Review for Never Never Part 2 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Never Never Part 2 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

TITLE: Never Never Part 2
SERIES: Never Never #2
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
NARRATOR: Kevin Free & Elizabeth Evans
PUBLICATION DATE: May 17, 2013 / August 11, 2015
PUBLISHER: Independent / Audible Studios
LENGTH: 125 pages / 2 hours 39 minutes
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Audible
RATING: 4 bows

Never Never, a novella series. Book one of three.

Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of 14. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget. This novella is recommended for readers age 16+ due to mild language and sexual content.

Okay, fair warning, if you haven’t read Never Never Part 1, this will give away spoilers for that novella. Okay, now that’s out of the way, Let’s get to it. Never Never Part 1 left us with one hell of a cliffhanger. Silas and Charlie have been separated and Silas has just discovered that they are both going to loose their memories again. Silas at least has a note in his possession that explains part of the situation, but Charlie is out on her own. Charlie is in the middle of a city with no money and no memory of who she is. Charlie won’t even have a phone or wallet to help her out because Silas has both of those things. And that’s the end. It just stops as soon as the memory of the past two days fade away. I was unhappy to say the least. I don’t like cliffhangers. Actually, I hate cliffhangers. I won’t say exactly how Part 2 ends, but I will say that there isn’t as bad as Part I.

Charlie and Silas are the same characters they were in book 1. I still love Silas and I’m still on the fence about Charlie. Silas is so sweet and determined to help Charlie. Even here, when he has absolutely no memories of the girl, he is hellbent on finding her and helping her. He’s driven with a fiery need to save a girl he has never even met. If he hadn’t already won my heart in the first part, he definitely would have here. Charlie, on the other hand, I didn’t completely love. I mean, the situation she is in here makes it difficult not to sympathize with her. Where is she? Who is she? Why is she here? All very valid questions, but she doesn’t have a way to answer then just yet. But the more I learn about her past actions, the more I am hesitant to really like her. She’s done bad things and yes, she’s been manipulated into doing them, but that’s not the best excuse. All said, she’s just not a character I trust.

This is an very intense story. You don’t know who to trust, you don’t know who is the bad guy. What the hell is happening to Charlie and Silas? That is the biggest thing I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. This series hasn’t shown signs of being on the supernatural side of things, so what can cause memory loss like that? What causes amnesia like that? What can cause an identical case like that multiple times in two different people? They aren’t taking any drugs or exposed to the same people when this last relapse occurred, so what the hell is going on?

Basically this novel is a big mystery. It gives us a little more insight to pre-memory loss Silas and Charlie, but still leaves so many unanswered questions that I don’t see how just one more installment will solve everything. One thing is absolutely certain, just like Charlie and Silas, I NEED MORE ANSWERS!

Audio notes:
I liked the narrators a little better this time around. Maybe I was used to them. They were better this time around, but they still weren’t amazing. I’ll definitely give more of their work a shot, but I won’t go out of my way to seek it out.

****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for Never Never Part 1 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Never Never Part 1 by Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

TITLE: Never Never Part 1
SERIES: Never Never #1
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher
NARRATOR: Kevin Free & Elizabeth Evans
PUBLICATION DATE: January 7, 2013 / August 11, 2015
PUBLISHER: Independent / Audible Studios
LENGTH: 159 pages / 4 hours 23 minutes
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Review copy via Audible
RATING: 4 bows

Summary from Audible:

Never Never, a novella series. Book one of three. Best friends since they could walk. In love since the age of 14. Complete strangers since this morning. He’ll do anything to remember. She’ll do anything to forget. This novella is recommended for people age 16+ due to mild language and sexual content.

That little explanation is all you get going into this novel and it’s all you need. This is one of those books that it’s best to go in with as little explanation as possible because anything you learn can taint the experience. Charlie is the lead female and Silas the lead male. All you know about either of them is they just wake up and not remember anything at all. As in nothing, not what they had for breakfast, not their own name, and they don’t recognize a single face surrounding them. This is their story of trying to figure it all out.

Charlie is a character I’m still on the fence about. On one hand, she’s obviously got problems and it’s hard not to sympathize with someone who has literally lost every memory, but she’s also a bit of a bitch. And I don’t mean past Charlie. I’m mean, I’m not a fan of that one either, but I’m referring to the current memory-free version. There are moments when she’s whiny and bitchy or jumps all over Silas’ case for no good reason. Maybe I feel that way because I really like Silas. Speaking of Silas, he is definitely up to Colleen Hoover’s male lead standards. He’s hot and cocky and a complete sweetheart. The way he is with Charlie immediately stole my heart. Beyond that, they both just seemed incredibly lost. I won’t say much more because…well…
River Song Spoilers Gif

What can I say without giving spoilers? Well, there’s a cliffhanger from hell. Seriously, if you can’t take those, don’t read without book 2 handy because it stops at an inopportune moment. Good things? Well, it’s addictive. As with everything Colleen Hoover writes, you can’t put it down. You can’t stop reading and you just have to know more. If this is any indication of what Tarryn Fisher is capable of then I need to get my hands on her other books immediately. It’s one hell of a mystery. That doesn’t get solved, by the way. I mean, I know I said the cliffhanger spiel already, but they warn you that this is only part 1 for a reason. You don’t really get anything resolved. But it’s short and the second book is already available, so we can see what happens next! And I need to know what happens next!

