The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication date: June 4, 2019
Format: I purchased this book with my own money.
*This post may contain affiliate links which does not affect the price for your purchase.
Purchase from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3ddPdN4
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen comes a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl—and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer.
Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.
Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family that she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.
When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.
Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.
For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her—Emma or Saylor—will win out?
When I say I could not wait to get my hands on this book, I mean it. I have loved everything that Sarah Dessen has written and this one was no exception. I purchased it on Kindle almost as soon as it came out and read it that day.
In Sarah Dessen’s previous books, there are always little easter eggs from previous books, people who cross paths with each other that are main characters from other books. For this one though, Ms. Dessen creates a whole new world for Emma and her family. Of course, this new fictional town is just as amazing as the ones in her previous books but there’s something about it being completely new that is really refreshing. I mean, with the other books, when I was reading it for the 2nd, 3rd, or even 10th time (yes I’ve read some of her past books 10 times now) I was always looking for small details I missed. Did I happen to see that background character in a previous book? Did I miss a detail about that shop that the character just went into?
Emma had only visited North Lake once before, before her mother passed away. Emma is also able to create new relationships with cousins she never knew she had and old friends. Through this, she’s also able to rekindle friendships with the people she once knew. Through photos Emma is able to learn more about her mother and her mother’s time in North Lake.
I love how a lot of the book is about self discovery. Something that sets this book apart from Ms. Dessen’s other ones are the prominence of family. Emma Saylor is constantly surrounded by people that are her family, even though she is just getting the chance to learn who they are and to be able to live with them. She had for so long been living a certain lifestyle with her dad and never really learned about her late mother’s side of the family. Being thrown into these situations where she really had no other choice but to get to know her mother’s side of the family.
Something else I really liked was the lack of modern technology. That’s not to say that there wasn’t any technology, but just that it didn’t play an important part. This really allows the reader to be able to really immerse themselves with Emma’s family. It’s too common now that teens just sit around all day and be on their phones and not be talking with each other.
I really can’t wait to see the next book that Ms. Dessen writes. I hope more are set in North Lake because I want to discover more about life there, perhaps from someone who’s lived there her whole life.
Overall I absolutely loved the book. I’ve said it a bunch of times in this review and lots of time before but Sarah Dessen books absolutely do not disappoint. I give The Rest of the Story a 5 out of 5. If you haven’t already read it, go and read it. Just make sure you have enough time to read it all the way through because trust me, it’s hard to step away during the middle.
Until next time!
I think I did this a few years ago, but I’m bringing it back. Today I’m building my ideal book nook (virtually of course, I’m too broke and don’t have space to actually build my book nook).
*This post may contain affiliate links which does not affect the price for your purchase.
*I do not own the rights to any of these photos. Most are pulled from the Amazon description photos.
I think that it is only right that the girl with a blog called “The Cozy Little Book Nook” has a billion ideas of what she wants in her ideal book nook. With that being said, let’s get into the things I want in my book nook!
For this, my idea is a mix of modern and cozy styles. I love the colors blue and grey together so those are the primary colors in this book nook. I want it to be a place where I can spend all day without even realizing that so much time has passed, but still modern and chic. With that, let’s get into the things I want to make my perfect book nook!
Lots of pillows!
The first thing of course is to have lots of pillows. It’s important to have good back support when sitting for long periods of time so this is a must.
And of course, lots and lots of books.
Let me know what you’d want in your book nook. If you already have a book nook, share some pics so I can be totally jealous. I can’t wait until I’m adult enough to be able to actually make something like this come true!
Until next time!
So I went ahead and got rid of the post that was supposed to go up this week and wrote something new. With everything else going on in the world and country, it only seemed fitting for this post.
Gen Z should be feared. We were raised on a healthy diet of “overthrow the corrupt government” books. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look. We grew up reading books from the Hunger Games series, Harry Potter, and the Lunar Chronicles. And that’s only 3 series out of many many more. These books were full of YA revolutions and it was only a matter of time before we learned from it.
If you haven’t read some of these series’, now’s the time! We’re all stuck at home anyways so might as well learn how to make a difference. And I want to discuss these with you. Reach out via email or comment below and let’s start talking!
