Category «Series Reviews»

Series Review: Young Love by Amanda Heath

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

This Beautiful Thing | Young Love Series

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Series: Young Love
Author: Amanda Heath
# of Books: 4 (This Beautiful Thing, Fire in Her Eyes, Norma Jean, Wrong Kind of Love)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Romance, Forbidden Love
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts on This Beautiful Thing:

Disclaimer: I stopped reading this series after This Beautiful Thing. Find out why below…

I nearly put this book down after the first chapter (which is 3 pages on my Kobo) for three main reasons:

  1. the characters
  2. the story
  3. the writing itself.

Let’s start with the characters. The book alternates between Teagan and Delcan first person POV. When I read Teagan’s POV, I feel like I am killing brain cells. She is not what I enjoy in a leading lady and if she was a person in my real life, I would avoid her at all costs. I’m not even sure how to describe what it is that irks me about her. She is just one of those characters I can’t stand. I guess it’s because she seems to be a bit of a drama queen and lacks logic in her actions. She gets angry without hearing the full story and assumes something else and then goes, “you’re right I never thought of it like that, I’m sorry”. She flips sides like a coin and it’s not something I enjoy in my characters. Delcan’s POV is slightly better to read so I enjoy the break that happens when I read his story.

Which brings me to the story. It’s stereotypical and because the characters are very immature it comes across as juvenile. It felt like I was reading a story about high school seniors from 90210 and not about college students because all the issues were really petty. The best way I can think to describe the story is as a soap-opera–which I don’t mind watching on TV, but I don’t enjoy reading about it. It takes things to extreme levels–levels that don’t need to be reached in order to make this story enjoyable.

I think the reason this book came across as juvenile is due to the writing. It’s not the best writing I have had to read and (this sounds awful but) it seems to me like a teenager wrote this after watching too many soap-operas. And there were A TON of grammatical and spelling errors. When I read eBooks, I let the occasional typo slide by–I mean it happens–but these are obvious mistakes that everyone learns in grade school (“to” instead of “two”; “its” instead of “it’s”; no commas; using the completely wrong word; etc.). (Which is a problem I see with eBooks as anyone can self-publish books and sell them online without getting someone to edit it). I think part of the reason I only continued to read this book was to see how many errors I could find (FYI, I lost count). Needless to say, the constant errors really turned me off this book.

The next book in the series, Wrong Kind of Love features a new set of characters as the leads but are characters we are introduced to in This Beautiful Thing. I don’t think I am going to pick this one up because it seems to be about a love triangle. I already hate love triangles and I’m not a fan of the first book so it just seems like a no-brainer to avoid book 2 at all costs. Not even the many hints near the end of this book will tempt me to see what actually goes down in the sequel.

Conclusion:

This is one of the worst books I have read all year. I’m glad I only spent a dollar on it, otherwise, I would be getting a refund. It had an interesting concept but failed to deliver.

Rating: 1/5

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Synopsis for This Beautiful Thing (from Goodreads):
Teagan Harper doesn’t have much experience with guys. Her twin brothers have made sure of that. Until one night at a college party she gives them the slip, finding herself in the arms of the most amazing guy she has ever met. Now she’s on a mission to find him since she ran from his bed. And forgot to ask his name…

Declan Sage has had control over his entire life. But that is all about to change when the girl who ran out of his bed turns his life upside down. She is about to throw that control out the window. But he’s pretty sure that’s a good thing seeing as she stole his heart…

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Series Review: The Sullivans by Bella Andre

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Look of Love (from Goodreads):
Chloe Peterson is having a bad night. A really bad night. The large bruise on her cheek can attest to that. And when her car skids off the side of a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced even the gorgeous guy who rescues her in the middle of the rain storm must be too good to be true. Or is he?

As a successful photographer who frequently travels around the world, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women, and whenever he’s home in San Francisco, one of his seven siblings is usually up for causing a little fun trouble. Chase thinks his life is great just as it is—until the night he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. Not only has he never met anyone so lovely, both inside and out, but he quickly realizes she has much bigger problems than her damaged car. Soon, he is willing to move mountains to love—and protect—her, but will she let him?

