‚Notes from Ghost Town‘
by Kate Ellison
They say first love never dies…
From critically acclaimed author Kate Ellison comes a heartbreaking mystery of mental illness, unspoken love, and murder. When sixteen-year-old artist Olivia Tithe is visited by the ghost of her first love, Lucas Stern, it’s only through scattered images and notes left behind that she can unravel the mystery of his death. There’s a catch: Olivia has gone colorblind, and there’s a good chance she’s losing her mind completely—just like her mother did. How else to explain seeing (and falling in love all over again with) someone who isn’t really there? With the murder trial looming just nine days away, Olivia must follow her heart to the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the only way she can save herself.
I don’t know where I should start. In this book there were shed many tears, not only by the protagonist, but also by me while reading it. It begins immediately there – as it is described in the synopsis – with the death of Stern, who I immediately took to my heart at the first encounter, and with every other appearance of him, I fall more and more in love with him, but always with the knowledge that he’s damn dead and just a ghost…
Of course the book wasn’t only about the processing of the grief or about the releasing of Stern, to let him go – the BFF of Liv and almost boyfriend. No, because Liv’s schizophrenic mother is accused of the murder and the negotiations stand in a queue within the next seven days.
Seven days, in which together with Stern, Liv tries to find the true murderer of Stern also the reason for it. Hence, it is really very exciting and criminological and what I’ve liked was that I also could guess who the murderer was or not. And I must admit that up to three quarters of the book I had no clue. Hence, this guessing game and dissolving of the mysterious occurrences was made really well and has tied me up throughout the whole book.
And adding to this whole criminological background, there are of course the whole big feelings and emotions, which Liv has to go through. Not only the heartbreaking ‘letting go’ of Stern, but also the strength to stand to her mother, to fight for her, even if others put themselves in Liv’s way and make it harder for her and, also at the same time, to find the courage to let herself fall into a new love.
I’ve liked Liv really very much and she was a tough character and she was very likeable to me right from the beginning, during the prologue and before destiny let her life fall apart. Though she was almost already too strong for her sixteen years, but I prefer this much more than these irritating, naive girlies. Moreover Liv was also emotionally cold, especially at the beginning and reserved to the others, except towards her stepsisters, but after what has happened to her, it’s just logical and understandable.
And now to Stern … Man, how can an author create such a great, charming, amusing, gifted and hot guy, just to let him die in the beginning – to let him be a ghost? Still, when I think back to the book, tears fill my eyes always when I think of him, of Liv’s longing for him and also of mine. That was really painful!
But I also found Austin quite okay, even if for a long time it wasn’t clear, which role/ game he played. Nevertheless, he had a mistake … namely -> he just wasn’t Stern. 😦
Though I haven’t liked the writing manner of the author by hundred percent and here and there I also had difficulties with her English, but nevertheless she could conjure a great atmosphere here and therefore I’m sure, that I’ll read a book of her again sometime.
Even if some other readers think that the end was too corny in a way or too rose-colored, for me it was great and I was totally happy with it and have no problem with how it has ended. But I’m a happy-end-fan, as you know, and therefore it was exactly my taste and I hope, if some of you decide to the read this book too, that you all will feel like that as well. Therefore I like to recommend it and I wish you all a lot of fun with the book! But before you start reading, procure a big pack of handkerchiefs for it! 🙂
Liv: ‚When her fingers glide across the keys and what results is the kind of music that makes you stop where you are and notice every beautiful thing around you. His fingers can do this, too.‘
Liv: ‚… Before we knew that we were not permanent, and that a good, easy life is not something the universe is contractually obligated to grand you.‘
Liv: ‚… And I ace, as much as I have since the day Stern and I kissed, for a person beside me who understands exactly what I need without me ever having to say it. Even if the world stays gray forever, I just don’t think it would be so bad if I knew I could have Stern, permanent, solid, for real.‘
A huge Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:
‚Easy‘ by Tammara Webber.
Actually, at first I didn’t wanted to write a review to this book, but because there are too many and too good reviews out there, which are floating around on the internet, and so I couldn’t resist to get rid of my critic. Due to the fact, that I want to reach here with my review the people, who have already read the book or who want to read it, therefore I won’t say much about the synopsis.
