Tag «Abuse»

Series Review: Keep Me Still by Caisey Quinn

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite New Adult Read of 2014
Series: Keep me Still
Author: Caisey Quinn
# of Books: 3 (Let You Leave, Keep me Still, Hold us Close)

Technically, Let You leave and Hold Us Close are novellas, but they are essential to the story of Keep me Still

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: warm, then hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

WOW…simply WOW! These books blew my socks away. I devoured them in a matter of hours because I couldn’t put them down!

I’ll start with If You Leave. I didn’t go into this book with high expectations. I figure it would just be another prequel novella that gives us a little insight into a character we get in the main event–boy was I wrong! It can get a little confusing with how this series works because the novellas (Let You Leave and Hold Us Close) play a HUGE role in the series. I would say that they are practically novels in themselves to make this series a trilogy and it is absolutely required that you read Let You Leave before Keep Me Still! If I had read Keep Me Still and then Let You Leave, I would have been very disappointed in Keep Me Still because so much of what happens in Keep Me Still requires the knowledge of what happens in Let You Leave–without Let You Leave, you only get half of the story and the missing half is totally worth it!

When I read the synopsis for Keep Me Still, it gave me the impression that Landon and Layla meet in college when in actually fact they meet first in high school, which is where Let You Leave starts. All I can say is that Let You Leave tugged on my heart-strings and I shed a few tears–it was a beautiful story and made me so excited to read Keep Me Still.

Keep me Still was great, but as I said before, I really only felt that way because I had been exposed to the story beforehand and didn’t feel like I was missing pieces. Keep Me Still felt really short because I truly did devour it. I just love Landon and Layla and their entire relationship so I loved getting to see more of that. Again, I shed a few tears and I always take that as a sign of great a book is. While the ending is a bit abrupt, I didn’t mind it so much and I loved that we essentially get an extended epilogue with Hold Us Close.

Hold Us Close was a great way to end the series. I loved the maturity of the characters and the plot development. I always enjoy books that focus on character development–a good plot doesn’t always have to have very dramatic events: sometimes it can have strong characters that we see grow before our eyes and that is enough to keep the reader interested. I loved watching the journey between Layla and Landon in this novella and the little plot twists we get along the way. Just a fantastic way to end a series!

I also have to write a bit of a plea to Ms Quinn in the hopes that she will publish Skylar and Corin’s novella–I would love to read it and I’m sure that I am not alone!

Conclusion:

You’ll see that I said the word “loved” about a gazillion times in this review: but there is simply no other way to express how much I enjoyed reading this series. It’s everything I love in a New Adult read: strong characters, great supporting characters, fantastic character development and a heart-melting romance. It doesn’t feature petty dramatic events but instead focuses on the growth of two people and the love that they share–cheesy but what I’m trying to say is that the maturity of this series is what really impressed me and I love that that is the focus of these books. A must read for fans of this genre! I will definitely be looking at more books from this author in the near future!

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks and Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You #1)

Synopsis for Let You Leave (from Goodreads):
Layla Flaherty had the perfect life, or close to it. Until a stranger gunned her parents down right in front of her, leaving her with seizure inducing PTSD. After years of trying to pass as normal and failing miserably, she resigns herself to being invisible. But new to town Landen O’Brien sees her, and he likes what he sees. Much to Layla’s surprise, he doesn’t freak out when she has a seizure in front of him. He does the exact opposite, calming her until the tremors subside. But Landen has secrets of his own. Secrets that will either bind them together or tear them apart.

Single Sundays: Be Here Now by Andrea Wolfe

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
They took everything from her.

Attacked her.

Raped her.

Left her for dead.

She lost her whole life in New Orleans and fled to Seattle, hoping to find sanctuary from her dark past. Simone LeClair isn’t sure if she’ll ever love anyone again—or if she even wants to.

That is, until she meets the beautiful Aiden Meyers, a man with a myriad problems of his own, a man that wears different masks to keep his conflicting worlds separate from each other. For some strange reason, as soon as Simone lays her eyes on him, she can’t look away. He’s unlike any man she’s ever met, and that makes him all the more unbelievable.

