brunettereads: Colleen Oakley – Close Enough To Touch

Hier für die Deutsche Version klicken.

The first two weeks of my new job are over now and to be honest, it was quite exhausting, but good. But I don’t have much time left to read these days which is one reason why I miss being on holiday so much. When I was in Croatia at the beginning of September, I read Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley. I bought the book because of its subtitle: Once a boy tried to kiss me and I almost died. Sounds a bit cheesy, right? But when you read what the story is all about, the meaning is so funny. Well, kind of. But let me tell you about the story!

close-enough-to-touch-colleen-oakley

Photo: https://www.ebookhunter.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/close-enough-to-touch-colleen-oakley.jpg

Jubilee Jenkins‘ life is quite sad: She hasn’t left the house for nine years since her mother moved to her new boyfriend. The reason: Jubilee is allergic to humans, just touching someone or drinking out of the same glass might take her to hospital – or even kill her! Now she’s almost 30 years old and when her mom dies surprisingly and can’t pay Jubilee’s bills anymore, the woman has to earn money and therefore leave the house. It’s not easy for her, of course, but she finds a job, friends and meets Eric and his adopted son Aja. But how can she ever have a relationship to a man with her allergy?

The story is so cute! I liked the book a lot as it tells „healthy“ people about the problems of a person who deals with a severe allergy and anxiety. And now the line Once a boy kissed me and I nearly died makes perfectly sense: Jubilee really nearly died and she wasn’t just excited about kissing him! The result: As she became unconscious after kissing this boy, everybody in school laughed at her as they didn’t know why Jubilee passed out. And when her Mom moved out, she never left the house again. What are delivery services for? Jubilee also organized everything to not leave the house. When she has to do so, it takes her a long time and a lot of courage to even step out of the door as Jubilee is very afraid to go outside. That she actually leaves the house and finds a job (and then goes to work) and a new friend shows how brave she is.

Eric is also struggling with life: He moved with Aja to a new town, he and his wife are divorced and his daughter is neither talking to him nor answering his texts or calls. And then, there’s Aja… he’s the son of Eric’s best friend who has died and he’s super smart. Right now he wants to learn telekinesis and let items explode just with his thoughts. Surprisingly, it doesn’t work and he’s so desperate to make telekinesis work that he jumps from a bridge and tries to stop himself falling… Of course, this is not working either and it’s the reason why Eric and Jubilee met. This precarious situation shoes again how great Jubilee actually is.

Of course the book is about the relationship-to-be between Jubilee and Eric. As he doesn’t know about the allergy, he wonders about Jubilee’s gloves and some of her quirks. While reading, I really wanted her to be happy with Eric but let’s be honest: It’s really, really hard to be in a normal relationship when having a severe allergy like hers.

The actual ending left me with mixed feelings. Especially as the story ends so suddenly and doesn’t answer all the questions I had. Luckily, Colleen Oakley added a „7 Years Later..“-chapter. I didn’t like the story that much as well but there was one thing I was really happy about. The real ending then seemed a bit forced, like „I have to end the story this way, no matter what I wrote before“. And I was left with questions again, when I had finished this chapter.

Besides the ending I really liked the book and read it within a couple of days. The ending isn’t bad but could be clearer about one particular thing. But you really should read the book, the strange story is so funny!

Have you read Close Enough To Touch or other books by Colleen Oakley?

Advertisements

brunettereads: Helen Callaghan – DEAR AMY

Hier klicken für die Deutsche Version.

When you’re in a bookshop, you cannot not recognize Helen Callaghan’s book DEAR AMY – capitals and the green color… it’s hard to oversee! While I was doing my internship earlier this year, one go my colleagues had to write about this book and I got curious – because of the font and because of the German subtitle that says: „If you don’t find me, he will kill me“. Sounds thrilling, doesn’t it? So I finally got to read the book in August. What is the story about?

