Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy: Frodo’s Review
Summary From Goodreads:
Freshman year of college is hard even when you’re not tied to the future king of a supernatural society.
Allie dives into college head first with Hailey as her roommate and the city of New Orleans as her backyard. As things within The Society heat up, Allie realizes that whether she’s with Levi or not, she’s in far too deep to turn back.
I never expected to read this book after reading Flight, book one in the series, but here we are. I opened up my Kindle app on my computer and for whatever reason it was near the top. If you read my review of Flight you’d know I was not a fan of many of the elements in book 1 but I figured I’d give the series a second chance because, again as noted in the review, I did enjoy Alyssa Rose Ivy’s writing. Was it worth that second glance? Kinda.
I really need to check out more of Ivy’s work because I’m enjoying her writing quite a bit and I’m curious how her character dynamics are in other series. The major difference when I went to read Focus was mindset. Going into Flight I was thinking paranormal romance but more of a 50/50 split, now that I knew better I was prepared for a romance with elements of paranormal, something like an 80/20 split. Ivy’s writing style is wonderful and gripping, her pacing fantastic and I didn’t stop reading for even a minute (not even to check Twitter!) which surprised me a little. There is plenty of action, romantic tension and even some really interesting political discussions within the paranormal community. Some of the characters were given some much desired added depth, especially Jared, and I really connected with them.
The intertwining paranormal types (species?) and the politics that were discussed in Focus were fascinating. They also added a much needed respite from the constant romance-driven parts of the plot. There are family histories, hierarchies and enough paranormal creatures to make your head spin and I loved that. I really hope that Found, book three in the series, expands on these aspects because it seems like there is so much Ivy could do with the world she has created if she’d just step away from the romance (a bit at least) but we shall see.
The controlling part of Levi’s personality haven’t magically evaporated which I guess is good since it would betray who his character is at this point. The change that does happen is Allie standing up for herself more. She decides to take things at her pace in her relationship, commits to her schooling and even makes a few surprising decisions to keep herself safe which I was thrilled to see. Allie doesn’t just forgive Levi and let him right back in, she wars with herself over whether she even wants a relationship with him at all and ultimately it is up to her to decide if she can trust him or not. Levi still tries (and to some degree succeeds in) controlling parts of Allie’s life but while he won’t ever stop trying to get back with her he does respect her boundaries. There is progress there and it does feel like he is doing his best to understand her feelings while doing his best to protect her and show how much he loves her all the time. Definite steps in the right direction though I’m still not the biggest fan of him.
I like where Ivy is going with the series. The romance and the tension she is able to create are really well done and I’m growing on the characters as they seem to have a better understanding of where each of them is at. The paranormal aspects that were brought up were fascinating and my hope is for a heavier dose in Found. Considering I went from a one-Frodo rating on Flight to the solid 3 I’m giving Focus I’d say this is quite a turnaround. I’ll likely read Found at some point in the future and possibly will check out more of Ivy’s writing since, again, I do really like her style, it is just some choice she has made in this series here and there that have bothered me. For anyone curious about the series, it is labeled as PNR but be warned it is heavy on the R part of that and while I don’t know if I would yet recommend it, they are growing on me. Thanks as always for reading! ^.^
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #113/200