Review: Next Year in Havana (Blog Tour)

Next Year in Havana.jpgAfter the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a familysecret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

February 6, 2018
Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction

AbtrennungStarting this book, I didn’t know much about the history of Cuba or even its culture. Chanel Cleeton makes sure that you are going to pick up so many pieces of Cuba along the way of reading the book. Alternating between Marisol’s POV — the present — as well as Elisa‘s POV, as a reader, you are instantly drawn into two worlds. One, the one of Marisol, seems to be carefree and somewhat melancholic. As a member of the Perez family, she never had much to worry about; it isn’t until her grandmother’s death however that she is catapulted back into her family’s history. Traveling back to Cuba, a place she only knows from stories, she can finally see the country of her dreams for herself — only  to realize that there are so many layers of Cuba.
Something that really surprised me was the author’s realistic approach to the situation in present Cuba, as well as the political undertone to the book. Chanel Cleeton draws a perfect picture of the many facets of Cuba, vividly painting its lush, lively culture and twisted history, and she sure did an amazing job in making the setting as authentic as possible.

Continue reading


Book Talk with Tessi: THE FALLEN PRINCE

TFP RWB Banner.jpg

I am more than THRILLED to be part of the blog tour in celebration of Amalie Howard’s The Fallen Prince book release! In case you didn’t know, TFP is the second book in The Riven Chronicles, following The Almost Girl which I liked very much.


There is barely any book out there that has left me with such mixed feelings. While the book did not exactly trigger one rollercoaster ride of emotions in me, it still left me breathless in the end. Oh, and can I just say how fascinated I am by the world Howard created?

But let me start from the beginning.

The book picks up about one year after where the story left off, but since no major changes have happened since, Riven is still on the run to find her father. Having read The Almost Girl almost two years ago already, I found it rather hard to get back into the story after such a long time. Of course there were some things that I still remembered from The Almost Girl such as Riven being a badass fighter/assassin or her inner struggles after the loss of many loved ones; nonetheless I did wish the book would have provided some memory aids especially in the first one or two chapters.
Unlike the first book, The Fallen Prince focuses on more serious themes than the first one. It revolves more around the question of how human Riven is rather than on how willing she is to save herself and her loved ones. You can tell that Riven has matured a lot by gaining more responsibility and empathy instead of focusing on her senses only. I often wished however that she would have just let her stubbornness go instead of keeping all of her anger to herself. That probably would have made the plot more exciting since the first half of the book was pretty predictable to me. There were times where she reminded me more of an unforgiving attack dog than a badass fighter but after all she has been betrayed by a lot of people.
We are also introduced to new characters who — like the other secondary characters — came a little too flat in the beginning. Maybe it is inevitable due to the book’s technology theme, but it sometimes felt that the book’s atmosphere was too clinical, leaving not a lot of space for emotions and big character developments.

On the romantic side, Caden and Riven are obviously still hot for each other (like really hot!) but again, I sometimes felt that Riven’s voice drifted too much to that of little whiny girl again. Caden is one of the few characters who can make her self-conscious, but instead of admitting to all of her feelings, she decides to let rationality run over emotions. This of course made Riven a fiercer and determined character but it also turned the book more into a one (wo)man show — which is not necessarily bad but it might have allowed more space for the secondary characters. (Note: I love badass heroines. Riven is a perfect example of why you only need yourself to be strong, but love can make you even stronger!)
Then on the other hand, I often asked myself if I would have acted differently if my DNA has been altered and changed. It always raised the question on how far scientists would go in order to create the perfect fighter.
However the book still follows a very fast-paced plot so the reader is literally thrown back into the story with no time to question small details. The last hundred pages or so are so worth of the reader’s patience. It didn’t fail to surprise me with new twists, more action-packed scenes, intrigues, new betrayals. You know what makes a good villain? If the villain has a deep motive to be evil and is convinced that whatever he does, it is for the good. The way they were shaped in the book — so three-dimensional — I couldn’t help but admire the author’s evil genius brain for coming up with such huge plot twists.

Overall, I still find it hard to give a proper review on the book without revealing too much. The book showed pieces of the best but also of the worst of humanity, making it so much more than ‘just’ a YA scifi book. Also, the world-building was the perfect blend of technology, scifi and fantasy. While there weren’t any dragging parts in the book, the first half of the book was still very predictable and foreseeable. However, the questions that were raised throughout the book — how far can science go? What makes a human human? — make up for the little ‘flaws’ in the story, adding a deeper meaning to the whole story. If you are looking for a book that is one of its kind, this one is for you.

Riven has fought for a hard-won peace in her world, and has come to shaky terTHE FALLEN PRINCE - coverms with who and what she is—a human with cyborg DNA. Now that the
rightful ruler of
Neospes has been reinstated, Riven is on the hunt for her father in the Otherworld to bring him to justice for hiscrimes against her people.

