Book Review: Emerge ( Evolve #1) – S. E. Hall

synopsis single

“You never have to be without me, Laney, never.” 

He lied…my everything I ever knew, trusted, wanted…I am, in fact, without him. 

On my own and out of my shell, I learn new things about life, friendship and…myself. 

Like what you’ve always known may not be what you’ve always wanted. 

Dane Kendrick awakened things within me that I never knew existed, unraveling and uncovering the real Laney Jo Walker. 

I’m a NEW adult…so is my story.

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My Thoughts 2

This book…. I swear on all that´s pink and fluffy… was THE most unromantic romance I´ve ever read in my entire reading career.

Let´s start at the beginning, shall we? This book was a gift from a friend who said:

“OMG! You HAVE to read `Emerge`! It´s the perfect romance and it has a love triangle in it. You love those. You´ll adore this book!” 

Then my friend said the magic words. Something that always gets me to drop whatever I´m reading.

“This is exactly like Thoughtless! Kellan Kyle is NOTHING compared to Evan Allen!”

 

Dangerous because I hold `Thoughtless` by S. C. Stephens above all other romances. Ain´t no Hero has ever been worthy enough to reach Kellan Kyle´s level of perfection.

So I read `Emerge`by author S. E. Hall. I dove into this book with extremely high expectations and fell flat on my ass after I finished the story. And boy, did my fall hurt like a bitch. I´m still in agony. emerge

`Emerge` ( Evolve #1 ) is NOT like `Thoughtless`. In fact- It´s not even similar ( which, in my opinion, is a good thing. It means the author didn´t get “inspired” ).  `Emerge` is a YA / NA ( can´t really tell the difference with this one. It´s a blurred fluff ) romance that´s about a love that wants to last but doesn´t. The reason? College.

I guess it would be wise to mention the synopsis is also a little more dramatic than the story actually is. Which is also a bummer because I expect a synopsis to give a hint of what the story is about and not to be misleading.

The romance is, as I´ve mentioned above, almost non existent. Sure, a reader reads about a young couple who fall in love and have to find a way to maintain that love. It´s told. It´s hard to feel, though. I blame this on the writing.

There´s no doubt in my mind that the author wanted this to be an epic love story but the lack of emotional description didn´t allow me to get emotionally attached to these characters or the story. This was something that frustrated me beyond words. Don´t say you love her… SHOW HER! Don´t say you can´t live without him… SHOW HIM! SHOW US READERS!

Then there´s my all time least favorite thing about characters:

The over use of nicknames. Honey, beautiful, cutie, sunshine, baby,…. Don´t get me wrong. Nicknames are good. But it´s not acceptable to include nicknames in a dialogue… all the time. There are quite a few scenes where the Hero rolls out at east 4 different nicknames for the Heroine. One nickname per sentence in one scene / chapter.

Another thing I dislike is when characters address other characters by their full names.

“Evan Mitchel Allen.”

What am I supposed to do with this information? I mean- I have a middle name too, AND I´m from the “south” and no one has ever gone out of their way to call “Morgana Julia Peters!” no matter what situation I was in. It´s annoying when this happens. This is useless additional information that doesn´t enhance the romance in any way.

As for the writing: I wasn´t a fan of the writing but I wasn´t totally against it, either. Very simple. Very curt and cut down to the basics.

The characters… * sigh * I did mention that a love triangle is included in this story. A love triangle that doesn´t feel like one because technically, there isn´t one. This is a story about a girl who can´t tell the difference between up or down. Laney, a no bullshit Heroine who´s has no redeeming qualities. And this can also be blamed on the lack of character description and development. And even if the Heroine were well developed, I doubt I my feelings for her would be different. Very unlikable.

The same applies for the Hero / Heroes. A reader meets Evan first ( Laney´s first love or first friend ) and he´s supposed to be this to – die – for – guy with a perfect chart. He wasn´t. Because actions speak louder than dialogues. Enter Dane ( Hero #2 ) and a reader gets the same problem.

I´m definitely a spoiled reader when it comes to romances. I want the whole package all the time because I´ve read books that actually have the whole package. `Emerge ` wasn´t what I would call a well-developed romance.

 

With that being said… I´m going to leave this on a good note and say that I would recommend this read to readers who want a light and less demanding romance.

Would I reread this book? No. And I will not continue the series, either.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars: Not bad. I like the color choice.

The Story – 2 Stars: To much of the unimportant stuff. Not enough of what was needed.

The Characters – 2 Stars: Absolutely not.

