Thursday, May 14, 2015

BLOG TOUR: REVIEW & EXCERPT - ALL PLAYED OUT by Cora Carmack


Hi Everyone and welcome to my post of the All Played Out blog tour. As you know I read and reviewed the first book All Lined Up, which I thought was a average read to the start of the series. But I continued on with....Book 3. They all can be read in a standalone capacity and I enjoyed that a lot more. This one is by far my favourite of the series. Today my post is my review and an excerpt of the book. Don't forget to read on as there is a giveaway too so be sure to enter to win a signed set of the Rusk series. Before I start my review here is a little more on ALL PLAYED OUT...

All Played Out (Rusk University #3)
by Cora Carmack
Publisher - William Morrow & Company
Release Date - May 12th 2015
Buy - Amazon | Book Depository

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.
Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience).

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game.

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real.
Em's TOP 5 Checklist of ALL PLAYED OUT 

#1 - Character Connection on a deeper level: Antonella (love that name) very much reminded me of Cora's MC in Losing It, Bliss. They both had such authenticity to their characters that I just feel in love with her. I loved her wild streak which she obtained from her Nell's To Do List at the beginning of her perspective. It was a way for to really connect with the other side of college life, for her to get her full experience before she graduated earlier than other people.

#2 - 'Hook up with a Jock': I hate the term 'jock' don't you?! I found that as you progress through the story, Mateo is nothing like that, far from it. Whilst at first I did think he was a bit of a tool, comparing his previous love Lina, to Ness. Which was the first step into using someone and I felt he was betraying Ness at the same time too, she deserved more than that. But I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, which I was indeed right to give as he was by far the hottest guy of the Rusk series so far... But there was such a slow burn of hooking up that it was both steamy and cruel at the same time. That's one thing I adore about Cora's writing, it's written to keep you hooked and you will certainly need to fan yourself every once in a while.

#3 - Steamy Romance: My oh my! What a build-up it was...the more times Ness and Mateo checked something of her list, the more heated it would get. Each would get more kinky, but they grew closer together as well, both physically and mentally. It's as if underneath both of their skins, their personalities were tuned together from the beginning. They were able to  The approach to their relationship was unique and also strangely familiar at the same time.

#4 - Family of Secondary Characters: Like many of Cora's books, she doesn't just let one book end without inviting her previous characters into the next book. That's what I love about her work, she brings out the best in her books when she incorporates all her writing prodigies. We see them as they are but from a different perspective, we see them move on through Rusk and through life. A Family of characters. Much like Jay Crownover's Marked Men series.  I met Dallas and Carson once again and for inquiring minds they are as just as in love, probably more so in front of their as All Lined Up. We also see Dylan and Silas which I can only assume are the stars of All Broke Down the sequel. Now after reading this novel I want to know what happened to Stella and how her story will continue.

#5 - Wonderfully Written: Written through dual perspective you really get to see both characters in their own spotlight as well as together. You get to look into their heads, and what Cora does is make you want to fight for the characters, you feel very emotionally involved. I can't fault her writing. She has created something totally different from her Losing It series but this is the book I was waiting for in this series. This was were my expectations exceeded that from her first book that I felt a little disappointed by. This one is a page turner, with all the romantic feels, first-bumps, and toe-curling effects to the novel. It's unputtdownable. 

Rating - 5/5 - Well what other rating could I give if Cora Carmack, checked all of my book items....

Please Read On for an Excerpt and Giveaway!!!!

