Samstag, 30. Dezember 2017

The Sweetheart Sham (Southern Charmed #1) - Danielle Ellison

Title: The Sweetheart Sham (Southern Charmed #1)
Author: Danielle Ellison
Rating: 2.5 - 3 / 5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship...and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Despite everybody else loving this book, it didn't really do anything for me. Sure, it was cute, but that's it. Everything about this screamed "cute" - the characters, the storyline. None of it was life changing, yet that's okay, because it doesn't have to be. Still I expected a little more, coming to think that the characters didn't even have to deal with problems. Or so it seemed. Georgia Ann sure didn't. Her secret wasn't even hers, it was the secret of her best friend Will, who was by far one of my highlights of the story. Alright, there's that thing with her mother. Thankfully, the author didn't make the book only about that.

Every misunderstanding between Georgia Ann and Beau could have been avoided if he had opened up to her about why he left Culler the first time. That's actually what I hated the most - that both of them weren't honest with each other. They got along fine but still couldn't talk about whatever happened between them after such a long time had passed. I liked the flashbacks, though, because every so often, stories like this one pick up years after the characters have seen each other last without letting the reader get a glimpse of their history.

The whole thing with Will being gay and being too afraid of his family's reaction really got to me. It's sad to think that so many teens out there can relate to him. It shouldn't matter who you love, who you decide to spend your life with. It's nobody's business but yours. And so at times I really felt like hugging Will, but then again I was happy he had a best friend like Georgia Ann who supported him no matter what.

This might be one of my shortest reviews. There's just not a lot that I can say. The publisher is known for cute reads like this one and I'm sorry I didn't like it any more. If you're looking for a sweet second-chance romance taking place in summer and in the south, then I think you'll actually love The Sweetheart Sham.

Montag, 18. Dezember 2017

Tamsin (Hart University #03) - Abigail Strom

Title: Tamsin (Hart University #03)
Author: Abigail Strom
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Victory Editing for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.

It’s junior year at Hart University, and theater major Tamsin Shay knows exactly what she’ll be doing: focusing on acting. She also knows what she won’t be doing.


Daniel Bowman knows what he’ll be doing, too. Football, engineering classes, volunteer work with his church. One thing he won’t be doing:


When they find themselves in a class together, the arguments begin. He’s conservative; she’s liberal. He’s traditional; she’s not. The only thing they share is their determination not to give into sexual attraction.

What could possibly go wrong?

Never in a million years had I thought, I'd actually like this book as much as I eventually did. Here's what I wrote when I finished Claire, the second book in the series:
"I'll probably give Tamsin a try, though I'm not exactly interested in her story. I don't know why, but I know one thing: I'll most likely love her story once I give it a chance."
And damn right! Just like I expected. It's not my favorite book to ever exist, but I liked it really much, despite all my fear I'd hate Tamsin's story. I didn't. Probably because of Daniel. He fit her so well. I couldn't imagine a guy that would, but the second Daniel entered the stage (almost literally), I knew he was perfect for her. And my, my. I loved these two together. The ever-lasting discussions about abortion and the pro-life or pro-choice team exhauted me, I'll admit that. But... The author managed great, because she captured both sides so perfectly and there was no right team either way. Both characters had different minds. In the beginning and in the end. No harm done.

Tamsin's such a strong character, I feel so bad for judging her in the beginning. It's what people do, I'm no exception to that. And I think there are more readers out there who aren't sure about this girl. She's different and I wasn't sure whether that's a good thing or not. Having read her story now, I think it's a good thing. Also because her character makes you rethink about your beliefs - the discussion might have annoyed me sometimes, but they also make you think. And I love that it doesn't have to be a Shakespeare book or a book written by any great philosopher to make you do that: Think. This is a new adult book. And while people nowadays tend to hate on that genre, I love how Abigail Strom used her power and wrote this kind of story.

I really believed both characters when it was their turn to speak - their point of views. Which is why I think the author has a great talent. You could always tell the two voices apart, and not just because of their different opinions on things. I feel like I'm repeating myself like an old CD playing the same old song, but I just didn't expect the book to be as good as it was, and now I want to point that out.

What Daniel went through... Oh my goodness. I couldn't hold back the tears. It's so tragic and he's still such a decent guy. And Tamsin's still strong, though so many people tried to bring her down in her past. There could be no better choice for the two characters than each other. Seriously. How did the author come up with that?! There's so much perfection in their tragedy.

While I was annoyed with "The Semester of Us" in Claire, I half expected this book to pick up the topic again. I'm so thankful that didn't happen and Tamsin just stayed true to herself. She's like this rock chick without being ever described as one and Daniel is like the gentleman you read about in books like Jane Austen's. Weird mix, huh? But just give it a go and you'll see for yourself that this is the best possible mix. Of course, they both got flaws... Such as Daniel's friends. Gosh, they're jerks. I didn't like their conversations one bit. What girl would?! And Tamsin sometimes seemed to think she was perfect, like acceting the fact that people slut shamed her made her queen of everything. Now that I think about it, it's really obvious, actually. I didn't like that, but the positive aspects are stronger.

The scenes in acting class were really interesting. And I always love reading about Rikki, because she's most likely my favorite of Abigail Strom's characters. It hasn't been that long since I read Claire, but I loved the reunion feeling I received on my end. Though honestly, and this time I really mean it, I'm not quite sure about the next book in the series - Julia. She's a mystery to me. We haven't even really seen a glimpse of her yet. And now a whole book? Eh. Just not sure.

German Review: Der letzte erste Kuss (Firsts #02) - Bianca Iosivoni

Titel: Der letzte erste Kuss (Firsts #02)
Autorin: Bianca Iosivoni
Bewertung: 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Das größte Risiko, das beste Freunde eingehen können ... Elle und Luke sind beste Freunde - und das ist auch gut so. Zu oft sind sie in der Vergangenheit verletzt worden, als dass sie noch an die große Liebe glauben würden. Doch dann ändert ein leidenschaftlicher Kuss alles. Und auf einmal ist es unmöglich, das heftige Prickeln zwischen ihnen noch länger zu ignorieren. Dabei wissen Elle und Luke, wie viel für sie auf dem Spiel steht. Und sie wissen auch, dass sie ihre Freundschaft mehr denn je brauchen...

