Samstag, 17. Juni 2017

My Roommate's Girl - Julianna Keyes

Title: My Roommate's Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Weapenry Co-Op for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before it official release date.
The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.

I tried. I really did. But no matter how many pages I read and told myself to enjoy the story, I didn't feel the connection. These days, I seem to like those college romances that include falling in love with a roommate. And while this book started out okay and kept me reading further, I fastly came to the conclusion that the plot was rushed. The title doesn't match the story for about 85% of the book. After these first 15% the characters dealt with problems that us readers didn't know about. These problems came out of the blue. Aster turned out to be everything I didn't expect, like she changed within the blink of an eye. Of course, you can say it's because we got to know her better, but the change didn't appeal to me. I liked her better before, even though she was described as that typical innocent college girl most readers are tired of by now. But it seemed fitting for her. Until the author decided it didn't.

So, My Roommate's Girl isn't even about getting the girl, as I hoped, because I like a little forth-and-back before the characters realize they're actually in love with each other. I didn't spot a real motive behind the story to keep going further. As I said, suddenly Aster and Aidan had problems no one even thought of and that's what kept the story alive. But I didn't like reading about either of their problems and to be honest, I couldn't even stand the two of them most of the time. Aidan did a terrible thing in the beginning, just to get in Aster's pants and Aster... Just no. It's like what draws these two together is lust. And lust only. And maybe the common history, but that shouldn't be reason to fall in love. And I didn't get the impression that they did fall in love.

I can't imagine any guy being like Jerry. Well, except for the cheating part, maybe. Jerry is Aster's boyfriend, the one Aidan wants to steal Aster from. And his roommate. It's hard picturing him as something else than a nerd and a hopeless romantic, a true soul, too, maybe. But then he goes out with Aidan and his friends and his morals fly overboard. I didn't know who I wanted to slap afterwards, Jerry or Aidan. Probably both. To me, this part was rushed like mad and was the easy way for the author to find a way to end things between Jerry and Aster. As if cheating is the only thing that might make a couple break up. Also, it was the only mistake in their relationship and of course, something as major as this will end with them breaking up, but Aidan didn't even get to see other bad parts of his roommate's relationship. They didn't exist.

This review is going to be one of my shortest ones. That's simply because I can't find anything else to mention. My Roommate's Girl wasn't the worst book I read, but I expected something different, something more emotional maybe, because Aidan and Aster sure as hell were flat as paper. I read another book written by the author a year ago, called Undecided and remember liking that one much better.

Montag, 5. Juni 2017

Into Your Arms (Squad Stories #01) - Chelsea M. Cameron

Title: Into Your Arms (Squad Stories #01)
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Freya has secrets she doesn’t intend to share. Not with her new friends on the cheerleading squad at Maine State University, and certainly not with sexy lumberjack-look-alike Rhett. Just because sparks flew between them at a bar one night doesn’t mean he gets to know why she transferred to MSU. When Freya dares Rhett to come to cheerleading practice, she never expects to see the dark-haired lumberjack again.

Except Rhett is the last person to turn down a dare, especially when it comes from a pixie-sized blonde. When Rhett wows the squad and becomes Freya’s stunt partner, his hands come far too close for comfort. But as Freya and Rhett’s hot post-practice sessions bring them closer, she risks her secrets being revealed. Can Freya chance exposing who she really is to the guy who wasn’t supposed to win her heart?

I read a book written by Chelsea M. Cameron a few years ago and always wanted to read another one, because I really like her style, but never had the chance to. When I saw this title up on NetGalley, I finally decided now was the time to read a second book by the author. And while I didn't enjoy it as much as My Favourite Mistake, I still liked it.

It's refreshing to read about a cheerleader who's not a total bitch. Chelsea M. Cameron said so herself, so I can say it out loud too. And also, I liked the idea of a 'popular' guy joining the squad. Of course, his motives weren't the best ones, he was only after Freya, but Rhett's still a good guy, you can see that the further you read. He's a sweetheart. And Freya wasn't... So naturally, I liked him better than her.

I didn't like the way the two of them met, to be honest. In a bar. That's so chliché, but hey, the have to meet somehow, right? So I'm not judging here. Or not too hard, anyway. And then later I was just mad at Freya for being... Well, her. It's not the first time I'm reading about a girl character with trust issues and I totally see her point, but Rhett's literally being the best version of himself and she takes it all for granted. What kind of guy would keep up with that? Well, Rhett... Because he's such a good guy. Totally underrated in my opinion anyway. You'd think his name is an unusual one and he liked to go out with his best mate, but he's still super duper cute and hasn't got a single bad bone in his body. While Freya's basically built of bad bones. Gah. Obvious much that I didn't like her?! Sure, there have been worse characters than her and she needs to be the way she was in order for their story to work, but still... My complaining about this is just proof of how much that book actually got under my skin.

So, why the low rating? I don't even think it's that low. Compared to the other Chelsea M. Cameron book I have read, it didn't meet up my expectations. So, that's one reason. Freya is obviously reason number two (and three and four...). And I think that's about it. Everything else was... Sweet. It didn't sweep me off my feet, but I never wanted to quit on Into Your Arms or throw it aside and start another book. I was looking forward to reading about the change in Freya and about how she'd finally come to her senses. And... Before I forget it. I totally enjoyed reading about Mia. In my opinion, she isn't mentioned often enough. She's Freya's best friend and doesn't live in Maine, but I could tell I'd love her. And her parents, too. Can we get a story about her too, please?

Sure enough, I'm gonna read book two in this series, as well, although I don't think I'll like any of the female leads and Rhett can't be topped.

Last Semester - Corine Mekaouche

Title: Last Semester
Author: Corine Mekaouche
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn't always easy and it's up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?

Alright, I'm reading a lot of negative reviews for this book right now and I seriously can't find a reason why people would hate it so much... Sure, my rating isn't the best one either, but we'll come to that later. There's no need for reviewers to start getting mean. I just don't understand it.

Last Semester is told in four different point of views, which is a lot. I never thought I'd actually enjoy reading four different voices so much, but the author managed great. Without even looking at who was telling the chapter, you could always tell. The characters had their own voices that couldn't be misunderstood for another. There's Johanna - Jo -, who's probably one of the strongest female leads, I think. She seems like she's so self assured and knows exactly what she wants in life. Of course, the reader gets taught otherwise during the story, but still... And then there's my fave character, Drew, the ultimate nerd and even nerdier than anyone else I've ever read about. He's so adorable. Also, he's the only one who gets a little romance in the book, so I loved reading his parts. A.J. is a typical rich kid, thinking he's God's gift to women or something and Rob's... Well, I thought he's an asshole. That incident that happened to him - the joke Jo played on him - served him right. I couldn't stand him, though he grew on me, as well.