So go and embrace your inner rebellious self and go out and do what you can (peacefully please though). If you’re unable to attend any protests, there are plenty of things you can do to support the BLM movement.
Until next time,
Yours in Scandal by Lauren Layne
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Format: I received a copy of the book in advance to review from the publisher. All opinions in this post are my own, and in no way was I compensated for this review.
*This post may contain affiliate links which does not affect the price for your purchase.
Buy from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gxjI2t
OR read it now for FREE with KindleUnlimited
A political golden boy and the woman of his dreams take the risk of their lives in a sexy romantic comedy of strange bedfellows and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne.
Fresh off being named Citizen magazine’s Man of the Year, New York City’s youngest mayor, Robert Davenport, decides it’s time to strategize. Next move: a bid for the governor’s seat. In his way: an incumbent with a flawless reputation. He also has an Achilles’ heel: an estranged wild-child daughter with a past so scandalous it could be Robert’s ticket to victory. And a charm so irresistible it could be Robert’s downfall.
Rebellion is a thing of the past for Adeline Blake. As New York’s premier event planner, she’s all about reform and respectability. Then she’s approached by Robert to organize the party of the season. Curious, considering he’s her father’s most formidable opponent. And alarming, too. Because Addie can’t help but fall for the righteously popular candidate with the movie-star smile.
Now it’s Robert’s choice. Does he pursue a future that holds his legacy? Or the woman who holds his heart?
I honestly started reading this book on a whim. I had received a copy of it for review, but you know, I was in that year long hiatus and didn’t actually get around to reviewing it. I promise though, I’ve back! I picked it up and started reading it, without really knowing what the plot was, but by the end of the first chapter, I was hooked!
This book was a sweet one. It mixed politics with a can’t-be-together couple with undeniable chemistry into a really nice story. Not quite Romeo and Juliet level of can’t be together, but they were somewhere on that spectrum of can’t be together. Robert is a highly regarded political figure (not to mention one of the most handsome guys in the city) and Adeline is a NYC party planner with high rolling clientele. However, Adeline has a little secret. Her father is the incumbent of the Governor seat that Robert just so happens to be gunning for. Of course, Addie fell off the face of the Earth years ago,
I love anything that involves romance and politics. If there’s a scandal, even better. This book, of course, did not lack scandal. I won’t get too much into that, because that would just spoil the book.
I particularly loved the character of Adeline. She’s spent a good amount of time discovering who she really is and has built herself to be a powerhouse in the party planning for elites' niche. Honestly, I aspire to be her. She does come with her secrets though, and it is through those secrets that Robert is hoping to exploit her. There were a lot of times where I wanted to scream at Robert. I mean, dude! C’mon, stop being dumb and just fall in love already. (too harsh? Whoops). You have an amazing girl in Adeline who’s smart and confident in herself, and you’re just going to make dumb decisions?
Fair warning! There are a few NSFW scenes, but they were tastefully written and I loved it. It added a lot to the passion between Robert and Adeline and made it so much more intriguing. I find that the way these types of scenes have to be written in a way so that it pushes the story forward, and not just inserted because it had to be there.
However despite all the parts that I loved of this book, at times the book was a little bland. Near like the 75% through point, the book seemed to hit a stop and everything that was happening was just static, as opposed to dynamic actions. Of course, if the entire book was action filled-that would make the entire book boring.
And it wouldn’t be a Brooke Evans review if I didn’t touch on the cover. I love the little intricate details of the New York skyline and the femininity of the color pink. And I mean, the handsome dude that takes up a third of the cover is not bad either (*insert winky face, we’re going old-school here*).
Overall, this was such a sweet read and really fun to get through. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. There were points where the dialogue moved slowly, but the action and fast-pace of NYC made up for it. I’ve seen other books by Lauren and I’m excited to get the chance to read some of them soon!
Until next time
I posted a quick blurb last week saying that I’m back to blogging, but I wanted to get back into the swing of things the right way and make an official announcement and go more into the details of what I’m planning to do.
If you’re an old friend, I’d just like to say welcome back. If you’re just finding my site for the first time and probably thinking to yourself, “who’s this crazy woman and what is she doing here?” Let me introduce myself real quickly. Hi, my name is Brooke Evans and I’m from Texas. I started this blog, The Cozy Little Book Nook, almost 5 years ago and grew it to what you see today. I’ve read hundreds of books, posted dozens (if not over 100) reviews and made so many friends along the way. I took a break over the last couple of years to focus on other things in my life but I’m back now, and ready to blog again!
