Why Book Reviews Aren´t What They Should Be

I think it’s safe to say that alot of people know what book reviews are, so no use to give a deeper explanation for that term.

But what is a review for?

Well, to keep this simple- reviews are there for indecisive people who search for a good book to read( and to help authors with sales ).Or, sometimes not help them ( depending on the reviews content). Either way- reviews are important. ( read 5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important )

But, did you know reviews can also be corrupt? Oh, yes. Quite so.

There are 2 major types of reviews.

1 )reviews

2 ) do-me-a-favor-reviews / help-me-climb-the-ladder-to-success-reviews

Confusing? It shouldn’t be. An author usually has a goal, and that is to make a living off of writing and that’s perfectly fine. If it were up to me I’d wish everyone the success they want. Unfortunately, the road to that success can be a rocky one. There’s so much to do to get „out there”. Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn’t cut it anymore.

 Writing a book and hoping for a miracle to happen doesn't cut it anymore

Authors/ writers depend on one major thing- positive feedback. The more positive feedback they get the better their chances are for more exposure. Word can spread really fast and that helps loads.

(Uugh…this is boring……* head against table * )

I like to say I’m a skilled book ninja. I have my eyes and ears all over the place, especially in the indie-author community. When blogging I keep an eye on all sorts of stuff, such as: new book releases, blog tours, author streetteams, yada yada yada, AND reviews. Yes. I read reviews, too. And due to my ninja observation skills I know who’s besties with who and who’s fan #1. If you take a closer look I’m sure you’ll notice, too. 

Can anyone remember the shitstorm Amazon caused with their taking down reviews from certain books? Yes. That was a thing and it pissed so many people off. I would know. I witnessed it, first hand. Amazon never took any of my reviews down ( Thank God ) but they did with other bloggers and fans. And guess what? Bravo! It was about time. Not that I´m pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m sure many deleted Amazon reviews were wrongly accused of diabolical review-washing. But the majority? Serves them right. 

I’m positive that won’t win me any plus points. But I don’t really care. When I hunt for books I’m just an ordinary reader. And when I notice someone is just doing an author a favor my blood pressure rises. How am I to trust these people who devote their lives to these authors? Their judgement is clouded in so many ways that their reviews aren’t trustworthy anymore.

Sure, I’m all for supporting my favorite authors. But stay realistic. Stay professional.

I’ve seen people befriend authors ( mainly through Facebook ) and get really REALLY tight with them ( again…that’s fine. Anything that floats their boats). And then I’ve seen those authors publish book after book after book and each book got the same LOVE as the ones before, by the same people. An author can write 12 books ( each with different stories ) in a year and still, they’d get 12 outstanding reviews from the same blogs who are oh-so-tight with them. Something is totally fishy there. There is no way a person will LOVE everything an author writes. No-ho! 

It’s impossible. There always a slower book in-between great books. A story that, in truth, deserved 3 stars because it was, in fact, slower, or a bit more softer, or just not someone´s cup of tea. Any normal thinking person would rate the slower book with 3 stars ( or less) because that’s how they actually felt about the story, no matter how much they loved the authors other books. But, nooooooo.Some bloggers / fans feel so much loyalty towards an author that they feel compelled to give the slower book 5 stars.

Why does that happen? Do readers/ bloggers think their friendship will go down the drain if they’re honest? Or does it have anything to do with stupidity? I. Don’t. Know! You tell me. But something is definitely not right there.

I’m not sure if that can be considered as healthy behavior.

Would you like to know what helps me pick a book? I skip all the 5 star reviews and jumped right to the 3 or fewer ones. I’m not saying that all high rated reviews are full of shit, but can you blame me for doubting them? Reading a 3 star review will not convince me NOT to buy a book because tastes are different. It’s as simple as that.

