To celebrate the release of Better, Good is currently on sale for 99 cents for a limited time.
In August, when I finished reading Good, I immediately got to work on my stalking of Summer. I needed to know when we would get more of Mark and Cadence, and how it was going to happen, and just do a little bit of fangirling (really don’t like that word, but not sure how else to describe it right now). She, of course, said I’m going as fast as I can … but I won’t tell you what’s going to happen. From there, she was either excited or scared by messages. I’m not sure.
So then, in a sort of Good support group, we got the news. We were getting Better, and it wasn’t going to be a super long wait. But I was still impatient. It’s not that Good was left on some crazy relationship cliffhanger, but there was definitely some crazy drama there, and you didn’t want it to end justthatverysecond. Regardless, it’s what we got. And so we waited. And wondered.
On top of the immediate drama of being discovered, and subsequently socked in the eye by her dad, a lot is changing for Cadence … but what’s Mark’s deal. Well, in Better we figure it out. I can say I was sufficiently nervous for his mysterious self to be revealed. I never got the predatory vibe that so many mentioned … rightfully so … but I was still scared for what kind of past he did have. And how it would ultimately steer the course of his relationship with Cadence. Could they survive all that happened? Both in the present and the past?
I won’t uncover more than that about the story–which I realize leaves you very little, but you just gotta read it yourself. I don’t want to go and ruin anything. No spoilery here. I will say, it’s in 3rd person, so we do get more of a perspective than we did in Good, and I think it lends well to telling the story we need to wrap up this duet of books nicely.
There’s plenty of everything you’d want and expect from this book–drama, heat, love, sadness, secrets, lies, revelations, it all. Of course, as you’d know from Good, the religious implications of their actions weighed heavily on Cadence … the same goes for in Better. It’s not that she doesn’t accept the life she’s taken, but she can’t help but wonder what it all means from a moral and religious side. It’s a large part of who she is because she’s young, and it’s how she was raised to think. But more than that … like anyone who’s spiritual or religious … there’s a certain level of solace you find when you’re needing answers or wanting to find peace with a decision, and you turn to your religion. I think she uses this both ways here.
I loved seeing more of Avery and Oliver. I think the epilogue was very well done–and again, we got some closure as far as Avery is concerned. I didn’t necessarily think it at the time, but as I’m writing this, I wonder how it would’ve worked out for Oliver. So I guess that’s something I’m left with. As for other characters, we are introduced to some through Cadence’s college experience, and I think for as large of a role as they play, I did feel like when we got to a certain point, they just disappeared from the story. And to a certain extent, I get it, but it did make me question for a bit what happened with them. If she really did just stop hanging with them completely. Of course, when you get there, you’ll see more of what I’m talking about.
Overall, this was a great wrap up to the story. I would say it provided me with everything I’d want from the series. I was happy to see what happened because I think there were a lot of easy-outs Summer could’ve taken, but she made this real and honest and of course, at times, very funny. Cadence’s naivety is always comic relief. :)
I most certainly recommend these books if you’ve not read them yet!
Up for grabs –> Signed paperback of Better
His heart dropped when he watched her walk into the room. He ignored the snickers and whispers and followed her with his eyes as she walked to one of two remaining seats in his class. Both up front. She had no choice. She’d have to be close to him.
When realization dawned that he was the guy from Highway 28, the fear on her face was unmistakable. He felt no such fear. He felt extreme disappointment. And hopelessness.
And then, there was the matter of her orange jumpsuit. He didn’t know how to address it or if he even should address it. A large part of him said to leave it alone. She was clearly being bullied, and she thought she would try to turn the tables.
But she looked ridiculous. She had to know it. He wasn’t sure if she’d actually won or just thought she did. He tried for a gentle, non-confrontational approach.
“Cadence, you might wanna go change,” he said softly.
Her eyes went wide. He wasn’t sure why. And then it hit him. He said her name! Yes, he remembered her name. How could he ever forget that name? Cadence. Rhythmic. His song. His life. He decided that afternoon on the side of the road. She was his cadence. It was an alarming moment of clarity now muddled by the realization that she was his student. He thought God was playing another cruel joke on him.
ABOUT S. WALDEN:
S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about it.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.