Sunday, October 15, 2017

Review: Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Hello readers,

I am back. And this time I mean really back. Back at reading. Back at regular blogging. It is fall which is my favorite season of the year and it calls for creepy reads. Which makes today's review your perfect read for fall, especially for October.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a highly disturbing dystopian novel.
In this dystopian setting abortion is forbidden. Instead parents have the option to Unwind their children between the age of 13 and 18 which means they are free to give their children away as organ donors. They are transplanted into different donors and by that they theoretically do not die but continue to live in them.
Now children can get unwound for different reasons. We meet Connor, Risa and Lev. All three running from being unwound but all three have different stories. Whereas Connor was simply too difficult for his parents to be controlled, Risa is a ward of the state, not worth enough to be kept alive. Lev is a tithe, a child who was simply conceived to be unwound.
Will they make it?

Now just the synopsis of this book sounded incredible dark, but it only gave me half of the chills the actual book gave me. This is really highly disturbing, but also incredible philosophical and as I find something that should really be discussed and taken into consideration. Reflecting on how our own societies deal with the topic of organ donation.
Besides that I must honestly say that I struggled a bit with the books pacing. The end was fine but the rest of it was for me a bit weird. It didn't make it less enjoyable to read I just felt that it slowed me down.
Otherwise I can just say that I loved this and highly recommend it.
I rated it 5 out of 5 stars. And I hope to pick up the second book next year (as this years TBR is full).

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

See you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review: The White Queen by Philippa Gregory

Hello readers,

If you have read my recent post (I will link to it here) you know I have gotten myself into reading more books out of my usual comfort zone. One genre that belongs to those group is historical fiction.
So to not being pushed into a too big reading slump by picking the wrong book I decided to go with a story I have already seen on TV to bring more life to it. Which is why I chose The White Queen by Philippa Gregory.

It is a historical fiction told from the perspective of a woman, Elizabeth Woodville, who later becomes The White Queen after marrying King Edward of the House of York secretly. Elizabeth is ambitious and makes early on enemies at court. Rumors of her being a witch are there from the start. But that is not the only problem. It is a time where cousin fights cousin, where brothers turn against each other, while everything Elizabeth tries is keeping the throne to Edward and her sons.
During all this her two boys become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing Princes in the Tower of London, who's fate is still unknown.

Now this is really as intriguing as it sounded. You could really see the historian background of Philippa Gregory in the writing which made it move a bit slow, but it didn't made me want to put the book away. At times I felt I hated the ambitious main character which made it a bit less enjoyable, but  overall this book was really a great historical read for me. And with the added mystery and witchcraft it really had more elements than just political strategies to it.
I rated it 4 out of 5 stars and hope to pick up another book by Philippa Gregory sometime soon.

If you have any historical fiction that you enjoyed and would recommend please let me know and I will check them out.

I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Monday, October 2, 2017

What I am currently reading

Hello readers,

I know my updates have been patchy at the moment. If you have been following me for a while you know this is not the usual, but at the beginning of summer I caught a pretty bad virus that basically threw me into a reading slump. I was incredible tired and happy to just make it through my day and then sleep. Since then I have been on and of with fevers and colds and I didn't had 2 weeks in a row where I felt good. With everything that goes on besides blogging I really struggled prioritizing and of course university always comes first.
So for today I thought I do some explaining and tell you what I recently read, what reviews I still want to go up soon and what I am currently reading and what I am about to read.

I am currently working on a home assignment comparing two plays by Henrik Ibsen, one being The Dollhouse and the other one being Ghosts, so those two I have been reading very intensely over the past month looking at every detail. In short the main problem in the Dollhouse is a woman leaving her husband and her children, breaking with the rules of the society, whereas in Ghosts the female protagonist tried to always protect the image of a perfect family and now starts seeing the faults in doing so. The Dollhouse is one of my favorite plays so this has clearly been fun, but also exhausting and I still have to get everything written down, so that's is the reason why I can only add one more book to my recent reads which is Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.

Big Little Lies tells the story of three women leading up to a tragic ending. I feel like this is one that is most thrilling to dive into without knowing much about it. The book feeds you with little information on the tragedy that happens all throughout the chapters. You know it is bad, but the approach to it is at times hilarious. It is absolutely mean, at times terrifying and when I had finished it I realized how sad this actually was. I really think it is unique and I rated it 5 out of 5 stars.

Which leads me to upcoming reviews. I really want to bring you and in depth review of Big Little Lies.
As well as on Unwind by Neal Shusterman which really was beyond what I expected. Another review that is still missing is The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. I must say I am a really bad reader when it comes to historical fiction and wanted to pick something that I already knew to some extent but that I also had mixed feelings about because I doubted that it would be a short good as the TV show. But it surprised me as well, so watch out for that review too.

