Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #2


Publication date: February 24th 2015 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Abigail’s parents have made mistake after mistake, and now they've lost everything. She’s left to decide: Does she still believe in them? Or is it time to believe in herself? Fans of Sara Zarr, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this moving debut.


Abigail doesn't know how her dad found Brother John. Maybe it was the billboards. Or the radio. What she does know is that he never should have made that first donation. Or the next, or the next. Her parents shouldn't have sold their house. Or packed Abigail and her twin brother, Aaron, into their old van to drive across the country to San Francisco, to be there with Brother John for the "end of the world." Because of course the end didn't come. And now they're living in their van. And Aaron’s disappearing to who-knows-where every night. Their family is falling apart. All Abigail wants is to hold them together, to get them back to the place where things were right. But maybe it’s too big a task for one teenage girl. Bryan Bliss’s thoughtful, literary debut novel is about losing everything—and about what you will do for the people you love.
(content: Goodreads)

Well, here's a list: 
  1. It's contemporary --> I'll probably like it.
  2. It says fans of David Levithan and Rainbow Rowell will connect with this --> Ummm, yup, sounds good to me.
  3. Nothing can compete with Vans and Road trips, the combination is invincible.
What are you waiting for? Tell me in the comments below.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ARC Review: When You Leave by Monica Ropal

My rating: 4 / 5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Crime, Romance
Published: April 7th 2015 by Running Press Kids
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Source: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


Cass is positive that the people she cares about most will eventually leave her. Her father is gone, her mother doesn’t notice Cass exists, and her best friend’s battle with cancer was too close of a call. So when she begins her year at a wealthy new private school, Cass’s plan is to suffer through it in anonymity.

However, when her cute locker neighbor, Cooper, shows an undeniable attraction toward Cass, keeping him at a safe distance isn’t easy. Even though her Frogtown skater world and his do-gooder preppy one are so different, Cass and Cooper somehow mesh. And once Cass lets her guard down, Cooper is mysteriously murdered—thus proving her original theory.

When Cass’s close friend is suspected as the killer, she isn’t sure who she can trust anymore. Between investigating Cooper’s murder and trying to understand what she really meant to him, will Cass even find what she is looking for?
(source: Goodreads)
My Thoughts

This is the first ARC I have ever received so therefore I was pretty excited (That might be the understatement of the year). I immediately started reading it and the excitement was kind of gone. The beginning annoyed me - It was like skaters were Martians. I can assure you, they're not. I'm a skater myself (Even though no one will ever get me to do flips or any other tricks) and my whole class accepts it (Well, they kind of ignore it) because it's just a hobby. Not a lifestyle or a mentality. 
But the writing style was really good, a bit halting, but that improves throughout the book, so I continued reading. I read a few reviews of this book and some people said that the writing style was too direct for them but I can't agree with the 'too direct'. I love direct writing and this was very direct but in a good way. It felt like someone telling you their story, like a real person's point of view. The main character / author thought of a lot of great words, for example the "incognito escape route".

And ignoring the skater aspect the book got really great. Her relationship with Cooper was a bit sudden and out of nowhere but the way they behaved was realistic (excluding Cass's need to sneek around, I don't really get that). Something I also couldn't understand was the whole thing with the private school. We don't have many private schools in Germany and I only know one Person going to a private school. We have two types of public schools, but to get to the one that's more difficult, you just have to have good grades, not a lot of money. There are rich and poor people on both schools. 

But the book wasn't what I expected: I expected it to be more about Cass's insecurities, mostly because of the blurb. I sure did not expect it to be a mystery story or to be about murder. Before you label me stupid: I did not read the whole blurb. Only the first sentence. So everything that other people read in the blurb was a complete surprise to me, which I think is really good, because that were kind of big points in the plot.

The characters in this book were original, especially Mattie and Brady. Mattie was definitely my favorite character, not only of this book but in general. I haven't read a book with a character like him in a long time and I have never read a book with a mute person. And Brady... Well, I definitely didn't like him, he's scary and annoying but he was... unusual.

