Blog-Archive

Snapshot: Beautiful Disaster (en.)

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‚Beautiful Disaster‘
by Jamie McGuire.

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(© goodreads)

My opinion:
How can one love parts of a book and doesn’t understand some other parts of it or shakes the head frustrated in disbelieve? Here with this book it actually functions quite well, what is also probably due to the fact that it is relatively thick and sometimes the story goes in circles.

But back to the beginning, where honestly at first I’ve thought this story is a YA book version of the movie ‘Fight Club’, when Abby and Travis meet each other at this underground fight and hence my motivation was low. But already after one or two chapters I was totally involved in this story and the characters that I couldn’t stop to read any more, and if I’ve not read, then I thought all the time of them or dreamt about it.

After the false ‘Fight Club’ mistake, the story reminded me a little of the book ‘The Perfect Chemistry’ by Elkeles, but here it’s not a YA book, but for adults or older teenagers (approx. up from 17 years), because there’s sex in the book, but not described very detailed, so that I couldn’t only clarify it as an adult’s book – so you see, the erotic scenes remains within the scope. Moreover there were integrated really sweet elements, as for example the nickname ‘Pidge’ (from Pidgeon), which the Travis has chosen for Abby as a cute nickname.

What has reminded me so much of ‘Perfect Chemistry’ was this bad-guy type and his involvement with the ‘girl-next door’. Also here were included many stereotypes and things which usually disturb me or let my head shake, but here it wasn’t the case at all. It was a really nice, sweet story, which holds me prisoner and in which I could only wish the two protagonists best luck from the first up to the last page, and I hoped for them.

Of course the story isn’t perfect, for example the fact that some students in it were constantly smoking or that women partly got stereotypically stamped if they jump into bed with different guys, while the men aren’t got entitled as such, but were admired as ‚lady-killers’.

The same thing is also for the characters. I really like Travis and he has the certain something, which doesn’t let me go anymore and that I simply hoped for him. But he really could use a certain training against his aggressions and his constant mood changes – in the story he even appears sometimes like somebody that has a manic-depressive illness (described exaggerated, but still ^^).
And also the perfect Abby has her negative sides, for example that she runs away from problems and to big emotions, instead of rather to confront it and with that she could have made it easier for herself and also for Travis and the reader, instead of breaking everyone’s heart over and over again – even mine.
But in some way I think that exactly this mix of ‘not being perfect’ is the real charm in this book, that one never knows what will happen next and whether they get their happy end or not.

Though this book is exciting and intensely told, but not primarily rich with actions, but by the impulsive characters and their interaction, their chemistry. It is partially like a carousel, a constant up and down of emotions and a trip which goes from ‘sky-high jubilating’ to ‘endlessly depressed’ and back again.

Who is able to want to get into this rollercoaster, has here – besides some tears – also wonderful pages and experiences in view, with dramatic feelings and emotions, which know how to inspire.

But now shortly to a point, which I would also like to criticize: It was a little toughening in the middle part, and there came the point where I asked myself what there’s still to come. But the author has once again thought up something to bring in even more tortures and pain, which though some readers may find more exciting, but for me it was a little bit too unnatural. I think the book wouldn’t have needed this ‘problem’ anymore and therefore it could also have been a little shorter and I still would have been happy with it.

In favor the end was totally my taste and I can say with joy that I’ve not regretted to read this fabulous book. It was an emotional rollercoaster, a lovely journey, which I would make again any time.

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Succession:

# 1: Jamie McGuire – Beautiful Disaster »»
# 1: Jamie McGuire – Walking Disaster »»

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Quotes:

Travis: „My
name’s Travis. Travis Maddox.“
Abby: „I know who you are.“
“You do, huh?” Travis said, raising his wounded eyebrow.
“Don’t flatter yourself. It’s hard not to notice when fifty drunks are chanting your name. “
Travis sat up a bit taller. “I get that a lot.”
I rolled my eyes again, and Travis chuckled. “Do you have a twitch?”
“A what?” “A twitch. Your eyes keep wiggling around.” He laughed again when I glared at him.‘

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Travis: „You know why I want you? I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.“
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Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:

© netgalley.com

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[Review] The Lost Prince

Plötzlich Prinz

German Cover

The Lost Prince

English Cover

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‚The Lost Prince
by Julie Kagawa

The Call of the Forgotten # 1.

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First Sentence:

„‚My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.“

Last Sentence:
„And for the first time, I wasn’t afraid.“.

