Tag: Theresa Paolo

Lightning Review: (Never)Again by Theresa Paolo

Posted June 23, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Lightning Review: (Never)Again by Theresa PaoloReviewer: Holly
(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo
Series: Again #1
Published by Intermix, Penguin
Publication Date: October 15th 2013
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 242
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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two-half-stars

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.
When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex's voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls' bathroom.
Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn't leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?
Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

When a story is told in first person I really need to engage with the narrator for it to work for me. Sadly, I didn’t connect with this narrator at all, which kind of killed the story for me.

Though I enjoyed the basic premise – high school sweetheart turns up at college and wants girl back – it wasn’t executed as well as I’d hoped it would be. Liz, the heroine, was on the immature side of young, which made for some contradictory thoughts and actions. I had a hard time putting myself in her shoes, so I couldn’t really understand why she made a lot of the decisions she did.

Though I finished the story, I never really engaged. Not a terrible read, but not a great one either.

2.75 out of 5

This book is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

Posted October 31, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

18209476Tracy’s review of (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex’s voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls’ bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn’t leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

Liz Wagner is having a great freshman year. She’s got great friends and a great boyfriend and all is well – until she sees her old boyfriend standing in the hall near one of her classes and realizes that he’s a student at the same school.

You see Liz and Zach had been incredibly in love and inseparable during their junior year of high school. Then Zach’s dad took a job transfer and he ended up moving across country. Liz was devastated but dealt with it all in her own way. She was managing until Zach stopped calling and she never heard from him again. She eventually found out that Zach was still in contact with her brother but that didn’t mend her broken heart.

So it’s been over a year and Liz thinks she’s way over Zach and tries to deal with having him back in her life but everywhere she turns, there he is. She doesn’t want to be jealous of the girls showing him attention but she soon realizes it’s because she’s still in love with him. Of course where does that leave the boyfriend, Joe, that she supposedly loves and is about to give her virginity to?

This is the story of two kids who were once in love and have reunited – not necessarily in a good way. I had some mixed feelings about the whole book and while I really liked parts of it, others just kind of left me cold.
I think the major part of the problem was that I really didn’t connect with either Liz or Zach on a deep level. The story was told in first person from Liz’s point of view and I frankly got tired of her really fast. I wanted Zach’s thoughts in there as well and Liz just seemed so very whiney and immature that it was hard to like her. The other major issue was the depth of the love between Liz and Zach that they supposedly had. Maybe I’m just cynical and don’t think that 16 year olds know whether they’re in love for a lifetime or not. I just don’t see that intensity happening in high school. Sex? Yes. Abiding love? Not so much.

The one part of the story that I really liked was Zach. Now, granted, I saw him strictly through Liz’s eyes but I thought that guy was smart, funny, had his head on straight and didn’t let his peers run his life. His major flaw, IMHO, was that he wanted Liz. I know, ouch. Sorry, but that’s just my opinion.

In the end I thought this was a “good” read. Not great, not horrible but good.

Rating: 3 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This title is available from InterMix.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

Posted October 3, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

18209476Judith’s review of (Never) Again by Theresa Paolo

Just when she had finally moved on…
…He moved back.

When college freshman Liz Wagner hears her ex’s voice for the first time since he moved clear across the freaking country, she does what any respectable girl would do: Dive into the girls’ bathroom.

Zach Roberts—the Zach Roberts—is back. And he’s everywhere Liz looks—infiltrating her friend group, buddy-buddy with her brother. It’s enough to ruin college altogether. But what choice does she have but to put on a happy face and pretend he didn’t leave her vulnerable and alone in a pile of emotional wreckage?

Pretending works, until tragedy strikes and the only person available for comfort is the one person she wants to stay away from. When Zach turns out not to be the jerk she convinced herself he was, but the boy she used to love, Liz needs to decide whether to open her heart again to the boy who tore it out.

There are a ton of novels that have come out in recent months that are based on the premise that the hero jilted/left without a word/broke the heart of the heroine years before.  This novel embraces that premise but applies it to individuals who are literally beginner adults–college students and in the case of Liz, a young woman who has not yet recovered from the hurt of a high school crush gone sour.  The novel is written in the heroine’s voice and I have to say up front that I have never liked that form of narrative as well as a third person style.  Yet there is a winsome quality to Liz.  It is hard to warm up to her, though.  She is so very young and so very naive in relation to her personal responses to the emotional circumstances wherein she finds herself.    It’s also one of the reasons I don’t read as much young adult fiction as some other reviewers.

