Review: Ex-Factor/Unbreakable

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Author: Elisa Dane
Series: Diamond Girls, #1
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: April 14th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 207
Source: YA
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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Nevaeh Evan’s life is uprooted after her father’s death, when she moves in with her aunt and cousin, Livvie. Her plan to lay low at her new high school isn’t working. Her friend’s jerky boyfriend keeps asking her out, the guy she likes treats her like garbage, and the thought of tumbling again makes her want to hurl.

So when her aunt pushes her into joining the elite X-FACTOR cheer leading squad, Navaeh goes along with it.

But Nev feels she doesn’t deserve to be happy. Not after what happened the night her father died.

Bodie Scott knows about grief all too well. Critically injured in an alcohol related accident the year before, Bodie struggles with the fact that he’ll never play football again, and he’s so far behind in credits he can’t see straight. That is, until he meets Nev. Haunted by their bloody pasts and wary of a shared future, Nev and Bodie turn to one another for comfort and support, and realize they’re not so alone after all. And when the party scene at school threatens the life of a loved one, the two stop at nothing to keep the past from repeating itself.


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When I first read the synopsis for this book I just knew I had to read it. Being a retired competitive cheerleader (yes, we consider it retiring) I just couldn’t pass up the possibility of reading this book!

There is a huge lack of respect for cheerleaders, and when you argue your case on it being a SPORT people just laugh. I would like to see those people go through what I did for 7 years. Hardcore conditioning, tumble across sprung and non-sprung floor, tumbling with a concussion, sprain ankle, or a non fully recovered hairline fracture in their lower back, practice anywhere from 6 – 12 hours a week, jump with your toes pointed and those jumps better be pretty, tuck out of a triple toe touch, be able to lift a girl and I don’t mean just lift. Can you hold a girl above your head? Rewind her, tick tock, and continue to hold her while she pulls her stretch, scorpion and scale and double down? Sounds intense doesn’t it? Because it is!

I enjoyed seeing this perspective on the cheerleading world! Even if you’re not a cheerleader, you can’t ignore the true elements it shows of being part of a family. Elisa made me want to pull out my cheer shoes and find a local cheer gym. But it’s not just because of the cheerleading why I loved this book; Ex-Factor manages to touch on some seriously deep and important concepts. She brings you everything a YA contemporary novel should have, no fluff and you can’t help but read it all in one sitting as you watched Nev deal with losing and parent and having to endure a fresh start in a new town, but most of all she brings successful self-discovery for Nev.

Overall, Ex-Factor is a strong YA contemporary read that I just couldn’t put down. I can’t wait to start Unbreakable!

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4 Stars


Author: Elisa Dane
Series: Diamond Girls, #2
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: June 10th, 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 225
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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Perception is everything to sixteen-year-old Olivia Brown. With her freakishly hot boyfriend, volunteer work at the local animal shelter, successful beauty channel on YouTube, and well-earned spot on X Factor Cheer’s elite level five Diamond Girl team, Livvie’s the girl every other girl wants to be. At least, that’s the illusion she’s aiming for.

But Livvie’s seemingly perfect life is anything but. Lying about the bruises her boyfriend gives her, and cowering beneath his raging temper becomes a regular way of life until she unwittingly witnesses her drunken neighbor beating his step-son, the town bad boy, Reid Tate.

For Reid, vulnerability is the enemy. Opening up, and letting people in gives them the power to disappoint. Growing up with a co-dependent mother and an abusive alcoholic father, Reid has endured all the disappointment he can stomach.

But when his pretty, do-good neighbor witnesses his step-dad beat him to within an inch of his life, and not only call the cops, but keeps quiet at school about what she saw, Reid wonders if maybe, just maybe, he’s found someone he can finally trust.


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After reading Ex-Factor I couldn’t wait to jump back into the world of the Diamond Girls! Unbreakable focuses on Livvie, who is Nev’s cousin but don’t worry Nev still makes an appearance in this book! While this is the 2nd book in the Diamond Girls series it can also be read as a standalone.

I have to say though; I loved this book more than Ex-Factor. In Unbreakable we get the real scoop on Livvie’s life, the life that everyone thinks is perfect but it’s far from. My heart broke for Livvie, she’s such a sweet individual and the harm she endures makes you want to just give her a tight hug and never let go! But Reid Tate beats us to it, the hot bad boy next door. I loved the dynamics of their relationship and how it naturally ran its course to evolve! There wasn’t any insta-love, Reid helps Livvie and his support for her just makes your heart melt!

Overall, Unbreakable is another fantastic YA contemporary by Elisa that has the perfect romance with true elements of personal struggle and search trust and love from someone. These are both two YA Contemporary reads that you won’t want to miss out on! I can’t wait to read whatever Elisa Dane has in stores next!!

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5 stars

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* a ebook copy of Ex-Factor & $10 Amazon Gift Card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I’m a lover of books (YA & Adult romance), chocolate, reality television, and am a proud mother to three All Star cheerleaders. Woot!

I write Contemporary YA romance with cheerleaders. Yep. I write what I know, and it’s my hope that my stories will not only take you on a romantic journey that will warm your heart, but that you’ll find a new respect and interest in the sport of Cheerleading you may not have had before.

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