Review: Candy Colored Sky (Ginger Scott)

Candy Colored Sky
Author: Ginger Scott

Publication Date: February 26, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mature Young Adult
Note: This review is for an ARC I received from WordSmith Publicity and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jonah Wydner has been in love with his neighbor Eleanor Trombley for years. He has watched her life play out from the sidelines—homecoming dances, football parties, and first dates. Her life seemed easy…simple…perfect. The complete opposite of his own.

But when Eleanor’s younger sister goes missing and the national media sets up camp in the middle of their street, the girl with the seemingly perfect life shows up in Jonah’s garage in search of a place to hide from the hurt and chaos. What begins as one night becomes many filled with unexpected surprises and unveiling, healing truths about Jonah’s own messy past.

Soon, Jonah gets to know the real Eleanor, and discovers all the ways they’re the same. Friendship blossoms into more, plans turn into promises, and hopes and dreams become shared under the warm glow of the fading Midwestern sunsets. But how far can a kiss under a candy-colored sky take them? And what happens when the clouds close in?


I was a little nervous to start Candy Colored Sky. When I reach for a Ginger Scott novel I know it’s going to do two things: pull me in with her writing and hit me with emotion. That was especially true with this book.

Candy Colored Sky had this emotional vibe to it. It wasn’t a heavy vibe, but one that lingered beneath the surface. It took me a long time to figure it out. I kept trying to compare it to how a thriller has a creepy vibe. I couldn’t put my finger on it until almost the end of the book. Somehow Ginger Scott took classic new adult angst and somehow flipped it. Instead of being in the head of the person who is experiencing all the angst, we’re in the head of the person watching that person experience the angst. It gave the book that underlying feeling of angst that was something I don’t think I have experienced before. I liked being once removed from the angst. It was a different reading experience.

If you read the blurb, you can understand why this book would be emotional. Our main character, Jonah, is watching the girl he has secretly crushed on his entire life go through a traumatic experience. Eleanor’s younger sister has been abducted and Jonah is determined to do what he can to ease Eleanor’s pain. I loved Jonah’s approach to this. He took the time to look closely and see what others couldn’t or didn’t want to. He stood by her and lifted her up when needed. He was honest with her. The two of them formed a bond in the toughest times that could only get stronger.

I didn’t just love Jonah’s approach, though. I loved him. He was this slightly nerdy math wiz who hung on the edges of the popular crowd. There wasn’t a mean bone in his body. He came from a family that had been through its own trauma. I adored his relationship with both his mom and his grandfather. He had a fun friendship with his best friend and jock Jake. Jonah was one of those really good kids you want to see get the girl of his dreams.

Eleanor was more of a mystery because this book was told in Jonah’s POV. I don’t like admitting I was glad not to be in her head, but Jonah’s descriptions of her (and her family’s) pain was enough. I can say I loved her because of how she reacted to and treated Jonah.

Candy Colored Sky was one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. It left me feeling hopeful despite the overall sadness of the story. Only really great books can do that.

★NOW AVAILABLE★ 

𝗖𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘆 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝗸𝘆 by Ginger Scott is LIVE! This is a coming of age love story, stand alone. One-click your copy and take a peek inside below! 

★  PURCHASE ★ 

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/CandyColoredSky 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VTTWXLP/
Apple: https://books.apple.com/…/candy-colored-sky/id1553932714 
BN: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162507444
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/candy-colored-sky 
Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=aG0ZEAAAQBAJ 

Add it to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56553619-ccs 

Review: The Insiders (Tijan)

The Insiders
Author: Tijan

Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

The Insiders is the first in a brand new, page-turning romance trilogy from New York Times bestseller, Tijan!

Bailey is as normal as could be, with a genius IQ and a photographic memory. But still, normal for her. Then, things happen—a guy breaks into her house in the middle of the night to take her hostage. She finds out her father is actually billionaire tech genius Peter Francis, the same guy she’s idolized all her life. She learns all this when she meets dark, mysterious, and electrifying Kashton Colello. He’s an associate of her father’s, and he gives Bailey two choices—go with him and meet her father or survive on her own because those kidnappers are going to try again. It’s a no-brainer.

