Montag, 23. Mai 2016

The Other Side of Gravity (Oxygen #01) - Shelly Crane

Title: The Other Side of Gravity (Oxygen #01)
Author: Shelly Crane
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Red Coat PR for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
My name is Maxton and I’m a trader.
I live on a soulless planet where gravity, oxygen, and everything else are sold to the highest bidder on the black market. People are sold on the black market, too. You have to work really hard not to become one of those people. Pay your taxes, keep your friends and family close, and more than anything else—don’t get caught by the Militia. But all the rules changed for me the day I found her.

My name is Sophelia and I’m a stowaway.
I’ve been a slave for almost as long as I can remember. Waiting for the one day, one second, for my proprietor to turn his head so I could run and never look back. Now I'm on the run. And on a planet where no one is on your side and people would turn you in for a good meal or a piece of a silver, being on the run on Landu is the last place you want to be. Until he found me.

I won't survive without him.

I can't breathe without her.

On Goodreads, I came across a lot of negative reviews or bad rating, at least. I don't understand why. I know - different tastes and all that, but The Other Side of Gravity wasn't 'stupid' or 'boring' or whatever other word people wrote about it. Of course, it's not all smiling unicorns, either. There were things I didn't like as well, yes, but I'd never think of rating it with one or two stars only. When I first found out about Shelly writing this one, I was sure it'd become a huge hit, because everyone seemed so in love with her Significance books. Guess some just liked those better.

I never really thought I'd enjoy reading about future settings so much. But lately, I read a lot of these stories and I happen to like them a lot. Especially if the world within is so well figured out as Shelly did it. Honestly, I'd like to write such a book myself, but I think I'd go mad, never able to keep up with who is who or how that certain world works and such things. It's crazy. And I am really impressed by any author who manages to create another universe. You know, it's not all fantasy in this book. About the story, I mean. Because the people choose to move to another planet after the earth became a bad place. And to me, that's an important topic, up-to-date.

So, the story is told from two point of views - Maxton's and Sophelia's. To be honest, I liked reading Maxton's point of view a little more, but that's because I am a fan of getting into the boy's head in a book. At times, I was really angry at Sophelia, because she misunderstood so many things and acted all shy and then all feisty in the next scene. But coming to think of it, I think that's a needed aspect for her character. I mean, she was a slave for so long, she doesn't really know how to interact with other people, who to trust, what certain feelings mean. She's like a lost puppy. And then of course Maxton is the saviour. I adored him! Though he seemed kind of arrogant and mean in the beginning (I also didn't like that hipster language he used to with co-workers on the ship), you'll grow to love him really quickly. He's awesome!

When you start reading the book, the first few pages will kill you - emotionally. That's what they did to me. I sobbed so hard and wanted to hug my own mom so bad. I felt so sorry for Soph, aww. I feel like crying all over again. But things get better... You gotta have faith in that. It doesn't seem that way in the next chapter, but Soph never gives up hope either, so you shouldn't do it. Give this book a chance, it's not all every-human-hates-Soph-like. She had a hard time, that much is true, but please don't be annoyed by finding out about it. It's what makes the further line in the story so much more thrilling. I loved reading about Soph's and Maxton's journey, especially when they got to Maxton's family. I hope we'll get to find out more about them.

Towards the end, when the two met two guys, described as Dee and Dum (Hello, Alice in Wonderland), I got annoyed. Not annoyed, exactly, but I lost interest. Things seemed to take on speed, far too much speed. Don't get me wrong, the book is pretty big, at least that's what it felt to me, reading it on my cell. I'm not complaining about its length at all, but due to how many pages the book had, I felt like a few more couldn't hurt, just to keep the pace right. Also, when they got to the beach, that's when everything got out of control for me. It seemed too predictable. Those who read the book yet might know what I am talking about.

So, having everything said that I can think of right now, I still think The Other Side of Gravity is one of my favourite reads when it comes to other planets, sci-fi stuff. And let's face it - the cover is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I could stare at it for days. And for me, it captures the emotion Soph feels when she is with Maxton. I love it.

Sonntag, 22. Mai 2016

The One We Fell In Love With - Paige Toon

Title: The One We Fell In Love With
Author: Paige Toon
Rating: 4.5/5
Phoebe is caught between a rock and a hard place. Settle down and get married, or return to the French Alps to pursue her passion?

Eliza is in love with someone who is no longer hers. In fact, he probably never was… And her dream of becoming a musician seems to be spiralling down the drain.

