My favorite bookish couples | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Today, in honor of Valentine’s day, we’re talking about our favorite bookish couples! As the prompt states ‘couples in books’ I will only talk about the canon ships. In the past few years, it’s happened more often that I prefer the non-canon part of the love triangle to the eventually canon one. Anyone else suffer through the same? Anyway, here are some of my favorite canon ships.

Disclaimer: I guess you could see some of these as spoilers for these books. If you’d rather not know anything about these relationships, make sure to skip over the text after you spot the cover!

Ruth and Evan – A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood #1) by Talia Hibbert
Watch me scream about this book some more… I read it in January and absolutely loved it. It’s one of the best new adult/adult romance novels I’ve read in a long time. Ruth and Evan are the dream. I love how they appreciate each other’s interests, how much respect there is in the relationship, how they care for one another in their own way… I just loved it.

Sebastian and Emir – Running With Lions by Julian Winters
If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you might know how much I love Running With Lions already. It’s an adorable YA contemporary set at a summer football camp. Sports camp + LGBTQIA+ relationships + body positivity talk = this book. Please read this! If you need more (coherent) convincing, you can find my review on the book here.

Sister Apple and Sister Kettle – Book of the Ancestor series by Mark Lawrence
I know that Sister Apple and Sister Kettle aren’t the main characters of these books, but I honestly wish we would get some additional novels focused on them. I would buy them immediately! One of the things I like most about them is that they’re in a healthy, established relationship already. They’ve been together for years, and it’s clear how much they adore one another. Especially in Grey Sister, the second book of the trilogy.

Jesper and Wylan – Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
I find it hard to choose a favorite couple from this duology. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I know that Jesper and Wylan just have a special place in my heart. If I could protect them from all the horrible things in this world, I absolutely would. I’m fairly certain I don’t need to explain this choice further, because they’ll be on everyone’s list.

Meg and Simon – Etched in Bone (The Others #5) by Anne Bishop
Talk about a slow-burn romance… It takes them 5 books to get to this place – which I don’t consider a spoiler because we all knew where they would end up. On the one hand, I wanted it to happen earlier so we’d get more scenes of them actually being together, but on the other hand I feel like this was the only way to go for these characters. Considering Meg’s traumatic past and Simon’s lack of knowledge about humans, they needed to take this relationship slowly in order for everyone to be comfortable and happy with it.

Hugh and Sorcha – Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters #1) by Juliet Marillier
I’ve read this book multiple times now, and fell in love with it more every single time. What’s interesting about their story is that Sorcha can’t speak or utter a single sound for years if she wants to save her brothers. The entirety of their friendship and relationship is built on sign language, body language, and so on.

Patroclus and Achilles – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I know you’re all rolling your eyes at me right now, because I’ve mentioned this book so often now. I don’t care. There are still so many of you who haven’t read The Song of Achilles, and I won’t stop until that’s fixed.

Astrid and Charlie – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
At the start of the series, Astrid and Charlie don’t really talk. They were together for years, until Astrid’s family intervened because they didn’t think Charlie was good enough for her (read: rich and classy enough). Watching their friendship develop again, and knowing how much Charlie cares for her made me root for these two so hard. It also helps that I absolutely despise Michael – Astrid’s husband.

Percy and Monty – The Gentleman’s Guide of Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
This is another couple I feel will be on everyone’s lists, and doesn’t need an explanation. I just love them so much, and want to read more about their lives after the end of this novel.

Chris and Josie – The Melody of You and Me (Lillac Town #1) by M. Hollis
I always feel a tad hesitant recommending this because it’s so short – it’s 144 pages. However, it’s such an adorable new adult f/f romance! I want more people to read it, so I’ll do my very best promoting it. It has a pansexual main character and a Filipina lesbian love interest. It’s also sex positive, which I’m so grateful for.


There you have it, 10 of my favorite canon couples! Have you read any of these books? How do you feel about these relationships? Let me know what your favorite bookish couples are, so I can add even more novels to my to-read list…

Top Ten Tuesday: Slow-Burn Romances

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. Today, I chose to talk about some of my favorite slow-burn romances. Slow burn relationships are some of my absolute favorite ones, because it makes the relationship more adorable to me. Sort of like a best friends to lovers, you know? Yes, please.

