It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (Book Review)

iewu

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count
: 376

It Ends With Us was another buddy read with fellow Blogateer Cátia, She’s already a huge CoHo (= Colleen Hoover) fan, but this was my first venture into her world of writing. I am not yet 100% sure I was converted, but IEWU definitely hit home in a way. Now, before I get into any kind of detail, I don’t think I can do this without Spoilers. I’ve thought about it, but even talking about what the book’s main topic is, can’t be said without spoiling something. So, proceed with caution! 

Have you ever looked at the face of someone you love and been scared? And I am not talking about scared you’re loosing them, or scared for them – I am talking about being afraid for your own safety. It irreversibly breaks something in the relationship you had. It’s something that can never be mended, but it does not mean that you stop loving them, because that’s not how this works. Lily, our main protagonist in IEWU, has to find out exactly that! Yes, this book is about domestic abuse.

In my opinion, CoHo went about this in a very smart way. She dazzles you with Ryle’s charm and looks, you fall for him alongside Lily. At the same time, she introduces you to her past, her issues with her father and Lily’s first love, Atlas, who is about to re-enter her life. All the while, you are certain, that girl will never get into an abusive relationship herself. Well, of course that’s not how the story goes. Shortly after the first incident, you are shocked and devastated. It’s the kind of incident that people try to rationalize and explain away, but no matter what the reasoning is, that doesn’t excuse it. Yet, Lily stays and it happens again and again.

I am not going to go into detail, or tell you what she did in the end, but that whole story tied my stomach into knots. I actually felt sick with what was happening, but I was very glad about the people in Lily’s life. They had her back, no matter what, especially when neither Lily nor the reader expected them to and that simply warmed my heart.

coho

Ultimately, I really enjoyed the writing. It was beautiful and felt very real, however, there are just a couple things that don’t make it the perfect read. To me, the story was very much about Lily and her growth. I wouldn’t really classify this as a romance to be honest or at least say that was the least important part of it. So, Ryle aside, I liked Atlas and I realise how important he was for Lily’s past and that she needed closure for that, but I probably would have felt a lot better about him, if he hadn’t just turned into a picture-perfect man. What’s his story? I have so many questions about him and how he became the person he’s now. To say he wasn’t necessary in the present tense would be a vast exaggeration, but I could have done without the epilogue … Still, I whole-heartedly believe that this was not my last CoHo book! Until next time!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! It was heartbreaking and raw, but I still could have done without a couple of elements.

4stars

 Have you read this one? What are your thoughts?

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (Book Review)

ps

Publisher: Point
Page Count
: 330

For all of you who don’t know, P.S. I Like You was included in the August OwlCrate box. You can find my full unboxing post here. A couple years back, regular contemporaries were all I ever seemed to pick up, but nowadays Fantasy mostly rules my shelves This in no way should mean that I don’t still enjoy the genre. In fact, I like reading it very much, I just don’t seem to buy them as often. However, after my massive reading slump the past weeks, this was the PERFECT book to read.

P.S. I Like You is pretty much what you would expect it to be: fluff-galore, laugh-out-loud-funny, relatable and super fast-paced. This was my first Kasie West book, but I regret absolutely nothing. At first the anonymous-note-writing reminded me a little of Simon vs. the Homo-Sapiens Agenda, but it definitely is a story all of its own. In the beginning you try to figure out who Lily, the main character, is exchanging letters with and I think it’s not that difficult to figure out. At least I wasn’t surprised, because it is never the person the main character wants it to be … that’s like a universal law to not make it that easy.

Generally I really liked Lily, even though she could have a tendency to get annoying when she doubted herself to much. Quite frankly I thought what she called “awkwardness” was a brilliant sense of humour … but then again I am also more on the awkward-spectrum of human beings. I sort of expected there to be more conflict between her and her best friend at some point, but then again I am also very glad that wasn’t the case. I feel like there are often very toxic friendships in books, where things never get talked through and it slowly sours the relationship, which is probably why I expected some sort of explosion at one point or another here. As I said, they are super cute though and it never happened, which is a nice change.

Lastly, I enjoyed how much of a focus there was on family. As we have all discussed numerous times in the past, there is a real lack of involved parents in YA, but not here. The parents were present, annoying and did not let their children do whatever they pleased at whatever time of night they wanted – which seems realistic to me. There was also the opposite spectrum of parenting. So, I liked how they showed all kinds of relationships a kid could have with their parents and siblings and other relatives.