Now to my current reads. Two days ago I started The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, I can't say much about it now, just that to me it sounded like a perfect read for October and that I hope to finish it this month. I am only a couple of pages in, as I somehow felt like picking up Perfection by my friend Merphy Napier (check out her YouTube channel) first and I have been reading every headache free minute since then. I am about 30% in so far and I really like the characters so far as well as the dystopian world but I can't say how I feel about it and I also would like to let Merphy now my thoughts first.

For the rest of the month I plan to read one classic, so far I have Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde planned.

Everything that goes beyond those three books would be great but I doubt I will get more in. I however plan to finally finishing Do your Om Thing and to read Something Like Happy by Eva Woods.

What are you currently reading? What is on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below.

And I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Friday, September 29, 2017

Author Intetview: J.D. Thompson on Like Broken China

Hello readers,

Today I am happy to welcome J.D. Thompson to the blog who will be answering some questions to her novel Like Broken China. 

1. Like Broken Heart is a woman's fiction novel. Could you give us a short description of the main character and the breaking points in her life?

The main character is Courtney Cook, a thirty year old mom of two who finds herself picking up the pieces of her live after her marriage dissolves

2. Like Broken China is described as a story of heartbreak, through addiction and dealing with the aftermath. How did you come up with this storyline? What made you choose it?

The subject of addiction has always fascinated me. Understanding the mind of an addict works, and more importantly the impact that their actions have on those who love them, was what inspired me to write this novel. So many are affected by the disease and bringing the topic to light was important to me.

3. What challenges did you meet while writing this novel?

Like all of my work before it, what I found most challenging while creating Like Broken China was not so much the writing but the editing process involved. I’ve learned from experience that editing your own work can be a nearly impossible task. This time around I did myself a favor and paid for a professional editing service once the manuscript was complete.

4. What should readers take away from reading this novel?

That life doesn’t end with heartbreak and that more often than not, a person is stronger than they believe. I think another aspect that’simportant to take away from the novel is how important it is to forgive someone, regardless if they deserve your forgiveness or not. 

5. How did you manage to balance out the heartbreak and the humor?

It was a fine line. I tried to keep some of the storyline light despite the heavy context. It was difficult at times because I also didn’t want to make a mockery of the situations that Courtney faced.

Thank you J.D. for your time.

I hope you enjoyed this interview. A book blurb of Like Broken China can be found below.
I will be back soon with another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

About Like Broken China:

Is love enough to repair the pieces of a shattered life?

This is the question plaguing Courtney Cook’s mind as she packs what feels like her whole existence into a 20ft moving van. When she encountered Matt for the first time in a coffee shop ten years prior, she was immediately transfixed. Dark, adventurous and wildly untamed, Matt was everything Courtney didn’t know she wanted. One night of uninhibited abandon is all it took for her to be completely enthralled by the boy without limits. Now with two children, a sky-high mortgage and a marriage crippled by addiction, Courtney finds her world is riddled with cracks that no amount of love can repair. 

Powerful and provoking with humor woven throughout the raw sting of heartbreak, Like Broken China offers an honest take on the decisions two people make and the aftermath that can destroy an entire decade because of them.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: The Heir by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

We all know I missed the Sunday review again, but I promise I won't make it a habit. It is my University free time and I use that time a lot to be with friends, family and on road trips, to restore and get the energy back for another semester. I feel I am slowly getting over my reading and blogging slump so everything should be back to normal soon once my everyday life has a routine again.

Now for today I have a review for you. Back in Juli I read the Selection series and my review for the first three books can be found on this blog already, so feel free to check those out too. Today I want to give you my thoughts on The Heir which is the 4th book of the series.

America and Maxon have become Queen and King, they married and got children. One of them being Eadlyn. Their oldest daughter who although she finds her parents story romantic doesn't plan on repeating it.
All her life Eadlyn has been prepared to become Queen and she is facing her responsibilities when there are riots starting again in the "kingdom". The castes have been eliminated but there are still problems of integration and Maxon and America think its time for another Selection...Eadlyns Selection.
But how will a Selection go with a Princess who doesn't want to find a husband?

For me honestly the Selection Series ended with book three, The One.
This one here was a nice and quick read but I felt as if I could open my review and complaint list from book one, The Selection.
I couldn't relate to the characters. I felt there was plothole after plothole, but somehow I still felt the story intrigued me and I kept on reading. The male selection candidates were a real challenge, some seemed nice, some seemed like a total nightmare, yet I felt there wasn't any depth to their characters. Eadlyn annoyed me for the majority of the book. I had my moments where I could understand her and then the next I thought how annoying can a character be. However I still kept on reading.
In the end I even wanted to pick up the next book.
So it is an enjoyable read, with its flaws and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

How did you enjoy this book of the series?