Bereits mein drittes Buch von Bianca Iosivoni und es wird immer besser, kann ich sagen. Während ich mich in Der letzte erste Blick schwer mit der Protagonistin tat, fiel es mit mir Elle umso leichter. Ich mochte sie von Beginn an, obwohl ich mir in Band eins der Reihe, niemals hätte vorstellen können, dass sie ihre eigene Geschichte bekommt. Und klar: Probleme mit den Eltern sind nichts neues und komischerweise ist es meist die Mutter, die ihrer Tochter ein schweres Leben bereitet, aber ich fand Elles Hintergrundgeschichte toll. Einfach weil sie so perfekt zu ihr passte und ihr Charakter sich dadurch erklären ließ. Die Autorin hat sich nicht irgendetwas zusammen gesponnen und Probleme erschaffen, wo keine waren. Nein, Elles Vergangenheit stimmte überein mit der Person, die sie zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Geschichte ist.

Mein Dilemma sieht nun folgendermaßen aus: Dylan oder Luke. Dylan ist Protagonist des ersten Buches der First-Reihe und ich dachte wirklich, niemand würde ihn toppen können. Und dann kam Luke. Klingt nicht nur wie der nächster Blockbuster, sondern er ist ein einziger Blockbuster. In Person. Oder in geschriebener Form. Wie auch immer - er war umwerfend. Auch wenn ich manchmal doch sehr das Bedürfnis verspürte, ihn zu schlagen und in Elles Nähe zu schubsen. Aber mit Nähe hatte er eigentlich nie ein Problem. Und ja, das ist ein Tipp. Er und Elle behalten als Paar einen sehr großen Platz in meinem Herzen.

Aber zurück zu der Chemie der beiden. Sie sind beste Freunde. Nicht unbedingt die neuste Idee und nicht unbedingt meine liebste, wenn ich das zugeben darf, aber ich war offen für ihre Geschichte. Und sie war wirklich mehr, als ich mir erhofft hatte. Ihre "Das zählt nicht" Floskeln haben mich zwischenzeitlich zwar ziemlich zur Verzweiflung gebracht, aber es war so, als würde ich tatsächlich über eine Freundschaft zweier Menschen lesen, die ich persönlich kennen könnte. Von denen ich keine Ahnung hätte, was sie hinter den Rücken ihrer Freunde treiben. So mitgefiebert wie bei Elle und Luke habe ich schon lange nicht mehr. Und obwohl Luke so gerne der größe Aufreiser der Welt wäre, ist es einfach nur niedlich, wie er Elle bei ihren Angelegenheiten unterstützt. Ich sage nur: Vier Bundesstaaten. Alle, die Der letzte erste Kuss gelesen haben wissen, was gemeint ist.

Sicherlich gab es Momente, in denen ich mir wünschte, ein winziger Funke von dem Talent der Autorin würde auf mich abfärben. Ich finde, die Stimme, die sie ihren Geschichten des New Adult Genres verleiht einfach grandios. Es ist schön zu sehen, dass auch deutsche Autoren das Genre mögen und nicht nur einen billigen Abklatsch amerikanischer Literatur produzieren. Stattdessen merkt man mit jedem Satz, mit jeder Beschreibung der Charaktere, wie viele Gedanken Bianca in die Entwicklung und die Hintergrundgeschichte investiert.

Das Wiedersehen mit den Charakteren aus Was auch immer geschieht hat ein Lächeln auf meine Lippen gezaubert. Ich habe mir zwar ein eigenes Buch zu den Nebencharakteren gewünscht, aber da man nicht alles bekommen kann, was man will, gebe ich mich durchaus zufrieden. Und Mr. Cuddles! Oh, diese Katze hat es mir angetan. Ich hoffe, meine eigene Katze nimmt es mir nicht übel, aber ich bin schon ein kleines bisschen verliebt in Mr. Cuddles. Alleine die Art, wie sie Luke nicht leiden kann, trieb mir teilweise Tränen in die Augen vor Lachen. Und für alle die, die weiterhin auf Streiche zwischen Dylan und Emery hoffen, sei gesagt, dass diese nicht zu kurz kommen. Im Grunde ist es nicht nur eine Geschichte um Elle und Luke, sondern um die gesamte Clique. Die Einblicke gehen viel tiefer und ich bin sehr gespannt auf Tate, muss ich sagen. Was ich nach dem ersten Band niemals vermutet hätte.

Ich würde beinahe sagen, dass mir Der letzte erste Kuss einen kleinen Tick besser gefallen hat, als Der letzte erste Blick. Die Sorgen der Charaktere gingen mir wirklich nahe, auch wenn Dylans Geschichte aus Band eins nicht zu unterschätzen ist. Aber Luke und Elle haben es mir bereits als Freunde angetan, alles andere war für mich das reinste Glück. Humor, Trauer, Charme... Alles findet irgendwo seinen Platz in der Geschichte um die beiden. Definitiv ein Buch, dass ich sogar ein zweites Mal lesen würde.

Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

German Review: Berühre mich. Nicht. - Laura Kneidl

Titel: Berühre mich. Nicht.
Autorin: Laura Kneidl
Bewertung: 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und LYX für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Sie dachte, dass sie niemals lieben könnte. Doch dann traf sie ihn ...

Als Sage in Nevada ankommt, besitzt sie nichts – kein Geld, keine Wohnung, keine Freunde. Nichts außer dem eisernen Willen, neu zu beginnen und das, was zu Hause geschehen ist, zu vergessen. Das ist allerdings schwer, wenn einen die Erinnerungen auf jedem Schritt begleiten und die Angst immer wieder über einen hereinbricht. So auch, als Sage ihren Job in einer Bibliothek antritt und dort auf Luca trifft. Mit seinen stechend grauen Augen und seinen Tätowierungen steht er für alles, wovor Sage sich fürchtet. Doch Luca ist nicht der, der er auf den ersten Blick zu sein scheint und als es Sage gelingt, hinter seine Fassade zu blicken, lässt dies ihr Herz gefährlich schneller schlagen ...

Es ist sehr schwer, seine Gedanken zu diesem Buch zu sammeln, wenn man in Wahrheit doch nur schreien möchte. Die Geschichte um Luca und Sage hat mich zerbrochen - und verheulte Augen stehen mir absolut nicht, Frau Kneidl. Und nun dieses Warten auf Januar... Die reinste Qual.

