Book Feels: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman, high priestess of FEELS! Honestly, I don’t know how she does it! She has such a skill for peeling back the layers and getting to the heart of the matter, and for opening up her characters to the reader in a way not many authors can achieve. I’m always left with such a deep sense of understanding after reading a Gayle Forman novel, even when the subject matter is completely foreign to me. I mean, I’ve never been on life support, or traipsed around Paris (or the world) trying to figure out what love truly is, and I haven’t dealt with the suicide of someone I hold close only to be left trying to pick up the pieces…but I can say that because of Gayle Forman’s books letting me in to the soul of her characters, I am infinitely changed.

I Was Here
I Was Here is Gayle Forman’s fifth novel and a fresh departure from her last two sets of duologies, If I Stay and Where She Went, as well as Just One Day and Just One Year. I adored all of these books for their storytelling and honest emotions. There’s nothing I love more than reading a book that makes me feel as though I have been granted a special, inclusive look into the characters life. I Was Here does all of this and more! This book is a non-stop roller coaster of feels and my heart just ached for Cody the entire time as I watched her struggle through her emotions of trying to piece together the devastating clues.

We meet Cody when she is just coming off the suicide of her best friend. She’s lost, alone and struggling to make sense of what happened. Thanks to a cryptic note and a desire to understand what brought her friend to such a dark place, Cody embarks on an emotional journey as a way to piece together the clues and figure out what happened. With each new clue, she learns that there was SO much more to her friend than she ever knew. Experiencing Cody’s discoveries through her eyes is so emotional and overwhelming as a reader. I appreciated how well Forman unravelled the mystery surrounding Meg’s death and how she portrayed Cody’s grief and confusion. It all came off as authentic and I was just as invested in finding out the truth as the characters of this book were.

Forman knows how to give us relationships that are fulfilling and add so much to her stories. Cody’s somewhat strained and confusing relationship with Ben only adds to the layers of this story and by the end you’re cheering for them both to get their happy ending. Ben is the perfect foil to Cody’s character and brings to light a whole other side to her personality. They both have their reasons for trying to put the pieces of their lives back together, and watching them try to accomplish this as a pair is something so moving and beautiful.

I Was Here is an emotional and moving story of one young woman’s journey through grief, understanding and ultimately, her journey of self-discovery. If you’re a fan of Forman’s previous novels then there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll love this one as well. It hits all the same notes but in a very different, and very satisfying way.

Love It

TMYK

18879761I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Publication: January 27th 2015 by Viking Juvenile
Pages: 288 | Format: ARC | Source: Gifted
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Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

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Mini Reviews: These Broken Stars and This Shattered World

Rather than writing up two separate reviews for the first two books in The Starbound Trilogy, I thought I’d combine them and do mini-reviews for each. I’m probably doing you a favor because if I tried to do anything more than a short review for each then they’d probably turn into long-winded, incoherent ramblings filled with phrases like “OMG! You guys!” or “It was so amazing” or “ZOMG YASSS!”

The Starbound Trilogy is the brain child of two fabulous ladies, Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and that probably explains why this series is soooo ridiculously good. I mean, how could it not be with TWO great literary minds behind it.

The first book in the series, These Broken Stars, kicks off the trilogy and introduces us to the world in which this story takes place. I should actually say the universe in which this story takes place, because we’re taken on quite a ride that spans a galaxy. It’s one of the things I loved most actually; the world-building is epic and I was so enthralled by all of the details and back story the authors put into the environment. From the very start, I was plunged into an amazing world, and as the book goes on, I couldn’t help but get sucked deeper and deeper into it. I know I’m loving a book when I can’t stop thinking about it and counting down the time until I can pick it back up again.

TheseBrokenStars

These Broken Stars is the story of Tarver and Lilac, two people from two different worlds who are thrown together into a pretty intense tragedy. They learn pretty quickly that they need to rely on each other to make sense of what happened to them, to find a way back to normal, and also to uncover a mystery that could have serious consequences for the rest of the universe.