Simon & Meg // The Others by Anne Bishop // These are the first two that come to mind when I thought of this topic. In a way, they may have inspired it actually. I just adore these two so much. How considerate they are of each other, how careful with boundaries, how adorable… I only wish they knew how to communicate a tad better -and faster. 

Percy & Monty // The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // LOVE these two. I know that this is only one book, but I still think it fits the topic because they have been best friends for years. We may not have been present for their entire journey of the relationship but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t present. 

Achilles & Patroclus // The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller // Childhood friends to lovers. I mention this book so often, I really don’t think I have anything else to say.

Magnus & Alex // Magnus Chase by Rick Riordan // A recent addition! I love these two, they’re absolutely adorable. Magnus always gets so shy around Alex. They’re also quite considerate of the other and not afraid to speak up. Adore them.

Sorcha & Hugh // Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier // I don’t talk about this book often, but everyone should read it. These two are just… wonderful. Sorcha is going through so much, all while being unable to speak. Hugh gives her time and space to heal, while growing to care for the little, silent woman full of determination. 

Simon & Baz // Carry On by Rainbow Rowell // I need to re-read this book. I just bought my own physical copy which means it’s time. I fell in love with these two when I first read this book. Enemies to lovers? Yes. I usually hate the word ‘lover’ but somehow it seems fitting when talking about romance tropes. 

Blue & Gansey // The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // I live for Gansey and Blue. There’s so much angst and longing with these two. Usually, I’m not a fan of angst because it mostly comes from miscommunication but that’s not the case here. Apparently, I can actually love angst!

Gwen & Royce // The Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan // Honestly, I adore Royce and Gwen. I adore how they truly know each other, both the good and terrible. The love and acceptance between them is so wonderful. I love how Gwen is basically a goddess in Royce’s eyes, and how Gwen is the kindest and most patient person who is always ready to help people others look down on. 

Arya & Eragon // The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini // I’m still kind of upset about this one. If you’ve read the books, talk to me! I want to talk about these two!

Oree & Shiny // The Broken Kingdoms (Inheritance #2) by N.K. Jemisin // While these two wouldn’t necessarily feature on my favorite romances ever list, I do love them together. And I love the fact that Oree nicknamed him Shiny. 


That’s it: 10 of my favorite slow-burn romances. Do you like slow romances? Which ones are your favorite?

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Good Angsty Romances?

It’s #T5W time! Today, we’re talking about our favorite angsty romances. Which I didn’t think I’d ever say because I usually can’t take angst. Deal with your problems, people. But not all angst is bad, I guess. Here are some romances I still loved -despite or because of the angst they portrayed.

  1. Vin & Elend // Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
  2. Eragon & Arya // The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
  3. Lochan & Maya // Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
  4. Simon & Meg // The Others by Anne Bishop
  5. Tessa & Jem // The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Top Ten Tuesday: Romances That Just Hit Me Hard

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week I will make a list of 10 books, authors or other bookish things surrounding a certain topic. This week, it’s all about romance. So I’m choosing to combine several topics I wanted to talk about into one. I’m talking about romances that hit me hard/are near to my heart. The ones that get emotions out of me. 

Simon & Meg // The Others by Anne Bishop // This is a slow-burn romance -an extremely slow one- which is something I absolutely LOVE. This makes me want to shove them together like a little kid playing with dolls. I can’t wait for the last book -and I hope there are some great Simon & Meg moments in there. 

Blue & Gansey // The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater // This is the kind of forbidden romance I don’t hate. I just think they were SO CUTE! It makes my heart ache, and it makes me say “aaaaaaw” in an unnaturally high voice. Another slow romance though. You can see from this list I really enjoy them. 

Annabeth & Percy // Percy Jackson & the Olympians by Rick Riordan // Again, a very slow romance. They are still so young when the first book starts so it’s normal they don’t think of a romance yet. But their friendship grows so strong, and slowly into more feelings as they get older. 