51lki4vs2ul-_sx319_bo1204203200_

Photo: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51LkI4vs2UL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Margot Lewis is a high school teacher, about to be divorced and writing the column „Dear Amy“ in a local newspaper, giving advice to her readers who ask questions. Suddenly, one of her students, Katie, disappears and a couple of weeks later, Margot receives a letter from Bethan who tells her she was kidnapped 15 years ago – and Margot is her last chance to get free! She describes how her kidnapper looks like, begs Margot to help her. The teacher goes to the police and checks if Bethan is a real girl (well, now woman). How can someone being kidnapped send her letters? Is someone kidding her? Or is Bethan really still alive? Will the police help Margot find her and also find Katie?

The story is so thrilling! Katie gets kidnapped right at the beginning and you want to tell her to watch out and not be too naive, but it doesn’t help. Then the story develops with Margot receiving Bethan’s letters and the reader starts wondering how a kidnapped girl is able to send them. Maybe it’s a trick of the abductor? Looking for Bethan becomes more and more the focus of the book and not finding Katie but we can see she’s still alive as we get to read her part of the story while she is kidnapped. But we also get to know that she will die soon. Too soon to be found?

The book is a mixture of Katie’s story, looking for Bethan and Margot’s private life. This was great as I wanted to know how each story ends and so I couldn’t stop reading. Unfortunately, the chapters were quite long (except of Katie’s) and I had to think hard at night if I really want to read another one or go to sleep as I still had to finish my master thesis by then (which I finally submitted!). But most of the time I decided to read another chapter 😉

The ending is very, very surprising. The turning point leads the story into a direction, nobody was thinking about, I guess. I was sitting in bed with my mouth open as I couldn’t believe what I’ve just read. The actual ending then isn’t that surprising anymore as you could’ve expected it. But the revelation just before… wow! It’s worth reading the book just because of this turning point! And it’s also worth knowing that Margot has been in psychotherapy when she was young because of drug abuse and hallucinations. And now, in the present, she receives letters from a girl that was kidnapped 15 years ago. Is that believable? Not really, right? But on the other hand, she’s not consuming drugs anymore…

I really recommend reading DEAR AMY! It’s so thrilling and the turning point is absolutely great. Helen Callaghan’s debut was definitely successful and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books!

Have you read DEAR AMY? How did you like the story and the plot twist?

brunettereads: Gilly Macmillan – The Perfect Girl

Hier für die Deutsche Version klicken.

After the weather was finally great again in mid-August in Germany and I was about to finish my thesis, I had some time left to read again. When I was doing my internship at the beginning of the year, I had to write a summary about The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan and as I liked the story, I bought the book – and read it half a year later. Well… anyway, I was really looking forward to reading it, so what is it about?

81dt8zjlxl

Photo: https://tulpentopf.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/81Dt8zjlXL.jpg

Zoe went to prison three years ago. Now, she’s 18 and living a whole new life with her mom, her stepdad Chris and stepbrother Lucas. Zoe’s mom doesn’t want her new husband to know what happened to her daughter, so they never talk about it. But when Zoe and Lucas were giving a piano concert, a man storms into the church, accuses Zoe of being a murderer – 12 hours later, her mom is dead! And it turns out that Zoe isn’t the only one with a secret… But who killer her mother? Was it really Zoe? But why would she kill her? Or was it someone else?

Wow, what a great book! The story takes place within 24 hours, including some flashbacks to the past and why Zoe was in prison. Besides Zoe, her aunt Tessa, her former lawyer SamLucas and her mother tell the story. So we get to know several perspectives that make the book even more fascinating. I couldn’t stop reading! When I was about to finish the book, it was a bit unreal as it felt like we were still at the beginning of the story – I mean, Zoe’s mother just died and the next second, the book is finished (well, it’s not, but it feels that way). I think you get this feeling as the story takes place within just a couple of hours. I was thinking if there might be a sequel of the book as there was still no murderer detected quite close to the end or if we get to read the revelation quite soon and short. The last one was happening and the ending was a bit surprising. I won’t tell you who it was but in the end, justice wins 😉

Zoe’s family appears just to be happy on the outside. She realizes that her mom is a total different person since she’s with Chris. She’s also surprised when Lucas gives her his first script, wanting her desperately to read it. When she finally started doing so, he doesn’t want her to keep on reading anymore after the murder. Why? What’s in there, Zoe first should read and then not? The revelation is really, really sad and it draws attention on a very important topic.