I know I shouldn’t waste my time breaking my little head over the review matter, because it’s really not worth it. Reviews are… subjective. I’ve wasted so much energy trying to figure out why bloggers aren’t fully honest with their thoughts regarding a book * sigh *. But you’ve got to see my point of view, here- I want to read a book and the only way not to dive blind into a story is to read reviews and see how others judged a book. And people who do authors those stupid favors ( because they want recognition or what not) aren’t helping me, or any other book nerd out there.

That’s basically why I was happy about the Amazon clean-out.

The book universe is sometimes a dark place. Bloggers doing authors favors because they’re afraid to jeopardize their friendship is not okay. 

There was a time, way back in the early blogging days, when bloggers helped authors get reviews by doing so called blog tours for their favorite writers. Blog tours are nothing other than a virtual book promotion where often free copies of a story were/are offered. The only thing wrong with those blog tours were / are… a reviewer CANNOT publish a review with less than 3 stars, depsite what their true thoughts of said book were/are. Anything to avoid a bad review. So, a reviewer either lies or they don´t review at all and risk a potential shout out from the blog tour hosts. I call that…. corrupt. And wrong.
Another observation I made:
Authors releasing new books and bluntly asking for 5 star reviews. Because a 4 star review isn´t going to make sales. * holding breath * The same authors then wonder why hardly any people leave reviews.  That screams desperate.

This is also the main reason why I believe honesty is the best policy. State your real opinions instead of doing favors. 

And for the authors who are hungry for fame….. The big shot writers often have alot of negative reviews along with the 5 stars. That´s definitely something to think about.

It´s amazing to watch authors and their devoted fans go to such extremes. But it´s less amazing when you spot the lie.

I feel cheated on. Ripped off.

5 Reasons Why Book Reviews Are Important

We´ve all seen them. They´re all over the internet, on movie / book covers and even in magazines in form of recommendations or as one-liners included in ads. In one form or another – we´ve all been confronted with someone´s opinion on something that piques our interest. Reviews.

We live in a time where everyone has the opportunity to raise their voice and be heard and the easiest way for that to happen is through the internet. Luckily- not everyone has to be a professional writer to whip up a few words and publish them.

Reviews play a major role in the book industry.

When an author decides to publish their work they need people who will read their book and leave an opinion on their story, or else, their dream of „ getting out there“ will less likely come true.

Sadly, alot of great books don´t get enough recognition. Many good stories never see a large audience. Why is that?

Well, maybe the book is terrible. Maybe the genre of the book isn´t popular and therefore hasn´t been able to reach a larger audience. Or, maybe… just maybe the book doesn´t have enough reviews.

In alot of cases, all points above can be the reason for lack of success. In my humble opinion- the main reason for a missing fame is a missing review.

Mouth to mouth propaganda used to be a reliable source when it came to spreading the word. But these days- it´s not enough to tell your neighbor about the awesome book you recently finished reading. You have to use the tools you´re given in order to help spread the word and that tool is the internet.

Now, I know what you´re thinking because I think about it alot before I purchase a book.

Are reviews reliable? To be perfectly honest… the answer is YES and NO. The problem with reviews are- they´re subjective. Reviews are 20% based on facts and 80% based on personal feelings. Every reader who writes a review will always know what the story is about but their feelings on the story is what makes a review a review. So, can I trust a stranger´s opinion about a book I want to read? The answer is still YES and NO. It depends.

But one thing is for sure- reviews help and here are the 5 reasons as to why reviews are important.

Reviews Help Indecisive People

Despite the fact the reviews are subjective, they still help readers make a decision. It´s a trust issue. It could also help to read more than one review before picking the next read. What usually helps me is to skip all the 5 out of 5 star ratings and go straight for the 3 star reviews. Those are mostly more trustworthy than all the ramblings from the outstanding ratings. Reviewers who give 3 stars often take a step back and try to be less emotional about what they´ve read.

Reviews Increases Sales

Believe it or not. Reviews help with sales. If you´re a fan of an authors work, especially a fan of an independent author, then publishing an online review can help them climb up the ladder of success.

