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Tiger Milk

3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  204 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Nini and Jameelah are fourteen.
The summer has just begun and Berlin is their playground. Smelling of salt and suncream, sticky-lipped and heavy-eyed from drinking Tiger Milk all day, they head for the red light district. They've decided it's time to grow up - and practice makes perfect, doesn't it?

Tender and funny, shocking and tragic, this is an explosive literary debut a
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published April 1st 2016 by Head of Zeus (first published August 15th 2013)
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Bookworm Sean
Good reads winner.

Ok so this is an advanced reading copy but where the hell are the speech marks! I’m not sure if this is because they have not yet been included but that wouldn’t make any sense. That surely is one of the fundamentals when writing a book. The result of this is the text is hard to read. I start to read something and it is not until mid-sentence that I realise it is someone speaking and then sometimes I’m not even too sure who, which leaves the conversations confusing and hard to
Sep 19, 2014 Vanessa rated it it was ok
Tiger Milk is the debut novel from Stephanie de Velasco, and was published on the 11th of September this year. I received this copy for review from a Waterstones giveaway, and wish to extend thanks to them for this.

This novel was quite unusual for me, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I had never read a novel translated from German before. The writing style was also quite unusual, with an almost complete lack of punctuation. Add to that the fact that the protagonists were both 14 year old girls
Sally Whitehead
Jun 29, 2014 Sally Whitehead rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to win this in a Goodreads giveaway, and I had an inkling it would be my kind of book since I'm a sucker for a good coming-of-age novel, especially with a flawed female character at the centre.

We join Nini, our narrator, in Berlin for a month or so in which the usual adolescent ennui of Summer is disrupted and disturbed by sexual adventure and awakening, turbulent friendships and, most significantly, harsh realisations about life, loss and longing.

In many ways "Tiger Milk" is
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 05, 2016 Jasmin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading all the fairly negative reviews of this book, I feel like I need to explain why I really like it - because I really, really like it.

First of all, I want to say two things: a) I wish the girls (and their friends) were a little, just a little older, maybe sixteen, because throughout the book all I could think was: can someone plese protect these children, my goodness. (They also seem more mature, but that might be a consequence of growing up in the big city, furthermore in a not-so-e
Nov 09, 2014 Jazmin rated it it was ok
To begin with the story was slightly slow however, the further I got into the story the better it got! I loved the writing style and the way that Stefanie De Velasco makes the setting seem so realistic and so gritty- I could picture perfectly the settings described by her as if the story was a movie in my head. In hindsight I understand why the book starts slowly as this is needed to set up the feel of both the book's setting and characters before getting into the nitty gritty of the story.

Aug 13, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
3/12 stars. Really enjoyed the energy and momentum in this. I could have honestly done without the murder and have just followed these girls around Berlin, but I guess that added a traditional plot to this, which was fine. The translation was sort of nuts; I think with all the German youth slang this must have been pretty tough to do. For example, of saying "gross" the characters would say "cross" which made me wonder if this was an error on my kindle or if it was supposed to be slang. Also, ...more
Sep 06, 2014 Viktoria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, 2014
Ninii erzählt von einem Sommer mit ihren Freunden, hauptsächlich mit ihrer besten Freundin Jameehla. Sie machen lauter verrückte Dinge, verlieben sich, beobachten einen Mord...
Es ist für mich gar nicht so einfach dieses Buch zu bewerten. Ich habe mich beim Lesen die meiste Zeit als Voyeurin gefühlt. Ich habe in eine Welt hineingeblickt, die so weit entfernt von mir ist, dass ich vieles nicht nachvollziehen kann, Beweggründe nicht verstehen kann. Im Grunde wird hier eine unheimlich traurige Gene
Marina Sofia
Well, Christiane F. for the new generation this ain't. (That was my impression after reading the blurb, and the reason I searched for the book and ordered it from Germany).
This is a YA book - the protagonists have that self-absorbed voice of teenagers everywhere - which makes it very heavily dependent on just the right nuance of voice, but it does not quite fully convince me. There is perhaps not quite enough self-awareness or introspection or growing up going on there, despite all the rather h
Alexandra Tobor
Nov 10, 2013 Alexandra Tobor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

* Meinung geändert. Das Buch ist super.

