Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) by Sarina Bowen Review

Hey readers! Ethan here on this Thursday night with another review for you guys. What am I raving about this time? Blonde Date, the 'third' installment in Sarina Bowen's The Ivy Years series. Before we get to my thoughts, here's a bit about the novella and our author:

A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could possibly go wrong?
As a sorority pledge, there are commandments that Katie Vickery must live by. One: thou shalt not show up for the party without a date. Two: the guy shall be an athlete, preferably an upperclassman.

Unfortunately, Katie just broke up with her jerkface football player boyfriend. Even worse, her last encounter with him resulted in utter humiliation. She’d rather hide under the bed than attend a party where he'll be.

Yet staying home would mean letting him win.

Enjoying herself tonight was out of the question. She could only hope to get through the evening without her blind date noticing that he was spending the evening with a crazy person.

Andrew Baschnagel is living proof that nice guys don’t finish first. He’s had his eye on Katie since the moment her long legs waltzed into his art history class. So when her roommate sets Andy up to be Katie’s date, he’d be crazy to say no. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of practice with either girls or parties. Yet.

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty contemporary romance from Vermont's Green Mountains. (Her ancestors began logging and farming Vermont during the 18th century. These were rugged, outdoor types without benefit of a laptop or a good latte. It boggles the mind.)

Sarina enjoys skiing, skating and good food. She lives in Windsor County, Vermont, with her family, eight chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.


My Thoughts:

You guys have been following my reviews of this series pretty closely and so many of us have raved about it. I am so pumped to be sharing this reading journey with so many awesome people This is seriously such an incredible series, I am so embarrassed that I just so recently became aware of it! With four full novels and a novella already released, you'd think I'd be tired of them by now, instead I think I love them more with each installment! 

Novellas are usually pretty 'meh' for me. Most times they give me just enough interest to tide me over until the next full book, but generally I don't finish one and think "Holy hell, where is the rest of this story?". I should have known that when Sarina Bowen wrote a novella that I'd be absolutely begging for more. 

Blonde Date was short, but awesome! Clocking in at just shy of 24,000 words, it was a quick read that kept me interested from the very first page and really packed a punch in those few pages! 

Blonde Date follows the story of Bridger's (male MC from book two) neighbor, Andrew during his date with Scarlet's roommate, Katie, that we learned about during the end of The Year We Hid Away. It was such a fun read!

Andrew is unique in the sense that he's a pretty average college student: nerdy and hardworking, but not a huge social butterfly. He's also a player on the Harkness basketball team (though we don't see much of it during this story). Katie is a sorority girl with enough 'OMG' in her to make Elle Woods cringe. Like Miss Woods though, Katie really grows so much during this story and really captured my heart. Both of the characters in this short novella really develop so well over the course of the story that they're almost unrecognizable. For all of their faults and contradictions, Katie and Andrew are perfect for each other. 

My favorite part about this novel is that it really showcased the truth in Sarina Bowen's writing. She really hits on a few hot button issues that will be farther explored in later novels, and really hits home with them. Especially regarding Greek Life. I've never been shy when it comes to NA college stories to say that I am probably the most anti-Greek person you'll ever meet. I've seen far too many people fall down the rabbit hole and never emerge the same person. For every good thing I see out of Greek life, I see three bad ones. Bowen really doesn't hold back on her thoughts and really reflects on the truth behind Greek Life in this story. She doesn't just showcase the fun partying, she shows some of the huge controversies and life-changing consequences of some of the things that happen in the system (even if some say they do not). I really applaud Bowen for showing such a truthful side of the system. The horrible act in question in this novel had my blood boiling. Bowen's storytelling is so exceptional that you really fall for Katie and her plight. I don't know Bowen's personal experience with the Greek system and for all I know she could be a big advocate for it, but either way I really appreciate her honesty in her storytelling. Words can't describe how awesome I felt for Bowen after reading this short story. 

Andrew does a phenomenal job of helping Katie with her problems and to 'see the light' in such a way that changes both of their lives for the better. Seriously phenomenal storytelling from all angles. Sarina Bowen has done it again!

Since this was such a short story, I'll keep this review short as well, it was amazing. Check it out people! It should come as absolutely no surprise that I am granting Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen a well-deserved 5-star review! Are you guys beginning to catch on that Sarina Bowen is pretty much the greatest thing to happen to the NA world in forever? Because she is. Add this one to your TBR people, you won't be disappointed!


Check out my five star reviews of 
The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1) 
and The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2)
by clicking the covers below!


Alright readers, that is all I have for you on the topic of Blonde Date. This entire series is fantastic and I cannot say enough great things! Be on the lookout for my thoughts on the next novel, The Understatement of the Year, soon! Have you read this series? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time, Happy Reading!


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