Dienstag, 15. August 2017

Escape - Jessica Ashe

Title: Escape
Author: Jessica Ashe
Rating: 2.5/5
I had to lose my V-plates at some point; it might as well be with Caiden Ramsden.

Just one night. No dating, no dinner, no small talk. Just sex, and lots of it. Caiden was a cocky, arrogant jerk, who knew his ripped, tattooed muscles drove women crazy. In other words, he was exactly the type of bad boy I should stay well away from.

I’m a high-achieving student on my way to the University of Cambridge; I’m not supposed to “do” anyone, let alone an arsehole like Caiden.

At least I never had to see him again. Or so I thought.

Now Caiden’s sitting in my living room with a big announcement. He’s my new stepbrother, and he’s here to make my summer a living hell.

Our one night together was better than I liked to admit. I knew I’d end up in bed with him again soon. What I didn’t know was that he would turn my world upside down in the process.
This is the first time in quite a while that I've decided to write a review for the sake of it and not because I've been granted an ARC through any network. But I think this book deserves it and so here it goes...

There was a phase when I enjoyed reading about step-brother romances a lot. They used to be one of my favourite kinds of books. These days, I feel like the stories repeat themselves, simply because yeah... There are only so many options you have with this topic. Anyway. Escape started off totally differently from any of the other step-brother romances I've read in the past. The two characters already had their interaction and we only get to read about flashbacks to that one particular night. Back then, they didn't know what their parents had in mind. They didn't even know their parents knew each other. So it all comes down as a shock when Caiden's mom and Victoria's dad announce their engagement.

This story had a lot of potential. Like, really. A LOT! But honestly, the flashbacks were way sexier than when the two characters were drawn to each other again. I liked their fights and Caiden seemed like another swoon-worthy bad boy. Until he didn't. I never understood his change of heart toward the end of the book. It didn't fit his character. No change was described, it just suddenly happened and I didn't feel it. Same with Victoria, a posh English girl. Where did all her shyness go? Clearly, just because you have sex with a bad boy, doesn't mean you're suddenly someone else entierely.

And then there was Victoria's background story. That was a surprise. I kind of liked the twist, but she got over the news so fast. I couldn't believe it. "Oh, what? It's not like I thought. Well, I'll cry for a second and then forget about it." That's what it felt like to me. I hated her then. I really did. And any emotions towards the characters is good emotion, right? It connects you with the book. At that point, I wante dto disconnect, though. I liked 60% of it and then I didn't anymore. And I got sad over that. Caiden didn't even have a background story. I didn't mind that that much, though. He was a good enough bad boy, no need to dig for any history that isn't there.

Reading about cooking is another thing I never enjoy. So, it's not the author's fault, but whenever I got to a scene in which Victoria talked about cooking, was in love with cooking or prepared something, I'd yawn. I mean, it's good the girl got a hobby. Way too few shy girls in romance novels got a real hobby. All they ever do is obsess over their love interest, so Victoria was a nice change to that. But I'd have wanted something else for her.

I pointed out a lot of things that I didn't like, but overall, I would still recommend this book to certain groups of readers, because the writing was very, very good. If you love surprising plot twists, hot alpha males and are interested in reading about an American guy and an English girl (the chapters are written in American and British English, which was fun!), this one should be on your list.

Montag, 14. August 2017

The Rules of Persuasion - Amity Hope

Title: The Rules of Persuasion
Author: Amity Hope
Rating: 3.5 - 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
1) Take things slow (her rule)

2) Make it believable (his rule)


After tragedy hit her family, Meg Matthews officially crossed the line from “good girl” to “bad girl.” Motorcycle? Check. Graffiti? Check. The only thing Meg hadn’t planned on was blackmail. Too bad now a certain infuriating boy holds Meg’s future in his hands…

When Luke Prescott—star pitcher and town golden boy—catches Meg vandalizing the school, she’s given two choices: face the consequences or enter into a fake relationship with him to get his parents and his ex off his back.

But as Meg and Luke grow closer, they both realize they’ve been keeping secrets from each other. Their fake relationship might be doomed from the start—if they can’t learn to open up to the one person they never thought they’d trust.

The thing about different opinions is that you'll never understand the others'. I read some not very nice words about this novel and after finishing it, I can safely say that I don't agree in the least and I just don't understand how anyone can give this book only two stars. But then again, I don't have to understand. Opinions are different and that's a good thing (you just have to convince yourself of that).

Anyway... I always wanted to read Ditched by Amity Hope and never really found the time to do so. When I saw that The Rules of Persuasion was also written by her, I immediately took the chance and requested it on NetGalley. I am so glad I got accepted and was able to read this one before its official release. Now I know for sure that I'll be diving into Ditched the second I find the time to, because Amity Hope's writing style is fabulous! This novel was exactly the kind of sweet and light romance that I love from a publisher like Entangled.

The characters were super cute. Surprisingly, I even liked Meg and I sometimes have a hard time understanding the female main character's motives, but I liked Meg right from page one. And when we got to Luke's point of view, it was a done deal. The story itself isn't a new one. We all know there are a lot of novels out there that deal with fake relationships, but most of them are now being new adult reads, so I enjoyed something a little lighter. And though I always say light, light, light, there's also some depth to it. Like, Meg is dealing with a lot of pain and Luke's just.. Yeah, alright, he's dealing with rich kid problems, but you still feel sorry for him.

