Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Rival

Rival (Fall Away - Book 2) by Penelope Douglas

Publication Date: 08/26/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: New American Library
Genre: New Adult
Pages: 368
ISBN-10: 045147242X
ISBN-13: 978-0451472427

(Received for an honest review from New American Library)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Penelope Douglas on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Books in the series

Fall Away

1. Bully
2. Rival

Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from, Rival, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature.

WARNING: This book is inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.


From the New Adult sensation and New York Times bestselling author of Bully and Until You

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war…

She’s back.

For the two years she’s been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I’m ready to beat her at her own game…

I’m back.

Two years and I can tell he still wants me, even if he acts like he’s better than me.

But I won’t be scared away. Or pushed down. I’ll call his bluff and fight back. That’s what he wants, right? As long as I keep my guard up, he’ll never know how much he affects me….


Penelope Douglas brings readers the next book in her Fall Away series, Rival. Readers who thought Douglas could not possibly top the writing of Bully, will be shocked at how poignant and diverse this story is from the first book. Rival is passionate, heart felt and real. The characters are stunning and reader will have a really hard time putting this one down. From the spectacular dialogue and banter to the riveting forbidden love between Fallon and Madoc, this one is truly exceptional!

What I liked:

The first book in this series, Bully was definitely a favorite of mine. The relationship between main characters Tate and Jared was intense, passionate and very realistic. I had a hard time conceiving how Douglas was going to top the angst, the tension, the sexual chemistry from that book, but I admit defeat. Rival is even better than Bully! 

Madoc and Fallon simmered on the back burner of the first book, their relationship jagged and almost painful, but in Rival we get to see a different side of both characters that reveals their innermost feelings about not only each other, but about themselves. Madoc and Fallon share a complicated past. As step siblings the emotions the boiled just under the surface were forbidden to them, despite their intensity. When things finally reach a breaking point it ends in a catastrophic way that defines them for a long time. Most of this happens off stage from the actual story in Rival. But the reader gets to learn about throughout the book in hind sight. 

When Rival begins Fallon is just returning from two years at boarding school, which she was forced into. She has become a young woman in the interim. A very strong, determined woman, who knows what she wants. Revenge! I absolutely love the love-hate relationship between Fallon and Madoc. Fallon wants to hate him from the core of her being, but she just can't. The way they talk to each other, bait each other, and try to hurt each other, let's the reader know that there is a lot more to this than meets the eye. Douglas has done such a magnificent job of bringing these characters to life. I didn't think I would like Fallon as a lead character because Tate had so stolen my heart in the first one, but I was wrong. When this book ended, I felt thoroughly spent. My emotions as chaotic as Fallon's. Madoc changed in my mind from a boy with issues to a man who knew his mistakes, his faults and his mind. Wow! That's about all I can say.

What I didn't like:

The moment that defined Madoc and Fallon's relationship did not happen in this book. It happened before the book began and though I liked learning about it from Madoc's point of view and Fallon's it was still after the fact. I understood the need for that, but I would still like to have read how it went down.

Bottom Line:

This is the New Adult genre at it's best. Penelope Douglas has taken characters who should never have had a relationship to begin with and given the reader a reason to root for them. To give in to their emotions and let love happen regardless of the taboo's and the stigma's. If you want intensity, emotional highs and lows, strong, well defined characters, this is a great choice for you. This isn't a teeny-bopper book and these characters are not simple teens. Be prepared once you start, you won't be able to stop!

Rival is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Penelope Douglas is a writer and teacher in Las Vegas. Born in Dubuque, Iowa, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Administration, then a Masters of Science in Education at Loyola University in New Orleans. She and her husband have one daughter. She is the author of Bully and Until You.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Rival by Penelope Douglas.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 2nd.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think about a relationship between a step-brother and sister. Too weird? Not weird at all? etc.

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Vilhelm man said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
lag123 said...

I think it would be ok but maybe a little awkward.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Charlotte said...

I do not think it would be for the best.

justpeachy36 said...

I agree it would be awkward, but they wouldn't technically be related, so I don't see what the big deal would be other than they were in the same househould where things could get out of hand.

Kimberly Wyatt said...

I think its too weird.. I could never imagine anything like that with my step brother.

bn100 said...

they're interesting to read about

Unknown said...

I think it's too weird for me personally, but I like to read about them :)

Anita Yancey said...

I think it would be way to weird. Thanks for having the giveaway.


Texas Book Lover said...

That might be a little awkward. It would have to depend on the circumstances.