Book Talk with Tessi: THE FALLEN PRINCE

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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.

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[Bloggeraktion]: Essenz der Götter aka #TeamDivinus

Gestern Morgen erhielt ich eine mysteriösen Brief der ungefähr so aussah:


(Um ehrlich zu sein, sah er genauso aus)

Nun, Martina Riemer hat sich zum Start ihres neues Buches “Essenz der Götter” eine tolle Bloggeraktion ausgedacht: Es wurden Briefe verschickt, in denen ihr eurer Bestimmung folgen könnt und ich bin stolz, verkünden zu können, im Team der Divinus zu sein!!


Wenn du auch den Ruf der Götter gehört hast und die Essenz in dir spürst, dann bist du bei uns genau richtig! Wir sind die Divinus – Nachkommen der Götter und gewillt dich in unsere Reihen aufzunehmen! Einzige Voraussetzung: Ein Blogger müsst ihr sein! Auch die Titanus – Nachkommen der Titanen versuchen ihre Reihen zu füllen. Doch wir wissen das zu verhindern, denn auf das Gewinnerteam warten unglaublicher Ruhm und natürlich tolle Gewinne. Z.B. das:


Was müsst ihr tun, um auch ein Divinus zu werden?
  • Verfasse einfach einen Blogpost, in welchem du zu erkennen gibst, dass du auch ein Divinus bist
  • Meld dich mit dem dazugehörigen Link an mich zurück, entweder in den Kommentaren oder per Mail (tessireysiia @

Hättest du gerne noch mehr Infos zum Buch und der Blogger Aktion? Dann schau doch bei Martina, der lieben Autorin von Essenz der Götter vorbei oder besuche die Haupttrainerin der Divinus: Katja. (Diesen Satz habe ich überhaupt nicht schamlos von Nina @ book:blossom übernommen.)

Ich hoffe sehr, dass viele Divinus den Ruf der Götter folgen werden und die Essenz in sich spüren, damit wir bald den Titanus zahlenmäßig überlegen sind! Also:

Sei ein Divinus und mach uns stolz!


Review: Into the Fire


Title: Into the Fire

Publication date: September 9, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Ashelyn Drake

ITF-CoverSeventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks
Into the Fire

AbtrennungThere are books that start off slow but turn out to be a real page-turner, and there are books like Into the Fire that start off with a BANG and still manage to keep you engrossed throughout the story.
Cara’s rebirth is getting closer which means she cannot afford to let new people into her life, especially boys like Logan. See her brother, Jeremy, who has just undergone his own rebirth — within minutes he has forgotten all about their close relationship. The pain that not only Cara, but also her family felt was almost seizable and it was seriously gut-wrenching seeing her helplessly watching her brother re-navigating in life again. Actually, the worst thing she could do is imprinting on a boy — but it happens and I really felt the cruelty and irony in falling heads over heels in love.
I’m usually not into those stories where a girl is torn between duty to her family and love, but in this book, each emotion is real, true to the MC’s life and background, both raw and edgy. I did not just know what emotions Cara felt, I lived them. I was able to empathize with her anger as well as her confusion although her relationship toher mother could have been better developed for my taste: I clearly saw that her mother meant well but some passages just felt too overblown — I mean I sometimes just wanted to jump up and tell them to speak with each other instead of avoiding confrontations. Nonetheless, Ashelyn Drake managed to bring the characters to life in a way that left me thinking about them long after I have finished the book.

Also, the book is told from dual POV which I really did not expect, namely Cara’s and Logan’s POVs. Both voices were so refreshing to read although I do have to say I enjoyed Logan’s voice slightly better. There is just something about the sarcasm and bluntness in the way he thinks and speaks. Cara’s voice has a sadder and more melancholy shade which clearly fits the plot, and it was so much fun seeing her loosen up in front of Logan. You just feel the chemistry between them, why they can’t keep their hands off from each other, and adding Drake’s casual writing style to that it was just the perfect love story I needed to read.

