Tag «tragedy»

Single Sundays: Me & Milo the Great by Michelle Schlicher

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 Me & Milo the Great (from Goodreads):

My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden.

But I’m not the only one.

There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I’ll finally get past it.

Maybe it just takes time—and a little bit of magic.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: New Must Read Author
Author: Michelle Schlicher
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Heat Rating: Cold
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Date: September 14, 2017
Source & Format: Author–eARC | Thank you Michelle Schlicher!

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Earlier this year, I picked up Michelle’s other novel Come This Way and loved it! It was so insightful and touching and it was one of those books that had me going “wow” when I finished it (in a totally good way!).

So when Michelle asked if I wanted to read her latest novel, I immediately said yes! The synopsis had that allure intrigue (what’s Holiday’s burden? and how are the others involved? magic?!) and I just had to uncover it!

The Concept:

I don’t want to give too much away because the reveal of Holiday’s “burden” was a big “wow” moment for me. So I’ll just say it was a story that I’ve never read about and it captured my full attention.

The great thing about this story is that the chapters alternate between the “now” and “then” so you really get Holiday’s full story. You see how she has dealt with her past and how it affects the present, enhancing her character development. I really loved watching it all come together.

The Plot:

Like I said above, I enjoyed the back and forth nature of this book. I love stories that build and reveal parts at a time. It keeps you invested in the story and curious to see how everything links together. They always have the most satisfying ending when you see the bigger picture.

The Characters:

I really felt for Holiday as a character. She’s just doing the best she can with what she has and you can’t help but to empathize with her. Her growth from start to finish is just amazing and I loved watching her grow before my eyes.

Milo is great too! I thought he would play a bigger role/be the focus for the novel but he has just the right touch for bringing this story to life. He doesn’t distract from Holiday’s story but complements it in a way that enhances the entire novel.

The Romance:

Again, not a huge focus but it complements the story in a great way.

My Rating: 5/5

overall

This is a beautifully crafted story about how the past can alter our future but learning that it shouldn’t govern your life. Holiday’s specific circumstances won’t apply to everyone but her discovery of moving on from the past will resonate with many readers.

Read if You Like: character driven stories, past and present chapters
Avoid if You: want a romance driven story
similarreads

catchphrase

Single Sundays: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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 Ugly Love (from Goodreads):
When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

breakdown

SERIESous’ Top Picks: Favourite Author
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating
: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook

thoughts

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’m at the point now where Colleen Hoover writes a book and I automatically read it. It could be a love triangle infested, alpha male overload book (two automatic book passes for me) and I would still pick it up. So me reading Ugly Love wasn’t a huge surprise.

I really didn’t know what to expect once I started reading. As with all Colleen Hoover (CoHo) books I knew that there was definitely going to be something more to this story than a simple “no-strings-attached” sex plot-line but I had no idea what and that made me excited. I have yet to be disappointed in CoHo’s delivery so I don’t feel guilty putting so much anticipation on this book.

The Plot:

I just love how CoHo writes her books. The plot can be so simple, like it is in this case, but she makes you feel like you are reading a brand new story every time. So while we might not have had music (Maybe Someday)–though there is a special song written for this book, it’s just not featured within the book–or art (Confess) or slam poetry (Slammed) as a primary element in this story, it was still as beautifully crafted as her other novels.

With this book we get the present day told from Tate and the alternating chapters are Miles from his past. While I enjoyed watching Miles and Tate together, I have to admit that reading Miles past was really addicting to me. I was immediately captivated by his story and loved how is character is presented. It just added a depth to his character that made me like him more because I’m not sure if I would have liked him if his story was kept hidden and he told his POV in the present…

The Characters:

Compared to previous CoHo books I felt like the character development wasn’t completely on point when it came to Tate. She really takes a backseat in this story. I’m not sure if it’s because I found Miles to be a much more interesting character given his past but Tate wasn’t all that impressive of a character to me. Of course I liked her and I loved her interaction with Miles (they had great sexual tension together!)–she is a solid character in her own right and I think that is the “problem”.

Miles is the one who has to overcome this issues and grow into the man he was always meant to be. Tate just has a much better grasp on her life so you really don’t see her growth as a character since she already has found herself by the time we are introduced to her.