Should you read this book? Hell, yeah, you should! I already recommended it to some of my friends, babbling on and on about how awesome Mattie is (Let's call it a bookish crush, okay?) and I will buy it in a paperback edition when it's out myself. To rerererereread it. You can never have enough cute, compelling mystery stories.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Top 14 of 2014

These are the top 14 books I've read in 2014. I have to admit, I didn't read a lot in the beginning of the year. I started reading more than two-three books a month in March and started blogging about books in September (I think I was in a reading slump for.... uuuuh.... 1 1/2 years.... Maybe? I only rerererereread)
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbovski                                                               I could take out every page, mark it 'til it's dripping wet and glue it on my wall. This is so beautiful
*review to come*
2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer                                                                                                                       I haven't read Cress yet, but I'm going to, especially since Winter and Fairest are coming out 2015.

3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo                                                                    I love this take on Russian culture and all the characters, but I still don't understand why people put the Darkling in the villains-we-can't-but-love-category...

4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green                                                          I don't think I have to say much, since nearly everyone watched the movie and /or read the book, but it's only on number four of this list because I might have taken an overdose of The Fault In Our Stars... Too much is not good for you.

5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins                                               Also one of the best contemporary novels. Isla and the Happily Ever After and Lola and the Boy Next Door were also really good, but St. Clair was just way cooler than Josh and Cricket.
6. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak                                                                                        It probably didn't make me cry as much as The Fault in Our Stars but it's close.
7. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken                                                      I found this in another bookstore in Montreal and asked people about it the next day in school and nobody knew it so I thought I was reading one of these super unknown indie-novels. Um, wrong?
8. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi                                                              Well, now I understand why everybody likes Warner.
9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver                                                  A really bad case of hated-it-then-loved-it. It was horrible and then wonderful. I hope someone who's good at making movies recognizes this and makes it a movie. 

*review to come*


10. Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck                                                            I still hope to go back to Montreal sometime so I can go to Indigo (the McGill-station one) and find the lady who recommended Tiger's Curse to me and hug her to death. 

*review to come)
11.The One by Kiera Cass                                                       It took this book quite long to persuade me to take it from the TBR-pile and read it because I was so scared of this trilogy coming to an end. So thank you, thank you, thank you Kiera Cass! The Heir is going to be so good! 

 12. Slammed by Colleen Hoover
I read this in one day, even though I shouldn't have done anything but packing for my vacation.
*review to come*

13. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I love the movie to this book - Hayao Miyazaki is the best!
*review to come*
14. Alles, was ich sage ist wahr by Lisa Bjärbö
Another case of first-hate-then-love. The main character can be very... direct.
*review to come*
 This post is linked up to The Sunday Post
What are your top 14 books of 2014? Or - to keep it comment-size - top three?
(pictures from: Goodreads)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review: A Million Miles by Amy Fleisher Madden

(source: Goodreads)
My rating: 4/5 stars
German title: -
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult, Music, Contemporary, Romance
Published: November 22nd 2014 by Animal Manufacturing Co.
Pages: 215 (ebook)
Source: Received from Animal Manufacturing Co. via Storycartel

Want to buy? Amazon 

Maddy has a pretty normal life: Her brother recently moved out for college but not without showing her a few cool bands. She starts going to concerts and writing her own magazine about indie-bands. Soon a woman named Gay, who is the owner of a gay-club, hires her to plan concerts. When one of her favourite bands ask her to come on tour with them she doesn’t hesitate long. But while they are on tour two members of the band, Crimson & Clover, develop romantic feelings for her. And there’s also Kieran, her best friend at home, whom she’s loved for a long time.


My Thoughts

When I started reading this book I was really sure I wasn’t going to like it. It was so far from the usual “show, don’t tell” rule that I was kind of confused. Because that was what the author did: She told the reader about her characters, about their relationships with their families and what they were like. And I discovered that despite the non-popularity of this style I do actually like it. That first chapter even made me laugh and read a few passages out to friends and family, for example this one: “Nate Silver is a rail thin, shaggy brown-haired, brown-eyed, 22-year-old Labrador puppy of a man.” (p. 7) I could imagine him being as excited and happy as my dog, with a friendly heart and the kind of personality no one could be angry with for a long time.  As far as I’m concerned though, the beginning of the book lacked of dialogue. It was mostly just the main-character’s thoughts on everyone and everything. Throughout the book it got more and more dialogue and it was like mist cleared up and the characters changed from silhouettes to people.