Synopsis:
Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.
That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’s dare to fall for.
Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.
(Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I was back again in the Nevernever and I have enjoyed my visit! Particularly, because it was already a certain time ago that I’ve read the ‘Iron Fey’ series and I’ve missed the world and some characters in it so much.

I’m aware that I’m prejudiced and that I can’t rate the books of Kagawa any more objectively because I am simply just so a big fan of her and her world full of fairies. Other readers might like this book not so much than I did, because I also see the weak spots in the story and within the characters, but nevertheless, I was totally enthused – I think it’s always like that when you’re in love, as well as I’m with her stories. And also her writing style is as usual always just indescribable magnificent, with wonderful and dreamlike descriptions of the scenery – picturesquely like a famous painting.

This book now is about the younger brother of Meghan, Ethan Chase, who isn’t so small at all and nice, like we have got to know him in the ‘Iron Fey’ series, but he has become stubborn, recalcitrant and tall– also built very well and attractively. (You only have to look at the incredible cover! ^^)

Ethan is able to see the fairies since he was born, but he dissimulate this secret because the fairy only gets him in trouble, in big trouble, what leads to the fact that Ethan is reserved and therefore also lives a more or less lonesome, dreary life. The only ones, who know about his ability, are Meghan – who left to life with the fairies – and his mother, who doesn’t speak of these things, because she fears them. So he is totally on his own. Hence it’s understandable that he is quite a sourpuss, at least at the beginning. Of course this changes after his acquaintance with Kenzie, where we are already by the female main character.

I have really liked both, Ethan and Kenzie, and I could get involved with them very well and fast. They were also a great couple and they showed a nice see-saw. And I also must confess that Ethan reminds me a little of Ash, with his often rotten mood and his constant humming. But in return Kenzie is completely different than Meghan! She is a disobedient, headstrong, cheeky and strong personality and has whined not once, although she also has to deal with some hard things. I also think now for me she is one of my newest favorite characters and I find them both great, really great and I’m already looking forward to read more about them in the next part. To be honest – I can’t wait and I’m dying here while waiting for the second book. :/

But unfortunately I couldn’t completely feel with in the same way like I did with the first series (with Meghan and Ash) what is probably due to the fact, that Ethan is telling the story from his POV and therefore it’s clear that there are mentioned less feelings and emotions, which rules in him (but otherwise it also would be a little unsexy ^^). Often I also felt that he brooded constantly and too often over the same problem, although it was already discussed and I fear that this will also go on in the next part.
But nevertheless I’m really looking forward to the second part, because I want to read more about them and I also want to know how it goes on with the other characters. Particularly with Keeiran and Annwyln.

However, I think it’s a little pity that though Ash, Meghan or Puck showed up, they only were present for a very short time and hadn’t an important role in it. For me that would be okay, if it was just Meghan and Ash, but that also Puck and Grimalkin were very absent, has surprised me. I’ve really hoped for Puck that he gets a nice part again and gets this time also his happy-end, but unfortunately no. And instead of Grimalkin,  these Razor got the steadier role beside the main characters and though it was also funny when he has chirped the first time ‚bad Kitty’, it become dull after the third time.

Also the plot wasn’t so very surprising  in the story, because I’ve foreseen parts of it, which were also confirmed later on, for example the thing with the queen or with Kenzie. There Kagawa has probably already pointed to it too early, as well as the thing with the mysterious ‚Forgotten‘ was no surprise for me. But I think that I see that rather fast in such a way, because I’ve already read all the other books from her. For somebody who doesn’t know ‚The Iron Fey‘ series, the book offers more new things and surprise. However then the joy of seeing all the other characters from the first series again, is missing, which I really liked . So everything has his own advantages.
But I think, one can also read this book without having read ‚The Iron Fey‘ series before. Everything is explained and one can follow the story also without foreknowledge.

Cover:
This is an amazing cover which shows Ethan matchless at it. It’s really brilliant and there you only want to start reading the book immediately, right? 😉

All in all:
Not as good as ‘The Iron Fey’ series, because in my opinion there were many similar things in it, but nevertheless still a highlight and Kagawa writes for me the best and most fantastic fairy stories.