I know that there aren’t any plans for immediate sequels for these books but I would love to read Corbin (Tate’s brother) and Ian’s (Miles’ BFF) stories *sigh*

The Romance:

I thought Miles and Tate had great chemistry together. I could see their connection despite not having these long, emotional talks together. I think their relationship in this book is more about finding that person you feel you can be completely comfortable with and the work it takes to let the past go and  embrace that. So what I mean is that I didn’t see this great connection between them like I have in other books but I did see it coming to light and that was enough for me in this book.

Movie!

This is going to be an indie movie! You can watch the official teaser trailer here!

My Rating: 4.5/5

overall

It’s definitely not my favourite Colleen Hoover book but it is definitely worth a read! I shed some MASSIVE tears reading this because the story is so heartbreaking and wonderful at the same time. CoHo fans will love this and those new to her works will definitely enjoy!

Read if You Like: no-strings-attached romances, emotional drama, tragic pasts
Avoid if You: want equal character development in your leads, don’t like emotional baggage, want a more erotica based novel
similarreads

catchphrase

Single Sundays: Rewind to You by Laura Johnston

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 Rewind to You (from Goodreads):
Wish You Were Here

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

Review:

I came across this book completely by accident when I was browsing eBooks from my public library and I’m glad that I took a chance on it and picked it up.

This book has so many layers to it that it’s hard to decide where to start. When I first grabbed this book, I thought it was going to be more New Adult in nature, and to a degree it is, but it is missing the sexual content that often accompanies New Adult reads. I suppose it is just an issue of semantics and what the definition “New Adult” means to you. To me, it means collage students who deal with heavier topics and have sex with their romantic lead. But, I’ve read a lot of “New Adult-like” books that have characters in high school who also deal with heavier subject matter but lack the sex-focus. Anyways…this book straddles the line between Young Adult and New Adult but I would say it leans more towards New Adult than it does towards a Sarah Dessen novel.

One thing I really loved about this book was the character development. When we meet the characters, they are already well developed and complete characters; but as the book progresses their layers really get revealed and that’s what drove the story for me. Laura Johnston did a great job writing this book and I loved how it never seemed to follow a formula in its presentation. When Austin’s story needed to be the focus, we got multiple chapters of him in a row and vice versa.

Another thing I loved was that there was a lot going on in each character’s life. It wasn’t focused on just Sienna with a little bit of a side story for Austin. I felt like it was really well balanced and both characters complemented each other very well.

My only disappointment with the book was that it felt a little too “love-at-first-sight”. It wasn’t really in the grand scheme of things–and I really don’t want it to deter you from reading this if you don’t like love-at-first-sight novels–but it was an element that wasn’t my favourite part of the story. However, unlike most love-at-first-sight novels I really felt like these characters had a connection that simply wasn’t lust and that was super refreshing.

Conclusion:

It was a very refreshing read and very well written; one of my favourite reads this year. If you want a book that is heavy on the dark drama that is often found in New Adult reads but without all the sex, this is a great book for you to grab!

Rating: 4/5
Would I Recommend this Book to a Friend: Yes

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Romance, Tragedy, Coming of Age, Mental Health
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Standalone 2014
Similar Reads: Kiss the Tiger by Raquel Lyon and Breathe Into Me by Sara Fawkes

Series Review: Unbreakable Trilogy by Rebecca Shea

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: Unbreakable Trilogy
Author: Rebecca Shea
# of Books: 3 (Unbreakable, Undone, Unforgiven)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Tragedy, Drama, Contemporary, Mature Subject Matter
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: September 2013 – September 2014
Source & Format: Own–eBook

Thoughts:

I decided to read Unbreakable as a lighter, more upbeat read after reading a particularly dry novel: so you can guess that I was in for a bit of a surprise when I realized that Unbreakable wasn’t that upbeat book I was looking for. I guess I missed that bit about the tragedy or assumed it would be something else when I read the synopsis because this book, while charming and fun at times, is more often than not a sadder, more serious read than I previously assumed.

