The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is a cute contemporary romance novel. It takes place in a small town on the east coast and is about the relationship between Caymen and Xander. Caymen works at the porcelain doll store of her mother and wants to get out of this town as fast as possible. The store life’s from rich people who buy dolls but lately the finances do not look good. Caymen and her mother have a hard time getting by. So Caymen has a lot of reasons to resent the rich customers that frequent her store. When Xander comes in it is clear that he has money. Actually his family has money. And to top this he looks amazingly good. But Caymen has one rule: Never get involved with a rich guy.
Of course Caymen and Xander can’t stand away from each other and they become friends. Or are even more than friends? Caymen finally begins to see that money is not always a way to make your life easy. Xander has problems, just like she does and she slowly gets to know his world. There is also Caymen’s mom who seems to have a lot of secrets and hides things from Caymen. And what will the two of them do when the store can’t make any money more? So this is what The Distance Between us is all about. When I read this book I wanted a fast and cute contemporary and this is what I got. But I was not amazed by this book. It was okay but unfortunately forgettable. Caymen is highly annoying in her prejudices against all people with money and has no idea that maybe Xander’s world is not as perfect as she thinks. I did no really feel the love between Caymen and Xander and also there were the typical misunderstandings you find in so many romance books. I’m over the obligatory lack of communication between characters. Don’t get mad with the guy and run away. Why do people always run away in books and movies? It’s so stupid, I hate it. So this is kind of the climax of this book, the running away, not talking with each other and thinking everything is over. This is so exhausting, authors, please stop it!
But after all, this book was cute and kind of fun. I read it in one day so it’s a really fast read. I like the small town setting but did not like the rich/poor issues. Also I have to admit that I thought this book is about a long distance relationship but that was not the case so I was a little bit disappointed. But that’s totally on me not reading the synopsis. So if you search for a quick and easy read with not much depth and good looking character you may find what you are looking for.
Roomies is a contemporary book by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. When Elizabeth from New Jersey get’s an email with the contact information of her new college roomie Lauren from San Francisco, she immediately sends her a message to get to know her. This sparks a continuous series of emails in which the two girls get to know each other. They get to know each other over the course of the summer before they meet at college for the first time.
Elizabeth and Lauren could not be more different. Elizabeth lives with her mom, who is not often home. She is an only child and wants to major in landscaping architecture. When she does not work you can find Elizabeth on the beach with her friends. Lauren has no time to go to the beach. She has five siblings and Lauren is the oldest. So she helps out a lot in the house but secretly needs some alone time really bad. Lauren can’t wait to get her own single room in college. But then there is this email from her new roommate so it seems that the single room will not work out after all. But they have at least one thing in common, they both start college in the fall and will have to leave home. It turns out leaving and growing up is not as easy. They both have a hard time leaving their families and friends. And at the worst timing imaginable, both Elizabeth and Lauren meet cute guys that are just a summer fling or maybe more?
Roomies is a classic coming of age story told in two perspectives and partly over emails. Elizabeth and Lauren soon start to over share their secrets because it is so easy to do. Just send a quick email. But the problem is, they don’t know each other and misunderstandings can be expected when communicating with one another through email. For the cuteness factor there is a little bit of romance thrown in but it felt more like friendships for me. I liked this book and at the end it got emotional. I love all the books that deal with college so Roomies was a must read for me. But I could not connect with the main characters. Lauren felt to judgmental and Elizabeth too needy. Most of their decisions felt strange for me but the book was so short that I read in very fast. It’s a classic contemporary about growing up, making new friends and prepare for college.
Beautiful Disaster is a book that is somewhere between the Young Adult and New Adult genre. It is written by Jamie McGuire and there are a bunch of companion novels and novellas with the same characters as Beautiful Disaster. It is about Abby who is your typical good girl. She tries to stay clear of trouble. But somehow trouble has a way of finding her. This time it is Travis, the college man-whore and he seems to have developed a special interest for Abby. She is having none of it but how long can she resist his charm? The both agree to participate in a bet. If Abby wins Travis has to remain celibate for one month. If Travis wins Abby has to live in his apartment for a month. And you surely can guess how this bet is going to end?
