Not Enough by Mia Hoddell ~ Blog Tour: #BookReview @MiaHoddell

~Jennifer~ | 10:50 AM | |


Not Enough
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: Upper YA/NA Contemporary Romance

Release Date: November 16th 2015

Pages: 324

Blurb
Neve Colvin isn’t good enough. As an introvert, her life is a never-ending list of labels and criticism. Pressures to change come from everyone—including the one person she thought would love her unconditionally … her mother. All Neve wants is acceptance, but surrounded by extroverts it’s a wish that’s nearly impossible to fulfil.

For Neve there’s only one solution: anyone disapproving must go. Even if it means only one person will remain.

That person is her lifelong friend Blake Reynolds. He’s seen the fights with her mum, the breakdowns caused by attacks on her personality, and the battles for acceptance. Each time she is left shattered and questioning who she is, he’s the one to collect the pieces of her broken heart. Shielding her from the cruelty is his only concern. But how can he protect her when Neve is concealing a secret so dark?

Blake thinks he knows everything about her, and with their relationship developing, he assumes Neve trusts him fully. However, there is one memory Neve is too ashamed of to share. Revealing it will test Blake’s loyalty beyond what she could ever ask, and Blake is the only friend she can’t afford to lose. He’s the one person capable of dragging her from the darkness plaguing her, but with pressures to conform increasing, even Blake may not be enough to pull her back this time.




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It's taken me way too long to read a novel by Mia Hoddell! Her books have been on my TBR for a long time, and now that I've read Not Enough, I'm doubly excited to get started reading more of her work. 

Not Enough's synopsis called out to me - I'm an introvert and have felt the effects of others not understanding what that truly means, although not to the extent the main character, Neve, feels. I believe there's a spectrum when it comes to determining whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. Rather than someone being 100% introverted or 100% extroverted, we fall somewhere on the spectrum, with some of us closer to one end or the other while still others fall somewhere in the middle.  

I fall closer to the introvert end of the spectrum, but there are situations where I can identify with being an extrovert. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty in the case of Neve, her character is probably an extreme case of introversion. The way people in her life treated her was abysmal, especially her own mother. Thank God she had Blake, whom I'll get to in a moment.  

Cece is briefly introduced in the beginning, and wow, what a piece of work she is! Cece says things I would never say to someone who's supposedly my friend, and I couldn't understand why Neve bothered with her. Possibly low self esteem, which Neve definitely struggled with. Let me list the ways in which Cece is a TERRIBLE person! 

1. Encourages Neve to drink alcohol until she's trashed
2. Encourages Neve to pick a random guy for sex
3. Berates Neve when Neve doesn't do exactly what she wants her to do
4. Doesn't care about Neve's safety or well being AT ALL

I could go on. 

Cece does the opposite of slut shaming to Neve. I didn't know there was such a thing. And I couldn't believe when the words, "You should have wanted it. Everyone else would have," fell from Cece's lips. REALLY??? Wow...just wow... I probably would've decked her.

Even sadder? Neve's mom basically encourages those same things.  

The thing is, Neve envies people who can let loose and have fun, in a safe way of course. I envy those people, too. I'd love to go to a club and dance like no one's watching. That sounds like a lot of fun to me. Like Neve, I worry about being laughed at, which doesn't sound like a big deal even if it happened, but for people like me and Neve, it would crush us. It's a legitimate fear that causes her to freeze up.

Blake is the bright spot in Neve's life. Man, when I say he's there for her, he's REALLY there for her! We all need a little more Blake in our lives. The chapters alternate between Neve's POV and Blake's POV, and I really liked knowing what he was thinking. It helped flesh out his character and made him more realistic, plus I fell just a bit more in love with him hearing his thoughts and feelings.  

As for the huge secret Neve's been shouldering, I can understand why she wouldn't want to share that. People don't react well to something like that, especially if they've never been through it. There's a huge stigma, which is sad because then the people who need help don't always get it because their fears outweigh their hope. 

Not Enough is a well-told, heartbreaking story that delivers a punch to the gut and makes you fervently wish for Neve's hope to outweigh her. You'll root for Blake and Neve to see what they have in each other and that the beauty of their friendship could bloom into so much more.           





