Review – The Dorm Room Diaries: Freshman Year

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TITLE: The Dorm Room Diaries: Freshman Year (Book #1)
AUTHOR: T.L Steffe
GENRE: Young Adult – Contemporary Romance
PAGES: 168
REVIEWER: Nicole

BLURB:

For eighteen-year-old Monroe Reid, life is full of change. Her long-time best friend, Lennon Walker, confessed his true feelings for her and she hasn’t spoken to him since. That was eight weeks ago. On top of that, she is about to leave her family, who is growing increasingly distant from her, and begin her journey of independence in her freshman year of college.

With Lennon headed in the opposite direction of the country, Monroe knows she needs to confront their situation ASAP. Lennon has a shaky history and has struggled with obstacles in his past, while Monroe has always been his constant rock. Now, she is struggling with the blurred lines of their friendship.

Once at college, Monroe quickly finds herself in a world filled with new friends, opportunities, and a potential love interest.

Bad boy Brayden Stryker knows there’s something special about Monroe the moment he lays his eyes on her. It doesn’t take long for her to fall for him, especially when he confides his darkest secrets to her.

Can Monroe trust Brayden, or will he break her heart, leaving Lennon to pick up the pieces? Freshman Year is a tale of friendship full of love and laughter, and heartache and despair

REVIEW:

If you are drawn to college romance and love triangles genres you are going to love The Dorm Room Diaries: Freshman Year!

The protagonist of this story is Monroe, who is about to set off and start her first year of collage away from her family and best friend, Lennon. Before she leaves, Lennon a.k.a “Infamous”, expresses his true feelings for Monroe, leaving her confused and conflicted about her true feelings. Once she gets to College she meets Brayden a.k.a “Dream boy”, she realizes her feelings for Lennon was nothing like what she feels for Brayden. Brayden and Monroe fall in love fast but Brayden has a dark past and secrets, can he overcome his past? Will he trust Monroe with his secrets? And will their relationship survive despite his demons?

The first thing I have to express is opposite sex best friends in my opinion never works – though always make an interesting fictional love story! There is always one that starts to feel more than friendship, leaving the other person: A – feeling the same and they develop a fantastic relationship and a love story forms, or B – the other person doesn’t feel the same, they try to remain best friends, which we all know just can’t work and results in the platonic person losing their best friend, which is very sad.

So now that I have expressed my feelings on that matter, I have to say that I was constantly juggling between being on team Lennon to team Brayden in this story. I would be rooting for one of them and then they would go and do something stupid and I change my backing – in the end I was left being on team Lennon but this could once again change in the future.

Both Lennon and Brayden’s characters are damaged with a hell of a lot of baggage, terrible childhoods and lots of dark secrets. The scary thing is they both kept expressing how they “needed” Monroe, to me they were showing clear signs of desperation rather than love, especially Brayden in the end for his character definitely has major issues that are yet to be revealed.

I liked Monroe’s character, I like her personality which was likeable and real for girls her age, but I do feel at times she plays Lennon as back up at times to console her feelings regarding Brayden but once again this is how opposite sex best friends become tricky.

The Dorm Room Diaries: Freshman Year is a quick, easy read with great flow and pace and a great college romance/love triangle plot.  The only negative I will point out is we still know nothing about Brayden’s character which is frustrating, and I only wished I could understand him more to be able to connect with his character. Also, Monroe’s family are hiding something or going through some sort of turmoil  which  we still don’t have a clue about either, but I guess this is the hook to bet the reader invested and wanting to find out these unanswered questions – well Steffe has piqued my interest and definitely has me hooked!

So I guess I will have to wait until Book Two: Sophomore Year to see what awaits in this installment which will be very interesting I must say…will it be Brayden or Lennon? Or a new damaged character in the mix?

 lips grey 4

Review- Inception (The Destined Series # 1.5) by Ashley Suzanne

Inception Ebook[1]

INTERESTING INCEPTION!

Title: Inception (The Destined Series # 1.5)
Author: Ashley Suzanne
Genre: Young Adult/ Romance
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 95
Reviewer: Kelly

*** Copy provided by Author in exchange for an honest review***

Explanation:
Inception is the almost like a prologue to Mirage. It explains the life of Mira and Danny before the motorcycle accident in Mirage. The novel describes things from only Danny’s point of view, starting from their first meeting on college Orientation Day and ending in the aftermath of the accident. It explores Danny’s relationship with Skylar and his family.

