Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rival by Penelope Douglas

By Penelope Douglas
Published: August 26, 2014
Publisher: NAL Trade
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Book 2 in the Fall Away series
3 stars

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New York Times bestseller and New Adult sensation Penelope Douglas returns with an all-new novel in the Fall Away series.
Madoc’s easygoing nature masks a hidden pain. But he’s ready to get on with his life, until Fallon—the one girl he’s loved and lost—unexpectedly returns to their small town the summer before college. And she’s not done with him… 

*Novel provided by Penguin Group via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Please note that I don't mean to offend anyone in this review.  However, I do express my opinion about incest, and it is not a positive one.  I hope that you can respect my thoughts and feel free to share your own in a positive, and friendly manner.

Opening Thoughts

Before you even think about picking up this book, there is one thing that you need to know.  This is a book about incest.  If that doesn't faze you, then great!  Go ahead and pick this book up.  However, if it makes you kind of uncomfortable, as it does me, then you should probably move on to bigger and better things.  Now to be completely honest, when I requested this book on NG (NetGalley, for those of you who aren't up to date on the slang that all the cool kids are using), I didn't read the summary.  I had heard a couple youtubers that I really trust for NA recs talking about a book called Rival that was coming out soon.  I saw this book, and thought it was the same one.  Needless to say, it was not.  So I started reading this book because I did get approved (obviously), and I might as well up my approval to feedback ratio.  I probably would have really enjoyed this book had the main characters not been siblings.  But alas, they were, and there's nothing that I can do about it.


Fallon and Madoc.  Oh boy...  What a duo.  I just don't know what to say about them.  This book is in dual POV, alternating between Fallon and Madoc, which was nice because you got to know what each of them were thinking as things progressed.  Fallon was surprisingly witty and intelligent.  Her and Madoc engaged in some great banter with some quote-worthy lines.  Madoc was kind of iffy for me.  A lot of the scenes that I was supposed to find hot, I just...didn't.  He didn't pull off the intense broody guy, or the class clown.  Despite that, him and Fallon are certainly quite the power couple.

“But breaking was beautiful. It hurt, and it was an uphill climb back to sanity, but you came back stronger, fiercer, and more solid than you were before. Tate had obviously been through it, I had, and eventually so would K.C., I thought.” 

“But we were different now. I wanted only his pain, and judging from the girl he’d come home with last night, Madoc was still the same. A user.” 

Sometimes I wondered if the angels talked to get me to behave or to entice the devil to come out to play.”

“Guys didn’t like their cars messed with. And I didn’t like being messed with, so I guessed we were even.


I must hand it to Penelope Douglas, because she really is a great writer.  She had me rooting for Fallon and Madoc, even though in the back of my mind I was totally grossed out.  Something that didn't really work for me was that we didn't get to see the beginning of Madoc and Fallon's relationship.  We kind of saw it in flashbacks, but I never felt that I was really grasping what had gone down with them.  I think it would have been better if we had seen what had gone down as if it was in the present at the very beginning of the book, and then flashed forward to where the novel starts.  

Overall, this wasn't a fantastic book.  It was fine, I enjoyed it, but there wasn't anything special about it, except for the topic of incest, which just served to decrease my enjoyment of the novel.

Thanks for reading!  Let me know if you've read this book!  Did you like it?


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