Audio notes:
I wasn’t overly impressed with either narrator. They were both fine, but neither had me swooning quite the way McLeod Andrews can. They both do a good job, keeping pace and differentiating voices. Neither was overly accomplished at that. At no point did I forget that it was just two people instead of a cast. For me, that is the mark of a great narrator, when I get so enraptured in their different voices that I forget it’s just one or two people reading the story to me. That doesn’t happen often and this wasn’t one of those special moments. Regardless, they did a good job and didn’t do anything particularly annoying.

****Thank you to Esther Bochner at Audible for providing me with an audio copy in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for This Girl (Slammed #3) by Colleen Hoover

This Girl by Collen Hoover

TITLE: This Girl
SERIES: Slammed #3
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Atria Books, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 304 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 5 stars

Will and Lake are finally happily married. But now Lake wants to know everything about Will, including past details that he’d rather keep to himself. So, reluctantly, he begins to finally reveal his thoughts and feelings since having met Lake. No thought is concealed and no stone is left unturned in this story where we finally get to hear Will’s side.

This is a hard review to write for me. I really enjoyed this story, as I imagine everyone who has read Slammed & Point Of Retreat will because hearing about everything from the beginning from Will’s perspective is something we all dreamed about from the first page of the first book. What is difficult for me to understand is that in book one I found myself getting irritated at Lake for not cutting Will more slack because it was obvious that he was trying his hardest to make things right and even though he managed to fail spectacularly, he still always tried to do the right thing. I felt like Lake was being immature for being less than completely understanding. Will has a kid brother to provide for which means he needs to keep a steady job and have money coming in at all times to ensure Caulder has what he needs. Now, in this novel, it felt like I jumped sides. Yes, Will is incredibly sympathetic towards Lake’s dilemma, but I still felt the need to defend her at certain points and scream at him that he was being so hypocritical. The best example of this is that in this book we learn that Will went on a date with someone else after his first date with Lake, something Gavin pushed him into, trying to help him get over Lake. When Will finally fesses up and tells Lake, he doesn’t seem to understand why this makes Lake so upset. But we all know that in Slammed, when he sees Lake kissing Javi, he goes nuts and beats the kid to a bloody pulp. Um, hi? You do see a problem here? I certainly do. How the fuck do you expect Lake to feel when she learns you willing kissed someone else while she was sitting at her house pining over you? In fact, the whole date thing really bugged me. I hated how the girl fawned over him and was all “keep my number in case it doesn’t work out.” I get that Will is a great catch, but it just rubbed me the wrong way.

Beyond that weird moment of side jumping, this book was amazing. It was nice that for once we don’t get just a straight retelling of what happened in book 1, but rather a nice mix of current events with the older story flawlessly weaved in. Yes, a big chunk of this book is seeing Slammed through Will’s eyes, but it never feels like we are just rehashing what already happened. In addition to adding present day scenes, Hoover also adds scenes from Slammed that we never see because it was solely in Lake’s perspective. Also, rather than going through the day to day of Slammed, we just tackle the big events, like the first date, the day we find out that Will is actually Lake’s teacher, and so on.

The characters are the same as before, though you get a bit more of Gavin than you have before. That’s both good and bad because you see him trying to help Will so much but yet it isn’t really that helpful. On the same note, you get a lot less of Eddie, which is a shame because she is definitely one of my favorite characters. In fact, I definitely wouldn’t mind a spinoff focused on her…(hint hint hint).

What this boils down to is simple. If you enjoyed Slammed and/or Point Of Retreat, than this is a no brainer. Colleen Hoover’s storyline and writing is exactly what you have been lead to expect and though this isn’t quite as good as Hopeless, it’s definitely up to her normal standards. If you haven’t read Slammed, but like contemporary YA or NA, what are you waiting for?

