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Posts tagged “Alyssa Rose Ivy

Focus by Alyssa Rose Ivy: Frodo’s Review

Focus

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.

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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

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Day 72: Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Day 72

Summary From Goodreads

Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

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Maybe I missed a memo somewhere. Are all paranormal romance books 15% paranormal and 85% romance? It sure seems like it after the last few I’ve read, and I can’t say I like the trend. Flight is no different. While there are paranormal elements sprinkled in and some of the main characters are paranormal in nature, the feel of the book is almost entirely that of a YA/New Adult romance. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m perfectly fine with reading romance books, though I prefer to know how heavily those elements are going to be used beforehand, but it needs to be done right.

Unfortunately, for me at least, Flight was not. I wanted to like this book, the writing was great, the style choices and pacing Alyssa Rose Ivy went with fit perfectly, but the romance… well it had some of my least favorite things, including the worst offender of all. That’s right, the dreaded insta-love strikes again. I don’t care one iota that Allie “resists” Levi in the beginning, which really is more her fighting off an instant attraction (ugh) for a while and eventually giving in one level at a time. Can insta-love not be a thing? Pretty please? Can’t the romance develop naturally and not be painfully obvious? *sigh*

I wish that was the only problem, but Flight committed another “crime” of romance books, the overly dominant/controlling male. Yup, Levi is one of those guys. He acts like he has control over her almost immediately, he refuses to take no for an answer even when she actually meant that she didn’t want anything to do with him, and acts like a jerk for half the book. I don’t want to spoil it, but there is a scene where he essentially gives her no options and just makes her get what he wants her to, I don’t care that she might have enjoyed the result, I can’t stand that. Let her decide what she wants! That goes for everything, not just that one scene.

To do further damage Levi near the end tricks her into something that she can’t escape from (no not that) and it’s despicable. His intentions weren’t even pure, it was crap and he did it because like all macho guys seem to be, he was scared. Not good enough. The guy may care for her, but he acts like a tool, and refuses to let her just be. Ugh.

The writing really was good, but even the few action scenes couldn’t save this for me. I have the second book in the series, Focus, but at this point I’m really not sure that I’ll read it. If it is anything like Flight in the balance of romance/paranormal, and if Levi doesn’t change at all, I guarantee it would be a DNF, so it’s probably not worth the time or effort. We’ll see, I’ll let it sit in my kindle for a while. Anyway, thanks as always for reading, I’m sorry this review was so negative, but I just can’t stand that kind of stuff. Come back tomorrow for Day 73 where hopefully I can be more positive!

Mount TBR Challenge #52/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #52/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #72/365

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