The book is great, fascinating and sad. I think that the story about Sam, Zoe’s lawyer, was not important for the main story at all. Maybe just the parts he tells from the past, but I guess someone else could have told this as well. But despite that point, I really recommend you reading The Perfect Girl. It was definitely not the last book I’ve read by Gilly Macmillan!

Have you read the book? How do you like the story and the ending?

brunettereads: Jojo Moyes – The Horse Dancer

Hier klicken für die Deutsche Version.

I have a difficult relationship to the books of Jojo Moyes: Most parts of her stories are so boring for me, but then the ending is so good that I keep it in my mind, thinking I liked the book. Well, obviously just a little part of it, but that’s the thing with good endings. But nevertheless I keep reading her books and get every single one she publishes. Maybe The Horse Dancer can change my opinion?

512njzf-d4l-_sx324_bo1204203200_

Photo: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/512NJZF-d4L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

Sarah and her grandfather Henri love horses. She lives with him since her mother died, but then Henri becomes ill and has to go to hospital. As Sarah is too young to live on her own, she is sent to foster parents. Mac and Natasha take care of her, even though they should rather take care of themselves as they are getting divorced. Having a foster child in their home is not really helpful in their situation. Not surprisingly, the family life isn’t working out well but when Sarah disappears, Mac and Natasha have to be a team to find her in France and get her back. Will they find her without fighting all the time?

I really liked the ending – as always – but I have to admit that the rest of the story wasn’t that bad either. But the beginning… Let’s start with the prologue: It is so, so long and tells us about Henri’s past which is actually quite interesting on the one hand – but on the other hand, it’s not. He was a dressage rider in France and we get to know how he ended up in England. His granddaughter Sarah loves horses as much as he does and so the reader gets to know a lot (and I mean a lot) about horses. You might now wonder: Well, the title already says Hors Dancer, so it’s no surprise it’s about horses. True, but as I read the book in German and the German title has nothing to do with horses, I thought after reading the blurb that I can handle some little horse stories. Well, I can’t, it was a little bit too much for me, even though I like horses. So I preferred reading Mac and Natasha’s story and read their chapters quite quickly, while it took my a while to read Sarah’s story. When the three finally lived together, I started linking the whole book and I was about to cry about the end.

Even though the prologue is about Henri, we barely get to know him. At the end, his best friend tells us his story and why Henri is the way he is. It’s actually a sad story, his life didn’t go the way he planned but I don’t want to tell you too much – just read the book! Sarah is the perfect example of a person who wants to fulfill her dream so badly that she extravagates. It would have probably helped if she ha just talked to her foster parents. But if she had been more reasonable, she would have been the heroine of a novel.

If you like horses and the stories of Jojo Moyes, you will like this book. And even if you don’t do so, the story turns into a quite interesting one and you will like the book as well. But you shouldn’t hate horses when you want to read The Horse Dancer 😉

Have you read the book? How do you like it?

Laura Griffin – Unforgivable

Hier für die Deutsche Version klicken.

When I visit my parents, I usually bring a book with me. Just one, as I normally stay just for a weekend and I had to write my thesis these days.., Well, but then the weather was great, I didn’t write anything and I finished my book too early. Luckily, my sister had another book at home and I started reading Unforgivable by Laura Griffin. It’s a thriller and I was curious about the story as it sounded really good.

unforgivable

Photo: http://www.lauragriffin.com/images/covers/250/unforgivable.jpg

What a shock for Mia Voss!  When the forensic doctor got back to her car after buying some groceries, she was kidnapped by a stranger. She managed to escape but just a couple of days after the incident, her nephew disappears. Just a coincidence? Mia doesn’t think so. Ric Santos starts to investigate and Mia is doing an investigation on her own. Are the two attempts to hijack Mia and her nephew related to the murder she’s investigating at the moment? While the kidnapper is still free and in desperate need to find and kill Mia, her life is more than once in danger and she fully depends on Ric. Who is the kidnapper and what does he want? Can Ric save Mia’s life?

