ARC REVIEW: Nothing Everything Nothing – by Casia Schreyer

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Title: Nothing Everything Nothing
Author: Casia Schreyer
Genre: YA, Contemporary
First published: October 23rd 2014
Finished reading: November 3rd 2014
Pages: 218
Rating 4,5

No matter what other people think, you have to love you enough to want to be in this world. You have to love you enough to see your strenghts and your value even in the face of failure.

*** A copy of this book was kindly given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Casia Schreyer! ***

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Wow. Books don’t leave me speechless often, but Nothing Everything Nothing is definitely one damn impressive novel. Casia Schreyer touches sensitive themes as teenage insecurity, (virtual) bullying, sexual harassment and suicide attempts without it becoming a boring lecture. It left me thinking of my own high school experiences and that nowadays it has become even easier to completely ‘destroy’ the life a teenager through websites like Facebook and Twitter… Virtual bullying has become an increasing problem over the years and should never be underestimated. Nothing Everything Nothing is a great novel to read and absorb information about this phenomenon. Through the life of the main character Molly we can see the cruelty of teenagers and its consequences from up close… Molly can be a tad superficial and naive at some points, but then again she is sixteen and desperate to fit in; her so-called friends and boyfriend are only seeking to destroy her. A very strong novel and definitely recommended. Close to the full five stars!

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All the sixteen-year-old Molly wants is to fit in, but with her blue hair and more curvy body she is not the perfect candidate to be popular. She desperately tries to make friends with a group three popular girls, and for now they seem to accept her… Or do they only see her as a social experiment? When the nineteen-year-old and popular Lance shows interest in Molly during spring break, her girlfriends act jealous and her best friend Brandon suspects something is off. But Molly doesn’t want to see the signals, and tries to do everything Lance wants so he doesn’t end their ‘relationship’.

The popular trio is trying to get Molly to break down by questioning her weight and relationship with both Lance and the ‘nerdy’ Brandon. Lance is being a bad influence and tries to force Molly into skipping class and drinking beer… Things she accepts to do just to please Lance. Slowly Lance is trying to make her drift away from Brandon and her family, buying her gifts and paying for her food. Molly is changing and both at school and at home they start worrying about her. Things escalate when Lance tries to force him on her. Molly manages to leave the house unharmed, but not before Lance has taken some saucy pictures of her without her shirt on. Her worst nightmare comes true as Lance starts publishing those photos online… And her life becomes a living hell. Molly is not sure she can coope with the humiliation…

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This is a very strong novel that touches some sensitive themes and contains some colorful language, so it is not suited for those who are offended easily. That said, it is a definite must read if you want to learn more about virtual bullying and its consequences. Nothing Everything Nothing is a novel I won’t forget soon, and the quote at the beginning of this review is a perfect motto to live by!

BOOK REVIEW: Hot Ice – by Nora Roberts

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Title: Hot Ice
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance, Fiction, Suspense
First published: 1987
Finished reading: November 2nd 2014
Pages: 280
Rating 3

“You’re a first-class bastard, Doug.” This time he grinned because he’d heard the light trace of respect. “I like first class, Whitney. I’m going to live there the rest of my life.”

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I have to admit I mostly picked up a copy of this novel because I had to read a book with ‘Ice‘, ‘Frost‘ or ‘Snow‘ in the title for the Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition challenge, and the only title I could find a copy of easily was Hot Ice. The story and characters were on the cheesy/cliche limit of my tolerance, but in general it was an easy and entertaining read. The two main characters Whitney and Douglas are a case of ‘opposites attract’. They end up stuck together chasing a treasure and also being chased down by Douglas’ former employer; and sooner or later they end up together. SO cliche! Le sigh. But the treasure hunt and their adventures in Madagascar are interesting to read and the novel keeps a fast pace. All in all an ok read if you don’t expect too much of it… Combined with a cold drink next to the pool or a steaming cup of coffee inside, it will give you a few entertaining reading hours.

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Whitney has everything most women dream of; as the heiress of an ice cream imperium she has access to all the money she wants and on top of that she is a classic beauty. But she has a mayor problem; she is easily bored and always looking for action. When one day by chance Douglas enters her car, she suddenly is in the middle of more action than she could have hoped for. Douglas is a shady figure and he is currently being chased by his former employer. Reason? He was asked to steal some very valuable documents leading to a treasure, but when he found out his boss would kill him anyway, he decided to keep the documents. Whitney’s crazy driving skills take them safely to her flat, but the bad guys are not far away… And soon Whitney has to flee with Douglas in order to stay alive.

Whitney has an advantage: she has cash and connections. Soon they are off to Europe and later to Madagascar, although the bad guys are never far away. Whitney and Douglas made a deal to share the treasure; a business proposition since Whitney has the cash and Douglas the documents. But neither trust each other… Not to mention the small problem of the mutual physical attraction. They soon have to travel by foot and car through the middle of the jungle while trying to shake of the men that are determined to take back the documents. The treasure is not far away if only they could reach that town somewhere in Madagascar…

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Like I said before, Hot Ice has an interesting plot and a lot of cliche moments, but the story in general does deliver. It is an easy read with a fast pace and Nora Roberts is able to make you want to continue reading in order to find out if they are able to find the treasure on time. So I guess that if you need something easy, cheesy and entertaining, reading Hot Ice would be a good choice!