Chloe vows never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Only, with every loving look Chase gives her—and every sinfully sweet caress—as the attraction between them sparks and sizzles, she can’t help but wonder if she’s met the only exception. And although Chase didn’t realize his life was going to change forever in an instant, amazingly, he isn’t the least bit interested in fighting that change. Instead, he’s gearing up for a different fight altogether…for Chloe’s heart.

breakdown
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Top Family Series
Series: The Sullivans; The San Francisco Sullivans

There are spin-off series: Seattle Sullivans & New York Sullivans & Summer Lake

Author: Bella Andre
# of Books: 10 (Full Reading Order Here)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Families, Drama
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating

thoughts

Please Note: This is an ongoing series review as I have not read all the books in the series.

I decided to read this series after I got the 3rd one, Can’t Help Falling in Love for free from a Kobo promotion last year. Because it was the 3rd one, I decided to read the first two in order to not lose out on the history (though you can totally read these books in any order without it taking anything away from the current story).

I nearly stopped reading The Look of Love because it was everything I hate in a romance: instant love-at-first-sight romance and that irks me to no end. I love fiction because it isn’t real life but I don’t like love at first sight–to me it’s just lust and physical attraction and I like my romances to be slightly realistic. It also didn’t help that I didn’t care for Chase or Chloe so it was a battle to read. The only reason I finished was because it was extremely short so it wasn’t a huge waste of my time.

Within the last few chapters of book 1, I decided I wasn’t going to continue with the series. I had the free book 3 but it was just going to sit on my Kobo at no loss to me. But then, I finished the 1st book and guess what? It ends in a pretty steep cliff-hanger about a character I actually enjoyed so I decided to pick up From This Moment On because I really wanted to see where it went. Damn.

Luckily, From This Moment On was significantly better in my opinion than The Look of Love. I liked the relationship that develops between Marcus and his lady. Unlike Chloe and Chase, they realise that their relationship was more physical initially but I feel like they actually got to know each other on a deeper level than just sex. It was a cute, quick read and you meet more of the Sullivan family so I decided to stick with it.

From then on, the rest of the books get better! I think part of it has to do with the fact that you are slowly introduced to the rest of the Sullivan clan as you read along and you get attached to the secondary characters and want to see what happens to them. The other reason is that the next book picks up directly where the previous book left off so it’s like you are reading one long, continuous story.

My favourites of the series so far have been Book 2 (From This Moment On); Book 3 (Can’t Help Falling in Love); Book 4 (I Only Have Eyes for You); and Book 6 (Let me be the One).

One thing I find with Bella Andre’s writing is that she tends to have subplots (by this I mean storylines that aren’t the romantic relationship) that build throughout the story and then end suddenly (conclude within 5 pages). I find it can be a bit of a let down because as I am reading I think more is going to happen with this plot and then it doesn’t. Not all the books in the series have this but some do.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I still have to read the last 3 in the series. From what I have read, The Way you Look Tonight is about a Sullivan cousin and not any of the siblings we see throughout the first 7 books. The last book is about the sibling’s parents so I am really excited to read that this fall!

Series Rating: 4/5

overall

If you want a super quick romantic read that is heavy on the romance and not much on anything else, pick these books up. If you didn’t enjoy The Look of Love give From This Moment On a chance because the rest of the series is much better in its delivery.

Read if You Like: quick reads, family stories
Avoid if You: dislike insta-love, want more depth

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Spin-off Saturdays: Starling Series by Lesley Livingston

Spin-off Saturdays: On Saturdays, I will review a series that is a spin-off series. It is recommended that you read the original series first in order to get the most out of the spin-off series. Here is this week’s offering:

Starling Trilogy is a spin-off of the Wondrous Strange Trilogy

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Authors
Series: Starling Trilogy
Author: Lesley Livingston
# of Books: 3 (Starling, Descendant, Transcendent)

This is a spinoff of the Wondrous Strange Series.

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Norse Legends, Action, Romance, Mythology
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: Third Person

Thoughts:

Lesley Livingston is one of my must-read authors: I love her work. Her stories always have a fabulous blend of action, romance and awesome background stories of legends or older stories. When I heard that she was writing a spin-off from the Wondrous Strange Series (an all time favourite series of mine), I grabbed a copy as soon as I was able.

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down. Mason was a kick-ass heroine and her family story was super interesting. Fennrys wasn’t one of my favourite characters from the Wondrous Strange series but he really grew on me in this one. Like most characters who are in the original series, you often judge them through the eyes of another character. But when the perspective shifts to them in a new series (or even a later book) you really appreciate them as a character.