I appreciated the fact that there were so many layers to both Tarver and Lilac, and I loved the path they took not only as individuals but also as a pair. I was so invested in their journey, even when the story took some pretty strange and sometimes creepy turns. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil anything, but there was a point in which I realized the story may involve a plot point that I normally wouldn’t be a fan of, but for some reason, it worked for me here. As a matter of fact, I thought the plot twist was amazing and totally made the story.

These Broken Stars is a thrilling ride and a heart-breaking journey for two fantastic characters.

Love It

This Shattered World was a bit of a surprise for me, since it doesn’t feature the main characters of the first book. Instead we’re introduced to Jubilee (Lee) and Flynn. Another unlikely pair thrust together due to circumstances beyond their control but find that they need to work together to make sense of everything. For as much as Flynn and Lee butt heads and disagree, they also discover that they have more in common than they initially realize. Their tragic pasts have formed who they’ve become and they’re both still trying to find a way to make sense of and move on from their losses.

ThisShatteredWorld

I really liked the story arc between Lee and Flynn. It was the typical hate at first sight and honestly, you never quite know where these two are going to end up. They have SO much going against them, and that creates a real and present tension between them that they constantly struggle with. Throughout the course of the book, they both do things that put them in danger and which also bring their loyalties into question by their respective groups. But what’s tearing them apart could ultimately be what’s bringing them together.

This Shattered World was just as fabulous as it’s predecessor and just as wild a ride. This book left me even more invested in the story and eager to read more.

Love It

I loved the first two books in the Starbound Trilogy and I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to wait for the conclusion to this epic story.

Book Feels: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

I’ve never read a book quite like The Ghosts of Heaven and I definitely went outside of my comfort zone when I decided to pick this one up. The cover art and book summary were intriguing though, and I decided to give it a shot. As I’m writing this review it’s been a couple of weeks since I finished this book, and I still can’t say for certain what my thoughts and feelings are about it. All I know is that I still think about it from time to time and wonder what exactly it was all about. Which I suppose is the sign of a well-written book.

GhostsofHeaven

The Ghosts of Heaven is broken up into four separate short stories, that are distinct in tone and style from one another, but when put together as a collection, you can see the thread of commonality that runs through them all. In the introduction of the book the author explains that you can read the collection in order, or you can read in whatever order you’d like. I chose to read them in order because that’s just the kind of person I am. Even before I got into the first story, I was sucked in by the introduction. It was a beautifully written account of the beginning of the universe, and being the science geek that I am, I totally loved it. As a matter of fact, I would say it was my favorite part of the entire book.

As I mentioned, the book is broken into four very different sections. Part one is set during pre-historic times and focuses on a young girl trying to become a larger presence in her tribe. She knew there was something more to her existence. Along her journey she likely discovers the first form of written communication but because of certain circumstances she never gets the chance to share her knowledge. This portion of the book was written in verse and I really enjoyed how the writing really conveyed not only what, but also exactly how the character was thinking.

The second section focuses on a young woman who is trying to tap into the power passed down to her through her lineage. She’s faced with an extremely bleak set of circumstances and is continually trying to determine the source of the mysteries that surround her. This story was really depressing for me and I just couldn’t shake the bleakness of the main character’s situation.

The third story takes part during the turn of the 20th century and is set in an insane asylum. I found this story pretty creepy and there were times I felt so haunted by some of the characters. It’s the story of a doctor and his daughter who come to live in the building with its patients, and how they adjust to that life. As you get further in, you start to learn about one of the patients there who has an inexplicable knowledge of the doctor and his past. By the end the story takes on a little bit of a twist and I was actually pretty pleased with where it left me.

The last story is set some time in the distant future on a space station travelling to the far reaches of the galaxy in search of a new home for the human race. We follow one of the people on the ship and as the story progresses we learn along with him that things are not exactly what they seem to be on board. Out of all the stories in this book, the ending of this one really confused me. I’m still not certain I understand exactly what happened.

