Cursive Writing- Teaching my child the art of penmanship

 

It all started when my 10 year old daughter, Eve, came to me the other day and asked if I could order a book for her on Amazon.

My heart always swells with pride when my kids show interest in books. I mean- an avid reader would love nothing more than to share some book love with their kids, right?

But this time- my heart stuttered and I felt my forehead wrinkle. Eve didn´t ask me to buy her ANOTHER book on horses or other animals. This time she asked if I could buy a book on cursive handwriting. Imagine the look on my face.

At first, I thought she was interested in the history of cursive handwriting. Could have been possible. Some kids like to ride their bikes and some want to learn about cursive writing. Kids are odd that way. To each is their own. But, no. Eve didn´t want to learn about the origins of the delicate hand motions. She wanted to learn how write cursive.

This stopped me dead in my tracks. Wasn´t my child going to learn how to do that in School? I was confused. After calling all kinds of people ( including my daughter´s teacher ) I quickly learned that my daughter will never learn the art of cursive writing in School.

Cursive writing is dead.

cursive handwriting2

I find this alarming. You can find cursive written words all over the place. How was my daughter ever going to be able to read cursive writing without my help or the help of anyone older?

I see a small problem forming.

The closest thing she will ever come to writing cursive will be by connecting certain letters in a word. Not all letters. Just a few. The rest will be in bold letters. Let´s take the word `Letter` as an example.

The `Le` would be connected together in a cursive manner and the `tter` in print.

I can see adults writing that way. Young adults eventually develop their own personal writing style…  But to teach children that kind of style? That doesn´t make any sense. It´s lazy and sloppy. Half-assed technique. ( Okay…I´m getting mad here. * breath in – breath out * )

I´ve noticed my daughter writing in that odd 1/3 cursive style when she does her homework. But I thought it was a new way of learning the skill ( because with every new generation the system comes up with some new crap to try out on the kids ). Little did I know that the school system would go so far as wipe out a style of penmanship. Why?

I´ve searched high and low, combed through countless websites and articles, trying to find an explanation or at least an answer that made sense. I´m just as clever as I was before. Every article I came across looked like they were written by the adults from the cartoon Peanuts. „Warp woooaarp woah woah, wooom warp.“

I´m 35 years old. So, technically- I haven´t been out of school for forever. It´s only been a few years. I belong to the generation where we learned how to connect our letters with loops and curves. All the letters of a word together. Remember?

So, yeah. I bought her a book on how to learn the basics of cursive handwriting. I actually bought 2 books and I´ve invested hours, sitting beside my kid, teaching her how to hold her pen, swinging letters, etc. I can´t say it was easy, though. Do I feel more appreciation for teachers now that I´ve taught my daughter how to write? No. It´s their chosen profession. They get paid to do their job. I feel litle sympathy. ( I´m pissed. Can you tell?)

I didn´t know this as a child but learning to write in cursive is an important tool for cognitive development. As an adult and a mother of 2, I can see the importance of cursive writing. I see the positive effects it has for a childs concentration, for their motoric skills. And believe it or not- cursive writing even has an effect on reading skills as well. I have living proof snoring two rooms down the hall!

I´m talking about our future, here. Young minds who are learning to type with their 10 fingers instead of learning the art of swinging a pen over paper in a graceful manner. I find that sad. This has nothing to do with old fashioned thinking. It has to do with letting something important die because a group of people / some institution find it unnecessary. Which is the stupidest reason I´ve ever came across.

Will it be an issue if this generation is not able to read a book title that is printed in cursive writing?

What about logos, slogans and what not? Some fonts are cursive.

We´re living in a time where technology has the upper hand and time is our enemy. It´s natural that some things my generation enjoyed will soon be a fun-to-laugh-at-memory or completely forgotten. But to let something as important as a handwriting style die is inexcusable.

The end of the story- My daughter is now happy she can write in a different style. And a happy daughter equals a happy mommy.

Here are the books I´ve purchased that have helped my daughter learn the art of cursive handwriting. She still has a long way to go but that´s okay. If the School system doesn´t support it, I definitely will. ( Both books are available on Amazon.com )cursive writing 3

cursive writing 1

TBR Book Lists

You know what a TBR list is. And if not… be prepared to be enlightened.

TBR, in a nutshell, means To Be Read. TBR is often used when discussing books, bookshelves and / or lists.

