Synopsis for Dear Ava (from Goodreads):
The rich and popular Sharks rule at prestigious, ivy-covered Camden Prep. Once upon a time, I wanted to be part of their world–until they destroyed me.
The last thing I expected was an anonymous love letter from one of them.
Please. I hate every one of those rich jerks for what they did to me. The question is, which Shark is my secret admirer?
Knox, the scarred quarterback.
Dane, his twin brother.
Or Chance, the ex who dumped me. . .
Your eyes are the color of the Caribbean Sea.
Wait. That’s stupid.
What I really mean is, you look at me and I feel something REAL.
It’s been ten months since you were here, but I can’t forget you.
I’ve missed seeing you walk down the hall.
I’ve missed you cheering at my football games.
I’ve missed the smell of your hair.
And then everything fell apart the night of the kegger.
Don’t hate me because I’m a Shark.
I just want to make you mine.
SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Genre: Young Adult / New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: warm *spicy YA*
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Source & Format: Social Butterfly PR–eARC
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I’ve been on a bit of a YA/NA high-school bully romance kick and when I read the synopsis for this story, I was super intrigued. There’s so much mystery behind Ava’s past with the Sharks and a secret admirer? I’ve always enjoyed Ilsa’s novels in the past and I knew that this was going to be a great read.
This novel was originally written as a short story and more content was added. I never read the original short story but if I hadn’t know that tidbit from research, I never would have guessed. It’s a solid novel.
I’ll admit, I thought the secret admirer aspect would play a larger role in this story. I’m not sure if it was a larger focus in the short version or not? Regardless, it was a great way to enhance the story when it was there.
While we find out what happens to Ava at the start of the novel, there are still many unanswered questions that drive the narrative forward. There are so many elements at play that I wasn’t always sure if my theories were sound. And there was just something so addicting about the way things unfolded that had me hooked.
I was really impressed with the depth of all the characters we meet, even the side ones. In some ways, it felt like I had already stepped foot in this world before because everyone just seemed so familiar and developed.
Ava is a solid heroine. I admire her drive and determination to move on from her past. She’s got a great head on her shoulders despite all the obstacles thrown in her way.
I really got sucked into this aspect of the story. I just thought it was so cute and charming!
My Rating: 4/5
Perfect for those who want to bridge the gap between Young Adult and New Adult Contemporary romances!
Read if You Like: mature YA romance, enemies to lovers
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romance
- Bullyby Penelope Douglas (Fall Away Series #1)
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- Savage Royals by Callie Rose (Boys of Oak Park Prep #1)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills writes about strong heroines and sexy alpha males that sometimes you just want to slap.
She’s addicted to dystopian books and all things fantasy, including unicorns and sword-wielding females. Other fascinations include frothy coffee beverages, dark chocolate, Instagram, Ian Somerhalder (seriously hot), astronomy (she’s a Gemini), and tattoos.
She has a degree in English and a Master’s in Education.
When she’s not pecking away on her computer, she shops for cool magnets and paints old furniture.
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