Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (Book Review)

Publisher: Piatkus
Page Count
: 384

All my friends, and I really mean all of them, who have read this book (be it in physical form or via audiobook) have raved about it and loved it with all their hearts. Not going to lie, that set the standard for this book pretty high, but I am glad it didn’t disappoint in the end.

Chloe Brown, a chronically-ill Black woman, and Redford “Red” Morgan, a tattooed rough-looking whtie ginger guy, do not fall in love at first sight. In fact, they are so convinced that the other one doesn’t like them, that they end up not liking each other. It all perfectly makes sense, because once they actually take some steps towards each other and open up, they learn just how different their true feelings are. The fact that it really starts going because of a floof monster of a cat just makes it a plus point for me!

There’s much to like about Get a Life, Chloe Brown. The characters are well rounded and feel real. They have pasts that have created insecurities, they have lives that are complex and filled with people they have history with. So often, I feel like the baggage everyone carries isn’t addressed so much in the woes of new love, but Chloe and Red really had some interesting hurdles to master and it was nice to see that neither of them was perfect, but they were perfect for each other.

“So I’m doing it for you because that’s how people should behave; they should fill in each other’s gaps.”

To simply Talia Hibbert’s writing style in saying that it is merely funny would be a grave disservice to her. She manages to capture so many different emotions and really makes you feel in the moment! It was so easy to understand the thought process of the characters, be it in their pain or joy or lust, that you might have been in their heads just as easily.

I honestly don’t care much for the sexual and very physical parts. It’s not my thing or something I pay a lot of attention to, but I did find the writing very sensual and not unappealing? I really don’t know what more to say to that, because I do understand the physical attraction between the two and how it seemed to be amplified by the fact that they fit each other like two missing puzzle pieces in terms of characteristics and personality – like, it was sizzling – but also … I care more about the conversations they had? They really were so compatible on all fronts, it was just a joy to see them try to make this work.

“Life hurts,” he said fiercely. “It’s unavoidable. But I know the difference between torture and growing pains.”

Still, in the end, there’s really nothing not to like about this book! The conflict made sense in terms of character development, without suddenly disliking anyone for the choices they made to protect themselves. I had a blast with this one!

“Love is certainly never safe, but it’s absolutely worth it.”

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Already looking forward to diving into the rest of the Brown Sisters’ books in the near future!

Have you read a book by Talia Hibbert? Did you enjoy it? Do you plan to read one? Let’s talk!

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Book Review)

glassswod

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.
Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count:
 444

This is the sequel to Victoria Aveyard‘s Red Queen and if you haven’t read the book, I do not suggest you read on. I won’t spoil the content of Glass Sword, but it will still give things away for the series as a whole, especially the first part.

I should probably start by saying that I was one of the people who absolutely loved Red Queen. I rated it 5 stars, not because I thought it didn’t have any flaws, but rather because I valued the entertainment factor that much. Now, I wish I could say the same about Glass Sword, but somehow it was a real let down.

We actually start right back in the action with Mare and Cal trying to flee from Maven (who I still hold a candle for). It was exciting, it was exhilarating, but unfortunately it doesn’t last for very long. Mare’s main goal to find others like her is a commendable one, but it makes for a slow story. There was a lot of traveling, a lot of Mare not trusting anyone and going in circles with her thoughts. And I can tell you that the repetitiveness of the book wasn’t really something that spoke to me. Every now and then there would be a spark of excitement, something intriguing happening, just for it to last a maximum of 10 pages and then go back to the slow pace.

I think the main issue here was that we had no real concept of the size or the areas of Norta and the surrounding kingdoms. They traveled miles and miles, introduced a ton of new people, but without seeing a map and having a real connection to any of the newbies, it was a little difficult to keep track.
Another thing that bothered me was Mare herself. I get that the betrayal from Red Queen made it difficult for her to trust people, but even when they actively prove her otherwise, she believes she is all alone. I’ve read enough about dystopian heroes and heroines to know that that’s bad. You can never make it alone and that made her behaviour so frustrating. She clearly wanted the people around, but kept pushing them away at every turn – lying to them and to herself.

However, enough with the bad stuff, there were a lot of things that I liked too. A lot of characters get a more page time, like Farley, but as I mentioned new ones were introduced as well. Some of them really stood out and I am certain they will play a bigger role in the future. I enjoyed seeing how everyone changed with time and ultimately also grew up. I have to admit that I am still super intrigued by Maven. He is sort of becoming a reverse Warner from Shatter Me and that gives me hope that he’s not all evil … I don’t know why I still carry a torch for him. The new abilities were also really cool, even though I still think that Mare’s ability to create electricity out of nowhere is among the best.

