Did I Mention I Love You? (DIMILY trilogy, book 1) #BookReview

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When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego.

Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler? Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.

amazon uk amazon com

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star three and a half

I know that reading young adult novels is not related to age but there was at least one time I couldn’t escape the thought of ‘I’m too old for this’ flashing through my mind.

Would you feel attracted to a moody teenager who can’t say a single nice word to you? Me neither but when Eden arrives at her father’s new place and meets his new family she can’t help being very interested in Tyler. Too much for her own good btw as he’s a) already taken and b) euhm.. family. She must have seen something in his eyes that I obviously didn’t share because I couldn’t immediately see past his arrogant, egotistical attitude. I had my eyes on another guy right away, someone who was more of a gentleman but of course Eden has a penchant for a bad boy type of guy.

I get it though, Tyler’s mysterious ways are a serious X-factor and of course he’s not the incredible badass that he claims to be. I did enjoy the story in the end and my own feelings towards Tyler started thawing when he finally gave some insight into his behaviour. The last part has a few twists in what was otherwise quite a straightforward storyline of slow burning attraction between Eden and Tyler, and made me race through it to know how they would handle their ‘situation’. Would they end up together or not?

If you enjoy dark brooding guys, a somewhat taboo relationship and a good dose of instalove then this is definitely a read you don’t want to miss. Even though I didn’t really fall in love with this read, the guy was too wishywashy for my taste, I am actually a little curious about the sequel, so you never know that I give it a chance in the future anyway.

I won a free paperback copy of this novel via a giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

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Turtles All The Way Down by John Green #BookReview

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‘It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.’

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred thousand dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

amazon uk amazon com

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I was very excited to read my first John Green novel and I thought I was going to love it since I really like YA mystery and the mental health issue also sounded quite interesting but I’m afraid I didn’t fall in love with the plot nor the characters.

A lot of it is probably due to never having felt a real connection with Aza, the person this whole novel is actually about. She’s not a very remarkable character except for what makes her different: she suffers from obsessive thinking. I think it’s great that this condition is brought under our attention but it was quite hard to understand and often sympathise with Aza. I did make some progress towards the end of the novel in regards to knowing how she is as a person and what the consequences are for her but it still wasn’t easy to grasp. I know novels are sometimes too rosy-colored and they often make problems go away or mental illnesses resolve themselves and I don’t like that but I would have preferred to see some progression, something to be really happy about for Aza. The only people evolving are her friends and the reader and she seemed to remain at a standstill. Maybe that’s the whole point of the novel too but even so, she could have showed perhaps a bit more how to deal with it properly and how to live her life happily instead of only highlighting the problems. This way it was definitely not a good news show.

Unfortunately the mystery part of the missing billionnaire was also only a small section of the novel. It really wasn’t what the novel was about and wasn’t followed through. I believe it was just a way to get in touch with Davis as there wasn’t happening much with the plotline. As for Davis himself, I quite often felt sorry for him and his little brother. The spiralling thoughts Aza is having also impact her personal life and relationships and the poor guy is of course caught in the middle when he tries to connect with her.

Turtles All The Way Down was sometimes a YA story and sometimes almost lyrically philosophical. There are plenty of wonderful one-liners that really spoke to me and make you want to get into a highlighting mode. Green uses metaphores aplently and one of Davis’ qualities is quoting poets and using their quotes to refer to his own life. I liked it but it was all a bit much sometimes.

It was disturbing to hear Aza’s spiralling thoughts and seeing that she can’t break those thoughts, telling her what to do if she doesn’t want to be killed by bacteria. C. diff. is her her greatest torment and she goes very far in her thought process.

I wouldn’t read this novel again but in the end it created more awareness for me and I’m sure everyone who reads it and I’m grateful for that.

I won a paperback copy of this novel in a blogger’s giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

Goodreads Monday (23-07-2018)

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I saw this meme on Books, Vertigo and Tea and I thought this one seemed fun to join and feature on my blog from time to time as well! The original post of Goodreads Monday was posted by Lauren’s Page Turners. Thank you Lauren for this great idea. This really is a great way to help me take another look at all the books added to the wishlist so long ago and at the same time I can share some interesting titles.

There’s only one rule: Simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page turners and add your own links!

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By A Thread

By A Thread by R.L. Griffin

Added on April 23, 2013. It has a 3.95 rating on Goodreads. Keep or Go? Dilemma!

I don’t particulary like the cover but the blurb sounds promising, I do love such an emotional read!

Stella’s future was set, and it was a bright one. She was engaged to a man she adored, and was headed to law school in the fall. Tragically, her perfectly planned future ends just as it was beginning.

With no ties to family or friends, Stella finds herself alone in a new city, spiraling out of control. Her typical day comes to a close with her passed out on the floor; sometimes clothed.

Luckily, her new roommate, essentially a stranger, is dead set on getting Stella past her grief and back to functioning within society. Putting one foot in front of the other, she climbs up from the bottom of a bottle. Even with all her progress, Stella walks through life unfeeling, numb. Defiant, she sends out warning signals for the world to keep away. But, is that what she really wants?