 

Reviews Help Get An Author Noticed

So you read a book and want to share your thoughts? You call a friend or you mention the book at a party and that´s where it usually ends. The bush drums have collected dust over the last few years. My first boss used to tell me- „Good news spreads at a snails pace but bad news spreads quicker.“. There´s alot of truth behind those words but nevertheless, if you don´t spread the word ( positive or negative ) then people won´t know. People won´t notice the amazing author your discovered if you don´t use your tools ( technology ). It takes one curious person to stumble upon your opinion on the internet and you have the power to persuade that person with your thoughts. And in the end, you also helped an author get noticed. It´s a win / win for everyone.

 

Reviews Help Authors Improve Their Skill

It´s true.

Reviews are not only there to help with sales and convince a reader to buy a book, reviews are a form of feedback for authors.

If 20 people wrote that they hated the story then that´s their opinion based mainly on their feelings. It´s then a matter of taste. But when 20 or more reviews say the story lacked emotions then that´s something an author can work with. That´s called constructive feedback. Sadly, both don´t really help an author with sales but it can help an author improve their skill and write a book with more emotions for the future. If no one points out the positive or negative then an author will never know if they´re doing something right or wrong.

 

Bonding Through Reviews

Who would have thought that reviews are also a great way to meet new people and possibly make new friends? Yupp. Whatever a review entails there are always going to be people who either agree or disagree and that can bring people together. It can be an author who liked your review or it can be another reader… when someone reacts to your review and reaches out then there´s a good chance to make a new friend ( or enemy ). It´s not science, it´s nature. And here´s the clue- when people bond over a mutual interest then they eventually expand and form groups that often turn into larger groups and that always leads to a small fan base. The small fan base meets another small fan base and they create a large clique. That´s how an author CAN get fans and fans meet new people and sooner or later they become devoted cheerleaders with a purpose. Another win / win.

 

The truth, though, stays the same. Not everyone wants to write a review for the public eye. Many are just comfortable reading and leaving it at that. Which is fine. But keep in mind- If no one writes a review then others can´t be helped. Reviews do not have to be as lengthy as a novel. They don´t even have to sound professional. The sole purpose of a review is to help ( or not help, depending on the type of feedback you want to give ). It only takes a few words, maybe 5 lines to state your opinion. You also don´t have to use every single social media to publish your review. Pick one platform ( Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, FB, etc.) and I guarantee someone will see it. You can even contact a blogger and speak with them about your thoughts and maybe co-write a review with them. The possibilities are endless.

And that, my dear readers, is why reviews are important.

 

REVIEW- Walking Disaster ( Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Book Description

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts

Okay. At first, when I read the line Can you love someone too much? I couldn´t stop laughing. I still laugh when I read that. The answer is YES! Travis is capable of loving someone too much. I´d go so far and say his love is suffocating. But that´s just me.Walking Disaster #2.2

`Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, is the same story as `Beautiful Disaster` ( Beautiful #1 ) only this time, it´s told from Travis´s perspective.

If you´ve been following my reviews you probably know by now that I dislike dual POV´s. It´s bad enough having them in one book because they´re often ( very often ) repetitive scenes with little or no additional insight. When a MC from a previous book get´s his own story it´s worse because you have nearly the same amount of pages with the exact same amount of story and dialogue.

If I´m honest- it´s a rip off for me. I´m paying double for the same story with a 10% more use of the word „fuck“ in it. THAT is why I didn´t want to read this book at first. I sensed that this was going to be a 1:1 copy of the first book. My gut told me that it wasn´t going to be worth it. My friends, on the other hand, were yapping and swooning over the what they said was the best POV of all times!

I really have to start listening to my gut instead of my friends. I was right. `Walking Disaster` is just a 1:1 copy of the first book. I kid you not. Same scenes, same dialogue, etc, etc. Am I mad? Slightly.

I can´t really say that reading this book was a waste of my time. Not completely. I see the whole ordeal in a positive light. It was a re-read. An expensive one. That´s what aggravates me. I don´t have money growing from a tree in my back yard. Books aren´t cheap and if I get the same story with almost the same cover image I´m gonna be disappointed and my wallet´s going to cry.

