By Jessica Sorensen
This review is going to be a bit different. I’m going to review all of the books in the Nova Series that have been published. So far there are three full length books and one novella. There is another novella and a full length novel due in the series, but they will be about a supporting character.
Breaking Nova (Nova #1)
Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she’s getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.
Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn’t want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he’s done, what he’s lost. He’s sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he’s too damaged to get close to her, yet she’s the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?
Saving Quinton (Nova #2)
Nova Reed can’t forget him-Quinton Carter, the boy with the honey-brown eyes who made her realize she deserved more than an empty life. His pain was so similar to her own. But Nova has been coming to terms with her past and healing, while Quinton is out there somewhere, sinking deeper. She’s determined to find him and help him . . . before it’s too late.
Nova has haunted his dreams for nearly a year-but Quinton never thought a sweet, kind person like her would care enough about a person like him. To Quinton, a dark, dangerous life is exactly what he deserves. And Nova has no place in it. But Nova has followed him to Las Vegas, and now he must do whatever it takes to keep her away, to maintain his self-imposed punishment for the unforgivable things he’s done. But there’s one flaw in his plan: Nova isn’t going anywhere . . .
Delilah: The Making of Red (Nova #2.5)
Delilah Peirce: the Invisible Girl. Men crane their necks around Delilah just to catch a glimpse of her bombshell mother. Delilah knows looks of indifference, of friendship-but never of desire.
Then she meets Dylan Sanderson, the impossibly gorgeous guy who thinks she’s beautiful. When he looks at her, she feels needed. When he kisses her, her troubles disappear. And when he tells her he will never hurt her, she believes him . . .
Nova and Quinton: No Regrets (Nova #3)
Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.
It’s taken me a while to get through this series. Not because I couldn’t get into it, but life kept getting in the way. The past few days I spent a lot of time in the car, so I got to finish it. FINALLY!!! And OMG what a fucking rollercoaster it was. Not that I’m surprised. Ms. Sorensen doesn’t shy away from the rough side of life. Nope she shines a spot light on it and commands it to take center stage. She writes in such a way that the story pulls me in, and I feel like I could know these people. That in spite of their flaws, I want to know these people. The Nova series tackles loss, grief, and the ways in which people cope with them.
We start the series with Nova and Quinton pretty equally screwed up. They’re both running from their past by becoming people they never would have before tragedy entered their lives. They’ve stepped into the downward spiral of drugs. Quinton’s a little further along than Nova, but even he realizes she’s too good for this life. Nova and Quinton have experienced heartbreaking loss. Both feel they’re responsible for the fate that befell those around them. The difference is Quinton knows why, which has led him to bury himself with drugs. Nova can’t figure out where she went wrong and is having trouble dealing with being left behind, so when an escape is presented to her, she takes the first hit to oblivion.
Over the course of the series we watch Nova find her answers and evolve into a stronger young woman for her struggles. Surprisingly it’s Quinton that helps compel Nova to stop running from her past and rise above the pit of deprivation she’s fallen into. All the while he is sinking further and further. Just when you think he can’t fall any more, he does. Oh I wanted to shake him so badly and tell him to snap out of his pity party. But it’s such a realistic picture of someone in a downward spiral caused by the blame that’s been laid upon their shoulders.
Even though Nova manages to conquer her demons, she doesn’t forget about the boy with the sad eyes who helped save her. She’s desperate to save Quinton, even when her efforts threaten to pull her back into the deep end of the junkie lifestyle. Nova is willing to follow him through hell if necessary. Unfortunately, Quinton has the resolve to keep running to save her from him. When being with him threatens Nova, Quinton hides until Nova can be drug away and returned to safety.
In the end love isn’t everything, but sometimes it’s the only thing that can save you. The love of others, but more importantly learning that you are worthy of loving yourself and finding a way to forgive yourself is the hardest part of healing.
The Nova series is raw and gritty, but more importantly it’s a realistic portrayal of using drugs to help numb pain, and just how far people will go once they are addicted. This isn’t the glamorization of someone saying I can quit any time I want to and then doing so. I’ve known a few people who could use drugs and then step away with nothing but their own willpower. However, I’ve never heard a heroine or crystal meth user say they could put it down whenever they wanted to and actually mange to do it. (Yes, I actually read a character in a book do that. It pissed me off because I felt it was irresponsible of the author.) I don’t know where Ms. Sorensen gets her ideas for her stories or how she researches them, but the realness of her characters is nothing short of amazing for someone who hasn’t lived the life they’re writing about.
This series has a lot of death and heartbreak in it, but I can say without reservation that by the time you get to the end, you’ll get a happy ending. It may not be the one you foresaw when you started reading, but it’s worth the journey. Without the journey, the ending wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying.
Reviewed by Liz