November 9 by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

Synopsis from GoodreadsBeloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist

Publisher:  Atria Books

Date Published: November 10, 2015

Date Read: October 19, 2016

Source/Format: Kindle edition

Setting: Los Angeles

REVIEW

NEVER HAVE I BEEN SO CONFLICTED OVER A BOOK UNTIL NOVEMBER 9.

It’s true, it was so hard to rate this one. It feels like I am still going to change my mind in the future, but for now, let’s settle with a 2- star rating. My mind and my heart are at war with each other right now, my feelings dictate to love this book despite its many flaws, but my mind knows logic. And this time I am choosing logic over feelings, because at this point I am after the substance of the book, rather than how it made me feel – this book made me feel plethora of emotions, alright, but I can’t go on basing my thoughts on feelings alone right? Past 50% of the book I was so sure to give it 5 stars, then came 75% and my excitement is waning down, then onto 82% and it lost me completely.

Let me first tell you what I loved about it, I don’t want this review to sound like a rant. There is definitely something I like about it, so let me discuss it before I go full rant mode. First, I loved the concept of Ben and Fallon meeting every November 9th. It was yes like One Day but as Ben puts it, theirs was unique one, and I have to give Colleen Hoover props for it. It was sure a great concept, I sure would love to read something more like this. And the writing style is good too, well I think that’s an established fact when it comes to Colleen Hoover books. She sure knows where to hit the right spot. Her writing style is addictive and many can attest to that, myself included. I always loved the concept of writers as characters in books, there’s always something comforting about it, and I sure as hell loved Ben The Writer the first half of the book, I mean what is not to love? He was funny, smart, adorable and just perfect. But I never learn with CoHo books.There is always a catch. Always.

This is the fourth book I have read by her. First was Hopeless, Maybe Someday, It Ends With Us and then November9. I’m not one to tell that this book was the least of what she has written, but it definitely didn’t quite match the three books I have read, I might be on the minority side on this one, but I’ll say my piece. What irked me was the fact that this book pushed it a little too far, so much so that it was almost cringe-worthy. I mean I know it is a work of fiction, but I longed for that modicum or element of reality in the books I read, something one could at least relate to. This book fell short in that category. If anything, reading November9 is like watching a daytime drama – yes it was that dramatic and too unrealistic, too over the top, but ultimately something people can’t get enough of. I guess it was trying to make an impact, that whoa factor, that gasp-inducing  moment, that smack-in-the-face-before-you-can-register-what-just-happened, it did. But it didn’t work for me, it was just too much. I fell in love hard and fast with the first few chapters and that same love was gone just as fast. Gone before I could acknowledge it, gone before I could savor it. It was easy to love this book, and I understand those who do, I really do, because at one point in this book I saw myself loving it too. Maybe if the book ended at 75% or without that terrible twist, I would have loved it. But no, there has to be this devastating twist, which ruined everything for me. The deception was painted in a romantic way, it is as if in doing so, it was justified. It was so wrong on so many levels. What Ben did, was just wrong and the explanation that came looked like a mere after-thought – again to justify the deception and manipulation (for lack of a better term). And how it was so easy for Fallon to just accept it, damn girl, your mother taught you better than that!

And did I mention how sooooo cheesy most of the parts were? If you know me long enough, you probably would know that I love cheesy and all that mushy things in a book, well November9 took it to the moon, like wayyyy up there, that it is not even sweet anymore it is bordering creepy and obsessive, which, no thanks, I’ll pass up. Plus this book was made for it to be liked by readers, you don’t get what I’m saying? Let me put it this way, Fallon is a wide romance-reader, which we all are here, if you have read Colleen Hoover books, then it is safe to assume you love the genre, right? Because what the hell are you doing here if you’re not into romance novels. Anyway, so she’s a sucker for romance novels, in romance novels, there are, book-boyfriends, book worthy kisses, angst, alpha-males, and all that jazz. This book tried to incorporate all these things here. It was trying to lure readers into liking it, at first it worked on me, but then it got old and nope, just stop it. I don’t know if I was able to explain that clearly, but I couldn’t give out spoilers okay. So I guess you have to see it for yourself.