There was a lot going on in this book so it was never a dull moment! There are a few twists here and there so it wasn’t predictable (BONUS!). I also loved the Norse god mythology in this. It’s something that isn’t as popular in young adult books so it was a nice change from faeries and vampires.

I recommend that you make note of details in this book as it will pay off in seeing why things are happening and they will no doubt influence the rest of the books in the series.

Updated (Dec 7/13): Descendant was absolutely fantastic! What I love about it most is that it doesn’t fall into clichés and I really like Mason. While she may be love sick for Fennrys, it doesn’t weaken her in any way. This book had great plot twists and really builds up for the climax. Super excited to see how this all ends!

Updated (Jan 6/15): I won’t lie, I was a little lost when I started reading Transcendent. Despite my pretty thorough synopsis notes, I still had a hard time grasping everything initially–that`s what happens when you read a sequel book one year later! However, I quickly got into the swing of the things to get enough of the major plot points. But I do know that I would haven enjoyed this final book a lot more if I read it right after Descendant just because all the little things would have been fresh in my mind. All and all, a solid way to end the series and exactly what I was expecting and hoping for! A great series from beginning to end!

Conclusion:

Starling is quite different from Wondrous Strange because of the use of Norse legends instead of the Shakespearian faeries. It is still written in similar style but the characters and plots are completely different. It’s a nice change but fans of the first series will like this one I’m sure. You also don’t have to read the Wondrous Strange Series first, but it will help set some context for this series.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston (Wondrous Strange Trilogy); Stork by Wendy Delsol (Stork Trilogy)

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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE not FINISHED THE Wondrous Strange Trilogy THE FOLLOWING SYNOPSIS HAS SPOILERS!

Synopsis for Starling (from Goodreads):
Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name–the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason’s world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn’s identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason’s family–with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods–is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston’s epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

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Series Review: Crash by Nicole Williams

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: A top New Adult Read
Series: Crash Trilogy
Author: Nicole Williams
# of Books: 3 (Crash, Clash, Crush)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Crash & Clash: warm ; Crush: Really Warm

Thoughts:

This series will forever hold a special place in my heart as it is the first New Adult read I have ever picked up and I credit it with introducing me to the genre. It’s a great series and a great way to get a feel for the New Adult genre but without all the sex that seems to accompany some books in the genre (there isn’t very much in the first two books).

I went into Crash with very low expectations. It was my plan when I started it to finish it ASAP so I could start another book but I quickly got into the story and finished it super quickly anyways 😛 I think the book summary for Crash is a little deceiving (it’s posted at the end of the blog post FYI). I went into this book thinking it was going to be your typical bad boy-good girl relationship but it wasn’t. I also thought it was going to focus more on Lucy’s dancing but it doesn’t–which is a good thing in my opinion, dance isn’t really my thing to read about. There isn’t a ridiculous plot that the characters go through, it’s more focused on how their pasts effect their futures but that is what I liked about the story.

Throughout the series, I had a love-hate relationship with Jude and Lucy, the main characters.

I’ll start with Jude. You could tell her adored Lucy so I liked that. In Crash, he reminded a lot of a young Christian Grey minus the need to dominate his woman (ie no BDSM). He is very possessive which is really attractive and I know that makes girls swoon but it is also scary because it could have been too much. Actually, at some points in the book I felt like the relationship bordered on unhealthy (it’s actually alluded to in later books which I thought was ironic). My mind often drifted to another book I had read this year, The Taming by Teresa Toten, where a teen relationship turns into an abusive one. I really feared that this was going to happen here but I’m glad it didn’t.

I think part of the reason it didn’t border on unhealthy was because of Lucy–which is why I liked her. She was a strong character who was also independent and intelligent enough to realize when Jude needed to turn it down a notch. She freely expresses her thoughts on his actions and makes sure she is heard by him as well. Though sometimes I found her to be a little contradictory in what she said/did so that caused me to like her a little less as the books went on. But to her credit, she does grow considerably as the series progresses so that is nice to see.

Which is another thing I like about this series: it’s relatable to its readers. A majority of what Lucy and Jude go through, especially once they reach college, is something that a majority of young adults go through. The series was definitely a more realistic New Adult series than what I am used to reading which is refreshing.

