Book Review: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

Side Effects May Vary

Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Cancer, Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 26th March 2014
Pages: 335
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Written from the perspectives of both Harvey and Alice, in Side Effects May Vary, Julie Murphy weaves a compelling story of friendship, relationships and love, with a little bit of death thrown in for good measure; at least for a while.

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs. So she convinces her best friend Harvey, who’s loved her forever, to help with compiling a crazy just-dying-to-do bucket list, that’s as much about revenge as it is about redemption. But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission. Now she must face the consequences of all she’s said and done and discover just what happens when we say our ‘final’ words, only to find that life isn’t through with us yet.

Sharp, witty and poignant – this is a book written for all ages.

My Review:

Alice has been battling leukaemia for over a year but she’s getting weaker all the time. She’s sure that her time is coming to an end and as a result enlists her oldest friend, Harvey, to help her complete her unfinished business.  But this is a bucket list with a difference. Alice wants to get revenge on those who have wronged her before it’s too late. Harvey knows that what Alice is doing is wrong but he’s loved her since before he knew what love was and can deny her nothing. When Alice gets the news that she is in remission it should be a happy time but now she has to deal with the fall out of her actions.

I loved reading this debut novel by Julie Murphy. I started reading it thinking that I’d read a few chapters before bed and before I knew it – I was finished the book and only a few hours until I was supposed to wake up.

Alice isn’t like a lot of characters I’ve read before. She’s angry and mean but I felt like she was a very honest character. Life has wronged her and she wants to get her own back. She’s bitter what life has thrown at her. Having cancer hasn’t changed her – she hasn’t all of a sudden become a better person. I loved reading about her. There were times when I wanted to shout at her (What are you doing Alice?!) but as much as her actions didn’t always make sense to me – it made sense for her. They felt authentic for the girl I had gotten to know over the course of this novel.

Harvey is Alice’s partner in crime as she completes her revenge list. He was a character I wasn’t a fan of for a huge part of the novel. He’s a bit of a doormat and whilst that is good for Alice’s plan – I wanted him to stand up for himself. For him to be worthy of loving and to stand up and be someone Alice couldn’t walk over and ignore. That said, he did grow and change over the course of the book and by the end he started to be a character I enjoyed reading.

This is a book about life. About being hurt and surviving. Alice has a lot going on in her life. There is parents drama, the fickleness of friendship, relationship problems and her medical crisis. And whilst I don’t approve of how she dealt with it all – she did manage to cope and come though it all. Her actions all had consequences and no matter what she had been though – she didn’t get an easy out. I admire how Julie Murphy handled the situations she put her characters though and loved this different view of a teenage cancer story.

Side Effects May Vary was one of my most anticipated reads of this year and it did not disappoint. It’s not just a romance but a touching and compelling story about a girl coming to grips with what life throws at her – and the consequences of getting even.

Thanks to Penguin Australia and NetGalley for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Nymph by Tonya Alexandra

Nymph (The Love Oracles #1)

Title: Nymph (The Love Oracles #1)
Author: Tonya Alexandra
Genre: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Publication Date: 1st February 2014
Pages: 432
Rating: 3 stars

Please feel free to check out my interview with Tonya as a part of the Nymph blog tour hosted by Walker Books Australia!

Synopsis (from goodreads):
An idyllic Greek island. Obsessed demigods. A fallen nymph. A mortal boy. Merope, a beautiful but faded star nymph, is banished to Earth for displeasing the gods. She tries to fit in, go to school and live a normal “human” life. And then she meets Lukas … but relationships between men and goddesses are forbidden. Will their love grow? Or will Merope and Lukas feel the wrath of the gods?

My Review:

Merope has lived for thousands of years as a star nymph in the land of gods, Olympus. But life isn’t always easy for the faded star nymph. She’s been exiled to Earth and has had to leave her sisters behind. Living like a mortal is worlds apart from her other life but Merope is starting to see that there might be benefits to a human existence. One of which is the gorgeous and kind Lukas, a farm boy with exquisite imperfections. Romantic relation between a goddess and a mortal are forbidden but the way Merope feels is like nothing she’s felt before in all her immortal existence. Is a chance at forbidden romance worth the punishment the gods met out?

