Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More Than You Know Review + Giveaway

More Than You Know

Author: Alexandria Rhodes
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Event organized by: Literati Author Services

After surviving a devastating car accident that took her father's life, Bryn Woods feels like she has nothing left in her hometown of Savannah, GA. Along with losing her father, her boyfriend, Tyler, unexpectedly leaves town the same time of the accident. Feeling alone, broken and confused, Bryn leaves Savannah for college in New York City to escape her heartbreak.

Four years later, Bryn returns to Savannah to live in her childhood home. Slowly, she begins to let the people of her past back into her life. She lets the protective walls she's built to protect herself crash down around her. As she begins to find love again with Tyler, secrets start to unravel themselves about his past. Tyler has secrets of his own. Secrets connected to the death of Bryn's father. Secrets Tyler didn't even know he kept.

More Than You Know is about Bryn, a recent college grad, who returns home to Savannah, Georgia to live in her deceased father's home. Her return home is welcomed by many childhood friends, including two siblings, Charlotte (her BFF) and Tyler (her BF) who left without any explanation four years before. Their departure plus the death of her father causes Bryn to move Northeast to start again. Once she returns to the south, she reconnects her bond with Charlotte, Tyler, and many others she has been out of contact with over her college years. She and Tyler quickly realize their feelings for one another were not severed by their years apart.
Characterization and believability are major factors I seek when reading an ARC. In More Than You Know, there is an easy-to-love group of friends, but their believability towards the storyline was not quite right. I couldn't help but ask myself why none of these people reached out to Bryn while she was in New York. Why did they not tell her that Charlotte and Tyler had returned just one year later after they left? If Charlotte really was Bryn's bestest friend, she would have at least text or called her after her father died. She never once contacted her. That makes no sense to me. Tyler on the other hand has his own "secret" (no spoiler for you). Although, I'm not sure it was a good enough reason to not tell Bryn in the first place or within the four year timespan they were apart. Not to mention how long it took for him to reveal his "secret" in the storyline. If he really did think of Bryn every day, he would have flown to New York, told her the truth, and swept her off her feet. When he and Bryn first see each other again in the movie rental store, Tyler acts as though nothing happened. If I was her, I would have called him out right there.
I don't agree with Bryn's choice to forgive and forget so easily. Then again, I don't blame her, because she doesn't have very many people in her life besides her college roommate, Olivia. Speaking of Olivia, I liked her character but couldn't for the life of me understand why she was only in the beginning and the end. Why mention her interest in Ashton when nothing in the story ever leads us in that direction?
Another critique is about the timing and purpose of Bryn's mother showing back up in her life. Because the mother was never extensively discussed throughout the first half of the book, I think it was the author's way of tying up the loose ribbons into a neat package. Not every story has to have a HEA. Sometimes, it's good enough for the reader to be left knowing the main character is living and loved.
Once you understand Tyler's "secret" (and you will figure it out pretty quick), you will easily predict the major plot twist. Overall, More Than You Know is a well-rounded story about life and death, heartbreak and happiness, forgiving and forgetting, and first loves. Although individually the characters have faults, they are enjoyable to read. When it comes down to it, we only read these books for the fictional boyfriends, and Tyler is worth it. 
Alexandria Rhodes is a first time novelist from the good old state of Ohio. She is a recent college graduate with a degree in English and Creative Writing. Alexandria has always known she needed to write and has been doing so ever since she bought a typewriter at a garage sale when she was nine. With hundreds of pages of plot ideas, scripts and character descriptions, it is no surprise that she finally came around to writing a book.

Alexandria enjoys reading, writing, reviewing, spending time with family, tweeting (a little too much) and traveling, especially to Savannah, GA and New York City.  Her writing is heavily influenced by her surroundings and the people in her life. She hopes that her stories will touch the hearts of her readers.


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