So there, I have to stop now. If you want to give this book a try, go ahead, maybe you could appreciate it more than I did, and that’s really good. Maybe I missed out on the message the book was trying to send across, or maybe it was just a case of bad timing. I don’t know. I finished the book, so I think that’s good enough. Will this book tarnish the love I have for Colleen Hoover? Definitely not, we have our favorite authors, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that we have to love everything they have written. So which one should I read next?

Reviews are reviews, they are opinions of the readers, which more often than not are always at opposites with each other, I respect the ones who loved it, good for you. But also you have to respect those who didn’t. So let’s just enjoy reading and be nice to each other!

RATING: rating_2stars

“She “loved me” in quotations

She kissed me in bold

I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps

She left with an ellipsis . . .”
Colleen Hoover, November 9

Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine: Book Review

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Synopsis: Pixie and Levi haven’t spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are… awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they’re forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

Date Published: March 14, 2014

Date Read: September 21, 2016

Publisher: Forever

No. of Pages: 272

Setting: Copper Spring, Arizona

 

Review

Cute Banters and Palpable Sexual Tension, what’s not to love?

 

Best Kind of Broken brought out the fun in reading New Adult books. I have been on a New Adult reading spree these days. It doesn’t happen often, and so I took advantage of it. Often times after reading a new adult book, I would immediately jump to a different genre – in need of a palate cleanser. I’m not one who binge read one after another, I tend to mix it all up or over-compare the stories, making me favour one more than the other. It’s like choosing a favourite child (well, I don’t have kids yet, haha but I’m sure you get my point). I wanted to savour every story, value them as one should – this is the main reason why I seldom read books in the same genre consecutively. And so because I am in a New Adult streak, it was surprise that I loved almost every book I have read, Best of Broken being the latest. I never expected anything out of this book. I never read the blurb or others’ review for that matter, I went into this blind. I never wanted to be influenced by what others thought of it.

I LOVED THIS BOOK!

This is the kind of romance I enjoy reading, I love Levi and Pixie’s banters and the palpable sexual tension is not hard to miss. I loved that it is funny where it is supposed to and serious when it should be. It is entertaining and engaging you wouldn’t want to put it down. Their story though a typical one as new adult theme, was presented in such a way that you would want to eat up every words and savour every page. It is a decent new adult book, nowadays we are bombarded with new adult books with either too heavy topic the world could not bear it or with too much explicit contents it is not even new adult anymore. In Best Kind of Broken, you will get the right amount of romance and drama. It is an easy story yet an unforgettable one. The story unfolded with ease and the readers are taken on this story of healing and forgiveness, of fear and despair yet choosing to risk it all over again. It was everything and then some.

The blurb hardly gave anything away, you see, blurbs like this can either be a hit or miss. It could work to lure someone into reading the book or make someone pass up completely. And because I don’t often read blurbs, including this one, I went ahead reading this book without passing any preconceived notion. I just went ahead and read through. Glad that I did. The book will take us into the story of two people trying to tiptoe through the wreck of the year that changed their lives. And I tell you, it is not just “awkward” as mentioned in the blurb, it is beyond that. It was hurt and guilt masked by annoyance, anger and indifference. How the author played around the two characters will make you see the depth of this book, it is not just a simple summer read, it has a story, it has sense of gravity and seriousness to it that one could not simply miss. And I wish more people could see that, it is not simply a book categorized under “cute-read, swoon-worthy male protagonist, love-hate relationship” it was so much more than that.

I loved how the two characters were going around in circles suppressing what they truly feel towards each other. Levi and Pixie had issues they soon need to address, and the journey on how they developed and grew in this book is really a fun thing to read. Again, the banters and the palpable sexual tension is such a delight to read, I laughed a lot of times, and tear up at some parts. It was the perfect combination of comedy, romance and drama. The sure hit formula for a good book. And oh yes!! I love love love that goat, cracks me up all the freaking time! The alternating point of views is also a big plus for me! It was beautifully written. The writing style is clean and polished. I think Chelsea Fine is an underrated author. People should seriously take a look at her works. Best Kind of Broken sure won’t be the last book I will be reading by her.