When she’s with him, all her pain becomes a distant memory, pain that she believed she’d never escape. But as Aiden’s walls start to crumble, and the worlds he juggles start to collide, Simone realizes he’s dangerous in a whole new way – she’s fallen hard for him, even though he’s on a downward spiral that threatens to take her down with him.

Will Simone sink with him?

Or will she pull herself out before it’s too late?

Review:

I was really excited to read this book. Not only had a got it free on Amazon but it was actually a book I WANTED to read that I got for free! Bonus! I read it right away as soon as it was on my Kindle.

The book started off by drawing me in with Simone and her story. I do enjoy reading New Adult reads that have tragic pasts but I find it is a bit of a double-edged sword because it can sometimes be too much to ask for from an author and I think that this is one of these cases.

Simone drove me up the wall. She started off ok, but her thought process wasn’t what I expected it to be based on books I’ve read in the past that have a heroine who goes through a similar experience. I think that this caused me to disconnect with her and when I disconnect with the heroine, I tend not to enjoy the book.

And when it wasn’t Simone driving me up the wall, it was Aiden pushing me up higher. I actually think that Simone’s relationship with Aiden and how she acts with him is the main reason I’m not a fan of hers. I just didn’t like Aiden, not even in a pity way: which is awful to say based on his character and what he is going through. He was just too all over the place for me to get a grasp on him. I think I spent a majority of the book wishing Simone would dump his ass and grow from that experience with him into a stronger person.

That being said, this book did manage to hold my attention and there were a few twists that I really enjoyed. There isn’t much plot other than Simone trying to find herself but that was what I was expecting going into it.

Conclusion:

Overall, this book was alright: it just wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I’m glad it was free and a standalone because I wouldn’t be able to read a sequel. If you enjoy reading books with mature content regarding mental illness and abuse, this is a good read to pick up (or if you are a psychology major who is interested in diagnosing mental illness). Otherwise, there are better and stronger books regarding two people suffering from tragic pasts out there waiting for you to read them.

Rating: 3/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Tragedy, Romance
Recommended for: 18+
Point of View: First Person
Similar Reads: Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You Series #1)

Series Review: Crossfire by Sylvia Day

book4 book5

Series: Author: Sylvia Day
# of Books: 5 (Bared to You, Reflected in you, Entwined with You, Captivated by You, One With You)
Complete?: No, One with You, has a publishing date TBA
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance, Drama, Dark
Heat Rating: hot (BDSM: mild)
Point of View: First Person

Thoughts:

I won’t lie: I will admit that I read Bared to You because it was linked to Fifty Shades of Grey. As much as some people didn’t like Fifty Shades, I actually enjoyed the romantic suspense and drama that it brought–I just could have done without all the sex. But what interested me about Bared to You was that it stars two dark characters that have tragedy filled pasts that the reader gets to uncover.

As expected, there are some parallels between the two series in terms of the events the two leads find themselves in (read: jealous exes, insecurities and tormented pasts) but they do differ once you get past the first novel in the Crossfire series. Overall I would say the BDSM element is stronger in Fifty Shades than Crossfire which for me is an added bonus because I’m not the biggest BDSM fan.

The relationship dynamic between Gideon and Eva is also easier for me to see. I could see why they both were attracted to each other and love each other more so than Anastasia and Christian (in Fifty Shades I think it’s clearer why Christian needs Ana in his life more so than why Ana needs Christian in hers).

What I liked about the Crossfire series that Fifty Shades develops more in the second and third books is the suspense. It’s present right from get-go in Bared to You and continues into the next books. Also, Reflected in You takes a turn I never expected and gives this series a much darker feel than Fifty Shades.

