I stumbled across Sarina Bowen when I was reading another author. There was some reference to Sarina Bowen in the author’s note at the end and, being on my kindle, I hit the name and, hey presto, kindle store!
“Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction”
She does, but this doesn’t do her justice. I downloaded the first book in the Ivy Years series and then the next….and the next! I’m onto the next series, in fact.
This is the first time in NA fiction that I have read about main characters who are not able-bodied, who are victims of heart-breaking fraternity ‘stunts’ which made me extremely uncomfortable (in fact, there are two of these across the series), and who are gay.
NA fiction is often a gilded genre, where the crisis of the story is fairly benign and the university experience is definitely rose-tinted. The Ivy Years is a lot more realistic. Sure, there are fun, typical university times, but we also see the other side. It’s not always pretty, but it is, sadly, real for a lot of students.
Every book in the series is standalone and well written. I found them all refreshingly different and inclusive…although it was a jolt to see that the author had to add a disclaimer to book #3 ‘The Understatement of the Year’:
Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.
It’s another reminder that, as a society, we have a long way to go. That some of our readers need that sort of ‘warning’ is very, very, sad.
(And by the way, the grandmother is hilarious.)