You'd think it's super hard to keep track of all these characters' lives. Basically, I don't know how the author wants to manage writing other books, because Jo, Drew, A.J. and Rob all had their own life, their own problems and everything you can possibly read about in other books, all topics, have been used for them. They all get their own stories, none of these character is boring in the least and I admire the author for achieving that.

Of course, it takes some time after Jo moves in with the boys until they're bonding a friendship. But seriously, I loved these guys together, which is probably why I think this book has got one of the best college friendships in it. The way A.J. costantly tried to hit on Jo, the way Jo and Rob hate each other's guts in the beginning and Drew's funny comments... Everything about them was great. They were perfect for each other and I was a little shocked when I realized it was only that... Friendship.

And that's why my rating is "low". I missed some romance, I didn't like the way this book started with a hospital scene (but I was glad when later in the book, the scene wasn't repeated but dealt as read already) and sure enough, the short blog posts by Johanna were fun and totally important for the further story of her future life, but I never really looked forwar to reading them and I can't even blame the author for that, so I might be mean to still write about this, but it just wasn't for me. Yet, I thought it was great for the characters to find themselves. I mean, that's what this age is about and the author captured that great, captured their dreams, passion and wishes very well. So I would definitely recommend this to anyone who isn't bothered by a little less romance than usual, but wants to have a fun time while reading.

Sonntag, 28. Mai 2017

Der letzte erste Blick (Firsts #01) - Bianca Iosivoni

Titel: Der letzte erste Blick (Firsts #01)
Autorin: Bianca Iosivoni
Bewertung: 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches vorab der Veröffentlichung.
Endlich frei! Emery Lance kann es nicht erwarten, ihr Studium in West Virginia zu beginnen. Niemand kennt hier ihre Geschichte. Niemand weiß, was zu Hause geschehen ist. Dafür ist sie auch bereit, in Kauf zu nehmen, dass die Situation im Wohnheim alles andere als ideal ist. Nicht nur treibt ihr Mitbewohner sie regelmäßig in den Wahnsinn - sein bester Freund Dylan Westbrook bringt ihr Herz mit einem einzigen Blick zum Rasen. Dylan ist genau die Art von Typ, von der Em sich unbedingt fernhalten wollte. Er sieht zu gut aus und ist viel zu nett - von den Streichen, die er Emery bei jeder sich bietenden Gelegenheit spielt mal abgesehen. Mit der Zeit kommen die beiden sich immer näher. Doch Emery ahnt nicht, dass Dylan etwas vor ihr verbirgt. Etwas, das ihre Welt erneut auf den Kopf stellen könnte ...

Ich finde es etwas schade, dass das New Adult Genre mittlerweile so zerrissen wird. Vor allem in Deutschland. Ich denke, ein Buch von Bianca Iosivoni und viele Leser würden ihre schlechten Meinungen über dieses Genre ändern, denn sie kann es einfach. Sie beherrscht ihr Handwerk nahezu perfekt, treibt einem an den richtigen Stellen Tränen in die Augen und bringt einen dann wiederum so sehr zum Lachen, dass einen viele Menschen merkwürdig anschauen, wenn dies in der Bahn, im Bus oder sonst irgendwo in der Öffentlichkeit passiert.

Zugegeben, mir ging es ähnlich wie vielen anderen Lesern. Der Einstieg in das Buch war nicht der glatteste, was leider an Emery lag. Ich weiß, starke Protagonistinnen sind auf dem Vormarsch, es gibt viel zu wenige von ihnen, etc. Aber dennoch fiel es mir schwer, mich mit der Idee einer Emery anzufreunden. Bianca schreibt super und daher waren Emerys Gedankengänge plausibel, aber ihren Charakter, ihre Persönlichkeit waren trotzdem nichts für mich. Aber... Natürlich macht sie im Laufe der Geschichte eine Wandlung durch und auch wenn ich sie gegen Ende schütteln wollte (oder ohrfeigen wie Grace. Ist das ein Spoiler?! :P), gefiel sie mir zu diesem Zeitpunkt deutlich besser. Das liegt wahrscheinlich an Dylan, diesem 1A-Bookboyfriend, der zu ihr durchdringt und sie aus der Reserve lockt.

Eine Sache, die mir besonders gefällt, ist, dass keiner der Charaktere, die Bianca Iosivoni sich ausdenkt, zu stumpf und unglaubwürdig ist. Sicher hat jeder von uns schon einmal ein Buch gelesen, dessen Geschichte gut war, die Charaktere aber alles andere als "echt" waren. Dagegen baut Bianca eine eigene Welt rundum die Figuren auf - sie haben alle eine Vergangenheit, tragen eine Last mit sich, fühlen verschiedene Emotionen und bewegen sich auf ein Ziel zu. Und jedes Mal ist die Motivation der Charaktere erkenn- und nachvollziehbar. Zu keinem Zeitpunkt wirkt eine Reaktion überzogen. Möglicherweise liegt das auch daran, dass man bis zu diesem Punkt schon so weit mit den Charakteren mitfiebert und sich so sehr in sie hineinversetzt hat.

Die Thematik der Probleme der beiden - Emery und Dylan - fand ich ebenfalls sehr interessant. Es geschieht nicht alle Tage an denen man sich mit diesen Themen auseinandersetzt, wobei mich die Geschichte von Emery dann doch nicht allzu sehr angesprochen hat. Aber diese Sache passiert... Leider begehen viele Mädchen diesen "Fehler" und müssen dann mit Konsequenzen leben, wobei die andere Person glimpflich davon kommt, was definitiv nicht fair ist. Dylan dagegen sowohl Geldsorgen, als auch, dass er sich um einen geliebten Menschen sehr sorgt. Ich möchte nicht alles vorweg nehmen, daher belasse ich es einfach dabei... Apropos... Was passiert eigentlich mit Mrs Pettyfer?!

Einen sehr netten Einfall fand ich übrigens auch den Kater, der letztendlich doch gar kein Kater war, seinen Namen aber trotzdem beibehielt. An dieser Stelle musste ich doch als großer Katzen-Fan sehr schmunzeln.

Kurz und knapp: Bianca Iosivoni hat es wieder geschafft, mich mit einem ihrer Romane zu verzaubern. Vermutlich würde ich sogar sagen, dass mir Der letzte erste Blick besser gefiel als Was auch immer geschieht, was überhaupt keine Aussagekraft hat, ich aber einfach mal in den Raum werfen wollte. Der nächste Roman wird auf jeden Fall ganz oben auf meiner Wunschliste stehen!