With the steadfast help of a few tight knit friends, she gradually begins to feel again. She starts to savor the flavor of food again; lets herself notice how the handsome bartender glances at her. Still, after allowing herself a fling, she wonders if she will ever be able to let go of her shattered past, fully enjoy the present, or get over what she thought would be her perfect future and with the man who destroyed her heart.

So what do you think, yay or nay? Have you read it or is it on your readlist too?

The perfect summer read: In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira #BookReview @avadellaira @HotKeyBooks @imosebba

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Because the missing pieces always matter . . .

Marilyn is in search of freedom. She grew up as a child actor, her mother’s meal ticket out of mediocrity. But it’s been a long time since she booked a job, and she and her mother have no choice but to move in with her volatile uncle.

Marilyn is counting down the days until she can escape to college, and the promise of her own future. That is, until she falls in love with James, the boy downstairs, who shows her that her life is worth living in the present. At 17, Marilyn is about to learn that everything can change in an instant.

Angie is in search of answers. She is mixed race and has never met her father, but she knows she looks and thinks a lot like him. Though Angie grew up with her devoted mother, Marilyn, she’s always felt the absence of the man she never knew.

But after discovering that her mother has been lying to her, Angie sets off on a road trip to Los Angeles, in search of an unknown uncle – and maybe even her dad. At 17, she hopes to finally find out the truth about where she came from so she can discover who she truly is.

Told from the perspective of these two young women, Marilyn’s in the late 90s, and Angie’s today, IN SEARCH OF US is a sweeping inter-generational story about mothers and daughters, love and loss, holding on and letting go.

amazon uk amazon com

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This is just one of those books that really fill your heart and makes you sad and smile and it’s all happening at the same time you know. There’s a mystery and a love story at the base of this novel. They’ll meet in the proverbially perfect and heart-shattering middle.

The novel switches between Angie wanting to know more about her father and trying to find out if  he’s dead or alive, and how it all started with her father and Marilyn, Angie’s mother. I loved seeing the romance between Marilyn and James develop and how she was welcomed into his warm family. You know that they’re not together any more and Marilyn still can’t think of him without tearing up so I was prepared for something terrible to happen but when I came to that part of the novel the impact was still bigger than I anticipated. I knew it was coming, couldn’t avoid it try as I might, and still was quite in shock.

Both plotlines, Angie’s search in the present and Marilyn’s encounter with James, at the same age but 17 years earlier, were very engrossing and it was actually fun and engrossing to read this dual timeline. Angie might have started out alone in her desire for answers but as the story progressed and the connection between Marilyn and James became bigger, we both ended up longing to know and even I hoped he was still alive.

But even if 16 year-old Angie had all my sympathy and understanding and I adored Dellaira’s skilled writing that made her turn to her favorite songs whenever she felt the need in time of worries and trouble, I loved her mother Marilyn in her younger version most of all. She’s such a good person and the attraction and romance with James was nothing other than perfect. They have such a sweet connection, I was already dreading the moment it would end. They seemed so right for each other so I couldn’t wrap my head around it, until I actually read the words.

In Search Of Us was such a lovely novel with beautiful people (the only exception being Uncle Woody who grudgingly shares his house with Marilyn and her mother), lots of cool 90’s music references  and a whole lot of love. This novel is going to steal your heart, just like it did mine :-).

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.

180 Seconds by Jessica Park #BookReview

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Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.

amazon uk amazon com

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Who knew that 180 seconds of staring into Esben’s eyes could turn Allison’s life around so much? I know how it sounds and what happened in those 3 minutes of silence is hard to explain but the author made it an extremely loaded moment and was able to describe it with lots of feeling. I think this book pretty much falls or stands with this scene because it has to be believeable that they connect in that moment and I did feel it in the beautiful way it was written. Those 180 seconds with all of Allison’s thoughts and emotions swirling around and the description of that connection, of him really seeing behind her walls, was amazing to see.

Allison has always been guarded and has done everything to protect her heart, never letting anyone in behind those high walls and I couldn’t have been happier to see that Esben really sees through her.. isn’t it what we all ultimately want, being understood and able to be ourself and still be loved? It was so easy to root for Allison.

This novel is so heart-warming and has such a great cast of characters. I loved Allison’s father Simon, her best friend Steffi and Esben’s sister Kerry. There’s a background story that is really moving for each of them and made me like them even more. And Esben, oh Esben is one of those perfect book boyfriends. He’s doing so much good in the world, showing random acts of kindness via the videos he uploads. He’s so thoughtful and caring and everything a girl would want.

But then.. my poor heart! I didn’t expect it to happen AT ALL but reading this novel made me feel as if my heart was going to explode. Their attraction and development of the love story was so sweet and beautiful and gave me such a high but then a cruel, cruel author (just kidding) took my blissful feeling and turned me in an almost blubbering mess. Yes there were actual tears and believe me when I tell you that doesn’t happen very often. 180 Seconds got me all emotional though and it’ll be added to my shortlist of books that make me cry. This was a story of enormous personal growth, it was moving and touching, with enough sadness and love to get me through the next few months of reading.

180 Seconds is the first novel I read by Jessica Park and it certainly won’t be the last. She definitely scored in my books!

