Read with me the If I Break series by Portia Moore. I’ve read the first book in the series, and let me be the first to warn you! If you do not like the element of surprise, the unexpected, or books with a brilliant twist, then don’t read this book because it is a shocker.
The plot is simple: woman meets man, man marries woman, and they both live happily ever after? But wait…their happily ever after is shadowed by a huge, elephant-size secret that Cal, the male protagonist, refuses to share! One that just might tear their love apart forever.
Join me in a few weeks to read my review of if I Break By Portia Moore, and please share with me and other fellow readers your thoughts.
“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.”
Okay, so last week’s choice was a total bust (in my opinion), but this week’s read was a winner. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover contain aspects that even a non-romance reader could enjoy and relate to with sensitivity and aspiring emotions. *Please refer to my last post for major plot details.
Colleen Hoover intertwines tension, sadness, and playful moments like a literary pro. This book involves two main characters, Ridge and Sydney. The foundation of their relationship is built on friendly Relations and a general interest in music. Sydney is a likable, selfless person as Ridge is a caring, loyal person, especially to his current girlfriend, Maggie. The heart-breaking aspect of this story is the love triangle between the three very aspiring and beautiful characters. Many romance novels involve a love triangle, but Colleen laces the love with elements of question, guilt, and obligations.
Ridge explores the question, can my soul mate with two people? He is torn between the attraction and connection he has with Sydney and his devotion and history with Maggie. He loves them both but in two very different ways, and what is truly heart wrenching, is Maggie, also a devout, caring person; doesn’t deserve to be hurt or deceived. So who does Ridge choose as their must be a decision made for the readers to have any sense closer. Don’t hate me, but I can’t reveal that to you. This book is just to good to ruin, and I highly recommend it to readers of any genre lover.
Before I end this post, I must speak about the musical element of the story as it truly ties the characters together on a whole new level of connection and love.
Colleen uses music to explore feelings and love in a different way without the use of sexual bonding. Without crossing the friendship/relationship boundaries sexually, the characters use music as a way to love each other. Above all, Colleen uses music to connect with the readers as well. She collaborated with Griffin Peterson to create a soundtrack that can be downloaded and listened to while reading the book, which brings the reader closer to the characters. With the songs, I can almost feel the emotions deeper and more profoundly. The music made the literary scenes come to life, and I cried to this book more so than any other. I love stories so profoundly written that the plot breaks down my inner walls, connecting me so well that I cry along with the characters and share their heartbreak. Truly magical.
Colleen Hoover is a master romance writer. She captivates her readers with an emotional rollercoaster by using intense, personal moments and likeable characters that a reader can quickly fall in love with. Her words are like daggers to my heart but music to my soul.
First off, allow me to give you a brief overview of Clear. Stella, the leading female, had a hard childhood (as typical for most romance stories). Her mother was verbally and emotionally abusive to the point of altering Stella’s grasp on reality. Stella began questioning her thoughts and actions as she was unsure of what was true or false. The only love Stella had known was from her father and sister, Amy, but that was short lived. On Stella’s 16th birthday, her father and sister were in a car accident, and though they were well and healthy, that night changed Stella’s life forever. After the accident, her father left the family without so much as a goodbye, and from that time, her sister grew to hate her. It wasn’t until years later when Stella gave up on her family in search for the only good she had left; the boy she met that night in the hospital. However and unfortunately, that little boy she met years earlier wasn’t the same; he was a brooding, sad, and angry man. But also a handsome man, that she truly loved and desperately wanted to help. However, what she didn’t know was that his problems were more than she could have ever imagined.
Sam, oh Sam! He had a happy childhood unlike his best friend Costa. Costa was neglected by his parents and was mostly raised by Sam’s parents, and at 16-years old, Costa was killed by a man (I will not expose the secret) and brought back from death, thus making him a death tripper. That event changed his life. He was addicted and alone, so he tripped Sam, and together they death tripped all the time. They were together and happy and they were addicted. Then after one dreadful morning, when they woke and found Costa’s young son missing, their lives and relationship change for the worse. The boy had died the night prior, while they were high, by drowning in an ice-cold lake. Sam and Costa tried to bring him back from death, as only death trippers can do that, but they were too late. The boy was dead… really dead. After that, Sam and Costa grew apart, and it wasn’t until years later, when Stella comes into the story, does Costa return home. He was seeking revenge. He wanted his son back, but was that possible? Thanks to Stella it was!
Welcome to death tripping!
