Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: Blushing by Katie Delahanty

If you remember correctly, this past summer the Vise Library was given an advanced copy of Katie Delahanty's first book In Bloom.  (Our review of that book is here.Through the powers of the internet after my review, I have had contact with Katie's editor.  Since I enjoyed first book so much, I was given a copy of Katie Delahanty's newest book, Blushing.  This was given to me out of my love for the first book as a gift, not with any promises of a review.  However, since we (Vise Library) love books and authors so much, I decided to write a review regardless.  Reviews (good or bad) help authors in many ways.  Anyways, on with what Blushing is about and what I took away from the book!

About the book:

My name is Olivia Bloom and I. Am. Engaged.

When Berkeley proposed I thought we’d live happily ever after—we’d plan our wedding and he’d tour with the Brightside while I continued designing lingerie. But instead he dropped a bombshell that turned my life upside down: he’s set to star in a movie with, who else, his gorgeous ex, Christina Carlton. And what’s more? I’ve been erased from the public eye. All anyone can talk about is #Berkstina.

Berkeley wants me to work on set as a costume designer—a dream come true—but there’s a catch; we have to keep our relationship secret. I’m okay with not being photographed, but the sneaking around, the lies, the love scenes; it’s not how I imagined our engagement. I know Berkeley is passionate and driven, but he has so much going on—I don’t know if we can take it. I’m starting to wonder how well I know him.

I love him, but am I ready to drop everything and decide the rest of my life? To become Olivia Dalton?

So as I stated above, I LOVED Katie's first book.  I was very excited to be given the opportunity to read her book before publication.  Sometimes with sequels to movie or books there is the possibility of the letdown, but honestly, I wasn't worried about that at all with Katie Delahanty's newest book.  I enjoyed the story of Liv and Berkeley so much, that I was anxious (in a good way!) to continue reading about their story.

This book pretty much picks up right where the last one ended.  There is not any significant amount of time that has elapsed.  (Thank goodness, I'd hate to miss anything!)  Berkeley and Liv are now engaged and trying to figure out the details.  However, because Berkeley is starring in a movie with an old (and very famous & very liked) girlfriend, the two have to keep their engagement secret.  Berkeley has a lot at stake with this movie, so it is very important that Liv, who will be working as a costume designer on the movie, isn't recognized or seen with him.  Liv has to go under a transformation to keep a low profile.  At first, Liv can handle it, but the longer this charade goes on, the harder keeping it up (and their relationship) becomes.  Liv eventually becomes very secluded where doubts start creeping in.

Gosh, I wish I could dive more into the plot of this, but I do not want to give any of the major events away.  (And I DESPERATELY need someone to discuss this book with!)  I will tell you that I loved it (shocker, I know...)!   Like any relationship, Liv and Berkeley are still trying to figure out their relationship and each other.  They have a few added obstacles with the fame and now having to keep their engagement to themselves.  We get to explore different cities (New York and Pittsburgh) with these two and get to catch up with Liv's our old friends, Blair, Parker, Boots and Mark! There are a few different twists to this book and people's REAL personalities also are revealed.  

I was very happy with the ending, but if certain circumstances did not come to light, I would have been content with it going in the complete opposite direction.  I think this is due to Katie's writing.  I think the way she writes these characters makes you want to root and support them in any decision that they make.  They just feel REAL, that's really all there is to it. She also makes it possible to feel the emotions that Liv is experiencing.  I remember being almost as anxious as Liv was in some of the scenes when she was interacting with certain characters.  I'm pretty sure I haven't been this anxious about a character since I stayed up late in college reading the 5th Harry Potter book that featured Professor Umbridge (ugh, that women...)!  I just could empathize with Liv as some things started unraveling.  I take that as a good thing, because I was able to become so engrossed with this story.  These characters are not overly dramatic, but they do have real life circumstances and events happening to them.  I cannot comprehend Hollywood or the movie/music scene, but I felt like what is happening between Liv and Berkeley is relatable.  Even though at times Liv struggles and has burdens to deal with, she becomes a stronger person in the end for it. I wish I was part of the Brightside gang!

One thing I was happy to see again in this book was the tweets and messages from the characters before each chapter.  They seem to give a little insight into what you will be reading about.  They don't give too much away, but they keep you wondering what you, as the reader, will be experiencing in the next chapter.  (Plus, you can never get too much of Liv & the gang!) I think it's great to see Liv grow as a person and realize what she wants to do and needs out of life.  She has to figure out some of the logistics of her life that she has not contemplated before. And also like the first book, I went back to reread some of the major happenings to experience them again.  Some books just stick with you and never get old - this is one of those books & series.  Again, like the first book, I stayed up way too late reading this and ignoring other things I should have been doing.  (Sorry husband for not feeding you!  I am sure he TOTALLY understands!)  If you want a fun read with GREAT characters in it, make sure and check this one out! Even though I received a gift copy of this book, I purchased one to send to my kindle.  You should too!

Side note: Be on the lookout in early March for a special blog post for Liv... :)

p.s. I have heard that there will be a third book in this series, but not sure who or what that entails - either way, I am sold and counting down the days until it comes out!  *HAPPY DANCE!*  

About the author:

Katie Delahanty never knew she was a writer. Her childhood obsessions centered on old movies, costumes, fashion, playing dress up, and books. Lots of books. On her quest to play make believe for a living she decided she wanted to be a fashion designer and after satisfying her practical parents by graduating from UCLA with a BA in Communication Studies. She went on to pursue her design dreams with a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. Now in charge of the ecommerce business for In Bloom Lingerie, she was asked to start the company blog. Not knowing what to say about lingerie but needing to use bridal keywords, she decided to start a fictional serial about how a girl named Olivia Bloom, who worked for In Bloom Lingerie, became engaged. And that's when Katie fell in love with storytelling and the path to make believe became clear. She hasn't looked back since.

Connect with the author:
·         Facebook
·         Twitter
·         Website 
·         Goodreads

Buy the book:

·         Amazon Kindle

'Praise for In Bloom:

"In Bloom is absolutely magical. With Olivia Bloom, Katie Delahanty has created a heroine who will both capture your heart and leave you longing to move to Los Angeles to pursue your own Hollywood dream. A dazzling debut novel with adventure, humor, and passion."--Marjorie Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Summer at Tiffany

"A delightful and dazzling Hollywood romp that had me laughing and loving all the way through!" --Ophelia London, author of
 Abby Road

"We're all Livs at heart...if she can meet her Prince Charming, maybe, just maybe, we can too. Liv reminds us to take a jump, to soar!" --Lola Jaye, author of By the Time You Read This

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