Andererseits denke ich mir häufiger, dass es genau diese Emotionen sind, die einen wissen lassen, man las ein gutes Buch. Denn eine Geschichte, die einen kalt lassen würde, würde einen nicht unbedingt die Tage auf Buch Nummer zwei - Verliere mich. Nicht. - zählen lassen. Obwohl ich sagen muss, dass es durchaus Dinge gab, die mich störten oder zur Verzweiflung brachten. Beispiel: Das Ende. Es ging mir alles etwas zu rasant vorwärts gegen Schluss der Geschichte. Ich wollte Sage schütteln und anschreien, denn ihr Motiv verstand ich absolut nicht. Bis heute. Und wahrscheinlich wird es mir selbst bei Erscheinen von Band zwei nicht ganz schlüssig sein.

Die Romantik. Unverkennbar zwischen Sage und Luca, wobei Luca wohl eher der einfühlsame Part ist als Sage. Wer hätte das gedacht? Charakterwandel, hallo. Aber es steht ihm. Das kritisiere ich gar nicht. Was ich allerdings vermisste, war das Feuerwerk, das ich spüren wollte. Es existierte zwischen den beiden, keine Frage, aber in mir tobte es kaum. Durchaus schade, denn ich schätze es sehr, wenn zwischen den Charakteren Funken fliegen und es mir genauso ergeht, weil ich mich derart freue. Ich habe mich für die beiden gefreut, aber die Schritte, die sie gegangen sind, um an einen bestimmten Punkt zu kommen, gefielen mir beinahe mehr, als die Tatsache, dass sie sich annäherten.

Meine absolute Schwachstelle galt der Arbeit der beiden: die Bibliothek. Mein Herz schlägt immer noch höher, denn ich liebe diesen Ort. Und ich liebe es, über diesen Ort zu lesen. Keine Überraschung also, dass ich freudig aufschrie, als Luca und Sage dort ihrer Arbeit nachgingen. Wobei man zunächst etwas stutzt, dass dieser Ort wirklich der richtige für Luca sein soll. Aber je tiefer man in die Geschichte hineintaucht, desto komplexer wird sein Charakter und es steht außer Frage, dass er nicht nur ein Bad Boy ist, sondern eine Schwäche für Bücher besitzt. Geht es noch perfekter in New Adult Büchern?! I like!

Zugegeben, meine Erwartungen an das Buch waren extrem hoch und deshalb dauerte es eine gefühlte Ewigkeit, bis ich wirklich warm mit der Geschichte wurde, was mir im Nachhinein sehr leid tut, aber meine Skepsis siegte am Anfang. Ab der Hälfte allerdings verschlang ich jedes einzelne Wort nur noch, weshalb mich das Ende - dieses Ende - die Schultern sacken ließ. Es ist also nichts für Leser, die eine abgeschlossene Geschichte haben möchten. Aber ich würde wirklich jedem Luca und Sage ans Herz legen, was demnach bedeutet, sich bis Januar gedulden zu müssen.

Sages Probleme sind keine neuen im New Adult Bereich. Und ehrlich gesagt ist ihre Hintergrundgeschichte eine derer, über die ich gar nicht gerne lese. Aber... Laura Kneidl hat es geschafft, dass ich nicht durchgängig mit den Augen rollte und mir wünschte, ich hätte das Buch niemals begonnen. Die Geschehnisse rundum Sage waren nicht überzogen, das fand ich sehr erfrischend. Ich glaubte, ihre Angst zu spüren, weil sie derart real erschien. Und die Angst drängelt sich nicht in den Vordergrund, dass der Leser erstickt wird. Die Autorin hat genau das richtige Maß gefunden. Was mich nur noch neugieriger macht, ob wir im zweiten Teil vielleicht genauso mehr über Luca erfahren, obwohl sein Charakter weniger verhalten mit seinen Problemen und seiner Vergangenheit umgeht.

Genug erzählt und irgendwie doch nicht. Ich fand Berühre mich. Nicht. klasse und grauenvoll und super toll und alles zusammen - ich fühlte alles. Und meinerseits ist das ein großes Kompliment. Ich freue mich riesig auf Band zwei und bin gespannt, wie es mit Luca und Sage weitergeht. Plus, ob April (Lucas Schwester) eventuell auch eine Geschichte bekommt?!

Samstag, 11. November 2017

Claire (Hart University #02) - Abigail Strom

Title: Claire (Hart University #02)
Author: Abigail Strom
Rating: 3 - 3.5 / 5

Thanks to NetGalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-Op for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
It's sophomore year, and Claire Stone has sworn off romance. She's just gone through a breakup and she wants some time to find out who she is on her own. The only flaw in her plan is her friend (and hot quarterback) Will McKenna, who's a walking temptation to forget all about her singlehood pledge.

Will has had a thing for Claire since freshman year. Now that they're both single, he wants more from her than friendship. But Claire doesn't want to be anyone's girlfriend right now, and with football season underway, Will's got issues of his own to deal with.

When an injury on the field changes everything, Will and Claire are driven apart. But when the two of them end up trapped together in a snowstorm, they're forced to deal with each other again. Can they confront their feelings without ruining their friendship? Or will their friendship turn into something more?

I didn't realize how much I'd missed this series until I started reading Claire. I couldn't put it down, feeling as though I was part of the Hart University crew. I loved the way it started, the two characters feeling drawn to each other though they're both in a relationship with someone else. Weird, huh? That I especially liked that? Well, they don't cheat on their partner and while I'd go insane with rage in real life, I thought Claire and Will belonged to each other. I loved the way they thought about one another and wished for the other one to look inside his/her head.

Even though I usually dislike anything band or music related in books, I was surprised finding myself not complaining about the scenes in which Claire was on stage, performing with her band. Probably also because these scenes weren't dragged and had the right length. Same with the romance in Abigail Strom's book in general. The chemistry between the characters has got the right speed - nothing's rushed. I read another review saying the romance is more natural that way, and I totally agree. It's not like you're reading a fictional story, but a real one captured for everyone to read.

