A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Brigid Kemmerer)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 11 on My Book List 2020


”My father once said we are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

So after reading “A Curse so Dark and Lonely” I was actually kind of surprised to discover that a lot of my favourite bloggers only rated this book 3 or 2 stars. I get that they are tired of “The Beauty and the Beast” retellings but I don’t get the low ratings. O_o In short: Yours truly is confused! *lol* Sure, there are a lot of retellings at the market right now and yes, ACOTAR is among them, but that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t good. Quite the contrary, in its own way it had quite a unique spin. Well, at least in my humble opinion it did. 😉

For instance Harper, the love interest, has cerebral palsy, the beast is no beast right away but slowly turns into one the more time passes, and even more interesting Rhen actually has a (best) friend. XD (Though I’m pretty sure a lot of people might disagree with me, when it comes to that last part.) Also there’s an evil sorceress that apparently has nothing better to do than to torment our MCs. Who doesn’t love a wicked witch? *lol*

Joking aside this was a lot of fun to read and it definitely kept me reading. Sure, you might argue that the jump from modern DC to Emberfall was quite sudden and jarring and yes, I’m the first one to admit that Grey (the side-character) was my favourite character in this book. Still, I might have not been as attached to Harper and Rhen as I was to Grey, this doesn’t mean that the book or its characters were bad though. Sometimes you just like the side-characters more and this is certainly one of those particular cases. (Come to think of it this seems to be a recurring thing when it comes to “The Beauty and the Beast” retellings. After all I loved Lucien and Rhys way more than Tam too. XD) Anyway, if you’re looking for a fast and entertaining TBATB retelling I’m pretty sure you’ll like this one too. 😉 And now that we got that out of the way, let’s jump right to my characters section!

2

Welcome to Emberfall where we always have autumn and it never gets cold. But that’s not all!  We also have a lot of amazing sights like for instance lots of spoilers, a beast, enemy troops and a super evil enchantress. Just like the spoilers you might want to avoid the enchantress though. *lol* This is a fair warning! If they get their hands on you I’m not responsible. ;-P

Harper:

”She wasn’t conscious. She wasn’t going willingly.” Her words are fierce. “And for the record, I’m not either.”

Ahh that fire! I really liked Harper right from the beginning. This is a girl that thinks on her feet and stands by her opinion! She is certainly no damsel in distress and I was happy to see such an independent character. Harper is ready to fight for her life and for what she thinks is right and she won’t back down just because of an evil enchantress and a curse. I think in some way that made her the perfect match for Rhen because she’s not broken and he actually needed a strong willed person like her. This said, I don’t know a lot about cerebral palsy but for me the rep was done really well. I liked that Harper was honest about it and that she considered herself to be lucky. Just like epilepsy, cerebral palsy seems to come with different characteristics and with a different severity for every person that’s affected by it and I could really relate to that. I’m really curious where Harper’s character will go in the next book and I can’t wait to see more of her relationship with Rhen.

”It affects everyone differently,” she says. “Some people can’t walk, or they can’t speak, or they have to use a wheelchair. I was a lot worse off when I was younger, so I had to have surgery to correct my left leg. I still have trouble with balance, and I walk with a limp, but I’m really lucky.”

”You are not angry about what Lilith has done?”
“Oh, I’m furious. But not about my face.”
“Then what?”
Her voice fills with steel. “I’m mad I missed.”

Rhen:

”I remember a time when my people feared the day I would come to lead – because I was seen as spoiled and selfish and not half the man my father was.
Now I am spoiled and selfish in another way, and no better fit to rule.”

Lord Vincent Aldrhen, Prince of Emberfall, son of Broderick, King of the Eastern Lands. Wow! That’s quite a long title, no wonder he goes by Rhen. *lol* Rhen was a very difficult character to gauge. I guess this is mostly due to him having to endure not only the curse but also the company of Lilith. At first I thought he was just reserved and cautious but the more I found out about him, the more I realized that he was thoroughly broken. He didn’t dare to hope that the curse could be broken and after so many years he was demoralized and resigned. Not even desperate, just done with the world and the curse. Well, and then Harper came along and gave him hope. I really liked that he always did what was best for his people and it’s no surprise Grey was so loyal to him. What Karis Luran told him at the end was quite a revelation though and I’m more than just ready to find out if it’s true. XD

”My lady, please – please know I meant you no harm. I meant your family no harm. I have tried everything I can think of to break this curse. I have tried to destroy myself. I would undo it if I could. I promise you.”

”This was my father’s kingdom,” he says. “This is now my kingdom. I may not be able to save myself – but I may be able to save my people.”

Grey:

Grey sights and gather up the cards. “You asked how I got her to play with me. As if there were some trick to it.” He wraps up the stack. “My lord, I did nothing. I sat down and asked.”

Ahhh my precious Grey! I haven’t been as enamoured by a side-character ever since I read ACOTAR and this says quite something! Lucien was/is so intriguing and Grey is too! XD For me he was legit the best thing about this book and I can’t wait to read “A Heart so Fierce and Broken” because I’ll finally get his POV! I loved that he was such a complex character yet at the same time he was so easy to be around. He took everything in stride and his loyalty to Rhen and Harper was amazing. ❤ This said I think that he suffered at least as much from the curse as Rhen did because he is a good person and to stand aside while Rhen was tortured by Lilith must have been pure hell for him. He’s compassionate and kind and he has some special brand of dark humour that was especially endearing. (at least for me it was. *lol*) In short: He’s an angel and an honourable soul and I really hope that he won’t suffer even more in the next book. I hate that Lilith and Karis Luran drove a wedge between him and Rhen and I really hope they’ll be able to talk things out in book two. >_<

”If His Highness allowed it, I would take her provocation by tenfold. I would fight her until I had no breath left to breathe.” His voice turns almost lethal, and in the dim light of the hallway, Grey’s eyes seem to darken. “My duty is to bleed so he does not. And now,” he says, “my duty is to bleed so you do not.”

”I speak too freely. This cursed drink has bewitched my thoughts.”

3

Harper & Rhen:

”Rhen,” she calls after me.
I pause in the doorway and face her.
“I’m not going to fall in love with you,” she says.
Her words are not a surprise. I sigh. “You won’t be the first.”

Mhmm… I know they are the two MCs that were supposed to fall in love but I didn’t really feel their relationship. If anything it was more some sort of friendship that formed between them and even though they were attracted to each other I never had the feeling that they were I dunno, head over heels? Truly, madly, deeply? *lol* But then again this was the same problem I had with ACOTAR. Only attraction just isn’t working for me and considering that they apparently fell in love by the end of the book their relationship was actually pretty chaste. I think the most outrageous thing they did was hold hands and brush lips. XD What a scandal! *lol* Sorry, my sarcasm is surfacing. ;-P I think what it comes down to, is that I missed the passion between those two. But maybe I’ll get more of it in the next book? *shrugs* One thing is for certain though, for the main MC couple their love story was pretty lukewarm and probably the only thing I didn’t like about the book. Let’s hope I’ll be persuaded and swept of my feet by them in the next instalment.

She studies me. “I never know when to trust you. Everything always sounds so calculated.”
I jerk back, stung.
“Until you said all that.”

”What will you offer to stop it? What will you offer for passage home?”
“Anything.” She draws a hitching breath. “God, Rhen. Any –“
“No!” My voice is sharp, and she jumps. I put a finger over her lips. “Never offer blindly, my lady. Not for your family. Not even for yourself. Certainly not for me.”

”I want so desperately to turn it into more, to see where this blossoming attraction will lead. But I have come close before. I have found this moment before. The only difference is that I have never wanted it so badly. I draw back, then press my lips to her forehead.
“I want to know it’s real, too,” I say.

”I’m sorry,” Harper whispers. “I’m sorry I didn’t break the curse.”
I lift a hand to brush the tears off her cheeks. Oh, Harper. I wish she had. Not because of the curse, or because of Karis Luran, or because of Emberfall.
Because I have fallen in love with her.”

Harper & Grey:

”I’m finding that Grey has a dark sense of humor hidden under the formality. It’s subversive. I like it.”

Haha! I really liked those two! And yes, in my opinion they had more chemistry than Harper and Rhen. Might have been due to Grey’s intensity though. *lol* Either way I enjoyed their friendship and it was such a natural thing. Like they were just honest with each other and appreciated each other’s company. Nothing about them was complicated and it was the easiness and their companionship that made their scenes together so nice to read. =) Also that scene at the inn! *lol* I loved that Grey just followed Harpers order and how surprised she was at what he did. Haha! One of the best scenes in the entire book. XD I’m not sure I like the insinuation of Grey being romantically interested in Harper though. For me they had nothing but a great friendship and that conversation between Grey and Rhen when they drank together didn’t sit well with me. It came out of nowhere and sure Harper is great but we all know she’s Rhen’s love interest so why insinuate a love triangle that will lead nowhere? Just for the sake of it? Nope. Not buying it. They will be friends and that’s it. ;-P

I look at Grey, remembering how he made faces at the children in the snow. “You’re good with kids,” I say. “That’s like the most … incongruous thing about you.”
“Is it?” he says, his voice dry. “Truly, my lady?”

I hold his gaze and refuse to look away. “Commander Grey. Prove how serious I am.”
Grey’s hand flicks out. The man shouts and drops to the ground. The hilt of a knife protrudes from his knee. Whoa. I have no idea what I expected him to do, but that’s even better.

Harper & Jake:

”You think I’m going to sit upstairs eating cake with Noah while you’re out risking your life?” he snaps. “Quit staring at me. I’m coming with you.”