Mostly the book introduced the reader to the daily life on tour and the intimacy created by living on the road (or in a mini-van). The book makes you feel that you are on a road-trip yourself and it got under my skin like no other contemporary novel did in a long time. I suppose that is because Amy Fleisher Madden was on tour herself once so she has her own experiences. Also the story uses real language. They say “fuck” and “shit” and everything like people would in real life. It always irritates me when characters in books say these weird “cursing alternatives”, e.g. feck. I’ve never ever heard someone say feck. It kind of makes the dialogue seem fake. The story had no no-go-subjects. In one scene Maddy talked about how she was getting used to “parallel-pooping” with the other guys. Hilarious.

The story is set in America in 1999. I am not from America so I would have preferred if this came with a map, just to understand the distances etc. . Sadly, you barely notice the 90s aspect of the story – It’s not much of a difference from now.

I am kind of sad that the book was so short – It was only 162 pages on my kobo! But I have to admit I understand why it was so short. Making it a longer story would seem weird, like stretching it or something. Because the content was perfectly fine – nothing to add, nothing to cut. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Review: Ein M.O.R.D.s Team - Der lautlose Schrei by Andreas Suchanek

cover: Goodreads
This book was co-written with Nicole Böhm and Ute Bareiss
My rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Original language:  German
Series: Ein M.O.R.D.s Team #1
Genre: Children's literature, Middle Grade, Mystery
Published: August 19th 2014 by Greenlight Press
Pages: 116 (ebook)
Source: received from Greenlight Press via Blogg Dein Buch
Want to buy: Amazon

1984: Five teenagers break into their school to steal the results for their exam. When they leave the school there are only four of them left, all of them shocked about their friend's murder.
2014: Mason, Olivia, Randy and Danielle have went to the same school for years and yet they don't know each other. That is, until someone puts 2.5 kg 'Blacks', new, dangerous drugs, in Mason's locker. And they discover, that this is somehow linked to the incident thirty years ago.



My Thoughts

I'm not quite sure what to think of this yet. The idea of the story was quite good actually but as I am a person who love language I couldn't enjoy it as much. The story is set in Barrington Cove (A place that doesn't exist by the way, I spent a whole evening looking for it in the internet ((Couldn't believe it really wasn't there)) ), which is somewhere in the U.S.A. at the seaside. But the thing is: The story is written in German, but the author keeps using English phrases and terms which tends to be an annoying mix of English and German. The characters spoke a very colloquial kind of German, which is usually okay, but in this case it was just a bit much. It seemed to be a very anxious way to emphasize that they are teenagers. I mean, they are supposed to be 16-17 and they speak like children in primary school. Another thing that bothered me, was that most of the time people talked about their "eastpack" instead of their backpack or bag or whatever. Sometimes you could also easily tell that the author is from South Germany because he used phrases like "Er schaut aus" instead of "Er sieht aus".
I'm still not sure about this, but in one scene the punctuation was very strange: "Meinem Sohn Drogen in den Spind zu schmuggeln, war eine widerliche Idee." I don't think there is supposed to be a comma.
Mason, who was the main character in my eyes, was really dislikable. His friend tried to cheer him up and all he did was being mean and hateful. He was also selfish and immature and never thought twice about something. The character were quite stereotypical in general: Randy was the nice, cute nerd, Olivia was the engaged, smart girl with a poor background, Danielle was the kind of rich, spoilt blonde with a kind heart and Mason was the sporty guy who once was popular but then the big something happened, getting him away from scholarship. Surprisingly even the dumbest of them could do almost everything and had connections everywhere, not even speaking of Electro-superman Randy. In my opinion these character like each other way too fast. They just met and before that they couldn't stand each other and suddenly they are BFFs.
This is a series with a new ebook every month and a bind-up of two stories every two months where the story of the murder slowly gets unraveled.
I would honestly recommend children like I was (the ones who like the three investigators) to try this series out, even though I won't be reading any of the following stories.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins


My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Published: August 14th 2014 by Usborne Publishing
Pages: 375 (paperback)
Source: purchased

Content: The café is boiling. The atmosphere is clouded with bittersweet coffee. 
Three years of desire rip through my body and burst from my lips: “Josh!”
His head jolts up. For a long time, a very long time, he just stares at me. 
And then…he blinks. “Isla?”

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on brooding artist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And, after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer break, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to face uncertainty about their futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Set against the stunning backdrops of New York, Paris and Barcelona, this is a gorgeous, heart-wrenching and irresistible story of true love, and the perfect conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

(source: Goodreads)


My Thoughts
Isla and the Happily Ever After might have been one of the best finales to a trilogy I've ever read. Let's just ignore the fact that there are only very few series and trilogies I’ve actually finished.

