Tamar Cohen – The Broken

Your best friends can always turn to you, no matter which problems you have. But what do you do if the couple you are befriended with splits up and starts a personal war? Whom do you support and how far do you go when you do not know anymore whom to believe? Josh and Hannah have been sure they can trust Dan and Sash, but when Dan breaks up because he found another girl he loves, it all turns into a nightmare from which none of them can escape. The rose war goes even so far to risk their lives.

The novel presents a situation many readers might know and nobody wants to go through. Being involved in s split-up of close friends where do not want to take sides is one thing. But being part of the warfare where you yourself run the risk of being seriously hurt is something completely different. What I appreciated most was the way the characters were constructed. The limited number of them gave the author the possibility to present them in a multifaceted way which makes them appear lively and authentic. Of course, this story goes much beyond what happens every day, but nevertheless it could be true and it is definitely the worst case imaginable.

Jonathan Harnisch – When We Were Invincible

Georgie Gust, student at St Michael’s Academy, a renowned boarding school is at a critical age where he neither knows what to believe in, whom he wants to be and what is life should look like. Handicapped by Tourette’s Syndrome he has difficulties finding his place in school and in society. Just his love for Claudia can open him up and let him express his feelings.

I had serious difficulties finding my way into the novel. The main problem was Georgie who was, in my humble opinion, very poorly drawn. His character provides through the novel too many different aspects and the behaviour shown does not follow any clear line – just as the story. I was all the time wondering where all this might lead to. At the same time I had the strong impression of knowing the book because the parallels to well known coming-of-age-novels are just too obvious but at the same time disappointing. Maybe this is due to the disorder, maybe the story just lacks the congeniality other novels provide.

Terri Ann Leidich – Family Inheritance

Which imprint does a dysfunctional family leave on you and can you ever escape the feelings and memories of your childhood? When their mother die, the three sisters Helene, Alice and Suzanne meet again after years without contact. Convinced that the others had managed to flee from their past, they avoided each other not assuming that each of them also as an adult continues to live within small boundaries of fear, inferiority complex and the dream of a better life.

Terri Ann Leidich’s novel is a portrait of a family nobody wants to live in. It is the combination of despicable circumstances, weak characters and bad luck that sets in motion a development from which the girls cannot run away. The author really succeeded in drawing authentic characters whose story is absolutely convincible and at the same time frightening. Yet, this is a reality for many people and as such a good example where not looking too close can cause serious problems and leave people alone in despair. At some points it was very hard going on reading due to what the characters have to go through. At others the novel provides hope for everybody who does not see a way out of their life. All in all, a very touching story which leaves you thinking about it some time after closing the book.