The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I have never read the author’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series or any book by Ann Brashares for that matter, thus, I didn’t know what to expect, especially since The Here and Now got some mixed reviews. Still, I requested this book because I liked the sound of it and because I really enjoy reading time travel stories.

And luckily, The Here and Now was a great read for me. I finished it in two days because I really enjoyed this story. I liked the main protagonist Prenna from the very beginning and I could totally identify with her. The author managed to portray Prenna very well because I could definitely feel her sadness and her melancholy. An opressive atmosphere was created by revealing Prenna’s memories of her previous home to us readers. I really felt sorry for Prenna and her family because it must have been really hard to have to witness such horrible things.

The idea behind the book is great. I confess that I have not read the summary before requesting this book. I only knew it would revolve around time travel. So I didn’t know why Prenna and the others have immigrated to New York. When it was revealed that Prenna comes from a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic that killed so many people, I was really intrigued because I haven’t heard of this idea before. I only wish the synopsis wouldn’t already give this away because it’s much better to discover the reason for Prenna’s arrival while reading the book itself.

The romance between Prenna and Ethan was just to my liking because it was sweet, cute and not too overbearing. It wasn’t insta-love because Prenna and Ethan have known each other for a few years and they were friends first so when they finally became a couple it wasn’t too early or annoying like it’s usually the case with insta-loves. They were really cute together and they made a great couple. Ethan was a nice and great guy – he helped Prenna, he gave her space and was just there for her. Together they embark on a dangerous journey that leads to many unexpected discoveries. And I loved that part of the book because it was mysterious and I really wanted to find out more about the plague, about Prenna’s father and the future Prenna comes from.

The only thing I didn’t like about The Here and Now was the ending. I don’t know, but I feel like a sequel would be necessary in order to clarify and tie things up. But I don’t think there will be one because according to Goodreads this book is a stand-alone (someone please correct me if I’m wrong). I was not satisfied with its ending and I would have loved the book a lot more if it had ended differently.

Other than that The Here and Now was definitely a great read because it was romantic and mysterious, and the whole time travel idea of the novel was intriguing. I also enjoyed Ann Brashares’s writing very much because she managed to capture Prenna’s feelings pretty well and she made me care about the protagonists she created.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Hachette Children’s Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this great book.

Andreea

When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Ellie Cahill is poised to coin the term “sorbet sex” with her charming twist on the age-old ‘friends-with-benefits’ story.

Dating can be fun, but it can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. For Joss, ever since her longtime boyfriend cheated on her, she doesn’t want her last memory of a guy to be that jerk. Enter her college friend, Matt. They come up with a theory: after a bad break-up, a person needs to cleanse the palate with a little sorbet sex. Lovers for a night, but always back to being friends in the morning. The two can handle it because they have a contract: rules they wrote, rules they follow and rules they can sometimes bend. The arrangement works: everyone needs a little sorbet now and again … until it starts to be the only thing you want. And then Joss breaks the one rule they never wrote down: don’t fall in love.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I requested this book because I saw someone on Instagram posting a picture of it and I really liked the cover. Besides, I was in the mood for a romance book and the story sounded cute.

Unfortunately, the story was not the way I imagined it to be. First of all, I just thought that it would be a New Adult novel, which was not the case. The story is told by Joss and she recalls the time she met Matt and how their ‘special’ friendship has evolved throughout the years. Joss is already working and out of school when she begins to tell the story, so I was a little disappointed because I thought that the book would just focus on her college years.

I also had a problem with the plot. Not very much happened in this novel. We just get to learn about Matt’s and Joss’s ex-partners and how they sleep with each other whenever a relationship doesn’t work out for them – which mean they’re having ‘sorbet sex’. I know, the summary already told me it would be this way, but I don’t know – I guess I expected When Joss Met Matt to be more romantic. And in my opinion it wasn’t.

Joss annoyed me because she was so afraid of telling Matt how she felt about him and she seemed a little different from ‘college Joss’. I liked the younger version of her a lot better. ‘Present Joss’ was too scared and too whiny for my taste and I just couldn’t identify with her at all.

Matt was okay I guess, but to be honest, I didn’t care for him either because I can’t say that he was a swoon worthy male protagonist. He was nice, but he wasn’t romantic or had anything special about him that could have made me love him as a character.

I did like some parts of the book, namely some stories concerning Joss’s and Matt’s ex-partners because some of them were really crazy and I had to laugh while reading about them. Sadly, that was about the only thing I liked about When Joss Met Matt.