Clash was great. I read it in a day–which sucked because I had to wait 4 months for Crush. Crush was great also. I always get worried with romance trilogies that follow the same two characters because often times the story gets dragged out and the last book ends up being disappointing. I am happy to say that wasn’t the case here. Crush was a fantastic end to the series.

Conclusion:

For those just starting out in the New Adult world, this is a great bridge to reach there! For those who want a less “sex-focused” New adult read, grab this! Or if you just want to read about a couple growing individually while within a relationship, check this out!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: The Perfect Game (Perfect Game Series) by J. Sterling

Synopsis for Crash (from Goodreads):
Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are this generation’s Romeo and Juliet: Explosive. Sizzling. Tragic.

A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won’t let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.

He’s got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that’s been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude’s a cancer, the kind of guy who’s fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.

But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy’s not listening to Jude’s warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings? This racy romance is hot, hot, hot!

Series Review: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #7 of Favourite Series List
Series: Wondrous Strange Trilogy

The spin-off series is called Starling that takes place after these novels

Author: Lesley Livingston
# of Books: 3 (Wondrous Strange, Darklight, Tempestuous)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Faeries, Shakespeare, Magic, Romance
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

This series is one that I could reread again and again–I actually borrowed all the books from the library and then decided to buy them all because I enjoyed them so much. It was with this series that Lesley Livingston became a must-read author for me.

If you have read some of my other reviews, you know that I am a Shakespeare nut. Anything with his name and I am there; so to pick up this book was a no brainer. I also enjoy books with Faeries (ie. The Wicked Lovely Series which is another personal favourite series) so I was intrigued to how Faeries would be portrayed in this book (as they tend to vary in series). It seemed like an awesome combo so I was excited to begin.

Obviously, I am happy to say that this series did not disappoint! It has everything I enjoy in a series, like action, romance, plot twists and great characters. Each book in the series has a great, solid story. Unlike some series that have weaker books in order to progress, I found that these books built upon each other to reach a final climax. I was never bored with the series because there is enough going on to grab your attention.

I really liked Kelley as the heroine. She was strong, independent and most importantly intelligent. She wasn’t catty or whiney and if she didn’t like something she made ever effort to change it herself. Sonny was fantastic too. A totally swoon worthy hero and I liked the relationship that develops between them. Both characters were consistent in their delivery throughout the series (ie. they didn’t do a 180 in the second book to become a different character) which is a huge bonus for me.

Although Shakespeare plays a big role in the background information of the story, it isn’t necessary to know A Midsummer Night’s Dream by heart to get a feel for the book or understand what is going on. Livingston weaves all her story elements together so well that it’s easy to follow. I really appreciate her ability to weave and create worlds and it’s what makes her work so enjoyable in my opinion.

Conclusion:

A great paranormal young adult read for those who like unpredictable stories. Romance isn’t the primary focus of this novel but neither is Shakespeare. It is mostly a book about Faeries and the Otherworld. I highly recommend getting all three books at once when you plan to read as there is details in earlier books that it is nice to remember when you read the next one.

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr (The Wicked Lovely Series) and The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (The Iron Fey Saga) and Starling by Lesley Livingston

Synopsis for Wondrous Strange (from Goodreads):
17 year-old Kelley Winslow doesn’t believe in Faeries. Not unless they’re the kind that you find in a theatre, spouting Shakespeare—the kind that Kelley so desperately wishes she could be: onstage, under lights, with a pair of sparkly wings strapped to her shoulders. But as the understudy in a two-bit, hopelessly off-off-Broadway production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wishing is probably the closest she’s going to get to becoming a Faerie Queen. At least, that’s what she thinks… In this fun, urban fantasy, Kelley’s off-stage life suddenly becomes as complicated as one of Shakespeare’s plot twists when a nighttime trip to Central Park holds more than meets the mortal eye.

Series Review: S.E.C.R.E.T. by Marie Adeline

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

S.E.C.R.E.T. by L. Marie Adeline   |   S.E.C.R.E.T. Series


Other books in the series:
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Series: Secret
Author: L. Marie Adeline
# of Books: 1+ (S.E.C.R.E.T., S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared, S.E.C.R.E.T. Revealed)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica, Chick-Lit
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating in sequel books

Thoughts:

**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series with the exception of the third book.**

Ever had a book that just seemed to be everywhere that you looked? That was the case with this one. It seemed like every place I search for books (Kobo, my library, Chapters) was telling me I had to read this book–so I decided to give it a try.