I thought their chemistry was great and I liked the balance between their scenes and the scenes with their friends or parents, because reading about them the whole time would have bored some readers (not me, but still...). Whenever we got to read about Luke's parents, I wanted to crawl into my phone and punch them, or grab them by the shoulders and shake them at least. Gosh, they were so frustrating. I'm glad Luke wasn't one of these characters that bought whatever they said but mostly stood his ground. And then there was Luke's ex-girlfriend who was too annoying to find any words. But she kept the story alive at some point, so I can't complain about her too much.

Another refreshing thing was that neither of them got into a fight with their best friends. Oh, I didn't realize how much I missed that harmony until I read this book. What is it with fights between best friends? I can see there has to be some kind of conflict for the plot to be exciting, but The Rules of Persuasion managed without it just fine.

Meg's reason for doing what she did was very sweet, too. I'd be lying if I said I haven't shed a tear when she confessed her story to Luke. It makes me sort of mad reading how some think there's no real developement of the characters, because that background story right there says otherwise. Luke might not deal with as heavy problems as Meg, but that's not even necessary. That's why they fit together so perfectly.

I liked this book a lot and it was even better than I expected - the perfect kind of summer romance for young adult readers.

Breakaway (Corrigan Falls Raiders #4) - Cate Cameron

Title: Breakaway (Corrigan Falls Raiders #4)
Author: Cate Cameron
Rating: 2.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Eighteen-year-old NHL player Logan Balanchuk came to Corrigan Falls to distract himself from his career-ending injury. He doesn’t want to even hear the word “hockey,” so when he meets Dawn, a beautiful, free-spirited girl who goes skinny-dipping instead of watching the draft, he’s intrigued. Neither of them is looking for anything serious, anyway.

Dawn is happy to be a distraction, happy to have an adventurous summer romance with the dashing guy from the big city. She’s busy working three jobs and counting the days until she can move away from her tiny, hockey-obsessed town. Plus, she’s already done her time as a hockey player’s girlfriend—now she wants to live her own life and have her own adventures. But as things heat up with Logan, she realizes they aren’t as no-strings-attached as she thought…

This is one of the books that I'd rather not write a review about. While the writing was good, there was still something about it that I didn't like as much as the other novel I've read written by the author ("Playing Defense"). Probably the annoying female main character. Her description didn't fit her I-wanna-control-everything state that magically appeared right around the middle of the book. I was so confused, because I thought Dawn was this confident girl that knew her place and then she wasn't that girl anymore, wanting to be in control all the time, coming up with annoying questions and excuses to be a coward. Not my thing at all.

And Logan was too much of a softie to quit charming her. Of course, he's another one of these swoon-worthy book boyfriends, yet I wish he wasn't, because he was way too good for Dawn. He was so good for her and she just wouldn't see it, living in a bubble of negativity while excusing that with wanting to be free. Excuse me, young lady, you're working your ass off to go to college, so you're so lucky to have a cute boyfriend like Logan who'd do anything for you. To me, it seemed like she wanted to keep her options open. Not mainly the boyfriend part, but everything else. Like, a hippie soul without being a hippie. I didn't understand her motives in the least. She didn't want to be a hockery player's girlfriend. Well, I think she was basically the only one that would have thought of herself that way.

I'm not exactly a fan of ice hockey since it's not a popular sport in my country, so I was glad to find the author keeping it as simple with the professional sports language as possible. Still, I liked seeing glimpses of Logan's carreer that made the reader dive into the ice hockey world without experiencing it first hand.

To be honest, I think Dawn and Logan kicked off a bit too soon. I can see why they did, the story was build on their chemistry and all that, but still... It was like so many things suddenly happened at once and there wasn't enough time to include it, so it had to happen at the exact same time, having the reader confused at times. Or maybe it was just Logan's life that was a bit too much to handle. Broken knee, new job, new girlfriend and then the news he never expected. Meanwhile, there isn't much action for Dawn except the three jobs she's struggling with. I kind of missed a story for her, but then again her problems of wanting to be herself without depending on anyone was her own story.

So, the story had potential, definitely, yes. And I liked the writing as well. It was the speed, Dawn and perhaps a few too many details that have my opinion being not the best. If you've already started reading this ice hockey series, you should read this one as well. If you're a fan of sports novels, you shouldn't miss this one either.

Freitag, 11. August 2017

German Review: Mit dir kam der Sommer (Butler Cove #03) - Natasha Boyd

Titel: Eversea - Mit dir kam der Sommer (Butler Cove #03)
Originaltitel: All That Jazz
Autorin: Natasha Boyd
Bewertung: 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Nach diesem Sommer wird nichts mehr so sein, wie es war ... Drei Jahre sind seit dem Sommer vergangen, in dem Jazz Fraser den größten Fehler ihres Lebens beging und sich in den Bruder ihrer besten Freundin verliebte. Drei Jahre seit Joey ihr das Herz brach. Drei Jahre bis sie erkennt, dass sie in Butler Cove niemals über ihn hinwegkommen wird. Sie will nach Kapstadt und alles hinter sich lassen. Doch ausgerechnet jetzt ist Joey zurück und mit einem Schlag schon wieder in ihrem Herzen.

