Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Behind The Pages #1 - The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

Welcome to my first Behind The Pages post! This is my new feature in 2014 and one I've been waiting for months now to share with you all.

What is Behind The Pages all about? I asked some of my favourite authors and a bunch of promising 2014 debut authors to annotate a scene, page or more of one of their books. I see the feature as a chance to show readers what's behind a page. Authors can share their favourite writing memories, the music that influenced a certain scene or anything else that comes to their mind. We might get hints to what the characters were thinking and feeling that exact moment or other fun details about their story. 

Hope you enjoy Behind The Pages as much as I do. I'm intending this feature to be a monthly post here on the blog, with Lauren Oliver kicking off the feature with her second MG novel THE SPINDLERS and being my Behind The Pages January author. Thanks to all the fabulous authors who took the time to annotate a page or scene for us, your comments are always so insightful and fun to read. When readers can't get enough of a book and its characters it only shows how much the author's work means to them, to us. Thank you! 


Looking across the breakfast table one morning, twelve-year-old Liza feels dread wash over her. Although her younger brother, Patrick, appears the same, Liza knows that he is actually quite different. She is certain that the spindlers—evil, spiderlike beings—came during the night and stole his soul. And Liza is also certain that she is the only one who can rescue him.

Armed with little more than her wits and a huge talking rat for a guide, Liza descends into the dark and ominous underground to save Patrick's soul. Her quest is far from easy: she must brave tree-snakes, the Court of Stones, and shape-shifting scawgs before facing her greatest challenge in the spindlers' lair, where more than just Patrick's soul is at stake.

Jonathan Alpeyrie, 2011
Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader. 
She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel. 
She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.

Book Summary & Author Bio from Goodreads 

The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver
- In case the notes need translation Lauren Oliver provided it on the right side.

* So in my front yard we really did have a little fir tree next to a birdbath. One time, my sister and I buried a time capsule there!

*I was thinking of my mom's garden here, which was wild and magical.

*My best friend's name is Patrick. I even have his initials tattooed on my arm!

Want to find out more about THE SPINDLERS and not only what's behind a single page, but an entire book? Then I can recommend watching Lauren Oliver's seven-video series about HOW A BOOK IS MADE. In the first episode Lauren Oliver tells you how she developed the idea for her book.

The Spindlers Art by Iacopo Bruno


Here's your chance to win the THE SPINDLERS copy Lauren Oliver used to annotate her page. She was so kind to donate the copy for a giveaway. Thank you very much! The giveaway is open to US residents only and ends February 15th 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book Review: Evertrue (Everneath #3) by Brodi Ashton

Title: Evertrue (Everneath #3)
Author: Brodi Ashton
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: January 21st 2014
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, romance, underworld, evil queen
Source: Publisher

Now that Nikki has rescued Jack, all she wants is to be with him and graduate high school. But Cole tricked Nikki into feeding off him, and she’s begun the process of turning into an Everliving herself... which means she must feed on a Forfeit soon — or die.

Terrified for her survival, Nikki and Jack begin a desperate attempt to reverse the process using any means possible. Even Cole, who they expected to fight them at every turn, has become an unlikely ally — but how long can it last? Nikki needs to feed on Cole to survive, Cole needs Nikki to gain the throne in the Everneath, Jack needs Nikki because she is everything to him — and together, they must travel back to the Underworld to undo Nikki’s fate and make her mortal once more. But Cole isn’t the only one with plans for Nikki: the Queen has not forgotten Nikki’s treachery, and she wants her destroyed for good. Will Nikki be forced to spend eternity in the Underworld, or does she have what it takes to bring down the Everneath once and for all?

In this stunning conclusion to the Everneath trilogy, Brodi Ashton evokes the resiliency of the human spirit and the indomitable power of true love.

Summary by Goodreads  

"You know the Everneath?"[...]
"Good. Because I'm going to destroy it." [...] 
"I'm taking the whole. Damn. Thing. Down. Are you with me?"

Isn't Nikki's declaration of war at the end of EVERBOUND inflammatory and rousing? Take the whole Everneath down and dethrone the evil queen, who often reminded me of Maleficient from Sleeping Beauty, seems like this impossible and ultimate challenge. How does she intend to do that? What about the dangers that will be awaiting them on their way?
I couldn't wait to find out what would be happening in the conclusion to her story, can you?  Nikki practically mobilises the reader to support her no matter what. And so I grabbed EVERTRUE right after I finished reading EVERBOUND and prepared myself for a strategic meeting with Nikki and Jack.