This is a companion novel for Anna and the French Kiss (I’m going to review that one, too, but not really soon, because I will reread it, to take notes etc.), with Isla as the main character. I kind of was a fan of Isla the moment she showed up in the bathroom fight in Anna and the French Kiss. Isla is just an awesome character and she does and says all these things you would never expect from her. She can be really direct to people which completely shocked me, because I expected her to be tidy, shy, and nice to everyone and to be someone who never allows herself bad thoughts about others. She also swore a lot, which made me so happy. In some books people say “sorry” every time they swear. I’d never do that. I think it, I say it.
Her best friend is Kurt, who she has known forever. Kurt has autism and knows all about her crush on Josh. Throughout the book he develops a fascination for the underground tunnels of Paris and befriends Rashmi’s smaller brother Nikhil.

And there is Josh. I already liked him a lot as a side character in Anna and the French Kiss, so when I heard this third book would be about him to I was ready to do a flip (Strike that out, I can’t do a flip…). Josh is as shy as her and they both misunderstand a lot of things the other one does and in the beginning of the story their relationship is kind of awkward (He actually nearly broke her nose while kissing). Josh is this super talented artist and he’s drawing his own graphic novel called “boarding school boy” about his own life at SOAP. They both like reading comics and graphic novels and talked about Joann Sfar. Who? Yes, that’s what I thought, too. Then I researched him and realised that he’s the one who drew “Le Petit Prince” as a graphic novel. I once saw it in a library and thought “Ugh, I’ll never read that!” Well, maybe I was wrong...

Together they went to Barcelona and all the places there were described so beautifully that I felt as if I had just been there. That was the cute part of their relationship. The following part made me want to bang my head against something. Isla took every chance she could to break off a fight with him and they argued more and more and it made me really sad because they were both really in love with each other. But it was okay, because they argued in a well written way.

They meet St Clair and Anna, Lola and Cricket and Meredith again in the end and I think this is one of the reasons why this is such a great round up - because it actually did round the whole story up.

So all in all this was a very fresh, entertaining fast read with adorable characters.

PS: (This is kind of a spoiler.^^) There is going to be a Happily Ever After.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review: Trouble by Non Pratt

My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: -
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Teen Pregnancy
Published: March 6th 2014 by Walkerbooks Ltd
Pages: 384 (Paperback)
Source: purchased
Want to buy: Amazon (German edition) - Amazon - Book Depository

Content: When the entire high school finds out that Hannah Shepard is pregnant via her ex-best friend, she has a full-on meltdown in her backyard. The one witness (besides the rest of the world): Aaron Tyler, a transfer student and the only boy who doesn’t seem to want to get into Hannah’s pants. Confused and scared, Hannah needs someone to be on her side. Wishing to make up for his own past mistakes, Aaron does the unthinkable and offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah’s unborn baby. Even more unbelievable, Hannah hears herself saying “yes.”
(source: Goodreads)


My Thoughts
I loved this book! It instantly became one of my favorite contemporary novels. Although it might actually be my least favorite to read in public space - The cover might suit the book perfectly, but I always tried to manage to sit in a way that hid both cover and title. 

The writing style of this book was okay to good. I can't really criticize it, but there's nothing really special about it - It was kind of funny, the descriptions were good and  the dialogue was great.
The book was from both Aaron’s and Hannah’s point of view, which was great, but sometimes so frustrating, because it switched when it just got really exciting, but I assume that’s what makes the reader so curious about their past (Even if the past is sometimes quite foreseeable).

In the beginning this book was a bit slow paced but then it got faster, up to the point where I thought it was too fast (When Katie and Hannah had that big fight). It was over so soon you couldn’t really get their emotions. But towards the ending it got a bit slower again (Not too slow) but there were little things that bothered me – For example that she named her child Tyler. No offense, I am sure I don’t know that much about these two people, but I don’t think relationships last forever when you’re 15. So I personally would have been more careful with name choosing…

Hannah, the main character (Well, one of two, but she felt more like a main character than Aaron), likes to party, drink and flirt. A lot. So it is quite shocking how much of a character development she went through. When the story began she was friends with Katie, who was actually really mean to her and made out with two boys at the same time. I assumed she would consider an abortion but she didn’t even think about it. The whole subject was just a bit left out. She didn’t want to and that’s it. I was a bit disappointed because of that, considering I had high hopes. A lot of reviews said this book was sharp which I’m not sure of. Yes, it was interesting and a bit critical. But sharp? Naah.