Ich habe dieses Buch nicht genossen. Es ist nicht "schön", es hat Figuren, die mein Pubertäts-Ich nicht mag. Was man ihm lassen muss, ist der authentische Ton. Die Autorin spricht wirklich mit der Stimme jugendlicher Helden - es sind keine "hochbegabten" Jugendlichen, wie Autoren sie gerne einsetzen, um die Schwierigkeit des Perspektivenwechsels zu umgehen, die einen Verzicht auf die volle Breite des schriftstellerischen Könnens bedeutet. Das bewundere ich
Verity W
Jul 15, 2014 Verity W rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and was really excited to read it. I liked the idea of the plot, but found it quite hard to get into and quite tough reading because of the stylistic choices - the lack of speechmarks and punctuation make it quite hard to keep track of what's what - particularly when the book is not grabbing you massively.

Still, just because it's not my sort of thing, doesn't mean that other people won't like it.
Ashleigh Geekie
Jul 06, 2015 Ashleigh Geekie rated it liked it
I won this book in the Goodreads giveaways and although it isn't something I would normally choose for myself I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read this book and I ended up really enjoying it!

Nini and Jameelah are best friends and they spend their summer trying to lose their virginity, hanging out in the red light district and drinking tiger milk. Already this is something that interested me, perhaps we don't all hang out in the red light district but these are things that all young peopl
Nini und Jameelah sind Freundinnen seit der Grundschule. Als wäre Pubertät für 14-jährige Mädchen allein nicht schon grausam genug, - "Alles wird immer anders, obwohl man gar nicht will," - droht Jameelah und ihrer Mutter in diesem Sommer die Abschiebung aus Deutschland in den Irak. Die Gefahr misst Jameelah an der Farbe der Behördenbriefe im Briefkasten. Dass es für Jameelah um Alles oder Nichts geht, würde die Icherzählerin Nini am liebsten komplett verdrängen - und ihr Kneifen könnte die ...more
First up, I need to address the quotation marks issue. I did not realise this book did not have quotation marks until I read other people's reviews. I seriously had no idea. People talk. I understood. I knew when people stopped and started talking, due to language, grammar and context. I cannot fathom that people give less stars due to this. However, if this does bother you, apparently this book has that. I would check, but I left this book in the wilderness of San Francisco Domestic Airport.

(German editiion) I would honestly give this book 3.5-4 stars. It's hard to rate. It is a really brave book which strives to remember the more difficult things about being a teenager, it looks at the between state and the darkness that exists during those years. In Nini, Stefanie de Velasco creates an honest voice, which is in turns stinging, world weary,naive and drunk on life all at once. It captures a vivid, dirty, salacious modern Berlin that I recognised from Run Lola Run and gritty novels ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Berliner Gören

Nini und Jameelah sind beste Freundinnen. Es ist Sommer und gemeinsam gehen die 14jährigen durch dick und dünn. Alles wollen sie ausprobieren; Alkohol, Zigaretten, Sex. Und immer wieder die gefürchteten Briefe vom Ausländeramt, die im Briefkasten von Jameelahs Mutter landen. Doch erstmal beginnen die Sommerferien und es ist heiß. Die beiden Mädchen leben in den Tag hinein wie es viele nur in der Jugend können. An das Bedrohliche kann man auch morgen denken, heute wird Party gemacht
Oct 19, 2015 Heather rated it it was ok
Tiger Milk, zu deutsch Tigermilch, ist das Debüt der Berlinerin Stefanie de Velasco und erzählt die Geschichte der beiden 14-jährigen Nini und Jameelah, die während eines heißen Sommers in Berlin einen Ehrenmord miterleben, dessen Geschehnisse ihre Freundschaft auf die Probe stellt.

Ich habe die englische Übersetzung des Romans gelesen, dass erste Mal, dass ich etwas gelesen habe, was aus dem Deutschen ins Englische übersetzt wurde und bin leider ein wenig enttäuscht. Stellenweise ist die Überset
Jun 23, 2015 Nathalie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Avec ce livre, on sait que l'origine de son titre ne se trouve pas page 280, mais dans les toutes premières. En prime, j'ai appris ce qu'était le lait de tigre (et cela ne me fait pas vraiment envie).

La jeunesse et particulièrement l'adolescence, ce n'est pas souvent un passage facile. Entre les changements physiques, hormonaux, la vie de famille trop envahissante ou au contraire inexistante, la société toujours en décalage avec la réalité du terrain, la crise, et j'en passe, on est souvent per
Gavin Dimmock
May 09, 2015 Gavin Dimmock rated it did not like it
Recommended to Gavin by: LoveReading
Shelves: 2014-books
From my review blog:


This debut novel tells the story of two best friends Nini and Jameelah, fourteen-year old girls on the cusp of adolescence, in Berlin.