I’ve read quite a few modern takes on classic myths but never before have I read one about star nymphs. I was intrigued by the idea and the romance angle drew me in. Merope is ancient in comparison to mortals but rather naive about so many things. She’s lived in the shadow of her sisters her entire life and would prefer to hide in corners than take centre stage. But she has some spark to her. Rejecting a god who has been after her for centuries and then living with the consequences of her actions. For a nymph who has only ever called Olympus home, being exiled to modern-day Greece is such a shock but Merope does try to make the most of things. She enrols in a local school to learn as much as she can about humans. She makes some friends and she even goes as far as trying to embrace technology.

And then there’s Lukas. He’s hideous perfection in Merope’s eyes. The son of a local farmer with whom Merope falls for at first sight. I’m not usually one for instalove. But their initial chemistry works for me because if I can suspend belief and believe in mythological gods on Earth wearing Nike and driving sports cars, then I can believe in love at first sight within the world this book exists in. I would have liked to see rationale behind their fierce feelings been built on throughout the book (some kind of moments where despite already being in love, have causation behind falling deeper) but they do have some tender scenes and I can barrack for them as a couple.

Along for the ride on Earth – we get to see other Greek heroes experience life the mortal way. Merope’s Uncle Pro (Prometheus) is helping her adapt in the foreign place and I liked his presence in her life. Merope’s mother is an interesting character who I do hope we get to see more of in the series but the character I wanted to read about most was Hercules. Herc isn’t anything like the hero Disney made him out to be. He’s arrogant and conceited and has a proclivity for nymphs but he’s so entertaining. Gorgeous and vain, he is everything Lukas isn’t – and he knows it. A hero in the legends of old, his presence in the mortal world shakes things up a bit. I love reading his interactions with the modern world and how Merope reacts to him. He brings the a fierceness out in her and made her a little more real to read.

Nymph, the first book in the Love Oracles series, is an entertaining read. It’s surprisingly funny in parts and the romance is sweet and pure. There’s friendship and the pressures of family all coexisting in a lovely re-imagining of ancient Greek mythology. An easy read, this book is suited for younger teens and older readers who enjoy stories about true love and soul mates.

Thanks to Walker Books Australia for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Blog Tour: Q&A with Tonya Alexandra, Author of The Love Oracles: Nymph

Horizontal_Nymph_Banner

I am delighted to be sharing with you my post for part of The Love Oracles: Nymph blog tour. I was lucky enough to get to ask the author, Tonya Alexandra, some questions about her debut novel as well as about writing and life in general.

For those of you unfamiliar with this novel, Nymph tells the story of Merope. She’s a star nymph, beautiful beyond mortal comprehension, who finds herself cast out of Olympus and forced to live on Earth for a while. Merope tries to make the most of her situation by learning as much about the humans as she can but complications arise when she finds herself falling in love with Lukas. Relations between goddesses and mortals are forbidden but the way Merope feels towards Lukas is unlike anything she’s experienced in her thousands of years of being immortal.

There’s a great cast of characters with immortals mixing with modern-day Grecians and a beautiful romance between star-crossed lovers, Merope and Lukas.

Q&A with Tonya Alexandra

  • Have you always been interested in Greek Mythology?

It seeped into my subconscious through my grandparents. When I was small they told me Greek myths while pointing out the stars. I completely forgot about this until I read Jeanette Winterson’s book Weight, which is about the titan Atlas. It was like something awoke in me and I felt compelled to research Atlas, which is where I encountered the Pleiades and Merope.

  • Nymph is about Merope, faded Star Nymph who has been banished to Earth. There are not a lot of novels about Nymphs. I loved getting to read about something a little bit different. What made you decide to write about nymphs – Merope in particular?

The myth about Merope is that her star is the faded one in the Pleiades constellation because she is ashamed of marrying a mortal. When I read this it just seemed obvious that it was her tale I needed to tell. Nobody should be ashamed of who they fall in love with – even if it does enrage the gods (or your mum!)

  • Are there any similarities between you and Merope?

Merope is the youngest sister as am I. It is a strange position, you idolise and adore your elder siblings and yet you get pushed around by them. It’s a rocky combination.