My emotional state after finishing this read: Disappointed.

2 stars


This book can be purchased on Amazon.com


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REVIEW- After Series (book #1-#5) by Anna Todd

Collective Review

After ( After #1 )
After We Collided ( After #2 )
After We Fell ( After #3 )
After Ever Happy ( After #4 )
Before ( After #5 )

 

It´s taken me years to come up with reasonable words that sum up my feelings towards the `After` series by Anna Todd. Because, the ugly truth is – I couldn´t come up with anything better than swear words to describe my emotions.

Now, before I begin with my actual review I´d like to mention that before I started this series I was oblivious to everything that was associated with this story. All I knew was that the story was originally published on the online writing platform, Wattpad.

That was it. I never heard of Anna Todd nor have I heard of the sensation this story was supposed to be. It was by accident that I found the „After“ series.

Later on ( after finishing the fourth book ) I was informed that `After` is a fan fiction romance and that Harry Styles, from the band 1 Direction, was the inspiration for the male protagonist.

I didn´t know who Harry Style was and I had absolutely no clue who 1 Direction ( or 1D) were. After a quick google check I wasn´t any smarter. I figured it didn´t matter. Nothing could have changed my opinion towards the story, or should I say – nothing could have made me think better or worse of what I forced myself to finish.

 

Staring with book #1, After… I have to admit that I liked it alot. I´m not a huge fan of college romances but I liked how the story started and how it ended.

A well protected wallflower falls for rude, mysterious bad boy. after

What´s unique about this story is that the main characters, Tessa and Hardin, are polar opposites who shouldn´t even be near each other. Two extreme youngsters who can´t seem to stay away from one another. The story has mean – as – shit college students, lots of pre-adult drama and a bet that could break whatever the hell these 2 characters have for each other. The key word is: could. There wouldn´t be more books if the bet had ripped the characters apart for good. There´s alot going on and there´s tension. An entertaining story with so much potential.

Like I said- I liked book #1. I just wish I could say the same for the rest of the books.

 

With `After We Collided`, book #2, Tessa and Hardins story continues. After a relationship hiccup the couple tries to sort themselves and have a steady relationship. Little do they know how hard it is to be together, especially when one is a complete harm to society.

I self diagnosed the Hero, Hardin, in this book. In book one I truly bought the bad boy act but since his behavior didn´t really improve I began to think he had more than just a few screws missing.After 2

A few things come to my mind when I think of Hardin: alcoholic, abusive, antisocial personality disorder and bastard. Because he is all those things covered by a pretty face of a college student. It´s plain to see that he has / had issues. In book #1 a reader gets to accompany the main characters and live the ups and downs, back and forth with them. In book #2…. nothing changes. Tessa and Hardin are two „kids“ stuck in an awkward nightmare relationship where both have no bloody clue as to how things work. A reader does get to meet the sub characters a little more, which is good. But the rest? Screw ups after screw ups, heartbreak and tears…. it was time to see some happiness happen for these characters. 671 pages full of „Why the hell isn´t she leaving him??“

My final thoughts on `After We Collided`: After reading such an intense story with such intense characters in book #1 I hoped there would be some character development in book #2. There was none. But… there was more emotional abuse. So much that I felt the need to open a bottle of wine afterwards just so I could digest the catastrophe I read.

`After We Fell`, book #3. An 834 page long book. The book is just as thick as the bricks we used to build our house with. 834 pages of repetitive emotional abuse. After 3 Tessa and Hardin continue their abusive / back and forth relationship. But this time it´s painful for a reader to witness the mind fucking going on between the main characters and how they pulled other family members into their world of fuck ups. Family and friends of Tessa and Hardin also suffer under the hands of Hardin. He´s a ticking time bomb. He has anger issues. He´s afraid of losing the one thing he can emotionally torture. Hardin claims he loves Tessa but still breaks a piece of her every time he fucks up.

I couldn´t believe I sat through another book that had NO character development, what-so-ever. I got the picture: Hardin wasn´t healthy in any way, on any level. Hardin´s behavior took it´s toll on Tessa and I was so waiting for her to wake up and smell the roses. She needed to get rid of him. Actually, that needed to happen during book #1. After I finished book #3 I opened another bottle of wine.

The new relationship status from Hardin and Tessa: An apocalyptic catastrophe.

