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review 2016-12-26 00:00
Haunt Me
Haunt Me - Liz Kessler Haunt Me - Liz Kessler When I was in school, my friends and I would write these role-playing stories, each taking turns to write what was going on for our characters, progressing the story, and throwing curve-balls at the others that they could respond to when their turn came.

There seemed to be this unspoken battle in which each of us wanted to have the most damaged and special snowflake of all the characters, and of course we wanted all the boys to be madly in love with our own characters, to love them despite the damage… to want to save them and make everything better.

We would take turns writing the boy characters, too, and their every thought was always on the female characters who were our own embodiment of super special.

That’s what this book felt like. Something my friends and I wrote as teenagers, which was total wish-fulfillment, but did not make any sense, and would have left readers undoubtedly frustrated at how “amazing” all of the characters were. The hopping of character points of view reinforced this feeling, with no chapter running for more than about five pages before it switched to the other, leaving nothing about their interactions unexplored from both points of view.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake,” became my mantra while reading this book, and was one of the main reasons I was able to push through.

This is a story of instalove, and of so much assumption and stupidity.

The rest of this review can be found HERE!
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review 2016-08-08 11:26
Review: Read Me Like A Book
Read Me Like a Book - Liz Kessler

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

A pretty good coming of age novel. There was nothing about it that particularly stood out with to start, I've seen this title in UK bookshops for some time. While the f/f relationship definitely piqued my interest, I’m always up for f/f in YA fiction. However, the whole teacher/student premise just bothered me a little. However, when it popped up on my auto approval list for Hatchett Children’s on Netgalley I figured, what the hell and decided to give it a shot.

 

It’s a UKYA, and it tells the story of 18 year old Ashleigh who’s in her last year of college. She’s a fairly middle of the road student, kind of derivative about the “swotty” students who study and get good grades. The novel opens with Ashleigh at a party, waiting for her friend Luke. She meets a really hot guy Dylan and starts flirting. Ashleigh’s home life is pretty rotten, her parents seem to be fighting all the time and she doesn’t appear to like being around in the house when it happens, particularly as it’s obvious something is wrong but the parents are pretending everything’s fine. Understandable. It’s a horrible situation to be in.

 

There was nothing particularly wrong with Ashleigh as a character, she had her stroppy teenager moments, there was drama with her best friend Cat, who’s a lot more outgoing than she is. The thing with Dylan isn’t really progressing as Ashleigh would like. She can’t seem to figure out her feelings for him. They date and talk.

 

And then a new English teacher, Ms Murray comes along and completely captivates Ashleigh’s attention. She starts paying attention in her class, starts to care about her school work and impressing this new teacher. Ms Murray is actually a very personable teacher, she can hold the kid’s attention and get them talking. She treats the kids like people and does seem to care about helping them with their work and making sure they do well. Ashleigh starts getting more involved in school activities and making friends with people she would normally ignore.

 

There is some jealousy with her friend Cat, and a fair bit of drama where Cat’s over the top personality can get grating. All the while Ashleigh is starting to discover new feelings when she’s in her English class. Things with Dylan are finally progressing, but the feelings she’s having towards him are lukewarm compared to the sparks she feels around Ms Murray.

 

To be fair, I was pleased to see that the whole student/teacher thing was barely there. It was more Ashleigh discovering a possible new side to herself she had never realised was there. Her feelings developed in a very believable way from hey, cool teacher, to out right crush to omg what the hell is happening to me, why am I feeling this way about the teacher and not my boyfriend?

 

While Cat the BFF could be a pain in the ass, when Ashleigh finally comes out and realises what the feelings mean,  Cat is great about it. You couldn’t ask for better more supportive friend. Though some of Ashleigh’s newer friends are not that nice about it. There’s mean rumours and more drama.

 

The drama with Ashleigh’s parents is also dealt with quite realistically, though the dad is really annoying, particularly towards the end of the novel. I loved how Ashleigh’s relationship with her mom grew over the course of the novel.

 

So all in all, a pretty good coming of age novel. Nice to see it done with a lesbian romance theme. More of these, please.

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review 2016-06-16 15:53
Read Me Like a Book by Liz Kessler
Read Me Like a Book - Liz Kessler

If you're looking for a book to celebrate LBGQT month, look no further than Liz Kessler's Read Me Like a Book. This is a book on the lighter side. It celebrates the awkwardness of being a teenager, the beauty of discovering who you really are, and the strength that comes in sharing that with others. While it may not be the most serious book I've read on this subject, I can guarantee that it'll be a quick and enjoyable read.

 

Kessler has written one quirky character in Ashleigh, and I think that's what I liked most about her. She's the teenager who is caught in the middle. Caught in the middle of her parents, who seem to be on the road to divorce. Caught in the middle of wanting to hang out with friends, but also wanting to please her mother and do well in school. Now, as an extra layer, Ashleigh is caught in the middle of who society tells her she should be and who she thinks she might actually be. I liked Ashleigh a lot. She was adorable, awkward at times, and just too honest for her own good. The fact that the person who made her realize her full potential was a teacher, also made me smile! I have a soft spot in my heart for that.

 

My only qualm with this book was that it's a bit thin. A lot of things transpire in a very short amount of time, which doesn't leave much room for it all to be laid out and resolved. Now, I'm not saying that life is by any means clean when it comes to timelines. However, it made getting to know Ashleigh, her parents, and her friends, a lot more difficult. They ended up being a bit more transparent than I would have liked, because they were so busy pushing towards the ending that I knew was coming. I'm all about a happy ending, and I'm so glad that Ashleigh was given hers. I only wish I'd had a bit more time to enjoy her crazy journey, and rejoice in her decision to be true to herself.

