Saturday, 26 March 2016

Why New Adult Novels Aren't Realistic

It's clear my most read genre is NA Romance... and used to be YA. For me, reading was a huge escape and the words became my reality (sort of). Reading can be an escape for many but what authors fail to notice is that for some, their words have effect and are heavily weighted with influence. As I have gotten older, and become officially an adult, *gulp* and lived in the world I often read about ... I have repeatedly been tormented by the inaccuracies that plague the genre and need to go on a rant share my thoughts on this...

1: Male Characters - Getting Involved

No matter what situation is happening (usually relationship drama) a male character will approach the girl and either talk through it and rationalise with her or go and kick some sense into the currently disliked love interest to wake up and go get the girl/ do the right thing... THIS NEVER (RARELY) HAPPENS! 

Men and women are chemically different and are wired differently and no amount of wishing or convincing will change how either sex works. A girl could pour her heart out to a male friend about some issue she is having with another guy, and the chances are that as soon as the girl has left the room the whole issue is forgotten. It's not that they don't care - they just never see it as their place to get involved. End. Of. 

2: Male Characters - Saying the Right Thing at the Right Time

Really authors?! The amount of young guys in NA novels who know instantly their girlfriend is upset (or that they've caused her upset - even more rare in real life) and know EXACTLY what to say to make things better is absolute bull. Now granted, males are not bad-hearted or anything, but usually if you display any issue or upset, they shuffle awkwardly and don't really say anything helpful or tell you "not to worry" as if it's all the simple and that's just that. 

They can't solve your problem and can't give any helpful advice so they won't even bother. But in the world of NA Romance? Oh, they have the wisdom of a man married for 30 years who has been trained how to respond very carefully as if dodging mines. 

3: Clingy = Romantic

There are some novels where it's a dramatic Damsel in Distress story and that's okay. But in nearly all of them there's a pathetic situation where the girl always needs saving in some way (metaphorically or not) and needs the man to really be some Knight in Shining Armour or a need for him to go Caveman with her. I don't know how to pin-point it specifically, but there's a recurring theme of it being the norm for a girl to somewhat become the man's possession... Okay, so this could seem romantic - a man declaring his love with "you're mine and only mine" sort of thing. But clingy behaviour in real life destroys relationships and it's being romanticised so much where in reality it's annoying and can turn into jealousy and obsession quite quickly. 

4: Good Girl Changes/Saves Bad Boy

I love a good girl/bad boy novel as much as the next person but to say the plot has been rinsed dry is an understatement. I'd predict over 50% of romance books that I've read include a lovely innocent "good" girl who manages to clinch the ultimate bad boy / tattooed rocker etc and changes him for the better. Or the amount of times the witty player converts to husband material overnight.

IT'S JUST SO UNREALISITC! Very few young men want relationships - even if they fall for their ultimate girl, that doesn't mean they can forfeit their want for freedom or shake off the uneasy feeling they get at the thought of that much commitment. Most of them just aren't emotionally prepared for it. But in NA world, aaaalllllll of the bad boys don't even flinch at the thought to declare their undying love as they've finally met the one. This is just such a huge issue for me as it's not that simple and young and impressionable teenagers are getting it into their heads that women can change a guy. 1% of cases, perhaps, yes. But overall, if a man doesn't want to change or is not ready to change, it won't happen. Again, all back to the chemicals in our brains. 

5: Young / Teen Marriage

Alright... this bothers me a LOT. I'm nearly 21 and read about characters that are younger than me and tying the knot. WHAAAAAT?! I'm not doubting that they're in love or doubting their significant other to be The One, but they're always super excited to get married and never ever have commitment issues or concerns for the future or anything. I'd love to read about a happily in love young couple where the idea of marriage freaks them out, but it all seems to be a sought after next step that fills them with excitement.  

Not to mention how the parents (if they even exist as apparently most of them are MIA) never seem to have much objection once they see how happy they are. I don't think proposing to someone is a sign of their undying love at all and young teens could come to think of it as the natural relationship progression without thinking about individual futures / wants / family circumstance / careers etc. 

Now, of course some of these are needed here and there. We read to escape the harshness of reality, right? So these are meant to be fantastical and a sort of dream. But I think there's a fine line for the escapism element and also giving false hope to young teens. It was a bit of a shock for me when I moved to university and realised it was NOTHING like that from books I'd read. And that men do NOT think how girls would love them to - and if I'd read books more appropriately representing young men as they truly are... it would have prevented a lot of arguments! 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

REVIEW; Someday Girl, by Melanie Shawn


Genre: New-Adult, Romance, Abuse

Recommend: Yes



Cat Nichols, daughter of a famous actress, finally gets her escape to university. Free from the emotional blackmail and abuse of her mother, Cat meets a group of friends that openly accept her. 