Let me know and I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 weird reading habits

Hello readers,

today I have a quick post about my five weird reading habits. But before I jump into those I want to quickly remind you on the giveaway running on my blog until Tuesday next week. I can give three copies of Achilles by Greg Boose away (chances are high that you might be a winner!) so make sure you entry the Giveaway through the rafflecopter in this post.

So onto my weird reading habits:

1. Not breaking the spine!
This is a commonly known habit of book lovers I guess. But it is my number one rule to under no circumstances break the spine...ever! However sadly big chunky books often end up with one because how shall I read the words in the middle???
The struggle is real. I want my books to look as new as possible which leads me to...

2. Books in a zip lock bag
Yes...if I carry a book with me...which I do most of the times...I carry it in a zip lock bag.
I tend to put my tea mug in my bag and we all know how that can end...

3. Favorite place to read...
In my case in my car, parked in the parking hours from Uni...a tea lunch pack...just reading.
At home I get often distracted and disturbed...the phone mom wants something...the dog wants out, but at that parking lot it is just me and the book. Theoretically it's like being in a bathtub just without that thrilling action of not drowning your book!
(But when I am at home I read with the TV or the radio on...)

4. Looking for the next chapter
Before I start a new chapter I always count pages for the next. I hate having to cut it off in the middle of the chapter. So it is a way to assure I have enough time to finish it before I have to go.
You guessed right that makes me a crappy subway reader...but for long train rides or a flight I am all good.

5. Annotations
I know many people annotate in their books...I do not (unless it's an eBook or a book for Uni/school)
I carry an extra notebook with me where I write down my thoughts on a book or special quotes.

What are your 5 weird reading habits?
Let me know in the comments below.
I will see you again soon for another bookish post (and don't forget to entry the giveaway!)

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Giveaway: Achilles by Greg Boose (Closed)

Hello readers,

today I partnered up with Diversion Books to give away three copies of Achilles by Greg Boose.
Achilles is the first book of the Deep Sky Saga which is a thrilling space exploration YA series sure to be a perfect fit for fans of Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.

ACHILLES introduces readers to orphaned teenager Jonah Lincoln as he prepares for a voyage from a hardscrabble life on Earth to the newly-colonized planet Thetis in the Silver Foot Galaxy. While Jonah may see this new beginning as a chance to be brave and self-sufficient, he’s thrown into chaos when his ship crashes not on Thetis, but on its lethal moon, Achilles. As the situation grows ever direr, Jonah and his fellow teenage survivors must endeavor to reach Thetis--especially as this moon turns out to not be as uninhabited as the colonists have been led to believe.

To win a copy of this novel you have to enter through this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway.

The Giveaway is open to US residents only and if you are under 18 years I need a permission of a parent to give your address to the publisher if you win, so your prize can be send to you.
This Giveaway ends September 26th at 12:00 Eastern Time (US and Canada) and I will contact the three winners on their given email addresses. You have then 24hours to answer my email otherwise another winner will be chosen.

Good luck to everyone!

Take care,
Nadja Ezzat

Friday, September 15, 2017

Guest Post: Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope. By J.G. Follansbee

Hello readers,

today I welcome J.G. Follansbee to Fit & Beautiful Heart reads in honor of his dystopian novelette The Mother Earth Insurgency with a guest post.

Climate change is here. Storytelling is one way we can cope.

Scientists agree. Climate change is real and it's already here. It affects millions of lives on a daily basis. If it hasn't affected you directly, it's only a matter of time until it does.

The changes are incremental and accumulating. Rain is falling harder, more often, and in greater amounts. Heat records break every day, in summer and in winter.

How will we live a decade from now, or a century, or a millennium? Will our species survive?

That's where storytelling comes in. As a writer of speculative fiction, I'm interested in how humans will adapt to a new world where average temperatures are as many as six degrees above the historical average, according to current scientific predictions. Even predictions on the low end will likely result in massive disruptions of life on planet Earth, including human life.

In Tales From A Warming Planet, a series I've written with climate change as a main theme, human beings live, grow, and fight, as they always have, but in a different environment. In August, I released the first story in the series, titled The Mother Earth Insurgency. It's a novelette of 15,000 words, a kind of preview of my series of three novels. The Mother Earth Insurgency is available now on Amazon.

In The Mother Earth Insurgency, Nick Sorrows is an agent of the Bureau of Environmental Security who infiltrates a terrorist group fighting what it believes is the corporate takeover of “green” energy, such as wind farms and solar farms. The BES is tasked with protecting the planet from environmental harm, somewhat like the FBI, but with darker methods. As Nick pursues his mission, he discovers a major action planned by the group, led by an ex-environmental lawyer named Jon Janicks. The action could kill Sorrows' young son. Can Nick save his son and thousands more from certain death?

