Book Reviews, Indie Author, Review Archives

TIME STANDS STILL!! (EMI LOST & FOUND SERIES – BOOK #2)

In this second book in the Emi Lost & Found series, Time Stands Still, a near-death experience leaves Emi Hennigan injured and confused, but it’s a chance meeting with a man from her past that has her questioning everything she’s believed in. Emi is stunned when Jack Holland reminds her of their one evening together in college. Will her heart forever be with Nate Wilson, her best friend and soulmate? Or will she find love with someone completely unexpected?
 
The second of three books in the Emi Lost & Found series.
 
Author: Lori Otto  
Title: Time Stands Still (Book #2 of the Emi Lost & Found Series)  
Genre: Young Adult>Contemporary>Romance>  
Publication Date: August 2010
Links to Purchase: Amazon
Reviewer: Megan
 
My Review: 4.5 out of 5 Stars. 
 
So as I was saying at the end of my review for book #1, I was devastated and confused. While I was grateful I had this second book, I was so emotional during the first few chapters I had to read some other reviews, which I never do while I am reading a book. I hate the idea of stumbling onto a spoiler… but there was a part of me that was conflicted with the emotions I was experiencing, especially since I had first hand-personal experience with both of the tragedies Emi was facing.  I read several other reviews online and was actually frustrated that people would stop reading this series as a result. I was thankful, as I read through, I hadn’t read these reviews before finishing book #1, because they spoiled most of it’s ending… and that would have annoyed me to no end. I then started wondering why I was even reading these reviews. What did I hope to find? I suppose I wanted to be reassured that all these emotions would be worth it… and they totally were. 
 
While the events at the end of book #1 certainly caught me off guard, It still made me want to read more to understand why… why had the author chosen this path for her characters, why was this necessary, and how would this all turn out. I suppose that is what separates us as readers. The ability to appreciate a writers artistic creativity and the bravery that comes from making such bold moves. Unlike all those readers who got mad and said they refused to read on, I disagreed with them. I wondered if they had ever felt this kind of pain before – that raw pain that leaves you broken. Books that make you feel these kinds of emotions are the rare ones, the good ones. 
 
Had this mind boggling, devastating event never occurred, well the series wouldn’t have had a whole lot further to go. It could have been wrapped up all pretty with a sparkly bow and everyone lived happily ever after, but life isn’t about being wrapped in a pretty bow where we all live happily ever after. It’s about real pain and devastating events that we don’t always understand, how we learn from those events – how we pick ourselves up and move forward!
 
After I read through those first 100 pages of Time Stands Still, I took a moment to reflect on the emotions I had been feeling and still felt. And then, I applauded the author for her bravery in showing us this heartache. So many of us, at some point I am sure, have felt this pain and know it all too well. I believe the author captured the emotions well, and I found myself crying A LOT throughout this book. And even through the heartache there is some good that begins to shine through… and we are reminded that life does go on, even if we aren’t willing to move forward with it. Jack helped with this… he refused to let time stand still for Emi, he refused to let her accept her life for what she believed fate had handed her… he forced her to move forward. 
 
Can I just say for the record, I am in love with Jack!! oh yeah, love love love him. What a patient, kind, honest, and loyal man. He reminded me a lot of my husband (wink), which helped make him more realistic. He was such a beautiful character who was fantastically written and developed. I also loved the development of Chris and Anna, and I loved the relationship that both healed and blossomed between Emi and her sister. In the prequel they truly struggle and this slow appreciation for one another is so wonderful. 
 
Again, this book felt too long as well… but I still really really enjoyed it. I loved all of the ways that Jack helps Emi overcome all of the loss she experiences and I especially loved what he brought out in her.  I can’t say much more without giving important details away… so with that I will move onto the review for the third and final book, stating simply that I really enjoyed Book #2 and I willingly and with childlike impatience and enthusiasm, turned the page toward book #3 so hopeful for how this story would end….
 