The plot idea intrigued me but also made me weary to read this book. I definitely thought this book was going to turn into some BDSM society plot but it doesn’t get even close to that type of sexual fantasies–so that’s a plus! Cassie’s sexual fantasies are nothing that you wouldn’t read in any other contemporary romance so that is the type of sex you can expect in this book. In other words, it’s very “vanilla” 😉 (That changes a little in the sequel book but nothing overtly kinky.)

However, I still felt uncomfortable reading these books for two reasons: my age and the society itself.

I’ll start with my age. I am 10 years too young to be reading this book. I haven’t reached my midlife so I really couldn’t relate to Cassie’s character in that sense. This book is definitely catered to the 30+ crowd or women who have been in a similar marriage events as Cassie. I think that they would enjoy and get more out of Cassie’s journey to self-discovery than someone in their early 20s like me.

The second issue was the S.E.C.R.E.T. society. It seemed extremely cultish to me so that creeped me out. Especially as the book progresses and you realize that the society is everywhere. I totally get the purpose of the group and I support women helping other women to raise their self-confidence, but I felt like a majority of Cassie’s problems could have been solved by being on TLC’s What Not to Wear since her biggest problem was seeing that she was beautiful and worth something.

When I picked up this book, I thought it was a stand-alone. It wasn’t until I reread the plot summary on Goodreads before I read the book that I learned it was a series. Seeing that, I wondered how it was going to end and as I read I thought I saw how it was going to end but the ending surprised me and I have to say that I am interested in seeing where the sequel will go now.

UPDATED (October 1/14):  To be completely honest, I wouldn’t have picked up S.E.C.R.E.T. Shared if the first book in the series hadn’t ended on the cliffhanger it did. I still felt really uncomfortable reading this book because again, I can’t relate to the characters. I’m nowhere near to where they are in life so I just can’t connect to them. The writing also really got to me in this book in the sense of the words used to describe the “sexy” times. It just made it awkward. I did like that we get introduced to a new character and get to watch her evolve because I don’t think I could have taken a whole novel of Cassie again. Nothing really happened in this book other than your typical bridge to the third and final novel of the series.

Conclusion:

If you want to take a step into erotic contemporary romance but don’t want BDSM-like storylines, this is a great book to pick up. It’s a quick read and has an actual story to it! But I would say that people 30+ would probably enjoy this book more so than 20-somethings.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks (Sweet Series) however, this has elements of BDSM

Synopsis for S.E.C.R.E.T. (from Goodreads):
In S.E.C.R.E.T there are…
No Judgments. No limits. No shame.

Cassie Robichaud’s life is filled with regret and loneliness after the sudden death of her husband. She waits tables at the rundown Café Rose in New Orleans, and every night she heads home to her solitary one-bedroom apartment. But when she discovers a notebook left behind by a mysterious woman at the café, Cassie’s world is forever changed. The notebook’s stunningly explicit confessions shock and fascinate Cassie, and eventually lead her to S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T, an underground society dedicated to helping women realize their wildest, most intimate sexual fantasies. Cassie soon immerses herself in an electrifying journey through a series of ten rapturous fantasies with gorgeous men who awaken and satisfy her like never before. As she is set free from her inhibitions, she discovers a new confidence that transforms her, giving her the courage to live passionately. Equal parts enticing, liberating and emotionally powerful, S∙E∙C∙R∙E∙T is a world where fantasy becomes reality.

Series Review: The Perfect Game by J. Sterling

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: The Perfect Game
Author: J. Sterling
# of Books: 4 (The Perfect Game, The Game Changer, The Sweetest Game, The Other Game)
Book Order: Chronological; Connected (The Other Game)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Sports, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: October 2012 – October 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

Disclaimer: I never picked up Book 2, The Game Changer. Find out why below…

I was excited to read this book when I bought it. I had just discovered the New Adult genre (thanks to Crash by Nicole Williams) and was greedy to get my hands on this one. But when I went to read it (months later I might add), it took be awhile to get into.

