Review: After by Anna Todd

After
Series: After, #1
Author: Anna Todd
Narrator: Elizabeth Louise
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Simon Schuster Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Now newly revised and expanded, Anna Todd’s After fanfiction racked up 1 billion reads online and captivated readers across the globe. Experience the Internet’s most talked-about book for yourself!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER … Life will never be the same.


I don’t even know where to begin with this book. I’m not the same after reading it. I’m irritated, exhausted and frustrated. So many people love After. I am not one of those people. Sorry. I was disturbed almost the entire time I was listening to it. I kept thinking I should DNF this book. I honestly can’t believe that I finished it. I’m going to apologize because this review is going to get very rant filled. (Warning: Possible spoilers ahead.)

The relationship between Tessa and Hardin was horrible. Tessa annoyed the heck out of me. She was a naïve, judgmental, and immature young woman. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being naïve or immature, but she needed a reality check. The way Hardin treated her wasn’t okay, yet she kept coming back for more. She had no respect for herself when it came to him. She gave him everything he wanted when all he did was prove he didn’t deserve it. There is no way I could ever see their relationship being healthy. Maybe I would have been more accepting of Tessa’s situation with Hardin if she learned her lesson about emotional abuse and became a stronger, better person from it. That wasn’t part of this story, though. I felt this love story set a horrible example for impressionable young women. (Who are reading/have read this book because it began as One Direction fan fiction on Wattpad!!! Mind. Blown.)

There was nothing to love about Hardin. He may have had issues in his past, but none of them gave him permission to act the way he did. I didn’t find anything attractive about him at all. I would love to say that could have changed if I had his point of view, but I don’t think so. I think it would have made me hate him more. Hardin needed counseling.

Noah’s the only person I felt sorry for in this whole book. Despite being too cozy with Tessa’s mom, he seemed like a genuinely good person. He respected Tessa and her feelings. Noah didn’t deserve to be cheated on or find out the way he did. Tessa should have been honest with him the minute she acted on her feelings for Hardin. It made me dislike her even more.

There are a couple of reasons why I gave After 2 stars. One, I did want to know where this abusive love story was going. Sadly, it was because I was hoping that Tessa would realize what a horrible, unhealthy relationship she was in and move on. Second, the ending. I am so mad at that ending because it was so amazing. I had no plans to read the second book in this series because I absolutely hated this book, but that ending! Ugh! It was the best part of the entire book and now I need to know what happens next! Grrr….

So, surprisingly, I will be reading the second book in this series even though I didn’t like this one. I can only hope the series gets better.

Review: Carter Reed by Tijan

Carter Reed
Series: Carter Reed, #1
Author: Tijan
Narrator: Lucy Rivers
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Emma decided to skip the gym and went home early. It was the last easy decision she made because she found her roommate being raped by the boyfriend. She had two choices. Call the cops and be killed by his family’s mafia connections or kill him first and hope to survive. There was no choice to her. She killed the bastard first and went to the one person who could protect her: Carter Reed. He’s a weapon for the rivaling mafia family, but he’s also Emma’s secret. Not only was he best friends with her brother, but she’s the reason he became that weapon in the first place.


I’m really shocked to be saying this, but Carter Reed was almost a DNF for me. I’m surprised because up until about two-thirds of the way in, I was wrapped up in the story. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Emma and her friends. Somewhere along the way, I lost interest.

Carter Reed started with the brutal rape of Emma’s friend and her decision to kill the rapist. Not knowing what else to do after, Emma runs to Carter Reed. With his mobster past and her childhood link to him, Carter’s the only person who can help Emma. Emma knows going to Carter will change her life, but she has no idea how much. The minute she approaches him, her chance for freedom is gone.

I feel weird saying this book started strong since it starts with a rape, but it did. It immediately grabbed my attention and made me sympathetic to Emma and her friends. The events at the beginning and everyone’s reactions to them made want to know where the story would go. I felt bad for them all, and really hoped Emma going to Carter would help them.

I enjoyed the tension between Emma and Carter, and was excited to know how their love story would play out. Sadly, Emma and Carter’s relationship never went deep enough for me to understand their love for each other. They had a combined history, but there wasn’t a non-platonic relationship between them before this story takes place. She comes to him for help, he’s super hot and instantly they’re in love. It made no sense to me. They hadn’t seen each other in years. Carter was constantly running off to take care of things. They spent so little time together. I wanted to spend more time getting to watch them fall in love.

The lack of real love story and the weird plot twists that kept popping up started to wear thin for me around that two-thirds finished that I was talking about earlier. I didn’t care enough about the characters or the story to finish it. I pushed myself to finish it so I could honestly review the whole book. I’m a fan of Tijan’s books, but Carter Reed wasn’t for me. I wish the end of the book would have had the same draw as the first half or so of it.