At this point, I’m trying to schedule my posts at least a month in advance, and have a nice mix of reviews, promo posts, and some writing samples of my own. I have a lot of catching up to do, with over 5000 unread emails in my inbox, lots and lots of books from publishers that I need to catch up on, and still make sure that I have fun. I think that the main reason I stopped so abruptly last time was because this began to feel like a job, and one that I wasn’t getting paid for. I felt like I HAD to post a certain number of times a week (and at some point I think I was posting every single day) and I was putting in upwards of 40 hours a week doing research, reaching out to publishers and making connections with authors, and reading so I could write reviews.
I’ve gotten into writing a little bit more. I know I took y’all along for a couple of Nanowrimo journeys a while back but writing was never consistent for me. I want to do more and share little bits and pieces, so sometimes I’ll share a prompt that I find (and give all the credit where it is due) and share what I wrote for that prompt, and I hope that some of y’all will join me in that. I want to see what you write as well!
At least for the first few reviews, it’ll be older books and books that I’ve just loved for so long but haven’t gotten the chance to review. I’m not going to write them in order of when I’m posting, and honestly as of right now, I have no clue what my posting schedule will look like.
I might be slightly out of practice for blogging, as you can probably tell by how all over the place this post is. Please let me know what you’d like to see more of. I’m excited to see where this blog takes me and I can’t wait to make more friends on this journey!
Until next time
Hi everyone! It's been just over a year since I've last posted anything on here, and let me just say, I've missed it so much. It's been a busy year, and the upcoming months are going to get even more hectic for me.
I just wanted to take a moment and pop onto here and say hello, I hope everyone is safe, and that I will be back very soon. I'm hoping to be able to post something at least once a month.
To everyone who has stayed with me for so long, and to all the publishers and agents and authors that have believed in me, I want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for everything to allow me to fulfill my dream of blogging. I will be back and I will be better than ever before.
The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Format: I received a copy of the book in advance to review from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions in this post are my own, and in no way was I compensated for this review.
Preorder here: https://www.amazon.com/Friend-Zone-Sariah-Wilson/dp/1542094291
From the bestselling author of the #Lovestruck novels comes a rousing romance about following your dreams, second chances, and playing the game of love.
Disgraced college quarterback Logan Hunt was on his way to NFL stardom when he messed up big-time. Now the Texas star player with a bad temper has a new option: Seattle’s EOL College—as in End of the Line, to his fellow misfit recruits. It’s Logan’s last chance. If he can follow the rules. No parties, no fighting, no swearing, and oh, no dating the coach’s daughter, Jess. Simple. Yeah, right. For Logan, there has never been a rule he’s more tempted to break.
The deal is “just friends.” The pretty, confident, and fiercely smart math whiz is fine with pizza, tutoring, and keeping Logan in line. But the closer Jess gets, the more receptive she is to his warm heart and spirit—not to mention his irresistible off-field passes. With defenses down, they’re both heading into the danger zone.
It’s more than thrilling. It’s love. It’s also a game changer that could sideline Logan’s NFL goals—and more important, a future with Jess. But dreams are worth fighting for, right?
Guys! One of my all time favorite authors wrote another book!! LMAO, that’s super vague, but, today, I’m reviewing The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson, and let’s just preface it with, I loved it. And you know it’s a good book when my review is literally the length of a research paper.
Sariah Wilson is one of those authors that as soon as she drops a new book, I will read it, and I have always loved each and every one of them. At least, up until now, and with how her writing is going, I’m going to predict that I will continue to love anything she puts out, as long as it’s not fantasy or scifi (which is just because I haven’t been enjoying reading those genres).
