for Elysia. I just can't see that happening. But maybe, I will grow to love him in the next book. I so want to know what happens after reading THAT end. AHHH! I AM EXCITEEEED! Sorry. :P

I think I should probably stop. I would only repeat myself over and over again by saying how much I loved this one. It was so good. After all the disappointing reads lately, this one really did me good. I can't wait for the second book. Give it to me now! And why did nobody tell me that this book will be released in Germany too? I would have waited! No, I couldn't have. I am glad I have not. I enjoy reading books in English way more anyway, but grr.. So many books will be released in Germany this year. So many that I already read, I might add.

Mittwoch, 2. Januar 2013

Reading Challenge 2013

I hope everyone had a good start into the new year. May 2013 hold only the best for you! :)
This year, I challenged myself to read 150 books. Last year, I read 302 (I aimed for 160, so turned out pretty great haha). I won't have THAT much time this year, but I'm confident I'll reach the 150. If my friends purchase some, etc.
Also, there is another challenge I decided to do. I decided to read my first set of books in 2013, by alphabet. Starting with A and ending with Z. The letters Q and X obviously are not included. (If you know a book with those letters, feel free to inform me. If they are good!) Same with Z. I'm not sure if there's a book with that letter. Okay, I know one book, but that is only coming out this year. I'll have to check my to-read list for that again.

Already done so far;
A - Ask The Passengers by A.S. King
Rating: 3/5
Notes: I expected more. It had such good reviews, but it just didn't do it for me. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for that kind of book. You never know. I won't write a review for this one.

B - Beta by Rachel Cohn
Rating: 4/5
Notes: This was amazing! I had to struggle to put it down in order to eat or update my status on the book. If a good friend of mine wouldn't have bought this for me in English, I would have read it in German too. But I found out that this one's released in German too just after I finished reading it. Maybe it's not even released yet in Germany, I don't know. Just saw the German cover on Goodreads. I will definitely write a review for this one. Even if it takes some time.

Reading right now;
C - Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
Rating: To come...
Notes: So far, I think it's pretty boring. I hope it'll get better.

I am not in the mood to write reviews right now. I haven't been for a couple of time (in case you didn't notice). I plan on writing some in 2013, so stay tuned!