Altered #1 – by Jennifer Rush

3.5/5 ★

This book was a hard one. I’m so glad that Anna, the female protagonist, could turn the corner because I really wanted to like this book.

Summary

Anna lives with her Dad together (Mummy is dead) and works with him on scientific stuff. The creepy thing is that they nurture four boys, who are all living for about 5 years in their basement.
The mysterious Sam, Trev the calm one, the always hungry Cas (very high identification level!) and the grumpy Nick. While Anna gets along well with everyone, she is always scared by the furious Nick who obviously thinks that being held in a glass prison for 5 years isn’t that great, while Anna and her father are taking bloodsamples and testing their abilities.
(Anna always wonders why he hates her so much. Ehm, excuse me? Would you naturally become best buddies with your prison guard?)
Nevertheless she manages to be best friends with Trev and to bake herself into Cas’ heart (Chocolate Chip Cookies? Seriously?).
Of course, Anna is always asking herself what all these tests are for but her father won’t give her the answers and so she …. what? You thought she tries to find out the truth? No way, she’s just like “oh okay. Nevermind. Poor boys. Anna and her Dad are working for the “Branch” and sometimes this “Branch-guy” Connor visits. Or Riley. There are two guys but seem to me as one person being multiplied. Oh, and she’s in love with Sam, obviously.
After Sams managing a brilliant escape, Anna’s Dad begged them to take her with them because she would be punished as well for the outbreak.

Opinion

The first thing I have to say: Anna is freakin’ dumb sometimes. She can’t help it, I think.
Wait, I’ve saved the quote… Where is it? Ah, here:
(Situation: They have to steal a car to save their lives!) … and Anna is like:

“I just … I don’t know if I’m comfortable with all this.”
He gave me a look. “Now is not the time for your morality to make an appearance.” (Trev)

Her life is threatened by some Branch agents and all she can think about is …. I have no idea what she’s thinking. Maybe she wanted to run all the way to Lancaster (where they were headed) because she is totally working out every day in the lab?
That was the first time I rolled my eyes but nevermind, I still had hope. (This hope died soon enough but we’ll come to that later).
Okay, this story between Sam and Anna is interesting but I’m more interested in the question if Anna will become a bad ass in the near future, because this whiny and confused-acting girl isn’t made to be a main character in the story!
While Cas saves the story with his hilarious jokes and his steady hunger for any food, I hope, that something might accidentally kill Anna. No, just kidding.

In the beginning Anna mentioned that she had some combat lessons, so I had some hope she could defend herself. The funny thing is, while she totally failed the first few times … out of nowhere (the last 50 pages maybe) she was all hero-bad-ass-like. I haven’t seen that coming because it was really happening without a plausible reason!

However, I have complained enough. The story lives (thankfully) with the boys (she calls them “boys”. They are grown man with manipulated genes but nevermind. Boys fits just fine). The characters are authentic and funny (Cas, will you marry me?) and the style of writing is good as well.
There are enough suprising turns or new information introduced to the characters but while Anna is too dumb to figure at least something out on her own, Sam has to do all the work while she’s gaping at him to keep the reader interested.

Eventually, I’ll read the next two books, because Anna got herself together and I want to read some more about Cas, Nick and Trev. (Especially Cas … and the grumpy Nick. I might be the only one who like him … maybe because he’s is the only one giving everyone a hard time AND staying interesting. A very difficult combination if you think about it!)

Just, so that you have an example, here is how Cas works (constantly thinking of pizza and icecream. I love this guy!)

“We’re free!”
Nick sayin’ something grumpy!
“Awesome.” Cas rubbed his hands together. “Anyone have some marshmallows?”

Sure, I do.

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Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Book #1) – Leigh Bardugo

5/5 ★

Actually, I wanted to review “Alera – Zeit der Rache” but after I (finally) finished it I was so bored out of my mind, I couldn’t waste anymore time on that really below-average sequel. I’ve never skipped so many pages before, all I wanted to do was strangle everyone. EVERYONE. Thank God it’s over. There is nothing worse than a stupid main character. Nothing!
Now let me get to the good part.

         369 pages, 7,95 € Kindle

 What’s happening?
The story takes place in Ravka, a very icy country with slight russian touch, which is divided by the Fold (insert dramatic music), ” a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh”. Sounds jolly, doesn’t it?
Alina and Mal are two orphans who grew up together (and she has a serious crush on him ever since). They serve in the First Army of the King. But one day Alina discovers that she has some really awesome powers (when her ship was attacked and her best friend Mal was in deadly danger) – she is a sun sommoner.
The Grishas, another word for snobby and spoiled magicians, who can heal or summon fire or do some other crazy stuff, take her under their wings. Especially the Darkling, the most powerful Grisha of all time. He can summon pure darkness (If that’s not cool, I don’t know what it is).
Apart from Mal she learns to fight and to control her powers and grows more and more fond of that good-looking Darkling, who wants to destroy the mold with her powers, so that there can be peace and blablabla.
But as always there are some very dark secrets…

Opinion:

I loved it. Every single word of it. As I am an admirer of the russian language (I have no clue why, actually. My mom is from a slavic country, maybe that’s it?) I love to read about anything that only seems to be slightly russian.
Alina is an outsider, always was and that’s why I like her so much in the first place. She isn’t shallow as others or pretentious or dumb (sorry), she follows her heart and tries hard. The reader is Alina at some point, you get sucked in so badly that after finishing the book you finally remember that you are actually sitting at home and not fighting in the colds of Ravka.
You are also enchanted by this world of magic and rough reality at the same time (yes, it sounds like a contradiction but it’s not). I am eager to catch up witch the sequel. Tomorrow, another train ride is due. I’m already too excited to sleep.

ps: I hope my grammar isn’t that bad.