Donnerstag, 4. Mai 2017

One Italian Summer - Keris Stainton

Title: One Italian Summer
Author: Keris Stainton
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre and Hot Key Books for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Milly loves her sisters more than anything - they are her best friends. But this holiday is different. The loss of their dad has left a gaping hole in their lives that none of them know how to fill.

Heartbreak is a hard thing to fix ... Still, there is plenty to keep the girls busy in Rome. A family wedding. Food, wine, parties and sun. And of course Luke ....

Luke is hot, there is no way around that. And Milly will always have a crush on him. But this summer is about family, being together, and learning to live without Dad.

It isn't about Luke at all ... is it?

Everyone's right about this book - it's the perfect summer read, full of sunshine, descriptions of Rome and Italy and its beautiful nature, adventures and lightness. But of course, there's also some dark aspect here - a loss and how to cope.

Actually, there are three voices in this book - Milly's, Leonie's and Elyse's. Although the book's written in Milly's point of view only, her sisters aren't just side characters either, they all got a story. I'm glad the author didn't decide to write this in three different point of views, because everything more than two's is too much for me, yet Keris Stainton still managed to give the other two sisters their own voice, their own life. And while I wasn't exactly a fan of Milly's older sister, Leonie grew on me, especially when it was about her life choices toward the end of the book.

They always went to Rome together - the three sisters and their parents. But now that their father is dead, things have changed. However, when their aunt announces her wedding, the now four of them still decide to go there, although their mother isn't easy to convince. And when they finally get to Rome, things aren't getting any easier - their mother seems to be a shell of what she used to be and the boy Milly lost her heart to - Luke - seems to have forgotten about her, enjoying his time kissing other girls. Was it really a good idea to come back here?

There are hundreds of books about losing someone you love and every author writes about it in a different way. Some choose this depressive style and other choose another one. I think Keris Stainton managed to find a perfect way. I mean, for this book and the story, at least. The way the sisters talk about memories they share of their dad, the way they remember him and visit the places he used to go, it all makes you think like you're a part of this family, one of Milly's sisters maybe and discover all their truths. I liked that a lot. Their father's death is tragic, yes, but the writing isn't heavy and boring, dragging and annoying. The author manages to give the reader a lightful insight to the character's minds. The story focuses on that and not that typical grieving state of lying and bed and refusing to come out (though that's basically what their mom is like).

There's also sweet, light romance included. Aww, how I love those. Even though you really try in the beginning, you can't hate Luke. It's impossible. He's such a cute guy on the inside and it's super sweet reading about the way he treats Milly, what he thinks. I think my favorite scene might be their road trip, because that's when despite the connection that has always been there between the two, you get the feeling they are one. They're one of my favorites. Ever!

And I think (back again on the losing a parent part), the three different voices of the sisters really showed the importance of support during overcoming such a loss like theirs. They have their backs, no matter what, and they all learn how to cope, how to move on that One Italian Summer. Even the tough one (and I think we can all agree that Leonie, the youngest, is the toughest), shows her soft side and Elyse isn't as sure of herself as everyone always thought. So, they also get to know each other better.

The only thing I didn't like too much, was the I-always-have-to-control-everything part about Milly. It started at the airport, in the beginning of the book, but it was only much later, when the characters actually said it out loud, that I noticed this part of her. And to me, it kinda felt forced, like something had to be added in order for Milly to have a rough edge to her, something that makes her a little less perfect. But still... This is the perfect summer read. It truly is.

Dienstag, 4. April 2017

Pillowtalk - Cassie Mae

Title: Pillowtalk
Author: Cassie Mae
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGallery and Random House Publishing Group (Loveswept) for giving me a chance to read this before the official release.
Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t sure if she’s ready to move on.

Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

I love Cassie Mae. She's by far, one of my most favorite authors in the world. I adore her young and new adult romances so much, I could reread them every single day. I love her nerdy way, and gladly, Pillowtalk contained a lot of nerdy phrases too, but apart from that, I had a really difficult time getting into the book. Her All About Love series is written for adult readers as well, but... I don't know. Maybe it's because reading adult things written by her is new to me, but I just couldn't get into Pillowtalk as much as I hoped.

The cover might make you think this is some streamy work of fiction, but it's actually not. It's more about past friendships, loss and how we deal with it. How to say goodbye. Cassie captured these themes beautifully, it was more the characters that I couldn't relate to. Mainly Kennedy. And that's probably because I never had to deal with a loss like that. I hope no one ever has to. It's hard. So, I can still understand why she acted the way she did and writing this down now makes me realize, I have been a bit harsh toward her, and it affected my rating. But that's the way it is.

I would have liked to read more about Kennedy and Chelsea. They never seemed to talk about Jared at all, probably because a conversation like that would rip open scarred wounds, I get that. But still... Whenever they were around each other, it was like something was missing. I'm glad Kennedy still talked about Jared when she was with Aaron - the guy she is falling for during the story. And yes - Cassie didn't fail to create another swoon-worthy man. Whew!

Women can be so difficult. Kennedy's no expection. Every so often, I wanted to take the urn away, make her see that holding on to the past will only cause more heartache than she's already dealing with. But that's the great thing about stories - the characters develop on their own and when they finally see the things as crystal clear as the reader does, you want to give them some kind of comfort. However, Kennedy doesn't need the reader's comfort. She's got Aaron - the reason readers are jealous at her, haha. He is like a superhero, appearing at the right times, saying the right things. Of course, he's got demons on his own, but unlike women, he knows when to cave in.

Moving on from a loss like Kennedy's is always such a tough question, especially when it comes to books. Everyone has got a different opinion on that one, but reading Kennedy and Aaron's story, you can't help but wanting them to get together. Some readers might say it's wrong. Some might say it's against what she promised Jared. And maybe what makes this book so real is that this question is always dividing the minds. Still, I liked how Cassie Mae dealt with the topic and how she created a great romance, one that seemed very real.

Dienstag, 28. März 2017

Just Fly Away - Andrew McCarthy

Title: Just Fly Away
Author: Andrew McCarthy
Rating: 2/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, a eight-year-old boy named Thomas who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her family and her life. Lucy can’t believe her father betrayed the whole family, or that her mother forgave him, or that her sister isn’t rocked by the news the way Lucy is. Worse, Lucy’s father’s secret is now her own, one that isolates her from her friends, family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she expected would truly understand. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.

Unfortunately, this book didn't do much for me. Considering it almost took me two months two read it, though it's a short book, is really all I need to say. It wasn't exactly bad, it was more about the story and the main character Lucy. I couldn't stand her in a lot of ways and sometimes, the writer jumped from one point to another, which confused the hell out of me.

