THE ONE FOR YOU by Roni Loren – double review!

The highly-anticipated fourth book in Roni Loren’s unforgettable The Ones Who Got Away series.

She got a second chance at life.
Will she take a second chance at love?

Kincaid Breslin wasn’t supposed to survive that fateful night at Long Acre when so many died, including her boyfriend—but survive she did. She doesn’t know why she got that chance, but now she takes life by the horns and doesn’t let anybody stand in her way

Ashton Isaacs was her best friend when disaster struck all those years ago, but he chose to run as far away as he could. Now fate has brought him back to town, and Ash doesn’t know how to cope with his feelings for Kincaid and his grief over their lost friendship. For Ash has been carrying secrets, and he knows that once Kincaid learns the truth, he’ll lose any chance he might have had with the only woman he’s ever loved.


Title : The One For You
Author : Roni Loren
Series : The One Who Got Away (book four)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 352
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date : December 31, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

Well, we’ve come to the final book in this story. This series was one I had such huge expectations for, and I’m not quite sure why. There have definitely been emotional moments, multiple in each book, because the topic of grief and guilt surrounding surviving a school shooting is just so real. This is a tough subject and, really, so much of it, in each book, has been done so well. Not every couple, or romance, always worked for me, and the same applies to this final book, but overall I like that Loren took the risk to tackle something like this.

Will it be a series I recommend or reread? The latter, no, the former, maybe? I think it’s worth exploring for readers and, I mean, if you want feels and angst, there’s plenty. Also it offers up HEAs for survivors who have taken back their lives after going through something horrific. No matter the details, that’s worth respecting.

I think, out of all of them, this may have been my favourite of the series as far as the couple went. I won’t say it is without some of the same pitfalls or irritations found in other contemporary romances, but for the most part I love how these two fit. I didn’t love some of the revisionist history near the end, the cutesy bow on the already-solidified happy ending, so that did sour things a little, but the ending itself was pretty strong and powerful and was a nice chapter to close on the overall story for these four women.

These books weren’t my first experience with Loren and while this wasn’t quite a homerun series for me that I thought it would be, I would definitely pick her up again.

** I received an ARC from Edelweiss and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 4 star review

THE ONE FOR YOU was a strong finale to this series that I have enjoyed overall. For me, this final book was as enjoyable as the first book, my other favourite in the series. It has been good to see completion of all the characters from Long Acre and catch up on those from previous books.

This story took some getting into for me. I liked the storyline immediately, both the characters of Kincaid (who I’ve liked from the other books) and Ash were engaging but I found the pacing off initially. It picked up some speed of execution around the 30% mark and then I didn’t look back.

Kincaid have both a second chance and friends to more thing going on. Both these elements were complicated, their friendship however was lovely and that was their safe place. I enjoyed the slow build of chemistry and how these two came together. However, all elements of their relationship remained complex.

Ash was a bit of a contradiction in characteristics at times which was fun. On the one hand, supporter, passive and on the other, ready to punch someone in defence of Kincaid and dominant in other ways. He felt unpredictable and I liked that. The story of these two had a predictable feel but it didn’t stop my enjoyment. However, we did get some twists from the past that I didn’t see coming and found pretty jaw dropping. There were some lose ends to parts of this story that I wanted a bit more of like Ash’s parents.

The full circle of this story and the four books was like finishing a long journey. I was pleased to get to the destination but I enjoyed the scenary along the way. I’ve enjoyed the topic of a high school shooting affecting people in the long term as a back drop to this series, it’s felt pretty unique in the genre.

Thank you to Sourcebooks for the early review copy.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – DECEMBER 31, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


LOVE LETTERING by Kate Clayborn is a story with opposites attract, fonts, whimsy, a nerdy socially awkward hero.. if you aren’t already a fan of Clayborn (which, like, what), this will make you one. Also, I would recommend keeping this safe until tomorrow because if you try to pick it up tonight.. you might as well cancel your New Years Eve plans.

