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In Stel’s futuristic world, the Corridor connects Earth to a parallel universe. How the Corridor works is a secret that not even the highest government officials understand, but it’s frequently used to travel between worlds. One day, a freak accident overtakes the Corridor and Stel finds that she now possesses the power to create her own portals, independent from the Corridor, to any number of parallel universes. But normal people aren’t able to do these things – and the people who can, genetically engineered humans called Mods, are feared and kept under lock and key. Stel needs to explore her new-found power, but also has to be careful not to let the wrong people see, lest she end up like the Mods.

I really wanted to like this book, because the premise was there. It’s really exciting to think that there are several versions of Earth in existing in parallel universes. The different universes have some constants, but natural disasters, human advancement, and even things as simple as who marries who can change the course of history. Maybe in one universe, humans went too crazy with technology, so now it’s a barren wasteland – a strong reminder that we need to care for our planet before it’s too late. In a different universe, research has advanced to the point that all the parallel universes can be remotely monitored.

But while the premise was good, the rest of the book, unfortunately, was not.

My #1 issue with this book was that everything that happened was convenient. It’s convenient when Stel gets stranded with the boy she likes – now their relationship can develop. It’s convenient that Stel meets someone in a parallel universe who has the answers to all her questions – she can report back to her dad, who’s researching the topic in her home universe. It’s convenient that everyone she happens to meet trusts her immediately – now the plot can move along without any unnecessary relationship building. Nothing feels natural. Everything feels artificially contrived to move the plot along.

My #2 issue is the instalove. I mean, Stel finds this guy that she thinks is great. He’s cute, he’s funny, he takes care of her, and then he introduces her to his jerk brother. A brother who immediately and intensely dislikes Stel. So Stel basically says, “hey, if you don’t like me, that’s fine, I’ll just hang out with this nice guy over here.” Except that five minutes later, she’s forgotten that the nice guy exists and is ~in love~ with the jerk brother, who has seemingly also done a complete 180 and is completely smitten with her, too. Now they’re going to forget about the plot and spend a lot of time kissing.

Let me make one thing clear: This book did not need romance. It especially did not need a love triangle. It really, particularly, especially did not need a love triangle between TWO BROTHERS. It felt out of place, unnecessary, and awkward.

My #3 (and final) issue is that we got a lot of unnecessary detail on inconsequential plot points, but important things were glossed over. We know what Stel’s father had for dinner, and what outfit her best friend wore, but we don’t know anything about the Corridor or how Stel’s power works. Do I care about what her father is eating or what her best friend is wearing? Not really. Do I care about, you know, the main plot of the book? YES. ABSOLUTELY. And the specifics were completely ignored.

Overall, I think that the author had a really great idea, but the book fell totally flat. I see where she was going, but I don’t think that she accomplished what she set out to do.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

Final rating: ★★☆☆☆

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I’m so sorry to say that Falling Fast did not hold my interest.  Not in the least.  Did I read a different book than everybody else?  I just can’t understand what warrants all these glowing reviews.

Falling Fast is a mess from start to finish.

The plot just meanders around, conveniently and constantly throwing the characters together.  How have these characters, who have had such a time even mailing letters to each other, ended up in the same place so many times throughout the course of this book?  They can’t even have a successful phone call, but they will accidentally meet up several times on the first day that Mia’s in town.

In addition to being absolutely ridiculous, the plot is so slow.  I literally almost fell asleep while reading.  Multiple times.  For the first half of the book, nothing happens aside from Mia and Raleigh gazing longingly at each other while wistfully reminiscing about their teenage shenanigans.  “Oh, it was so wonderful having to sneak out of the house at night to sleep with Raleigh… get yourself together, Mia, Raleigh would never be interested in you now.”  “It would be so perfect to be able to touch Mia like all those years ago… but she’s probably dating someone and I already ruined her life once.”  Just stop.  That is literally the only thing that happens in the first half of the book.

Surprise, surprise, I also didn’t care for the characters.

Mia is supposed to be, what, about 24 in the present day?  And she still lets her parents control her life.  I guess this could be reality for some people, but I am also 24, and as much as I love my mother, I would not let her dictate who I hang out with, where I go, what I do in my free time, and how I handle my own money. Not at this age.

And how many bad things can happen to Mia?  She spends her entire childhood going in and out of hospitals to treat her cancer, and when her cancer is finally in remission, she gets in a horrible car accident that disfigures her?  Come on now.  That’s a little excessive.  And despite all of this, Mia is still the kindest, most perfect girl on the planet.  Because what else would she be?

And Raleigh?  Honestly, I couldn’t even remember his name when I started this review. I had to look it up. That’s how much he bored me.  He’s so perfect.  He has a past but is working to move on and better himself.  He’s so unselfish.  He takes care of his little brother because his dad never took care of him.  I mean, really.  Could this guy be any more perfect?  Any more unrealistic?

I also couldn’t sympathize with Mia and Raleigh’s situation.  If Mia was in the accident at 17 years old, and then spent months in rehab, she was probably 18 (or at least almost 18) by the time she was better.  As a legal adult, she didn’t have to listen to her parents.  They would have no say over whether she was allowed to see or speak to Raleigh.  Stop using her family as an excuse.  It doesn’t work.

These characters caused so much of their own drama, particularly Mia.  I get that there’s not much Raleigh could have done if he was told to stop visiting her, but what about Mia?  She feels guilty about hanging up the phone – how about calling him?  Her parents intercepted the mail – how about going to the post office to send it yourself?  I mean, seriously.  Common sense?  Their self-imposed separation drove me crazy.  For how much they whined about not being able to see each other, you would think they would have found a way.

And it’s not just that I didn’t buy the whole situation.  Even their new relationship felt off to me.  They constantly fantasized about each other for seven years?  That screams obsession a lot more than true love.  If they were truly in love, they would have found a way around the disapproving parents.  Because, like I said, they were legal adults.  There’s no reason they couldn’t have picked up the phone and spoken to each other.

And the last 30%?  I’m just going to pretend that didn’t happen.  It’s like everything I don’t want in a romance was haphazardly woven together and shoved in my face.  I’m so disappointed. I usually love Loveswept titles, but this one didn’t do it for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.

Final rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Here’s a selection of ten books I’m really looking forward to reading later this year!  All of these books will be released mid-June or later.

What books are you most looking forward to?

And here we have the top three books I read in May 2015!

Just a Little Kiss | Renita Pizzitola: I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by Renita Pizzitola, so it’s no surprise that Just a Little Kiss is on my list of May favorites.  There’s something about her books that feels so lifelike.  This one made me wish that I lived in that tiny beach town and could find someone like Mason.

In the Unlikely Event | Judy Blume: Even after all these years, Judy Blume still has it.  I haven’t posted a review for this gem yet, mostly because I’m still trying to sort out my thoughts.  One quick thing – as someone who lives in New Jersey and has been to Elizabeth several times, it was so weird and also cool to read a book set there.

Beauty Queens | Libba Bray: Put this one on top of my favorite books of all time list.  Libba Bray can do no wrong in my mind, and Beauty Queens is yet another awesome story, just as I’d expect from her.  Somehow she manages to be hilarious while also surreptitiously educating teenage girls on the importance of feminism.

Did any books you read last month stand out?