All tagged Self Published
As much as I enjoyed my first foray--Easy by Tammara Webber--into the burgeoning "new adult" genre/category/whatever (seriously, peeps, is a genre or a category--this is making me crazy) and the brilliant and emotionally raw Come See About Me by C.K. Kelly Martin, the rest of my dabbling into this trend haven't turned out so well (though I liked Cora Carmack's Faking It--I can't resist the fake boyfriend trope).
Frankly, nearly every "new adult" read I've tried has been too trope-y, too over-the-top in the drama department or just plain too much.
However, when I learned (thanks to the lovely Angie) that Diana Peterfreund, whose books I've quite enjoyed (Killer unicorns, yo!), was starting a new adult contemporary romance series under the pen name Viv Daniels, I immediately added the first novel, One & Only, to my to-read list. Diana has such a solid track record, including the Secret Society Girl series, which was new adult when it was chick lit, I suspected she'd provide a solid entry into the genre/category/whatever.
Despite that Colleen Hoover’s Slammed was a frustrating read, there was a part of me that found it strangely readable and enjoyable. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for its wholly unnecessary sequel, Point of Retreat.
Point of Retreat picks up where Slammed left off. Frankly, I was surprised to learn that there was a sequel, since the original novel ties up most of the loose ends and put the characters on a path toward happiness, despite the challenges they faced in the first novel. Despite my reservations about Slammed, I was intrigued about where Hoover would take these characters as they tackled their new independence, responsibilities and burgeoning relationship.
In Point of Retreat, Will and Layken find themselves embroiled in even more drama, but the core of the story is two-fold:
- Will they ever actually have sex? *eye roll*
- Will Will’s evil ex-girlfriend destroy their happiness? *eye roll*
[Note: Please do not continue to read this review, should you plan on reading Slammed and want to remain unspoiled.]
[Seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled for Slammed, don’t keep reading, okay?]
The first—no sex for a year—is absolutely absurd.
One of my favorite themes is the ever-poignant friends-to-lovers storyline.
What could be more wonderful than a love that develops because of a deep understanding of one another?
What could be more terrible than unrequited love for a “kindred spirit”?
The best part of this storyline, in my opinion, is the balance point, the metamorphoses of a friendship into something more. Bella Andre’s I Only Have Eyes for You seems to rush past the shift in thinking that characterizes this moment.
Sophie, one of the 8 Sullivan siblings, has loved her brother’s friend Jake since she was 5 years old. Her love has grown and changed with her own development, but Jake has never acknowledged her as a woman. At one of her brother’s wedding, Sophie decides to shake things up and make Jake reevaluate his preconceptions.
“I told them all I wanted was to have fun with the hairdresser and makeup artist. But I was lying to them. And to myself.” She looked him straight in the eye. “I did it for you, Jake. To see if I could finally get you to notice that I was alive. To see that I’m not a little girl anymore with a silly crush. That I’m a woman.”
It was at this point in the novel that Andre lost me. We’re told Sophie loves Jake. We’re told Jake has struggled to conceal his growing interest in his best friend’s sister. Then the sexytimes commence.
There’s no chance for tension to build, no opportunity to learn about the characters ourselves, before they’re succumbing to their passion.