Patroclus & Achilles // The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller // BE STILL, MY SHIPPY HEART. I can’t with these two. This entire book made me so happy, and it broke my heart at the same time. I was sobbing by the end. This is the most beautiful relationship.

Lochan & Maya // Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma // I feel kind of weird putting this book on this list. It’s not like I’m truly shipping Lochan and Maya, they are brother and sister after all. But I just couldn’t help but feel for them! This book broke my heart, and I had such a level of emotions after finishing it. It’s the kind of thing that just makes you want to hug these two. 

Jesper & Wylan // Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo // These two are just the most adorable guys ever. I love how Jesper is the flirty guy, while Wylan blushes immediately. I love the respect between the two, and how they’ll help each other no matter what. I just love them, okay? 

Kaz & Inej // Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo // Again, I just love these two. Both so hurt and recovering from such trauma, both respecting the other’s boundaries and dreams. 

Flora & Henry // The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough // I recently read it, and absolutely loved it. I know this is technically due to Love and Death (the characters) but I still adore their romance. 

Rudy & Liesel // The Book Thief by Markus Zusak // NO, I AM NOT OKAY.

Eragon & Arya // Eragon (The Inheritance Cycle #1) by Christopher Paolini // You know what? This romance is TOO SLOW. YOU CAN’T LEAVE THE LAST BOOK LIKE THAT! I know he’s writing a fifth book BUT YOU CAN’T MAKE US WAIT THAT LONG!!!! *do you guys also detect some rage here?* 


So those are the couples dear to me, the ones that really punched me in the heart -and feels. Have you read any of these books? Which couples would you put on this list? 

Why I Find It More Difficult to Rate Romance Novels

If you read my blog posts regularly you might know that while I do focus mainly on fantasy, I tend to break up long periods of fantasy reading with NA/Adult romance reads. If I’ve read too many heavy fantasy books in a row, I need a change of pace. Romance books tend to give that too me. They are easier, and much faster, reads -in my opinion. But while I almost always feel confident in my rating of fantasy books, I often doubt my ratings of a romance book. Why is that? 

I just want to make clear that this is not a romance-bashing post. I’m not at all saying they are an inferior genre. Please bear that in mind! I do love to read romance books 🙂 

ROMANCE BOOKS DESERVE AN HONEST RATING BECAUSE…

…they are also books. Just like any other. This really shouldn’t even be mentioned. But I feel like a lot of people tend to look down on the romance genre. That’s ridiculous. Why would a romance book by any less worthy of a rating than a general fiction or fantasy one? There is no doubt in my mind that they deserve an honest rating. Yet I find it much more difficult to decide on what that rating should be, than with other genres. 

IT IS MORE DIFFICULT TO RATE THEM BECAUSE…

  • I don’t know which aspects to base my rating on. With fantasy books, I rate on the world, the plot and the characters – but what do I rate on with romance books? Should I rate on the chemistry? How the people treat each other? The side characters as well? I have no idea. The plot usually revolves mostly around the romance, so you can’t say much about that without giving anything away. 
  • I find it much harder to give them a 5 stars rating. What is the perfect romance? Does it exist? I know this is kind of a hypocritical point, because there is also no such thing as the perfect fantasy. 
  • Because romance is something a lot of us can relate to, I tend to judge it more harshly. It’s easier to rate a fantasy, because the world and everything is made up and you can’t relate to living in it. But a romance I can relate to! So it needs to be more realistic and that definitely makes it harder to create/read the “perfect” romance. 
  • What if I missed something really problematic, and I recommend the book? With romances, I can sometimes get caught up in the chemistry and the quick read. And at times, that leads to me overlooking something really problematic that happened in the book. What if I recommend a really problematic romance to others? 
  • Often there is a bad start to the characters meeting, and so the main male character can come off a bit rude. I love the banter, but I don’t think being rude/acting like an asshole is okay. There is no reason to ever act like a dick. Ever. 
  • Maybe I’m even a little bit afraid that people will judge me. There, I said it. People tend to be really judgey when it comes to romance. And while I think that’s completely unfounded, I don’t want to be judged at the same time. 