 

Rating: rating_5stars

“Love isn’t safe and life isn’t guaranteed. So yeah, I could die and you could lose Levi and your heart could hurt again, but that’s just life. The only alternative is living without fully loving anyone else. And that’s not living at all.”
― Chelsea FineBest Kind of Broken

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Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads: “You have to teach your heart and mind how to sing together… then you’ll hear the sound of your soul.”

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She’s an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father’s cafe, a treasured neighborhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She’s denied herself the thrilling and unpredictable life of a musician, but a chance encounter with Will, a sweet, gorgeous, and charming guitarist, offers her a glimpse of what could be. When Will becomes her friend and then her roommate, she does everything in her power to suppress her passions—for him, for music—but her father’s legacy slowly opens her heart to the possibility of something more.

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: August 30, 2013

Date Read: September 6, 2016

No. of Pages: 320 pages

Source: Kindle Version

Setting: New York

 

REVIEW

Love and Music, what could go wrong?

 

And because I made it my life’s mission to read all Renee Carlino books, I immediately followed Swear On This Life by Sweet Thing. I understood that Sweet Thing was one of her earlier works, but I could not help but compare. Renee Carlino truly evolved as a writer. Her writing style was so much better in Swear On This Life. But that doesn’t mean that Sweet Thing wasn’t just as good, let’s just say Sweet Thing had potential, but kind of did not live up to its promise.

The prologue was the first thing that captured me, it was set in this tone where you can already feel a good story is about to unfold. In Sweet Thing we follow the story of Mia Kelly and Will Ryan. I am the kind of reader that doesn’t dwell too much on the blurb. I want to go ahead reading a book as blind as possible. There is really fun in that. As I was reading this book, I thought it was just another typical NA story. A goody girl falling for a guy in band, how many times have we read a book like that? But this book, despite it being a little mediocre had redeeming qualities as well. It focused on life’s choices, on life’s ever present predicament of choosing what you want and choosing what is right – which more often than not are two different things. In this book we see the struggle of a girl who thought she had it all figured out, and ending up somewhere she did not plan. We are taken into this journey of self-discovery and the constant pursuit of passion despite all the reasons not to and despite all the setbacks.

This book is perfect for readers who enjoy stories about music, this one is brimming with it. I loved how music is incorporated in this book, I loved how it played an important part in forming Mia and Will’s story. It kind of reminded me of the movie Begin Again, but the similarity of it ended there and nothing more. Mia and Will’s story was painted in such a way that readers should be patient in reading it. Or at least be patient with Mia. Mia’s character had goals she had worked so hard for to achieve, but then when reality hits her, she was lost completely. Her character was in a crisis, for lack of a better term. She was always at war with what her mind dictates and what her heart desires – happens to the best of us. It worked for me for quite sometime, but then as the story progressed, I found her character to be a annoying to a fault. There was this sick cycle of one-step-forward-two-steps-back that Mia’s character kept on doing, and to be completely honest, it was a little frustrating to read. Will on the other hand, is as sweet as ever. He was a free-spirit with a huge heart. I loved that his character was carefree, a stark contrast to that of Mia, maybe that’s why they clicked.

I am always drawn to books with New York as its setting. More often than not, books set in New York end up being a favorite. I don’t know about you, but the premise of New York alone is enough for me to pick a book up. Same reason with Sweet Thing, I loved how the city was portrayed in this book, again back to the Begin Again feels. There is just something so real and yet so magical about it. Mia and Will’s story could be anyone’s story. I loved that Renee Carlino made it into something believable and relatable. Her writing style is beautiful too. I think that’s one of the reasons why I kept coming back to her books. She has a way with words that would just hit you, something that connects to your body and soul – and not every book could do that.

Sweet Thing is about finding who you are amidst all the chaos, it is knowing what you want and going for it. It was real portrayal of life, love, loss and everything in between. It is not just a love story, it was about friendship and family too. It was always something more than meets the eye. Renee Carlino will now be a staple on my shelf.

