Monday, July 17, 2017

All In - Review

All In (Full Tilt, # 2)

By: Emma Scott

Published: October 11th 2016

296 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

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Goodreads description--SPOILERS FOR FULL TILT....

Reeling from her loss, Kacey Dawson is grieving and heartbroken, her addictive demons hauling her back into the alcohol-soaked abyss she worked so hard to crawl out of. Kacey teeters on the edge of oblivion, and must fight her way through the pain, to build a new life for herself with her music, and somehow fulfill the promise she made to Jonah…one she feels is impossible to keep.

Theo Fletcher has a secret burning in his heart, one that he holds close, while he struggles to keep strong for his family that is falling apart. His mother’s health is fragile and his father’s disapproval is breaking him down. Theo is afraid if he follows his heart, he’ll fail, and not just himself, but his brother who believed in him when no one else did.

Drawn together by their pain, Theo and Kacey slowly build a friendship, re-forge old ties, help each other to heal, and give one another the courage to reach for their dreams. Together, from the depths of grief and guilt, they learn to laugh again, to trust again, and quite possibly find something beautiful and lasting amid the shattered pieces of their broken hearts.

Part II of the two-part Full Tilt duet, coming Oct 2016

PLEASE NOTE, this novel is NOT a standalone. It is highly recommended one read Full Tilt first to get the entire arc of the story and to avoid spoilers.

I predicted that Kacey and Theo would be the subject of All In while reading Full Tilt. I noticed small things like Kacey thinking Theo fit what she normally would find attractive compared to Jonah and a few things like that, but around the 70% mark when she stopped to ask Theo how he was doing when no one else had I knew that I was right.

Of course considering that I struggled with Kacey and her instincts to drink herself into oblivion when things get tough at the beginning of Full Tilt, it's no surprise that I found myself rolling my eyes at where we find her in All In. And so it felt like a bit of a repeat to see her have to work through this same issue but to an even worse extent than before.

Theo was the true hero of Full Tilt despite how much I loved Jonah. Theo was solid. He was always, always there for everyone. He was constantly looking out for those in his circle. I loved the loyalty and steadfastness of his character. And that was true in All In as well. Theo's journey was about finding a way to continue to take care of those he loves as well as satisfy his own needs and desires. His dreams of owning his own tattoo shop and the girl that he's fallen in love with.

Kacey and Theo have a SLOW building relationship. Theo's feelings have been developing for a lot longer than Kacey's, but Kacey does have a little bit more to work through than Theo does in order to get on the same page. I enjoyed how the slow pace made things feel more authentic. Any faster and Kacey's feelings for Jonah couldn't have been as strong as they were. Yet the gradual development lowered the intensity level for me. Sometimes slow burn makes the pay off even better. Don't get me wrong, I loved the outcome and how things ended up, but I didn't feel the fever to keep reading until I'd read every last page like I did with Full Tilt.

One of my frustrations with Full Tilt revolved around the frequency of sexual scenes, I was happy to see that wasn't the case for All In. Yet the language was just as much.

Favorite quote:

-"Accept that which has ended and let go so you can move on. So you may grow. So you may thrive."

I very much enjoyed All In. I enjoyed the slow build from the end of Full Tilt to the end of this book. Yet the slow burn didn't hold the intensity for me that book 1 had. I loved Theo the most, yet the emotion just wasn't on the same level for me. All In turns out exactly how I wanted and that means it gets 4 Stars. Have you read All In? What did you think? Let me know!

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