Review: Fallen Crest Forever by Tijan

Fallen Crest Forever
Series: Fallen Crest High, #7
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Mason Kade is the dream.
He is the promise.
He’s offering what so many would fantasize about, and it’s not that I don’t want it/him/us.
It’s the opposite.
There might be ghosts haunting me, but this man who’s my soulmate is asking me for forever.
How can I say no to someone who already gave me my happily ever after?


Well, this is it. The finale to a dramatic and addicting series. I feel like I’m at a loss of what to say right now. I seriously want to cry because I am done with the final full length Fallen Crest High novel. I know it was probably time for the series to come to an end, but I could read about these characters and their drama forever. I know their lives would continue to be just as fun to follow.

Drama wise, Fallen Crest Forever felt the calmest to me. Don’t get me wrong, there were still many dramatic moments, but they felt more subdued. Emotions wise, it was a different story. Fallen Crest Forever was the most emotionally tormenting book of them all.

Surprisingly, Sam had a lot of self-discovery to do. I loved that she was determined to find herself and her passions outside of her relationship with Mason. Her doubts plagued me, even though I always knew she would be okay. I had faith because Sam had her family and their support, and that was the most important thing.

Mason was a rock in this book. His inner strength was calming for both Sam and me. I appreciated his more mature approach to life this time around. He was still the badass football player, but he became even smarter with his actions than before. I have commented on it in previous reviews, but his protection of Sam and they way he showed his love for her was beautiful.

I can’t say that everything was smooth sailing for Sam and Mason in Fallen Crest Forever. There were moments that made me swoon, but there were also moments that broke my heart. Tears were in my eyes a couple of times. I’m so happy they had Logan, Nate, Taylor and Heather to help support them in their final journey toward forever. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for them.

The story that began in Fallen Crest High came full circle in Fallen Crest Forever. I’m sad this utterly addictive series is over, but knowing there’s going to at least be another novella in the near future has placated me. I’m happy to know this isn’t the last time I’ll see the characters I’ve grown to love so much.

Review: Fallen Crest Home by Tijan

Fallen Crest Home
Series: Fallen Crest High, #6
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: April 17, 2017
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

It’s been years since my mother was in my life.
I healed.
I learned to accept love.
I lived.
That’s all done. She was away, and now she’s back.
I avoided her for a year and a half, but I couldn’t hide anymore.
Mason had an internship in Fallen Crest, so we headed back for the summer.
And when we got there—no one was prepared for what happened.


Yep, I’m still addicted. I’m still obsessively devouring the Fallen Crest High series. Can’t stop. Won’t stop. This series is just too dramatically riveting. I’m pretty amazed by it. I mean, when I first started the series, I couldn’t say I loved the characters. Well, maybe Logan, but the rest of them were too nuts. I was pulled in by the drama, stayed for the drama, and somehow found myself falling in love with every single characters — good and bad. Now, I’m a fan of the fearsome twosome, threesome, and foursome. (That will only make sense if you have read all the books.)

The “Home” in Fallen Crest Home refers to the return of the family to Fallen Crest for the summer. Mason’s interning with his dad’s company, and Sam’s mentally and physically trying to avoid the fact that Analise has returned to town. Since that’s not enough to deal with, the new king of the Roussou scene is looking to settle Budd’s debt with the Kades. What should have been a relaxing summer is shaping up to be more trouble than the fearsome foursome could have predicted.

Fallen Crest Home is one of my favorite books in this series. Things are starting to come full circle for the Fallen Crest family. Mason, Sam and Logan are older now. They’re thinking about the future and making smarter choices. I say thinking because they’ll do anything protect their family.

Sam and Mason’s relationship is in a good place in this book. They have a renewed need for each other, and I loved getting more of their intimate moments again. Their connection felt stronger than ever. Sam still has some mental anguish going on, but she’s able to identify it and attempt to deal with it.

Logan is the same old Logan, but now he’s got a love of his own to fight for. It only adds to his fierce defense of his family. Nate’s the only odd man out, but he’s still there to help out his friends.

Since this is Fallen Crest, the fearsome foursome aren’t the only returning characters. One of my favorite couples, Heather and Channing were back and in on the action. I love those two so much. I would really like a book devoted to them! Several of my least favorite FCA students were also back to wreak havoc. Adam, Becky, Cass, and Kate all made appearances.

With all these characters back in action, you can only imagine all of the drama that could unfold…and it did! I loved the way this part of Sam and Mason’s story was laid out. Of course, the drama was over the top, but it made sense to me. It wasn’t out there crazy. Not all of Sam and Mason’s problems were solved, but some important ones felt more resolved and I can see how this series is headed toward a strong finish. I know how I want the next book to start, and I’m hoping my wish comes true.