Will's a jerk. There, I said it. Because he really is - at least towards the end of the book. You'll know what I mean when you get to that point. I can't believe he acted the way he did. I liked him a lot and then I didn't and wanted to punch him in the face for saying the things he said, for acting the way he did. That was unlike him, and even though I could understand where his anger was coming from, he didn't have to take it out on Claire. Which was fine, really, because that way he was more of a realistic character to me - like a real teenage guy. Like any human being, really. Can't say I liked his behaviour, though. Same with Claire and her excuses. Gosh, that was annoying. Just make a move, girl. Why still hold on to your "Semester of Us" thing (she and Tamsin called it that - staying away from boys for a semester) when you're clearly liking Will? I didn't get it. And I kind of did. I'm confused, haha.

Anyway... While I generally liked the book, there was one thing I didn't like: The Thanksgiving scenario. Everything about it, honestly. It didn't feel right to me. Everything after what happened to Will didn't feel right to me. He wasn't himself anymore, Claire wasn't herself anymore either, suddenly all confident, and that house, those scenes. Sweet, fun and hot, definitely, but I'd have wished for other circumstances. I can't even really explain it. It was supposed to be supportive for Will, sure. But was it?

The friendships in this series are what made me feel like coming home to it, too. Their bound is so strong, I like the way the author managed to capture that in Rikki and now in Claire as well. Which is probably why I'll give Tamsin a try, though I'm not exactly interested in her story. I don't know why, but I know one thing: I'll most likely love her story once I give it a chance.

The First Kiss Hypothesis - Christina Mandelski

Title: The First Kiss Hypothesis
Author: Christina Mandelski
Rating: 4/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Crush for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Nora Reid believes scientific laws control everything, even love. With her grandparents’ epic first kiss story cemented in her brain, Nora develops a hypothesis she’s determined to prove:for each person in the world, there is exactly one other person, and at first kiss, they’ll experience an immediate and intense reaction.

But after four years of zero-reaction kisses, she comes up with a new theory: maybe that pesky crush on her stunningly hot best friend Eli Costas is skewing her results.

She needs to get rid of him, and fast.

Eli Costas is an injury-prone lacrosse star with a problem—the one chance he had at winning over the girl next door resulted in the most epically sucktastic first kiss ever. And now she’s…trying to get rid of him? Hell no. It’s time to disprove her theory and show her exactly what she’s missing.
Game. On.

This is exactly the kind of book I expect whenever I request a book published by Entangled. This book is the perfect example for why I love the way they pick their books. It's cute, funny and the characters are both smart - super smart, even. I love a well-written character who's obsessed with maths or science. It's one of my weak spots when it comes to authors and their stories. And I loved the mix of Nora - the brain, and Eli - the sporty dude. I never really enjoy reading about sports, but it was different with The First Kiss Hypothesis and I can't even explain why. The sports wasn't the main focus and the two characters were too sweet to be true. I seriously loved their relationship, their chemistry. Their interactions made me think of them as the perfect couple.

Also, there was a serious topic 'hidden' in this book. Nora's grandmother, who, at times, doesn't even recognize her granddaughter. That old lady broke my heart, but then again I loved the way she still managed to encourage Nora when she needed it. I'm glad the author didn't choose for this topic to be too heavy, just the right amount of it. And then about Eli and Nora's pie obsession - something I can't relate to because pie isn't that popular in Germany. I don't even think I've ever eaten one, so the two should definitely take me to that place for the best pie in the world. Sometimes, I was annoyed by the ever-lasting, "Let's go and have pie" thing, but it was their thing, so I didn't mind too much.

Of course I was angry with Nora for not seeing what's right in front of her, with Eli for just shutting off. I can't put down in words how much I adored these two, how much I still do. Eli wants to prove Nora her hypothesis is wrong, but she doesn't want to hear about it. If there's no spark when she first kisses a guy, there's no second chance. Truth be told, I liked Tex enough to feel sorry for him when it felt to me like Nora was leading him on. Which is why I could imagine a book about him. I doubt there'll be one, but that would be my wish. Also, I wanted to roll my eyes at her hypothesis, but I secretly loved that the author came up with this idea. It's unique.

Lacrosse always makes me think of Teen Wolf, which I loved, so naturally, I pictured Eli as perfect as he was described. I think that Christina Mandelski captured both the characters' voices perfectly and I always felt whatever they felt. So the writing was really, really great and I can't believe her other book - The Sweetest Thing - has been on my eReader for about six years now. Although I'm too hooked on The First Kiss Hypothesis now to even give it a fair chance. I'll have to wait for that one. Hopefully not another six years.

Definitely one of my favourite reads from Entangled. I loved, loved, loved it. I was sad when I reached the end and I encourage everyone to get this book if you're looking for a sweet young adult read. This is absolutely perfect!

Montag, 6. November 2017

Saving It - Monica Murphy

Title: Saving It
Author: Monica Murphy
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that...

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing... with anyone but her.

I didn't even think about it when I pressed the "request" button for this one. It's a Monica Murphy book and I adore her. What more can I say?! With Daring The Bad Boy being one of my ultimate favourites of all time, I didn't hesitate when I saw Saving It up on NetGalley. And though I didn't love it as much, I still enjoyed reading it.

Sure enough, the story isn't extraordinary. But the way the author tells the story is. I love her humor and her ideas. You can definitely tell the difference between her Entangled books and the ones she publishes through different houses. With this publisher, Monica Murphy's books are lighter, there are more funny scenes in it and it's all much more young adult. But she's an expert at both genres, I'd say - young adult and new adult. I like both her styles very much.

Eden and Josh are about the cutest characters I've come across. There are lots of other authors trying to capture friendships the right way, telling a story so similar like this, but only a few actually manage to get the reader excited about it. I definitely was excited about this book. I had a hard time putting it down in order to have dinner or go out. The world of the two characters always had me want to dive into it again and again. They are best friends, though everyone else seems to always assume they're a couple in secret. And despite Josh always having been a relationship guy, he's still a virgin. He plans on changing that really soon, though. And Eden is the one he asks for help. Not in that way, but he wants her to come up with girls he could lose his virginity to. Oh my, what a bad idea, I thought. I already saw the whole plot going downhill, but luckily, I got surprised and still liked the book.

Safe to say, in the end I thought things were a little rushed. Maybe there are readers out there who will feel the same. And maybe that's why my rating suffered a bit. That and yes, it's a story you've read about a million times, as I said before. No matter how many times I say Monica did a fabulous job and I enjoyed her way of telling this plot more than anyone else's, it's still nothing new. But... While I usually have a problem with the main characters' friends, I adored Molly and Abe somehow. Probably not so much as a couple (who knows?! If they got their own book then maybe...), but as their best mates. I didn't quite understand Abe's motives concerning Eden, but that's a different story. And those girls Josh went after... Oh my. I can't believe there wasn't a single normal one, haha. On the other hand, there couldn't be, since there's Eden.