`After Ever Happy`, book #4, was the book that finally cracked my calm. I was fuming. I shook my head through 512 pages because there was nothing else I was able to do. Tessa and Hardin- they had ANOTHER life/relationship challenge. Another one. Or, let´s say… they had a few more and those challenges were such a waste of my time because 80% of those challenges were recaps of the ones from the previous books. After 4

My hopes for a character development were shot to the moon after book #3 but I still had a tiny bit of hope that there would be some sort of a happy ever after ( because the title does hint it ). A reader does get a sloppy version of a happy ever after. You get approximately 450 pages of emotional disaster with the main characters and then it´s fast forward from then on.

BAM –  you see the characters do this.

BAM – you see the characters do that.

BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM – BAM.

There´s no time for a reader to process all the info shoved in our faces.

The pace of the ending can be compared to the recent season 7 of Game of Thrones. We got 6 seasons of drawn out info and a super speedy season 7.

(NOTE: I love Game of Thrones and would normally never compare the genius of a story to the After series, except when referring to the pace. I´m probably going to go to hell for even mentioning GoT in this review. )

Anyways- the finale ending of the After series… A full-blown disappointment. So disappointed that I returned book #4. I don´t want to have a book like that on my kindle.

My overall feelings towards this series: A big fat NOPE.

It´s unnecessarily complicated, the Hero is abusive, the relationship Hardin and Tessa have is over the top unhealthy. What they have is a twisted sense of reality. There´s nothing remotely romantic about 2 young adults acting the way they did. The story was a train wreck I should have looked away from.

 

But wait… there´s one more. Yupp. I kid you not. There´s a 5th book in the series.

`Before` ( After #5 ) and it´s the story of Hardin´s life before he permanently ruined Tessa´s life.After 5

I didn´t even try to read it. Why would I? A reader can make their own picture of Hardin´s past and readers definitely find out the true reason behind his abusive behavior in book 3 & 4. I´m really not interested in further details. My guess is that the author wrote this book for her dedicated fans, which is fine. Only I´m not interested in spending another dime on this story and I´m not interested in spending more hours on reading about a glorified prick.

 

So, there we have it. Not everything with the words `sensation`printed on it is actually a sensation. The only thing sensational about the After series is that so many people loved it.

 

Would I reread this series? Nope. Not now. Not ever again.

Would I recommend this series? No.

The Covers – 4 stars ( The covers have nothing to do with the story. They´re all actually pretty to look at )

The Story – 1 star ( No. Either I´m too old to appreciate the kind of twisted romance After is or I´m a different kind of romance reader. Either way- No. )

The Characters – 1 star ( The world doesn´t have enough wine to help me get over these kids)

My emotional state after finishing this read – I feel like I need to upgrade from wine to vodka.

 

I´m giving the whole `After`series by Anna Todd 1 out of 5 stars. 

Book Review- The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent

Book Description

Layla Robinson is not crazy. She is suffering from unrequited love. But it’s time to move on. No more stalking, no more obsessive calling. 

What she needs is a distraction. The blue-eyed guy she keeps seeing around campus could be a great one—only he is the new poetry professor—the married poetry professor.

Thomas Abrams is a stereotypical artist—rude, arrogant, and broody—but his glares and taunts don’t scare Layla. She might be bad at poetry, but she is good at reading between the lines. Beneath his prickly façade, Thomas is lonely, and Layla wants to know why. Obsessively.

Sometimes you do get what you want. Sometimes you end up in the storage room of a bar with your professor and you kiss him. Sometimes he kisses you back like the world is ending and he will never get to kiss you again. He kisses you until you forget the years of unrequited love; you forget all the rules, and you dare to reach for something that is not yours.

My Thoughts

I had high hopes for `The Unrequited` by Saffron A. Kent. After one look at that cover I had a feeling the book was going to be an epic read.The Unrequitted

Let´s just say this story didn´t do it for me as much as I hoped it would.

`The Unrequited`- A student / teacher, stalker / teacher story that seemed more questionable than anything else. Did I like it? Not so much.

The opening scene starts off with Layla visiting her therapist / guidance counselor, which is a super interesting scene and a fabulous character introduction. A reader gets a colorful POV from Layla, a lonely and special individual who mourns the loss of her stepbrother / best friend / love of her life and can´t seem to function without him. Layla has an unhealthy obsession for Caleb and without him…her life spirals out of control. The weird thing is- ( BEWARE! SPOILER AHEAD ) he´s not dead. He just moved away.

Not too shabby, right?

Layla, one day, stumbles upon a mysterious, hot guy ( a.k.a The Blue Eyed Smoker ) and follows him across campus and into his class. Yupp. He´s a professor and teaches poetry. Something Layla has no effin´ clue about, yet she finds herself a seat and makes herself comfy.

