The Mistake Book Review

themistakeTitle: The Mistake
Series: Off Campus #2
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: New Adult – Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 297
Format: Purchased eBook

He’s a player in more ways than one…

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hookups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat, and she plans on driving him wild.

This second story in the Off Campus series was fun, sexy, funny, dramatic, and so, so awesome. I really enjoyed it more than the first, and I really liked the first book.

Since this is a companion series, there isn’t much in way of spoilers, but there are different characters that are focused on and introduced in this book, but they were all just as dynamic as the last group of characters.

We have Logan, who makes a reappearance in this book as one of the main characters. He’s Garrett’s best friend and another player on the hockey team at Briar. As such, he’s quite the player and he has sex with a lot of different girls to fill a void in himself – which he does realize toward the beginning of the story. I absolutely loved his character to pieces. He’s sarcastic, but sincere (or tries to be) and I think he really shined when he met Grace. I love how much he cares about his family and is willing to sacrifice his own happiness and future to help out when he can because of the situation at home. There isn’t as much animosity between him and his father as there was between Garrett and his father in the last book, but there was still a bit of drama unfolding there due to situations out of Logan’s control. I will say, though, that I loved the way he treated Grace and how they really melded well together. Also, he’s wicked funny, which made him brighter in my eyes as a character.

Then we have Grace, who is a freshman at the beginning of the book and turns to a sophomore about a third of the way through. She’s quiet and hard pressed to mix and mingle with others, but she tries her best with her friend, Romona, and that’s when she ends up meeting Logan. I thought that her character was very level headed and grounded in reality, but she still had a bit of fire in her when the time called for it. She had me smiling and reminding me a lot of myself in ways, which was very much appreciated as a reader. I thought that she handled situations well given what some of the ones she was thrown into were, and I also like how she is very creative in coming up with challenges for Logan to complete in order to gain her trust back. Clever girl.

As far as the story went, I really enjoyed this one. It was steamy almost right from the get go, which was a bit of a surprise, but when the mistake happened, oh man. I could see where Logan blew it big time, and frankly, I don’t blame Grace for being to put off by him. This plot centered around him trying to fix what Logan broke and realizing what he wanted, craved, and, frankly, needed in his life. But it also centered around Grace finding herself and understanding that she doesn’t have to bow to anyone’s will simply because they want her to – she’s her own person who can make her own decisions and stick to them.

I thought that the way they were written was very well done and that they bounced off of each other wonderfully. I loved the tension between them, the hot romance, as well as the dating aspect. I also enjoyed the family bits thrown in there and how there was some give and take toward the end on that aspect. It wasn’t just a steamy romance, but a little bit more, and I think it was done well.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was well paced, steamy, funny, and not so much centered around hockey as the last one, but was still present, and it focused more on relationships of different kinds: romantic, friendships, and family relations. It was very enjoyable and it definitely made me excited to continue this companion series.

I rated it 5/5 stars and highly recommend it.

The Deal Book Review

thedealTitle: The Deal
Series: Off Campus #1
Author: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Genre: New Adult – Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: Purchased eBook

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

This story was sexy, funny, with touches of drama and realistic situations that made me feel sad for the characters. It was a romantic story about two college students who strike up a deal that if Garrett helps Hannah get the attention of a boy she likes, then she’d help him study for a class so he doesn’t lose his place on the hockey team – and things get interesting from there.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, if I’m being honest. I’ve heard good things about it, and I think maybe it’s because it’s my age group, but it was totally something I could envision happening on a college campus and how a relationship could develop between two unlikely people.

Hannah is a spitfire. She’s kind of quiet and likes to keep to herself, but she made a promise to her best friend, Allie, that she’d be more social in their junior year of college and meet people and do more things. I thought that she was very level headed and well within her element. She knew who she was, and tried to not let what happened in her past define her. Though what did happen did make things complicated for her at some points, the fact that she found help through Garrett – someone she thought was so unlikely to help in any way – and I thought that it was both brave and wonderful of her to do so. Not that Garrett was a bad choice, but by explaining to him why she was broken and what she hoped could “fix” her was brave.

Garrett was totally cocky and I loved him. Though, like Hannah, I thought he was a pain sometimes, I knew that that was just how he was and that he really had his heart in the right place and many times he showed with his actions about how much he cared not only for her, but others, too. He progressively became much more open about his own past and his own problems, and we got to see first hand the one responsible for said problems. I was proud of him for being able to be strong and do something about it.

The dynamic between these two started out as a hate to love relationship, and I thought that it worked really well. At first they couldn’t really stand each other, but they grew to be friends over time, which I thought was super awesome. Even if the friendship stage didn’t last as long as what I’d expect, I still highly enjoyed their relationship dynamic because they grew with each other and developed with one another, bouncing off the other and brining out the good in each.

Yes, there were sexy times, and yes, they were detailed, but I thought that they were well done. There weren’t any hints of abuse and the way that it went about with the situation really made those moments sweeter -and steamier- in my opinion.

The plot of the book focused around helping Garrett pass an ethics class, but it also focused on college life, friendships, parties, getting to know others, and branching out of your comfort zone. Both of them had their own hurdles to overcome, but they did well with each hurdle. There was enough drama to keep me reading and wanting to know what happened next.