When I grabbed Entwined with You I thought two things: one) was that we were going to learn more about Gideon as a whole (possibly his point of view) and two) it was end of the series. Turns out we didn’t get either of those hypotheses. Before this book was published, the series got extended for two more books. As a result I really felt like this book was filler more so than anything. I think the series totally could have concluded within three books and people would have been satisfied and happy. From my point of view, there was no need to extend it two more books; a fourth book would have been a bit of a stretch but a fifth is a huge stretch. I also found that Eva was grating on my nerves throughout this book which really disappointment me because I had really liked her character in the previous two books. She just became so whinny and seemed to me like she was suffering from Bella-Swan-I-can’t-live-without-him syndrome when her character had been so much more independent in the last two books.

Conclusion:

Bared to You and Reflected in You were great books. Entwined with You was a disappointment but I’m not ready to give up on this series quite yet. I think if you want to read a series about two flawed romantic leads, the Stark Trilogy is the better choice than this one as of this moment in the sense that it’s story does get dragged out (well is does in the novellas but the actual novels don’t really do that). Captivated by You shows some promise and I really want to know how this series ends–so I am not going to condemn this series as of now.

Rating: 4/5

Similar Reads: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James (Fifty Shades Trilogy #1) and Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner

Synopsis for Bared to You (from Goodreads):
Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness…

He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds…and desires. The bonds of his love transformed me, even as i prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Single Sundays: Addicted to Him by Lauren Dodd

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Addicted to Him (from Goodreads):
I never knew you could get addicted to people….until I met Seth.

I just wanted to escape. I had a huge secret and I was trying to run away from it as fast as I could. I managed to get myself shipped a thousand miles away for the summer to my estranged father and perky new stepmother’s house. Nobody knew me there and that’s the way I liked it. I didn’t have to be the screwed-up girl with the terrible secret anymore; I could be anybody I wanted to be.

Being sequestered at Dad’s house turned out to be amazing. I started wondering if somehow I could convince him to keep me forever and then I might have a shot at a normal life for a change. Enter hot, mysterious, moody Seth and my desire to become a permanent resident of Colorado just quadrupled.

I had never met anyone like Seth. I trusted him more than I had ever trusted anyone. I craved his lips, his body, and his touch. It didn’t take long for me to become totally addicted to him. The way he could get my body to respond was incredible. Before long I was spilling every dark secret I had to him never dreaming that he would someday use that knowledge against me.

I should have known my fairy tale wouldn’t last forever. Secrets that I prayed would never see the light of day were soon exposed, changing my life forever. I couldn’t run anymore. I had to decide if I wanted to stay the same girl who never fights for herself, or try to find the strength inside myself to live the life I knew I had always deserved.

Review:

I got this book as a freebie from Amazon this past summer. I actually read it right away because I really love New Adult stories that have heroines with secretive pasts and this seemed right up that alley. And while it did meet this expectation, it also surprised me as well.

This book has everything that I feel define New Adult reads. It has a cute romance with flawed characters that somehow find and complete each other. Add a dash of heat and the bad boy hero and there you have it in one neat package.

Except that this book went down a path I think this genre often neglects: which is when the relationship passes the border of unhealthy and how the characters deal with it. As much as I love the New Adult genre (and I’ve said this before) I sometimes worry about readers getting the impression that these dramatic relationships are the everyday norm and it is completely healthy–because it really isn’t. Which is why I liked this book because it actually tackled the issue about what a healthy relationship is and I really appreciated that it went in that direction. Not a lot of books do or would in this genre so I thought it was very refreshing that it did this in a realistic way.

As for the characters I liked them enough. I found Cassidy to be a little confusing at times and this would annoy me–especially at the start–but I felt like she really matured over the course of the book. Besides the insta-love, I also liked Seth and the rest of the characters. I really like how this book ended and I think it wrapped the plots of the book really well.

Conclusion:

While it is not the strongest or greatest book I have ever read, I found Addicted to Him to be very refreshing. It’s not for everyone as it deals with some more mature situations and not everyone will like the insta-love connection BUT there is more to this book than just a love-connection and that is what I want to highlight with this review.

