The Changeup by Nicole Falls (Book Review)

Publisher: Self-published
Page Count
: 144

CW: explicit sex scenes

Lately, a lot of conversations have centered around black pain, but there are also many stories of black joy out there and we should talk about them as well! When I saw the cover of this book and read the blurb, I was immediately reminded of one of my all time favourite sports dramas on TV, Pitch (seriously, if you haven’t watched that show yet, it’s SO good! It’s now streaming on hulu and if it makes numbers we might get another season even after FOX cancelling it). Having a black woman make it in Baseball is just always something worth writing and talking about. There was no way I could pass up on this book based on that alone and I am glad I read it, because it was such a cute story.

As you could likely tell from the very short page count, this is a fast read. You accompany Geffri on a whirlwind of a summer where things just get progressively more awesome for her. It’s rare for me to read a book where the main character has to face so few struggles, but I am definitely not complaining. It’s refreshing to not be confronted with unnecessary drama and miscommunication, but just a wave of support and good things happening.

I loved how deep it went into Baseball sometimes. While I enjoy the idea of this particular sport, I don’t know heaps about it, but I never felt overwhelmed or confused by anything I was reading. Obviously, I cannot attest on how accurate any of it was, but I could sense a deep appreciation and fondness for the sport, which makes me think that the author knows what they are talking about.
Geffri had that really special talent and I liked when we went a bit into how she struggles with praise and pressure as well. She seemed so cool and collected most times that those moments grounded her. I think we’ve all felt like that sometimes and stood in our own way.

Being singled out for excellence always caused me to put undue pressure and stress on myself which ultimately led to me being … where I was currently – plagued by doubts of whether or not I could really pull this off.

Another thing that was really cute, were the various relationships. I feel like some things were teased only and could result in spin-off books, but maybe that’s just the vibe I was getting. Geffri had such a great group of friends and such a deep and loving relationship with her very supportive dad. I loved that for her!

Again, I am sorry for comparing it to Pitch, because I do realise it’s very much its own story, but it’s really just a huge compliment from my side. Geffri and Noah, with their competitive flirtation, definitely gave me Ginny and Mike vibes (if Mike hadn’t been a slightly older white dude). There was mutual respect and common ground that would have likely been a great base for a friendship, but those folks were just too darn attracted to one other to keep their hands off each other. The progression of Geffri and Noah’s relationship was pretty quick, but not in an uncomfortable or rushed way. Sometimes you just hit it off with a person and while it got steamy, they also just talked a lot and got to know each other, so I have no quarrels with that at all.

There really isn’t that much more to say. I liked reading this story and I think we can all need something that is just so effortlessly positive in our lives every now and then. While I do think that it could have gone into depth more in certain areas had it been longer, I have no regrets in picking it up.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! If you enjoy happy romance set in the world of sports, this is for you!

Do you think this book might be for you? Were you as obsessed with Pitch as I was back when it first aired? Let’s chat!

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

theravenking

Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count
: 439

The Raven King is the final installment in the Raven Cycle! You can find my previous reviews for The Raven Boys, The Dream Thieves and Blue Lily, Lily Blue by clicking on the titles!

If you’ve read my previous reviews for the series, you know that I am adamant on not wanting to give away much of anything, which meant they were extremely vague. And I am talking super vague! As a little forewarning, this won’t be much different. There is just something about these books that makes me feel inherently protective of the story and even more so of the characters. Just like Blue, I’ve slowly fallen in love with all the boys and they’ve become MY Raven Boys in the process.

I usually don’t like endings, for obvious reasons, because it means the end. There are stories that I wish could go on forever and I am pretty sure that this is one of the few that actually could (also a reason that I am really, really happy about the companion series from Ronan’s POV coming out in the distant future). So, finales always take me so much longer to read, but I couldn’t pace myself with The Raven King. The stakes have been getting higher and higher for our friends with each book, but this was just pure intensity and despair and what-is-even-happening the entire time, so that I NEEDED to know what happened next. Every time I had to stop reading because of work, but was at a thrilling moment (which was a lot), I seriously cursed that place and adulthood.

However, even though it was a read that gave me all the feels and had me on the edge of my seat, I am not entirely happy about it. I feel like Noah was a character whom I adored, but who was constantly ignored. As far as endings go, I thought that Maggie Stiefvater did well, EXCEPT for Noah again. If I take that aside, the relationships went even further in this one. It had laugh-out-loud moments as well as the ones that made me want to dissolve in tears. The Raven Cycle has such an intricate magical world that just keeps on expanding. The entire series you grow along and learn about the world with the characters. Even though their problems are mostly of the supernatural kind, I felt like so much of it could be applicable for a regular human as well – wanting to belong, being curious, finding your place in this madness!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Definitely a deserving end of one of my new favourite series!