When people talk about their TBR lists they´re basically talking about an imaginary and /or a physical list that´s 5 miles long with books that they´d either like to buy, or have already purchased but haven´t found the time to read those books.

Personally, I  have a few lists. Some on my phone, some on sticky notes ( which I always manage to lose ), a couple scattered in notebooks and of course, my Amazon wish list. Unlike others… I haven´t bought a book that´s been added to my TBR list. Why? Mainly because I know myself like no other. I´d buy the book and never read it. Because, that´s what usually happens with books that land in a TBR list.

Not that I wouldn´t want to read the books that go on one of my many lists. I just forget about them completely.

When you recommend a book to someone and they say, “I´ll add it to my TBR list.”, you can bet everything you own( house, car, cat, horse) on the fact that that someone already has a 5 mile long list full of untouched books. And the book you recommended will most likely disappear in the sea of book titles for only God knows how long.

Now- an outsider, a person who isn´t madly in love with reading would come up with a simple solution and recommend working off a TBR list before adding more to it. Technically- a brilliant idea. Practically- an impossible mission to accomplish.

In order to sit down and actually read every book on a TBR list a reader would need an enormous amount of discipline. That´s hardly possible when hundreds  thousands of books are out there, waiting to be read! There´s a lot of truth behind the words:

so many books so little time

“So many books, so little time.” If we were realistic for a moment- we´re not going to live forever. It won´t ever be possible to work off a TBR list because readers always add more books to it.  It´s a neverending cycle. It´s evil. It´s unforgiving. Even if we don´t live long enough to read all the books we want to read- our TBR lists will keep on living. ( see how evil a TBR list is?? )

I gave up on my TBR list (s) a long time ago. I saw no point in working them off because of one reason: My brain is like a siev. I can´t help it. I don´t want to want to work the list off because it´s exhausting.

Nowadays, if I see a book that interests me, I´ll buy the paperback and avoid adding to any list in the first place. I still have my lists, though. Somewhere…..  And out of pure habit I´still say “Cool, I´ll add it to my blasted TBR list.” See? Evil.

The best possible solution is to avoid making a list in the first place. I know that. Other readers know that. But can we help ourselves? Can we prevent our greedy selves from adding a book to our neverending lists? Of course, NOT. It´s a disease. We can´t be helped.

The struggle is real. Amazon is not a book lover´s friend. 1-clicking is the devil.

Instagram Book Box Feature

 

Wattpad: Online Writing Community-Review

There are hundreds of free online writing communities but none are as fast growing as Wattpad.

As a writer, being apart of an online writing community is genius, expecially on Wattpad2Wattpad.The registration is free and it takes mere minutes for a writer to create a profile, which is a huge bonus, and they can start uploading their stories, fan-fictions and / or poetry. Practial, right? A writer can upload their stories chapter by chapter where readers can vote and comment on. Often, through the comments, a writer can receive feedback from their readers which may or may not be helpful ( depending on the feedback, of course ). Wattpad is a great place for writers to interact with other writers and readers. And another huge bonus? Wattpad writers are able to enjoy some of the many opportunities Wattpad has to offer ( and there are quite a few. Awesome sauce).

As a reader, being able to pick from millions of stories from just as many writers is like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Wattpad is a fabulous platform where a reader can dive head first into any story and explore different genres for free.

It´s an overall win/win for everyone, at first glance. Wattpad is like Christmas on Easter. Everything is idiot-proof. As a writer, you can become super successful and enjoy all the perks Wattpad has to offer and as a reader all you have to do is vote and comment on a story you enjoyed. Include all the cool and fancy fun stuff and you´re at a writer´s fun-park where everyone is happy. Voila!

But what happens when you take a closer look at Wattpad and the writers who publish their stories?

Now- Personally, I love Wattpad. Not because of the neat knick-knacks and fun stuff the platform offers. I love it because it feels like I´m a child in Bookland. I enjoy watching stories grow with each uploaded chapter and I like how easy it is to build connections there.

It´s incredible to see so many talented people in one spot.

From cover designers to writers ( and so many more )… Wattpad is a hot spot no one should miss out on. BUT…….  ( there´s always a but…..*giggle* )

Wattpad2As an avid reader myself I´ve read my fair share of Wattpad stories- many great and fully worth recommending. I´m even surprised that a few of those stories haven´t been picked up by a publishing house yet.

