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Why You Should Read The Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen

Hey guys!

You still remember me, right? I'm the new girl, so I thought that for my first full post, I should talk about one of my favorite authors, one that really got me into romance. I'm talking about Sarina Bowen. Yeah, I know you guys all know her, and have read most of her books, just like me, but still. 

Another thing I've been dying to write about is series, romance series. With that in mind, I thought:

"Why not combine the two, and speak about a finished series from Sarina?!"

So, today I'm gonna speak about The Ivy Years! This series was published back in 2014/15 and it included Sarina's debut. While it wasn't my first read from Sarina, it was a series I thoroughly enjoyed, and I want to share my thoughts on it with you guys.

I won't do full reviews of the books, you can find most of them on my other blog if you'd like. I'll just give you my overall thoughts on the different books. (ì indicates the positives, while í indicates the negatives).

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) [««««]
ì Told in dual POV and 1st person;

ì Corey and Hartley connection is awesome, and I loved their growth;

ì Corey has a physical disability;

í Hartley is somewhat in a relationship for a while, I fought that should have ended sooner;

í It left me feeling like the story needed a bit more... something.

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) [«««««]

ì Both characters in difficult situations and how they help each other through it;

ì "Single dad" vibe;

ì Slow and torturous build up for Scarlet and Bridger;

í Really nothing...

Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) [««««]

ì Awesome short novella, with probably the best writing of the series;

ì Katie and Andrew were ADORABLE!

í That it wasn't longer...

The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) [««««]
ì M/M romance;

ì Graham and Rikker are both complex characters and the book was a big character development (especially regarding Graham);

ì Amazing friendships - yes, I'm looking at you Bella!

ì Surprising events, at least for me.

í Graham took me a little while to warm up to, but that made his growth even better;

í There are homophobic situations, and while they were needed, it still made me sad and uncomfortable;

í Abrupt ending.

The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) [««««]

ì Sex positive female character (for the most part);

ì I love that Bella is older than Raffe, and that Raffe was still a virgin, I feel like there's still a stigma around that, so I'm happy when I find books with that reverse pattern;

ì Slow build romance, with friendship as the base - IT'S THE BEST!

ì Again, amazing friendships.

í Even though this is mostly a sex positive book, there is still slut shaming, and judgment, and it sometimes came from Raffe. I didn't like how he judged Bella at times, even if he was trying really hard not to;

í I HATED that an event on the book dimmed Bella's spirit and the way she saw herself and her sexuality.

The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) [«««««]

ì Lianne and DJ are super super adorable;

ì They were both trying to be normal, with so much going on in their lives;

ì The bond and the slow burn;

ì DJ's internal conflict broke my heart, and I'm so glad that there's a book out there that explores this theme. Being accused of a crime he didn't commit, DJ struggles when he feels like no one believes him, to the point where he doubts his own sanity and what happened on the night in question. I'm glad this theme was explored, since it's so relevant.

í This is the end of the series, and that's sad!

This is why you should read this series. This series is awesome, and each story is unique. The bonds of friendship is one of the great themes throughout the various books, and the romances are all sweet, filled with great characters and amazing writing.

So, guys, have you read this series? At least some of the books? What are your thoughts?

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