I am also a bit shy and unsure of myself. And I went to high school in the country so I’ve had some major crushes on farm boys!

  • One of my favourite things about your novel was getting to see ancient beings experiencing Modern Day Grecian technology and vernacular. Was it hard getting into your characters heads and imagining how they would cope in the mortal world today?

Not at all because I am a bit of a Luddite myself. I am a pen and paper lass. I’ve had friends pushing me to use facebook and twitter – and I admit, I’m coming around. Especially this new Instagram account I’ve started from Merope’s POV. I’m taking images of any mortal madness I come across – which is everywhere! I’d love for readers to join in and post things they think are mad. Instagram/MeropeOnEarth or #nymph #loveoracles

  • Many authors are categorized as being either plotters (having plotted their novels out in advance) or pantsers (writing by the seat of their pants). Would you consider yourself to be a plotter, a pantser or a little of both?

I have a general idea of what should happen in a chapter, then I just let the characters talk it out. For example, I had the idea that Herc and Con should go shopping, but that was it. I put them on the pier and they wandered off and into town and things just happened; the credit card incident, the coming across the Nike shoes, it just wrote itself.

(The scene Tonya is talking about is one of my favourite in the book! Herc is a brilliant character and I couldn’t believe half the stuff he came out with!)

  •  You have been a writer for a while however Nymph is your first novel. Did you always want to write fiction?

Yes, because I love imagination – the world would not progress without it. The thing that amazes me about fiction is that anything is possible. Anything. Reality doesn’t do much for me – but just the thought ‘imagine if …’ gives me chills.

  • What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to sit with my three boys and draw. We can do it for hours, it’s very special. I also love taking my puppy Lola to the beach and watching her joyous face as she rushes about in the waves.

  • What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Patrick Ness, More Than This. Which had me going ‘where the hell is he!?’ on every page. Next up, Ambelin Kwaymullina’s, Interrogation of Ashala Wolf, which I am very excited to start.

  • The second book in the Love Oracles series, Heavenly Longing, is coming soon. In a few words, would you be able to tell us a little of what to expect?

Loads more love – but the book is set on Mount Olympus so I got to imagine what Olympian society was like. (Expect more misbehaving gods.) Merope is causing trouble, questioning her role as a docile nymph. Lukas becomes a hero in his own right as he attempts to rescue her.  

  •  Do you have anything specific you would like to say to your readers?

I just want them to enjoy the read. It would be great if they got inspired to learn more about Greek Mythology, but it really doesn’t matter. Reading is fun, it doesn’t need to be more than that. And I would love to hear from them! www.facebook.com/loveoracles twitter.com/Tonya_Alexandra

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I loved reading Nymph and can’t wait to see what’s next for Merope and Lukas!

Thanks Kate. I enjoyed answering your questions. 

 

Doesn’t Tonya sound lovely? I appreciate her taking time out from her busy life to answer my questions. And The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf is a fantastic book. We’re pretty lucky to have so many great Aussie authors writing fascinating and unique stories.

If you’re interested in Nymph, be sure to check out some of the others stops on the tour.

Monday 17th March
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence Books

Tuesday 18th March
Brittany @ Nice Girls Read Books

Wednesday 19th March
Alishia @ Treasured Tales for Young Adults

Thursday 20th March
Joy @ Thoughts by J

Friday 21st March
Kate @ whYAnot Reviews (That’s me!)

Saturday 22nd March
Rochelle @ rlsharpe

Sunday 23rd March
Kelly @ Diva Book Nerd

Monday 24th March
Mandy @ The Bookish Manicurist

Title: Nymph (The Love Oracles #1) Link to GoodreadsNymph (The Love Oracles #1)
Author: Tonya Alexandra
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 432

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read my review for Nymph 🙂

 

 

Book Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Unbreakable ( The Legion #1), Kami Garcia

Title: Unbreakable (The Legion #1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Ghosts, Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: October 2013
Pages: 320
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Kennedy Waters didn’t believe in ghosts, until one tried to kill her.

