Review – Bully by Penelope Douglas

bully[1]

INTENSE  “FICTIONAL” LOVE STORY

Title: BULLY (Book #1 A Fall Away Novel)
Author: Penelope Douglas
Pages: 318
Genre: New Adult/Young Adult  – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole
 

BLURB:

My name is Tate.

He doesn’t call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he’ll barely even speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way in hell I’ll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It’s time to fight back.

I’m not going to let him bully me ANYMORE!

REVIEW:

Wow! Bully by Penelope Douglas had such intense chemistry and sexual tension from the first chapter, that I got so consumed in this story I couldn’t put the book down!

One thing I will say is that Bully is a fairy tale.  If only there was a happy ending to all bullying like this story, and the only reason someone was being mean to you was for the simple, although jaded, fact that they are in love with you. I know we tell our little girls that when a boy in the playground teases you it’s because he likes you and maybe once upon a time this could be true but in today’s society Bullying is not this fairytale, it is a very real and cruel and seems to be magnified with all the technology and multimedia available today, not to mention broken homes, drug and alcohol issues.  No matter your gender, age, sexual preference, religion or race, anyone and everyone is a potential target to be bullied and it’s a REAL problem.

Bully’s protagonist is Tate who used to be best friends with her neighbor Jared, until the summer holidays before they started high school.  Jared went to spend his holidays with his Dad but came back from his Dad’s a very different person. He not only didn’t want to know Tate anymore but he came back ‘hating’ Tate and has made her last four years of high school a misery to the point she even went to France for a year to avoid him. Now Tate is back for her final year of high school with new confidence and direction, with her sole goal to get through this year and get into Columbia University.  Of course Jared doesn’t make that an easy option and the more encounters they endure they realize that the love and attraction they share for each other has never really gone away, you could even say its magnified.  But can Tate trust Jared again and open up her heart? Or is this all another charade to break Tate completely?

The chemistry between Tate and Jared was off the charts! Even when Jared was in his bullying phase you could feel the intense attraction and chemistry between these two main characters. To the reader it was very obvious that Jared was in love with Tate even with his conflicting actions and words, but the reader was desperate, like Tate, to find out “why” he was treating her this way? What were his reasons? What did Tate do? And this is one of the reasons you consume the book desperate to seek answers.

Tate’s character was strong, dependant and likeable. I liked her sense of morals and the values she displayed and how she was honest and conflicted in listening to her head or following her heart with Jared. She didn’t want to make it easy for him to come back into her heart after all the hurt she endured and I could empathize with her reasons.

Jared character screams “Sex” and “Bad Boy”!! Wow! Even though I don’t advocate Bullies, being the fairy tale that this story was – I loved him! He was hot, dark, sexy, swoon worthy, I mean I could go on and on describing his character but I think you get the point!  His dark tortured side was a heart breaker and you begin to empathize with his character and get a glimpse of what he is thinking and feeling over the past four years of his forced separation from Tate.

Tate’s best friend was K.C and I have to say I wasn’t a fan. I disliked her the moment she betrayed Tate and I feel that Tate was way too easy on her and if you read this story I would be interested in your opinion of her – do you feel that K.C broke the girl code?

Jared’s best friend was Madoc, who also a bullied Tate and like I said about Jared’s character, I don’t advocate Bullies but being this fairy tale, I really liked his character. I liked how we witnessed him stand up to Jared and question his feelings about Tate and I really liked him when he apologized to Tate for all his hurt he has conflicted towards her was displayed with such sincerity. Unlike K.C’s character, I liked how he showed true loyalty and dedication to his best friend and once Tate was a part of Jared’s life he portrayed his true loyalty and dedication to Tate.

Bully was fantastic read, the pace and flow was perfect. I have to say that the plot twist at the end definitely caught me off guard! Quite clever I must say and could have ended with the reader blindsided but like I have said many times in this review already – this story is ultimately a fairy tale and with all fairytales they have happy endings!

I loved this book and my sole reason for the half lip deduction is the display of the falsehood on bullying, I know this book genre is Fiction but it’s not the reality of today and I feel it still could be quite insulting to people who have been bullied in their life less significant, making their torment not worthy and for that I couldn’t give it 5 lips….but as a fictional love story, I loved it and would highly recommend it!!

lips grey 4.5

Review- Out of the Ashes (The Ashes Series # 1) by Diana Gardin

Out of the Ashes Covef[1]

FLAMING HOT!

