I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team
I began reading, and I was slightly confused, asking myself who theI received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Review Team
I began reading, and I was slightly confused, asking myself who the narrator was in relation to Bully. I couldn't place Fallon. So I stopped reading, and began debating if I should reread Bully, since I initially read it so very long ago. After consulting a book bud who read this prior to me, I was told Fallon was new to the reader. So, if you read this review before reading the book (something I do) then you've been schooled.
I was gripped by the story immediately. Fallon was a kick-ass sort of girl. Her internal monologue had me busting a gut, as well as tearing up a time or two.
Madoc was easy to love, and he was written as so very male. I say this because sometimes books with a dual perspective sound like the same voice no matter the narrator (the author's natural voice). Fallon and Madoc each had a distinct voice of their own in Rival. Thank goodness for their voice, or I'd have been even more confused. (I will explain this in the con section of the review)
I loved Bully, as I did its sequel. I laid in bed, planning on reading a few chapters, and ended up reading it from start to finish. Rival is NOT a tiny book. It took me over 7 hours, and I didn't finish until the sun was rising. I was thankful that I finally found a book that clicked with me after so many disappointments as of late. I've read book after book of smoke and mirrors, hiding the fact that it lacked in story behind scene after scene of mechanical sex. I cannot express how many times I've used the phrase I don't want sex with a side of story. I want a story with sex as the decadent dessert.
Proving less is more. Rival is very HOT. Smoking hot, yet done in a way to slowly build a banked fire that turns explosive. I haven't read a lot of erotica books that got me as bothered- squirming around uncomfortably- as Rival had me. Proof that when sex is the dessert, not the main dish, you appreciate the taste on the back of your tongue.
Rival was filled with everything I love in an addictive book: angst, angst, and more angst. Frustration. Love/Hate back-and-forth banter, while often mean, it's just as humorous. A great side cast of characters that add to the story but never overpower the main couple. Chemistry. Emotion.
We continue to see the developing/evolving relationship between Bully's co-stars, keeping us connected, as well as several other sets of characters.
Jax? Are you the next book? Goodness, I hope so. Rival sets up the next book perfectly, creating a rabid reader, thirsting for more. If it's Jax's turn, I'm excited. That book will rock. Hard.
Okay, now for the cons. I only have 2. I was being picky with all those DNFs I've experienced, but I don't have much to complain about with Rival. But it does need to be said.
1: Formatting. I don't know if this is because I received a reviewer copy from Netgalley, or not. But the formatting was wonky, making it difficult for me to read. Several times over, I had to guess or reread to determine the narrator. Yes, the author placed their name as a subheading beneath the chapter. But with the formatting screwy, it was tucked in tightly, hiding, and the same font and size without bolding to distinguish it from the rest of the wording.
In fact, there were no page breaks, so I'd be reading along, not realizing I'd started another chapter. I know this makes me seem dim, but the lines were so tight, it was easy to overlook. The chapter was literally at the end of the previous chapter's last sentence.
Next, scene skipping. From one sentence to the next, we were in a new scene. I cannot express how many times I reread a page, trying to figure wth was going on. The character would be doing one thing, and then BAM! There was no extra spacing or anything to denote a change of scene. It was discombobulating.
Lastly, with the crunch, dialogue was pressed together. "How are you?" Fallon said to me. "I'm great," I replied. this happened a lot. With long dialogue, I'd be reading along, confused as to why a certain character was saying something, only to decipher it was the reply. After reading it over and over again, many times, I would deduce from the he said/she said what was going on.
While this doesn't detract from the story, it DID pull me from the story more times than I can count. I didn't change my rating because of it. But I thought I'd bring it to the author's attention, in case it wasn't just the Netgalley Kindle copy. It was very, VERY difficult to read.
2: Length of the book. It was a long book. I'm not necessarily saying that's a bad thing. I write epic-length books. I'm only stating this because it started to drag when I felt like it should have met its conclusion chapters ago. Fast-paced lovers may become bored, and even I began to skip to get to the conclusion. I loved the story, eager for whatever the author would give us. But near the last 3/4th, I was asking myself what role the scene I was reading played out in the bigger picture, and whether or not it could have been crunched down into other scenes.
Rival was a huge book packed with even more story, raw emotion, with a strong connection between the characters, and a great supporting side cast.