THE ONE FOR YOU by Roni Loren is the final book in The Ones Who Got Away series that is set in a backdrop of the aftermath of a highschool shooting and featuring certain characters who survived, but maybe aren’t exactly thriving, a decade later. Both of us have followed this series of interconnected characters and couples and we are here for the finale featuring Kincaid and Ashton.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

LOVE LETTERING by Kate Clayborn – double review!

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts one woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .

Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing beautiful custom journals for New York City’s elite. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Like the time she sat across from Reid Sutherland and his gorgeous fiancée, and knew their upcoming marriage was doomed to fail. Weaving a secret word into their wedding program was a little unprofessional, but she was sure no one else would spot it. She hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid . . .

A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out—before he leaves New York for good—how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline, a fractured friendship, and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other about their lives, work, and regrets, both try to ignore the fact that their unlikely connection is growing deeper. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .


Title : Love Lettering
Author : Kate Clayborn
Format : ARC/ebook
Page Count : 320
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Kensington Books
Release Date : December 31, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis/Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5/ ★ ★.5


Hollis’ 4.5 star review

This is a hard review to write because I want to get it right. Why I loved this. How extraordinary the writing is, the moments we were given, shown, even the ones that were hidden until they were ready to be told.

To me, this a love story for all the people who were told they were mistakes or were mistaken, and even felt it in themselves. Who never got a do-over, never got a second chance, or the opportunity to explain themselves. It’s a quiet story, in a way, one that just goes along with things.. until it doesn’t.

I’ll preface this, a little belatedly, by saying that if you don’t love a little whimsy in your novels, if you can’t use your imagination to bring something to mind, you might not always love this read. Fonts, lettering, as one might infer from the title, play a very big part. And I loved this. It offered a richness, a uniqueness, to the characters and this world — even if it is our own.

And speaking of the characters.. they were all, equally, in their own way, five stars. With exception to one obvious selection (Cameron) and one maybe not so obvious (not naming names, cough, Sibby, cough). Meg was a delight; watching her come into her own, every step she made, every mistake.. it was lovely. Reid, however, I almost have no words for. This is the most charming of all romance heroes. Not a grump, not an alpha, not a jerk. Just a giant, awkward, stoic creature. A total gentleman, a diehard math nerd, completely out of his element in almost every situation. He stole my heart, totally, and every interaction between them was just.. I want more.

Reid, did you make a joke?
Probably not. I’m not known for my sense of humour.

For such a quiet story, the plot of this did take me a bit by surprise, but in hindsight everything slots into place. Every t gets crossed, every i gets its dot. But the banter, the chemistry, the build up.. everything, was fantastic.

I hesitate to say more because, again, I really want to get this review right. I’m not sure I succeeded. Just know this book made me laugh, made me soft, made me gushingly share passages with a friend (who had already read it!) and, I mean, full stop, what better expresses a reader’s love than that? At this point, all I can say is : read this book.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 2.5 star review

2.5 stars

saved this book for when I needed a go-to, guaranteed great romance. I had a number of friends singing it’s praises. Let me tell you, that backfired on me so bad. I’m not here to rant just to tell you why this didn’t work for me.

I was confused when by 20% I just did not get what was going on with this couple. I got that Meg was trying to engage Reid but what did Reid think he was there for? Reid was a super awkward character that I think may have had ASD (just my take, unconfirmed) and I really liked him. However, I felt like a spectator without a translator, missing half of the story and I promise, I was concentrating.

I can say I finally got into this a bit more by 60%, which is too much reading commitment for me to finally feel a bit of something. From there on I did feel chemistry with the MCs but overall, the story fell incredibly flat for me. Reid’s big secret seemed unnecessarily shoe-horned into the story but I’d lost my give-a-damn by then.

I’m sorry I missed what so many found special about this story, but it is what it is, a flop for me.

INSTACRUSH by Kate Meader

Theo Kershaw is the luckiest guy alive.

Roaring back from a life-threatening injury, he has the world at his skates as defenseman for his new team, the Chicago Rebels. Everyone adores his big personality, his on-ice talent, and his killer smile. Everyone but his prickly neighbor – or so he thinks. One chilly Christmas Eve, Theo will learn that maybe the girl next door isn’t such a hater after all …

Elle Butler is the most embarrassing person on the planet. 