I did find the fact that each story had a common thread to be extremely compelling and intriguing. I liked how the author found ways to introduce that theme in each story in a distinct but cohesive way. Each time the theme popped up it was a lightbulb moment for me.

This book is beautifully written and the imagery and symbolism was amazing. Although I do have to admit that sometimes I didn’t quite get the symbolism and that frustrated me. Overall, I had a hard time connecting to this book, and that was my major disappointment with it. In my mind, you can have the most beautifully written words but if I can’t connect to them I’m left feeling like something fell short.

This book is certainly not going to appeal to everyone, but when all is said and done I decided to give it three stars. While I didn’t find a connection to any of the stories, I can still appreciate how well it was written and the value of the book as a whole. I would suggest giving it a try to see for yourself if it’s a book you enjoy. Then come back here and let me know what you think, as this book is sure to spark some lively discussions.

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Many thanks to Brittany at Book Addicts Guide for allowing me to borrow her ARC! Her fabulous generosity in no way affected my review.

TMYK21469108The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
Publication: 1/6/15 by Roaring Brook Press – Macmillan
Pages: 366 | Format: ARC | Source: Borrowed
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A bold, genre-bending epic that chronicles madness, obsession, and creation, from the Paleolithic era through the Witch Hunts and into the space-bound future.

Four linked stories boldly chronicle madness, obsession, and creation through the ages. Beginning with the cave-drawings of a young girl on the brink of creating the earliest form of writing, Sedgwick traverses history, plunging into the seventeenth century witch hunts and a 1920s insane asylum where a mad poet’s obsession with spirals seems to be about to unhinge the world of the doctor trying to save him. Sedgwick moves beyond the boundaries of historical fiction and into the future in the book’s final section, set upon a spaceship voyaging to settle another world for the first time. Merging Sedgwick’s gift for suspense with science- and historical-fiction, Ghosts of Heaven is a tale is worthy of intense obsession.

 

 

Book Feels: Inspire by Cora Carmack

2014 was many things for me. It’s the year I discovered that I loved Young Adult and New Adult, as well as fantasy novels. It was also the year I discovered Cora Carmack. I started reading her books pretty late in the year but I made up for lost time and devoured all of them over the course of two months…between other books of course. I was hooked from the moment I read All Lined Up, Carmack has a way of making the most complicated of characters totally relatable and compelling. I was thrilled when I heard she was releasing a fantasy/paranormal New Adult novel because I love those types of books in YA, so it seemed like a natural fit for me. Good thing I’m a genius and my hunch turned out to be right. I absolutely adored this book!

Inspire

click image for Pinterest board with sources

Inspire, the first book in Carmack’s new Muse series, is the story of Kalliope and Wilder, two people who meet under some pretty random circumstances and we quickly learn that they both come with a lot of baggage. I’m talking a full, five-piece set of Louis Vuitton leather luggage type baggage! Granted their set of issues are VERY different from each other, what with Kalli being a centuries old, immortal muse and all. Regardless of her powers, all she wants is to be a normal woman, with a normal life and normal responsibilities…meeting Wilder Bell only amplifies that feeling. He’s a super fine and also super complicated man who wants nothing more than to be the man Kalli needs, but also to lose himself in the happiness he finds with her.

I really enjoyed the push and pull between Kalli and Wilder, I loved how perfect they were for each other, but I also loved the fact that it wasn’t as easy as “Hey! We like each other, let’s do this”. Even though this book is classified as paranormal, the characters dealt with very real road blocks to happiness. I mean, Kalli  has powers that can be unpredictable and that dictate pretty much every aspect of her life, and even though I don’t have any experience with immortality and strange powers (shocker I know!), I still totally connected with her feelings and the reasoning behind her actions. Wilder is exactly what you want in a swoony book boyfriend and the way he fought for Kalli and their relationship was so amazing and heart-warming. Poor guy deals with a LOT in this book and there were so many times I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a big hug.

