A Summer Like No Other (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick #1)
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance (novella)
Release Date: July 30th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
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Always Second Best (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick #2)
by Elodie Nowodazkij
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 10th 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected.
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.
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Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. Now she lives in Maryland with her husband, their dog and their cat.
She's also a serial smiley user.
This series is cute and light to read with elements of seriousness and heartbreaking issues.
The multi-facetedness of the storyline is what drew me into reading this and also kept me reading. I liked that there was some conflict and family drama rather than just boy drama (which was also included, I admit).
I think the characters could have used a bit more depth. I had been hoping from the title and summary that there would be a lesson in the books about realising that is perfectly fine to not be perfect. Em spends her whole life determined to be absolutely perfect, and though this is a common problem with people that feel lost in their place in life, it is not addressed enough, in my opinion, by the other characters. Her family seem loving enough and Nick supposedly knows her better than anyone yet they have not tried to hinder her from feeling like this for years. Instead they just tell her that she's beautiful or perfect. Not exactly the right thing to say to someone with that mental issue.
Nick's life confused me. He didn't want to be cut off so he became a glorified escort. That is basically what his father had him doing. Seriously?! Is that even, in any way, realistic? Regardless, it lends to the drama and heartbreakingness of the storyline, so I tried to ignore it. I felt like the characters actions were a bit flakey, as they would claim to believe in one thing or feel something but then just not care about it later on.
The plot had so much potential. Nothing like a good adoption twist to make a story interesting. And for the most part I liked this element of the book. I just wish there had been a bit more. Just more. I would have liked to have seen more depth into this part of the story.
In conclusion, I think that is my real problem, I just wanted more from it. More depth into the characters and more from the story. If it had been teased out a bit more then I might have given a higher rating.
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