Title: Out of the Ashes (The Ashes Series #1)
Author: Diana Gardin
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 179
Reviewer: Kelly

***Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review***

Blurb:
Out of the frying pan and into the fire…
Paige Hill is discovering who she is again after losing everything she loves in a tragic fire. She’s endured a long road to recovery with the help of her best friend Gillian and is finally beginning her life again: college, a job, and a blossoming love she never even saw coming.
Clay Forbes is the notorious campus playboy. He’s a star athlete, a senior architecture major, and the only son in a family with power and money back in his hometown. When he crashes into Paige, his whole perspective on life shifts, and his world as he knew it becomes nonexistent. He’s wrapped up in her.

They’re both learning how to love, but Clay’s ex-girlfriend Hannah won’t make it easy for them. She puts a target on Paige’s back, and won’t stop until she’s derailed their budding romance once and for all. Who will be left standing after the ashes settle for the second time?

Opinion:
Out of the Ashes grabbed me from the first page. It already had an intriguing premise, with our main protagonist Paige waking up in a hospital bed. From the first moment the reader is absorbed in the story, wanting to know how and why Paige has been injured. As the title suggests Paige’s injuries are resultant from a fire, and from here the story progresses from the aftermath of the fire, to her loss and her ability to rebuild her life.

While rebuilding her life to some sort of normalcy Paige meets Clay, the dreamy love interest. This love story is a little different, as Paige is so damaged, both physically and emotionally. Gardin alternates between Clay and Paige’s perspectives so that the reader was able to garner a true understanding of what each character was thinking and feeling. This technique was also useful in introducing other secondary characters to the reader, such as Paige’s best friend Gillian and Clay’s frat buddies. Through the use of alternating points of view, the reader could appreciate just how important these characters were to both of the main protagonists.

Gardin added depth and variety into the plot line to keep the reader guessing all the way to the end. The ending floored me! It was not what I was expecting at all. Without being to cryptic or giving anything away, it was as if all the things I wish would happen did, but not with the consequences that I wanted! It is going to be very interesting to see how things play out in the sequel, as I have come to expect the unexpected!

Summary:
I read this book in a day so, needless to say, I cannot wait for the release of Book 2 later in 2014! If you love a good romance with a few twists and turns then this is the book for you.

lips grey 4.5

Review- Awakening (The Destined Series # 2) by Ashley Suzanne

Awakening_FrontCover_Web[1]

AMAZING AWAKENING!

Title: Awakening (The Destined Series # 2)
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 206
Reviewer: Kelly

***Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy in exchange for an honest review***

Explanation:
Awakening is the third and final book in The Destined Series. It completes the story of four college friends Mira, Skylar, Danny and Kylee. Awakening begins with Mira waking from a coma in hospital. It explores her recovery, both physically and emotionally, as well as how each of her friends copes with the aftermath of her accident. The love triangle between the main protagonists, Mira, Skylar and Danny is the crux of this story. The use of multiple viewpoints within the novel helps to explain every detail of the story.

Opinion:
After getting over my initial shock that Inception was a prologue to Mirage, which took us back in the story, I finally got my hands on Awakening. I read this book within 24 hours as I was dying to know what happened! Awakening did not disappoint. It finally told the present day story of Mira and her friends, and oh and was it fantastic. It was a little predictable in some parts, but it was so satisfying in other parts that it all but made up for it!

Suzanne delivered Awakening using multiple viewpoints once again, changing between Mira, Skylar and Danny. The reader had access to how Mira was really coping after waking from her coma, as well as where her true feelings lay. The reader was also privy to Skylar and Danny’s thoughts and actions in this very unique situation. Suzanne also used clever dialogue and descriptions to explain each circumstance from every angle.
I loved how this book ended with so much closure. I hate it when books leave things very open ended. Suzanne did a marvellous job in closing up all major storylines without leaving the reader guessing. Every characters storyline was explained with great plotlines.

