June 30, 2015

Book Review: Aflame (Fall Away, #4) by Penelope Douglas

Aflame (Fall Away, #4)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

Lemme begin this review with,

crying over a window...

I am really having a hard time this week. So many feeling I collected from my reading list this month, especially the last one week. There were books that stole my heart while at the same time blew my mind, there was book that failed my expectation, and there were two my favorite romance series that finally reached an end.
I didn’t know about Fall Away series until one day around January this year. I picked up Bully simply because I was intrigued by its cover. I had no expectation whatsoever upon that book and it surprised me that the story was so good that it brought up such a sensitive issue of bullying in high school but it was packed in thoughtful plot and bottomlined a reason behind the issue presented from the perspective of the bully himself. Ms. Douglas had such a good writing style that I fell in love with on the first read. This began my journey to read more from this series. Now that I already reach the conclusion book of the series, I feel it’s real hard to say goodbye to everyone in this series. Fall Away might not attract me much at first but I ended up falling in love with it in the process that it took a place on big ten of my best contemporary romance series all the time. This series was one of the reason I loved NA genre.
Aflame became the conclusion of the series where Ms. Douglas presented Jared and Tate couple again this time. After such misunderstanding caused by the hero from previous book (yes, that hero that I used to hate so much for creating all this wide cliff between Jared and Tate but I had to thank for later because that was what started Aflame after all) .
Reading Aflame was like riding a roller-coaster. So many expectation, so many surprises, so many ups and downs but in the end it brought us to an end where we had this huge smile on our face and mind full of memories. My heart was alternated between Jared and Tate. One minute I hated Jared then loved him on the next one. The other time I hated Tate only to feel so much ache for her later on. I realized then that I really couldn’t pick side with this couple.
I don’t do my usual routine (read: write down my version of book synopsis) for this book. Usually I write a synopsis by forming words after words based on my favorite lines from the book that I highlighted during reading. In Aflame, I only highlighted once because I was just too busy burying myself into the story to do anything else. Also, I wanted to be least spoiler by not diving much into the storyline. You can always read the blurb or the excerpt in Falling Away to know more.
I really loved that Ms. Douglas decided to go with Tate and Jared in this book. I didn’t realize how much I missed this couple until I read this. In Bully, I kind of disliked Jared for the bullying he’d done to Tate. This time, I really really liked Jared. Never have I imagined to see the day where Jared would show the sensitive side of him when it came to his feeling for Tate. Tate played the tough role this time pulling anything to prove that there was no more friction between them but it only showed her truest feeling for Jared, the truest feeling of them both. It’s good to see the other couples and how they played important role in bringing them Jared and Tate back together again.
The pace was steady. The plot was filled enough with a little bit of everything: romantic, drama, tension, and of course much steamier scenes. There were scenes that made me cry, laugh, giggle, or just smile widely all at once.
I loved that each story of this series was not the kind of romance where it was rainbow everywhere in their world. I loved how realistic the storyline. I also especially loved every character with all their flaws and strong characterization where no one was mushy or overly dramatic or skeptical. If any, most of them had life-changing moments that directed their personality to a much better way. And when everyone finally got their happy ending, I, too, was happy for them because they really did deserve all that after the whole storm they’d been through.

I learned a lot from Fall Away series. Like never judge people for what they do now, but always, always, try to look deeper behind their façade to know why they do it. Everyone had a reason to do everything in life. Bully and Falling Away, for example, taught me that. I used to hate some of the characters in those books but along the way I learned that they weren’t as bad as I thought. Real life was like that, too. There are always good and bad in everyone. And we couldn’t just value the good and overlook the bad but we have to see them as a whole to shape a better opinion upon them. 

Reading Ms. Douglas’s letter to the reader, I felt so much emotion that I couldn’t express with words. Even though it’s really sad to say goodbye to all these amazing couple, she managed to slip something that put a hopeful smile on my face. For all the love in the world, I do really wish the possibility is high!

If anyone need to read some great, sweet, and sexy contemporary romance, I can always recommend you to pick this series up to your next reading list. Fall Away has so many feels to offer that you’ll crave over and over again!

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.


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