Brodi Ashton included a mean condition into Nikki surviving the Everneath a second time and so we are quasi burdened with Cole as an additional member of the resistance. You know he isn't my favourite book boy. Like Jack and Nikki got their flashbacks of important moments of the past in the second book, Cole, too, showed us memories that were of importance for his life and first impressions of Nikki in book three now.
Sadly the cool rock star lost a great deal of his authenticity, smashing wit and sarcasm. But one could also see it as some kind of transformation, a way for him to go back to his roots. I didn't mind as much as Team Cole readers might because I'm Team Jack anyway and he was as understanding and sweet as ever.
Nikki and Jack's love was still strong and many times they had small but significant moments to show what they feel for each other. Jack was never anything but swoon-worthy and there wasn't a time in which I didn't want more of him, more for him and Nikki.

EVERTRUE is the third and last part of Nikki's story in the Everneath and the part that somehow I didn't enjoy as much as the two parts before it. In EVERNEATH and EVERBOUND we always learned something new about the Everneath and made great discoveries with Nikki and her fellow travellers. In this last instalment the discoveries didn't feel so grand and stunning anymore. The absolutely amazing labyrinth from EVERBOUND could be the reason why I was harder to impress in the third book, it totally spoiled me. 

Throughout the entire story the task that Nikki and her two boys had to master or the trials they were willing to face, seemed always much bigger, too big, for the three of them and I wasn't entirely convinced by the ways they found to get over the finish line.
But don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed the time I got to spend with Nikki and Jack in EVERTRUE. The ending was quite a stunner. Brodi Ashton solved the conflict between Nikki and the Everneath and Cole and Jack fighting for Nikki in an almost poetic way, giving her characters the chance to show strength, courage and empathy. 

4/5 **** EVERTRUE - The daring and ultimate quest of underworld explorer trio  Nikki, Jack and Cole will leave no reader cold.

Can't wait to see which new world Brodi Ashton comes up with next. I'm open for anything but I wouldn't mind another story influenced by Greek mythology, I'm very into that lately. If you haven't had the chance to read Brodi's EVERNEATH books before, you should use your chance and read all three back to back. Right now!

"I waited for you."
"But it's a race. Why did you wait for me?" He lifted his head so that his eyes met mine. "I always wait for you." He took a deep breath, my ankle still in his hands. "I'm always waiting for you."  ― Everbound p. 229

EVERTRUE you might also enjoy  STARCROSSED by Josephine Angelini, THE GODDESS TEST by Aimée Carter and SWEET VENOM by Tera Lynn Childs, all influenced by Greek mythology. 

* Can't get enough of the Everneath? Then you should read the NEVERFALL novella.

* Read an excerpt of EVERNEATH here.

* EVERNEATH book trailer.

* For more information about Brodi and her books visit

* A huge thanks to Harper Collins International for providing me with an ARC of EVERTRUE! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Coveresque feat. Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi (US vs. UK vs. German)

    US                                                   UK                                                     German

In 10 days the third book in Veronica Rossi's trilogy following Aria and Perry on their search for the Still Blue will be released into the wild. Veronica Rossi has been graced with gorgeous US covers, INTO THE STILL BLUE being my absolute favourite. Aren't the colors easy on the eyes? The title practically glows with this luminous shade of blue and the background looks like a beautiful aurora borealis show. And I can totally picture Aria looking like the cover girl. 

The next book I would pick up judging by its cover would be the UK edition. The colors are not as great as on the US cover. But I like that it has the sea as its background and that the transparent or glowing girl is becoming one with nature, at least it looks like it to me. 

Why is the German cover so fiery? A hint at the Aether storms intensifying? I'm planning to read INTO THE STILL BLUE next week, so I'll find out then. The German cover is okay. It's anything but exciting that all the covers for book one, two and three are the exact same except changes in color scheme (from green to blue and red) and titles. I have no idea why the A (A for Aria I thought at first), R and G are highlighted. Ideas?

Q! Which cover do you like best? Do you have other covers to add to this list?

