This is a really tough one to review. On one hand, I had issues with the book but the shocking ending is making me question everything I read. I'm now left wondering if I read it again with new eyes, will I better appreciate the story Woods has constructed? I would say yes, but upon deeper reflection I've decided to review this book based on what I thought while reading it - we'll get to the ending later!!
Cara Lange is a lonely teenager who longs for the most desired boy at school. She sits with people who ignore her at lunch and unsuccessfully tries to dodge the extreme bullying by the popular girls. Alexis Henning is the mastermind behind the terrorising and also happens to be the girlfriend of Cara's crush, Ethan Gray. She's only ever had one friend, that being a girl named Zoe, who she hasn't seen in over five years. Choker begins with a flashback and we instantly see that Zoe is a disturbed character to avoid. One thing that was great about the book was Woods' ability to turn up the creep factor. So many disturbing things happen and you'll want to do nothing but shout at Cara to keep her distance! So when Zoe mysteriously ends up in Cara's room and asks for a place to stay…things get nasty.
The focal points of Choker are the chilling deaths and disappearances of Cara's bullies, and Cara's budding friendship with Ethan (who, I must say, wasn't very likeable). The apprehension built up from the prologue directly continues as soon as Zoe makes her reappearance. She claims she ran away from her stepdad, who she "dealt with", and begs Cara to keep her presence a secret. Are the alarm bells ringing yet?! For the majority of the book, Cara is largely dependent on Zoe and bends over backwards trying to keep her happy. This was a very frustrating cycle that had me ripping my hair out. How could someone be so ignorant and blind, even if they are desperate?! Zoe's jealous rages only become more prominent the more Cara goes to parties and hangs out with Ethan. Smoke is literally coming out of her ears right now.. - duck for cover? Throughout the book, you'll feel an overwhelming amount of worry from knowing what exactly Zoe is capable of. While Cara's oblivious, we're on the edge of our seats just waiting for the worst to happen.
So what didn't I like about this book? Cara. Yes, she's a victim but I always have trouble reading books with weak protagonists, especially when they lack the depth and proper growth to make it work. I felt that Woods didn't develop the characters well enough and we only had the real surface images of Deranged Friend and Sad Loner. I was looking for more complexity, which Choker sadly lacked. Ethan wasn't a great love interest at all. Why would you be in love with someone who does nothing about the bullying their girlfriend dishes out? For me, Ethan was just another bland and stereotypical "popular sports captain". What a shame! So as I said before, the twist at the end doesn't excuse the poor characterisation. It's an essential element to any good book, and it really could have been done well with this type of story.
This review may look like I'm dumping a whole lot of "this and that annoyed me" on you, but there are certainly some fantastic qualities to this story. Woods' portrayal and strong message of teen bullying is very powerful. Even if you do hate Cara as a character, you can't help but want to give her a hug for everything she's endured at her young age. If not for that, you should stick around for Zoe. She'll keep you in suspense with her unexpected mood changes and if I had to describe her in two words? Psychotic and Manipulative. While I absolutely hated her, she is probably the only thing that kept the story going. The epic twist was brilliant. I would never have guessed it but judging from other reviews, other people did because they paid close attention to detail. While I'm tempted to read this again just to see if I can spot the clues…I don't think I can deal with Cara again. So if you haven't read this book and are meaning to, definitely pay attention and try to figure out the twist. Choker could have been better but I applaud Woods for giving her debut a good whack with this great idea!(less)
After falling in love with Amy and Roger's Epic Detour last year, I've been anxiously awaiting Second Chance Summer and am over the moon that it managed to exceed my expectations. I'm in awe at how connected I was to the characters and felt every single emotion they were feeling. I cried too many tears while reading this book, during moments that probably didn't even warrant them, and was blown away by the depth Matson created with her layered stories and complicated characters. This is one of my favourite books this year, so I sincerely hope you enjoy it just as much!
Taylor Edwards and her family decide to spend the summer at their lake house together for the very last time. Her father has terminal pancreatic cancer and is predicted to have only 3 more months left to live. The once healthy and fit owner of a law firm is now slowly deteriorating before their eyes, but refuses to let them see his weakness, even though it's a futile effort. Taylor and her father have a very close relationship, a bond that you know will tear your heart out once its gone. Her siblings both have their own stories to tell in Lake Phoenix, from making new friends to falling in love, and the connection Matson forms between us all is immensely strong. She gets us so involved with the story that its impossible not to crash when the storm hits and every single one of them is affected.