5stars

What’s your take on the Raven King? Did you enjoy it as much as I did?

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

TDT

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count
: 450

The Dream Thieves is the second book in the Raven Cycle. If you have missed out on my review for the first one a couple days ago, you can click here to check it out!

I thought that after The Raven Boys, I had an inkling of an idea as to how this book would go down. Well, turns out I didn’t. Of course, it did still talk about Glendower, which was the main plot in book one, but only very loosely in my opinion. It focused on different things instead, but you definitely won’t hear me complaining. While the first book was very Gansey and/or Blue focused with a bit of Adam, I felt that this one really showcased Ronan and Adam in a more detailed way.

I am not going to lie, I had my troubles with Ronan in The Raven Boys. He was arrogant and mean, not exactly the lovable kind of characteristics I am looking for. However, and this in no way means that he has changed much, I actually feel like I begin to understand him now and he’s grown on me so much since then. Basically everyone has! I love all the different POVs. It’s the perfect way to show the workings of all the characters, even the “villains”, which makes it all extremely engaging.

The plot … I guess I could talk about it, but there is something about the series that makes me want to keep everything secret so that no one gets spoiled. It’s such an intricately and beautifully written series that always manages to surprise you and pull you in. I already feel like I have known all of the boys and Blue forever, like I am meeting up with old friends as soon as I open the book. You sort of become part of their circle, seeing all those relationships unfold right in front of you. Again, this was so brilliant to read because of the characters and not what was happening.

There sure is a ton more to say, but I just don’t have the proper words to express it, so here is a quote:

TDT2

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I wish I could continue with the series right now, but duty calls.

5stars

Did you read The Dream Thieves? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? I heard this is the one that split quite a few opinions.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Book Review)

RB

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count
: 408

I’ve wanted to pick up this series in what feels like forever, so when I FINALLY got all the books at once, I suddenly became scared. I have never read anything by Maggie Stiefvater before, but you know how you sometimes hype something so much for yourself that there is absolutely no way it can possibly hold up? Well, I hyped this book A LOT! But as soon as I actually started reading, I realised that I had no clue what the book was really about. Heck, I even thought Blue was a boy (which she’s not. She’s a cool and eccentric girl). It’s pretty difficult to be disappointed about something when you didn’t even have a picture in your mind as to what exactly to expect. So, long story short, I loved it and am SO happy about that!

When we jump into the story it actually starts off kind of sinister but even though there are a ton of creepy vibes, I never felt scared. Which is a good thing, because I don’t like to be scared and also don’t think that the story is supposed to do that. In fact, I laughed a lot, while also being completely pulled into this world. It was way more magical than I expected, while at the same time I thought “yes, that is totally how I would have loved to spend my time during High School”.

Which brings me to my favourite part of the book – the characters. They are always such an essential part of any book really and this one is no exception. Blue and the boys don’t meet on the best of turns and it’s simply hilarious to read, because you know their fates are intertwined. There is bantering and friendship and love (platonical, familiar and a tinsy bit the romantic kind). They are immediately the kind of people you’d identify as squad goals! However, I didn’t love everyone from the beginning. In fact, I thought some of them were just plain weird or mean, but in the end they definitely grow on you. They aren’t just one-dimensional, they do have problems, and not just the magical kind, but real-life-relatable-problems.

There really isn’t much more I can say without spoiling people who haven’t read it (*keeping my fingers crossed I am not the last person in the universe who hasn’t*), but there were some great twists. You knew that something was up, but I honestly doubt that I would ever have made the connection myself. Twists are great, I really love them, but I would have freaked out if I had read the book without a possibility to continue with the series. It’s such a small statement, yet it changes everything. I am so looking forward to binge-read the rest!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! I want more, more, more! (Good thing I have all the books right here on my shelf!)

5stars

Have you read the Raven Cycle? Which book was your favourite (without spoiling me please)? Is it only going to get better?

The Notebook TV Show!

Yes, my friend, you read that right! They are planning to turn the 2004 movie The Notebook starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (based on Nicholas Sparks novel of the same title) into a TV show!

notebook_a_h

 

The CW has teamed up with Nicholas Sparks himself, who’s been very involved with the movie adaptations of his books, to create a TV show out of the story. The project is purely in development right now, so there is no specific information available at the moment. Still, it makes you wonder if it could actually work.