Both Kalli and Wilder meet at very vulnerable parts of their lives and it’s such a rollercoaster watching them trying to figure out what they mean to each other. Not to mention, the totally steamy scenes between these two. The chemistry they have together is off the charts and there are some amazing passages where they, ummmm, get to know each other. I mean, they realllllly get to know each other, and it’s awesome! Carmack is a high priestess of steamy scenes and swoony boys and sh totally delivers with this novel.

Another really intriguing aspect of this book was the way in which Carmack built on the stories from existing mythology to create Kalli’s character and her powers. I loved how her abilities manifested themselves and as well as how she struggled with trying to live an inconspicuous life with such a heavy burden. It just added a whole other layer of complication and creativity to the story.

The end features a pretty intense cliffhanger and I can’t wait to see what the next book has in store for Kalli and Wilder. We’re left in a very precarious spot with these two, and I just want to know what happens. If you’re already a fan of Carmack’s previous novels, then you definitely need to get yourself a copy of Inspire. It’s everything you love about her books, but with a brand new twist!

Five Stars

TMYK

22824819Inspire by Cora Carmack
Published: December 15th 2014
Pages: 284 | Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
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Kalliope lives with one purpose.

To inspire.

As an immortal muse, she doesn’t have any other choice. It’s part of how she was made. Musicians, artists, actors—they use her to advance their art, and she uses them to survive. She moves from one artist to the next, never staying long enough to get attached. But all she wants is a different life— a normal one. She’s spent thousands of years living lie after lie, and now she’s ready for something real.

Sweet, sexy, and steady, Wilder Bell feels more real than anything else in her long existence. And most importantly… he’s not an artist. He doesn’t want her for her ability. But she can’t turn off the way she influences people, not even to save a man she might love. Because in small doses, she can help make something beautiful, but her ability has just as much capacity to destroy as it does to create. The longer she stays, the more obsessed Wilder will become. It’s happened before, and it never turns out well for the mortal.

Her presence may inspire genius.

But it breeds madness, too.

 

Book Feels: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

I was provided with an ARC of this title by Random House Children’s & NetGalley
in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to both for the opportunity!

I’m honestly not quite sure where to start here…actually I have no clue how to even write this review. I mean, how am I supposed to write something cohesive and coherent about one of the BEST BOOKS I’VE READ ALL YEAR!!!! I really have a much harder time reviewing books I love because all I want to do is post a photo of myself cheesing it up with the book and a caption that says “READ THIS NOW!” I’ve done you a favor though, and instead of a selfie of me with Princess of Thorns surrounded by hearts, I’ve created a mood board to give you a visual sense of how epic this book is. Check it out…

PrincessofThorns

This book kind of came out of nowhere for me if I’m being honest. I requested it on NetGalley a few months back after reading the summary and deciding that it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Then over the past month or so, I started hearing some serious buzz about how amazing this book is. So when I FINALLY got around to reading it last week, it’s safe to say that I was blown away and its now become one of my very favorite reads of 2014.

The story of Aurora has some familiar elements to it, as it’s a bit of a twist or continuation of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Aurora is the daughter of Sleeping Beauty and her handsome rescuer, but her parents happily ever after never quite materialized. Aurora has grown up in a cruel and unforgiving world, and is forced into some pretty unfortunate circumstances. I thought Aurora was an amazing main character, and the bravery and strength she possessed was exactly what I was looking for when I started reading. She’s also a sympathetic character but I never really found myself feeling sorry for her, because she is just so capable and brave. Go on girl!!

I also found it really intriguing that she spent much of the book disguised as a man, not as a way to create an image of strength and capability to others, but as a way to disguise herself so she could accomplish what she needed to. Aurora is smart, strong and bad-ass and, thanks to her fae lineage, the woman knows how to handle herself in a fight! She reminded me a lot of Celaena from the Throne of Glass series and Scarlet from the Scarlet series, and because of that she’s earned a spot on my roster of favorite female fantasy characters.