I think a more plausible explanation is that I expected the book to be more about Gabe and Jessica falling in love and then dealing with a tragedy than what actually happens. The romance between Gabe and Jessica (the path of falling in love) mostly takes place “off-screen”, years before the story begins which was disappointing as I was really looking forward to the sexual tension as they succumbed to their feelings for each other. Instead, we get plunked right into the beginning of their relationship, then the tragedy and the events that unfold afterwards. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

This story is more about Jessica and Gabe dealing with the tragedy after it happens and trying to navigate their relationship accordingly. It was well done, especially in regards to what the “tragedy” is, so I didn’t mind reading the story. I could have done without a particular character introduced later in the story–I think it was unnecessary to this story (though I won’t lie and say that I am not excited to read about their story in the next book; so I guess it wasn’t the worst thing in the world :P).

While I loved the moments shared between Jessica and Gabe (for a while they were going to get the tag “fav couple”) I found I quickly got tired of them–Jessica in particular. This is one of those books about First Love so it can get a little sugary and “all-consuming” at times. Some of the things Jessica did made me think she was a little dim and I wish she had a bit more independence–I hate couples that are overly “couplely” if you know what I mean and Gabe and Jess were like that to me.

When all was said and done, I did enjoy Unbreakable–I think if I knew exactly I was getting into before I read it, I would have given it a higher rating.

Because I had an idea of what to expected with the second book, Undone, I think I enjoyed it a lot more. This time, I got to watch the couple fall in love and I enjoyed watching them do so because I loved the sexual chemistry between the two of them. They were a great pair that balanced each other out well. At first, I was worried that things were going to happen too fast between them but I was glad when things progressed at a slower pace than I anticipated. I also feel it is important to note that this novel reads more as adult contemporary romance with a New Adult feel to it because the characters are much older than the previous leads.

Although I knew what to expect, there were a few interesting twists along the way that I liked and were interesting to watch unfold. I didn’t feel like I was getting dragged through the motions as much as I did with Unbreakable. I think it’s clear that I much preferred this book to Unbreakable; however, this is one aspect that I felt like Unbreakable did better and that was how they handled the tragedy/secret. It isn’t a huge deal but it was something I personally didn’t particularly like in Undone when I think about it.

I’m really excited to read Unforgiven–I’ve been thinking about this particular pairing since Unbreakable and I’m excited to see where it will go!

updates

–February 11, 2016– Book #3: Unforgiven

*Sigh* This was NOT the story I was expecting when I finally picked up Unforgiven. Like Unbreakable, it’s more of a story about individual character development with a dash (and I mean a small dash) of romance on the side. I wanted to see these two characters fall in love and that really wasn’t what we got. It was very disappointing in that respect.

I did like the plot to a certain degree. I haven’t really read a book that deals with the topics this one does and I really liked the approach it takes. However, I was frustrated with how our male lead handles everything and that really turned me off of this story in the end.

Series Rating: 3/5

Unbreakable 3/5 | Undone 4/5 | Unforgiven 2.5/5

overall

This series has a more serious, darker feel to it than some other New Adult reads. It focuses more on the tragedies than the drama of relationships; instead, it focuses on each lead finding themselves and then finding out where they belong in a relationship. All the novels (so far) deal with mature subject matter that may make some people uncomfortable but for the most part the material is handled well in a realistic and mature manner that readers will respect.

Read if You Like: character development, tragedy, realistic stories
Avoid if You: want more romance, dislike love triangles

similarreads

Synopsis for Unbreakable (from Goodreads):
Jessica Harper is the epitome of perfection. She’s a good daughter, makes excellent grades, and always strays on the safe side of life. The last thing she thought would ever happen was falling in love with her best friend’s brother. But sometimes fate just has a way of bringing two people together.

Wide receiver for the University of Arizona, Gabe Garcia, seems to have it all. When his feelings for Jessica come to surface, Gabe will give up everything to be with her.

But what happens when a tragedy abruptly changes the course of your life? For Jessica and Gabe, everything they thought they knew about each other will be questioned. Sometimes, there are scars in life that are cut too deep to completely heal.

Will their love prove to be unbreakable, or will it shatter and prove fate is just another lie?

readingchallengesbook

Single Sundays: Unravel by Calia Read

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 Unravel (from Goodreads):
Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.

And now…everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he’s real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?

Review:

When I first saw the cover for this book, I thought it was a new erotic romance novel that has some abstract artwork for a cover–much like Maya Banks’ Breathless Trilogy–instead of people. So initially I scrolled past it but then curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see what it was about. And after reading the synopsis, I just knew I had to read this book to figure out what it going on.

