Sonntag, 3. Juli 2016

Breaking Skin - Debra Doxer

Title: Breaking Skin
Author: Debra Doxer
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Dancing is like magic. It makes me disappear.

When I dance I’m not a sister or a daughter, not a lover or a friend. I exist in the moment, onstage, where I turn pain into art and pretend the illusion is real. My past is an abomination and my future is unwritten, but my present is pure, fluid, and focused. I’m content, or at least I think I am, until the night I meet a man who makes me want more.

He’s broken, just like me, but in different ways. He’s older and nothing like the men I’m used to. Compared to him, they’re all boys, immature and insipid, while he’s a force of nature, confident and virile. Virile is a word I’ve never used before, and I only use it now because he embodies it so completely.

At first, he fights the attraction between us almost as hard as I do. But when words like destiny and soulmate whisper through my thoughts, how can I ignore them? He can have any girl he wants, but he looks at me as if I’m the girl he’s waited for his whole life. How can I tell him I’m not that girl?

I wish I were enough for him, wish I were whole. But beneath my facade, I’ve been falling to pieces for a long time, and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the downward momentum.

In the beginning, I almost wanted to quit reading the book. I couldn't stand the prologue at all. I didn't like the writing and I didn't feel good about the story. There was a dark vibe to it, like the main character Nikki was some kind of hooker. Did I really just say that? I am sorry if it sounds offensive, I don't mean it like that. She just appeared to be something like that, a stripper maybe or perhaps I got that impression because of the location. Anyway, I didn't delete the book from my app and I am glad I didn't. It turned out to be a really great one.

How come a show about ballet is one of my favourites of all time, but I don't like any dance movies or books about dancing?! I have no idea. Being a dancer myself, I guess I get offended easily, because dancing is so much more than what these movies and books tell you. However, Debra Doxer didn't focus on the ballet topic. Well, she kind of did, making Nikki be a ballerina, but you won't be reading a story about a girl who spends twenty-four hours practicing in a studio. I'm glad for that. Her profession is an important part for the story and her doubts about a solo are real, but there's no nerve-racking competiton with another ballerina going on. Those are the worst.

Honestly, Breaking Skin is about love and trust and dealing with the past. It's about putting yourself first when necessary and counting on others when you're ready.

The writing and the character's voices improved with each chapter. I liked reading about the progress Nikki went through from page to page. Her life was never easy, but when she's with her niece, you read about a lighter version of that same Nikki. And I think the speed of Nikki's and Cole's relationship was just simply perfect. Often, I think everything happens a little too fast, and the period of time wasn't exactly a large one either, but it felt like it.

Judged on Nikki's sister's story, this book has got a mystery to it too. But it didn't overshadow the story, it just added some chills, some adventure to it.

I loved what Debra Doxer made Cole deal with. I have never read about that before and I think more novels, especially novels about sports, should pick this up. There's danger in everything, but these days, everyone is only after fame, being the best, never admitting when something feels wrong. And that can lead to horrible things, as read in Breaking Skin. And Cole's pretty lucky, considering the other guy we read about at the end. Sports people should take better care of themselves and their coaches should have the best intentions for their health, not for the winning.

One more thing I would like to speak about... Debra Doxer doesn't seem to care about the length of chapters. Luckily. There seem to be a lot of authors who write chapters that contain 7k words and end up having fifteen chapters in total. I don't know why it's become such a trend to write long chapters and have less chapters in total, but I don't like it. I like an organized book, chapters that make sense to me. Scenes and actions are great, but does a chapter really need twenty of them? I don't get it. Write fifty chapters if it makes you happy. I like that much better.

So, although my review doesn't really tell you anything about the plot, I highly recommend Breaking Skin. It's a refreshing story that will make you become Nikki, you will feel whatever she is feeling. Her character's voice is a really strong one and if you happen to like male point of views, I can tell you that Cole gets to tell his point of view a couple of times too. And gah, I loved those parts!

In Your Dreams (Falling #04) - Ginger Scott

Title: In Your Dreams (Falling #04)
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Captured Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Casey Coffield has a growing list of personal flaws he keeps locked away in his head:
He’s never on time.
His list of IOUs to his best friend is endless.
Money is always short.
Goals are never in reach.

Oh, and he’s decided to add college drop-out to that list, too. He doesn’t really think that last one’s such a bad thing, but his family insists it is, so it stays on the list.

