Mini Reviews: An Eye-Rolling Sequel & A Heart Stopping YA Book


Double Down (All In Duet #2)
by Alessandra Torre
Publication Date: June 18, 2018
Publisher: Select Publishing LLC

Rating: ★★½

Synopsis via Goodreads: The stunning conclusion to the All In Duet… 

In Vegas, there was one man who was off limits. One man… and I fell for him.

I knew there were risks. Still, I played the game. When Dario Capece called, I answered. When he beckoned, I came. When he broke all my rules, I looked the other way.

I knew there were risks. I just never realized they included death.

Note: This book should be read after Even Money (available now).



*Cue the rant review* 

I didn’t know what to expect when I went into Double Down, but I hoped that it would be a lot better than Even Money. It wasn’t and I’m mad—actually no, I’m pissed. I totally hate it when my faves disappoint, but honestly this duet didn’t even read like an Alessandra Torre book. Where was the thrill? The suspense? The sex appeal? The twist that would leave me on the edge of my seat? Gosh, I’m so frustrated but let’s get this review over with.

Double Down picks up right where Even Money left off as Dario has to do whatever it takes to keep Bell safe, even if that means risking his own freedom. My first issue with this book was with the pacing. Everything happens so quickly and we never get a moment to process all these events that occur. It’s like death, then death then Bell and Dario screwing like bunnies and then more death. The plot just became repetitive and our so-called villain wasn’t even a villain—more like someone who just had a lot of daddy issues. Like this honestly could’ve just been one book. Also, the plot line revolving around Robert should’ve been developed more. That would’ve made a way better story line and justice was definitely not served. Dario was a bit better in this book, less of a man-child and more of an actual adult but I still don’t really care for him. My second issue with this book was with Bell. I felt like Bell’s characterization fell all the way flat. She bored me at times and I didn’t like the whole damsel in distress behavior. The All In duet was a major let down and I’m hoping the next Alessandra book I read will blow it out of the water for me. I’m ready to clean my hands of this duet and move the fuck on. 



Cry Baby
by Ginger Scott
Publication Date: June 22, 2018
Publisher:  Self-published

Add to Goodreads || Buy on Amazon  

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Tristan Lopez is loyal to his brothers. He doesn’t really have a choice, born into a gang that has a chokehold on every kid that roams its streets. He gave his life to them willingly, knowing if he did then one day this kingdom, led by boys drunk with power and ruled by fear, would all be his.

He was loyal through it all. Loyal when prison took his dad away. Loyal when his face was touched by the cold metal of the rival gang’s gun. Loyal even though his mom begged him to run the moment she returned home from rehab.

He thought about becoming someone else. It was hard not to crave the life of a regular 17-year-old. It’s the only reason he stayed in school—to pretend. But he always fell back in line.


Riley Rojas didn’t belong in Tristan’s real world. She should have only been part of the fantasy, one of the many faces he got to pretend with amidst rows of metal chairs and desks and whiteboards with assignments. But there she was, moving boxes from the back of an old pick-up into a house Tristan had shot up on a dare with his friends only a few months before.

Tall enough to look him in the eyes and strong enough to fill his shadow, Riley took up space on his streets, her loud mouth fearless in the face of the gang leaders who terrified everyone else. She pushed Tristan around on the hard court, and she balled better than his friends—better than him sometimes. She challenged him. She needed him. He liked it. And when her pale blue eyes stared into his, he quit wanting to pretend.

He couldn’t ask her to leave because she’d only dig her heels in deeper. He couldn’t ask because he didn’t want her to go. She was blurring his lines. She was testing his loyalty.

He was falling in love.

And it was going to tear him apart.

Well I’ll be damned. I don’t know how Ginger Scott does it, but every time she releases a new book it’s a hit! Especially when it comes to her young adult books because even though I’ve sworn off the genre, she still manages to get me to pick up her books. I hadn’t a clue what to expect when I started Cry Baby since I didn’t read the blurb, but that’s probably a good thing since it wouldn’t have prepared me for the emotional stress I was about to go through.

Cry Baby is a heart-wrenching young adult book about fighting for one’s survival while fighting for love. When Riley Rojas moves to a new house, her only focus was getting into college and playing ball on a professional level. But the moment she laid eyes on Tristan Lopez, her life changed forever. Tristan knows that staying with the Fifty-Seven is dangerous, but it’s safer than trying to leave them behind. Especially if that means keeping the one’s he care about safe. But the last thing he bargained for was falling for the new girl down the street and soon he’ll have to make a decision between who he is and who he could be.

Cry Baby is hands-down one of the best YA books I’ve read this year so far. I just want to take a moment to gush over this writing and this story line. It’s been a minute since I read a book that deals with such heavy themes like this one, but Ginger Scott handled all of them so well. Everything felt so realistic and that’s what gets me most about this book. Like this could be real life! The dialogue was another thing that stuck with me. The conversations that went down gave me chills and I was holding my breath trying to prepare myself for what would happen next. I loved how complex Tristan and Riley’s characters were. Riley is such a strong, independent character who literally looks danger in the eye and doesn’t flinch. I liked the fact that she didn’t back down when Tristan tried to push her away and if it wasn’t for her, he probably wouldn’t have had the courage to change his life around. Tristan worked my nerves at time but I can’t really fault him for all of his actions. He was dealt a shitty hand and I could understand why he chose the path he did. I enjoyed the romance between Tristan and Riley and I liked the fact that there wasn’t anything sweet about their love. The struggles they went through to come out on top together just goes to show you how hard love can be but also how rewarding it can be in the long haul. The end of this book had me on the floor, literally. I totally wouldn’t be shocked if I fell into a reading slump right now because this book left me with the worst case of a book hangover. If you’re looking for a book that will rip your heart out, then you need to pick up Cry Baby ASAP! It’ll be so worth the pain by the end.



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I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

6 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: An Eye-Rolling Sequel & A Heart Stopping YA Book

  1. Well, that first book sounds like a hot mess. I hate when the pacing issues just ruin the entire story. And blergh. When your faves disappoint, you feel personally attacked! Hope her next books are better than this.

    I have to admit that I find the title for Cry Baby super off-putting, but damn, it looks like the perfect book to read if I’m in need of a good cry. I do like my angst occasionally, so I’ll have to give this one a go.


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