Book Review: The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen

April 25, 2015 Book Reviews 0

20896313Genre: 

New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

A lot

Part of a Series?:

4 books + 1 Novella

The Year We Fell Down
The Year We Hid Away
Blonde Date
The Understatement of the Year
The Shameless Hour

Release Date: 

N/A

You Can Find the Book At:

Check your local bookstore!

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble (You can get the full series PLUS novella for 6.99 on Nook!)

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Life at the elite Harkness College is brought to you in four tales, each one sexier and more heartbreaking than the last. Contains: hockey hotties, snarky T-shirts, a slow-burn love affair, a liar (with reasons,) a virgin (with reasons,) and one adorkable basketball player.

 

Book 1: The Year We Fell Down
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.
Corey was supposed to start college as a member of the women’s ice hockey team. Instead, she’ll spend it in a wheelchair. The only upside? Her too-delicious-to-be-real neighbor across the hall.
Book 2: The Year We Hid Away
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Dorm rooms are supposed to be for sleeping, studying, and partying. Not for hiding your eight-year-old sister.

Novella: Blonde Date
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?

Book 3: The Understatement of the Year
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Michael Graham will never tell anyone the truth about himself. Too bad his past walks right into the locker room on the first day of hockey practice.
Book 4: The Shameless Hour
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can’t be extinguished.

My Review:

I hadn’t planned on reviewing the entire series as once but I fell massively behind in reviews and need so desperately to catch up. Know this: I love every single book in this series, including the novella and these short reviews will not do this entire series justice like I had hoped to do!
The Year We Fell Down: I’m so glad, especially after reading the entire series, that this is the first one. Corey and Hartley have a beautiful friendship that expands into so much more and I enjoyed every single minute of it. But it’s more than that. I enjoyed this book because of Corey’s struggle. She cannot play the sport she loves the most in the world because of an injury she got while playing. And she falls for a boy who can’t play either…but only until he’s healed. And he’s taken too! It’s a lot of heartbreak for her, and it’s painful to watch her go through it and I want to hug her and be her best friend and cheer her on. I loved the first book because it was her story.
The Year We Hid Away: There are so many reasons that I loved this second book and it boils down to Bridger. I love Scarlet and her part in the story and what she does for Bridger and for the romance in the story but it’s Bridger that makes me care from beginning to end. He’s given up so much and taken on so much more in order to keep his sister taken care of and safe. It makes me fall in love with him, easily, because I know what it’s like to sacrifice your own cares and worries and life for the love of a sibling. I root for the two of them to end up together because of him, because from the beginning I want him to succeed and be happy.
The Understatement of the Year: I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. I have not had the chance to read a male to male romance novel like this before. Or really ever. And I loved every single bit of it and I need more. Now. Not only does Sarina tell a wonderful romantic story between the two main characters, it really captures the struggle to be gay, both as an out gay person and someone who is hiding. Rikker and Graham struggle but they have a great friendship and eventual relationship, and it’s incredibly sweet and over the top sexy as hell.
The Shameless Hour: I just read this recently because it just came out! And I can honestly say…it’s my favorite. I think it comes down to the fact that I just genuinely love Bella and Rafe so much. I feel a connection to both of them. I love Bella and everything she is. I love that she embraces who she is, but also she struggles with it when it’s blasted all over campus. It’s hard to deal with being a girl, open about her sexuality, when people tend to judge girls about their sex lives. It’s easy to feel familiar when reading Bella’s POV. And I love Rafe because he’s so genuine. He could come across in so many ways but he’s beautiful and charming and kind and I love every little bit of him. Their story is incredibly sweet and I love watching them fall in love.
———–
All in all, I think Sarina creates an incredible series with beautiful romances wrapped around the love of hockey. I’m not a huge hockey fan but I can totally get behind sexy hockey players, both girls and guys, and fun and deep and awesome romantic stories. Everything about it makes me so happy. I wish there were more in this series but I know that these are books that I will definitely revisit them in the future!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

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