I’ve always gone out of my way to avoid situations that might stir up that kind of reaction. When I was getting picked on in middle school, I found a teacher willing to let me eat lunch in her classroom during her off period. I didn’t really do much dating in high school, because the few times I tried, I couldn’t handle the stress of not knowing what would happen next. The mere possibility of embarrassing myself was always enough to make me run in the other direction. I didn’t take any chances. Not that kind at least. And now it seems as if my social life is not the only department where I’m playing catch-up.
Welcome to Humiliation. Population: Me.
Thankfully, I’m so miserable that the next few minutes only occur in bursts and patches for me. When I next lift my eyes, Dylan is there, and we’re inside the apartment. I blink, and I’m in my room. It’s dark, only the lamp by my bed providing light, and she’s dabbing at my forehead with a damp cloth that feels like heaven.
“Why did I do this?” I groan. “Why does anyone do this?”
She doesn’t laugh, though I can tell she wants to.
“Hindsight is twenty-twenty.”
“I hate that saying.”
“But it’s the truth.”
“I hate the truth.”
She does laugh then.
“Why did you do it?” she asks. “I tried to ask Matt, but he sounds like a yeti when he’s this drunk. I couldn’t make out anything he said.”
“I hate yetis,” I mumble.
“Yes, well, before you say you hate water, drink this.”
She tilts my head up to meet a glass, and half the water ends up running down my neck. And I do, indeed, hate water.
The only thing I don’t hate is sleep. Sleep will take away the churning in my stomach, and the awful taste in my mouth, and the flushed heat I know is still marring my skin.
Maybe I’ll wake up, and this will all have been a dream. I won’t have thrown up in front of the people I’m trying to make my new friends. I wouldn’t have told the most attractive guy to ever show any interest in me that I’m a virgin.
Maybe I’ll wake up to find that this whole list thing was a long, elaborate dream, and I can go back to being blissfully weird and antisocial and ...
Alone.
Somewhere between one forced sip of water and the next, I must fall asleep, because I wake up after what feels like hours to the sound of my door closing. Probably just Dylan checking on me, but I’m struggling to find the motivation to move my head the six inches it will take to confirm this suspicion.
Eventually, my bed shifts, slanting to one side, and my head ends up turning of its own volition. I decide I’m dreaming when I see who’s seated beside me, because there’s no way Torres would be in my room after everything that just happened. I’m sure Dylan wouldn’t even let him in. I decide that this must be my subconscious, trying to give me one last good-bye, unreal though it may be.
“I brought you some food,” he says.
I groan. My dream can’t even do me the courtesy of giving me a pleasant last memory. Or is it normal to be drunk in your dreams when you’re drunk in real life?
He breaks the corner off a bread stick and holds it up to my lips. I don’t open.
“Trust me,” he says. “I know you’re tired and probably miserable, but this will help. And the more food and water we get into you now, the less you’ll hate yourself in the morning.”
“Already hate myself,” I say, but I take a bite of the bread stick he’s offering. It takes me forever to chew it, and when I’m done, he holds up another. Grudgingly, I eat it.
“That’s my girl.” And now I know it’s a dream.
He offers me water, and I take it, if only to wash down the bread.
“What happened to our deal?” he asks, and he sounds almost angry. “If you’d waited for me, I could’ve taken care of you. Made sure you didn’t drink too much.”
Since it’s a dream, I don’t see the point in being dishonest.
“I don’t want you to help me with the list.”
“Why not?” Yeah. He’s definitely angry.
“Because I don’t want you to think I’m a loser.”
“Damn it. I think a lot of things about you, Nell. Some of them are certainly not nice, but trust me, they’re all complimentary.” I shake my head, too tired to pick out the meaning of his words. “You’re not a loser, Nell. And I’m going to help you with that list whether you like it or not. I didn’t like coming into your apartment and seeing you with that guy. I don’t like that he’s the one who you shared this first with. I want your firsts.”
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Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling authorwho likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too. 


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22 comments:

  1. That's great you continued on and really loved this one. I like that it has a dual perspective so you feel like you get to know both of them well.

    -Lauren

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    1. I love when a dual perspective is well done! I'm glad I continued with this series too! :)

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  2. After reading your review and that excerpt, I really want to read this now! Great job and thanks for sharing everything!

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    1. I hope you get to read this one! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  3. I'm glad to see that these books could be read as standalones Emma, as I'm really Ocd when it comes to reading books in a series. It's also great that yo really ended up enjoying this book whilst the first book was just an okay read for you. Lovely review!

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    1. I think they can and that's what I love about them. I'm glad this one came through for me too! :)

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  4. Oh, this list sounds pretty hot, Emma! I'm happy to hear this was a big improvement over the first book because that was lackluster for me. I'll have to check this one out for sure! Fab review! :)

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    1. I hope you get to this one. I think you would really enjoy it in comparison to the first book. Thanks Rachel!

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  5. Blogger feedback on this has been amazing. Everyone seems to like the nerd & jock pairing, which, let's face it, has tons of potential. I already have it on my list. Wonderful review :)

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    1. Oh yes tons of potential and hotness. Thank you! :)

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  6. This might just be the book in this series whose cover I really, really like! I saw the cover of the All Lined Up and I really didn't like it, which deterred me away from reading it to be honest. This is the first review I've seen for this book, and I may try this one first before the rest since you love it so much, Emma!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. Oh yes I'm glad that this is more appealing than the first book and the plotline is too. Hope you enjoy it! :)

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  7. wow 5/5? that's so great and I love the way your review is made, we feel all your love for the story. The romance sounds perfectly done! great review!

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    1. I really enjoyed writing it this way too! :)

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  8. I've read two books by this author and gave both of them one star, so I'm not sure if this will be for me. :( But I'm so glad you were really able to connect with the characters and got a perfectly steamy romance. ;)

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    1. Oh that's a shame you didn't enjoy them as much as me. But thanks for stopping by! :)

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  9. YAY EMMA!!!! I can't wait to read this one:) I've loved all of Cora's books that I've read, and I can't wait to get caught up on the Rusk series. Glad Mateo didn't stay a tool in this one and ended up being the hottest guy yet. SO EXCITED!!!!

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    1. Yay! I'm so glad your a lover of the series. Can't wait to see what you think of this one! :)

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  10. So excited to read this -- big fan of the series.
    Jen at YA Romantics

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    1. Can't wait to see what you think of this one Jen! :)

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  11. YAY for 5/5 stars! I've yet to read a book by this author but it will be soon! Hopefully.

    Great post, hun <33

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    1. Look forward to what you think of this author! :)

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