Friday, January 10, 2014

Mini Reviews #22

Today I've got three very different books for you. The first is BUMPED by Megan McCafferty, a dystopian read where teenagers are encouraged to get pregnant in order to give many couples the chance to adopt. The Middle Grade read of WONDER by R. J. Palacio will open every reader's heart for young August, an exceptional boy with facial deformity. And then there is PUSHING THE LIMITS, a steamy YA contemporary 2012 debut novel by Katie McGarry.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

Imagine a future in which everyone over eighteen is infertible and teenage girls with baby bumps are the new stars for all the couples who can't get their own children anymore. Harmony and Melody are sixteen-year-old identical twins who were separated at birth. They are reunited the day Harmony, who was brought up in a religious community, shows up on Melody's doorstep and wants to convince her that bumping with a stranger for money is just not acceptable.
Melody and Harmony are twins but have very different opinions about the whole pro teen pregnancy hype going on. One of them is supposed to get pregnant very soon, the other isn't at all for premarital sex. It's not all about sex, there is still room for proper love stories for both teens, that were surprisingly funny and cute to follow. So BUMPED has a good portion of contemporary romance feel to it.
Harmony is highly religious and believes in God and keeping herself pure. I liked Harmony's story a little less because of its overly religious touch, which sometimes was just too much.
In our world people aren't always that enthusiastic about teenagers getting pregnant early, so it was a smart move of Megan McCafferty to base her story on a society that depends on teenagers getting pregnant, making BUMPED a provocative and very controverse read.

3,5/5 ***/* BUMPED - YA contemporary queen Megan McCafferty shows her talent to spin mere ideas into an affecting and thought-provoking dystopian novel. 

A future world with advanced technologies and a society plagued by infertility is kicking off debates about teen pregnancy, sex and all different kinds of aspects about adoption, religion and the right to decide what's best for you, your heart and your body.  

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: April 26th 2011
Length: 323 pages
Keywords: YA, dystopian fiction, romance, teen pregnancy, sex
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

I have no idea why I don't read Middle Grade books on a more regular basis. Starting WONDER I expected an emotional story - and emotional it was. It is the story of August Pullman, a boy with an unique facial deformity.
So far he's never attended a regular school, but his first day of school in 5th grade is nearing. It was interesting to witness the process of socialisation and integration of Auggie into the class and seeing how other children reacted to him.
WONDER is told from Auggie’s perspective, an utterly honest and brave little voice. Auggie’s sister Via, his best friends and Via’s friend share their views and reactions on current events and their relationship to Auggie, too. Overall WONDER is written in a very easy and authentic language.
Chapters are rather short and are oriented at Auggie’s events, realisations or experiences. Familiar episodes alternate with Auggie’s experiences in a new school environment, daily life scenarios and the blooming bonds of true friendship, acceptance and respect.

5/5 ***** WONDER - This is a story about many first days of school, moments of bravery and a small boy who shows unbelievable greatness.

Auggie is a truly wonderful boy. What he lacks in conventionally good looks he has in integrity and natural sense for other people's feelings and intentions. He is one of the most adorable MG characters, one who earned my trust in his strength after only a few minutes into his story. 

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: February 14th 2012
Length: 315 pages
Keywords: Middle Grade, school, friends, family, facial deformity
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry

Meeting the love of your life in front of a school social worker's office isn't a sweet start? Well, read PUSHING THE LIMITS and reconsider. Echo and Noah both have issues and secrets of their own, but that doesn't keep them from colliding with each other. Logic and reason out of the way, they just want to get the other mad, tease, and get closer, much closer than to any other person ever before.
Their love story is one of the extreme kinds, they are both very torn characters and their romance is just the same.
What kind of threw me off the story, only a small detail that had an amazingly big effect on me liking the story a bit less, were the names Noah and Echo were calling each other. I just can't stand for a girl being called Baby more than once in a story.
The title is well chosen since there's always a constant pushing and pulling marking the relationship of Echo and Noah. They get to tell parts of the story from their perspectives and you see that they are both strong personalities, who are stubborn and not always willing to give in first. Especially chapters from Noah's point of view are marked with strong language, drug abuse, drinking and sex.

4/5 **** PUSHING THE LIMITS – A YA contemporary debut with a scorching love story with depth and an addictively written plot demanding to be devoured in one sitting.

PUSHING THE LIMITS is the first book in the highly acclaimed romantic series by Katie McGarry. Fans of Simone Elkeles should definitely find a new favourite read in Katie's debut novel.

