Book Review – The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: September 29th, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 308 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: June 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.
So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.
And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This story was a lot more emotional than I was expecting going into it. There’s a lot of drama, there’s a lot of angst as well as violence, and some scenes that include bigotry. I liked that sports were still included as well as the themes of acceptance and honestly. The ending was abrupt but overall I liked the book.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I like the author’s writing style. It’s very simple, very easy to read and fast paced, just how I like my New Adult books. There are multiple POVs and each one has it’s own distinct voice. The writing is intense, emotional, dramatic and entertaining.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This is probably my least favorite part of this book in particular. I struggled with connection with one of the two main characters which made his parts of the narrative harder to read.
John Rikker was definitely my favorite of the two. He’s the one who’s more confident in himself and open with people. He’s charming, honest and kind. He has a lot of pressures as he’s going into a new college, a new hockey team and there’s a lot about this change that he wants to keep quiet. But that doesn’t stop him from confronting challenges and from being honest with people which I loved.
Michael Graham, on the other hand, frustrated me a lot. He has a lot of insecurities and is downright scared of a lot of things. He’s very vulnerable emotionally and he’s harming himself emotionally as well. I found his point of view to be frustrating and intense but I loved how much he grew throughout the story.
I loveddd seeing all the old characters from the first two books in the series. They’re not all around as much as I wanted but they definitely played a bigger part in this book than they did in the second one so I love it! I liked the new side characters a lot and I know the next book focuses on one of my faves from this book and I’m excited.

Emotionally

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June ’17 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I think I can honestly say that June has been my worst blogging month so far this year. Maybe May was a bit worse but definitely not by much. I am trying not to drown in life but it’s hard guys. Lots of things are happening in the real world and keeping up with my online world has become harder and harder. But I will not give up! I will find a way to do all the blogging that I want as well as my life stuff. Let me tell you all about the stuff that happened this month.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Jun. 28th – Hate to Love Ships

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Top 5 Favorite Hate to Love Ships. I went many through my Goodreads read list (as I always do when it’s time for T5W) and I realized that I don’t tend to read that many hate to love romances. It took me a little while to put the list together and I don’t think I would classify any of these as favorites but you guys will see!

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: June 1st, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 274 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: May 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.
It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.
Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.
The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
This story was really dramatic, but not in the way that New Adult books usually are. I kind of felt like this one was more real even with some of the angst and emotional scenes. It was really entertaining though and I liked the themes of family and friendship. I felt like the romance was really supportive and I like that hockey is still a big part of the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s really easy to read and fast paced. The writing style is simple and entertaining, with some drama obviously. There are multiple POV’s, each with its own distinct voice. I liked the difference between the two characters and their thoughts process.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked the characters in this book. I was very happy to get to know Bridger a bit more because I really liked him in the first book and the new female lead was interesting as well.
Scarlet is a strong and smart character. I found her to be really resilient and persistent. She kind of took a chance, changed her identity and went off into the unknown to be able to be happy. That takes a lot of courage to me. She’s quiet and sweet and kind.
Bridger is determined. I liked seeing more of his personality because he’s really sweet. He has a really strong attitude even when there’s a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He’s a character that I feel proud of as I read, he takes on so much on his own that he shouldn’t have to deal with but it’s so impressive.
There’s a younger character within this book whom I loved and I really liked seeing the characters from the first book even though they weren’t on page enough for me. I would’ve liked to see more complex character within the narrative.

Emotionally

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Monthly Obsessions #15

Hello everyone!

I’m here today to talk about my monthly obsessions. This month has been so busy! Honestly, so much so that I didn’t post for an entire week and I felt extremely ashamed of myself but I had literally no time to sit and write anything. I’ve been working my butt off as much as I can to get a job because I need it so blogging has been suffering a bit. I hope that as soon as I have a set schedule in life, that I can get a post writing schedule and have time to share my thoughts with you all as well as check out your posts again! Besides that, I didn’t share this theme last month and I think I’ll share double the obsessions with you all.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1)

Author: Sarina Bowen

Publication: March 20th, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Format: Kindle Edition, 270 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: April 2017

Sarina BowenGoodreads

 

Synopsis
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?
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.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I found this story to be really entertaining. I liked that there was some drama and some angst, but neither of them were incredibly overpowering which I appreciate. The romance developed slowly and the book was really emotional. It talked about the struggles of college, hockey and disability.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style was fast paced and easy to read. There were multiple POVs and each one had a distinct voice which I appreciated. I would’ve liked it to be much more emotional and intense but it was entertaining and kind of serious at times.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked getting to know the characters in this series. I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about it for a long time and I’m glad to say that I liked them overall.
Corey was a tough chick. She’s really smart and determined. However, at the same time, she was sometimes insecure with herself. She’s really strong and I loved her tenacity. I would’ve liked to see her be more open but I loved her growth throughout the story.
Hartley got on my nerves a little bit. He’s really charming and fun loving. But also kind of oblivious to what he does and how he’s acting and how that’s hurting people. However, he’s vulnerable and insecure at times. His stubborn streak makes it hard for him to get his act together but I’m glad it happened.
I really loved the great side characters in this book. They were such sweet and supportive friends to the main characters though I would’ve liked to have seen more of their development as individuals.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Wicked Heart by Leisa Rayven

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed #3)

Author: Leisa Rayven

Publication: May 3rd, 2016

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Format: Kindle Edition, 320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: April 2017

Leisa RayvenGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.
After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.
Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Obviously considering the genre, there’s romance and drama (both in life and in theater production). The story line was kind of predictable. There was a lot more lying and cheating than I was expecting and that I wanted. I was hoping this book would be similar to the earlier stories but it wasn’t. However, the ending was really sweet.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I always find New Adult books to be really easy to read and easy to get addicted to and this one is no exception. This book is fast paced, fun and sexy. There are some angsty parts and lots of drama, both on and off stage. Even though I didn’t like the direction the story took at times, I still liked the writing.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I didn’t really like the main characters of this book as much as the ones from the first two books. Those grabbed my heart and wrenched it out of my chest but this relationship in this one wasn’t as emotionally impactful or as swoon worthy.
Elissa had a side character role in the first two books and I was really interested in seeing more of her personality in this book. She’s strong, smart and determined. I really liked her work ethic and how well and comfortable she is at her job. I felt bad for her in some moments. She was heartbroken and reluctant to open herself up to everything that was happening. However, she was still swept away by feelings and romance and stuff. I kind of wanted her to be tougher but it was okay.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of Liam. He was charming but also kind of an ass. He has a jealous streak and he’s aggressive. He also doesn’t make the best decisions and I had a lot of trouble understanding where he was coming from. As for the side characters, I was really happy to be able to see some of the old side characters and I quite liked the new characters introduced in this book as well.

Emotionally

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May ’16 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I have been a little bit scatterbrained this month, so much so that I forgot that wrap ups are a thing and that I have to do one around May 31st haha. But I am here, relatively on time and ready to tell you all about the things I’ve been up to this month. Spoiler alert: it has not been blogging. For some reason I haven’t really had the time to sit and blog consistently in May and I didn’t post everything that I had scheduled so they’ve been pushed back and back and back haha. I’m gonna try and change my writing days to the week because my weekends have been packed.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W May 17th – Summer Reads

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Top 5 Favorite Summer Reads. I tend to read a lot of contemporary in the summer for some reason, sometimes even some urban fantasy. This year right now I’m reading a lot of New Adult and I’m kind of addicted since I had my NA themed month. They’re super easy to read and fly through so I’m going to share a mix of entertaining YA and NA that I really enjoyed.

SO let’s get started!

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