That being said, my positive response to this book waned as the story progressed.  Emotions are illogical and yet there are logical responses available to young and old alike when it comes to determining the validity of a relationship.  It was painful to watch Liz’s involvement with Joe–a man who simply treated her like s____!  And knowing that her fear of repeated hurt kept her in that relationship made me ill at ease and sometimes really angry.  The author is to be commended for being up front and honest about the negatives in these relationships–the stuff many young people experience and the kinds of ups and downs emotionally we have all gone through as we have dealt with the challenges of life.  That Liz had a lack of maturity is, I think, accepted by most of those who have read this story.  Yet she did come to her senses eventually.  However, to my way of thinking, not soon enough.   There were times when I thought her behavior so immature I wondered why Zach even wanted to bother with her.  I guess it speaks to his determination to be honest about his feelings even when he had to be aware that Liz was as skittish as a young colt.

I was disappointed in so many ways with this novel but that is not to say that possibly that response has more to say about me as a person than about the book itself.  I am willing to take the responsibility for that negative response.  The author has written a finely crafted story in and of itself.  I just didn’t think it lived up to the hype.  I know there is a particular pain in being young and perhaps that is the most authentic aspect of this story that the writer was able to capture.  It’s too bad that Liz and Zach couldn’t have found their way back to one another as adults and not as people with an arrested case of adolescent development emotionally.

I give this novel a rating of 2 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This title is available from InterMix.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 17, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Hey there everyone! How are you? Life here is…interesting. I won’t get into details but I’ll say there’s never a dull moment. lol

Giveaways:

I currently have a few giveaways going on the blog…
A digital copy of Protector by Joanne Wadsworth – book 1 in the Magio-Earth series. (YA)
A print copy of Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotica – an anthology of m/m short stories edited by Shane Allison. (this giveaway is US Only)
**My 2013 5 Star Read Giveaway – a list of my 5 star reads (so far) and you can win 1 of them in digital fro the book seller of your choice. 
**And…I’ll have another one coming up this week so check back!

Also, the winner of Blue Hydrangeas by Marianne Sciucco was Crystal C-B – Congratulations! Crystal I’ve already passed your email address off to Marianne so you should get your book soon if you haven’t already.

On to what I read last week:

First up was a novella in Elder Races series by Thea Harrison called The Wicked. The story was about an Owl shifter who was working on security while a group of magical librarians got ancient tomes off of Carling Severin’s island. It was a really good novella. 4 out of 5

Next was Steam Bath: Sweaty Gay Erotic edited by Shane Allison. This was an anthology of short stories all centered around bath houses. Lots of sweat, and lots of sex. 🙂 You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Rumors That Ruined a Lady by Marguerite Kaye was historical romance based around a woman, Caro, who is married and has left her husband. Her hubby then spread rumors about her that were NOT true. Her “friend” Sebastian helps her and saves her life and they end up falling in love. It was a much darker book than expected but really great. This one comes out next month and isn’t to be missed. 4 out of 5 (Is it just me or does the lady on the cover look like Annette Bening??)

My next read was one of the free reads that All Romance eBooks put out in their Fall in Love series giveaway called Tied and True by Marie Harte. The story is about a woman who hears her coworker spouting off that he has a “money shot” of her. She breaks into his house to get the pic but ends up tying him to the bed for most of the weekend to have her way with him. It was a decent short story – and it was free! lol 3 out of 5

The Volatile Amazon by Sandy James is book 4 in the Alliance of the Amazon series. This book follows Sarita the water amazon and her pretty much star crossed relationship with a highlander named Ian. It was a pretty great book and a great end to the series. I’ll post my review of this one next week. 4.25/4.5 out of 5

Edenbrooke (A Proper Romance) by Julianne Donaldson was a great little historical that follows Marianne Daventry as she heads off to Edenbrooke to visit with her sister who’s also visiting there. She meets Philip one of the sons of Edenbrooke but she has no idea that this is the man that her twin sister Cecily has her eye on. The romance is very sweet and I loved watching Philip and Marianne together. 4 out of 5 

(Never) Again by Theresa Paolo is a New Adult story about a girl who is in her first year of college when she meets up with her ex-boyfriend who broke her heart. The book is about her dealing with him, her current boyfriend, her virginity, her brother and others. It was a decent read but I did have some issues with Liz and her manic way of dealing with her life. 3 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Lycan’s Mate by Chandler Dee is a short story about a woman/alpha of her pack who is gearing up for the “chase” that will decide who her mate will be. The story is strange and short and kind of leaves you hanging. I was just feeling like it might be something I could get into and then it stopped. Odd, very odd. 1 out of 5

Last for the week was Runaway by Sandy James. This is book 2 in the Safe Havens series. The story is about heiress Cassie Shay who saves 2 men from death – death that her uncle ordered. Those two men, Ty Bishop and Jake Curtis then help Cassie escape from her family who wants her to marry a evil abusive man twice her age. Ty and Cassie fall in love on their way back to White Pines, Montana but the welcome they get in White Pines from Ty’s adopted family isn’t all hearts and butterflies when they find out that Cassie belongs to the Shay family.  I’ll post my review for this one this week.

 
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fighting Fate by Linda Kage
Not Planning on You by Sydney Landon
The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Happy Reading!


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