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: July 31st 2012
Length: 392 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, family, loss
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mini Reviews #21

Any fans here of SPELLBOUND by Cara Lynn Shultz? If you haven't read its sequel you should definitely get to it now. THE VESPERTINE by Saundra Mitchell could be a book for readers who enjoy historical YA. And the third mini review is for Anna Sheehan's A LONG, LONG SLEEP, a Sleeping Beauty re-telling of the cheerless kind.

Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Emma and Brendan finally broke the old curse that burdened their love, but a new enemy is coming for them, intending to use their powers for her own evil plans. SPELLCASTER is the second and last book in the SPELLBOUND series.
Emma and Brendan's romance intensifies a bit, but not as much as one could've hoped for in a sequel. They might have lost some of their original magic in consequence of too much secret-keeping and not trusting the other to be strong enough to handle any upcoming difficulties. It was still good to see them again, spending more time together, as Brendan and Emma have a natural charm as a couple that is just meant to be together.
SPELLCASTER has one last trial to test their love for each other, a mean witch. The antagonist wasn't as scary and unpredictable as the enemy Emma and Brendan had to face in SPELLBOUND. Great is that we learn more about Emma's ancient powers to cast spells. She's practicing a lot and we can be front row spectators of her magical achievements.

4/5 **** SPELLCASTER – An encore to Brendan and Emma's cute and hip New York love story, upping the paranormal power use and all that's at risk.

If you loved SPELLBOUND you definitely want to read this sequel about the last trial to test Emma and Brendan's love for each other. In the extra section of SPELLCASTER fans are supplied with playlists of songs on Emma and Brendan's iPods, very good bonus!

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: March 27th 2012
Length: 371 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, evil witch, magic, New York
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell

In the Baltimore summer of 1889 Amelia van den Broek is plagued by visions. People are asking for her advice and prophecies, but then terrible things start happening. Can Amelia find a way out of it all and trick fate?
THE VESPERTINE is told by young and adventure-seeking Amelia who is new to Baltimore and soaks up every tiny detail about the city and the people she meets, making this a very descriptive read.
Like other 19th century tales Amelia's story is very much about her relationship to her family, which has been problematic thanks to the visions she's been having. Amelia is haunted by them and fears that they turn out to be true. Those visions bring a high mystery and paranormal factor to her story.
Amelia is also supposed to find a well-respected suitor. So when she falls for Nathaniel, someone she shouldn't be seeing at all, it's clear that theirs is no easy love. Nothing in Amelia's story struck me as overly outstanding, but all in all following her new start in Baltimore made for a pleasant read. 

3/5 *** THE VESPERTINE - This historical YA read right out of the Victorian era convinces with its paranormal elements and a heroine like no other.

For those of you who enjoyed THE VESPERTINE, Saundra Mitchell wrote two  historical YA companion novels, following Amelia's cousin Zora and Kate Witherspoon. You don't come across companion novels in this genre too often, so give this series a go and get three novels to fall in love with.

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: March 7th 2011
Length: 293 pages
Keywords: YA, romance, historical fiction, visions, Baltimore, 19th century
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan

It was only supposed to be a short nap in her stasis tube, but it will take sixty-two years for Rose to open her eyes again. Her parents are dead, the boy who kissed her awake is a stranger and the world she wakes up to is one that couldn't be more foreign.
The story of Sleeping Beauty has always been among my favourite fairy tales, so I gave A LONG, LONG SLEEP a go. Sadly, it wasn't at all as I'd imagined it. The futuristic world A LONG, LONG SLEEP is set in feels inconsistent and was completely unfulfilling just as its plot. I pitied Rose most of the time, none of her relationships to other characters did catch my attention and her love story (or better non-romance) with the mystery boy who kissed her awake is terribly dull.
Maybe Rose's story could've been stronger if it had been planned for two or three books instead of a standalone.

2/5 ** A LONG, LONG SLEEP - A Sleeping Beauty re-telling lacking the entrancement of its original inspiration.

This almost felt alien since it couldn't be further away from the original tale than the story that Anna Sheehan wrote. I guess she attempted a brave approach, but at no point did A LONG, LONG SLEEP feel like a story I'd want to read again.

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publishing Date: August 11th 2011
Length: 342 pages
Keywords: YA, romance, fairy tale, re-telling, Sleeping Beauty, futuristic world
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Monday, January 6, 2014

Mini Reviews #20

Today I dug out three of my oldest review titles from 2011 and 2012, GIRL WONDER by Alexa Martin, WHERE IT BEGAN by Ann Redisch Stampler and THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS by Terra Elan McVoy.

Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

It's senior year and since her parents decided to move, Charlotte has to attend a new school and with that make new friends, too. From the beginning Charlotte's story is all about her school life.
She has a learning disability and isn't very good with numbers. GIRL WONDER shows that you can't be good at everything and even if you have flaws and weaknesses you should still be respected and not treated any differently for it.
So GIRL WONDER has all the main issues occupying a teen's mind. School days, family dinner conversations, new friends, and two boys, Neal and Milton, warring for Charlotte's heart. GIRL WONDER is about learning to grow up, to trust the right people and leave those behind who don't trust in you. How does Charlotte decide who is right for her?
My favourite thing about Alexa Martin's debut novel was its setting, the rural landscape, pine trees, snowy mountains that brought on an extra winter charm and fun activities like skiing.

3/5 *** GIRL WONDER – An average YA contemporary read for a younger audience about a girl finding her way in life .

Somehow the cover of GIRL WONDER made me assume I'd picked up a book with paranormal background, only to discover a plain and common YA contemporary story. I couldn't relate to the characters very well, but the story kept me entertained to some extend.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: May 3rd 2011
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, new girl, romance, learning disability
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Gabby wakes up in a hospital, suffering from memory loss. She has no idea what led to the car accident that brought her here. Suddenly her boyfriend, popular Billy Nash, is distancing himself from her and it's Gabby's turn to find out what happened that night.
Gabby is a main character with a bunch of problems in tow, a person that is hard to figure out. There is a big difference between the person she truly is and the person other people want her to be, especially her boyfriend Billy and her mother Vivian. Ann Redisch Stampler did a good job building up the inevitable conflict between her characters. Her fine writing supports the incoherent and hesitant thoughts and feelings that are inside our protagonist very well.
There are only a few characters that I did like in WHERE IT BEGAN. The entire time I didn’t know what to think of Billy Nash, Gabby’s boyfriend (not a good sign). I was engaged in their romance, even though I constantly had a nagging feeling that something about it wasn’t quite right.
Gabby’s task to find out what happened the night of her accident is in the main focus of the story and it's definitely one mystery that you want to see solved.

3/5 *** WHERE IT BEGAN – A YA contemporary debut with an initially interesting clue hunt and questions about trust, true love and loyalty.

The strong pull I felt towards Gabby's story at first slowly started to ebb away with every new cryptic chapter that followed. I was eager to find out what happened to Gabby that night, I highly felt for her, and wanted her so badly to regain her memory. But when I started to figure out what happened that night before she did, I just couldn't stand to see her be so blind to every person around her treating her in a way that wasn't acceptable anymore.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: March 6th 2012
Length: 369 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, memory loss, car accident
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Author's Homepage

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy 

The three sisters Calla, Violet and Daisy are attending summer camp together. Calla has a huge crush on her best friend Duncan, Violet is into James, a boy she isn't supposed to fall for and Daisy is finding out what it means to be Joel's girlfriend. 
There's much going on in the lives of the three teenage girls and them being sisters doesn't make it easier. They are often petulant and don't always want to listen to the wise words of an older sister. Violet, Daisy and Calla have known each other their entire lives, and listening to them and seeing the three sisters interact was exhausting sometimes. They have these stupid nicknames for each other and all three girls are named after a flower. Minor details, but enough to tick me off more than once.
Violet, Daisy and Calla all get their own chapters to tell their camp stories. Of course boys play a role, too. But sometimes friendship and family are more important and come before anything else. The three girls discover what matters to them most in different ways.

3/5 *** THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS – Frisky and youthful, this is a light summer read with fun setting and an often irritating  sister trio.

THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS is about everything that could equal summer for three teenage girls. It's as much about sisterhood and family, growing together as growing apart as learning to stand on your own two feet and make your own decisions.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: May 3rd 2011
Length: 423 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, summer camp, three sisters, friendship
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Author's Homepage

