Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Loveless (Alice Oseman)

Rating: 4 Pfoten,5

”Our troupe consisted of two star performers who both wanted to be in charge, one girl who threw up every time she acted, and one boy who might possibly be the love of my life.
It was going to be an absolute disaster, but that wasn’t stopping any of us.”

I guess, Georgia wasn’t all too wrong with this assumption but damn did all the drama and confusion make for a great book. If you’ve followed my reviews closely you’ll have noticed that this was actually the last full-length Alice Oseman book I haven’t read yet and I’m so glad I finally managed to pick this one up. It’s very rare to read about aro/ace reps in books because I think our heteronormative brains are just wired to read about attraction and romance and if a book doesn’t have that people tend to be sceptical. I’m not judging here, I’m merely stating the facts because I’ve read about a gazillion of reviews that mentioned that people didn’t like that there was almost none/no/little romance in book “X” and that’s why they didn’t enjoy it as much as other books. If you’re that single one person who has never ever read a review like that please raise your hand (or write me a comment) because I’d really love to know how you did that. *lol* Anyway! Back to my review!

”I knew what it was like to feel bad about not having kissed anyone.
And to feel pressured into doing it because everyone else was.
Because you were weird if you hadn’t.
Because this was what being a human was all about.
That was what everyone said.”

This book was so real and threw so many facts in my face; to read this was actually almost painful at times. And boy, could I relate to so many of the characters! Honestly, there were about a gazillion of quotes that made me think: “Oh gods, I’m so glad this is written in here because: Same!” I’m not aro/ace but I’m demi and that’s an identity which can be found under the aro/ace umbrella. So it probably shouldn’t have surprised me that I could relate to Georgia’s and her friends feelings, but for some reason it still did?! Truth be told, “Loveless” actually made me question myself once again, but I think that’s good. If a book makes you think that’s always a good thing and yes, I know this is a very personal review so far but for me reading is also a way to learn and to grow and that’s exactly what I did when I read “Loveless”. It’s never too late to learn new things about yourself. 😉

”Almost seven years later, I’d never actually talked to Tommy. I’d never even really wanted to, probably because I was shy. He was more of an abstract concept – he was hot, and he was my crush, and nothing was going to happen between us, and I was perfectly fine with that.”

I mean! THIS!! That was basically me in my teens. I was what people would call a “late bloomer” and I had my first kiss when I was 16 and first real bf when I was 17. Yes, this was considered late in my youth because I had school friends that had their first kiss with 11 or 12. *lol* And I had some crushes but just like Georgia I was totally fine with them just being my crushes. I didn’t feel the need to be with them and never really wanted to end up with them if that makes sense? I only ever got together with boys/girls I knew for a very long time and had a close friendship with before we started dating and a lot of people thought that this was weird. XD I never understood why this felt weird for them and I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of just having sex with someone for the fun of it without any deep feelings involved. Like how do people even have one-night stands? I could never. Love, mutual respect, trust, that’s what I need in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I was always good at innuendos, easy banter and flirting, I still am, but that doesn’t mean I have to actually go through with it with a stranger. It’s more about the intellectual challenge than about actually going through with it.

”People are really out there just … thinking about having sex all the time and they can’t even help it?” I spluttered. “People have dreams about it because they want it that much? How the – I’m losing it. I thought all the movies were exaggerating, but you’re all really out there just craving genitals and embarrassment. This has to be some kind of huge joke.”

Georgia’s struggle felt very real and even though I couldn’t relate to everything, I still understood where she was coming from when she said things like the quote above. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that everyone always thinks about having sex (but maybe that’s just my demi behind?!) but a lot of people do and the concept of being aro/ace would be as foreign to them as sexual attraction is to Georgia. For me it was really interesting to see love and romance the way Georgia experiences it and I loved that Rooney, her roommate, was so open-minded and didn’t judge her for any of her actions. They were complete opposites when it came to love but they still accepted each other the way they were and that was a truly beautiful thing.

Rooney paused. “I think it’s pretty amazing that you haven’t felt peer-pressured into doing anything by now. You haven’t made yourself do anything you didn’t want to do. You haven’t kissed anyone just because you’re scared of missing out. I think that’s one of the most mature things I’ve ever heard, actually.”

The strong friendships and the found family trope was in general something I enjoyed about this book and even though the story started slow at first it totally had me hooked by the halfway mark. I think that’s something typical for Alice Oseman’s books, at first they don’t seem to be magical or special but the longer you read, the more you get immersed into the world and by the end of the book it feels like you’ve won a couple of new and amazing friends. Am I the only one who feels like that or are there other people out there who experience Alice’s books the same way?

”They were all just themselves.
I don’t know how to explain it.
There was no pretending. No hiding. No faking.
In this little restaurant hidden away in the old streets of Durham, a bunch of queer people could all show up and just be.
I don’t think I’d understood what that was like until that moment.”

Another thing I always love about Oseman’s book is the diversity we get! I mean just in the small group of Georgia’s friends we have so much diversity bursting from the pages it was a real pleasure just to read about it. (Wordplay not intended. *lol*) Jason has two dads, Sunil is non-binary (he/they) and an asexual homoromantic, Pip is lesbian and Latinx and Rooney her roommate is questioning her sexuality in the book and figuring it out by the end. (Not gonna spoil anything! ;-P) I have no idea if Jason is part of the LGBTQIA+ community as well, but I got certain vibes from him so I guess the reader is allowed to question his sexuality. I just love that about Alice’s books and I’ll never get tired of seeing so much representation. Also can we just acknowledge the mood of the book, because damn that entire book is such a #mood and for me personally, Sunil was THE MOOD! *lol*

”Sunil had already volunteered to be Viola, saying, “Just give me all of the roles that mess around with gender, please.”

”I feel like I’m going to cry,” Sunil said, and then stuffed three more pieces of popcorn into his mouth.

I mean! THIS!!! I loved Sunil so damn much and he was my favourite character in the entire book. I could relate to his character and I lived and breathed for every little Sunil snippet I got. Sunil was the perfect mixture of serious and funny and wow, I loved that mouth he had on him. The way he put Lloyd in his place and cared about Pride Soc and all of its members! Definitely one of my new book love-interests. <333

”Is it stressful? Being the president?”
“Sometimes. But it’s worth it. Makes me feel that I’m doing something important. And that I’m part of something important.” He let out a breath. “I … I did things on my own for a long time. I know how it feels to be totally alone. So now I’m trying to make sure … no queer person has to feel like that in this city.”

Also I can’t thank Alice enough for showing that even members of the LGBTQIA+ community can discriminate and exclude other LGBTQIA+ identities. I wish I could say this isn’t a thing and that everyone is always inclusive, but being a part of the community I’ve seen it happen way too often and even experienced it myself. So Alice is brave for tackling this topic in her book and I’m very thankful she didn’t shy away from showing a realistic and sometimes hurtful part of our community.  I really liked how this was addressed in the book and the speech Sunil gave Llyod will forever live in my head rent-free! Sunil got fire!! Loved that about him! ❤ And when I’m already talking about Sunil there’s something I need to speak about too. Sunil is introduced as non-binary with he/they pronouns but Georgia only seems to use he/him pronouns whenever she thinks about Sunil. As someone who’s gender-fluid I couldn’t help but wonder if that was on purpose? I mean I know pronouns are tricky and it’s not easy to know which pronouns to use for someone who uses more than one, but usually people who use more than one tend to let people know which ones they are currently using? I dunno. I was just very confused about the fact that I can’t remember a single scene (and maybe that’s just my tired brain) in which Sunil was addressed with they/them pronouns. Just something to think about. 😉 (It’s why I always used he/him pronouns when I spoke about Sunil in this review too.)

”I was angry at the world for making me hate who I was. I was angry at myself for letting these feelings ruin my friendships with the best people in the world. I was angry at every single romance movie, every single fanfic, every single stupid OTP that had made me crave finding the perfect romance. It was because of all of that, no doubt, that this new identity felt like a loss, when in reality, it should have been a beautiful discovery.”

I felt this quote in my bones because I’m sure everyone who’s ever been or felt like a lonely teen can relate at least a little bit to the way Georgia felt. And I loved how Alice Oseman was able to convey all those expectations we grow up with. It’s not easy being a queer kid or adult because just by being yourself you already don’t fit into the heteronormative narration you’ve been raised with your entire life. It’s a way of thinking that’s so ingrained in us, it’s hard to overcome it.

