Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Review of Good and Better by S. Walden.

Title: GOOD
Author: S.Walden
Publication Date: August 25th 2013

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She just happens to make one terrible mistake her junior year in high school which costs her ten months in juvenile detention. Now a senior, she's lost everything: her best friend, the trust of her parents, driving privileges, Internet access. It's a lonely existence.

But there is one bright spot: Mark Connelly, her very cute, very off-limits 28-year-old calculus teacher. She falls hard for him--a ridiculous schoolgirl crush headed nowhere. She can't help it. He's the only good thing at Crestview High. She doesn't expect him to reciprocate her feelings. How inappropriate, right? But he does. And he shows her.

And that's when her life goes from bad to good.

Book 1 in the Too Good series. This series will be a two-parter. The second and final book is called "Better", and will be released Tuesday, November 19, 2013.


Georgia Law: 
(a) A person commits the offense of statutory rape when he or she engages in sexual intercourse with any person under the age of 16 years and not his or her spouse, provided that no conviction shall be had for this offense on the unsupported testimony of the victim.

If you are bothered by the details of this law or find it offensive in any way, then please do not read the book.

(New Adult Contemporary Romance. Translation: Description of drug use and explicit language and sex.)

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings!*

This book appealed to me because I know Summer Walden is a fantastic author and I wanted to know how she pulled this one off. I know some people will read this blurb and immediately be put off because the subject material is "taboo". However, it was the mere fact that it was taboo that peaked my interest.

Cadence Miller is a good girl. She goes to church, she's part of a good family. She seems like your typical god fearing teenager. That is until she ends up in a juvenile detention centre. She made one mistake, but it was a shockingly big one. So as punishment, she spent time in juvie. One day, a group from juvie are collecting trash from the side of the highway and Cadence sees a guy changing his tyre. This guy happens to be the most handsome guy she's ever seen. Shame she's in heer orange jumpsuit!
Upon her release from juvie, Cadence must return to school. She expects the nasty, snide remarks. She expects her peers to act as though she has some disease and stay as far away from her as possible. What she doesn't expect is the gorgeous guy from the side of the highway to be at school. Worse still, he isn't a student. He's going to be her Math teacher!
Cadence knows that falling for your teacher isn't exactly a wise idea - it's not like it could be reciprocated. He's her teacher, a totally "no go" zone. But they say you can't help who you fall for and in this case, that's exactly right. She falls for Mark Connelly. She convinces herself that it's all her and that he can't feel the same - but there are little things he says and does that niggle at her and make her question if he could actually feel anything for her. 
Mark knows that falling for his student isn't smart, but he can't help it. Since the day they met by the side of the highway, he's been attracted to her. 
When Mark finally confesses his attraction to Cadence, that's when she finally sees that her life can be good. It's been nothing short of Hell since she went to juvie and lost her friends. She makes one new friend at school, Avery - but Avery has her very own agenda for befriending Cadence. But Cadence doesn't care about Avery's agenda, as long as she covers for her so that she can sneak off and be with her teacher.

This book was nothing less than AMAZING! I was sucked in from the first word til the last. It was a wonderfully written, highly entertaining, page-turner. Let me share with you my Goodreads statuses so you get a feeling for how I felt while I was reading Good.
At 53%, I wrote: "Holy fucking shit! This book is amazing! The only thing 'good' about this book is the title! Move over every fictional or even real man that came before... Enter, Mr Mark Connelly!! I always love reading Summer Walden's words but this? This is something else entirely - not mere words on a page, more like a movie in my head. I AM Cadence... I feel Mark's hands on her, lips kissing her... WOW!!"
At 72%,  I wrote: "Shit! I need to go to bed and I DO. NOT. WANT. TO!!! This book is amazing. So glad I bought Better earlier today (when I was only 35% into Good) You can guess what I'm reading next, right?! I've laughed, I've cried, felt like I've received a punch to the gut... This book has a hold over me and gives me goose bumps all over with a delicious chill in the warm air."
At 84%, this was all I wrote: "I'm crying and snotting like a bloody baby!!" 
And when I finished, I said: "Oh. My. God!!!!!!! I am shaking right now. The ending has left my jaw on the floor and my heart in my throat. I need to read BETTER like I need to breathe oxygen! Summer Walden has done it again, she's totally amazed me and floored me and left me feeling... I'm not even sure how I feel apart from scared for Cadence and Mark and anticipating the next book!!"