Okay. So, this is where the story went slightly downhill for me and I fully blame it on both main characters.

As mentioned above – Layla is this lost soul who doesn´t really know what to do with herself because of the one guy she can´t have. Her life looks peachy on the outside but from the inside- she´s an emotional mess. It´s like a thick rain cloud constantly follows her. And, her favorite pastime activity is stalking.

Thomas, the professor, the blue-eyed smoker, the successful published poet- just as depressing only he acts like a glorified dick. BUT, he has his reasons. There´s an explanation for everything. * sigh *

The two together couldn´t have been more different and still, they found a way to be together.

I´m going to be frank, here.

Layla was nuts. Thomas was nuts. The way he treated her was unbelievable and Layla let everything happen to her. Without a word she played the doormat for the professor and it wasn´t pretty reading about it. That doesn´t really put them both in a nice light, if you ask me. But there was a reason for the way he treated Layla. And there was a reason for why Layla let Thomas act the way he did.

But after I was a little over halfway through the story, I didn´t really care if there was a specific reason for their actions anymore. Who in their right mind would treat another person as poorly as the Hero did? For me, he wasn´t worth it. I would have left his class and flipped him off on the way out. Thomas´ mood went up and down, in and out. He wasn´t good with speaking words but boy, did he know how to put someone in their place. I was super close to DNFing the story.

I set the book aside and took a break for a few days. I didn´t want to completely give up but I needed some time away from the crazy. After a few days I reentered Layla and Thomas´ world with a more open mind and finished the story.

I think the main reason why this book didn´t do it for me was me. I´m someone who loves to relate to characters. I love to imagine myself in their position. But with these figures I couldn´t do it. Their actions weren´t anything shocking, to be honest, but I don´t stalk, nor can I imagine myself doing so. I don´t let anyone talk to me in a degrading way and have sex with them afterwards, so their actions weren´t really something to be excited about.

Aside from my dislikes, there were a few things that, indeed, brought me joy.

The writing was impeccable. There was a great reading flow and a perfect balance between action, narrative and dialogue.

The end was really good. I liked how things turned out for the characters, despite me not fully liking them.

Would I recommend this book? Yes and no. I´m not sure to whom I´d recommend this book to. It does come with a warning that this story is for ages 18+ and also deals with sensitive topics, e.g. cheating.

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

The Cover – 5 stars ( It´s a beautiful cover image with eye-catching colors.)

The Characters – 2 stars ( They weren´t for me. )

The Story – 3 stars ( In general, not a bad idea. Just not my cup of tea. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Indifferent.

I´m giving `The Unrequited` by author Saffron A. Kent 3 out of 5 stars

Purchase the book here.

Review- Unveiling Ghosts ( Unveiling #3) by Jeannine Allison

Book Description

Four years ago, Sherry lost everything. Her house. Her parents. And Hunter, the love of her life. She left the small town she’d called home and tried not to look back. He’s gone. Move on. Don’t think of him. But when she learns Hunter is alive, she’s forced to question that awful night when everything was ripped away from her. 

Four years ago, Hunter lost Sherry. She was his home, his family, and the love of his life. He abandoned the town that held so many painful memories, but he couldn’t stop himself from looking back. Where was she? How was she? Did she think of him, too? But when his father’s death brings both of them back home, he must deal with the fallout from his choice all those years ago.

Hunter and Sherry were childhood friends, high school sweethearts, and everything in between. Hunter always told her…

Ours is a love people write stories about.

But will it be a fairy tale or a tragedy?

My Thoughts

I could say so many good things about `Unveiling Ghosts` by Jeannine Allison, but one thing stands out the most. Something I value over almost anything else regarding books- The writing style.

This was my first time around with author Jeannine Allison and I´m overwhelmed with joy that I can say that I have another favorite author I can add to my list.Unveiling Ghosts

The writing style is, what I would refer to as: simple and meaningful. Easy for the mind yet every written sentence holds emotion, wisdom, truth and love. Also- I find it pretty impressive that the author managed to include childhood flashbacks AND dual POVs without disrupting the flow of the story. Chapeau!

When I read the tagline on the cover I remember giving the book suspicious glares.

Ours is a love people will write stories about.“

You´d have to cut me some slack here…. because that´s a line I have heard a million times before. But- never have those words felt more true when it comes to this story.

The story starts off perfect with Sherry explaining her life in wonderful detail until she receives the 2 words she´s been waiting for for 4 years. Those words brought back the hope that disappeared, the life that left her. Before we know it she´s on her way back to the town where everything started and ended. And what she finds will rattle her emotional world.