After this, three things become clear for Bailey:

1. She’s living at her father’s sprawling estate, complete with bodyguards and the best security that money can buy.

2. She’s no longer an only child. She has three siblings and has no idea what to do with them and vice versa.

3. She is being guarded by Kash himself. Personally guarded. And there is a lot of guarding going on there and some of it is going to drive her crazy.

A complete outsider in a world of wealth and decadence, Bailey has to find her way within a family that has more secrets than she could have imagined. One of these secrets could be deadly…


Have you ever been addicted to a book and had no idea why you were addicted to it? That’s how I felt with The Insiders. It was kind of a mess in some ways, but brilliant in others.

Tijan has an obvious voice in her writing. There’s something about the way that she writes that pulls me in. There is a familiarity in the rambling, redundant train of thought her characters have. In some ways it’s like coming home, in others it makes all her female main characters feel a little too much alike. Luckily, each has at least one unique quality that prevents them from being carbon copies. Bailey was an incredibly intelligent young woman with a photographic memory. She was close to her mother. She was an introvert without athletic ability. She did have daddy issues like many other Tijan characters, and that was a major part of the plot. Bailey, like the rest of Tijan’s female characters, was an underdog I couldn’t help rooting for.

Bailey’s love interest in this book was Kash, her father’s right hand man. I have to admit I had a hard time buying into the instant love thing going on between Bailey and Kash. I totally got the physical attraction by the descriptions, but the mental connection was what was missing for me. That being said, I appreciate the way the men in Tijan’s books stand up for their women, support them, and love them. There’s always a jealous female or two, but they don’t break the emotional connection the MCs have. The Insiders was entirely in Bailey’s POV so Kash felt like a complete mystery throughout most of the book. It wasn’t until almost the end that I understood his reasonings and feelings a bit more. I’m hoping in future books he’s going to get a POV. Even though I still feel like I don’t know him well enough after this book, I could feel his dedication to Bailey.

As always, Tijan’s side characters were fantastic. Bailey’s other younger siblings were sweet in their own ways. I hated and loved Matthew, the poor messed up guy that he was. I can also tell there are some female friendships for Bailey that are going to turn out to be strong connections I’ll love in future books. Bailey’s parents played a big part in this book. I liked her mom, but the jury is still out on her dad for me. Heck, even the “bad guys” were great characters who snuck up on me. I won’t say who they are, but I liked them.

Now I’m going to get down to the messiest thing about The Insiders for me. The plot. I hate to say it, but the majority of the books felt like it was lacking a plot. Everything felt surface level. Bailey was on this almost redundant road to nowhere. Nights with her man, hanging out with Matthew, connecting with the little kids, all while worrying about her relationship with her father and her possible kidnappers. It kind of felt like things were going nowhere until BAM! everything came into focus towards the end. Once revelations starting coming, they didn’t stop. It was like fast forward had been pushed and everything started happening all at once. I finally got it then, the lead up. I understood and liked this book even more. It’s weird to admit, but I didn’t mind when the book felt like there wasn’t much of a plot. I was still addicted. And that addiction paid off in big ways. Some I saw coming, some I should have seen coming, and some that truly surprised me.

So, yeah. Sorry this review is a little rambling. I just wanted to make sure I got everything across about how I felt about The Insiders. It was a hard book to rate. I couldn’t decide if it deserved 3 or 4 stars from me. It wasn’t my favorite book by Tijan (How can anything beat the FCH series?), but it I enjoyed every minute of it. It left me wanting to know more about basically everything. I’m happy this will be a three book series, so that I can get to know Kash better and find out what happens in Bailey’s life.

I buddy read this book with Kayla from Books and Blends. If you’re curious about her thoughts, you can check out her review on her blog.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

There are so many of them!!! How am I going to choose?!?! Well, I guess I’m going with the last ten books to make me LOL. Obviously, I like rom-coms.