Rating: 4/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre:New Adult, Romance, Drama
Recommended for: 17+
Similar Reads:

  • Find You in the Dark by A Meredith Walters (Find you in the Dark #1)
  • Be Here Now by Andrea Wolfe

Single Sundays: Heartless by Catou Martine


Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Heather Redmond spent three years hiding from the world, her innocence lost and faith shattered.

She’s mastered the art of forgetting the past. Now she’s ready to face the future. College is on the horizon, and she’s enjoying a quiet summer in LA.

The last thing she’s prepared for is a hot guy jumping into her convertible while she’s stopped at a traffic light.

Josh Hansen is Heather’s opposite. He’s fearless and sexy, racing through life on his motorcycle. And he always takes a leap when Fate gives him a wink. He can’t resist the wide-eyed, pretty blonde who seems afraid of the world.

Josh is determined to push Heather’s boundaries, body and soul. She’s afraid of her awakening feelings, and wants to take things one step at a time, but Josh isn’t used to driving in the slow lane, and soon they are speeding into passion and love.

When their darkest secrets come to light, Heather and Josh are forced to confront the painful past and either find forgiveness, or lose their love forever.

Review:

I picked this book up for free one afternoon from the Kindle Store. I am obsessed with New Adult reads so when I see a free one, I grab it. And this one was quite the surprise!

I really enjoyed this book! I’m always skeptical when books are free because they are often riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes but this one wasn’t. There was the occasional word missing from a sentence or a typo here and there but nothing that made me frustrated–they all just seemed like harmless, unintentional typos. It wasn’t the greatest book ever but I liked the story and I easily got hooked. I only planned to read a chapter or two in the morning and then ended up spending the whole morning reading it!

Part of the reason I got hooked was the mystery to the characters. Both have secretive pasts that slowly get revealed as you read. I also liked what the backstories were. I haven’t read a book that focused on that specific type of situation (without giving anything away I will say it does talk about religion and faith) before so I thought it was really refreshing to read and I think it was done tastefully (meaning it wasn’t trying to shove a specific viewpoint down your throat or was offensive in anyway). I will warn potential readers that there is some heavy subject matter in this novel that not everyone will feel comfortable reading so it might not be for everyone.

The main reason why I didn’t give this book 4 out of 5 stars was because of the plot timeline. Things just happen WAY too fast in this book. It’s basically an insta-love connection and everything happens within the span of 2 weeks. I think I would have an easier time believing everything if it happened over the span of a few months instead.

I also think this timespan hurt my impression of Heather. After reading the book, I’m not sure how I feel about her. Overall, I think her character delivery wasn’t as strong as it could be. She always seemed to appear one way then as another on the next page. I could cut her some slack given her past but given the timeline I just felt like we didn’t connect some of the dots on her character composition.  Same goes with Josh. They both just lacked that little bit more to their characters and I think if the book was a tad longer and had a longer timeline, this issue would be solved.

Conclusion:

A refreshing New Adult read that was super cute and quick. I recommend it for those who adore love at first sight stories and seeing love heal people. But warning, it does deal with subject matter that might be uncomfortable for some readers (such as abuse and religion).

Rating: 3.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Recommended for:17+
Similar Reads: Crash by Nicole Williams (Crash Trilogy, #1)

Book Review: Circle Nine by Anne Heltzel

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Who was Abby then? Who is Abby now? An unsettling psychological thriller, seen through a lost girl’s eyes.

She knows only Sam, a mysterious teenage boy. He is her sole companion; her whole life. She was born, already a teenager, lying outside a burning building in soot-stained clothes, remembering nothing, not even her name. He showed her the necklace she had on, the one that named her: Abby. Sam brought her to live in his cavepalace, where he gives her everything she needs. He loves her. He protects her from the world outside, from everyone who wants to hurt them, like the denizens of Circle Nine, Dante’s deepest circle of hell. But even in a charmed, brand-new life like Abby’s, change will come. Sam falls ill. A new girl comes to stay, and Abby begins to question Sam’s devotion. With doubt comes emotional turmoil, changes in perception, and glimpses of her past identity. In this courageous psychological thriller, Abby tells the story of living her new life and discovering her old one, while grappling with an ever-changing reality.