If you enjoy dramatic series filled with angst, longing, intense love and a strong sense of family, you really need to read the entire Fallen Crest High series from beginning to end. It’s a wild, addicting ride.

Review: Fallen Crest Novella Reviews

As you probably know, I’ve been binge reading Tijan’s Fallen Crest High series over the past couple of weeks. I have read the books in order (with the except of the first prequel novella), and have finally made it to the novellas in the middle of the series. Rather than do separate reviews for each Fallen Crest High novella, I am going to do mini reviews for all of them in one post. This includes the first prequel novella as well.


Mason
Series: Fallen Crest High, #0.5

Author: Tijan
Publication Date: June 16, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Mason Kade is not known to be nice. He is ruthless, manipulative, and unforgiving. Most will say that he is an a**hole and he is to those that cross him or cross his loved ones. However, he does not want to be who he is. He does not enjoy hurting others, but there is no limit to the lengths he will go to protect himself and his brother.

This is the story of how he came to be and this is why so many love Mason Kade.

My review:

This novella is a prequel to the entire Fallen Crest High series. I didn’t read it prior to starting the series. I’m kind of glad I didn’t. It might have taken away from some of the surprises I got, especially in Fallen Crest Public. Plus, Mason was so angry in this book. I’m happy I got to know him through Sam before reading Mason. I enjoyed the look back at what Mason and what he went through prior to meeting Sam. My favorite part was toward the end when he describes seeing her first the first time. Mason isn’t a novella Mason fans would want to miss.


Fallen Crest Christmas
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5.25
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

This is a very very short novella consisting of one scene that has three parts, and an additional bonus scene. This was written to be a FREE gift to any Fallen Crest readers! And with that said, Happy Holidays from Tijan.

My review:

This really was a VERY short novella. It was perfect, though. It spotlighted two Christmases for Sam. The first was after Fallen Crest University. Sam has to deal with her mother reappearing and wanting to spend Christmas with her. It was a fun read. My favorite part of this novella, though, was the short scene of the previous Christmas in Boston before Fallen Crest University. I had always wondered about that time for Sam. It was nice to get a glimpse of it.


Logan Kade
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5.5
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: March 28, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

People think that just because they know my name, my reputation, and my family that they know me. They don’t.

They say I’m a manwhore, but who wouldn’t be with my face and body? They say I’m a partier, and that’s not going to change. They say I’m a fighter, and hell yes I am. F*ck with mine, and I’ll f*ck you back ten times worse.

So, yes. Maybe what they say is true, but that’s not all of me.

I’m loyal to a damned fault. If you earn it, I’ll never leave your side. And when I love, I love hard, but there’s another side to me where it’s dark and painful. That side’s been kept hidden, until her. Taylor saw inside of me, and the second she was there, she owned me.

People think they know me…

…but only she can see me

My review:

Fallen Crest University treated me to Logan Kade’s point of view for a brief moment, and I wanted more. Thank goodness Tijan decided to write this novella about him. Logan Kade was everything I expected him to be. Taylor was a great match for him. I immediately understood why he fell for her, and I loved their dynamic. I could read many more books about their relationship.

My only tiny complaint about this novella was the over the top drama with Jason. I could have done without that story line. Logan and Taylor had enough drama besides of their own. They didn’t need that crazy turn of events.

If you’re a Logan Kade fan club member, you are going to swoon over Logan Kade.

Review: Fallen Crest University by Tijan

Fallen Crest University
Series: Fallen Crest High, #5
Author: Tijan
Narrators:  Graham Halstead, Saskia Maarleveld
Publication Date: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Samantha, Mason, and Logan are all together and united with one common enemy: Park Sebastian, the king of fraternity douchebags. With professional football scouts eyeing his every move, Mason Kade has to walk the line for the first time in his life. Any move he makes against Sebastian has to be perfect and under the radar. One mistake, and his career is over. Sebastian has other plans. Mason’s career isn’t his target-not even close. Wanting to destroy Mason completely, Sebastian knows that he must hit him where it hurts the most: Samantha, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass that she’s the target. Sam is bound and determined to protect Mason herself, no matter the cost, but what if the cost is beyond her imagination? What if this time, the villain wins?


If you’ve been keeping up with my reviews recently, you’ve probably noticed I’m majorly bingeing on the Fallen Crest University series. Tijan has created a series so addicting and drama filled that I can’t put it down. I wouldn’t say the books are perfect, but they weave a tale so complex and fascinating that perfection doesn’t really matter.

Fallen Crest University is the next stage in the fearsome foursome’s life. No longer are Sam and Logan stuck in Fallen Crest while Mason and Nate are at college. All four of them are now at the same college. It’s a blessing and a curse for Mason. He loves have his family back at his side, but he worries about their safety. If his battle with Park Sebastian was simmering last year, this year it’s boiling. Mason wants to protect Sam and Logan, but they have other ideas. Both of them are willing to do anything to protect Mason from Park.

