Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu

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I received this book for free from Sophia Bleu in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Catching Liam by Sophia BleuCatching Liam by Sophia Bleu
Series: Good Girls Don't #1
on July 8th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, NA
Source: Sophia Bleu
Buy on Amazon

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can'tβ€”or perhaps won'tβ€”take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching whoβ€”or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

What could be better than a Scottish guy who makes mean waffles? (hint: nothing!)

Catching Liam has everything I look for in a contemporary: well developed, realistic, and likeable characters, a romance that takes your breath away, friendship dynamics that bring tears to your eyes, and a few rough patches to give the story a bit of an edge.

Even though this book does remain a lighthearted read, it still grabs at your emotions, especially when it involves Jillian’s condition. Jillian has been dealt a rough hand where she’s dealing with a medical diagnosis with which she hasn’t come to terms, yet. Not only does this add depth to the story and its characters, it reminds us to live life to the fullest. It’s an illness that, for no specific reason, has always haunted me; I just find it so heartbreaking to have to live with knowing what’s in store. We don’t find out what exactly Jillian’s illness is until the second part of the book, but we see hints of it from the beginning and if you’ve watched as much medical drama television as I it’s fairly easy to make the conclusion. Regardless, when it came to the actual revelation I still felt a pang in my heart for her. It made it all real, you know?

With her catch and release dating style, Jillian is not used to having a boy trying to stay caught. It goes against everything she trained herself to be after her diagnosis. Jillian’s personality, at first, feels a little.. cold. Or stubborn. She doesn’t see the point of Liam sticking around since 1) her body is broken and 2) he’s leaving the country in a few months. While I’m not always able to sympathize with such types, I completely understood where she was coming from; she knows what loving her would entail in the long run, and that broke my heart even further. I know I would feel the exact same way in her shoes. Throughout the book she grows into a stronger person, realizing she doesn’t have to go through it alone which I admired. As for Liam, he’s a character I fell for hard. He’s adorable in his relentlessness in getting Jillian to give him a chance. He’s sweet, he’s down to earth, he’s funny, and did I say he was Scottish? Even though I would have liked to know more about him aside from his future plans, I still became completely enamored. *Sigh* if only we could all be a fictional MC for a day!

Jillian and Liam aside, what I loved most in this novel are the relationships between Jillian and the secondary characters; they are all well explored, meaningful, and full of the realities of college life. For starters, Jillian has two great best friends, both of whom are quirky with fun personalities, but Jess is the one who stood out for me. This girl is an incredible person with an immense heart. A couple of scenes even brought tears to my eyes from seeing just how amazing a friend she truly is. Furthermore, Jillian’s relationship with her mother is also a key factor in this book. Tara is all hard edges with a tough shell to crack, but after all is said and done you can see through this animosity between them.

All in all, Catching Liam is romantic, sexy, full of friendship and vibrant personalities. It’s a book with plenty of charm, and I did say he was Scottish, right? With an accent? Yeah, and that!


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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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25 Responses to “Review: Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu”

  1. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Yes! I would totally be a fictional MC for a year, hopefully one that doesn’t die in the end. xP
    I love well developed friendships, they are so loose and hilarious at times. Sounds like a lovely book!

    Fantastic review Giselle! <33

  2. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I had been wondering if I would like this or not. Being that I read so much NA I don’t want to burn myself out on it and so many have pretty much the same story line. I am glad to see that this is a it different. I love an emotional story too. I am curious to know about her medical condition and if I would pick up on it quick. Great review hon. I definitely think this is one I would enjoy!

  3. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    Great review, Giselle!
    I loved the relationship between Jessie and Jillian. Jessie has such a big heart and I’m beyond excited for her book. It should be really good.
    It was hard to resist Liam and Scottish accent! But seriously though, I loved how he wasn’t the typical NA love interest. He was such a sweet-heart!
    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it too, Giselle! πŸ™‚

  4. Savannah

    Thanks so much for this review! I just bought this book and I’m super excited to read it.

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    Sounds like a great book! I’m curious about Jillian’s illness; her idea of love makes me think of A Walk to Remember, where she says not to fall in love with her because she’s sick.


  6. Rachel

    Terrific review! I’m glad you were able to like Jill despite her quirks that usually bug you. This sounds like a fantastic read!

  7. Jen @ Pop! Goes The Reader

    You had me at ‘Scottish boy who makes waffles’. πŸ˜‰ What’s with the plethora of European hunks that seem to litter the sidewalks of YA and NA novels? I would like to stumble upon just one of them in real life!

    In all seriousness though, I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this one, Giselle! I’m constantly on the look-out for NA books I’ll enjoy as I haven’t always had the best luck with the genre, but it sounds like this one might be right up my alley. It’s nice to know that in addition to it being an enjoyable romance that it employs realistic characters and has a heartfelt message about making the most of the time we have.

  8. Candace

    Ohhhh, Scottish? With an accent? Sounds like my kind of read! lol. No, but this does sound pretty great! I hadn’t heard of it before but I’ll be sure to watch for it now!

  9. Megan (Ink Skies)

    Yay for good relationships with the secondary characters! I find this lacking a lot in some of the books nowadays. And *swoon* Liam’s a Scottish dude who makes waffles>? I NEED a guy like this in my life. Ha. Glad this worked out for you, Giselle. I was worried this might turn out to be another one of those NA contemporary books, but it’s great that it wasn’t.

  10. Eileen @ ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***

    Yay I’m glad you really enjoyed this one! The fact that Jillian’s illness isn’t revealed until a lot later in the story sounds both suspenseful and all the more emotional when it finally gets revealed πŸ™‚ Ahh Liam sounds so swoon-worthy, and the relationships she had with the secondary characters sound so real and crucial to the story.

    Fantastic review, as always, Giselle! I didn’t get to say anything earlier about the fact that you switched to WordPress since I was at summer camp but congrats! πŸ˜€

  11. Wendy

    I just got this today! I have a soft spot for Scottish characters so when I saw Scottish, and waffles, I happily 1-clicked! I can’t wait to check it out, it sounds great! =)

  12. Molli

    What a nice surprise that this story was both sweet, and also packed a lot of emotion. Jillian’s condition sounds heart-breaking, and Liam sounds swoony, Giselle! I will have to make sure this one is on my TBR for sure.

  13. Aman

    I saw this book on goodreads and didn’t really give it a second though. The premises sounds like a very overdone contemporary I’ve read so many times, but that was until you mentioned Jillian having a serious health condition, and I watch those medical shows diligently and I can clearly tell what it might be. Or I’m hoping I’m right because then it would be heartbreaking to read Jillian’s story. I’m definitely going to add this to my tbr. Thanks for the lovely review, Giselle πŸ™‚

  14. Alexa Y.

    This book sounds great! I love it when contemporary novels are written with characters that are easy to fall for, and love, and root for. Plus, even though the story is fairly simple, it also sounds like it’s got a lot of heart too.

  15. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Seriously, I would settle for just the hot Scottish guy OR someone to make waffles for me whenever I want, but I have NEITHER. *weeps* LIFE IS UNFAIR.

    Like you, I appreciated the time spent on her friends, though I did think it was a little weird she didn’t scope out the boyfriend acting mysteriously, though maybe she didn’t want to find out he was cheating on her friend, because then awkwardddddd.