Book Reviews, Indie Author, Review Archives

LOST & FOUND!! (EMI LOST & FOUND SERIES – BOOK #1)

When artist Nate Wilson falls in love, he falls hard. The problem is, he’s only been in love once, and the girl of his affections is his best friend, Emi Hennigan. 
 
In high school, the two bonded over painful breakups, and swore off a relationship to save their friendship. Thirteen years later, Nate has had more than his share of emotionally-unfulfilling, sexual relationships with beautiful women to distract himself from his true romantic feelings.
 
When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity takes Nate away from his friend and his comfortable lifestyle, he is forced to reflect on the distinct void that Emi’s absence leaves in his life. To Nate’s surprise, Emi has a similar experience; but as the friends embark upon their journey toward happiness together, destiny reveals other plans for Emi. 
 
This is the first of three books in the Emi Lost & Found series. This second edition features cover artwork by Summer Ortiz.

Author: Lori Otto  
Title: Lost & Found (Book #1 of the Emi Lost & Found Series)  
Genre: Young Adult>Contemporary>Romance>  
Publication Date: August 2010
Links to Purchase: Amazon
Reviewer: Megan
 
My Review: 4 out of 5 Stars. 
 
I really grappled with wether or not I wanted to write one big review for all three of the books in this series or write them separate. It took me until the moment I began to set up the post, to realize that separate was better, here’s why: 1. I really enjoyed the series as a whole, but I think each book has it’s own likes and dislikes that deserve attention. 2. I want you, the reader, to be able to quickly see those likes and dislikes without wadding through a really looong review. 3. I had it in my head that I had separate star scores for each book, and a final star score for the series… but I wanted to do both the book and the review(s) justice by differentiating this. 4. I would have separated my review of the whole series by book anyways (even if in one post), so why not just give each book it’s own review, it’s own page… and just make it more fun. This way, everyone can see what I thought of each book as it is. I promise in the review for book 3 to tell you all what I thought of the series as a whole! 
 
I was already drawn into this series after reading the prequel, Not Today, But Someday; therefore, I knew it wouldn’t take much for me to settle in and just let the story take hold of me. I already loved Emi and Nate, but I never really saw this book coming. While I initially was intrigued by the fact that Emi and Nate were now older, I quickly began missing the younger versions of them from the prequel and wished that I had gotten more of it. However, this dissipated just as quickly as it came. I was elated when the author would tie in bits and pieces from the prequel and you saw how it all fit together. It made me start thinking of some of my other favorite books and how cool a prequel would be. Then I even thought of how fascinating it would be to maybe someday write a prequel to my own Harvest Series… before Angela was murdered or maybe even leading up to her murder – the prequel from her eyes. Ohhh, the possibilities. This was where I realized, I am truly a series whore! 
 
Overall, I really liked this first book in the series. I loved the friendship that developed over the years between Emi and Nate, I liked (for the most part –* I say for the most part because some of the choices they make are less than stellar and as a result of some of those choices, their behavior was frustrating), who they became as adults, how they helped one another become the people they became. I liked that Emi found her passion in life as a result of the friendship she found in Nate. The story flowed well and kept me beyond entertained. It was a long book (a long series), so I was reading other books for reviews in between, but always found myself longing to get back to Emi and Nate. And never feeling disappointed when I finally made my way back.     
 
I don’t want to ruin anything by saying too much, especially since there are two other books. But, here is why this book in the series got only 4 stars and not 5.  The book was too long. There were parts that felt repetitive and parts that felt like they just dragged on and on for no reason. I felt as if the story could have been 100 pages shorter than it was and been just as fabulous, but I understand, from a writers point of view, that it’s hard to cut things out when you feel they are important to the character development and the final climax of the story.  Speaking of climax, the only other thing, besides the length of the story, that I didn’t like was the borderline erotica sex. I know I have drilled this pet peeve into the ground, but I can’t help how I feel about this. The sex scenes with Nate and his girlfriends were just too much – too graphic, too explicit, and often made me cringe. I loved Nate as a character, but during these scenes I loathed him. And when he began carrying some of this behavior over… I was infuriated. I realize it was meant to be this way… it was his internal struggle once he got what he always wanted, but the other two books were never as graphic or borderline erotica as this one, and it made me appreciate those intimate moments so much more.  These two things, by no means, diminished my opinion or liking of the book. They are just things that I didn’t particularly care for and things I want my readers to know.  
 