Harper and Jake gave me all the sibling vibes! ❤ I loved their relationship and that they were so close. We might have only gotten them together near the end of the book but the few scenes they had were really wholesome and typical for siblings. The bickering, the conversations, the wish to take care of each other, their protectiveness, it was on point. Also I kind of liked that Jake had a bf and that no one was bothered by this. *lol* In fact Grey’s reaction was hilarious! The healer’s concubine. I’m still not over it. XD I can’t help but wonder what they’ll do now that they are stuck in Emberfall though. Harper was always supposed to end up with Rhen, but her brother and Noah came there by accident and I’m curious if they’ll stay in Emberfall or if Grey will return them to DC one day. Guess I’ll have to find out by continuing with the series. 😉

”No,” says Jake, speaking for the first time in a while. “Harper, you didn’t do this.”
“But I could have stopped it. I couldn’t get out of my own way –“
“No,” he snaps. “And damn it, for once would you listen to me? You didn’t curse him. You didn’t bring yourself here.” He takes a long breath. “You didn’t – you didn’t give Mom cancer. You didn’t force Dad to borrow money from the wrong people –“
“You didn’t, either,” I say to him. “But you still went to work for Lawrence.”
“I did what I had to do,” he says. “To give Mom time. To protect you.”
“Me too,” I say.

Then he smiles, a shadow of the old Jake, before life clobbered us all. “Mom would be really proud of you, Princess Harper.” He kisses me on the forehead, then heads back through the doors into the castle.

Lilith & Rhen:

„I cannot wait to see how your monster manifests this season,” she says. “Perhaps I will keep you on a chain and put you on display for my enemies.”
A sudden chill grips my spine. This is an outcome I have never considered.
“Would you like that?” she says, moving closer again. “Mine for all eternity, Prince Rhen?”

I rarely witnessed such an abusive relationship in a book and whilst Harper’s and Rhen’s relationship was super chaste the same couldn’t be said about Lilith and Rhen. That woman tortured him in every way possible, manipulated him, enslaved him, sexually and emotionally abused him, humiliated him and did everything in her power to make him submissive. >_< I felt so sorry for Rhen and it’s no wonder he gave up hope and was broken. Seriously, Lilith’s relationship with Rhen was such a harsh contrast to his relationship with Harper and the differences couldn’t have been even more pronounced. Which was most likely Brigid Kemmerer’s intention. An abusive relationship vs. a wholesome one. Still, I hated Lilith for what she did to Rhen and Grey and I really hope Grey managed to end her. Hopefully she won’t appear in the next book. Good riddance!

”Humiliation burns my eyes, my throat. When she breaks the kiss, relief nearly breaks me. I want to shove her away, but I am pinned to the wall. My breathing is rough and ragged. I cannot look at her. I can barely move. My hands are still in fists, my muscles so tense I am trembling. And hope that bloomed in my chest has now withered and died.”

Rhen & Grey:

”Are you prepared to die, Grey?” I demand. “Because that is all that exists at the end of this path. I am sure of it. This was never a curse to be broken. This is a death sentence. The true curse has been the thought that we might find escape.”

What they both endured and what they went through together… I think it’s safe to say that they aren’t just friends but actually brothers. (no pun intended, I swear. *lol*) They tried to keep it professional for so long but the longer the season proceeded the more they gave up on their formality. And I think that was good the way it was. After so many seasons it was about time they admitted that they are friends. You can’t survive things like they did without forging a bond and theirs is strong. I’m confident that whatever Karis Luran and Lilith threw their way … they’ll overcome it in the next book. They have too much history together and I believe in them. Grey might think he won’t be welcome at Emberfall but we all know that Rhen misses him sorely! So there’s that! I really hope they’ll meet in “A Heart so Fierce and Broken” and that they’ll finally be able to have the friendship they were supposed to have all along. =)

”I do speak freely, my lord.”
His loyalty should inspire me. It does not. I have done nothing to earn it. I find that I regret his oath.
“Leave me,” I say.
The door whispers shut. Grey has always been good at following orders. And for the first time, I wish he wasn’t.

”Your first order was to seal the borders. You sent word to each city to govern from within.”
I do not understand how he can speak of my failures as if they are victories. “It was all I could do.”
“You asked why I keep my oath. In that moment, I never meant it more.”
“I do not deserve your loyalty, Grey.”
“Deserved or not, you have it.“

”You are incorrigible. I have no idea how I put up with you for so long.”
I raise an eyebrow, more amused than anything else. “Is that the drink talking?”
The shadow of a wicked smile finds his lips. “You told me to speak my mind.”

4

“A Curse So Dark and Lonely” definitely lived up to its title. Some scenes were truly dark and I felt really sorry for the lonely MCs! XD In this case I’ve to admit that I loved the side-character more than the MCs though. Grey just stole them both the show and I was quite fine with that. ;-P Still, for another TBATB retelling this was as good as they come and I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book. I’ve been told there will be Grey’s POV so I’m already pumped! *lol*

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

Review: A Charm of Finches (Suanne Laqueur)

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Rating:5 Pfoten

”Listen and learn it, learn to tell it, and tell it to teach it.”

I think I’m just beginning to realize that no matter what I say about Suanne’s books, it will never be enough. I feel kind of unworthy to talk about her stories because they are just so, so, SO good and believe me when I say that in all the years of my existence I never read anything like them… EVER. There are books that are epic, there are stories that have wisdom, there are tales that take you to another world and narratives that make you think and feel, but there is nothing, I repeat nothing that even gets moderately close to how I feel when I read Suanne’s wonderful books.

I can try to describe them but all the words in the world won’t do them justice. Nothing I say will suffice. They are filled with so much humour, with relationships that are so real you can taste them on your tongue and feel them in your heart, they make you ache and bleed, but they also console you and hold you when you’re breaking down. They are pure joy and your darkest hour! They are all the good and bad things and all the nuances in between. They are life! In all its facets and with all its ups and downs. They feel like a living and breathing thing, like a beating heart you’re holding in your palms while you read it.

Suanne’s books are everything and even more and I can’t believe I just discovered them because quite honestly I can’t even imagine a life without them anymore. (I already dread the day when I’ll run out of them, because sooner or later I will. At least when I continue at this pace. *lol*) I love “An Exaltation of Larks” and I adore “A Charm of Finches” and if all of Suanne’s other books are that good I’ll probably die about a thousand deaths until I’ve read them all. It will be worth it though. XD

This said I decided to make this one of my long reviews because I have so many thoughts and feelings that need to be written down. I know this is going to be a huge mess with lots of emotions that will run all over the pages but it needs to get out. XD So to all of you who don’t want to be spoiled: You better stop reading now! I’ll only say one more thing before I go for the real deal: READ THIS SERIES!!! You won’t regret it, because it’s so damn good!!!! ❤

2

Warning: Don’t cross this border! There’ll be lots of emotions, even more feels and plenty of spoilers. Of course it’s up to you if you continue or not, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! 😉

Javier Landes:

Jav exhaled heavily. “Twenty-three years I had this perfect social life. Perfect date after perfect date. I’m really becoming aware of what an act it was. What a repertory of roles I played and none of them were really me. It’s kind of put me in a mini existential crisis. I have moment s when I don’t know who the fuck I am.”

My review about “An Exaltation of Larks” was an ARC review so I was careful not to spoil anything but since I read this without the aid of NetGalley I can finally gush about Jav!!! I love this man so damn much and I think that’s mostly due to the fact that we’re very similar. Jav experienced so many things, he was hurt, he was lost, he knows loss and pain and even though my experiences might be different than his, the feelings and emotions we share are still the same. I can relate to him and there were countless moments my heart truly ached for him. It was so beautiful to see his journey, to see that he finally accepted himself and was ready to fall in love with Stef. Jav is such a compassionate and wonderful man and it was so good to see that he was finally loved back!!! I just love the way he thinks and feels and when he zoomed out writing things in his head or used his journal I was like: This is me when I write! XD I adore him for always being there when someone needs him, the way he helped Geno out even though they were kind of at odds at the time and how nervous he was! He didn’t want to screw up and this only made me love him even more. ❤ I swear, when he opened up to Stef after meeting his aunt… Oh gods!!! I cried buckets reading that scene!! Jav was hurt so badly by his family’s actions and he suppressed it for so many years. I was so glad Stef was with him and was able to catch him when he fell. >_< This man deserves all the love and I just want him to be happy for eternity!!! <333

”Why do you do it?“
„Why?“
Jav’s shy smile unfolded. “Asking people what they do is boring. Asking why they do it is so much more interesting.”

A beat of silence that felt like a gamble, then Jav said, “I know what it means. I’m on my way.”
“Jav, I’m sorry,” Geno said. “About-“
“It’s all right,” Jav said. “None of that matters tonight. Let’s just get you the hell out of there. You stay with Ed. I’m coming.”

”This is how I was born to love.
The world can call me whatever label they want. I know who I am.
I’m Stef’s.”

”Everyone just leaves,” Jav said. “I don’t get to say goodbye to anyone. I don’t get a say at all. They leave and I just sit around making up stories to explain why.”

Stef Finch:

”I didn’t choose this particular road, it kind of chose me.”

I never thought I’d love another character in “Venery” as much as I love Jav but then Stef came along and I had to revise my opinion. *lol* This man is perfect in every sense of the word! I even told Suanne as much! XD But I don’t mind because ahh he’s so great and I just adore him! I don’t know how he does his job but I’m glad there exist some Stefs in the world because they are needed! I mean he passed out after he saved a girl that wanted to kill herself and even scarred his left eyebrow when he fell. That’s a true hero right there!! Also can we appreciate his love for books?! I mean one of his first thoughts when he met Jav was ”Dude, if you don’t read, we ain’t got no future anyway.” *LOL* Of course he didn’t know that it was Jav’s book he was reading so yeah. XD There are so many things that make Stef special and his compassion, his calm nature, his way to deal with problems, they are just a few of them! =) Plus I loved how self-confident he is. Stef takes everything in stride and knows exactly who he is, which was wonderful and made him a perfect man for Jav! So at the risk of repeating myself: Stef is perfect! Period! <333

”Connect, he thought. I want to connect.
His heart closed around the thought like catching a firefly.
I’m lonely and I want to connect with someone. Mind and body. Something that means… something.”

”He was wearing a grey shirt today. It would fucking have to do. He went straight from work to the bar. No going home to shower, shave, pick a blue shirt and hang out in front of the mirror like a twink.
Dig me, dig my crappy shirt.”

”It’s all right,” Stef said. “You cry as much as you want.”
Max moaned and wept harder.
“I’m right here. I got you.”

