Review: Begin Again by Mona Kasten

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Synopsis

He makes the rules. She breaks them all.

A new start. It’s the only thing keeping Allie Harper going, when she packs up her life and moves across the country to Woodshill, Oregon. She’s about to start college, desperate to leave the ghosts of her past behind her. Even if that means never talking to her parents again.

Now the hard part – finding an apartment before classes start. Just when it seems she’ll have to live out of her car, Allie visits one more place. It’s beautiful. With one exception: can she stand being roommates with campus bad boy Kaden White? Sure, Kaden is sexy with his tattoos and careless attitude, but he’s also an arrogant jerk. With nowhere else to go, Allie moves in.

The first thing Kaden does is make a set of rules. Either Allie obeys, or she’s out:

1. Don’t talk about your girl problems.
2. Keep your mouth shut if I bring someone home.
3. We will NEVER hook up.

Easy enough, thinks Allie. Who would want to get involved with a brute like Kaden? But the more she gets to know him, the more she sees beyond his gruff facade. He, too, is harboring some painful secrets. For Kaden and Allie, it gets harder and harder to ignore the sparks between them. And the lines between the rules start to blur-

Begin Again is a beautiful romance that shows us just how possible it is to start over. To find freedom in heartbreak and love in the most unlikely places

 

My Review

*Thanks again to Bastei Entertainment for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I’ve been meaning to read ‘Begin Again’ by Mona Kasten for a very long time now. This book was originally published in German and so I’d already heard a lot of positive things from my friends and other German book bloggers. The only reason I actually never picked it up is because I don’t really like reading German books even though I’m German myself. Sounds weird but that’s just how it is. So naturally, I was very excited when I found out that ‘Begin Again’ had been translated into English and was incredibly happy when I received an ARC of it.

‘Begin Again’ tells the story of Allie and Kaden. When Allie moves to college, she’s looking for a room to rent but can’t find a fitting one until she checks out the spare room in Kaden’s apartment. The problem is that he actually doesn’t want to live together with a girl but Allie can be very convincing and so Kaden lets her move in anyway. But he has a couple of rules, one of which is that the two will never hook up. Naturally though, they start feeling attracted to each other and have to deal with their feelings while at the same time having to deal with their dark pasts.

I really enjoyed reading the book and it was such a quick read. ‘Begin Again’ has a great plot and it’s a book you can easily read in one sitting because it will captivate you. It made me laugh a lot and I’ll definitely add it to my list of books I reread when I just need something that will make me happy. I also immediately fell in love with the two main characters, Kaden and Allie, but also really loved some of the secondary characters like Spencer, Dawn and Scott and hope we will get to read more about them in the sequel.

I know that many people also absolutely love Mona Kasten’s writing style but I personally felt like that was the only thing I can say something negative about regarding this book. I can’t even specifically tell you what I didn’t like about it but there were just a couple of things that bothered me and I feel like there’s still room for improvement. But as far as I know this is one of the very first novels she ever published and I’m confident that her writing will get better with every additional book she’ll publish in the future.

All in all, I really liked this book and I’m very glad it was finally translated into English so that more people have the chance to read it. I’m going to deduct one star because of her writing and give ‘Begin Again’ 4 out of 5 stars.

 

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Review: Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon

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Synopsis

If you fall too fast, you just might crash…Daisy has been dumped, unceremoniously jilted. Not by any ordinary guy, no…Daisy has a secret in her past that she won’t even tell her best friend, Holly. She’s given up on men – and on her own family. But life still has to be lived and where better to recover than as far away from home as possible. Grabbing a chance to see the world, Daisy packs her bags and joins the team catering to the world’s highest-paid, supercharged racing drivers on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. From Brazil to Italy, from Melbourne to Monte Carlo, life passes in a dizzying whirlwind. But nothing – and no one – can stop Daisy from falling again…this time for a man who is prepared to risk his life, and his heart, for the sake of speed, danger and ultimate success.

 

My Review

“Life can be snatched away from you in an instant, but if you don´t give yourself up to love, even with all the risks of losing it, life isn´t worth living.” 

One fact about me that often surprises people is that I am a big Formula 1 fan. The sport just really fascinates me and race weekends are my favorite weekends of the year. Also, I really hope I’ll one day be able to attend one of the races instead of only being able to watch from in front of my TV.

That’s why I was stoked when someone told me that Paige Toon has written a book that is set in the ‘F1 circus’. I was so excited to finally read it and it definitely didn’t disappoint me.

“Chasing Daisy” was such a quick read and it’s a perfect book to enjoy during the summer while spending the day at the beach or by the pool. I literally flew through the book and enjoyed it a lot. It made me laugh but also broke my heart and made me cry. It was a roller coaster of emotions.

It’s a cute story that features some great characters. But there were a couple of things that were a little confusing and should have been changed during the editing process. For example, at the beginning of the book the main character mentions that one of the drivers has never won a race before but when they’re in Monaco later on in the book, she asks him if he’s ever won there before which just didn’t make any sense. But those were some minor things that didn’t change the fact that this was overall a great book.