I think the main reason was that I didn’t particularly care for Cassie. She irked me to no ends actually. Compared to other “heroines” of new adult reads, she has nothing on them. Most have a tragic past that really grips you and explains why they have trust issues. But Cassie’s problem? Her dad failed to get a concert for a high school dance and she was embarrassed–um, what?! After reading such heavy stories prior to this (I had just read Wait for You by J. Lynn), I felt this book was very juvenile in it’s approach to Cassie’s “damaged, mistrust” issues.

Jack’s reasons were totally acceptable in my opinion so I didn’t mind him so much but Cassie really needed to get over her “daddy issues”.

As I said before, it took me a bit to get into but I eventually got there. It wasn’t until halfway through the book that a plot twist grabbed my attention. After that happened, I started to enjoy the book more but I wasn’t overly impressed with it.

Series Rating: DNF

The Perfect Game 3.5/5 | The Game Changer N/A | The Sweetest Game N/A | The Other Game N/A

overall

I’m not sure why there is a sequel. I would have been more than happy to have the series end as it did and have another set of characters in the next one. I will probably read it for curiosity’s sake but this wouldn’t be my first pick for a New Adult Series to read. But if you enjoy an athlete falling in love, then you might enjoy this one!

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booksynopsis

Synopsis for The Perfect Game (from Goodreads):
He’s a game she never intended to play.
And she’s the game changer he never knew he needed.

The Perfect Game tells the story of college juniors, Cassie Andrews & Jack Carter. When Cassie meets rising baseball hopeful Jack, she is determined to steer clear of him and his typical cocky attitude. But Jack has other things on his mind… like getting Cassie to give him the time of day.

They’re both damaged, filled with mistrust and guarded before they find one another (and themselves) in this emotional journey about love and forgiveness. Strap yourselves for a ride that will not only break your heart, but put it back together.

Sometimes life gets ugly before it gets beautiful…

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Series Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

book3 book book5

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #2 Annoying Heroine of all time (America)
Series: The Selection

The Selection, The Elite and The One are all America’s story. The Heir and The Crown are Eadlyn’s.

Author: Kiera Cass
# of Books: 5 (The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, The Crown)

There is also a prequel novella, The Prince and another called The Queen. There are also two novellas that takes place after book 2 called The Guard and The Favourite.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Drama, Dystopian,
Heat Rating: warm
POV: First Person, Single
Source: Borrowed–Paperback (The Selection); Public Library

thoughts

When I read The Selection, two of my friends who have similar reading tastes to me, had just finished reading it. My one friend really enjoyed it while the other didn’t care too much for it. This left me with mixed expectations so I tried to read the book as objectively as possible.

After reading the first book, I could understand why the views were so mixed. This book is clearly marketed for a younger teen audience. The writing is nothing fabulous (it’s like Twilight where it is not the best writing in the world) but as my friend who liked the story said to me, it’s the story’s concept that makes it interesting and enjoyable. It’s very Hunger Games meets The Bachelor which is cool in my opinion. (More emphasis on The Bachelor aspect though) I liked the idea of the competition and I feel like the concept is well conceived mostly because it is so simple.

America isn’t my favourite book heroine ever. I don’t understand her logic sometimes and I find that she is very strong in some convictions but not others (which seems contradictory to me). Everyone claims she is funny but I fail to see her comedic skills in either of the two books. While I was reading The Elite I reached the conclusion that she is very immature in her thoughts and actions.

Be warned, there is a love triangle in this series and it is a full blown “Who I love today isn’t who I love tomorrow or who I loved yesterday”. She flops like a fish in both books and then she gets angry when the prince spends time with other girls who he might have feelings for. I definitely have a “team” when it comes to the love triangle but to be honest, I’m not really “sold” on any of the choices yet either. The guy I was rooting for kind-of pissed me off in The Elite with his immaturity and actions but I’m hoping he can win me back in The One.

Besides the love triangle and the immature heroine, I feel like this book is missing that little something that makes it noteworthy. I wish more was done with the rebel attacks but so far they are just little blurbs here and there. The series in the first two books really only focuses on the Selection and America’s struggles with the competition and the possibility that she may be princess one day and not on the conflict against the monarchy.

updates

–July 19/14– Book Three: The One

My wish for my rebel fighting was finally granted with The One. The focus definitely shifts more to the rebellion but not enough for my tastes. There are a few unexpected twists that I felt were added to keep up with some of the “darker” young adult dystopian novels but it really has nothing on the Hunger Games in terms of grittiness. America is still a brat to me and I had to roll my eyes a few times at her. However, I felt like all the characters had a decent amount of growth to them. Bonus points for how everything at the end unfolded–I really had no clue what was going to happen which made me happy. Overall, The One was a good conclusion for the series.