However, it also had it sweet moments, such as when Lucy met Simon. I really wish the story between the two would have been more focused on. Instead, it was all about that brother she never knew of - the kid called Thomas. And then she did things I couldn't relate to, especially since she's described as a mature teen. Her actions didn't show that at all.

The story idea was great, I think. But that one point of the story was just too much. I felt like it was forced on the reader and then Lucy didn't think about Thomas for a few chapters and then she did again. She was this angry, spoiled teen that I wanted to smack or something. Also, the relationship with her sister wasn't something I found out about much. By the end of the book, they got closer, but that was it about it. All of a sudden, they got closer. Everyone got closer. Sure, that one certain thing that happens draws families closer, but I still didn't like it.

I liked the scenes between Lucy and her grandfather. Those were really sweet. I wish we had found out more about that Davis guy that lived with him, but I guess since this was Lucy's story, we couldn't jump to him.

I'm sorry if this review seems mean. That wasn't my intention at all. The book had its good parts or else I wouldn't have bothered finish reading it, but it's definitely none of my favourites. But the topic is a good one - as a side topic, preferably. Not a main topic.

Things I Should Have Known - Claire LaZebnik

Title: Things I Should Have Known
Author: Claire LaZebnik
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.

Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.

So, the most important part first: This is one of the best young adult novels I have ever read! I was so hooked, I couldn't put it down for more than five minutes until I wanted to find out more. There's one other book by Claire that I've read called Epic Fail and I remember not liking it too much, but this one... It's a true masterpiece.

After reading Things I Should Have Known I found out that Claire LaZebnik has got a child diagnosed with autism, which is probably why she captured things in this book so perfectly. No one would have ever hinted at the things Chloe's autistic sister Ivy thinks or goes through. I was stunned, too. But it's such a good way to make people think about what's going on inside of people's mind that are diagnosed with autism. Normally, people don't even care to think about that, but this book makes you aware of it.

While Chloe pretends to have the perfect life - perfect home, perfect boyfriend, perfect repuation - she's got a lot of weight on her shoulders. She's the only one trying to understand her sister Ivy. Her stepfather definitely doesn't, trying to control everything Ivy says or does. Or even eats. Gosh, I found those scenes really horrible. Let the girl eat whatever she wants, you! And why does Chloe and Ivy's mother never say anything about his behaviour anyway? Why is she okay with everything he says? I didn't understand, which made me feel conntected to both girls in a way. And then of course I couldn't stand Chloe's boyfriend from the beginning, simply because I hoped there would be someone better for her out there. His name is James and while he seems friendly enough in the beginning, some things he says make his true soul come out. And it's not a nice view, let me tell you.

So, we need something swoon-worthy... And there comes David. That weird guy in Chloe's class. Well, at least the way she describes his looks in the beginning doesn't make him any appealing to the reader. But it's not about that... It's what comes later that makes you fall in love with him. And his brother Ethan is just such a cutie, I wanted to hug him all the time. Especially when Claire describes the way he squeezes Ivy's shoulders or something like that. He's too cute for his own good. And so naturally, I cried later in the book. I won't tell you why, but Ethan doesn't deserve that. Find out yourself what it is I am talking about - read this book!

I enjoyed the setting - the frozen yoghurt place, the bowling area. Sometimes, these settings happen in other books too, but the characters fit so well into these places. And well, when Ivy and Ethan are a part of it, it sure is interesting to read about their behaviour. I shipped these two so hard.

By the time I got to the end of Things I Should Have Known, I felt like there weren't enough pages left for the things that still needed to happen for the story to finish. And I was right. Things were a bit rushed at this point, which is the only negative thing I can say. And it's not even that harsh, so just forget about it.

Even days after reading this book, I am still speechless. It was exactly what I needed, what I wanted without even realizing it. Everything about this novel was great and I don't say this often, but I kind of wish I could unread it, only to discover the beauty of it all over again.

Montag, 20. März 2017

German Review: Weil ich dich zum Atmen brauche - Marla Grey

Titel: Weil ich dich zum Atmen brauche
Autor: Marla Grey
Bewertung: 2.5/5

Danke an Forever by Ullstein und NetGalley für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Allisons Leben liegt in Scherben. Sie hat während ihrer Schulzeit in einer Kleinstadt in Pennsylvania alles erduldet: Gewalt, Intrigen und Manipulation. Nach dem Abschluss hofft sie auf einen Neuanfang. Doch als sie auf dem Weg zu einem Konzert den Park durchquert, trifft sie auf ihre alten Peiniger. Und alles ist wie früher. Wäre da nicht der schweigsame Musiker Jess, der genau im richtigen Moment auftaucht. Er rettet Allison und weicht ihr von da an nicht mehr von der Seite. Die beiden kommen sich näher und werden schließlich ein Paar. Doch wird ihre Liebe die Narben der Vergangenheit heilen können? Und was wird passieren, wenn Jess Allison eines Tages doch nicht beschützen kann?

Puh... Ehrlich gesagt, bin ich sehr geteilter Meinung, was das Buch betrifft. Die Storyline an sich hatte sehr gute Ansätze, die Schreibweise gefiel mir größtenteils ebenfalls, aber irgendwie wirkte vieles unwirklich, herbeigezogen oder zu schnell erledigt. Oder eben das genaue Gegenteil - in die Länge gezogen.

Ich finde es immer schade, wenn das Mädchen der Geschichte erst einen Jungen braucht, um ihr wahres Ich zu erkennen, sich zu wehren oder Sonstiges. Natürlich ist Jess ein super Kerl. Die Autorin hat einen klasse Charakter mit ihm entwickelt, aber seine Geschichte kommt mir zu kurz. Seine volle Aufmerksamkeit liegt bei Allison und ihren Problemen. Mobbing ist ein sehr ernstes Thema, eines, bei dem ich absolut keinen Spaß verstehe und sehr schnell gereizt reagiere. Umso verständlicher ist es, dass ich wütend auf Allison Mobber war, aber mir erschienen sie niemals wie Mobber. Vielleicht, weil wir nicht wirklich einen Einblick in ihre Vergangenheit bekommen. Es wird lediglich erwähnt, dass ihre Schulzeit grausam für Allison war, sie erklärt kurz um was für Gemeinheiten es sich gehandelt hat, aber ein Motiv gibt es nicht. Gut, gibt es in den wenigsten Fällen, aber es fehlte dennoch irgendwie um Weil ich dich zum Atmen brauche richtig zu verstehen. Ohne Jess hätte sich Allison wahrscheinlich niemals gegen ihre Mobber aufgelehnt.