When Kennedy finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that evil forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into her house and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon – a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon – battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

Suspense, romance, and the paranormal meet in this chilling urban fantasy, the first book in a new series from Kami Garcia, bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

My Review:

Kennedy lives in her safe little world with her mother, her best friend, her cat named Elvis and a room full of art supplies. But one day after her cat runs away, Kennedy finds herself in a graveyard and everything changes. Her mother dies mysteriously and Kennedy sees things that shouldn’t be there – ghostly things. When brothers, Jared and Lukas Lockhart show up, Kennedy is drawn into a world of paranormal spirits and the Legion – a group of five seemingly unconnected individuals with ghost hunting skills being passed down from generation to generation.

Kennedy isn’t the most likely person to become a ghost hunter. She’s content with her life. Her mother loves her and makes her pancakes. Her best friend Elle takes care of Kennedy’s social life organizing group outings and double dates. Her dad might be out of the picture and her boyfriend may have recently broken her heart but over all – things are good for Kennedy Waters. And then a ghost tries to kill her and her mother is murdered by a demon. In many ways this book feels like it’s trying to pick up the Supernatural TV show vibe but it misses the mark with me.

Unbreakable reads a little young at times. Kennedy is seventeen but someone could be forgiven for thinking she’s several years younger for most of the book. But she does grow up – somewhere between first meeting the girl in the white dress and joining the Legion – and the story gets more enjoyable.

The rest of the characters are fun to read. There are the Lockhart twins, Lucas and Jared, both with an interest in Kennedy, the technological genius Priest, and Alara – the privileged goth girl who bankrolls the adolescent ghost hunters. Each come with their own unique set of skills and interesting back stories for the reader to discover as the novel unfolds. There’s interesting plot that develops but at times it felt unplanned and hurried. The way the teens find each piece of the puzzle often felt bizarre and almost accidental. The love triangle felt convenient and not a situation where I cared which way Kennedy decided.

Overall this is an interesting read but I won’t be continuing with the series. I didn’t feel emotionally involved with what will happen next nor with the characters themselves. In many ways I felt like this book was trying to imitate the first season of Supernatural the TV show but fell a little short.

Thanks to Simon and Schuster and The Reading Room for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Rock It by Jennifer Chance

Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)

Title: Rock It (Rule Breakers #1)
Author: Jennifer Chance
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult, Musician
Publisher: Love Swept (Random House)
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Pages: 240
Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Lacey Dawes is a total pro at the talent agency where she works, and it doesn’t hurt that IMO Worldwide Media represents Dante Falcone. The rock god has starred in her fantasies since she was sixteen—and remains her secret crush to this day. So when Dante picks her to be the interim manager on his Dream It tour, Lacey can’t believe her luck. Handling Dante is sure to be the most exquisite, spine-tingling, nerve-wracking mix of business and pleasure ever.

Although Dante is grateful for the adoring fans who scream for one more of his full-throttle, soul-searing songs, being surrounded by a cadre of corporate types backstage is wearing thin. Then Lacey shows up. Yeah, she’s organized, smart, quick to get him what he wants before he knows he wants it—but Dante senses there’s something else going on with sweet, sexy Lacey. One kiss tells him what that “something” might be . . . and makes him hungry for more.

My Review:

Ever been obsessed with a rock star? Lacey Dawes has – and she has the scrapbooks to prove it. She’s been in love with musician Dante Falcone for as long as she can remember. When she was a teen she sent him a letter every day for a hundred days and she isn’t completely over her first crush. Now, in her twenties, Lacey’s talent agency has signed Dante Falcone as their number one client – and he wants her to go on tour with him. It’s a dream come true – or is it? Trying to keep her personal and professional lives separate, Lacey struggles as she gets to realize that the man behind the guitar is just as incredible as she always thought.

Rock It reads a little like well written fan fiction. What would you do if you got the chance to get up close and personal with your fantasy musician? Lacey gets to experience just that – however it felt a little odd at times. We get to see Lacey the junior talent agent – willing to do whatever it takes to keep clients and her employers happy. She will do the grunt work that no one else wants to and does all the little jobs her boss Brenda passes down. When she catches Dante’s eye and he requests her, Lacey is determined to be as professional as possible. And yet, it doesn’t take much for uber-competent and businesslike Lacey to be quite sensual and sexual. I found it a little odd and (disregarding the incident with the champagne) could not quite work out why she behaved as she did  – except if it was just her lingering feelings as a fangirl spurring her on. Dante is every bit the rock star. He’s been in the spotlight for a long time and wants to break out and do what he wants to do and not what his record label expects. His reputation with the ladies is legendary and it felt natural that he would embrace Lacey’s sexual side. His realization of his true feelings towards Lacey felt abrupt and uncharacteristic.