The main reason for this not being a flat out 3 stars, but 3.5 were the last 50 to 60 pages! They broke my heart, had me crying and angry at the same time. Even though the book really dragged in parts, those final pages were what really got to me and what assured that I will definitely pick up the next books. Yet I cannot help but wonder if it was really necessary to broaden this series from a trilogy to four books …

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! It had it’s moments but unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as gripping in total as the first installment. I am hoping for a better sequel.

3stars

Have you read the series? What are your thoughts on Glass Sword? Does the book suffer from second-book-syndrome?

Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Book Review)

redrisingThe Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.
Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.
Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Page Count: 382

I started this book not knowing what to expect. Seen as Pierce Brown was crowned hottest YA author by Buzzfeed (Yes, this is for real! Check out the post here!), I guess I just assumed that Red Rising would be a Young Adult dystopian novel … well, I am not so sure now. Despite the main characters being teens, I think this is a very adult book.

You cannot imagine how “gorydamn” hard it is for me to write this review right now, because this book took me completely by surprise and swept me off my feet. I can’t say that it was love at first sight though. The book itself is separated into several parts and it starts out with a lot of information, just to negate everything we thought we knew in the second part. The world-building is really complex with it’s own unique vocabulary that needs some time getting used to. Like Districts in the Hunger Games and Factions in Divergent, we now have Colours that separate the people – Red being the lowest and Gold being the highest in the hierarchy. There were also tons of references to Greek and Roman mythology, which I really loved, which I thought gave the story a very distinct voice.

Right from the beginning everything is very dark, cruel and unjust. A lot of things are already considered given from the get go, but at the same time so many very emotional things happen that you aren’t yet ready for. I think that maybe there wasn’t enough time to get to know everyone properly for some of the tropes to really hit you with their full force. However, as I went on I found myself unable to put the book down. There was this raw rage, the sense of injustice, an incredible amount of scheming and the pure confusion about who to trust. My whole body tensed up at times, almost shaking from the intensity with which I had to know how the story continues.

I really have to give it to Pierce Brown for creating such complex characters, each of them having a unique motivation, likable and dislikable traits. Darrow is a strong hero, but he is also human and therefore makes mistakes. He is incredibly relatable in his struggle between getting vengeance and justice for his people, but he is far from being the only great character! I changed my mind about so many people several times throughout the book, feeling my heart crack every single time there was another betrayal or death. So many people die! I was emotionally exhausted by the end.

In the end, I can only give it 4.5 out of 5 stars because of it’s slow start. Other than that I utterly loved it and cannot wait to continue with the series!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! People who like dystopian novels in the slightest bit HAVE TO check it out!

5stars

Do you know what I am going to do now? I am going to order Golden Son, that’s what! Have you read Red Rising? What’s your take on it?

Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale by Wendy Toliver (Book Review)

redRed is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help’s Granny with Granny’s baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales.
Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of “control” as she discovers she has a hot temper when the “mean girls” push her too far. (“When we learn to control it, we needn’t fear it,” Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname “Red.” She is plagued by nightmares that she doesn’t understand, but the Once Upon a Time fans will recognize them as her wolf side coming out.
Red balances the difficult times with Granny at home and the girls at school with an emerging and satisfying romance with Peter.

Publisher: Kingswell Teen
Page Count: 416

When I first layed eyes upon the cover, I was instantly smitten and simply had to have the book. I am a regular viewer of Once Upon a Time and Red/Ruby was one of my favourite characters on it, so in the end there was no getting around me reading that story. Unfortunately, it was a little bit of a disappointment.

The book is dedicated to the fans of the TV show and I can see the appeal of finding out more about the backstory of secondary characters. However, fact is that even though it is called “Red’s Untold Tale”, you really don’t find out all that much new stuff about her. I am struggling to put this all into words, so as always when this happens, I am trying to come up with a list to clear my mind!