 

Rating: rating_3stars

“You are your experiences and your fears and the love you let yourself feel. You are your degree and your talent and your passion. You are your pain, your joy, and your fantasies.”
Renee Carlino, Sweet Thing

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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

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Synopsis: Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

Setting: Boston, Massachusetts

Publisher: Atria Books

Date Published: August 2, 2016

Date Read: August 5, 2016

Source: Bought a copy at Fully Booked Alabang Town Center

 

REVIEW

powerful and evocative read. 

It has been a good 24 hours since I last read the book, and I still can’t get it out of my head. It’s pretty much plaguing my mind every chance it gets, pouncing its awful reality on my brain like a headache I could not easily get rid off. This book ended me. In the truest sense of the word. Colleen hoover bared her soul with this one. This is the Colleen Hoover I fell in love with. This is the Colleen hoover hitting it where it hurts the most. This is Colleen Hoover not just telling a story for entertainment but so much more. This is digging deeper. This is flaw and perfection. This book hits home.

When you literally drop everything you’re reading just to read this one book. That constant curiosity and want gnawing at you. That feeling when it is all you think about every goddamn hour waiting for a minute, just one fucking minute you could spend with it. Waiting for unadulterated time, and actually being thankful for traffic or for idle time because you can read a page or two. It is really hard to contain one’s emotions when you just wanted to explode and tell every single soul you come across with how erratic your heart is beating, how there’s this quesy feeling down the recesses of your being. The adrenaline rush., my heartbeat in 140/minute. Gahhh that was what happened to me, I was so attached to it, I practically couldn’t function well.

There are so many things going on inside my head, Im not even sure where do I get the energy to write this review because I feel like I am so emotionally exhausted. Boy I had to compose myself, I had to pace my room and contemplate about what I just read. It was as powerful as it was raw. It was as heartbreaking as it was real. Hats off to people who have read this and not one bit messed up, because I for one cannot deal with all the rush of emotions Im having all at once. I have so many things to say and I am afraid I may not be able to say everything there is to say. So let me just compose myself a little more. Give me 10 seconds more.

You still there?

Okay good.

You ready to talk about it?

To be completely honest, I’m not.

First off, I heard few friends who didn’t like it. Which I completely understand. There is no one book that is for everyone. I guess it is just a matter of how much of yourself can relate to the story. And to tell you, this book hits home. Like it really nailed it where the wound had been and let it bleed anew. Im not one to go into details how much I related to this book. But this book gives you that bigger perspective, that sense of maturity of having to make an intelligent choice. God I wish I could say so much without giving anything away. Since Im always the one to give spoiler free reviews, I will try my best to give the book justice by not delving too much about the details of the book.

Let’s talk about the characters. There is Lily, a character I was able to relate in more ways than one. I loved how Colleen Hoover made her character reach out to readers, they may not have experienced that same thing her character went through, but she portrayed every woman faced with a predicament but was able to make choices that are selfless and intelligent. Her character was the one that made the biggest impact, she was someone who may have made wrong decisions along the way just like most of us but had conviction to stand by what is right. She was resilient and courageous and I adored Colleen Hoover for sharing such an amazing character. Then there is Ryle Kincaid, a man who has everything but is deeper than what he let on. His character was not hard to love. in fact his character was the one you’ll immediately fall for, until something happens (gahhh I can’t tell). And then there is Atlas, that guy from the past, to me he was perfect, to me he was the guy I wished I met or have my own version of. It is pretty obvious that I am Team Atlas from the very beginning. And of course I can’t fail to mention Alyssa and Marshall, god I love those two!! So funny! They seriously make the book a little lighter. Colleen Hoover made flawed characters, she made characters that are relatable. She made her characters into this real individuals with demons they have to deal with day in and day out, this was the magic of this book, how it was able to transcend from the pages of a book into the real world. How you can very well imagine that there is someone who is actually just like them in this world. The only issue I had maybe was how every character looked gorgeous and perfect, maybe we could change that?