All my stories in the Tales series fit into the dystopia and thriller genres, with a heavy dose of science fiction. (Sorry, no spaceships or ray guns.) I've focused on strong characters, particularly female characters. In the first novel, Carbon Run, scheduled for release this fall, Anne Penn is a young woman whose father is accused of destroying an endangered species. After her father disappears, Anne accompanies another BES agent, Janine Kilel, to find her father. More strong female lead characters appear in upcoming Tales  novels, including City of Ice and Dreams, and Restoration.

A few commentators place these kinds of stories in a new genre, “climate fiction.” The genre's history goes back decades, and today's practitioners include Kim Stanley Robinson, Margaret Atwood, and Barbara Kingsolver. The canon is expanding all the time.

More and more writers are asking: How will we live in a climate-changed world? My work is a small, hopefully entertaining, answer to the question. I hope you'll go along for the journey.

J.G. Follansbee is a writer who blogs at You can follow him on Facebook (@AuthorJGFollansbee), Twitter (@Joe_Follansbee), and Instagram (@jgfollansbee).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Author Interview: A.H. Richardson on Murder in Little Shendon

Hello readers,
today I welcome A.H. Richardson for an interview on Murder in Little Shendon to Fit & Beautiful Heart reads.
Murder in Little Shendon is the first novel of the Hazlitt/Brandon series. A series of murder mystery novels that follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths - Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon.

1. Murder in Little Shendon is a thriller murder mystery where as your first ever novel was a children`s book. How did you come from writing books for children to writing a thriller?
I think I wanted to write a 'who-dun -it' long before I wrote the Jorie stories. Growing up in England, and raised in a fine boarding school, I read my first Agatha Christie when I was about ten ... and loved it, and thereafter read everything she ever wrote.  I believe I dreamed at quite an early age about writing a murder mystery, and wondered how challenging it would be... and it is challenging by its very nature.  I grew up the daughter of a famous father, Clive Richardson, a concert pianist and composer - my mother sang opera, so the theatre and art genes ran in my blood, it's safe to say!  I grew up with a love since of dragons, magic and fantasy, and wrote the Jorie stories long before the mysteries.  The murder mysteries, however, were always simmering in the back of my mind,and I did not write these until later - and it was always easy to separate them ... you just wear a different hat!

2. There are a lot of british TV shows running on international TVs now, such as Inspector Barnaby and Father Brown. When I first heared of Murder in Little Shendon I wondered if it might be like those shows and where you would see similarities and differences?
Nobody does a mystery quite like the  British - in the same way that nobody did musicals like Hollywood, in the good old days   I know very well the British mysteries you refer to, and they are excellent.  I always used to love 'Morse' remember him? - a very laid back slightly morose character.  In a way you're quite right, Murder i  Little Shendon is not unlike these shows, and I would say that there are more similarities than differences, especially since Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon are the two sleuths who do all the investigations, and are great friends though vastly different from one another.  They feature also in the other books.

3. How would you describe your main characters?
The two main characters the ones whose names I mentioned in the last question, are the two loveable sleuths.  Sir Victor is a charming debonair quite wealthy retired diplomat who worked for MI5 and Scotland Yard. He is low-key, well-read, clever and cautious.  His partner, Beresford Brandon (Berry) is a shortish, stout teddy-bear of a man, a fine Shakespearian actor, and the son of a famous detective.  He is personable, funny,  a mimic, great with people, and a romantic. They have become quite real for me, and sometimes I hear one or another of them talking to me... better not print that, or people will wonder... One's characters do talk to one,  that is how a book gets written!

4. Did you thought of a specific place when coming up with the town of Little Shendon? If so where would I have to go to get a real life experience of Little Shendon?
There are all sorts of quaint tiny villages in Southern England especially with names like, Little Chipping, and there's one called Little Piddle... no, really there is.  I used to visit a village called Little Cattcot, so I took up the 'Little' and added Shendon.  You would have to travel to Dorset and Devon and Cornwall to find these places, many of them do a B and B, and are lovely to visit, but don't try to find Little Shendon, that is only in Angela's stories.

5. Could you imagine seeing Murder in Little Shendon on the big screen?
resounding YES!  Because of my drama training, and stage work, I absolutely see this as a film, and in some places in the book, I am told, it comes a cross as almost a screenplay.

Thank you very much to A.H. Richardson for answering my questions.

About A.H. Richardson:

A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

In addition to the Hazlitt Brandon series, she is also the author of a series of children’s chapter books, the Jorie series, which includes Jorie and the Magic Stones, Jorie and the Gold Key, and Jorie and the River of Fire.

