Book Review: Berlin Coffee Shop – Episode 2: Life’s No Walk in the Park by Gerlis Zillgens

Berlin Coffee Shop – Episode 2: Life’s No Walk in the Park by Gerlis Zillgens
Release Date: 4th May 2015
Publisher: Bastei Entertainment
Buy: Kindle
Rating:
5 star

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Follow Sandra and friends as they navigate life, love, and their late-twenties in Germany’s hip Berlin.

While Sandra tries desperately to remember what happened that night trapped with Nils in the storeroom, she figures out what to do with the Doric columns: contact Oliver. He offers her one of his apartments as a storage room. Tassilo proposes a tempting but scandalous business opportunity to Sandra, one that would also help her fulfill her many search requests. Torn between her conscience and her job, Sandra turns to Nils and Captain for advice.

Meanwhile, Sandra’s father discovers the virtual world of the internet and immerses himself in “new-fangled” ways of communication.

The Coffee Shop – a cozy café in Germany’s capital, Berlin – just happens to be the best office in the world. From here, Sandra practices her quirky trade as a “finder-of things.” She caters to customers who have lost or want to find something that’s missing from their lives. Doric Colums as an engagement gift? Check. Missing childhood photos? Done. But in her quest to grant other people’s wishes, Sandra suddenly finds herself in search of her own happiness – and of herself. Toss in a dead goose, and it’s the perfect recipe for romantic disaster.

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After loving Episode One of Gerlis Zillgen’s Berlin Coffee Shop, it was with great excitement that I devoured Episode Two. The first episode introduced us to a group for four friends, centering on lead character Sandra who works as a seeker (which basically means her job is to track down anything in the world that you might be after…) She classes her ‘office’ as the local coffee shop, which is run by one of her best friends Captain. She is helped in her job by another one of her friends, Nils, and we also get to meet the fourth member of the group, social media obsessive Claudi.
Episode One ended on the cliff hanger of all cliff hangers with Sandra and Nils desperately trying to offload a pair of Doric Columns (Read the first episode and you’ll see what that’s all about…) Captain has refused Sandra the use of his storeroom, but Nils has other ideas which ultimately led the pair into a bit of a sticky (and rather dark…) situation. Dun, Dun. DUUUUUN…

I was delighted to pick up exactly where Episode One left off and to discover how Sandra and Nils are going to get themselves out of the mess they’re found themselves in. This situation provides lots of scope for certain things to happen but (along with Sandra and Nils) you are left that little bit in the dark with what actually DID happen.
In this episode we see Sandra continue her search for a particular urn that a widow is looking to replace for her husbands ashes. However when she is contacted by the deceased man’s brother things look like they’re about to take a very different turn…
Whilst she’s busy looking for a home for Doric Columns and hunting for urns, Sandra is offered a proper office space by Oliver Schultze (much to Nils’s disapproval) Odd, confusing and conflicting emotions follow…but hey, at least she has somewhere to keep those Columns…
The second installment in the Berlin Coffee Shop series has just as many laughs as its predecessor. It has been almost a month since I read Episode One and I quickly realised  just how much I have missed this eccentric, funny and extremely lovable group of characters. I fell back into the story with ease and definitely enjoyed becoming reacquainted with Sandra, Captain, Nils and Claudi.
There are lots of genuine laughs to be had within these pages. Some of my favourites were Claudi’s ‘One Diet’ (a diet where she only eats one type of food for the whole day, stays in one room and only says one word…) and when Sandra was explaining Facebook and ‘poking’ to her Dad. That scene was one of my all time favourites (“Eat your chicken wings!”) You really have to read the story to know what on earth I’m going on about – but do it, it’s brilliant.

I should warn you that Episode Two ends on ANOTHER cliff hanger of all cliff hangers. You will NEED to read Episode Three as quickly as is humanly possible to find out what happens.
Once again I loved everything about this installment. It is fast-paced and completely hilarious. I can’t wait to go on more journeys with these characters and see where their slightly crazy mishaps lead them next…

A huge thank you to Sophie at ed pr for sending me Episode Two to read and review. 

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Gerlis Zillgens lives in Cologne and works as a freelance writer. She has written a number of novels and short stories for both adults and children, and has been published in ten different languages. She also occasionally appears as a cabaret artist in Germany.

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