”Sometimes,” Stef said slowly. “I come home with part of a case sticking to me, and I don’t want anyone or anything. I don’t want to be touched until I deal with it. But other times, the only way I can deal with it is being touched. Sometimes I can only shake off the echo of a sexual abuse story by making love.”

Geno:

Someone has to be in charge. I am Mos, rhymes with dos, and I’m in command here. I have the strength of two now.”

Geno’s story moved me so much I can’t even put it into words. This boy went through something no one should ever go through and even though it broke him, he came out of it stronger in the end. I don’t know how he did it but I agree with Stef: ”they didn’t get the best of him”.  I’m not going to sugar coat it: The first 10% of this book were so damn hard to read, because we get a good glimpse at Geno’s ordeal and it was tough to read. Rape is horrible and for Geno… it was pure torture. What those men did to him, what he had to endure… I can’t even imagine what this must have done to him. There is this 17 year old innocent boy and they raped him until he almost died. T_T And believe me when I say that I want them all to rot in hell for it! To hurt a young boy like that! It’s unforgivable! Geno suffered so much! This poor boy! His twin died and he had to live with the aftermath, with knowing that his own brother brought him to them. I could understand why Mos came into being, why it was better to let it happen to someone else. >_< Carlito’s death, his own ordeal, the death of his father… gods it was just too much for him to endure. I have no idea how Geno managed to survive but he did it, he fought, he clawed his way back into life and he’s one of those characters that will stay with me forever. Whatever he’s doing now, I hope he’s happy! And that he’s still friends with Micah, because their friendship was everything. Two different generations that survived ordeals no one should ever have to survive and they still made the best of it. When they hugged and Geno cried in his arms I was crying with them. T_T

”All of it still hurt so much.
Lying in the dark, a soft, sleeping girl in his inked arms, he blinked through irritated tears and feared it would always hurt.”

”I’m all alone here.
He stood again, his view free of the bars but still feeling just as caged.
I want to go home.
I want all this to be happening to someone else. Why can’t this be someone else?“

Micah rocked him, a hand stroking Geno’s head. Inked numbers in his dusty skin. Strong arms and a stronger heart.
“Hijo querido,” he said. “You and I know what it’s really about.”

3

Jav & Stef:

„Hey there, handsome.“
Stef looked back.
Hey there, indeed.
A guy was at the top of the gallery’s stairs. Tall and built in jeans and a black blazer. Taking off aviator shades to show his face.
Whoa.“

There is so much I want to say about those two men and I’m really afraid it will become an essay! lol* BUT oh boy!!! They were so great together!!! After everything Jav went through it was so good to see him in such a solid and healthy relationship! It was a great contrast to the heavy parts of Geno’s story and Suanne managed to find a balance which is searching for its match. (Suanne, did I ever tell you that I love you? No? Well, I do! ;-P) I loved to see their first meeting from Stef’s POV and haha his reaction to seeing Jav for the very first time was priceless! ❤ They were so truly and madly in love it was overwhelming and made me giggle like crazy. I loved how they got to know each other, how they accepted each other’s boundaries and talked things out! Yes, they spoke about their problems and fears and it was AMAZING!!! They were so attuned to each other they noticed the smallest gestures of discomfort from a mile away. XD And their conversation about how being bi feels for them! It felt so true and real that I found myself speaking to the pages saying: Yes!! Yes, that’s it! They were each other’s safe haven and whenever the sea got unsteady and tempestuous they could rely on each other. ❤ That moment Jav broke down in Stef’s arms?! Ahh it hurt so much but I was so happy he was with him guiding him through the rough sea! Those two men! I can’t get enough of them and I’ll make sure to read all the accompanying stories I can find. I need more of their happiness! So, so much more! XD

”Crying out loud, Landes, what?” he said.
“What?”
Stef’s smile broke apart laughing. “Stop looking at me.”
“No puedo dejar de mirarte,” Jav said, tackling him. Because he was a fucking hot mess and couldn’t keep his hands off the guy.

”The attraction is tougher?” Jav said. “More tenacious?”
“Yes,” Stef said, his voice rising. “Tenacious. Exactly. It can take my weight. I can push on it hard, be rougher with it. It’s not a connection I overlap or fall into. It’s something I lean on. Hard.”

”I like you so fucking much,” Stef said. He’d never in his life said such a thing to a man.
“I like you, too,” Jav said, as if the words were bubbles on his tongue.”

”When Stef locked arms around Jav’s waist at the stove and leaned on him, Jav had to stop cooking and taste the moment. Close his eyes and hold it tight, unable to remember the last time he felt this content. This complete.“

”The last chapter.”
Stef blinked. “You lost me.”
“You’re the last chapter,” Jav said. “I went from the prologue to you. I skipped everything in the middle and now I’m in love with you and I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.”
A rush as everything in Stef’s body dilated, returned to normal levels, and then rose up. “Jesus Christ, Jav,” he said, rubbing his face. “I swear, I’m going to kill you or fuck you. Pick one.”

”You didn’t know I’d end up fucking for a living. Making me waste twenty years of my life when I could’ve been something to somebody…”
Then he was crying.
Stef pulled him in tight and stood still against the storm, his hand running in slow circles between Jav’s trembling shoulders. “You’re something to me,” he said. “You’re everything to me.“

”Mm.” Jav fitted his thumbnail into the scar across Stef’s eyebrow. “Man, I don’t know how you do what you do.”
“I don’t know how you write books.”
“I make up bullshit. Your work is so much more important. You know how men make love with each other and you know how men make war on each other.”

Stef, Jav & Geno:

”They got him.”
“It’s over.” Geno slid off the couch, onto the floor and into Stef’s arms. “It’s over.”
Stef caught him up tight, a hand on Geno’s head. “They got him,” he said, rocking their bodies side to side.

Now the three of them certainly had an interesting dynamic. Especially because Stef had a professional relationship with Geno and Jav’s relationship with him was rather a friendship. And once again I’ve to praise the fine nuances of Suanne’s stories. Their relationships to each other were so palpable and they felt real and true. I loved that Stef got all protective of Jav when he discovered that Geno had read his journal and therefore his personal thoughts but I also loved them both for still being there for Geno even though he violated Jav’s privacy. I always knew that Geno finding out about Jav and Stef’s relationship would end badly, but after everything he went through it was no surprise. Still, I’m glad they managed to sort things out in the end and I’m so happy Geno has those two as his friends now. Stef being there for him as his therapist was so important but I think Jav being his friend was at least as vital for his healing process as Stef’s therapy. ❤ You need friends in your life and with Jav and Stef at his side Geno kind of won the friendship lottery. =) True friendships between men! I think the bookish world needs more of them.

”I’m on guard, little brother.
You fought hard and brave. Rest your heart now. Don’t be afraid.
I’m here.
They’ll have to come through me to get to you this time.”

”Geno took a long swig of ice water and asked Jav, “Do you believe everything happens for a reason?”
“I do,” Jav said. “But not everyone gets the privilege of liking the reason. Of feeling the reason was worth the ordeal or the experience.”

Jav & Ari:

”Oh my god, T, are you crying?” Ari said. He called Jav T, for Tio. Spanish for uncle.
“Shut up.”
“Come on, I bet you have an absolute surplus of toilet paper now.”
“This is true. One box of cereal lasts forever and I only have to buy a half-gallon of milk.”
“See? You don’t miss me at all.”
“You’re right. Glad to have you out of my hair. Don’t ever come back.”

I still adore this uncle-nephew duo! =) Jav and Ari’s relationship was one of the best things about “Larks” and it continued to be amazing in “Finches”. They might have found each other under difficult circumstances but they made the best of it and formed a bond that will connect them forever. Also can we acknowledge how supportive Ari is?! That boy is still so young but he already knows what’s important in life! Their conversations were once again some of the best in the book and I had to laugh so hard when Ari told Jav that he shouldn’t have sex in front of his dog. *LOL* Poor Roman! I’m sure he appreciates Ari’s concern. ;-P

”I hope you find someone,” Ari said. “You deserve it. Male or female, it’s about fucking time you had someone you can be yourself with.”
“Thanks.”

Jav & Gloria:

”When Jav lost Flip, he found in Gloria the one person who loved him unconditionally. The woman who had taken him in when his own people cast him out. He went to court and legally changed his surname to Landes. He would never think of her as his mother. He chose her name because it was the thing he respected most in the world.”

As you can see my relationships and ship section is huge this time around and the reason for it is that Suanne writes them like no other! I mean for instance Jav and Gloria!! Gloria was probably the only person that cared about him when he was alone and lost and even though to help him to become an escort might have been kind of harmful for Jav on the long run it was still something he enjoyed to do when he was younger. Gloria guided and comforted him. She provided a safe haven and helped him to help himself so for that alone she deserves respect. Plus she’s his voice of reason and a very wise woman. I love that they still have contact and that she’s the first person he comes to when his heart is troubled. ❤

”You’re right. As usual.”
“Often wrong, never in doubt.”
“Which is why I love you.”

”Love doesn’t always play nice. Love plays games you haven’t had to deal with before. Love is going to serve up a buffet of emotions you neatly avoided for decades.”

Alex, Jav & The Larks:

”And if you met someone, and it feels easy and you’re waiting for the axe or the shoe or the whatever to drop, it’s because you think you don’t deserve easy. What did I tell you about that?”
“Yeah, I know,” Jav said, exhaling.
“Say it.”
“I’m worth more and I deserve it.”
“Damn right you do.”

Ahh the tension between Alex and Jav is still tangible. I can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever get over it or if it will be one of those relationships that will always have that special spark. Sometimes you meet people that draw you in and no matter how much you try to get some distance between you, it’s bound to fail. You’re drawn like a moth to the flame or like a moon that’s pulled into the orbit of a planet. So you either find a way to live with that involuntary attraction or you don’t and put some distance between you. And let me tell you this as someone who’s tried to live with it, it’s tough!!! I managed to do it for a few years but then the contact broke because it was just too much to handle. For both of us. >_< So I can’t help but wonder how the relationship between Jav and Alex is going to develop. Still, despite all the things that are going on between them and Val basically watching them like a hawk they are a family and support each other. Which is truly amazing! Val definitely has all my respect for forgiving Alex and Jav and for trying to give them space. This woman is a saint!!! Period!