I do, however, have to say that the book’s focus is more on the romance than on the mythical phoenix aspect which was a little bit disappointing for a mythology geek like me. The thing is, the book felt more like a contemporary book for me and is strongly based on the characters’ development whereas the world building somewhat lacked in detail and originality. I know it sounds a little bit contradictive to what I have said before, and to do the book justice, I really did not feel bored for a second while I was reading the book, nor did I feel the urge to skip some pages. Nonetheless, I really would have liked to learn more about the phoenix mythology although we do get to know the “basics”, aka reincarnation etc..
That being said, I do have to say I really enjoyed the way the author embraced the mythology by creating the hunter theme and thus increasing the tension in the book: There are phoenix hunters who are on the prowl to kill people like Cara’s family to “steal” their life times.

The pacing in the last few pages was seriously mind-blowing and as unpredictable as a rollercoaster ride. I wished the same fast-paced action had happened earlier since I felt almost overwhelmed by the huge number of twists in the last few chapters as well as the ENORMOUS cliffhanger, but I did enjoy reading the ending though. Nonetheless, I really would not have minded it if there would have been a clearer answer to Cara’s phoenix conflict, especially since many actions at the end of the book felt a little bit too rashed and pressed, leaving many questions unanswered. The ending does however perfectly reflect the wonderfully developed dynamics of Cara and Logan’s relationship and I was surprised how Ashelyn stayed true to Logan’s sarcastic voice despite the dramatic situation.

Ashelyn Drake’s writing is commanding and stunning — I could not pull myself away from the book’s hypnotic grasp. While I would not exactly call the book’s plot “innovative”, the book is a unique twist on the phoenix theme though, making Into the Fire an exhilarating and refreshing novel and ultimately, an unforgettable read!



Ashelyn DrakeAshelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some drk chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on this blog tour!

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Author Guest Post: A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger


Title: A Whispered Darkness

Publication date: August 26, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Vanessa Barger

A-Whispered-Darkness-CoverWhen Claire Mallory’s father leaves, her mom moves them to a new town and into a dilapidated Victorian house.The old house creaks and whistles, and smells well — like it’s been abandoned for years. But as the nights grow longer and the shadows take on substance, Claire wonders if the strange sounds and occurrences might be more than the house showing its age.Just as things start to pick up in Claire’s love life, her mother becomes possessed. In an attempt to save her mother and their new home, Claire enlists the help of two boys, each of whom is interested in Claire for different reasons. As she chooses one boy over the other, something dangerous is unleashed, and the spirits make their move.They aren’t content to moan and scream inside Claire’s house, or even control her mom. They want a taste of freedom, and she’s their key to getting it. But is Claire strong enough to fight off the evil spirits, or will they claim her and her mom before it’s all over?

So y’all know A Whispered Darkness also includes a little twist of YA horror…and the easiest way I can personally connect with scary stuff is…well, horror movies. But what are actually the author’s own thoughts on such movies? Vanessa Barger was kind enough to answer this question in this post — and guys, be prepared to fall off your chairs because the post is HILARIOUS!Banner (2)

Okay, so I have a confession. My name is Vanessa Barger, I write YA Horror (and other things), and I’m terrified of scary movies.

No, really. It’s kind of stupid really. I’m…well… let’s leave off the age, but suffice to say, I’m old enough to know that Dracula does not live in my closet with the other monsters. But horror movies… I have this strange and weird fascination with. I don’t like slasher flicks. At all. If there’s a lot of shock and gore, I won’t watch. The Saw movies? Nu-uh. No way.

Of course, I will admit to turning Nightmare on Elm Street on a few months ago. Bits at a time. When I thought something scary was coming, I flipped it back to the Food Network.

Probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen was The Ring. Some of you are probably snickering. Let me explain – I think the Ring (if you haven’t seen it, watch out. Spoilers! Lol) bothers me because when I was a kid there was a ghost story told at a sleepover once about a possessed cassette tape that killed people. I don’t remember the details anymore. It was probably a really bad retelling in the dark with flashlights while people’s training bras were being soaked and shoved in a freezer. But I remember it scaring the crap out of me.