Review:

I went into this book with high expectations. I like psychological books that have a mystery to them so this book seemed like it was right up my alley. I thought this book would make me think about what had happened to Abby–however the only thing it made me think was WTF is going on.

You know when someone tries to be really “deep” about a certain subject and they just can’t get there? Well that’s what happens here.

I have to admit that I have never read Dante’s Inferno (it’s on my list!) but I have studied the general gist of it through my university English classes so I know the ideas and purpose behind it. Perhaps if I knew more about it, I would get more out of this (but I doubt it). From what I can see, it doesn’t play a major role in the story other than providing some context with regards to Hell so if you are looking for a retelling or adaptation of Inferno, you aren’t going to get it!

This book was just a little too out-there for me (read: it was Weird). While I can appreciate the motivation to write this novel and I understand the message the author is trying to convey, I find it falls flat.

I think the worst part is the ending–it just happens so suddenly and I felt that there wasn’t any closure. I really think that the ending of the book is the perfect opportunity to accomplish the message the author set out to give and that she lost her chance to do so by ending it as she did. An epilogue or something would have been great. I can honestly say I don’t remember too much about this novel other than the fact that I HATED the ending.

Conclusion:

Stay clear of this one! There are better amnesia stories out there if that is what you are looking for.

Rating: 2/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult, Drama, Mystery, Psychological
Recommended for: 16+
Similar Reads: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Series Review: My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

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

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron | My Favorite Mistake Series

 

Series: My Favorite Mistake
Author: Chelsea M. Cameron
# of Books: 2 (My Favorite Mistake, My Sweetest Escape, Our Favorite Days)
Book Order: Connected + Direct Sequel (Our Favorite Days)
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Tragedy, Romance
Heat Rating: really warm

Thoughts:

PLEASE NOTE: That I have not read the second book in the series, The Sweetest Escape, and have no plans to do so in the near future.

I went into with this book with high hopes and came away a little disappointed. It was super cute but it was a little too much at times.

I didn’t really like Taylor. At first I thought I would like her because she takes no shit from anyone but I often found like it was a little over the top. Because you don’t know Taylor’s secret, you don’t know why she acts the way she does. When you find out, it makes more sense but I still feel like she was a little abrupt with her thoughts and actions. If it was toned down a touch, I would have liked her more.

Hunter was a little too good to be true. Instant-love connection, understanding bad-boy, jaded background and nearly every other stereotypical “hero” aspect. I liked him enough but sometimes I just wanted to roll my eyes a bit at things he did. I would have appreciated a little more character development from his end.

I think that was my main issue with the book–nothing was overly refreshing or new to me. I had read similar stories before that seemed to have a higher level of maturity so this book wasn’t up to that level which left me disappointed.

One thing about this book is that it is only told by Taylor’s POV. The summary gave me the impression that we would be getting to see Hunter’s POV but we don’t. It would have been nice to have had his POV but it was a nice change from the shifting POVs most New Adult reads have.

Conclusion:

I enjoyed the banter between the two of them and it was a super easy and quick read. It was nothing too exciting but it was a nice way to pass the time. Those just starting the genre and don’t want too heavy of a story will like this one.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Wait for You… by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Wait For You Series #1)

Synopsis for My Favorite Mistake (from Goodreads):
Taylor Caldwell can’t decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.

On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome, blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he’s a tattooed, guitar-playing bundle of bad boy. Maybe that’s why Taylor’s afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn’t want to get burned, and even though her other roommates adore him, she wants him gone before it’s too late.

Hunter himself has been burned before, but the fact that Taylor calls him out on his crap and has the sexiest laugh ever make him decide maybe love isn’t a lost cause. They make a bet: if she can convince him she truly loves or hates him, he’ll leave the apartment–and leave her alone. The problem is, the more time they spend together, the less she hates him, and the more she moves toward love.

But when the man who holds the key to Taylor’s fear of giving up her heart resurfaces and threatens to wreck everything, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.