Insgeheim ist Allisons Bruder Ethan der wahre zweite Hauptcharakter. Meiner Meinung nach gilt auch eigentlich ihm der Titel. Alles, was Allison denkt, denkt sie seinetwegen. Sie ist wegen ihm die Person, als die sie beschrieben wird. Leider erschien mir auch der Grund wieso Ethan sich aus Allisons Leben verabschiedete sehr wage, nicht speziell genug erklärt und viele Fragen taten sich mir auf. Dass er Jess' Mitbewohner ist und Allison ihn so wieder findet, fand ich allerdings einen sehr guten Einfall. Es kam sehr überraschend. Auch wie die beiden später in ihren gemeinsamen Situationen miteinander umgehen hat mir gefallen, obwohl es manchmal nicht ersichtlich war, dass die beiden lediglich Bruder und Schwester sind und kein Liebespaar.

Normalerweise finde ich Musiker in Büchern nicht besonders toll, einfach weil das zu oft passiert und weil ich die Berühmtheitsgeschichten nicht nachvollziehen kann, mich darin nicht sehe. Dass Jess ein Straßenmusiker war, war eine nette Abwechslung zu den ganzen Teenie-Stars in den neusten Jugendbüchern. Dass sie praktisch so kennenlernten hatte etwas Besonderes.

Es kommt selten vor, dass die Hauptcharaktere sich so schnell finden, wie Allison und Jess es taten. Meistens dauert das Hin und Her das gesamte Buch über an und erst zum Schluss wird aus ihnen ein Paar. Da der Klappentext es bereits vorgibt, ist es wohl kein Spoiler zu sagen, Allison und Jess werden recht schnell ein Paar. Zunächst wusste ich nicht, was ich davon halten soll, denn viele Geschichten finden somit ihr Ende. Weil ich dich zum Atmen brauche begann dadurch erst wirklich. Und auch wenn meine Rezension eher kritisch dem Buch gegenüber ist, so fand ich es keineswegs schrecklich und ein durchaus gelungenes deutsches New-Adult-Buch.

Dienstag, 14. März 2017

German Review: Dirty English - Ilsa Madden-Mills

Titel: Dirty English - Verboten heiß
Autor: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Bewertung: 3.5 - 4/5

Danke an NetGalley, HarperCollins Germany und Mira Taschenbuch für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Elizabeth stockt der Atem. In nichts als Shorts und Boxhandschuhen lehnt Declan in seiner Tür; Schweißperlen glitzern auf seinen tätowierten Muskeln. Ungekannte Lust rast durch ihre Adern. Der neue Nachbar ist heiß. Verdammt heiß. Aber seit dem Alptraum vor zwei Jahren hat sich Elizabeth strenge Dating-Regeln auferlegt, nach denen Declan für sie strikt tabu ist. Doch der raue Sex-Appeal des Briten schreit danach, alle Regeln über Bord zu werfen...

An sich ist die Geschichte von Declan und Elizabeth schnell erzählt. Es ist nicht unbedingt das Buch, das man noch nie gelesen hat, aber die Charaktere unterscheiden sich dann irgendwie doch im Gegensatz zu den anderen New Adult Romances, die man bereits zu Genüge gelesen hat. Anstatt ein kleines, schüchternes und naives Mädchen zu sein, ist Elizabeth ganz anders. Sie hat früh gelernt, tough zu sein und es ist genau diese Art, die sie so perfekt für Declan macht, der viel zu perfekt ist, um wahr zu sein. Natürlich hat auch er seine Vergangenheit, aber vorwiegend rückt Elizabeths Vergangenheit und ihre derzeitigen Probleme in den Vordergrund.

Es ist mein drittes Ilsa Madden-Mills Buch und ich muss gestehen, ihr Schreibstil hat mich bisher nicht enttäuscht. Es ist eben gerade dieser Stil, der jede Geschichte in eine besondere verwandelt - egal wie oft sie bereits erzählt wurde, egal wie typisch und vorhersehbar sie ist. Damit sage ich nicht, dass das der Fall ist. Es ist nur so, dass, falls die Autorin sich jemals dazu entscheiden sollte, eben genau dieses typische New Adult Buch zu schreiben - schüchternes Mädchen trifft neutorischen Bad Boy und verliebt sich -, dann würde es immer noch vollkommen anders sein, als all seine Gegenstücke.

Die Mischung aus den gut überlegten Charakteren und dem Schreibstil, ließ mich immer weiter lesen und die Zeit vergessen. Wann imer das passiert, ist es wie Magie für mich und ich freue mich, dass es immer noch Bücher gibt, die mich derart begeistern können, so dass ich alles um mich herum vergesse und mich ausschließlich auf die Geschichte konzentrieren möchte. Wie Elizabeth mit ihren Problemen umging, die Regeln, die sie aufgestellt hatte, die Art, wie Declan nach und nach zu ihr durchdrang, dass er sie von so vielen Dingen überzeugen wollte, an die Elizabeth nicht mehr glaubte... All das hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Wie gesagt: Die beiden passen perfekt zueinander. Noch etwas, das die Autorin wirklich gut kann - ihre Paara sind nie erzwungen, die Charaktere sind die optimalen Gegenstücke für einander.

Natürlich erinnerten Declans Kämpfe an Travis Maddox aus Beautiful Disaster. Ich schätze, das ist ganz natürlich, wenn man das Buch von Jamie McGuire zuerst gelesen hat. Alles, was mit Boxen und Kämpfen zu tun hat, erinnert mich an die Geschichte rund um Travis und Abbi. Ich bin froh, dass Ilsa Madden-Mills sich dazu entschieden hat, nicht zu sehr auf dieses Thema einzugehen, nicht zu viele Kampfszenen, Krankenhausaufenthalte oder Sonstiges zu formulieren. Darum geht es in Dirty English nicht, auch wenn das Ganze maßgeblich für den Titel verantwortlich ist.

Auch die Nebencharaktere haben mir zugesagt. Sowohl Elizabeths beste Freundin, als auch Declans Zwillingsbruder, der mindestens genauso anbedetungswürdig wie sein Bruder ist. Das Einzige, was ich etwas kritisch sehe, ist, wie begehrt Elizabeth war. Praktisch jedes männliche Wesen wollte etwas von ihr - Declan, sein Bruder Dax, Elizabeths bester Freund Blake und ihr Dämon aus der Vergangenheit. Sogar der neue Freund ihrer Mutter wirkte so, als wolle er sie zum Nachtisch verspeisen. Dreiecksgeschichten können ihren Reiz haben, aber über fünf Ecken wird es dann doch etwas zu viel. Ansonsten fand ich das Buch wirklich klasse und kann es kaum abwarten, den zweiten Teil zu verschlingen.