I really liked the execution of this book. It starts with Naomi already admitted to the psych ward and then she begins to retell what happened in her past to get her to that point. I immediately got sucked in trying to put together the pieces of her past to see what exactly had happened to get her to her current state.

This book is the definition of a New Adult read but instead of focusing solely on the romance, it focuses on the past and what brings us to the present. I found it very refreshing in that sense. Don’t let that previous sentence convince you that there isn’t a romance–because there definitely is and I loved it just as much as I loved the plotline. They blended very well together but I liked that the romance wasn’t all there was to this book.

I really had no idea what was going to happen but as soon as I did, it all clicked into place and I went: WOW, that was really great! I love when you finish a book and that is your first reaction because this book, while a mindf**k initially, really comes together beautifully at the end.

Conclusion:

This book definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a very dark New Adult read and deals with some serious issues like mental illness. But if you enjoy novels that screw a bit with your mind and have a bit of a mystery to the plot, you will love this book. One of the best books I have read so far this year for sure!

Rating: 4.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult, Drama, Tragedy, Romance, Mystery
Recommended for: 18+
Heat Rating: really warm
Point of View: First Person
SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Standalone of 2014
Similar Reads: Rosebush by Michele Jaffe and Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Series Review: Ruin by Rachel Van Dyken

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Reads of 2014, Must Watch For Author
Series: Ruin Trilogy
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
# of Books: 3 (Ruin, Toxic, Shame)

There is a novella that is a continuation of Ruin BUT takes place after Toxic called Fearless.

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Drama, College
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating

Thoughts:

Ruin was one of those books that was everywhere for me. Kobo had been recommending it for months and my friends on Goodreads had all given it super high ratings (I’m talking 5/5). Rachel Van Dyken is also an author that pops on numerous New Adult lists so I figured it was about time I read one of her books.

So I picked up Ruin on one of my mass Kobo book-runs and got to reading it a few days later. And finished it in a day–it was that fantastic!

What makes it fantastic is the great blend of romance, characters and plot. Nothing was overdone or underdone, it was just well done. I was worried that the romance between Wes and Kiersten would be rushed or happen too quickly but it wasn’t. Both seemed to understand what was happening but took their time and had good heads about them. It was hard not to like them really and they suited each other beautifully. I also really liked the rest of the characters so added bonus!

The plot wasn’t totally original to me as it reminded me a lot of A Walk to Remember (though I’ve only ever seen the movie) BUT the characters really do make a big distinction between the two novels so it didn’t bother me that much. It was super cute and I totally cried reading it 😛

As soon as I finished Ruin, I needed to read Toxic and get Gabe’s story. From the bits and pieces we get of Gabe in Toxic I wanted to know more about him and I thought I had a good idea of where the story was going to go. BUT, I was completely wrong. Toxic was different from Ruin in a lot of way but it still had that great blend of romance, plot and feelings its predecessor had. One thing that really separated the two was the mysterious and twisting plotRuin was a lot more straight forward in its delivery but I really had no idea where Toxic was going and when I thought I did, something else would happen. Simply a great follow up novel.

Fearless is basically an extended epilogue of Ruin but has little hints about what to expect in Shame. It was a little over the top for me at times but I enjoyed it and I would say it is worth the time to read.

updates

–January 16, 2016– Book #3: Shame

This book definitely got shafted to the back-burner for me. I totally forgot about it until I pulled it for my Rock my TBR challenge this year. I think reading it closer to the other books would have helped me enjoy it more but I can’t say that for sure.

I just couldn’t stay into this book and found myself getting bored with it. It started promising but things just happened too fast and I didn’t like its flow. It was predictable and slightly over the top; not what I was expecting for Lisa’s story. The logic and rational for the plot escaped me and took me away from enjoying the story. Even the romance was lacklustre and one that I had a hard time seeing besides physical attraction. For me, it just wasn’t a great way to end the series.

Series Rating: 4/5

Ruin 5/5 | Toxic 4/5 | Shame 3/5

overall

Overall, these novels are great! The romance is swoon-worthy but also realistic (even in Shame  to a certain extent) and grounding. This series makes you appreciate life and your loved ones and these characters will probably make you cry. Highly recommended for New Adult fans!