The second main storyline in Second Chance Summer is Taylor's damaged relationships with her first love, Henry Crosby, and old best friend, Lucy Marino. They happen to meet up again this summer but the two are hostile, hurt and unforgiving of something Taylor did five years ago. What could it be? This question plagues us for the majority of the novel, slowly answering itself through suspenseful flashbacks and snippets of conversations, during which Taylor makes the effort to mend things between them. I loved the many steps forward and backwards we took to get from Point A to B, seeing relationships slowly change and heal, despite the immense toll it put on my heart. This is an emotional book that really rises above others through its characters and story; the depth I was talking about before. I can't even put into words how breathtaking these relationships were!
My heart stills thuds madly as I think back to the hurt, love and frustration this book made me feel. Matson truly brings us to the highest of highs and lowest of lows, all in the span of this one book. We experience every romance, every heartbreak, every friendship and every betrayal. I keep saying it but these characters have so much depth, which adds to the story's power infinitely. We truly care about what happens to them and are basically living within their bodies, feeling everything they are. It's crazy. Matson, what are you doing to me?!
There are numerous story lines in this book that demand to be paid attention to but Matson manages to balance them all PERFECTLY. I smiled and cried a lot while reading this, so have some emergency supplies on hand. I will never forget the final few chapters of this book - heartbreakingly beautiful and, hands down, one of the best endings ever. If you don't shed some tears, I'm calling you heartless! Matson never fails to get our hearts jumping out of our chests with these realistic characters of hers. Second Chance Summer is pretty much flawless and one of the best contemporaries I've ever read, so please put it at the top of your TBR pile immediately!(less)
It isn't a secret that I didn't enjoy Girl, Missing as much as I would've liked but this book kicks things up a notch and is much more enjoyable! While I still wasn't head-over-heels in love with the characters, I found myself becoming engaged in the large amounts of action and complex mysteries. Years after the release of the first book, Sister, Missing is a great improvement to the series.
Lauren's real father passed away 9 months ago and now at sixteen, she's had time to grow up and be more mature than she was at fourteen. I wasn't pleased to see hints of her selfishness peek out again and hinder her progress but luckily it was much more bearable this time around! We have the good plot to thank for that. I enjoyed the story immensely! Lauren's younger sister, Madison, is kidnapped on the beach and all signs point to Sonia, the woman who kidnapped Lauren in a very similar fashion when she was a little girl. I loved the negotiations, tasks, threats and mysterious phone calls that came with this storyline, plus the twists that occurred throughout the book! There was never a dull moment.
The characters were developed more in this sequel, which gave it more depth than the first. Shelby, Lauren's sister, is a character to be hated. She does an endless list of horrible things but you might eventually forgive her at the end... Might. I was surprised with the conclusion, but thought it was fitting for the series. There will be a third book, six years in the future, so I guess that's why things are left relatively open-ended.
All in all, a fast-paced read that'll entertain with its action and suspense. Sister, Missing was much better than its predecessor and I'm glad I continued on to leave with a better impression of McKenzie's writing. On that note, I'll be keeping an eye out for her soon-to-be-released, Falling Fast! Sounds like a nice contemporary romance I'd enjoy.(less)
Girl, Missing is an easy read that will entertain those looking for a light adventure. After Lauren Matthews discovers that she's actually Martha Purditt, who was stolen from her parents as a child, she finds her parents reluctant to talk about her supposed closed adoption, making her suspicious about their involvement. Fleeing from the airport with her best friend in tow, she's determined to find answers about her real family. The two parts of the book, significantly titled Finding Martha and Finding Lauren, both deal with Lauren's slow discovery of what her life means and how she'll move on now that everything's changed. For better or for worse, who knows?
There are engaging mysteries in this book that would've been enjoyable, had it not been for Lauren. As a young teenager, her behaviour should be excused but I can't bring myself to do it. I know at fourteen I wouldn't have made such rash decisions (on a huge scale!) or been so frighteningly self-centred. I don't know if it was the author's intention to make her main character this way for development reasons, but I certainly hope so! Otherwise, just kill me now. "Why was he acting like this was my fault?" No comment...
Throughout the book is a very subtle romance that helps tie the plot together. From the very beginning, readers will see that Jam, her best friend since primary school, is romantically interested in her. He refuses to leave Lauren on her own so he always goes along with her risky plans, being pulled into dangerous situations that are bigger than just the two of them. Overall, he's the sweet guy you can take home but does Lauren see it at all? No, she's too busy minding her own business. I admit, her total ignorance about almost everything annoyed me, but they do have some sweet moments together you can appreciate.