The book isn’t that bad per se, but the suspense is missing. It felt like the story focused more on the „relationship“ of Mia and Ric instead of the case. Although the beginning is so promising: We’re right in the middle of the story, Mia got kidnapped, you become sad and curious about what happened in the past between Mia and Ric and why they are not a couple. When their romance starts, the story starts to get boring: I was actually annoyed by it as the book just focused on it and Mia acted extremely in love and thought about marriage and having children after she and Ric has sex for the first time, while Ric just put his toothbrush in her house after one week of their „relationship“ (that hasn’t even been one until this time of the story) – and he didn’t bring his toothbrush because of her but he sleeps in her house for protecting her and finding the kidnapper. It’s also obvious that a woman wrote the book: It was the first time I’ve ever read in a novel or any other book that the female protagonist wonders if she’s too fat after she had have sex. Really? Do we really need that realistic books? It’s sad that woman actually think about it but I really don’t want to read about it in books when I want to forget reality for a moment. And I especially don’t want to read about it in a thriller where it’s about chasing murderers.

As I said, I missed the suspense, even though there are some thrilling moments. But most of the story was easy to foresee. The chapters were too long in my opinion and when something thrilling happened, it was at the end of a very long chapter and the next one was as long as the one before and I was usually too tired to keep on reading. So I just read the first page of the new chapter and then went to bed.

The actual story, besides the love story, is actually good and interesting but Laura Griffin failed to embellish it. Maybe the love story was too distracting. If there is a happy end in the end, if Ric can protect Mia, if they become a couple and if they catch the kidnapper – sorry, but you have to read the book, I won’t tell anything.

As you might think by now, I don’t really recommend reading Unforgivable. I don’t think I will read any book of Laura Griffin ever again, besides a love story 😉

Have you read the book and how do you like it? Or have you read other books of Laura Griffin?

brunettemovie: Before I Fall

Hier für die deutsche Version klicken.

Haven’t I told you recently that I don’t often go to the movies? Well, but if I’m interested in some movies, they all are in the cinemas at the same time. So I haven’t just seen Baywatch in June, but also Before I Fall which has been given an incredibly long title in German. But not only that the title is so, so long, in my opinion, it doesn’t fit at all to the story and as I read the book the film is based on in English, I didn’t connect the movie with the book. But luckily, my sister saw the trailer on Facebook and as it is not only one of my favorite books but also one of hers, we went a couple of day later to see the movie. Is it as good as the book?

wenn_du_stirbst_zieht_dein_ganzes_leben_an_dir_vorbei_sagen_sie_plakat_01

Photo: https://assets.cdn.moviepilot.de/files/dc85e3257dcf280255b09b8810289a007b46e18c9273ad399ecee9271844/Wenn_du_stirbst_zieht_dein_ganzes_Leben_an_dir_vorbei_sagen_sie_Plakat_01.jpg

Sam (Zoey Deutch) is one of the girls you always wanted to be in high school: she’s good-looking, popular, part of a girl’s group everyone wants to be in and has a boyfriend every girl wants to have. The only thing that is not perfect in her life is the relationship to her family, especially to her little sister who is so, so sweet, but Sam is annoyed by her every time. It’s February 12th, Cupid’s Day, and the little angles in school give roses to the students. Of course, Sam gets a lot. One of the roses is a special one: It looks beautiful and is from a (not so) secret admirer. Sam and her girls also think it’s funny to joke about Juliet (Elena Kampouris) and so they sent her a rose with a not so nice text. But then Juliet appears at a party that night, she and Lindsay (Halston Sage), one of Sam’s friends, have a big fight and the girls leave the party – and have an accident. The next morning, Sam wakes up, happy to be healthy and alive – and then she realizes that it’s February 12th again – and again and again…