Then in college a group of us head to the movies. It’s a Saturday in a big theatre in Northern Virginia. There are a LOT of people. We get in the long line, and four of them are headed to the Ring. Me and another girl are planning on seeing Bond. We don’t do horror flicks. Halfway up, Bond sells out, along with everything except The Ring and some other adventure flick.

We decide on the adventure flick. The person in front of us buys the last two tickets.

We are now stuck seeing The Ring with everyone else, or sitting and waiting in the lobby. Not a fun prospect.

The movie itself has a decent plot. I liked the mystery aspect. Then they talk about watching a movie and dying in seven days. Somewhere that sleepover memory is triggered. And a friend shared her coat with me, so I could hold it in front of my face for the scary parts. Except one. The big one. The ghost pops out of a TV after seven days to kill the main character.

Oh, crap.

So there I am, seven days later, asleep on my aunt’s couch for Thanksgiving, watching the minute hand creep along in the dark and staring at a blank TV screen. I just kept repeating that if I made it past midnight and she didn’t pass out, I’d be safe.

As you can see, I’m safe.

I’ve gotten better about watching horror flicks. Like my tolerance for spicy food, I’m working on it. But I’m never going to be able to watch them all the time. I’d never sleep.

To me, what makes a horror flick good is its ability not so much to scare you in that moment, but its ability to scare you later. You know, hours later when you’re home, not thinking about it and you get into bed. Suddenly it’s dark and there’s a creak, and you remember the movie and shadows begin to look sinister and you see teeth gleaming in the dark.

That’s what I’m going for. If I can scare myself a little when writing it, I’m hoping you are scared a little when reading it, and a little more later, when you’ve put the book down and are settling in for the night.

I hope you enjoy it. And if you have a horror movie you think I must, MUST see, feel free to let me know. But no promises. 😉

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Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn September 26, 2014

· Four (4) winners will receive a digital copy of A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger (INT) · One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVanessa Barger was born in West Virginia, and through several moves ended up spending the majority of her life in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a graduate of George Mason University and Old Dominion University, and has degrees in Graphic Design, a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Literature, and a Masters in Technology Education. She has had articles published in Altered Arts Magazine, has had some artwork displayed in galleries in Ohio and online, and currently teaches engineering, practical physics, drafting and other technological things to high school students in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She is a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and the Virginia Writer’s Club. When not writing or teaching, she’s a bookaholic, movie fanatic, and loves to travel. She has one cat, who believes Vanessa lives only to open cat food cans, and can often be found baking when she should be editing. Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook Goodreads

Review + Giveaway: My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer


Title: My Tethered Soul (Reaper’s Rite #2)
Author: Dorothy Dreyer
Publication Date: August 19, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books

My-Tethered-Soul-CoverIt’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.
My Tethered Soul (Reaper's Rite, #2)Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Chapters Indigo! | TBD | iBooks


My Tethered Soul is one of those books I find hard to put my thoughts into words. I really enjoyed reading My Sister’s Reaper (the first book in the series), so guess how excited I was when I finally got my hands on the second book! And indeed, it definitely exceeded all of my expectations; however there were some passages that were pretty predictable.

The story picks up a few days before Mara’s seventeenth birthday, a significant day for Vilas. After defeating Mara’s reaper Zadie now has to deal with her own one, which, on the other hand, has found some way to manipulate her and make her do terrible things. I was really fascinated by the reaper’s powers, or rather the mind game thing he was playing on Zadie: The way it influences Zadie’s emotions really intrigued me right from the beginning, or simply the fact it makes her lose control over her body at night. I could really feel her defenseleseness, but it also provided some great space for some “friends time” where her closest friends could actually show off their best sides. It was amazing to see how commited and supportive they are of her (especially her BFF Naomi and her boyfriend Gavin), and even volunteer to “babysit” Zadie at night (those passages, by the way, were also some of the most priceless and hilarious scenes in the whole book). Add to that Lilura’s dry humor that we have already met in the previous book — there is nothing I can complain about the secondary characters – at least those who we have already met in My Sister’s Reaper!

What is more, the setting turned out to be much darker and sombrer than in the first book in the series and much more fast-paced than the previous books. Seriously, there were so many creepy scenes and it still makes me shiver when I think about them!