Rose is out of a job and out of a boyfriend. To make matters worse, she’s been forced to move back in with her mother…

But these very different girls have one thing in common. Angus. The one they fell in love with...
Paige knows how much I love her books (and I hope she isn't annoyed by me yet). I shouldn't have to point it out anymore, should I? Well, I don't really care. Here you go: I absolutely love Paige's books. She's one of my very favourite authors (she's probably even my very, very, very fave!). One of her previous books called Pictures of Lily is my ultimate favourite book ever. And ever since I randomly picked up Johnny Be Good in 2012, I call myself a huge fan of Paige. She's awesome. And super kind. I'm so glad to have met her twice now. She's a sweetheart. Thanks again for taking time to talk to me, Paige!

Alright, so that's the reason I decided to write a review for The One We Fell In Love With. I usually only review books I receive on NetGalley lately, simply because I need too much time to read and review these days, so I can't do it with all the books, though I'd like to very much.

So, I'm scared some people won't give this book a chance because they think it's some kind of love triangle and yeah, we all know that gets old (not for me, but oh well...). Believe me when I say the story will hold a lot of surprises you won't expect. Pleasant surprises and one of them is called Toby and he is the sweetest male character I have ever come across with. Though Pictures of Lily will always be my favourite book, I think Toby is my favourite character now, which makes The One We Fell In Love With be my second favourite book by Paige.

I'm so afraid to give away any kind of spoilers by telling anything about the story. Which is why I won't. And I'll probably won't be taken seriously as a blogger now, but I can't risk saying too much. You'll have to read the book by yourself. I'll tell you one thing, once I got to #ThatPart I was shocked to see how many more pages the book had. For a second, I thought like: "Wait, what else can possibly happen now?" I almost feared '#AnotherPart' - haha - but luckily, your heart will only be damaged once. Or maybe twice. Tops.

Paige Toon warned us to read this slowly, not too fast. But how is that possible? Paige, you shouldn't write amazing books if you want us readers to not finish your books within a few hours or a few days. No offense! haha. So, at first I tried to read only three chapters and put it aside then, but on Thursday I couldn't take it anymore and read 3/4 of the book, which was the rest. And I cried. And I laughed. And I fell in love (with Toby, of course). All these reviews promise pretty things, and I didn't get disappointed.

Oh, and please excuse me for cheering for Toby only. Angus is the one person everyone focuses on, I guess that's what made me fall for Toby so hard. There wasn't much of a competition, haha. Anyway, Angus is one fine gentleman too. He has his weird moments, but those were mainly when he was a teenager. You'll know what I mean when you read the prologue. That short chapter makes you understand what I mean. By the way, did you know that you can read the first three chapters on iBooks? If you haven't decided whether to buy the book yet, feel free to check if those chapters are still available.

I'm having second thoughts about my review. Is it helpful? Am I being too much of a fangirl? Did I write it too quick and got my English all messed up? Yeah, the latter's most likely right. However, one last thing before I let you go and finally buy The One We Fell In Love With. After I finished the book, I listened to some music on my iPod and found four songs that fitted the story just right. At least that's the way I saw it. So, the song in the video is called Seperate by Meg & Dia. Funny how many Meg & Dia songs apply here.

Darleen's playlist for The One We Fell In Love With: (more titles might be added)
Meg & Dia - Seperate
Meg & Dia - Going Away
Tyler Hilton - I Believe In You
Meg & Dia - The One

Freitag, 20. Mai 2016

Princess of Tyrone (The Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #1) - Katie Hamstead

Title: Princess of Tyrone (The Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #1)
Author: Katie Hamstead
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Curiosity Quills Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Apolline is happy hunting magical creatures on her pirate infested outer-perimeter planet. She is a fantastic shot, and doesn’t flinch at the blood and guts of her kills. Never once did she consider she could be the missing Princess of Tyrone.

All her life, she has heard the story of the Princess, cursed to sleep for eternity, unless her betrothed, the Prince of Oran, gave her true love’s kiss. Although Apolline knows she is betrothed, she thinks her fairy guardians arranged it out of ignorance of human ways. The thought she could be a princess is inconceivable.

Then Allard appears. Handsome, charming—but he’s not hers to have. He’s betrothed, too. Her guardians warn her against her new found friendship, but she and Allard meet in secret anyway. Despite her rough exterior, he sees beyond her gun-slinging bravado, and their love blossoms.

But the deadline for the sleeping curse is approaching. If Apolline falls in love with the wrong person, she could end up sleeping forever.

Again, I am sorry for taking my time reading the book and writing the review. My allergies are pretty bad since April and so I don't really find enough time to read in between sneezing attacks.

