Mia Strong never expected to be deciding the rest of her life at age twenty-two. Is she willing to become a human lab rat? Does she need to write a will? Does she ever want a family--and if so, with whom? She can't dodge the tough questions--not if she plans to live to see twenty-three. With her life hanging in the balance, Mia wants nothing more than to rely on Adam Drake, but he’s hurt her before.
You Must Gather Your Party Before Venturing Forth…
Adam Drake knows that he's made mistakes, but when he discovers what Mia's facing, he realizes how much those mistakes could cost him. Now he has to choose between being the man who can save Mia's life or the man she can love. No matter how much it tears him apart, Adam knows he has to put Mia first...even if it means he's out of the picture entirely.
Will their love survive this epic battle or is it game over?
This novel is the third and final book in Adam and Mia's trilogy, but they will be featured in future Gaming the System novels.
She has always sought comfort in good books and the long, involved stories she weaves in her head. Brenna is a city girl with a nature-lover’s heart. She therefore finds herself out in green open spaces any chance she can get. She currently resides on the west coast of the US with her husband and children (both human and furry).
Seriously, how can one series (and this book specifically) have so much back and forth conflict?! I didn't even know it was possible. The amount of times Adam and Mia fought, broke up and got back together is too many to remember or even count. It was extremely frustrating! I understand having some conflict but this was just ridiculous. They were so bad at communicating! The whole second book - At Any Turn was based around Mia being distant and hiding something HUGE from Adam.
However, when they weren't fighting and being annoying, I really liked them. The circumstances in which they met were weird but interesting. It was pretty cute that their love was so strong that they went through all this bullshit to have a happily ever after - even though it was frequently infuriating.
Barely read this book. Just kept turning the page to get the gist of what was going on. Were they banging? Were they not banging? (It took so long for them to bang!) Was so sick of Mia from book #2 and really, at this point, felt like there was just no oomph to the whole story. Once THE decision was made (), it was all about how they couldn’t really hook up because of Adam’s reluctance to hurt her again/being the cause of her *almost* dying cuz he had to make her choose/and blah blah blah. I don’t feel emotionally invested in their story anymore to be honest to even give myself hints in this review of what happens later.
My recommendation: Don’t read this one. Stop at book #1 (which was so cool and awesome!) Unfortunately, the rest of the books weren’t that great.
Wow! I am totally blown away by this book! First, I'll just say that the first book in this series was one of my favorite books ever. I love Mia and Adam and their unique story. In book 2, I was devastated by Mia's situation and her secrets. Now in book 3, Mia is faced with the most difficult decision a woman could ever face. My heart broke for her and at 5% in, I was already crying and had to take a little break. I don't know what I would've done if I was in her situation. Adam is an amazing character. He is supportive but also isn't a push-over. This is a true love story, the way Adam helps and cares for Mia is amazing and beautiful. These aren't perfect characters, they make mistakes, they don't always make the best decisions but they are some of the most real, heart-felt characters I have ever read. The writing of this book (and this entire Gaming the System series) is absolutely brilliant. This is unlike a lot of the other books out there right now, it's a unique story that really takes you on a journey. I highly recommend this book and this entire series! I can't wait for Jordan's book next!
Okay. So that was amazing! I'm not even sure what to say. I'm kind of speechless. It was beautiful and painful and heart-wrenching and sexy all at the same time. The way I, as a reader, lived with Mia though her darkest days was expertly handled BRAVA!!!!! Aubrey has an incredible talent. And finally an intelligent romance. She navigated through their mistakes and the valleys of their relationship in such a way, that their outcome , their HEA is literally one of the most beautifully believable HEA's I've EVER read. And I've read a lot. So apparently, I did have some things to say.
I'm addicted to this series. This book is crack in text form.
