Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: The Other Side of Envy by C.L. Stone

The Other Side of Envy (Ghost Bird Series #8) by C.L. Stone
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Arcato Publishing
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Sang Sorenson dreams of what life might be like for her in the Academy, but joining isn't as easy as simply writing an exam or passing an interview. She'll need to pull the team together to get them on her side in order for it to work, which is harder than it sounds. The boys will do anything to protect her, which, for some, means keeping her out.

But that’s not all that’s going on in Sang’s complicated life. After a shocking revelation, Gabriel Coleman splinters himself off from everyone, avoiding not just his Academy team, but even going so far as to avoid Sang. Desperate to bring him back and get him on her side, Sang digs deep into his past to try to discover a way to reach out to him.

His truth is riddled with tragic events, but with the help of Kota, Victor, Silas, Nathan, Luke and North, she might be able to reach out to him before envy and despair drag him too far down to be saved.

I've been waiting very impatiently for this book to come out and was lucky enough to receive an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Well, honestly, I'm just as in love with this series now as I've ever been.  This latest installment was such a welcome addition to the series.  It was perfect!

This time around, the focus of the story is Sang and Gabriel.  I loved having an opportunity to get to know Gabriel on a deeper level, as I feel like he was one of the remaining guys that we know the least about at this point.  Most of the other guys have gotten a lot more screen time than he has, so to speak. So getting to spend time in his world, seeing what his deep feelings are, both about himself, and about Sang too, was wonderful.  He is sweet, smart, and so talented with just about everything, but like most people, he doesn't always see his own worth.  I'm so glad the author explored this with Sang and allowed her to get a deeper glimpse into him.

I was both shocked and gratified when Sang was able to discover, in this book, what's really going on. A lot of the guys have, throughout the last few books, been brought into the secret, and I really thought we would reach the end of the series before Sang would discover it.  Once again, C.L. Stone surprised me.  At first I was a little scared of what the implications of her knowing would mean for the story, but I need not have been concerned.  As shy and introverted as she may be, Sang does know what she wants, and discovering this secret was probably just the thing she needed at this point.  She can now be a more active participant.

This book also allowed more time for Sang with both Dr. Green and Mr. Blackbourne, which I absolutely LOVED!!  Dr. Sean Green is such a sweety, and every scene with Mr. Blackbourne just made me wiggle in my chair.

This book followed the continuing saga that the protagonists have been dealing with since book one. However, whereas the last couple to three books have been heavy on the external danger and conflict, this book focused almost exclusively on the relationship building, which I loved.  It was high time for that.  Significant progress was made in some relationships where it really needed to occur.

As always the writing was fast-paced, engrossing and altogether entertaining.  I've never been so happy and exciting for just kissing scenes as I am when I read these books.  Every little encounter is amazing and just gets you in the heart.  I love this series and am already beyond excited for the next book to come out.

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