Friday, January 2, 2015

Upon Further Review: Believe Tiny Limits

Upon Further Review is an original feature here at Somewhere Only We Know. I have always loved re-reading my favorite books, and I wanted a way to incorporate re-reading into my blog. Thus From the Ashes and Upon Further Review were born. From the Ashes is where I re-read a book that I have never reviewed before and finally review it. Upon Further Review is where I re-read a book that I've already reviewed and see if my original rating stands or not. This is also the time for me to discuss any new revelations that my latest re-read has brought to my attention.

*So I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk lately, right? October was not a good reading month for me. And so I thought that re-reading some books that I already knew what to expect, how they end, and that I knew I would enjoy would be a great way to motivate me and move me out of my reading slump. (*Disclaimer: I did re-read Ten Tiny Breaths well before the reading slump began, but I just hadn’t typed an Upon Further Review post about it and felt like this was the perfect time to include it.)Here's my original review of Believe, my original review of Ten Tiny Breaths, and my original review of Pushing the Limits.

Believe (True Believers, # 3)

By: Erin McCarthy

Published: January 21st 2014 by InterMix

232 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend's boyfriend. Now she's faced with being THAT girl, and couldn't be more disgusted with herself. She can't even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that's good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin's house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he's drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn't care that he's done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it's a na├»ve dream to believe that his record won't catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Believe was my favorite from the True Believers series by Erin McCarthy. I loved the way that Robin’s big secret was beginning to be set up at the end of Sweet. And more than anything, I liked seeing a character make a terrible mistake, feel remorseful, and then work towards making things as right as she could. Trying to be redeemed.

The Robin from before this epic mistake is not a Robin that I would have related to at all. I never was a partier and still don’t even really enjoy being around others who are drinking. So I wouldn’t have been able to connect to her. But I most certainly can relate to someone who makes a big mistake, feels awful about it, and then tries to do what she can to fix it.

Phoenix is the perfect counterpart for Robin. Phoenix has made his fair share of mistakes as well. Being fresh out of jail and all. Yet the reason why he went to jail isn’t even one of the things he would consider a mistake. Either way because Phoenix understands, he’s able to offer Robin what she needs—acceptance and forgiveness. He was an easily likeable leading male for this book.

Upon my re-read, I did focus in on how quickly Robin and Phoenix’s relationship progresses. They’re declaring love for each other and moving forward on a physical level at a ridiculous pace. But you know how things like time don’t always translate on paper. I initially rated this book 4 Stars, and the whole point of my Upon Further Review features is to see if this rating still stands for me or not, and well…it does. Believe deserves every one of those 4 Stars. I mean it has to say something that it hasn’t even been a year since my first read through of this book and I’m already pulling it out for a re-read, right?

Have you read Believe? What did you think? Would you consider re-reading it? Let me know!

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths, # 1)

By: KA Tucker

Published: December 11th 2012 by Papoti Books

262 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Booksamillion.com )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, Book Depository, and Booksamillion.com are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

After picking up In Her Wake, which is Trent’s version of the Ten Tiny Breaths events, I was dying for a re-read of this book. And re-read it I did--in like a day. So essentially, even though In Her Wake is slightly different, I’ve still experienced Trent and Kacey’s story in some form or other THREE times in the last year. I don’t feel like I have anything else to really add to my original reviews of either Ten Tiny Breaths or In Her Wake, except to say that even after experiencing this story as many times as I have, I still feel like Ten Tiny Breaths deserves the 4.5 Stars that I originally gave it. Knowing what I now know about Trent’s perspective, Ten Tiny Breaths was even deeper, and where his motives and actions didn’t make sense before, they do now. I highly recommend this book.

Have you read Ten Tiny Breaths? What did you think? Is it worthy of a re-read for you? Let me know!

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, # 1)

By: Katie McGarry

Published: July 31st 2012 by Harlequin Teen

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--So wrong for each other …and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

So I originally read Pushing the Limits a little over two years ago, right? And I loved it. So much so that I couldn’t even really discuss it at the time in any kind of intelligent way. I only seemed to keep repeating “READ THIS BOOK!” Well I always planned to re-read it, but with blogging and reading books for review sometimes books that I want to read for pleasure get pushed to the side, and that’s doubly true for books that I want to re-read. But since I’ve been in this reading funk, I just really wanted to read a book that I knew what to expect and knew I would love. I didn’t want unpredictable. I didn’t want being able to see any train wrecks yet be powerless to stop them. I just wanted to get pulled into a good book and love every minute of it.

And thank goodness, that is exactly what happened for me during this re-read of Pushing the Limits. Because I was able to relax with the story since I knew what to expect and what was going to happen, I was actually able to appreciate Katie McGarry’s writing style better during this read through. I was able to see that she gives you enough information without spelling things out for you that you can begin to form ideas about the characters without being given their entire backstories up front. I was able to see that just picking one word can change the meaning of a sentence (e.g. the difference between using the word walk/stalk/strut) and the impression that the sentence makes. I was able to see that just a sentence or two of description is all that’s needed for me to paint a picture in my head of the scene surrounding these characters. Brilliant.

I will say that Noah’s marijuana usage was more of an annoyance to me in this read than in the first—and it bothered me in the first read as well. It just seemed like he was constantly talking about it almost. Also, I didn’t pick up on this in my first read through Crash Into You (and I can’t remember who said it in a review that I saw), but yes Isaiah’s drug use was entirely too easily explained away in Crash Into You. Of course, I was paying close attention to that in this read of Pushing the Limits. While Isaiah didn’t seem like the instigator, he definitely didn’t seem like he was as anti- as he tells Rachel in Crash Into You. But for me that’s just a minor annoyance.

I totally forgot that Pushing the Limits brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it until I went back and re-read my original review of it. But I say that it did, so I believe myself! (HA!) And that happened this time too. You’ve got to know that a book is really good if it can make you cry (or almost cry) during a second reading. If the emotion is that raw even when you know how the story ends, then that’s some good writing.

I originally gave Pushing the Limits 5 Stars, and I can uncategorically say that I still agree with that rating. I’m so glad that I was able to re-read it. And it only took me about two days to re-read it as well. That’s how much I was hooked even the second time. Plus Breaking the Rules is coming up in about a month (at the time of writing this review--I've since actually finished it) and I’m dying to get my hands on it. So I’m glad that I was able to get a refresher before picking that one up.

Have you read Pushing the Limits? What did you think? Could you see yourself giving this one a re-read? Let me know!

Also, please tell me you guys got what I did with the title of this blog post!

*My reading slump really went from October through November. December was definitely a better reading month for me. I usually type my reviews as soon as I finish a book, but I'm scheduled ahead on blog posts anywhere from a month to three months out.

2 comments:

  1. I still would love to re-read Pushing the Limits once, I loved it and was a bit disapointed when the second book in the series wans't as good. Now that I think about it, I actually never read third book although i do own a copy. Might have to pick this series up again. I would say Pushing the Limits is re-read worthy as I think it would be interesting to read the book knowing what happened as that usually gives you a different perspective.

    I don't re-read a lot, but I really like the idea of re-reviewing your re-reads like this!

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  2. Oh I highly recommend giving it a re-read. It was just as emotional for me the 2nd time as the 1st but less stressful. I do recommend Crash Into You. I enjoyed it better than Dare You To...but I will say that I still enjoyed Pushing the Limits the most of the entire series. I don't re-read as much as I'd like, but I just wanted a way to incorporate my re-reads into my blog! Thanks for stopping by Lola!

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