Adam-I had a whole lot more sympathy for you the last time around. What you do- Redecorate an entire suite and have Emilia move in with you so you can take care of her during her cancer treatment. What I see-I don't want her too close. I want to keep an eye on her but I don't want her in my bedroom. What you say-You're beautiful and sexy no matter what. What I hear- empty words. She needs assurance and love. You push Emilia away EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. If I'm Emilia, I'm thinking you're repulsed by my appearance. What you want- Emilia to be healthy and start treatment right away. You convince her to have an abortion so she can do that and tell her you can't lose her. What happens-As soon as her treatment ends and her scan comes back clear for cancer, you send her packing. You don't earn any extra book boyfriend points from me for waiting until her chemo is over to break up with her. I feel horrible for Emilia when she says: So now...I get to live--hooray! But I don't have you. And I don't have a baby
Emilia- she takes responsibility for her actions in this book. She knows she should have told Adam about her illness a whole lot sooner. Her secrets and lies really screwed everything up. She is contrite and I believe her. Problem is Adam doesn't. He doesn't trust her and he's scared. She needs support and love and to forgive herself. Just because it was a "terminate the pregnancy to save the life of the mother" decision doesn't make it any easier. She needs to mourn her loss and grieve the loss of the children she will never bear. But Adam's lack of emotion marginalizes her feelings. He can have other children; she never will.
I gave this couple an F- for communication in the last book and a D+ in this one. It's not until this socially stunted couple finds a different way to speak to one another that they heal. ( And therapy, in Emilia's case.) Adam finds a way to speak through his online game and Emilia writes a journal to tell Adam how she feels.
Love this story. Love this couple. I'm cheering for them all the way, and can't wait for the next book in the series.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
“At Any Moment” is a book that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.
Sigh. I’ve waited a long time to write this review. I needed to collect my thoughts. It pains me to review this book, because once I do, it’s over. The trilogy telling Adam and Mia’s story is finished. And I’m not ready for that. Yeah, yeah, the author (Brenna, who is super sweet) mentions that they will pop up in the companion spin-off books, but it’s not the same. Better than nothing, though.
So with a heavy heart here is my review of the third, and final, book of Adam and Mia’s story: “At Any Moment” by Brenna Aubrey.
So, if you couldn’t tell by my intro, I loved the “Gaming the System” series. A lot. If you haven’t read it…what’s wrong with you?!? Seriously, it’s a smartly written new adult series. The characters are intelligent, the story line is unique and pulls the reader in, and it’s refreshing not to read the same story: girl meets bad boy, bad boy changes, girl gets bad boy, and they live happily ever after. Don’t get me wrong, I like those books, too. If they’re written well. But the “Gaming the System” Series has a totally unique and intelligent plot, while still appealing to those who like the new adult genre.
The characters Brenna creates are real. They have issues…big issues. They make mistakes. Strong at times, but they need help at others. Brenna writes them flawlessly. They jump off the page and pull the reader into their world, and the reader will want to stay there. This is definitely a book you read when your schedule is clear. I read it in one sitting.
I’ve already talked a little about the plot. It’s different than any other new adult book I’ve read, and I’ve read and reviewed a lot of books. Many I’ve featured on my blog. Those that I’ve read that I couldn’t rate a four star or above, I didn’t post on my blog. So for every book you see on my blog, there are probably three or four I’ve read that didn’t make the cut. So that’s a lot of books. And the “Gaming The System Series” is one of my favorites.
Usually I never give a recap of the storyline on my blog. I believe readers should read the book and enjoy it the way the author intended, not get a watered down version from me. But I will give a tiny bit of information about “At Any Moment.” Mia’s struggle in this book really gave her character depth. She had to build strength, but it came in a way she never thought it would. Her character really grew in the book. I loved the topic Brenna covered, one so important, yet not seen often in books in this age range. Tremendous, tremendous job.
The pacing was good throughout the book. The storyline flowed well. Character development was outstanding, including secondary characters which often get overlooked. The ending wrapped up the trilogy nicely, although I’m so glad I’ll get glimpses of my favorite couple in future books.
Bottom Line: Brenna Aubrey’s “Gaming The System Series” is outstanding and “At Any Moment” is a touching look into a young woman’s life as she battles one of her worst fears, and a man who loves her enough to do whatever it takes to help her. It’s about finding strength in surrendering control and accepting help. “At Any Moment” is a book that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.
“At Any Moment” A Must Read – 5 Stars “Gaming The System Series” – 5 Stars “Adam” as Book Boyfriend Material – 5 Stars
I just don't know what to say. .Did this series have potential? Absolutely! But it was grossly exaggerated and had an abundance of unnecessary, drawn out, drama. I understand the idea behind all of it and trying to make it "real" but it ended up being incredibly immature and aggravating. I won't be reading the follow up characters stories since I barely made it through these books and skimmed A LOT!!
