Since arranged-marriage-turned-love scenarios are my guilty pleasure books, I figured I’d give this a try. It’s kind of a modern fairy tale, and I’ve been eyeing these covers for a while.
I almost read the whole thing in one sitting. Because who needs sleep?
Just like watching TLC or any of those Bachelor TV shows, this book was the chocolate bar hidden in the underwear drawer. It was the perfect compilation of teenage romance and class dystopia, with royalty, and a love triangle, and that special girl who could have been anyone – even you.
And I loved it.
A part of me feels like a cheat reviewer giving this book 5 stars when the top voted Goodreads reviews are mostly 1 star because it’s unoriginal or the names are ridiculous or a myriad of reasons, but I don’t care. I enjoyed it. Yes, it was no literary masterpiece but reading it made me happy and isn’t that what life is all about?
However, I will say that I will not be picking up the next one. I was on the fence because I didn’t like how the competition didn’t end with book 1, so I was curious, but apparently in book 2 the love triangle continues on in a way that’s just not my style. No thanks. So I’ll sit the rest of this series out and keep the shiny memories of this 5 star in my head.
Overall, a very enjoyable guilty pleasure read. Don’t expect anything but that and you’ll be satisfied.
One thing I can get behind is trying to get behind a label. When people see you as a geek/queer/jock/whatever, they see what those labels define, not the actual person beneath them. Once you fall into one, it’s branded on you until you do something drastic to change it.
How many of us wished we could just start over? Leave our old lives behind and be someone new? That’s what this book is about.
It’s also about the fact that you can’t. Making new friends doesn’t change who you are. Trying new activities doesn’t make you stop liking your old ones. You can always better yourself, but if you’re lying and repressing your true feelings then it’s not worth it.
Openly Straight was the kind of book that comes with a message, and it’s not afraid to show it. Not a ‘gay is ok’ message, but a ‘the only person who cares about your image is you’ message. How you see yourself is half of how others see you.
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book, the story is interesting and engaging and fun to read, but for some reason I couldn’t quite connect with the characters, aside from Ben. They all felt so judgmental. It didn’t matter which label they were on, they all judged others based on theirs. Even at the end, Rafe (the MC) has his revelations and still (subconsciously?) criticizes his ex-friends for being who they are. It was a bit off-putting. Still, Rafe did accept responsibility for his actions, and that’s what matters.
Overall, it’s a great book for teens, and I would recommend it to anyone struggling with self-identity, queer or not.
As much as I love the convenience of ebooks, I still can’t wait to hold a physical copy of Rise in my hands. Then, it won’t just be a file on my computer. It’s something real. Tangible. Undeniable.
Seeing it pop up as available for pre-order on Amazon was the highlight of my day.
And imagining it in the hands of my readers?
Only a few weeks to go until the big day. Dreams do come true!
Check out my exclusive cover reveal on YA Interrobang!
I can’t post the cover on here, but I can link it!
AAAAH! So exciting! I can’t believe this is actually happening!
I would like to announce that I have signed with Blue Moon Publishers for my YA fantasy novel series, the first of which is set to release this fall!
Click here for my author reveal interview!
And meanwhile, add me on twitter @AnnaKoppAuthor and check me out on Facebook! I always add back!
Wait, I read a book 2 of something? It must be good!
And good it was! (You were holding your breath there for a moment, weren’t you?)
It’s so nice to find a series that has all the elements – an interesting plot, characters you care for, a little mystery, a little romance, and a dash of the unexplained – in a book that’s not the size of a brick.
I love being able to just sit down for a few hours and feel content upon my reading’s end. No need for staying up til 3am with ‘one more chapter’. Shorter books are the new black.
Just as the first in the series, this book is a smooth ride from start to finish. Some twists I didn’t see coming – and others I noticed from a mile away. I was quite surprised as to where the story headed, and I’m not sure what to expect from book 3.
Overall, this book is rich with emotion, and will definitely keep you engaged, but make sure you read #1 first – there’s no ‘recap’ to fill you in. Then again, why wouldn’t you? It’s definitely worth the time.