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!

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.