So maybe I should just start looking for a completely separate way to review the romance books I read! You know I use world-plot-characters for my fantasy ones. Why not use 3 other aspects for my romance reads? I’ll definitely stick with characters. Maybe add chemistry? What else could I add?

Mini Reviews | Sarina Bowen edition!

I really enjoy making these mini reviews! I don’t always have enough to say about a book to write a full review. Yet I still want to let you know what I thought! I’ve read 4 romance books by Sarina Bowen lately, so I decided to combine the reviews into one post.


SarinaBowen-TheIvyYears#1The Year We Fell Down (Ivy Years #1)
Published: 20.03.2014
Genre: Romance, NA 
Rating: 4.5/5 stars – ★★★★.5
Goodreads

Synopsis: She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead. Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league. Also, he’s taken. Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands. They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard. But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.

review

I’ve mentioned before that I like to read (NA) romance once in a while between all my fantasy books. They tend to get a bit heavy at times, so I need to switch over to a fun and quick-read genre. I’d read Him before, which is co-written by Sarina Bowen. I really enjoyed that one, so wanted to give her other works a try. 

This was a great introduction to her own works! I really enjoyed it. I liked the fact that it’s about 2 people who are injured. One more permanently than the other. I don’t think I had read many books about disability prior to these reads (aside from Me Before You), which is a shame. This taught me a lot about the parts of getting injured people normally don’t talk about: the fact that it takes months for your body to adjust so you know what you’ll be able to do, the fact that a UTI is extremely dangerous, the fact that someone has to teach you to put on your pants and socks. Those are such simple things we take for granted.

I think the characters were very strong as well. Of course, they have both been through quite a lot. And of course there was drama in this book. Yet I like that the truly-romantic-drama wasn’t too drawn out. It wasn’t like the main characters were in a huge misunderstanding for 50% of the book. 

Lastly, I loved watching Corey pick herself up. Not that she’d been a slouch before, mind you. I mean that I loved watching her look for ways to adjust: a new sport, a new access way to a building, etc. I loved the romance, and I think this is one of my favorite books by her so far.


coming in from the coldComing In From the Cold (Gravity #1)
Published: 01.05.2014
Genre: Romance, NA
Rating: 3.5/5 stars – ★★★.5
Goodreads

Synopsis: Ski racer Dane “Danger” Hollister does not do relationships, though he keeps his reason a secret. The real-life curse he’s inherited from his mother will eventually cost him everything: his place on the Olympic ski team, his endorsement income, and his ability to fly downhill at top speed. Reluctant country girl Willow Reade meets Dane by accident. Literally. Her skidding truck forces him off the road during a blizzard. Stranded together in his Jeep as night falls, the two loneliest people in Vermont find themselves sharing more than they’d planned. And not just conversation. Yet neither can guess how their unlikely tryst will threaten Dane’s frightening secret and Willow’s tentative peace with her own choices. Only mutual trust and understanding can end their pain and give them a hard won shot at love.

review

I’m a bit torn on this one. Let me explain why. 

First of all, I love sports romances. I haven’t read many wintersports-ones though! I loved that aspect, although it wasn’t too present in the actual story line. I also liked the fact that this story felt quite realistic. I think this is something I could truly see happen to someone. 

Dane, the main male character, has quite an interesting background -in my opinion. I like to see those psychological sides to illness or its possibility.  I do think that he was kind of an asshole at times. Okay, a complete asshole. And I’m torn: on the one hand I kind of understand, yet on the other hand I also believe there’s no excuse for being so rude. 

By now, you’re probably wondering why I’m torn about this entire book. Let me tell you. I think it was well done/written. Yet it features a trope in romance novels I absolutely HATE. I can’t tell you what it is because that’s a spoiler. I can’t stand the trope though, so it automatically makes me like a book less.


falling from the skyFalling From the Sky (Gravity #2)
Published: 31.01.2015
Genre: Romance, NA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars – ★★★★.5
Goodreads

Synopsis: Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead. Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to her newest patient they they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit that she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department. With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

review

I think this was my favorite one of the trilogy. Well, I don’t think so, I know it was. The reason for that is Callie. She’s by far the most relatable of the women in this series -to me of course. It may be very different for you. Callie is focused on her career, which she loves. But she’s also afraid of missing out on a romantic life. She suffered a massive blow to her confidence when her boyfriend (fiance?) dumps her for a younger and extremely beautiful woman. I can relate to a low self-confidence romance-wise, and a passion for your career. 

