Hello, everyone! Recently, I’ve found myself reading way more Young Adult and New Adult romance books. I’m not sure if it’s because the holidays are upon us, but I seem to gravitate toward contemporaries at this time of the year. Because I’ve read so many so quickly, I thought it would be fun to make a mass review post and share some of my faves and some that fell a little short.
1. Easy by Tammara Webber – 4 out of 5 stars
Easy was a book I had been recommended years ago, but I didn’t pick it up until I saw WhittyNovels’ healthy romance recommendations video a couple of months ago. Watch it because honestly, it and her channel in general is great. This one gives great representation for sexual assault and dealing with PTSD, and the relationship grows gradually and realistically. I liked that Lucas was extremely respectful and everything that occurred with him and Jacqueline was filled with nothing but consent.
2. Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnson – 4 out of 5 stars
Even If I Fall comes out in early January, so there’s not a long wait for this one – thank you, Edelweiss. I found myself really intrigued by the synopsis – a girl’s brother murders his supposed best friend and the only person she feels truly comfortable talking about everything with is the victim’s younger brother. I felt every emotion these characters expressed, and their relationship grew gradually in a completely realistic way. They’re both pained and troubled, but they can find comfort in each other.
3. More Than Her by Jay McLean – 4 out of 5 stars, 4. More Than Him by Jay McLean – 4 out of 5 stars
More Than Her and More Than Him deal with side characters from the first novel, More Than This, and I much preferred this storyline. Logan’s past is tragic, and his rocky relationship with Amanda is anything but perfect, but I really enjoyed every moment. It felt natural, especially with their ups and downs. Granted, there was some random moments of overdramatic problems, but I found myself not really minding them because I was pretty invested in their relationship.
5. Run Away With Me by Mila Gray – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Run Away With Me deals with hockey playing childhood best friends Jake and Emerson. This story deals with sexual assault as well, and I think it was handled in a professional way. I liked this story from Mila Gray more than Come Back to Me because the relationship felt more real. I believed Jake and Emerson’s feelings for each other, and I really love childhood friends to romance stories because that kind of understanding of each other makes for a great romance.
6. Down London Road by Samantha Young – 3 out of 5 stars
Down London Road was recommended to me by my best friend, Summer. She’s a HUGE Samantha Young fan, so it was only natural that she lend me my first Samantha Young book. I enjoyed the characters in this one, and I liked seeing Johanna’s growth as a person as well. It’s definitely more on the adult side with the romantic scenes and whatnot, so that was a change for me, but it wasn’t anything like Fifty Shades or whatever. I believed the connection between Cameron and Johanna, so I was pretty invested in where their relationship went. They also had a natural romantic progression too – the feelings were there, but there was a bit of a slow burn involved.
So, these aren’t total “misses” when it comes to my ratings. Yes, I gave them all 3 stars which is my equivalent of a “meh” book. All of these had their own pros and cons, but they missed the line between “meh” and one of my favorites. I found that with Mila Gray and Jay McLean’s books, I preferred certain storylines to others, so that’s all just personal preferences.
1. Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – 3 out of 5 stars
Field Notes on Love doesn’t come out until March of 2019, but I was able to get an early copy through Edelweiss. I really loved Smith’s The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (what a mouthful), and it was the first of her books I ever read. Unfortunately, this one didn’t capture me as well as that one did. I enjoyed seeing the characters grow as people, but I didn’t really feel the romance aspect.
2. Come Back to Me by Mila Gray – 3 out of 5 stars
Come Back to Me deals with the relationship of Kit (marine) and Jesse (Kit’s marine best friend’s sister). I liked the parts that dealt with them having to be secretive with their relationship for fear of what Jessa’s brother and family would say – I’m a sucker for a forbidden romance. But what I didn’t really love was that the relationship is built on a lot of backstory. What I mean by that is that readers are thrown into the story with Jessa and Kit already having pretty strong feelings for each other, and within the first couple of chapters, things have already progressed for them. You only know about their feelings growing because of flashbacks and random thoughts each character would have, and I really like seeing the progression of feelings, personally.
3. Slammed by Colleen Hoover – 3 out of 5 stars
Slammed was the first Colleen Hoover book I ever read way back when. I hadn’t read it in a while, so I decided to give it another go, and it still holds up okay enough. There aren’t any truly problematic parts, which is good, but there’s a lot of parts that you need to stretch your imagination with a bit. Honestly, it seems a little strange that a school board would hire someone as young as Will is to be a full-time teacher, regardless of personal circumstances or student teaching programs. The romance part also seemed a bit rushed, especially considering Will mentions that he’d quit his job after his and Lake’s first date if he didn’t have to provide for his little brother. Yeah, sure.
4. More Than This by Jay McLean – 3 out of 5 stars
Lastly, More Than This was an impulse read years ago thanks to my kindle unlimited subscription. A lot of New Adult romances can be found for free downloads on that program, so if you’re ever looking for some, look there! With this one, it was the situation where I preferred the perspectives of the characters in books two and three to this one. You need to read this series in order though because characters are mentioned and developed some in each story. For me, Jake and Mikayla’s relationship just seemed wayyyy too quickly serious. They went from complete strangers to being in a committed relationship within a couple of days. No thank you.
That’ll be all for now! Let me know if you guys like this combination review/recommendations kind of post. I have a ton more books I could do this with, so it could be a regular kind of post!
Until next time,
What’s your favorite YA or NA romance book? Let me know in the comments below!