Now let’s tackle the whole story. I never read the blurb, I went to this book as blind as one could get. I have literally no idea what it was about when I started reading it, and again I am reminded that there is beauty in that. Not knowing what it was about, not knowing what to expect, not knowing where the story will take you. And I am so glad I didn’t read the blurb, I am so glad my judgment was not tainted by what others’ thought about it. It was as pure as it could get. The story was a powerful one. It tackles heavy topics, something we should be talking about more, something we should not be afraid to read about, something we should challenge ourselves to understand more, something we should not shy away from. This book sent a message, loud and clear. Breaking the pattern, before the pattern breaks you. I had goosebumps whilst reading this book. Not only because I was able to relate to some extent but also because this was a bold and brave move by Colleen Hoover. Not many can write what they’ve been through, but Colleen Hoover made this book so significant and relevant you cannot miss the message she was trying to send across.

It Ends With Us was different and mature. It was a sad book yet a satisfying one. It was as heartbreaking yet as surreal. It was real life magnified and detailed, it was real life painted in a different light. It was a book everyone should read, not just because it is loved by many but there is a very important message that you could learn from. This book is an emotional rollercoaster, something you thought you are ready for but as it progresses through its loops and big drops, you will realize why the hell did you even ride in the first place, but after all the scare and the heart-stopping moments you will learn how rewarding it is. That is exactly what I felt when I finished reading this book. Plethora of unwanted emotions came rushing in, and I could not contain it, it felt like my heart was going to burst, I literally had a hard time breathing, it touched sensitive topics that I would rather forget but I took the plunge, I was all in, and couldn’t be more glad that I did.

So Im gonna stop here, drop everything and read this. You can thank me later. And oh please read the Author’s Note.

Hands down to Colleen Hoover! Thank you for being BOLD and BRAVE!

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“Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes. That was what Atlas was telling me when he said “I love you.” He was letting me know that I was the biggest wave he’d ever come across. And I brought so much with me that my impressions would always be there, even when the tide rolled out.” 
― Colleen HooverIt Ends with Us

 

Hawthorne and Heathcliff by RK Ryals: Book Review

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Synopsis: Two names that didn’t belong to us. Two shoes that did.

Intense and introspective, seventeen-year-old Hawthorne Macy knows all about being abandoned. She’s felt the stark pain of being left behind by the people who are supposed to love her the most; her parents. Raised by her caring uncle on an old plantation, Hawthorne lives her life on the fringes of her small Southern town.

Until she meets his shoe.

Senior year, last period English class, and a pair of silent tennis shoes resting next to hers in the back of the room throws Hawthorne into a world she’d learned to stay outside of.

His name is Max Vincent, but in her mind, he’s Heathcliff. The handsome eighteen-year-old boy behind the shoes will pull Hawthorne into a passionate and unforgettable adventure of self-discovery during a time when love seems impossible.

Shoes can tell a lot about a person. The journey they take you on can tell a lot about how they’ll hold up.

Publisher: Self-published

Date Published: August 2015

Date Read: 

Number of Pages: 212

 

REVIEW

In a nutshell it is a story about shoes with lots of metaphors thrown in the mix. Yes really. I am kind of in between loving it and disliking it. I started reading it first week of June and finished it last week of July, two days shy August. It took me that long to read a short book. I have to admit the first half was really good, it got me interested enough to read the whole half of it in one sitting, which, again rarely happens these days. It has the perfect amount of cheesiness and sadness that got me hooked until it lost me. I can still remember I was tweeting incessantly about it, how good it might turn out, but boy I spoke too soon. My interest waned past the half way mark. I don’t know if it is just me starting a new job, and being caught up with a lot of adult stuff that affected how I perceived the book or maybe it was just a case of bad timing. I’ve finished three books in between the time I was reading this. I keep on picking it up and putting it back down, which is really frustrating to be completely honest.

It had the perfect premise to lure anyone, had the right amount of drama and right amount of love story, I just couldn’t get over the fact that it turned out to be too much of a book about life and love quotes. If you’re into that, well this one is brimming with it. I love me some good quotes, I love how there are bits and pieces of the book that you could take with you, but this book has overdone it. It was metaphor and life realizations one after another that it started to become repetitive to a fault. I was literally like “Okay, we get that already, you’ve mentioned it like a bazillion times. Can we just get on with the story?”  I just tried to finish it just for the sake of finishing it. The grammatical errors also put me off.