Das erste Mal aufmerksam auf die Autorin Natasha Boyd wurde ich durch die LoveLetter Convention vor über zwei Jahren. Ihr erster Roman in der Butler Cove Reihe, Eversea - ein einziger Moment, hatte es mir so sehr angetan, dass ich sofort bei Veröffentlichung auch den zweiten Band ergattert habe. Das Warten auf den dritten Teil nahm etwas mehr Zeit in Anspruch, aber für mich ist nach dem Lesen von Mit dir kam der Sommer eindeutig feszustellen, wie sehr Natasha Boyd sich als Autorin entwickelt hat. Neben Deep Blue Infinity, eines meiner liebsten Bücher 2016, ist dies ihr bester Roman.

Bereits nach dem ersten Band der Reihe habe ich mir ein Buch über Keri Anns Bruder herbei gesehnt. Zugegeben, alle meine Erwartung an seine und Jazz' Geschichte wurden übertroffen. Anstatt nur kleine Einblicke in ihre gemeinsame Vergangenheit zu erharschen, besteht der Großteil des Romans aus dem Sommer, in dem Jazz achtzehn wurde und sich in Joseph verliebte. Die Geschichte der beiden beinhaltet somit also beide Genres - Young Adult und auch New Adult. Eine sehr gelungene Mischung, so dass jeder auf seine Kosten kommt.

Ich hatte mir überhaupt gar keine Gedanken zu Jazz' Vergangenheit gemacht, hatte mir niemals ausgemalt, wie dramatisch und herzzerreißend sie eventuell sein könnte. Ehrlich gesagt wusste ich nicht einmal, ob ich Jazz tatsächlich leiden soll. Aber ihr Buch hat mich davon überzeugt, dass sie ein liebenswerter Charakter ist. Außerdem erhält man einen tieferen Einblick, was die Freundschaft zwischen ihr und Keri Ann angeht. Wahrscheinlich ist ihre Freundschaft einer meiner liebsten. Sie wirkt authentisch und zu keinem Zeitpunkt überzogen. Über die Scherze, die beiden miteinander machen, kann man schmunzeln und ihre Themen versetzten einen zurück ins Teenager-Alter.

Joey ist die gute Seele, der Herzensbrecher und Alleskönner. Keine Ahnung welcher Leser sich seinem Charme entziehen kann - ich konnte es nicht, so viel steht fest. Er ist einer meiner liebsten männlichen Charaktere aller Zeiten. Das kann ich nicht einmal wirklich weiter benennen, Gründe fallen mir viele und doch irgendwie keine ein. Sicher, er trifft fragwürdige Entscheidungen, aber so wie Jazz für ihn mit siebzehn, bzw. achtzehn, schwärmt, steckt es einen an, ihn ebenfalls als tollen Kerl zu betrachten. Alleine wie fürsorglich er sich um seine Schwester in den anderen Bänden der Reihe kümmerte. Joey is the man!

Alles sprach für eine fünf-Sterne-Bewertung. Und dann kam das Ende. Der Punkt, an dem das Blatt wieder gewendet wird, und Jazz und Joey sich in der Gegenwart befinden. An dieser Stelle rutschte das Ganze in ein Klischee, in etwas, das ich nicht sehr mochte. Mir ist bewusst, dass die Autorin einen Plan hatte und diese Szenen ihren Sinn haben, aber für mich passte es plötzlich nicht mehr zum Rest der Geschichte. Die Dialoge, Zukunftspläne und Entscheidungen der Charaktere wirkten sehr rasch getroffen - zu viel, zu schnell. Vielleicht sah ich das aber auch nur so, weil ich mich so in dem Rückblick verloren hatte, der durchgängig durchs Buch führt und nicht nur in bestimmten Kapiteln angesprochen wird. Ich hatte mich so sehr in die Vergangenheit von Jazz und Joey verliebt, dass ich ihrer Gegenwart eventuell keine richtige Chance gegeben habe. Es tat meiner Liebe zu dem Buch dennoch keinen Abbruch (nur einen kleinen vielleicht).

Die Balance zwischen Leichtigkeit und Schwere der Geschichte ist klasse. Es gibt definitive Sznenen, die einem die Tränen in die Augen treiben, aber dann gibt es auch solche, die einen darüber hinweg trösten und zum Dahinschmelzen sind. Wenn man mich fragt, ist Mit dir kam der Sommer der Inbegriff eines guten Sommerromans.

