Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Amusement (Carnival #2) by KB Nelson Review

Hey readers! Happy Wednesday! Got a great post ready for ya'll tonight. A review of one of my most anticipated books of 2015! What am I raving about? Amusement by KB Nelson! Here's a bit about the novel and our author before we get to my thoughts:

Love isn’t easy.

Charlie Scott is homesick and tired. She misses the town and the people she left behind. Living a life on the run hasn’t been easy for her, and she’s ready to face the consequences, even if it means leaving the love of her life, Blue, behind.

Home is where the heart is.

Eight months after returning home, Charlie’s life is finally in order. She has a job she loves and her relationship with her father has never been better. But underneath the image of her perfect life, trouble bubbles to the surface.

You can’t escape your past.

Torn between a normal life and the life she left behind, Charlie remains steadfast in her resolve to create a better tomorrow for herself and for her friends. But life has a way of throwing curveballs, and this next one hits her right in the face—Blue returns to Lakeview a changed man.

Second chances are rare..

There are two things Charlie knows for certain; she loves Blue, and he’s not good for her. Charlie must come to terms with her past and her present. She must determine if she could possibly have a future with the man she threw her life away for. She has a second chance at love, but is it worth the risk when her future could hang in the balance?

Don’t miss the exciting, heartfelt final chapter in the epic love story between two lost souls fumbling their way through life and love. Not suitable for those under the age of 18.


 K.B. Nelson

I grew up on a farm in Ohio, but that's not very interesting, is it? When I'm not writing you can find me doing one of two things; getting lost on highways or getting lost in the lives of fictional characters. If my heart had two feet, one foot would be in romance and the other solidly in geekdom. I hope you'll all follow me on my journey through this carnival they call life. I promise there will be a happy ending. 


Find K.B. Nelson


"It's not too late to rewrite your stories. You don't have to spend the rest of your life with this shadow over you."     -Blue

"It's like the big fucking bang. It was inevitable that something was going to explode. And out of the ashes were born consequences. But I never thought that falling in love would hurt so fucking bad., like every atom in my bones is being ripped apart when you tell me that 'love isn't enough'."     -Blue

I feel like I start my reviews out with this statement so often these days that the phrase has lost all meaning, but here I go again. I don't generally like romance. There. I changed it to generally. And that's because, honestly, I just don't. Sappy love and girly whatnot is not my favorite thing to read. Sorry, it just isn't. I know that lots of my readers probably roll their eyes at me saying this because in the past year, I've reviewed a lot of romance. This isn't necessarily because I've wanted too, but more because New Adult romance is a huge trend in the literary world right now so... it's made its' way onto the blog.

That being said, however, I do definitely have some favorite within the genre. While each novel I read and review speaks to me in a different way, some really dig in and touch me in a way other books hadn't. Last summer, out of the 'Blue', I came across one of those stories: Carnival. While, admittedly, I only picked it up because it had to do with a carnival setting, I fell in love with it for so many more reasons. Primarily, it was real. The author, KB Nelson, didn't hold anything back. Carnival was dark, gritty, and strangely erotic, but I loved every second of it. This wasn't the perfect romance. This isn't the kind of love you go looking for. It's real love. Real emotion. Real life. That's why I was drawn in and why this series has become one of my favorites of all time.

Now I'm not here to tell you that falling in love with a carnie and becoming one is necessarily the lifestyle of choice (but if it is, good for you, shine on sir or ma'am!), but that this story is much more relatable than other I have read in the genre. Being a new adult is all about making tough choices and mistakes to really learn who you are. KB Nelson has hit that nail on the head so much better than some of the bestselling-award winning authors in the genre. Carnival blew me away and Carnival Nights reminded me of why I fell for this series, but I was nervous to see what Amusement would hold.

Recently KB Nelson announced that this novel would mark the 'end' of the series. The end of Charlie and Blue's story, that is. While the idea of novellas and spin-offs hasn't bee tossed aside, Amusement is meant to be the end of these characters stories. And boy, what an ending it was! 

In true One Guy's Guide to Good Reads fashion, let me get my critiques out of the way first.

The only truly negative thing I have to say about this novel was the length. Clocking in at just short of 150 pages, this was a one sitting read. While I was disappointed in the length of the novel, I was more than impressed with the amount of story Nelson was able to give us in such a short span of pages.

On to more positive notes.

Amusement really is an interesting read in the sense that it picks up with the same tone that we are left with the other two stories. While Carnival and Carnival Nights really were more of the night full of partying, Amusements hits us hard right in the very beginning, like a rough hangover from hell you just can't shake. Nelson did an incredible job approaching this novel as a juxtaposition of the others. Charlie and Blue have lived a life of outrageousness and it's finally starting to catch up with them. Charlie finds herself asking if love really is enough to keep them together?

In an effort to find herself, Charlie heads back to Laketown to face the music for everything that's happened. The plotline really ends up coming full circle and by the final pages, we really see how much the lives of our characters have been effected by the course of the novels events. 

I won't spoil it for anyone, but it's truly a testament to the authors works to see how scenes from both novels were rewritten and offered up as parallels in Amusement to show how differently scenes can play out, leaving the reader to ponder the question of 'is love really enough?'. By the end of the story, I think everyone will have their own answers, but I do not think that anyone will be disappointed.

All of the awesome characters are present and ready for another fun filled adventure. In Amusement, we really get to get inside the heads of some of the secondary characters I loved in book one. Summer, Tyson, Joey, the crazy weatherman, etc, Amusement was a swan song for the fans. An incredible conclusion to a groundbreaking series. 

Nelson really hits on some hard themes with Amusement: love, life, maturity, responsibility, family, etc that will really leave you searching your heart for emotions to fill in all the gaps. This book will wreck you them put you back together slowly, but surely, never forgetting the most important parts.

I was very nervous about the ending to this novel. Between Charlie and Blue, I have become extremely attached to these characters over the past year and was not ready to say goodbye. I was terrified that as a reader, I would be left disappointed by their outcomes. I have to say that not only was I impressed with the ending to this novel, I actually applauded when I finished. The ending was beautifully written and left me not only proud to have read it, but also excited to see what else KB Nelson has in store!

I hate ending this review because it means that for the time being, I must say goodbye to one of my favorite NA series of all time. At least I can end knowing that the storyline was written to perfection at the hands of an incredible talent. Huge kudos to you KB Nelson, in my eyes, you've written a literary masterpiece! Anyone who hasn't checked out this series it really missing out!

All-in-all it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that I am granting Amusement by KB Nelson a near-person 5-star review. I loved each page and couldn't have asked for a better ending to an awesome series. This series is perfect for fans of New Adult romance who are looking for something a little different from their normal read!

Alright readers, that's all I have for you on the topic of Amusement by KB Nelson. I sincerely hope that you guys take a chance on this series and add it to your TBRs! I think you'll all be impressed that KB Nelson isn't a household name. This series is definitely a hidden treasure you do not want to miss out on! Special thanks to the author for supplying me with an ARC of this novel. Until next time, Happy Reading!


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