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Saturday, November 8, 2014

When We Met by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King, Christina Lee

I've been waiting for this one FOREVER, ever since I glimpsed the cover and saw Christina Lee's name on it. I LOVE her New Adult series "Between Breaths" so when I saw she is participating in this anthology (even though I didn't know the other authors) I KNEW I'm going to grab it the second it's out.

Misha, Indy, Courtney and Chloe are four roommates in college, they are very different from one another yet they became good friends while living together. These 4 short stories tell us of them getting their HEA. Each novella is about 90 pages and while the other girls (and guys) have an appearance in each of the novellas, it's pretty much minimal so you can read this one in any order that you want and they ARE stand-alone novellas. 

I REALLY enjoyed two of the four - Saving Me by Molly McAdams and Beneath Your Layers by Christina Lee. The other two didn't grab me. I"m giving this one 4 stars though since I DID enjoy 2 out of 4 and also because through this book I was introduced to Molly's writing which I'm going to check more of very soon. For me, that's the whole thing about Anthologies, the opportunity to get to know more authors, starting with something less "committing" than a whole novel while also enjoying work by authors I already know. 

Behind Her Eyes by L.A. Jackson    ★ ★
Though it's the first story in this Anthology I actually read it last. It had a lot of potential story-wise. Misha went through a mean prank that left her heart broken and having a hard time trusting people, guys in general. I could totally get her on the account of what she went through. Sadly the story itself, and the way Misha behaved felt like a teenage story, something that might work for you if you're into the Young Adult genre. 
Misha felt very childish and the way she fell for Darryn her sexy neighbor and how she saw him felt like she was 15 years old seeing a hunk for the first time (drooling included). She calls him (not to his face!) "boy-man-god". SAY WHAT? and she repeats this phrase too many times. It's just ridiculous. 
Darryn is a hunk of a guy with a sole purpose in this book - look good and be attracted to Misha (physically and mentally). He did that well. He was very sweet, and even when he was a bit mean you got him. But he felt a total flat character and since we get his POV as well as hers I thought there should be a little more to him than that. Also he was VERY stalker-y in a way that I would have found creepy.. 
Misha's life story was "really bad" which was a total of contradiction to the total lack of back story of Darryn (good or bad). The whole story was about her and he was just a piece of nicely shaped meat.
It could have been MUCH MORE but ended up being flat and childish. 

Saving Me by Molly McAdams   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is the second novella I've read. The plot line drew me more at a first glance. I haven't read anything by Molly so I didn't know what to expect but after reading this one and LOVING it I went for a search for her other novels and I found out that there is ALWAYS a HUGE twist. So I'm warning you, even if you think all is well, think again ;)
Indy had a rough time recently which led her to a routine that might look like she is having the time of her life but it couldn't be more far from the truth. Every weekend she would get EXTREMELY drunk and hang out with some guy then when the fun was all over she would end up in Kier's bedroom (the quiet guy who never talks to anyone and doesn't party even though his roommates are the ones hosting the party every week). Kier would take care of her, taking her back to her dormitories, tucking her into bed and leaving quietly only never to be remembered by her in the morning. Well, she doesn't remember the guys she hang out with as well so it's not exactly about Kier. 
Kier is drawn to Indy. He sees her struggle though he doesn't know what brought it, but he SEES the girl behind the mask unlike all the people around her and unlike them he wants to stay if she could only remember him in the morning. 
Finally when they DO interact when she is sober she doesn't understand why she feel so drawn to him and why every sentence he says to her feels like deja vu. 
I don't want to add more to this review since there are things that we reveal about the two of them that were simply heart crushing. I had a hard time after learning one of the truths about them. 
I LOVED Kier and how he took care of Indy just because he sensed she needed his help. I loved how the relationship between then was building in a way without them being aware it's forming. But I was just FLOORED when I got the whole story. I couldn't continue to the next novella, I had to sit and digest it. 
I already added a few books by Molly to my reading list. Can't wait to delve into them next month. 

Fouling Out by Tiffany King    
This is the third novella I've read. It was kind of random. I was sitting and waiting for my best friends to meet me at IKEA and I was just sitting on one of the couches near the entrance. It was so funny actually, there we too couches, on one I was sitting reading on my kindle and on the other one an old man was sitting, his cane was leaning on the side of the couch. He had those thick glasses and was reading a book with yellowing pages. I think we would have made such an amazing photo. No mater who you are, how old you are, where you are and who are the people around you - you could always enjoy a good book :)
With the paragraph above I wish I could actually say that I enjoyed this short novella. The truth is I struggled to finish it. It was just not interesting, having no appeal. Nothing happened for about half of it and the other half was predictable with such a small twist it was barely there.  
Dalton and Courtney used to be best friends in school up until they were 12 when Dalton's father started pressing on him to put all his energy into basketball seeing he was so talented. So Dalton had no choice but leave Courtney (and everything not basketball) behind. When they meet about 10 years later, Courtney is STILL angry with him for dumping her and that's the whole half of the book. Him trying to get her to date him and her being a stupid little girl holding on to her anger. When they finally work it out they act on their desire and then they are a couple, a little tiny twist and "the end". 
I don't know what was the point of the whole story but it was sadly a total bore. 
Beneath Your Layers by Christina Lee   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Not surprising I started with reading this one, and not surprising at all that I REALLY enjoyed it. Chloe has a project of designing for a special sale a vintage clothing store as a sort of an assignment for her college degree. She is pared by her boss with Blake - the LAST person she wants to spend "quality time" with. Every time they meet he seems to get her all wrong and insult her. Well, Blake isn't thrilled of this paring either but since Chloe's boss is his aunt and it would be helping HER out - he accepts the offer to help with the hard labor of cutting wood and making all the racks, shelves etc. The few times he met Chloe he didn't get a good impression of her either, she seems this uptight girl who keeps her impeccable appearance any time and at any cost (talking about scrubbing the the floor in designer jeans..).
It's true that fashion is one of the most important things in Chloe's life but it's mostly about looking right in front of everyone especially her designer mom and her mother's friends who also work in the fashion industry. Basically, Blake IS right. she is all about the show and is VERY uptight and has everything planned ahead. I personally would get annoyed or rather bored with someone like her. Not to mention how much I'm NOT into fashion. But the sweet things was that Blake is the kind of person who wants to get to know Chloe and also help her feel more relaxed in her own skin. He is mature for his age since he has a lot of problems of his own. Being with Chloe might take away precious time he needs to deal with his problems but it's also a great opportunity to clear his head and spend time with someone he slowly starting to like. 
With Chloe it's the same, Blake is a great influence on her and she loves spending time with him. The question is what happens with all her plans or should I say her mother's plans when Chloe has to decide her next move - with her career as well as with Blake.
I really enjoyed Blake who was SO sweet. Chloe though, wasn't my favorite character when it comes to her traits yet I enjoyed seeing how she changes throughout this short novella. I loved seeing the both of them together and how they BOTH had a good influence on one another, it wasn't only about Blake opening Chloe's eyes and making her more loose.  

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 397 pages, 4-7 November 2014 / On GoodReads

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