Dienstag, 1. August 2017

All Things New - Lauren Miller

Title: All Things New
Author: Lauren Miller
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Three Saints Press for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn't help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and noticeable scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but her anxiety only gets worse in the wake of the accident. That is, until she meets Marshall, a boy with a heart defect whose kindness and generous spirit slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

Don't you just love these kind of books where you know right from the first page that you're going to love them? Because when I picked up All Things New and started reading it, I had that exact feeling. I couldn't even figure out why that was - the writing, maybe? The opening scene, because I just love college party scenes? I have no idea. It was probably both, mixed with this character that seemed so interested that I wanted to find out more and more, get lost in her world and not come back for a while. And Lauren Miller managed to write that kind of book for me - one I never wanted to end.

And even when I somehow knew what the mystery was all about after Jessa's accident, I was still under Lauren Miller's writing spell and couldn't put the book down. She seems like the kind of author that knows exactly how long a scene should be, like she has developed a feeling for it over the years of writing novels. Or perhaps she knows what the readers want to read, not being bored by dragged scenes, forced words and annoying facts. It has a good length and everything was sorted out at a good pace.

I think only few books capture the importance of speaking up about mental illness in a athentic way. Some characters are over the top, some escape their demons without any struggle as if it's the easiest thing in the world. Even though it isn't. And I think Jessa's character is the perfect example. Her problems might not seem that big of a deal to some, but I liked that certain realness to her - to all the characters, really. Her friends dealt with their own problems as well. Lauren Miller found an honest voice, ripped things down to a raw level that had me in tears several times.

There's beauty in everything and so it's no miracle that despite all the things Jessa has been and is going through during the story, there were a lot of aww! moments, too. Dare I say how awesome I think Marshall is?! He's like this inconspicuous guy, but of course there is more to him than that. Like certain types of magnets, I loved how drawn together he and Jessa were. I adored them.

Perhaps this book is more of a self help books than those books intended. As mentioned before, there is no sugarcoating anything in All Things New and I loved it to pieces. It's one of my favourite novels of the year and I can't wait for more people to discover their love for it. It's unlike anything I've read more, classified to the pile of books that really did an impact on me.

Freitag, 21. Juli 2017

The Bad Boy's Girl (The Bad Boy's Girl #01) - Blair Holden

Title: The Bad Boy's Girl (The Bad Boy's Girl #01)
Author: Blair Holden
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Trident Media Group for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Tessa O'Connell is a girl as ordinary as they come-or so she thinks. Her aim for senior year is to keep her head down yet somehow manage to convince her childhood love Jay Stone to love her back. What she isn't prepared for is for Jay's brother, Cole, to return to town and change the life she's always been seemingly content to live. Tall, gorgeous as all hell and a bad boy with ocean blue eyes and the perfect edge of adorability, he was her greatest tormentor, her number one enemy. But the guy that's come back is like no one Tessa's ever come across. He challenges her, he tests her limits, he forces her to bring out the girl she's long ago buried under a veil of mediocrity and most of all he compels her to consider that perhaps the boy that infuriates her to the point of no return might just her guardian angel.

This book has got some great reviews and some very negative ones. I can't understand why people complain about the author's writing when to me, it was very good, actually. Not once did I think this book had been published on Wattpad by a no-name-author first. Surely, Blair Holden can write! However, I can't see myself rating this any different than three stars. Maybe half a point extra, but that's it. The Bad Boy's Girl started off great, I really enjoyed it. It was like a teenage comedy turned into a novel - I could picture every single scene in my mind. But then the story went on and on without actually developing.

Cole's an awesome book boyfriend, I'll give the author that. But his motives are low. Like, really, really low. I didn't buy that story of his for a second. Sure enough, bullies sometimes treat their victims bad because they secretly like them. But that's so kindergarten and thinking of a teen still doing it for that reason... Just, no. I don't even want to think about that, nevertheless if it happens or not. And when Tessa started thinking about how she always liked him... No, either! I couldn't understand why. Did she like being bullied by him so much? Did that enchante her? Yes, I liked their chemistry and loved their scenes, but the story behind it didn't seem right to me.

And then there's Jay. I'll be the first to admit that I liked him. That's probably because Tessa crushed on him like crazy and he seemed nice enough to be worth it. Of course, his relationship with Tessa's enemy Nicole is kind of a turn off and his behaviour is as well, but sometimes I got the feeling the author put him in some place he didn't belong. He wasn't that much of a douche bag. He was turned into one. I would have liked to see more of his good sides, yet somebody had to be the bad guy, I guess.

I hate to think that girls only get confidence by having a boyfriend. I'm sure the author didn't mean to make it sound like that for her book, but it was only after Tessa started going out with Cole that she started being more confident, stood up to Nicole and Jay. She didn't do these things on her own. She didn't do a lot of growing up on her on, it was all about Cole. It sounds like I'm hating this book, but let me tell you that's not the case. It's just that writing this review makes me think of so many aspects I didn't like.

Let's get to Tessa's friends. Because those were awesome (and I can finally quit complaining). I had Beth's future romance all figured out very fast and I just adored Megan and her boyfriend. They were so super cute. Also, I usually tend to dislike the main character's best friends, but that didn't happen with Beth and Megan. They were supportive of Tessa, always held her hand. In most books it's that the friends at one point of the story get into a fight, just to make things more interesting. I'm so very glad that didn't happen with The Bad Boy's Girl. It would have made zero sense to me. And Tessa was going through enough. No need to add things to the existing problems.