”Well, maybe I’ll meet them someday.”
Jav smiled at the safe, gender-neutral pronoun. “Maybe you will,” he said. “If I don’t fuck this up.”
“Oh my God,” Alex said. “You’re still the same idiot.”
“The only one allowed in the room,” Jav said, laughing.

”Let go now,” Alex said, slapping Jav’s back, then his ass. “Or I won’t.”

Jav hugged them both. “Thanks for coming.”
“Wouldn’t miss it,” Alex said.
“We’re your family, dumbass,” Val said. “We’d do anything.”

Stav & Stef:

”Is this the guy you called me about the other day?”
“Yes.”
“Dude, does he have a brother? Named Rav?”
“No.”
“Where did he come from?”
“The fucking sky.”

Haha! I LOVED this sibling relationship!! Stav and Stef were so much fun to read about and they reminded me of my sister and me. I swear, we have conversations like the one above too and I love spending time with her and to be silly. We do that frequently and have been told that we’re like a comedy show when we’re together. (I swear sometimes it’s like people get their popcorn to watch us. Well, my brother-in-law actually did but that’s another story for another day. *lol*) So yes, I adored this sibling rep and could relate to it! Stav and Stef are two amazing people and even though Stav went through a lot of heavy shit she’s still a very optimistic and funny character! Which is remarkable! The world definitely needs more Stavs too! =))

4

“A Charm of Finches” was INCREDIBLE and I just couldn’t get enough of it. The many thoughts, ideas and feelings that went into this, the way Suanne managed to put this on paper! How she writes life the way it is and creates characters that feel like real people! (For me they actually are!) The heavy topics she’s addressing! With so much respect and care. I’m in awe of Suanne Laqueur’s mind and writing style and I’ll never get tired of advertising her books! Seriously, more people need to read her books because they are so, so, so GOOD! All the stars! All the stars, por siempre jamás!

A - E, Allgemein, B, Reviews

ARC Review: Boyfriend Material (Alexis Hall)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 **I received an advance copy of this book from SOURCEBOOKS Casablanca and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for approving me for this ARC!**

I’m aware I rarely say this about books, but this was fantastic! Once I started to read “Boyfriend Material” I couldn’t stop anymore and with every chapter I read, I was drawn even more into the story. The conversations between the two MCs, Luc and Oliver, were so much fun and I found myself clutching the pages while laughing out loud.

Sure, not everything in this book is hilarious and Alexis Hall tackles plenty of serious topics as well. The author always does it with a little humour though and this made this a really enjoyable and entertaining read. For instance Luc’s boss is a horrible person. I mean I get it, beetles are important for the environment but boy, does she lack the finesse of human interaction. Some of the things she said at the beginning of the book were flat out rude and inappropriate and if Luc wouldn’t have been such a nice person she probably would have lost her company a long time ago.

The good thing about those moments is that they were all either called out or challenged by some of the characters and I really appreciated this approach. Alexis Hall deals with prejudices, bias and a good dose of discrimination but the author does it in a healthy kind of way. For such a funny book this is quite remarkable and before I dwell on those topics even more I’ll just go for the good stuff! Namely the easy banter of the two MCs , the fact that Luc (whose full name is Lucien btw and we all know about my weakness for that name! ;-P) is a disaster gay and the amazing portrayal of friendships which gave this all such a wholesome and healthy vibe!

“What if someone asks? I should know for verisimilitude.”
The corners of his mouth twitched slightly. “You can say I’m a gentleman and we haven’t got that far.”
“You” – I gave a thwarted sigh – “are a terrible fake boyfriend.”
“I’m building fake anticipation.”
“You’d better be fake worth it.”
“I am.”

I swear Luc and Oliver were such a formidable couple! Yes, they might have started fake-dating because at that point of their lives they both needed it to save their reputation; they were always honest and forthright though! And this was so, so, so, so refreshing!!! Most of the conflicts in “Boyfriend Material” didn’t come into being because of some miscommunication between the MCs but because the characters were used to deal with their problems on their own. They were stuck in their habits and problems and had a tough time letting anyone in, which considering both of their backstories was actually pretty relatable.

“Are we really bad at this?” I asked.
“We’ve been fake dating for three days and we’ve already fake broken up once.”
“Yes, but we fake resolved our difficulties and fake got back together, and I’m hoping it’s made us fake stronger.”

As were their friendships! I loved Bridge and the funny dynamic between Luc and his other friends. They were exactly like you’d expect good friends to be and their support for Luc was amazing! Funnily enough I even liked Alex, Luc’s gullible, innocent and totally clueless co-worker who wouldn’t even notice if he would put his foot in his mouth. Let’s just hope the Alex’s of this world will never be confronted with harsh reality. XD

This said, the only thing I didn’t like were the two storylines about Luc’s father and Oliver’s family. Whilst the plot that dealt with Luc’s father might have been dissatisfying but realistic, the part that focused on Oliver’s family fell short for me. I really wish we would have gotten more of his storyline throughout the entire book and not only on the last 30 pages. I get why Alexis Hall did it that way and I appreciate the point the author made, but for me this came out of the blue and kind of spoiled the ending. I guess this might be a typical „it’s not the book, it’s me“ situation though. Well, at least so far no other reviewer seems to have mentioned it. 😉

“I’m conscious this could be rather burdensome to hear, but you remain the thing I have most chosen for myself. The thing that’s most exclusively mine. The one thing that brings me the deepest joy.”

All told I really enjoyed “Boyfriend Material” and had a more than just tough time to put it down. The hilarious humour and easy banter made it really addicting and before I even knew it I found myself rushing through the pages. If you’re looking for a sweet rom-com that isn’t afraid to tackle a few serious topics and will make you laugh out loud, this might be exactly the right book for you! 😉 Happy reading!

A, A - E, Allgemein, Reviews

ARC Review: An Exaltation of Larks (Suanne Laqueur)

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Rating: 5 Pfoten

*A forever grateful thank you to NetGalley and “Cathedral Rock Press” for providing a free ARC*

”They shared breath, poised on a shared edge, shaking all their separate pieces into one.”

Do you know the kind of book that swallows you whole? That makes you want to pick it up even though it’s in the middle of the night and you just closed it. The sort of story that takes over your mind, body and soul? The kind that makes you restless and achy with the need to continue? This special sort of book that touches you on such a profound and fundamental level your heart quite literally bursts from hurting, but, boy it hurts so good?!

“An Exaltation of Larks” was everything of the above and so, so, so much more! I had no idea what I was getting myself into until it was already too late. Until I found myself so deeply immersed in this story that it seemed to be impossible to get away from its words. They followed me around, taunted me, teased me, wanted to be read with such a relentless fervour that I couldn’t even think about uttering the word “no”.

”All his movements were clumsy and reluctant. His fingers balked at tying his sneakers. Turned locks the wrong way while opening the door. He stumbled going down the hall and the elevator door banged him on the elbow as it was closing.
He didn’t want to go.”

That’s exactly how this book made me feel and even after finishing it two weeks ago it still didn’t let me go. This story swept me off my feet, dug its claws into my skin and sang me to sleep. And to be entirely honest, this effect is still going on. By now I think “An Exaltation of Larks” was written to bury itself in my soul so that I would never feel alone again. And if that is truly the case, then all I can say is that it can have every inch of my heart it conquered.

”Many people like being alone, but nobody likes to be lonely.”

There are so many things I loved about this book, so many in fact that I don’t even know where to start. I adored Val and Alex, I worshipped Jav, whose character was so similar to mine that it sometimes felt like torture to read on. I connected with him on such a basic level that it killed me to accompany him on his difficult journey. But just like him I longed for more and no matter how much I got, I just couldn’t get enough. Of the strong friendships in this book, of the relationships between the characters, of the family they became. I swear the relationships in this book were everything!!! Just everything!! The humour, the banter, I loved how they joked, how comfortable they were around each other, how effortlessly those two families merged into one.

”Te lo agradezco mucho,” Alex said.
“You don’t have to thank me.”
“No sé cómo agradecértelo.”
“Stop.” Jav kissed his head. “You guys are my family. I’d do anything.”
He kissed Val’s head. Then six arms wove and wrapped and they held each other tight.

There are three people that found each other because they were meant to, because destiny had chosen them before they even knew it themselves and they love each other so deeply, so madly, so unconditionally that it broke my heart. The way Suanne let them deal with their troubles, how they acted around each other, how they were angry and mad but still so very much in love. How they fought for their love, how they realized that they had to accept their feelings with all their consequences, weaknesses and flaws. It just blew me away!! Suanne can write! And it’s so convincing, so realistic that it killed me. The chemistry of those characters, the cozy atmosphere, the strong feeling of belonging, of kinship and above all else the affection and love that connects them all.

”It’s not the Larks that kill you. It’s the exaltation.”

I swear at times I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I felt so fragile you could have shattered me with a soft breeze. Val’s and Alex’s marriage was so wonderful, yet I also loved the idea of Alex and Jav. To be entirely honest, the mere thought of all of them together kind of blew my mind and I suppose in some way or another those three actually kind of were in some sort of relationship. They were so connected, it was hard to even imagine them not being involved with each other and their children Ari and Deane only seemed to add to that intense sensation of all-encompassing love.

”I want you to be all right. I wanted that long before all this other stuff showed up. I wanted you to stay in Guelisten, I wanted my home to be your home. A place where you feel good. A place you can come as yourself and bring along your happiness and your pain. I wanted you around since the beginning.”

Of course none of those characters had it easy, because as we all know life may be described with an abundance of words but “easy” is certainly none of them. This said there are quite a lot of serious topics that are tackled by Suanne and they were woven so gently into the rug of this story that you don’t know where the seam begins or ends. They are as much a part of the book as they are a part of the characters and I’m still in awe of the author’s ability to let those stories speak for themselves. “The Disappeared” of Chile, 9/11 and its effects, the way our family and our personal history shapes us. I’m not ashamed to admit that I cried throughout the entire chapter that dealt with 9/11 and that the only thing that made it better was to remind myself of the things that are good in this world. Namely, a short peek at my kid while she was fast asleep in her bed. This chapter wrecked me, big time, as did so many other moments in this book… ¡Vale! I just had to take a deep breath because my emotions are still all over the place and I’m pretty certain this will never change.

