Samstag, 28. November 2015

Paper Thin - Jennifer Snyder

Title: Paper Thin
Author: Jennifer Snyder
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley, Jennifer Snyder and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Fate has always seemed to mock Charlotte Montgomery, continuously dangling the man of her dreams just out of reach. It isn’t until Charlotte receives word her older sister Emma is getting engaged that she feels fate’s teasing has hit a new high.

Once she begrudgingly decides to return home to the tiny town of Parish Cove, curious to find out who has captured her sister’s heart, fate suddenly seems as though it may have tossed her a bone.

The problem: Charlotte forgot one simple thing…Fate has never been her friend.

Emotions run high. Happiness will be shattered. And tragedy will strike, leaving everyone feeling paper thin.

I requested this book, thinking I had read one of Jennifer Snyder's books before, but I still can't tell. I had zero expectations, I wanted to be open-minded when it came to Paper Thin and so this book totally blew my mind.

Charlotte is a young college student who returns to her hometown, because her sister is set to celebrate her engagement party. A few years ago, Charlotte left town because she wanted to go to college and also couldn't deal with her mother's sickness that started kicking in then. She though that her sister Emma had it all under control. Once she returns to town, she finds herself face-to-face with her long-term crush, Dawson. Old feelings start to grow until some shocking news ruin everything for Charlotte. And just as she makes her way back to college, another dramatic news goes off, changing her whole life.

So much for my retelling of the synopsis. I really adore Jennifer Snyder's writing style. She's all about emotions, which makes it easy to understand the character's motivations. Although I don't agree with the way the story ended (I wonder where all the money comes from?!), I liked the way it developed. Usually, the books about returning to a hometown aren't my thing, so I was surprised to like this one so very much.

At first Paper Thin reminded me of a novel I have written myself, especially because of the Dawson thing. I enjoyed Charlotte and Dawson's scenes a lot! The one in which she watches him take a swim is my favourite. And because I liked him and he seemed like a really sweet boy, I was so sad about the ending. But you'll see for yourself if you decide to read this book (please do, I can only recommend it!).

Then there is Sadie, Charlotte's best friend at college (her name is Sadie, right?). She's the one who catches her when she falls. She comforts her after she returns from home, takes her out to a club and introduces her to a band. Charlotte soon starts feeling a certain attraction toward one of the members, but it doesn't last long. By the end of their concert, both girls walk to their car and that's when Charlotte gets a phone call that changes everything. And also then, Sadie is right by her side, offering to be the friend she needs in that situation.

Charlotte drives back to her hometown, needing to be there for a family. And that's when I started hating her sister, Emma. Alright, I wasn't a big fan of her right from the start, but it only got worse when she started being mean to Charlotte. I can see why she feels that way and is angry at the whole world, doesn't mean I still approve of it. And when she did what she did... I was shocked and disappointed. But it was important for the story, same as the club visit before the shocking phone call, only I didn't understand that at first either.

Honestly, each scene and each chapter is necessary for the story itself. It's like a well-organized puzzle without a missing piece. So even though this review is kind of short compared to other reviews I have written in the past, it's all I can manage right now. I was an emotional wreck for at last two days after I finished Paper Thin, so I suggest you finish it on a Friday or a Saturday morning. That way, you'll have enough time to collect your thoughts and write a review yourself. This book deserves all the support it can get and it's one of my favourite emotional-reads, as well.

Samstag, 21. November 2015

Not Just Another Romance Novel - Lisa Suzanne

Side note: This is my 100th review on Orchids & Amethysts / On The Brightside, yay!  

Title: Not Just Another Romance Novel
Author: Lisa Suzanne
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Lisa Suzanne for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Is it really wrong to have more than one boyfriend? I brought a new one into my bed almost every night. From conference rooms to broom closets, I escaped reality with my leading men. Okay, so they were fictional book boyfriends.

In reality I should have been concentrating on classes while I looked for a living, breathing man to help me achieve my romantic fantasies. It was a friend who suggested combining my passions for romance novels and psychology to generate my Master's thesis research topic: Does the modern day romance novel leading man create unrealistic expectations for a prolonged adult relationship?

