Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Book Reviews: Team Trinity by Fiona Snyckers | Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae

Title: Team Trinity
Author: Fiona Snyckers

Life at boarding school is not all diets, dresses and dances, as Trinity Luhabe discovers when her parents move overseas for a term. She has hardly settled into Sisulu House when she finds herself caught up in the most unexpected love triangle of her life. Zach is the school sports hero, while James is different to anyone she's ever met. One of them wants to control her - the other holds the key to an old secret that has been buried for a very long time. Will Trinity figure out who to trust before it's too late?

Coming from a very privileged background, Trinity is a character who initially comes across as spoiled and shallow. But she quickly turns out to be likable too! In this book, I found all the fun and excitement I always imagined boarding school to be when I was young. There are rules to break, best friends whispering secrets late at night, and boys to sneak off to visit. Although light-hearted and frivolous at times, this book deals with some serious issues: crash diets, self-image, and what a bad relationship can do to you. Not the obvious kind of bad relationship, but the sneaky kind. The kind you don't realize you're in until way down the line--if ever.
Will Trinity realize she doesn't have to change everything about herself before it's too late?

BOTTOM LINE: This fun boarding school adventure complete with secrets, mysteries, boys, and life lessons is perfect for a younger YA audience.

Title: Friday Night Alibi
Author: Cassie Mae

Rising star Cassie Mae introduces New Adult readers to a practical soon-to-be college freshman who seems to have everything—until a special guy shows her what she’s been missing.

In the wealthy town of Sundale, Kelli Pinkins has hatched the perfect plan to capitalize on her sweet reputation. For a generous fee, she will be every trust-fund baby’s dream: a Friday-night alibi, the “girlfriend” or “BFF” that parents dream about. With college approaching in the fall, Kelli’s services are in demand more than ever, which means that her social life is nonexistent. But Kelli is A-okay with that. She’s raking in cash for school. Besides, relationships are tricky, and sometimes very messy. She’d rather be at home on Xbox LIVE, anyway. Then the unexpected happens: She meets college stud Chase Maroney.

Chase isn’t like the preppy, privileged guys Kelli usually meets in Sundale. For starters, he’s twentysomething, always wears black., and he shoots back one-liners as fast as she can dish them out. But Kelli’s attempts to drive Chase away falter when she realizes that he treats her like he really knows her, like he cares about knowing her. When Kelli finally gives in to the delicious kiss she’s been fighting for so long, she faces a tough decision: make Chase a real-life boyfriend and risk her heart . . . or keep her clients and lose her first true love.

Hello, hilariousness! If I'd been drinking anything while reading the first few chapters of this book, it probably would have come out of my nose. Allow me to illustrate with an example:

If I thought he was cute (I don't!) I totally don't anymore. He may as well have said, "Look at this big crack down my body. That's right, I'm a talking butthole."

And thus begins Kelli and Chases's 'charming' relationship ;-)
But, as it turns out, Chase isn't all that bad. Even though he initially comes across as a perv with really bad one-liners (yeah, NOT the best first impression, Chase!), we come to realize he's actually a very sweet and genuine guy--after you get past all the pranks he and Kelli try to pull on one another.

Wow, the truth survived the gossip train. I was expecting some contorted story about how I yanked Chase's shorts down and shoved a tennis ball up his butt.

Chase is the only one who ends up being there for Kelli when everyone else thinks of her as nothing more than an alibi. Which is what she wants, right? She doesn't want emotion and love and kisses and hickies and someone who knows her. Or does she ...

BOTTOM LINE: Cassie's writing is fresh and original, making for an utterly enjoyable read with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. You'll be nose to toes in love with this book!

And with that, I have one more thing to say:

Dear Cassie Mae,
Thank you for writing an NA* book that has no swearing and no sex.

[start personal opinion]**

I've read several NA books, and a lot of them seem to consist of people jumping in and out of each others' (or one person's) bed. Now, some might say, "But that's what college-age kids do. They have sex." Yes, I'm sure that's true. But you know what else is true? There are a whole lot of college-age kids who aren't doing that! Yes. There are people out there who, beyond high school, still want to "save themselves" for the right person. There are so many other things I'd rather read about than just lust and sex. Like ... a great, original story! So thanks, Cassie, for giving me just that :-)

[end personal opinion]

*Some might call this upper YA, but since the book description says NA, we'll go with that.
**Really, though, people should know that all of this blog is just my personal opinion!


Cally Jackson said...

New Adult without sex and swearing?! Impossible! ;-)

Both books sound great but Friday Night Alibi sounds particularly up my alley. Thanks for the reviews!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the reviews. Cassie's book sounds good.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If you think Cassie's book is funny, you should read her critique notes.

Meradeth Houston said...

Great reviews, and I totally agree with your note about not all new adults lusting all the time. Love the premise of Cassie's book!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Both books sound great. Thanks for sharing your opinion Rachel. Trinity congrats and your cover has a nice background that catches the eye. Congrats Cassie, your book takes NA in a more fun direction and your cover is steamy without being slutty.

Cherie Reich said...

Fantastic reviews! Both books look like great reads. :)

Trisha F said...

I'm all for sex before marriage, since I've never been married - heh - and boy oh boy do I LOVE swearing, but I am also very glad to hear that Cassie's book (an NA book!) has no sex in it. I am still puzzled by the apparent assumption that NA = sex sex and more sex. I have written NA that is about way more than just sex.

Cathy Keaton said...

An NA book without sex and swearing would certainly set itself apart from the mass of what NA typically contains. I'm really happy to hear about an author who writes NA like this. I might even give NA a try for a change.

Thanks for these reviews. ;)

Tara Tyler said...

yay for your great reviews!

and yay for cassie able to express so much without the nasty! thats why i shy away from na and even ya.

Libby said...

Cassie Mae is burning up the interwebs today!

Emilyann Girdner said...

Team Trinity sounds like a great book for teens.

And thanks for sharing the great lines from Friday Night Alibi. Sounds so funny :)