Review: The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting (Emma Hart)

The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting
Series: The Bookworm’s Guide, #3
Author: Emma Hart
Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

What I thought I’d get on Valentine’s Day: a card.
What I got on Valentine’s Day: a blind date with my brand new roommate.

Let it be known that I, Saylor Green, am wholeheartedly against blind dating. I think it’s superficial, unnecessary, and designed wholly to force people into relationships they aren’t ready for.
It’s me. I’m people.
So when Dylan Parker takes the seat across from me, I’m ready to dismiss him at one glance.
The problem? He’s hot and funny and sweet and the exact kind of guy I read about in the romance novels I sell like hotcakes in my bookstore.
He’s also my new roommate.
Who likes to walk around in his sweatpants and peer over my shoulder and comment on all my online dating escapades.
When he offers to help me flirt my way to dating success, I’m all for it.
But what am I supposed to do when the only person I want to flirt with is… Dylan?


The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting was one of those quick, light reads. There was little drama and a bunch of moments to make me laugh. Usually in romances, the hero is the grumpy one. I loved that in this one Saylor was the grump. Her sarcastic, negative personality made things very entertaining. Dylan seemed to be a go with the flow type of guy. I loved how he put up with and sometimes antagonized Saylor. Their interactions as roommates were pretty hilarious. I also enjoyed the moments that led up to their coupledom. This was a great ending to this series and I loved how much fun I had reading it. 

Available Now:

Series Amazon: https://amzn.to/3gDoUlk 
TBR: http://emmahart.pub/TBGTF-GR
Amazon US → https://amzn.to/319P5ev 
Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/37Weh9A 
Apple Books → https://emmahart.pub/TBGTFapple 
Nook → https://emmahart.pub/TBGTFnook 
Kobo → https://emmahart.pub/TBGTFkobo 

Review: The Things We Leave Unfinished (Rebecca Yarros)

The Things We Leave Unfinished
Author: Rebecca Yarros

Publication Date: February 23, 2021
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Twenty-eight-year-old Georgia Stanton has to start over after she gave up almost everything in a brutal divorce—the New York house, the friends, and her pride. Now back home at her late great-grandmother’s estate in Colorado, she finds herself face-to-face with Noah Harrison, the bestselling author of a million books where the cover is always people nearly kissing. He’s just as arrogant in person as in interviews, and she’ll be damned if the good-looking writer of love stories thinks he’s the one to finish her grandmother’s final novel…even if the publisher swears he’s the perfect fit.

Noah is at the pinnacle of his career. With book and movie deals galore, there isn’t much the “golden boy” of modern fiction hasn’t accomplished. But he can’t walk away from what might be the best book of the century—the one his idol, Scarlett Stanton, left unfinished. Coming up with a fitting ending for the legendary author is one thing, but dealing with her beautiful, stubborn, cynical great-granddaughter, Georgia, is quite another.

But as they read Scarlett’s words in both the manuscript and her box of letters, they start to realize why Scarlett never finished the book—it’s based on her real-life romance with a World War II pilot, and the ending isn’t a happy one. Georgia knows all too well that love never works out, and while the chemistry and connection between her and Noah is undeniable, she’s as determined as ever to learn from her great-grandmother’s mistakes—even if it means destroying Noah’s career.

Told in alternating timelines, THE THINGS WE LEAVE UNFINISHED examines the risks we take for love, the scars too deep to heal, and the endings we can’t bring ourselves to see coming.


The Things We Leave Unfinished… Where do I even start? With each new release, Rebecca Yarros somehow exceeds my expectations and writes my new favorite book of hers. I fell in love with The Things We Leave Unfinished from the very first page. Past and present were beautifully woven together. I could have read two separate books about the two different timelines and been completely happy. Weaving the two together made it all the more fascinating. With every page I turned and chapter I finished, I wanted more. I needed to know what was going to happen in WWII England with Scarlett and Jameson. I wanted to know where the unraveling the past would take Georgia and Noah. Their individual and combined journeys were both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I loved every minute of this stunning love story.