These characters have quite a bit of sexual chemistry with each other but as a reader I didn’t connect with either of them. Lacey spent a lot of time worrying that she was going to lose her job (despite the big boss nearly always saying how great she was doing) and daydreaming about how amazing Dante is. I’m not sure what set Lacey apart from the other groupies Dante had and the two didn’t appear to have much of an emotional connection.

This book was a steamy read and not for those who don’t enjoy down and dirty romances. The idea that dreams really can come true is very sweet however I would have liked to have seen more emotional maturity from Lacey and Dante. There are some humorous moments throughout the novel but ultimately this isn’t a story that will stick with me.

 

Purchase the novel from:

Barnes & Noble

About Jennifer Chance

JenniferChance

I come by romance honestly, having spent several years writing adult romance and entering romance contests through Romance Writers of America–including finaling twice in the prestigious Golden Heart contest and winning once. But despite these and other contest wins, my first published novel came not in adult romance, but as a writer of YA historical fiction (you can read all about my Elizabethan spy girls stories, the Maids of Honor, here.)

Still, despite my love of Elizabethan spies, I could never quite give up those super Alpha contemporary romance heroes. So, in the summer of 2013, I decided to see if perhaps I might still have a romance or two up my sleeve.

I wrote a tale about a girl whose biggest high-school and college crush–a rock star–suddenly becomes her biggest client, only now she has to be professional and not betray the fact that she’s completely in love with the guy. It was a fun, sexy, romantic fantasy, and I suggested the idea to my agent… who asked what other ideas I had in addition to this story. Shortly after, the Rule Breakers series was born.

To separate these books from my historical work, I adopted the name Jennifer Chance. I am now pursuing my dreams (pretty much round the clock as it turns out) and am THRILLED to be able to have four e-books coming out in 2014 and early 2015, all with Random House LoveSwept’s New Adult romance line.

As to what will happen from here, who knows? But as long as there is a story to be written and an HEA to be had, I’ll be the one over in the corner, tapping away on my keyboard.

Connect with Jennifer at her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Book Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

Title: The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Boarding School
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: November 2013
Pages: 432
Rating: 5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

My Review:

It’s no secret that the Bloodlines series is one of my favourites. And despite my reservations about the cover (I’m not a fan of Sydney’s hair….), The Fiery Heart is my favourite so far! There’s a lot going on – romantically, magically – and the extra pressure of family dynamics are wearing on Sydney. Things seem to have finally worked themselves out with her and Adrian having admitted their feelings for each other and attempting some kind of relationship. But when Sydney’s little sister now inked as an Alchemist and being tasked with helping Sydney with the vampires, the new couple are going to have to keep their romance under wraps. Adrian has his own problems – it seems impossible for him to find a happy medium between being spirit and sanity.

I was impressed with how well the dual point of view between Sydney and Adrian worked. I wasn’t sure I’d like changing things up from how the series had been going so far but it was a refreshing change to get to see what was going on from someone different. Not only that but it’s the first time in the Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series where we have had a narration from a Moroi and I liked getting to see the impacts of spirit first hand. Getting to see Sydney from Adrian’s point of view was lovely. For all the cockiness and sarcasm he may try to project to world, it was clear to see just how much he loved her and how hard he was trying to be the best person he could be – not just for her but for himself as well. We may have had to wait three books for these two to get together but it was worth it to get the interactions and beautiful dynamic that we get to see in The Fiery Heart.

There’s a lot going on but all the different story lines manage to fit together perfectly. In this book, Sydney is feeling the pressure of her family. Her sister wants her to spend more time together but between discovering her witchy magic, spending time with Adrian and sorting out the antics of her vampire charges, there never seems to be time for Sydney to breathe never mind have some girl time with Zoe. It’s never apparent to me just where Ms. Mead is going to take things next – from romantic relationships to just what the different sects of society (the Alchemists, the Warriors, the Coven)  are up to. I loved the ties in with characters we have not seen much since Vampire Academy – with Lissa asking Adrian for help and getting to see the rest of the group now a little older and wiser interacting with a more evolved Adrian.