How else can the ex-military-now-bartender explain her crush on the hot jock who lives across the hall? True, he has gorgeous green eyes and perfect cheekbones, but the filter between his brain and too-sexy mouth is permanently malfunctioning. Yet she can’t stop checking out his Instagram antics or sneaking looks at him when he’s in her bar. So. Mortifying. Running from a past filled with damning secrets, Elle’s determined that this guilty pleasure remains buried in her deepest fantasies.

Because she couldn’t possibly indulge with the Theo Kershaw or make a mistake that draws attention to her under-the-radar life. And she especially couldn’t be a mom to a pro-athlete’s baby … could she?


Title : Instacrush
Author : Kate Meader
Series : Rookie Rebels (book two)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 319
Genre : sports contemporary romance
Publisher : Kate Meader LLC
Release Date : December 10, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★


Hollis’ 3 star review

So, I wasn’t planning to review this officially because it’s sunday, almost Christmas (as I write this, it’s the twenty-second), and because we don’t really need blog content (gasp, yes, I said it). But then my mini GR review started to turn into, like, thoughts and so I just went with it.

This is book two in the Rookie Rebels series, a spin-off from the Chicago Rebels series, and reunites us with two obviously-going-to-start-something non-couple from the background of book one’s story, Elle Butler, army buddy of Levi Hunt’s, and now bartender at the local team’s bar, and Theo Kershaw, chatty sunshine defenseman with the bubble butt. And let me tell you, both of their backstories took me kinda by surprise.

This would’ve been an easy story to keep light and focus on the I-want-you-but-won’t-admit-to-it element that Elle had in regards to dealing with Theo. Instead we get a rockier history to Theo’s life, both with his upbringing and then with a major health scare, plus Elle’s got a lot of reasons for her toughness and walls; and they aren’t limited to just being in the army. I’ll admit her backstory was interesting because it was different, particularly for a sports contemporary romance, but there were also elements that felt a little unbelievable, much more in line with the soap opera storylines that a few of the players enjoy so much, and in general I felt Elle’s character arc to be less consistent. Whereas Theo was a joy and his ups and downs felt very true to form and appropriate to some of his growth.

Additionally there’s a plot element to this romance that is not my favourite, nor in how they were made to approach it, but. It didn’t piss me off, either, so, win?

What might have been my favourite part, beyond Theo and his Thirsty Instagram Stories, was catching up with all the familiar faces. I loved where some of their lives had gone, what they were doing, and I’m hella keen for Gunnar’s story as that’s clearly being set up for book three. I expect tons of angst and I want it. Particularly after this rather sugary book. Give me angst and feels.

This isn’t quite the awesome, dying seconds of overtime goal kind of winning story, but it was a fun way to pass a sunday afternoon. And I am keen to read on, so, another win.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris 🎧

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? 


Title : Behind Closed Doors
Author : BA Paris
Format : Audio
Length : 8 hours, 46 minutes
Genre : Domestic Thriller
Publisher : Macmillan Audio
Release Date : August 9, 2016

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5 -4 star review

I don’t read many thrillers these days when once, thrillers were the only thing on my book menu! Anyway, I was in the middle of a book slump and fancied something totally different. Plus, I’m all about reading the backlog. This domestic thriller was told in past and present with a slowly unfurling and creepy story.

The focus of this story was Grace and her meeting, relationship and marriage to Jack. Grace had a sister with Down’s Syndrome and this meant a vulnerability from an exploitation perspective. Jack was the ‘perfect’ man but insidious psychopath; no one on the exterior would guess the depravity to his needs or behaviours. What was interesting to me was the lack of a physical element to the behaviours and therefore the author excelled at being able to convey the cruelty of mental and emotional torture.

It took time to build up to the true picture of what was going on behind the doors of the perfect house and perfect couple. The sceptical part of me remains amazed at any women who will give up their job and own identity for the love of any man. On the one hand, I felt Grace was a bit of a sap before the abuse but once that was in play, she was clearly purely a victim. There were times in this story that leaned towards the incredulous but the author seemed able to pull this back before it became too extreme.