****Thank you to Atria Books, an division of Simon & Schuster Inc for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Hopeless (Hopeless #1) by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

TITLE: Hopeless
SERIES: Hopeless #1
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
PUBLICATION DATE: December 19, 2012
PUBLISHER: Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 332 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 5 stars

Sky Davis’ life is pretty average, apart from her mother’s strict ban on anything technological. Then Dean Holder comes into her life and she is fascinated by him. Sky has never been attracted to a guy. Sure, some of them are pleasant to look at and the kissing isn’t so bad, but no guy has ever made her desperately want to kiss him like Dean does. But the more time she spends with him, the more very old memories start to surface, things that were better left buried and after it’s all out in the open, will she find a way to keep going?

Okay, so before I get to gushing, I want you to go and look at this review: Seriously, go, I’ll wait. You see that comic strip she did? That’s the most accurate depiction of my feelings. Holy fuck this book will screw with you head in the best way possible. It’s just….I can’t even….

Sky is a character I instantly loved. I can see why a lot of people wouldn’t like her, but I could relate to her on so many levels. The further into the story we get, the more I love her. I love that she doesn’t let people walk all over her and how whenever Holder yells at her, she doesn’t try to defend her actions, just tells him simply that she’s in control of her own life and it’s none of his damn business. Then when the kids at school make fun of her and try to be mean to her, she just smiles and doesn’t let it get to her. She’s strong and brave and tough and I adore her.

Then there is Holder….

Holy fuck. I think him and Lucas from Easy need to have a fist fight and whoever wins will be my top swoonworthy fictional male character because I honestly don’t think I can pick. Dark hair that hides his devastatingly blue eyes and a lean muscled body, yes please! He’s personality is a bit all over the place in the beginning, but trust me when I say there is a great reason for that. It’s kind of like Fight Club in a way, you just want to read it again to see how much sense his reactions make after you learn the truth. I love him, just fucking hell, yes, okay? He’s fuckloads of awesome.

Then there are all the side characters. Six, Brecken, Karen, and Jack are have things I love about them, but I especially adore Six and Brecken, for each accepting Sky for what she is and just being awesome themselves. The relationship between Six and Sky is that epic friendship we all salivate over. You know that girl who somehow gets you completely and is always there for you, even when neither of you know how to help your problems. One of my very few complaints about this novel is that when the shit starts hitting the fan, Sky isn’t sure she wants to tell Six. I understand that your past is beyond fucking twisted, but I guarantee you that Six would find a way to help…or at least buy you tons of snickers and ice cream as comfort food.

The writing is just as good (if not better) than Colleen Hoover’s previous novels and the plotline had that awesome thing where it is both predictable and unexpected. I saw a lot of things coming ****SPOILER****especially the stuff about her dad and her relationship with Holder****END SPOILER****, but there was one major plot point that just blew me out of the water.

My only other issue was the sex one. Not that this novel has sex in or anything like that, I mean, I read romance for fuck’s sake, but the way it was handled between Sky and Holder. I’m trying hard to explain this in a nonspoilery way but basically I just think that it would have taken Sky longer to get over her issues. In my mind, just because Holder explains that he loves her and everything he is doing to her is because of that and no other reason, it would overcome what I believe her conditioned responses would be. I could be wrong because I’m not in her shoes, but it just feels like that hurdle was jumped too easily. That was my only major issue and since I could very well be wrong, I refuse to allow it to make me love this story any less.

This novel is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. You will laugh, you will cry, you will shout, and you will love every single second of it and be completely dying for the next installment (which will be from Holder’s POV, only adding to the excitement). Thus far, it’s definitely my favorite new adult novel of the year!

****Thank you to Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Point of Retreat (Slammed #2) by Colleen Hoover

Point Of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

TITLE: Point Of Retreat
SERIES: Slammed #2
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
PUBLICATION DATE: February 25, 2012
PUBLISHER: Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 215 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Point Of Retreat picks up right after the epilogue of Slammed leaves off. Will and Lake have been dealing with Lake’s mom’s death and raising their brothers relatively well. But life isn’t quite finished running the two of them through the ringer and it has a few more problems to throw their way before they can have their happily ever after.

With this new installment, we finally get to see things through Will’s perspective. I love that instead of following that trend right now of just rewriting the same series of events from the first novel via Will’s POV, Colleen Hoover just continues the story, throwing us a bone here and there with a flashback or two. Will’s thoughts were a joy to read and I found myself falling for him even more….until he does something incredibly stupid and then expects Lake to just get over it after a weekend of deep thinking. She doesn’t. A good bit of this book with Will trying to make up for his mistakes and I found myself falling for him again and wondering how Lake could keep her guard up so well. Don’t worry, there is no love triangle, and Will doesn’t cheat on her. In fact, he makes it pretty clear to all involved that he loves Lake and wants to be with her and no one else. He just isn’t completely honest with Lake.