I'll read whatever Penelope Douglas writes. Thank you for allowing me to read for free, and for proving there are still great books out there to read. I began to lose faith during my book slump. I've been renewed, and now I'm hungry to hunt down another read.
sweet. fluffy. 14+. accurately portrayed the typical, insecure mean girl, who is so flawed in her perfection you still connect with her. (girl who wilsweet. fluffy. 14+. accurately portrayed the typical, insecure mean girl, who is so flawed in her perfection you still connect with her. (girl who will turn into a bitter, emotionally stunted woman if she doesn't change (I'd read THAT)) the main character was likable, easily identifyable, and a good role model. the main guy was sweet, kind, and dumb in a teenaged boy kind of way. (grown men have this issue too) the conflict was his fault but not. I can see why he'd be intimidated by the beauty while unsure of the one he truly wanted. as for readers who get preachy; kids act like kids. look around at the adults in you life; they act even more immature, insecure, and their actions are ruled by both- just as our 'mean' girl in this story. overall, a very good book....more
circular. not much happened from page 1 to the end. it was just randomness- a jumbled up mess of mass confusion a simple conversation would settle, focircular. not much happened from page 1 to the end. it was just randomness- a jumbled up mess of mass confusion a simple conversation would settle, for the teens and adults. the 'ending' is so overplayed it ruined the originality of the first book. simply put, this should have been a standalone or a series with each book being a different pov.
yes, I'm beginning book 3. but, overall, I'm disappointed and frustrated over the 'ploy' used as conflict instead of writing the reader a story instead of misunderstanding/miscommunications that are played on repeat <- does NOT make a book!
book 1 = plot. book 2 = book 1 rehash & why bother writing any of this when we (the reader) knows it will have no true bearing on the story overall.
classic example of a fabulous book leading into a filler book, with book 3 being the ending....more
Perfect for 13+. the pov is from the boy, which is a refreshing change of pace. while fluffy, gushy, & slightly sounding feminine (not 18 yo guy),Perfect for 13+. the pov is from the boy, which is a refreshing change of pace. while fluffy, gushy, & slightly sounding feminine (not 18 yo guy), the underlying message is great for youths & adults alike. a quick, cute, not too deep young adult romance that will thrill teens & the young at heart....more
I received a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review through the Wicked Reads read-and-review program
4 Stars: Overall, I read the entI received a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review through the Wicked Reads read-and-review program
4 Stars: Overall, I read the entire novella with a smile on my face. Narrated from the point of view of a man already out of the closet and a man who thought himself straight. I struggled to get into the story at first. The voice seemed older than a 21 year old man, and it was throwing me off. However, the dialogue was age-appropriate, witty, and engaging. The story itself was very sweet and sultry. College Boys is the perfect read for when you want pure romance with little conflict but a large dose of story. There are times when you just want to read a book for entertainment, not feel stressed out along with the characters. You want to seep into the story, not bite your nails waiting for some heartbreaking moment. Reading College Boys was a breeze with a sweet story and an underlying moral of tolerance.
College Boys: an erotic escape from everyday life.
Recommended: M/M romance readers. Would I read more from this author: yes, absolutely. ...more
I loved it all... except for KC (not the character herself. The portrayal of the character from the mc's eyes). Could even swallow the Boy Next door gI loved it all... except for KC (not the character herself. The portrayal of the character from the mc's eyes). Could even swallow the Boy Next door going Demon on her ass. But what I cannot forgive is when your best friend says he's a good guy because he's only tormented you. I didn't like how the author pussy-footed around this. Girls of that age NEED some self-respect. In all things, Tate had self-respect except when KC was involved. They needed to truly talk that betrayal out. It was the worse form of role model when the author wrote Tate just accepting this as if it was her fault for not understanding what everyone else needed and wanted was more important than her wants and needs. This needed voiced, especially when she heard them speaking of it being all a trap. Girls need to learn to require more out of a life-long friendship- relationships. There was room to give a good moral for readers, but that was pushed to the wayside. When the girl who has always been at your side as you were bullied dates the bully... friendship over- for life. It's no different than if a grown woman friend dates someone that you had to have arrested for assault, imo.
Long, drawn out without any real direction. The protagonist made me want to smack her. Bad, bad influence on young women on what2.5 stars- DNF at 32%
Long, drawn out without any real direction. The protagonist made me want to smack her. Bad, bad influence on young women on what not to do in a relationship- makes women look like clueless idiots that don't deserve respect. Wasn't done in angst just stupidity. Too much for me to handle and borderline domestic abuse-(how the book started was abusive from page one to where I almost didn't read it because it was too close to home and leading me to believe the book would have unexpected depth so I kept on reading) I guess I was hoping for a book on overcoming abuse and finding your self-respect... nope. no depth.
What I found was a woman who was just as weak as the man she was taunting. The abuse was on both sides, the girlfriend bating the boyfriend and the boyfriend wanting to hit her to shut her up- this hits too close to home for me. I wasn't a baiter, but it makes all victims of abuse look like they are asking for it. In this case, if she were my girlfriend baiting me, I'd have dumped her ass and made one of the females in my life give her the beating she was begging for- and the author writes her this way, having her internal dialogue express her need to make him hit her.
The abusive nature was written as if it equated passion- trust me- when you get hit, it's not passionate, it's abuse. And if he had hit her, I'd have arrested her for abuse as well- instigating it.