As part of Aurora’s journey, she finds herself paired up with a prince that has his own secrets to keep and battles to fight. Being the bad-ass female that she is, Aurora quickly enlists Prince Niklaas’ help in her quest to rescue her younger brother and reclaim her throne from an evil queen, and they become a dynamic duo. It was pretty interesting to see their relationship develop while Niklaas is under the belief that he’s travelling with a man. Stacey Jay did a fabulous job creating layers in each of her main characters, allowing them to become individually distinct but even better together. Their chemistry was absolute perfection, and when Niklaas finally discovers his travelling companion’s true identity, things are taken to a whole new level. Don’t expect sunshine, roses and love poems though…this is a uniquely complicated relationship and I was totally sucked in to seeing how on earth Aurora and Niklaas’ relationship would evolve.

I’m going to be honest and say I wasn’t a huge fan of Niklaas’ at first. He was a bit cocky, a lot arrogant and totally clueless when it comes to women. But, as the novel progresses his character growth is absolute perfection, and by half way through the book I was alllll about him! I was rooting for Niklaas just as much as I was rooting for Aurora, and their individual stories come together so perfectly and this makes the novel that much more intriguing.

Princess of Thorns hits all the right fantasy notes and completely delivers in the world-building category as well. This is the first Stacey Jay novel I’ve read and I was completely blown away by how beautifully she presents the world in which this story takes place. Aurora and Niklaas travel far and wide, and each location was more spectacular than the last. I got completely lost in the fantasy of this world, making it so easy for me to get totally sucked into the story.

If you love romance and high-fantasy, I highly suggest Princess of Thorns be added to your reading list as soon as possible. It’s incredibly adventurous, beautifully written and totally delivers on the swoon, and if you ask me that’s a perfect combination. Maybe it will make your favorites of 2014 list as well!

Five Stars

TMYK

18782855Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Publication: 12/9/14 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 400 | Source: NetGalley | Format: eGalley
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Game of Thrones meets the Grimm’s fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora’s throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it’s too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

 

Book Feels: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live in a parallel universe, or if there is another version of yourself floating around out there making different decisions and dramatically altering the course of their lives? A Thousand Pieces of You plays on that fascination and answers the question of “What if?” that we all end up asking ourselves at one point. Claudia Gray has written a thought-provoking and exciting story of one girl’s journey to avenge her father’s death that ends up being a lot more than she bargained for. In order to catch her father’s killer she must track them through parallel universes using a device he created, all while questioning every thing she has ever known.

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What I loved most about this book was the vivid worlds that Gray creates as backdrops for her character’s travels. Even though these worlds exist in alternate universes, they are still totally recognizable to me as the reader and I was easily transported to these different versions of the world we know. Even when we are introduced to a world that has been drastically altered due to climate change, I was still able to quickly change gears thanks to Gray’s amazing work-building and attention to detail. Gray does a masterful job of balancing our time in each world, and I was really intrigued with the subtle (and not so subtle) changes in each parallel universe. It really kept me on my toes. The science behind the story was also intensely intriguing, and even though I’m the furthest thing from a science-minded person, I couldn’t help but get sucked in to the technical details of travelling between worlds and all that fun science-y stuff. See…not a science person!

I found myself invested in each character and the fact that each of them had their flaws and secrets only made them more interesting to me as a reader. I love a good curve ball and there were a few times throughout this book where a character did something completely unexpected and it totally threw me for a loop. Each character was constantly evolving and just when you think you have them figured out they do something or you learn a little more about their past, and it causes you to see them in a completely new light.

As much as I loved Marguerite as a main character, my hope is that her character develops a bit more in the forthcoming books and she becomes more confident in her abilities and more calculated in her choices and decisions. There were times throughout the story where I felt like she wasn’t giving herself enough credit and relied too much on the people around her, even when she isn’t entirely sure they can be trusted.  But, this quirk definitely made Marguerite more human and interesting, and I  don’t mind being a little frustrated with characters every once in a while. Keeps me on my toes!