The storyline was both intriguing and brilliant, however, it did not totally blow my mind. There were just too many scenes that were really predictable and follow that typical paranormal genre pattern. Nonetheless, there were so many things about the story I enjoyed about the book, making it a unique and fun read.
Such as the family dynamics, especially the relationship between Zadie and her sister. You see, having been haunted by a Reaper, it is not easy for Mara to open up to other people again, but for me, Dorothy Dryer did a great job in capturing her fears as well as depicting how she and her sister slowly find trust in each other again.
Also, I was really surprised the book picks up further on Zadie and Mara’s relationship(s) to their mom. For me, this aspect was especially well-elobaborated since I kind of could totally empathize with Mara’s mixed feelings and coldness — she never conceals her emotions, not even from her own family, and I really liked that honesty. Oh, and did I mention she does get a boyfriend in this book? Their relationship is priceless! (Hint: Clash between coldness + badass-ness = lots of fun time).
I think it’s exactly that black and white thing that makes the story interesting. Moreover, Dorothy Dreyer manages to complement the dark reaper/witch theme in the book with her quirky and humorous writing style, making it a real page-turner.

That being said, I do have to say there is one thing that was really bugging me while I read the book which is….well, the rising frustration throughout the book, which Zadie, of course, is facing as well. There were so many moments in this book where I literally jumped up and screamed at Zadie to please pleeeease break free from the reaper’s spell (okay, kind of), or basically, just to do something. This frustration, in a way, also affected her character development, which was a little bit too slow for my taste since she quickly finds herself at the end of her tether (title pun intended).
Then, on the other hand, there were moments where she acted just too rash for my taste; the reasons for some choices she made were too blurry even though it was quite clear the outcome of those certain actions would be…self-defeating I guess? But despite my complaints, I do feel Zadie had been an incredible character. With all the flaws and strengths she had, Dreyer definitely created a well-developed protagonist.

We also meet some new characters and most of them turned out to be really great characters, mostly because of their eccentricity (okay, that sentence sounds kind of strange..). However, I sometimes felt as if Dreyer tried to “squeeze” those characters into the book in order to (i) give the story some change and (ii) enable the whole main cast a Happily Ever After. For me, this, as well as quite a lot of scenes with them in it felt a little bit too imposed. It felt a bit like watching a play — as if there were some stage directions that say that one person has to be rebellious, one person has to hate Zadie and her friends, one person has to immediately be friends with them etc. In this way, the ending of the story was pretty predictable.

But overall, I really enjoyed reading My Tethered Soul, despite its flaws and predictability. It definitely does the awesomeness of the first book justice and it is a fantastic conclusion to My Sister’s Reaper. If you are a fan of paranormal books with a little horror twist in it, I can’t recommend you this book enough!


Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn September 13, 2014

  • Four (4) winners will receive a digital copy of My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer (INT)
  • One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of My Tethered Soul by Dorothy Dreyer AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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AboutTheAuthorDorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Dorothy DreyerHalf-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two children.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Review + Giveaway: One Smart Cookie by Kym Brunner

Sixteen year old Sophie Dumbrowski, is an adorably inept teen living above her family-owned Polish bakery with her man-hungry mother and her spirit-conjuring grandmother, who together, are determined to find Sophie the perfect boyfriend.But when Sophie meets two hot guys on the same day, she wonders if  this a blessing or a curse. And is Sophie’s inability to choose part of the reason the bakery business is failing miserably? The three generations of women need to use their heads, along with their hearts, to figure things out…before it’s too late.BOOK INFOsmartcookie_cover

Young Adult Contemporary

Published by Omnific Publishing

Released July 15, 2014

Amazon | Barnes and Noble


One Smart Cookie is a book I’ve been really excited for to read. Having many Polish friends myself, I just knew I had to get my hands on this book, and man — it definitely gave me some HIGHLY ENTERTAINING reading hours.