His book was a rollercoaster ride but not in a good way. The writing was confusing and all over the place. Sometimes it felt like a drunken person had written it, especially with scenes where a lot is happening. It reminded me so much of Colleen Hoover and you know I’m not her biggest fan. Thank god it was not as bad as Colleen Hoover’s books but close enough. I really liked the beginning. The first 100 pages were great but then everything turned bad. The character development was completely out of nowhere and was not relatable at all. As the book progressed I started to resent Abby because she acts like a spoiled brat. And Travis was no better, he needs therapy ASAP. He is obviously mental unstable. The two of them combined where a disaster but not a beautiful one. Their relationship was unhealthy and abusive on both sides. And the whole mystery of Abby’s past was just so ridicules. What reminded me so much of Colleen Hoover’s books were the dramatic events at the end of the book that came completely out of the blue and did nothing to the story than create cliffhangers.
Beautiful Disaster is maybe a love story but a dangerous one. It seems like a conservative college student turn all her dreams about taming the bad boy into a book and that’s that. If you think the relationship of Abby and Travis is something you want, you are wrong (or masochistic). The author clearly never had a relationship that is so obsessive and co-dependent, because than she would know who toxic such a relationship really is and that it is not love but pure obsession. Girls, don’t set your romantic goals in this direction. Also Travis misogynistic opinions are disgusting and should not be in a book that is directed at girls and woman. This is not something you glorify and I think it sends an extremely dangerous message to young readers.
The high tech space ship Icarus crashed. No one knows why but it went down on a foreign planet. The only two survivors are Lilac and Tarver. Lilac is the only daughter of the richest man in the universe. She is the heiress to her father’s company and everyone in the galaxy knows Lilac. Tarver on the other hand is soldier and war hero. He did not grow up in wealth like Lilac. So these two characters are totally different and make no good team at all. But they have to start working together because that is their only chance of survival. Lilac and Tarver embark on journey to safety through an unknown plant were weird things are happening. And I don’t mean that the two very different young people become fond of each other.
These broken Stars is a survival story disguised as a romance in outer space with a little bit of mystery. It has some romantic parts but there is not too much romance. I liked the characters very much and there is more to them that meets the eye. This book is co-written by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner and their writing is very versatile. The two authors have very different writing styles and I could always tell without reading the caption, whose chapter it is. You can clearly differentiate between Lilac and Tarvner and I loved it because this is something rare in duo point of views. There are some twists and turns that I did not expect.
This book is not fast paced. It takes some time to get to know the characters. The story picks up at the last 150 pages. But power trough the slower part because it gets really good and the ending is great. Unfortunately there is not a lot of world building. There are some scenes with space travel and glimpses of the world but it was not enough for me. The book is really short so I don’t get why there is so little world building and explaining but maybe this will come in the next book in this series. This shattered World is going to be released in late December. The Starbound novels are also in talks of becoming a TV show. I’m not quite sure if this story would work as a TV show though because there is a lot of inner monologue and the two perspectives are important to the story.
A lot of people are comparing this book with Under the Never Sky which I also have read. I did not like Under the Never Sky as much as I liked These broken Stars. In this book the characters seem more mature and also the whole story is more evolved than the one in Under the Never Sky. I did not love this book but I it was still a great book but maybe a little too short. So if you like survival stories pick this one up and tell me how you liked it.
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is about 18 years old Darcy Patel who wrote a novel in her last year of high school and got a publishing deal. So she moves to New York to rewrite her first novel Afterworlds and work on the sequel. She dives into the publishing world and tries to become a part of the YA writer community in New York. She also meets a fellow writer and falls in love. Darcy’s novel Afterworlds is a paranormal romance. Her protagonist Lizzie survives a terrorist attack by slipping into the afterworld, a place kind of like a limbo between the living and the dead. Lizzie discovers that she can slip through both worlds and has other powers because of her encounter with the afterworld. She also meets a death god and falls in love with him. Westerfeld’s book Afterworlds tells the story of Darcy and the struggles of being a writer. As we follow Darcy we read her finished book back to back with her story. After every chapter with Darcy follows a chapter with Lizzie and her story in the afterworld.
I loved this book and think it is very enjoyable when you want to know more about the publishing world. I had no idea how book tours work or how a novel gets written but I love writing and books so this was the perfect novel for me. I think Afterworlds is a book for booklovers. It had everything I wanted it to have. There was this young girl and with her we could discover the publishing industries. The concept of the book highly intrigued me. Westerfeld writes a book in a book. As Darcy’s grows as a writer her book grows too. We see how events in her life influence her writing. But the most impressive thing about Afterworlds is that Lizzie’s chapter seem to be written by a totally different person. Westerfeld accomplishes to write exactly like an 18 year old girl who writes her debut novel. Would I only have read Lizzie’s chapters I would have never thought that this was a Scott Westerfeld book.