DNF. I hated the continuing back and forth of we can't be together/we need a break. I couldn't finish this book for this sole reason. 200+ pages of this was enough for me to realize that they shouldn't be together ever again, so I quit reading. I liked the first two books, but just couldn't stomach this one any more. Sorry.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Hey if you're feeling kinda good and need a kick in the nuts you can read this series. This is series is about a couple loving each other but always fighting, breaking up, staying apart to deal with their feelings, and oh yes a whole book of dealing with cancer and going through chemo.
I was so aggravated by the actions and choices of the MCs I almost couldn't finish. The whole book is so depressing (most of the 3 books are) and they only have sex and choose to be together in the last like 10 pages. I mean I'm not trying to be a dick here but I read so I can escape my own problems not to be immersed in the saddest shittiest story of all time. At least she didn't die, I guess. Sorry, I'm mad I wasted time reading this. Don't waste yours.
Gaming the System reviews: At Any Price ❤❤❤❤ here At Any Turn ❤❤ here At Any Moment ❤❤❤ See below! For the win ❤❤❤❤ here For the One ❤❤❤❤ here Worth Any Cost ❤❤ here
Bonus books: At Any Price Bonus (bonus chapter) ❤❤❤ here
Welcome to Gaming the System
At this point in time I think I’m a bit stumped for words. This series displayed such huge potential in “At Any Price”, which is so filled with love. Then we progressed into “At Any turn” which is filled with frustration, despair and mistrust. Now we’ve made it to “At Any Moment” which is such a bitter sweet book.
I’m not quite sure, how Brenna managed to steer this series so far away from the auction that, started it all. But Mia and Adam keep going back and forwards. Fighting. Breaking up. Blaming themselves.
I have to admit what I had the hardest time dealing with was all the blame. Mia keeps blaming herself for choosing to live. For choosing to fight. I do understand where Brenna is coming from, and I understand that the choices Mia has to make are hard and will probably stay with her for life. But that doesn’t make all her whining and misplaced blame okay.
It’s not like there’s not plenty of legitimate things Mia could be blaming herself for, so why go for the ridiculous ones? How about blaming yourself for hiding such a serious condition? How about blaming yourself for putting Adam in an emotional jail cell? No. That would be too easy. It would make too much sense.
But without any sense being made, the drama loop continues!
At the moment I’m just fed up with Mia and her selfish personality.
I know it’s not going to be the last we hear of Adam and Mia, but it’s goodbye to them, at least for now.
Honestly I am not a fan of how this storyline turned out. It had nothing to do with the original plot and somehow turned into a cancer book, which I normally don´t have anything against but not if the series started out completely different. I was still annoyed with Mia and Adam and honestly I was done with the story. I think the book could´ve been an awesome book if it ended after book one cause like I said this had nothing to do with the original storyline. It was an okay read and well that´s about it.
Slightly, very slightly, better than book two but it was still blergh. Only continued because I was curious if adam and mia would stop making up obstacles. Spoiler: they didn't but suddenly in the last chapter they were forced by the author to get together anyway
*A big thanks to the author for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
*Guia has entered the world of Yondareth*
From the very beginning of Adam and Mia’s journey, this series has been a book after my own geeky heart. AT ANY MOMENT brings the story to a conclusion in ways that you would not have expected it. It’s definitely not how I envisioned the series would play out but it does not make the story any less addicting.
Rating: 5 out of 5 Draco the dragon stars (see what I did there? *wink wink*)
I’m not lying when I said that AAM was a bit of a far cry from the first book. When I first got hooked on this series, I was immediately pulled in by the quirky characters, the funny as hell scenes, the witty writing, and the whole premise of two gamers falling in love in the most unusual circumstances. I was content to have the same type of feel-good story play out for the rest of the book but imagine my surprise (the good kind) when AT ANY TURN became one massive turning point for the whole story.