I’m going to be frank, the plot and characters were average, but that’s my opinion, as many readers had enjoyed this book (just look at the 5-star rating at Amazon). To me, there was no aspect of the book that kept my interest. In fact, the tag line, “Welcome to death tripping,” was the only interesting line in the entire book. Yeah, that’s sad, but when I learned what death tripping was, I was sourly disappointed. The idea is indeed unique, but it was also silly and overly unrealistic.
First of all, let me explain what death tripping is. Death tripping is when a person, or death tripper, kill themselves and come back from death to get a high. Cool? Not to me. I found it gruesome when they shot, stabbed, or choked each other for fun, and to top it off, the death trippers felt no pain; in fact, the characters, while bleeding to death, felt a sublime, orgasmic-like sensation. Then, when they returned from death, they experienced an increase hunger for both food and sex (even for the opposite sex, which was unnecessary and confusing). For those reasons, the aspect of death tripping seemed childish and lacked certainty. I guess I was hoping for more pain, fear, or risk, and therefore, this part of the plot fell short.
What I also felt needed more elaboration and thought was what the characters experienced and saw while they were dead. To my understanding, they were in an earth-like realm that was thick and dark. The only way to move about was by swimming, through what, I don’t know. The realm seemed to be under water, and to come back to life or to earth they had to swim up and break through a barrier. I was disappointed with this; I was hoping for more: fear, monsters, demons, the afterlife, or more risks. It was boring and underdeveloped.
Finally, the characters of the story were hard to connect with. They didn’t develop well with the story line nor reflect a realistic personality that connected well with their back story. For instance, the leading female character, Stella, was emotionally abused by her mother bad enough to alter her reality (as already mentioned). The first two or three chapters showed Stella’s damaged personality, but after that, her issues were shadowed by the leading male character and his personal issues. Stella’s issues fizzled down to nearly disappearing altogether, which is unlikely due to the severity of her issues. There should have been a note of personal growth; such as, how did she change or accept her past abuse? Did she ever find closer with her mother or missing father?
In regards to Stella and Sam, the story gives a brief introduction of their meeting. Stella, wanting to escape her mother’s abusive antics, decided to climb the flight of stairs at the hospital, to the top floor until her feet bled, and at the top, is where she met Sam (who mysteriously appears?). He bandaged her feet and bought her socks. Their moment was brief; they kiss and depart. That’s it! I didn’t have a chance to reflect on the situation, as the pace of the story’s beginning was too quick. I didn’t developed a connection to their relationship, so when Stella claimed to love Sam, I found it unbelievable and hard to relate to. The characters’ relationship was developed too quickly and lacked conviction. The first chapter they met and departed; few chapters later, the reunite, and the following chapter they are in love—that killed it for me; I enjoy a good sexual chase.
With a positive note, the story had some good. I thought it had originality and crossed genres with ease, which was a wonderful change. I also appreciated the ending, which closed the story well and left me feeling satisfied, but above all, I appreciated Sam’s story more so than Stella’s. His didn’t lack conviction or character growth, and though the pace was still quick, especially with his and Stella’s relationship, I felt connected to his pain and noticed realistic growth from his faults and past troubles.
Please read with me Maybe Someday by Collen Hoover
Here is a brief overview adapted by the book’s synopsis:
The leading lady, Sydney is happy with her life. She is ing college, working, loves her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and lives with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her. Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar. She isn’t the only one captivated; Ridge also sees something about Sydney that can’t be ignored, and soon they find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
This book grabbed my attention because of this one sentence: ‘Welcome to death tripping.’
What is that? I can wait to find out!
According to the books synopsis (on Amazon), Jessica Park crosses genres and breaks boundaries. The story is a thrilling, paranormal romance! Stella, the heroine, leaves her family in Chicago to coastal Maine where she hopes to find Sam Bishop. The one boy who used to bring her peace in a time of pain, but now he has his own painful, dark secrets. Stella tries to heal them both, but her grasp on reality was already coming undone. Now she faces even more challenges as the lines between life and death start to blur, when the end is just the beginning, and when lust and rage rule (Jessica Park, Amazon.com/clear).