On paper, he’s a zero. But in person, when he’s mixing tracks for a sea of bodies at the hottest clubs and parties, he’s downright irresistible. Just-right stubble on his chin, body of a boxer and a smirk that stimulates all the right nerves—women have never been a problem. They flock to his swagger and fall for his charm…fast.

All except for this one.

Purple hair, gray eyes, a raspy voice and sass, Murphy Sullivan is a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll. And her and Casey? They have history. He can’t remember it, but she wrote a song about him—and it’s not exactly a love song. But it is good. Damn good. And uncovering her inspiration just might be the key to solving a few of his shortcomings—not to mention open doors to his own big break in the music industry.

But sometimes dreams get messy when they collide. Sometimes life changes patterns. A past paints the wrong picture and futures get cloudy. The only question that remains is who will you choose when the dust settles—you? Or the girl of your dreams?

I've been a bad girl, I admit it. Usually, I am a very organized reader. I would never, never - and I repeat - never pick up the fourth book in a series when I still haven't read the third one. But I had to do it with this one. The Girl I Was Before is patiently waiting for me to be read on my eReader, but In Your Dreams screamed at me. Or maybe it was just my inner voice, telling me to read it before the download deadline is up.

Casey knows Murphy is the one for him - the one to make famous in order to be talked about as well. Years of trying to become a well-known DJ seem wasted to his father, who wants Casey to take up on a different path. Of course, he won't have it. That's why he's got to convince Murphy to sign with the label he's currently working with. Her voice is too good to not be heard. But developing feelings for her were never part of the plan - for either one of them. But what happens when dreams shatter and doubts grow?! (That has got to be my worst self-written summary ever. I am so sorry! It doesn't do the book justice.)

It's really weird. Normally, I hate stories about music. Don't get me wrong, I love music. It's the second best thing right after or maybe even along with reading. But I dislike the stories about rockstars who fall for the shy girl next door and such things. It's sweet, it's romantic, but also super boring and predictable to me. Maybe that's why I was so pleasantly surprised by Ginger Scott's book. I adore her work, she's super fabulous and one of my ultimate idols when it comes to writing, but she also managed to write a book about music, with the focus on it, but she didn't pressure it. There's no big celebrity in this who has it all and wants to find love. It's about two people finding their passion, finding each other. It was refreshing to all these other music-based books in the genre.

The plot is very realistic, which is so rare whenever an author decides to pick up this topic. And it wouldn't be a Ginger Scott book if there wasn't just the right amount of humor and tragic in it, too. As always, her characters all have their own voices, even those that aren't playing a main part for this book. I see Ginger posting pictures of her working next to baseball fields all the time and I can't help but wonder how she manages to be so good. I mean, that's a compliment. Obviously. But talking about the voices of the characters, it's a miracle she remembers everything about her story, about the history of the characters and such. And she seems to be a fast writer too. Oh my, so many reasons to be jealous of this woman.

I love the unusual scenes Ginger comes up with, like in one scene Murphy is taking care of her nose's pores. It might not sound romantic or whatever, but this scene was so important for the book. Fantasy is the best weapon and my, Ginger Scott has one perfect fantasy when it comes to her novels.

My favourite character was Lane, Murphy's brother - for obvious reasons. He is such a cutie. You know, this series might be one of the best ever, because the characters all have flaws, they aren't perfect and they know it, they struggle, they cry, they deal with things and then comes Lane who has every right to be upset and hate life, but he's this cute, positive thinking human being that shines so damn bright, it hurts. Reading about his and Casey's friendship always had me smiling.

I feel like I didn't write about the main characters. Uhm... There isn't much for me to say. Casey's a hottie and Murphy's... Well, Murphy. I wasn't sure whether I was gonna like her in the beginning, but reading about her family and seeing her defend herself, standing up to Casey made me change my mind.

I'm not sure why but I feel like, right now, I should declare a favourite in this series. But that's impossible. In Your Dreams really blew me away, but This Is Falling and You and Everything After did that too. It was strange to read about adult characters without them really being in an adult age. There's no mentioning of frat parties, sharing a bathroom with the rest of the dorm and such. But I am not complaining about that. It's what makes series so interesting - the characters become older, their life goes on. And Ginger Scott creates the best lives. Just saying. You should see for yourself.