She also meets Jace, a barman who's hiding a troubled past and who wants to escape it all. When he sees Cat, he's instantly drawn into her, but knows he is the last thing she needs and to stay away. 
But neither can deny the attraction they have, and when the finally get to know each other, demons from the past threaten to ruin everything they've worked for. 

My Thoughts:

This is your typical straight-forward college romance novel:

  • Innocent, gorgeous girl? Yup
  • Hot, sexy, troubled guy? Yup
  • Troubled past for both? Yeah
  • Bitch character that tries to cause trouble? Yes
  • Instant deep love? Mmhmm
It's a fairly average read. The writing is mediocre and the whole story is incredibly predictable with the same story line as every other new-adult romance novel out there. 

Cat: She was sweet and yet held her own very well. She had grown up suffering from the abusive words of her mother and as a result, had incredibly low self-esteem and was unaware of her beauty. But of course, really she was absolutely stunning and all the guys wanted her. Including the one bad boy everyone loved. 

Jace: He was a bit boring and so weak. He'd been in the war and so suffered from PTS etc. But as soon as a manipulative bitch walks into his life, he IMMEDIATELY choose to cut Cat off to take care of her. And it took him ages to listen to his real friends to see how wrong what he was doing was. 

Romance: Mediocre is the only word for their romance. Both fall victim to instant love so that's the first negative. Then it all sort of whirlwinds at such a fast pace, which I find hard to believe as Cat was completely inexperienced and had some doubts. Meanwhile, Jace who doesn't do relationships, instantly changes his ways for Cat. It's just all too perfect. Even the little bit of drama that occurs, there's no suffering! Cat just accepts it and moves on; there's no angst or heartbreak as such. It just felt grey. 


This is a fairly light read, there isn't too much drama but easy enough to get through. Probably best to read in between heavier stories. All in all, a cute fast read! 

Free on Amazon

Saturday, 12 March 2016

REVIEW; Being Jamie Baker, by Kelly Oram


Genre: Young-Adult, Romance, Paranormal

Recommend: Yes



Jamie Baker is the Ice-Queen or freak. After being in a car accident, Jamie managed to survive but changed forever. Jamie has been left with superpowers- she has super strength but when emotional, is alive with electricity. Socially exiling herself has worked well for Jamie, until she meets Ryan Miller. 
He is determined not to give up on her and break down her walls. And she needs him more than she cares to admit. 
But when Jamie realises she is facing a danger much bigger than being exposed, she has to risk everything, including the lives of those she loves, to try and protect herself and them.

My Thoughts:

I loved Kelly Oram's "Cinder & Ella" and fell for her cute writing style and adorable romances, so as soon as I got this book, I began reading it immediately and sacrificed many hours of sleep (which is serious business when you're up at 6am) to just read "one more page". 

Jamie: She had her flaws, but I did like her. I'm quite a sucker for Project Break The Ice Queen and Jamie made for a good one, although a bit of bitch. I liked her humour and how she was with Ryan, and loved how they both interacted. But her negativity and moping got a little teeny tiny bit thin quite quickly. Personally, I've I'd been graced with her powers, the first thing I'd investigate is how they can be controlled/ used. Jamie however, she had no interest in learning how they worked until she met Ryan. It seemed like such a waste!!  Granted, she'd been through hell and back with her accident and everything with Derek so she had all the reasons in the world to be sad, but some time has passed and I felt like she needed a little bit more umph and positivity just to have a life with her parents - but still remain an Ice Queen in school. 

Ryan: He's sweet, caring, genuine. Hard not to fall for his charm and humour but a little annoying. As with a lot of YA/NA novels, it's first obvious Ryan is from the imagination of a female. He understands Jamie too much and cares too much and has too much emotional connection and emotional knowledge to be a typical young guy. Sorry, they just don't exist like that. He was quite disrespectful at times with not acknowledging Jamie when she said no at the beginning, before they were close (but that could be down to Jamie saying one thing but meaning another.. I don't know). He's just not going to make it onto my book boyfriend list any time soon...

Superpowers: Jamie is not a superhero... she doesn't really do anything heroic apart from once. But she does have superpowers, which she has no interest in! I was really interested in her different quirks and abilities and enjoyed watching her practice with Ryan on how to control and manage them. My issue arises with the accident and how she got her powers. The whole drama surrounding the accident and Derek seemed like an afterthought quickly sketched in to enable the story some depth. 