It seems that TV shows based on movies are very much in demand right now. Just think about Dominion (based on Legion/on Syfy) as well as upcoming shows Minority Report (Fox), Limitless and Rush Hour (CBS). Yet, the Notebook is a pretty iconic movie by now and many people automatically associate it with Gosling and McAdams in the lead roles.  It is going to be extremely difficult to pick the right actor/actress to replace them and with the CW being the network to take on the project, I hope they’ll go with some fresh faces instead of some of their repertoire-actors and -actresses. Come on, they do tend to use the same people over and over just in different shows.

However, I am also sort of glad that this is done by the CW. Some people don’t like the network very much, but I actually really appreciate their content. Also, I think that, due to its very romantic tone, the Notebook will fit in nicely with the other shows. They have proven to be able to pull of a costume drama (Reign) as well, so I am not even that worried about the show being set after World War II. (As of now, the Notebook TV show will only feature Noah and Allie in their youth and not when they’re older, but that could still change.)

What do you think? Could this be the real deal or should they just leave it alone?

P.S.: Because I couldn’t resist, here’s a BuzzFeed video of guys watching the Notebook for the first time. See, it’s not only for girls!

 

My Guilty Pleasure: The Royals

So, when I first watched the promo for the Royals, I thought it seemed a bit rubbish. It looked cheesy and cheap, but then they brought out a different Trailer and I couldn’t resist checking it out. And guess what, I loved it and am now proud part of the Loyals! Each week I anticipated the new episodes and the show rewarded me by continuing to surprise me. Therefore I thought it deserved a little review now that it’s over. (Major Spoilers included!)

The show starts by announcing that the heir to the throne, Prince Robert, son to Queen Helena and King Simon, brother to Princess Eleanor and Prince Liam has died. It comes as a shock to the entire family as well as the country and the circumstances of his death stay somewhat of a secret. At the beginning it really bothered me that we never once saw Robert, not even a photo, but in the end that was good. It added a lot to the drama towards last episodes of the show. Here are some of the elements that I liked most about the Royals:

  • The father-son/daughter-realtionship was adorable. King Simon was a truly good man and you saw that he made up for the lack of emotion that his wife showed towards their children. He only ever wanted the best for everyone and in a way I think it was very brave of him to acknowledge that the monarchy might not be the way of accomplishing that.
  • Speaking of the Queen though, she doesn’t stop at anything to get what she wants! But what is it she wants? She remained an enigma to me the entire time. She purposely hurt her children, the man she loved and her own reputation for what? To stay Queen?
  • Eleanor was my favourite person on the show. She is majorly messed up and an addict, but she’s a good person at heart. You know how much she cares for her family and it was often her scenes with the King or Liam or Beck or Jasper (so, basically everyone) that broke my heart the most.
  • Eleanor and Jasper (is it Jaspenor or Jaleanor?) are just so fun to watch! Who doesn’t like a relationship that’s founded on blackmail? Also, Jasper is another candidate for “Most Mysterious Character”. Who is he? Where is he from and what was his plan all along? We know so little about him … at least very little that is true.
  • Liam’s change from partying bachelor to heir to the throne was interesting and his relationship with Ophelia was like from a fairy tale. I’m sort of sad they have such a hard time finding a time and place to just be together and be happy.
  • I never truly liked Gemma, but she kind of fascinates me. She’s a lot smarter than people give her credit for anyway.
  • Cyrus and his daughters are one of the most hilarious elements of the show. Nonetheless, he is such a creep and you wonder how he could possibly be the brother of Simon. They are nothing alike! His actions are repulsive and selfish through and through.
  • Marcus was one of my favourite people as well! During the finale I couldn’t believe that I missed that he’s into Ophelia … Seriously, I must’ve been off my game because something like that usually doesn’t pass me. In hindsight though, it totally makes sense and I feel for him, because he doesn’t stand a chance against Liam at the moment.
  • The Finale!!! Just thinking about what happened in the last 5 minutes, it’s torture to wait until next Season with all that information. Robert was murdered, Simon is dead, Cyrus is King, Prudence is pregnant from him and what on earth is this Domino thing??? I mean that’s definitely one way to go and leave everyone clueless.

I think that sums up the whole Season and what I liked about it: so much drama! Let me hear your thoughts on the topic!