A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To learn more, go to

Monday, September 11, 2017

Review: Blame it on the bet by L.E. Rico

Hello readers,

today I have another review for you (I know a day late). As many of you might know I am a huge fan of Lauren E. Ricos writing (here writing has L.E. Rico). Tomorrow her new novel Blame it on the bet will be released.

Blame it on the bet is a romance. Telling the story of Hennessy O'Halloran, who tries to save the family pub together with her three sisters from the L.A. real estate developer Bryan Truitt.

Bryan is used to getting what he wants, but Hennessy is a real challenge for him. They make it a bet, if she can't raise the money before foreclosure he gets it, if he however leaves Mayhem before this date he gives her the money to save it.
Mayhem is a charming little city with cats in sweaters (with funny names) where the fortune can be found at the bottom of a pie.

As opposed to Lauren's previous novels this one is a light romance. It is funny, full of charme and easy to read.
I was in such a reading slump when I picked this up but it instantly got me out of it. I loved getting both perspectives. The character developement in this novel came mostly through the present and not through dealing with the characters past. These two developed through their interacting with each other which in my opinion made it such a light read.
The cats in sweaters and all over the town of Mayhem and it's citizens were so loveable, funny, hilarious.
The balance between the seriousness off loosing a family business, the internal family problems, the dealing with a loss, then sticking together, finding love, was just on point.
Only thing I could complain about was that the wintery theme of this (and yes it is an important part of the story) didn't fit to the summery weather we had when I read this.

Overall 5 out of 5 stars for Blame it on the bet.
Thanks again to Lauren E. Rico and Entangled Publishing for providing me with an e-galley.

Let me know if you pick it up and what your thoughts are in the comments below and I see you all soon again for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Top 5 Recommendations: Favorite Books when I was a teenager

Hello readers,

when I was a teenager (like 12 years ago) there was little to no YA out there or it least nothing I was aware of. So you might wonder: What did she read back then?
Trust me there were actually really great books that I picked up as a teenager and today I will present you my five favorite novels that I read as a teenager.

1. On the road by Jack Kerouac

A novel based on the travels of Kerouac (the narrator Sal Paradise) and his friends across the United States. Full of Jazz, poetry and drug use it is a novel about the post war Beat Generation, with many of its key figures such as Allen Ginsberg.
I loved this read. I read it so fast and countless times as a teen. It always made me laugh and I always found new thinks that I found interesting.

2. The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers

Was my first ever fantasy read and I loved it. The illustrations added so much and made it feel so real and like I was exploring the world of Zamonia myself.
Optimus Yarnspinner is a Lindworm, which is something like a dinosaur, who after inheriting his godfathers possessions, which included a perfectly written story by an unknown author, travels to Bookholm to find this unknown author. Bookholm is a city devoted to literature, labyrinthine catacombs housing many valuable books, among various monsters and perils. Once there Yarnspinner    gets directed by a publisher to Pfistomel Smyke, who possesses the most powerful books but who also plans to eradicate all forms of art in Zamonia. He drugs Yarnspinner and transfers him to the catacombs where the real journey starts.
Honestly, you have to read this!
It is a huge chunk of a book for me, but I read throug it in 2 sittings.
Let me know if you read it and what you thought of it.

3. Give a Boy a Gun by Morton Rhue

This is a book about a school shooting which I already talked about in my Hard Topics recommendations so I will link you to it here.

4. The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

Is to me a beautiful love story. Where a father passes on a story about a girl who he saw at a tram, asking the son to solve the mystery of the girls identity.
It was just beautiful. Let's be honest I DNFed Sophie's World but I loved the Orange Girl. I re-read it a couple of times and it is a perfect novel to read in one sitting and it stuck with me for all those  years. If somebody asks me whats a short novel you would recommend, something more special and literary, I keep saying The Orange Girl.

5. The Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

The well known bestselling thriller trilogy telling the story of Lisbeth Salander. I know there is new and fourth book out, haven't read it because to me the story ended with the third book.
We all know I love crimes and thrillers but these ones are clearly unique for me. I read all three books in 8 days and I can still remember details. The characters and plot are just excellent to me. The twists and turns and just how complex all of this is, you are just waiting that there is something left out but it really isn't.
It is obviously not the most recommendable read for teens but I would say 16+ works fine.

So this is it for today's recommended reads. Let me know your top 5 reads when you were a teen.
And I see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

finally those reviews are coming.
I know I took my time but I am slowly catching up and I got a lot more to come your way (just saying author interviews and a Giveaway).
So today I  my thought on the third book of the Selections Series, The One by Kiera Cass for you.
If you haven`t checked out my reviews on The Selection and The Elite yet, I am going to link you to The Elite here where you will also find the link to the Selection.