Readers who´ve already read the first book KNOW how Travis is. He´s a loveable , passionate lunatic. I didn´t feel the need to dive into his little obsessive world and lust after Abby some more. I got the picture while reading book #1.

The few new scenes didn´t make this read more special for me. In fact- I didn´t really care much for them. I wasn´t sitting here with my mouth open from shock. * sigh *

Still- It´s a great story but you do NOT have to read book 1 and 2. Either one is enough.

Would I recommend this read?

Sure. To any Die-Hard Travis Maddox fan, definitely. For the rest of the world- Nope.

The Cover – 2 stars ( It´s like the people in charge of the cover were on a creative strike.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Same ol´, same ol´ with a lot more swearing and an obsessive mindset.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( It´s a 1:1 copy. I´m not going to hate what I loved before. )

My emotional state after finishing this read- Mad. Disappointed.

In short- I loved the first book so I can´t hate the exact same story just because of the POV switch. BUT…I can give this a lesser rating because I feel like I´ve been ripped off.

I´m giving `Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, 2 out of 5 stars.

If you feel the need to go against my recommendation and still try this read out, feel free to click here and start your re-read.

Book Box Feature

Book Spotlight- Slammed, Point Of Retreat, This Girl by Colleen Hoover

Slammed ( Slammed #1 )

Book Descriptionslammed

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

My Thoughts

Are you searching for something emotional? Would you like to read something that will touch your soul and break your heart and at the same time fix all your problems? Search no more. You´ve found what you´re looking for.

CAUTION: This review contains FOUL LANGUAGE. If you don´t approve of certain words I suggest you skip this review because, quite frankly, I have no other way to express my feelings towards this book.

What started out innocent turned into a „For fuck´s sake, why am I crying AGAIN!“ story. 354 pages of „I will never be able to emotionally recover.“. What on earth possessed this author to write such a gut wrenching, sob – worthy, fantastic story? Because- `Slammed` is exactly that. And it´s brilliant.

After the death of her father, Layken moves from Texas to Michigan with her mother and younger brother, leaving the only life she has known behind to start new.

Layken doesn´t like the change but is absolutely happy for her brother when he bonds with the neighbor´s kid, who also happens to have a hot, older brother. Will. Their new life doesn´t seem so gloomy after all. He introduces his passion, slam poetry, to Layken and soon enough, both hit it off and together they develop a relationship like no other.

Now, before I give away anything else, please know that this story is not what you think it is. It´s so much more. And if I´m honest, I have no fucking clue how I got through this read without breaking into a thousand pieces. My gray sofa was covered in a blanket of white crumbled tissues.

The main focus is at first on Layken and how she deals with the loss of her father, how she adjusts to her new life but also how she handles the quick happiness she´s found with Will. Their relationship has a twist but that´s nothing compared to what happens later in the story.

Sure, there´s romance, there´s wit, there´s cute moments where you wish you were that age again just to relive the intensity of a first love…. and the hope that that love stays your only love for the rest of your life. But life is about more than just love. It´s about what´s happening around you, too.

`Slammed` is moving, touching and, at times, so fucking unforgiving.. I didn´t know what to do with myself while reading. What these characters went through was beyond anything I would wish for anyone. The hurt, the loss, the love and the devastation ripped my heart in two. My tears wouldn´t stop flowing! God damn it. I haven´t felt this emotionally confused since `Hopeless` which is also from Colleen Hoover. ( I´m seeing a pattern here.) There were happy tears, sad tears, tears from relief, tears of sorrow… * head against table* And smiles. God, I was confused while reading `Slammed`. I´m not going to dive into the poetry from the characters because that´s just brutally raw. Fuck.

A story about young love, acceptance, forgiveness and above all, about life. `Slammed` is beautiful in the simplest way ever.

Would I recommend this book?

