Tag «Author: McLean»

Spin-off Saturdays: Kick, Push by Jay McLean

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

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Synopsis for Kick, Push (from Goodreads):
There’s a single defining moment within every skater.
It lasts only a second. Two if you’re good.
Three if you’re really good.
It’s the moment you’re in the air, your board somewhere
beneath you, and nothing but wind surrounds you.
It’s the feeling of being airborne.

The sixteen-year-old version of me would’ve said it was the
greatest feeling in the world.
Then at seventeen, I had my son.
And every single second became a defining moment. Even the ones that consisted of heartbreak when his mother left us.

Seventeen. Single. Dad.
That’s what my life became.
Yet, every day, I managed to find that feeling of being
airborne.
Or at least I convinced myself I did.
But I lied—to myself and to everyone around me.
Until she showed up; Tanned skin, raven dark hair, and eyes the color of emeralds.

You know what sucks about being in the air?
Coming down from the high.
Sometimes you land on the board and nail the trick.
Then kick, push, and coast away.
Other times you fall.
You fall hard.
And those are the times when it’s not as easy to get back up, dust off your pads and try again.
Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug…
And you become her poison.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Series: Kick, Push — or Road

There is a prequel novel about two side characters called Where the Road Takes Me. Together, all 3 novels make up the Road Series.

Author: Jay McLean
# of Books: 2 (Kick, Push; Coast)

See above note regarding Where the Road Takes Me

Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Dark, Sports
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: August 2015 – June 2016
Source & Format: Read It Review It–eARC (Kick, Push); Kindle Unlimited (Coast)

disclaimer

(Note: I only received a copy of Kick, Push for review. I read Coast via Kindle Unlimited)

Note: Where the Road Takes Me will be reviewed separately.

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When I saw Kick, Push on the list of upcoming New Adult Club Read It Review It titles, I was excited! I’ve really enjoyed Jay McLean’s work in the past for its addicting quality. While reading the More Than Series, I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I swooned–basically all the feels you can possibly feel while reading a book and I love that.

What really stood out to me about this book was the premise of a single dad. I don’t read a lot of single parent novels but when I do, they are mostly second chance stories where the mom has raised the baby without the dad knowing and they reunite–or something of that tone. But most of the time they are single moms; which is great but what about all the single dads out there? Plus, I’ve never really read a story about a skateboarder before.

The Concept:

While I don’t think any parent should abandon their child, I feel like women who do get a lot of flack compared to men who do. Maybe society is just more comfortable with the man leaving than the person who carried the child, I’m not sure. However, I don’t like this stigma that all women are expected to be instinctively maternal. So I was worried that this series would relay that stigma throughout its narrative. But I am happy to say that I never really felt like the book took that approach. While you will likely side with Josh once you know the whole story, I didn’t feel like it shamed or glorified the situation in any way and I truly appreciated that.

The Plot:

The story is just as much about Josh as it is Becca and I really enjoyed that. Both have so much growth and depths to their characters that I liked the balancing act between their stories as you read. The mashing of romance, character development and drama make this an addicting series to read.

And like Jay McLean’s other novels, there are just enough twists along the way to keep things interesting and exciting. I didn’t expect this story to go the way it did and I loved it!

The Characters:

Josh is an absolute sweetheart so it doesn’t take much for you to root for him. His heart is in the right place and I loved reading his story.

Becca, wow, what a story she has. It’s heartbreaking and she’s so sweet that it causes you to shed a few tears on her behalf.

Everyone else was great as well. I found the supporting characters did their job to a T and added a depth to the story that makes it so much more enjoyable.

The Romance:

When I first read the synopsis and started the book, I was confused about the line:

“Especially when the girl with the emerald eyes becomes your drug…
And you become her poison.”

Everything starts so sweet and light that when the shit hits the fan, it becomes a huge mess. So the romance definitely leans to towards the darker side of love BUT, I love how it is elaborated on and becomes an integral part of the story. It isn’t there for shock value–it’s there because it is a part of their story and it adds to the depth of who these characters are as people.

