Samantha SummersSeries: Project Five Fifteen #1Publication: May 12th 2012Genre: YA Romantic ThrillerA government experiment. Sixteen teenage boys on the run. An innocent young girl caught in the middle. When Ronnie Rose meets the handsome and alluring Kalen Smith, she can tell there's something he's hiding - something dangerous. But in trying to uncover his secret, Ronnie is plunged into a terrifying world she isn't prepared for... and the consequences could be deadly. Can we choose who we fall in love with?
As You WereSamantha SummersSeries: Project Five Fifteen #2Publication: December 14th 2012Genre: YA Romantic ThrillerFor every choice, there is a consequence.Ronnie and Kalen are finally together, living their life in secret under the radar of the people who want Kalen dead. But when a visit from an old friend sends Kalen away on a rescue mission, Ronnie finds herself plunged back into the world of Project Five Fifteen quicker than she ever thought possible.It’s fast becoming clear The Agency will never give up their hunt for the boys, and a betrayal closer to home starts a chain reaction that will change everything. Now, caught in a deadly web of lies and deceit, Ronnie is forced to question who she can trust; even the person she once trusted most.As enemies close in, Kalen’s past threatens to destroy the happiness they sacrificed so much for, and it’s only a matter of time before the ultimate choice must be made...
First, thank you to Xpresso Tours and Samantha Summers for providing me with a review copy of both books, First Light and As you Were.This review is for both books on the Project five-Fifteen series.
Ok, well, book three cannot come out fast enough for me. This was fun. I admit, sometimes when I look at my review schedule I think I can pick out the books that make me worry if I will like them or not. I wasn’t sure about this series at first, mostly because I don’t care for the covers, but as soon as I started reading First Light, I knew I was wrong. I loved both books but especially book two.
Book one is a romance, it’s got some mystery and some thrilling moments, but it’s not fast-paced enough to be a real thriller. That doesn’t change the way I feel about it, it was great to meet Ronnie and Kalen, as well as the other boys – especially Ace and Denver. I enjoyed pretty much all of it, although I do admit to wishing for more Kalen when he was missing from the story. And honestly, that wasn’t much. He blew Ronnie Rose off and she took it like a champ – she partied! LOL...take that, Kalen who?
And nothing drives a brooding I'm-no-good-for-you bad boy crazier than a girl who gets on with her life, so he promptly returned, and actually, we know he was creeping, he never left in the first place.
And oh, the boys. I love how she calls them the boys, well even Kalen calls them the boys, and he’s one of them! They have a murky past, they know a lot of cool stuff, they can speak different languages… which all adds up to hot mystery guys with a dark side! Who could resist?
I enjoyed Kalen’s flashbacks in the first book, but I really, really loved them in the second. Holy crap, did they ever reveal what those boys went through. Also, I felt the draw to Ace in book one, just as Ronnie did, but in book two, Ace was a major player and if he dies in the third book, I’ll be heartbroken.
I read another review that asked why Ronnie got so attached to the boys so fast and I think the reason was Ace. He’s not like the other boys, he’s younger and his past is not as gruesome, although his training is exactly the same and he’s no chicken-shit.
But Ace was looking for something in Ronnie in book one, a friend, a sister, maybe even a girlfriend. Ace desperately wanted female company, and not in a creepy way. I think most of the boys felt this way – they were raised without women, so when Ronnie shows up with her girly ways, they loved her. (Most of them!)
Book two IS a real thriller from start to finish. The pacing is lightning fast, Ronnie is in danger almost the whole time, and Kalen is so torn between what “they” are manipulating him to do and what Ronnie wants him to do that it gives the book a Jason Bourne feel to it, but with teenagers.
In book two we learn a lot more about Ace and he and Ronnie become close, confusing the poor kid to the point that he starts to have feelings for Ronnie. And he’s so needy, for being what he is, that I almost wanted Ronnie to choose him just to make him happy! Ace is a very well-developed character.
We also learn so much about the boys’ past and why they act the way they do. And there is an unexpected addition to the “team” when another boy, not one from book one, shows up and freaks Kalen out. You see, not all the boys are “good”.
I love thrillers but I really love YA thrillers because it takes a special character to pull off that kind of twisty pacing and keep it believable. This is why a well-developed past is essential and Summers definitely hit that nail on the head in this series.
Kalen fits the bill for the action hero, but Ronnie Rose is no wallflower either. In fact, she slips into the role of Mrs. Jason Bourne with ease and her courage is on display time and time again. She takes real hits, bloody, bone cracking hits, and she gets back up and fights again.
Ronnie Rose is strong and likable, so her and Kalen together are like the thriller dream team. I will definitely be waiting anxiously for book three, Becoming.
Four stars for First Light and five stars for As You Were
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ABOUT THE AUTHORBorn in London, an only child with an overactive imagination, Sam spent much of her childhood telling ghost stories to her younger cousins and dreaming about far away places. She graduated university with a BA in marketing, but it wasn't long before her passion for storytelling and travel got the better of her. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, where you'll probably find her hidden away in the corner of a park somewhere - writing, reading, dreaming or watching movies on her iPad. She loves everything spy and assassin and has a slightly unhealthy obsession with Star Wars, mainly Darth Vader.