Fuck yeah. I recommend `Slammed` to everyone. READ THIS BOOK. Like- NOW.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s simple. It´s in color. It doesn´t really give away the story.)

The Story – 5+ stars ( For the love of God….. what a wonderful, heartbreaking / heartwarming and captivating story. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Will made my Top 5 Book Boyfriend List. Layken- I want to give her a hug and never let her go. Sub- characters were fantastic. Very realistic. All loveable.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Positively exhausted. Emotionally drained. I feel like everytime I think about this book I need a shot of something strong. I LOVE SLAMMED!!

I´m giving `Slammed` ( Slammed #1 ), by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 brilliant stars.

`Slammed`( Slammed #1 ) is available in paperback and ebook format on Amazon.com

Point Of Retreat ( Slammed #2 )

 

Book Descriptionpoint-of-retreat

From the bestselling author of Slammed, comes Colleen Hoover’s next big hit.
Layken and Will have managed to overcome the obstacles that threatened to destroy their love, proving that they are destined for one another. What they are about to learn, however, is that the things that have brought them together may be the very things that ruin their connection forever…
Layken is left second-guessing the relationship whilst Will is jumping over hurdles to prove his love for her. What the young lovers discover about themselves along this journey may change their entire world and the lives of those who depend upon them the most…

My Thoughts

I´m, for once, thankful for a Colleen Hoover book that hasn´t brought me to tears.

Will and Lake´s story continues. `Point Of Retreat` ( Slammed #2 ) wasn´t as heartshattering as book #1, `Slammed` but it was just as intense (!!!). Right to the point where I was afraid for the MC´s relationship. Because, this couple is meant to be together. My emotions were all over the place.

After the events from `Slammed`, Will and Layken now have to learn how to deal with everyday life. With both being relatively young they decide to take over the parental roles and raise their siblings, which proves to be a challenge for the 19 and 23 year olds.

New problems surface, making Lake question her relationship. Life isn´t a box of chocolates for Layken but with the help of Will and a few friends life doesn´t seem so worthless. Or does it?

To make this short and simple ( since I´ve already gushed my feelings over the first book more than enough ) I loved this book. A perfect follow-up story that gives a reader the satisfaction of knowing what happens next.

`Point Of Retreat`is told from Will´s perspective, which I found was brilliant because I was dying to know how he saw Layken and the situation they were in. His character couldn´t be more opposite from Layken´s… Will was, less difficult.

Lake/Layken often acted like a little shit over peanuts but that can be blamed on the many issues she´s had to deal with within a short time span. Her life wasn´t easy and anyone in real life would have needed quite a few therapy sessions to get over what Layken dealt with. So, despite my love and understanding for her character I still felt a tad annoyed by her behavior.

All in all a really great read that tugged at all my heartstrings. I felt `Point Of Retreat`. I felt the heartache, the sadness, the happy moments, the intimacy, the power of Colleen Hoover´s writing.

Would I recommend this book?

Definitely. After you read `Slammed` a reader will most definitely want more and this book gives more. Also, this book shows how two young people manage life under difficult circumstances. I know alot of 30+ adults who haven´t a clue how to start managing anything for themselves. This could be an eye opener and if not then this book is definitely entertaining.

The Cover – 5 stars ( What´s more to say other than I really like it?)

The Story – 5 stars ( Perfect follow-up story that includes more beautiful poetry and meaning.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Will was perfect. If Layken was a little less dramatic then I would have loved her just as much. And Julia. Oh. My. God. I want a Julia in my life. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – In love.

I´m giving `Point Of Retreat` ( Slammed #2 ), by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 stars

You can purchase `Point Of Retreat`( Slammed #2 ) on Amazon.com

This Girl ( Slammed #3 )

Book Description  this-girl

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

My Thoughts

`This Girl`. This book. THIS SERIES!

Be still, my beating heart… for this is the end of a phenomenal story. Or is it? I´m not sure. It sure looks like it´s the end and feels like it, too.