Read if You Like: romances, New Adult, tragic backstories
Avoid if You: dislike somewhat over the top drama

similarreads

Synopsis for Ruin (from Goodreads):
I’m not your typical girl. I’ve been running away from the memories that haunt me for so long that depression has become my only comfort. I was content in the darkness…until Wes Michals offered to be my light.

I didn’t know that time wasn’t my ally — that every second that ticked past was one step closer to the end of something that was beginning to mean the end of myself. He tried to warn me. He promised me all he was able to offer–each moment as it came–but it would never be enough.

Sometimes when you think it’s the end, it’s only the beginning. Wes thought he could save me, but in giving me everything, he ruined me. Because after one kiss, one touch, I couldn’t–I wouldn’t ever be the same.

And from that moment on, his heartbeat became my own.

readingchallengesbook

connect Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: Into the Deep by Samantha Young

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

Into the Deep by Samantha Young | Into the Deep Series

Series: Into the Deep
Author: Samantha Young
# of Books: 2 (Into the Deep, Out of the Shallows)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Single
Publication Dates: August 2013 – April 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 reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

While On Dublin Street (the series Samantha Young is most well known for) has been on my reading list forever , I decided to buy Into the Deep mostly because it was significantly cheaper than the Dublin series and I could use my coupon 😛 Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in reading it, but I wasn’t overly excited to read it.

And I wasn’t overly excited when I was reading it either. Everything in this book is a little blah when I compare it to the other New Adult reads that I have read in the past year.

Jake isn’t really a “bad boy”–yes, he’s a bit of a player but there are “badder” boys out there, that’s for sure! And Charley is just pain boring. Of course she is the typical “not overly pretty” heroine that every boy is in love with and they only bother trying to make a move on her once she is with someone else. I don’t know why they like her other than her looks–she doesn’t exactly have a winning personality to me.

As for the plot, I found it predictable and–not surprisingly–dull given my impression of the two main characters. While I liked trying to figure of the mystery of the “incident” by having the flashbacks to the past, it just wasn’t enough for me to be overly impressed with this book. The plot is also slow which I found frustrating considering I knew where it was going to go the whole time–at times I just wished it would get to the point already. I enjoy drama in my novels (not over the top soap opera drama but drama nonetheless) and this didn’t have a lot going on–I felt like the book never really climaxed. I think if we had an alternating perspective between Jake and Charley I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

One highlight of the novel is Charley’s BFF Claudia. Now Claudia is an interesting character that I would love to read more about! Her story often overshadowed Charley’s and I often wished I was reading about Claudia instead.

I will read Out of the Shallows just for the sake of getting some closure but I won’t be pushing it to the top of my To-Read list ASAP.

It’s been a couple of years now and I’ve already forgotten this story, so DNF it gets.

Series Rating: DNF

Into the Deep 3/5 | Uut of the Shallows N/A

overall

This book is slow in my opinion but if you enjoy reading about reunited loves who are trying to find themselves as they navigate their relationship, this is probably one for you. A nice jump into the New Adult genre without the (often) over the top drama usually found in the genre and not as sexy-time focused either. So if you enjoy high drama, bad boys or characters touched by tragedy–avoid this series and pick something else up!

similarreads

booksynopsis

Synopsis for Into the Deep (from Goodreads):
Live young. Live hard. Love deep.

Charley Redford was just an ordinary girl until Jake Caplin moved to her small town in Indiana and convinced her she was extraordinary. Almost from day one Jake pulled Charley into the deep and promised he was right there with her. But when a tragic incident darkened Jake’s life he waded out into the shallows and left Charley behind.

Almost four years later Charley thinks she’s moved on. That is until she takes a study year abroad in Edinburgh and bumps into none other than Jake Caplin at a party with his new girlfriend. The bad-boy-turned-good attempts to convince Charley to forgive him, and as her best friend starts spending time with Jake’s, Charley calls a truce, only to find herself tumbling back into a friendship with him.

As they grow closer, the spark between them flares and begins playing havoc with their lives and relationships. When jealousy and longing rear their destructive heads, Charley and Jake struggle to come to grips with what they mean to one another.