So, this review is probably not that useful. But... If you're looking for cute young adult read with a hero that knows exactly what he wants and fights for it, who's swoon-worthy and makes you wish you were the heroine of the story, then I suggest you pick this one up.

Donnerstag, 13. Juli 2017

German Review: Forbidden Love Story - Anna Savas

Titel: Forbidden Love Story - Weil ich dir begegnet bin
Autorin: Anna Savas
Bewertung: 3/5

Danke an NetGalley und den Impress, Carlsen Verlag für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Schon als Vesper dem gut aussehenden Alex zum ersten Mal über den Weg läuft, fühlt sie sich unwiderstehlich zu ihm hingezogen. Seine leuchtend grünen Augen scheinen direkt in ihr Herz zu blicken und sein umwerfendes Lächeln bringt sie dazu, den ganzen Mist um sie herum zu vergessen. Zumindest für einen kurzen Moment – bis Vesper Alex bei einem Abendessen wiedersieht, das ihre Mutter mit ihrem neuen Verlobten und dessen Tochter ausrichtet. Als sich dort herausstellt, wer Alex wirklich ist, wird ihnen klar, dass ihre Liebe niemals sein darf… aber Gefühle lassen sich nichts vorschreiben.

Süß. Das ist das erste Wort, das mir zu diesem Roman einfällt. Ich hatte wegen der Beschreibung eine andere Beziehung vermutet, aber glücklicherweise wurde es dann doch nicht die typische Stiefbruder/Stiefschwester Romanze (ist das schon ein Spoiler?, die derzeit unendliche Begeisterung feiert. Und ja, das Thema ist toll, aber nach einer Weile auch ziemlich fade. Die Autorin hat sich mit ihrem Buch hier also Gedanken gemacht, wie sie den Leser bei der Geschichte behalten kann. Und das ist ihr auch gelungen - zumindest ab beinahe der Hälfte des Buches. Bis dahin hatte ich mich schlichtweg geweigert, es aufzugeben, obwohl ich einige Male wirklich sehr kurz davor stand.

Wie gesagt, es ist wirklich nicht schlecht gemacht. Der Schreibstil ist besser als bei manch anderen deutschen Kollegen, die bereits seit Jahren schreiben. Aber die zufälligen Aufeinandertreffen zu Beginn der Geschichte und die Sache mit Tom... Das war etwas überzogen und in die Länge gespannt. Als ich bei der letzten Seite angekommen bin, habe ich für mich gedacht, dass die Geschichte von Vesper und Alex bereits nach zehn Seiten hätte erzählt sein können. Die meiste Zeit über schmachten sie sich aus sicherer Distanz an und auch wenn es Funken zwischen ihnen gibt, das ist alles, was da ist. Bereits nach kürzester Zeit beschließt Vesper, dass eine Beziehung zwischen ihnen überhaupt nicht in Frage kommt. Und ja, das ist logisch, aber zu diesem Zeitpunkt kannten sich die beiden praktisch noch gar nicht. Deshalb hat das Buch erst ab der Hälfte angefangen, mir zu gefallen. Ab dann ist die Geschichte glaubwürdiger und nimmt an Tiefe zu.

Auf Vesper prasselt ziemlich viel ein. Viele Veränderungen stehen an. Da war es äußerst erfrischend über ein toughes Mädchen wie sie zu lesen, die ihren Eltern die Stirn bietet. Natürlich hat auch sie ihre sturen Momente, in denen sie in ihr Zimmer verschwindet und hofft, ihr Vater würde durch die Tür stürmen und sie in den Arm nehmen, aber ich finde es gut, dass sie ihre Meinung ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste geäußert hat. "Ein unbeliebtes Haustier", ja, das bringt es ziemlich auf den Punkt. Ich fand es überhaupt nicht schön, wie ihre Eltern sie behandelt haben, aber dafür, ist die Bindung zu ihrem Bruder umso stärker.

Ich werde aussprechen, was sich sicherlich jeder Leser gedacht hat: Wir brauchen mehr von Paul! Paul ist der beste Freund von Alex und der neue Schwarm von Vespers bester Freundin Toni. Und oh my, wir lesen nicht viel von ihm, und wenn, dann nur von Tonis verträumten Berichten über ihn, aber er wirkte so unglaublich knuffig, dass ich am liebsten eine Geschichte über ihn und Toni lesen würde. Obwohl mir Toni irgendwie zu hibbelig, aufgedreht und mädchenhaft war - eben alles, was Vesper nicht war. Was es mit ihrer Eisprinzessin-Sache auf sich hatte, habe ich selbst dann nicht verstanden, als sie sich dazu entschied, sie abzulegen. Die Scheidung ihrer Eltern schien für alles die Entschuldigung zu sein. Aber vielleicht ist das so, wenn sich die Eltern trennen und man ein Teenager ist.

Möglicherweise habe ich zu wenig gute Punkte genannt, aber nochmals: So schlecht fand ich das Buch gar nicht. Die Geschichte hatte Potential und wäre das Tempo vielleicht etwas angezogen worden, hätte sich schneller etwas zwischen Alex und Vesper entwickelt, hätten die beiden einfach miteinander gesprochen, statt sich über sehr, sehr, sehr viele Seiten anzuschweigen, hätte mir Forbidden Love Story möglicherweise besser gefallen.