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Series Review: Wanted by Kelly Elliot

Series: Wanted
Author: Kelly Elliot
# of Books: 3 4 (Wanted, Saved, Faithful, Cherished)

There is a novella that takes place between Faithful and Cherished called Believe

Complete?: No, Faithful will be released in August 2013 Yes, but spin-off series are in the works
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Abuse
Heat Rating: hot

Thoughts:

This is one of those series that has a extremely high rating on Goodreads and I have no idea why. I bought Wanted and Saved because the rating on Goodreads was so high and the plot of Wanted intrigued me–I haven’t really read any books where the heroine falls in love with her older brother’s best friend so I wanted (no pun intended) to see what it was like. I also like reading as many books in the series as close together as I possibly can so I decided to buy Saved as well. It also didn’t hurt that the books were under $3 with my coupons from Kobo.

The first book in the series Wanted reminded me a lot of This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series #1) I had read just a few weeks ago and did not enjoy all that much. Basically, I didn’t like This Beautiful Thing because of the lack of maturity in the characters and it is the same case here. Based on the synopsis I was expecting a much more mature story in Wanted seeing as Ellie has been abused by her mother. By no means did I expect her to be confident but I didn’t expect her to be so juvenile in her thoughts and action. I had hoped Gunner would be a tad more mature as he is 3 years older but he is just as bad, if not worse. Even her older brother, Jefferson needed a good smack on the head at times. As I said in the review of This Beautiful Love it is as if someone wrote this book after watching too many teen drama series on TV and thinking “this is what teenagers are like!” and unless I come from another planet, that isn’t what most teenagers are like.

I hate insta-love connection stories and that is what we get here. I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed this book from the library but seeing as I did buy it, I decided to finish it. I believe I developed a tolerance to the writing after a while so I did manage to finish. I didn’t particularly care for Ellie or Gunner at all throughout the story. I actually feel like their story is a side-story and most of the plot focuses on Jeff and Ari–even though they have their own book, Saved which is the next in the series. I think I would have enjoyed Wanted more in theory if we lost the Jeff and Ari saga and had a more solid (actually, ANY) plot for Ellie and Gunner.

Saved follows a similar path as Wanted in that Ari and Jeff are the main focus, but we also get side-stories about Gunner & Eli and Josh & Heather. Again, I would have appreciated separate books dedicated to each couple instead of little hints here and there. As they currently stand, it makes the books really long and I feel like I am reading two different books as the same time.

As for the book itself, I enjoyed Saved a touch more. Once I got past the occasional grammar mistake and lack of quotation marks, I thought the story overall was better handled. While it still was a little over the top, there were parts that I thought were more realistic to the story that made it more interesting.

UPDATED (Jan 27/14): After having Faithful on my Kobo for months I finally got around to reading it (part of my goal for the month of January to finish 5 series I had previously started).

I actually really enjoyed this book — way more than I expected. I think part of the reason was that this book seemed a touch more mature than the others considering the events these two characters go through. I also think that splitting up the story amongst the various couples we have been introduced to at this point and not having just one main plot really helped: I didn’t become overwhelmed with the stupidity and naivety of these characters. (Which is ironic because I had complained about the multiple plot lines before in the previous novels in this review :P).

When I bought Faithful, I didn’t realize that there were actually 4 books to this series. When I finished Faithful, I was glad there were 4 because I was excited to see and learn more about the next set of characters. Unfortunately, Cherished dropped the ball for me. I just felt like it was filled with double-standards, over the top drama and an annoying heroine which I didn’t like too much. It was just meh but again, I am somehow roped into seeing where the next two spin-off series go–damn!

Conclusion:

I probably would have stopped reading it if I just borrowed these book from the library but seeing as I did buy them, I decided to finish. Definitely not my favourite books that I have read this year but somehow I got a little attached to the last two characters that will be in book 3 and I will probably end up reading the 3rd one just to have some closure. Otherwise, it is not my cup of tea that I would pass on if I could do it again. *UPDATED* I still would probably pass on this series–there is nothing really outstanding about this series other than the naivety of the characters and the crazy amount of ways to say “I love you”.

