Rival by Penelope Douglas

Blurb: 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…. 

Okay. This is going to be a short review since I really don’t have much to say. So, this did not turn out the way I thought it would. Reading Bully I didn’t like any of the male characters much. Reading Until you I got to understand their lot better and ended up really liking Madoc’s easy demeanor and witty style, so naturally this was the installment that I was most looking forward to in the fall away series. The synopsis was good, it reels you in, doesn’t it? But as I began reading and reached about halfway through I realized that I wasn’t nearly as arrested as I was in Until you, in fact I was more engrossed in the events of Bully when compared to this. This is not to say that this book is not worth your time, of course it is. Penelope Douglas is an amazing writer, who knows how to write contemporary (something that is lost on so many), she gives each character a unique voice even though all her protagonists are based on one generic formula.

This book just a lost a lot because of its plot. There was unnecessary drama and in my opinion nothings kills a story faster than unnecessary drama. In terms of scenes and chemistry this book was hotter than Tate and Jared’s but the conflict, the drama…it felt like only the surface was scratched on that front, not to forget how tedious it got with the whole Fallon leaving after every encounter business. Somehow the push and pull, the angst just wasn’t working in this one. But enough with the negatives, if I gave it three stars then there must be some strong positives too, right? Madoc was the shining star in this book. He isn’t conflicted, he isn’t a brooding soul, someone who is angry with the world. There is a certain innocence to him, a certain ease that makes him stand apart from Jax or Jared. I really liked reading from his perspective. Fallon on the other hand I feel is going to be either a total hit or a total miss with the readers, you will either like her to bits, relate with her or you would think why is she stirring up all this drama when it can be resolved with a single conversation, ugh!

All in all if you are looking for a short fun read and like Madoc then this is the book for you. It won’t sweep you off your feet but it will still give you enough to fangirl over.


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