Enter Hunter and the world feels whole again, or does it? I know it does because the love I have for that boy / man ( childhood flashbacks! Looks like I loved him as a child too * insert awkward silence *) is beyond anything. Let´s just say that I fell in love and can´t seem to stop falling for him.

`Unveiling Ghosts` is an emotional second-chance-romance that also tackles difficult real life topics, such as: death, cancer, abuse and neglect. Those subjects, in my opinion, are always hard to write or even read about and this author has done a wonderful job in weaving all into this heartwarming romance and showing her readers that if her characters are able to overcome their fears then everyone else can.

Will Sherry and Hunter have their happily ever after? Will both drown in the sea of fear and let their ghosts from the past take over their futures?

I guess you´ll have to read the book and find that out for yourselves.

I fully recommend `Unveiling Ghosts` ( Unveiling #3) to anyone who loves good writing, great characters and for anyone who appreciates an emotional rollercoaster ride.

The Cover- 5 stars ( I love the cover. The image doesn´t reveal anything about the story. The colors are beautiful)

The Story- 5 stars ( Everything I could ever ask for all bundled up in 317 pages.)

The Characters- 5 stars ( Sherry and Hunter. Crushed souls without each other, an unbreakable unit as a couple….

My emotional state after finishing this read- * insert major dreamy sigh *

I´m giving `Unveiling Ghosts` (Unveiling #3), by Jeannine Allison, 5 out of 5 stars.

To purchase `Unveiling Ghosts` ( Unveiling #3) click here and enjoy!

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REVIEW- Walking Disaster ( Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Book Description

Can you love someone too much?

Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Thoughts

Okay. At first, when I read the line Can you love someone too much? I couldn´t stop laughing. I still laugh when I read that. The answer is YES! Travis is capable of loving someone too much. I´d go so far and say his love is suffocating. But that´s just me.Walking Disaster #2.2

`Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, is the same story as `Beautiful Disaster` ( Beautiful #1 ) only this time, it´s told from Travis´s perspective.

If you´ve been following my reviews you probably know by now that I dislike dual POV´s. It´s bad enough having them in one book because they´re often ( very often ) repetitive scenes with little or no additional insight. When a MC from a previous book get´s his own story it´s worse because you have nearly the same amount of pages with the exact same amount of story and dialogue.

If I´m honest- it´s a rip off for me. I´m paying double for the same story with a 10% more use of the word „fuck“ in it. THAT is why I didn´t want to read this book at first. I sensed that this was going to be a 1:1 copy of the first book. My gut told me that it wasn´t going to be worth it. My friends, on the other hand, were yapping and swooning over the what they said was the best POV of all times!

I really have to start listening to my gut instead of my friends. I was right. `Walking Disaster` is just a 1:1 copy of the first book. I kid you not. Same scenes, same dialogue, etc, etc. Am I mad? Slightly.

I can´t really say that reading this book was a waste of my time. Not completely. I see the whole ordeal in a positive light. It was a re-read. An expensive one. That´s what aggravates me. I don´t have money growing from a tree in my back yard. Books aren´t cheap and if I get the same story with almost the same cover image I´m gonna be disappointed and my wallet´s going to cry.

Readers who´ve already read the first book KNOW how Travis is. He´s a loveable , passionate lunatic. I didn´t feel the need to dive into his little obsessive world and lust after Abby some more. I got the picture while reading book #1.

The few new scenes didn´t make this read more special for me. In fact- I didn´t really care much for them. I wasn´t sitting here with my mouth open from shock. * sigh *

Still- It´s a great story but you do NOT have to read book 1 and 2. Either one is enough.

Would I recommend this read?

Sure. To any Die-Hard Travis Maddox fan, definitely. For the rest of the world- Nope.

The Cover – 2 stars ( It´s like the people in charge of the cover were on a creative strike.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Same ol´, same ol´ with a lot more swearing and an obsessive mindset.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( It´s a 1:1 copy. I´m not going to hate what I loved before. )

My emotional state after finishing this read- Mad. Disappointed.

In short- I loved the first book so I can´t hate the exact same story just because of the POV switch. BUT…I can give this a lesser rating because I feel like I´ve been ripped off.

I´m giving `Walking Disaster` ( Beautiful #2 ), by Jamie McGuire, 2 out of 5 stars.

If you feel the need to go against my recommendation and still try this read out, feel free to click here and start your re-read.

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