Sonntag, 9. Juli 2017

Falling For Forever (Before Forever #02) - Melissa Chambers

Title: Falling For Forever (Before Forever #02)
Author: Melissa Chambers
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
The second Jenna Quigley turns eighteen, she’s headed to L.A. to extend the timer on her fifteen minutes of fame. Too bad her dad made her promise to graduate high school first. Silver lining? Her new school has a serious talent competition with a $25,000 cash prize, which would go a long way in L.A. Jenna’s got plenty of talent—she didn’t almost win America’s Newest Sensation for nothing. But it’ll take everything she’s got to bring down the music nerd with a stick up his butt...no matter how cute he is in those glasses.

Miles Cleveland needs to win that talent contest. When some hot girl stole his audition spot on America’s Newest Sensation, his chance to study music flounced off to New York with her. Now, not only can he win enough money to pay for his education, he can get revenge on that very same girl. He can’t start to question his plan, though...no matter how deep Jenna buries into his heart.

I wasn't able to read this one before the official publication date. Probably, because when I requested it, I wasn't sure whether I had made the right decision or not. I read the first book in the series called The Summer Before Forever and I absolutely loved it. Jenna's story, I wasn't interested in much, but I still wanted to give it a go since I adored Melissa Chambers writing style and her sweet teen story.

Unfortunately, the predictable happened - I didn't like Falling For Forever nearly as much as the prequel. Maybe I'm not being fair, since I just happen to always dislike stories about 'famous' people and while Jenna's path is mainly going backwards instead of aiming for Hollywood fame, I still struggled. And the teenage drama clique including a mean girl called Bianca didn't make it any better. Also the music competition itself didn't appeal to me, but that's all on me. I enjoyed reading about Jenna and Miles partnership on the song writing lessons, though. I wish we would have read about a song they wrote together. We all would have swooned.

Jenna isn't the typical shy teenage girl you read about in most YA reads. She's more like the opposite without being a rebel or a meanie. She's very unique and always speaks her mind, doesn't let anybody get her down. I think that's an improvement to the other girls we read about that want to become famous. They're not very confident and giving them self confidence is their whole path in a book. With Jenna there were other motives. Her story wasn't about overcoming fears or insecurities. It was deeper than that and Miles balanced it out with his problems that weren't real problems to me. But he's a cutie anyway, so I forgive him. He's no Landon, but well... Who is?!

I think the author did a good job with not answering a certain question by the end of the book. The story might have been ruined if she had. On the other hand, I'm curious to find out and will most likely think about a good solution for me.

To be honest, I wasn't a huge fan of Jenna's friends at her new school - especially Nicolette. You'll know why I disliked her when you get to that point of the story. Greta might be the exception, because Jenna and her bonded very well in a scene and I liked that. And then Shane... Gosh, can he please grow a pair? By the end of the book, I got the feeling he got more confident, but I think as soon as Bianca will come running towards him, he'll cave in and be the big stupid puppy he always was. I mean, he isn't that bad. There were good sides, too. In some scenes, he was a very good friend to Jenna and then he finally treated Miles like he wasn't his worst enemy anymore either. Let's work with that.

My heart was bleeding for Jenna during the toughest part of the story. She's such a strong character, I don't know how the author managed to give her such strength and make it seem believable. I didn't even ever question her strength, like I never thought it was an act. She had to grow up fast at a young age and I felt so damn sorry for her. I was glad she could still count on her father.

Alright, so... Again, I didn't like Falling For Forever as much as The Summer Before Forever. I will cherish that one until the end of time, but I liked diving back into this world - also reading about Chloe and Landon again. If you've read the first book in this series, I think you should also read this one. And if you happen to be have a weak spot for teen reads that include music, this one's it for you.

Freitag, 7. Juli 2017

German Review: Feel Again (Again #03) - Mona Kasten

Titel: Feel Again (Again #03)
Autor: Mona Kasten
Bewertung: 4.5/5

Danke an NetGalley, Bastei Lübbe und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Unter normalen Umständen würde Sawyer einen Typ wie Isaac keines zweiten Blickes würdigen. Er ist zu nett, zu höflich, zu schüchtern – und damit das genaue Gegenteil von ihrem üblichen Beuteschema. Doch als sie mitbekommt, wie sich ein paar Mädchen über ihn lustig machen, kann sie nicht tatenlos zusehen. Kurzerhand tut sie so, als wäre sie sein Date, und küsst ihn leidenschaftlich. Isaac, der ziemlich überrumpelt ist, bittet sie daraufhin um Hilfe: Er will dringend seinen Ruf als Nerd loswerden. Die beiden schließen einen Deal: Sawyer macht aus Isaac einen Bad Boy und darf dafür seine Entwicklung als Fotoprojekt für ihr Studium festhalten. Doch aus dem Deal wird schnell mehr…

Das krönende Finale der Again-Reihe. Das Grand Finale oder auch ausgedrückt: Der absolut tollste Abschluss einer Bücherreihe überhaupt!