It was also well written, though I think that her writing could still be improved at some points. There were just a couple of sentences that would’ve sounded a lot better, and would’ve made the whole reading experience a little better, if they had been rephrased in the editing process. But this book was published almost 10 years ago and it was one of the first ever books Paige Toon published, so I’m sure that has improved since then and I’ll make sure to read one of her more recent books as soon as possible to find out if I’m right in assuming that.

All in all, this was a great book and I really enjoyed it. It’s the perfect book for everyone who loves Formula 1 and a good romance book and I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars.

Have you already read ‘Chasing Daisy’ and did you like it? 🙂

August Wrap-Up

Hey everybody!

August is over which means that it’s time for my August wrap-up. It was my last full month of summer break and I managed to read 10 books with a total of almost 3.5k pages and on average I gave them 3.65 stars. I’m really happy with that and also found a couple of books I really, really liked. If you want to read the synopsis of any of the books, just click on the corresponding picture.

I hope you will enjoy this blog post!

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // 5 Stars

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The first book I read in August was ‘Six of Crows’ by Leigh Bardugo which I absolutely fell in love with. It was a really gripping read and I literally flew through it because it was so good. SoC was also the first of Leigh Bardugo’s books I read and I immediately fell in love with her writing style!

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo // 4.5 Stars

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After finishing SoC, I had to immediately read the conclusion to this amazing duology and really loved it as well. It was a great read and just as well written as the first part. The only problem I had with CK was that it took me a little to get into it at first but the rest of it was absolutely great.

Click here to read my full review of the book!

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han // 2.5 Stars

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‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ was a cute and quick read. Unfortunately though, I just didn’t like the main character and overall felt like I was a little too old for this book.

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon // 4 Stars

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‘Chasing Daisy’ is a book I was really excited for and it definitely didn’t dissappoint me. I love Formula One and was absolutely thrilled when I found out that one of my favorite authors has written a book set in the Formula One ‘circus’. It was a great book and the perfect novel to read by the pool or at the beach.

Click here to read my full review of the book! 

A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins // 2.5 Stars

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William Collins was kind enough to send me a copy of his book earlier this month and I was very intrigued by the synopsis of ‘A Darker Shade of Sorcery’. But even though I really liked the idea of the book and think it has a lot of potential, there were many things that bothered me and spoiled my reading experience.

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo // 5 Stars

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‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ was one of my most anticipated releases of this year and the fact that I somehow got my copy 10 days before publication only made me even more excited for it. This was definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year so far and I completely fell in love with it. It was so well written and featured amazing female characters that kicked butt! Such an amazing read!

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Her Book Boyfriend by K. R. Grace // 4 Stars

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The publisher of this book was kind enough to send me an arc of it earlier this month and I really enjoyed ‘Her Book Boyfriend’. It is a great and quick read that you can get lost in for a couple of hours and it’s definitely a perfect book for bookworms!

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Dear Delilah by Tamsyn Bester // 1 Star

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‘Dear Delilah’ is another arc I received earlier this month and I was very intrigued by its synopsis. Unfortunately though, I just absolutely didn’t enjoy this book. It was badly written and also had a very boring plot. If I hadn’t received an arc, I would’ve definitely DNFd it.

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Slammed by Colleen Hoover // 5 Stars

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I absolutely love Colleen Hoover and ‘Slammed’ was one of the last few of her books that I hadn’t read yet. I really enjoyed the book and it’s definitely one of my favorite books I read this month. It made me laugh and cry and then absolutely broke my heart.

Click here to read my full review of the book!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon // 3 Stars

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‘Everything, Everything’ is a book that had been standing on my shelves for several months now but I just kept forgetting about the fact that I still hadn’t read it. I really enjoyed the first 70% of the book and think it was a cute and very quick read. I just didn’t like the ending of the book because I just think it was a little unrealistic.

Click here to read my full review of the book! (THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SPOILERS!)

How many books did you manage to read in August and which of them was your favorite? 🙂

 

 

 

Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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Synopsis

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

 

My Review 

“I am done being careful. I am done being quiet. Let them see me angry. Let them hear me wail at the top of my lungs.”

I’m sitting here right now, trying to write a review for this book and I literally just can’t think of a fitting first sentence because I’m still so overwhelmed by how amazing this book was. ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is one of the books you pretty much fly through, that absolutely absorbs you right from the beginning and then leaves you sitting there at the end of it, staring at the last page because you can’t believe that it’s already over. It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year so far and my high expectations for it were definitely not disappointed.

‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is a very gripping read and there wasn’t a single scene in this novel that bored me. It was full of plot twists that absolutely took me by surprise and left me sitting there with my mouth agape. The book was also very well written though that shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s read at least one of Leigh Bardugo’s novels prior to picking up this little masterpiece. I absolutely adore her writing style and she’s slowly but surely becoming one of my all-time favorite authors. She’s just amazing at writing fighting scenes that are realistic and varied so that you won’t feel like you’re reading the same thing over and over again even if there are several action-packed scenes in her books. Another thing she’s really good at is slipping in funny moments when you don’t expect anything like that to happen and my book is once again full of green sticky notes that I use to highlight funny things.

But one of the best things about ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ were definitely the amazing characters Leigh Bardugo has created. Especially, the strong female characters were amazing and kicked butt which I absolutely loved.

All in all, ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ is a book that definitely deserves 5 out of 5 stars. I absolutely loved it and I’m probably going to guard it like gold. It’s a novel I would recommend to pretty much everyone and I absolutely can’t wait for Marie Lu’s book because I just love the idea of this entire series.

Have you already read ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ and did you like it? 🙂

Review: Dear Delilah by T. Bester

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Synopsis

It has been said that boys and girls can never be ‘just’ friends, and until Nathan Penn barged into my life, I thought it was complete and utter nonsense. But one night changed everything, and what I thought was the defining moment in our friendship turned out to be more than either of us were ready for.

When my boss tasks me with writing the University’s new sex advice column, Dear Delilah, I make it quite clear that I’m the least qualified person for the job – my experience is limited to one sexual encounter that taught me about love and loss all at once.

So what makes me say ‘yes’?

Simple.

A distraction.

Something to take my mind off Nathan.

But once I start, I find myself wanting to be the voice of the girl who’s to afraid to ask for advice, the girl who wants to own her sexuality but doesn’t know how. Sounds easy enough.

Except it isn’t.

It’s complicated, and messy and awkward, and when Nathan offers to help, I’m caught between a rock and his hard place. Literally.

It’s only when my identity is threatened that I realize I might be in over my head. With all of it.

 

My Review


*Thanks again to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

When I first read the synopsis of ‘Dear Delilah’, I was excited for this book and was hoping it would be a quick read that would allow me to forget about my everyday stress for a bit. But instead, I ended up having to force myself to even finish this book because I unfortunately didn’t enjoy it at all.

‘Dear Delilah’ is a book about Savannah, a college girl who is interning at the college’s newspaper. One day she is asked to take over the newspaper’s sex advice column and even though she doesn’t have a lot of experience when it comes to sex, she says yes. But why? Because she needs a distraction from an incident with her male best friend that took place a couple of weeks prior to the start of this book.

Like I said, I liked the synopsis and thought it would be one of those new adult reads that you just fly through and that allow you to relax for a bit. But ‘Dear Delilah’ was absolutely boring and if I hadn’t received an ARC of this book, I would’ve definitely DNFd it.

The book starts a couple of weeks after something has happened between Savannah and her (ex) best friend Nathan that made them stop talking to each other. While I’m usually someone who prefers it if the author doesn’t straight out tells you what exactly happened and gives you a chance to figure it out yourself, I would’ve preferred it if the author had just been a little more straightforward this time because it took me the first quarter of the book, to even understand what had caused their falling-out. There were two or three flashbacks that were supposed to tell you how everything had gone down, but I felt like I had no background information that I might’ve needed to even understand how they had suddenly gone from being friends to sleeping with each other, and what Savannah’s problem was.

Another thing that bothered me a little was the female main character herself. While Nathan was your typical new adult male main character that you see in a lot of books similar to this one, Savannah acted like a 14-year-old even though she was already in college. She was embarrassed when anyone even mentioned the word ‘sex’ and could barely even talk about it to anyone. She wasn’t a virgin when the book started and later on you even find out that she has pierced nipples which made her entire behavior seem very unrealistic. It was cringy and made me roll my eyes quite a lot.

Furthermore, I also thought the main subject of this book would be the sex column Savannah took over which was called ‘Dear Delilah’, just like this novel. But instead she didn’t start writing the column until the second half of the book which really disappointed me.

There was one more thing that bothered me, but won’t influence my rating, which were the spelling mistakes in this book. You can always find spelling mistakes and grammatical errors in ARCs because they’re uncorrected proofs which is totally fine. But I genuinely felt like no editor had even looked at this book before. It was not only full of spelling mistakes that could’ve easily been corrected by the spell checker on your computer, but there were also a couple of things regarding the content that just didn’t make sense. Like him saying that they hadn’t had sex since their first date even though they’d just had sex again a couple of pages before he said that which was just one of the textual errors that kind of spoiled the reading experience for me. But like I said, I didn’t let this influence my rating because I really hope this will be different in the finished copy of the book.

All in all, I just absolutely didn’t like this book. It was poorly written and I didn’t feel like I had any connection with the characters which is why I also didn’t really enjoy their ‘love story’. I still think you can enjoy the finished copy of this book if you really like college romances, but it just wasn’t my cup of tea which is why I unfortunately can’t give ‘Dear Delilah’ more than 1 out of 5 stars.

Have you already read ‘Dear Delilah’ and did you like it? 🙂