Opinion:
After the ending of Mirage, Inception starts in the most unimaginable place- back at the very beginning! It took me all of Chapter One to realise what was going on and whose point of view we were reading. So when I discovered that Suzanne was torturing us with the back story of Mira and Danny, from Danny’s point of view, I was so incredibly frustrated! Though I suppose this frustration did what Suzanne hoped it would, it made me read it faster to get to the end, hopefully with some answers and a reason to read the next book Awakening!

Now I have to say I did enjoy finding out about how they met, and how Danny felt about Mira. Inception was written entirely from Danny’s point of view. It was interesting to learn about a character that you didn’t know much about from reading Mirage. It gave the reader an opportunity to really understand things about him, not just snippets of memories provided by Mira or Skylar.

The one thing I would have loved the novel to do was tell the story from Skylar’s point of view as well. Our knowledge from Mirage and the explanations in the story tell the reader enough from Danny’s point of view to know what Skylar is probably feeling, but I think it would have added another dimension to the plotline. The things Danny notices, and the things that Mira is so oblivious too, are very obvious in this novel.

I’m an impatient person so I am glad that Suzanne made this novel so short, as more elaboration would have made it a long and dull read. As it was there were some points were I felt Suzanne was rehashing irrelevant details. Though she did provide enough information to understand the intricate dynamic between Danny, Mira and Skylar. In other words she got us prepared for whatever concoction she has brewed up in Awakening.

Summary:
Read this quickly then get a copy of Awakening!

lips grey 3.5

Review – Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

A SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE STORY OF OUR GENERATION!       

Title: FLAT-OUT LOVE
Author: Jessica Park
Pages: 338
Genre: Young Adult – Collage Romance
Reviewer: Nicole

Blurb:
He was wall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read “Nietzsche Is My Homeboy”.

So that was Matt, Who Julie Seagle likes A Lot. But there is also Finn. Who she flat out loves.

Complicated? Awkward? Completely.

But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with a family of an old friend of her mother’s? This was all supposed to be temporary. Julie wasn’t supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers. Especially the one she’s never quite met. But what does that really matter? Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have a connection.

But here’s the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves. And no one ever escapes unscathed.

Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book because it was unlike any other book that I have read to date. At first, I was unsure if I was going to enjoy it, since the first few chapters were a bit slow but I kept on reading and I am glad that I did!  Once I had finished the book it stayed with me and was constantly on my mind for a few days. I kept thinking back on clues I missed or assumptions I made along the way, which made me go back through the book and re-read parts to see it in a different light once all the twists and turns had been unveiled.

Flat-Out Love is romantic, sad, mysterious, witty and quirky. This book is very well written and has a unique storyline. Flat-Out Love is an epic love story which blossoms through social-media platforms we have available to us today, such as Facebook. Jessica Parks did a fantastic job of creating romantic tension and chemistry throughout the book through her expressions of cyber communication.  This somewhat eased the avid romance reader’s desire for physical chemistry that wasn’t delivered until the end of the book, and I must admit I would have been happy with a little more after all the attraction that was created between these two characters!

While I don’t want to reveal too much about the plot, I will just explain that this story is about a girl named Julie Seagle, from Ohio who moved to Boston to start her freshman year at collage only to find out that the accommodation she had arranged through Craigslist had been a hoax. Her mum ends up contacting her long lost friend from college, Erin Watkins, and arranges for Julie to stay with Erin and her family. Once Julie meets the family, it is clear that there is something majorly wrong, especially with Erin’s daughter Celeste. Celeste is thirteen and is extremely intelligent but lacks interpersonal and social skills. She is extremely attached to her older brother Finn, who has left home on a travelling adventure.  What Julie finds the most strange is that the family goes along with Celeste’s attachment to Finn like it is normal for her to be that way. Julie finds herself on a mission to discover what happened to Celeste to cause this attachment, but with Celeste’s Dad constantly travelling for work, her Mum who is a workaholic and her brother Matt who is very protective and private regarding his family and particularly Celeste, the only other person she can try and get answers from is Finn. Through her communications with Finn, a relationship blossoms and Julie finds herself falling in love.  What she discovers through her time with this very dysfunctional family, who are desperately trying to keep it together by wearing a mask of normality, is that each family member is battling their own turmoil and guilt.  As it would turn out, Julie is exactly what this family needs to come together again and breathe and be happy!

Thinking about this story, I believe Jessica Park wrote a very clever, heartwarming book that is full of meaning.  I got emotionally involved with each and every one of these characters in a way I hadn’t anticipated, maybe because the situation is so plausible for any modern family, that I could relate to these characters on different levels and understand what they were going through.   I was elated that the Watkins family found a light at the end of the tunnel which guided them towards a happy ending.

Definitely give this book a read, you will be pleasantly surprised by how much you will enjoy going on a journey of self-discovery with these characters.

lips grey 3.5