Either way- I´m bummed. So many feelings felt, so many tears shed and now I have to deal with the harsh reality of a life without Will & Layken.

I know, I know. All good things must come to an end at some point- especially when it comes to stories- but I´m not ready for this one to end.

When I saw the cover and tagline about the title my heart stopped.

Love conquers everything, but can it excuse the past?

I was terrified. There´s only so much fictional characters can go through without wanting to kill themselves or ending up in a nuthouse. My only option was to breathe and hope for the best. Right? It´s not like I have many useful feelings left for the author to play with. Colleen Hoover pretty much exhausted me ( in a good way, of course).

`This Girl` (Slammed #3 ) by Colleen Hoover is the honeymoon book. Here, a reader gets a story rehash in form of the MC having a stroll down memory lane while being on their honeymoon.

Again- If you believe I just revealed the whole story then you´re wrong. Aside from the flashbacks there are a few additional scenes and a total heartwarming epilogue, all told from Will´s POV. This is pretty awesome. * frantically nod *

While having their much deserved break from life, Will and Layken use the time to get deep and talk about… stuff. Things that are usually spoken about in private when couples reflect on their relationship and when they want to look forward. Brilliant!

`This Girl` is raw and real.

`This Girl` is a captivating story.

`This Girl` is a perfect.

A pretty swift and beautiful ending for a story that has milked my emotional household dry.

`This Girl` is a mandatory read for fans of the `Slammed` series. The whole series is a must read for everyone who isn´t familiar with the author or her books.

Now, let´s get back to the painful tagline from the book cover. I can answer that one easily.

YES! Love CAN excuse the past!! Now stop trying to play with the little feelings I have left, Mrs. Evil Author.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes. I would. I wouldn´t necessarily read `This Girl` before `Slammed` and `Point Of Retreat`, though.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s simple and the title doesn´t give anything away. Perfect.)

The Story – 4 stars ( It´s half a re-telling of book #1 and #2 with great additional scenes. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Oh yeah. These figures won´t ever leave my heart.)

My emotional state after finishing this book– So grateful and utterly happy.

I´m giving `This Girl` ( Slammed #3 ), by Colleen Hoover 5 out of 5 stars.

This book can be bought over at Amazon.com

Thank you for reading today´s Book Spotlight. I hope you enjoyed. Much love….xx

 

 

Book Spotlight – Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless 1,2 & 2.5) by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless  ( Hopeless #1 )

Book Descriptionhopeless-1

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

** WARNING- REVIEW IS OF A PERSONAL NATURE**

My Thoughts

`Hopeless`. My first Colleen Hoover book.

It all started years ago, New Year´s Eve 2012 to be exact, when I suffered from unhappiness ( not depression. Just plain and simple unhappiness). I was pregnant, my marriage wasn´t going as I had hoped it would, I had a million bills to pay and didn´t know how to pay them with being unemployed at the time ( I wasn´t allowed to work as a chemnist during my pregnancy )… Life was in general one truck load of horse shit. On that New Year´s Eve I had a fight with my husband and he left the house before it turned midnight and I was too proud to sit and cry over him. So, what did I do? I downloaded the Kindle app and bought my first ebook- `Hopeless`.

I was thinking, „Title sounds fitting.“ and started reading. During those hours of reading I felt the words written by Colleen Hoover sooth me. I was a mess and the author was able to let me forget about everything. I was sharing a world with Holder and Sky, accompanying the two main characters on their own heartfelt journey.

And the story was beyond anything I had expected it to be. The story felt realistic. The characters felt real, their words / Colleen Hoover´s written words carried meaning and gave me hope. But hope for what exactly, I didn´t know. I just felt it and it felt wonderful but at the same time, I was scared shitless because a book / a story never made such an impact on me before. My life is nothing like the characters life so I can´t relate to anything that has happened in Hopeless. Except for the words. In an odd way, they felt like… me.

