Atypical Dallen, Still Awesome. Dallen is mostly known for her bubblegum pop YA romances or her Hallmarkie contemporary romances. Here, we get much more of a soap opera feel, which is atypical of her. Still, the level of drama here is typical Dallen, and the writing itself is her usual excellence. Indeed, the *only* thing I didn’t expect – since I was expecting this to be Book 2 of a Duology – was that cliffhanger ending! Several plot points from the first book are resolved here, and you absolutely need to read Book 1 of this series before reading this one. But then you’ll be begging for the next book immediately! 🙂 Very much recommended.
Edgier Dallen. This is Dallen going in a direction she hasn’t in a fair amount of time – still HS / YA romance… but this time with edgier language (even… *GASP*… a *few* curse words!!!) and situations (including one memorable barely-there bikini and some extensive making out and glancing at certain areas). And she nails it, as usual. What will be remembered about this book though is really the somewhat abrupt ending. It will arguably spark debates of whether she should have gone even more atypical and wrote one 300 ish page book, and thus that she deliberately cut this story in half, or whether the approach here was fine, that she told one complete story here that happens to have a bit of a cliffhanger ending. To be honest, it was a war that waged in my own mind for many hours (while in and out of consciousness with some kind of illness). But you can see from the 5* I gave this book that ultimately I came down on the side of this being one complete story that happens to have a cliffhanger ending, and thus the full 5* rating. Very much recommended – and I very much want the next book *now*. 😀