Nemesis Mine. This is a short yet heavier-than-many standard Maggie Dallen “Hallmarkie” high school romance. There’s still some laughter, but particularly in its final pages it really starts landing some haymakers that are not really typical of Dallen at all. Still, when you need something to dive into a rich, well developed “fake” world to escape the “real” one with all of its issues right now… this is a solid distraction for a couple of hours or so. Very much recommended.
Solid YA Romance. This actually continues the world introduced in Benjamin’s collaboration with Maggie Dallen and Stephanie Street last fall, The Trouble With Tomboys, and serves as Book 1 to its own series, making Benjamin’s entry in that former series what would be called a “back door pilot” in TV terms. And honestly, this was exactly the kind of bubblegum pop high school romance I know *I* needed in these challenging times. Just a fun few hours to get wrapped up in a fictional world and leave the “real” one behind, and this does that excellently. Very much recommended.
Dallen Strikes Again – With A Friend. This is my first book Meyer has been a part of, but I’m very familiar with Dallen’s work (as my review history shows 😉 ), and this reads very much like a solid Dallen HS romance. If any real difference was noted, it was that much of the drama was more internal and less relational (whereas a pure Dallen tale tends to have some internal but mostly relational to some degree). The ending was a bit interesting in that it began to play with the timeline a bit, which provides a nice little tease for the presumptive Book 2 in this series. So when can we get it? 😉 Very much recommended.
Interesting Conclusion. The first thing to know about this book is that it really does need to be read second, after Charming the Cheerleader. Why? Because the timelines start at roughly the same points and you get two people’s views on a lot of the same events – even while telling their own story about their own high school romance. Also, there are some pretty decent spoilers for Charming the Cheerleader if you attempt to read this book first, so be forewarned there. Beyond doing my best to ensure that you read this particular book second, I can tell you that they are told in a very similar style and both involve very similar topics and issues, though with a few particulars based on individual characters. In other words, all four of these people in these two couples have normal-ish high school issues, but the particular issues are specific to each individual. As always, if you’re looking for a fairly light, low drama HS romance… Dallen has you covered. Very much recommended.
Another Solid HS Romance from Dallen. This one perhaps has a bit more internal drama than many of Dallen’s stories, but overall is typical of her style – short ish (less than 200 pages on this one apparently) and Hallmarkie. She dives deeper into the issues her characters are facing – including new schools, new families, and other new dynamics – than she usually does, and it works well here. Very much looking forward to seeing more in this world. Very much recommended.
Another Excellent Hallmarkie Romance. If you like Hallmark type romances, Dallen is absolutely an author you’re going to want to check out. In fact, from that angle the only real quibble here is that the epilogue is primarily setup from secondary characters for the next book – as they are talking about the primary characters from this book. Beyond that, typical sweet romance with a bit of fairly quickly resolved drama at the end. On a more personal note, this is Book 200 on the year for me – a personal record I never thought I’d achieve and one that will likely stand for many years. Very much recommended.
Solid Dallen. With A Cat. 😀 This is another excellent entrant in Dallen’s loosely coupled Friar Hollows series – meaning each book works well as a standalone, as long as you don’t mind expected spoilers of previous book leads being in relationships and making sporadic appearances. Hallmarkie-ish romance, with an element of cat vs dog person to boot – and some great hilarity around the cat in particular. Very much recommended.
Fun Sporty HS Romance. Fun and light, this book has been – along with its predecessors in the trilogy – a nice change of pace from the more “serious” books I’ve been reading of late, and this is one of the reasons I love this style of tale. Fair amount of angst here – these *are* teens we’re dealing with – and some pretty awesome pranking going on in this particular book. Overall it stays true to everything about the tale, even including a healthy respect for baseball and its traditions. Truly a great book, and now I have yet another new author to follow. Very much recommended.
Solid YA Romance. I came into this book unfamiliar with Street, but very familiar with the author of the first book in this series – Maggie Dallen – and this book keeps much of the same feel I am used to from Dallen’s work. To the level that it is almost unclear as to whether Street’s style is just so similar to Dallen’s or if the books were heavily coordinated amongst the authors. Though this isn’t a bad thing in any way, and indeed was a bit of a comfort. Overall you can expect a fun, fast paced romance with some angst (though far from emo levels) and some humor and some minor conflict at the back of the book just before the happily ever after – and a well executed one at that. Very much recommended.
Playing For Keeps. This is another YA sporty romance from Maggie Dallen, and is her usual excellent and fun work. If you’re familiar with her work, you’re going to enjoy this book. If you’re not, it is a good introduction to her style. Shortish at under 200 pages, this is a fairly light and easy read, perfect as a palate cleanser from something heavier or darker. Very much recommended.