Girl, Missing's action begins on page one. Soon after the book begins, Lauren makes the discovery and gets thrown into the thick of things. With people determined to keep her history a secret, she'll face criminals, dangerous folks in the dark and more! Sometimes things were just hard to imagine though. Are we meant to believe that, at fourteen, these kids could just fly around the country with barely any money and not get killed by their attackers or caught by the authorities? That they would be able to survive on their own? This doesn't happen in real life and coincidences (conflict-solving-wise) don't exist. I don't care that this is fiction - my belief was not suspended!
In saying that, this book isn't all bad! Once you get past Lauren's immaturity, you might find yourself enjoying the mystery. With confusing diaries, memories and secrets with a few small twists thrown in for good measure, McKenzie has set up a good backstory for the sequel, which I enjoyed much more. Even with the disappointing lead, I found myself really liking all of the secondary characters so I guess that's another plus! Girl, Missing deals with the issues of not knowing where you quite belong and not appreciating what you have until you've lost it. Interesting but flawed!(less)
The final book of the series… Can you believe it? After all of the hardships and passionate romances, we're finally at the end! Once again, Elkeles brings in a new coupling that's completely unlike the other two. While Luis Fuentes has a clear vision of his future as an astronaut, Nikki Cruz hates her Mexican background and would rather be white, seeing as she acts like one anyway. After her Mexican ex-boyfriend, Marco, dumped her for the Latino Blood gang while she was pregnant with his baby, Nikki vowed to stay away from boys, especially those from the south side. Chain Reaction has the most twists of the series and is a great ending to this beloved story.
Meeting at a wedding, Nikki immediately has a negative reaction to Luis… So what does she do? Steal his clothes while he's skinny dipping in the ocean with some girl! Oh, the fire! Out of the three female love interests, I think it was the hardest to relate to Nikki. On one hand, I loved that she was so strong, having overcome many painful obstacles as a young adult, but it was difficult to connect with her as a character because of the her bullet-proof barriers. As she and Luis fall in love, we see him begin to chip away at her walls and teach her how to trust him. They have a sweet, though problematic, relationship, which complements the main storyline well.
The gang activity from the previous books all lead up to this. Chuy Soto, a dangerous man who wants Luis' help to rebuild the Latino Blood gang, is free from prison and willing to do anything to get what he wants. Luis faces hard choices, as he weighs in on the importance of his future, his family and the love of his life. As we learn shocking secrets and navigate through fast twists, each one just seems to get worse and worse! At times you'll want to shake the characters for their stubborn or dangerous decisions, but you can only cross your fingers and hope for the best...
Throughout Chain Reaction, we discover many developments in the lives of the two previous couples. With weddings, babies, break ups and who knows what else, you'll love seeing your favourite characters return one last time! Every single book in the series has ended with an epilogue, twenty something years in the future, and this one is no different. In each, we see how the Fuentes brothers have grown up and knowing that they've all reached that point makes me feel so indescribably content! Elkeles has wrapped up this series brilliantly while still leaving room for the characters' lives to continue. This series is magnificent and will forever be remembered as being dangerous, exciting and sexy.(less)
Rules of Attraction is very different to Perfect Chemistry, so there's no need to worry about the same story being rehashed with a different brother. After the events of the first novel, where Carlos was sent to live in the safety of Mexico, he's now returning to America without any dreams or ambitions. He's perfectly content with his life in the gang, despite the disappointment of his older brother. Whereas Alex spends Perfect Chemistry attempting to distance himself from the Latino Blood gang, Carlos is someone who has to realise it's not good for him first. Here's where boy-hating Kiara comes in, bitter from past boyfriends and out for revenge. Can you say MEEOW?
Like in the first book, Carlos and Kiara don't hit it off immediately. While there's an instant physical attraction, it takes them both a while to like what they see on the inside. I adored these two characters! Kiara has a stutter, which she can usually control, but it all comes apart when she's nervous (hint: Carlos makes her very nervous). While we get to see her vulnerable side, she has a strong personality and is able to handle herself very well too. Did I mention that she can really think up devilish pranks? Stale cookies and magnets - that's all I'm going to say! Carlos is obviously troubled and isn't afraid of danger. After drugs are planted in his locker, he has to join a reach program to avoid jail and guess what? HE MOVES IN WITH KIARA. Oh the fun, intense times.
