Saturday, March 16, 2019

Extra Credit: Three Ivy Years Novellas (The Ivy Years #6) by Sarina Bowen

This book is a compilation of 3 novellas from the Ivy Years series. The 1st has been available on it's own for a while now, but the 2nd was published for short period of time as a serial for Sarina's website subscribers. The 3rd is a total new addition I enjoyed delving into today :)

If you haven't read the Ivy Years series, seriously, what are you waiting for?! You can sample it through this one but only through the first two as they are totally stand alone (containing characters we've met but were only side characters at best), the 3rd one I suggest you read only after "The Understatement of the year" because it contains a continuation for their story (FYI, it's M/M, unlike the first two and the rest of the series which is M/F).

Blonde Date ★★★★★

This is a really sweet novella of "Blonde Katie" - Katie Vickery - we met in the previous book (one of Scarlet's roommates) and Andy - Andrew Baschnagel- Bridger's neighbor. We even finished the previous book hearing the both of them enjoying each other's company from across the wall ;) This short novella is of their first date together.

In the beginning of the previous novel both "Katies" (Blonde and Ponytail) sounded really shallow and uninteresting yet as the book developed and as Scarlet opened up a little we got to see a bit more to the two of them and when Blonde Katie was looking for a date to a sorority thing it was only natural that Scarlet offer her to take Andy, maybe not a Hockey player - a Basketball player - meaning she could hang in his dorm room while Bridger's sister is sound asleep on his room..

That's was the background..
when we start this novella we learn that there was more than a bad breakup in Katie's past, something bad happened and she feels that going to that sorority event would be a bad idea because it means she is going to see Dash - her ex, and be ridiculed by him and the guys AGAIN. Even with a date, she is scared to step over the threshold.

Andy is the "Sweet Guy" the one who could be a girl's best friend maybe but not her date. He is REALLY excited about going out with Katie, he has been thinking about her non-stop since he first saw her in the class they share and his luck is looking bright with Scarlet giving Katie his number.

With the sweet Andy on Katie's side her luck turns. As they enjoy a good time together she decided to tell him what happened with Dash and he finds a way for her to distract herself from the way she feels (actually quite a cool game!). When they finally go home, she doesn't feel like the loser she felt, she feels confident, enough to lure him to have a little fun with her. Andy is NOT her usual attraction, in so many things but after their evening together she realized she haven't been looking for the right thing..

The Epilogue was a sweet surprise. It wasn't what I would have expected and it only helped making this one a 5 star review, it gave us a little insight into something that really made the difference for me, and for the story. While I was a bit annoyed with Andy's insecurity, I guess it made sense and it didn't last that long ;)

Studly Period ★★★★★

This was the SWEETEST novella EVER. I LOVED IT! Granted, I had to wait till all the chpaters were out because waiting for a mere chapter each week just wasn't for me but actually reading it - ALL of it - was literally a doctor's subscription to my mental and physical health.

Josephine Allister is a sweet and nerdy introvert. Working at the tutoring center is helping her a little to interact with people she doesn't know but she is still quite closed off. When Pepe Gerault comes into her view she have a difficulty with more than her tongue. The French-Canadian Hockey player is just too much. He is fun and easy going and a total opposite of her. Yet through the essays he writes and she corrects they form an unlikely and endearing friendship.

The whole novella is written from Josephine's POV and it was perfect this way. Yeah I would have loved to know what Pepe was thinking at times, but I think it made better sense this way, seeing how Pepe affected her and how she fell for him little by little and he was always THERE and yet never demanding or asking her for more than she was willing to give.

Though this is quite a short novella it did give us a whole story as the progress of story took a few months. I also quite appreciated that it wasn't at all about sex (even though it's mentioned she is a virgin in the synopsis), it was actually "fade-to-black". It was about THEM 100% of the time. About friendship and trust, expressing what you feel, taking a chance.

Yesterday ★★★★★

It's been a while since I've read "The Understatement of the Year", where we've met and fell in love with Michael Graham and John Rikker (4 and half years to be exact). It's been too long really. I wish I've read or listened to this one before I read their short addition as I've forgot too many details about these two amazing guys.

While Graham was closeted while he and Rikker grew up, once he came out when he was in college his family accepted him no question asked, for Rikker who got badly beaten after been seen kissing a guy it wasn't a real choice and unlike Graham's family, his sent him off to his grandmother and almost forgot all about him and the shame he brought to their (religious) family.

A lot have happened in the past 7 years but Rikker is still reluctant to return home upon his father's request. But knowing Graham will be with him family - close by - makes the decision a bit more bearable yet he still isn't sure if he's going to survive this meeting.

It was bitter sweet all together. I was expected far worse I guess but I think I can see a bit of a brighter future even if not from both parents, also Rikker and Graham while madly in love have issues of their own to solve in the near future and I wonder if it means we'll get yet ANOTHER installment about them. Pretty please!

Really enjoyed this one. Rikker and Graham are THE sweetest together. It was nice seeing how Graham was wearing his own skin more comfortably. Accepting who he is, accepting his love for his partner and being more in-tuned in general. Rikker was truly brave coming back home. I wish he was actually welcomed for who he is, but alas, there WAS a bit of progress there and mostly though sad it was nice seeing him making the decisions that were right for HIM and not being pushed to submit to his parents vision of who he's "suppose" to be.

Read on:
27 September 2014
22 May 2018
16 March 2019


Sarina Bowen built one hell of an imaginary College where the main characters of her series Ivy Years live and study. They all have one thing in common - They LOVE Hockey and most of them play or used to play. 

I love all her characters, each is unique in his/her own way and bring a story that is much more than the usual "coming of age" we read in New Adult series. But while the issues are more interesting / difficult / heart breaking the general feel of the series, both in the characters and the plot line is positive which I really enjoyed. It wasn't dark and gloomy it always felt, to me, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel where all your friends or family are happy to be of aid even while others / problems (try to) stand in your way. 

Just a side note - Except for the 3rd installment being M/M, the others novels in the series are M/F.  

The series continues with a SPIN-OFF, it's somewhere  between New Adult and Contemporary Romance, the characters being a little bit older and not in college. The series centers on the NHL team "Brooklyn Bruisers", each book tells the HEA of one of the players, the first one being two characters we've met in the Ivy Years. 


1. The Year We Fell Down [Corey Callahan & Adam Hartely] (Published 24 March 2014) ★★★★★
2. The Year We Hid Away [Scarlet Crowley/Shannon Ellison & Bridger McCaulley] (Published 1 June 2014) ★★★★★
2.5 Blonde Date [Katie Vichery & Andrew Baschnagel] (Published 6 July 2014) ★★★★★
3. The Understatement of the Year [Michael Graham & John Rikker] (Published 29 September 2014) ★★★★★
4. The Shameless Hour [Bella Hall & Rafael Santiago] (Published 14 April 2015) ★★★★★
5. The Fifteenth Minute [Lianne Challice & Daniel "DJ" Trevi(Published 13 October 2015) ★★★★★
5.5 Studly Period [Josephine Allister & Pepe Gerault] (Published as 8 Part Free Serial between 20/03/18 to 08/05/18) ★★★★★ 
6. Extra Credit: Three Ivy Years Novellas (Published 3 March 2019) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
    Previously published - Blonde Date [Katie Vichery & Andrew Baschnagel]

    Previously published - Studly Period [Josephine Allister & Pepe Gerault]
    New addition - Yesterday [Michael Graham & John Rikker]

No comments:

Post a Comment