Summary:
Well done Ashley Suzanne, Awakening was a great conclusion to The Destined Series. If you cannot get enough of these characters Suzanne has created a spin-off series from Mira’s best friend Kylee’s point of view. Facade is out February 17, 2014.

lips grey 4.5

Review – Bold by Julia Swift and Andrew Landis

bold

Title: Bold
Author: Julia Swift and Andrew Landis
Genre: YA
Pages: 266
Reviewer: Debby

** Thanks to the authors for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review**

Learning to be BOLD

Blurb:
When Sasha, a shy, 15-year-old girl who hides from the world, almost dies in a car crash, she vows that if she survives, she will be bold and live life to the fullest. Her newfound courage is tested when she meets Will, who moved to town after his journalist father’s disappearance. Will is fascinated by Sasha’s brush with and secret knowledge of death.

Sasha and Will push each other to take chances and break out of their sheltered world. Will they discover the difference between being bold and being reckless before they put themselves, or someone else, in danger?

Review:

First off, I have to admit I was unknowingly already a fan of these two author’s prior to reading this book. I have followed T.V. shows that they have written for such as Smallville and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys for years. So after learning that Swift and Landis had contributed to some of my favourite young adult television dramas, I could not wait to sink my teeth into their YA fiction offering. I was met with some definite similarities in themes and motifs which did not disappoint.

While I am not certain that Swift and Landis necessarily want their new written work compared to their previous work for television, I could not help but read this text with my previous knowledge in mind. In the past they have written about the underdog youths and beginnings of some of fantasy’s strongest, most unbreakable characters, such as Superman and Hercules. They are masters in narratives of building from the ashes, learning tough lessons from hard experiences, and overcoming obstacles to become who you are destined to be. All of these themes appear in one form or another in their YA novel, Bold.

Swift and Landis provide us with a very relatable story of two high school students, Sasha and Will, who have both experienced tragic life events which complicate the already rough terrain of young adulthood. Through Sasha’s point of view, the reader follows the story of a shy, socially awkward and unaccepted girl whose brush with death prompts her to shake off her wall flower roots and go out and get noticed. While her actions ultimately get her the wrong type of attention, the real draw to Sasha’s character is that there is something special, almost magical, about her character. With her character, I felt as though the authors were sending a message to all of today’s hyper-judgmental teens to say that behind every bullied, neglected teenager, there is something of value, some quality being taken for granted. Well high five to Swift and Landis for this, it is exactly the kind of message young society needs!! Everyone is valuable!

Will on the other hand, is a cool kid, although he is a cool kid at a new school. He plays basketball, makes friends easily, and wants to be part of the high school experience. So much so he becomes involved in the school newspaper. But there is more to his writing than just a desire to have a finger on the pulse, he is really writing to be close to his Dad, a high profile journalist who has disappeared. To try to sort through this difficult time, Will attempts to prove himself to his absent father. There is a scene in the book where Will is crying in public, another scene which speaks to the rigid stereotypes that exist in our youth’s culture, and this is where the unlikely couple meets for the first time.

What follows, part love story and part self-discovery story, is a fresh offering to the YA category in that it shows two separate characters as they develop and overcome their individual difficulties on their path to their love story. Neither one is dependent on the other for help with their issues, rather they admire one another and the different ways they have found to survive, grow and ultimately find each other. So do not look here for warm floating butterflies and consuming passionate kisses, though there are a couple, rather find an inspirational story of two young people who use the adversity life hands them to set them on the paths to their destiny.

lips grey 4.5

Review – Angelfall by Susan Ee

THIS IS NOT A FAIRY TALE!

TITLE: Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days Book #1)
AUTHOR: Susan Ee
GENRE: Young Adult – Fantasy & Dystopian
PAGES: 283
REVIEWER: Nicole

BLURB:

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warriors angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister, Penryn, will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey towards the angels’s stronghold in San Francisco where Penryn will risk everything to rescue her sister, and Raffe will put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for a chance to be made whole again.

REVIEW:

Susan Ee has delivered a captivating, creative, mind blowing debut novel Angelfall – Just wow!

Angelfall is written in first person through protagonist, Penryn Young, who finds herself solely responsible for taking care of her schizophrenic mother and her wheelchair bound seven year old sister Paige. While Penryn tries to relocate her sister and mother to safer grounds, they unintentionally get in the middle of an Angel fight, in which Penryn’s only option is to save the outnumbered Angel (Raffe) but as form of payback for doing this, an Angel who was fighting Raffe abducts Paige. Penryn is determined to get Paige back and since her mother deserted her, the only way to find out where Paige has been taken is to seek help from the bashed and broken Angel -Raffe.  Penryn and Raffe form an unheard of alliance and while it is clear they do not trust each other, they need each other’s help. On their travels they are constantly facing new challengers and enemies they must overcome before they arrive at their final destination where their biggest challenge yet is revealed.  Faced with new unexpected enemies they realize they need each other to survive.

