Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Rival (Fall Away #2) by Penelope Douglas

Rival (Fall Away, #2)Series: Fall Away #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Fall Away #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: 8/26/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….

My Review

To be honest, I probably wouldn't have given Rival much consideration if it hadnt been for a couple of chickies in my book group. They loved Bully and Until You, and both are super picky. I'm pretty weary of the bad boy-good girl YA/NA novels, but decided to trust my friends on this one. It paid off.

I didn't want to like Rival. I didn't want to like the characters, their drama, their angst. I know that angst, drama, and bad decisions is par for the course when it comes to teens. I mean, I was a wild child myself, and I'm not too keen on wallowing in all that again very often. I told myself I would give the book one hundred pages to pull me in, then I was done.

I didn't want to like Rival, and I ended up loving it. Relishing the story, rolling around in the drama and chaos like a happy little piglet. Penelope Douglas took these intensely messed-up kids with their chaotic lives, and she made me actually care about them.

Madoc and Falllon's story opens two years in the past, apparently somewhat concurrent with Jared and Tate's story in Bully (I think. I'm assuming here, since I haven't read that book). Madoc and Jared are horrible and I disliked them on site. Madoc is cruel to Fallon, and by the end of this section,it almost seems that he does something awful to her and she leaves town for two years. (Slight spoiler alert: he didn't) The story then picks up two years later, with Fallon's return, and she's set on revenge. Long story short,we learn that Fallon and Madoc shared an intense, somewhat happy relationship behind closed-doors before, but due to family circumstance (her mom is married to his dad-very unhappily), betrayal, being misled, and misunderstandings, they were torn apart.

It's young love, y'all! And it was GLORIOUS.

Rival was intense, so passionate. It was a bit of a mind f*ck for me because I honestly didn't know who or what to believe. Does Madoc care for Fallon, or was she a piece of ass? Will Fallon bring his world down to get her revenge, or does she have her sights somewhere else? And what happened while she was away? Appearances are not what they seem in Rival. There's a thin line between love and hate here, and the lightbulb moment, the moment I realized "Ohhhh. These two don't hate each other. The fcking love each other!" was awesome. Whereas I thought I was getting a story about these awful kids who had more money than brains, I got an intensely passionate love story between two kids who'd been done so wrong. The story completely pulled me in, forced me to frantically turn the pages, and did not let me go until the last word. And then I collapsed into an exhausted, exhilarated heap.

Rival was terrific. It's not often that I'm forced to love a story, but when I do, it's an amazing thing.

Favorite Quotes

  I kept my voice low and soft, trying to reach her. "You act like you have no heart, like you just swallow your conscience with all of the pain you cause. But I see through it, Fallon. The truth is, you want me like nobody's business." She closed her mouth and swallowed. "You've always wanted me. You know why? Because I don't try kill your demons. I run with them."

  But when she started to unbutton my pants, I grabbed her hand. "Not yet," I whispered, snatching her bottom lip between my teeth. She tasted like vanilla and warmth and home. I couldn't imagine ever being hungry for anything else but her.

  I'd stopped growing up when Fallon left.
  And I started again when she came home.
  You have to have something to love.
The Fall Away Series
Bully (Fall Away, #1)   Until You (Fall Away, #1.5)  Rival (Fall Away, #2)   Falling Away (Fall Away, #3)
Penelope Douglas is a writer living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. She is the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestsellers BULLY and UNTIL YOU. Look for the next book in the series, RIVAL, coming August 26, 2014.

 photo AndreaSig_zps3f75055b.jpg


  1. You're not going to believe it, but I've just posted my review for Rival, LOL I honestly had no idea I would have been so caught up and I'm soooo happy to read you also loved it :)
    Great review, Andrea!

  2. I have been eyeing this one so I am really glad to hear that you didn't want to like it but then loved it.Definitely need to get my hands on this one now! Great review Andrea!

  3. I read this one as soon as it came out on Tuesday even though I wasn't the biggest fan of Bully because I was a bit iffy with the whole falling in love with your bully thing, but I loved this too!
    I adored the chemistry between these two! They were pretty hot and heavy together. :D I'm so glad you liked this, Andrea! :) I'm excited to read Jax' story especially since I hated K.C in the first book and it looks like she's being paired with him.
    Lovely review! :)

  4. Ooh, I'm so glad I picked up Bully a few weeks back. I'm even more curious to dive into this world. I'm so happy Rival won you over, Andrea. I loved you comparing yourself to a little piglet rolling around in all the angst and chaos. *grins* Fabulous review, hon!

  5. I didn't read your review to closely because I'm posting one next week, but I loved this one too, Andrea! So happy to see you did as well! I'll come back and read your review more closely when I've done mine up. :)

  6. I'm starting this one tonight Andrea! Iwas just talking to MEgan about how much Ilike those kinds of books were you feel like you shouldnt like the characters or the book, but you just do anyway. I havent read Bully but I might after this :)

  7. I want this so bad!! The synopsis caught me instantly but your review KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK! You know I don't do angst unless it's well done and this sounds epic! Sort of like ALTF with Trent and Lexi! Excellent, excellent review! Thank you!

  8. That's pretty awesome that she convinced you so dang hard to love it. Always a nice surprise when you're really not thinking you'll like one.

  9. I am going to have to give this series a try since you've liked it so much. Another great review as always :)

  10. I loved this one. I agree, Madoc and Fallon were totally, passionately in love and that's why they hurt so much. Fallon's mother was a nasty piece of work, right? Excellent review, Andrea! :)


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