Series Rating: 5/5

Kick, Push 5/5 | Coast 5/5

overall

If you want a book series that will make you feel every emotion, look no further my friends!

Read if You Like: New Adult romances, darker romance
Avoid if You: want a lighter, happier story, don’t want to cry

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Single Sundays: Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

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 Where the Road Takes Me (from Goodreads):
Chloe has one plan for the future, and one plan only: the road. She’s made a promise to herself: don’t let anyone in, and don’t let anyone love her. She’s learned the hard way what happens if she breaks her rules. So she’s focused on being invisible and waiting until she can set out on the road—her dream of freedom, at least for a little while.

Blake Hunter is a basketball star who has it all—everything about him looks perfect to those on the other side of his protective walls. He can’t let anyone see the shattered pieces behind the flawless facade or else all his hopes and dreams will disappear.

One dark night throws Chloe and Blake together, changing everything for Blake. For Chloe, nothing changes: she has the road, and she’s focused on it. But when the so-called perfect boy starts to notice the invisible girl, they discover that sometimes with love, no one knows where the road may lead.

breakdown

Series Often grouped as the Road Series

There is a spin-off called the Kick, Push Duology

Author: Jay McLean
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I actually read the spin-off series first, Kick, Push, so I was introduced to Chloe and Blake and their story early on. Even though I knew how it ended, I was really excited to read their story because it seemed so sweet. I didn’t know they had their own story (though I hoped!) until I saw Amazon group Kick, Push as a part of the “Road” series. So I was really excited to know that their story was already out there and I could read it ASAP!

The Plot:

I had definitely built up what I wanted this story to be in my head before I started it. And, it wasn’t really what I thought which was disappointing.

In typical Jay McLean fashion, I found things to be overdramatic and taken to that next level. After reading so many of her books, I’m use to it but it rubbed me the wrong way this time. I think it was because I wanted the story to be something else and I didn’t want those dramatics.

It also seemed a little cliché at times–which I’m normally ok with but here it just seemed overused and it tired me.

The Characters:

Ok, I won’t lie, I definitely pictured Haley and Nathan from One Tree Hill the entire time I read this novel. I don’t know why because I never watched One Tree Hill but I’m familiar with the basics of their relationship. I think it was the basketball thing though in all honesty.

Like I said, I knew Blake and Chloe’s story and their characters from the other series so I already had my impressions of them. And they weren’t totally what I expected them to be but then again, Where the Road Takes Me is their journey to that point.

The Romance:

Cute but cliché I thought. It was a little too love at first sight for me but it definitely had its sweet moments.

My Rating: 3/5

overall

This just wasn’t the story I wanted. It was cute but I got tired of it by the end.

Read if You Like: high school new adult stories
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romance

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Series Review: More Than by Jay McLean

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

book4 book5

breakdown

Series: More
Author: Jay McLean
# of Books: 4 (More than This, More than Her, More than Him, More than Forever, More than Enough)
Book Order: Connected & Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, Contemporary, Tragedy
Heat Rating: Really Warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: July 2013 – November 2015
Source & Format: Own–eBook

thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to expect with More Than This. It seemed really promising but I found the description to be pretty vague and the only reason I read it so soon after buying it was because I randomly picked a number and it was that number in my Kobo.

I’m glad I read it because I really did enjoy it! While this book begins with the characters in high school, I would classify it as New Adult for two reasons: 1) part of the story does take place when they are in college and 2) the characters are extremely mature for their age. Having mature characters really helps make a story more enjoyable–especially when it is on the cusp of being Young Adult/New Adult.

I found this book was great at keeping the plot going. Little plot twists are revealed along the way that keep the story interesting and fresh–which helps the book not feel as long as it could have with the seemingly never-ending sexual tension. I found that the sexual tension between Mikayla and Jake frustrated me at times because they were hesitant to do certain things together and not others. I could understand why Mikayla wanted to find herself before she started the relationship but I think everyone knew that they were in one long before they were “official.”