So the time has come for one winner to be crowned. America has never dreamed that she would be anywhere close to the crown or to fall in love with Prince Maxon, but as the threats from outside of the palace walls grow she realizes what she stands to loose.
Will she manage to fight for it?

I just loved this "final" book of Americas Selection. I loved how much both America and Maxon grow. How we get to know more of Maxons background and how America finally makes up her mind. The dystopian element was finally there and really there and I got to understand the world this was taking place in.
I really couldn`t put this book down. I just kept on reading and hated every break I took.
Don`t get me wrong it was still flawed but what made it good definetly outweight the flaws. I completely stopped caring about them.
Romance was on point and the emotions were just amazing.
Overall 5 out of 5 stars from me.

How did you enjoy it? - Let me know in the comments.

I will see you again on Wednesday for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

I am really sorry for the lack of posts throughout the last months.
You may have noticed that I am way behind on my reviews (here and on Goodreads) and I am planning to making up for it during the next weeks, so there will be posts all through out the next weeks besides the usual Sunday reviews and Wednesday specials. There will also be my first ever giveaway on the blog at the end of the month, so make sure to follow me and stay tuned for that one.

The reason for my lack of posts were mainly private, first I was in my finals feeling like a complete mess and at my stress limit, a week later I fell really in and was diagnosed with a virus which forced me to stay in bed and trust me when I say I mainly slept through it and didn`t read at all. Not fully recovered I took part in a 4 week language crash course which at the end of the day just made me fall into my bed and sleep so no time for reading there either. And last week I completed this course with a trip to Hungary (which was beautiful). So I am sorry again for letting my reader friends and author friends down, but I am back now and I hope you can all forgive me my absence.

Now after this long intro I got a new review for you.
Beginning of July I started reading the Selection Series by Kiera Cass which I really enjoyed overall, but I wanted to give individual reviews of the books as they all seem to have different ups and downs for me.
Now if you haven`t read my review for the first book of the Selection make sure to check it out here.

The Selection  began with a group of 35 girls all fighting to win the heart of Prince Maxon, now that this number has been narrowed down to six which are now called the Elite the competition is fiercer than ever.
While America still hasn`t decided wether she wants the fairytale Prince Maxon or her first love Aspen the rest of the Elite knows exactly what they want.
Will America have the time to choose?

Now in this second book I really felt I could relate more to America. I absolutely loved the character developement of Maxon, but also shipped her with Maxon right from the start.
Throughout the book I got annoyed again by the Love Triangle but only because it got dragged out so long.
What made up for it was that the dystopian aspect finally showed with some rebel action.
This book was really a fast read and I felt so intrigued by it that putting it away to study was pure agony.
It had definetly less flaws than the first book so I rated it 4.5 out of  5 stars.

I hope you enjoyed todays review. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I hope to see you again soon for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

So near the Horizon by Jessica Koch

Hello readers, 
today's post is in honor of the release of Jessica Kochs' new novel So near the Horizon. Jessica is a german author and reached out to me a couple of weeks ago and today I am happy to bring you a little synopsis of her book as well as more information on Jessica. So see for yourself. To me this novel sounds intriguing and I hope to bring you a review soon.

From the moment she crosses paths with Danny, Jessica is fascinated. The dashing, confident twenty-year-old has everything she dreams of—looks, success, independence, money—and his kind, infinitely cheerful nature is spellbinding.

Yet Jessica sees something else lingering underneath Danny’s perfect facade. Bit by bit, she manages to pick it apart, unveiling harrowing truths about a deeply traumatic childhood that has left more than just emotional scars. Now, far away from his home and family, he is fighting to build a normal life for himself—even though he may be destined for a future as dark as his past.

Despite all adversity and against all reason, a deep and intimate love develops between Danny and Jessica. But soon they find themselves confronting the harsh realities of a superficial world, battling against prejudice and exclusion at every turn… and, worst of all, racing against time…

Jessica Koch was born in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in 
1982 and began writing short stories when she was still in 
high school - but never submitted her work to publishers. 
In late 1999, shortly after finishing school, she met 
Danny, a German-American dual citizen. Her experiences 
with him eventually formed the basis for So Near the 
Horizon, though it was nearly thirteen years before she 
felt ready to bring the manuscript to the public.
The author describes a life lived somewhere between 
hope and fear, between optimism and despair. She reflects on events from her own 
past with raw honesty, confronting more than one difficult subject along the way.
Jessica Koch lives near the city of Stuttgart with her husband, their son, and two 
dogs. The second and third books in the trilogy, So Near the Abyss and So Near 

the Ocean, are already best-sellers in Germany as well.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Review: The Expansion by Christoph Martin

Hello readers,

today I have a review for you on The Expansion by Christoph Martin which I requested a while ago on Netgalley.
Thank you for the chance to review this novel.