I think this story was absolutely beautiful. It’s the story of 2 people trying to find new ways to live their lives. For Hank, it’s a tad more extreme. He suffered a terrible injury while snowboarding and has had to give up his profession and passion. I also liked the physio aspect of the story. It’s interesting to see the actual recovery story while it’s happening, instead of afterwards.

I loved the characters, and their romance. They helped each other through some tough times, showing it may not all be over after all.


shooting for the starsShooting for the Stars (Gravity #2)
Published: 16.03.2015

Genre: Romance, NA
Rating: 3/5 stars – ★★★
Goodreads

Synopsis: Pro snowboarder Stella Lazarus has always loved her brother’s best friend. But the one time she tried to show him, she was shot down faster than you can say “competitor disqualified.” Until one blissful night in Tahoe, when Stella finally gets her man. Or does she? In the morning, Stella and Bear wake up to horrible news. The sort that sends them racing back to Vermont, and straight into the arms of guilt and family obligations. For all of Bryan “Bear” Barry’s life, three natural laws held true: his best friend Hank was destined for greatness, Hank’s sister Stella was off-limits, and Bear would always manage to negotiate the rocky paths that life threw his way. In the space of two days, that’s all shattered.  Bear can’t believe he slipped up so badly with Stella. Even if his best friend wasn’t lying broken in a hospital bed, it would still be unforgivable. Determined to do better, he devotes himself to his friend’s recovery, denying himself the very person he loves. And the very thing he needs.

review

This was my least favorite one of the trilogy. That’s mostly due to the timeline though.

This book plays out around the same time the previous one does, which means I already knew/guessed a lot of what happened. That made it less exciting to read, of course. I also feel like it was more rushed than the other ones, and I didn’t get to know Bear as well as the other guys. That all made me less attached to the romance. 

I did love Stella. I admire the fact that she wants to chase her dream and be a professional freestyle snowboarder (I think). She has to give up a lot to do so, and it’s admirable. She’s a woman to look up to. Yet again, I felt less connected to her than the other women -and I already knew her big part in the ending because of the previous book.

Recently Read Romance: Cora Carmack | Mini Reviews

You all know I usually read fantasy books. However, at times I need something lighter to read. So during those times, I turn to romance. I’ve read quite a few romance novels in the past months (especially NA) but from only 2 or 3 authors. So I decided to do some mini reviews of these romance books per author. Today, I’m talking about 3 books I recently read by Cora Carmack.


all lined upAll Lined Up (Rusk University #1)
Published: 13.05.2014
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads
Bookdepository

Synopsis: In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both. Dallas Cole loathes football. That’s what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past. But life doesn’t always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again. Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It’s obliterated. Dallas doesn’t know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn’t know that Dallas is his new coach’s daughter.

review

I believe I had read 2 other books by Cora Carmack before starting this series. I read Losing It and its sequel, but wasn’t really impressed by them. I didn’t dislike them, I just wasn’t impressed either. I admit this book took me by surprise! I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did.

I liked this book because while there is still a bit of drama present, it doesn’t overwhelm the story like in some NA books. It’s the story of Dallas, the daughter of a football coach, and Carson, who wants to be in the starting line-up of the school’s football team. Can I just say that I love the way they met? It was so much fun! 

I was not only invested in their romance, but completely in the characters as well. I wanted Dallas to fulfill her dancing dreams. I wanted Carson to make it on the starting team. I wanted Levi to move to a different country and pretend he doesn’t exist. Carson is also such a nice guy! This is not a bad-boy-turned-good story -for which I’m grateful.