To find out, I’d run a social experiment. I’d be the constant. The variables would be my leading men. I’d date every stereotype in the books, from billionaires to bad boys, rock stars to bikers, dominants, athletes, and…my stepbrother?

If my research was successful, I'd end up with a degree and maybe even my very own happy ending.

In the beginning, I couldn't stand the female main character, Piper, at all. I got the impression, she was described all wrong, because she was really good friends with boys, but seemed far too girly for that. I just couldn't see her laughing with the boys, watching movies or shows with them, when all I could think about was her worrying about what shoes to wear the next day. She wasn't that girly, but reading the first few pages, I thought so.

Fortunately, the further I got into the novel, the less annoyed I was with Piper. And eventually, I even started liking her.

It's kinda weird to think of a book that's about a girl trying to make herself set up a date with all the stereotypes there are in other novels. You see, this is another book, so it's kinda funny, don't you think?! Also, the stereotypes such as the biker, the bad boy and the rock star, are being proved right in this book. They are no different from other books.

But that is not a bad thing. In fact, I think Not Just Another Romance Novel is more about finding the right guy for you and making decisions you won't regret afterwards. On top of that, it's just about one of the funniest novels I have ever read. I always wanted to know what happens next and couldn't stop laughing over a couple of hilarious scenes.

Piper's excuse to date all of these different boys is her thesis project for her psychology master's class. To her professor, she explains that the modern romance novels change your exceptions of an adult relationship. Actually, that's kind of an interesting theory. So if this wasn't a book, I'd be interested in asking someone whether they've ever considered such a project as well. And I'd like to know about the result, as well.

Her friends, Austin, Shannon and Scott know all about her plan. Also, Austin is the one who helps Piper get in touch with a bad boy first and then a rock star, who she finds herself every attached to and even developes some kind of relationship with him. The rock star is called Dax and I didn't like him. Sure, he said very sweet things, but about twenty percent into the book, I knew of the end's direction and wanted him out of the picture as soon as possible. You'd think that once she starts seeing Dax, she'll stop dating other boys. Well, but her project isn't done yet, so she keeps up with her plan and lands a date with an athlete, thanks to her professor's help, who is really interested in Piper's thesis project.

While Piper has to wait to hit on her stepbrother until Thanksgiving (yes, the author tried her hardest to include all the possible book boyfriends), she and her friend Shannon go to a biker club, she sets up a meeting with a successful CEO and Piper also tries this whole dom/sub thing. Hey there, Fifty Shades of Grey! That part only exists online though, so nothing too heavy happens (is that a spoiler?!, but the scenes were my favourite! Reading those was so damn funny, I had a real blast!

And though none of these guys awaken her interest the way Dax, the rock star does, Piper suddenly notice she's having feeling for someone else who she's never really considered putting on the list - it could ruin a very important thing.

This review is pretty long already, wow. Uhm... Can I stop by saying I absolutely loved this book?! Because that would be the truth. I didn't intent to love a book about dating that many boys that much, but somehow I did. As mentioned, I couldn't get to the next pages fast enough, always curious to find out what happens next. And just to clarify things, I couldn't be happier about the end of Not Just Another Romace Novel.

Oh, and finally, can someone please enlighten me if Shannon and Hawk create cute babies?! Haha!

His New Jam - Shannyn Schroeder

Title: His New Jam
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Sydney Peters can't wait to finally drop the cymbals in marching band and devote time to her true love: drums. With the semester coming to a close, she's blocking out the cacophony during practice, especially sax serenades from Hunter Reed. But when Hunter offers her a paid gig as a drummer in his band, Sydney quickly changes her tune. The two favor different styles, but they make beautiful music together…in more ways than one.

Hunter is fascinated by Sydney's distant allure. He might be a ladies' man on campus, but the sarcastic cymbalist is impervious to his advances. When Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn't anticipate, however, is falling so hard. But will the repercussions of his past crash down on his chance at something real?

I really like this series by Shannyn Schroeder. I requested His New Jam because I immediately fell in love with her book called His Work of Art. That book will probably always be my favourite in the series, but that's because Adam is one really great nerd, and Hunter, the main character in His New Jam isn't that much of a nerdy guy and those type of boys seem to be my latest obsession in books.

