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Monday, April 11, 2016

All Played Out (Rusk University #3) [Mateo & Nell] by Cora Carmack

Sadly I didn't like this one. But since I read the other ones and LOVED them and surely want to continue on with the series I struggled to actually finish this one. I'll be brutally honest here - I skimmed most of Nell's POV from right around the third mark. I didn't like her or find her interesting AT ALL. Her inner dialogue was EXHAUSTING! Mateo on the other hand I REALLY liked, which is why I don't understand what he actually saw in her.. He was either hysterically funny - which I enjoyed! or boring when he was either saying how much he's into Nell or talking WAY too much about Football.

Nell is the kind of "brainiac" who study to no end and doesn't have a real life to talk about. But as her roommate Dylan hooks up with Silas the jock she starts thinking about the fact she is finishing college (early) in less than two months and basically missed the whole "college experience". So she does her usual - compile a "to-do" list for all those stupid college activities she never even considered doing. She finds the best accomplice for the job - Mateo whom we already met in the previous installments - he lives with Carson and Silas and is known for being totally uninhibited. Most of the time Nell finds Mateo to be terrifying, and yet there is something so appealing in the easy way he sails through life she finds herself nevertheless drawn to him. For me it sort of didn't make any sense.. and mostly I was tired of the way she tried to make sense of everything around her. If one thing can be said about her is she is NOT FUN. Maybe she does things out of her comfort zone (the ones on her list mostly) but her constant worry and complaints destroyed the whole experience. She is scared of her own shadow and she is SO insecure I truly can't see her as a MC material. 

Mateo is all about living the life, enjoying the game and his friends, and having fun as much as possible, he doesn't have a real plan for the future even though he dreamed of professional Football from a young age. It all changes about a year ago when he and Lina broke up, she telling him basically that he won't amount to nothing, leaving him to pursue her academic interests. At first glance Nell reminds him of Lina which is why he is determined to spend as much time with her as he can, believing she could be a sort of "cure" for his broken heart, and yet Nell couldn't be more different than Lina but it takes him long enough to realize that, and also to see in a different light the whole relationship he used to idolize. Though I enjoyed reading Mateo's POV with his easy going take of life, I struggled with too much of his POV as well, it was either idolizing Nell as "girl genius" (The worst nickname EVER) or Football talk. Since I don't understand ANYTHING about the game (besides the ball not being round) it was a bunch of words compiled together that meant absolutely NOTHING to me. I would have loved getting more of his fun side or maybe more about his background (not Lina related).

This book was mostly about "having fun" and sort of "growing up" together for both MCs. Most of the "having fun" felt silly to me, I'm not sure if it's because I'm so far away from their age, or it's that I didn't have that sort of college experience (it's not like that in my country when it comes to colleges..) or maybe it was because I didn't like Nell.. I guess there's a lot of growing up in he MCs inner monologues but since I skimmed a lot of those (mostly of Nell) I mostly got the big punch in the end when everything fell together. 

I was glad to have a little glimpse of Stella (that's what kept me reading actually.. getting more of the other characters and maybe a sneak pick into the next installments) but it wasn't a lot. She is in a very confused stage and doesn't really deal with what happened to her, can't wait to get to her book! I like both her and Ryan and so I'm very curious to see what's actually happening between these two! But first I need to wait for it to be published.. and there's no date at the moment.. :(  

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 339 pages, 8-11 April 2016 / On GoodReads
Rusk University is a New Adult Series by Cora Carmack. The series focuses on the players in Rusk's Football team.

I really enjoyed the first two installments of the series. They are quite a light fun read even though the MC have their issues to deal with, they are not "dark" in any way, it's just life I guess and growing up. Cora's books always contain a lot of Laugh-Out-Loud moments and are easy-going. So if that's what you're into you're going to REALLY enjoy this series. 
I should say I didn't like the third installment and yet I CAN'T WAIT for the next two! 

1. All Lined Up [Dallas Cole & Carson McClain] (Published 13 May 2014) ★★★★
2. All Broke Down [Silas Moore & Dylan Brenner] (Published 28 October 2014) ★★★★½
3. All Played Out [Mateo Torres & Antonella "Nell" DeLuca] (Published 12 May 2015) ★★
4. All Closed Off [Stella Santos & Ryan Blake] (To Be Published ???)
5. Untitled [Isaiah Brookes & ???] (To Be Published ???)

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