Review: Hot Stuff (Max Monroe)

Hot Stuff
Authors: Max Monroe
Publication Date: February 20, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Have you ever seen a fireman who’s so insanely sexy you’d actually consider DIY-ing a little at-home arson just so he’d show up at your front door?

Dramatic, I know, but hear me out.

Chiseled hot body, bright blue eyes, and the sexiest smile I’ve ever seen—the first time I saw Garrett Alexander in my exam room, it took everything inside me not to do something crazy like mount him during his yearly physical.

Not only is he a total babe, but he’s charming, hilarious, and the kind of single dad that would make your ovaries explode—the total freaking package.

I know you’re probably wondering, What in the heck are you waiting for, girl? Go get yourself a fireman!

But, see, there’s one teeny-tiny (read: huge) problem—if we got together, we’d have to keep our relationship a secret.

I know. Who even am I? Some heroine in a freaking forbidden romance novel?

Let me guess, now you’re probably thinking…Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Don’t do it, girl. Don’t fall for the sexy, off-limits man. It’s not worth it.

Well, too late. I already went and did it.

And I have a feeling this fire of ours is going to go up in a big, mushroom-cloud-worthy, ball of figurative smoke.


I don’t know how Max Monroe come up with their comedic goodness, but man, they know how to make me laugh! Hot Stuff had me cackling from start to finish. From the opening scene when Garrett and Lauren meet to Petco to Fat Frank and on and on. I could not get enough of Max Monroe’s hilarious hijinks with this couple.

Not only was Hot Stuff laugh out loud funny, it was super sweet. Garrett’s a firefighter who is also a single dad. He’s got a job that doesn’t always allow him to put the important people in his life first, but he makes up for it when he can. The way that man loved his children, the good and the bad, made me smile. The way he talked about them was how I would hope to hear any parent talk about their children. Then, there was how he treated Lauren. The two of them were so freaking adorable. Lauren was a smart cookie being a doctor and all, but she was also entertaining in a way I wasn’t expecting. Her personality combined with Garrett’s was entertainment gold. I loved their love!

I know this is a gush fest, but I loved every minute of this book. Loved isn’t even a strong enough word. It was just so much fun to read and swoon over. I don’t know how Max Monroe keeps on coming up with all these amazing couples and romances between them, but I hope they never stop. It’s becoming harder and harder to pick a favorite couple from all of their books combined.

Review: Nate (Tijan)

Nate
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: February 9, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Nate Monson was gorgeous, obnoxiously wealthy, and a player.
He was also the person who could destroy my world with a single decision.

I walked into that bar looking for him.
He saw me. I saw him.
The chemistry sizzled between us, but no.

I hated Nate Monson.
I hated him with everything in me, even though my body did not.
It didn’t matter.

Nothing I wanted mattered.
He thought I wanted to get laid.
What I wanted was for him to disappear.

But first, I had to tell him that he had a daughter.


If you’re a fan of the Fallen Crest High series, Nate is a book you have been waiting a long time for. Or at least I have been. I’ve always been curious about Mason and Logan’s best friend. He went through some STUFF with them and I was curious what went on in his mind. I also wanted him to find a love like Mason and Sam or Logan and Taylor. To say I was excited to get Nate would be an understatement. Did Nate live up to my expectations? That’s a harder question to answer than it should be.

Reading Nate was exciting. I loved where Tijan took the drama. It wasn’t what I expected. There was a family feud like in the other Fallen Crest High books, but it wasn’t with Nate’s family. It all revolved around his daughter and the mother’s side of the family. It wasn’t the same old drama and I appreciated that. Things were handled in a more grown up way, too. It was nice to see the maturity of Tijan’s original characters as they are now adults.

Tijan says in the back of the book that Nate took a long time to speak to her.  This comment resonated with me thinking back on this book. To be completely honest, Nate didn’t have the emotional pull of Mason, Logan, or any of the other guys from Fallen Crest High related books. I loved that he felt an instant love for his daughter and how his love for the person he falls for developed over time. I enjoyed (as always) the comradery between Nate, Mason, and Logan. The moments between Nate and his friends were where his character seemed to flesh out the most. There was something missing, though. I think part of that is that Nate drops us into his adult life. He’s grown up and we get some talk of his teenage years, but I think I needed a little something from that time to tie who he was into who he is now. I guess I’ve always just wondered what was going on with him inside his head and I didn’t get as much as I wanted with that. What I did get was a look into who Nate became. I liked adult Nate.