Rating:
4 of 5 points – (Great, Great, Great) (

Quotes:

 Kenzie: „No need to be nasty,“ she said, seeming unconcerned with my aggressiveness. „I’m not asking for a date, tough guy, just your name.“

Grimalkin: „Well, well,“ answered a cool, amused voice from somewhere above us. „And here you are again. Ethan Chase, your family does have a knack for getting into trouble.“

Ethan: ‚The cat trotted briskly ahead, neither slowing down or glancing back to see if we were still there, and we had to scramble to keep up. I wondered if Meghan hat this same problem when she first came to the Nevernever.‘

Puck to Ethan: „Sit down. Geez, kid, do I look like a nurse? Why are you always bleeding whenever I see you? You’re worse than ice-boy.“..

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A huge Thanks for the eBooks to:

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Succession:

# 1: Julie Kagawa – The Lost Prince »»
# 2: Julie Kagawa – The Iron Traitor »»
# 3: Julie Kagawa – Untitled

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© goodreads.com

About the author – Julie Kagawa:
She was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos, and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish, and the odd eel. (Source: goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: Torn

English Cover

German Cover

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‚Torn‘ #1
by Erica O’Rourke

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Synopsis:
Everyone has secrets. Even best friends.
Mo Fitzgerald knows about secrets. But when she witnesses her best friend’s murder, she discovers Verity was hiding things she never could have guessed. To find the answers she needs and the vengeance she craves, Mo—quiet, ordinary, unmagical Mo—will have to enter a world of raw magic and shifting alliances. And she’ll have to choose between two very different, equally dangerous guys—protective, duty-bound Colin and brash, mysterious Luc. One wants to save her, one wants to claim her. Which would you choose?
(Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
Reviews for average books are always the most difficult ones to write – as well as it’s also with the book ‘Torn’. But this fits equally well on the subject, because this story is about an average girl, or about one that tries everything to remain invisible and ordinary.

Where we got already to the storyline, all around Mo (Maura) who has up to now quite well managed to remain in the background – silently, quietly and nice – as long as, until her best friend and the luminous star in her life is killed before her eyes. But not from ‘normal’ humans, but from some supernatural beings. With what it’s immediately clear for the reader that this book is about fantasy, but which Mo isn’t able to admit to herself for a long time, and therefore at first it’s a little dull and the author ‘beats about the bush’. I think not until at the half of the book finally some questions get answered, which the readers could already make sense of from the beginning by themselves. Unfortunately, the same one happens not only with the fantasy aspect, but also with the conclusions from it. But also the family story and the business of her uncle Billy were no surprise for me, as well as the thing with two guys.

Yes, you’ve read correctly – Mo: a quiet, insignificant, average girl, not especially attractive, never had a real boyfriend before, gets suddenly the attention of TWO really hot guys and I can only ask myself ‘Why?‘
For me Mo doesn’t have many aspects which they would make her special or particular. She whines a lot, doesn’t manage the loss of her friend – what is also understandable – but it is not quite clear, why she now constantly tries everything to act like her friend Verity would have, or why she suddenly wants to be so much like her and nevertheless feels always like the seconds quality. Mo also often cries, is constantly unconfident and has several long monologues which fill the pages and where I often could only roll my eyes.

To my luck there were these two hot guys in the book with whom the author has taken more care to describe them positively, even if it often happened by the portrayal of the external attributes. Nevertheless I liked Colin and Luc much better than Mo and I hope to read even more about them. The irritating thing is only that Mo has to kiss both guys – yeah, because she’s so shy – and therefore it was difficult to get really embed with one of this two and make a choice between them.
At least Mo changed a little till to the end and luckily became more snappish, headstrong and didn’t put up with everything anymore and stood up to herself and her decisions. A plus factor for this change, which was really necessary.

Unfortunately the writing style wasn’t my taste, because I felt that it was written very simply and sometimes a little bumpy. Whereat the normal text passages were still okay, but the dialogues didn’t work at all. The chats and the dialogues were often absolutely without any connection and they sometimes showed little sense to me. Not only, the answers to some questions or indications, but also in the middle of a dialogue of a person. For example, at first Mo says something to Luc, something personal, and then she changes from that to a completely other subject – so fast, that I became dizzy.
And there were also sometimes word repetitions and some stuff in the book unfortunately seemed to me like a raw version, instead like a real finished book.

Cover:
The German cover is really nice and an eye-catcher with the blurred people on it. In comparison I don’t like the English version at all.

All in all:
It was a good idea with the magic and four elements, which the author had here but unfortunately it lacked in the conversion. Also this love triangle is more than unnecessary and I hope that these points will improve in the next part.

