These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.

Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.

Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Review: Keeping Kyler

Keeping Kyler Keeping Kyler by Siobhan Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to apologise in advance because I know this review is going to be long. I know that Siobhan Davis always pulls the lengthy reviews out of me due to all the emotions I feel, but this is something else entirely. All the things I wish to say, everything I plan to get across, will result in a legitimate essay. So strong are my feelings. Due to that, I’m going to do something I’ve done a couple of times now, when a book threatened to destroy me: I’m going to give you two versions of my review. First, I’ll give you a little short one – one where you can get my general feelings. Then, I’ll give you my full-length emotional breakdown as I try to express the hot mess I’ve become. I doubt either will do this book justice, but such is the only way I can imagine myself getting through this review.

THE SHORT REVIEW:

If I was to sum this book up in one word it would be ‘wow’, and yet that would be a massive injustice. This book is a wonderful end to the story of Faye and Kyler. Things are brought together wonderful, with information from the two previous books coming to light in this one, alongside a new emotional punch landing. Without a doubt, this is my favourite book in the series. I’m having an internal debate right now about whether it is going to earn the spot as my favourite Siobhan Davis read – it’s a very real possibility. It has everything you expect from a Siobhan Davis book: raw emotion, plot twists, and wonderful romance. It is extremely hard to pull a five star rating from me, and I was so close to handing it with this one. Honestly, it’s amazing. If you’ve enjoyed the rest of the series, I’m positive this one will blow your mind.

THE LONG REVIEW:

I think Siobhan Davis may have broken me with this one. It was such an emotional rollercoaster, and I fear I will be unable to look at a book the same way for quite some time. As amazing as it is for such a thing to happen, I really feel sorry for the massive list of books I plan to read as they have a lot to live up to after this one. You see, Keeping Kyler was all I had hoped it would be. It was a perfect ending to the Faye and Kyler story arc. Not to mention, I’m so pumped for the future books – a point I will come back to later in my review.

Picking up where Losing Kyler left off, Keeping Kyler starts with a bang and does not let up. We’re pulled straight into the action and throughout the entire story the adrenaline is kicking. In typical Siobhan Davis fashion, twist after twist is thrown at us. New information is constantly being handed off. Pieces of information you may have overlooked or written off in the first book come back to bite you in this one. Do you know of Chekhov’s gun? It’s the principle that every element in a story must be necessary, if it is unnecessary it can be removed. In the first book there were a couple of things that I thought were unnecessary, and when they failed to come up again, I feared the rifle hanging on the wall would never go off. Well, let me tell you, that rifle finally went off. Things went wild in this one. All the elements were brought together, things I’d been unsure about came back into play, and I loved the way things came together in this one.

It truly was a thing of beauty.

But wait – the beauty does not stop there. Whilst the story does a wonderful job of bringing everything together from the prior books, it also adds more layers. We’re introduced to so many new themes in this one. If I were to list everything that occurred, you’d look at me as if I was crazy. Or, perhaps, you’d look at Siobhan Davis as though she was the crazy one. It’s too much, you’d think. There’s no way all of those details could be well executed, you’d fear. I can assure you, this one is jam packed with so many things and they’re all done so well. It will blow you mind in so many ways. Honestly, I want to scream out so many details, I want to share in the emotions I experienced through the events, and yet I have no wish to be that person who spoils a book for everyone else. I’m just not that girl, and you really need to go in without any expectations of what kind of scenes play out to allow you to enjoy them as much as they deserve to be enjoyed.

Still, I’m nowhere near being done with explaining to wonder that is this book.

I keep mentioning the emotional impact of this book, and I now wish to point you towards what hit me the hardest. Reading things from Kyler’s perspective absolutely broke me. The first few scenes we read from his perspective ripped my heart to pieces. I honestly believed that people could hear the pounding of my heart, I feared someone would question me about possible arrhythmia with the spluttering and skipping it was doing. It really wasn’t healthy for my heart to be beating as violently and erratically as it was when I was reading Kyler’s perceptive. Honestly, it broke me in so many ways. Although I’ve enjoyed Kyler as a character, it wasn’t until this point that I felt something for him. As soon as I started reading things from his perspective, everything I felt toward him shifted. I wanted nothing more than to pull him into my arms and hold him close, protecting him from the world.

My only displeasure with the Kyler storyline is that we didn’t get to read more from his perspective. Every time we read something from Kyler’s point of view I found myself melting inside, and when we flipped back to Faye’s perspective I felt empty. That being said, I doubt I would have survived an entire book written from Kyler’s point of view. That boy will bleed you dry. It was probably wise of Siobhan Davis to limit to the number of scenes from Kyler’s point of view, as I’m unsure whether I would have survived much more. If I were handing out stars for how my view of Kyler changed from reading this book, I would be emptying the sky of stars right now. The swooning most fans have been expressing towards Kyler throughout the first two books pales in comparison to the deep emotional connection I made to him in this book. Seriously, be still my beating heart, be still.