I mean alone the way people think about my kid is interesting and could already be a social experiment. I don’t mention my kid very often when I’m online but when I do I just say “my kid” or “my child”. I almost never mention the gender. Yet that doesn’t stop people from making assumptions. Which is very interesting. When I mention that my kid is ill and that this is the reason I wasn’t online on IG I automatically get messages like: “Oh no, I hope your son is doing better now.” Or “I’m sending your daughter all the healthy vibes.” Why do we jump to conclusions so easily? Why do people automatically assume my kid is a boy or a girl? Just with this little social experiment, you can see that we’ve got a lot of work to do if we want to change people’s heteronormative perceptions for the better. And yes, my dear reader, when I spoke about my “kid” which kind of conclusion did your brain come to? Did you automatically think it’s a girl/boy? I’m very curious what you thought. 😉

Anyway! You can already see Alice writing “Loveless” is a very thought-provoking impulse to think outside of the box. To question things, to think about why all of the fantasy books of my childhood had straight OTPs and why so many well-known fantasy authors still write only m/f relationships and queer bait us with side-characters that barely get any page time. It makes you wonder why almost every story has to end with an OTP, why friendships aren’t considered to be as important as relationships. Lovers come and go, but true friendships, they will stay with you until you’re old and wrinkled. Why is this considered less important in society than having a husband/wife and starting a family of your own? Who said we have to find that one true love and that this is the only thing that will give our life purpose, meaning and fulfilment? Who makes all those rules that cause us to almost break under the pressure and expectations of others when we’re different than the norm? Who even decides what the norm is? Who has the right to tell us what to do with our lives?

No one. We should all live our lives the way we want to and find happiness in whatever way feels good and right for us. Because we are the ones who live our lives and no one else can live our life for us. See, what I mean!? I love the way Alice’s book caused me to think so much!


This said I think “Loveless” is a masterpiece! It might not seem to be one when you start reading it, but the more you think about the story and the characters, the more you’ll find out about society and yourself. Georgia’s journey and the journey of her friends is important. The representation and diversity in the book is amazing and the way it makes you question things, well it’s perfect! Add to this a lot of confusion, a found family, strong friendships and lots of heartbreak and you have the perfect recipe for chaos! It’s a good kind of chaos, though! Promise! If you haven’t read “Loveless” yet, you definitely should give it a try! The world needs more books like this. 😉

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

ARC Review: Cutting Your Teeth (Caylan MacRae)

Rating: 5 Pfoten

*I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and Caylan MacRae for giving me an opportunity to read this book.*

It’s very rare for me to find a book that hooks me right from the start and keeps me glued to the pages until the very end but this is exactly what happened when I started to read “Cutting Your Teeth”. This story just had everything I craved for and wanted to read about in a book. When I picked it up I hoped it would be similar to “All For the Game” and it actually was advertised for this target audience but the more I read, the more I realized that even though the story might have some AFTG vibes it could still stand on its own.

“Visited the Stag a while back. Been a long time since I’ve seen someone fight like you.”
“What’d that look like?”
“Like you got everything on the line and you’re ready to die for it,” Killian says.

Alone the way the book starts and how Ezra and Killian meet was interesting and it was exciting to dive into that underground fighting scene. Ezra is used to fight and survives by competing against other fighters in the ring. Of course, this is illegal but it’s the only thing he can do to gain money while he’s on the run from his family and as long as he keeps a low profile they won’t find him in those shady places. Well, until one night when everything goes to hell and Ezra’s past catches up to him and forces Killian to act.

”It doesn’t matter. It’s my problem, not yours.”
“Ezra, we’re family now, your problems are my problems.”
The word ‘vampire’ may have knocked the wind out of him, but family is a straight-up evisceration. Ezra held no faith in families, not after the one he’d survived.

And this is the moment we got to the supernatural element of the story which involved not only vampires but also other mythological creatures. I already said it and I’ll say it again: AFTG and “Cutting Your Teeth” might have some similarities when it comes to Ezra’s character. He’s on the run from his family which seems to be some sort of mafia clan, Killian gifts him clothes, it’s a slow burn romance and Ezra doesn’t trust anyone because he’s gone through literal hell. But this is already the moment where all the similarities end and I was so here for it, because I got something totally new and a great story that was amazing in its own right.

”For a year he lived like that, speaking to no one and completely alone. Even with the occasional word from his sister, the isolation had done its damage. He stopped talking for a long while after that, slowly finding his voice again once forced out into the world beyond the family.”

I hurt so much with Ezra, because this boy deserved so much better than he got and sometimes to read about his past and what happened to him in the book felt like a stab to my heart. I really loved his character so much and I just wanted him to be happy and safe. It was so nice to see him change and to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t going to be alone anymore and I really liked that his dog Piper was an active part of the entire book as well. Usually pets just casually appear in books and don’t get all too much attention, but the author made sure that Ezra’s dog was always there and included in the plot. It was so refreshing to see this and considering the influence and importance of Piper’s existence in Ez’s life this was done more than just well. Which brings me to Marigold who is also an important character in the story and I really liked her relationship with Killian. They had such a nice sibling bond and even when they were angry at each other, you could still feel their mutual love. Plus despite looking very innocent Mari is extremely badass and if push comes to shove you definitely would want to have her on your side.

”I’ll give you a good answer for that, promise, but I need you here. With me.” Killian presses their foreheads together to seal the sentiment. “Don’t let yourself drown, Ezra.”
“… I’m here,” Ezra says, halfway lucid.

As much as I enjoyed the AFTG vibes and the supernatural element, what really made this story for me was the found family trope and Killian and Ezra’s slow burn romance. I just loved that they had all those little soft moments together and how Ezra started to trust Killian. This arc was done so well and the way their relationship developed was extremely sweet, which only caused my heart to ache even more the closer I came to the ending. It made everything so much harder to bear and even more bittersweet and painful. I was in pain. I truly was.

”Wish you hadn’t made me like being ‘Ezra’ so much.”

I was in tears at that point and it still hurts to think about. Anyway! If there’s one thing I have to touch on and criticize, then it’s the time span in which the plot of the book unfolds and happens. If I remember it correctly and got it right the entire book plays in the span of about two weeks and this just felt too short for everything that happened. I mean there happens a lot and I personally think it would have been more realistic to let some time pass between all of those events. And if we’re already talking about some of the negative aspects of the book I also have to mention that a little bit more editing wouldn’t have hurt. Sometimes there were sentences that weren’t logical or conclusive and at times the way Killian spoke and acted felt slightly off for his experience and age. This however changed nothing about my enjoyment of the book and since I read an ARC the things I just mentioned might already have been changed in the final version.

Ezra clamps a hand over his mouth to muffle a sound of surprise. He hadn’t expected the sudden detour or the feather light kisses trailing up to the exposed vein. Lighting arcs down his spine, turning any thought he might’ve had into radio static.
“Mo stór,” Killian sights. He curls a hand over Ezra’s heart and sinks his fangs in deep.


All told, I enjoyed this book immensely and it was the perfect read for me. I know some people might see it differently and that’s okay, but for me personally, this story just hit the right spot. Well, maybe there’s another similarity to AFTG after all: This book won’t be for everyone. If you love a good found family trope, a lovely slow-burn romance, supernatural creatures, AFTG vibes and broken boys that learn to heal you’ll definitely enjoy this story though. And last but not least because I just can’t end this review without mentioning it: Killian’s Gaelic endearments killed me! No seriously, whenever he addressed Ezra with another term of endearment I died a little inside. I wish Ez would have understood them and I can only hope he will be able to in book two! I honestly can’t wait to read the sequel but since this was an ARC I’m afraid it’s going to be a long wait. I already know it will be worth it, though.

Trigger warnings:thoughts of suicide (on page), emotional and physical abuse, illegal fights, assault, attempted murder, violence, inebriation, oppression
Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

April Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

For once I’m actually early with my monthly Wrap Up post. Mostly because I didn’t write a lot of reviews lately and fell behind again. >_< I swear the closer the end of my educational sabbatical gets, the busier I become. *lol* At the moment it feels like I’m trying to do everything at once and it’s not easy. I’ve to finish my last course, I’ve to navigate family life and I’ve recently started to go job hunting again. So it’s just been a lot … XD

Add to that a sick kid, lots of appointments, a death in the family, a very ill relative and lots of other things and you can see that my plate is pretty full right now.  My kid is still ill as I type this and I’ve paused writing this post about 5 times already. Honestly, I have no idea how I’m supposed to get my homework done this week, let alone to go job hunting. Naturally my reading suffered as well and I didn’t write a single review in two weeks. Ooops.