Rating:
2,5 of 5 points – (It was okay)
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A huge THANKS for the reviewer’s copy to:

© Random House

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Succession:

#1:  Erica O’Rourke – Torn »»
#2:  Erica O’Rourke – Tangled
#3:  Erica O’Rourke – Bound (dt. Titel unbekannt)
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Success.

(© goodreads)

About the author – Erica O’Rourke:
What she says about herself:
I write books about girls who make their own fate and fall for boys they shouldn’t.
I live outside Chicago. I like to travel but I’ll never really leave this city.
I prefer cookies to cake (even cupcakes), television to movies, and autumn to all the other seasons.
I like sushi, naps, coffee, and driving stick shift.
I hate fish, emoticons, bridges, and talking about myself..“
(Source: goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: Shatter Me

English Cover

German Cover

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‚Shatter Me‘
by Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me # 1
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Synopsis:
Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
(Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
Now here I’ve again a book which splits the opinions. One group find it fantastically, the others can only shake their heads and don’t understand the hype for the book. I’ve started the book without any expectation and have already counted on the worst, after some bad reviews I’ve read on other book blogs, but now I can clarify: I belong to the first group – the fans! 🙂

Astonishingly I’ve liked it really much and I don’t understand completely why the book was torn to pieces by some other readers. Up to the writing style, okay – there I also really have to get used to, particularly at the beginning – it is really exciting and also Juliette is a good character with which I could feel with. She doesn’t cry too much (at the start), exactly in the right measure and for the situation, in which she finds herself and so her reactions are also quite understandable.

Now again briefly back to the lot discussed writing style: The beginning is really bewildering and Mafi plays with the words: she juggles and throws the dice with them and add them again apparently at first vaguely, crosses out some words or repeats other words again several times one after the other without any punctuation mark.
Who would like to read only normal standard texts, neatly written under the rules of the orthography, is wrong for this book and will probably have problems with it.
But if you can get really into it, can accept it for what it is and if you’re open minded for something new and allow experimenting with the language, than you’ll find a great book here.
But as I said, this is only mostly at the beginning of the book, when Juliette is still confused and stands completely beside herself and hence, I found this manner of writing also so great because it shows very authentic the mental world of her. And it changes throughout the story and the text become more normally and more suitable for the mass, after also Juliette changes as a character and become stronger and clear. Though Mafi also writes later still a little different, it didn’t disturb me at all. She doesn’t use common phrases, but invents completely new comparisons which do not seem suitable at first, but if one is open, they have something special, unique – I would even say something lyrical and I really liked that.

The plot was bewildering at first, became quickly faster and has changed up again in the end. Most of the time it was really exciting and I’ve virtually flown over the pages. Though the end went out well and I was glad with it, but it also was a little bit too simple, too foreseeable and the explanation with the powers and this organization, has reminded me too much of X-Men and hence, also from here comes the point reduction – it was for me too uncreative, after the great beginning with the unique and independence style.

But in return the characters were really for my taste. Juliette could change well and then she showed her strength and courage, stood up for her opinion and has cried only now and then, when it was suitable. Okay, later on she has cried a little too often for my taste, after the middle of the book and also Adam – who I really like and I thinks he’s a hottie *yummy* – often did the same think, like constantly strike through his hair. It was great that even Juliette has mentioned that fact once, as a sign of his concern and restlessness. Otherwise it would have already become a little absurd.

But Adam is up to this little thing a main male character who I also would like to meet with pleasure. 🙂 He has inspired me and I were engrossed with them and felt for them both, more than with some other characters of late. Adam looks simply stunning, he has his heart at the right spot and in addition he’s a strong fighter, and still a kind big brother and a sensuous lover – my heart, what do you want more? ;D *nice* From my side, there could have been even more and more intensive ‘kissing/ love scenes’ in it. But the reason for that is probably that I’m also totally succumbed to Adam’s charm! *oh man*

Cover:
I find both covers absolutely great, no matter whether the German one or the English cover. I only think that the title of the German one isn’t as suitable to the story as particularly in comparison to the English title.

All in all:
A new prelude of an interesting story with likeable characters of which I would like to read more with pleasure. I’m very excited and curious about the next part – I can hardly wait for it.

Rating:
4 of 5 points – (Great, Great, Great)
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Quotes:

Juliette: „I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.“

Juliette: „All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.“

Adam: „You have no idea how much I’ve thought about you. How many times I’ve dreamt“- he takes a tight breath- „how many times I’ve dreamt about being this close to you.“ He moves to run a hand through his hair before he changes his mind. Looks down. Looks up. „God, Juliette, I’d follow you anywhere. You’re the only good thing left in this world.“

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A huge THANKS for the reviewer’s copy to:

© Random House

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Succession:

#1:      Tahereh Mafi – Shatter Me »»
# 1,5: Tahereh Mafi – Destroy Me (Short Story – eBook)
#2:      Tahereh Mafi – Unravel Me
#3:      Tahereh Mafi – Untitled

got it at: girlsinthestacks.com/

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About the author – Tahereh Mafi:
Tahereh Mafi is a girl. She’s 24. She writes books and reads books and drinks way too much coffee. SHATTER ME is her first novel, and the first of a trilogy, coming from Harper/HarperCollins on November 15, 2011. Film rights have been optioned by 20th Century Fox. Her work is represented by Jodi Reamer of Writers House, LLC.
(Source: goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: First Grave on the Right

English Cover

German Cover

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‚First Grave on the Right‘
by Darynda Jones

Charley Davidson # 1
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Synopsis:
Charley sees dead people. That’s right, she sees dead people. And it’s her job to convince them to “go into the light.” But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e. murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she’s been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life…and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.  (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I’ve been looking forward to finally read this book, because of the wonderful cover and I had it on my wish list for such a long times, because I had already read great reviews. Often when I’ve high expectations of a book, I’m usually disappointed in the end, but to my luck here it wasn’t that case and my expectations were even exceeded.

I don’t want to tell you too much about the plot, but I would like to summarize it briefly to give a short insight:

Charley is a reaper and hence has from time to time amusing, as well as also sad, occurrences with dead people. Particularly with those, which can’t say goodbye to the world, because they have fallen victim to a murderer and would like to clear up their death or also hold on to other things in their former life.

Here it’s time for Charley to show up and in her case it’s also very handy that that her uncle Bob works as a cop in the homicide squad, and she can stand helpfully at his side – of course it’s also kind of practical that she just can ask the ghost by herself who has killed them. But in this book the current murder case is much more complicated and is more obscure than usually – add to that comes the fact that Charley isn’t able to get free from a mystifying ‘being’; a mysterious dark stranger, who constantly appears in her sexual dreams …

Okay, now at the latest everybody probably knows that this isn’t a YA book, but also contents more ‘explicit’ scenes and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them! 😉

However I’ve to admit that at the beginning I had some difficulties to get along with the writing style of Jones. It’s a little sloppy and rough and I just needed some time to get used to it, but as soon I got into the story and got to know the characters, I didn’t notice the writing style any more, it even fits perfectly to the plot, as well as to the whole atmosphere of the book.

Already like after a chapter it has started to please me very much and also all of the characters were really interesting and likeable. Above all of course the main character, called Charley, who was so funny I had to laugh so much and which will he leave nobody cold, but she is also stubborn or clumsy, though really sassy and likeable. But moreover she is tough; a fighter who can deal out but also take in and on top of that she shows charming qualities as well, so that you just have to take her in your heart.

I also found her scenes with her uncle Bob or with Garrett, one of the police officers, very interesting and amusing, by her cheeky tongue and her attitude not to mince matters.

But also the passages in which she meets with Reyes are great – okay, here some women will die for yearning 😉 – and all of them are top-class and will push you to read on feverishly from side to side and will leave you longingly on the couch.

But the book turns not only to be about erotic scenes or witty dialogues between the protagonists, but it also becomes really thrilling in the crime/ murder case Charley tried so solve together with her uncle and Garrett. By that Charley also gets in quite a lot of precarious and dangerous situation and these carry the reader away so fast that you won’t be able to put aside the book for just one minute.

The end leaves some things open for further books – luckily there are going to be another three parts – but there is no cliffhanger at the end which makes waiting more acceptable.

Cover:
Though I like also the English cover and there everyone sees immediately what it’s about, the German one is also just a ‘feast for the eyes’. I find the color wonderful, as well as the squiggly letters and the picture. It’s really gorgeous and one of the nicest covers of late.

All in all:
The book is an absolutely great prelude of the Charley Davidson series and which leaves you behind greedily for the next book. It’s absorbing thrilling, full of relish erotic and crazily funny – the perfect mix for a dreamlike reading pleasure.

Rating:
4,5 of 5 points – (soo awesome!)
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A huge THANKS for the reviewer’s copy to:

© Egmont Lyx

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Quotes:

Charley: „My fore-parts, as you so ineloquently put it, have names.“ I pointed to my right breast. „This is Danger.“ Then my left. „And this is Will Robinson. I would appreciate it if you addressed them accordingly.”
Garrett: „You named your breasts?“ I turned my back to him with a shrug. „I named my ovaries, too, but they don’t get out as much.”

Charley: Maybe I needed sensitivity training. I once signed up for an anger management class, but the instructor pissed me off.

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Succession:

# 1:     Darynda Jones – First Grave on the Right »»
# 1,5: Darynda Jones – For I Have Sinned (eBook)
# 2:     Darynda Jones – Second Grave on the Left
# 3:     Darynda Jones – Third Grave Dead Ahead
# 4:     Darynda Jones – Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

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(© goodreads)

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About the author – Darynda Jones:
NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones won the 2009 Golden Heart® in the paranormal category for her manuscript FIRST GRAVE ON THE RIGHT. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. After the Golden Heart final, she pimped herself as best she could, landed an amazing agent and has sold 8 books to St. Martin’s Press. Darynda lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of more than 25 years and two beautiful sons
(Source: goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »».

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Review: Rules of Attraction

English Cover

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‚Rules of Attraction
by
Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry # 2

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.Synopsis:
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.  (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
Surprisingly I’ve liked the book really very much again, although Elkeles presents again very penetratingly the clichéd stereotypes and it also was very much alike as the first book in this series. For example with all the drugs and the same problems, with which Carlos has to battle and on which he puts the blame for the fact, that he can’t live a ’normal‘ life like other teenagers.

But, nevertheless, there are a few good differences, so that the reading never becomes boring and again it was that I read constantly very fast, just to get to know what happens next. The reason for that is primarily that the story is full of likeable characters, and secondly because of the nice liquid and also great and easy writing style of Elkeles.

However, I must confess that although I’ve take the characters to my heart, I liked in this book Carlos less, than in comparison to the first book his brother Alex. Though this is a little pity, I already know that this would happen before I even started the book, because I was just so crazy for Alex in the first book.

For me Carlos seemed too enforced and it was to prominent how he appeared as a ‘bad-boy’, and for that, he couldn’t put me on his side for a longer time. His brother Alex is just my darling and I like his character and hence I’m also extremely glad, that in the second book I could also read a little about him and Brittany. *very great* 🙂

In return I liked the female main character – here she is called Kiara – a lot more than Brittany in the first book. Kiara is really great, though, brainy and has a great rotted to the soil-attitude, although she also has to fight with a few things in her life and clear them for herself. At some times she appears a little bit too perfect, so that I’ve had a hard time to imagine such a girl also in real life, but she is sweet and so I can overlook that. 🙂

Moreover the other characters are also very likeable and I find Kiara’s family just extremely great with their tolerant attitude and their candid treatment of sexuality or drugs. In general I’m of the opinion that such an education for children can only be good and welcome that parents speak openly with them and to clarify that they understand and know, that they can come to their parents with every problem.

Finally just two short points which I would like to state. At first the book was entertaining, but couldn’t keep up with the great first part. Also I hadn’t had to laugh at any parts like in the first book, but there were still a few nice scenes, which made me smile but not more and I like humor and I like it in books.

Secondly the end was similar but not as spectacular as in the first part, and also not with so much feelings and heartache. Here I would have wished for a little more action and a longer preparatory phase. It all happened very fast in the end and therefore I got the feeling that the author just wanted to finish the book.

Cover:
Actually I like it very much and it also fits greatly to the story of the book. The English cover is a little colorless and hence I prefer the German cover with the pink written letters.

All in all:
A nice YA book with pleasant, though partial trivial entertainment, which is perfectly suitable as a summer reading and kidnaps the readers again in their youth and in the first ‘falling-in-love‘.

Rating:
3,5 of 5 points

Quotes:

Carlos: „You’re dangerous.“
Kiara: „Why?“
Carlos: „Because you make me believe in the impossible.“
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Carlos: „This is a team of gay dudes, isn’t it?“
Tuck: „What gave it away? The pink shirts, or half our team drooling over you?“

Carlos: „I’m in deep shit Alex, ‚cause I think I’d like nothin‘ better than to wake up with her every mornin‘.“

Succession:

# 1: Simone Elkeles – Perfect Chemistry  »»
# 2: Simone Elkeles – Rules of Attraction »»
# 3: Simone Elkeles – Chain Reaction
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Simone Elkeles

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About the author – Simone Elkeles:

Simone Elkeles is the NY Times & USA Today bestselling author of over seven teen romance novels. She has won various awards and recognition for her books, including the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry and being named Author of the Year by the Illinois Association of Teachers of English. She was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago.
(Source:  http://www.simoneelkeles.net)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: Skin Hunger

English Cover

German Cover

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‚Skin Hunger‘ by Kathleen Duey

A Resurrection of Magic #1
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Synopsis:
Sadima lives in a world where magic has been banned, leaving poor villagers prey to fakes and charlatans. A „magician“ stole her family’s few valuables and left Sadima’s mother to die on the day Sadima was born. But vestiges of magic are hidden in old rhymes and hearth tales and in people like Sadima, who conceals her silent communication with animals for fear of rejection and ridicule. When rumors of her gift reach Somiss, a young nobleman obsessed with restoring magic, he sends Franklin, his lifelong servant, to find her. Sadima’s joy at sharing her secret becomes love for the man she shares it with. But Franklin’s irrevocable bond to the brilliant and dangerous Somiss traps her, too, and she faces a heartbreaking decision. (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I must confess that I didn’t know that book before I’ve started to read it, and hence, I’ve simply let surprised me. And I didn’t get disappointed. Right at the beginning I’ve liked the writing style of Duey very much and I could get into it well and nicely. The book was written in the past. What was very great and has also confused me a little in the beginning was the fact that not all chapters were written in the same perspective, but they rotated.

Moreover, the time line wasn’t only simply linear like in any other book, but also the time switches. There is virtually a story which plays in the past and tells the background story and how it happened that it has come to the present-state. Okay, I’ve to confess this was a little bewildering at first, but it also has carried me away immediately and it was therefore so thrilling that I almost couldn’t put aside the book. These points were absolutely the biggest fascination of the book for me.

Beside these, also the central figure, called Samida, was a highlight of the book and she could win me for herself very fast, as well as after some time the character Haph, for whom I’ve felt endlessly sorry. Also I’ve liked Franklin at the beginning of the book very much because of his friendly kind and his natural, helpful being. Unfortunately he couldn’t really grow within the book or for me he has even changed at some points to the negative.

And unfortunately the same happened with the whole book. Not that the writing style have gotten worse or such a thing but the plot was from time to time too stretched in the length, although it didn’t happened a lot in those chapters. Occasionally I had the feeling, as if something will immediately happen, some kind of highlight or such a thing, but that never came.

The arc of suspense simply decreased again. In addition was that the characters have also slipped into some roles, in which I didn’t really want to see them. For example Franklin became rather weaker than stronger throughout the story, and in my opinion he hasn’t grown at all or has changed to the positive. It was rather in a way that he was completely guided only by Somiss, another central figure, and has operated for me too less independently, so that I wanted to shake him sometimes to wake him up. It was exactly what also Samida wanted to do with him or she also wanted to free herself from him, to put her own luck into focus again, but unfortunately, she didn’t made it.

Now I really hope that this relatively open end, with raised many questions, soon gets a better second book, in which will be also some answers and in which the characters can grow again. Because I think that this phase, in which they characters couldn’t be themselves and where their hands were virtually bound, will be important for the future, their maturation process and the general plot. Hence I’m curious how this series will go on and therefore I’m looking forward to also read the next books.

Cover:
I find the cover very suitably for this story, because it shows Samida well, but also doesn’t reveal too much from her. Moreover it suits to the magic atmosphere in the book and hence I think it’s really felicitous.

All in all:
It’s an interesting book which has brought me to ponder and has carried me away much particularly at the beginning. Unfortunately there have been some weaker phases in the meantime. Nevertheless a must read for fans of Magic and High fantasy or also for readers of for example Trudi Canavan.

Rating:
3 of 5 points – (I liked it)
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A huge THANKS for the reviewer’s copy to:

© Random House

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(© goodreads)

About the author – Kathleen Duey:
Kathleen Duey grew up in Colorado. She loved riding her horses, hiking, being in the mountains. Reading was always important to her. Writing became a fascination early in her life. In the fourth grade, Kathleen began writing stories and told everyone who would listen that she was going to be an author. Then she did nothing about it until she was 35 years old. In the last decade, Kathleen has learned about computers, the internet, research and writing. Writing is her passion and her dream-come-true. She is in love and feels lucky to have a such a wonderful and loving partner in her life.
(Source: goodreads.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: Good Oil

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German Cover

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‚Good Oil‘ by Laura Buzo

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Synopsis:
‚Miss Amelia Hayes, welcome to The Land of Dreams. I am the staff trainer. I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil. Right? And just so you know, I’m open to all kinds of bribery.‘
From the moment 15-year-old Amelia begins work on the checkout at Woolworths she is sunk, gone, lost…head-over-heels in love with Chris. Chris is the funny, charming, man-about-Woolies, but he’s 21, and the 6-year difference in their ages may as well be 100. Chris and Amelia talk about everything from Second Wave Feminism to Great Expectations and Alien but will he ever look at her in the way she wants him to? And if he does, will it be everything she hopes?  (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
Who hasn’t experienced how it is to fall in love for the first time and often at the same time also unhappily? Particularly if one is at an age, while one doesn’t recognize oneself again because the own body is changing, the feelings play around and everything and everybody apparently starts to revolt.

This book begins with the story of Amelia who is telling it in the present, from which I’m unfortunately not a fan but nevertheless, after some chapters I was caught in the reading flow and it didn’t disturb me so much anymore.
Amelia has just become 15 and for her the world is upside-down, particularly after she meets Chris, who is 6-years older than Amelia, but for whom her heart beats faster but she realistically also sees no chance for them. The story is primarily around the life of these two main characters, their developing friendship and beyond.

About the first half of the book is very childish and very easy, often with very short sentences, but it is also written liquidly and hence fitting for a 15-year-old teenager. Though it seemed authentic for the situation, but nevertheless there were also some times at which I’ve felt this writing style was too simply, too jolty. But I’m already a little older than 15 and therefore I maybe don’t fit completely to the given age recommendation. 😉
However, to my luck this changed after this aforesaid half of the book and I was very glad to be allowed to read suddenly a completely other writing style. I don’t want to describe here at this point how that has exactly happened or why it has changed, because I don’t want to ruin your ‘surprise‘. But who has also already read the book, will certainly know what I mean here.

The storyline begins very slowly and the reader is led step by step to the central figure Amelia, as well as to her family and friends and therefore gets to know them and her way of thinking better and better. I must confess that I couldn’t get along with her at the start but it became better with the time. She has irritated me sometimes with her ‘puppy love’ and keenness, but if I remember my puberty right, I probably was just like that and like almost every other girl in this bewildering time. 🙂
Chris is the total opposite to her and the typical darling of everybody with a constantly loose saying on his lips and he’s always up for every fun. He’s really very likeable and charming, but only when he also has shown his negative sides and his self-doubts, he could also conquer my heart.

Who now thinks that in this book it is only told about the both of them, who hold dull dialogues than you’re wrong. Amelia and Chris, as well as the book, discuss also principle questions about the female emancipation and also talk passionate a lot about classical books.

SPOILER !

Actually not really a spoiler, but nevertheless I wanted to mention here that I’m not a fan of open ends. Certainly this gives the reader the chance to thinks freely of the things afterwards and to create a positive exit for themselves. But I rather want books which are completely led to an end and read it to a final end, instead of thinking one up for myself. I didn’t like this point so much.

Cover:
I really like it because of these two faces and the decoration on the sides. It’s particularly nice that the little flowers shine.

All in all:
This book is an homage to the first great love and describes vividly and with feeling in which whirlpool of emotions one is pulled if one falls in love for the first time with 15. It is empathetically and even so sweetly. In general the book is suitable for the age recommendation of 12-15 years, but some scenes aren’t that appropriate for this age.

Rating:
3 of 5 points – (I liked it)
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A huge Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:

©Arena Verlag

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Quotes:

Chris: „She even takes the goings-on of fictitious characters personally.“

Amelia: „I wonder briefly if I could somehow broker a deal with God whereby if I put both my arms around Chris, his suffering would be transferred to me via skin-to-skin osmosis at a rate inversely proportionate to how much I love him.“

Amelia: „Oh, well. Love is pain. Or is it beauty is pain? I wouldn’t know about the latter, but the former makes my sternum ache.“
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(© goodreads)

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About the author – Laura Buzo:
Laura Buzo was born and grew up in Sydney, middle of three daughters. Growing up she loved swimming, riding horses, tennis, netball, running, chocolate and above all, reading. After university, Laura worked as a social worker in various acute and community-based mental health settings in Sydney. In 2005 she took some time away from work to start writing her first novel, Good Oil. Laura is still working as a social worker and has a young daughter. She lives in Sydney.
(Source: goodreads.com)

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