On another note, I’m really excited to read The Queen novella. Queen Amberly is one of my favourite characters and I can’t wait to read her story!

–December 13/14– Novella: The Queen

 The Queen was finally published and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I almost wish we got a full story with Queen Amberly because she is a much more fascinating and tolerable heroine than America ever was. It is a nice tie in to the series and I was very happy with it. I’m not sure if I would read it before I read the series; I think it is almost best to read it after The One because it justifies some of the events you see.

I was shocked to discover that there are going to be at least two more books in this series! These books seem to be about the next generation so that boosts my spirits a bit. If I had to endure another two books of America as the lead I think I would pass for sure. But, my curiosity is peaked and I will probably pick up The Heir to see what is next in this world. Hopefully, it will improve upon its predecessor.

–June 21/15– Book Four: The Heir

I found The Heir to be surprisingly addicting! I got really absorbed into the story. I think it’s because Eadlyn is the one picking the boys this time around and not a competitor herself. There’s just an unpredictability to it that makes it exciting.

As for Eadlyn, I didn’t find her as annoying as America but she was definitely just as bratty if not worse sometimes. It was frustrating because I liked her desire to be independent and to be Queen without a man beside her; I just didn’t like how she treated people. She was rude, abrupt and just plain mean sometimes. Worst part was, when people called her out on it she would get upset and defensive and basically be all of the things she was called out on to that person while claiming she wasn’t. Hypocritical to say the least. She does have some self awareness near the end and I hope that continues in the sequel (the final novel).

–June 10/16– Book Five: The Heir

My rating might have more to do with the end result of who gets “selected” than anything else. I really didn’t like how everything wrapped up and that really disappointed me.

Eadlyn was all over the place in terms of her character. She seemed to grow a bit but man, she wasn’t winning me over in her attempts to win over her people. She comes across as selfish and conceited. Even when her mind was made up about the guys, she’d be upset that they weren’t in love with her and that just irritated me.

The romance was zilch for me. Perhaps if I had read [book:The Heir|22918050] closer to this one, I might have seen more or appreciated it more but this did nothing for me. I didn’t like how the relationships progressed at all and when it became apparent to me how this was all going to end, I really didn’t like it. That dampened my entire experience.

I did like the political aspect but it felt rushed at the end and a little too late for me to truly appreciate it.

Overall, a disappointing end to a series I considered to be a guilty pleasure read. Sigh.

My Rating: 3.5/5

The Selection 4/5 | The Elite 3.5/5 | The One 3/5 | The Heir 3.5/5 | The Crown 2.5/5

overall

Definitely recommended for a younger reader crowd (14+). It’s not the greatest dystopian young adult read and so far it mostly focuses on the romance: so if you want a romance story with a minimal dystopian background, check it out! This series is a guilty pleasure for me but I know that lots of people wouldn’t enjoy it.

Read if You Like: mostly romance novel, enjoy The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Avoid if You: don’t like love triangles, don’t like bratty heroines, want more dystiopian elements

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Synopsis for The Selection (from Goodreads):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself–and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

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Series Review: One Week Girlfriend by Monica Murphy

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

One Week Girlfriend

 

Series: Drew + Fable; One Week Girlfriend Quartet
Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 4 (One Week Girlfriend, Second Chance Boyfriend + Three Broken Promises, Four Years Later)

There is also a novella that takes place after Three Broken Promises called Drew + Fable Forever

Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: Really Warm to hot

Thoughts on One Week Girlfriend:

I really went into this book thinking it was going to be a typical, New Adult Romance where the girl from the wrong side of the tracks catches the eye of the Golden Boy and I was ok with that. But boy, was I wrong–and I am so glad that I was!

I really enjoyed this book! I really don’t think it has anything to do with the price (you know sometimes things seem infinitely better when you don’t pay much for them?) I just really enjoyed what happened in this first novel. There is a lot more going on here than what the summary eludes to and the great thing was that it didn’t play out the exact way I thought it was as a little bit of the mystery is revealed a little bit at a time.

