Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Paradise (The Bianca Grey Series #2) by Pamela Srey

After leaving behind all the good and the bad things of Philadelphia, Bianca Grey has found herself starting a new school and a new job in a brand new tropical place. She went from a lifetime without many friends, to quickly meeting new people and building relationships. With so much to learn and explore, Bianca has her heart set on finding her birth mother, but will she ever find her with so many road blocks that are keeping her from doing so? With all the new relationships being formed, will any of them help her forget the one thing from her past that she desperately misses?

Join Bianca in her journey through love, friendship, and a mysterious past in the second installment of The Bianca Grey Series.
~My Review~

I was contacted by Pamela Srey via Twitter to read and review her first book in this series, Melodies. After I read and reviewed that book, she also gave me opportunity to read and review the second book in her series, Paradise.  Once again, I overall liked the book.  It picks up where Bianca left off at the beginning of her new journey in Hawaii.  

I once again loved the qualities that Bianca has been given.  Building upon what we were given in the first book, Bianca continues to show her maturity in not only getting ready for college, but she also gets a job and jumps into a number of new relationships.  While her main intention is to search for information on her mother, she knows she has to get her life in order before she starts.  With everything she had been through in the past, I loved that she has the wherewithal to know exactly what needs to be done.

I felt that the message of love that I loved so much in Melodies is once again carried over into this book.  You can see, with how Bianca builds relationships with her new friends who live in the dorms, with her co-workers at the bookstore, that she loves and is loved.  There is also a strong message of inclusion in this book, and I felt that it was such an important topic, and handled so well.  It's amazing to see how some people only want to see the value in one way of thinking, and I felt that the way this book handled those topics were really well done.  We not only saw these topics come up between roommates and friends, but also between people who are meant to be leaders.  It's such a great message for a young audience.

While I was disappointed that at the end of Book 1, Bianca would be in Hawaii and Pete would be all the way in New York, I was very happy that Pete still does come into play in this book.  His part is smaller in this book, but it was still wonderful to see him and Bianca together, still managing to grow their relationship while they're so far apart.  They're still a part of each others' lives, and I really liked the way Pete was brought into a number of scenes.  I'm always going to be rooting for these two to be together.

I was actually kind of surprised with the number of Point of Views in this book.  Since the first book was so focused on Bianca and Pete, I assumed that the second book would follow suit.  When the first POV change came and we were given a chapter from Shawn's POV - Bianca's new boss at the bookstore/cafe where she works - I thought at first that maybe he would become a new love interest.  But then, we also got chapters throughout the book from not only Shawn and Bianca, but also from Riley (one of her classmates), Gaby (another classmate), and Pete.  So not only did we have Bianca's continuing journey of life in a new state, college, and the path to finding her birth mother, but we also got stories from Shawn, Riley, Gaby, and Pete.  Pete's stories fit into Bianca's so I felt like those flowed pretty well with Bianca's story.  And while a lot of Riley and Gaby's experiences revolved around their roommates, and fit in well with some of what Bianca was also experiencing with her roommates, I actually felt that a lot was taken away from the main part of the story.  While I liked reading about what their experiences were, I felt that not enough attention was given to Bianca's journey in finding her mother.  I was happy that we got through some rough patches in her journey to actually get some answers, but at the same time, I felt that if not so much time had been focused on things that Shawn, Riley, and Gaby were doing that weren't related to Bianca, then we could have gotten further.  I do however, hope that in subsequent books the storylines that have been started for Shawn, Riley, and Gaby are continued and resolved.  I would hate it if they were brought into this story and then we don't find out what ends up happening in their journeys.

A couple of layers from the first book were also brought into this book. Bianca's not-so-nice friend, Lilley, was mentioned so we could learn about her whereabouts, as well as Sammy, another one of the high school mean-girls.  Also, one of the apparitions from the first book also made an appearance here.  While I appreciated some of the closure we got from their appearances, I still had a few questions come the end of the book.

Overall, I found this book enjoyable.  I'm hoping that the next book can tie up some of the loose ends of not only Bianca's story with finding her birth mother, but also her relationship with Pete and his family, and her friendships that she's made along the way.  I really felt that the message brought forth in this book were strong messages, and I'm looking forward to the next adventure!

Special thanks to Pamela Srey for providing this book to me for review.

Link to Goodreads
Link to Kindle
Link to  Nook

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