But hey, I managed to get up my May TBR on BookTube so I count that as a win. *lol* (It helped that the video was on the shorter side for once. Haha!) So you can see April was quite the rollercoaster with the usual madness added to the mix. XD I really hope May will be a better month again but I’m not all too sure it will be. Guess we’ll have to see what’s going to happen. 😉

For now I’ll just head to my monthly wrap up and hope for the best! *fingers crossed*

Books read: 5 (5 books & 0 webcomic, Since I added the book I read with my kid too, it were actually 5 books. *lol*)

Pages read: 1.764 (Not too bad this month. )

Average rating: 4,40 (I had so much fun with all of those books and it shows in my rating! 😀 )

Books that were on my reading list: 2 ( 0 from 2021, 1 from 2022 and 1 from 2023.  Well, not my best TBR month but I managed to read two books so that’s better than in some other months. *lol* )

April Reads:



Winter’s Orbit: 4 Pfoten,5

I wanted to read this ever since I stumbled upon the ARC on NetGalley, but unfortunately I was declined and it took me about a year to actually get to the book. I honestly didn’t expect my library to have it but here we are and it was amazing! I absolutely adored Prince Kiem and I really liked Jainan! Also this was such a unique setting! I mean it plays on another planet and there was a mystery element surrounding the death of Jainan’s former husband and a lot of political intrigues. The romance took kind of a backseat here but I personally loved everything about this book except of the huge miscommunication trope. I mean I get why there was one, it makes perfect sense once you read the entire book but I’m no fan of that sort of trope so this is basically the only reason why this got 4,5 paws from me an not all five.

Flash Fire: 4 Pfoten,5

I laughed tears reading this book! I didn’t think this was possible but it probably was even more hilarious than book one! *lol* Nicky and his antics will never cease to amuse me and I was so happy to see that him and Seth are in such a steady relationship. Gibby and Jazz were adorable too and I love that we have a kickass lesbian side couple here. Also why is Nick so relatable? I love him and his thoughts! ❤ But of course it’s not all rainbows and sunshine and T.J. Klune tackled a lot of serious topics as well. I can’t wait to dive into book three. =)

She Gets the Girl: 4 Pfoten

I’ve been on a roll when it comes to f/f books and this one was super cute and really great! I loved this enemies-to-lovers relationship and Molly and Alex were perfect together. I found it super interesting that there were quite the heavy topics in this one as well and I felt really sorry for Alex at some parts. She always seemed to be so composed and cool but beneath the surface there was a lot of trouble and it was really nice to see how Molly got to know her even better with every time they met. I actually managed to get up a full review for this one so you can just follow the link if you want to read it in all its glory! *lol* 😉

Cutting Your Teeth: 5 Pfoten

THIS BOOK!!! *screams in excited* OMG!!! This was pegged as AFTG meets vampires and I was so happy I got an ARC of it! AND I was not disappointed!!! Damn, I loved this so much! ❤ Were there some typos and could the writing need some editing? YES! Was it amazing nonetheless? Also YES! I just loved all the AFTG/Neil Josten vibes I got from Ezra and Killian was the perfect mysterious love interest. But beware, while this book might have some AFTG vibes this doesn’t mean that it is similar. It totally could stand on its own and I loved that this was such a unique story with vampires, two distrustful boys, a found family trope and other supernatural creatures. This was the first in a series and I honestly can’t wait to read book two. This might be my new obsession. Oh and yeah, fair warning: The romance is very slow-burn! xD

Lichterland: 4 Pfoten

This book was so much fun! I know it’s a children’s book, but even my adult butt had a lot of fun reading this with my kid. We read a new chapter each night and I absolutely loved the drawings and the world in which the two MCs Karla and Frederik lived. Frederik is a Prince and Karla is a common girl but they meet in the „Glimmerwald“ and then become besties that go on an adventure to find a magical amulet. I loved all the creatures in this book, no matter if it were elves, shadow biters, Wirbelwutsch’s, candle leprechauns etc. If you have a kid and can read in German you should definitely go for it. 😉


This said: How was your April? Did you read many books? Which book was your favourite and did you read as many great books as I did? Did you already read the books I mentioned and if „yes“ did you enjoy them?

Talk to me and let me know! 😉

And as always take care and stay healthy and safe!



The Sassy Library Fox

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: She Gets the Girl (Rachael Lippincott & Alyson Derrick)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Even though she makes me want to rip my hair out most days … she’s also the only person I’ve ever met and not been related to that I can be completely myself around, without buckling under the weight of my anxiety. I haven’t totally figured out why yet.”

But I have and it was a lot of fun to watch Molly come to the same conclusion. ;-P Those two!! I enjoyed this book so much and read it in a couple of days, which is very untypical for me. This is always a good sign and shows that I obviously had an amazing time. *lol* So what is the book about? Well, I guess you can already gather that from the blurb but I’ll still give you my two cents. In short you might say “She Gets the Girl” is about two girls that try to help each other out, but then accidentally end up falling in love instead. So far so good, sounds like a typical rom-com, but it’s not because the two MCs have quite a lot on their plates.

”Even though I’m finally gone, it suddenly feels like I’m right back in the house I left behind. Just waiting. Waiting for Mom to come home.
My mind would always get the better of me. I couldn’t stop obsessing over where she was. Who she was with. How much she was drinking. How much she was spending when we had a whole stack of bills on the kitchen table.”

Alex just moved out of her childhood home and is trying to start a new life in another city, but unfortunately, that’s not as easy as it sounds. She’s constantly broke because of her mom’s addiction, tries to juggle school and a new job, her roommate doesn’t like her because her boyfriend apparently has the hots for Alex (not that she would be even interested) and desperately tries to get her girlfriend back as well. So yeah, you might say Alex’s first week didn’t start all too well.

”I give her another hug because while I know it’s lame … we’re basically best friends. We’ve never explicitly called each other that, but when you’re this close with someone, it doesn’t need to be said. She’s been my closest friend all through high school. My only friend, if I’m honest.”

Not that Molly is doing much better on her end. (At least for her standards.) She just moved into her room and realized that she has a single dorm, so that means no roommates which was basically something she was afraid of but also desperately wished for because her social anxiety is already bad enough and it would have been easier to make friends. But alas no luck. Molly is stuck in a single dorm, has no idea how to cope with being at a foreign place, misses her mom who was her only friend and finally wants to get to know her crush a little bit better. Thankfully, she’s invited to a party, a party where her crush seems to flirt with Alex and Molly is not amused!

A conflict between the two is almost inevitable and they realize that they don’t like each other very much. Which was so much fun, because this was some sort of enemies-to-lovers trope and as you all know I love them! Anyway! It doesn’t take a genius to realize Molly is head over heels for Nora and Alex is pretty sure she can help her get the girl and prove to her kind of ex-girlfriend Natalie that she can have a friendship with other girls without lusting after them. (If you ask me that’s a red flag and tells you enough about Natalie’s character to understand that she’s a bad influence and not good for Alex. The way Natalie treated her… *shakes head*)

”But like … how? I’m not you.”
“You don’t have to be. You were yourself with him. You found something you knew about him and used that to work your way in. That’s all it is. I just want you to be more you, instead of a little ball of quiet anxiety in the corner of the party.”

So the two make a deal and start spending time together, which ultimately causes them to get to know each other even better than they wanted to. And this was done so well. I really liked how they went from enemies at first sight with a real strong animosity to tentative allies that became good friends and even more in the end. The way they started to share food and thoughts was amazing and it all felt so natural. I mean there are those two girls that try to win over their love-interests, yet at the same time they spend so much time together and get to know each other in the most intimate and open way possible. They don’t have to hide anything from each other because they both know who they are. They know each other’s weaknesses and strengths and can just “be” when they spend time together. They can be brutally honest and candid and just say what they think and feel.

”It’s been a while since I’ve had someone to hang out with like …” She motions back and forth between us. “Well, like this.”
That breaks my heart a little, but … I get it.
It’s been a while since I just hung out with someone like this. Someone I wasn’t trying to date or flirt with or keep comfortably at arm’s length. Someone that just wanted to hang out with me.
“Yeah. Me too,” I say.

This was such a lovely aspect of the story and I really appreciated how their relationship was portrayed. Which brings me right to their chemistry on page. Those two girls had many cute moments and even though they were rather brief you could still feel the growing tension between them. No matter if it was Alex or Molly, they both became acutely aware of each other and it was extremely sweet to see them struggle with their feelings and the sudden realization that there might be more between them than just friendship.

”Did I screw it up?” She tugs at the shirt tied around her waist.”It’s the flannel, isn’t it? I knew I should’ve just worn a button-down instead …”
“No. You just … look … you look … really pretty,” I manage to get out, looking at the way the jeans accentuate the curve of her hips.
Molly’s hips, I remind myself, and pull my eyes quickly away.

