Sunday, February 2, 2014

Double Review: My Favorite Mistake and My Sweetest Escape

My Favorite Mistake was one of those books that I'd picked up a long time ago, started, and couldn't seem to get into, so I put it back on my to-read pile. When I needed to review My Sweetest Escape for its release, I had to finish the first book. I can't read books out of order, even if they are standalones. And this time I actually liked it!

Rating: 3.5 stars!
Okay, this cover is seriously gorgeous! And HOT. I love it. :)

Anyway, like I said above, I'd started this book when the ARC I won came in the mail. But somehow, I couldn't seem to get into it. I couldn't connect with Taylor, and the writing style seemed really immature at the time. But once I picked it back up, I couldn't seem to stop reading. 

The whole book is in Taylor Caldwell's POV, but I never really missed that other side to the story. Hunter had his own personality and dominated the pages he was in, so only having one character's POV didn't make me dislike the story. I was still able to connect with that charming bad boy. And the second time I read this, I could actually connect with Taylor. She's not a nice person, definitely not. But she has baggage, and there's a reason why she's so cold and unattainable. It's a reason that made her really grow on me by the end of the story. 

I LOVED HUNTER. Okay, but seriously, he's pretty friggin' amazing. He does have a tendency to be a bit of an asshole, but I just don't care. He's funny, charming, and totally irresistible. And, he will protect and love his family and friends with his life. That includes Taylor, even if she is a bitch to him all the time. They balanced each other out well, just seemed to fit together perfectly. And seriously, the chemistry between them them was off-the-charts HOT. I spent most of the book just wanting to scream at them to rip each other's clothes off already. The tension and drama between them was perfectly balanced throughout the book. 

What I love about Chelsea Cameron's books, is her writing style and the fact that she doesn't over-complicate her story-line, or play up the melodramatics. Her writing is always humorous, fun, and real. And she doesn't make her stories overly dramatic! It's just the right amount of realness and tension. The secret that Taylor was hiding was sort of dragged out, but it wasn't melodramatic with unnecessary conflict. 

But, as much as I liked this book, I didn't love it. It took me a long time to finish, and sometimes the back and forth between Taylor and Hunter was really annoying. It almost seemed to drag on until the last possible moment. Not to mention, sometimes the plot was pretty boring in that not much was happening. But the characters were all wonderfully fleshed out, and I loved the interactions between all of them the most. My Favorite Mistake was just a fun, humorous read that didn't drip with dramatics. 

***

*I received a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly don't know why the author decided to create a sequel, but I would have been happier had My Favorite Mistake been a standalone. I mean, it is, but I could have done without this attempt at another story with most of the same characters. I ended up disliking the main character, and the relationship between her and Dusty wasn't played up enough and was quite boring. 

My rating: 2 stars!
Just like in the first story, I could not connect with the main character. However, unlike Taylor, Jos did not grow on me. I found her to be pretty unlikable. She has this attitude and a tendency to bitch about everything going on in her life. There's a this "huge secret" that she's hiding, which was definitely dragged out way too much. I ended up not even caring anymore about why she was the way she was, because it took so damn long to understand what had happened to her. We get little bits and pieces, enough to kind of understand. And then when we do find out, it's just sort of glossed over and tossed aside. It's not this huge thing that made me ache for the main character, nor something that made me think: "Oh, now I get it." It was definitely overplayed and not in the good way.

So, I absolutely loved seeing the same cast of characters again. The conversations and interactions between them were, aside from Taylor and Hunter's relationship, my favorite parts of the first book. And I was so excited that they were all in this story! This gang of friends is just adorable, and I loved that they were a huge part of this novel. 

I think they were my only favorite part of My Sweetest Escape. I know I said I loved how Chelsea didn't overplay the drama in her stories, but I think this book could have improved with a bit more drama. Just more of something! A lot of this novel is just Jos and her inner dialogue, complete with angst that could rival a YA character and a sassy personality that I would have found endearing on another MC. There wasn't much going on that I found myself completely bored. 

And I found myself bored with hers and Dusty's relationship. It wasn't smothered in sexual tension like Taylor's and Hunter's, nor was I swooning over their romance. I think it was really underdeveloped. Their conversations never really went that deep until Jos' secret comes out, nor did they talk all that much. Much of their interactions were just skirting around the issue that they wanted each other but both had reasons not to go for it. Not to mention, Jos is just a bitch to Dusty, who takes everything she hands him because he thinks this girl is a fucking Queen. Their little "drama" didn't even add to the relationship; it only created completely unnecessary angst. It was too high school for my tastes, especially considering the fact that these characters are in college. And I think it developed way too slowly, and the I love yous seemed rushed. 

I was just really disappointed with this book, this sequel. The only thing I loved about it was the fact that I got to see the gang again, with many interactions between Hunter and Taylor also. :) Plus, I do really love Chelsea Cameron's writing style and sense of humor. She's always able to make me laugh with her stories. I just wish My Sweetest Escape had been something more, or had just not existed at all.