Summer vacation have finally started and Sophie Dumbrowski has sworn to make her summer unforgettable – such as by getting a boyfriend. Or simply having a good time with her best friend, Teegan. What she definitely does not expect is to be fired by her mother on the very first day from her workplace in their family-run Polish bakery – or to be “ditched” by her BFF for a potential boyfriend. Now it is time for Sophie to find a new job (her mother won’t pay for college which is a nightmare!) as well as her own boyfriend. And yes, this of course results in a complete mess.

There were so many aspects in the story that were simply adorable. First of all, Sophie herself. Her wit and repartee captured me from the very first page and it was so much fun seeing how she deals with the mess she’s finding herself in, especially when it comes to getting used to her new job in a pet shop. She never minces her words and always does exactly the thing she feels is right, which often results in more than hilarious situations and I really admired her for her boldness. Also, the dialogues between her and her mother: priceless!

Busia, Sophie’s grandmother, was probably my favorite character in the whole book. Her Polish accent as well as her superstitious character were just freaking adorable and I can honestly say that she is one of the cutest and most endearing characters I have ever met. It was so much fun seeing her making the “deals” with Dola for Sophie! Anyway, I guess this is exactly what I liked about the book: The hilarious, yet somewhat serious clash between Polish culture and the Chicago environment which is reflected in the family dynamics in the Dumbrowski household. Needless to say, it sometimes felt like watching a ticking time bomb just about to explode; yet, you cannot deny the charm of the three generations being together.

That being said, I have to say that both love interests were rather that sort of flat characters for my taste. I would say that there is some chemistry between her and Gio (who himself has a Italian background) at the beginning and I really enjoyed reading the dialogues between them, especially since they both can relate to that “feeling sometimes out of place due to the immigrant background”-thing. Unfortunately, after a while, their relationship fades to the background as Nick comes into play, but luckily, he turned out to be quite an interesting character. I could clearly see the excitement or appeal of this love triangle but it would not have hurt if Sophie had gotten her priorities together earlier: After 50 pages or something I was into the book I knew exactly with who she’d end up. Nonetheless, the excruciatingly funny mess she gets entangled with, including many funny dialogues, made up for the predictable parts of the book.

Anyway, I can’t tell you how many times my mouth got all watery each time Polish pastries such as Kolszki or Pączki were mentioned. Seriously, Kym Brunner has got some talent in describing delicious food and as a self-declared food maven and food lover myself, this definitely added to my admiring for her writing.

I loved seeing Sophie finally wake up; seeing her pulling herself together and “finding her true self”. However, the ending was a little bit too rush and I felt as if it was missing some depth. It was too much of that happily-ever-after although there were clearly some pending conflicts. Nonetheless, I really liked how smoothly things ended.

All in all, if you are looking for a quick and fun summer read with a hilarious immigrant theme, you should definitely check this book out!



As the saying goes, I’m pretty much an open book. What do you want to know?

HOMELAND: I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois (Woo-hoo! Best city in the world!), but currently live in a northwest suburb that’s still close enough to get to the city in 40 minutes. Almost all of my stories take place in and around Chicago since it’s the only region where I’ve lived. I wish I could write a story that takes place in Greece, but I’d need to go there first. (Hint, hint, Husband)

SPARE TIME: I love to read and write obviously, but I also LOVE movies and reality TV. There, I said it. Point fingers all you want, laugh at me, but my brain wants what it wants and I’ve never been a good disciplinarian. Just ask my students or my lovely daughters, who laughed all the way out of the house after they did a few loads of laundry as “punishment.”

FAMILY: I’ve been blessed with three beautiful daughters, a very tall, intelligent, and debonair husband (who might read this so I have to be really nice so I can get that trip to Greece), and two adorable dogs. Life’s pretty damn good, for which I am super thankful.

WORK: Starting at the tender age of 14, I’ve been employed. First, as a hot dog wrangler (Sammie’s in the Portage Park area of Chicago), then an old-fashioned sign maker and cashier for PG Berland’s Paints, then in high school as an A-Accurate Answering Service operator (loved the job – hated the perverts who used to call and breathe heavy) and finally, for most of my life. . . a teacher. I’m teach 7th grade reading and writing all day long! And they pay me! What could be better than that?

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