Plus I really liked that Molly always invited Alex to lunch, dinner, etc. For Molly it was no big deal but for Alex it was basically her love language! XD Which was kinda funny to realize while I read the book, because due to Alex’s circumstances she never has all too much money to spend on food or nice things and here comes Molly spoiling her senseless with treats. *lol* This was really cute because Molly didn’t even think about it and just wanted to do something good for Alex. Thankfully Alex was one of those girls that didn’t take offense and actually could accept the offer.

”Some things have to fall apart because they don’t belong together, but some things belong so much they could never break.”

It wasn’t all sunshine and falling in love, though and the more serious parts of the book hit pretty hard as well. Molly’s social anxiety and all the troubles it entailed, her conflict with her mom because she’s too protective and doesn’t give her space to discover and find herself and her wish to be proud of her Korean heritage that’s constantly thwarted by the fact that her mom hates being Korean. It’s not easy to find your identity and if your parents don’t acknowledge an important and integral part of themselves, how are you supposed to do it?

”I don’t want to be an open book. I can’t be. Because I’m rotten just beneath the surface, and deep down I’m scared she knows that.”

Alex’s problems were of a different nature and my heart broke so much for her. To grow up like this, to constantly be worried about your mom and that she might end up dead because you’re not around to pay the bills anymore or to make sure she eats and doesn’t waste her money on booze. To work twice, as hard because she knew sooner or later she would have to pay a lot of money to get her mom out of trouble again. It was really hard to read about and gosh, I’m so glad Jim was on her side because without this precious man Alex probably would have lost it. He’s an angel, I swear. Gruff teddybear. I love him. <333

”Maybe she’s not the girl that gets everything so easily.
Maybe she’s so good at helping me show myself to the world because she’s put up a front of her own.”


Considering it all the book tackled many serious topics as well and I think the mixture of the light-hearted moments and the harsh ones was done very well. I also appreciated that they were addressed and challenged and that all the loose ends were tied up by the end of the book. I really don’t like open-endings that keep me guessing about the characters so to have full closure after finishing the story was nice. =) All told I had a very good time reading “She Gets the Girl” and I can’t wait to read another book of those two authors. This story was worth the hype and I’m glad I was finally able to read it.

A - E, Allgemein, D, Reviews

Review: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (Ashley Herring Blake)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

„I’m very, very queer,“ Delilah whispered, releasing the words slowly while her bottom lip brushed the shell of Claire’s ear. The other woman inhaled softly, the sound fluttering low in Delilah’s stomach.

Now that’s how you build tension between two women! Honestly, I think I finally read an f/f book that delivered on that front, because so far the sapphic stories I read were either too tame or not as cute as the m/m books I usually read. I think that’s mostly due to the fact that it’s not easy to pull off a female romantic relationship. Women are just generally more touchy-feely and have a stronger connection to their friends than men. For once it’s actually a gender thing and in Europe you’d never see men kiss each other on the cheeks or cuddle. (Might depend on the country though. *shrugs*) Usually it’s just not done here and if men do it everyone automatically assumes they are queer and in some sort of relationship. (I don’t like it but it’s the way it is over here and it’s something that’s kinda ingrained into our social norms. Things like that are hard to fight because you’d have to fight them on a socio-cultural scale and that’s just… tough. XD)

Anyway!!! What I’m trying to say is: Women cuddling, hugging and holding hands is considered to be normal. No one would bat an eye in my country if they’d see two girls walking down the street holding hands. So whilst it’s fairly easy to write down tension when it comes to two boys or men, it’s extremely hard to do the same thing with two girls/women. I don’t make the rules, it’s just the way it is and a lot of authors who write sapphic stories seem to have a hard time to convey the sexual or romantic aspect of their MCs relationships. It’s not easy, but it obviously can be done because for me Ashley Herring Blake nailed it!

”Claire shifted. Closer. The finger on Delilah’s chin slid to her jaw, then Claire’s whole hand skated across her face, to her neck, and around to her nape. Delilah’s eyes fluttered closed, every inch of her skin covered in goose bumps.”

I mean, wow! The sexy times those two women spent together?! They were amazing! Also since this is a romance and everyone knows that the two MCs will eventually end up together I don’t think it’s a spoiler when I say that the sex scene was one of the best f/f sex scenes I’ve ever read. It was done so well and wasn’t only relatable but also felt extremely realistic! As did the entire book for that matter. From the struggles Claire has to face as a single mom right to Delilah’s troubled past and her career as a photographer. Everything about the story felt real and true-to-life.

”You’re what?” Delilah asked. “The mom? The woman? So that means you have to give up your whole life and he doesn’t?”

Also can we acknowledge how self-assured and strong all those women were? Not to mention them all being out and proud and secure in their sexuality. It was so refreshing to read about women that know exactly what they want and I totally appreciated this adult approach. Then again, Delilah is 30 if I remember it correctly and Claire is about the same age so this automatically makes them more mature than characters in a YA book. Still, I loved to read about characters that already had their coming-out and had figured themselves out years ago. They just lived their lives the way they wanted to and that was so nice to see. No questioning, just them being them and being content with it.

”She’d definitely feel more comfortable approaching a woman or someone nonbinary. Since coming out as bi when she was a junior in high school, she’d always felt more drawn to other queer people or femmes. Josh being one of the few, albeit huge, exceptions.”

The friendships in this book were so much fun as well and I couldn’t help but fall a little in love with Delilah and Iris. *lol* Those two were so funny together and I’m really glad there are two other books in this series because I can’t wait to see more of their shenanigans and antics. I’m especially looking forward to Iris’s story and hope the other characters will have cameos in it too. Iris might have only been a side-character in here, but boy did her interactions with Claire, Astrid and Delilah give me life. This woman is great and definitely deserves her own book! I’m very happy she got it. 😉

”Did we ever like him?” Claire asked. “Like, when Astrid first introduced us?”
“Hell no,” Iris said. “I mean, okay, he looks like a god with that hair and those biceps, so maybe we were a bit distracted by that at first. You know, beautiful people getting away with murder and all that.”
“God, I hope he’s not a murderer.”

Haha! Them bitching about Spence behind his back was just hilarious. And if I’m already talking about Spence: THIS MAN WAS SUCH A DOUCEBAG! Like seriously! How could Astrid even consider marrying him? If I would have been Claire and Iris I would have tried to get rid of him too. You probably couldn’t find a more misogynistic and macho numpty even if you tried. XD His actions and the way he behaved and treated Astrid. Oh boy, I wouldn’t have been able to keep my mouth shut. I was really thankful Delilah didn’t take his shit and subtly but aggressively gave him in kind. *lol*

”And Delilah had gotten through life by putting herself first; only concerning herself with what she knew was true, because she’d learned a long time ago that she couldn’t control anyone but herself.”

Despite all the coven fun and the sexy times “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” could be pretty serious as well and the grief representation was something I didn’t expect. I was positively surprised to find one in this book and the fact it was done so well only added to my enjoyment of the story. It’s hard to lose your loved ones, especially when you’re as young as Delilah was and the way she shut herself off from the people around her was very realistic. If you grieve you’re in your own world and it’s not easy to break out of it because no one feels the way you do. Grief is an individual thing and Delilah, her step-mother and Astrid all grieved in their own way. They couldn’t comfort each other because they were all too preoccupied with their own feelings. Plus Delilah’s step-mother wanted to keep the perfect façade intact and therefore most definitely didn’t ask for help. Which makes her a pretty bad mom because not matter how hard it is and no matter how difficult it might be to accept help, if you’re suffering and your kids are suffering too, you should at least do everything you can to lessen the pain of your children. Adopted or not, Delilah and Astrid both would have needed someone to talk about their trauma and to sweep all their grief under the carpet obviously didn’t help. Could have told her that this would bite them all in their asses later on.

„Delilah Green didn’t care. Because they’d never once cared about her.“

Last, but not least, I’ve to mention Ruby, Claire’s daughter and a constant presence in the book! As it should be! Honestly, it happens way too often that adult MCs have kids in books and then they are barely even mentioned and always only appear when they are important for the plot. Or it seems like they are not important at all and therefore barely get any page time. Which is so unrealistic it hurts. If you write about a character that has a kid you have to allow the kid to be present on page because if you’re a parent you know that your kid is your life and everything you do revolves around it. (At least if you’re a good parent. ;-P) So it was really nice to see that Ruby was an active and important part of Claire’s life and that there existed some valid reasons if she wasn’t at home for a night. Like having a sleepover with her friend or spending time at her father’s place etc. Ruby was woven into the plot so effortlessly it was amazing! I can only give kudos to the author for pulling this off as well.

