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Review: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

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Title: All Broke Down
Series: Rusk University #2
Author: Cora Carmack
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 28 Oct 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about: his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

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REVIEW 

If I could get away with writing ‘I adore Cora Carmack’ 100 times as my review I would ;) But alas, no :) Just go with me on this and accept the fact that her books do not disappoint.

The second book in the Rusk University series has Silas taking the spotlight. We briefly met Silas in All Lined Up in an unfavorable light, however, I think even then we could tell there was far more to him than appeared on the surface. Although he is a hot shot football player, Silas truly believes that he isn’t a good enough person to be where he is and have all the good opportunities open to him because of his football abilities. His negative view of himself stems from his difficult childhood and absentee mother. His belief that he doesn’t fit in makes him project his insecurities onto other people fueling his anger towards himself.

Dylan, on the surface couldn’t be more different to Silas, but the magic word here is surface. Judging by outward appearances you would think that Dylan has the perfect life, coming from a wealthy, influential family she embodies the ‘good girl’ persona. Yet it is evident from early on within the narrative that Dylan is really only living up to other expectations of what she should do/say/act. She was adopted at 9 having lived in an extremely strict foster home for a few years. She has never really had the opportunity to test boundaries, too afraid that she will lose any affection she has gained by being herself. My heart went out to her, especially thinking that love is conditional on behavior and appearance.

Both Dylan and Silas feel lost in their lives, needing to find their own identities rather than be defined by their past and the expectations of others. Together, they seem to be the perfect counter point to each other, achieving balance by making the other a happier, better, fulfilled person.

The narrative involves a significant look at identity, what defines you as a person is it your actions or your upbringing (nature versus nurture to a degree). I loved the psycho-analysis that is woven into the story allowing an amount of self-reflection on behalf of the reader, both in terms of how it applies to themselves and also in ways to relate to others.

Ultimately, All Broke Down shows that your upbringing isn’t what defines you, it is how you allow yourself to deal with these aspects of you personal growth that defines you. The temptation to become a self-fulfilling prophecy can be overwhelming yet there is nothing to stop you becoming whoever you want to be as long as you are willing to work for it.

Spotlight: All Broke Down by Cora Carmack

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About ALL BROKE DOWN

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with ALL LINED UP, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

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BUY LINKS: Amazon/Barnes and Noble/iTunes 

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today

Amazon/Barnes & Noble/iTunes

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About Cora Carmack

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Links: Website/Twitter/Facebook/Author Goodreads

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Tantalizing Trailers: The Morganville Vampires Web Series

TRAILERS

Image from Goodreads

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Series: The Morganville Vampires
Author: Rachel Caine

From Fangirlish:

If you aren’t familiar with Morganville – a brave teen (Claire Danvers) moves to the very isolated West Texas town to attend the local university, only to (a) run afoul of the local mean (very mean) girls, and (b) move to the safety of off-campus housing with three strangers. 

But the plot thickens when she discovers that her new housemates aren’t crazy: Morganville really is run by vampires. They own it, and every one in it. And now … they own her. 

Review: The Time of My Life by Joanna Nadin

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Title: The Time of My Life
Series: Rachel Riley #7
Author: Joanna Nadin
Publisher: OUP
Publication Date: 6 March 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Ta-dah!

So, this is it, am finally going to shake off the shackles of my dull, suburban upbringing and venture out into the big, wide world. I foresee a life of tragic literary friends, vintage markets, and ironic tea parties. All I have to do is pass exams, get a place at uni, and persuade mum to let me go. Easy!

It is totally the end of an era. Jack’s moved on and so will I. Jack’s history. Jack is no more. In fact, Jack who?

I’m Rachel Riley – welcome to my so-called life.

REVIEW BY IMOGEN – YEAR 9

‘The Time Of My Life’ is a book displayed in the form of a diary of an eighteen-year-old girl named Rachel. It describes the trials and tribulations of her complicated life and quirky family. Her cleaning obsessed mum and younger brother always getting into some sort of mischievous antics.

The main character in the book is Rachel, during the story Rachel is sitting her ‘A’ level exams and taking her driving test.  During the book Rachel has to learn that, it’s a big world and that she can’t stay in Saffron Walden, Essex forever. She has to make decisions about university and what she wants to do with her life. She takes you with her through all her highs and lows of her life, from January to September, expressing all her thoughts and feelings in her diary.

My favourite character in the book was Rachel because I like her humorous brutally honest personality, you feel like you really get to know her as you progress through the book.

The only thing I disliked about the book was that I think the storyline was perhaps a bit weak, I think the book needed to be more structured.

This book is suitable for teenagers; I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age of thirteen as the book does contain some bad language and mature themes. For an older teenager perhaps the humor might be too immature.

I would give this book a three out of five because I do feel the storyline was lacking in substance and I think during the end of the book, it got slightly too ridiculous. I prefer books with a bit more structure to them.

Spotlight plus Give-Away: Leaving Amarillo by Caisey Quinn

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About the book

Some promises are made to be broken…

Music is my everything.

After my parents died when I was a kid, moving into my grandparents’ ramshackle house on a dirt road in Amarillo seemed like a nightmare. Until I stumbled upon my grandfather’s shed full of instruments. My soul lives between the strings of Oz, my secondhand fiddle, and it soars when I play.

In Houston, I’m a typical college student on my way to becoming a classically trained violinist headed straight for the orchestra pit. But on the road with my band, Leaving Amarillo, I’m free.

We have one shot to make it, and I have one shot to live the life I was meant to. Leaving Amarillo got into Austin Music Fest and everything is riding on this next week. This is our moment.

There’s only one problem. I have a secret…One that could destroy everyone I care about.

His name is Gavin Garrison and he’s our drummer. He’s also my brother’s best friend, the one who promised he’d never lay a hand on me. He’s the one person I can’t have, and yet he’s the only one I want.

One week.

One hotel room.

I don’t know if I can do this.

I just know that I have to.

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