Anyway, I don't say this a lot, but I can imagine this book being absolutely amazing as a TV show. Usually, producers mess a lot with books and in the end, the movie or the show is completely different than the book. Alright, I guess that could happen with Princess of Tyrone too, but the story, the characters, in my head it was a TV show already. So, please, dear producers or co-workers in the film industry, tell your people about this book, read it yourself and find some actors! This book needs to be heard and if that means airing it on TV, well then there's that.

Being in my twenties now, I find myself less thrilled about fantasy or paranormal books. Somehow, I am not a fan of those anymore. The story has to hook me right from the start in order for me to read it until the end. Luckily, that was the case with Princess of Tyrone. When I was little I knew fairytales, of course, but I wasn't really interested in them. That hasn't changed, but something about the way Katie Hamstead mixed a fairytale story and a galaxy, a future-like story, made me go on and on reading this. I enjoyed that very much.

The time of the story is an interesting thing actually. Because it has a lot of aspects from former centuries, but mainly, I pictured this story happening in the future, considering the planets, the galaxy and the way the people travel. I absolutely loved that. Kinda felt like a YA alien book to me, awesome!

Even if you don't like fairytales that much, you will most likely find aspects that you like about this book. Truth be told, magic is involved in this, yes, but what's exciting is Apolline's journey, finding out the truth about her family, about herself. And that name, come on. All the names in this book are brilliant. I like refreshing names, so well done Katie Hamstead! They didn't seem too extraordinary, but they were just perfect for the characters.

Then there is Allard, whom you will fall in love with, depending on whether you have a weakness for boys in books. I loved getting a sight inside his head, reading about his thoughts. Also, I think his and Beau's friendship fitted the story just right. Considering how Apolline only had her "aunts" to talk to, it seemed fair Allard had a best friend. And what a best friend! At some point of the story I feared he might die. You know how sometimes a background character whom you grew to love dies?! I absolutely hate when that happens. Katie didn't put me through that heartache, phew! *wipes sweat away*

If you wondered about the point of views, there aren't just Apolline's and Allard's as it usually is in other books - two point of views. The evil character in Princess of Tyrone gets her own point of view too. Which was amazing, to be honest. I didn't think I could enjoy it that much, but it fitted the story so well and added a lot of important things: Anger, pity, hate. The plot becomes more thrilling with this.

So, based on how untypical it is for me to like fairytales and everything along with that, I honestly enjoyed this book a lot. Much more than I originally thought. I'm glad to see this is only the first book in the series, because I'd like to know more about Allard's friends. Any chance on reading their story?!

Sonntag, 1. Mai 2016

The Natural History of Us - Rachel Harris

Title: The Natural History of Us
Author: Rachel Harris
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Spencer Hill Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart. Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him. Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first. For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

Sometimes, there are books that hook me right from the start. And when these books happen to be ARCs, I feel even more grateful for having received those. The Natural History of Us is one of those books. And it's also one of my favourite reads this year. We're only five months into 2016, but I can already tell that much.

Something about this book, the story plus the writing, held me captivated right from the start. Sure, this kind of story - sort of a second chance romance novel - has been told a million times already. Normally, I dislike reading about the same topics over and over again. But it was different here. There was so much more to it than the ever lasting misunderstandings, though yes, these appear too.

So, Peyton and Justin have been broken up for about three years now when suddenly a school assignment forces them to work together again. While Peyton isn't exactly happy about the current situation, Justin finally sees a chance to make things right, to explain why he did what he did three years ago. It's then that Peyton realizes she may not be as over him as she originally thought.

And yes, that sounds very predictable, I understand your doubts. But I think every Rachel Harris fan (which I am now. Definitely! Even though it was my first book by her) will agree when I say this is a masterpiece. It truly is. The chemistry between the two main characters is too strong to deny. I often blushed myself, because I was so lost in the story, so deeply in love with it. I hate not pointing out certain things specifically, but seriously... I'm still so over the moon by this book that it's impossible for me to find the right words describing it. The excitement leaves me speechless.

If I wanted to name a thing I kinda of disliked about The Natural History of Us, it would be the rodeo thing. But that's because I don't like horses. The rest about the story, the illness, the characters, their story, their past, their new beginning... That was all really beautiful and so well sorted out. Whatever feelings Peyton or Justin felt, it was like their feelings were copied on me. I love when an author is capable of doing so. It's a really hard task making the reader feel the emotions, and Rachel Harris did a fabulous job.

Again, this book is one of my ultimate favourites this year, which I'm a bit surprised about, because these days, I usually prefer new adult romances over young adult romances. And while it isn't immature in the least, it's also not as heavy as an adult romance. I loved it very much.