I also really enjoyed the family aspect of the story on Dallas’ side. She really had some things to work out with her dad. I can see how scary that must be, and I think it was handled well. I really enjoyed the fact that Cora Carmack didn’t just gloss over the relationship and defined it as bad in general. She truly made Dallas deal with it in a positive way.

As you can see, I quite liked this book and immediately continued the series. I’d recommend it if you’re interested in NA!


all broke downAll Broke Down (Rusk University #2)
Published: 28.10.2014
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads
Bookdepository

Synopsis: Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one. Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause. Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help. Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

review

As I mentioned earlier, I immediately purchased this after finishing the first book. And then went on to read it in a few hours as well. These are such quick and fun reads. In the first book, we meet Silas in the first chapter or so. It’s safe to say he didn’t make a very good impression. I was still intrigued though. 

I actually ended up loving Silas. This book takes place a few months after the first one, I believe. Silas is having some personal/family problems and works it out by getting into a bar fight (in my opinion, the other guy deserved to get hit). That lands him in jail, where he meets Dylan. Dylan finds herself in jail for reasons that are a tad more noble: a protest. I loved how passionate she was! I genuinely liked their romance, and the way they both helped each other. 

This book also dealt with family issues, but for both characters this time. The families are at the complete opposite of the wealth spectrum. Dylan’s family is fairly wealthy, while Silas’ definitely is not. Both need to find a way to solve them, as it is keeping them down. 

I thought this was a really fun read. I enjoyed the characters and their romance. Near the end of the novel, something terrible happens to a side character. I really like how they dealt with the perpetrator -how they shunned him until something was done. I was intrigued how that side character would be in the next book -she is also a side character in the next one. 


all played outAll Played Out (Rusk University #3)
Published: 12.05.2015
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads
Bookdepository

Synopsis: First person in her family to go to college? CHECK. Straight A’s? CHECK. On track to graduate early? CHECK. Social life? …..yeah, about that…. With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay… Scratch that. She knows she hasn’t had the full college experience). So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a “to do” list of normal college activities. Item #1? Hook up with a jock. Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it’s impossible to get hurt… again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it. 

review

This was definitely my favorite book of the three! Probably because I could relate to Nell the most. She was just trying to get out of her comfort zone, and experience college at its fullest before it’s over. I like that this one didn’t include any major family issues/traumas for the main characters. Often in NA, it’s that one of the two has this trauma, injury or issue. But this is just a story of a girl trying out new things. With some help from Mateo and her friends.

I really, really loved this. Of course there was some drama present. But I liked how it wasn’t 75% of the book. Mostly, it was just a joy to read. I could really relate to Nell, and I fell in love with Mateo. I also thing that’s a beautiful name, Mateo. 

I both liked and disliked how the side character I mentioned previously dealt with her experience. Her friends were supportive, yet gave her some space. She didn’t lock herself up but she didn’t participate in many things either. Which of course, I understand. But I did feel like she should have asked for help! Maybe you don’t like to talk about it. That’s completely fine. But you should try and find a way to deal with it. I don’t know, I’ve luckily never been through anything similar so I can’t really tell her what to do. 

2 Mini Reviews | NA Books I Didn’t Like At All

You all know I read mostly fantasy. Sometimes I want a lighthearted break between fantasy novels though, because they tend to be quite heavy. So I read New Adult romances at times. They’re usually fun, easy and quick reads. I also know which tropes I like and dislike, and am usually successful in avoiding NA romances I wouldn’t like. Yet in the past month or so, I’ve read two NA books I really didn’t like. One I DNFed, one I gave 1.5 stars. 


abel paradise foughtParadise Fought: Abel (Paradise #1) by L.B. Dunbar 
Published: January 25th 2016
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: DNF
Goodreads

Synopsis: I’m not a fighter. I was born into a fighting family. As the middle child, I was overlooked in favor of my older brother. He took the negative attention, too. In comparison, there’s nothing special about me. I’m not as big as Cobra. I’m not as strong as Cobra. He’s the alpha. I’m a beta. The second son. The lesser one. The one never encouraged to fight, never encouraged to do anything, but stay out of my father’s way. I’m not a lover either – but I wished to be – that’s why I needed her. I met a girl in the pouring rain. Sounds cliché, but it’s true. It changed everything. Because of love, I learned to fight. Betas come second, but in this fight, my story is first.

review

I couldn’t even make myself finish this one. I just couldn’t. Let me tell you why.