Ich habe... 1) Feel Again am schnellsten beendet, 2) niemals gedacht, dass Sawyer mir so sehr ans Herz wachsen könnte und auch 3) niemals erwartet, dass Isaac Spencer seinen Thron als Book-Boyfriend streitig macht. Im Grunde hat mich dieser Teil mehr als einfach nur überrascht. Das Buch war all das, was ich nicht erwartet hatte. Als ich Begin Again gelesen hatte, habe ich Sawyer so tief verachtet, dass es mir im Traum nicht eingefallen wäre, über ihre Sicht der Dinge lesen zu wollen. Mona Kasten hat es dann mit Trust Again geschafft, mich neugierig auf Sawyers Geschichte zu machen, denn in dem zweiten Teil der Reihe ist sie weitaus menschlicher als noch im ersten Band. Und damn! Ich konnte das Buch (oder mein Handy, da ich es als eBook gelesen habe) gar nicht mehr aus der Hand legen und war überaus verärgert, als mein Akku nicht mehr mitmachen wollte.

Es ist erstaunlich, wie viel Talent Mona Kasten in ihren jungen Jahren aufweisen kann. Es wäre gelogen, wenn ich behaupten würde, ich wäre nicht neidisch. Die Frau ist kaum älter als ich und haut in die Tasten, als wäre es nichts. Und was dabei rumkommt ist einfach unbeschreiblich schön. Außerdem erstaunt es mich, wie ungleich ihre Charaktere alle sind. Mit Reihen ist es häufig so, dass mindestens zwei Charaktere eine ähnliche Vorgeschichte haben. Bei der Again-Reihe ist kein Protagonist wie der andere - weder ihre familiären Backgrounds überlappen sich, noch liest man von denselben Eigenschaft immer und immer wieder. Jedes Buch ist anders und spannend auf eine eigene Art. Ich fand es äußerst toll mitzuerleben, wie sich die Autorin mit jedem Buch gesteigert hat. Den künstlerischen Prozess konnte man deutlichen spüren.

Und dann diese ganzen Nerd-Anekdoten. Oh, ich liebe sie. Besonders den Relaxo-Sessel! Den muss ich mir unbedingt zulegen. Alleine die Idee, solche Kleinigkeiten, die den Nerd-Lesern das Herz erwärmen, ist klasse. Nerds sind sowieso viel zu unterbewertet in den ganzen New Adult Romanen, die sich derzeit im Freien tummeln. Dabei sind sie so eine tolle Abwechslung zu dem typischen Bad Boy. Und wenn sie dann noch ein so perfektes Gegenstück wie Sawyer bekommen, von der man wirklich niemals denkt, dass sie und ein Nerd irgendetwas gemein haben könnten, wird es umso besser. Des Weiteren muss ich sagen, dass mir Isaacs süße Art, wie er mit seiner Familie umgeht und über sie spricht, sehr gefallen hat. Wo wir bei Abwechslungen sind, war das im Gegensatz zu den zerstrittenen Familien, die sich hassen oder den Eltern, die ihren Kindern alles verbieten und somit von sich stoßen, eine willkommen Erfrischung. Auch wenn es dort natürlich ebenfalls zu genüge Probleme gibt.

Ebenfalls glücklich war ich über die Begeisterung, die die Autorin beim Schreiben von den Fotografie-Szenen von Sawyer eingebracht hat. Ich konnte mir dieses Mädchen wahrlich vorstellen, wie sie gebannt vor einem Motiv sitzt, die Kamera in der Hand und auf den perfekten Moment zum Abdrücken wartet. In vielen Büchern spürt man die Begeisterung der Charaktere für ihre Hobbies nicht derart deutlich, was traurig ist, Feel Again dadurch aber noch mehr von ihnen hervor hebt.

Ich möchte gar nicht zu viel verraten, aber jeder der derzeit Begin Again liest und denkt, er würde Sawyer bis in alle Ewigkeit hassen, der sollte unbedingt zu Band 2 und 3 greifen und sich eines besseren belehren lassen. Zwischendurch leidet man sogar richtig mit Sawyer mit, wenn es um ihre Schwester und Sawyers Gefühle geht. Es ist es wert!
Darleens Playlist für Feel Again: (möglicherweise werden weitere Titel hinzugefügt)
The Summer Set - Don't Let Me Go
The Pretty Reckless - My Heart
Charlie Simpson - Parachutes
Olivver The Kid - 4AM
La Bouquet - Loveless
Dia Frampton - Crave

Dienstag, 4. Juli 2017

Tied Up In You (All Laced Up #02) - Erin Fletcher

Title: Tied Up In You (All Laced Up #02)
Author: Erin Fletcher
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Everyone says hotshot goalie Luke Jackson is God’s gift to girls, but the only girl he wants is his best friend, Malina Hall. He’s always known how brilliant she is, but now that he’s “ accidentally” kissed her, he can’t stop thinking about her...or wanting to kiss her again.

