Review: Anywhere With You by Kaylee Ryan

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Anywhere With You (With You #1)
Title: Anywhere With You (With You #1)
Author: Kaylee Ryan
Date of Publication: August 27, 2013

Allison Hagan has not lived the life of a normal teenager. Her parents died in a car crash when she was ten, and she has been living with her elderly grandmother who happens to be her only living relative ever since. Allison became best friends with the boy next door, Aiden. Aiden’s family has taken her in as part of their own, which is why when her gran insists that she live in the dorms at college, Allison chooses to attend the same school as Aiden.

Liam MacCoy is a college senior and quarterback of his college football team. Liam is rumored to be first round draft pick for the NFL following graduation, as is his best friend, Aiden. Liam has one focus and that’s football, that is until his little sister introduces him to her roommate Allison. Since he met her, he hasn't been able to think of anything else.

Liam is not a relationship kind of guy, and Allison wants it all. She wants the romance and the family that she grew up without. Will Liam overcome his fear of relationships as well as the tangle of friendships to give Allison everything she wants?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N


My Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Mary of Crazy Book Obsession and Kaylee Ryan for the review copy. This in no way affected my views of the novel.

Wow, this is a first. This is my first 1-star review on my blog. I've always been lenient with rating books. If I didn't like a novel, I still give it 2 stars for "it's okay" because that's how it was. It was still okay because the writing's fine but that I had so many issues over the book that made me dislike it. Before writing this review, I just finished writing a 2-star review. I originally rated this 2 stars because that's the lowest I give but when I sat down to finally extract this review from my brain and turn it into words, I realized that it would be unfair to the previous book if I give this book 2 stars as well. I didn't just dislike this book, I kind of hated it. I am really sorry Kaylee and to all the fans of this novel but it just wasn't for me. Now, I don't want to be mean but I really had so much negative feelings and thoughts for this book and I need to vent. Don't ever think that I'm attacking Kaylee (she's an angel!) but I just need to finally let these all out.

By the first page, I wanna poke my eyes out already. In the first page, the heroine just told the reader her life story. What? Why? I would have wanted to know you slowly, from how you talk, to your quirks and whatnots. Everything in this book was pure telling and not showing. Plus, I think the writing needs polishing as I caught a lot of "I said", "she said" and "he said" over and over again. Another editorial pass for synonyms and such could have helped. But still, I soldiered on. I wanted to get to the conflict and see what the raves were talking about. Sadly, I wasn't able to see one redeeming quality to this novel while I read it.

I didn't like how "protective" and possessive the guys were. Oh come on, we live in the 21st century. So much for letting the girls (they were freshmen and the guys were seniors) have the full college effect. Moreover, punching another guy for a girl doesn't always look chivalrous. Sometimes, it appears caveman-y. When the guys got into a fight with some guys for the girls, I didn't swoon. I didn't feel anything. Oh well.

Not only that but there's just too much coincidence in this novel in my opinion. But I can let that slide by a tiny margin since hey, I'm a big fan of Serendipity or Fate. However, I wasn't completely sold on the dialogue of the characters as I felt that they were totally stilted and unrealistic. There's this part where a guy just told his guy best friend the life story of his girl best friend which is the heroine. Paragraphs and paragraphs. First, guys don't talk that long. Actually, people don't talk like that! Well, if you know a person who talks as if he's delivering speeches, please introduce me to him so I can rescind my opinion on this bit!

Anywhere with You was told in dual POVs of Allison and Liam. While I dig he-said-she-said stories, I don't think the dual narrator set-up worked here. It felt repetitive, which added fuel to the already burning fire of my dislike. Additionally, the guys didn't sound like guys. I've always had so much respect for women who write believable male characters so I'm a bit critical on this aspect.

Just from the blurb, you can probably glean on the whole plot of the novel and whatever you're thinking, you're probably right. The lack of adding something new to the table and the absence of elicited swooning from me did not bode well for a romance novel that I already deemed predictable and formulaic. Kind, naive, freshman virgin? Check. Sexy, does-not-do-relationships, star football player senior? Check. Instant attraction, lust and love? Check, check and check!

So I won't recommend this to anyone but if you got curious as to why and how an angel like me (nyaha!) could have written such a very rant-y review, you can try to read it for yourself!

About Kaylee Ryan

Kaylee has had a passion for reading since she was a little girl. That passion has slowly led to spinning romantic tales, and a one-click addiction. When she doesn’t have her nose stuck in her kindle or fingers glued to the keyboard, you can find Kaylee hanging out with friends and family. She loves all genres of music, enjoys scrapbooking and is a huge football fan. She lives in Ohio with her husband (her real life happily ever after) and their rambunctious little boy.

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