To be honest, I didn't fully understand the music relation. I have no idea about marching bands in college, so I also don't know how any of that works. However, I still liked reading about Hunter's and Sydney's love for music, which I absolutely share, even if I usually have a hard time liking music related books.

I happen to like the guys Shannyn creates more than the girls. The girls always seem a bit of a rebels and unfortunately, I don't enjoy that for whatever reason. Sydney was described as someone with a strange hair colour, and I had this picture of a typical punk girl in my head. That didn't really fit with the marching band part, I think, yet that could be me being totally clueless about marching bands again.

Hunter always seemed like such a tough guy and a former playboy, so I was surprised to find him playing the sax and wanting to become a teacher. He earned a million extra points for that. And another million extra points for always playing a song for Sydney, as a try of flirting with her. That was just about the sweetest thing ever.

I felt sorry for Sydney in a lot of scenes. It appeared as though she thought of everybody else first and never of her. That may have been linked with her past but it didn't seem fair. It was as if she denied herself so many things, although she shouldn't.

So how do these two people meet? Through marching band, yes, but marching band isn't Syndey's passion. Some day, Hunter hears her play the drums and so he asks her to teach him how to play. Turns out he knows how to play, but what he really needs to learn is how to teach his future students. Sydney's his solution to that and in exchange for her help, he offers her a spot in his band. That's also the only reason she agrees to this, but soon enough they both find themselves looking forward to their lessons.

I'm afraid that this review won't help readers pick up the book, simply because I offer too less information. If you feel that way, please look up my review for His Work of Art and decide whether to give this series a chance or not. I recommend you do, because I can't wait to read the next book in line, called His Dream Role, which already awaits for me on NetGalley. Hopefully, my review mind is working better again until I have to write about that one.

Dienstag, 17. November 2015

More Than Comic (Chasing the Dream #02) - Elizabeth Briggs

Title: More Than Comics (Chasing the Dream #02)
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Victory Editing for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
They're best friends online - but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been best friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.

First off, I have to admit that I didn't read the first book in the Chasing the Dream series. Also because, if I remember it correctly, my request on NetGalley wasn't accepted. Reading More Than Comics now and reading about the other characters in this book, I think the declined request was a good thing, though. I'm not sure if I would have continued this series, if I read about another couple first. They just didn't seem as interesting to me as Hector and Tara did.

I keep asking myself why I am wishing for more books about comic obsessed people. I am not a fan of comics myself, so what is it about stories like More Than Comics that I love so much?! Is it the sweet nerdy way people are described in those books? Is it my obsession for The Big Bang Theory? I have no clue, but I happen to enjoy these stories a lot.

The author, Elizabeth Briggs, seems to be a really creative mind. I am jealous! The idea of inventing Tara and Hector deserves an award. Giving Tara a voice as a writer and Hector as somone who draws... Wow. And then they create this graphic novel together but never met in real life, which fits perfectly into the nerdy world, don't you think?! The plot is so well figured out and thought-through. And all the time, I felt like I was a part of the Comic-Con, though I never happened to be a part of it (also because I live in Germany, ugh).

Hector, who is the drummer of a now famous band, always knew that he was in love with Tara, even when they only had their online meetings and Tara was in a relationship with her boyfriend. Now that they meet in person, Tara can't deny the attraction she feels toward Hector. Over their weekend at Comic-Con, various things happen between them, including lots of misunderstandings and heartbreaks. Both want their relationship to be more than just a professional business between the two of them, but both have some things to figure out first. And then Tara's ex-boyfriend appears at the event, messing not only with Tara's feelings, but also with Hector's (not in a romantic way between Tara's ex-boyfriend and Hector, no! Gosh, my English is so bad if you just had that picture in mind, haha).

I'm repeating myself by saying I suck at writing good summaries for the tenth time or so. I feel like sending this review out as soon as possible, so I apologize in advance. I don't even really know how to tell you how good More Than Comics was by using a few sentences only.

I imagine it to be difficult, writing about the writing world, but also about the music world. Both creative genres and I never would have thought they fit, also because I am not a huge fan of reading about members of band, but Elizabeth Briggs made it work just fine. It's a good thing Hector isn't the lead singer, because that story might have not worked out the way it did with Hector being a drummer. He just isn't that kind of guy to be in the spotlight and I think it wouldn't have made this whole writing-drawing thing for his and Tara's graphic novel work. The fact that Hector speaks Spanish is only the cherry on top. Swooning-alert, haha.

