Tuesday, January 6

Buddy Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

Even though it is now 2015, Rowena and I have three more reviews from 2014 to post. And for October's review, we roped Holly into reviewing with us! Holly and I both read the Ivy League series by Sarina Bowen and Wena took our word for it on how awesome this series was. Here's our thoughts on The Year We Fell Down.

The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
published by Rennie Road Books
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.

What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.

Also, he’s taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Series: The Ivy League #1

Wena: I'm so glad that you both told me to get these books read because I didn't stop reading the series until I was completely done with the books. I absolutely loved all of them.

Holly: I have to be honest, I liked this book a lot, but I didn't love it. The hero dragging his feet with his ex and the heroine's tendency to brush everyone off frustrated me.

Ames: Ok, I really enjoyed this book too and I have to agree with you Holly, Hartley staying with his girlfriend so long got on my nerves too. But at the same time it created a delicious tension between him and Corey that I just ate up. I loved how their friendship developed and created those moments of tension. So good!

Holly: I liked the progression of their friendship, too. I really felt their connection. I also liked how Hartley adopted them and took them home.

Wena: I hear you, Holly. When Hartley kept the girlfriend around after she got back, I wanted to strangle him.

The tension was delicious. I loved seeing their friendship grow and then kind of stall when Stacia came back. The way that they were both struggling, I loved all that angst. 

What do you mean, brush people off?

Holly: She didn't connect with other people, and held everyone at arms length. It isn't that I don't understand why, it's just that after a while it started to read like she was constantly feeling sorry for herself.

Wena: I guess because I understood why she thought the way that she did, it didn't bother me.

Ames: I felt like I understood why she kept people at arms length, so her attitude didn't bother me.

Holly: Like I said, I understood. I didn't even hold it against her. As a matter of fact, I mentioned on Goodreads how impressed I was with her overall attitude - and how realistic it seemed based on the circumstances. Still, there were times I became impatient with her.

I like that she was pragmatic about her injury, but a lot of the time her actions didn't match her thoughts/the things she said about it.

I did like how once they committed, the drama between them was done. There were still outside conflicts, but they were solid as a couple. I also liked how quick Hartley was to claim Corey once he came to his senses about his girlfriend.

Wena: Same here. I liked that Hartley didn't wait a week before claiming Corey the way that he did. The way that he did it made me smile. I just really liked him. I liked the person that he was with Corey and I really liked the way that he brought Corey and oh crap, what's the roommates name again? Anyway, I really liked that he took them home with him for Thanksgiving.

Ames: And yes! Once Hartley decided to go for Corey he was all in and things were good. The other thing I liked was how Corey decided to join a sports team again. She showed she could do it and I thought that showed real growth for her character.

Wena: Like you, Ames, I really liked that Corey tried to get out and get her own life instead of feeling sorry for herself.

Holly: I liked that Corey found her own sport, too. I loved when she put the team captain in his place. It cracked me up how she took advantage of them not wanting to hurt her.

Ames: Ok, how cute were they playing the hockey video game? I loved that!

Wena: I really liked seeing the game RealSticks show up throughout the entire series. It was great. The hockey video game was adorable. I loved how Corey practiced to beat Hartley. Haha.

Hartley had a really great outlook on life in general and I really liked that his eyes were opened to the way that things were for Corey. And when he told her that he loved her that first time? When he said, "I love you, Corinne" and used her full name? I about swooned. LOL.

I loved what he did for his Mom in the end after reconnecting with his Dad and the relationship that he had with her. They were good together and I was glad that she was so open and willing to love his friends along with him.

Ames: I liked how the whole series was connected. RealSticks was a good common theme besides the hockey team itself.

Hartley was definitely swoon worthy! Definitely a good guy. One of the better heroes I've read this year, actually.

His mom was awesome.

Holly: His mom was really awesome. The side plot with his dad was interesting. I was curious about him and I liked the way that played out.

Wena: I also really liked the friendship between Corey and her roommate. What the heck was her name? Della? Delia? Dana? I can't for the life of me remember. But I liked the friendship that blossomed between them. The way that the roommate was a friend to Corey first and foremost and didn't treat her like an invalid.

Besides Stacia, was there anything else you guys didn't like about the book? I can't think of anything.

Holly: Just how closed off and almost whiny Corey was. She wasn't quite annoying, she just occasionally skirted the line. But, again, Bowen saved her - and the story, really - when they got together and all that angst was done.

Ames: I really enjoyed the book and can’t really think of anything that I didn’t like enough to complain about. Haha. Friends to lovers always gets me and this is classic friends to lovers.

Ok, I’m giving this one 4 out of 5 stars, or a B+. What about you guys?

Wena: My grade is 4.5 or an A.

Holly: I'm going to give it a 3.75 out of 5, or a B-.

Thursday, January 1

New Releases - January 2015

Happy New Year everyone!!

Wow, it's really hard to believe that a year has gone by and another is starting! :) While 2014 wasn't a great blogging year for neither Ames and I, one of the constants has remained this monthly new releases post. We hope to continue this year as well; however, we want to mix it up a little bit. We've been doing it this way since August 2009... Guess it's time for a change :) Let us know what you think of it!


Auto-Buy Authors

The Honeymoon Arrangement by Joss Wood (UK ed.) - Jan. 01
One Night of Trouble by Elle Kennedy (After Hours, B03) - Jan. 05 
Halfway Perfect by Julie Cross - Jan. 06
Make It Last by Megan Erickson (Bowler University, B03) - Jan. 06
Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols (Superlatives, B02) - Jan. 13
Burned by Karen Marie Moning (Fever, B07) - Jan. 20
Playing Dirty by HelenKay Dimon (Bad Boys Undercover, B01) - Jan. 27
Risking It All by Tessa Bailey (Crossing the Line, B01) - Jan. 27
Catching a Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke (American Heiress in London, B03) - Jan. 27
The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn (Smythe-Smith Quartet, B04) - Jan. 27
We Can Work It Out by Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club, B02) - Jan. 27
Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (Otherworld Stories, B13.3) - Jan. 31
Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand (La Vie en Rose, B02) - Jan. ?

Definitively getting...

Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz - Jan. 06

 I've enjoyed the first book

For Keeps by Rachel Lacey (Love to the Rescue, B02) - Jan. 27
The Dragon Conspiracy by Lisa Shearin (SPI Files, B02) - Jan. 06
Bridged by Kendra Elliot (Mason Callahan, B02) - Jan. 27

Second Chances

The Earl I Adore by Erin Knightly (Prelude to a Kiss, B02) - Jan. 06

Maybes/On the radar

The Witches of Echo Park by Amber Benson (The Witches of Echo Park, B01) - Jan. 06
Silver Thaw by Catherine Anderson (Mystic Creek, B01) - Jan. 06
Back to Before by Tracy Solheim (Second Chances, B01) - Jan. 06
If the Viscount Falls by Sabrina Jeffries (The Duke's Men, B04) - Jan. 27
I Was There by Gayle Forman - Jan. 27


So, what do you think of the new format? As much as we liked commenting on new releases, it was getting a bit redundant because, let's face it, there are just a number of reasons why we'd pick up a book right? :) As such, we're trying to come up with categories that are self-explanatory. In any case, feedback would really be appreciated :) And of course, if we forgot any new releases, let us know!!