The thing that I absolutely LOVED about it is that Brenna Aubrey shows readers what happens when it’s game over for two people who have tried desperately to make it work at each and every turn. It’s daring, to say the least. It’s not everyday when you read a book and just know that there’s a very real chance that it may not work out for Mia and Adam. I know Brenna Aubrey said on GR that Adam and Mia will get their happily ever after but with every page, I can’t help but doubt how their happily ever after would play out. There was always this niggling though at the back of my mind that their HEA won’t be with each other. And that was one of the things that kept me up late into the night, enduring each heartbreaking page as I raced through the book to see what the author had in store for these two characters that I’ve grown to love.
In AAM, readers are faced with the fact that love isn’t always hearts and flowers and butterflies. But despite of the secrets and the lies that threaten to tear them apart, we see all these tender moment between them to remind us that even in the most difficult times, love shines through. That sounds sooooo hopeless romantic of me but it’s the one thing that gave me hope for Adam and Mia.
All in all, Brenna Aubrey brings Adam and Mia’s trilogy into an amazing conclusion. Adam and Mia’s journey is not always rainbows and butterflies (thanks, Maroon 5!) but it’s one heck of an adventure all the same. If you haven’t read Brenna Aubrey’s Gaming the System books, then you’re definitely missing out! Go pick up a copy from your nearest bookstore. You won’t regret it. It’s a story that members of the nerd herd would truly appreciate. I know I did.
P.S. This may be a bit unrelated but, man, aside from the absolute joy of reading, Brenna Aubrey made me wish for those long nights spent playing computer games with my brother and cousins on my rig. Even though AAM was centered on Adam and Mia as they tried to navigate their relationship, a Gaming the System novel won’t be complete without the nerd herd stuff threaded throughout it. I was in geek heaven! Can I just say that I want a real life DE game. Oh, and throw in a real-life Adam Drake for good measure.
Baggage. We all have it. When we enter into a relationship we all have baggage. Some more than others. The real question that we have to ask ourselves is 'How do I overcome mine and his too or can I?'
Adam and Mia had a very unconventional beginning. Then they had their honeymoon period. Then they had their secrets. And their secrets led to their destruction.... or did it? Now they are dealing with a tragic event that could possibly shatter them forever. But it is how they deal with it, or the lack thereof, that will determine their outcome.
How do you stay with someone if you can't trust them?
How do you stay with someone if you can't trust yourself?
At what point are you allowed to let go of all the hurts and betrayal and forgive yourself?
These are some of the obstacles that Mia and Adam have had to deal with and whether or not their relationship can stand the test.
I found this segment of the trilogy to be very emotional and real. Sometimes couples can't cope with tragic events and their grief often seperates them. Other times it makes them stronger. Adam and Mia went through such a roller coaster of emotions and trials that their love was never questioned... they always knew how they felt for one another. The question was whether they could weather the storm togeather and come out on top. This story gutted me and and at the same time it has become very dear to me and I absolutely adored it.
So I balled yea sad tears, happy tears, moved tears, and even proud tears, At Any Moment was gritty and real. As I mentioned before the ending was HEA but it did not come easily. Being by Mia’s side through the biggest fight of her life was difficult and moving. I admire her character so much because through the agonizing pain she remained a brilliant beam of light in every room. Once she was able to overcome her own stubbornness we were allowed to see in her heart and nothing has changed. Her love for Adam is amazing as is his for her. Ms. Aubrey has written something truly special with these two! I’ve loved every step of the way. Even through the sacrifices everyone made the emotions I felt ran high. Bravo! Oh! Did can someone say dual pov’s? Nailed it!! I def recommend this series if you have even a teensy bit of nerd in you!
My Wish Well according to the way At Any Moment ended Jordan has some splainin to do! Lol I’ve always liked him so I’m glad he's next…My wish is…I’ve kind of fallen in love with Katya so maybe Jordan and Katya?
My Rating 4.0 Diagnosies, Intervention, 85%, Sacrifice, Guilt, Scarves, Room, Work, Early End, Scan, Paris, Bucket List, New Bucket List, Compass, Blog, Ring, Cabin, Comic Con, Cosplay, Tattoo, Viral, Pet Project, Two pieces of a puzzle coming together and sharing an epic love unlike anything they’ve ever experienced filled stars!!!
So we've come a long way since the controversial virginity auction. Things between Mia and Adam fell apart in the second book, and slowly get pieced back together in the third. With the cancer storyline, this is a much darker story, and sometimes it was hard to read. It was authentic, and didn't shy away from the hard decisions of treatment or from the effects of chemo. I've come to love these characters, and this book told an integral part of their relationship and the reasons why they behaved and reacted as they did. Their individual faults are acknowledged and worked at, and I felt they both grew by the end of the book. I love to see that. These are characters that are fully developed, and they are far from perfect, but you really see how they change and grow throughout the series. This was a perfect, solid ending. Loved Heath as always (best supporting character I've read in maybe forever), the two girl friends were unfortunately still vague and forgettable to me. Kat was somewhat interesting and I wonder if she will have a story of her own. I thought the epilogue would have been better served focusing on Mia and Adam, instead of as a teaser to Jordan's story. His teaser could have been a separate preview at the end of the book. Honestly, though, it had me hooked and I can't wait to read it.
I have loved this series although the gaming parts bored me to an extent. Amelia and Adam made me laugh, cry and groan in frustration. This book was intense and made me dread turning each page, hoping they would have their HEA but doubtful that they would make it. Adam was so strong for Mia but they were each so vulnerable. Adam made me weak with the love he showed for Mia. "How could I think when she was every other thought? How could I breathe without her when she was my breath? How could I live without her when she was my life? “I don’t want to hear you say it again until you are in my arms, your lips an inch from mine ready to kiss me, ready to be mine again. Because, Emilia, if you can’t trust me to come back to me for forever, then don’t come back. I won’t be able to stand this again.”. For me it was a series worth the read.
4+ stars ... This was a beautiful conclusion to the gaming the system series. I felt the emotional roller coaster that these two characters went through--the insecurities, the need to wanting to be together, but unable to--it felt real and so close to home. If you enjoyed the Gaming the system so far, I'd say, go ahead and read this as well, because in truth, without this, Gaming the System would feel incomplete.
Salve, amiche del confine. Oggi, finalmente, vi parlo di “A ogni momento”, l’ultimo volume della serie “Manipolare il sistema”. Per motivi collegati al blog, soprattutto per una questione di tempistiche, avevo dovuto abbandonare momentaneamente la storia di Adam e Mia, per ricominciarla solo dopo aver concluso un’altra lettura. Inutile dirvi quanto la conclusione del secondo volume mi tormentasse e quanto non vedevo l’ora di riprendere la loro storia in mano. Li avevamo lasciati insieme, mano nella mano, ma con la consapevolezza che da quel momento in poi la loro vita non sarebbe più stata la stessa.
Ricordate dove eravamo riamasti? A Mia era stato diagnosticato il cancro nel momento peggiore della sua vita. Il suo rapporto con Adam non funzionava molto bene, non c’era fiducia reciproca, inoltre, per peggiorare le cose, Mia aveva scoperto anche di aspettare un bambino. La sua vita o quella del bambino che porta il grembo? Adam ha già la risposta, ma per Mia arrivare a prendere una decisione non è così facile. Le persone a lei care la aiuteranno in questo periodo così difficile, ma Mia non riesce ad accettare il loro aiuto. Non riesce ad accettare di aver bisogno di loro e così il suo rapporto già tormentato con Adam finirà per lacerarsi, creando tra di due una crepa apparentemente impossibile da aggiustare.