So, the plot might have been a tad predictable, but it was still done in such an enjoyable way. The characters were very likable and fun to be on the journey with.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! It was exactly what I needed when I needed it, so no complaints from me.

5starsI am really happy that all my OwlCrate-books were 5-star-reads so far! Keep it up! Did you read this one as well? Do you have a favourite Kasie West book?

Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (Book Review)

firewalkerLily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

‘You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.’

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.

Publisher: Macmillan
Page Count:
 339

Firewalker is the second book in the Worldwalker trilogy by Josephine Angelini. If you haven’t read Trial by Fire (check out my review here) yet, I recommend you do NOT read on, since this review will have Spoilers for the first book!

It seems to be the year of me reading sequels! Where Glass Sword failed miserably at changing it up, Firewalker was very different from its predecessor as well, but did much better in executing the next act of the story. It continues with Lily having jumped back into her own world with Rowan in tie and it’s delightful to see the role reversal of him being the fish out of water now.

It’s a little difficult for me to write this review, because it took a long while until the story actually continued in a way that moved the plot forward as a whole. Also, my thoughts are all over the place! But then again, in some ways this book was so much darker than the first one and I love intense stories. The pace is much slower than it was during the first book. There’s a lot of recovery time needed for Lily and more told in flashbacks and memories than in the previous one. The clash of Lily’s old life and her new one is hilarious and also very surprising in some ways. A lot has happened while she was gone, which also leads to her having to return to Lillian’s world with more people than she ever intended to take there. I don’t even want to say anything more about he plot in order to not give anything away, but even if it was a lot slower, it was very intriguing to see these worlds collide.

We finally get an explanation as to why Lillian is executing scientists and why she hanged Rowan’s father. It’s a twisted logic with gruesome images, but one that I can understand and it really puts you in a bad spot. Lily can be stubborn and she is not doing the right thing by keeping secrets from her best friends and loved ones – it made her so much more annoying sometimes – but I still would not want to be in her position. There are no real good guys and I so much more get why Lillian felt like she had to become the villain of her own story.

Another thing we learn more about are the Woven and I am so intrigued now. I am pretty sure that they are going to be the focus in the last book, seen as they are a major part of the cliffhanger ending. Which was cruel – AGAIN! I hate that I have to wait until September for the finale, which has a title (Witch’s Pyre) and sort of also a cover, but not yet the Macmillan one. Since I find them to be the most gorgeous out there, I NEED to know how the last one looks like in that particular edition. I want it in my hands like ASAP! I am so hooked, I can only recommend this series! 

Fazit: 4/5 stars! A gripping sequel to a really great story. I cannot wait for the final book!

4stars

Have you read Firewalker? Did you have the same thoughts as I did? Tell me all about it in the comments!

R.I.P. it or Ship it! Book Tag

ripit

Analee @Book Snacks is one of the best people out there and tagged me for the R.I.P. it or Ship it! Book Tag. You should go and check out her original post, because some of the couples were hilarious and others very wrong or perfect for each other. Basically you just choose some random characters, draw their names from a hat or jar or whatever you want to use to draw the names from and see if they would work as a couple. I loved the idea of this!!! The execution however was a lot different …

THIS GAME FELT RIGGED OR CURSED! I admittedly chose very, very random people that didn’t truly fit together from the beginning. I barely put any actual couples in there, I didn’t stick with one genre either and just tried to see what would come from it doing it this way. The first time around that I drew the names, it was disaster! I then thought I’d just do it again, but lo and behold, the worst couples WERE DRAWN TOGETHER AGAIN! It must be fate … horrible, terrible, unkind fate! However, without further ado, here are the results:

round1

Okay, so … this wasn’t a definite “no” at first. Theo is very smart and so is Mori. They’d probably enjoy some flirting with each other, but on the long run this could never ever work. Theo is openly charming, yet flimsy and likes to party and joke. And Mori can hold a grudge forever. She is strong, secretive and closed off. They are opposties that might attract for a little while, especially due to their shared intellect, but as I said, I can’t see a real future for them.

round2

Just nope! Julia is getting farther and farther away from her humanity in her quest for magic, but Maxon needs someone kind-hearted and real. This is such a big nope!

round3

What are the chances? I kind of dig them as a couple though. I honestly never even thought of it before, but when I read the two names next to each other, I laughed and thought “Why not?”. They probably work better as friends, but whatever!

round4

How is this supposed to work??? I can’t even picture it. Like the image won’t manifest in my head because it just doesn’t seem possible. Two worlds that would never collide! And I can say that even though Marguerite can jump through dimensions and every single world could be possible in those. That’s how little I believe in this.