I was surprised where the eventual plot of this book went, having felt a predictability at times, so colour me surprised at the twists. The audio kept me wrapped up in the story and I always wanted to get back to it on my commute and made excuses to myself to finish the audio. The narration was generally good. Overall, I enjoyed the experience and I will defintely read more by BA Paris.

TOP TEN MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASES OF 2020

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Hi, Hollis here. Because we are seconds away from closing the door on 2019, I got to thinking about all the books set to release next year that we know of (which, admittedly, only really spans the January to June-ish portion of 2020). There are so many! And so many still yet to be announced. So while I know we will have a few of these anticipated release posts throughout the year, I thought to be a little.. mean.

I’m challenging myself, and my blog buddy, to narrow down an anticipated list of only ten titles. Yes. Ten. That’s not even one title per month. Ten. Dix. Dieci. Diez. T e n.

I’ll start.

Hollis’ Top Ten (I ALREADY HAVE REGRETS) Anticipated Releases of 2020 (in order of publication) :

TOUGH GUY by Rachel Reid (January 13, 2020)
LUCKY CALLER by Emma Mills (January 14, 2020)
HEADLINERS by Lucy Parker (January 20, 2020)
ALONE IN THE WILD by Kelley Armstrong (February 4, 2020)
THE MIDNIGHT LIE by Marie Rutkoski (March 3, 2020)
IF I NEVER MET YOU by Mhairi McFarlane (March 24, 2020)
THE HAPPY EVER AFTER PLAYLIST by Abby Jimenez (April 14, 2020)
HARROW THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir (June 2, 2020)
TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert (June 23, 2020)
EMERALD BLAZE by Ilona Andrews (date to be announced)


Micky’s Top Ten (why is Hollis making me make these decisions) Anticipated Releases of 2020 (in order of publication)

HEADLINERS by Lucy Parker (January 20, 2020)
AN EVERYDAY HERO by Laura Trentham (February 4, 2020)
HEARTSTOPPER VOL 3 by Alice Oseman (February 6, 2020)
THE MIDNIGHT LIE by Marie Rutoski (March 3, 2020)
CHAIN OF GOLD by Cassandra Clare (March 3, 2020)
HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD by Sarah J Maas (March 3, 2020)
TAKE A HINT, DANI BROWN by Talia Hibbert (June 23, 2020)
EMPIRE OF THE VAMPIRE by Jay Kristoff (September 3, 2020)
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE SKY by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (October 6, 2020)
THE IPPOS KING by Grace Draven (date to be announced)


We’d love to know what you want to read next year. It is so hard to narrow it down, we know.

TOP TEN READS OF 2019

Drum roll please.

Photo by Nicholas Goh on Unsplash

It is with much angst and wringing of hands that we present our Top Ten reads of 2019. We are not shoe-horning in an extra two, we have whittled it down to ten.


Micky’s Top Ten of 2019

EVVIE DRAKE STARTS OVER by Linda Holmes
BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo
A TRAGIC KIND OF WONDERFUL by Eric Lindstrom
TO BE TAUGHT, IF FORTUNATE by Becky Chambers
MAGIC RISES by Ilona Andrews
CRASH by Harper Dallas
NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff
A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER by Sara Barnard
AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE by Tayari Jones
REPEAT by Kylie Scott


Hollis’ Top Ten of 2019

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston
BIRTHDAY by Meredith Russo
HEADLINERS by Lucy Parker
GET A LIFE, CHLOE BROWN by Talia Hibbert
HEATED RIVALRY by Rachel Reid
THROWN OFF THE ICE by Taylor Fitzpatrick
DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Mhairi McFarlane
GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir
TWEET CUTE by Emma Lord
LOVE LETTERING by Kate Clayborn


Have you made a top ten, top three or top fifty? Let us know some of your favourties.

A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY by Brigid Kemmerer – double review!