They first meet on vacation, when she is crying in a storm and he asks her if she’s okay. Then they meet at the student admin desk at university -or a similar place. It’s only at the admin desk that he realizes she’s the girl he had a crush on for years in high school. I’m sorry, how can you not recognize someone like that immediately? I think it’s their first year at uni, so it can’t have been that long ago. 

At said meeting, she finds out she doesn’t have the money to pay for the upcoming year (or something like that) at university. He offers to pay for her, if she teaches him how to flirt and pick up girls. That already sounds extremely creepy to me. She accepts. Then completely ignores him. Not even a thank you! I mean, I’m sorry, but that must have been a lot of money. No matter the reasons, if someone pays for you, it’s only polite to say thank you. No, she ignores him because she wants to get the attention of a certain guy who will help her get what she wants. She’s rude to him in public. She completely ignores him for the other guy. He gets completely jealous and feels like they belong together, even though they literally haven’t had a conversation longer than a minute. You don’t even know the first thing about each other! But he gets jealous. And then suddenly they both know it’s love and have to be together. I couldn’t read further than that. It just made no sense to me.


stone coldStone Cold (Iron Tornadoes MC #1) by Olivia Rigal
Published: 31.03.2014
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 1.5/5 stars
Goodreads

SynopsisLisa Mayfield returns home from law school to a dead brother and a former lover she no longer recognizes. Brian Hatcher, her brother’s best friend, dropped out of the police academy. Instead of working with Lisa’s brother to bring down organized crime, he became a full-patched member of the Iron Tornadoes, an outlaw motorcycle club, the very one that may have caused her brother’s fall. Searching for answers to how her David died, Lisa can’t ignore the attraction she still feels for Brian. The chemistry is undeniable but is there anything left of the boy she once loved or has he turned into a stone cold biker?

review

I’m just going to say that the only reason I finished this book is that it’s only like 120 pages. Usually, I hate writing negative reviews. I always try to find the positive aspects in it, because a person put his time and effort into it. And I’m not trying to be mean. But with
this book, I honestly don’t know what to say. I didn’t like the writing, nor the characters, nor the story. So I’ll just tell you why.

I was not a fan of the writing because I felt like there was just no flow whatsoever. It was more along the lines of: “I did this. Then I walked there and did this. This made me think of this person.” Sometimes, I feel so attached to the characters of a book mainly because of the way they are written, like in The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. This writing style left me feeling so detached from the characters though.

Secondly, the story. It was just way too short. It was only 120 pages, which of course doesn’t allow for much to happen. The story centers around Lisa, who returns home when her brother dies. He was a cop, and she wants to find out who killed him. Well, she didn’t. Not only did she not find out anything, I feel like she didn’t even try!

Lastly, the characters. Like I said, I felt so detached from Lisa. Mostly because of the writing, but I also felt like she was a very cold person in general. It’s a bit like reading a robot’s mind? There really isn’t that much emotion. Don’t even get me started on Brian. There is nothing good about this guy. He treats Lisa like a slave, is so disrespectful, and probably a criminal too.

To illustrate my frustration, I have selected some quotes for you.

“I resolve to stop crying and try to reason with myself.”

Okay, good luck with that?? Your brother just died. How do you reason that away?

“You know you are mine, right?” And my universe bursts with millions of bubbles of happiness because I’m certain what he means is that he loves me.

NEWS FLASH: that’s NOT what that means at all! What is wrong with you?

“Now that I’m wrapping my mind around the concept (of her mother dating), I see my mother in a totally different light. Objectively, she’s really okay. How old is she anyway?”

You don’t know your own mother’s age? What?

Here she asks Brian how her brother died, because he knows more about it…

“I was told by someone who was there,” he says, his expression and his tone almost indifferent. “You sure know how to kill the mood.”