Onto the actual book itself. One, it’s football. I’m a sucker for sports books, as I have said over and over again. The romance is super sweet. Logan, a football player has hit rock bottom in Texas, and coming to EOL (the school) to play football on a scholarship is his chance to start over, and it’s one he’s going to take, even if it means that he has to follow all the strict rules. Jess, the coach’s daughter, is strictly off limits. She’s a math tutor, and guess what? She’s assigned to tutor Logan. It’s genuine; they try to stay friends but their chemistry is undeniable. When they do descend into something more, it’s hot and amazing. I love how their passion oozes out of the page, this is something that only a talented and skilled writer can accomplish, and Sariah has done that, and more! I don’t even know how! It’s incredible to read her writing.
There’s something about a broken background that makes characters super mysterious, and that’s the definition of Logan. He’s gone through trouble since he was a little kid, and that’s carried into the way he acts, and the way he’s looking for the second chance that this new school and football team offers him. With Jess, she’s gone through some things that ended up getting her dad fired from his old job, and uprooted the both of them across the country, and she’s the reason for the NO GIRLS rule the team has. But as we all know, rules are meant to be broken, right?
I really loved the dynamic between Logan and his roommate/best friend/teammate Bash. While Bash isn’t a super in depth character, we get enough of him to see that he loves football, and he has his bro’s back. He’s a 100% rule follower, which makes him a slight softie.
Along with that, Jess and Kehlani, the academic advisor’s dynamic is also great. Though Kehlani is slightly older and is working for the coach, they are both close and Kehlani has Jess’s back, whether it’s to go to a party and be her wingman, or to be there with ice cream.
One thing that I would have liked more of was the interactions between Jess and Danielle, the girl that she’s competing against in everything, after Danielle reveals a very big piece of personal information. It seems like she kinda just disappeared…and it would’ve been nice to see more of that.
The epilogue though. When I got to it, I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but it was AMAZING! I want a sequel to this so badly. Even if it’s just a couple more chapters about their life afterwards. Please Sariah? Make this happen?
Ok, to avoid any spoilers, I’m going to stop here. I feel like I’m missing so much, but I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys, so you will just have to read it and see. I believe that the book comes out this summer, but pre-order links are already out so, what are you waiting for? GO GO GO PREORDER IT!
Quick slightly unrelated note, but also kind of related, as a graphic designer, I can’t not notice the cover, and guys, look at it! It’s so brilliant! Fri[end] zone? End zone? Football reference? Friends? Jess and Logan insisting on just staying friends to not get in trouble? Ok I’m done lol.
So, I give this book a 9/10 (5/5 stars). I’m just a little annoyed at how Danielle seemed to disappear, and think that it would have added so much more, and reveal why she was so mean all the time, but that’s also not the focus here. There were a few loose ends that seemed to just fade away which isn’t super disturbing but was enough for me to notice.
Now, let me know in the comments what you’re looking forward for in this book. I promise, the romance will not disappoint. As always, I will have more reviews coming soon, probably about sports.
Sidelined by Suzanne Baltsar
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Format: I received a copy of the book in advance to review from Netgalley. All opinions in this post are my own, and in no way was I compensated for this review.
Buy (preorder) here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/150118833X/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=150118833X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
From the author of the whip smart and charming Trouble Brewing comes a fast-paced story about a female football coach that will have you laughing out loud and cheering for the home team as you wait for the final whistle of the game.
When Connor McGuire loses out on his dream job of being the head coach of the local high school football team, he thinks life can’t get any worse. Then he discovers just who got the coveted position—it was a handout to the kid of a well-known, successful college coach. Connor’s sure this is just a publicity stunt, but the kid turns out to be not only a sharp strategist, but a driven and sexy young woman, too. Frustrated in more ways than one, Connor realizes that he might have to step up his game or risk losing altogether.
Coach Charlotte “Charlie” Gibb calls a flag on the play when she finds out that her very male, very attractive, but definitely-rooting-for-her-to-lose assistant coach resents her for taking what he considers to be his rightful position. But never one to back down from a little healthy competition, Charlie is determined to prove her worth—both on and off the field.
Baltsar’s “sweet, funny, witty, addictive writing,” (New York Times bestselling author Samantha Young) is not to be missed!
I actually received this book a while back from the publisher via Netgalley, but help off posting the review because I wanted to wait until closer to the publication date. But...I couldn’t wait so here it is! Make sure to pre-order the book at the links above, and let me know if you’re excited!