The best thing about Rules of Attraction is probably the character growth. As Carlos acclimates to Kiara's family, we see his sweet side as he befriends her younger brother and finds support in her parents. The two bring out the best in each other and it was heart-warming to see how they both changed for the better! Once again, the gangs won't just let them be a happy couple. There are complications. There is action. There are smart plans and maybe not so great outcomes. You'll have to see for yourself!
This was another great book by Elkeles and a great continuation of the series. She made us fall in love with new characters while still giving Alex and Brittany a few cameos! I really like how the sequels are written as if they're spin-offs. We're getting a new perspective and entirely different adventure in the same world with the characters we already know and love. A win-win situation!(less)
Do you remember when computers had those screensavers with the winding pipes and mazes? Or when we thought those clunky desktops were the most fascinating they-can't-get-any-better things ever? In 1996, when technology was hardly as advanced as ours, two best friends find themselves on a strange Facebook page and begin seeing their future 2011 lives play out right before their eyes. They discover every single action they make in the present affects their future and they learn much about themselves on this confusing journey. The Future of Us is a fantastic novel that perfectly captures the feeling of an uncertain future and the possibility of change.
Over the course of one week, Emma and Josh's lives are turned completely upside down. Things between the two childhood friends have been awkward for the past 6 months, after Josh confessed his romantic feelings for Emma and she rejected him. It doesn't help that she's currently dating the handsy Graham and hating it, though she's been meaning to break up with him for a while... The relationships in The Future of Us are really important, and the build-up of Emma and Josh's is done so very well. We read about their fun adventures as children and how they used to always comfort each other. Readers know Josh is perfect for Emma and we're just waiting for her to realise it!
The novel definitely deals with the idea of trying to change the future when you know what's in store for you. Will your decision to change things make them worse or are you better off letting life play out naturally? Emma's character struggles a lot in the book, constantly trying to control her future life because she suspects she's unhappy. While preventing herself from meeting future husbands, things such as her relationship with Josh are significantly altered too (and not for the better). The Future of Us is very thought-provoking and makes you realise that every moment of your life is determined by millions of tiny decisions, whether you tip over a mug of coffee and have to call the cleaner or decide to go for a run at 10:04 rather than 10:05.
I thoroughly enjoyed navigating the million relationships and obstacles in this book! While it doesn't tangle your brain's wiring, it certainly makes you think and will have you caught up in the mystery and suspense. All of the characters are very well developed too and you'll come to love them very quickly! Serious but fun, The Future of Us will have you reminiscing about the past while wondering about your very own future. The novel ends quite loosely and allows you to decide how things will continue, but with such sweetness and hope, it really isn't that hard <3(less)
"If you read closely, you’ll realize that there was someone before Juliet ever came into the picture. Someone who Romeo loved very much. Her name was Rosaline."
When You Were Mine sets the tone for the rest of the novel with its intriguing prologue, ripe with downcast foreshadowing. We go into this book knowing that Rosaline's going to be dumped by the love of her life, and spend the time afterwards dreading the inevitable breakup and whatever else may follow. This book tugged at my heartstrings and had me tearing up on many occasions. Serle does a fantastic job capturing that pure heartache and confusion that often surrounds breakups, so don't be surprised if you go into a slightly depressed state while reading! This is a very enjoyable read, despite the bashing it gives your emotions and state of mind.
I certainly didn't fall in love with the characters straight away. Rosaline Caplet is part of the beautiful, popular and privileged crowd and I wondered how I'd ever become invested in their lives, but soon enough, Rose's sweet romance with Rob Monteg begins and has everyone swooning every five seconds. The atmosphere is thick with her love for her best childhood friend, and every adorable scene between the two is bittersweet as Juliet's arrival looms very closely ahead. This was one of the first 'breakup' books I've read. Usually YA books are all about GETTING the boyfriend, not losing one to your cousin and getting your heart ripped out in the process! Juliet's gorgeous and manipulative (Satan reincarnated) but I really don't know who to blame for Rose's heartache. Juliet for stealing him away purposely or Rob for dropping Rose like a hot potato after seeing the perfect blonde? Ugh.
