Mini Reviews #2 (The NA Contemporary Edition)

12:00 AM Serena 1 Comments

Hi, all! I have another set of mini reviews for you today. This time it's all about NA contemporaries!

In Bloom by Katie Delahanty
Publication Date: February 10th, 2014
Format: ebook, purchased
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Part of a series? Yup! It's the first in the Brightside series. 
Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble

My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Free.

I left for LA with everything I owned piled into my old Volkswagen and dreams of becoming a costume designer. Little did I know I’d wind up designing for a lingerie company—yeah, not sure how I landed this gig—and taken under the wing of two young Hollywood insiders. The fashion shows and parties were great, but life really got exciting when the seriously hottest lead singer of my favorite band started to fall for me. 

How does someone like me, an ordinary girl from Pittsburgh, wind up in the arms of the world’s sexiest rock star—surrounded by celebrities, fashion, and music—and not be eaten alive? Berkeley is everything I've ever dreamed of in a boyfriend, but the paparazzi, the tabloids, the rumors, it's all getting a bit too crazy. My life has become every girl’s dream come true, if only I don’t blink and lose it all…

In the world outside of books, I love music and I've been known to obsess over a band member or two (or, like, twelve. OOPS.). In the book world, I like love interests who are in bands, so it was no surprise to me that I fell head over heels in love with Berkeley Dalton, of the fictional Berkeley and the Brightside, when I was reading In Bloom. He's romantic and he's hot and he knows how to work a stage, not to mention he's a songwriter. When The Brightside was on stage in the book, I wished it was real because I'd love to be in the crowd at one of their concerts. 

As much as I loved Berkeley though, I didn't totally love In Bloom. While the romance between Olivia and Berekley was adorable and swoon-worthy, it was definitely a whirlwind romance. It progressed a little too quickly for me, and there were times when I had to pause and think, "But, wait, didn't you guys just meet, like, a couple weeks ago?". I don't usually like insta-love in books, so that aspect of the novel didn't work for me. 

Her relationship with her two new best friends, Blair and Parker, was off for me too. They didn't feel genuine to me. The other secondary characters were great though. Olivia's mom and her cousin Boots were hilarious additions to the cast. 

To sum it up, In Bloom was a quick, fun NA to lighten up my day, but it's not one that's going to stick with me. 

One Song Away by Molli Moran
Publication Date: December 1st, 2014
Format: ebook, purchased
Rating: 4/5 stars
Part of a series? I don't believe so!
Buy links: Amazon 

She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…

Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn't taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.

Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn't have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush (and former best friend) is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees...on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: re-introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.

Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn't bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. Sweet moments where she forgets they aren't really dating. And she didn't count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.

Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep...and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or finally write her own song?

I'm a sucker for the fill-in boyfriend trope and cute Southern guys. And guess what, One Song Away had both! And guess what else! I love Jake Cooper and this book.

There were so many things I liked about One Song Away. I liked watching Jake and Sophie get to know each other again and realize that they're MFEO. I liked Sophie's relationship with her family. I liked her lyrics and watching her journey in the music business. But most importantly, I liked that this was just as much about Sophie finding herself as it was about figuring out her relationship with Jake, if not more. Also, let me just tell you that the sass was real with Sophie-Claire, and it's pretty awesome.

Overall, One Song Away is a great, easy read but not one without substance. It was so enjoyable to read, and I absolutely adore it. 

Make it Count by Megan Erickson
Publication Date: June 3rd, 2014
Format: ebook, purchased
Rating: 5/5 stars 
Part of a series? Yup! It's book one in the Bowler University series. 
Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble 

Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

Kat usually goes through tutors like she does boyfriends—both always seem to bail when they realize how hopeless she is. It’s safer for her heart to keep everyone at arm’s reach. But Alec is always stepping just a little too close.

Alec Stone should not be fantasizing about Kat. She’s adorable, unbelievably witty, and completely off limits. He’d never stab his best friend in the back…

But when secrets are revealed, the lines of loyalty are blurred. To make it count, Alec must learn messy human emotions can’t be solved like a trigonometry function. And Kat has to trust Alec may be the first guy to want her for who she is, and not in spite of it.

I realized recently (and by recently I mean yesterday) that I hadn't reviewed this book, which is kind of crazy because I consider one of my favorite NA contemporaries ever. And I've read quite a few of those. There were just multitudes of great things going on in Make it Count, and in the whole series I think, even though I still haven't read the last one. 

I love these characters. Kat is hilarious, and being inside her head was loads of fun. Alec is adorable and supersmart and nerdy but not to the point where he was ever rude or pushy about his intelligence, like some people can be. He's a genuinely nice guy, and in my opinion, there aren't enough nice guys in fiction. Don't get me wrong, I love bad boys as much as the next girl, but being inside Alec's head was refreshing. 

Basically I love this book a lot. It's so fun, and I had a blast reading it. Consider this me book pushing. Go read this series! 

Boomerang by Noelle August
Publication Date: July 8th, 2014
Format: ebook, purchased
Rating: 5/5 stars 
Part of a series? Yes! It's the first in the Boomerang series. 
Buy links: Amazon - Barnes and Noble 

Welcome to, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

I had heard endless amounts of praise for this book before I even knew what it was about, so it was on my radar for a while. Once I read the premise, I put it on my "need to read" list in my head because I was intrigued. I was a bit worried when I started reading it because I had such high hopes, but I didn't need to be. Boomerang was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be. 

I think I can safely say I liked everything about this book. The two narrators, Mia and Ethan, were wonderful as their own separate people and even better together. Lots of swoony good times to be had here.

I'd recommend Boomerang to fans of NA everywhere, but especially people who are just getting into the genre. I've said this a lot in this post, but this book was a lot of fun to read, and I can definitely see myself rereading it a lot in the future. 

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