Mittwoch, 8. März 2017

German Review: To the Stars - Molly McAdams

Titel: To the Stars - Wenn du die Sterne berührst
Autor: Molly McAdams
Bewertung: 3/5

Danke an HarperCollins Germany, Mira Taschenbuch und NetGalley für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches vorab der Veröffentlichung.
Harlow kann nicht glauben, dass der drei Jahre ältere Knox sein Versprechen hält, auf sie zu warten, bis sie endlich zusammen sein können. Schließlich ist sie es, die den Pakt bricht: Als Knox sie an ihrem achtzehnten Geburtstag anruft, hat sie ihr Herz einem anderen geschenkt. Aber sie merkt schnell, dass sie eine katastrophale Wahl getroffen und sich an den Falschen gebunden hat. Wird Knox ihr je verzeihen können – oder ist es bereit zu spät?

Mit Molly McAdams' Büchern ist es so eine Sache... Irgendetwas ist immer zu viel. A little over the top, wie man so schön auf Englisch sagt. Ihr erster Roman spaltete die Leser und ich gehörte eben zu denen, die die Geschichte überhaupt nicht nachvollziehen konnten. Es war zu viel. Ich würde nicht so weit gehen und sagen, dass To the Stars nicht gelungen wäre, denn die Geschichte ist gut und mir hat vieles gefallen, aber ich weiß auch nicht... Irgendetwas an den Büchern der Autorin stört mich einfach immer, weshalb ich es weitesgehend vermeide, sie zu lesen. Das muss ich leider gestehen.

Fangen wir mit Knox an, denn er ist das Beste, was das Buch zu bieten hat. Selten haben ich einen solchen süßen und zugleich harten Charakter erlebt. Ich war bereits bei seiner erwarten Erwähnung hin und weg von ihm. Die Vorstellung, dass er Harlow so sehr liebt, um auf sie zu warten, ist herzzerreißend süß. Auch später, als die Geschichte in der Gegenwart spielt, bleibt er dieser Rolle treu. Er ist loyal, hilfsbereit und unwiderstehlich. Im Gegensatz zu Harlow... Sie wirkte auf mich wie ein naives Mädchen, das sich weigerte, erwachsen zu werden. Irgendwie fühle ich mich beinahe schlecht so etwas zu sagen, denn ihre Umstände machen sie zu der Person, die die Autorin beschreibt, aber da ich selbst meine Erfahrungen mit der Thematik des Buches gemacht habe, schmerzte es mich zu sehen, dass Harlow eben war, wie sie war. Ich wollte nicht, dass sie in eine Opferrolle gedrängt wurde, aber genau das war der Fall. Ich wünschte, ich könnte sie als Kämpferin bezeichnen, so wie es Knox' Freunde getan haben, aber diese Dinge zu überleben macht einen nicht tapfer. Man überlebt sie. Das ist ein Unterschied. Klar, braucht das auch eine gewisse Stärke, aber von dieser Stärke habe ich nichts gelesen oder gespürt.

Wieder zu einer positiven Sache: Die Flashbacks haben mir unglaublich gut gefallen. Wann immer es darum ging, wie Knox und Harlow gegenseitig aufeinander warteten, bis sie endlich zusammen sein würden können, war es, als würde man in eine andere Welt hineingesogen werden - eine Welt, in der alles bunt war. Ich genoss dieses Gefühl der Leichtigkeit, besonders da es so ein starker Kontrast zum Rest des Buches war und der ernsten Thematik.

To the Stars ist ein realistischer Roman. Viele Frauen erleben das, was Harlow durchmachte, jeden Tag ihres Lebens, weshalb es umso wichtiger ist, dass man sich ihr Schicksal vor Augen führt. Möglicherweise bin ich etwas empfindlich was das Thema angeht und lese eigentlich auch eher ungern Bücher, in denen Frauen mishandelt werden, aber es ist eine Möglichkeit, Menschen dafür zu mobilisieren, ihnen die Augen zu öffnen. Deshalb ist es wichtig, dass sich Autoren damit beschäftigen und ihren Lesern mitteilen, dass sie sich nicht derart behandeln lassen müssen. Das sollte selbstverständlich sein, aber ich finde die Idee gut, junge Leute über Bücher zu erreichen.

Im Grunde habe ich gar nicht so viel zu dem Buch zu sagen. Es gehört definitiv zu den besten Werken, der Autorin, aber gemessen daran, wie sehr ich mit ihren anderen Büchern harderte, ist das nicht wirklich ein Wunder.

Dienstag, 7. März 2017

Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #02) - Samantha Young

Title: Every Little Thing (Hart's Boardwalk #02) 
Author: Samantha Young
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Bailey Hartwell has many reasons to feel content - her successful business, a close circle of friends and her steady boyfriend . . . even if their romance feels staid after ten years without a serious commitment. The only challenge in her life comes in the form of sexy businessman Vaughn Tremaine. She thinks the ex-New Yorker acts superior and that he considers her a small-town nobody. But when Bailey's blindsided by a betrayal, she's shocked to discover Vaughn is actually a decent guy.

Vaughn admires Bailey's free spirit, independence and loyalty. As his passion for her has grown, his antagonism toward her has only worsened. Every little thing Bailey does seduces him. But when Vaughn's painful emotional past makes him walk away in fear he will hurt her, it opens an old wound in Bailey, and she uncharacteristically retreats.

Once Vaughn begins to realise he's made the biggest mistake of his life, he has no choice but to fight like he's never fought before to convince Bailey that the love they've found together only comes around once in a lifetime...
I was so super excited to get my hands on this novel, I literally screamed when I saw that the publisher had granted my request and let me read it before its official publication date. It felt like a second Christmas to me. Bailey and Vaughn captured my heart in The One Real Thing, which I read in German in summer 2016. To be honest, I liked them better than the main characters - Cooper and Jessica. Naturally, I couldn't wait for the story to come out. I think a lot of readers felt the same way, according to what I saw online, everyone fangirling over Bailey and Vaugh and their haters-to-lovers relationship.

I wasn't disappointed in the least.

Samantha Young speaks out about having had a writer's block during the process of writing Every Little Thing, but while reading it, it's definitely not visible. Every action, every phrase, every interaction feels natural, feels needed as if it's the most important part of the book for it to make sense in the end. Even the Devlins. Ugh. The mean family of Hart's Boardwalk. You didn't want to read about them, you didn't want them to have anything to do with Bailey and Vaughn, but it was necessary. They are just a part of this community as the rest, and we all need a little mean drama, don't we?!