Problem is, things have been a little...awkward since the kiss. Because she likes him, too? Hopefully, but even if she did, their futures—and the ridiculous schedules that come with them—are in the way. And now one of his teammates is showing interest, and the guy has more in common with Malina than Jackson ever will.

As her best friend, Jackson should get out of the way. But if there’s one thing he’s learned from hockey, it’s that you have to go for what you want, even if it means falling flat on your face. And he’s definitely falling for Malina.

This has got to be one of the sweetest stories ever. I saw so much potential and was left hanging when the story didn't turn out the way I wanted it to be and appeared to be more ordinary than I originally hoped. On the other hand, that's the good thing about Entangled Crush publishing - the authors never take a risk of creating adventurous scenes. It's always very light and sweet. So, chances are likely you'll find yourself swooning over a very charming guy and wanting to be the female's best friend.

I found it refreshing that the characters' miscommunication didn't last through the whole book. That would have been very annoying. But since the two are best friends, I think it's easier for them to get over things and talk about them. That's also something I liked. While there weren't exactly flashbacks, you could still read about the past time Jackson and Malina spend together - how they became best friends and what connects them. I liked their friendship very much and the first chapters were my favorites, by far. I'm usually very picky when it comes to friends-to-lovers kind of novels, but if it's as sweet as this one, then I'm all in.

And... The characters were smart. I was super impressed by Malina's project and her dreams. Though the novel focuses on the romance between Jackson and Malina, they still had other problems to deal with. Sometimes, I want to read more about these problems, but if so, then these reads are heavier, more mature. I'm glad the author wrote about Malina and Jackson's problems the way she did. They didn't outweight the story, it wouldn't have been right for the story. But the characters didn't have it easy, and I think that's important, because otherwise it would have been too light and too dreamy.

Hockey isn't something I read about every day and unfortunately, most YA novels are about football players or even soccer players now. Hardly any novel is about ice hockey players or baseball players. That's why I was glad to find that sport in Tied Up In You. True, there aren't many sport scenes in there, but you still got a glimpse of how hard it is to become a professional in this sport. It's Jackson's passion and he goes for it. Same with Malina and her astrophysics project and her dream of studying exactly that, although it takes her a bit more time to figure that out.

I've got a question: What's up with the grandmas? I can't even say why I dislike the ever returning grandmothers that are the only understanding adults in the books, but I do. I always want to skip these parts of the story. Why not an understanding parent? Why not an understanding sibling? Why is always the grandmother? They can be mean, too, you know?! But somehow, they never are. I think that's odd. I mean, good for the characters, but I wish some more people had faith in them but their own grandmothers. Doesn't matter how adorable Tutu is in Tied Up In You.

Any fan of a light romance that can be read within a few hours, should give this one a chance.

Freitag, 30. Juni 2017

A Promise Ignited - Anissa Garcia

Title: A Promise Ignited
Author: Anissa Garcia
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and AG Romance Reads LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
Jaime Caldwell had the perfect life with her husband and son. Or so she thought. Over time, the stress of everyday life put a strain on her perfect marriage. The intimacy she once had with her husband is long gone—an intimacy she craves.

What she doesn’t expect, is for that craving to be reignited by an unexpected gentleman with an easy going smile. His flirtatious words fuel her, making her feel wanted, and lighting the passion within her.

But not everything is as it seems...
In the light of a new day, Jaime hopes she can use that passion to reignite her marriage.

Maybe I should read more novellas. At least with them, the story's never dragged or forced. Instead, the author focused on a short plot, on important conversations and the right words. Also, novellas are perfect if you're not in the mood or a phase to read a full length novel. That way, you can think to yourself, 'Yay, I finished a book' without it actually being a big one.

Anyway... I figured out how A Promise Ignited would end right away. I couldn't picture it any other way, so I wasn't surprised when I read the last few pages. But still... This novella was really good! As mentioned before, Anissa Garcia focused on the important issue with this one - no unnecessary friends that make an appearance, no angry parents at a Christmas dinner - it was all about Jaime and how unhappy she feels in her marriage. I immediately felt sorry for her and it was refreshing to read about marriage problems instead of the good old strangers-to-lovers romances or the new-neighbour-and-he-is-hot thing (we had that in A Promise Kept already). Also, there is a son involved, which makes things a lot more complicated and complex. Why doesn't she just divorce Dean? Well, that's a good question, but I think while reading her point of view, you'll understand why. Anissa Garcia describes Jaime's love for her husband sweetly.

Then there's a time hop and Jaime meets someone in a bar. Though she feels terrible, she puts all thoughts of the consequences aside and decides to go after him. And whew! Those scenes were really hot. Without them being cheap, which is important. There's a thin line between a romance novel (or novella) and a porn. This novella isn't the second option, it's just very sexy. You couldn't even feel bad about what Jaime was doing, because you could feel the passion while reading those sexy scenes. Of course, there was a tiny voice in the back of your head nagging at you that what she was doing was wrong, but then you'd read on and on and you just wouldn't care.

This novella can be read in less than an hour, so if you have got some spare time, I suggest you read it. Especially if you have read A Promise Kept or A Promise Made. I think it's the perfect addition to the series.

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

German Review: 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!