So premise of this story is...we’re focusing on a BADASS LADY BOSS. Being one of the only girls out on the field, and especially in a higher level position in football takes a lot of balls, and that is what Charlie has. She is overcoming all the barriers and will not stand down to those that think that she isn’t capable. As the first female coach at this school, she has a lot to prove and no doubt, a plan to execute them. I was very, very excited to read the summary because in this day and age, I want to see more female empowerment. Charlie isn’t exactly a likeable person, but that makes sense given her background as the only female on the field, she has to grow a tough exterior. But we never saw a soft side to her that made us sympathize.
The way that Connor reacted to the situation was very immature. Like, dude, I get that you didn’t get a job, but stop being a dick (sorry for the wording here but it seems appropriate). Face the fact that a girl (OMG WHAT? A GIRL CAN DO THE SAME JOB AS A MAN??) got your ‘dream job’ but if you’re so hung up over this, maybe set your sights higher. So this is really a testament to the author’s writing, to be able to convey this and the douche-iness of the character. He was a little flat, though, as a character and kinda left more to be desired.
I like how the big upset in the plot wasn’t very predictable. There were a lot of ways that Suzanne Baltsar could have gone with the plot, but I feel like the way that it was executed was new and different, which is good. But the rest of the book was a little overdone, with them going back and forth over and over again.
The way the book ended left me wanting more. It wasn’t exactly like everything was resolved, and I was a little disappointed in the way that Baltsar left it. I give the book a 6/10 (3/5 stars). It was a good plot, but there was a little that left more to be desired, and a little more in depth wanted in the characters.
That’s it for this review guys, as always, let me know your thoughts! I will have more reviews coming out very soon!
Ask Me Anything by Molly E. Lee
Genre: YA Romance
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own and in no way was I compensated.
Get the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Ask-Me-Anything-Molly-Lee/dp/1640636587
“Edgy and smart with a sweet and sexy core.” —Rachel Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Eyes on Me
I should’ve kept my mouth shut.
But Wilmont Academy’s been living in the Dark Ages when it comes to sex ed, and someone had to take matters into her own hands. Well, I’m a kick-ass coder, so I created a totally anonymous, totally untraceable blog where teens can come to get real, honest, nothing-is-off-limits sex advice.
And holy hell, the site went viral—and we’re talking way beyond Wilmont—overnight. Who knew this town was so hard up?
Except now the school administration is trying to shut me down, and they’ve forced Dean—my coding crush, aka the hottest guy in school—to try to uncover who I am. If he discovers my secret, I’ll lose him forever. And thousands of teens who need real advice won’t have anyone to turn to.
Ask me anything…except how to make things right.
In a private school, there are 2 top hackers: Amber (aka Pixie) and Dean (aka NightLocker). After a school assembly that promotes abstinence and hearing concerns from her friends that there are not a lot of resources for teens, Amber decides that for her ‘senior prank’ she will fill that void and create a website so that everyone will have the information they need.
The cutest thing is that Amber and Dean call each other by their chatroom names. Like, that is the most adorable thing ever, something in their own little world. The names mean more to them because of their friendship as computer science geniuses. Inside jokes between couples make things so much more intimate and this is exactly what their chatroom names did.
I absolutely love this book. It’s so different from anything else I’ve read in a long, long time. There’s romance, drama, hacking, and just regular pressures any teenage faces. I used to read books about super genius girls who hack into the government files and then get into a whole bunch of trouble, all the time, but there was an element of realness that this book has. The hacking that happens in the book are things that people at my school might actually be able to do, and they’re relatable.
All the characters were very well developed and written. Of course, guys as sweet as Dean don’t often exist, but it’s always fun to read about them. Their principal is the ultimate bad guy, manipulative and willing to go to any cost to protect his position.
Another thing that is particular about this book is the focus on STEM, especially coding. STEM is very important and I like how this promotes more girls in the field.
Something very important that I really liked how Ms. Lee does not shy away from is the topic of sex. In the book, the school they attend is very pro-abstinence but that doesn’t stop the students from engaging in such activities.
The ending was good, a very big gesture from Dean to prove to Amber that he really does care for her. However, I felt that it was a little rushed and I would’ve loved to have another chapter or two for more elaboration.
