Size Doesn’t Matter (32): Mini Reviews from a Lazy Blogger

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (32): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerTake the Fall by Emily Hainsworth
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

WHO KILLED GRETCHEN MEYER?

Fear grips the residents of Hidden Falls the night Sonia Feldman and her best friend, Gretchen Meyer, are attacked in the woods. Sonia was lucky to escape with her life, but Gretchen’s body is discovered at the bottom of a waterfall. Beautiful, popular, and seemingly untouchable, Gretchen can’t be gone. Even as Sonia struggles with guilt and confusion over having survived, the whole town is looking to her for information…could she have seen something that will lead the police to the killer?

At the top of the list of suspects is Gretchen’s ex-boyfriend—and Sonia’s longtime enemy—Marcus Perez. So when Marcus comes to Sonia for help clearing his name, she agrees, hoping to find evidence the police need to prove he’s the killer. But as Gretchen’s many secrets emerge and the suspects add up, Sonia feels less sure of Marcus’s involvement, and more afraid for herself. Could Marcus, the artist, the screwup, the boy she might be falling for have attacked her? Killed her best friend? And if it wasn’t him in the woods that night…who could it have been?

Take the Fall kept me thoroughly entertained from beginning to end, though it never ventured into the feelsy arena. I debated between a 3 and a 3.5, but the ending decided me on the lower rating. Thriller readers may enjoy this one more, but for the dabbler in the genre, this wouldn’t be my first choice.

Hainsworth does a nice job establishing pace and tension, keeping me curious who the murderer was and what would happen next. It’s a fun read. Sonia’s voice, while not quite VOICE is solid. Her possible romance with Marcus had my attention, and it verged on shippy at points. The other characters tend to be a bit one note; characterization is not the strong point of the book.

The plot certainly is twisty and intense, which I liked. It’s basically Mean Girls, if Gretchen was left behind after Regina George was murdered, which honestly is going to make this confusing since the Regina character is named Gretchen. But whatever.

Unfortunately, I can’t talk about the rest without spoilers so peace out if you don’t want to spoiled. View Spoiler »

Also, excuse me, how did they book just end right where it did? I want to know more; this resolution was not satisfying. Basically, this book was fun, but I’d recommend some other mystery/thrillers before I would this one.

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (32): Mini Reviews from a Lazy BloggerRight of First Refusal by Dahlia Adler
Series: Radleigh University #2
Published by Author on March 15, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 340
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

On the lacrosse field, Cait Johannssen gets what she wants. Off the field is another story. Because what she wants is the school's hot new basketball student-coach, Lawrence Mason, who also happens to be the guy who broke her heart in sports camp two years earlier.

But it's Cait's new roommate who's got him.

Cait and Mase agree it's best to keep their past a secret, but she doesn't expect him to completely ignore their history...or how much it'll hurt when he does. So when a friend on the basketball team asks her to pose as his girlfriend for a night, Cait can't turn down the opportunity for distraction. (Okay, and a little spite.) But what starts as an evening of fun turns into a fake relationship with more lies than the usually drama-free Cait can handle, and it's only keeping her from the one truth that's nagged at her for years: Why did Mase cut her out of his life to begin with?

And is it really too late to get him back?

Dahlia asked me to proofread Right of First Refusal for her, like I’m a professional or something, which is massively flattering, and also I super love her face. You can take my assessment or leave it, as a result, but I review, in some measure, everything I read in full, so I’m going to do it here too.

Right of First Refusal isn’t my favorite of Dahlia’s books—that would be Just Visiting, which seriously I can never push enough—but it’s still excellent. There are some things you can always count on getting from a Dahlia Adler book: a ship (though the kinds of ships vary with the characters, which I guess duh), different characters and voices in each book, and a strong focus on familial relationships and friendships.

Dahlia’s NA walks that line between standard NA tropes and being what I want the genre to be. There’s high drama here, with a love triangle of majorly inconvenient proportions. The pasts aren’t tragic, but it’s not straight up fluff either. The sex is hot, although there’s less in Cait’s book than in Lizzie’s (Last Will and Testament), since Lizzie and Cait are very different people and Cait’s love interest has a girlfriend for much of the book.

Right of First Refusal fits Cait as a character, who she and Mase are. As such, it’s not the banteriest book she’s written. That said, though banter is really what gets my ship a-sailing, I am pro the Cait/Mase ship, even though it’s not a trope I usually go for so much (aka the exes who have grown up and still have FEELINGS). It’s done really well; it wasn’t an all-caps SHIP for me, but I really enjoyed their story and rooted for them to work things out. Also, interracial couples for the win.

I even enjoyed the sports, though I realized how little I know about lacrosse. The story shines especially on Lizzie’s arc with her family. My one reservation there is that I zero percent gained any appreciation for Abigail, which I would have liked to. Otherwise, I really like the resolution Dahlia puts on that. I also like that Cait doesn’t react with Grace but she’s also not a total little shit about her dad getting remarried; it seems more realistic than most fictional interpretations. Her reaction is complex, and, as is the case in a lot of Adler books, I think that’s what’s really driving Cait emotionally, more even than the overshining drama with Mase.

Most of all, I super CANNOT wait for Out on Good Behavior, aka the f/f book starring Frankie. There’s a preview at the end, and, omg, I can already tell there’s going to be more banter and sex and here for IT. Right of First Refusal will probably be my third favorite in the series, but, hey, everyone’s got their particular tropes, right? If rekindling past flames is what you’re into, you definitely need this one. If you enjoy Dahlia Adler books, you’re not going to be disappointed.

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