Quite frankly, as with some people you meet in life, I knew from the first page that Nini, Jemeelah and I would not get on and wouldn’t become best friends. And so, as you sometimes do, I took my leave after a mere 22 pages.

What didn’t I like? I didn’t like the way it was written – why wasn’t there any pu
Chelsea Mcgill
Jul 07, 2015 Chelsea Mcgill rated it liked it
Nini and Jameelah, two high school students in Berlin, are the best of friends. They spend their time hanging out, sneakily drinking Tiger Milk (a concoction of brandy, milk, and passion fruit juice that they invented) in public, doing drugs, and making pocket money by prostitution. When they witness a murder in their housing complex, will they risk their own safety and tell the police what they saw? Even if that might mean Jameelah will be deported, one of their friends will be put in prison, ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Lianne rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book from a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Reading Tiger Milk is like being on a runaway train. It’s not a particularly fast paced book, but you can’t help reading it continuously like one big series of thought. As an uncorrected manuscript I expect grammar and spelling mistakes, but like most reviewers I found that the lack of speech marks made Tiger Milk frustratingly hard to read. It took me a couple of chapters to be able to distinguish who was speaking, and whether it was Ni
Oct 20, 2014 Fiona rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of the uncorrected manuscript through a goodreads giveaway, so I will write this review with a pinch of salt.

Something which has come up a lot in other reviews is the lack of punctuation, especially the complete lack of speech marks. I'm not sure if this is just because it is the manuscript, or whether it was a literary choice. If it was the latter, I would encourage the publisher/ author to rethink it, as it did make the book relatively difficult to follow and get in to.

Alexandra Nunney
Apr 27, 2015 Alexandra Nunney rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 05, 2014 Annabel rated it liked it
Wow, there are some very mixed reviews on this novel, and I am stuck firmly in the middle. To be honest, I'm still not exactly sure what I made of it. I enjoyed the plot, but the jury's still out on the writing style. It was unusual,to say the least (odd use of tenses, lack of punctuation), and while I usually thrive from books that experiment and are unique in style and technique, this time it simply disrupted the flow of the plot and just didn't work.

I enjoyed the character development and the
Jun 27, 2014 Cassie rated it really liked it
I read an uncorrect bound manuscript which I received as part of a goodreads first read giveaway, so I'm going to start by ignoring the fact there were some spelling and grammar issues, and some amusing homonym misuses but none that really threw me out of the narrative. The hardest thing to get used to, for me - as a few other reviews have mentioned - was the lack of speech marks. I found it took me about 10 pages to get into the rhythm, but once I got into it I actually stopped noticing.

Jayne Charles
Aug 06, 2015 Jayne Charles rated it liked it
Crikey I hope my teenagers don't get up to the sort of things the teenagers in this book do. It's the story of some streetwise Berlin teens, who make the 'tiger milk' of the book's title out of ordinary milk, Mariacron brandy and maracuja juice, all mixed up in a chocolate Muller milk container . ("We dump the chocolate milk down the toilet, chocolate milk is for children". Sacrilege! I love chocolate milk. But I digress.) The first few chapters are startling, stereotype-busting stuff, and then ...more
Nicola Fantom
Jan 06, 2015 Nicola Fantom rated it liked it
Tiger milk is the debut novel by Stephanie de Velasco translated into English. I love to read new authors and especially authors from foreign countries and different cultures.

This book is a coming of age story about 2 best friends and their journey into losing their virginity, being in love, drinking alcohol, shoplifting and all the usual rebellious things teenagers get up. It does touch on suicide and other controversial topics in a sensitive manner.

I did fully enjoy the book, however I've on
Regina Foo (Queen of Bibliophile)
I tried to force myself to continue reading this book but I just can't. It is too boring.

First of all, this book is written in monologue with no dialogues in it. When I read I don't feel the engagement with any of the characters in the book. And the writing is dull.

Secondly, the background of the story is at Berlin, Germany. Apart from the locally born kids, there are some migrants from Iraq and some other places. I know very little on the culture of any other of these places so I'm confused mos
Jun 29, 2014 Gemma rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I really liked the story and I think the author is very good at giving voice to these two teenagers. Some of the things they do are completely crazy and I had to keep reminding myself of their age (I think sometimes they act too old, but maybe that's the generation gap) and the time the story is happening (although set on present day, sometimes it feels like the 80s - maybe that's Berlin, maybe it's that things haven't changed that much after all).
I would recommend this book once it is published
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