”Literally, for a few seconds as Ruby rested her head against Delilah’s chest, arms tight around her waist, she couldn’t find enough air, her eyes stinging with a swell of sudden tears.
But then she moved her arms around Ruby, pressed her cheek o the top of her hair. She exhaled what felt like a decade’s worth of anxiety, and accepted the girl’s love.”

This said “Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” was an awesome story and I enjoyed every single moment I was able to spend with this book. It was a more mature narrative with a lot of humour, a good dose of serious topics and sexy times that restored my faith in great f/f romances again. So all in all just the right story for me. I’m very curious about book two and three now and I’ll make sure to pick them up soon. 😉

Allgemein, F - J, H, Reviews

Review: Here’s To Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

”Everyone looks so happy, and I hope this is the first of many documented memories this summer. And maybe the more I share my world with him, the more he’ll want to be part of mine and let me into his.
This is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Oh boy did this book kill me! I swear Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli definitely don’t do things by halves. When I finished “What If It’s Us” in October 2019 I was so heartbroken and instantly demanded a “do-over” of Ben and Arthurs love story. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one because Becky and Adam obviously graced us with a sequel and to say I’m a happy camper doesn’t even get close to the truth. This ending! It was everything I wanted to read and more! It was legit the best do-over EVER and I cried and laughed and smiled through my tears and was a total mess by the end of this story, but it was worth it! So, so worth it! T_T

”People don’t warn you that heartbreak is a chronic condition. Maybe it quiets down a little over time, or you can muffle it with distance, but the ache never quite dials down to zero. It’s there lurking in the background, ready to flare back up the minute you let your guard down.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself here so let’s not start with the ending but with the beginning of “Here’s To Us” instead. 😉 At the beginning of the book we get Ben’s and Arthur’s POVs. Two years have passed and they aren’t together anymore and are both with other people instead. Ben is casually dating a guy named Mario but they don’t define as boyfriends (yet) and Arthur is in a relationship with Mikey and they’ve been together for quite a while. None of them is looking for love because they already have someone in their lives. So the universe obviously needs to mix things up a little bit and lands Arthur a job in a New York off-Broadway production. Arthur is once again spending another summer in the big apple and even though he and Ben lost contact for a little while, they start to write messages again and eventually meet.

Ben laughs. “I’m good. Holy shit. Arthur.”
And the next thing I know, he’s hugging me and I’m hugging him back, and it’s as familiar as breathing. The way he smells, the way the toes of our sneakers touch, the way I fit beneath his chin. Maybe these last two years were all a dream. Maybe I’ve been here in Ben’s arms this whole time. Maybe I never left.

Well, it doesn’t take a lot for them to start to hang out together again. They meet for double dates, get to know each other’s love-interests and go for activities with their friends. But despite the fact they are both in love with other people, Ben and Arthur still can’t seem to be able to let go of each other and feel more than they probably should.

”I guess you changed your mind about long-distance relationships, huh?”

That sentence hurt so much! ARGH! It was a stab in the heart because one of the main reasons why Ben and Arthur’s relationship didn’t work out was because they would have had to do long-distance. Something Ben thought he wouldn’t be able to pull off and that ultimately led to them having different lives. T_T Honestly I felt so much for Arthur in this book because uff, his feelings were all over the place and he seemed to be so lost sometimes. Yet at the same time, I also felt sorry for Ben because he wasn’t happy with his life and how things turned out. He decided that college wasn’t for him but had no idea what he actually wanted to do and where his life would go. He felt at least as lost as Arthur did and I could understand his wish to change something. The conversation he had with his dad is one I’ve had as well and I know how tough it can be to own your feelings and to stand by them. You know you’re lucky to have the life you do, but that doesn’t mean you’re happy with it and that you can’t want more out of it. It’s only human to want to be happy and to do something that gives you fulfilment.

”I’m sorry you feel so stuck here, but many people would love to be in your position.”
“I know.”
I’m tired of not being able to own my feelings because someone else has it worse. I know I’m lucky to have a roof over my head and parents who love me and food on the table. I know, I know, I know. I can also want more for myself.

And as if that wouldn’t already be enough, there’s also the fact that they are both drawn to each other but are more (Arthur) or less (Ben) in a relationship with someone else. I swear to read this was so confusing because Mario as well as Mikey are both decent and nice people. I really liked them both and I honestly could see them having a future with Ben and Arthur. The problem is, sometimes you love people but it just isn’t enough and they are not the right choice for you even though it seems to be like they are. Does this make any sense? *lol* I’m speaking from experience here so I can say, just because someone seems to be perfect for you, that doesn’t mean they actually are. 😉 So yeah, I liked Mario and Mikey and I didn’t want them to get their hearts broken even though I wanted Arthur and Ben to get together as well. Talk about conflicting emotions. I was on the fence about how this story should be resolved. *lol*

”They tell me all about their plans, but I get distracted when Arthur and Mikey swap cone and cup, wordlessly, like they’ve done this a thousand times. And when Mikey’s phone buzzes on the table, Arthur silences it for him. I would’ve thought that was passive-aggressive, but Mikey thanks Arthur. Maybe Mikey likes being present, and Arthur knows that about his boyfriend.”

You might say not only Ben and Arthur are struggling, you as a reader are struggling as well, because there’s no way you won’t feel torn about all the relationships in here. Kudos to Adam and Becky for making this realistic once again. The fact that this was so relatable and lifelike reminded me of the first book and I remember loving it so much for it. It’s refreshing to see real obstacles and problems in YA literature every once in a while and what made “What If It’s Us” and “Here’s To Us” so special and interesting for me was exactly that. The problems Ben and Arthur have to face are normal troubles a lot of teens have to get through and I guess in some way this also makes it some sort of coming-of-age story. At least for me it does.

”Delicate but fierce,” says Dylan, “with the face of an angel.”
“No, his face is the worst thing to happen to saber-toothed tigers as a species, including extinction. I was going to say he’s too jammed in there. He’s not winnable.”

And speaking of relatable: Can we acknowledge the fact and truth that Dylan is one of the best side-characters and besties in a book ever?! I just love this man and the way he thinks and I had to laugh every single time he was on page! That saber-toothed tiger conversation between Dylan and Arthur will live in my head rent-free for eternity. *lol* Honestly, Ben’s friendship with Dylan is such a wholesome relationship and it’s obvious they both love and value each other more than they can convey with words. I’m really glad Dylan found Samantha because I think no one else (aside of Ben, of course) would be able to understand him the way she does. =) Those two are a match made in heaven. XD

”Ben Alejo, I love you. I’d never do this without you. I mean, I had to do it without you, but I couldn’t do it without you.” Dylan grabs my hand. “You have been there during all the major steps.”

So yeah, a lot of things happen in this book and emotions are running high, especially near the ending. It’s been quite the roller coaster for me because I love all the characters so much, the old and the new, and I had no idea how to solve this mess! Haha! Thankfully, Adam and Becky took over that part and all I had to do was to read how they decided to resolve it. I was pretty happy with the outcome but I won’t say anything about how this ends because you just gotta read it yourself. No spoilers from me – as always. ;-P

”It’s your life to live, Alejo,” Mario says, resting his hands on my shoulders. “Just make sure you’re living it for yourself and not anyone else.”