We start off in the winter mountains of Switzerland, make it to the suburbs of London and end up in tropical Panama where the protagonist Max Burns is working on the expansion of the Panama Canal. Where we also meet the strong female characters of Karis Deen and Sophia.
This novel includes the political aspect of such a project, intrigues, lies, romance, friendship...

There is a lot going on here.

The whole story sounded very intriguing to me and when I first picked it up I was impressed how fast it moved. However at some points I would have wished for it to slow down a bit, focus a bit more on character developement and explaining the complex progresses. This made me feel so left out of the story. I couldn't identify with one single character, I didn't know who to like and who not to like. And sometimes I felt I completely didn't understand the processes they talked about.
The ending felt completely rushed to me. It was like one minute something happened and the next you already had it solved.

I did however enjoy this book. It was quick and intriguing read and I gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Have you picked up The Extension yet? - Let me know in the comments below.

I see you again on Wednesday for another bookish post.

Take care,
πŸ“š Nadja

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

5 Books on Craft Every Writer Should Read.

Please note that this blog post contains affiliate links, but all opinions are my own! This post has been cross posted to Fit and Beautiful Heart Reads and the blog of Author Eliza Stopps. I am not going to waste your time by making you scroll down to the bottom to reach the best ones, so I'm putting my two favorite books first. I haven't read #1 more than once, but it was a very influential read for me. I have read #2 many times and it was very useful. They are effectively tied. The other books were very informational and helped to guide me during this learning process, but if you are going to read any of these please pick the first two.
  1. On Writing by Stephen King

This is probably the most obvious book. If you've been writing for a while, then you have probably heard about it. I had someone suggest that I read it when I was in college but put it off for years because I don't really read or watch horror. I wasn't sure that it would be as helpful to me as a result. I was very wrong. This book not only inspired me but helped me feel more confident as a writer and gave me the push that I needed to start writing full time. If you've been putting it off, then please go pick it up. It's witty, interesting, helpful, and necessary. I will add a note that some of the details of the book are much different now. In the book, King talks about when he published Carrie and the money he received changed his life. If you're publishing traditionally or self publishing today, you probably won't get a $50,000 check for your first book. That doesn't mean it isn't worth while to read the book though, as most of the tips still apply.

2. Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark

 I read this book every time I sit down to edit one of my own. There is a handy section in the back for looking up all the tips quickly, which is so useful when I'm trying to think of something to help my manuscript move forward. Don't tell anyone, but I really don't like editing my own work. It's time consuming and soul reaping, but this book has made it far more bearable. When I am five chapters in and I think my eyes might fall out of my skull, I simply turn to this book to give me an idea of what I should be looking for. I think this book will help anyone be a better writer, editor, or reader. I've never enjoyed a book aimed at writer's more than this one. I also suggest getting the paperback of this one because it's very nice to be able to highlight it and put colorful sticky notes all over it with notes to remember. Sometimes when I am looking for help on one book, I see something that will help another, and it is nice to put a post-it there to remind myself.

3. The Elements of Style by William Strunk

 This book is also a great book for help with editing and remembering specific rules.  

4. Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn

 This book is free, so there's no excuse not to pick it up now. It's a very short and helpful read. Even if you aren't interested in self-publishing, I would suggest that you read it anyway. If you're already in the self-pub world, you have no doubt heard of Joanna Penn. Give her podcast a listen as well, her voice is so easy to listen to and she is a non-stop fountain of knowledge. I went through her back list and listened to almost every podcast. Again, I haven't read much of her fiction because it's sort of Thriller stuff but I really enjoyed her book and the interviews on her podcast are always very useful.

5. Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant

I bought this book because I also spent a lot of time listening to their Self Publishing Podcast. What I really got out of this book was the permission to just write whatever you want to and to keep writing without stopping to edit. Also this is still helpful if you aren't planning to self publish because it tackles a lot of tips on how to write your e-book. I started using Scrivener after reading this and it changed my life. I have now taken to writing in "speed blocks" where I set a timer for 20, 40, or 120 minutes and then just sit down and try to write as much as possible. This means that I am able to motivate myself to write and beat the clock even on days when I don't feel like writing.

I hope that you pick up a few of these books and enjoy them. This isn't the most "original" list but these are all books that really have helped me to be a better writer. Have a good day :) Eliza Stopps is the Author of the Leslie Kim Serials available on Amazon, Kobo, and Kobo Plus. She has been publishing poetry for years, but just recently decided to dive into the world of Self Publishing. You can usually find her on Twitter @ElizaStopps making terrified observations about spiders, the best options for chocolate covered snacks, and her daily word count goals. If you want to find out more, visit her blog: or search for her directly on Amazon.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Hello readers,

I am sorry that this went up late.
As some of you may have noticed my reading has slowed down a bit and I am a bit behind on my Goodreads reviews as well (well way behind). The reason being is I catched a virus that really knocked me off my feet and I am just starting to feel better.
So I am really happy to finally bring you my review on the first novel of the The Selection Series by Kiera Cass, The Selection.