Rating: 2.5/5

Similar Reads: This Beautiful Thing by Amanda Heath (Young Love Series, #1)

Synopsis for Wanted (from Goodreads):
Verbally abused by her mother for years, 18 year old Ellie Johnson always believed she would never be loved or wanted by anyone. She focused all of her attention on her grades and getting into the University of Texas to start a new life away from her mother.
The last thing Ellie expected was to fall in love with Gunner Mathews, a starting linebacker for the University of Texas football team and not to mention, her brothers best friend.
Gunner only had two passions in life, football and his grandfather’s ranch, until he falls for his best friends little sister. He will stop at nothing to show Ellie how much he wants her, even if it means he has to move faster than she would like.
Gunner knows they are meant to be together forever, but Ellie keeps denying her feelings out of fear of being hurt again. Every time he gets close to winning her love, something pushes her away again. Will Ellie ever be able to let go of the past and let him into her heart and will Gunner be patient enough to wait for her?
What will it take for them to realize they are all each other have ever WANTED?

Series Review: Beautifully Broken by Courtney Cole

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


Other books in the series:
book book

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author, Favourite New Adult Series
Series: Beautifully Broken
Author: Courtney Cole
# of Books: 4 (If You Stay, If You Leave, Before We Fall, Until We Fly)

There is a novella: #2.5 Until We Burn

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Drugs, Abuse, Tragedy
Heat Rating: hot (Kink: mild [Before We Fall])
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2013 – July 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

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.**

Wow, I LOVED this book! It was everything I wanted in a New Adult read and it was such a great read!

I will admit, I was skeptical before reading this. I find with New Adult reads, some hit the mark perfectly by blending tragedy+romance+drama+maturity all into one. That is why I enjoy New Adult reads because they are more mature than most young adult books that have characters in high school. I’m in university myself so I find I relate better to characters my own age & their problems than the often petty high school drama. However, not all books hit the maturity level quite so well and I got worried this one wouldn’t.

I’m happy to say I was proven wrong. This book was extremely mature and handled the issues within it perfectly. The characters didn’t run from their past or just jump into bed together. They actively worked on their issues (and did so in the right way) and I found that extremely refreshing. (FYI, I had just finished the first book in Kelly Elliot’s Wanted Series which I found to be an extremely immature series so I might be a little skewed in my opinion when it comes to this one ;))

For some reason, I love the jerk/player character in romance novels. I guess it’s the hopeless romantic in me that likes to think love can heal people. Regardless, I really liked Pax as a character. He is charming, sweet and troubled but willing to make the right changes. Mila is also fantastic. She is strong and mature and I really respect her as a character.

The book is a really quick read–or maybe you just get sucked into it and lose all sense of time. There isn’t too much else to the plot other than their relationship and dealing with their personal problems (score for no unnecessary drama!) but there is enough to keep you interested.

I’m really looking forward to book 2, If You Stay and I refused to read the little 1 chapter preview in my book because I don’t want to get hung up on it 😛

updates

–January 28, 2016– Book #2: If You Leave

It is just a TAD ridiculous that it took me nearly 3 years to read a book I was super excited to read–and I want to be clear that it in no way reflects my opinion on the series. I was faithful and continued to buy each book as they were released–I just never got around to them thanks to the countless other books that fell into my hands.

But let’s just start by saying that this book was worth the wait! I loved this story for so many different reasons! I thought the relationship and characters were extremely realistic, even if things between them happened fast or some of the events were more dramatic than necessary. I felt so many emotions when reading this book–from joy to sadness to anger to frightfulness–you name an emotion and this book probably has it. It was just plain addicting to read and I easily became absorbed in the story.

–February, 2016– BOOK #3: Before WE Fall

I was really curious to see where this book was going to go given the heroine–but it went in a direction I wasn’t expecting nor one that I loved.