This book has everything that I love about this series. Chemistry between the leads, interesting plots, a secondary cast of characters who add to the overall story and are entertaining to read, and dialogue that makes me feel so many different emotions. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Silver Shadows (July 2014) and am desperately eager to find out what happens to Sydney next. This book does end on a cliffhanger that’s left me anxious to see what’s ahead for these characters.

Favourite Quotes:

“Escape plan number seventeen,” I told her. “Run away and open a juice stand in Fresno.”
“Why Fresno?”
“Sounds like the kind of place people drink a lot of juice.”

“It’s Adrian Ivashkov logic. Don’t try to understand it. Just roll with it.”

“An image of Sydney’s face appeared in my mind’s eye, calm and lovely.
I believe in you.
My anxiety faded.
I took a deep breath and met the gazes of all those watching me in the room.
Who was I to do this?
I was Adrian Ivashkov.
And I was about to kick some ass.”

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Book Review: Forever by Karen Ann Hopkins

Forever (Temptation, #3)

Title: Forever (Temptation #3)
Author: Karen Ann Hopkins
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Culture, Last in a series
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 336
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
All I want is my happily-ever-after.
That’s all I’ve wanted since meeting Noah Miller.

From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I’m carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there’s a storm on the horizon, and it’s sure to cause serious devastation.

If we can get through this, we’ll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever.
But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.

My Review:

Rose and Noah have overcome so much – their cultural differences, their families and now they may have a chance at happily ever after. Except that for these young lovers, the course of true love never did run smoothly. It might seem a little odd that after the low rating I gave the previous book (Belonging) that I have continued on with this series but there is something oddly compelling about Rose and Noah’s story. They may have a selfish and tumultuous relationship with a lot of emotion however I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next for the star-crossed pair.

With Rose finding out she’s pregnant, everything is different. She is confused. After experiencing Amish culture for six months she’s not sure that it would be the best place for her baby. Trying the keep the secret from her father and Noah isn’t easy but at least she has her big brother Sam and her best friend Summer to help her though. With the point of view shifting between Rose and Noah and the occasional chapter being told by Sam and new narrator, Noah’s sister Sarah, Forever is an interesting read.

I wasn’t entirely happy with Rose finding out she was pregnant. And for the most part I found Rose’s story in Forever to be fairly boring because of this. She spends a lot of time trying to hide her pregnancy and apparently considering her options. But I never really felt like she was weighing up any decision. She was understandably scared but I doubt anyone was the slightest surprised by what Rose finally decides. Noah’s story was more interesting with a lot of drama unfolding from his decision to break his engagement with Constance – an Amish girl he courted and proposed to just to hurt Rose. I’m still not a fan of his actions in the previous book but I liked that there were repercussions. And not just for Noah – but for his entire family and friends.

This novel has heartbreak and I was shocked by one of the storylines. I was surprised by how much I had grown to anticipate a certain relationship and was a little devastated when events came to pass. However for the most part I thought this book was fairly predictable but I was never quite sure when the things I was expecting to happen would occur.

Overall – this hasn’t been one of my favourite reads. The characters are overwrought by emotion and the idea that no sacrifice is too large when it comes to love. The two main characters spend most of the series trying to convince the other to give up their family and beliefs for their relationship and neither seem to be all that understanding about anyone else’s’ feelings. The ending of the series is a little… too happy with everything somehow working out so very neatly and somewhat unbelievably. I don’t believe that this book shows off Amish culture in the best light and I’m still curious about this group of people. If you are looking for an emotional read about all-consuming young love and who will do anything to be together then I recommend this series. On the other hand if you like a bit more realism to your relationships and don’t enjoy selfish characters maybe this series is not for you.

 Thanks to Harlequin Teen and NetGalley for the review copy. 

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon | Booktopia | Book Depository | BookWorld

Other books in the Temptation series by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation (Temptation #1) 

Temptation (Temptation, #1)

Belonging (Temptation #2)

Belonging