Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Title: Maybe Someday
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon&Schuster)
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Blurb:

At twenty-two years old, aspiring musician Sydney Blake has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her good friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter cheating on her with Tori—and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by her mysterious neighbor, Ridge Lawson. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the daily guitar playing he does out on his balcony. She can feel the harmony and vibrations in his music. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either: He seems to have finally found his muse. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Why I picked it up:

This book has some amazing reviews on GoodReads.

What I didn’t like about it:

To be fair… I feel like my review is bias because I read this book straight after Archer’s Voice and they tackle similar subject matter. The love interest in this and the love interest in Archer’s Voice both have the same disability, and quite frankly, Archer’s Voice did it better. Reading this book felt a little “been there done that” so I suppose I’m not the most objective person to give this book a review.

My main drama with this book was the writing style. I felt like it wasn’t emotive enough. Sydney and Ridge communicated via text message and it took a little getting used to. There were heaps of “info dumps” via text message, especially in the second half and I found myself skimming over them.

This book also covered my most hated topic – emotional cheating and cheating in general. I don’t have a lot of time or patience for indecisive characters and this book was full of them.

What I liked about it:

Once it hit its stride, this book actually worked pretty well. For 285-page novel, I flew through the first half pretty quickly.

I liked the cast of characters – they were well developed and interesting. I also enjoyed the progression of the plot because I love a doomed romance. By page 197 I was literally convinced that the romance was never going to work. It isn’t often that an author achieves that. Usually you know without a doubt that the romance will work out if the characters just got over themselves, but with this one, I literally couldn’t see the characters overcoming the obstacle, which was awesome.

My Verdict: 2.5-3 stars.

It was enjoyable but nothing to write home about. Archer’s Voice did it better. Archer’s Voice was a NA story that felt adult. This is a NA story that feels YA.

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Do you read widely?

I read a lot. That’s no secret. I’ll very easily get through two or three novels a week. Sometimes more if what I’m reading is good enough to devour in one sitting.

But while I read a lot… I don’t necessarily read widely. I know what I like, so I’ll read a lot of young adult and new adult novels. I prioritise contemporary and romance novels over genres like high fantasy, horror and thrillers. I always pick up light chick-lit novels and generally read books with high ratings on GoodReads.

To me, reading is one of the very best things you can do… but… I think I need to get out of my comfort zone a little! I started reading a new book last night which is Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover. It has a love interest that is deaf. I just finished Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan, whose main love interest was also deaf… I feel like I’m reading in circles!!!

Do you ever feel like you’ve out-read your genre of choice? Do they all start to feel the same after a while? Do you read across multiple age categories and genres? Or do you stick to one or two?

I have to say… I really feel like reading something completely different! Expand my horizons a little.

Thoughts?

 

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Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Penguin
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Related: Anna & the French Kiss

Blurb:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Why I picked this up:

I first read Lola back in 2012. I picked it up then because I loved Anna and the French Kiss. I re-read Lola as part of the Isla is Coming read along.

What I didn’t like about it:

I rated this book two-stars when I first read it. Mainly because Anna & the French Kiss was such an amazing novel and this just didn’t compare. But also because I really dislike Lola. She’s a little too essentric for me. I had real problem with her emotionally cheating on her boyfriend. She strings Max along and then strings Cricket along and it’s like… really? Indecisiveness in a character is my biggest pet peeve. I can’t stand it.

I also couldn’t figure out why Cricket even liked her so much… it’s almost as though he liked the “idea” of Lola as opposed to what was really there.

What I liked about it:

I suppose the main strength of Lola and the Boy Next Door are the characters. I really like how they are defined by their interests and hobbies. They’re passionate and quirky and feel really original, particularly within YA when all characters start to feel the same after awhile.

Stephanie Perkins has a wonderful gift. She can grab you, pull you into her world and keep you there from cover to cover. Her writing flows so easily.

I’m bumping this book up from 2 stars to 3. It really works so much better when you allow it to stand on its own and accept that it isn’t Anna and the French Kiss.

My Verdict – 3 stars

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Writers, are you in writing mode at the moment?

I ask this question because I was in SERIOUS writing mode at the beginning of this year. I was writing 1,000 words a day, without fail. I wrote two novels and edited one of them. I was in crazy writing mode for the first half of this year, then I took a month off, and I can’t seem to get back into a writing routine.

From the looks of things online, I’m not alone. Heaps of fellow writers whose blogs I follow seem to be doing a lot of reading and whatever else writers do when they aren’t writing. So maybe I’m not alone in this writing slump.

How is your writing going? Are you experiencing a mid-year slump? Or are you powering on?