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mini Reviews #19

The first Mini Reviews post in 2014 introduces you to three YA contemporary stories that I read or started in 2013. So much high praise for THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales and I couldn't resist to pick up a copy. I had high expectations for NOBODY BUT US by Kristin Halbrook and SUCH A RUSH by Jennifer Echols, too, unfortunately they weren't met in the end.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Elise is friendless, she is lonely and an outsider in every possible social scenario. And when life couldn't look any less dead-end, she discovers the magic of music at a warehouse party. The opportunity to DJ there opens up a chance to experience life in a whole new way. Maybe Elise isn't lost yet...
Elise is only sixteen and she's already part of the DJ and nightclub scene. I didn't think her too young to go out to the warehouse parties she's attending, playing music, meeting new people. Scoring a DJ job was functioning like a therapy and as much as you hurt with Elise for everything that's happened to her so far, you also see that there's a bright future ahead if she just keeps doing what she loves.
Having no friends in school, no one to turn to, never feeling accepted or even being bullied are very relevant for Elise's story. Everyone of us can in some way relate to this young girl and her thoughts about life, friendship and love. She's searching for meaning, unconsciously wanting help and waiting for that one moment that finally points her in the right direction.
Music is of high importance for Elise's story, too. It has soothing and healing qualities, is her best friend in the worst moments of her life. As much as the music and the fascinating new DJ job are drawing you into the story, Elise's love story with the local DJ, Char, does the same. But unless the strong music parts, the romance lost me somewhere on its way. So I suggest you start THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE with the desire to fall in love with Elise's music rather than her love interest.

4/5 **** THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE – Leila Sales' third book is equipped with the perfect tune to touch many readers' hearts with its musical magic.

THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is about Elise's favourite bands and songs and the music that influences her life. I'm not very into the music that she listens to. Reading about the power of the songs she plays, I know I have a lot of music education to make up for, starting with Elise's playlist now.

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 
Publishing Date: September 17th 2013
Length: 288 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, music, DJ'ing, friendship, romance
Source: Bought for Kindle
Author's Homepage

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Zoe and Will are young and in love. They both haven't grown up in the most stable environment and without a big family who showed them kindness and understanding. Their problems make them want to run away so badly. And then they do... 
It's a lot of fuss about nothing. Yes, Will and Zoe didn't have the easiest childhood, far from it, and they are dissatisfied with their current situation. Originally I thought about them running away as an exciting adventure to find themselves and solve their problems. Only along the way offences kept accumulating and things got more out of hand and complicated the longer they ran. But did they do anything to solve their problems and think up a way to make things better? Not at all. They just ran without thinking about the consequences and act without thinking what it could do to others.
A dual point of view is implemented to show how troubled both of them are and that they are a perfect match. Their romance was one of the most immature and unfulfilling I've read about in a while, Will and Zoe are not a couple I could make myself sympathize with.

2/5 ** NOBODY BUT US - This is the story of rash and immature Zoe and Will who were not the thrill-seeking, brave and clever couple I was looking foward to meet.

 Very poor Bonnie and Clyde retelling, without the glamour and brains of their role models. When I first heard about NOBODY BUS US I expected a very intense love story (which it is) but it stressed me out more than it grew on me, ending in a complete disappointment. 

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: January 29th 2013
Length: 272 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, romance, runaways, troubled teens
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

Leah spent her life on the move, from one trailer park to the next. Being stuck with her uncaring mother and a hopeless future, Leah decides to become a pilot and get away from all of it. She starts flying with Mr. Hall, training to fly planes and there she meets his two sons who are going to play a big role in her life, too.  
Grayson and Alec are getting to know Leah better only now. Grayson and Leah's love story could've been romantic, but not with the lies and deceit that Grayson unnecessarily brings into our story. And it annoyed me beyond belief that he wanted his brother Alec to seduce Leah while truly Grayson wanted her for himself. It's an unfair, oppressive and stupid game the teens are playing.
The majority of dialogues is unsatisfactory and very often infuriating in their naivety and impertinence. And the characters didn't feel well-rounded and too imbalanced in all their extreme behaviours. The only thing that kept me reading were Jennifer's well-written love scenes, which I devoured in no time.
Airplanes and flying are the main theme of SUCH A RUSH. Leah is working at a small airport and is dreaming about becoming a pilot herself one day. The flying gives her space and opens up a whole new world of possibilities, freedom and happiness. It was cool to learn more about the different types of planes and how they are functioning.

3,5/5 ***/* SUCH A RUSH - A pilot girl fighting for her future and sexy scenes on the one hand, upsetting romantic confusions and redundant dialogues on the other.

SUCH A RUSH appeared to be pretty unpolished, with many rough edges I didn't like. Why did the characters have to be so obnoxiously stubborn and inconsiderate of other people's feelings all the time? I'd like to read this story again, the nice version please. 