Amidst all of the sadness and anger are flashbacks that provide such gripping suspense. We learn that there's a feud between Rose and Juliet's parents that's lasted for years. Rose can still remember the day when Juliet's family became hostile very suddenly for no apparent reason. Through a series of well-placed flashbacks throughout the book, we slowly begin to unfold their backstory and I loved it! Juliet calls Rose's family "traitors" constantly and it's very satisfying when you finally discover what caused the rift. It's controversial and explains so much more about Juliet's behaviour, although I'm in no way, shape or form ready to forgive her! The ending of this book was very surprising. Out of all of the outcomes, I didn't expect that…but I probably should've. My brain and heart can't quite decide how I feel about it yet, but it's definitely one that'll keep you thinking! *rubs chest over heart*
But hey, it's not all doom and gloom. There's a boy named Len…and he's a bad boy prankster who has everyone convinced that he just doesn't care… Would you believe that he has a heart under there? One that's soft and fond of Rose? Oh my. He was, no doubt, the best character in When You Were Mine and you'll have no problem at all warming up to him! Especially when you discover that his feelings aren't exactly new… He tries his best to lighten the mood and constantly shows how kind he really is, despite how much he tries to hide it. Rob Schmob!! I do have to mention, though, that Rose has fantastic chemistry with both of her love interests. The romance certainly feels real so bravo to Serle!
I don't usually read books that I know are going to be sad, but I just couldn't resist seeing how this story would play out. Serle sticks needles into us and pulls out every emotion she can think of. She conjures up such deep sympathy, anguish and frustration that I felt like I was the one being dumped! I can't exactly describe this book but just in the way she writes and constructs the story, everything feels very genuine and heartfelt. The author set out to write something moving and she's definitely achieved that! This was a truly wonderful read about taking a chance and allowing yourself to fall in love again, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. Even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea, give it a go and maybe you'll be surprised!(less)
Calling all music lovers! Virtuosity brings alive the passionate love a person can have for music and the things they sometimes they have to sacrifice in order to pursue it. The novel starts with an absolutely bang, right at the climax of the novel where Carmen is about to make the most important decision of her life, one that could devastate her musical career forever. From then on, Carmen grows infinitely as a character as relationships are tested and stretched to limits, and as she learns that life is usually unfair. Virtuosity is a great read that I recommend to anyone who has a strong love for anything!
This novel will bring about quite a few laughs. Carmen is a one of the best violinists in the whole world and her exciting adventure begins one night when she decides to stalk Jeremy King, the only person standing in her way of winning the Guarneri competition. It comes around only once every four years and is the most prestigious title in the world, the winner taking home prize money, a priceless violin and the chance to play with some of the best symphonies in the world. Carmen and Jeremy immediately click, although she is very reluctant to get chummy with the enemy. Virtuosity deals with Carmen's struggles leading up to the competition, while she battles the fear that she's only being used. Are Jeremy's feelings real? Is he buttering her up so that she'll let him win? Is he planning to break her heart and mind? Readers are left in darkness and must wait until the end to find out! Oh how my heart broke for Carmen. Along with her conflicting feelings for Jeremy, she attempts to come off her anxiety pills with the competition looming just around the corner and her controlling mother doesn't believe that she can win without them. This novel is packed with raw emotion and compelling plot that you'll love.
Jeremy and Carmen's relationship begins quite suddenly and quickly. Usually this insta-love would annoy me but it suitably adds to the mystery of his motives, and despite the worry about the genuineness of his feelings, I really liked their relationship! Jeremy helps bring Carmen out of her shell and her innocence is a beautiful contrast to his cocky confidence. I think the events leading up to and after the climax will really shock you. I thought I had the story figured out but was I wrong! Tension and betrayal…who's to blame?
Virtuosity teaches us lessons about believing in ourselves, doing what's right and ultimately growing to be stronger people who persevere no matter how difficult the task. The ending is so fitting and I love Martinez for not taking the easy way out. We're left with a sense of hope that what's to come in the future will be good. A really great story that'll ring strong with music lovers!(less)
Noah Shaw: Two of the sexiest words in the English language. For months, all I've been hearing about is this swoon-worthy Noah and boy, I was not disappointed. Other than the fact that Noah will make you weak in the knees, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is an exciting mystery that will mess with your mind in so many ways! After her friends died in the collapse of an old mental asylum, Mara moves to Florida and begins piecing together the memories that are hiding in the dark recesses of her mind.