This story is fast paced from beginning to end. It’s extremely well written, being very descriptive and visual – even quite grotesque with the details at times. It portrays a unique take on Angels, which if I am honest, I still don’t know how I feel about since morally I believe Angels are “good” and are there to look after human kind not destroy it.  So it sits a little unsettling for me but I am keeping an open mind for I believe there is a lot more to this story yet to come, especially since the Angels seem to be involved in a civil war? This is yet to be confirmed.

Angelfall leaves you wanting to know more, for a lot of questions are not answered in this book. The biggest and obvious ones being :  Why did the Angels come to earth to demolish the modern world? What did Raffe do to create these enemies? And you will have a lot more outstanding questions if you read the book and normally these outstanding questions frustrate me as the reader but in this book so much was happening you just know Ee is setting you up for a series that will be out of this world!  I felt somewhat satisfied with the information I do know from this book, BUT with the cliffhanger of an ending I am desperate to find out what is going to happen next with all these characters! It is OMG material!!

Penryn’s character is so strong and mature it makes her so likeable and real, you believe everything she is thinking and feeling and her morals and values towards her family are so admirable.  This is my favourite quote of the book and it sums Penryn’s character perfectly, “I knew from the start your loyalty would get you killed. I just never thought it would be your loyalty to me that would do it”.

The relationship between Penryn and Raffe is painful for me to observe for it’s like the forbidden fruit. You can feel the chemistry and the desire – everything you would want in a romantic build up between two characters but with who and what Raffe represents I don’t feel the readers will get a happy ending here, I could be wrong – but I highly doubt it for the repercussions are too great. I feel this is going to be a love from a distance relationship and for me the romantic – this is going to kill me to read…but I am going to do it anyway for I am that much of a sucker!

So now I am onto the sequel, World After  for I am biting my nails desperate for some answers!

lips grey 4.5

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway – That One Summer (Book #3 Summer Series) by C.J. Duggan

that one summer

TOS Book Information

That One Summer is Book #3 in the mature young adult SUMMER SERIES, a series filled with intoxicatingly sweet romances and addictive, swoon worthy characters. The Summer Series is set in Onslow and it is here where you will meet the ruggedly handsome Onslow Boys – a group of men SO HOT in appearance and so likable in personality that’ll leave you craving MORE. Now imagine that, set it against a sizzling hot Australian background, fill it with good old Australian humour and there you have the Summer Series!

The Summer Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/92873-summer

THAT ONE SUMMER YOU WILL NEVER FORGET!!

Title: That One Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Debby

*** Thank you to The Three Bookateers and C.J Duggan for the opportunity to be involved in That One Summer Blog Tour ***

BLURB:

Loving Chris Henderson would be wrong. Diabolically disastrous. I mean, what is there about him to love? He’s moody, bossy, brooding, a control freak, and that’s on a good day … but there was one achingly obvious fact that haunted my every thought, every minute of every day …
He sure could kiss.
As the countdown to the new millennium begins, there is one thing everyone agrees on: no one wants to be in Onslow for New Year’s Eve.
So that can only mean one thing: road trip!
No longer the mousey, invisible, shy girl from years ago, Tammy Maskala is finally making up for all those lost summers. A new year with new friends, which astoundingly includes the bossy boy behind the bar, Chris Henderson.
She likes her new friends (at least most of them), so why does she secretly feel so out of place?
After chickening out on the trip, a last-minute change of heart sees Tammy racing to the Onslow Hotel, fearing she’s missed her chance for a ride. The last thing she expected to meet was a less-than-happy Onslow Boy leaning against his black panel van.
Now the countdown begins to reach the others at Point Shank before the party is over and the new year has begun. Alone in a car with only the infuriating Chris Henderson, Tammy can’t help but feel this is a disastrous start to what could have been a great adventure. But when the awkward road trip takes an unexpected turn, Tammy soon discovers that the way her traitorous heart feels about Chris is the biggest disaster of all.
Fogged up windows, moonlight swimming, bad karaoke and unearthed secrets; after this one summer nothing will ever be the same again.