We’re reblogging this one as Micky just finished reading and added her thoughts to make this a double review.

A Take from Two Cities

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins…

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THE QUEEN OF NOTHING by Holly Black – double review!

Hollis decided to read this the day after Micky’s review went up, so we’re reblogging to add her thoughts. no one asked for them, but she’s given them, anyway.

A Take from Two Cities

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic…

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AURORA RISING by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – double review!

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic. 


Title : Aurora Rising
Author : Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Series : Aurora Cycle (book one)
Format : physical
Page Count : 472
Genre : YA scifi
Publisher : Knopf Books for Young Readers/Rock The Boat
Release Date : May 7, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating :  ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 3 star review

AURORA RISING, to me, feels like what would happen if the coupling of Firefly and The Expanse had a baby with the child of Star Trek and The Losers. That’s a lot of movie references, I know. But this felt like so many things, a total mashup of weird and snarky and creepy, and it just seems to.. fit.

That doesn’t mean it was a perfect or totally solid book. So many elements made it seem that way but I’ll admit this wasn’t as smooth as the author duo’s previous series and some things.. well, I mean, some disbelief has to be suspended, of course it does, but this was a fun read, a bit of a wild whacky ride, and it’ll make absolutely great tv (guess that’s why it’s been optioned!).

There was a lot of build-up, a lot of mystery, in this series opener and I have a feeling (and hope) that as a result of having some of the reveals out in the open, on the table, book two will feel tighter. Much I think of what dragged this down for me was just trying to make sense of things while also bouncing between a lot of POVs.

And speaking of POVs. With a less savvy writer team, these characters might’ve been nothing more than walking talking archetypes. And thankfully that wasn’t the case. They weren’t my favourite ensemble, I didn’t fall in love with the dynamic right away, but when they broke off into pairs, or smaller groups, it worked. Being in their heads, each time the shift felt unique, not same-y, and if I had favourites, welllll. Can you blame me? There’s definitely lots to explore and I’m curious as to their dynamic going into book two as a result of.. certain.. events.. #spoilerz.

But though I hate to compare.. it really doesn’t match the greatness of ILLUMINAE. At all. But that’s fine. This is it’s own animal and I’m not here to argue apples and oranges. Because that’s what it is. This is an orange to the aforementioned’s apple but, I guess, I feel obligated (defensive?) to explain why I didn’t love it quite like I expected to.

But I am definitely looking forward to more.


Micky’s 3.5 star review

Double review and some mirroring of feelings over here. Hollis and I started this book together, same day…but I finished it two weeks later because I struggled with feeling engaged and investment in the plot. The good news is, by the end of the book, I had regained some investment.

The 312 squad was a great concept and their coming together as a team was pretty hilarious. All the quippy banter was to be had when they were together. I basically liked the team dynamic and most of the characters individually but there’s a whole lot of different species, physical characterstics and cultural values to process as you get to know them. I found myself confused a number of times. The world building felt unwieldy at times but I gradually got to grips. All that said, I still didn’t know Finian and Zila by the end of the book and I think I should have been more knowledgeable by then. The differing POVs didn’t always help reader cohesion with characters and the plot.

Aurora was a superb main character because there was so much to fathom and her initial appearance was just the surface of what was to come. I liked Tyler and Scarlett but Tyler seemed to lack depth, however I suspect this was about the walls he put up as he led the squad. My other favourite was Kal, again a mysterious character with depth and complexity, I kind of wanted to get my teeth into him…snigger. I am here for the pairing potential in its infancy in this book and that element gave me the feels and interest.

So, what didn’t I gel with? The pacing was up and down and I lost interest a few times so that I felt that I had to push through. I felt disengaged with the plot at times and the middle section of the book was a bit like walking through mud. I have to say though, the last 20% reignited my interest with fast-paced and exciting developments.

I am definitely invested in the bigger picture that this series offers with a slight trepidation about the bigger plot that was revealed in the end of the book; at the moment that doesn’t float my boat. I hope to go into AURORA BURNING with my love for some of the characters, carrying me through.