Insomma care lettrici, Mia e Adam ne hanno passate tante, forse troppe, ma ne è assolutamente valsa la pena. Questo capitolo finale è davvero meraviglioso e ricco di tantissime emozioni. Adam e Mia hanno faticato per conquistare il loro liete fine ma, alla fine, ce l’hanno fatta. Il loro amore è forte e loro sono l’uno il Nord dell’altro. Il loro punto fermo, la loro destinazione. La loro è una storia d’amore bellissima, piena di ostacoli e di emozioni. Ho adorato entrambi i protagonisti, ma in questo volume l’autrice, se è possibile, li ha resi più reali. Entrambi dovranno fare i conti con i difetti e con gli errori dell’altro e con i propri. L’autrice, inoltre, questa volta ci ha regalato una full immersion in questa storia. Nel primo volume è stata raccontata interamente da Mia, nel secondo da Adam, in questo a POV alterni. Questo ha fatto sì che la storia apparisse più completa agli occhi del lettore. Conosciamo le emozioni e il dolore di Mia, il suo senso di colpa e le sue paure, e allo stesso modo conosciamo anche i timori di Adam. Entrambi hanno paura di perdere l’altro ed entrambi sanno che forse perdersi è la cosa più giusta da fare, ma solo se serve a ritrovarsi. Inoltre, a poche pagine dall’epilogo, che è bellissimo, troviamo un piccolo assaggio di ciò che l’autrice ci riserva per il futuro, che spero sia immediato. Possiamo leggere poche righe su Jordan, amico e collega di Adam, protagonista dei prossimi volumi. Non vedo l’ora di ritrovare Mia e Adam, ma nel frattempo, sono sicura, mi consolerò con Jordan. Aspetto con ansia di proseguire questa serie e voi, amiche del Confine, se non l’avete iniziata, correte a rimediare. Adam e Mia vi aspettano!
This book was another very emotional roller coaster ride of a beautiful story. Both characters have drawn so much emotion out of me over the last 3 books, it has given me whiplash. I went from hating Mia and wanting to punch her in the face in book 2, to feeling sorry for her in book 3. And then wanting to kick Adam in the balls. I was okay with Adams actions in the 1st half of the novel. I would have been disappointed if he had just ran back into Mia's arms after what she put him through. But at 68% my rating took a nosedive. Enough was enough!
The issue I had was Adam's uncharacteristic behavior, which was a big contradiction from when I was reading from his point of view. It made no sense for Adam to beg Mia to have an abortion, and show no emotion in the reguards of her terminating his baby, only for him to dump her as soon she got well. Adam breaking up with Mia after all that was a total contradiction of the thoughts in his head. I was like, why did you beg her to have an abortion Adam? And why did you have her move in with you?
That being said, I have to give it to the author giving one hell of an explanation, not to mention, the creative way of how both characters felt at the end. Explaining that Adam never had time to deal with his resentment and anger toward Mia because how could he be mad at her if she was sick made sense.
I still feel how Adam handled his emotions and their situation was hypocritical. Maybe if he had not begged her to move back in with him--only to back door and say that he wasn't even sure if they were going to have a future together, then I wouldn't have been so pissed off about his bipolar behavior.
I really liked how they both shared their most deepest thoughts of declaring their love with each other in such a creative way. Mia with her personal journal, and Adam through the game was Very clever. The book also showed tremendous character grow for Mia. After book 2, I didn't think I would ever like her again. But everyone deserves a second chance, and underneath Mia's tough exterior, she's a good person. The end made up for the uncharacteristic contradictions that happened beforehand. All-in-all, this story made me curse and had me teary-eyed at the same time. Ms. Aubrey writes great romance as well as steamy sex! She digs your heart out and makes you wait, but the sex scenes are always worth the wait. This one didn't disappoint. I am happy for the couple, and I do want to read their journey over the altar.
I wanted to LOVE this series. I liked it but it wasn’t a 4-5 star book or series.
The idea of selling her virginity to help her mom and as an FU to patriarchy was a great set up. Who wins it and his history and intentions were also interesting, but the way they interact is problematic throughout the series.....I love you enough to move in with you but will hide a HUGE secret from you, that effects my health and our future....nope. I can’t buy that. The constant on/off of any relationship is a huge RED FLAG. Never met a couple who did that who should stay together, so forcing that dynamic makes me not want to cheer them along to a happily ever after. The problems she had making the big decision she needs to make felt unreal. Maybe if she wasn’t pre-med, I’d have bought it. Main male character is huge geek and even wears a kilt to cosplay a character (from his company’s own game) but draws the line at pointed ears??!! *makes ZERO sense*
The characters writing had an attempt at depth but for their back stories, many of their actions/reactions make little sense. I want more linear logic in this type of set up. It was still a decent read, or I wouldn’t have read books 2 & 3. Go ahead and read them if you’re looking for something to do.
