Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

source: Goodreads
My rating: 5/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: (It's part of the Hamilton High, but it's not really a series)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, High School
Published: September 7th 2010 by Poppy
Pages: 320

Source: Received via Netgalley/purchased (It happened at kind of the same time)

Summary (from Goodreads)
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
My Thoughts
When I first saw The Duff in a bookstore when we were in the UK I did not like it. I really did not. I mean, the reason I wanted it is pretty obvious: Every booktuber has it. Most book bloggers have it. If so many people have it, it has to be pretty good. But I did not like it, so I did not buy it.
But then I read that it’s going to be a movie and I thought about reading it. Then came the trailers: The trailers were pretty amazing. So I was super-hyped for The DUFF as a movie and when I saw it in a bookstore – guess what happened.

Well, I fell in love with this book. I love the writing, it’s so teen-like. Since Kody Keplinger wrote this at the age of 17. By the way: You have my full respect, Miss Keplinger. Writing a book with only 17 years is amazing. And, okay, the language is pretty explicit in some scenes, but honestly: No one talks like they’re giving a speech all the time.

All of the characters are cool: Bianca, Wesley, Bianca’s friends. But some characters, like Toby were just a bit... flat. He was supposed to be the nice guy, patient and understanding. But that somehow made him seem a bit soulless. There was not much more to him than patient and understanding.
But concerning other characters: Can someone please give me a hint, who the “mean girl” from the movie is supposed to be? I couldn’t really find someone actually mean. A lot of them were stupid, that’s true. But mean? Nahh.

I loved the ending, but I have to admit: It was too quick. Everything changed so fast and then it was just over. It’s just not fair! But luckily we have Lying Out Loud, where we hopefully can expect a bit more information on how everything went on, since Amy is Wesley’s sister.

PS: I hope there will finally be a movie release date for Germany! The DUFF is kind of unknown here. Not good. Not at all. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #1

I think I haven't done this post in ages, but that does not mean I haven't been buying books. Or receiving them. Anyway, one after the other.

Oh, and by the way: You can just get to the Goodreads pages of the books simply by clicking on the title.

Physical books:
Upper row (received from my father): Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi, The DUFF by Kody Keplinger, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time by Mark Haddon
Lower row (purchased): The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents by Terry Prattchett, The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis, This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (My review)

From the library: 
Held by Flix, Aufzeichnungen aus Birma by Guy Delisle, Ich wär so gerne Ethnologin by Margaux Motin

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Da war mal was... by Flix, Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

And I also received a few digital copies:

Cold Faith by Shaune Laferty Webb, Half Bad by Sally Green, Bomb by Sarah Mussi

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert, The Truth about Jack by Jody Gehrmann, Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, Perfect Timing by Robin Mellom

Received from author: Run Away Charlotte by H.M. Shander, The Tears of the Unicorns by Stephanie Rose
Via ebooksforreview: Numbers Game by Rebecca Rode
ARC via Janeal & Sarah: May Contain Spies by J. A. Cipriano

Thanks a lot to everyone, especially the two authors!
I know... It's quite a lot.. But I've already read four of these books... Four out of 23... Wish me luck! 
What books have you recently got? Tell me in the comments below.

Have a nice Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: Oddly Normal by Otis Frampton

source: Goodreads
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Original language: English
Series: Oddly Normal #1
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic
Published: March 24th 2015 by Image Comics
Pages: 128 pages (paperback)
Source: Received via Netgalley

Links: Image Comics - Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Meet Oddly Normal, a ten-year-old girl with pointed ears and green hair -- a half-witch who will be the first to tell you that having a mother from a magical land called Fignation and a father from Earth doesn't make it easy to make friends at school! On her tenth birthday, she blows out her cake's candles and makes a disastrous wish. Now, Oddly must travel to Fignation to uncover the mystery of her parents' disappearance. Join Oddly as she navigates a strange new school, monstrous bullies, and Evil itself on an unforgettable fantasy adventure through the vibrant world of Fignation in ODDLY NORMAL.
Collects ODDLY NORMAL #1-5

My Thoughts

‘Oddly Normal‘ starts out really funny. Oddly, a nearly ten-year-old girl is on her way home from school, sitting in the school bus. It’s raining outside, Oddly’s least favorite weather, since she is a half-witch. And we all know what happened to the witch in “The Wizard of Oz” whose shoes were taken away by the greedy Dorothy.