As an author, especially of YA, you have a responsibility to give a good example- while I understand writing a character a certain way, at least show why it isn't right to behave as such. There are women in the world that do behave as this character- at least show it's wrong so young women don't think it's awesome to be cheated on, disrespected, and it's the way to get and keep a man 'cuz you have to have a boyfriend. That a healthy relationship is one where you passionately almost come to blows instead of true intimacy.
I don't know, maybe it evolves as the book unfolds... but I don't know if I care to find out.
The entire time we are to feel how she is disrespected by the ex but it's her that doesn't respect herself as she waffles in indecision. Even a seventeen yo girl isn't that confused.
I may or may not finish this standalone. If it were a series, I'd say it was absolutely a DNF, since it's a standalone, I may skim read. I'm disappointed since it hooked me in the beginning and quickly flagged from there on out.
One other issue, it's as if the book doesn't know what it wants to be- story threads pop up at random before others are resolved. At the third point in the book, there are a myriad of plots that are being written and none of them interconnecting-so it's chaotic and confusing.
While I am intrigued by Dean... eh.
I've read the author's other work and that is why I picked up this novel. I would hesitantly read more by this author if she publishes anything else. Good, solid foundation, need tightening and a lot of scenes cut. Word of advice, unless the scene is a plot device, meaning it draws you towards the ending, it is filler and nothing else. Something of importance, even within a conversation must occur within the scene or readers will zone out. The majority of the book fits this criteria.
I'm disappointed because it could've, should've been so much more... Lot of potential and decent writing. ...more
The beginning of this book hooked me, but around the first third, it seemed to drone on and not get to where it needed to be- excess scenes of monotonThe beginning of this book hooked me, but around the first third, it seemed to drone on and not get to where it needed to be- excess scenes of monotony. Another huge issue with me was the vast amount of characters. As a writer, I'm good at keeping a list of characters firmly in my head at all times, but within this book, characters were introduced so rapidly that I had no idea who they were, if I should imprint them to memory, or just read right over them. After the first half, these characters were written as important when you'd never read about them previously to get a feel of the character. They were written without introduction, as if you should just know who they were and why they were important to the storyline.
My opinion, the book needed cut down- the first half of the book being within this current book, and then the Elite thread was introduced, which totally threw me off, this should have been in book 2 after we knew the who, what, where, and why of the series.
The writing is decent. The behavior seems slightly older than the characters' ages, though. I could go into great detail over why I gave the book three stars versus four or five... but I'd rather go spend some time within another story.
In a word... confusion. That is why I rated it 3 stars.
I will continue on with this series and read more from this author. ...more
3 1/2. While I enjoyed the standalone and would recommend for a quick, light read, I felt as if it had a lot of potential and didn't quite live up to3 1/2. While I enjoyed the standalone and would recommend for a quick, light read, I felt as if it had a lot of potential and didn't quite live up to it. I wish the story would have been developed more, and I also felt as if the Lexus part of the storyline was forced and not needed. I wish it would have evolved around Tristan's disability not a shallow, vapid one dimensional character when Tristan and his family and Amy were so interesting. Also, Amy's family was just odd, and not in the way the author intended. Their dynamic just felt off, and I'm not entirely sure what the brother storyline had to do with anything at all. I just find myself wanting to edit the book, and I don't mean grammar/sentence structure. The bones of the story were solid, it just needed an editor or beta readers to give their feedback. Basically, I would have cut Lexus, the strangeness of Amy's family, and concentrated on Tristan and his disability and the power of unconditional friendship to push you where you're too scared to go... All and all, I enjoyed it. I found the author's voice easy to read and I was entertained. I would read more from this author in the future. ...more
Not a review, but a comment. I am shocked that I was able to stay dry-eyed. The balloons got me- not the mother- the BALLOONS and the word DAD! *chokeNot a review, but a comment. I am shocked that I was able to stay dry-eyed. The balloons got me- not the mother- the BALLOONS and the word DAD! *choked up* Excellent. Definitely worth the read! ...more
Poison Princess ROCKED! Dark, twisted, fast-paced read. It is a paranormal dystopian fiction half-breed. Inventive, thrilling, and amazing chemistry,Poison Princess ROCKED! Dark, twisted, fast-paced read. It is a paranormal dystopian fiction half-breed. Inventive, thrilling, and amazing chemistry, and Kresley Cole doesn't wimp out. It was so brutal that I wouldn't let anyone under sixteen read it no matter their maturity. I wanted to post quotes from the book countless times. The ending made Death feel proud, but it made me feel proud for Kresley Cole. I cannot wait for the next in this new series. & I want to know more about Death!!!
I always worry when my favorite authors in the adult paranormal romance genre venture out to the YA genre. Some are good, some are mediocre, some are disasters. I think that Cole wrote Poison Princess BETTER than the IAD series & I'm in love with those Otherworlders!
***fangirling like an idiot. I have to start another book just to get this one from my thoughts. It was THAT good!! Tied for 1st place with Blood Red Road for the best book of 2012- IMO! ...more