Publisher: MTV Books
Publishing Date: July 10th 2012
Length: 325 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, flying, love triangle, brothers
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage

Friday, January 3, 2014

Book Review: Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles

Title: Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1)
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publishing Date: October 1st 2013
Length: 342 pages
Keywords: YA, fiction, contemporary, romance, football, patchwork family
Source: Netgalley

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Summary by Goodreads

Derek and Ashtyn are yet another of Simone Elkeles' impulsive pairings who have to go a long way to finally disclose their feelings for each other. They are both quite hot tempered and very stubborn in their own ways. As always it was a pleasure to witness one of Simone Elkeles' turbulent romances evolve.

Derek might be introduced as the bad boy who breaks every girl's heart, but his true side is much more vulnerable and relaxed than anyone outside of his family would ever see. He and Ashtyn both have moving pasts that are constantly coming back to them and majorly affect their present and future together.  

Their living situation, Ashtyn and Derek in the same house, leads to a delicious attraction and constant electricity between the two of them. Them getting together would be so much more complicated for the whole family. There's also a thrilling and sneaky side to it that makes it so much more of a fun game both of them can't resist to play.
You'll also love the scenes circling around their patchwork family life. There's always something going on at their house that should keep you entertained in between very fulfilling make-out sessions and the rivalry with another football team.

Football's a huge part of Ashytn's life as it's her only hope to finally get away from her hometown and her dad. It's her great passion and Derek isn't a stranger to the sport either. I grew to like the sport very much in Miranda Keneally's CATCHING JORDAN and was happy to see football and especially the reality of female players with serious talent getting some more attention in Simone Elkeles newest YA book, too. 

WILD CARDS had very much the same feel to it like Simone's previous three Fuentes books, without the Spanish cultural background, yet not missing the hot tempered relationships. 
Simone Elkeles supplies us with a male and female perspective on the story. It's one of Simone's best writing traits, considering the need of so many readers to be in both of her characters' heads. And I definitely needed to be in Derek's head at some points during the story or I might not have cared about him as much as I did in the end (very much!).

4,5/5 ****/* WILD CARDS – An absorbing and energizing new YA game.

I expected no less than a very unpredictable love story, a couple with fiery tempers. A road trip, an unforgettable first meeting and an alluring story line should be argument enough to convince not only the football fans to pick up WILD CARDS. Very pleased to see there's already a second book in this series in work.

""You want to join me, Sugar Pie?"
I look down at my football jersey. "I'm not dressed for a party, and you didn't answer my question."
"I answered it. You comin' or not?"
He walks out of the room when I don't join him, leaving me alone with his grandmother. "Well, that was...entertaining, to say the least," she says" ― p. 270

WILD CARDS you might also enjoy CATCHING JORDAN by Miranda Kenneally and SHUT OUT by Kody Keplinger with two strong heroines who are caught in different kinds of football rivalries. Or maybe you like HOOKED by Liz Fichera about a girl on the school's golf team being not very welcome. 


* Haven't you read Simone's PERFECT CHEMISTRY series, yet? Get started now!

* Click here for an excerpt of WILD CARDS.

* Watch the first episode of WILD CARDS on Youtube.

* For more information about Simone and her books visit


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Books Read in 2013

In the beginning of 2013 I challenged myself to read 108 books (one more than the year before). In November I realized I wouldn't make that goal and set the goal to 100 instead. I didn't make that goal either, but I'm still very happy with all the titles I chose to read last year. In the end I read 93 books. 
I reviewed 70 books of the 93 I read (with one re-read). My resolution for 2014 will be to write the missing reviews and review every old Netgalley title I read in the past years, leave more comments on my favourite blogs, discover many new authors and read at leat ten debut novels.


Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty  5/5 stars - Review JANUARY FAVOURITE
Paper Valentine by Branna Yovanoff 3,5/5 stars - Review 
One Perfect Summer by Paige Toon 4,5/5 stars - Review

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis 5/5 stars - Review JANUARY FAVOURITE
Crave by Melissa Darnell 3/5 stars - Review


Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick 4/5 stars - Review
Pivot Point by Kasie West 5/5 stars - Review FEBRUARY FAVOURITE
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick 3/5 stars - Review
Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi 4,5/5 stars - Review