”It caught Jav under the ribs and his teeth trembled together. He felt the ground tilt beneath his feet. His heart flailed, making desperate minute adjustments, frantically trying to find center. Find his way home, even as home insisted it was here. Right here in this house. With Alex.”

4

So this was my rather futile attempt to convey how much this book means to me and I can’t help but feel like I failed miserably. There is no way to put all of those emotions into words and if I’d live a million years I still wouldn’t be able to describe this painful contentment that I feel. “Therapy Fiction”, “Contemporary Train Wreck”, “Emotionally Intelligent Romance” those are all terms that are used to describe Suanne’s books. Well, I guess I have a new one for you: “Heart-breaking Realism”.

Make of that what you want, but I can guarantee you one thing: If you read this, you will never be the same again. All the paws! All the paws, por siempre jamás! ❤

Allgemein, K - O, O, Reviews

Review: One Day in December (Josie Silver)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 39 on My Book List 2019

”We stare straight at each other and I can’t look away. I feel my lips move as if I’m going to say something, God knows what, and all of a sudden and out of nowhere I need to get off this bus. I’m gripped by the overwhelming urge to go outside, to get to him. But I don’t.”

Every once in a while there comes a book I don’t want to write about. Not because it wasn’t good (quite the contrary) but because reading it was such a unique and amazing experience that I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone. “One Day in December” definitely falls into this category and I’m having a tough time deciding what to write about it. XD

Maybe it’s best to start with the obvious story line that’s already mentioned in the synopsis. Laurie and Sarah are best friends that share everything with each other. From their flat up to their secrets and lives, they are always together and do everything as a pair. Well, and then that fateful day happens when Laurie falls in love with a stranger who sits at a bus stop and tries to find him for an entire year.

”I’m in hell. I hate myself. I take a couple of steps away from him for my own sanity and grapple with my wretched heart to stop it banging louder than the music.”

Of course Sarah knows everything about him. Or well, as much as Laurie could tell her because it was just a passing moment and other than the fact that he read a book (of course he did) and how he looked, Laurie actually doesn’t have any details about him. How could she? She just saw him through a bus window. So in the end the universe does was it does best and messes things up big time. *lol* (Me a cynic, never! XD)

So through the twisted ways of fate Jack O’Mara (the guy from the bus station) ends up as Sarah’s boyfriend and they are so happy that Laurie would rather die than to mention that he’s HER bus boy! What follows is life with its inevitable ups and downs that keep our three protagonists more than just busy. They live and love, they grief and hope, they move on and return, they give up on themselves and they reinvent themselves once again. Over the course of nine years their story unfolds and just like in normal life the twists and turns keep coming.

”There’s something about living in a different place that allows you to be whoever you want to be.”

What I really loved about this book were the friendships and how everything that happened felt so real. I mean 9 years is a long time and we all know that there can happen so much! Yet, those three people still stayed strong. In one way or another they were always there for each other and helped each other through difficult times. No matter what happened to them and no matter how far they lived from each other, their friendships never faltered. Yes, there were some serious bumps along the road but that’s just the way life is and in the end they always found each other again.

”But I also said that sometimes, rarely, people can come back into your life. And if that happens, you should keep those people close to you for ever.”

I swear there were so many moments my heart broke for those three and sometimes all I wanted to do was to rip the book in two. *lol* I was so emotionally invested in this that it felt like they were my friends and naturally I only wanted them to be happy! XD Sometimes they were and I was glad for those moments, but other times they were so unhappy that I felt myself hurting with them. >_<

”I’d lost sight of who I was, and you made me remember. I don’t think I ever said thank you, so I’m saying it now. Thank you. You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

”Hey, hey, hey.” I speak as softly as I can. “I know, sweetie, I know.” I wish with all of my heart that I could hold her. “It’s okay, Laurie, it’s all right, sweetheart.” I close my eyes, because her grief is so raw it hurts me to hear it.

Gosh, I really loved this! In fact I loved this book so damn much that I stayed up until midnight just to finish the last 200 pages! And I had to get up at 5:00 a.m again so that says quite a lot about my enjoyment! *lol* Needless to say that I cried at the ending and went to bed as an emotional wreck. XD Still, it was worth every minute and I can’t thank my friends enough for recommending this to me.

”It’s always been like this with us, hasn’t it? “ I don’t have any control over the words spilling from my mouth. “When you look at me, I know that you really see me. I don’t think anyone ever has, Lu. Not the way you do.”

4

This was legit one of the best romances I ever read and I loved every second of it. Josie Silver managed to capture the currents of life like no other and she did it so masterfully that I’m convinced her characters are actually real people! Laurie James and Jack O’Mara just became one of my favourite couples and I wish them all the best! (Yes, they are real! I’m convinced they are! *lol*) This said: Happy reading! 😉

”Sometimes you just meet the right person at the wrong time,” I say softly.
“Yeah,” he says. “And then you spend every day afterwards wishing that time could be rearranged.”

And because I don’t want to spoil anyone I’ll write some of my other thoughts in here:

 
spoiler

If there was one thing I didn’t like about the book then it was that Laurie and Jack kissed while he was still with Sarah! I mean I can understand why they did it and I know why they kept it from her but it was no surprise that Sarah was angry when she found out. To kiss your best friends boyfriend is just a no-go and I was actually kind of angry with them when they did it.

After that they should have come clean with Sarah and should have told her. Not to mention that I didn’t understand why Laurie didn’t tell her right from the start. I don’t think Sarah would have ripped her head off is she would have told her. I mean she’s her bestie, she would have understood! Who knows maybe Sarah and Jack would have even realized that they are not enough for each other way earlier than they did in the end. Or they would have made the same mistake but at least they would have tried with an honest and clean slate. You never know.

Also I don’t think that Oscar was a good husband. Maybe a good man but definitely no good husband. The mere fact that he took the job in Brussels and didn’t even think about declining and saying “no” was proof of it. I mean he had a wife, they were about to start a family and he simply overrode Laurie’s veto! How egoistic can you be? A marriage is about compromises and finding a way that works for both! It’s no wonder Laurie left him in the end! Which woman in her right mind would have stayed with such an egoistic douche? To move to another country and to start a life over there is a huge step! You can’t just expect that your wife will follow you blindly and will give up her entire life! Especially if she already told you that she doesn’t want to take that step! I mean WTH???!!

And last but not least: The ending killed me!!! I cried so much when I read their conversation on the radio and the twitter hashtags were one of the most relatable things ever. I just loved how everything came together in the end and that their love ended up being public. It’s such a great love story it was bound to come out one day! Also SARAH IS THE FREAKING BEST FRIEND EVER! To buy Laurie a ticket to Jack was one of the most selfless things she could have possibly done and I only love her even more for it!<333

 

Allgemein, Reviews, U - Z, W

Review: What If It’s Us (Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

This apartment isn’t home for either of us, but we’re home to each other, and that’s what makes every wall fall away so I only focus on him.”

When I heard that Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera were writing a love child book together I instantly knew that I needed this in my life. XD Okay, it might have taken me a little while to get to it and I guess I kinda missed the hype train, but maybe this was good because I could focus on my own opinion instead of reading the opinion of others on my feed. 😉

And after finishing the final page let me tell you this: My opinion about this book is quite a strong one! *lol* I know there are a lot of people out there that ended up not liking “What If It’s Us” and I’m the first one to admit that it wasn’t exactly what I expected. If you’re looking for a fluffy and cute contemporary book you might be disappointed. Because yes, there is some fluff and cuteness going on but in this one it’s actually taking a backseat. At least it felt like that for me.

”But there were only so many hits to the heart I could take before I needed to step away. I gave him a lot of chances – I gave us a lot of chances. I just wasn’t good enough to remind him love could be a good thing.”

So what did Albertalli and Silvera try to achieve with this? If you ask me I think they wanted to write something realistic! And if they tried to do this, well, then they certainly nailed it! I mean at first I was a little bit disappointed about where this was heading too. I was hoping for a sweet romance and then I got Arthur and Ben! *lol* One of them some sort of innocent and naïve country bumpkin that only lives in the big city for the summer and the other a pretty disenchanted guy that is grumpy because his first love didn’t work out the way he hoped it would.

I swear, I never read about a couple that would have been worse for each other than those two! *lol* And I’m meaning this in the best way possible. At first glance they have nothing in common and just don’t fit together, but as the story continued to unfold I realized that this was okay. They are two different people that don’t have a lot in common but despite their obstacles, their misunderstandings, their troubles and personal sensitivities they still work somehow.

”…, and our voices don’t ever really become one, but I like how we sound together.
Like two people trying to make it work.”

I loved this quote because it’s so true! If you’re in a real relationship nothing is perfect. It’s easy to be in a relationship when you both still see things through rose-coloured glasses, but once this first stage of infatuation wears off a relationship is a lot of work. In Ben and Arthur’s case they just had to face those problems way earlier than others, they both tried to understand each other though and if you ask me I think this was a very mature approach. Speaking of which, another thing I really liked was the fact that both of them were already out of the closet. Ben’s entire family knew and Arthur told his people before he moved to New York.

”Yeah. I put up an Instagram post on Thanksgiving a couple years ago. Said that I was thankful for all the people in my life who are cool enough to love me as I am. And everyone else could unfriend me online and in real life. I had even checked my follower count before posting.”

Gosh, how I wish everyone could be as brave as Ben! But then again, not everyone has a family and friends like him. Not all of us are fortunate enough not to be unfriended after a statement like that. No matter if it might be on Instagram or in real life. >_< Still, I liked that they were both comfortable with being who they truly are and it’s really rare to read an LGBTQ+ story in which the characters are already out. So kudos for that! Well, for that and for the amazing portrayal of realistic friendships! XD

Dylan claps. “Okay. I’m sold. I am shipping you with the boy you met when you were supposed to be shipping relationship relics to your last boy.”