I think that the two books (Darcy & Lizzie) would have not worked as separate books. But because they are so beautifully interwoven with each other this is a unique and very interesting reading experience. As often my problem with books that are written in short chapters with different stories I had the problem of switching from story to story. Every time Darcy’s story got really interesting the chapter was over and I was in Lizzie’s world. So reading both stories back to back got exhausting some time. But I was always invested in the story and wanted to keep reading. What I could not wrap my head around were some of Darcy’s decisions about money and college. I could not understand how she could be so irresponsible. She also does not have to confront her problems or has to deal with the consequences. Darcy has it pretty easy at times.
I must say I did like Darcy’s chapters a lot more than I liked Lizzie’s. I think for such a big book deal from the publishing house, Lizzie’s story felt a little flat. I also felt like Lizzie’s book alone was too short. And of course there was instalove in the YA novel which I have a big problem with in general. I just do not like instalove and do not understand why it is so popular? Do you kiss a guy you know nothing about and just met? But besides that Afterworlds was a great book and I loved reading it. It was so in touch with the YA internet culture that I was impressed. I found it so interesting to get to know the publishing world and I immediately wanted to write something of my own.
Book Trailer to Afterworlds:
Mara only knows her name. She wakes up in very strange place full of yellow mist. She has no idea what happened to her. Then she meets the messenger who is dressed completely in black with silver skulls as buttons on his coat. Now the games begin. The messenger sees the darkness in the world and inside humans. He is her to make sure justice is served. If injustice is going unpunished it is the messengers job to offer the wicked a game. Win and they can go free, loose and they will face their greatest fear.
This was my seventh book by Michael Grant. I love his writing style and he definitely knows how to tell a story. But I have to say, his books are extremely violent and this one is especially gruesome. If you do not like gore you should keep your hands off of this book. Michael Grant’s writing is so vivid and realistic that I felt like I was there right with Mara and Messenger. This makes the violent scenes even more intensive. But I love Michael Grant I totally got what he wanted to tell his readers with this story. I do not want to spoil anything so I will not say much. There is a major twist at the end of the book which I kind of saw coming but it was shocking all the same.
Messenger of Fear was such a fast read. I could not put this book down. The story is unbelievable interesting and the tension is there right from the beginning. Even if it is a very short book, I think it will stay a long time in my memory. I loved the philosophical themes in this book and I highly recommend it to fans of Horror and Thriller genres. Also it is beautiful and I love the cover. Make sure that you get this UK edition.
Serena is a drama based on the novel of the same name by American author Ron Rash that stars Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The movie is directed by Danish Susanne Bier who won an Oscar for a movie In a Better World. Serena is set in the 1930s in North Carolina and tells the story of Serena and George Pemberton who rule a lumber empire in the mountains. The movie slowly reveals that Serena is not a gullible female, she is Pemberton’s partner and she can manage his men even better than he does. Serena is ruthless and she will pay every price to take their lumber empire to the top.
I read the book before watching the movie and I was surprised how much I liked the book. It does have some slow parts but tension is building fast even if the pacing is slow. The characters and their lives were interesting. The writing was beautiful and even if I’m not a sucker for describing landscapes, in this book I wanted to read even these passages. But there could have been more dialog for my taste. So after reading this book I had some hopes for the movie. The film does have a lot of star power so I expected a decent drama at least. But these expectations were not met. This movie was just really bad.
Serena could have been a great movie. There were a lot of opportunities for the film to be exciting, bloody and suspenseful. But all those opportunities were neglected. Instead this gruesome book got made into a soft version of it. This could have been a really intense drama about a woman who knows what she wants and will sell her own grandmother if that brings her near her goal. But her cruelty was not portrayed even if Jennifer Lawrence acting is like always remarkable. The movie should have stuck to the book. This movie did not have any tension. When things happened the scenes were way to short. Serena was way too sympathetic, she should have been a bitch. Also the chemistry between her and Bradley Cooper was not there. Also the make-up was awful. Cooper’s and Lawrence’s talent was wasted on this movie. If you are interested in the story, read the book because the movie sucks.