All told, I absolutely loved to read this sequel. I always wanted a second book but I had no idea how much I actually NEEDED it. To be back in NYC, to see Ben and Arthur together again, to find out what they’ve been up to, to see how much they grew – It felt like coming home after a very long time. Everything is still the same, yet somehow everything seems to have changed as well. I needed to be back in this world as much as I needed to find closure and in the end, I got both. I’m content, I’m happy and after almost 4 years it feels like my mind can finally relax. I’m once again able to breathe. So yes, for me this was the perfect ending. Thank you Becky and Adam, you did well. =)

And because I just need to write those amazing quotes in my review, because I can’t live with not quoting them here I’ll just place them in a spoiler tag:

spoilers: ”I’m just – I’m so bad at this. How am I so bad at this? You know what I did last night? I watched every love confession scene I could find, and every single one of them reminded me of you. All of them. Notting Hill. Crazy Rich Asians. Ten Things I Hate About You – Ben, I cried watching the end of the Kissing Booth sequel, because for me, it’s always you. You’re the point of every story.” A tear rolls down Ben’s cheek, and he swipes it away with his fingers. “And I want to tell you it’s okay that you’re leaving and that I’ll get over you, I’m sure it is, and I’m sure I will. But right now?” I shut my eyes for a moment. “I don’t even know what getting over you looks like. I can’t even imagine it, and – God, I shouldn’t be telling you this. It’s not fair to you.” I wipe my eyes. “I know. I know it’s not.” ”I’m supposed to do my whole life over, twenty-five hundred miles from everything and everyone. Except you – Arthur, you’re like this stowaway in my head. I don’t know how to not bring you with me. Every time I think something weird, I’m like, Arthur would get this. Do you realize that every time, every single time anyone’s smiled at me for the past two years, I’ve compared it to your smile? For two years. As if anyone else could win that game.” He presses a hand to his forehead. “And the thing about being a writer is that it’s not only about telling stories to other people, right? It’s also about the stories I tell myself. Anything and everything I can say that’ll make me believe I’m happy. But I’m done rewriting how I feel because I’m scared of getting hurt again. All that’s going to do is break my heart later when I don’t get my perfect ending. And the perfect ending to my story is with you.” “You’re –“ I press my fist to my mouth. “I’m going to cry.” “You’re already crying. Literally right now.” He lets out a choked laugh, grabbing my hands to pull me closer. And now excuse me while I cry! T_T They are so adorable, I can’t even.
Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

ARC Review: Olympic Enemies (Rebecca J. Caffery)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

*I received this book as a free eBook ARC from NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press, Inc in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for approving my request.*

”We fell asleep perfectly slotted together, my arm wrapped around his frame, holding him against my chest. Part of me never wanted to let go, and the other part was scared to death about what that might mean.”

When I went into this book I expected to get an m/m from enemies-to-lovers romance that played during the Olympic Games and I’m really happy to say that this was exactly what I got. Sure not everything about this book was perfect, but if you don’t overthink every single moment you’ll have a really good time and just page through it. At least that’s what I did and I enjoyed the book immensely. So first things first: Let’s address the big elephant in the room, the love story between Lucas and Oliver.

I personally loved their chemistry and the way they grated on each other. I always enjoy a good “from enemies-to-lovers” trope but very often authors don’t dare to actually go for it because it’s not easy to create two characters that dislike or even hate each other at first and then fall in love. To write this trope is certainly a challenge, but I think Rebecca J. Caffery did a good job with it. At the beginning of the book Lucas and Oliver are clearly not all too happy to be forced to share a room together but they just grit their teeth and go with it because they are both adults and they know how to be professional. Or well, at least that’s what they think until they actually share said room together. It doesn’t take long before they are at each other’s throats and the tension that built up between them over the course of four years almost gets the better of them. The thing is whatever the tension between them, it’s most definitely not entirely hostile and they both realize this pretty quickly when they go at each other without anyone to interrupt their fights.

I really lived and breathed for this because you could see their struggle while they tried to make sense of their attraction. It was always there and had been there for a long time, but none of them ever considered acting on it, or at least not until they were suddenly thrown in a room together without anyone who could stop them from doing something extremely irresponsible and stupid. Some might say the change from enemies to lovers went too quickly and I can see why some people would come to this conclusion, but I personally think it was done well. Those two boys had four years to check each other out and I’m sure if they’d have opened up to each other sooner they certainly would have been a couple already. It just took the Olympics to get them in a room together and to force them to talk. Also I don’t think Oliver was mean because he invited Lucas to tag along with the team but didn’t really expect him to say “yes” or kind of hoped he’d say “no”. If you’ve tried to befriend someone for four years and that person always declines your invitations you’ll get frustrated. It’s only natural and human. Plus and this is important Oliver, Tom and Julius are best friends and Lucas was busy with school and graduating. It couldn’t have been easy for Lucas to always turn them down, but he probably always felt uncomfortable with the group because it’s not easy to befriend three best friends that already have their inside jokes etc. So yes, I could understand both sides and was okay with the way they thought about each other at first. Once they hit it off, though! Oh, boy!

What are you saying, you want to sleep together again? Why?”
“Again and again and again,” I added because why the fuck not. I could see, from the sparkle in his eyes and how the tip of his ears burnt red beneath his auburn curls, he was considering it.

Their interactions were amazing and full of sass and their banter was great! I always love it when people are honest and direct and those two knew exactly what they wanted and didn’t beat about the bush. It was really refreshing to see them just go for it and the fact they spoke about what they liked was something I truly appreciated. Of course they both think it’s only sex, for the reader it’s pretty clear it isn’t just sex, though. They were just too cute together and the way they cared about each other spoke volumes even if they tried to deny it all the time. I think they needed to have a go at each other in order to open up and to be able to get to know each other. And there were a lot of things they didn’t know about the other which brings me right to the surprising and well done grief rep of this book.

”I ran my fingers softly through his curls and in his sleep he shuffled closer to me until he had a leg thrown over my thigh. Lucas Evans was killing me and it was fucking ridiculous. He’d always been gorgeous, but it was so much easier to despise him when he was moody and set on going at this alone. Now, not so much.”

I didn’t expect to find a grief representation in this story but in my opinion it was done very well and the effect it had on the characters involved was pretty realistic. The focus clearly wasn’t on the grief rep and it was just a tiny part of the overall picture, but it really helped to understand where the characters were coming from. As the plot moves along we find out more and more about Lucas’s and Oliver’s backgrounds and why they are the way they are and this added a lot to my enjoyment of the book. As did the fact that this story played in the Olympic village and that we got to read about the competitions and sport events as well as the male gymnastics team practicing their routines on the floor. This aspect of the book was very interesting and I liked it a lot. I don’t know anything about gymnastics so I have no idea if the representation of the sport was done well. As a layman all I can say is that I enjoyed what I read and that it worked for me so please take this with a grain of salt if your knowledge about gymnastics is more extensive than mine. What I CAN say (as someone who danced professionally for years and took quite some injuries from it) is that the topic of a career in a physically demanding sport was handled very realistically and that I could relate to it. If you are an athlete you learn the limits of your body pretty quickly and to be at the Olympics is a one-time opportunity you have to grab with both of your hands.

He performed a full spin like it was nothing, like his feet were glued to the six inches of wood below him. “Was this worth losing two hundred pounds over?” he asked, arms fully extended in the air as he steadied himself for what I was sure was going to be a flawless flip sequence. 
“Every penny,” I commented as I leant back against the chalk pit and followed the curve of every muscle as he flipped once, twice, and a third time to the other side of the beam without a single wobble. I’d always admired him on the floor, to the point I don’t think I appreciated he could be just as good on any other apparatus. He’d truly proven me wrong. His balance was impeccable.”

To be honest, just to read about how much Oliver appreciated Lucas’s skill made me happy because it’s one of those things only someone who does sports can understand. There is some beauty to moving your body in time, an invisible rhythm to your movements that causes you to lose track of time and allows you to live in the moment. It’s not just a pleasure if you do it yourself, you also gain so much enjoyment from just watching someone doing something they love and are good at as well. I absolutely adored this aspect of the book because it wasn’t just visible when they were on the mat but also when Oliver and Lucas watched each other secretly without the other even noticing. It was a lovely analogy and fit perfectly to them and their mutual love for gymnastics. I see what you did there, dear author. 😉

”I wanted to wrap Oliver up and protect him from the world and that wasn’t normally how I felt towards anyone other than my best friend and my family. Yet Oliver had wormed his way into a place quite close to my heart and even if I didn’t want to admit it right now, this was way more than sex for me.”


All told I had a really great time with “Olympic Enemies” and the book gave me everything I signed up for. Lucas and Oliver were a cute couple and their way from enemies to lovers might have been a little bit fast but also comprehensible. The banter and the friendships were amazing and I had a good time reading about the Olympic Games. If there was one thing I didn’t like about the book then it was the fact that the ending was too abrupt. I really would have liked to see some sort of exploration of the aftermath of the Olympics and how the characters dealt with their new reality. I guess that’s just a personal preference though and I can live with the ending the way it is. If you like m/m books about sports, the enemies-to-lovers trope and great friendships this book definitely might be a good read for you.  

trigger warnings:public outing by the press, grief rep – mention of the death of a partner and unborn child, injury
Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Becky Chambers)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 30 on My Book List 2021

”All you can do, Rosemary – all any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play. And what I see in you is a woman who has a clear idea of what she wants to be.”