Misfit Squad, the graphic novel, should be for sale. I would totally buy it! I'm a bit sad we don't get to find out what will happen concerning sequels, though it's obvious Tara and Hector will continue working on those. In the beginning of the book, I enjoyed reading about this project so much. I loved their panel and the signing they had. Also, surprisingly, the speed of their relationship didn't feel rushed to me. How weird is that?! They only have a weekend together, but never once did it seem like that. So many well-written scenes. It just felt like they knew each other so well, which I would have never thought. Of course, you read their thoughts and know they know each other for about three years, but I've read other books with a similar idea, and almost every time it seemed like the characters just got to know each other.

So, though this review is one of my worst, I believe, I'll leave you to purchase this book now. I can only recommend it. When I had to put it down, in order to get sleep, I was so sad. I wanted to read it in one session, it was that good. And though the positive things rule this review, I don't think I'll read the others in this series, as the other characters aren't that interesting to me. Hector and Tara are just so perfect together and they are most definitely one of my favourite pairings ever. Thank you for writing this amazing book, Elizabeth! I envy your choice of words. Your writing style is so perfect and inspiring!

Faith (Hades Angels #01) - Elizabeth Hayes

Title: Faith (Hades Angels #01)
Author: Elizabeth Hayes
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Limitless Publishing for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
My life changed in an instant when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only eighteen, and suddenly my once clear path was racing a hundred miles an hour out of control. I was in the driver’s seat, but completely unable to steer my life back on course. I lost friends and didn’t bother to make new ones. I refused to let anyone in…

When the doctor uttered the word “remission,” my path changed yet again. That new path led somewhere I never expected—somewhere most people would look down on—but it’s where I finally found myself, and where nobody treated me like a piece of fragile glass. It’s also where I learned other people had scars to hide. This is the story of how I met…him.

This is the story of how I became Faith.

If you're reading my reviews from time to time, you know that I am not a huge fan of reading about diseases and illness and all that stuff. So, in the beginning, I was disappointed to find out that the main character in this story, Faith/Laura, once was a victim of a terrible disease. However, I am glad the author didn't highlight it so much. I mean, of course you get to read about her fears and her past, but you never feel pressured by it, like the thoughts are forced.

Unfortunately, it took some time for me to get into the book. At first, Faith seemed like a really dark novel. I was sure of reading about dark secrets, the past following her up to the present and a dramatic ending. And then the story changed was Bryce came to view, which took a really long time, to be honest. But I can see that making sense. You want to explain the main character's story to the reader first, so it's all good.

Bryce and Faith's/Laura's relationship grows serious pretty fast. You wouldn't even feel a real connection between them, but that's probably my mistake because I'm so used to reading new adult or young adult romances, where it takes a hundred pages to let sparks fly and with adult romance books (or at least with this one), it happens so much faster. I wasn't used to that.

Also, there are more scenes of Faith and her friends, including Melody (who needs her own book, so we'll find out who the mysterious Gage is) than there are of the lovebirds, Bryce and Faith. That seemed really odd to me and may be the reason why I didn't really feel chemistry between the two of them.

Gah, I feel like I can't express myself. I am not, NOT, saying that this book is bad. It's a quick read, which I strangely prefer these days, and it was definitely not bad. I read far worse books, let me tell you. I just think that this book wasn't exactly right for me. And now to name a few good things, I'd like to mention that I adored Laura's cats, they were so cute. Also, I would have loved to read more scenes with her parents in the beginning. I would have liked to read about how they dealt with Laura's illness.

I'll leave this review short (compared to others I have written in the past). If you think I'm saying this book isn't worth a read, then I am sorry to have made you feel that way. I think it is worth a read, if you like this kind of genre and the story behind it. And please note the stars I gave this book - three stars. That's still a high rating, I think. So something about this book must have hooked me so I kept reading it. I can't really tell you what that certain thing was, I can't name it myself. Yet, Faith is a nice read and if you look for a novel that doesn't need two hundred pages to somehow reveal a story, it might be the right book for you!