I really didn’t enjoy the relationship between these two at the start and even contemplated not finishing the novel. But I really wanted to find out the backstory of our hero and so I stuck around. I do feel like the story and relationship improved as the story progressed but it could have simply been me  becoming accustomed to these characters and their story.

While the tragedy of the past novels is here, the dynamic of this story is so different from the previous books I think. I didn’t love the heroine’s progression, especially given the events of the past book and I felt like the focus was more on our hero. Which is fine, just not what I really expected. I also felt like their romantic relationship was very unhealthy and I didn’t immediately see why they would like each other besides physical attraction. I supposed I just wanted–and expected more from these characters.

Loads of sexual tension (though it did make me uncomfortable at times) and buckets of drama, this book combines elements I’ve read in other books in a way that is unique but I think will be really hit of miss with its readers.

Series Rating: 5/5

If You Stay 5/5 | If You Leave 4.5/5 | Before We Fall 3/5 | Until We Fly TBD

overall

One of the best new adult reads I have read this year. Great story, great characters and it is mature in its delivery. You can’t go wrong!

Read if You Like: mature stories, passionate romance, tragedy filled stories
Avoid if You: dislike tragedy

similarreads

Synopsis for If You Stay (from Goodreads):
24-year old Pax Tate is an asshole.
Seriously.

He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad-boy with a bad attitude to match.

But he’s got his reasons.

His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with guilt although he doesn’t understand why. What he does know is that he and his dad are left alone and with more issues than they can count.

As Pax grew up, he tried to be the kid his father always wanted; the perfect golden boy, but it didn’t work. His dad couldn’t overcome his grief long enough to notice and Pax couldn’t keep up the impossible perfect façade.
So he slipped far, far from it.

Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the ugliness, the black void that he doesn’t want to deal with. If he pretends that the emptiness isn’t there, then it isn’t, right?
Wrong.

And it’s never more apparent than when he meets Mila.
Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air to his hardened frown, the beauty to his ugly heart. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her, but he quickly realizes that he’s got to figure it out because he needs her to breathe.

When memories of his mother’s death resurface from where he’s repressed them for so long, Mila is there to catch him when the guilt starts making sense. Mila is the one…the one who can save him from his broken troubled heart; from his issues, from the emptiness.

But only if he can stop being an asshole long enough to allow it.

He knows that. And he’s working on it.

But is that enough to make her stay?

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Movie Mondays: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:

Book: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky | Movie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Which did I read/see first? the BOOK

Book Cover Movie Poster

The Book:

Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Humourous, High School, Bullying

Thoughts:

This is one of my all time favourite books. I read it in a few hours and I laughed so hard during it. Charlie is hilarious and it was one of the first books I can ever remember laughing through.

I also like it because it is relatable and realistic. And even though it was written years ago, it definitely applies to today’s teens as it deals with topics of bullying, coming out and finding yourself.

It should be noted that the book is written as a series of letters from Charlie as he describes his life and daily events to a friend. This format isn’t for everyone but it’s a nice change from other novels.

Conclusion:

This novel definitely isn’t for everyone and if you don’t enjoy books dealing with growing up, I would stay away from this. I think people in high school or in college would enjoy this more than a 30 year old but to each their own. But overall, if you want to try something new definitely read this!

Rating: 5/5
Similar Reads: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

The Movie:

It should be noted that the movie was written, directed and produced by Stephen Chbosky so I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed.

While it didn’t follow the book exactly, you definitely got the main messages and feelings from the book in the movie. I laughed and I cried and I left the movie with that “feel-good” feeling great movies have. The cast was great as well. I especially loved Ezra Miller’s Patrick. He nailed my favourite character perfectly. But I have to give props to the rest of the cast as well.

Overall, fans of the book will not be disappointed and if you liked the movie, you will love the book.

So, which is better: the book or the movie?

In this case, the winner is a TIE . Both are great in their own way and the message and feelings of the novel can be found in the movie. You can’t go wrong here!

Do you agree? Leave a comment below!

Synopsis for The Perks of Being a Wallflower (from Goodreads):
Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Trailer: