The Year We Hid Away

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years #2) by Sarina Bowen

4 stars!

“My trick is understanding that there aren’t any tricks. You just have to wade through each moment as it comes.”

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The Year We Hid Away is the second book in the Ivy Years series and it focuses on Scarlet and former college hockey player Bridger. Scarlet is a freshman and is escaping a horrid home and Bridger is a joint student pursuing his undergraduate and masters degrees at the same time. They meet in class, begin to hand out and become friends.

Scarlet is hiding who she is from everyone. After a high profile case on her father is made extremely public, she spent the last year being shunned by her friends and her community and is excited to start a new life in a new city with a new name. Bridgeris trying to maintain a low profile while secretly raising his younger sister because their mother is addicted to drugs. Both Bridger and Scarlet have miles of issues, but the two find comfort and love in each other.

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So I’m at the point where I am a bit shell-shocked that this series isn’t wildly successful. I can see now why Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy teamed up to write a book together because their writing style and story format is very similar.

The best part of this book for me was it was very much the characters’ own book. Yes characters from the previous book were there, but their presence didn’t overwhelm the story, it enhanced it. Both characters underwent so many trials and tribulations but they stuck together for the most part and relied on each other for support and comfort, what the majority of couples should do when times get hard. Lots of sweet heartfelt moments between Scarlet and Bridger, along with Bridger’s younger sister Lucy.

“Thank you, Scarlet”.
“For what? For being your Tuesday and Thursday girl?”
“For all seven days. Because I think of you on all of them.”

I also felt the depiction of college life was fairly accurate in this book. No weird drama where everyone knew everything about each other, no wild parties every night. Basically a lot of stereotypes were missing or not overdone and it read like a true college experience (or at least like mine).

The reason this is not a 5? Well, I’ve been noticing a trend in Bowen’s books where not everything is resolved, and while I know that’s life, it’d be nice to know the complete HEA of all of the characters. So far these first two books felt like they were cut off before the story is over. But we’ll see with the other books how it plays out.

I recommend for all of you Elle Kennedy fans out there! Low drama and low angst for those of you who hate those kinds of things.

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