This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith 4/5 stars - Review
Requiem by Lauren Oliver 4,5/5 stars - Review
Ordinary Beauty by Laure Wiess 4,5/5 stars - Review
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally 5/5 stars - Review MARCH FAVOURITE
She's So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott 3/5 stars - Review
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare 5/5 stars - Review MARCH FAVOURITE
He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott 3/5 stars - Review


This Is So Not Happening by Kieran Scott 3/5 stars - Review
Reboot by Amy Tintera 3,5/5 stars - Review
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson 5/5 stars - Review APRIL FAVOURITE
Wherever You Go by Heather Davis 4/5 stars - Review
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson 4,5/5 stars - Review APRIL FAVOURITE
Boundless by Cynthia Hand 4/5 stars - Review
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma 2/5 stars - Review


The Elite by Kiera Cass 3,5/5 stars - Review
Cinder by Marissa Meyer 3,5/5 stars - Review
How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 5/5 stars- Review (Re-Read)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa 4/5 stars - Review
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross 3/5 stars - Review 
Slide by Jill Hatahway 3,5/5 stars- Review
Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 4/5 stars- Review
Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting 4/5 stars - Review MAY FAVOURITE
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins 5/5 stars - Review MAY FAVOURITE
Imposter by Jill Hathaway 3,5/5 stars - Review


The Impossibility of Tomorrow by Avery Wiliams 5/5 stars - Review JUNE FAVOURITE
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen 1,5/5 stars - Review
The Longest Holiday by Paige Toon 4/5 stars - Review
Of Triton by Anna Banks 3,5/5 stars - Review
Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne 4/5 stars - Review
Golden by Jessi Kirby 4/5 stars - Review
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 4,5/5 stars - Review JUNE FAVOURITE
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 3,5/5 stars - Review
Mercy by Rebecca Lim 1,5/5 stars - Review
The Sound by Sarah Alderson 4,5/5 stars - Review


Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess 4/5 stars - Review
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill 5/5 stars - Review JULY FAVOURITE
Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross 2/5 stars 
Timepiece by Myra McEntire 5/5 stars - Review
Infinityglass by Myra McEntire 4,5/5 stars - Review
Allegiance by Cayla Kluver 4/5 stars - Review
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi 4,5/5 stars - Review
The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler 4/5 stars - Review
Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead 3/5 stars - Review
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris 4,5/5 stars
Frostbite by Richelle Mead 5/5 stars - Review


Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead 4,5/5 stars - Review
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead 5/5 stars - Review
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead 4,5/5 stars - Review
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby 4/5 stars - Review
Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead 5/5 stars - Review
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas 3,5/5 stars - Review
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West 3,5/5 stars - Review
Ten by Gretchen McNeil 3,5/5 stars - Review
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen 4,5/5 stars - Review
Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols 3,5/5 stars
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 5/5 stars - Review AUGUST FAVOURITE


Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles 4,5/5 stars
From What I Remember  by Stacy Kramer and Valeria Thomas 4/5 stars - Review
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook 2/5 stars
Little White Lies by Katie Dale 4,5/5 stars - Review SEPTEMBER FAVOURITE
The Hundred by Kass Morgan 4/5 stars


The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain 4/5 stars
Captive: The Forbidden Side of Nightshade by A.D. Robertson 3,5/5 stars - Review
Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally 4/5 stars - Review
The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles 3/5 stars
Allegiant by Veronica Roth 4,5/5 stars - Review OCTOBER FAVOURITE
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor 4/5 stars


Unbreakable by Kami Garcia 4/5 stars - Review
A Gift To Remember by Melissa Hill 3,5/5 stars - Review
Panic by Lauren Oliver 4/5 stars NOVEMBER FAVOURITE
Jessica Darling's It  List #1 by Megan McCafferty 4/5 stars
The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone 3/5 stars
The Taking by Kimberly Derting 4/5 stars
A Match Made In Highschool by Kristin Walker 3/5 stars
Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle 4,5/5 stars NOVEMBER FAVOURITE
The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver 3/5 stars


Teardrop by Lauren Kate 4/5 stars - Review
A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young 3/5 stars
When The Guns Fall Silent by James Riordan 4/5 stars
Split Second by Kasie West 4,5/5 stars
Everbound by Brodi Ashton 5/5 stars - Review DECEMBER FAVOURITE
Wicked Games by Sean Olin 2,5/5 stars
Evertrue by Brodi Ashton 4/5 stars
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning 5/5 stars DECEMBER FAVOURITE