As for that love interest… I’m not telling. I know there will be some spoilers on who she is, so you can get them elsewhere. I liked her for the most part. She wasn’t what I was expecting. There were some weird vibes that I won’t explain and didn’t love, but her story combined with Nate’s worked for me. They had an instant chemistry and I enjoyed the build up of their relationship.

Nate’s daughter was super cute. For those who don’t like kids in books — she didn’t overwhelm the story. She fit right in at the right moments. I liked how her addition to Nate’s life changed his outlook.

I want to go back and comment on the whole friendship aspect of this book. There were a lot of moments with Mason and Logan and the others, but they didn’t take over Nate’s story. They added to it. We got the fun, the humor, the bada$$ery, and the SBC — basically everything you would want to see from them all together. Those moments were priceless and made me hope that we’ll get more novellas or books about these characters in the future. Heck, I’m still holding out hope for a Matteo/Grace book.

My overall thoughts on Nate are that I liked reading it a lot. I don’t know how other fans of the original series are going to feel about this book, but I thought it was fun and unique enough while staying within the FCH feel. I wouldn’t say I fell head over heels for it, but it was addictive. There a couple of cringe worthy things, but they didn’t break the book for me. Anyways. I liked it. I would rate it somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Mardis Gras Inspired Book Covers

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Mardis Gras Inspired Book Covers
ie: Purple/Yellow/Green 

1. Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

2. Love at First
Author: Kate Clayton

3. Maybe This Time
Author: Kasie West

4. Well Played
Author: Jen DeLuca

5. Light Me Up
Author: Karla Sorensen

6. In a Holidaze
Authors: Christina Lauren

7. Hate the Player
Authors: Max Monroe

8. Frenemies
Author: Emma Hart

9. Must Love Dogs…and Hockey
Author: Kelly Jamieson

10. Anxious People
Author: Fredrik Backman

Series Review: Moo U (World of True North)

Good morning! I have something fun to share with you today. It’s a series review for the first series in Sarina Bowen’s World of True North. All three books are available TODAY! Get ready for some college hockey romance fun!

Blindsided
Series: Moo U, #1
Author: Victoria Denault
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts: 

 I already found a new favorite author for 2021! Blindsided was a great introduction to Victoria Denault’s writing. I loved absolutely every minute of this book. The enemies to more trope was on point. The tension between Maggie and Tate was off the charts. I loved the whole neighbors who hate each other thing that was going on with their entire families and how to trickled down to them.  Once all that hate ignited in chemistry, POOF! FIRE! Maggie and Tate were just as much fun in lust and love as in hate. Plus, there were so many laughs to be had. Blindsided was exactly the type of enemies to more romance that I love. It was also a strong debut of a new world and series created by Sarina Bowen. I was impressed how easily the writing matched with Bowen’s own. I can’t wait to read more from Denault and the rest of this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3omh4Qh
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonBlindsided
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Slapshot
Series: Moo U, #2
Author: Rebecca Jenshak
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

Slapshot was the main reason I wanted to read the Moo U series. I love Rebecca Jenshak’s NA sports romances and this one was every bit as good as her others. Kaitlyn and Lex won my heart right very quickly. They initially seemed like an odd combination together. She was a couple of years older, (maybe) wiser, and trying to avoid everything hockey until she ends up as the team manager. Lex was new to Moo U, trying to find his place on the team, and all about hockey. Despite feeling like an unlikely couple to me at first, their chemistry couldn’t have been any stronger. Kaitlyn and Lex’s personalities became bigger, brighter when they were together. I loved the progression of their relationship, that fiery chemistry, and they way helped each other find their way. It was an adorably fun romance. I also loved seeing some other favorite characters from this series again. Slapshot was another hit for me in the Moo U series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2VFqM4b
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonSlapshot
Moo U Hockey: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Holdout
Series: Moo U, #3
Author: Jaqueline Snowe
Publication Date: February 15, 2020
Publisher: Heart Eyes Press
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