If you're looking for a sweet romance, best friends to lovers, then I suggest you read this one. Also if you're already a Monica Murphy fan and if you trust my review enough to give it a chance.

Sonntag, 29. Oktober 2017

German Review: Zart verführt (Taste of Love #03) - Poppy J. Anderson

Titel: Zart verführt (Taste of Love #03)
Autorin: Poppy J. Anderson
Bewertung: 3.5/5

Danke an NetGalley und Bastei Lübbe für das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches vorab der Veröffentlichung.
Smoothie küsst Schokolade

Adam Stone! Eigentlich soll Liz in der TV-Talkrunde Werbung für ihre neu eröffnete Chocolaterie machen. Aber wer kann bitte daran denken, wenn der eigene Jugendschwarm, seines Zeichens Ex-Model und Fitnessguru, so nah neben einem sitzt? Doch dann macht Adam eine eindeutig zweideutige Bemerkung über sie. Was für ein Idiot! Ihre Familie sieht das hingegen ganz anders: endlich jemand, der Liz aus ihrem Dornröschenschlaf weckt. Sie setzen alles daran, die beiden zu verkuppeln...
Mein bisher viertes Buch von Poppy J. Anderson und vielleicht sogar mein Liebstes, aber da möchte ich mich eigentlich gar nicht festlegen. Festzuhalten ist, dass ich sehr überrascht war, wie sehr mir eine Geschichte rundum eine Bäckerin gefallen hat. Normalerweise bin ich nämlich eher diejenige, die sich beschwert, sobald es um das Thema Essen & Trinken in Romanen geht. Ich fahre im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen absolut nicht auf Geschichten ab, die sich um heiße Köche und gutaussehende Köchinnen drehen. Deshalb habe ich diese Reihe vor mir hergeschoben, immer etwas ängstlich davor, eventuell enttäuscht zu werden oder bzw. bestätigt. Doch zum Glück trafen meine Bedenken in Zart verführt nicht ein. Sicherlich spielt die Selbstständigkeit von Liz eine große Rolle, aber Poppy schafft es einfach, sich in jeden ihrer Charaktäre zu verlieben. Liz und Adam machen da keine Ausnahme.

Ich finde es erstaunlich, wie kreativ die Autorin weiterhin ist, obwohl sie bereits derart viele Romane verfasst hat. Jede Geschichte, die ich bisher von ihr in den Händen hielt, hat etwas ganz Spezielles an sich - etwas Originelles. Es wirkt nie abgekupfert, sondern strahlt jedes Mal das gewisse Etwas aus, das ihre Bücher besonders machen. Daher kann ich mit Sicherheit sagen, werde ich mich auch an die anderen Teile der Taste of Love Reihe wagen, in der Hoffnung, sie gefallen mir genauso sehr.

Es ist doch so: Entweder werden die Leser von Anfang an Liz' Art mögen oder sie werden ihr zu wenig Stärke unterstellen. Zumindest tut das Liz' Schwester Vicky, die überhaupt nicht auf den Mund gefallen ist und das Bedürfnis verspürt, ihrer Meinung freien Lauf zu lassen. Es war herrlich, diese gegensätzlichen Geschwister miteinander harmonieren zu sehen. Ich finde es toll, wie unterschiedlich die beiden sind und doch ein bezauberndes Paar abgeben. Aporpos Paar... Als Liz Adam zum ersten Mal live erlebt, ist sie alles andere als begeistert von dem ehemaligen Model. Eine weitere Sache, die Poppys Romane ausmachen - in den Geschichten, die ich von ihr kennengelernt habe, ist es meist so, dass die Hauptcharaktere sich zunächst nicht ausstehen können. Man könnte behaupten, das wird auf Dauer langweilig, aber irgendwie macht dies genau ihre Bücher aus, meiner Meinung nach. Ich fand die Spitzen, die Liz Adam gegenüber anbrachte absolut amüsant. Die Romantik taucht erst viel später im Buch auf, was auch nicht allzu häufig vorkommt, sich für mich aber als eine willkommene Abwechslung darstellte. Und was Adam angeht spreche ich sicherlich jeder Leserin und eventuell ja sogar jeden Leser aus der Seele, dass er eine totale Sahneschnitte ist. Ha! Der Wortwitz war nicht beabsichtigt, aber mein Gehirn scheint eindeutig dafür.

Gut finde ich auch, wie wenig Drama in diesem Roman stattfindet. Keine hitzigen Eifersuchtsszenen (okay, das ist so vielleicht nicht ganz richtig, ihr werdet's sehen), keine Ex-Freunde oder Ex-Freundinnen, die plötzlich wieder auf der Matte stehen und die aufgebaute Spannung zu durchbrechen versuchen. Ich habe mich wirklich darüber gefreut, denn Drama kann in gewissen Portionen für Aufregung sorgen, aber meist doch eher im negativen Sinne. Manchmal steht mir einfach nicht der Sinn danach. Da bin ich froh, bei Zart verführt an der richtigen Adresse gelandet zu sein.

Was die Abneigung zu Sport angeht, fühlte ich mich im Geiste sehr stark mit Liz verbunden. Auch wenn ich ihren Sinneswandel nicht ganz nachvollziehen konnte (aber hey, ich kenne auch keinen Adam *hust*), fand ich es klasse, wie die beiden auf die Interessen des jeweils anderen eingingen. Das lässt die Geschichte um die beiden gleich viel realer wirken, was Poppy wirklich super drauf hat. Und dann Adams Vergangenheit... Für einen Moment fragte ich nach dem Warum. Mir gefiel es gar nicht, wie eine bestimmte Person dargestellt wurde, aber letztendlich ist es wichtig, um Adams Verhalten nachzuvollziehen. Was ich, zugegeben, nicht ganz konnte, aber ich sympathisierte mit ihm und deshalb sah ich über seine "Schwäche" "erwachsen zu werden" hinweg. Außerdem trug Liz ebenfalls ihren Teil dazu bei, dass dieser Zustand nicht ewig anhielt. Da wollte ich doch wieder dahinschmelzen. Die beiden sind einfach zu süß!