Coming back to the characters there also is Aaron, the other main character. He seemed a bit paper-like to me. He was sad and angry at himself and he was sort of nice to everyone, very polite and polished. It just seemed fake a lot of the time (Which it also was) and that annoyed me. I don’t like polished people. The rest of the characters were really real and fun to read about, some of them might have been a bit exaggerated but that’s completely fine.


All in all I would definitely recommend this book. It’s funny, it’s fast paced and the characters are lovable.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes

(picture)
My rating: 2/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: -
Genre: Adult, Contemporary
Published: November 6th by Michael Joseph
Pages: 531 (Paperback)
Source: received from Penguin Random House UK via Blogg dein Buch

Stella Sweeney is thinking about karma when she gets in a car crash. The man whose Range Rover she's hit asks for her number, but it's only for the insurance. Anyway, she already has a family, her husband Ryan, a bathroom "artist", and her two children Jeffrey and Betsy. But her whole life changes when she gets the Guillain-Barré-syndrome and all she can is blink. She writes the book "One Blink at a Time" and suddenly she is famous.


My Thoughts
I didn't like this book. Maybe because I didn't think it would be so huge - I've never read a contemporary novel with more than 500 pages before this one. And basically it would have been a short one, if it were up to me. It’s switching between present and past, the good thing being that font also changes, so it’s really easy to notice. There were so many scenes that were really foreseeable and not exactly necessary for the story line - I mean, how often do you have to write about Stella's problems with her belly??? I get it, it bothers her, but if it bothers you so much, dear Stella, then f*cking do something about it! Complaining probably won't help! And then there are pages (remember, pages, not paragraphs) about her eating Jaffacakes (What on earth are Jaffacakes?! Never heard of them, but fortunately Google is my best friend. And these Jaffacakes look kind of disgusting) and being guilty afterwards. This is annoying me so much I might repeat what I just wrote. But this also makes Stella seem more like real person, the language did the rest: It was like you were talking to a real person. And in this case, unfortunately, it is everything but positive. I was expecting serious language, but the language was so simple! Betsy was one of those 'totally'-girls. (I made this up, but it's what it was like for me to read the things Betsy said): 'So they were totally breaking up and she says she’s happy about it but she was totally sad!’
But it wasn’t only the writing style  that didn’t meet my expectations: The back of the book said one thing I’d agree with.
  1.       “engaging characters”– I really don’t think so. Mannix Taylor is the stereotypical ‘hot’, narcissistic guy, who was suddenly extremely nice and not half as arrogant as he seemed. She’s the kind of woman who was non-stop complaining about herself, her life and her belly and always tried to do everything right. None of these characters are actually new or unknown, still I couldn’t imagine them. No faces in front of my inner eye, if you know what I mean.
  2.       “Fabulous plotting”– Well, as I said above, it was foreseeable and boring. That’s not what I would call fabulous…
  3.       “poignant” – Surprisingly this was not poignant at all (at least not to me). Sure, they talked about emotions a lot and everything was full of emotions, but there was a lack of that certain something. I didn’t smile or laugh or cry once while reading this. And, admittedly, I’m a really sentimental person while reading.

There were also other things that were contradictory, for example that everyone talked about Stella being proud. I never noticed that.
Then there is the last weird thing:(spoiler) Her best friend and her ex-husband are together suddenly and no one acts like it’s a big deal or something. I still think that it’s really strange that there so many changes in the last year and everyone accepted it without a word.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout


My rating: 4/5 stars
Original language: English 
Series: Lux #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science-Fiction
Published: November 2011 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 335 (paperback)
Source: ibooks

When Katy and her mum moved to West Virginia she expected thick accents and a lot of boredom. She never thought she would have good-looking aliens as her neighbours and is positively surprised. Until Daemon opens his mouth. But then his Sister and Katy  become best friends and they cannot prevent from running into each other. One evening a stranger attacks Katy and Daemon saves her by freezing the time. Now she is marked and lit up like the Vegas Strip, so Daemon has to protect her from the people who want to steal their powers until the mark fades.

Jennifer L. Armentrout spent most of her algebra classes writing short stories. She lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia and is also writes Adult and New Adult books under the pen name J. Lynn.