My thoughts:

I have another new author to love! What was most impressive about Holdout was the insane chemistry Ryann and Daniel had. I could feel their sizzle coming off the page. It wasn’t just the physical chemistry I felt, but the emotional connection was well. These were two people who held everything close to them and found the one person who got them. I loved that. Not to mention the way they ended up as roommates and what that meant for both of them was so much fun! Holdout was a fantastic addition to this series.

Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2JD9qSZ
Pre-Order: https://geni.us/AmazonHoldout
Share this page: https://hearteyespress.com/wotn#/moo-u-hockey/

Overall thoughts on the series:

WOOHOO! We’re 3 for 3 for 5 stars in this series. That’s so awesome! A lot of time these “worlds” authors create don’t work for me, but this one totally did. All of the books were standalones, but they easily tied together. Each author had their own writing style, but they all meshed so well that you felt like it was one author writing a series. That author very well could have been Sarina Bowen herself. That’s how well written they were. I hope there will be more books in this series coming. I would love it if they were written by these three authors.

Review: Five Ways to Fall Out of Love (Emily Martin)

Five Ways to Fall Out of Love
Author: Emily Martin
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Synopsis:

This whip-smart rom-com explores the risks and rewards of letting love in, for fans of Jennifer E. Smith, Julie Buxbaum, and Sandhya Menon.

How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?


I have been waiting for another book from Emily Martin since I fell in love with The Year We Fell Apart. I was so excited to read Five Ways to Fall Out of Love when I downloaded it. I put off reading it for a bit because YA contemporaries just hadn’t been hitting the right note with me. I’m happy to report that Five Ways to Fall Out of Love got me back into the swing of reading them.

Emily Martin’s writing was as engaging as I remember it being. I was immediately pulled into Aubrey’s life. She seemed like a normal teenage girl. She wasn’t the “special snowflake” we see sometimes in YA fiction.  Aubrey had real life insecurities navigating high school friends, cliques, and boys. She also had family problems that I believe many teenagers will be able to relate to. There was a lot of hurt she had to deal with in all of that. I liked how Martin portrayed it all.

As for the romance… Well, it had its love triangle moments. You might have guessed that from the blurb. Aubrey used to like Webster, now she likes his cousin Holland. Being with Holland led to being around Webster more than normal and drug up old feelings. Normally, I’m not a fan of love triangles. I didn’t mind this one because it didn’t always feel like one, and there wasn’t any overlap between Aubrey being with either of the guys (no cheating). What I didn’t like was that Webster and Holland were cousins. That did bug me. At least they weren’t brothers, I guess.

A little more about the guys since I won’t be giving away how things go down or end up. Webster was not my favorite guy. I knew, from reading countless romances, that his rudeness had to be related to something Aubrey was unaware of. I could tell her cared for her and liked her despite his actions. That being said, he made some poor decisions that drove me nuts. Holland was a great guy from the start. He’s a character you can’t help but like because he’s just so dang decent. He treated Aubrey well, better than Webster. Holland had some flaws of his own in relation to Aubrey.

Oh! One of my favorite things was the friendship aspect of the book. Aubrey had to navigate both a long-term and a new-found friendship. I really loved how everything went down in terms of both and what Aubrey learned from them.

Another thing I should mention is that this book is about seniors in high school. It is on the mature side of things when it comes to the YA genre. There is some sexual content, alcohol, and partying.

It’s hard to talk about some of my feelings about this book without giving things away. It was well written, but I think some readers are going to have a problem with Aubrey’s decisions and maybe even the ending. I kind of wanted it to either go a different direction than it did or for an epilogue. I vacillated between 3.5 and 4 stars as a rating, and ended up going with 4 because it was so well written, held my attention, and had me genuinely rooting for Aubrey to find her way through her senior year of high school.