I absolutely loved having the family back together in this book! The Fallen Crest world just didn’t feel right with them separated by distance. Sam, Mason, Logan, and Nate feed off of each other and that makes for so many fun moments. I also liked the place Sam and Mason were in. There were still secrets, but Sam seemed to be back to holding her own. Her mental state was so much better in this book.

One of my favorite things about this book was that Logan got his own point a view for a couple of chapters! It was just as awesome as when Mason’s point of view showed up in book 3. I’ve always loved his cocky demeanor, but it was even more fun hearing it from his point of view. Logan rocked! I’m so excited to read his novella soon!

Now for my least favorite things about this book. I hate to say it, but Fallen Crest University is the weakest book in the series so far. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it — I totally did. I mean, I listened to it non-stop. It’s just that it was missing some of the things I’ve loved about the series in the past. It was also really over the top in the drama department. That’s saying a lot because this series is nothing but drama.

This book was missing so many things for me. I wanted more of some of the old characters. I wish at least one horrible person from one of Sam’s high schools had shown up at her college. I also wish Heather had gone to school with her. She visited for a second, but I still missed her presence in this book. Speaking of Heather, I really wanted to know more about her hook up with Logan. They had such chemistry, and I’m sad I only got to hear a tiny bit about it. Another thing I missed was Sam’s running addiction. I know that’s crazy because it has annoyed me in the past books, but I thought there would be more involving her track scholarship. And, finally, I missed the Mason-Sam sexy times. They were alluded to, but in the previous books I got more details. I was surprised that they weren’t more prevalent now that it’s a college romance instead of a high school one? I would say maybe they cooled off after being together so long, but that wasn’t it.

As for the over the top drama, I had a hard time buying into one major twist at the end. It helped with Park’s demise, but was too out there for me. I still don’t know what to make of it.

Overall, Fallen Crest University was another addicting read. I loved seeing Mason and Sam in a new phase in their lives. I’m excited for what’s to come in the rest of the series. I’m sad that I won’t be able to listen to the rest of the series because I have fallen in love with the narrators, but I don’t think they’re out in Audible yet. I’ll have to make do with reading them. 😉

Review: My Roommate’s Girl by Julianna Keyes

My Roommate’s Girl
Author: Julianna Keyes
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Publisher: Julianna Keyes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The day a judge gave me the choice between going to prison or going to college was the day I vowed to stop stealing. Never again would I see something beautiful and beyond my means and take it, just because I wanted it. Just because I could.

When I moved in with Jerry, it was with good intentions. I needed a place to live while I got my degree, and he needed a roommate.

Then I saw Aster.

Blond and beautiful, good, pure, sweet, smart…and Jerry’s girlfriend. She was everything I never thought I could have. Except…maybe I can.

So I put a plan into action. Yeah, I’d probably go to hell, but it would be worth it. I wanted Aster. I wanted her yesterday and tomorrow and every possible way.

But you know what they say.

Be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it.


Julianna Keyes is an author I’ve come to love this year. I became a fan of her writing after reading her Burnham College series. I was very excited to get to read her new release, My Roommate’s Girl. From the title, I could tell this was going to be one of those books that was going to have some uncomfortable moments, but I had faith that Keyes could make me fall in love with her story.

I didn’t immediately fall in love with My Roommate’s Girl. It wasn’t the dreaded love triangle that kept me from it. It was the main character, Aiden Shaw. His cocky, tough guy talk didn’t endear him to me. He seemed really scuzzy and I didn’t like his tactics. I think my biggest problem was that his motives weren’t good. Everything was based on his lust. It wasn’t until he and Aster truly started to form a friendship that I could see the good in Aiden, and appreciate him. There was more to him than I thought, and it took until half way through the book to understand that. I wish it would have happened earlier.

Aster wasn’t what I expected at all. I was pleasantly surprised by her when her point of view finally showed up. She was more than the princess Aiden described her to be. I loved her back story and how it affected her feelings for Aiden.

Aster and Aiden had a very unique connection. Their similarities tied them together in a special way. It enhanced their already sizzling chemistry. The more they discovered about each other, the more I liked the story. I wish more time had been spent within their relationship. There was so much build up to it. I only got to experience their relationship for what felt like a minute before a conflict started to ruin things. I wasn’t a fan of the conflict, so that time in the book frustrated me. It did lead a super cute ending, though.

I probably would have given My Roommate’s Girl a higher rating if I had immediately connected with the characters. I liked them, but I never really got the chance to love them. The book was still a lot of fun to read and it was incredibly fast-paced. If you’re looking for a college romance that isn’t centered around sports or normal college students, I would recommend My Roommate’s Girl. It’s different from any college romance I’ve read.