Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
The Callahans Series
Synopsis for Close to Me (from Goodreads):
Asher Davis. My first crush.
My first kiss.
The boy who ripped my heart out of my chest again and again. Over and over. I let him have it every single time.
We are that toxic high school couple you hear about, the one you witness in the hallway avoiding each other. You laugh at them in class when they’re forced to work together, their gazes full of hatred. We are the couple you gossip about when they win homecoming prince and princess their sophomore year…
The back and forth is what kills me the most. I’m not his princess, I’m the girl he toys with when he’s bored. And he’s definitely not my prince, no matter how badly I want him to be.
Our senior year and we’re months away from never having to see each other again when disaster strikes—and brings us closer together. All it takes is one touch, and I’m burning for Ash. Hotter than I ever have.
But will that burn turn into a devastating fire? Or can we actually make it work this time?
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Series: The Callahans
This is a spinoff of the One Week Girlfriend Series.
It has its own spinoff: The College Years Series
Author: Monica Murphy
# of Books: 7 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected (#1-2, #5-7) + Direct Sequel (#3 & #4)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Heat Rating: warm
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: February 2020 – May 2022
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook; Author–ARC (#3, #5, #6, #7 only)
WARNING: If you have not finished the original series, this review may have spoilers!
**This post was originally published 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.**
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
Drew and Fable (One Week Girlfriend) hold a special place in my heart. Their novel was one of the first New Adult Romances I ever read and therefore helped set a standard for what I look for in a NA read. I love their relationship and their story.
So getting to watch their kids fall in love? YES PLEASE!
How Does It Compare To The Original?
Just like the original series, I was sucked right in by these two. The back and forth moments from their past had me hooked to see what would happen next. Monica Murphy can write great tension between her leads, making the slow burn all that sweeter.
Another thing I really loved–that we don’t often see in YA–is great supportive parents. Part of Drew and Fable’s issues in their respective stories is their shitty parents so it was great to see them break from that cycle and be great, supportive parents. It was amazing to see what an impact parental relationships can have on a YA story.
Anything I Didn’t Like?
I do think I could have done without the few chapters from Ash’s perspective. Because most of the book is told by Autumn, I had built up this idea of Ash and his feelings so sometimes his POV chapters seemed to contradict what I have perceived earlier.
My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:
Very excited to see who will fall in love next!
–October 26, 2020– Book #2: Falling for Her
While I thought his novel was super cute, I struggled a lot with the pacing. In some ways, it felt longer than it needed to be but it also allowed for the romance to have a slow burn to it that I rather enjoyed when all is said an done. Developing their friendship and having Jake work on himself a bit allowed the romance to be deeper than I initially thought it would be presented as.
–October 26, 2020– Book #3: Addicted to Him
Disclaimer: I stopped reading Addicted to Him at 13% (Start of Chapter 14).
So when I discovered who Ava would fall in love with, I was very excited. We got little tidbits in the previous novel and that just stoked the flames a little higher for me so I couldn’t wait.
OH BOY, this was a mess from the start for me. It’s such a shame too! But our hero turned me off by the end of Chapter 1 with his behaviour and I had a hard time seeing how the Ava I had come to know in the other books would fall for his shit.
I did give it a few more chapters to work itself out. After all, I love a good redemption story. But alas, he did not redeem himself and I found their romance to be problematic as a result. My Goodreads review explains it better here. And knowing that their story continues in another book, I bowed out.
–October 26, 2020– Book #4: Meant to Be
Because this is a direct sequel to book #3, Addicted to Him, I did not read this installment
–July 12, 2021– Book #5: Fighting For You
I didn’t read the book where these two are introduced but I was immediately sucked into their story. Normally I don’t like being thrown into a book where it’s assumed you know something about the characters because they were in a previous book. So I didn’t need to be overly familiar with their past because I wanted to see their future.
I thought both characters really matured throughout the story and went about their circumstances in a healthy way. It was positive and heartwarming but also had a good dose of reality along the way.
–January 14, 2022– Book #6: Making Her Mine
I’ve been looking forward to Beck’s book since the start of the series. He is so sweet and has a great heart. I think he is the perfect combination of his parents’ personalities so I wanted to see that all come together and for him to find his perfect match.
I haven’t read the prequel stuff, When Bae, about these two and maybe I should have. They move at a fast pace because of their shared past and I wish I had that background experience (even though you definitely get the gist within this book). But these two reinforce the idea that when you are with the right person, things come easily and feel natural. It was so obvious that they liked each other but kept missing their shot for one reason or another so it was so sweet seeing things finally align for them!
It’s bittersweet that this is the last book of the Callahan clan. I know we are getting a wedding book to wrap everything up but this is the last time we see one of the kids fall in love for the first time so I’m going to miss that aspect and spending that time with this family.
–May 15, 2022– Book #7: A Callahan Wedding
In a way this is a love letter to fans of the Drew and Fable Series, The Callahans and the College Years Series. You get the glimpses of where everyone is in their lives years later. Everyone loves a happily ever after and I’m one of those readers who needs to know every single detail of characters’ lives once their story ends. To me, a story isn’t complete without an epilogue and this novella series as the last extended epilogue to so many great romances.
My Series Rating: 4/5
Close to Me 4/5 | Falling for Her 3/5 | Addicted to Him DNF | Meant to Be N/A | Fighting for You 4/5 | Making Her Mine 4/5 | A Callahan Wedding 5/5
While it was angsty and the drama does get a little over the top at times, this is an addicting romance for new and returning fans–if you read the first two books. I didn’t like the content of the 3rd book nor how it continued into a duet. But Book #5 reminded me how great Monica Murphy’s romances can be.
Read if You Like: angsty YA romance, supportive parents
Avoid if You: dislike YA contemporary romance
- Like a Memory by Abbi Glines (Sea Breeze Meets Rosemary Beach Series #1)
- Dear Ava by Ilsa Madden-Mills
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