Lake is just as strong and stubborn in this as she was in Slammed. And all the side characters are back, plus Kiersten, a new kid who moves in down the street and strikes up a friendship with Caulder and Kel. This eleven year old quickly won over the entire crew’s heart as well as mine. She is so much like Eddie, it’s unbelievable and I would love to get more time to understand this kid. She’s intelligent and spunky and damn I hope if I ever half kids they are half as cool as this chick.

The writing is just as addictive as last time, driving to me to keep going and see Will & Lake’s story through to the end. I think my only issue was really that it was a bit predictable. Not that I started this book knowing exactly where it was going to go, but more event A would happen and I knew exactly where it would lead. I felt so bad for this small family towards the end because they have already been put through so much and I knew there was more to come. I almost wish the story had ended with Slammed so these poor characters wouldn’t have to deal with this drama…..but I really mean the “almost” because I always enjoy reading more about characters I love.

If you enjoyed Slammed (and really, who didn’t?), definitely pick this one up. If you haven’t read Slammed, but enjoy New Adult/Contemporary Young Adult, then go read Slammed and then this. It’s really a great story and I can’t wait until I can get my hands on the next one.

****Thank you to Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Slammed (Slammed #1) by Colleen Hoover

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

TITLE: Slammed
SERIES: Slammed #1
AUTHOR: Colleen Hoover
PUBLICATION DATE: January 4, 2012
PUBLISHER: Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc
PAGES: 311 pages
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 stars

Nothing has been the same for Layken in the nine months since her dad’s death. Now, after her mom realizes she cannot handle all the bills by herself, they are moving to Michigan. Though understanding her mom’s motives, she is still more than a little miffed about having to leave behind the only home she has ever know to go through a senior year at a brand new school. But when they arrive, she meets her sexy neighbor boy and they go on a spectacular date. Things start looking up…until they get slammed with an unavoidable truth. ****SPOILER****He’s her teacher, her goddamn poetry teacher.****END SPOILER****

Lake was a character I loved…most of the time. There were several moments where she spirals down to childish, immature levels that make me wonder what Will sees in her, but for the most part, she’s amazing. She’s smart and loyal and still grieving her dad, but trying to stay strong for her mom and little brother. With all the shit that gets thrown at her in this book, I’m surprise she made no serious suicide attempts ****SPOILER****her dad’s death, the fact that she can’t date Will because he’s her teacher, the other thing with her mom that I won’t mention because I know my sister will read this spoiler and I won’t spoil it for her…..
****END SPOILER**** But she just keeps going out, only have the momentary lapse into depression, which is beyond understandable.

My feeling for Will are similar to those I have for Lake, I loved him most of the time. There were several moments where he is overcome by his emotions and does things he shouldn’t and leads Lake on a bit without really meaning to. The difference is that I completely sympathize with him because I probably would handle the situation exactly the same way. ****SPOILER****I mean, he can’t be with her, despite how much he wants to because of the whole teacher thing, but sometimes he just can’t help kissing her when she is so close. But he CANNOT be with her because he needs his job to take care of his brother, a brother who has to be more important than his wants and needs, right? Caulder (the brother) should be the only thing that matters and he is desperately trying to provide him with a good life, even if it throws Wills plans out the window.****END SPOILER****

Then there are my two overall favorite characters, Kel and Eddie. Kel is Lake’s little brother, who has all the enthusiasm any child that age should have and he won over my heart pretty quickly. Eddie, on the other hand, is the girl that quickly becomes Lake’s best friend. Quirky and spunky, Eddie will have you wanting to know more about her crazy past while you root for her and Gabe to live happily ever after.

The writing has that amazing quality that just sucks you in after you get about 50 or so pages in. It’s impossible to stop reading because you want to know if Lake and Will are going to work something out, how Lake takes all the things coming her way, and if this is all going to end as happily as you have been wishing for. It really does though and I couldn’t be more excited to read the sequel. I think anyone who likes contemporary YA or NA should give this a try. It’s amazing and I recommend it to everyone.

On a quick side note, this is the first book I’ve ever listened to on an audiobook….okay okay, the first one was actually Obsidian, but this is the first but I have never read before that I listened and I have to say that I’m now in love with the concept. I have always been opposed to audiobooks in general. It just felt like a lazy way to read and I still gave it a try last year, listening to part of Crossed by Ally Condie and immediately felt redeemed in my opinion because that read had the worst monotone ever. Her reading put me to sleep and I didn’t want to try again. But I did. And It. Is. The. Best. Thing. Ever. Seriously. I can “read” while doing other things that I have to do like clean or do shower or exercise. It’s like reading for lazy people and I now know that a good reader makes all the difference. The one I listened to was narrated by Heidi Baker and she was great. If you are skeptical about audiobooks, give them a try. Seriously, what do you have to lose?!?!?