REVIEW:

Well Summer Series readers, having spent the last two summers down at the lake in Onslow, I am personally so excited for the journey we take in That One Summer…Road trip!!! Nothing beats a road trip; crank the tunes, wind in your hair, taking in all the beautiful scenery – nothing could be better! That is unless your best friend somehow manages to rope you along, somewhat unwillingly, and you wind up co-piloting with the somewhat grumpy, pretty much unreadable- although totally hot- Chris Henderson.

This is precisely the predicament Tammy Maskala finds herself in after deciding at the last minute to tag along with the Onslow crew for their New Year’s road trip to Point Shank.  And this, only the day after she has one of the most embarrassing moments of her life involving the underneath of a table, a knee and Chris Henderson himself.  I will let you experience the mortifying details of that for yourselves!  Needless to say, Tammy finds herself in a rather uncomfortable position when she discovers her best friend Amy, along with the rest of the Onslow Boys and crew, had departed early.  Tammy has no way of knowing that a simple change of plans will have a life changing impact!

I commented on the creation of “the Onslow Boys” as a character in my review of An Endless Summer.  What is really great about this third installment is that C.J. Duggan explores a couple of characters that actually find themselves slightly outside of that entity, and it works a treat!  Chris is always a little apart from the group watching over everyone, and everything, as is his nature and Tammy is a later arrival to the Onslow scene.  In That One Summer, the reader gets a new perspective and one that is definitely more mature than the two books which preceded it.  Not only are the characters growing up, Chris and Tammy are the more mature people of the bunch.  It is not only the characters maturing either; those romantic scenes get much steamier!  Now I know I have piqued your interest!

C.J. Duggan works her magic again, making the reader endure excruciating suspense to discover what direction Chris and Tammy’s relationship will take.  Luckily, along the way there are several other plot elements that grab our interest.  There is one particular conversation between Toby and Ellie that will have your eye brows rising in speculation!  It is, again, really satisfying to catch up with our favourite couples from the previous installments to find out how their stories have progressed.  Just as with any group of friends some good things must come to an end and other good things just keep getting better! This book is definitely gossip worthy – there are so many juicy tidbits to be enjoyed by the end – you will not be disappointed!

The phrase ‘road to discovery’ comes to mind when I reflect back on my reading of That One Summer.  The road trip becomes a learning experience for Tammy, Chris and for the reader as we learn about a different side of Chris Henderson and get to know Tammy’s character better.  Kudos to C.J. Duggan for her ability to create such varied and interesting characters, each member of the Onslow crew brings something to the mix providing something for everyone.  Be prepared to fall in love all over again!

lips grey 4.5

About C.J Duggan

C.J Duggan is the number one bestselling Australian author of the Summer Series! C.J lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t writing books about swoony boys and 90’s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.

Novels in the Summer Series includes: The Boys of Summer (2012), An Endless Summer (2013) and the highly anticipated, soon to be released That One Summer (2013).

For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com

Check out the Summer Series trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTMF8Pprxew

INTERNATIONAL RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Enter for your chance to win some great Summer Series swag!!! Prizes include:

  1. ONE WINNER will receive a SIGNED PAPERBACK copy of the ENTIRE SUMMER SERIES
  2. THREE WINNERS will receive EBOOK copies of the ENTIRE SUMMER SERIES
  3. FOUR WINNERS will receive an EBOOK COPY of THAT ONE SUMMER

Here is the link to the Giveaway!!! GOOD LUCK!

Review – An Endless Summer (Book #2 Summer Series) by C.J. Duggan

endless summer

A SUMMER YOU WILL NEVER WANT TO END!!

Title: An Endless Summer
Author: C.J. Duggan
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Debby

*** Thank you to The Three Bookateers and C.J Duggan for the opportunity to be involved in That One Summer Blog Tour ***

BLURB:

Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in silent study.
“Come on, Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly on his face. “Don’t you?”
After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:
Boarding School.
Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?
With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.
In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the
form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.