I swear it started out so good, I was so sure to give it 5 stars. I just don’t know what happened along the way. I tried to love it, I really did, but I just couldn’t force myself doing so. It had potential, like the concept sounded so much better in your head but when you say it out loud it immediately loses half of its brilliance. I thought the Hawthorne and Heathcliff title was genius, I’d give them that. It added spice to the story, making it deeper than it truly was. I loved how they met and how they spiraled into the beauty of their love story, but then there are some things that fell too short for me. Something I could not exactly pinpoint. I think it was how it ended, there was something that was missing, I think it ended abruptly, I wanted to know the complete story how Max changed and how it affected their story, I wish it was elaborated more. But all things considered, I would still be trying out her other books.

Rating: FiveStarsInline3.svg

“Sometimes love isn’t forever. Sometimes it’s just moments in your life that teach you. If it’s the forever after kind of love, it’ll find you again. If it isn’t, don’t let a broken heart break you. Let it make you love harder. Love is a mistake worth making.”

Kyland by Mia Sheridan: Book Review

Synopsis: A full-length, standalone romance from the New York Timesbestselling author of Archer’s Voice.

Dirt poor. Hillbilly. Backwoods hick. Mountain folk. 

Tenleigh Falyn struggles each day to survive in a small, poverty-stricken, coal mining town where she lives with her sister and mentally ill mother. Her dream of winning the college scholarship given to one student by the local coal company and escaping the harshness of her life, keeps her going.

Kyland Barrett lives in the hills, too, and has worked tirelessly—through near starvation, through deep loneliness, against all odds—to win the Tyton Coal Scholarship and leave the town that is full of so much pain.

They’re both determined not to form any attachments, but one moment changes everything. What happens when only one person gets to win? When only one person gets to leave? And what happens to the one left behind?

Kyland is a story of desperation and hope, loss and sacrifice, pain and forgiveness, but ultimately, a story of deep and unending love.

THIS IS A STANDALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY TAURUS. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Publisher: Self-published

Date Published: January 24, 2015

Date Read: May 26, 2016

No. Of Pages: 264 Pages

 

REVIEW

Strong and very emotional read, it will rip your heart out and make it whole again.

I cried buckets over this book. You could literally make a tea out of my tears. A woman crying her eyes out at 2 in the morning is not a good sight to behold, my mother was bothered and asked me what was wrong, and I could not even say a coherent answer. I just said, “this book, this book, I can’t” and then cried some more. Goodness, it has been a long time since I’ve cried like this over a book. There are books that made me tear up, yes, but this book, guys, this book took bawling into whole different level. I was unstable to say the least.

 So okay enough of my thorough explanation how this book ruined me. Let’s talk about how well-written this book is. This is my very first Mia Sheridan read. I have heard a lot about this author, all positive things, especially how great  of a book Archer’s Voice is (which I plan on reading after my heart is fully recovered from all the breaking Kyland gave me), so as what all readers do, when you hear great things about an author you go ahead and read their works. And man, this author lived up to the hype. She writes oh so beautifully, so beautiful you can feel all the pain and suffering the characters go through. It’s like you are in unity with their hearts, you break for them, you cry for them, you feel happy for them, you feel proud for them. It was more like an emotional adventure that I would not trade for anything. Every bit of it was just so sincere and riveting. I did not miss the way the story has its depth, it wasn’t just a simple romance novel, not just an ordinary tale of two people falling in love. No, there is so much more to it, there was sacrifice, family drama, problem with social standing, it was everything and beyond. And I secretly wanted a love like theirs!

