Better When He's Brave, by Jay Crownover: My favorite of the The Pointe books so far! I have long wondered about Titus and why he seems so different from his brother and the other characters in The Pointe. I love how Jay shows us his darker side, shows his grit and how where he comes from is embedded in him, lives on him, no matter what he does. Even though he's the most "clean-cut good guy" in The Pointe, I really enjoyed how he was also a bit of a dirty boy when he was with his girl. ;)
Before I Fall, by Jessica Scott: First off, prior to this book I'd never read anything by this author but I'm happy that this was my introduction to her work. This novel was very fast paced and led us into the lives of a young woman named Beth who is dealing with taking care of her war-vet father while trying to balance college classes and work, and a young man named Noah who is back in college after serving in the war overseas and still carrying with him the burdens of what he's seen and done overseas. This was sort of a classic love story in that Beth thought she knew who Noah was because she was familiar with other servicemen but was caught by surprise by how different he really was. They fall for each other, while keeping secrets but slowly the secrets make their way to the surface and threaten to tear them apart.
I enjoyed how the author really brought Noah's character to life and how it made me personally think about those who serve in war and come home scarred both physically but even more so, emotionally. She really dug deep into the lonliness, helplessness, lost feelings that many servicemen feel and it pulled at my heart big time. She shows, through Noah, how so many develop dependency issues and don't have the support to get help or are too prideful to get help. She illustrates the serious problems we have, as a country, in handling our vets both at the VA hospitals for appointments and in helping them with their mental well-being.
The Offer, by Karina Halle: Although it was written as a stand alone, The Offer follows the relationship between Nicola, who is Stephanie's best friend from The Pact, and Bram, who is Linden's brother, also from The Pact. They're completely different; Nicola is a single mother struggling to pay rent, while Bram is a wealthy playboy who owns an entire apartment. Sure, there's some chemistry there but nothing will ever come of it, or so Nicola thinks. Bram, however, shows his true colors when Nicola falls on some bad luck. He makes an offer she cannot refuse. Over time she begins to see that Bram, although confident and a bit cocky, isn't the man she thought he was...and she likes that.
This was super fast paced as well and I could hardly put the book down. I just wanted to find out all about Bram and Nicola's story! It was a little fairy tale-ish, a little Pretty Womanesque, but I loved it! Karina does a great job developing her characters and adding humor to her work. The characters are saucy and have some umph to them.
I read a few others but decided not to review all of them. There's generally nothing I read that I hate and I've enjoyed all of these to varying degrees. I would definitely recommend Before I Fall though because it's got a lot of deeper levels to it that really makes you think.
Here are some of the others I've read recently:
Life Before Damaged, Vol. 8
In the Dark
The Arrangement 20