Overall, I thought this was a well-written new adult read and that the characters were dimensional, the setting was awesome (hello, home state!), and that the story went on an upward direction.

I rated this book 4.5/5 stars.

A Court of Mist and Fury Book Review

acourtofmistandfuryTitle: A Court of Mist and Fury
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Genre: New Adult – Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 624
Format: Purchased Hardcover

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

As this is a sequel, there may be spoilers!

Guys. I just. I have so many wonderful, incredible emotions from this book. It was heart-pounding, beautiful, rage-inducing, sorrowful, funny, and just plain incredible. I loved this book to the moon and back and I am so incredibly happy that I read it.

This sequel was much more of a New Adult read than a Young Adult read because of the sexy times that happened on multiple occasions in this story, so keep that in mind when reading this. Apart from that, I thought that the story itself was levels above the first book, and I like the first book. The story and characters in this one, though, were all so much more… alive and entrancing and it made me yearn for so much more from this world and to learn as much as possible about each new character and who they are and their story.

The plot of this book focused a lot more around Feyre’s time in the Night Court with Rhysand, and how at first she hated and resented it, but over time it was an escape, a way for her to be free from what was happening in the Spring Court, and it also focused heavily on her powers and what she gained from being Made into a High Fae. The plot also centered around the threat from the King of Hybern, the Cauldron and why it’s so dangerous, and a magical book called the Book of Breathings. It was all interwoven exceptionally well and I did’t feel like any part of it was really rushed or anything because the way the ending was written definitely left a lot to be discovered and developed in the next book – which I need in my hands ASAP, by the way.

Feyre grew exponentially on me throughout this book because she FOUGHT for herself and she FOUGHT for her rights as a human being – simple rights that were being denied her and OH MAN. It was glorious. She stood her ground when she wasn’t shattering, and she was given the freedom she so deserved when she was in the Night Court. I am so proud of her for sticking up for herself. She did go through a long series of depression at the beginning of the story, which was very much to be expected given the circumstances that had happened, but also the toxic situation she was in. But as the story continued and she learned how to use her powers, learned how to fight and regain strength, learned how to trust in others again – I saw her grow and change and it was just lovely. She used her mind tactically, but she also used her heart. I think using both, for a main character, is extremely important and Feyre did an excellent job of both.

Now Rhysand. Oh. My. God. Rhysand. I didn’t really like him in the first book. I was kind of really iffy about him and his motives. But now? I love him to pieces. He was so… normal in this book that I didn’t really know what to expect. The mask he had to wear when he was around certain groups, compared to who he was in front of his comrades and others – it was the difference between light and day. But I think the thing I loved most about him was that he NEVER forced Feyre to do anything she didn’t want to. He always left the choice for her to do something if she wanted to or not. I loved that he flirted with her and bantered with her, and I love how he looked after her. His magic is astounding, for sure, too. He loves his people, his Inner Circle, Feyre… I am so glad he was so well developed in this book because he deserved every second of that spotlight that was shining on him.

Tamilin, I want to gouge his eyes out with a spoon. Slowly. He pissed me off so much in this book I was ready to jump into the pages and tear him apart. He was controlling and WAY too overprotective of Feyre. It was actually kind of crazy that he didn’t really seem to care that she was suffering so much at the beginning and then he’d apologize for his behavior… it was a vicious, toxic cycle and I’m glad she got away when she did before she married him.

And then we met Morrigan (Mor), Cassian, Azriel, and Amren. Rhysand’s Inner Circle. I love them all. I don’t know how Maas did it, but she made it so you could connect to the characters and fall in love with each of them.

  • Mor is the third in command and has a sarcastic kind of personality where she’ll easily banter with others, but she makes friends almost everywhere she goes. And she’s not afraid to kick ass, either.
  • Cassian is an arrogant Illyrian fighter and he is probably my favorite of the Circle. He’s funny and likes getting into trouble, I swear. But he’s fiercely loyal and I love that.
  • Azriel is extremely mysterious, and he’s a Shadowsinger, able to communicate with shadows around him. He’s very quiet, but he’s a fierce Warrior.
  • Amren is also mysterious, but for entirely different reasons. She’s sharp tongued, highly intelligent, and mean. I like her.

Throughout all of this, though, there are friendships forged, lessons to be learned, moments of peace, and, most importantly, love. And when the romance came about in this book and then THE THING happened? I nearly died of swoons and feels and happiness and I was glowing right along with  Feyre. Oh man. It was beautiful, guys, truly.

There’s also lies and deceit from some people that you would least expect it from and I wanted to punch something I was shaking with so much rage. There’s trials and so many risky things that Feyre, Rhys, and the others go through that I just had to keep flipping the page to find out more.

And the sexy times. Ooooooh man, the sexy times. They were very steamy, descriptive, and I needed a fan. I don’t think it really distracted or took away from the story because of certain things that happened around it.

AND THEN. Just when you thought everything was going to turn out fine? THAT ENDING. THAT TWIST. I’m pissed and sad for various reasons, BUT I am also very, very anxious to see what happens in the last book. I need it. Now.

Overall, this was an extremely solid sequel in my opinion and I absolutely, 100% recommend it.

I rate this book 6/5 stars.

No? Okay.

I rate it 5/5 stars and highly recommend it.