Throughout the book, you'll constantly be confused about whether something's a reality or an illusion. With Mara's mind blocking out the frightening memories of her traumatic experience, hallucinations and nightmares become her brain's coping mechanism. It isn't until the very end that the full story is revealed and things make sense, but even then, you'll still have a million questions! Hodkin unfolds the mystery perfectly and throws us small clues that don't ever quite add up until she wants them to. The storyline is gripping from beginning to end and will have you tearing the pages apart at the flashbacks that always end just when you're onto something! Mara's not a normal girl...but I'll be vague with this. You really have to go into this book blind to get the full effect! I read Mara Dyer in one sitting and refused to stop even though the sun was beginning to rise. It's that addictive.
In a good book, an interesting storyline must come with strong characters. From Mara's hilarious but caring family to her flamboyant friend, Jamie, you'll find someone to fall in love with. Everyone's unique and loveable - the only exception being Anna, the snotty princess who's set her devil eyes on Noah's newest object of affection… Kudos to Mara for being such a great female lead! From the moment I saw her humour and strength shine through, I knew I'd love this book. As Mara also shows her confused and vulnerable side, you'll easily become invested in her story! Mara's a brilliant narrator and will have you feeling every single emotion that she is. Beautiful writing by Hodkin!
Now comes the hard part. Where do I even begin to describe Noah Shaw? Looking effortlessly rumpled with his messy bed hair and dishevelled clothes, his enticing British accent will tip you over the edge! Having the reputation of a player who's god-like in bed, Mara knows she should steer clear of the boy. Even though said boy follows her into classrooms (THAT AREN'T HIS) and flirts relentlessly. Even though he tries to rile her up in English class (HE READS BOOKS) and won't stop trying to coerce her into a date. With his French and Spanish skills. The sexual tension in this book is like no other! You better watch out or else the pages will start burning! Oh, how I lived for their banter and teasing. You won't find a better match in the entire universe. Noah Shaw is…officially the hottest YA guy of all time. You better screenshot that for future reference. I'm sticking by it. *nods* If you have to pour cold water on yourself later, don't say I didn't warn you.
Ultimately, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer will be seating itself on your favourites shelf. With this explosive plot and winning characters, I can't see how you'd be able to do otherwise! After a succession of gasp-worthy twists, we're left with a shocking cliffhanger that will have the brain cogs spinning all over again. Right now, I'm just relieved that there will be MORE. I almost cried at the prospect of finishing the journey here! Mara and Noah will do that to you. I'm speechless. In awe. In crazy sexy love with everything that is this series. Michelle Hodkin, you are a goddess. I'm building my shrine right now.(less)
It's London 1349 and 14 year old Seraphina has been stabbed. She feels her life slipping away…before her blue-eyed suitor gives her a few drops of his special formula for immortality. Fast forward a few centuries and Sera's tired of killing girls in order to slip into their bodies. Coming to hate what she's become, she wants out, and Cyrus will stop at nothing to find and drag her back to him by the hair. With a refreshing concept and an interesting cast of characters, The Alchemy of Forever is a short read that will entertain and surprise.
While on the run from Cyrus and his other Incarnates, Sera accidentally slips into the body of Kailey Morgan, a teenager who has a seemingly normal but complicated life. I loved exploring her relationships with Kailey's friends and family, the former being a little suspicious... As the story develops, the "innocent girl" facade is lost and Kailey's true self is revealed. That combined with the intriguing mechanics of alchemy, Sera is troubled by the meaning and worth of her life. Will she make something out of her new one or will she look forward to the day her body dies, and her soul with it forever?
I thought the romance between Sera and her neighbour was so sweet! Kailey's always kept Noah at an arm's length in public, and has only ever indulged in his kind presence when on her own. As we learn about the many flaws of Kailey and watch Sera try to rebuild her life, we also see Noah falling for the girl who seems strangely different in a very good way. He adores Sera's kind heart and feels her snatch up his own in an instant. Their relationship is nothing explosive or intense but it adds a wonderful sense of comfort that complements the suspense/thriller wonderfully. We need some light moments - her psychopathic ex is hot on her heels after all...
Although this isn't a five-star book, the focus on Sera's new life will keep you guessing and engaged. While Noah will make you melt with his charm and thoughtfulness, Cyrus will be a constant worry. When he finally joins the party? Wow. Sera's decision about life? Wow. The cliffhanger? Wow. The Alchemy of Forever would've been fantastic had it been longer and had the opportunity to really develop, but you'll easily finish this book in one sitting and be wishing you had the sequel immediately! I mean…can you say CLIFFHANGER ALERT?(less)