This book provoked so many feelings in me. It was such a powerful story. I felt such a connection with Cadence, it was like I was her. I was totally and utterly in love with Mark Connelly and I needed the next book, Better, immediately. I downloaded it when I was around 25% into Good so that it would be waiting for me at the end.
I love the way Summer writes and how she isn't afraid to write something that pushes the boundaries. Her writing style is all-consuming, I can't help but get encompassed by it. 
Yes, there were times when I wanted to slap Cadence for her immaturity, but then I am a 30 year old woman and she is only 17, so, it was to be expected that I would find her actions a little childish. Mark made me want to rage and to knock some sense into him too. The characters both had their flaws - but that's what made them feel so real. Who isn't flawed? If you can show me someone without flaws, I will show you a liar.  
I hope when you are considering whether or not to read this story that you will stop to think that yes, the subject matter is seemingly a little taboo, but in reality, Cadence was a consenting adult and nothing they did was illegal. 

Now onto my review for BETTER. If you don't want any spoilers, then this is the place to stop reading. The only spoilers contained will be because you haven't read Better for yourself.

Author: S.Walden
Publication Date: November 19th 2013

Their relationship has been exposed, and now their lives are changed forever.

For Cadence Miller, the fast track to adulthood proves intimidating and frustrating. She’s a little girl lost—abandoned by her family and uncertain of her future. She doesn’t think she “fits” anywhere. She’s eighteen. She wants to be older. And the result is both comical and heartbreaking.

Mark Connelly will do anything to provide Cadence a stable, loving home—to be her protector. But he’s just as broken and lost, and his heart won’t let go of his past so easily. He knows he should share his secret with Cadence. He should trust that she’ll understand. But what if she doesn’t? What if their love doesn’t grow stronger?

What if it doesn’t get better?

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 wings!*

What can I say about Better? It is yet another example of Summer Walden's all-consuming, fantastic writing. This story is where we find out a lot more from Mark's POV. He is a 28 year old high school teacher who is in love with his student. He knows he'd lose his job if anyone found out but it turns out Cadence is more important than his job.
Cadence's family knows about their relationship and now with it exposed, it's only a matter of time before the school finds out. 
Mark and Cadence are suddenly thrust out into the limelight and though they say 'what doesn't break you makes you stronger', there is something in the air that says the couple are fighting an uphill battle that makes them both question whether their love will survive. 
Cadence is a little girl lost in a grown-up world, she needs something to anchor her before she drifts off, lost at sea. She gets a job and she goes to college - but she didn't expect to feel the way she does about things. 
Mark has a secret. Though the couple have been together for a year, Cadence doesn't know what Mark has hidden in his past. Her attempts to find out fall flat. He knows he has to tell her, yet there's never going to be a "right time". 
We see their relationship progress and blossom. We are witness to the ups and downs of a relationship that everyone thought of as doomed to fail. Yes, there are trials and tribulations both must endure. But if you are anything like me, you will be rooting for them to pull through it all and come out stronger. 
I absolutely adore Mark, he really is one of my favourite love interests of 2013. I love Cadence too. Though she is prone to bouts of typical teenage behaviour, I felt a connection with her because I myself was in a relationship with a large age gap at her age. I was 17 and he was 36. I had 2 step-children and one step-grandchild to contend with and I really was a little girl lost in a world where grown-up was something I wanted to be, and I had to grow up fast in order to deal with the stresses and strains of such a relationship. so yes, I totally felt for Cadence. 
My Goodreads statuses said:
55%: "I've laughed and I've cried which, to me, means that Summer Walden has cast her spell upon me once more. I am having to go to bed now as I am finally at a point where I feel okay stopping - if not for the late hour (midnight) I would read it in one sitting. I have read 55% straight off and nowhere has felt like a place to break for sleep.
and 100%: "I'm crying again! Who knew you could cry so much? I loved this book, this series. I wish there was more. I loved both Good and Better beyond belief!"

I cried at both books and that is because Summer Walden knows how to play on my emotions. She is an uber-talented author. I was up and down like a roller-coaster. But I wouldn't have it any other way. In essence, me being an emotional mess means that Summer did her job right. 

If you haven't yet read Good or Better, then may I make a polite suggestion that you do? :D

Thank you for coming by to read my reviews today. I hope to see you again soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...