BOOK REVIEW: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Title: Maybe Someday
Author: Colleen Hoover
Series: Maybe Someday series (Book #1)
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5/5)

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Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

Was this my favorite Colleen Hoover novel? No. But, that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a good book. For a lot of people, this is their favorite Colleen Hoover novel. Many are introduced to Hoover’s work through this novel, leaving it to hold a very special place in their hearts. And there are so many reasons why.

In Maybe Someday, we follow Sydney’s journey towards finding a life without her long-time boyfriend, Hunter. Breakups are difficult, but every devastating situation seems to be so much more heart-breaking in a Colleen Hoover novel. After months of communicating across her apartment complex with Ridge, she becomes closely acquainted with him and lends her songwriting abilities to his band, Songs of Cedar. But, you know a Hoover novel, it just gets messier from there. With girlfriends and roommates involved, this page-turner is filled with shocking surprises.

There were many things I enjoyed about this book, but the Colleen Hoover never fails to write a fantastic cast of characters. Our female lead, Sydney, was a music education university student just trying to make it through the tough early 20’s. With non-approving parents and a recent breakup, she felt lost in the world around her. What do you do when you have no one to guide you, nor to accompany you? This lead us to Ridge, our hottie, guitar-playing male lead. Without Ridge in this novel, I think I would’ve given it a 2 star review. His character and the difficulties he faces as a deaf man add a special touch to this novel.

I also wanted to add that I don’t believe I have read a book featuring a deaf character. I love how Colleen included this detail into Ridge’s character, as it adds to the growing collection of novels featuring a character with a disability. But, truly, Ridge doesn’t feel like he has a disability. He has learned how to maneuver the world without his voice, opting to use sign language and texting where applicable. And with great friends surrounding him who know sign language, he never feels alone.

Another important detail in this novel is the song lyrics throughout. Every song written by Sidney and Ridge (or by one of them) has been accompanied by a taped version by Griffin Peterson. It was amazing to experience this novel with musical accompaniment, as it added so much to the lyrics written. The lyrics evidently displayed the two character’s feelings, but adding tone and dimension with a song allows you to truly feel these emotions.

Now the big question becomes, “Why only 3.5 stars?” And to be honest, I don’t think it was anything about the storyline itself. There was so much dimension and character development in this novel. We saw characters come out of their shell and open up; saw characters explore new journeys. There are key messages in almost every chapter in this novel that bridge together to form a beautiful novel. However, I felt that there were many periods in the middle of this novel which I thought were slightly unnecessary. Moments that bridged the story along, but made me annoyed with characters. Often this novel felt like a sinusoidal wave: continuously up and down until the end. But in the end, I am still over the moon that I gave this novel a shot.

There is so much content explored in this novel, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t read it. If you have read this novel, let me know how you felt about it in the comments!

Buy Maybe Someday at the following retailers:
Indigo | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Book Depository

BOOK REVIEW: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Title: The Deal
Author: Elle Kennedy
Series: Off Campus (Book #1)
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Bloom Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Rating: ★★★★★

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New York Times bestseller Elle Kennedy brings you the first in the sexy Off-Campus series that everyone is talking about.

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

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To be completely honest, I bought this book on a whim after seeing it on sale at Chapters. Having skimmed the back of the book, I believed that I was getting myself into a Wattpad style novel, similar to Anna Todd’s After. But holy crap, this was like After on steroids! (And no, I don’t mean the sex scenes haha). Elle Kennedy has an easy, fresh writing style, which is perfect for those finishing an intense fantasy novel and needing a lighter follow-up read. It’s full of sarcasm and cocky, college athletes, so where can you go wrong?

I personally really enjoyed the characters in this novel, but I could see a lot of readers finding them annoying or lacking character development. Hannah, our main character, is a musical performance major who dreams of pursuing a music related career. The author showed us so many sides of Hannah’s character throughout the novel, including some intimate, fragile states. Hannah was raped in the past, causing her feel uncertain around alcohol and sex. Throughout the novel, Kennedy sends us through Hannah’s story of overcoming her fear of these subjects, even after years in therapy. Now, that’s where Garrett comes in. I loved Garrett from the beginning. As the captain of the hockey team, he knows how to go after what he wants. At first it was solely a professional career in hockey. Then it was a good mark on his Ethics midterm. Then it was . . . well, it was Hannah. From the moment he met her, he knew he wanted her for more than just helping him to boost his ethics mark. And his motivations can be admired as he didn’t back down from any of the times she told him “No.” Both Garrett and Hannah’s characters developed an incredible amount throughout the novel, as relationships developed and others were broken.

I’m not going to lie, there are definitely some annoying characters throughout the novel. Characters like Cass and MJ I found were necessary for the storyline, but came across as “non-developed”. Cass was bratty and MJ lacked the ability to make her own choices, which I believe would have made her a much stronger character! However, I loved both Garrett and Hannah’s friend groups and they definitely played pivotal roles in helping our main characters make some difficult choices throughout the novel!

Also, did I mention that this book features a hot group of HOCKEY players. Sure, there’s also players from the football team are mentioned in the novel, but Garrett’s main group of friends is the hockey team. This is a key detail that means a lot to me as a Canadian, since it is not often that we see hockey as the main sport in young adult novels. After finishing The Deal, I found out that Elle Kennedy herself is Canadian too, making this detail make so much more sense!

Overall I found this novel to be a light, addicting contemporary that was very difficult to put down. There were quite a few nights where I definitely should’ve been reviewing some pathways for physiology, but found myself so invested in this novel. It’s a page turner, that’s for sure. But, if you enjoy sports and contemporary novels (Oh, and hot guys!), definitely give this novel a go!

Buy The Deal at the following retailers:
Indigo | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Amazon