Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mini Reviews #32

Today I've got a small selection of some of my last summer reads. If you haven't read them already I can definitely recommend you pick up a copy of Catherine Clark and Robin Constantine's latest books!

Eleven Things I Promised by Catherine Clark

Seventeen-year-old Frances sets out on a bike race with friends from her high school to do every item on a special list dedicated to reconnecting with her best friend. Sounds unusual, right? I was surprised by the pitch of such an original YA story and certainly wasn't disappointed in the end. Frances was such a sensitive, strong and determined protagonist whose love and dedication to her best friends shine through even more brightly in the hardest moments of her trip. Considering she isn't even trained to go on that bike race one could consider her a lunatic, but couldn't she also be considered a hero? As the group around the racers grows closer together the further they go, the reader can't resist being drawn into this positive spirit as well. A few very sweet, funny and even unexpected romantic moments and adventures are to be expected along the way to this beautiful summer read.

4/5 stars **** ELEVEN THINGS I PROMISED – A strong message of friendship and the promise for adventure combine into a perfect summer read!

ELEVEN THINGS I PROMISED is a very active and optimistic story about friendship, personal happiness and being brave. Highly recommended!

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: April 5th 2016
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, love, friendship, bike race
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary  

The Season of You and Me by Robin Constantine

Cassidy just knows her summer is going to be miserable. Her boyfriend broke up with her and now she is set to spend the summer with her father and his new family in a small beach town. Couldn't there be a better place to mend a broken heart?
Bryan is living in a place other people visit to only spend their summers. But what once was a dream has become a nightmare. An accident a year ago put him in a wheelchair and now he is dealing with all the consequences one stupid choice has brought upon him. Written from alternating perspectives, Cass and Bryan slowly fall in love with each other effortlessly and with the warm fluttery feelings of summer.
The Bed and Breakfast of Cass`s father and his new wife is this dreamy and idyllic place near the beach and I often caught myself wishing to be spending some time there as well. It`s also the perfect place for Cass to grow closer to her family again and find out who she really wants to be. The relationship between Cassidy and her little brother is adorable and apart from her ex-boyfriend she finally has the space to do the things that make her happy, showing readers what's most important in life. Bryan is this very honest and vibrant boy you just have to fall in love with. His disability is often a topic throughout the story and we get the chance to learn how Bryan experiences his new life. Very honest, very rewarding story!

4/5 stars **** THE SEASON OF YOU AND ME – Beach vibes, a light summery romance with emotional depth!

THE SEASON OF YOU AND ME is a great collection of funny little moments, emotional bonds between family and new friends and the thrill of new experiences and the importance of new chances.

Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: May 10th 2016
Length: 352 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, love, friendship, beach, disability
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary  

We Were Never Here by Jennifer Gilmore

In Jennifer Gilmore's WE WERE NEVER HERE Lizzie meets Connor at the hospital. She is dangerously sick and he is selflessly paying visits to her as a patient. I had high hopes for Connor and Lizzie and appreciated that their budding romance alternated with very real scenes of medical appointments and diary entries about them. Connor is this selfless, sensitive boy and he loves his dog above all things. Doesn`t that just melt your heart? Well, maybe he isn`t the nice boy next door he pretends to be. And as the story unfolded it was with all the pretending and secrets that revolved around his person and their relationship that somehow soured down the at first sweet taste of their connection.

2,5/5 stars **/* WE WERE NEVER HERE – Strong emotions, adventurous moments and bad decisions.

This book is about some very great and moving topics that explore what being human really means in your darkest times. Jennifer Gilmore shows in a very gentle way what connecting with a person and learning to live can really mean but in the end and a handful of story twists later the story was just lacking empathy.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 14th 2015
Length: 320 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, love, health, recovery
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Book Review: Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan

Publisher: Doubleday
Publishing Date: January 26th 2017
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: space adventure, sci-fi, romance 
Source: Publisher

Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left. None of this was supposed to happen. But perhaps this doesn’t need to be the end…

Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can’t help but look back at the well-ordered world they have left behind – at the rules they couldn’t reconcile themselves to, and a life to which they might now never return. For in a world where love is banned, what happens when you find it?


HOLD BACK THE STARS was among the first books I read this year and if this one book set the course for my reading year I should expect some more glorious reading experiences coming my way. I've read a bunch of brilliant space adventures including THESE BROKEN STARS, ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and ILLUMINAE and Katie Khan's new book certainly deserves its spot beside those on my list of favourites. For starters, the time limit of 90 minutes makes for an exciting incentive and brings a certain drive to the story.

The love story Katie Khan gifted to her protagonists Carys and Max is bitter sweet yet every little piece is as rewarding as it is heartbreaking. Once the story fully evoles everything is a whirlwind of emotions and you can't but deeply care about them. Carys and Max fit perfectly together with all their imperfections and flaws and on this track we get to explore what it truly means to care for someone in every future possible.

HOLDING BACK THE STARS works perfectly with a very limited cast of characters because it sets an important focus to the story dedicating it truly to the two epic lovers. Flashbacks offer pieces of both of Carys and Max's past alternating with the moments they spend suspended in space. In those flashbacks the reader learns even more about the new exciting and futuristic world building Katie Khan invented for her stunning YA debut.

5/5 ***** HOLD BACK THE STARS - Best emotionally explosive debut to kick off 2017! 

Katie Khan's debut deserves all the (rating) stars in the universe as HOLD BACK THE STARS is a fantastic space adventure with charismatic protagonists and a thrilling race against time in the battle between life, love and death.