You see, my pride from before… when I refused to cry over my own miserable life ( incl. the fight with my husband )… that pride was knocked down and I was a sobbing mess at 4:00 a.m. To this day, I have no idea how it was possible for one person, I didn´t know personally, to make that happen. Me? Cry? Yeah, right. I had better things to do. Life is short- better not waste it on crying.

I cried and recovered only to start crying again. When I thought I was losing my marbles I called my mom at 5 a.m. and scared the living daylights out of her because she couldn´t understand a word I was saying. I remember her asking if my water broke, asking for my husband and wanting to know who the hell Holder was. She also kept repeating that the „Sky“ was still dark and she was coming over. Bless the best mom on earth because she came by and made us a hot chocolate at the ass crack of dawn and we both talked about `Hopeless` until the sun came up.

It took me a full week to completely recover from my book funk. It took my husband and I a day to become best friends again ( because that´s what we also are.). But that book….. bah. Brutal for my well kept hidden emotional household.

Now that I´ve bored you to death with my personal experience with `Hopeless`I´ll put you out of your misery and talk about the story.

I loved it. It doesn´t get any simpler than that. Reading the story felt like sitting out on the grass at night, waiting for fireworks to go off and when they did they lit the sky and blinded me with their pretty lights for hours.

`Hopeless`is a story about a 17 year old named Sky who wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But for her to do so she needs to go to a public school and make some friends, amoungst other things.

Sky meets Holder, a guy with a questionable reputation, and before Sky knows what´s happening..her little sheltered world gets shaken up. Unknown secrets surface and threaten to reveal the truth about Sky and the world around her, including Harder.

This is a perfect example for a well written Young Adult book. There are bits of romance, bits of heartbreak, bits of how screwed up life can be…. `Hopeless` is the poster child for the complete package, including an ending that will most definitely tug at your heartstrings. What more can a reader want?

`Hopeless` is a stunning story that will haunt readers in the most beautiful way, for a very long time.

It´s been 5 years since I first read `Hopeless` and the author has written many more books since then but this one will stick with me for the rest of my life.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes. I would. I tried to recommend it to my mother, though, but to this day she refuses to read the story. She thinks the book is plain evil for making her ( back then ) 29 year old baby cry.

Would I reread this book?

To be honest- I´d love to but I´m terrified. As beautiful as the story was I don´t think I could handle another round of emotional damage. ( I´m fine now, though. * smiles * )

The Cover – 4 stars ( It´s nice. Definitely nothing compared to what´s been roaming around the book world )

The Story 5+ stars ( A brilliant story about 2 young people discovering the truth )

The Characters 5 stars ( I have so much love for those fictional characters. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Well, it´s been 5 years since I last read `Hopeless`, but I still remember the devastation, the love and the relief I felt afterwards.

I´m giving `Hopeless`, by Colleen Hoover, 5 out of 5 stars

To purchase this book just click here here and begin reading. I guarantee you´ll love the story. 

Losing Hope ( Hopeless #2 )

Book Description

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.losing-hope-1

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

My Thoughts

After my heart shattering experience with `Hopeless` ( Hopeless #1 ) I thought I could never go near that story ever again. I mean- That story did unfamiliar things to my cold heart. Was I really up for the same thing, only from the Hero´s point of view? Was Holder´s side of the story necessary?

If I´m honest- Besides not wanting to do another 24 hour cry session I also don´t like to read the same story told from a different perspective. I´m fine with a story being over the first time, if that makes any sense.

Anyways- we´re talking about Colleen Hoover here. I kinda felt the pull to give `Losing Hope` ( Hopeless #2 ) a chance.

I used the „rip off the band-aid“ technique and looked away while I clicked the 1-click button on Amazon. To make a long story short- I liked `Losing Hope`. My reading experience with the switched POV was good. Did I go through another emotional meltdown? Surprisingly, no.

Not being as much in love with this story doesn´t mean I didn´t like it. `Losing Hope` was an enjoyable read. Holder´s point of view was good but his side of the story, including the few additional parts, didn´t feel as powerful for me. The big surprise was already out.

