arc · review · romance · young adult

Kiss and Break Up by Ella Fields

Kiss and Break Up
by Ella Fields

Rating: ★★★★★
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Dashiell Thane wasn’t a nice guy.
He was an abrasive, demanding, conniving, intolerable brat.
Yet somehow, we’d been best friends our whole lives.
Until our senior year when I finally decided to dip my toes into the dating pool.

All it took was one kiss for jealousy, lies, and betrayal to sweep in and propel us heart first into dizzying, hostile depths.

You’re not supposed to kiss your best friend.
You’re definitely not supposed to kiss your best friend while you’re dating someone else.
And the absolute worst thing you could do is fall for your best friend.
Unless, of course, you want to ruin everything.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

I’m so intrigued by this newfound world of Magnolia Cove. Desperate to read more, too. Friends to lovers isn’t my favourite romance trope, but Ella Fields is an excellent wordsmith and brilliant writer—Dashiell Thane and Peggy Newland have carved themselves a home in my heart. Engraved themselves in my psyche. Kiss and Break Up is an all-consuming romance that will captivate your attention with its raw depiction of falling in love with your best friend, leaving your heart aching and your belly fluttering.

“Six ways from Sunday, you’ve fucked me, and I’ve yet to find anything satisfying about it.”

Bad boys and anti-heroes who are non-conforming, defying society’s every expectation, arrogant and conceited have my undying love. And they own every facet of my heart! Dash isn’t an exception, a sweet combination of infuriating and irresistable. Brutally honest and unapologetically passionate, Dash possesses an unwavering devotion to Pegs that made me sigh in frustration and swoon in bliss at his over-protectiveness.

Peggy couldn’t be anymore different to Dash. She’s kind and sweet, yet sassy and fierce; inexperienced with relationships and boyfriends; and full of life, unique eccentricity and realistic authenticity. Despite being Dash’s opposite in almost every way, the complex and multifaceted relationship they have—the connection they have formed—is so endearing!

I’d fallen for my best friend, and she was breaking my fucking heart.

Kiss and Break Up is wonderfully enthralling. When an innocent kiss turns this easy-going friendship into an intense, jealous infested, angst-ridden mess, your emotions will soar and your heart will shatter. Without fail, it realistically demonstrates that love isn’t easy—sometimes it is bittersweet, complicated beyond recognition, full of heart-aching emotions and frayed around the edges, but tender moments and irreplaceable memories await.

If you’re invested in pure innocence, teenage dramatics and first loves, Kiss and Break Up is whole-heartedly recommended, because beyond this friends to lovers narrative is rich story filled with a myriad of emotions and beautifully written characters. I wouldn’t turn away from a standalone featuring Daphne, Lars, Jackson and Willa. I’m very much unready to leave Magnolia Cove!

arc · review · romance

ARC Review | One Small Thing by Erin Watt

One Small Thing

by Erin Watt


SYNOPSIS

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Her parents try to lock her down, believing they can keep her safe by monitoring her every move. When Beth sneaks out to a party one night and meets the new guy in town, Chase, she’s thrilled to make a secret friend. It seems a small thing, just for her.

Only Beth doesn’t know how big her secret really is…

Fresh out of juvie and determined to start his life over, Chase has demons to face and much to atone for, including his part in the night Beth’s sister died. Beth, who has more reason than anyone to despise him, is willing to give him a second chance. A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for senior year, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings get.

Now Beth has a choice to make—follow the rules, or risk tearing everything apart…again.


REVIEW

One Small Thing is my first story by Erin Watt. I had good faith that One Small Thing wouldn’t steer me in the opposite direction after hearing many good things about their series, The Royals. Thankfully it didn’t!

It is vastly different from my usual reading pattern as this is more young adult and while the romance was prominent it wasn’t heavy.

Three years ago, Elizabeth “Beth” Jones’ older sister, Rachel was killed in an accident, changing everyone’s lives in different ways. Now she’s trying to live life freely after spending those years suffocating underneath her parents’ over-protective and controlling ways, starting by sneaking out and going to parties outside of town.

Charles “Charlie/Chuck” Donnelley has just been released from juvie after carrying out three years for manslaughter. When he meets the sweet and beautiful Beth, she’s intrigued by this aura of mystery he appears to have. She doesn’t realise that this meeting will have repercussions that will inevitably see her world implode into a million pieces.

One Small Thing is about forgiveness, dealing with loss and family dynamics. It is also so much more, as it touches upon high school bullying, sexual assault and acceptance.

While Beth’s actions seem selfish, they are also understandable, because our formative years often happen while we’re teenagers, where we grow, change and learn who we are as individuals.

Underneath her seeming detached exterior is someone who’s suffering. Beth misses Rachel, the boy she wants is all kinds of wrong, her parents are smothering her and everyone around her seems to be telling her how she should feel.

I have two minor complaints about this story. One, I pretty much hated every secondary character. Everyone had to have an opinion on everything apparently. And some of them were just downright, unapologetic horrible human beings. Two, the end was abrupt and rushed. There wasn’t any closure and rather be shown the conclusion, it was told in several pages.

Otherwise, One Small Thing is a wonderful coming of age young adult story I recommend, especially if you’re wanting something a little different from the usual!


ARC provided by NetGalley and Harlequin Teen

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