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I am delighted to be on the blog tour for the Broken Dreams series by Elodie Nowodazkij with a review of both ‘A Summer Like No Other’ and ‘Always Second Best’.

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A Summer Like No Other

Genre: Young adult, coming-of-age, romance, fiction

Stars: 4

Links: Amazon UK and Amazon US

FINAL ASLNO cover

The Blurb:

She’s his best friend’s little sister. He’s the biggest player of them all.
They shouldn’t be together. But this summer’s just too tempting.

Sixteen-year-old Emilia Moretti’s goal for the summer is simple: forget her brother’s best friend—Nick Grawsky—ever existed. It should be easy: He’s spending his summer in the Hamptons, adding girls in tiny bikinis to his list of broken hearts. Guarantee he won’t be telling them they’re like his little sisters. This summer, Emilia won’t stay awake at night thinking about him. She’ll need flawless ballet movements to have a shot at next year’s showcase, and she’s finally ready to search for her birth parents. But when Nick decides to stay in the city, Emilia’s resolve disappears in a pirouette. Maybe it’s the spin they needed to be together. As long as she doesn’t get stuck believing in happily ever after…

Nick is tired of pretending to be the happy, let’s-have-fun guy. His father wants him to change his career from professional dancer to…lawyer. He needs to put all of his focus on dancing to prove to Daddy Dearest he’s good enough to make it big. And he may have a case of the bluest balls in history courtesy of Emilia. She’s off-limits: The bro code with Roberto even forbids the dirty thoughts he has about her. Besides, he’s not boyfriend material. He only has time for flings, for girls who don’t expect much, for girls he doesn’t want to kiss goodnight. He knows he should resist her, but he’s not sure he wants to…

At least for this summer.

It’s going to be a summer like no other.

 

My review:

First love and the pitfalls that come with it come together in this intense yet realistic young adult love story.

Emilia has been smitten with her brother’s best friend, the serial dater Nick, for years. But when he shows some interest during a dance rehearsal, the boundaries come crashing down, at least for the summer…

The writing was relatable yet admirably realistic, the pace alternating to ratchet up the tension, and the characters well-drawn. The alternating points of view could have been more unique, but the overall effect was a very enjoyable read of first love. Enjoy it!

 

Always Second Best

Genre: Young adult, coming-of-age, romance, fiction

Stars: 4

Links: Amazon UK and Amazon US

Final Always Second Best cover

The Blurb:

Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.
Sometimes, you get a second chance at love.

Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first.

Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He’s going to prove he’s meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love.

ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters.

 

My Review:

Romantic yet honest, this is a coming-of-age novel about looking beyond the pressure to succeed and taking control of your own happiness.

Emilia is concentrating on her forthcoming auditions to show the world, her birth mother, her parents, and her ex just how good she is. Nick is determined to dance for himself and get Em to give him a second chance. But when her world starts crashing around her, they both need to dig deep to realise what it is that truly matters.

Coming-of-age, romance, and the pressure to succeed all come together in this wonderfully brutal portrayal of life in a performing arts school. The characters were deep and multi-faceted, the themes of family and life pressure strong, and the plot was peppered with subplots that all added to the main thread of the plot. Recommended.

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

 

 

My thanks to YA Bound Book Tours for having me on board the tour!

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