And this brings me back to my question: Was reading Holder´s POV necessary?  In my humble opinion- No. The reason for that is because Holder was always available in the first book. He was there all the time so I didn´t have a chance to miss him, nor did I have the feeling that I needed to know more about him. His character was pretty vocal, honest and completely fulfilling. 

A reader does get a few additional scenes that made this story a little more different and not a 1:1 copy of the first book, which I found absolutely fab.

I would totally recommend Holder´s version to anyone who has already read `Hopeless`. It´s a great story that shouldn´t be left out of a Colleen Hoover book collection.

The Cover – 4 stars ( The cover is pretty, though I wouldn´t go nuts over it.)


The Story – 3 stars ( A re-tell of `Hopeless` only from Holder´s POV with great additional scenes.)

The Characters – 4 stars ( Holder was a bit of a handful with his emotions but my love was still strong for him and the rest of the Hopless gang.)

My emotional state after finishing this read– Happy and content.

I´m giving `Losing Hope` ( Hopeless #2 ), by Colleen Hoover, 4 out of 5 stars.

This book is available in paperback and ebook format. 

Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless # 2.5 )

Book Description

This novella is a companion novel to the Hopeless series, but can be read as a standalone. finding-cinderella-1

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

My Thoughts

I have three words for `Finding Cinderella` ( Hopeless #2.5 )- Short, cute and emotional.

A Young Adult reader´s dream come true!

I love Colleen Hoover´s ability to make me feel so many different emotions with her words. One minute I´m just a happy camper, loving the easy-going writing style and great storytelling, and the next minute I´m fighting back the lump in my throat.

I´m not going to bother explaining the story because then you wouldn´t feel the need to read it. We wouldn´t want that, now, would we?

I remember thinking halfways through the novella of how predictable this short story was. The idea of a young guy hiding in a dark maintance room who get´s surprised by a mystery girl is fabulous and as the story progressed I thought I figured it all out. Let´s just say my fortune telling abilities suck.

The twist of the story had me holding my breath. I didn´t like it, yet I loved it at the same time. Think of being punched in the gut and enjoying the feeling. Weird, right? Yes. Beyond weird.

As for the characters- I was hoping Daniel would get his own story and I´m glad he did in `Finding Cinderella`. I loved him in `Hopeless` & `Losing Hope`. The only character I didn´t love was Six.

First- Six was not as odd as she was made out to be. She was a normal teenager with a tiny reputation, if one could call what she had a „reputation“ at all. I honestly didn´t understand the fuss about her. Her name was Seven but she called herself Six. Fine by me. But I didn´´t see her as the ultimate bombshell she was seen as.

I don´t have any complaints besides the fact that this story was short. I would have loved to have read more. More maintance room scenes, for example. I found the moments the characters had in the dark really interesting and entertaining. Or, a more stretched out ending. But that´s just me being picky. 🙂

Would I recommend this book? To any Colleen Hoover fan, definitely. To Young Adult readers, yes. I´d even say it´s important for readers age 16+ to read this book as the ending is a little like a reality punch. I know this is just a story but the end has a message and a fine one, too. It makes a reader think and that can only be a good thing for teenagers and a few young adults, right?

The Cover – 3 stars ( It´s sweet. )

The Story – 4 stars ( My kind of read only a tad too short for my taste. )

The Characters – 3 stars ( Six wasn´t my cup of tea. But I guess if she would have been different then the story would have turned out completely different too. )

My emotional state after finishing this read?  Remember the feeling I described above about being punched in the gut and enjoying the feeling? Think of a slap in the face and saying „Thank You“. That´s how I felt. It´s a wonderful, confusing feeling.

I´m giving `Finding Cinderella` ( Hopeless # 2.5 ), by Colleen Hoover, 3 out of 5 stars.

This book is available on Amazon.com in paperback and ebook format.

 

I hope you enjoyed Monday´s Book Spotlight. Have a great day! xx