I also loved Fable and Drew. Fable is everything I like in a heroine–strong, likeable, smart and witty.  So I didn’t find her annoying and I loved how independent she is. Drew is great too–he captures your heart. I really liked their relationship dynamic and could see how they connected besides a physical attraction–despite the fact that they are essentially together for a week.

Another thing I love is the set-up of the series. Two books is the perfect length for their story. It wasn’t dragged out in Second Chance Boyfriend and as a reader I appreciate that. Both books are also super quick to read page-number wise (but you will probably devour it anyways regardless of page numbers) but again, I didn’t feel like anything was missing from the story by having it shorter than some books.

UPDATE (DEC 4/13): I am to see that there will be two more books in this series about characters we have already met PLUS a follow-up novella about Drew and Fable! I’m glad that Drew and Fable’s story won’t be dragged out and excited to see what Ms Murphy has in store!

UPDATE (Feb 4/14): After tackling a never ending list of library books, I was finally able to read Three Broken Promises and Drew + Fable Forever.

I’ll start with Three Broken Promises. I had always hoped that we would get this book after Drew and Fable’s story was done and it was everything I had hoped it would be. It was cute, charming and swoon-worthy. While I did get a little irritated with the lack of communication between the two at times, I let it go pretty quickly because it was hard to dislike the two of them.

Drew + Fable Forever should be read after Three Broken Promises because it does take place shortly after it (I know it’s tempting to read it before but I promise it is worth it to wait). I like that this wasn’t a full blown novel, rather an extended epilogue and it gave me that little bit more of closure. It also made me excited to read Owen’s story in Four Years Later.

UPDATE (March 17/14): I really enjoyed Four Years Later. While I didn’t find it as strong as the previous books, I burned through it quickly and loved every minute of it. Overall, I felt like this book was more about Chelsea and Owen growing as individuals as a result of them meeting and then falling in love with each other. I didn’t feel like their connection to each other was as strong as the other two relationships in the previous books but I liked both of them a lot and as I read I saw their connection develop. The ending felt a little rushed but I was very satisfied with how this series wrapped up.

Conclusion:

One of my favourite New Adult reads this year: great characters, great stories, great romance and a great price!

Rating: 5/5

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Synopsis for One Week Girlfriend (from Goodreads):

Temporary. That one single word best describes my life these last few years. I’m working at a temporary job until I can finally break free. I’m my little brother’s temporary mother since our mom doesn’t give a crap about either of us. And I’m that temporary girl all the guys want to get with because I give it up so easily. According to the rumors, at least.

But now I’m the temporary girlfriend of Drew Callahan, college football legend and all around golden guy. He’s beautiful, sweet—and he’s hiding way more secrets than I am. He’s brought me into this fake life where everyone seems to hate me. And everyone seems to want something from him. The only thing he seems to want though is…

Me.

I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I know is, I think Drew needs me. And I want to be there for him.

Forever.

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Series Review: Flappers by Jillian Larkin

Series: Flappers
Author: Jillian Larkin
# of Books: 3 (Vixen, Ingenue, Diva)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Roaring Twenties, History
Heat Rating: cool

Thoughts:

The 1920’s have always grabbed my attention since learning about the decade in my high school history class so I was immediately drawn to the series.

I read all three books over the course of a week (they are super quick reads!) and I really enjoyed them. All three girls experience something different in each of their stories so there was a lot going on (not so much to be confusing, but you weren’t stuck with the same person all the time which kept it interesting). I definitely preferred some of the girls’ (ie. Clara’s) stories and POVs more than others (ie. Lorriane) but every book needs that person you don’t like and she wasn’t totally intolerable either. The set-up of the series reminded me a lot of Gossip Girl in that the there are betrayals, hook-ups and constant struggles for power within a “close” group of friends as they rebel against their upbringing.

I think Vixen and Ingenue are solid books to the series and I would have a hard time picking my favourite of the two. They had everything I liked in a novel: romance, suspense and plot twists. Diva, book 3, felt like an extended epilogue to me and needed a touch more plot to take it to the same level as the other two books. Though I really like the way the series ended so I really shouldn’t complain 😉

Conclusion:

If you enjoy reading novels about the scandals and actions of high class society girls but like historical settings, then check out this series! I highly recommend that you grab all three before you start! You will need them!

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Gossip Girl by Cicely von Ziegesar and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Synopsis for Vixen (from Goodreads):
Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .