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…
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...
- ISBN10 045147242X
- ISBN13 9780451472427
- Publish Date 26 August 2014
- Publish Status Active
- Publish Country US
- Publisher Penguin Putnam Inc
- Imprint Berkley Publishing Corporation,U.S.
- Format Paperback (US Trade)
- Pages 368
- Language English
- URL https://penguinrandomhouse.com/books/isbn/9780451472427
Rival is the third novel (although I actually think it's the second, as Until You is classed as a novella on GoodReads, making it #1.5) in Penelope's "Fall Away" series, but as promised by Clara, can be read as a stand-alone, and it can. It doesn't lie about that. However, I'm almost 100% sure your reading pleasure will be enhanced if you've read Bully and Until You, because they feature Tate and Jared, who feature quite heavily in Rival as Jared is Madoc's best friend. Also, their story sounds even more batcrap crazy than Madoc and Fallon's, and that's saying something. Make no mistake that after reading Rival I will be scooping up the previous two in the series, because I NEED Tate and Jared's story and I am even more ridiculously excited that Jax is getting his own story too yesssssss!!!!!!!
Rival has all the great ingredients for a blinding New Adult novel - characters that love to hate each other, which means they really love each other and are totally afraid to admit it, scorching hot chemistry, the best fight-turned-makeout scenes, just it had it all. ALL. I was sucked into the book immediately, and the duelling point of view between Madoc and Fallon is addictive, in the best way possible. You've got questions right from the word go - why do Madoc & Fallon hate each other? Why is Fallon back if she feels no connections to the family? WHAT WERE THEY DOING TWO YEARS AGO THAT MADE IT ALL FALL APART?!?! Seriously, I was pent up with questions. Like OMFG JUST TELL ME ALREADY. Their relationship is toxic, there is no other way to describe it, but it's also... perfect. It's hard to really put it across in writing, because you have to read it to believe it. They literally do stuff to annoy the other person, and they want us to believe they hate each other, but the simmering tension tells an entirely different story, and the back and forth is freaking crazy hot. I just loved both of them and wanted to put them in a room together, until they realised they were soul mates and to stop irritating each other so much!!!!!
The only thing that annoyed me about the book is, sadly, filled with spoilers. So, if you want to see it, then looky under my spoiler tag. :) So here's the thing I don't get about New Adult novels. THE MARRIAGES. I just... THEY'RE TEENAGERS, for Christ's sake. Why ruin a perfectly fabulous novel with a bloody marriage? First in the Beautiful Disaster books, and now in Rival. Why is the answer always marriage? Considering the relationship Madoc and Fallon have, a marriage is just not suitable where they are right now - and I don't agree with Addie's (or Katherine's? I can't remember) "they're been more through mature situations" trope. Rubbish. I understand marriages between teenagers can and do last (probably last seen in the 50s), it just seemed like such a big step, a step Madoc and Fallon (and Abby and Travis) weren't ready for, they hadn't even graduated college, for God's sake, and I just... I don't know why this is a device New Adult authors employ, because I hate it. It feels forced and almost like they're playing at being grown ups. /endrant
If the novel hadn't gone the way it did, this would have been a five-star read, but I deducted a star for a plot device I hate. But, Rival is probably one of my favourite New Adult novels. I was literally flying through the pages, desperate to know more. Desperate for these two crazy kids to admit their feelings in a burst of honesty, and just get down to business (which they do, frequently, eventually). I've never met two characters more right for each other, which is weird since they're also quite awful to each other (since when are bad boy/douchebags the go-to hero?). But, I loved Madoc Caruthers. WHO KNEW? Maybe I have a secret bad boy gene lurking somewhere within me. Sigh. The sparks flew, the pages sizzled (literally), and I just wanted MORE, damn it. MORE. It was that good. It had my heart racing, my belly fluttering, all the good stuff I love and that marks the most awesome of relationships. I can't wait until the paperbacks of Bully and Until You are released. I will be buying them AS SOON AS I CAN, because Penelope is a helluva writer and Rival is a helluva read!This review was originally posted on Girls Love To Read