What reviewers are saying:

"From the dedication at the beginning up to the end this was both a thought provoking and an emotional read for me and I loved it!" 
- Sandra @ JeanzBookReadNReview

"This story tugged at my heartstrings, played on my every emotion. It was a beautifully written story of how an introverted young girl blossoms into a beautiful young woman." 
- Keren Hughes, Author of Nothing Like The First Time

"A heartbreaking read that sometimes had me close to tears." 
- Susan @ Ladies Living in Bookland

"Heartbreaking. Powerful. Real ... I literally lived the pages, not read them ... It's so well and beautifully written, it is more than just another YA novel." 
- Cristina @ Crazy Beautiful 

Excerpt


 “What are you doing?” I manage to get out around my laughs. She tenses at my words and then tilts her head back to fix me with a glare, her eyes blazing with irritation.
“I’m sleeping in the bath like I said I would. Why, what did you think I was doing? Teaching myself to swim?”
“I know what you’re doing. I think that’s obvious. What I meant was why are you doing this?” I step into the room and move in front of her so she doesn’t have to crane her neck to see me.
“You know why.”
“You’re not sleeping in here, Stripes.”
“Watch me.”
I cross my arms. There’s no way I’m going back to bed and allowing her to sleep in a bath. The only problem is that it’s hard to maintain a frustrated expression when everything about the situation is so damn funny. “Be back in a second.”
She mumbles something that sounds like “I’m not going anywhere” to my back as I rush out of the bathroom. Rummaging in my drawer, I find what I’m looking for then I’m back in the room with Neve in seconds.
Before she can react, I have a camera in front of me.
“Smile,” I tease, only it causes her glower to darken. Three lines appear on her forehead as her face screws up.
“Delete that now.”
“Nope. Get out of the bath and I might let you.”
“I’m not getting out. I told you I’m sleeping here.”
“Why all the drama? We’ve slept in the same bed for ages now. It’s not a big deal.” She rolls over, showing me her back, and ignores me. “Stripes, get out of the bath.”
“Night, Blake.”
If she thinks I’m going to give up that easy, she’s got another surprise coming. She should know by now that I don’t give up and people don’t say no to me. I put the camera on the counter by the sink, needing both of my hands.
Carefully, so as not to reveal my intentions, I lean over the bath and line up my hands. With one swift motion, I grip her tightly, heaving her out of the tub and throwing her over my shoulder as she screams, “Put me down, Blake!”
“I told you, you’re not sleeping in a bath. Now shut up and stop hitting my back.” My light and jovial words only serve to make her flail around even more. I manage to pin her legs, but I’m powerless to do anything to stop her hands pounding against my back. It’s not enough to hurt, that’s not her intention, but the squirming is becoming increasingly frustrating.
When I reach the bed, I drag her back over my shoulder and dump her on the mattress. She bounces, not able to hide the laughter on her face while she stares at me and hiccups. This is how I like to see her, carefree and happy. It’s rare nowadays that I catch a glimpse of Neve when she’s truly happy, but in this moment there isn’t a strained muscle in her body. It’s natural, and I can’t stop myself from watching her. I’m still amazed that I’m the one who can bring out her joy and it baffles me that she’s allowed herself to be mine.
We remain gazing at each other with ridiculous grins for a minute. When I’m sure she isn’t going to run, I move around to my of the bed side. Her head follows me, and when I go to climb in beside her, she rolls over. She throws her arms and legs out wide, taking up the entire mattress.
You’re in the bath then.” She points at the door with the hand furthest away from me, a devilish twinkle in her eyes. It takes me a while to respond. The sight of her body stretched out in her skimpy pyjamas makes my throat dry, and I have to consciously remind myself to swallow. My gaze focuses on her pale skin, which is exposed by her shirt riding up and the top of her shorts lowering as a result of her actions.
“I don’t think so.” My voice comes out more breathless than I expect as I watch her spread out in front of me.
“Well, you’re not sleeping in here with me.”
“My bed, my rules.” I place one knee on the mattress and climb on. My arms support most of my weight so my body is directly above hers. “So, I can either sleep on the left … or on top of you.” My voice drops into a murmur and she gulps, her lips parting as I hover over her. “Take your pick, Stripes.” 


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About the Author

#1 Amazon bestselling author Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything romantic, and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.

Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder and Not Enough.


Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.

You can follow Mia on:

Or sign up to her newsletter for the chance to receive ARCs, giveaways, and exclusive content first.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great review!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Mia! :) Thanks for having me on the tour!

      Delete

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