A Thousand Pieces Of You – Claudia Grey

 4.5/5 

Another great start for a trilogy. I started this right about five seconds after I finished Trial By Fire, because I was actually searching for a book which is not the beginning of the trilogy. Needless to mention, that I failed.
Why is this picture so big? Because I love it.
The story takes place in Russia, in London, in the US and some more places else, so I think this cover is more as beautiful and suiting.
Do you find yourself in a situation sometimes where you just look at the cover and think “I have to buy it because it looks good. No clue if it actually is good. But I’ll buy it!”?
Yah, that was me the moment I saw that cover. Normally I check first, what the description says but I’ve already gone wild. “Don’t care. Buy. BUY! BUYBUYBUY!! WHY IS MY INTERNET SO SLOW?!

I am proud to say that I am relieved because this book is amazing! (My vocabulary is still expanding so don’t be too hard on me. I am always this enthusiastic when I finish a book which thrills me that much…)

What happens?

Meg has some issues with her hate-and-anger-management.
Okay, If the guy I was wondering if I could fall in love with would kill my father, delete all the great research of my parents (who are intelligent as Einstein by the way) and take the Firebird (You can travel through dimensions with this sneeky invention!) to vanish – yes, I would explode.
How could Paul do this to her and her family – his family? Paul and Theo, both some real intimidating geniuses, worked over years hand in hand with her parents to develope this invention. Paul was like a brother to Meg (the brother you think is pretty hot, apparently). Theo has this brilliant idea to hunt Paul down – together with Meg. Theo is like a brother to Meg, too, but there is also some very sparky tention there. I will stop here but I can promise you this book contains a breath-taking adventure with many turns and very interesting characters you will be glad to meet.

Opinion

Seriously? You still need an opinion? If you search for a book, which you can’t put away and which carries you off into another dimension (haha. literally.) – READ IT!

There might be some few pages where you want the story to move ahead more quickly, but I think that’s tolerable. There is so much fun in figuring out who the “bad guy” is and to be frightened at the end because you don’t really know what is coming next!

Trial By Fire – Josephine Angelini (“Everflame”)

5/5 

Finished this yesterday while listening to my secret all-time favorites Mumford & Sons.
So, here I go again, trying to do some serious book recommendation while struggling with english grammar.
As I started reading this book, the knowledge that Josephini Angelini had written it, was always much more present that I wanted it to be. Everyone remembers “Starcrossed” and now you are frightened to discover, if this trilogy opening will leave you unsatisfied or relieved, because it might be good or even better than “Starcrossed”
 At this point I should admit that I didn’t like the last book. The spark was lost. But nevermind, we’re now talking about another great beginning of a story.

Price: 5,55 € on amazon.com
385 (wonderful) pages
Language: English

Summary:

Lily’s life sucks because Lily seems to be allergic to kind of … everything. After dealing with a crush on her (shitty) best friend Tristan and public humiliation (again), she is willing to be taken away, as that creepy little voice in her head asks her to (yeah, at that point she thought she was talking to herself. Guess what? She wasn’t).
Now, she’s in another dimension, with another Lily (Lillian) and another big sister … and furious. All she wants to do is go home, take care of her sick mom again and get away from that creepy witch, who looks just like her (because she is Lily. Kind of. Read the book).
In this world, there is a war between the 13 walled cities (because there are so many monsters running around, kiling people) and the outlanders.
After some chaos she is taken care of by Rowan, Tristan (looking as Tristan from Lily’s dimension but isn’t exactly her Tristan and is at the same time. Confusing, eh?) and Caleb and she discoveres that she’s a badass very powerful witch who can end the tyranny of Lilian (that other witch, that looks just like her).
Oh, and what I forgot to mention: Lilian kills every scientist or teacher, because science is baaaad. (Didn’t figure that out, but I made some assumptions. Read the book!)

Opinion:

I liked it! Mainly, because the characters where so authentic I started to believe they had to exist somewhere. Lily is a main character you can easily identify with but there is still so much to discover about her in her development from a little, weak girl to strong(-minded) woman,
And yes, I liked the guy. I know, I know, that’s so … girly, but he is really cool and he is smart and ohmygoshheissofreakinghot….

Sorry, got carried away. What was I saying?
There is not even a second you could be bored, every time you might get the idea that that the story is calming down and then BOOOM another (problem) thing is happening! You suffer with every character (who isn’t boring or bad or not relevant) and experience joy and confusion and anger and desperation and … pretty much everything.
 So, read this really, really good book!
Now I’m struggling to call this my new favorite, because it isn’t as dark and (at the end) depressing as “The Young Elites”. Oh, damn it!

An alle deutschen Buchliebhaber: Ich habe zwar nicht die deutsche Version gelesen, aber ich würde es trotzdem empfehlen. Wer nicht gerade dem englischen zugetan ist, kann sich ja auch mit der deutschen Version vergnügen, denn der Inhalt bleibt derselbe.
Amazing.