I’ve read other books by Molly E. Lee and I have to say, this type of writing suits her much better. I’m not dissing her other books, they just seem a little...juvenile compared to this piece of work. Not saying that they were bad, but this book was so much more in depth and was not as light of a read. While there was romance, it wasn’t the complete focus of the book.
Overall, I give the book a 9/10 (5/5 stars). It was an amazing read and a very unique topic. I actually didn’t even realize that this book was part of the Entangled Teen publication until I came across their logo at the very end of the book. I usually love anything that they publish, and this one was no exception. This was a very well written book and dives into topics that most YA books don’t. Go read it! And then let me know your thoughts!
I have a lot more reviews coming soon, with quite a few sports romances so...get excited!
Coming up for Air by Miranda Kenneally
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 4, 2017
Format: I received a copy of the book in advance to review from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions in this post are my own, and in no way was I compensated for this review. Huge thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity.
Buy from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/149263011X/ref=x_gr_w_bb_sout?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_sout-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=149263011X&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.
All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?
Ok so, to start off, let’s just state that this review is way, way, wayyyy overdue. I received a review copy via Netgalley in 2017, right about the time that I took a hiatus from this blog to focus on other things. I did read it, and I did write the review for it, and recently, I re-read it and updated some things in this review to better reflect my thoughts now, 2 years later. But one thing is still the same, I loved the book, and I 100% stand by everything I say in this review. Now with that said, here is the review:
This was the perfect story of childhood friends and competitors that turn into something more. It’s no secret that I love reading about sports, and swim is such a versatile one that I feel like I don’t read a lot of, especially recently. The story of Maggie and Levi (the two main characters) are so sweet, and we really see the complexity of relationships in a high level athletic training environment. This story also really reminded me of “The Boy Next Door” by Katie van Ark, so if you’ve read and liked that book, I’m like 99% sure you will like this one, and vice versa. The story of best friends turned relationships is one that is done pretty often, but Miranda does make it very special and it doesn’t feel like, “oh my god, this is the same plot that I’ve read a million times now” so props to her, as she did a spectacular job.
The characters are all so well developed and in depth, that we really get to see all of their layers. They are student athletes, and their entire lives have been about the sport, so naturally, as college approaches, their main focus is to get an offer, and swim as best as they could. This is definitely a more mature book, I feel, and Miranda stepped up her game to a whole new level and I am absolutely in love with it. Maggie feels the real pressure of senior year, and faces real problems such as bullying, and realizes things that she might be less experienced than most people. One thing that I really loved was the transition of Maggie and Levi from friends to something more. It wasn’t rushed but was so natural. I love how everything has such a happy but my heart breaks everytime the book actually ends because I know that we won’t get anything about them anymore.
We get a cameo from Miranda’s first book, and I love to see how the characters have matured over time, and now have become the teachers to our main characters. I love Jordan and how she impacts her students. This really ties in the whole Hundred Oaks town and are fun easter eggs to find while reading. This reminds me, I need to binge-read the entire series over again soon. On that noe, I WANT MORE!!!! I love the Hundred Oaks so...I need more of them. Like sequels of all the books Miranda has written. I will literally buy and read all of them. And since my opinion is just so important, I’m going to put this here too: MIRANDA KENNEALLY SHOULD START ANOTHER SERIES THAT FOLLOWS EVERYONE IN COLLEGE AND BEYOND, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE WE DON’T SEE ANYMORE!
I give this book 10/10 (5/5 stars). I love swimming related books and this was a perfect fit. But now, I have a few questions that no one is going to be able to answer, but I’m going to ask them anyways if you want to speculate along with me. What happened to Roxy? What about Georgia and Hunter? Did they get together? Can we predict a future book about them? And of course, what happened to Maggie and Levi as they went off to college? DId they go their separate ways and continue a long distance relationship?
So that’s it for this review. I apologize for it coming so, so late, but currently, I have a TBRead and TBReviewed list longer than ever, so in the next couple of months, you can expect lots and lots of reviews. Now, I want to know your thoughts. Leave them in the comments below, and tell me what books I should add to my TBRead list (because we all know this just needs to be longer right?) What books are on your list? I will have another review here, very soon!
Brooke's a high schooler who loves to read all sorts of books. She's happy to be able to share all the books she's reading with all of y'all.