The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch (Arc Review)

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Publisher: Amulet Books
Page Count
: 368
Publishing Date: October 11, 2016

**I was provided with an eArc by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!**

I read this with fellow Blogateers Cátia and Cristina, which is a good thing, because there was a lot of ranting to be done. And when I say “a lot”, I really mean it this time! Their reviews aren’t up yet, but you should check back on their blogs (by clicking on their names) to read about their experience with the book.

I am just going to say it straight away, this book is about mental illness, schizophrenia to be exact. I feel like that’s something you can’t really gather from the synopsis, which is a shame, because then you go into The Movie Version with completely wrong expectations. There’s nothing wrong with the topic itself, I usually quite appreciate books that take on such an important and quite frankly complex theme, but it simply didn’t work for me here.

Right from the beginning something felt off. Most of it is probably due to me not connecting with the main character, Amelia, at all. She lived in this oblivious bubble of her movie-life. More than once I wondered, if she chose to ignore her brother’s alarming behaviour, if she really didn’t think it was all that odd or if she thought she was actually “protecting” him. I do understand that siblings are supposed to cover for each other, but what she did was in no way helpful. Then, when her brother Toby finally got diagnosed and the help he needed, I could stand her even less. Again, I tried to understand her actions, telling myself that there would probably be a period of denial and then she would get on the case and educate herself about schizophrenia. But nope, that was not the case and it was maddening.

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Everything was about her and how this ruined her life, not once did I read her thinking how this must be a terribly difficult time for her brother as well. All her friends, even the most flaky ones, knew more about schizophrenia than she did, simply because she refused to talk about it. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed for, yet that is exactly how she acted. She lashed out at anyone who wanted to talk and maybe comfort her, telling them and herself that they wouldn’t understand, even though they were far from overbearing and really just concerned. She showed a little growth towards the end, which justifies my 2-star-rating, but ultimately her behaviour just made me sad. I even cried while reading, because I was so disappointed in Amelia. Yes, this is difficult for the family members as well as for the person concerned, but she didn’t even try to talk to Toby or try to understand what was happening. She just wanted her old brother back.

Amelia’s side-story about her love-life wasn’t helpful either. At most times it felt random or awkward at best. I did not feel any chemistry and she kept complaining about a certain feature of his, that I could not imagine being such a big deal. One thing is for sure, this book did not show the movie-version of life. However, I don’t think it portrayed reality either, at least I really don’t hope so.

Fazit: 2/5 stars! Not what I would have wanted to get from a story like this.

2stars

Would you read this book? Have you read any books that dealt with schizophrenia better than this one did? 

Gone Wild by Jodi Lundgren (Arc Review)

GoneWild

Publisher: Lorimer
Page Count
: 176
Publishing Date: September 1, 2016

**I was provided with an eArc by the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

This book is extremely difficult to review in my opinion. I read it together with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much and we honestly finished this within a couple of hours, it was so short! Definitely watch out for her review in the next couple of days!

Both main characters are relatable in terms of their lives being tough and you feeling bad for them almost immediately. However, that does not excuse for some of their stupidity. They had their reasons for running away from home, but they went so utterly unprepared. You cannot simply go into the woods without food, water or proper attire. Brooke was a little more prepared than Seth, but it took them forever to meet and there were some really dangerous situations they couldn’t even handle together.

My mediocre rating is not based on me not enjoying the story, but more on the fact that there was little to no development. Of course the characters had some epiphanies and knew that they had to change their lives, but I am not really sure they made the right conclusions.

This was a short review for a short book. If you are up for something like a novella about two teens trying to figure out their lives in the woods, this might be for you, but don’t expect too much of a conclusion. I preferred Seth’s ending to Brooke’s, simply because he got something, while we just left her wherever and did not get to see how she dealt with her family and her boyfriend.

Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! I did not hate it, but it was too short to really treat the topics with the attention they deserved.

3stars

Have you heard of Gone Wild? Would you read it? 

Player by M.L. Sparrow (Arc Review)

Player

Release Date: September 1, 2016

**I was provided with an eArc by the author in exchange for an honest review**

This is my second book by M.L. Sparrow (you can check out my review for Ghetto here) and it was a complete change of genre, going from dystopian to NA. I’ve actually already posted a cover reveal for Player, which you can find here, but I hadn’t read the book by that time. Now, if you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that I have read some NA books, but I am far from being an expert on the topic. I like trying new things though, so when I was asked to review this one, I took the chance and said yes.

In my opinion, the set-up was fairly standard for Player. We have the beautiful, bookish girl, who knows that she’s pretty, but sometimes lacks confidence nonetheless and the rugged, popular boy with commitment issues. What was interesting though was the fact that Chloe was from England and Parker was a real Southern boy with a drawl. It took me forever to get that image in my head and to hear their distinct voices in their separate accents, but it was a still cute and sexy. Their relationship in general was amazing. Barely any unnecessary jealousy, but a lot of protectiveness and fierceness towards intruders. There was a bit of a rocky start, but then, to me, everything just seemed easy.

And that is the point where I struggled a little. There definitely were conflicts, but I never felt like the stakes were that high. To me, their issues either didn’t seem to be an irremovable obstacle or where placed at a part of the book that didn’t make me fret for their relationship status. Generally the story was fast-paced and covered a lot of ground quickly, but the balance of what happened when was just a tiny bit off for me.

However, I did get invested a little and there are a lot of open storylines for the side-characters that I would like to explore further. Player is only the first installment in the “What Happens on Campus”-series and at the end there was already a little tease for the next book, which seemed interesting as well. I can see about three more love stories unfolding before my inner eye already, so even though I didn’t fall head over heels for this one, I will definitely check out the rest of the series!

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Fazit: 3/5 stars! A good start to the series!

3stars

Do you intend to read Player? Have you dabbled in NA as well?