*For the synopsis refer to my last two posts or click the links below
Welcome back fellow readers,
If you enjoy reading romance…or not, I highly recommend this series. I enjoyed all three books because I was able to connect with the characters, especially Olivia. Olivia, the female protagonist of the first and third book, was a spitfire. She reminded me of myself on so many levels: she was not born into money (like a majority of readers); she has a foul mouth; she is mean and snappy; smart and realistic; yet stubborn and self-centered (aren’t we all?). In my opinion, her actions and unexpected behaviors were what kept me reading into the late hours of the night. I admit, usually read a romance for the intense sexual tension between the man and woman, but I was liking the insights and actions of Olivia. She was unpredictable, and at the end, she did the unexpected-something least like her character. At first, it was obvious; she would do anything to get her ex-boyfriend, Caleb to fall in love with her again, even if that meant stealing him from his current girlfriend and taking advantage of his current amnesia. However, at the end, Olivia fought her own internal conflictions and selfishness. She sacrificed her happiness for his; she let him go and allowed the other girl to win, the manipulative girlfriend, Leah.
Leah was also an intriguing character, though more predictable than Olivia (thus less interesting). Her backstory was similar to other characters I’ve read from other books. She was ignored and disliked by her parents… blah, blah, blah… so now she’s a product of her foster parent’s ignorance. Also, like other villainess characters, she was from a wealthy family, so her character was spoiled and self-centered. Her self-centered personality was different from that of Olivia’s. She was needy for material things and attention as Olivia focused more on her career and the protection of her feelings. Leah fell in love with Caleb, and like Olivia, she would do anything to keep him. She found his weakness and used it against him, and in the end her growth was minimal. She continued to be manipulative and selfish, and the only growth was toward her own daughter, whom she ended up excepting and loving, but in regards to Caleb; she desired revenge against his… *no need to reveal too much, right? 🙂
Book three was about Caleb, which I really enjoyed. I love reading the perspective of the main characters, and all too often, authors don’t write in the male’s perspective. And most often, I am left wondering what the male figure was thinking, feeling, and doing while the female mourned her broken heart? Caleb’s character was different from the two female characters…somewhat different ;). He had a big heart for people in general; he didn’t wish to hurt anyone. He was insightful. Poetic thoughts showed through his dialogue, which reflected in his love. Like Leah, he was from money, but unlike her, he was loved by his mother and step father, so his character was more family oriented and caring. He desired a family with the big house and a white-picket fence. He was the all-American boy, but don’t let that fool you, he was also manipulative. He wanted Olivia. He loved Olivia. Everything was about Olivia. He wanted her even with or without amnesia. I was drawn to his character, questioning his motives and actions. He was predictable yet unexpected, causing me to gasp and gape, flipping the pages of the book until the very end.
Did Olivia get what she wanted? Yes, she got her dream career, but did she end up with Caleb? Did Caleb win Olivia’s heart even after all the lies and heartbreak? What about Leah? Maybe she was able to play them both, like perfect little puppets, and in the end, she got what she wanted-Caleb. Hmmm…
I’d love to tell you what happened but what kind of fellow reader I would be if I ruined the intense suspense of their story… read it for yourself. You won’t regret it.
It’s been a busy week for me, but that didn’t stop me from reading The Opportunist. I stayed up too late for my own good; the book was that gripping. The night I had finally finished, it was 3 a.m., and I still couldn’t go to sleep because my mind was reeling the events of the book. Wow! Just, wow! Those were the words that kept humming over and over until I finally drifted off to sleep. I have to admit, I’m already on the third book. I couldn’t wait for the following week; I needed to know what happened next. It’s been a tiring week for me!
So, you are probably wonder what was so gripping. The characters were distinct and real, which added to the element of surprise. I questioned the true motives of each characters, as they were all manipulative and selfish-even Caleb, the so-called perfect male protagonist (better looking than a Calvin Klien model) seemed shady!
Allow me to give you a quick run through. The female protagonist discovered that her ex-boyfriend developed amnesia after a car accident. She decided that that was her opportunity to make things right. She wanted another chance at love with Caleb, even if it was short lived. However, Caleb, the male protagonist, had a girlfriend. A firery, red-head that would do anything to keep Caleb. After more heartache, manipulation, and lies, by the end of the story, Olivia learned that to truly love someone, it best to let them go. Ugh! So much heartache!
I would love to continue with my review and opinions about the characters and twisted plot, what I thought (or hoped) would happen, but as I jumped ahead to the next books, I feel my opinion would be bias. I also believe that a review would be better if I waited until I’ve finished reading the last book written in Caleb’s perspective. Meet me here next week for the final review of all three books. I’m excited to finish and talk about the entire series as a whole; they really should be discussed and reviewed after knowing the background stories and perspectives of all three characters.