You have to say: Oddly’s life is not easy. Not easy at all. The people in her school dislike her because she has green hair and is not normal at all. But cursing her parents gone just because they still hope she will find friends someday? A bit much, don’t you think? And also, the idea of a witch wishing her parents were gone without actually meaning it is kind of chewed through.

But hey- at least the artwork is wonderful! When Oddly is in the human world everybody else is in a gray-brown-ish tone except for her, with her green hair.

Originally ‘Oddly Normal’ was a web comic with four mini volumes, 25 pages each, illustrated not by Otis Frampton, but always by someone else. Now he draws everything himself and I think the drawings are incredibly good, so maybe we can be happy that the web comic didn’t work out.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Preview: April 2015

I figured, I had so many novels I was excited about that you would hate to miss out on all the excitement. Look at it! There are so many great books coming out in April!

When You Leave by Monica Ropal: My review
Summary (from Goodreads)
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?

Summary (from Goodreads)
Sage Czinski is trying really hard to be perfect. If she manages it, people won’t peer beyond the surface, or ask hard questions about her past. She’s learned to substitute causes for relationships, and it’s working just fine… until Shane Cavendish strolls into her math class. He’s a little antisocial, a lot beautiful, and everything she never knew she always wanted.

Shane Cavendish just wants to be left alone to play guitar and work on his music. He’s got heartbreak and loneliness in his rearview mirror, and this new school represents his last chance. He doesn’t expect to be happy; he only wants to graduate and move on. He never counted on a girl like Sage.

But love doesn’t mend all broken things, and sometimes life has to fall apart before it can be put back together again…
Look at this cover: It's so so so pretty!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir 
Summary (from Goodreads)
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

I have only heard good things about this book and I have heard many things about this book.

 Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger
Summary (from Goodreads)

Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.
Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with -- secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.
Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand -- a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.
But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

I just finished the DUFF and it's so short! I want more of Wesley and Bianca, and hopefully I'm going to get that. Even if it's just a teeny-tiny-bit, it'd make me happy.

 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Summary (from Goodreads)
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

Dream A Little Dream (a.k.a. Silber: Das erste Buch der Träume) by Kerstin Gier
Summary (from Goodreads)
Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals. The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . 

I'm really glad that this got translated, because it would have been so sad for all the non-Germans to miss out on this!

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
Summary (from Goodreads)
Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

This cover! This cover! I love metamorphoses where birds fly out of something...

April chit-chat
April is going to be so busy! I'm already in for 8 buddy reads on Goodreads (Meaning that some people select a book they want to read and then select a date they want to start reading and chat about it - in classic language: virtual book club. Kind of)
Also I have got 14 books to read and review - FOURTEEN! At least I've got more than one month on a few of these and one of them is a buddy read, so it's not 22 but 21 in total. I think I'm going to die.
Oh, and I've also got quite a lot of books from the library, but they are mostly graphic novels, not that much stress. And, hey, I can just give them back without reading them. But I'm probably not going to do that anyway.

Did I mention? I'm quite into graphic novels at the moment, although I'm still not friends with Manga. Which means, I am going to go to the ComicCon Berlin on the 26th of April. It's definitely not big, but you've got to start somewhere.

Have you read any of these books and what do you think of them?

Waiting On Wednesday #4 Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

source: Goodreads

Publication date: September 8th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, GLBT, Romance

Summary (from Goodreads)
This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby. 

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with a mischievous glint in his eye. 

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives. 

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

A captivating and profound debut novel, "Fans of the Impossible Life" is a story about complicated love and the friendships that change you forever.

(source: Goodreads)

Why I'm interested in this? Duh. It says "complicated love"! I don't need any other reasons! (So to be honest, I have only read the first line and the last two lines, I don't care that much for the rest.)
What do you think of Fans of the Impossible Life? Which books are you anticipating? Let me know in the comments below.