I really wanted to like this novel, but I just couldn’t because I couldn’t identify with the characters, the plot was kind of boring and the romance was missing. Thus, When Joss Met Matt wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rating:

2 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel.

Andreea

Broken Skies (Broken Skies, #1) by Theresa Kay

Disclaimer: I received this ebook for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. However, this fact does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thirty years ago, civilization collapsed. Few survived.
Ten years ago, the aliens arrived…and stayed.
One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.
Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do anything to get him back.

In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell’s world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived.

Until recently, the E’rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them… but now they have taken Jax’s brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E’rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it’s not that simple.

Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she’s drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales down his back. And he’s equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn’t know the alien’s true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.

In this world where alien and human are at odds, the connection forming between the two has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.

Source: Goodreads

My thoughts:

I heard about this book on Instagram and immediately requested it from the author because as you might know, I just love YA sci-fi novels revolving around aliens.

And Broken Skies was such a great story – it was romantic, action-packed, suspenseful, and full of surprises and intrigues. Jax was a great heroine because she was so strong and was willing to do anything in order to get her brother back. She had a traumatic past and I could definitely feel for her and I admired Jax for her strength.

Lir was a great character as well but I couldn’t be sure if I could trust him or not because he was hard to figure out and that cliffhanger at the end made it even more difficult to see through him and his intentions. I guess only the sequel will be able to tell us more about him.

The romance between these two characters was sweet and not too dominant. They first had to earn each other’s trust and with Lir’s secrets and Jax’s tragic past, it wasn’t an easy thing to do. Thus, when they finally came closer, it was really heart-warming and cute.

The world the author has created was fascinating and I loved reading about it because it was frightening but thrilling at the same time. There are breeding camps, aliens who may or may not be evil, humans that don’t really behave the way they should and there are some mysteries revolving the alien race as well.

Thus, Broken Skies was a really great novel overall and I am really looking forward to reading the sequel because the plot was exciting, the romance sweet and the characters well-developed. Also, the secrets and intrigues concerning Jax and Lir were very entertaining.

Rating:

4 out of 5 stars

Note: I would like to thank the author for sending me her book for review!

My Most Anticipated Books of 2015

Hello, everyone. I’m so sorry for not posting in such a long time, but the holidays have been stressful and I have also been updating my old blog The Moonlit Bookshelf for my German followers. Thus, I didn’t really have much time to post here or visit your blogs.

But I hope that you had a great time and that the new year will bring you joy, happiness, health, success and love!

I also hope that we’re all going to have a great reading year.

I’m so excited because there are some awesome books coming out this year and I thought I’d share them with you.

So here are my most anticipated books of 2015 (in no particular order):

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson  – I got The Kiss of Deception for Christmas and although I thought I wouldn’t like it because I normally don’t read fantasy,  I just loved it because it was suspenseful and the way it was written was just unique. So I can’t wait to read the sequel! Also, Rafe is freaking awesome and I love him.

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins is the sequel to Rebel Belle which was pretty cool and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver I love Lauren Oliver’s writing style and I’d read anything by her, so naturally, I will read this book too.

I Was Here by Gayle Forman sounds interesting too and since I loved If I Stay I want to read her new book too.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon is the sequel to The Bone Season and I cannot wait to read it because I absolutely fell in love with the first book even though I didn’t expect it at all, since I am not really into fantasy, as you might know by now.

The Beneath by S.C. Ransom sounds very interesting and since I loved the author’s first trilogy Small Blue Thing, I cannot wait to see if I like this new book too.

Mind Games by Teri Terry is the new book by the author of the Slated trilogy which I really love so I am curious to see if this book will be as good as her previous ones.

Winter by Marissa Meyer doesn’t even have a cover but I cannot tell you how much I want to read this book. I love The Lunar Chronicals so so much. So this book is probably very high on my list of the most anticipated books of 2015.

The Fifth Wave, #3 by Rick Yancey doesn’t have a cover, nor a title yet but I really want to see how the author will tie things up because I loved the first book very much.

So these are my most anticipated books of this new year. What are yours?

P.S. If you are curious to find out what my best books of 2014 were (books that I read last year, not only those which were published in 2014, also older ones) then check out my old blog. The post is written in German, but you can still see which books were my favorites last year by looking at the picture and titles.

Andreea