Ich wiederhole: Definitiv nicht mein letzter Roman von Poppy J. Anderson und dass Bücher über's Kochen mich doch derart fesseln könnten, hätte ich niemals erwartet.

Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You - Vicki Grant

Title: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Author: Vicki Grant
Rating: 3/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Running Press for letting me receive this book before its official release date.
Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?

The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from "What is your most terrible memory?" to "When did you last sing to yourself?" By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they've laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They've also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?

Told in the language of modern romance—texting, Q&A, IM—and punctuated by Paul's sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humor and heart. As soon as you've finished reading, you'll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you'll even fall in love.

So first off, I'm going to say that if you're stuck in a bubble of deep young adult reads, this one won't be for you. Of course, the characters struggle with problems, but you don't really get to feel their angst, not like with other novels. This one focuses on the sweetness and it's very light. The writing is very unique, so if you're up for a change, then maybe 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You could actually be a book of your taste.

Granted, I was confused by the way the story started and how the conversations between Hildy and Paul went - conversation style, like theatre plays and Shakespeare tales. But then I grew to like it and looked forward to these chapters instead of when Hildy met with her friends and the writing got back to the usual style. I wasn't interested in reading about her friends, I wanted more of her and Paul. Maybe I'm being mean here, because of course characters have got to have friends and stuff, but their conversations weren't interesting to me in the least. They went on about a topic for pages and pages and yeah, some lines were pretty funny, but the story was all about Hildy and Paul's romance for me.

Paul is a real douche in the beginning. He seems like this typical skater loner dude that's too cool for anyone, but as always, there's more to him than meets the eye and the same goes for Hildy. Right from the start, you know that her family situation isn't the best and appearance is all about the right acting. I didn't understand some things Hildy mentioned in conversations and you'll probably feel the same way, because everything is only revealed at the end, which is a great trick to keep the reader curious and read until the end. Paul's situation is a bit more predictable, he may not speak as much as Hildy but he's like an open book to the reader. You can figure his life situation out, it's not that hard. But maybe that's what's so interesting - beyond the fact that he's a man of few words, he saying so much without even trying to say something between the lines. No clue if the author striked for that, but I'm sure amazed by it, thinking about it just now.

The story itself is very unusual. I mean, two strangers meeting for an experiment in exchange for money (which is Paul's only motivation, really). They have to ask each other these 36 questions that have been given to them and their only task is to answer honestly. Fascinating how many secrets you actually tell a stranger, I think. Well, that goes for Hildy. As mentioned before, Paul's pretty tongue-tied and a douche. Luckily, that changes - he's got 36 questions in order for that to happen. How does anyone even come up with 36 questions? That's a lot. And sometimes, I got the feeling they kind of reappeared in a different shape. But that's okay. And truth be told, I liked the answers the author came up with for her characters. Questions make the characters seem more real. I liked that.

Truth be told, if I was a guy, I'd be annoyed by Hildy. Hell, I was annoyed by her half the time reading 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You. She's blabbering and blabbering, whew. I felt like putting down the book from time to time, only to release a breath and calm down a bit. She's a true piece of art. And I think Paul's her perfect opposite. And that's exactly why I enjoyed this book despite my fear of hating it in the beginning - it's sweet and light and the chemistry between the two characters is beyond cute. They're good for each other, Paul turning out to be something I would have never expected and Hildy being less annoying, too. Oh, and also I'm very glad it will be translated into that many languages. I can't wait to find some German readers to talk about this one.

Sonntag, 24. September 2017

German Review: Stars Over Castle Hill (On Dublin Street #6.6) - Samantha Young

Titel: Stars Over Castle Hill - Schicksalhafte Begegnung (On Dublin Street #6.6)
Autorin: Samantha Young
Bewertung: 3.5 - 4/5

Danke an NetGalley und Ullstein das digitale Rezensionsexemplar dieses Buches.
Joss and Braden Carmichael sind glücklich verheiratet - doch was wäre, wenn sich die beiden nicht an jenem schicksalhaften Tag vor über zehn Jahren begegnet wären?

Joss Carmichael ist erfolgreiche Autorin und lebt mit ihrem Mann Braden und ihren drei Kindern in der Dublin Street. Als sie gebeten wird, eine „Wäs-wäre-wenn-Geschichte“ über ihr Leben zu schreiben, muss sie sofort an den Tag denken, an dem sie Braden kennengelernt hat. Wo stünde sie jetzt, wenn sie ihn nie getroffen hätte? Das kann sich Joss kaum vorstellen. Sie ist sich sicher, dass es ihr Schicksal war, Braden früher oder später zu treffen. Aber was, wenn sie bei dieser Begegnung schon 30 und nicht erst 21 Jahre alt gewesen wäre? Vielleicht wäre sie selbst reifer gewesen und hätte vor der großen Liebe nicht solche Angst gehabt. Aber was, wenn Braden bereits von der Liebe enttäuscht worden wäre? Hätte er dann auch mit aller Kraft um sie gekämpft? Oder wäre ihre Liebe zum Scheitern verurteilt gewesen?

Mir war nicht bewusst, wie sehr ich diese Reihe vermisse, bevor ich begann, Stars Over Castle Hill zu lesen. Die alternative Geschichte um Joss und Braden macht mich damit nicht unbedingt zu dem größten Fan der beiden Charaktere (ich mag eher Jo, Cam, Olivia, Nate, Grace und Logan), aber dennoch fiel es mir schwer, das "Buch" aus der Hand zu legen. So viele Erinnerungen an die Charaktere wurden wach, so viel Liebe und so viel Schmerz noch einmal verdeutlicht.

Ich finde die Idee an sich, dass Joss als erfolgreiche Schriftstellerin eine alternative Geschichte verfassen soll, großartig. Das ist etwas ganz besonderes und nicht einfach nur ein Nachtrag, weil Samantha Young nicht weiß, wann Schluss ist. Man merkt während des Lesens, wie sehr ihr besonders diese beiden - Joss und Braden - am Herzen liegen, immerhin begann mit ihnen alles und seither begeistert die Reihe Fans auf der ganzen Welt. Anstatt also weiter über die glückliche Familie, die die beiden mittlerweile gegründet haben, zu schreiben, entschied sich die Autorin für einen anderen Weg, einen super kreativen, wie ich finde. Was wäre wenn... Ja, die Frage haben wir uns definitiv alle schon einmal gestellt und ich fand es toll, wie die Autorin mit dem Thema umging.