Now I picked that up at the beginning of July not expecting much from it. I knew some people loved it but mostly because of the romance and not the dystopian part of it. So besides this being marketed as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor I really put my expectations down down down. Way down.

Now this book plays in a dystopian world where everyone belongs to a caste, which is determined by your profession and it is usually impossible to move up castes. So where a six needs to work hard to make ends meet and still doesn't have enough for food, a two just needs to model and lives a pretty good life.
Now America Singer is a five in love with Aden who is a six.
One day the Royal announce that there will be a Selection and that the girl who wins will not only marry the handsome Prince Maxon but also become Queen.
America more or less forced applies for the competition and like a wonder gets chosen to be among the 25 contestants.
But what is with Aden? How will she manage at court? And more over will she fall for Maxon?

Now I honestly couldn't love the first book for the dystopian part of it, because it was barely there it got barely introduced either. Up until page 70 I thought I might actually quit reading it. America annoyed me and I felt the whole concept wasn't made for me. But from page 100 on I was hooked. I absolutely loved it. Maxons character was amazing and I started to like America more and more. The contestants were so fun to get to know and I started to like this for the romance and couldn't put it away.

Because the dystopian part of it was missing I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you again on Wednesday for another bookish post.

Take care,

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Top 5 Recommendations: Hard Topics "Fiction"

Hello readers,

two weeks ago I presented you five non-fictional reads that dealed with hard topics (which you may find here). Today I wanted to take the chance to present you five fictional reads dealing with hard topics that I enjoyed (they were still not easy to read).
Some of them were cryworthy, others just made me incredible angry, some scared me...lets face it you will probably go through a lot of emotions reading them.

So lets dive into it in no particular order.

1. This Boy`s Life by Tobias Wolff

Now this is actually a memoir so should have probably been in my non-fictional hard topic reads post, but I for a fact didn`t know it was a real story, but I always believed it could have been and today I found out it was (shame on me), but it read like a fiction novel. I did read this book as a teenager and there is actually a film out as well which I also own but which I only watched once because Robert DeNiro scared the hell out of me.
Now this is a story dealing with domestic violence in possibly the cruelest ways. It was so difficult to read and I definetly read this with many breaks because at times it really disgusted me and scared me but at the same time it made me so aware of the topic of domestic violence specifically child abuse that I just had to include it in my recommendations.

2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar tells the story of Esther Greenwood who 1953 starts working at a fashion magazine in New York and falls into a deep depression ending in a suicide attemp followed by her therapy in a mental hospital.
I remember that this had a comical take at times but when it was dark it was really dark. Esther went through several suicide attempts before the serious incident.
This novel is also semi autobiographical which in my eyes really comes through in the writing. No easy read but definetly worth picking up.

3. My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult

My Sisters Keeper is probably well known thanks to the movie, but the book has a different ending so definetly worth picking up just to see the difference.
This novel has more than cancer and the wish of giving up fighting and to die as a hard topic for me.
This tells the story of Kate and her family. Kate is by now a teenage girl who has been suffering from cancer nearly all off her life. Her younger sister, a child who only seems born to be a organ donar to her older sister, refuses to give Kate her kidney (if I believe right). This was such a gripping novel, yet it was so hard to read for me out of personal reasons. I hated the ending so much I can say, I really preferred the movie, but I can only recommend picking up the book too. The insight into the different characters emotions is so much deeper in the novel.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a YA Historical Fiction telling the story of Liesl Memminger who lives in a fictional town in Nazi Germany during World War II. What makes this story unique is that it is told from the perspective of death.
I have a more in depth review on the blog in case you want to check it out.
Now I have another World War II fiction novel I could have added here that also moved me to tears but I just found this one to be more unique and less of a romance. To me most World War II novels belong into this category but I think The Book Thief is a great book to start with in this category.

5. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

14 year old Susie Salmon gets raped and murdered on her way home from school in the year 1973 (I think). She finds herself in her own Heaven from where she watches how her family and friends deal with the loss of her as well as having to come to terms with her own death.
This was for a long time my favorite book. I didn't like the movie at all but hands down I have re-read the book not just twice.
It is a tough read but at the same time it is just a unique read seeing a murder case solved from the victims perspective from Heaven.
Definetly worth picking up in my eyes.

Now these were todays Top 5 recommendations. I am sorry that this went up a bit late in the day today but I am quite sick at the moment.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Leave me your recommendations in the comments below and I will see you on Sunday for another bookish post.

Take care,