My Thoughts
I often heard that this book was so similar to Twilight (Which didn't exactly put me off, because to be honest I did like Twilight.). Maybe these people are right and it is similar to Twilight (It is a bit) but I don't care. It's definitely not the most original thing on the planet(Although it does have aliens in it, which is not common. Or at least it’s not as common as vampires and werewolves) but perhaps it's not meant to be. It's entertaining, hilarious and super fast-paced.
Coming back to the aliens, I think I have to say that they aren’t small green creatures hobbling over a red planet – They are creatures made out of light and they can stop time and that kind of stuff. But like medicine stopping time has a side-effect on humans which is that they are marked. And there were a few explanations as to how it marks humans but as I said: few. I would have liked more explanations. And a better description of the setting. I’ve never been to West Virginia so could somebody describe me what it’s like?
The characters weren’t really unique: He was the first-rude-and-then-nice-and-rude-again boy next door (In my eyes he never really stopped being rude and offensive) and she was the nice, tough geek-girl who gets to him with her toughness or something and realizes he is actually really nice and sensitive and they kind of fall in love but they both deny it and their relationship is complicated because of whatever reason. And they are non-stop arguing and throwing insults at each other which starts out being funny but it gets repetitive and boring towards the end.

Talking about the ending, I have to admit it’s a nice one (Not thinking about the content, so this is not a spoiler). It’s not exactly a cliff-hanger but it does make you wonder what will happen next.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Croatia

During summer holiday we went to Croatia, on a small campground near this city called Rovinj. Quite nice. Quite touristic. Quite loud. Especially loud. One evening I thought I was on Mallorca (Also called Malle by the Germans) - Although I have to say I've never been to Mallorca. I don't regret it.
The sad thing about the whole vacation is that the whole time we've been there, the weather was way worse than it was in Germany. But the food was really nice (I love grilled calamari - can't stand them when they're fried though) and I actually like 'bad' weather, with lots of lightning and rain.

There's going to be another review in one or two days so stay tuned!

Constanze

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Where She Went by Gayle Forman

My rating: 4.5/5 stars
Original language:  English
Series: If I Stay #2
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Death, Contemporary
Published: January 2011 by Speak
Pages: 264 (paperback)
Source: purchased



It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.
 (Content from Goodreads)


 My Thoughts
This book was amazing. Just to make that clear before I start writing the actual review. And I should also mention that I have never read If I Stay, I only saw the movie but I didn't feel as if I missed some points of this book. But I also wouldn't go into this book without knowing If I Stay at all. The bad point of watching the movie and then reading the book is, as always that you (me) stop imagining characters. I had the actors' faces in my mind all the time and I imagined them doing the stuff, not some characters I imagined. 
I really liked that it was out of Adam's point of view, although before reading it I was a bit pissed because of this. I didn't like Adam at all after watching the movie. Yes, he is kind of nice but their relationship was super frustrating - They liked each other a lot and kept arguing all the time. Argh! But after reading Where She Went I started understanding Adam more and more so I didn't mind the different point of view. 
What I did mind was the three year difference: I'm usually not a big fan of memories and flashbacks and Where She Went was no exception. More than once I caught myself thinking about skipping a chapter or two but then I told myself it's probably important for the main storyline which I clearly wanted to read and to know everything about. Still I did not enjoy whiny Adam and his annoying Bryn girlfriend. Their chapters appeared way more detailed than the other ones and there was a lot of information I didn't really care about.But towards the end of the book the flashback lessened and the focus was on what happened now.
When they meet again Adam and Mia are both shortly before starting a tour. Adam  is not happy with his life, the fans and his girlfriend. We don't know about Mia's life when the book begins. Then they meet, because Adam decided to go to Mia's concert that evening. It was really realistic in my opinion that they were kind of awkward with each other and didn't instantly fall into each others arms and started kissing. It was the opposite of If I Stay. I felt a bit bad for Adam and sympathized with him because Mia appeared kind of rude and mean. 
They start walking through New York together and I could imagine every step, every tree, the cabs - everything. And I've never been to New York, so a big big like for this. And then the misunderstandings began and I was constantly shaking my head and mumbling to myself (Now I'm happy that I mostly don't read in public transport). There were so many things that could have been cleared out easily and they just didn't tell each other. It was incredibly frustrating! 
I just love Gayle Forman's writing style, the words she uses etc. One of my favorite things in this book were the chapter beginnings with the lyrics of the songs Adam wrote. To me they explained his feelings way better than the flashback chapters.
There are a lot of lyrics in the back of the book and the ending is kind of left open and it's just wonderful! (By the way, is Gayle Forman some kind of master in open endings?)