Kein Fan von Joss und Braden muss befürchten, dass es irgendwo dort draußen ein Universum gibt, in dem die beiden kein Paar sind. Früher oder später hätten sich die Wege der beiden gekreuzt. Ich brauche nicht erwähnen, dass es trotzdem in keiner dieser Dimensionen einfach für sie war, einander zu vertrauen und zu lieben. Gerade das macht es so spannend. Denn auch in Stars Over Castle Hill stehen einige Hürden im Weg, die es gilt, zu bewältigen. Eine großartige alternative Welt wurde da für sie entwickelt, eine, die glaubwürdig und überhaupt nicht unrealistisch erscheint. Ihre Charakterzüge sind genau dieselben, wovor ich etwas Angst hatte, dass es daran eventuell scheitern würde. Tat es aber nicht, seid beruhigt. Joss ist genauso stur wie in On Dublin Street und Braden ist immer noch der Typ zum Anschmachten. Es ist unglaublich, wie Samantha all ihre Charakterzüge beibehält, so als handelte es sich bei ihnen um wirkliche und keine fiktiven Personen. Ich bin begeistert.

Warum also keine volle Punktzahl? Nun, die Begegnung der beiden war mir etwas zu "zufällig" und wie bereits erwähnt bin ich generell kein riesiger Fan der beiden, was meiner Liebe zu der gesamten Reihe aber keinen Abbruch tut. Ich bin glücklich darüber, dass wir einen erneuten Einblick in ihr Leben bekommen haben, finde es schön, zu lesen, wie weit Joss gekommen ist, wie gut sie ihre Ängste überwunden hat. Bradens Reaktion auf die Geschichte, die Joss über sie beide verfasst hat, fand ich überzogen, um ehrlich zu sein. Klar, sie passt zu ihm, sie passt zu den beiden als Paar, aber es war mir zu störrisch. Dennoch empfehle ich dieses Buch aus tiefster Seele, denn Samantha Young ist eine grandiose Autorin und jede Seite, die aus ihrer Feder stammt, beschert einem eine wundervolle Zeit.

Dienstag, 12. September 2017

Fraternize (Players Game #01) - Rachel van Dyken

Title: Fraternize (Players Game #01)
Author: Rachel van Dyken
Rating: 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Skyscape for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release.
Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done…

No fraternizing with the players.

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way.

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.

There are so many five stars ratings for this one so far (it's not even out yet as I write this review) and I'm really glad about that. The thing about Rachel is that I love her. I love her humor, I love her writing style. She's one of my favorite storytellers, but... I usually never agree with her couples in books. And that's the case with Fraternize as well. I didn't like the endgame. Like, at all! Maybe I'm immature like that, because Em's "decision" makes sense, but I just didn't see it. No, no, no.

And so that's why I can't be very fair. That's what made me suffer so much while reading the book. It's great. I mean, the humor is fabulous and so like Rachel. You don't feel like you're reading a 300-something pages novel, but like you're reading about friends and funny dialogues, and it all flashes before your eyes like it's a TV show. It's not even annoying, because it's too good. That doesn't mean the author doesn't take her job serious, because she obviously does. She picks up heavy topics and includes them into her stories, she makes her characters suffer and she also makes the readers fall in love with them. That's real talent there!

I'm not a big fan of cheerleading, probably because it's not that popular in Germany, same as football. But thinking of other stories about cheerleaders, I liked this one much better. Maybe also because Emerson isn't the typical super model, but has got curves. I think we need more of those types of cheerleaders in real life, too. I also liked that Rachel van Dyken's focus wasn't set on rivality between the cheerleaders. There was a scene in which Emerson and Lily clearly hated each other, but we read much more about Emerson's friendship with Kinsey and then of course her love triangle. Miller and Sanchez. If you think one bad boy makes you swoon, then you'll most likely die reading about these two hotties.

Truth be told, during the book, I wasn't sure who to ship her with. Sometimes it was Miller, sometimes it was Grant (that's Sanchez' first name). It all came down to one person I won't name, because it'd give away spoilers, but yeah... As I said before, the endgame wasn't for me. And I hate that. Not because of Rachel, but because of me. It's obvious that guy is a better fit for her, but I still wouldn't accept it. That's why I saw a lack of chemistry, though there wasn't, that's why I saw a cheater, though he wasn't. That's why I saw so many things the way I wanted them to be, even though they were perfect. I don't know what's wrong with me. I remember reading the first two books in her Eagle Elite series and I was exactly the same. And I'm still mad over the endgame, yes. I still have yet to read the other books in that series, because I was too mad to continue. Which is probably why it'll take me years to start reading the second book. But I'm kind of excited about it too. And you know why? Because it's Rachel, damnit! She's a genius.

I absolutely loved the flashbacks. They were one of my favorite parts. Okay, yes, some of them were very short and rushed, but that's perfectly fine with me. I usually hate second chance romances, but the idea of Miller and Emerson while reading the flashbacks really grew on me.

Emerson's dad is suffering from Alzheimer's. Did your shoulders just slack? I saw it! Yes, it's a heavy topic, but I'm so glad Rachel managed to find a way that worked for her. A sad book wouldn't have been the right decision and too much humor isn't a good choice, either. But the mix was great! You still got the impression of the weight Emerson had to carry on her shoulders, but it was nice that there were these two boys who made it a little easier for her. Her life didn't revolve around her father's illness. I wouldn't have wanted that for her. And the scenes with her father really brought tears to my eyes. Especially the last one. I loved that.

I'm very aware that this review isn't as professional as some would like it do be. Is it even still a review? I have no idea. I could talk about Fraternize for hours, but there's a risk of telling spoiles, which is why I'll quit now (if you want to know who Emerson ended up with by the end of the book, just read the blurb for Infraction, the second book). One more thing: I want Jax' book now! Seriously... Even if I have no clue about book number two and my feelings toward the couple in there - I need more of Jax in my life. The hints about what his character might be like made me curious to find out more about him. If you love sports romances, funny dialogues, awesome friendships and Rachel van Dyken, go and pick this one up!