But when she receives an unwelcome visit from two former allies, she knows that trouble is brewing once again in Neospes. The army has been decimated and there are precious few left to fight this mysterious new threat.

To muster a first line of defense, her people need help from the one person Riven loathes most—her father. But what he wants in return is her complete surrender.

And now Riven must choose: save Neospes or save herself.

Get the book here, here, here, here or here.

Amalie Howard - headshot

AMALIE HOWARD grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 25 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn’t entirely convinced which takes more guts.She is the award-winning author of several young adult novels critically acclaimed by Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, VOYA, and Booklist, including Waterfell, The Almost Girl, and Alpha Goddess, a Spring 2014 Kid’s INDIE NEXT title. Her debut novel, Bloodspell, was a #1 Amazon bestseller, and the sequel, Bloodcraft, was a national silver IPPY medalist. She is also the co-author of the adult historical romance series, THE LORDS OF ESSEX. As an author of color and a proud supporter of diversity in fiction, her articles on multicultural fiction have appeared in The Portland Book Review and on the popular Diversity in YA blog. She currently resides in Colorado with her husband and three children.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Weekly Wrap Up #1


Okay, so I’m going to cheat a little bit on this post since I will summarize both the first and the second week since I created this blog. As you might well know now, Cosmic Book Love is a heart project and I’ve experimented a few times with the design since then until I finally settled with the current one. Honestly, I think it’s the best design I’ve ever had since it’s sparky, in vogue and so much me. I had so much fun drafting it and it’s the love child of my imagination and books.

On Wednesday I finally received my very first bookish mail for Cosmic Book Love. 


It’s a paperback copy of Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini! I couldn’t be more excited to finally read TTS since I’ve ogled the book since its release back in 2013. Yup, you read it correctly. 3 years since my glance collided with the book cover.
Kim also left me some sweet messages inside the book, including some bookmarks and a paper origami dove (at least I think that’s one). Cute, isn’t it? Yeah, that was my first thought too, but then I realized there are also some doves on the book cover, which in turn means the paper origami is an allusion to the story!!! (Please tell me I’m correct.)

In addition, I won a copy of rock star romance This One Moment by Stina Lindenblatt in a giveaway that was hosted by author Melissa West. Woot! I know rock star romances can be so cheesy but I trust Melissa West’s words so I hope this one will be good.

Then, in case you haven’t noticed already, I participated in the 24h readathon yesterday for the very first time. Yay!! I had so many things to do, so just like I expected I didn’t manage to read too many books. But, I did manage to pick up two books, one that left me crying at night and one that left me enchanted in the morning:


  • The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander and
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I even tweeted about my feels when I finished TAONB and guess how surprised I was when Sarah Alexander retweeted my tweet:Bildschirmfoto 2016-04-24 um 15.35.29.pngLike wuuuuuuut!

So that’s my weekly wrap up! Oh, and I’m currently hosting a mini giveaway where you can win a copy of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. 

Current song: New Romantics by Taylor Swift

Current snack: Blueberry ice cream (I know it technically doesn’t count as a snack which however doesn’t mean it makes it less exciting having at least one of it per day)

Current giveaways: Aktion “Blogger schenken Lesefreude”

Happy Sunday!



Heute ist ein super beschäftigter Tag für mich – so werde ich beim 24h-Readathon teilnehmen und muss viele Sachen erledigen, die in Zusammenhang mit Protonen und Kernspaltung stehen – dennoch wollte ich mir die Chance nicht entgehen lassen, beim Welttag des Buches 2016 mitzumachen! Darum habe ich beschlossen, mich ebenfalls der Aktion Blogger schenken Lesefreude anzuschließen und werde zum heutigen Ehrentag (herzlichen Glückwunsch, Bücher!) ein Buch verlosen. Um am Gewinnspiel teilzunehmen, müsst ihr folgende Frage beantworten:

Welche Bücher haben euch in der Kindheit am meisten geprägt?

(Einen Extrapunkt bekommt ihr, wenn ihr mir auf Bloglovin oder auf einer meiner Social Media Seiten folgt sowie das Gewinnspiel teilt.)

Um die Frage meinerseits zu beantworten: Märchen, Enid Blyton und Charlie Bone. Es gibt wahrscheinlich hunderte von Büchern, die ich aufzählen könnte, jedoch sind dies die ersten Bücher, die mir eingefallen sind. Als Kind habe ich Märchen verschlungen, Märchen und Legenden verschiedener Kulturen gelesen und war jedes Mal verzaubert von der Welt (jetzt im Nachhinein fällt mir natürlich auf, wie brutal die meisten Märchenwelten waren — von kinderfressenden Hexen, zu Königen, die ihre Kinder opfern, weil sie beleidigt sind oder keinen anderen Ausweg finden). Die Charaktere in Enid Blytons Büchern wiederum waren meine absoluten Idole! Meine Lieblingsserien waren die Dolly-Reihe und 5 Freunde natürlich. Die Bücher haben wesentlich an meiner Abenteuerlust seit der Kindheit beigetragen. Und zu guter letzt empfand ich Charlie Bone von Jenny Nimmo immer als gute Alternative zu den Harry Potter-Büchern. Wie ich mir immer gewünscht habe, selber ein Kind des Roten Königs zu sein!