And even if they work it out, there is no guarantee Charley will ever trust Jake to lead her back into the deep…

recapbutton

Connect: Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

Series Review: The Ivy Chronicles by Sophie Jordan

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

Foreplay by Sophie Jordan | The Ivy Chronicles


Other books in the series:

Series: The Ivy Chronicles
Author: Sophie Jordan
# of Books: 3 (Foreplay, Teased, Wild)

There is a short story about Hunter from Foreplay in the Fifty First Times: A New Adult Anthology

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary, Drama
Heat Rating: getting hot
Point of View: First Person, Single

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.**

My exposure to Ms. Jordan’s work before Foreplay has been her Young Adult series, Firelight which I have mixed feelings about but I always knew she wrote romance novels first and foremost so I decided to give this one a shot.

I enjoyed it, but simply put, I have read better New Adult reads in recent times. I just felt like something was missing from this book and that disappointed me slightly because I felt like it started off strong. But by the halfway point, I was getting a little bored with it.

I think part of the problem was Pepper. I just didn’t like her all that much. It’s not because I found her to be annoying–I just found her to be boring. Which is a shame because she could have been a very interesting character given the stuff we learn about her later in the book. Reese was the same for me too. He just seemed very generic but I did find him swoon-worthy at times.

I’m not sure how I feel about the love triangle either. Usually, they irritate me to no end but this one didn’t bother me that much. I’m not sure if it is because I always knew how it was going to end or if I just was indifferent to Pepper–I think it’s the latter though.

As I said, I had a pretty solid idea about how this book was going to end going into it so nothing really surprised me as I read it. Though I will give credit to two particular “twists”/events that got me to perk up in my seat as I read them–they made things a little more exciting but not enough for me to proclaim that I loved this book.

Although Goodreads lists only two books in the series, the description of the series gives me the impression that there will be a total of 3 books. Despite this lackluster start, I plan on reading Tease because I really liked Emerson’s character and I think there is a lot of potential with her book.

UPDATED (November 22/14): I finally got my hands on Tease (just in time for Wild to come out so maybe there was a method to by madness!) and finished it in a little over a day. I suppose that I like Tease more than I liked Foreplay, but again, there was just that something missing for me. I think the main thing was I just didn’t see the initial connection between Emerson and her lead. Yes, I saw why they worked well together later in the book but it just seemed so abrupt that I never fully comprehended it. Like the previous book, there were a few interesting plot twists that stopped it from being overly predictable and it is written well. It just didn’t wow me.

I’m still hoping Wild will be the standout book in the series for me. It looks like it will have an aspect to it that most New Adult reads don’t have so I’m curious to see where that will go.

UPDATED (December 3/14): I managed to get a copy of Wild and read it very quickly (they are rather short, easy books to read when all is said and done)–though using it to procrastinate from studying might have driven me to read it as quickly as I did 😛 Wild is probably my favourite of the series but it still didn’t overly impress me. The first half was great and I could see the connection between the two leads forming and loved watching all that sexual tension unfold. But then, it just fell apart for me like Foreplay did and just like the inaugural book in the series I slightly blame the heroine for this because I just didn’t get that connection to her. I think if these books had the male POV it would add that depth to the books that was missing and would take them from “ok” to “really good” because everything is all there, it just needs to be brought up a level.

Conclusion:

All and all, this book (and series) was alright. When I finished it, I gave it a 4/5 but when I thought about it more, it’s more of a 3.5 that’s closer to a 3. It wasn’t anything overly exciting (drama wise) but I enjoyed reading it. I think it’s a great book to read if you are looking at getting into the New Adult genre, but I think those who have read a good number of New Adult reads will find this a little dull. Though, it should be said that the writing caliber of this book is SIGNIFICANTLY better than a lot of New Adult reads out there.

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: Charade by Nyrae Dawn (Games #1); Wait for You by J. Lynn (Wait for You Series #1); Keep Me by Faith Andrews (Grayson Siblings #1)  and Saved by Kelly Elliot (Wanted Series #2)

Synopsis for Foreplay (from Goodreads):
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

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

similarreads

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.

Connect: Twitter GoodReads Riffle Bloglovin' Google Plus Amazon.ca Reviews RSS Email

catchphrase

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.