Monday, January 6, 2020

Book Review: Release

It's a new year with new reading goals, and I completely smashed my goal of 110 books last year! I ended up reading 125, so I set my 2020 Goodreads goal to 125 for this year so cross your fingers. Of course, if I find books as good as this one, I will have no problem flying through them!
Release - Aly Martinez
Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.

At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.

At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.
By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.

Love never fails, right?
But for Ramsey, it did.
Love failed him.
I failed him.
The entire world failed him.

At seventeen, Ramsey was convicted of killing the boy who assaulted me.

Move on, he wrote in his first and only letter from prison.
Start a new life, he urged.
I don’t love you anymore, he lied.

There was no such thing as giving up on Ramsey. Love may have been our curse, but he was mine—then, now, and forever.

So here I am, twelve long years later, waiting for a man I don't even know to emerge from between the chain link gates. 

Alright, so it's been awhile since I've read something from Aly Martinez was The Fall Up and that feels like forever ago. I really liked that one and sadly, nobody got me any of any Christmas since then even though they've been on my list, but that's a whole other post.

Today though, let's talk about her newest book Release. As soon as I saw this come up for review I immediately jumped at the opportunity because the premise is everything I want: a good girl trying to fix a (presumably) bad boy. I mean, that's my FAVORITE trope so I can't pass it up!

I love how the chapters switch between Thea and Ramsey, but also the past and the present, which sounds confusing but I promise you it isn't. We meet Thea the day her mom dies of cancer, which is when she meets Ramsey when he accidentally breaks her leg. He begins a friendship with her and she isn't having it (which is why I love her even more because she's the girl who isn't particularly nice to him but I love him because he's persistent even when she's at her worst). Over the years they become best friends, then they become first loves, and when things get hot and heavy, their lives are turned up and down.

Twelve years later, Ramsey is leaving prison and Thea is there to greet him. Not getting the greeting she hoped for, things look pretty damn bleak for them and I felt terrible for Ramsey. The majority of the book is his readjustment into civilian life and struggling with wanting Thea but also believing the best thing is for her to get over him and get on with her life. She can't do that because she loves him, for better or for worse, and she's determined to play his own game to win him back.

OK. A lot happens in this book and if I had to tell you something I wish were better.... I wish there was more to the ending. We have a kind of "almost bad news" run in for Ramsey kind of towards the end and I really wanted, and expected, there to be another one that was more serious, so it felt like the ultimate "dun, dun, dun" moment. I mean, Ramsey going to jail, that's big. The other piece of the puzzle from that fateful night, that's big, too. I just wanted something bigger. Ultimate justice, I guess. Without that it almost felt like a rushed ending and that's a bummer, but I loved the epilogue.

Things I loved? Thea and Ramsey. It's almost unheard of that I love both main characters but I really did in this book. Maybe it's their screwed up childhoods, their bond that helped them get through it. Sure, it almost became a co-dependency thing but Thea pulls it through and proves that's not what this relationship is for her, and I totally love it. I even liked Nora (Ramsey's sister) and if there isn't a sequel for Nora, I'm going to be so disappointed. Hell, let's just do a series for all of the victims, can we? I just really feel this needs actual justice and some karma to come back at the crappy villain's family. Something.

Anyways. Loved it. If you're in the mood for a romance with a solid relationship at the bottom of it? You should really check this one out. Its a fast read and I think you're going to really enjoy it. I'm giving this a 4.5 rounded up to a 5. I feel hesitant on doing that because sometimes I feel like I'm too easy but then also too hard and I can't win with ratings, but truly.... this is one I'm going to remember and hope to see sequels to later on.
A huge thank you to Aly Martinez and Social Butterfly PR for having me on this tour and for providing an ARC for review. As always, all opinions are my own and this post may contain affiliate links.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

I have The Fall Up that I still need to read. I'm glad to hear you loved this one though, and that you really liked BOTH main characters. And I like that it has both their point of views too.


Mir @FangirlPixieBlog said...

Great review! This is a new to me author, thank you for sharing