This book did a great job at pumping me for Logan’s story in More than Her and I’m glad the next book focused on a different set of characters because I couldn’t take another Mikayla and Jake novel–they had their time and I don’t want it expanded upon. I had certain expectations for More than Her based on the ending of More than This but I was happy that the book didn’t go in the direction I feared. I actually liked this book a lot more than More than This for quite a few reasons.

One is Logan and his love interest. I thought they were a great fit for each other and I liked the flashbacks where they first met–though I did find the time shifting confused me at time but I eventually figured out the timeline. While I didn’t enjoy the back and forth nature of their relationship at times, I could understand why they were always hesitant more so than Mikayla and Jake. I also liked the plot twists a lot more in this book and I’m so glad that February is only a short month away because I can’t wait to get off of the cliff-hanger this book leaves everyone with–though I admit I am a little worried to take the plunge because I have no idea where this book is going to go.

I’m excited for the next two books in the series. While More than Him is a continuation of Logan’s story, I’m super excited to read about Lucy and Cam’s and I hope that Dylan and Heidi get a book too though nothing seems to be planned.

My only complaint about this series so far is the lack of a proof-reader. I felt like there were quite a few typos that could have been avoided with a quick peruse and some reformatting of the eBook. Overall though, the typos aren’t enough to make anyone quit reading.

updates

–September 28, 2014– Book #3: More than Him

Despite being super excited to read, More than Him, I just managed to actually read it (I blame Kobo for not having it for purchase until a few months after its release.) Because I didn’t write a summary for it, I was a little lost in everything that happened but a quick skim of More Than Her as well as mini recaps within the book quickly solved that. I think I had tears in my eyes for the entire book–it was a heart-breaker to read at times that is for sure! Though I can’t explain it, but I feel like something was missing from this book a little. Don’t get me wrong, I loved reading it and think it was a great followup overall. When I compare it to its previous book I think what I am missing is the crazy plot twists. Instead, this book focuses on the aftermath and healing of those twists and doesn’t really introduce anything new in terms of drama.

–September 30, 2014– Book #4: More than Forever

More than Forever is probably the book everyone who has read this series has been waiting for since the start. This novel was everything I thought it would be and more. I laughed, I cried and sighed my entire way through the book. While first love stories usually give me a cavity, this one was just right. Just well done through and through.

More than Enough can’t get here fast enough! I just hope its about the two characters I think it’s about!

–August 7, 2016– Book #5: More than Enough

I waited and waited for this book to come onto Kobo but it never did. So when I had my trial for Kindle Unlimited, this was the first book I grabbed!

While this wasn’t the story I expected, I did really enjoy it. I’m a little torn over the story. I’ll admit, I had to warm up to it and get over my disappointment. But I did and I really started to like these two together.

Unfortunately, it got to be a little too much for me at the end. What started fast and furious became a little slower near the halfway point. While I like what the latter half of the story explored, it did drag a bit for me.

But overall, a fantastic way to end this series and wrap up all these characters stories.

Series Rating: 4.5/5

More Than This 4/5 | More Than Her 5/5 | More Than Him 4/5 | More Than Forever 5/5 | More Than Enough 4/5

overall

This series reminded me a lot of Wanted by Kelly Elliot but better executed. It features mature characters, great romances and some hot drama that keeps this books interesting and pulls you in. One of the best New Adult series I have read in awhile!

Read if You Like: new adult, drama, romance
Avoid if You: dislike drama, dislike longer reads

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Synopsis for More Than This (from Goodreads):
*Mikayla*
In one night my fairytale ended. Or it may have begun. This is my story of friendship and love, heartbreak and desire, and the strength to show weakness.

*Jake*
One night I met a girl. A sad and broken girl, but one more beautiful than any other. She laughed through her sadness, while I loved through her heartbreak.

*This is our story of a maybe ever after.*

He was right. It made no difference whether it was 6 months or 6 years.
I couldn’t undo what had been done. I couldn’t change the future.
I couldn’t even predict it.
It was one night.
One night when everything changed.
It was so much more than just the betrayal.
It was the Tragedy.
The Deaths.
The Murders.
But it was also that feeling.
The feeling of falling.

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