I’ve to admit, that it was a quick and easy to read and it could also be convincing at certain places, but, unfortunately, they were the exceptions.
On one hand the writing manner was too ‚slang-like‘ for me and above all, the dialogues have snapped me totally out of my reading rhythm, with these endless ‘slang words’ and ‚cool‘ abbreviations. I found this not great or even perfect youthfully, but just irritating and often I had to roll my eyes. Moreover, after short passages there is always a time jump over and over again, without any marks or indication, which has extremely confused me, particularly at the beginning and it led to the fact that I had to read some phrase twice.
Adding to that, I couldn’t stand Jackie very much. She has irritated me so much, like no other character did for a long time, and her actions were absolutely contradictory to her experiences and thoughts. Though I’ve tried and she even stirred my interest at the beginning, because of her almost-rape, but then it got constantly downwards and I couldn’t stand her. As mentioned, Jackie almost got raped in the first chapter and escapes only, because another guy saved her. What I found very awkward and very idiotic afterwards was, that only few days after the attack she runs around totally unconcerned and she even buys herself a sexy little dress, short and a cut up till to the hips … to look sexy and ‘easy to have‘… and I don’t know how think about that, but if I just escaped an almost-rape, than I probably would be a little inhibit. But not Jackie, except if she meets briefly once again her almost-rapist – then it seems, as if she remembers again, what almost could have happened.
Don’t misunderstand me, I wouldn’t want, that she is frightened all the time or doesn’t dare to leave her room any more, but if such a brutal thing almost happens, you would thinks, that one handles oneself with a little more carefulness and has to thinks about other things, than how to the hot guy, who has saved her…
Moreover, the love story between Lucas and Jackie doesn’t develop as usually slow, by talking and where they get to know each other – but the other way around – by snuggling. Because there are almost no talks and they even don’t get along in their ‘normal‘lives, but instead they only function, while they are together to make out. I found that a great pity and I also didn’t like it at all. Though there were many love scenes in the book, but because I didn’t like the characters (except Lucas), hence the romanticism also made no difference to me and I’ve read it rather uninterested.
Furthermore the plot was very predictable (Lucas/Landon), Hello?? And all the time I‘ve guessed long in advance what will happen next and there were no real plot-highlights in the whole book. The plot simply meandered along without a central theme and that was it.
Just the end with Lucas and his background was surprising, but it was presented in a way that it hasn’t fitted for me. His stroke of fate was tragic and could have built up great emotions, but even that has the author ruined. It’s really a pity.
The longer I write, the more I notice how much this book, the plot and the characters did annoy me, so that I must reduce my rating from 3 to only 2 points. Unfortunately it didn’t function for me at all and I also wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.
If to you want to read books in the genre ‚Contemporary Romance’, please rather read ‘Beautiful Disaster‘ or as a YA version of it: ‚Pushing the Limits‚ – there are characters with brain and charm, who will move you and don’t frustration you.
Lucas: „The night we met-I’m not like that guy.“ His jaw was rigid.
„I know tha-“ He placed a finger over my lips, his expression softening.
„So I don’t want you to feel pressured. Or overpowered. But I do, absolutely, want to kiss you right now. Badly.“
A huge Thanks for the ebook to netgalley:
‚Bonds of Trust‘ by Lynda Aicher
Wicked Play #1.
I’ve started this book without any expectations and to be honest, I also have delayed reading the book, but without any reason. I’ve no idea why it took me so long to read this, but maybe I wasn’t in the right mood. But when I finally started it, the book has really fitted perfect.
The entrance was in the middle of the events when the main character Cali wants to be accepted in the most exclusive BDSM club of the town. – After a failed 22-year-old marriage, two adult children and many years of frustration in the bed with her ex-husband, because of unspoken desires, fear and shame.
There she meets Jake, one of three club owners, and in further result she also falls in love. What begins with initial sex turns out to big feelings, of which they both haven’t dared to dream about any more. Of course it is more complicated during the story than this short summary and it includes some interesting twist and up-and downs, but they didn’t appear exaggerated and unrealistically, but they could be totally from the real life, which I’ve liked very much. For example the problems with her children, who though are already grown-ups and out of the house, but can’t concede their mother a new relationship.
What has thrilled me here very much, were not only the erotic scenes – which I found really great and the reader were gently brought close to the subject of BDSM; always just a little more – but I also loved the rest. The figures were well worked out and seamed authentic to me, also real and charming with their pro- and also disadvantages, like everyone of us.. And Jake was simply a dreamlike lover – although he has long, black hair – which I usually don’t really like. 😉
But he was so empathetic and knew exactly what he had to do and where it was important, but he made himself worse than he was – the typical guy whom a woman has to save, so that he can find his true happiness. *sigh*
The only thing I would like to criticize is that it was almost too short for me and I would have liked more background information, and also the end came too fast. Here it would have been better if it had developed more slowly can develop and don’t run out so fast. But at least it goes on with the second part already this year and I’m already very happy about it!
I can recommend this book to everybody, who would like to make a first insight into erotic books with BDSM parts in it, or who loves adult ‘Contemporary Romance’ with erotic scenes. You won‘t regret it!
Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:
‚Dearly, Beloved‘ by Lia Habel.
I‘ve really tried to like this book, more than part one, with which I already had my problems, but again it hasn‘t worked. If I had to use two words to describe it, I can only say ‚too long‘ or ‚boring’. Honestly, you just have to read the synopsis of the book to recognize that here is somebody, who has immense problems to be brief – and it’s like this in the whole book. I‘ve read more than 500!! pages, with a slow, tough course, which could also be written in 250-300 pages, and everybody would have been happier with it.
The plot ran incredibly slow without building up a great tension and it was a too much unnecessary gossip in between. As annoying was also the fact, that again with every chapter the narrator view changed from one character to the other. Of course this happened primarily between Nora and Bram, the main characters of the story, but nevertheless, many others figures also got a chance to speak, like the best friend Pamela, or also they ‚bad persons’ in the story, what I found absolutely unnecessary, because it didn’t interested me what they thought or felt. For me it’s enough to get a summary at the end, where I can read why they have done this or that.
Furthermore at the beginning were too many info and characters, so that it was hard to picture every character or to classify them properly.
In the second part, it was positive, that I’ve better got along with Pamela, because she appeared more realistic and authentic and also in spite of her big problems to handle all the things with the zombies, she didn’t duck her head, but instead admitted her weakness. But not in an annoying way, but it felt real, as one could imagine react, in such a situation. Hence her chapters were almost my favorite ones and I found her development with this Lord very interesting and this is also the reason, that I wanted to read on – and that I’ve got the second book on netgalley 😉
Here I was also more thrilled by Nora than in the first book, though I found her sometimes a little too outstanding and too fearless, but then I also liked her cheeky, independent behavior. Whether her character fits in this described background of the story or not, because on the other side everything in the story is presented very strict and prude.
Moreover, I find it – sorry to all fans – disgusting, how Nora could make out with Bram. I mean, this guy is a zombie! Okay, sure – he is one of the zombies, who haven’t rotted yet in a strong way, like the others, and he also still looks rather nice …, however, but he’s still a zombie, damn! He has scars, his body is already patched up several times and he virtually rots away during the story … and Nora smooches with him! *gag* – Here for example an extract from the story – this just doesn’t work for me at all!:
His lips found my brow, the sensation instantly identifiable due to the bit of thread that stitched his broken lower lip together. I loved his every scar.
After the second part I’ve decided to break up this series. But because I’m still a little curious what will become of the zombies (–I count on a healing, so that Bram don’t has to die), and I would like to know how the relationship of Pamela and this Lord develops in the next book. Therefore I simply plan to read the reviews from the last book. But not more, that’s really enough. 🙂.
Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:
‚Never Let Me Go‘
by Kazuo Ishiguro
This book tells about a world in which the people have been able to create complete human clones. With it the humanity caused to cure the most fatal illnesses and to guarantee a long healthy life. Hence the human clones are virtually only ‚produced’ for later, when they are adults, to donor their organs and to let operate on them over and over again for donations, till they are ‘completed’, which means up to death.
But this story isn’t about the people who have got a better life because of this new ‚achievement‘, but about the human clones.
The story is told from the point of view of 31-year-old Kathy, who is after 12 years as a ‘carer’ just before the time when she will also become a donor. The whole book Kathy remembers about her past live: It is starting with her childhood in the boarding school in Hailsham, through her youth time in the cottages and later to her time as an adult, working as a ‘carer’. But not the question of the donation and the inevitable death stands in the centre of the topic, but above all the friendship and love between the three central figures Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, who all grow up together in Hailsham. They already got explained as little children what’s the reason for their existence is, but they never really got to know the whole information, but always only fragments of it and in times when they’re still too young to understand.
It also behaves like this in the whole book. Kathy tells anecdotes, flashbacks over and over again and because of that there’s never a proper central theme in the book, but a constant change to and fro of a time in the next, in the present and again back to 2 years before it or 3 years ago. *totally confusing*
I don’t know how the book has managed to get nominated in 2005 for the highest British book price the ‚Booker Prize‘, or why it was added by the ‚Time’ to their list of the hundred best English-speaking novels from 1923 to 2005. Maybe they haven’t read the complete book, but only the synopsis and liked that. Who knows!? ^^
Unfortunately the book hasn’t worked for me at all, although I’ve found the description and also the circumstances which ruled in the book very interesting. Moreover because of the topic it would be a really exciting book for group discussions or for school classes because it raises many questions as for example: How would we handle an inevitable death if we were the clones? Or the question whether we would also close our eyes on how the clones were treated, if we were the organ recipient and it was about our own survival. Who has more right to live and who decides which methods are justifiable to provide the collective health? Is it tolerable to clone ‘humans’, only to harvest their organs afterward like ripe fruits? What is a defensible progress of science or what is morally wrong?
As I said, it’s a book which is very keen of discussions and the subject really leaves nobody cold and makes everybody think over their own opinion and to ponder the Pros and Cons. Hence the two points for the book, on account of the topic and the given conflict.
BUT now to the things which I haven’t liked in the book and have reduced the rating so drastically: The writing manner was okay and it also was easy and fluently to read, but the narrative perspective was dreadful and these whole flashbacks and time jumps were the pure horror. I didn’t like these whole jumps in the time in the least.
First it was confusing and I couldn’t get into a reading fluently, because it was too chopped off and incoherent. Furthermore the whole tension and the motivation were taken away and it wasn’t like in other books where I want to read on as fast as I can to get to know what happens after some actions, because here Kathy has always told what resulted out of some actions first and then how it came to it. Hence, it was never really thrilling to read on because I always already know before a new memory started how I would end and what happens as a result, because Kathy already told beforehand.
I know this sounds a little bewildering but to be honest, it was like this all the time in the book and in addition also just irritating and unnaturally. If I didn’t have to read this book for my ‘Book2Movie’ Challenge, then I probably would have broken it off several times.
For me the reading was very strenuous and I had to force myself over and over again to continue to read. But at some point I simply wanted to know, after all I have been through, how it would end. Not because I’ve cared so much for the characters, (this wasn’t the case and in my opinion her best friend Ruth was a ruthless, rotten piece who I wouldn’t have told any secret), but finally to know what the whole book actually was about. After the whole exertion I just wanted to get some answers after countless vague indications and these temporal jumps, but even here I got disappointed.
Even if there were also every now and then sensitive passages, which particularly described the special friendship of the three main characters or the perspective on life in general and on which reasons the people react and what results from which actions. But it wasn’t enough and I also never got a connection with the main character Kathy because she never really told how she felt. She didn’t let anybody look behind her facade and she just told her memories and hasn’t given anything from herself as a feeling person.
I’ve thought this book pursued a higher purpose and that at the end a solution or something like that would be presented, or an end that gives an ‘aha’-affect, but I didn’t even get that. It just ended and I as a read was virtually left hanging in the air without anything. It was very disappointing and I’ve still a grudge against that ending.
I’ve read this book for the ‘Book2Movie – Challenge’ 2012 !
by Jamie McGuire.
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.
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.‘
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.“
Thanks for the reviewer’s copy to:
by Lissa Price.
After I’ve read the pre-story ‘Portrait of a Starter’, I decided also to read the book ‘Starters’ by Lissa Price. To my luck I found out that the writing style, which is written in the present, hasn’t bothered me so much in the book then in the pre-story, because I’ve read it in English.
At the beginning everything was a little confusing, particularly with this war, by which I wasn’t sure what the war was about or who fought against whom and what spore/illness was there, that killed so many people. Another question was why only children and old people have survived this. Unfortunately, this all was a little too much at the beginning and I had to read a great piece through the book to get some few answers of many, important questions.
The basic idea wasn‘t bad but for me it was too overloaded and there were too many different things going on in this dystopia, as example: * this war, * the deadly illness Spores, * that the medicine has worked out a way that the people can become more than 200 years old (Enders) or * this organization which make it possible for the old people to slip into the bodies of teens.
Hence, I can say that some ideas were great and also at the beginning, the characters were well worked out and were likeable, but throughout the book it lacked in a good structure and elaboration of the story and also the persons in the book changed; in my opinion to the negative.
I really liked the first half of the book very much because I cared for Callie, the plot were exciting and had thrilling twists in it and it was definitely a page–turner for me.
Moreover, I liked that Callie, although now she was living in this luxurious world, she has always thought of her brother Tyler and Michel and referred what she could get for this or that in this luxurious flat (for example for a ring she could get so much food which would be able to feed 10 ‚friendlings‘ for a week, and so on…) and this stretched out through the book, what I found really great.
But unfortunately, after the second half my enthusiasm changed and then it has decreased rapidly. The plot stretched in the last pages and a lot was foreseeable and even Callie became more unlikeable. Also the end was only ‘expressionless’ and took a twist (keyword: Blake) which only make me shake my head!
It wasn’t also not helping the book that there was again a love triangle, which was more than only unnecessary and for me it was just annoying.*sigh*
At the end I was really disappointed and to tell the truth, I wasn’t interested in how it went on at all anymore. Now I’m so undecided whether I should still read the second book or not. But I’ve still time to decide that. 🙂
! SPOILER ALERT !
What else I would like to say: What’s the thing with all these love triangles? This can’t be or I just don’t get it! Especially here it would better without one. Moreover, I thought that it was more than idiotic that at the end one guy (Michel) simply runs away without saying a word to Callie and the other guy (Blaek) isn’t any more the guy she knew or believed she’ve known – everything very weird and not thrilling –> only the contrary!
This thing with Blake still disturbs me and I found it really terrible! My question to that: What does this then say about Callie, when she knows Blake isn’t himself any more or the guy she felt in love with, but she still wants him, nevertheless? To look at it exactly, actually she has fallen in love with the enemy, the ‘old man‘, whichI find quite disgusting, but okay …! 😀
What do you think about it and what is your opinion to that topic?
# 0,5: Lissa Price – Portrait of a Starter
# 1: Lissa Price – Starters »»
# 2: Lissa Price – Enders
‚The Woman in Black‘
by Susan Hill.
I don’t know exactly where I should start. I’ve read it in the English original and although I never had problems with the English language in other books, here in this book it has been difficult for me. The writing style wasn’t liquid at all, but had many nested sentences with which I couldn’t make friends, although it has become better after some time.
Moreover it was particularly at the beginning that a lot of the story was told from the past, so things which had happened to this Arthur Kipps and he described them like he was looking back. I was never a fan of that and therefore I also didn’t like it here. But luckily this changed throughout the story and it thereby also become better and more interesting.
Parts of the plot weren’t really bad and at times I have also been frightened and at some pages I also was interested tensely and wanted to know what to happen next. But more often it was only a reading to finally finish the book.
I recognize the fact that I don’t like a book very much, if I start to look occasionally at the page numbers and calculate for me how much I still have to read. If I start like that than it’s not good – and unfortunately here it was like this for the most part.
Moreover the construction of the arc of suspense, when it really became creepy and scary, was stressed too much and then it simply flattened, without something really happened, and the ghostly situation just passed and then it was over. *very strange*
Also the end was for me – the only shocking thing in it – because the rest of it with the children and the approximate family background wasn’t hard to figure out by myself.
But the fact that it really ends like this – okay, I also kind of saw that coming – but what was hard is that it came so all of a sudden and was simply over afterwards. There happened something big and then the book just ended without any concluding sentence or a final chapter and I found this a little awkward. On top of that the book often dragged for me and hence it gets only two points.
I’ve read this book for the ‘Book2Movie – Challenge’ 2012 !