Story: Not going to lie, I was hooked from the beginning with this. I loved watching Ryan dig deeper to try and figure her out and reveal Jamie's story. As per, the high school diplomacy was on point, with the usual rivalries and jealousy. One MAJOR issue in this book, and mainly why it lost a star - rape. In this, a side character gets raped by one of the popular guys. Jamie finds out and just warns him not to do it again... uhh... what? I recognise the influential powers authors have over their readers, and I think when such a sensitive topic is included, it shouldn't be done lightly and should also have proper conclusions. But in this it was just sort of dropped in like a bomb and then both characters ended up eating lunch together... riiiight. 
Classified as a romance, it does make for a cute love story. Of course, it's predictable but it doesn't run seamlessly for them both so it does keep the reader interested. 

There's also the added danger of Jamie being stalked by a reporter and questioning his motives. Does he want to expose her for a good story? Or is he trying to sell her out to a research company?  I enjoyed this level of danger as it added another dimension to the story just being centered around Jamie and Ryan. 


This isn't a deep or heavy story, just a cute little romance with a really original paranormal twist. It's exciting and fast paced and definitely hooks the reader with an unforeseen added element of a greater danger. Definitely recommend - I can't wait to read more! 


Saturday, 5 March 2016

REVIEW; In Too Deep (Roomates Trilogy #1), by Mara Jacobs


Genre: New-Adult, Romance

Recommend: Yes



Lily Spaulding, daughter of a political consultant, is a freshman at an elite college , sent to keep an eye on her room-mate Jane and keep her out of trouble. 
But Lily may be the one needing help to stay out of trouble... When carrying out her swimming lessons with young kids, she notices Lucas Kade, older brother of one of her students, Andy. As soon as she sees Lucas, she knows she wants him and can tell he feels the same way. 
Lucas has a dark past and is trying to stay on the straight and narrow to be a good role model for Andy. But when push comes to shove, can Lucas ever rid himself of his past? And where does Lily fit in to his life? 

My Thoughts:

This book had me crying - out of despair and from laughter. 

Note: Although part of a trilogy, still a stand-alone book. Next in series focuses on different characters from this book.

Lily: Lily is the daughter of a political consultant and comes from a family of money. She fits in with the stereotype student that attends her college. However, she doesn't want to be there - she doesn't want to have to look out for Jane and keep her out of trouble and instead befriends Jane. I liked her from the start: I loved her daring attitude and confidence that she had when around Lucas but also her loyalty to her friend and backbone to stand up to her father, is all truly admirable. It frustrated me so much how much a loyal person she was when she wouldn't break her promise to her father!!! But overall, she is a heroin that you can't really fault for much. She never created petty or insecure drama and always remained so level headed throughout everything. 

Lucas: Mmmmm...Ultimate Book Boyfriend from the start. He's probably one of the best angst/troubled/bad boy in a novel written by a female. He never went overboard with mushy talk or steered clear of it completely - he actually acted like a genuine love-struck 21 year old who didn't know how to react to his feelings. He didn't automatically profess his undying love in a grandeur way, but still got it across fairly easily... hard to describe but when you know how a lot of guys his age act and read NA, it can be a huge downfall if the love interest is too "fantastical" and not realistic enough. 

Insta-Love: I hate insta-love. I always moan about it and unfortunately this is how their story begins - literally love at first sight. It was probably more lust at first sight than anything more but either way... A little bit annoying none-the-less. Especially how it all just worked out from the beginning and there was no cat and mouse chase - they both just presumed the other was game. It just took away from believing their love was real as it all was a bit too quick. There was good tension and build up to when they finally got together, but even still, I feel this could've been so much more exciting if there was more story between the Locker Room Saga and The Graffiti Wall

Story: As a story overall though, I enjoyed it. Typical opposites attract and good girl/bad boy drama, but it had its own originality and twists. Even Lucas with his past, it wasn't that predictable and showed that he wasn't actually a bad person or had a really traumatic rough life, although still had it bad. There was a very good balancing of the supposed "bad" and "perfect" lives both Lucas and Lily had so it helped blend the dichotomy of them being total opposites. 

5-Stars?: I think what was missing for me was just "more". I wanted more insight into Lily's life other than the random glimpses we got from phone-calls. We found out so much about Lucas, but hardly anything about Lily. As already said, I would've liked to have seen a better build up between Lucas and Lily rather than mutual assumption their feelings were reciprocated. Also, there wasn't really a lot of drama and when Lucas got into trouble again, I expected there to be more hostility from Lily - although she understood his circumstance, I don't think an 18 year old hormonal female would immediately get it. There needed to be just a little bit of anger or annoyance or some repercussion... but maybe that's just me seeking more drama. I just felt my tears of sadness hadn't even dried when they got back together so didn't seem like a lot of drawn out misery. 


This is exactly what it seems - a fun, exciting love story between two people seemingly not meant for each other. You get sucked in from page one and the tension and lust will keep you up reading for hours until you're finished. 

Free On Amazon