The romance aspect of the book does venture into love triangle territory and I’m still not quite sure what “team” I’m on…I’m not entirely convinced that Marguerite knows the answer to that either. The triangle worked for me though, in the sense that there is soooo much going on that she is still trying to figure out, so the shifting dynamics between her and Paul and Theo make sense to me. I will say that I sensed more chemistry with one over the other, but I’ll leave it up to you to decide which team you’re on. Either way, I enjoyed the swoonier moments of this book…and we all know how much I love swoony moments.

A Thousand Pieces of You was a nearly perfect book in my opinion, but I found the portion set in Russia to be a little slow and I wasn’t quite sure what purpose it served to the rest of the story except to add more drama to the romance aspect of the plot. I just feel like when I got to this part of the book it started to drag and I found myself not as invested as I was with other portions of the book. Otherwise, the pacing and plot were exciting, fast-paced and intriguing!

This book is perfect for people who enjoy science-fiction stories that have shifting dynamics, as well as a good dose of romance. A Thousand Pieces of You managed to hit on all of my bookish faves and I’m so excited to see where book two takes us. Especially the cover…can you even imagine how gorgeous that cover is going to be?

Love It

TMYK

source: goodreads

source: goodreads

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
Published: 11/4/14 by Harper Teen
Pages: 368 | Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
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Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

 

 

Book Feels: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack has done it again, and I think I may have loved this one even more than All Lined Up…which is saying something! All Lined Up and All Broke Down are books one and two of the Rusk University series, and both books are exactly what you want in a fresh and swoony New Adult story. All Broke Down is the perfect companion to its predecessor but offers the reader a completely different experience. It’s grittier, more emotional and, honestly, a lot more heart-wrenching than All Lined Up. Silas broke my heart and all I wanted to do was give him a big hug. Thankfully he meets someone who could quite possibly turn it all around for him…but only if he let’s her.

ALL BROKE DOWN

Silas Moore was briefly featured throughout All Lined Up, and I’m not gonna lie, I HAAAATED him! He was a cocky jerk-face (yup…jerk-face) and I totally thought I had him figured out from the moment I “met” him. But, Cora Carmack being the genius story-teller that she is, found a way to make Silas one of the most heart-wrenching and sympathetic characters I’ve come across is a long time. Listen, the dude is suuuuper raunchy and he would win first place in a dirty talk contest (I ain’t complaining), but behind the tough talk and bad attitude lies the heart of a young man who has lived an extremely challenging life. Carmack did an amazing job of balancing Silas’ hard exterior with his wounded interior, and less than halfway through the book I started to understand where he was coming from and wanted nothing but good things to start coming his way.

That’s where Dylan comes in. They meet under the most bizarre of circumstances, but it’s actually quite perfect and I love how humorous it all is. Things go from zero to sixty with these two, and normally that would completely turn me off. But it actually works for them because they are both so desperately trying to forget what it is that haunts them. Two wounded souls looking for some escape in each other. I absolutely adored Dylan’s character and appreciated the layers that Carmack used when creating her. Silas and Dylan seem like complete opposites, and in many ways they are, but there’s some pain and heartache lurking beneath the surface of Dylan as well. The complexity of Silas and Dylan as individuals, only makes the complexity of their relationship that much more compelling and I couldn’t put the book down.

Oh, before I wrap this up, let’s just talk for a quick second about the more, ummm, intimate scenes of this book! Actually…I’m not sure words could properly describe how much chemistry and heat there is between Silas and Dylan, but this pretty much sums it up!

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Not sure what else you need to know beyond that! Trust me…this book is steamy!!

After reading the first two books in Carmack’s Rusk University series, I’m positively giddy for book number three, All Played Out, releasing this May! If it’s anything like All Lined Up and All Broke Down, which I have a feeling it will be since I’ve loved every Cora Carmack book I’ve read, then I know it’s going to become an instant favorite as well! Trust me, you need these books in your life!

Five Stars

TMYK20525621All Broke Down by Cora Carmack
Published: 10/28/14 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 368 | Format: eBook | Source: Purchased
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In this second book in New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author Cora Carmack s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in… sometimes you have to fight for what you love.

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.