But then again- I´ve been down the „What the heck did I just read?“ road, too. I´ve even been on the „You must be kidding me.“ lane, where I´ve seen the unthinkable happen. It´s sad to say that not everything on Wattpad is golden.

From what I´ve noticed- Wattpad is more geared towards fantasy, science fiction and YA. Of course, there are plently of other genre´s, such as: romance, historical, horror, self-help, etc, to satisfy a reader´s appitite. Wattpad welcomes all, including fan-fiction. Yes. The F genre.

The problem with a platform that allows everything to happen is- everything happens.

With over 40 million members, Wattpad is a place for all kinds of writers. People who take writing seriously, people who see writing as a hobby, people who just want to scribble down ideas and unfortunately- Wattpad is also misused by writers. I´ve even seen NYT Bestselling authors on Wattpad!

One thing really stands out on Wattpad. You can´t get around without being confronted with a fan-fiction. It happens. No use in trying to prevent it. You´ll definitely see an image from Harry Styles ( The kid from 1D ) or a cover with the actor Jamie Dornan on it. And when you see one, you´ll see more. That´s the downside of Wattpad. It´s over flooded with fan-fiction. That´s not to say that fan-fiction is terrible. Personally- I don´t like that genre but some stories aren´t too shabby.  A few fan-fics on Wattpad are actually brilliant. Sadly, not the majority, though. Many on Wattpad are down-right tasteless, tacky, poorly written and so over the top weird you can´t help but categorise all fan-fics as terrible.

Same goes for paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi stories. Wattpad writers have outstanding imaginations when it comes to preternatural and supernatural… it´s mindblowing. If you´re lucky, you can stumble upon a brilliant story that will most likely tear your heart into pieces and leave you with a nasty book hangover.

If luck isn´t on your side you can be stuck with a night full of shifters, skinwalkers ( Yes, apparently- that´s a thing ), toothless, alpha vampires which will definitely make you think about the writers sanity.

Each genre has it´s perks and downfalls in the Wattpad world. But, all the genre´s share one issue: Typos and misspellings ( not all stories, of course, but more than enough).

I believe in the good of everything. I over see lots of stuff all the time because I understand how busy or stressful life can get. But when I start a story on Wattpad and the first lines in the authors note are:

„This is not edited. You´ll find misspellings and typos. I´m sorry. I don´t want to waste my time with editing this.“

„ If you want to read the typo/misspelling-free version you can purchase this book on Amazon.com.“

That´s slightly rude, in my opinion. I´ve read books with over 100 misspellings and it´s annoying beyond means. If you upload something and expect anyone to enjoy reading then surely it´s not too much to ask for less than 20 typos? That can be done, right?

Let´s not forget to mention the sly Wattpad writers who already have their books up for sale on Amazon but still keep 3 chapters from the same book on their Wattpad page…as a teaser. I´m pretty sure that goes against the Wattpad policy. Yet each night, I come across at least 1 writer who does that. Teasing a reader with 3-5 chapters and hope they´ll buy the book on Amazon. These people think they´re clever but forget that Wattpad readers read on Wattpad for a reason. Namely- because of the free stories.

One could believe the fantastic Wattpad is corrupt. I certainly believe it´s corrupt sometimes. The contests many writers run are great but the Watty Awards that run on Twitter are full of horse s**t and alot of  writers are so full of themselves. How can I not think that Wattpad is a place filled with evil minded, shameless people? Have I forgotten the trillion horny teenagers with the Dornan fantasies? ( I can write a book about those people…. )

This doesn´t really put Wattpad in a good light. It´s rather sad. All I´ve mentioned above is rather harmful for the great writing community. But do not fear. Not all hope is lost. Wattpad isn´t filled with all evil. If you take your time, you can find the gems hidden in the sea of stories. You just have to look hard and stick to what the great writers recommend… or ask me and I´ll gladly point out the writers that are out of this world brilliant * wink *.

If I were to rate Wattpad as I would the books I read then I´d definitely give it 4 out of 5 stars. Why? Well, as I´ve said- Wattpad is a great community where readers and writers can mingle and have a great time with stories. Ignore the rude writers, ignore the fanfics, ignore the Watty´s Awards and avoid being sucked into the many events and you should be all set to have a great time. If a reader sticks to the basics ( vote and comment & interaction ) then Wattpad is THE place to be.