Oh yes, I’m sorry to rain on your parade. Who am I to ask questions about my dead brother when you just want to have sex? How insensitive of me…

Review: More Than This (More Than #1) by Jay McLean

more than this

Title: More Than This
Author: Jay McLean
Series: More Than #1 -companion novels
Published: July 10th, 2013
Genres: new adult, romance, contemporary
Rating: ★★★★ – 4/5 stars

GoodReads | BookDepository

I received this book for review from the publisher -via Netgalley- which in no way affects my opinion.

Synopsis: When Mikayla imagined her prom night, she envisioned a fairy-tale evening full of romance. So when betrayal and tragedy come in quick succession, Mikayla is completely destroyed. Suddenly, everything she loved and everyone she relied on are tragically, irrevocably gone. Jake, a handsome boy she just met, happens to witness her loss. With no one to turn to, Mikayla is forced to depend on this near stranger and his family, and he in turn is determined to take care of her. But Mikayla—thrust into adulthood with no one to guide her—is desperate to contain her grief and hide what she considers to be her weakness. Mikayla and Jake both want more, but despite their growing closeness and intense chemistry, she tries to keep her distance and protect her heart. As he does everything in his power to win her trust, Mikayla must choose between remaining alone and safe or letting love in.

Review

I was so excited when I saw this book on Netgalley. I’d heard good reviews from bloggers and YouTubers who generally share my taste in books. Add that to the fact that I love the new adult genre and you get a incredibly happy and excited me. And while I highly enjoyed this book, there are two aspects that prevent me from giving it 5 stars.

The first thing I have to say about this book is that the main character’s story is incredibly SAD. I felt so bad for her after reading only 20% of the book that I had to go to my roommate and talk about it to her. I cannot even imagine going through all the hurt and loss Mikayla faced. I can’t really specify that because it’s not done in the premise and then I will ruin it for you. Just know, that your feelings will be destroyed after only a few chapters.

On to the characters! I have to say that Mikayla is an incredibly strong woman. After the first betrayal -which would leave me sobbing in the sofa at home- Jake convinced her to not let it destroy her evening and she met some pretty amazing people then and there. Instead of curling up in a ball, which would be reasonable reaction, she kept going. After the tragedy, I can only admire her. Yes, she is devastated and cries for days but at the same time, she still keeps going on with her life. I highly admire her for that. At the end of the book though, she started to annoy me. She had this one idea in her mind, and just stuck to it. Even though she probably knew it wasn’t right nor true, and everyone told her so and it didn’t make her happy she stuck to it. I hate that in people: not being able to admit or see that you are not always right! Aside from that fact, I really enjoyed reading about Mikayla.

And then there is Jake. I absolutely love his person. He is kind, caring, interesting and funny. Basically, he is the good guy every girl wants who also happens to be incredibly handsome and talented -do these people actually exist? The only thing I don’t understand about him is why he became so attached to Mikayla from the first few moments. I mean of course, she is a beautiful girl and he noticed her. But after the tragedy and loss, he almost set his entire life aside for someone who is basically a stranger. Don’t get me wrong, they do get to know each other really well but it seemed a bit weird to me in the beginning, his devotion. Also, I don’t get the reasoning behind the no-kiss thing. If you’ve read this, let me know so we can talk about it!

This book also has some amazing side characters. I adored Lucy -readers represent- and Logan is very interesting as well. James shows some great character development, although you can’t really see the developing part. That probably made no sense to you, I’m sorry. In the beginning, he is a shitty person. Honestly. But he develops so much, he’s just not present in the book during that time. And Megan. I don’t think I have ever met a more disgusting person in my entire -reading- life. IT MAKES ME MAD.

Aside from the previously mentioned aspects that I found a bit strange, I did really love this book. It shows that love is not impossible, no matter what happens. That tragedy and loss can teach you a lot about yourself.

I would recommend this to everyone that either loves new adult or is trying to get into it. If you are a young reader, I would not recommend this to you because it does contain a few graphic scenes.

*I am a BookDepository affiliate, which in no way affects my opinions or reviews.*