Kyland and Tenleigh’s love story may have developed a little faster for my own liking, but then this was a 264 page story so I understand how it was supposed to be a fast paced one, but then the whole story though short was not compromised at all. It was still complete, still will tug on your heartstrings, still something you may not forget for quite a while. Their story is a unique one, I have not read a lot of story quite like it. What a great storytelling, it’s like I was transported to Denville Kentucky as I read the book. And I really enjoyed the setting, I loved how it was described and I loved how my imagination worked all throughout. This was a book that was easy to follow, easy to be drawn into. Yes, it has somewhat a complicated storyline but everything melded into something so amazing, every bit of the story is vital – every bit of it is connected. I think I have highlighted majority of the book. It was just so good, I could not help it. I specifically enjoyed the part where Kyland and Tenleigh had this mini book club between themselves. Made me want to read the ones I have not read, and yes even reread the ones I already have.

The twist or dare I say twists, because I could not decide which one was it really haha, was presented beautifully, there was the perfect element of surprise and certainly an element of oh-no-you-did-not moments which made me want to finish it up until wee hours of the night. It was really hard to put down, the whole story will grip you in ways you do not realize possible. It will make your heart ache, your body combust into inexplicable pain, your tear ducts work double – but then it’s the kind of beautiful pain you would want to endure because it is rewarding until the end.

The characters were all interesting, you feel them under your very skin. All their hardship, sacrifices, hurt – it was all there as if you can taste it. Kyland was the epitome of a great man, I want to say more but I would’t want to spoil anyone. Tenleigh was just as engaging, her character was selfless and she is not the usual annoying and whiny girl we often read in NA. Their characters have sense, I highly commend how the author made these characters to be so mature and responsible. The side stories were awesome as well, the story of Tenleigh’s mother and her sister, about Kyland’s family, Buster’s, gahhh everyone else is just as interesting as our two main characters.

I just love this book so much, I may not have experienced everything the characters’ went through, but there are parts in this book that spoke to me in a highly different level that I could not easily dismiss. I highly highly recommend this book!

Rating: images

“I think that when enough time has passed, when you’ve survived that which you didn’t imagine you could, there’s a dignity in that. Something you can own. A pride in knowing the pain made you stronger. The pain made you fight to succeed. Someday, when I’m living my dreams, I’m going to think of all the things that broke my heart and I’m going to be thankful for them. – TF” 
― Mia SheridanKyland

The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy: Book Review

Synopsis: He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

Date Published: May 6, 2015

Publisher: Createspace

No.of Pages: 296

 

REVIEW

Off-Campus series, oh what do I do without you? Still addictive, but was a little repetitive to a fault.

First off here is my John Logan, I was featuring Freddie Stroma this whole time, because seriously why the hell not?

And now that it is out of the way, I can proceed with this review.Sorry I didn’t bother picturing out Grace Ivers, because first, her character kind of annoys me and second I am too lazy to look up for some not-so well known celebrity or model that could probably fit in Grace’s description in the book. So forgive me and let us proceed.

Reading Elle Kennedy’s books can be best compared to eating potato chips, you simply cannot just have one. After reading The Deal the first book in the Off-Campus series I knew I had to binge read the rest of it or else I’ll toss and turn in bed thinking about it this whole time. I never actually binge read books written by the same author. I have my reasons, one of which is that I am afraid to just read the same thing or same line of thinking at the very least, losing the distinction of the characters. I want to remember each one of the characters as much as I could and be able to separate one from another. I don’t want to mix the stories, I want to preserve whatever I got out of their stories, so as not to affect my judgments, or tend to over-compare. Comparison of books is inevitable, yes, but I just felt like I am more objective when I didn’t read it consecutively, well this is not applicable to series that have the same plot line. Off Campus series, yes have the same setting, but with different characters featured on each book, it could very well be a stand alone. You can actually read them not in the same order, there just this cameo appearance of the characters from other books, other than that you won’t miss out on a lot of things since as I have mentioned, different books different characters. Now the problem I encountered was, I compared The Deal and The Mistake a little too much than necessary. And to be honest, The Mistake fell a little short. I had my issues with The Deal but it was easily overshadowed by how much I loved the overall story of Garrett and Hannah. However in The Mistake, my issues with it are not easily forgotten, it pops up every chance it gets, which I tell you was pretty often. I found the whole book, a little repetitive and has become tiring to read. Don’t get me completely wrong here, I enjoyed this book but not as much as I did the first one.