Picture yourself in winter, it’s cold outside and little snowflakes are falling down to the ground, you don’t want to go outside because it’s way nicer at home and you take your biggest and warmest blanket to make yourself a human burrito. Maybe there’s a fresh cup of tea or coffee right next to you and you don’t even want to move an inch. Well, do it, but only to pick up “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” and then just snuggle back into your warm nest. XD Why did I give you this visual? Because this is the perfect story for cold winter days like the one I just described. This book is slow-paced, it’s cosy and full of love and has an amazing found family trope. It’s not very action packed but that’s okay, because if you want to read this book you’re looking for comfort sci-fi and “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet” certainly delivers on that front.

”I don’t know. Maybe it’s just different for us. We’re different species, after all.” She paused. “Or maybe because I never thought to ask anyone what you’re asking. I never thought of fear as something that can go away. It just is. It reminds me that I want to stay alive. That doesn’t strike me as a bad thing.“

I really loved to get to know all the different members of the crew and the species they interact with. Also to hear about the cities and planets they went to was extremely interesting. Well, at least for me it was. I’m both, a Warsie as well as a Trekkie and to read about all those aliens, how they look like, what their culture is like and how they communicate with each other had me glued to the pages. I gotta give it to Becky Chambers, her imagination is amazing. To think of so many alien species and to make them come alive is a true talent and Becky obviously has it. No matter if it were the Toremi, Sianat, Grum, Aandrisk or Aeluons, the way they came to life in my imagination was truly awesome. Of course there were humans too and the majority of the Wayfarer, the ship on which the story takes place, is actually human.

”As they did so, they thought of the concept of purpose. Dr Chef’s purpose was to heal and nourish. Ashby’s purpose was to bind his crew together. Accepting the Wane ran contrary to those purposes. For them, accepting the death of a crew member was difficult. Ohan hoped they knew how much the effort was appreciated.”

Which brings me right to the members of the crew that all have their own troubles and personal problems, but still stick together and get through everything like only family can do. No matter how different they are – and they are very different, not only optically but also personality-wise – they always find a way to communicate and to solve their differences. I tried to find out who my favourite crew member would be but quite honestly I can’t decide. They were all great in their own way and the only reason I didn’t feel as close to Ohan or Corbin was the mere fact that their characters were written that way. Corbin is a grumpy algaeist that mostly sticks to his lab and Ohan is a Sianat Pair and goes by they/them pronouns because he’s sharing a body with a parasite. Yeah, I know alone this is kinda mind-blowing and don’t even get me started on how they look like, because my brain still has difficulties to wrap itself around that description. I guess the same can be said for Sissix the Aandrisk which I always kinda imagined like a crocodile or dinosaur with feathers and Dr Chef the cook and doctor of the crew whose looks are so beyond my imagination that I can’t even fathom his appearance. *lol*

”No one else was hurt. The ambi, the food, none of that mattered. They were things, and things could be replaced. His crew couldn’t be. The relief he’d felt upon learning he was the only one who’d wound up in the med bay topped anything that the painkillers could give.”

The humans on the ship are at least as interesting as the aliens, though and I really liked Rosemary, Kizzy and Jenks! I swear the friendship between them was amazing and Ashby Santoso as their captain. Seriously! I loved Ashby! That man is amazing and watches out for every single member of his crew. I’m not surprised he went for a relationship with a woman from another species, because that man doesn’t have a single malicious bone in his entire body and is the most open-minded, tolerant and nourishing person ever. I’m not surprised he considered Sissix to be his best friend, because those two worked so well together. And this is one of the best parts of this book, the friendships and relationships between the crew members. During the book we get an inter-species relationship of two women, Ashby himself is with an alien woman, Jenks is in love with the AI and Ohan is going by they/them pronouns so wow, talk about diversity and inclusion! XD I swear, the relationship between Jenks and Lovey was the sweetest thing and I totally shipped them together. Ahh who would have thought that a human and an AI would work so well together?! ❤

„The date on that directory. That’s the day I installed you.
Because I’ve loved you since then.“

My heart!!! T_T  But that’s not all, as I said the friendships are very special as well and Kizzy and Jenks were the most wholesome found family besties you could wish for. The way they understood each other and supported each other in difficult situations was giving me all the bitter-sweet and comfy feels and I really want to read more about them and see them all happy.

”I was a happy kid, and I couldn’t ask for better parents. But I was still jealous of the kids who had siblings. I grew up, and then you came along.” She looked up at him, and smiled. “And for the first time ever, I didn’t want a brother any more, because I finally had one.”

Unfortunately I don’t know if happiness is something they’ll be able to experience after the ending of the first book. Yes, I know I said that this is mostly a slow-paced and calm book at the beginning of my review, but it still has its suspenseful moments and there were some scenes that hit hard and changed those characters in ways they never would have been able to anticipate. Cryptic much? Well, yeah, but you have to deal with it because I won’t spoil anything. What I can say is that this book is legit about a crew on a space ship that makes tunnels to get to other planets, so of course there is some action going to happen along the way. To make worm-holes can be a dangerous business and since you’re playing with the space-time continuum there is always the possibility that things can go sideways. Or that the shit will hit the fan, especially when you don’t know if the alien species that just joined your alliance is actually friendly towards their new allies.


I never anticipated that I’d enjoy this story so much but the slow-pacing and focus on the different characters, their interactions and their relationships totally persuaded me and I ultimately ended up loving this book. To read about different planets and aliens, to get to know their culture and to find out how they think and feel, it was amazing! It’s kinda weird to say that this was comforting, because usually “comforting” isn’t the first word I think about when it comes to sci-fi, but it’s honestly the only one I can come up with when I think about “The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet”. Becky Chambers created a sci-fi world that is weirdly comforting and I don’t know about you, but I will take it. Sci-fi comfort reads, apparently that’s my new thing. 😉

Allgemein, F - J, I, Reviews

ARC Review: Idol Minds (KT Salvo)

Rating: 4 Pfoten

*I received this book as a free eBook ARC from NetGalley and Jetspace Studio in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for approving my request.*

The premise of this book was pretty easy: A former k-drama star falls in love with a former k-pop idol and their forbidden romance causes a lot of trouble. So far, so good but “Idol Minds” is so much more than meets the eye. I’ve to admit that I was a little bit sceptical at first because in the first couple of chapters Jason isn’t exactly the most likable character and Tae Hyun seems to be a little bit standoffish. But then, then those two meet and right from the very first chapter they are in a room together you can feel that sizzling chemistry the blurb spoke about. The interesting thing is, they don’t like each other and hate each other’s guts which made for a very intriguing baseline for their future relationship. They just rub each other the wrong way but at the same time they can’t deny that they are attracted to each other and want to give in.

I really loved their chemistry and the way they interacted. They might have started off at the wrong foot but they were reasonable enough to try to make things work. At first just job-wise but the more they talk with each other, the more they begin to understand where the other one is coming from and this was really so nice to see. They communicate and they open up and learn to speak about their past and most importantly they allow themselves to heal. Both of them have been hurt and while Jason hid it behind his Hollywood bad boy image, Tae Hyun dealt with it by never letting anyone get too close to him.

Both their character arcs were well written and I had a good time finding out what happened before. Interestingly the author didn’t shy away from going for steamy scenes either and I think if I had to define their relationship it would be insta-lust that gradually turns into more. I mean they both were aware of each other before they met, they are both public figures after all, so insta-lust seems to be an adequate way to describe what happened between them. The more they get to know each other the more they start to flirt as well and I personally lived and breathed for their easy banter. Jason is a direct, unapologetic and extremely flirty character and Tae Hyun might be reserved and sensitive but he still knows how to handle Jason’s antics. So you can bet I had a field day reading their conversations and enjoyed them immensely.  

Another thing I have to mention in my review is that I absolutely adored the women in this book. No matter if it was Yoo Mi, Tae Hyun’s best friend, or Naomi Jason’s manager who is like a young mother hen that watches out for him, they both were amazing and added so much to the story. It’s always nice to read about strong women and those two definitely fell into that category. Plus I think the author did a very good job of portraying the k-pop industry as well. Jason and Tae Hyun have to learn to navigate its deep and cunning waters and there was a little nice mystery element in the story that had me guessing and wondering who the culprit might be. I’m not going to spoil anything about this here though, so you’ll have to read the book yourself if you want to find out what I’m talking about. 😉

What I will talk about are a couple of trigger warnings you should be aware of when going into the book. The topics aren’t addressed all too strongly, but I still wanted to mention them just in case:

spoilerhomophobia, abusive parents, suicide (talked about on page), racism, MCs being outed


This said, I really enjoyed “Idol Minds” and whilst the first 20% or so made it a little bit hard to like the characters the rest of the book definitely made up for it. I guess you could say Jason and Tae Hyun are good for each other and bring out each other’s better qualities, which in all honesty, makes their love even more believable in my eyes. All told I’m pretty sure that everyone who loves k-pop and steamy m/m romances that feature strong female side-characters will have a good time with this book. I definitely did.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, T

Review: The Hidden Oracle (Rick Riordan)

Rating: 5 Pfoten

”The only thing I knew for certain: my punishment was unfair. Zeus needed someone to blame, so of course he’d picked the handsomest, most talented, most popular god in the pantheon: me.”