I loved Ben’s and Dylan’s friendship so much! They were amazing and their innuendos and jokes kinda reminded me of my bestie and me. *lol* I swear, when it comes to that we’re exactly like those two and it was so refreshing to see a friendship like ours represented on the pages of a book. Alone for that I couldn’t help but adore this story! I would never ever say anything like Ben to my bestie though. Phew! That was a really hurtful comment and I swear if my bestie would have said something like that to me I wouldn’t have talked to her either! I’m just glad Ben got his act together and apologized to Dylan in the end. XD

Samantha takes a step away from him. “A lightning bolt is going to burst in here any second now and shut you up.”
“I eat lightning for breakfast.”

Samantha and Dylan were amazing too! ❤ They weren’t only made for each other and a truly perfect match, but also so damn funny that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. 😉 Some people might say that Dylan was a little bit over the top, but let me tell you this: there are actually real Dylan’s out there in this world and if you’re very lucky one of them is a part of your life! XD

4

At first I was a little bit disappointed because this went in an entirely different direction than I expected. The longer I read the more I got captivated by the story though. I began to appreciate it for its realistic and honest approach and with time all the characters and their individual flaws started to grow on me. If there is one thing I have to criticize then it’s THE ENDING!!!! I mean OMG!!! To quote the Duke from Moulin Rouge: “I don’t like this ending!”
WHY, Becky and Adam?!! WHY??!!! I think I’ll never get over this ending and like so many others before me I demand a “do-over”! (See what I did there? *lol*) I’ll miss my two disaster gays so much and I’ll always want a sequel. #SorryNotSorry ;-P
This said: Happy Reading!

Arthur is tearing up. “Thanks for this. For everything. This morning. This summer. I know I’m a lot, and you’ve been so cool about it.”
I laugh a little. “We’re the worst. I mean, we’re the best. But we’re the worst. You always think you’re too much, and I feel like I’m not enough.”

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

 

Book 38 on My Book List 2019

 

”And so this exotic strain of gossip spread rapidly through the Levantine networks of the Asian jet set, and within a few hours, almost everyone in this exclusive circle knew that Nicholas Young was bringing a girl home to Singapore.

And, alamak! This was big news.”
I guess this quote is the perfect summary of the entire book. *lol* And yes, the title already tells us everything we need to know. Still, I expected something light and fluffy when I started to read “Crazy Rich Asians” but truth be told I was kinda thrown by the intense and serious turn this book took in the end. There happened quite some heavy stuff and this is probably the biggest understatement ever!! XD

 

Oh well, I’m getting ahead of myself here so let’s start at the beginning. Rachel and Nicholas have been in a solid relationship for two years and his best friend’s wedding is actually the main reason he’s taking his girlfriend with him. I mean he’s Colin’s best man so it’s only natural to take your long-time girlfriend with you, right? Yes and no! Because seriously, nothing and no one could have prepared them for what would happen when they set their feet on this island. XD It’s not only a clash of cultures but also some sort of grim war between two seemingly different classes of people. If there ever exists such a thing. Just because some people think they are better and superior this certainly doesn’t make them better and superior. Which already brings me to the first topic that got me really riled whenever I read this book:The audacity and obnoxious snobbery of Nick’s family and their “close” friends. Money can buy you a lot of things but it obviously can neither buy you a heart nor common sense!

”And unlike Leo, Eddie’s parents were the old-fashioned type – insisting from the moment Eddie graduated that he learn to live off his earnings.
It was so bloody unfair.

I had no, I repeat absolutely, no sympathy or compassion for “poor” Eddie. It must have been so damn hard just to have a big house instead of a villa or to have a small private jet instead of a huge luxury airplane. If you ask me those people are really rich and truly crazy. There are people starving in this world, there are people that don’t even have a place to call their home and all those rich spoilt brats cared about was their designer clothes, their food and how they could look better than the rest. Urgh! I know I’m taking this way too serious, but as a person who grew up in a hardworking family that had to work for every cent and never got anything for free I just lack sympathy for people like them. And therefore the list of the people I didn’t like in this book is as long as the equator. Probably even longer because to circle the entire world only once might not be enough. XD

So just to give you a short example: Eleanor, Bernard, Eddie, Lorena, Carol, Lauren, Francesca, Evan, Roderick, Wandi, Parker, Nadine, Jacqueline, Su Yi (aka Ah Ma), Alexandra, … and the list could go on and on!

Thankfully there are also people that I liked and that made up for the horrible snobbery of those others: Rachel, Nick, Astrid, Colin, Sophie, Peik Lin and all the Gohs in general, Alistair, Philip and Charlie. And maybe Oliver, but I really dunno what’s his angle in all of this. *lol*

”Oh, you really don’t have to do that. It’s not important to me what sort of family he comes from,” Rachel said.
“Nonsense, lah! Of course it’s important!” Wye Mun was adamant. “If he’s Singaporean, I have a responsibility to make sure he’s good enough for you!”

I wish Nick’s family would have seen it the same way because the way they treated Rachel was just horrible and mean! I think the biggest disappointment was Su Yi though. I really thought she would know better than her spoilt grandchild Eddie! Especially because if I got it correctly she’s only filthy rich because she inherited the money from her father and actually didn’t have to do anything to gain her wealth.

”Where she’s from is irrelevant. My youngest grandson is not going to marry some actress, especially one of questionable lineage,” Su Yi said simply. Turning to Alexandra, she said, “You will tell him to break off the engagement immediately.”

But every time I thought “OH GODS, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!!!” some nice character made an appearance and I started to believe in the good in people again. *lol* Two of the best examples were definitely Nick and Charlie because boy those two men blew me away! And truth be told even Fiona showed some serious backbone when she defended her kids against their tyrant of a father! =)

”Who exactly are you trying to impress? The photographers? The readers of Hong Kong Tattle? You really care so much about them that you’d rather hit your own son over an accident that you caused in the first place by screaming at him for wearing the wrong cummerbund?”

And so it happens that events escalate and almost everything that can go wrong actually goes wrong in the end. I can’t even tell you how sorry I felt for Nick! I mean, yeah he was partly responsible for the things that happened but you can’t blame him for only thinking the best of his mum and grandma. I mean they are his family and they hurt him at least as much as they hurt Rachel. Up until the moment he realized what they did behind his back he was actually pretty clueless about their vindictive ways and the lengths to which they would go in order to keep him from marrying Rachel.

”She’s not something I can just give up, Mum. I love her, and I’m going to marry her. I don’t need anyone’s approval,” Nick said forcefully, rising from the table.
“Stupid boy! Ah Ma will disinherit you!”
“Like I care.”

”No, Rachel, please don’t go,” Nick said, grabbing her by the arm. “I need you to hear this. Ah Ma, I don’t know what stories you’ve been told, but I have met Rachel’s family, and I like them very much. They have certainly shown me a great deal more courtesy, warmth, and respect than our family has shown to Rachel.”

Poor Nick, poor Rachel! They both didn’t deserve to be treated like that! I felt really sorry for Rachel because her world was turned upside down, but to some degree I felt even more sorry for Nick because it was his own family that did all this stuff. Your family should be the people you can rely on and trust, your family should be the people that catch you when you fall and his family, well they hurt him because he wanted to marry the “wrong” kind of girl.

spoiler

And if this wouldn’t have been enough already Rachel even broke up with him because she couldn’t stand to see him anymore. He so didn’t deserve that!! I swear if Rachel wouldn’t have turned to him in the end I really would have thrown that book out of my window! *lol* YES! I felt that strongly about poor Nick’s misery!!!

 

4

“Crazy Rich Asians” was an interesting, unexpectedly intense and somehow educational book. It kept me entertained and forced me to read on because I always wanted to know what would happen next. Rachel and Nick were a great couple and I’m already curious about the second book. As it seems it’s not only about them but also about Nick’s cousin Astrid as well and after her encounter with her ex-boyfriend Charlie I’m really beyond excited to see where this is heading. Because let’s face it: As much as I liked Nick, Charlie is still the best!!!! ❤

spoiler

”If he didn’t have a chance of getting Astrid back, he at least wanted to try to help her. He wanted her to find love again with her husband. He wanted to see the joy return to Astrid’s face, that glow he had witnessed all those years ago at the bonfire on the beach. He wanted to pass it on.”

Imma gonna die if they don’t end up together and she actually goes back to Michael!!!! ARAHAKSDFASDFJASDKFJADSKF! Charlie is precious!! So damn precious that I can’t even! <333 If Astrid doesn’t take him, I will! *lol*

Allgemein, K - O, L, Reviews

Review: Leah on the Offbeat (Becky Albertalli)

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Rating: 3 Pfoten

Book 26 on My Book List 2019

“Imagine going about your day knowing someone’s carrying you in their mind. That has to be the best part of being in love – the feeling of having a home in someone else’s brain.”

If you know me and my reviews you also know that I’m not one to beat about the bush so I’ll say it directly and without detour: I really wish I would have loved this as much as I loved “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” but I didn’t and that’s kinda sad. =(

I mean it was a good book and nice to read! There were a few fluffy and cute moments and I loved that we got to see Simon and Blue again. It was nice to find out what happened after the ending of “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” and of course I loved all the HP, Sailor Moon and Fruits Basket references that made an appearance throughout the entire book. Despite all that I somehow still didn’t enjoy this as much as its predecessor though, and I’m sorry to say it, but I think it was mostly due to Leah’s character and her POV.

I know not everyone can be a special snowflake like Simon Spier and that there are characters that have rough edges. No matter how much I tried to keep that in mind, I still didn’t warm to Leah though. There were just too many issues I had with her as a character and they ultimately led me to have issues with the book as well. >_<

Don’t get me wrong: I still enjoyed this! It was entertaining and easy to read and I lived and breathed for all those tiny and sweet Simon and Blue moments. But I guess in the end this was actually the very reason that caused me to give this book only three stars. In contrast to “Simon vs. THSA” I didn’t really feel the romance of the two MCs. Call me picky but if the side characters have more chemistry than the main protagonists of the story it’s never a good sign. Well, at least not for me. *lol*
So yes, I had a good time reading this sequel but I didn’t feel the same magic I felt when I read the first book! XD

2

And here comes the moment when I tell you that you shouldn’t read on beyond this point! If you haven’t read the book yet you’ll be spoiled like crazy, so you better think twice before you continue your journey through my characters section! Take it or leave it, but whatever you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you. ;-P

Leah:

”I think I hate the concept of needing space. What it really means is that the person’s mad at you, or hates you, or doesn’t give a shit about you. They just don’t want to admit it.”