What I Liked

  • However odd the relationship between Granny and Red may be, it was nice to see them in a day-to-day setting. But I have to admit that good ol’ Granny isn’t at her most likable in this story.
  • Peter and Red were absolutely adorable, in a having-been-friends-forever-but-now-we-have-feelings-for-each-other-and-don’t-want-to-admit-it-even-though-it’s-clear-as-daylight-to-everyone-else kind of way. The book was written very teen-oriented, so I think the slow building romance and the torturing longing was appropriate.
  • I cannot stand mean girls! Violet and her gang were some of the most terrible human beings ever, but they sure worked as villains and gladly only made Red stronger in the end.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Nothing really happened. And I am not exaggerating! There is a little romance, there is bullying from other girls at school, fear of wolves and Red fighting with Granny, but in the end there was no story arc. You got glimpses of how Red became who she became, but sometimes it was more like reading a diary than reading a thoroughly plotted story. A lot of things were mentioned, but nothing was followed through and it ended completely open.
  • When I think of Red/Ruby, I think of a really badass woman, who won’t be held back by anyone and who can stand up for herself and that was just not the case in this book. I really didn’t even recognise the girl in the book to be the same person and I am not sure that’s a good thing. I do understand that this is a younger and probably also more carefree and naive Red, but still.
  • Even though the live in the Enchanted Forrest, people are really reluctant to believe in magic and fairy tales. Also, they referred to Snow White and Cinderella as a storybook princesses, even though they live in the same realm. Does that just seem weird to me or is this legitimately confusing?

I guess I could have gone into a bit more detail, but in case you still want to read it, I want it to have at least a few surprises in store for you! I am afraid I expected a little more from it – more depth, more story, more Red (the way I know her) and wolves. I think I can best explain it by saying that it felt more like a teaser for Red’s story, rather than her actual tale.

ruby

Fazit: 2.8/5 stars! A fluffy, teen romance with not much substance and probably mostly appeal to hardcore OUAT fans.

3stars

Taylor Swift Book Tag!

Since I don’t want to bore you with all my NaNoWriMo stuff and I have no idea what else to write about, I’ll do the Taylor Swift Book Tag for you! I  know I’m a little late to the party, but her album 1989 didn’t come out that long ago, so … deal with it!

So, let’s do this!

1. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together
(pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with)

I’ll have to go with the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth … loved Divergent, liked Insurgent, hated Allegiant. In case you don’t know what happens, I don’t want to spoil you. Let’s just say I wasn’t pleased for several reasons.

2. Red
(pick a book with a RED cover)

This seriously made me wonder if I should organise my bookshelve, so that the books are colour coordinated. Turns out, I don’t have many red books and I didn’t want to use Allegiant twice. But I do own the movie tie in of Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I remember reading this within two days or so and really enjoying it. Honestly, this is the only zombie book I own.

3. The Best Day
(pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic)

I’m going to go with A Good Year by Peter Mayle. Whenever I read this book, I feel like I’m in the South of France, in a small village with the sun warming my skin. Since I actually spent a couple of months in the South of France to work there, this definitely makes me feel nostalgic.

4. Love Story
(pick a book with forbidden love)

This is far more difficult than I imagined and the only book I can think of is How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff. If you want to know more about it, you should click here, because I already wrote a post for it!

5. I Knew You Were Trouble
(pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love)

Definitely Warner from the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi! Again, you can check the books out in my previous post!

6. Innocent
(pick a book that someone ruined the ending for)

This might disappoint you, but I can’t think of one single book where that happened. I’m just amazing at avoiding Spoilers it seems. Sorry.

7. Everything Has Changed
(pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development)

Another tough one. I’m choosing Cheryl from Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I really enjoyed that book and I think that you can see how she changed throughout her journey. It is somewhat of an autobiography, so it makes sense that her character goes through some sort of change. Still haven’t seen the movie though … need to do that soon because it features Reese Witherspoon and Thomas Sodaski!

8. You Belong With Me
(pick your most anticipated book release)

Okay, this is going to sound crazy, but I love to have movie tie ins for my books. So, the book I am waiting for has been out for years, but I want to have it with the actual film cover. That book would be The Duff by Kody Keplinger. Since I have no idea how the cover is going to look like, the picture above is the regular one.

9. Forever and Always
(pick your favorite book couple)

Anna and Etienne without a doubt! If you love romance as much as I do, there is no way you’re going to get around reading the Anna and the French Kiss Series by Stephanie Perkins. I love those books!

10. Come Back, Be Here
(pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I hope there is no need to explain, but I wrote about the book in a previous post as well.

 

And here are some bonus questions that were added during Katytastic‘s BookTube video for the tag!

11. Teardrops On My Guitar
(pick a book that made you cry a lot)

I cried so hard while reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. WWII is just a really emotional topic for me and I loved Zusak’s style of writing, which made it so much easier to understand and feel with the characters.

12. Shake It Off
(pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters)

Are there haters for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern? Somehow I can’t imagine it, but if there are haters out there, I’d shake them off. Love the book to bits and again wrote a post about it!

So, I hope you liked this. If so, leave a comment/like and feel free to do the tag yourself! In case you want more stuff like this, just let me know!