Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Book Reviews: Keeping Her and Faking It by Cora Carmack.

 **These reviews contain spoilers for Losing It by Cora Carmack. **

 Losing It, Cora Carmack’s bestselling debut, breathed a much-needed sense of fun into a New Adult genre often straining under the weight of a multitude of issue-driven books. Sure, being in your twenties can be a whole lot of confusing, and being in college can be stressful; but it’s also fun, and, for me, at least, Carmack’s Losing It was the first NA novel I read that accurately portrayed this time of growth and change. Losing It was something new and different; it injected a sense fun into the genre. And, in its funny, accident prone, easily embarrassed, crushing on her college professor and desperate-to-lose-her-virginity protagonist Bliss Edwards, it was onto a winner.  I liked Losing It a lot.

In this novella, we catch up with Bliss and Garrick (the professor), now engaged and en route to meet his parents in London. Now, I can’t remember this pair ever getting on my nerves when I read Losing It, but here – Oh, did these two annoy me. First off, I know they’re all loved up and everything, but seriously guys - get a freaking room! Also, Garrick develops a bad case of ‘controlling-boyfriend-behaviour’ in this book, which is a major turn-off for me. Also, his internal monologue at times (the novella is told in dual P.O.V) doesn’t ring true for a guy, and a lot of the time, Garrick comes across, not as a guy in his twenties, but as a whiny little girl. He’s got major issues with his parents, I know, but still.

For her part, even though Garrick is clearly head over heels in love with her,  Bliss is still plagued by insecurities, and while this was somehow endearing in Losing It, um, not so much here. I guess maybe because this is a novella, the characters didn’t really have time to redeem themselves, but I don’t know the story here kind of fizzled out into nothing. Garrick’s mother for instance is built up as this mother-in-law- from hell type figure, but um, again, not so much.

Oh, and I felt like screaming every time Garrick asked Bliss to marry him. Was that meant to be cute?! Maybe it was the first time, but not the fifteenth!

Read Keeping Her if you want to find out more about Garrick’s background and upbringing or if you like sickening sweet and constant public displays of affection. As you can probably tell, I don’t, and though I usually enjoy Cora Carmack’s work this one wasn’t for me.

Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5) by Cora CarmackPublisher: Ebury Digital.  Release date: August. 15th 2013.  Ages: 17+  Source: Received from publisher for review via Netgalley.


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Remember Cade from Losing It? He was Bliss’s gorgeous best guy friend who just so happened to be totally in love with her.  If you ever wondered what happened to Cade after Bliss shacked up with Garrick, well, now you get to find out, because Cade is back, and while he’s still as nice-guy as ever, he’s about to fall for a very bad girl in Faking It, the second novel in Cora Carmack’s Losing It sequence.

McKenzie, known as Max, unless you want a slap across the face (I’m totally serious) has major issues. She has issues with her parents, issues with her friends, issues with her boyfriend, issues with the cat in the apartment next door (I’m kidding), but the list goes on.  Max uses music as the focus with which to keep her internal demons under control, but music is not going to help when her parents arrive in town expecting to meet her new boyfriend. Thing is, Max’s boyfriend is not the type you take to meet the parents. He’s a true bad boy – he has the name (Mace), the attitude and the tattoos to prove it. Max has tattoos too, not that they are ever on show when her parents are around. Max needs to fake it until she makes it, and for that she needs her parents to keep paying her rent. So, she has to put on a good-girl show for them while they’re in town.

 Enter Cade who is only too willing to play Max’s fake boyfriend, um, even though she slaps him across the face all of five minutes after she meets him. I tell you, there’s being a nice guy, and then there’s Cade…He’s willing to put up with a lot for this girl. Then again, he is totally hot for her.

In Faking It, Cora Carmack again captures the great sense of fun that made Losing It such an engaging read. If anything, I enjoyed this one more than the first book, and I think a lot of that can be attributed to Carmack’s improved skills as an author. This story flowed really well from start to finish and was a very absorbing read. I did have a couple issues though. In fact, I had one main issue, and that was the character of Max. Bad things have happened in her life, for sure, but it seems like Max expects everyone around her to pay for them. This girl has attitude with a capital A and here that capital A also stands for annoying – just saying. However, despite my issues with Max and really enjoyed this one overall and I’m looking forward to the third book in the series Finding It which releases in October.


Faking It (Losing It #2) by Cora CarmackPublisher: Ebury Digital.  Release date: June 6th 2013.  Ages: 17+  My rating: 4 out of 5.  Source: Received from publisher for review via Netgalley. 

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10 comments :

  1. I started Keeping Her but then stopped. To be honest I was not completely in love with Garrick like s many others. I loved the story as a total, but in the end, I loved Faking It more :))
    Can't wait to read Finding Her!

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  2. I've seen either really great reviews of this series, or really bad ones. I'm not sure it's the right series for me, but I'm glad to see this series works for you!

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  3. Faking It is my favourite so far. I thought Garrick was OK in Losing It but he really annoyed me (as did Bliss) in the novella. I'm looking forward to Finding It too. I love books that incorporate travel. :)

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  4. I don't think it's great or really bad - it lies somewhere in the middle for me. The series is fun, though. I usually pick up these books when I want a quick read that's not too taxing on the brain! ;)

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  5. Lol Loved your Keeping Her review!! I loved the book but everything you said I do agree with! haha, glad you liked Faking It despite Max being a sassy piece of work. Cade was so lovely tho. I need to read Finding it although I'm a bit worried since I hated Kelsey in Losing It. We shall see...

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  6. I was so excited to see your reviews for the latest in Carmack's Losing It series as I adored the first novel but was unsure as to whether or not I wanted to continue on with the series. I particularly appreciated your honesty in regards to Keeping Her and think I'll be avoiding that novella for now as it seems to involve a lot of things that are deal-breakers for me (Possessive behaviour by the boyfriend, effusive displays of public affection, etc) Given how much I enjoyed Losing It, I think I would prefer to remember Bliss and Garrick as they once were, and not as the irritating annoyances they sound as though they are in Keeping Her ;)


    On the other hand, I think you've finally convinced me to pick up Faking It. I wasn't the biggest fan of Cade's in Losing It but Max sounds like my sort of girl and I would love to see how she and Cade interact given the vast differences in their personalities. It sounds like it might be a lot of fun! :D

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  7. I can't remember her at that well from Losing It. The thing about these books is that I read them and they're fun - and then I totally forget about them. I vaguely remember the character of Kelsey, but that's about it. What did she do to annoy you?

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  8. Faking It is a fun read! The novella was a disappointment for me - the characters just annoyed me SO much! I probably should have skipped the novella!

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  9. Yeah I know what you mean. I didn't like Kelsey because of how blasé she was about Bliss's virginity and was like "Oh just f**k a guy already, it's no big deal...let's go get you some random stranger to bang you." Not my type of friend and apparently in Finding It she's hyper sexed up so not sure I'll be down with that.

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  10. Ooooh yeah - I sort of remember her now. I think I found her annoying at the time too. I mean, I can't remember, but from what you just said I think she would have annoyed me too!

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