The ending of this book, book #1 in this series, TOTALLY, COMPLETELY, 100% caught me off guard!!! I had a range of emotions running through me as I read the final lines and I found myself thankful that all I had to do was turn the page and I could see what happened… not like that made it any better…. those same range of emotions just hit me again and left me with tears streaming down my face and utterly devastated and confused. 
 
This, is the point where I thought, what the hell? Why? And as I leave you with this and start the review of book #2, I will say… all I kept thinking was “Bold Move Lori, very very bold move!! WOW!!”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Giveaways!

WE LOVE GIVEAWAYS: Emi Lost & Found Series

 
*******************************************

Author: Lori L. Otto
Title: Emi Lost & Found Series 
Genre: Young Adult > Romance
Publication Date(s): April 2011
Giveaway Dates: Monday April 29, 2013-Sunday May 13, 2013 The winner will be announced in our weekly Manic Monday Feature. 
Prize: 2 Winners will receive the Series Bundle of Emi Lost & Found Series (3 book -eBook series- Kindle, Nook, Smashwords)
Link to my review: Not Today, But Someday – Book Review
Link to the Auhtor’s Website: Lori L. Otto, Author of Emi Lost & Found

Book Reviews, Indie Author, Manic Mondays, Review Archives

NOT TODAY, BUT SOMEDAY!

Manic Monday Indie/Self-Published Author Feature 
Week #1


In December of 1994, when she was a junior in high school, Emi Hennigan discovered her father’s infidelity. Forced to transfer schools mid-year, she wasn’t trying to make new friends. In that same month, sophomore Nate Wilson’s girlfriend broke up with him. Searching for someone to fill the void left by his first love, he meets Emi in his art class. Nate knows he wants Emi from the moment he sees her. Emi knows she needs Nate after one night together. A life-long friendship is born, and a pact is made to ensure that nothing will come between them. This novella is the prequel to the Emi Lost & Found series.

Author: Lori L. Otto
Title: Not Today, But Someday
Genre: Young Adult >Romance
Publication Date: September 2012
Links to Purchase: AmazonB&N
Reviewer: Megan
 
My Review: 5 out of 5 stars I Absolutely Loved It!! 
 
Not Today, But Someday… is NOT what you should be saying if you haven’t read Not Today, But Someday!!
 
As the true YA book whore I am, I must say I am IN LOVE with Emi and Nate!! I read this book in one sitting… started it in the morning over coffee and finished it before closing my eyes last night… and I worked 9 hours in between there as well..  it was a fast, engaging, enthralling read. I loved the relationship between Nate and Emi, I loved them individually, I loved their banter and their quirkiness. 
 
I loath spoilers so I don’t want to say too much about the story in general, because it’s one where you can easily spoil the fun without trying. SO what I will say is the issues within the story are real, with real consequences that so many families today face. Divorce and infidelity are on the rise and it’s often the children who pay the highest price… this is a lesson Emi knows all too well. I think Lori created special characters and an engaging plot. Her gift of storytelling is exceptional and left me turning page after page without realizing I had nearly reached the end within hours…  I went to bed last night elated that there were 3 more books in this series, this being the prequel… which meant, I had just begun getting to know Nate and Emi. This morning, my coffee hadn’t even finished brewing and I was already buying the series….
 
I can hardly wait to dive in and read the next 3 books… I have seen tidbits from the descriptions of each of the books in the series and was excited when I realized this story follows Emi into her adult life…. Eek, cue the giddy, squeaky adolescent in me! 
 
I highly highly recommend Not Today, But Someday by Lori L. Otto – YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED!!