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Monday, October 20, 2014

REVIEW: "The Year We Hid Away" by Sarina Bowen

 The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2) 
The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
(The Ivy Years #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 17+ (Language, Sensuality)
New Adult -- Contemporary

Rennie Road Books -- Published in May 2014
Ebook, 233 pages
Read in October 2014
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Sports, Dual Points of View

SUMMARY
She's hiding something big. He's hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley's life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.

It's a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet's fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID -- with a newly minted name on it -- she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she's falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won't work anymore. And if they can't learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they've struggled to keep.



FIRST LINE
"The moment I heard the hum of the garage door opener, I was in motion."

MY THOUGHTS
I thoroughly enjoyed the first Ivy Years book, The Year We Fell Down, and I was intrigued by Bridger's character so I had to jump into The Year We Hid Away immediately.  I continue to be impressed by Sarina Bowen's writing style and ability to make her characters realistic without making them boring.  This book is considerably darker in tone than the first book due to the themes explored, but I found it just as entertaining.

Bridger was introduced to readers in The Year We Fell Down as Hartley's best friend whose home life was getting darker and darker.  Well, this book shows Bridger dealing with the issues associated with having a parent addicted to drugs especially when there is a younger sister involved.  I really admired the way he handled his difficult situation and how determined he was to protect his sister from his mother's lifestyle.  There aren't many college students who would be willing and capable of dealing with the ins and outs of raising an eight year old and I thought Bridger showed real maturity with it.

Scarlet's issues were the hardest part to read about in this book.  Her father was a famous hockey player who has been accused of unspeakable crimes towards children and she is forced to deal with the fallout.  She changed her name and is determined to start a new life at Harkness.  Unfortunately, as her father's trial moves closer, Scarlet is dragged back into her old world and face the possibility that things are even darker than she imagined.

Scarlet and Bridger's relationship started off as one of great friendship.  They each seemed to sense the other had issues, but they never pried or poked at them.  Their comfort level grew until they started to become more than friends.  It was different to have a romance between two people where they had to hide some of the most important aspects of their lives, but I thought Sarina Bowen did a good job with that part.  Obviously, secrets are finally revealed and both Bridger and Scarlet reacted with maturity.

All in all, while there were difficult parts to read in The Year We Hid Away, I came away with a smile on my face.  Both Scarlet and Bridger are likable characters and I was happy to see them find each other amidst external drama.  I am definitely looking forward to continue this series in the future. 



4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Glow -- Implied or subtle descriptions of lovemaking.

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Year We Fell Down
2. The Year We Hid Away
2.5. The Blonde Date
3. The Understatement of the Year

OTHER REVIEWS
Dear Author (B+)
Red Hot Books (B+)
Ellie Reads Fiction (4 Stars)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Easy by Tammarra Webber

The Hook-Up by Kristen Callihan

3 comments:

  1. Okay, I am really curious about this book now. I am going to put it on my TBR list. I really love reading NA books that have really mature boys. It seems like Bridger is going to be a bit more mature because of the circumstances with his family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lack of maturity is the reason I never really got into NA romances. But, Sarina Bowen does a good job of making her characters realistic and not immature. I hope you give it a try!

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  2. Now you have me intrigued with this one. I like the friendship romances!!

    ReplyDelete

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