This novel was included in the Bookworm Box of May 2017.

 

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera #BookReview

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What’s it about?

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

amazon uk amazon com

Review

star three and a half

Well we both know how this book will end, no surprises there :-). If you’re looking for an epic ending and a long drawn-out moment of feelings of loss and grief, then you won’t find it here though. They Both Die at the End is definitely more about the journey and the message the author is trying to convey than how they meet their end, even if it’s something I couldn’t help but to feel curious about. The author was clever enough to create some moments in the novel that could be pivotal to their destiny and were potentially dangerous. Who would go first? Or would they die together? My heart rate increased a few times only to come to the conclusion it wasn’t their time yet.

In this alternate reality Silvera created in this novel for the year 2017 there is no explanation why a 17 year old and an 18 year old were chosen to die and fortunately they don’t dwell on it either, both are just trying to make the best of their last day, their End Day. I don’t know how the Death-Cast stystem works, only that it does so flawlessly and it delivers the message through a call (and a confirmation by email) a little after midnight that your time on earth is coming to an end. I wished the why and how was a little more explained, like why they call people who’ll die that day are called Deckers, but I chose not to dwell on it either and it didn’t really work against the story so it was okay that some things were left a mystery.

Mateo and Rufus were complementary characters but also opposites and you know what they say about opposites, right? I guess that’s why they just clicked. Mateo is a quiet boy, he doesn’t have many friends and no social life to speak of, he likes it ‘safe’. For his End Day  he wants someone to help him have a great last day though and Rufus, or Roof as his friends call him, is perfect for making him break out of his sheltered life. He’s a bit of a trouble-maker, impulsive and extravert but he’s got a golden heart really. They start out as two total strangers – scared to meet even because the other one could just as well be a a killer end their End Day could be over real soon – but they become closer and closer as their time runs out.

This novel is a bit morbid but in a good way. They Both Die at the End really talks about death all through the novel. I expected ‘their shannanigans of the day’ to take over and push their destination to the background a bit but that wasn’t the case, it’s not hidden in a little corner and the story doesn’t let you forget any given moment but even so, it never gets depressing.

I admire Silvera’s intention to deliver a heartfelt message about seizing the day and making every moment count. The novel is certainly thought-provoking, it’s sad but I had a few laughs as well. It’s surprisingly light, even if there’s no escaping reality.

This was an enjoyable novel but it wasn’t as deep and emotive as I needed it to be. I didn’t cry, I didn’t sob in the end even though I felt something for the characters, it just wasn’t as heart-wrenching as I thought it would be. I got the message loud and clear though.. I’m so much like Mateo and I’m going to need a Rufus 🙂

This Love by Dani Atkins

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What’s it about?

Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

You can buy a copy of this novel on Amazon UK | Amazon US.

Review

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Real heroes do exist! This is just the most perfect romance novel, filled with emotion!

This book opened with a bang. I personally love the damsel in distress theme (it’s so me) and this is exactly what you’re going to get here. It feels like this novel was written especially for me! This Love starts with some very tense chapters with Sophie being trapped in her appartment while there’s a fire raging in the building on the floor below hers. The situation felt authentically tense and dangerous and I’m pretty confident this author could have a go at the thriller genre and write a bestseller. I was very happy her witty remarks also relieved some of the tension because I’m not sure my heart would have survived otherwise; I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry while she was trying to escape. That’s the first time I could feel I was in for an emotional read.

When Sophie gets out safe to the ground she’s rushed off to the hospital; she didn’t even get a chance to thank Ben properly for his involvement in her escape. She assumes she’ll never see him again but of course something brings them back together again and again and the blossoming of their love was so beautiful to witness, it filled my heart. Ben is perfect, he’s humorous, he’s caring… He goes out looking for Fred, her cat, without her knowing, for hours, so who’s not going to love a man like that? Sophie isn’t looking for love though…

I had inadvertently opened a door to allow him a glimpse of a room that very few people ever entered. I really wanted to shut it again, right now, only he had one of his big old size twelve feet in the way, blocking me.

They become best of friends and are growing closer together day by day, but then suddenly when he has his friends over, he can’t get her out of the room fast enough. Did she read him wrongly and will she admit to herself what she’s feeling? Can she get over her feelings of fear for the future because what if he would leave her too, like that other person she loved and was so brutally taken away from her?

Sophie we’re all going to die… eventually. No one can alter that. It’s what you do before that counts. No one should be remembered for how they died. But how you lived… well, that’s something that shouldn’t ever be forgotten.

My heart shuddered quite a few times while reading this novel, it ballooned, almost spilled and was punctured more than once too. It was a joy to get to know Ben, Sophie and all of Ben’s wonderful friends. Even if you think you know where this novel is hurtling to and you think you’ve got it all under control, piece of cake, well you’re wrong, so wrong. If you’re really emphatic you’re going to feel it SO hard.

If you want a tear-jerker, look no further because this book will have you laughing and crying and ultimately leave you with a major book-hangover!

This Love is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Colleen Hoover. I’ve found myself a new favourite author!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster in exchange for my honest opinion.