With The One Real Thing I complained about being not able to get the vibe of this whole townie feeling, being born and raised in a huge city. Luckily, it didn't even matter to me in Every Little Thing anymore. I felt a connection toward each of the townie people - Emery, Bailey, Cooper, Ira and Iris... All of them. Between summer and now, I kind of missed them, as well. They are all individuals and in the end it's not the town I need to love, it's the people living in that town, and Samantha Young creates some of the best characters ever. I think Bailey and Vaughn might even by some of my ultimate favourites ever.

As always, it takes some time to find out one of the main character's flaws - the past that's haunting one of them. It was Vaughn, this time. Yes, we found out a secret about Bailey toward the end, as well, but it was Vaughn who bared his soul within the last pages. In the beginning, I was scared about how Samantha would figure out what to do with Bailey, since she still had a boyfriend nobody liked. (Seriously, we all knew he was a douche in the first book, too.) But she managed really well, never letting Bailey change who she is. Her actions and reaction fit her so well. It was scary, actually. She was so real, same as Vaughn. I'm swooning again, sorry.

Though we all love the sneaky comments Vaughn and Bailey made, their way of tip-toeing around each other, but never admitting it, I liked that these games didn't last too long. It would have been dragged, would have felt boring after some time. Their passion had to explode and that's exactly what happened and what had the story moving forward. The chemistry between these two was too incredible to put it into words. Read the book and see for yourself. It's awesome!

Having now read the second of the series, I am desperate for another one, preferably about Emery, because she's this super adorable person everybody can relate to in a way or another. There's so much more to her than we read about, I think, and I would love to find out what's going on inside her head, what her past was like and how she turned into the person she is today. I'm curious to find out whether there will be a third book or not. Please let there be a third book!

Mittwoch, 1. März 2017

Waking In Time - Angie Stanton

Title: Waking In Time
Author: Angie Stanton
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to Capstone, Switch Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Still mourning the loss of her beloved grandmother and shaken by her mysterious, dying request to “find the baby,” Abbi has just arrived at UW Madison for her freshman year. But on her second day, she wakes up to a different world: 1983. That is just the first stop on Abbi’s journey backward through time. Will is a charming college freshman from 1927 who travels forward through time. When Abbi and Will meet in the middle, love adds another complication to their lives. Communicating across time through a buried time capsule, they try to decode the mystery of their travel, find the lost baby, and plead with their champion, a kindly physics professor, to help them find each other again ... even though the professor gets younger each time Abbi meets him.

I'm not much of a sci-fi geek or reader that's into this whole time travelling thing. However, I decided to request Waking In Time simply because it was written by Angie Stanton and I enoyed a novel or two by her in the past. Also, yes, the cover is drop dead gorgeous and it was rated young and new adult - all things I am into. And I can safely report now that I haven't regretted me requesting this one tiny second. It was really, really good.

Maybe the beginning is a bit rushed, because Abbi hasn't fully arrived to college before she first started travelling. It wasn't her choice to do so, but some mystery thing that she's trying to find out about. Truth be told, the rushing didn't bother me as much as it did while reading the first few chapters, because her travel scenes were just too amazing. I always felt like I was with Abbi, back at that time she travelled to. Angie Stanton did a great job describing the eras, along with what Abbi's dorm room looked like. She also gave her roommates a lot of thought, some were super cute and some were super noisy. It was a mix.

Abbi meets this professor named Mr. Smith, who claims to know her from his past. At first, she's a bit sceptical, but as she realizes she only travels back in time, things start to make sense. Time travelling novels tend to confuse you, because this topic is just really complicated and complex, as well. Sometimes, it was hard for me to make sense of the things Abbi thought or what the professor said, how events can be changed, etc. Which is why I am glad there is no such thing as time travelling in real life or I'd be the last to understand it.

Her family story warmed my heart and by the end of the book, I was fascinated to find out that Waking In Time isn't as fictional as you might believe. Angie Stanton's mind is a brilliant one, coming up with a story like this based on a real life event that's set to inspire this book.

Also, I'm glad the author made it so that Abbi never travelled somewhere during war. I'm sure I wouldn't have liked that very much. There is some kind of lightness to the book that era would have ruined for good. It's a topic for itself that would have taken up too much space in Abbi's story.

Oh, and then I almost forgot to tell you about Will... He's such a sweetheart. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time until we find out about him, but that's perfectly fine, because of what you find out later in the book. His sudden appearance would have changed a lot of things, and seriously, I wouldn't change a single thing about Waking In Time. Anyway... Will is Abbi's partner in crime of the future. Well, his future anyway. That's the interesting part - while Abbi travels back in time, he travels forward. Thing is, he isn't from our century, which is probably also what makes their romance so swoon-worthy, haha. Their love was super sweet.

So, I declare Waking In Time my favorite time travelling book. I can't recommend this book enough for all the young adult readers, who want a bit of sci-fi and sweet, old-fashioned love.

Dienstag, 21. Februar 2017

German Review: Trust Again (Again #02) - Mona Kasten

Titel: Trust Again (Again #02)
Autor: Mona Kasten
Bewertung: 4.5/5

Danke an NetGalley, Bastei Lübbe und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
In dem Moment, in dem sie Spencer Cosgrove zum ersten Mal gegenübersteht, weiß Dawn, dass sie ein Problem hat. Ein großes Problem. Spencer ist sexy, charmant und lustig, genau ihr Typ – und er beginnt augenblicklich mit ihr zu flirten. Doch Dawn hat sich geschworen, die Finger von Männern zu lassen. Zu tief sitzt der Schmerz, den sie empfindet, weil sie der falschen Person vertraut hat, zu groß ist die Wunde, die sein Verrat hinterlassen hat. Aber Spencer gibt nicht auf. Und als Dawn herausfindet, dass auch er ein herzzerreißendes Geheimnis verbirgt, wird ihr klar, dass sie keine Chance hat gegen die Art und Weise, wie er ihre Welt auf den Kopf stellt...

Viele Leser und Leserinnen (wahrscheinlich eher Letzteres) schreiben, ihnen würde der zweite Teil der Reihe besser gefallen als der erste - Begin Again -, in dem es um die Geschichte von Allie und Kaden ging. Ich muss sagen: Dem stimme ich vollkommen zu! Nicht, dass der erste Teil schlecht war. Meine Rezension und Bewertung sprechen ihre eigene Sprache, aber Spencer und Dawn sind eine Liga für sich, einfach unvergleichlich.

