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review 2018-05-11 00:18
Social Skills by Sara Alva 4 Star Review!
Social Skills - Sara Alva

Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison. 

Jared's attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor's self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?




I enjoyed this New Adult romance recommend by AJ Truman on the Big Gay Fiction Podcast.

I love a socially awkward character and we get that here. 

The writing is lovely as is the character development. Both Connor and Jared are a big messes but they are young and do what young people do.

The cast is great. I will for sure look for more books by this author.

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review 2015-11-05 00:00
Pura Vida
Pura Vida - Sara Alva
3.5 stars

Pura Vida is the story of a boy around college age who goes on vacation with his family. His family is fairly well off. He has a decent life. But something is missing. He doesn't have a satisfied accomplished feeling about himself or the direction his life is moving. While on vacation, he meets a local guy that changes his outlook, which makes a big impact on his future.

This is a wonderful short read. I believe most of us can identify with parts of the storyline. It left me with a good feeling.

***Copy given in exchange for an honest review***

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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review 2015-07-22 00:00
Silent - Sara Alva An excellent well written m/m romance from Sara Alva. Ghetto kid Alex is taken into foster care away from his neglectful mother and her abusive partner Hector. Here Alex meets the withdrawn mute Seb who he chooses to vent his fears to.

"You fucking show up at my school and take my whole life away from me... then you give me a new one, and now you're gonna fuck that one up too?"
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review 2015-01-23 12:26
Book Review — Silent, by Sara Alva
Silent - Sara Alva

I had a moment of feeling uneasy with the gritty talk, when inside Alex’s head. He has internalized so much racial denigratory crap that it almost hurt my eyes. It most certainly hurt my heart.


As did the whole book. This story is heartrending. Sad. Full of devastation. Kids and drug dealers. Young people who probably never stand a chance.


And yet.


In the middle of all this misery is a young man of 15, standing tall, doing his absolute best. He mucks it up, of course, because he is only fifteen years old. But he tries. Oh, lord, but he tries. He almost gets on my nerves with how hard he tries.


There is desperation, then group homes, foster homes, fires, guns and then we meet this one, lonely, silent boy, Seb.


There is love, and forgiveness, and beauty in all this harsh and gritty reality.


This book should be mandatory reading in high schools, as it covers bullying, being different, social services, group homes, institutions and more. It covers life, as is, in neighborhoods I have seldom visited. It spoke straight to my heart, breaking it in the process.


This book changes things inside your head. It is, at times, uncomfortable. But most good stories are, if they have important messages.


This one does. Read it.




I bought copy of this book with my own money, after reading a brilliant review from a teen.


Source: annalund2011.booklikes.com/post/1093508/book-review-silent-by-sara-alva
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review 2015-01-15 00:00
Social Skills
Social Skills - Sara Alva Connor made my heart ache nearly from the first page through the end. This book is his journey through freshman year of college. He's navigating the already difficult waters of being in college compounded by paralyzing shyness and anxiety. The story is told from his 3rd person POV, and it's great. It wasn't easy to read his pain and panic, but it was well done. I felt for him.

And I felt for Jared. Despite wanting to smack some sense into him at times, I understand his struggle. It wasn't OTT or deliberately hurtful. This is just another teenage dude starting college and not wanting to be ""different"". He's a football player and popular guy. He's used to that, and he's got expectations in his mind that he needs to live up to. I empathized even while wanting him to get it the hell together.

I was cheering for them to figure things out though. I wanted the HEA for each of them. And the struggle was worth it.

The story is an emotional ride. It was slow in some places, but I didn't want to put it down.

I don't read much YA romance, and I only read a bit more NA romance, mostly m/m. I'm not an expert at all. That said, I think this is classified as YA, and I'm not really sure why. The characters are in college, and the sex is explicit. It's not really titillating, and they're emotional maturity is certainly lacking, so maybe that's the reason for the YA label. I genuinely don't know, but I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys m/m NA romance. Don't be put off by the YA label.
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