Always forever maybe book cover

My Top 5 Favorite Book Bromances

Throne of Glass
Chaol and Dorian have been best friends since childhood. Chaol willingly gave up his claim to lordship to be a member of the royal guard to protect Dorian. Multiple times Dorian has stood-up to his terrifying, cruel father for Chaol’s sake. Blood doesn’t make you brothers, but love, kindness, acceptance, sacrifices do.

A Court of Thorns and Roses
Rhysand, Cassian and Azriel, or as I refer to them “the three musketeers”, are childhood friends who always have each others’ backs. They always face problems together and are willing to make any sacrifice for each other. When they’re not fighting battles you can find them hitting the clubs or spending weekends in a secluded cabin in the mountains, playing games, drinking, and hunting.

Iron Fey
Puck and Ash were at odds for so long, but eventually these two archrivals kissed and made up (not literally) in The Iron Knight. Puck is a trickster who lightens up a room and likes to have fun. Ash is broody, serious, and a bit uptight. They balance each other out perfectly.

Harry Potter
Harry’s always sticking up for Ron when the Slytherins are picking on him, and Ron’s always accompanying Harry on dangerous missions like, oh yeah, fighting the sadistic, murderer, Voldemort. Their friendship is occasionally rocky, but in the end they always work it out.

Lord of the Rings
What bromance is more iconic than Frodo and Sam?! When Frodo decides to travel to the most dangerous place on Middle Earth with the most dangerous weapon of all time while avoiding the most dangerous being of all time, Sam’s like – sign me up! Sam’s got so much heart and never backs down. Honestly, now that I think of it – Frodo who? – Sam is totally the hero of this series.

What are some of your favorite book bromances?

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The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. Pearson

The Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles #3) by Mary E. PearsonThe Beauty of Darkness (The Remnant Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on August 2nd 2016
Pages: 679

Lia has survived Venda—but so has a great evil bent on the destruction of Morrighan. And only Lia can stop it.

With war on the horizon, Lia has no choice but to assume her role as First Daughter, as soldier—as leader. While she struggles to reach Morrighan and warn them, she finds herself at cross-purposes with Rafe and suspicious of Kaden, who has hunted her down.

In this conclusion to the Remnant Chronicles trilogy, traitors must be rooted out, sacrifices must be made, and impossible odds must be overcome as the future of every kingdom hangs in the balance.

This series has been an emotional, thrilling, wonderous, and at times, heartbreaking ride, and I’m so glad I finally finished it.

Lia grew so much throughout the series. She went from a scared girl afraid to marry a stranger – to a formidable queen who inspires everyone to listen to their hearts and fight for what’s right. She gains a strong, loyal following of family and friends in The Beauty of Darkness, which comes at no surprise, because she’s a strong, natural leader, with a kind heart and a steel resolve. I was amazed by the many sacrifices Lia made in this final book, blood, flesh, reputation and love.

I was also happy with the conclusions of Rafe and Kaden’s stories. Like Lia, they were also forced to make hard decisions and sacrifices in The Beauty of Darkness. Often when I read books with multiple POVS I dread switching back and forth between characters, because I almost always dislike at least one. I loved the entire trio in this series because each had their own unique personalities and journeys to travel.

Even though there was so much to love about this final book, it was my least favorite of the bunch. Because of the high energy books one and two built-up, the final showdown in The Beauty of Darkness should have been epic, unfortunately it wasn’t. The ending was extremely anticlimactic.

Regardless of the feeble finale, I still love this series so much and can see myself rereading it in a couple years.

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These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) by Amie Kaufman

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) by Amie KaufmanThese Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10th 2013
Pages: 384

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Before I started These Broken Stars I was convinced that I was going to love it. Unfortunately this book ended up being just an “okay” read. I liked the characters and the setting in These Broken Stars but not the huge plot twist that occurred 3/4 through. The twist confused me and I didn’t like the direction the story went after it was introduced.

I really liked the dynamic between Lil and Tarver, because they come from completely different worlds, and therefore they often contradicted each other. Tarver is a well-mannered, country boy, with a military background, and Lil is a spoiled, young heiress, who gets everything she wants. At least, that’s what people like Tarver believe. Yes, Lil’s been pampered her whole life and has a taste for upper class life, but she’s not a snob who thinks she’s above everyone else. It was so much fun watching them try to work together to survive when they constantly challenged each other.

I definitely understand why some readers have made the comparison between These Broken Stars and the movie, Titanic. Lil (Rose) and Tarver (Jack) come from completely different classes. They fall in love and then try like heck to survive an impending tragedy. Their story also reminded me of Romeo & Juliet, because their forbidden romance is living on borrowed time.