OH. GOOD. LORD. Where do I even start with this review. I have so many, many thoughts. First of all, let me just say, that if this book were to stand on its own, away from the shadow of its predecessor, At Any Turn, it would be an excellent book. A truly moving and meaningful book that covered a lot of themes about loss and guilt, about the idea of choosing happiness, about what it means to be in a relationship and need someone and let yourself be vulnerable enough to ask for help.
HOWEVER, the problem is that I was still so irate over book 2 when I started reading this book, I hadn't quite gotten over my anger enough to really enjoy this book on its own. I actually think it's good that I didn't wait too long - either my anger would've festered and grown OR I would've stopped caring altogether and never read the third book in Adam and Mia's love story.
Let me first say this: I really, really don't like it when authors write a book that ends with a HEA for the couple, only for the writer to write a second book breaking said couple up so that the author can then write a THIRD book in order to bring said couple back together. I. HATE. THAT. TROPE. (Is that even considered a trope...I don't know.) I feel like it's a cheap ploy to prolong a story that really didn't need to be prolonged.
I had many complaints about book 2 but this is book 3 so we will not rehash old woulds here. However, my problems in book 3 were essentially an extension of my problems in book 2 as the third one picks up right where the 2nd one ends.
I'm going to go a little quote crazy here so bear with me and also don't read any further if you don't want to be spoiled and do intend to read this series.
"I don't need anyone to take care of me." His jaw tensed. "Bullshit." "Maybe I'm tough enough to get myself through it okay." Girl. You have CANCER. YOU. HAVE. CANCER. Not to mention, you also are faced with a heartbreaking choice that has left you doubled over with guilt and pain and loss. Enough, ok? You need someone.
The supporting character of Heath really annoyed me in the previous book because, yes, he was put in a tough position but he, has he himself essentially admitted, did NOT do his friend any favors by letting her shut everyone out from what was happening in her life.
However, the supporting character of William? He speaks the truth. I was angry with both of you," he said simply. "You were both behaving immaturely." HIGH. FIVE. WILLIAM. "If you would have talked to each other, you wouldn't have had the problems that developed." Preach it, brother.
There's a point where both characters acknowledge the mistakes that have been made (and good grief, there were SO MANY) and Mia believes that their mutual inexperience with relationships is a big part of the reason for these mistakes. Ummm...NO. The idea of having good communication, of being open and honest in a relationship, of having mutual trust in a relationship, these are all such important foundational requirements in a relationship that even the most novice would be able to understand their importance in building a strong, successful relationship. I'm not saying they would always practice these things - but they would know that the existence of these things is what it takes to make a relationship work.
"I know," I agreed. "Maybe I just need to grow up." In which, Mia gets a clue. Look, I get it, she's 23, she's had a really, really, really tough year. But her choices and her lack of self-awareness...really just annoyed the crap out of me. I hate writing this - I feel like I'm being too harsh but I spent the last 3 nights and about $6 reading these three books so I feel entitled to have an opinion at this point.
I had no clue how to even go about finding out what his issue was. I could ask him, of course. *Hits head hard against a wall* WHAT?!? YOU MEAN ACTUALLY HAVE OPEN COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE PERSON YOU LOVE?!? WHAT NONSENSE IS THIS?!?
"That's the other difficulty...to deal with and stockpile the rightful resentment you've felt all these months. And you can't express the anger when the person you are angry with is so sick." Probably one of the most insightful statements uttered by Adam in this entire book. He gets to be angry. Hell, I was angry. And I could also understand the guilt that accompanied the anger because the person who was the rightful target of all that anger was also seriously sick.
I'll be honest, the last 2 books were tough for me, the 2nd one especially. But I really loved the writing and I think I really loved the last part of the 3rd book when they separated at Adam's insistence to work out their individual issues. And I liked how they came back together, how the game that brought them together in the first place played a huge role (pun completely intentional) in that.
I feel like the second book shouldn't have been as long and should've have involved as many lies and deceptions as it did because it really impacted how I felt about these characters. I had a tough time letting go of my anger and resentment at Mia. And yes, that was accompanied by guilt because she WAS seriously sick and dealing with a LOT of other stuff.
The reason I rated it 4 stars is because it was written really well and I think with some changes in the book that bridged book 1 to this one, it could've been a really magnificent love story. Sadly, though, book 2 exists and as such, definitely colored my view of this book.