 

As I said before, this book is lighthearted. It's a relatively easy journey through what it's like to bumble through realizing your sexuality. Ashleigh is presented with questions, yes. However she's also lucky enough to be surrounded by all manner of people who love, and support her. This might not be the case for everyone who is heading towards their coming-out moment, so I know some people will decry this story for being too simple. I think this kind of story is important though. It shows that the world isn't always a big, bad, and scary place. Sometimes it's just a little rough to realize that.

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text 2016-06-01 16:01
June (Toppling) TBR
The Summer Guest: A Novel - Alison Anderson
Ava and Taco Cat (Ava and Pip) - Carol Weston
What Happens Now - Jennifer Castle
The Eagle Tree - Ned Hayes
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer - Taryn Souders
Read Me Like a Book - Liz Kessler
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman
The Tumbling Turner Sisters: A Novel - Juliette Fay
Truthwitch - Susan Dennard

So... I may have been a little overzealous in taking on blog tour books this summer. I think my brain is so ready to be in vacation mood (2 more weeks!) that I'm just of the mindset that I'll need plenty to read. Well, mission accomplished.

 

This is, of course, on top of the books I excitedly borrowed from the library. Those include Wolf Hollow and Some Kind of Happiness. I may, or may not, actually get to them. I can have big, lofty goals though. So many books, so little time.

 

One thing that I did realize about this year, is that I haven't really been doing wrap up posts at all. I haven't felt like it, and I didn't miss it at all whenever I didn't do it, so I just kept not doing it. I'm trying to simplify things, to fit in my new, much busier life. I'm liking it so far. Which is also why I stopped worrying about reviewing every book that I read. Some I do, some I don't, it just depends on how I'm feeling. No stress. That's not what books are about.

 

*starts making hash marks on the calendar* I can't wait for vacation. I need it.

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text 2015-08-12 14:34
Jung, spritzig und unterhaltsam = Ein gelungener Mix
Plötzlich unsichtbar: Lesung mit Jodie Ahlborn (3 CDs) - Liz Kessler,Jodie Ahlborn,Eva Riekert

Inhalt:

 

Jess ist eine klassische Außenseiterin. Verträumt läuft sie durchs Leben und gemeinsam mit ihrer besten Freundin Izzy bestrebt sie das ein oder andere aufregende Abenteuer. Als sie wie gewohnt ihren Tagträumereien während des Unterrichtes nachgeht, passiert das unfassbarer! Den als sie die Augen öffnet schaut sie in das geschockt und zugleicht interessierte Gesicht ihrer Freundin - denn während ihrer gedanklichen Abwesenheit, hat Izzy die Beobachtung gemacht, wie Jess sich nach und nach in Luft auflöst. Wie genial ist das denn? Natürlich ist solch eine Fähigkeit was total geniales, aber schnell lernt Jess auch die Schattenseiten ihres Erfolges kennen, denn die Gefahr hat ihre Fühler ausgestreckt und möchte um jeden Preis den Ruhm und Erfolg dieser Entdeckung einheimsen! 

 

Meine Meinung:

 

Wer träumte nicht davon als Kind eine Fähigkeit zu besitzen, wie fliegen, die Zeit anhalten um Fehler etc. zu korrigieren oder Unsichtbar zu sein. Aber auch bringt dies einige Schattenseiten mit sich, welche die Hauptprotagonistin Jess und ihrer Freunde schneller als gewollt kennen lernen. 

 

Doch mit dieser Grundidee und dem mysteriös-fantastischen Gerüst der Handlung hat Liz Kessler wieder einmal alles übertroffen. 

Ihre jugendlich, mysteriös, abenteuerlich und spannende Handlung fesselt nicht nur die jungen Zuhörer, sondern zieht auch die etwas Älteren (wie mich *lach *) im Nu in ihren Bann. 

 

Schnell kann man sich mit Jess identifizieren und sehr gut nachvollziehen wie es ihr mit ihrer neu entdeckten Fähigkeit so ergehen mag, doch um die Probleme nicht ganz außer Acht zu lassen, koppelt die Autorin gekonnt das Gute mit dem Bösen, und schafft so eine angenehme, spannende und fantasievolle Atmosphäre rund um ihre Protagonisten.

 

Das Cover ist sehr schön und passend zu der Handlung gestaltet. Erfrischend, spritzig und Neugier erweckend zeichnet es den Titel durch das in Sternen gehauchte unsichtbare Mädchen, mit dem kleinen witzigen Hingucker, der noch offensichtlich sichtbaren rosa Sneakers. Es hat mich direkt angesprochen und die Erwartungen, die es in mir geweckt hatte, auch mehr als nur erfüllt. 

 

Die Wahl Jodi Ahlborn als Sprecherin auszuwählen ist die beste Wahl überhaupt gewesen. Denn ihre Vielfalt an Stimmgewalt bringt genau die Emotionen, Elemente und Lebhaftigkeit herüber, welche die Autorin in ihrem Buch vermitteln wollte. Sie hat einen sehr flippigen und fesselnden Erzählstil und verzaubert nicht nur die Protagonisten mit ihren Besonderheiten, sondern auch die Handlung und Schauorte zu einem Hörgenuss.

 

Fazit:

 

Vielleicht bin ich etwas zu alt für dieses fantasiereiche und spritzige Hörvergnugen, aber dennoch bin ich völlig begeistert und verleitet mir selbst eine besondere Fähigkeit anzueignen! ;) 

Ein Hörspaß der jedes Alter im Nu mit einem Hauch von Magie erfüllt!

 

 

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