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Review: Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

Title: Archer’s Voice
Author: Mia Sheridan
Publisher: Self Published (CreateSpace)
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Blurb:

When Bree Prescott arrives in the sleepy, lakeside town of Pelion, Maine, she hopes against hope that this is the place where she will finally find the peace she so desperately seeks. On her first day there, her life collides with Archer Hale, an isolated man who holds a secret agony of his own. A man no one else sees.

Archer’s Voice is the story of a woman chained to the memory of one horrifying night and the man whose love is the key to her freedom. It is the story of a silent man who lives with an excruciating wound and the woman who helps him find his voice. It is the story of suffering, fate, and the transformative power of love.

Why I picked it up:

I stumbled across this book on top of the Top Ten Romances Of 2014…So Far (Jan 1st to Aug 31st) GoodReads Listopia list. The reviews are amazing (average rating of 4.59 across almost 19,000 ratings) so I picked it up to see what all the fuss was about.

What I didn’t like about it:

In short, I loved this book. I came into it with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised. However, there was one thing that stopped me from giving it a perfect 5-star review… I generally reserve perfect reviews for books that I both adore and also teach me something new.

While I adored this book, it wasn’t out of the ordinary. It felt like it spilled from the same bucket as a lot of other romances, hence my 4 star rating. But hey, 4 starts is still an awesome rating for me. My average rating on GoodReads is 2.8!

What I liked about it:

This book was beautifully visual. I was instantly attached to the setting. I felt like I was right there in that little cottage on the lake, sipping tea on the back porch with the little old lady next door. Beautiful. I love the small town vibe (being from a small town myself). This author can definitely set a scene.

More than that, I just loved the concept. Isn’t there something so wonderfully romantic about finding a guy who owns a home, his own land and spends all his time tending to it? It’s so simple. Almost caveman. I just love it. Who needs a successful career guy anyway? Who needs all that city glitz and glamour? Give me a manly man who knows how to build his own back porch any day!

In short. This is the sort of book that makes you fall in love with being in love. It had so many of these moments:

Archer’s Voice was a great book. Very believable. The characters are both so damaged, Archer especially, but the author never skates around the issues. They become something to overcome.

My Verdict – 4 stars

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Do you pay attention to your blog traffic?

This blog is coming up to its one year anniversary. September 26, 2013 was my first ever blog post. The post that started my love affair with blogging. Since that post, I’ve somehow accumulated:

6,923 blog comments
64,076 views
5,270 followers

My posts with the most comments include:
1. Shameless Self-Promotion, Part One (328 comments) & Part Two (163 comments)
2. About (277 comments)
3. Questions for Aspiring Authors (120 comments)
4. Do you have many writer friends? (117 comments)
5. Do you read books by indie or self-published authors? (113 comments)

What an amazing commenting community! Thank you all so much! Blogging feels so rewarding sometimes.

I love stats. I check mine all the time. Literally on a daily basis. I like to see which posts are doing well and which aren’t. If my traffic is up or down. I find it really interesting. Do you pay attention to your blog traffic? Or do you post without really thinking about it?

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Review: Branded by Abi Ketner

Title: Branded, Book 1 in the Sinners Series
Author: Abi Ketner
Publisher: Month9Books
Genre: YA, Dystopian, Romance

Blurb:

A teenage girl is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and is forced to live in The Hole, a place where all criminals are forced to endure human horrors. All hope seems lost, until she falls in love with her captor, a crime punishable by death.

Why I picked it up:

I requested this on NetGalley because it was right up there with the most requested novels. The cover looked interesting and the ratings on GoodReads were good, so I decided to give it a go.

What I didn’t like about it:

This book was so disappointing. The first half was AMAZING! I loved every second of it. But the middle section… meh. Cole suddenly felt really out of character, like a different version of himself. He and Lexi were both overly dramatic – punching walls, shattering picture frames, crying, and smacking tables and mattresses. I mean, geez guys, get it together.

Amidst all of the dramatics was gag-worthy fluff. It was just… too much.

My body shakes… My brain and my heart are at war… life is too precious… I could never live with myself if anything would happen to you… a chill shakes my being… I breathe him in… my body shakes…

All of that within a page or two! It was cliché and awful. Like a different book. For a story that started so well, by page 172 I was like… what happened? The romance just kicked off way too fast. Like, BANG they’re in love and can’t live without each other.

What I liked about it:

As mentioned above, the first half of this book was really good. It was visual, I loved the concept, it was gritty, dangerous, and the romance was perfect. Reading the first half, my rating was 4 stars or above.

It sucks that it didn’t last.

My Verdict – 2 stars

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