Aber genug von mir, ich will eure Antworten haben. Schreibt eure Antwort einfach bis zum 4. Mai 2016 in die Kommentare und ihr landet automatisch im Lostopf! Zu gewinnen gibt es eins der beiden Bücher: IMG_7255.jpg

Fangirl von Rainbow Rowell (Englisch) oder Obsidian – Schattendunkel von JL Armentrout (signiert). Die Tasse gibt es leider nicht, da sie meine besondere Teetasse zum Lesen ist.

  • Mitmachen können weltweit alle Leser, die älter als 18 Jahre alt sind oder die Einverständniserklärung der Eltern besitzen. Ich bin nicht verantwortlich für Bücher, die auf dem Postweg verloren gehen. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen.
  • Die Gewinner werden spätestens am 5. Mai 2016 schriftlich per Email benachrichtigt, die Namen werden auch hier auf dem Blog bekannt gegeben.
  • Die Gewinne werden innerhalb eines Monats nach der Bekanntgabe der Gewinne versendet.
  • Über die Gewinner entscheidet

Toitoitoi und vergesst nicht, den heutigen Tag mit Büchern zu genießen! xo-tessi



Today is going to be the first time that I participate in the 24h-readathon, brought to you by Dewey! I’ve ogled with the idea to take part in this bi-annual event ever since I joined the book blogging community two years ago or so but I always thought I was too unorganised to stay up the whole day and night reading books. But then I realised that taking part in the 24h-readathon is only for the sake of having fun while reading and since I haven’t really committed to reading good novels in a while, I believe it’s a good day to start today! By the time I’m uploading this post it’s already 1 hour past the starting time but it’s never too late to join the Pre-Event Zero Hour meme, hosted by Heather @ Capricious Reader.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?


aka Germany. My starting time in Germany is 2pm by the way!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Touching the Surface, hands down. I’ve meant to read the book ever since I saw the beautiful cover and even more intriguing blurb back in 2013, and when I finally had the opportunity to get my hands on the book, I hopped on that chance and never looked back.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Blueberry ice cream. I absolutely love ice cream and I bought enough blueberry ice for the whole weekend today in the morning.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

After I saw the movie Interstellar, my plan was to become an astrophysicist one day even though I didn’t even really take physics in high school. I still don’t understand quantum physics, though, so I guess that was a crackpot idea.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is my first time participating, so what I’m definitely looking forward to is just sharing my love for books and seeing others being passionate about books too!

This is the book pile that I hope I’ll be able to tackle this Saturday:


  • Touching the Surface by Kimberly Sabatini
  • The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Well, as you can see I clearly don’t have a real book pile since I have dozens of things to do today which are mostly related to school but I’m nonetheless so excited! Also, I don’t think I’ve ever read three books within 24 hours yet so today is going to be a day full of firsts! Funnily enough, I ended up with YA contemporary books only (more or less) but I swear this wasn’t intentional. Make sure to follow me on Twitter since this is the place where I’ll post all my updates!

Let me know if you participate in the Readathon so we can cheer each other! And don’t forget to have fun!!



Hi!! I’m so glad you found your way to my blog. If you’re here, you’re probably

  • my brother or
  • my sister or
  • a blogger friend who wants to follow my blogging journey after Bookraptured or
  • someone who randomly googled something and was led to this site by Google
  • a book lover
  • a world wanderer and dreamer like me
  • a w e s o m e

I’m Tessi. Gryffindor. Book hoarder. Piano ballerina. Lover of all things beautiful.

This is my venture back into the book blogging world.

Cosmic Book Love is not the same as Bookraptured. Like the rating system. That’s something that bothered me on my old blog because I feel like my thoughts on a book were narrowed down to a maximum of five stars. So, instead of stars, I’m going to rate books in percentages now. Also, I hope I’ll be able to share some stories and photos of my daily life or trips to new places. Okay? Okay.

Cosmic Book Love is an experiment and a love story about books. I hope you’ll follow me.



Under the Spotlight — Interview with Angie Stanton

Under the Spotlight BT Banner

I’m so excited to be hosting the amazing Angie Stanton on my blog today! For those who don’t know her — she’s the author of The Jamieson Collection series (Under the Spotlight is the third book in this series!!) as well as of Royally Lost, a YA contemporary that was published last year. Something that I really like about her books are that the stories are always soI don’t know…fluffy and cute! She was kind enough to answer some questions for the Under the Spotlight blog tour today, and seriously, I think I like her even more after I’ve read the whole interview. Continue reading