Let’s talk about the voice of the characters, because The Mistake deals with another set of characters now namely John Logan and Grace Ivers, it is very natural to expect that the dialogues or the voice used in this book will have variation with that of The Deal. That’s where I was disappointed, there was no difference at all. The sentences and the choice of words already appeared in the first book, (duh of course, it was written by one and the same person what do you expect?) what I’m driving at is, when you read the book, say for an instance it was Grace’s point of view, if your mind is wandering off, you can very well think that it was Hannah who was talking. What I’m saying is, there wasn’t really a big difference as to the tone or the words used by the characters. You can easily mistake one from the other. What I was looking for was that wow factor wherein even if it is written by the same person, at least make an appearance that it wasn’t. At least make it look like that the characters are really distinct from the other, because that what makes a good book. I’m not saying that the author should altogether change her writing style, but at least make the characters believable and different from each other and maybe do away with using same phrases over and over.

The Mistake didn’t grip me as much as The Deal did. There were great moments, oh yes boy, definitely there are, I could still remember how I squealed at some parts or how I tweeted aimlessly about how I cannot deal with the palpable chemistry between Logan and Grace. How excited I was to see how the story will unfold. I wouldn’t deny the fact that I really enjoyed it for the most part, but somewhere along the way, they lost me. I put it down for two whole days, because I just couldn’t force myself anymore to continue on reading. Not unlike The Deal wherein I literally had to put it down only when I need to participate in life i.e, eating, sleeping and doing important life stuff. However, I liked Logan and Grace’s backstory than that of Garrett and Hannah, I thought that was more original than The Deal. And oh goodness, I love love love Grace’s mother. I’ll be inserting a few lines where I literally laughed so hard.

““Remember when that nasty girl was bullying you in fifth grade? What was her name again—Brenda? Brynn?”
“Bryndan.”
“Bryndan? Lord, what is the matter with parents these days?” Mom shakes her head in amazement.”

Haha this was so funny to me, her mother was really funny, she reminded me of Jenna Hamilton’s mom on the show Awkward. 

I also loved how great of a guy Logan is, well except for the fact that he was once a manwhore, but other than that, he was really a great guy, what with all the father thingy and being a great Grace pursuer. What’s not to love about that guy? I loved Garrett and Logan’s friendship as well, ahh if it is possible to ship the two, haha. Grace’s character on the other hand annoyed me a shit ton, no not really, but there are things that she does that irked me to no end, and there are things that I could live with. She sometimes contradicts herself, I’m so annoyed I cannot even explain it without giving out spoilers.

And oh don’t get me started with how they end up watching Die Hard 2 and then to something else steamy. I mean, seriously who does that? I cannot. I just cannot even. It was an eh? moment for me. And believe me there are lots of it. It was overly cheesy (this says a lot, because I like cheesy, but this book over did it, it was too sweet and cheesy it’ll give you diabetes, haha!)

And might I add, why is everyone good-looking? Why does every girl have tiny waist and fruity-smelling hair? Why does every girl have to be so gorgeous, I mean why? Not a single normal looking soul described in the book, even Morris who was described as hipster was portrayed as some exotic looking guy, what with all the different nationalities he has. Ugh. Why? And these damn hockey players are so god-like! With their ripped abs, chiseled jaws, their beautiful eyes and dreamy smiles. WHY? I know I mentioned that this series consists of dreamy guys, but it was too much already. Why can’t anyone look like a regular human being? Am I reading about gods now? Last time I checked these were bunch of college students with steamy steamy relationships and trust issues to last them a life time. I bet even the cab driver looks like David Beckham. Ha! Okay rant over.

Okayyy, this is getting longer than what I intended, so to summarize, I enjoyed it, but not as much as the first book. To me it definitely suffered the proverbial Second Book Syndrome. 

Will I read The Score immediately? Maybe not. I was told it was the best one out of the three, but I have to reserve my judgment until then. Sorry I bored you with this review that became a rant along the way. Haha!

I need you. I can’t stand the thought of being without you.” He releases a shaky breath. “You’re the last person I think about before I go to sleep, and the first person I think about when I open my eyes in the morning. You’re it for me, baby.”
― Elle KennedyThe Mistake