Man I’ve been a way from blogging for a while. These past two weeks have been a bit crazy for me. I’ve been job hunting and interviewing, so I’ve been a bit stressed with “real world” stuff. But finally, I’ve found some time to get back to this beautiful hobby of mine 😉 Hopefully, I’ll fall back into a groove again.
Today I’m sharing some thoughts on the second book of Chanel Cleeton’s International School series. The novel just released on July 7th!! I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to these two characters and was lucky enough to receive an ARC of the novel!
**I was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and not influenced by any outside factors.**
Also, a bit of a pre-warning if you haven’t read the first book: I See London. Although this novel could be read as a stand alone, it’s a lot better if you read it in order and I might let some spoilers from the first book out during this review.
Maggie’s back at the International School in London. This place has become her home away from home, where she finally feels like she can be herself. She has two amazing new friends and is loving her major. But this year isn’t like last year. Last year, she was finding her groove and dancing around her attraction for Samir, the sexy and out-of-her league junior. And after one hot night giving into temptation right before summer break, Maggie can’t forget about him. Now she’s back at school where Samir is close enough to touch. But Maggie also remembers the drama and heartbreak; the two different worlds they live in; and oh yeah that Smair still has a Lebanese girlfriend. But as much as she wants to stay away, it’s getting harder and harder to resist.
Samir is finishing up his last year of university in London before he has to return to Lebanon and follow in his father’s footsteps. He can’t afford to fall for someone like Maggie–who is so far removed from his world. But he can’t seem to keep his hands off her. Even knowing that when his senior year is up he won’t be able to keep her, Samir can’t help but keep wanting Maggie. As time ticks down, they’ll both have to fight to survive the consequences of their relationship and find a future together.
I really enjoyed I See London, Cleeton’s first book in the series. I loved watching the push and pull of Maggie and Samir’s attraction throughout the novel. I also liked seeing Maggie’s progression as a character being faced with new experiences during her first year of university. Maggie had a lot of growing up to do and in New Adult fashion she was definitely learning.
What’s great about London Falling, is that we get to see both Maggie and Samir grow this time. Cleeton chose to write this novel in alternating perspectives instead of just through Maggie’s eyes. Although I wasn’t too keen on it in the beginning, I definitely grew to like it once we saw more of Samir’s struggles later on in the novel. By the end of the novel, I felt like we saw Samir grow more than Maggie this time which was great to watch. I also loved how both characters seemed to find their freedom in this novel. They definitely grew into themselves by the end.
The romance was definitely hot and heavy this time around. Although Maggie was still struggling with her attraction for Samir (knowing he had a girlfriend and knowing they probably wouldn’t work out), she was way more receptive to him then in the first novel. Already knowing what is was like to be with him, she craved him even more then before. The romance struggle this time around was about making their relationship work. Maggie and Samir had to figure out if they would even enter into a relationship and then, if they did, they had to figure out how to make it work knowing Samir wold be leaving to go back to Lebanon after graduation. Anything they had together would be temporary. Cleeton did a great job mixing the romance scenes with the relationship building scenes. It was more than just a romance book. Cleeton was able to show how both characters were growing through their relationship–true to the New Adult genre.
The secondary characters were not a big within this novel; although, Fleur still had a strong presence. I have a feeling we might be seeing more of her in the future (or at least I’m hoping because that girl seriously needs a happy ending!). Her character definitely has a strong impact on Maggie and she was key point in the resolution to this novel which I really loved seeing.
The only thing I really had a problem with was the timing of the novel. Sometimes the timing seemed a bit jumpy and the transitions a little off. I think this was mainly because the novel was based around a whole school year and Cleeton was trying to fit everything in during that time frame. I didn’t come across it too much, but definitely think it can be cleaned up in future novels.
Overall, I really enjoyed the second half of Maggie and Samir’s story. I fell in love with them and their relationship in the first book and was super excited to see how it turned out. London Falling definitely had me “falling” for it! Although I’d recommend reading I See London first, this novel could definitely be read as a stand alone. I’d recommend a nice sunny day (preferably at a beach 😉 ) to sit back and relax with this book. Even though it takes place during the school year, it’s a definite summer beach read for me!
Have you read I See London or London Falling? What do you think about Maggie and Samir? Thoughts on Fleur? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! I’d love to hear what you thought!