I can’t believe how we got from this Apollo at the beginning to the Apollo at the end of the book. But then again, there was always good in him. It was just buried underneath his huge ego. *lol* I guess in some way I’m very thankful Zeus decided to kick Apollo out of Olympus, because it didn’t just give us an entirely new series that plays in the Percy Jackson universe but also helps us to understand how Apollo (and most of the gods) think about demi-gods and humankind in general. It’s nice to have a gods POV for a change and it definitely made for good entertainment. The interesting thing about Apollo is that he’s a really witty and hilarious character but at the same time there is some depth to him we didn’t get with a lot of the other heroes in the PJ universe. Sure, they all have their troubled pasts, some more than others, but at the end of the day they are all teenagers that learn to find themselves and to pave their own way.

”I wanted to say: You remind me of someone. But I didn’t dare open that line of conversation. Only two mortals ever had broken my heart. Even after so many centuries, I couldn’t think of her, couldn’t say her name without falling into despair.”

Apollo is entirely different to the demi-gods because he was around for thousands of years and despite being one of the powerful gods, he has loved and lost already. He’s a grown-up stuck in the body of a powerless teen and for the first time ever since he came into being he’s forced to realize what it truly means to be human and what it entails. Obviously to have no eight-pack abs and to have horrible acne! *lol* I had a good laugh about that one because I’m sure every teenager can relate to those “horrors” Apollo spoke about. ;-P If you take away his narcissism, egoism, good looks and high-handedness all that’s left is his true self, though. And this is exactly what happens in the book. Apollo is forced to accept his new reality and it allows him to shine and to show that underneath it all he’s actually a pretty decent human being.

”Then it occurred to me how many times I had asked for sacrifices, how many heroes I had sent to their deaths. Had they been any less noble and courageous than these [redacted]? Yet I had felt no remorse when I sent them off on deadly tasks. I had used them and discarded them, laid waste to their lives to build my own glory. I was no less of a monster than …”

Yes, I’m trying my best to keep this review spoiler free so you’ll have to live with “redacted” quotes. *lol* Anyway! What I really liked about “The Hidden Oracle” were the interactions between Apollo and all his children. Well, truth be told, not only his children but their friends as well. He’s a very kind soul and some sort of father figure that adopts everyone no matter how much they annoy him and this is extremely wholesome and endearing. I loved that he knew all of his children by name and also remembered their mothers and fathers.

”Thank you,” I managed.
I could not add my children. It didn’t seem right. These demigods were my protectors and my family, but for the present I could not think of myself as their father. A father should do more – a father should give more to his children than he takes. I have to admit that this was a novel idea for me. It made me feel even worse than before.

His developing friendship with Meg was so nice to watch and it always got me when he thought about his children and how he should have done more for them. He’s probably the only god who knows all his children’s names (except of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, but if you only have one kid that’s not really a challenge. XD) yet he still wanted to do better. Apollo truly cares about his kids and if they get into trouble there’s nothing he wouldn’t do in order to save them. And this even in his powerless human form. And it’s the same for his children. They’d do anything to help their father as well and if that isn’t a good and nourishing foundation for love and trust then I don’t know.

The curse of the River Styx could kill me in its slow cancerous way, or Zeus could strike me down. But my oath to save Meg McCaffrey had to come first.
I turned my face to the sky. “If you want to punish me, Father, be my guest, but have the courage to hurt me directly, not my mortal companion. BE A MAN!”

The defiance!!! *lol* It reminded me of Percy and it’s no wonder those two worked so well together. Seriously their conversations gave me life and some part of me hopes for more cameos of Percy just to see him banter with Apollo. I guess it’s safe to say that all of the demi-gods have a difficult relationship with their godly parents but Apollo is a god (or was until this book) and obviously has a more than just complicated relationship with his father Zeus as well. I wonder if Zeus will learn something from this too and I genuinely hope he does because Apollo deserves to have a father that cares about him too.

”Nosoi?” Percy planted his feet in a fighting stance. “You know, I keep thinking, I have now killed every single thing in Greek mythology. But the list never seems to end.”
“You haven’t killed me yet,” I noted.
“Don’t tempt me.”

Moreover he has loved and lost and his pride cost him dearly in the past. According to Apollo there were only two people he truly loved and they are a constant in the entire book. He still thinks about them and they are always on his mind, their ghosts accompanying him wherever he goes. His grief is deep and I felt really sorry for him whenever he was reminded of them. Also because I just need to say it: Apollo is a bisexual disaster and I LOVE him for it! The way he handles sexuality and how it’s no big deal for him. A true icon! I wish everyone’s parents would be as accepting and open-minded as Apollo and I loved that he kinda shipped his own son with his boyfriend. XD That’s such a rare thing to witness, but if anyone would do it, it would be Apollo, of course. 😉

Will changed his surgical gloves and glared at the woods. “We will find them. We have to.”
Nico di Angelo gave him a flask. “Drink. Right now, this is where you need to be.”

Which brings me right to one of the most important things about “The Hidden Oracle” and technically it’s no spoiler because if you read the book it’s already mentioned about 25-30% into it. My Solangelo ship finally sailed and I’m not mad about it!! <333 What I’m MAD about though, is that it happened so fast and that we never found out what exactly happened! Like the last time I checked Will and Nico weren’t a thing at the end of “The Blood of Olympus” and now they are together?!! AHHHHH!!! My shipper heart is happy and not happy at the same time! Like: How dare you Uncle Rick? How dare you to throw this ship at us without any explanation of how it all happened?!! We didn’t even get a first time of holding hands or their first kiss. Like NO! Can we please at least hear about their story and how they became a couple?! T_T It feels like I missed out on 30 minutes of a fast-paced movie! *lol*

Will turned to me. “I apologize for my boyfriend.”
Nico rolled his eyes. “Could you not-“
“Would you prefer special guy?” Will asked. “Or significant other?”
“Significant annoyance, in your case,” Nico grumbled.
“Oh, I’ll get you for that.”

Still, I loved those two and their gentle gestures. They care about each other so much and the way they watch out for each other and take care of each other was so beautiful I melted. They are the epitome of the “Grump and Sunshine” trope and had me smiling whenever they were on page. Despite Nico’s grumpy attitude it’s more than just obvious that he loves to be Will’s boyfriend and adores him. I can’t wait to see more of their interactions and I hope they’ll be a big part of the next book too. I mean Will is Apollo’s son and the healer of the camp, it would make sense if he and Nico would go on a quest with Apollo, right?! Nico is still one of my favourite PJ characters ever and I’m absolutely in love with Will Solace. His slightly bossy and no-nonsense personality gets me every single time. <333

”You guys go,” Will told me. “The chariot is only designed for three, and after that shadow-travel Nico is going to pass out any second.”
“No, I’m not,” Nico complained, then passed out.
Will caught him in a fireman’s lift and took him away. “Good luck! I’m going to get the Lord of Darkness here some Gatorade!”

Ahh you just gotta love Will. XD He’ll become one of the best healers ever and Apollo is already very proud of him. =) This said I absolutely loved “The Hidden Oracle” and had an amazing time. I read this book in a couple of days and for me this is actually pretty fast. It usually takes me weeks to finish a story but this time around I just couldn’t put it down. Apollo as a character is extremely intriguing and I love the more serious vibe of this series. Don’t get me wrong, Apollo is one of the most hilarious characters ever, but he also has a very earnest side and the mixture of both of his sides worked more than just well for me. Plus his character growth after the first book is already palpable and I can’t wait to see how much more he’s going to change throughout the series.

”Apollo,” Chiron said, “you must do this. You are the lord of archery and illness.”
“I’m not lord of anything!” I wailed. “I’m a stupid ugly mortal teenager! I’m nobody!”

All told “The Hidden Oracle” was exactly the kind of book I wanted to read and had everything I hoped for and even more. Apollo’s development and character arc is done so well and Meg is a more than just interesting and complex side-kick. Fingers crossed we’ll see more of her and Peaches in the next book. I’m ready to pick up “The Dark Prophecy”! Let’s hope I’ll get hold of a library copy soon! ;-P