*sigh* I had really high hopes for Leah’s character and since I liked her in “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” I thought that I might like her in this book too. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and I found myself disliking her immensely. And this comes from a person who loves morally grey characters and is a huge fan of bookish villains! It’s just… idk. There were so many little things that I didn’t like about her that it resulted in me not liking her at all. For instance I didn’t like how she treated her mom and her boyfriend. I mean damn that poor woman was 35? So only 4 years older than I and according to Leah she shouldn’t be dating? Hell, give your mom a break! 35 is still young and after raising you as a single mom that did everything possible in order to make you happy you could at least try to be nice to her boyfriend! Sure, Leah is a teen and they get annoyed by their parents on principle (;-P), but the things she did and said to her mom? Phew! Not nice! Plus it wasn’t just her mom, she was also rude, presumptuous and unfriendly to other people and I just couldn’t deal with that. It’s one thing to have a bad day or to be in a bad mood, but to take it out on others? Nope. *shakes head* I probably could rant about her for ages but I’ll stop here and continue with the rest of my review. *lol*

”I can’t help it. I’m a Slytherin.”
And I’m the worst kind of Slytherin. I’m the kind who’s so stupidly in love with a Gryffindor, she can’t even function. I’m the Draco from some shitty Drarry fic that the author abandoned after four chapters.

Abby:

”Why do you need a reason?”
“Because it sucks that there wasn’t one. I just wasn’t feeling it. At least not as much as I should be? Like, I’m sad about it, but it doesn’t wreck me, and I really feel like it should wreck me.”
I glance at her sidelong. “You want it to wreck you?”
“Do I want to love him enough that leaving him would wreck me? Yeah.”

I still love Abby and she definitely was a character I could relate to. She always tried to do the right thing and she followed her gut feeling when things got a little bit tricky. You might argue that the way she ended her relationship with Nick was pretty uncool, but then again to end a relationship is never easy. There are always two people and at least one of them gets hurt. It was more than just obvious that she cared about him deeply though and that she was very sorry for breaking his heart. Sure if you’re the one whose heart got broken this doesn’t give you any comfort but at least she was honest to him! I really liked that she always tried to look on the bright side and that she did her best to figure things out. In the end Abby is a really cheerful, compassionate and sweet character and you could read it on every single page! =)

”I guess it’s like, I forgive her, but I don’t really know if I can trust her again. Does that make sense?”

Simon:

”Sorry, Simon, but you’re too precious. If you weren’t gay and taken, I’d totally marry you. And let’s be honest, marrying Simon would be amazing – and not just because I had a sad, secret crush on him for most of middle school.”

I LOVE and ADORE Simon Spier!!! When it comes to that I can totally agree with Leah! He’s just too precious for his own good! *lol* It made me so happy to see him and Bram together and I loved how he interacted with his friends. He’s such a charming character and I would have loved to read even more about him. Aside from the countless adorable moments with Bram, the action with his mobile phone was probably the best thing in this book though! *LOL* I loved that Abby caused his phone to go all “50 Shades of Grey” on April Fool’s Day and Simon’s reaction to his hacked AutoCorrect was priceless!!! <333 XD

”And then there’s Simon in the middle, glancing back and forth like we’re a street he has to cross. I don’t think I’ve ever met a person so nervously attuned to conflict.”

3

Leah & Simon:

My phone buzzes with a text from Simon. FUCK. My. Life. Leah. Oh God.
“Okay, I better go,” Mom says, setting my yogurt down. “Have fun today.”
I say good-bye to her and turn back to my phone. I can’t fuck your life, I’m monogamously fucking my own life.

Their friendship is so amazing and one of the few things I really liked about this book! ❤ Leah and Simon are two very different characters, but this still didn’t change anything about the fact that their friendship is strong! Their conversations and messages felt real and I loved that they understood each other without having to explain anything. It was obvious that they’ve been best friends for a long time and the way they acted around each other was natural and easy. This was a really lovely friendship rep and I was so here for it! <333

”You know I’m going to lose my mind without you, right?”
“Me too,” I say softly, leaning into his chest.

Leah & Abby:

”Are you asking me to prom, Leah Burke?”
“Yes,” I say flatly. “We’re literally standing five feet away from your boyfriend, and I’m asking you to prom.”
She raises her eyebrows, like she can’t decide if I’m kidding. So that’s a twelve out of ten on the awkward scale.

Where to start? *lol* I didn’t ship them and I felt no chemistry between them. Leah had the weirdest thoughts when she was around Abby and I couldn’t help but wonder why Abby fell in love with her. It was easy to understand why Leah was in love with Abby but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t understand why Abby would fall in love with Leah too. I mean would you fall for a person that constantly gives you the feeling that she doesn’t like you? That attacks you for things you can’t control? Hell, even when Leah defended her against Morgan she still claimed that she only did it because Morgan had been racist. Yes, Morgan’s statement was wrong and it was good that Leah called her out on it, but would she really have lost her face if she would have admitted that she also did it because she’s Abby’s friend? Nope! So, why Abby? Sure, you could argue that love is something that just happens, but in Abby’s case this isn’t enough for me. Also where did that romance suddenly come from!? I spent the entire first book hoping that Abby and Nick would eventually find each other and they did. Well, and then all of a sudden Abby breaks up with him? This came out of nowhere and the explanation that she did it because she doesn’t want to have a long distance relationship was so flimsy! I know some of you will argue that she was in love with Leah all along and therefore broke up with Nick but after reading the first book I’m not convinced by this theory. Nick and Abby really were in love and they were a great couple! Feelings change? Yes, they do, but usually not that fast! They were crazily in love in the first book and then this? XD I know I’m ranting here but DAMN IT, I just don’t understand it!!! I’m sure this might be an unpopular opinion but to me it felt like the author wanted to write an f/f relationship and decided that Leah and Abby would do. There I said it! *lol* I’m sorry, but I really wasn’t convinced by their romance and whenever they had the possibility of having a sweet moment Leah’s attitude ruined it for me. >_<

”I had a dream once where she kissed me on the collarbone. Softly and quickly – barely a thing. I woke up aching. I couldn’t look at her all day.”

”So what, now you think you’re bi?”
“You make me think about it.”
My heart skids to a stop.

”You keep running away.”
“You keep finding me.”

The bi & non-binary rep:

”Leah, you would love them. They’re a drummer.”
That casual singular they. It isn’t even my pronoun, but it feels like a hug. Because if Caitlin’s unfazed by her enby friend’s pronouns, she’d probably unfazed by me being bi.

First of all I have to say that the mention and short appearance of a non-binary character was my personal highlight of this book! It’s so damn rare to find a non-binary rep and my heart sang when I read this quote! I love Becky Albertalli for including them in her book and I can’t thank her enough for giving them room!! That was awesome Becky!!! <333

As for the bi rep… I’m sorry to admit that I wasn’t really happy with it. There were a lot of things that rubbed me the wrong way and I’ll try my best to explain why I felt the way I did. To some of you this might sound crazy but it really bothered me that Leah had so many crushes. I know some of you will say: What’s wrong with having crushes? And my answer is “nothing”. But in that context with her being bi it just felt like the thousandth repetition of a prejudice I heard way too often. Yes, being bi means that you’re attracted to men and women but this still doesn’t mean that you find everyone attractive!!! Just because you’re bi you don’t have a crush on everyone! Just because you’re bi you don’t “choose” the best of both sexes!! I’m sure most of the readers didn’t even notice those offhand comments about her crushes but I did and it made me unhappy. The thing that truly got me were Leah’s and Abby’s discussions about being bi though. I’m convinced that Becky Albertalli only tried to point out some prejudices and did her best to set them right by Abby and Leah discussing them but for me this didn’t work. Were their conversations important? Yes! Did they make me cringe inside? Double yes! I mean just take this quote:

I shake my head. “Lowkey bi, a little bit bi. Just be bi. Like, come on.”
“What? No.” She draws herself up. “You don’t get to decide my label.”
“It’s not a real label!”
“Well, it’s real for me.” She exhales heavily. “God, sometimes, I don’t even know…”

Whilst I agree with Leah that there is no such thing as “lowkey bi” or “just a little bit bi” I still don’t think that it’s okay to attack Abby like that. I mean that girl is trying to figure herself out and is confused and Leah had nothing better to do than to push her into a certain direction and to tell her that the current definition of her sexual orientation isn’t valid! WTF?! Leah is bi too so she of all people should know how difficult it is to come to terms with yourself! I know some of my friends argued that Leah was insecure herself but the more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that I won’t accept that as an excuse. Because NOPE she’s not insecure! I was barely a few pages into the book when she admitted that she’s bi and she even came out to her mother. Of course her friends didn’t know but it was obvious that she was comfortable with being bi. It never felt like she was insecure about it, if anything she was insecure about her feelings for Abby and worried that Abby wouldn’t reciprocate them. Still, just because she’s afraid of being rejected she shouldn’t have tried to label her! (And I’m once again cringing inwardly because I really don’t like the word “label”….) Plus and here comes another thing I didn’t like: When Abby said that she came out to her family I was like: WHAT?! Because let’s face it, to me this felt really unrealistic. Who would come out to their family before even defining their sexual orientation? Why come out to your family when you’re still insecure about who you truly are? This just didn’t make any sense to me. Take it from me: You don’t just come out like that! There are about a thousand questions you ask yourself first! You notice that you like boys AND girls! You wonder why it is like that. You imagine kissing a girl and realize that this feels okay to you. You do internet-research because you want to find out more! Maybe Abby did all that and I missed it but I doubt that she truly questioned herself. And let me tell you this: If you don’t fit into the norm and realize that your sexual orientation isn’t straight you automatically do this! So, this aspect of the story felt really unrealistic to me and since Abby defined herself as “lowkey bi” right after she admitted that she came out to her family I can assume that she didn’t go through that process yet.