round5

Ha! I LOVE IT! I am sure people will fight me on this, but it totally works for me. I love Sevro to bits, he is without a doubt my favourite character from the series and only deserves the best! And Izzy, she sure as heck can handle him! Sevro needs a tough girl and Izzy someone funny to play off. I guess Sev can be a bit gross, though I have no doubt that Izzy will teach him manners and he will hang on every word that leaves her lips.

round6

NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Just no, no, no! I was like ABORT THIS MISSION! But that is one of the couples that just kept getting drawn together. Like WTF? I can’t ship them, even associating the names together feels like torture. I was always weirdly fond of Sebastian, so I don’t hate him, but I do hate him together with Cath. Maybe he would have fit together with twisted Mori, but not sweet and shy Cath! NEVER!!!

round7

In a weird way I see this work. Lily and Lola are both very stubborn people and when they set their mind on something that’s it! They are determined to stick with it, even if it’s a dumb decision. Also, I can totally see Lola making up for Lily’s lack of creativity and them creating a beautiful necklace for Lily’s willstones together!

round8

I don’t even have words for this. I love Emily and I love Alec but … those are worlds that weren’t supposed to collide. Alec Baewood and Emily would never be happy with each other in a million years.

round9

Hear me out before you judge me! I don’t think Magnus and Celia would really work all that great as a couple, BUT I could see this becoming an epic friendship. Celia is kind of like Tessa is some ways, at least I think so, and I can therefore see a lasting relationship. Also, she’s like a magician, so that’s similar to being a warlock … sort of … not really, but whatever! I WANT THEM TO BE FRIENDS!

round10

Whiny Quentin and badass Mustang? HELL NO! She would crush the poor sob and feed him to the fishes!


 

I TAG

EVERYONE! This tag has been swirling around for a bit now, so I have lost sight of who has done it and who hasn’t. If you think this might be fun, then go ahead and just link back here! (Maybe just think about the names you use more carefully than I did …)

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini (Book Review)

trialThis world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

Publisher: Macmillan
Page Count:
 373

This was quite honestly one of those books that I saw and didn’t know what it was about AT ALL (besides witches obviously), but I was so fascinated by the cover, I had to have it. Man, am I glad I followed through on that gut feeling, because I am really surprised this isn’t a more popular series.

First off, I really have to give Trial by Fire credit for its originality. Lily Proctor is allergic to … well, everything! So, the book starts off with her vomiting and is followed by other strange incidents. I was frankly a little weirded out by the beginning of the story, but as soon as she was brought to the different Salem, everything simply fell into place.
New Salem is a mix between our world and a place where magic has survived and become the most important thing. The air isn’t clogged, there is no pollution – just imagine how great that must be! Every machine and the drawbacks and dangers that come with them in our world weren’t ever even invented there, because it could all just be handled with magic. And the magic is so wonderfully scientific! Everything has it’s own rules and purpose and I thought it was so well put together. The most intriguing part to me were the willstones (basically a necklace that lets you channel your powers, but is like an additional limb or organ at the same time) and I hope to explore the customs for those even more in the following installments.

One thing I was really glad about was the fact that there was no insta-love. Rowan hates Lily because he thinks she’s Lillian, her evil-doppelganger in New Salem. He kidnaps her and doesn’t even care when she gets hurt – you can feel in the hostility on both sides! And then there is another person who existed in Lily’s world as well, whom she trusts much more than Rowan. So, instead of rushing into this, the feelings that they experienced were the kind that transcends dimensions, a love that develops with time. It is even sort of a mix between cosmically-belonging-together and enemies-turned-lovers, which was great to read.

The dialogue in general was quite funny and all the characters multi-faceted, even the evil ones. There is still a lot to explore, though they’ve covered a lot of ground in Trial by Fire. What I hated a lot of course was the cliffhanger – I can’t deal with those!

I guess there really isn’t anything bad that I could say about the book, but somehow I still can’t give it 5 stars. I want to know more about Lily, Rowan, Tristan, Juliet, Lillian and all the others. I don’t even know if the next book will take place in the same dimension and it drives me crazy! As I’ve said in the beginning, I wish that more people would read this series. It is definitely underrated! Why haven’t you read it yet!?

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! A very fascinating spin on witches and the world of magic, yet with another cruel cliffhanger!

4stars

Could I convince you to give Trial by Fire a try? Do you enjoy stories about witches? Why don’t I have the sequel right here with me, can you tell me that? At least I can check off another book from my TBR!