REVIEW:

To start off, it is worth noting that the moment I finished Boys of Summer I immediately started reading Endless Summer. I was so captivated by “The Onslow Boys” I simply could not wait to get my hands on more! Don’t I wish I could really get my hands on them! Seriously where do I find a whole group of gorgeous, muscled, down to earth, funny, sensitive and passionate guys like these? The men that J.C. Duggan has created in these stories are literally to die for and as the reader you get to experience what it would be like to fall in love with them! Paired with strong willed female characters who help us understand, explore or relive that awkward transition from being a girl to becoming a young woman, this series is chock full of varying emotions. The descriptiveness with which Duggan writes totally transported me, a born and bred Canadian, straight into the enviable summer of an Aussie teen.

In Endless Summer we arrive in Onslow three years after we left off from the summer of Toby and Tess in Boys of Summer. As I was still reveling in the excitement of that tumultuous plot line it took me a little while to ease into the story of Amy Henderson, who we remember as the reluctant dishwasher from Boys of Summer. Only this time she is no longer the little sidekick helper, Amy has grown up a lot since then and even in such a short time she has endured some experiences that have definitely impacted her emotionally. So when she decides to spend the summer of her gap year down by the lake she thinks it will be a great place to regroup, unwind and get some much needed space from her parents who have been acting so weird. We remember grumbly, smoking Uncle Eric from the first installment, well he has done an about face. He spends his time in the city with his wife, has kicked the cigarettes and is working on getting healthy. This is all well for the two of them, but as Amy is to discover upon return to the place of her youth, it has done nothing at all for the Onslow.

As soon as Amy sets her eyes on the Onslow she sees the imaginings of her relaxing summer go up in smoke. The place is a disaster! It is literally falling apart. Amy is only saved from falling through a rotting balcony by the impeccable timing of the Onslow Boys, Sean in particular. Her plunge from the balcony into his arms is a fantastic metaphor for the story that is about to unfold from the moment he catches her in the safety of his strong, well defined arms. From that point on it is all about walking that fine line between smart ass quips and comebacks and falling completely and utterly in love with someone.
The thing that I admire most about C.J. Duggan’s Summer series is how she has written in that additional character, that of “The Onslow Boys”. While each member of the group stands on his own merit it is very crafty of her to create the character of the group. I think anyone who has had the experience of that tight group of friends understands this creation. The group is a thing of itself separate from its individual members. It is the ‘we’ of the group that makes for memorable moments. It is the exclusivity of where the boys go and what they do that casts this aura of mystery around them while tantalizing everyone around with the desire to be one of them, to be a part of the group. When Tess and Ellie, as well as Amy, are struggling to find their place in the group, I could feel their desire to fit in and I could relate to that struggle of appearing ‘cool’ and not letting on how desperately they all wanted to be part of “The Onslow Boys”. That character is part of what makes this series so alluring. That and the fact that we then have access into the boys individually, we get to see what makes them tick, what turns them on and what sends them running for the hills.

That is exactly the insight we have into Sean as we follow Amy through, what has now become, a pretty painful summer. As she struggles through the labour of pulling the Onslow back into shape, Sean forces her to confront her stubborn side by forcing his help upon her, even though she is too stubborn and proud to accept it freely. She slowly comes to accept and appreciate the helps she receives from the Onslow community and in doing so, even though at the end she feels like it was really all for nothing, she is rewarded with more than she even knew she wanted.

An Endless Summer is a very satisfying read. It was so fulfilling to get an update on “The Onslow Boys” we met in The Boys of Summer, and even more satisfying was exploring the character of Sean, who I am sure you will fall in love with, as I certainly did. There were a couple moments along the way where I actually had tears in my eyes I connected so deeply with Amy’s character and her story. I wholeheartedly recommend this book, whether it is because the character’s emotions relate to something you are going through now, or something you experienced years ago, C.J. Duggan has a masterful technique of sinking her teeth into the grittiness that comes with growing up. I cannot wait to read the next installment, That One Summer, to get my next fix of those beautiful Onslow Boys!!

lips grey 4.5

The Summer Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/92873-summer

About C.J Duggan

C.J Duggan is the number one bestselling Australian author of the Summer Series! C.J lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia. When she isn’t writing books about swoony boys and 90’s pop culture you will find her renovating her hundred-year-old Victorian homestead or annoying her local travel agent for a quote to escape the chaos.

Novels in the Summer Series includes: The Boys of Summer (2012), An Endless Summer (2013) and the highly anticipated, soon to be released That One Summer (2013).

For more on C.J and ‘The Summer Series’, visit www.cjdugganbooks.com

Check out the Summer Series trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTMF8Pprxew