Phew… that was a long paragraph! *lol*
Sorry for the rant but it had to get out of my system. XD

4

“Leah on the Offbeat” might have been a page turner but I couldn’t seem to be able to connect to the MC and that took away a lot of my enjoyment. In addition to that I had many issues with the way certain topics were addressed and tackled. I really wish I would have loved this more, but maybe my expectations were just too high after reading “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”. I’m sure many people will love Leah’s story as well, in my case it unfortunately didn’t work out though.

Allgemein, P - T, Reviews, S

Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Becky Albertalli)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

This book was so damn cute and extremely sweet and incredibly adorable! XD

It tasted like a hot cup of coffee in early spring,
it felt like warm summer rain caressing your skin,
it was as beautiful as a colourful sunrise in September and
it smelled like a clear night sky in the middle of a cold winter night.

In short: It gave me all those awesome fluffy, cozy and happy feels!! ! =)))

I loved everything about “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda”! From the bands and the music that was mentioned throughout the entire book right up to the „Harry Potter“ and „Fruits Basket“ references. And OMG Simon’s and Blue’s mails!!! Gosh they were so damn cute, they were argh! I can’t even say how much I loved those two!!! This book was just marvellous and as a fangirl I really felt like I finally arrived in seventh heaven! *lol*

”I have to admit I like to imagine you as a kid fantasizing about junk food. I also like to imagine you now fantasizing about sex. I can’t believe I just wrote that. I can’t believe I’m hitting send.“

I began to read this book and at some point realised that I couldn’t stop anymore. The mystery about Blue’s true identity pushed me to read on and even though I had my suspicions I still found great pleasure in collecting the hints and trying to make some assumptions. XD
I’ve to admit that this book got me hooked and I’m not ashamed to confess that I actually loved every second of it! ;-P

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

So yeah, now that I got this off my chest, I finally should be able to write my actual review!

The Plot:

Simon is sixteen years old and has a huge secret. He’s gay and he’s flirting with a guy who calls himself Blue and is more than just adorable. Well, that’s Simon’s opinion and I’ve to confess that I agree! He’s really damn cute! XD Anyway, Simon has never met Blue in real life and all they have ever done was to write very personal e-mails, personal e-mails that unfortunately end up in the wrong hands. Martin, a classmate of Simon accidentally stumbles upon them and since he has a huge crush on one of Simon’s friends, he decides to use them as leverage to force Simon to help him. Martin wants a date with Abby and if Simon doesn’t assist him, he’s going to out him to the whole world. What a mess!!! XD

The Characters:

Spoiler alert! You may stop here or continue to read at your own risk! 😉

Simon:

”So here’s the thing: Simon means ‘the one who hears’ and Spier means ‘the one who watches.” Which means I was basically destined to be nosy.

I loved, loved, loved and adored Simon!!! Gosh that boy is such a precious cutiepie!!! He’s funny and he’s refreshingly honest (well except of his little secret of course)! I could understand him so well and I think in some way I found myself in him. I mean Simon and I have a lot in common and I guess that’s probably the reason why I liked him so much! XD I hated that other people made him feel so insecure and I could understand his wish to get to know Blue in real life! Jeez! I was at the same point when I got to know my husband and it was so damn easy for me to relate to Simon’s struggle! =) Still, no matter what happened to him, he always stood his ground and I truly loved him for it!! Simon is so brave and I swear when he told Martin his opinion about his post on Tumblr I was all like: YEAH! Damn right, tell him what he did!!! XD

“And you know what? You don’t get to say it’s not a big thing. This is a big fucking thing, okay? This was supposed to be – this is mine. I’m supposed to decide when and where and who knows and how I want to say it.” Suddenly, my throat gets thick. “So, yeah, you took that away from me. And then you brought Blue into it? Seriously? You fucking suck, Martin. I mean, I don’t even want to look at you.”

Still, it hurt to know that Blue was too shy to show himself and the fact Simon was so down made me sad as well! Gosh! I think Simon actually is the most relatable character I ever had the pleasure to encounter. *lol* Everything he thought and did affected me so deeply! XD
And I swear the moment Blue found out about Simon’s identity just took my breath away!!!

”Jacques a dit. Right?

I was all like OH. MY. GOD!!!! It was kind of unfair though. I mean Blue obviously knew who Simon was, but Simon actually had no clue who Blue might be! XD What made it even worse, was that he didn’t even know if his feelings were reciprocated, because they actually stopped to write mails right after Simon’s identity was revealed! Oh my poor Simon! It was so painful to read!!! =(((

”Obviously, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing here, but what I’m trying to say is that I like you. I more than like you. When I flirt with you, it’s not a joke, and when I say I want to know you, it’s not just because I’m curious. I’m not going to pretend I know how this ends, and I don’t have a freaking clue if it’s possible to fall in love over email. But I would really like to meet you, Blue. I want to try this. And I can’t imagine a scenario where I won’t want to kiss your face off as soon as I see you.
Just wanted to make that perfectly clear.”

This scene resonated so much with me! I actually once wrote a pretty similar mail as well! *lol*

Blue:

”I completely understand what you mean about feeling locked into yourself. For me, I don’t even think it has anything to do with other people thinking they know me. It’s more that I want to leap in and say certain things and do certain things, but I always seem to hold myself back. I think a big part of me is afraid.”

Oh Blue, he was so insecure and shy and somehow this only made him even more adorable! There were moments when he was so brave and then all of a sudden he was too intimidated by Simon’s mails to even give him his number. XD Blue had his own struggles to deal with and just too see how much those two tried to support each other and the way they fell in love. OMG! It was just too much! *lol* I loved so many things about Blue. His correct grammar, the way he expressed himself and the words he used! It was obvious he was a smart kid and *lol* I guess deep down within me I already knew who was behind his nickname! ;-P I needed to read it though! *LOL*

”And I do think you’re cute. You’re absurdly cute. I think I spend a little too much time thinking how adorable you are in emails and trying to translate that into a viable mental image for daydreams and the like.

“And the like…” Haha oh boy did that one sentence mess with Simon’s head! Truth be told, I wouldn’t have reacted any different, though. See, once again a moment where I could relate to Simon’s POV!!! XD

”P.S. I love the way you smile like you don’t realize you’re doing it. I love your perpetual bed head. I love the way you hold eye contact a moment longer than you need to. And I love your moon-gray eyes. So if you think I’m not attracted to you, Simon, you’re crazy.”

Awww… just Aww! I melted when I read that note and to think Simon found it so late and didn’t even know it was there!! Holy moly! It killed me! *lol*

Martin:

I didn’t like him! Yes, I know he apologised in the end but damn what he did was just soo freaking mean and horrible! I mean he outed Simon on Christmas!! Who would ever do such a thing? My poor Simon had to deal with all this on a day that’s supposed to be one of the nicest of the entire year!! And this just because a stupid oaf called Martin had a crush on his friend Abby and couldn’t accept that she wasn’t interested in him!! I mean! ARGH!! That boy didn’t even think twice about the consequences his actions would entail! And yesh, there were plenty of consequences for poor Simon!!!

Simon’s friends:

”But I’ve known Leah since sixth grade, and Nick since we were four. And this gay thing. It feels so big. It’s almost insurmountable. I don’t know how to tell them something like this and still come out of it feeling like Simon. Because if Leah and Nick don’t recognize me, I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

They were amazing! Sure, sometimes I was angry with them because they didn’t understand Simon’s situation and thought everything was about them. I mean I understand why Abby was pissed but seriously, what was Simon supposed to do? He couldn’t really tell her that he was blackmailed by Martin and in the end nothing of what Simon did actually had any consequences for her. She chose Nick and Martin as well as Leah had to accept it. Period. And Leah? I know she felt left out, but it wasn’t like Simon could have done anything to stop Nick and Abby falling in love! *lol* I mean alone the thought is kind of ridiculous! XD
Still, no matter their feelings, they always stood up for Simon and I think that’s the important thing! You quarrel with your friends because you love them and when it comes down to it they’re always there for you! 😉

“Did you just tell us you’re gay?“ asks Nick.
„Yes.“
„Okay,“ he says. Abby swats him. „What?“
„That’s all you’re going to say? ‘Okay’?“
„He said not to make a big deal out of it,“ Nick says. „What am I supposed to say?“
„Say something supportive. I don’t know. Or awkwardly hold his hand like I did. Anything.“
Nick and I look at each other.
„I’m not holding your hand,“ I tell him, smiling a little.
„All right“ – he nods – „but know that I would.”

Simon’s family:

”My dad invented the concept of Simon logic, and I can’t seem to outgrow it. It means whishful thinking supported by flimsy evidence.”

I loved how they interacted with each other! They were so open and amazing and I had to laugh about their strange family habits. I mean alone the idea of scavenger hunting on Facebook! That was hilarious! *lol* To be a guest in their house certainly would have been funny as hell!! XD And the way Simon outed himself to his family? Haha it was priceless!!! Sure his father made many jokes but in the end he still loved his son and he felt sorry for being so oblivious and careless! =)) Alice and Nora were darlings and I guess to have two sisters like that is actually more than just a blessing!

”Well, I’m just going to put this out there, in case the message got lost somewhere. I love you. A lot. No matter what. And I know it’s got to be awesome having the cool dad.”
“Ahem,” says my mom.
“Excuse me. The cool parents. The hardcore, badass, hipster parents.”
“Oh, it’s awesome,” I say.
“But rein us in if you need to, okay? Rein me in,” he says. He rubs his chin. “I know I didn’t make it easy for you to come out. We’re very proud of you. You’re pretty brave, kid.”

And the ending?!
It was perfect!!! I was so happy I grinned like a Cheshire cat!!! I just couldn’t stop! *LOL*
Gah, it was so cute and adorable and the way Blue finally made his appearance!!! I think I actually died!!! XD

”The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat – soft and persistent, underlying everything.”

If you haven’t read “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” , you definitely should do it now!!!!
Drop everything you’re reading because Simon definitely will bring happiness into your life! 😉
Just allow yourself to be enchanted! XD