To be honest, the story isn’t super exciting, but with every new day. you hope that Sam wakes up in hospital and not in her bed on Cupid’s Day. But this doesn’t happen. Sam spends the first day like the original one, wondering why everything is the same like in her „dream“. But when she wakes up on February 12th again the next day, she realizes the it isn’t a dream, that she might be in a coma and relive the same day all the time. After a couple of „days“, she realizes why they had the accident, gets to know some interesting thing about her friends and gets closer to her family and her admirer Kent (Logan Miller). Sam tries to prevent the accident to survive, but when this won’t be happening, she suddenly realizes what she has to do to stop reliving the same day again and again.

It was already nice to read the single days in the book, especially the day Sam spends with her sister and the story with Kent. It was the same in the movie and at the end, it was really hard not to cry. The end was a bit tough and you leave the cinema with a weird feeling. I can’t remember if the end is exactly the same as in the book, but if it is so, I never realized that it doesn’t make that much sense. It’s also a shame that my favorite scene from the book hadn’t been in the film because this was the first time Sam really seems to be likable.

Because Sam and her friends don’t seem likable at all, even a bit arrogant, especially Lindsay. The other girls are okay and even there is every reason to like Sam, it’s hard to do so. This changes within the days (day? within the repetitions?) but I have to admit I still didn’t like her that much at the end. I’m not sure if it is the character or actually Zoey Deutch, maybe they should have chosen someone else to play Sam. Zoey is too smooth, someone who would have given a little bit more personality to Sam would probably have been better.

But I liked the movie, even though I wouldn’t watch it again just to relaxe. You have to be in the right mood for it as it can be quite sad and disturbing at the end.

Have you seen Before I Fall? How did you like it? Have you read the book?

brunettereads: Anna Todd – Before us

Hier klicken für die deutsche Version.

I read the After-series by Anna Todd last year and I liked it a lot but I wasn’t sure if I should read Before us, where Hardin tells us his view of the story. I was afraid that the book wouldn’t be as good as the four before, even though the story is good. But it’s the same in the After-series and reading Christian’s view in Fifty Shades of Grey also didn’t tell anything new (but the book was great!). So when I went to the supermarket just to buy chewing gum and some bread, I stopped at the rack with books that have a little damage but are still fine to read (and cheap 😀 ). And there was Before us and I couldn’t say no and had to buy it. So, how is the book?

Before us

The whole story of all four books before is packed into this book: Hardin is a rebel with a lot of tattoos who neither wants to study nor to live in the frat house nor talk to his dad and so on and so forth. He just wants to be on his own. But then he meets Tessa and he is fascinated by this nondescript and inexperienced girl that loves her literature studies. Step by step, he falls in love with her – but does Tessa actually wants to have a boyfriend like Hardin?

Yes, it sounds a little bit boring but the story is really good! At least in the first two books of After, after that, the story starts repeating all the time. Anna Todd avoids this by packing the whole story in this one book, as I told you before. The beginning is told very detailed, but after that, we just get fragments that show Tessa’s and Hardin’s relationship totally wrong. So if you considered reading Before us first and then the Afher-series: Don’t do it and read the four other books first and then decide if you want to read Before us.

To be honest, it’s really not worth reading this book. It was nice reading the story again (how often did I use „reading“ in the last couple of sentences?) because I forgot some parts of it – but it was also redundant (what a surprise!). But there are actually some new parts: At the beginning, we get to know the stories of NatalieMolly and Steph. And at the end, we read the stories of LandonZedd and Nate.

Even though I didn’t like the book that much, I still like the story and would read the After-series again. So if you’re interested in the story, just read the four books – and not Before us.

Did you read Before us? And the After-series? What do you think about Hardin’s book? Great or needless?