Ich bin froh, dass Mona Kasten den inneren Nerd in uns füttert. Möglicherweise sogar besser, als wir selbst es tun. Ihre Anekdoten zu Themen wie Spider-Man und anderen Helden der Nerdwelt, sind beim Lesen ihrer Bücher immer wieder mein Highlight, welches mich zum Schmunzeln bringt. Danke dafür! Mit Dawn und Spencer als Protagonisten ist man quasi gezwungen, in genau diese Welt einzutauchen. Die beiden passen unglaublich gut zueinander, besser als es sich Dawn zunächst wünscht, und man verliebt sich in beide Charaktere, als wären es die eigenen besten Freunde. So real, wie die junge Autorin es schafft, sie zu beschreiben, erhält man tatsächlich den Eindruck, als handle es sich um wahre Personen. Man hat beim Lesen niemals das Gefühl, die Szenen seien aus den Fingern gesaugt. Stattdessen sympatierst man mit den Charakteren und bekommt ein reales Bild vermittelt.

Auch wenn man Dawn eigentlich nur bei den Schultern packen und schütteln möchte, schließt man sie doch ins Herz. Besonders gefallen hat mir, dass sie eine aufstrebende Autorin war. Ich denke, das passte sehr gut zu ihr und ihrem Charakter. Es stärkte sie und machte sie verletzlich. Ohne diesen "Nebenberuf" wäre sie zu einer völlig anderen Person geworden. Und Spencer... Ich wusste schon in Begin Again, dass er mein Liebling ist. Ich bin so froh, dass er seine eigene Stimme erhalten hat und Mona Kasten sie perfekt getroffen hat, so wie ich sie mir vorgestellt hatte. Kann er bitte aus dem Buch springen und in der realen Welt auftauchen? Wir Mädels wären um einen Typen reicher, den wir bis zum geht nicht mehr anschmachten könnten.

Beide Charaktere tragen viel Balast mit sich rum, wie das eben in einer nicht perfekten Welt üblich ist. Ihre Hintergründe und die damit immer noch verbundenen Emotionen wirkten niemals übertrieben. Etwas schade, dass wir von Spencers Probleme erst gegen Ende des Buches erfahren, aber seine Vergangenheit berührt einen so tief, dass man sie möglicherweise nicht ertragen hätte, hätte man direkt am Anfang die Wahrheit erfahren. Außerdem musste ja die berühmte Fassade aufrecht erhalten werden, wie das bei Kerlen nun mal so ist.

Ich weiß gar nicht, wie ich das Buch loben soll, ohne dabei weniger "Profi" zu sein. "Oh mein Gott, wie toll, wie toll, wie toll!" Das trifft es doch ziemlich genau. Und jetzt etwas seriöser: Auch wenn wir erst Februar schreiben, Trust Again ist definitiv einer der besten Romane dieses Jahres! Ohne wenn und aber!

Des Weiteren hätte ich während meiner Begin Again Lese-Session nicht erwartet, jemals etwas über Dawns Zimmergenossin Sawyer erfahren zu wollen. Ihr Charakter verkörpert so ziemlich alles, womit ich im wahren Leben überhaupt nicht klarkommen würde. Aber... Mona Kasten hat es in ihrem zweiten Roman der Reihe irgendwie geschafft, meine Sympathie für Sawyer zu steigern. Weiß der Himmel, wie ihr das gelungen ist, aber Sawyer wurde menschlich, verletzlich. Das war eine wahrhafte Überraschung. Deshalb verkünde ich hiermit stolz, dass ich auch den dritten Teil - Feel Again - lesen werde, sobald er erschienen ist.

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2017

Hold My Breath - Ginger Scott

Title: Hold My Breath
Author: Ginger Scott
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Captured Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.

I would know.

They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger brother Evan be the one to shine.

Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.

The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.

My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.

And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.

In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.

Getting into a new novel by Ginger Scott goes like this: She announces a new book on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, using a hot photo model as the cover person, preferably posting an edited picture of a quote from that book already. Then, you get excited and find out about the release day, you count down the days until it‘s out, but in the meantime, Ginger teases you with more graphics, more sneak peaks and comments like: „You‘ll fall in love with * insert name here *.“ And when it‘s finally released, you either read it as fast as you can, because you can‘t put it down, or you force yourself to read as slowly as possible in order to cherish every written word, every tiny scene between the two characters. I‘m type B of these two, because how else would I survive waiting for yet another book by Ginger Scott? The wait is almost unbearable.

But… I am not putting any pressure on her with that last sentence I just wrote. I am very stunned by how fast this woman manages to throw books our way, being a mom and a wife. That‘s really impressive.

So, back to the book. Hold My Breath is a bit different from the other books I have read by Ginger. I think that‘s mainly because the characters are bit a older than usual. That being said, I feared I might not like the characters or the book itself as much as I wanted to. But in the end, that doubt evaporated. Luckily. Will and Maddy‘s profession is a different one as well – they are both swimmers. Oh, I love that Ginger decided to write about those. All the abs, whew! Sports romances aren‘t usually my thing. If it had been another author, I‘m not sure the writing and the story would have been as good as it was here. But that‘s the author for you – able to write about anything and everything, always finding the right voice to do so.

This could be a TV show. I could totally see it becoming one. The drama, the feelings, the story… Everything is made for that. And then it‘s not. It‘s the kind of book you want to keep for yourself, the one you want to re-read if you feel lonely or in need of a good book. Ginger‘s books are all like that. They feel too precious to be made into something that could never fully capture the emotions you felt while reading them.

I liked Will far more than I liked Maddy. But that‘s handsome and loving male characters – I can‘t resist them. What I did like, though, was that they both kind of depended n each other. It wasn‘t just Will helping Maddy finding herself, but he grew as a person because of her too. I think these parts are always important. I don‘t like it when it‘s just a one-way street and the other characters stays the same through every line.

The quotes were amazing in this one. Whenever Will opened his mouth, you just knew he‘d make you swoon. And Maddy was a tough one, not the easiest to get along with, but a true soul. They made sense together, they belonged togeher. It was obvious right from the start to the reader and I‘m glad the author didn‘t try to force her characters to get together with anybody else. That‘d have been unnecessary drama.

With each book she writes, her characters seem more grown-up and more mature. They don‘t waste their time on the small things, but manage to cope with the big things, the massive rock-sized things in their life. I like to believe that readers will be able to survive a hard time by reading a Ginger Scott book. Her novels always contain important topics, so I like to believe she makes a difference in somebody‘s life. That sounds so over the top, but I‘m being serious.

This is just another masterpiece by her. If you haven‘t read any book of hers yet, I suggest you might start with this one, since it‘s brilliant and newer than the rest. If you‘ve already read her other books, what‘s stopping you from picking up Hold My Breath?