Things got really weird 3/4 through this book. There was a big plot twist that I didn’t like. I thought the story was just going to focus on Lil and Tarver getting to know each other, falling in love, surviving the planet’s climate and creatures, but then out of nowhere this huge, weird plot twist entered the mix and I didn’t know how to respond to it. The concept was heavy and confusing and I wasn’t happy with how it changed the overall story

In conclusion, I didn’t care much for These Broken Star’s story-line, but I did love Lil and Tarver’s relationship. I’ve skimmed the descriptions of books two and three and see that they follow new characters. I’m hesitant about continuing with the series, because I want more Lil and Tarver, and I’d be super disappointed if the new characters didn’t compel me like they did.

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Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things by Martina McAteeChildren Shouldn't Play with Dead Things by Martina McAtee
Published by Martina McAtee on August 31, 2015
Pages: 510

17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.

They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.

As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.

I hate to be so blunt, but Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things was a mess. And I’m not just talking about the unlikable characters, and agonizingly slow and boring story-line. This book needs at least one more round of editing.

I understand that no book is perfect, and it matters not that this book was self-pubbed vs. boasting a big name publisher. The majority of books I’ve read, even ones from fancy-smancy publishing houses, have had at least one error, a missing comma, a missing or excessive space, or even a word that got tagged accidentally with an extra letter, making it the incorrect word. It happens and it’s no biggie. However, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things isn’t a no-biggie book. It’s riddled with incorrect words, and so many words are missing spaces. I lost track of how many times the first word of a new sentence was attached to the period of the last sentence.

With the exception of Mace, who is the guarded, broody, bad boy I always fall for, I could care less about this book’s characters. They either annoyed me, or lacked depth. Tristin was quite frankly, a cranky bitch who made the rest of the characters, and myself, miserable. The majority of Belle Haven lost at least one or more parents in a freak accident that took place a decade ago, yet Tristin acts like her life is the worst. She feels undesired physically, even though her friend and admirer, Quinn, is always there, telling her how beautiful she is, and going to great lengths to please her. Tristin acts like she’s the weakest in the group, because she doesn’t have an active supernatural ability like her pack members, but they respect and in some cases, fear her and her physical ability to beat the sh*t out of you. She constantly complains about the girly-girls and the drama they cause, yet she’s the most dramatic of the bunch. It was maddening.

Even though the book is narrated by Tristin, Kai and Ember, I felt like it was focused mainly on Ember, which was unfortunate, because she had no substance. She was raised by a verbally abusive father, and shunned by her peers, which gave her a tough outer shell and sense of self-preservation. However, the moment she’s uprooted to Belle Haven, she devolves into a delicate flower that sits around while her new family and friends protectively orbit around her. They treat Ember like a damsel in distress, and Ember lets them. Where the heck did her tough resolve go?! I’ve never seen a character devolve so quickly and unexpectedly. The whole thing disregards all her childhood tribulations and accomplishments.

I think the author made a mistake by focusing mostly on Ember and then Tristin, when they should have focused on enjoyable and interesting characters like Kai and Mace. I was invested in both, because their funny and smart and had actual, interesting story-lines.

So yeah. Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things was not my cup of tea. It wasn’t ready to be published, and the characters were either stab-worthy, or underutilized. Belle Haven was a hidden town full of supernatural beings which sounded so cool, but I couldn’t even enjoy that unique element because I couldn’t get over hating half the characters.

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Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star by Kim CulbertsonCatch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson
Published by Point on April 29th 2014
Pages: 304

A deliciously charming novel about finding true love . . . and yourself.

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?

I loved this audio book! It was captivating and thought-provoking. It explored the struggles that young adults experience before and after graduating high school, the uncertainties of the future, and the fear of making wrong choices.

Although it’s been nearly 10 years since I graduated high school, I was still able to connect with the characters in Catch a Falling Star. This book had me reminiscing about my own high school experiences, and pondering the decisions I made after I graduated. Funnily enough, lately I’ve been exploring and scrutinizing the decisions I made, and wondering where I would be now, if I had done things differently. Some days I feel like I made many wrong choices, and that I’ll never be able to correct them. This book really gave me hope, because it reminded me that there is still time to go places and do stuff that I’ve only dreamed about. This book made me realize that there’s still time to make sure I don’t live with regret, which is one of the big lessons the characters are trying to learn throughout the story.

I liked the ending of Catch a Falling Star, because it didn’t have a neatly wrapped bow. We don’t know for sure what the characters will do or where they’ll go. Towards the end of the book, the characters began to realize and accept that no one can predict the future, and sometimes you just have to take a chance and hope it pans out in the end. Anything is possible, and you shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance, because you think you might fail.

I liked the woman who narrated this book. She definitely sounded like a teenager, and was able to capture Carter’s no-nonsense attitude. On the other hand, the guy narrator, who I assumed played Carter’s best friend, Alien Drake, sounded like a 40-year old. This choice of narrator was awful and I was often removed from the story when he spoke.

I’m really looking forward to reading other contemporaries by this author, because she really understands the tribulations of teenagers. She doesn’t sugarcoat things. Not everyone had a happy ending in this book, because that’s how the real world works.