I love Romance novels and am the author of the forthcoming MC Fairy Tale series. Visit http://www.eclairbooks.com to find out more!
Colleen Hoover is just amazing and is hands down one of my favorite authors. Every time I pick up one of her books, I'm reminded why she's so popular, why she's consistently seen as one of the best writers in the mature ya/new adult genre, and why her books sit prominently on my favorites shelf. That said, Finding Cinderella is a little difficult for me to grade/review. It's written beautifully. I love both of the main characters. I loved them both together. I rooted for them and cheered for them. However, I think the story suffered from its short length.
I generally do not have much luck with romance novellas/short stories, and Finding Cinderella reminds me why. It has everything I love in a romance, and yet when I finished the book, I couldn't help but feel unsatisfied. I expect this when I finish a Colleen Hoover book, since I never want them to end. However, here, I felt like important things were rushed. I wanted to see more of Six and Daniel in the closet. And later, when a devastating secret emerges, I wanted to spend more time with them as they worked it out. I don't want to give anything away, but something REALLY BIG happens. I wasn't troubled by how quickly Daniel and Six came together after this REALLY BIG THING, but I wanted to see them grieve together as they supported each other more. This would have been possible if the book wasn't a novella, or if this particular thing had perhaps been introduced a little earlier in the story.
Anyways, I feel really silly nitpicking something Colleen Hoover wrote since she is, as I said before, so incredibly amazing and one of my writing heroes, but I can't help but look back over this story and just wish there was a little more. The strength of Hoover's writing (especially dialogue), and how beautifully she drew her characters, make this book a must-read. The plot, however, feels a little squished. I'm torn between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one. I'm going to settle on 3.5 for now with the understanding that I may change my opinion later :P
This is a book that has gotten a lot of attention recently. As in, even my mother knows about this book and she doesn’t even read romance novels. Though it was recommended to me by a few different people, I resisted buying it for a long time because I just honestly didn’t know if I wanted to read about a bully.
The bully in Penelope Douglas’ debut novel isn’t the Twilight type of bully who flares his nostrils and looks kinda scary when he encounters the heroine. He’s mean. Really mean. Since I read a lot of reviews before buying the book, I thought I knew what to expect, but damn, Jared was just such an asshole.
I’ve read a lot of books where the heroes are assholes. Some of my favorite books, in fact, feature bad boys. Jared isn’t physically abusive, but as her former childhood friend, he knows exactly what to say or do to get under Tate’s skin, and does everything he can to isolate her from her peers. Douglas does an amazing job of showcasing the fears and uncertainty teenage girls go through as they learn to be strong and go after what they want. And that’s exactly what makes the first part of the novel so difficult—seeing Tate’s youth and vulnerability.
After a trip to France, Tate comes back a new person ready to face her biggest fear: her bully. This is where the book really takes off. You begin the novel cheering for Tate, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see her grow, take charge, and stand up for herself. Let’s just say I really loved Tate. But as I read the novel, I feared that I would never love Jared.
Well, thankfully, Ms Douglas redeemed him. As Tate begins to gain her confidence, Jared slowly begins to lose his. As Tate gets stronger, Jared becomes more vulnerable. And when Jared realizes that he can’t break Tate anymore, he begins to break. This transformation isn’t easy. It’s messy. There’s a lot of back-and-forth, and Jared’s behavior gets crueler as he tries to break Tate’s strength so he doesn’t have to face his own weaknesses, but when he finally does, he becomes the hero Tate knew as a young girl.
I love these kinds of transformations, but they’re easy to mess up and it takes a very skilled author to pull them off. I’m so thrilled Penelope Douglas did. Bully is a dark, complicated and beautiful story that sticks with you long after you finish it. It deserves 5 out of 5 stars, and my recommendation :)
Why haven't I read Elle Casey before? Where has she been since I started reading ebooks a few years ago? Well, apparently everywhere. Elle Casey releases a book every few months, so the fact that I haven't read her before is all my fault :) After reading REBEL, I am just so, so, so happy that she's so prolific and that I have a huge blacklist to dip into.
This book is funny. So funny that I'm actually laughing just thinking about it. It's a perfectly done riches-to-rags-to-hotsexyman fish-out-of-water story. After her father dies and she loses her fortune, Teagan needs a job and a place to stay, but she has no experience and no idea of where to go. So she promptly goes to the "wrong side of the tracks" and forces herself on poor Rebel's car/muscle/repair shop, Rebel Wheels (yeah, I know about as much about cars as Teagan does, does it show?) How she gets her job, how she decorates/fixes/protects her apartment, how she makes friends...all of it is nonstop hilarity. You know how some books have those "great moments" where everything comes together seamlessly and creates this perfect, unforgettable scene? Well, this entire book is like that.
Teagan is a delightfully scatterbrained mess. Though she fails constantly throughout the story you never get the idea that she's weak--she's just (understandably) inexperienced and way out of her comfort zone. Teagan always does her best, and whenever life knocks her on her ass she gets back up with a smile, determined to come out on top. There are a few times in the story where Teagan shys away from things that she's (understandably) afraid of, but in the end she always does the right thing. Seeing Teagan grow stronger and start to discover who she was and what she wanted was wonderful. (And funny, have I mentioned yet that this book is funny??? lol)
This whole book could have just been Teagan's coming of age story with no romance and I would have been happy (and there aren't many romances I can say that about), but her character and journey is really complimented by the hero's. The hero and the heroine in thsi story couldn't be more different. Rebel is a strong, stoic, self-made man who never lets himself let loose and never shows his emotions. Rebel really doesn't know what to do with Teagan, or his attraction to her. There are a lot of misunderstandings in this story but none of them are painful or go on for too long. They're either really funny or they set up a chance for both characters to come together and understand each other better.
It's hard for me to find any flaws in this book. Maybe there are a few, but I don't care. I loved it too much! 5/5 SMOKIN' HOT CARS!