Saturday, 6 February 2016

Review: A Summer Like No Other & Always Second Best (Broken Dreams #1.5 & #2) by Elodie Nowodazkij

*I recieved ARCs from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed in this review is unbiased and my own.*
Title: Always Second Best
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
My rating: 5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 10th 2015
Publisher: Createspace
Synopsis: 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. (synopsis from Goodreads)
My thoughts:
A Summer Like No Other
I was actually happily surprised when I read it. I had been a little disappointed with the previous book in the series, although it was still a good read, so when I started reading this, I was a little surprised that I couldn’t put it away. The characters were awesome, I love both Emilia and Nick, and the chemistry between them felt so real. The plot was a little slow at times, but the interaction between Em and Nick kept it interesting.
Always Second Best
   “Nonna said the biggest strength came from family, that we should never forget that family comes first.”
Emilia is struggling with making her parents proud of her, and she feels like she’s never good enough. This has a lot to do with the fact that she is adopted. She is also trying to get her birth-mother to talk to her. At the same time, she’s struggling with her feelings for Nick, especially after their summer together, and trying to figure out who she really is and what she wants to do.
   I found Em really relatable. She reminded me a bit of myself, which made it really easy to relate to her. Everything about her felt real and genuine. I felt everything she felt. And her relationship to her grandmother was really sweet and touching.

Nick is totally swoon-worthy
   He’s so protective of Em, and it’s really sweet.
   The plot was great. I was actually surprised that it was taking place around the same time as One Dream Only and One, Two, Three, I thought it would be after, but I’m not complaining. It was actually interesting to see what happened at School of Performing Arts after Natalya had her accidents, to see how it affected everyone, especially Em.

   And the plot twists – especially one – were really unpredictable. I did not see it coming. I was so shocked when all was revealed. And the ending was also pretty unpredictable, although it didn’t really shock me, but it wasn’t what I’d expected, either.
   And I cried so much at one part of the book, you who have read it probably know which part I mean, but I won’t write it, because it’s a big spoiler. But I will say that I haven’t cried this much since I read The Fault in Our Stars.
   I would definitely recommend this, even if you didn’t like the first book, because I totally loved this. It was such a sweet, moving, interesting book filled with awesome, relatable characters, and packed with a lot of emotion. It was an emotional roller coaster.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

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I receive some books from authors, publishers and third party sites (such as Netgalley). This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed on this blog are unbiased and my own. I do not get compensated in any way or form.