So I would definitely recommend this book to everyone who has at least a little patience with whiny people (can't actually say this is always me, but I wasn't patient with Adam either so whatever) and likes drama and tragic love stories. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

OCTOBER WRAP UP

Well, it's already 5th of November but who cares? It's my October wrap up!


Read

Where She Went by Gayle Forman:

"It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other."

(summary from Goodreads)

Definitely 5/5 stars. This book is so awesome. Surprisingly didn't make me cry (Umm, I was a complete wreck after watching If I Stay with my best friend) but I kept mentally shouting at the characters, because... ugh! Spoilers! Damn it! Just go read it and come back and we can shout together.

Anna and the French Kiss by Gayle Forman:

"Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's waiting for?"
(summary from Goodreads)

I'm pretty sure you've heard about this one, because almost every book blogger I know is at least a bit in love with this. And like with Where She Went: Review to come. Not like Where She Went: I did cry. Just a little bit. But they are just so cute...

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

"Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something... unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is."
(summary from Goodreads)

Really funny book. And it's also an absolutely fast read - I stayed up until three in the morning to finish this on my father's iPad (I don't have a tablet or ereader on my own) because I found out in the evening that it was on ibooks for free. Maybe it still is. If you haven't read it yet you should check. It's good.


Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins:

"Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket—a gifted inventor—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door."

(summary from Goodreads)

I definitely didn't like this as much as Anna and the French Kiss but it's still really good. I just love Stephanie Perkins's writing style and her characters. Only good characters can be as annoying as Lola. Or Max for that matter.

Im Westen Nichts Neues/All Quiet In The West by Erich Maria Remarque:

"Paul Bäumer enlisted with his classmates in the German army of World War I. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. And as horrible war plods on year after year, Paul holds fast to a single vow: to fight against the principles of hate that meaninglessly pits young men of the same generation but different uniforms against each other --- if only he can come out of the war alive."
(summary from Goodreads)

I know a lot of people love this and the Goodreads ratings are mainly positive but I seriously hated this book. Well, maybe that's not correct. I hated reading it. It was probably as disgusting as war in real life and as detailed. I managed to read till page 119 out of 220. And I kind of read the end after I decided not to finish it. So I might do a DNF-review for this one.

Aufzeichnungen aus Jerusalem/ Jerusalem: Chronicles of the Holy City by Guy Delisle (graphic novel):

"Guy Delisle expertly lays the groundwork for a cultural road map of contemporary Jerusalem, utilizing the classic stranger in a strange land point of view that made his other books, Pyongyang, Shenzhen, and Burma Chronicles required reading for understanding what daily life is like in cities few are able to travel to. In Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Delisle explores the complexities of a city that represents so much to so many. He eloquently examines the impact of the conflict on the lives of people on both sides of the wall while drolly recounting the quotidian: checkpoints, traffic jams, and holidays.
 
When observing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim populations that call Jerusalem home, Delisle’s drawn line is both sensitive and fair, assuming nothing and drawing everything. Jerusalem showcases once more Delisle’s mastery of the travelogue."

(summary from Goodreads)

I was surprised I liked it so much. Actually I was a bit sceptical before reading this but this was way better than I expected, although this had its lenght in the middle. It was also my first graphic novel ever (I decided to like graphic novels after this. ).
Zoff auf Zombie 7 by Jochen Till, Illustrated by Zapf: 3/5 stars


Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan:

"The two boys kissing are Craig and Harry. They're hoping to set the world record for the longest kiss. They're not a couple, but they used to be.

Peter and Neil are a couple. Their kisses are different. Avery and Ryan have only just met and are trying to figure out what happens next. Cooper is alone. He's not sure how he feels.

As the marathon progresses, these boys, their friends and families evaluate the changing nature of feelings, behaviour and this crazy thing called love."
(summary from Goodreads)

This was a really cute book, but the narrator's voice was a bit annoying and sometimes when it was about AIDS repetitive. I think Craig was my favorite character. He's not a morning person either (In the beginning of the book Harry wakes him up, and Craig makes a noise sounding like "muh".)

Zombicorns by John Green : 3/5 stars



Other reviews on this blog published in October:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews: 4/5 stars

Leander sieht Maud by Nadia Marfaing: 3.5/5 stars


Constanze