It isn’t simply reading things from Kyler’s perspective that will break you on the emotional front. I admit that it’s the biggest culprit, but it’s not the only thing. The events that take place throughout this book will pull your emotions in so many directions, and quite a few of those emotions will be heartache. There’s no denying the positive emotions you’ll experience throughout this story, yet this one packs a punch through pulling your heartstrings taut. So many of the storylines within this story will threaten to cripple you, will leave you fearful of whether we’ll get that happily ever after we’re hoping for.

At this point, I’d like to take a break from all my emotional fangirl gushing and commend Siobhan Davis on another factor of the story. The Kennedy Boy series is more upper young adult than Siobhan Davis’ prior books, and due to this the content within the books are heavier than in her prior books. I’d like to give Siobhan Davis a well done for pulling the hotter scenes off so well. I admit that I feel as though she fell into the Sarah J. Maas trap in that they went at it a bit much, but the way she made light of it in through the comments of the other characters meant I was able to deal with the bunny factor we seemed to embrace at points. Honestly, though, these scenes can often be extremely awkward to read yet such wasn’t the case here. It can be hard to do in young adult or even new adult books, and Siobhan Davis manages it. I could go on to share all the details of why I think it was so well done, but we’ll simply leave it with this paragraph of praise.

Now, I’ll head back to my commentary of being pumped for the future books. In this one, I feel as though all of the characters developed wonderfully. It goes without saying that Faye and Kyler developed massively – that statement falls in line with all the gushing I have done regarding the emotional impact of this book. What I really loved is that the same can be said about the other characters. All of the Kennedy boys developed so much within this book, and we finally got to see so much more of them all. This works so well in preparing us for their future books. I was so excited when I found out all of the boys would be getting their own books, but this book has worked to make me even more excited. You get an indication of where some of the stories will go, and I’m so excited to see them play out. In fact, the stories I’m most excited for changed as my views towards all of the characters developed.

Note, because of the above, there are still a few things hanging in the air. The main elements of the story are all brought together, the things relating to Faye and Kyler, yet we’re still waiting on some details to come together for other characters. It’s nothing overly major, it’s nothing that will leave you feeling as though the story wasn’t brought together, but it will leave you super excited to pick up the future books in the series so that you can see how the future plays out for the other characters you have come to know and love.

Honestly, I think this may be favourite book by the author. Saven Defiance was staying strong and holding that spot, yet the two are in a heavy battle. I fear, in all honesty, that Saven Defiance may well find itself resting in second place once the dust has settled and my emotions are less raw. Keeping Kyler really does have so much to it; it really did so much to me. As you can probably tell, it has left me all over the place. It really was extremely close to pulling the elusive five star rating from me.

I guess I should address that before I wrap up my review. I know that may will not hesitate to hand this book five stars, yet I so very rarely hand them out. Less than five percent of the ratings I have given are five star ratings. In fact, I’ve handed out more one star ratings and I absolutely hate doing such a thing. This is because I always manage to find a little something where I think ‘maybe I wasn’t quite as happy as I could have been’. With this one, it was because I worked out quite a lot of the plot twists. I wasn’t one hundred percent with the details of some, but I managed to get the more general things right. Not that it was the worst thing, far from it. I had simply been hoping I was wrong. The fact I didn’t get all of the information, though, was wonderful. The other thing is that it seemed a bit overly cute at times. Whilst I enjoyed the romance, there were a few times where I was rolling my eyes and felt a bit like the siblings in thinking it was a bit over the top. This probably has more to do with the fact that I’m still trying to deny my love for the romance genre (even if my Kindle will tell you otherwise) and can almost always find something to complain about – perhaps when I find myself a man that view will change, but the inner ogre won and I found myself sighing at some of the cuteness. Without a doubt, it’s an easy four star read, one of the strongest four-star ratings I have given this year, but my bitter mind prevented me from handing out that five star rating. If nothing else, it’s shown Siobhan Davis may well be one of the very few authors to manage to get me to hand over a five star read in the future.

All in all, you need to go and jump into this series. Even if you only read the Faye and Kyler arc, you need to appreciate the wonder Siobhan Davis has created. I’m now going to go and wallow in self-pity as I await the next book in the series, rocking slowly back and forth as I anticipate where things go from here. Fortunately, I have something to keep me sane – I’m a terrible fan who has yet to read the True Calling series (I know, I totally deserve those gasps of horror and pitiful looks) and I believe I may very well have to bump it right up my to-read list to keep me sane until I get my next dose of this series.

Overall, to conclude the ramble that is this mess of a review, I loved it.

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