I'll Be There Series by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Published between 2011-2014
I want to give this book a 3.5 stars actually because while the first book was fantastic (definitely a 4 star) but the second book seemed as if the author merely wanted to ride on the success of the first book so she pushed out a second book. The characters in the second suddenly felt stilted, the plot was a little cliché and dry, overall, it was a meh book.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the first book. I found the characters to be well-developed and alive. There were just so much personality going on with Sam, Riddle and Emily. Even Emily’s family were very much involved with the development of the story. Plus the plot had so much intrigue and suspense especially with Sam and Riddle’s father. Clearly he was crazy and it was interesting to read what was going on in his mind and how his mind worked in planning the next move. The only thing that remained the same in the second book was his craziness and how interesting it was to read about it. That was probably the one thing of the few things that was intriguing about the second book. How he plotted to escape prison and whatnot. Despite his craziness, he was actually highly intelligent which, I suppose, made him all the more dangerous. Therefore, even though he was clearly the bad guy in this series, he was actually one of my favorite characters.
The interaction between Emily and Sam went from intense and captivating in the first book to stale and somewhat boring in the second. How they found each other and the obstacles in their path made their relationship incredibly fascinating but when faced with pettiness and simple girl problems, it just didn’t hold much interest to me.
Destiny, the new character in the second novel, was just bad news written all over. I’m really not sure what the intrigue was with her that drew both Bobby and Sam in so much especially Sam because he was clearly in love with Emily yet felt drawn to some petite, slutty girl? It was just too strange for me to comprehend. And while Emily’s reaction to her was a little extreme, I could understand why – that girl had some good radar.
Overall, fantastic first book and mediocre second book. I highly recommend the first and if you’re still interested in the aftermath then you can check out the second.