Saturday, September 22, 2012

Contemporary mini-reviews (Catching Jordan, Chain Reaction, Falling Fast, Taken by Storm)

One of my favourite types of books to read are contemporary YA.  I love stories based in real life.  Especially love stories, which the following books are.  I wish I had more time to share more thoughts about these books with you, but I'm desperately trying to catch up!

 Catching Jordan by Miranda Keneally

I was really excited to read Catching Jordan!  I love the idea of more stories which feature female athletes.  Especially female athletes that compete in a sport in which men usually dominate, such as American football.  I'm not the biggest fan in the world of American football, but I've been exposed to it quite a bit over the years through TV and films.  I did sort of go into Catching Jordan hoping that it was similar to Friday Night Lights but with a female quarterback.  ...but it isn't.  That isn't to say that it isn't enjoyable and that it doesn't provide a thought-provoking story about women in sports. It does.

But something about it also grated on me slightly.  There's no way the main character of this book, Jordan, would ever wear a mini-skirt and tank top like the girl on the cover.  Because Jordan is all about what other people think of her, especially her team mates.  She doesn't like to show too much skin, she has rules about not dating any of her teammates.  Because what she really wants is some proper respect - from her teammates, her father, and from universities that she's hoping to go to soon and play some college ball.  I think what I didn't like about this book is Jordan herself.  I wasn't too keen on her as a character, I didn't quite agree with a lot of the decisions that she made.  My favourite aspect of the novel is the friendship and cameraderie that Jordan has with her friends and the other football players on her team.  I liked that dynamic much more than Jordan's struggles with her family and university prospects or the way in which she's undecided about her feelings for new boy Ty.  Interesting and enjoyable, but not my favourite.

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

I've enjoyed the previous two book by Simone Elkeles about the Fuentes brothers, but I'm not their biggest fan.  I like them, but they wouldn't make my top ten list of swoonworthy love interests, or my list of favourite contemporary romances.  So with that in mind, I thought Chain Reaction to be very similar in tone to the two previous books.  It was highly readable and I flew through the pages quite quickly.  I preferred Luis, the youngest Fuentes brother, to Alex, by far, but I think Carlos still wins out overall. 

I was kind of expecting this book to be vastly different from two Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction.  Nikki is meant to be the 'bad' one as opposed to Luis.  But it didn't feel that way at all, as Luis still ends up involved in the politics and difficulties that go along with the gang culture.  I didn't feel as though as anything new was brought to this series.  That isn't to say that I didn't enjoy reading this book or the series, but for me, nothing about this book or the other two stood out.  (Plus it goes without saying that I hated the epilogue with a passion.)

Falling Fast by Sophie McKenzie

Sophie McKenzie is an author that I've discovered fairly recently.  In fact, I read several of her books within a short period of time - Girl, Missing, the first Medusa book and Falling Fast.  All three of them are very short, quick books to read.  They're all very interesting books to read and I've become quite excited to read more books by the same author.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Falling Fast at first.  It's a pretty straight forward love story between two teenagers, River and Flynn.  And that seems very different from The Medusa Project or Sophie McKenzie's other books for teenagers.  I really liked it.  There are times when only a good contemporary love story will do the trick, and for me, Falling Fast came to me at the perfect timing.  I spent my few hours with it and finished the book with a smile on my face.

I really loved two things about this book in particular. The first is the addition of Romeo and Juliet into the story.  I'm a big fan of the play and certainly was at a similar age to River's, so for me, reading about the play brought back happy memories of me as a naive, lovesick teenager.  The second thing I loved about this book is how River wants to be in love. She wants to be in this huge, over the top, cinematic type of love and instead she faces love in a more realistic setting.  There's plenty of ups and downs with this type of love, as witnessed with her first foray into a relationship with Flynn, who is far from perfect.  I shall be eagerly looking out for the sequel to read more of River and Flynn's relationship!

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison

Taken By Storm really took me by surprise.  I hadn't heard a great deal about this book before I read it (I especially had no idea that it is the first book in a series of books about the same characters!) and possibly if I had known that this isn't a standalone novel, I might not have picked it up.  It's an interesting story, one in which I fel emotionally connected, I just have issues with a story being drawn out over 3 books where I felt like everything that needed to be said could be said in the space of one book.

This is a love story involving two completely different people.  Leesie Hunt has everything under control.  She has rules against kissing and sex and dating boys outside of her Mormon faith.  Her ultimate dream is to go to a major Mormon university and spend time


  1. Really interesting reviews. I've only read Falling Fast out of these, and I've read Perfect Chemistry but not its sequels. It's great to be introduced to the other titles. Thanks!

    1. You're welcome Luisa! I really enjoyed all of these books, some more than others! It's nice to read a good contemp YA novel every now and again :)

  2. Great reviews, I have Catching Jordan waiting on my shelf, really looking forward to reading it.

  3. Fab reviews! It's a pity Catching Jordan and Chain Reaction didn't stand out for you, but I'm glad you enjoyed the other two! I agree with you about some books being unnecessarily turned into series - grrr, it's so annoying!

  4. Love your mini reviews!! I don't think I could ever do them. I tend to ramble!

  5. It's such a shame you didn't fall in love with Chain Reaction like I did. I do have to disagree on the favourite Fuentes brother though - I love Alex! :)

  6. I love Miranda and Simone's books!! I actually just read "Stealing Parker" today and LOVED IT!!! :)
    Here's my review if you're interested:


    1. Oh, I hadn't heard of Stealing Parker until you mentioned it! I'm off to have a look, thanks :)


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