Sonntag, 10. September 2017

Something In The Way (Something In The Way #01) - Jessica Hawkins

Title: Something In The Way (Something In The Way #01)
Author: Jessica Hawkins
Rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Weapenry Cooperative for letting me receive a digital copy of this book.
It was a hot summer day when I met him on the construction site next to my parents' house. Under the sweat and dirt, Manning Sutter was as handsome as the sun was bright. He was older, darker, experienced. I wore a smiley-face t-shirt and had never even been kissed. Yet we saw something in each other that would link us in ways that couldn't be matter how hard we tried.

I loved Manning before I knew the meaning of the word. I was too young, he said. I would wait. Through all the carefully-chosen words hiding what we knew to be true, through his struggle to keep me innocent, and through infinitely-starry nights--I would wait. But I'd learn that life isn't always fair. That no matter how much you achieve, none of it matters if you suffer the heartbreak that comes with falling for someone you can never have. Because even though I saw Manning first, that didn't matter. My older sister saw him next.

I loved this book. How's that for a review? Four simple words. Alright, I'll go into detail, haha.

While searching for book two, I've come around a very negative review written in German. I can safely say that I don't understand the reader's motives for rating the book the way he/she did at all. "Naive characters. I wasted my money on this one." I can't agree, sorry. Sure enough, Lake isn't the most mature female character you've ever come across, but... She's only sixteen. Can you really blame the author for creating a believable heorine? And Manning's parts... There are way too few to judge him as naive. He's anything but that. I could feel his struggle while reading his point of views. He's been through so much and I can't wait to find out more about his life before he ever met Lake and her sister Tiffany.

Well, yeah... Tiffany. I'm part of Jessica Hawkins' group on Facebook and laughed so hard when somebody described Tiffany's character as a bitch. That sums it up. And oddly enough, Lake still adores her, because she's her big sister. Maybe it's because I'm an only child, but I didn't quite get that part. Tiffany has said some awful things to her, but she's still running back to her. Truth be told, Lake sometimes just said what's on her mind as well and should have thought a little harder before 'slamming her sister in the face like that.' I loved how Manning handled these situations when he was with them. Such a protector. All female readers are swooning over him, I can tell.

Also, yes, Lake might appear like the typical teenage girl you read about often - daddy's little girl who wants to make him proud and doesn't even care about her own dreams in return because it'd make her feel horrible. But for Lake's character, that background story fit so well. I can't say I liked it, because of course it gets you mad to think a parent would hold their child up, instead of encouraging it to follow his/her dreams. So I never looked forward to these scenes, but they were necessary. At least Lake's mom wasn't like that, though she didn't speak up, either. Tiffany seemed to be the only rebel, though her motives are highly doubtful. But at least she didn't let anyone tell her what to do, so that's a good thing, right?!

Usually, I've come to dislike reading about summer camps, but gah, I was so excited to read about Lake's experience for that summer, hoping something between Manning and her would happen. The author did a really good job of creating a story that you don't want to put down. Eventually, I had to when my phone's battery was dead, but the whole time, I kept thinking, "I really want to continue reading. Charge already!" It was just so damn good!

I'm a sucker for books like this one. And I mean exactly like this one. The plot was amazing, I loved the story idea (simply because I have written a very similiar story like this one, too) and though I hated that it ended with a cliffhanger (but I still loved it, secretly) and I thought Manning's story toward the end was too brutal (no blood, don't worry), I enjoyed every second reading Something In The Way. I can't wait to read the sequel Somebody Else's Sky and the third book as well. There are so many things we need to find out about - will Lake still follow her father's footsteps or will she make a decision of her own? What about Tiffany? What about Manning? What about just everything, basically? I need book number two right now. Somebody give it to me!

Freitag, 25. August 2017

Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #01) - K.R. Grace

Title: Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #01)
Author: K.R. Grace
Rating: 3 - 3.5/5

Thanks to NetGalley and Buoni Amici Press, LLC for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.

Then comes the bet.

If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.

The glitch?

They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend?

The truth is in the pages.

In the beginning, I had a hard time finding myself getting into the book. It started off as something else than I expected and I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not. Then, as I continued, I enjoyed the story and the main character Macey - a nerdy high school student you'll find yourself relating to. And her male best friend Cam had some swoon-worthy scenes, too.

Please don't get fooled by the title, though. Sure enough, there's a reason why the book is called Her Book Boyfriend, but to be honest, there wasn't a lot of book nerdy references or whatever else I'd hoped for. There's a quote in the end, saying Macey finally got her book boyfriend, but I didn't feel that at all. Macey's obsessed with an author and thinks she's got the recipe to catch herself the perfect boyfriend for prom. So she makes a list, thinking if she goes through all these types of guys, eventually she'll land herself something like the fantasy book boyfriend.

By the end of the book, I didn't realise how many guys there were until she counted them all. It's funny how if she had been described as a mean girl, the reader probably would have had the impression she was a slut, but since she was always a cutie, you won't get mad over it. Toward the end, I had some problems with how she finally realized none of these guys were it for her, but well... I wouldn't have had seen another option for it either.

I liked the part when Macey decided to go for the other sex. That was beyond hilarious and just the kind of scene light and easy romance novels like this one need. That's what makes them so special - always a good laughter. And unlike many other female main characters, she got along great with children. The friendship between her and Winter - Cam's younger sister - was adorable.

Speaking of Cam, I wonder what happened to his family situation after the book ended. I am curious to find out, but on the other hand I don't want to pick up the sequel, Her Hollywood Boyfriend, because I am not a fan of band romances at all, especially the teen kind. Thinking about Cam now, I think the title of the book might be justified. Reading about his change of heart makes sense for the title to be Her Book Boyfriend, I guess.

Despite my usual hatred for most friend characters, there wasn't a single one that I disliked with this novel. The amount of dialogues are fine and the reader gets the impression that they'd all have each others backs if it was to decide. And then there is Wen, a cute girl who never talks. Granted, it's predictable thinking of when she'll eventually start talking, but I still kind of liked her. The gestures described were so much fun.

Also this mind sound superficial, but I love the cover. It's simple, yet something I'd want to be seen on my real-life shelf. And the writing was great! Every so often I want to read a book like this one but can't get along with the author's voice. If I find another novel by K.R. Grace with a description that makes me think I could enjoy the book, I'll definitely read it!

So, if you're looking for a sweet, light romance with a nerdy YA heroine and a predictable, yet super fun plot, you might think about picking up Her Book Boyfriend.

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.