Tuesday, March 29, 2016

REVIEW - Butterfly Days Series by Lisa Swallow

Title - Because Of Lucy (Butterfly Days #1)


Ness watches girls fall over themselves for Evan’s attention, but she has no interest in the hot English student who includes poetry in his seduction techniques. 
Evan is amused by the uptight girl who refuses to fall for his charms, and engages in a battle of wits to win her over. But Evan is struggling with a side of his life he keeps hidden and the secretive behaviour threatens his new relationship with Ness. 
When everything falls apart, Ness and Evan are both faced with difficult choices. All because of Lucy. 

My Thoughts

Lisa Swallow has done it again. Because of Lucy is a wonderful novel with complex characters and a refreshing plot. Lisa does an amazing job at writing characters that are relatable and including serious situations that every day people deal with. I love that she does not follow the herd, rather she follows her own arrow. The fact that she strays from the well-travelled path most authors take creates a new and unique environment for the readers to lose themselves.

Because of Lucy has a wonderful plot. Lisa Swallow also impresses me with her writing style. She really knows how to write about situations and characters. Because of Lucy is about two characters that seem different in the beginning, but with further interaction they begin to realize they are more alike than they first thought. There is one specific serious topic discussed within this book and Lisa does an amazing job shedding light on it. I love that she not only shows how the person who is effected directly and how they cope, but more so the people who are around that person and how they are effected and cope. This book has such a powerful message and is obviously well researched.

I love reading about characters who have terrible first impressions. I think it gives the reader something to build on. If we don’t like a character initially, it shows that the author is an amazing writer when she makes a reader change their mind after the first impression. This book has that. At first, I was unsure of whether or not I was supposed to like Evan, the main male character. He came across as cocky and one dimensional. The main female character, Ness, didn’t even like him to begin with. First impressions are everything and most people will judge you based on their initial impression of you. If we as people are not able to look past our first impressions and look further into people, often times we can miss out on something great. I feel this book opened my eyes to this a bit more. I am not sure if that is a message Lisa was trying to give, but it is the message I received. Through watching these two characters develop, readers are able to go on the journey with them.

This is a romance novel and with any romance novel there are some very intimate scenes. This book definitely dives into the intimate scenes. Lisa has no fear in writing these scenes with a lot of description. There were some scenes I was just dying to trade places with Ness so I could get a piece of Evan. I think that Lisa does a wonderful job in making these scenes feel organic. Sometimes intimate scenes feel forced or added in just because the author feels readers will enjoy it. One of the main things I love about Lisa is she is realistic. At one point, Ness even talks about the fact that romance novels can be ridiculous with their sex scenes with multiple orgasms all the time. The fact that Lisa is able to joke about this says a lot about her as an author.

In conclusion, this is a wonderful and beautifully written book. Lisa Swallows is one spectacular writer who keeps getting better with every book she writes. I love that she is fearless and writes about serious situations. She also includes comedy in her books with witty one liners and comical situations. I would recommend this book to my family and friends. I cannot wait to read the next installment in this series Finding Evan!

Favorite Quotes:
“Evan fits into Vanessa.” –Evan.

“Ness! I liked him.”
“Plenty more fish on the beach.”
“In the sea,” she corrects.
“Think about it. They’re all washed up.”-Abby and Ness.

“Last time you drank vodka, you tried to get in my pants. Control yourself this time.”
“You want me to control myself?”
“Yes.” Evan and Ness.

Star Ratings:
Writing Style:5/5
Overall Ratings:5/5

Title - Finding Evan (Butterfly Days #2)


“She killed a part of me – the part which trusts when someone tells you they love you, and allows you to trust that person with your heart.” 

Ness and Evan return to Leeds from Europe, and begin their new life together. But the past Evan has buried for years resurfaces and threatens their future. 

After fifteen years, Evan doesn’t want any contact with the woman who abandoned him, but is unwillingly pulled into his mother’s life by Lucy. 

Feeling pushed aside by Ness’s focus on her studies and new friends, Evan can’t confide in Ness about what’s happening. This return to his old behavior adds more distance to their relationship. When Ness’s new friend Ollie picks up the pieces because Evan is away, Evan’s insecurities threaten their relationship further. 

Ness becomes aware of Evan’s situation, and she questions whether he will ever be able to break his ties to those dragging him down. If he can’t put himself first, and live the life he wants, she is unable to see how their relationship could work. In return, Evan struggles with Ness’s inability to get close to people, and her distance pushes him further away. 

The decision about the future of the relationship is taken out of their hands - by something that could end things between Ness and Evan forever

My Thoughts

Finding Evan is the continuation of another story by Lisa Swallow called Because of Lucy. I loved because of Lucy and was a little skeptical about reading this next book as sometimes I feel disappointed because I really want the characters to be happy (probably a psych thing for myself). While I did feel this way, I think that Lisa was being realistic and showing that a happy ending isn’t really an ending at all. It is just one happy moment when an author can end a book, while the story continues with new, and sometimes old, sets of hurdles arise. Lisa Swallow is an amazing writer and I have yet to read a book of hers I do not like. Her writing style and ability to create characters and plots that keep readers interested is not parallel to anyone else I have read in a long time.

In my opinion, Lisa Swallow is a very unique writer. She uses situations that could really happen in real life to create her stories. I really feel like I am living the story with the characters. This puts off the feeling that the author is able to immerse herself into other people’s lives and write from a point of view as if she lived the situations herself. Or maybe she is using her own life as a source to get material. Either way, she uses her words to bring light to situations that most people don’t want to think about. Some people want to escape into worlds that are so unlike their own that they can lose themselves. I like to do that sometimes myself, but I think that there should be something said about an author who can use real life instances and convince a reader that they are living in the same world.

The plot in Finding Evan is similar to the plot in Because of Lucy if you look at the big picture. Evan and Ness are in a relationship now and maneuvering the new waters of living more similar lives and dealing with the slight changes to their relationships. While these two characters developed in Because of Lucy, they still had developing to do in Finding Evan. This is so realistic for me as I believe that not one person ever stops developing and changing until the day their soul leaves this earth. It is nice to see that Ness and Evan are still learning about each other and still have unresolved issues between the two that need to be worked out. I love the idea that love is never ending and that everything can be peachy. With that being said, Ness and Evan are in a real relationship dealing with real life situations. Jealous, secrets, frustration, hurt, and loneliness. These are all real life emotions that we are able to explore through Lisa Swallows eyes.

As with any of Lisa Swallows books, there are some very intimate scenes in Finding Evan. Yes there is some sex, but what I love most about Lisa is she has an ability to make a scene feel intimate without having to involve physical aspects into it. Finding Evan had some of these instances where I felt the raw vulnerability from the characters. This meant way more to me than having a book full of meaningless sex scenes describing every which way a couple can get it on. I felt closer to the characters through these scenes.

Overall, I loved this book. I honestly do not have a single bad thing to say about it except I wish it was never-ending. I laughed and cried right along with the characters. Maybe I am growing up and learning to like different types of books. While I normally love a happy ending, I would love to read more from this couple. I feel like they reflect what real life couples go through. Nothing is ever peaches and crème and I love that Lisa Swallow is not afraid to show that. I would 100% recommend this and Because of Lucy to my friends.

Star Ratings:
Writing Style:5/5
Overall Rating:5/5

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