 

I´m giving Wattpad 4 out of 5 stars.

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

Book Description

Can you love someone too much?

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would I recommend this read?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book Box Feature

REVIEW- Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Book Description

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

My Thoughts

`Beautiful Disaster` ( Beautiful #1 ) by Jamie McGuire is one of those reads where you either love or hate it. It´s a story about college kids living…. the college dream, or nightmare.. depending how you want to see it. There´s a large overdose on drama ( I´m not kidding ). It´s what the title says- A beautiful disaster.Beautiful Disaster #1

Back in 2012, when I first read the book, I loved Travis and Abby and the world they lived in. I ate up their ping-pong relationship. Those two created so much unnecessary pain for each other. I was fascinated and at the same time 100% sure no living being would ever put up with their shit.

Their relationship was like watching a Jojo bounce up and down. Mesmorizing until the cord gets tangled and you have a knot that takes you hours to undo. Then everything is fine again. THAT is how the story and these characters felt for me.

I really loved the story. Yes, it´s exaggerated. Yes, there´s violence. Yes, the characters, especially Travis, are unpredictable. Yes, I´d force my girls to marry Jesus if there ever was a real life version of Travis walking around. Yes, yes and YES. This story is over the top but still a cool real that´ll do all kinds of things to do. One of my favorite emotions towards this book, or towards the characters was frustration! I wanted to get my biggest, heaviest frying pan and knock the characters out cold because of how stupid they acted.

Travis and Abby, together, are explosive. They function perfectly but they´re also so warped. At one point I thought Travis was the perfect Hero. He was super intense, emotional, driven, loving, caring, etc etc. But then he turns into an obsessive and reckless love struck neanderthal who does what he wants.

Abby wasn´t really the best of all Heroines but she was perfect for Travis. As I woman myself I had a hard time understanding why she was such a difficult person… and that says alot! She was the reason I wanted to get the frying pan out in the first place! Yet, she was what Travis needed. His counterpart. They couldn´t be with or without each other. Life was dramatic when they were together. Life was even more dramatic, even painful, when they were apart. Let´s say they deserved each other.

As for the other characters, which weren´t many, … they were pretty normal. Totally likeable and less dramatic. Just normal college kiddos on a mission to make it out in one piece. * giggle *

Reading `Beautiful Disaster` was an emotional adventure. I can´t really say this book was high class literature but it was still 100% entertaining and definitely unforgettable. Totally worth recommending to readers who like YA/NA romances and also to readers who aren´t easily offended by every single thing in life.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Love it. A reader is absolutely clueless about the story by looking at the cover and reading the title.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Told from Abby´s POV. Over the top bogus. Totally wacko. But, oh-so-good. Besides, it´s a romance! There´s nothing you can´t NOT love. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Let´s face it- The MC´s were over exaggerated but without them the story would have been boring! Sub-characters were fab! )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Drinks! Lots and lots of drinks are needed!

I´m giving `Beautiful Disaster`( Beautiful #1), by Jamie McGuire, 5 out of 5 stars

Book Box Feature

To purchase this book just click here and enjoy reading. You´ll either love it or hate it…..

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

Slammed ( Slammed #1 )

Book Descriptionslammed

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would I recommend this book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Point Of Retreat ( Slammed #2 )

 

Book Descriptionpoint-of-retreat

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would I recommend this book?

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

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

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

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

My emotional state after finishing this read – In love.

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

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

This Girl ( Slammed #3 )

Book Description  this-girl

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

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

My Thoughts

`This Girl`. This book. THIS SERIES!

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

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

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

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

Love conquers everything, but can it excuse the past?

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

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

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

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

`This Girl` is raw and real.

`This Girl` is a captivating story.

`This Girl` is a perfect.

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

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

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

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

Would I recommend this book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

This book can be bought over at Amazon.com

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

 

 

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

Hopeless  ( Hopeless #1 )

Book Descriptionhopeless-1

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

`Hopeless`. My first Colleen Hoover book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Would I recommend this book?

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

Would I reread this book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Losing Hope ( Hopeless #2 )

Book Description

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

This book is available in paperback and ebook format. 

Finding Cinderella ( Hopeless # 2.5 )

Book Description

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

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

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

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

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

My Thoughts

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

A Young Adult reader´s dream come true!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Cover – 3 stars ( It´s sweet. )

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

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

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

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

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

 

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